Monday, January 29, 2007

Today's Small Miracle

The sun came out. And with all the snow all over the place, it was like walking on a floor of mirrors. It was so bright that I had walk with my eyes closed.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Art of Michael Parkes

I cannot tell you how long I have been waiting for this book. Years.

It all started with the first Michael Parkes monograph, The World of Michael Parkes, which was published in 1998 and went out of print almost immediately. It was published in a limited run, so by the time I discovered Michael Parkes' art around 2000-2001 there were no copies of The World of Michael Parkes to be found. I searched around for it on Amazon and Ebay every once in a while. The cheapest that I ever saw it was in the ball park of $200.

So, I told myself to be patient. If Michael Parkes was really so popular, it was only a matter of time before the publishers put together another monograph. AND, low and behold, The Art of Michael Parkes was published in 2006. I was visiting the website of a gallery in California which sells Parkes' work online, and I discovered that the book had been published. I get all my Michael Parkes news from the Avalon Gallery website because not only do they have pictures of current and previous Michael Parkes lithographs and paintings, but it has artist bios and news from other wonderful artists, like two of my other favorites, Danial Merriam and Juan Kelly. If you have a moment, you should visit the website and see what I'm talking about.

But anyway, I digress. I discovered the book had been published, so immediately, I started hunting around for it. However, I only discovered that this book was published during winter break, almost 2007, as in almost a year after the book was published. This book was also published in a limited run: a run of only 5000, which in the publishing world is a very limited run. So, as I hunted around, I started to run into the same problem: copies on Ebay for over $100, etc. BUT, I found my copy new from the Amazon Market Place for the publisher's price. LUCKY.

And I'm so happy with it, I love leafing through the pages and looking at Parkes' surrealist, fantasical art: right up my alley.

So, anyway, when we get right down to it, this book was well worth the wait. Everything I wanted.

*Both of the images above can be found at the Avalon Gallery webpage.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Movie Review: Pan's Labyrinth

Ye of weak constitutions, turn back; this movie is violent with a capital 'V.' The only other word I can think to describe it is "gore." And I think the only other movies that come close are Tarantino movies. Except where Tarantino's violence (I'm thinking of Kill Bill in this instance) is ultra-stylized and choreographed, the violence of this movie is ultra-realistic. It was as if writer/director Guillermo del Toro tried to portray as many different kinds of violence as possible as realistically as possible: battle, murder, torture, amputation, payback... even childbirth in this movie is incredibly violent and deadly.

Since the movie was touted as a fairytale for adults, I think the violence has a lot to do with the original versions of Grimms' Fairy tales... but still, I had to cover my eyes numerous times, and not because what I was seeing was frightening... it was terrifying and grotesque... and I'm sure things like those portrayed have happened in real life. Scary.

Also, the movie was subtitled. I didn't mind; I was just surprised. I saw HBO's First Look of Pan's Labyrinth, and nothing in the first look led me to believe the movie was subtitled or even foreign. Weird.

Other than those two things, the movie was really interesting, beautiful, and well told. All the actor's were amazing. All the special effects were amazing. Pan was awesome. The villain is viscous and colder than even Lewis' White Witch of Narnia, and you are totally endeared and worried for the characters throughout the entire movie. It was a good flick, if not a little left of center and jarring.

So, in short, I liked the movie... I'm just not sure that I ever want to see it again.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Frosty Should Move to Edinboro

Okay, so I came back to campus on January 15th... January 16th, it started snowing here, and it has not stopped since then. It has snowed here EVERY DAY since I got back to campus. I mean, maybe not inches everyday but at least some sort of snowy precipitation every day I've been back at Edinboro.

I don't' mind the snow, when it comes down to it, I'd rather have snow than rain... but I really don't like walking in it. It wouldn't be so bad except I don't think that the Edinboro ground crew has heard of this stuff that I like to call "salt." I mean, there have been a couple days where the snow fall has been really light, and I thought to myself, "Oh good, maybe they'll get this place cleaned up before it starts snowing cats and dogs again." But no, the sidewalks have pretty much remained slushy and snow covered. I honestly don't know how the disabled students get around, it doesn't seem possible to me.

We have about a foot-and-a-half on the ground right now, and at the rate it's going, we'll have at least 2 feet by tomorrow. Yikes.

On the up side, I have been enjoying lots of nice, hot beverages lately... hot chocolate with caramel and green tea flavored with Mandarin oranges, etc.

The picture I included is the view from my window of the back of a house on Darrow Rd. Please note how some of the icicles almost touch the ground.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Don't Lie to Yourself, You're Jealous

A humidifier that looks like a cow AND the mist comes out of its ears :) Awesome!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Livin' the Dream

Koolkat in on Washington Ave. in Mt. Lebanon will be selling my jewelry on commission. The owner's name is Kate, nice lady.

A week ago today, I met with her at her shop and showed her samples of my work... she took 38 pieces from me including pendants (one of which is shown), necklaces, bracelets, and earrings... and she is selling them for me on commission. She takes my pieces and adds 60% to my price... and then I get %60 and her store gets %40. I get a check every month for the pieces that sold, and then I send her new pieces every month.

It was all very official... I had to sign a contract saying that I wouldn't sell my jewelry anywhere in the immediate business district as well as other details about the commission prices, etc... and I have to fill out inventory sheets that describe the pieces she takes.

I'm so excited though, I'm hoping that what I sell will help me pay for Edinboro. AND, even more exciting is that I didn't think I would get into the store on this visit... I am artist #67 of about 80 artists that are represented in Kate's shop and before Christmas, when I first visited the store, she said that she has about 50 jewelry artists in the store and wasn't looking for anymore but that she would be happy so see some samples. SO, imagine my Happy Happy Joy Joy when I learned that she was going to take stuff from me :) Yay! It made me feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside.

SO EXCITING! Making money at my trade, yay.


Poor BMW, though you were rear-ended and are no longer with us, you are still in our hearts. Though the insurance company has decided to total you rather than fix you and deliver you into our garage, we will always remember you as a first among cars: fast, comfortable, safe.

And as we send you to Auto Heaven, that great big junk-yard in the sky, do not fear that you will ever be forgotten. Though we must replace you, there will never be a car to match you. Rest in peace, BMW, rest in peace.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Quiz Part II

So, I took the quiz again... Okay, I'm not gonna lie, I took the quiz may times again, and the two cards that came up the most (okay, the only two cards that kept coming up) were The Wheel of Fortune and The Star. So, here's The Star.

You are The Star

Hope, expectation, Bright promises.

The Star is one of the great cards of faith, dreams realised

The Star is a card that looks to the future. It does not predict any immediate or powerful change, but it does predict hope and healing. This card suggests clarity of vision, spiritual insight. And, most importantly, that unexpected help will be coming, with water to quench your thirst, with a guiding light to the future. They might say you're a dreamer, but you're not the only one.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Sunday, January 07, 2007


Another quiz via Air Pollution. Interesting and fun. Also cool because there are five decks from which to choose your display card AND the deck I chose is a deck that I own in real life. So, much love and have fun.

You are The Wheel of Fortune

Good fortune and happiness but sometimes a species of
intoxication with success

The Wheel of Fortune is all about big things, luck, change, fortune. Almost always good fortune. You are lucky in all things that you do and happy with the things that come to you. Be careful that success does not go to your head however. Sometimes luck can change.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

My Visit to Kenyon

Marvelous. I had a good time.

They rearranged the Bookstore. I hate it. Ellen made the comment that it looks like a K-Mart, and I agree. She said they changed it because President Nugent walked in one day and thought that it looked "shabby." I don't even know what else to say except that it looks more commercial and less loved.

Well, I stayed at the Kenyon Inn: posh. And tasty, I had room service for dinner last night, and let me say: Yummy! I had this Eggplant Napoleon thing, layers with eggplant, mashed sweet potatoes, risotto, and cranberry chutney. Awesome.

And I had lunch at the Middle Ground both yesterday and today... Yesterday with Ellen and Kristen (my advisers), and today I went stag. I wanted to eat at the Gambier Deli today, but since it's break, the deli was only open for three days during the week and Saturday was not one of them. Oh well. But I have to say, both times at the Middle Ground were yummy. Chatting with my advisers was good fun; I got to hear all the Kenyon news, got to hear all about Graham Gund's latest campaign to recreate Kenyon in his image, all about the mundane details of living on the hill, got to tell about the happenings in my life (Edinboro and art)... It was really nice, just talking and listening. It was a choice way to spend an afternoon.

Then today, I just took a walk around campus. It was really weird and erie because since it's winter break, I had the campus to myself. There was NO ONE else there. I felt like a ghost, as if the living were hiding in the real Kenyon while I walked around in a life-size model: like I stepped into another world, another Kenyon, my personal Kenyon. It was nice, weird but nice. And also because of break, all the buildings were locked: bummer, I wanted to go into Ascension and Peirce. But alas, no go. HOWEVER, amazingly and appropriately so, Sunset was not locked and I got to sit in the library classroom. It was quiet and sentimental. Words cannot really express how happy I was that Sunset opened for me.

And on my way off campus, I of course drove past the new athletic center: a monster of a building. I learned that it covers 4 acres. I did not stop to go in.

The on my way out of Old Vernon, I had to stop at the bead store, duh: bought myself some beautiful pearls and some peridot chips. AND I went and visited Fred and Dianne in Rundell's; they own the store and custom made a ring for me as my Kenyon graduation gift. I drooled over their display cases and talked with them for over an hour. They are such nice people, I'm so glad that I fell in with them. I hope that they allow me to drool over their cases for years to come.

And then, drove home. It was time for a visit. I'm glad that I took the time.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Uncle Bob Made This for Me

My Uncle Bob made this vase for me... I've been bugging him to make me a vase for a couple years now, and he finally got around to it.

And let me say, I think the vase is gorgeous. It is exactly what I wished for, except more beautiful. He is really a talented ceramic artist. Too bad he writes computer programs for a living...

I wrote him a thank you note and told him that I put purple roses in it... but the I mailed the letter before I bought the flowers and the silly Giant Eagle people had no purple roses... so I bought the yellow roses instead (the sunflowers and daisies were left over from another bouquet). But still, I think my vase looks so lovely with all those flowers. It was lonely yesterday, so I filled it with flowers today. Lonely no more :)

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Some Poetry for You

I bought myself a new poetry book yesterday... I picked it up because of the author's name: Jane Kenyon. However, after I read a few poems I decided to buy it because I actually really like her style. So, here's a sample for you...

The Shirt

The shirt touches his neck
and smooths over his back.
It slides down his sides.
It even goes down below his belt-
down into his pants.
Lucky shirt.


These lines are written
by an animal, an angel,
a stranger sitting in my chair;
by someone who already knows
how to live without trouble
among books, and pots and pans...

Who is it who asks me to find
language for the sound
a sheep's hoof makes when it strikes
a stone? And who speaks
the words which are my food?

Fun stuff.