Friday, December 26, 2008

So I have been making polyclay sculptures for a few days, and I was just marveling to myself, "I haven't done this in months and I just picked it right back up! Polyclay is so forgiving, you can just do it intuitively." but then I calculated the first time I used polymer clay was 16 years ago. It was a tyrannosaurus eating a giant orange steak. Its tail was dragging, which is a very outdated view of dinosaur posture. Nonetheless, creating a passable peach on my first try, 16 years in, doesn't make me a prodigy. Darn*.

Wow, I have been painting for 18 years and just last year I learned not to make them too crappy. In retrospect I think it is very unlikely that I was going to pick up economics in 10 weeks (that is how long a quarter is).

*Someday, perhaps, I will give up on being a prodigy.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

rotate photos? pshaw.

It's a fine art degree, not compu sci, you know.

So I get home after a nerve wracking fall quarter, and Dad complements me with "You've gained weight." since he absolutely never does I got confused and he clarified that it's not just weight, I'm newly "woman shaped". I weigh in the range I've been since highschool, but while I was looking for pics to email to nana I found olllld pictures of me, and I think he's noticed something. I should point out, for context, that my father is the tiniest 6 foot tall man alive:
I've put up a perspective shot which he can dismiss, but his knees are indisputably the thick part of his leg... So this is me senior year, grocery posing:

I think the difference is my legs were smaller, and my face was rounder. And apparently I could get light brown hair to turn orange with bleach , a feat usually the provenance of the darkest brunettes. And this is me now- it's like mirrors were invented in 2007.

And plumbing:
So, that's all. Except, did you know I can plumb a sink? It's easy, and it will not even mess up your wet nail polish* because of a little thing called "tools"**.

*The sink thing came out of left field, I did not paint them specially in preparation.
**Collectively, that is. I couldn't tell you the names individually but it was pliers that held until you unhook them, pliers with grooved plates (I used them to unhook the other pliers), and a standalone flashlight- that's all it takes!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I am pretty interested in specimen jars and the whole Victorian Naturalist thing, so storing one's socks in jars seems absolutely brilliant to me. My socks are a lot cuter than those, though. When I get a bookcase (I am using the floor to store my books now*) I think one shelf will be for my socks in jars. It is a good idea for keeping track of them, and since I have such bright socks it will be decorative, although not as apothecary looking because of the bright synthetic fabric.

*obviously my interest in science and learning is mainly on an aesthetic/imaginary level.** I like being fascinated by phenomena and the convoluted path science has taken to get to its current clinical and competitive incarnation.
**as if you couldn't tell by the sock specimens' not being properly sourced. (wow, that image spontaneously generated!)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Yay Exams!

I can't believe how much studying I just got done in 3 hours. It's as much as I did all day yesterday, sequestered in my condo scribbling on index cards for hours interspersed with snacks and sleeping. I am still a little behind schedule. I am done studying for art except for reviewing slide ids right before the exam (I am probably not going to confuse Two Fried Eggs and a Kebab by Sarah Lucas with Huang Yong Ping's 1987 "A History of Chinese Painting" and "A Concise View of Modern Painting" Washed in a Washing Machine for Two Minutes (both above) but if we are supposed to remember the names of Pollack's or Rothko's works... thank God for the grading curve.)

Slide IDs are important because if you lose points on them it looks like you didn't even take the class, it is like free points compared to the essay questions. I have stayed about 2 weeks behind on the readings which means that I had a few essays I hadn't even read. One of them makes me glad I'm not majoring in art and won't have to take an upper division HAVC class. Here is one sentence from a James Gaywood essay on the yBa: "The "neo borgeois" simultaneously acknowledge their own structural habitus, and align themselves alongside a high-brow epistemology that has subsumed the "NBs" ironic postmodern snub to intellectuality, ideologically homogenising a structurally multi-perspective audience to an appreciation of objectified surface pastiche an embodiment of those reproducing signs of late consumer capitalism." I was trying to understand the words but right when I got to "ironic postmodern snub" I lost the thread, reread it, lost it again, and just pushed on to the end of the page. There are too many things in that sentence, I can not hold them all in my mind.

I tried to keep a list of words to look up like "conflating" and "bricoleur", but it interfered with the momentum that let me read the thing. It is okay that I do not know what semiotics are. Maybe I will get a tattoo that says "coterie" and people will ask me what it means, and I will say, "I don't know." and it will be fine, because I don't have to know. Except I do, for my exam tomorrow.

I love this so much. It's Damien Hirst's The physical impossibility of death in the mind of someone living, 1991, and the materials are given as glass, steel, silicone, shark, 5% formaldehyde solution. I invented one before I saw it, but mine was just going to have a brooding tentacled animal in a corner and the water much less clear. But his is better.

Do you know what would be awful? Formaldehyde snowglobes. But I still want one.

Friday, December 5, 2008

I can't be the first to notice that we're only the odd primate out in terms of height.

The baby primates all look the same.
Not 100% identical, but I would not think it was weird to have an orangutan live in a house and wear pampers and ride a tricycle and everything.
Because, oh my gosh, they look exactly like people, it is ridiculous.
Gorillas are scary because they are huge.
But what I am trying to point out is that in school they point at slides of bones and say, look these are the first humans, and it basically looks like a malformed skeleton and i don't care and I just feel bad for the bone owner for dying alone of starvation in a cave or whatever,* but the great apes are really interesting because they are alive, and can bite you or learn to talk. I think they possibly might be people, like children are people even though they can't talk or do anything.

*that is all I can think about when we had to talk about Neanderthals or homo erectus or whoever. Because I can sympathize-if you put me on a rock in the forest when I was a baby and I never went to preschool or rode a bicycle or had a watercolor set, that would be me dying because I can't kill enough food using only rocks, or because snow is cold or something. If only they had descendants in modern times we could show them, look, we made life easy! And you can just sit and play the harp! Look, you can fly around the world in 2 days! (I suppose) You don't have to ever be cold again, because this is California and here is Polartec. You have earned it!

Perhaps that is what humanity is doing now- reaping the benefits our antecedents dreamed of.

Okay this is my real blog post.

The last one was just some background.

I have no idea why I never liked economics before, and I appear to maybe not be passing one of the core classes for the major, even though it is basically the easiest class I have ever heard of now that i am all equipped for it (it seems like cheating! Like, I bet school would have been easier if in geography, the exams were all, "fill in the world capitals, using only this pencil and this world map.")(what else seems like cheating is we are allowed a page of notes for the final. What am I supposed to put? "look under 'stat tests' or 'stat calc' for all functions, but under 'math' to generate visuals. formulas are saved under 'mem'"?)

So, right. Economics. It's a social science, but it is nicer than the other social sciences because it has courses like Economic Justice, Economic History of the US, Money and Banking, Money and the Arts, Why Economies Succeed and Fail, Poverty and Public Policy, and so on. This, too, feels like cheating. You mean I can find all of those things out, for real, according to experts in economics and business? But those are real life things that happen in my life, not abstract things like History of Art and Visual Culture or Political Science. To be honest, I had not realized that people knew these systems cohesively. I want to know sooo much about Economic Justice, which I am taking next quarter. I am going to learn about wages, taxation, property rights, welfare programs, and globalization. I could not be more excited if it was a class about cryptids.


So I am not doing that well in stats, and I worked it out that if I get full points on the final I will barely pass. (Actually 3 of my 7 quizzes aren't graded so I assumed I would get the same scores as usual on them, which is not really how stats work.*)
B in section classwork
C average on quizzes
F!! on midterm
Which just leaves the final. Whee.

And I was really ambivalent about stats all quarter because What About Art? And also it seemed like a pretty hard class, but then I got a weirdly low grade on the midterm an dfreaked out and bought the textbook (I had been using the reserve copy) and got a TI instead of a casio and so for the last two weeks of class, I am shocked at how easy this is. Is this all everyone has been doing all quarter? Pressing buttons and writing down the results? That's not a real skill.

*as far as I can tell. Which, as my scores prove, is not very far.