Friday, May 29, 2009

Well... Mom and Dad bought me a trailer to live in. I am somehow very, very nomadic, so nomadic that having a trailer bedroom seems permanent. Weird, right? But I have had 3 bedrooms at Willow house (we bought it I think in 2006), and I of course move every 3-9 months in Santa Cruz... so a space that will not be rented to anyone or used by anyone is a novelty. Of course, Nicholas has taken to sleeping in it... I probably will take to shooting trespassers, in true trailer fashion... Nate has an airsoft gun I can probably borrow.

I have not even seen the trailer. It is a 20 foot 1971 Prowler trailer, and it cost 1,000 dollars. It has a kitchen, a bathroom, and 3 bed areas, and it is 8 feet wide. I kind of don't know how I feel about it. I know it will be a fun project, and everything, and when I lived in a mobile home last summer (they are a bit bigger and less portable than a proper trailer) it was very nice, except during the afternoon on hot days. I have some sheer purple curtains and a green throw for it... it will be quite easy for me to do a trailer/india theme for it, bc I own some neat textiles... based on the photos of other prowler trailers' interiors online, though, that is not really something I want to do. I kind of want to bc it does not require buying supplies, and it is fast. But on the other hand, I get to make a Caitlan Pod.

Okay. Here is a little diversion: I feel a little anxious, irrationally or rationally unsafe, rather a lot of the time. One of the ways I fall asleep after having a panic attack is to think about what ifI had a tiny Caitlan Pod and no one could find it or knock on the door or anything. Sometimes the Caitlan Pod is like a transparent underwater coffin, sometimes it is like my bed but has got an impermeable hatch made of white metal. The first pod I remember visualizing to fall asleep was a clear plastic backpack I had in the third grade. I would imagine that someone put me safely in the backpack, and went all around, skiing I think it was, and I just didn't have to do anything and was safe.

So having an actual Pod will be really weird, but neat. But also weird because I would like to live in the house like a regular person. But that is irrelevant to the question of how to decorate. I am going to paint it! Right now I am thinking white, icy soft gray, and lilac. I have a big dinosaur painting that is black and white, so it kind of has to match that. I don't know whether the interior is subdivided at all. If the bed space is seperate than I think I want it hot pink and white. That will look good with all of the sheets I have, also I really like those colors. I don;t think the sheer purple curtains I have will be useful at all, but we'll see. I also want to use my neat green long curtain from cost plus world market, but it is really too flowy for my style right now. When I moved here in fall it was great, but now I like glossier, harder forms.

Now, I know this is confusing, but I don't have any pictures of the trailer, so this is a picture of the same brand of trailer but made 15 years later, that I found on google.

It's a good thing I'm tiny. Mom says mine has dark wood, and there is no way I am keeping that. Dark wood, in an 8 foot wide trailer? Who designs these things? I will use paint, or contact paper, or whatever the space requires... I think lilac trim, pale gray walls, and white ceilings. And in the bed space that I will use as a bed space (there are 3, one of which had better be big enough for my twin mattress) I am thinking 4 inch wide vertical stripes in pink and white along the back wall (maybe I will swatch pink and gray as well, that sounds fun), or whatever wall is most visible from the rest of the trailer, then white walls with a fat pink border around all the sides on whatever other walls there are. And ultimately, heat sensitive tiles for the shower, and moss in square bowls, because apparently those are the only things about my gypsy caravan that I actually want in my real life touring caravan (that is what it is called in england, and it actually bothers me when Californians use England-only words for things there is a local word for, but I am going to say touring caravan because it has got the word caravan in it.).

I mean, it is a trailer. There is a bit of an aversion to living in a trailer, because of television skits about trailer trash, and television footage of trailer parks being destroyed, and kind of the astrodome/trailers/disaster housing thing, but I worked through the bit of aversion that had worked its way into my subconscious. I had to work through it, when I lived in a trailer from April to September of 2008. (it helped that it was a phenomenally interesting and engaging art piece, filled with decades of little visual jokes, and sculptural "repairs", and bottle cap and glass mosaics. Here is the artist/owner's gallery, which I don't think the trailer is in at all, but it gives a sense of the style and technique.)

Okay. I have all my winter clothes and 2 suitcases of books to load into the car and head out.

*when we moved in in 2006 i had one bedroom... when we got it fixed up enough to rent I moved into a different bedroom... when i went to college my parents rented our old unit and moved to the upstairs one, so i had no bedroom.. they gave me the mother in law unit downstairs, then gave it to nicholas, so I again have no bedroom. Some of the proposals were: loft in the office (this is where i sleep when i am home, and generally the whole family has popped in about 3 times each by the time I get up... it is not a private space), yurt in the yard, earth shed in the yard, borrowed trailer, plywood in the attic.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Final Project Work in Progress

The final project is kind of a big deal. It's only one of... maybe 7 homework assignments, with about 10 studio assignments, so it is not a huge component of the final portfolio... but it's like, what do you want to do? Do that thing, and do it well, and it has to be the equivalent of 3 18x24 pages. A series, a cell, or a large format drawing. With an artist's statement. Ooooooh. I have already started over once, and am trying not to start over again. My challenge in art is always that I want to do a static, imaginary scene, something maybe relaxing that the viewer can project onto, or relax into. (it might be hard to tell from the work I have been posting because it is all for specific assignments, but left to my own devices I will paint a castle at sunset, or a bed boat on peaceful water, or an uninhabited planet.) But there needs to be action and tension, either in the layout or the energy of the strokes or in the subject matter. ... I know. It is just some empty water. I think it came out pretty well though. I was using the hake brush to fill in the background evenly with an acrylic blue wash, and I used burnt umber and blue not diluted at all on the hake brush, swishing back and forth, and the wet paper under it spread the color and softened it. I know, it is a drawing class, and this is a 15 minute painting. I plan to add in a plesiosaur in the water staring up at a traveler in a hot air umbrella. But I like it the way it is. I am considering cutting out a silver submarine and just rubber cementing it on. My theme is "things that I like that are not real" but I am filtering it by only doing scenes with quasi steampunk fantasy vehicles, paired with "menacing" non threats, such as extinct or fictional creatures. That's a good theme, right? I also have a lot of gorgeous photos saved from the website, and I would love to do a series incorporating explorers to fantasyscapes wearing soft and bright knitted things. Like just a tiny planet with on it a victorian rocket ship and a pair of children or young people making their way across it in pointy caps and their stocking feet.

We had to talk at length and see slides on What is a Series. She showed us artists with a consitent style, and told us that the works related in subject matter were series, whereas the works that looked similar in form but were different in mood and subject were not series. I kind of knew that, but I think it was helpful because I was sort of planning on doing a large format drawing of this massive sea to space textbook illustration, annotated with those little zoom in circles explaining what the interesting creatures are. But thinking about series made me think that a series of related and visibly connected works would be more of a challenge, and also since it is in distinct units would be more rewarding to work on.
This is 70% done. It is one of probably 4 works.
vehicle: submarine
monster: water bears (it is a micro organism.)

See, there is a focus, because the bears are around the submarine, and their bodies point at it. And there is movement because of the assymetrical blue patch in the background.... It's just terrible. It has to stand up to being one of 25 drawings on the wall, it has to draw people in from a distance, it has to not look so boring.

Graphite, the way I use it, does not hold up to the scale. Those darks are as dark as I could get them. My professor suggested using a combination of pen and pencil. The layout for this is final, and the submarine is probably done. However I had not looked at a picture of a glacier lately so I did not want to finalize the ice. Probably once I ink the ice I will need to darken the water bears... I also want to put in white highlights with white acrylic. And possibly put a wooly scarfed explorer popping out the hatch.

They're all due the thursday after next. We have to bring our current work for comments in this thursday. I will probably just finish this one and bring in the sketch of the space one. I am a tiny bit worried because the space one is going to be totally different in scale and color (using black paper as a base). The perspective will be similar. My teacher said I might want to think about perspective and ways of using the picture plane because as I've got it it looks like it's on a stage. She's right. That is totally true. But that is how I see things. It is again with the overly passive scenes.

I like making very peaceful works. One thing that I have wanted to paint for a long time is a scene I have seen in various gardens and parks, where fruit has fallen from a few medium trees to lay briefly in the short, perfect grass. I think there is something about that sight that makes me think of cloisters, and exploring a formal garden supervised by a governess... just a sort of orderly, protected space. For this project, though, I wish I was in the mood for something striking. Something, I don't know, visceral, or poignant. Diaristic. Something. But as the prof talked to each of us during studio today, I heard her advice for each person who hadn't picked a theme or gotten started, and she told them all to look back in their sketchbook free choice pages, and see what emerged.

I feel like I could do a lot more interesting things if the assignment was to make 3 totally unrelated works and then stretch our artist statement skills to make them seem cohesive.
Here are photographs from my inspiration file, which are resolutely refusing to resolve themselves in my mind into some actually inspired artwork.

Handknit round lace shawl, dyed post knitting, writhing on the sand
An emu which in the process of being dissected has come to resemble a many headed monster.
An old illustration of the moon (this will come close to being an inspiration for the series but I included it so you would not think I only like pictures of dead things.)

This is the skin of a real elephant being cleaned and prepped for going over an elephant form for display in a museum.

So. Anyway. I don't know what to do, and I am probably going to stick with what I'm doing because it's just one art project, and I am interested in the subjects, I just feel like I can't do what we have been told to do since the start of the quarter, which is to push through. Susanna (our teacher) says that your best work happens when you push through when you get stuck, and when you stay with a drawing and see where you can push it. I am not pushing. I don't even see where to push.

Monday, May 25, 2009

In Sociology Section we all had to say why we were wearing what we were wearing. (wow, that was fun to type!) and I had nice nail polish but basically I was just dressed in stuff that wouldn't show charcoal and graphite. That is stupid, it is warm weather, and I own kind of a lot of pretty clothes, but somehow the same few things get in rotation and everything else stays in my closet.

That made me want to go shopping, at least thrift shopping, but I haven't any spending money, so instead I went through my bag of mending and clothes I never wear because they do not quite suit me (or what i am trying to convey, as we talked about in soc) and I altered and mended things. It was not a good substitute for shopping but it was nice to get to use these clothes again. This is cute, right? But I wear skirts to get sunshine on my legs. I do not wear long, flowy, heavy skirts. I do have a few flouncy heavy skirts, but this one is too draggy.
So I cut off the bottom (there it is around my neck) and actually I would wear this skirt now. Just that little bit more movement, and I like it. But I have a variety of skirts that are a little longer than knee length, and what I reach for all the time are little short skirts. So that is what I made it into.
In this picture I just tucked it into the waistband. But it looks pretty much like that once I gathered and basted and stitched while watching House on the television. I am thinking about daily outfitblogging, um. possibly. in which case you can see it then.
I bought this skirt for a few dollars and it has no zipper or buttons, so it can't be worn. I bought it to make it a dress, but then it was too cold and i forgot about it.

See, the sides of the V neck are wear a zipper used to go. Isn't that cool? I just sewed on some ribbons, and I have a flouncy white dress. I am worried it will get dirty... but it cost $3 and I spent 10 minutes sewing on ribbons, it's not an heirloom. Also, I have never bought bleach, but when I was shopping for a wash for my car I saw that bleach costs only $2. I think Mom gave me this belief that white clothes are about to get completely, permanently ruined, and she has a point. I am not going to give up crawling under a fence or painting or eating to keep something pristine. But that's not a reason to avoid white. I will probably wear it with a ribbon sash, because I like sashes.
Um. I took picture of this to illustrate... um... how ridiculously instant this process is?
hiked up and ribboned, I would definitely wear this as a dress.

So. Yeah, I think I will start taking crappy yellow pictures of what I am wearing every single day.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Self Portraits

Oh man. If you've met me, you know that mirrors are really interesting to me, the movement, the complete and subtle reversal, the duplication of light... If I were on a desert island, and I had a mirror to talk to, I would be pretty happy alone. And, ugh, people think it's tied to vanity but it's not. It's more of an interest in the unique meta awareness of a situation that you can glean quickly and effortlessly by checking it in a reflection. 1st person POV (visually, obviously) is very, very valuable, but there is another level of info available if there is a mirror, or a non-backlit window, or something.

I am kind of really over mirrors right now. We had 3 weeks to do 3 self portraits: One gestural, one contour, and a large tonal one. I stared at myself for. so. long. Probably 10 hours over the course of a week. By the time I got to the tonal one I was working from a photo for the rough shapes, which of course worked horribly as I then had a reversed image from what I can see in the mirror.
I am just happy and dreamy in this one. At in class evals everyone said I looked dreamy and childlike.*
We were required to do a 3/4 turn pose. Many of the 3/4 poses got called "glamor shots" when we did the critique, including mine. It is not supposed to look glamorous, but it is supposed to show off my tiny tooth, which I have on only one side.
The more I look at this the more I like it. It is honestly my 4th version. I liked it because I often use line in kind of a fluid, messy way to convey something, but in this I was really precise. Even my eyelashes are individually in the right places.

I did kind of enjoy working on these. Self portraits are interesting to do, and frustrating. I would have liked to do only closeups with the help of a magnifying mirror, but that was not the assignment.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Craft Swap

One of the neat things on the internet is It is a website of neat arts and crafts that crafters make. There are tutorials, and people ask for feedback, and it is just fun. The funnest and most stressful thing is craft swaps. In a craft swap, 20 or so people say they want to swap, and then they are matched into 10 pairs, and they get a list of one anothers interests on a topic (harry potter, say, or france). I joined the She Blinded me With Science swap and was instantly outclassed in geekery. I found Look Around You (visit youtube, it is a joking british science lesson), water bears (omg. They are teeny tiny, and they look like bears/moles. Ask google. It is 6:19 (thanks, can of dr. pepper I drank at 9pm!) and I am too tired to open a new tab, type what it is, highlight the link, click the link button on blogger, and do it over for the other link.
Here is what I recieved in the swap (Another girl made these, and mailed them to me for me to love and use)
Giant Scarf--> the knitted emission spectrum of argon. Just. That is making me geek out. I can't believe I never thought of it, and I can't believe someone made a 12 foot long scarf for me.

yeah, I can rock a 12 foot long nerd scarf. Man. I kind of wish I could give these two pictures to my trying-too-hard-and-rather-failtastic 15 year old self. Like: "Hey, just hang on a bit and you'll have an art couch, a knitted emission spectrum of one of your favorite elements, your own apartment, and bangs. The uh, the bangs are because you need botox already. but you can still rock them." (Nick is 15 today, is why it is on my mind.)Dinosaur bones in sand strata preserved under resin. They are coasters. I coast, but I can't really say I coaster. Ah well, they're gorgeous and a use will suggest itself.

All right. Here is the complex bit: These things, below this sentence, are the things I made to send to my swap partner.
The pics are good bc she took them. Set of 4 notecards.
Hat of her favorite molecule (DNA is a molecule? I marvelled upon recieving her survey of interests. Out.Classed.)
And then (and these are pics I took) I made a PMC pendant.

I have a lot of freckles. Thank you, Panasonic Lumix DMC-LS70, I definitely wanted an extreme closeup of my sun damage, not a clear picture of my fine silver pendant.
It looks like this it is a radiologian or something. it is a plankton. it is real small. I am really tired of blogging all of a sudden

See, I'm not getting botox until bangs go out of style, which will be never. My forehead crease could at least be a little symmetrical.
I did a pendant of the middle one in the bottom row. They are all so gorgeous.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Art Lately

Here are some of my recent artworks for class. Today I found out I am so far getting a B+, which will be higher when I submit a few sketchbook exercises I missed. (There is no penalty for late work, and ugh, my copy of the book never arrived so I have to use the library copy, which I do like doing, but it requires planning and I messed up one day.) Then it will either go up or down based on whether my final project is higher quality or lower than the rest of my assignments. Also, we can do revisions to the assignments when we turn them in for the final portfolio. I plan to revise my enlargement drawing, and other than that I have revised 2 of mine- one the landscape pen and ink revision, and one that I ruined the white pigment by spraying it with fixative (which is only for black and grey media, it turns out).
I forget if I posted this. It is a bosch giraffe being investigated by bosch swine. It is on a background made of a cannibalized children's book. I tested my charcoal on one of the pages and it marked it, but after i assembled the collage i tried to sketch in charcoal, then in sepia stick, then in compressed charcoal, then in charcoal pencil, and it did not work at all. I could get the conte to show up but i only have colors, so i did red. That is why it did not show up very well.
This one is a surreal/distorted exterior. We could either use proportion perfectly, or do it entirely, entirely wrong. If you do little tweaks it will look accidental. That is really how the building looks, with the center bridge that looks essentially like in the picture. It is this crazy cement building that is like a fortress, with walls that slope back, and a funny little second story bridge entrance. (the other sides all have big proper entrances.) The bridge in the foreground is a distorted Oakes bridge, but IRL there is a bridge located in the area that is the background of this drawing. But, I do not know what it looks like, even though I walked all around it, because there are a lot of trees in the way. Here is a photo of a different side of the building. My batteries died before I took a picture of the view I drew.
Oh, figure drawing is weird. We have to look at someone naked, which normally I never do. I sometimes see people who are naked, and it is fine, but I do not look really hard at them and depict their curves calligraphically in 30 second studies, because that is not Gym Etiquette.
These are all of the same girl. But, okay, it is my least favorite medium, and I only got 30 seconds, and it is less than that really because it includes the time the model takes getting into the next pose, which is easily 3 seconds. When we walked around to see everyone's work, some of them were just awesome. How can people do that? Just: swish, tada! Our professor kept telling us economy of line. I think if I had greater control over the thickness of the line while using a calligraphy brush it would be better. I wonder if other people are using higher end brushes? I have one that cost around $3 but the shop had some for $24.
Then we ended with a 45 minute extended pose. (The model got a break. what a difficult job. I can barely hold still at all. She got right back into it perfectly as well, except some people thought she did not. Maybe her face moved? We all sketched in a circle and I drew her back, so that would not affect mine) It's amazing to me that I did these 2 pages in the same session. (The second one had to be a blend of charcoal and ink.) There's something a little too bendy about her right thigh, and I would have made her hand regular size except that ink is rather final, but this still actually looks like a human person.

Next up? Self portraits. Face, 3/4 face, and head/shoulders (extended tonal). I am really excited about my Face Contour one, it is an extreme close up of one eye. It is forbidden to work from photos but it was neccessary. I was really straining my eyes trying to make them open really far and also peer at something to one side (bc in the draft where i was staring at something right in front of my eye it looked very weird, like i was going to get a beetle on a pin stabbed into my eye. So I offset it, am looking sideways, and I switched the beetle for a sheep. And instead of on a pin it is in tweezers.*) I just took the picture and roughed the lines and then used peering at the mirror to get the details. My 3/4 face is so bad. I do not know how to look at the mirror and also have my head turned and also draw. But I showed the prof and told her I was thinking of scrapping it, and she told me to repair the nose and move the mouth up and it would look fine.

*Oh man. It is artisty to be edgy, yeah? But I can't do it. I initially was playing with the eye being close up because it is peering into a water cup with the other eye floating in, like dentures, but 1. that was not exactly the topic 2. that is so gross. So I did a thumbnail sketch of it with the eyeball replaced with a seahorse, and then both eyes replaced with seahorses, and then I replaced the water cup with an aquarium, and then I put the eyes back but made the one in the tank a spiny finned eye, and then I put it in the "does not respond to the prompt" file in my brain and let it go. Hm. Now I am moving it to the futuristic movie scene. How neat, a little bedside aquarium of brown, blue, violet eyes, swimming around lazily until the actor stirs, when they all vie for position at the top, and the actor sits up in bed, rubs her eye sockets, adds fresh saline solution to the tank, and plucks out some little gray eyes and puts them in. I have to write that down. (.... when I really want to remember something I write it on a piece of furniture. The blog just does not work like that.) I think I can do a version with translucent polymer clay and an aquarium with a filter. I am really, really taken with this.


I have been on a bit of a boring minutiae blogging kick lately. My fingernails, all of the things I own and am inventorying, and now, thanks to this amazing photo collection about refrigerator contents- here are all of the things in my fridge.

It is a 3 student fridge, and we cleared out everything expired (mainly 6 old jars of pasta sauce) a few days ago.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Thinking about Numeracy

I am numerically literate.
Just something I am adding to my happiness list that I never thought of.

(I think I need a twitter so I can microblog, but I am not getting one.)

California Prisons

I have a research proposal paper due tommorow for Soc, and I want to write about prisons. Actually everything in the course is really interesting- eugenics, mixed race personal identity, public education, party politics, globalization, mass media- we haven't really talked about prisons so I don't know whether I can choose them as my topic. I will probably submit 2 proposals, one on a course theme and one on prisons.

Because this is really interesting. I have been making my way through the 10 article series at The Atlantic called the Prison-Industrial Complex.
"But the jails have no room, and the huge caseloads maintained by most probation officers often render probation meaningless. An ideal caseload is about twenty-five to fifty offenders; some probation officers in California today have a caseload of 3,000 offenders. More than half the state's offenders on probation will most likely serve their entire term without ever meeting or even speaking with a probation officer. Indeed, the only obligation many offenders on probation must now fulfill is mailing a postcard that gives their home address."

"Well, that doesn't sound too effective, but it also doesn't sound too oppressive" I thought. And then a few paragraphs later: "About half the California prisoners released on parole are illiterate." Well how do they send in a postcard, that is not really a fair requirement. I think the point Eric Schlossm is making is that they will have a terrible rate of adjusting to outside of prison life. I am going to investigate the meaning of illiterate. BRB.

maybe I should do a research paper on literacy, because that is fascinating (I love sociology, actually, I will have to take more courses.). Is it hard to learn to read as an adult, like it is said to be harder to learn a new language? I would be so frustrated by being illiterate. Not just because school would be a lot harder and I couldn't read blogs, that is not what I mean. I mean interpreting signs, and contracts, and leases, and how to manuals (by which I mean the internet), and yes, sending postcards. I am not sure what the definition of literacy the parole department thing is using, but the definition does not seem very open to interpretation.

But at the same time, they must mean something different, because that is impossible for half of people on probation to not be able to read and write.

okay, I have to be productive and get everything ready for tommorow, and also eat something because it is 3pm, but just glancing at the data box on the right at the top of that wiki page, it days there is a 99% literacy rate. I mean, right? You go to school, they show you phonics (ergh!), make your parents sign off your reading log every night (which at least ensures you can do a signature :) ), the whole class has to read aloud very, very, very slowly, and it all sucks but then you can read. Although.... I must say that as I learned to read prior/independent of all that, I was not taught to read via such methods- it may well be impossible. And even if the people on probabtion we are talking about dropped out of school... you would have to drop out at the age of 8.

Here is more, from the Functional Illiteracy wiki page:

All over the U.S.A. 30 million (14% of adults) are unable to perform simple and everyday literacy activities. [1]

The National Center for Education Statistics provides more detail. Literacy is broken down into three parameters: prose, document, and quantitative literacy. Each parameter has four levels: below basic, basic, intermediate, and proficient. For prose literacy, for example, a below basic level of literacy means that a person can look at a short piece of text to get a small piece of uncomplicated information; while a person who is below basic in quantitative literacy would be able to do simple addition. In the US, 14% of the adult population is at the "below basic" level for prose literacy; 12% are at the "below basic" level for document literacy; and 22% are at that level for quantitative literacy. Only 13% of the population is proficient in these three areas—able to compare viewpoints in two editorials; interpret a table about blood pressure, age, and physical activity; or compute and compare the cost per ounce of food items.
Today in Sociology our prof polled us about where we get our news. (It was a component of a really interesting lecture on mass media in our lives, and whether it is liberating or oppressive, and stuff about the public sphere that goes back to the Agora in Athens from 500 BCE. I am really loving this class.) She asked us to raise our hands when she said the category where we get most of our news. In a lecture with probably 200 attendees, 3 people said radio, 25 said major news networks, 25 said the Colbert Report and Daily Show, a whole lot said "the internet", and 2 people said the newspaper. When one girl asked if it included accessing the newspaper online a lot of people, probably 30, said newspapers or news aggregates. I raised my hand for the Daily Show and Colbert report, and the internet. I watch the Daily Show about 3 times a week, and it is more current than my bloglines feed so a lot of times I learn about American issues on it, and then go and see what the feminist bloggers and sociologist bloggers I read say about it, or what a google search comes up with.

We also talked about Wikipedia. Everyone in our class probably uses it every day, because it is easy to understand, and has lots of primary sources that would be harder to find slogging through google search results. Wow, that was a very long introduction for what I found today on wikipedia while looking up things about the Barack Obama natural born citizen controversy. (It is whether he is not one. As far as I could tell, a lot of the arguments, such as him living in Indonesia as a child, are not very valid, because I checked wikipedia for citizenship laws and it just says you have to be born here, or a variety of other situations, but that (and having a Kansan mother) are what apply to him.) The best argument for it is that Hawaii allowed foreign births to be registered in Hawaii, but the source is a petition to release his long form birth certificate. Not a primary source for that info.

Children born overseas out of wedlock

There is an asymmetry in the way children born overseas to unmarried parents, only one of whom is a U.S. citizen, are treated. Children born abroad to unmarried American mothers are automatically considered natural-born citizens, as long as the mother has lived in the US for a continuous period of at least one year, anytime prior to the birth. But children born to American fathers unmarried to the children's non-American mothers are not considered natural-born citizens (or citizens at all) unless the father takes several actions:

  • Provide financial support to the child until he reaches 18,
  • Establish paternity by clear and convincing blood evidence,
  • Acknowledge his paternity formally before the child has reached his 18th birthday
    • This last element can be shown by acknowledging paternity under oath and in writing; having the issue adjudicated by a court; or having the child otherwise "legitimated" by law. USC § 1409(a).

Because of this rule, unusual cases have arisen whereby children have been born overseas to American men (and non-American women), brought back to the United States as babies without the mother, raised by the American father in the United States, and later held to be deportable as non-citizens in their 20s. The final element has taken an especially significant importance in these circumstances, as once the child has reached 18, the father is forever unable to establish paternity to deem his child a natural-born citizen.

This distinction between unwed fathers and mothers was constructed and reaffirmed by Congress in response to concerns that a flood of illegitimate Korean and Vietnamese children would later claim American citizenship as a result of their parentage by American servicemen overseas fighting wars in their countries. In many cases, American servicemen passing through in wartime may not have even realized they had fathered a child. The Supreme Court, by 5-4 majority in Tuan Anh Nguyen v. INS, established the constitutionality of this gender distinction.

"In many cases, American servicemen passing through in wartime may not have even realized they had fathered a child." I guess because they are soldiers, not biologists. I am with the 4 Supreme Court justices who think that is stupid. I am totally sure that is how they phrased it, too.

John McCain was born on August 29, 1936 at Coco Solo Naval Air Station in the Panama Canal Zone, Panama, to naval officer John S. McCain, Jr. (1911–1981) and Roberta (Wright) McCain[2] At that time, the Panama Canal was under U.S. control. (b. 1912).

Barack Obama, the current President of the United States, was born on August 4, 1961 in Honolulu, in the state of Hawaii[1] to Barack Obama, Sr. (1936–1982) (born in Nyang’oma Kogelo, Siaya District, Nyanza Province,[2] Kenya Colony, British Empire), and Ann DunhamFort Leavenworth, Kansas).

I don't know, there are only like 5 requirements.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Boringest Blog Of All Time, or, Streamlining

Now, this entry is just like the transcript entry, in that I am working something out as I type, and thus it is not really for reading but for reference, and for directing people to to save my explaining it over because it is so tiresome. In this entry I use the words tiresome, tedium, mindless, inventoried, consumables, criteria, paring, and spreadsheet.*

I had basically a completely exhausting weekend. Now, I have an extremely exhausting schoolweek Tuesday->Thursday, so that is not good. I went to Hayward on Friday, which was lovely, and spent some time with an old friend. I monopolized her chinchilla and she fed me coke zero after coke zero, and we stayed awake catching up until 6 am.

Then, at 10:30, off to Oakland to drop off everything in my car except my purse and my car emergency kit in order to free up space in the car. Then I brought Nick to SF to help another old friend, who Nick and I went to ACLC with and I went to DVC with, move house. My pelvis was all torqued from driving and so I did extremely light tasks and refused to climb the crooked stairs, while Nick and Josh managed the larger things. Now, Josh had nearly all the way moved already, and I was just helping him finish up. It took 2 trips in the car--- because I insisted on it not taking any more than that. It took about 5 hours, and it was a little fun. Looking back, I can't believe I did not think to bring a radio. Radios are very important when doing mindless physical work.

Then we went briefly to the San Francisco Ocean and it was very beautiful. However, I was dressed for a warm day, which it had been, and the beach at 8pm was terribly cold and windy. I had to go back to the car after perhaps 5 minutes.

I am boring myself, but so anyway I went home and had Mother's Day with everyone and then drove home and spent my Monday catching up in Art (I missed semi optional Saturday class) and reading for sociology. And with my weekend just absolutely packed I was very busy.

And what stuck with me was a slight terror of having to move my things. I have to move at the end of June.

What I am actually writing about: Streamlining
So there is a man, Chris Mcnaught, and he has streamlined and decluttered his life to an impressive degree. He knows how many things he owns, and it is fewer than 500. His blog is a little cluttered though, considering. I do not know if I want to own fewer than 500 things. I know that I cull my things when I move, and I move a lot. I know that I own many things than are neither immediately useful nor beautiful, which I think is a good standard for owning things. I know that I am horrified by hoarding. I know that I take very good care of my things that I love, and indifferent care of the things that I just have hanging around.

Already everything I own including furniture can fit in my car in two trips (I;m in a bit of an infinite loop thinking about my car in this scenario, but I am letting it go). So. I am toying with the idea. The advantage is that moving will be easier, and I theorize that I would have more mental energy if my things occupied a smaller part of my mind as they might if they were inventoried and decluttered. I have already begun my inventory, and have catalogued 268 things. And I have 12 lipglosses and 8 lipsticks. I have 12 unsharpened pencils, and 7 pencils in use, and 24 pens. So. Consumables. Not planning to toss them although there is a bit of a surplus.

So far I have inventoried my bed, bedclothes, and spare bedclothes, the things on one wall of my bedroom, and the contents of my ikea dresser. (I forgot until right now to count the dresser.) I am pacing myself on the inventory, and only spending an hour at a time on it. I am not totally sure what I will do once I know everything I own (at my SC house). Right now I think I will weed the things I use only occasionally and keep them in the closet (bc I wil have a perfect list when I do need them), give away the things I do not use, and then see how I feel about further or more extreme paring.

I have decided to exempt my art tools and food and emergency kit from the purge. I will streamline those using different criteria. I have not decided how to streamline my clothes. I have too many to fit in my half closet, but I wear all of them.

I think Chris McNaught, who began with 2,000 things, either had a different method of counting or was already rather a minimalist. Because he started as someone with a whole household with only 2,000 things. And I have more than 200 in my ikea dresser alone. In fact, I could probably toss out the entire dresser except my hairbrush and contact supplies, and barely know the difference to my standard of living. I am not going to post my inventory. I do not know the reason, except that I remember being so furious when my parents would go through my things-even when they had bought and had to clean up every single thing I owned, before I was even school age.

I will share some things from the inventory that catch my attention. Before I started the inventory, I considered my calculator collection reasonable.
2- graphing calculator
1- scientific calculator
2- basic calculator

See, I need the graphing calculator for classes, the scientific one to keep in my purse for grocery shopping (the display lets me manipulate things as much as I need without slogging through the menus on the graphing one. I have to be able to put tax on the taxables, delete items I put back, multiply by the quantity, and store it all as I wander the store and as I do other equations to work out which things are the best value to me. I am going to do a post about grocery shopping.), and a basic one to keep in the car and figure gas. I also use the scientific one as a backup for exams. Now, this only justifies 3 of the 5 calculators. And in fact, I always have my purse when I get gasoline, so I might as well eliminate another of them, and only have 2. Perhaps one can go into my emergency kit.

*Do you know what is not tedious?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Have I really not shared my best developed Conspiracy Theory?

It didn't come up on google when I looked it up.

Here is a chatting conversation that summarizes it.

Got this from my Soc Prof:
Dear class,

I am very sorry to report that Prof. Nathaniel Deutsch has come down with laryngitis and may be unable to deliver his lecture tomorrow. I will send you an email by 9 am tomorrow to let you know what his status is, so please check your email. If he is still sick, I will cancel class.

I love my life!


dude, though!
my soc class is probably cancelled!
I just emailed her back "I once attended a lecture given by stephen hawking."
oooooooh nooooooooooooooo

why did you do that?

i was just going to type it because it came into my head
and then it sent itself
because, you know, if stephen hawking had laryngitis it would be the best day of his entire life.


oh god
that was in such bad taste
oh god.
i just insulted her guest lecturer, and i kind of made a joke about disabled people.
i bet she fails me for being ablist.
i am so embarrassed right now
my whole face and neck are doing that painful heat thing

well, umm, possibly you could apologize?

no, maybe she won't get the email
she sometimes tells us she hasn't gotten them


well, it's behind me now.
plus i really did see him one time
and it was awesome

wow, lucky

he has lived ages longer than anyone else with his disease, and he doesn't move at all.
So, i immediately theorized that he is a wax model
with one eye that moves
and a voice box
and the best scientific minds of the world use him as a mouthpiece for their discoveries
so as to capitalize on the public appeal, the heroism, that he embodies.

i think someone would notice he was not alive

he breathes, which could be simulated by inflating and deflating anything.
and he can move his cheek to control his voice box.


so, why couldn't his cheek move more or less randomly, or in response to what researcher/physicists typed for his voice simulator to say?
no one is taking his pulse at his appearances
i was a little surprised when i checked wiki just now that the conspiracy is not listed there.


see, here he is getting measured with calipers
Most people with ALS die from respiratory failure, usually within 3 to 5 years from the onset of symptoms. However, about 10 percent of those individuals with ALS survive for 10 or more years. Hawking's illness is markedly different from typical ALS in the fact that his form of ALS would make for the most protracted case ever documented
He got it in around 1963, and that was 46 years ago.

yes, but that is quite an elaborate hoax you suggest

i am a bad person
My earlier shame has made no impression on me.
his wiki says his dad wanted him to go into medicine, but he wanted to study math, but oxford only had physics so that is what he took.
should have gone into medicine.


you don't have to believe my conspiracy theory.
i have my certainty.
Besides, you haven't seen him, and I have.
no, hawking is ridiculously amazing though, whether he is a man or a secret conclave of physicists.

Yes, most of my chats involve me blathering on and on, to 2 or 3 character responses.
No, they really don't.
But a lot of them have stretches like that.

Campus Exterior Views

I need a passing grade in all my classes and a B or better in art, and my other classes are easier, so I am devoting a lot of time to art. It is nice because I can see my work improving, but it is sad because I never feel like doing other art. Well, sometimes I do. Anyway, our next homework (there is one due each thurs and they are meant to take 4+ hours)is any tonal media on white or grey paper, and we are supposed to choose an urban or interior scene and use 2 point linear perspective. There are a few choices:
1. use an unexpected combination of light/shadow
2. intentionally deny and contradict western mathematical perspective with shifting, distorted, and compressed points of view
3. create a surrealist drawing using some real, observable setting, using perspective.

One part of the assignment page struck me as strange: "Views on campus are okay but try for the unusual vantage to move more into your own interpretation and away from the "picturesque" or predictable campus view." I don't know why this annoyed me so much. Our motto is the same as the whole UC, but our tagline is "creating knowledge. In a spectacular setting. For over 40 years." There are some very typical buildings on campus, but a lot of buildings are just fantastic. And maybe she is tired of looking at picturesque things but I really like them.

Our campus is just very beautiful. Very, very. We have loads of foot bridges, some more utilitarian and some more graceful. When I took Contemporary Architecture for art history, we learned lots about our college buildings, and about college buildings in general. A lot of very good architects get to design somewhat freely for college dorms, lecture halls, and libraries. I don't remember the whole reason but part of it is to draw students, and also if a building turns out badly it is not like a shopping center where everyone will avoid it, students will still go to the library. My college, Kresge, was designed by Charles Willard Moore (he did the Haas building at Berkeley as well) and it is a little ugly because it is not really to human scale, but it is still nice.

I think I have worked out why the prompt bothers me. We are ranked 76th in the US academically (it depends which guide you use)(some departments are higher, but not the art department AFAIK) but I am sure our campus is in the top 10. I have only been to about 10 colleges, and they mostly have some nice stuff there, but ours is just really good. We have thousands of acres of redwoods, and a view of the pacific ocean. We have (as I mentioned) more than a dozen foot bridges spanning the tops of hills. Each residential college has a different architectural style. We have fountains, and concrete fortresses, and a very small number of bronze statues. There are miles and miles of trails. There are student created huts, hand painted murals, hand painted campers in the camper park, trees of all sorts... It is really nice. Almost everywhere manages the Monterey Bay view because we're on such a steep hill. We have a Village of portables down a hole, in the Quarry. We have an emerald glass tower on Science Hill. We have a squat shingled tower by college 8. (nothing is allowed to break the treeline but there are a lot of 2 and 3 story towers) We have deer, a sustainable Farm, caves, totem poles, and a tiny herd of glossy black cows. The old lime refinery buildings, made of stone, are visible just passed the entry kiosk. We have 2 (that I know of) outdoor stages. Here are a few (18) pictures that are just nice. Not surreal, not distorted, but I love them.

bike shed at Oakes
bikes at College 8
Camper Park Entrance
View from Oakes Field
View from stage at Oakes field
Some interesting pipes at Oakes
Oakes footbridge
Engineering 2
Central Kiosk
Ugliest footbridge; connects Family Student Housing and College 8
View of footpath, footbridge, and bike path converging
Barn Theater

Arboretum Greenhouse
Some building that has chimneys
some building I saw
same building
Porter Construction

Pretty much the worst picture of Kresge ever. It looked good on my tiny camera screen.

If you are wondering why these are somewhat poor photographs, it is because:
1. I just have a regular person camera, not a DSLRWhoa camera.
2. I have never taken a photography class, read a photography book,* or anything.
3. Sometimes there were trees in the way of where I wanted to stand for a good angle
4. It was the gorgeousest day this year, and the sun was in my eyes.
Here I am trying to hold them open.

*Right when I wrote that I realized as a child I did indeed have a book that came with a film camera, called My First Camera. It used illustrations of anthropomorphic stuffed bears to demonstrate important photographic concepts. I think it was two color printing, red and black. It included tips about where to stand relative to shadows which I have entirely forgotten, tips about how far to stand from your subjects which I have disregarded, and tips about how to point the camera right at what you are photographing and not put your fingers in front of the lens and which have served me well.