Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Work Crew

I am strong and this wardrobe is a LOT bigger than me.

I mean, it's hollow, but it's 3x2x6 and made of wood. We alternate with who pulls the refrigerator-moving dolly because the edge digs into our arms and in my case, leaving my arms slack while I pull it pretty much exhausts them. Part of the weight of the wardrobe is on the wheels but I think because I tilt it down so far a lot of the weight is on my arms, too.

Today I was pulling it and it wasn't so bad! But afterwards I rode in the truck I thought the door was locked because I couldn't get it open but it turns out I was just too tired to pull on the door handle hard enough.

I lost my phone.

I lost my cell phone this weekend. It still might be somewhere though. The only reason I think it might be Lost For Ever is because I called it while searching my bf's house (where I was staying) and while searching my car and I didn't hear the ring. And the hoodie I was wearing this weekend has one pocket that is completely open at the end and one pocket that is intact so I might have gotten them confused and stashed my phone in the black hole one. It's okay though; I didn't bond with my Samsung the way I did with my Razr.

I decided to use this as a springboard for a mail art project where I mailed off everything I would have sent as a text. Ideally I would gather these back for display but realistically I photographed them before I sent them off and could display them digitally. Yesterday I sent like 15 letter texts but today I seem to have got used to being isolated and only wrote maybe 2.

My expectation was that this project would show me that lots of my texts are about nothing and it's fine not to be reassured by textees all day long, and some would be important enough still to matter in 3 days' time when the USPS gets them to their destination.

So far this project has shown me that it costs only a little more to send physical things by an elaborate physical process than it takes to send info only via magic and satellites and more magic. Magic must be more expensive than it seems.

ETA: My friend who the postcard above was for saw my link to this post on facebook and my phone was in fact in his car. I feel let down by the USPS but thrilled that I don't have to get a new phone.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Porter Cave

I have been to Porter Cave 3 times, and I always want to go through the little tunnel but the first two times I was scared and the third time I got in a little ways and then it was extremely too small to fit. Like my head might fit if I turned it sideways.

I realize there is nothing in this picture for scale, but the part I am lying in to take the picture is small enough that I had to crawl on my belly instead of my hands and knees. So the dark part in the middle is really too small.
Apparently the nice rock formations were gathered as souvenirs but there are still some interesting ones.

I think this is mold. The rainbow is from the flashlight. I like that there are rainbows even in caves.

Friday, August 27, 2010

About bodies and shaving.

I wish I could look like I don't shave and feel like I do shave. I bought a pack of 4 Venus Vibrance razor heads yesterday for $13.99. The one that came with my razor lasted me like 5 months (vs the 3-4 weeks that my last brand, Schick Intuition, would last) so I went to their website to see if they have a mention of why it lasts so long. My hunch was that taking it out of the bathroom to keep the battery parts from corroding kept the razors drier which is good for them. The website is really patronizing. Here are two parts I didn't like:
This one says "it's all about helping her develop self-confidence- let her find a routine that works for her." I don't see any way that shaving develops self confidence. It lets you look ordinary which takes less confidence than looking hairy, so it lets you bypass self confidence, but I don't see how it builds it. Well it could build confidence in your fine motor (guiding the razor) and gross motor skills (balancing in a wet environment) but that is clearly not what this webpage means.
This one says "since puberty is ruled by hormones and not fads, it's safe to say that if she really wants to shave, it might be time." First, I thought teenagers weren't allowed to do whatever their hormones say. Second, growing the hair is the part that is hormones, not shaving it all off to look like you've regressed to preteen years. I don't think shaving is a true fad because it has been around for a while, but it's not an immutable part of life either.

So. Ethically I guess I don't support the culture of shaving. If I'm not constantly sexy, then I'm not. But I really don't like how my skin feels when I have armpit and pubic hair, and feeling is what my skin does best (besides holding in my insides and keeping out the outside world). It's like, itchy. And for my armpits, how would I get deodorant on through the hair? Luckily, I like how my leg hair feels as well as how it looks, but shaving my other body hair still leaves me patronizing a company that is patronizing me. :(

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Freeform post about artmaking

At the family reunion a couple of people asked me if I have shows. Well, no. None. And I don't sell work, and I don't think I want to sell work, at least not the work that I have done so far and have planned. Ideally, like in the true sense of ideally and not the watered down ideally that I usually mean, I would take commissions that involved a lot of dialog and cocreation and collaboration with clients. Or I would say to the world "This weekend I want to make a lazure layered heart on a sunny indoor wall in the Waldorf colors, starting with a stylized embryo in the color for the smallest children and building outward with colors developmentally suited to older and older children." and someone who wanted that would say so and pay me to do it and my art wouldn't just pile up in my house.

So I realized that maybe until I get that system lined up, I should try to do the self promoting things artists are supposed to do. So when I got a forwarded email from my school about do I have any art dealing with faith or spirituality to display for 4 hours at the grand opening of a new faith and spirituality themed floor of a dorm on my campus, I sent a picture and my contact info and now in October I have to hang up my Ganesha painting in public outside of my room and maybe put my name on it.

I can't tell if this is a baby step. It feels like a medium step. It was certainly easy. The only criteria for inclusion was that my piece be smaller than 3'x3' and not profane. And I used a piece I already painted. But at the same time, I am doing something extra that I have not done before. It seems like a solo show (omg, the thought makes me want a giant fuzzy womb to hide in... oh. I am maybe very good at the business of managing my needs) is like miles and miles and miles away from plausibly happening in the next five years.

Oh, why is my art so bad, and why is there so little of it?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Review: Melitta Coffee Maker

More Details:
Looks Like this. Came with that mug.
The hotel provided this nonsense, which I used to heat the water.
Note that I got my necklace ribbon turned the right way around. I feel pretty tired but that's good because I can sleep on the 4 hour car ride from Ventura to Santa Cruz.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sock Dream Review

I want to review the socks I ordered from Sock Dreams as my splurge last paycheck. I spent 35 dollars for 5 pairs of socks (shipping is free). To me that is a lot to pay for socks. But I only pay retail for socks, shoes, and underclothes, and if I am going to pay full price for something I want it to be exactly what I want. Also, they are so big and long that I never lose them.

The Sock Dreams website has details about how high and stretchy all their socks are, and they have testers of different shoe sizes and leg lengths and circumferences, but instead of finding a measuring tape I just eyed the model and imagined how the sock would look if I made it stretch more in width. On this round of socks that didn't totally work so I found the tape and measured everything out and compared with their recommendations. I have fattish legs that are long for my height, which is 5' 3".
These are my leg circumferences, from the ground up:
calf: 14"
above knee: 15"
thigh: 26" at the top, 20" at the part that thigh highs are usually worn.
inseam: 31"
So here are my reviews:

From the website description:
Will fit up to 20-inch thighs, maybe 21. They will fit 19 inch calves nicely, though the tops may not go up too high if your legs are larger than 21 above the knee. For more top stretch, you might try cutting off the cuffs and wearing them with sock garters. Length is easily 30 inches from heels to tops.
These are beautifully long and after I pulled them as high as the cuff would go (which made my leg puff out around the cuff) I had some still scrunched up. Also, as I was pulling them on the cuff separated from the sock. So it looks like I will be doing their garter suggestion.

45 inches from toe to top before you put them on, less once they stretch to go on your legs. These should fit a standard medium range & smaller, fitting 22 inch thighs snugly and comfortably. We found that, thanks to the ribbing, these stay up quite well!
These are amazing! Very snug because they are ribbed all the way up, and the foot is cushy and thick. My leg pooches out the top a little bit but these are so warm I will wear them in the dead of winter so my skirts might be a little longer. They are very sturdy feeling. I scrunched them down below my knees and it was like wearing soft boots. I am not sure what shoes I can wear them with because they are so thick. Also, the ribbing makes my legs look a lot wider and stocky, which I can't figure out because they only add maybe 2mm on each side. I like the stockiness, it works very well in brown, but I am not sure about the effect if I bought one of the lighter colors.

These start at approximately 24 inches from heel to top, but may only be knee-high on longer legs or thigh- high on shorter legs. The other colors should be fine up to 17 or 18 inches. Anyone with a calf circumference of less than 16 inches should have no problems with any of them.

My very favorite socks in the world are the O Basics. They are cotton and they are just perfect with everything! They come in 27 colors! However most of them don't look like my kind of colors. There are a lot of pastels and dark colors. I like brights and neutrals. I have dark brown, denim, gold, natural, plum, and teal. They need pulling up after walking somewhere, and I think the denim pair I just leave at knee height because they shrank in the dryer or something. The O basics look really nice with my low heeled character shoes, and I usually wear them with plain flats (my school is in a forest so heels aren't the best).

Medium size range, fits about shoe size 6-10.5. Larger feet may fit into these, but will likely wear through the toes and heels sooner. Length about 25 inches from heel to tops (or less when worn, depending on your leg size). Width is 19-20 inches at the tops but only 17-18 on the calves.These can be a bit loose around the feet and ankles.

this picture makes them look so cute! Maybe the bagginess is cute, but it's not comfortable to me.
I wouldn't buy these again. I think these would look nice with knee length pants, which I don't intend to wear. The brown and the blue are cute but I like stripes that contrast a whole lot. And, they are indeed loose around the feet and ankles. I think I will see if my mom or boyfriend want them. It's cool that you can pick from a lot of different base colors and a lot of different stripe colors, but they are too baggy on my feet.

Label says: One size fist most (90-160 lbs), but we've had feedback telling us they fit much larger folks very well!
Love! Definitely need garters but these are so comfy. I was surprised how soft the material is when I opened the package. The diamonds are very small compared to the other fishnets I have which means more warmth and less dramatic lines. I think they sort of diffuse light over my legs. The effect is a little like pantyhose. I bought these in beige and they're rather paler than my summer legs. I think that looks fine, but I know they will look totally different on my winter legs.

After trying a few pairs of socks over them I think ankle socks are perfect because I like how long my legs look this way. These are Leg Avenue brand, which I usually avoid because I like cotton socks and their socks are all nylon, sheer, not breathable, and made for thinner legs than mine. However fishnets are so stretchy and open that none of that affects the wear. They don't have a reinforced toe which is silly, and they caught on my rough fingertips and toes, but they are strong so that doesn't make them run. I definitely want more but none of the colors catch my eye.

Fishnets for Everyday Wear

In this photo I tried to demonstrate that a very short skirt and fishnets can look ordinary. I might be deluding myself but I LIKE both of those things and DON'T LIKE lusting strangers so I am trying to make this work. The first picture I took still looked a bit sexy though so I did the opposite of a lady pose, and took up a lot of space and looked big.
I love tall socks! They make short skirts so much more comfortable in the October-April weather. Also, if you lose a 2 1/2 foot long teal sock in the wash it will turn right up! But this post is about fishnet socks. If you have not worn stretchy fishnets, I really recommend them. They are super comfortable, kind of like a light massage (if you have thick leg hair you probably can't feel them though). I also adore how they look. Ones that contrast strongly with your skin color (on me that's black or white) have a gridded cartesian effect, mapping your contours. It's like I'm wearing a drawing of my legs, on my legs. It's especially cool because that same pair, or an identical pair, could map practically any person's contours- fishnets are the stretchiest things ever.

Fishnets with less contrast look alternately like a low res video game version of myself, with tiled/pixeled skin, or maybe they look like scales on a fish or chainmail. But fishnets have this huge connotation of being way sexy, and while I might someday want to look sexy-cause-i'm-trying-hard instead of sexy-cause-i-am, I want to wear fishnets a lot more often than I want to look sexy, and I want to wear them in contexts that I don't want to look sexy, such as for example in public. So I am figuring out different ways to wear them. I already like to wear socks over them, because I don't want my feet touching my shoes through the net and getting smelly. I hear that people like to wear them over socks, and I tried them on that way and it is so pretty, in this case the pink over teal pops! But it does not feel like a massage. I didn't wear them that way for very long but I think it would be frustrating to try to pull up socks through fishnets. I think another way to make them everyday is to wear a color that matches my skin or is close in shade but drab or neutral. That way it's subtler. Another way might be to wear a longer skirt.

I'm drinking expired milk.

Today, as I lay down on a bare mattress for a lunch hour nap, I felt really confident in my ability to navigate the world. I've been able to work, launder clothes, budget for groceries, exercise, pay bills on time, almost as soon as I moved out (I was almost 19). But in the recent past something new snuck up on me, which is that I have learned to do all the things it takes to keep me going sort of automatically. I also know my boundaries really well, the nuance of when it is worth it to stay up really late and have fun, and when it is worth it to say no thanks and go to bed at 10. I shop before I'm quite out of food. I use up my gasoline instead of religiously refilling it when it hit 1/4 tank because I was scared of getting stranded and ruining my engine. I'm pacing myself and prioritizing my time, I'm balanced. Then after my nap I forgot about this until a minute ago when I got home from the farmer's market and tucked 2 ears of corn into the fridge for Mum to eat on the drive down to Ventura tomorrow. It's so simple, but I:
-remembered it is Wednesday, farmer's market day
-contacted my carless housemate so I could meet her there and drive her home
-bought strawberries for the drive and then remembered when I saw the corn that it's Mum's favorite
-peeled open the corn like I saw everyone else doing, even though I felt embarrassed to, like I was questioning their wares

In the past I would almost certainly have skipped one of those things.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Religion and my Nana

This is a card I made for my Nana. The picture is awful because it is nighttime and if I wait at all to send a letter it will never happen.

Those are a pair of blue and dark gray blue jay feathers. My Nana loves nature and she always has baskets of pinecones and individual pressed or dried leaves, photos of the flowers she grows and finds, turkey feathers, seed pods. Anyway, when I found a right and a left blue jay feather I immediately thought I would send them to her in a card. I got out copper finish paper to make a cog to fit between the wings but I realized that wouldn't mean anything to her (just to me and my dad, actually, it's a steampunk take on his artcar fest flying tire bumper sticker) so I did a bird.

I pick colors intuitively, like most do people I suppose, and when I was done it looked exactly like a bird Virgin Mary. You can't see it but the gold wash goes outside the ink line of the head exactly like a halo. My Nana is very Catholic, and I used to be very Catholic until a couple years ago, when I was agnostic for a few months and then atheist.

It was a gentle but unnerving deconversion. I had to figure out new things to do when I was scared or hopeful. I had to completely shift my expectation for my life trajectory, since now I'll be mortal. For months and months I felt freer and strangely light, but now I'm used to that. And I spent a long time trying to construct ethics based on this and that and reading and thinking, but you can't construct new ethics from scratch and have them stick so I kept my old ones for the most part and use reason and my heart to work things out as new things come up.

Loads of atheists like to argue with theists, but the truth is right there for anyone to see so I never bring it up except very casually. It's not a secret that I'm atheist except it is kind of a secret from my Nana. I didn't plan on that but it felt like the most natural thing in the world to get into my nice clothes and do the 30 mile drive to church with her on a clear Sunday morning, listen to the irishman, kneel, sing (I can sing in church now that no one is watching, which made me cry when I realized), and then I went up and got and ate a communion wafer, which is only for Catholics. It's hard to explain how much it is only for Catholics, it is kind of like using a disability placard if you are able bodied.

The rest of the family knows or is allowed to know, but I don't want her to worry about me. I want her to go to heaven to be with my Papa and Jesus forever. I don't want her to consider that one of her 13 grandkids isn't planning to go to heaven. I think she has a rich life but heaven is a big deal, I don't want to mar her anticipation. She is very strong in her faith and I don't think I could shake it but I don't want to chance it; reality is so compelling.

So my subconscious took allllllll that and made a Virgin Mary Bird.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Lyrics that seem fine until you actually listen to them

I love you, always forever
Near and far, closer together
Everywhere, I will be with you
Everyday, I will devour you
I love you, always forever
Near and far, closer together
Everywhere, I will be with you
Everything, I will do for you.

I love you, always forever
Near and far, closer together
Everywhere, I will be with you
Everyday, I will devour you
I love you, always forever
Near and far, closer together
Everywhere, I will be with you
Everything, I will do for you.

Say you'll love, love me forever
Never stop, not for whatever
Near and far and always and
everywhere and everything

Say you'll love, love me forever
Never stop, not for whatever
Near and far and always and
everywhere and everything

Say you'll love, love me forever
Never stop, not for whatever
Near and far and always and
everywhere and everything.

Donna Lewis, I Love You Always Forever. I started singing along to this because it is how I feel about my boy, but then after singing it like 3 times, with 3 or so more to go, it starts to sound like an obsessive/possessive mantra.

I'm shedding
Shedding every color
Trying to find a pigment of truth
Beneath my skin

Hilary Duff, Come Clean. First I was trying to figure out what that could mean figuratively and then I visualized it literally and.... icky.

And now a song that I liked immediately but the more i decode the lyrics the more I love it, and the more I want to make my car a SPARKLY PANDACORN GLITTERPARTY

I googled "SPARKLY PANDACORN GLITTERPARTY" and google told me:
-Make sure all words are spelled correctly. check!
-Try different keywords. But, I want results for these keywords.
-Try more general keywords.
-Try fewer keywords. I tried but they are all very neccessary to the gestalt.

Didn't your slogan used to be Don't Be Evil? I hope you've changed it and aren't a liar pants on top of everything.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I've been thinking about a new art project

When I went to youtube and searched for "post it proposal" there was nothing and I realized the product is supposed to be the markers. But the proposal is done with the post its. A real sharpie proposal could be writing it on yourself before undressing, or writing it on the back of all the seats on a subway train for her commute (using her first name to make it clear) or on the side of your water bottle with a picture of you at the summit of something that you send to her with your phone or just, something a permanent marker is uniquely suited to. Not a post it, anything can write on a post it.

But besides the post its stealing the show on that commercial, it is still a terrible proposal. In my beginning art classes we had to be reminded that the materiality is very important, eg don't use bubble wrap unless you can back it up conceptually, but now it is second nature to me to think about that when choosing materials. Like, did they meet at the office? What about that hot air balloon they rode on, wouldn't that make a good proposal opportunity? And the other thing they teach us, which I am still working on, is to go big unless there is a reason not to. Develop something all the way out. What if that commercial was a time lapse of a guy stacking sharpie pens layer by layer until they spelled "Will You Marry Me?" and since that doesn't demonstrate the no bleed formula they could have a joke about broken hearts and no bleed pens. Or PMS teariness and no bleed pens.

Anyway, I want to propose to someone because I know I could do a great one. But my boyfriend is a teenager and he is not super responsible. But on the other hand, who else am I going to propose to? So then I thought you can propose absolutely millions of things besides marriage. So I guess I am going to use the over the top well designed proposal as a model for sharing messages and go from there.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Looking at old academic records

I am trying to get organized to really take advantage of my final three quarters and I was reading my narrative evals (one for every UCSC class). Every one from a GE is essentially: she showed up, participated, did good papers and okay exams. All of them from art history and art, though, were making me blush to read them all in a row, until I got to the first studio/lecture class I did. It was 2d foundation, intended for frosh but I took it as a sophomore and I liked it. Many of the students were already super talented and most had taken drawing in highschool. So, my drawings weren't well executed but I think they were conceptually solid. I don't think I even looked at my eval for that class, or if I did I repressed it. Anyway, here it is:

Overall, Caitlan accomplished fair work throughout the quarter. She was somewhat engaged with class assignments, although she demonstrated minimal skills in approaching the variety of exercises. Her attendance was inconsistent and participation in critiques was often tangential or careless. On the whole, Caitlan's four major project assignments were weak in concept and unconvincing in execution. Her written statements accompanying the projects ranged from not passing quality to barely adequate. Caitlan would benefit from practice in technical drawing, research in color and composition, and personal writing about her subject matter. To her credit, Caitlan had a bright, upbeat attitude overall.
--Ashley Freinberg, TA

Just, ouch. I guess her standards were just different than the rest of the department, but even given that I don't think my participation in crit could possibly have been careless.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Ooh Fancy! A Prop 8 Wedding Cake

I am sure political food* is very common but this is my first foray.
See, because Prop 8 was overruled by a CA judge and gets to go to the Western circuit court. I feel like I'm over explaining but it is a tiny cake because this decision is worth celebrating but just a small part of the progression toward equality.
Bake cupcakes in the primary and secondary colors.
Slice cupcakes into rounds.
I used a bamboo skewer to hold it together while I swirled on frosting.
And for scale.
*off the top of my head there's: that guy who does portraits out of toast, food not bombs, that guy who makes portraits out of jellybeans, and people who do things with fasting.

Vitamins and Exercise

This summer I am using my body A LOT and it is rewarding and taxing. I have been eating huge amounts because I am so hungry. But in the past 2 weeks I have been craving meat and more meat, and since I can't eat that much meat I have been having really unsatisfying snacks. But today I got nutrition tested at the chiropractors' office where my mom works and got four bottles of supplements so that I won't have to eat all the food I'd need to get the nutrients I need.

I also have had a lot of minor and a few major aches and pains in the past few months. I torqued my pelvis, have recurring pinched and compressed feeling spots in my back, reinjured my right knee, get twinges in my left knee, my wrists are stiff and hurt if I use them for much, my ribs pinch my muscles, the bones in the middle of my right foot hurt, and sometimes one of my elbows hurts but I forget which. Anyway, it's really good that I have chiropractic to sort me out before I go and reinjure myself.

This is a little strange, but no matter what I lift or how much I swim or rockclimb, I can only do a few push ups. It used to be my arms would hurt, but now it's my wrists. I found that doing pushups with closed fists instead of spread palms doesn't hurt but I looked it up in case I was making a different problem down the line. My chiro said it is fine and to try doing a few push ups several times a day instead of once. So that's exciting!

Everything I've been up to lately!

This is the best summer I can remember- great friends, productive job, good health beautiful location, a little bit of pocket money... I'll be thrilled to be back in art school though. I have very little time to develop my ideas so my creativity has been mainly things I can do in one sitting.
fresh blackberries available all the time
firenight (as a spectator except one fabulous time)
hanging out at Big Longs
jetskiing for the first time
roller coasters
losing at air hockey (my hair is wet in this picture because I am silly and went in the ocean at night which is dangerous.)
maintaining my dreads
trip to sacto
scavenging clothes

Not pictured: baking, cooking, gardening, biking, drinking, studying japanese, swimming, driving, and watching 7 seasons of King of the Hill.

Yeah, ADITL photos finally up!

I am working full time this summer painting and cleaning Porter B dorm. There are 4 of us plus our boss working on a 255 room dorm. Fortunately, it was completely redone when it was earthquake retrofitted so there is only a year worth of wear and tear. Unfortunately, Porter is UCSC's art college and artists love to modify their living spaces which is a pain to repair. Some things, like a wall half covered in photo mounting corners, were no big deal. But the amount of boogers and modeling clay and other, less recognizable things I scrubbed off of hundreds of walls makes me less sympathetic.
This is the view from B dorm (where I work) of A dorm (under construction; we will help with light tasks to get it ready starting at the end of August). Actually on the left you can see part of B dorm because it is [ shaped. The two dorms surround a central courtyard, which used to be grassy and lovely with a low stage, towering totem pole, benches and native plants, surrounded by murals, but right now it's dirt and cement with a cluster of native plants surrounded by a chain link fence and coated in thick dust from the construction.
This is the view from the side of the dorm facing away from the courtyard. The near stairs go to the mailroom and dining hall and the far balcony is The Hungry Slug, a cafe that is really expensive IMO like a burrito and coke will cost $10.

This is what the view from my ride home used to look like before I discovered that the bike path takes a little less time and is way more beautiful and has little hills and swoops that make the ride delightful.