Friday, April 29, 2011

Chastity Belt for Metal Fab

good, right? I hammered the heck out of 16 gauge sheet metal and it fit well. My professor was ill when this was due and we had an extra work period so I remade it into something more like my imagined belt but completely unwearable. I remade the toothed but realistically sized vulva into an opulent exploration that was seriously dangerously spiky. I displayed it hung up, even though that showed the shoddy craftsmanship I indulged in when I remade the piece. And then, because I am a SHOWOFF I totally wore this for like two minutes.

it's mean. Not like me; I use my words.

I guess everyone liked its weirdness in crit. The assignment was to attack or defend, and we collectively nerded out defaulting to the middle ages. The crotch part is detachable (a paper and fabric construction with a substrate that's a flexed piece of rod that wedges into the belt without room for me) and the belt is totally comfortable. It is weird to have metal on my body but my waist doesn't notice the weight and I made it roomy.

ETA: Oh yeah, theory: I think a lot about the twin burdens of appealing to the male gaze and cultivating modesty to court its supposed advantages, so the theoretical wearer of this piece accepts responsibility for moderating the lust of others (aside from the wearer) but stops well short of normalizing this absurd responsibility.

I completely respect people who have a different opinion on the issue of modesty but I must say that I have a concurrent piece where I go to the beach every day and I had a week straight of dealing with drunk older men who I had to treat rudely (completely against my inclination) because they could not be respectful when I wear a swimsuit or shorts. And I don't mean elaborate respect, which I certainly would not insist on from elders, but a baseline respect of not following me or talking about my chest.

Realistically, if I wanted to wear a chastity belt around town it would not have the intended effect because strange men would be thrilled to have something to ask me about.

SF Field Trip

My class went to the MoMA and YBCA. I go to the MoMA for school once or twice a quarter. I get that it is a great collection and it rotates a lot but actually I do not go to galleries under my own power except Oakland Art Murmur so it would be nice to go to contemporary shows. But! The show they have on right now is ridiculous, like a retrospective extravaganza of all the famousest artists they've got.

I spent the day being scolded about taking pictures. Pictures are allowed at YBCA- but not at the Song Dong show! And they are allowed at the MoMA, but not at the Muybridge show(nature and sequential photos, like Yosemite and that running horse.) So when I was finally allowed to take pictures, at the retrospective with seriously every famous artist whatsoever, I on accident took a flash photo of a Matisse painting, which is super bad for oil paintings. I had the flash on "forced off" but I wasn't capturing the color so I turned to "simple mode" and the flash totally went off. I was so embarrassed.

And I found an artist I didn't know, Joseph Cornell, who did art in the 1930s that is like today's shadowboxes and found altered collages. This is his pink palace:

And I visited the Maxwell Ernst piece- the numerous family- that I did my final paper on last term for the painting class I didn't pass.

It is still captivating.

Anyway I took a lot of pictures of the Song Dong installation Waste Not before the attendant noticed, but I won't post them because I am sure there was a reason photography is forbidden. It's a powerful piece about family and fear and China and grieving- the artist assisted his mother, Zhou Xiangyuan, in installing the things she collected over decades to keep her family from ever going without.

Extra Large Potato

The only single potatoes Safeway had were Extra Large. This one took me two days to cook (I took breaks). I tried to bake it but after two hours I turned the oven off by accident because it was so late and I was tired. Then I crushed it up and tried to microwave it, but at that point I had scrounged alternate dinner and tired of my potato adventure so I put it in the fridge so it could think about what it did. The next day I fried it as hash browns. I decided to just put butter on until it couldn't soak up any more. I won't tell you how many tablespoons that is because it is appalling. But I will in case you want to try.


I don't approve of watching shows about hoarding as impetus to clean. But it's a beautiful spring day that I have dedicated to errands and I am not cleaning. So I am doing something against my ethics and being a voyeur. I understand that the people on the show are adults and competent to decide whether to be on television but it doesn't sit right. My bedroom drifts gently toward entropy but it's never more than a few hours' hard work from tidiness, so the kinship I feel with the folks featured on hoarders is imagined. I don't know why scaring myself with houses filled with trash whose owners will go to great lengths to protect their collections are more useful for motivating me than is thinking about how efficient my routines can be when everything is put away by type, or let myself enjoy stewardship of my things. No, it has to be,

"Whenever there's mold or mildew or whatever, you want to wear a mask. Or at least I do. {the professional cleaner has tied perhaps three paper towels around her mouth and chin} I'm gonna put up a little humidifier {mold should be starved of moisture, also I think that is an air freshener because it is so tiny}, to make it a little more palatable {I have a visceral response to considering mold as palatable}." Hoarders, Linda/Steven

I saw the Song Dong piece about his mother's long term hoard -which she started after being subject to strict rationing in China- which accelerated after her husband's death. The installation is lovingly executed and while it is uncomfortable, it seems like her feelings are carefully respected and protected from outsiders when compared to the US television about hoarding.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Women's Surf Clinic

I went surfing for the first time today and I had a great time but I didn't like it as much as I expected. I was in the UCSC Women's Surf Clinic and everyone was super nice and supportive. And they made it super easy- they gave us gigantic floaty boards and told us when to turn, when to paddle, and when to stand, and most of the time they literally pushed our boards to help us go fast enough. So that was all great. Plus they told us it was a good day in terms of light crowds and small waves, and I couldn't tell otherwise. Certainly I have seen it more crowded on nice days.

So, they had us all wear school wetsuits, and there was no way they were going to let me go out without one. I am glad I tried something new because now I can really appreciate not having to wear a wetsuit, which I have been enjoying all day. At the end of the day we compared notes and most of us were wearing a wetsuit that was too big or too small. Mine fit, but it was awful anyway. They told us the sizes correspond to dress sizes and I looked on the chart and my height and weight matched my dress size, so that was easy. Then I put it on and it was seriously the worst episode of Having To Wear Pants I have endured in years. I looked around once I got it on, and everyone was in swimsuits so I thought we could take it off so I did, but in fact no one had gotten theirs on yet because wetsuits are tricky.

Then we vanned down to the beach and got our surfboards. There were thinner and thicker ones, and I was determined to get a thick one. I thought it was cool because in a mixed group I probably wouldn't have. But, I was second to last and there was only one thick board left. In retrospect the other girl might have weighed as much as me because she was taller, but I was so focused on I AM BIG I NEED THE BIGGEST, and since our instructor told other people they didn't need a big board I guess she thought I had a point. So then I had to carry it a hundred yards and it was waterlogged and the other girl got to carry a lighter board so that was fair.

Before going out our other instructor had us all practice doing pushups on our board, so that when waves break while we are out the wave can go between us and the boards. I did all the pushups I can do (6) while we were on shore. Then we had to practice our standing up.

My favorite part of the day was bobbing out to the little waves. I just glided over everything. Even though we didn't use our legs at all for this part, it was like ten times easier than swimming. I liked turning, for which you tilt the nose way out of the water and kick. It was exactly like riding a horse, but cold. I was like, how is this happening? Because I was barely away from the shore but could turn and look at the town, just like the one time we went on the ocean in Beginning Rowing. I decided that when I get a board I will come out and lounge in my swimsuit, maybe eat snacks and journal. It was really nice.

While I waited for a turn, I tried to figure out wetsuits. I understand wearing one if it is the early morning before the sun is up properly. I understand wearing one if you are out for hours and don't rest on the beach at all. I thought maybe the reason everyone was wearing one is because guys don't have proper fat, but most of the adult guys out there were pretty big. I heard most of my group say they were cold. I have never been less cold in the water, which felt disconcerting instead of good. But I wasn't too warm, even though I was exerting myself, although I feel like if the sun was out I would have been.

The actual surfing part happened too fast, and was over too fast, for me to get the hang of it. But because they made it so simple, I managed to stay on nearly every time. Exercising in a new way made me super happy and when we got back to campus I was so excited that I hopped in the pool. It felt amazing for like three seconds, to be in water sans wetsuit, and then I started swimming and realized I was really worn out. I had to use a kickboard because I didn't have my goggles and my eyes are sensitive, and after soft lenses absorb chlorine you have to toss them. At 500m I was in a good rhythm, and I told myself I would do a slow 1000m, but by 850 I was all done.

The pool is so much less interesting than the ocean, but very safe. I think I could pass right out and be fine. It made me really want an Otterbox and waterproof headphones, because I could lap swim so long if I had something to listen to, but I've looked at lots of products and reviews and I don't think there is a really durable one or headphones that aren't a huge hassle during turns.


I exercised so good today!I am quite robust but some combination of my feet, pelvis, back, and knees usually hurts so i have to be careful. Running is not something I'd consider, but I do read two running blogs and sometimes check the runners they link to. I noticed that when they describe things that they relish about the experience of running, they exclusively use words that are bad in other contexts, like "pain," "bruising," "cried," and "died."

The small selection of running blogs I have read are mostly slender people running for weight loss, with a few medium people running for weight loss. Two of the runners talk about their fat and weight in negative terms, but those are the exception- most talk about their fat and bodies abusively. Running a lot takes a toll on anyone's body, and I think that they like something painful because they don't like their bodies. I don't think most runners feel this way, and I don't know if most people who run for weight loss feel this way.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

How I spent two days trying to buy photos

I saved $35 by not having glasses, braces, yellowed teeth, or acne. (although if I had those things I could also save $35 by being okay with it.) I don't expect the retoucher to work for free but it doesn't seem fair. To get all dressed up and made up and wait in a long line and sort out a borrowed robe as best you can and have your picture professionally taken and then still have to lie to your family about how perfect you look, and pay for the privilege.

Then at checkout, I had to opt out of paying $9 or $54 more for something I didn't order.

And okay, I know that $150 is not more than $150 (the threshold for free shipping) but it still annoyed me, so I didn't order anything. I'll have to transfer my mom's money back to her and she can order what she wants.

Friday, April 8, 2011

How to dress for a space theme party

So I guess a lot of people aren't sure what to wear for my friend's space birthday party, which is astonishing because space is a wonderfully open theme. If you find out about it last minute you can just wear a lot of silver or, failing that, black- adapt coverage to your space climate. Wrist cuffs and giant odd shaped colors look like campy sci fi. Also space has all the jobs earth has, except adapted for space, like a farmer probably needs a lot of lightbulbs and a miner needs a breathing tank and a prison guard needs a bobbly silver gun. Or if you have something you like, for example libraries or gold, you can be from a planet of it. Or you can dress up as a character from a space show, but I wouldn't recommend it because people who don't watch the show won't get it, and people who do watch the show will notice how different your costume is from canon. Dressing up as a character is better if you do it somewhere people will appreciate it.

Anyway the party is tomorrow and so far my costume is a (literal) box of (figurative) crap that I have to glue together and paint silver, but I am going to be a Space Mechanic.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Heart Necklace

In metal fabrication I welded this heart necklace from 16 gauge sheet metal. The techniques I used are: cold bending, cutting with the guillotine and beverly shears, welding, and hammering.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Smug Superiority: Dissipated

I was reading about special products you can buy to hang your pictures. The Michael's website Erin links to says, "Each frame includes artwork, or simply remove and replace with your own photo."

And I was all, "I'm so glad I have original art in my life, even if I had to make it myself." I was smug. And then I looked at my walls. I truly do enjoy my art everyday but it is displayed extremely poorly. I have one little corner that's decent and the rest looks like this:

Yeah, apparently sometimes I would rather hang paintings on top of other paintings than find more tacks.

Honestly I think 22 paintings is too many to display properly in a medium size bedroom, but I could at least give it a try.

Friday, April 1, 2011

New & Ongoing: Research as Performance piece.

For my 10 credit self directed senior project I am exploring the relationship between consumption and security, or consumption and satiety. One portion of this project is in the form of gorging myself on the Econ section of my school library. I decided to start by counting the books. The first thing I found out was that I am not going to read them in order because the first thousand are Business Planning By County from 1968 on. I liked getting familiar with the scope of the collection but at 2,100 volumes I got tired and went to ask the research librarian:

Librarian: Can I help you with something?

Me: Yes, I was wondering how many books are in the HC section? I tried counting them but it was too hard.

Librarian: Sure, I can find that out for you.

Me: I think there are about 11,000.

Librarian: That's not far off. 10,092 separate titles, although it doesn't show the number of volumes.

And he said I was the most interesting question of the day.