Friday, December 24, 2010

winter wonderland

although it feels like i have not been doing much of anything lately - probably because of my massive, never-ending to-do list - i have actually finished all the harry potter books (heil j.k. rowling!), painted samara's furniture and set up everything in her room except for her desk and a floating shelf for her mj dolls, started clearing out the garage, completed all of my work-related obligations like participating in that body image panel and presenting at the conference, got my review of that louise bourgeois film published and even finished the painting that joan commissioned back in the spring:



now it is christmas eve. luca and samara are watching home alone downstairs and i am getting ready to conk out. there is a taste of hint-o-mint newman-o's in my mouth, my back is aching a little from the weight of my rapidly expanding belly and there are plenty of presents under the little tree in the living room. tomorrow i plan on watching more christmas movies, cooking, drinking hot chocolate and enjoying a day of rest and celebration. next year this time my little cub will be 8 months old.

with fingertips of rose

favorite phrases and passages from the odyssey:

clear lustral water in a bowl quivering with fresh-cut flowers

i'll send you on your way with gifts... so that all your days, tipping the red wine for the deathless gods, you will remember me

here is the flower of life, it seems to me!

a boy whose lip was downy in the first bloom of manhood

by night our ship ran onward toward the ocean's bourne, the realm and region of the men of winter, hidden in mist and cloud

listen with care to this, now, and a god will arm your mind

there is no fighting her, no power can fight her, all that avails is flight

our minds are as the days are, dark or bright

here now again he lay, waiting for dawn, while in the great hall by athena's side, odysseus waited with his mind on slaughter

o lost sad men, what terror is this you suffer? night shrouds you to the knees, your heads, your faces; dry retch of death runs round like fire in sticks; your cheeks are streaming; these fair walls and pedestals are dripping with crimson blood.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

the circle of life

i've had my spider plant for about 2 and a half years now, so i figured if it hadn't sprouted any baby spiders by now it was either a boy plant or not in a fertile way. but then she surprised me a couple months ago and produced these two little things:




i planted them in smaller pots and plan to cut their cords when they are strong enough to continue growing on their own.



here is my little baby spider around 22 weeks along:

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

harry potter has taken over my life

i wake up early with the intention of exercising and practicing yoga. i see my kindle tucked away in its little pouch on my night table. i pick it up - "i'll just read a chapter before i exercise..." the next thing you know it's time to get ready for work.

at work my group ends. the studio needs to be cleaned up and i need to write notes. "i'll just read a chapter before i do those things..." then it's time for the next group. rinse and repeat.

in the evening i entertain very productive plans - i'll finish ordering all my christmas presents. i'll clean up all my stuff from the dining room. i'll work on the painting for joan that i told her would be done this month. i'll start clearing out the garage. and yet again, harry potter calls. (unless dexter calls first...)

perhaps i should just resign myself to accomplishing absolutely nothing until i'm finished the series. right now i'm midway through book 6, so this life should come to an end in about a week and a half.

it is happening, again. it is happening, again.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

creme fraiche

tonight's insomnia is brought to you by "i can't find my camera" and "the creme fraiche song from south park is stuck in my head." it's now 5am, still totally dark outside and i have been awake for probably a little over an hour. finally decided to get up and try to read some more of harry potter and the order of the phoenix. i failed in my attempt to read all the books and see all the movies by the time deathly hallows came out in theaters, but i'm hopeful that i can fulfill my amended goal of doing so before the movie leaves theaters.

where oh where has my camera gone? i hope it's at work, but i have this terrible feeling that i may have left it in the car overnight some time last week and got it snatched by one of those car thieves i read about in the mount airy independent. i suppose that makes me a complainant. the last thing i want to do right now is cough up another $400 for a new camera and case. i just have a hard time imagining that it's been at work all this time and i haven't noticed.

"creme fraiche... cafeteria FRAICHE..." oy.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

pube campaigns and gay rifles

my favorite election coverage is by far the liveblogging taking place at wonkette. somehow a republican takeover feels less hopeless, or at least more amusing, when the headline is "change is changing back."

and now, after a long day of walking with lori and coda, having needles injected in my gums and my wisdom tooth drilled, visiting a potential private practice space, voting, buying samara a new bed at ikea, grocery shopping, cooking and assembling my conference presentation, i retire to bed with a little harry potter.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

the halloween cat

my little tribute to cleo:

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

remember me

cleo
july 25th, 1990 - october 26th, 2010
beloved cat




Sunday, October 24, 2010

work less, live more

lately i've been feeling particularly resentful that i have to spend so much of my life working for this place called r*nfrew. it's not that i don't like my job, it just feels wrong that in order to support myself, i have to devote nearly half of my waking hours to this one type of thing.

so rather than complain about it, my new mission is to figure out ways to minimize my work while at work. i will still do everything that is required of me plus anything else i want to contribute professionally, but i will be more efficient in my handling of the work, thereby increasing time for other pleasurable activities. here is how i am planning to acheive this goal:

1) only check voicemail and email twice a day - once in the morning, once in the afternoon. and when i check, reply to all messages immediately - don't put them off until later.

2) get done what needs to get done promptly and quickly - clean up after groups, write notes right away and don't let anything pile up on my desk.

3) don't waste time on the internet at work. if i have time to spare, engage in satisfying activities like reading, writing, taking a walk, art, stretching, calling someone, working on personal projects, etc.

i am going to start right now by walking over to the environmental center.

ps. just got back from my walk. didn't make it all the way to the environmental center, but the path to get there was beautiful - snake black trees with sunny leaves. even more exciting though, i was turning back into the driveway as one of the counselors was turning out and i got my first spontaneous "are you pregnant?"!!! that was freaking awesome!

family fun

after a shift of bagging bean soup mix, raisins, dried cherries and tamari almonds with an architect in the basement of weaver's way coop, i met kristin and family over at linvilla orchards. we ate cider donuts, went on a hayride and sat around a campfire with lots of kids and adults torching marshmellows. october's blood moon loomed high in the sky.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

egon schiele lives!

spent my day off painting lenya's portrait in the style of egon schiele, something we have been wanting to do for the better part of decade.



i'm not sure he would have labored so much over the face and this would definitely be a tamer schiele than many, but i think i did a decent job imitating his style.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

biking with b and d

went for a pleasant ride with danielle and brendan yesterday. don't we look cute in our biking gear?



i just can't believe i am going to be somebody's mother. this makes me overwhelmingly happy.

Monday, October 11, 2010

fantastic reality

continuing prep work for the bourgeois review. finished reading the collection of her writings and interviews destruction of the father / reconstruction of the father and would have finished the text in LB if i hadn't left it at work. reading essays by lucy lippard and rosalind krauss reminded me of art history classes at oberlin with pat matthews. read the introduction to another volume that critiques her work from a feminist psychoanalytic perspective. that just made me want to read melanie klein and start making references to "part objects" during team meetings.

tomorrow my plan is this: i wake up with a positive attitude. i watch the film again in my pajamas, taking copious notes, transcribing relevant quotes, paying close attention to form and structure and generally formulating an informed opinion about the work. i head out for either a walk, a run or a bike ride, depending on the weather and my mood. i shower and put on clothes that remind me of college. i walk to infusion and write the rough draft of my review. if so inclined, i treat myself to a vegan treats brownie or a bubble tea, if they can make me one without caffeine. by that time luca and samara should be home, so i will surrender to the whims of the evening, putting aside the review for at least a day.

i hope i can make this interesting!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

aetna

today i called hr to inquire about benefits and maternity leave. apparently, since i did not elect short term disability last year, it is unlikely that i will be approved for it this year since my pregnancy would be considered a pre-existing condition. so if there is a reason that you will need to actually use short term disability, they won't give it to you, but if you don't expect that you'll need it, you are likely to be approved. does that sound kind of backward or what? looks like i'll be saving up pto and sick time so i can take a reasonable maternity leave in the spring. no christmas break for me this year. :(

Friday, October 1, 2010

when i learn to live serenely

since i have developed a recent terror of storms - specifically, a fear that gusty winds will cause the dead sycamore in front of our house to come crashing down either on the house itself and into our bed or on my car - i have of course been unable to sleep since about 2 this morning. i am probably instilling a phobia of storms into my unborn child as i type this. finally got up to check the weather and read more about louise bourgeois when i found two lovely little emails from bryn with audio recordings!

the recording i have been trying to post for several hours now was the song we used to sing at the end of every day at new england music camp. peace of the river... maybe i'll sing that to little smoky at night time. the other fear i'm probably energetically transmitting is that of looking forward to so many things that i'm afraid i won't get to experience.

from the hills i gather courage
visions of the days to be
strength to lead and faith to follow
all are given unto me

Thursday, September 30, 2010

doing, undoing, redoing

been reading about louise bourgeois in preparation for writing my review of the spider, the mistress and the tangerine. a fascinating woman. i don't always understand her work, but i am beginning to understand where it was coming from. i think i will focus my review on the idea of art as souvenir, rather than metaphor, re-creation rather than symbolism.

even with my energies focused on one thing, now that the haverford workshop and arcadia exhibit have passed and the portrait of joan's daughter gets perpetually bumped back, the reading is hard-going. read 100 pages of her writings last night, plus a wonderful book called runaway girl, which was more or less a storybook about her life. tonight i was aiming for another hundred, but i was starting to lose focus and tricking myself into being productive by reading from back to front and putting lots of bookmarks in the pages. i think i might call it quits for the evening.



photo by robert maplethorpe

Saturday, September 25, 2010

high on the heavens you soar

luca's concert is tonight! and then dexter premiere tomorrow night!
much to do in the waiting.

my priorities for today are as follows:

1) clean up the kitchen
2) go through mail and junk in the dining room
3) pick up luca's suit from the cleaners and get money from bank
4) pre-natal yoga
5) work on samara's room
6) tidy up for parental visit

painting, movie reviewing, getting books from the library and reading harry potter will have to wait.

here's to a full house tonight!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

weekend at brynny's

it's all about growing older with bryn. even when i have a full body rash.




Wednesday, August 18, 2010

coda: hamsterdam

tummy troubles plus the impending 4:30am alarm clock made for a restless last night in prague. our taxi came to get us at 5:15 and we wanted to swing by the charles bridge to see if the crowds had cleared at that hour. there were still a few lovebirds on the bridge, but mostly it was all the eeriness that kafka described:

"people walking across the dark bridges pass by the dimly lit saints. clouds moving through the grey sky pass over the churches with their sombre towers. someone leaning on a wall hands resting on the old stones gazes into the evening water."

read more of the trial at the airport and napped, and then... hamsterdam! very different from prague. more urban, sprawling, bustling. city of bikes and waterways.





felt thoroughly disgusting by the time we got there and had to wait 45 minutes in the uber-chic lobby before our room was ready.



then it was off to the van gogh museum and the anne frank house. fascinating that the two most popular attractions in the city arose from people who were anonymous in their time. they would be so shocked that people were lined up around the block to pay homage to their stories and their contributions. it makes sense why so many people identify with them. good people who worked and struggled and had faith and saw beauty in the world. there was an especially moving video of otto frank talking about his reaction to first reading anne's diary. he said, "as parents we do not really know our children."







after these phenomenal exhibits, it felt pointless to go over to the red light district. anne frank was hiding in an attic, unable to even look out of the window during daylight hours. why would we go and look at women for sale in windows just a few blocks away?

so back to our swanky hotel for another sleepless night, and finally, our return voyage!

bonus pics of pot dogs at the philadelphia airport:


day 7: czeching out

woke up early, got breakfast, went back to sleep. on our way over to the john lennon wall, we stumbled upon the set of a bollywood film that was shooting in prague. we watched a scene of a girl getting on a motorcycle with a guy. i snapped this picture of the actress, nargis fakhri, who is apparently a famous model. the film is rockstar, directed by imtiaz ali and starring heartthrob ranbir kapoor.



then more pictures at the peace wall:






it was a hot and sunny day in prague. we took the funicular up to the top of petrin hill and walked through the gardens and orchards. i snacked on apples and cherries from the trees:










there seemed to be ten times as many people swarming around back in the city proper. we got lunch at a little health food store and restaurant called country life, then went back to the hotel. i had been hoping to make a trip to their little riverside beach, but time was short and truth be told, our bodies were about ready to give out from all the walking.

one final stroll through old town square, one final dinner at maitrea and a beautiful clear night with dramatic skylines:


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

day 6: cesky krumlov

woke up extremely early to make the bus to cesky krumlov. the ride over there was uninteresting - no scenic views of the country side, just flat dull expanses of green. it was more interesting to watch cate blanchett playing elizabeth on the little screen a few rows up.

LOVED the town. i actually wish we had stayed over a few nights, rather than limiting ourselves to a brief afternoon. it was much smaller than prague, less opulent and less run-down at the same time. beautiful, well-maintained buildings, galleries, shops, cute little restaurants with terraces, people rafting down the river, amazing views of a fairy-tale castle and an egon schiele museum! actually, the schiele museum didn't have a whole lot of schiele's, but it was still moving to learn about his life. my image of him as a rebel bad boy was challenged as i discovered how encouraged he had always been in his art, how his uncle became his guardian after his father died at a young age, how klimt was his "spiritual father" and how schiele drew him on his deathbed and took over as organizer of a big art show in vienna that klimt had been working toward. schiele died shortly after the successful exhibition from spanish flu, following on the heels of his pregnant wife. so much tragedy and support in his short life! and i always thought of his imprisonment for making "dirty drawings" was like a badge of honor, but apparently he was shocked and disheartened by the experience.

i was also delighted by the large exhibit of work by alois mitter, co-founder of the schiele centrum. his art is wild, playful, spontaneous and psychologically complex.

after the museum, we walked around the town taking pictures and trying to decide where to have lunch.







day 5: kafka's prague

slept late from our exhausting experience the day before, then walked to the other side of town. the weather was beautiful. got lunch at a sweet little hare krishna place near the castle, and headed toward the kafka museum.



it was an unusual exhibit, though not nearly as unusual as kafka's writing. (the trial is totally insane!) there were photos in little streams of water on the ground, phones that you pick up and hear some authoritarian voice in german, hypnotizing films and displays that gave information about his family, relationship to the city of prague, his lovers and his work. after we left, luca wanted to browse the shakespeare bookstore again, so i sat in a comfy chair downstairs and dug in a little deeper to kafka's world of unease.

decided to forego our pilgrimage to petrin hill, since i wasn't feeling very well and instead rested at the hotel until it was dinner time again.