May 29, 2009

Home again.

Five days in and it's still a whirlwind!

I haven't yet slept in my own bed (guests abound this time of year at my parents' house) but I am settling in to being back home. I enjoyed the pool the first day in, in my new bathing suit (pictures to follow–it was cute, but needed some home modifications). I have been adjusting to the richer, more expensive, more delicious food (no hardship!) and to all the lovely company.

These last few days, my family has enjoyed the addition of more family. It is always fun to have cousins around, and to imagine what it might be like to have an even bigger group! We have had such fun with my aunt and uncle and their kids, who all came out to celebrate my brother's graduation. Last night brought my grandmother in, as well.

My brother James and I accompanied these visitors into New York yesterday–a trip that had me as much a tourist as my Atlanta-rooted relatives. I really don't know anything about the city! Moving will be quite the adventure. Of course, our tourist trek wasn't exactly in my new neighborhood...but, still. I have a whole new city to learn!

The best part of yesterday? The top of the Empire State Building in complete fog.


May 22, 2009

Goodbye, Chicago!

Well, it's official. My move has begun. My parents have texted me "On the way!" and the view outside my bedroom window already looks more nostalgic.

I am not going to allow much sadness over this move. I have been here for five years, enjoying what Chicagoland has to offer, and that makes me lucky. I am heading for a lot of good things: great summer jobs, time with my wonderful family this summer at home, and a new, exciting job come September. I will dearly miss my roomie and friends, and this city, but I will be back. I see no point in getting too sad. This isn't a forever goodbye...Chicago, after all, is only a matter of hours (and no oceans!) away.

Time to wrap up the packing, enjoy some sunshine, vacuum the carpet, and then welcome my parents!

Thanks for the fun, Chicago!

I'll likely post next week, when the crazies settle down...


May 20, 2009

Modern Wing, Moving Things.

So busy...

I spent a lovely day luxuriating in the summery weather with friends today. I have been biding my time lately in my apartment, dutifully packing like a droid until I have a compelling enough reason to allow myself a break from the box-filling. Today's reasons took up almost the whole day: First, I had to go out and get some dishwashing soap. Then, I just had to go out and see the new Modern Wing at the Art Institute. These things are necessities!

The walk over to the museum was sunny and cheerful, and I am happy to say the Wing itself did not disappoint, either. I couldn't take pictures, so I stole a few from the web.

I especially loved this view–
I was pleasantly reminded of the stairway in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek (Cph, DK).

See the resemblance?

Of course, my inner conflict raged over most of the artwork. But, no matter; a lot of it was fairly stimulating. I do like Gerhard Richter, who had quite a few pieces displayed.

I also enjoyed the Giacometti sculptures (as always), some interesting architectural and design works, and some very large Cy Twombly paintings. However, my friends and I agreed that poor Twombly would do better to decline interviews; what quotes he had made him sound like a colossal idiot. Nonetheless, I love this particular peony painting:

It's a year of loving red, for me.

We ate lunch at the Intelligentsia over on Jackson, and let it be known that their panini sandwiches– fresh from Southport Grocery– are utterly perfect. I am still full from lunch. No joke. And all of this loveliness was topped off by a seasonably early-in-the-day gin and tonic, after which I handed off the remainder of my gin to these friends of mine, said some goodbyes, and proceeded to the packing.

Tonight's box themes? Sewing notions, books, plates and cooking tools, and my lovely set of eight white bowls, in eight of the most necessary sizes.

(To elaborate on that last point, these white bowls give me some kind of unnatural pleasure. I think they are perfect. They are by Gibson "White Elements" and I think everyone in the world should own them. So beautiful. And so nice to only have one of each size, when I am so used to having a set of everything. I never take these eight individuals for granted. They were the only things I enjoyed packing today. Lovingly nesting them in their original box, I really felt rich.)

After all of that, I am exhausted. Tomorrow's goals: managing to keep myself "zenned out" (as my Papa might say) enough not to stress over the boxes fitting in my car this weekend, and finishing most of the food in my fridge and cupboard. Wish me luck!

Oh Chicago... you are fast slipping away from me!


May 16, 2009

Covering Up

Oh my, I couldn't be more excited.

I just ordered this sexy modest swimsuit. I can't wait to see how it fits!

I haven't bought a new swimsuit in two years (perhaps longer?) and so my plan for this year was to splurge for a new one, and dedicate my search to modesty. I used to be a big advocate of teeny-bikinis (better tanning!), but as I am no longer in avid pursuit of skin cancer, and am no longer in a stage of my life in which I want to wear a couple of triangles on a string, I have been looking out for more modest options.

Initially, I was hoping to buy something by Jessica Rey–the white power ranger from TV!– purely because I would love to support the messages she promotes about modesty and chastity. She based her whole line on Audrey Hepburn movie characters... very cute. However, In the end I couldn't get as excited about at tankini as a one-piece. My 18 year old self would laugh and laugh...

In any case, here's a link to her line: Jessica Rey: Who says it has to be itsy bitsy?

And here's a link to the store I bought my suit from, which Gabrielle tipped me off about: Down East Basics


May 14, 2009

Progression, at the Dittmar Gallery.

Headed over to Evanston today after work (tomorrow will be my last day at work!) to see the current Seniors' Art Theory and Practice show. It was a great opportunity to see some friends as well as some of my classmates from my college 'artsy' days. I feel very far away from that lifestyle at this point, and certainly haven't found that I am pursuing art-making in a way I might have expected I would while I was still in college.

The show itself was very pleasant to look at. All of the work was actually quite interesting, and their class is lucky enough to have real variation in terms of their media, pursuits, and politics.

My favorite works were some very lovely illustrations and paintings by my friends Yana Myaskovskaya and Lauren Redding; a performance/installation peice involving gauze dragged through the Chicago city streets by one Joyce Kim; and a dazzling glitter painting–something I would never have thought I would like!–by Tiffany Wells. I didn't bring a camera, sadly, but I managed to scoop up some images of a few off of the internet. Here's to Yana and Lauren! :)

One of Yana's illustration works–Untitled.
The ladybug is actual size, printed on a very large sheet of white paper. Clever!

Yana's second illustration–The Sound of Silence.
This really surprised me in person; I hadn't realized how tiny the drawing was!
It is incredibly detailed and beautiful, and only a few inches tall.

Lauren's self-portrait.
A beautiful girl with a beautiful talent!
I love the timelessness of this ...that is the best part about her work, in general.

All in all, the last few years have been a personal tug of war for me over whether or not I would like to continue to involve myself with the art scene. I am often frustrated by the contemporary presentation of art, but I can not deny that I would miss it if I renounced it completely! It was wonderful to see this show.

Off to bed, wishing these friends of mine good luck!


May 13, 2009

I should be in a bad mood!

Thankfully, I must have woken up resilient and optimistic this morning. Perhaps it was something in the chicken last night.

This is a blessing, because everything appears to be working against me today.

First, I woke up freezing cold, as rainy wind was blowing into my bedroom through my open window. Not only was this uncomfortable, but I was also coming out of a nightmare involving running mice, prompted by the sound of the blinds rat-a-tatting against my window pane. Yikes.

I was entirely exhausted, as the poor choice of drinking coffee last night at 9 pm didn't allow for a very easy sleep. However, I had plans to make a last trip out to the Green City Market, so I shoved myself out of bed. I knew they operated rain or shine, so I grabbed an umbrella and a waterproof bag and headed for the bus.

I waited approximately 20 minutes for that stupid bus–and then, as I sat down, he announced that he would only be going another block, and wouldn't be finishing his route. (Please keep in mind the persisting POURING RAIN.) One block later, I stood at the bus stop for another ten minutes before boarding another bus.

Caught up in a text message, I missed my stop for the market! I had to get off, turn around, and slosh through mud. I was so glad to get to the market, however, that my spirits were high. I ran, jubilant, over to some beautiful tomatoes. Mmmmm! They looked so delicious. I gathered together a bunch of them, and made myself a bag of watercress. I stood in a rainy line for my produce to be weighed, whipped out my wallet, and... WHAT?

I had four dollars in cash. That's it. No money. And you might not know this, but most farmers don't bring an ATM machine to market. I bought the watercress for $1.50, walked around for a few minutes, and hopped another bus. (To Trader Joe's, where I could use my debit card.)

Sighing at the 'cop-out' nature of ending up at a grocery store–albeit a good, 'green' one– when I had planned on delicious natural goods, I picked up some artichokes, tomatoes, yogurt and a cantaloupe. By this point I was very hungry.

Acting on this hunger, I came home and put some bread in the toaster. And burnt it absolutely black. I am eating it now, with yogurt.

And you know what? It really doesn't taste that bad. When it rains, it pours...but I have always liked rain. I have a presentation later today at the Children's Museum, and while I am pretty sure something will go wrong (Power outage as I start my Power Point? Spinach in my teeth? Embarrassing spoonerism?) I am still in a positive mindset about it all.

Nonetheless, I hope your day goes a bit smoother than mine!


May 11, 2009


At the strong risk of alienating my readership, I am going to go ahead and make a very nerdy recommendation.

Godsbody turned me on to this online documentary, and something in my fantasy-loving past called to me to watch it. I have to say that I wasn't disappointed. Something in role-play battle, Renaissance fairs, re-enactment culture, and like has always secretly appealed to me. I will grant that the behaviour of these enthusiasts can border on insane, and can in fact be debilitating to their real lives. I don't think I could ever become so seriously 'sucked in', either. But, having a very active imagination myself, I think I can comprehend the excitement.

A surprising, entertaining hour and a half. If you have the time, you just might enjoy it.


May 9, 2009

Eats, Shoots, and Leaves.

I have come to a decision.

I am in the middle of reading the book above; a fabulous and witty diatribe against our modern culture and its disregard for grammar and punctuation. Having always been extremely interested in writing-- and being prone to reading 'with a pencil in hand for corrections', just as Truss describes-- I knew that I would get a kick out of this book.

What I didn't see coming was the acknowledgment I would be forced to make that the casual way in which I write on the internet is childish and unattractive!

As someone with a design background, I will vehemently stick to my opinion that lowercase letters are beautiful. However, I couldn't help but remember that for years, in my early experiences with the internet and texting, I used proper punctuation and formatting, and appreciated the favor in others. Funny that I would abandon this "proper" emphasis as I aged...I would have thought I'd have gone in the opposite direction.

In any case, here ends my chic use of lowercase letters. Onward and upward! Why squander my knowledge of the elements of style in the name of... style?


May 8, 2009

poladroid fun

don't know how i've missed this: Poladroid

i suppose i am the last to find out, but maybe someone else missed the boat on all this fun, so i will share!

you download the sweetest little polaroid camera, which sits on your desktop, and then you drag your digital files right over to the camera, it makes an authentic polaroid sound, and then your pictures takes full minutes to process, looking for all the world like an actual polaroid!

it's so adorable, i am addicted!!!


May 5, 2009

some summer dresses in mind...

... from another time!

i was at vogue fabrics the other day, just taking a gander and picking up a pattern i've been wanting.

i couldn't help but get distracted at look at basically EVERYTHING in the store, as usual. i had a painstaking battle with my willpower over a bunch of vintage menswear buttons (my willpower, thankfully, won). i must have touched and admired every piece of venetian lace and let's not even talk about the remnants i managed not to buy.

in any case, the best part, as usual, was looking through all the patterns and catalogs at the fancy things i would never make and don't need. i became extremely fixated on the summer offerings in the butterick's catalog from their 'retro' section. i think i might order some of these!

my new life plan, in which i toss all trends to the wind and embrace my love of high waists and secretary blouses, is really making me feel pretty. not that it's so important to enjoy one's reflection at all times...but it is nice! :)


contemporary art morning

headed to the MCA with a friend to see these two big timers. despite my usual frustration with contemporary art, i do have a few wackos i am very fond of. olafur eliasson is someone i am very, very excited about. i will be sure to let you all know how these are!

buckminster fuller

olafur eliasson

*** later***

it was great--as expected, i found eliasson's portion to be much more exciting than fuller's, but both were well done in terms of exhibition.

the highlight for me was a piece of eliasson's called 'Room for one colour', which featured a hallway of yellow monochromatic light, which made every present figure appear to be black and white. it was fascinating to see yourself as though you'd jumped directly into an old movie!

i also enjoyed a piece called 'Ventilator'--a basic fan, hung by its cord from the ceiling, moving in an arc due to the motion of its own blade. strangely mesmerizing, notably so for the sound it made. a bit like the ocean.

i do like art, sometimes...

May 3, 2009

one of the best days of my whole life.

all throughout my childhood i was a compulsive lister. i don't think much has changed. i was constantly revising lists: in my head, in my diary, on scraps of paper and on chalkboards. i loved planners and pocket notebooks and post-it notes, and have written myself at least one daily 'to-do' list since i was about twelve. (i used to include 'wake up' every morning!) the back of my first diary--pink with ballet slippers, and my name in stickers-- held a running list of 'best friends' that is hilarious too look at, both for the ridiculous reasons i crossed people off the list, only to add them back on, and for the fact that the word 'best' didn't seem to limit my quantity! 12 best friends, really?

one of my mental lists through my growing up years was that of the 'best days of my whole life'. some were very specific events--one particular Palm Sunday in which i felt very grown up, my eighth and ninth birthdays, the day my brother and i filled up a top hat with snow and made beautiful 'snow cake', some family vacations, a 24 hour period i spent exclusively painting as a freshman in college, a very hilarious fancy dinner in which my sister katie and i accidentally got drunk... there are too many to count.

today was one of the best days of my life, despite being entirely solitary and without much to speficically define it. i suppose i will just list everything, in keeping with the theme!
  • woke up (without an alarm) to good weather
  • spent a lovely almost-hour talking to my littlest sister on the phone (SHE called ME! so nice!)
  • cinnamon toast and coffee
  • did the underpainting for something new i am working on (mother's day!)
  • showered, got dressed in the new ($20) Audrey Hepburn pants i bought yesterday (sorry, it's a cellphone picture)

  • lunch on my sun deck, pretending i was on an enormous cruise ship (delicious egg salad and iced tea!)
  • read C.S. Lewis' The Four Loves: Friendship
and in an hour i will finish it off with Mass. the best.


May 2, 2009


so, as of yesterday, i have a job.

i will be teaching at this school starting in the fall, and i couldn't possibly be happier about a job.



May 1, 2009

if i ever have to get a dog

i will get an airedale, because they look like adorable muppet-dogs

or a portuguese water dog, because i want to kidnap my friend norah's.
and come on, this doesn't even look like a real animal!!!

oh hahah or i want this one.

can't lie, poodle mixes are my favorite all around.
and they are so SMALL... how convenient.

well, this was definitely my dumbest post ever. and anyone who knows me knows i am NOT an animal person... how random. hope you all enjoyed this girly puppy moment. maybe i am lonely. haha.