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Sunday, February 27, 2005

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holy cow! sven made flat files for the studio! sven MADE flat files for the studio! (and i can't believe they're almost already filled, too! :D )

(and if you clicked the link you might notice we have a new blog, as if we needed another one. it still needs to be tweaked -- it's got more posts than it initally seems -- but it's worth checking in on.)

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sven turned the heat off and we ate our first meal on the back porch since summer! and had limeade! this must mean spring is here and summer's coming! afterwards we did a walkaround the house to see which places need more (or less...) plants. sven thinks the raspberry bushes will pull through, which will just thrill me to pieces and prove sunset's western gardener's approach correct, if drastic.

last night sven & i went to the vagina monologues at the hollywood theatre. it was a pretty good reading with good set design and benefitted two good causes (pwcl, which sven has just left, and birthingway, where jalex completed her apprenticeship). i'm glad i went, but i don't feel compelled to see it again: the monologues seemed to rely on atypical stories, like the lawyer-turned-pro-lesbian-domme or remote examples like the bosnian rapes & african female genital mutilation, which, while horrible, don't illuminate more common rape scenarios, date rape, or other forced-sex situations, and keeps such situations firmly on the "those things happen to other people" side of the street. there were also some spurious ethnic slurs. plus it seemed to have an anti-male tinge: i wish we could talk gender politics without resorting to why boys or girls are icky.

i can't believe march will begin tuesday. over the weekend, sven & i will hang out saturday after drawing class and do the se artwalk (thanks for the reminder, alex!). sunday i'll be taking a transfer printing class at the iprc. then "creative arts therapy" week begins and i haven't even looked at the schedule for that yet. and march is my last month of the current psu contract.

Friday, February 25, 2005

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last night sven & i used the binoculars he gave me for xmas to watch the full moon rise from the butte. it was gorgeous! we could see all of its craters and scars and shadows and hollows. and it shone so bright it left afterimages. we could even see a tiny star next to it in the binoculars that we couldn't see in the sky because the moonglow made it disappear. i can hardly wait for the next total lunar eclipse, which occurs in... march 2007. *sigh* then we looked at all the stars in the winter hexagon we've learned from 365 starry nights, which i just cannot recommend enough as a completely approachable & highly educational observational astronomy book. with the binoculars, you really can tell that betelgeuse is a red star and rigel is a blue one. orion's sword is a streak of scattered stars rather than just one or two, and in it you can see the small smudge which you would recognize as the horsehead nebula if you had a more powerful telescope. but best of all, you can see the 15-20 stars that make up the pleides, that otherwise looks like a dim patch to the right of taurus.

tonight i went to see "sky blue" at cinema 21, which i would have liked better if someone 5 or 6 rows back wasn't talking loud enough that i could hear, and often even mocking the movie. grrrrrrr. i like theatres. i like the rustling and the shifting and even the occasional low whisper. but there's a special hell for people who talk in movie theatres, a special demon to torment those who act like they're at home watching a video. it wasn't all grumpiness, however: when i bought my tickets the girl in the box office unexpectedly exclaimed, "your hair is beautiful!" "thanks!" i reflexively responded, both startled & pleased by her sincerity.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

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yesterday was gorey's birthday today (or would have been, if he was still alive)! and to celebrate, i am now fully able to partake in all the media i wish. riding the bus to work and returning home on the max w/ the ipod made the trip much more enjoyable, and i'm able to use itunes sharing at work to great effect! but i've been noticing i've been keeping the music off at home for now, and am not inclined to fill every waking moment with reading whatever's close to hand.

yesterday michaelmas & i went to the new elephant's deli location (the place that used to host il fornaio, and if anyone was going to take over that space i'm glad it was them). they still have crowd control issues even though the space is a lot bigger, and their stuff is still pricy, but man is it tasty. and i got to watch a buffy episode as my first post-media fast tv. :) but both of us woke unwell today, suffering from intestinal distress and wooziness.

today sven & i went to a "journaling as journey" workshop where we made a "map" of our lives. i drew everything out on different colored papers and then pieced them together; sven had enough time to draw elaborate and stylish inner and outer lives. then we went to see "a hundred dollars and a tshirt" at the hollywood, a documentary about zines in the portland presented as a benefit to the iprc. i always think i ought to be doing zines, but one of my great fears as an artist is that i might have it in me to do one very cool one, but... then what? i'm afraid i don't have enough ideas/energy/motivation to do more than that. now rob ought to be a zinester. he could totally do a wicked academic music zine. :)

and on monday i forgot to mention i ran into mph & alison right after picking up some stuff from art media (which is notable in part because they have me on file as a teacher now, which qualifies me for a 10% -- sometimes 20% -- discount!). they had just seen "house of the flying daggers." and how could i forget mentioning going to the trinity episcopal labyrinth?

Monday, February 21, 2005

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STILL having bounce issues between burdell & lonestar! i don't want to make my primary acocunt ARGH! (anyway, to reach me, try the or the options...)

update: we're back to the kludgey fix till i figure out what to do more permanently, so email me at my normal address. all my tech stuff feels like it's limbo (mph has 5 emails that need to be responded to, for instance), and it erodes my self-confidence and joy in this stuff.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

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drawing studio #5: full face self-portrait: worked one quadrant at a time and with each feature a different size or slant.

and though i dropped a mirror at the drawing studio and broke it, the rest of the day got even better! sven saw a very cool chaise lounge at portico and stopped to take a look. when i stopped to pick up some vinyl patch concrete at the hardware store, the guy who helped me find it wanted me to make a brick for him. on our weekly "let's try something new on hawthorne after the drawing studio" route, we went to vegethai, a place where sven could eat EVERYTHING on the menu, and i found it pretty tasty, too. and then i had the best shopping experience i've ever had (and i do not exaggerate when i say this) when sven toook me to a a clothing store he had noticed: savvy plus! this is the only store i've felt i could actually gush about: things fit me, were comfortable and stylish, the atmosphere was cozy, and everything was incredibly reasonably priced! sven stopped to look at more guitars at showcase music. then we went to the melting pot, a fondue place downtown that's only been around since thanksgiving. yum. that took almost 4 hours. when we came home, we found the tiniest baby black slug!

songs i've heard in my head today:
2 dream songs
fredo viola: dad & dog
sam cooke: you send me
head east: never been any reason
suzanne vega: headshots

Friday, February 18, 2005

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last night sven took me to see gorey stories at reed! it was a packed house. i appreciated the set design, which included an unexpected upper level used to great effect in "the willowdale handcar." the costumes were excellent and the look of all the actors was spot-on (especially hamish!). one particular actress had an amazingly expressive body & face. and i was especially delighted by the portrayal of "the doubtful guest." the musicians (yes!) were quite good, too.

however, i was less enamoured of the couplets that were shouted at the audience en masse. and the original adaptation itself doesn't seem to have integrated the pieces very well: in the first half they are simply separate pieces that use the same actors in multiple roles, and in the last half they attempt to interweave several stories into the unstrung harp as if the author is writing them, which in my opinion only serves to muddy them. i understand the difficulty, and i don't know how i would have done it, but it's true just the same.

i'm really familiar with gorey, so none of the stories were new to me. but it appears the nephew's lament (a tragicomedy composed entirely of pronouns and a possesive) was developed specifically for the play. whee!

afterwards, we went to rimsky's and, unbeknownst to me, sat at a table which rose and sank imperceptibly throughout our dessert ("very vanilla torte," which is important to mention because they're covering the entire alphabet over the course of a year!). at some point i said something about how the table seemed to be particularly tall, because it had almost reached my shoulders, and sven couldn't help laughing. you've got to love a coffeehouse that has secret tables!

songs i've heard in my head today:
ani de franco: up up up up up up
that dog: retreat from the sun
tears for fears: elemental
tears for fears: cold
yo yo ma
mirah: earthquake
cat power: speak for me

Thursday, February 17, 2005

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i'm having a weird email issue between freeshell & burdell. to reach me, please send to my gmail or addresses. (of course they both begin with gretchin@).

update: i've kludged a fix for the burdell address, so go ahead and use that if you want. but it's still not -actually- fixed; just re-routed.

another update: does anyone know why all the messages would be rejected w/ a "550: UCE/SPAM IS NOT ACCEPTED HERE" error? has burdell been marked as a spam service on a blacklist somewhere?

another update: i'm in a classic loop. each admin says it's the configuration of the other's server. damnit.

update feb. 19: it's fixed, but not because anything's actually been done. so it might happen again.


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yesterday morning i picked up a book and read 3 pages before suddenly dropping it in horror: what was i -doing-? today i found myself reading a towel tag. but the music is especially tough: it feels like my day doesn't begin until i start a cd or launch itunes.

songs i heard in my head yesterday:
rufus wainwright: april fools
beatles: michelle
donnie darko's mad world remake
ABBA: dancing queen
styx: renegade (really!)
susan mckeown: bold orion

songs i've heard in my head today:
natalie merchant: carnival
susan mckeown: bold orion
dresden dolls: coin operated boy
dresden dolls: miss me
donnie darko's mad world remake
west side story: i feel pretty
peter gabriel: make tomorrow
ani de franco: up up up up up up
ani de franco: angel food
simon & garfunkle: america

some notes i took on the bus:
* her thick nails painted pink
* media dep is scary, but joanne & rob expressed some relief, too
* a man pours soil from a bag into his garden. god, is it time to be working on the garden already?
* a girl all in black sits in front of me; she smells strongly of bounce.
* curls of razor wire decorate the fence of an abandoned lot.
* why don't we have cherry tress near where i live? the ones i'm seeing now are tantalizing: brimming but not yet bursting w/ joy.

and i had a good valentine's dinner w/ michaelmas. i was worried that not being able to watch "buffy" would cramp our style a little. ;)

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

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first day of media deprivation, and i had to go to work on campus! 45 minutes on the bus without music: i sat on the opposite side of the bus today from where i usually do, and it actually made a difference. at work i put on my headphones but didn't actually listen to anything except the spanish alphabet ( i'm mostly worried about the max ride home: 45 minutes surrounded by darkness. (i'll bet rob knows what i'm talking about! or he would if he could read the blog anyway, but he's on media deprivation, too. heh.)

having said that, i had a pretty darned good day at work! one of my major frustrations about hive has been relieved. (i still have two other major issues, but knocking one down is pretty damned good). even better: there was a labyrinth walk two floors up, and i had a chance to explore an empty ballroom and discover a secret window. ee!

before i really get too deep into the media dep, i wanted to write about "the gates" project along the footpaths of central park. i am very enamoured of it, in part because it's designed to be an ephemeral experience. so for 20 years, people will be asking, "do you remember the gates? did you see the gates?" i'd love to do an art project like that. i wonder if something like that can be done along the park blocks or the river, though part of its charm is that it wanders like a ribbon, and those are both fairly straight. (an aside so i remember -- think more about "the relationship in art between artwork and relic.")

songs i've heard in my head today:
* dresden dolls: bad habit
* dresden dolls: gravity
* michael penn/aimee mann: two of us
* dreden dolls:perfect fit
* susan mckeown: mháire bhruinneall
* beatles: help
* rufus wainwright: across the universe
* simple minds: alive & kicking

alas, i inadvertently listened to new age music while walking the labyrinth.

now off to a valentine's dinner w/ michaelmas!

Monday, February 14, 2005

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shoot! i forgot that tomorrow begins the artist's way reading deprivation task! except in a group it tends to be modified as "media" deprivation: no reading, tv/movies, or music for a week. i soften it by thinking of it as "fasting," which seems more noble & spiritual. but whatever i call it, it's tough! it includes... *gulp* blogs! and no ipod or rendezvous sharing at work! aeiieeeee! and no casual email. :( the point is that if you're forced to stop consuming other people's art, you might find yourself actually making your own. or you'll learn to do it discriminately if you're not just reading the back of the cereal box in order to have something to read. or you'll learn to interact with the world around you if you're not distracted by the lure of words. you'll do something, anything.

so i'm about to be underground for a while. i'm listening to "lakme" right now in consolation. and doing a last-minute blog check. :)

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the valentine's fairy has been out & about delivering "making fiends" valentines! (and where, in a stunning fit of synchronicity, this fairy ran into miriam & her four young'uns on their way to a valentine's party! and she was introduced to the two youngest she had not met yet, including noah, who was understandably cranky after his recent brush with death.) and now she has to run prep for artist's way, which will be filled with even MORE valentine's spirit. :)

Thursday, February 10, 2005

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the blackouts keep following me; today we had a 1.5 hour one at the butte. we were about to break out the fondue pot to cook soup, but fortunately it came back on before it came to that.

hey, alex has a comic blog now.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

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happy chinese new year! to celebrate, our building lost power not once, not twice, but three times! working in the basement with a laptop is handy, as it provides the only source of light for people fumbling around for flashlights.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

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there are cherry blossoms beginning already! i'm so excited. and maybe they aren't cherry blossoms, but there are bright pink flowers blooming against a bright blue sky. i'm not doing very well on the solo artist dates, but the bus ride into work kind of functions that way, as i get to observe people and things i might not otherwise see. and i listen to music differently, too. usually it's background to accomplish a primary task, but on the bus it becomes more primary, more poetry, as if the world is unfolding in time to the music.

artist's way last night went well again: we made masks for mardi gras (and a happy fat tuesday to you today, btw!) and to highlight the "identity" chapter, and it turned out rob had a very good artist date last week at the portland art museum he was able to eloquently articulate, and northwest indian masks were some of the highlights. mask-making requires a lot of materials if you want to give people a variety of materials and textures and oddities; rob asked if our primary objective was to make more of a mess each time we met. i can think of one more activity which is likely to be very messy, but other than that i'm not sure we do. after cleaning up, i realized i spend at least 10 hours a week on artist's way.

Monday, February 07, 2005

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so it turns out, after struggling for days, that i.e. 5.2 is the ONLY mac browser that will print an entire freaking framed page. not safari, not firefox, not netscape. that's just WRONG. and it won't even let you print just one frame, and it shrinks it till you need a magnifying glass, but at least it won't cut the long frame off like the others do. and these are horrible scripted pages, so attempting to open the frame in a new window and printing that isn't an option.

why don't more mac web browsers give you control over printing? i.e. 5.2 allows you to remove the header & footer, print or ignore the backgrounds, and shrink or expand the text to your heart's content. and windows i.e. lets you control even more than that (including printing selected frames, damnit).

mph, does omniweb allow this? i'd be tempted to keep a copy for that reason alone.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

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we will have less cheese soon: some of it was meant for the lasagne i will make today. i've never made lasagne before & this makes me really happy & a little trepedatious because i'm using those no-boil noodles.

yesterday was our third drawing studio class where we used charcoal for the first time and learned to keep drawing on top of things & carving out what doesn't belong rather than erasing and re-drawing. we ended up with a lot of charcoal to clean up and i still have some under my nails (and in my nose!). then we went to chopsticks on hawthorne (tasty asparagus garlic shrimp dish!) and ran into michael, alison & ben going to fred meyer.

then off we went to michaelmas' dr. who marathon, where michael made me cookies for my unbirthday the day before (thanks, michaelmas!). i brought eliot because i know i can't sit through that many hours of dr. who without some sort of distraction, and sven napped a little because he's been so sick. so michaelmas & philip watched "spearhead from space" and "the tomb of the cybermen" and "pyramids of mars" (which was not too bad).

then alex stopped by and that seemed like a good time to go home (because it was getting late, NOT because of alex, of course!) and wrestle with the computer some more: sven wants to access email from the studio, so we're trying to route his email through dreamhost's imap rather than easystreet's pop. which sounded like a terrific idea until i tried to make it work, which resulted in me losing a week of sven's sent-mail, sending a pathetic message to the ever-so-patient michael hall, and sobbing underneath the dining room table. the good news: sven has the ability to access his inbox, sent mail & drafts on another imap machine, but all his local mail has to remain local. it might have been easier just to let him use webmail over at the studio.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

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i just counted: we have 14 kinds of cheese in our refrigerator right now. yes, i recognize how crazy that is. crazy, but tasty!

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i am STILL coughing! it feels like january was all about coughing and battling financial institutions, and i am still doing those things in february! grrrrrrrrr. the night before last i had to sleep sitting propped on pillows on the couch. and what makes the coughing worse was calling my doctor yesterday (who is ironically sick herself) and, after waiting at home ALL DAY and being told i would be called back, they called michael and told me to take ZANTAC (zantac!). this is the same doctor who initially diagnosed me as having ALLERGIES. i think it's time to find a new doctor. any recommendations?

huh. i must be picking up the all caps habit from dooce.