Thursday, May 29, 2008

Unfair

Agh!! Just by less than a month, I'm going to miss R16!! I can only hope that it keeps building momentum and happens again in Korea when I'm there.

Last night, I finally finished reading Jeff Chang's Can't Stop Won't Stop. Superb. It an incredible piece of writing and scholarship, coming from someone in the community who is really active and really cares. Now I'm free to read thrilling things in Maine like a Korean grammar book and my camera manual.

Today I had my last acupuncture session, with Jami by my side. It was SO GOOD to see her and hear what is really going on in her life (which is quite different from my pie in the sky made up version of it).

Now, onto more red tape so that I can pack tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

There go my elbows

It was great to have Naz back for yoga class today, but whoa, sore hamstrings! She used me as the demo person for forearm balance, which was hilarious to me b/c that is my least favorite inversion - I hate how all the skin gets pulled off of my elbows. But I had a couple of moments where I balanced w/o the wall. She tried to get me up into a tripod headstand later but I didn't know what she was doing so my tripod wasn't set up properly and she was holding me up the whole time. I wanted to say, "let me down so I can reset! I can do this w/o a spot!" but I just ended up nearly pulling off her jewelry w/my feet. hahaa.

The 439 paper leaves have been mailed to Mexico!!! It feels great to be done w/my end of that project. I also got my visa today, so that's a relief. And James has some more poetry online, so check it out.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The world is heavy

So I took it off of my shoulders for a few hours tonight. It was my last day of work! I got a neverending hug from my boss' daughter, which was lovely b/c I never get hugs from 8-year-olds. I can't believe it's over. As my boss' husband said this morning as he threw his arms open, "a new life!" I came home and immediately uncorked a bottle of wine. Of course, my week left before I fly to Maine is totally stuffed, but this is it, where I've been so many times before, and I know how to rock it: the transition phase. All of the major waiting is over!!! EIGHT MONTHS OF WAITING IS OVER. I'm an artist, I've had my MFA for two years, traveled from coast to coast and beyond, and I am leaving the country as soon as possible to start a Critical Language Enhancement Award, which is part of the National Security Language Initiative, a coordinated federal effort designed to dramatically increase the number of Americans learning critical need foreign languages.

And then, I will start my Fulbright grant. This is my new life.

Be careful what you wish for

I got the extra language grant that happens before my Fulbright grant starts. Eeeee!! I'm freaking out. No, I've BEEN freaking out for about two months. Now, the floodgates have burst. I need to calm down, I know. I need to heed my horoscope: "Be your own doctor, Libra. Break your own trance. Crack your own code. Escape your own mind games."

Monday, May 19, 2008

Running into myself

I have been somewhat inundated lately w/Fulbright info - over a hundred pages of orientation materials from both the NY and Seoul offices. It caused a spiral of despair yesterday, and I disintegrated into a heap of "what have I done with my life?!" b/c I don't karaoke (they said in the orientation packet that I should learn at least one song to sing in public since that's how you make people like you). But Elizabeth snapped me out of it today by reminding me to trust that everything will work out just fine. Everyone else seems to think that, so I might as well hop onto the wagon.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Mission accomplished

The talk was a success! I was surprised by how many people showed up, and overwhelmed by the amazing spread. If I had known how nice it would have been, I would have advertised that more actively. But I can't eat when I'm presenting, so I only ingested seltzer and jumbo strawberries. It was nice to see everyone else chow down, though. Ellie and I flipped a coin ("heads or wings" as she said, on an American quarter) to decide who went first. She started, and showed her work on textiles as well as prints on paper. I loved how she talked about having beasts who are not nice to birds in her imagery. In a classic small world story, it turned out that she had met Jami a week before she met me. I was impressed w/how attentive the audience was and only saw one person handling my work in a way that made me want to run over and pull it away. Overall, I didn't feel present at any time except when I was presenting, so I regret not talking to as many people as I would have liked. I even fell down on getting the info from a woman who lives near Morelia - she's building a house and starting a residency in Patzcuaro!! I will try to track her down since obviously she and Elizabeth should be talking. I was generally shocked that 1. so many nice people and friends came and 2. the fancy spread was half there b/c of me! Next time, I'll remember to have my business cards out on the table instead of inside my bag. But all in all, it was a really fantastic evening, and I'm super thankful to MGC for giving me the opportunity.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Breaking my rules

I've been very bad this week about going to bed before midnight. I'm home late tonight b/c I wanted to be just like Jami and went to see "Iron Man" w/sis/bro-in-law/friend. My favorite part was the newspaper clipping of Tony as a young boy w/Bill Gates.

Elizabeth
was so kind as to point out a blog posting about my interview by a group of printmakers in Spain.

I suddenly want to see "Top Girls" at the Biltmore Theatre. Mostly b/c Ching-In recommended that I read the play (I will do that once I get my hands on it), and then b/c I just read a review about it at 2am.

A new thing for my list of things I will most likely not get to do: see the treehouse exhibit at Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania!! How cool is that?! And one treehouse is even handicapped-accessible!!

Now I need to get to bed (it's getting to be close to 3am, yikes!) since I am giving that artist talk in a little over twelve hours - Saturday (today) at 6pm at MGC, which is at 481 Washington St. b/t Spring and Canal. It'll be kind of nasty weather, so dress warmly since it gets WINDY in that part of town, and even more so on windy days!! But it will probably be my last public showing of art for a while, so come by! There will be food. It's free. And if you bring your checkbook, you can even buy my art.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

When I was born,

the Yankees lost Game 5 to the Dodgers in LA. But they won the next game and the series right after that in NY. I was probably not as cute as Rachel's brand new boy!! But I am happy to be reading Can't Stop Won't Stop now, even though Jeff Chang's book came out three years ago. It's really nice to read a history of something that feels much closer to me than other things that have history books written about it. I was hooked immediately, on the first page in his Prelude: "There is nothing more ancient than telling stories about generational difference. A generation is usually named and framed first by the one immediately preceding it. The story is written in the words of shock and outrage that accompany two revelations: 'Whoa, I'm getting old,' and, 'Damn, who are these kids?'"

The only problem that the book is so freaking huge that I'd rather take really light knitting on the train. Anyhow ... during my walk home, I realized that I commute 3 hours through 3 boroughs on the days that I work for my boss. So I'm going to go lay down soon. But first: my interview on the blog for myartspace.com - it's kind of long b/c I zoned out and wrote all day.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Monday's splurge

I've wanted a new camera for a while, and had fallen in love with Elizabeth's last year in Mexico. Instead of agonizing for months on research, I just harassed my brother-in-law for info (oh, wait, I always do that - thank god for techies!) and then steeled myself for the blow to my bank account. Wohoo! I had considered a SLR but who am I kidding?? I use about 1/100th the functionality of my point and shoot, so this will be fine. I'm paying less than I did five years ago for a much better machine. Makes me feel old. But now I can safely use my B&H catalog for waste paper (which I already did - finished a case for a knit print, and a box for the very long knit print).

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Not taking my time

This is my project for tomorrow morning: finishing Karin's and Mike's wedding certificate. This is just part of it, one of their two cats (don't worry, this is a DRAFT). Today was intense!! First, pollen counts were crazy high and any time I'd get any whiff of the outdoors (which, in a studio with windows open for cross ventilation, is every five minutes), I'd go into my usual allergy attack. Second, I was working on a really tiny book, so my eyes and back were compromised. Third, I went w/my boss after work to P.S. 1 to see the WACK! show again (we spent a bunch of time w/the Theresa Hak Kyung Cha 3-channel video installation, which was really wonderful) and check out the new Olafur Eliasson show, Take Your Time. Guess who wants to go to MOMA to see the rest of his work?? I liked the simple work and was overwhelmed by the busy spaces. I was really glad that I figured out where the basement work was b/c the mist was lovely. Ack! Must turn off computer - it's past midnight!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Loop-de-loop

Yesterday, I made a bouquet of paper flowers out of leftover scraps - they're for Mother's Day, since I don't have time to do it last minute. My mom always complains about cut flowers being depressing b/c they shrivel up and die right in front of your eyes, so I figure these are good since they won't do that at all. Also, it's ALWAYS fun to play w/pipe cleaners. I've been so out of it (allergy season is pretty brutal) that I forgot to say that a show opened in Lincoln, Nebraska, w/one of my books! And, appropriately, that book was made in Nebraska. It's there for the whole month of May at the Lux Center for the Arts, and you can even see images of the pieces online, if you click on the show, All Synthetic/All Natural: 2008 Lux Center for the Arts Book Invitational.

I also got a digital preview of the photos from last week's shoot, which look REALLY NICE. I'll share soon. Oh, and Jami is looking for someone to take over her lease in NYC, if anyone is looking! AND, happy birthday to the theorist! Now, I'm going to go recover from another passing out and sleeping hard acupuncture session.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Invincible no more

Today was hard! But I made it. Only 30 sheets, which is usually what I'd make in half a morning, but most of them are actually two sheets w/paper yarn embedded in between, so really I pulled almost 60 sheets. My hands are burning from just being too cold and wet for two days straight. They're really red and raw, so the prospect of showering was awful, but I braved it to get clean! I ended up cleaning the studio and its contents a lot, too, so that sucked time and energy. Also, Takuji came over to visit (and so did Louise), so I didn't work for a couple of hours during all the touring and lunching and everyone meeting everyone else. But I've learned that my days of working on the wet floor for long hours are OVER.

The view from the papermill of the garden in progress.

Trimmed and soaked paper yarn.

Yarn on first wet sheet before the second wet sheet goes down.

Voila! The yarn is now trapped between two questionably-colored sheets of paper.

A sheet draining on a mould. Guess who gave herself a head massage on the train home today?? I wish I could do the same for my back!