Thursday, March 30, 2006

Resting from bricklaying

But of course I'm still eating like a maniac. I believe I had a smore, cup of pistachio gelato, turtle, and amazing chewbaca cookie thing (chocolate cookie w/nuts, chocolate chips, marshmallow, etc.) today. Along w/the homemade meals and pigging out at an opening (middle eastern goodies). But I would like to point out that I shared ALL of my sweets. I was ultra-cranky this morning (just ask Zeke & Aaron - I was beyond anyone's tolerance level) b/c I only got five hours of sleep after seeing Kiwon who was in town from NY and still working on another application after getting home late. I came home to a rejection letter for a residency and am sure more are on their way. Which helps to some degree in terms of figuring out my summer realistically.

I did try and organize my slides into my new slide binders, but it was not fun. Trying to figure out an organizing principle for all the art I have documented from the past 6-7 years is no fun. But I did meditate and shower, which are both excellent things to do in times of high stress. I mailed another book to a show in California, worked on two proposals, reformatted my CV, sent in a collaborative performance proposal, met w/my thesis advisor (I have disgusting amounts of work left to do), and went to class.

I'm a little scared now about where I'm at w/thesis: I'm in the stage where I can't go further w/o asking for help. Which is so foreign to me, I didn't even think of it. Somehow, I thought I could hang a whole 14-foot high tower all by myself. Now I have to recruit troops as well as cars for buying building supports. Hm. The good news: today was gorgeous, and a new diner opened up next door to school (FINALLY, another dining option in the south loop).

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Slow panic mode

I've already done the make-a-date-yesterday-break-it-today madness b/c first I think, "it will be a nice break from thesis," and then I think, "OMG!!! I CAN'T LOSE THAT STUDIO TIME!!!!!!!!" The trouble is that I really want to try and keep fitting in about two yoga classes a week, but then if I do that, I can't justify more daytime breaks. I can barely get this wall going...this is only TWO feet! I have to build four more feet of this at this size, and then eight feet of it a little shorter, and then figure out the door.

Well, there are a LOT of "and thens" to figure out...but my goal is to be done building the wall by the end of next week. Today = exactly one month until the show opens. Which means three weeks before I install. I still have to figure out the interior. I had a sudden flash last night about including my marksman certification in riflery, but that's the kind of flash I have late at night. Anne woke me up around 8:20am, which meant that I didn't make 8am yoga class. I'm shooing for the 10am tomorrow. The GOOD news is that today, I was able to not eat like a maniac. I mean, I ate plenty, but only got one extra thing (chocolate wafers) and ate all my homemade food slowly.

Damn. I just remembered that I forgot to bring an apple! Oh well. I don't think I'll even bother testing myself tomorrow: I'm SO hitting the bakery after yoga if I make it.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Big eyes, big belly

So, this is how much I got done by last night around 5:30pm. Not as much as I would have liked, but I was too busy eating, procrastinating w/classmates, eating, procrastinating w/classmates' siblings, eating, and eating.

I managed to fall asleep last night at 8:30pm, wake up to noisy neighbors, fall back asleep quickly - unheard of! - have bad dreams about having unanesthetized surgery while leaning over a table in some weird conference/office/random building where the "surgeon" cut open part of my back and then sewed it shut again, and still wake up at 8:30am. Feeling drugged from the noodles and dumplings, I decided that staying in last night and cooking Korean food was just as bad as if I indulged my desire to have pizza or Persian food.

I managed to walk to and from Whole Foods (and actually not buy a single sweet item!), and cook like a fiend. I did a very satisfying stir-fry and then had to get myself ready for the big dish: veggie maki. I made 19 rolls (what you see are 17, b/c I ate two along the way). Black beans are cooling on the stove; I think I'll do a salad w/dandelion greens. Now I am very tired, scared about varicose veins, and ready to indulge in a nap.

Friday, March 24, 2006

To appease statisticians

I decided not to work in the studio today. Result: clean apt, clean laundry.

I compiled some numbers for thesis, b/c numbers are the only thing that some people care about. What I did NOT do is log my hours, though I tried. But records that read, "Wrap 79 bricks. 4 hours (b/c of distractions)" don't really help me. "How long did it take you to make this?" is the number one question I get about making art, and the one quantifier that seems to legitimize artmaking. Though I HATE that idea, I do try to time myself as best I can w/o letting it ruin my practice.

Total pulp: 41.25 pounds
Total paper made: 1,321 sheets (12" x 18")
Total bricks: 2,145
Total half bricks: 280

That seems to imply that I got about 65 bricks per pound of fiber. Hm. And that I have forty pounds of hollow paper bricks sitting in my studio right now.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Last day in sunny California

So sad! My mini-vacation is almost over. It worked pretty well, though. I definitely feel like I got a breather from my thesis. Somewhat a breather from the boy, though we had a stressful talk last night. I ate a lot of good food nonstop, which is always a symptom of a good trip.

I got up today and lazed around, reading Real Simple after taking a shower (but not washing my dirty hair) and waiting for the CRAZY rain to stop (last night was ridiculous: SO MUCH RAIN and for so long, banging on the skylights). Around 11am, I ran out to ride downtown to catch the book show at the library, and then rode the F to Castro and was incredibly delighted as I walked down the hill, got a blood orange and some emergen-c at a corner health food store, and browsed for the cutest clothing ever (again, this city's clothing is SO my speed) before I went to Notorious for Hair to get a trim. My hairdresser, Lisa, was great and originally from Chicago. They had a bidet in the restroom!

Then I walked all the way down 16th, stopped for almond saffron pistachio ice cream, and hoofed it through the mission and all the way past the antique stores and the highway to the SF Center for the Book. It was funny to eavesdrop on the convo: hard packing, soft packing, hand printing, polymer, etcetc...bookies are such geeks. I rode back on the bus and stopped again at the bakery for goodies to hold me over on tomorrow's flight home. I'm just barely at budget for this trip and am so ready for laundry: I've been wearing combinations of the same clothes for the past five days. Ew.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Pink, purple, and gilded houses

Yay! It has been so pretty, even w/the rain and cold and hail and threatening snow. I just booted Elbert off of his computer so I could post. Just got back from downtown (a little bit of shopping; still can't find good yoga pants) and Ellie's - Anju and Joel came down w/Piper & Madiba (I don't know how to spell that), their hyper and cute puppies, from Sonoma. David and Ellie brought Nesday, and we all went to the marina in Berkeley and watched the dogs run around as we got soaked and muddy and freezing cold. I felt bad, b/c Anju has been sick, but they were all good sports and then we went to Ethiopian for late lunch.

Yesterday was a nice lazy morning, amazing bakery goods for bfast, and seeing Ellie and David. We got a hard case for David's banjo and browsed a bunch (amazingly, I was able to control myself and put all the clothes back on the rack that I thought about trying on. I just kept thinking about my shoe purchase earlier this year and decided I'm not really allowed to spend money for a long time) before coming home for David-cooked dinner. Mmm! We were so tired that we went to bed at 8 or 8:30.

My first day, I met Elbert, then Josh and Zack for lunch (they're both training for the triathalon for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society! I already donated for Josh, who is over his $ goal but not yet his donor # goal, and I encourage everyone to donate for Zack - they're both doing this for Githa, who died of leukemia in 2003). Josh took me to SFMOMA and I checked out the brick coursing on the outside...the art inside was good! And then back to Elbert's to walk around the Sunset and not be able to decide on what to eat (finally, after a huge cookie, we got excellent Chinese/Korean noodles from around the corner). I met Ellie and David at night for the ballet but we were in the nosebleed section so we couldn't see Elbert in the pit. Despite Ellie and me being so tired, it was a good program (the first and last pieces being our favorite).

I think it's crazy that I have to travel all the way here to get sleep, on both ends: to be able to sleep in, and to be able to go to sleep early. So far, though, it's been a nice little jaunt.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


[this is the book I made this weekend.] I guess the lack of sleep and working too hard is really showing. Anita today was like, "you look really tired," and Jill tonight said I looked like I was going to start drooling and that my face looked zombie tired. I tried to nap a little in the studios but it lasted five minutes b/c people are always down there making noise. Erin said she was worried b/c I was quiet and smiling, not loud and crabby. While unwrapping half bricks, I almost died of laughter and almost fell off my stool b/c Zeke was up to his antics again, and I really needed the outlet. If my body tolerated alcohol better, I'd totally go for a drink now.

But I did pull 155 sheets of paper, pulp 1.5 pounds of premium abaca, and make 118 more bricks and 80 half bricks. So I've surpassed the 2,000 mark. And I'm officially tired of making bricks. Tomorrow, I'm sleeping in.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Way off schedule

Yawn! It's so late, and I haven't done any of the work on my applications that I had expected to do today. I got a little hung up today on a few parts of my thesis, so it was a less productive studio day than I prefer. Especially for Tuesdays, which are usually my most productive. Bummer. I DID look at my slides in the projector today, though, and got some good feedback from Jenny. These are pictures of the paper pattern I am trying to create so that I can build off of it when I'm constructing the wall off-site.

I was trying to figure out what to wear today, and noticed two tank tops that I never wear anymore, so I decided to take them to school and pulp them. I had another shirt there waiting, so I pulped all three for a nice 24 sheets of blue rag paper that I'll use to print on this weekend in my LAST weekend class. Whew! But obviously, that has nothing to do w/thesis, so I got sidetracked for several hours. I did cut down a few brick molds to make half bricks, and am testing 40 of them now to see if a 2-part mold works (I have a bad feeling it won't...but will deal with that in the morning).

I tried to finalize my pattern for the floor, but am still unsure about how wide I want the radius of the tower to be. I did the whole taping string to the floor and then to a pen to draw it, but I'm going to try again tomorrow to tweak it out. I also decided that I'm going to extend my paper run, and make 2,000 bricks total (I'm close to 1,700 right now). Which means no yoga tomorrow, since I have to beat fiber instead.

New goals for by the time I leave for San Francisco next Friday: finish 2,000 bricks, complete image selection for two or three applications, do my laundry, and have at least one segment of the test wall built from the ceiling down.