Monday, March 29, 2010

Looking way forward

It's been dreary for a little while, which may be preparing me for the next two months. I checked the weather in the British Isles yesterday before I started the Big Pack, and it was distressing to see the way they have this grey cloud cover over everything--it's a visual effect I have never seen on weather maps. After the process of finding out that Continental will only let me check one bag w/o an extra $100 roundtrip fee, I spent days being angry, bargaining, and then resigning myself to paying for a 2nd bag. But after seeing my supplies and materials (and clothes) sprawled around my empty luggage last night, I thought hard about what I really want to do and bring and am victorious again: I'll travel the way I always do, with one large bag, one smaller one, and a backpack. Hopefully the extra space on my return trip once my toiletries and food and other expendables are gone will be filled with soda bread and tea.

I haven't met my unrealistic expectations for my administrative work, so I'll have to do some in Belfast, but when is that NOT the case? If anything, I am truly excited for being in the studio again, working. Which reminds me, I have to find my knitting needles to pack...

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Those foundations used to be huge buildings. They are now all gone. Such a clean job--it's like they were never there. One of the buildings had "RESEARCH" on the side of it. A new life for the riverfront.

Apparently hospitals now say "infusion treatment" in lieu of "IV" these days. Ridiculous, I think. But imagine this picture that E so kindly shared, and imagine after the "infusion" that the turkey got up and jumped out of the pan and started to do a big dance. That is what happened to me today. I had a fabulous, long visit with Helena today, complete with Korean food, history lessons, tea, logistics about a possible visit to her lake house in May, and one of the 99 names of Allah. I felt totally rejuvenated and it helped confirm my vision for the coming months: Belfast for spring, Cleveland in the summer, and Ithaca in September. Then I had a good Thai dinner w/my sis and her husband, and then more tea. I finished reading Edwidge Danticat's The Farming of Bones on the train.

Also, Elizabeth shared this with me: a link about hanji for Spanish speakers! Well, my video isn't in Spanish. But then I thought, if I subtitled in other languages, that would be great, huh? Though my goal had always been limited to spreading hanji to English speakers, that was only b/c of my own linguistic deficiencies. The moving images would still make sense in any other language.

Finally, there's a great art auction happening online. Helena and I talked about how much the consumption of art has changed, and how people can easily have a comprehensive experience of an artist w/o ever leaving a computer, paying money, or experiencing the work directly. As much as I am all for people worldwide reading about artists, looking at their websites, enjoying the images, and so on, actually buying and owning real tangible art is also fabulous, and just as private. Getting to live with art is something everyone should get to do, I think. So if you covet something and can afford it, treat yourself!

Monday, March 01, 2010

Bigger inches

I had a huge surprise in the mailbox, the best kind: completely unexpected (I know that sounds redundant but to me it isn't). Terttu sent me a card and a totally hilarious photo of Ben and me from her visit in January! LOVE IT. I've worn the scarf Velma gave me all day and did everything on my "MONDAY GOALS" list!! Which is great, b/c it means that I finally am setting realistic goals and also working my ass off. I edited an article, captioned photos, took care of emails, and started another article that required way more research than I expected (but as Jami, who is on her fancy book tour, pointed out not so long ago, I am actually very good at research. Even though I never knew it). I had at least six cups of tea and was good about eating except when I fell into the pit of chocolate-covered pretzels. Not only that, but they are xmas tree pretzels w/green and red sprinkles. In March.