Saturday, March 26, 2011


You wake up with the sun drifting
under your eyelashes
today’s promises flooding
across your skin
a tugging smile
through your lips
pondering yesterday
[the mind knows no discretion].

So, a few musicians who's music has not failed in bringing up my mood:

the Friendly Fires
recommend: Strobe, Skeleton Boy, Jump in the Pool

Florence and the Machine
recommend: Cosmic Love, Drumming Song, Lungs

Kid Cudi
recommendations: Up Up & Away, Enter Galactic, Erase Me

The Strokes
recommendations: Anything!

Who is on your go-to playlist?
Currently: Lounging in a greenhouse-type study room, enjoying Saturday and clearly not doing my homework.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Strongly worded letters

Last night/this morning:

Dear drunk guys outside my door,

Why are you here right now. 
It is 2:45 in the goddamn night morning.  And you're all drunk, and hollering-- on a Tuesday!!!
No, the guy you're banging on the door for probably was sleeping like the rest of us.  No, he doesn't care that you brought your bikes upstairs with you.  Yes, other people on this floor are now awake and pissed and yes, someone called security on you.
And screw you for tearing down the calendar that our Community Assistant had so painstakingly made.

Best regards,
Peeved me.

Right now:

Dear residents next door,

Please stop banging or thumping or dribbling or hitting or whatever you're doing that's coming through all the walls.  They're quite thin and I'm tired and my roommate is trying to sleep.

Yours truly,
I should go to bed now too.

Hahahaha.  Dorm life.
I guess it's not as big of a deal as it sounds... I just love writing concise letters like that to random people :).
Otherwise, it has been a terrific first week back; I've been pro-active on my work, there's environmental speakers for Climate Change week, I learned how to make crane oragami for World Languages week and as a fundraiser for Japan relief, I ran my first hill workout Monday and speed/tempo workout today since October and even though it's still freezing, my bike is out!  
There are bikes everywhere, it's a beautiful thing.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

You know it's bad news when...

the clothes that used to be your loose ones are becoming snug. D:

On the upside, I guess I can't feel bad about shopping for new ones.
 From Target, I bought a pair of bleach-denim short overalls.  Kitschy and a throwback to second grade, yes, but I'm determined to bring them back once it's warm.  A lot of the boots were on clearance so I bought a stormy blue pair which also seem fitting for spring.  At the Salvation Army, almost all the objects are half off, so I bought a tye-dye tank top, a polka dot button-up, a lightweight forest green suede jacket and a denim full-zip jumper dress.  All I had was spring on the mind :).

My parents said I looked like Daisy May from Dukes of Hazzard :P.  The photo with the tank top, those are Bermuda shorts with suspenders that I made a few years ago.  The striped cardigan I'm wearing with the dress and boots is also a previous Salvo purchase.
But of course, only in New York would it be sixty degrees for two days and then drop thirty in 12 hours and be snow flurry-ing the next morning.  And we missed the epically close moon because of the chronic cloud cover.  Did anyone see it?!

Besides gaining weight throughout the week, I did some experimenting in the kitchen!  I made cabbage and carrot curry with rice vermicelli noodles, which wasn't difficult at all but exotic and fun to eat nonetheless.
The cut up half a head of a small cabbage, a small onion and five or six carrots, and as you can see, it filled a huge frying pan.  I had leftovers for three days and gave the rest to one of my friends last night!  I sauteed the onion in some oil then added the carrots and cabbage with half a can of vegetable broth.
The spices I used were a basic Indian curry powder (I'm sure there's more eclectic and expensive mixes, but this was on sale), cumin, turmeric, ground red pepper and some salt.  It smelled like heaven! 
I simmered the vegetables with the lid on for about 15 minutes before I added the noodles.  One thing I need to remember is to check the moisture while it's simmering so the dish doesn't become too dry.
The rice noodles came in a big bundle at Wegmans for $2.  I soaked them in warm water before adding to the vegetables, but next time I'll cut them so they're easier to move around and stir.  And eat.


And finally, on this last day of Spring Break, I received some thrilling news in the mail:
I have been accepted to study abroad in Rouen, France next fall :D.

It seems like I'm always talking about this place, but I can't contain my excitement.  I was there a year ago too, by the way; so many memories.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


More pictures of different artwork I've made.  This was one of the 'in-progress' images for a 16 x 20" still life drawn with vine and compressed charcoal.
And the finished product!
I wish everyone a very Happy St. Patrick's Day!  Since it's a weeknight and I'm home I'll be doing absolutely nothing to celebrate, but I'll try to wear green.  I think Saturday one of my brother's and his family is coming for corned beef and cabbage.  Does your family partake in this culinary tradition?  Or do anything annually for the day?  We don't have any Irish roots but I bet it's a point of pride for many.  One day I'll make it to Ireland to celebrate.
And I hate to gloat, but I love being able to sleep in until eleven thirty without any true commitments for the day.  Yesterday I did some hardcore shopping and cooking, soon to be another post topic :).  I need to go for a run and work on some more homework, but it's sixty degrees out and I plan on enjoying the sun.


Monday, March 14, 2011

Benign Line

These are a few assignments I did in Studio Art from my cell phone camera.  Even though my meets twice a week, the scheduled block is for three hours a class.  We practiced intensively with line, doing contour exercises, hand gestures and examining different qualities and mediums for making line.  It's fun experimenting with how you can draw a line and convey a particular emotion or personality, much as our personal signatures do.
For the project below, I used a blue ink calligraphy pen and wrote hundreds of Chinese characters to make implied lines, thus creating a scene.  It's a mountain scape scene referencing the artistry and literature emerging from the Tang Dynasty of China (618-907 A.D.). 
By not connecting all the forms and leaving the characters floating, I wanted to create a mystical quality.  Obviously there are Earth elements portrayed, but if the wind blows strongly enough, perhaps the characters would just lift up and be carried away.  I also created a Gestalt image of a phoenix rising-- can you see it?

No, unfortunately I am not that literate at Mandarin Chinese yet.  These characters are from Tang Dynasty poems that I found on the internet :B.

Currently: Getting ahead on Chinese character writing homework while watching The Young Victoria.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Revolution from the Streets


He is the enigmatic British street artist that satirizes and commentates pop culture, politics, war, capitalism and more. His name is eponymous to controversy, rebellion, anarchy and unconventional art in the forms of graffiti, installations and stickers splattered onto public space. It's supposed to make you think twice. Once looked down upon for it's crude, temporary nature, street art is a contemporary revolution that's sort of forced itself into the spotlight. It attracted pedestrian attention, then to the media and increasingly gaining momentum into galleries and professional buying world. And obviously aspiring anarchists/hipsters and teenagers with a lot of time on their hands and looking for something interesting [ahem].
I just watched Banksy's documentary on Netflix called Exit Through the Gift Shop. It was nominated most recently for an Academy Award in the Best Documentary category. His film did not win, but 2010 had a strong presentation for documentaries, and his was certainly enjoyable. There's controversy over whether Banksy actually staged the entire documentary himself, including the protagonist Thierry Guetta and his role as a street artist, thus alluding to power of images and the media has over any of us because of our commercialized-induced naivete.

If you have time, check it out on Netflix Instant Watch! I think everything I just tried saying would make more sense if you watched the movie. Nonetheless, I did some more internet researching on street art and those who are making their mark.

Shepard (Stephen) Fairey has been in the graphic design, illustration and street art business for over two decades. He began making replications of the wrestler Andre the Giant with the assertion OBEY. He and Bansky are the more prominent faces in this genre. You may recognize some of his other works...
Smokey Robinson, then and now.
Cover art for the 2009 Grammy compilation CD.
Movie poster for Walk The Line.
Yup, he was the artist behind the Hope campaign while Obama was still a Senator running for President. Ironically enough, Shepard may be facing copyright infringement on the photo from the Associated Press...

Here are some of my favorite Banksy works. I love the politics of street art, and particularly the risks these artists put themselves into. There are no rules, outlandish works. Banksy has graffitied the U.K., L.A., NYC, Toronto and even the West Bank. I also love how he takes existing structures or graffiti and works with them.

Graffiti of a man cleaning graffiti that references cave art in Lascaux.
Causing controversy at the Israeli West Bank barrier in 2005.
Bansky's major exhibition debut in 2006 was called Barley Legal. He and his team took over an abandoned warehouse in Los Angeles and attracted thousands of visitors, the average citizens and celebrities alike. This camouflaged elephant was one work called "Elephant In the Room".
Banksy's 'Privy Henge' installation from the 2007 Glastonbury Music Festival.
Bansky's animal-oriented exhibition from 2008 in New York called "The Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill" featured chicken nuggets, floating fish sticks and narcissistic rabbits.

So some of it is a amusing-- others, a bit more disturbing. You can't deny, the guy makes you think. And why would want to erase that from the public eye?

Note: I do not claim ownership or copyright of a single one of these photos; I just Google searched the beejeezus out of the artists. A more current display on Banksy's work can be found at his website here, and Shepard Fairey's website for the OBEY campaign can be found here.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

It's one of those catchy songs

that I hope doesn't annoy me soon, because it rotates through my head. The whistling hook is infectious and I love all the different instruments! I'm going home Friday for Spring Break, and I think this will be a well-needed break because I am beat. I feel as if I'm sick every night, but then oddly enough if dissipates through the day.

"Home! Yes we are home. Home you are me, and I am you." :)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I stand to be corrected.

I seem to be very good at obsessing over people from a distance.

Has that ever happened to you?
You see a person everywhere and you're unbearably compelled to make contact with them, to know them, to be their friend. You silently beg for their acknowledgement. I think I die a little inside whenever I see them, and I can't bring myself to say a thing.
Maybe one day.

Listening: "The End Has No End" by the Strokes

Saturday, March 5, 2011

We've Only Just Begun

Is it bad that I live for the weekends?

I just prefer the unstructured time to do whatever I please and see my friends because classes and practice don't make us unavailable! Once Thursday afternoon classes were out, I was free. Friday was spectacular-- I don't think I've been in that good of a mood in ages. I went for a run at 8:15 even though I didn't have class until noon, and the sun was scintillating. I was absolutely overwhelmed by the warm rays that kept me radiating with happiness.
After Chinese class I went to the International House (which is actually just a few design
ated hallways in one of the nicer dorms) for a Chinese Culture Club meeting. It's only a few girls, including some of my Chinese lab TA's, and we began discussing different activities and meeting times. After realizing that all things we're interested in doing (cooking food, watching movies, learn Mahjong, etc.) were similar to that of The Joy Luck Club, we changed our group name! So once we finalize our constitution, we'll lobby for organizational status under that name.
I'm trying to take advantage of embracing my ethnic heritage! I decided that my goal for the group is that by junior year we will have enough impact on campus and funding to take trips to Chinatown in Ottawa :).

Later that night my friends and I went to an African Drumming circle!! This guy is an expert in West African drumming and dance, and he a truckload of drums and instruments to try. We learned that the djembe orchestra is structured like a family-- the poppa bass drums, the momma middle tones and the baby slaps. Similarly, each drum itself has three ranges of tones depending on where you strike it. We learned different rhythm patterns and even attempted singing, which
was hilariously incoherent. There was some freestyle jamming at the end and we just had this circle of life beat pulsating through our giddy hands and minds.
After that we went to a concert that one of the organizations/theme houses called Java organizes at their venue referred to as the Java Barn (except it's more like a psychedelically painted warehouse). There's a band performance or student music act there basically every week. It's not everyone's scene, but for me, going there all the time has increased my likening for reggae. The Heavy Pets were last night's performers. Even when they were transitioning between songs, they were still tight and had a really good vibe. The drummer could do some sick vocal beat-boxing too! I love dancing and just losing myself in the music with everyone else around me.
Today, the sun has been lost to the forlorn sky of rain. I have been sitting in a comfortable chair with some of my XC/track friends since... 11:30 after I had brunch. HA! I think I've finished a reasonable amount of homework, but obviously my blogging here isn't helping and listening to them debate indoor racing teams. Thank goodness for Sunday, except I'm doing a mini-road trip in the afternoon with a group from another class to conduct interviews and field research. We're researching Poverty in America, more specifically the North Country, so it's essential to have some primary sources.
I always have this inkling fear that I won't have enough time to finish anything, but somehow I find a way to pull it off; I need to just save myself the stress.

I hope you're all enjoying your weekend; I LOVE Saturday! Talk to you soon!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Oh, what to do.

I wouldn't mind packing up and strutting off towards the mountains at the moment.

It has been an atrociously long time since I've blogged! That always seems to be the case when I return to school, I fall off the blogging- and television-watching-boat. The former is more saddening.
I have to admit though, I love college.
My schedule has not been inherently stressful until this point, where we are a 1 1/2 weeks from Spring Break. It's bemusing-- a March Spring Break. I hope that the snow and ruddy season transition weather decides to blow through while we're gone. I can't wait for spring! I am finally running outside again (since Sunday!), realizing that I don't have to be a hamster around the indoor track to save my legs, as long as I avoid treacherously uneven footing; i.e., slush and rough ice. I am invigorated being outside, wearing a headband and finding dirt splotches on my leggings, sucking in cold air and at least starting out the run with my team.
I'm not going to assume a date for when I will participate in the workouts again. Hell, I don't even know what the four-week outdoor track season is going to result in. I spent the entire indoor season walking-jogging and helping rather than competing at the meets, but it's not like I'm disparaged. Just accepting.
Another note that's buzzing around campus is the housing selection process. Our randomized lottery numbers were delivered in the campus mail boxes today and it's basically a rite of passage that many rising sophomores are, sorry for the lack of a better term, shafted during the housing process. That's mainly because it goes in hierarchical order. Hahaha I honestly cannot comprehend how my lottery number is 624 because our class only has 616 students!
Well, I am somewhat assured that this defunct set of digits is inconsequential because I have applied to study abroad next fall. Where, through which program?
To the France program that involves host stays in Rouen and Senegal! No big surprise there, haha.
My heart is sewn there; I'm a self-declared Francophile, I'll probably expatriate from this country one day (...just kidding). Though there are many more opportunities as a collegiate exchange student, that of which I need to take advantage of.
So if I am accepted into the program, I will no longer be concerned with fall semester housing at this school.
If I am rejected from the program, it will be the biggest fml of 2011 thus far.

Clearly I have a lot of ramble about. I'm going to post soon about different things I have learned in my classes, sort of to reassert to myself that I am learning here, and I am becoming more intellectual. Maybe it attaining knowledge becomes more effortless when you aren't coerced into it. Who knows.

I'm procrastinating on a take home test!!! Some things just never change. I have to go.
Have a nice night, whoever is reading this :)

p.s. Finally figured out why Blogger wasn't pulling up on my Firefox Beta, so now I can easily blog once more! YES YES YESSSS