Monday, December 31, 2012

Well to be honest this has been a pretty quiet New Years Eve. I came down with a cold late last night and woke up feeling awful. Steele and I have been laying on the couch all day (thanks Steele!) Literally the high point of my day was a trip to the grocery store to buy orange juice and soup. (It was really nice and snowy outside, the snow was so fluffy and falling in slow motion, just kind of languishing down to the ground. And the air was really crisp and cold.) The second most exciting part of my day was taking a shower bath. (In which you take a shower and mid-way through plug the drain so the water starts filling up and you can lay down.)

So I would like to do an awesome 2012 recap post, but my sick-exhausted mind is not up for it.

For now I'm going to go watch a terrible romantic movie, and then go to bed.

There's always tomorrow.


Sick interlude.



Sunday, December 30, 2012

December 29th (yesterday, day 198) was my extended families Christmas. This involves (to give you some perspective) 7 sets of aunts and uncles, both grandparents, 28 cousins, and somethings like 14 second cousins (this is where my knowledge gets fuzzy), plus a few family friends, boyfriends and husbands thrown in for good measure.

These are just two little snapshots from my family's Christmas brunch. It is impossible to explain what our Christmases are like, but suffice it to say it involves a LOT of noise: people talking all at once, presents being opening at once, Aunts tearing up, (and Grandpa tearing up too), Family gifts (which are gifts from one family to every other family), babies and kids running around, and this year involved a family trivia game in which people wrote questions down over the course of brunch and after all the presents were opened we went through them. This involved MUCH talking at once, but also lots of funny stories. 

I sometimes find it hard to believe that I'm actually apart of this family. It seems so strange but there I am: one little piece that falls into place when I'm around them. This year was good for no reason in particular. Maybe it's just growing up. (All of my younger cousins are getting older, and it makes me remember being 13 and having the cousins older than me seem so mysterious and grown up.) It is nice to have a place here (even if it's just a little place) and I always forget that I do. 


Friday, December 28, 2012

Because I don't have my digital camera, and didn't take any film photographs today, here is a webcam photo of the nightlight in my grandma's bathroom.



I've been thinking a little bit about doubt and regret these past few days. The strangeness of being at home. I had a thought tonight and it makes sense to me.

Maybe doubt, and regret, is the feeling of grief for all the possibilities you didn't choose. Maybe that ache in your stomach, those pangs that come and go quickly and mostly without notice, is just your way of grieving for all of the ways your life could have gone. All of the parallel universes out there, where you made a different choice and became a different person.

It was on my mind yesterday, (day 196) and I was driving home after seeing an old friend. Driving in the dark, listening to the radio station I listened to in high school, driving the same highways I've driven my whole life, the exit ramps perfectly ingrained, second nature. I felt this huge sense of nostalgia. (I don't even know if nostalgia is really the right word for it.) This overwhelming doubt, like somewhere really far back I had chosen right instead of left and I had no idea where the other turn would have taken me. And I felt that sense of grief, for wherever that road would have taken me.

This is not a post about my unhappiness. It's about that ever irksome question, "What if?" which will always linger in the back of my mind like a ghost. It's a question that doesn't come up often, for me. I am happy and busy and proud of the life I've built. Whatever doubts I have are few and fleeting.

But there will still be that ghost question sometimes. I don't think many people on the internet talk about it. We're all so busy trying to make our lives look appealing. Posting pictures to Facebook. Updating our statuses. Posting blogs, that are filled to the brim with happiness.

But still I am an average person, and my doubts leak into the little cracks that grow, and I do my best to push them out and have faith in myself. That's what this is about.


Crrr in front of her window. 


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Colorado is flat so when you're driving it sort of feels like you're not moving at all, in a landscape that stays level all the time. So flat that you can see everything in front of you and it's just like you're connecting the dots, one dot to the next dot to the next dot. The skies are clear and it's sunny and you're in a car, driving, and the sun makes you hot and so you're in a little warm bubble and the snow on the ground is the only indication that the air outside is freezing. The highways in Colorado are spread out in big circles, so that you're constantly driving on a wide arc, around and around. You're always on the horizon line in Colorado. The sky is always spreading, edge to edge. (Until you get up into the mountains, and then you're surrounded by little peaks and snow tipped trees and the swoops of downward hills.) At night, the lights unfurl in front of you and you drive and drive until you're up up up the mountain and coming around the bend to the little group of lights that you call, 'home.'

Happy Christmas everyone.


Flight got in yesterday afternoon. I'm moving around a lot trying to get a bunch of visiting in, so my internet and posting will be intermittent. 

Below are some vignettes of my grandparents house. 

When we got to my grandparents house they weren't home, and it was strange to walk around there in the quiet afternoon light. I almost felt like I was never going to be there again, not really. (Even though that's not true, I will be.) I'm trying to find the right sentences, but they're not coming to me, so I'll leave you with the pictures. 


Monday, December 24, 2012

Tomorrow we leave to fly to Colorado.
'Home' as they call it.

I haven't been there in a year, I didn't go back over the summer. So it's kind of strange. I saw my parents and brother over summer, but I just haven't been in the place in a while. Fondness for a particular place is a strange thing.

But I'm getting a head of myself. Really I'm just drinking hot cocoa, listening to Christmas music, and rubbing my tired eyes.

Goodnight and tomorrow I will get to fly! That's better than Christmas, maybe. To be in a little metal tube where time is subtracted.


Saturday, December 22, 2012

While this isn't maybe as early as I'd like to have posted, it isn't the end of the day. 

It's not the end of the day, and so the kitchen and the living room look nice and clean, but the bedroom and hallway and bathroom are a mess. Today I decided to clean the house, I did some rearranging in the kitchen, which turned out nicely, and made a few mental plans for some decorating. Sometimes when I think about the fact that we'll likely be leaving this apartment in 6 months, I feel weary and not  like decorating at all. What's the point?, I think. But, I know there is a point. I know how much happier and calmer I will feel if I'm living in a house that I spent time decorating and making look nice. So I will spend time on it, it makes me happy. 

We have presents under our tree. We leave on Christmas Eve, the day after tomorrow, but for Steele and I tomorrow is our Christmas together. We will open presents (We even have stockings.) and decorate cookies. (I hope you can put cookies in a checked suitcase.) We'll be together, here, in this house, a little Christmas before the big and noisy (on my part, at least) Christmases in Colorado. 

Steele has been at work all day and I've been here cleaning, but he got an hour lunch and since we live so close was able to walk over and I cooked lunch for us (with vegetables, who would have ever guessed!) and we got to spend a little bit of time together. It all felt very grown up. Sometimes I will myself to imagine my mind at thirteen or fourteen, would I have even imagined this small sunlit table, eating lunch with Steele Walston? 

Sometimes I'm so deliriously happy it feels like my heart's going to burst. 


Friday, December 21, 2012

Today I got my haircut.

Mostly nothing drastic, a trim, a rather large 4+ inch trim, but my hair is so long that still the only person whose noticed is Steele. That's okay. I feel lighter.

Why do I always post blogs so late, so that the only thing that wants to come out of my mouth is,

"I am so tired and my head is heavy."

Tomorrow, I will post a blog before the end of the day.

That is all. Today I got a haircut.


Rainy day. I spent the morning at work, Newspace, and the evening in my last critique of the semester. 

When I was little, before I knew the definition of the word critique, I thought it would make a very pretty name for a girl. Critique. Oh if only I knew. 

Then I went home and was lazy and barreled myself up under two blankets and did not post any blogs. 

I am so dreadfully behind. 


Day 188.
December 19th, 2012.

I don't remember. It was a Wednesday. So, printmaking. Senior Seminar. The last critique. Filming part of the Kickstarter video. Went to Powell's and read a chapter of a book.

It's starting to come back a little. I went to Powell's, Steele dropped Ruby and I off and I got to see her apartment and the rows of cars on the street from above. An apartment that feels like it's in the city. No drunk neighbors. But no trees either. Then we walked together and I went into Powell's and read and drank coffee and then took the streetcar home and tried to warm up under the blanket and failed a little bit and Steele came home and we went out, with friends, to a nice bar and played a board game. We all ate tomato soup and grilled cheese and ginger ales. And went home in the car and then layed in bed. Steele was sniffly, because he was (is) a little bit sick. And I unplugged the tree and we slumbered.

There. I have my day back. No pictures though.


I took this photograph. 
On December 18th. 
Not quite sure what it means or is or reminds me of. 
Is it a memory? 


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The thing about winter is that it bites into your skin and makes you forget about the summertime. You end up (I end up) walking to the bus stop, waiting for the bus, chilled wind eating the delicate skin around your neck, wet hair pulled up on top of your head. 5 minutes go by. 10 minutes go by. And finally, the bus comes, heat, mercy. 


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Winter here means rain. Puddles on every street corner. Your reflection as you step over them. Leaves submerged, decaying beneath the surface.

I do love the city so.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

And today it snowed. A little bit. Semi-pathetically. It was mostly rain.

183/365 (the story of our fifth anniversary)

Yesterday was mine and Steele's fifth anniversary. Five years! *Prepare yourself for some epic mush. (This is mostly for myself to remember.)

Our anniversary really started the night of the 13th. We were the last ones at Mudshark, we cleared everything up, and turned off all the lights, and then went upstairs because I couldn't resist. The upstairs at Mudshark is domed. It is filled with lots of junk and old molds and ceramic dust. It's warm and you can hear the kilns running below. It's sort of magical. So we took some pictures, and walked around semi-reverantly. And then we walked down the stairs, turned off the last of the lights, and walked out of the garage door.

We had decided to go to the midnight premier of The Hobbit, but we had a few hours so we went home for bit, where Steele had put roses in the bedroom and written me the most beautiful letter, and we layed in bed for a while and lit our advent candles for the day.

And then we got ice cream before the movie. (Me and espresso shot float, him a waffle cone with mincemeat pie flavor.) And got to the theater and watched the whole movie, a little exhausted, a little giddy. Even though the movie was really long, it just kept drawing me back in. It was really beautiful. I just read the book a few months ago and there's always a jolt of joy when you see something you read being brought to life. It was wonderful.

Then we drove home and fell into bed exhausted. Steele had to get up early the next morning for a class and I was left alone most of the day. I went up to school and made Steele a print (99 problems but I just need you.) and made him a mix CD of our musical chronicle.

We went out to dinner at a little place called Luce. It wasn't too expensive, but just going out to dinner makes the night feel special. We actually had a 45 minute wait and so we hung out in the car talking about some of our favorite memories from the past five years. And then we got dessert to-go, took it home and curled up on the couch watching a movie. Steele carried me to bed.

And we ended our night again with candles.

I feel so lucky to have a love in my life as patient and quiet as Steele. Quiet in the nicest sense, dead-night quiet. Comfort quiet. Feel it in your bones quiet.


Some details from the show:

1. Spencer
2. Buzzy
3. Steele
4. Steele
5. Karah
6. Brittany
7. Ali
8. Ali
9. Kai

I'm posting this late, but I'll try to recall as much as I can. 

The show opening went great. It was packed, the space we were in was fairly small and there were a lot of people there, it got quite loud actually. AJ brought me and Ali roses, made me feel like a million bucks. There were a few people who really liked the work I've been doing, which also made me feel like a million bucks. I feel really great overall. It was extremely tiring though, and stressful, pulling this together the past week. So it was awesome to see it succeed so nicely. It was validating. 

The rose AJ brought me, after everyone left and Steele and I were locking up. 

Ali with her rose. 


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

These are crazy. They look like tapestries. Or so I would like to believe. In fact, they are just really pixelly web-cam photos. 

I have been so busy lately though and not taking any photographs, and tonight I was walking to my studio from the digital lab, and the air was so crisp that I had to do something. So I balanced my computer on a rock, and here we are. 


You'll have to settle for this. 
Me, trying not to drown. 

Stress rash. 
Dry (ish) skin. 

Contacts almost come out when I blink. 
Bursts into fits of hysterical laughter. (read: cackling) 
12:05 am, posting this in the print shop. 
After some failed tests. 

Thesis doesn't kill you, it's just the build of four years. 


Monday, December 10, 2012


A nothing day.

Here are the show cards:

If you are in Portland on Thursday night be sure to stop by the opening!
Ali drew the illustrations on the card. :)


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Today I spent most of the day thinking about the process show I am a part of, with 6 other thesis students. We're getting the use of a gallery for free, but as a trade we're doing some work for them to finish the space up. So today Ali and I clear-coated a lot of wood.

Then I went home and cleaned the house like a mad man. Did lots of laundry, even hand washed my sweaters. Made a really yummy dinner for me and Steele and went to school to design show-cards for the show. I wanted to post them here but I left my flash drive at school. So tomorrow, I will.

Now I'm sitting next to Steele and he has made me toast and it smells really good so I'm going to end this.


Saturday. Day 177.


Christmas shopping with Steele.
Coffee & chocolate poundcake.
Walking around.
Cold air.
(Cold nose.)
Newspace Volunteer Party=

(Christmas grabbag plate
some beers.
bus ride home on a new bus.)

Alexa's birthday at Momos=

(Some more drinks.
Missing the last bus and walking all the way home. (with Steele though.)
I don't know how many times I said "I'm cold.")

Did not involve:

Taking pictures.
Writing in a notebook.


Friday, December 7, 2012

Today I experienced the nicest thing. I woke up at 8:30, which is earlier than I normally wake up, and instead of getting out of bed, I grabbed a book I had left on the end table, and started reading. Steele had turned on the tree lights when he left, and left the heat running. So the light was that nice morning white, and the tree was lit up, and the heat was making it's nice comforting heat noises. And I got to snuggle down in my covers and go into another world. And then the next thing I knew I was a 150 pages in, and at that point you really might as well finish. So I did. A book read before noon. That's a good feeling. 


Maybe this is a little raw. 

Today I felt like I was sinking a little bit into the car seat. It felt like, maybe a lot of days feel like, in truth, a day to be slogged through and then a pang of regret at the end at the thought of slogging through any day and a tiny resolution to make the next day matter even though those end-of-the-night resolutions are always the least likely to be kept. 

A small daily average defeat. 

One happy thing is that I spent the morning at work stuffing envelops and got to listen to a few TED talks. This one, in particular.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A short trip to the library.
Winter colors. (And winter air.)


Almost nighttime. 
Late night Christmas crafting. 

Music and lights. 


Yesterday was day 172.

There are no photographs,

But I did have my fall review. Which is essentially a meeting with both of my advisors at once. (Phil and Mark in the same room.) Discussing my progress. And what I will do next. And if what I'm doing is working.

It's strange. I think that having to write a blog everyday has helped by thesis process, because it's forcing me to think about things everyday. But I actually haven't shared much of the work I've been doing, the direction that it appears I am now going. And tonight's not a night for that post.

But it's going pretty well, I think. I've reached a plateau. And I don't really know exactly where to go.

For now I'll just keep walking straight and flat.



Sunday, December 2, 2012

Today Steele & I went Christmas Tree shopping! We went out to Sauvies Island to a tree farm where you can cut your own. This is my (& Steele's) first Christmas Tree away from Colorado. But we're not flying out until the 24th, so we'll get to enjoy it for most of the season. :)

I am a happy and lucky lady. Tree hunting is very exciting, as it were. 

Also I'm really excited to make decorations for it. 

And we had to buy a tree stand, which is another one of those objects that your parents just randomly have sitting around the house. (Or in Steele's case, the garage.) What a strange thing to have to buy.  

Despite looking like I'm going to drop it, I was able to pick this tree up. :) So far that it went out of the frame, which is why I chose this image. (Plus, my hair.)


Saturday, December 1, 2012

On the cool walk home from the bus. 
Dark afternoons. 

Last night (day 169) I got to spend the night at Ali's for ladies night, which was very fun. It is nice to be surrounded by friends.