Monday, April 29, 2013

I seem to remember there being several points during this day that I thought, in the moment, that would make a good blog. I do not, however, remember any of them now, sitting here, at my computer at 11:47 pm. 

So instead you will get some rambling thoughts. 


How weird traveling is. Not just long-distance traveling. But that I could be on Belmont and 9th, and then all of the sudden be on Irving and 23rd. No time at all. Completely different world. 

And how I saw the mouse in our apartment today and he looked really cute. 

Also, Steele sang in the car to me today and it was quite nice. 

And when I took the first image in this post, the shadow of the trees was moving with the wind and it looked very beautiful. For some reason sun in the day in the apartment feels so comforting and Sunday-like. I think you guys all know what I mean. 


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Steele and I went on a walk in the morning and tired ourselves out. We slept for a little. (He slept a little.) And then I went shopping with Julia. After endlessly debating in my head, purchased a pair of camel colored chinos for graduation. (The same cut as the black pair I got, but new. Still over half off though.)

Shopping turned into an all day thing that ended in happy hour at Clyde Common. I would highly recommend their happy hour. Probably one of the best $5 drinks I've had. Better than some $10 drinks I've had.

By the time I got back home Steele was getting off work and we went up to school and walked around like zombies in a trance doing a little bit of work before collapsing gratefully into bed.

go visit Clyde Common


Saturday, April 27, 2013

Today my dad and my brother stopped by on their way back to Colorado. My brother got out of school up in Seattle already! Although this thought is not as crazy when I realize I'm a mere 16 days away from also being done. 

And exactly one month until graduation. 

It was nice to have my dad and my brother here. 

Sometimes I feel like I have such a hard time remembering how I was in the past. And it leaves me with the sense that I've always been how I am, now. And I'll feel like that in another year, or five years, or ten years. I won't remembering feeling how I do now. So it's nice to be reminded of my past selves. Like, when my dad and brother are around. Or, when I'm listening to the music I listened to in high school. 

It's weird to just feel like you're speeding along and not moving at all. Actually maybe life feels a little bit like you're still, and everything is rushing past you. 


Friday, April 26, 2013

This morning I woke up early (on the wrong side of the bed, strangely enough.) And got up to go get donuts with Jules before her orals. Yum. Also yum to being out and about in the city at 7:30. (Read: not sarcasm.) I would like to get up earlier every day. I think I've said that one million times, however. 

I got up to school and meandered around for a bit and then went back down town to do a little shopping. 

My head and heart can't deal right now with the enormity of what graduation means, and all that is going on in my life. So instead I have become obsessed with what to wear to graduation. It's my way of not thinking about things, while still thinking about them. 

Anyways. I found a pair of black J Crew cafe capris at Buffalo for $20, so that was nice. Then got a simple black T at h&m because my staple one is getting holes in it. (The price you pay for buying $10 shirts.) I just can't justify spending $50+ on a simple jersey T though, when an h&m one is $10.... I mean, do the nicer ones really last that long... they're still jersey. 

You see what I mean? This is what's going on in my head right now. 

And will probably continue to be what's in my head for the next few days while I continue not coping with things. 

Oh ps, the donuts were from Blue Star Donuts. Go check 'em out.  A classy step-up from Voodoo. 


Some bro shots. 

Oh how friendship grows. 


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Day 314 was a Wednesday. The Wednesday that Julia's orals week show opened. I have been sharing a studio with this girl for the past 8 months. It has been, hands down, one of the best parts of my year. 

The thing about Jules is, her mind is always moving 1,000,000 miles an hour. One day, she is convinced she has decided everything. And the next day she has a new idea. She constantly arranges the things on her wall. She makes beautiful delicate fragile things and throws them around and lets them break. She is a beautiful delicate thing but when her exterior shell cracks and falls to pieces around her, you can see that underneath everything there is a solid steel core. 


I mean, not to get too deep or anything. 

She likes things just so. And every dessert ever tasted is the best thing in the world. (As long as it is, the best thing in the world.) She likes glass on glass and she challenges the details and she helps me find no-nonsense solutions and I help her find no-nonsense solutions. 

This whole year, I have had my chair facing her wall and she's had her chair facing mine. Not sure what that's done to our work, respectively. 

I was so proud to see her show. Her work is strong and makes everyone around feel things in their stomachs, which is what all good work should do, I think. I could just sit her and analyze every piece and maybe I will, one day, but for now have this: Jules, happy:


I'm sorry for the delay in posts. 

I am a little sleepy. 

So these images may or may not be from day 313. 

Steele informs me that on Tuesday we went home and made dinner and watched the basketball game. 

These are true things. 

We made fish with balsamic vinegar and fresh rosemary. And pasta. And I made a baked mushroom sauce with lemons that made it probably the best meal of my life. Steele doesn't like mushrooms so his meal was simply adequate. 

Above is an unrelated photo of my studio wall. 


Also here is a related photo of my studio wall, because I cleaned my studio on day 313. Yes. 
I cleaned it all and cleared out a corner that I am going to use for working on my next piece. I say working on my next piece as if I won't have to just start from scratch in the gallery. 

That is the truth. I will have to start from scratch in the gallery. 


Monday, April 22, 2013

Spent a bunch of time yesterday working on my website, which inexplicably cheered me up. Maybe it's because it's all so official looking?

Who knows.

Today was pretty straightforward. I forgot that I had to go to Newspace, and so was feeling excited/overjoyed by the weather, and then a tiny bit crestfallen when I remembered.

But it's okay, as usual. I rode my bike here and was very out of breath by the end of it. Even though it's only 3.5 miles. Although, is 3.5 miles a long time? I guess it will be 7 miles roundtrip. I am about to leave.

Oh biking at night. I can't wait to get home and sit on the couch, and maybe even watch an episode of LOST.

It would be even better if I had hot chocolate. Which I do not. But, if I ride my bike quick enough, I could, in theory, make it to the Fred Meyer before it's all closed up. And then I could purchase some!

Aren't you glad you guys get to hear all my boring, long, tiny little thoughts?


I can't thank you guys enough for your comments. They really do help. Writing about that stuff is always a little nerve wracking--I never want to give the impression that I'm ungrateful, because I'm not, but I am indeed, scared. Even though my website is almost fully running (!!!) and in my opinion, looks quite professional, this blog will always be a personal space. In which I sometimes share insecurities and my amazing readers make me feel better ;)

Anyways, I took this image yesterday in my studio as a text shot (I was testing out my lens on the schools D300.) So it's nothing special. But then again, it is a slightly objective (I say slightly because I don't believe photography is ever objective) view of my studio windowsill.


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Today I did a little work study at the accepted students reception.... for accepted students. It was mostly mingling with prospective students, with a little lecture about OCAC thrown in. It sort of made me feel like I was starting over again, at the beginning. Which is a scary and comforting thought. 

I spent a nanosecond talking to Phil. Sort of about the future. And all my strings being cut. My stomach has been doing a lot of flip-flopping these days. One second I feel like the whole world is a head of me and I can have and do anything I want to. Then another second I feel like crawling into a dark hole (my covers) and hiding from all my responsibilities. Somehow, I'll get through this. I just wish I knew how right now. 

Here are things that are said to me on a daily bases. 

Everything will work out. 
You're going to be fine. 
You're gonna find something great. 
You're going to kick ass!
I'm sure you'll find something. 

I really just want a plan. I kind of feel, another metaphor, that I'm standing with one leg on one ledge, and the other leg on the other ledge, and the ledges are getting farther and farther apart, and if I don't just jump onto one, I will rip in half. 

I just read that metaphor out loud to Steele and asked him if he felt the same. Steele says he doesn't have a metaphor for how he feels. You know why? Because he isn't over thinking his situation. While I applaud Steele for this, I am not the same. 

For a lion my courage is small and takes a long time to make its way to the surface. 

(What about you guys, you readers? Have any insights into panicking about the future?)


A milky puddle. 


Photo Lucida makes a girl want to get serious. 


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Yesterday was Ali's opening for her orals week. I never could have predicted all those years ago when I met her on the orientation bus that very first day how the next four years would go. I would never have predicted what her work would have ended up looking like. (Even at the beginning of this year, I couldn't have predicted that.) But in hindsight it makes perfect sense. It's exactly, Ali. 

She was my first friend here and remains one of my favorite people on this bloody campus. 



Tuesday evening I had the most wonderful cocktail and snack hour with Jules. Whenever we get together it's just like BAM everything is beautiful and styled. 

We talked a little but about the future. Sometimes, I feel great. And sometimes, I feel extremely scared and nervous. 

That is all. I enjoy the smell of lilac. 


Monday, April 15, 2013

The weather is indecisive today. One moment, the sun is out, it is too hot for the coat I grabbed this morning. The next, the clouds are looming and dark. And then the sky opens up and rain falls briefly. Real rain, large drops that burst when they hit the ground, not the wimpy haze that so often falls in Oregon.

I'm at work now and the clouds are a warm cream color. They're turning orange with the setting sun. The rain is still falling. The sky is criss-crossed with power lines. A few minutes ago, the sun was setting the clouds on fire and a bit of blue sky was peeking out from behind them. I didn't bring my camera with me, so there was nothing I could do but enjoy the view. I stepped outside for a moment. To feel the cool wind on my face--the contrast of temperature to the color of the clouds.

I noticed a puddle on the road. A long puddle, formed in the gutter. I knew, my photographers eye knew, that if I walked to the edge of it and crouched down, the sky would reflect in it and it would be beautiful. There's something painful about approaching something beautiful without a camera in your hands. I thought about not doing it. Just staying propped in the doorway--the air on my face and the gallery behind me.

But I walked over, to the edge, and crouched down, and the sky did reflect in the water. It turned to liquid fire. And those perfect rain drops hit it and sent ripples out that caught the light and shadows and I still didn't have a camera in my hands and so I thought of all the words I could write about it instead.

My life is made up of large stretches of calm with tiny blips of extraordinary life cast in between.

Now I'm back inside, but I can still see the sky. As I type this, the sun is lower and instead of flames, the clouds have turned to embers. They are a million colors. A dark blue grey, a hot pink, a light mauve. They're shifting so quickly I can see them moving. The blue sky is fading and now all I can do is wait for it to wash out and turn dark.


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Today was Sunday brunch, that turned into Sunday work time. That turned into Sunday dinner. 
I do love these girls. (Just pretend that picture of a window is a picture of Julia, which is is, essentially.)

Also, I just noticed, realized, figured out, that my numbering for this project is wrong. I am not on day 314. I skipped ten days. Which would make me on day 304? I don't know, I have to go back and re-do them all from day 289. I skipped from day 289 to day 300. In a way, this is a little relieving, because I thought I was farther along in my year and now it's like I've been given an extra ten days. 

I mean, though, am I the only one who noticed this? 


Saturday, April 13, 2013

I re-read my post from day 98 the other day, (right here)

I feel like all my notions of school are slowly breaking down and at the end of this year I'll be left with a little pile of broken walls to go out into the world with.

I'm having a hard time formulating my thoughts from the past two days. I am pleased, so pleased, to have had my orals, and passed, and heard Mark say, "Congratulations, you have successfully completed your thesis." But I also feel a little like those walls I was talking about in September are broken, and I do have a pile of broken walls, and I'm a little unsure of how to go out into the world without my walls. 

Metaphors are the only things making sense to me right now. Broken walls. I also feel a little like, I had this pillar of support under me (and still do, from a lot of places and people) but still, just a few bricks in my pillar have been pulled out and the whole thing is about to collapse and I'm just teetering, and wobbling, and I know I'm going to fall. 

I know I'm going to fall. 

I guess that's the thing. I guess now it's up to me. To figure out what makes me happy and fulfilled. To support myself. (Both literally and metaphorically.) To go out into the world and take my first steps without my walls built up around me. I'm scared. And I know how much painful growth has to happen in these next few months, and years, and hours. I know that my heart will have to grow and burst out of it's skin and then new skin will have to stretch tight over it, and then it will all happen again. I know I'll be growing out of my skin for, the rest of my life, probably. 

Another from this day because it just makes sense. Look at that sad little pile of trash in between those chairs. Have you ever seen something more limp?


Friday, April 12, 2013

Today I passed my thesis orals and then went to the coast. We got right in the car and drove, the road, freedom. 

There's something about the ocean that just strips you of yourself. You become small, unimportant. In the face of that timeless tide you are nothing, and everything. Your life, your accomplishments are peeled away from you. And in this, peace. Your responsibilities are also lifted from your  shoulders. The waves come up and they go out, ceaselessly. The wind whips your face and the spray of the waves and the clouds beat against you. You lose yourself. Sometimes you have to lose yourself.

Sometimes I have to lose myself. Sometimes I have to let the wind whip my face, and I have to let myself be pulled out to sea and carried away in the undertow.

And after all this passes, when the tide goes back out, my feet are still planted on the shore in their leather boots. And I'm still there. The waves couldn't pull me away from my own mind. And I know in my bones that I'm everything, and nothing.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Here is what the day after my orals opening entailed:

Waking up groggy.
Drinking a glass of orange juice.
Watching two episodes of Sex and the City.
Eating chocolate covered popcorn.
Then eating a bowl of cereal.
Browsing the internets for a while.
Getting ready to go.
(Which for some reason involved ironing a shirt.)
Making hurried coffee.
Walking to the bus real fast.
Sitting through a class.
(Which feels a little pointless at this point.)
Hanging out with Ali in the library.
(More internet browsing.)
Steele takes a nap, I read a new blog.
Making dinner with Steele.
And then watching The Hobbit.
(In celebration of him passing his orals!)
And I paint my nails.
And then post blogs.

And here we are.

Whew. Onto tomorrow.


I will now attempt to write a post in which I am a bit more explanatory than usual. It might be long, but if you're one of those "visual" types you can just skip all the writing and look at the pictures ;)

First off, this is what setting up for orals looks like on the third day. A total disaster zone. 

Second, here is a video of me setting up, taken by Julia on Vine. (Side note: I am just getting started on Vine (on Steele's phone, since I still don't have an iPhone) but I like it so far.) 

Now on to the part where I talk about the actual opening of my show. The weekly orals show are a little confusing to explain. Basically, there is a big off-campus show around graduation, which we have titled 31•13. This show will have all 31 of us in it. But the orals weeks are set up to have 5-7 thesis students per week, in the gallery on campus. We set our thesis work up in the gallery for the week, there is an opening (which was last night! Day 310!) And we have our orals during the time it's set up. Orals are our oral defense for our thesis. Basically, a meeting with our committee. I'll meet with Mark & Phil, who have been advising me this year, and also Geo, who is my "blind" committee member, who hasn't seen my work at all. It's a critique, a discussion, a sort of in-depth review of my work both literally and conceptually. 

But! That is not happening until tomorrow (Day 312)! Last night was the public opening, so the snack tray was put out and people meandered through. 

It was awesome. I have been setting up this main piece, Autobiographies, for the past three days, and I honestly didn't know quite how it was going to come together. It's the nature of the piece, but a little nerve-wracking. There were so many moments where I second guessed myself. Lots of little insecurities building up. And it was truly awesome to have so many people congratulate me and comment on my piece. It's amazing when people understand and appreciate what you're doing. The piece is so simple that I was afraid people would pass it over or not think it was "enough" (Whatever the hell that means.) But I got quite a few people who liked it. (Including the elusive Abby McGhee, whose opinion I'm always a little nervous for.) Mark also said it was Fabulous, which is pretty great coming from him. I really only got about 4 hours of sleep the night before, so I kept yawning and when Phil hugged me I sort of collapsed into him. 

Anyways! Now onto the pictures! 

Afterwards we all went out for drinks and dinner, started getting a little nostalgic about everything, as it should be, I suppose. 

(edit--after my renumbering, this is day is actually day 300. Which has a nice symmetry to it. I wish I would have know, but at the same time, this day was still monumental either way. I had reached a landing point. But the thing with reaching landing points is, that you're not focused on the past. You are solely within the present. When that image was taken, I was not thinking of the previous 300 days. I was thinking of that day.) 


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I've been setting up for orals the past two days, in the Hoffman gallery.


Earlier today I was laying on the floor, with my jackets balled up under my head for a pillow, looking up at the piece I was building on the wall. The ceiling is 16 feet tall, but the wall only extends up to 11 feet, and the rest is windows. So I was looking at my piece, and looking at the sky, with this song playing in my ears. And then a tiny plane comes into the frame of the window, and flies past, and the whole world opens up.

I like playing in a gallery. Setting up once everyone has left for the day, and sitting on the floor, and pondering, drinking coffee, and putting dance music on and sliding around on the hardwood floors. Making the space mine, even if it's only for a night. I will miss it, a little, I tried to soak up every moment, but still there were times when I would close my eyes, feel my brain pressing on my eye lids, and wish that I could just go home. Then I have to pull myself up in my chest and give myself pep talks. Also Julia Barnes helps loads. And Steele Walstoncraft, that guy is the best.

This is almost over, and my stomach and heart keep telling me that with jolts of nervousness and jolts of fear and jolts of light. All the jolts make my eyes water a tiny bit.

(Side note, I'm so tired that I just wrote "jolts of light" without thinking about it, and re-read and had no idea what I meant. I like it though, so I'll leave it. Also it just took me three tries to spell tired.)

This image was not taken today, but it feels appropriate. If there was any image from today that I would want it would be that plane passing by in the window above my piece. Unphotographed moments.

Anyways, tomorrow is the show opening, so if you're around Portland come and introduce yourself as my anonymous blog reader. 


This is what setting up for orals looks like on Monday. 


Monday, April 8, 2013

This is what prepping for orals looks like in the morning. 


This is what prepping for orals looks like at midnight. 


Friday, April 5, 2013

Today I finished my Thesis paper. 

It is, 

18 pages long. 
Has the word memory in it, 59 times. 

My days are kind of a whirlwind in which I'm caught in slow motion, and the tide is pulling me away and pushing me forward at the same time. 


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Me: Is that too ambiguous?
Steele: No.
Me: I mean, when you break it down, what the hell does that mean?
Steele: Well, what the hell does your whole thesis paper mean?

(I have obviously just gone completely


And then what. 
And then what. 
And then what. 
And then
And then
And then

Every night I sit in front of this white screen and tilt my head back and try to remember if there was anything about this particular day that I want to remember. 

Sometimes I draw up blanks and sometimes I don't and sometimes I just forget all of it and close my computer so that I can fall into bed and fall into sleep and then fall 

And then I wake back up. 


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Welp. Yesterday I did not take any photographs. However, this happened, which is pretty cool:

The title page for my thesis! 

I finish off the end tonight. (Works cited, bibliography, and so forth.)

But will hopefully be back with photographs. From today. (Which is day 303, yesterday was 302.)


Monday, April 1, 2013

I am working the late shift at Newspace tonight. Steele just pulled up, and the train is blaring outside, and now I have to get ready to go.