Jack Kerouac, as Sal Paradise once said: "I like too many things and get all confused and hung-up running from one falling star to another till i drop. This is the night, what it does to you. I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion." And I think that's a rather apt description of my blog over the years, and perhaps the most perfect description of me in general that I've ever read. So that's what this blog is, a collection of the falling stars that are beckoning me at any time.

23 August 2005

fall has finally arrived.

My final semester starts today, I'm so excited, not just that in four short months I shall finally be a graduate after ten and a half years of educational nomadism, but also with the exception of an inward groan that my final fiction studio has to be with Anna, whose teaching style and complete arbitraryess of grading in the past leaves me not at all excited to work on novel writing with her, I'm really excited about the course load. It's true I'll be practially living in the pressroom especially on Tues and Thursdays, but I can't wait to see what I push myself to create theis semester in both hand produced book 2 and bookbinding.

Things worked out for the best for once and that freshman comp class I was worried that I was going to have to take because of a a mixup involving recieving credit for my AP exam at my first college but not this one. All is therefore fixed and I'm all good to go for degree application.

20 August 2005

I've built my little soap-box out of post industrial scavanged boards

I've spent the last couple of days clicking links to vendor sites from the Renegade that's going to be in Chicago, I definitely have wanted to go, I was even planning to somehow find enough people in the art department to make the cost of gasoline for such a road trip quite affordable (it's been a while since I made the trek from here to Chicago, since I moved back east for years until this little blip for the degree conferring, but it's only a 7 hour drive [depending on who's doing the driving and whether the stupid state patrols are hovering around trying to boost state revenue that day] so I think 4 tanks of gas would cover the round trip so with three other people the gas bill would only be $25 a piece instead of a most unworth it 100.), but I'm already going to have to take off an extra day that week for the Sufjan Stevens show, and besides I'm sure as hell not going to have any money to spend there anyway. My tuition is almost 2 grand this semester right now and if I get forced into having to register for that freshman comp class that the last advisor swore to me I wouldn't have to take because I already have 8 jillion credits in writing (the trouble being that I took AP English in high school and took the AP exam, so at Emerson I didn't have to take the Comp 1 requirement because my exam counted for it, and so I just had to take comp 2, but the univeersity I'm at now won't take the AP exam as credit so technically I don't meet the English writing requirements for graduation. Actually they are claiming there is another class I don't have involving writing, all of this is stupid seeing as one of my specialisations is writer's workshop and I have umpteen classes demonstrating that I know how to string words together in understandable thoughts, I've got several screenwriting classes, a comedy writing class, a shit-ton of fiction studios, let alone film theory and criticism where I had to write a dissertation on feminist imagry and symbolism in the films of Jane Campion (ok so it wasn't like they handed me that and said, here you look like a girl who'd like to muck on watching the Piano about 20 times this semester and counting the number of oppressive camera angles, I saddled myself with that topic after the research on my original topic turned out to be a bust, but still, if that paper doesn't count for an entire comp class then there is something wrong with the halls of higher learning.) I'm already going to be under a considerable workload this semester with my final fiction studio which is geared toward novel writing, book 2, and then bookbinding, so trying to cram in a piddly freshman level busy work composition class, which will add another $500 to my tuition that I'm already going to struggle to be able to pay ontime as it is, is really going to frustrate me, even worse if the last advisor I talked to before I took my little 3 year sabbatical was extra full of shit and I have to take 2 such classes. I have to graduate this December, there is simply no exception to this. I'm not staying here until June, not over freshman comp.

As much as it would suck this would not be the crisis that it is right now if my parents had helped me out on last semester's tuition, especially since I had a hard time finding work when I got back. As it was I spent the entire summer putting forth my measly earnings toward paying off Spring semester and the extra 200 in late fees I had because I couldn't pay by in time for the billing dates. (this wouldn't be exactly the bone of contention in me were it not for the fact that my narly 25 year old brother who's never worked a day in his life, is still completely supported by them financially and has his tuition paid for what is going on the same exact number of years in school once you take into account the fact that I took the 3 years off to get my shit together in Connecticut.

But, I guess there's no use getting stressed about it until I speak to an advisor to do my official senior check which hopefully I'll take care of Monday, after all a little computer trying to randmonly do your degree check isn't going to really be able to do the figuring where it comes to all those credits from Emerson that don't match up to anything here.

But I digressed, I was talking about web boutiques, only I'm no longer in the mood to rant about what a complete waste of important marketing buzz it is to be listed amongst the vendors on the site for a pretty large sized independent design and arts colective sale, and not even have a brief page put up to talk up your wares and where people can get them or offer a mailing list when you do get a shop up and running. I know this whole "diy" movement seems to have taken on the air that no one should look like they care about making a dime nor should they look like they know their head from their arse when it comes to having any kind of business sense because that might take on that consumerist edge if you admitted you'd like to possibly make a living off your creative talents, but, for pete's sake, in a burgeoning industry that's really starting to take on the tinge of glut, you should at least know enough to know that getting your name and vision out there and as much as possible is more and more vital to your survival. If you are serious enough about your products and art to apply and pay into being a part of the event, then you should care enough to put up at least some kind of homepage, if for nothing else so that after the event you can keep customers who are keen to supprt your work and buy more stuff in the future informed of where you get places to carry your stuff or when you have new stuff. In fact if you're serious enough to do a major event like this your web store or page shouldn't look like you let a chimp with lou gehrig's disease design it. I mean you don't have to go get some fancy graphic design firm do it up, that wouldn't be very independent (Yes I have a real pet peeve about the misuse of the term "diy." It's diy if you decide to put in your own sink instead of having a plumbing contractor do it, it's diy if you see a Marc Jacob's dress that you think is absolutely the most beautiful thing ever and so you whip up a pattern yourself and recreate it or at least somehting similar, it's diy if you think spending 20 buck on a wallet at some lame mall chain store so you just design and make your own. It is not diy if you design something, produce it in a small edition or as a one of a kind item with the intetions of selling it, that is being an independent small retailer. The reason I dislike the misuse of the term isn't just nit-pickery for me, it's something I see as a belittling of not only the people who put in the work and effort into producing these goods, but as something which is an instrument of big business and and behemoth retailors to subvert mass consumption backlash. I think that as a culture of craft and the tendency of our business ventures in goods that aren't mass produced and entirely machine made to have risen out of a love of crafts that we started as a hobby, we take on the term without really considering the implications that the word puts over our goods. DIY is a term that implies a lack of professionalism, that what is produced is the result of a casual hobby. I know we can all raise our hands and admit to having had at least one occaision where when asked about something we either made or bought from someone who handmakes their items when we brought up that it was handmade or diy, we were treated to a comment expressing surprise that it "almost looks good enough to have come from a store" as though if it weren't made by some 12 year old Cambodian for 2 cents a day in a room with no ventilhation it can only be inferiour. Handmade used to be the mark of real quality, it's a notion that seems to have died off about the time that we stopped calling people milliners and artisans.

To me all of the wonderful things out there for sale by people who decided to pursue that dream of selling thier creations to the world, the only thing diy about them is their ethos. That spirit of screw you corporate media, you can't tell us how to think, feel or what to like, and if you won't put out our records, if you won't give us magazine content that has substance and interest, if you won't design clothes that fit our real selves and not some ideal you try to feed us, if you won't give us what we actually want instead of what you're trying to tell us we should want then we will, like the people who founded your damn companies back when they had 5 employees that they actually viewed as people and not disposable machines that they try to cover their disdain for by giving them inflated sounding names to make it seem like they really do care about you, take that risk that there are others who share our views and tastes and make our own damn company, or magazine, or record label, or movie production company and the world will probably be a better place for it.

Right so that was a soapbox full :) I tend to be the sort of person who gets an opinion and gets it passionately, I'd have been great in the old days of fiery stump speeches and riding around in the back of locomotives campaigning. I'm too long winded for our soundbite times though I fear.

18 August 2005

letting illness repress me: vorbotten

I'm starting to feel relatively more on the human side than not, though still quite ill. One of the worst things about being sick, regardless of what it is you're sick from, is that you're constantly having to relegate life into things you think you're well enough to tackle and things you're going to have to wait to start until you get better. I am far too much of a get an idea and go person than one who can wait around to start it, usually because if I wait I've had a dozen new ideas an I'm just not interested anymore.

I saw photos of other moustache softies on plush rush which is another one of those things I'd love to submit to and participate in, but there are so many people out there with far better sewing skills and experience than me, so odds on getting aomething in is low enough that it hardly seems worth the bother. Morris will at least be happy to know htat he has stuffed moustache bretheren.

Today I ran across swank signs a photo collection of all the truly odd and wonderful public works signs from all over the globe, complete with an area for all the smart asses to invent funny captions or speculate just what was going through the warning sign makers' heads when they created something so odd. It's definitely a big bonus for the timewasters who like to laugh aout there.

15 August 2005

self portrait tuesday a few hours early

I stopped taking my paxil on Thursday, After over 2 years on it i feel it's time for a noble experiment in trying to manage my own emotions, after all I'm a very different person than the one who was talked into to taking anti depressents in the first place, my thought processes are a lot healthier. I know that the conventional advice is to ween yourself off them, but the idea of 6 months of hit or miss sickness from level lowering doesn't appeal to me, I'd rahter, it's true just take the month of withdrawal and be done with it. Right now that's not feeling like such a great plan as I am horribly ill with nausea and fatigue and those annoying power surge feelings in my head. What it does though is make me angry. Angry that i was lied to about how "oh paxil isn't habit forming, you'd just have a few side effects if you stopped like a potential increase in your original symptoms." It's bullshit, it's like saying well crack's not addictive, you'll just have some negative side effects if you don't smoke that next rock. I could really deal with my moods and emotions being a bit wonky for awhile as my brain makes the transition. That much would be fine. But, you know what, glaxo-smith kiline, or whoever you are, nowhere in the original symptoms of my depression did I feel like an electric surge went off in my head when I moved, did moving too much make me feel that i was going to vomit. I'm not going to go refill my prescription though, I've made it this far I'll just remain detirmined to deal with it for a little longer. (it might be one thing if I had health insurance to just abandon this detox, but I don't, so I've got to keep in mind that the worst part is probably half over now, and I've just got to be strong enough to make it to the slight discomfort stage and then I'm home free.)

So, alright this isn't a very crafty post or even artsy, but it does have a self portrait, so there's something. :)

14 August 2005

sundays I talk about art

So a couple sundays ago I mentioned that Bansky, the British graffitti artist now famous for smuggling pieces into New York museums, was one of my heroes specifically for the museum stunts. I also mentioned that I have a general dislike of art museums in general and said I'd elaborate some other sunday, well today is that sunday.

Obviously I go to museums, and I always find a lot of art that I'm really into when I go, I prefer to go to gallery showings far more than I like going to the Met or the Louvre however and the reason is that art museums don't really foster the kind of visceral experience with the art. Museums are all about hero worship of what a select few have decided are the artists and works that you simply must be excited about. There's no real sense of democracy or personal reaction to them. They say, these artists are simply the best, and that's how it is, we're the exclusive group. Museums seek to take art from the people and make it snobbish and exclusive and the artist who manages to get his or her works accepted is placed on a pedastal.

I think the reactions of the museums who were "hit" with Banksy works really speaks volumes to me about how removed from the common man and self enshrouded in an air of superiority the art world has become. The general feelings of those in the illustrious power seats viewed what Banksy had done as an affront to art, a slap in the face to the legacy of greatness, that how dare just anyone think they could hang a work in a museum for the public to see. But what could be more appropriate than "just anyone" hanging work in a museum? Doesn't it challenge us all to consider what exactly it is that makes a work of art something for all times and what makes it minor? Doesn't it inspire us to consider the whole nature of art and what it is? To consider all the groundbreaking rebelliousness of art particularly in the 20th century and beyond? I'm by no means saying that the works that Banksy hung are the kind of works that will endure for any length of time as great art (in fact I was less impressed with most of them than with the bulk of his graffitti pieces) but to me what was important and groundbreaking and art about what he did was the fact that he did it at all, it was the intorduction of populist pieces into the patrician world of illustrious museums, it was the attempt to shake up the neurons of the art spectator.

That's one of the things that I like about the guerrilla art movement, that much of it is really about getting people to take a peep outside their tunnel and really look once again at the world that actually surrounds them, to view for a minute the places they've trudged through everyday for ten years to the point that they don't even notice they are actually alive there anymore as a tourist does on his first visit, to interact with their lives again. It's about reclaiming one's life again in a world where we've given it up for habit and mechanisation.

You'll note that I really don't think that enough attention is being given to guerilla art, everyone is so damn focused on smooching up to 'outsider art' (a term which i hate to the ends of the earth)not that there aren't a lot of great outsider artists, but I think too much attention is paid to that, when there isn't even really any such thing as outsider art, this so called movement is built up of self-taught artists and folk artists, which are right there two serparate forms of art and not something you ought to just lump together under some pretentious word that someone thinks sounds better.

But anyway, yes I don't like museums because they foist an opinion on you about the works in them, and really never give you much of a feel into the world into which these works and movements sprung forth. And I like to form my own opinions, even if often they aren't at the same eye level as the critics :)

13 August 2005

opthomalogical manifest destiny

I've been in need of a new prescription for my specs for an eon, I really need to do something about it in the next few months before I graduate and go back to the real world financial blahs of rent, and dear readers, I present the frames that will be mine! Have I bought them yet, oh no, but it is certainly manifest destiny that these frames will brigde my nose one day!

(If there is one item of fashion that I will have no problem paying for it is the eyewear frame, since after all, the spectacle is so prominent that it really telegraphs your personality at first glance, one day I'll have a spec collection the way Manhattan socialiites have Jimmy Choo and Malo Blahnik shoe collections. And in actuality this frame happens to not be in the super pricey range, at least not on the site I found selling it, plus as blind as I am the painful part of buying specs is how much the lenses cost especially by the time you've got all the protective coatings and had the sides polished so it's not glaringly obvious that I wear coke bottles [also I'm not exaggerating, I've yet to find anyone who could beat me inthe battle of myopia, I'm -10.75 in both eyes, or at least was last time I got them proerly checked]. So it would seem that my only hard decision is whether I covet the red with black or the black with green frames more.)

These by the way are Alain Mikli, who is, at least in my estimation, the darling of eyewear design right now, having spectacular successful buzz at being behind those brilliant and gorgeous frames Cillian Murphy was wearing in Batman Begins.

here I refrain from making bad jokes about rides

I whipped out my Softie for the month whilst watching my typical Friday night cavalcade of forensic shows and I think he actually turned out better than I thought he might. So here is Morris the Moustache.

you'll see he makes an excellent disguise for tharting the sheriff...

I know you're like, but Chloe, what the hell does that have to do with the wild west. Well to be honest when I think of the wild west the first thing I think of after cowboys, indians and cheap whores in red can can dresses is big droopy handle bar snidley whiplash moustaches. So I thought why not eschew the horse and cow and other more well known and probably #1 common picks and go with a portable stuffed moustache. (also it sort of reminds me of that episode of the Tick :))

I was originally thinking of making a jackalope, but I could never settle on a design I liked and since this project is supposed to be about fun and not frustration I decided to work on something else that I could get a suitable design out of.

12 August 2005

swaps ops and brainstorms

I'm totally becoming addicted to swaps I think. I've written in to sign up for backtack 2 after being completely wowed by everyone's posts on version one, and I've even started coming up with a cool design for a bag for it. I'm also going to do blogging by mail 2, because how perfect, I've been moaning for awhile that I've just got the desire to bake things, but as I've no one to bake them for I just end up either eating a whole forest of cupcakes myself or half of them go to waste, so this way other people get snackies, and I don't feel so guilty about consming a ton of sweeties because they were made by someone else and it would be rude not to eat them all :) (yes my sense of healthy eating can be convinced quite easily to shut up with a good excuse :)) Also it's looking like Shell is going to run with my suggestion of an artist trading cards swap (I'm too lazy, plus I think I've too few readers to be the central cog in organising one anyway) so I'll definitely be in on that. The department at school was supposed to be doing one this summer, at least amongst us non-digital printmakers and letterpress folks, but I've not heard a peep about it and summer's almost up, so either it got abandoned or it's not going to get into gear until the semester starts in about a week. Speaking of my prints I've got a half finished block yelling at me to get to work on it, where has my summer gone?

I've finally figured out what I'm making for MOS this month, whihc makes me happy because I've been hating every design I drew out for the last 2 weeks, finally I tried an old comedy writing brainstorm technique of just writing down a bunch of words and viola an idea was born.

Now I just need to come up with my theme for the double disc debacle and I am right back on creative track for the month.

10 August 2005

Prufrockian times these

If you know me personally your concept of who I am generally falls somewhere around the idea that I am possibly the most cynical person you ever knew, and for the most part I'll cop to that for the most part, I read far too much to be anything less than savvy that way, but as you may expect I have one achilles heel of childish stubborn optimism. And that weak spot is, well I refer to it as the mythical henry, you know the elusive perfect guy, the One. Yes, I am a hopeless romantic way down there in the cockle region of the heart. I've sustained an unerring belief all these years, and through all these spectacularly dissapointing crushes and dates and relationships that somewhere out there is my John-Cusack-movie ending; the rain moment; the screwball comedy romance; the fountain dancing. I'm waiting for it. The only thing is I refuse to settle, I don't want to be with someone who doesn't make me feel like composing silly odes to them and an explosion of ladyfingers inside, therefore though my attempts at love have been laregly horrendous there haven't been very many of them, for most of the time the object of my smit hasn't really been too keen on me, or ever noticed my massive pining. Somehow I suspect that makes it easier though.

However, I have a massive attraction to a guy I've only corresponded with through the internet and it grows more giddy day by day, every time in fact I learn some new bit of trivia about his life and personality, because every time it is revealed even more randomly that he is more and more my type. He's admitted to having a large crush on me right back which only makes it worse. The trouble is he lives in the UK and I am of course here in the states. Even though it's true that I'm only tied to being here until I graduate in December and I am actually a British citizen as well as an american because my dad is from Wales, still that's a fact I try to push out of my head, I'm actually trying really very hard not to just let my brain run off on it's poetic flights of fancy and become totally stupid on the man, but damn it's hard to fight against one's natural tendency towards beautiful rash exuberance. (it's also hard to cousel oneself out of silly movie-esque ending scenarios, when one has knowledge of how random and simularly cinematic was the history that led to my existence in the first place. My dad was living and working in Bermuda, my mother went there on vacation with a friend of hers who had been asked out on a date by some other local guy, but would only agree to go as a double date so the guy, who worked with my dad, dragged my dad along and even though my mother said it was the worst date she'd ever been on and my dad had barely said a word the entire time, somehow it got to the point that they got married, he moved to the US, they had me and my little brother and they've been married 30 years. So really is meeting someone through a random internet site and a random email really all that far-fetched?)

Still the fight for emotional prudence is being waged, even though I suspect I'm going to lose out to my impetuous star-eyed nature.

09 August 2005

self portrait tuesday

It wows me how thin I'd gotten back then, I really need to stop being lazy and hit the fitness center more often, I haven't turned into an orca or anything I would just feel better if I got myself healthier again.

I have no title line today

Summer is quickly winding down, which is both a little scary in how fast the year is moving and rather nice, because it will feel good to get back into the pressroom again and to be ever that much closer to graduation. I'd better kick it up a gear on my painting if I plan to actually get it finished before the semester starts. I need to finish it so I get at least one of the bunch of projects I swore I'd get done over the break.

It's definitely a week for brainstorming. I'm still not sure what I want to do for this month's month of softies, despite living currently in one of those cowboy sort of towns I'm not a very western country sort of person. About the only thing I was ever enamoured with in the old west was the idea of making a house out of sod. Ok, and that indian hole with the rock over it in the native craft book that used to be in my house. (I think it was given up to the goodwill after I ignored all the actual crafts in it and decided to dig a big hole in the yard to hide from bears.) I also need to decide on my theme for the dual disc debacle so I can start to pick out songs for it.

I finally broke down and signed up with netflix, I'm excited that around tomorrow the Godfrey Reggio series should be arriving. I've seen Nagoyqatsi once before, but I'm excited to watch all 3 together.

02 August 2005

ebay acquisitions and not much else

I just bought this garlic press on ebay, it cost me $5 including the shipping, so I think it was a pretty excellent snag.

I've been wicked obsessed with watching cash in the attic on BBC of late, even though I get really irritated that every episode their first lots will do smashingly well and then they'll have like one item that comes in 5 pounds under and they'll act like oh no there's no way they'll make their target now. which is kind of annoying. I just love that the one valuer's name is Jaunty, someties I think that cant' possibly be any gorwn man's name, perhaps it's really John T. but then it would be quite off that they call him John T all the time instead of just John, so it must be Jaunty.

01 August 2005

sundays I talk about art (maija fiebig)

ok so technically it's monday,so I'm late :) I'm always running late.

No dissertation on art today simply some of the work of one of my favourite artists Maija Fiebig. I actually discovered her art on one of my link trolling days when I was flipping through the goods that Velocity had to offer. volocity's Maija Fiebig pages

Now I'm absolutely in love with her stuff, I wish she had her own homepage, but alas. One day when I'm rich enough to afford to buy some full priced art, I'm going to buy a few of hers. Also her work has really influenced my my linoprint work, and to some extent my painting, though there's always been a bit of a simularity in our pattern and texture, the influence of textiles. Anyway finish babbling and commence showing art...