Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pretty cool, right?

I'm preserving 8mm art films by Andrea Callard. I love how the stock they're printed on has these mysterious little stars printed into the edge code. No one can identify them, but they sure are pretty.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Saturday, March 26, 2011

"good for the soul"

I think I've worn that phrase out lately. I've learned a lot in the last year about taking care of myself, as graduate school nerves and stress have been know to wreak havoc on my emotional and physical well-being. To say the least. So I decided to take the best advice I got from one of last year's MIAP grads, Siobahn, who told me to learn to say "no" when I need to. So this week has been about recovery. I was feeling under the weather and completely emotionally spent after "Spring Break" and have a thesis to present next week. Recovery is what I need. Wednesday Swinny and I went to visit our friend Moya for a much-needed writing session. There, in her lovely apartment full of books and cats, chatting and drinking tea with two lovely women, I felt revived and calm -- almost normal.
 (How great is that picture of Peeps face-down in the pillow?)

Then I skipped a class trip. Yep. I just couldn't do it. I couldn't risk getting sicker, I needed to breathe and decompress and not feel panicky and claustrophobic, as I do now every morning when I wake up (no matter how relaxing the previous night is). Instead I let myself sleep in, drank some Emergen-C and tea, and leisurely made my way to Bobst Library where I proceeded to have a major writing breakthrough. I think the library is the place I feel most at home. I love the smell of books, the quiet and the shared energy of others reading and working hard. You can feel when minds around you are at work and I find it motivational. I particularly love Bobst for all of its unexplored corners, like this one on the 10th floor with the stunning view of the cold, rainy sky over Washington Square Park. I think there is maybe nothing better than a room with book shelves and enormous windows.
 Taso met me at Bobst and I talked him into a Whole Foods run. I've talked enough about how much I love that place but really, it's my favorite. I stocked up on all of the fresh things I could fit into one bag, and traveled back to Brooklyn. Once back in the peace of my lovely apartment, I took an obscenely long shower, washed my hair and then proceeded to the kitchen. With bare feet and wet curls hanging down my back, I put on Adele's new album (I doubt there is anyone of my age and gender who doesn't love this album) and began to sing and chop. I chopped up massive amounts of arugula, watercress and cucumber and tossed them with baby spinach, pitted kalamata olives, fresh lemon juice and cracked pepper in my big pink salad bowl, then piled them as high I could manage on fresh bread. I recognize that those of you who made it through that story are probably bored to tears, but man. Between the soulfulness of that album, and the satisfaction of chopping up green things and packing myself delicious, healthy lunches like a grownup, "I revived and was an emperor." 
(There is always a reason to quote Shakespeare.)
So there you go. There's my totally self indulgent post of the day. I'm sitting in a grad study room trying to put together some sort of coherent presentation for next week, and just needed to take a brief break and relive a couple of simple, glorious days. I am almost at the end and have not cracked up yet. There is hope

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I'm not dead.

I spent Spring Break in Texas, hoping to get thesis research done in Denton during the day, zen out with B all night and then head to Austin to see my beloved friends and celebrate B's birthday amidst the SXSW fun. But, as happens more often than not, things did not go according to plan. We spent the week trying to diagnose and then treat B's pneumonia, Grandma had a particularly rough go with her last chemo treatment, I slept very little and I got nothing done. Not enough time with the family, not enough time working, no research and no Austin.

I'm back in the city now, trying desperately to catch up and nursing a cold. A week away from thesis presentations. Here are some pictures of my kitty and my sick kiddo getting a new skateboard for his birthday. We tried to have a Star Wars marathon and go to dinner but neither worked out too well.
 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Two fantastic surprises this morning.

1. A surprise of my favorite treats left on my doorstep by the Starbucks fairy. The Greek Starbucks fairy.
2. My TCM badge!!! I could have kissed the FedEx guy. Ashley and I are going to TCM again this year!
Ooh, I'm a lucky girl. I tried so hard to be grouchy this morning, but how could I after this? I am writing again, trying so hard to make a sound argument without leaving things out. I'm notorious for assuming everyone reading my papers already knows what I'm talking about, and therefore leaving out information that I don't realize is crucial. Hhhnnnggg. I'm nervous. B is still super sick. I'm worried. He's been to the doctor twice and had a fever for several days. He never gets sick, so this is all very disconcerting for both of us. I just hope he feels better before his big birthday party this weekend. Okay, enough with the distraction game. Back to work!

I did something bad.

I opted for a more enjoyable form of therapy. I ordered the dress I've been lurking for the last year, citing my need for something pretty in which to present my thesis (if I ever decide to actually, you know, write it). I can't afford this dress, and I also probably can't fit into it right now, but it's just the perfect shade of cerulean and I need it.
In other news, I am cancer-free. This isn't big news, we knew it wasn't going to be that serious. Precautionary measures and what not. Okay, back to writing. Hopefully it will resemble English today.
I took this picture from an ad in the subway the other day because it reminds me a lot of my general countenance as of late. I am trying to be cheerful and appreciative of all the good in my life. Really.

But I'm not. I'm an angry, baggy-eyed, gimpy-armed bird.

I'm back in Texas for the week. I have meetings, research and so much writing to do. B is very sick with a high fever and no appetite whatsoever. Grandma is deep into chemo. Everyone is generally unhappy and on edge. It's not the most pleasant environment, nor the most conducive to writing the meatiest part of my thesis... which was due today. I should probably talk to someone. I think I'm dealing with like 18 stages of grief and 25 level of stress right now. Not to mention all the hormones and biopsies and general lack of sleep and diet monitoring. My face has puffed up and my body feels unhappy. Being a dancer puts you super in tune with your body, which makes it feel even worse when it's out of shape. I suppose of all the things I've lost, I haven't lost that. 

I need to conquer right now. First this paper, then everything else. I've buried my face in Splinter's belly at least a dozen times, listened to B sing, laid in the grass -- all the things that make me happy. I've read my books and listened to Chopin and let my fingers fly. But I can't write. All I can think about is the fact that I am trying to teach my son things that I don't know yet, that my family is disappointed, that I have so much work to do before my body is ready to dance again, that I haven't followed through or met a deadline in weeks. That I have hardly stopped to think about Japan once since I found out my sister and friends (in Hawaii) were okay. I'm displeased with myself, to say the least. Today I painted all 10 fingernails twice and removed the paint both times before it had even dried. Priorities? I don't know. I'm ashamed to admit just how heavily I'm employing distraction right now to avoid dealing with things. I'm considering this post my cold glass of water to the face.

Taso and Swinny both told me to channel all these feelings into my writing. So I blog. That's a start, right? No, not really. As soon as I publish this I will go back to the five pages of nonsense I have written and try to turn it into six pages of brilliance coherence. I may deeply resent being in Texas right now, but there are a couple things here that I love more than life itself, and I have to succeed for them, if nothing else. One of them even let me photograph her for your enjoyment. Thank you, darling, wonderful people (and kitty) who tolerate and even love me when I'm a grumpy bird. I hope I don't let any of you down.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Charlotte wuz here

My awesome friend Charlotte visited from Toronto last week.
I diverted attention away from the thesis briefly for some girl time and a Bright Eyes show with her.
It was a nice reminder to stop and enjoy the city I live in and the rad people in my life. 
^Starbux + Marnie Stern^
^super cheap/semi sketchy mani/pedis + mac and cheese heaven at S'mac^
^far too many cupcakes^
^a wall of sewing machines + iced soy chais^
^being vegetarian at Katz + Conor Oberst^

It was delightful. There was more to it than New York-y foods and concerts, but those are the moments that seem to photograph the best, I suppose. Charlotte is the most fun and I was sad to see her go, but I hear she might be back before long! She lives the dream and that is what I love about her.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I did it.

I finally had the biopsy I've been putting off for over a year done. Actually they did five of them. And I kind of want to die right now. I am recovering with Chipotle, Starbucks and The Runaways/The Virgin Suicides.
It's more terrible than it sounds.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

we got a kitty...

That title is less enthusiastic than you might think it would be. Yes, the ladies of #apt2b (our official Twitter hashtag) got a kitty. She's five months old and beautiful and I think we've decided to name her Queen Mab but call her Hillary Rodham Kitten on occasion, as the situation calls for it. Unfortunately, kitty girl does not love us quite as much as we love her. 
Or at all. 
...She hates us.
This is made worse by the fact that she is actually a ninja. We were convinced we'd lost her yesterday. Swinny tore apart the house, search parties were formed, tears were nearly shed... But she was not lost. No, she had managed to wedge herself into a 3-inch space between my bed and the heater, behind the curtain that is tucked into my bed. I can't even imagine how she did it. That's not even a place! But there she was. As soon as she was discovered she flattened herself against my bed and tried to literally disappear. When this didn't work she bolted so fast that I couldn't make out which direction she went, and she was gone again. We just want to love her! (I miss Splinter.)

Plutonian Pictures

My friend Greg built an incredible Micro Cinema in his TriBeCa loft and invited me to one of his super exclusive screenings. It was so fun and his loft is the dreamiest. I blogged at length about the screening on my curating class' blog (HERE), but just wanted to share a few pictures here. There's so much red because the theme of the night was "Hot Stuff." Greg is a pretty thorough curator. He has a cool blog too.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

This photo is warming my icy heart and healing my broken brain.

Thesis, you will not defeat me. Not when I have the power of Splinter.

Rally for Women's Health

Inspiring. The best part: The announcement that the funding cuts to Planned Parenthood that passed the House were dead on arrival in the Senate. We knew they would be, but that's no excuse for apathy.

It's a boy!

Guess little dude didn't feel like waiting till his due date! 
Danielle and Jimmy welcomed a healthy baby boy last night!