Tuesday, May 19

arts and articles

I finished reading Station Eleven thismorning. the end wound me around itself like a spring and then at the end I bounced away, eager to read the next book. what will it be? the fat copy of Les Miserables I have sitting by my bed? the half-read Metaphors We Live By that I borrowed from friend Sam last year?

we'll see. there are also next year's textbooks to get familiar with and this old food magazine to browse. one of the ads in it is going to be shoehorned into an article I'm drafting. I think. writing projects take strange directions sometimes.


but enough about books and articles. this past weekend we went down to Indianapolis for the Broad Ripple Art Fair. (does anyone else besides me want Broad Ripple to be one word? Broadripple just feels better to me. but then I also want thismorning to be one word, so I might be a little abnormal.)



as I walked over to the Indy Art Center I saw the above mural off next to the path. neat. my ipod camera refused to work after that, so I have no photographs of the art fair itself. ah well.

some of the cool artsy things we encountered there:

gorgeous leather-bound hand-made journals and notebooks. friend Beth bought one, and I am envious.

jewelry etched with patterns of microscopic organisms. looking at these was fascinating. the etchings are copies of Ernst Haeckel's diagrams, which I remember seeing in my Visual Rhetoric class

I can't find a website to link to for the awesome ceramic lamps we looked at, but they were awesome. the art fair map gives me the name of the artist--Brian Moore--but that's it. he makes cool ceramic oil lamps and other gorgeous ceramic things.

we also entered a drawing to win season tickets to the Indiana Repertory Theatre for next year. that would be cool, yeah?

I came home with a piece of lovely pottery in which to store my wooden spoons and other cooking accoutrements. the old tin cans I had them in before can be gratefully recycled now. 

Friday, May 15

yestermorrow

a short drive away there is a place called Greencastle.
and somewhere on its outskirts there is an old cemetery. this week we went exploring in it.

why?

well, friend Beth wanted to. she has fond memories of the place from her undergrad days, and she wanted to share them.

and I'm glad we took the journey. the day was quite perfect. the countryside peaceful. scenery like art.

beyond the cemetery gates were woods and long grasses. and a cave full of old car parts and wire. friend Sam has pictures of the cave. I was too busy laying underneath shady trees, watching fuzzy caterpillars crawl around in the grass to go far enough to find it myself.

everything seemed so still out there. we were surrounded by the dead and their gravestones.

nothing else but birds. maybe some distant traffic.

there was a creek nearby, too. Big Walnut Creek. and an old covered bridge that cars aren't allowed to drive on anymore.

tomorrow: kayaking. and next week: more kayaking? why not?

Friday, May 8

and counting

my semester is just about over. scraps of grading left, but nothing that will take very much stress. summer is at last welcome to my brain. I am making lists of books and places and projects and goals.

there are forty-five days until my half-birthday.

there are nine more posts after this one, waiting to be written and posted and counted, before there will be one thousand posts here on this blog.

I think it makes sense to post the thousandth one on my half-birthday. as a present to myself.

and that means committing to a new blogpost every five days or so. I can do this. I just spent thirty days posting daily, and before that I usually posted once every seven days anyway. every five days is not so different.

speaking of daily-blogging, friend Patti is blogging every day in May! it's wonderful and cool to see her posts show up way more often in my blog feed. this one from the other day about pictures of book pages made me think not only about the patterns of Patti's noticings and recordings of her noticings, but also about the patterns of all the shapes and textures in those captured pages. the fonts and the weights and the spacings. kerning and leading and alignments and indentations. perhaps that's what I would study if Patti's instagram account was handed to me as a corpus to be researched. hmm.

but I have other things to research! like a recipe from this old magazine that ended up... well, it ended up here, in a blogpost that I wrote almost exactly two years ago. how it ended up there, and what all the mutations that happened along the way might mean in terms of technical communication and digital communities... that is a thing I've been trying to write about. wish me luck.

and just in case you were worried I'd spend all my summer working too hard, I have plenty of things on my list to not research but to make. this shawl. these cookies. some sushi.  there will probably also be naps. I have gotten better at naps lately.

and so begins summer 2015: optimistically and bursting with gentle, lovely, semi-adventurous plans.

Monday, May 4

important discoveries

I have two pieces of very silly and largely irrelevant-to-everything news.

firstly:

one secret to a good writing day (like the one I met this past Saturday afternoon) is well-managed hair.

this little side french-braid, with the ends tucked in and off my neck, may have been magic. or maybe the magic came from spending all morning not-writing (breakfasting, shopping, yoga-ing). maybe it was both. either way, I found a very nice writing zone this weekend. I'm still not finished with all the projects, but they are coming along.

secondly:

remember these trousers?

I loved them so much that when they got too worn out to be trousers anymore, I salvaged them for a skirt.

the inordinately exciting news is that I came across a matching pair--near identical--at goodwill on Saturday. these are in brown, not grey, and unlike their predecessors, they will need hemming. once they are the proper length, I am going to love them.

{ also pictured: the corner of a new plaid skirt }

Thursday, April 30

thirty: yet to be

all these days, and I still have more things I haven't gotten around to writing and might not ever. notes from the Digital Rhetorics Symposium a few weeks back. rave reviews of my sister's cute soap-making business. lists of postmodern ramblings. thoughts on the silliness of zumba. photos from the poster presentations we gave last week. daydreamings of what I want to teach next semester. wonderings about whether I will miss my weekly German class. sketches of summer adventures-to-be.

there is always more to blog about. what is it waiting for?

I'm not sure. so far there is always more time, more future, more tomorrows. I can blog about all these thoughts later. to post them all at once wouldn't be very practical, anyway.

one thing at a time. one sentence at a time.


to get used to things doesn't usually take very long. to blog something--anything--no matter how slim or silly--every day for one month has hardly been a thing to get used to. the month has strolled past not uneventfully. tomorrow it will be May. the fifth month, the end of spring semester, the beginning of finals week stress and distraction.

today it's still April though. still part of this month of blogging.

people do mini-challenges like this all the time. a month of no sugar. or a month of daily yoga. or a month of photography. one hundred days of some theme on instagram, or one hundred days of things you're thankful for on facebook. such nice even numbers.

just a few days ago this post about one hundred days of writing fell through my rss feed. I don't remember who this blogger is or how I came upon his blog (and this is the beauty of rss feeds. they allow me to forget all about that blog I thought was neat once, until whoever writes it posts something new, and then I see it show up). did I learn any of the same things he did, in his writing project? the distinctions in #1 are interesting. I say yes to all of #7. hmmm.

what will the rhythm of blogging become for me now? this blog has changed a lot since it started. it'll keep changing. it will do different sorts of things for me and the handful of people who sometimes read it. it will host different kinds of word-and-art-projects.

we'll all just have to find out what they are and when they show up.

Wednesday, April 29

twentynine: penultimate

noticing more grey hairs.

more stray longings.

more could-be what-if alternate universes.

not noticing enough of everything else, it feels like.
the grey hairs are real. I'm not sure if these other spectres are or not.

I am also craving beaches.
{ not a beach, just a sand dune }

{ also not really a beach. a lake and pier } 

{ maybe there are beaches somewhere down there? }

{ a real beach. California, 2009. }

{ also a real beach. Rhode Island, 2013. } 

beaches are my own personal metaphor for escapism. I blog about the idea of them off and on, here and there. I don't blog as often about real beaches. real beaches are as rare as.
ends-of-semesters always come with dreams about living lazily on a beach. silly dreams, but they keep me company while I stress about writing projects. 

Tuesday, April 28

twentyeight: pointe

this is the whole world this time of year. blossoms, fat and frilly and clumped like tiny baby ballerinas. the light--when the sky isn't all April-showers, anyway--caresses them so gently, so goldenly.
look there, across from the bus stop on State Street. an arrow pointing to a tree. one with froths of flowers all around its edges. and off to stage left, sunset wandering in, all nonchalant.


besides blossoming trees everywhere, I have been noticing and noting some other cool and inspiring or interesting things. here they are, roughly in order from most-recently noticed to longest-ago noticed.

musings on animal-obsessed traffic engineers over at 99% Invisible. odd.

from Rhetoric: A User's Guide by John Ramage: “however much our language may fool us into thinking that we must choose between the two states, we all know better. Who has not described themselves as being ‘half awake’ or ‘half asleep,’ drowsy or wakeful? In our lives we experience the two states as lying on a continuum that we forever move along, experiencing more of one and less of the other but never fully ‘outside’ either..." (p. 29)

found listserv poetry by the lovely and brilliant and delightfully thoughtful, cemetery-loving poet-rhetorician-hybrid Beth Towle. I hope Beth will forgive me for all the gushing I will continually be doing about these little poems. I love them a lot, and I don't even know how to explain it.

on grade school male privilege by Shannon Hale.

this annoyingly captioned but morbidly beautiful instagram feed of stylish junk-food. why does this exist? well, who knows. but it does.


Monday, April 27

twentyseven: rhizomatic transportation

bridges have started to build themselves.

between this idea and that reading and all those words.

once all this blasted grading is out of my lap I will have time to walk back and forth along these mental bridges and take better notes.

once I do, people outside of my head might be able to use the same bridges, if they want. maybe.

Sunday, April 26

Saturday, April 25

twentyfive: 20% of battery remaining

online places I did not miss enough during the death-time of my laptop to go digging through my long disorienting list of passwords:
  • pinterest
  • tumblr
  • instagram (this I still could access via the ipod, so maybe it doesn't belong on this list. ah well.)
online places I might not have missed much (it's been less than a fortnight, after all!) but felt like I could not live without anyway:
  • facebook
  • gmail
  • pandora
full disclosure--I remember the passwords to all those places. it's not such an ordeal to get access to them from wherever.
2010_1009-23.09.54_ariii
gadgets in my apartment right this moment that regularly or always or at least when in use need to be plugged into power outlets:
  • a microwave
  • two lamps
  • red cell phone
  • half-shattered little ipod touch
  • kindle (a kindle fire HD to be precise. the huge matchy anachronism of the words in that name struck me just now for the first time)
  • a blender
  • an electric kettle
  • a toaster (I haven't used that toaster for months. it's in the cupboard taking up space)
  • vacuum cleaner
  • a crockpot
  • rickety sewing machine
  • old digital camera
  • printer/scanner contraption (very dusty at the moment)
  • dead and soon-to-be-gutted white macbook
  • shiny borrowed macbook pro
  • even shinier, brand new (to me) macbook air 
I think I might have a small iron for ironing clothes somewhere, too? why, I am not sure. 

this is too many things.

why do I have all these things? why?

three macbooks? who am I? having three of these machines in my house is making me strangely nervous and edgy.

one of them I'll return to its owners very soon. the other needs to have some surgery done, and then... maybe I'll hold a funeral? I'm not sure what to do with it, really. poor dead white macbook. will anyone want you for parts?

the new one needs a name and a case. please send case-recommendations for me if you have them.

while I composed the list above, I kept thinking of even more things to put on it. oh yeah, I own that electronic thing too. and that other one. so many!

and those are only the things that need plugging into walls. there are also all these other bits and pieces-- peripheral junk that gets plugged into other junk. mice. adapters. external harddrives. it never ends.

this talk by Frank Chimero on screens and life and design is only somewhat related, but you should read it anyway.