Tuesday, November 30, 2010

i don't take what i don't want

blazer: Wrangler thrift, $1 -- tunic: American Apparel, $18 -- tights: Urban Outfitters, $10 (I have had these for three autumns and they're still kickin!) -- boots: thrift, $8

I spent more time than usual taking photos today to be sure that there'd be some I actually like. I had a lovely time hanging out in the mini-forest and doing some exploring.

Bit of a funny face I'm making. Oops.

And another less-than-awesome facial expression. I was actually really happy taking these though! Go figure.

World's biggest Christmas tree!

I've been feeling significantly better than I was over break. The time I spent with Alex over the weekend did a lot to brighten my spirits, and it's been great seeing my friends again, too. My final project for video art went over really well. I think I'll post it up here later this week!

Time for the last session for the quarter of the class I co-teach :)

Today's title comes from The Beatles -- Another Girl, which just happens to be what was playing as I wrote this.

And by the way, Michal of North Country Girl is having a great little giveaway on her blog--check it out!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

love is overtaking me

First things first, congratulations to Jane of Jane + Jenthe lucky winner of TheMilkCo vintage purse giveaway!

A huge thanks to all of you who entered! I'm hoping to do a little giveaway over the holidays, so stay tuned :)

And now, what I wore yesterday. It was dusk-status dark until noon, and it was intermittently pouring. My agenda for the day was the really exciting prospect of sitting in the media lab all day editing my video art piece in FinalCut. All things considered, it was a definite dressing-for-comfort kind of day. Thanks to my mom for snapping some photos :)

coat: thrifted Eddie Bauer, $8 -- tunic: American Apparel, $18 -- cardigan: thrift, $2 -- jeggings: Levi's, $40, present from my mom -- boots: vintage, $14 

I thought it would be neat to show you what I wear on the days when I'm uninspired and more motivated by practical concerns than aesthetic ones. Over break I've been kind of depressed, actually, and I haven't really been pulling out the sartorial stops. Nothing in particular is really eating away at me; it's really just the combination of lame little things. I have tons of assignments due this week, it's been rainy and gloomy outside, I wasn't able to see Alex nearly as much as I'd hoped, neither of my sisters could come home for Thanksgiving, I've been lonely without the social stimulation of college... I spent the whole week almost exclusively listening to The Smiths, which, as much as I love them, can't have helped my mood.

I bought some dark green pearlescent nail polish...

It's quite festive, no?

Anyway, this week is going to be killer in terms of stress levels, but I must say that having classes to attend and places to go will be just the dose of style motivation I need.

What do you like to wear on days when you're feeling down? What do you having going on this week?

Today's title comes from Arthur Russel -- Love Is Overtaking Me, a really beautiful song by a fascinating artist.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Photo(-ish) Friday: Ana Mendieta

I have to start off by saying that Ana Mendieta wasn't a photographer--she worked primarily with performance art and sculpture. That said, the photographic documentation of her performances is some of the most compelling imagery I've ever seen. The woman in all of these is Mendieta herself--all of the following images are documentation of her performances.

It's hard to know where to start with Ana Mendieta. She led a tragically brief but incredibly productive life. Her work is so charged and resonant that I struggle to find the language to even explain why it moves me.

She was born in Cuba in 1948 but was exiled in 1961 when Fidel Castro accused her father of treason. She and her sister moved to the United States under Operation Peter Pan and lived in various foster homes. Mendieta earned her BA from the University of Iowa in 1969 and continued her studies there, earning a Master's and a Master's in Fine Art.

This is a photograph of one of Mendieta's early performances where she received a "Facial Hair Transplant" from a male classmate.

The two following images are from her Bodytracks series, which involved using (animal) blood and her body to create patterns.

Much of her work deals with integrating the body back into the landscape.

Something that's come up in many discussions of art and feminist theory that I've participated in college is the connection between a woman's body and the earth. The basic idea is that male artists, and men in general, draw a parallel between women and the earth to justify the subjugation and domination of both. One of the things I love about Ana Mendieta is that she complicates that simple paradigm. She is a female artist integrating herself into the landscape. It's an empowered decision and a voluntary connection.

I am so inspired and in such awe of Mendieta's work. This is her tamer stuff, too. She did a really daring performance piece about rape during her MFA studies and also frequently used blood in her performances.

Ana Mendieta died in 1985 when she fell out of the window of her New York apartment. Many people believe that her husband, the minimalist sculptor Carl Andre, is responsible for her deaths. Others believe it was an accident, and still others consider it a suicide. Carl Andre was tried and acquitted by a judge (rather than a jury). Nobody really knows for sure what happened. It's a heartbreaking saga, whatever the truth is. This review of a book on the subject gives a good short account of it all.

Ana Mendieta inspires me more than just about any other artist. Her work is so emotionally powerful without being melodramatic. I think it's some of the most brilliant work ever created.

I'm a really bad person and don't know the sources for these images as I saved them to my computer some time ago. Sorry!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

i fought the law

top: thrifted, $3 -- skirt: thrifted, $4 -- sweater: thrifted, $3 -- tights: Nicole Miller via Marshalls, $3 -- boots: thrifted, $8

I think navy and black is an alleged no-go, but I've always liked it. The most recent Lucky also warned against ever wearing more than 3 colors in one outfit, which was pretty stupid advice if you ask me. My four colors and navy-black was just so rebellious (hence the post title.)

We had a daytime high of 55 degrees  Fahrenheit (13 degrees Celsius) today, which is about as cold at is ever gets here. So I was really cold. I know it's not that cold, but it is to me. It was super cloudy and dark out, which made it hard for me to get decent photos. I think I need to just bite the bullet and start getting up earlier so I can take some photos with the morning light. The light from the west in the afternoon is totally obstructed in our entire yard.

Giant cardigans make excellent capes.

Thank you all SO MUCH for the abundance of comments on my last post! It's really encouraging, and it makes me super happy.

I had a nice time running some errands today. Cobbler, Goodwill, Target, Post Office, Trader Joe's, and the produce shop.  (I really wanted to say "greengrocer," but I decided I just need to embrace my American English. Haha.) Running errands is one of my favorite things to do, oddly enough. It relaxes me.

Today's title comes from the song "I Fought the Law." Most people know The Clash version, which is my favorite, but it's actually a Sonny Curtis composition that he performed with a post-Buddy Holly Crickets. It was covered by The Bobby Fuller Four in 1965. There's a cool little video of the Bobby Fuller Four with an awesome intro that I thought I'd share.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

try to find a little time and I'll make you happy

Don't forget to enter the vintage purse giveaway!

I'm finally on break, and celebrating with a picture overload!

dress: thrift, $6 -- coat: thrift, $10 -- shoes: thrift, $6 -- tights: Payless Shoes, $3 -- belt: thrift, $2 -- purse: thrift, $4

Alex took these photos of me. We had a little mini photo shoot in a lovely neighborhood in one of our favorite parts of town.

Shoes and purse up close.

And I took these of Alex! He has on a thrifted L.L. Bean coat, thrifted L.L. Bean duck boots, and thrifted Wrangler jeans.

He climbed a tree!

Antler stick!

Earlier my mom treated me to coffee and brioche! Yum :)

Super tasty cappuccino the barista made. That's soy foam. Impressive, no? (I used to be a barista, actually. Soy is a lot more temperamental than milk, so getting dense foam like that is quite a show of skill.)

Today's title comes from the immortal classic The Foundations -- Build Me Up, Buttercup. Fun fact: they were one of the first successful interracial bands.

Friday, November 19, 2010

TheMilkCo Vintage Purse Giveaway!

Photo Friday is on hiatus this week to make room for the giveaway :)

I"m so excited to share with you all my friend Jasiel's awesome Etsy shop, TheMilkCo! Her shop has unique but still easy-to-wear pieces at affordable prices. I made a collage with some of my personal favorites for fall :)

She's offering this awesome 80s purse for one lucky reader! Its rich, deep colors will match all kinds of different fall and winter outfits, and  the cute patchwork detailing really stands out from the crowd.

To enter...
1) Visit TheMilkCo and report back with a link to your favorite item
2) Tell me how you're following my blog--Google Friend Connect/Blogger, Bloglovin', or Facebook
3) Leave an email address so I can contact you if you win!

No international shipping, I'm afraid :(

The deadline to enter is Friday, November 26.

Good luck!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

all the dreams were just early plans

Jin took this for me cause she's a photo goddess.

Here I am at the gallery opening! It was kind of sparsely attended since it was on a Wednesday night and there were two gallery openings last night, haha, but I didn't really mind. The work is up in a very high-traffic building, which, although it makes me nervous, means that hundreds of people will see my work every day! I've even already had a random Facebook message from a stranger about my work! So cool :D

I also didn't mind that it was under-attended because it meant that I got to eat lots of cheese. Bleu, Parmesan, goat cheese with cranberries, and, my all-time cheese fave, Brie!

The best thing about the evening, though, was that I randomly ran into two of my favorite teachers from high school! I guess they're both in the same Continuing Studies class that happens to meet in the building whose lobby the gallery occupies. Anyway, it was wonderful to be able to show them my artwork. I didn't really exhibit much art in high school. I was always too busy taking theatre and English classes to take art classes. I've since stopped doing theatre, but I'm still taking about as many humanities classes as a lady can handle! I love art because it allows me to use a different part of my brain and engage with my ideas on a non-literal level.

If you wanna take a look at the work without the ridiculous reflections, check it out here!

An innocent bystander takin' a look at my work.

Well, things are sort of winding down in terms of being busy. I feel confident that I can make all this stuff happen! As soon as I finish this post, I'm going to do some history reading and then get (gasp) A Solid Eight Hours of Sleep. I used to be so good at this, but I've really fallen off the wagon this year.

Here's a photo of me pretending to be a woman on a brochure about corporate benefits or something. It took us like five tries to get this picture without us all cracking up. Which is to say that corporate benefits brochure was the look I was going for. I'm a pretty silly person.

Didn't get a head-to-toe shot, but I just had on these shoes with my dress.

Today's title comes from The Olivia Tremor Control -- "Holiday Surprise." Weird band name, but seriously some of the greatest neo-Psychedelic music the 90s had to offer.


I love all of your comments so much, and I promise to be a much better blogger and reader next week!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

mais peut-être après tout n'aimez-vous pas la littérature

Somehow, my life has managed to get even busier than it's been! Jeez. Spending time on my outfits has been pretty difficult, and that's only been compounded by the fact that I don't have access to almost all of the shoes I've been wearing lately plus a lot of my clothes. And the fact that I haven't been getting enough sleep. So I don't even really like my outfit today much--it was just me making do with what I had, really.

Anyway, I had to take my pictures in a rush today, and they didn't turn out to my normal standards :(

I am making pretty much the weirdest face ever in this photo.

blazer: thrift, $15 -- jeans: BDG, gift from Alex, $20 -- shoes: Forever 21, $20 -- sweater: Gap, $14 -- scarf: thrift, $2 -- earrings: Urban Outfitters, gift from Daisy

Only two thrifted pieces on today! That's unusual. I almost never wear this sweater anymore, but it's the comfiest thing ever. It's that amazing cotton-cashmere blend. So soft!

I can't get enough of this scarf. It's one of my all-time favorites. These earrings make me so happy, too! And there's my locket from Alex <3

Ridiculously tall shoes that made me at least feel kinda glamorous even if my outfit is boring. They've got this weird fuzzy stuff to simulate wood, which you can tell in this photo but not from the distance between others' eyes and my feet :P

Here's a snippet from an email I sent to one of my TAs asking for an extension that speaks to how ridiculous my life is at present.

I mentioned that my week is "hellish," but I suppose that's sort of vague. More specifically: yesterday I had to go to traffic court for three hours, go to work for four hours, and then spend two hours working on a group project; today the class I teach is having its final, and I have to attend to a lot of administrative tasks to that end; on Wednesday I have a morning appointment and then have to both cook dinner (2+ hours) for my co-op house and attend a 2 hour gallery opening for some art that I'm exhibiting...and drop off my car at the mechanic after that; and on Thursday, I have to work on that group project for four hours. All of this is, of course, in addition to all of the usual class, reading, and homework I have to do.

On a happier note, I got my traffic fine reduced by $100 bucks. Hooray!

Today's title comes from Brigitte Fontaine -- Comme Rimbaud. It's a really clever song, I wish I spoke French so I could understand it without having to get some ridiculously stilted Google translation. The title phrase translates to, I think, "but maybe you just don't like literature."

Monday, November 15, 2010

because it's bound to be less boring than today

I have on a pretty boring outfit today since I'm about to go off to traffic court :( to see if I can get a reduction on my $500 red light camera ticket for running the light by .16 seconds. Anyway, since I'm boringly dressed, I thought I'd share some pictures Alex and I took over the weekend when I had on a much cooler outfit. He took the ones of me, I took the ones of him!

jeans: thrift, altered by me, $4 -- top: thrift, $4 -- scarf: made with some fabric my Grandmother gave me -- jacket: vintage, $19 -- boots: thrift, $7 -- belt: thrift, $2

Alex has on all thrift/vintage except his beanie, which is from the flea market. The top and jeans are Levi's.

Could he be any more adorable?

This is my last week of school before the Thanksgiving break, but it's definitely going to be a busy one. All kinds of things to do and places to go! Can't wait to get in some R&R :)

Today's title is from Belle & Sebastian -- "If You're Feeling Sinister."

Friday, November 12, 2010

Photo Friday: Ralph Eugene Meatyard

Ralph Eugene Meatyard, 1929-1972, sounds like a very normal guy on paper. WWII veteran, Midwestern, happily married, three children. He was even born in a town called Normal, Illinois. But once you take a look at his photographs, you realize just how exceptional he really was.

Unlike his relatively glamorous contemporaries on either American coast, Meatyard never earned his living as a photographer. He spent his entire adult life working as an optician in Lexington, Kentucky. On weekends, he, his wife, and their children would go out to abandoned houses and buildings where Meatyard would arrange complex scenes and capture them on film.

There's a wonderful article about him here that you should check out!

Many of Meatyard's are sort of simultaneous reflections of  and projections onto the immediate surroundings. The peeling paint becomes wings because we see the movement of the boy's arms, and the boy's arms become wings when we see the feathered peeling paint.

I love how the light in this photograph almost seems external to it even as it dictates the boys' placement in the room.

This one always seems to stick out a little to me. It's as close to tenderness as he gets, I think.

I love the way that Meatyard's work is so conceptual without being pretentious or alienating.