Friday, October 31, 2008

Don't Drop the Art

Volunteered last night for the Pilchuck Glass School's annual auction held at the Westin downtown. I'd found out the day before that I had been switched from the packing room to being an art handler. They told me to wear dark clothing and no jewelry, so I figured I'd be in the background toting artwork here and there. Imagine my surprise when I was handed a packet and told that I would be carrying about seven pieces from the display area up to the stage during the live auction. Did I mention that it was a stage-in-the-round? In the middle of the packed grand ballroom? And if the piece couldn't be set on the pedestal that I had to stay up there, walking it around and around the stage until it sold?

I was absolutely frightened at first that I would end up tripping or dropping something. Some of them weren't too bad, but there was one huge clown-shaped vase that I worried about carrying. (Especially since it was valued at $23,000.) There was also the challenge of dodging waiters and guests while carrying pieces down the aisle as the night progressed. One piece did get broken, but luckily it wasn't by me. Overall though, I had a lot of fun once I got the hang of it. And it was good practice for getting over stage fright!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Case of the Missing Dry Cleaning

Brief Rant:

I just got back from the dry cleaners where I dropped some things off about two weeks ago. According to them, I picked my stuff up a few days later. Yet, not only do I NOT have my clothes, but the last four digits of the credit card used to pick them up doesn't match either VISA card I carry in my wallet. Just to be safe, I checked my closet one more time and also asked Bryn if he'd picked anything up. No luck.

I'm going to be really extra super amazingly pissed off if my clothes never surface, seeing as how it included two of my favorite sweaters and some much loved wool pants. Grrrrrrr!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Spruce Street School

Our Studio class went on a construction site visit today (I swear to God, this year has been field trip after field trip--not that I'm complaining) and from the 10th floor of the building we were able to look down on kids playing on a playground built on a roof. The place is Spruce Street School and is only a block or two from my school (which is visible in the background to the right). Seems like a perfect example of the potential for adaptive urban re-use. I've walked by the building before and you can tell they have something up there, but it was fun to be able to look down on it and actually see it!

And the heights don't end there. A volunteer orientation meeting I attended tonight was held in the Presidential Suite at the Westin. I can tell you that the view of downtown and Elliot Bay and the sunset is spectacular from the 47th floor. I should have taken a picture, although I didn't think about it until after I'd left. Oh well. Tomorrow night I get to be an "Art Handler" and help carry pieces on and off the stage at the big Pilchuck auction/gala. Wheee!

Seattle Center

Some photos from a class field trip to the Seattle Center last week. I sure think that the Experience Music Project is ugly! But someone said it wasn't entirely Frank Gehry's fault, that he was given the insides and had to create only the exterior. Still...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

If 900 Kids Came to Your Door

I'm in Yakima this weekend and the folks I'm staying with showed me an article in the local paper talking about the traffic problems with trick-or-treaters. It talked about how, "Some neighbors are overwhelmed by the number of kids--as many as 900--in the area on Halloween night..."

NINE HUNDRED TRICK-OR-TREATERS?!?!?!? That's a lot of candy. We stopped at Rite-Aid this afternoon to pick up some more treats since the one bag they'd bought with 90 pieces of candy didn't seem like it would go very far. Yikes.

Can I Get Credit For This?

blog readability test

TV Reviews

Hmmm, since my blog came in at College Level (Undergrad), I'm wondering if I can somehow parlay this into credit applied toward my degree I'm working on right now.

*schemes quietly in the corner*

Monday, October 20, 2008

In the Land of the Slot-Machine Song

Bryn and I took a brief trip up to the Tulalip Casino yesterday (we were bonding). Although they have the best buffet I've been to in the Pacific Northwest, we skipped it in favor of one of their less filling restaurants. I had a salmon burger, because haaaaay, I'm from a salmon tribe! Well, and I wanted one. And it came with authentic Native American french fries.

The casino boasts a recently opened resort hotel. The pictures above are from A) the big hallway outside their meeting rooms for conventions and such, and B) the glamoxurious swimming pool area. The whole place is done well in that "new money" kind of way. And for a casino, it seems fitting. Lots of slick materials combined with abstract representation of water or trees to make it more "authentic" and of course there is the ubiquitous swarm of metal salmon swimming on the ceiling in the first picture I posted. If I had a dollar for every time I've seen some artist throw a few cutout metal salmon in a space and call it, "Pacific Northwest," I'd have my school loans paid off. Ugh. And I won't say anything about the swimming pool area except to say that since it was in a casino and there weren't any humans using the facilities, I kept expecting some white tigers to stroll in at any minute. I mean, it could be worse, but if I'm at a hotel I'd sort of not want to feel like I'm in an exhibit at the zoo while swimming in the pool.

The good news though? We put $40 into some slot machines and walked out with $72. At least we know when to stop, right? No matter, the Seattle Premium Outlets next door gobbled up our money anyhow. But now I have an umbrella and a decent winter scarf. And they were on sale! I love sales!!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Fifty-First State

I'm not sure where the star would go, but there has been the recent resurrection of a 1941 movement to create a new state. The bombing of Pearl Harbor effectively killed off the movement the first time. Who knows what might happen nowadays? There is a State of Jefferson website, a State of Jefferson blog, or as an introduction, you might want to read this October 5th article in the San Francisco Chronicle.
Sounds reminiscient of the Cascadia independence movement. Except slightly more likely since it is the creation of a new state as opposed to the secession of states/provinces from the U.S./Canada and formation of a new country. But I still have my doubts--unless we fall into a period of complete chaos or something.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Japanese Garden

Yesterday our Environmental Design class took a field trip to the Japanese Garden in the Washington Park Arboretum. Above are some of the pictures I took, but of course there were hordes of people there with cameras. I used to go here a lot and feed the fish in the pond during the spring and summer when you can buy a bag of fish food for $1. Hadn't been in a while, and it was good to return. I also discovered that the koi, ducks, and turtles aren't the only things living in the pond when I happened to catch sight of a couple crayfish scuttling about under one of the bridges.

Dwelling #199

I feel like an art collector right now. Why? Because just this week, I paid more than twenty-five bucks for a piece of art. And it isn't merely a framed poster, no! It is a real, bona-fide, original painting. It was't planned. I took Snotty to Madrona for lunch at the Hi-Spot and we were wandering around the neighborhood checking out cool places afterwards. I had no plans on buying anything, I was just looking. And yet, when we walked by a store called Jaywalk, I clutched Snotty's arm and said, "We have to go in there." And we did. And I saw Dwelling #199 by local artist Graham Fracha hanging on the wall and suddenly I knew, knew, KNEW that I had to own it. So much for quitting my job though. Now I have to pay myself back the money in savings for next semester. But it was worth it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

"Pioneer Lounge" Concept

Above are some images I used in my Interior Studio project that I just presented/turned in on Moday. The concept was a small private space in Pioneer Square owned by a pair of DJs. I wanted to create a place that was intimate for them to hang out in and listen to music, either alone or with friends--sort of the antithesis of a huge club or super-trendy bar. More like a basement den. These are the images I was working on this weekend when I wasn't doing laundry or loading the dishwasher. And I'm happy that it all came together well enough, although I wish I hadn't been so behind on it and had been able to spend more time focusing on the materials.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Picasso and Boob Jobs

Just a random thought: did Picasso help influence the contemporary trend towards breast augmentation?

Think about it. Suddenly Victoria Beckham makes sense. She's thin enough that you can see her in her entirety from any angle, plus she has the "pasted-on" geometric boobs. Posh Spice is a Cubistic piece of performance art!

I was actually going to watch the next part of a documentary about Picasso I got from the library in a few minutes, but it seems that the disc has gone missing. I'm sure it is around here somewhere, but I don't feel like digging it out. Perhaps I'll watch Le Divorce instead. I've got a French theme going with my dinner tonight. Found a frozen goat cheese tart--from France!-- on sale at the grocery store and also picked up a bottle of wine--also from France!-- that has a label I can't read. All I know is that it is dry and fruity and crisp and tastes damn good. Plus it was under ten bucks, so I can't complain at all.

Maybe its better if I don't watch the documentary tonight anyhow. Bryn is working late and I can enjoy Le Divorce without any distractions since it does delve into "chick-flick" territory. Besides, Picasso may have mostly worked in Paris, but he was so very Spanish; I should get a bottle of rioja to finish out those discs.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

"Sarah Palin: So Far Right She's Wrong"

I admit that I was rather fascinated by McCain's choice of Sarah Palin as his VP pick initially. She was so new to the national political stage that it seemed like a potentially hopeful moment for women in politics, even if I could tell that I didn't agree with her point of view. Well, what a difference a month or two makes! Any optimism I had about her has vanished now that she has been exposed as a figure who has about as much background (and interest) in foreign policy as I do. Plus, her extremely divisive speeches on the campaign trail seem calculated to whip their intended targets into a frenzy of righteousness.

She's still a fascinating character to watch, but I would be scared to have her anywhere near the White House because I strongly disagree with her political agenda and also believe she would be too easy for others to control--which is probably why she was picked in the first place.

Anyhow, I ran across a bulletin on MySpace (I know, MySpace is SO 2005) that was talking about an anti-Palin rally in Anchorage, Alaska. I guess it took place in mid-September and was quite possibly the largest political rally in Alaska's history. There were about 1400 anti-Palin demonstrators and perhaps 100 pro-Palin folks as well. Looking at the pictures in the article on Huffington Post or reading the article in the Washington Post, I really got a sense of community from this grass roots effort.

My favorite homemade sign?
"Jesus was a community organizer. Pontius Pilate was
a governor."

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Silence That Lamb!

Are you at all familiar with Brooks Brothers? If not, it is a fancy schmancy clothing store geared towards people who use 'summer' as a verb. They do have cool suits and things, but they're clothing is definitely on the stuffier side for both business and casual wear. I was looking at their logo when I walked by the store downtown the other day though, and I became thoroughly confused. A sheep hanging from a ribbon? What does that MEAN!?!?!

Are they trying to say they only use the finest wools (and perhaps leathers)? It probably made more sense back in 1818, when the company was founded. I also noticed that an older logo had a skinnier looking sheep. The current sheep (above) is a little more puffy and cute. And it doesn't look as sad. But its still kind of weird.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Underground Tour

Normally I find doing the usual touristy things (in my home city or elsewhere) to be gauche and annoying. But I'll admit, they are usually pretty fun once you (I) get down off your (my) high horse and DO them. Bryn and I spent the morning doing some roaming in Pioneer Square to celebrate the third anniversary of the day we met. Since he's so very proper and also slightly crazy, he made sure to let me know that it was our leather anniversary and to plan accordingly. He kept threatening me with strange bondage gear outfits from The Crypt, but I knew he was only (mostly?) kidding. Our gifts to each other? We ended up with a lovely matching set of anniversary gloves. Mine are tasteful black, to be picked up later this month when a new shipment arrives with my size. His are garish yellow, like a cross between a school bus and a bottle of mustard. Of course, his size was in stock. I don't know anyone else who would actually buy that color.

Anyhow, we ended up going on the Underground Tour also, which was super fun. There were only maybe two other people on the tour from Seattle, with people from across the country and also some from Thailand and London. The guides made corny jokes. The underground parts were cool and creepy. And I learned some more interesting details about this city I grew up in. We also wanted to go to the observation deck at Smith Tower, but alas, it was closed today. It is kind of cool to think though, that when it was built in 1914 it was the tallest building in the world outside of New York City. And it was the tallest building west of the Mississippi for a really long time (almost fifty years). The photos above are from the tour and also a shot of Smith Tower.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Kengo Kuma

Monday night I went and saw a presentation by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma at the Seattle Central Library. (Space.City has cool lectures like this throughout the year.) Above are some images of his work. He really does some fascinating things and what I especially liked about the projects he shared with us was how focused he was on finding connections between the location and materials. For instance there was a house using rice paper and he ended up going with a guy who plants his own rice to make the paper instead of importing rice from Thailand. He also really tries to keep a sense of lightness, even with materials like stone. Yay, fun!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Monothon is ON!

I've been craving some print studio time ever since I was at Pilchuck this summer. Well, it turns out I will get a chance to do some printing before the end of the month after all! Where? At MONOTHON 2008!

The second annual Monothon at Crow's Shadow Institute in Pendleton, Oregon takes place October 24-26th, and I have a time slot to participate on Sunday the 26th. All prints created are available for sale with the proceeds going to benefit Crow's Shadow. This means I will have to get the weekend off (note: I might be leaving my job anyhow, and not because it is terrible but so that I have more time to focus on taking care of things at home and school), and then Bryn and I will drive to Yakima on Saturday, spend the night with family, and I can do my thing on Sunday and we'll head back to Seattle that night.

The only thing I will get out of this is the joy of printing and contributing to a Native American focused arts organization. I'm in. Gosh, but I'm an art nerd!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Field Trips can be Dangerous

We had a very eventful field trip today. After a couple of hours in class talking about the next assignment, we split up and met at Luther Burbank Park on Mercer Island. We ate lunch and commenced our exploration of the site. Unfortunately, not too long after we started wandering, one of the students slipped on a steep path while taking a photograph and ended up damaging his knee somehow. Seemed like it was dislocated most likely. After the fire department, police, and ambulance eventually came and left we continued on with our wanderings. Hopefully he's doing okay, they did take him to the hospital. The rest of us had a good time after the initial excitement, it was a really nice park.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The Next Bushism: Palin's Poetry

Just read an awesome article on Slate that took answers from Sarah Palin's interviews and turned them into poetry. Strangely enough, I think that they work really well in that form. Or at least, they make more sense in writing than watching her fumble and panic. Just as Slate figured that in order to make lemons out of lemonade that they could look forward to four more years of "Bushisms" after he won the election in '04, at least if for some terrible reason Sarah Palin becomes VP we could enjoy more of her lovely political musings.

Here's an example:

"Small Mayors"

You know,
Small mayors,
Mayors of small towns--
Quote, unquote--
They're on the front lines.

(To S. Hannity, Fox News, Sept. 19, 2008)