Wednesday, December 29, 2010

"Gol-LEE!" That's Dad-ish for "You're spending too much money or being ridiculous"

If you were to bug our house and start listening to the melodious sounds of our post-Christmas, week long hang-out session, here are a few of the things you would hear. (You might need a few things translated for you. We here on Alamosa Way are very good at expressing ourselves in veiled phrases.)

"Jeepers!" -Mom when she is overwhelmed by modern superfluity. Used when she is introduced to things like smart phones and the entire Band of Brothers DVD collection... or Lady GaGa.

"QUIT TALKING TO YOUR GIRLFRIEND AND START THINKING ABOUT MONEY!" -Dad gets really into family Monopoly games.

"HMPH!" Marcus says this a lot and just listening to him, you'd probably think he was a caveman. But he says this with an impish grin and it is his way of saying "I disagree with you/You're stupid/you're funny/WHHHYYYY did I land on the space with a hotel on it??/Hi Bob!/I'm righter than you."

"REEHN!"  There aren't really enough letters to actually encapsulate the sound Marie makes when she issues her patented flying hug. Sometimes it's accompanied by the clarion call, "PANDA ATTACK!" Giggling ensues.

You'll know Katie's in the house because the beautiful sounds of Wicked on the piano or violin go trailing through the house.

"Look Lindsey, these are my NAME-BRAND jeans." What you won't see is the sight of Spencer wiggling his better side back and forth in front of me.

My sounds? I have two this season: a munching one (brownies and cookies and candy OH MY. Our kitchen is STILL overflowing this year with good things, no matter how may times I sally forth and try to get rid of the whole plate of Oatmeal Cinnamon cookies in one sitting. They just keep multiplying.) My other sound? "QAT! TRIPLE WORD SCORE! LOOK IT UP IN THE DICTIONARY, IT'S TOTALLY THERE! BOOYAH! I WIN I WIN I WIN!"

.... my dad is not the only one who gets into games.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

I'd like to thank my sponsors...

As my school muse Hermione says in a bad American accent, "Booyah!"

3 brilliant theses and 58 pages later, my finals are finished, and I have emerged out of my sweatpants-draped room, gone on a bright, snowy run, and returned to the real world (aka Harris Teeter the grocery store).

Last finals week I showed you this:


My old school "posulating" about the religious overtures of Frederick Edwin Church's Aurora Borealis

This finals week I present to you my more technologically advanced method of composing big fat essays:


















Copious research notes and a laptop. Old school might be better...

I really feel the need to thank those entities that have gotten me through this week. In no particular order, I heartily express my gratitude to:

-NOVA Institute choir (Beautiful concert Tuesday night!)

-http://www.bibme.org/ (Holy shiz.SO unbelievably happy to now avoid hour-long hunts for the original place of publication!)

-Spike Mendelsohn and his lovely The Good Stuff Cookbook (concocting  his raspberry sugar cookies and red velvet brownies with white chocolate icing helps ease whatever ails ya).

-Wikipedia.org, particularly the entries on Christine de Pizan and Emperor Menelik II of Ethiopia. Even my professors admit to popping over to Wiki to read a few facts about their subjects translated kindly from academic gargle into English. No shame. Only love.

-Facebook.com- I hate you, always. But I did enjoy browing my friends' pics when I was really stuck. Nothing like a baby in a Bumbo to make you realize everything's gonna be ok. :)

And now, dash away HOME!!!!!!!!!!! Christmas in Vegas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Theme Song for Finals

8 days left of finals, and what am I doing this morning? Dancing around my kitchen in the same exact dumb way the lead singer of One Republic does throughout this video (particularly at the 3:12 mark. That's my move!). I'm strangely proud of this video, because I remember during the heyday of "Apologize" thinking that the lead singer of this band TOTALLY lacked in star power (as in, he looked like the kid I was assigned to sit next to in Algebra class who tried to cheat off me, whose life was devoted to Xbox). Look how far he's come! Watch me/us go:



The fro-headed boy going nuts with the snare drum in this video kills me. And is also kind of my muse. In some future life, after my lives where I'm a surgeon, a member of the Medici family, Alicia Keys, a pioneer, and someone who understands chemistry, I'm going to be a crazy drummer in a rock band.

In the meantime, three more papers. As the singer of One Republic (who prominently sports a wedding ring- way to be!) pronounces for some unknowable artistic reason:

WE'RE MARSHIN ON!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Love Note to _. _.

Can I just say how much I am in love with my city right now? No, not Arlington, that's just where I house my shoes and go running. The District of Columbia. Where I work, study, and play. Home of the National Cathedral, National Archives, the Capitol, and a dozen other prominent and lovable buildings arranged neatly along the skyline. The place I spend almost $5 a day to get to and from, riding on a booming, crowded metro. This normally snooty city has set aside its obnoxious wonky persona for a season and become a real, thriving, metropolis... with PEOPLE in it! Sigh. All for me, the summer-loving, token art girl from the West. How did I come to be in love with you, overcrowded, overcoat-ed, early winter Washington? There's just no explanation for taste!



And yet, there are a thousand and one reasons why I love you, city. Any given day, you are so much better than New York; more J. Crew, less Marc Jacobs. More fog, less wind. More history, same amount of mystery. Less expensive, less crazy, just the right amount of energy. Everywhere I look, you've spawned whimsical, department-store-caliber Christmas decorations. Your homeless musicians, parked on milk crates by the metro entrances, trail a peppy "It Came Upon a Midight Clear" with their saxaphones. One even accompanied my walk home today with a French melody on the accordian- merci! (That doesn't mean I'm any less of a grinch than I used to be. One of my supreme delights each day is having a bakery music station that ROCKS all day long. It only plays Christmas music from 6 to 7 am, when I'm too sleepy/too busy setting up the counter displays to notice. Then it switches to a mix that has included Journey, Taylor Swift, Linkin Park, and Savage Garden. Radom and awesome! Hallelujah!) 


Let me tell you about The Washingtonites I've been meeting and serving carbs and coffee. I love them all. They come in wearing dark but chic coats and sporting the ubiquitous scarf. They disseminate business cards, squeal over our gorgeous cupcakes, croissants, etc., announce the end of their diets with gleeful joy, and round it up by buying each other sugar and going back to work/getting on a plane/metro'ing back to Maryland. I am smiling and running back and forth ringing up sales all day long (Finals? 11 days away. TTFN).


This isn't him, but you get the idea.

This week the city introduced me to a wall-eyed homeless man, who keeps wandering into the bakery. He asks to see "the lady with dark hair" and mutters something about "investments." He never takes a sample cupcake, but I like to harness my inner Ana Pascal and make him feel welcome. The first time he came in, he requested pen and paper and proceeded to write a 7 inch long message to said unnamed dark-haired lady, which was absolutely undecipherable (I tried). He hunched over it for a full ten minutes, using a minutre, scrawled script that looked exactly as you expect a crazy homeless man's note to a bakery owner to look. Thoroughly enjoyable.

City, maybe I'm romanticizing you, maybe I'm not. When I'm with you, the hours seem like minutes, and when I metro away from you, the minutes drag into hours. Things are never as serendipitous in the West, or in Virginia, for that matter. There, things make sense, they have their place, they are contained. Life with you, of course, is anything but. I think about you when I go to sleep. I bless your leaf-strewn, rain-washed streets when I set out in the morning.

National Museum of African Art on the Mall. Where I study.
I don't know how long you and I will last, city, because truthfully, I've been thinking about leaving you in the next few months. But just know that you've been my constant companion, and some days my only source of beauty and joy, these two long years. I can only think to attribute this to the fact that I am an architect's daughter- I was raised to see and connect to humanity best through the structures it builds. In that way, then, we were meant for each other.

Sometimes you stifle me, city, often you baffle me, on occasion you enrage me, but then again, many times you throw open your museum doors and introduce me to artists like Alexis Rockman at SAAM (gorgeous!), or sketch out the allure of Ethiopian processional crosses and Rastafarianism. And thus, our affair continues on. What's going to happen to us in the end, city? You're right. It's a question that need not be answered now. It's Christmas time, and you're taking care of me like no place ever has. I am happy on your streets, in your museums, with your people. And I think you are happy to have me, too- bundled up bright, passing through your midst and working hard in your businesses and at one of your schools. So, for the moment, District, I guess I remain, most sincerely,

Yours,

LC the Intrepid

(Pictures taken from the DCist group Flickr pool)

Friday, November 26, 2010

"Desiderata"

It's a 1927 poem by Max Ehrmann, and quite possibly the most perfect thing you will spend 60 seconds reading this Thanksgiving break. Enjoy:

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.


As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others — even to the dull and the ignorant — they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.


Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.


Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.


Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.


With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Serious Thankful Day

Out of all 400 tagged fb pics, I only found 3 ones that could be considered relatively serious. Here is one.
I am thankful for the following austere, sometimes somber blessings today:

21. Religions that have commonalities with mine.
22. Non-homelessness (aka homeliness? :)
23. Quaker Oatmeal Square cereal (It fits in the serious category because it's not a sugary cereal. Just delicious and healthy and grown-upy but still fun because I like biting into each cruchy square with my back teeth).
24. Homeland Security/ICE
25. Having BFFs to talk to during trials
26. Global warming (anything that makes winter shorter and eases my guilt about never recycling has my gratitude)
27. Adoption
28. People who acknowledge their flaws and make me feel better about having them, too
29. Canadians like Kelly and Grandma C.

30. Expecto Patronum Memory #5: Presenting my Senior Thesis to a darkened auditorium filled with my peers, my art history idol, and my parents.

31. The relative health of my family.
32. Our life quality: "We are richer than Pharoahs ever were," my mom once observed. Because we enjoy things like the following, daily
32a. Air conditioning 32b. Air travel 32c. Internet 32d. Education!
33. Travelling by rental car to Aunt Marie's house in North Carolina tomorrow! EXTENDED FAMILY!
34. Life lessons learned from Stranger Than Fiction
35. Boys who are dilligently working to overcome pornography addicitions (I am really grateful for their efforts, their perserverance, their faith, and just their ability and willingness to think hard about the right and strong way through.)
36. Harry Potter 7
37. That I have work tomorrow
38. History to learn from- the exploits of Marie Antionette, Henri Matisse, Minerva Teichert, Enos the prophet, William the Conqueror, etc.
39. Watching my friends grow
40. The following counsel from Richard G. Scott: "Be thankful that sometimes God lets you struggle for a long time before that answer comes. That causes your faith to increase and your character to grow." It took me by surprise when he said that, I don't know why. But I really appreciate the message and will savor it in days and years to come.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

NOT the Bayeux Tapestry, not yet anyway.

100 things I'm thankful for: The first 20.

1. ELECTRIC BLANKIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
2. New cookbooks
3. Powder blue nail polish
4. Getting to wear a handkerchief and an apron at work! (Update: I now manage a bakery in Arlington. Random but awesome!)
5. Getting to sample new products from the head baker! (my current weight: 127 lbs. We'll see if that changes over the next few months. :) I'm limiting myself to one sugar item a day.)
6. My colorful copy of the Book of Mormon
7. Loud, funny roommates
7a. Kathryn Moss 7b. Kelly McBride 7c. Meradyth Moore 7d. Laney Zundel
Click to Enlarge- it's HUGE in real life!
8. Expecto Patronum memory #1: Visiting the J. Paul Getty Museum at age 11 and being inspired to write an essay about fairies afterward seeing this 1894 Alma Tadema painting, Spring. (I had a very active and passionate imagination :).

9. The fact that it was in the upper 60s with bright blue skies yesterday
10. Ferris Bueller's Day Off
11. Truth, wherever it is found
12. Peep-toe shoes
13. Twinkle lights around my bed
14. Democracy- "the worst form of government except for all the others that have been tried" -Winston Churchill
15. Modern plumbing
16. Modern medicine
17. Kind, interesting people with different opinions than mine
18. Having an immune system of STEEL (I hardly ever get sick, knock on wood.)
19. Temples
20. My sister Marie asking me to document the fall in Arlington yesterday. Because of her, I had a very enjoyable jaunt around my neighborhood yesterday with my Canon Elph. Here's a slide show of everything I saw. Ps Wee, you'll get your own "I'm thankful" number later on in the week :)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Expecto Patronum: For Katie

We were in the middle of an epic Harry Potter marathon this evening when I began to consider all of my happiest memories, the kind that would repel soul-sucking Dementors via their clarity, depth, and warmth if I lived in Harry Potter world and, you know, had a wand and the Expecto Patronum charm at my command.

I later listed some of those most random, happy memories (I filled up two pages- blessed life!). Here is just one such memory for you, the one I will use to keep me smiling when I go to sleep in a few minutes:

Age 9. I look at my beautiful mother, with her long, long straight golden hair (complete with tower of bangs), still-slightly-gap-toothed smile, and rounded blue shirt. She invites me to come sit next to her on the couch and feel the baby kick. My sister. She was getting so big in there and soon I would meet her! Was I ready to be a big sister again? Yes, I think so, I reply solemnly. Kick, kick.

..........................................
She's the short one.
And that is my first memory of Katie. A month or two after this happy episode, she was born. The last of us Eric and Ann offspring, her arrival was basically the touchstone of our young family life, the crowning achievement, so to speak. :) Let me tell you about her for a second. She was one h*** of a beautiful baby. Soon after her birth we moved to a new house that would turn out to be the source of one of our sorest trials but most blessed growth experiences, and I'm sure we couldn't have done it without Katie. The Lacy Lane house (see picture) is where Katie earned the nickname Running Bear because she often got returned to our front door, butt naked, by bemused neighbors who happened to spy her shedding her diapers and gleefully setting out to explore the wideworld of Lacy Lane. Katie was our "angel baby" who, in direct contrast to her nickname, was a holy terror to try and control during sacrament meetings. Oh, the memories of chasing her wicked fast, stubborn little self down the halls of the Charleston chapel...


She's only 16, yo. Cool it.
 At age three she was relegated, with the rest of us, to a pink two-story house on Alamosa Way, where she grew up into the amazing young lady she is today. Bright, hard working, blonde with lovely fair skin and HUGE crystalline blue eyes, my bebe sister Katie is now a junior in high school, and coming into her own. Sometimes I don't think I know what's going on in her head but I like finding out. Katie texts me when something's up at home, or when she's bored, when she's thinking of me, or every so often she sends me a really awesome, artfully decorated email transcription of the highs and lows of high school. Several mornings a month I wake up to a bubbly text greeting from Katie that I know has also been sent to, and happily received by, our three other siblings, who are all away in the great metropolis of Provo. Thank you, Katie,  for keeping the family ties tightly knotted.


When describing my family to new acquaintances, I explain Katie like so: "And that last sister of mine... she just... well, she doesn't even need us, she's this determined little powerhouse! She had her Young Women's medallion by the time she turned 13, can you believe it!? We are glad we have her. She will be the first one of us to earn a million dollars as some CEO somewhere, mark my words. She can do anything."

Wee, Ynny, KayKay
I like her-- no, love her-- because she wakeboards like a fiend, dresses like a diva, stays cheerful like an angel, and yet can deliver a fiery tongue lashing on cue. She swam for one month and raced a better 100 fly than I could ever dream of (No, seriously. Family records SHATTERED).  Her homecoming dress this year was black and white, just like Marie's and mine were (and boy do we look GOOD in fancy B/W dresses). Most important of all, Katie stays true to what she believes in. Whether it's creating a coherent animal print bedroom (something I could never rock), or explaining with clarity and conviction her gospel beliefs, she is a such a lady. She has probably stopped reading by now because of embarrassment. No, I don't have any particular reason to be celebrating her tonight-- her birthday isn't til April-- but why should that stop me?

The point of my ramblings is, one of the happiest memories I have is just the memory of feeling her kick. That should tell you how neat she is. She is an important part of my family, an entity which, in Harry Potter 3 and in real life, proves again and again to be the most life saving, magical force in the universe.

HOORAY FOR KATIE!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Goodbye, boys.

For the first time in a really long time-- possibly EVER-- I am ok with the thought of being single for a long time.

I lead a good life. I have a multitude of blessings seeping in on me every morning, not the least of which is independence. I have people to love and listen to and be understood by, possibly my most important need and want. I am still on track with my Heavenly Father, he's telling me so right about now.

I have a firm, and dissaprooving, understanding just how brutal Satan is, how he chips away or sometimes jackhammers away on whatever ails you, your whole life long (HE IS A JERK.).

More importantly, I also see and feel how sweet and unique the blessing of a close relationship-- friendship, even-- with Jesus Christ is. I understand a bit better how one's honest friendship with the Savior brings a level of calmness, confidence, and charity to one's daily life that absolutely cannot be picked up elsewhere. I really love going to the temple every week since I have recieved my endowment and just enjoying the spirit and the community that is there.

I'm a little worried about whether or not this is an appropriate statement to make on a blog, but for once I'm going to let it be my journal of what I really think and feel and am going through. I talked with my mom this week about our very deepest fears and worries (which we both, oddly enough, came face to face with this week in the form of very bizarre, very deeply affecting dreams :)

I realized that my fear used to be not getting married young. (As you can probably guess, that's caused me a lot of panic and pain the last five years). In my defense, this is not just some foofy desire I had because I was all princess-y and marriage obsessed. I genuinely have felt, for most of my life, that I was MADE for someone. I am not meant to be single, and I will be a dang good wife. I have felt inklings of what it will be like to support and sustain someone through thick and thin in my relationships with family and close friends, and that is so delicious to me. I just want it, and for the last five years, I have wanted it to be now, or since it's obviously not now, starting tomorrow...

... but, as I talked to my mom, I realized that my real desire is to have a family. It doesn't matter so much when that is. I know the caliber of family I plan to raise: the kind that can cross the proverbial 21st-century plains together and arrive with everyone intact and in tune on the other side, with confidence in their voices and hands, a song a prayer and a laugh on their lips, and love in their eyes. I know the type of marriage I hope to share at some future point with a very, very good man. I am beginning to understand the type of esteem I hope to hold him in; I've heard it in the voices of some of my favorite women as they discuss the enduring obedience to God and quiet dedication to family that their husbands display every day (I literally want to stand up cheer for every good man, good husband, and good father that I know, as in college football game-clinching OT TD volume cheers). I'm so proud of all of you that are hanging in there. I'm so here for all of you that are having a rough go of it. Like I said, Satan is a jerk, and boy do we have to stick together, invite the Savior in, and not let Satan get an INCH on us!

I saw the most beautiful thing on Sunday: a dad sat on the end of the back pew at church, beside him in a little wheelchair was his tiny little daughter (I'd say under 3 years old!) who had some special needs. All stake conference long, he grinned at her, rubbed a little stuffed penguin up against her cheek, let her reach up with her tiny hand and turn his face this way and that. He took every chance he got to make her laugh. You could see plain as day that she was one of his most priceless treasures, and that he was her favorite person in the ENTIRE world! Just watching that reminded me how worth the wait, how worth the fight, these things are.

I have no idea where I got the dumb idea to title this Good-bye boys. Consider that a moment of melodrama from a now mid-twenties girl. Hello, men is more like it. They've got to be out there somewhere. Making the right choices, moving forward across the plains, same as I'm trying to do. Guy, I guess I'll meet you somewhere on the road. Hang tough.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Two videos that pretty much sum up my DC cultural milieu.

Video the First.

Voici the performance piece Milk and Honey, which I saw performed at the opening reception of the GWU student-curated, student-created Verbal Input/Visual Output show (Go curators Caranine, Susan, and the art students Evan Hume and Blair Bainbridge!!).

Just as background, each of the BFA and MFA students were given copies of a poem and asked to create artworks of whatever images came to mind. The show demonstrates how one set of words can go into people's minds the same and emerge as TOTALLY different visual images and symbols... and, in the case of this performance piece... groceries!


video

Yes, that IS Mariah Carey's Honey playing in the background. :) The poem the artists were all given is part of Percy Bysshe Shelley's 1820 poem "Love's Philosophy." Haha, I just realized that by giving it to you now, I'm doing what the curators did, backwards-- I gave you a visual, now I'm asking you to see if you can fit it into the scope of the following beautiful verses:


The fountains mingle with the river
And the rivers with the Ocean,
The winds of Heaven mix for ever
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single;
All things by a law divine
In one spirit meet and mingle.
Why not I with thine?

Sigh. It's lovely. As is the rest of the show. What visual images come to your mind when you read that? I still have landscapes on the brain from last semester, I saw winds playing with each other (they're visible cuz  autumn leaves and trash are floating in them) and then everything gets gusted out to sea.

Here are some photos of what the other artists envisioned in connection to those words (most of these pics belong to my friend Caranine, the proud curator and talented photographer- I couldn't figure out how to link to the whole exhibition album online, so you just get my favorites).









Hehe. I'll tell you my interpretation on this last one, I didn't get it for a while: Sweet emotion, nothing is single. Hence, two matching ice cream sundaes! Like.


Video the Second.

Warning: This is a slightly more, uh, banal video. Right after I witnessed Milk and Honey being performed (by the way, you only saw the very tail end of it- the duo emptied out SEVEN honey and milk bottles, it was quite mesmerizing), my friend Ashley and I tromped on over to DuPont Circle, where the 24th Annual High Heel Race took place at 9 pm. It was a, uh, Halloween drag race. As in, those are not women sprinting down 17th Ave in heels. I snagged a primo spot in the crowds right by the finishing line (the fellas sprint for three blocks in them heels!) Keep a look out in the video for Marge Simpson, Liza Minelli, Alice in Wonderland and "Michelle Rhee."

video

Welcome to Washington.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Les Pieds

Our lesson on Sunday got me thinking about the beauty of feet, which is weird. Voila the starting point for our discussion:


How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! (Isaiah 52:7)


Feet from statue of Musician of Amun Tasherit-Khonsu,
Ptolemaic or Roman Period, 332–30 B.C.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.

 The teacher asked us why Isaiah would wax eloquent about feet in particular. My comment to the class was that this passage of scripture is just a beautiful, ancient literary expression of gratitude for someone who has come far and potentially traversed mountains to bring you the words you need most, words of redemption. Of course you are so grateful for whatever brought them to you. I can envision that type of gratitude now at age 25-- I can imagine the sensation of being so happy and thankful that you fall on your face-- but it's been a weird road to get me to that understanding. I remember vividly when I was little being really disgusted by the idea that people loved the Savior so much that they would kiss his feet. It bugged me on multiple levels; I remember thinking to myself "I hope he won't make me kiss his feet, I will just jump up and hug him, and he'll let me, because he's MY Jesus!"

Madonna di Loreto, 1604-1606, by Caravaggio, in the church of Sain'Agostino in Rome. Incidentally, this was the very, very first painting I saw on my 7 week art history tour of Europe that I talked about last week. I didn't cry in front of this painting but I remember so well, it was my first shot of , "Holy crap I'm standing in front of something priceless and world reknowned." 


There he is. Would you believe this painting was controversial? The monied family that paid the artist Caravaggio to paint it (Caravaggio, incidentally, is one of art history's most infamous rogues, getting kicked out of Rome after killing someone at a tennis match) HATED this painting when they saw it. Can you guess why? See the dirty peasant feet that jut out of the bottom of the painting towards you? That was just not up to their aristocratic tastes. (Incidentally, the nasty feet are right about at your eye level when you see the painting in Rome). Can you blame the stuffy richies? Yes, you can. Although they were looking for something a little more regal, probably more along the lines of the Roger van der Weyden altarpiece we looked at last week, they got a dash of realism, which, in my humble American opinion, is not bad. In fact, it's much more democratic, dramatic, and in keeping with the story of Jesus as the actual kind of man he was. As a proud American girl (who owns a modest 32 pairs of shoes but always opts to go barefoot if possible), I really appreciate Caravaggio including the common man and his common feet in this portrait. FYI, we also know that the patrons were double incensed by the lack of aura or glory around the Virgin and child-- for all we know, Caravaggio was painting some poor mom and kid off the streets, tsk tsk-- if you'll notice, only the faintest of halos, the duo's fine porcelain skin, and the step they stand on signify that they are holy beings, removed from the realm of dirt and grime and poverty literally beneath them. But, hey, Italian patrons, shove it! That was the whole point of Jesus, he loved everyone!


Ahem. I digress. The other thing I think is fascinating about this painting as I look at it is the line you can draw from the male peasant to Mary and Jesus; where do they come closest to meeting? Between baby Jesus' outstretched foot and the peasant's clasped hands and mouth. You can bet that Caravaggio understood the value of beautiful feet and was thinking about the gratitude of those who loved Jesus when he created this composition.




Now, I feel like mentioning the fact that I am NOT a foot fetishizer by any means, in fact I think they're funny and sometimes, on the wrong person, gross. But the more I thought about it yesterday, the more examples I could think of where the scriptures reference a person's feet in a sacred way, which made me appreciate them anew. Moses was instructed to remove his shoes as he stood before Jehovah on Mount Sinai. Nephite missionaries brought the plan of salvation to Lamanites who had no idea even what heaven was, and they fell down at their feet. We are instructed to be clothed in the armour of God, which includes having our feet shod with the gospel of peace. Jesus washed the feet of his disciples near the end of his life as a show of love, humility, and true charity. And finally, His own feet walked on water, carried him through crowds, were wetted with tears and covered with perfume by the adulterous woman, and today, bear the marks of his crucifixion and will someday cleve the Mount of Olives in two when he returns.

I think the literary, scriptural, and artistic value of feet lies in the very mundane fact that they are what keep us connected to the world, and allow us to travel throughout it. They are not beautiful in and of themselves (well, no, that's not true, I've seen cute feet before. But they're rare), but what they do, and what they can do (and how they look in heels), makes simply marvelous. How beautiful indeed.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Sad Day

Today I am a little bit sad. Revelation!! It's ok to be sad on your blog once in a while I think.

I had to get up in the middle of the night and throw on socks, sweats, and another blanket onto my bed. I wasn't ready to let go of summer yet and I certainly don't appreciate winter hustling autumn out of its way into my house this cold, cold morning. And all day long I sat in my freezing art building because no one at the school had quite gotten round to turning on the heat. Long sleeve shirt, knit sweater, AND pagmina clutched tightly around my shoulders, and I STILL felt like an eskimo in lecture. I am so, so sad.

Some of the world's greatest, most touching art is sad. I'm trying to think of artworks I've actually cried in front of. I know there were several on my study abroad (random tangent, but sometimes I feel like my study abroad and my senior thesis and my grad school are my mission. They make me work so hard and they string out my emotions in ways no other experience has). Michelangelo's Pieta, which sits smack dab in a vaulted niche off to one side of the entrance of the HUGE Vatican, is the first artwork I can remember that brought waterworks during that trip.


Michelangelo Buonarroti, 1499.

That looks about how I remembered it, thanks Internet. I've often wondered where the tradition of the Lamentation of Christ or Descent from the Cross pictures came from in Christian art. Could you pick a more despondent subject? Though not based on any scriptural text, these scenes emerged as many artists began to imagine what might have happened AFTER the Savior died on the cross. After the earth had stopped shaking, the Pharisees were somewhere downtown cackling to themselves, and all that were left on Golgotha were grief-stricken friends, family, and followers, and maybe some Romans. In many Lamentation/Descent from the Cross scenes, the artist chooses to render Mary in almost as miserable and pathetic a condition as the body of Jesus. My art history friends (especially my fellow Martha Peacock-ites!) better have the name of this artist on the tip of your tonuge, ready, go:



Rogier van der Weyden! How'd we do? Descent from the Cross, 1435, just LOOK at that blue! and the folds of that drapery! Notice how Mary's body, even her arms, curve just like her son's. Look at their faces. So sad.

I remember seeing the following painting on my trip and NOT crying, because I was writing an essay for class about it, BUT I still feel like showing it, because man is it glorious, sad, and slightly morbid (plus, I don't think I've had any Spanish art on my blog). Well, here's making up for lost time:


Andrea Mantegna, The Lamentation over the Dead Christ, 1490. In Milan.
I don't really feel like delving into the heart and soul and history of these paintings, because their best feature is in fact the way they make you sad, make you ponder on the dead Christ, too, like the other people watching over him in these paintings. Although for this one I can't get away without saying, Yeesh will you look at that angle? Why do you think Mantegna wanted to direct our eyes up the body of the Christ starting at the feet? I can think of a few reasons...)

Of course, there are a lot of things out there to make us sad. Lots of them have been made into art. Vis a vis:

Anton van Dyke's golden angel weeping into his serpentine swath of silk.

Camille Claudel's bronze alterego has her lover ripped from her hands in The Age of Maturity (1900, Musee d'Orsay).

Ah, homelessnes. I remember that. :)

Untitled (Big Man), Ron Mueck, Hirshhorn, 2003. Big, naked, and not loving it.


Clifford Still, 1960. 1960. Also at the Hirshhorn. "The Pit of Dithpair!!!" What movie?

BUT AT LAST! As I thumb through my picture albums to come up with more depressing photos, I find...



Fat Baby Choking a Goose! (Roman, around 150 A.D., in the Louvre) BAHAHA I don't know why this made me laugh so hard but it did. And right after violent fat baby, I found:


Tiny Dancer! Georg Kolbe, Woman Dancing, 1911.


And even BIGGER Fat Baby! I can't-remember-the-name at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.


And finally, Butterflies, from the hilarious and modern (?) Odilon Redon (1910, MOMA). I sure do love you, guy. So cute. And slightly fruity.

Life is good. Tomorrow will be better. Tonight I will sleep with my winter BFF: Electric Blankie. GOOD DAY to you!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Serendipity is...

Love notes lighting up every 200 yards of your favorite run.


Finding out 2 miles later that all these notes (at least 15 of them!) are 2 Amy Love Rory... yet still basking in their glow.
Cutest form of PDA I've ever seen!
 


Taking in your kingdom at the top of your favorite run along Arlington Ridge, right before an early cross-country flight. The Pentagon is the low building right beyond the highway, the Washington Monument and the Old Post Office are the two towers in the distance. Unseen is the Potomac river in between us Virginians and them DCists and the Capitol, which hidden by the dumb bushes, far right.
 
Taking your younger "Elder" brother by complete surprise by joining him for the second half of his flight home.
^ Face of disbelief.

Sweetly booting an old lady out of her seat next to my bro so that I could sit next to him and bask in all his fresh missionary nerdishness. We read many scriptures on this flight home.


Cute doggies and sweet shades. And smiling with ALL your teeth.


GLASS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Discovering that not having any health insurance can acutally be a plus, since it causes your father to rachet down his usual boat driving attitude from "Demon" to merely "Wild." That is my foot and my ponytail, fyi.


Having eternal frienships... (Not pictured: Ashley, who is nevertheless very important)

Snuggling with favorite people and getting recharged for life. Not pictured: my parents, who are nevertheless EXTREMELY important! I love my family!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Go Team

You know those days where you're supposed to be reading 100 pages and preparing a project proposal for presentation tomorrow, but instead are spending the entire day falling in love with new music, contemplating life, watching plumbers install a sink in your bathroom, scouring the cupboards for new snackfoods, and vaguely piling up clothes in the center of your room so that you can pack them in a suitcase for your flight to Vegas on Wednesday?

Yea. I thought you'd know those days. Grr. I hate being this unproductive. I did run 4 miles today though. My sole success. And now, back to staring really hard at my Ethiopian readings and willing the information to go past my eyes and imprint on my brain.

.... Really I am just thinking about fall sports, as portrayed in these new youtube finds. The first really is just a gorgeous video, and the second is admittedly Kenny Chesney, but the coach's speech in the beginning secured its placement on my blog. Going from BYU, world's most sober school, to GWU, a grown-up prep school in the inner city, I feel like I was cheated out of the whole tailgate-party-chestpainted-football-fans college scene. *Small whine* Would've been fun.









I'm going home this week. I was in New York last week. I go to grad school and have become increasingly nervous about the job opportunities supposedly awaiting on the other side. My contacts are dry from staring at the computer for too long. I strung Christmas light up around my bed, canopy-style, and they look AWESOME. I can't decide if today is a good day or a bad day, but in the end, I don't have time to consider the question much further. As I mentioned earlier, HOMEWORK.

-La Scatterbrain
Hold up- pictures from my New York weekend:

I AM George's Progeny... I got to his school, after all.
It's like a tiny plaza for midgets, so they can feel like they run the universe for a second during their daily commute! Random mosaic under a low ceiling on the Red 1 line...

Ashley, my East Coast Sister! In Central Park.
Ghostwalking the Panda!

Our new luggage and our fabulous shoes make an appearance at the Goog. Ashley's on the left, I'm on the right.

update: wow that whole procrastination thing is really coming back around to bite me in the butt. Lesson from grad school year 1-- to do your readings early or you will never do them-- officially re-learned!