Saturday, May 30, 2009

Guerilla Gardening Installation Art?

Guerilla gardening has become a fairly popular concept. It is this impromptu beneficial form of trespassing that was the precursor to many community garden programs. Nearly every DIY book nowadays has instructions for making seed bombs (soil balls filled with seeds for tossing somewhere you want the seeds to grow). This, however, brings together street art with guerilla gardening, which heretofore were fairly distinct forms.


Friday, May 29, 2009

Give me just a little more time..

I've been listening to this over and over and over and over again.

I don't know why.

If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.

I hate Kindergarten. Everyone always coos when I tell them I'm subbing for a kindergarten teacher, about how cute it is going to be. Tuesday I subbed for a Kindergarten teacher and I was wished "good luck" by some of the parents. I don't know if you could confuse this, but to be clear, this was spoken in a foreboding manner, a warning of sorts.

The kids were pretty bad for kindergartners, nothing too violent, just a lot of whining and talking out of turn. One of the kindergartners asked me if I ever subbed for pre-K. I told him that I had but I try not to. "Why not? All the cute babies are there!" he cooed. For some reason, one or two years allows little kids to think of themselves as grown and others as little. Pre-K is kindergarten void of anything I might like about kindergarten. And I'm having a hard time thinking of what that might be.

So I was psyched when I got the call to work a three day job at a certain high school 5 minutes from my house. Instead of a half hour drive to tie shoelaces and listen to how someone doesn't want to be Katie's friend anymore, I can leave the house at the same time, drive five minutes, be home an hour earlier, and have a far less dense parade of problems to deal with.

Same kids, three days in a row. High Schoolers have come down from their hormonal obnoxiousness of sixth through eighth grade; they chill out and stop trying to fight you as much. All three days, the plan was to watch To Kill a Mockingbird. Suite.

The second day some kids started to tell me that I look like an old actress. One girl said I looked like I was from the sixties. Could the striped turtleneck have anything to do with that?

Most of the kids were really well behaved and just watched the movie. I got to watch it five times, in small increments. As I never read the book, and had never seen the movie before, this was the most suspenseful thing possible. I rewatched Mayella's flawed testimony and Tom Robinson's defense over and over again.

Some of the kids complained that the movie was boring. Kids always complain that things are boring. Just because you'd rather be making out in the bathroom or beating somebody up at the flagpole doesn't mean that the activity you are engaged in is intrinsically insipid. Many of them supported this claim with the fact that the movie is in black and white. Apparently, this hurts their eyes, and is less entertaining than a color film. I thought it was really interesting that I got this comment from three girls who were reading. Books. Without pictures. With black text on white pages. If you have the imagination to enjoy a novel, how can you find fault in an old film?

Speaking of old, black and white films, I finally watched Jean-Luc Godard's seminal piece Á Bout De Souffle (Breathless). Last year I read the entire Youth in Revolt series. (I'm patiently awaiting the film release). This movie is so important to the character of Sheeni Saunders. It is mentioned many many times throughout the book(s); Nick Twisp does things to make himself more Belmondoesque (not that Michael Cera will have to try too very hard for this). However, now that I've seen this movie, I can understand that Sheeni is, or desires to be Patricia Franchini. And I too have a love for Jean-Paul Belmondo. He might have been the most attractive man of the sixties.

Also, as I often do when I see someone with hair I admire, I chopped mine off.

If no one mentions your haircut, does it mean they dislike it?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Marrying into a family.

This past Sunday, my cousin who lives in Utah proposed to his girlfriend in front of Robert Indiana's LOVE statue in NYC. As they were up for the weekend, his new fiancé got a chance to meet all the uncles, and I have to say I was a bit embarrassed at the racist, homophobic and crude behavior that I do normally find myself cringing at. I apologized to her for this, and her fiancé, my half Korean, stylish, polite cousin Jeffrey quipped "I don't know how they even talk to me." It is the sort of family where boys were threatened at a young age: "if you EVER call me up and tell me you're a fag, I won't EVER speak to you again!"

On a slightly pathetic, faintly self-loathing note, I was again considering what it would be like to marry into a family. That is, could I marry the only single, only brother, so that I, too, could bear that proud name? If the only single, only brother even lived within 100 miles, I could consider this further.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Digging in the dirt: Good for your Soul?

While we were shoveling compost during my community garden work party, I gave up on my shovel and began grabbing the last piles of dirt with my hands. Rich black stuff, quality compost; you know the type. Someone asked me if I wanted gloves, and as I refused, another girl working on the same task said that she had heard somewhere something about touching dirt releasing serotonin. I really wanted this to be what she said. I really wanted her to have been serious about it, but I wasn't sure. I went home and looked up to see what I could find, and sure enough: a bacteria in the soil causes your brain to produce extra serotonin. So if you're ever feeling a little down, you should really get digging in the dirt. Plant your favorite vegetable. It is totally worth the effort.

Read the article.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Some attempts at letterpress.

So when I get actual type, and don't have to resort to using metal leather stamping letters, I will probably get better results.
Also, I think I'll try to use my intaglio ink instead of the water-based block printing ink. Oh, and nicer paper. Hmph.

The instructions that came with my bottle jack are super shoddy. They told me what to do, but did not tell me how to do it (or where, for that matter, the release valve was located).

Lesson learned: Turn valve too far to the left, spill oil everywhere.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Updated Road Trip Itinerary

We'll see how it goes.

View Larger Map

Tiny Living

As a resident of a tiny apartment (483 sq ft), I really love looking at other people's tiny homes. Once a year my favorite magazine does a small spaces issue. I was thinking today about writing them a letter once my proofing press is finished (a project taken from their magazine), sending them pictures and perhaps prints and also letting them know how disappointed I was with the last small spaces issue. Typically, they feature three different homes, with several pages each dedicated to this. This time there was only one. Actually, maybe it wasn't their tiny spaces issue. Either way, I found something to satisfy my craving for cute tiny homes. apparently has a contest for small-cool homes. Oh. My. Goodness. Look!

Check out other small and not *so* small apartments.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


The College of St. Rose is the stingiest. Proof.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Stood Up

For some reason, I am always being stood up. Unlike the unfortunate movie character, however, I am usually stood up by friends.
Granted, it is not all of my friends. Some of my friends are really good at making and keeping plans. Some are not.

It has gotten so bad that I have had to discuss it with one or two offenders. This usually helps, but only minimally.

Tonight I was stood up by one friend who is usually good at keeping plans. I would be upset with him, but he is moving away.

Our plans tonight were not just for hanging out, they were for saying goodbye.

I feel really weird. If I say: 'screw you, bud' then I never see him again and we left on a bad note.

If I try any harder to get ahold of him.....I don't know, it just isn't worth it. I left him two messages on his answering machine (he only has a landline), and I stopped by (as per the plans) and he wasn't home.