Nov. 18th, 2010

life imitates art

I just got home from a very enjoyable evening at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston with my Continuing Studies Advanced Visual Arts classmates and our teacher. We stormed the European Galleries building and saw lots of cool stuff, but more importantly discussed the lives and times of many artists, the tragedies and joys and physical hardships that influenced their work. We also did a lot of interesting technical discussion, on media and material, the function and meaning of art in its various times, and the nature of aesthetics. It was great.
I love visiting museums with people, although I admit I am not always a good co-museum-visitor. I tend to bounce from place to place without rhyme or reason, only occasionally reading the signs, or I will systematically go through a gallery in such a way as to hit every single piece in the least number of steps. Or sometimes I'll just sit on a bench and slowly rotate my view until I've taken it all in.
So now I want to paint. I have paints, even, but not much time. I need to get my workspace set up so that I can leave my in-progress stuff on the drafting table and not have to do an elaborate song-and-dance every time I want to paint.

In other news, photos have been posted from the epic week of Jaye, including some nice ones of Houston sights, but nothing from the Observatory because I left my camera at home. Besides, it was dark. Still, our tours of the various small telescopes on the terrace and the two big research domes at the George Observatory were excellent. We did a lot of running around in the dark with our hands in the air squeeing, "Space! It's really big!" Seriously. I mean, people who know us will just know that we did exactly that, but it's not a cute text message code or something. We jumped up and down and waved our arms in the "touchdown" manner.
It was awesome.

As for the Zoo, I may need to go back one day just to sit around the elephant enclosure for a while because, OMG BABY ELEPHANTS! So adorable.
One of them tried very hard to escape from the stalls where they were being bathed, and the tiny one kept poking his trunk through the bars at his slightly bigger friend as if to say, "Hey, Baylor? Wanna play? Huh? Huh? Huh?"

Latin continues to be hilarious in the way that it can be for me since my grade is just so much happy funtimes. We're reading about the martyrdom of St Alban in Bede's Ecclesiastical History of Britain. It's funny, but the medieval stuff really is easier, despite the way that it warps the Classical grammar and conventions. Medieval Latin syntax starts to resemble English syntax, so it's amazingly simple to connect concepts. Sometimes there are things that are just weird, but so far it's been very straightforward and also quite fascinating. I may ask about auditing next semester after all - if the professor doesn't mind a tourist.

I had my first of four dental visits this afternoon, and spent the latter half of my workday with a Novocain-induced numb jaw. I had to hold a napkin to my mouth for part of it because I was drooling all over my desk. Very professional. Still, at least it's done, and I can get all of it done now before I need any major surgical work. I am thankful that it's a relatively straightforward couple of procedures.
Although I do have to say, contrary to the conversation I had at lunch with coworkers, those needles they used to numb my jaw were HUGE! HUUUUGE!

Now I am going to do some translating, and mourn the fact that I haven't been able to draw all week. Perhaps this weekend.

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Nov. 10th, 2010

Latin for fun and profit

LOL, the medieval story we got to translate in class was HILARIOUS: guy kills enemy, makes a cup out of enemy's skull, marries enemy's daughter, delights in giving daughter the cup and inviting her to have a drink with dear ole dad, daughter plots and kills the guy. Fun times with barbarians!
And now, guess what?

We're reading GEOFFREY OF MONMOUTH, you guys. A story about HENGIST.  LOLZ forever.

Ahem. Yeah, I can be serious.  Someday. There are tales of SPACE: IT'S REALLY BIG! \o/ plus cute baby elephants, the biker invasion of Galveston Island, airport delays with bonus beagle action, and an XTREME QUILT SHOW experience to be blogged, maybe.  Eventually.  Some of the photos are on Flickr already.

Seriously:
SPACE! IT'S REALLY BIG!! \o/ ♥ ♥


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Sep. 29th, 2010

a conversation about books... and things

E: http://www.recyclart.org/2010/09/library-information-desk/
me: but... but... nobody can READ those books now
E: true... so you do it out of publishers' remainders
me: I suppose that is acceptable
E: or zillions of copies of Catcher in the Rye. bleah
me: that would be very fine. or the Bridges of Madison County [Ed note: bad high school English class experience speaking]
me: I have to say that I have found a new respect for Wuthering Heights thanks to Tom Hardy. :P I am so so so silly.
E: never read it
E: wait, Thomas Hardy?
me: no, Tom Hardy, actor.
Elizabeth: like Far From Madding Crowd guy? I would put THAT in a book desk
me: HOT BRITISH ACTOR
me: give me a little credit. you could totally build me a desk out of The Return of the Native
me: hot, absolutely ridiculous, crazy actor. although that may just be being British. he played Heathcliff in a really well-done BBC miniseries. and in the course of discussing it with my mom I had to give her a recap of the story
E: oh
me: you know what cravats do to me. :D
me: those Brontës. sigh. wackos.
E: "You know what cravats do to me" made me snort tea
me: my work here is done. :D

And in conclusion, Dude Watching With the Brontës.


Also, a bullet-point list of things that have happened lately:
life as a list )

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Sep. 10th, 2010

stuff and things

Ok, so I can predict things pretty well, because last time I posted I said that I would screw up in class after thinking I had things down, and lo - I did!  I talked a lot more in general, but I also had totally done half the sentences wrong.  What fun!  I commiserated with a couple of classmates afterward. We all feel like idiots, so at least there's that much consolation.

In other news, yesterday evening Mom and I went to a lecture by Retired Colonel Ann Wright about her experiences with the military, diplomacy, and the Gaza Flotilla.  She was really quite amazing.

Now I am working on my art entries for the [community profile] eid_ka_chand community challenge. Fun times!

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Sep. 3rd, 2010

well, crap

Note to self: don't embed stuff from Deepest Sender.
The bulk of my text for that post was lost, because it came after the embed code from Youtube, which apparently ate it all.  I am a bit peeved about that, since it was some cool stuff.  May try to recreate it later.

Summary: Contact by Carl Sagan is a great book, better, as one would suppose, than the movie. Math is magic.

In other news, Latin class continues to go pretty well.  But I find that when I have the translation down and felt it was pretty easy, the class as a whole seems to be fumbling around blindly without a grammar book. This means that we spent a lot of time today on sentence diagramming, which is fine - it's how one learns. I just figured it was best done before class. I'm going to continue to just sit in the back and chuckle over Cicero, and posting this pretty much guarantees that next time I get called on I will have no idea what I'm doing. :P
Thank goodness for the Perseus Project, though. I haven't had to buy a dictionary or a grammar yet, and using them as searchable databases instead of paper pages is actually quite a lot easier.

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Aug. 23rd, 2010

goodbye, drawing time

So I enrolled in a credit Latin course at the university, because I can. I opted for the Intermediate course as a review, and boy am I glad I did because the first assignment is kicking my ass. I am almost two hours in and almost halfway through the paragraph we were assigned. (The paragraph! Argh. I used to sit around reading Cicero's letters all day, I should be able to do this!)
I am getting better, maybe, as I go.  Or at least feeling less like an idiot.  We'll see how it looks when I get it to the classroom.  The nice thing about taking the course now is that the Grammar book and the Dictionaries are almost all online in their entirety. I love the Perseus Project! 
I'll still probably fork over for a physical grammar, though - looking stuff up in the ebook version is giving me a headache. 
Note to self, though - I'm in this for credit, it's ok to speak up when I know the answer. 

Someday I will have time to draw again!

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Aug. 2nd, 2010

in which I blather more

a) Toddlers are hilarious.  Lando's biggest thrill when I visited was to have me sit in the armchair, then he would go to the other end of the room, start shrieking, and run run run run to throw himself onto my lap. I flipped him upside down, then, of course, which only made the game better.  And then he'd do it all again. And again.  And again.  ;)  Ah, to be two.

b) Lughnasadh was nice. Jon grilled and we had a tremendous harvest meal. It was a lovely day, indeed.

c) I've been seeing a lot of stories cross my feed and sometimes my flist about the proposed Cordoba House in NYC. It boggles my mind that there is so much negative press about it, in fact. And since it's crossed my flist and feed so many times, I just thought that I might give it some screen time. It's an idea that I first heard mentioned when I was in Seminary in New York, by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf himself. Imam Feisal was our lecturer in Islam and leader in a zikr. He is a wonderful teacher and inspiring leader. It is tremendously exciting to see the Cordoba Project reaching the point of having a building, a community center, in New York. 

d) I spent a large part of Sunday sewing. Good grief, there was a lot of sewing.  It takes me a lot longer than I think it will to cut and sew strips, but I eventually shaved a few minutes off each step by not ironing the seams between every step.

e) Still enjoying Sherlock from the BBC, but The Blind Banker was not as good as A Study in Pink. I was a bit disappointed by certain character developments, but on the whole it was still entertaining. spoilers ahoy ) Despite this, I will keep tuning in. (Plus the fanfic is choice.)

f) I have a few really exciting art projects on the horizon. I am trying to figure out what project to work on for this semester's studio course. Fandom deadlines for the most part preclude using any of those projects, but one never knows.

g) I think that's it for now.  I'm sure there are plenty of other things I could blather about - in fact, I was thinking of blathering about a few in more detail, but I'm not sure if a public forum is the best way...  one of the topics is religion, the other is crafty projects. (They will doubtless at times intersect.) Does anybody want to follow that kind of blather?

Good night!

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May. 27th, 2010

catching up - the bullet points version

So, I keep meaning to post something and then getting sidetracked.  I've even drafted things and then closed the window.  Fun times. It's been busy here, though.

- Of course, ApolloCon is coming up very soon and that takes up a lot of bandwidth.
- I blew through the Twilight saga at last, on Donna's recommendation, and actually I really enjoyed it. I didn't find nearly as many objectionable political themes as some reviewers, and while I found Bella rather unappealing as a protagonist I certainly enjoyed the world and many other characters in it.  I also watched the first two movies, and they were pretty blah. The second was better than the first by miles, which is true of the books as well, but I don't hold out too much hope for the translation of the books to screen.  Look what movies did to Harry Potter.  Anyway, the point is that they were fun books and I enjoyed the heck out of them, and while I won't be jumping to find some Bella/Edward fic on the internet any time soon, I would totally be down for some explorations of Caius's experiences with the Children of the Moon.  Anybody? 
- Still enjoying the heck out of the new Doctor Who, and very much in love with the characters, most especially Rory.
- I am now reading Unseen Academicals, Terry Pratchett's latest Discworld book, and it's quite fun. On deck are a whole slew of YA fantasies from the library, and then I really must get back to the Dresden Files so I can catch up and stop avoiding spoilers.
- Enjoyed a great benefit concert at House of Blues Houston with the family. It was really nice to be out just the four of us, and it was an interesting evening full of fabulous music.
- Went to my first Geeks Who Drink pub quiz in Houston with a co-worker, her husband, and their friends.  I hope it will become a regular thing. It was a fun quiz, with the usual moments of woe and of genius, plus bonus outdoor patio bar with friendly dogs. I wore my Heroines of Science: Marie Curie t-shirt to commemorate the occasion.
- I was accepted as a College Associate for one of the residential colleges here, which basically means that I get to have lunch in their servery sometimes and hang out with the students, support the college in its projects on campus, and maybe be more involved in other things as well.  I understand the definition of the role is still somewhat fluid, so come the fall semester I'll find out more. It'll be nice to have a connection on campus proper, since my office/cave is off on the far side and I don't get to mingle much with the undergrads or faculty.
- I've been mainlining Legend of the Seeker Season 1 on Netflix for the last few weeks.  It's a bit awesome and a bit awful, not sure yet where the balance will end up. I may be slightly skewed in my viewing after watching part of Season 1 of Xena, though.
- Been getting a lot of "Thanks for your opinion, but I'm on the opposite side of the issue" replies from my congressional representation again, which is typical but for some reason coming in floods now.
- I had a brilliant idea for a story while on my morning commute the other day, listening to Democracy Now! on KPFT. I'm not certain it will work, but it's exciting to feel inspired.  Also, I have some direction on my current WIP that my crit group will love to see, if I can get it all typed out in time to turn in on Monday.
- I'd really like to take an art class this summer, so I'm counting pennies and figuring out schedules to see if I can work something out. Hopefully I'll still feel like working after showing my illustrations at ApolloCon (eep!). At least I finally got my drafting table and lamp set up. Yay workspace! Now I just need to break out the watercolors again.

And now it is time to sleep.

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