Between trying to secretly apply for grad school and the recent terrors of my workplace, I've been completely exhausted. I sent in application #1 yesterday, so I can at least cross something off my list. A day of easy breathing, and then I have to take the GRE's and finish application #2.

A few photos I've been meaning to post since last weekend:

1. A few agents in my office probably spent about $50 on this little cake from a gourmet pastry shop. I like that it's poppyseed, but the bright pink frosting is disgusting, as evidenced here:

2. This weekend I got up to see my little mare, Annick, which is something I don't get to do as often as I'd like. I've been feeling particularly sentimental about her lately as I've been considering the possibility of selling her. She's just so kind-hearted. I've always thought (and I think is part of what I love so much about horses) that you can tell their disposition from their eyes.

I also love Annick for her very cute mustache.

Lastly, Alex showed me this Vampire Weekend video last night, and I really love it. I really love Vampire Weekend in general (you can check out more of their music at http://www.vampireweekend.com/ - they also have a pretty awesome website) but this video is especially cool:

P.S. I completely understand the weirdness you observed about getting a massage. I've actually never gotten one, which is due in part to the fact that anyone touching the vicinity of my neck (that I once broke) totally freaks me out, but also I think it has a little bit to do with the fact that I am not really a touchy-feely kind of person, and especially not with strangers. The fact that under the guise of a massage it's perfectly normal for a stranger to be touching you with no shirt on kind of reminds me of how it's also weird that it's perfectly normal to walk around in a bikini, but not in your underwear. Society is such a joker sometimes.



despite Claire's sabbatical this week , i am going to try to feed the blog at least a bit. that way it won't feel too neglected.

i had my first professional massage yesterday, and i'm still processing my thoughts about it. i went in to see if they could do anything about my naggy lower back pain, and so far it seems to have helped, although i'm not sure i'd jump right back into the bed. i just find it so strange that under the name of "massage" it is perfectly legit to undress , lay in a bed, and have a stranger caress you for a full hour or longer. perhaps i felt weird because my masseuse was a straight (i think) man near my own age, but i think it's just the concept in general of having someone's hands all over you in such an intimate/not-intimate way . anyway, it 's free through my insurance, so i will probably go back. (but i'm sticking to back work only, i do NOT want somebody rubbing my butt!)

it's been one snow storm after another out here, which has led my mind to focus on summer plans perhaps a little too soon. i first looked into art residencies in Bali, but of course they are not offered during the summer months. besides, i don't think i can go to Bali with out you Claire. i'm pretty sure that's one place we need to experience together. i still have my eyes on a few other residencies that i might apply to including one in Brazil, and one on a cattle ranch in Wyoming. if that doesn't work out, i thought it might be nice to rent a beach house on the Oregon coast and have my own self-directed residency there. my ideas are in the lofty stage right now , so who knows where i will be. i just hope it's not working at the Table Mountain Ranch summer camp back home again....

i've hardly been able to make any "art" since i've been back at school. i think i have been letting the paper work and class planning monopolize my energy. i do have some good ideas, though, which terrifies me. you know that stage where an idea has developed and evolved but it only exists in your mind? and then taking that first step to bring it out of the mind and into a physical existence is so frightening because there's so much chance to screw it up. that's where i am. trying to talk myself into the possibility of screwing up. one thing i might do are some paintings/drawings/collages based on these still lifes i set up with toy horses and cowboys.and last but not least....the most recent installment of poems by lauren:

Five more minutes, three, then two
we flew. Released again
to the blacktop and swings.
We spot his little boy figure
on the edge of our world,
immersed in his own. Not so
far from mine.
Here go the murmmers, ideas
popping and jumping.
Aware of his fears we gather
catching and clasping fake
grasshoppers. We bounce
and leap, closing in.
He looks, sees, knows.
The chase begins.
Mob of fake hopper filled fists
led by gangly legs
of the little boy figure.
I stop to watch the romp.
A twinge of clarity.
Perhaps he's thankful for attention,
probably despises it's breed.
Why have we invaded?
What will remain?
I turn, kneel, put down my weapon.
They hop from my hand
first three, then two, then none.

(we had to write on a significant childhood experience/moment of epiphany. for some reason i kept thinking about how me and my friends used to chase this kid around at recess (maybe you were there Claire?) with fake grasshoppers in our hands because we knew he was terrified of them. i think it's a vivid memory because it might have been one of the first times i really started to understand guilt.)

i hope your creative endeavors are going well.

love love


sorry, blog

...but this week I will be largely ignoring you. I am busy, busy with other creative endeavors which are consuming me.

I will, however, leave you with this drawing a 10-year-old kid selling Girl Scout cookies drew on our whiteboard at work. Why does this little guy only have half a smile? I think she was trying to tell us something... Like you can only be halfway happy whilst at work.


my wonderland

i thought I would join in on the winter white theme since i have these new photos from yesterday. it' s been nothing but snow and ice for the last month on the Palouse, but as much as i yearn for warmer weather, i can't deny how beautiful it all is covered in white.
regarding the daily business:

-sometimes i might join in on capitalizing, but for the most part i like the rebelliousness of no caps.
-i'm glad you like my poems. although, i don't think they are worthy of a whole book unto themselves. especially not a book with a the nobility of a rooster cover.
-obama speech. go to his website and look for the Martin Luther King sunday speech. or perhaps youtube will yield findings as well.
-was that all the business? i can't remember...

Regarding your earnesty:

me and my comrades in the fine arts dept. like to use the phrase "vomit art." this refers to the feeling of "vomiting" your soul/insides out into your work (because that's basically what you do when you create art). and we joke about how bizarre it is to show this "vomit" to other people because often it is so intensely personal that you have no idea how it will be received. it sounds strange now that i am writing it all out, but i think you understand what i am saying. it's a feeling you are going to have to get used to, especially if you are headed off to school.

often, my best works are the ones i am terrified to share. because they are honest, and revealing of that part in myself (and in any person) that is commonly concealed. so if you feel that way, you are on the right path.

love love

The Business of the Day

Here commenceth the business of the day.

1. I have decided to start using capital letters where they belong. A tiny voice inside my head constantly berates me for not using everything I learned in journalism school. (Was journalism school supposed to be capitalized?)
2. Posting the Winter White photos of the day:

3. YOUR POETRY IS MAGNIFICENT. Keep it comin', and at the end, you should make a book. With a rooster on the cover.

4. I came across Erika Janunger's work today and am really in awe of it. Check it out here: http://www.erikajanunger.se/design.swf

A couple of my favorites:

5. I got super excited to watch an Obama classic, but the link didn't work. Maybe if you just repost the title of the speech, I can find it on his website.

I think that covers the bases.....


something in earnest

so i'm working on grad school applications, for graphic design, yes it's a little known secret, but it's true. that was A LOT of commas. anyway, since pretty much all of my gd work is commercial, i've been trying to put together something that isn't. i have sort of a skeleton done, which i showed to alex this afternoon.


why do i feel like i'm going to puke when i think about someone looking at something i've done in earnest?

winter white week (via shari @ the glass doorknob)

i loved this winter white idea, especially (or because of) the fact that i am in colorado and often surrounded by winter white between the months of november and april.
here are a few winter white photos pertaining to the category:

quick and simple

you and i have always been able to take pleasure in simplicity. here is some artwork i recently came across that achieves that complete feeling, even in it's sparseness. plus , her name is claire. claire cowie:

on the subject of simplicity, here is my latest poetic creation:



i watched from my window
a grand production

first a gorilla
then bison, whale, jiggly jello

quite the deciever

a black silhouette migration
a narrative induced transportation

on a red brick terrain

there you have it. next week we are supposed to par down the one we wrote this week so that it is nice and tight and succinct. oops. i just never have been a long winded kind of person.

i don't know how to get my words to stop italicizing.

your Raton adventure/birthday extravaganza seemed beautiful. Raton also achieves that mysteriously simple yet powerful status. being there always feels balancing to the soul.

i miss you a lot right now.
and i mean that (you can't lie in italics).

love love


the good, the bad & the beautiful

so this is my first post - and first creative endeavor for that matter - at the ripe old age of 24. the weekend away was truly relaxing, with the exception of the six hour drive to new mexico in a blizzard. driving in bad conditions stresses me out like no other. all the stress proved to be worth it when we woke up the next morning to fresh snow in raton - such a treat for that area. i can't remember the last time i was there just after it snowed; it was probably decades ago.

it was a good time for quiet reflection and appreciating my time with both alex and roux. there is something satisfying about seeing roux romping around up there, just like the many family dogs before her, like coming full circle. and something equally (if not more) satisfying about being there with alex, feeling him feeling at home. THE BOOK this year is really amazing - it's over 100 pages and the story is goooood.

beulah was a nice get away, too, although judging by my photos in new mexico i was inspired by the outdoors while in beulah i was inspired by the indoors. dee just has such an eye for beautiful objects; you can hardly walk through the house without wanting to capture them. including this, art by lauren:

this glass i purposely didn't photograph until the next morning. i'm glad i waited.

a few years ago, when they were cleaning out my grandparents' stuff, my dad & dee salvaged this. apparently it hung in my grandparents' house while my dad was growing up, and it has a sort of timeless appeal if you ask me.

all in all, i ended up with approximately three birthday celebrations. not half bad. i am feeling exceptionally blessed to have so many people i love who love me back. like you, lauren, i can't wait to see what the next 50 years has in store for us. heck, i can't wait to see what this year has in store for us.

in parting, here is this photo that elise sneakily captured. what a moment, eh? the mantra emblazoned on my brain from photojournalism was always about capturing the MOMENT, which i usually sort of ignore. i suppose every now and then i capture a moment, but i seem mostly to capture a FEELING instead. well, lisie got both in this photo, which somehow seems almost too personal to share. but i will anyway, because i think it's that great. and it goes back to remembering the good, the bad & the beautiful.

the rest of the trip is here:
love, love.


new age, new stories, new hope.

Today you are 24. I know, comparatively, that is a young, but when I think back to second grade when we wrote our first story together and became fast friends, it seems like a wise old age. We have certainly packed a lot of wonderful times into the last 17 odd years. I love having such a long and rich history with a friend. I wonder what we will be remembering when we are 80 years old sitting on the big beautiful porch of the house in my dreams?

I am extremely jealous that you have spent this past weekend in Raton with your man and your pup. I imagine it was wonderful, and can't wait to see what moments you have captured now with your new Canon Rebel friend.

The most exciting events of my week revolved around Linda Sormin, the visiting artist who was here for the last 10 days working on an installation. She teaches at Rhode Island School of Design, so I guess you could say she 's a pretty big deal. Anyway, she was so delightful to interact with. I took my 3D class down to work with her one day, and she has that natural ability to spout intelligent and inspiring things while avoiding cockiness and snobbery. I had a great studio visit with her, and she was immediately perceptive of what is missing from my current work that was apparent in some of my best undergrad work. We had a conversation about how grad school is like a wolf that can guide you and protect you, or if you are not careful, it can kill you. It was a great conversation. The next day she tracked me down to suggest I spend more time with the grizzly bears in the research center on campus. I knew she understood me after that....
It was completely refreshing to have her around. Here are some images from the installation she worked on, and that remains up in Gallery 2. A huge part of these installations is getting people to work together and see how each persons actions and decisions effect the next move, and the energy of the piece as a whole. There was a list of about 200 people that were able to work with her on it. I think that's a beautiful way to create.

On the topic of beautiful things and working together, here is one of Obama's latest speeches. It's worth your time.


love love


waves of the future

go to www.ponybird.com and find a surprise!

it's just a humble beginning, but it's something....

love, love


no nintendo for my kids.

i've been attempting to find something for angela's baby shower, but i keep accidentally finding things i love that probably aren't really her taste. in the midst of my search, i came across these and fell instantly in love with them (actually i sort of love the whole site www.modernnursery.com). i almost want to buy them now, and just hang on to them for 10 years until i have kids. (yes, it might really be 10 years, at this rate).

my kids are gonna be so pissed when they have to play with ugly little stuffed monsters instead of video games. i'm gonna love it.


my heart is for the stock

It's that time again. When the West returns to Denver, and typically Claire and I spend an abnormal amount of time in a rinky old collesium in a sketchy neighborhood next to some railroad tracks and surrounded by cows , horses, and anything that relates to them. Yes folks , I speak of the National West Stock Show, quite possibly my favorite time/event of the year. If someone were to ask me to name one of my favorite places on all the earth, I would not be surprised if I replied "the stalling area and warm up arena at the Event Center during the Stock Show." Seems silly, but that place is like an old friend. I don't even have all good memories from, actually some really low points of my horse show career have taken place there.

I love that Claire and I have memories of attending the Grand Prix with her Grandfather, and patrolling the vendor booths for a new horse related treasure, or perhaps it would be the year we could finally convince our families to let us take home a live chicken or rabbit.
I love the ability of the Stock Show to never enter present day. By this I mean, you can always count on feeling like you have traveled back to the golden age of farmers, and rodeos, and giant turkey legs on a stick.
I love that four cows lined up with their butts facing you is a common sight, just around any corner. I even love the smells.
I love watching the Grand Prix in that arena with the sparkley gold streamers and lights dangling from the ceiling. I love lounging around with Laurie and the gang by our stalls and watching my friends ride. I really love the powerful feeling of having and exhibitor's badge! By the way, I am wearing one of my badges today so I can feel connected in some way. I love fantasizing about Charles the tall handsome gray-haired announcer.
I love that blue curtain and shavings area where everyone who has experienced success gets their photo taken.

Wow, maybe I should have written a love poem about the stock show. Mostly, I am so sad that I can not be there right now taking it in with my best friend. Blogging will have to suffice.

Here's to you National Western Stock Show! May you continue to hold a warm spot in our hearts.


oh, one more thing. (make that three more things).

first of all,

i love your poem.
so much so that i want to read it again when i have more time to think about it. more on that later, then.

second of all, i forgot to post this earlier, but think it's too funny not to put up. good one, alex.

third of all, here's word of the day in a new format:

love poems

I wrote my first poem last night for the creative writing class I have decided to audit here at old WSU. When the classmates and even the teacher found out I just wanted to take the class "for fun" they were mutually miffed. I think it will be an interesting endeavor.
My first assignment was to write a love poem using no cliches.
Here's what I came up with:

The Godfield

I can see you now, like before they scarred your surface
before they covered you up
me next to that rusty gate
the sound of shifting , munching, sleeping horses
and your enormously beautiful silence
your vast, swaying, illuminating tendency
that's what's in my pocket
the only home for you now
you've no hand to write, and I'm so far away
i'll remember escaping and being overwhelmed
i'll remember the desire to be absorbed
i'll remember love not loss

Pardon my grammatical errors, but I am in a hurry as usual.
What do you think? Does it sound like something a jr higher wrote?

Oh, and I thought I should post a picture of one of my animals. This one explains Noel to a "T"

the art of things.

so i actually went to work out, like in a gym, on saturday. that's the weirdest part of the story. anyway, on my way home i was driving past goodwill, and just had a crazy sudden inspiration to stop there. i never stop there, so i don't know what it was that made me pull over, except that in retrospect i sort of think it had to do with fate. because when i got there i encountered this:

which i love so much that i subsequently forced roux to sit in front of it for hours while i metered my camera. if she looks like she's really concentrating, it's because she is. on the treat that is sitting right in front of her.

i have a sneaking suspicion that this post is going to turn into a list of things because i'm itching to post a few more photos, photos of things i've been really loving. on one hand i feel like i need to start battling this crazy desire for beautiful things because it's getting a little consumeristic. (is that a word?) but on the other hand, at least these things i'm falling in love with are either: a) on sale, b) hand made, or c) used. so that makes me feel a little better. here we go.
whilst waiting in line at starbucks last week, purposely eavesdropping on conversations around me because this new starbucks happens to be in the lobby of the environmental protection agency building, which means that when you eavesdrop on conversations it's not about cover reports and board meetings (which is how it is everywhere else downtown). instead it's something about how the ponds where the ducks live are getting scummy, or how the grasshopper population is increasing or something equally biological and scientifical. ANYWAY, while all of this was going on, i was perusing the christmas sale items when i came across a very shiny, very beautiful mug which was just $2.99. AND i had a gift certificate. so the sum of those factors meant that i had to buy it. and i'm glad i did, because just look at how lovely it is:

lastly, i bought these little flowers during a grocery run because they were on sale ($2.99, again), but having them in the house has made me consider the possbility that buying flowers on a semi-regular basis just might be worth the cost. even if they are full price.

love, love.


my antisocial tendencies.

because i really dont' like working anymore, and instead have been really involved in using office materials to create fun things (ie this blog), i just spent the last hour making a birthday card for our friend, chelsi:

i actually haven't even seen chelsi in months, so when i got the message about her birthday dinner downtown tonight, my initial reaction was to politely decline. after all, once you've driven from golden to downtown denver and back in one day, the last thing you feel like doing once you're home, clad in sweatpants and slippers, is to get spruced up and drive right back down there. but then i realized with a start that if i did say no - and for no good reason, too - i would be one of THOSE people, those grumpy no fun people and that is the LAST thing i want to be.

take note: if you ever do catching me acting old and grumpy please slap me. (or at least give me a good long-distance talking to if you're still 2,000 miles away).

speaking of my antisocial tendencies, one of my worst ones spawned its ugly head saturday night. a & i went out to a local mexican joint (called tequila's for a reason) with several friends. by the time we drug ourselves home i'd had more tequila than any one person ever should. everybody was in our living room, acting like obnoxious drunks, which is exactly what you're supposed to do on a saturday night. it was early still too, i'd say about 10pm. i awoke the next morning with no recollection of how the night ended, only to find out i'd shipped myself off to bed promptly after returning home and worse, i let the dog in the bed with me - a BIG no-no in the land of a & c. the humor is inescapable; a was mad, but really how mad can you be if my course of action when inebriated is to sneak away and crawl under the covers with the dog???


warrior and survivor

It seems like ever since I have decided to wage war on negativity, it is showing it's ugly face more than ever. People have returned from break more worn down than refreshed, one of the first years has even decided she will be dropping out. So, here I am on little old team positive waging war with the ever increasing war of negative nancy's. There has just got to be a point where you sum up the courage to look up a bit. There are days when I don't even want to get out of bed (isn't that called depression?), but I HATE those days, and would like for them to come around less often. Like you said, dear Claire, it's about taking refuge and solace in the little beautiful and often over looked things in life. There's always someone who's got it worse than you do.
I'm trying to make the darn picture uploader work, but it's having a rough time still. So I will describe the pictures instead. The first is the view from my back deck of the snow, the skeletal remains of some bushes, and the sky filled with the last remnants of the day's light. It's the perfect example of seeing the beauty in a less than ideal situation. My apartment, for the most part, is a pretty bland environment, but view out back is often unexpectedly beautiful. And the snow! It has been snowing non stop, which makes life just a little less conveiniant, but again, it can be SO beautiful. You would not believe the serenity of driving through endless rolling hills perfectly powdered in white. It's like driving through the clouds.
The next picture is peeking through the blinds at the view from the front of the apartment, just to give some perspective of my surroundings.
And, the last picture is of the faceless bird magnet you gave me who has settled in nicely to her new nesting grounds on my refrigerator.
As you can see I got the photos to appear, but I still struggle with how to get them in the location I want. Hang in there, I will get this thing down some day. I must become one with the cyber highway. In fact, I bought a domain name last night for my very own personal website. It is called www.ponybird.com. Look for exciting things to show up there in the future!

Today could change my life forever.


word of the day

so i get merriam webster's word of the day emailed to me, which is great because it makes me feel like i'm really making an effort to expand my vocabulary on a daily basis. the problem is, i never remember any of them. so i figure if i post some of them (only the ones that are at least vaguely useful), then i will HAVE to type them, thereby forcefully giving myself a second chance to learn them, and other people may or may not benefit as well.

so here are the latest:

january 8, 2008

cliometrics (\klye-uh-MET-riks\): the application of methods developed in other fields (such as economics, statistics and data processing) to study the history.

example sentence: for his doctoral thesis, quentin used cliometrics to examine the impact of universal suffrage on economic development.

january 10, 2008

anathematize (\uh-NATH-uh-muh-tyze\): curse, denounce

example sentence: the biography presents a balanced account of the life of a writer whose work was beloved by the masses and anathematized by critics.

forgiveness & the like

it's funny you should bring up the harboring of negative thoughts, because i've been thinking about that, too. not just thanks to elizabeth gilbert, but also to npr. the other day they had this guy on who travels around the world encouraging people to forgive each other. he actually holds a title, like "chairperson of forgiveness" or something. anyway, a listener called in with a comment to the tune of the utter uselessness of forgiveness because regardless of what you do other people will always be negative. this chair of forgiveness (that almost sounds like a mythical character) responded by noting that if people took the time - even on the smallest scale - to convert their negative thoughts to positive ones, everything would change. i started thinking about negativity in general, and more specifically in my life. it seems this negativity is a truism of human nature; after all, my greatest ability to connect with my co-workers exists in our mutual complaints of other people. in my relationships with other, more important people in my life i find myself doing the same thing: tearing them apart for every little fault instead of celebrating their strengths. i don't think it's possible to never have a negative thought, but that doesn't mean it isn't worth fighting them with all you got.

a little part of that battle, at least for me, is finding the beautiful in the ordinary. like this, just a laundry room in back of my old apartment building.

or this

or what about this, the heart and soul of a little peruvian man who started an art gallery and art school smack dab in the middle of the amazon forest:

.....or this little boy's first stab at releasing some creativity:



One thing I have resolved to do this 2008 (inspired by Elizabeth Gilbert) is to not harbor negative thoughts.  That resonated with me because for some reason it seems the human spirit likes to latch itself onto the negative more frequently than the positive. And, this is not an impossible resolution. It doesn't mean that I am trying to never think negative thoughts, it just means I can't let them hang around for too long.  Plus, I really want to create an actual "harbor of thoughts" for a future installation. I think it would be magic.

Oh, I forgot to mention that I like your new photo and word combos. You are on to something there....

Blogger is not cooperating on photos for me today...the internet hates me.


14 karat

i came across this today during my daily etsy paroll, and thought it too comely not too post here. anyway, the rules according to lauren are that we may post anything inspiring and / or eyecatching. this is so much better than demanding a ring that costs more than the downpayment for a four bedroom home.

(photos and rings courtesy of brooke medlin's etsy shop, found here: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=12140)



my first blog. here goes

sheep have changed my life.  thanks to a snazzy new laptop that doesn't weigh ten pounds i have finally set up wireless and can blog at my leisure in the privacy of my own studio. my new career plan is to win contests such as the maryland sheep and wool festival year round and take vacations. i'm looking forward to it.

i say we keep the content of this blog open to whatever inspires us. agreed? whatever strikes our mind chords. 

my mind chords are troubled at the moment. the morning was off to a brilliant and pleasant start.  then, as i was harmlessly meandering up to get my lunch from the fridge on the 6th floor, I was intercepted by my disgruntled student from last semester. he was just stopping by to inform me that he was about to go to the dean to argue the grade i gave him last semester. i wasn't surprised but i still got that sinking feeling in my stomach. anyone who hates conflict such as i do knows that feeling. most likely, things like this will be constant in my life if i choose the path of a teacher, but i hate it. perhaps you get numb to it. but, i still hate it. half of my wants to just say, screw it take your stupid A. but the other half tells me to stand firm and teach the young lad a lesson about hard work. if only he had put the effort into his drawings that he has put into this fight. why do people love to fight?

Sometimes I would like to escape reality, much like this little sheep is doing in my studio.



i'm wondering if we need some kind of focus for this blog. or can it just be random musings between two friends? are we writing it TO each other, or ABOUT each other? or about something else entirely?

starting is always the WORST, so i'm just going to jump right in. i've spent my morning playing with photos (thanks be to my new external hard drive, which has suddenly allowed me the freedom to carry my photos with me everywhere), and have gotten rather obsessed with pasting words over the photos. now that i've started, i can't stop. i'm also wondering why i've never done this before? i love words so much, it seems to me now no photo is complete without a few words attached to it.

also, i've been going through lauren withdrawls since you went back to washington, and since i think these are particularly lovely photos anyway, i've been loving playing with them. how is it so much more enjoyable to look at someone else's face rather than your own? last night, alex's friend sam needed headshots to send off with his last-minute application to acting grad school, so i took them with the canon and the same impromptu studio i used for roux. there is something about the study of someone else's face, and what you imagine to be behind that face that is rather intriguing. anyway, here you are:

i know roux's appearance on this site has to be limited, but try as i might, i cannot resist this one:

love, love.
(your turn!)