28 January 2015

Currently Loving | Amy Judd's 'Aviary'

I love art, but it's not very often that I feel completely captivated and enchanted on a first glance. Amy Judd is a London-based artist whose most recent collection draws inspiration between women and the birds found in mythology & folklore. Judd's composition and use of light are absolutely stunning. I'm in awe of her ability to paint such delicate subjects in such a strong manner. Feathers as armor is such a gorgeous concept that Judd somehow pulls off with strong shapes and soft brushstrokes.

The relationship between women and birds in mythology is something I explore pretty extensively in my writing, so these oil paintings are serving as a huge inspiration to me at the moment.

25 January 2015

Sunday Journal #002

The past week has been pretty crazy. I'm back at school for the spring semester which means I have new classes, 40 new students to teach & I get to play catch up with all of my beautiful friends who I haven't seen in over a month.

Last Sunday, my friend Kirk came over to watch the playoffs. That's six whole hours of football. If you know anything about me, that is a LOT of football in one day, but it was super fun. To really immerse myself in the sports-watching experience, I wore men's clothes and Kirk and I scarfed down an entire large supreme pizza in under thirty minutes. It was pretty epic.

This semester is going to be rough. I already feel pretty bogged down, but in the best possible way. Between my poetry workshop and forms class, teaching two new classes, and all of the extra projects I'm involved with, I'm expecting to be busy all the time. That's okie, it just gives me an excuse to drink more coffee. I went out for drinks and dinner after workshop on Tuesday night. I ended up staying out longer than I really expected to, but it meant drinking coffee stout and playing catch up with friends, so how could I say no? On Thursday night, I went out to the Brews Brothers Taproom in Murphysboro and enjoyed even more beer, so all in all, this was a pretty successful week.

On Friday night, a few friends and I celebrated the beginning of my friend Meg's birthday weekend. Meg and I are practically the same human being and we both think that the miracle of our birth requires a minimum of three days to be properly celebrated. For dinner, we went to Thai-D in Marion. I ordered a huge bowl of spicy pineapple fried rice that never seemed to disappear, no matter how much of it I ate. The leftovers lasted me for two whole meals. After dinner, as part of our mission to see all of the Academy Award nominated films, we went to go see The Imitation Game, which was absolutely wonderful. I cried through the last half hour of the movie. The rest of the night was spent drinking and making distasteful jokes.

Over the weekend I got to spend some time with friends, catch up on TV shows, read, lesson plan, and edit some poems I worked on over break. Right now I'm curled up in bed, eating pizza and watching Empire Records. It feels like a pretty perfect way to end a good week.

20 January 2015

Desidarata | Max Ehrmann

    Go placidly amid the noise and 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 the dull and the ignorant;
    they too have their story. 
    Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
    they are vexations to the spirit.
    If you compare yourself with others,
    you may become vain and 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 with your soul. 

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

    max ehrmann (1927)

02 January 2015

Friday Favorites #004

I'm really trying to save money right now because my friends and I are taking a trip to New Orleans in a few months, but as my friend Beau pointed out "You're going to need some cute shoes for your trip." So, let's be honest. I'm going to end up buying these Rosaaa Booties from Steve Madden.

The other day when I was looking for something to watch on TV, I stumbled upon Why We Laugh: Funny Women on Showtime. The documentary was produced and narrated by Joan Rivers, and while I'm not a huge fan & don't consider most of Joan's work to be pro-feminist, I really appreciated the message behind this film. Female stand-up comedians discuss the history of women in stand-up as well as the challenges that face women who want to break into comedy and how they have worked to overcome the double-standards that they face. This film was so empowering and wonderful. 

I only just found out about the Gilmore Guys podcast a few days ago, but I am completely obsessed with it.

Speaking of Gilmore Girls, Edward Herrmann (aka Richard Gilmore) passed away this week. I never knew either of my grandfathers. They passed before I was born, but Richard Gilmore served as my TV grandfather for the past fifteen years. He is forever one of my favorites. Rest in peace, handsome.

I've been obsessed with these photos for weeks. They are from a LIFE Magazine story called "The Dapper Rebels of Los Angeles" (July 15, 1966). I can't get over how timeless these gentlemen look.