Illuminating Blogger Award!

A big thanks to Maria at Preservation and Place for awarding me the Illuminating Blogger Award! This award comes from Food Stories and is given to those who contribute illuminating and informative content to the blogosphere.

As per the requirements of receiving of this award, here is a random fact about myself: I absolutely have to listen to audiobooks when I sleep at night because silence freaks me out and music is too audibly exciting. My favorites are all of the Harry Potter books.

And here are my nominees!

Keeping History Alive

The Arts and Cats Movement

Ancientfoods

Daydream Tourist

Bricks + Mortar

If you are nominated then you have been awarded the Illuminating Blogger Award. Just follow the steps below:

  1. The nominee should visit the award site (http://foodstoriesblog.com/illuminating-blogger-award/) and leave a comment indicating that they have been nominated and by whom. (This step is so important because it’s the only way that we can create a blogroll of award winners).
  2. The Nominee should thank the person that nominated them by posting & including a link to their blog.
  3. The Nominee should include a courtesy link back to the official award site (http://foodstoriesblog.com/illuminating-blogger-award/) in their blog post.
  4. Share one random thing about yourself in your blog post.
  5. Select at least five other bloggers that you enjoy reading their illuminating, informative posts and nominate them for the award. Many people indicate that they wish they could nominate more so please feel free to nominate all your favorites.
  6. Notify your nominees by leaving a comment on their blog, including a link to the award site (http://foodstoriesblog.com/illuminating-blogger-award/).

Life Lessons and Vintage Photos

I spent the better part of the last month in an academic hole, preparing for and taking my comprehensive exams (and it has already been confirmed that I passed the minor portion). In my anxiety-ridden state, I thought a lot about my Grandma. I thought about words of comfort she may have had– especially her favorite quote, “This, too, shall pass”– or life lessons that are far more worth remembering than issues in the methodologies of Andre Breton versus Georges Bataille. Since it is high time that I upload the photos I said I would in my To Grandma(s) page (which has now been updated), I would like to share some of these thoughts.

ca. 1942

Always store your photos in acid-free materials.

ca. 1930

Take some time to relax and smell the flowers.

Continue reading

Semester assessment

There is a certain relief that one feels once they are fully aware of what they are getting themselves into. It’s an ironic feeling, since one would think that it’s better not knowing so that they can enjoy the remaining freedom that they have left. But not for me. I prefer knowing what the forecast looks like, even if that means finding out when the storm hits. After weeks of dreading what this semester could hold in store for me, I have now been to all 3 of my classes; while I had a bad hour on Monday after my History class, in which I considered dropping the class, I have decided that I will be able to survive this semester. Better than that: I should be able to take comps around October 12 and am relatively confident that I can pass.

However, I am going to be up to my eyeballs in work, especially until October. I should be able to squeeze my classwork into the week, but the weekend is going to be nothing but comps-studying. I have been lucky over the summer to be able to post every day or so, but it’s going to slow down now. My posts related to crafting have already suffered, and they are unfortunately going to suffer more because, at least until October, I have not idea how I will find time to crochet. On the other hand, I may resort to keeping my eyes open to cool stuff to post that is not one of my creations. Perhaps it is time that I open a Pinterest account…

This blog has become one of the best studying tools that I have ever used; indeed, it has been a tool for focus in general, as I doubt I would have been able to get through as much of my crocheting as I did without the “likes” and encouragement from others. However, the academic focus of this blog is going to shift a little bit during the course of the semester. While I will still post reviews of my comps-related books and articles (though arguably not as many as I posted over the summer, since it takes quite a bit of time to type them up), I am also going to post reviews of the books I am reading for my History class. These will be preparation for the actual reviews that I have to turn in to my class. Only one of these books– Print the Legend— relates to art. Everything else deals with Native Americans (indeed, race and ethnicity in American in general), environmental history, etc.

I am also going to be posting more reviews of museums. This too will be preparation for my weekly papers that I am writing for my Intro to Museum Studies class. We are going to be visiting a lot of different museums throughout the semester– art, history, science, and children’s museums– some of which I have never been to before.

Finally, I may post some thoughts on what I am learning throughout the week. One of the great– and worst– things about grad school is that we are forced to think critically about what we are learning. I’ve got a lot of different things I am learning about this semester, and therefore I may occasionally have a really great idea that I cannot help but share.

Thank you all for reading and bearing with me as I journey through grad school!

Donation Day #1: Locks of Love!

I’ve only mentioned on this blog one other time that I was planning on cutting my extremely long hair and donating it to Locks of Love, and that day has at last arrived.

The last time I donated to Locks of Love was 5 years ago, and to be honest, I wasn’t sure if I could do it again because of how cumbersome it gets to take care of over a foot and a half of hair. When I started grad school, my hair was already pretty long, but then I never had time to get a haircut, so it just kept growing. And growing. By the time winter hit, I decided that I might as well donate my hair again. I went in to get a trim once just to make sure that my ends weren’t completely dead– luckily I never blow-dry or color my hair, so it was in pretty good shape. Today, I went to a nearby Great Clips, and I ended up getting a free haircut and style out of it!

When I measured my hair, I thought it would be a little longer once she cut off the 10 inches, but then she had to even it out and trim it a little more to get the hairstyle I wanted. It’s going to take some serious getting-used-to: I keep running my fingers through my hair, but then it just stops! It’s all gone– and it’s FABULOUS!

For those who don’t know, Locks of Love is a non-profit organization that uses donations of real hair to make hair prosthetics for financially disadvantaged children with diseases that have resulted in hair loss. According to their website, most of the children they serve suffer from alopecia areata. The mission of Locks of Love is to “return a sense of self, confidence, and normalcy” to these children.

Want to donate? You should– you will be helping a child in need! Be sure to check the website for their requirements: you need to be able to donate at least 10 inches of non-bleached hair. However, it doesn’t need to be just hair, they accept financial donations as well. Their address is:

Locks of Love
234 Southern Blvd
West Palm Beach, FL 33405

The difficulties of kicking it “new school”

I think I used one of these… once…
(Source)

Considering that I am in my mid-20’s and grew up watching cordless phones turn into cell phones, which have now turned into mini computers and cameras, I have been shockingly behind the ball when it comes to new technology. A lot of it has been because I simply cannot afford the hottest new electronics when they first come out. However, a lot of it is also because I tend to be a little old school anyway: I hand-write everything– my notes from the books I have been reading this summer (which means that it often takes a ridiculously long time to get through one chapter), to-do lists, class notes– I read real books, and I prefer to make things rather than go out and buy them. I could not bring myself to buy a smartphone until this past January (though I have had an iPod Touch since last year, which was equally difficult to transition to after using a traditional iPod since 2005. And don’t get me started on how difficult it was for me to transition from CD Walkman to iPod). I have also been using the same Macbook laptop since 2008. Of course, everything is relative when it comes to technology, as it seems to advance in leaps and bounds every few months, eventually rendering 3-year-old technology completely obsolete.  Continue reading

Happy birthday, JK Rowling and Harry Potter!

Illustration by Mary Grandpre
(Source)

Little known fact (to this blog, at least): I am a huge Harry Potter fan. Not super obsessed– not like this guy, anyway– but I have been reading the books for almost 13 years. I went to 3 midnight releases for the 5th, 6th and 7th books, midnight-premiered 4 of the 8 movies (and nearly won a wand at the midnight premiere of “Goblet of Fire” but ended up losing because I was the first of three people who didn’t know the incantation for the Tickling Charm [it’s “rictusempra”]), and I frequently listen to the audiobooks when I go to sleep. I also own The Psychology of Harry Potter and The Ultimate Harry Potter and Philosophy: Hogwarts for Muggles (you know, so I can intellectually supplement my obsession). But I digress: for those of us super-fans out there, we know that Harry Potter would be 32 today and that JK Rowling is 47. Continue reading

Procrastination strikes again

Please stop burning, Colorado. (Photo from KDVR)

My motivation to get anything done this week appears to be absolutely shot. I am going to blame one part of this on an unusual amount tiredness, and the other part on the fact that my state is more or less burning itself into the ground.

But progress has definitely been made on one front! I met with my comps proctor today and have my five major questions more or less decided upon. I need to send him an email soon that writes them out in an actual coherent question form and come up with 4-5 bibliographic sources for each question. I am currently on my 10th book with plenty more in the queue, so that won’t be a problem. In August I will submit three pages on each question. So yay, I now have an actual direction to proceed in!

Now that I have a direction, I need to get back to work! Which means I need to outline for myself what I need to get done this weekend, since I am clearly lacking internal incentive.

  • Go to the Yves St. Laurent exhibition and post a review of it here Done 6/30/12
  • Finish Simon O’Sullivan’s Art Encounters Deleuze and Guattari and post a review Done 7/1/12
  • Read the catalog essays for the exhibition West of Center (and ideally post a review of it by Sunday night)
  • Cinema on Etsy #3 (I’m doing a very bad job of keeping up with the weekly thing)
  • Watch “Craft Wars” (and possibly post a review) Can’t find it online 😦
  • Start the panda hat!! Started 6/30/12

Wish me luck on getting all this done!