26 December 2010

Christmas 2010

A couple nights before Christmas I went to my home community's (like a Bible study) white elephant gift exchange where we were instructed to spend no more than $1 on a gift. I gave away a copy of the Martian Chronicles and the Bell Jar -- two of my favourite books -- because we already had a copy of each. Needless to say, these were way cooler than a white elephant gift should be, but never the less, they got into good hands and I think they will actually be read.

So I made a little white elephant to go on the top. I had to marvel at the fact that drawing the little guy took less time than it did to tape him onto the wrapping paper.

Our little tree! Charlie Brown's tree even trumps ours. But maybe I'll get some Anthropologie points for using metal and a deciduous tree for an unconventional, yet crafty, Christmas tree alternative.

Then Christmas Eve we had several people over for dinner. It looked lovely but in the end, the netting on the table ended up not being the best idea (my shoe got snagged and I felt! A loud crash, there was no hiding it).

We had a really lovely evening. We even got the dishes done in record time.

Then we had some coffee before heading off to midnight mass at The Grotto Catholic Church.

And it wouldn't be Christmas without satsumas and carra carra oranges. Delicious citrus!

Christmas morn! Joel and I sat next to our Anthropologie-anemic-Christmas-tree-alternative and opened our gifts. These are mostly for Joel's mom to see, but at any rate, these are our Christmas gifts that we got for each other and from our families. (Click for a bigger version, as always)

Joel tried on some of his Christmas presents, one from my mom, one from his.

Cooking Christmas breakfast.

No more presents under the tree-thing.

As you'll notice, I got a DSLR for my graduation present (yay, I graduated!!!) and so I've been testing it out. So Christmas night I took the opportunity to photograph my handsome cat. Mostly there haven't been a whole of things to photograph since I got the camera. Mostly its been grey and wet outside and there haven't been a whole lot of things going on inside...

And to top off Christmas day we made a roaring fire and sat by it, relishing in the heat and the crackling bliss.

One thing that Joel and I have been talking about doing as soon as I get back from CA (I'll be visiting my family and going to a friend's wedding) is starting on the "Paleo diet." It is known my many names, the most common are the paleo diet and the primal diet. It is actually less of a diet than a lifestyle and it is in line with our philosophies on food. For those who are not familiar these are the basic tenets of the diet:

• No sugar
• No gluten (bread, cake, pizza, pasta)
• No processed food (pretty much all packaged food)
• Fat is good (saturated, and natural fats found in meat, milk, fruits & vegetables -- not vegetable, soy or canola oil)
• Meat is good
• Vegetables and fruit are good (especially ones high in vitamins, fats and protein)

Some people simplify it to simply "No white food" which then covers sugar, gluten products, [most] potatoes, and makes a lot of sense: there aren't a whole lot of beneficial vitamins and protein in many white foods.

For those who are interested Joel has been really influenced by these two sites:


At any rate, we'll see how this goes. Along with a community center pass (pool! dance classes! yoga! gym!), this should be a good start to better eating and being in better shape. I'm looking for a nice change of pace and more conscious about what we are eating. It will also be a nice counteraction to all the junk we've been eating the last year with me being in my thesis year and feeling too busy to spend much time on a meal. Now I have time and luckily, eating meat and vegetables really doesn't have to be long or time involved. It is simply a matter of being a little more creative than we have been as of late. Here's to a new, healthier year!

18 December 2010

The Office

For the last couple months this is what my "office" looked like. If it wasn't spent in my studio then it was spent sitting at the kitchen table or on the couch in the living room. I was often accompanied by a cup of tea and oftentimes a satsuma -- whom I wrote an ode to.

On the day before I officially turned in my thesis we had a rainbow in Portland, it was a lovely double rainbow but I only got photos of the bright one. Believe it or not, in Portland we have ridiculous amounts of rain but very very few rainbows, probably because there is no promise that our corner of the world will not be flooded again with ridiculous amounts of rain. We just have come to take it in stride that part of our souls will be washed away by all the sad grey rain.

And lastly, I have started making challah for bread pudding on Christmas Eve.

We are going to have dinner with a couple friends and then go to church, I'm very excited! As for why I'm making challah instead of just buying: really it was quite expensive and there is no reason in the world for it to be that expensive. None. So I decided to make some bread since it would be a lot cheaper this way.

Can I get a Challah!!

16 December 2010

The End is Here

Yesterday was my last day of classes at PNCA and tomorrow is my last day of work and after that: Anything. I have considered trying to recap everything that has happened in the last two months but I think that I'm just going to focus on my thesis and the presentation.

For my thesis I created two tent-like structures that meant to act as meditation pods. I invited four of my friends to join me in putting them up and sitting in them.

One of them was installed at the Coast in Manzanita, OR. Clara and Joel came with me for this deployment.

And then I invited Kelley and our newest roommate JMSN (abbreviated for protection).

And then I gave a thirty minute presentation on 30 November 2010 in the Manuel Izquierdo Gallery at my school.

So as of tomorrow I am officially an alum. I am very much looking forward to spending some time in the world as a non-student. I am also looking forward to getting better at knitting, reading anything my heart desires and doing artwork that is not influenced by school.

I've already started learning how to knit better. I made a hat using two colours instead of just one which is a first for me -- or least when going beyond the realm of stripes.

I know this isn't quite a lot of words and mostly just pictures but this is what I have been working on for the last year (the thesis, not the hat). I will now commence posting with regularity. If anyone knows of a good job for me I would be most appreciative if you would pass that along to me. I am looking for jobs as of now and looking in most large cities (Philly, DC, Madison, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati -- you know, east of the Mississippi). I will keep you all posted as to what we decide -- or perhaps what is decided for us? Thank you to everyone who has made it possible for me to graduate, whether participating in, funding or simply encouraging me the whole way. It has all turned out well and I am so grateful to you all. An especially big thank you to my patient parents who have been waiting for me to graduate for eighteen years now (give or take? Maybe twenty-three?) and for my thesis mentors who have been challenging and encouraging me a lot in the last year. Thank you, thank you.

08 December 2010

Coming Soon

I will have some time to devote to a blogpost tomorrow possibly at the earliest. But here is a little something to wet your whistle until then.

Until then, I am a slave to my thesis. Please continue to pray for me or twist your fingers in good luck, I need it!