Archive for ‘Weekend Love’

October 12, 2012

The (e)merge art fair

Last weekend was great. I can’t complain. I got to spend a lot of time with friends, which is good, because I really missed them a lot. When school starts, I always get so lost in my work that I can’t keep up with my friends. There are still a good group of people who I need to catch up with before I fall off the face of the earth (ahem, clackers).
I had the opportunity to attend the e(merge) Art Fair at the Capital Skyline Hotel in DC  in support of my dear friend Thomas Canavan. Thomas is my best friend Juli’s husband, and when I have the opportunity to see something awesome that he has created, I’m inspired. Not only is his work beautiful, but I get the opportunity to see so many other art forms.

Below is Thomas’ painting called “The Chair.”

This picture of Thomas Canavan’s painting does not do it justice. The process that Thomas uses to create his work is pretty cool.

William and I often found ourselves looking at things and saying, “I can’t believe this is art.” We weren’t saying it  like “what the heck is this?” but we were surprised at how art is so much more than what we grew up thinking it was. I think for a long time, people only classify things like paintings, drawings, sculpture, etc. as art, and it was nice to see examples of thinks that are different.  One piece I am sad to have missed is a woman doing a piece of performance art, where she invites people to wash and take care of her hair in order to have candid conversations about black hair care and caring for loved ones, etc.

Another piece was a video of a woman who went through the grueling task of removing layers upon layers of body slimming clothing. She grunted and struggled as she shimmied out of girdles, spanx, and corsets, and  completely related to the discomfort she was displaying.

My favorite piece was one outside by the pool area. Michigan based  Artist Mandy Cano Villalobos created a mixed media installation that moved me emotionally. The project is best described as it reads on her website.

“Voces (“Voices”) addresses the mass femicide in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico.  An ongoing act of mourning and protest, I silently sit to the side of the gallery, embroidering the names of individual murder victims into white blouses. Beginning with the first documented victims in 1993, every woman is commemorated with pink thread, referencing the pink crosses that have been erected and painted throughout the city by those who mourn the dead.  As the shirts fill the center of the room, memorial shrines and missing person posters line the walls.”
 

The covered “altar”…it looked like a small rustic chapel.

On her website, the installation was spread out, creating an even more moving effect because there are so many white blouses- when they are in piles, when they are hanging- the reality that each of those represents a woman who has likely lost her life to violence is striking. She has several projects that feature the sadness of loss for Latinos due to civil wars an unrest. I will definitely continue to follow her work. At the art fair last weekend, her space was much more limited, but it was just as thought-provoking, and certainly just as sad. I recommend checking out this work here, on her site for more details.

Below are some other interesting eye candy. If you want more info on the fair, visit the (e)merge Art Fair Website.

A “tent” and more making a statement about the Occupy movement.

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April 11, 2012

Inspired Cooking

The past few years, Easter dinner has been far less fancy of an affair as it once was. My mom used to go all out- ham, sides, snacks, deserts- but not anymore. I can respect her reasons.

Quite simply put, she is just tired and doesn’t feel like cooking.

We have ended up at the Macaroni grill the past two or three years. My parents don’t know other places ( not for my lack of suggesting) that they can get a decently priced Italian (faux ) dinner, without driving all over God’s green earth. On a normal night, I wouldn’t be like “OOOO let’s go there!” but there could be worse places. My grandmother is a big Red Lobster fan (REALLY!?!?! Are we related?!?!) and my parents are pretty much over that, I think. They put the kibosh on Red Lobster requests.

After I tried ordering some sorta pasta that tasted like what I imagine sock broth and chicken with wet rubber would taste like, I glanced across the table at my sisters simple pasta dish. Capellini Pomodoro. Deliciously simple- thin angel hair, fresh tomato sauce with basil and a touch of mozzarella. I did something I almost never do. I told the waiter that I just didn’t like it, and I asked him to please hook me up with whatever my sister is eating. He happily obliged, saying he’d rather I be happy. Bless that man, cause I really was. It tasted way better than the hot ass mess I was eating only moments before, and it was very well made. I promise to stop badmouthing Macaroni Grill and putting it in the same category as The Olive Garden (not happening).

Anyways, I left my leftovers out on the kitchen counter, and I got all pissed off, and decided to make my own damn capellini pomodoro. I loved it. It was delicioso. And then I also made a chocolate cake (of which I have had the teeniest tiny-est slice).

Check it out.

 

Um yeah I do have a double chin here...so what?

March 19, 2012

Falling Out of Love With Home

Henri Silberman's Photo of New York- GLORIOUS!

I love New York. I love the lights, the sight of the bridges, tunnels, skyscrapers, loudass people, endless possibilities for exploration on any night, the shopping, the food, the culture, and mostly, that I can bump into anyone and don’t have to say excuse me, because EVERYONE is rude. I fucking love New York.

William does not share the same sentiment.  We have two completely different viewpoints on moving back to the city. Both of our viewpoints are tinged by the completely different lives we lead before knowing one another. His, full of fond memories and sad losses, and mine, enduring the white bread problems of suburbia.

The topic of us relocating to New York comes up frequently. His grandfather, who just turned 90, would love to have us around, I love the city, and William does miss his family very, very much. But there is this hesitation in him I just didn’t understand at all. I know William very well, but I couldn’t peg why he is so ambivalent about it. New York is his home! How could not want to go home? Even with me picking at the subject in the annoying way that I tend to do, he just can’t bring himself to give me answers.

The only thing I can determine is that he and New York have fallen out of love.

Let me explain.

William is a native of the Bronxdale neighborhood, next door to the housing projects of the same name.  His Mother, Gloria, and two brother’s David and Marcel, along with his grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and family friends, who might as well be blood related, are an incredible network of people who formed the wonderful memories of his childhood. Not all the times seem to have been good, but that is life for everyone. Having so much family around makes things easier.

When They Were Boys. From left to right, David, William, and Marcel.

Sadly, In 1996, William’s brother, David, was murdered. He was only 17. While at a party in Harlem one night, David made the “mistake” of dancing with a girl who supposedly belonged to someone else. Since some people can’t just accept that dancing is dancing, someone took his life, and shot him. The killer fled to Jamaica in an attempt to lay low after killing David. He was never brought to justice in New York Judicial system, but just like a tale from a movie, the street got him instead. He returned to New York when he thought it was safe, and was killed shortly after. No one knows for what reason, but my guess is, he has a lot of people who’s lives he ruined, and I’m sure a lot of people wanted him dead. What goes around, surely, comes around.

His family suffered through the worst heartbreak imaginable. It was that pain that prompted his mom to move him from NYC to Catonsville, MD later that year seeking a fresh start.  Marcel, almost an adult by then, opted to stay behind with his grandparents.

William adjusted well to being in Baltimore, even with a short time of feeling like a fish out of water. He made new friends and played lots of basketball, and Gloria, a former NYPD dispatcher, fulfilled her dream of becoming a chef.  To this day, I refer to him as the slowest New Yorker I’ve ever met. He likes the peace and quiet, is more inclined to spend a day in the country not doing much, than running around any city, and doesn’t  get why I am enchanted with skyscrapers and city adventures. Some city is ok- all city not so much.

William and his mom, celebrating eachother's passions- cooking and basketball.

Though William doesn’t say it, I think that David’s death has broken the love he feels for New York. Yes he loves it, as it is his home, but that love that makes some New Yorkers say, “I’m a new yorker for life and I’m not leaving” is gone. His mother, who passed away when he was just 23, has meant that WIlliam is here in Maryland with no immediate family. I am his family. My family is his family, and the rest of his family is in New York. He could have gone back, but the love is gone. I don’t know what that is like. My shitty little town of Laurel, MD has never presented me with such pain. The worst Laurel has to offer is a vacant mall and an increasingly sketchy population.

I didn’t understand it until last night before bed when I thought of my own best friend, who passed away a few years ago.  She is the most personal loss I’ve ever had, and surely the biggest tragedy I’ve ever experienced. She died  on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, where she moved to live with me while we were in college. For years, I couldn’t even go back, or cross the stretch of road heading into Ocean City where she lost her life in a car accident.

The Eastern Shore isn’t my home, but I think the sentiment I had for it in regards to Jessica’s death may be the same as what William feels for New York. The more I think of that, the worse I feel for not understanding it sooner. I can’t say for sure if this is exactly what he is feeling, but I’m hoping he will share that with me after the reads this post- no worries, I have is permission to write about his life in this post, so I’m not blindsiding him!

Instead of pushing him to be more adventurous in moving us into a city he no longer wants to be in, I should be happy his home is here with me. Amazing what I come to learn when I stop talking.

March 16, 2012

Its Friday! DING DING!

Well hello lovelies! Happy Friday to you all!

Here is a lovely little review of my week.

Monday, my love celebrated his 30th Birthday! I am so lucky to have this little devil in my life. I read a post on facebook recently that said “Don’t date a man unless you’d be proud to have a son like him.” And I would be. If I can brag about him for a minute, I’d like to just say that William’s heart is incredibly pure. He is loyal, kind, and giving. He is very patient with me, thank God, and has this amazing ability to win over anyone -young kids to old crotchety people. He also has a work ethic unmatched by any man I’ve met since my father. I love William, the gutterbird dearly.

To celebrate, I took him to Red, Hot, and Blue in Laurel. I got through a few catfish fingers, and maybe 2 or 3 ribs before I gave up. I felt ill. The place smelled like meaty yuckness and fat deposits, and I couldn’t hang. But I did get me some of that cake. The smallest piece measurable was satisfying enough. It was nothing in comparison to the huge hunk (1/3 of the cake, shown below) that William took. It was better than the ribs.

The Rib Lovin' Birthday Boy, and his rack of sweet ribs.

He would smack me for saying that.

Anyways, despite the rib sabotage, I did lose another pound bringing me to the 10 pound mark. HOLLER!

Nothing could have made the week more awesome than getting a good grade on my first book design project just before spring break. Now I can relax, and celebrate the weekend.

Tonight, I’ll be heading to the Boogie Down Bronx with my babe to visit family and celebrate more birthdays. Even though it isn’t my birthday,  I still am swindling Will out of a trip to the Bronx Zoo. I can’t wait to see the ORANGUTANGS!

March 9, 2012

Weekday in Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Friday to all !

This week came with the usual riff raff and tomfoolery. Work had the same challenges, and personality conflicts, and some massive dramas, but…

I’m over it.

What I am really thinking about right now-what I am ECSTATIC about is that school was great. I finally got the first big project off my plate in information design. My info-graphic guide to outdoor escapes at the office was fully constructed and handed over. Now, my job is to sit and wait anxiously for my teacher to give me back the grade.

Two weeks ago I turned in my first designed and constructed book. That little labor of love has yet to be returned, and every class we have where she doesn’t fork it over stresses me beyond measure. At the same time, I realize there is NOTHING I can do at this point. Being finished makes me happy. No time to dwell on the old assignment as we are already on to the next.

This coming Wednesday is the first composition of our second assignment. I’m currently designing a book cover for an old book and turning it into something contemporary. This was so incredibly challenging for me last week, but I’m happy to report all that stress, combined with a migraine that wouldn’t stop , allowed me to step back and reevaluate my work. It did wonders. I went into class a lot more confident. Even though I had a few things to tweak, I had decided on my design, and that was most of my battle.

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February 29, 2012

Adapting some minimalist principles in my closet

I have too much stuff and its time to get rid of it. Clothes that I never wear are clogging my closet, purses I haven’t used in ages falling apart, and useless knickknacks are falling off my shelves.  I’m no hoarder, but I made a sudden realization. I looked at my apartment one day- really looked at it- and realized there is entirely too much bullshit everywhere. Sometimes I try to go on a cleaning spree and downsize my possessions, but what I tend to end up with is a clean house that still has too much stuff in it. I’m going to blame this on my mother, who is a master packer and organizer and keeps a lot of things that she doesn’t need because she has the space to. Again, she is no hoarder, but why won’t she give me that damn counter top Foreman Grill if she doesn’t use or need it? I’m convinced its because she likes that it takes up space in her well stocked kitchen.

Anyways….

Last week I finished a book called Miss Minimalist: Inspiration to Downsize, Declutter, and Simplify by Francine Jay. This woman has been a minimalist for quite some time, and I have to say, her resolve to be more thoughtful about her overall consumption and needs is quite impressive.

This past weekend, I went through my old clothes and took out all of the unnecessary items. I had to ask myself a few questions.

1. Does it fit?

2. Has the quality been compromised after so many wears?

3.  Do I even wear this shit anymore or is it no longer my style?

I found that my closet was literally cut in half. What I found was that I have a really decent collection of Michael Kors and Calvin Klein dresses that fit well and are perfect for work. What I’m lacking are tops. I need more blouses.

God forbid they not lay on the bed while I try to be productive.

I went through my drawers next. I’m actually confined to 2 full sized drawers and 2 half size drawers because William is a dresser hog. He always says he doesn’t have a lot of stuff, but he does. The man has a t-shirt collection that takes up most of the space. The rest of the drawers are stuffed with man stuff like basketball shorts, lounge pants, MORE t shirts, jeans, MORE jeans, MASSIVE pairs of socks for his big feet, man panties (sike, they are boxers y’all), and undershirts.  Since Will is clearly not willing to free up more space, and I am NOT buying a new dresser, I condensed. I kept 6 tank tops, 5 full size T shirts, 6 graphic short sleeve tees, and 4 long sleeve shirts. I kept all of my work out clothes.  Yay me for finding a way to organize my stuff. Turns out, having less makes it easier. I was able to put my laundry away and not have to smush the clothes into the drawers to close them, and I can now successfully see everything in my closet. I even went through my accessories and downsized THAT, all with two lazy brats in my way the whole time. What I ended up with was a  huge pile of clothes ready to go to the Salvation Army. 🙂

This is the pile I ended up folding and putting in bags for Salvation Army.

I may not be a full on minimalist but every purging session helps !

February 21, 2012

Life Takeover in Progress

Well hello lovely people! School has officially taken over.

I’ve emerged from the most productive yet not fun three day weekend I’ve ever had.  I was locked in my apartment all weekend attempting to piece together and bind my first book, and then begin constructing what will soon be my first infographic guide.  Everything seems so simple until it isn’t, and needless to say, I struggled the whole time. Somehow, the book got bound, and I began identifying elements of my infographic. It had to be near comp quality, so handing in a shitty drawing wasn’t an option. The only way I stayed sane was by venturing out for dinner on Saturday, and then leaving the house yesterday to go to Target.  What a sad way to spend such a beautiful holiday weekend!

 

Anyway, I’m heading into the next week happy that I’ll only have to work 4 days, and happy that perhaps I will be able to do something fun this coming weekend. Nothing fancy- just simple like see a movie or ride  bike.  Pray that its meant to be!

January 28, 2012

Just a few things I loved about this past week…

Last weekend, I had a delicious wine tasting at my house with my two best friends, and Juli’s hubbin, Thomas. Juli and Thomas brought me a beautiful handmade wooden cheese plate and it is simply gorgeous. Right now, I’m using it as a fruit bowl, but trust me, the spread looked beautiful on display. Why are there not more pictures you ask? Because, well, it was a wine tasting, and we were busy tasting, lol. Monica brought Champ with her, who is my honorary doggie, and I love him. Even though William was out of town, I had a great time with them!

January 20, 2012

Weekend To Do’s

I’m pretty sure I’ve said before on here how much I hate/love when William is out of town. Let me take a moment to once again, explain why. When William goes home to the Bronx, I am “Little Miss Productive,” whipping up to do lists, check things off rapidly, making huge progress on personal and academic projects, and tidying house in between mouse clicks. I am so much more active when he isn’t here. When he is, I want to be all in his face, spending time with him, and acting like I ain’t got time to do shit else but cater to our love’s fancy. Disgusting right?

Since school starts next week ( NEXT WEEK!!!!!!!!!!), I have some things that need to get checked off the list. True to form, I procrastinated all winter long, or made changes to my blog or website that I didn’t really care for. If I don’t correct that stuff now, I won’t do it. So it needs to get done. Capice?

I took some time to think about what I need at this stage and what exactly I like to do. I like blogging. I  like it a lot! So why don’t I blog more? Well part of the fear is that I am boring you to death. I realize that may happen every now and then, but for the most part, I feel like blogging more often can fix that! This semester, I don’t want to bore you with how much I hate school, or the current project I am on.But I will post my projects because I think its good to voice my progress and what I am learning. After all, this blog is about my journey right? 

I also want to share with you some of the things I love. I love interiors, cooking, travel, special projects, and more. Where are those things? At the moment, not very present on this blog! Time to beef that up. Creating posts that are tied in with a reoccurring topic will be a great way for me to add some volume to my posts.

The next item on my list is creating a site to house my portfolio. I am not ready for a big site. I’m just not. That would explain why my other site was never something I wanted to launch. Plus, I want to tie it in to this blog – not create some whole other identity. After all, why the hell would I want to do that when I have a perfectly good identity already? What little following I have is at I Ain’t Got Time, so I should keep that as a part of my focus.I’ve decided to use IM CREATOR to make a web page displaying my work and contact information. I really have the spare time or knowledge to construct the kind of personal website I want on my own, so this is just what I need. I really like their templates, and the site is very intuitive to use without sacrificing style. Yay for IM CREATOR, and yay for me for stumbling upon it.

I am excited to get started on these two tasks this weekend! Next week will be exciting and stressful and my mind will switch right back into design mode. For now, I’ll enjoy my last few minutes of productive freedom!

 

 

January 16, 2012

The Weekend at It’s Best!

I love weekends like this. They are so damn rare. Friday, I went out with my clackers, and I don’t even need to tell you what we did. All you probably need to know is that it was awesome, as always! I worked yesterday at Paper Source, and I must say, I still love it. I really enjoy going in there and interacting with customers (even the mean ones!), and I genuinely like my coworkers.  They all have a great sense of humor. I also enjoyed a night at Dog Pub with my babe, and perhaps a bit too much pizza and beer. Simple as hell, and just my kinda good time.

Since my apartment was in shambles, I spent a lot of the day cleaning up and getting myself organized. I made my final changes to the Peppy Paws materials, and now I’m just awaiting the final word from Monica. This project has been so much fun for me to work on. It also means a lot that my best friend trusts me enough with her business, her name sake, to make a visual identity for it. Means a lot!

Now the to-do’s left are for me, and me a lone. I have a lot decisions to make in terms of what I really want with a website and business plan. Am I ready for a business? I am- but only in a capacity I can handle. I want to make things for people who want it. Of that, I am sure! I need a better website- not the one I currently have up. After creating it, I sat back and realized it wasn’t really what I wanted! That would explain why I failed to hype it up, or put it out there to generate any business. I just wasn’t comfortable with it because it doesn’t represent me or what I want my business to be like. Back to the drawing board I go.

Thankfully, I am off tomorrow so I can putz around in my office and make things happen. I hope you all are enjoying your weekend, too.