Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Specials

I am almost always slightly uncomfortable when I hear the specials. The amount of time required for the waiter or waitress to deliver a loveless description of a sauce that they have never tasted, is always too long. If they know the specials by heart, they are often rattled off accompanied by a hollow nodding stare. This pathetic monologue has everyone on the edge of their seats. I find myself just wishing it would end {unless they said capers}, but trying desperately to look wide eyed and supportive. I want it to end. They want it to end. Just want to get back to my conversation, and the bread. But mostly, it reminds me of the thankless sweaty monotony of their job. It reminds me of the type of things they know by heart: something that wont be there tomorrow, they repeat it all night standing like a stoic jester at our stupid service. You overhear your waiter talking to another table. Saying all the same things, in all the same ways, they violate the specials bond you knew you never had. And if their memory fails, they have to get their notepad out to read from it, flipping pages wildly, right in front of you, they show their ass. And they suffer for it. With a pinch of humiliation over everyone at that point, surely no one is listening anymore. And when this calamity finally closes, I dont need any more time to think, because I already know what I want, and its something off of the regular menu.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Rune Guneriussen: Artist/Photographer

From the clever and quietly playful portfolio of Rune Guneriussen

Monday, August 24, 2009

a link to my new post on the CUNY blog

click here

P.S.-Joe came up with the title, its a Hobbit reference.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Modern Love

At the Guggenheim there is an exhibit about Frank Lloyd Wright. One thing that is frustrating about going to the big museums in the city to see a show is that they are often maddeningly crowded. Then, you are forced to peer over some middle aged woman’s Chico’s clad shoulder to see something that was at one time groundbreaking and still may be presently moving. But to hear the talk is the worst. I didnt come hear to hear your banal adjectives and humdrum analogies. I didnt come to hear you praise novel thinking that now sits quaintly and safely in the past.

I came to see the work. and it got me thinking about the movement of Modernism in all of its forms. In art, literature, architecture, design, science and in thought:

So naturally I looked it up on wikipedia first. {The term encompasses the activities and output of those who felt the “traditional” forms of art, architecture, literature, religious faith, social organization and daily life were becoming outdated in the new economic, social and political conditions of an emerging fully industrialized world.}

and technically Frank Lloyd Wright was part of the Praire School, which is considered a prelude to Modernism and related to the Arts and Crafts Movement of the 1930s.

But mostly, Modernism in all of its manifestations was a rejection of tradition. And because the tradition prior to Modernism seemed to encompass more ornate, fussy and formal forms and ideas-Modernism was by rebellion, more spare and unaffected. and of course not only did Modernism mean that roofs were flat and so were canvases-but the prose of James Joyce and the ideas of Darwin were also part of the movement (at the bookstore at the Whitney they even sell a small paperback about Darwin!)

At the core, it begins with the idea of questioning what is, that then spreads wildly throughout many disciplines. It is part of our Zeitgeist so much today that its hard to recognize it as a cohesive set of shifts. but in retrospect, I guess it kind of was. Without Modernism there would be no graphic design and no primate evolutionary genetics!

what does Modernism mean to you?

{image of Guggenheim taken from The New Yorker, click on the first Frank Lloyd Wright for a link to the article}

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

No science without fancy, No art without facts

A favorite passage of mine from Vladimir Nabokov who was a great novelist of the 20th century and also a professional Lepidopterist:

{The tactile delights of precise delineation, the silent paradise of the camera lucida, and the precision of poetry in taxonomic description represent the artistic side of the thrill which accumulation of new knowledge, absoulutely useless to the layman, gives its first begetter...There is no science without fancy, and no art without facts.}*

*excerpt taken from a book called {I Have Landed} by Stephen Jay Gould.

Oh, and thank you for coming to the new blog.


Please be sure to click on the new website {{trove}} that is listed under my favorites.

A dear friend of mine started an amazing, novel and adorable business that is very worth checking out. Click in the {about} section and read about her inspiration, Hebbie. Its completely heartwarming.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Few New Blogs

Be sure to check out two new blogs I just put in my favorites:

Louise Fili Ltd {the legendary type and logo designer who does elegant, sweeping and layered work. I almost forgot how much I admired her work, but then I didnt.}

Pixels&Arrows-->the super fun blog of a friend of mine who I used to have the pleasure of working with.

Friday, August 7, 2009

First Reactions from Kenya

I have returned from Kenya and am feeling like my head is floating. I will have to write several days of blog posts to explain all the things that happened there. Today, since I am extra spacey I will just start with a few quick reactions:

totally and completely out of my comfort zone-which is a very VERY narrow zone I have realized, cold showers outside at sunset, working all day in the hot sun, being around people all the time, nowhere to hide, weak coffee, eating only carbohydrates, early rising. Felt *very* white Italian-american girl from New York goes to Kenya, felt uncultured as hell and like my normal everyday life is pretty boring.

Amazing and astonishing birds, bugs, plants, people, fossils, food and oh the LIONS! the lions.

I know everyone wants to hear the good things about the trip how everything was teeming with life and it was...but mostly I was operating exclusively with the constant buzz of a broken heart because Joe was not there to see it all with me. He would have loved it, much more than I even did. There, I said it.