Sunday, March 7, 2010

life as a space cadet

Shades of last term: Wandering the Internet, the sky dark through the hints of glass on the fourth floor in the main buildings, the windows and skylights reflecting the light of monitors and fluorescent fixtures back down on the startling number of students who are far from their beds at 1:00 AM on a Monday morning.

But they are doing their own work, and I am merely printing a poster for the Shakespeare Ensemble (which I am not technically involved in anymore, but given that 50% of Fenway still is, I decided to be friendly.) There is something weirdly liberating about being out at 1 AM when you don't have to be, as opposed to being out at 1 AM because you have work left to do. Last term I pretty much felt. . . trapped, every time I walked into studio. Staying up into the small hours of the night working is made that much more desolate when you are a mile from home.

I love shoes.

You couldn't guess this by looking at me on an average day, or even by looking at the shoe hanger on my wall. On an everyday basis, I wear two pairs of shoes only -- a pair of black Nikes and a slightly too-loose pair of brown Skechers "sport flats." Both of these are 10-mile shoes -- it takes a hell of a lot of walking before they start hurting my feet.

I have recently begun to ardently desire Less Ugly Shoes. Unfortunately I have a number of personal characteristics which hamper this quest.

1. I have size 8.5 feet (approximately, based on Nike). I believe this is the Most Typical Shoe Size of the American Woman. This means that about 50% of the other 150 million women in this country are also trying to buy the decent-looking shoes which might fit me.

2. My feet are lumpy, wide, and not quite the same size. This mean most shoes rub or just don't fit at all.

3. As you can see in the pictures at right, my feet are Ridiculously Ugly. This is my father's fault. Thank you, Dad. This means I am hesitant about buying shoes that are not meant to be worn with socks.

4. I walk at least 2.2 and often up to 5 miles in a day. This means. . . I have a low pain tolerance.

5. I am a college student. $35 is about the maximum I can reasonably spend on a pair of shoes (excepting the Nikes, which have probably seen 6 months (since purchase) x 30 days x 2 miles = 320 miles already.)

6. I don't like spending $35 on shoes that I suspect will last no more than a month of heavy use.

Even given all that, in the past three weeks I have bought two (2) pairs of non-ugly (okay or at least colorful and interesting and mildly trendy) flats. The first pair (the blue moccasins) I purchased at H&M; the second (the shiny purple thingies) came from Urban Outfitters.

(Side note: I love H&M. Urban Outfitters is too expensive for what low quality items they sell, but unfortunately painfully tempting in their trendiness. Slightly unnerving, however, was the realization that you can buy the complete art student's uniform, plus the art student if you like, in this store. Also green headphones.)

These are 1 mile shoes, which I know unfortunately because I walked 2.5 miles in them today. I am hoping that they will stretch some. I don't have blisters, but I was sad when I got back to the house.

This idea. . . came to me in a dream. Well, a half-awake stupor following a nap on Friday night. I'm a little skeptical of my ability to make a 1-gallon pitcher, frankly, especially after my somewhat disastrous visit to the pottery studio over Saturday noon. (Produced two crappy but large bowls after struggling for an extended period of time with clay that was too hard, then too wet.) I'm also not sure what glaze to use for the smallest pitcher, since the studio doesn't have a red glaze, just underglaze. I'd like the glazes to match at least in glossiness, but otherwise. . . ergh. Don't know. Originally the idea did not include handles, but as you can probably read, I was not sure anyone could pour a one-gallon pitcher without a handle.

The sketching of ideas brings up. . . I finally caved and purposely bought two Moleskins, one for sketching after my current Moleskin is used up (which was NOT intentionally purchased -- this reflects very, very badly on the average price range at the MIT Coop) and three tiny ones which I plan to use for lists. I compulsively make lists and write down ideas, so I'm hoping I will actually use this little notebook instead of scribbling everything on random pieces of scrap paper that disappear into the washer, the back of my desk, the bottom of my backpack, and other oblivions.

I am not a music aficionado.

By which I mean, not only do I lack any understanding of music theory, I don't know current music, I don't know any genres thoroughly, and I have no taste. I listen to Beauty and the Beast and enjoy it approximately as much as "Oops I Did It Again," "The New World" (composed by Dvořák), and "Calling Baton Rouge." My only comfort in my stunning ignorance is my eclecticism in what I do enjoy, which is frankly not that comforting when disasters such as the iPod fiasco of last summer occur. (Trapped in a station wagon with my Japanese coworkers while the Jungle Book comes on, and then Charlotte Church Christmas music.)

I have recently discovered three artists of immense enjoyable-ness -- Mark Ronson, Daniel Merriweather, and Joss Stone -- the first by accident, the second two by way of Pandora (yeah, I know I'm about three years behind the bandwagon.) These three cover a spectrum that goes from pop-funk (maybe? Mark Ronson) to R&B (Joss Stone) to somewhere in between (Daniel Merriweather.)

Good stuff. And maybe next time someone asks me to plug in my iPod I will overwhelm them with my coolness instead of my. . . um. . . eclecticism.

Gallery of Albrecht Durer's sketches. I used the "Portrait of a Young Man" in my Gondoliers poster, but there is a lot of really wonderful stuff here; I particularly like the head and character studies. This site as a whole is pretty rich.

A one-month Eurail Global Pass. Unlimited train travel in 21 countries. $759. I feel almost nauseated with greed and envy. The one thing I am puzzled by is: How do you get to Greece to use their rail system, since all of former Yugoslavia is not included? It would seem counterproductive if you had to get a plane ticket to use the train.

Dedicated to beautiful packaging. I'm not sure I would mind doing this for a living.

Vegetable evening bags. The use of fabric to imitate different textures is pretty cool.

And now, just for poops and grins, or kicks and giggles (both my parents' expressions), here is some light from the wonderful weather the last two days.

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