Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 in review

Is this for me, or for you? WHO KNOWS. In any case, here you go: a tremendous but tremendously fragmented year.


Working in the clinic most afternoons (except Tuesdays) and Saturday mornings.
Mildly depressed about life.
Still working on my TU Delft, Glasgow School of Art, Royal College of Art, and RISD applications.
Finish my first portfolio attempt. Submit applications to RISD and Royal College of Art.
Start the book as a weekly challenge with another friend, which we quickly fail to complete.
Start attending weekly life-drawing sessions at Hotshops in Omaha.
Suss out the possibility of ONE LAST MISTI INTERNSHIP in Japan.
Arrange for internship in Yokohama starting April 1.

[Movies watched: The King's Speech, Eat Pray Love]
[Books read: --]


Continue working in clinic.
More life drawing.
Use Lang-8 with some regularity to study Japanese and Spanish; get discouraged.
Purchase plane tickets to Tokyo.
Submit application to Glasgow School of Art.
Go to the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial exhibition at the Durham Western Heritage Museum with my dad.  

[Movies watched: Gnomeo and Juliet, In A Day]
[Books read: --]


More clinic, more dogs, all the time.
Am invited for interview at the RCA.
Fly to London on March 12th for an interview at RCA on the 15th.
While I am in London, Tohoku earthquake happens, sharply changing my Japan internship plans and throwing me into a tizzy of charity website perusal.
Whirlwind of sightseeing. Victoria and Albert Museum, Parliament, Westminster, the British Museum.
Sleep in hostel with worst roommates ever who snore incessantly. Contemplate violence.
Interview and design test at RCA; goes okay but not as okay as I would have preferred.
MORE whirlwind sightseeing. Walk over ten miles in a day; give myself shin splints. St. Paul's, etc. Sketching is done. 
Return home on March 15th.
Apply to Fontainebleau program.
Submit TU Delft application.
Finish life drawing.

[Movies watched: Rango]
[Books read: Gilead, by Marilynne Robison; The Guernsey Potato Peel and Literary Society, by Annie Barrows; most of Water for Elephants before giving up.]


Internship is delayed to April 28 and moved to Kyoto.  
Am grumpy and anxious.
Fly to Salt Lake City, then Seattle on the 28th.
Finally fly into Osaka on the 30th.

[Movies watched: Love in the Afternoon, Jane Eyre, Kirikou and the Sorceress, Sleeping Beauty, 2005 Pride and Prejudice, Wallace and Gromet: The Wrong Trousers, Wallace and Gromet: A Grand Day Out, Wallace and Gromet: A Close Shave, Wallace and Gromet: A Matter of Loaf and Death, The Princess Bride]
[Books read: --]


Work in Kyoto. Life is very busy and very quiet. Live by my lonesome in my own apartment for the first time.  
Spend a large part of my daily life cleaning and making scale models. 
Spend large parts of my evening life cooking for myself, spending time on the internet, and walking around Kyoto.
Go to Aoi Matsuri (Hollyhock Festival), Ginkaku-ji, Nijou Castle, and Nanzen-ji. 

[Movies watched: four seasons of Daria]
[Books read: –]


More work. More cleaning. More scale models. 
Go to Tohuku-ji, Fushimi Inari, Kiyomizu-dera, Teramachi-dori, Yasaka Jinja, Kodai-ji, Tenryu-ji, Kamigamo, Shimogamo, and wander around various outlying neighborhoods in Kyoto. 
Send enormous quantities of postcards.
Eat delicious katsu and delicious udon.
Discover that my parents are in danger of flooding again because of poor choices by the Army Corps of Engineers. Freak out via Skype and other digital platforms.
Parents move everything out of house for remainder of summer. 
Finish the second stage of my GSA application with a design for a bicycle-powered washing machine.
Do not hear back from the GSA.
Fly home to Iowa for a single night; fly to Paris the following day.

[Movies watched: The Lord of the Rings extended trilogy, Shakespeare in Love, House of Flying Daggers, The Fall, Alice, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World]
[Books read: Most of For Whom the Bell Tolls]


Tour Paris for four days with other Fontainebleau program folks. Though I escaped from stupid adulation of the city last year, I did not this year.
Am intellectually stimulated and emotionally bouncy.
Help complete four projects. Run around Fontainebleau a lot. Stay up late a lot.
Visit Paris on weekends.
Make several new friends.
Get lost in the forest one weekend.
Visit Courances.
Visit Opera Garnier. (Not in this order.)
Discover that I don't like Bordeaux very much, but I do like rosé in general.
Have large numbers of almost indescribable experiences.
Draw a lot.

[Movies watched: Conspirators of Pleasure]
[Books read: Lunch in Paris, by ; a little more of For Whom the Bell Tolls]


Go to Normandy with rest of Fontainebleau architecture.
Visit Mont-St.-Michel.
Slice leg on roadside sign and spend four hours acquiring stitches.
Go to Le Havre; am grumpy; stay in hotel for entire day.
Return to Paris; have good-bye hijinks.
Go to Barcelona with four Fontainebleau peeps.
Meet friend in Barcelona; go to beach with many ruins; sadly cannot swim due to stitches; talk a great deal.
Return to Paris. Fly home. 
Went to Iowa State Fair for the first time in my (remembered) life with my mother and her mother.
Helped my mother move all our stuff back into the house.
Started sorting books into keep and Goodwill piles.

[Movies watched: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Stupid Crazy Love, Thor, An American in Paris, A Good Woman, BBC's Shakespeare Retold A Midsummer Night's Dream, Agora, Annie Hall.]
[Books read: Finished For Whom the Bell Tolls, most of The Scenes of the Street by Anthony Vidler.]


Finish helping parents move back into house.
Start going to Paint Day.
Resume work on the novel.
Dad buys me first big girl watercolors – a “field kit” of 12 half-pans of Windsor & Newton colors.
Go to Paint Days at Calhoun Cemetery, Loess Hills Lavender Farm, Smalls' Apple Orchard, and a farm out by Honey Creek.
Paint Stubby.
Revamp my Society6 account, which I first started in February, in an attempt to sell art.

[Movies watched: A Very Long Engagement, A Room with a View, Atonement, Breathless, Casablanca, Casanova, Garden State]
[Books read: --]


Drive around with Mom for the Nebraska Hills Pottery tour.
Go to Paint Days at the Loess Hills National Forest (up above Spooner Point), Arrowhead Park by Neola, Gleason Hubbell Nature Area, and a road cut up by Pisgah.
Finally receive French hospital bill.
Start pie baking extravaganza to pay parents back for French hospital bill.
Visit four barns (one in Logan, one in Harlan, and two in Guthrie Center) as part of the Iowa All-State Barn Tour.
Drive down to Omaha approximately once a week to sit in a cafe and write on le novel.
Start picking bizarrely huge numbers of bizarrely late tomatoes.
Babysit the Bobster with some frequency.
Reapply to TU Delft for fall 2012.

[Movies watched: Captain America: The First Avenger]
[Books read: finished The Scenes of the Street; Alfred the Great: The King and His England, by Eleanor Shipley Duckett; most of the Secret Six run of comics, started La Alhambra y el Generalife: Guía Oficial]


Go to Paint Days at a barn out by my grandparents' house and at a house of one of the regular attendees.
Finally pay French hospital bill, after trolling around to several banks to figure out who can write me a bank order for 69 euros.
More babysitting.
More tomato processing.
More novel-ing.
Receive my lost sketchbook from the Musee de Cluny folks; am thrilled.
Start selling notecards with my art printed on them.
Start and finish several illustration projects. Am surprised. 
First Thanksgiving not headed up by my grandmother. SIL and brother make prime rib, potatoes, and pie; I make rolls, pie, stuffing, and green bean casserole.

[Movies watched: Puss in Boots]
[Books read: Everything in Illuminated, by Jonathan Safran Foer]


Re-admitted to TU Delft.
Started listening to Harvard OSI Shakespeare lectures by Marjorie Garber as accompaniment to arting.
Paint Grandma's Shih Tzus for her Christmas card.
Paint my own Christmas card.
Start the never-ending illustration project (which I am still working on.)
Become really obsessed with illustration in general (more so than before.)
Purchase my first tablet.
Many presents, much baking.
First Christmas that is deliberately planned to be at our house, with soup and sandwiches.
Go to movie costumes exhibit.

[Movies watched: Hugo, Arthur Christmas, Mary and Max]
[Books read: Nine Nora Roberts romance novels (whoops), Troilus and Cressida, Measure for Measure, Othello, Antony and Cleopatra, Coriolanus, started The Amulet of Samarkand]


Total countries visited (not including the U.S.): 4 (UK, France, Spain, Japan)
Total movies watched: 43
Total books read: somewhere between 11 and 20, depending on whether I get credit for romance novels
Works of art completed: 17 watercolor-based paintings, 1 acrylic painting, 42 relatively decent (mostly architectural) sketches from life (mostly in ink), 12+ life-drawing sketches (mainly in oil pencil), 2 digital paintings, 1 t-shirt design.
Words written: Umpteen thousand bloggerly words, 51,913 novel words.
Postcards sent: More than 40. Possibly even 60.
Care packages sent: Around 6.
Schools admitted to: I'D TELL YOU IF THEY'D TELL ME, but at least two.

Verdict: Despite miles of (pounds? quarks? What is the proper unit for self-doubt?) insecurity and anxiety about the future, a pretty good year. Though it's hard to describe -- I can feel myself becoming the person I am and will be with every thing that I get through or finish or attempt. 

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