Thursday, January 29, 2009

So Gatsby...

Nicole Leever, one of my fabulous co-workers, designed this logo for the women's ministry of Crave. Isn't it awesome? I love it.

And I want to be a flapper for Halloween this year.

And name my future daughter Daisy.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Happy Birthday, Jackson.

If the thoughts, dreams, and secrets of your mind exploded right now, what would they look like? I’d want mine to look like this painting by Jackson Pollock, called Lavender Mist. This is one of the reasons I wanted it to be on my blog banner.

Now, you might be thinking, “I could paint this! What’s the big deal?” And you wouldn’t be the first. Abstract Expressionism (the name of this art movement) has gotten a lot of crap not only from the public, but from the art world as well. And if that’s how you feel, well…I can’t make you like Pollock, but I can tell you a little bit about him; maybe you’ll find him a bit more interesting after this blog post.

Pollock is the most famous of the Abstract Expressionists. If you look at this painting, you might think that it’s just a random jotting of paint requiring the skill of a preschooler and little or no thought. The truth is, a Pollock painting did not come into being until after weeks, often months, of thought and work. The Abstract Expressionists were all about being true to their own felt experience in the process of painting; the painting was to reflect the artist’s own experience and humanity. Pollock said, “I want to express my feelings rather than illustrate them.”

Really, what you’re seeing isn’t really a flat painting at all; it’s an event. Pollock is freeing lines from their function of representing things and bounding figures, wrote art critic Michael Fried. The painting doesn’t end nicely at the edges, but goes into all directions indefinitely and refuses to accept the artificiality of an ending. Besides the lateral extension, the painting also comes forward, like a cloud or tumbleweed of colors. If you’ve ever seen a massive Pollock in a museum, you’ll notice that the painting comes into the room toward you. The “event” is then something that we participate in, instead of just observing.

Interesting, right?! This painting is in the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. Make sure you say hi to it next time you're's a big deal.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Just My Type...

My feelings toward this typewriter were captured in a song written 40 years ago by John Lennon titled, "I Want You (She's So Heavy)." Maybe it's not about a girl...maybe it's about a typewriter. I mean, typewriters are heavy. And awesome.

I want this typewriter....I want it so bad....

Thursday, January 15, 2009

It Does a Body (and Mind) Good

Did you know that swimming can actually help you think faster?

According to my swim coach (he's a reliable source, really), studies have shown that aerobically fit adults WHO SWIM retain much of the quick-wittedness of youth.

Adults over 40 who don't exercise develop undernourished neurons in their brains and don't move electrical signals as quickly.

As a result, their minds slow down!
But mine won't!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

OMG, 24's on Tonight! (Oh, Wait...I Don't Care.)

I used to think I had a handle on pop culture, but as I’ve been reading more blogs and having more conversations about entertainment-related issues with people, I’ve come to discover that I’m just not hip to the scene anymore. (Well, besides the tween girl scene…I can totally hold my own in a conversation about the Jonas Brothers, Twilight, or High School Musical…) I especially lack a general knowledge of television shows. Here's some proof...I have seen:

2 episodes of FRIENDS, ever. On trans-Atlantic flights.

Maybe 5 episodes of The Office.

2 episodes of 24. I thought they were completely forgettable.

1 episode of 30 Rock.

I wasn't even aware of my ignorance of pop culture until I looked at others around me and realized how cool, smart, funny, and culturally relevant they are. Many of them work in ministry or with young people; they’re connected, they know what’s up, and they dictate what’s cool. Sure, when I was younger, I was the pop culture guru in my geometry class and my Girl Scout troop, and I could definitely tell you what was going on…but now, I am never asked questions about pop culture, and definitely couldn't contribute to a conversation about most television shows.

And even though I am usually out and about in the evenings, TV-on-DVD has now voided my excuse of, “I’m not home on Thursdays, so I can’t watch The Office.” I can watch whatever show I want, any time. Is there any excuse for not watching How I Met Your Mother, Mad Men, Dexter, Gossip Girl, House, Pushing Daisies, or any other incredible show that dominates the water cooler chatter these days?

All this to be said, I think I actually want to watch some more TV this year. I’m sure this is the opposite goal of many couch potatoes of 2008. But what a book-lover like me has in common with a TV junkie is that we love a good story. A good story…told well. Like LOST, for example...the only show that I do watch. And I know there are some other shows out there…some that are worth my time.

If anyone has any of the above shows on DVD, would you help a television-watching-challenged girl out? (Except 24…I really don’t care about that one.)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Dang, girl...

My first reading endeavor of 2009 is Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre...and I just want to share this one sentence. I've been bringing this book with me everywhere, waiting for a two or three minute lull in my day so that I can steal a few pages of reading (oh yes, it's that good). When I read this sentence for the first time, I'm pretty sure I put the book down, paused, and sighed...

Jane, in this moment, has just realized that she loves Mr. Rochester, as she looks at him from across the room...but she doesn't think he'll ever love her back...

" eyes were drawn involuntarily to his face; I could not keep their lids under control; they would rise, and the irids would fix on him. I looked, and had an acute pleasure in looking--a precious, yet poignant pleasure; pure gold, with a steely point of agony; a pleasure like what the thirst-perishing man might feel who knows the well to which he has crept is poisoned, yet stoops and drinks divine draughts nevertheless."

Oh, Jane...don't confine your fate to heartbreak just yet...

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Foot-in-Mouth Disease

I currently work in an environment where mistakes are not a big deal; grace is freely given and the euphemism "learning opportunity" is even used for screw-ups. Pastor Rick actually encourages the staff to make one mistake a day, but a new mistake, because that's how we'll learn.

But what if it's NOT a new mistake? I have put my foot in my mouth this week about five times...and I hate feeling so out of control with my words. I'm not a particularly compulsive person and I generally think before I say things. A horribly awkward fiend has taken over my body (or, my mouth, anyway). It's the only explanation, really. Maybe just shutting up would remedy the situation...

Comfort me and tell me you've made the same mistake over, and over, and over again. I'm just frustrated. Ugh...

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Cell, You Light

I am usually the last person to come home at night. Everyone is asleep. The house is dark and silent.

And instead of turning any lights on, I just pop open my cell phone and find my way around the house...and every time I do it, I think, "Huh, this is funny. I wonder if anyone else uses their cell phone as a flashlight regularly." you?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Heel Yeah!!

I hate dancing. Like, hate it. I feel so lame and uncomfortable on a dance floor. I have no rhythm. I have no style. And I don't know many dance songs. People have physically dragged me onto dance floors at weddings...and while I'm trying to tap my feet and snap my fingers along to a Will Smith song and keep a fake smile on my face, my mind immediately starts plotting a murder/suicide...I'm so miserable, I want to die.

But not tonight. Tonight I danced. It was awesome. I said I was going to, I made up my mind, and I did. Yes, I felt lame and uncomfortable at first, then I just had a lot of fun, and even experienced some unhoped-for freedom in that sea of sweaty people; I don't think anyone can grasp the significance of the mental barrier I have just freed myself from.

And...I did it in 4.5 inch heels!!! (Seriously though, how great are these shoes? Rosey-champagney colored satin and black patent leather?!) I'm kind of proud of myself for dancing in these incredibly uncomfortable shoes for hours, and liking it. Is that okay?

It's going to be a good year, guys. I can feel it. (I can't feel my toes, though.)