Friday, September 28, 2012

An Art Museum Soliloquy & Greek Eats

Last Sunday, the Speed Art Museum finally closed its doors for a three-year renovation. It was really bittersweet to see the place cleaned out and ready for dis-assemblage. 

One of my first memories of the Speed is from fall 2009, when I went with my creative writing class to create an ekphrastic poem. I sat on a bench staring at a large, splattered canvas entitled "Potentially Pat's Living Room." I could see the clouds through the slits of window panes at the top of the building, sun illuminating their shapes, making them almost appear cartoon-ish. I could hear the trickle of a fountain, the smell of oil on canvas, and I was swelling with endorphines. 

I went back for an art history project and spent my day walking around and observing the museum in its entirety. I found a piece on the second floor that I was particularly drawn to, featuring a winding country road alongside a hearty tree, as the sun set in fall. The colors were vividly autumnal and the movement in the brushstrokes made me feel the whistle of the wind on my skin. 

Another class project called for me to find a piece of art from any medium and compare it to another art form of a different medium and explain its implications. Part of the Native American collection had been moved to the spotlight section and I felt myself peculiarly drawn to the ornate pipes and pipe bowls. The pipe bowls reminded me of Ziggurats, semi-pyramidal religious constructions of ancient Mesopotamia. Worshippers would bring sculptures of gods for a priest to place inside; the larger the sculpture, the more favor the god would have on the family. The pipe bowls were also used in religious ceremonies when tribe elders would summon their ancestors. The ornateness of the pipes and bowls would depend on the 'commitment' of the tribe to the god and could also recommend to anthropologists the wealthiness of a given region. 

Aside from various school projects, I visited the Speed many times with others. One time I particularly remember was last winter when the Speed hosted an Impressionist/Post-Impressionist exhibition. The gallery was filled with Renoir, Chagall, Monet, Manet, Degas... I felt like I was back in London, surrounded by so much timeless history. I ended up losing one of my favorite magenta leather gloves. Figuring it would be gone but hoping for the best, I called the museum the next day and someone had turned in my glove! I should've known that the Speed would host compassionate beings. 

I feel deeply saddened by the fact that I won't get to see any exhibits or stop in on a stressful day to just look at a Picasso, Monet, or Cassat. I can't just walk into the medieval wooden room or the tapestry room, alight with stained glass windows to the ceiling. The majesty will be gone for awhile.

~ ~ ~

Scott, Amy, and Michelle

Sam and Meagan

 On a brighter note, I had a lovely evening with my writing center cohort last night. We went downtown for Mediterranean food at Yafa. Honestly, if you're in the Louisville-area, this is probably the best Greek food you're going to find.

We all played "Never Have I Ever" and enjoyed our various dishes. I ended up getting a gyro plate with pita and walnut baklava for dessert. Afterward, we went to Sam's townhouse and I basically became super jealous because his house is so gorgeous and he has the best taste. He told me he'd help me decorate when I finally get my own place--I'm going to hold him to it!

Earlier in the day, Meagan and I laughed at pictures of cats with bad grammar and hunted for Modcloth discount codes on Pinterest--We ended up finding the largest one for 20%! Needless to say, we were ready to order from our favorite online clothing site again.

Life is pretty hectic. But I'm really trying to take it a day at a time. I'm surrounded by so many great people and I feel like I couldn't be any luckier.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Life via Instagram

When I came into the consultant's office last Thursday, there was a birthday card signed by everyone in the writing center and this amazing cake that Katelyn made! Red velvet and cream cheese is my favorite! I also got to have lunch with Julie who got me some really awesome jewelry, a Jukebox the Ghost CD, and my own personal slice of red velvet!

This weekend, my parents made fall cupcakes to celebrate Jet's and my birthdays. He was born in September in Missouri just like me!

I was supposed to meet up with my writing center friends Friday but I felt like I was literally developing mono so I opted to stay in and sleep. I slept half of Saturday and then started on homework. Luckily by Sunday I was feeling better and able to go out for sushi. I tried a few more rolls I've never had before. My sushi palette just keeps expanding!

It was rainy today and my windshield wiper decided to fly off my car today so that was fun. I had problems with the technology in Dr. Henke's room, which is my sole responsibility so I felt like a buffoon. Luckily I was wearing the earrings Julie got me for my birthday and I got to play around with Oregon Trail 2 before my 7 o'clock class. Scott and I have decided we are going to instate "Oregon Trail Mondays." There might be wine involved. Or just jugs with 'X' on them.

The thing about grad school is that you're busy 24/7... but it's awesome.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Bears, Beets, Battlestar Galactica

 Yesterday I busted out my colored jeans, black and white striped peplum top, and my mary-jane ballet flats. Man, I liked this outfit. I felt comfortable and cool all at once. That hardly ever happens. 

Here's the view from one of "my" offices. It's actually my professor's office but I spend quite a bit of my time in here towards the beginning of the week. How could you not love going to work? Look how pretty those books look on the shelves. 

 Today I got to bust out my Office shirt. If you've never seen this episode, please consider yourself deprived and look it up immediately! 

This evening, one of my writing center buddies, Amy, and I attended our first session of the GTA Academy. Basically, the sessions are supposed to provide teaching assistants practical skills to apply in the classroom. They provided dinner which were sandwiches of the most delectable variety, chips, cookies, etc. I ended up having two wraps and taking three with me. (Lunch tomorrow and Thursday!) Gluttony? Nah. College life.

On our break, I had to go outside because I was getting goose-pimpled. I ran back inside for my phone so I could snap a picture to capture this moment in time. The weather was perfect: high 70's, light breeze, bright sun. And the setting just called for a photo op. I'll never forget how I felt this day. 

I finally gathered enough courage to wear socks and oxfords. I like it. Just maybe with a different outfit... 

Anyway, keep it real, treat yo self, and make it through the week, baby.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Quoth the Raven

{dress: target/belt: forever 21/ridiculous boots not included}

I don't know if this picture says it enough, but I had a pretty good start to my weekend. My parents took me to Shalimar to partake in some yummy Indian cuisine. We ended up stopping into the Shoe Carnival where I found these ridiculous boots that beckoned I try them on. 

We also stopped in at The Dollar Tree where I found a Poe-esque black crow, a plastic skull that I admittedly grasped in my out-raised hand, saying, "Do be or not to be...," and some other ridiculous Halloween decorations like "butcher's organs" which look like slabs of meat, except they are plastic organs covered in fake blood. Leave it to The Dollar Tree to keep things classy. 

Later that night I met (most of) my writing center buddies at Howl at the Moon on 4th Street. I spent a bit of time at Amy and Ben's charming old house before we took off for the night. We all had a few drinks, some free food, played cornhole, talked and laughed. This was the first time we've all met outside of school in a social setting. If only the night had lasted longer...

Aside from that, I'm just laboring through some interesting (albeit repetitive and therefore highly avoidable) articles for my film class Monday, getting excited to watch Dr. Who in less than an hour, and awaiting some of the things I ordered online as a treat to myself for my birthday. Oh Modcloth, how I love thee. 

Scott (the young man in plaid in front) and I will be celebrating our birthdays next weekend! His is the 14th and mine the 15th. Here's to approaching getting another year older...

Until then, enjoy your weekend and don't work too hard!

Saturday, September 1, 2012


image via tumblr

Even though sometimes I feel like there is not enough coffee in the world to cure the tired that I feel on Wednesdays and Thursdays, grad school just keeps getting better and better. They always say that college is supposed to be the best time of your life but I don't think I ever really felt seriously about it until now. I'm so privileged to be paid to do the one thing in life that never fails to make me happy with some of the brightest and wittiest people I have ever met. You would think there would be some ego trips in a group of Master's students, but we're all just normal people who like to laugh and talk about British TV, The Office, Parks & Rec, Freud jokes, and the wonder of Modcloth (the boys not so much on that one). 

Amy says that I have a pretty good collection of work wear. I've had quite a few things for awhile and have slowly been adding tops, sweaters, and dresses through the summer. I was even told by someone who saw me for the first time on campus, "You look like a teacher!" And I just smiled and said, "I'm trying." 

I love Thursdays even though my mind is basically slush by that time. Julie and I get lunch and my writing center comrades and I all have two hours together to get dinner before our night class. We had Asian last week, Qdoba this week, and it'll be pizza next week. It's strange to throw a group of us together and have us all work so well with one another.

Yesterday I went for sushi and we decided to try the Alaska roll, tempura roll with eel, caterpillar roll, and of course, the good old California roll. Had it not been for the prodding of my company, I don't think I would have been so brave but I basically just tied the napkin 'round my neck and dug in. :)

Julie introduced me to a band that really just makes my heart smile, called Jukebox the Ghost. They played at the Waterfront this Wednesday and a couple of my writing center buddies went and liked them. They were Rachel's favorite band and they dedicated a song to her. :) I wish I could've gone but I had more work than I ever thought was possible to make it through in one night. 

image via imdb

And to all the true Whovians out there, allons-y!