Monday, July 18, 2011

Odilon Redon

I was just introduced to this artist last Wednesday via my art history class and I love him. I feel like I am finally figuring out what area of art that I like best! After like 10 art history classes, it took me being in Paris to find it!

Friday, July 15, 2011


Today I visited two structures that might define as the opposite of Deconstructivism: The Arc de Triomphe and the Grande Arche at La Défense in Paris. They were really splendid, especially the Grande Arche. I found it ironic kind of that the Grande Arche was created as a monument of humanitarian ideals, rather than military victories... which is kind of what Arc de Triomphe was built for.

ANYways, after all of that and researching the histories of the two structures, I found myself looking up this super rad park in Paris (Parc de la Vilette) that is apparently in the "Deconstructivism" style, which then launched me into a whole different train of Wikipedia articles.

Many of the Deconstructivists were influenced by the ideas of French philosopher Jacques Derrida, which seemed weird to me at first, but after learning more, it sort of made sense. He and this architect became pretty good pals and developed the architectural philosophy that I THINK is something like... architecture is like presence in that both require the opposite to act against in order to exist. Absence requires the existence of presence in order to be a thing at all... much like Deconstruction requires the existence of Construction in order to act against it.

Frank Gehry is the prototypical example of a Deconstructivist... especially in the work he did on his own home in Santa Monico.

What started out as a Suburban home, ended up like this! He took an actual house and changed it from the inside out.

Other architectural structures of his include:

Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, Las Vegas

Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles

IAC Building, Chelsea NYC

And my two personal favorites:

Dancing House, Prague

Experience Music Project, Seattle

I had a revelation today that, as my friend DJ said, will probably pass in a week or so... but I decided I want to learn something every day. It sounds pretty simple, but I feel that there are probably days when I don't see anything cool or learn anything new, and that is a sad thing.

Today it was Deconstructivism, tomorrow it will probably be Bean Sprouts or something. We will see where my mind takes me!

Monday, July 11, 2011

I don't like this version as much as the original, but I thought this video was better than watching a picture for 4 and a half minutes.

I feel like I keep going back to these oldies. They are so great.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

more nostalgia.

I know I am a little late in the game on liking the Strokes... but I just love this. How did I not listen to them for so long?? I don't understand.

This video makes me want to come home and hang out with friends, but I think that is the point.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I can't stop listening to this song. My hope is to make a video of all of my Parisian adventures and put it to this song. We will see.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


All I could think about was this song from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. I pictured Quasimodo with his gargoyle pals just hanging out in the bell tower.

I had heard that the Notre Dame is depressing on the inside, but I would have to disagree. It is absolutely breathtaking... just kind of dark. They had these angel choirs sounding through the whole Cathedral and it really just blew my mind. So neat!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Parisian Shenanigans.

So, I have been in Paris for 2 weeks on Sunday, which means only 5 weeks left to hit the biggy's. Also, that means that I will be finishing with class in 5 weeks which seems ridiculous because it just started and I am already stressed that I have 2 tests and a 10-page paper to create within that time. Eek!

I have decided to post a couple pictures showing the main "sight-seeing" places I have been to since in France.

This is a view from the top of the Lafayette Galleries, which is basically a giant Macy's. Apparently it's a big deal, but I thought it was lame, but this view was nice!

I went to Versailles last Friday with some of my gal pals from the FIAP. It was really beautiful but my feet hurt terribly when the day was done. Next time, I will bring more comfortable shoes and I will rent a bike to ride through the gardens. I will also arrive earlier, FOR SURE.

I went to the Louvre! It was really busy, but really nice. I bought a pass that will let me go whenever I want without waiting in line for the next year. I want to go at night because I think it would be very pleasant. I still have a lot to see too!

Annnnnd last but not least, I went to the Eiffel Tower yesterday! It was a beautiful day, but it got a little cloudy and cold by the time I got to the top.

Yay Paris. I think I am going to Notre Dame tomorrow and I have a whole list of things still to do. I am going to Giverny on Monday with some classmates, so that should be NIFTY.


Monday, June 6, 2011

Saturday, June 4, 2011

If you ever find yourself taking the Métro in Paris (and I am sure it is the same with many major subway/train stations) and you see a puddle on the ground, don't assume it is water and safe to walk through. No, I do not have any experience, but judging by the smell of the Métro stations... it's probably not water.

Friday, June 3, 2011

France Schmance. I would rather have a real friend to hang out with.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

I saw a man get onto the Métro today that had an accordion. He played for nearly my entire trip to the Lafayette Galleries (which is basically a giant Macy's... not my thing). It was delightful!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I got on the Métro today to head to my first day of class. After a few stops, some man got into the entrance right next to me and started speaking something really loudly in French. I wondered what kinds of things he could be saying, because there was no possible way for me to know as I have studied zero French.

I thought about the situation if it would have been in America. Sometimes people speak loudly/shout in public about religion and proclaim their beliefs-- some good, and some hurtful. I wondered if perhaps that was what was happening, though I assumed not. I knew he wasn't talking to one particular person although he started out saying "something something Madame," when he came onto the subway. I thought about how I have heard that guy rapping in the Ped Mall in Iowa City to himself, but it didn't seem like this guy was rapping.

I concluded that he must have been reciting poetry that he had memorized or was making up on the spot. Perhaps this is because everything in French sounds like poetry.

Whatever the situation was, it as kind of awkward and everyone generally ignored the gentleman, which is kind of sad.

Monday, May 30, 2011

coffee and wine.

Now, after being in Paris for a full day and a half, I have some more realizations:

-I am not sure how I will live without free coffee beverages (especially Americanos) at breakfast every morning when I return to the US.
-I am not sure how I will live without free wine at dinner when I return to the US.
-I am picking up on things quicker than I thought!

Trey, this post goes out to you especially because I know you would love the free coffee and wine (not that anybody else wouldn't).

(PS. I only get free coffee and wine because I payed for a stupid meal plan with my place of residence. So, really, it isn't free, but I can have AS MUCH AS I WANT.)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

the city of love.

Having been in Paris now for approximately 8 hours, I can already tell you that these stereotypes of France are true.

-There are constantly people walking around after buying freshly baked baguettes.
-There are many adorable cafés and markets everywhere. The espresso is also better.
-It is generally really adorable.
-Everyone dresses nicely and is generally more attractive because they speak French (which is generally true for any European country, from my understanding).

Also, I watched this group of elderly ladies gather for some type of reunion in the lobby of my residence hall (which is actually a hostel), aaaaaand hearing/seeing a bunch of French ladies speaking French is just wonderful. Aaaand hearing little children speak French is also wonderful.

This is just a brief view of the lobby of the place I live in:

Saturday, May 28, 2011


Having spent my whole day today at an airport (5 hour layover in Chicago before I actually fly to Paris at 6pm), I have made some observations:

-Airports now have these crazy automatic toilet cover changers. All you have to do is press a button and it rotates it and it is NUTS! and awesome.
-You have to pay a decent amount of money to use the internet, which is dumb.
-International terminals of airports are super nifty. There are lots of people speaking different languages and I just assume that everybody is foreign and awesome in some way.
-I have a love/hate relationship with food courts and restaurants in airports. I don't really feel like eating when I am traveling, but they are everywhere and you want to eat everything. But then they are never really that good and you remember why you don't like eating when traveling.
-Walking on those conveyor belt things makes you feel like you are in the future.
-You can see lots of adorable old people traveling (especially on Memorial Day weekend).
-You should always weigh your suitcase before you attempt to check it. Otherwise you have to pay $200 dollars for an overweight bag OR check a second bag for $50, which I had to do today. Then you have to embarrassingly sort out all your stuff in the middle of an airport and it is just stressful!
-Traveling by yourself is kind of relaxing and empowering. But at the same time you don't have someone to hang out with, especially if you are not sociable and don't make friends with the people around you...
-I have very little idea of what I am doing!

more to come...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

My sunburn makes it look like I am wearing white shorts when I am in fact, not wearing white shorts. I just love mowing the yard! (not sarcasm, although I don't enjoy having to constantly dodge small animals so I don't mow them... which totally happened to some guys FOOT on Mad Men in season 3. RIDICULOUS.)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Garage sale-ing yesterday with Sara was a COMPLETE success!!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Maybe this is because I am sleepy and everything seems to blur together, but the new Bon Iver album feels a lot like the most recent The National album when compared to previous albums. It's like... the same ratio of newness and difference from For Emma, Forever Ago to this album as it is from Boxer to High Violet. Or something like that.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

No matter how old I get, whenever I watch dish at my parents' house, I will always instinctually dial "170" for Nickelodeon. From there, I can find anything!


Things I miss about Ames:

Cafe Diem and their grilled chicken sandwiches
riding my bike around campus at night
riding my bike around the parks
good crappy Chinese food
good Thai restaurants
the Ames Progressive
being close to family
Ames during the summer
living close to campus and Main street
the dollar theater
working at the copy center and the M-shop
the Ames Public Library and their graphic novel and dvd collections
Mortensen, Airport Rd, and South 16th
the general cheapness of living there in comparison to Iowa City

to be continued...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sal's acting career.

Ahahahhahahahahaa... so great!

This is my parents' hearing aid business. Those are my parents' friends. That is my brother's dog and house.

We think this is the start of Salvador's acting career.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

I used to love getting 32oz Fountain Mountain at Kum & Go during the summer for 54 cents. Now I love getting 22oz slushies for 99 cents!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

All I want to to do right now is jump in a pool. It is warm weeks like this that I am thankful I live in a cool basement. Especially when our air conditioner is broken.

But it's still hot when you're packing boxes all day! Jakers!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Music Man

Why did it take me so long to see this movie?!?!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Marian is helping me study Art History! 1 down, 3 tomorrow, 1 Wednesday. blah!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

St. Anthony

My professor for my Introduction to Central African Art has inspired me to want to know more about patron saints. He always jokes around with us and says things like, "You kids should be more familiar with your patron saints!" It's not a necessary quality that anybody really needs to have, but I think it would be a fun thing just to be knowledgeable in!

One of the slides for his final is a wooden carving of St. Anthony. He was a Franciscan order Catholic priest, which means he was all about being humble and stuff like that. He was a popular guy amongst the Portuguese, and they considered him the patron saint of marriage. And since the Portuguese have had such a large influence on Africa, especially in the Congo, we see figures like this one. This isn't the exact figure I am studying for class, but it is the same idea.

Even though the people of the Congo returned to Paganism after the Portuguese were big old jerks to them, they still used figures like this as magical power figures. Which is a whole other thing completely that I won't get into, because it seems crazy if you haven't been studying African art all semester like myself.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Have you ever had one of those days when you are rushing to get around in the morning so that you can make it to class on time and then you get to your class and don't recognize anybody in there and then you look at a clock and realize you were an entire hour early?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Lil Picard

So I have been volunteering at the Black Box Theater at the Iowa Memorial Union this semester. The Black Box Theater is basically just a big space for people to set up an art exhibit every semester. Volunteering here consists of nothing more than me sitting around, making blog entries, working on papers, studying, reading, and occasionally telling a visitor to put their bag and coat on the rack and that they can't take pens in. I guess it forces me to sit down and be productive, which is always good, and getting volunteering hours in at an art exhibit type place is better than not doing so, even though ultimately, having a job doing the same thing would be ideal.

Anyway, the exhibit this semester is of Lil Picard.

You probably haven't heard of her because she is not really a big deal at all. Apparently at some point in time, all of her stuff got donated to the University of Iowa museums, which even further proves that she can't possibly be a big deal (although we do have that famous Jackson Pollock painting, which is neat, and a killer African art collection!). Lil was making art from the 40s to the 90s until she died in 1994. Much of her stuff is collaged, assemblaged, or painted and fits under the artistic movements of Dada and Feminism.

I am not wild about a lot of her stuff, but she did a lot of interesting murals and collages that I think are pretty cool.

Here is her Facade, 1957:

And her Three Figures in Space, 1959:

She was certainly one of those outgoing types that wanted to get in your face with her statements about life and politics and America and whatnot. I suppose many people were in her time. Here is some crazy poncho thing she made with articles all about feminism, beauty, appearance, and pop culture:

I just thought I would share since I have another 2 hours to sit in this room with creepy music and a painted baby statue hanging from the ceiling. Crazy Dadaists...

Monday, May 2, 2011

my rifle, my pony, and me

I love Rio Bravo. I love Dean Martin. I love the classic Howard Hawks song scene. I love Leland Poague for introducing me to them all! THANK YOU IOWA STATE FOR YOUR STUDIES IN FILM CLASS AND WONDERFUL FILM PROFESSOR!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

May Day.

Happy May Day!

When I was a child and a candy-fiend, I had a love/hate relationship with May Day. When I got a May Day basket, I don't remember it looking like this one. It would be full of CANDY (because everyone knew that I was the neighborhood candy thief, true story)!!!!

The thing is, it felt like I didn't get a May Basket more than every other year or so (possibly because everyone knew that I needed to one day overcome my obsession with candy). Even the Germers didn't always give me a basket full of candy. I would see them sneak one over to some of the other neighbors, but not always us. Maybe we never gave them one?... I don't really remember... May Day is a faint memory in my mind, but I always loved it because of the possibility of receiving tons of candy. I don't really understand the holiday as a thing, but I guess it is kind of neat in theory.

This is a silly blog post. It's only real purpose is to bring your attention to the fact that it is May Day. And if you feel up to it, you could make small baskets with candy, flowers, popcorn, pretzels, whatever you want and secretly place it upon the doorsteps of your neighbors. I know I won't be, because it is dead week and I have to study!

so I'm feeling a bit sentimental.

Friday, April 29, 2011

No matter how many times I watch Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the thought still crosses my mind, "Maybe Cedric won't die this time..." As if, maybe THIS time that I watch it, Cedric won't touch the trophy/port key at the same time as Harry when they are in the maze and Harry will be the only one that goes to the graveyard where they bring Voldemort back. And no matter how many times I have seen Harry successfully get out of this graveyard situation alive, I still wonder, "How the HECK is he going to get out of this?!!"

Jackson Pollock

So, this week in Western Art and Culture After 1400, we studied Jackson Pollock and the artistic "genius" of his action painting within Abstract Expressionism.

He was not always this expressive action figure that he is known as, but he used to produce nicely thought out compositions like these:

In his transition period between this work and the action painting we studied in class, we find the University of Iowa owned (which was recently an item of huge controversy) Mural:

I much prefer the earlier work compared to this, but I much prefer this to work from the "height of his career" such as Autumn Rhythm:

This is the piece we have to memorize for our final exam and this is probably my LEAST preferred work by Jackson Pollock. Now, I don't want to be some douchey art critic, but I will ALWAYS prefer a well-thought and composed piece of art work compared to something splatter-painted. I know, I know it's not about how the piece looks, it's about the "act of doing it..."

Even though this action painting in the canon of Jackson Pollock's work is what he is known for and considered the peak of his artistic career, it is refreshing to know that it did not end this way. Toward the end of his career, we find pieces like this:

... which I actually think is pretty neat!

Anyway, I realized that even though my life currently revolves around being an Art History student, I have never made some nerdy blog post of some rant about art. Don't even get me started on feminism. I hope to make a post soon about the influence of critics in both art and music because I find it fascinating how much crappy art and music has been ADORED because of these guys... even though it sucks.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

me and D.

Here is Denise:

Last week on Monday, Denise and I had the pleasure of seeing one of our most favorite bands at the IMU. Here are the Decemberists:

I have been wanting to see this band for quite sometime, and how convenient that they would be playing at the University of Iowa Memorial Union with tickets that I could just charge to my ubill?!

I have always loved the lead guy's voice, but I never knew what he looked like. Here is Colin Meloy:

They sounded just wonderful, which makes sense because they have been playing as a band for years. Not only that, but their stage presence, friendly-ness, and overall charm (specifically from Colin) really made this one of the best, most enjoyable shows I have ever been to! Colin was goofy and did all sorts of quirky things and I felt like we were friends afterward even though I didn't even talk to him.
As a whole, I was expecting them to play a bunch of new stuff, which would have been fine, but they played a little bit of everything (except the Crane Wife, which I thought was weird)! They came out for 2 encores-- the second of which, they played the Mariner's Revenge Song. That was the first song I had ever heard by the Decemberists, and they required crowd participation, and it was just great. Possibly the best way to end a show I have been waiting to see for years. I feel inspired to write songs that are semi-autobiographical (which is how Colin referred to a few of the tunes) and tell stories.

Last Friday, I stopped in Des Moines to see D before I went to my parentals' for Easter. It was wonderfully foggy out and so we took some nifty pictures.

Phew! 2 posts AND a layout change in one day!

classical music.

Despite it still being rainy and kind of chilly and not really sunny or "spring-like" at all outside, I thought it was still an ideal time for a layout change. Sure, I still hold onto my faded, dull colors, but hey, just because it's spring doesn't mean I have to like bright things!

Also, I just finished my last paper for the semester last night and though I still have tons of slides to memorize before finals week, I feel like there is more time in the day to relax, drink coffee, and leave a blog post that is longer than 3 sentences.

More importantly, however, is the theme of this blog post. Classical music. Sometimes I forget about classical music. With the weather and overall thing that is "life," classical music has never seemed more perfect as background music. I was listening to my 3 S. Carey songs on my itunes and they automatically fade into Debussy's "Clair de lune," played by Sam Rotman. This coincidental music change seems to have altered everything. The ups and downs from song to song more perfectly than they have before.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

how am I supposed to finish this paper if Microsoft Word keeps freezing?!?! I knew I shouldn't have gone through with the update! bladfkjalfkjeaw!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

can't sleep. caaaaaaaaan't sleep. more party down.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

why did it take me so long to see this?!?!?!

Monday, March 28, 2011


it might be possible to see Fleet Foxes and Animal Collective this summer after all...

(if everything works out accordingly,) Taraleh and I start our orientation for the American University of Paris on May 30th. Primavera Sound festival in Barcelona, Spain is between May 25th and 29th (though I am really only concerned about seeing Animal Collective, Fleet Foxes, and Tallest Man on Saturday the 28th). Barcelona is kind of on the way from North America to Paris... and we have to arrive at our French Residence on May 29th...

A hostel for a couple of nights in Barcelona would not be too expensive... figuring out traveling and bringing suitcases from the US to Barcelona to Paris would be a doozy...

is it possible?! PLEASE?! all I want this summer is to see these beautiful musicians perform...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

book preserving.

I just received an email from University of Iowa about our book workers here at the university.

Here is a website with some sick pictures of this older gentleman (who got some kind of award from the Guild of Book Workers) showing the process of repairing/preserving a book.

I want to pick up book preserving as a hobby! I just love nifty hands-on things like this!

Monday, March 21, 2011

barf cat.

Marian "don't let my cute looks deceive you, I actually barf everywhere ever" Jones

Friday, March 18, 2011


"I need to take a walk before I slice these b*@#&es."

watch your blind spot, folks.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Today, I was sitting at Breugger's Bagels and this gal across from me was chewing on something small and white. I looked back a bit later and realized it was some type of packet. My immediate reaction was, "Oh, she must be eating honey from a small packet. That is kind of weird, but not really, because I totally do that sometimes." When she was setting the empty packet on the table next to her, I realized that it was not honey, but it was ketchup that this girl was eating. After finishing the 2 or 3 packets that she had in her pocket, she got up to throw them away and came back with a couple more packets which she proceeded to open and suck empty.

In other news, I have recently been feeling like my creative juices are overflowing out of my brain. Unfortunately, all of my free time from the past couple of weeks has been devoted to memorizing art history slides, learning German, writing papers, and reading about African slave trade. I can not complain, because I sincerely enjoy school, but jeepers, I just wish there was more time in the day!

Spring Break, here I come!

Friday, March 4, 2011

I shouldn't complain that I won't be able to go because I will be in Paris... butttttt sttttiiillllllll. I WANT TO SEE FLEET FOXES SO BAD!

Monday, February 21, 2011


Friday, February 18, 2011

cute overload!

I just uploaded a bunch of picture that have been on my camera forever and I just want to put some of them up to show you how cute babies and kitties can be.

this is my nephew, Thurston on his first birthday.

and here he is at Christmas:

this last one is probably my favorite.

I got to see this little booger finally walk a couple weekends ago! what a champ! finally!


I just posted my first items on ebay ever! I have a whole stack of clothes that I am selling because I have OCD and get rid of clothes a lot because I have too many and I also need money! Christina inspired me by telling me she got $85 for selling clothes on ebay. seemed like a solid idea.

also, I have been listening to Kitsune Noir (cool name) mixtapes lately and they are just pretty neat and a good way to make me not have to pick what to listen to for hours because they are all 20-40ish minutes long.

to finish off this blog post, here is a picture of Marian. she is nearly as cute as Thurston, but she certainly isn't the most photogenic of kitties. here is her her most glamorous angle: