Sunday, December 14, 2008

my toes have my favorite feet

today i finished the book V by Thomas Pynchon which i bought in Berlin and started reading soon after. it was a thick complex book but should not have taken three and a half months to read.

i returned yesterday from Barcelona where i had tickets to a 3 am show of a french singer named Yelle. Catalan is the language of that city but i really didnt know what was being said ever with french lyrics, spanish banter, and occasional english commands to clap your hands.

the castle of the fairy king in the picture above is the Sagrada Familia, a church designed by Antoni Gaudi that is still under construction more than 80 years after his death. The photo was taken from the roof of La Pedrera, a Gaudi apartment complex-turned-museum, consequently the next photo up. In the temporary exhibitions they had the work of Rodchenko who is an enormous name in graphic design, he was a pioneer in russian constructivism and slides of his work complete any respectable account of the history of design. Also, the motif of the woman calling in the photo has been ripped off so many times its not even funny (look at the album cover of franz ferdinands second cd).

The font magica sprayed colorful against a backdrop of classical music as we drank don simon sangria from a plastic bottle.

the zoo was closed so i stuck my feet in the sea. we ate ok tapas and took a nap. at the concert i was forced into remembering high school spanish as security guard was trying to move me while my friend was checking her coat. Esperando para mi amiga. The club was called Razzmatazz and had three dance floors i believe. picture two warehouses put together, then everyone inside standing in line for the coat check. bingo.

an english guy named oliver smoked a pipe and djed at a club called milan where we went with a mutt gang of australians, english, americans, spanish, and one canadian. Someone who lived above a bar thought we were being too loud in the street so proceeded to shower us in water.

I think i have to go, Jackie O is being a complete pain in the ass. School is over on tuesday i think. I have no idea. i missed the last day of class but it sounds like i was in the majority. what a joke. six days and then...nevermind.


nothing, really.

The Tiber river flooded and the docked boat that i pass every day on the way to school was destroyed by debris. It floats diagonally in the toxic water.

there is a whole generation of girls growing up with nylon magazine and the train wreck celebrities of youth and are learning their tricks. drink heavily and smoke cigarettes because it makes a good photo, not for any pleasure you might get out of it. the more out of control you appear, the better you are.

ive discussed it with dylan and our iowa state instruction in graphic design has dissolved into absolute nothingness. it is more detrimental to my learning to be in class next to a professor who only gossips and youtubes and breaks concentration. everything i learn, i learn from designers and artists who are thousands of miles away from me.

a man at the girona airport informed me that i cant do online checkin if i am an american citizen. he told me i had to pay twenty euros before i could get my boarding pass. I said the fee should have only been ten euros like on the website. Everything is more expensive at the airport he said. He gave me the bill to pay at a seperate window and i threw it away. I went to the clerk four desks down from him and told him i needed to check in. he told me i had to pay ten euros before i could get my boarding pass. i did so and flew home.


Sunday, November 9, 2008

photo dump

I am a terrible blogger. I am too easily distracted and Im sorry for this if anyone regularly checks on my poor attempt at keeping things current.

I have still not put anything up from Berlin which was two months ago and im sorry. I went to Stockholm and have not put anything up and im sorry. I just returned from Switzerland and Milan and i dont have anything to put up right now because im shooting on a 35 mm camera because i dont like point and shoots and i need to get my film developed and im sorry. Here are some photos to try to clue in on whats been going on in my post expatriate life. well this first picture is from new york. but i love puzzles.

pompeii. it started pouring so i took off my shoes and rolled up my jeans. slick footing slipping around on two thousand year old cobblestones.

bike riding in holysloot, holland. this is where the magic ferry with the swiss, the dutch, and the italian took us back across the river.

cliff jumping in capri. we had about twenty minutes before our ferry left and a school of jelly fish and stung us away.

yelling at people with a fake british accent outside an roman irish pub, prepunch.

modeling contraposto stance, made famous by the greek sculptor Polykleitos and used throughout all realisitc art from then on.

all i wanted were some home made swedish waffles but this peacock came and distracted me. hes dressed flashier than i am and resembles a dinosaur so i lost.

colloseum lookin.

a. bedsheet ghost halloween with my pal candycorn.

b. togas for no real reason

pressuring stray dogs into smoking is a passtime of mine.

and touching dirty animals makes me happy.

i sketched out the midwest for a friend in berlin so she would know where iowas from. i just cracked myself up.

trying to read before the bus to assisi. i was not hung over, i was in the minority because i am a good child.

a. project modeling the process for the creation of ideas in my brain.

b. blissful in Stockholm with real autumn leaves and gorgeous non-roman architecture.

c. hard at work in the Williamsburg street under the New York sun and its asphalt heat.

d. human sacrifice to Vesuvius in the market area of pompeii.

Head of a Madman by Jean-Michel Basquiat, whose life work on display in Rome until february. Gives me hope for myself.

sketch for halloween costume.

hanging out with Jackie O, the stray kitten who needs a home.

Jack with mine and haileys carved gourds. the pumpkins were few and far between so we made due. speaking of which, i think my roommates threw mine away. ugh.

this was supposed to be quick but somehow ate up a good part of my sunday. enjoy your day!



Friday, October 17, 2008

floored floored floored floored floored floored floored

i took a slow train to florence by myself a week ago and it was a pretty good decision. i left termini at three and pulled into santa maria nuvona at seven. en route i had my first attempt at a conversation with someone who couldnt bail me out if i didnt know the word in italian.

i drew a picture of a cat for the girl sitting across from me with the note per la regazza con scarpe porpora. if i didnt mess it up it should have said for the girl with purple shoes.

we talked about her major and where she was from and what i was doing in rome and all the tiny things i could manage to fumble with in barely remembered phrasing.

i met willy and ryan in florence where they are studying and we ate dinner and talked about school and things like that and ate the first of three tortellini dinners that made a delicious weekend.

at one of their classmates apartments i heard an elaborate account of squatting in rotterdam and eating out of dumpsters that was interesting for about two minutes. after that i was biting my tongue pretty hard. we all walked towards a club but ended without any company. one was too drunk so they all skipped home. we had to pay to get out of a club where they used punch cards to keep track of your drinks. blah blah blah nightlife is extremely dull.

we read on the arno river and i shattered a clam shell. i wrote letters to willys girl roommates telling them i was in love with them and me and ryan sat inside a park talking people. we all went to the market on sunday and i wandered half-blind through the stands with infected eyes and i had just sat on my sunglasses. a man sliced up some meat for a sandwich that turned out to be all fat, i bought a pack of twenty vintage photos of hamburg.

and there was the secret bakery that everyone knew about. the pastry was so-so. willy yelled at me in the middle of the night for eating cookies, i guess it kept him up. i traveled back across the country with the shade pulled on the window of the train.


Monday, October 13, 2008

lagging behind

Sorry im such a terrible keeper upper. ive got a bunch of photos and a couple stories to tell. since we last spoke i have been to naples, pompeii, capri, sorrento, and i just returned from florence today. In capri i learned that italian comedians are awful representations of people in general and certain hostel hostesses are up for cannonization. And one should not follow feral cats, lest one stray from the group. i got lost and did not ever find my people.

i wrote down some things so i didnt have to remember at the computer so here goes.


me eyes are killing me, contacts every day is starting to hurt something awful and the vision place still hasnt faxed me the prescription. anyways, sorrento convent breakfast was bread and coffee served by tiny women of the cloth.

sea and cliffs are becoming standard. dead city of pompeii, barefooted and soaked i tried not to lose my balance on the smooth rocks that bridged sidewalks over the muddy river streets.

ferry to capri and the sea air filling my blood vessels. Dyland relayed Einsteins quote -i believe in God, i spell it N-A-T-U-R-E.-

wind-blown, we stood on the deck watching the sun hide from us behind three-dimensional clouds as the rocky cliffs approached.

humming Shankill Butchers by the decemberists, i was seperated froom the rest of the group while chasing a black and white mottled cat through the twisting alleys behind the vias of anacapri.

bleach white houses stack up a hill and you can see it out the window of an orange bus flying up the wriggling mountain path.-

I need to finish a project. i will fill in photos and words for cities i have yet to fill everyone in on but until then, ciao, tschuss.

Friday, September 26, 2008

my eye is all better

our art history lesson was in the vatican yesterday, four hours long with no lunch but i suppose some people in this world may have had it worse on that particular day. Raphael painted apartments for the pope, Bramante tried to ruin Michaelangelo by recommending him for the sistine chapel and the catholic clegry were assholes who got rich off god instead of trade.

there were no pictures in the sistine chapel. But shh, here are two. dont tell anyone, especially not the guards who were shushing and triple-clapping the masses into silence. Shouts of -NO CAMERA- punctuated and enhanced the viewing of the chapel that proved how holy and divine pope Sistus was for paying a lot of hard-won church money to erect a big monument to himself.

Tomorrow we are going to Assisi to visit the monasteries and hang out in the complete silence. The weekend after that is our southern fieldtrip to Naples where the Mafia reigns and Pompeii to study remains. I would kill for a hamburger.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Dumb Lovers Put Padlocks on Bridges

the most beautiful city on a rock i have ever seen, Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy.

The instant i saw it i thought of a book i read in seventh grade but no one I spoke to knew which one i was talking about. Google images backed me up on this one so once again i can connect a point in the past to the present.

i videochatted with my kitten the other day (and han, too, i suppose) and it was good to see her little meowin face again. There were cats running around every town in cinque terre but they were all spoiled and could care less that i was pettin their little fluffheads.

This week i am going to work on regaining my motivation and getting up for class and keeping an open mind about the usefulness of these last two semesters of design education.

However, it is extremely disheartening when i miss a studio and ask what we did and get the reply that nothing happened at all. What is the point of paying money to be taught if you arent being taught and one of your only two professors is a graduate student. Just seems like a big practical joke to me. but Positive Positive Positive, coffee coffee and nice girls and bedsheet forts. Indian food and back alleys and restaurants with no signage. Cornetti e Gnocchi e vino rosso e pizza salame. I am warming up to rome.

Miss everyone,

Monday, September 15, 2008

Dear Max

I have decided against putting the detailed story from saturday on the internet, but i will share a photo or two and some facts.

this is my face shortly after an american man named nick decided i shouldnt have been looking at him the way i was. i didnt like being talked to that way (and he had just called an interior girl an impolite name) so a scuffle arose in which one fist connected with my right eye jamming the lense of my glasses into my brow. that little cut fountained half my face in blood as i resituated myself to continue when i saw him being escorted out of the pub. My glasses are destroyed and i have a bit of a shiner forming but other than that im no worse for the wear. Traveled halfway across the world just to meet the same jerks we have back in iowa. Dandy.


Thursday, September 4, 2008

telling willy about cats

we still havent started school

we had an art history class today in the forum
it was pretty sweet.
saw the place where marc antony said his whole friends, romans, countrymen lend me your ears schpiel

thats awesome
me and ryan are trying to find a cat
and theres one in the parking lot behind our place
tthat keeps crying at night
but we cant find it

i saw one on top of a car today
it was adorable
it wouldnt come near me today, just like all adorable things

in paris, and in amsterdam
we saw kittys on mopeds
and it was sooooooo cute

you should see the cat sanctuary
kittens everwhereeeee
im doing my projects on it
theres a three legged cat and hes the king

im so jealous

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

my hand delights to trace unusual things

i know, i know, ive neglected you poor blog, but when youre fending off six bloodthirsty girls in europe it gets hard to keep you at the top of my to do list. the verdict is still out on whether the past tennish days have been a nightmare or pleasant dream. our traveling party was a complete mess and it was an amazing day when i didnt feel overwhelmingly angry or frustrated with someone(s) in our group.

amsterdam was well-invested time for the most part, but we were there for way way way way way way way way way too long. we spent five days there when all you really need is two or three. a couple days i sat in bed in the morning trying to figure out if there was anything i actually wanted to do. here are some fotes.

the best day far and away was Bike Day. We rented bicycles for twentyfour hours and rode out into the country and found a teeny town called Holy Sloot about 10km away from Amsterdam where we met a dutch man, swiss woman, and italian man who invited us to ride on the smallest ferry ever created. it was a vessel the size of a luxurious elevator, painted blue, and it cost 1 euro to ride. we agreed to it and spoke a little bit to our new ferry friends. after that we had to cross irrigation canals on small pieces of metal that formed a bridge a tiny bit large than a bicycle tire. After a while we were back on the path and riding past fat sheep and mountains of cow and the most humoungonus Rabbit id ever seen in all my years. its was about the size of a dog.

at night we biked around the canals and through the lively streets of the city taking in all the people and junk and that sort of thing i guess. we sat down and i had some coffee and my bike seat was too high so my pants-area hurt. but that was probably the best day in amsterdam.

Besides biking, we visited the rijks museum which had a lot of dreary paintings of rich dutch merchants and uninteresting things like that. there was a case or ornamental pistols, rifles, pikes, and halberds that the dutch militas used in Rembrandts time that was neat neat. We ate at this quote, end-quote dutch restaurant which was pricey (like they knew tourists would want to eat dutch food) and it was mashed potatoes, sauerkraut, and sausage which, i must say, i have eaten at least two hundred times in my life before and it has never cost me twenty two dollars. but i suppose that is the point of trips abroad, spend money on things youve never spent money on before. and thats why i went to the red light district. kidding. seriously, there are frightening and minimally-clad women tapping on windows as you walk by, its not a good situation.

oh yeah, i went to this comic book shop right next to our hostel on Kerkstraat and found two issues of Optic Nerve, a comic ive been trying to find since i stumbled on one issue almost three years ago in chicago. The comic book store owner complimented me on the choice and said that the author was really good which was really true.

Long story short, i almost lost my mind in amsterdam waiting for the train to come. we arrived two hours early and i was spacey and i got on the train and seven hours later we arrived in Berlin, my beautiful, gorgeous, tatooed, free-train-ed, insomniac, cigarettes on the rivered, screaming drunk inhabited, New York with personality, favorite city ever. But we arent going to talk about that right now.