Sunday, 23 December 2012

Words in Art

Thought it might be interesting to see the role words can play in art by painting something, taking a picture of it before words were graffitied on it, and after.

What do you think? Do words intensify meaning, or distract?


     

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Romanian Vegetable Stew



2 large onions, chopped
4 -5 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
3 -4 medium bell peppers, seeded and chopped (any color)
3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons vegetable oil 
1/2 cup saurkraut
3 fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped or 1 (14 ounce) can tomatoes, chopped and juices reserved
2 cups water
3 -4 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 (12 ounce) package frozen peas
1/2 teaspoon thyme
2 tablespoons fresh dill, minced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
1/2 lemon, juice of
1 -2 teaspoon paprika
salt
pepper

Directions:

1.Heat the oil in a large stewpot or Dutch oven.
2. Add the onion, carrots, and peppers. Saute over medium heat until onions are transparent. (About 5 minutes).

3. Add garlic, potatoes, and cabbage. If using kohlrabi add it now. Saute for about 3 minutes.
4. Add water and tomatoes, salt and pepper, and thyme and paprika. Bring to a boil.
5.Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are almost tender.
6. Simmer, covered for about 20 more minutes or until the vegetables are soft and flavors have blended.
7. Add frozen peas, fresh herbs, and lemon juice. Cook for five minutes with the cover on.
8. Serve hot with rice. 


Monday, 17 December 2012

A Monk's Secret

Monastic living has always had some sort of allure to me. This lovely little documentary gives you a  great feeling for what that life is like. It brings together Quebec, the Prairies, Canadian History, and most importantly, cheese. Within the context of cheese (and I mean, who can resist a documentary about cheese?), the documentary takes on some of the challenges facing modern monasteries all over the world. Its also a good opportunity to listen to some french, which I appreciated, lol.

A Monk's Secret by Yves Étienne Massicotte, National Film Board of Canada



What's so bad about sad?

Call me crazy, but it seems to me that society today is moving towards a state where being sad for any reason aside from an obvious personal tragedy is unacceptable. Especially as someone who is diagnosed bipolar, if I randomly say "I'm sad", people immediately respond with "are you off your meds?"

No, I'm not. I'm just sad.

The recent tragedy in Connecticut is a very potent example of how the world and human society can sometimes be a sad place to be. Sometimes, its okay to put your finger on the pulse of that inherent sadness in human existence, and just feel sad.  Just like its okay to put your finger on the pulse of the joys of human life and just be happy, too.

Feeling sad . .. even feeling sad for no direct personal reason. . .isn't a problem. Like all things, it is only a problem when it is taken in excess. Sadness is only a problem when you let it overwhelm you and spend weeks in bed with the curtains shut and the doors locked and your phone off bawling your eyes out (although no one would grudge those who have experienced a true personal tragedy the right to do so). Sad is only bad when you let it paralyze you in the long term. Even being paralyzed by it for a short period of time isn't a bad thing. Its okay to spend a few days now and then feeling down in the dumps.

I guess what I'm saying is, there is no shame in occasionally feeling things on the negative end of the emotional spectrum. Our capacity to feel so much, so intensely, is part of what makes us human. If we were to sacrifice that, we would sacrifice a great deal of what makes us ourselves.

Everyone is working so hard to live a happy, perfect life. But that just isn't possible. Better to aim to live a full life, that takes the good with the bad, and appreciates both.

So go ahead. . .feel sad. Some terribly sad things have happened in the world here recently, and its okay to break down for a moment, have your own cry. It doesn't make you weaker, and it doesn't mean you are wallowing in melancholia. It means you are human.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Monday, 10 December 2012

death by chocolate

DEATH BY CHOCOLATE

1 pkg. brownies mix
1/4 c. Kahlua or coffee (optional)
3 boxes Jello chocolate mousse
8 Heath (or Skor) bars
1 (12 oz.) container Cool Whip (optional)


Bake brownies; cool. Punch holes in brownies with fork. Pour Kahlua over brownies and set aside. Prepare mousse according to package directions and refrigerate. Break candy bars into pieces with a hammer (in their wrappers). Cover the brownies with the mousse. Cover mousse with candy bars. Cover with Cool Whip. Refrigerate for at least one hour.


Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Van Art

Camera Van

Lol @ the horns on top

I don't know if the van is more interesting, or the dude in
front of it

Random guy on segue: "wtf is that?"


Skulls!

A classic

I found so many star wars themed ones

Dazzling, indeed

Fairy!

mid-laundry doodles


Monday, 3 December 2012

Face Mask

decided to try making my own face mud scrub tonight.

Ingredients:

Sugar (I used white)
Coffee grounds
olive oil (just enough to moisten)
bit of almond extract to make smell nice



so good! Smells like coffee and almonds, and my face feels as soft as a baby's bottom. :3

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Women and Play in the Modern Day

Something that came up in one of my classes the other day was the notion of modern gamespaces as being male-dominated. Obviously, this is, and has been the case in a number of sports through history (Football being the big one that comes to mind). But some of this seems to have transferred over into the virtual gamespace as well. Spending hours and hours every day playing video games (be they PC or console) has come to be viewed as a masculine trait, adopted by a few "cool" avante garde "gamer" females. A girl who can kick your ass gaming is seen as "hot" in the same way a girl who can fix your car is: its unique, and therefore sexy.

 =








The rest of the gender, those who aren't deep into the FPS, the MMO RPG's, have been relegated to Angry Birds and The Sims, stereotypically more "female" games. Games which, by the way, tend to be seen as more mindless, or requiring less skill.

So why is there this polarization between skillful "male" game spaces, and less skilled "female" game spaces. Is it time for women to claim the male game space as their own, or perhaps we should just acknowledge that men and women game in different ways for different reasons? Or do they?

I don't have the answers. Its interesting to note that during the women's suffrage movement, according to this article, suffragettes set out to make their own game space. 
"Interestingly, these games were not simply a way to convey their ideas about womensʼ rights but it was also a strategy for financing their struggle"
The connection between women's rights and game spaces seems to have a history, then. I can't quite put my finger on why there is this important connection between play and gender issues, but there does seem to be. Maybe this is something I will explore more at a later date.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Problem Solving

When I was in seventh or eighth (or ninth) grade, we went on a school trip to tour some of the science facilities at the University of Saskatchewan. While I don't remember much about this trip, and (obviously) I wasn't instilled with the desire to pursue a life of science, I do remember some words said by a student specializing in sound:

When it comes to problems of sound, there are three paths you can take in solving the issue:

1.) Address the problem at its source (where is the sound coming from. We'll say we're dealig with a loud sound. . .can the source be eliminated?)
2.) Address the transfer of sound between the source and the receiver (put up a soundproof barrier, maybe) 
3.) Address the problem at the receiving end (Make the people who have to listen to the loud sound wear earplugs)

While this sort of a structure can't be applied in every situation, I've found it can be a useful tool in helping solve a range of problems.

Too cold? 
 1.) Move somewhere warmer
 2.) Invest in warmer clothes
 3.) Teach yourself not to be bothered by the cold

Annoying person in your life?
1.) Eliminate them from your life (no, don't kill them)
2.) Find ways to interact with them less, perhaps only in certain settings
3.) Change the way you think about them.

Relationship problems?
1.) Change your partner
2.) Change the ways you interact with your partner
3.) Change yourself

Can't concentrate on homework?
 1.) Change the homework . . .work on something else
 2.) Change the way you are trying to do your homework. Use a new approach.
 3.) Change yourself: get more comfortable, pep talk yourself into a more productive mindset. 


Saturday, 24 November 2012

On being medicated. . .again.

I have recently started going to see a psychiatrist, on the advice of my doctor. I went to get my prescription refilled, and the conversation went something like:

Doctor: When was the last time you visited a psychiatrist?
Me: .. . never?
Doctor: WTFBBQ WRITING YOU A REFERRAL RITE NAOW!

So I went to the psychiatrist. First visit:
Psychiatrist: Tell me everything horrible that has ever happened to you.
Me: Ok, here's some stuff that happened to me. But I dealt with it. I feel ok now. . .
Psychiatrist: I don't care about NOW, tell me about your HORRIBLE PAST
Me: Ok. . .*goes on at some length in increasingly gory and disturbing detail"
Psychiatrist: ". . .I think we need you back for a second assessment. . ."

Second Visit:
Psychiatrist: You're the girl with cancer, right?
Me: Not. . . to my knowledge?
Psychiatrist: Oh! Silly me! I have you confused with someone else. What pills are you on?
Me: (patiently, we went over this last time) Divalproex and Fluoxotine.
Psychiatrist: HOW MUCH?
Me: I don't remember
Psychiatrist: WHY DIDNT YOU BRING THE BOTTLES
Me: . . . you didn't ask me to?
Psychiatrist: I NEED THE BOTTLES NEXT TIME.
Me: ok. . .
Psychiatrist: Divalproex is bad. You've probably got ovarian cysts and that means you can't have babies. Also, your liver is dying. But I'm more worried about the fluxotine, because that shit's gonna drive you craaayyyzeeee. You need bloodwork!
Me: ok, I'll go get that done
Psychiatrist: BRING THE BOTTLES NEXT TIME
me: OKAY!

So, I have since gotten my bloodwork done. On the fifth, I get to find out if I'm barren/have a dying liver/ am going craaayyyzzeeee. I'm a little scared, but surprisingly calm.
My shrink wants to switch me over to lithium, which has the potential to turn me into a zombie. Given the choice, I'd rather be happy, clear headed, and die young of a bum liver (at least I'll be barren and not be leaving any kids behind), than be a miserably depressed bipolar zombie. Quality of life over quantity of life. What do you think?   I think I should've not gone to the psychiatrist. She seems very reactive.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

coloring

Not a particularly good picture, but I felt like coloring something while I watched Armitage III (which was awesome, btw). I think I'm regressing. 


Sunday, 18 November 2012

Tandoori Chicken

Had a busy day, and am sorta tired, so I'll keep it brief. Here's dinner:

Tandoori Style chicken:

1/2 c. chopped onion
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tbsp. oil
2 tsp. each curry & chili powder
1 c. plain yogurt
1 (3 lb.) chicken (broiler fryer)

In a medium skillet saute onion and garlic in oil until onion is tender, stir in curry and chili powders. Remove from heat. Blend in yogurt. Pour over chicken in shallow dish and cover. Chill several hours or overnight. Remove chicken, reserve remaining marinade. Place skin side down on lightly greased broiler pan rack. Broil 6 inches from heat source 15 minutes. Basting occasionally remaining marinade

For the sauce I fried up some peppers, then used the leftover marinade, added some lemon juice, more yogurt, sugar, a whole bunch of cilantro, mixed this all together and let it simmer for a short period of time. Served with rice, this was yummy! But broiling the chicken set the fire alarm off which freaked out the dog :( 

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Sufi

The "whirling dervish" was something I grew up thinking of as almost comical. Now that I'm older, and am looking at it again, I'm realizing there really is something beautiful and unearthly about this form of meditation and worship. Take that, close-minded nine year old me! 


Saturday, 10 November 2012

Oder River

Cuz I'm on some sort of a landscape kick. Playing around with the oil-paint filter on GIMP, only time I've gotten it to look decent. 


Wednesday, 7 November 2012

moar cartoons

 could it be going somewhere? I dunno, but here's more, including a crappy odd man out panel.

featuring the most depressed looking waitress ever. 

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Salmon Frittata

Ingredients:

oil
Six eggs, beaten
One can salmon
one tomato
one red onion
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Heat oil. Fry onion lightly in oil. Add salmon and tomato and heat, briefly. Add beaten egg, mix with other ingredients, add salt and pepper to taste. Cook for a couple of minutes, then throw the whole thing in the oven for another few minutes until eggs are cooked through.

I love frittatas so easy, and a great way to get rid of crap in your fridge.


Sunday, 4 November 2012

Parlor Culture

Today's thousand dollar question: does making intellectualism "fashionable" strip it of its value?

Some quick flashbacks:


Medieval times: intellectualism not fashionable; mostly monks actively pursuing and preserving knowledge, everyone else too busy waving swords/fighting dragons


Renaissance: new sorts of intellectualism rising, but often more dangerous than fashionable, re: conflicts with church


Enlightenment right through to the Victorian era: intellectualism all the rage. High fashion. Parlor culture, involving getting a bunch of "intellectuals" and "artists" together in a room to be self-important. That's not really fair : a lot of really good works came out of this time, but there were also a lot of intellectual posers drifting around, it seems.


1920's: A criticism of this sort of fashionable intellectualism from T.S. Eliot :


In the room the women come and go        35
Talking of Michelangelo.
For I have known them all already, known them all:
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,        50
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
  So how should I presume?

Now: Parlor is long dead, but we have Hipsters. Think about it. And the need for higher education. Think about that, too. Steampunk = a nostalgia for parlor culture? The most intelligent among us have become chronically more vulgar , and tend to hate the academic institutions that give us the words to hate with (less now maybe, more in the nineties). 

I haven't really worked out what I want to say about this in my head, so I'm just throwing down some fragments of what's rattling around in there. Maybe I'll follow up with  an actual post, later. 

Monday, 29 October 2012

Pointillism

Since I was a wee lass, I've had a thing for pointillism. I read about it in a book. The big book of "Things Your Parents Have No Time to do With You". . ..I think it was formally titled "365 Fun Things to do With Your Kids". All bitterness aside, this book had some pretty neat (and some very lame) activities, many of which I inflicted upon my younger sister.

Off topic. One of the activities in this book was teaching your kid about pointillism (a style of drawing in which you create an image using only dots), and having them attempt it for kicks and giggles. I was fascinated by the artistic form, but I've never been very good at it. I can do a mean pointillism tree. I can sorta do a face (though its less pointillism and more sloppy-dash-illism). Maybe someday I'll dig up and post for you some of my attempts. Cuz I know you're all SOOPER interested.

But in the meantime, let me post some examples from the master of pointillism himself: Georges Seurat (who may or may not have made it into this blog before. I don't know. Sometimes I get the feeling that my interests have become so narrow that I'm repeating myself. Sometimes I get the feeling that my interests have become so narrow that I'm repeating myself.) I first encountered this fella in my undergraduate Art History class, and promptly stuck the blame for my obsession with pointillism on him, and his pretty, dreamy pastel pictures.

The Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, 1884–1886, at The Art Institute of Chicago
And these other two which I don't have the titles for, but which the internet credits to Seurat and which I like:



Saturday, 27 October 2012