limca, how i miss thee

I don’t drink much soda. Well, that’s sort of a lie. I drink my fair share of Mountain Dew (but only when it’s necessary! … and it’s been necessary a lot lately). But I don’t drink dark-colored sodas like Coke or Pepsi at all and rarely drink clearish sodas like Sprite or 7-up. However, I really miss Limca. It’s only sold in India and it’s crisp and refreshing, kind of like Sprite or 7-up … but better. Maybe because it’s in India? I first had it in Delhi when I was there in 2011 (everyone in my tour group fell in love with Limca), and then I had it again this January when I was in Mumbai … and it’s just good stuff.

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artist: david hammons

Do you know who David Hammons is? The contemporary African-American artist? The one whose sculpture is in the Hirshhorn’s permanent collection? Well, I didn’t. That is, not until I went to the Hirshhorn, saw this sculpture, and looked him up.

The sculpture is an untitled piece from 1989, made out of glass bottles and silicone glue. I thought it was pretty amazing. What could be more simple, more perfect than a circle? But then there are the components – the individual glass bottles – that are connected in a way that seems so natural and unforced given the shape of the bottles and the invisibility of the adhesive.

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A lot of his work deals with the civil rights movement from his heyday during the 1970s and 1980s. And though this particular sculpture has a distant, minimalist feel, it’s not. It’s not pure form, pure materiality, or pure object. It’s not a circle formed by the repetition of that particular angle; it’s actually a flattened spiral with slight irregularities. The glass is not clean and sterile; they are bottles of Night Train, a brand of bum/street wine. The sculpture is more than an object; it is a commentary on racial stereotypes, creating a sense of high art out of low trash.

getting back into the swing

So … I’m pretty much settled in by now. I moved in about one month ago and my room is pretty much set up, but I might buy a few more things in the upcoming weeks. Graduate school is really quite time consuming, not with busy work assignments like in undergraduate, but there are so many readings to do for each class that it takes a lot of effort to keep on top of them all. Two weeks in and I’m already not doing too well at that.

I’m not too fond of how my room looks decoration-wise, but it’ll slowly get there. I like to keep myself busy with little crafts and tasks to give myself something to do when I need a break from all the reading. I’m currently working on a short story for a challenge swap, and the other day I bought two canvases (really cheaply from Michaels) and I want to do some kind of ink drawing on them. We’ll see. I need to get some photos printed out … which I’ve been saying for the last month.

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Back in Austin I had a shelf that was devoted to clear glass bottles, and I’ve started doing the same to my windowsill here. I hate throwing away bottles, and I like the look of them when they’re all different sizes and the light hits them. When there get to be too many I’ll recycle them, but for now they’re creating a little family on the sill.

Ugh … alrighty then, I guess I should get back to reading now. From now on, if you see a post from me, you can go ahead and assume I’m procrastinating, so feel free to chide me back into being a responsible student.

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is reposted here for my own sake.]

giftness: m&ms in glass

Have I mentioned that I’m a poor college student? Well, I am. I’m also incredibly fond of holidays, gift-giving, and collecting things. I especially like glass, so I hate throwing away glass bottles. Since the nearest recycling center is a decent drive away I figured I’d reuse them like the good eco-friendly person I am (well, I try).

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I thoroughly cleaned some clear bottles, filled them with M&Ms, topped them off with some pink fabric, white ribbon, and red knotted cord … and voila. Cheap, easy, and universal – because who can say no to chocolate? I wanted to find the red, white, and pink M&Ms, but the store I went to didn’t have any. It was probably for the best since a few of my friends are being decidedly anti-Valentine’s Day this year.

I don’t see why people gripe so much about it. Is it a commercial holiday? Yes. Do I care? No. Why? Because whenever there’s a chance for people to show how much they appreciate each other (and consume chocolate), it’s all good in my book.

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is reposted here for my own sake.]

apt xmas

An apartment next to a college campus is not an ideal place for Christmas. Thankfully I will be spending Christmas at home with my family, but I’ll only be able to spend a few days at home. The rest of the time will be at my fabulously over-priced, run-down apartment. Therefore, while procrastinating one fine evening, I decided to decorate. Here, ladies and gentlemen, is how a college student decorates her apartment for Christmas (on a very limited budget).

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1. White Lights

I dug up some white Christmas lights that I bought two years ago for studio. I actually bought them because when you can’t find an extension cord, Christmas lights will work just as well. I had originally strung them around my desk to keep people from walking by my work area where I had models on the floor. Last year I was in the middle of a large studio space, so the Christmas lights were strung from the wall to my desk in the middle of the room, and the guy sitting next to me had Christmas lights strung from the other wall to his desk. All in all it was fabulous. Here in our lowly apartment, however, I just grabbed some drafting tape and taped these much loved white lights around our front doorway. The texture of the wall is kind of weird though.

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2. Silver and Red Bow

I’ve always been a big fan of bows. Snowflakes are pretty. Christmas trees and stockings are too obvious. Bows are universal. And I happen to really like ribbon. So I grabbed some thick silver wired ribbon and created a big bow on our cheap Wal-Mart shelving unit. I thought it looked a bit drab so I grabbed some red satin ribbon and incorporated another bow into the mix. I think it’s rather nice … really classes up that cheap white plastic, eh?

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3. Santa Hat

I’ve had this Santa hat for years … can’t even remember where/when I got it. Anyway, though I like the color green, I’ve never been a big fan of the red-green color combination because I just find it too cliché. It screams “Christmas!” in that overly commercial way. Therefore, our apartment’s just going to stick with red and white/silver, which the Santa hat fits into perfectly. How is the hat standing so erect on our counter? Because it’s hiding our very college-student bottle of tequila next to an empty bottle of wine. Yeah … don’t judge me. Oh, and the wallpaper was there when we moved in.

Christmas is my favorite holiday. I love giving gifts, wrapping gifts, decorating gifts, hanging out with friends, having that hot mocha latté at Spider House while exchanging gifts … you get the idea. Though decorating was rather light this year, I think in conjunction with the nippy weather and the scarves around my neck, it’s winter enough. Happy holidays.

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is reposted here for my own sake.]