Tuesday, June 30, 2009

goals and golub

current tune: "In Circles" by: Sunny Day Real Estate

I decided today to write down a list of goals for myself while I'm here for my last month in Syracuse, NY. These are what I came up with:

They maybe silly. They may be more than I can do. But they're on paper, visual, and hopefully will assist me in my life.

Of course riding the city bus, and rummaging through a dumpster aren't exactly "goals" to an every day person, but I would like to do these and experience these for myself before I leave here. I want to feel things that people around me are feeling...even if it isn't a positive experience. In my eyes, one can only gain certain knowledge through experience.

chili. kindergarten style.

I made another batch of vegetarian chili today for lunch and dinner. It looks like a kindergarten child drawing-come-to-life, but it tasted good! I finally have a camera (well...it certainly is not mine...) to take photos of things in my life I wish to share. Which includes doors, interesting finds, food, adventures, and anything (and I mean anything!) of inspiration to me! Sorry, Nick, but I am taking full advantage of your camera while I'm burrowing it. And I won't spill anything on it.

I started my first night class as well for college credit with one of Studio Art professors from Cazenovia College, Anita. The class is going to be more interesting than I thought it would be, and will touch on more things than I presumes as well. These things always excite me...like learning about censored things and contraband from the big brother.

I was enriched by the artist Leon Golub. His paintings opened my eyes completely, and were an absolute inspiration for the bits of political-esque art that I've lightly touched upon with some paintings. He is definitely worth the look into!

I wish he was still alive today, but under circumstances and life, I am thrilled that I could be exposed to the process of his work (through film) and the outlets of the inspiration that fueled his creativity and energy.

I'm looking forward to being exposed to more controversial artists and art organizations around Syracuse as well during these next 6 weeks of my class. It's amazing the things you overlook, that are often times just in front of you!

Monday, June 29, 2009

jazzy tunes

current tune: "In This City" by: Enon

Saturday night Nick and I attended the Syracuse Jazzfest held at OCC. We showed up late, I guess to maybe wait out for Kenny G? This was a guy that I knew nothing about....little did I know that he plays soft soft core jazz and basically is the music for any Holiday Inn I've ever been in. Oh, Kenny G, you are something.

It was comical watching the 30-middle age women swoon over his "Sideshow Bob" appearance, long locks of curl hair, and his saxophone playing. He wasn't as bad as everyone told me he'd be. He was talented, good at times (Nick and I enjoyed the latin music the best), and good comic relief.

The place was packed when we got there, and had attracted a whopping 40-50,000 people to the Jazzfest as a whole. We parked ourselves on a small hill with Pete's infamous mult-purpose blanket and poked fun at the experience we were having and enjoyed fireworks from the comfort of warmth and a flask of rum.

After the concert was winding down, I decided to wait until the crowd left to pick up empty returnables for gas money and pocket money. This turned into me just grabbing garbage bags from wherever and racing to pick up discarded cans and bottles from all over! (I've finally started bringing them back after the smell of stale beer started occupying the backseat of my Merc.) Money is money when it comes down to it, and yes, I am willing to garbage pick.

The experience was a fun one none-the-less. Both Nick and I had a good time for a free and enjoyed each others company for something cheap to do in Syracuse.

I enjoy these random expeditions that turn out to be a good experience. I'll be working again at my new job, which I can enlighten you all about a bit later. And will hopefully get back on track with my right now rocky life.

Friday, June 26, 2009

album appreciation: michael jackson

current tune: "Thriller" by: Micheal Jackson

Now, I realize Michael Jackson's death is still quite fresh among his family, the media, the public, and his fans, but I thought that I would dedicated my supposedly "ThuIrsday's album appreciation" to him. (I also realize that it's a day late....oops!)

My parents have quite a large vinyl collection at home that is listened to and loved regularly. This is where I was fully introduced to a lot of the music I listen to and love today. Michael Jackson was one of those artists that my mom has in her vinyl collection in our den, that I soon learned to appreciate and like as well. Even though I am not an avid MJ fan (and far from it), I do indulge in "Thriller" from time to time.

Michael Jackson's "Thriller" was released in 1982 and is (and also still standing) as the best-selling album of all time, with over 100 million copies sold. This was the icing on the cake for Michael and put him as one of the predominant pop stars of the 20th century with screaming girls all over and Mtv.

(at least we share similar taste in flashy pants)

"Thriller" was ranked number 20 on Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list in 2003 and is also preserved by the Library of Congress to the National Recording Registry, as it was deemed "culturally significant." Though this may seem slightly comical, it's true.

Also! if you pay close attention to the Gorillaz "Clint Eastwood" video, they certainly pay homage to this classic music video with the dance sequence.

Here is my condolences to the Jackson family, because a death is a death no matter what living being passes on. Micheal's music will still be loved and appreciated!

Rest in peace, Micheal Jackson, you will be missed.

good times with good music

current tune: "I can't get next to you" by: The Temptations

I've been on many an adventure the past couple of days throughout Syracuse with my friend (and basically neighbor) Angie, and her roomie Joe. I'm back and things finally seem to be picking up and falling into place. And I'm thankful!

Thursday was full of more job hunting, interesting finds, public assistance forms, and an eventful night.

My friend Angie and her roomie Joe are these cute indie kids who have more music in their house than food. That is when you know you've got passion.

"I'd rather die listening to good music."

I spent the day galavanting with Angie in the hopes of finding somewhere in the area that was looking for help. Later that night Angie went to a show to see a Texan band called "The New Science Projects" while Joe and I made dinner, had wine and Strongbow (!!!) while listening to sweet vintage music on both mixed cd's and mix tapes. The night was spent on Angie's front stoop smoking cigarettes, making new friends and discussing life. A fantastic past time for the starving artist.

There is nothing that I love more than to talk with people and listen to good mixtapes on a summer evening.
(except if camping were involved)

For any of those who are not familiar with Strongbow, it is a British hard cider that is fabulous!
It was a favorite (hands down) among my friends and I in England

Later that night Angie invited one of the band members over to crash and we all oreos and beer, cigarettes and good conversation, and had a relaxing great night among friends of similar interests and present financial status.

I would love to post photos of Angie's rad flat, like my international family flat, she too found all her furniture curbside, only with more of a retro appeal. It's cool sharing a bond and love for old discarded things in a world of constant materialism. Plus she just picked up a faded old 1930's theatre couch that is the bomb digity! (Yes...I said bomb digity...)

I hope to have more adventures with Angie and Joe to come!
Possibly more grilled cheese and beer nights, or just dinner and music on her front stoop.

These are the moments that make feel alive as a 20-something trying to survive in America.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

a bright day calls for bright mugs

current tune: "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" by: Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell

While stumbling on the internet (how I usually find great gems) I came across these adorable retro mugs and all their vintage glory!


I found these little treasures on here and decided to check out the home page (Style-files) to find out more about these fantastic style site I stumbled upon! (Could not help going with the alliteration!)

The mugs are "Fire-King" mugs, popular in the 1950's-1970's consisting of milk glass, jadeite, azurite or vitrock. I've seen similar mugs in various thrift stores and Salvation Army stores, but never really looked into their popularity or background. Besides being quaint and cute, they seem quite durable and long lasting!

The site itself, style-files, is an adorable blog site by style girl, Danielle, and her inspiration. I am very pleased to have found it and hope to draw my own inspiration from the beautiful photographs she has on her site.

love, love, love....!!!

This is one of my favorite photographs from Danielle's site. As close friends know, I simply adore the color teal/turquoise and the room captured on the lower right has just captured my eye right off the bat! The simplistic chairs are fabulous as well!

Fabulous site, Danielle!

It all gives me inspiration for creating my own abodes as I move around and venture through the world.

Monday, June 22, 2009

America: land of the corrupt and ignorant

current tune: "House of the Rising Sun" by: The Animals

I thought I would share this site to whoever reads my blog (whoever you may be!) I stumbled on this site earlier today, read a bit, and fell in love. Of course, that may be satisifying the rebellious side of me....but none the less it is nifty information to feed hungry minds!

I started reading into the National Reserve and banks, and liked what I was reading, though the majority is eye-opening and negative. I am looking forward to becoming more enlightened and knowledgeable from this insightful little website!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

bonne l'anniversaire

current tune: "Rabbit Habits" by: Man Man

Every year you grow older, wiser, mature more, and learn more. You have experiences that shape you and your outlook on life. I am officially one year older and spent my small celebration among close childhood friends (and boyfriend) in a historical town in New York State.

I met my friend Jen (whom I've been best friends with since 2nd grade with Girl Scouts) and her, Nick, and I drove to Saratoga to meet Desiree (whom I've known since kindergarten, GS's, and numerous camping trips) to go out to dinner, drink, and have a good time all while catching each other up. It's funny how Desi and I only see each other once a year now and still remain close through our mannerisms, style, taste, and our friendship. I'm happy for it!

The night was full of beer, beer pong, smoking, chocolate covered almond biscotti, a buzzed trip to Stewart's for good ice-cream, dinner at Sushi Thai, and two bar stops. The bars weren't as hopping as I'd thought they'd be through the multiple times I've walked by them and pined to be a part of it all. I did snag a book of matches, and did have a beer on Caroline St. in Saratoga.

The night went on with a garage party with Desi and her friends until I crashed (as usual) into sleepiness. But, at least I did not spill anything while intoxicated!

I'm happy the day went well, and my weekend. I'm thankful for seeing my good friends and sad I couldn't see everyone. I miss my hometown and the surrounding counties so much, and when I come back I automatically get back into that groove and pine for it even more. Central New York just isn't the same as the Northeast.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

party hardy, love

current tune: "Get Down Tonight" by: KC and the Sunshine Band

I am home for the weekend, and even though that is reason enough to celebrate, it's my birthday as well! So, like any other American girl on the cusp of being "legal" and an "adult" I went drinking and celebrated right at midnight properly with a mixed drink in a clear plastic cup just so I could get my coveted wristband to represent my age.

I met my old friend Jordan, our friend Tanner, both of their younger sister's and boyfriends, and my new boyfriend Nick at the Caboose in Gloversville for the annual "Caboose Block Party." The night started off like a pity party when the people at the door realized I had 2 1/2 hours before I could legally drink. Locally they pitied me into saving me $15 for the "over 21 price."

The night was full of smoking, drinking, dancing, catching up with old high school friends, and living for the moment. It was really fun, in a bar with other white trash townies. Oh, Gloversville....

We ended the night, of course, with a stop at the neighboring "greasy spoon" in Johnstown (our rival town) at the Miss Johnstown Diner. A hugh plate of greasy fries and a sleepy drive to drop everyone off was the ending to my eventful night.

Tonight I'll be in Saratoga, NY to celebrate my birthday proper with two friends I have known since kindergarten, one of which I only see once a year. I'm looking forward to another funky night!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

this is the end, my friend

current tune: "Generator" by: The Holloways

I quit my job today. My shitty-minimum-wage-paying-no-respect-worthless-dead-end-job at the local McDonald's. I've spent 4 years of my life serving under corporate hierarchy to serve people greasy cancer causing food so they can curb their addictions all for crappy communist wages. I never received a raise that I wouldn't lose when minimum wage increased, and I never was appreciated.

Fuck you, I'm done.

I've got a cold can of Keystone Ice to my left and a strong man to lean on when I feel the desire to.

I'm a poor artist that has had enough.

And I'm scared.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

r-r-retro-active sunday

current tune: "Chinese Children" by: Devandra Beinhart

I had a lovely little outing with my two good friends I have not seen in quite some time! We met in Central Square at a cute simplistic diner called "Good Golly's" off of I-81 North. It was nice sitting in a diner and catching up with Gracie-lou and Kari. I wish I were able to see them more. It seems the more you grow older the more you just look to summer as a continued working season, instead of all that summer-love you had for it as a child.We had a small lunch and I drank my ice water with two daisies in it, that kari picked for me before I met up with her.

I followed Kari to her abode to meet her mom, brew some coffee, and catch up some more. It was simple. It was delightful.

I stopped at a small vendor on the way out of Central Square to buy some fresh local strawberries (which were later given to homeless man by Carousel Mall). The next stop was the local Wal-Mart to find a new labret stud for my lip, then to Carousel to get a seamless hoop for my nose. I just can't get away from Wal-Mart's; there's an odd Americana-comfort with them, that I am guilty of supporting.

I miss my camera (more than ever) now. I really enjoy updating my blog with images to go along with my anectdotes. Unfortunately I do not have the money to have it sent back into Canon to get serviced again....sigh....so you'll all just have to imagine the stories I tell!

Today was a great retro day for me driving with loud 1970's music and retro attire. I complimented the hot summer day with a white shirt (with ruffles in the front) that my old British roomie Charlie gave to me, bright green, white, and blue checked high waisted shorts, a brown belt, and my brown Birkenstock wannabe sandels.
I think I turned a couple heads today with the outfit.

People should really embrace their own style more often.
It's fun.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

it's saturday...can you feel the thrill of it?

current tune: "Hometown" by: Miss Kitten and the Hacker

Weekends are a favorite time for me. They represent two days where I have no obligations to my internship nor my job....and I bask in it. The morning commenced waking up off the side of the road next to fields in the warm sun from a nights sleep in my car in the country. An odd start, but an interesting start none the less.
Breakfast at Dave's Diner was the next stop on the agenda; sharing breakfast with Nick and then a mosey around the local farmer's market and yard sales going on today.

Today was a very good day for me with good finds!

small blue Caz Lakers towel - $0.50

one dozen small free-range locally raised chicken eggs - $2.00
one very large "sun tea" jar w/lid - $3.00
ice tray - $0.99
spatula - $0.79
spaghetti serving spoon - $0.79

"The Kraft Cookbook" - $1.99
two books (The Cheese Monkeys, I'm Ok- You're Ok) - $1.99 each
three different windows and frames - free

Two trips to the Salvation Army, some curb browsing, and adventure with a tranquil stop at 2nd Story Books for an iced coffee added to my day. Along with a trip to a shady furniture store to purchase and help transport a new mattress, making pizza and watching "Resevoir Dogs" at my flat with Bill, and making a whole jar of iced tea completed the adventure!

For some odd reason this is the 2nd instance where I've had guests come over and decide to watch this movie with me. Odd...? Or maybe just a great cult classic.

I've been quite busy with odds and ends, my life, and cleaning the flat with my flatmates. I've been trying to get to know Syracuse and keep my creative juices gong with everything around me and ideas inside me to hopefully just have days at a time to wake up and do whatever...and produce some good art.

down the rabbit hole, and back up again

current tune: "My Patch" by: Jim Noir

Last night I was supposed to attend my first field party.
Fate had other plans for me.

I got out of work a bit early, since I wasn't given a break, met Nick, and waited for my co-worker to get out so I could follow her to this field party....which is a congregation of high schoolers and up driving out to the complete stix to get plastered.

I found Cindy after a couple calls and after being forgotten at our original meeting place to follow her past New Woodstock, through Sheds, Georgetown, Otselic, and South Otselic. I drove down so many back seasonal dirt roads with my merc I thought I was going to the Shire. It was definitely a metaphoric experience of "going down the rabbit hole."

The party was moved, we were lost, and I had no clue where we were. Cindy had a headlight out and was low on gas, and it was a caravan of three cars and passengers in the middle of central New York at 12am looking for a good time.

In the end I almost got stuck in a ditch from pressured speedy reverse driving thanks to my co-worker Cindy, was able to get to DeRyter thanks to Nick, spilled a beer in my car, and ended up spending the night in my car again in Sheds on a back road with Nick. It was another classic sleepingbad affair.

We drove over 2 hours looking for a party that maybe we weren't meant to be at. I used a good 1/8 of my tank on back roads and dirt unmarked roads trying to find my way out. And lots of frustrated swearing occured. Looking back on this night, I don't know why we did what we did, but it was an adventure. An adventure of dirt seasonal roads with my not-so-off roading car.

Friday, June 12, 2009

today my heart swings

current tune: "Black Cat John Brown" by: Alamo Race Track

Sometimes I wish I could stop time...or at least slow it down. Slow it down for those lazy mornings under the covers without any motivation to begin the day outside of the comfort of the bed that is under you. Brewing coffee at 10:30 in the morning and cooking breakfast when everyone around you is having lunch. I like starting my day off with breakfast foods, even if it isn't breakfast time.

I want to bottle my feelings and experiences and preserve them in a cold cellar for those off-days.

I want to re-live these enjoyable moments that wash over me.

I want to film those special random moments that could appear in an indie flick when I say, "We're living in a moment."
Those are words I want to be remembered by.

this picture made me smile. it was one of those random finds on google images that I leaf through until I find an image of inspiration for the moment

We're all living in a moment.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

hello, open road

current tune: "Cheap and Cheerful" by: The Kills

I'm back in Madison County...oh boy! I hit the road today with a stop at the local McDonald's because they have Newman's Own organic iced coffee that is so worth the $2.04 and artificial flavoring; followed by a quick stop to the neighboring DD.

On the road things went smoothly and saw the lovely sights on I-90 with the Mohawk. Have you ever saw military vehicles on the thruway? Well today I did and it was oddly....haunting. Next time pay close attention to how eerie and creepy they are with this defiant brute strength of corruption. ugh.....I would fear us too if I was an Iraqi...fts...!

The joys of thruways, of speeding, or passing people to and fro down a thin long
stretch of man made asphalt. It's an odd feeling to ride down the same mundane black strip but oddly soothing in an "American going around the U.S" would feel like.

Fear and Loathing anyone?

I seem to be meant for driving people around and driving to and fro on adventures where I go. I'm not the most trusting driver but I have a yen for adventure and a smell for the open road.

Who wants to go out west?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

album appreciation: devotchka

current tune: "New World" by: DeVotchka

If you fell in love with the soundtrack from "Little Miss Sunshine" you will fall in love with DeVotchka and their unique sounds.

Devotchka is a four member band that uses various instruments and vocals mixing international sounds such as: Romanian, Greek, and Slavic to create their beautiful, almost haunting music. Coming out of Denver, Colorado the group is composed of Nick Urata (who sings, and plays the theremin*, guitar, bouzouki*, piano, and the trumpet), Tom Hagerman (who plays violin, accordian and piano) , Jeanie Schroder (who sings and plays the sousaphone), and Shawn King (who plays percussion and the trumpet), all who are very talented and help to make this band a wonderful mix of creative juice with a healthy helping of goulash.

I absolutely ADORE the sound of the accordion and the baltic sounds it makes me think of. (Whenever I hear the accordion I think of France too!)

They've released four albums thus far and one EP, of which I am still acquiring.

happy listening!

is an early electric musical instrument controlled without contact from the player and is named after Leon Theremin.
*bouzouki: is a stringed instrument with a pear-shaped body and a long neck.

up, down, and all around

current tune: "How It Ends" by: DeVotchKa

I am currently home....for the night and night only. Tomorrow I'll be waking up with the sun and on the road back to Cazenovia by 6am for my internship and then work. Am I beat...? Yes.

I drove back to my home town to see my grandmother and to talk about my European adventures to her and the small senior citizens group she is a part of with her church in Northville, NY. I had no problem doing this for her, and enjoyed making the little old ladies smile, it was just taxing on me with driving.

Just to let you know I am NOT a good driver. As I'm sure my friends can vouch that at least one point in their lives, while driving with me, they felt un-trusting of my driving skills....I don't blame them. And yet I am always driving to and fro and all over....! Displaced karma maybe?

I'm excited to sleep in a real bed again in such a long time. It's pretty silly how many things we take for granted in our lives that I am realizing. A real bed, food always stocked in the fridge, reliable internet, toilet paper, bathroom availability, parking, finances, and vaccuum cleaners. I am very sure there are more things to add to this list, but those are just a handful.

Earlier last week I spent a night in my car in a parking area with Nick, a sleeping bag and a sea of comforter. It was a very interesting experience. Though many may condone this action, I encourage it. I am not homeless, but I do believe there are certain experiences in life that we can only truely understand through experiencing them ourselves, so I did. It will be an adventure that I'll be doing more.

I hope I can walk away from this summer and realize that I accomplished a lot. And that the things I experienced helped to make me a more understanding better individual.

It's amazing how creative you can be with little money and your surroundings.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

a small taste of a big city

current tune: "We Share Our Mother's Health" by: The Knife

I've become absent minded again and have been once again guilty of forgetting to update my blog...shame on me! I suppose it's because I'm struggling to have a social life and helping myself for future job references. Busy, busy, busy!!

Yesterday I spent the day with my friends Nick and Bill on the usual quest for adventure. The day started on a very good note of a flat family brunch before scouring the local neighborhood for starving artists' art on the Westcott Art Trail that was held yesterday June 6th. I had a lovely brunch in our kitchen with Nick, Yazmin, and Adluha and her husband's Greek/Indian family I am currently residing with. I had delicious Indian white rice with some yellow peppers, eggplant, and zucchini that I sauteed; all with some scrumptuous vanilla chai tea. After breakfast I tackled the kitchen/dinig room floor then headed for a nice walk around the neighboorhood to see artist's selling their work in lawns and on the street. It was a very cool experience. It also motivates me to begin creating art again, on the side of my busy lifestyle, to sell and live off of.

We headed up to the Westcott Community Center to see more art for sale, signed up to help a non-for-profit arts organization for CNY, and to purchase 4 luscious tomatoes and a jar of raw honey from a local farmer's market. It always makes me uber happy to support the local natural/and or organic farmers in the area. It reminds me that they are making a living in a way that I would like to strive for, and that supporting these people is a direct way of supporting this bohemian honest lifestyle.

I later met Bill at Recess Coffee, and headed to the "Taste of Syracuse" festival downtown to enjoy the large congregation of diverse central New Yorker's with good food and good drink. It was incredibely fun shuffling around so many different people with wine slushies and the sounds of live music. It felt like a huge adult carnival held in the middle of Syrause to give people a tiny holiday from their mundane lives.

I want to make the absolute most of my time here in this large city for the summer. I enjoy the new excitement of finding new tea shops, bookstores, and boutiques to support and new people to meet. I hope my experience in Syracuse and living on my own for the first time is one I can use as a foundation for the multitudes of adventures I will be having throughout my life with all the many people I meet!