Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wednesday at The Frick

I'm back in class and that means more stories, more searches for color, more drawings that I'll upload for comments, more running around with grubby hands, snatching gallery guides so I can troll the streets searching for openings, art, but perhaps most of all, free glasses of wine.

In the Frick, we spread out, armed with our sketchbooks and assignment--three drawings, and mix it up this time--and we have an hour and forty-five minutes. Spend it wisely.

Don't stand in the gift shop like me and marvel at what is around you: the walls lined with postcards and black and white prints, enormous books against the shelves: the jackets in the boring muted tones run together. Hotel buffet salmon-pink, sea-scum green. Silk-screened totes and wide pine floor boards.

Shake it off, clutch your book and keep moving, past the crowds of slow-moving patrons, the arguing Russians, the surly staff who by now must find no beauty in what they do, protecting priceless things from us--loud-mouthed tourists we all are in this room where we ooh and ahh.

Grab your pens, scratch and the pad and scowl as you desperately try to sketch this relief of Mary, find yourself shouting out the name of her son as you slip and screw it up. Compose yourself, keep going, scratch scratch scratch for twenty minutes, leaving scars in the paper where you've gone too deep, and then, a 70 year old woman who is shouting out everything that comes up on her audioguide, leans over and tells you "that's kind of good," and you can't help but stand a little straighter and scratch a little louder as if someone will see.

Next up get the pencils, look in the dog-eared pages of the book and choose the next page--do you dare to draw on the back of a good drawing at the risk of affixing something mediocre to something you'd be proud of, knowing full well that if you do, someone could always flip the page and all that they thought of you could be erased in an instant.

Say to hell with it, go on and do it, retreat to the dining room and draw the chandeliers, feel all right about it, then draw the door and irretrievably screw it up and again mutter the name of Mary's son and then look at your cell phone and see that time is up, and you must show what you've done, which is not much.

But it's okay to do not much when you're surrounded by so much. It's okay, because you keep trying, because you think, with no sentiment at all, that you love this in a way. You love art even though you are no genius and you'll never be. And also, that love is a true one, because you are getting nothing back and still you do it because some day you believe you will.

Pictures to come...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Roman Polanski

The debate about him is heating up, what with Whoopie calling the incident not real rape, not "rape-rape" (that set back humanity about 50 years) as if REAL rape has to have a person being beaten almost to death or something? Look, I don't know the facts and I certainly have a knee-jerk reaction to the debate on rape for reasons I don't understand (I'm a girl? I hate how every time a chick gets murdered in a film they seem to want to throw a rape in there first and linger on it, as if murder is no longer horrific enough? What IS THE POINT OF THIS!) but the original report has a 43 year old man drugging and sodomizing a 13 year old girl who yelled "no", so can we please not dispute what rape is and not act like these two were dating or in love or anything and just focus on the fact that he evaded the law and that's all that we are really dealing with here?

Ugh, it is so annoying that because the victim, 30 years later, is basically like "I don't want a trial, I want to move on with my life, please" that people want to rally around the man. As this article nicely points out--it is not up to the victim, the case is the people versus Roman Polanksi, not the victim, and he evaded a plea bargain deal for a long time and now has to deal with it?

Anyway. 43 year old weirdo drugging and assaulting a 13 year old is not what's up for discussion here. It happened. It was horrible, he admitted to a lesser charge so he wouldn't have to do harder time for raping a child. Then he bailed on the punishment for that. He's a piece of crap for that, and I don't care that he makes good movies, lots of pieces of crap are genius pieces of crap, it doesn't make them any less awful.

Anyway, sorry I came back to the blog with this, but it's been really bothering me.

On another note, Brooklyn is beautiful and gorgeous and I am thinking about joining a new gym here but it's kind of too expensive. Also I made brownies last night with a silicon bake sheet (have you tried this--amazing!) and saw Cape Fear (lame, in my opinion, and again with the rape rape rape, come on!) and have been reading a lot and working a lot and neglecting this blog a lot.

Application season is the worst.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Almost Published

Well, at a fine literary magazine I am published, anyway.

Still working on that book, but in the meantime, check out the journal and let me know what you think!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Making a Home

Now that I have a perfect place to live, how do I live like a perfect person? We scraped down cinnamon-wheat Ego waffles and split up, he ran to the art shop to buy materials for my new Parsons class and I got a neon yellow manicure. When it was done we trotted back, banging the pad back and forth as we rushed to avoid the rain. There are ideas floating around: runs in the park, enormous Sunday dinners, bi-weekly vacuuming, the bed made each morning, fresh flowers in the vase on top of my antique desk. Where are the curtains? How come I can't get myself to the YMCA to check out their classes? I'm too busy putting together my recommendation packets, tidying up my writing sample, sending my next 50 pages of the novel to the editor for edits, map out new novel, and send yet another friend packing--the third good friend to leave me and NYC behind in as many months...

Going to have to make this my home alone now, and a lot lies ahead.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Quote of the Day

Waiting for the F train to come on a very hot platform on this Labor to me is a beautiful Russian mother with a great tan that I would kill for, and her four year old son who has bright blonde hair and a buzz cut and the largest ears I've ever seen.

After 20 minutes.

Son: Where's the F train? I hate the F train!

Beautiful mother trying to placate him: Maybe F stands for Fantasy, yes? Because the F train will not come. F stands for Fantasy!

Son: F stands for Poop!

Beautiful mother: No, that is a 'P'.

Son: F stands for Vomit!

Beautiful mother: No, that is a 'V'.

Son: Well F stands for something stupid.

Beautiful mother: F train stands for something else, maybe? Something that you're not supposed to say. Something that starts with an 'F' and is four letters long and is something your body does. Hmm?

Son: Fuck! It's the Fuck train!

(At this point I have to leave because I'm laughing so hard. But apparently she was trying to get him to say it was the "Fart Train".)

Sunday, September 06, 2009

How to Make a House a Home

I am now living by myself on a tree-lined, sun-dappled block in Park Slope. There are old houses and artisanal cafes and food coops and the park. At night, everything is still, cars drive by quietly, couples walk together, dogs wag and the air feels clean. Inside my section of the brownstone, it's 90% decorated--all with my mother's antiques: French ash buffet, Persian rugs, lamps made of stone urns, gilded frames and old flowered prints. A big soft blanket folded on the couch. My desk is a marble table top over an iron base, there are fluffy towels in the bathroom and outside, my patio has a rattan chaise with a big square suede-like pillow tossed on it. It looks over the little garden, the blueberry patch and the mint plants.

The kitchen is eat-in, the dining room table looks outside and my bedroom is a little cove, painted sage-green. Cream drapes fall from the windows, the bed is overstuffed with white linens and a stiff dust ruffle. My favorite white lamp draped with the beaded pearl necklace and a lambskin rug on the floor. It feels like sleeping in a layered wedding cake, an igloo made of fur, a room at a Vermont bed and breakfast. It's the first time I've lived alone, and I made the smallest room my bedroom so that my office and TV and everything is away. For so long my bed was my desk, my workspace, my entertainment center, even my breakfast nook where I sipped coffee.

Now the bed is sacred. And the apartment too. I find myself bouncing around, playing with the dimmers, cleaning the windows, sweeping the wooden planks endlessly. My clothes are in closets, not hanging over chairs, my papers are in folders instead of strewn across the floor. It feels like a beautiful home, my parents' maybe, my great-aunt's whose house is all white and spotless. Here the walls are pale yellow (except for the bedroom), the ancient fireplace irons flank the mantle, and not only does everything feel so adult, it feels full of possibility and promise.

I wanted a gorgeous place to be for so long, to work, to create. I didn't realize how much I wanted it, maybe even needed it, until I was blessed enough to get it. If I can't get my books published here, get into grad school here, flourish my freelance career here, then there is no hope for me at all.

But today I am positive. I just got here, but it feels like home. Only when I stop and really think does it occur to me it took 27 years for me to find it.