quill by musesrealm

the pen and the paperwork

passion in the language

Writer's Block: Chicken soup
quill by musesrealm
What is your cure for the common cold?

*Homemade* chicken soup. I take whatever chicken I have on hand (with bones, preferred) and make broth or stock, cut the meat into bits if it isn't already, add veggies (fresh preferred, canned or frozen if I had to), fresh herbs preferred (plenty of pepper, black and red), garlic, onion, bell pepper, and rice or noodles.

I also make sure to drink plenty of orange juice and tea, especially peppermint or chamomile tea for uneasy tummy resulting from an excess mucus or when I want to sleep.

And: drugs. I take any decongestant, expectorant, headache, etc. meds I may need. I don't shy away from meds, because I have a pretty good immune system and as a result generally don't need to take cold or flu meds very often. I haven't had a shot in years, and though I should get one next year, maybe, my experience has been that if I get the shot, I get sick. I don't get the shot, and more often than not I don't get sick. Every year I've gotten sick maybe once or twice, tops, and for not longer than a couple of days.

Writer's Block: Starstruck
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Have you ever met anyone famous?

For varying definitions of "met" or "famous," yes. Last week it was the governor's wife while decorating the governor's mansion for Christmas with fellow SCAD students, her prayer group, etc.

I've also met David Bromstad (picture proof on Facebook), Sia (ditto), Delia Sherman and Ellen Kushner, Catherynne Valente, Scott Lynch, Neil Gaiman... and there's others I'm probably forgetting since I haven't had enough coffee yet. Also, various designers and artists have come to SCAD whose talks/lectures or gallery exhibits at the Trois Gallery I've attended, like Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, William Gibson, and Thom Filicia.

(no subject)
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You know: I haven't said this in a long time.

I love you guys.

Writer's Block: Background players
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What is your computer wallpaper right now?

It changes -- it's on a rotation of AGOT scenes and house/family crests and mottos. Right this minute, it's the Greyjoy Kraken and "We Do Not Sow." An hour from now it may be the Baratheon stag or the Tully trout, or it may be a scene from the Wall or King's Landing.

Wicca/Paganism in the Air Force
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Just this morning I (finally -- normally I'm able to keep up with the Wild Hunt's postings) got to read the first part of a two-part article about Wiccans and Pagans in the Air Force. It was a pretty well-written article (click here to read), but it doesn't really get into the details of how the Pagan services began there at Lackland.

When I went, that program was still in its infancy: it met on Saturdays, it was very small (less than 10 of us attending), and there wasn't a chaplain to lead things or even supervise. We'd talk a little first, just to be sure everyone who was going to be present was there, then we'd cast circle to get into meditation and whatnot.

The author mentions that no one gets extra duty and whatnot; that's hopefully the case now. It wasn't *really* extra duty, but I can tell you that if you didn't go to Sunday services, you got roped into dorm guard duties, or cleaning and buffing the floor. You definitely used that time to iron your clothes or shine your boots if you could, though, because inspections could be tough; any free time, really, you spent getting your crap in shape.

Matt Taibbi says it all: Fuck this shit.
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How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the OWS Protests - Rolling Stone magazine

Also: Finally, a Judge Stands up to Wall Street -- This is the kind of corruption I'm sick and fucking tired of. Glad to see a judge feels the same way.

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Writer's Block: Study break
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What was/is your favorite class?

Hmm...I've had many really good classes so far, so it's sort of tough to pick a favorite. Last quarter's '20th century Art' was kind of a favorite, though, despite the weirdnesses of having to change professors, moving the room here and there, the replacement professor having family troubles, and so on. Dr. Shanghavi still managed the class with aplomb, and having discussions also helped. I *love* being able to discuss our thoughts on various pieces of art, instead of conducting a mere, dry analysis. I felt almost like a teacher's pet, though, because I was one of the few who'd consistently speak up in class, *and* more often than not I'd have the right answer or at least be on the right track, and she seemed to enjoy talking with me outside of class time.

(Side note: one of my classmates, while we were having a smoke break near the end of the quarter, said, "I've wanted to ask: what are you doing here? I don't mean that in a bad way, I just mean that you seem to know this stuff already." I told him that, for the most part, the material is stuff that we all learned in Survey of Western Art II, and some of it is also bits and pieces I've picked up from other art and my interior design classes. The rest I've been able to piece together from that, and I was still learning plenty in the class.)

Next quarter, though, I'm signed up for Survey of Women in Art with another professor whose class I really enjoyed: Dr. Jasin. She taught my Survey of Western Art II class, from which I learned a hell of a lot. I want to know more about the role women have played in art as well as their contributions, because frankly in art academia? We get a sense of a big ol' sausage-fest. I know there's plenty of women artists because I've dipped a toe into research on that matter. Judy Chicago and 'The Dinner Party', for example. Artemisia Gentileschi. Mary Cassat. Georgia O'Keeffe. Guerilla Girls. And so on. I want to know more. I suspect that this class will become my favorite.

What I'm doing
quill by musesrealm
Update time.

Last night I submitted my entry for the PAVE the Way 3D Design Challenge. I'd like to tell y'all all about my makeup kiosk design, but to CMA in the very rare and unlikely case that a judge might read my journal and inadvertantly cultivate a bias ('cause I think my design is that good :p), I'll wait until I'm pretty sure finalists have been selected, whether or not my design is among those finalists. We'll find out by mid-November. Finalists get to work with B+N Industries to have prototypes made, and they'll go to Vegas in Feb/March for the final judging.

This weekend, I have:
* A carpet estimation assignment (easy-peasy)
* A designer paper to write (I'll be talking about Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his design motifs)
* Sketches of plans and elevations for the next design competition (a Sephora pop-up shop, another PAVE challenge)
* Work to do in my sketchbook
* Acquiring and typing up stuff for my materials notebook, due in less than 2 weeks (Nov. 1)

This morning I registered for my Winter classes. My schedule looks like thus:
* M/W, 8-10:30 AM, BIM Architecture (Electronic Design, A.K.A. Revit)
* M/W, 11-4:30, Studio IV (set design? exhibition design? we'll find out...)
* M/W, 5-7:30, Survey of Women in Art (yay, Dr. Jasin!)
....so yeah, I'll be in class two days a week from 8 AM to 7:30 PM. VERY full days. I think I may stick with my current work schedule (Tues & Thurs, 10:30-1:30, and Fridays, 10:30-5) at Jerry Pair so that I still have time during the day to work on classwork, go to industry events, etc.

Also, I should know before the end of January whether or not I'll be able to graduate in the Summer of 2012. It all hinges upon whether or not they'll offer Studio V in Spring, because if they do, then they *need* to offer Studio VI in Summer, because V & VI are both for the capstone project. Research in Studio V, plan and sketch and specify (etc) in Studio VI.

Today, during lunch, I'll be running over to SCAD for the annual Vagina Monologues interest meeting. I want to make sure I'm all set for participating again, and hopefully get a look to see who else will be.

Next Friday, Alex and I are going to a Halloween party thrown by Stewart and April, my classmates and friends. Should be a great stress relief; we always have a great time at their place.

I think I may also sign up for the IDO (Interior Design Organization) bake sale. I need service hours for my IDLU, and baking at this time of year? Hell yeah.

Last night, Jerry Pair had a trunk show. I was able to go because my professor for History of Interior Design canceled our class due to another obligation (he's adjunct, and he works full-time in the design industry). Our sales reps presented all the new collections in the showroom (which I've already seen and handled and folded and mailed out samples, for the most part), and the whole thing was a new experience. I liked it. Had a glass of wine, and attempted to exercise restraint eating the meatball hors d'oeurves because they were SO good. I discreetly ate quite a few, though, and that was pretty much my dinner.

Over the winter holiday break, I really really really must work on my resume. It'll help that I should have something of a portfolio put together before then, because if I remember right, we've got to have one put together before the end of this quarter. I'm definitely including my 3D makeup kiosk in it; it's the first time I've been proud of a Studio project. (And! I found out I've got an A in my Studio class! It's the first time I've gotten that! I'm usually really struggling by now.) My goal is to have a solid-looking resume and portfolio (print and online) to send around to various design firms to land an internship.

I am the 99%, and I care about the 53%
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I support the Occupy Wall Street movement, though I'm so busy anymore I barely have time to go do things I need to do for school, much less physically join my local movement. The best I can do is post links to things I agree with, or point out what I see are injustices.

If caring about what's going on and trying to correct it makes me a hippie: so be it. My mom was a hippie, and still identifies herself as one though she physically can't do anything more strenuous than type on a keyboard. She worked damn hard to put herself through school and worked equally hard as a doctor, put money away so she could retire comfortably, and had illness strike her down and strip a lot of that money away. I'd be proud, and she'd be proud, to share in that identification.

A fella at The Daily Kos posted this Open Letter to That 53% Guy, and I wanted to share it because that's exactly how I feel. Working that hard *should* be rewarded, and not the standard to just scrape by: life's tough, yes, but it shouldn't be this hard for so many people, especially since there's reasonable measures that can be taken to ensure that.

PSA: Your Twitter feeds
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I have no idea if any of you have been told, but: those of you with Twitter feeds that post to LJ? Your titles and date stamps have all been in Russian (Cyrillic). No idea if that's LJ's goof or a program y'all are using, but I thought I'd give you a collective heads-up in case you wanted to change that.

Writer's Block: And the forecast is…
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What’s your favorite kind of weather?

Fall weather, where it's around 77-79 degrees F during the day with light, cool breezes; a crisp bite in the morning around 59-63; the occasional fog in the morning or evening; the occasional rainy day (preferably on the weekend, but whatevs) that's more drizzle and less deluge. The occasional evening when it gets a little more bitey than usual so you can use the fireplace.

That, my friends, is bliss.

Writer's Block: Riddle me this
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What is something that just doesn't make sense to you?

Stephanie Meyers's success.

Writer's Block: On the red carpet
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Are you watching the Emmys tonight?

Nope. I'm working on a color board, some pattern sketches, and a Powerpoint presentation.

Writer's Block: Fashion faux pas
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What is the strangest thing in your closet?

Either the black and white zebra print flared leg pants, or the sparkly fuschia pleather pants. Take your pick, my booty is illegal in every flavor pant.

Writer's Block: 9/11
quill by musesrealm
Where were you?

Ten years is a long time, isn't it? And yet how much of it has gone by in a headlong blur, speeding away faster and faster on a journey: to god knows where, from a day that has changed us all, for better or worse.

Ten years seems like a lifetime away for me. It really was a different life. I was married to Jeff; Joshua and Heather were both in elementary school; we were living in our house in the quasi-cul-de-sac in Newark, Delaware. Jeff worked for Citigroup, I stayed home and wrote gaming material, primarily Shadowrun. We had no pets. We made regular treks to 4QF. We practiced our respective religions/spiritual beliefs.

Our friend Tom was still very much alive. He wouldn't overdose on heroin for another 3 years, 6 months and approximately 2 weeks.

Today, I'm a different person. Who I am, at core, hasn't changed...but so much else has. In some ways I've been tempered, and in other ways I'm figuring out who I am, again. (For example: I have a particular writer's voice, which has taken me my whole life thus far to develop. As a designer, though...I'm having to figure it out, very fast.) I'm now married to Alex. Joshua has graduated high school; Heather is a junior. Jeff is married to Joanna and living in West Virginia, and I live in Georgia. They live close enough to still visit the Farm, but I understand they can still only do so infrequently due to money. Me, I really can't at all - I was happy for the brief visit there while attending Joshua's graduation.

I still have spiritual beliefs, but my practice has fallen very far by the wayside. It's not due to lack of interest, however, because I do miss it. I struggle with figuring out how to integrate it into my current life, which is terribly full of another of life's changes: being back in school. As of now, I'm a Senior at SCAD. I've got a 3.37 GPA in my major (Interior Design) and a 4.0 in my minor (Art History), making my overall GPA a 3.5. Graduating cum laude, if I can maintain the kinds of grades I'm getting, is entirely within my grasp.

I don't struggle with remembering Tom, though. For a few years, though I hadn't been as close to him as some, his death was still a bit raw. I think going through a separation and divorce a year after his death kept it a bit raw for me because I wasn't just separating from Jeff: I was separating from a life. And so memories of Tom would surface from time to time, and though they were good memories that made me smile, I recognize that I missed him. We all did. He left a hole in our lives.

These days, well...I haven't forgotten Tom so much as forgotten to mourn. I've got so much going on that sometimes I'm lucky to remember what I need for the day, much less anything outside of interior design and Alex. Months will go by, and a stray bit of Flogging Molly, or remembering I have a bottle of Frangelico (which I also forgot I have, sitting on the top of my fridge), will remind me: Oh yes, Tom's dead, isn't he? And I give him a mental hug and go on.

I figure that, wherever Tom's at, he's just fine. And so are we.

The tragedy of 9/11 was a lot more shocking, a lot more severe in scale and scope, than a friend's overdose. And yet: it's those individual deaths, that personal shock in such numbers, that kept the events of that day so raw not just for the families, friends and loved ones of the victims, but for the rest of us as we've borne witness to their stories played and replayed in the media. We can argue about how necessary or unnecessary that was, or still is, but we can't say for certain just how much we should have learned, how much we should have healed, from that day. We all have our own ways of managing.

What I hope, however, is this: with the completion of the building at Ground Zero (the memorial, the museum, the new transportation hub and the new skyscraper), everyone affected can really begin to heal. To make acknowledgment, make peace, and find new hope and new lives.

I associate Tori Amos's "Toast" with Tom; I think he doesn't mind, or care, that I now offer "Toast" on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Let us honor the deceased with love and a commitment to making our lives something they'd be proud of.

Writer's Block: Your 15 Minutes
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If you had your own reality show, what would it be called? What would it be about?

"Get A Life": it'd be half about making fun of the stupid reality shows (yes, I'm well aware of the irony) and the people who watch them, and half about getting people in touch with *real* lives built upon realizing their dreams and enjoying who they are and what they've got.

meaningful design
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I've mentioned before that I'm interested in exploring and developing a more Western style of "feng shui," essentially; for now, I'm generalizing the idea to be "meaningful design." What I mean is that your spaces should be not only purposeful, but hold meaning for you. This could be spiritual meaning, personal meaning, etc. They should resonate on a deeper level than just aesthetics married to function.

While doing some research for my 20th century art class final presentation, I came across and checked out a book by Clodagh. The year before last, she had come to SCAD Style, and while I hadn't the time to go to her lecture, I'd been intrigued by what she had to say, so I looked her up and found her spaces beautiful on a profound level. This book I checked out was an opportunity to research more into how and why she designs.

Clodagh apparently uses a mixture of feng shui, astrology, aromatherapy, color therapy, and other such ideas when she designs, and the results are definitely lovely and reflective of that. (Go check out the link, you'll see.) The information conveyed in the book is also reflective of that, and is very useful. In Total Design, she urges the reader to "contemplate, cleanse, clarify and create your personal spaces." She goes on to explain what that means, and gives guidelines on how to make that happen. She further discusses various rooms in your house, and some ideas on what you can do for them to make the whole house "a machine for living" (as she quotes Le Corbusier).

She's very descriptive, and definitely attempts to engage all your senses when considering how you design your rooms. She also includes a "workbook" to help you; the workbook has a checklist of rooms, but otherwise focuses on guiding you with questions about each space.

If you're looking for something to help you figure out how to design your spaces along the lines I'm exploring, this is definitely not a bad book to consider. Yes there is feng shui in it, but she doesn't seem to bang on about it; it's more about going beyond aesthetics and purpose, marrying the senses and personal meaning to your spaces.

Spanish pavilion, 2010 World Expo (Shanghai)
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I had to do a case study paper on this, and I have to present it Tuesday (whee, Powerpoint). Found this fabulous video of the whole shebang that I'm going to include, thought I'd share it so y'all see what I'm up to as well.

still crazy after all these years
quill by musesrealm
Hadn't done one of these in a long time. Was curious to see what result would crop up. Apparently: same as always. Kind of comforting.

You are The High Priestess

Science, Wisdom, Knowledge, Education.

The High Priestess is the card of knowledge, instinctual, supernatural, secret knowledge. She holds scrolls of arcane information that she might, or might not reveal to you. The moon crown on her head as well as the crescent by her foot indicates her willingness to illuminate what you otherwise might not see, reveal the secrets you need to know. The High Priestess is also associated with the moon however and can also indicate change or fluxuation, particularily when it comes to your moods.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.


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