Saturday, March 31, 2012

Expletive Newbies, Art Oggling, a Finished Woodblock

Last night was the perfect cap to end a progressively-more-frustrating week. Yesterday even included a pity call to my Mom, wherein I ranted and she took my side against the more problematic aspects of the universe, before saying,"I wish I could just hug you! I wish I could just rub your back." She usually mourns the lack of physical presence, though as you know, it was the listening and the rallying that were comforting, bolstering.

Separately, there are much larger, more stressing items within life which are leading my Mom to actually curse. While I have followed in my Dad's cursing footsteps, my Mom is more liable to angrily exclaim, "Ohhhhh...Heck!" Yesterday, she queried, "You know what I think that is?? Baloney! It's just baloney!!" I agreed with her, because the circumstances are absolutely outrageous.

"It's...bull!...It's...bullshit!" Perhaps baloney no longer cuts it, given the events. Either way, I am in total agreement. Life can be over-the-top, often in less-than-pleasing ways.*  She helped me feel like I was cool with getting off the couch again, so I shifted my attention to an evening of drinks and sushi with Compatriot.

*One of Virginia Woolf's underlying themes in her literature was the inadequacies of language to truly convey experience, which I often come back to; she clearly loved language and the mind's internal narrative making abilities...though being nice and depressing, she was also exploring that in connection with what she perceived to be our faulty ability to connect with others.

Compatriot was first to arrive in the basement cave of Melange and when I arrived somewhat out of breath from running a few blocks**, peeved by the zipperhead which had just broken off from my favorite sparkly spangled sweater, and still kerfuffled from the day. I began volleys of over-sharing. "Sit down," Compatriot laughed at me, "I ordered a few starter rolls because we're getting close to the end of happy hour." She is fond of duck, so it wasn't surprising she ordered the duck nachos.*** I'd say these were the best tidbit of the evening -- wonderful melange (ow! sorry) of flavors, textures.

Our waiter was tops -- delivering strong service, with the added bonus of being quite an interesting conversationalist. He grew up in Northampton, MA (home to Smith College), in the same valley where I went to Hampshire College, has formed a still operating independent acting/theater company and is currently studying film making. Compatriot noted something along the lines of directing needing to involve lots of ego wrangling and ensuring that production moves forward in spite of all the ongoing background drama; she combined that with the drama and human wrangling (not her word) involved in retail and restaurants. He heartily agreed and said he planned on dovetailing all the skills he has cultivated through waiting into film direction. May the wind be always at his back!

*Oh good lord, I need to start running again. Stamina, people. A good thing to develop. Geez.

*** From the menu: Duck confit glazed in hoisin and served on a crispy wonton chip. Topped with manchego cheese, guacamole, fresh tomato and sriracha sour cream." 

The martinis kicked in, we gloried over our maki and talked about substantial and fluffy things. One of us was usually tossing out something silly or borderline obnoxious when waiter stopped by; sometimes he popped into the conversational flow, other times, he glided an empty plate away. She enthused over "The Anderson Project," put on by Ex Machina, a fascinating one man show riffing on Hans Christian Anderson and themes of alienation, sexuality...I am sorry, Comp, I'm butchering this. Readers, you should just talk to her: she's extremely articulate and insightful. Sounded like the technology used for the performance was fantastic: lots of the stage sets were purely projection -- the character is seated in a train, with images of the receding landscapes and pole repetitions marking the passing distance and time. The train lights morph into strobe lights (right? or am I making this up, too?) to signal his entry into a dance club. In any case, if this performance comes your way, sounds like one worth checking out! 

Afterward, we popped into WSG Gallery to peek at the opening exhibit, oggle the newest works by favorite local artists and have the pleasure of chatting with them as well. One artist urged me again to come check out her studio and this time I vowed it would happen. And really, what kind of a lovely life is this? That you get the opportunity to bond with people over their creativity, that they invite you into their lives, just as you do so with them? I really, really love it. No tinge of irony here. 

On that tip,here are a few process shots for the latest block. I am going to pull prints tomorrow, yay!

The first inking is always the moment of truth.


  1. Can't wait to see/own the print! Sorry you had a crappy week. Glad your mother found a new language despite Wolfe who would have still seen it as inadequate... it's a start!

  2. Thanks, SBS! And the week was not a total bust. Will update you...

  3. Looks like you got your B back...

  4. Yes! A little worse for wear, but legible! Other things jumped ship, but that's a brief upcoming post. Happy Spring, Jennifer :)