When the mood strikes him, Bradford likes to spacially reconfigure his entire house; me, I like to reconfigure my studio. Mainly my work area. So on Friday, I made new shelves and re-faced my desk. In this first picture, I attached plywood to the existing wooden work bench:
Next, I cut down to size some bookcases I scored from a neighbor who’s a hoarder of shelving units:
Then, I attached the bookcases to the desk and added some extra shelves:
Finally, I added a proper shelving space for all my small hardware (on the right hand side). And there it is! My workspace feels downright palatial. I increased both the storage and desk space. I am the winner.
I have not read any of her books, but I feel compelled to watch the movies based on her books. You know, to see what the kids are into these days. To better understand the zeitgeist, but also to make fun of it. This rant is strictly from the movie adaptations, to be sure, but Meyer’s fingerprints are all over this thing.
My first gripe with this series is Meyer’s refusal to work within the Vampire mythology. Yes, vampires are fictional, but the history of using them in stories is a long one. Not only did she disregard all vampire tropes that help to maintain and support its folklore, she made up new ones that seem to castrate the vampire mythology. Kind and understanding vegetarian sparkly vampires that go to high school and like to cuddle? Whatevs.
The creation of Bella is what makes Stephanie Meyer bad for girls. The Bella character is a terrible role model for young girl fans. All Bella is shown doing is staring, brooding, quiver-lipping, twitching, and lying down. And yet she is supposedly irresistible to every man and beast. Her family and friends will do anything for her. She is rewarded for doing nothing. She doesn’t do anything. Things are done for her and to her, and her melancholy passiveness is held up as the highest standard of feminine achievement.
It’s irresponsible to write young adult fiction using every literary trick to hook young girls into devouring each and every book and then supply those tweenage book junkies with the most vapid, atrophied undeserving protagonist ever. It’s so unbelievably indulgent and downright irresponsible. After years of trying to empower young girls into believing they can be anything, we have apparently included in that “anything” the power to do absolutely nothing.
What happened to characters like Harriet the Spy? Ramona Quimby? Clarice Starling? Chicks that do stuff, man! You cannot merely tuck your hair behind your ears and mope. Those are not constructive contributions to the narrative. Those are tics. We need characters with character, girls with gumption, protagonists with a purpose. Being a good citizen matters. If you’re going to make something, make something interesting.
I applied for the 2010 Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn. I never thought I’d exhibit my work in a craft fair, but as my work gets smaller and less expensive, it seems like a good place to hawk my wares. And I think my handmade cards and my new chicken paintings are a good fit among the hipster consumer set. Plus, the thought of sitting in McCarren Park in Brooklyn for a couple of days in June seems like a lovely way to spend a weekend.
But ugh, online applications. Sometimes I get the same anxious feeling that I do when I’m converting foreign currency in my head after a couple of drinks. Like, did I do that right? Did I press the right button? Did I accidentally pay $600 for a Lowenbrau?
The nice thing about the application process is that it’s quick. I’ll find out by March 12. Then the fair is in June. Bing bang bong, just like that. I may apply for Renegade Los Angeles as well. Look at me, being all join-ey and stuff. Cross your handmade fingers for me!
I’ve been a little melancholy the last couple days. Contributing to the gentle storm clouds lingering above my head, I learned that my aunt Ellen O’Neill passed away yesterday. Ellen was dealt a bad hand from the get-go, but she gamely sat at the table for longer than I think she even thought possible. She had been on dialysis for several years, and had been going every day for over a year. Ellen lived in public housing and took the bus every day receive her dialysis. The treatments took a physical as well as mental toll on her system. Deciding she was tired, and with her doctor’s permission, she took herself off her treatment. When my cousin Susan visited her in the hospital on Monday, Ellen told her, “I just got so tired of waiting for the bus in the cold.”
Sometimes when a gal is blue, she takes herself to a matinee. This afternoon I saw Crazy Heart , and it was like a beautiful, well-placed punch to the gut. I love movies that give me feelings. I love films that speak to what it is to make things and the driving force behind those feelings. The Hours, High Art, and the documentary chronicling the execution of Isaac Mizrahi’s spring collection Unzipped are three films that come to mind that give me those same feelings. Crazy Heart is like your favorite Tom Waits song.
Here’s to Ellen O’Neill, and to music, and to good stories.