January 29, 2010


Oh, how I loved standing outside at the Louvre. Look at this! There is the pyramid designed by I.M. Pei (who also designed the IU Art Museum, yes!) which is modern and catchy and interesting, set in the foreground of some of the oldest most grand architecture I've ever seen! Craig kept wanting to go back, each day we were in Paris. It swelled my heart. What an amazing feeling, standing there breathing in some of the most terrific sights one might ever see.*It's Friday, and I can't (still) recap the rest of Paris. I miss our European adventure so deeply. I feel it, at least once a day. Recently I've been traveling in my dreams, far distances: Florida, Amsterdam! Last night I was in Amsterdam. Craig said, the other morning, "Do you ever just spend the night in our apartment in New York City?" Funny, not often anymore!*Anyway, it's one thousand degrees below normal tonight, so we're staying in (he's presently sleeping) and staying warm. I want to somehow declare the intensity of what I am to begin next week: art school in New York City. I know it isn't a thrill to just anyone, or even to those who've been handed it silver spoon-style and still manage to stand outside of their expensive New York universities puffing away on pricey cigarettes and wearing their "vintage" (overly priced vintage) clothing, with perfectly highlighted pink hair (or what have you.) But for me? This is like I'm living a huge long-awaited dream. I realize I drone on about how writing and New York have done all this for me, but in actuality, I'm too thick for that. I'm too...bonkers and misunderstood (haha) and not qualified to write a word that I can claim is inspired by this town. But visual art? Seeing things a little differently? Here? I can only imagine where my head will run once given assignments in the visual art realm. Fine Arts in New York City. Paying for school as I go. The other day, I purchased art supplies for one class. They cost way more than I wish to confess. But I didn't experience that awkward, Oh, shit, I need to call Dad for money so that I can pay my phone bill since I just spent every last penny I have on supplies thing. It definitely pained me to spend that much on Color-Aid paper? But I didn't have to wonder if packaged dried foods might even not be in my budget. Oh, college. I emerged from Union Square yesterday to find the art supplies store, purchased my stuff, then headed to the bookstore. I rode the escalator what felt like 100 x's to the 4th floor where the art section lives. I felt a small fire in my belly as I wove through the books, the beautiful art and design books. I quickly found (happily) Interaction of Color by Josef Albers, our required text for the Color Theory course (Saturdays.) I've read a ton of it already. I love it. I know I knew of Josef Albers at IU, but we're now reuniting. I can't wait to be confused by color. I can't wait to be an art student with grown up aspirations, nothing like when I was too young to know if I was upside down, facing forward or backward. I want this attempt to be conscientious. I want it to have results. I can't wait...all of the Adobe programs are installed and updated on my computer. I'm ready. I can't wait to find myself and my soul again.*Craig is up. I want to hang out with him now. I could gush on and on, but there's time for that. Later, more time for that. Sante!

January 12, 2010


Amsterdam with Canal and Bikes
No continuation of Paris just yet. I'm juggling a lot of my dearest interests right now, attempting to fill evenings (now that they're longer in terms of free time) with a minimum of an hour of Kristi stuff, sometimes more if possible. Tonight I flubbed my hours a bit because I left my apartment keys at home, therefore had to call Craig (who stayed a few minutes longer at the office than I) for him to pass his keys to me, since he was heading off to the gym. Speaking of which: I'm proud of his motivation. He's going for work outs a solid 3 to 4 times a week, and I know he loves that high physical feeling (whereas I prefer the quiet time in the apartment to do other things like write and contemplate.) One time consuming project for me has been the design of my friend Gale's wedding invitation. I offered to do it for a host of reasons: it'll be more affordable, she can have a lot heavier hand in calling the shots, it'll be meaningful for me, and it's been good for me to get my head back in the game with typography (the other day Craig mistook my pronunciation of that for "topography" and he wondered why I'd be taking a class on maps down the line during pursuit of this certificate, haha!) So, for some of late December and now a portion of January, I've been throwing around drafts of this thing, and I believe we've come to a pretty decent end product (I even snuck in a little of my own phrasing in lieu of the exact wording she selected! She said I could do so.) I will post the final at some point. The project was taxing on my eyes and my recollection of rules of composition. And I remember how grossly in college I loathed symmetry yet also was repulsed by asymmetry for the pure sake of asymmetry, so this had me crossing back and forth between what's compositionally sound yet interesting and what would be easily deemed classic or plain. Fonts will forever remain an internal struggle for me to satisfy. There are fonts that I love, but they're rare, and I remember how I'd manipulate those few fonts to suit my needs (ultimately resulting in many similar pieces!) This project of course enabled me to climb outside of my font box, as I offered a link for her to choose one that she loved, then also incorporated a font I found inside of my MacBook (one I believe I remember from back in college which means it's an oldie but goodie!) So, next up is to size it properly on the page, determining dimensions and then it's on to paper shopping! There is a very nice art supplies store at 23rd (yay, for school time!) which I will likely rely on for paper options. Thanks, Gale, for allowing me to be not only a bridesmaid but another integral part in your blessed day!*So, I was thinking to myself earlier about all of this time I'm finding freed up to do stuff. We're on the ascent now, clambering out of the shortest days of the year portion of the season, which means daylight increases day by day. Therefore in the summertime, even sooner in the spring!, I will be exponentially more motivated to accomplish in the evenings. Tonight, for instance, as I waited for Craig at the Hanson Place lobby in Brooklyn for him to pass off the apartment keys, light faded to night. By the time I emerged at 22nd and Park Ave South around 6, light was for the most part depleted. I picked up some Extra Virgin Olive Oil and arrived home and phoned my mom & dad as today is my dad's birthday (but he is out to dinner with co-workers and wasn't home to enjoy my YOU SAY IT'S YOUR BIRTHDAY! wishes [he plays that over the phone every year on my birthday because playing that song was a tradition he established very early on in my life when I was a kid living at home!]) and after speaking to my mom for half an hour or so, and after having fired up the laptop for a little bit of blog entry time, it's 7:25 and I'm tired (because the curtains are drawn and it may as well be 10 pm what with no daylight streaming in!) What about when it's 7:25 and the sky is still bright blue for another 2 hours?? Oh! Can't wait!*Tonight, sun-dried tomato pesto with feta cheese and Brussels sprouts. Maybe an hour of television. Or maybe I read! Or nose through Europe photographs. Or do whatever. This shorter commute elates me.

January 03, 2010


(Finally, a snow covered Central Park for me and Craig in 2009!)
Obviously I became distracted in the midst of the Paris narrative and never completed it. I will, I hope to, at least, sometime soon. For now, I'm propped relaxed in the warmth of our apartment in our new neighborhood watching new snow fall with no sounds except the French neighbor chatting in the hallway (appropriate that our neighbor is French, right?) It's now 2010, and we're home safely from an extended visit back in the Midwest, wherein we ate quite well, hugged lots of family, friends and adorable rug rats (I miss them all the time, all of them), exchanged gifts, drove around way, way too much for my taste (I dared not try my luck behind the wheel again, despite Craig's teasing) and ran ourselves weary. Our flights were quite successful even in the midst of Holiday chaos - LaGuardia to Midway Christmas Eve, Midway to Indianapolis the Monday following Christmas, and yesterday, Indianapolis back to LaGuardia, all with little flight delay. Craig headed out to Best Buy armed with gift cards as well as with cash from my parents - it's new receiver time, what with the purchase of the Play Station 3 which does not compute with his old receiver to deliver surround sound. I'm soaking up the silence as long as I've got it.* So how do I catch up on so many hours and days worth of quality time spent at home? And where do I begin to detail my emergence from a decade of ups, downs, ins, outs, pros, cons and more laughter and tears than I can begin to recall? I'm blessed that 2000 thru 2009 showered me with masses of travel, education, love, hope, health, energy, and wisdom powdered with fears, lows and nightmares. Times are radically different today than they were when I timidly crept from Bloomington, Indiana as a graduate with no idea of what would come. Technology is brilliant. Communication with others both far and near is lazy, but convenient and admirable all at once. Me? I'm changed, very much so. I'm stronger, smarter, more in tune to myself and yet damaged beyond repair in many ways, as well. I suppose age will do that. I've reached bliss, and I've battled abysmal. I've wavered somewhere in between often, as well, yielding very little creative productivity. The 2010 plan is to change that. I've signed up to take 2 Graphic Design courses at Parsons, rather, 1 Color Theory course and 1 Graphic Design course. I intend to achieve a Certificate from Parsons, build a portfolio, seek possible free lance work and dance my creative soul back into the visual realm. My coursework begins in early February, consisting of a Tuesday evening class and a Saturday afternoon class. I have this laptop, now. I have Photoshop (thanks again and again, JD.) I attended a free Photoshop seminar a few weeks ago which reminded me that visual art software programs tackle beauty from so many intuitive angles and I can't wait to become a part of that again. I feel that however miniscule I may seem to myself, at times, there are abilities that I possess that I should be indebted to delivering to others, because others deliver theirs to me. I take and take, and yet what do I give? To this decade, this next one that I get to experience, I want to offer my talents. I want to approach living healthfully. I want to better nurture Craig now that our last decade together (much of it, anyway) has taught me how. Life is only breaths in length. Time fades the edges of experiences, while hosting space for new memories to be built. There are parts of me long lost to the last 10 years: poetry, namely one of them. Journaling my soul in pen, another. Giving my parents more love because they deserve it, another. And yet, as I enter a new 10 year time span, one which will hopefully find me preparing for a child, at some point down the line, I am equipped with the ability to restore what I feel is lost. Someday, I may have the chance to lean down and whisper to a child, You can. Live. Absorb. Observe. We only get a handful of decades to do this.

In an effort to recap a few things from our week and a half at home (home being the general region of the Midwest where all of our loved ones live), I will bullet point highlights.

  • Christmas Eve with Craig's family: Hannah, Lauren, Brady and Jake. Love those kids.
  • Christmas breakfast: Kara and I prepared French toast, scrambled eggs and bacon. The two KB's gave Craig's mom a kitchen break! Next year we will go more gourmet, though.
  • Christmas weekend: blankets of beautiful white snow in the Chicago area!
  • Train into Chicago to meet up with Melissa, Sean and Kelly - fun!
  • Met my new niece Sophia Josephine. She's the littlest baby I've ever seen. But she just sleeps and eats. Lucky girl does get 2 "ph"s in her name, though! That's fun. And they call her "Sophie Jo" which is quite cute.
  • Built Lego Empire State Buildings with my nephews. James Austin is an amazing big brother to Landon. And James charmed the heck out of me, as always! I decided that first borns like Hannah and James have a special bond with their first born Auntie Kristin because first borns have to be badass to survive the cooing over the siblings that follow. :)
  • Turkey dinner prepared by Alaina and my bro, with the help of my mom & dad.
  • Seeing mom, dad, Bri, Alaina and the kids: priceless.
  • Hanging out with Kara, Ben, Brady & Jake - always good!
  • Seeing the Purdue crew - keeping Diana up too late one night (sorry, Di!), New Year's Eve party at Liz and John's, New Year's Day at the Ale House with Djay, Chris, Corey and Dustin, with a surprise pop-in by Doug (Djay and Dustin's dad) and Fiona (Dustin's wife).
  • While not a highlight, it must not go unmentioned that we struggled through the movie Avatar, me, Craig, Corey & Brooke - there were several points during the film where Craig and I were all, Seriously? Seriously?? It was a terrible film. However I think I will go as that Avatar lady next Halloween so that I can make sweeping dramatic generalizations about trees and swamps and what not. Well, and wear a tail.
So now we're home. And I'm looking forward not as to just a single year, but as to 10 years, hoping that within 10 years I can make a difference in my own life and in others'. I want to survive 10 years more of whatever the Universe wishes to throw at me. I've got a blossoming sense of purpose. I want life to make more sense this next 10 years.

We'll see.
Sante, 2010.