Posts Categorized: art + photography

Molly Wright Steenson on the Avante-Garde and Blogs

Yesterday, while traipsing down some lovely worm-hole of the blogsphere, I came upon a link to Molly Wright Steenson’s paper that she gave at Digital Genres, entitled “Imaginary Architects: From the Crystal Chain to the Blog”. I recommend reading it if you are interested in how the ideas of the early 20th Cent. Art avante-garde and theorists are still affecting and linking to creative and technical endeavors nearly a hundred years later. Bravo Molly!
When I was teaching art history and web design at Biola, many of my most engaged students were big fans of the Bauhaus and German avante-garde movements. Not just from a historical design perspective, but also on how they were influencing current design and art theory/criticism, esp. “Clean” Design on the web, and current political Euro Rock (TINC, and the like).
I love to learn of the connections that people make, even more so when it is all the connections between seemingly disparate creative endeavors.

Miracle of God? … Maybe…

Yesterday I ate my first sandwich in a decade.
Yes, in a decade….
In early 1993, after 20 years of being throw up sick, having migraines, a seized back, I was diagnosed with a severe allergy to wheat, on top of my already known allergy to yeast (brewer’s and bakers). In the ten years since my diagnosis I have completely eliminated wheat from my diet and have had a complete relief from the symptoms.
No wheat = no bread, no crackers, no croutons, no breading or batter of any kind on fried food (thus no fried food); no bagels, no cake, no cookies, no thick soups, no beer, no vodka or any other liquor made with even a bit of wheat, etc etc etc. Most people that ask are surprised to find out that wheat = flour.
This also means no bread at communion unless I want to be sick for the rest of the day (wafers with wine at Catholic or Anglican services seem to be fine, are they made of potato starch??).
I very quickly evolved into a Rice-atarian. Rice pasta (Thank God for PastaRiso), lots of Asian food, rice crackers, homemade Irish soda bread made from rice and barley flours, and so forth.
Every so often, I wonder about all of the new “Wheat-Free” products I see at Whole Foods or Mother’s Markets. Given that I also get a bad reaction from rye, a mild reaction from barley and oats, I have been reluctant to try any product that adverstises “Wheat Free” but contains any of the above wheat botanical relatives or the new “spelt” an ancient precursor grain to wheat that is used in these products.
Two days ago, Tues. May 13th, in between my writing classes at UCLA I popped into the Westwood Whole Foods for a bit of a snack, when I spied a rack of bread products. If you go ten years without bread or sandwiches it is a bit tempting, in a good way, to at least go smell fresh bread.
On the far right side, down near the bottom of the bread rack was colorful little loaf of “Health Seed Wheat-Free Yeast-Free Bread“. Now one can find wheat-free, but not yeast free bread at most health stores or in the freezer section their is usually yeast free bread that is not wheat free. To have both in the same loaf?
I read the ingredients and spelt was the first thing listed. hmmm…. Yearn. Yearn. What would a turkey sandwich be like? Yearn. Yearn. Go to checkout counter. Buy little loaf for Health Seed.
Yesterday became Experiment Day. Following the rules for introducing a new food or previously allergic food into one’s diet, I made sure that everything that I had with the bread was a non-allergic or non-reactive food for me. I made two pieces of toast with Health Seed Bread in the morning with butter and fruit spread, and a turkey sandwich in the afternoon. Amazing! I was very excited.
The bread is very similiar to Orowheat’s Wheat Berry Bread, but thin and dense like European bread, slightly sour and with lots of seads in it (seasame, pumpkin, etc). In the morning, I had only a mild reaction to the bread, an inchy nose and mild tummy distress. After the afternoon, sandwich test phase, I had more reaction, mostly of the tummy variety. Then all night my tummy was unhappy, it is still unhappy now.
Conclusion, I will freeze the Health Seed bread in slices and maybe have one piece once a week. Maybe. Maybe as a sandwich the next time I am jealous that I can’t eat sandwiches. Obviously, while spelt does not give me as severe of a reaction as wheat & rye do, it is not as mild as barley or oats. Sad but true.
Thus ends the great Bread Experiment of 2003. I will go back to making loaves of rice flour whole oat soda bread.

Every 2nd Sunday – Trad Seisiun at the Harp

Every 2nd Sunday of the Month, between 4pm – 7pm, sometimes later, the Harp Inn in Costa Mesa hosts a traditional Irish seisium.
Seisium = random musicians bring themselves and their instruments, get drinks from the bar, sit down in a rough circle/rectangle and ask each other if they know thus and such traditional Irish song. What proceeds greatly varies depending on the skill of the musicians and how many of the same songs they have in common and how much beer/shots have been consummed by 5pm.

Traditional Irish Seisiun at the Harp

These afternoon sessions vary greatly at the Harp, while there is a core group of musicians that show up every month, there is either happy music making or mild bickering. Either is very entertaining for the viewer.
I enjoy this monthly event, I usually take my writing journal, order a cider, and enjoy listening while I write. Sometimes I invite my mom, yesterday due to the fact that Mom was out at the River with my brother, I invited my friend Cami. When she showed up around 6pm, I was greatly surprised to see her walk into the Harp (in Costa Mesa, Calif., not Ireland or the UK) with two grade school girls and one high schooler in tow.
Now sometimes people bring their babies in strollers to this musical afternoon in a bar, but I haven’t ever seen anyone between 2 and 21 show up. This was pushing the boundaries of CA liqour laws for an establishment that serves bar food, esp. given that Cami is not their parent. But bless Cami, none of this occurred to her, she just thought it would be a wonderful musical experience for some of the kids who live on her block.
After feeding the kids cholesterol clogging bar food, we attempted to teach them how to Irish dance. This amused one of the fiddle players to no end.

Selena, a little bored, very hungry

This is Selena before food arrived and she was hungry and slightly bored.
If you are over 21, love Irish music, and don’t mind works in progress, come on down and join us the next time a 2nd Sunday arrives.

First Iris of May

First Iris of May

For my birthday, my mom gave me a bunch of flowers to put into my new little garden along the driveway and fence. The iris has decided to put out two blooms in 24 hours. I guess this means that it is happy.

Congrats to Manic Hispanic!

Manic Hispanic - Mijo Goes to Jr. College

I’d like to extend a big congratulations to Steve Soto and all the gentlemen of Manic Hispanic for the release of their excellent 3rd cd today on BYO Records!
Unfortunately, I was unable to attend their CD release party and Cinco de Mayo show this last Sat. at the House of Blues Anaheim, but the band’s fans on their Message Board are giving the show rave reviews.
Some cynic may say, “Hey Jen, you are just saying all of that because you are friends with Steve and you did their website.” Um…. no, the CD is very good, very funny, and I am very proud of those guys for their great music and Gabby’s 2+ years of sobriety (Go, Gabby, Go!).
Good on ya, boys! I hope you have a great show with NOFX tonight in San Francisco!

May Day Project

Ok, Heather Champ put this up as a link today – The May Day Project.
Here’s what the May Day folks have to say:

over one day in may, people all over the world will be taking a photograph an hour to illustrate a day in their life. will you be photographing yours too?

Lucky and others – I think this is a grand idea. Pick up cameras… put the photos up on one’s blog, send in the link.
May 10th (the day of the project) is a Sat, and I may be in Parker, AZ, for my brother’s birthday. Pictures of my dad’s Mallard RV….

Good News: More Work

Ahh… the life of a freelancer….
((sounds of screaming and tufts of hair falling out))
I only know one freelancer who really seems to have the whole thing down pat (all bills paid a month in advance, no debt at all, and a healthy retirement fund at 30), she also grew up as a missionary kid and loves Target. Those of us who grew up as a Feast or Famine Hanen seem to be repeating the generational family habit…
I have dabbled in freelance artwork, design, and writing since 1992, but did not make the full break from day job or adjunct teaching until August of 2002. I am now 8 months into my full-time self-employment adventure, and am mostly on time with rent, not on time at all with minimum payments of debt, and occasionally eating strange combos of rice, dulse flakes and whatever is in the frig… But I am happy in a way that that I never was in cubicle-land of temp jobs, commercial real estate, higher ed, etc.
The Good News is that one of my main web design clients, after 7.5 months from my original proposal and 3 months after a revised proposal, gave full approval yesterday of a complete re-design of their website. Their site was originally designed in 1998, and has been updated by interns until my coming along last spring. In the year since I started working on it, I have updated and corrected code (no html, body, or title tags at all!!!!) on all the pages I have touched.
I am very excited to start the re-design, and will be doing it as a eDisciple of Zeldman, Tantek, and Champeon…. In other words, CSS layout here we come, goodbye tables.
Wish me luck. Occasionally call me in the next two weeks to see if I am still alive. It will be my goal to have the new site at testing stage by the end of next week and launched with revisions by Memorial Day.
Then I will celebrate at the OC Scottish Games!