Thursday, November 29, 2012

It's because she's going to give birth to a housebaby.

Dear Patrick,
Someday I will show you all the things I've been working on since I arrived here in Nebraska. Someday. Today I will show you one silly print. One tiny housebaby print I made for a collaborative book. Okay, that's all.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

It's because the tailgates start at 7 am. Are you joking? Nope. They aren't.

Dear Patrick,
Oh, we have things to discuss. So many things. Let's begin.

Nearly one month ago I moved for the one millionth time this summer.  One million moves.  Nothing makes you hate everything like moving one million times can.  But this should be the last of them.  This is also the most serious move.  I now live full-time in Lincoln, Nebraska.  Feels so right. Feels so weird.  I (thankfully) have two solid weeks of grad school under my belt now.  Given the state of my brain and the weight of the new parts of my Lincoln life and the number of pages of Freud I've had to read, this feels like a bigger accomplishment than it sounds.  Especially the reading part.  (Jayme, if you're reading this, I'm still pretty mad that you didn't get me to a sixth grade reading level like you promised).  The school is a gem.  A true diamond in the rough.  A diamond on the prairie.  My fellow printmaking grads are made only of magic and have sparkly hearts.  I don't know if I would be quite as happy right now if I didn't have a few key people in my new life.  They're little life-savers.  And I could not be more excited or more scared to get this printmaking show on the road.  Get ready, America.  I'm making prints now. Not frames.  Not perfectly folded piles of Gap Vnecks.  Just prints and artist books and all kinds of other nonsense from my brain. Yesssss.

Margot and I live in the ghetto part of Lincoln.  But the walls in my apartment are real pretty and I only have a 10 minute bicycle commute.  But it's also an extra 10 minute scramble with my bike up and down my skinny, creaky stairs because if you think for one second I'm leaving my best bike out there with all the trash blowing in the wind of cigarette smoke and the plethora of greedy hands, you're just wrong.  I do sincerely like it here in the ghetto.  It's another new place to put on my list of strange places I've lived.  A step up, even.  And living alone? Dream come true.  I love coming home to the food I've bought.  I love that no one leaves raw chicken on the counter.  And I love that no one I live with is a Finnish man or in a sorority or 40 something years old and braless. This list of the perks of one bedroom living could go on and on and on, but I'll stop there.  Lincoln is another surprising little gem.  Who knew Nebraska could be cool? I sure didn't. But I'm not sad that it is.

My heart was sad to leave Utah. That's no secret. I was sad to cut off my newly-formed Salt Lake City existence at the bud. But I think I will be happy here. At least for a while. And as long as I can safely leave the city on Husker home game days.  Dear football fans, I sincerely understand none of what you choose to be.


Monday, June 18, 2012

It's because Father's Day is good. Always.

Dear Patrick,
Happy Father's Day yesterday. I like Father's Day. It's one day in particular that I get to remember how much better my dad is than yours.  I really hit gold when it comes to parents.  I think this particular Father's Day was one of the best because I know my dad knows just how much I love him and how much I miss him and it didn't require a tie.

Another reason this was an extra great Father's Day is this:

New father Phil with the most adorable baby girl, Remy. 

I can't tell you how excited I am about this baby.  I can't tell you how much I need to hold this baby.  My little soul just aches to be in Minneapolis right now to meet her. She doesn't even know how well we're going to get along.

Please bless I make it there soon.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

It's because this is the moon.

Dear Patrick,

It is time to talk. It's time to talk about what is really happening here. And what's really happening here is everything good hitting at once.

Last month I got one very important and very shocking/exciting/scary/heart-in-my-throat phone call that went like this:
"Hello, Adrienne, it's Karen Kunc from Nebraska..."
And that's about all I can clearly recall. For those of you in a similar world as mine, you will understand the temporary amnesia I experienced. For those of you in any other world, Karen Kunc is the current crowned queen of printmaking.  Luckily for all parties involved, I successfully made it through the phone call without nervously throwing up.  And amidst all the blur, this part was clear: there may be a spot for me (yep, me) in her graduate program. It was far from a set thing but she was working to make it happen.

The days that followed were filled with emotional highs and lows as I put my heart into a hodge-podgey, pieced together application and portfolio while I tried to allow my mind to shift toward accepting the possibilities hanging in the balance.  Is this what I want? Is this where I should be? Am I ready to go? Can I do it? With little information and little certainty, I was hesitant to talk to anyone about it.  I did counsel with the people closest to me, and thank goodness I did. They always know jsut how to get the tiniest bit of sanity into me when I'm the headless chicken running around. My best friend, Matt, asked how it all was going/if I had heard anything one night. I said I still didn't have much information but it did seem like Karen wanted me there, so at least there was that. He said, "Yeah, but do you want you there?" And that was it. That was the idea I had to hold onto. It was just exactly that simple. Did I want me there? Forget the personal pressures, the obvious inadequacies, the decisions beyond my control.  When it all boiled down, I did want me there. And what a relief it was once that decision was made.

Just 5 short longest-days-of-my-existence later, Karen Kunc called again. She said, "Hello, Adrienne, it's Karen Kunc from Nebraska.  I have good news for you.  We have accepted your application and offered you an assistantship..." And the temporary amnesia set in again.

And so it is, the way it goes. The minute you make a decision to move to Seattle and start a business, Karen Kunc will call and offer you the moon. The minute you come to accept your limitations, the minute those limitations are thrown promptly out the window. The minute you truly believe you have things figured out is the minute you put your cat in the car again and tell her she's going to love Nebraska just as much this time as she did last time she visited. And you tell yourself that, too. Because you will. Because I will. Because this is the moon.

 On another note, here is my latest and greatest.

Always yours,

Friday, May 4, 2012

It's because habits turn us evil.

Dear Patrick,

Recently I've been reading a book about habits. And, like every book of this nature, it consumes my thoughts. I love these boring sciencey books. It has been explaining the basics of how a habit forms. It starts with a cue that causes a routine and ends with a reward before causing you to repeat the process. The book has diagram after diagram to really illustrate their point. So of course I've been thinking about my own habits and what they'd look like as one of their diagrams. Let's look at how one of my habits start, shall we?

1: Cue. I am not great in the morning. Morning is the worst part of my life. Every night before I go to bed I think, "I'm going to set my alarm for 7:30. I can't get up any later than that if I want to get the things done." And in the morning, 7:30 rolls around. Then 8. Then 8:30 and I still can't get out of bed. No discipline. And so I am often running around crazy trying to get out of the house on time. But that doesn't ever happen. Not ever.

2: Routine. Because I am short on time, I cut corners and eat toaster strudels as I run around the house. I once left the toaster out on the counter because I forgot. And who really cares that much about a toaster on the counter, right?

3. Reward. I have one passive-aggressive/OCD roommate. She is never slow to remind us of this. If anything is on the counter, we are all rewarded with post-it notes that try to stab at our souls. I get a fair amount of joy out of these love notes. Or, and this is my favorite, the item out of place gets put some place else that will defy all logic and reason. A roll on the counter will be put in a frying pan. A stack of paper? With the shoes in the hall closet. It is a treasure hunt to make your head explode.

In the book, it explains how a habit will only become a habit if your brain begins to crave the reward before the cycle restarts with the cue. My brain has begun to crave the tension that hangs in the air and the twitching behind her eyes that happens soon after the notes emerge. So the habit moves forward. I started small, leaving just a pen or a fork on the counter at a time. Then moved on to larger things all the time knowing that the reward is too great to correct my bad habits. The completed diagram looks something like this:

I get such a rush from the moral degradation her notes bring that I fear the poor girl will never be safe. Does this mean my heart is cold and black? I think it does. Oh well.

Love, Adrienne

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

It's because I love the sad and hopeless.

Dear Patrick,
This is one of my latest projects. This print was based on a true story of a girl I know and it makes me smile some. It's just so pathetic.

It didn't photograph too well so if you can't read it, the little white line says "*but only on the weekends" And in the background there are lines and lines of nonsense girltalk that are just barely darker than the background- just enough to make them a bit shiny. And please believe me, it is not as bright as it seems.

Oh ridiculous friends, thank you for supplying me with really great material.

Love always,

Sunday, February 26, 2012

It's because I just want that Cinnamon Life, that's all.

Dear Patrick,

The problem with other people coexisting with you is your food is never safe. Never. Not when you live at home. Not when you live with a bunch of skinny girls. And especially not when you live with Heather Fawson. My leftovers significantly contributed to Heather's survival in Logan. But I was happy to give them to her then. Now, however, is a much different case. One of my New Year's resolutions was to eat the food I buy. Such a novel idea. And yet such a new one to me. So, I buy what I need and nothing more. But it seems that what I buy is irresistible to others in the house. I've now not eaten three boxes of my cereal- among other things. And as I was explaining my frustrations to my boss earlier this week, he says, "Just put your voodoo doll in the cereal box. That'll teach 'em."

I love my job.