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.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

It's because she's the best part of my life.

Dear Patrick,

I must first correct a wrongdoing. I became aware that my last post made my sweet, ridiculous mother look like a fool, which she is far from. She is simply the funniest person I know, hands down. And I even know MacKay Clark. So when she's yelling at me because I'm responsible for winter or when she tells Colton to say goodbye to me because I'm probably going to jail because we lost that dang jury duty summons or when she gives me a voodoo doll for Christmas, it's because she's made of pure gold, nothing different.

Now, I also need to post about Valentines Day as this was one of the best yet. This one was full of art and excitement and not one bit about loving anyone I know. But I can't post it yet. I just got my computer to start working again after months and months (Oh, those Geniuses at the Apple store are bright sparkly diamonds. They don't know what 'free' means to me. How I love them.), so I'm not prepared with the pictures that are needed. So get ready, it's coming. For real this time. I swear.

Happiest loveless day after,

Saturday, February 11, 2012

It's because Utah is full of other upstanding citizens more qualified for this than I am, right?

Dear Patrick,
Earlier this week my mom called while I was at work. This was the conversation we had:

Adrienne: Hello Mother.
Mom: I CANNOT BELIEVE HOW LUCKY YOU ARE. I'm SOOOOOO mad I could just spit! Why are you so lucky?! Why?!
Adrienne: Oh yeah? What happened? Who wants to give me money?
Mom: It's my DREAM to serve on a jury and they never let me! Why do you get to do it and not me?!
Adrienne: Bleh, you can do it. I don't want to.
Mom: But they'll give you 18 dollars a day!

Note: All of this was 100% serious. She was actually mad at me for getting called into jury duty because she actually wants to do it.

Pretty much all of what she said was yelled at me. Which, in turn, made me yell everything back to her. So, we continued to yell in this manner for another 6 minutes before I realized that the entire fight was ridiculous and made her hang up. Just one more reason I love my mother.

So now I think I'm in need of a Princess Leia costume and a prayer that it will work out better for me than Liz...

Judicially yours,

Monday, January 16, 2012

It's because books take too long.

Dear Patrick,

Joe vs The Volcano. Have you seen it? Do you love it? Can you possibly love it as much as I do? I mean, a movie plot that revolves around one man who leaves behind terrible life to jump into a volcano on an island full of orange soda-crazed aborigines because of a supposed "brain cloud" could never be wrong. And Meg Ryan playing three different women, one of which who writes poetry like, "Long ago, the delicate tangles of his hair covered the emptiness of my hand"? Yes, please. Anyway, amongst the madness of the film, there are parts that rise a little bit above the crazy. One of which is this:

I read a book. Beginning to end. Believe it. I mean, yes, it took the greater part of a year to complete but complete it I did. I'm a sucker for non-fiction. I'm a sucker for anything that gives me facts and observations about my brain. This book was called Moonwalking With Einstein and it was all about memory. I found each time I read it (which, if we're having honesty day, wasn't all that often or for very long) there was something within the text that would shock me to the point where I would think about that thing for the next couple weeks. It could've been just one short sentence or one small idea but the impact was huge. One of the last sentences that has occupied my brain for some time now is,

"it takes knowledge to gain knowledge".

So simple. So direct and seemingly common, but is it? The more I think about it, the more I see that it applies in every part of my life. Do I take for granted each and everyday that I was brought up in a home where thoughtful, healthy meals were cooked daily and so now as an adult, I function in a similar manner? Of course I do. I enjoy finding new and different recipes, reverting back to the tried and true recipes, and dabbling with a bit of both but had I not been exposed to it as a child, would I be doing that now? Probably not, I'm exceptionally lazy when I'm allowed to be. When I first got to Utah State, I didn't know one thing about Printmaking. I didn't know it was a thing. I had heard of etching from my art history class but the actual concept was lost on me. But seeing the prints from the other students in the hall sparked an interest and I found my way into my first class. Still, that first year, most of the concepts were lost on me but I stayed and asked a never-ending stream of idiotic questions until it did make sense. And thank goodness things finally did. But then again, it's the kind of knowledge that can only be delved into further and provide me with a lifetime of exploring.

This idea is like learning a new word. All of a sudden, that word is everywhere even though you've only known of its existence for a short time. You think, "Where have I been? How has this word been around me all this time and I've only just discovered it?" It's probably because we all spend so much time being "asleep". It's those new words and ingrained habits that make me want to do everything in the world. I want to understand politics, I'd love to go to law school. I drive past a violin making school every morning and I think, "Would they let me build violins if they knew how unmusical and rhythm challenged I am?" and still I think I'd like to try. From the time I was small, I spent a lot of time listening to other people and figuring out what made them tick... I don't think I'd be sad investing more time into learning more about psychology. I want to build my furniture. I want to grow my food. I want to do everything and make everything and learn everything and then I start to plan out how I'm going to fit all of this into one life. And then sometimes all I want to do is watch more and more and more tv. And that usually wins. Tina Fey and Amy Pohler have the keys to my heart, what am I supposed to do?

And while I probably won't do many of those things, at least the knowledge of their existence allow me the opportunity to gain more knowledge, and that in itself is pretty incredible. Or it's a bunch of weird nonsense, depending on how much your brain and my brain are in sync right now. I want so much to be one of those people who are considered "awake". Maybe one day I will be.


PS As far as life updates go, the new room in the new house in the familiar city is good. I may or may not live in a hallway, but as I see it, that's a step up for me. A hallway bedroom is greater than a living room bedroom but I think lesser than a reclusive cabin in the woods.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

It's because I'm full nerd.

Dear Patrick,
I just bought tickets to the best thing of my whole life. RadioLab Live. In Salt Lake City. April 5. Go to this. You'll never be sad again.
You don't know what RadioLab is? Okay, here, click this and download the podcast. You can marry me later.

Love, Adrienne

Sunday, January 1, 2012

It's because I can never make my mind up.

Dear Patrick,

Another year over. Another year weird. And as I sit here and procrastinate even pretending to pack up my things that I have lovingly strewn about the house, I am a little anxious for what is next. Anxious in a good way and maybe a little anxious in a bad way. Both ways. Tomorrow I, once again, am starting over. I'm throwing things (seriously throwing because this "packing" idea is just not going to work) into my blue car and driving a few miles north, where I will pull them out again and drag them into a house that will then be called, "home". I don't know anyone who lives there. I don't know their habits. I don't know their style. I don't know their beliefs. I don't know one thing about them except that they are going to be part of my "home" and part of my life. And there is something very unsettling about that.

On the other hand, I am anxious to be there. At home, I am my worst self. On a scale of perfect to Dudley Dursley, I am the female equivalent of Harry's bad cousin. Possibly worse. I have no manners. I have no sense of clean. And everything I see belongs to me. I'm a tornado in the morning because I still haven't learned to get up on time and in the evening, I'm a damsel in distress laying helplessly on the couch with my hand to my forehead, palm facing up. "Yes, mother, fetch my dinner. I just can't bare to ever move again!" Disgusted yet? Yep, so am I. But living anywhere else but home, I'm a functioning human being. I cook. I clean. I have manners. Not great manners, mind you, but some manners still. I show varied levels of responsibility. And on rare occasions, I even talk to people. And overall, I'm happy on my own. Even when it's really hard and I live in the woods entirely cut off from the world and human existence feels a little like a fake idea I've taught myself to believe, I am happy. It is necessary for my health and the health of my mother, that I move.

I've moved a lot of places. I like moving. I like being somewhere entirely new with no past and a clean slate. And somehow, this small move to a city I already know and I already travel to daily is one of the more daunting moves of my life. Does that make any sense? I can tell you that it does not. I've tried to make sense of the knots in my stomach but these knots are more like the kind that your headphones get into when you keep them in your pocket all day (is that a Portlandia reference? yeah, okay), not the boy scout kind. It's just six months with a bunch of strangers, Adrienne, it's not that big of a deal. I can do anything except keep warm for the next six months, right? Right. Everything is fine. Everything is also a little twisty.

If you are reading this sentence, I apologize for all of the nonsense that you just read. But in updating this weird little blog, I can never promise logic. But I can promise you at least a smile from this picture that one of my primary kids drew of Jesus this year. Enjoy.