Archives for category: art

r: “where are you girls going?”
j: “to a denison whitmer show in arlington”
r: “oh yeah? what kind of music do they play?”
j: “he’s a singer/songwriter–mostly indie folk”
r: “eww, folk. i could be on board for the indie, but no folk”
j: “have you heard of Sufjan?”
r: “who?”
j: ….
r: ….?
j: “have a nice evening!”


well, i saw it. i wanted to see it in theaters at the beginning of the summer, but i didn’t have a willing accomplice and i knew all that sex would be bad for me–i figured watching it at home i’d be more able to flip through the bad scenes.

first: things I liked. it was great to see all of those clothes. also, there was a fantastic exchange between Carrie and Miranda:
M: Why did you flip through the Vogue–today of all days?
C: Because I’m an emotional cutter.


As for the movie overall, I’m a little cheesed off. I had ill-defined expectations, so I can’t say it was or wasn’t what I had in mind.

*plot spoiler ahead*
Stupid Thing #1: At the end of the movie, when all the stuff is said and done, Carrie got both her feminist i-can-make-it-on-my-own-and-don’t-need-no-man ending as well as her fairy tale one. she got the romantic proposal on one knee and the resolution that she didn’t need marriage–that she was just fine without it. it makes me sad, really. Stupid Thing #2: Carrie’s advice to Miranda to not use logic and instead to get back with her husband based on emotions? really sad. Stupid Thing #3: Samantha decides that her relationship with her man (who was the most unbelievable character of all) is not worth any sacrifice or giving up any of her time and energy. it’s like commitment is not really an option, except for charlotte, who walks the line and gets everything she wanted and she’s even happy all the time. i guess that’s the theme of the movie: do what makes you happy. buy designer shoes, have sex with who you want, forgive when it’s convenient, marry if you want–but don’t make a big deal out of it. i sound like a slamming writer from focus on the family. guh.

I can’t criticize Carrie too much. I enjoy the show in spite of my values [it was my guilty pleasure when I lived in Madison to watch it on weeknights]. I mean, look at me, right now, i’m writing monologues about my relationships and just today i bought a new pair of shoes (my shoe spending threshold is around $30, not $700), but, man, i wish she was giving a little more hope. i feel bummed out after watching this movie. it had a feel-good ending with India.Arie and everyone getting what they wanted, but I feel like it’s not really believable. Miranda, Charlotte, and Carrie are now all happily married and samantha is happily promiscuous–at 50. where will they be in another 10 years? it’s just not sustainable, especially with vows like, “I will love you”–what does that even mean?

i was talking to my friend (the DC-is-a-dude revelation friend) and she said, “I just wish there could be a show with 4 women who go out to eat and talk about relationships according to what the Bible says. it would be a great way to absorb truth” i guess i’m longing for some good art that is compelling and speaks the truest truths of the universe in a language we can all understand. I want romantic comedy that’s good for the heart. I mean, romance is at its core the story of the gospel and commitment speaks of God’s love for his bride. It’s not bad to want a good love story. I just want one that’s sustainable, good for the soul, and reflects real love. Any ideas? I’m going to go to bed now and I’ll wear my new shoes tomorrow.

thanks to SG for most of the good ideas in this post.

to learn a little about love, check out this movie and read this article.

i recently purchased a whole load of music:
– Vigilantes of Love : Audible Sigh (indie country? rock? fab lyrics and Bill Mallonee is an amazing songwriter all around)
– Brad Paisley : 5th Gear (pop country. i officially have a crush on Brad. I love his cultural criticism and pleasant melodies)
– Dustin Kensrue : Please Come Home (folk/rock? i listed him as a fav musician for his love song a few posts back.
– Feist : The Reminder (weird futurist girl rock? who knows? she’s hip and has a rainbow coming out of her neck)
– Jack Johnson : On and On (mellowy beachy folky guitar. i never bought him when he was popular a long time ago and just got a hankerin’ for him)
– Maroon 5 : Friday the 13th (rock. i didn’t realize it was live. ehh)
– The Mountain Goats : Heretic Pride (indie folk post-punk. how’s that for a genre classification? really poignant lyrics. the vocalist is a bit of an acquired taste, but once you get over that, they’re a fabulous band all around, and amazing live)
– Red Hot Chili Peppers : Greatest Hits (again, i missed them in their prime, so i’m making up for lost time.)
– Rodrigo y Gabriela : Rodrigo y Gabriela (amazing latin guitars, no vocals. they’re awesome. good for driving or just savoring their incredible technique)

beautyi’ve been waiting to write this post until i could tie these ideas together into a masterful essay, but i just can’t. so here is a numbered list.

1) isn’t it cool to be a woman? I mean, our capacity to look fabulous is exponentially greater than a man’s. I mean, they can wash up and shave and put on a nice suit, but we can get totally glammed out and go from normal to totally hot.

2) a few times i’ve been on the metro and seen a woman who i thought was just beautiful and i knew she didn’t know it, but i didn’t say anything. why is it so hard to tell another woman that she’s beautiful? one of my goals in life is to say that to a stranger. maybe right at my stop.

3) isn’t glamour and ardornment an interesting concept? There’s this strange phenomenon about it. Today I went to a fancy furniture store in my wrinkled khakis, tennis shoes, and a t-shirt–with no makeup. The sales associates barely looked at me. Other times I’ve gone to the mall in heels with mascara on (it’s magic stuff) and commanded attention from the staff of several stores. Why is that? I have a few friends who aren’t especially beautiful, but who have great makeup and hair and accessories and people think they’re hot. it’s so strange! I think glamour and adornment communicate confidence. Someone said that putting on makeup and shoes are like dressing for battle in the realm of snagging a man. not sure i agree, but it seems like it’s a necessary part.

4) thanks to my dear friend talitha, i have a much wider appreciation for beauty beyond the american celeb model (fyi: long hair (preferably blond), skinny, a narrow nondescript nose, a huge smile with perfect teeth, a tiny chin, open eyes with sculpted brows, trendy clothes, a tan, etc.). i can now look at people from all over the world and appreciate their ethnic features and unique coloring. i love thinking about beauty that transcends region and culture. God made us to all look different and i want to appreciate that. T–can you provide the link to the worldwide beauty pagent?

mm, that’s all for now. i welcome your comments.

a few years ago, i took a class in college on aesthetics. we struggled all semester to define art. that project was dismissed after several weeks of getting nowhere. i asked that perhaps we could instead come up with a spectrum from good art to bad art–maybe some sort of simple criteria for evaluating our expressive creations.

we didn’t get anywhere with that, either, but i wrote my finial paper on the hagia sophia and how the most transcendent art somehow expresses creation, fall, and redemption.

i went to the l’abri conference in rochester, mn last year and there i heard dennis haack talk about how the best stories embody one or more of the four parts of the gospel: creation, fall, redemption and restoration or consummation.

now i’ve landed in DC and in an amazing discipleship program and the last few weeks we’ve been talking about art with our professor. He read us an excerpt from Walker Percy who says, “Bad books always lie. They lie most of all about the human condition”

this concept is so intriguing to me. the idea that books or films or paintings are good or bad as far as they reflect the human condition accurately. we talked about how an R-rated movie (like SE7EN) can really truly portray the depravity of man better than a G-rated movie that makes life look too rosy.

i feel like i finally have a good way to evaluate art. i’d love to continue this discussion with any of you.

have you heard of the St. John’s Bible project? It’s pretty sweet. the idea is to create an illuminated Bible by hand in a contemporary style–for the first time since the printing press allowed for mass production. the illustrations are sometimes evocative and modern (as seen at left), realistically rendered, or after the style of eastern orthodox icons (i met the guy who is doing those illustrations). the whole project is really amazing.

check out the illustrations and read about the materials and look at the motivation & overview.

i’ve worked on several projects today which i may post soon. check out my grungy edgy design goodie bag:

hydro74 makes fabulous edgy grungy designs–especially shirts
– you can also buy some amazing vector illustrations from them and some other grungy designers here
– and, most exciting of all, FREE VECTOR ILLUSTRATIONS! holy crap, Jane (and anyone else with illustrator), check this out!

i really love to cook. i’m living with a host family for this chapter of my life, so i don’t have full control over a kitchen, but i’m using one afternoon a week to make a few dishes to last me for the few meals i eat here.

i’m more of a savory than sweet cook. i prefer a real meal over a dessert, therefore, this is my opinion about the most important ingredients:

fresh garlic. do you know how awesome fresh garlic is? it is packed with antioxidants and it is antibacterial and antifungal. on top of that, it tastes amazing. most of the things i make start with garlic

good olive oil. i’m of the persuasion that not all fats are created equal.  i believe that fat from real foods is always better than fake hydrogenated junk which is so pervasive. i cook with olive oil (the stuff in the dark bottle) and i use organic first cold pressed olive oil on my crackers and in my dressing. there are few things more tasty than great olive oil and a little salt

fresh cracked assorted pepper. i really like when you can twist the grinder and flecks of different color and size come out. it’s an aesthetic experience

cage free organic eggs. yeah, i know they’re expensive, but it’s worth it. do you know what the lives of commercially farmed egg-laying chickens are like? they’re nasty, brutish and short. seriously, though, they live in tiny cages under flourescent lights to increase egg production, then they die of exhaustion. it’s really sad and unhealthy. look for eggs that are free range and have bright orange yokes from the beta carotene.

crunchy mustard. i used to hate mustard, but then i went to ireland and had wholegrain mustard on my sandwich. i highly recommend the brownish kind with texture. plus, you can be encouraged by how little faith you need to move a mountain every time you take a bite of your sandwich.

lemon juice. the real stuf, squeezed from a lemon. it takes longer, but it tastes so much better than the stuff from the plastic lemon. microwaving a lemon for 10 seconds and using a spoon makes the task a lot easier. lemon juice is great in marinades, lentil soups, and fresh hummus.

there are more. pink lady apples. fresh avocados, organic grape tomatoes, good cheese, real chicken broth, olives, etc. i love food. when i was a little kid and eating tuna salad with my mom in the sunshine, she said to me, “you know, God could have given us little pills to eat 3 times a day to stay alive, but instead he gave us all this different delicious food!” it’s so true. taste and see that the Lord is good.

think the women on the front of magazine covers are real? hmm, think again. it’s all a big fat lie.