I haven’t given anything like a real update in a while, so for my readers that may actually be wondering what is going on in my life, here it is:)
René and I had a great day seeing Claes in Kassel today. It’s Claes #4 for 2011, and also Claes #4 for Germany. As of right now, there are only 4 more to see in the country, and two of them can be seen in the same day. After hanging out with the sculpture for a while we walked around the city. Since it was Sunday, just about everything was closed. We just wanted a coffee shop and we ended up finding one at the Orangerie, which was literally right next to where we parked. The Orangerie looked a LOT like Versailles, and it seems to me that it may have been modeled after it. We drove to meet his brother at his place in René’s hometown and ended up going out to dinner and having what very well may be the BEST steak we’ve had, ever. It was a little local spot that only supports local farmers and vendors, so everything was fresh and OMG just amazing.
I’m slated to see a minimum of 6 more Claes sculptures this year: the one in Tokyo and the five in California. There might also be trips to the other 4 in Germany as well which would totally rock, because by that point I’d be nearly halfway through the list. I’m contemplating sending Claes + Coosje a link to my blog page on them, because I think they might appreciate it. I had a funny thought this week when I realized that I’d probably see the sculpture in South Korea before I ever see the two in Texas. And that is the truth. You couldn’t pay me enough to set my foot inside state lines. I’m not joking at all.
Right now, in these coming weeks, it’s the calm before the proverbial storm. I’ve got a lot of extra teaching work coming my way next month, so I’m going to use the off time I’ve got now (namely 2.5 free days per week, plus weekends) to get the work I need to be working on done. These things include but are not limited to a website proposal, fashion magazine article, two logo proposals, a book and DVD cover design. After that, I’ve got a load of fresh photography that I need to sift through and edit, then post to the internet. It’s been a while since I’ve posted any artwork that was specifically for ‘me’, so I am excited to get to that. I’m kind of viewing that as a reward for getting all the rest of that work accomplished, which I will.
After that, travel season starts. We’ve got a seminar in April, then a trip to Japan, then a visit from K2 (most likely), then a visit from S+K, then a trip to Cali for a wedding + road/Claes trip with K2. That’s a lot to do in the coming months, but I’m looking forward to all of it, without a doubt.
I’m enjoying René being back for loads of reasons, of course. I do miss him a lot when he’s gone, more than I was able to before I moved here. Now we live together, and now it’s hard when he’s not here. I’m happy for all of the time we have together before he has to go back to the US in a few weeks, for a few more weeks.
This thing with the House and Planned Parenthood has got me kind of flipped out. This is a major blow against women in general, and everyone that has ever had to use PP for any reason. I know it’s still got to get through the Senate, but the fact that it even has half of a chance is majorly disconcerting. I’m not sure how I feel about all of the major bargaining surrounding women’s rights lately, because it feels like America is taking steps backwards rather than forwards, becoming more like the people we’re so concerned about keeping away from our country and citizens. It’s also a major blow to anyone that doesn’t make a living wage, as PP has been a major source of education and counseling for such people. I’m really hoping that the people who voted these lunatics into office see the error of their ways and change their minds about their reps by the next voting cycle. I’m hoping that the majority of Americans don’t really feel this way. I’m hoping for this to come back and change.
If we’re really so concerned about the deficit, why don’t we reconsider that war we’ve been waging for a decade? Just a thought. It’s totally cool to kill a bunch of people in another country, but keep your hands off of that unborn baby! Just… really? This part of the spending bill was a thinly veiled assault on an organization that provides abortions, among many other things, to people in need.
The bill still has to make it through the Senate, and as I stated above, we all know that it doesn’t really stand a chance. Obama has already threatened to veto this bill, should it somehow make it through. But the issue I have is that there are people in elected office that appear to be willing to do just about anything to push their ideals/beliefs on the rest of the country. These are people that were elected by other people to be in office, pushing these measures. That scares the shit out of me.
This week was the first time I’d ever considered actually giving up my citizenship and applying to be a German citizen. Previously, there had been a slight idea (you could even have called it a hope) in my head that eventually René’s company might want to expand to the states and that we could be the couple to do that, since being married to an American makes that ordeal a lot easier. But if this ruling is the future of America, I don’t want any part of it and will gladly pay whatever the US wants me to in order to not be effected by this level of hysterical nonsense. What the fuck happened to the separation of church and state?
In totally unrelated news, I’ve been eating entirely too much fast food lately due to a few schedule changes and poor planning on my part. I’m making a conscious effort to curb that this week and get back on track. I’m blaming the upcoming period: I get cravings for bad shit around this time every month, and this month I just kind of gave in. I’ve been good on the fitness for the most part, though, and that makes me happy:)
I’m also still reading a ton, possibly more so now that I’m back to taking the bus since René is back and using the car. Right now I’m reading between Madame Bovary and Collapse, depending on my mood. Collapse is definitely a heavy read because of its size and wealth of information, but once I pick it up it’s always really hard to put it back down. I’m about 2/3 through at this point and really loving it. There are a few more books by Jared that I’m feeling much more inclined to read, but I might have to just Amazon wish list them for now, since I’ve got a few books that still require reading here before I move on.
I’m definitely loving the Kindle for Mac and iPhone apps, but aside from the ability to read free and really cheap books, I don’t think that I’ll ever use them to replace actual books that I want to own. I like owning physical books too much. But the free and cheap parts are pretty awesome and I will take advantage of them, absolutely.
re: debating touchy subjects like politics and religion with friends, family and total strangers:
I’ve noticed lately that a lot of arguing on said subjects doesn’t end well. Not that it’s really anything new, it’s just been in my face a lot more in the past few weeks. As an example, I’d like to talk about members of my family (not my sister, of course). There are members of my family that think Obama is the devil. There are other members of my family that think that ALL abortions are third trimester and somehow enjoyable to the doctors that do them. There are still other members of my family that have a strong dislike towards people like me, who are less than 100% hetero.
I know better than to even bother arguing with them. Not because they’re family, but because they have lived their own experiences that led them to feel this way. Who am I to tell someone else that their opinion is wrong? I wouldn’t let them tell me that I am wrong for feeling a certain way. If their opinion isn’t hurting me personally, and if my vote is literally cancelling out theirs at the voting booth, then why should I bother? I’m not being apathetic. I’m being pragmatic. It’s not worth the breath, frustration or ensuing drama to even get into these conversations with them. To add to this, we as humans should be promoting tolerance rather than driving people further apart.
Further, when these conversations do happen (as they often do), I’d like to give a bit of advice to the people that are so set on their side that they can’t even bother to see that there may be some exceptions to many rules:
~ whatever you do, don’t resort to cursing or name-calling.
~ be prepared to back up your quotes and statistics with actual facts. I don’t mean the facts that you saw on the news, I mean the facts that you researched and found on your own. Failure to adhere to either of these simple concepts completely ruins the case you might be trying to make.
There are entirely TOO many people who just don’t do the research when it comes to talking or forming an opinion about politics. It’s not easy to find the facts, because a lot of American news reporting is highly subjective. People either don’t even notice this, or they’re ok with the emotions they’re being made to feel, which I guess is their prerogative in either case.
Not to be an elitist bitch, but in some cases, a person’s opinion just doesn’t matter to me. An example of this: if you’re a man who is against a woman’s right to choose to have a child or terminate the pregnancy for any reason at all, then I don’t really care about what you have to say or why. Because, as I said in an earlier post, until you have a uterus and have been in that situation, no sir, you DON’T get it. Further, let’s come back to that conversation when the government is bargaining with your rights over how you choose to use your penis. Because we don’t really see a lot of that happening, do we? I’m not being a feminist here, I’m being a person that knows my self-worth and my rights as a human being.
/end political rant.
I’ve gotten a bit political lately and I apologize to my apolitical readers for that, if it has made them uncomfortable. Just remember, you don’t have to read everything I write! The political stuff will come and go, but there are a few causes that I stand very firmly on and the issues in the news as of late have happened to coincide with them.
Yoga has been really great lately. Sometimes I find myself slipping OUT of that meditative state that I was able to attain for the first few weeks, but I understand that this is part of the process. I’ve started to feel lately like Yoga is, in its own way, a kind of prayer. And I like that, because it’s not to anyone in particular. I may even be technically praying to myself, or to the world. I’ve read about the focusing of your thoughts on one thing or wish, and am thinking about trying that out as I get more into the motion of things.
The teachers at the studio are all really good, and I’ve got a few Yoga buddies that do the classes with me, and that’s really nice since up until a few months ago I was feeling pretty solitary here (save for the built-in friends that I’ve had since arriving)
Budo has been going well, but I’ve been kind of out of it and experiencing some body pain. My back’s been hurting since I fell down the stairs in my building last week, and my knees are being odd… I’m wondering if that has anything to do with the crappy food I’ve been eating and the colder weather. I’m hoping it ceases with the coming of spring. We’ll see. Until then I’m going to try to run off-road since that’s better for my back and knees anyway.
This has gotten long and is totally scattered, sorry about that. Things are going really well. I’m still majorly happy here and wouldn’t change it for anything. I’m really excited about this year and all of the things I want to do, and that we’re going to do. It’s a year for changes, even though I don’t know what they are just yet.