Thursday, March 29, 2012

May's Getting Married

Modeling my tiny wedding top hat

Matt and I have been unofficially engaged to one another ever since we got serious about each other nearly 5 years ago now. With the understanding that we'd get married as soon as possible. But we were blocked by my previous marriage, which for one annoying reason or another, I was unable to obtain a divorce for. When we found out we were pregnant, Matt's mom offered to pay for my divorce (lack of money being the deterring factor at the time), but I found out then that Missouri state law doesn't allow pregnant women to file for divorce. I was bummed and pissed about that, and about how state law also requires that a woman's legal husband be put on the birth certificate as the father, even if he's not. Did not want that to happen!

But the Universe smiled upon me, and my ex, who now lives in Montana, was able to obtain a divorce that just went through on the 20th. So we side-stepped the stupid Missouri laws and the mess of cleaning up the baby's birth certificate and what not AND I didn't have to deal with any legal stuff except for signing a paper. WIN!

Now I'm excited to be able to say that Matt & I are tying the knot this Saturday! You can expect to see pics Tuesday :)

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Celebrate Create Your Own Reality's 4th Birthday Tonight!

Create Your Own Reality is the meetup group I co-organize with my friend Darcy, who founded it. This month marks the 4th birthday of Create Your Own Reality (CYOR), which provides time, space and resources to help people create, no matter the form or format. Take that as loosely as you'd like.... it can mean anything from creating a new friendship, reordering your recipe cards, writing poetry, crafting a collage, painting, coloring, drawing, making flash cards, sorting photos, sculpting, knitting, mending a shirt, fashioning some jewelry, fixing your broken umbrella.

Tonight's event is from 6-9 PM at HodgePodge Workshop in Westport (4127 Mill St., Kansas City, MO 64111). Hope to see you there :)

These pics are from recent meetups:

Thursday, March 22, 2012

"Future Currents" Opening April 6 - First Friday in the Crossroads


I've been alluding to the upcoming "Future Currents" show now and then, and it's finally coming up very soon! I just dropped off my mixed media piece at OfficePort in the Crossroads yesterday. (I had to tie it up in a garbage bag to keep it safe from all the rain).


My name on the website. Yippee! It's official :)

"Future Currents" is part of The Forum at Middle of the Map Fest. I'll be one of 22 local artists who made pieces for the show. I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone came up with. "Future Currents" opens First Friday, April 6, 5-9PM at OfficePort, 208 W. 19th St.

Meanwhile, here's a sneak peek of my piece "Do, Think Change."

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Alcott Arts Center Needs YOU!

The Alcott Arts Center is a great space for art, events and theater housed in the old Kansas City, Kansas Louisa May Alcott grade school. The Alcott has put on many great events over the 10 years they've been operating as a nonprofit, including the much acclaimed zombie proms and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Awareness Art Festival which I had the honor of taking part in a couple years back.


This past December, thieves broke into the Center and stole all the copper wiring. The Alcott is trying to raise the $14,000 needed to to replace the wiring so that it can once more reopen in April (the Center is closed during the winter). This is a great space so I really hope they get the funding they need.

If you'd like to help, you can donate via PayPal or come to two fundraising events coming up this weekend. Saturday, March 24th, 5-9 PM is a silent and live auction at the 403 Club in Historic Strawberry Hill. Admission is free and finger food will be available for $5. Some of the items available include a variety of artwork, Mercy Seat tattoos, Speedway memorabilia, jewelry and assorted gift baskets.

Their second fundraiser over the weekend is a Pit & Main Street Rag Showcase of poets, Sunday, March 25th, 5 PM at Prospero's Bookstore. Admission is $10 and refreshments will be available for purchase. The evening will end with an open mic segment, so bring your own work to read if you'd like.

Thanks for helping to support the local arts!

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

I'm So Glad Community Is Back!

Image via Insider.com

Community came back tonight!! I won't bother reviewing it, because that's already been done quite thoroughly. I do want to share some of my favorite bits of dialogue though. Britta got some good ones!

Annie: "You're anti-wedding now?!"
Jeff: "No, she's just pro-anti."
Britta: "No to everything you both just said!"
*
Jeff: "Someone tell Britta what an analogy is."
Britta: "I know what it is! It's like a thought, with another thought's hat on."
*
Pierce: "I'm not an entrepreneur, I'm just a kid with a lot of money."
*
Britta: "This may shock you, Annie, but I come from a long line of wives and mothers."
Annie: "Many do."
*
Abed: "We dewhimsified ourselves."
Troy: "Yeah, we're normal now."
*
Troy: "There are many layers to this."
Abed: "It's almost too conceptual to follow, but I love it."
*

The dialogue is one of the many reasons why I freaking love this show! I'm so excited that I get to watch new episodes weekly again. ^__^

(Also, I finally got around to posting about my Spencer Museum visit today, after finishing up a really fun mixed media piece I've been working on for the "Future Currents" show I'm gonna be in. More on that later!)

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

My Visit to Lawrence (Photo Blog)

I am pooped! I went to Lawrence, Kansas* with Matt & my brother Curtis today & spent most of it walking about doing stuff.


First, we went to the Spencer Museum of Art on the KU campus.


We enjoyed this awesome sound-producing sculpture by Harry Bertoia which Matt took some video of:



Then, I found a Buddha to meditate with.


It was awesome to see a woodblock of Katsushika Hokusai's "The Great Wave Off Kanagawa" in person. I noticed details about it that I'd never seen before, like how Mt. Fuji is in the background and there are 2 boats in the water! I feel like I never actually saw the image before.


Then we did a bit of shopping. I found an adorable blue owl nightlight at a thrift store (which I purchased)...


...and a creepy elf doll at an antique mall (which I did not).


We ate lunch at The Burger Stand, including poutine fries, which I'd never had before. They were tasty!


It's always fun to see the random interesting things Lawrence has to offer. (One of the things I didn't get a picture of was 2 blondes walking around pretending to be Barbies - for realz. It freaked me out.)


Then we stopped in to visit my oldest bro & his family and I played a bit of battleship with my little nephew.


And now I'm totally worn out, so I'll put off writing my museum post for Arts America til another day. Look for the link later on :)

*N.B. This is across the state line, those of you who mistakenly think I live in Kansas. Kansas City, Missouri is where I live.

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

International Women's Day / Because I Am a Girl

Image via Lapel Pins Plus

Today is International Women's Day, which International Relief and Development describes as:
International Women’s Day is important because it is a chance to recognize the fact that securing peace and social progress and the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms require the active participation, equality and development of women; and to acknowledge the contribution of women to the strengthening of international peace and security. For the women of the world, the Day's symbolism has a wider meaning: It is an occasion to review how far they have come in their struggle for equality, peace and development. (Source)
So I'm taking this opportunity to let you all know about a new Plan International initiative called Because I Am a Girl. This project focuses on creating safe conditions for girls around the world, to allow them to fully succeed.

By investing in a girl and her future, we know for a fact that she can lift herself out of poverty, altering the economic condition of her family, her community, and ultimately her country. How do we know? Decades of experience and in-depth research have proven it. Yet even today, a girl in the developing world still faces overwhelming odds from the day she’s born.

Because she is a girl, she’s more likely to suffer from malnutrition, be forced into an early marriage, be subjected to violence, be sold into the sex trade, or become infected with HIV. Because she is a girl, she faces discrimination in her own home. Because she is a girl, she’ll have limited access to a doctor or even a primary education (if she’s able to go to school at all)...

A global initiative of Plan International, Because I am a Girl creates sustainable projects in developing countries to give girls access to the most basic of human rights: clean water, food, healthcare, education, financial security, and protection from violence and exploitation.
Visit the Because I Am a Girl microsite or blog to learn more, or click here to donate.

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Women Bear the Brunt of Hunger

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Community's Triumphant Return!

Image via Uproxx.com

I'm so excited that Community is coming back on March 15th! It has become my favorite TV show & I've missed seeing new episodes. Like many other fans, I was worried it might not come back. So I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it's not only returning, but it's also going to be
accompanied by cartoon shorts (starting tomorrow on Hulu!) and a series of webisodes bringing Inspector Spacetime to life (though apparently that is an effort unrelated to the creators and actors of Community and is being tweaked accordingly).

Here's a sneak peak of the cartoon shorts:


Are you as excited as I am?

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Why Breastfeeding Should Be Seen


Being a proponent of the idea that boobs should not be R-rated and that breastfeeding is an obviously beneficial choice for both woman and child, I greatly enjoyed a recent guest post on Ph.D. in Parenting, "Why SEEING breastfeeding on Facebook, and in real life, is important." The socially-accepted sexualization of women and their bodies is perpetuated by the patriarchal rape culture in which we live, and creates many unintended problems, such as the stigmatization of breast feeding.

Breastfeeding advocate Emma Kwasnica addresses the stigmatization of breastfeeding women specifically in regards to the continuing censorship of breastfeeding images on Facebook:

I'd just like to talk a bit about the bigger picture here. When Facebook takes this stance against breastfeeding images, it stigmatizes breastfeeding women, and shames women into thinking that their breasts are much, much less than the amazing life-giving source they are. Nipplephobia has reached epic proportions here in North America, and this is to the supreme detriment of babies everywhere.

...I've said this before, and I'll say it again: as a childbirth professional, but also as a woman, in general, it is absolutely crucial that one support ALL women to breastfeed their young.

Quite simply, this is about re-normalizing breastfeeding.

The more we hide it away, classify it as obscene, shame mothers into covering up while feeding, and encourage women to retire to "private" rooms in order to breastfeed the baby, the less we see of it in public, and the less and less people are comfortable with the very idea of nursing in public. This is the sad reality of this pathologically hyper-sexualized (yet sexually repressed…) North American culture of ours.

The solution seems quite simple to me; breastfeeding (and/or images of breastfeeding) need to be seen every day. I am convinced that SEEING more breastfeeding, wherever possible, is what will change our breastfeeding culture. Re-normalize it. There is no law prohibiting women from breastfeeding in public. And so women should do it. And they should feel completely free to do it. Lots of it. As much as possible.
Read the rest, including Emma's call for action on the original post.

And if you're still unconvinced that this sort of thing doesn't affect women's perceptions of breastfeeding, keep in mind that 50% of women choose not to breastfeed for no other reason than that they have a bad impression of it and don't want to do it (according to the many health professionals & doctors I've seen over the past several months).

You can read about the benefits of breastfeeding as outlined by the US Department of Health for yourself and see why this is a practice that should be encouraged, not stigmatized.

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