Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Today's Inspiration- The Guerrilla Girls

from  midd-blog.com
 Since we are focusing on female friendship this week, I have been thinking a lot about feminist collaborators and the art they make (this feels all the more relevant with the womenagainstfeminism hashtag that is killing my soul).  You can't talk about feminist collaboration without talking about the Guerilla Girls. This group of anonymous female artists (they wore the gorilla masks to hide their identities) formed in the mid-80's to bring attention to the race and gender inequality in art institutions. A specific show at MoMA- "An International Survey of Recent Painting and Scultpure"- claimed to display the most important and comprehensive sense of where contemporary art was going, but less than 10% of the artists shown were women. The Guerrilla Girls started by producing posters like these:

from napsnfaps.tumblr.com
 When the Guerrilla Girls began, these kinds of points weren't being made in any systematic way, and they made the treatment of women within the arts impossible to deny. You can read plenty of speculation and rumors about who the artists in this (continuing to work) collective are, but the truth is that the group has probably expanded and changed over the 3 decades it has been working. You can read about their 30 year retrospective (as well as their current projects) on their website- http://www.guerrillagirls.com/

from goteborgnonstop.se
This political and artistic group has changed the art world because it is a collective effort. These women can be seen as a singular complaining voice because many work together (and their anonymity maintains their symbolic status- they stand for all excluded female artists). They are credited with "sparking dialogue, but you can statistically seen that things have gotten better (if not good enough). I know they spread to various cities, as I just read about the Seattle contigent showing up for a show at CoCA in 1996, and they also seem to have grown into 3 separate groups with diverging goals. To me, their work speaks to the power of collective feminine efforts and how they avoid the tokenism and accusations of narcissism that female artists still regularly face. And their masks are awesome.

6 Things for the Last Two Days

1. Actually talking to people in antique stores- You know what people who own antique stores love doing? Discussing antiques! Also, giving a lot of advice. A LOT. Still, I was proud of the Boy for asking, because usually we would never do that kind of thing.
2. Getting More Paint Testers- Bahahaha nothing makes me happier than those little cans of possibilities. What I would really like is just a house with one square foot per color, but I think that might be a lot for the robot I am married to. Will go do the actual testing today, now that the room is partially cleared out.
3. ABBA- ABBA took over all the playlists on our XBox music, and I do not know how this happened. For the record, X Box music is never something I am all that grateful for, and about 10 times through Money Money Money, you will agree with me that Microsoft needs to step up their music game or get out forever.
4. The Nostalgia Tour- Six years ago, The Boy and I lived in an under 500 square foot apartment on the edge of Microsoft Campus for a summer. It taught us a lot. Things like living together is not like visits between college students, and you can't expect that same level of attention to be sustained. Things like you should not eat ice cream and safeway cookies every night unless you want to gain a lot of weight very quickly. Things like how to not cut the tip of your finger off with a meat slicer. Yesterday, when I visited The Boy at work, I walked around to our old haunts in that very small circle, and it was pretty fun. We genuinely have come a freaking long way since then, so it was neat to go back.
5. Fox stuff- I am currently obsessing about stuff with foxes on it, and Carters has really cute fox onesies for boys. I keep almost buying it, then not, because I don't need to be buying baby clothes yet, right? Let's not get carried away. Still, it is really cute stuff.

from https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=895589600455382&set=a.298137800200568.90811.273977709283244&type=1&theater
6.  Malala in Houston- Ack, I just love this. Rosie strikes again.At the same time, we could think a little more critically about Americaness. Is Malala a US figure or just a global one? It's a tricky question.

Picture of the Week- Bite of Seattle

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Today's Inspiration- The Best of All Time

Letter from Nancy Spero to Lucy Lippard, 1971 from triplecanopy.tumblr.com
This simple letter between two absolute badasses is one of my favorite things of all time. Perfect way to kick off a week about the power of friendships between women.

Bumpwatch Week 22

How Far Along: 22 Weeks! According to The Bump, Bumbo Baby is the size of a papaya, and it is getting eyelids and lips, so hopefully that is clearing up some of the face issues from the ultrasound! We could have a human baby yet!

Best Moment of the Week: I got up the nerve this week to try baby yoga (this felt like an accomplishment all on its own). I have never been a yoga person, but I always thought prego yoga was just a cute good idea. I really liked it, even though I felt a little self-conscious since clearly everyone else knew more about what they were doing than I. At the end, you just sit in the dark and meditate on your baby, how your every breath goes to your baby, etc, and I just sat there like a crazy person and cried. If it turns out I can't meditate without losing my mind, I might have to try another form of exercise laced with less public embarrassment. For now, I am really happy I did it.

Most Interesting Prego Quirk: Once you can feel your spawn move, it is weird when the baby isn't moving. Or sometimes you realize all of the sudden you haven't felt any dancing for a while, and it genuinely makes you nervous. Never fear, that sweet little parasite is a sleeping machine. It is still a weird side effect of the changes.

I Would Really Like Some: Maternity overalls. I keep thinking about buying them (The Boy is not impressed with the idea- he doesn't think a prego would be much help on a farm). I have really strong memories of my Aunt Gretchen wearing them when she was pregnant with my cousin Zach, and I just thought she was the most beautiful Prego ever. I feel like a white t-shirt, a pair of overalls, and a fresh haircut would be so cute, but alas I must be on my own, because they aren't really sold anywhere. The universe always sides with the Boy.
Bizarro Thing No One Warned me About: The public happy weeping ranks up there. I am emotional but not necessarily in a bad way? I definitely get sour faster than I usually would, and I find I am less willing to be cool with people's lack of support or some of the classic lines we have been hearing basically since we moved (saying "we will come visit after the baby is born" doesn't exactly give us a window since any time after November for the rest of our lives, the baby will be born- it is basically just saying "we won't come to see you this year." Also, saying any variation of "we thought about coming to see you, but then we decided to do something else" is just mean. Having these conversations over and over make me so grateful for visits like last week's with my Dad). I also have more trouble effectively swallowing anxiety and just going for things, which before this felt like a strength of mine. Being more emotional seems anything but surprising, but I like that I also feel uncontrollably happy a lot of the time. Yesterday, I was just giddy to be hanging out with The Boy. That part is a nice perk. 

And The Boy?: We are petty close to decided on first name (though I think we won't make a final decision until we meet him), so he has started coming up with middle names. He has mostly been trying to use twords (Gandlepuff, Voldevader, etc) or fighting for Gort.

Looking Forward to: Heading home for a quick weekend for my class reunion. I am excited to see some old friends and give my Nana and Poppop a hug. I am a little nervous about the flying, because it is a whole lot of flying, but I am a whole lot of woman, so I think I can handle all the travel coming up. 

Quote of the Week- Friendships Between Women

"For women, the need and desire to nurture each other is not pathological but redemptive, and it is within that knowledge that our real power is rediscovered. It is this real connection which is so feared by a patriarchal world." -Audre Lorde

“Only hang around people that are positive and make you feel good. Anybody who doesn’t make you feel good, kick them to the curb. And the earlier you start in your life the better. The minute anybody makes you feel weird and non-included or not supported, you know, either beat it or tell them to beat it.”- Amy Poehler

"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it’s only by this meeting that a new world is born." -Anais Nin

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The 3 Best Things About Bite of Seattle

Today we went to one of the bigger festivals- Bite of Seattle- at Seattle Center, and I think it was my favorite Seattle day we have had since we moved here.  This is why I loved it (and really everyone should go).

1. The Alley- The event is built around an area where you can pay 10 dollars (which benefits Foodline) and have tastes of food from 7 Seattle restaurants. Some were not great. Others were not prego-friendly. Still, I would have done it 5 more times, because I had an awesome fried chicken sandwich from Skillet Diner, and in line, you got to smell the brisket Miller's Guild were making, and it was just the best. I almost wanted to go back to beef (after 13 years without it, don't worry cows, I held out). It was perfect for people new to Seattle, because we have a bunch of new restaurants to try!
2. The balance of then having lots of junky food everywhere else- For every fancy brisket with corn and blueberry salsa, there were 5 lemonade and funnel cake stands. We tried a bunch of things, including a crab cake that was truly gross. It made me like the whole lot all the better, because any fancypantsness begs for balance, and if a truly awful band playing Pink covers while you eat curly fries isn't life balance, I don't know what is.
3. Anytime a lot of people get into the same place and eat food together- It gives me a strong sense of home, of the community we are living in, of being together. If I could eat in a busy park filled with other people eating for the rest of my life, that is exactly what I would do. Hopefully with lots of brownies and lemonade and the Boy.