A little thing on Judy Chicago

Judy Chicago is a feminist artist, whose work, although initially rejected, pushed the art world to accept feminism and has defined feminist art to this day. 

Judy Chicago was born in 1939 in Chicago (initially with the last name Cohen). She was raised in a wealthy Jewish family who supported her career in the arts, this support allowed her to begin pursuing art from the age of 5. As a result of this early start, each of Chicago’s later pieces is defined by her adept artist skills and technical feats. Being a woman in the art world hegemonized by men pushed her towards her radicalized artwork. In 1965, Chicago released a modern art piece of a series of rainbow beams leaning against a wall, when art critic Walter Hopps saw the piece he largely ignored it and talked to the other male artists in the room. Years after, Chicago and Hopps met again and he told her, that his ignorance was a result of surprise at the high level of her work. Sexism from the world and critics was and continues to be, the major inspiration for her work. The most famous of these pieces is “The Dinner Party” 

In 1979 Chicago revealed an enormous project that covered over 1,100 square feet and marks her most influential piece. The piece consisted of a tile floor, three 48-foot-long tables which created the perimeter, and 39 ceramic plates which gave a spot to an influential woman in history. This piece required years of work to complete and the help of over 400 volunteers. In order to complete this feat, Chicago and her team threw, handbuilt, slab built, and slip-cast the pieces. They also employed painting, sewing, and building skills. Inscribed on the tile floor were the names of 999 influential women whose names were largely unknown or forgotten. The piece is both a respectful homage to the powerful women who came before her and a satirical understanding of the nonsensical notion of man’s power. Each of the 39 plates took a vulvaic form, this, although initially thought of as pornographic and unnecessary, defined the piece as a straightforward and “audacious” piece of art that holds a firm grip on what it means to be a feminist in art. The New York Times described the piece in 2018 writing on Judy Chicago as “a repository of women’s history” and remarked on the assumed humor of the piece had it been released in the modern world: “The audacity of “The Dinner Party,” its rhetorical energy, its humor (the vulva plates are, among other things, a play on what it might be like if women took as much pride in their anatomy as men did)”. 

Despite its initial rejection from the art world Judy Chicago’s “The Dinner Party” has been tremendously influential to art in its category and marked the first of its kind of feminist art piece. Chicago trailblazed as a leader in the largely male art world of the time and continued to this day as a radical artist and strong feminist. “The Dinner Party” is now a permanent exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum and continues to inspire the feminist movement and female artists and non-artist alike. Judy Chicago and “The Dinner Party” remain the unambiguous “Godmother” of feminism in the arts. 

Pc: New York Times

obsolete tv shows

Besides Spongebob, I grew up on practically extinct shows my fossil of a Dad made me watch instead of like Disney Channel or something.

My favorite one was MacGyver, (NOT the new one with Lucas Till) which is an action series about a guy who can ‘improvise’ his way out of any situation. Instead of combating danger with weapons like you’d expect, he uses his ability to make gadgets to save himself. To this day I still think the premise is really unique and overall it’s a creative show.

Another much more popular show I watched was the A-team. Again, not the newer movies but the 80’s tv series. It’s also an action about a group of ex-military guys who help people in need and try to clear their name from a crime they didn’t even commit. I remember loving one of the members of the group, Murdoc, who was just this really crazy, goofy guy.

Then there are all the detective shows: Columbo, Magnum PI, Monk, Psych -even Perry Mason- you name it, I’ve seen it. My Dad and I are detective show connoisseurs. He tried to get me to watch cop shows, but they were never my thing (Adam-12, CHiPS).

There was a lot of Sci-fi too, I think Star Trek was my first of these old shows (or Rocky and Bullwinkle). I’ve seen both the Kirk and Picard series, but the former is more memorable/nostalgic for me. There was also Time Tunnel, Twilight Zone, My Favorite Martian, The Munsters, etc.

There is more, this is just the tip of my ancient-shows iceberg. There are some really obscure shows I’ve seen. I bet I’m the only person under 50 who knows what the Petticoat Junction even is. Or the Beverly Hillbillies.

Anyway, I’m actually happy my Dad introduced me to these shows from a young age. They really were charming and shaped much of my early childhood.

pc: https://decider.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/macgyver.png?w=646&h=431&crop=1

Essay

I’m so tired, so here’s part of my English Essay on The Crucible:

Puritan Attitudes in The Crucible

The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, is a semi-fictionalized play based on the Salem Witch Trials of the Massachusetts Bay Colony (1692-93). Salem is Puritanical, meaning they follow a strict moral code and disapprove of pleasure and luxury. Within this culture, Miller tells the story of a lustful girl, a skeptical farmer, a corrupt minister, and a village brewing with secrets and vengeance. After a strange incident in Salem’s forested outskirts, all become embroiled in a Witch hunt that proves deadly. Through well-crafted characters and other story elements, the author manages to capture the Puritan attitude of the time period. 

PC: https://m.media-amazon.com/images/M/MV5BMjE1MDUxMjg3Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwOTA3OTg2.V1.jpg

It is clear from the start that Salem society places an emphasis on the supernatural. Its residents see evidence of God and Satan in all aspects of life. For example, a farmer named Walcott purchases a pig from Martha Giles and blames its prompt death on otherworldly causes. “‘Now he goes to court and claims that from that day to this he cannot keep a pig alive for more than four weeks because my Martha bewitches them with her books,’” Martha’s husband explains in disbelief. Like so many other townsfolk, Walcott is unwilling to hold himself accountable for his mistakes and faults, preferring to lay the blame on witchcraft. Goody Putnam likewise finds the supernatural at the root of unfortunate events, condemning her midwives for a series of seven miscarriages. This habitual blame is wielded as a weapon, and accusations eventually lead to hangings.

little things

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pc: me

I have so much love for little aspects of life. I love to water my plants. I love to pet my cat because of how loud her purr is. I love to sit on the kitchen counters while dinner is being made, the smell of food circulating the air. I love to imagine those smells as colors floating around me and illuminating the warmth that fills the kitchen. I love it when people make me laugh, It feels like I’m at a loss of breath, which is somehow the best feeling in the world. I love to take the most skin-curdling, brain-melting shower right before bed. I love to hug people goodbye, I imagine the smile on my face the next time I get to see them. I love the song “a day in the life” by the Beatles. I love the book Daisy Jones And The Six. I love to lay on the floor because the hardness feels like an anchor when my mind starts to spin. I love to go to the beach because the sand sticks to my skin. I love to wash the day off of my tired face. I love to smell candles but not light them because I don’t want them to go away too fast. I love white daisy’s in a mason jar. I love to propagate vines. I love to make eye contact with people and let them break it. I love to play with little kids. I love to be at home with my family. I love to watch Formula 1 races. I love to swim and ride my bike at night. I love my mom and dad. And even though he doesn’t think so, I really love Vaughn.

(Excerpt from a Common App essay draft)

I surf with more passion than I’ve ever felt before, but I’d certainly not consider myself good. It’s the scariest thing I’ve ever encountered, walls of water like moving mountains, foamy white water like a powerful avalanche, a board which goes from your greatest ally to greatest enemy the moment it is freed from your hands and feet. Is the feeling of a wave worth the pain of falling? Often, yeah it is, small waves, no biggie, a couple seconds of being underwater (burr), and then you paddle back out and try again. But when the waves become giants and the board a brute force weapon, that fall feels like life or death. I remember going out on a day with waves far beyond my skill set, Goliath and Polyphemus in the flesh. Before even paddling for a wave a set came in, the first wave blocked the sun as it groaned past me, the second feathered as I crested its peak desperately paddling to the outside, and the third I was not so lucky. The avalanche hit me, immediately tearing the board from my hands, the wave now groaning on top of me thrashing my body like a ragdoll in a washing machine. My last thought was “I really don’t want to die”,  and then, it was over. The wave passed and adrenaline pulled out beyond the impact zone. So what pushes me to surf in water like this, maybe I just like the adrenaline but I think it’s because putting myself in places beyond my skill set and comfort, where I am deeply imperfect, has shaped who I am. 

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pc: me

NOW

Honestly, I don’t know if I like Charles Bukowski but I love his work. I first discovered his poetry a year ago and I was just smitten with his spot-on/blunt observations of life. It’s funny though because he has this ‘don’t try too hard kind of attitude that I really don’t empathize with and he’s also kind of gross and offensive, yet I’m totally enamored with his humor and wit.

I can’t tell you what my ‘favorite’ poem by him is, because that changes all the time. They’re consistently clever and I could read his work all day. I thought of his poem “NOW” though, while I was thinking of what to even write today.

NOW

I sit here on the 2nd floor

hunched over in yellow

pajamas

still pretending to be

a writer.

some damned gall,

at 71,

my brain cells eaten

away by

life.

rows of books

behind me,

I scratch my thinning

hair

and search for the

word.

Obviously, this is about writer’s block, and yeah that just resonated with me while I was thinking of what to even write this afternoon.

If you want to laugh, I recommend his poem “Flophouse”, if you want to be inspired, I recommend “Roll the Dice” or “How is your Heart”, and if you want to think, I would read “The Genius of the Crowd” or “Dinosauria, We.” Also, all the poems he wrote about his cats are fantastic.

PC: https://www.thegreatcat.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Bukowski-and-Black-Cat.jpg

Poetry Pt. I

So far, these past couple of weeks, I’ve been publishing very surface-level (and frankly, boring) writing. One day, I wrote a poem with the intent of posting it, but quickly decided against the idea. There is something so raw, and so vulnerable about poetry, that to share a piece can be both a creative outlet and an absolutely terrifying experience. But no one really reads these anyways, so I might as well.

PC: https://i.pinimg.com/736x/96/5a/32/965a32cd4f0928ec10f3fa4847730893.jpg

TW: Eating disorder/self-harm. A couple years ago, my best friend was suffering from a severe eating disorder and almost died. This was the inspiration for a poem:

the bathroom mirror speaks

It tells her she is a slut, to “cover-up.”

or she is a prude, to “show more skin.”

It tells her, with makeup, she’s “trying too hard,”

or without, she should “make an effort.”

It tells her she is too big, too curvy, too small, too flat

– she is too much, not enough

It tells her lies and truth

and truth and lies

until she cannot tell one from the other.

instead of math homework, she’s adding up calories,

instead of breakfast, she’s chewing on the cuticles of her thumbnails,

instead of sleeping, her bedroom is a 24-hour gym,

instead of showering, she’s drying her tears,

instead of living, she just is.

the sight of her reflection in the mirror is enough to make her shatter

and when the voices overwhelm her own,

she drapes a cloth over the frame, gagging their words.

but It claws and crawls its way out from the glass

slithers into her ears and slides down her throat,

spilling into the cavity of her diaphragm.

now the words on the bathroom mirror are her own.

who decided her skin was a sin?

who indicted her bones a cage?

who determined her flesh as a source of release?

you. 

you taught the bathroom mirror to speak.

Why Fall is the Best Season

Fall has got to be my favorite season. Winter means Christmas and lit fireplaces, but the weather gets to be a little miserable after a while. Spring is a close second, but blooming flowers = allergies. Summer is obviously great because there’s time to relax, but here in Ojai we’re forced to spend the day inside in order to escape the sweltering heat. Nothing really competes with autumn.

Source: https://360degreesound.com/10-great-versions-of-jazz-standard-autumn-leaves/

It is the golden light, crunchy leaves, steaming chai and pumpkin bread that make me fall in love with this season again and again each year. Not to mention scented candles, long showers, cinnamon, football games and Gilmore girls. There’s a perfect balance between the lingering sunshine and cool, crisp breeze. Halloween means candies and costumes and parties; Thanksgiving brings with it cranberry sauce and family time and TV. Beyond festivities, I like to read books, listen to music, see friends, go thrifting and on afternoon bike rides in the meadow – all of which just feel special at this time of year.

And don’t even get me started on clothing. I won’t freeze to death if I wear a skirt or tank top, and neither will I drown in sweat if I opt for a knit cardigan or turtleneck. Plus, I recently got a pair of Doc Marten’s for my birthday, and though they weigh an obscene amount, I love them with all my heart. (They also make me another 2 inches taller, which is nothing to complain about).

All in all, autumn is without doubt the best season, and I’m looking forward to these next couple of months.

Customer Anecdotes

I have worked part-time at a restaurant every week for over a year now, and I’ve met some pretty funny people that I’m about to expose.

Literally last night a lady came in holding a chicken. She told me she carried this chicken everywhere because her other chickens bullied this one. Also, she ordered a chicken dish.

That same night a really tall, old guy came in and ordered yelling across the room, he was so loud. He had some kind of thick accent, so it was hard to tell what he was saying. After I asked him to repeat himself just once, he got just got fed up and stormed out. To be honest, I was relieved he left.

There are way more stories, eccentric people aren’t uncommon encounters when you work at a restaurant. Realizing that so many kinds of people just exist that are so different from what you’re used to is strange. It made me realize how sheltered I am.

PC: https://cdn7.dissolve.com/p/D145_42_319/D145_42_319_1200.jpg

Poppi The Opossum

So there’s this baby opossum named Poppi who I’m obsessed with. She was rescued by @opossumsinspire on Instagram and she’s the most perfect little creature that ever existed. I’ll just show you her. You’ll understand.

Photo by @opossumsinspire on Instagram

This picture was the first one Poppi posted. It’s my screensaver. Sometimes I just stare at this picture. I love her bulging eyes and her limp toes. She looks huge here but she’s actually tiny. You’ll see it in the next picture.

Photo by @opossumsinspire on Instagram

Every joey needs a mama’s back to ride on. Even if it’s not a typical opossum mom. I love how scruffy she is.

Photo by @opossumsinspire on Instagram

Poppi’s tail features in this photo. Her little black birthmark on it is adorable. I love her so much.

Photo by @opossumsinspire on Instagram

One word: TEETH. I can’t.

Photo by @opossumsinspire on Instagram

She’s literally perfect. Look at those toes. Look at that face.

Photo by @opossumsinspire on Instagram

Poppi is the best at Uno. That’s the face of someone who has three +4 cards in her hand.

Now that you’ve got Poppi fever, my work is done. Go check out @opossumsinspire on Instagram.