Sunday, April 19, 2009

What I have learned during my experimental hermit phase

  • Hoola hooping and singing is a good way to spend an evening.
  • Friends make all the difference in your sanity.
  • Reading can't replace your own life experience.
  • Having the tools you need at hand would be nice and was not fully appreciated by me till I had to work in my ghetto studio with no crucible or rolling mill.
  • I can get creative and make beautiful jewelry with few tools.
  • Pirates think I am the cats pajamas.
  • Training a puppy is hard, also puppies are cute. and bad.
  • Drinking alone is not very fun. George Thorogood lied to me.
  • Yoga is awesome.
  • I can't support myself using etsy, I need a job.
  • Smoking is boring and expensive.
  • I learned how to quit.
  • I learned how to enjoy being alone.
  • I also found out that I am beautiful.
  • poetry needs a muse, you can't write a thing if you don't feel like it.
    no matter how much poetry you read or how shitty you feel.
  • I did cartwheels well for the first time in my life.
  • frogs are annoying
  • a fried egg in the morning with some drip coffee is the best breakfast, you can eat it everyday and still like it. though granola and raisins also helps make it good sometimes.
  • cars make me anxious, angry, nervous, sick. they hurt my head. avoid them!
  • I found out what a real electrical storm looks like. I have felt it rumble my ribs and I will miss it.
  • places where everyone knows your name are nice.
  • I need to see my friends.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Fathers and Sons, Diamonds and Dung

I just finished Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev today. I finished this gold nugget, diamond, mokume ring yesterday. The picture of my hand is very becoming isn't it? I need a hand model my hands are all tore up from making jewelry I just make the ring look really good comparably. haha You can read more about the ring in its etsy listing

This was my second reading of Turgenev's most famous work. The second reading is always the best you can catch things like "hoisted by the gripes" and laugh your ass off, and then when your sister asks you what you are laughing about you will tell her and she will look at you askance. She will think, "Jennie, is going stir crazy out here." What follows is a favorite quote of mine from the book it comes from Bazarov the main character who is the nihilist and the sort of character you hate, love, want to punch in the face or get racously drunk with and then at the end of the book feel sorry for.

While I think: here I lie under a haystack. . . The tiny space I occupy is so small compared to the rest of space, where I am not and where things have nothing to do with me; and the amount of time in which I get to live my life is so insignificant compared to eternity, where I've never been and won't ever be. . . Yet in this atom, this mathematical point blood circulates, a brain functions and desires something as well. . . How absurd! What nonsense!

I feel like that, a nihilist, my existance is silly. I would suggest this book to anyone who feels like nothing matters... to show that person that your belief in nothingness will fall flat in front of your emotion. Bazarov and Arkady find this out, they both fall in love, however Arkady makes out better than Bazarov who meets his nothingness unpleasantly.

It was odd, I woke up this morning and my mother was in my room and she told me she would buy me a plane ticket anywhere I wanted so I could get on with my life. I told her I would hitch hike.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

What I've Read Recently

Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford was at once entertaining and educational. So much of how Genghis is portrayed in popular media is negative, it is almost ridiculous. Before I read this book I knew that the mongols terrorized and exacted tribute from the Rus but more importantly united them and they benefited from their example and their contact. Almost all of the lands that the Mongols conquered benefitted in the long term from their subjugation. Europe benefitted the most, they didn't get pillaged and raped but recieved technology from the Far East and mathematics from the Middle East. The Mongol rule made possible the dissemination of language, technology, plants, and most importantly ideas. While they ruled it was the safest time to travel the silk road, and trade was easy because they had a common currency from the Black sea to Korea something that till this day hasn't been achieved again.
Genghis didn't start trying to conquer people other than his own till he was 40, yet he conquered twice as much as any other man in history. I will leave you with two quotes directly from the book, both are from page xxiv of the introduction.
Seemingly every aspect of European life-technology, warfare, clothing, commerce, food, art, literature, and music- changed during the Renaissance as a result of the mongol influence. In addition to new forms of fighting, new machines, and new foods, even the most mundane aspects of daily life changed as the europeans switched to mogol fabrics, wearing pants and jackets instead of tunics and robes, played their instruments with the steppe bow rather than plucking them with the fingers, and painted their pictures in a new style. The Europeans even picked up the Mongol exclamation hurray as an enthusiatic cry of bravado and mutual encouragement.
Genghis was pimp as demonstarted by the next quote.
Unlike any other conqueror in history, Genghis Khan never allowed anyone to paint his portrait, sculpt his image, or engrave his name or likeness on a coin, and the only descriptions of him from contemporaries are more intriguing than informative.
As you can tell there is too much to tell here so I suggest you read the book.

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert is said to be one of the top ten novels of all time. You can do without reading it though. I say that because it is so depressing, in fact the whole novel is about Emma Bovary being depressed and unsatisified with her life. I was made very uncomfortable by the parallels in the book and my psyche. I guess I would suggest it anyways, it was a very good book. Dostoyevsky can make me cry but Flaubert makes me suicidal.
Emma is so dissatisfied with everything that comes her way, cheating on her husband brings joy into her life till the relationship fails. She barely cares for her daughter and is disgusted by her devoted husband. I like depressing books and this was more depressing than I really like. I like to fight fire with fire but this book was too much. Imagine me on the porch drinking scotch and reading Flaubert wishing I still smoked cigarettes and that a bolt of lightning would hit me.
I will leave you with two quotes from the book.
Everything, even herself , was now unbearable to her. pg 215
He did not dare question her; but, seeing her so skilled, she must have passed, he thought, through every experience of suffering and of pleasure. What had once charmed now frightened him a little. Besides, he rebeled against his absorption, daily more marked, by her personality. He begrudged Emma this constant victory. He even strove not to love her; then, when he heard the creaking of her boots, he turned coward, like drunkards at the sight of strong drinks. pg 208

It really is a good book.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Bronze statue entitled, "Let Us Beat Swords Into Ploughshares" by Evgeny Vuchetich, presented to the UN by the Soviet Union in 1959. The statue symbolizes man's desire to put an end to war and convert the means of destruction into creative tools for the benefit of all mankind.
UN Photo #153721 by J. Isaac.
taken directly from the UN website. It shows he statue that was the inspiration for the United Nations 25th anniversary coin that was my inspiration for a new necklace.

The necklace took me a very long time to make. The coin I used was very large and thick, very hard to saw apart. I spent hours filing around the figure of the man in mid swing. I am still unsure as to what to call it. I am writing an artists statement about what the different elements mean to me. The bricks are a reference to Solzhenitsyn's novel A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, Ivan as a prisoner in a gulag can only control one part of his life. He takes great pride in his work as he lays bricks. This is significant because at the time the Soviet Union was beginning to let up on authors a bit to let them express themselves. Censorship was still a problem when this coin was minted, the coin suggests peace and hope, freedom however was not readliy available for those whose ideas did not parallel the governments. Solzhenitsyn also laid bricks during his time in the gulag and paid the price for his writings. He also won the Nobel prize in literature in 1970 and was able to recieve it when the Soviet Union deproted him in 1974.

more on my statement later....

I will post my paper and the title when I figure it all out. I was just too excited after finishing it not to share.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The best thing I have ever made

This is my brothers wedding ring. It is the best thing I have ever date and not forever hopefully. I has one diamond set in gold on a mokume gane and silver band. I spent a lot of time on it and am very proud of it. He will have a daughter by Thursday and I will be an aunt!