27 October 2006

the times are a changin'

First, look how cute this graphic is. Second, I didn't see the finale but for a little while was obsessed with watching the marathon afternoons of this. And lastly, by chance I saw the 2 brilliant episodes of Casanova on PBS's Masterpiece Theatre and am craving more. Honey writes a beautiful description of the program to which I will add this: It is overthetop, forward thinking, musical theatre on tv, brilliantly and opulently designed...wonderfully acted by David Tennant as the youthful Casanova and told in remembrances by the older Casanova by Peter O'toole. Tennant has such spritely charm and charisma- you want him to fall in love with you. The story is told with imagination, extraordinary design, storytelling and acting. Don't miss out!
Otherwise, I spent part of my day today observing some highschool kids at the next table over in the coffehouse where I was working on my website. The kids were pulling out their phones, blackberries and talking about talking online last night. I thought wow, times have changed so much since I was in High School. I don't think of myself as old at all-- I feel very youthful and try to nurture my inner little kid if not for creative purposes then just to remind myself of who I was when things were simpler. As I watched these kids with their technology I felt like the world has changed so much in my lifetime and how it will continue to change. I used to be so fearful of change, I was afraid of the unkown, but I learned how to really embrace it and look forward to it because I spent so much time feeling stagnant and depressed in all areas of my life, that everyone was moving forward without me. If you think about it everything in the world is changing every second of every day...the cars keep moving, the people keep walking on the street, I keep typing a new word. We need change to keep growing and learning.

26 October 2006

happy thoughts

It's been a long hard week, or two. This is the pile of leaves and tree limbs in front of my house from the freak Friday the 13th snow storm. It just got picked up the other day. I went around and took a few pictures of my neighborhood. There are still a lot of fleets of tree trucks driving around picking up the mess. Although the sun is out and its beautiful-- it's really sad to see all the tree destruction and it's going to take a long time for them to grow back to their full green leafy majesty. We were lucky because we didn't lose electricity but a lot of friends did.

Otherwise, I have been spending my days at Cafe Aroma on the internet or working at odd jobs while I wait to move into my brand new studio space. oh yeah, did I mention I rented some brand new studio space!! on Exchange St. in Buffalo!! I will be happy to the point of doing the dance of joy when I can have a private studio with my own door. Then, I can make the little nook at home where I was working, into a reading nook and I won't feel so claustrophobic.
Otherwise, I am not feeling at the peek of happiness these days. But I'm working on getting my spirits up.

11 October 2006

Yay for Ernesto!

OK, Ani Defranco is in the cafe where I am and she's pregnant. I think I knew this but it's kind of interesting to see. This is my second brush with stardom in the last week, weird (Andrea Zittel was the first). So- I spent the day today giving my website a makeover. It's not done yet. I still have to add images to some of the pages and freshen it up a bit. I decided to take some of the pages away, like the about and calendar pages, because I don't think anyone really cares. I also made a very difficult decision to axe my stats counter. It was driving me crazy. Maybe in the future I'll add it again, but I didn't know how to transfer it over and I don't want to keep obsessively looking at it to see who's looking.
Speaking of looking, I am looking for new studio space! I called a couple of places today but nothing concrete yet. The studio space has to be cheap, with lots of light, clean, well cared for, and have a good vibe. I have to be able to fit my drafting table and a large table in it at least. .....
I had a crazy dream the other night where I was living in this very small space where all my belongings were crammed into a corner and all of a sudden I discovered all these extra rooms and hidden nooks. I turned a corner and there was a Chinese cabinet with all sorts of drawers, shelves, cubes, and again, hidden nooks and crannies. I think it has something to do with hidden parts of the psyche-- especially artistically, I have to inhabit more space. I also think it has to do with my constant qualm about my work of late- which is that I'm searching for a subject matter.
I am excited to see what happens on Lost tonight- it's a perfect dark and stormy day to watch a program like Lost. There is something in me that doesn't allow me to believe that Jack's wife would sleep with his father. I think Jack's paranoia pushed him to believe it but I don't think it really happened.
Anyhoo- I'm so excited that my good buddy Ernesto has found me-- and I hope you email me with your life story up to the present moment including where you live now and what you're up to.....as soon as humanly possible!!

06 October 2006

A Parting Gift

Last night, I went to a lecture at the Albright Knox Gallery by artist, Andrea Zittel. Then, this morning, I saw her in Starbucks and I told her how much I enjoyed her talk. I think she is really shy, and I'm sort of shy- so the conversation was a bit short. I asked if she would be around for a few days and she was leaving in 15 minutes. I think she is very smart and interesting and I would have liked to have picked her brain a bit and asked her more about her career. Maybe next time. The Gallery was MOBBED! It was a free friday and the opening of Andrea's exhibit, Critical Space, which I didn't have to time to see yet. She said something interesting about the back story/ stories surrounding her work being more interesting than the work itself-- because she is so engaged in the process of making the thing-- the audience doesn't have the same experience of the piece. She is constantly struggling with this disconnect. I thought that was a great point.

My Mom and I had a very intense discussion about Grey's Anatomy. I said that I know I should want Meredith to be with Finn, the vet, because he's the better guy all around and Dr. Shepard has just been a total asshole-- however, Meredith and McDreamy have such chemistry-- and the program has invested a lot more time into McDreamy + Meredith while Finn seems really new. I know Honey will not agree with me on this because she probably thinks Dr. Shepard is just a total jackass. oh well.

One more bit about tv-- I am so happy that Campbell Scott is on tv, while I was sick I watched Singles two days in a row. Then, Campbell Scott pops up on this new show, 6 degrees....which is produced by JJ Abrams, same guy that brought us Alias and Felicity. LOVE Campbell Scott!! I have no idea why I like him in this program, because to be honest, the one episode I saw-- really didn't wow me, but Campbell Scott-- his mouth reminds me of a snapping turtle. Cambell Scott is sexy with a snapping turtle mouth!
ha ha ha hah ahahaaaaaaa.
Ok, enough of all that!
I can't wait to get my haircut next week Friday! It is getting too long (for me) and poofy.
At 2pm today I will get in the car and drive towards the land of Pittsburgh to visit the one and only Douglas Levine. Very excited about that. I think we're going to a play tonight.

In Conclusion, I believe the mystery person from the past was the lucky recipient of one leggo phone many moons ago in a distant land called 'da cuse.' If I'm right, I would like to say I'm very excited to hear from you and would yell WHERE the heck have you been ???? because I tried to track you down many times without success. If I'm wrong-- then please leave another clue!


01 October 2006


Hiya-- I've added some thoughts and pictures in this weird purple color!
Hello Friends,
It was with mixed emotions and heavy heart that I drove home on Friday from Vermont. My trip back to Buffalo was one of the worst EVER -- actually, the first 2 hours or so were fun, beautiful because I got to see the fall leaves and I was ambling through the green mountains on a rainy day and the mist was hanging over the trees.
I stopped in Montpelier-- which is the cutest town, to go to Rivendell Books where I bought some postcards and a copy of The Mermaid Chair, (which subsequently, has been a disappointment, but a good read for someone who is sick! and stopping for photo opps along my ambling way. Here is a waterfall I happened to pass by on the road.....

It was the first peak fall color weekend and the leaves were really beautiful shades of gold, red and orange. However, the day just went downhill after mapquest told me to go right when I should have gone left and it took about 45 minutes to realize it....... so 45 minutes out and back plus a strong latte from a really adorable coffee shop called Jesine in Montpelier, meaning, I had to stop for the bathroom twice, let's just say I was a long way off course. I did get to also see this very cute hidden town called Warren (where I stopped to use the ladies room at the Pitcher Inn). Anyhoo- by the time I was on track I should have been half way home and I had only driven about 2 of my supposedly 8 hours. 13 hours later, I finally arrived home! Plus I stopped in two places in NY to see if I could stay the night in a hotel because I was exhausted-- just my luck though, all rooms were booked because of a dog show (of all things) and parents weekend at a local college. GRRRRR. I was not a happy camper!

Part of me thought it was an omen, that I should've stayed. The thing that stopped me from staying was the realization that the monthly turn over of people would be really difficult to get used to. You grow fond of people that are leaving in a few short weeks and spreading out over the globe. That would make me sad. Plus, Johnson is so removed from the world at large, I went for weeks without hearing any news. I don't know if I could handle that in the long run.

I didn't have as much motivation to write I as actually thought I would in the last two weeks at VSC. I tried, but every time I sat down to write, the words felt forced. I had such a great time, met so many wonderful, talented people and lived a very simple, (in a good way) focused life. I felt like I had a purpose every day and there weren't a lot of distractions to take me away from that purpose. The beauty of it was that there were all these like-minded people talking about art and day jobs and how much they can suck (the day jobs, I mean) and a whole host of other issues! If I got bored or nervous I could walk down the street and find a friend in a different studio, like the wonderful Patti, who lives in S. Dakota, who I visited on numerous occasions. These walks were a dose of inspiration and friendship that created a community. Now the question is how to recreate that community?
In the last two weeks I had an all girl posse to trek around with--named after the Bad Girls Cafe, which was right next door to my studio building-- the Bad Girls reeked havoc in Johnson and then blew outta town. Clarisse, Louise, Rebecca and I had a raucus evening at the Bee's Knees, an organic restaurant with live music and drinks- where we closed the place. I'm not at liberty to discuss all of our Bad Girl antics-- but just know that they were bad!
The day before we left, the Bad Girls Cafe changed their name to the Groovin' Beans Cafe-- a horrible - unbefitting moniker for a really cute place. The Bad Girls will live on even if its namesake is gone.

Otherwise, I got to see the Bread and Puppet Museum perform at Johnson State College-- some pictures of that:

I also put some of my new book work in a show at the gallery at VSC with some very talented fellow artists!

I had two studio visits with visiting artists. One was exceedingly unhelpful and downright dismissive. The other was kooky but helpful--

Meanwhile, I'm home sick with a cold, although finally starting to feel better today- and haven't gotten out of my pajamas in two days. I would write more now but just haven't got the stamina. So now the question of how to put some Vermont in Buffalo is nagging at me. Luckily, I received an email from the talented and lovely Ellis Avery, famous author whose new book is out in December.... saying the first two weeks back from Johnson would be difficult but it will soon get better. Thanks Ellis!

As for my mysterious person from the past who left a comment here-- please email me braunlauren@gmail.com!! I think it could be one of two people......??? I can't stand the suspense!

Bye for now!