Friday, September 30, 2005
jenny holzer


Jenny Holzer is a conceptual artist whose work is mainly one line statements, presented in public forums on billboards or marquees and in gallery installations on benches or headstones.

Holzer began writing these in the late 1970s and early 1980s. When she began writing them in 1977 she was a student. She would type the phrases on paper and post them anonymously around New York City.

Projects like this can sometimes come off as too easy, too self-conscious, but I like Holzer's. It's laughable and thoughtful at the same time.

Truisms 1979-1983

A LITTLE KNOWLEDGE GOES A LONG WAY
A RELAXED MAN IS NOT NECESSARILY A BETTER MAN
A STRONG SENSE OF DUTY IMPRISONS YOU
ABSOLUTE SUBMISSION CAN BE A FORM OF FREEDOM
ABUSE OF POWER COMES AS NO SURPRISE
ANY SURPLUS IS IMMORAL
BEING SURE OF YOURSELF MEANS YOU'RE A FOOL
CHILDREN ARE THE CRUELEST OF ALL
CHILDREN ARE THE HOPE OF THE FUTURE
DISGUST IS THE APPROPRIATE RESPONSE TO MOST SITUATIONS
DYING SHOULD BE EASY AS FALLING OFF A LOG
EATING TOO MUCH IS CRIMINAL
FREEDOM IS A LUXURY NOT A NECESSITY
GOVERNMENT IS A BURDEN ON THE PEOPLE
IF YOU LIVE SIMPLY THERE IS NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT
JUST BELIEVING SOMETHING CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN
LOOKING BACK IS THE FIRST SIGN OF AGING AND DECAY
LOW EXPECTATIONS ARE GOOD PROTECTION
MONEY CREATES TASTE
MORALS ARE FOR LITTLE PEOPLE
MOST PEOPLE ARE NOT FIT TO RULE THEMSELVES
PEOPLE ARE BORING UNLESS THEY ARE EXTREMISTS
PEOPLE WHO DON'T WORK WITH THEIR HANDS ARE PARASITES
PEOPLE WON'T BEHAVE IF THEY HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE
RAISE BOYS AND GIRLS THE SAME WAY
SELFISHNESS IS THE MOST BASIC MOTIVATION
SIN IS A MEANS OF SOCIAL CONTROL
SLIPPING INTO MADNESS IS GOOD FOR THE SAKE OF COMPARISON
STUPID PEOPLE SHOULDN'T BREED
THE IDEA OF REVOLUTION IS AN ADOLESCENT FANTASY
THE IDEA OF TRANSCENDENCE IS USED TO OBSCURE OPPRESSION
THE LAND BELONGS TO NO ONE
THE MORE YOU KNOW THE BETTER YOU ARE
THE MOST PROFOUND THINGS ARE INEXPRESSIBLE
THERE'S A FINE LINE BETWEEN INFORMATION AND PROPAGANDA
WORDS TEND TO BE INADEQUATE
YOU CAN NEVER OUTRUN YOURSELF
YOU GET THE FACE YOU DESERVE
YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT PEOPLE REALLY THINK ABOUT YOU

Survival Series 1983-1985

DANCE ON DOWN TO THE GOVERNMENT AND TELL THEM YOU'RE EAGER TO RULE BECAUSE YOU KNOW WHAT'S GOOD FOR YOU

SPIT ALL OVER SOMEONE WITH A MOUTHFUL OF MILK IF YOU WANT TO FIND OUT SOMETHING ABOUT HIS PERSONALITY FAST

MOTHERS WITH REASON TO SOB SHOULD DO IT IN GROUPS IN PUBLIC AND WAIT FOR OFFERS

TRUST VISIONS THAT DON'T FEATURE BUCKETS OF BLOOD

YOU ARE SO COMPLEX THAT YOU DON'T ALWAYS RESPOND TO DANGER

PROTECT ME FROM WHAT I WANT

THE FUTURE IS STUPID

YOUR MODERN FACE SEEMS THE SURPRISE ENDING

See more of Jenny Holzer's work.
posted by lochan | link
4 comments and fresh takes

Thursday, September 29, 2005
big science


I bought my first CD player in 1987. The first CD I purchased was Laurie Anderson's Big Science. I loved that album. Anderson is a performance artist, sculptor, poet, visual artist... but I couldn't find much information about her work beyond her music.

Her songs are quirky and techno. Sweaters reminds of my boyfriend that year. My favorite line is "I no longer love the way you hold your pens and pencils." Because I actually loved the way he held his pens and pencils. I thought that was very sad. After we broke up, I couldn't wait until I could say, "I no longer love the way you hold your pens and pencils." Ridiculous, but it took some time, really.

Sweaters
I no longer love your mouth.
I no longer love your eyes.
I no longer love your eyes.
I no longer love the color of your sweaters.
I no longer love it.
I no longer love the color of your sweaters.
I no longer love the way you hold your pens and pencils.
I no longer love it.
Your mouth.
Your eyes.
The way you hold your pens and pencils.
I no longer love it.
I no longer love it.


I like Walking & Falling because it's fun and somehow sad. Ridiculous and almost profound at the same time.

Walking & Falling
I wanted you. And I was looking for you.
But I couldn't find you.
I wanted you. And I was looking for you all day.
But I couldn't find you.
I couldn't find you.
You're walking. And you don't always realize it, but you're always falling.
With each step you fall forward slightly.
And then catch yourself from falling.
Over and over, you're falling.
And then catching yourself from falling.
And this is how you can be walking and falling at the same time.
posted by lochan | link
4 comments and fresh takes

Wednesday, September 28, 2005
sad songs

When I think of sad songs, I always think of Don McLean's Vincent (Starry Starry Night). I loved that song in high school. I loved the whole album, but whenever I heard Vincent it would always bring tears to my eyes. Van Gogh was my favorite artist. His work was so amazing and his life and death so tragic. Getting misty-eyed over it seems a little dramatic, but it is a great song.

Starry
starry night
flaming flo'rs that brightly blaze

swirling clouds in violet haze reflect in
Vincent's eyes of China blue.
Colors changing hue
morning fields of amber grain

weathered faces lined in pain
are soothed beneath the artist's
loving hand.



Today I was listening to Iron & Wine and got a little choked up listening to Upward Over The Mountain. It is a beautiful, sad song. He tells his mother not to worry, but his reassurances just underscore his flight.

Upward Over The Mountain

Mother don't worry, I killed the last snake that lived in the creek bed
Mother don't worry, I've got some money I saved for the weekend
Mother remember being so stern with that girl who was with me
Mother remember the blink of an eye when I breathed through your body

So may the sunrise bring hope where it once was forgotten
Sons are like birds flying upwards over the mountain

Mother I made it up from the bruise on the floor of this prison
Mother I lost it, all of the fear of the Lord I was given
Mother forget me now that the creek drank the cradle you sang to
Mother forgive me I sold your car for the shoes that I gave you

So may the sunrise bring hope where it once was forgotten
Sons can be birds taken broken up to the mountain

Mother don't worry I've got a coat and some friends on the corner
Mother don't worry she's got a garden we're planting together
Mother remember the night that the dog had her pups in the pantry
Blood on the floor and the fleas in their paws
And you cried 'til the morning

So may the sunrise bring hope where it once was forgotten
Sons are like birds flying always over the mountain
posted by lochan | link
7 comments and fresh takes

Tuesday, September 27, 2005
stuck in my head


I've had part of that song 'I Can't Make You Love Me' by Bonnie Raitt stuck in my head for three days now. It's the worst part of the song, too. If you know the song, I'm sure you know the part. Perhaps the most annoying line in music history: Don't patronize. Don't patronize.

Why does she say this? And why do I keep singing it in my head?
posted by lochan | link
7 comments and fresh takes

Thursday, September 22, 2005
I KNOWW!


Today Lillie decided to make a worksheet with all the multiplication problems she knows (we haven't learned multiplication yet in homeschool, but we have been playing a lot of Yahtzee).

David wanted to show her how to multiply a double digit number because she had problems like 20 X 4 on her paper. She didn't want to listen to him and so she kept shushing him with "I know!"

David said something like, "Being smart isn't already knowing everything. Being smart is being willing to learn." Lillie said back, "I KNOWW!"
posted by lochan | link
5 comments and fresh takes

Wednesday, September 21, 2005
sick
I've only been sick since last night, so that's not my reason for not blogging. I've been busy and my fabulous mother-in-law has been here for a visit.

We've all been taking turns getting sick. Last night was Grace and my turn. It was a pretty awful night, but I feel better this morning. Things should be back on track with posting in the next day or so.
posted by lochan | link
2 comments and fresh takes

Tuesday, September 13, 2005
it's the end of the world as we know it, and i feel fine


Gabby has a nice post about her taking her last final in college. I remember my last day of college. I don't remember what class it was, but I clearly remember being done and walking across BYU campus, amazed and happy that I was done. As I walked down the hill home for last time, I didn't look back.

In my comment on her post, I said, "It was a really fabulous feeling at the time, but thinking back on it actually makes me sad. Because I loved that era and that moment marks the end."

There's something about the end of an era, when you know it's the end. The day you start junior high. The first day you drive a car on your own. The day you hug your parents goodbye and go off to college. The day you have a child. The day you shove the last few items into the U-Haul and drive out of your neighborhood. It's good to mark these times and know that they were what they were.

And, it's good to move on.
posted by lochan | link
6 comments and fresh takes

Sunday, September 11, 2005
September 11


September 11, 2001 started out the same as any other day. I got up early and started out for a run. I headed up the hill just outside of our apartment and turned the corner at the end of the street. Another jogger approached me with a frantic look on his face. He told me that the World Trade Center had been bombed. He said I should go home fast and turn on the news, and he ran off.

I sped up and ran back home. I ran past someone sitting in their car, listening to the news on the radio. It sounded urgent and panicked. I remember thinking that whatever this was, this was the next big news story. The next O.J. Simpson case, the next Oklahoma City bombing.

When I got back inside the apartment I called to David, who hadn't turned on the TV yet and had no idea that the world had changed. I didn't know that either, but I knew something was wrong. We turned on the TV and slowly started to grasp what had happened.

By the time we turned on the news, the towers had already collapsed, but we didn't know that. First, we saw one airplane going into one tower. Then, another plane. Then, we watched the south tower collapse and then the north tower. We saw that the Pentagon had been hit. And learned that yet another plane had crashed into a field in Pennsylvania.

We wondered how many more planes, how many lives were already gone. We were glued to the set the rest of the day, watching those same images repeat all day.

When we went to bed that night, everything felt different. Nothing felt as safe or as sure. I woke up in the night to the sound of a plane overhead and I panicked for a second, thinking nothing should be flying. Then, I realized that it was a military plane and felt comforted that it was our men up there.

That day was the first day I really felt a true sense of love for my country. I had always been grateful to be an American, but I didn't know how much I could love other people simply because they were part of my country. Or, were hurt for simply being in my country. I didn't know I could cry that much or feel such deep hurt for people who were strangers. Who somehow felt like they were a part of my family now.

Read Oral Histories from 503 firefighters, paramedics, and emergency medical technicians who were there that day.
posted by lochan | link
3 comments and fresh takes

Saturday, September 10, 2005
boring, boring, everything is boring

Edward Hopper, Room in New York (1932)

Actually, I'm not so much bored as I am busy and sick and tired. Which, I know, is nothing to blog about. So I haven't been writing. I haven't been sleeping much, either. Last night I think I got two hours of sleep. I had about four the night before, so my brain is fried.

For work, I have been researching merchant accounts. Which could be the most tedious and frustrating thing. ever. Have you ever googled merchant account? Oh my living heck, all the websites. And all of them look like a scam. But, my provider is increasing my fees to $80 a month, and I know that's a scam.

For reading, I'm almost done with The Good Earth. I started a couple of other books which look good, but I haven't had the time at night to read, because I'm too dang tired.

Survivor and Amazing Race are starting soon, but with our new schedule we haven't been watching TV (weird for our family), and I'm not sure where we are going to fit the time in. Oh the humanity.

And, I haven't been finding the time to run. Well, actually, I have a time carved out for working out, but I have only gone once this week because my sinuses feel like they are going to explode.

And, yes, I know that at least my house is intact and I know where my kids are and I'm not living in the Astrodome. I'm not actually complaining because I think it's interesting or I need sympathy. I'm only complaining because it's all I've got right now. The only other post I've thought of all week involved complaining about stupid people at four-way stops. Even I know that is not interesting writing.

Thus ends The Most Boring Blog Post. Ever. (I told you everything was boring.)

I wrote this yesterday, but decided not to post it (because of all the dullness and whatnot). But, I took some Benadryl (which is a modern miracle, by the way) and slept for nine full hours and feel normal now. Feeling normal is really pretty incredible, y'know? Why that somehow means that this is now worth posting, I don't know. I'm pretty sure it doesn't.
posted by lochan | link
7 comments and fresh takes

Wednesday, September 07, 2005
katrina


Early estimates have placed the death toll at over ten thousand people, and more than a million people are known to have been displaced — a humanitarian crisis on a scale unseen in the U.S. since the Great Depression.

I haven't really been able to register all the loss and destruction in the Gulf states this last week. We haven't been watching very much TV these days and I didn't see much of the early coverage. I didn't really get how huge this was at first. It's starting to sink in, but I can't really get my mind around it really.

I enjoyed Ben Stein's latest article at The American Spectator. I wish we would all just work together instead of pointing fingers. I think it's sad that the first thing the political spin doctors do is try to think of another way to villify George Bush. Does everything have to be divisive?

I know there's a lot of coverage out there, but I found this Wikipedia article very informative.

Also,
The Hedgehog Blog has an interesting post about LDS Church Humanitarian Services.

posted by lochan | link
3 comments and fresh takes

Friday, September 02, 2005
Autumn Day

Autumn Day
Rainer Maria Rilke

Lord, it is time. Let the great summer go,
Lay your long shadows on the sundials,
And over harvest piles let the winds blow.

Command the last fruits to be ripe;
Grant them some other southern hour,
Urge them to completion, and with power
Drive final sweetness to the heavy grape.

Who's homeless now, will for long stay alone.
No home will build his weary hands,
He'll wake, read, write letters long to friends
And will the alleys up and down
Walk restlessly, when falling leaves dance.

Translated by Guntram Deichsel

Herbsttag
Rainer Maria Rilke

Herr: es ist Zeit. Der Sommer war sehr groß.
Leg deinen Schatten auf die Sonnenuhren,
und auf den Fluren laß die Winde los.

Befiel den letzten Früchten voll zu sein;
gib ihnen noch zwei südlichere Tage,
dränge sie zur Vollendung hin und jage
die letzte Süße in den schweren Wein.

Wer jetzt kein Haus hat, baut sich keines mehr.
Wer jetzt allein ist, wird es lange bleiben,
wird wachen, lesen, lange Briefe schreiben
und wird in den Alleen hin und her
unruhig wandern, wenn die Blätter treiben.
posted by lochan | link
1 comments and fresh takes

Thursday, September 01, 2005
living life exactly like you want to


I had a professor at BYU who told us that we were all living life exactly the way that we each thought best. Some of the students argued and said there are so many things they would do better or different. He said if you really thought that those things were best, you would actually do them.

His comments were meant to make us think, and also inspire us to do more. But, I think he's exactly right. Perhaps on paper (or a painless music video) studying is what you think you should do, but really, all in all you might rather go to Denny's and just hang out. Or sleep. Or whatever it is that you actually do.

When I think of all the things I might do with a perfect life, if I were living each day exactly the way I thought best, it's too much. I can't even fit it all in. I mean, I could take the time to fit a few more things in than I do, but if I tried to do it all, it would just be exhausting. It wouldn't even be good.

Truthfully, I give myself a lot of slack, so I get most of what I expect of myself done. I used to write these huge to-do lists every week, cross off maybe half of them and then just start my next list's week over again. I didn't expect to get everything done in the week, just these were all the things I wanted to get done. Lately, I've been trying to be more realistic about what I can actually do in any given day. And, I like that better. I like actually checking everything off my list.

With our new schedule of public schooling and home schooling, I feel like I'm still finding my way and figuring out how to fit everything in. I've had some extra projects with work this last week and it seems like my normal schedule of homeschool, work, cleaning and feeding the family doesn't have that much extra space in it. Once I added the extra work, it edged out almost all of my personal time during the day.

That's okay, though. There's a good feeling to being busy and productive. I like the feeling of being done even better. For now, I'm not taking on any new projects for awhile. Although, in all the rush and buzz of this last week, I came up with a good idea for a kid's art history book. I'll have to see if I can figure out the time. If I really want to do it, I'll find the time.
posted by lochan | link
1 comments and fresh takes

Name: Laura

I have five kids including triplets. I'm too busy to blog, but I do anyway (uh, sometimes).

Learn more about me



My Antonia
by Willa Cather

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Sarah's Quilt
by Nancy Turner

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Maus
by Art Spiegelman


Housekeeping
by Marilynne Robinson

April

These Is My Words
by Nancy Turner


The Myth of You and Me
by Leah Stewart

March

Inconceivable
by Ben Elton


Songbook
by Nick Hornby


Follies
by Ann Beattie


Hungry Planet

February

About a Boy
by Nick Hornby


High Fidelity
by Nick Hornby


Stargirl
by Jerry Spinelli

January

Revolutionary Road
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Morality for Beautiful Girls
by Alexander McCall Smith


A Long Way Down
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How to be Good
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Mere Christianity
by C. S. Lewis

December
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Good Faith
The Know-It-All
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Good Faith
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November
Good Faith
The Secret Life of Bees
by Sue Monk Kidd

September

Kite Runner
by Khaled Hosseini


The Good Earth
by Pearl S. Buck

August

Freedom of Simplicity
by Richard Foster


Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen

July

Celebration of Discipline
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Peace Like A River
Peace Like A River
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Things Fall Apart
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Gap Creek
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June
Life of Pi
Life of Pi
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My Name is Asher Lev
My Name is Asher Lev
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A Prayer for Owen Meany
A Prayer for Owen Meany
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All New People
All New People
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May
Patrimony
Patrimony: A True Story
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Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters
Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters
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Good Faith
Good Faith
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Cradle and Crucible
Cradle and Crucible History and Faith in the Middle East
by National Geographic Society

April
Saturday
Saturday
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Blue Shoe
Blue Shoe
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Emma
Emma
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Operation Shylock
Operation Shylock
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March
Jane Austen: A Life
Jane Austen: A Life
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To See and See Again
To See and See Again
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Reading L0l1ta in Tehran
Reading L0l1ta in Tehran
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February
A Thomas Jefferson Education
A Thomas Jefferson Education
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Still Alive
Still Alive
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The Screwtape Letters
Not The Germans Alone
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Still Alive
World War II: A Photographic History
by David Boyle

The Screwtape Letters
The Screwtape Letters
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Persuasion
Persuasion
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January
Climbing Parnassus
Climbing Parnassus
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With the Old Breed
With The Old Breed
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All But My Life
All But My Life
by Gerda Weissmann Klein

We Die Alone
We Die Alone
by David Howarth