"I am good but not an angel. I do sin, but I am not the devil. I am just a small girl in a big world trying to find someone to love." -M. Monroe

she dreams in poetry but writes in prose // she lives in ballet flats but likes to feel the grass between her toes // she craves her Starbucks fix // she's pearls and she's politics // she makes her own sunshine on a rainy day // she gets her work done but she lives to play.

Friday, October 29, 2010

modern art

I'm taking Intro to Western Art, and it is quickly becoming my favorite class! Today, we looked at Cezanne, who is frequently thought to be the founder of modern art.
The painting on the left is a still life he painted in 1887, and the painting on the right is a self portrait. The Impressionists, who came before Cezanne, found his art deeply disturbing and it did not sit well with them.

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Here's a quick summary of what we learned in class today and why his art was so avant-garde.

The front of the table on the picture on the left does not line up - the angles are incorrect and the lines do not match up on each side of the table cloth. In addition, the front of the green vase looks like we see it from a side view, yet we can still see into the vase as if we are looking from above. This painting challenges the unity of space and time - we would have to be looking at it from different times and viewpoints for this painting to represent the actual objects.

In his self portrait, the line separating the blue and brown panels is not straight, but the moment it bends and we could tell the relationship in space between these two panels is obscured by his hair. In addition, the black line around his head does not exist in real life, but is there because above all, this is a painting. The lines on the wallpaper do not extend to his head, because that would look like he was in front of the wall; Cezanne purposely does not indicate that one object is in front of the other. In addition, his popped collar makes a diamond shape that mirrors the pattern of the wallpaper, the form of the diamond his head is obscuring appears in his ear. I could go on.

Our class lecture and discussion about this artist and modern art as a whole really got me thinking. My professor described how Cezanne's art is only disturbing and troubling because we apply the Renaissance perspectives of representation of time and space. Asking the old questions about art merely yields confusion. The effects of what I have described above are to create a two dimension space and emphasize that this is a painting of paint on canvas. It is two-dimensional. There are no contradictory perspectives on a flat surface. Even though Renaissance art tried to look like photograph, Cezanne is telling the real truth; the flat surface of the canvas has always been flat, and images have always been paint. He shifts us from looking back in space to looking at a flat space. Some people love modern art and some hate it; some are disturbed and others are liberated.

Try to be liberated by these images, and have that flexible and critical perspective carry over to other areas of your life. This perspective is the ability to see truth, rather than the mere illusion of what is real. Be free to know things as they are and be free be okay with them.

ab imo pectore,


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

glass half full

I'm a glass-half-full kind of girl. Even though I tend to get easily stressed out from all the events listed on my ical, all the assignments and meetings in my Lilly Pulitzer agenda, and the sticky notes with my to-do lists that pepper my computer screen and planner, I have this eternal optimism about the world.

I do this thing where i consciously think about one exciting thing to look forward to every weekday, even if it's little. It was hard to only pick one thing each day! This week:

Monday: Taylor Swift's new album came out.
Tuesday: I got to hear a fascinating discussion on the environment that represented the culmination of hard work and planning.
Wednesday: Stopping at Starbucks on the way back from class.
Thursday: My 8AM class got cancelled! Sleep!
Friday: TGIF! I'll get to celebrate Halloween and catch up on Gossip Girl and Glee (okay, so I picked more than one. Couldn't help it.)

Even though I have a lot of work, thinking about this list gets me so excited for every single day.

Also, some of my MWF classes are far, but I still like to take a few extra minutes to walk through campus rather than on the street, because not only do I see friendly faces, my campus is a national arboretum - and I get to live here for four years! Makes me so happy - life is beautiful :)

ab imo pectore,


The midterm elections are coming quickly! College students, especially, check out this list of reasons you should vote!


I just mailed in my absentee ballot today, and it felt so good to do my civic duty and make just a small difference!

My friend and I have this phrase we say when we are stressed out about something minor or decide not to do something that isn't a big deal. We say "this doesn't matter in my forever!" meaning that the decision we make and the outcome that results will not significantly impact our lives. Elections are not one of those times. We are deciding on people who can best represent us and making our voices heard on issues that will affect us for the rest of our lives. This does matter in our forever. Almost everyone complains about the way the country is run, but so few people actually take the time to make a difference. Complaining is idle; voting is active.

It is the little actions that matter. On a related tangent, I just recently planned a discussion on my campus about environmental policy and behaviors on an individual level, (more on this in another post) but the message is that everyone needs to be active on an individual level to see changes.

If you don't follow politics, it is not too late to check out the New York Times, Politico, or another news website to catch up on the important issues and races this November.

We are so fortunate to we live in an amazing country where we are free to be ourselves and pursue our dreams in ways millions of people around the world cannot even begin to experience. So, you might say, that means we are free not to choose not to vote. That's true. But if we don't use our freedoms, do we truly have them at all?

ab imo pectore,


Sunday, October 24, 2010

papers and events and service, oh my!

I have been extremely busy as of late juggling my board positions in various organizations, my sorority, and my community service. Oh yeah, I squeeze some school work in there too :)

On the one hand, my posts might slow down as I try to tackle my full-to-the-brim ical ("play" events are listed in pink, "work" assignment are listed in purple, of course). On the other hand, these posts give me a release and offer a quick study break in the wee hours of the morning.

ab imo pectore,


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Ignorance is the new black, apparently.

This op-ed article in the New York Times titles "Making Ignorance Chic" was recently brought to my attention, and I think it raises some really interesting political and societal issues:

While this is intended sarcastically by Austen in one of my favorite novels of all time, this seems to be the trend politics and culture

"A woman, especially if she has the misfortune of knowing anything, should conceal it as well as she can" - Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen.

In the article above, Dowd brings up the dichotomy of intelligence and beauty for women in her discussion of Marilyn Monroe and Sarah Palin. It saddens me that we cannot listen to Hillary Clinton, who is a smart, opinionated woman (regardless of whether you like her politics) without commenting on her 'cankles'. And really, what does it matter if Palin cannot define the job of the Vice President of the United States? Her hair looks great! In order to be perceived as feminine, women must be airheads. In a way, it seems we cannot win. This issue especially resonates with me, as my major is public policy, and I do not want to feel pressure to be a Sarah or a Hillary. The world can handle more complexity than that.

My mom sends me a lot of cards in the mail while I'm away at school, and one of them had a quote I really like:

"Refuse to choose between turning pages and turning heads" - "Sakura Park" by Rachel Wetzsteon

I think we should try to live that everyday.

ab imo pectore,


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

love like crazy

"Be a best friend, tell the truth, and overuse "I Love You." Go to work, do your best, don't outsmart your common sense. Never let your praying knees get lazy, and love like crazy." - Lee Brice

These are some more country music lyrics I love. Maybe he isn't implying everything I'm about to write, but these words inspired a lot of thought. I think all these exhortations center around a single message: To really put yourself out there and try in everything you do in a genuine way. If you have been sincere, then no matter what happens, you can feel good about it.

Sometimes it takes an incredible amount of bravery to do seemingly simple things like to really and openly try your best, to truly do everything that is involved in the incredible act of being a best friend to someone, and so simply say things the way they are, without worrying about how people will react. Being genuine is, ironically, one of the most difficult things to do sometimes

As for overusing "I Love You"...

A lot of people treat those words as something sacred, precious, to be locked away like fine china and only be taken out and used on special occasions, if ever. While I agree that exclamations like "omigosh I totes love that..." devalues the meaning of those three words, I've been thinking recently that "I Love You" shouldn't be treated as almost unsayable. I want it to be a part of my everyday. Something about the way it feels on my tongue, something about how the letters and syllables feel tactile. I would rather love too much than not enough. If someone cannot love you back, then it is truly their loss because at least you have loved and felt fully, whereas they have not had that experience. There is no shame in it. Say it to your parents, your friends, your boyfriend, anyone who means something to you - even if it doesn't last.

All of this above is why I sign my posts "ab imo pectore," or something like "from the bottom of my heart".

ab imo pectore,


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Once you're real

I love this excerpt from the Velveteen Rabbit, because I think it really illustrates what everyone wants from life and love - to be both loved and feel real because of (not despite) the imperfections in yourself, your past, and your life.

"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

"I suppose you are real," said the Rabbit.

The Skin Horse smiled. "The Boy's Uncle made me Real," he said. "That was a great many years ago, but once you are Real you can't become unreal again. It lasts for always."

Ab imo pectore,



Hello, Autumn.

One of my favorite parts of fall is walking around while having my hands wrapped around a hot cup of coffee and feeling it warm me from the inside out. I love sitting all snug and warm in coffee shops doing my work as the people bustle by in the crisp autumn air.

On that note, I had my first ever instant coffee experience today- Starbucks VIA. I tried the mocha..SO. GOOD. I've heard a lot of bad things about instant coffee, but I really liked this.

Nearby Coffee Shops:

Starbucks, of course - love the coffee. love the breakfast sandwiches. However, it's a very generic place to socialize or do work

Fido - Where all the hipsters go. My friends and I like to don our hipster outfits, and try to fit in there :)

JJ's - A recent discovery. Their coffee drinks are named after philosophers like the Rousseau & Burke. The vibe is very intellectual - just being in this place makes me want to put on my glasses and take out my Nietzsche.

In which I become a Southerner

It's my sophomore year of college, and in these past two weeks, I've really started to embrace being in the South.

1. I went to All for the Hall on Tuesday and it was amazing! Saw Keith Urban AND John Mayer. swoon. Also saw Miranda Lambert and Martina McBride among others - it was amazing!!

2. I've been to the Grand Ole Opry twice in the past two weeks! Once at the newly restore Opryland and once at the Ryman - both venues were lovely. Got a kick out of the commercials- Cracker Barrel, Dollar General, and Bass Pro Shops oh my! I really am in the South. At the Opry, I saw Taylor Swift, Dolly Parton, and Trace Adkins perform!! Life is good :)

3. I got cowboy boots - one brown pair and one black pair, of course. Have already worn them with a dress - twice!
mine are second from the right!

My appreciation for country music has greatly increased in the past weeks - I can't get enough of the catchy melodies and heartfelt lyrics. Grab some sweet tea and take a listen to this sample of the soundtrack to my new country life:

Trace Adkins - This Ain't No Love Song; Ladies Love Country Boys
Keith Urban - Kiss a Girl
Anything Taylor Swift has ever performed
Brad Paisley - She's Everything
Carrie Underwood - Undo It; All-American girl

ab imo pectore,