Advice from the Greats

“The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who’ll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you’re sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and somthing else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that’s almost never the case.”

Pretty in honeysuckle

The Pantone Color Institute has named Honeysuckle(Pantone 18-2120) its 2011 color of the year.

“Courageous. Confident. Vital. A brave new color, for a brave new world. Let the bold spirit of Honeysuckle infuse you, lift you and carry you through the year. It’s a color for every day – with nothing “everyday” about it.”

It’s definitely a bold and stimulating color. As someone who thinks pink is overly feminine… I can’t help but incorporate this “viscerally alive” in my layout (yes that’s why it’s pink). If you’re seeing this entry through RSS, go here. I did some research to find some  beautiful products, palettes and themes that are gorgeously honeysuckle.

source

Here’s are two hex colors that I liked:

These colors might not be absolutely accurate but these are two hues that I decided to use for these posters/ideas and layouts a couple days ago.

I’ve also decided to create a mixture of palettes.

Have you been creating anything with the color of the year? Share!

A way with words

This is my second time at the House of Art for a night of poetry (I went back  in August). Once again, I was very moved. The event costed $5 but I thought that they could actually charge more for the performances.

I hardly hang around my neighborhood (and I admit that I need to do it more often)… Tonight I felt like I experienced the talents of Brooklyn. The words spoken and the feelings felt, were so tremendously real.

The event was suppose to start at 8:30PM (Doors opened at 8PM) but it didn’t start until 9PM (although the host mentioned no CP time in the flyer).

The show started off with the host Chris Slaughter opening with three questions that he got from the audience to start a discussion. Two of the questions were relationship related and one was a social question.The responses were quite different from my perspective and this set the mood for me. Here I was listening to opinions of people who grew up very different from me. They are real Brooklyn. I feel like the visitor that I am — being the tourist. The poetry that followed was just an attraction into their world.

The night features were Jamaal St. John and the duo Jamica and Omni Blaze. However, other poets took the floor and in the air erupted lyrical voodoo hypnotizing me and giving me goose pimples. These people were demonstrating an art that I don’t possess, I allowed them to sweep me into their world.

A young girl named Yaya started off the show (she also ended it). She was an exceptional choice. She drew you into her world by exposing details that made your jaw drop (sometimes from discomfort and shock). She was definitely one of my favorites because of her flow. Her words were quickly spoken and she told very long stories in a short time.  If your mind wandered, you’d surely miss it but she kept you hooked more because of wondering when she was going to take a breath. Her partner also recited. His style a little more suave but created impact as much as her.

A few more poets went on. Such as TuanX (@tuanx) – I wondered why he sounded familiar but I remembered him ousting me on foursquare -irony. His EP  (Of Mice and Men) is available on itunes (Check his site out). Memorable, “the truth is in my posture.”

Another poet, who made postcards (selling for $3 and I hope she contacts with my business card that I left her), recited: “I found god and she committed suicide with your religion” a strong poem that left people absolutely speechless.

Then  Jamaal went on. We were blown away. He started off with Haikus. He has a love for thick women and claimed to have a “Thickness Protection Program.” He mentions if thickness was poison then he doesn’t want the antidote.

Other noteworthy things said, “I’m so plastic Tupperware sends fanmail.”

He left us with a suicide note left by Michael Jackson — it was touching.

Just when I thought this wouldn’t get better, Omni Blaze and Jamica came on — one sang and played the keyboard while the other recited. Ending with, “I breed people not puppies.”

I couldn’t help but feel completely naked as I listened to everyone. After hearing about missing fathers and abusive relationships I noticed that most of these poets are products of broken homes (not all and you could tell who were) I felt like I was staring into their soap opera. They were sharing the dark parts of their lives and what made it so uplifting was seeing them come together with this form of art that makes them so special.  Once again, I had a loss of words … I just paid attention to what I was capturing with my lens (the amateur photographer).

This wasn’t a social night for me really. I left pretty quickly because it’s 18 degrees F (feels like 4 degrees) out. Thankfully I only had a few blocks to walk.

Do you go to poetry readings? If so, who have been your favorite?

Jerlyn’s Cruzan flava Chili

Oh Yea, by the way, I cook — sometimes. I removed my recipe section of my blog but you can still search for a few on the right.

This is my first time making Chili (extending “firsts” during this year) and it wasn’t as difficult as I thought. I think I’m going to start making it more instead of Stew during the winter. I totally got the idea of having Chili tonight from Tameeka aka TameekaTime on twitter. I live in NYC and since we are going to have around 12 inches of snow (more or less), it seemed like an incredible idea to have that as leftovers while I “work from home” in the morning. By the way, I have no idea how Tameeka makes hers but I know it has to be good (She’s from the islands too)! She posts some of her stuff on her blog.

So, again this is my first time but I’m having it now and I’m thinking, “Why didn’t I make this before?”

I have the basics and then some:

Onions (I chopped up 1/2 of a huge one — I love Onions)
Garlic (I used one clove)
Black Pepper
Chili Sauce Powder (Yes I cheated)
1 1/4 lb of  Tomato chunks sauce
1 lb can of red beans
A Bay Leaf
Frozen mixed veggies (I like corn and all those good stuff)
1/2 Red Pepper
1/2 Green Pepper
Crushed Red Pepper
Hot Sauce
Aged Cruzan White Rum (told you there was some island flava in there)
Cloves
Lean Beef (Although I would have preferred Ground Turkey)/
Cube of Frozen Sauce (Sometimes I freeze the excess sauce when I bake/brown any type of meat)

I browned the meat in a pan and added diced onions, red and green peppers, garlic, seasoned it with the black pepper and crushed red pepper then drained. I added the Chili sauce powder.

I transferred the meat mixture into a pot with heated tomato chunks and red beans. I kept that mix boiling while adding hot sauce to taste, cloves, and the bay leaf.

In a separate skillet, I heated the cube of frozen sauce to make it similar to the temperature in the other pot (directions according to mom to prevent the meal from getting sour quickly). I added the heated sauce to the chili meat mixture.

At this point, I turned down the heat and let the Chili simmer for about an hour more, mixing etc. Finally after taste tests, I added a shot of Cruzan Rum (OMG the difference).

That’s it. Next time, I’d like to add things like Celery and non-frozen veggies. Also, I might experiment with some Chicken Broth in there or Vegetable Stock… I love the Tomato Chunks in this and the Chili tasted spicy with a hint of sweet. I didn’t use salt but there’s definitely salt in the powder. If you’re concerned about this, try a recipe using actual Chili Peppers (I just couldn’t find any in my neighborhood).

How do you make yours?

Single and the City

What do you want me to tell you about New York?

I think it’s funny when I tell my friends from the past that I live in New York and they immediately think “Sex and the City.” At first it was mostly because of me being single and telling stories, now it’s mostly the blog and my adventures.

First off wrong demographic, I have never seen a full episode (there’s no Caribbean girl in the main cast of characters though). They also tend to forget that New York City comprises of 5 boroughs and I live in Brooklyn. I love Brooklyn, well the idea of Brooklyn — I’m still deciding whether or not I fit in.

My life is probably much more calm.

When I first started this blog, my assumptions was:
I’d go out and write reviews based on my life here focused on design of life since you can design anything (including your habits). I would visit museums, restaurants, little stores, and write about deals, what I wear etc (so much for that).

This blog really has no definition besides design of life a la Jerlyn and you’re watching me grow — and my peers grow. Good job — sometimes your feedback is necessary. I do have the occasional latte and I’m a Guiness-kinda-gal but there’s no way that I can afford Carrie’s shoes. More and more I notice the hustling of my peers and how much we have little in common. My life is forever changing. My group of friends are forever changing – like underwear. I’m originally a Caribbean girl and daily, I feel myself struggling to fit in. Maybe it’s ok to not fit? When was is a terrible idea to be original?

Anyway, back to New York — the city that never sleeps, the drunken women wearing heels stumbling in the streets after hours and the occasional body caught on the subway rails — nothing in life is ever completely pleasant.

This city has millions of people and we pay a significant amount in rent to live in cupboards. I overhear patrons complain. Everyone has their own agenda (specifically for you). We complain about rising prices with the monopolized subway system, everyone’s angry daily (hardly anyone smiles on the subway), people have stank attitudes… Why do people live here again? Oh, and I don’t need to own a car: win.

There’s nothing like it. There’s no place like it. I remember comparing New York to Paris once — not the same (I can get crepes with nutella here and it’s absolutely delicious by the way… Can’t find the Louvre here though but there are countless museums). As I look at my $500 monthly health care bill, my $149 unlimited metro card and my student loans that I will be paying for the rest of my life, I’m ok. I like NY. In fact, I love New York. I love taking visits abroad, especially during the winter where I take a cab back to my flat and I see the bridges and lights ( I love coming back at night). Or a night out with unavoidable inebriation and I look out the window and see how the river separates each borough and I noticed that I’ve always lived on an island.

New York, I love you. I made many memories here… Let me know when you’re tired of me. I doubt I’ll ever get tired of you. If I leave, and I’m sure that I will — whether next week, a few months or years, I will always consider you my home.

Sexual Adventures

Well, here’s to my daring topic of the year… this is adult-content related. There’s no nudity or pornography — just sexual content. You need to be 18 years and over to go to the museum so as privacy policy, I’m not responsible for this article being viewed unsupervised by an adult. However, there’s nothing raunchy posted.

I bought a groupon to the Museum of Sex for myself and a date or friend. Who else would do something as moderately daring as me?  My friend @gevitage. We had a good time despite what I’m going to write because the night concluded with us catching up and having Chipotle (OMG I love Chipotle – Send me coupons!).

The Museum of Sex is dedicated to the exploration of the history, evolution and cultural significance of human sexuality, advocating open discourse and striving to present to the public the best in current scholarship unhindered by self-censorship. It’s located at 233 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York.

I went to the Museum of Sex in Paris (Musée de l’érotisme) a few years ago before graduating from college. I remembered being shocked by a great deal of the displays and artifacts from way back when. There were collections of toys, equipment etc that would have probably shocked everyone. It’s like this: Before plastic or rubber or whatever those toys were made of, they were made of wood (imagine the splinters…). I expected the exhibit to be as informative and entertaining as Paris — I was wrong. (See some photos online here for the Musée de l’érotisme)

Yes, I was informed but this is information that I could have looked up on the internet. The Sex Store was much more interesting and you can actually start and end there… however, I think it’s worth a visit if your expectations weren’t as high as mine.

Sexuality is something that I think many people struggle with. The act of intercourse itself. I’m very observant that not many people want to talk about it. Even if I think I’m more or less opened to discuss it, I respect my peers who both do or don’t. Whatever you do with your practices and acts, I definitely believe that everyone should just be aware of what works for them and understand that others might not share their same feelings/thoughts.

Anyway, back to the museum.
The very first floor was about pornography. Pornography is described as obscene writings, drawings, photographs, or the like, esp. those having little or no artistic merit. @Gevitage made a statement that was very apparent when I compared the years of the videos projecting on the walls, “If you notice, over the years bodies got smaller and less hairy and people became more daring.”

I also realized that even panties got smaller. Guys if you only knew there are other panties aside from thongs, bikinis and granny panties. If you’re interested you can take a look at this book: Dessous (25th Anniversary Special Edtn)

I’m also aware that sex in the American society was very much repressed, definitely far ahead than most countries however. As I noticed the depictions through the cartoon displays over the years, sex seemed to be a forbidden act. A great deal of clean cartoonists did dirty drawings.

There was also a robot exhibit:

Vibrators were used to treat female hysteria. Apparently the female orgasm was a myth at that time so there was “female hysteria.” Women considered to be suffering from it exhibited a wide array of symptoms including faintness, nervousness, insomnia, fluid retention, heaviness in abdomen, muscle spasm, shortness of breath, irritability, loss of appetite for food or sex, and “a tendency to cause trouble”. Since ancient times women considered to be suffering from hysteria would sometimes undergo “pelvic massage” — manual stimulation of the genitals by the doctor until the patient experienced “hysterical paroxysm.” …  A page from a Sears catalog of home electrical appliances from 1918 includes a portable vibrator with attachments, billed as ”Very useful and satisfactory for home service.” [source]

Animal Sex
The last part of the exhibit was very interesting. Maybe now that we are aware that even animals have homosexual tendencies it might be more accepted? Even in dolphins… homosexual dolphins use the blowhole (no pun intended).

Also, Bonobo monkeys are feminists. Did you know that macaques show forms of prostitution by exchanging food for sex? Some other weird things: Some animals are necrophilic.

However some acts were quite beautiful:

In species, either or both sexes may not be monogramous. Lifelong monogamy is rare, even within monogamous species.

At the end of the exhibition:

I went to use the bathroom and I wish that the experience was at least interesting. I did learn new things so I can’t completely write off the visit however, I expected the experience to be similar to the Parisian visit.

Have you been to this museum before?

Share photos!

What are you reading?

I was called a bookworm growing up.

By tallying what I read in 2008, I realized that I read close to 90 books. Since then I’ve been trying to break that record. It has been in vain. However, that’s not going to stop me from pursuing the goal of reading at least 20 books this year. Its definitely a possible resolution.

Why books?
Books expose a wide range of knowledge and keep my mind active. I’m currently attempting to learn something new everyday. Reading also inimitably improves my vocabulary. I believe it will improve my writing.

Currently reading:
Its now 6 days into the new year and I am currently reading the Secret Lives of Great Artists: What Your Teachers Never Told You About Master Painters and Sculptors. I feel like I’m more connected to my favorite art pioneers – learning about them like I’ve never before. Art History wasn’t particularly interesting to me in college so I feel like I’m getting a new lesson. Instead of seeing slides and brief descriptions to cram into my mind for a final, I’m learning about the individual. The book makes these artists more human instead of being gods — therefore untouchable.

Devices:
I dont own a device for reading. Ironically I’ve never used a device for reading. I enjoy holding physical books. I appreciate the tangibility and smell (can’t recreate the smell of old books from the devices — can’t recreate the germs either lol).

What are you reading currently? Are you using devices? I need suggestions and since I try almost any genre I’ll appreciate writing reviews.