26 October 2009

project: write a poem

Went to a local poetry reading this weekend, and am feeling inspired to try and write a poem.

I've always been more partial to (reading and writing) prose myself, but, as evidenced by my Frank O'Hara project a few weeks ago, I'm not adverse to poetry. The few (read: less than three) poems I've composed in the past have been more off-the-cuff (usually snarky) quips than poems (see below). This week I'll try and write something a bit more substantial.

A little ditty from this spring when I was... well, you'll see:

    Ode to Wifi

    oh why oh why you piece of crap
    internet connection i would strangle
    you if you had a neck
    lucky for you you don't.

Thank you. Thank you very much.

[ completed project ]

22 October 2009

completion: font created

So far I've made two. (I was right about not being able to do only one... once you pop you just can't stop! What... just me? Oh.)

The whole process works pretty slick. There are a few snags yet (there's only one character for quotation marks, for example, so you have to draw a mark that can be used in both forward and backward instances), but on the whole it's pretty awesomeful.

19 October 2009

project: create my own font

Last week I discovered (thanks to B for the heads-up) this new website called Font Capture -- a site that helps you create your own font. Cool, right? I definitely thought so. I've scanned in my own handwritten fonts for designs before, but have never had access to any programs that would render them into fonts that I could load onto my computer... and then type with.

So I'm excited to try this thing out. That's this week's project: Create my own font.
Might not be able to restrain myself to just one.

[ completed project ]

16 October 2009

completion: made an apple pie

My apartment now smells of pie. Which is the opposite of bad.

As promised, the recipe (courtesy of Betty Crocker:

Apple Pie (for 9-inch pie plate)
Two-crust pastry (see pie crust instructions below)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Dash salt
6 cups thinly sliced pared tart apples
2 tablespoons butter

Heat oven to 425ยบ. Prepare pie crust (see below). Stir together sugar, flour, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt; mix with apples. Turn into pastry-lined pie pan; dot with butter. Cover with top crust which has slits cut in it; seal and flute. Cover edge with 2- to 3-inch strip of aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning; remove foil last 15 minutes of baking. [Note: I didn't use the foil, so my edges were darker than the rest of the crust]

Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until crust is brown and juice begins to bubble through slits in crust.


Standard Pastry (9-inch two-crust pie)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons shortening or 2/3 cup lard
4 to 5 tablespoons cold water

Measure flour and salt into bowl. Cut in shortening thoroughly. Sprinkle in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing until all flour is moistened and dough almost cleans side of bowl (1 to 2 teaspoons water can be added if needed).

Divide dough in half and shape into 2 flattened rounds on lightly floured cloth-covered board. With floured stockinet-covered rolling pin, roll first round of dough 2 inches larger than inverted pie pan. Fold pastry into quarters; unfold and ease into pan.

Turn desired filling [in this case, uh, apples] into pastry-lined pie pan. Trim overhanging edge of pastry 1/2 inch from rim of pan. Roll second round of dough. Fold into quarters; cut slits so steam can escape. Place over filling and unfold. Trim overhanging edge of pastry 1 inch from rim of pan. Fold and roll top edge over lower edge, pressing on rim to seal; flute. Cover edge with 2- to 3-inch strip of aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning; remove foil last 15 minutes of baking. Bake as directed in recipe.

12 October 2009

project: make an apple pie

In light of the fact that I have already finished my original assignment (and Monday isn't even over yet), here's my second project for the week: make an apple pie.

I'd say it's fitting for the season, don't you? And making pies is one of my favorite things to do. (From scratch, of course! A pie isn't a pie without homemade crust.)

I'll post the recipe along with the (scrumptious) photos when it's done later this week. Toodles.

[ completed project ]

completion: painted frank o'hara poem

OK, it's still Monday, and I've already completed my week's project.

Got home today and was so excited to start that I did... and just plowed on through. It helped that I used acrylics for the base colors, because then I didn't have to wait as long for those to dry. (The white, though, is oil, and still wet... and just made its mark on my black sweatshirt sleeve. Lovely.)

But I still have a whole week stretching out in front of me. Now what am I gonna do?

project: paint a frank o'hara poem

The other day I re-ran across Frank O'Hara's poem, Steps, and was reminded how much I like it -- and how moving I particularly find the last stanza (see full poem below). I've decided for this week's project, I'd like to do a painting of that last stanza. Not a pictorial painting, mind you, just a painting using the plain text. (In college I did text paintings of short written pieces of my own, so this is not so off-the-wall for me... heh. heh. off the wall. paintings. oh I'm so clever.)

I have some used canvases that I picked up off the street a few years ago... someone painted on them already (they're, um, quite ugly), but I think I'll paint over one of those (8"x10") for this project.

Steps by Frank O'Hara

How funny you are today New York
like Ginger Rogers in Swingtime
and St. Bridget's steeple leaning a little to the left

here I have just jumped out of a bed full of V-days
(I got tired of D-days) and blue you there still
accepts me foolish and free
all I want is a room up there
and you in it
and even the traffic halt so thick is a way
for people to rub up against each other
and when their surgical appliances lock
they stay together
for the rest of the day (what a day)
I go by to check a slide and I say
that painting's not so blue

where's Lana Turner
she's out eating
and Garbo's backstage at the Met
everyone's taking their coat off
so they can show a rib-cage to the rib-watchers
and the park's full of dancers with their tights and shoes
in little bags
who are often mistaken for worker-outers at the West Side Y
why not
the Pittsburgh Pirates shout because they won
and in a sense we're all winning
we're alive

the apartment was vacated by a gay couple
who moved to the country for fun
they moved a day too soon
even the stabbings are helping the population explosion
though in the wrong country
and all those liars have left the UN
the Seagram Building's no longer rivalled in interest
not that we need liquor (we just like it)

and the little box is out on the sidewalk
next to the delicatessen
so the old man can sit on it and drink beer
and get knocked off it by his wife later in the day
while the sun is still shining

oh god it's wonderful
to get out of bed
and drink too much coffee
and smoke too many cigarettes
and love you so much

[ completed project ]

08 October 2009

completion: climbed a tree

[ original assignment ]

Success! Went to a county park outside of town after work yesterday, walked the trails and found a tree that was both perfect for climbing and far from regular traffic. (I didn't really feel like answering questions from any passersby while in the midst of straddling a tree.)

How to climb a tree:
1. Find a tree.
2. Move upwards by any means possible.
3. Look down. Why else climb a tree if not to see how things look from up a tree?

05 October 2009

project: climb a tree

Right. I like to climb trees. Possibly this could be considered cheating project-assignment-wise, but I haven't climbed a tree in a while, and I suddenly have a strong urge to scale large vegetation. And anyway since I live in an apartment in town, finding a tree to climb will be a project in itself. Plus, hey this is my blog, and I make the rules. So there. I'm climbing a tree this week.

[ completed project ]