It took me so long to write about this and I know I keep saying that and I’m truly sorry but this is my recap of Walls to Smalls at Deep Space Gallery.
Walls to Smalls is a show featuring art from street artists that usually get their art on using a “wall” as their canvas but for this show they did art on smaller pieces of material that then went onto a wall for display. Walls and smalls, smalls and walls.
The cycle continues.
As always, it’s a great show! And it’s there for a few weeks so you have plenty of time to check it out. DON’T SLEEP, as they say.
Let’s talk about the art.
Duel ris had pieces that looked like they were made with sharpie in a notebook and I LOVE THAT. It really makes me excited that real art can be made with such simple tools. Tools that are fully available to me and everyone but only a special person, aka a person with a special skill, aka an ARTIST, could make art this nice with two very simple tools.
Please continue to blow my mind, thx.
Blusterone had work that showed scenes from the subway and it made me think about how I really haven’t gone on the subway in a REALLY LONG time. Like maybe not since last summer? The PATH train sure, but not the subway. Weird.
We stared at these Mustart pieces for a while and tried to pick out all the different elements we could see. It was fun to take the time to really stare and study.
Most importantly we saw a uterus.
Beyond that, we all were pretty pumped about the chains turning into birds.
Rubicon – do we know the people depicted here? These paintings made me think I knew the people in them because a few weeks ago I saw the artist post a call for old Polaroids that he would then paint. I don’t know why that made me think I knew them but the man especially looked really familiar.
This piece by TDee is a peacock, which is a kind of bird so I love it, duh.
AND IT IS SO BRILLIANTLY BLUE😍
This piece by Boogierez reminded me of Sara Fasolin, an artist I admire on Instagram. In my notes I referred to this as “bird/teeth Instagram thing.” Because this lady ALSO has teeth on her in a weird place. Teeth in weird places is so creepy but in a fun scary way.
Ntel had this fun piece with a bright green background and PINK FROGS. Pink animals? Can’t go wrong.
Optimo almost always has this top hat guy around but this time he was IN GOOOOOLD. And I loooove goooold.
Chris RWK’s pieces had this friendly looking little robot and I love this friendly looking little robot.
Of course the one with the little red bird is my fav.
It’s essential that we befriend the robots so we’re on their team when they become our overlords.
Another favorite recurring character is this guy by Keith VanPelt. This time around I really loved the one with a feather in his hat. Because feathers are from birds.
Barc The Dog I’ve never seen before but LOVE the dog and its shark/dino teeth. It’s very cartoon-ish and cartoons have my heart forever.
Boogierez had the only photos in the show and photos are hard to make special, in my opinion. Especially because everyone has the ability to take photos at their fingertips. But these are special! They stand out.
That’s not even everyone! There are a ton of artists in this show. These are just some of my personal favs but I think you should go and check it out to see what YOU like. Don’t take MY word for it, I’m an amateur.
Walls to Smalls is at Deep Space Gallery for the next few weeks. You can DM them on Instagram to make an appointment!
It’s summer and it’s time to talk about this and I’m so sweaty. “This” being how sweaty I am all the time. Like constantly.
I know it’s gross and not appropriate to discuss but I’m so sweaty and I’m really struggling here and it seems like no one else is dealing with this at the same level so this is a cry for help/commiseration.
It’s not that I’m just hot (in temperature) (and in hotness) (I’m a hottie), I’m hot AND full on sweating. It is literally dripping down my face and getting into my eyes and stinging and burning.
In the 90s/early 2000s when I had very thin eyebrows the sweat getting in my eyes was even WORSE and I was forced to run to the bathroom in stinging pain during cheerleading practice.
I’m glad my eyebrows grew back and now offer me slightly more protection but the protection is still LIMITED. My eyes still BURN.
Even my thick ass eyebrows cannot protect me from how much I sweat.
When I arrive at a fitness class I am already sweating from the frenzied effort of merely getting there. It is already pouring down my face as I scamper up the stairs and hurl myself through the door.
As I get set up in my spot the sweat continues to pour. I have to dry myself off with a towel BEFORE CLASS EVEN STARTS.
The worst part of this is that NO ONE ELSE IS VISIBLY SWEATING. I am the only one every time. I’ve checked! At least during this before class time, I’m truly the only one sweating. Once class begins like 10 or so minutes into it I can see other people sweating and I feel a little better.
But then I realize they are just normal sweating and I have a LITERAL PUDDLE on the floor under me and am constantly wiping my face with my towel.
The towel thing has been difficult for the past year, too. My gym stopped providing “dry your face during class” small towels, I think because of covid. Which makes sense! Totally cool with it. But this means that in my morning rush to get out the door I have to remember to grab one of my hand towels from home to bring with me.
And I don’t always remember.
And class is next to impossible for me without a towel so then I have to use a PAPER TOWEL and it just doesn’t feel right.
IT JUST DOESN’T.
I’ve spoken about my face at length but I sweat a lot everywhere. If I wear shorts, my shins get SOAKED and SLIPPERY and it’s difficult to get a grip on them if I need to stretch or something.
Perhaps the most embarrassing part of sweating a lot is when the BACK of my legs/my butt sweat when I’m sitting down and I’ll either leave a puddle of sweat on the seat I was in or completely soak my pants/skirt/whatever and it will have a big wet spot in the back of it and like Jo at the fancy party in Little Women (are you a Winona Jo or a Saoirse Jo? I’m still deciding…), I have to walk around with my butt toward the wall until it dries.
What a nightmare.
I’ve always gotten so sweaty and I guess there’s really no way around it. I like to say, “It’s because my body is highly eifficient!” But that’s probably just a scientific fact I made up. Who knows. Of course one can use deodorant/antiperspirant and I DO, and not even the “natural” kind because that stuff is “garbage,” but that’s only on one part of your body. And it’s more about the SHEER VOLUME of sweat all over all the time, making everything wet and uncomfortable and slippery and embarrassing.
UGH IT’S THE WORST.
Okay so, does this happen to anyone else? Please say it does. I need some validation on this one thx.
This year we had to have our annual MDW picnic inside and I was PISSED. I hate the inside. I’ve really been enjoying the time that we’ve all been spending in the outside over the past year and a half and I really didn’t want to spend this thing inside either.
But we had to, it was raining and we didn’t have an appropriate covered outdoor environment, ugh.
We only just realized today that we didn’t even get to have a picnic AT ALL last year because it was during the terrifying stay in your house and don’t leave unless you’re going grocery shopping time of COVID. So I guess this was better than THAT, but still made me sad.
My mom set up the house like it was actually a picnic on the inside. We had all the stuff!
Sorry to say it but I think I’m in the throes of summer doldrums. I’m sorry because I do really love summer but it gets to a certain point in August where the doldrums really take over and it becomes unbearable to say the least. Or the most because the “unbearable” is the height of hyperbole but “hyperbole” is my middle name so let’s do this.
doldrums in literature.
The first time I heard the word “doldrums” as a child was in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. No idea why I was reading that as a child but it does heavily feature an albatross and I was prob like “Holy shit there’s a giant ass bird involved?! Sign me up, obviously.”
However, I just looked up the poem to review it for fact checking purposes and the word “doldrums” doesn’t appear to ACTUALLY be in it. I DID just scan it and it’s very long so maybe it’s in there somewhere, I don’t know. An additional google search did confirm that they’re in the doldrums though. And the language of the poem invokes a doldrums vibe.
Maybe my Grammie just told me about it and that’s where I got “doldrums” from.
That’s what happened with Jonathan Livingston Seagull. I spotted the book on her shelf and showed a great deal of interest so then she told me all about it and the next day we were shopping in New Hope and I ended up with a seagull necklace. I wish I could find that seagull necklace as I would stil totally rock a seagull necklace even though seagulls are straight up dicks. What is Jonathan Livingston Seagull even ABOUT? I’ll have to google.
I DO know that it’s not about the doldrums so I’ll look it up later.
The next literary confirmation of the existence of the doldrums came in The Phantom Tollbooth when the little bored dude/star of the story enters The Doldrums.
If you knew me in 5th grade you would know that I stan The Phantom Tollbooth SO FREAKIN HARD so you better believe I was PUMPED AF when I turned a page and they mentioned “The Doldrums.” I looked around the class in disbelief like “did Norton Juster write this FOR me or WHAT?!”
But The Doldrums were then fully defined for me. And I would never forget them.
doldrums in life.
In a lot of ways I feel like I experienced “doldrums” many times before I even had a word for them. I’ve always been moody, prone to melancholy as they would say in Victorian times (I guess). Like, women jumping off cliffs out of despair in the times before there was both acknowledgement of and effective medical treatment for mental illness – that makes perfect sense to me.
If you don’t think of me like that it’s because I’m good at smiling and pretending and laughing. Most of us are. But there are times when it gets harder to pretend and summer doldrums are one of those times.
I just don’t feel like doing anything. Nothing at all. The whole world seems too hot but in a way that isn’t fun or interesting. It’s just thick and hot and very still and there is no movement. The sun beats down relentlessly. I love the sun and all it does for me but sometimes I’m like shut up already. I don’t know why that happens.
Also, by this point in the summer it feels like the summer is now slipping away because we’re more than halfway through. I think that adds to the summer doldrums in a way. It’s moving too slowly and sluggishly but we WANT it to move slowly and sluggishly because we don’t want summer to end but we HATE the pace of slow and sluggish. By “we” I mean “me.” But maybe you, too. I don’t know your life.
When I first heard the Lana del Rey song “Summertime Sadness” I felt another spark of connection to the way I feel during this part of the year. It’s summertime which I love but there’s also sadness. A sadness without reason. A sadness that will not go away until the middle of September, no matter how hard I try to expel it.
So I sit here in these doldrums, in these dog days, and dream about a happier time. Keep in mind that nothing ACTUALLY SAD is happening. It’s just a feeling, a state of mind. I feel tired and bored and uninspired. I cry a lot. I can no longer stand the sounds and smells of living in a city and I flee to the forest of my origin.
Just normal, healthy, regular person stuff.
I do think the only way to power through is to set myself up with the least amount of annoying shit around me. It has helped IMMENSELY that I didn’t have to commute at all this summer. Commuting is trash and doing it at this point in the summer is a literal nightmare. As I already mentioned, I’ve also found ways to escape the annoying sounds and smells and presence of neighbors that really irritate me in the city.
And I am lucky. It’s only a few more weeks, and I think I can make it while also having some summer fun in the process, but it just feels really rough right now. In a way I’m almost unable to explain because I wrote this whole post and still don’t feel like I fully explained it.
Basically I feel like shit, I blame the mysterious and terrible “summer doldrums,” and I can’t fully explain it. That’s what I’m saying.
I’m also wondering if YOU feel this way. I’m always looking for kindred spirits and like-minded pals I can commiserate with. Commiseration nation. Is the nation in which I have stabbed my Shan flag into the ground. Please join me. Let me know I guess.
I love summer. I love knitting. But you can’t really knit in summer because it’s too damn hot to have all that itchy yarn all over you. Luckily I have recently discovered that making friendship bracelets is knitting for summer.
Now I can make fun colorful creations for myself and for my friends! I can wear my own creations and I can give creations to my friends and they will feel obligated to wear them because I made them and they don’t want to hurt my feelings! Also the rule with friendship bracelets is that you never take them off UNTIL THEY FALL OFF. So guess what friends I’TS TIME TO STRAP IN.
When I was a kid the “cool” slightly older girl kids at the community pool all sat in a circle on their thick, fluffy name-brand towels and constructed friendship bracelets all day. I’m at a loss regarding which verb word to choose to use to describe the creation of a friendship bracelet. It’s sometimes “braiding” but not always. Maybe “weaving”? I guess I’ll stick to “constructing” for now.
The cool girl friendship bracelet making fluffy towel circle at the local community pool was everything I wanted to be but knew I probably never would. It required a large plastic box with different compartments where embroidery thread, safety pins, ribbon, and even some beads were stored.
I was correct and I never obtained this box as a child. But two summers ago I got one for myself on Amazon BECAUSE I’M A GROWN ASS WOMAN THAT NEEDS TO CREATE FRIENDSHIP BRACELETS. I subsequently did not use this box or anything in it until a couple of weeks ago.
It was very dusty when I took it out.
After I blew the dust off I got to work! At first I could only braid, like with 3 strands. Just a basic braid, you guys. I watched some YouTube vids but I’ve never had luck learning from those, I think I need to learn in person.
One day at the beach I sat down and I summoned the brain of my ten year old self and suddenly a pattern came to me. It shot right out of my brain down my arms and into my hands. I was able to make a pattern with 5 strings! One that I had learned as a kid. It was very exciting!
I told anyone that would listen that it was “an exciting brain teaser challenge.” I am so annoying.
The biggest perk of knitting is that it relieves anxiety. It really, truly does. I started to do it at the suggestion of a therapist and I never stopped. It’s very soothing to do a repetitive activity with your hands while your head just zones out. I’m so glad it works for me because it is VERY HARD for me to “zone out” without assistance. Medical/pharmaceutical or fiber based assistance.
And creating friendship bracelets relieves anxiety in the same way! So I plan to take my little plastic box of thread and friendship bracelet accouterments everywhere. Like why the hell not at this point.
Do you like making friendship bracelets? Can you teach me any new patterns? LMK thx.
Not unlike a large dog, when it’s too hot to live outside I like to have some water to just lay in. A brief aquatic reprieve from the relentless elements.
If I’m outside trying to get tan, and it’s over 82 degrees, it will be a little TOO HOT to sit outside without a pool and I will immediately need a pool or other (clean, the Hudson doesn’t count, even though I actually think it’s okay in a science way) water source nearby.
In Van Vorst, Hamilton, and Newport Green Parks, there are playgrounds with water features. It’s questionable how “appropriate” it is for a grown up woman in a bikini to run over into a playground and under a water feature to frolic among children, but do you really care?
These water features are a life saver for when it’s super hot, just for a quick rinse then back to the towel/blanket/park punch. I’m so glad those parks have them. I’ll never stop being glad about it.
Oh man I just remembered, Berry Lane Park has playground water features too, yesssss. These are actually better because they’re adjacent to the playground but not IN the playground. Okay I admit it’s creepy going into the playground but it’s a chance I take when I’m desperate to cool off.
So this is how I made the fire escape pool:
Lay down outdoor mat on fire escape.
Set up pool.
Fill pool. Obtain water by going back and forth from your sink with a large pot until it’s half full.
Put 2 or more trays of ice cubes in the pool.
Put an ice pack underneath the pool.
Set up a towel by the pool that indicates that the pool is a pool.
Do you also enjoy makeshift pools? Backyard pools? Fire escape pools? Lmk.
I love Betty on HBO. And don’t worry, they just got renewed for a 2nd season.
Why do I love Betty on HBO? You may be aware that I have always been a huge fan of skateboarding and folks that skateboard. Like since birth. Or at least since I could comprehend other people doing sports that I would never, ever be brave enough to do.
I was never coordinated or athletic, and as a kid I mostly wanted to read books, so I never really took an opportunity to learn this skill I so admired. I chose to just creepily stare at other people doing it. Just bein’ a lurker. Really great at lurking.
I’m sorry, I can’t not.
I’ve always been amazed/enthralled/obsessed with feats of physical prowess and for whatever reason watching people skateboard was always at the top of my list. As a kid I would watch dudes skateboarding, totally entranced. I didn’t know if I wanted to make out with them or if I wanted to BE them.
I definitely wanted to make out with them.
But maybe it was a little bit of both.
These days I still get pretty hypnotized watching. The very sound of polyurethane wheels on pavement makes my ears perk up and demands my immediate attention. It’s difficult for me to triangulate where the sound is coming from because I’m deaf in one ear, but I still try to catch a glimpse even if it means spinning around in a circle until I see where I can find them.
On Betty the CHICKS do the skateboarding, and I definitely want to be them, although it’s not my style to make out with other gals so we’ll keep it to just the “being them” and not making out with them, as far as I’m concerned.
I love to see gals being pals and having fun and supporting each other. And also being athletes! And telling dudes to STFU! Last summer (omg were they shooting last summer I BET THEY WERE), I saw Nina Moran (HOLY SHIT SHE HAS A TED TALK?!), who plays “Kirt” on the show, by the Flatiron Building during my lunch break and I was like omgomgomg. Her character is goofy but I think she’s my fav. She always wears tie-dye and shorts and even though she has more of a masculine style vibe she always wears fun dangly earrings and bright colors. I couldn’t bring myself to be like “Hey! I love you! And Skate Kitchen! And gals supporting gals! And Intersectional Feminism! Please be my best friend!” so I just kind of stared. Even though the actors/characters are a century younger than me, I kind of look up to them.
Okay, I definitely look up to them. They all wear fun clothes and are bold and confident and they run around NYC and make it their bitch. Betty is inspired/kind of an extension of Skate Kitchen, which is also amazing GO WATCH IT.
What really struck me about Betty at first, and what continues to mesmerize me, is that they are romping around in what appears to be an NYC summer that never ends. It’s always warm, the leaves are green, they go to a public pool, and there is even a surprise thunderstorm where they have to run inside and hide in a bodega.
We started watching the show during social distancing, and it provided a much needed escape. I jumped right into their world and for 30 minutes pretended to be a late teens/early twenties-something, with no work and no school, FREE TO RUN AROUND IN THE OUTDOORS with my pals and bask under green leaves in eternal sunshine.
I don’t know, I just really like it. You should like it too. GO WATCH NOW K THX.
You’re likely aware that I am known to put the G and L in GTL but today I’m going to talk about putting the T in GTL.
If you don’t know what “GTL” is, it means “Gym, Tan, Laundry” and it is the guiding principle of the show Jersey Shore. This is important because Jersey Shore is about New Jersey. New Jersey is very important. I also started pondering this today because Pauly D introduced his quarantine beard via social media. If you click on that link you will see that it is also VERY IMPORTANT.
When Jersey Shore was on the television people from NJ would try to deny that people like the Jersey Shore characters even exist. They tried to turn them into urban legends/folktales/aliens because some of them came from like, “Connecticut” or “Staten Island.” Well guess what, one of them came from “Manalapan,” aka the most stereotypically “Jersey” place I have ever been. And I am pretty Jersey. SO THERE.
Even ten years later, Jersey Shore is very real. The exact type of folks depicted on Jersey Shore are very real. Variations of manifestations of those types of folks are even MORE real. Deal with it. It’s just like The Sorpanos, whenever I watch it I see everyone I’ve ever known or will know. It’s just the way it is.
The time of the year has come for the “T” to be very, VERY important and I would like to reflect on the T.
The T is “tanning.” Keep up.
Tanning is very, very much a thing in New Jersey. I know it probably is elsewhere, but I’m just speaking from my personal experience here. We love to be tan. We really, really do. But along with that love comes the shame and occasional secrecy of a dirty habit that’s really bad for you and WILL give you cancer.
For some of us it started as children.
The backyard pool is where it’s AT. I have photos of myself at 2 years old, wearing a bikini in a backyard pool. I most definitely chose this bikini so you can calm down about THAT.
Breaking out the backyard pool at the beginning of the season was incredible! My niece and nephew only just took theirs out last weekend and I think they probably lost their little minds.
When I was their age I was 100% thinking about getting tan. I think it’s just in my blood. I already was appalled by sunscreen. I liked to see how my skin got darker, my hair got blonder. What an entrancing transformation! I didn’t mind getting burned. I actually kind of liked getting burned because it would give me that summertime feeling of being really hot, like on fire, but then the AC cools you down and it’s delightful.
I got off to a bad start with this tanning thing.
Oh you don’t have a backyard pool? I’m talking about a small inflatable kiddie pool here, we most definitely did not have a real pool…but if you don’t have an inflatable kiddie pool, just being in the backyard in your bathing suit on a sunny day will work. Do it.
It goes without saying that the beach is a place to get tan. I really shouldn’t have to explain it to you. Spend an entire day at the beach and then set up a backyard pool at your rented beach house to catch the late afternoon/early evening sun and you get bonus points.
Yes I used tanning beds. I used tanning beds EXCESSIVELY. It’s going to hurt me, I’m aware. I guess I started when I was like 13? Or maybe you had to be 15? Maybe there weren’t even any rules at that time, it was 1998.
I would get tanning packages that were “discounted” because you bought them in bulk, as packages ARE. I think we also figured out some way to like, be new clients without being “new” and got a better rate. Maybe I’m making this up. You’ll never know.
Going to the tanning salon was the best part of the GOD DAMN DAY. It was really something to look forward to, especially if it was rainy or cold. It was a sacred place to relax and be warm. It smelled like coconuts and tanning lotion. You could close your eyes and pretend you were somewhere that wasn’t NJ in March, which is basically hell.
I put a little palm tree sticker on my butt to track how tan I was getting.
It was a beautiful time.
When I was a junior in high school and got sent to the principal’s office (every day) for wearing “inappropriate outfits,” I would say, “Fuck this I’m going to wear bathing suits to class in college.”
And then I did.
But when I wasn’t in class, I was at “Bishop Beach,” a lawn at Rutgers between Tinsley and some other one where people would “lay out.” And tan. I would walk the 3 minutes from my dorm in my Playboy bunny bikini (oh yes) and black platform flip flop sandals carrying the latest issue of Maxim (for some reason it inspired me) and then I would just lay on Bishop Beach for hours and pretend it was the real beach. I miss Rutgers EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
Ugh I can’t believe I’m even writing this but yes I once lived in Hoboken and hated it but the place to tan there was the “downtown pier.”
The downtown pier was the most basic place in the most basic town of all time and I probably would have thrown some random broseph in the Hudson if I didn’t eventually discover the “uptown pier.”
The uptown pier was far superior: much less crowded, more geese, quieter, etc. The bad news is, when I looked this up I found that maybe it’s Pier 13 now. Ugh.
van vorst park.
In the many years that I lived in downtown Jersey City, Van Vorst Park was my go-to spot for tanning. Van Vorst Park is a PARK AMONG PARKS. A REAL PARK’S PARK.
Seriously though Van Vorst Park kicks ass.
There is a fountain, there are so many plants, dogs for doggling. Van Vorst Park is also where Park Punch was created. Drinking while tanning is highly encouraged. Hydration and whatever.
I will end with rooftops, the poor Shan’s beach, park, and pool all in one. Rooftops are black and made of some kind of tar or something so the sun is really drawn to them. You don’t have to sit outside for long to really see results.
These are old buildings I live in, and continue to live in, and will likely live in forever, so a rooftop tan sesh usually involves scaling some kind of fire escape/ladder/wall. Fire escape ladders to the roof are so incredibly steep, like straight up and down. It’s kind of terrifying but worth the view.
Again, I know I’m encouraging tanning but I do feel guilty about it so…leave me alone. Also I do wear SPF 100 on my face, because I have a very important face product regimen that cannot be trifled with. I wear SPF 30 on my body because that will allow me to still get tan but not too red. It usually works.
So that’s my ode to tanning, the “T” in “GTL.” We’ve come a long way together and we’ll continue to enjoy the sunshine on warmer days in the Garden State. Because I think tanning beds are illegal now. But I don’t really want to check because if they AREN’T illegal all bets are off.