Monday, September 26, 2016

Brotherus-inspired photograph on my third-to-last day in Montpellier

A week ago I went to check out the current exhibit at the Pavillon Populaire, a space in the center of Montpellier which always has a free photography exhibit of some sort (open to the public).

From June 29 to September 25 the exhibit was of Finish artist Elina Brotherus's photography and videos (works from 1997-2015). The displays there said that she's one of the most important photographers of her generation, but I don't really understand why.

When looking at some of the collections, such as "Annonciation," I could tell what they were supposed to represent. (That one's about her five years of unsuccessful infertility treatments, for example.)

There's another collection called "12 ans après" (12 years later), which has pictures taken in 1999—the first year she lived in France—and 12 years later, on a recent return visit:

Elina Brotherus
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Friday, September 23, 2016

Calligcast #4: Los Frikis

[Calligcast = Practicing calligraphy while listening to a podcast]

Podcast: Radiolab
Episode: Los Frikis

How a group of 80’s Cuban misfits found rock-and-roll and created a revolution within a revolution, going into exile without ever leaving home. In a collaboration with Radio Ambulante, reporter Luis Trelles bring us the story of punk rock’s arrival in Cuba and a small band of outsiders who sentenced themselves to death and set themselves free. 

Calligraphy notes: Since I leave Montpellier in less than a week, I've already packed away my TPK calligraphy course worksheets, so I wasn't working from any models.

I don't think this practice pad is the best paper (although it's labelled "calligraphy" practice paper), because I the tiniest bit of paper fibers are scraped off on my down strokes, and get stuck at the tip of the nib. Upstrokes are shaky and seem to get stuck on the paper.
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Thursday, September 22, 2016

The joy of being an adult beginner

At our weekly Couchsurfing event on Tuesday, I mentioned that I’d gone to Parc du Peyrou the previous day to read and paint.

“Watercolors,” I clarified, “I just bought them a few weeks ago.”

“Are you good?” the Polish girl immediately asked me. 

“No! I just started — that would be crazy.”

After a few startled seconds, I saw the realization come to her face that my answer made sense logically. Most of us forget this, though — that beginners start at zero, and that adults can be beginners. There seems to be this belief in the adult world that if you do something, it must mean you’re good. Or the contrary: If you’re not good, you can’t say you do something.
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Saturday, September 17, 2016

September 2016: Final week in Rodez

Last Friday, the 9th, Pascal (my roommate) had friends over for a BBQ. Bem, my roommate for a month back in May (as he finished up the semester), was also able to come that night, so here's a picture of the three of us:

Then on Saturday I took a BlaBlaCar to Rodez in the evening. On Sunday we went biking in the afternoon with Seb and Vanessa:

Prior to and after biking (and during any other unaccounted for time the next couple of days) I read "Harry Potter et la coupe de feu," the fourth Harry Potter book, which is ~770 pages long.
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Saturday, September 10, 2016

Calligcast #3: Britney

[Calligcast = Practicing calligraphy while listening to a podcast]

Episode: Case #2 — Britney
Podcast: Mystery Show

"The case: Andrea’s a writer no one reads. Then she makes a shocking discovery."

I learned of this podcast episode from a monthly email I receive, called Snail Mail. Here was Kyra's blurb about it, from the newsletter:
Andrea Seigel wrote a book called "To Feel Stuff," which, she claims, was a total failure. But then she noticed a paparazzi snapped photo of Britney Spears holding none other than Andrea's book. Starlee Kine (of This American Life fame) goes on a journey - hilarious, sad and heartwarming in equal measure - to meet Britney Spears and find out why she was holding Andrea's little known book. This a stunning, unforgettable piece of audio that makes you want to be a better person. - Kyra

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Saturday, September 3, 2016

Resolutions Checkpoint 2016: August

Taking a look at my focus points for August, here's what progress has been made during that time:

August Progress

1. French
  • (+) Finish reading "Harry Potter à l'école des sorciers" — I've now finished HP books 1-3!
  • (+) Watch two more films on Netflix. — Watched way more than two French films this month, including the first two Harry Potters after I finished each book. Maybe something like 7-8 movies total?
  • (  ) Copy down lyrics to two more songs. — Whoops.
  • (+) Analyze / learn lyrics / sing along — I did go through two of the songs whose lyrics I'd already copied into my notebook, picking apart structures and vocab: "La Marseillaise" and "Le jazz et la java"
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