Thursday, August 27, 2009

Two videos for you.

I know I haven't posted for a really long time, but I'm still out here. I've since moved to Cleveland to start a Masters program in Art History and Museum studies, but I should write about that another time. For now, I'd like to post two videos.

I think this is great because it takes true Bowie fans to really parody Bowie successfully. And I think this is more of a cross between parody and homage. They somehow get their voices to sound just like Bowie's during certain times in his career. But in general I think it's hilarious.

The second (which I can't embed, sorry) is a song that I have not been able to get out of my head since I heard it. I'm not typically a rap/R&B fan, but I think this song is exceptionally catchy, thanks in part to Lady Gaga's vocal sampling. And the video is pretty good too. Listen to it a few times, and I dare you to not to hum it later on.

Monday, April 13, 2009


Yesterday, Nick and I celebrated Easter on our own for the first time. In the past we have always gone to one of our parents' house, but this year due to geography and schedules we decided to stay in Cincinnati and celebrate on our own. Neither of us are particularly religious (Nick isn't at all and I'm seriously lapsed) but it was a beautiful day and we are always looking for a reason to celebrate something.

The day started out, as it usually does, with "waking up" our cockatiel, Penny. After I took her out of her cage I set up a few new Easter toys that I picked up during a trip to the Bird Shoppe last week. She's always freaked out by new toys at first, but she quickly took a liking to this one:

All it is is shredded, curled drinking straws, but she has since spent several hours on top of her cage chewing on the delicious plastic.

Once Penny settled in and started playing with her new toys, Nick and I had a tasty breakfast of blueberry pancakes that he was nice enough to make. Of course, Penny got her mini-pancake too, which was even more delicious than the new toy.


We relaxed in the apartment for a little while, then I suggested we go check out the Krohn Conservatory. It is one of those places that I keep reading about but haven't had a chance to go to yet, and it seemed like a good Easter-y activity. It was indeed a great idea, but one that many others also thought of. It was really crowded with families and couples, taking pictures, walking really slowly, doing what they do. Even though there were tons of people it was still really nice and we enjoyed ourselves.


In the flower room, with all the people.


Later in the evening we started dinner. We are by no means very fancy cooks, but I think we do OK. I only know how to make a few things, but have been trying to learn to cook more, but Nick is really quite good in the kitchen. We had lamb roast with an apple, mint, and shallot sauce, asparagus with hollandaise sauce, and garlic mashed potatoes with bleu cheese crumbles, and we washed it down with some cider.


It was sooooo good. I also made cinnamon cookies for dessert, which we enjoyed while watching Gilmore Girls.

Even though we couldn't make it home for Easter we still had a really nice day. It was very relaxing and tasty all around and was exactly the kind of break I needed from grad school decisions and funding issues and the like. But that is a story for another post.

I hope you all had a great Easter!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Top 10 Eccentric Buildings

I just wanted to share this link to another site featuring the Top 10 Eccentric Buildings. Two of the buildings mentioned are in Ohio, go figure. I've actually never seen the one in Cincinnati, but now I might have to go find it and check it out. I've seen the Longaberger building, and it's so strange because it's pretty much in the middle of nowhere, and then there is this huge basket.


One of my favorite movies of all time is Julian Schnabel's "Basquiat" from 1996. I realize that movie critics, art critics, and pretty much anybody who has a bone to pick with Julian Schnabel may not think this movie is as great as I do, but that's their problem. Granted, I don't know a whole lot about the life and work to Jean Michel Basquiat, nor can I say much about the art scene in New York in the 1980s, so I don't know how accurate it is. One thing I can say is that it is a great story of the rise and fall of a young artist who made it for just doing his thing. I will also say that I particularly appreciate movies about artists, even if they aren't the best, because they might introduce the viewer to an artist or an art movement they previously didn't know anything about.

The soundtrack is amazing- from the Pogues to Public Image Ltd., to Grandmaster Flash and Melle Mel to Tom Waits. The music is haunting when it's not exciting, and shows that the 1980s wasn't the musical wasteland that it's often dismissed as.

For the most part the acting is really great, too. I'm not too picky when it comes to acting, I can only tell when it's really bad and when it's really good. Jeffrey Wright as the title character is wonderful and captures the creative, yet still really innocent and not at all put together character of an artist who is only 19 years old when he makes it in the New York art world. Benicio Del Toro plays the best friend and I think he rocks it- we all know someone with priorities and ideas like Benny's. I think Claire Forlani is annoying in just about anything, so I'm not crazy about her in the girlfriend role, but I can overlook it with the rest of the cast that includes: Denis Hopper, Gary Oldman, Christopher Walken, Parker Posey, Willem Dafoe, and Courtney Love.

And, oh yeah, possibly my favorite casting decision in the history of cinema: David Bowie as Andy Warhol. For as much as I love David Bowie, which is a whole lot, I'll admit that he may not be the best actor out there. But I don't know if Andy Warhol himself could have played a more hilarious and lovable Andy Warhol.

If I haven't yet convinced you to go out and rent this movie (or watch it again), I'll leave you with this clip to either get you hooked or, at the very least, make you smile.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Lincoln Imp

I've mentioned before that one of my favorite things about art history is the little stories and legends that go along with the art. There are tons of quirky little stories that surround art from all eras that aren't necessarily important to the work itself, but (for me) help to remind that no matter how old a work of art or architecture might be, the artists and patrons were real people with personalities and, often, agendas.

One of these fun little stories is the story of the Lincoln Imp. In the Angel Choir of Lincoln Cathedral, there is a grinning little figure that sits nestled on top of a pillar where two arches meet. He's about a foot tall, but in relation to the scale of Lincoln Cathedral, that's nothing. Let me break it down for you:


Here is Lincoln Cathedral- it's pretty huge.


Here is a shot of the interior, notice the size of the pillars, that hold up the arches.


The space where the arches meet is often used as a place to put decorative foliage or trefoils. But look at the bottom of that foliage, between the top archivolts. Need close-up?


The Imp, in all his mischievous glory.

Now, why is this here? It seems so small in such a large place, and it's not exactly located where people can walk right up to it and admire it, but someone took the time to hand carve this little, seemingly inconsequential figure, out of stone. Legend has it that Satan sent two imps to England to cause mischief. On a windy day they were blown into Lincoln Cathedral, so they went about breaking tables and chairs and tripping the Bishop. Finally an angel came and told them to stop. One of the imps hid under a broken table, but the other hopped up on top of a pillar and started throwing rocks at the angel, so the angel turned him into stone, giving the other imp a chance to escape. Supposedly, that imp went to St. James Church, in the nearby town of Grimsby, where the angel caught up with him and turned him into stone, too. Unfortunately I can't find a picture of that imp.

Yes, I realize that this legend is not likely to be true, but the fact remains that someone had a hand in carving the imps. Perhaps the person who carved the Lincoln Imp invented the legend to add another "good triumphing over evil" anecdote to the interior sculpture of the cathedral. Or maybe he did it on a dare, or just to amuse himself.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!


Nick and I decided to beat the rush and go out last night. A pub nearby started serving green beer at 7:00 yesterday, when it turned midnight in Ireland, so we headed down to have a pint. I had never had green beer before, and was a little disappointed because it looked like Green River but tasted like PBR. We enjoyed our trip to Murphy's though, they had really good drink specials, friendly people at the bar, an HDTV showing Terminator 3 and all the free popcorn and hotdogs you can eat. I wouldn't be surprised if we head back there sometime soon, especially as the weather gets nicer because it's only about a 20 minute walk from our apartment (or a 5 minute bus ride, and the bus stops right in front of it) and we enjoyed ourselves.

As a side note about St. Patrick's Day: this is the most annoying time of the year to be named Colleen. In general, I like my name. It's not strange enough where no one has ever heard of it before, but I have also never had a situation with another Colleen where I've had to distinguish myself with my last initial or a descriptive adjective. Yet during the 5 or 6 days leading up to St. Patrick's day, everyone who learns my name feels the need to make a comment like "Oh! you must be Irish! Are you ready for St. Patrick's Day?" or "Oh! An Irish lass! You have a big day coming up!" Once and for all: yes, I am Irish. No, I do not celebrate March 17th any more or any differently than anyone else I know. In fact, I probably won't do anything Irish-y at all today.

Another reason we went out last night is that this is Restaurant Week. Tonight we have reservations at Jag's. I'm really excited- I love going out to eat and I'm expecting a really great meal. We also have plans on Friday to go to The Brown Dog Cafe. Assuming these meals are as wonderful as their reputation implies, I'll post some pictures and comments on here.

I know this is supposed to be an art blog and I haven't posted anything very art-y in a while, but I'm working on it. I have a few posts sloshing around up in the idea-maker that will work themselves out eventually. In the meantime, here's a statue of St. Patrick:


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Crawfish Bake!!!

Tuesday night Nick and I decided to go down to the Knotty Pine on the Bayou, in Cold Springs, Kentucky for a crawfish bake. I'd never been to a crawfish bake before, but Nick had gone in past years. The Knotty Pine has a full cajun menu, complete with a selection of Abita beer to chose from. We ordered the shrimp and cream cheese stuffed jalapenos to start, which weren't exactly what they sound like, but were still delicious. Then I got a cup of gumbo which was WONDERFUL and Nick got a cup of red beans and rice, which, not liking beans very much, I didn't think sounded very good, but it was. Then we split an order of crawfish. One order of crawfish is 3 pounds and comes with two sides and a salad (which was also really delicious in the "yes it's salad, but in no way is this good for you" kind of way). The crawfish were soooooo good. They were seasoned really well, a little spicy, but not overly. Now, I make no claims to be any kind of restaurant reviewer, but I do love to go out to eat, and this was certainly and adventure and I'd definitely do it again, so I thought I'd make a little post about it. Now how about some images?


Our plate of crawfish. We only had one (which was more than enough for us, especially with the sides), but the waitress said that they had blown through 150 pounds of crawfish in three hours.

I took this on accident because my camera was on the wrong setting, but you can see some of the sides. The brown stuff in front of me is the gumbo, then you can see Nick sample is red beans and rice and the collared greens. There are also some smashed red potatoes on the table. I'm glad I took this video for two reasons: you can see everything, and you get to see Nick eat, which I think is one of the more amusing things I get to experience in my day-to-day life.

Unfortunately we waited until the end to take a video of how you actually eat a crawfish (pull off the tail and suck out the meat), so this is really dark, but hopefully you can make out the good parts.