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Showing posts from 2010

My Favorite Muffin Recipe

You're getting this post because I wanted to share with the internet a recipe I've been using since I was 13. These muffins were the very first thing I ever learned to cook in 7th grade Home Economics. I don't know that there has been a single Thanksgiving since where I didn't bake them - either with my family growing up, the San Francisco gang that would have Christmas together, or with Travis and our Austin friends. Very simple. Just about perfect.

Pumpkin Muffins


Ingredients

1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup mashed pumpkin (I use pie filling)
4 tbsp melted butter
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Beat egg, mix with milk, pumpkin, and butter. Mix dry ingredients separately, then add the wet ingredients. Drop batter into muffin cups by the 1/4-cup full. Bake in muffin pan for 18-20 minutes.


(I actually double this recipe every year, so I can't really say how many muffins this m…

Selkie: Process

It's been over two weeks since DVT's latest incarnation of the Selkie opera performed in Houston and I'm just now sitting down to write about the experience. This project started last January with an installation/opera piece at the Creative Research Lab in Austin. Between January and November it grew significantly into a wholly original piece of work created by several amazing artists.

I arrived in Houston on Friday, October 29 with my giant iMac, brought to facilitate creating and editing of video material used in the production. In just the week that I was there, the amount of video content in the show almost doubled and then was cut down to less than what we had thought it would be. I was reminded of a professor telling a class that I was in that design was in large part about how often you are willing to redo something - definitely true of our work on this production. Originally I had planned on using two projectors, one on the set/installation pieces created by Da…

SL Wanderings.

I now own two pieces of land in SL, one of which is my house, and I've been geeking out on buying furniture for it. The other is the parcel I bought last year to use as a studio / sandbox / playground for all things Eurydice-related. I'm having fun with this again. And I'm a huge nerd.

And also - I've recently started following the SL artist Bryn Oh. Check out some of her work:

The Word for World is Forest.

Tonight I will be destroying (striking? taking down?) our first Forest. I'm actually feeling sad and mournful about it, which I think is part of the point, dealing with loss and destroying in a couple of hours what it took a month to create. I think that we had roughly 10-12 visits (and most visits included a second person) and the feedback we got from the project was so good.

It also constantly amazed me that people talked about their Forest visit like they were remembering childhood. I'm so grateful to have helped create something that inspired people to just play. The process of creating it was like play for me, too. Outside of this project I was dealing with stress, but it all went away when I was there and could lose myself in the world we were creating. That's not a feeling that I get with every project I take on.

Forest #2 is still looking for a home, after which the whole process will start again. If you know of any storage places in Austin willing to donat…

If you do nothing, it means nothing, and all those wild, wild feelings go to waste.

FORESTS-IN-STORAGE update:

Katie is away until the beginning of July so I'm continuing to work on this project in her absence. I went out this afternoon to talk to several storage places in Austin and to hopefully nail down space for our second Forest. At one place I met with a guy who was really, really excited about the project and who is an artist himself - at another place, I got the response "now I've heard everything."

One thing I noticed while talking to both places is that they very much want to know WHAT you're storing. It's one of the first things (if not THE first thing) they asked. Renting storage space is apparently not like having a Swiss bank account or a safety deposit box. At least next time I'll be prepared to answer that question!

Both places I went to turned out to be nationwide chains. I don't know enough about storage spaces to know that "Public Storage" is not local. Both places have a lot of regulations and people…

And other things...

Since graduating with my MFA I've been working as a designer as steadily as someone with a full time "day job" can be. For a couple of reasons I have decided to NOT be teching any shows this summer - I still have projects lined up for the fall, so I'm still working, just not for any show that opens prior to September.

One of the reasons I want to do this is I want to give myself the chance to this summer to focus on a couple of projects that really feed my soul. I'm tempted to say I might not be able to take on ANY more work in 2010, but I know of a couple of projects I would jump on if I'm approached.

For the past couple of months I've been collaborating with Katie Pearl on a project that is an offshoot of a piece she's working on for next year with Lisa D'Amour. That piece is called How To Build A Forest; our project is FORESTS-IN-STORAGE. We're in the process of creating a series of installations around Austin (and outside of Austin, pe…

My Top Five Favorite LOST Memories

Tomorrow, LOST is all over. I'm so happy it's ending on its own terms - best decision they ever made - but I'm not ready to let go!! Here are the ways I will remember LOST:

1. At the end of season 1, I was working for Cincinnati Opera and staying in company-rented apartments. The week before the finale my television broke. I had to explain just how important it was to the company manager that my TV be replaced BY THAT CERTAIN NIGHT. And it was, and all was well. The last few minutes of season 1 were TERRIFYING. When the light came on on the others' boat, it was so bizarre, something that didn't belong in the show at all, a good sign they had done their jobs. I didn't see Walt's kidnapping coming at all - I don't know if others did, I remember everyone was so obsessed with the hatch and of course, we didn't see what was in the hatch. I was completely satisfied by the way that light on the others' boat frightened me.

2. I was in grad scho…

Fusebox.

Right now the Fusebox Festival is going on here in Austin, one of my absolute favorite things about this town. Sunday night I saw a performance called Everytime I See Your Picture I Cry, by Daniel Barrow. Barrow sat with an overhead projector and a microphone, reading the entire story out loud while shifting and layering transparancies on an overhead projector so that they appeared animated. My jaw dropped the moment he started and I'm pretty sure it stayed that way the whole time. Stunning, stunning, stunning, and easily one of the best pieces of theatre I've ever seen. I am now trolling craigslist for overhead projectors and trying to convince Misha that we can totally use manual overhead projector animation on a project sometime soon.

This weekend I'll be seeing Cloud Eye Control's Under Polaris and every installation anyone will let me in to see for free.

Turn and face the strange

Projects currently in the works:

1. A short performance piece called 20 Years, developed with the ACTLab at UT Austin.

2. A month-long internet-based performance, also developed with the ACTLab, and more information will come as soon as I create it.

3. A mini-collaboration with Katie Pearl as she explores the beginnings of her new project, How to Build a Forest.

4. Designing lights for Machinal with Paper Chairs.

5. Continuation of the Selkie collaboration in Houston later in 2010.

6. Small beginnings of work on Eurydice, and later this year a MAP Grant proposal for future development of that project.

7. Getting to a financial position wherein I can drag Travis up and down the Norwegian coast for two weeks.

Word Cloud.

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I love this because it really encompasses what my life is about right now. Poetic and beautiful despite being randomly generated by a web app.

Sweet Bunny Lovin'

Space between

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I'm back in the ACTLab this semester, using my staff education benefit to enroll in the "Death" class. I was in "Dream & Delirium" back in spring of 2007 as a graduate student, this is only my second time there but three years have passed...that's kind of unbelievable.

The ACTLab is a 3 hour class meeting once a week whose discussions revolve around a chosen topic (this topic is death, if you hadn't figured that out). Three times during the semester we are to bring in projects related somehow to that topic. That's basically all the instruction we're given, other than no flame throwers, no epic poetry, and no jumping from one moving train to another. A project can be anything - a piece of art, performance, code, activity...I don't know. Anything. My cat could probably be a project if I could find a compelling reason for it.

We just wrapped up our first projects last week and I chose to use mine to begin some concept work on Eurydice. …

Just gonna get my feet wet until I drown...

From a post I started writing on 1/16/2010:
"The Selkie Project has been a really organic creative process. Misha shares my lack of concern over not quite knowing what I'm doing, allowing work to exist and breathe and spontaneously become whatever it needs to be in that moment. The intention with The Selkie Project is to experiment on creating a longer operatic piece. We're starting this month with the hybrid installation-performance piece at the Creative Research Lab in Austin, and planning to move onto the next step of the project this spring in Houston. It's a really interesting way to begin creating a theatrical piece. We're creating an environment for something to happen in. The environment itself has evolved and morphed more than once in the past few weeks. We began last weekend by just sitting in the space and imagining what could happen there. I'm trying to imagine what the design process for a more traditional play would look like if we began…

The Selkie Project - in the news

I have an entry on process for this project, I swear I do because it's really been a fascinating process, but I haven't found the time to finish it yet. BUT. Misha Penton & I have been hard at work on our upcoming installation / performance hybrid piece, which opens Saturday at the Creative Research Lab in Austin. We've made it into both Houston and Austin papers, write-ups below:

Houston Examiner: Houston's Divergence Vocal Theater launches The Selkie Project in Austin

Austin Chronicle: "Selkie Project:" Comfortable in their Skins