Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Song in My Head

Spank hop shuffle step, step shuffle spank stomp spank hop shuffle heel shuffle heel step stomp, spank hop shuffle heel, flap shuffle heel, step brush heel back heel ball change stomp.

Over and over in my head. Can't make it stop. I think everyone who reads this knows I take tap. And that's only one part of the tap routine. It's the most fun to say over and over in my head though.

I remember a long time ago someone told me the only way to get rid of a song in your head is to sing it all the way through. What kind of half brained idea is that? It only makes me practice it more. Never worked for me.

Speaking of songs...does anyone have a song on the radio right now that once it comes on you have to change it right away? Lately there has been this song that actually makes me angry. Most people who know me will tell you I'm not an angry person. In fact, I'm fairly tolerant, but I have a physical reaction to this song. Not only do I want to turn the radio off, I want to HIT it off. I get all tense whenever I hear those voices at the beginning.

I was driving to my sister's the other night and that song came on. I made myself listen to the whole thing because I never listen long enough to hear the DJ credit the song when it's over and I wanted to know who this band was that makes me so angry. So I did. I don't know if Blue October is the band name or the song name, but I can't stand that song.

And then there are songs that I don't know why I like, but whenever they come on, I have to listen. Confession: I never understood what the big deal was with the Dixie Chicks, never a big fan of them or country music in general, but when some of their songs come on, I usually have to listen to the whole thing. If someone can explain that one to me, please do.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Art City

The other day was a really nice day for me. Odd, I was in Utah County for most of it. It was a “Laura” day. Meaning…you know what, I don’t know exactly what I mean by that, but it felt like a “me” day.

Instead of going into work I was at the Springville Museum of Art jurying their 35th Annual All-State Utah High School Exhibit. The museum is in a really cool building just off Main Street in southern Springville. It’s a small town that has been dubbed "Art City", but you can easily miss it. I know I do just about every time I go down there. I always miss my turn and start heading straight for Spanish Fork.

Anyway, the museum was built in 1937 as an art museum and it was dedicated by Apostle David O. McKay to be a "sanctuary of beauty and a temple of meditation." And it is. I love it there. I went to a harp and flute concert there once with my family. I think they played one of my dad’s pieces or something. But I never went there for the art until I started my job here at the Utah Arts Council.

So their High School show is the biggest in the state and it amazes me how talented some kids are. I mean, a lot of it is pretty awful, but some of it is remarkable. There were almost 800 pieces submitted this year (pre-juried by the schools) and we had to pare it down to about 200 and then give awards.

The artwork is separated into different rooms in categories (drawing, watercolor, photography, painting, pottery, jewelry, mixed media, etc.). It took all day. It’s funny because you can tell which schools have the best art teachers. Skyview seems to rise to the top year after year. You can also start to see the same things among high school art. I could have divided up the artwork into categories based on their subject matter: the flower room, the fruit for sale room, the ballerina room, the raven room, the eyeball room, and the girls with green faces room.

I have to say I was most impressed with the drawing. I never know what to think about photography. Because I know so little about the photographic process I could dismiss something that is really great and award something that’s really stupid and derivative.

I really liked the people I juried with this year. I buddied up with Dennis Meacham who is a well-known photographer here in Salt Lake. I’ve never really talked to him before but he was really nice. And he majored in music, which was cool. We talked about our favorite movie soundtracks because he wrote music for film for awhile. We also talked about genius. And arrogant geniuses.

We finally got out of there at 5 PM. I had an hour to hit the BYU museum to see “Beholding Salvation” which was an exhibit with images of Christ. I've been trying to go down and see that for months. It was a great exhibit, but nothing stood out to me as exceptionally memorable. I’ve seen a lot of it before. A lot of Albrecht Durer and Rembrandt etchings, which are cool to see. My favorite pieces were probably the Polish folk art sculptures from the collection of Walter Whipple. He teaches at BYU and he was my brother’s mission president, I think. I really like the MOA. I felt nostalgic for my college days when I would have night classes at the museum. I felt very light without my backpack.

On the way home I wanted to listen to a movie soundtrack after my conversations with Dennis so I listened to “The Village” which always puts me in a mellow mood. Especially when I drive home at dusk. I love dusk. My favorite time of day. Yes, definitely a “Laura” day.

Anyway, enough about me. If you happen to be down that way, take a trip to the Springville Museum. The High School show is open February 24 through April 4. It’s a really nice place to visit with kids too if you can get them to go look at art. It’s more accessible kind of work. And it’s good. I think it’s open Sunday afternoons so it’s a nice little Sunday family outing as well. Check it out. http://sma.nebo.edu/about.html

Friday, February 09, 2007

Farmers Market Feedback

Remember this guy? He’s what we call a “grower”. Salt Lake City’s downtown Farmers Market is made up of growers, food vendors and artists. I think it’s funny how we call it a Farmers’ Market but they insist on calling the farmers growers. I wonder if that’s a new “PC” thing. Although I don’t see what’s offensive about calling someone a farmer.

I’ve been asked to return as a member of the Farmers Market Planning Committee. So we had our first planning meeting yesterday afternoon. There are some cool things happening this year. We’re finally going to get an ATM machine so you don’t have to come with cash. I think we have wireless at Pioneer Park now thanks to Xmission. So some of the vendors can take credit cards. They also got a grant from the Salt Lake City Arts Council to pay musicians to perform. So hopefully, the caliber of performers will be up a notch or two.

They’re looking for feedback and ideas on how to make the market better, how to celebrate its 15th anniversary this year, and how to handle problems. I already filled in my feedback sheet, but thought I would ask my fellow Farmer’s Market friends to tell me what you think. So if you have feedback on any of the following questions, let me know.

1. How do you feel about dogs at the market? (We’ve had complaints about owners not cleaning up their messes).
2. If you were to participate in a VIP program with the Market, what perks would you like to see available to you?
3. Do you have any complaints or suggestions about operation hours (8 am to 1 pm)? If we were to have a couple occasions during the season where the market was open at night, would you come?
4. How would you market the Market to appeal to a growing Hispanic audience?
5. Are there any vendors or products you feel are missing at the Market?

Opening day is June 9th, so if you have any concerns, ideas or suggestions about this year’s Farmers Market, let me know and I’ll take them back to the committee.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

"Think on Me"

The last several months I've taken to collecting poems. I'm not necessarily a student of poetry, but lately some poems have really touched me. So here's a poem attributed to Mary, Queen of Scots. It is said that she wrote this while imprisoned in England, awaiting execution. I think it's very sweet and heart-wrenching at the same time. It's a lyric poem that was set to music by James Mulholland. I heard this sung by a men's choir at a concert last March. I saved the concert program and happened to come across it earlier this week and it's been on my mind.

"When I no more behold thee, think on me.
By all thine eyes have told me, think on me.
When hearts are lightest, when eyes are brightest, when griefs are slightest,
Think on me.

In all thine hours of gladness, think on me.
If e’er I soothed thy sadness, think on me.
When foes are by thee, when woes are nigh thee, when friends all fly thee,
Think on me.

When thou hast none to cheer thee, think on me.
When no fond heart is near thee, think on me.
When lonely sighing o’er pleasure flying,
When hope is dying,
Think on me."

I've been reading about Mary, Queen of Scots all morning. She became Queen shortly after she was born. I don't know if she wrote this for anyone in particular. She married three times. The first husband apparently was her only true love, but he died 17 months after their marriage from an ear infection. This poem might have been written for her son. I can't find any history on it. I actually can't find it anywhere except in reference to the arrangement for choir.

Anyway, I love it. If anyone happens to have any more information on its origins, please share.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Fah who foraze, dah who doraze

Let’s be glass half full for a moment. Here is what the robbers didn’t take:

My week old iMac
Maria’s iPod (maybe they’re PC robbers)
Jon’s PlayStation 2
My portable DVD player

They did take my digital camera. I think they would have taken my DVD player had they not been sidetracked by my jewelry box sitting next to it.

I can’t believe all my jewelry is gone. Well, not all of it. All the jewelry that I was too lazy to put away remains. So I still have the necklace I bought from Fabiola’s jewelry party in October. I have the ring I bought in Puerto Vallarta on the cruise a couple years ago, the ring Lisa gave all her bridesmaids to wear, the antique bracelet I bought made from 1930’s typewriter keys, the sparkly bracelet I got on sale at Nordstrom (probably the most expensive piece of jewelry I own), the necklace Chloe and Piper gave me from Hawaii and the bracelet Lisa made me for Christmas this year.

I can’t believe I only have one ring now. I’m glad it wasn’t my turn for Grandma Christensen’s ring. I would have been sick if that was stolen. Just for my sake, I’m going to say goodbye to the stories that go along with jewelry of years passed:

I’m going to miss the ring I bought at Mexx in London. It was a cool, contemporary design with a little quartz in it.

Lisa gave me a cute pink bracelet one year. I think she bought it at Artichokes where she used to work.

Lisa also gave me a gift certificate to buy a ring at the Salt Lake Silver Company back in 2002. She went with me to buy it. It was really pretty. It had a blue zircon in it. My birthstone. That was probably my favorite ring. I remember thinking the guy who helped me pick it out was really cute.

I had a bracelet that I took from Grandma’s house after she died. It was gold, so I didn’t wear it very often, but I liked having it.

I also took a little ring from Grandma’s house too. It was really cheap, but I remember thinking that the flower on it looked like the Scarlet Pimpernel, so it kind of became my good luck/protection ring.

My bracelet that Mom gave me for Christmas a few years ago. I liked that one too. It was my Christmas bracelet.

Wow, the bracelet I bought at the gift shop at St. Martin’s in the Fields in London 12 years ago. It used to be gold until all the cheap gold color rubbed off and then it became a pretty silver color. I liked it better that way.

The green stone pendant I bought at a jewelry party at Marni’s house.

The necklace Mom gave me with a sea otter pendant. She was a member of the Save the Sea Otter Society. I remember when I was a sophomore in college my neighbor Heidi asked me what it was. When I told her it was a sea otter she asked why. I thought that was funny.

There was this one necklace I bought at the Aquarium in San Diego. It had a pendant that was black on one side and then it had a turtle on the other side.

My boss Lila gave me a necklace one year that she bought at Chico’s. It had one of those magnetic clasps in the back. It was really fun to play with.

There are probably more, but I’ll stop there.

The most unsettling thing about this was just the feeling I got when I looked at the door that was hacked away. The door wreath broken in pieces on the floor, my dresser drawers open with all the clothes lying in a pile on the carpet. And then the clock downstairs was just knocked off the wall with the batteries popped out.

It was kind of funny, last night the cop was trying to figure out what time we were robbed based on what time we last left the house and how cold it was in there (the door was busted, so it wouldn’t close). It wasn’t until after he left that Kaila picked up the clock (frozen in time because the batteries popped out when the crooks knocked it off the wall) and said, “How much you wanna bet it was around 2:30?” She's better at this than the cop with his 18 years experience.

But after I folded all my clothes and put them away, swept up the floors a little and wiped down the place because crime lab left a mess, I felt OK. I have to say, we all handled this pretty well. Kaila was remarkably calm considering she was the first one home and noticed the door wide open and the light in Maria’s room.

I do feel a little violated. But all in all, I don’t feel scared. We were going to sleep elsewhere last night, but once the landlord fixed the door so we could close it and lock it, we decided to stay. I don’t know about Kaila and Maria, but I still feel protected somehow, so that’s a blessing. I slept all right considering.

They did take my checkbooks so I need to go change my account number. That’s all right, I wasn’t too attached to my account number. I never got around to memorizing it since I changed it a couple years ago when my purse was stolen. But you know what, stuff is just stuff. No one was hurt. Life goes on. Off to the bank.

In the meantime...if you see this guy, let me know.