Talk about a crazy Fall! And I don’t mean that in the stability-challenged way you’d normally associate with me. It’s been a while since I’ve updated, and wow, has a lot happened.
First things first: Back in the first week of October, I was able to visit home! Surprise! I was keeping it on the DL because I wanted to surprise a few people by just showing up out of the blue… didn’t happen, but it’s the thought that counts, right? I was able to see so many people that I’ve missed that I’m pretty sure I was busier there than here at work! (PS. All of that was possible thanks to my incredibly generous parents who gifted me round trip tickets to visit home for my birthday this past summer!)
The only downer? I got sick. And by that I mean realllyyyy sick. We’re talking hospital visiting, pill popping, sleeping for days kind of sick. Turns out it’s a good thing I’m smart and subsequently graduated college on time because it appears I’m allergic to Adrian College… er, Adrian, MI anyway.
The short and short of it is one hospital, three different doctors, and a whole bunch of prescriptions later, I’m finally doing better after having been diagnosed with heavy allergies irritating preexisting throat problems. If I were to try and make an excuse for not updating you all during October, it’s that I really don’t remember the majority of that month even happening. Large doses of Vicodin will do that to a person… or so I hear. Words of advice while we’re on the subject? Heavy prescriptions and high altitudes don’t mix. I think I sufficiently freaked out the guy sitting next to me on the ride back to NY when I couldn’t figure out how to stay sitting in my seat… the entire 2 hours we were up in the air.
Luckily I had to heal eventually, and once the sickness started going away, October was a great prelude to some pretty great times out here in the Hudson Valley.
Check it out! Mau’s fashions are online and we’re in the photos!
…and I don’t mean how long it’s taken me to update
It’s official, today is Day 100 of residing in NY!
It’s also day # somethingreallyhighthatI’drathernotfigureout of me not updating my blog. So ideally, I’m going to hit everything fantastic that’s been happening over the past month or so.
I’d started a blog update a little over a week ago, and one exciting event (although it’s pretty hard to tell from the video) is that we tossed a bathtub out of a second story window. Well, when I say “we” I mean, one of the interns, our executive director, and Greg (the guy who’s essentially in charge of re-building the house next door). There’s a video and everything:
^ If you’re not a fan of Women’s Studio Workshop on Facebook, you probably should be. Just saying.
So aside from tossing rusted old tubs out of second story windows like the completely normal people that we all are, WSW is pretty busy! There’s a Gala coming up this Fall (“gay-la” or “gah-la,” I have absolutely no idea so apparently I’m not fancy enough to know the difference) and that means there’s loads of incoming mail full of donations for the auction. It’s pretty much like Christmas everyday! …If Christmas was actually a 9-5 workday where all you do is fill out paperwork and occasionally open really fancy things wrapped in envelopes that is. But yes, WSW’s 5th Annual Gala is coming up and I’m on the committee; I’ve never felt so official before. The longer I’m here, the more I learn, and all in all that’s the point of this whole experience.
Speaking of this “whole experience” I’m seriously digging the vibes of the Hudson Valley. My weekends are providing the majority of the substance I’m using for my blogs. I keep meeting new people, having parties (no, not crazy college keggers), trying new things, and having fantastically memorable experiences!
Time, I’m noticing, seems to move at a different rate out here. It feels like one day it’s Monday and the next it’s already Thursday two weeks later… so therefore I have a totally reasonable explanation for being slow with updates. Naps have become one of my favorite things while I’m out here and those really affect my perception of time. Wake up Saturday morning, go back to sleep around 2pm, wake up again at 6pm and somehow that magically turns itself into two days as opposed to just one… which is actually a really beautiful thing when it’s a Saturday, and that’s exactly what happened this past weekend.
^ Ultimate Frisbee! I’m making a pretty cool interception which doesn’t look nearly as awesome as it was when I’m only the size of a pinky nail on a screen.
I mentioned in earlier blogs that last terms interns started the tradition of Pizza Night Fridays (I have photographic proof of the one I’ve done from scratch!). I’ve also mentioned that I’ve gone and played Ultimate Frisbee up in Woodstock, NY, which is something that I’ve been getting more into now that I’ve fully recovered from that first bout, and I’ve been going on Sundays. So anyway, this past Pizza Night was held up in Phonecia at the house of some of our Frisbee friends—if I thought I was in the middle of nowhere, I couldn’t even tell you how much smaller that place is. Cheyenne (intern from last year) decided it would be Flannel Night! Which a. it’s summer, so that’s a unique decision, and b. I own absolutely no flannel. Luckily (well, or not so luckily for my body heat production) my roommates had absolutely plenty of flannel fashion for me to choose from. So, with everyone, yes, really all of us, all geared up like lumberjacks for Pizza Night we obviously had to play lumberjack drinking games!
^ That’s Tara, going for the win in the first game.
“Stump” is this crazy game where everyone must have a drink, and you better like it because things get so ridiculous, and you all take turns tossing, flipping, and subsequently catching a hammer then bringing it down onto a stump covered in nails. No need to look back, you did read that correctly. Drunk people + flying hammers + the need for enough dexterity (or luck if we’re being honest) to hit a nail into a stump, and that’s that. End of game. The point is to hit everyone else’s nails into the stump and the person with theirs standing alone at the end is the winner. You can bet I accidently pulled some weird softball pitching moves and was flipping that hammer around like a woman on a mission (unfortunately the catching part took a bit longer to pick up) until someone finally pointed out my weirdness. Low and behold, by the end of the second game I came in second! Not too shabby for a city girl, eh?
Memoirs of a Birthday in New York
At approximately 11:20 am on my birthday, Babs, a founder of WSW, sang me Happy Birthday in Yiddish.
I kid you not—this is the type of normalcy that I’m living in.
After my foreign serenade, the day dragged on as work is only getting crazier by the week. SAI classes are still running, we now have to get ready for a resident artist in August and I’m also a major part of planning WSW’s gala in the fall. So after all was said and done at 4pm, my birthday just got stranger.
My roommates and I decided to celebrate with some drinking, a homemade (from complete scratch and without recipe) chocolate cake, a random bout of trivial pursuit, some mystery shots (courtesy of Joyce and completely strange liquids from the kitchen—soy sauce and lime juice, anyone?), and then the pièce de résistance: skinny dipping in the lake. That’s right, the lake. I was all gung ho about it too, figuring that I’d be fine with a big group of people… and a bit of liquid courage (and soy sauce) in my system. Once we got there, however, and all the fish were feeding, randomly splashing and creeping up on me in the dark, there was absolutely no way I was going in unless Jason was behind me with his chainsaw.
The naked people went swimming, risking getting leeches on their butts, and I spent an hour or so on the dock being absolutely floored by awe at how huge the sky is; creepy lake or not, the sky up here is always going to be beautiful. I nearly fell asleep on the dock too, until a fish shot up right under me and the moment was ruined. So ultimately, it seems as though the city girl in me lives on.
If there’s one thing I’m noticing about living up here, it’s that there’s no such thing as a typical weekend. Rosendale and the surrounding cities have so much going on (surprising, right?) that I think you have to go out of your way to not have anything to do.
This past Friday the intern pizza night tradition was continued at our house. Now while my first instinct is to order in, my housemates are convinced they’re going to turn me into the next Julie Child… or at least a passable Sandra Lee. Apparently WSW’s lineage of admin interns is chock full of “just add water” dependent people who then miraculously become brilliant at cooking by the end of their terms. So, low and behold, I’ve officially now made my first pizza from scratch! Rachel (studio intern) was sick, so instead of contaminating food and infecting everyone, I became the guinea pig and she taught me how to make dough. Dough is surprisingly simple, so much so that I was left unsupervised and subsequently began flinging the dough around in the air like those chefs in cartoons. With some probable extra protein from bugs getting sucked up by a flying dough-saucer, the pizza was made and boy, was it delicious. While I’m on the subject, Rachel and I also made homemade spring rolls! I’ll end up on Iron Chef yet.
^ Ta dah! One totally edible pizza coming up!
^ Believe it or not, mine is on the far right!
Really though, I’ve begun to realize why so many people are attracted to staying out here. The pace is so much slower, and everything is mellowed out. Coming from such a big city, the transition of being surrounded by brand name dependent peers to being lucky if they bother putting on pants is really quite intense. I kid you not about the pants thing. Apparently the baker on Main Street was arrested a while back for indecent exposure after chasing someone off his lawn with a hose… sans pants.
Anonymous said: OK if I share it on my facebook page so family and my interested friends can follow along? -- Mom
Of course :) Also, I’m thinking I may write an update in the next couple days!
^ The Women’s Studio Workshop
^ Where I’m living (The Anne Attwood House, affectionately renamed Attwood Manor by us)
In order to keep everyone updated, and have a great piece of memorabilia when I’m done, I’ve decided to write this blog about my experiences living in the middle of nowhere INSIDE of the middle of nowhere, NY.
I was awarded the phenomenal opportunity to have a 6-month long internship at the Women’s Studio Workshop for arts administration. With all of my bags packed, and quite a few fond “farewells,” my family and I made the 11 hour and 18 minute/675 mile drive to Rosendale, New York… which considering our history took a little more than that. Add in frequent pee breaks, random food stops, and a couple wrong turns and you’ve got an (at minimum) 4 hour-extended Fleming Family Road Trip! In fact, speaking of wrong turns, even though I had researched my new home for the next six months, I almost wished we had made a wrong turn and I wasn’t actually staying where we ended up. I’ve never personally considered myself a “city girl,” nor particularly high maintenance, but upon arriving in Rosendale, the bugs, the heat, and the dirt nearly got the best of me. Long story short, some bugs were accidentally consumed, I had to swiffer mop my ceiling and when I swept, half of the dust pile walked away because it was still alive.