Friday, February 22, 2008

Who says mono doesn't mean monkey?

This picture is of my favorite RAs on Valentine's Day :)

The best part about this photo is that Brent was getting over being very sick. The following day, I was diagnosed with mono. A week later, Keefe's eyes turned this weird, diabolically red shade and developed influenza. I think Ashley and Karess are the only truly healthy ones in this photo. (...for now...heh)

I tried to write that I had mono to my Spanish teacher and I couldn't remember how to say it. Turns out it's the EXACT same thing as its scientific name in English: Mononucleosis. The Spanish don't abbreviate to "mono" like we do because mono means monkey. So, this is how the email went (In Spanish, of course, translated for you)

Hi, Pilar,

I am sorry that I was not in class Friday. I went to the doctor's office, and my doctor told me I have monkey. No, not monkey as in animal, monkey as in the disease. I have been diagnosed with monkey. But it's not really monkey, it's a virus. I just don't know what it is in Spanish, so I will describe for you monkey in Spanish so hopefully you can figure out what I'm trying to talk about. The monkey makes me very tired and gives me a sore throat. I get about 15 hours of sleep a night with monkey, and I might need some extra time completing some homework and other assignments.
I have a note from my doctor, explaining monkey in English if you would like to verify this!

Thank you,
Emily, the girl with the monkey on her shoulders.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

This is the outside cover of my senior year of high school/freshman year @ U of Iowa journal. It was very Mardi Gras themed. The back cover has broken strands of purple, green, and gold beads mod-podged on. :)

I made the mask by poking eye holes in a piece of white construction paper. Then I baked the paper to turn it a swirly-tea colored material. After I baked it (I had to experiment with temp/time), I lit a match to burn eyes where I had poked the eye holes earlier and around the edges.

Then I mod-podged feathers and confetti like crazy.

Cover 1

Old journal covers

These next couple of uploaded images are actually covers for my journals I completed in high school. I made the covers from magazine images, water color, textbook images/text, clip art, permanent markers, high school literary magazines, test questions, and even a piece of tape that my boyfriend's grandmother used to label a plate of kolaches for me (she spelled my name "Emiley", which I had never seen before. The tape was just too adorable to throw out)

Why bring them off of their dusty book shelf after three years? Well, a few reasons...
As I was pondering possible topics for my honors thesis (I feel so strange calling a senior project an "honors thesis", but that's international programs, for you) and I noticed that visual art culture has always been of interest me. When I was in Spain, literally half of the pictures I took were of graffiti. In China, I took pictures of a ton of billboards and advertisements. I asked myself if my fascination with graffiti-like material were new. Then I thought to art I had created. In my journals, I always did something funky with the inside and outside covers.

Now, mind you, I realize I am not a person with what you would call...oh, what's the word. Talent. However, my young 20s is that time when I'm supposed to explore all those untapped areas of intrigue I may not have had the chance to channel earlier. It's ok if I'm awkward because I am, well, young 20 something. Worse case scenario, I can just regard it similarly as hippies do their Woodstock hair dos. "Eh, I was 20 something".

Also, these are going up so I have a digitally protected copy of something I spent a lot of time in high school creating. I remember going to "journal parties" with my friends Emma, Katie and Davina (I thought it was so cool that their first initials, all together, created my entire name's initials) and admiring each others' creative patterns and seeing what went through each others' minds when we simply let our academically-overloaded (yet often lazy) minds let the more visual side take over.

I realize we were not the only ones to visual journal--in high school I started to get into an artist named Dan Eldon (from Cedar Rapids, was killed in Africa, was a huge influence on my photography in high school, made incredible journals which his family later published, may bring him up later). My sister Sarah also journals in a similar way. And there are tons of books floating around about self exploration and art for the self. I think one is called, "Leaving a Trace" and it has many different journaling prompts readers can use to start. So perhaps this is a reminder to myself that there is a journaling, art-for-the-self culture that I ought to reconnect with.

:) It's certainly fun.