16 vs 46
Austin Kleon mentioned artist Joseph Grigely, who is deaf, in his newsletter last Friday. I had the great honor of meeting—and conversing via notes!—with Grigely when I worked as a research and then teaching assistant for Katherine Sherwood during the first semester (Fall 2002) she taught the course Art, Medicine, and Disability. I remember sitting across from Grigely and Sherwood at Cafe Strada (where my caffeine addiction began) and passing notes back and forth. So it’s quite possible some of those notes are among the 30K+ that made it into his show at MASS MoCA. It was Grigely’s Postcards to Sophie Calle that then introduced me to Calle’s work. Anyway, Sherwood taught the class in the Art Practice department at UC Berkeley for about a decade (you can read a bit more about the course, including a partial syllabus, here). I wrote about the experience working as Sherwood’s RA/TA here (and yep, there’s a song from the 90s referenced in that blog post!).
This past weekend was my birthday weekend, celebrating all weekend long since I had to travel on my birthday. On Sunday, with a few months left on our current SFMOMA membership, we snagged tickets to see Yayoi Kusama’s two infinity rooms open there now. I haven’t seen much of her work in person before this and after seeing the show, I have to mostly agree with this KQED Arts review (incidentally, I wrote about visiting The Color Factory six years ago here). My favorite part of the whole experience was probably the poem outside the second room. “Over many long years, I have treaded a path with art as a weapon.”
Later that afternoon we drove to Monterey to stay overnight, getting up early on Monday to catch the 9 a.m. whale-watching trip with Monterey Bay Whale Watch. It was magical. During our four-hour boat trip we saw a Minke whale, common dolphins, humpback whales, sea lions, a few sea otters, and lots of birds. You can follow them on Instagram (plus their photographer and videographer for amazing pics/videos every day). I’d love to go back in the spring for a chance to see blue whales and orcas, too.
Birthday foods included veganized versions of Smitten Kitchen’s pizza beans and garlic bread, plus caesar salad with homemade vegan dressing all made by my husband/personal chef. For dessert, an iced hazelnut mocha cake from Ginger Bakes (one of the best cakes I’ve ever had, vegan or otherwise).
As far as gifts go, my family got me a record player, which I’ve been wanting for awhile now (I miss browsing a collection and just listening to a full album, you know?), and the first record in my new collection.
I had the cassette tape of this (might still have it somewhere) and was obsessed with them in the early 90s. Pearl Jam’s Vs. was my very first CD, purchased for me by my very first boyfriend (and yes, there’s a 60 Songs That Explain The 90s episode about Pearl Jam, specifically their song Yellow Ledbetter).
Too bad I now need a magnifying glass to read the lyrics. This is, after all, 46. Back next week with some dispatches from London, where I’m headed for the rest of the work week.