August 2009

8.29.09

I forgot to mention that I am part of a exhibition at the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco. The exhibit is called "Monsters of Webcomics" and I am in the Virtual Gallery along with many other creators. In addition to the Virtual Gallery, the actual gallery walls are graced by the works of some very talented creators. You can read the press release here. The exhibit is up from August 8- December 6, 2009 and if you're in California, the bay area, or will find yourself there on a vacation, you should visit the museum (which is super nice btw) and see the exhibit!

Other than the fact that I'm in the exhibit, I'm excited for it because of the webcomics show I curated 2 years ago in 2007 called "Infinite Canvas: The Art of Webcomics" at MoCCA in New York City. My exhibit and the exhibit at the Cartoon Art Museum, despite being about the same genre, seem very different and I look forward to seeing pictures and reading the reviews.

Jen
8.25.09

I'm sorry I haven't been writing back to some of you who have written me as of late. Things here are pretty busy. I started preparing for my oral examination, which has been taking up a good portion of my day. On top of that, I have to figure out what to do about my LEEP procedure. As some of you might remember, I was supposed to go in tomorrow to get it done but unfortunately, NYU switched insurance companies on us and the hospital I was going to does not take my new insurance. I'm not sure what would be the best course of action right now but I know I need to get this done ASAP. Without getting into too much detail, I will just say that funky things have been going on recently and I'm worried.

But here's some brighter happier news: Edouard asked me to marry him on Saturday! I, of course, agreed that this is a good idea. Unlike other people, I did not call a billion people to tell them the news. I just called my parents, a couple of friends that know the both of us really well, and then announced it on facebook.

"Because it's not official until it's on facebook."

Jen
8.22.09

I found out a few days ago that UCLA is making moves to close their Arts Library due to massive budget shortfalls in the University of California system. As most of you probably know, I went to UCLA as an undergrad and double majored in history and art history. Needless to say, I spent a lot of time and was very dependent on the Arts Library there. Supposedly the university is planning on moving some of the books and archives to other locations on campus but obviously there isn't enough room to save everything. Imagine how devastating this is to the faculty and students of the art history, film, architecture, and theater departments.

The most horrible thing about all of this is that library management failed to consult the arts and humanities faculty about their plans to close this library down. Additionally, the library management did not consult with the UCLA Academic Senate on Library and Scholarly Communication about this issue.

I love UCLA and it makes me angry and upset to think that this might happen. This is why I ask you, my readers, if you at all love UCLA, the arts, and academia in general, to please sign the petition to save the Arts Library.The letter demands an open meeting for "interested students and faculty at the beginning of the Fall quarter." I think UCLA owes everyone at least that.

And here's a clue to the UC system: you shouldn't have built a new campus when you couldn't even fill UC Riverside. And stop trying to expand it when you keep losing students who want to transfer to other UCs!

Jen
8.18.09

Yesterday was a pretty bad day. Immediately after writing in my blog, I went to go get some pants from my closet when the entire thing- shelves, hanging rod and all- collapsed and landed on my left hand. I wasn't hurt but it really sucked to have my closet on the floor. After that I went to school with my coffee, which was so acidic I could practically feel my teeth decaying, and started studying for the Ancient Egyptian language section of my oral examination that is probably taking place in December. In the middle of studying I started getting preoccupied with thoughts about a girl I know and who implicitly called me a slut because of my cervical issues. This girl also had the nerve to offer to sit with me at the hospital for moral support. I'm sure that would be SO helpful. Anyway, that got me all worked up and after crying angrily to myself in the periodical section at school, I decided some junk food would probably make me feel better. I went down to the vending machine to get some white cheddar popcorn (because they ran out of cheez-its), put a dollar in, pressed the code, and watched helplessly as my popcorn got stuck just inches away from the exit gate. Keeping my cool, I thought things through and used my 8th grade physics to determine what it would take to get my popcorn to unstick itself. I'm not strong enough to shake the vending machine, which is a bad idea anyway since lots of people die doing that, so I got creative; I noticed that about 7 inches above my stuck popcorn was a Snickers bar, a treat I also enjoy. I figured that the force and weight of the (and this is where physics people- and my mom and dad who are mathematicians and engineers, respectively) Snickers bar would push the small, light bag of popcorn through the opening. Then, I would not only get to eat popcorn but chocolate as well. So anyway, I put another dollar in and of course I miscalculated and the Snickers bar just gets stuck on top of the popcorn and I'm left feeling stupid and 2 dollars poorer. Not giving up, I decided to put up a sign on the vending machine that asked whoever was able to get the popcorn and Snickers bar out to please take it up to my shelf (where I designated the room and number) so I wouldn't feel ripped off. When it was time to go home I checked my shelf where there was no popcorn or Snickers bar. I decided to swing by the vending machine and when I did, I saw that the popcorn and Snickers bar were gone and someone decided to ignore my letter and run off with my goods. It was then that I knew the world was against me that day.

Today is going to be better though. It's a good hair day.

Jen
8.17.09

Today I'm going to start more seriously dipping my feet into my orals studying. I woke up at 9:30 am today, which for me, is an ungodly hour. Getting to my department's building in the Upper East Side before noon is a big deal but I have to do it if I'm going to take my orals seriously. By gradually changing my sleeping habits, I hope to wake up every morning at 7:30 so that I can get to school at 9 am. I plan on studying from at least 9-6 six days a week until my oral exams. People have done it before me (with some slips here and there) and I hope that I can keep it up.

Unfortunately, my professors *still* haven't written me back so I don't have a complete bibliography from which to study. I really hope I hear from someone soon.

Jen
8.15.09

Ok, I'm not sure why the comic didn't update on the GoComics.com site but it's probably my fault somehow.

Anyway, it's here- enjoy!

edit: link fixed

Jen
8.14.09

Typo fixed on this comic.

I went to the hospital earlier this week to reschedule my LEEP procedure because someone on their staff accidentally put me down for this Tuesday (the doctor doesn't do LEEPs or colposcopies on Tuesdays) instead of Wednesday. Unfortunately, all the Wednesdays were booked until the 26th and I could only get an afternoon time slot. Even though the doctor says he only does LEEPs in the mornings, I took it. It's their problem now. I've tried enough.

It's funny how I have to chase down the hospital staff to schedule an appointment I'm not looking forward to at all.

Other than that I've been desperately trying to contact my adviser about my oral examination this fall and my dissertation proposal. So far, I have not been able to reach him. C'est la vie I guess.

Jen
8.12.09

So as promised, I'm going to share some pictures from my trip to France, which happened basically a week after I got back from Egypt. I actually wasn't as tired as you may think I would be.

One of the primary purposes of the trip was to see this exhibit:

It was OK.

Of course, another purpose of the trip was for Edouard and I to visit his parents in Paris and to just relax in general, which is what we did. We did a lot of touristy Parisian things that I've never got to do, such as Pere Lachaise and the catacombs (how macabre!) as well as revisit sites that I lost photographs of when I lost my passport, camera, and money in Paris 3 years before. Here are some Parisian snapshots:

Me with a bunny that some artists placed outside of the Galeries Lafayette.

This is a picture I took for David: me on a velib. Paris has this really great rent-a-bike system where basically there are these bike stands in different parts of the city from which you can take a bike and ride around for a monthly fee (I believe). You, of course, can't keep the bike to yourself; you have to drop off your bike at the designated bike stands.

Edouard and I also took road trips out to different areas in France. We went to Avignon, Chartres, which I recommend for its beautiful cathedral, and Mont St. Michel, which I also recommend because I'd never seen anything like it. Because Edouard's driver's license expired, I got to drive his family's Citroen, which was fun b/c it had a GPS system in French (You're allowed to drive in France with a US driver's license btw).

Here's a picture of me at the top of Mont St. Michel:

I'm overlooking a lot of sand and silt because the tide is down. When the tide is up, Mont St. Michel becomes an island. Another cool fact: Mont St. Michel sits on the border between Normandy and Brittany.

Before I left I aslo went to another exhibit, which I didn't know about but was a great surprise. At the Invalides they were doing a 200th anniversary of Napoleon's Description of Egypt. I've seen pages from an early print of the book before, but this exhibit had some really high quality prints AND they had a few of the original copper plates that were used for printing. It was pretty cool... plus I got to see Napoleon's grave while I was there.

And that was my trip in a nutshell!

Jen
8.11.09

Referring to yesterday's blog, I refer you to this link. At the top of the page, btw, is my former professor at UCLA, Kara Cooney, who is one of the nicest people you'll ever meet and also a really great Egyptologist. When you scroll down you'll see my former tour guide and now friend, Mayer Magdy, who is totally excited about being discovered by the Discovery Channel. Way to go, Mayer!

Jen
8.10.09

So remember my blog about my Egypt and how I told you about my fantastic tour guide, Mayer Magdy?

Well, apparently the Discovery Channel gave him a call yesterday to tell him that he was chosen as "the best adventure tour leader/guide in Egypt and one of the experts of the world." Right now Mayer is the senior tour manager for Gap Adventures in Egypt but he is starting his own touring company. I believe his website is still in the works but as soon as it's ready I will post it here.

If you're going to Egypt and need a guide, try to get a tour with Mayer. He really deserved that recognition from the Discovery Channel. You have my word as an Egyptologist.

Jen
8.9.09

More poor gal tips for looking fab:

-Remember to shop off season. Don't buy your summer wear in May/June... buy them in August/September when stores are trying to get rid of their stock for the Fall. Last week I got a 200 dollar designer bathing suit for 50 dollars, only 20 dollars more than what you would spend on one at Target. In my opinion the extra 20 is worth it- the materials are better and the actual style is a lot cuter.

-Buy clothes than can be worn in multiple ways. American Apparel is a good place for such items. I know what you're thinking, "American Apparel is expensive!" This is true as AA actually treats and pays their employees really well and everything is also done in downtown Los Angeles rather than abroad (so actually your money is going to what I would consider to be a good company- despite the fact that the owner is a bit of a perv). Nonetheless, AA has a ton of items that can be worn in at least 3 different ways so you're actually paying say 40-50 dollars on a few outfits rather than just one. For instance, I have one piece in particular that cost me 43 dollars. It is their "Cotton Spandex Jersey Bandeau Dress." With this dress, the straps can be readjusted to create different styles: You can wear it as a halter, as a strapless, as a cap sleeve, and even as a high waisted skirt. There are more styles you can transform this dress into... all it takes is some creativity or visiting the American Apparel website for ideas. Anyway, I've worn this dress as a halter, a strapless, and a high waisted skirt and pretty much everyone thinks they're three different outfits. I've had this dress for 3 years now.

-Make sure you read your coupons carefully. For some reason I've recently been geting coupons from Express even though I haven't shopped there regularly since high school and I've never signed up for their credit card. Most recently I received their "10 dollars off any 20 dollar purchase or 20 dollars off any 60 dollar purchase" coupon card in the mail. After reading the back carefully I saw that I couldn't use the coupon with any other deal or offer but that it did not say anything about clearance items or sale items. Offers and deals, you see, usually mean something like "2 Tees for 20 dollars" not "Tees now 50% percent." I ended up getting a dress, originally 80 dollars, which was marked down to 70, which was then half off, for 25 dollars because of my coupon. Quite a deal, eh? Also if you don't want to spend more don't let the sales lady pressure you into doing it. I, for instance, always get the Victoria Secret free panties coupon in the mail, and VS employees are always pressuring me to use the bra deal (10 dollars off any 40 dollar bra) but I just stay firm and tell them that I have no need for more bras. Don't spend more than you need to.

That's it for now! Be frugal not stupid!

Jen
8.5.09

I'm leaving Los Angeles and returning to NYC today.

It's always sad to leave L.A.. When I come back it's almost as if I never left and when I leave it always feels like the first time I left L.A. to go to NYC for grad school. The night before any departure I count all the things I'm going to miss about my home city: the view from my room, the palm dreams, the ocean breezes, the lack of moisture in the air, space to move around in, the quiet, the more relaxed living, my family, my friends here, and Tito's Tacos of course.

Tito's Tacos is DELICIOUS.

Anyway, I must return to New York City because of school, the constant bustle, my friends there, the public transportation, my tiny apartment, dive bars, and Edouard.

Sorry New York, you haven't yet provided me with a restaurant I would necessarily miss if I ever left.

Maybe if Tito's Tacos would open up an east coast branch....

Jen
8.2.09

Mona is singing Katy Perry's "Hot 'n' Cold," which coincidentally has been stuck in my head for the past two weeks.

The song itself is a little horrible and sexist- I mean "You change your mind like a girl changes clothes?" or "You PMS like a b@#$% I would know?" =/

The video, which I watched for the first time just now when I was looking for a link to show you all, is also a little weird- basically Katy is about to get jilted at the altar, which is when she breaks out into song. Throughout the entire video you see her going absolutely nuts at her husband to be- it's like watching a horrible emotional breakdown unfold to the beat of techno drums. On top of that there's a whole dance number with jilted brides whose mascara and eyeliner are running down their face and threatening the jerk groom with baseball bats.

Anyway, I'll let you guys watch it for yourself but there seems to be a disconnect between the image I think Katy Perry wants to projet in her vocals (a strong woman) versus the actual lyrics.

Jen