Life, lately (emailing people & ice-cream & art museum)

Emailing people

This year in history/English class, I read Frankenstein. Near the beginning, there was a quote in it that I bookmarked because it immediately reminded me this blog post writted by Austin Kleon. (I also talked about him in my last post as the person who made black-out poems the thing they are today.)

This was the quote: “Nothing is more painful to the human mind than, after the feelings have been worked up a quick succession of events, the dead calmness of inaction and certainty which follows and deprives the soul both of hope and fear.”

And he responded back!!! with a link to this!!!

It made my jaw drop in supreme and happy shock for quite a few moments. When I told my friends about it, they told me I should’ve told him to link to this blog, which was a response that made me laugh.

P. S. He’s on book tour right now for his new book, Keep Going. I’m hoping to go see him on May 23 at the Interabang bookstore (which I actually went to last summer!) in Dallas. If it happens, it’ll probably pop up in a coming Life, lately. I guess they’ve become a sporadic series now.

Making ice-cream in chemistry

In chemistry I’m learning about (wait what are we learning right now?)-well, we’re learning things, and last Friday we made ice-cream in class as a lab. It was so we could experience (umm?) how putting salt in ice makes it colder because it lowers the water’s melting/freezing point. I don’t remember what the bigger, overarching idea was supposed to be, but anyways, it was great and the ice-cream was so delicious.

Here’s how we made it:
-put 1/2 cup of milk, 1 Tbls sugar, and 1/4 tsp of vanilla extract inside a Ziploc and then double-bag it
-close the small bags and put that inside of a big bag
-fill the big bag less than halfway full with ice and dump 6 Tbls (of just a lot) of salt on the ice
-go outside (otherwise you might get salt all over your furniture) and shaaaaaaake until the milk becomes ice-cream, or at least custard
-take out the small bag, add toppings if you so wish, and then eat straight out of the bag

from Popsugar

Note: Isn’t it cool and weird how some brands become so large that they become synonymous with a specific item that they sell? Okay, you probably read that and was like, what? I’ll give you some examples of what I’m talking about:
Ziploc = plastic bag
Kleenex = tissue
Google = searching something up online
Vaseline = petroleum jelly
Q-tips = cotton swabs

Here are some more from this website that I’d never have considered:
Jello = gelatin dessert
Escalator = moving staircase
Bubble wrap = sealed air packaging
Frisbee = flying disc
Highlighter = felt-tip writing device that adds emphasis to text
Granola = whole grain cereal.
Mace = aerosol self-defense spray
Styrofoam = closed-cell extruded polystyrene foam
Velcro = hook and loop fastener
Band-aid = adhesive bandage

They’re called eponyms! Eponyms include a lot of words. They encompass everything that has or will be named after someone, whether it’s math (Pythagorean theorem), science stuff (the Bohr model for atoms), figurative stuff (Achille’s heel), companies (Wendy’s?), or amusement parks (Disneyworld). I guess for the ones I listed, those are in eponym category of words named after companies and not specific people.

Oh! And when something is called by its name, there’s a specific word for it but I CANNOT REMEMBER. Okay, I know, that probably doesn’t make any more sense that my explanation of eponyms. Whoa, when things are called by their names? Crazy.

I’ll explain. The only example I can think of is how e=mc squared is called e=mc squared and not Einstein’s Formula or something. Argh I cannot remember what the word is. Please help.

Art museum

from The Sterling Standard

Also for history/English class, last week I went to the Fort Worth Modern Museum of Art. I went there with my art class two years ago, but this time the docent said completely new and very interesting things and made pieces I had already seen before even better.

In the museum, there’s an entire little side room dedicated to Philip Guston, whose art is really distinct.

Here are some things the docent told us about him. (If anything turns out to be factually inaccurate, it’s because I remembered something wrong, not because the docent was.)

His family was Jewish, and when they moved to America, his father had a hard time finding work and went into depression. One day, Guston came home and found his father dead. He had hung himself. As a little boy, the first thing that Guston probably saw was the bottoms of his dad’s shoes, and throughout his artwork, the image of soles appears again and again.

She also told us this about him.

As a teenager, he went to a private high school, the same high school Jackson Pollock went to(!!!) (If you haven’t heard that name before, he’s a famous abstract painter who made the splatterpaint pieces. They’re also very distinct.) Two very famous painters at the same high school is already a great fact by itself, but it gets even better.

They were, of course, in the arts program at their school, and they got annoyed by their school’s budgeting-specifically, how the athletics program got more attention than the arts. So, they put together a memorandum stating their grievances and distributed it throughout the school. The stunt got them suspended. After a period of time, Pollock was allowed back, but Guston wasn’t. Or maybe he didn’t want to return? She didn’t explain that part.

The part about the athletics vs. arts really got my attention because that’s something we literally talk about in art class, decades later. Just the other week, a girl in my class said something along those exact lines.

This next piece might be my favorite. In this picture, you can faintly see the colors, but in some of the other pictures online you can’t tell at all. I’m sure that in real life people walk past it all the time thinking it’s just a plain wall. But if you look closer, you see the different triangles of what looks like to be really light shades of purple, orange, pink, and green-blue.

But then the docent told us this piece was made out of four colors: and those colors were red, blue, black, and yellow(!!!) If you go up close to the artwork, you see that it’s made of milions of parallel vertical, horizontal, and diagonal lines that combine in a way that makes other colors. It’s so cool.

On top of that, the artist, Sol Lewitt, didn’t draw a single of those lines. He’s what I learned is called a conceptual artist. Lewitt came up with the idea and wrote the instructions down on a piece of paper, but then other people came in and spent hours actually making it. That piece of paper Lewitt typed out is in the museum’s storage downstairs and is considered to be the real art.

And of course, there’s the unmissable ladder.

This was made out of single tree, and a single tree only. There’s no nails or screws. It’s one single piece made by hand. You can even see the artist’s pencil marks on the wood. The story is that a person from the museum went to visit the artist and saw this ladder. The museum person asked to purchase it, but the artist, Martin Puryear, told him it wasn’t for sale. The museum person said that’s fine, but can I please borrow it as a part of this one show? Puryear said yes. But when he came to see the show and the ladder in this space, he saw how perfect it was and let the museum buy it for its permanent collection.

Have you ever emailed an author or blogger?
What ice-cream toppings do you like?
I think I prefer my ice-cream to be pretty plain-except for chocolate: chocolate syrup, Oreo crumble, chocolate chips. Otherwise, not really. And I don’t like sprinkles.
Did you know that eponym was a word? OR DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT WORD I CANNOT THINK OF IS.
What are your thoughts on modern art?

P.P.S. Picture of the Modern Art Museum from Magnolia Rouge.

12 thoughts on “Life, lately (emailing people & ice-cream & art museum)”

  1. Oh my gosh, that’s so amazing that Austin Kleon tweeted about you! My jaw would also drop open (and it did, when I read the post- secondhand astonishment XD). You should definitely keep that screenshot forever! Also, funnily enough, we also read Frankenstein in my English/history class this year. I liked it, though I think I would have liked it more if I hadn’t also had to annotate it.
    And I also did the ice cream lab in chemistry a few weeks ago! The ice cream was shockingly good. Sadly my teacher didn’t think of us going outside to shake the larger ziploc bag, so it was very cold and wet for a few minutes until someone thought of wrapping the bags in lap aprons and then shaking the lab apron bundle.
    EPONYMS ARE SO COOL. (I didn’t know there was a word for it now, but I’ve thought about the idea before.) I mean, I literally just used one in the sentence prior, by mentioning ziploc bags instead of just say plastic bag. Thinking about eponyms kind of blows my mind, even though they’re simple in theory.
    I’ve never been to the Fort Worth Museum of Modern Art, but it looks amazing. I’ll have to go this summer! The faint-color-triangle artwork is super cool. And the ladder, wow! Okay, I definitely need to go to this museum.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know!!!! Hahaha! Ohh, secondhand astonishment, that’s interesting. Is secondhand embarrassment something you feel? Or what’s the feeling you feel most secondhand? I do this thing with speakers for teenagers where I see them how I think how everybody in the crowd is seeing them, and I get embarrassed for the person even if I don’t think it’s embarrassing and even though I don’t necessarily know what everybody else is thinking anyways. No way!! Haha, I had to annotate it too. How did you guys do it? For most of the chapters, the teacher gave us a specific theme or topic to look for.
      Ahhhh, no way! I love the paralels our schools have. It was SO GOOD. What. That’s so smart. That’s brilliant. I should recommend that to the teacher for next year.
      I KNOW. I’ve thought about the idea before too, but never known the word either. Oh yea, I didn’t even notice that.
      Oh my goodness, if you go, please tell me! And then you can tell your family or friends or whoever you go with all these random details about the pieces.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I feel secondhand embarrassment with speakers, too! It happens to me most often at church when someone is praying in front of everyone and they pause for a moment or stumble over their words and I get so nervous for them. (It actually happened today in church, haha.) Now that I think about it, secondhand embarrassment is a very odd concept.
        We annotated it based on a list of things our teacher gave us to annotate the whole book with- some of them were themes, like the pursuit of knowledge, and we also had to annotate for literary devices and then also Romanticism, because that’s what we were learning about when we read it.
        Me too, it’s so interesting to see! HAHA, it was actually quite fun to shake the lap apron bundles.
        I will let you know! And yes, I will definitely share the tidbits of interest with whoever I go with. :))

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ohh, that’s interesting. That hasn’t happened to me before, but at summer camp there’s a testimony night, and if my friends go up, I sometimes get nervous for them. It is a very odd concept! But it’s such a smart and concise way of naming a blobby feeling.
          Oh okay, cool! Knowledge was one of the themes we talked about too. Do you guys ever have seminars? We usually have them after every book we read. This year, the desks get arranged into a circle inside of another circle, half and half sit in each circle, the inside circles talks and the outside circle doesn’t, and then you switch.
          Hahaha, I’m sure!!!
          And ahhhh, okay :))

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Yes, definitely.
            WE DO THAT TOO. We have the inside circle and outside circle for all our socratic seminars. I have mixed feelings about the seminars- it’s good because people usually become very insightful during them, but for a quiet person like me, it can be a little stressful to know that I’m getting grading on how much I speak up.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. NO WAY. Yea, it’s cool because people say things that they don’t normally! Haha, I agree. It’s hard to listen to people and think about what you’re going to say at the same time.

              Liked by 1 person

  2. I do think it is really interesting that we adopt brand names as words to describe the things in general, but I did not know that “eponym” was the word used to describe that phenomena! And I have no idea what the other word is that you are looking for. I knew that Jello and Band-aid were brand names, but I didn’t know about granola or escalator! It’s so crazy how integrated the words become into language that we don’t even think about it.
    I like my ice cream pretty plain too, but chocolate syrup and caramel sauce are often welcome, as well as Oreo crumbs. 🙂
    I am not a very big fan of most modern art, but some of it can be pretty cool. I really like the ladder!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yea, me either! Hahaha-wait! Could you ask your sister who’s majoring in English? Oops, I already gave other questions in her my other comment. Please do not bombard her with my thoughts if it’s not a good time. I did not know about Band-aid. Or granola or escalator. I know, it is crazy.
      I actually don’t think I’ve ever tried caramel sauce before because I don’t like caramel in it’s solid form. But now that I think about it, I might actually like caramel sauce.
      I know right?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I had no idea the word “eponym” existed, but I can relate to your thoughts about how brand become synonymous with the objects they sell. In Romanian we also have nouns or verbs derived from brands, for example “adidasi” (sports shoes) from Adidas, “conversi” (converse shoes) from Converse, “a xeroxa” (to copy) and “xerox” (printer) from Xerox, and the list goes on. It’s funny how sometimes people say or 🙂

    PS: woaa, I had not idea that Granola was Kellogg’s trademark …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, that’s cool! Do other brands sell converse shoes besides Converse? Also, I think it’s interesting that Adidas became the brand to overtake sports shoes and not Nike. Maybe it’s because Adidas came first? I only know that because of this awesome book I read called Shoe Dog-it was written by the founder of Nike. Wait, whaaat? Kellogg owns the word granola, is that what you mean? If so, that’s insane.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. From what I’ve seen, converse shoes usually have the Converse brand on them. It’s not yet to the level of adidas shoes 🙂

        Regarding Granola, on the link from your post says “It began as a trademark of Kellogg’s in the late 19th century” … now it’s trademark only in Australia and New Zealand (according to Wikipedia).

        Liked by 1 person

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