Oh yeah! Still here!

Last you guys heard, I was having a miserable winter. You’ll be glad to hear that I’ve moved on to having an okay winter. I know it’s April and I should be calling it Spring, I don’t call it spring till I’m tiptoeing through tulips. I’m sure you’re all dying to know what’s happened between posts. Here’s a quick overview:

  • I got a promotion. Since I keep this space free of work talk, I’ll just say that in my new position, I have many more responsibilities and a TON to learn. I’m excited for the challenge.
  • I went on vacation and returned yesterday. I spent a week in sunny San Diego with an old friend and her 3 year-old daughter. Much to my surprise (and my mother’s), spending a week with with a 3 year-old didn’t completely eliminate the possibility having kids some day. I actually think it would be pretty cool to have someone tiny to hang out with and dress up. I’d want some help paying for the tiny companion, so I won’t be doing it solo any time soon, but if the circumstances were right, I would be okay with having a child. Other highlights of my vacation include: sunburn, an overpriced drink at a rooftop nightclub, delicious bruscetta, witnessing the public’s eagerness to buy STAR MAPS in Beverly Hills, appreciating days that pass without caring about the time, and reading a Meg Wolitzer novel (The Wife) in two days.
  • I registered for an improv class. You know, like Whose Line is it Anyway? That sort of thing. It’s going to go one of two ways: I’ll succeed immediately and be on SNL next year or have an epic fail and experience a huge ego check.
  • I started online dating again and after a half dozen dates I disabled my profile again. After outlining an essay about online dating and I read a Nora Ephron essay that is making me rethink the essay entirely. All I can confidently say now is that I don’t know what the hell I’m doing when it comes to dating and that I’ve sworn off several types of men (musicians, dudes who say “I don’t know” constantly, and those in search of an identity).
  • I registered for a 10k and promptly stopped training. Then one night my roommate and I accidentally ran 6 miles. I haven’t done much since then, so on May 18th, I’m banking on a repeat of the spontaneous endurance level.
  • After a 15 minute discussion with a friend one night, I got seven inches of hair cut. Felt like I lost thirty pounds and was disappointed to see I was mistaken.
  • I got obsessed with Chris Thile, listened to Punch Brothers for three straight months, freaked out and bought tickets to see Nickel Creek two minutes after I realized they were playing nearby. My parents and I will be seeing Nickel Creek on May 10. Kick Ass Daughter Level = Expert.
  • I turned 26 and threw myself a party. It was fairly lowkey, though I did wear a sequin-covered dress. I’m not sure if the latter statement negates the former, but I don’t really care. I had fun – great friends with lots of food, lots of wine and coffee Patron, and DJs who vibed the party perfectly.  Check them out here. I hear they accept payment in burritos, but don’t quote me on that.
  • I bought a new couch. Like a real adult couch. Like I went to an actual furniture store and picked out a piece on the showroom and paid to have it delivered. It wasn’t on clearance and it cost the better part of a paycheck. I’m sitting on it now.
  • I crocheted a lot. I don’t want to talk about it.

I’m making a goal to spend less time with yarn and more time with people. That’s a pretty good goal, right?

Oh, also, after realizing I had let the Customization Packs for my theme expire, I decided to revamp my blog with a new theme and picture.  My roommate helped me with the photos by goofing around on our stairs in gorgeous afternoon sunlight after I spent last night being sick from an airport deli sandwich.  We got some good shots that included the ones below. Credit for any perceived glow goes to the sunlight prisms or post colon-cleanse.

This is my "I'm Scared, Feed Me" face.

This is my “I’m Scared, Feed Me” face.

Slight variation of the previous face, but with less "I'm Scared" and more "Feed Me".

Slight variation of the previous face, but with less “I’m Scared” and more “Feed Me”.

Next time I do online dating, this is totally going to be my profile pic.

Next time I do online dating, this is totally going to be my profile pic. I’m sure to get some classy men with this one.

Sorry you guys read the blog of someone so weird. I’d tell you to hope for something different in the future, but you probably know that’s a lie.

…introducing the new look.

As you can probably tell, Everything is Blooming looks a little different today. It’s not a major change, but just a slight face lift. I wanted the look to better represent the tone and style of my blog. What do you think of it?

If you’re a fan of Everything is Blooming on Facebook, you know that last Saturday night I had plans to drink wine and work with my brother, Corey Otto, on a new picture for my blog. Corey has always been a bit of a perfectionist, and this is reflected in everything he does.

"Paper Cranes"Solid ash coffee table18x38

“Paper Cranes”
Solid ash coffee table
18×38

Eye - Closeup2010Pencil

“Eye – Closeup”
2010
Pencil

Panel 2 of a 5 panel piece titled "Mon Carnet"15"x30"Watercolor, Ink, and Sharpie on canvas

Panel 2 of a 5 panel piece titled “Mon Carnet”
15″x30″
Watercolor, Ink, and Sharpie on canvas

"Show Your Bones"200818"x24"Graphite, Ink, Sharpie on paper

“Show Your Bones”
2008
18″x24″
Graphite, Ink, Sharpie on paper

As you can see, his expertise lies mostly in drawing and painting. Pretty incredible, right? This is also the same guy who can run 5k in under 20 minutes, just to make you feel inferior. Corey studied photography at UW-Milwaukee but got sidetracked by the painting classes, where he really found his stride. He’s continuously working to develop his craft by trying different materials. He makes a deliberate effort for each piece to be absolutely perfect before calling it complete, which is why his studio is still full of paintings he’s not quite ready to part with.

Most of the drawers in the green cabinet contain a piece in progress.

Most of the drawers in the green cabinet contain a piece in progress.

Corey’s art has a sense of softness that contrasts sharply with an urban edge. Some of the pieces are extremely sensuous – especially those in which he studies the female form. But even in these gorgeous drawings, there is a meticulousness to them. I don’t know much about art, but I think he creates a great juxtaposition between darker base instincts and idealism.

"Another Day"201022"x30"Graphite on paper (Strathmore 400 Bristol)

“Another Day”
2010
22″x30″
Graphite on paper (Strathmore 400 Bristol)

Corey also has a talent for photography – something I had almost forgotten until I saw a self portrait he did recently.  It took me about thirty seconds to call him up and tell him I wanted help his with a new photo.

"Self Portrait"

Self Portrait that says “I’m an understated badass. Deal with it.”

So he brought his camera and flash over to my apartment where we turned on some music, drank a few whiskey drinks (not wine), and I goofed around in front of the camera.

Much like Stoic Balloon, Solitary Chair is judging you.

Much like Stoic Balloon, Solitary Chair is also judging you.

Most of the shots we posed made me look like the chubby author of a self-help book. Thus the “Make me look less fat” comment. Eventually, the whiskey kicked in and I got a little dorky. That’s when he got some good shots. Candid is always the way to go. 

Just ignore the ghetto air conditioner.

Just ignore the ghetto air conditioner.

I’d like to thank Corey for helping me out with the photos and the design for the new header. Since he’s always well-versed in Photoshop, Corey brought my idea for the original Everything is Blooming header to life. He also helped create the new one.

If you’d like to see more of Corey’s art, please check out his artist’s page on Facebook by clicking on the image below. There you can view more of his art, works in progress, sources of inspiration, and price information for some of the pieces if you’re interested in purchasing an original.

Corey