Info

Chau and B.J.'s notes from Space City

June has flown by and I’m already halfway through my summer break. A lot has happened: I finished up the school year and completed my 5th year of teaching; we went to New York with my sisters for work/play, we saw Eggleston at the Met, celebrated my 28th birthday with friends, rode the ferry over to Brooklyn, had a lovely lunch with the Dobbin Mews ladies, came back to Houston; and then… I got a new teaching job. As I was looking forward to a summer of “nothing,” things changed quickly. But this change was good. I had a tearful goodbye (all on my end, of course, because I cry about everything) with my former school, and now I’m preparing materials for my new courses. My commute will cut out almost 1.5 hours of driving every day, and most importantly I think this position will enable me to havea much more balanced life. Here’s to a new beginning!

ny1

ny2

ny3

ny4

We watched Before Sunrise today as a refresher for Before Midnight. The first time I viewed this movie, it was on a VHS tape my sisters and I rented from the local Krogers. I love that you’re able to grow with the characters, and now reflect on where you were at when the 1st and 2nd movie came out. Watching it again, they seem so young, and Ethan Hawke comes off as a cynic and Julie Delphy very passionate about everything. It works though and seems very appropriate for who they were in the first movie.

BeforeSunrise

I loved reading about Robin Wood’s thoughts on one of my favorite scenes – the listening booth scene. Found here:

“I have to confess, at this point, to a failure: even on first viewing I told myself that I would ‘one day’ analyze in detail the scene in the listening booth of the record store, in which nothing happens except that Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy either do or don’t look at each other, their eyes never quite meeting. After a dozen viewings I abandoned the project. I suppose one might try an elaborate system of charts and timings, annotating ‘direction of the gaze’, when and how long each looks (or doesn’t)… which would demonstrate nothing of the least importance. With no camera-movement, no editing, no movement within the frame except for the slight movements of the actors’ heads, nothing on the soundtrack but a not-very-distinguished song that may vaguely suggest what is going on in the characters’ minds and seems sometimes to motivate their ‘looks’ (“Though I’m not impossible to touch / I have never wanted you so much / Come here”), the shot seems to me a model of ‘pure cinema’ in ways Hitchcock never dreamed of (not merely ‘photographs of people talking’, but photographs of them not talking), precisely because it completely resists analysis, defies verbal description. All one can say is that it is the cinema’s most perfect depiction, in just over one minute of ‘real’ time, at once concrete and intangible, of two people beginning to realize that they are falling in love.”

Before Midnight on npr

Summer’s here! Making time to recharge, create, and reflect. And hopefully things won’t be so quiet around here.

chaunguyen_ceramics

Recently, my friend Tyler asked me to draw some cats for him and afterwards, I scanned and messed with some of the drawings just for fun.  BJ introduced me to some cat memes while I was looking up images. I’m severely allergic to cats and more of a dog person myself, but I’m now warming up to them :)

 

Cats small

thuy_papercutswatercolors_papercutspapercutsicarus_papercut

Paper cut window mobiles for the store from my time off during Spring Break with help from Thuy. Lots going on around here. We’ve been driving back and forth to see family during the past couple of weeks, and just said good bye to the last few still here. Be back soon with more updates!

things copy

 

My spring break is drawing to an end, and, like I do with most weekends, I’m left wishing I’d done more before it ended, and probably dwelling a little too much on it all. But it’s been a pretty great week so far. I got to wake up late and it wasn’t pitch dark, eat multiple lunches with BJ, organize the house, hang out with my siblings, enjoy the spring weather, tackle loads of laundry, and work on fall orders for the store. We’ve also been watching The Americans. I’ll always be a Keri Russell fan (Felicity forever!), and although it was a little slow to start for me, I’m pretty hooked. The 80′s look good on her too.

While cleaning the house, I took some pictures of some of the things I’ve been collecting or using frequently. From the top: new comfy Anniel shoes from Leap and hat from Creatures of Comfort, Mujji restock from our last trip to NY, bits of fabric and packaging remnants from Julia and Shara + pretty business card I found in NY, and some of the art supplies I’ve using these days. Still obsessed with stamps!

 

On Thursday night, BJ and I had dinner at our friends and we all watched A Model For Matisse on Netflix. The film tells the story of Matisse’s unlikely friendship and work with Sister Jacques- Marie on the Chapel of the Rosary. It may have been an unusually Valentine’s movie pick, but by the end, it made sense. I was a little caught off guard by how moved and inspired I was after watching both by the tenderness of their bond and the drive Matisse had even in his aging years.

Already a fan of Matisse, especially his paper cuts, I have an even bigger admiration for his work created after he became less mobile. Here he is in poor health, drawing with a 9 foot pole, climbing dressers to reach higher spots. I can’t imagine anyone else during that time who could have gotten away with creating such modern imagery for a chapel. I can see how some of the nuns were up in arms!

chapelle_du_rosaire_de_vence

matisse_chapel

matisee_vestments

matisse_bees-1948
I love the little details that went into planning of the chapel down to the priest’s chasubles, which Matisse first drafted with paper cut outs. There were several proposals for the stained glass, and one of my favorites that didn’t make it was the piece above called The Bees, which captured an overhead view of nuns in their habit. Definitely worth checking out if you haven’t already!

sources 1. 2, 3, 4, 5

 

2012 Every year, BJ makes end of the year lists for his favorite, movies, books, songs, albums, etc . He loves it and spends so much time on it. I give him a hard time though because he’s still working on the list way into the next year. This time around, he’s finally sharing his favorite longreads from 2012. I’m going to try and read one a day. Enjoy!