Here's the thing: I have this list of "BIG GOALS FOR THE MONTH" that are large, recurring things I would like to accomplish once a month: things like reading a book, completing a large home improvement project, and writing a new blog post. If you're a longtime reader, you know how well that goal has been going (hint: BADLY). I personally benefit from reading many blogs, instructions, and musings on the internet. I believe to my core that we must be creators and consumers; yet I incessantly consume, consume, consume the hearts and stories of others, but I struggle to share my own. It's big scary.
So here I am, on January 31st, with my "BIG GOALS FOR THE MONTH" list that is entirely checked off except for this one last blogging task. Usually I have at least two goals that are unchecked by the end of the month; this allows me to shrug it off and say "I never actually aim to finish them all, just want to try and finish as many as I can." I make excuses like "my home improvement project this month was so big. Of course I can't write a blog." Eventually so much time goes on between posts that it feels like I have too much to say, but when I start typing it feels like I don't actually have anything important to contribute to internet humanity. I pass it off until next month. But I have to be able to check it off this time. I mean, it's January. I cannot start the year off by leaving one box unchecked out of sheer laziness.
As a result, you get this unplanned, rambling, likely unedited post.
In defense of my procrastination: it was a full month.
Week One: Art of the State 2019 Install
I spent the first week of January working as a Gallery Assistant at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, hanging Art of the State 2019. It's a gig that I came to by a sort of cloud-parting magic early last year. I was on a behind-the-scenes tour of the Arvada Center with my Leadership Arvada group; while the tour centered around the theater spaces, we ended standing in the main gallery in the midst of one of the most compelling exhibition concepts I have ever seen. I could write pages about it, about why I thought it was pure genius, about how edifying it was to see as an artist.
I straggled behind the rest of my group to talk to the curator, Collin, and asked if I could help out in the galleries to learn how this aspect of the local art world worked (this makes me sound a lot more bold and awesome than it actually was; I nervously babbled about how I knew how to sort of do lots of stuff and had a pretty open schedule and could kind of build things). Although I've worked in museums and with smaller community art spaces, I knew nearly nothing about the business of being an artist and the role that regional art centers played in the larger art scene. This seemed like somewhere I could learn. Thankfully, my random-hat-full-of-half-skills and flexible schedule fit with what the galleries needed, and I was hired as a Gallery Assistant to help out seasonally during show turnovers and installs.
It is my favorite. I get to do so much cool stuff; exhibition graphics, packaging art, transporting art to and from collectors, hanging work (so much hanging), and aiding with installation work. We also move a lot of white cubes.
One of my favorite works in Art of the State 2019 is Homecoming by Lara Whitley; it is a house made of suspended glass bottles which Lara found on treks with her dog through a home-adjacent meadow. As we worked with Lara to unpack and install Homecoming, she told us beauitful and heartshaking stories of how the work came into existence, the history and meaning the bottles held for her, and ways that she interacted with the work during its first exhibition near her home.
Week Two: I ran the very long Disney Half-Marathon.
After running the Bolder Boulder last year, Jake realized his upcoming Disney vacation happened to coincide with Disney Marathon Weekend. He asked me if I wanted to make the trip to Florida and run the half marathon together, and it sounded like a great excuse to return to humidity and see a few old friends. We started training in the summer and ran together nearly every single Saturday for six months, slowly building our distances.
I enjoyed running along Denver's amazing trails and parks with Jake and rewarding ourselves with smoothies and thrift store trips afterwards. Then we started going seven miles at a time, and I did not like seven miles. I did not like eight miles either. You can guess how I felt about all the miles past that. The best thing about training was that it gave Jake and I a routine of hanging out every week; that's hard when you're adult humans who have responsibilities and jobs and Netflix.
We finished our training and flew to Florida the day before the race. It was there that we found out that although the race started at 5:30am, we had to be at the front of our hotel ready to get on a bus at 3:30am. EW. Despite the early wake-up and a nervous night of sleep, we made it to the starting line, met up with two more vacationing pals, and ran the very long race.
Propelled by the insane amounts of oxygen in Florida, we ran the entire race with no walking breaks (which was our goal) and didn't feel like we were going to die afterwards! I didn't even hate running until mile ten.
Week Three: Besties Forever
After the race, general merriment, and lots of my favorite Florida foods, Linden and I drove up to Georgia to go to the Hostel in the Forest. The Hostel stays with me in a sunset-magic kind of way and has me looking at my things, my food, and my people in a more beautifully warm light.
Week Four: New Basement Floors
Our cat Nemo has been very reliable at peeing on the carpet everywhere I have lived with him. Our pup, Luna, would swiftly follow the unwritten rule where one animal goes, the other follows. Since the basement is the only area of our home that has carpet, it was disgusting. Rented shampooers and a friend's fancy Rainbow vacuum hid the surface issues, but I hated being downstairs. It just felt gross all the time.
In late November, after several months of no animal-carpet wars, Nemo went at it again. THIS IS MY LIMIT. NO MORE. I immediately rage-measured the basement, rage-ordered laminate flooring (thankfully there was some sort of Black Friday/Cyber Monday/American Buying Holiday deal), and rage-told Dave that I would be rage-ripping out all of the carpet as soon as I got back from Florida. And I did it with such rage.
I also did it rather awkwardly. Our basement is full of stuff; stuff that I did not want to carry up the stairs. I piled everything into one half of the room, ripped up the carpet from the other side, moved all the stuff to the exposed floor, and ripped out the rest of the carpet. I repeated the process for cleaning the floor, then for laying the underlayment and the laminate. I needed all that rage to fuel the bonkers method of moving heavy furniture so many times. Thankfully, college had taught me many strategies for rearranging entire apartments of furniture as a single weakling human, so I was well-trained for the task.