And so it ends…

December 28, 2009

After a difficult 5 and a half years I have finally received my Bachelor of Fine Arts. I, the blind girl, have done it. What to say? I am relieved and nervous, as I’m sure most college graduates are. My immediate future career does not lie in art, though it pains me to say so. I believe my path is slightly curved for now. I think now it is my time for me to give back, to help as much as I can in the area of teaching the disabled. To help the visually impaired feel as empowered and independent as I feel now. Art will be there for me when I need her. I won’t stop making or creating, but career wise I feel I am needed elsewhere.

Art, you are my passion, my first love.

I’m sorry I lied, I’m sorry for yelling, I’m sorry I get so excited, I’m so sorry, Sir. I’ll pay for the damages. I’m sorry. Are you alright Miss?, I’m sorry for being snarky, I’m sorry I love you so much, I’m sorry I didn’t break up with you sooner, I’m sorry I kept my report card hidden for so long, I’m sorry I failed, I’m sorry. I just can’t ride the roller coaster, I’m sorry I hurt you. I didn’t know, I’m sorry, I’m sorry I screwed up my line, I’m apologize for my excuses, I’m sorry. I wish I could drive, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. Let me clean that up, Excuse me. I’m sorry, I’m sorry. That sucks, I’m so sorry. When did he pass, I’m sorry this isn’t the quality I want it to be, I’m sorry I overreacted, I’m sorry for being, I’m sorry, I’m sorry I wasn’t listening. What did you say?, I’m sorry for having regrets., I’m sorry I say I’m sorry so much., I’m sorry I don’t have more to regret.,  I’m sorry there isn’t more compassion in the world., I’m sorry I didn’t take up acting in high school., I’m sorry I killed your fish., I’m sorry I didn’t see that. What happened?, I’m sorry I fell asleep. I had a migraine., I’m sorry I didn’t take the opportunity when I had the chance., I’m sorry I didn’t have sex with more girls in college., I’m sorry I won’t get to see Sophie grow up., I’m sorry I didn’t stick with the piano., I’m sorry I had so much to drink last night., I’m sorry I don’t spend more time with my sisters., I’m sorry, It’s not all about me., I’m sorry I act selfish sometimes., I’m sorry I don’t think about myself more., I’m so sorry the Mosaic had to close., I’m sorry Dad…Why did you break up?, I’m sorry I can’t take a hint., I’m sorry I’m sick., 

My mom cooked, my dad cooked, but they didn’t cook in the same house. My mother’s way of cooking was more robust, more eccentric. My dad’s though he is a very creative man hadn’t cooked for anyone except himself before I came along. So his manner of cooking was a little more haphazard. 

 

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One of my first attempts at baking was a complete disaster. One day in my 12 year, I was home sick from school. I wasn’t sick enough to be laying around, but I was sick enough to stay home. I was so bored that I decided to bake my mom a cake I looked around and couldn’t find any cake mix but then I remembered that we had a “The Joy of Cooking” cook book. So I found a recipe for a plain old white cake and started mixing my ingredients, flour, eggs, sugar, baking soda. I misplaced mixing spoons several times in my reverie. I finally got the cake in the oven. I managed to make and edible, but very thin frosting from the above mentioned book as well. The cakes came out beautifully golden brown, smelling amazing. I “frosted” my master piece (more like put a glaze on it) and waited for my family to come home. When they arrived they were so surprised at my awesome cake making abilities. My mom started cutting pieces for everyone. After a few slices she looked up at me and said, “Lauren, did you put something hard in the cake?”. Confused I said no and came over to investigate. Before I could even take a step forward my mom exclaim, “There’s a spoon baked into the cake!!!”. Suddenly I remembered the horrible truth. Absentmindedly I had used a tablespoon to mix the batter. Don’t ask me why. I had leaned it up against the side the mixing bowl and, duh!, it fell into the mix! My mom was doubled over with laughter, tears streaming down her face and I do believe she was wheezing. I haven’t heard the end of it since.

 

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When my mom was about to leave her home for the first time she sat down with her mother’s recipe box and wrote down all of her favorite recipe’s on index cards to start a box of her own. I have started this same tradition but in a different way. Instead of using index cards I use my computer. I feel like I should hand write them as well just to keep a tradition alive but I have to remember that times are changing and the recipes are the things that really count. Like my grandma’s infamous pecan pie, which we found out was the recipe right off the karol syrup bottle with a few minor adjustments. I didn’t realize how ridiculously simple some of the recipes were. 

 

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I love to cook. It’s like creating a piece of art (not to sound cheezy or anything) not only for the eye but for taste, smell, and touch. I started cooking when I was really little, oh about four years old. I started cooking breakfast foods, waffles, eggs, things like that. A big Sunday breakfast is still my most favorite of meals. Maybe it’s the fact that we all slept in and all helped make breakfast. It was a lazy day and we laughed and spent time with each other before the chaos of the week started. I graduated from breakfasts to big polish lunch fixings, things like fruit salad and potato salad. I like when there are events where I need to feed a lot of people. I enjoy having a big group of people around me laughing and telling stories. Lasagna is was my next logical step, I love making food that will feed an army and make them full and content.  I still have meals with my Mom’s house on a relatively regular basis. I wish I could have more meals with my dad though. Since I stopped living at his house we haven’t eaten together as much. When I did eat at his house we would watch TV together. Dad and I didn’t need to talk to each other. Just being in each others presence was comforting. I think we both have felt like the black sheep at one point or another in our lives and we recognize our similarities in each other. 

 

I’ve started sharing a lot of meals with my boyfriend as of late. We pseudo live together (I stay at his house a good chunk of the time). I miraculously found a man who likes to cook, well it’s more of experimentation in the kitchen. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s not so good. When he hits it, he hits the nail right on the head. Sometimes, we even cook together. I know! What a concept! 

 

My boyfriend and have very different lives not to mentions schedules. He’s a thirty-six year old bartender and very happy. I want to be a teacher and currently work for a camp the services children with disabilities. so our hours are almost exactly opposite. That being the case spending time cooking and eating meals with each other is important. We talk, laugh, discuss. 

 

Meals are a time when we stop our crazy, chaotic lives and sit down. It’s a time when we listen to one another instead of just listening to ourselves. 

 

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The four major holidays Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and the 4th of July. These were/are celebrated with food, friends and family. I always felt like I had two ends of the spectrum when I when to these family reunions. I am a child of divorced parents, so every holiday I had two family gatherings to go to, which means twice as much food to eat. The food was quite different too. My dad’s family is lower middle class. 

 

My paternal grandmother, Alice, had three children, a still born girl, John, and Bruce. My Uncle John is about to retire from a factory job he’s had for years. He is one of the smartest men I know, very down to Earth. He married a my Aunt Jane who already had three kids and adopted them as his own. Since they already had three kids they didn’t see a reason to have more. So me being the only child of my fathers makes me the only blood related grandchild. Anyway, my Aunt Jane grew up in a family where you eat green been casserole and fluff at family gatherings, so her children and do it too. I remember one Thanksgiving where I brought an apple pie and their enthusiastic and disbelieving response when they found out that my pie was home made and not bought at a store. I love these family reunions because they are simple. The food is easy to eat, easy to understand and although we have intricacies and tragedies, these gatherings are not the place to talk about them. I didn’t know my cousin had had a hysterectimy until 2 years later. 

 

Now my mother’s side is very different. My mother’s family is quite large, six girls and one boy, so the house was quite loud with no one being heard. That’s exactly how I would describe our meals together. The food and conversation is complex and delicate at the same time. And almost impossible to get a grasp on unless you are very agile. 

 

Maybe that’s why parents did work together as a couple? They come from drastically different backgrounds. Both types of family dynamics have their posatives and negatives. What I’ve learned from both dynamics is to be direct and honest, make sure you get your point across when it’s important. Also, make sure you have plenty of good, hearty, and interesting food. 

MIAD THESIS EXHIBITION!

November 12, 2008

On Friday April 17 2009, Spring Gallery Night, MIAD is hosting it’s annual Senior Thesis Exhibition. As some of you may know I am a senior, so therefore through careful deduction…….*think think think*, I’m going to have a MAJOR piece of artwork up (my thesis! get it?) at MIAD on April 17th!. Come on out and see my work as well as the work of the entire graduating class of 2009! Woot! Woot! I hope to see you there! 

-Lauren-