22 January 2008

How Horrible and How Beautiful

I just read this on Neil Gaiman's blog, and thought it was too elegantly stated not to pass on:
"While it is important to learn about the Holocaust," she says, "it is even more important that we learn from the Holocaust."

The most chilling of those lessons, to her, is that extermination, civilization's ultimate betrayal of its own humanity, was the work of highly civilized people.

"These were educated, erudite individuals, thinkers, who came to the conclusion that the final solution was perfectly plausible.

"And then they were able to enlist the help of chemists to devise an efficient gas for extermination, and architects to design an efficient death house, and industrialists to create the machinery of annihilation."

The lesson of the Holocaust is not that human beings are "somehow capable of resigning from their human obligations to one another," she says, but that "they do so out of conscious moral choice."

This is why I think everyone needs to see Night and Fog, even though it is truly scarring.

20 January 2008

Bird's-Eye View

Some of you may have seen this already, if you check out my Facebook profile:

It's the big room shared by the Dawson Printshop, where I work, and the NSCAD Design Printshop. Taken with my cellphone camera. From the top of a very tall ladder. That white wall you can see just to the right is no longer white, it's grey. I painted it.

You can just see our replica common press at the top of the photo. It was used to print the replica of the first newspaper ever printed in Canada. It's not that different from what Gutenberg would have used.

16 January 2008

What's Nikoniconiknevernikki Been Up To?

School: I've really only had three days of school so far, since I only have classes twice a week (not counting my internship), but it already seems like ages. Intaglio is already intense and exciting and I have too many projects in mind to get them all done. But that's good. I'm starting with a multiplate bookwork with sea creatures and steam. I'll also have to get started on a singleplate/multicolour print. Possibly with a Jules Verne submarine. Sometime before Friday, which means tomorrow after work, I have to photocopy the readings for art history and then read some of them. Or at least go to the library and read them. The class is Narrative and Craft and the teacher is really good (I had her for Craft and Design History).

Internship: Technically, I suppose this could fall under "School," but whatever. I'm working with Joe Landry, who teaches bookarts at NSCAD, has his own bookbinding and conservation business, and currently co-manages the Dawson Printshop. I'll be doing some gold tooling (and also blind tooling) and at some point making a Byzantine binding (complete with brass clasps), but for now I'm building boxes for Joe to have as models for clients and lectures. Lots and lots of different styles of boxes in which one can put books and other delicate things to protect them. I'll probably also be working on some product samples for the printshop at some point.

Work: psp.about.com continues as usual with me not having as much time as I'd like to play/review games. Sigh. Work at the Dawson Printshop so far has been a lot of tidying and organizing while we wait for the fittings and furnishings to be done and installed, at which point we can actually get some things printed. Tomorrow I'll be climbing a ladder to paint a giant wall grey and a tall pillar red. You should see the height of the ceilings in this place!

Social life: What? Nik has a social life? Well, sort of. See I met someone, and he's rather kept me occupied on weekends:

(Incidentally, I'm trying to teach myself to colour balance in Photoshop using curves instead of levels, as they are supposed to be much more powerful. You can judge my success, or lack thereof, from the previous photo. Yeah, I need to work on it more. Probably could also tweak the contrast a bit more.). Movies, wine, talking, etc. Lots of talking, actually, which will probably surprise some of you. Really, I do talk when I've got something to say and someone interesting to say them to. If you really want to, you can see more photos of what I've been doing on Facebook (link in left column), but I currently have my photos viewable only by friends, so you'd have to join and then add me as a friend. Alternatively, I might consider making my photos public. Maybe.

Worst Grade Ever

Last week when I started school I also picked up my grades from last semester and got, as I rather expected I might, my worst grade so far at NSCAD (though not quite my worst grade ever in university, I think). So anyway, here are my grades from Fall 07:
  • AHIS 3200 History of Photography: A+
  • PHOT2500 Lighting Workshop: B
  • PRTM2100 Relief Printmaking: A
  • PRTM3106 Intermediate Lithography: A

That gives me a GPA of 3.86 for the semester, and 3.95 so far for this degree. Not too bad, I guess.

08 January 2008

Random Pic

Xmas trees and way too many presents (some of them contain chocolate . . .). Also, a few boxes not yet unpacked from the move.

Winter 08 Schedule

Unless, things change, which they very well might, my schedule for this semester will look something like this:

  • day off for doing homework

  • 9am - 12:30pm (ish) work at Dawson Printshop
  • 1pm - 5:30pm Intermediate Intaglio

  • internship at Leaf by Leaf

  • 9am - ? work at Dawson Printshop
  • ? - 5pm (ish) internship at Dawson Printshop

  • 9am - 11am Narrative and Craft (art history)
  • 1pm - 5:30pm Intermediate Intaglio

  • more or less free for homework and social life (hey, I sort of have one now)
  • possibly some more internship hours at Leaf by Leaf in the afternoon

  • homework, social life, sleep, etc

So, busy, but not unmanageable. There may also be more work hours at the Dawson Printshop if I seem to be keeping up with coursework and internship hours all right.

And, in other news, if you don't have a Facebook page and want to see various odds and ends of photos I've been posting (summer road trips, pets, cute boys, odds and ends), um . . . you'll just have to get Facebook. I might post a few things here, and art stuff will eventually end up on deviantART (I've started bringing prints home, and hope to get around to photographing them soon), but most of the odd stuff will end up on Facebook, visible only to my Facebook friends. If you don't know how to get on Facebook, I suggest asking the nearest 12-or-13-year-old girl.

07 January 2008

And So it Begins

The new semester, that is. Today school started at NSCAD. I don't actually have any classes on Monday, but I went in this afternoon to see about updating my student card (we have to get a new sticker every semester) and find out if last semester's grades were available yet. I also thought I might stop and talk to a few people. Alas, it was crowded as hell in there, the line for student services was crazy long, and none of the people I was going to talk to were around. I said "hi" to a couple of former classmates and the printmaking tech, Murf, and then made my way back home (all three blocks).

I had better luck this morning picking up a parcel and changing my address on my driver's license. I also got another earring in one ear (left one, at the top, cost $3 extra for cartilage, which I determined is because they have to give you two bottles of the cleaning stuff instead of one because it takes twice as long to heal) (gone are the days of being sent home with nothing but instructions to put polysporin on it once in a while). And I bought some new jewelry for my existing piercings--I lost one of my talons not long ago and just had safety pins in, so I needed at least one set. I decided to get new rings for the other holes too. I've got them all in now and they look pretty spiffy. Except I couldn't get my current nose ring out to put the new one in. I'll have another go at it later.

Hang on, I'll get a pic.

It's hard to tell, but the one farthest back is a peacock/multicolour metal with slightly iridescent beads.

Let's see. Other news. The coffee date I mentioned a few posts back went swimmingly, as have various and sundry movies, video nights, breakfasts and used bookstore forays since then. Sometimes I accidentally catch a glimpse of my expression as I walk by a mirror. Usually it's a silly secret smile.

Xmas was nice and quiet, with way too many presents to open (I'm still working my way through all the chocolate). And there are presents still to come, apparently. Thanks to everyone. It was fabulous. Dinner was turkey and a huge assortment of veggies, many of them mashed. Deva's Mum and Randy were over all day, from breakfast of bacon, toast and hashbrowns (Ryan's favourite thing to cook) to the aforementioned dinner.

New Year's Eve involved staying up until New Year's Day drinking wine and talking. Oh, and there was some very silly dancing to the Chemical Brothers sometime around four in the morning (maybe, I really have no idea what time it was). New Year's day involved a lot of sleeping and a late breakfast, followed by, well, other things I won't talk about here.

Everything is bright and well in my world.

02 January 2008

Don't Follow Me!

Yeah, so if I message you on Messenger with nothing but a url in the message, don't follow it. Apparently, someone's been using my account to send suspicious links. Like I said, don't follow them, it's not me. I've changed my password, which I hope will solve the problem, but if anyone notices it continuing, let me know. And 'Lena, you might want to change your passwords, too--I think it was a following a weird link from you (or that I thought was from you) that started this.

Update: Everyone's changed their passwords, and all seems to be fine once again.