Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Valentine




(Dox and Mamadox in San Diego, California, 2010)
On our first date, Dox mentioned his mom.  I remember the moment well; for those who know my husband, I’ll simply mention the fact that it occurred right after he finished his key lime pie and asked if we knew each other well enough for him to polish off my own dessert.  And, as any girl on a date knows, a conversation about a mom is tres importante, right?  We’re simply searching for clues that the man across the table with the tollhouse pie will offer the same respect to said date that he shows to his mom (no Oedipal swerve intended.  I truly believe the maxim to watch how your significant other treats his mother because it reflects how he will treat you in the future).

At any rate, Dox was honestly not overstating his mom.  Mamadox (or Debbie as she is known to her friends) is a woman who makes everything more fun.  Last year Dox and I went on a cruise.  The first people we thought to ask to come with us were Mamdox and Pops (I have to be honest.  I think we slowed them down a bit—these two are party animals—especially when it comes to bingo!) 


(On the cruise when we thought we would win bingo. We thought that a lot...)

At the same time, Debbie has such a good head on her shoulders that you want to sit down at her kitchen table, sip a diet coke or two (a diet pepsi in her case) and talk about anything in the world.  She has a knack for making the person she is talking to feel like they are the only person on earth; she buys special chocolate treats for her daughters-in-law; and she would never make fun of any member of her family who might need to approach her, head hung low, asking for help to sew a button, per say (let’s just say that Stacey and Ashlyn are far too domestic to need advice in this area).  I deeply appreciate having a mother-in-law that loves and accepts me for me.  In fact, the first time I met Debbie was when Dox and I drove down for Christmas vacation.  I was terribly carsick and it made the ride hours longer than we had intended.  When I walked into Debbie’s kitchen, she and Pops hugged me and welcomed me so generously.  They pretended that I didn’t smell, that my hair wasn’t matted to my head and mascara wasn’t dripping down my face.  I fell in love with them that day and they overlooked the fact that their son brought home a girl that looked like wet dog because that’s just the kind of people that Debbie and Pops are--really gracious).

So, most importantly, let’s talk about what it must be like for Debbie to be the mother of three boys, especially when each boy programs himself into her phone as “mom’s favorite son.”  Needless to say, Debbie answers each of their calls with the same jovial enthusiasm and love.  Most likely all three brothers would describe their mom as one of the greatest supporters of their lives.  She drove through the worst snowstorm of the year to be with Ben and Ashlyn when their twins were born, just like she stood in hours of rain to be the first to hug Dox when he finished his initial marathon.  Most recently, she stood at the finish line for Justin holding a sign that said, “I am Marathon Intense.”  This epithet is something the Doxford brothers say to one another about running, but it also describes their mother quite appropriately as well.  Wherever they go, she is always running with them.  Debbie will forever be the first one at finish lines, dance recitals, making apple crisp around campfires, or plans to cruise Alaska.  Her boys may put in the miles, but she is always already the golden medal winner. 
(my how they grow up...)

So, this year on Valentines Day, when my husband reached across the table and sweetly asked, “Are you going to finish that?” I gave silent thanks for the emotional miles Debbie has run with Dox.

You’ve trained him well.

Happy Valentines, Mamadox.  And Happy Birthday too! 

Friday, February 11, 2011

Whitman, Jameson, and JEFFREY!



Will you allow me to talk about my brother for just one post? Those of you who know Jeff can easily attest to the fact that he would never brag on himself.  He turns bright red at the hint of praise, deflects compliments, and is, in all reality, one of the most thoughtful human beings I've ever come across in my life (his lone competition might just be his wife, Charlotte). Ok, so now you understand that I'm the younger sister of a generous, magnanimous, and crazy talented brother, will you allow me to offer this post dedicated just to him?  (Forget his lack of ego, please forgive mine).  Here is the rundown on what's going on in Jeff's corner of the world (and because it's going on for Jeff, it undoubtedly means that Char, his equally amazing wife, has spent the past three days sharing a joint case of insomnia and making sure paintings are affixed properly to gallery walls).

Thus, I am pleased to announce one of Jeff's upcoming exhibits at the CUAC.  If you are lucky enough to be in the area, I 'm absolutely certain (personal bias aside) it will be worthwhile and beautiful.

Below is the news release/ web release for the show:

WHITMAN AND ASSOCIATES

New work from Salt Lake-based artist Jeff Larsen

For Immediate Release:
Central Utah Art Center
86 South Main
Ephraim, UT 84627
435-283-5110
www.cuartcenter.org
Ephraim Utah --The Central Utah Art Center is pleased to announce a showing of the art of Utah native Jeff Larsen. His recent interests have been rooted in an examination of American artistic and literary traditions. Particularly grounded in ideas proliferated in the Hudson River School of landscape painting, and the writings of Walt Whitman, Larsen has sought to bring transcendental landscape traditions home to Utah. This investigation and desire to contextualize greater American traditions is based on Larsen's interests in broad concepts of wilderness and Manifest Destiny, which he has seen fit to translate into a local substance.
This series of works has been influenced by Larsen's recent proclivity to reflect on his native landscape, the Salt Lake Valley and surrounding areas, as a utopian project. His is an examination of the successes and the shortcomings of this project. In accord with this examination, Larsen has taken it upon himself to take walks downtown in search of areas he refers to as “ruptures” in the city; spaces that are undefined, marginal and liminal. These are categorically, a new sort of wilderness, created at the seams of Utopian objectives. Larsen's downtown walks have resulted in the works in this exhibition.
Jeff Larsen received his BFA in painting at the Rhode Island School of design in 2003. He received his MFA for Studio art in 2008 at Brigham Young University, where he also minored in Art History and Curatorial Studies.
This exhibition is one of many at the CUAC that features highly acclaimed artists from around the United States and Utah. A review of our programming has recently been included in the highly influential international Flash Art magazine published in Milan, Italy. Artists who have shown at the CUAC over the last four years have been included in the Whitney Biennial, the Venice Biennial, collected by Charles Saatchi; they have been exhibited in the Getty Museum, Whitney Museum, Guggenheim Museum, Saatchi Gallery, major museums in Switzerland, Germany, Iceland, Korea, and Spain; They have shown in Deitch Projects, Mary Boone Gallery, Freight and Volume Gallery, the Drawing Center, and many other important New York, Los Angeles, and international venues.
CUAC Mission Statement:
The purpose of the CUAC is to educate Utahns about Contemporary Art through exhibitions of artists from three categories:
  1. Sanpete artists who demonstrate a high level of professionalism in their art;
  2. Utah artists who make art in a Contemporary genre who are emerging or well established;
  3. and artists who are exemplary of important trends in Contemporary Art worldwide.
The CUAC maintains that good education about art starts with strong exhibitions of Contemporary Art that have relevance in content or image to our community.
Education also includes outreach to the community in the form of classes for adults and children, lectures and critical dialogue about art, and an inviting, friendly environment that welcomes visitors and encourages questions and strives to provide answers.
For full exhibit details see: http://mim.io/5e91d?fe=1&pact=2782126033

p.s. sometimes I get asked what "type" of painter Jeff is (meaning what school of painting he would associate himself with or what forms and materials he uses in his works).  The simplest answer is that he most often works with oils, and has, at one point or another, worked with several genres and forms (abstracts, landscapes, portraiture, and new media).  As an outsider, I would say that Jeff's "process" (such a dorky word) is to wrestle with a concept by using forms and materials in interesting and thoughtful ways.  Most importantly, however, I (guiltily) went on ratemyprofessor.com last week (some peers and I had an urgent scholarly matter that needed some attention) only to discover that my brother had been given some very nice remarks and a high "hottness" rating (though we were definitely not looking for Jeff, we found him next to the red chili peppers).  As a sister, this is quite disturbing.  For Char, I can only imagine...)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Sisters (and Happy Birthday Stacey)



My sister-in-law is going to dethrone Martha Stewart someday very soon.  Probably in a very mannerly way and by method of vanilla bean frosting, creme fraiche, or home-grown poultry. Or it might happen over Christmas tree ornaments or the Thanksgiving banner. But, believe me, it will happen.  And when it does, I'm certainly hoping Stacey first teaches me how to construct a proper pie crust and secondly allows me to at least glance at the stock options for SDN (the Stacey Doxford Network.  I mean, come on, we all watch OWN).


Stacey V. Doxford--the next Martha Stewart
In all honesty, at least a MILLION times a day I read something, see something, eat something, or hear something that makes me think of my sisters.  Whether that's my sister by flesh (you've been stuck with me forever whether you like it or not) Lindsay Ann, and my sisters by law (who are really just sisters, but at least I've had the opportunity to mature into my mid-twenties before becoming related). And then there are those sisters who are yours by friendship--the ones that know your worst fears and weaknesses, have seen you at your absolute lowest of lows (having seen snot drip down your nose and face and loved you through it all and still the same). Though I no longer have a treehouse to turn into a girl's only club, I still believe this is an incredibly honored association. I mean, GALLONS of Ben and Jerry's have been devoured in the name of sisterhood, right?

I assure you I'm incredibly blessed when it comes to my sisters.  These friendships are incredibly easy and natural  to think about, though I feel so far away from my family and many of my longtime dear friends here on the east coast (don't get me wrong, I do love living in NYC).  At the same time, there is a sort of pleasure (or perhaps nostalgia?) that comes from attaching experience with memory.  Perhaps what I mean to say is that I love to walk into a pristine bakery and think of Stacey, or watch the carriages in Central Park and think of Ashlyn.  More times than I should admit over the holiday break I ordered food in (um, cinnastix!) while watching Gilmore (which always reminds me of the comforts of being with Char).  Similarly, I always pass by the most beautiful elementary school in our area which sits next to a market and a floral shop.  When I walk by and see  the parents and nannies coming to pick their children up after school it reminds me of Char and the hard work she puts into her own job.  And finally, every time I walk by the visual arts museum on campus and see the gorgeous oils on display (well, currently on display) I think of Linnie.  Something about the art students bustling in and out of their studios (with coffee perched on top of their easel boards, talking on their cell phones...which, in Linds'  case would be replaced with diet coke or perhaps propel) makes me miss her.  I can't wait until you, dearest Lindsay, are just a train ride away.
Ashlyn Doxford


I am grateful for sisters!  And today, when I belatedly wish Stacey a happy birthday, I am going to go to the most lovely, beautiful, and delicious bakery I can think of and have a cupcake in celebration of her.  Then, I am going to think about the day in the not so distant future (after Stace has finished her run as PTA Pres.--all things in their time) when she, Oprah, and Nate Berkus make a super channel and Oprah declares it her most favorite thing of ALL time.  (and when that day happens, I will get the Cake Boss to make a concoction the size of Manhattan...just you wait!) Happy Birthday Stacey!
Lindsay Ann and Charlotte

Char (and Jeff)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I looked out the window...

And what did I see?


SNOW covered Wall Street and the Trinity...







Here we go again!

Spring semester started this week!  No more winter break.  No more hulu.  No more breakfast at noon and writing papers just for pure love of the game. Alas, alack, it’s back to bleeding violet, my friends.  So just in case you hadn’t heard, Christmas vacation is officially over.  Dox has been trying to tell me for weeks, but I had little interest in commiserating its departure. 
(19 University Place, New York University--This is a cell phone picture of where we spend our days reading or writing)
Remember the days of elementary school?  When one might celebrate the new school year or a fresh term with an especially flattering pair of Guess or Girbaud jeans (nicely zipped at the ankles) or a Hypercolor sweatshirt (“but mums, it’s pink and purple!”).  Ironically, I might consider everything I wore in elementary school to be right on trend for the current set of intellectual fashionistas a la Greenwich Village these days (technically, I was more like baby Rainbow Brite to the Manhattan black—the sentiment remains the same).  Regardless, I just can’t seem to revamp the style the way others can.  Sometimes I see women (and men--regular “Ducky 2.0’s”) who do Tiffany, Debbie, and The Bangles just right.  And secretly, it makes me wonder if Anna Wintour is in her office at Vogue demanding her assistant to crimp her hair.

(Washington Square Park, New York University, www.nyu.edu)
At any rate, before I start digging through old, musty boxes for Girbaud jeans and a slap-it bracelet, I have to stop and be grateful for this past week at school.  I love being a graduate student, especially at NYU.  I am particularly grateful for the brilliant minds that are both my peers and professors.  And, I am grateful to be back on-campus for its nearness to the best cupcakes and Thai food (minus the tuna, right Nad?!!!), best school friends (seriously, I love these girls!), and endless hours back to reading ditties such as the one pictured below.  My mind bloweth.  And, let's be honest. The last time I took a classics course was with a professor who wore nothing but a purple turtleneck ALL SEMESTER LONG!  Sadly, I grew more interested in his fashion choices than in his vast understanding of the cradles of civilization.  Hopefully, my lovely new class (sans turtlenecks) shall fare better…
"The Golden Ass" by Apuleis









Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Recapitulation (and choosing paint with a color-blind husband)

I love New York City when it snows! Especially when I can watch it from a window inside my cozy apartment and do not have to sludge away at freezing temperatures and icy sidewalks down in the trenches.   So today, as pretty snowflakes fall outside and the city transforms into a sparkling picture, I’ve decided to write a little “thankful” list about this week.  For example:

·      Thank you, my nearest and dearest Melissa Suzanne, for introducing me to the delights of Ruby. Seriously, I had no clue that “Jeff, you need prayer!” would make me so “hacky.”  As per usual, you introduce me to the greatest things in life.  And “unscripted scripted life” reels me in with its sentimentalism.  I'm a total sucker.  And completely guilty about it.
Photo credit: mystyle.com,  "Ruby" cast photo)

 I am grateful to finally know the Wilton method of life.  I truly believe that this knowledge will bring only great and sweet things into the near horizon. My cute friend and I decided to take a cake decorating class from an instructor who “gave up Wall Street for his passion.”  Ironically, cake boss runs classes like he most likely ran board meetings back in the day before the financial crisis.  As a result, we spent two hours last week fearing our frosting rosettes were going to fail his cost-benefit analyses and hearing him bark out things such as "I said ONE INCH fondant rolls! ONE INCH ONLY!"  I must confess, however, I really love that our instructor has such a great history.  I am confident that he is going to have the best stories! Besides, who else could compare salt and sugar measurements to the decline of the stock market, right? (and, K, “if you can imagine it, you can bake it!)   
     
     I also love that I saw Perez Hilton at Trader Joe's in his Land's End pajama pants and a jaunty "celebrity blogger swagger."  I think he was buying the same pizza dough I was (which means that Pee-rez is not super organic, my friends).  Which is why, despite my best efforts at delightful places such as Trader Joe's (which I really do love) I ended up at Taco Bell that night (which is an establishment I've come to appreciate since moving to the city despite the abundance of urban organics and pretty consumers). Thus Taco Bell is the jewel-among-gems because it renders all sorts of delightful people, things to see, and conversations to overhear all while downing thousands of calories of processed goodness.  It's like high school nights all over again!   
(photo credit: google images, Perez Hilton at the Hollywood Gossip)


Finally, I am thrilled for painted apartment walls!  Let’s just say that color-blind husband and indecisive wife attempting to choose paint colors has been quite the feat. (Remember when I once asked my husband what color my eyes were and he responded, "caramel apple cider."  In his defense, it was  Christmastime and we had stopped in to Starbucks for salted cider (as we don't drink coffee or the like.  Diet coke suffices. )).  Consequently, we finally settled on painting our entryway “lush” and our living room “storm."  So, after settling on paint colors (I felt I properly consulted HGTV Design Star) and asking husband for his assessment (“um, looks dark”) we slapped that stuff on our walls.  We were inspired by Mamadox, who recently painted her entire house in a single go (she is her son's mother).  I feel good about the results! And I really dig the man that painted them!

Before

"Storm" colored Benjamin Moore paint sitting atop "the hope for the Jets"

Almost finished

So, thank you NYC, pretty snowflakes, and all the wonderful people that live in this city.  You and pretty walls make me wonderfully “hacky!”

Monday, January 10, 2011

Let Them Eat Cake (or Fondue!)

It is no secret that Dox and I struggled in our cross-country move.  Specifically, we had difficulties in getting our physical possessions to follow us to our new home in the big city.  Each night, we whipped up macaroni and cheese in our lone pan, stared forlornly at our sad blow up mattress accommodations, and called our moving company (they who shall not be named, though pictured below) to provide a little mood music (the tunes from HOURS spent on hold were the closest we got to Pandora or an ipod dock for weeks, my friends!)  It was that pathetic…
(Dox took this picture of our apartment after our stuff failed to arrive on "moving day")

Yet, hope prevailed.  After a month roughing it (one can only eat so much peanut butter and Indian takeout), our stuff arrived.  In a single day, Dox put together furniture and organized the entire apartment after working 19 hours at the office.  I, however, spent a leisurely day concentrating on the finer details.  Like color-coding the books in our bookcase and arranging our set of cake stands and fondue pots just so (yes, I am that girl— guilty of selling my couch but shipping a set of cake stands across the country.  Priorities!)

Last weekend, however, we stumbled into heaven; a place that would have made our month of camping in the Big Apple entirely doable. A restaurant so divine I would have NEVER noticed the absence of my fondue pot in the month of Kraft after Kraft.  The kind of establishment that makes chocolate so rich you want to spend the rest of time attempting to find the “back of the shampoo bottle” type words to describe it.  Indeed, I am talking about Max Brenner Chocolate.
(photo credit: Miss Erica and her iphone)

In fact, this whole weekend was fairly horrendous for that whole New Year, new health philosophy.  After swimming in chocolate on Friday and being a party of four eating for eight in Chinatown on Saturday, I resolved to eat something healthy on Sunday. At some point, however, I gave up and put the cake stands to good use! 

Thank you (moving company that will not be named) for making sure that our most prized possessions were shipped to our new lil’ abode.  We missed them (and were sadly na├»ve as to the delights of MBC until now).
(Dox moving electrical wires with a broom in order to help our moving company make their way down the street...alas, a sign of the good things to come! You and your creepy t-shirt make them look good, husband.)

p.s. em, you asked as to blogspiration.  I think it had been percolating for a while?  And, let’s be honest, I REALLY love to be able to read your lovely thoughts via blog (as well as those of our friends). So, even if it is kind of random, why not?  Besides, my dad promised me over Christmas (in the Belaggio--  thus, it is the Belaggio Contract) that he would guest post on our doxieblog one of these days…

p.s.s [For those of you who have kindly asked about making comments, forgive me.  I am so technologically advanced (ha!), that I haven’t figured out the comments thing quite yet.  I believe if you click on the “comments” link next to the pencil, it should take you to a comments page.  I will keep working on it].