achup hoa

Things of Trash Pits
February 2, 2010, 2:15 am
Filed under: History, Thoughts & Musings

Last week I met with archaeology of the Santa Barbara Trust for Historical Preservation. I went into one of their room, and saw it all. The table in front of me has a collection of plastic bags. The back right hand corner was filled with shelves of plastic bags. The floor nearby was filled with plastic bags. These plastic bags were filled with, so far, over 15,000 recorded artifacts that were excavated from a trash pit. The pit has been dated to the early 20th century, and is on a downtown site in Santa Barbara where in the early 1900s, the beginnings of a thriving Japanese-American community, Nihonmachi, once existed.

But the image of all of those plastic bags stuck with me. It was a small sample of all of the things we accumulate in our lives. Think of the things we use that become waste — the bone from that drumstick you had for lunch, the glass bottle from that barbecue sauce you finished last week, the old shoe that you couldn’t fix and ended up throwing away, the broken toy that you didn’t care about anymore. Some of these things decompose over time and become the present remains that resurface. So go figure, you can never really throw something away.


The History of Color
January 22, 2010, 2:30 am
Filed under: Art, Color, History, Michel Pastoureau

I can be quite particular about my colors. They’re part of my language. They help me see, speak, and read people, their thoughts, their preferences, and feelings.

And so, after reading those three fundamentally profound sentences stated above, it will be easier to understand why I was happy to find that brilliant people have studied color for more than their aesthetic implications. The discovery helped me ignore the headache that was raging a late afternoon battle in my head (Note to Self: Make better attempts at hydrating oneself through the day to avoid such a inconvenient occurances).

After work, I went into Barnes and Noble (From henceforth now, Barnes, because let’s face it, in our shorted-hyphenated-condensed-fast culture, we like to cut things down. It’s either called efficiency or laziness. My apologies to Noble.), looking for some books on museum design–and to evade the rain outside–and wandered my little raging headached self to the Art section. After plopping myself down with the fat, giant Le costume historique, by Auguste Racinet, I spotted Black: The History of a Color, by Michel Pastoureau.

I grabbed it and was further reassured that historians are a great people. They not only study wars, civilizations, and boring men and crazy women, but also pigs, smell, hair, and yes, color. I will be looking into this work by Pastoureau, as well as his previously acclaimed Blue.

Dinner is approaching, the headache battle is slightly subsiding, and studying for a French exam will now resume.

Tout a l’heure mes amies.