January 25th, 2016
|07:58 pm - [The Grid Plan.]|
I watched The Cruise on Netflix the other day and like so many other people I'm transfixed by Speed Levitch and my favorite scene is probably the Grid Plan.
And a rough transcription is below the cut.
( Read more...Collapse )
"The image makes me think of a conversation with this woman the other day. She was a fastidious Judaic type woman in very sexual slacks and we were talking about the grid plan. I made the comment about how, you know, the grid plan emanates an amount of weaknesses, this layout of avenues and streets in New York City, these ninety degree angles. To me the grid plan is puritanical, it’s homogenizing, in a city where there is no homogenization available. There is only total existence, total cacophony, total flowing of human ethnicity, tribes, and beings, gradations of awareness, and consciousness and cruising. And this woman turns to me and she goes ‘Oh, I never even thought of that’ she goes ‘I can’t imagine it. Everyone likes the grid plan!’ And the question is of course, who is everyone? I mean, this is what I had just said.
And whoever that is under the white comforter, cuddle up with 34th street and Broadway, existing on the concrete of this city hungry and disheveled, struggling to crawl their way onto this island with all their rages and hellishness and self orchestrated purgatories. What does that person think about the grid plan? Probably much more on my plane of thinking, my gradation of being, which is let’s just blow up the grid plan and rewrite the streets to be much more of a self portraiture of our personal struggles rather than some real-estate brokers wet dream from 1807. We’re forced to walk in these right angles, I mean doesn’t she find it infuriating? By being so completely allegianced to the grid plan I think most noteworthy is this idiom, ‘I can’t even imagine changing the grid plan’. She’s really aligning herself with this civilization, it’s like ‘I can’t imagine altering this civilization. I can’t imagine altering this meek reality that rules our lives. I can’t imagine standing up on a chair in a room and changing my perspective. I can’t imagine changing my mind on anything. I, in the end, can’t imagine having my own identity that contradicts other identities.’ What she says to me after my statements, ‘everyone likes the grid plan’, isn’t she automatically excluding myself from everyone? ‘How could you not like plan?’ So functional. Take a right turn, a right turn, and right turn, and then there is a red light, a green light, and a yellow light. It’s symmetrical.
By saying that ‘everyone likes the grid plan’, you’re saying I am going to relive all the mistakes my parents made. I am going to identify and relive all the sorrows my mother ever lived through. I will propagate and create dysfunctional children in the same dysfunctional way that I was raised. I will spread neurosis throughout the landscape and do my best to recreate myself and the damages of my life in the next generation."
January 20th, 2016
|07:32 am - [Inheritance.]|
I've had enough crumminess happen to me in my life that it almost makes me believe in God and that he's been intent on tormenting me since I was born. The awful circumstances I was under as a kid and when I was growing up came so rapid-fire and impossibly specific that I almost had no other choice but to take it personally. No way around it. God was trying to kill me. I know that's not true but it's a funny notion regardless but it often feels true and that kind of makes it the way it is..
I didn't have a relationship with my dad and I only knew him up until I was about nine and he split and started a new family. Knowing that is what happened while it was happening meant that as a kid I had some really, really important work to do before I let that have a deleterious effect on me for the rest of my life. At nine or ten years old I was incredibly astute and I was emotionally intelligent and I suppose that's just true for many people when they're that age. [I'm not sure though.]
I knew he was gone and that after he left me and my sister and my mom he got married to a new wife and he had a new son. [And daughters.] It felt pretty bad when I thought about that and you can't help but to initially feel pretty fucking worthless that your dad would just be gone one day and you'd never hear from him again. Only news about his new family which was always great while my life was rarely even okay. I knew that I had to get passed those feelings or find a way to exist in spite of them and I spent a great deal of my youth and school years going to extremes to try and eliminate those suffocating feelings of abandonment and negative self-worth and all the rest. It was very hard to find confidence in myself and at times I adopted a Scorched Earth approach that may have killed off some of those negative feelings to a degree but it also killed off things of value like friendships and sobriety and I left many bridges behind me burned to nothing but ash and rust.
But that's what happens sometimes. There will be ash and rust.
I am thinking about all of this as I have some ridiculous vein situation in my feet. The blood that's being pumped into them is not being pumped out well enough and after a few hours they start swelling up. It's possible the veins on the tops of my feet just took a beating from my slip-on half-boots that I always wear and or these absurd Prada penny loafers that I am sure are bad for my feet. Whatever it is a couple of these veins just decided they didn't want to be veins anymore. [Or it's some hereditary thing.]
So I am thinking about my dad because I'm thinking about my health. When your feet get weird like mine have it could be some really gnarly shit and so everybody seemed freaked out without externally freaking the hell out but it was kinda scary to think of what it could have been. But it wasn't. I had pretty much ideal numbers for all of my blood work.
Which is a relief. But I have still have these bullshit veins that require prescription socks that don't come in stripes or pink and orange and the insurance I have as a self-employed person is just barely better than having no insurance at all. There is a $5k deductible that has to be paid before the Kaiser coverage kicks in and MRIs and possible surgeries means I'm out five grand for sure.
So my dad. I wonder about his feet and his veins and I know he was flat footed and so is my kid sister. I ended up thinking I'd call to talk to his wife who I know and have spoken to about ten times more than I ever did my dad. I've asked her medical stuff about him and because she's a nurse. That segue lead to finding this link: http://www.stltoday.com/suburban-journals/metro/life/high-ridge-man-earns-first-spirit-of-st-anthony-award/article_564dfccd-4136-5c92-94c8-731f6e9b4453.html and that was what made me decide to write something about him just now.
January 17th, 2016
|04:33 pm - [One Day The Technical Details Will Be Worked Out.]|
The world is connected online but are disconnected offline. People can have hundreds of Facebook friends and Instagram followers but feel incredibly lonely and isolated at the same time. People ‘like’ our posts but they don’t know us well enough to truly like us, let alone care about us in a meaningful way.
My Dead Friend Jake
People you know will die. People you count as friends may die suddenly. And when they do die, suddenly or otherwise, you’ll probably feel crummy and wish you’d spent more time with them.
On June 21, 2010 my buddy Jake was found dead in the backyard of his Tucson apartment. He was 29 years old and it was heartbreaking to everyone that knew him. It still is heartbreaking.
A few days later there was a memorial held at the Rialto Theater and I could barely stand being there. Mainly due to the heartache of it all but it also made me feel incredibly lonely in a whole lot of ways.
I knew everyone there and everyone there knew me and Tucson is just a really small town in that way. Everyone knew everyone but for the most part nobody hung out or spent much time with each other. It seemed like mostly nobody was very close at all.
This was all the more upsetting to me as Jake basically drank himself to death. He was a severe alcoholic and while we all knew he drank I don’t think anyone had a clue about just how much. [I never had the heart to let anyone tell me the full details but as I understand it he basically he died from a combination of alcohol poisoning and exposure. He lay passed out in his backyard all night and the desert sun didn’t wake him. That’s how it was/is in my head at least and that’s fine because it’s more of a motivator to prevent similar things from happening to people I know.]
How to Fight the Loneliness
So I wanted to do something about that sense of loneliness I imagine he felt and that we all felt. [And even still feel.]
I did my best to connect with the people i counted as friends and I think I did a really good job of that. I’m not externally shy and I don’t mind looking like an insane person for being too forward or open or weird for taking most every chance I get at making some meaningful connection with someone.
I found that even with people I knew well and were friends with thought it was weird to just give them gifts or write them some letter for no reason or offer to help them move. People don’t expect this normally and it’s understandable that they’d be slightly curious about some underlying motive or reasoning. So I wanted to create some way for people that were already friends or that may or may not even know one another to genuinely connect in some important and meaningful way.
To do it as some sort of limited social experiment/art project that afforded the people involved some comfort that stems from the structures of a group. I figured I’d work out the larger details with a smaller group of people that got the idea and could sort of be beta testers in some proof of concept experiment and then see how it went.
Friends and Family Plan
Consider your group of friends. Think of, for example, all of the people that you’re Facebook Friends with. Or that you follow on Twitter or have in some Google+ circle. Or that you know from some book club or shared hobby group or whatever. There are a lot of people in our lives that we know in some way but that we don’t know at all. And they don’t know us at all.
How often do you hang out with those people on a regular basis? How often do you spend time with just them? And when you do have occasion to spend time one-on-one how often does it feel awkward? How well do you really know them and what is it that you know about them? [And vice versa.]
I’d wager that the things we found to be the most important things a person could know about us are never really brought up or discussed. That sucks and it’s a shame and the reason why so many people hurt and live in loneliness and die alone are caused by a lack of connection to others.
The Vonnegut Solution
In an interview Kurt Vonnegut is quoted as saying, “Well, I am used to the rootlessness that goes with my profession. But I would like people to be able to stay in one community for a lifetime, to travel away from it to see the world, but always to come home again,...Until recent times, you know, human beings usually had a permanent community of relatives. They had dozens of homes to go to. So when a married couple had a fight, one or the other could go to a house three doors down and stay with a close relative until he was feeling tender again. Or if a kid was so fed up with his parents that he couldn't stand it, he could march over his uncle's for a while. And this is no longer possible. Each family is locked into its little box. The neighbors aren't relatives. There aren't other houses where people can go and be cared for.”
Vonnegut also spoke of how he felt Alcoholics Anonymous worked for so many people because it capitalized on the idea of an extended family. He argues that the modern family is simply too small, leaving too much room for loneliness and boredom, and advises: “I recommend that everybody here join all sorts of organizations, no matter how ridiculous, simply to get more people in his or her life. It does not matter much if all the other members are morons. Quantities of relatives of any sort are what we need.” Such counsel seems, in hindsight, particularly at odds with something else he proclaimed when he stood before the women of Agnes Scott College in 1999:
Computers are no more your friends, and no more increasers of your brainpower, than slot machines… Only well-informed, warm-hearted people can teach others things they’ll always remember and love. Computers and TV don’t do that. A computer teaches a child what a computer can become. An educated human being teaches a child what a child can become.
And if Vonnegut says it then it’s probably true.
Vonnegut’s solution assigns everyone in the country a new middle name. The first part of this name is an animal, vegetable, or a mineral followed by a number from one to 20. If the first part of your new name matches someone else's, you are cousins. If your new middle name is an exact match, you are siblings. In this manner everyone immediately gains 190,000 cousins and 10,000 brothers and sisters. These new artificial families replace traditional households and must look out for one another. People start saying that if you know of a relative involved in questionable behavior, don't call the police, call 20 more clan members.
Your New Name
Initially the beta testing group would be assigned one of just a few different names but the idea is that participants would create an account for, say, a PHP Bulletin Board Forum that would auto-assign them a random Noun/Number combination. Sub-forums for each name would be created.
[The technical specifics would be figured at some point.]
Get Closer and Make Connections
Once there was some defined group of extended family members that you were a part of there would be prompts and ‘missions’ generated and shared to everyone. These could be simple scenarios like going to get a coffee with someone.
Project Mayhem in Reverse
Assignments would be given to all the participants on a regular basis. Every week as a Giraffe you’d have to go to the movies with another Giraffe. The next assignment would be that you had to write a letter to someone else in your group. Exchange mix-cds, rent their favorite movie, read their favorite book. These assignments are really just opportunities for connection. Some are small and others are large and the number and type of assignments are unlimited.
This way people that knew each other could get to know one another better.
The movie assignment/mission might require that the two people have their phones be in range of one another for a certain amount of time.
These assignments would be like Missions in a video game. They serve simply as a writing prompt might be useful to a writer. Give them something to focus on doing together to prevent them from focusing too much on the possible weirdness of the interaction.
Much of what I am imagining is inspired indirectly and directly by the work that Niantic is doing with their location-based ARG called Ingress and the potential uses of their work as inspiration for a project like this. In Ingress the players receive medals for completing a series of tasks that comprise the specific Mission. These Missions/tasks are user created and some are easier than others.
Using a similar structure to the one set up by Niantic for Ingress would allow for this to be turned into some sort of game.
The Dungeon Master [or Game Master] in Dungeons & Dragons games is another example. Participants would be given challenges and presented with new information.
Points would be awarded for each interaction/activity completed. Higher points are awarded for the more time-consuming activities. Participants can suggest activities and attach points to them.
Proof of Concept
Start with a small group from an existing circle of friends and treat it as you would some Secret Santa thing.
Project Notes + Tasks
Make a mix CD of at least 10 songs that had a large effect on you for whatever reason.
Write a diary entry every day for a week.
Pretend you can communicate who you are as a person only by showing someone a movie. What movies would you choose? Pick three at least.
What books were most important and/or meaningful to you?
Create MyBBS Forum for project home [smartwentcrazy.com]
Membership and Registration
Each should at least require some small time commitment of, say, an hour? Maybe that’s too long. But maybe more points are awarded for more time spent? As long an album or mixtape might last. Sharing favorite songs with others is a great example of a mission.
Who would be the equivalent of the DM? Maybe utilize something like Twitter to send out new missions/tasks?
Nervousness.org was a perfect example
Show and Tell
Exchange favorite movies
Maps as Missions: A basic map of a person's life can be made/followed flowchart style
Meetup, OkCupid, Costco Soulmate Trading Outlet and others where people are looking for connections in meaningful ways. Participants create some profile.
Facebook is horrible in too many ways to mention and only proves the desire for people to connect is there
“Shared experience is one of those central building blocks of community and something that we feel compelled to seek out. In new social situations, it gives us a quick way to feel connected. Often, when you meet someone for the first time, you look for experiences you have in common. That feeling is what drives the popularity of book clubs. Shared experience powers these gatherings and has allowed them to persist despite the troubles of the publishing business. “
Low-tech flyers like The Jejune Institute
Jai Tanju and his postcard project
Beta participants should add one another to their Google Location Sharing?
Glympse Group? Jink app?
Links + Related Reading
Theory of the Dérive https://docs.google.com/document/d/1l-eZpyQpn7khcUwqHpEwyt99CiVdPfXD1B6Dj91kHVY/edit?usp=sharing
Current Location: Silicon Valley
|04:11 pm - [The Way My Brain Works.]|
I'm thinking that as far as writing/journaling is concerned my thought process was a whole lot less convoluted and confusing when I used LJ constantly. I guess that's just because here it's simple. The writing and the journaling is the thing. There is no other thing.
So I'm doing a dump of my daily journal files since I'm unable to work some of them out to a more complete version like I'd been trying for the past week or two.
I think there are a handful of people still here and I'm just letting you/them/everyone know that here comes some random bits that won't mean much but eventually they will.
I'll tell you more about them later.
Current Location: Silicon Valley
August 7th, 2015
|10:11 pm - [Pretty Good Synchronicity.]|
Getting the latest laptop organized and a conversation about cryptography and cicada reminded me to get my PGP keys set up. I figured I'd start from scratch again as that's the whole theme for my life right now anyway. [More cicada imagery for sure.]
After installing the GNUPG software I created a brand new key since I wasn't sure of the older ones I'd made forever ago. I made that new one a few minutes ago and then remembered that LiveJournal included PGP info. So I came here and dug up the old keys and pulled those into the newly installed program and noticed this:
Almost exactly a decade to the day.
Current Location: Silicon Valley
Current Mood: rejuvenated
August 6th, 2015
|01:09 am - [White Whale.]|
When I returned home after 5 or so weeks of me just driving around the country it occured to me that my path resembled the shape of a whale.
[This means something very big to me.]
January 26th, 2015
|07:10 am - [The Evolutionary and Emotional Biology of Venus of Willendorf and Richard Siken.]|
I've been looking over old image files on my computer trying to get organized in some way. I do this for practical reasons like sorting things and I admit I do it for reasons of longing and reaching back.
Reaching back towards a place in your past is important because it's easy to cause yourself some heartache or hurt. And it's important to be self-destructive that way sometimes. [But try to shoot for being that and self-assured in equal amounts if you can.] The past is not always prologue but it does sometimes hold the key to doors that are in front of you right now. And every now and again I'll click though these old photos and look back into my past in some way. I look over the books I used to have and the spaces I used to work and the places where I felt lost and then discovered and then lost again. Again, it's stupid to make yourself ache in ways like this unless you can come out of it with something valuable and I'm good at ensuring that happens.
It's kind of like how in evolutionary biology there is a theory that suggests “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny.” That's a lot of fancy language but In simpler terms this is referred to as biogenetic law and it was developed by Ernst Haeckel in the 19th century. This is his idea: The development of an individual organism (ontogeny) follows the evolutionary history (phylogeny) of the species. That human embryos look like they have gills because people evolved from fish. That have tails in utero because of these same fish origins of ours. And so forth.
And so by studying the growth of the individual we can somehow summarize the growth of the entire species. Sounds good for sure. But from an evolutionary biology point of view it's not the case at all. It's just not the way it happens and Haeckel had it all wrong.
But the idea itself is still a good one and while it's incorrect for evolutionary biology it's certainly correct enough when applied to something like art or music or literature. Knowing the entire spectrum of art history, for example, from the beginning of time up until what is going on right this very moment in the world of art will assist you in understanding how to best create something new. It at least makes it a whole lot less messy than, say, doing whatever until something new comes from it. The idea that 'ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny' is even better when you apply it towards some introspective or emotional situations. It works that way for sure if you ask me. Or if you ask the Dalai Lama for that matter.
So, yeah, anyway, I was looking at these old photos that I'd taken in the different houses and apartments where used to live in. Some were from when I lived in Tucson and there is one that I have from my livingroom when I lived there. It's the only photo I have from that particular place. It includes a view of a couple of my bookshelves and I like to look at it from time to time to see all of the things in the photo that I had forgotten about. I lost most of the things in the photo due to many subsequent moves and other crummy circumstances. And I sometimes miss missing the things that I lost before I even know I miss them in the first place. If that makes sense.
I use these photos as a sort of data point to triangulate where I am now and to help me not to forget.
It helps me see where I am on a map. And that's important.
So I'd been doing this looking into the past that way and the whole time I'm also making some drawings since I promised myself I'd do a whole lot more of that.
I was considering basic art techniques like proportion and symmetry which lead me to thinking of the Venus of Willendorf and Richard Siken.
What do you think you know about the Venus of Willendorf?
She's a Late Stone Age [or Upper Paleolithic if you want to get technical] depiction of a female figure carved into limestone and there are many like her from the same era. The era of human evolution where we sort of shifted into being less like a Neanderthal and more like we are now. This is where we discovered art and in our new sense of creativity we made things like cave paintings and carved little statues out of stone. Venus of Willendorf is the more widely known of these figures and she was created around 22,000 BC. These were made before we had a bow and arrow. Before farming. They are the first forms of art.
Look, I'm not Jared Diamond or anything and only sort of remember the scientific facts and they may be off a bit but the point is the statue is old. Really old. And it is often thought of as some idealized image of what the cave men thought an ideal woman looked like. I imagine that's easy to assume.
Other popular thories say that the people who made this statue lived in a harsh ice-age environment where features of fatness and fertility would have been highly desirable. The parts that mattered most had to do with successful reproduction - the breasts and pelvic girdle. Therefore, these parts were isolated and amplified by the artist's brain.
What I happen to believe is what a terrific art teacher in Missouri also believes; that these Venus Figures were not created from the point of view of other human beings. They weren't made by some person who had an idea of another person in mind when they made it. They are essentially just self-portraits. They served as the artistic origins of representing the human body by first looking at our own. And to do this you'd naturally start with the visual information you had most readily available to you. Yourself. You'd make art using visual information derived primarily from the point of view of the self. [Physically, spiritually or otherwise.]
When you're standing up and staring straight down at your feet your perspective is distorted. Your feet look tiny and your breast would look large. Especially if you were pregnant. And you wouldn't be able to see your own face or head. [See what I'm talking about.]
If you have the time then do yourself a huge favor and read over the paper from LeRoy McDermott here: http://faculty.ucmo.edu/ldm4683/index.htm I'd bet it'll kind of blow your mind in some way and it's worth having a look at. Plus I won't have to go into it any further.
The point is that you need to really look at the full scope of things in order to see the future. And that what you think you know may be wildly inaccurate and it's always a safe bet to try and dig down a bit further. To a place that starts with where you start.
After looking at images of these Venus Figures and their proportions and did an image search that landed me with this one:
[You can see why Google thought they were related.]
I ended up reading the accompanying blog with this as the opening quote:
Whatever god it was, who out of chaos
Brought order to the universe, and gave it
Division, subdivision, he moulded earth
In the beginning, into a great globe,
Even on every side.
-Ovid, Metamorphoses, 4
A few minutes later I happened across a new poem by Richard Siken that he'd just shared about 20 minutes before. Which was cool in a Jungian Synchronicity sort of way since just earlier I'd seen a little painting on my bookshelf in the photo I mentioned.
The painting was a gift from Richard and I love it so much and it was in my mind when I saw he'd shared a link to a new poem of his.
And in his new poem he's describing the exact same thing I've been thinking about all night long.
[I don't expect you to follow what I really am trying to say in all of this. I just wanted to get some of it down at least so I'd not forget it.]
Current Location: Silicon Valley
January 24th, 2015
|01:28 am - [In Passing.]|
A year ago today I finished these pieces as part of a very little set for the One Thousand Thousand project. I used some serious layers of beeswax colored with bright orange oils. They are still some of my very favorites.
November 24th, 2014
|09:01 am - [Organize Facts.]|
I became obsessed with the idea of having another audio recorder to talk into while I'm driving and rushed to the store just minutes before they closed and bought one. I've used these things for decades and always got a significant amount of work done. It's always helped me to get things worked out and the audio recording bit becomes invaluable to me at certain moments in my life.
Typically I'm making visual art of some sort or I'm producing something tangible in some way. Every once in a while I get to some point where I just don't have anything pressing or interesting to create and I always revert back to writing.
Writing has always been a lot like going into a book store or record shop. I know the things I am interested in checking out but as soon as I get inside I totally blank on what I'm looking for. So keeping little notes and notebooks with scribbled reminders is something I've done my whole life and it's generally best to not try and write down your thoughts while driving.
So I have the recorder and I'm gonna give that a go for a bit. It takes some time to develop the habit but I'm getting good at making sure such a discipline is easy enough for me adopt and maintain. I spent time making sure I knew the functions of the thing as it's not like the micro-cassette recorders I used to use. I'm feeling mostly prepared for what may come from it.
And, as always, something will come of it.
Current Location: South Bay Area
September 28th, 2013
|01:52 pm - [Developing Memories*.]|
My father was an amateur photographer and as a kid I remember him having a little darkroom set up in our basement. One of my earliest memories is of him getting the area set up or organized or whatever and he was standing at the workbench. I remember asking him about his shoes and why they were stained the way that they were and if those stains were blood. [Around this time, I'm pretty certain, he was either working as a paramedic for the fire department or was in medical school. I forget which right now but I knew that he once had blood on his shoes and it struck me to inquire about those stains.] I recall that I had been doing a remarkable job of keeping quiet and letting him do his work just prior to asking about his shoes and I knew that asking him about this bugged him in some way. He told me that they were not blood stains but that they were coffee stains. And I remember staring at them some more and trying to sort out if this were true or not. They looked more like a rust color and had tinges of red. And coffee was lighter and less thick. And on and on in the comparisons until silently concluding that they looked a lot more like blood stains to me. I finally couldn't keep quiet and whispered that I thought he was mistaken and that they had to have been blood stains. He was obviously trying to concentrate on whatever it was he was working on and was surely trying to be patient with me. And I was trying hard to not disturb him too much and only asked about the blood stains because I couldn't not ask.
I remember that he asked me if he were to give me some candy would I give him some time alone to finish up what he was doing. I said I would and he told me to go get his jacket and in the pocket was a box of cherry candies and that I could have some if I stayed upstairs. I agreed because I didn't want to bug him and felt bad I had done so already and I also gathered he didn't know how to really be honest about the blood stains in the first place. So I left to go upstairs. And as an afterthought I figured I'd grab a piece of cherry candy and the only thing I found in his jacket pocket was a box of Luden's cough drops that had lint stuck to most of them.
It was not too much later that he left.
I'm not sure of the exact specifics but in my head how I recall it is that he had left behind some sleeves of negatives that he had developed. There were maybe 90 sleeves with strips of 4-6 photos each. Just a few sleeves were printed out as a contact sheet and there were a small number of test exposure prints too. And I kept these things for my entire life. I would hold them to the light and squint to see them and as I got older I'd revisit them to try and have them scanned or printed. I bought a scanner with a negative scanning attachment and tried to do it myself. But each time I'd stop as the results were not good enough or it took too much time or it hurt in some way to see these things come to light.
The photos are mostly of ghosts. The people in them are dead. And this little collection of negatives is one of the more heavy things that I've personally encountered. I've given them a lot of weight and they have a remarkable gravity to them. They are reminders of a short period of time in my life just before everything just went to total shit. There are photos of my Uncle Cornelius who would drown not a year later. There are photos of me and my mom and my kid sister feeding the ducks on some winter day at January-Wabash park. [Taken just before the divorce.] There is a photo of my Uncle Alphonsus who would later be murdered. And more photos from a visit we had with my father’s family. My Aunt Dottie and Uncle Ray happy at their lake home and just before Ray would later murder Dorothy in the parking lot of her work as she walked to her car.] There are photos of my grandmother who looks happy instead of the sad that I remember her looking a lot more in the years that followed. And there is my mom and me and my kid sister. Smiling and hugging and kissing like crazy. And, of course, my Grandfather. My eternal hero and the person I loved most in the world. Just having these photos of him alone makes these things priceless to me.
So just the other day Katherine brought home these photos for me. She had them professionally scanned and dumped onto a some CDs and I’ve been able to see them all for the first time just over the last couple of days.
I’ve never been more grateful to my father for anything and if not for him taking so many photos I’d not have this record of things.
The photos are being uploaded to Flickr. The link is here.
*Pun initially unintended and then after considering a suitable edit was intentionally left alone.
August 1st, 2013
|02:15 pm - [Secret Aspirin.]|
When I need to get myself pumped up in some way I have more than a few techniques that I've developed over the years. I'm sure everybody does. And some situations require certain techniques. Many years ago if I were feeling down or something I'd go out by myself at around 10AM and buy a pack of Dunhill cigarettes and get a double espresso at settle into some small cafe where I'd read the newspaper or Salinger short stories. I'd claim the entire booth or table and I'd do a ton of writing and maybe some drawing and I'd lose myself that way for hours. Later on I'd order a softshell crab sandwich and switch over to Guinness. You'd never mistake the fact that I had been there all day by the sprawling piles of papers and sketchbooks and clutter. This sort of thing made me feel invincible.
I don't get depressed much anymore and I don't smoke either and I haven't done the cafe bit in a while. But still I have moments when I need to get myself motivated in some way and I have a seriously long list of little ways to achieve that. Music in general is a big chunk of that list and one that I go to frequently is listening to Bo Diddley.
I have an art show tomorrow and I'm showing new work from the One Thousand Thousand project and I have a ton of work to do and can't seem to get moving. I'm listening to Bo Diddley and watching video clips of him perform. This is what helps me: http://youtu.be/yeZHB3ozglQ
Seriously. Go and be as badass as Bo Diddley. Of course, you'll never in a million lifetimes be able to do it like he did. Not even close. But even if you managed to reach his shadow you'd be accomplishing a whole, whole lot. I mean, just being half as cool as Bo Diddley was is still plenty more cool than most people will ever be.
Current Mood: Close to unstoppable
Current Music: Bo Diddley
July 26th, 2013
|01:04 pm - [Data Loss.]|
So a couple of years ago I lost both my laptop and the new external hard drive that I had filled with pretty much every file I've ever had. It sucked so much. I cannot tell you. I kept a Notepad file open on my desktop every day for like a decade at least. I'd write notes and thoughts and document the day in some way. I had years of those and they are gone. More photos than I can count. Scans of art that I made but no longer have. Just an entire life worth of data. And believe me on this one; it was a lot. I am a saver and collector and documenter of a great deal of my life.
An example: One year at Burning Man I took a digital camera that used 3.5 floppy disks. I took a ton of photos and the disks were hard to read from even back then as they were so goddam dusty from the desert. I eventually copied all of the photos to my hard drive and tossed the disks. Those files are gone.
I still get sort of bummed just thinking about it and the whole event has become a very real jumping off point for a great many conversations that I have in my head about what is important. And what is real. And what is imagined and invented. And so much more.
One thing that comes up a lot whenever I let myself think of the things that I lost is that I really don't even know what I lost. I almost get the most upset when I think about the loss and then try and imagine what could have been on those drives. How can I know? I can't. But it's the imagined possibilities that seem to always bug me the most.
Anyway, as a Buddhist it has been great to examine this event and how it so closely parallels our own human existence.
I was reading some stuff on Shambala Sun this morning and it reminded me of the data loss thing.
Sam Harris said this:
"It is as yet undetermined what it means to be human, because every facet of our culture—and even our biology itself—remains open to innovation and insight. We do not know what we will be a thousand years from now—or indeed that we will be, given the lethal absurdity of many of our beliefs—but whatever changes await us, one thing seems unlikely to change: as long as experience endures, the difference between happiness and suffering will remain our paramount concern. "
The full article is here: http://www.shambhalasun.com/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=2903Itemid=247
July 11th, 2013
|02:04 pm - [Art As Rote Memorization.]|
I'm going a bit loopy over the One Thousand Thousand project. I'm too close to it and constantly work on it and I'm making myself colorblind in a way. Like how working at a bookstore kind of made me uninterested in reading in the same way I was before the job. Or how working in a bar made me stop drinking. It feels like when I'm entirely surrounded and immersed in something I get numb to it and lose interest.
July 7th, 2013
June 24th, 2013
|03:39 pm - [To Write More About Later.]|
- St. Louis West End
- Keith Haring
- William Burroughs
- Art Spiegelman Condom Holders
March 18th, 2013
|07:47 pm - Hello World.|
November 18th, 2010
It's hard for me but I'm trying.
July 5th, 2010
|02:36 am - Personal People Watching|
I have this habit of reading personal ads and I do it all of the time. For me it's kinda like this voyeuristic thing in a way but it's not exactly that either. I'm not sure if it's some unconscious response to the weird fact that most everyone in my family has the same sort of habit but only with the obituaries. I never got that and I still don't. I mean, it really kind of drives me crazy that they all do that. For me reading the obituaries is kind of depressing. You have to look at these usually crummy photos chosen by some family member and quite often they are of the person when they were a lot younger than they were when they died. I always feel bad for the people that only got a few sentences and I feel even worse for the ones that go on for a handful of column inches. In a way I guess my personal ad habit isn't a lot different but something that I also do is respond to them.
I did that the other night when I read one that was just pretty cool. I mean, even though I don't want to date anyone or anything like that I still thought I'd like to have someone like that as a friend. And even if not that then I at least wanted the person to know that someone on the other end of their ad thought they were cool. I just feel compelled to send some word of connection and when I read something that someone wrote in some personal ad that strikes me as honest and, in a way sort of moving even, I just write and say so. If I ever stopped to consider that this could be deemed as creepy or patronizing or even depressing for them that I write to say something complimentary but am not really in the market to take them up on the contents of their ad then I'd probably not do it. [Or maybe I wouldn't.]
It's sadly strange and beautiful all of the people out there that don't have someone but wish they did and it makes me feel close to them somehow. I think that people are quite often very fearful and very afraid but I also think that people can be so brave at times it's remarkable.
[Did any of that make sense?]
Current Location: Tucson
May 5th, 2010
|06:52 pm - Little Blue Dot|
Tucson is sometimes called that as Arizona is really a solid red state. Republicans of all sorts and extreme views outnumber the laid back more Democratically-minded people in Tucson.
I absolutely love Tucson and I imagine I'll die here but, man, it makes me pissed what the assholes in Phoenix are doing. I mean, I remember just hating Arizona forever ago over them refusing to acknowledge MLK. If that's not proof of the racism here then look again.
March 11th, 2010
|10:27 pm - [Missouri Kids Cuss.]|
I miss this place. I feel dumbed down for not writing as much as I used to. At least publicly, I mean.
I'm leaving this phase of making visual art since I am getting burned out from it. I can't make a drawing or painting lately to save my life. I actually don't even enjoy it much even. I guess that the whole One Thousand Thousand project killed off some imspiration in the same way that working for Barnes & Noble years and years ago ruined me for reading fiction until just recently.
The gallery opening is on the 19th and after that I'm writing again.
Current Music: Eels
October 10th, 2009
|09:12 am - [Powers of 10 Day.]|
I had almost forgotten about this being Powers of Ten Day. Coincidentally I had been researching the Eames' to find out about their relationship with the Higgins' glass studio and was reminded that today is 10/10.
Next year will be even cooler to write.
September 19th, 2009
|05:37 am - [Let's Talk About Books.]|
I have, maybe, 5 or 6 hundred books that I really don't have enough room to keep them. I got them yesterday and they are out on the back patio where I'm trying to sort them some.
You want any of them?
September 14th, 2009
|07:56 pm - Illusions|
One of the books that my father checked out from the library using my name was Illusions by Richard Bach. I learned that one pretty fast and it wasn’t as challenging as Ulysses was but I felt like since it was so easy it must not have meant so much. That’s obviously not true.
I breezed through that book not because it was easy but because I was a kid and I didn’t think anything it talked about was impossible. I wasn’t tainted or jaded as we become when we’re older and for me the idea of vaporizing clouds was an easy one to accept. Flying too for that matter.
Decades have passed since then and I’ve read that book plenty and I recently reread it just again. I was struck by how much I took the book to heart and how it absolutely shaped me as a person and defined a great deal about what I think and have thought since I was a small child.
I’m not sure if you’ve ever read anything by Richard Bach and I’m sure his work isn’t monumental literature but I am also sure that his work is important. To me it is, at least, and that’s enough. The opening passage from Illusions is just great and I loved the grease-stained pages reproduced for the thing and it looked like a real journal to me. The story of the little creatures that cling to the rocks is still an important idea that I’ve never not held in very high esteem and I figure it’s nice to post it here for you and for later.
“Once there lived a village of creatures along the bottom of a great crystal river. The current of the river swept silently over them all–young and old, rich and poor, good and evil, the current going its own way, knowing only its own crystal self.
Each creature in its own manner clung tightly to the twigs and rocks of the river bottom, for clinging was their way of life, and resisting the current what each had learned from birth. But one creature said at last, “I am tired of clinging. Though I cannot see it with my eyes, I trust that the current knows where it is going. I shall let go, and let it take me where it will. Clinging, I shall die of boredom.”
The other creatures laughed and said, “Fool! Let go, and that current you worship will throw you tumbled and smashed across the rocks and you will die quicker than boredom!” But the one heeded them not, and taking a breath did let go, and at once was tumbled and smashed by the current across the rocks.
Yet in time, as the creature refused to cling again, the current lifted him free from the bottom, and he was bruised and hurt no more. And the creatures downstream, to whom he was a stranger, cried, “See a miracle! A creature like ourselves, yet he flies! See the Messiah, come to save us all!”
And the one carried in the current said, “I am no more Messiah than you. The river delights to lift us free, if only we dare let go. Our true work is this voyage, this adventure.” But they cried the more, “Savior!” all the while clinging to the rocks, and when they looked again he was gone, and they were left alone making legends of a Savior.”
It’s simple, of course, and it’s nice and it’s important and I like it very much.
Originally published at [Posted over at smartwentcrazy.com/journal.]. You can comment here or there.
September 7th, 2009
|06:36 am - This Is What Salvador Said.|
“I am painting pictures which make me die for joy, I am creating with an absolute naturalness, without the slightest aesthetic concern, I am making things that inspire me with a profound emotion and I am trying to paint them honestly.”
Originally published at [Posted over at smartwentcrazy.com/journal.]. You can comment here or there.
September 3rd, 2009
|06:11 pm - What Matters Most|
Some good conversations have come up after the post I made just before this one and I kept thinking of the perfect Bukowski line [and subsequent book title] ‘What matters most is how well you walk through the fire.’ This is as good of a mantra as you could have, I’d imagine, and I think that it’s sort of been ringing louder and louder as I’ve been thinking about the whole art thing. And it’s not just art but it’s literature too and, most importantly, it’s about life in general and as a whole.
Everybody has their own fires to walk through and what’s hard to you might be easy for me. What’s hot to me might be breezy for you. What’s art to you might be crap to me and what’s good solid work to me might be kid scribbles to someone else. I mean, really, I can’t hardly navigate through until the end of some of Allen Ginsburg’s writings. And I know plenty of people that find Salinger more ponderous than poetic. It’s all subjective, of course. And all we can do is just do our very best work and leave it at that.
But, in the interest of being contrary and while we’re on the subject of Bukowski, I cannot understand how anyone could ever just simply dismiss Bukowski as being little more than a misogynistic drunk. Have you ever really read any of his work or is that just some point of view you learned to express is your Womyn’s Writing Workshop?
[Why does all of this stuff always get me so goddam excited anyway? Sorry. Sort of.]
Originally published at [Posted over at smartwentcrazy.com/journal.]. You can comment here or there.
August 31st, 2009
|11:07 pm - Is That The Moon Or Something Somebody Made?|
So I’ve been considering the definition of the word Art a lot lately since I’ve been working on this ongoing project. The thing is called One Thousand Thousand and the idea is to create one million pieces of art. All original, done by hand, and without any mechanical reproduction. It’s the same exercise that we’ve been doing for years now but it’s suddenly become official and proper and it’s coming along nicely so far. [The link goes to a gallery of 35 recent pieces that were all done on the same day. I've probably done as many as 150 or so pieces in one day but I forget for sure. Either way, you have to do that many if you'll ever get close to doing a million.]
At any rate, I’m posting a portion of those finished pieces to Etsy and am having a go at selling them off for a buck or two. I’ve never really spent any time on Etsy and I didn’t know too much about it save for the things I learned from asking some girl I knew.
If you don’t know the site then I’ll leave it to you to check it out but Etsy is supposed to be a place to buy and sell only handmade products and items. The other permissible items that you can sell there are either vintage things [at least 20 years old] or supplies that are used to create art or handmade items. But whatever your art is, painting, knitting, using odd materials, collage, sculpture, photography, jewelry making, knitting or candlemaking or whatever your art is. And that’s a really cool concept for sure and there are some very, very cool things there. Very cool.
But I’m realizing pretty quickly that there are some really crummy things there too. And the art section in particular is really overrun by some just awful stuff from people that claim it’s art and call themselves artists and it just drives me crazy. And this isn’t something that is unique to Etsy at all. I’m not saying that. I’ve felt the same way about major gallery showings on down to mail art websites like the old, awesome Nervousness. [Is that thing still going?]
Bottom line is that there is just a lot of bad art out there and there are people that encourage it and even pay for it. Tremendous sums, in fact. But I think it’s just because they don’t know what art really is. It’s just some imaginary and unrealistic concept in their head and they probably never took too much time to really think about it too hard. Or maybe I’m just over thinking it myself. [Probably both, I'm sure.]
Still, all you can do if you feel the way that I feel is to just not let it get to you and remedy the perceived situation by producing what you believe is good solid work and hope that it evens out somewhere down the line. It’s kind of like Karma, I guess. The negativity and hurt and suffering is cyclical and the only way to right those things is to choose compassion and take the higher road and create lovingkindness every chance you get.
And to art again; I have always thought that anti-art is somehow closer to what True Art should be or really is. I appreciate the anti-art, anti-product, Fluxus, Futurism approaches a great deal. Those philosophies have been important to me lately and have inspired a lot of the things I’m working on as well as the outlook I have as of late and I really appreciate the definition that George Maciunas gave for what he thought the differences between art and anti-art really were.
This is basically what he said:
Art existed to “justify the artist’s professional, parasitic and elite status in society, he must demonstrate artist’s indispensability and exclusiveness, he must demonstrate the dependability of audience upon him,
he must demonstrate that no one but the artist can do art. Therefore, art must appear to be complex, pretentious, profound, serious, intellectual, inspired, skillful, significant, theatrical, It must appear to be valuable as commodity so as to provide the artist with an income. To raise its value (artist’s income and patrons profit), art is made to appear rare, limited in quantity and therefore obtainable and accessible only to the social elite and institutions.”
He also said that anti-art and the Fluxus approach was,
“To establish artist’s nonprofessional status in society, he must demonstrate artist’s dispensability and inclusiveness, he must demonstrate the self sufficiency of the audience, he must demonstrate that anything can be art and anyone can do it. Therefore, anti-art must be simple, amusing, unpretentious, concerned with insignificance’s, require no skill or countless rehearsals, have no commodity or institutional value. The value of art-amusement must be lowered by making it unlimited, massproduced, obtainable by all and eventually produced by all. Fluxus art-amusement is the rear-guard without any pretension or urge to participate in the competition of “one-upmanship” with the avant-garde. It strives for the monostructural and nontheatrical qualities of simple natural event, a game or a gag. It is the fusion of Spikes Jones Vaudeville, gag, children’s games and Duchamp.”
Again, I don’t think he covers it completely and I know he contradicts some of what I’ve said. And, most importantly, I know there’s no right answer here. But what I do agree with completely is that I think it’s so lame for people to take themselves so seriously about the things they produce and create. I think that as soon as you start worrying more about copyrights and watermarks than you do the whole process of catharsis and creation then it’s not only pretty sad but it’s also, to me at least, absolutely ridiculous. The entire point of Art and making art in the first place has been missed.
In pretty much every gallery show I’ve ever had or been a part of my work has sold out. Completely. This isn’t me being arrogant or cocky or boastful and I swear on everything that it’s not. I’m not even implying the work was good or even worth it either. But it’s more to say that the work has always been priced to sell. I’ve always been of the mindset that I’d just simply not like to take the pieces back to my place at the end of the day and I’d like to not live with them anymore after a point. For the 52 Weeks project there was a provision in the contract with the gallery that if every single piece didn’t sell then we wouldn’t sell any of them at all. It was an All Or Nothing Clause and the point was that either they would all have to go and the emotions attached would be exorcised along with the work or the whole thing would stay completely intact where you’d have to make room to keep living with it.
I guess what I mean to say is that I have always made, and I continue to make, these things [my art] to either get something out of me or to share something with whomever might come along and listen. One or the other. And by choosing prices that meet the financial abilities of the average human being is just a way to actually accomplish those two things. If I charged three grand for every little piece I made I’d be sitting in a boring museum of my own work and nobody would hear a word I was ever trying to say.
Adding some super-crazed prices to your work is just bullshit, really, and when I see some mediocre piece that has this zany-high price tag I instantly feel like it means the person that made it only equates money with value. Either that or they feel like that’s the way to really prove to everyone else that they are a ‘real artist’ and that their work is important. This is what galleries do for the most part and it’s all hype to create a profit. Or whatever. I don’t know really what I mean to say exactly. But I know what I mean for sure.
So I guess I say go ahead and make contrived pieces of crap using imagery that’s as overused as the goddam Golden Arches. Throw in words like inspire and breathe and hope. Add some fairies or angels or anything with wings and toss in some doll heads and antique typewriter keys just for good measure. Then, for the love of all that is good and true and sacred, be sure to scan it and then run off a few copies on your inkjet printer and sell them as limited prints. Give it a French name so it sounds ‘fancier’ and more high-brow. And you can call it whatever you want. It’s art. You’re an artist. Fine.
But I am too and I have a different opinion about it and I might be wrong or I might be right or I might be neither or even both. I have no idea what I’m talking about even. I guess it is what you say it is and it is what you make it out to be and it is all dependent on how it touches you or speaks to you I suppose. [And that's something different for everyone I guess, right?]
Emerson said, “Give me health and a day and I will make the pomp of emperors ridiculous.” I guess I’ll leave it at that. If that’s cool with you.
[Pardon me for my rut.]
August 25th, 2009
|10:59 pm - [Headlight Green Light.]|
This evening outside of the thrift store on 22nd I was loading up my car and sort of struggling to do so while not dropping my junk in the process. I see some guy that was walking around in the parking lot come up towards me and at first I think he’s going to offer to help me open the door. I finally just set the stuff in my right hand on top of the roof and he says something to me I don’t understand while he’s flipping through a book of some kind. At first I think it’s one of those ‘I’m deaf and please read this so you’ll understand that I am in dire need of gasoline to get home to my children’ kind of hustles. But then I realize it’s actually a cheap photo album full of pictures.
He stops on an open page to a photo of a headlight cover for a car. It’s taped off on the edges with blue tape as if the car was being painted or something and there was a date and time stamp but I never looked at it too hard.
So he points to the headlight in the photo and says that one just like it was stolen from the exact parking lot we were in. And then he pointed to my car and indicated it too looked just like the one in the photo. Now, I’m still confused about this whole thing even now but I asked him if he meant if had I seen anyone doing something like that. He said something else that I couldn’t make out and then I cut him off to say that I didn’t steal any goddam headlight if that’s what he was implying. It seemed like he was saying that he didn’t but then he asked me if I wanted him to clean the one on my car for me. [What for? As if to possibly protect me from the people that had their headlight stolen by proving in advance that mine was not theirs? What was this hustle all about?]
Okay, so I speak a fair amount of Spanish and I am conversational in it to a degree but understand a great deal more than I can speak. It’s not that he was speaking in Spanish or that he had some heavy accent that I couldn’t navigate. It’s just that he was this tremendous mumbler and I honestly didn’t understand him too well. But I did get the part about cleaning my headlight cover and, of course, this really confused the hell out of me.
I said, “Nah, man. I’m not too worried about it. It’s a company car and I don’t really care too much about it.” I turned away from him and and got in the car and watched to see if he was trying the same thing on other people. It looked like he had and was.
So what in the hell is that about? For me, on some weird level, I appreciate the idea of grifters and conmen and magicians and hustlers. Someone practicing and then perfecting some elaborate hustle is interesting to me in some way. I think most people probably think so too or there wouldn’t be so many freaking movies about that stuff. And I’ve seen or heard of a terrific number of scams and cons and I know enough about them to see them coming. But I’ve never heard of the old ‘clean your headlight routine’ and I don’t see what the bit could even be about.
So I guess he had a photo album with a lot of shots of various headlight covers. He had to see the car and then flip to the page that coincided with that make and model I’d guess. Because the one he pointed to was for sure a picture of a Lincoln Town Car from around the same year as mine. And I happen to know this because I’ve been driving this Lincoln Town Car lately and had just recently read up on it a couple of days ago. Three days ago, tops.
I was checking to see what the difference was with the Cartier Edition since that’s the kind that I drive and I think it’s totally funny to have a Cartier car. So I know for a fact that the headlights are this cat-eye, slanted kind that are super wide and run wide across the front and side of the thing. So he had the right kind of car in his book.
Man, I have no idea what this was all about. Do you?
August 20th, 2009
|06:21 am - [As Information.]|
The Greeks figured out a long time ago that pieces of amber would strangely attract little particles of light if you rubbed them with your finger the right way. What happens is that the amber becomes electrified by what's called the triboelectric effect. This just means that regular static electricity is produced sometimes if you happen to rub some things together in the right way. Socks and carpeting are good for that. A wool sweater getting pulled over your head does this when it gets tugged past your hair. Amber is one of those things that also makes a good conductor in that way when it meets your skin and the Greek word for amber is ēlektron. That's where we got the word for electricity. Yup.
So the polarity and strength of the charges that are produced are differnt and they vary widely. It just depends on things like what the material is, the surface roughness, the temperature, strain, pressure and some other stuff. But it's just across the board on how and when it works and in what combination. And it's not a very predictable form of electricity at all. Only broad generalizations can be made. Take amber again as an example, it's safe to say that amber will create an electric charge by contacting and then separating it from something like wool. But you can try it 50 times and it may not ever happen.
It has to be just right and then it's just all shocking, sparking gangbusters with this goddam static cling. Crazy, right?
You can try this with other things besides socks and carpeting and sweaters and hair. Try using glass rubbed with silk and hard rubber rubbed with rabbits fur.
August 1st, 2009
|12:51 pm - I've now got the new LiveJournal Messenger.|
I've now got the new LiveJournal Messenger. My Windows Live ID is email@example.com. Sign up now and we can chat!
July 27th, 2009
|04:05 am - Obituary|
I had always sort of considered what I’d like to have written on my headstone when I am dead. It’s a big thing to consider and I have always refrained from having any text tattooed on my body after all of these years because I can’t quite come up with something perfect enough. Although I suppose that with a tombstone it might not matter as much since a tattoo is something you have to live with for a while and a tombstone is something that you get to make other people live with.
Charles Bukowski always was one of my favorites as far as epitaphs were concerned. His just says, “Don’t Try.” It beats hell out of Keats’ any day. And another favorite is the one that Bernoulli chose for himself and was a nice play on his Miracle Spirals as well as his belief in reincarnation. It reads, “Eadem mutata resurgo” which is translated from Latin to mean, “Though changed I shall arise the same.”And how can you not love Royal Tennenbaum’s inscription? [Go see it if you haven't.]
What I have so far would be nice to use on opposing sides of the thing and that way, depending on how you felt about me when I was alive, you can choose to be reminded of the good or the bad.
This is all of it so far:
A quiet man, not given to law, quarrel or wrangling, not vitious, but pleasant, neat and spruce, loving mirth in his words and actions, clean in apparel, rather drinking much than gluttonous, prone to venery, often entangled in love-matters, zealous in his affections, musical, delighting in baths and all honest merry meetings, or masks and stage-plays; easy of belief, and not given to labour or taking any pains, a company-keeper, cheerful, nothing mistrustful, a right virtuous man, often had in some jealousy, yet no cause for it.
Or, on the other side of things is this bit:
The man was riotous, expensive, wholly given to looseness and lewd companies of women, not regarding his reputation, coveting unlawful beds, incestuous, an adulterer; fanatical, a mere skip-jack, of no faith, no repute, no credit; a goldbricker, chronic malcontent, spending his means in alehouses, taverns, and amongst scandalous, loose people; a mean lazy companion, careless in the emotions of others and not careful of the things of this life or anything religious; a mere atheist and an unnatural man.
This is adapted from a 17th Century book by William Lilly called Christian Astrology. It’s somehow supposed to be how the planet Venus can change people depending on where it was when a person was born or something. And I have no idea why I was even reading that in the first place.
[I'll keep you posted on the developments and the final edits.]
Originally published at [Posted over at smartwentcrazy.com/journal.]. You can comment here or there.
June 25th, 2009
|07:08 pm - [Some Small Things.]|
This is what we did the other day.
35 little mixed-media mini-canvases. I plan on doing at least 100 more tomorrow.
[If the embedded thing doesn't work the link is just HERE.]
June 20th, 2009
|09:55 am - Connection And Reconnection.|
Addendum to the entry just before this one:
Just shortly after those things happened I get a great, brick-house beautiful email from Brandon [another Hospitality Club guest-turned-friend] who I have not spoken to in over two years easy. And later this evening as I check my mail I get news that Nes has finally been given the Spouse Visa she had been waiting over a year for. She got the news just before leaving Tucson for Diamond Mountain.
I never check my email much lately and I almost never use my Yahoo! account. I just happened to be at home and I had some time to kill so I fooled around online and decided to check my mail. That’s when I got the email from Nes asking if they could stay with me for the night as they were coming down from the mountain to see a show at the Rialto. It’s a freak thing that I ever even checked my mail that day. Seriously, I have over 150 emails in my inbox.
Something else sort of cool is that Nes and Ed stayed with me at Cybele’s because my apartment is more like my own personal fort and it may not be suitable for everyone. And I had a friend staying there already since he was in between apartments. So they stayed with me and Cybele at her place.
Another interesting thing is that there was a point where I had never even met Cybele in person and I invited her to come along with me to one of the teachings that Geshe Michael Roach was having. She was unable to make it and I eventually met her later but out of the blue comes Nes and Ed. [Maybe it's not that interesting the way I'm explaining it. But in my head it's so interesting it's crazy.]
Yet another small instance of this Connection and Reconnection business; I showed Ed the dollar bill I had ready in an addressed and stamped envelope waiting to be sent back to Gary. Ed added another dollar just because. [Full circle again.]
Later that evening I got another unexpected email from my past. After not being in touch for probably 20 years one of my best friends from high-school sent this:
I was had some Sigue Sigue Sputnik on my iPod the other day and it got me to reminiscing. How many times did we make that walk from your house on Patterson to Village Square? That was like 3 miles each way. I still laugh at the time we mixed bleach and ammonia to clean up the giant Adidas logo on your basement floor. We could have died then. I watched some dumbass janitor make that mixture when I was working for Sam’s Club and he was taken away by ambulance shortly after.
Other good/interesting memories:
Book Brokers (I still have the Kraven’s Last Hunt SpiderMan series, one of the only comics I still have)
Magnum 44 markers and the wrath that follows their trail
Listening to New Order’s Substance over and over and over again
Prank calling the Dierbergs pay phone
RPG marathons at James’s house (Do you still hear from him? I often wonder what he ended up doing.)
[Censored just to save a certain party any hurt feelings or embarrassment.]
Getting high more than is reasonable or necessary.
Taking an excessive amount of NoDoze and then going to see Mannequinn 2 which we walked out of.
The Central West End. I need to give my wife a tour of that place soon. I miss it.
Lots of good times from age 15 to 17. I have a 16 year old step son who loves to sit in front of the xbox 360 a little too much and wish he would go out and experience life. The TV and video games are sucking the life and real experiences out of the future generations. I wonder what souless bastards they will all become. Not saying we are perfect, but we can at least say we lived.
Just for old times sake, yell at the top of your lungs, “I am the prime male specimen!” Especially when the day is very droll. Works wonders.
But, yeah, I knew that there was something going on over these last few days. I’m not sure that any of this stuff means anything really. It’s not much more than a running theme for the day I guess. I just can’t not think, however, that it makes for a pretty beautiful reminder that the past is not always prologue and the past isn’t even the past.
Originally published at [Posted over at smartwentcrazy.com/journal.]. You can comment here or there.
|09:42 am - The Distance Between Locations.|
It took 3 Years, 341 Days, 11 Hours and 10 Minutes for my $20 bill to reach Texas. Today, after all of that time, someone found it.
Today my great, good [Bodhisattva] friend Nes [and her perfectly kind and wonderful husband Ed] has popped back into my life after at least a year.
[I will take these unexpected things from a bit back into my past as some sort of sign.]
Originally published at [Posted over at smartwentcrazy.com/journal.]. You can comment here or there.