Saturday, March 27, 2010

Ciao ciao

Welp, I'm going out of town for a few days, back to where my people come from.
What? Oh, ha, very funny. No, not jail. Not Planet Crazy.

In the meantime, look around. Take some pictures. Eavesdrop. Listen to cool music. Read something funny, delicious, profane, lovely, thought-provoking, polemical, or downright irritating.

If you're up to the challenge, noodle on this from George Saunders: Don’t be afraid to be confused. Try to remain permanently confused. Anything is possible. Stay open, forever, so open it hurts, and then open up some more, until the day you die, world without end, amen.

See you in a few.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Before the jump

Last week my hike around town took me across the Aurora Bridge, which has spectacular mountain and ocean views, and is apparently 2nd only to the Golden Gate Bridge in facilitating suicide jumps.
Hotline signs are posted about every 10 yards across the entire cruddily-painted span and mais oui, have been (un)suitably defaced.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Going there

Yes so back to the whole narcissism thing. I continue to play with images. These doctored photos feel more honest and playful than the previous lot. I see a lot of Kansas in me. I have my grandma's lips. Wary eyes. I'm not a smiler.
I met a masseur. His business card read "Massage Therapy/Performance Massage" and I got this mental image of the guy (the whole nerd package by the way--skinny, glasses, chiclet teeth) swanning around his massage space with a glittery scarf. "My patients are the performers and I massage them," he corrected me rather sternly, and I had to apologize for laughing.

Monday, March 22, 2010

So, I have news

I just got word from Writers' Bloc literary magazine that they will publish my short story, "The Shabiby Express," in July.
Thanks Writers' Bloc, stay tuned everybodeee, I'll post a link when it's up.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Mah next ink

So I'm working out the details of my next tattoo. I need to dig up a Xanax (man did the first one hurt like a fiend) and make the appointment, for late April. I'm torn between two ideas:
  • A Haida moon, like this one, or along the lines of this amazing Robert Davidson design.
  • Or, a crow silhouette. I love the damn birds--they're cranky and vocal and ubiquitous and yet mostly go unremarked. This one's cool. And I love this image.
Anybody care to cast a vote?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Wait who's running things again?

Bank machines blew my mind today. I don't think I'm a codger quite yet but I trudged over to my new bank to deposit a check and about 10 seconds later a scanned image of the check flashed on the ATM screen. When did this all happen? Not that I miss trying to stuff those weird oversized bank envelopes into the little jaws-of-life machine slot, but this seemed a little too slick.
Walking back to work I passed another bank machine. A guy turned away from the ATM, hands in the air. Wells Fargo wishes me a happy birthday! he shouted to his waiting pal, and the pal shouted, Dude, no way! We know of course that Wells Fargo couldn't actually give a shit about happy guy's birthday but his elation was unfeigned.
So here we are, the machines remind us of milestones, predict our tastes, run our refrigerators, stroke our egos, and we celebrate mindlessly. You do have to wonder who's in charge.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

As the Germans would say, Quatch

So I composed a blog post last night and it was all funny and nice, it had pictures and faux insights and lame witticisms and I felt so smugly pleased with it. And then I remembered that smug is a 4 letter word and oh-my-god I was being smug. Not a good feeling at all. Like that feeling in a dream where you realize you're not wearing pants. Only I'm wearing pants and this is definitely not a dream.
Add to that rejection and rebuffs and criticism on more than a few fronts, writing and personal, and I am feeling smacked around. Well maybe I shouldn't be such a puss. I can do this. I can go deeper and document the ugly. I just need to put my head down and get to it.
My new motto: expectations are the enemy of happiness.
Reading this guy almost daily. So good it makes me cringe.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Sometimes I worry that I'm missing the point.

I'm a heady person, I think; I spend beaucoup time musing over my stories, eavesdropping, daydreaming, wondering, making up narratives about people, a girl with prematurely gray hair, razor cut and tinged with purple; or the tall dude at Rudy's wearing shoes that looked like they were made from red felt.

So many lovely, subtle details and yet the big picture eludes me. Why such a horde of shoppers at Value Village on President's Day? Hm, because everything in the store was 50% off--as announced by the truck-sized sign at the entrance. Which I missed because I had something on my mind.

There's little subtlety in this graffiti I snapped at Stone Way and Bridge, bordering a gaping construction zone hole.
What is art?
Love life.
Already painted over. Already gone.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Power

I captured this upraised fist at Tubs last year.
The dark, gnarled branches didn't seem so significant at first.
But now that time has passed and my mindset is altered, I think they mean everything: the power of the organic, of nature, of raw human strength plus a darker less forthright force.
It's stark and still so beautiful.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Achtung baby--creative sparks may be flammable

I'd be lying if I said my fictional characters weren't inspired by real people. The key is inspired--I'll hear a funny phrase (wif Ruf) or see someone striking (a slender blue-eyed boy in pink sneaks) and my imagination ignites--a scene, a fragment, a creative spark that excites and motivates me.
Recently I immortalized a real person in a quasi-fictional piece. It was self-serving, I get that. I was exploring my own curiosity at the expense of a rather bewildered friend. I'm not a fictional character, he said gently, when I demanded why he hadn't read the whole piece. I'd imposed my analytical ego on him, I realized, turned the coolest of provocateurs into the object of mundane inspection, as though his looks and words and beats--as though he himself--were mine to examine and manipulate. How did I trespass so blithely? I guess because when I'm writing, I'm god, and everything is material for a new world.
So, I apologized and made him tear it up, but I'm worried: is this is an unforgivable infringement, or the kind of thing that can weather a friendship in a good way, like a broken-in leather jacket or retro Puma kicks?
As a side note my weekly story submissions roll on. The rejection I got yesterday noted Your story made it past the first reader, try us again. A no, but minus the slap. I'll take it.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Happy Belated Jamers

Oh I'm a bad auntie.
Not in a Michael Jackson way. In a truly negligent sense.

My niece turned sixteen this past week and did I say anything to anybody here?
Negative. I gave her the equivalent of a digital cricket chirp.

So--happy belated birfday Jamers!
You are a fun, smart, beautiful goofball and I can't wait to celebrate next week with some 3-D Johnny Depp, dancin' Wii rabbits and Vietnamese food. Love ya lots!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Overheard around town

The other morning an agitated kid boarded my bus and plopped down next to me. Poaching my space, leaning over my lap, he was coo-ing, crowing even, like a gangly anxious bird. In his hand I saw a note:

30 bus
1. Pull cord when you see the 7-11
2. Get off the bus

Somebody had clearly thought through the chain of events for this birdy boy. I wondered if previous notes had omitted the part about de-busing, if he'd ridden around town until the route ended and the exasperated driver ended his or her shift and tried to figure out what to do about the kid cawing in the back.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Tree fitty and an octopologist

My sis just got back from six days in Knoxville (sounds like the first line of a country song don't it)--and brought with her pictures of local graffiti. It warms my cynical heart that others find street art amusing and provocative and worth preserving. I have pictures of some tags that were up at Bridge and Stone Way and recently painted over--more when I can get those posted.

For now, enjoy some Knawksville graffiti:

bsp videos don't sleep on 'em