Sunday, December 30, 2012

zomg!

zomg! zomg! zomg!
I posted yesterday about being sick, what is up with THAT?
Pretty soon BusySmartyPants'll be all backaches and sniffles and bitching about meds.
Sorry y'all. I had a weak moment.
It shan't happen again.
*-*
So, what to talk about?
Erryday is a battle, can I just acknowledge that.
If it's a work day, it's a battle just to roll out of bed, put on running shoes, make the bus on time.
I don't start feeling human til 11am, aided by copious amounts of coffee and sullen staring at my computer monitor.
It's always a question of time. Enough time to write. Take a long walk. To talk to my man. Get something to eat. Work on my blog, send out stories, file rejections, edit, write, brainstorm, check Facebook and Gmail, think, cry maybe, maybe yell, listen to music, watch an old Southpark or a new Game of Thrones.
Enough time to see friends and the fam. To read a little. To warm a stool at the bar by my house.
To plan the next east African jaunt.
To dream a little, to think about my mom and Dusty and Dugie.
And then to not think.
Somehow in there, you have to live.
Two pix from my walk today, I'm loving the stencils.



Saturday, December 29, 2012

can't shake it

I came down with the flu last week and still can't seem to shake it.
I lost whole days in a fog of Benadryl and Advil and cough syrup, achey and cold one minute, clammy with sweat the next. My drugstore thermometer registered 100.8, then 101.2. Seinfeld episodes played comfortingly on my laptop and I dreamed without remembering and when I was hungry, I closed the refrigerator door on beer and condiments and a nugget of dried-out cheese and bundled up to walk the five blocks to the market, tearfully wishing someone would bring me hot soup and hold me tight enough for the aches to go away.
Now I'm better, although a cold seems to be hanging on like that last drunk party guest that won't leave, talking too loudly and smelling of Jameson's and cigarettes.
*-*-*-*-*
Also, this, from the amazing Kelly just one year ago:


Sunday, December 23, 2012

rhymes

Lucky me I got to see Blackalicious last week, a Sunday night show at Neumo's, not even close to sold out but plenty of happy hip hop fans. The openers were 1 for 2--I only caught a bit of Gran Rapids' set but they felt solid. Theoretics though--what the hell? Nerds in collared shirts and one semi-okay MC, the other white guy MC not even half as good as he thought he was, the bass cranked up so high our hair vibrated. "Office Space--the band," my friend texted me, equally bemused. "They remind me of Limp Bizkit," another friend said. It was like hip hop for people who don't like hip hop. In any case, soon Gift of Gab took the stage and we had no more complaints.

Monday, December 17, 2012

photograph the night sky

The challenge: take a picture of the African night sky, on a muggy, gin-fueled, mosquito-heavy night.
With tiny white crabs skittering across the pale sands.
With the moon an eclipsing sliver in the sky.
It was night two at the Beach Crab, a beach-front tent hotel near Pangani, Tanzania, where the surf was a constant crashing background, the beach and the sea mere steps from where we slept and ate.
You can't take a picture of the moon, someone said.



Tuesday, December 4, 2012

superior

I took this picture on a particularly tough day last week. My sis and I sat together in a courtroom, not for the first time, certainly not for the last. We stared at our reflections in the Plexiglass and waited and tried not to hear the slurpy machine noises coming from the row ahead of us, where a big stringy-haired girl with smeary jailhouse tats sucked the snot out of her sick kid's nostrils with some kind of electric gadget.
Lawyers came and went--this little circus is all about the lawyers, there's a chunky guy with 80's feathered hair and too-tight double-breasted suits that we call Tonka Truck--anyway the lawyers did their lawyerly thang and we waited and the judge trained an eager-eyed up-and-comer in low murmurs and we waited and then it was over, continuance, continuing disappointment, more waiting. I just want it to be over, we kept saying, and then later, over coffee at the Vietnamese place down the street, we realized: it won't ever be -- over.
In America nobody is superior to anybody else, right?
Oh please, who am I kidding? We preach egalitarianism and meanwhile elections are bought and sold and VIPs shop exclusive after hours sales events and rich travelers float through time and space on a magic carpet of free booze and roasted mixed nuts and leg rests.
Anyway, our circumstances are horrific. Mostly, we are just trying to survive with our senses of humor intact.
We are trying to survive without losing our shit or our grip; without losing a most precious gift who is sometimes a sarcastic little cheating-at-cards shit but mainly right now all arms and legs and glittery eyeliner.
*
Funniest fb post I saw today: Not true, Dad. BACON is bogus. Like!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

disco disco good good

Today's guest post--well--more on that in a second. I spent the morning hanging out with talented artist and super cool friend and soon-to-be-ex-seattleite-Nate. We caffeinated ourselves and debated cynicism and parallel universes and I faffed on my laptop and he drew a cool design on the wall.
So that's a guest post of sorts yeah? Drop by whenev and have a look.
*
The grinny gem above snapped from the wall in the ladies room at Roxy's.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

a few words from thad wenatchee






















well, what's all this talk about the future???
where is my hoverboard @..

and where are my messages from space ??

we've been hanging out today, feeling the rotation of the earth, talkin' bout good times. i would suggest to you to mostly do that all the time with your friends.
as Elise once said today, somethin like Spicoli, "what the f*** is work good for??"
it's good for money. but otherwise, coffee buddies and jalepeno cheese puffs and Earl Sweatshirt traxx.

what's it worth to you to ride the wavve, ride the stream ??? it's your value, your perception that dictates it's worth. and you already knew that.

this winter, the weather will be mild, the mood will be wobbley, and the portals will be open.
let's chill and listen to good music and get good work done and laugh a lot and drink mostly clean liquids.

live savage and hug your friends and eat well. and stuff.


oh, and the end of the world has already happened. so chill.

- tw
   nov mmxii

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

so I wrote this thing

So I wrote this thing. A story thing. I wrote it and been editing it for a few months and feel like it's something special.
I've been sending it out to various journals and magazines, looking for a home, possibly a paying home.
But so far, no dice.
Could it be stronger?
Less weird<-->Less conventional?
Should more happen? Or less?
It's the pushmi-pullyu of the writer.
I want to trust my ear, my voice, my words. And yet I want to be open to making it better.
Such a metaphorical situation: confidence vs. humility.
May the best noun win.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

the give

I have such good people in my life, so generous and thoughtful.
Tonight a chef friend poured bubbly and fed me and others morsels she'd labored over for days. Then she sent us home with a clove-scented favor. Friday night I arrived at some other friends' house, cold and wet and tired from work and a long bus ride. They greeted me with kisses and hugs and smiles and a manhattan, perfectly delicious right down to two whiskey-soaked cherries.Yesterday my sister picked me up after another long bus ride (a theme here, no?) and later, my niece shared her favorite bubble gum from Uwajimaya and as we sat next to each other on massage chairs, she patiently leafed through People magazine to show me just the right handsomely-scruffy celebrity.
The best gifts are these, off the list and offered without reserve.

Monday, November 12, 2012

chillun

This was my view just a few short days ago.
Home now after nearly a month away, and I'm cleaning house.
Big changes coming. Stay tuned.

Friday, October 12, 2012

trippy

Hey what's going on? I've been traveling again, but other than my geographical location, I did pretty much what I always do--saw some bands, ate and drank and stayed up late and slept in and even got to hang out nonstop with my man. Not a bad couple of days. Now I'm preparing--trepidatiously--to hit the road again.
More on last week and next week soon.
In the meantime, check out my pal Kelly's blog and keep an ear out for her around town. Her album comes out early 2013. (Also check out her bracelet, handmade by my very own Hammy Smackbooty.)
And peep the legendary Allen Toussaint, who played and charmed in Port Chester last weekend in a red and gold suit.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

settle

Settle, I tell myself, when I feel the freak-out coming on. This--anxiety, anger, frustration, rage--belongs somewhere else, not here, not to right now.
Settled, I was once anyway, and it felt good for awhile until it felt suffocating and dead. (I just typed dad instead of dead which seems tres freudian no?)
Settle, I've done that a bunch too. Not asking for what I truly want. Letting fear get the best of me. Relaxing into the rut and avoiding the open road.
*
Anyway, other people write and I am in awe:
My funny and super smartypants pal Molly at TheIncidentsAbroad.
Funny sad and also so smart Hyperbole and a Half (am I the last person on earth to know about this?).
xTx as always.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

bubs

I dig this picture, taken at an ID bubble tea place a few weeks ago with Ms Smackbooty. Partly because I'm hanging out with one of my fave people in the world (obvi!) but also due to the angles, colors and reflections in the photo; it's nearly a collage.
Ms. S taught me a new high-five this weekend. Checked out the elliptical machine at a friend's condo building (I've always wanted to, says the ten-year-old.) Went up to the rooftop deck and gravely surveyed the city. When prodded: "talk to the booty 'cause the hand's off duty."

Sunday, September 23, 2012

weekend haps

My friends have been so busy creating. (I have been too but the publishing gears grind slowly so I can't say much more just yet.)
cesario continues his art installation under the University bridge, fasting and meditating and selling pieces. The Stranger took notice. I don't have the benjamins to help him past the next financial hurdle but I've gone by a few times for hugs and conversation. You should stop by, while you can.
Last nite super chill MC Tulsi lit it up at the Nectar (when did we start calling it "the Nectar," btw?). It was a relaxed night of west coast hip hop featuring Graves33, Gnu Deal (I've wanted to check out those cats for a minute) and a screening of a cool mini-movie.
And there's more: DJ Limerence's new mix, not to mention the smashing Kelly Castle Scott's upcoming debut in early 2013. The beats don't get much fresher than they are right now in Seattle.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

maryguerite

So my gramma turned 91 last week. She's busy with her rental houses and oil-company dealings and news of various feuds being perpetuated around town. When I was visiting a few weeks ago she took a look at the ink on my left inner arm ("Dusty"). What about the other arm, she said, with the twinkly smile that I know means mischief.
I played dumb. What do you mean?
Marguerite, she said. I think it'd fit.
It was the first time she'd acknowledged the tattoo that reminds me every day of my grampa. And to tell the truth I'd thought about my other arm a few times, about gramma, about Marguerite.
I've been thinking about my mom, too: Mary.
Mary
Marguerite
Mary
Marge
It seems like somehow the two should be together, mom and daughter, and close to me, that somehow this should be possible. So much in my life seems impossible, knottier than Mideast peace and harder to sort than the plotline of a Chesterton novel, it's nice to think that this may be solvable.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

restless

I'm getting restless, keep finding myself daydreaming about getting in a car and hitting the road for awhile.
A friend mentioned that she and her husband wanted to take six months and volunteer their way around the country and it made me happy and sad all at once, thinking I want that too.
There are big changes brewing and I keep weighing pros and cons. I feel scared, uncertain, anxious, curious.
Change keeps my mind fresh, I ride that adrenaline high and forgo eating and live on bourbon and bubble gum. Am I running away? Taking a blind leap?
Or maybe there is no big picture, certainly my story is small and unimportant, and what I decide has little to do with anything but geography and libido and the kind sideways glance of fate.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

the lowdown, the letdown, the runaround


So I got to spend some time in Kansas a couple of weeks ago. These bricks leading to the back yard were most likely laid by my grandpa Dusty decades ago. It feels good to be where he was, to sleep in the house he helped build, to sit on lawn chairs at dusk with my grandma and the fam and watch the neighborhood go by.
It was a long relaxing vacay if you ask me--a family dinner at Gella's, lots of laughs and beer with my aunt and cousins, a road trip west to visit more family; then a few days on the opposite coast with my favorite wild man, music and whiskey and jaunts to the City and tubing and camping and a couple of all-nighters.
*
Now, reality again, and I'm scared to face it. A friend told me that sometimes the answer you get is not the answer you want. Life is giving me a lot of answers, some of them mean and direct and difficult to hear. I hope I can listen and not break.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

geto

What gets you through a trying day? For me, it was:

  • this Geto Boys joint
  • yoga
  • a lefty chit-chat over laundry (some dirty, some clean)
PS I've been traveling for the past couple weeks, I have news of the prairies, New England, and the city. More to come.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

you'd think

Call me late to the show but it's so much harder to be consistently  nice than it is to be a jerk. I'm struggling these days. I hope the struggle means I'm learning.
*
That said, I had to tell a man he couldn't sit next to me on the bus today. He's a creepy guy, probably learning disabled, who rides very occasionally, and always makes his way to wherever I am sitting and sits next to me. Once he sat down close in a mostly empty bus and put his hand on my knee (I yelled Cut it out!). A couple weeks ago, he squeezed in between me and a college girl, his leg resting against mine. When I moved, he got mad and talked shit  to the back of the bus for the next fifteen minutes. So today, when he headed for the empty seat next to mine, I got up my nerve and said flatly, You can't sit here. When he protested, I reiterated Sorry dude, you can't sit here. The back of the bus quieted. The woman across from me slid over to let him sit down. I could feel people's horrified stares. How dare she tell the retarded guy he can't sit next to her. When he got off the bus I explained to the woman, and she seemed relieved. I wondered, she said. I figured you had a reason. I did, but I still felt horrible about it.
*
I took this picture of glow stix a month ago but with Olympics fever raging it seems appropriate to post now.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

whats noo

Y'all are going to have to start calling me Einstein because I've been doing so much new stuff I've probably developed a whole new brain's worth of neurons.
Perhaps I exaggerate.
Still, in the past couple of weeks I've:
  • Served on a jury in Seattle Municipal Court -- instead of Twelve Angry Men we were six bored jurors but, we got the hookup with free wifi, decent coffee, and three days off work. We listened, waited, deliberated, concocted a new drink called The Sidebar, and finally delivered a split verdict.
  • Gone bouldering with an artist pal and discovered that I'm not a bad climber and that it was entirely possible to catch up with a friend over chalk and Level 0 handholds and not just $5 happy hour well drinks.
  • Made it via bus from LQA to a bbq in Ballard to a bbq in Kirkland and back to LQA in the space of 7 hours
  • Checked out the newly-privatized liquor situation in town, in search of my old favorites and new stuff to try: Wine World--great for whisky and bourbon; Emerald City Spirits--meh; Total Wine, in Bellevue--hello good friends Ul Ultimo and Monopolowa! and my neighborhood joint, Queen Anne Liquor, re-opened for just 2 weeks and with no website, no advertising, just a couple of sandwich boards and a bevy of smiling clerks.
  • Done some less fun stuff too: witnessed an arraignment in King County Superior Court, strategized with family about an aging grandparent, endured a handful of appointments with MDs and PAs and shrinks, realized anew that a co-worker harbors a deep and ugly hatred for me. This stuff is all out of my control and I know it simmers in my gut, waiting for an unguarded moment or that nexus of frustration where it can sidewind its way into my mind
 As they say at Oola Distillery: raise your glass to being above ground and lucky enough to enjoy it.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

don't be a

The secret of life, as determined over martinis last night.
Don't be a dick.
So simple and so strangely hard to achieve.

Monday, July 23, 2012

snoop


Boyyeee what a way to end a weekend, at a sold out Snoop Dogg show.
Dyme Def was the second opener, loooove those kids and hope to see a lot more.
But we were there to see the legend, and he did not disappoint. Chill, charming, fly, he had everybody dancing and smiling.
At the bar, my friend asked the remarkably relaxed bartender: what exactly is the "juice" in gin n juice?
(I especially heart this song after Nosaj Thing ended his Neumo's show last year by cueing it up and simply walking offstage.)

Friday, July 20, 2012

hey stranger

There were times I didn't think I'd make it through this week. Grim events have lurked and materialized, and I'm soaked in weariness.
But also in the past 7 days, I've met some super cool out-of-towners. Seattle is known--and despised--for its freeze, for its surface friendliness and veneer of hostility. Sometimes I feel I'm on a personal mission to dispel the myth. Last week at the Eldridge show my pals and I met some Portlanders, goofy musicians who showed us YouTube videos and drank PBRs and did crazy dances. At the end of the night we all went our way, no numbers exchanged, just smiles and good-bye.
Tonight, I went to a nearby bar for a beer and some dinner, alone but not lonely. I met a funny pair from Cle Elum, in town to drink beer, see friends and valiantly attack a gigantic bowl of potato chips. She works at a chimp refuge, he fights fires. For an hour we shot the shit, laughed and bonded, and then I settled my bill, shook hands, and peaced out.
Tomorrow I have no plans. It may be the first time in a long time. I need it. I'm ailing. I need to summon my strength.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

byeeee

Lots of good-byes lately.
A couple of friends moved away. A few more are thinking about it. Some old friends are distant. I shared long hugs today with one of my favorite people who is leaving the country for a couple weeks. We pretend-cried but after she left I held back real tears.
I'm not good at good-byes. I hate them. I even hate "see ya later." To me it's all bad-byes. (Bad-bye always makes me think of Homer which makes me Google Homer Simpson quotations which then makes me laugh. Anyway.)
And yeah I know it's all cyclical and death is a part of life and good-bye is necessary for hello, I know all that.
I know it. Now I gotta learn to live it.
*
Photo is along Dexter Avenue a few weeks ago.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

burned

Happy July y'all.
I've been busy, working like mad on a story draft, planning trips (look out Denver, Kansas, Connecticut, Dar es Salaam, and London).
The Fourth was one of the best in awhile. I slept in, went for a long run, wrote a little. The hopped a bus, laden with beer, a chilled rose, brownies and onion dip, and went to the beach to a good friend's bbq. We had a lazy afternoon of sun and drinking and catching up; an artist friend took a break and biked over, another friend joined later and drove us to my sis's bigtime event, patio bbq with the fam and then fireworks--mortars, roman candles, black cats, bottle rockets, and assorted other explosives for the kiddies.
I emerged with the only injury, my thumb knuckle blasted and blistered after a little girl waved her freshly-lit sparkler too close. Later on we walked to the lake and watched the official show, then capped off the night with a firecracker fight, the kids wrapped up in blankets, laughing at the bigger kids playing with fire.
Still rocking the band-aids and ointment, but regretting nothing.

Friday, June 29, 2012

ow

So deciding to have a sob-free day was probably a bad idea being that I got some new ink. Ha. On the other hand, pain can be centering. When a very talented and capable tattoo artist is running a needle into your skin, you can't think about much else.

It's been a painful week but not in entirely negative ways:
Some people I love are going through really tough times. We have no idea of the outcome and there's more ahead. It's a minute-by-minute battle not to freak out with worry. I've been going through my own, self-inflicted misery and it's minute-by-minute too, sometimes. But guess what, I've lived through it so far and I'm okay. Wow. Then there's the pain of getting a tattoo. The first few cuts hurt a lot. A LOT. Today, I lay there thinking "WTF was I thinking?" Then it becomes routine. It still hurts, but it's become less of a surprise. I concentrated on breathing. Un-clenching. Ash and I talked about how hard it is to keep life simple and not fuck things up. I thought about my other ink and the reasons I'd gotten it done. Then, it was over. The lack of pain feels enormous, like a big beautiful bubble. But I wouldn't have got there without the previous ninety minutes.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

tldr

Not much better than new slang: tldr
My niece is super critical of how I talk. She's deemed cray cray to be old person slang. Same with jelly
I say, whatevs.
*
I wanted to bestow some hipster scorn on this band and on their video but both are oddly sweet and funny. Don't hate, just enjoy the wiggle.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

stuff about trust

Man I am learning some stuff about trust these days. Or more accurately: I'm in a position to learn about it. Whether I can/will/have/do is another thing entirely.
Change is good, impermanence is necessary--I get that.
I've been reading about (in)dependence and object permanence and want vs need, and I feel like maybe I didn't get what I needed to as a kid, but guess what, I'm no longer a kid. Somehow I gotta learn these things and hopefully I'll learn them before I damage something kind of lovely.
Hopefully.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

apropos of nothing

Sidewalk commentary, nothing better on the first day of summer.
*
I welcomed the solstice over the weekend at a local parade and fair, a homegrown event and while a little corny (free hugs from sketch-looking hippies--nah), mostly a blast, powered by people, and genuinely fun.

Monday, June 18, 2012

be good

What can you do to be good to yourself tonight, my shrink asks, at the end of our sessions.
This is a new shrink, by the way. A woman, slight, tattooed, insightful. I miss my old shrink but we'd become chums and our sessions were pally, gossipy chats. These sessions, with the new shrink, are painful. I come out feeling scoured and empty and raw.
How to be good to myself. Well, I'll tell ya. It's tough right now.
One of my closest friends is on his own delirious journey and not available for our customary daily chats.
I have family troubles going on, scary and deep and permanent.
I'm restless; changes are coming and none of them within my control.
If I come to rest, I think, and if I think, I get scared.
*
So how to be good to myself and yet not quite come to rest? It's a question.
I've tried long chill walks, or chocolate and trashy magazines, or yoga, or drinks with friends.
Yes, but sort of not yes. 
What I'd really like is to go to sleep, to just pass out for a week or two or a month and wake up floating in a warm sea, with music playing and my man lounging on the beach with drinks and a fluffy dry towel.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

happy gut

So I went out of town this weekend to a friend's birthday vacation. A dozen of us met up at a lakefront house about 3 1/2 hours from town. To get there you drive over mountain passes and along canyons and around sunset the scenery is particularly breathtaking. And yet, the more people commented on how amazing it all was, the less I felt. I got that it was pretty, and the trees and water and clouds and skies pleased me. But--I felt nothing. And I felt that my friends felt something, a kind of happy appreciation in their guts.
Realizing this made me feel alien. I thought about it a lot.
Other things give me that happy gut appreciation--all of us laughing together at dumb jokes, or seeing a foursome's fanatical concentration at the foosball table. But that exuberant appreciation of nature, looking up in awe and exclaiming at the stars?
I felt nothing, and I felt very much alone in knowing this.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

through

I want to believe in love. But, I believe in it less and less. At least for me.
Here's a bittersweet clip from "Everyone Says I Love You."
PS Marilyn Monroe sang this song in "Some Like it Hot." Nat King Cole sang it. But Goldie feels it.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

change

Boyeee, it's been a week in Seattle.
I hope we all come out on the other side without lasting damage.
And I hope I never see the likes of it again.
Also, what Subhan said.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

art is ego is

To create art you have to be somewhat egotistical.
News flash, I know!
Even the humblest artist feels they have something to say or anyway a need to express themselves, some kind of inner compulsion that thrusts itself out into the public eye.
Otherwise, the laptop would remain powered off, brushes would stay put away in a drawer, guitars and drums would gather dust.
I'm not exempt from this. I wonder often, Am I an egotistical jerk?
*
People share.
One friend sent me to Gloomy Bear and I fell in love:















A musician friend sent me this Boards of Canada video, maybe the coolest thing I've seen in awhile:

Saturday, May 12, 2012

my kinda hip

Lawww have marcy, Seattle's numero uno in America for hipsters. Check this vid about the hunt for the elusive Brooklyn hipster. Mme Galliot should also pay attention to plaid, droopy black beanies, scarves, and a penchant for bands whose music involves a lot of clapping. (*note: I removed the Vimeo link due to auto play driving me cra-zay)

Me, this is my kinda hip.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

the sweet

so where is that intermediary spot?
because, I can't quite locate it.
either everyone calls, or no one.
either I love the world, or wish to depart it.
I don't need superlatives.
and yet my vocabulary is liberally peppered with awesome and amazing and super and rad.
*
I want to move forward into love and yet I can't quite step off the curb.
my new shrink asked me to *talk about* talking about my past, sensing after just 3 visits how scared I was.
and there's this essay I'm working on, about being a kid and wanting to be good and needing to be bad.
*
anyway, c'est tout for now.
mwisho.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

the math--6 days, 6 flights, 1 tired girl

How lucky am I?
Last week I caught a flight to New Orleans, drank screwdrivers with some kids going to their friend's wedding (our row turned into such a party that the flight attendants brought free drinks--fuck yeah United!), landed at 11.30pm, and within the hour was drinking a monsoon with friends.
We slept in Friday, they went off to their conference, and I wandered the city, refreshing myself with cafe au lait and beignets, checking out new and old clubs along Frenchman street, hydrating with frozen lemonade, and finishing the afternoon with art galleries and a vigorous massage. That night we dined in a charming courtyard and then a new friend and I spent the rest of the evening listening to brass jazz bands, dodging sailors (it was fleet week!) and chatting up friendly New Orleanians (heard of a she-nis? neither had we).
The next day it was off to Florida, via Houston (fuck no, United). Thunderstorms delayed me a few hours but I made it to Tampa before sunset, saying hello to a good friend and heading for a UT hangout for dogs, tots and a pitcher of Sam Adams. We spent the next few days in and around St Pete's, hitting up a classic diner for a gut-busting breakfast, heading to a nearby state park for a five-hour hike, gator jerky, a boar sighting and a most refreshing cigar-and-rum break, chilling at a backyard bbq, and an impromptu drum circle on our apartment's sunny verandah, all of it fueled by tequila, rum, Dos-with-lime, and a can of RedBull.
Tuesday came much too soon.
I'm still bad at good-byes.
I want more hello's.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

near miss

Walking to my bus stop the other morning, I heard tires screech and a honk. I looked up to see a girl in the nearby crosswalk just as she seemed to notice that she had walked in front of a car. She threw her arms up, laughing, and ran out of the crosswalk. We made eye contact and I saw that she was a skater for Derby Liberation Front. I said something like That was close and she punched the air, victorious, and yelled "I survived! I'm alive!" and I smiled all the way to my bus stop.
*
Yesterday I had my own near miss, up too early and texting and jaywalking, on my way to meet a friend. A honk, and a Prius glided to a halt in the crosswalk in front of me. I looked up absently, waiting for the car to move. The rear window rolled down. A woman yelled from the driver's seat, "I almost hit you!" I stared at her. It hadn't seemed like that much of a close call. "I almost hit you!" she screamed again. For some reason, her fury made me smile. "You can calm down now," I said, bemused, and she glided away, somehow enraged that I wasn't quivering from my brush with near-death.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

you belong

Well this is interesting: Clara Barton and the "thin black snakes" of depression.
*
I watched The Jerk last nite with a pal. This scene is so lovely and funny and absurd, but mostly lovely.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

the minus

Today's blog post brought to you by the word: loss
Yes, I said it. Wrote it. Whatever.
People don't like to talk out loud about loss. It's a separator. Because, what if you're alone?
I'm a loner, I admit that. There's stuff I gotta and wanna do by myself. But I want to be a loner  by choice.
I want to have friends. I want to feel wanted and loved and even cherished (corny, I know!).
My shrink observes that I've suffered a lot of loss. My mom, my beloved grandpa. An absconded father. A divorce. Some friends have gone away into relationships. I hope it's temporary. I love them still of course; there's also this feeling that my friendship was kind of a time-killer until someone more important came along. It's the way things roll but it still makes me sad.
*
But guess what? My grandma always calls me darling and says how much she loves me. She's supposed to do that, I guess. Part of the grandma job description. But I tell you what, each time she says these things it's a verbal hug and I feel good inside, warm and a little misty.
*
Okay now watch this. Super NSFW but damn funny:

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Saturday, March 31, 2012

who here

Do you believe in all this mercury/retrograde stuff?
If you're not familiar, check out this link. Although, the ever-capricious Rob Brezsny isn't a believer.
In any case.
Things feel obstinate and difficult. It's been raining for about a thousand days. I'm working on an essay and each word seems like a tooth that needs pulling. Words among my people feel strained and foolish.
Me, I'm trying to take the long view.
To treasure my friends. To meet new people and listen to good beats and stretch myself--work my body, my mind, my creative self.
I won't break.
Or, if I do, maybe it will be worth it.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Read this! oh, and this...

Hey! Read this book, Rent vs Own, out soon and written by my good friend Jane Hodges. I met this girl in a writing class at the UW a few years ago. I was so intimidated by the quick-witted red-lipsticked ex-Manhattanite that I didn't get the courage to talk to her until the end of the quarter. Fast forward to 2012 and she's an established freelancer, housing expert, short-story author and all around cool chickie. I'll be checking out her Town Hall appearance in Seattle soon too.
*
And while I'm at it, read my story too! Homey Don't Play, published by Switchback, the literary journal of the MFA program at the University of San Francisco.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

hoo boy













I haven't written anything here in 10 days--12 days really. Hoo boy. How'd that happen?
I've been busy, I guess.
A little distracted.
Did a 48-hour slow dance with the 'flu.
Anyway, here we are.
No further details needed, no questions asked.
It's a mild, sunny Saturday and I had pie for breakfast.

Monday, March 12, 2012

werd

Until I read this article, I never realized that Radiolab was a science show.
And this video. Is so cool.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

feeling the lub

I got to spend some time in Hays, America over the weekend, with some of my very favorite people in the world. My aunt and uncle swooped me from the Wichita airport Saturday night, paused long enough for a quick drink with a cousin, and then hit the road, stopping only for gas, diet soda, and a bag of Powers Inferno peanuts. Gramma and I slept in, but by noon on Sunday my cousins and I were ensconced at a dive bar by the railroad tracks, drinking bottled beer and snacking on bull fries (aka Rocky Mountain oysters aka oh-hell-no). Gramma took me out for pancakes the next day, and later on we took my cousin's adorable three-year-old to his first-ever movie, where he spent most of the next ninety minutes playing pretend-delivery driver on a coin operated car in the lobby. Yesterday's early morning departure was made sweeter with a dozen Daylight Donuts, courtesy of another cousin.

And if that weren't enough--photos of good times out on the coast a couple weeks back: puja parakh blog: Elise's trailer

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

intersection

I walked past this intersection the other night.
It was dark and cold and even though it wasn't quite nine p.m., I looked over my shoulder frequently, remembering another night.
This night though, I looked up, at a streetlight glowing like some kind of fantastical sun.
*
I'm still scared a lot. I worry, I trip, I agonize.
Sometimes I talk about it, and see recognition in a friend's nod.
The sinister awaits us everywhere.
What makes us valiant and courageous is that we walk past this intersection and continue on, and we create, we laugh, we make bets, we tell each other bad jokes, we masturbate, we howl, we eat and drink and we snooze.

Monday, February 27, 2012

today I joined the newhive. what is it? I dunno yet. the embed code is a mess, though.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

freeky

I saw Die Antwoord perform in Seattle last night.
The sold-out show was such a physical expression of joy and rage and sexual dynamism, I hesitate to even call it a performance. Kids moshed, girls wept, Ninja crowd-surfed, Yo-Landi romped the stage in tiny shorts and sang like a demented vision and among the smoke and the strobes a shirtless Hi-Tek spun and danced.
The whole things felt real and raw, like rock and roll should.
If rock and roll was South African Zef.
These kids are sick for sure, sick and stylish and sexyugly and talented as fuck.
Check out all their videos here. I fink you freeky:

Thursday, February 16, 2012

no words only love

Well another February 14th has been survived, gotten through, endured.
Sorry Hallmark, but this is probably my least favorite day: we lost my mom on this day, eight years ago. I still miss her a lot. You'd think it gets easier, but you think wrong. The hurt just becomes more familiar.
*
So much heart stuff going on.
Some big losses suffered by people I love--an aged grandpa and a young man. There are no words, are there. Only love.
And: marriage equality in my state--wilkommen to wedded misery, my lovely gay friends!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

I was watching M.I.A's new video and came across this one, what an explosion of gaudy beats, color, and style. Peep it now: XXXO

Saturday, February 11, 2012

waiting for the perfect

what's pragmatism and what's "settling?"
this has been on my mind, as I look around at the people I know best and who are knowing me best.
it's been a tempestuous week, again.
I'd call it a fucktard-of-a-week if I wasn't afraid of offending someone.
oh well.
nearly every artist I know is struggling, not futile-ly, but working, pushing against the suffocation of civilization, the urge to not-work, to not-be-alone.
but, what's a good play/work ratio? what's success?
*
ctfo, a pal tells me. chill the fuk out.
I snapped this foto sometime this week, somewhere in seattle: no big deal!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

boy do i

yeah I feel so lucky. There are people in my life who are mad creative, and I've had the right good luck lately to hang out with them. One pal invited me to help out on a photo shoot Saturday, a brilliant sunny afternoon of light boxes and head shots followed by libations at a favorite Ballard hangout; on Sunday, I sat in on thad wenatchee's radio show, where we cooked up superman mad-libs, spiked with old NFL beats and some Hennessy's. Last night I met up with a couple of artist pals, one a poet-provocateur, the other a new friend and hella talented.
It's funny, we all share some of the same gripes--uncertainty, rejection, loneliness, a need for cash--and some of the same delights also--drive, joy, vision.
A mistake is simply an invitation to keep on creating.
A success is yesterday's news soon enough.
*
Today's beats, freestyled by my amiga in her pickup truck thePurplenurple:

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

work ethic

Two fellow writers (poets and artists, both) told me recently they've been working more consistently because of me, how seriously I take my writing. A musician pal said he admired me.
Nice, right? (I say, embarrassed.)
Sure. Yes. Yep.
Hearing those things feels good, and reciprocal, because whenever I hear a friend's beats or read a killer sonnet, I feel inspired to go a little nuts, create something fresh, so original and frighteningly lovely that it might make you cry.
And yet, part of me wants something else.
Not admiration, so much, as passion.
I want someone to be crazy about me.
Someone to swoon over me. To think that I'm the shit.
Corny. Maybe.
You can't help what you want.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

i go on i rock on

Man, life has been lobbing lemons my way. I mean it. L-E-M-O-N-S. A cornucopia of them. A festering nest of squeeze-resistant lemons.
Okay, maybe I exaggerate. But, bottom line it's been a hard couple of weeks and I've puzzled over what to do about it.
How much of this was self-inflicted? Am I really so stupid? Why so much rejection right now?
My shrink was no help. I've never seen you this sad, he said, adding in all seriousness, When can you leave the country?
So, I thought a lot. Then tried not to think. Talked, and then stopped talking.
*
But gradually, the fog lifted a little and I looked around.
There was motivational graffiti in an alley: grow past your misery.
A yoga instructor, talking nakedly about acceptance instead of struggle.
I listen to Zion I ("Coasting") and ask myself if I can yield a little, and live in peace.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

move

Today's soundtrack, new (to me): The Coup
Try and not move to these beats.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

ebb n flow

While Ebb and Flow is the maker of one of my favorite gins, it also seems to be the situation around here. I've been trying my hardest to figure it out.
Several good friends have disappeared into relationships. Is there a term for this? I understand it, sort of, but it also makes me feel like the temporary friend, the placeholder until someone else comes along. Irrational? Or c'est vrai?
Then there are the long-time pals who are suddenly super busy, or who make plans and then cancel them. Those who won't make plans and then call up last minute. I wonder what has happened. Or if it's just life's rhythms.
We are all alone, yes yes I know. But friendship makes the alone-ness a lot more bearable.
Maybe I need to stop trying. For awhile, anyway.
The thing, I think now, is just to wait and see.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

when

when do you yield and when do you press?
this is the question, and as to the answer, I do not know.
after this long on the planet, I thought I might have a clew.


Sunday, January 1, 2012

o hai

Last week I re-read a journal I kept during the year before my divorce.
Damn those were tumultuous times. I moved out of my old house, then back in; went to one shrink, another, and another.
The only constant was how shitty I felt most of the time, and the certainty that I needed to be doing certain things.
Writing.
Taking pictures.
Finding a network of creative people.
Traveling more.
Chilling out.
Well whaddya know I've been doing most of the above.
But I've been thinking some more. Back in the day I filled sketchbooks with images ripped out of magazines, quotations, all the little bits that made up my life: Benetton ads, my own drawings, Christian Lacroix pearl-encrusted crosses, ESPRIT shoes, Len Deighton. A me-book. Today, armed with tape and pages torn from Citizen K, I started a new me-book.
*
O hai, 2012

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