Saturday, May 29, 2010

No-->Maybe-->NotYet-->YesYesYes

So last night there was a shindig in Hibbing, Minnesota to celebrate the winner and finalists in the Dylan Days Creative Writing Contest. My story "The Shabiby Express" made the top 10.
Hells yeah!
I couldn't go to Minny but we can celebrate here. I'll pop some bubbly and you put on some right, tight tunes and maybe we'll dance a little.
What sticks in my mind is that I had to slice out 1500 words of the original story in order to meet the 2500 word contest limit. And then two other publications showed interest in this abbreviated tale.
What's the lesson?
Be brief.
Be persistent.
Be grateful.
Et voila.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Overheard around town, May edition

The 28 to Ballard on a rainy Tuesday night. I sit in the back amongst my people.
The kid beside me--lanky, with a head of dark curls and wide eyes--leans over. "What bus is this?"
"The one we're on? It's the 28."
"Damn." He shakes his head, seems a little amazed. "I thought I got on the 30."
"You know they go totally different places right?"
He shrugs. "I didn't really have any plans tonight anyway."
I have to laugh. "Guess you're going to Ballard."
He laughs too.
I get off a few stops later. "I hope you get where you're going."
He says, confident, "I'm pretty sure I will."

Monday, May 24, 2010

A lovely decay

These are all more or less the same image. I took a picture of a corroded door along Dexter Avenue, loving the crackling paint and the thick furry layer of lichen. Then I played with the image, turned up the intensity in one, washed out the colors in another.

It reminds me that how I see the world is largely a product of me. My mood. What's on my mind. Whether or not I'm paying attention. Not to mention the external physical factors like sun and clouds, light and pollution and geographical availability. I walk along a busy industrial street and see the geometric beauty in railings.

I want to be fearless.
I also want to be true.
I want to see clearly and find the patterns, find the loveliness in the deteriorated and the abandoned.
And I want to have a good time, dammit.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

No turning away

Today I tacked up a cork board in my writing space. I bought it used a few weeks ago for five bucks and carted it home on the bus. When I was hunting around for what to pin to the board, I took great care to avoid a stack of objets that I had put away after a painful episode.
But guess what? I kept coming back to the stack, and eventually I got it, that I had to put up one of the photographs and look at it every day, because even though it cuts me like a knife every time I see it, it's also a metaphor for what inspires me. Passion. Emergence. Loss. A pain so sharp I think it might kill me.
The kind of image I should never let out of my sight.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A lil help

Sometimes taking a picture isn't enough. I like to tinker, to crank up the contrast or play with the saturation so that a simple snapshot becomes artier, more abstract, more interesting.
I'm a city kid by nature. My last 2 vacations were to big cities; I'm not opposed to the great outdoors but after a few days of solitude and fresh vegetables and clean air, I'm ready for a noisy, smoky bar and a properly dirty gin martini. I think better in the hub-bub. It keeps me alert. It makes me try harder. It's why the sky seems so much brighter and starrier when you're out in the sticks. There's no distraction, no competitive shine.
*
I saw this motto in a financial office the other day: Liberté, égalité, liquidity.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Shimmy for thirty

What I found interesting in Vegas was the unabashed mix of old and new, spotting the kitchy Flamingo Casino, which harks back to the days of the Mob and the o.g. Ocean's Eleven, sulking on hot pavement only a block away from newer posher glitz-palaces like the Bellagio and the Venetian. Where else but Las Vegas can you so openly embrace the fake?
It felt like the money was back, too, with s.r.o in the poker parlors and the Chanel and Alexander McQueen emporia getting ready to fend off a brand new Prada.
Me, I don't shop and I'm too cheap to gamble much, but I did hit the penny slots in homage to Eagle and made thirty bucks off one dollar slipped into a Dean Martin slot machine. Dino did a shimmy to congratulate me and a drunk old lady in a motorized wheelchair slumped to the carpet and was hauled away by casino staff, her husband with the Kenny Rogers beard slouching off to continue gambling.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Bon soir

Just got in from a couple of days in Vegas, 48 hours with two of my favorite people. We shared cocktails, pommes frites, lots of laughs and success at the penny slots--I'm tired but it was just what I needed.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Word

People have been talking to me lately about words. Not Ph.D types either, just your normal run-of-da-mill type persons. (I'm using "normal" loosely here but you know that.)

So douche seems to be a prefix among the young-uns and can be tacked on to form new words like douche-apotamous and douche-adactyl.

Someone else was giggling about their great-aunt calling someone a simpleton. I was so little I didn't know what it meant exactly but I got the gist. Then my co-worker and I spent far too long exchanging bad puns about challah and holla.

My mom was a purist and despised alternate spellings and using words like incent as verbs. Me, I think if language isn't changing it's dead, and who wants to use dead materiel to talk about life's shizz?

Monday, May 3, 2010

True? Not? Does it matter?

So, the Banksy movie, Exit Through the Gift Shop.
True?
A hoax?
Does it matter?
Debating this with friends, I say no. True or not, it's art. Provocative. Fun. (Great soundtrack.)
Some things matter--treating old folks and kids right, oil gushing from a wound five thousand feet underwater.
I say this doesn't matter.
I like that we just don't know.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Oooh shiny

Suddenly I'm a color whore. I mean that in the very best sense.
For years I wore mostly black, gravitated to black and white photographs, movies, art, obsessed over the entire monochromatic palette of sooty black, charcoal, dove gray, a right-and-tight white.

Now though I can't get enough color, including these Day-Glo objets in a shop window on lower QA, and the fab blue chairs outside Trabant on Pioneer Square.

Maybe it's why I'm fascinated with crows, corvidae snatchers and super-hoarders of all things bright and shiny.

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