Saturday, September 24, 2011

On some days I am still five years old, but, at least now, I have better coordination.

So, I live for Saturday mornings. At least when life is good, I do. Today felt like a bit of a challenge because I wanted an adventure but had some real limitations to work around.

1. I am broke. Yesterday my health savings account did not have enough funds to pay for a routine maintenance visit. I had to say an unexpected goodbye to $140. Today is not the day for random Halloween shopping.

2. It is still hot here. I kept hoping that since the daily highs are no longer above ninety degrees Farenheit that it will actually be pleasant to be outside more of the day. When I attempted stepping out in the eight-eight degree day, it felt Very Bad ™: not a good time to take a random photography ramble.

3. Solo adventuring is harder. My dearest love has to write a book. The deadlines are looming. This has a recurring limitation since the book's inception. The thing about a book project is that the author has to research, write, and edit every single page. I am learning a lot about entertaining myself (and I thought I was good before).

After failing to enjoy even thirty seconds of the great outdoors I returned home to my craft closet. Fall is a good time for crafting and I usually want to do about forty more craft projects a month than I have time to do. A quick rummage revealed two things. 1. My craft closet is a total disastermess. 2. Ooh, I have lots of cool stuff to play with!

What inspired me first was a random rescue from my hometown. When my dad bought a ramshackle house next door to his (for a price that is so low I would probably be assassinated by the cheapness Black Ops team for revealing it on the Internets) it was not entirely devoid of random junk. I found kinda neat looking beat up and very dirty old box. When I picked it up, I had the idea that I would send it to my artist friend up [] in Pennsylvania so she could cannibalize it into a shadow box or who knows what. I am probably a bad friend for not yet sending it, but when it is still being squished between needle felting supplies and a box of my grandma's vintage wrapping papers, it is time to be re-rescued and finally crafted.

The box looked grim. At once point it had been a lovely stationary or jewelry box made of heavy cardboard but covered in a thin embossed leather-like paper in darkened mint and gold. Many types and colors of dirt, dust, and crust were clinging to it. I saw one scraped area and one set of small punctures right on top of the liftable lid. I had to see what would come off through a few rounds of gentle cleaning with some canned air, one wet cloth and one dry cloth.

Here's where it stands at this point. A lot cleaner, but still with some tricky repair issues.

I'm stopping temporarily at this point. After doing a bit of research on how people have fixed and re-lined various jewelry boxes in the past, it becomes clear that I have too many jobs and too many options to plunge ahead with no plan. Here's what I have to decide.

1. How do I fix the loosening of the paper on the back of the box? This paper layer holds the lid on and is currently tucked in too beautifully at the bottom to simply cut and re-affix entirely. I need to glue what is loose without taking apart to much of what isn't broken.

2. How much of the lid damage do I want to hide? I can either simply add on a new beautiful complete layer to the top and hide the punctures and abrasions but also the pretty patina of color and embossing, or I can go for a more collage look.

3. What will be the new destiny of this box? What purpose? What aesthetic?

Time for lunch and thinking and work. The next installment will hopefully answer some of these questions.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

for the artists, freaks, workaholics, poets, academics, bums or dreamers

So, I've had a few really interesting conversations lately that spark some questions in my mind. I'm curious about what is happening with all of the smart, artistic, awesome people I know in terms of their careers. But that's not enough, I also want to know what's happening with my field, my generation, and all sorts of people that are living right now.

I have some thoughts as well as questions, but I don't want to put my ideas in your head right before asking you some questions.

Since I want to know some pretty personal stuff without having to attach names to answers, I made a survey.

Here's the link:

Maybe I'm not the only person who wants to know.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I enjoyed an art fair in Minneapolis. Here are a few pictures by Jay Long whose art pleased me greatly at this above average art fair.

This art fair had a booth selling deep fried cheese curd. Obviously, I ate the deliciousness. No regrets. None.

I offended an artist accidentally when I mentioned that I thought his style of art would lend itself well to the creation of a tarot deck. Ah well. Learning. Sometimes I forget that many things that are pleasant, dear, or interesting to me can be a bit scary or offputting to folks.

Outdoor celebrations of art and looking and being delight me. Seeing people's dogs, tattoos, children, facial expressions, and choices good and bad take my brain to a good place.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

really using the second person

A warning: True is tinsel and lies that bad men say. Similarly, true is also the base of a tree as it holds or the breeze of the perfect day (in a car in England racing through old roads near Glastonbury, holding a blue stone).

I am about to quote someone else's words. The writer uses true as he means it. Perhaps not as you or I do. As with reality, artist, normal, rebel, magic, and other kaleidescopic ideas.

Rebellion is not a single act, or a pose, a phase that you go through where you listen to slightly louder music and dress in colors that clash slightly more than normal. Rebellion is a path. It demands that you question everything-how you've been educated, the social structures around you, the government, the media, gender relations, what's expected of you by others, what you've expected of yourself, how you spend your time, what you consume, where you've been, and most of all, where you're going. For me, rebellion that is content only with political radicalism is missing a large part of the picture. Any true radicalism has to extend itself to the way that reality itself is constructed. Rebellion has to take itself all the way to the scheme of manifestation itself, to the writing on the walls of eternity. Anything else is missing the forest for the trees.

A true rebel has to be an artist, somebody who can not only point out the weak points and contradictions in the system, but can also propose something better, and then guard its passage into manifestation That, to me, means magic. -- Christian Sedman

Caught in a massive thunderstorm in a sculpture park. A house lifted by art and strings. Warm wooden spheres in a boat. Melted car. Also, the shelter of good food from the warm rains and a boat upside down to the ceiling.

For me, this is a reminder. I want to be and do, rather than whine. None of it (the expectations) matters. All of it (the possibilities) matters.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

I do not want to be the scarecrow/Cassandra (I'd rather start a book club)

I do have opinions. I'm only sharing some of them, but who knows if I share the right ones with the right people. Which hard things get said? Which easy ones?

When I am reaching out to untie a string, I do not strive.

My town is shaped like a chain of figure eights. They overlap predictably/constantly. Hipster. Tattoo. Drunk mess. Interesting haircut. False revelation. Fucking. Occasionally listenable soundtrack. This is not my life, but I see it all the time.

My life: Teach. Judge. Give up on humanity. Grade. Escape. Bad wrists. Good talks. Judge. Hope. Write. Withold. Procrastinate. Cuddle. Sleep.

It is hard to begin something new (with my whole being) after so many false starts. Changing my life is hard because I know it is mine, and that is weighty.


I want to grow and be more. Learn to still and relax more fully. Share with new people. Put tiny paper futures and possibilities out in the world (that ignored them last year). Create new and different possibilities that are more empowered. Most of all I want to finish and defend. I want my life to be more mine once the degree has been earned; it feels wrong to do any sort of change at all that could delay or endanger those magical three letters (that I do not actually believe are magic).

Thursday, July 21, 2011

My last grandparent passed away this year at the start of summer. Staying in and sifting through her room (and other rooms) showed her freshly to me. I learned such incomplete things, but funny vibrant interesting things that she had not been able to share herself for many many years. Her mental deterioration in old age took so many years away from the person she was. I still want to know her (and so many of my family that are far away, unreachable, or no longer living). Here are a few of the bright spots of her life that make me curious and happy.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

wet green brown and purple

The rains of spring have arrived, and with them have come bursts of color and inspiration and memory inside my brain. A good friend posted several photographs from college yesterday on a fairly public website; I've been enjoying them and thinking of those times since. Those pictures have stories; those stories have smells and textures and strange little jests. I do not want to forget these things. They must not disappear behind the cloudy eyes of days not yet born.

It makes me think of my parents telling me stories from their college days. They both maintain that the happiest days of their lives (at least until parenthood) were those in college. I remember a few of these stories, but not enough. My stories and memories matter to me, and so do the stories of my parents and family. We're not famous; I very much doubt any biographers are going to pieces together our miniature sagas in decades of the future. So, I want to save some snippets. I do not know where this will go.

-A sideshow performer hailed from the region of my mother's birth, and he still spent his time off the circuit in the area. The Knots of Knott County had small growths all over his face. They projected, dripped, bumped and stuck out from every part of his face; his specialty consisted of using his eyebrows to wiggle a long one that hung out over his eye. He did this to scare and amuse children. When he did this in my mother's direction, she was terrified and indignant.

-When asked, my grandma would always say that she choose to marry my grandpa, a salesman eight years her senior, because he was the best dancer.

-When I was a very little girl I spent lots of time outdoors. One day my grandmother came with me to spend time near my tree in the apple orchard. We brought my little round basket filled with play jewelry and decorated the early tree with these sparkling baubles. Plastic hearts, rhinestones, and all my assorted treasure made my already special tree otherworldly in the bright sunshine. Somehow we even managed to gather most of the jewelry back into the basket though, if I recall correctly, that was much harder.

More to come.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Tonight I watched two episodes of television on my computer: episodes of Dark Shadows and Big Cat Diary. These are new shows to me and I know already that they will become favourites. Though on the surface they seem to have nothing in common in terms of narrative, genre, or aesthetics, they are appropriate for this winter. This is a dark winter, perhaps the darkest I've known. In different ways, these little bits of moving light on my eyes process that darkness with me and for me. It helps to see nature and the struggle for survival along with its beauties and stalemates when I see death, disease, and pain (moving slowly and quickly) on the edges. I love the black tear marks and yellow teeth of the cheetah when I cannot open my own mouth without pain. It is like the memory of this summer's stinging nettles or the urge to revisit a sort again and again before healing has taken place. It helps also to see the melodrama, and fun of sustained risk and danger. I can feel good getting lost in a story that can go on and on and develop without end in crazy limping circles vaguely inspired by literature. This helps with the uncertainty, fragility, and blindness with which our steps are followed. I hear the night rain outside and know I could be anywhere or nowhere in six months or a year.

New Year's Eve and New Year's day are not my sort of holidays at the best of times; the command to be merry makes me maudlin, but this year I worry that their spectacular ordinariness was positively dangerous. I fell ill on the last day of the calendar year and knew I was too catching to be around people. I stayed in and heard fireworks and heard of adventures and read about resolutions without having any. I didn't watch the border between 2010 and 2011 closely enough, and so far I've not yet had a good day in 2011. My lack of vigilance allowed the real year, the shining one, be replaced with a crying wooden doll. This year has proved a changeling thus far and it does not have the vitality necessary for twelve months and thirteen moons. Tomorrow, hopefully closer still to health, I board a plane to travel backwards. As I go back in time, I plan to toss this mannekin year to the sky and land to find the real 2011, Or, if I have to, make a new one.