News for the ‘Daily’ Category
mini-comic: we’re tired
Yesterday John, Jenna, and I went on a field trip to Ft. Collins to have brunch at the Rainbow Cafe and visit the Alley Cat. At the Alley Cat we all got so, so sleepy and I was worried I would pass out in a food coma in the booth. I decided to make a little mini-comic about it in my moleskine (co-written with J & J).
Later we went to see Prometheus in Loveland (I give it a B-) and when the movie let out it was raining intensely. It turned out the highway was flooded and we ended up having to drive back to Erie on County Road 1.
All in all I realize this is not a super exciting story, but hey! We were tired! It was fun!
A Personal History of Fire
“here i came to the very edge where nothing at all needs saying… and every day on the balcony of the sea open fire is born and everything is blue again like morning”
— Pablo Neruda
Bee Eff Eff Day
Yesterday Mer, J, and I went on a photo expedition. We also ate brunch at City O City, saw the Yves Saint Laurent show at the DAM, had snacks at Sputnik, went to the Book Emporium closing and got a million magazines for art projects for 50¢ each, shopped for plants, got a tiny stone donkey, had delicious Mexican food at some random place on far east Colfax, and chased some geese in City Park. It was a most wonderful day with my BFFs.
I was shooting with my LensBaby and am fairly excited about some of these pics. I did some of the color correcting with RadLab, which I now need to save my pennies for because it is SO awesome for LensBaby stuff. I have constant problems with underexposure with this lens and everything is always a bit too blue so processing is always time intensive. RadLab made it so much less painless. Yay!
Okay, now pics:
When I draw I sit in a specific place in my living room: against the loveseat on the floor. I just noticed the spot is turning blue from my jeans. Can you see it in this photo?
The adventures of Monchichi
Experiments with drawing this morning’s adventures on my pie pad.
Why? Why? Why?
there were blurry photos
downtown, baker, and feds.
What it’s like to not understand sarcasm
It’s unfortunate, but I don’t have a sarcasm detector and take the world very literally/at face value. I therefore spend many of my days feeling like the humorless feminist stereotype. Be nice to people like me, please!
The Many-Coated Man
Um so even though I just turned 32 and am probably technically too old, I totally love to read Tavi at style rookie and her new project, Rookie, a sort of Sassy-esque* online mag for teenagers.The October issue had a DIY section on how to bitchface, and I decided to try it out for myself. Here are my results.
Note that I am not sure my glasses are compatible with bitchface. Also I couldn’t stop laughing on this pose. I apparently have trouble keeping a straight/bored face.
Little Miss Muriel Kitty gave it a try, too.
I sort of just look angry. Also, I have trouble with independent control over my eyebrows. This one was definitely the most challenging. I’m also not sure I have mastered the smize.
The “Is Anyone Else Hearing This”
I pretty much rocked this one.
Some Bitchface With Hands Poses
I do think the hands add some believability for those of us who don’t have a lot of facial control.
This next oh-so-attractive photo was inspired by my first creative director Kent, who used to make this face in meetings.
Welp, that’s about it! I rate myself a 6.4 at bitchface. I’d better keep practicing.
*It should be noted that I was never a Sassy reader. I’m not sure why — maybe I was a wee bit young? I did read Seventeen which was mostly deplorable but occasionally had articles about Drew Barrymore, who I was obsessed with.
Muriel, Keeper of the Feather Toy
Muriel has a pink toy with a bell that she carries around the house. Once it was long like a feather boa but now it is a fluffy stub.
Monchichi, Defender of the Shower
Monchichi likes to sit outside the shower on the bath mat. She is the Defender of the Shower.
i walked 4 miles to the library and there was a lot to look at
i dreamed this: conspiracy in haiti
the tv in the background is playing i wear my sunglasses at night
And I am currently procrastinating at packing up our final stuff for Burning Man (I’ve broken the family pattern of packing neuroticism), drinking beer that was made by Sethotron, and eating grilled cheese sammiches made with bacon and heirloom tomatoes (yum), and kind of just kind of a little tiny lot bit freaking out about leaving for Burning Man in the morning.
I’m putting on my ethnographer hat (er, in this case a pink turban — no, really! I have unfeministy hair to protect!) and I’ll report back in a week, hopefully with some pics of me wearing a tutu and covered in playa dust. Godspeed us Black Rock City!
is my hair un-feminist?
[I wrote this a little while ago so the days are off. I have been scared to post it, because I don’t know if I have made my point ____ enough…]
Exactly 29 days from today, I will be boarding an airplane with J to fly to Reno for our first ever trip to Burning Man.
Exactly 25 days ago, I got a head full of human hair extensions from my oh-so-very generous stylist, who offered them at cost* because she is building her portfolio.
Jenna and I once had a conversation about how we have “librarian hair”. I don’t mean this as a knock to any of my awesome librarian friends, some of whom probably have incredible hair that belongs in the category we labeled “fertile”, but really we meant this as a joke to say that our hair is thin, unruly, and in my case, constantly frizzy (clearly with such frumpy hair it is amazing that I have gotten so far in life). In reality I was simply not blessed in the hair gene department (I blame Grandma, but the tradeoff was that I got her long neck so I think it’s fair). So anyways, my stylist offered extensions, I jumped at the chance, and voilà, my hair grew 10 inches overnight and is now the longest it has ever been.
There are all kinds of considerations to keep in mind when it comes to human hair extensions.
One is where the hair comes from. My extensions are made from what they call temple hair, which is gathered from women in India who participate in a ritual called tonsuring to show devotion to god. I will admit that I did not read much about temple hair before I underwent this process other than to read the extension company’s website, which claimed that the profits from temple hair sales go to local schools, hospitals, and orphanages. As it turns out, the practice is far more controversial/questionable than all that, and I can truly say that I am uncomfortable to be participating in the temple hair industry and likely won’t ever do it again.**
Another important consideration for wearing hair extensions is the amount of maintenance required. I now have to brush my hair 3 times a day with a special boar bristle brush (lest it get matted in the bonds) and I have to use special shampoo and can’t wash every day (the no poo movement would tell you that’s a good idea anyway). To look like I did when I left the salon with silky straight hair, I also need to blowdry and straighten and use a lot of expensive “product” (not usually part of my daily routine thank you very much).
I have a complicated relationship with beauty rituals. Let’s just say that the version of me in the above picture is a version of me in drag. The high-femme me who wears sparkly makeup including blush and eyeshadow, paints my nails, carries a trendy-looking purse and wears high-heel shoes (well, not so much anymore because the stairs at work are treacherous) is totally playing with the idea of a fluid identity that I can put on and take off as I please, a costume. (But, I have been thinking about how this self-described version of “being drag” subscribes to the notion of what is pretty and a socially acceptable self-presentation of my gender. And maybe it’s a just “pretty mask” that I get to put on as protection against the world. Y’know, like that Crass song called Reality Whitewash. Whatever. I just wanted to reference Crass twice in a row.)
Back to Burning Man. I will soon be spending five days in Black Rock City, a highly alkaline prehistoric lake bed desert environment where whiteout dust storms are common. The playa is not kind to hair, and I am trying to figure out how that all works now that I have elected to take part in this oh-so-high-maintenance world of hair extensions. According to a variety of posts on the eplaya boards such as this one, since I have “high-profile” hair I should probably shave my head before I go, or plan to spend hundreds of dollars building a playashower,*** or plan to come back with dreads. Or not even go because I’m a “high maintenance sparkle pony”.
(Hm. Love those kinds of assumptions about people who pay attention to their hair. Cause it’s just so much more shallow than this or this, which are admittedly cool but no less sparklepony. And what’s wrong with ponies anyway? I love ponies!)
The reality is that I am not really worried about the idea of not showering for 5 days and getting dirty and uncomfortable but I *do* work in a professional field and like it or not, there are certain standards of upkeep that I have to maintain. Extensions aren’t one of them, but dangit a lot of blood, sweat, & tears have gone into this virgin hair from the developing world that is currently glued to my head and I feel guilty enough about having it already and I don’t really want to come back with my extensions matted to my skull. I want to have my cake (go to Burning Man) and eat it, too (not come across as too much of a hippie to be taken seriously/professionally).
Today I was at the coffee shop across the street from work and these two crusty/gutter punk girls came in, set down their packs in one of the booths, and ordered croissants with egg and cheese. One girl had bleached out dreads with shaved sides and furry pits and really dirty legs. She bought breakfast for the other girl who had blonde, clean, spiky hair and seemed a bit self-conscious when she ordered (“I don’t know what to get, uh, I’ll have what she’s having,” she said. “I have 15 dollars” said the first girl, “you can get whatever.”). There were two guys in line staring at the hair on these girls’ legs. I found myself constructing a narrative in my head about these girls based on their hair (one butch/strong/savvy, the other femme/vulnerable/naive).
I don’t think the gutterpunk look would go over very well in the office but it has appeal. I know it comes across as very unkempt but it is so deliberately and carefully put together.
When I was in college I dyed my hair green, then pink, and then had my friend Regina cut it all off for $5. She listened to Le Tigre while she cut it and her roommates talked about making a vegan dinner for the house. My short hair signified babyfeminist. When I turned 30 I had a crisis and cut it off again; I then hated it because I felt**** like a soccer mom or female politician, where you can’t have long hair as you age.
I’m so tired of women’s hair as a politicized space, especially when it is politicized by other women. It’s a lose/lose situation when women silently or not-so-silently judge the appearance of other women and what their coifs signify: the players on both sides of the equation are never ____ enough. (Fill in the blank — feminist, natural, cool, pretty, feminine, butch, traditional, fertile, healthy, well-kempt, etc etc etc).
It’s enough to make me want to shave my head. But you know what *that* will mean… ::eyeroll::
*For those of you who don’t know, getting extensions put in takes 6–7 hours of labor.
**This is not the first time I have purchased human hair, though. When I was working on my New College thesis I had friends donate their hair and teeth for use in sculptures and paintings, but I also purchased at least one blonde ponytail on eBay. I think at the time (2001) it was marketed for creating dolls and I don’t really know the origin. Here’s what I wrote about using hair as a material for art at the time:
The Function of Bodily Materials
Materials layer one’s work with meaning. I have become increasingly concerned with materials in my development as an artist, finding myself drawn towards that which is organic and from the body. I am able to say more with a piece of horsehide or a vial of spit and hair than would be ever possible with line, form, color, and word. My choice of materials warrants discussion here, although to essentialize the way any one particular material functions in my work would be to trivialize that material’s power for layering and transcendence.
I am attracted to horsehide, leather, hair, and glue because they embody the horse. The relationship between these materials and the animal is both one-to-one and more than one-to-one, the part standing for both the whole and much more than the whole. A piece of hide represents the horse as a physical object, represents the specific horse it once covered, represents the fact that it “once covered” (past tense, signifying the lack of horse present and simultaneously the presence of the horse in spirit), and represents the process of death (a temporal event involving the passage from one physical form to another). The presence of hide, leather, hair, and glue in my work makes physical that which is not – death, time, and decay. The metonymic relationship of these materials to the animals they once were is especially significant. Susan Stewart points out that “the possession of the metonymic object is a kind of dispossession in that the presence of the object all the more radically speaks to its status as a mere substitution and to its subsequent distance from the self.”[i] The inherent coming apart, separation, or fragmentation in a relationship between part and whole represents conceptually the physicalities of death and decay; when I cut into the pieces of horse myself, I double and explode these layers of meaning. Other materials such as human hair, blood, fingernails, spit, claws, teeth, and bones can similarly evoke the coming apart or fragmentation of bodies. As souvenirs of the mortal body, they mark death and “the end of the sacred narrative.”[ii] Although such materials may not signify directly on horses, they can augment, complement, and stand in for materials which are harder to come by. The inclusion of these elements in my work also plays on the blurring of boundaries between artist (human, self) and subject (horse).
***No greywater dumping on the playa please! It’s a leave-no-trace kind of event.
****This is not the first time I have written about hair here. Note the ponies.
A new kind of plane
Sometimes I have really crazy dreams, and my dream last night was super-duper extra blog-worthy.
I was coming back from Boston with my mom, and she wasn’t paying attention to when we needed to be there, so we got to the gate at 3:10 for a 3:05 flight. But they were waiting for us and calling my name and we got on board. Then my mom wasn’t there anymore but John was.
The plane was a special new model of plane made by a company called SPI or something like that. It was amazing! You walked in and there was a garden patio area with fountains and a bunch of people lounging by the pool and hot tub. Then when you walked further in you were in an area with white plastic theater seating, and neon lights above your head. There was a plastic bench area behind me where I could throw my bag. The flight was really empty and there was another couple near us but they went to walk around so we had it all to ourselves.
Then John went exploring. As you walked further back into the plane, it started to simulate nature and there was a wooded area with a path. Then it started to snow (fake snow) which was really cool. We went back to our seats and decided to watch out the windows for a while — the plane had big picture window sides made of glass so you had quite the view. All of a sudden we were flying through the grand canyon, and the canyon walls were TY*5tttttt <– Muriel typed that right there in front of me!
Toward the end of the flight we lined up in this amusement park kind of line with railings. This part is hard to describe but the railings were one way, and then they morphed to another shape (the shape of railings for the Denver lightrail ??) to signal that we were landing in Denver. Then as we were getting off the plane the railings started to collect snow, and as you put your hand on them the snow would melt away, but it was all fake because the railings were made of video screens.
I think Boeing and Airbus need to take note of their new competition in airplane design.
There was some other stuff such as setting up an office in a big suite at a fancy hotel and we were moving all the art around (sculptures of Buddha and Santa and cowboys) and something broke and we were going to get charged a room service fee, which Carrie would have objected to on my expense report. also we were in Florida trying to get to the Halloween PCP at New College but we kept getting distracted and it was very late and we were going to miss the dance party.
people are scared to say hello is a line from a subhumans song
A few weeks ago I was meeting a friend after work and since I knew I would have an hour to kill I thought I’d stop into WaxTrax, which is a few blocks away from her new apartment. I hadn’t been there in ages and ages (because who buys CDs anymore?). I think this was slightly before I finished my zine so I had it in the back of my head that maybe they still had a bin of zines I could poke thru while I was waiting.
Denver has been having these crazy rains this summer where the sky just opens up and floods down. One of these rains happened the minute that I stepped in the store, an intense barrage of water. I didn’t see any zines — well, there were like 2 or 3 on a magazine rack thing, along with a book called The Rest is Propaganda by Steve Ignorant of Crass.
Now, I had coincidentally just listened to Crass a few days previously and given that I was clearly going to be stuck in the store for a while due to the rain, I thought it would be polite to buy something. So I picked up the book, and I wandered around the store for a while, and I left with it and a copy of the How to Destroy Angels album (literally the first CD I have bought since around 2004 or 5).
The book is really great and it turns out that Steve Ignorant is a really good writer. Though I was once reallyreallyreally into anarchopunk music I really never knew the story behind Crass, and how they formed out of the Dial House in Essex outside of London. I have been really intrigued to read about the culture surrounding that place and time because it is just so different than my life is now (or ever was) and even though I still really love Crass I can now as an adult see how I was never, ever really a punk (cos, y’know, punk is dead). I mean for chrissakes I grew up in the Valley. Anyways there’s all this stuff about squats and other intentional communities, which I find really fascinating and I really want to do some more reading on this topic.
And honestly my life is so so so far removed from any of that that it’s not even funny. I live in a little suburban subdivision plopped down in an old coal mining and farming area. The closest thing to squatting here is the fact that my county has a high foreclosure rate and also a high meth rate and one might imagine that the two lead to occasional illegal abandoned house occupation. And the lack of community here is notable. We’re one of the younger families in the neighborhood, and most everyone is either retired or has kids. Lots of stay-at-home moms and SUVs. I don’t see a lot of evidence of people with left leaning politics and I do see a lot of evidence of people who go to church. On one side of me are neighbors that I have literally seen less than 10 times in the 3 years we’ve lived here. The other side used to be a guy who worked in IT and was out of the country 3 weeks out of every 4. Across the street is a family with teenagers who once watched Mr. Kitty when we were out of town but they don’t really talk to us. There is a family down the street that sells us girl scout cookies and we wave and are friendly when we walk by their house to the mailbox, but that’s about it in terms of purposeful connection with anyone in my immediate residential vicinity.
Why is that? I *do* like my home and I *do* like the area we live in and I really *am* a died-in-the-wool suburbanite with a fondness for rural farmland and no desire to ever live in an apartment or city, but at the same time I have situated my life so that it is very isolated from other people. I can generalize about how I probably wouldn’t like any of my neighbors (see above) but the reality is that I’m kind of anti-social and privileged to be able to live in my own single-family home and while I sometimes bemoan the lack of any kind of community in my life I know it’s completely my own fault.
The IT guy was relocated this spring and a family recently moved in next door. They are an extended Indian family (grandparents, parents, kid) and at first I was annoyed because they have a lot of cars and one was parked pretty closed to our driveway, which I am not used to. I know I was being a brat about it so I felt bad and promised myself that I would introduce myself. I kind of waved at the grandfather on my way to work once (he sits on the porch a lot). The grandmother plays out in the front yard every evening with the little girl (who is super cute) and they both said hi when I was walking in with groceries the other night.
Tonight I was taking out the compost and on my way back in the grandmother and little girl were waiting on the wall between our houses to say hi. She doesn’t speak much English but she seems really friendly and nice and eager to meet the neighbors. Of course! They have possibly been making themselves extremely visible in the front yard as a way to introduce themselves to the community.
Is there any hope that my suburbia could be a little less of an unintentional cluster of recluses and a little more of an intentional community? I mean, I have every intention of getting to know the new family but the reality is that I don’t have high hopes of suddenly having drop in art nights and band practices in people’s garages and collaborative gardens and stuff like that. We’re still going to be younger than the people around us by 10+ years. I’m still a bit of a recluse. I still have a bit of a chip on my shoulder with regards to fitting in with anyone. It feels like an unsolvable dilemma. Maybe in 10 years we will have our own version of the Dial House on Jasper Road and we will have some donkeys and some goats and a big garden and community dinners with heather & miles. But I think there is a personality problem I have to work on to get there.