August 2004 Archives

Stupid Sleepyhead

Having now heard the reviews of the concert, I'm now particularly kicking myself for having slept through Willy Nelson's set.

Since I can't comment on LiveJournal...

"bud selig had promised to george w. bush that he could be commissioner of baseball. instead bud selig took the job for himself. george w. bush then was elected president.

therefore bud selig is to blame that george w. bush is president."

Amen, brother! I've been saying this for four years now. One more reason to say "Fuck you!" to Selig. I mean, it isn't as if Dubya could have put baseball in a worse position than Selig has, so...

Crashing Dylan

Tonight (well, technically yesterday now) Bob Dylan and Willy Nelson played a show at the Warner Park Duck Pond--that's the ball park, for the uninitiated. Tickets were $45, which is a wee bit rich for my blood, but I decided to go and sit outside the venue to listen.

Unfortunately, I fell asleep at 6PM, hoping to be up and out by 7, but my nap ended up stretching until 8, so I pretty much missed Willy. That was a damn shame, since he has the better voice by far.

I parked myself at a section of the fence that was being used as an exit, right behind a beer concession table. It was just to the right of the stage, and though I couldn't see anything on the stage, I could hear it all perfectly. I also got to watch the security people nabbing those who tried to actually sneak into the show, and believe me, there were quite a few.

The show itself was ok, although unless the visuals were amazing, I'm glad I didn't buy a ticket. I love Dylan's songs, but no one will argue that his abilities as a songwriter far and away outpace ability. It pretty much sounded like everyone I've ever heard do a parody of him. It even tok me three choruses to recognize that he was performing "Mr. Tamborine Man" at one point.

Still, it was an enjoyable little adventure to freeload an outdoor concert. On the way home, it started to rain just after I crossed Sherman Ave. Great big, splachy drops of rain. Fortunately, my neighborhood is rather tree lined, so as soon as I turned off of Sherman I was able to gain temporary shelter as I moved from tree to tree. There was only one or two spots that were pretty much just open to the downpour. I was glad to make use of a towel when I reached home.



Back to School

BTW, lunchboxes and messenger bags are on sale right now.

Raring to go...but where?

I'm facing extreme restlessness this evening, and feeling rather out of sorts.

To begin with, I found out today that I am "in the top three" for a job that I interviewed for last week and really want. Which basically means I'm their third choice and have no chance in hell, because two people would have to turn down the position first before it would come to me. Yeah, I can see that happening in this economy. The other job for which I also interviewed last week hasn't contacted me at all, so I assume I will be getting that sad little letter in the next day or so. To say nothing of the folks at the place I interviewed A MONTH AGO who were all enthusiastic and then never made another move. Blah.

Small consolation is that school starts next week, so I will begin working again sooner or later. Doesn't stop me from wrestling with antsiness. It's like I need to be doing Something, but I can't identify what it it. Reading a certain article in a local paper which shall remain nameless has not helped to improve my mood.

On the upside, my cough seems to have tapered down to the point of near extinction. So, woo.


I've been thinking about my creative drive a lot lately. I've finallt found a god analogy for it (in cae you don't know, I looooove good analogies). It is kind of like a pilot light in a gas stove or oven. The little flame is always there, but unless the rest of the gas is turned on, you can't cook anything. My urge to be creative is always on, but the gas isn't flowing. Whenever I've been in art classes, it has been on, and when I was in art school fulltime, it was turned up high. Now I'm back to just that little pilot light, waiting. I wonder what I need to do to get the gas going again.

(Kinda gives me a new appreciation for the phrase, "Now you're cooking with gas!")

Only a Year

As of today, I am finally caught up on The New Yorker. I'd gotten a bit behind last summer due to a number of things, and since then I've had a stack of back issues at least a month tall. I was reading about Howard Dean the hopeful candidate after he was already out of the race. I was reading movie reviews long after the release date. At times I felt like I was treading water, but I was determined not to give up. So I kept plugging away at it and now there isn't a single unread issue in the house.

Damn, am I bored.

Making an Impression

I had been rather amazed by Winged Migration when I watched it. Then I watched the "making of" featurette on the DVD, and all I can say is, that's crazy!

They actually raised a number of different bird flocks from the egg: gees, cranes, swans, pelicans, etc. and had them imprint on human so as to be able to fly with and film the birds up close and personal. That's some serious commitment. Cool and yet mildly disturbing at the same time.

I do wonder what became of the birds after all the filmmaking was finished.


I've added a few products to the Irving Place Gallery Store. It is still very much a work in progress. For one thing, when it is all sorted out, I won't be re-using my logo as the main image on so many things. I also have to figure out exactly what sort of things I would like to sell my images on. But it's a start.

Even if I never make a single sale, it is a bit of a thrill at the moment to be able to visualize my art on something useful and...well...commercial.

Try, Try Again

Looks like we are going to have a repeat of Memorial Day weekends fun with oxygen. Each breath is a challenge, and the albuterol, the decongestant, and the expectorant aren't doing much.

The terribly sad thing is, I am only a few weeks away from having health insurance, but right now I'm still uninsured and completely out of money. No doctor for me. :(


I'b gettig a code.

Actually, I'm not very stuffy yet, but I woke up with a wicked sore throat. I think somebody missed the memo that it's August.


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I now have a cafepress online store. At the moment, it is all quite sparse, but the selection should inprove in the next couple of days.

I had a blast tonight.

I went out swing dancing at a local bar with my sister and her fiance. Both of them want to learn to swing dance, and where watching the people who knew what they were doing with great envy. They tried a couple of times, and then got frustrated.

My sister came up to me and told me that I need to teach J how to dance, since I'm a good teacher. (Funny aside: Back in 1995, I taught her first bf--my buddy N--how to do a basic box step while we were doing dishes. I washed, he rinsed and dried, and we did the box step side-by-side as we worked. 1-2-3, 1-2-3.) Keep in mind, I only know one, very basic swing step. Step, step, back-step.

So, J and I went out onto the floor and get him started on that step so that he had the timing right. Slow, slow, quick-quick. Then I let him know how to lead me. "You decide where we are going, and it's your job to tell me." After a little bit, he had picked up how to use both hands to guide me. We even worked up to a basic spin.

Then it was my sister's turn and I reversed what I was doing so that I could lead, and show her how to follow a lead. "You need to go in the direction my hands are sending you." It took me a minute to get my brain into the right mode. I'm not used to leading (not that I'm used to dancing, period) but after a little practice she was moving where I directed instead of trying to guess what I was going to do and getting it wrong. We also worked on the spin.

Finally, I put the two of them back together and while there was still some hiccups, they did pretty well. It made me feel a little glowy that even though I'm not a great swing dancer by any stretch of the imagination, I still managed to convey the concepts in such a way that they were able to pick it up and be comfortable. They are thinking about going out and taking lessons somewhere, which would be cool for them. I might like to do that myself, if I could find a partner.

I do think we might be going out and doing that again sometime.

Cinematic Dream #2

I was in the dessert somewhere (it had an Arizona/Colorado look, with painted rocks and carved bluffs and stuff), possibly with another person (don't remember).

All of a sudden, I/we come across a group of very white people living out there. Now, by white I mean alabaster. They looked like marble statues with flesh. Their skin, hair, and eyes were all a bright, opaque white. (Though their eyes still had pupils--white ones. They weren't like cataracts. There were very faint lines showing where the iris and pupils would be, like a carving or a drawing.)

They lived in a communtity in some caves. A very advanced sort of community, too. Lots of technology and stuff. Apparently, I was a doctor, so they started showing me around. After a while, I started to fade to white, too. At that point, I noticed that some of the people still had hints of color left, like a pale wash of blue in the eyes, but it was as if everything were being bleached.

I was ok with the community, until I discovered that one woman in the hospital area was due to be sterilized. On her ID card, it said "retard". I discovered that was a common practice for them. I got really mad that they would be so callous as to forcibly sterilize people, and I decided to try to take down the people responsible. I looked at the information on the ID card, and realized that it was well-known hospital group that was behind this.

That's all I remember. The marble-white people really stuck with me, though

Cinematic Dream #1

Last night I dreamt I was walking through a big mansion (which turned out was the White House, though it didn't resemble it) and stopped to admire the ballroom. I started play-waltzin around they way kids do, with my arms up for an imaginary partnet. Other people came onto the floor and started dancing, too. Everone was wearing business casual. Several people, men and women, tried to get me to dance with them, but I kept avoiding their arms and doing my own thing. I knew there was a really hottie on the way, and I didn't want to be dancing with anyone else (job search metaphor?).

Then it turned out I was the president's daughter (not Dubya, just one of those presidents like they have in the movies, where is doesn't resemle anyone IRL). The First Lady was getting on my case about the fact that I was sleeping late everyday, and I told her that since I din't have anything to do in the mornings, I was fine. Then she started trying to talk me into becoming a dentist or a legislator.

The next thing I know, I'm surfing down a sandy mountain trying to avoid a whole bunch of dentists, who also happen to be Imperial Storm troopers from Star Wars. They are everywhere. (I am watching it from a 3rd person camera perspective, but I am also the person I am watching.) The Storm Troopers are everywhere, and shooting at me.

Suddenly, I (the president's daughter, but also Luke Skywalker) stumble over a downed ST, and also a C3PO style robot. Somehow I am switched into the ST outfit for a disguise. In my mind, I know that this happened once before, and that that time I had been put into the body of the robot, and had then been blinded. I didn't want to get blinded, so I got up and took off down the side of a hill, ignoring the alien/demon-looking guy who thought I was a real Storm Trooper and wanted to help or talk to me.

When I got to the bottom of the hill, I hid behind some bleachers that happened to be standing in the middle of a field. When I was sure that no one was following me, I ran out across the field (which was the vacant lot next to my childhood home) and into the back entrance of the "White House". (Unlike many dreams, I was actually able to run when I ran, with only a little resistance.)

I went in the door to the White House basement, where the Secret Service agents scolded me for running off like that.


I'm feeling far less cranky/whiny than I was last night, thank goodness. What I said is still mostly true, though.


I've been looking at the photos that I took in college (which include some of the photos in my galleries) and realizing that they really are quite good, and wondering why I haven't been able to do a damn thing with my photography since then. I mean, besides the fact that I know next to nothing about shooting with artificial lighting or digital photography--both of which would be key in my actually getting a job as a photographer. (I mean, the recently late Henri Cartier Bresson used nothing but natural light. But then, he was a genius.)

I know that I big part of my lack of momentum s my constant lack of funds. Photography is not a cheap endeavor, even when you do it frugally. Film, processing, paper, chemicals, darkroom space, equipment, mounting and really adds up.

I did one big solo show my last year in school, in 99. 20 8x10 black and whites, mounted and framed at 15x20. It was a lot of work, and even doing it all myself it was still a pretty penny for supplies (and that was when I still had access to all the UW darkrooms), but they looked really good. Of those 20 pictures, I gave one to my brother for a Christmas present, donated one to a charity auction (it sold for $100) and the rest are still living in and around in my apartment. I've put some of them into other shows--one even made it into the juried student show--and they've been well received, but no real sales. It's a little discouraging.

I've schlepped my slides around town with little success. Maybe I'm just not trying hard enough. Maybe I lack drive. I just don't know how to get my fire going--to get out there and make people look, make people want to see, make people want to own my images.

Now, I've had some tiny successes lately. Queen of Pentacles was accepted and printed in the 2004 Yahara Journal. That was nice and a bit of an ego boost.

Queen of Pentacles

I had another tiny ego boost a few weeks ago when I held my rummage sale. On the second day of the sale it started to rain. As we were racing to haul stuff inside, a woman came along and asked if she could look at stuff while we were moving it in. When she heard that I had already taken my artwork inside, she asked if she could see it (I had two of my 15x20s for sale at a barely break-even price). She like them, but wasn't ready to buy. Then she saw a photo on my wall--an extreme closeup of an electric guitar at an odd angle (in a cheapass Walgreens frame). She really liked it, and I ended up selling it to her for $20. I also gave her my business card.

I think I'm fooling myself when I say I am a graphic designer or a web designer. I'm barely a journeyman in either field. I don't even know if I can say I'm a photographer, since what I know about studio or flash photography could fill a thimble, and that is what people want when they hire a photographer.

I'm an artist, and I think I am very good at making art. I'm just lousy as hell at marketing my art or myself. And, since pretty much every new piece I make just ends up occupying my apartment (unless I make it into a gift for someone) my artmaking has slowed to a crawl. I hardly take any new pictures since I've got boxes and boxes of negatives and prints that are collecting dust (and since I can't afford to get anything processes). I don't buy any new supplies.

I've got a decent studio space in my apartment, but my drive to create is low. The urge is there, and I still get ideas, but I don't act on it as much. I remember my last two years of college. I lived and breathed art. All my classes were art. I was surrounded by other people making art. I got assignments, I got critiques. It didn't matter that art supplies were expensive (well, it mattered but not as much) because I was buying them instead of textbooks and I had student loans (which I will be paying till the day I die, it seems). It didn't matter that everything I made would end up in my apartment, because I had to make it for my all had a purpose.

I was never much of a drawer. I could and can do it when I have to, but it was never my favorite. I was drawn to photography, to collage, to mixed media, to bright, colorful paintings with abstract stick figures, and to sculpture. And I still am. Yet I hardly do those things anymore. Does that make me a bad artist? A failure? In a way, I think it does.

When I look at how many artists create art and keep creating through poverty and madness and chaos and waiting tables and divorce and day jobs and persecution, and then I look at me. I really am broke and I really don't know how to self promote, but I feel like those are just lame excuses. I mean, if I really was a true artist I'd be doing whatever it took to keep making my art, and to get it out there to people, even if it meant that I didn't always have groceries, right? I mean, there is nothing wrong with oatmeal and bananas. Instead I've gotten this Charlie Brown attitude that no one will ever really want to buy my stuff, and I can't afford to spend any more money on it when I should be getting my teeth fixed.

I need my fire back. I'm pretty sure it died in the first year after college. Right now I'm just stoking the coals. It also wouldn't hurt to win the lottery. If I could get a show together without blowing a hole in my budget or running my credit cards up any higher, I would.

My sister highly recommended that I read The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. I checked it out from the library, but I couldn't get into it. I kept picking it up and then putting it back down. I have a hard time with self-help books. It made me antsy. Eventually I gave up and read a novel instead.

I dunno. I probably need a bit of a kick in the pants to get me back on track, artistically, but I wouldn't mind if there was a carrot to go with that. I can't do this in a vacuum.

And now, one of my favorite photos:


Confidential to my Future Employers

I want a job NOW. I'm tired of waiting for people to review my resume and forward it to other people and then wait another week to call me back.

Look, just give me the damn job so I can get to work and get things happening for you. It isn't like you people have the luxury of time.



I walked down to the library around 11:30 to drop off a couple of DVDs that are due today. As I was walking back home, past the park, I heard a girl scream. It was short and I couldn't tell if it was joking or real. It was followed by silence and I couldn't see a thing in the park, because it was too dark.

I figured it was probably just kids being stupid, but I decided that I wouldn't be able to live with myself if it was something worse and I'd done nothing. So I got out my cellphone and called it in. The police station was only a few blocks away, so it wouldn't be a big thing to send a car out to check on things.

I really hope it was nothing.

I Like Telling Lies to Small Children

Well, tall tales at least. The sort of outrageous nonsense that makes their eyes go wide, until the light of skepticism dawns and they call you on it. I get it from my Grandfather, the King of Turkey Tales.

He used to tell us, when we arrived at his house, "Oh, too bad you weren't here this morning! The chickadees were running down the road." I would instantly imagine a flock of small bird--a flock of Biblical proportions--running dowm the road in front of my grandparents' house on their tiny little legs. Yet, I also knew he was pulling my leg, and I loved catching him in it.

Tonight, I told a little girl whose bubblegum had burst all over her face that she shouldn't touch her chin, else her hand would get stuck forever. "I knew a girl who did that last year, and she's *still* got her her hand right there, all the time." She just grinned.

If They Don't Win It's A Shame

Tonight I went to my very first losing Mallards game. It was a shutout, 0-4. Yet, it was still quite fun. The Brewers should consider taking lessons.


I've watched the trailer, and I have to say I have a great deal of trepidation about the idea of Keanu Reeves as John Constantine. I mean, besides the fact the John Constantine is blonde. And English. And smart...


I went to the last Concert on the Square this week. It was a perfect evening, and the music was lovely. But one thing amzaed me. To my left were three adults--two men and a woman--chi-chi middle-aged people. Their conversation circled around real estate, wine, the quiche they were eating, gossip, and more real estate. Blah blah blah. Whatever, right?

Except, not only did they not stop chatting when the music started, they also didn't bother to lower their voices even a little bit. Now, I know that Concerts on the Square are rather casual, and don't demand the rapt silence of a formal concert in a symphony hall. Still, the loud, non-stop blather right in my ear was a bit much.

I decided that asking them to quiet down would probably do no good whatsoever (they seemed the sort that would get huffy at the notion of having to be considerate of someone other than themselves) so instead I simply moved myself up a few feet on the grass, so that I was just in front (and the the side) of them, rather than directly next to them.

As I was settling back in, I happened to glance back in their direction. It was for barely a second, and then I was in my spot, ready to listen to the concert. From behind me I heard and incredulous and snippy voice.

"Was that a glare?" he indignantly asked his companions, and the world in general. They proceeded to make bitchy comments about their right to talk, etc., etc. I basically ignored them, but man! I never cease to be amazed at the sense of entitlement some people have.


Things I want--A List:

1. I really, really want to be back in school--for art, for teacher certification, or for library science (in order of desire).

2. I want to be out of debt, at least, out of unsecured debt. Credit cards are driving me crazy.

3. As a corollary to #2, I want my teeth and my car to stop having expensive catastrophes. Especially my teeth. If worse comes to worse, I can always take the bus, but there isn't a "bus" option for fixing cavities, abcesses, and broken teeth, and that shit's expensive (hence the credit cards).

4. I want to own a house. I want to be a homeowner.

5. I want a job where I feel useful and respected, and where I am paid enough to cover my bills and get out of debt.

There's plenty more where those came from, but those are the current top 5.

An intriguing concept...

...yet I'm still investigating it. Any opinions?

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This page is an archive of entries from August 2004 listed from newest to oldest.

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