n. infantile pattern of suckle-swallow movement in which the tongue is placed between incisor teeth or between alveolar ridges during initial stage of swallowing (if persistent can lead to various dental abnormalities) v. [content removed due to Bush campaign to clean up the internet] n. act of nyah-nyah v. pursuing with relentless abandon the need to masticate and thrust the world into every bodily incarnation in order to transform it, via the act of salivation, into nutritive agency

Monday, July 13, 2009

pride parade story

July 09While I appreciated the tenor of SSS's suggestion (a la "please stop the ridiculous whining, for chrissakes"), I had a kind of breakthrough the night before Pride and realized that I wasn't actually obliged to do anything that made me miserable, even if I felt like I should, or that it might be fun given the right circumstance.

I feel a little guilty/wimpy, but my personalized parade consisted of sleeping in, getting up and having a cup of expresso while I wandered around my garden in my pajamas, then reading for awhile, then making myself a cheese fajita, inviting Herald onto the bed to play our favorite game--Smother the Dog, then reading (still in my pajamas) with Herald's head cuddling on my stomach, another cup of expresso, going to the movies with my mom (we saw the move Up, which made me cry in the first 30 minutes and then admire and laugh for the rest... it was fabulous), then coming home and watering mom's tomatoes (which I had repotted the day before), reading some more, eating dinner that consisted in part of the broccoli/peas harvested from my garden + potatoes from a friend's garden + blueberry pie with blueberries from mom's garden, watching another movie (this time a weird sci-fi with artsy camera work) then an episode of The Wire, then reading some more and falling asleep contentedly with the feeling that maybe I'm going to do something excellent soon.

I'm telling you, it was spiff, and perhaps the first throughly relaxing day I've had from top to bottom. The twitching in my right eyelid stopped for the whole day, and my garden time made my spleen settle more deeply into place (I could hear the squishing of organs as they rearranged in my body cavity. FYI: weed-pulling contentment + the twining of squash in their cages makes this kind of slurrrp/shhrp/grrrgl sound). Here are some more recent pictures of my babies (taken today):








Mom likes to say whenever I come from wandering around in my garden, "Feeling pretty smug, aren't you?" And the truth is yes, I feel pretty smug about the complete architectural perfection of my garden. Next garden I have, I'd probably swap out the broccoli in favor of potatoes, and plant more sugar-snaps (in more careful positions, as well), but that's pretty much all the difference.

In other news, mum has started hiring for the position I'm currently working at her clinic... I gave notice, since teaching in August is going to be tight (a 12-week course in 5-weeks). In a mere two days, 90 people applied, most with at least bachelor's degree. Considering that it's a laundry-folding job, I'm sayin' that it's clear the economy is hurting badly in these parts.

And my sister is back in Scotland. It was nice to have her around, regardless of the squabbles. And she and her nephew totally bonded:

JulyOh, by the way, A, here's the "indestructable pig" you got H, post-2.5 days with him. Poor pig had frostbite from yesturday's sudden cold... Herald had to amputate a leg for him:

JulyY whala, not much of a story. But still a nice weekend.


Friday, July 10, 2009


I think I'm going to have to start censoring myself a bit better... someone found this site through a search of my studio and the town, which I think means s/he was actually looking for it... and I suddenly realized that much of the stuff I write here is likely not appropriate for a general audience of people who are acquaintances but not good friends... eeeesh.

Half the time I feel like I'm writing to myself here... but writing to myself as if I were a real audience. The other half of the time I feel like I'm writing for the five people who still read this and are occasionally interested. Zhoop.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

This weekend

So, my sister leaves this Saturday... it seems too incredibly fast, and between her schedule and my schedule, we have hardly had any visiting time at all. I'm hoping we can go to the beach tomorrow morning, but I work at the clinic in the evening so we'll see.

Right now she's on a weasel farm, working one of her internships, and I'm at my studio, procrastinating on the writing I keep telling myself to get working on. I'm supposed to be prepping a couple of short stories to send off... pieces that are almost done, but need a couple hours of intense clean-up before I'm satisfied with them. I'm not really sure that any of the journals are accepting right now, it being summer and all, but the least I can do is get them all prepped... pdf form and print form and so forth... and ready to head out when the time comes again. I'm also supposed to be working on my longer piece... but it's hard to know where to start (again). Somewhere, I guess.

But in the meantime, I am brooding about inconsequential things like whether to go to the Bville pride parade this weekend, when I don't believe I've ever had a nice time at the parade. Mostly I just get headaches and heartaches and end up going to a bar and getting too drunk and asking some random dude to play air hockey with me, and letting him win out of gratitude for playing me. It's awfully hard to play air-hockey by oneself.

So, reasons to go to the parade are as follows:
1) It's a good cause. Folks should be recognized as a part of the community and I know lots of young queers (students, co-workers, etc) who have felt a part of something, finally, at the parade.

2) Sometimes, for a few seconds, I imagine that one of the hotties has noticed me and is flirting. Usually she's waving at the person behind me, but for a few absurd seconds, I think I might actually meet someone--maybe a new friend, maybe an amazing sex fiend, maybe instant and rewarding love--before I end up laughing at myself and my ridiculousness. It still can be a nice, if temporary, hope--if somewhat hypocritical, as one will see if they continue reading into the 'cons'.

3) I enjoy costumes. I mean, I really enjoy costumes. All the way, and fully.

4) Sometimes after the parade, there are hula hoops and I can step into the larger ones and swirl them around my hips like the arms of a lover at a dance-party, a happy smirk on my face.
But, reasons not to go to the parade are as follows:
1) I always feel incredibly and inevitably lonely at the parade. Not a part of anything--not noticed, not cared for, not one of them, not hot or slinky or naughty dirty, not gay.

2) I always run into the Bville Ex with her arm around her wife. That is, I would always run into the Bville Ex if I didn't turn around and walk away. Just seeing her instantly turns me beet red with the past running about me, sometimes gives me hives, makes my heart speed up 1000x times, and within ten minutes, gives me a pounding headache.

I want to say that things should be more mellow than that, because last summer we met a few times and talked a little bit. Not nearly enough really, but enough to clear up a couple of docket items on both our sides (although she couldn't bring herself to directly ask me if I had sabotaged her friendship with Natalie, a negligence that no doubt comfortably allows her to continue thinking I was at fault for the end of that particular 'friendship'), and to establish in my mind that a) there are too many things impossible to say that are roadblocks, and that b) she doesn't have anything new to add to the discussion anyways. I realized that if I couldn't meet up with her without crying for a week afterwards, then I really, really shouldn't be meeting with her at all.

And I found some small solace that maybe she actually cared like she had always said she cared when her hands shook while writing down her address. Because I gave her my address (which I've told nobody) and invited her to drop me a note from time to time, and said I'd do the same if she'd give me her address. And so she wrote, hands trembling so badly that her little digits and street name still sits lop-sided on a scratch of paper in my address book. But I haven't written to her at that skewed address, and like so many times before, the reason I haven't written to her is because she hasn't written to me. In fact, she's never done anything I've seriously asked her to do in the hopes of repairing... things. Although she'd be pleased to tell everyone I know that she has.

I feel like I dwell on this. I dwell far, far too much on this story, but I'm not sure any other story has even come close to supplanting it. Other people's stories, sometimes, other stories far, far more disgusting than my own, which only involved a public betrayal and humiliation, a continued game-playing, and my loss of trust in formal education. As I hear about people who have been murdered by people they love (that diver who murdered his wife on a dive and watched her slowly drown and drift away before leisurely making his way to the surface), or betrayed after years of marriage (a woman I met in Alaska was with a coke-addict with a penchant for brawl-fighting, but who was clearly with him to escape, as she couldn't help talking to me, a stranger, for hours about her husband who had cheated on her with her best friend, and then left her, and then come back, and then left her), or felt other small or large pains that left them somehow broken for this world, for part of this world, at least, I realize how simply my story is, how easy it should be to walk away from it and write another story, another thousand stories... but I still dwell on this one.

Perhaps because I'm still here in Bville, and although I want to believe there is a match out there for me, I halfway believe there isn't (arrogant loneliness) and halfway believe that if there were, they would probably treat me like shit anyway (the low self-esteem of the fat/jealous/fragile/poor/crazy + feeling sorry for myself).

Regardless, whenever I see the Bville Ex, I get a headache because my mind inevitably starts chattering on about ugly things. I start thinking about how destructive and barren and self-centered romantic love is. Like it has no use but to destroy--if not us, then the world. Part of me truly believes this... that it's not religion that's the opiate of the masses, but romance.

I mean, I believe in love, fer sho'. Friendship, family, compassion for strangers, to students, for teachers... love strikes me as an amazing force that infinitely builds such intricate, fragile and invisible webs among people, connecting us in ways that are unfathomable and ultimately unknowable. But romance? If there's a point to it, I haven't yet discovered it. It seems entirely, totally self-centered in a way that leaves out, destroys, and prevents the other important webs of interconnection from human to human, to spirit to land, from this country to Iraq to Afghanistan to Russia. I don't think romance is solely responsible, must admit, but I do think it falls into that category that lulls people into self-absorption... like too much soap opera, too many reality shows or twittering or pontificating (or blogging, or drinking).

And while I have this side of me that hates romance, that starts making these stories of bitterness... remembering how I know maybe only one couple over 50 that has shared romantic love for years (my grandparents)... or remembering, contrarily, how a short, intense and beautiful relationship that could have remained just that - a poignant beginning to a friendship, a brief and eerily soulful connection between two people who needed each other for entirely different reasons - became instead so twisted, so painful and revolting and cruel. Well, it makes me think that, long or short, committed or fleeting, romantic love is still more of a source for pain than for joy.

And some get to smugly write it off, literally in this case, as a "love is a bitch, I guess I'm too hot, arrogant and naughty" kind of thing, while others get to have flashes into the darkest crevices of their ridiculous and semi-grotesque brainpan when they run into old Bville Exes with their Wives, who inevitably were connected to you, in a whisper and dried up shrivel of a strand of one of those things that you wish you could feel again... trust, maybe. Something like that.

But I get to thinking about this too: that this story I tell myself, that I feel whenever I walk the Bville parade, is just that... one story. One way among millions of processing information, and I've come also to believe that the way we tell our story is more important than the concrete world we think we negotiate. That actually, there is nothing more than the different stories we tell--fiction, nonfiction, poetry, biological report, Freudian reasoning, nature channel... And I could easily take this one story, this one short story of romance as a bully illusion, and try to think of it differently...

...but I don't really know how.

So, I try instead to think of more even-handed, level stories - between other friends, between me and my other lovers (all of whom have been kind and brilliantly-lit in some way), between strangers I don't even know, people who are not walking down the street watching the crowds or costumes or parade floats or strange lovers holding hands, their stories tight amongst them... not doing these things, not because of fate or chance, bad luck -- or even one silly running-running-running lover who never, ever listened, who never ever put herself out on the line, who couldn't quite believe the best of me, and who only wanted my friendship once she had pushed me irrevocably away... because, as she herself told me, she more frequently wants what she thinks she can't have, than what she thinks she can -- not for any of these reasons, but simply for the reason that they are not allowed to have a parade, a queer lover, a queer past, or any kind of hope to be equally recognized by a system that has ruled the world for centuries now. So, you know, I know technically speaking that my story is not a very compelling one. Is, in fact, one that I should have torched and dodged long ago.
Anyhow, I'm still not sure whether to go to the parade, although I feel like I probably should. There is always the potential for flirting though? Heh.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

"so, have you published yet?"

le openingititoYeah, so that's the opening in an Excellent Nutshell. Plus, that's my buddy, E, and I love him and his odd creativity no matter what, what can I say? My opening was bizarre but just alright, the feeling that way too.

I started the day out right, and ended the evening by dodging a werewolf on I5, with a swerve so severe it took a whack to a friend's head, my sister closing her eyes, and my brolaw yelling about what the frig I was doing... But in his defense he thought I was fucking with them for being so damn drunk, which they were and I wasn't. My sister, thank-god, saw the werewolf I dodged too, so the ten swerves it took for me to right my angry car seem less dramatic somehow, more necessary (they were, and I'm still thankful nobody died as I was going 70 in a 70-zone, quite sober, but in the night, and dodged the werewolf that tried to take us down in a less orthodox fashion than is normative).

But back to starting the day out right. My brolaw was leaving for Scotland at the end of the weekend, so I decided to discard for the day (of my opening) the facade I had so awesomely built during the week that I was a noon-2am worker on my own goods. We all took off, with mom in tow, along the Nooksack River... with friends, cooler, whole family, 80-degree weather and all. Other than my mom hitting a snag and scaring Ali and myself to death in the first 5-minutes (mom slammed 3 beers in 5 minutes directly afterwards and thus joined the ranks of true tubers everywhere with the pithy observation: "it was all just fine from there"), it was an incredibly beautiful day along the river. All set with cedar waxwings, snags, mother-mergansers with their babies floating atop their backs... and I swam the last 1/3 it was so sweet and cool and perfect.

Non-judgmental, if you will.

But it did put the time crunch on arriving at my opening on time. In fact, I was 3 minutes late and had 3 people waiting, with 2 other folks showing up within the first 10 mins. One being my dad with flowers (because my mom called him and told him what a total asshole he was and that he better show up with flowers if he wanted me to still consider him related), and the other being my once-upon teacher from Western.

I promise to cease to be negative-like at the end of this paragraph, but my former teacher from my previous university vaguely looked around, was very socially awkward (like me) [which once would make me inclined to identify and adore], and then asked me about all the other folks from the university, most of whom I can barely tolerate the thought of, except Nat, about whom she asked if it was likely she'd "ever finish the dissertation," to which I thought, yuyyyy duh, of course, as soon as it appears real to her again. And then, this teacher, who I so love, to whom I gave all my art-works-in-progress while at the Art Institute, who I looked up to and once delivered salmon to each year, and who I still think is an awesome teacher and person (not to mention, the only college-affiliated person who showed up to my opening) leaned across my work bench, my books put out for the viewing, my collages in the background... and asked me, "so, have you published yet?"

I am still in deep ponderance, consideration... my ego being middling and my self-esteem middling and my support awesome for family but nil from the academics region (which has so thoroughly rejected me as to take me off mailing lists)...

But it seems to me that in Academia there is only One Path, and that is all. How is it possible to lean over an alternative to the journal you read and ask about the journal you read?

In cringing, "I don't know what I'm doing" answer to the question, I feel pretty happy with what I made for the opening. I have other ideas, forthcoming, but they will take time. Some of the visual work, via my strange camera:

le openingitito

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le openingititoThis is what happened before that.

le openingititoThis is my favorite opening picture... my dad with my maternal grandpa. It's pretty funny if you know them both.

le openingitito& these are the folks who also showed up... family, yep. Adorable too.

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le openingititoAnd man, did they cause some major belligerant havoc, especially in the latter photo case. My sister and brolaw's friend T climbed the outside of the 2-story building, in through the window, and they all hollered at everyone to come up, then offered to sweep their legs so as to ensure their continued presence at the opening. Thus ensued an elongated discussion of whether "modicum" (of decorum) was a liquid or solid measurement. And afterward we ate spicy hot dogs on the corner, then went home and nearly hit a werewolf.

Ceci n'est pas une
simple studio opening.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009


CollageI can't for the life of me figure out how to take pictures inside with this new camera. I miss my old camera, even if it only took low-resolution photos. Sigh. How about a bad scan instead?

Because things are going... going... really well, at the studio. I feel like a year's worth of ennui, "life direction" panic, and general confusion has been set aside, and all these ideas are taking form... not in writing right now, but in collage, and I'm really pleased with how it's going.

On a silly professional note, I've designed the logo, printed up little signs, and have ordered "business cards," which I partially think is ridiculous but people keep asking for them, and if people ask during first-Friday and I have to stop and write down my info on a scrap of paper, I'll be irritated. Not that I'm likely to get tons of people visiting, but I do have to say that one nice aspect of this building (ignoring all the scraps and shit in the corridors which makes it difficult to even find the studios upstairs) is that the folks down the corridor are trying - really business-trying - to get a gallery going, all set with a graphic design office attached. They've put serious attention to officially getting on the Allied Arts map, of advertising, of word of mouth, of connecting with everyone in the building, and of even hiring a dj for this Friday night. All this will no doubt be a boon for me, re: walkbys.

I don't even know what I'm thinking this place is anymore, except the best idea, perhaps the only idea (beside making a garden), that I've had all year. Thinking about it make me feel a bit sassy again. And while I don't expect tons of friends to fly in from Chicago to visit, or even friends to show their work (the last "work promisee" flaked out on Monday), I do think there will be plenty of family (my Grandparents finally arrived from Texas! and Alison/Peter are still around for another few days... not long enough and badly-timed in that I'm working in my studio about 8-10 hours a day, but still here for a bit longer), family friends, and a couple of drop-bys from community college. That sounds good enough to me--not too overwhelming, not too bleak and lonely.

On a black lining in a silver cloud aside, my dad, in response to my official invitation, wrote a 6-sentence email back with the first line 'lamenting' the fact that he has his own reading to go to that night, and the other 5 lines discussing his new chapbook, his loyal and beautiful fans, himself, and also himself. Without a word of congrats or "of course I'll come, and bring all the people you asked me two months ago to bring!" What an ass. I'm seriously contemplating changing my last name to my mother's last name. But, oh well, I guess I always knew that his world was about himself and the ladies he lusts after.

Oh, but I got a tent. I'm hoping my back keeps improving (I'm doing yoga 2x a week in addition to class) and that I can go backpacking for the first time in years. It's a sweet tent--lightweight and everything.

Ok, I'm thinking maybe the gloss has dried enough for me to start working again...