Wednesday, April 30, 2008

they're all still alive

when i was in college, i worked at the circulation desk at the library there, where we would amuse ourselves with games of freecell, indian pop music videos, and going on the internet white pages and looking up the names of random dead celebrities and fictional characters. a friend of mine and i tried this the other day and here's what we came up with:

3 willy wonkas
49 clark kents
1 marvin gaye
15 elvis presleys
2 tupac shakurs
1 layne staley
1 biggie smalls
5 andy warhols
4 kurt cobains
30 frank zappas
1 sid vicious
36 curtis mayfields
4 joe strummers
1 frank sinatra
300 marilyn monroes

6 joe schmoes
17 hong kongs

messed up.

Monday, April 28, 2008

too many creeps.

friday night at the rapid station...

got hit on by an aspiring yoga instructor/physicist who was really just a nasty dirty hippie who wondered if my backing away from him had to do with "space issues" that i had because evidently "something happened to you as a child" or "you're on medication aren't you?" and somehow my shoe size has something to do with all of this. because he asked about that too.

no, i don't need my chakras opened up. no, i'm not a nice hippie kind of girl. no, i'm not interested in dating you. no, it's not that i have space issues, it's just that you're completely creeping me out. maybe people in cleveland seem unfriendly because you're really freakin' weird.

yes, i'm going to be sure i get on the other rapid car that isn't yours and hide behind the seat and hope you don't notice until the doors close and i'm home free. thank God he got off at the next stop.

he came up to my shoulder so i wasn't really afraid, just irritated. no more funky tanktops and vintage earrings. i'm going to start rocking the hooded sweatshirt/bandanna look again. it feels good to be left alone.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

hubcap diamondstar halo

got together with some friends last night to play music. my guitar skills have really fallen off in recent years, due in part to lack of practice and also to playing bass and therefore not having to deal with bar chords all that much. i've never had that kind of strength in my fingers, and i've always kind of cheated my way through. we started sounding good after a little bit, but it took me a long time to get warmed up and back into form.

when i was a lonesome high school kid i would sit in the basement for hours and play, fool around with pedals and alternate tunings, teach myself how to play my favorite led zeppelin and neil young songs. i don't remember a lot of the riffs anymore, and i find it frustrating that i can't seem to come up with anything good of my own that hasn't been done before. my guitar teacher at tri-c turned me onto funkadelic and jazz standards so i got a lot of good pretty chords out of that, but there's so much i used to know that i know i've lost upon picking up the four-string and delving into punk rock in my later teens.

that's going to be my other official summer goal. i need to get the strength back in my fingers, sit on my porch and learn how to play again, how to use those jazz chords, remember standards and old favorites and maybe try to see what else i can come up with. i'd love to start making music with other people again as well. i find i do best that way when i've got someone else to add my ideas to and bounce things off of. i'm not going to try to be everything at once, i'm just going to try and get the groove back, if i ever had it to begin with.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

slice of life

finally got over to edgewater park last night with val right before sunset.

i love it there. it's where i was baptized when i was 17, where me and my friend john would hang out in high school walking along the beach and chasing seagulls when we had a lot of time and no money. it's always been an easy place to get to, to fly kites, lay on the rocks, and people watch because everyone seems to end up there.

this time we had some people flying beautiful kites and a burly man on rollerblades with three teacup chihuahuas in tow. it was the most amazing thing ever.

Monday, April 21, 2008

another day in paradise

there's a reason why i don't end up making plans.

because the ones that happen to you tend to be the most interesting.

this past saturday the only things in mind were a trip to the library, grocery shopping, and maybe doing some laundry.

all of those things happened, but then i also...

ended up helping a friend move, and encountering his friends who've been battling serious drug addiction and legal trouble and things i've never had to deal with that break me up inside.

hung out with one of the kids who lives in the downstairs of my double who brought her puppy up to play,

went out to the east side with one of the roommates for a hip-hop show put on by friends of friends in the basement of a coventry store where we probably stood out, being the only caucasian females in attendance but no one made us feel that way.

felt like i was at a house party hanging out down there, dancing in the corner, basking in the atmosphere, taking breaks for fresh air with mukhtar out on the sidewalk drinking arizona green tea in the rain with a black hoodie pulled over my head people-watching and amazed at how yuppie coventry is now compared to the days i never saw of the hippies and the punks congregating on the corner.

loving that it's warm outside, that there's sunlight when i get home. needing to get a camera so i can start capturing moments again.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

got no expectations...

when i'm hearing about this discussion of whether or not we the people are actually bitter, quoting barack obama, i don't understand what is so condescending about suggesting that "working class" voters are frustrated.

while i think he missed the mark in regards to guns and God, if anything, it's insanely elitist and out of touch to assume that people DON'T feel this way. because i hear variations on the bitter theme everywhere. i hear it in the hallways of my workplace, on the rapid transit, in conversations with relatives and friends. this is what my dad tells me that the guys he works with talk about.

(for the record, i've grown up hovering between the middle and working class. while my parents both have college degrees, my dad's been driving delivery trucks for the last 30-something years and wouldn't have it any other way).

we hear people blame it on the economy, on jobs going overseas, on "those people" being out to get them and hold them down, or "those people" moving into their neighborhoods, on the kids getting out of control.

maybe this is just a cleveland thing. because after all, we're really good at complaining and watching things go down the tubes for the last 30 years. but i do think it's more widespread than that.

because, as far as i can tell, a lot of us are pretty darn bitter right now, at least here in flyover territory where the politicians come in every four years, make lots of promises and pander to the right people and then forget about us.

there's no real period that we can trace our decline back to, or any one thing we can blame it on. there are so many factors at play and it's been a long time coming.

i think that the cynicism and disgust is pretty bipartisan. we all know how the democrats and those on the left feel about the republicans who've been running the show for the past 8 years, but i know there's a lot of bitter and disgusted conservatives as well, who feel like they got shafted. the agnostics and the atheists blame the christians, the conservative element blames those it considers degenerate.

either way, you'd have to be either doing really well or completely oblivious to think we're on the right track.

we're losing our jobs, the prices of everything are going up, so many people are really not doing well right now. this whole war thing is turning into a disaster and i feel ashamed that a president who claims that life is sacred has no problem with torturing people in the name of doing the right thing.

i see a lot of desperation all around me, much of it self-inflicted, but also a heavy dose of it just being hard times. and honestly, this is the first time i've ever heard any major political figure acknowledge that.

i try not to let the bitterness get to me, but it is hard. i am so leery of quick fixes, of large quantities of money being thrown at dubious projects and abstract goals, of promises to make this place better for "our children and our children's children." it gets old. i don't have a candidate to vote for that i believe in, which isn't surprising but is frustrating nonetheless. i feel overwhelmed by the despair i see in this city.

i'm glad in a way that i don't look for some person to fix everything, or expect all that much. that way i'm not disappointed.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

seeing clearly

there's been a lot swirling around me recently, and i was grateful last night for a chance to be in a place free of distractions where i could sit and think and get the right perspective again.

times like that are priceless and essential.

finally beginning to realize that loving the people in my life and being there for them doesn't mean i have to internalize all the extra pain as well. because usually that degenerates into some kind of weird self-absorbed martyr complex that doesn't do anyone any good, really.

also, learning that you yourself cannot 'save' anyone. while you can be a help and encouragement, i'm beginning to understand that much of that is between the person in question and God himself.

Friday, April 11, 2008

life is a beautiful struggle...

this and that and the other thing and feelings that don't make sense and wanting to just crash out and sleep sometimes though there's so much that needs to be done. i wonder if i can even do it right. i'm thankful for the phone calls with my mom, the dinners and mix cds that friends make me, the thinking-of-you messages, and yet all the confusion.

i have radio class again tonight but i'm so tired. i want to change into my jeans and my old shonen knife t-shirt. i've my second lukewarm cup of coffee i'm chugging as i try to remember all 16 color coded music genres in the wcsb library.

i'm taking care of the puppy dogs again this week. i love it there because i have the lights down low, read and sketch, play tug-of-war while talking on the phone, walk the dog.

somehow i'll knock it out, just like i always do. figure out how to love and do and sleep and live and chill and rush.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

hard times

one of the things i struggle with the most is that things are really going well for me right now, but they're so incredibly hard for everyone else.

i try to do my best to be there in any way i can, but there is just so much need all around me.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

art and life

one of the things i've really enjoyed about where i'm living now is the opportunities i've had to work on art more. there's a balcony out back where i can dry my paintings, a huge table in the living room where i can perch over a canvas, with my colored pencils, acrylic gels, and paints, with the cd player easily within reach.

i've started buying old and poorly painted canvases at yard sales because it's cheaper than purchasing new ones and i don't have the tools to build my own. cover it over with gesso and it's ready to be a new creation, redeemed from past mistakes and well-intentioned ideas that didn't work the first time around.

i think that's been the biggest lesson for me in making art. when i was a kid i used to get frustrated when i'd mess up and i'd cross the entire thing out. or i'd try to copy people instead of developing my own style. what i'm doing probably isn't very original, but it works for me. i'm learning to work around my mistakes, cover over them, that nothing is hopeless and that nearly everything can be recycled.

i've got a couple of projects in the works right now... attempting to collage the scattered codes of our world into something meaningful, and another photo project to occupy myself along with our graffiti expeditions. i'm planning on documenting the various houses of worship in cleveland, whether that's the orthodox church domes along state road, the storefronts on cedar and denison, various temples and strange architecture.

sometimes the same photos of st theodosius or trinity cathedral get a little boring. i'm going to try not and let it be that way.

current painting music: john frusciante's solo work, the first three funkadelic albums, the essential alice in chains, common - like water for chocolate, martina topley-bird - quixotic, the twilight singers - powder burns

Friday, April 4, 2008

radio radio...

my first radio production class is tonight after work. i'm going to be learning how to actually work equipment and stuff, and it seems like it'll be interesting. already mentally selecting stuff that i want to play... this will be interesting.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

summer plans

i'm not big into amphitheater shows, but robert plant and alison krauss together, with t-bone burnett backing them up sounds like it will be fantastic.

though, because i'm a cheapskate, i'd love to talk a few people into driving down into the flats with me, parking on the bridge across the way, and having a picnic under the stars.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

everything is happening all at once.

and it is beautiful.