we went to the funeral home yesterday for uncle forrest. aunt edna was there, and i would never had recognized her. she's been suffering from lou gehrig's disease for 12 years. normally people only live a few years with that. forrest wore himself out taking care of her, and finally died of old age.
when i think of forrest and edna, i think of them as an elegant couple. edna was always dressed nicely and her blond hair was always just so. forrest was a dapper dresser and self-assured. she was taller than he, but they carried it off without a care. edna played the organ so beautifully. they should have aged gracefully, not as they did.
we don't know what god has in store for us.
we took the pine tree out of the front yard. it was suddenly gone yesterday when i went home to pick paul up. surprisingly, the yard doesn't look bare, but cleaner, and nicer. that tree was just getting ratty looking. of course we have a large, bare circle of dirt in the front yard, but we'll get that taken care of as soon as they take out the stump, which should be today. they also trimmed the maple trees outside the patio door-they were getting too overgrown and needed to be thinned out.
love you both,
i love it here at the lake. lake erie sure has gotten cleaner over the years, much cleaner than when we used to do this with the grandkids in the summer. oh, those two. they are all grown up now, no time to visit and living so far. i miss them so much; just when you have the time to see them, they don't. especially the one in new york.
why doesn't he write more often? i know he is online a bunch. and we have email. i try to write when i can, but i just don't want to bother him much. it's so tempting to visit his website, how we found out he was gay oh those years ago. but i know he doesn't want us to read that; he never gave us the link to it. he said he would, but he didn't, which i know, in my heart of hearts, that he doesn't want us to go there.
i had to go to the store and buy some groceries because gerrie was out golfing today. some buns and some juice. got in the car, adjusted the seat. i hope my knee gets better. i was thinking about when we had princess, oh years ago, how she would jump right in the station wagon, on that little carpet we had in the back for her. such a pretty dog. this car is much nicer, we wouldn't let princess in the good car. we haven't had the old car in oh, about ten years.
seems like i've always got something wrong with me. nervous as a girl. then that car accident when gerrie and i were going out, i was almost killed. i still have the scar on my head. i hit my head on the seats. they made cars different back then, you could hurt yourself.
at the grocery store, i overheard a woman say something to her daughter. it's been so long since i said those things to anyone. i wish i could say them to our great-grandchildren. in line, i saw the enquirer, which read 'boy george has love child', which is so awful. it must run in the family.
at home, i was making sweet tea just like my son paul likes it.
then i was watching television. one of the grandchildren used to have a fit if he couldn't watch the show he wanted, some space show. now he barely turns it on. he must be really busy, i hope he doesn't work too much. i am going to get on the email to him tomorrow and tell him i hope he doesn't work too hard. a young boy like that needs to have some fun. but some safe fun, i worry about him so much being in new york. but he's a big boy, a young man, he can take care of himself now. i never feel like that though, i still remember him here.
(some of what is floating around here lately: blog entries i wrote for a long-gone side-blog i write in 2001, entirely composed of me writing entries for other bloggers' blogs).
list of things to do today
scrape car. i thought i was scraping ice off the hood yesterday, but it was paint. my car is white. the heater won't work. my ass gets so cold when i drive, it hurts by the time i arrive.
drive to the gehry building see it happen, structure overlapping, emerging inspiration from the bones that get covered. bones look clumsy even though the skin won't. on the way run into a bunch of kids drawing on the sidewalk, free and overlapping, all looking like each other, no style yet. i love no style. when did i stop drawing like that?
enter gym. steel machines, moving bars, twisted cables, twisted muscle around forearms and chest. it's chest day. gym machines are only beautiful when you're using them. personal prosthesis. see a guy the my friend would like, see him every time i'm here, and i like him too, green mesh shorts with yellow stripe, tattoos on calves and forearms, stubbly hair, looks tough and straight. remember to write my friend and tell him what this guy's wearing today.
work out. chest. push ups to max out, out to a point where it's like i'm not there, my body has learned the action and i can think without it, slim, you could do it, you could be it...you gotta be like a rock-and-roll jesus with a cowboy mouth.
shower and smell clean. like soap, of all the things to smell like, one is irish spring like i wouldnt know to go to l'occitaine de provence and get something. but i'm not in paris, i'm in ohio, near the lake, taking a long hot shower till the cold goes away from my butt and feet. taking shower, washing off, quickly or slowly, is envigorating because i can do it, no loss of washing powers here!, always getting dirty and clean the same ways during winter.
drive home. on way to car unravel conversation passing between three people unpacking a car, woman saying "bear", man one saying "she doesn't like to let out the bear, so...", man two says "...bear, gone!".
write in blog. nothing to write this week, from my room, post commentary on art links. people will write me anyway, no matter what! check other blogs, nothing happens this early. up to other room.
struggle with the drawing, the painting, the structure, smell, blurry smell of what i'm trying to do. it's not beautiful because it's not ugly enough yet. too much in one painting. why haven't i yet learned to separate my thoughts? save some for later? kids can't do this either, i think.
reporter: "don't you think pop art is getting a little repetitive?" warhol: "um, yes."
paint, shower, paint.
twenty minute drive. even the paint on this fuckin 1984 corolla, rusting and patinaed, is doing a better job at ugliness, paint chipping at the corner of the door, the hood is blotchy and matte where the carbeurator is. plastic inside chipped and handles broken, corners of the dash missing, merged with unopened straws and napkins. composed clutter, mobile work of art.
library research for paper. when did i learn to write this stuff?!
check out books. libraries are old. gray computers in libraries are old, green CRTs are so old they seem liquid and like a movie background with one color that is invisible to the eye. keyboard dirty but with clean taped notes from the librarian, preserved felt tip ink stained underneath protective tape by dried water stain, on the keyboard. ink making visible the invisible tape glue lines, fissures in the desert, where everything is also brown, but the sun is out, it's not winter, there's no lake effect, your car will never rust or get stained by salt. if i could bury myself, it would be under earth, warm but at a constant temperature at a certain depth, cool to the touch, than be buried in this cold air until may. room of earth is quiet. or
fly to the sky. into the western blue, which i really believe isn't just an effect in pictures but is something you see, swim in blue air, flap my arms in the fluid hard till i get higher and warmer. warmest when i get to space, where it's not warm, where my car will never rust, and i'll be the most beautiful thing from earth, drawing.
drawing anything, redrawing constellations, a kids drawing with the stars, but no one up there will know, they will think i'm a genius and i'll be hailed as the king, queen, and prince of creativity, white on black and shining. kids on earth will know better. wait, who will be watching? is there blue or green? and how did water get on a library keyboard, anyway?
drive home get gas. watch for ice.
dinner with the folks. when did i move back in? mom says "how was your day, muffin?" and body keeps talking while i think mom! i'm not a muffin. unless you mean banana muffin and think about someone online who will get this joke. too bad they can't get it now, while i'm thinking it. don't write it down.
read books. books about art make making it worse and more difficult. i hate this shit. add hate this shit: two minutes of this.
read text. read all the blogs. read the new york times and village voice to take me there. read about paris.
remember favorite french words. coeur. cuir. mauvais. marais. gaultier. geronime.
read email. write email. use favorite words. never really sure what to say to these people; love them, but never get to relay to them what happened today; i split it up between all their different messages. no one reads them together. want to connect emails, connect the thoughts for them, but i think they get it, get what i'm doing. they talk to each other enough about it, sometimes.
write to-do list for tomorrow. next time on a bigger sheet of paper.
drop beat, so much control. it rains so damned much in this town, disco was never an option for us. can you believe we actually got used to hanging out in bars with jukeboxes, complete with damp tank tops and beer bottles at our jeans?
but i learned to speak different languages, and with our trips to europe, all that changed. oh, dance, us. and the time we met our favorite dj...
but the drop beat, leaving things out, saying the opposite of what you mean, that you are cold and steady, meaning precisely that you were in need of a lover and did too much coke, brings me back to those slow rhythms, the ones i know are deeper, the ones we listened to when we came home from josh's place, wet from the rain.
if i said something to you in that language, would you get it? la VIE en rose, la VIE en rose. her voice is so compelling, it captures my heart every time i hear it. someone with that much conviction only has something to share, only wants to persuade it's listener what's behind it. it's an outpouring that causes the same swelling in me. yes, my life too, our lives too! i don't care if it's the magic of recorded performance: i loved you the moment i told you so.
it's funny watching every single personal weblog take a similar trajectory.
there's the honeymoon phase, lasting a week to a month, where the writer is hammering away at the keyboard, forgetting that they have jobs and friends, and saying anything and everything. by the end of this phase, they are unbearably self-important or extremely depressed or really keyed up or extremely charming or horny. it doesn't matter: it's always a delight to see someone create something from nothing.
there's the post-honeymoon phase. the entry that inaugurates this phase goes something like this: "i'm tired of writing this. why am i writing this? does anyone care?" the lack of responsive readers to this question is responsible for killing about 15% of blogs.
and so on.
what has become breathtaking to me is knowing that at each phase, people either do what everyone else has done, or they transcend it. some people will ask "why am i writing this?" only to have a breakthrough answer, a spectacular self-reply which produces brilliant writing. i have made a sport of watching people develop their blogs, waiting to see if they do something original, true to their inner self.
(some people don't go through these phases, because they wouldn't even tap out a three-word phrase in a T9 text message on their phone without being in control of why they are writing in the first place. like jennie.)
since i loudly proclaim it all over the place anyway, i may as well share with you, dear reader, that the phase that most often leads to my disappointment is the "gotta upgrade my graphics" phase. the blogger feels that their initial round of graphics were not jazzy enough, and they need to be spruced up. my disappointment comes in many forms.
one, the blogger has learned how to manipulate HTML now, and decides that the sedate-but-elegant template they started out with is not original enough. they begin to turn to more graphics, frames, flash, images, and text colors, trying to invent something new. of course, unless they are graphic designers, artists, or someone with visual acuity, they end up overdoing it. at best, they come up with something that is elegant still, but just a tad overdone. a mild disappointment. like kerouac used to say, first thought best thought. no one said your graphics had to look good, ever. second and third thoughts with a couple of zoozahs added, and then artfully subtracted, is not best-thought. when i got out of columbia, my website used to be painfully articulated in this way. now, it's just that i have forgotten how to use dreamweaver, so i'm stuck with what i ended up with.
two, the blogger gets another blogger with a strong graphic sensibility to design something for them. my irritation with this direction is that it causes me to think only of the strong-graphic blogger while viewing the new blogger's site. in short, their identity has ceased to exist as their own, and they now (graphically) appear as a sub-site of the graphic blogger's site. i usually de-link bloggers who do this, because i simply cannot read their blog anymore without thinking of the graphic blogger's blog. the identity confusion is too much, attesting to the powerful relationship (over me alone?) that graphic identity has in the viewing of blogs.
three, the blogger gets artwork from around the web. why don't people just use hot pictures of themselves?, i ask myself. no reply. at any rate, if the writer is interesting enough, i generally do not de-link them. i just make a lot of noise. like this entry is noise.
(some people don't go through this phase, because they wouldn't sketch an idea on a napkin without a graphic sensibility. some bloggers continuously create new graphic identities, as an integral part of their narrative. like jonno and choire always have new identities. please note that they always use their own content.)
four, the blogger asks me for my graphic advice and does not take it. stephen did this. it used to annoy me, but now i find it amusing. in 2005 my clients pay me $125 per hour for graphic advice (i'm a young professional, get me while i'm cheap), yet i have given advice to you for free, and you threw it away. i suppose this illustrates the fact that design is worthless unless paid for; this is not a disappointment as much as a fact of business that forget from time to time.
wow, that was some story.
Despite the number of times I've been up this way, I never get tired of cruising along here. Gliding along, I feel like I'm inside one of the countless films depicting it's powerfully winding lane, creating a layered seaside vista with shrubbery of coastal California perfectly welded to the aging asphalt. Or like I'm in one of the advertisements for cars. Cars gliding by like my tongue against the ridges of my upper mouth. Except that I'm actually in this film, this particular version of the pouring sun not recorded until now.
I'd like to think I went from there to here, but I'm just now idling at a stoplight, and I realize that I've seamlessly jumped to a hilly intersection, sitting at a red, in my car, sunroof down olympia, gone from breezy to unbearably stuffy in the sun. The seats are sweating and black. I lazily stroke my tummy with the stick hand. In fact, I feel like I've been doing this for some time, stroking the wet hair in the ridge around my navel, matting it back and forth. I haven't moved my other hand from the wheel. Feet on brake and clutch, hot down there.
A car at my left, I notice, looks a lot like mine. Actually, it is identical to my car, the same scratch on the left door, the same blue paint coming through, sunroof down olympia, shining too, hot too. Inside is someone who knows me. How I know I can't remember, but he is very big, taller than tall me, very muscular, hairy. I can somehow see his chest, even through his shirt is on and covers it all. I can see that it's hairy, brownish/black hair. Odd. I can see his chest, and the rest of his body is familiar to me too, discovered and waiting for more. His gaze is like mine, animal looking and knowing what it sees, except his holds a smile and an invitation, one that can be heard without him speaking. I can't move my mouth, but I can see where his glance falls, up the hill, up to a cabin surrounded by brush, brown/black overhang. His. His and mine, I've been there before. In fact, I'm beginning to think I go there every time I've driven up this road, from there to here, up there.
In bed, my hand is always on his chest, and I ask the question I always ask, me floating beside him in the air, this cloud of a bed, skins hot and cool, hard against him, my hair loose, his hair still black, his buzz cut still divine: "can I have some of the bull now?"
Queens, New York, from my window seat, returning from a business meeting with an artist and a gallery owner.
In case you were wondering, this weblog is worth $130,000 of my billable hours. (I'm a young professional, so my rate is low).
Jeanne-Claude said two things: that the temporality of their work is because it takes on an urgency to experience it because it is something that can't be had again, like childhood. She also said they wanted to do a work in Central Park because they raised their children in New York, with Central Park as a big part of that experience.
Today, with co-fiend and Jonno, I discovered new parts of Central Park. People were climbing into every nook and cranny, because of The Gates. Everybody was a kid, looking for the best way to play with this thing.
El Morro, San Juan, Puerto Rico. 01.31.2005.
Photo by co-fiend.
Ms. Warren was recreating the St. Valentine's Day massacre, pushing the stems of blood-red roses into an Oasis cone. In the end they formed a flower tower with a rising moon fashioned from a plastic-foam ball stuck among the twigs of the leafless houseplant. I thought it looked great, but she disagreed. "I didn't think it would work, and it didn't," she said, adding, "There's something pleasing about being right."
That's a Valentine's Day gift I can respect.
There is nothing like the sound of when the bass of a groovy vibraphone kicks in on a Beatles track, like "Here Comes The Sun".
Like the FBI
and the CIA
and the BBC
and Doris Day!
Dig It! Dig It! Dig It!
Thank you for the coaching last night. You keep me focused and grounded in what's important (keeping the business alive), and I wouldn't trade that for the world.
I wouldn't trade it for trips, real estate, or fancy meals. I wouldn't trade it for more time together.
Because it's love, silly. It is times like that when I feel like I can take over the world, from nothing. Like the world splits open, like a flower's bloom, because two people are together, working.
Just before Christmas, I went to Ohio, to the family farm, to visit my grandmother. I travel so much these days that I hadn't seen my grandparents in two years. As always, it was very cold and indelibly quiet. And no traffic and roads that are barely there and great GPRS reception. I walked up the stair that takes one from the cozy farmhouse downstairs to the cold upstairs, where my mother and her four siblings slept when they were children. I have intense dreams about this place, always with a sense of dread. I could feel my gut twinge as I took some pictures. On the one hand, everything is so ordinary. The carpet is fraying and faded. The yarn is still in the corner. The kid's books are fifty years old. On the other hand, I could not escape the feeling that there is something up here that won't let me go.
Later, I took my customary winter walk in the fields. My grandmother never understands why I would go into the bitter wind when I have no work to do outdoors, but she doesn't say anything about it anymore, knowing that I'm going to go out there anyway.
The fields were icy, with last harvest's corn husks frozen like an iced mat over hard, whitish-gray earth. I walk the fields to get recharged. I never thought I'd tell you this, but the fields talk to me. But mostly they charge, as if I were an empty battery, and the ambience of the opened earth caused me to be powered again. Filled up.
This time, the fields surprised me. So much has happened since we last spoke, that I hadn't realized a simple truth. Of course, the fields hadn't changed their tune, it's just that I've been a poor listener. I worked a lot on my listening in 2004, as you know (see November about Tokyo).
I opened my mind while looking at the expanse. There was no layering of sound as there is in New York. I could hear only the wind, and my blood pumping in my ears. When my jacket brushed against my beard it made a loud crunch. I was present to my breathing, and to where I was. I was in Ohio, near one person in a farmhouse, my toes very cold already, and my coat almost no protection from the wind. I reached the meditative state easily, and the awareness came: I am the fields. I am not a battery. I am the charger. I am the earth. I am opened, and as such am a source of life. In fact, the fields weren't telling me a damned thing. It's just that I'm finally listening to myself, like I used to do, when I was ten. I just got it.
on deck 11, poolside, at night, there was a big party. (on this boat, there's a big party every night). it was a floating circuit party, but hardly any drugs, and a lot of happy people. the deafening music rhythmed between sexy disco and monotonous drum machine with a bit of reverb added for special emphasis, like a chef who uses a particular spice on every single dish to signify that it is his.
as we stepped onto the dance floor, with my magical superpowers i stopped all the music. the lights i let flash (for emphasis). the queens were all quiet, and the only sound was that of the beautiful, warm, purple-blue atlantic. i was about to say something to the effect of can we please have a recording of some rocking singer just belt it out over a groovy disco beat, all night long? but everyone just looked at me, all "what the fuck?" and i realized my error. my bad.
ps all work in this domain is copyright chad the minx.