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Archive for August, 2008

|| August 19, 2008 || 11:57 am || Comments (3) ||

Are any of you following Cake Wrecks yet?

Because, really, you should be.

via cakewrecks.blogspot.com

|| August 18, 2008 || 12:13 am || Comments (2) ||


I just want to start off this week with the declaration that my life is great. My life is great because –among other things– I have a kid that says things like this when I feel like the world and everyone in it are kicking me squarely in the ass at ten-sixteen on a Sunday morning:

SAM: You know what I do when I’m not feeling so great?

JETT: What is it that you do, kid?

SAM: I start singing Bob Marley to myself.

JETT: Which?

SAM: Three Little Birds. You know, “doan woory / about a ting / cos every little ting / go-nah be alright”

Of course I knew. I fell in on the harmony about three words in and then we both laughed. My heart was near-immediately lightened and I thanked God that in this crazy, fucked up world that feeds The Things That Would Be Ugly If Unleashed residing up there in my head, there is this magic boy and it was seen to that I’d have the immense fortune of getting to be his mother.

Though a bit of a slackerbait at times, he is a person of hilarity and grace and caring and judicious nature. I will be proud to unlace my theoretical hand from his one day and pass it to some young woman, knowing that he will be a fine man who loves her with all his ability; one who can inherently pick the exact perfect things out of the ether to offer her cheer and comfort and a sense of having someone solidly in her corner.

I just hope that a) the rockstar gig has paid off for him by then or b) he gets a degree first and can feed her in a respectable manner.

You people? Don’t worry about a thing. Every little thing is gonna be alllllriiiiight.

|| August 16, 2008 || 11:34 pm || Comments (3) ||

ode to x-acto knife

My exact favorite moment whenever I’m in my studio is the one where I get the first bit of anything smudged onto the tips of at least three fingers. Ink elicits the most pure sort of joy, but sawdust and epoxy and wire marks and beeswax and glue (gawdamighty the decadent selection of adhesives available to the modern woman!) all have their place, as well. Nicks and burns are in a class all their own, because then the materials don’t just float atop the skin, but nestle down to become a part of it for a time.

After this moment passes, my mind lapses into loose, concentric vapors of thought. These are often distilled down to a catch phrase of sorts, usually in about a half-dozen words or less. For instance, what I have written in black sharpie on my left palm Right This Very Now: the plans are not mutually exclusive. There are some that play around up in my head, snapping like ribbons in the breeze before loosing themselves to turn lazily in and over and around, looping and twisting, gloved in a tender wind. Tonight’s was, There is a terrible voice inside me that says, “WHAT IF THIS IS THE WARM-UP AND I AM NOT EVEN PITCHING THE ACTUAL GAME YET??(!)”

I’m thinking about making a set of nesting dolls with that exact question written across their seams, until the very last doll, the teensy inch-and-a-half one is left sporting just tensed-up punctuation. (HA, “you don’t love my words, you just love my tensed-up punctuation”)

Today I decided I’d just make little, simple signs that convey the things I love in as many languages as I can muster. For instance, “Me gusta punk rock y Jesus.” Of course I got the inspiration for this from a Sublime song, and now I’m obligated to tell you that I keep a little info sheet on each piece I complete. One of the things I write on it –really the only reason I ‘document’ a piece at all, surely– is the song that was playing when the idea initially hit me and/or I started working on it.

Which is why it should come as no surprise to you at all that I spent a portion of my week doing research and planning in my head how to go about opening a pie diner (breakfast pies! luncheon pies! pies of all desserty sorts!), and all because of a Patty Griffin song.

“Art does not begin and end at the edges of a frame.”

So, this past week I began the task of cleaning up the sidebar(s) over there to the right. (Hey, hover and/or click on those little snap things there. You knew they were interactive, right? I’m told my design is clunky, but I’m still in love with it and may be for some time yet.) It really shouldn’t be so hard, culling inactive or hardly-used links and adding back in more recent reads and resources. I, however, being who I am, made it into A Thing. I began missing people, thinking about things like interactions and beginnings and the way I’ve morphed into Somebody Maybe Altogether Different since I first opened up Blogger’s entry window and began boldly spilling my veins there.

I got no further than my personal reads, really, because I was clicking through and checking in on people I’d not updated myself on in what seems to be eons. I used to follow the Styns pretty regularly, most especially Kaya and grandfather Caleb, but I used to peek in on Halcyon from time to time. Caleb has since died (my condolences to his family, he seemed to be a Very Amazing Person Indeed), Kaya has apparently given up blogging in favor of other pursuits, but Halcyon is still at it. He’s changed to mostly an all-vid format, and I took in a few of them. He is still quirky and still full of humor and his own style of grace.

One vidblog in particular really resonated with me, because it’s something that I’ve been settling into myself more and more as of late. Tess and I were discussing it over a plate of downhome-style veggies at the local bread-and-butter cafe just last week in fact. Between bites of okra and butter beans, everything distilled down into the one statement of fact that Tess pushed at me across the table, accompanied by subtle gestures of emphasis with her fork: “I may never spend one minute in a studio besides yours. I may never pick up the materials you do and translate something of myself in a way that other people can relate to. That doesn’t really matter, though; I am the best piece I will ever craft, flawed and textured and dimensional and full of heart.” It was amazing, this very intimate confession of hers, because it got at the meat of what Halcyon had said a scant two days earlier:

“You, by choosing to see the world creatively, are an artist regardless of if you produce anything.” And he is right. So right in a way that many people need to hear. So right that I had to bring it here to you. You, friend or lover or brother or sister or momma or poppa or island unto yourself.

You, Life Artist.

|| August 3, 2008 || 12:34 am || Comments (9) ||

falling up

Tess works at a pharmacy part-time every couple of weeks. Last Saturday she got me an ampule of B-12 and a pack of syringes. They sat in the pharmacy sack on top of a vintage washstand –the first present my father ever bought my mother, discovered on a road trip in New England– until last night.

I waited until late into the evening, when the rest of my family was in bed. I found myself eyeing the sack over and over and over until I just lost patience with myself and snatched it up.

I locked myself in the tiny bathroom at the back of the house. I stood looking in the mirror above the vanity, looking hard for something I even as yet cannot quite put my finger on. Maybe fighting to recognize myself….this is something I used to do often as a child. Me and mirrors, we have a long history. They are full of an inexplicable mysticism for me, much in the same way that trees are full of an inexplicable and large comfort. For some reason, there is a part of me that believes mirrors have Big Joojoo and I must be careful with them. I think maybe they are equal parts lies and truths all mixed up, and you can get trapped in the deciphering if you are not careful enough.

It took a small weight of time, rolling the tiny bottle in my hand, staring at the plastic package of hypos, before I was able to touch it. I haven’t so much as looked at one up close in a long, lonnnng minute. Hell, when I’m getting blood drawn I can never even actively look at the needle the tech is using; while they are punching through my flesh and navigating it to a vein I throw my gaze into the other direction. This is not because I have the standard, classic fear of needles (my fear is loaded and extra-special). It’s not because I am being caused any kind of discomfort, because it often barely even registers, even when my veins are playing hide and seek (your body remembers being your fool on some level, it sure does) and some vigorous digging around with the steel is employed.

It’s somewhat like not taking a call from a bad former boyfriend: I don’t even want to give a hair’s-breadth of a chance for some kind of romantic charm to be employed, lest I be up to my neck in shit again. What, you don’t have some flavor of demon that might make you seem irrational to the random passerby?

I set the vial next to the sink, picked up the package and tore it open. Gingerly I extracted one of the syringes, skinny and lethal-looking. I am small, it said to me grimly, but I am sure as fuck-all serious.

Respect, I responded silently, Re. Spect.

After that it all became business, rapid and efficient. It’s amazing how easy it is to do things you haven’t done in years. Draw down, tap-tap. Squint, tap again. Smile in spite of self. Curse self. Pull running shorts off of hip. Parry, thrust, submerge, push, all done, triumph.

Pulling the fucking thing out almost made me sad.

It was strange and unusual for me to use a needle in pursuit of something healthy for myself. The only thing I’ve used them for previously is to quiet demons, chase forgetful bliss and destroy the good and healthy body that God seated me in.

I have to do it again next week and I’m already nerved up about it.


|| August 1, 2008 || 11:34 am || Comments (0) ||

Hi! Happy Friday!

It’s true, Cyberia has officially saturated my life fully. Just now? When I was preparing to pull a patient’s insurance? In the eedle login ID box I typed ‘thejettgrrrl’.

And I realized something today. Traits that typically may mark a man as ‘charming’ on an average day are the very same ones that move him to the category ‘tool’ when I’ve not had enough rest.

Well, whaddaya know.