Thursday, June 25, 2009

Classy Gents Vol. 1

I'd had a Stella no more than twenty minutes before we got to the bar. I was halfway through my vodka tonic when (we'll call him Mr. Mustache) got up, sauntered all the way across the bar and brought me my second. I felt my eyebrows form a sort of half question mark across my face. It was met by the information that I am a slow drinker. Fair enough, but why hurry? We'll be here a while won't we?

The, er, gentleman sitting on a low couch across from me leans back, legs apart, and strokes his mustache, before shifting forward in his seat towards me. I was moving on to drink two and paused, swizzled the ice around with the straw 'till it formed a mini-maelstrom of carbonated vodka, waiting in the loaded moment for the impending words to fall out from under the 'stache.

"So, uh... how 'classy' are we gettin' tonight, mmm?"

Have you ever squirted vodka out of your nose? Neither have I, but I can imagine it would burn like hell. Luckily I'd waited to take that sip, or I'd be able to say exactly how vodka felt to the nasal cavities.

He followed his inquiry with- I kid you not- the double eyebrow shrug. That's both eyebrows- both eyebrows wiggled twice in rapid succession. Oh man. A single laugh forced itself out of my throat while my brain sinapses played tennis with words in some vain sporting attempt to form a response.

When I met him, admittedly in another bar, I'd been intrigued by the curled-up 'stache, the smooth dance moves and easy going conversation. The way he didn't seem to take himself too seriously. But now as my laugh was met by the question marks in two piercing, ice blue eyes, it struck me that it was I who didn't take him too seriously. But maybe he took himself more seriously than I'd assumed.

Laughter danced in my stomach like malicious moths fighting for freedom. I refused to free it for fear of offending.
I've since learned to be more offensive from time to time.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

the Tug of War

Sometimes I feel my life would be easier lived as two or more parallel selves. This would be sure to eliminate the almost certain hypocrisy from my being.

I could be spiritual, and a hedonist. I could be optimistic and dark. Without being at war with myself. Without worrying about scrutiny over my actions- past, present, future- to be allowed a certain respect for my more professional endeavors without causing concern over my overall intentions, without the feeling I may need to censor myself- to make myself more fit for public consumption in word and deed.

I am facing the impending task of needing to carry myself with dignity and professionalism. I am run the risk of finding myself running amongst (or in my case amok?) a circle of role models, under some kind of behavioral microscope. Scrutiny. But maybe I'm over thinking all of this, as I am apt to over think most things. Still...

Professionalism. Dignity. Transcendence even? What does this mean?

Dare I attempt climb this higher path after enlightenment while dragging my mind behind in the gutter? How much public hedonism am I allowed now? And is private hedonism now some kind of secret breach of contract with my public self's image? How much of our humanity affords us the luxury to be a mess without falling apart?
Oh, The Id and the Superego, they war! They bend and stretch the ego, until it becomes quite thin and elastic.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Sexual Tragicomedy

Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to...
Well, in a way, I suppose seduction itself is not a far cry from deception. You bundle up all of the physical and personality traits that are your sexiest, and fling them at your intended victim like a really lacy thong. Or something like that.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Impulse Aquisitions

You know... those little bowls full of cheap, nickel-plated rings by the register, fancy air fresheners at Pep Boys, gum packs and magazines at the grocery check out... that kinda cute-ish boy at the bar after last call?
I'm really trying to cut back. A lot. Excess is just, well, so excessive... and all of those little tiny expenses, both financial and psychological, just start to add up until you wonder why you are so completely spent.
So far I've done well in most categories... except I still acquire too much treasure (a.k.a. "one man's trash...") often even for free. The hazards of working for creative people with similar tastes as my own... people trying to get rid of stuff...
The hazards of 50 % sales at the Salvation Army, Oh me oh my.
So now I have an old fashioned alarm clock (you know, the kind with the loud bells) that I just realized doesn't work. So naturally I should take it apart and use it for assemblage fodder. Only the screws are stripped. Oh life lessons!


I've found myself working some very interesting jobs lately, in my work as a freelance studio assistant. Helping a therapist pack to potentially move out of state (or not), and now packing up an entire lifetime of art journals to send to the Smithsonian as the artist has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. This woman is phenomenal, so open and frank about her situation, and her life. Courageous. She displays an honesty and sense of humor I find really refreshing and rare.

Although I have a reputation of being trustworthy- a reputation I am proud of, something I know I've earned honestly, I notice a distinction between trustworthiness and honesty. I find myself very trustworthy, and loyal, but not completely honest. This irks me. I lie... mostly by omission or just to myself... mostly just little white ones to justify something or to ease some kind of minor discomfort- but I find this kind of dishonesty particularly upsetting to see in myself because it's so cowardly. So meaningless. Sometimes we need to feel- or to let others feel- and experience the kind of discomfort and pain that honesty can bring with it. Sometimes it's necessary. My kind of dishonesty is based on fear and avoidance. I want to be bolder, able to tell it like it is. And maybe, once I cross that bridge, I'll learn to tell it like it is without cringing horribly.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Recycle, Reduce, Reincarnate and Close the Loop

I have always been entranced by the idea of reincarnation. After all, as the saying goes (a quote by somebody famous I believe) "Nothing which has been made can be unmade," and I believe this whole heartedly. What better use of a created and creative consciousness than to be recycled, an old spirit- a new body. For every death I experience (and boy, have there been quite a few lately) this belief gives me a sense of hope and passage, and I am comforted by the idea of death as downward arch in this beautiful and repeating cycle- like an ancient ritual. All very much along the lines of dream catchers and crystals and burning sage and the like...

I see the distinct possibility of reincarnation when I look into the knowing eyes of this amazingly sharp and perceptive child whose family I work for. Certainly this soul knows so much more than one expects from a four year old. Is it all just a perfect blend of nature meets nurture? Is it natural smarts, and prodigy level wits? Or has this soul been here before- has it maintained a grasp on the knowledge it's accumulated?

I do have an issue though, with the idea of reincarnation. If we've all traversed such a span of time, why haven't we got more solutions, only more problems. If we've recycled our very souls- our essences- why have we not reduced ourselves back to the basics, back to what's truly important and what works. For, to quote a lyric from Jewel- beloved by yours truly circa highschool- "What's simple is true." This is all my speculation, mind you, but according to this template of reincarnation, have we simply become overwhelmed by the experiences we've accumulated or maladjusted to the changes over the centuries? Why haven't we applied what we ought to know, and our we doomed to reapeat mistakes each lifetime, and flounder in these repeating patterns?

There is still so much doubt and waste and ignorance and hedonism and pride. In all of us, like it or not. And those who overcome these things. Maybe the more ignorant, the cruel the wasteful ones among us are simply newer souls, they haven't yet experienced the cycles enough to learn productive habits. Maybe the wiser and the kinder people among us are the truly old souls. They are our Saints our Prophets our Saviors and our Bodhisattva's.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Blushing up the 405

I'm on my way to a job yesterday, and while switching lanes I drive over a long, undulating piece of plastic wrap type of material. Packing material or something that must've just blown off or out of a truck. "Whoah!" I exclaim as it flies at me, then as it passes under my car it soon fades from my mind. But as I near my changeover to the 710, I keep getting these fleeting glimpses of something swooshing around my car, in the corners of my eyes.
Sure enough, I finally catch a better look at the right time in my rear view mirror. This plastic bag- or whatever- is caught under my car, and trailing behind me! How embarrassing! It was the automotive equivalent of having toilet paper stuck to the bottom of my shoe.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Maybe it's Just Boredom Talking...

Maybe dissillusionment.
Or maybe I'm tired of playing by the rules, when the rules seem not to apply to times like these or people like me. So, my dreams of becoming a hobo may have faded over time (boxcars are a vertical leap only a foot shorter than me, and I've too much common sense... or too strong the will to live... to attempt to board a moving vehical of that size and weight. I've seen what pennies look like when they've been run over, and I'd be a lot messier and not nearly as shiny and pretty).

But I am giving careful thought to becoming an urban adventurer. Let's face it. I haven't much more to lose financially, my life plans have not all worked the way I've expected, and as an artist- with the right people, timing and wording- any controversy could easily be made into publicity. (There are other reasons why this may not be a terrible idea, but these are the ones that come to me at 2 in the morning.)

And what is more art than the mundane, the out of place, the unexpected, the whimsical in life?

Soda Jerks

I know it's not just at various Panera restaraunts that this occurs, but for some reason it happens here either with greater frequency, or for some reason I am most conscious of it here. "It" being other patrons' quirky, if not erratic, sometimes irritating soda-dispensing behaviors.

Press ice button. peer into cup for a moment wondering whether one has chosen appropriate amount of ice (this is crucial.) Dispense soda. Stop. Allow fizzing to subside. Dispense more soda. Pause in thought. Realize amount of ice was insubstantial in conjunction with amount of beverage. carefully dispense more ice. Gasp in shock when soda splashes out of the cup. Recover wits and manage to lean over to reach a napkin without seceding your spot in front of the soda machine to the next guy in line. Sip soda. Oops, that's diet! You didn't mean to pour diet! Repeat process and leave with satisfaction, remembering suddenly not to make eye contact with any of the ten people in line behind you.

I may be an intensly boring, petty person. Or people's soda fountain personalities may just be intensly fascinating, and I've only now discovered exactly how fascinating. But just about any time I get in line for soda (especially at Panera), I find myself wishing I had a tiny legal pad and pen to play documentarian.
Then when it's my turn:

Press ice lever. Shake cup. Investigate ice level. Dump out 2-4 ice cubes. Check ice again. Press soda button. Let fizzing subside (sometimes tapping cup on counter to speed this process up). repeat aforementioned step 2 or 3 times... scuttle sideways apologetically towards lid and straw department...

Friday, February 20, 2009

Free Bird in Borrowed Nests

My mind is narrated these days, not unlike Guy Madden's "Brand Upon the Brain." A mysterious voice echoing the haunting utterings of the film's repeating lines: "Secretssss... secretsss!" And "The past... the past..."
Not gonna lie: it's fucking exhausting. (side note: I am slightly appalled to notice that spellcheck did not correct "gonna")

I entered 2009 with such purpose, such ambition, and even more direction than I've had in my entire adult life. So empowered. But, as I near my 25th birthday, I've felt a dwindling of my inside force. I've let my Id take control of me one too many times to feel in control and balanced, in so doing I've given certain others power over me, in my own mind.

I started the year such a free spirit, but I've sabataged my efforts by attempting to tether myself to someone or something I sometimes mistakingly feel I need. But the realization is, that would never make me happy, and instant gratification is just that: it only gratifies for that one tiny instant. It punches a hole inside of you that wasn't there before, and now the hole will ever grow, like a tear in a sofa cushion, and need to be filled unless you can transcend it. Only then can the hole self-mend.

I am restless, pacing, only in cages I've built myself.
But on the other hand, even a free spirit gets weary, and needs a place to land, a nest to crash into.
Now. Where was I?
Ah, yes. Moving on...

Monday, February 16, 2009

Vocabulary For My Continuum

Due to recent work projects involving much internet research, primarily through such sites as and wikipedia, plus some definition-heavy book art by my mentor, I have become something of a vocabulary enthusiast. That's right, the joke about one being so nerdy he or she reads the dictionary for fun? Yes sir, I have been browsing the online dictionaries for entertainment. Well, infotainment... and inspiration.

Add to all of this that I have recently begun talking with an artist I admire who is also a psychoanalyst. Ever interested in psychology, sociology, anthropology and other people-related ologies, I have become increasingly sensitive to our delicate ties to one another, and the delicate threads that bind ourselves and our lives together.

Hating math, I nonetheless enjoy graphing things in certain ways. Pie charts, venn diagrams, continuums...
Implementing all of the above with my natural predisposition to overanalyze myself and my surroundings, I've come up with a continuum of vocabulary I feel holds relevance.


Saturday, February 7, 2009


Oh, what? Coke doesn't make douches? Well you may want to inform the manufacturers of the cups at Pick-Up Stix. Last night, the coldest, rainiest of California nights, my crotch received a nice wash of the very cold, fizzy beverage thanks to flimsy lid and even flimsier paper cup. One minute I'm picking up my drink about to get out of the car, and the next minute I'm sitting hip deep in soda. Good thing I had a change of pants at my mom's house. Oh wait, I didn't. Talk about re-contextualizing the term sweet-ass.
Upon looking at my last post, I am wondering whether there may be some kind of container jinx on my life right now, because I'm seeing a theme...

Friday, February 6, 2009

Thoughts on Biodegradable Plastics

Biodegradeable plastics are a good thing, don't get me wrong. I'm all about creating things to better the earth and keeping our planet a nice home for all sentient beings.
But I do have one complaint. If my organic mineral liquid foundation is housed in a container of biodegradeable plastic, can it please wait to biodegrade until AFTER I am finished with it?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Humbling Experience

It's amazing what kinds of wisdom you can learn on the street, if you are open. Or in this case, even if you aren't open. My good friend and I were taking the pup for a very long walk to the park. On our way back we were about to cross paths with a bum, who was walking in the opposite direction. Now for someone who believes herself to be full of compassion, I felt that very knee-jerk reaction that one gets upon crossing paths with a "less fortunate." That metal struggle of, do I look away? Do I smile then look away? Dare I make eye contact? Please, please don't ask me for anything. I don't have any money...

Right before, and actually during said internal conflict occured, Kim and I had been joking and smiling and laughing. It was a lovely day, after all. The bum smiled at us, and burst out something to the effect of he saw our smiles, or ourselves from a block back and wished he'd had sunglasses. "Beautiful!" He said, "Thank you for that!" and clasped his hands together and did a kind of funny little bow from the knees. I felt a humble little smile grow from the inside and find its way across my face and bowed back, equally awkwardly, "No thank you!" And we proceeded to pass each other with other little bows and head bobs.

The fellow was still babbling appreciative compliments at our backs as we kept walking, and I couldn't help but laugh at this impish, smiling man who made me smile and asked for nothing in return. I was instantly humbled. What can I give to others even when I feel I have very little for even myself? Can I at least offer a simple moment of recognition? A smile? a simple compliment?

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Gratuity is Greatly Appreciated

I like teenagers, don't get me wrong. I just wish they weren't so cheap. Or maybe just broke. Except you in the head-to-to Diesel. Yes you, Mr. Cota De Caza with the rich dad and the blond-highlighted milf for a mom. Tip, dammit.
Yes I know energy drinks are expensive. yes, I too feel that it's outrageous that the candy bars are two bucks.
I need something cute to write on my tip jar:

"Pay up luvs, I'm as broke as you are, only my mommy and daddy don't give me an allowance and I've gots bills to pay."
Bit long? Yeah, too much.

"Because I'd tip you if you were me"
eh, getting there

How about
"I know. The economy sucks. But you don't have to."
Hmm that could be horribly misread, I think. Bah. Too much redbull, not enough sleep...

Don't be a sucker. Tip the girl who's just fished out your cellphone a dozen times only to put it right back into coat check, and got you extra cups of ice for your water. Seriously.
Sometimes, during my occasional gig running concessions for an all ages dance club, I like to imagine that instead I'm a bartender, and that any moment now some drunk is going to give me a tip bigger than the amount of his cocktail. But hey. It's still money I wouldn't have otherwise, and the social climate is awkward enough to be entertaining.

Yelling at Your Crotch

is so much safer than holding a cellphone to your ear, right?

As I accidently pass my destination, the person meeting me is calling to see if I'm lost.

I'd love to assure her that i am not, and am almost there.

But alas! Me without a hands free earpiece.

So I click answer on the cell sitting in my lap... but can't seem to make the speakerphone work .

Picture me driving down 7th in Long Beach screaming "HOLD ON A SEC! I CAAAN'T HEEEAR YOU!" down at my lap. Eyes on the road? Nope.

If I could hear with my vagina, I'da been golden. no such luck.

Sparkling Conversations, Vol. 1

It all began with my usual complaint that I have a problem getting a guy to buy a girl (me) a drink. It never happens... oh wait, but it has. While reflecting back on scintillating conversations I've had with quality males (at pubs and other late night venues), I came across this gem in the archives of the ol' noggin':

He: "Can I buy you a drink, sweetheart."
I: "You may, but I'm here with friends, so I'll be hanging out with them."
He: "No worries. Hey, I just want to buy a girl a drink. No expectations."
I: "How nice. Well alright then..."
He: "What would you like?"
I: "Ummm... Amaretto Sour?"
He (slurring a bit): "Haha... ummm, yeah. I can't pronounce that, sooo... Imma get you a jack and coke."

Thursday, January 22, 2009

It's 10 AM. I'm Eating Chili fries...

I park my car in the most readily available curbside location, in front of the apartment next to my complex. I grab my bag, my very large "medium" cherry coke (Del Taco's generous contribution to the American fat-ass), and bag of delux chili cheese fries- hangover elixir of champions; I am vaguely aware that I am wearing oversized sunglasses on the cloudiest of days and have mascara smudged under my eyes and super sultry J.B.F. hair.
As I make my way heavily in my high heeled boots, I become aware that a man... a mover or construction worker... across the parking lot is watching me, judging me. I meet his gaze straight on, as if to say "What? This is no walk of shame here." Sure it's a tired walk, a slightly nauseated walk. But a so-called "Walk of Shame" is only such if the previous night's activities involved highly inappropriate sexual contact with someone you just met that day/night/week (not that I'd know anything about that). Take away that element and you've evaporated the shame right out of that walk of yours.