Monday, March 31, 2008

Sunday, March 23, 2008

happiness is good health and abad memory

i am in CALIFORNIA now.

just woke up from sleeping for twelve full hours.

napping for just two hours on wednesday night (what your mom might call thursday morning), i went to the airport to catch a plane to good times.

these guys were there.

this guy welcomed me on the the plane.

amber picked me up at the airport and we drove to her house, which is across the street from golden gate park.
we drank beers and ate at herbivore before going to the rvca opening, which was so-so at best. we drank alot of street beers that we bought from this guy

who epitomizes his own beliefs, found next to the cash register.

yeah, dude, good mantra for a liquor store. we went to the luggage store to help monica and swoon do their install.

shit is fucking gooooood.

i spent alot of time leaning against this window that looks out on to market scraping off wheat paste from the tiny negative spaces.

saw a bike kid get punched in the face by a street cleaner and three people get arrested. shit was wild.
we stayed up til the morning when i had to take a nap for a few hours. i think my body figured out being tired wasn't doing anything so it just stopped trying to let me know that i need sleep. i woke up with a sore throat, probably as much from the sawdust everywhere as anything else. i ate a bunch of kale, a lemon and a clove of garlic and i was back in action. we spent the day putting finishing touches on things. it was really nice to get to work on something like that when the last week had been spent typing and memorizing invertebrate body plan features. the work is really strong. the baba yaga house is such a cool space. there is so no way i could get pictures that could even approximate how strange it is to sick your head in side a tiny house on chicken legs filled with tiny tiny creepy details.

amber and i went back to her place before the show to eat more kale and spruce up. the show was hella crowded and there were a million people there. after the opening, a million of us broken into an abandoned cinema on market. it was really great in there. disgusting velvet seats, film canisters, a stage with a trap door. we were in there for like half an hour before the cops came. they couldn't figure out how to get inside. everyone was really calm about it. and decided to all go out together, ya know solidarity and shit. it was the most pleasant police interaction i had ever had. they kept asking up how we had found out about it, on facebook? a mass e-mail? a txt? they couldn't seem to understand that this many people could be in one place without it somehow being mediated through the internet. one cop asked me what was happening -a concert or something? i told him it was just a bunch of kids hanging out drinking beer. "that's sounds really fun," he said totally meaning it. yeah, dude it was. it was weird to be drinking a tecate covered in dust from crawling out of the squat to have a police officer agree we were having a great time.
we ate some burritos and went to bar or two. christopher wanted to go to this grime night. it was weird in there. everyone had fake british accents, but in an affected british-by-way-of-jamaica way. this hippie with tree-dreads bumped into me and then instead of saying sorry or whatever stuck his peace-sign hand right into my face. good move, dude. amber and i went and hung out outside before we went to these kids' house near union square. i got into alot of arguments. one of which was this dude trying to tell me that i didn't like 9 to 5 the right way. what the fuck are you talking about? i think he thought i meant it ironically, like that it was funny to laugh at dolly parton's character's outfits or something. i tried to emphatically explain to him NO! i really love the movie. it is about three women becoming friends and smoking weed and revealing fantasies about class uprising and labor which they later enact by kidnapping their boss and it is fucking funny. there is nothing ironic about my love for that movie. he couldn't even explain to me what he didn't like about my like. and he kept talking about "people like me liking things like..." and they would say something so vague, i would generously offer "so are you trying to say that you think i don't genuinely like things? are you trying to say it is a problem to champion something from another era?" i had no clue what his problem was with me liking 9 to 5 was. i think it was somewhere between my love being to didactic and that it was ironic. i tried to explain myself as a whole -" i really really love loving things. i love feeling good," i yelled at him "i mean for fuckssake my favorite thing in the world is DOGS," that last little tidbit really shut him up.
then this one kid whose house it was who i had met at the opening, asked me what i thought of the show. i said that i really loved it, but that i am biased as i worked on it and love the two artists as people. he sort of rolled his eyes as well like "i hate it. it's just punk fantasy land." and waited for me to tell it was okay that he didn't like it, which i did for some reason. "that's cool man, you can not like it. but, i mean, what's wrong with using art to build a world you'd like to see? i thought the premise of art was that you got to make the world into something like what you see and what you'd want to see" he never really responded to anything i was saying, but just kept talking about how it was basically a style he could now recognize as if that fact was somehow an indictment of what was happening. so what if you can recognize that it is made of trash? does that change the meaning of trying to make something useful out of what someone else has left behind? so what if it looks like a tree house to you because you didn't bother to look closer and see that it is not a treehouse at all but a house on chickenlegs that is meant to trap little kids for a witch to eat? i don't expect people to have rapid recall of eastern european folktales, but why disregard something because it looks like a treehouse? what's wrong with looking like a treehouse? we argued for a minute, and then he said to me and amber, "oh, i am getting a real cyborg feminist vibe." WHAT?!?! i have never laughed so hard in my life. i think my jaw stretched wider than ever before. i think we may have been present for the coining of the next wave in pomo feminism. donna haraway, your legacy grows. it was also funny, as in no way were we referencing anything that could've seemed like a cyborgian anything. i was just going through my usual spiel about how i think art should be about creating things you can't find in daily life and how that it useful and political and should be made beautiful. we left very quickly after.

yesterday, me, amber and christopher went to the anarchist bookfair in goldengate park. it was great. they had all my favorite things there: dogs, babes, books. i am sure we could've had a beer or two if we had wanted.

we had baba ganoush and we to the mission. amber got the best comic book ever: "boys club" by matt furie. check it out.
we got some happy hour tecates at delirium, which during the day is so awesome. they had free chips and salsa, the best bar dog, and were playing what i think was a homemade punks greatest hits. it was great. it was a sunny day and we were on cloud 9.

we went to the santeria store, thrift town, saw buddies at the park. we swung by the fecalface gallery which was tiny, overcrowded and boring, but filled with babes. i was beat. we went back to amber's and ordered sick-ass thai and watched some x-files episodes. let me just say, i had totally forgot how great that shit is.

now it is time to eat breakfast at herbivore, drink beers on the beach, and check out annie liebowitz at the legion of honor before pigging out at maggie muds. FUCK YES.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


oh hey,

do you know what this is?

this is X playing, not that you could tell from this photo. (will someone please teach me how to take photos properly and also get me a camera that doesn't suck so hard?)

it is spring break.

how did i spend my last day of winter?
oh you know, watching the beautiful losers documentary with pearl, writing my paper about my favorite theorist and my favorite movie and LOVE LETTERS, having a beer with MY DAD at jimmy's and then going to my favorite restaurant where i ate my favorite sandwich (fake buffalo chicken wrap minus tomato plus avocado and siracha, duh) where my favorite person was working (lizzie) and then i ran into everyone i love in chicago. pearl, hannah, blake and lizzie all under one roof. does it get much better? oh, wait, it does. as i am drinking my current favorite beer (tecate) the babe waiter totally blasts black flag's first four years. i mean, come on! my dad and i are sitting at the bar drinking and talking to all of my friends listening to black flag and then we have to run because we have to go see my favorite band that i never thought i would get to see play. what? how am i so lucky?

x was so good. billy zoom is such a tight guitar player. john doe is one of the dreamiest people i have ever seen. he looks so punk when he was playing his beat-up bass. he kept knocking over stuff on purpose, mic stands, waterbottles and really enjoying the performance. exene killed it. my jaw was stuck open during the first three songs. it was during nausea that i actually got a little teary eyed. i was half-drunk with my dad at the show, both of us grinning ear to ear. exene's voice, moving between caterwaul and croon most of the time, really struck something deep during the chorus. "poverty and spit, poverty and spit." dude. her face was amazing scrunched up and focused. holy shit. i have listened to x for as long as i have been alive. when i was about 12 i made a crucial decision: "wild gift" was officially one of my all-time favorite records. it has been ever since. tonight in the car driving back to hyde park, dad said that "white girl" was one of his favorite songs in the world. he was glad that they had saved it for the encore. it is strange to realize that something like an old band, something that feels outside the range of your moment can suddenly be immediate, can feel alive, can make you feel alive. usually, i without thinking will refer to myself as punk. in the audience there was i think the most wide-ranging group of people that could fall under that moniker that i have ever seen. mohawks, old dudes, really young suburban girls with marilyn piercings, alot of rockbillies, my dad, the occasional grooveball, the basis of jack black's character in high fidelity and everyone all so excited to feel like they could participate in this. it wasn't unifying necessarily, but still there is something exciting and affirming in seeing so many people really enjoying something genuinely even if it was outside their typical range. it was the least "scene" show ever.

tomorrow is the first day of spring, john doe reminded us from stage.

hell yeah.

Friday, March 14, 2008


the official bff tattoo has been decided.

lest we forget what binds us.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


it is 56 whole degrees outside and SUNNY.

i'm drinking ICED COFFEE, taking a study break and feeling alittle like this:

2008 has been so fucking GR8 and now its getting warm?! dude! i think my insides might burst out of my body with rays of joy once it hits 70.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

DUDE-erostomes: your ass comes first

so, as you may know, i hate homework. i was getting all stressed out about my bio paper. normally, i feel like i can totally whip these things off, no sweat. i was getting all pumped about writing about the feeding habits of starfish. they can extend their stomach outside their bodies and actually into a waiting mussel that their tube feet have pried open. they then secrete their digestive juices directly into the bivalve's shell and it dissolves the tissue into a bunch of goo that it sucks up before retracting its stomach back inside its body.

i mean, HOLY SHIT. look at this white, ghosty stomach outside the body!

i was feeling pretty good about it and went to ask my professor a question after class about how he wanted the paper structured. when i explained my exciting topic, he looked a little less than enthused. apparently, he was a stickler for these "requirements" he had handed out, like needing to compare morphological and molecular data sets in order to make some conclusions was like important for his assessment or something. apparently, a paper about how cool i think this animal's really sci-fi feeding habits are wasn't gonna cut it.

so, i actually read the assignment which had something to do with deuterostomes and division of phylla. what? i guess if maybe i had bothered to make those flash cards before the last day of class, maybe i would've known what one of the key taxons of the course actually was.

deuterostomes, which means"second mouth," it just so happens, are a class of bilaterians that includes us chordates, these KRAZY worms called xenoturbella and echinoderms like starfish and sea urchins. they are characterized by their blastopore's development during gastrulation. blastopores are the things in embryos that turn into an orifice.

what sets deuterostomes apart is that this blastopore turns into an anus and we get a mouth later. protostomes get a mouth first and then maybe develop an anus later on.

oh wait, what?! the first structure we develop as lil baby embryos is totally butthole. and i get to write a whole paper on the evolutionary and phyllogenetic importance of butthole chronology. yes!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

brutalist architecture

the fun is over. no more indoor water parks or wolf-themed resorts. no more muscle relaxers in the adult hot tub. no more killing it at roulette at ho-chunk casino or screwdrivers at the loose moose before noon. no more stealing trinkets from novelty shops. no more basement shows with bands too drunk to stand and boxes for bass drums. no more laying in bed for hours.

nose to the grindstone.

this is where i'll be for the next two weeks:

this is what i will be doing for the next two weeks:

where i'll be in two weeks:


Thursday, March 6, 2008

wet dogs and the tiniest p

went back to indiana for my grandma joan's funeral. don't worry. i am not all broken up or anything. it was along time coming. she had been pretty far gone for a while, alzheimer's, chronic seizures. ain't no dignity in slow deaths, it seems.

i left sunday on the megabus. shit was a double decker. totally got the front top seat. crashed out as soon as a it got dark. i had had bizarro encounter on the cta (per usual) on the way. the 151 sheridan was packed as i got on. i muttered "jesus christ" as i negotiated my small bag and backpack onto the bus crowded with wide-eyed teeneages and a lady with puffy hair. she gave me one of those tight smile that looks more like a grimace than a smile like she is bracing herself for something. wtf, man? i am just trying to get on the bus. then she proceeded to keep asking the bus driver architectural questions about the many many skyscrapers we were going by. jesus, lady this isn't a tour bus. then i looked around a little more and i was on a bus with a mission group! they all had matching whereversville baptist mission hoodies on! wtf? what was going on? all i could think about was whether or not they would be on the megabus with me, singing christian campsongs, 100 bottles of pop on the wall or pray the whole time, taking up the front top seat. luckily, they were not. but, rest assured, many other annoying people were.

i got to bloomington and went to angela's. got to see buddies. it was great.

got to see these twins:

then the next day, i got to see these twins:

note: Nicholas is reading a book from a series called "Dinoverse." It is about a group of high schoolers who get turned into dinosaurs and sent back in time by going through what Nick described as a "black hole vortex" in the gym, under the bleachers actually. The tagline is "the teenagers that time forgot." That is fucking ominous. Finally a dinosaur morphing book that really captures the angst of teenage subjectivity. The next one in the series is "Raptor Without a Cause." I requested that the bookreport be forwarded.

On Monday, there was a coffeehour for my grandma at her old people home or "community" as my mom likes to call it. I guess it is, if being locked in ugly apartments inside of a cement block gated in with a bunch of invalids and seniles is a "community." There were alot of first cousins and great aunts there. I think I had to explain my interests at school like forty times. What are they going to ask when I am not in school? Will they have a safe topic to start with? Will I be able to feign some half-valid form of living? Does my great great aunt Maxine know what a blog is? Will she understand the value I get in archiving my interest in dogs in costume and dumb things I have to suffer through daily? Or why I have to take pictures of things like this hologram of the Last Supper that was hanging in the foyer?

I like to think so.

After the catch-up session where I ate alot of carrots and dared my brother to fit as many cucumber slices in his mouth as he could (5), we went back to my mom's house. I hadn't stayed there in three years. Every time I go, I have to reorient myself to it. It is such a weird place. I slept in my old room from when I last lived there in middle school. That side of my family is so weird. This is my new favorite example: in trying to find a movie to watch, I discovered that they own the movie Patch Adams on four formats: vhs, laserdisc, dvd and blueray. wtf? really? is patch adams that good that you need to rebuy it every time a new format is introduced? are you going to do some crazy project where Robin Williams in doctor clown garb is projected on all four walls of a white room? Maybe as a comment on the surreal status of doctors? the relation between humor, horror and healing? No. It's just that Patch Adams is a perfect movie to symbolize what my step-dad sees as good in the world: bland films meant to inspire through their portrayal of selfless care. I guess you can get closer to that selflessness through accumulating it on ever smaller discs. I tried to make a drink out of what was open at the bar. They had no beer at all. And no soda that wasn't diet. I tried to drink a diet rootbeer and vodka while watching The Lonely Guy featuring Steve Martin and Charles Grodin. Well, can I just say the movie gets two more thumbs up than that little concoction. Dude! That movie is good. Charles Grodin is really funny. The dog subplot was LOLfunny (better than plain funny).

The next day my little brothers came in to tell me that it was morning. Thanks, dudes. Can you let me know when we hit noon too? I drank coffee while they showed me the fake science toys they are very excited about. I got to get right up in this face too:

This is my dog, Gwen. She lives with my mom so watching this trot, like hearing her nagging, directive bark is a rare treat.

Did you notice how she crosses her legs when she walks? She is very elegant.

Then we had to go to the church to hear have a slow breakfast of cold, dry bagels and listen to people talk about God and my grandmother. I found the source of the pamphlet I had discovered earlier in my mom's kitchen.

What i would like explained is why this baby is totally flashing the light of God.

The service was at an Episcopal church. I hadn't been to a church service since my little brothers were baptized seven years ago. I didn't know what to do at all. I was totally weirded out by everyone repeating everything the main dude (i dunno what he was called. let's go with minister) was saying. I didn't take communion and kept having to ask my little sister Jaguar when to stand up. Everyone held it together pretty well during the service. My grandpa Les, my middle-namesake, has alzheimers as well and had no clue what was happening. It was really weird to watch.

After the service ended, we were supposed to drive to Bloomington to bury my grandma's ashes. It was sleeting superbad. When I walked outside, there was a soaking wet, shaking beagal wandering around the parking lot. The reality of what was going on, how upset my mom was was setting in. I stuck my hand out to the dog and it came running over. Lukas has requested that I carry his bag of salvaged donut holes to the car for him so I began feeding the dog a few glazed chunks. Her name was Lucy and she was older, skiddish and very sweet. She kept trying to lick my face from too far away and getting tonguefulls of wet snowflakes. I looked at her tags and called the number listed under her name. When the lady answered I told her where I was and that I had found a dog named Lucy and described her. She told me that she didn't own a dog like that. I didn't know what to say. "You don't? REALLY?" This was supposed to be a good act, a kind act. A call that should be answered with a sense of relief and excitement at getting this sweet pup home. The lady on the other seemed confused and then told me that her son used to have a dog named "Lucy" but that he gave it away. The last she had heard it was at the Brown County Humane Society -which is four counties away from where we were. I was crouched down, holding her, giving her donuts and scratching her behind the ears, phone cocked between my shoulder and mouth. Everyone else had piled in the cars , and I was holding up the funeral procession because there was this lost dog. The minister walked by me. I asked him if there was anyone left inside the church, another clergy or adminstrator who could look after the dog until animal control came, which was the best plan. He said no and that it looked like it would be fine. The dude just talked for like ten straight minutes about being a good samaritan and he couldn't be bothered to make any arrangement for a dog in wet, below freezing weather? Need I remind him what his precious god spelled backward is? I called 411 to get the animal control number. We had to leave before they could come because we couldn't be late for meeting the funeral rep.

I felt like crying in the car. I smelled strongly of wet dog. Sitting in that car full of mourning and wet dog.

We got to the chapel in the cemetary and everything suddenly felt more intense, more tragic. It was just the close family now. My mom was starting to cry. The minister said a few words and invited us to pay our last respects. My mom went up first. Then, unprompted, my littlest brother, Nicholas, went up to the small box and placed his hand on it. He stood there for a minute, his eye focused on his hand. He waited and then said "goodbye." I absolutely lost it. Not because I was upset about my grandmother, but because I was overwhelmed with how much I love my little brother, with how much is at stake with that. I started bawling, then my sister sitting next to me started bawling. Like dominos, all of our composure fell. I don't know what everyone else was crying about. Maybe Luke or Jaguar or Scott were really grieving Joan. I think I was actually terrified for a moment about what these people I try so hard to keep at bay can mean. I think I was crying for taking for granted how lucky I to have so many people that I care for that has nothing to do with blood or any other independent ties. There are alot of people in this world I am lucky enough to be invested in. Sometimes, like watching a ten year old deal bravely with death, that is overwhelming.

When I got home, I drank mate with my dad and laid around before heading back into Indy for another bus ride. Single-decker. With a guy snoring so loud I couldn't sleep. During this ride, I thought sporadically about the way to approximate the things that matter most to me, in the face to terrifying political climates, death of loved ones, the shrinking feeling of being in the middle of huge projects and ideas. I think it is contained within the phrase "tiniest p politics." I listened to the White Magic's "childhood song" and watched this nasty sleet fall as the bus inched along. I want to say there is no way of getting over death, just ways of living.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

post-graduation plans

thanks amy. i wasn't really sure what i was gonna do after finishing my honors degree here at uchicago. finally a stripclub i can really get behind.

did you notice that you get a free vegan nacho platter with every drink!? dude!