Sunday, August 28, 2011

Drawing of the day

Its stormy today and my senses are in a state of temporary lassitude. all i can do is lay in bed and listen to music and draw. ill emerge tomorrow from my hyperbaric bed chamber ready for another week of mind fucking.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


woke up at the crack of three pm after staying up until six am the night before, dancing at a club. weekends are free so some of us decided to wander around amsterdam, we are here so why not? I saw all the things you're supposed to lights and women in the windows selling their bodies for sex. I smoked some weed in a cramped little cafe, with lots of glowing glass hookas that changed colors, a perfect stoney delight to stare at. Amsterdam really facilitates the pot head...every corner is pastry shop and stalls selling french fries. So naturally I ate a hot chocolate covered waffle and some fries with mayo and curry sauce topped with onions, real good. It is a city of hedonistic delight, all bars and weed cafes and sex everywhere. Theres so many people wandering around the tiny streets and we are all fucked up on something or looking to get fucked up anyway. It was too late by the time we got there to go to any museums which is a drag because thats what I want to see the most. It was good to walk aimlesly and look at the pulsing masses doing whatever it is in their head to do, ride a boat down the canal with a bucket full of beer, eat at a little cafe, pick up a know. One final gift on the train ride home...a drunk young man across the aisle from me unzips and starts peeing in his empty beer can. real classy.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


So since I spend all day studying feminist theory and there is a resurgance of love for all things 90's here is a nice cross section of the two...kick out the lady jams. Sub question, can you rock that fucking hard in a halter top?

I have been in Breukelen for a week now. I think I am finally getting a hold on the acedemic wankery and even starting to thoroughly enjoy it. Today we had an epic discussion about power differentials in desire and sexuality, and masculinity and globalization. Slowly these abstract theories are coming in to focus and I am learning how to think about things more critically which is good...the whole point maybe. Im getting all kinds of wicked smart. I barely have time between class all morning and debates all afternoon then wine drinking cigarette smoking round table at night to do anything else. The people are good, from so many different places, Mary is teaching me Italian slowly as we fight through conversation in english, Karen is the sparkle junkie from Brooklyn who can turn anything into a pop culture reference, Eleanor works at a movie theater just like me only on an island in Maine. Theres so many of us, and I am slowly making the rounds to get everyones story. All the unique snowflakes as Max would say. Its funny how fast this has become what feels like home, or normal anyway. I have my funny little routines just like at home, but different because I am here. There are things I dont miss, like driving a car, talking on a cell phone, showing up for work...Its a good vacation from the drudgery of normal life, even though this life has its drudgery too, its fun because its different. The weekend is coming and I think we are all going to get lost in Amsterdam, you know no big deal.

Monday, August 22, 2011

first day of school

Oh my stars there is plenty of distraction here in Breukelen but yesterday was the first day of the NOISE conference. Think of it as masters and Phd level lectures on queer and feminist theories of sexuality by day, and by night a feminist summer camp. We had a getting to know you bbq last night, there are some amazing people here and the profesors are some of the most brilliant women in the field. It is super intimidating. There are times I dont quite understand everything, because they get so heavy in to theories ive never heard of and speak in the languge of academia which i am less than familiar. if you want a real education, come to europe, they are not fucking around. Its made all the more magical because we are nestled in the elaborate forrests of Kaastle Njyenrode. Yes its a real castle. Does it have a moat and a draw bridge? Of course. So far everyday here has been the most rad fun ever, even laying in bed nursing a hangover is more fun BECAUSE IM IN HOLLAND! It has been hard to stick with drawing a picture a day since there is so much to do and see, but i am not giving up just yet.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The (not so) sad bastard jam of the week

Keeping it real old school. Jonsi is magical, I want to hold him and kiss his googly eye. This is the perfect jam for wandering the castle grounds at dusk, under the arbors of trees that feel like caves, along the canals, mosquitos making a second atmosphere. Make sure you get to the part where Jonsi sings in to the body of the guitar and then imagine if he sang in to your body...

Friday, August 19, 2011

nothing is what you think it is

Going to buy peanut butter at the market is infinitely harder when everything is in another language. This was in and amongst all the other things that looked like peanut butter, however the magical cookie on the front of the jar is not a euphemism for delicious as i had assumed. It means this is a paste made of pre-chewed cookies, that you are meant to spread on toast. Its got kind of a golden grahms inspired flavor to it, pretty good actually. Just not what I expected. In case you were wondering, yes! It also comes in chunky.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

its all so magical

missed the bus stop a couple times but finally made it to meet the group. it is lush and quiet except for the five or so of us who are drinking beer and eating stroofwaffles and getting really stoked on eachothers company. i saw a bunch of deer grazing and there was a buck with this huge rack of fuzzy antlers. The Netherlands is in fact an idylic land of enchantment. All the stress I was feeling fell away just as most predicted it would, i am beyond amazed to be here finally. We rode the bus in to Breukelen today and wandered around, its just how I picture Europe in my head, cobblestone streets, canals, precious little outdoor cafes, gorgeous old buildings, church bells...but the best part is that its all real. There is a lot of open space, lots of sheep! so i bought some locally made sheepy cheese and some artisan bread from this little outdoor market and of course it would make any cheese lover thank god they're alive. Went to a sex shop because it was there out in the open amongst all the cafes and clothing stores, it was like if apple decided to make dildos...very chic. I was impressed by the unabashed decleration of sexuality. Also, ive never seen so many bicyles in my life. They get their own lanes on the road, and most of them mean business. If some one rings their bell it means get out of the way or you WILL get shanked. It feels like everything is better here, but that might just be because Europe and I are in the honeymoon phase.

the airport

Recipe for existensial crisis...wander around the airport alone and crying and listening to Elliot Smith. Not a single familiar face in the crowd, gibbering in a bunch of languages I don't understand. I have never been this alone, maybe also never been this independant and free? I pulled my shit together and got on the plane like everyone else. Air Canada gets a big thumbs up from me on account of the personal touch screen monitors loaded with movies I actually want to helps that they fed me and gave me free whiskey gingers, but the trans atlantic flight was a breeze. My flight was late coming in to toronto, so I had to run to catch my connecting flight to munich. They held the plane on account of little old me, even called my name on the speakers souding through the whole damn airport. You WILL get dirty looks when you're the last asshole to board the plane a cool 10 minutes late. I haven't slept much in the last few days so I feel a little buggy. Everything feels surreal. I still don't understand yet that I am 7000 miles from home and I won't be back any time soon. No matter, I lived through all the airport shuffling, and the fun hasn't even begun.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

the wating IS the hardest part

My bags are packed...and now I'm ready for the long night of anxious waiting for the alarm to go off at 5am, and the drive to the airport. I was eating an ice cream and wandering around the Los Osos rite aide thinking in about 30 hours I will be in Amsterdam, how crazy. I can't picture myself outside this foggy town I have lived in all my life. I try to get stoked and think of all the spectacular new things I am about to see and do, but I can't because I have never known myself outside of here, so all I see is black. I told my dad it felt like jumping off a cliff, and then I burst in to tears because it is true. I have no idea what will happen, and that is good, I need to loosen my grip on things, say the eternal yes to life. But I'm scared. I know I will get there and laugh at myself now, sitting here stomach all tied in knots and cotton mouthed. All the strange things I am going to sleeping in my bed under the quilt my mom made me, my beloved friends, watering my house plants, shitting in my own toilet, dinner with the roommates, playing with the baby. A fair enough trade for all that Europe has to offer me I am sure. The new smells and new people, and the old buildings, and the coffee that will make me want to cry its so good, all the pictures I will draw to keep myself company and remind me later how beautiful everything is. I will come home and everything will be waiting for me, the mess in my apartment, my toilet, my gorgeous friends, but for now I am missing it already and I can't seem to say goodbye to any of it enough.

That happend...

The cover in all its glory
Grand Lake
The spread
So the zine party went well I guess, I was having a kind of out of body experience the whole time so I don't remember all the details. The people who came seemed to like it. Erin gave an outstanding reading in spite of the mic taking a shit half way through. I made a run of 50 zines and they are all gone, so that is 50 people who saw some of my stuff and read some of Erin's stuff. So I guess that is as good as I can hope for. Grand Lake played and were awesome as usual. It was mostly friends and I am mostly fine with that. It was a nice send off I think. Now to continue my normally scheduled program of total pre-trip freak out. I leave in one day. I still have to finish writing papers and pack and clean up my rat hole apartment...and try and sleep...and....not forget anything....or remember I am still myself, and this is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Tonight's the Night

The stress dreams continue. Last night I was sitting in front of a mirror putting layer after layer of makeup on my face. I looked like a drag queen (not that that is expressly a bad thing) replete with rhinestones covering my chin and orange sequins on my cheeks. I was at a movie and all the makeup started to sweat off and make my skin look like a diaper rash nightmare, so I had to wash it all off and then I was just starring at my naked reflection for a really long time. Carl Jung says: I am doing all this stuff that is really scary (and rad too) and I want to hide behind my mask, but I can't. I have to wash it all off and stride boldly in to the void, just as I am, otherwise the point is lost. I made this mess now I have to clean it up. I thought having a little show, celebrating the release of the zine would be fun and easy...but it is exposing myself in a way I have never done before, and am not entirely comfortable with yet. I made it because I thought it was time to take this shit out of the living room for once and let it have a life of its own, but its all really personal too. I am having a hard time imagining everyone sitting around and looking at something I made, is it too lame and self aggrandizing, are the drawings worth a damn? Will people even give a shit at all? I DON"T KNOW!?!? For someone who has a fundamental fear and hatred of the unknown I sure have managed to whip up a frenzy of variables to get freaked out about. The secret is to act like your shit is so fucking amazing and everyone will follow suit right? That's a hard one, since as an artist I spend about half the time totally loving what I do, and the other half wanting to gouge my eyes out, burn everything I've ever made and go get a "real person" job. The zine is special I think (I've been working on it so long now that I have totally lost perspective). I would like to think that maybe, JUST MAYBE....something I made could make someone else feel something, like better about their life, or less alone, or so stoked they want to make one too. For all the art that has totally blown my mind and changed my life, I feel like this is a small offering to whatever strange goat-headed art god I pray to, in order to keep the love alive. Come to Kreuzberg tonight and watch me have a nervous breakdown/ the best night of my young life ( I wanted to say come watch me have nervous diarrhea, but that doesn't really encourage attendance now does it?).

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I haven't drawn a picture in a week...

I was sitting in the bank today, waiting for the rubenesque Chicana to call my name for whatever endless business paper work shit I have to do, and there before me was an anthropomorphized truck hemorrhaging money out of every orifice.  I wish that weren't on the wall of the bank, because its a total lie. There is no smiley car full of money waiting for me...there never will be. I have never spent more money in my life than I have for this trip, I will probably be paying my student loans off for the rest of my natural born life, and then my loan officers will take the rest out of my unborn children's flesh. Not that I don't believe the experience is worth it, I am just lamenting the fact that all life costs so goddamn much money. I think if someone could figure out a way to charge me for breathing, they might.  I just want to go to some rad places and learn some shit, and be a better person, shouldn't the government subsidize that? Well they don't, and sometimes they will call you a week before you leave and ask for MORE money, because I haven't already paid them enough. When I was a teenager and I was taking piano lessons from this genius old Hungarian man, he used to get weird at the end of the month when it would come time to pay him. He would always give me this speech how he though it was a crime that he should have to charge money for what he does because it is beautiful and it should be free and we shouldn't need money at all we should all just trade in beauty. If only art and music were a currency. This of course was after we had slaved over his hulking grand piano stuffed in a tiny one bedroom apartment, and downed several greyhounds. I didn't understand him then because I was an asshole teenager, and I had a job and no rent to pay. But god do I ever now. It was currency, of a kind. I can still play the hell out of the piano and it did make me a better person. AND THAT SHIT IS FREE.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I'm Finished

Its morning and I haven't slept, my fingers are covered in glue, I'm hungry but too tired to feed myself, I haven't changed my clothes in three days...BUT THE ZINE IS FINALLY FINISHED!!! It started as a funny idea, that I would make some silly little book and leave it around town, in bathrooms stalls and stuffed inside newspapers, however it turned in to something quite a bit more meaningful than that. From the inkling of something I've always wanted to do to now has been a long process, especially since I am sometimes all idea and little follow through. It took many month of Erin (my collaborator) and I sitting on the couch turning it over, between cups of tea and endless episodes of Dog the Bounty Hunter, and here it is, birthed in to completion. Come have a beer and celebrate with me live and in person August 13th at Kreuzberg. Erin is going to read some of her poetry from the book and my good friends Grand Lake will be there to serenade. Its gonna be a real swell time...

Saturday, August 6, 2011

...and then panic shows up.

I had a nightmare last night. Maybe it was all the drunk young kids chaotic energy and the loud music that set my brain to some kind of unrest. Whatever the cause....Its come. The sheer panic. August 17th will be the day of my birth and my death and I am hurdling towards it with frightening speed and there is nothing I can do to stop it. All I have to do is get on that fucking plane and everything is going to be alright. In my dream I am getting on a train, and the door slams shut before I can grab my bags off the platform. Then the train takes off like a shot and I am screaming, "WAIT!!!!!" I know all my money and passport and addresses and everything is in that bag and I am on a train going too fast to god knows where, feeling desperate and lost. I don't need Carl Jung to tell me what that shit means. I am excited as hell, don't get me wrong, but this trip is also contradictory to what has been my nature for the past 26 years.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

little things i made

ok also i can take pictures of whatever weird shit i'm doing, while listening to rad music. im totally in love.

the future is now

I am writing this from a four inch square of black plastic in the back of a cafe, with a cup of coffee in hand. scary. i think i am going to get a tattoo today, it seems fitting on the eve of this life changing journey. they help me remember who i am and who i have been.

Oh man. This documentary is so gorgeous and so terrifying. It is the artists son who made the film so of course he catches some of the most painful moments of human existence. Beyond being an uncomfortable look into mental illness and the degeneration of a is an exquisite look at Isaiah Zagar's prolific work.

Need a dose of earthy wisdom? Ask an eight yearold.

Today's art lesson went surprisingly well considering I have little to no clue in regards to proper teaching methods. I came up with some half baked idea that we would make mobiles.  Sticks were collected from the elfin forest, plugged in the hot glue gun, spread out some paper and paints, and eagerly awaited my willing pupils. Turns out they were much happier to have no direction at all, than to have to comply to whatever it was I thought they SHOULD be doing. I suppose as a kid you are told what to do so much that it's just as valuable to have some one say "yeah do whatever you want!" So I was there as a spirit guide through the sometimes treacherous waters of a good art jam. It was fun for me too. I liked watching them do whatever it was in their mind to do. I started to remember the things I liked to make when I was their age, and busted out the long neglected pop up (cutting slits in a piece of folded paper so you have a section that pops out when you open it). It turned into a veritable paper frenzy!! Luckily they came fully equipped with cupcakes and fizzy water so we could revel in a much needed break before returning to the task at hand. Pictures were painted. Mobiles were made. I asked them 3/4 of the way through, "So, what did you guys learn today?" Low and behold some things I said stuck. They replied, "Sometimes you have to let the pen take you where it wants to," and "Art is about what you're heart wants to say and you have to believe in it." That last one was totally a freestyle riff but I liked it. Its astonishing, the things I say casually to keep them encouraged made some kind of impact. I would like to think if anything, I helped them to trust their artistic intuition a little more...or something. They left feeling good about what they'd made and I took a well deserved nap. I appropriated some of the castoffs and drew stuff over them. Its a nice collaboration I think. It takes the heat off making decisions about color. I just work with what they smeared around.

Funkadelic freakout...
I think I learned as much from watching them work as they could possibly learn from me. Its also a great ego boost, since whatever I draw they think is super awesome. I like to remind the little ladies that I have twenty some odd years of practice more than they do under my belt, and if they keep at it, someday they too can draw a weird looking pony. In celebration of a good days work we did what we do best on the compound...and that is turn up the jams and have an epileptic fit of ass shaking in the living room. Actually it wasn't really a celebration so much as a normal night on 16th street. In case you were wondering, the Parliament station on Pandora is worthy of a total throw down.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

God Save the ZINE!!!

Typing up the text is the last thing I have to do before I print the zine (yeah, that's right...I made a zine). It is proving to be more of a challenge than I expected. I like the look of things that come off the typewriter, but jesus its hard to get one good copy of ANYTHING. There is no easy erase button, one wrong move and I have effectively fucked up the whole thing up and have to start all over again. A whole lifetime of typing things on the computer has made me lazy and irritated with the slow process of typing on this hulking machine. There's only ten days until the zine release party, and this whole thing is putting a junkie frost on my back. I'm going to say twenty hail mary's, pray to the typewriter gods, and go to bed in hopes that tomorrow will prove more fruitful.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

sad bastard jam of the week

In the effort of keeping things mellow to the point of not breathing. Heard this one in that new movie Crazy, Stupid, Love which was alright actually. But the song is real good and the video for it wins major points with me since it is using paper craft to its highest potential.

In the meantime...

Like most people lately, the first words out of my mouth are "I went to the new Target yesterday..." Holy god it is like a city unto itself. I am not sure how to feel about having so many choices. Do I want the plain clorox bleach, or the lavender scented bleach. Beguiling to stare down a whole row of face wash, then a whole OTHER row of toothpaste, and be forced to choose. Which one is right? Which one says the right thing about me as a person? I will say I got probably the softest pair of underwear I have ever owned, that alone was worth the existential crisis. 15 days until liftoff. I am in an eerie state of calm, even though there is so much to do. I estimate this will last a few more days, then I will be thrown into the crushing anxiety of actually leaving. In the meantime I am supposed to be writing papers that are due on arrival, finishing a zine, starting my research project etc. But instead I go watch trashy romcoms and sleep until 11. Old habits are hard to break and I am a compulsive procrastinator (but really, I would like to meet someone who isn't).

Monday, August 1, 2011

The countdown begins...

Today was my last day at The Palm Theatre for a long time. I leave for Europe in 17 days. Holy shit. I am barely able to fathom not having to show up for work for four months, since I haven't had more than two weeks off since I started working at age 16 (I am 26, you do the math). It has become less fantasy and more immanent reality, that yes!!! I am in fact leaving. This trip has been so much work in the making for me, since my natural state is really sitting on the couch watching bad television with my roomies. Paper work sends me into a catatonic state, and this has been more paper pushing in three months than I have done in my whole life. So anyway, I am starting to feel the real gravitas of the situation. I got home today and was greeted by no parking anywhere near my house due to the banging birthday party that was being thrown for my three year old roommate, Eamonn Rook O'Farrell. I don't think in all my twenty six years I have had a birthday so divine. I thought about his first birthday party, which I was in attendance for. I was black out drunk, wholly inappropriate for a toddlers bday, I know. But this year I maintained, had some beers and a few laughs, watched some girls play music in the backyard while being eaten alive by mosquitoes, and very reluctantly sent myself downstairs for the nightly bed ritual. I would like to think of it as some kind of barometer of my evolution as a human being. As I have had the good fortune of watching Eamonn grow up, I too have been growing. I am less of a mess now than I was two years ago, as my therapist and I might heartily attest to. Needless to say, in the madness of the day,  I had little time for picture drawing. There is someone asleep on the floor in my living room at the moment, which means that sitting at my desk until all hours of the night working on my weird shit is out of the question. Although a select few at the party asked if I would lead their children in a few scheduled hours of art magic, and I gladly accepted. That anyone thinks I am worthy of teaching their children anything is a complete surprise and delight. I might be a layabout and a part time drunk but DAMN IT if I don't believe in sewing the seeds of dissent in the minds of young artists to come. The children, they are our future.