Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Pipelines are Also Suspect

Wow, you can tell when you get on an earlier work schedule when you're completely outraged by an incoming phone call before 10 P.M. The call happened moments ago and the outrage was immediate. I shouldn't be on the computer at this point, I should be in bed for an hour or so, but I don't think I was good at going to bed 9ish when I was....seven. So, good luck to me, I guess.

Tonight and last week were (hopefully) a bit out of the ordinary, because I had work at both ends of the day. Plus work in the middle. And a work annual meeting (see also: we gotta be soldiers! ...but we have a good pipeline. Do you have a good pipeline?) So: long days, pretty much. But I realize I haven't posted much. And I don't want this to become some lackadaisical affair. I don't call unless I'm...feeling snackie. And you have those Pickle Chips or that addictive peanut butter ice cream that I can't keep in my own freezer. And then, sure, I remember where you live. In that cul-de-sac, right? Got it. So. Not like that.

So. What with the People's Art Fair coming up this weekend, I have been mildly obsessive. There are, of course, things I have yet to try out. I *bought* pegboard to hang on one tent wall, but I have no idea which frames I'll hang, or how much I should bring; I intend to hang up a bunch of penguin prints (it's all good, Gil, it's all good), but I haven't found the bag of clothespins. I made spicy caramel corn to share with my tent mates, but still need to get the pesto vermouth dip going. This past weekend, I was 75% craftier than I am in any usual weekend (which is still 30% craftier than the baseline of the population. Maybe? Maybe.)

 Cards usually sell well. And for the most part, they are collages of print details that didn't eek it into proper editions. So I made a hella lot of cards this weekend. Not sure who will want my downtrodden human figures, but hopefully some hip folk will grow fond, on some ironic level. I cracked myself up by slapping suspect across neurotic man and the demanding goose.
And then somewhere in the weekend, when I had been too long away from other people, it became imperative to make a jerry-rigged card display stand from old hoarded cardboard boxes. If you remove those cards, you'll see how very jerry-rigged it is (and where does that expression come from, btw?), but it makes a nice impression, doesn't it? Such pretty paper from Hollander's. Glue gun burn:check.

And then, as periodically happens, I felt compelled to make some signs which would be hard laminated. I really fancy lamination. I mean, I don't have a factory or anything, I go to Kinkostaplemax and they warn me it may have bubbles because I'm giving them a paper with bits glued to eachother, I say fine and then we wait. So. Pre-lamination state.

I was pleased by this, though it belatedly occurred to me that I may have caused Sarah Palin (I mean, McCain, I know, but don't you think it's more Palin in the public consciousness?) to be mentioned to me. Please don't. I may pretend I haven't heard you. You know those flighty vendors, flighty artists. they can't really pay attention.

Some rogues, as it were. First time I have packaged experiments up. But I do have a certain fondness for them.
 Gussied up the table sign. 
And then! Just pulled a bunch of skeletons from my Calcium print, what the heck! Maybe for cards. Mybe I'll fiddle with them while I'm sitting around for hours this weekend.
Spraying noxious fixative on my obnoxious deck. Deeeeeck, I didn't mean it. A powerwash and a new coat of paint and you'll be good as new. Xoxo.
This connects back with the headstones: trying out aqua acrylic with a transparent medium. Am liking it. Will likely put on top of headstones, above.

Even more past time for bed than when I began! Shocking. There's simply no avoiding the need for sleep. Or the necessity of rising early-early.  

Good night/good morning.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Lodi Cemetery: Twice the Lentils at Half the Price!

Another packed work day, where it felt like I only had access to a few brain cells by early evening. A bit too tired to call people, too sick of watching bad TV to mold into my couch; I knew it was gorgeous outside, but was (/am) still avoiding my lawn mower, which was not working the last time I checked.

Self, I says, why don't you go back to the cemetery? That doesn't take too much thought. So I said, sure, I can be tired for that. And I did, it was not mentally taxing; it was, in fact, lovely. The short drive out through some countryish parts was done properly, with all the windows down, the music loud but barely understandable. The breeze whipped my out-of-tune singing/crowing out onto the road, and likely into a ditch, where it should be. I am a huge fan of solitary car singing.

I approached the headstone rubbing a bit better this time around: papers cut closer to the needed size (but don't you worry! Still totally unwieldy!), more drafting tape, fresh two-packs of conte crayons, a cardboard to tape finished papers onto --and finally, my last-minute point of pride: partially used bags of lentils and dried beans. You know, like bean bags! I was quite pleased with myself on that score. And they were certainly needed, as the breeze toyed with me anytime I held a piece of paper.  Next time: handy wipes, for all the blackened fingers. Which, let's face it, I should probably just carry all the time, in my car. Who needs a child to buy such things? Apparently not me.

But the day, the early evening: glorious. Beautiful clear sky, warm sun, lush grass. If anything, I should have brought a picnic. I pulled 6 or 7 copies of this one headstone, which had caught my fancy from a couple weekends ago. Maybe the proper term is a stele? It's four-sided, with inscriptions on each side. I originally assumed it was in honor of one person, but 6 family members are listed. With the exception of one five year old, all lived at least 60-70 years, with lives collectively spanning from 1780s - 1880s. 

So I think I mentioned this previously, but I intend to use at least one of the rubbings for the Reclaimed show, to be somewhere in Wyandotte (invite from Perfect Laughter). The parameters were pretty loose, so I opted to go with reclaimed imagery, both through the cemetery and through woodblocks I have carved at earlier times. I already mix up snippets of older and more recent prints, mainly through cards -- but at this point, I have never really attempted a full-on mixed media piece. But here we go! I bought mediums to mess with acrylic paint, a wooden...structure? It's like a canvas, but wood. I don't have the lingo down. I peppered the Utrecht guy with many more questions than he had probably anticipated when approaching me. And now I have several points of attack! Of course, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing and it could all wind up looking liked an addled* after school project, but I have high hopes.

*high rotation word this month! Fifty bonus points.

I have a couple framed items which would certainly fit in with the show's theme (like so ), but
it's almost like someone gave me permission to try out all these new things. I *had* to buy all these mysterious art supplies, it's for my homework. It's an assignment. And especially since I was a self-imposed "good student" since an early age (but damn that Mrs. Sudler from third grade, I never liked her) and since I didn't have the art school experience of dipping into every media and her sister, thank goodness for requests.

So, no cemetery shots from today, but here are a few rubbings/woodblock snippet exercises. Please keep in mind this is the doodle stage, as it were:


 We'll see what comes of it. Good to play around a bit~~

Monday, August 15, 2011

Flotsam, jetsam

Maybe I'm addled because I started work at 5 AM this morning (new normal, for a bit anyway), but I have been giddy-happy for the past several hours. I can't really settle into anything, so I decided to make some cupcakes. Sourcream gingerbread, with some diced candied ginger and chocolate chips tossed in. Possibly I'll walk a few around to neighborhood folk, since I haven't been especially neighborly for a bit. The cake batter is silky and rich. I may have eaten a lot of it. I may not even care about the finished cakes themselves. Sadly, some batter was lost in the sampling; luckily I noticed it hanging out on my left shoe, so I won't be wandering outside of my house like some unkempt baker zombie.

But the day: outside of packed office work, enjoyable, due to lovely little moments. Even as it feels silly/inconsequential to linger over or read anything into them, I love how it's the silly little details that can add up to a sense of contentedness. To wit:

  • Dearheart emailed me because she saw tamarind ice cream in a Mexican grocery near her new digs and thought of me. Cool! I love tamarind, not sure how it is with ice cream. The confection comes in a tube, however -- can we feel confident this is truely dairy based? Tubed ice cream:: ice cream as Cheez whiz::cheese?
  • A good friend called, just as I was eyeing the phone. She was strolling around her block, with her sparkly new baby girl, so I got to catch up with her. Baby meeting imminent!
  • I got into the Liberty Local show at the Ann Arbor Art Center -- a new little fair in mid-October. 
  • Thai shrimp curry twice today! Looooove coconut milk curries and can muster a handful of respectable Indian curries, but haven't taught myself any Thai. Need to get a good lemongrass vibe going.
  • Good Mom quote, though from the worrisome occasion of her falling against the bathtub ledge, hurting her back and giving herself a goose egg at the base of her head: "I'm doing okay. Otherwise, I'd be doing worse." She's healing well.
  • The kitchen shears have returned! I took them to the cemetery. Don't know why THAT would have confused me.
  • Thesaurus provides the following words for addlepated: muddleheaded, adlebrained, puddingheaded. Assignment: in your next work meeting, work two varations into the conversation. One should be delivered in a self-deprecating manner; the other hotly, confrontationally. 
And lastly, an unfortunate cupcake update. The cupcakes do not feel up to entertaining. They have ghastly sunken craters in their middles and hardened outer edges. They hunker grimly in the tin until prized away with a knife; they are resentful in their separation. The only way to serve them would be to cut out the centers and lay them in a bowl; top with vanilla ice cream and hot fudge. That would certainly work. But I can not serve them on their own. Now I am glad I ate so much batter.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Salt Shaker and a Scarf Stroll into a Bar...

Two days in a row where I gradually notice ink smudges on random body parts -- my own, not anyone else's--, so it's been a pretty good weekend. I seem to be falling into a Sunday evening blogging habit, at the front end of which, I feel compelled to provide tiresome disclaimers about how there are so many more things I need to get done before the weekend's over, there are so many things that REALLY need ATTENTION but it was good and blah blah blah, so lord help my lovely little handful of readers. But doesn't everyone feel that way? We waste time constantly, we piddle away our potential...and yet very few of us are struck down by lightning. How is that? And how is it, coming from a family unaffiliated with structured religion, I have such a little deep-seated scowling Puritan streak residing within  me? Backpedal: I know, harsh viewpoints can come in any stripe certainly, faith doesn't have to fuel the fires...

Aside from that usual self-imposed pressure of not doing enough in certain areas, it was a kick-ass time with my friend's printing press. While I normally work on pulling prints for one design at a time, this time it was ramped up: my 3-year old penguin design is almost completely sold through and what with an upcoming two-day festival, I felt the need to bring in a variation of the popular guy; same for  Geese Suspect You Are Withholding; and then, as always, I was dying to pull prints of the newest. So I blanketed her space with 50+ penguins, 50+geese and 25 Cakeasaurus/Sharks.
By the time I got to Cakeasaurus, there was limited room. Draping got creative. Damp sheets hung about an old cow stuffed animal, slouched against framed prints, covered bins of rubber bands... Hopefully the studio mistress won't feel a burning need to work in there in the next day or so, or she'll be vexed at every turn by my inky leavings.
Curious about the pretty flowers holding the print aloft? Glassblower Barbara Yerace did those. All ready for a collaboration!
But before I got to the point of turning out the Cakeasauri, I discovered through my first test that an eye from one of the three sharks had utterly disappeared. Fine yesterday, gone today. This happens and it drives me insane. Especially so today, as this morning was a losing morning: my kitchen shears have vanished-- horrifying-- my salt shaker scooted off to god knows where and one of my favorite scarves must have slithered under a large piece of furniture (yes I know it's summer, but I am like an 80 year old woman, I get a chill and I dislike it).

So: important wooden snippet, mysteriously shaved off. I congratulate myself on finally bringing wood glue with me, hack a little piece from the backside of the block and then spend the next ten minutes shifting the glue-ey nibblet from one thumb to the other; shifting the mass to the block; cleaning the block of excessive glue gunk, which dislodges said niblet. Niblet makes a break for the floor, where it remains undetected and craftily dries. I turn over the woodblock and hack a second tiny niblet. Then I place a leaning tower of heavy things on top of the block and search out some fish chowder downtown, while it dries.

When I return, the second eye seems as serviceable as the first. Having moped & pined through a few Beth Orton CDs and gothed (mildly) to Florence & the Machine, I decide to dive into my friend's Sedaris book on CD, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk. Additional studio score! I have been meaning to read this since it came out. I certainly don't need to give you a blow-by-blow, Sedaris gets enough attention. The short story collection is almost as funny as he usually is (Me Talk Pretty One Day is my favorite); and I think his portraits of the more unpalatable aspects of humanity (as seen beneath an animal veneer) are spot-on. After awhile, though, the harshness and lack of compassion kind of wore me down. Regardless, as with any good humorist, the details he uses to convey dynamics, or the absurdity of a situation/our assumptions/self-serving blind-spots -- slaying. I have a soft spot for a doomed turkey who becomes enamored of bathmats, after seeing one drying on the clothes line: "Think of it! It's like a TOWEL. For your FLOOR." Poor turkey.

But to return briefly to the lost items (still AWOL, btw), I find that losing things, like clumsiness, seems to come in waves for me. Is that heightened misplacing a signal to slow down? An indicator that too many balls are being juggled? Or merely that one is under-caffeinated or in the case of keys, reluctant to leave the house? This sense of momentum suddenly hit me the other day: Russell show in two weekends, another big show at the end of October, off-on selling at Rust Belt Market, my ongoing project which is slowing --and then, there was this, on Saturday: I came home to a packet from the University of Michigan Hospital in my mailbox. I had applied to exhibit through their Gifts of Art program, but had heard nothing. The hospital has nine galleries that exhibit throughout the year, with daily collective foot traffic of 10,000 -- so, a pretty good venue, right? With a nice mission to boot. But based on the silence, I had already moved on. A bit obtusely, I fingered the envelope and wondered why rejection would require such detail. Which, outside of an unchecked sadist operating below an employer's radar or a spurned ex with too much time, it wouldn't. So, apparently I'm going to have a show there, from mid-December -- which is SUPER-EXCITING! -- but also necessitates all kinds of framing and forms and checklists.

Busy-busy-busy! From this midpoint of 2011, I can safely say this has definitely been a year of stepping outside of old comfort zones... Happy week, All. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011


 Weh-hell! Seems I'm actually going to do what I ostensibly set this bloggy thing up for: write a process post! Less words, more pics! Though take *that* with a grain of salt, as I easily get wordy. Mouthy, even.* Back in high school, where I was primarily attempting to skirt around the edges, one teacher (the first of several, truth be told), wrote something along these lines to my folks: "Since she is so quiet in class, I had no idea of her potential until I began to read her papers."

My Dad was outraged, "WHAT are you DOING in that high school??? Once you learned to talk, you have NEVER shut up!!!" I imagine I rolled my eyes to the ceiling or glared at various corners of the room, though I really can't remember. My Mom admonished my Dad, "Ooooooh! THAT'S not helpful!!" Though now that I think about it, she never actually disagreed. Hmmm.

*A few years ago, I became kind of a smart ass. I never used to be one. Possibly left over from a fever.

Well, so. Let's talk about sharks. Facebook peeps clued me in on the fact that I was totally missing shark week, what with my inadequate cable package. So it appears I'm late to the game.

This woodblock is accompanied by the following text:

"Cakeasaurus could smell batter on the air
like sharks know blood is in the water."

Here's the initial doodle of him, alerted to the....vanilla musk.  
Here he comes a bit further. I decide this design will be a little trippy in that the sharks will be near him visually and waves will be incorporated throughout the image. Even though he's glomming off suburban confections. Bah, scavengers!

Rawwwwwwwwrrr, sharks! I know, they don't say that.  They don't say much of anything.
The sketch, close to done for my tastes, with all kinds of tracing paper bits and this paper taped to that. This is always a motley affair.

He actually looks kind of serene, doesn't he? He's a bit of an aficionado, even as he's a total glutton.

Flash forward! Carving, carving, bloody knuckles (poor technique, own fault).
Enough carving done for the test print. Let the royal rumpus start!
Not so sure about the centermost shark.

Test print accomplished. I definitely have some clean up carving to do, but it's almost ready for the press.
And with the weekend, comes press time! Ready the papercutter, get your mulberry sheets a-rollin'....

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Gather Ye Rosebuds/Get a Nice Houseplant.

Saturday Brings the Bar
"'Irrelevant crush.' You have said that a few times now." The compatriot and I have settled into drinks at the Raven's Club. Even with all the light fixtures, it's satisfyingly dark and bustling with people who are ready for good drinks on a Saturday. "When," she asks me, "are crushes relevant?"

"Well. I suppose the ones that actually turn into something. Something with potential for becoming something real. I don't know." I feel lame. Unlike the pisco sour sampled last weekend, this one is falling flat. Comp sips it and decides: "Not enough lime. Perhaps it needs a stir." We lack utentils. Cadres of waitresses stalk through, but in this new place, they are already expert at ignoring people who are not their people. During a break in the foot traffic, Comp hops over the one of their stations and shoots her hand into a likely cubby hole. But no: only napkins, no rolled silverware.  

"But why does it have to become anything? Or, what if it were to be something casual? Would that be the worst thing in the world? As long as it's all communicated, because that's where people fall into trouble." She eyes me, waiting.

"I mean, not the WORST thing~~" I dither a bit before trailing off. Her gaze is like a visual shrug. Do what you will, not my problem. Or mine, either, really. There's no problem, no mess. Just intermittent bouts of silliness. I try her Sazerac, try not to make a face:"...It's not really my thing, I guess."

"No, I didn't think it would be."

Sunday Brings the Cemetery

This afternoon, I spent some time wandering around Lodi Cemetery. I was fortunate to get invited to participate in a "Reclaimed" show," by the married artists of Perfect Laughter and I was hoping to incorporate some funerary imagery.  Apparently, it's more difficult to get a good grave stone rubbing than I thought -- or I'm just not very good at it. While there seem to be numerous promising old headstones on view from the road, very few had much in the way of ornamentation. The ones that immediately struck me as obvious contenders wound up being too pronounced and ultimately unusable.  Luckily, other quieter designs gradually came to the fore. (Ahh life, always with the signs~~). The breeze rustled my papers and tumbled items away while I was taping things down.  I called it a day when the conte crayon was a near-useless nubbin and I had managed to cover most of my exposed skin with smudges. Must buy more conte crayon and tool around a different cemetery.

A smattering of images:

For a two year old.

 So many good textures, with the wear and the lichens

 Gorgeous variation in lettering

Here's to a good week, Everyone!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Gathering, Continued: the Art of Bill Skrips

On the heels of ruminating about scraps and detritus, it only seems apropos that we take a few moments to consider the sculpture and found art of Bill Skrips. Many-layered, frequently ominous-if-not-doomed, his pieces carry titles like "Mirror of Skin" and "Devil Got a Letter." 

{Perhaps he listens to a little Furnace Room Lullaby while creating? Possibly some Tom Waits.}

According to his web site, he “grew up in a house filled with stuff, my dad being a pack rat. It always frustrated me to think that he was just letting all this stuff sit, whereas I had plenty of imagined uses for it—not that he was willing to part with anything…To this day, I don’t see what others would call a mess—my studio is just a wonderful tumble of raw materials.” 

He continues, “I think of the studio as a part of my head—literally, a creative space” – and this is the key to the appeal of artists’ studios, right? I’m not assuming that everyone cares about such things, but a part of me thrills to this, to see these spaces that intermingle images taped to the walls, intended to serve as visual spark plugs, to catch at some interesting twist in the mind; to see materials laying around before they have been made sense of – I know this is important, but I don’t know how. To see a studio at times is to see the precursor to art, to see just a little bit of the workings of that artist’s mind: just *what* is being explored with these materials, what questions are asked, again and again?

It should be said that I’m not talking about artists in some obnoxious, rarefied way: this calls to mind when I used to read poetry regularly and attend readings frequently. The gathering was agonizingly slow to start and a fellow attendee – and would-be poet – tossed up her hands and declared helplessly, “Poets don’t OWN watches~~!” People murmured and chuckled and I refrained from glaring at her. As far as I could tell, poets are not woodland sprites and hopefully they have bank accounts and can drive cars; and if they cannot – or do not care to – observe the details of this world, they will be piss-poor writers indeed. But so, to descend from the soapbox, if you happened to read the last post, you can see why Skrip’s process would especially hold appeal for me.

I had fun snooping about his booth at the Ann Arbor Art Fair a few weeks ago, gathering little scraps of information about him. He was the first artist who didn't momentarily cringe when I asked if I could take his photo, saying instead, in mock horror, "Oh me? Oh NO, not a PICTURE!" before he stood next to ones of his digger sculptures, which was my first favorite. When I swept through later on, other ones caught my eye and demanded more attention -- which brings us back to the notion of collecting: there's always something more appealing, always more to discover. 

The two digger figures both appear apprehensive; which is certainly sensible, what with being surrounded by rusted metal and immediately next to a large coffin-shaped box...The idea of digging appears repeatedly through his work. Definitely a nice, rich theme to explore, with the uncovering -- or covering up -- of layers. Naturally those layers can serve as stand-ins for any number of things: knowledge (/self-awareness), time (/history/mortality)...or, in a more literal sense, dirt, which he blogs about here.

Skrips also used a lot of wheels in his pieces, until he realized he automatically began to wonder where he would put the next wheel in any given piece. So it would seem he is on temporary wheel hiatus.
....But not so fast! Would you dare to take this figure's wheel from him?
I thought not.
Blurry, but next favorite.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Mysterious Accents, A Truly Good Box is Hard to Find, Mark of the Beast

Today was just what was needed. A productive, quiet work day at home, followed by some carving, with a resurrected tape of Peter Gabriel's melting face playing next to me on the basement worktable.

I even goaded myself into some dishes and a little straightening. Which does not, however, mean that everything is now in its rightful place. It in no way means that clutter is absent. I am merely the least cluttery member of a very cluttery family.

Here are a couple underlying principles governing my family:

1.) Beware: things could get worse in a way you haven't anticipated. Things are rarely easy; and perhaps they shouldn't be. More succinctly muttered by my Dad: "Don't get excited yet."

2.) Say, this could be useful! Better keep it.

While the first principle doesn't really help with...much of anything, other than staying put and developing worry lines/ulcers/a false sense that one is somehow more prepared for the twists and turns in life, I have never worked to disown this second principle. Since I am quite capable of paring down, I am also happy to acquire. And more importantly, HOLD ONTO. Because you never know. So it's not so much in the obsessive shopping-racking-up-credit-card-bills sense, but more in the I-live-alone-and-my-cupboard-is-always-full sense. The olive oil is half gone? Best to buy another one now, people. Like my mother, I have a twistie tie container. Isn't it annoying to hunt around for the proper sized cardboard box, only to find you don't have it? Well. I imagine it must be.

I remember once my folks showed up from PA to drive me back home from college in MA. My Dad brought a few heavy boxes he had scored from the state store (see also: "party store") to help me pack up my dorm room. "Now these are GOOD BOXES," my Dad said, as he handed them over. "I WANT THEM BACK." Which, hello, Father's daughter, I know better than to go pilfering boxes.

This tendency can easily extend to pretty much any other area of life. And it's at once totally negative (when could this come again? what if it doesn't?) and also strangely optimistic (seeing something's potential and yes, being thrifty). Here we come to: paper scraps.

Lack of Context: Timeframe 
One of the frequent problems of paper scraps is lack of context. When? When did this week of good ideas occur? Nothing stands out. Had I been watching, maybe I could have DONE something with those good ideas! They could have become good plans, or actions! But no. When did I even last have Chinese? Maybe I used it as a weeeee bookmark. Maybe it was stuck to my elbow. Who knows.

Lack of Context Strikes Again: Attribution

I can't remember a time when I didn't jot down remarks people made or strange moments, etc. I also can't remember because my memory is pitiful.

In case my handwriting is illegible, it reads: "I always thought he had kind of an English accent, but I think he was from the South." I mean, pretty funny, right?? Kinda ridiculous. But who on earth said it? I would attribute it to my Mom, as she is the origin of many a comical remark, but heck she's from the South herself.

No Lack, Just Extremism

I found this gem with the expired coupons in my pen/rubber band/spare hammer drawer. Where from? Front door, naturally. I love how religious flier distributors consider themselves exempt from the NO SOLICITATIONS sign, though I guess it does fall in another category. No salvation coupons. Bring a convert, get in free! Hee. Or more accurately, donate a convert.

But really, how can I complain about this? The four-headed leopard-cheetah with wings! King of the jungle...with wings! I can't help but feel the grizzly has gotten short shrift here. He has beady green or grey eyes and looks like he's gumming some bones, but where are his wings? Where, the extra appendages?

Note to flier creators: you're missing opportunities with the water. How about a shark/squid mashup? Could also have horns. Or wings, since they seem popular, though they'd have to be more pteradactyl-ly. Or perhaps you could get some photoshop skills under your belt and really heighten the drama. Doesn't your End-of-Times brochure deserve the very best?

Other things of note, that have kept me from tossing this in the recycle bin:
  • subtitled A Bible Seminar on the Beasts and Our Future
  • All of the seminar times are weirdly specific -- they clearly have a mysterious  significance -- 12:14 1/2 and 7:14 1/2 PM
  • Whatever Happened to Right and Wrong? (I might have them in my basement.)
  • The Mark of the Beast --- 666, Part 1
  • Armageddon and the Seven Last Plagues
  • The Object of the Antichrist's Attack
Whew! So much, packed into one little tri-fold. As well, disturbing that these events occur nearby. Luckily, this took place way back in February, without a detectable rise in Revelations talk. Nevertheless, this could still be useful at some point. Settled: back in the drawer it goes! I'll just nestle it down below the new coupons and take-out menus. All better now.


Monday, August 1, 2011

All Day Gawker Delay

Below is from Sunday. A bit heart-weary today. 

I hereby vow to check out the Detroit Maker Faire next year, because I lamed out today, in the name of duty. So much for that! T'was a sludgy day, lacking in discernible achievement, so I don't even get shiny virtue points for having restricted myself. The only *truly productive thing* I can point at? A pot of lentils hyderabadi hanging out on the stove, which I make whenever I don't care to think about what I'll make. Thank goodness for Madhur Jaffrey and Neelam Batra.

Rust Belt Market went well yesterday. My best selling day there so far! Especially surprising, since it followed an unpromising morning with a scanty crowd; where I chided myself, "You shouldn't have signed up for a day when Maker Faire was on!"  At the very least, a handful of good conversations would be had; as well, there would be pie. I spent the late morning torn between Oreo and plum-blackberry-brandy....Perhaps the runner up could become Sunday's breakfast? No pie left behind! These are the silly games I play with myself.Yoga people: I got yer monkey brain right here! In spades, sadly.

I was also geeked to hear I Love Lightning Bugs. But sadly, a perfectly fine James Taylor-alike took to the stage mid-afternoon and it eventually became clear that ILLB had never planned for a Saturday gig. The second act, "Andie and Tracey," a young married couple who had a full band backing them on some songs, were solid. Andie's voice was gorgeously honeyed and who doesn't love a fiddle-cello-guitar combo?

I fiddled around with my display, took at a stab at letter writing, chatted with the couple selling organic dog biscuits to my left and then gave in to pedestrian gawking. A large man with emphatic Spock eyebrows walked by. I really wanted to remove his sunglasses. Did he have eyes that actually stood up to such strong facial lines? Maybe they were different colors, like Bowie! Probably not. A timid-looking young boy stumbled past, his little chickeny arm stretched upward to hold his Dad's hand; they had dressed him in a muscle shirt that read "TOUGH GUY." Sweet little furrowed brow. An older African American woman paused at my table. Her t-shirt read: "Me and Mr. Rogers think YOU'RE SPECIAL." I initially took this as ironic or snide, but her demeanor was earnest-to-somber.

A huffy woman who could not stop messing with her head scarf -- which to be fair, was definitely NOT behaving-- halted at my beaded scarves.

She misread my sign: "Festival scarves! GIRL, in the hood, ANY day is SCARF day!!" She would have glared at my sorry white ass, had it not been deemed pitiful.

"Festive," I noted. "You know, the beads, shiny/happy." I couldn't be bothered too much, either. I stand by my scarves, I used to wear them all the time and the hand-beading is solid. But I did make them a few years ago. I am not obsessed with fussy beading, whereas I always need to be printmaking in some way or other.

"Ahhh, aiiiiight, yeah I can't read. It's cool though!" We agreed everything was cool. You'd think the conversation would peter out at that point. Some mutual head nodding, glance shifted elsewhere, maybe some idle weight shifting. But aha! Within a couple minutes' time, she announced:

"I'M someone who believes in TELLING THE TRUTH." It's fascinating when people state this, isn't it?? The wording varies, sure. But the enunciation almost always follows. UNLIKE MOST OTHER people, THEY call it like they SEE IT (which, WOW, flashback! brings me back to a boyfriend from the ancient past, who explained earnestly to me that in his brand (sect? we're talking teeny-tiny offshoot) of Christianity, THEY didn't put anything INTO the Bible, THEY just read what was there! Golly, don't you other sects feel silly now?). You know, most of us are quivering in our boots, afraid of this bizarre thing called self expression. If we have insights, we have no spine! We cower before convention! Ahh, but the truth tellers, they bravely forge ahead~~!

Would that it were so. On so many occasions, it comes down to people giving themselves go-passes to be overly black-and-white or rude or plowing over other people's viewpoints because their need to be heard is just that much more insistent. Let-the-chips-fall-where-they-may -- as long as they're not called to account. So, at that point I tried to put on a poker face (which is relatively pointless, as I suck at this).

Luckily my attempt at care was beside the point; she was not in an observational mode. You'll be shocked to know that people don't get her on the internet! Friends, even! Seems they don't always make allowances for her unleashing rants, because Hello, she's just TELLING THE TRUTH.  While she clearly enjoys opening the flood gates, she is wistful about having viable undo buttons. Luckily, though, if people just don't get her, it's better that they're gone. No one's going to keep her down! Etc. etc. She seemed pretty happy, though. She eventually wandered off, still messing with the scarf which was now threatening to completely unfurl.