Friday, May 31, 2013

Needs Minor Adjustment

There was much mooning about and lollygagging to be had during the three-day weekend at Casa M. And while we're *happily* into the next weekend, I'm still pondering some of the same themes that resurfaced over the last one, foremost among them being the ongoing need for balance. And also, to that end, our efforts to re-route things: our bodies, our thinking, ourselves or others. Ahhh, the corrections~~! Are they pointless? Silly? Or tiny necessary nudges to help you get somewhere better?

1. Minor Redirect: It Has What You Want

                        -->See also: negotiating/selling it

Javier and I were pleased with the brunch fare of Juicy Kitchen, a great -- and tiny -- new healthy neighborhood eatery. The scotch eggs were nestled in zesty turkey sausage and on top of sweet potato hashbrowns, with pineapple chutney on the side. Delectable. "More! Eggs!" said the sprite one table over. She had been avoiding food for most of the meal, but was now suddenly focused. Her hand shot into the air as if she had the answers. Her mother fished from sibling plates: "Eat french toast. French toast has eggs IN it." Gambit successful: child seated on her feet for added height, quietly nibbling on bready triangles.
After the brunch rush

2. Spiritual Redirect: Come Hell or High Clutter

"We need to walk this way so we can get the sign." Javier was bemused, but humored me. Javier's friend remembered a pithier version of the sign's flip side: "Let Jesus do your Spring cleaning." When we got there, it read thusly:

Were I Christian, I could get with that, Spring is a time of renewal, why not extend it to all levels? But it was the other side that was the true lure:

Bring out the fire and brimstone! When I drove past this a couple weeks ago, I was caught between delight and pure alienation. Love the juxtaposition of modern phrasing with the more medieval sense of living better [more Godly] through fear. It wants to jolt you out of the everyday, to make you recognize your ungodly ways and repent. Straighten up and fly right! Heathen firefighters beware! I like to imagine the sign maker's relish over this one. His (maybe her?) step a little spicier, for the sign's cleverness.

But really, how well does fear work as a motivator? If we resist immorality only through threat, really, that doesn't say much about the state or growth of one's soul, does it? Though I guess some of our most pivotal changes come with a jolt: a flipped over car that one emerges from, unscathed; the realization of truly low point, of one's own doing, etc. But rarely, I think, do jolts come from signs. Or bumper stickers. Since I don't believe in a physical (metaphysical?) Lake of Fire or an avenging deity, it doesn't really have the desired effect. The jolt is more along the lines of, "Oh, right. There are branches of Faith that try to marshal people with these kinds of messages."  The idea of someone having a belief so strong that they feel compelled to save people from themselves is fascinating, not that I wish to be the object of such attention. And not only the compulsion, but the belief that they could bring faith into being for other people. Curiouser and curiouser.

Plus, let's be honest, I mostly associate Salvation Army with the local thrift store near Eisenhower which is ONE OF THE BEST YOU COULD EVER HOPE FOR, can I get an AMEN?? Amen. And they certainly have a long history of charitable works. And homophobia. All you have to do is look at their logo, or give a moment to the actual name, to be reminded of their more militaristic side of faith.

In any case, we strolled past just in time. The new sign continues the theme-- "Eternity: Smoking or Non?" Hahaha, points. To balance things out a bit, here we have a lovely, moody print from a Massachusetts-based printmaker, contending that "Hell is Not Hot."  

3. Keyword Search Redirect: We Don't Have What You Want and You Also Won't Want These

Netflix is already confounded by Javier's account-sharing with his daughter: indie movies, Arrested Development PLUS slasher movies. What's a bot to do? Perhaps you'd care for Hostel: Part 3, this evening? No? Keyword search, however, has no problems mixing it up. Why yes, hours of conversation ARE made better by Twilight Sparkle and no-ties sex. Not pictured:  Dinner with an Assassin, Interview with a Hitman, Walking with Dinosaurs.

Of course, we have gotten this far without actually talking about internal direction, the will to focus on what's most important. Another blog bait and switch! Still mulling it over. At its most mundane, it translates into: exercise more, be more in the moment, more creative endeavors within the week. Trust life more. I think this next year of life will be a good one and an important one.

Updates from the basement, near my ever-less firey furnace:


Oversized polka dots new addition.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Fun with Expiration Dates

Happy Wednesday! Looks to be a glorious day out there. Were it not for a headache which has carried over for a few days, t'would be that much more glorious, but. Javier came over last night and helped me set work to the side for a few hours before a night conference call; and now he can be heard stomping around, from this room, to that room, and back again. He is quite happily mobile with his electric razor, so one hears a zzzzzzzzz from the bathroom, to the the kitchen, to the living room.  Zzzzzz, stomp stomp stomp, zzzzzzzz, stomp stomp stomp.

An appearance at the study doorway: "We should drink coffee on your deck, enjoy the sunshine -- well maybe not this morning" and then he is gone, offering a plan and then nixing it, without any fussy need for more input. Luckily his plans often agree with my yet-to-be-formed wishes, so we wind up doing a lot and seeing a lot and sometimes slowing down. Within a few minutes the coffee matter is reconsidered and I am invited to join him on the deck; and then he is off to his morning meeting and I wonder if I can do a wee blog post in ten minutes before showering*...Hmmm. The sun is so treacherous, it feels so healthy and health-giving and yet...

{*No. not even close. why do I always think I can cheat time?}

And yet! Only a couple more days until this next May weekend. Selected for your consideration, a few fine activities that you should catch before they're gone!

1."Hastings Street" -- a play with music, put on by the Mosaic acting troupe, in the Detroit Film Theatre (nestled up against the DIA). I saw the opening last Friday and it was fantastic -- they're polished enough and talented enough to be put head-to-head with adult acting companies. Set in the 40s, in the Black Bottom area of Detroit, which absolutely thrived during the 1940s -- did you realize Duke Ellington played in dance halls here?Check out the photo at The Detroit News and tell me you don't want to go. Second weekend, closes after *this* Sunday! Highly recommended.

2.Circle of Art! -- people have bidding online on artwork for the past month or so -- to simultaneously become art owners AND virtuously donate to Food Gatherers -- But THIS SUNDAY marks the final day -- silent auction for possibly hundreds of pieces, wine,drinks and all manner of delectables outside,bustling, jostling, tons of cool, friendly people who only get cooler as the day draws on. And raffles, usually! Along the lines of Zingerman's, some fabulous cherry things, who-knows-what all tied up in wicker baskets and sealed from troublesome fingers by crackly clear plastic. Possibly you could win a llama, or miniature giraffe or a manatee. WHO KNOWS. You certainly won't, if you don't go. People in the know play their little holding-off games, hovering around pieces to place the final bids on coveted items, moments before the final call (which falls shortly before 5 PM).

Here's where I'd share the link to my first-ever printmaking mobile, but alas, the link doesn't work, so I'll just reshare a recent photo.  Here's the general Circle background-- and here's a tiny sampling -- John Copley, Jan Ruvido Stebbins, Mike Hahn, and OMG check out this lovely pen and ink fox drawing by local highschool junior Vivyan Zheng! See also: Valerie Mann, Mariette Van Buhler, Lynne Yates (Ephemeral Books).  Starting at noon, you can pop in, stay awhile, stay as long as you want! Well, not really. At the end, they're all "You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here." Which, fine, they have been working long, long hours for the past 6 weeks at least, to bring the grand event to pass. So: this Sunday, noon to 5. Bring a can or two of food for Food Gatherers. Saline.

7641 N. Ann Arbor Street
Saline, MI 48176
(734)429-3352 phone

 3. Van Gogh's Bedroom in Arles has been a distinguished guest at the DIA since February, but you haven't seen it yet, have you? Next weekend, next weekend, next weekend. Silliness. It leaves May 28th: the time draws nigh, people. It's usually in Paris, so not like you'll be crossing paths with it. Unless you have a much cooler life than I do.

4.5. Bonus links: I grow more and more fond of Jimmy Fallon. Here he is, doing a smattering of impressions of other comedians. And this one, ohhh, I love this one! Rufus + Ben Folds, doing a perfect cover. Best to watch a few times.

6. And you thought this was going to be about food poisoning, or old, old Rx's, didn't you? Playing with fire. Salmonella hides in the dents, online friends. Unused commas: so misleading.