At semi-regular intervals, she spoke to save her life, or something like it.
Saturday, June 08, 2002
First Lemmy, and now the blog is spazzing. Here is the end of my last post. I meant to say I'm really excited because we're going to use some of Joey's work for the next Paraphyiscis issue of Die Cast Garden
Now I'm totally jonesing to get painting again. I'd love to get a studio downtown here in LB. I hear the rent is pretty cheap for office/studio spaces. But I wouldn't want to do it alone. I don't know if Joey would be into it, but that would be perfect, because I think we'd work well together & not get on each other's nerves. Anyway... it all seems so up in the air now, because we don't know if we'll be here in the fall, or where we'll be. It's funny, just six months ago I really wanted to leave,and now that it seems we probably will, I think of all these reasons to stay. It's kind of overwhelming, because all my future plans seem to involve people and things down here, and nothing anywhere else, because that anywhere is is totally amorphous.
Writing, writing, writing and Lemmy comes, walks over the keyboard and deletes everything. What a critic.
I'm currently in the throes of the gorefest that is my period. West Coast feminism aside, I've come to see it as this vivid time, as a reminder that I'm alive. I actually look forward to it. Plus, things have gotten better since I've been using flannel washable pads & this rubber cup called the keeper (actually women have been using it since WWII-- it's amazingly convenient and so better than dioxin processed tampons.) If anyone is interested in this stuff, Many Moonshas a lot of info & they sell the stuff.
When I lived in SF I was in love with this guy who had a few problems. He actually had what I think was a conversion disorder, but I'm no psychiatrist. We would eat at this fancy Italian place that I could never afford on my librarian assisant wage & then go back to his hideously cluttered studio next to the fed building and, well... So anyway, as he started to get better physically, he was working out all the time & met this blonde girl at the gym. She and I, it seemed to me, were fighting for his soul. I won for a time. But I remember once he brought her with to the Italian cafe, (grrr) and they tediously discussed their runs (around some rooftop track) while I ate "carbo-loaded" pasta and sulked. But then she started saying how she hated her period and wanted me to agree that periods were a huge bother. "I love my period!" I said a little to loudly, so diners put down their forks and stared. "Love bleeding--" and I kept going, I don't remember what else I said to that effect. She kept trying to get me to change my mind, and I kept going on, claiming the abject renewal as my own. But he was clearly intrigued by my position, my embrace of my body. I had won. Thank god those days are over! But as I kept talking I was also convincing myself, and it was this utter relief to finally claim that "curse." Living in SF during the late '80s-early '90's was like that. Freeing and full of revelation. Of course, that SF is gone now, sadly.
Last night I actually had a dream about going back there! I was sitting on top of a cable car, going over a street that looked a little like Potrero Hill-- you know, the post card vista that credits roll over in sitcoms. But each house was separate from the next-- the rail road victorians now had their sides exposed-- flat, unadorned, ugly with lawns in between, little sprinkler-riveted lawns. In the dream I blamed it on the dot commers, thinking they'd brought their utterly suburban ambitions to the city and ruined it. But in the dream, the SF light was the same-- gorgeous, bright and clean. Perfect light for a painter. I basked in it, on top of the street car, which was more like a London double decker bus, actually. I still wanted to move there and in the dream was deciding on it. And then I woke up in a puddle of blood.
The other day M & I were over at Joey's looking through his endless piles of vintage, which was so fun. Actually it reminds me of this dream I have where I find a box full of vintage costume jewelry and I'm really excited and can't wait to look through it, and of course something always happens-- a yeti, or some shadow of doom, prevents me from scrounging. But being at Joey's was kind of like this real-life dream. So now I have all this amazing vintage to sell on ebay (& actually a few things for myself.) But one thing was re-affirmed: 50's dresses are evil. Unlike modern clothes, where the "boob check" is always enough to see if something fits-- 50's clothes require the cruel waist check. The boob check can be done with a modicum of veiled pride, but the waist check never can. These dresses always intinially trick me by fitting (for once!) my bust, but then the waist is hopeless, because I'm not girdled to the point of dyspepsia. Alas. But there was one dress-- no way I'm getting in it, but I was pink velvet studded with rhinestones--- completely hand made, which actually had a velvet & rhinestone BUSTLE. It's insanely vulvic. I love it. I wish I could think of something to do with it. Make something out of it.
That brings me to this other thing, and that is that Joey is this amazing artist. He showed us his paintings and sketchbooks and they are totally inspiring. He really should do something about that-- get them into some kind of slides, etc. to try to get a gallery. He has this owl obsession that's played itself out in amazing ways. His sketchbooks are inspiring, too-- kind of like beardsley meets gorey meets sanrio meets cornell. We're going to use some for the next .: posted by Spookydollspooky 6/08/2002
Wednesday, June 05, 2002
Sitting here with Lemmy lounging in my lap, purring away. He's always mellow until M. gets up and then he turns into this total spaz, vibing off M's energy (even though M is kind of crabby in the am). He's taken to lumping up any towel left on the bathroom floor and depositing it in his litterbox. I know, sounds like a complex operation for a cat, but still, I know he's doing it just to be weird! The big news is I went and splurged and got myself a domain name-- It's spookydoll.com & the site is pretty much complete. Pictures of Dolls, some links & pictures from Joey's gay pride party. I didn't have any convenient way to get the photos to Joey & Lissa, so I decided just to post them on the site. This is what happens when I have no papers to grade & no alone time to write! I churn out websites. But it's damn fun. Joey checked out the site & brought over this amazing book on old dolls-- the wax dolls are crazy.
Joey, M, Deanna & I went to Mannequin last night. I guess I won't be seeing Deanna for a while-- she got a new job on a dig site-- 12 hour days! Digging in the dirt! Needless to say there will be little dancing during the dig.
Some guy who worked for Camel Death, Inc. gave us a pack of cigarettes in this mesh bag, along with a lighter and some Castanets!?! Deanna got the cigs & lighter. I got the castanets-- they're kind of fun in an earth goddess way, but at the same time feeling kind of bad that I immediately took them out and started playing them, just like the marketers had intended. Well, almost just like that-- I mean, I didn't light up first. Isn't it hard to smoke and play castanets at the same time? Some woman kept coming up to me, trying to get me to give them up because she was going on some women's retreat this weekend and "needed as many as possible". She was kind of cute; I should have asked her how badly she wanted them-- but I never think of that stuff until much later. I'm the worst flirt.
It was a different crowd completely last night-- all these people I didn't know. Mostly new lesbians, which is cool. Deanna was happy about that! But the music was just not that great, and when they did play a decent song, they either faded it out early, or the CD was skipping which is just a bummer.
Meanwhile, there was this six foot tall woman in red tights and platforms (making her even taller), and she was completely drunk, doing this lap dance kind of thing on this guy who looked a bit like the lead singer from Simple Minds. He was all cool and non-commital about it-- maybe a bit embarrassed, drinking his beer and looking away from her as she straddled his lap. They left together and I thought someone should have called her a cab. But then I saw him come back in and thought, oh, he did, that's great. But no-- she came back, too, and was more subdued, but still obviously after him. She could hardly stand up, she was so out of it. What are you supposed to do in a situation like that? Just hope the guy she's chosen is OK? Just hope she's chosen the guy, and hasn't been sinisterly chosen by him? Just hope the gods are smiling on her? It's these little errors-- the extra few drinks, the rampant desire-- that turn into big problems-- you'd hope everyone would learn as they survive their youth-- but she was too old not to have learned. It's weird to just be there, watching it & in a way to see some remote part of myself in her.
Last night M & I went to the Parlour Club to see Brian Baltin read. Not really a big surprise that nobody showed up. Brian was looking healthy, though we were all amazed that it had been almost two years since we'd seen each other. He's recovered from the horrid attack he incurred while in NYC-- he was beat up and left unconscious on the street by his attackers. He seems to be doing OK, though.
The first time I met Brian we read together at Beyond Baroque for some zine thing. He was the only good writer there. He gave me his zine, and his work is kind of steam of consciousness, gay porn, mixed with taste-maker collectible (records, furniture, etc. ) type blurbs. It's very cool, but he's exhausting. I don't think he really likes women, but it's hard to know. I wore the most sick-making femme dress I could-- 70's bright pink polyester with chiffon (vulva) ruffles & chiffon (vulva) rose pinned at the waist, just to kind of, well, be a little punk rock in return. Femme power!
The weirdest thing, though, is he read two pieces and in both his sex partner was named Garrick. This is the name of an ex-boyfriend of mine who he had a crush on. It was kind of creepy. I haven't seen this ex in over seven years, and never really hope to-- the break up was bad because, well, dammit-- I fell in love with M, and if you know M, you know I couldn't let him pass me by, so, essentially Garrick had to go. But one time I was with Baltin at Ripples when he lived in LBC, too. We were at the drag show there, I think. He starts talking about Teresa, a used-to-be mutual friend, who had this "amazingly hot Latin friend named Garrick." Uh. Teresa only has one Latino friend named Garrick. That Garrick. When I told Brian I lived with Garrick for 4 years, he was a little freaked, because he though he was gay. A lot of people thougth he was gay.
So anyway, There were only four people at the reading-- M., me, some wedding DJ friend of Brian's and Andrew, the guy who puts the readings on. So the four of us are listening to Baltin-- one could never say his stuff is boring! But three bloody marys to the wind, hearing Garrick's name over and over in these gay sexscapades was weird. Kind of icky. I was glad I was in my pink ruffles, as they were some strange comfort to counteract the all the phallic stuff going on.
The cool thing is that M, Mr. Cute Social Guy that he is, struck up a conversation with Andrew, the curator of the reading series, and to make a long story short, maybe I'll read there in the fall. It's such a pretty space. Everything looks better under red lights. And their jukebox is good-- Bjork, Portishead, Hole, Patti Smith, Cocteau Twins-- lots of women vocalists, which is cool. Femme Power.
Gave Mike a haircut. Now he looks like John Balance from Coil. All shaved on the sides and long wavy black on top. He's a retro '80's hottie.
Ran into Tim (of Jean & ..... fame) at Ameoba. He was buying some Fairport Convention-- the sly one. He has the best glasses & smile. We tried to get him to go to the Parlour Club with us, but he had some potluck at the Gaytonia to prepare for. I'm not joking, he lives in a place called The Gaytonia.
Mike woke up in the middle of the night & couldn't get back to sleep. He said he wasn't feeling well, but I think it was because he was obsessed with the Derek Jarman Caravaggio auction on ebay that was going off in the middle of the night. He won the video & book because the guy spelled Caravaggio wrong in the listing! He was able to sleep after seeing he'd won it. Now that's devotion. Then I couldn't sleep & grabbed a copy of the New Yorker, only to become obsorbed in an upsetting article about Hussien's use of chemical weapons against the Kurds. Profoundly disturbing.
I think I've recovered from the Garrick repetition upset, but it was an unfun bundle of emotions that I had to sort through in a semi-hung over haze.
It's been a while since I blogged. Things really descended on me in May. I had all these finals to grade, and also had to layout the 1983 issue of Die Cast Garden. It was an insane amount of work, but I'm actually pleased with it. It looks so much better than the last one which always kind of bugged me as being incomplete, aesthetically, somehow.
And, horray, I've already had a student complain about his grade to me. He was obviously in a huff when he sent the email and forgot the spoonfull of sugar, or whatever you are supposed to use when you are trying to convince someone to change their mind. What's worse than the stupid ones who don't really want to learn and just want a bigger paycheck with their new AA, are the ones who think they are "A" students, no matter what kind of work they do, and present you with this warped logic that you can't give them a "B" because they are "A" students. Bah. The cool thing is that many of the students wrote breakthrough papers, using interesting sources they'd discoverd and incorporating them in creative ways-- like one student found these feminist books on the history of feminine body modification-- footbinding, implants, and used it to talk about Andersen's Little Mermaid. And this other student wrote about Jack & the Beanstalk being and allegory of a male rite of passage-- he called it "Does the Size of the Beanstalk Really Matter?" Pretty cool! Sometimes I'm really proud of my students.
Last night we ventured up to Pasadena to see Kelly's work in this group show at the Armory. It was a kid friendly piece, an installation. Immeadiately, upon walking into the place, you have to walk over this glass covered martian livingroom installation. It was kind of vertiginous and set my nerves on edge. Being that it was around 9pm, the kids that were still left in the place were squirrelly. So we walk into the main gallery and there's a stairwell full of velcro, and all these kids throwing velcro balls at each other. And there was Dave, (also of Feather Early fame) totally in the fracas, with an armfull of velcro balls, wearing his customary bandana and growing his beard to Grizzley Adams proportions. He's trying to find a denim suit for his brother's wedding. He's out of control! Such a bear. I love it. The cool thing is that he said we could have the 1983 site party at Harmony Gallery. Now we've just got to plan it somehow-- yikes. But kind of exciting. I wish I could do the website for his gallery. That gallery needs a website! But I think Dara's doing it.
Anyway, kids are running amok throughout the place and I have this sinking feeling that I'm a bad person. That I just can't hang with all this "magically innocent" creativity that these children are supposedly embodying. Everybody had these benevolent smiles. I guess the kids were behaving, somewhat, but when I was little we were never supposed to run around a gallery or museum. And now it's not only OK, it's encouraged. Though, upstairs there was a faculty exhibition, and there was this large chandelier sculpture, but the crystals were actually bags of what looked like silicone, and they were shaped like breast implants. Kids kept running by and slapping them, to see if they could destroy it somehow-- of course, many were knocked off. Creepy, but kind of cool that they set to work on that one. Kelly had these strings of lights that the kids arranged and rearranged. She wanted it in an inclosed room, which would have been cool, because then she could have controlled the lighting, but for some reason they gave her the stairs. She seemed frazzled by the end of the evening.
We were suppposed to meet everybody at the Short Stop (I'm not too keen on that place now-- they play too much hip hop and the silverlake well-to-do-hipster vibe is a bit much.) Well, we took a wrong turn on the freeway and ended up in Northridge, then tried to get home, and then entire 710 (or 405? I don't know) was closed because of "police activity" so we were in traffic for hours, watching people drive their urban assault vehicles on the shoulder to try to get ahead of the rest. Pretty horrid.
Then M & I got on this real-estate rant, maybe traffic indused, of how our landlord is raising our rent almost every month, and how a kind of rent hysteria has hit Long Beach and we're being pushed out, downwardly mobile as we are. We're pretty sure we're being pushed out of California altogether, but that may be OK.