Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Sounds of Silence

Either they are itching violently, having an epileptic seizure, tearing up the flooring, or having sex. I'm trying to decide which one exactly it is. Upstairs neighbors drive me buggy but it comes with living below people. Actually since I live on the first floor and since my door is made of metal I hear everyone coming and going in this building regardless of when they are coming and when they are going. I hear everything in the halls, and I figure there are times I've been overheard. But at least I make every effort to be courteous. I never sew after 10 p.m. I unplug my computer from the stereo speakers and subwoofer at 11 p.m. And I own a bed, a novelty in Korea but true.

I suspect the reason that I can hear whatever it is that is going on upstairs is because the upstairs neighbors do not own a bed. So whatever they are doing they are on the floor. It sounds for all the world like jumping up and down in place or scratching. I'm not sure why they would be doing either of these things at ten after one in the morning. I do know that it is keeping me awake. That is starting to upset me. I've had hard core insomnia for three days and I want to sleep. Granted if they are getting laid I have no good reason to stop them by slamming a broom into the ceiling like some curmudgeonly old lady telling those kids to knock it off. Obviously they are knocking something off which is why I'm having trouble sleeping. See if they had a bed they'd be all properly elevated above floor level and I'd be taking a trip with Hypnos down the halls of dreamery. No, no, not me, we have instead floor pounding.

My upstairs neighbors and I have had a fairly reasonable standoff for the last year, since they moved in. I make sure I keep myself reasonable quiet after 11pm. This is easy to do since I'm a teacher and being awake after 11pm is not always easy. Unless it's the weekend and I come stumbling in at 4 am. And even then I try to be courteous and considerate of the fact that they might be sleeping. However I have had the neighbors on different occasions try to stumble into my place drunk on a Tuesday, play loud music at ten, or leave the porch light on which comes flooding into my place at all hours. I'm very photosensitive and the bright lights will keep me up if I'm not careful. And having anyone rattle my door after midnight will put me off for months. I mostly ignore it.

They ignore me playing the Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, Interpol, Tori, DCD, and NIN loudly when I'm writing. They ignore the clickety clack pounding of my sewing machine when I'm making clothes. I ignore the guitar and piano lessons they are taking. Actually I feel like sometime I should wander up and tell them the lessons are actually paying off. As an ex-music teacher I can't help noticing that with practice they have improved. Instead I play the flute in my place at odd hours and they don't complain. I live in an apartment where everything floats through the doors and walls. We all get along and try to make the best efforts to be polite. But really, the loud banging on my ceiling at what is now a quarter past one is really starting to get on my nerves.

I was so hopeful it was sex. Sex I could forgive. However they started walking around about five minutes ago. Walking away, walking back over my head, walking away, walking back over my head. What, are they working out? No, apparently they were looking for the hammer. Bang, bang, bang, bang. I'd bang back but I fear they might think I'm trying to join the band. Fuck. Sex I could have forgiven but construction at twenty after midnight is a little unacceptable.

I even have a dog. I trained and worked with the dog very hard to make sure he doesn't bark. And he doesn't. Sure, the dog talks all the time, he grunts and grumbles, and is generally very willing to communicate about everything but he doesn't bark. Alright, well that is not entirely true, he barks in his sleep occasionally. But not loudly, not enough that anyone but someone who lives with the dog would notice. He also snores which, again, doesn't really affect anyone outside of the basic bed zone of my apartment. I work very hard not to keep anyone up if I'm having a bout of insomnia. I certainly don't perform construction.

Wait, wait, I think, yes, finally. Silence there is nothing but silence from upsta-

Dammit, they have started into their Richard Simmons routine again. Back and forth and back and forth. Come on people just go to sleep so I can go to sleep. Stop your infuriating pounding so I can stop the pounding in my head with a few well placed stolen moments of shut eye. I'm so tired of my insomnia.



We have five minutes of silence. I'm going to take that as a good sign and put down my 16 centimeter broom. It is rather ineffective for pounding on ceilings anyway. And now, off to my own shuteye. No ambulances. At least it wasn't the seizure. And now I'm a little disappointed that it wasn't sex at least that would have provided some entertaining listening at this hour.


Monday, July 30, 2007

Fruits and Wine

I settle for a glass of wine and relaxation before bedtime. I am disappointed that my wine is full of a fruity taste, like some horrible off season Manishevitz. It's sweetness is an insult to my palette and my tastes and sensibilities.

Sewing takes up most of my time this evening. There is fabric in my apartment. Tons of fabric, there are light slinky pieces, silks and cotton/poly blends chosen for the effect they will have on the eye and the smoothness as they ride against my skin. All weekend writing, writing, writing, tedious, meticulous writing that needs to be done, steals my brain and fingers from sewing; occupies my time. But the writing, I've agreed to do it, must finish, but the writing. It's the writing that eats at your soul. It has no flow, no movement no center of being. It is a future perfect impossible. Directions for a reader that will barely glance at my words on paper. Meaningless work.

This work steals everything else from me. There are no words, no stories, no sweet poetry, everything is robbed by the dull mechanical writing that I turn out. Writing for the readers that always know better. Writing for adult adolescents that will always find a way to do it that has nothing to do with me. Writing and writing. More tomorrow and the next day. Does it ever end? And where am I if I am no longer in my writing. I melt and the heat melts with me.

Korea is so very hot. So much hot that in the morning you wake in a sweat. You sweat in your cold shower. You sweat as you dry. You sweat as you walk to work. You sweat as you think about how hot it is. I keep a towel at my desk. When I arrive to work I towel myself down. I keep thinking I should just bring a change of clothes to work, change when I arrive. I am too uncomfortable with it though, so I walk and sweat and ruin my pretty clothes with sweat and towel off when I reach the office.

The Koreans stare at me. They cannot comprehend it. Sweat drips from the end of my nose and they ask if I'm sick. They prepare to rush me to the hospital. They bring me water and tell me to sit and rest. I'm going to die. There is water dripping out of every pour. The obvious conclusion is my untimely demise. Koreans don't sweat and don't understand the copious ability of a Hispanic to really get drenched. I towel off and smile and drink a glass of water and am needlessly polite until left alone.

"Korea is hot, but it does not burn hotter then my contempt." says Mono as we sit on a Saturday night. I drink nothing but ice water, I feel sick in the heat. He has a hot coffee and we sit outside and sweat and watch the Korean girls walk by. I listen to him expound on the nature of Korean heat and his personal contempt and I try to stifle my laugh and my annoyance and my appreciation of his wit. And even his contempt.

I go down to the Lonely Hearts Club as I must talk to the bar man. The basement den is cool, a welcoming icy cave. I sit to wait and people I know come in. I drink nothing but water the whole time. We talk and talk. "You know," says R- "I've been in India when it was 50 (Celsiuses) and the heat was nothing like this. Korea at 30 is worse than 50. Must be the humidity." We all agree and mumble into our cold drinks and try to huddle and hide away from the thoughts of the blisteringly torturous outdoors. The heat steals my thoughts like the perfunctory writing. I go home sick a half hour shy of midnight on Saturday. I'm sick. It's the heat, I think. Later I realize through the pain of a fierce headache that I am actually quite ill, a summer cold, unrecognizable because of the incommodious temperatures and the tedium of my work.

I feel better today and settle for a glass of wine to clear my head and to ease my overworked brain. I want a dry red, something bitter and clean, to cleanse my palette and relieve my enervated mind. And the wine is fruity and sweet like some sickly invasive tart in my otherwise dreary day. Maybe I need a good tart, something unwilling to comply with my vision.

Tomorrow I'll go buy some more wine and try again.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Six Stages of Korean Anger

I am without any focus and with so much that needs to be done. I blame Seoul. I so dislike going to Seoul it just seems painful. Always so painful, the heat doesn't help, being lost doesn't help, commuting doesn't help.

Yesterday I am angry in Korean. Being angry in Korean actually takes special skills. I needed lunch. I'd arrived in Seoul and knew quite quickly that between the time I landed and heading to where I was going there would not be time for lunch. So I checked the time and figured I had time now.

I wanted a sandwich something simple, I also wanted protein. Being at the train station there were not a whole lot of options. I thought for a moment about getting a shrimp burger but I didn't want the fried, so I went upstairs and found the KFC.

KFC in Korea is confusing, but essentially the same things as in the US. They had a grilled chicken sandwich and I thought that might be nice for lunch. The problem was that this sandwich, which should have been slightly healthy, was slathered in mayonnaise, hot mustard sauce, and topped with a hash brown and cheese. For those of you who are reading from the States you might be thinking hash brown on the side, but you'd be wrong. There is a hash brown on the sandwich that is also covered in melted cheese.

So much for healthy.

Me, being me, I make to order. I ask for no mayo, no sauce of any kind really, and please, merry goddess, no hash brown. The harried Korean kid takes my money and I wait and get a sandwich and go sit down.

And open it up.

And it's the wrong sandwich.

Now, being that I'm trying to maintain a pleasantly good mood I go back up to the counter and ask in Korean for the kid, but the kid who is taking orders won't look at me. Instead an older cashier asks what's my problem. He asked in the rudest possible way in Korean, but hey, I'm trying to maintain a pleasantly good mood so I pretend not to notice that I've just been insulted all to hell and say that my sandwich is not correct and repeat the original order.

He gets huffy. That was sort of what pushed me over the edge. It is not common for people to custom order sandwiches anywhere in Korea. Actually a custom order of any kind is almost always confusing. There is a way things are made. This is the way they are made now. This is how they will be made tomorrow. This will not change. Don't expect it to change, and goodness there is no good reason to try to alter something which has been previously decided to be a good formula. Allergies, who cares? Dietary restrictions, unheard of. You order something you are going to get it Korean style, which is the scientifically determined best way to serve something. If it is a western something it will be served with lots of mayonnaise. If it is a Korean it will be served with lots and lots of red pepper. If it is a Chinese something it will be served with extra grease. If it is a Japanese something we will give it a Korean name and pretend it never came from Japan at all and is actually Korean and the Japanese are just confused. If it is an Italian something we will get a little confused and forget what we are doing and just make something that is the same color. Welcome to Korean Fusion cuisine. When in doubt add more red pepper, red beans, or mayo.

I don't really care that much. I know that it is a pain to custom order something. I know it always take at least five minutes of waiting to get a custom ordered something, no matter what or where I am, it will take extra time. I'm patient, I don't mind, and I rarely send anything back.

Unless you get huffy.

So they get huffy and I try to remain friendly while I wait another five minutes for the new sandwich. I sit down, I open it up.

I grip the table in white knuckled rage. A, my rage is coming out white knuckled now that can't be good. Maybe it's the heat. Maybe its Seoul, maybe it's the fact that they spent five minutes making a sandwich exactly the way it was advertised without making any changes, but adding extra potato and mayonnaise so I would be sure not to miss it. I was pissed.

At this point I'd spent twenty minutes playing with a fast food lunch. A lunch that I basically just needed to keep from passing out during the afternoon stuff I had going on. So now I was pissed.

I walked back up to the counter and called to both kid and older guy. I got no response.

That was when I got angry in Korean.

The first step to getting angry in Korean is the face. You must make an angry Korean face. The Korean angry face is not an easy thing to manage. It's sort of a special face that shows every once of displeasure you have ever managed to have put into a face that has the impact of being both puppydoggish and pissed.

First you make the face.

Step 2: Then you let your voice get low with a bit of a twist in your pronunciation.

Step 3: Then you add –sh to the end of all your sentences.

Korean sentences typically end in –yo which makes things rather polite.

Ending –sh is the equivalent of adding fuck to all of your sentences. For example:

Mak-ju ju-say-yo. (May I have a beer please?)

Makju ju-say-shhhhhh. (May I have a fucking beer?)

The second pronunciation while subtle, when intonated correctly will either get you a beer or help towards more quickly wearing a beer.

Now, having accomplished step one, two, and three, I was ready for step four, angry slamming of things.

Followed by step five which is the demanding temper tantrum.

And the final step six, which is the most upsetting step in being angry in Korean. Speaking English. Now this may sound like we have suddenly become angry in English, but we haven't. When you get angry in Korean it is very important that at some point you move from being coherent to blindly incoherent. I find that speaking in English really speeds up this process.

I was just so very angry and they were so very, very rude.

So I followed the proper procedure for being right pissed in Korea and demanded my money back, which they gave me very quickly when they realized I was right pissed. They gave me back my money and I took off almost late for my meeting and very hungry. I didn't get to eat until I got home around 830 pm which made for a long hungry, tiring day yesterday.

I honestly have no idea why food has been such an issue lately. I've always been picky but the last few days have been further increasing the unbearableness of my picky eating habits. Maybe I should just give up. It seems some days like everyone else gives up rather then coping. At least with the attempt to cope I get to experience the six stages of Korean anger.

Today is hot, and unfocused. At least I don't have to go to Seoul.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Home Stories and Harry Potter

*** It should not have to be said but there are NO spoilers in the following***

It happened on page 47.

I knew it was going to happen. I completely expected to cry though a great deal of the final Harry Potter novel. I just didn’t think it would happen that quickly, or that the reason for it would be so profoundly unrelated to the rest of the story, and perhaps the most important part for the sheer banality of it.

There is in me and extraordinary affinity for home stories. By home I mean those stories which discuss the relationship between a person and that space that exists and is known as home. I remember as a child reading Tolkien and being moved to tears not by the great heroics of the tiny hobbits or there taller compatriots, but instead by troupe of small hobbits finally settling into home after the cleansing of the Shire. That sense as the group of friends sat and stared at each other and realized that home was here and not here all at the same time. I understood this complete at the age of ten. The ability of a place to torn in two by frame of mind of the person in that place/time, it made perfect sense to me then.

It is not a happy thing for me. I think of home I think of Chicago. The place where I would be if I were not in Korea. Chicago, my hometown; place where I never really lived but which I belong to almost completely, except for when I belong to something else. The city is familiar to me and feels like home, smells like home, is my home. But only after Shimer.

Shimer was my first real home. The first great safe place that enveloped and understood me. That took me in for all my eccentricity and let me stay even when I railed against it. It was were my family started, the family that keeps me even now, the family that I think about when I feel alone or insecure, those happy light faces full of love, Socrates, and community. My home, but that it doesn’t really exist anymore, it stopped existing as soon as I left it, and it would not exist again, no matter how much I might try to call it back.

In the past before Shimer there was a house and a family full of people that I knew, they had names, and faces, and I grew up with them, but I called it home because it was the proper thing to do, but it never really felt completely like the place where I was or where I could be. I remember when I lived in the dank mountains in the middle of no where and thought to call it home that I often thought of the desert and wondered when I could escape back. I’d convinced myself at the young age of eight that the desert was home.

The desert with the beautiful flat expanse, scrub brush and mesas and warm hot sun all the time. The dirt and the dust, and my skin tanned so brown I did justice to the Puerto Rican heritage. My hair fell in long curtains to my waist, and I’d ride my bike down the dirt road, the road that only a few families live on. I had a room and painted it lavender. It was to by my home. The Indians from the Res would come to baby-sit sometimes and would make fry bread with honey for us to eat. It was a truly happy time. It was home the home I craved and it didn’t really exist because I sometimes missed the compacted washed out ghetto of the coal town I lived in even earlier than that.

Coal town was dingy, company house same as all the other company houses. I like this and it was safe and comfortable because I was so close to my grandma who I love, and my Aunt Sissy who I thought would keep me safe from all the harm in the world. Here in this part of the world where the big pine trees gathered around huge buildings my cousins would take me swimming, cousins who were huge towering tall people, big people, people I wanted to be like someday. This was what was meant when people talked of home. That enveloping safety the net of familiarity that holds you fast and keeps you tight, warm, happy. Something you’d be able to leave and return to and know it would be the same.

But it’s never really the same. After one more, after two, after three you start to feel that disjointed separation until finally you start making your own homes. You are the modern transient, the child of no house who comes from no where, who names the family that will hold them and claims to only those things that can be created and controlled. Outside of the place to which you can return to changed. The change is eternal and taken everywhere.

Page 47.

That’s when it happens. A short conversation between to characters and a definition of home that is perhaps one of the most powerfully profound things I’ve ever read.

“…you no longer call this place home. You…are going your separate ways tonight, in the full understanding that you’re never going to live together again…”

And I wept.

For all the wrong reasons when it comes to the story, but for all the right reasons when it comes to me. Sometimes it feels like we will never be together again.

It happened on page 47, and I’m not sorry that it did.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

What I wanted was comfort food...

I have been busy and busy means less time for other things and more time for less things. It is a bit difficult to explain. I’ve been writing a great deal of stuff but none of it very interesting any hardly any of it for public consumption. Aside from a short trip to Seoul I have done little of note. My last week of classes has come and gone, the students will have a month off, as will I. I might take a trip cross the ocean, do a little dance, shake my little bootie, and get down tonight, but all of these things are at the moment unsure. I love advanced planning.

Since I have nothing super exciting to talk about I shall talk instead about food. Or at least really strange food things I see in Korea on occasion. It’s not strange like perhaps you might think. Korean foods can be pretty weird, we have things like eating sea cucumber that I find very odd, or blood sausage which is very popular. However these fall under the realm of, for at least me, traditional Korean weirdness so I’m not overly concerned about it.

However there is the secondary trend of Fusion Foods and those things are downright scary, which leads me to a topic of some mild discussions for this writing. What set me off was Shrimp Crust Pizza. I admit that for dinner I wanted a little taste of home so I ordered a thin crust veggie pizza from ye ole Pizza Hut. It as duly delivered and paid for an I was settling down to eat when the menu flyer that came with the pizza cut my eye. The flyer was for the new, Pizza Hut shrimp crust pizza. Apparently they decided to combine the already popular cheesy bites pizza with shrimp. At first I thought it might be shrimp crust like they have shrimp flavored chips, but no, it’s shrimp, a ring of cooked shrimp baked into the cheesy bite pizza.

Now perhaps you are thinking that might not be so bad, but let me tell you about the cheesy bites pizza which I decided to try once. I don’t know why, I think I was homesick and thinking this might be the equivalent of comfort food. But what I got was a pizza ringed with cheesy bites. However a pizza ringed with cheesy bites in the American fashion (which I’ve honestly never had but suspect is a heart attack waiting to happen) would be too salty for the Korean palate. We’ve talked before about how foods range from bland to super spicy with no middle. I did not think about this before I ordered the pizza, I just thought, mmmm heart attack waiting to happen. So when my pizza arrived and when I pulled off one of the greasy little bites thinking of my arteries clogging, I bit down only to find my mouth filled with a combination of stale cheese, sweet potato and something that I think might have been red bean. It was, in a word, a crushing blow to my heart attack inducing dream. I ended up tossing the pizza and making a bowl of cous cous (now there is a comfort food).

The thought of a shrimp crust cheesy bite pizza really does churn the imagination of my gastrointestinal track. I’m not buying it. Just as I will not be buying thousand island dressing green salad pizza, chicken tandori pizza, or chestnut and sweetpotato crust pizza. I can’t begin to describe how much yuck I experience when I think about these wonderful selections. But it’s not just pizza that hits the weird fusion foody center.

So I’m in Starbucks the other day, I am, ordering a coffee because occasionally I enjoy an overcooked bean to remind me of my fair country when while reading the menu I catch site of an advertisement for not one, but two fantastic taste sensation flavors that I can think, only in Korea. The first flavor sensation was a Red Bean Frappacino. That would be red bean like baked beans at lunch red bean. That would be red bean in my coffee. That is, in my book, the end of appetizing. They were also advertising the new banana Frappacino which I found to be equally unappealing but at least slightly more believable as a beverage of choice.

Drinks can be a tricky thing in Korea, but more often then not things are okay. Unless you might be drinking something like Milkis (milk soda) or McCola (barely flavored soda) or maybe washing down a refreshing Vita C sports drink (with tobacco for extra flavoring) or perhaps the actually tasty but unfortunately named Pocari Sweat (think Gatorade with grapefruit flavoring).

One of my new favorite drinks out yet which I have yet to try is the new ExFeel Beer. I actually like the original ExFeel beer which is sort of a fun light beer that is kinda tasty when I want a beer which is not very often. I really don't drink beer very often at all anymore as I'd rather drink tequila. However the new ExFeel, which before was hardly marketed at all, is now back and marketed harder then ever. It's now the new ExFeel-S the beer with fiber. Because you know, nothing says a night of partying like a nice colon cleansing. And because this beer is still a light beer and now with more fiber it is being marketed as the perfect drink for the ladies. Of course, if you want to market a drink to the ladies nothing works better then an excellent shaped Korean girl. Apparently the ExFeel-S is called S as a way of promoting the arbitrarily created standard of beauty the S form. I don't really get it but hey, Girodano girl is on my of things to do so why not ExFeel-S girl.

As it were I did enjoy my vegetable pizza and now I’m enjoying my nice wine and I’m going to skip any interesting taste adventures for a few days. As for other adventures, people will be kept posted, this week should prove to be much more exciting.

Of note I did finally get to meet T S in Seoul (this apparently stands for Totally Available Stud-muffin). I found him to be an officer and a gentlemen and I would highly recommend him to everyone I know. He really is a lovely chap I look forward to drinking with him further when I have less homework to do.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

"Don't you boys know any nice songs?"

I had fielded the phone call around seven.

This is G-. Im going to the space. Im going to the bar. Should I bring your flute?

Sure, why not. Ill be at the bar round 9.

See ya there.

I cleaned off sweat caked from a workout and ate some cheese for dinner and found the top that would be not to hot but not to cold in the cool Daegu monsoon evening and walked to the bar.

The bar was dark and empty and the bar Angel was dressed in dark clothes that sagged around her. I taught her about my tequila glass and she found it for me. I taught her how to fill it up. I sat at the bar. I regretted not bringing a book. It was 9 pm and I was alone with the bar. I asked for some paper and doodled and tried to write words but the words didnt flow and I missed the metallic clatter of my thoughts on a screen. I drank my drink and I waited.

G- came down and we talked magic. The tequila started to work on the empty stomach and it was a little magical. I felt good, better, happy. Talking is lovely. We moved to a table and spoke Kabala and drank and let time pass. The Musician walked into the bar about ten minutes later and joined the table. I bought him and owed drink and the conversation flows and suddenly my flute is on the bar. Hyun is setting up the mics for the jam that is scheduled to ensue. We talk warming up, but we just start playing at the table. I feel the cold smooth keys under my finger and realize why I like typing so much.

Its the improvisation. When I play piano I can feel my thoughts spilling out on the cold hard keys and I know where that feeling is just before I hit the note and when I tap the note there is the feeling and it is whole and complete and formed in sound. And when I play the flute I can feel my hands wrapped around that sleek hard metal, round, smooth, clackity clack, but the clacks make my thoughts and I can hear my emotions whining long and slow from a metal pipe that my lips are pursed around. I ebb and flow and listen to the rhythms from the guitar next to me and the words flowing out and words like thick as a brick make perfect sense to my fingers and my emotions. Yes, yes, thick, that is how I would describe them.

We discuss that Tull is currently touring Europe and Im green with a desire to and see them play. To watch the magical gypsy Ian Anderson dance around the stage singing from the gut and playing flute from the bottom of his toes. I want to wrap myself in his rhythms as he plays on stage and feel that simpatico. And Id be jealous that I couldnt be playing it myself.

The mikes are set and so are the drinks so G- and I hit the stage. I apologize ahead of time for what I know will be the ensuing caterwaul in the quiet bar, but the barflies smile, and the Musician promises to cheer us on, and so we play. I find most of the melodies just fine, find a place in them for myself, cut a new path of my own emotion through them and give an undertone and an overtone in a minor or a major. Let that f be sharp and kiss the lips of that b chord. Its lovely if you do it just write. Music done just right. I only manage to mangle it when I give up trying to find myself and instead try to find the music. Bad idea, I cant catch the tone of Teach your Children oh the irony, that I cant find myself in this song, that here, I suddenly stutter and sputter and fall out of key and off the charts.

I am despair.

Lets just jam. Consoles G-.

And so I start if off and open it up in a nice D minor pentatonic and dare the guitarist to follow suit, he chases me up and down the scales so I duck him in a nice G major but he saw it coming and we jam, we improvise slowly, listening to each other for clues, making melodies where there were no melodies. Like writing a story, like making love, pure creation, thought in the air, fleeting, existing only in that time, that space, that moment, here for those who are listening, and gone when it is finished, chased away, the dead ghost of raw emotion and inspiration never to be heard again.

The Musician follows us and I chase my tequila to the bottom of the bottle shaken by my music and a sense of exposure at playing so freely in front of so many people, or so few. We slam and stomp along as the Musician plays out Joes Garage, and we laugh and have the jovial moment that wants to be had. I head home round midnight, Cinderella who has tied one on. I have my flute, and a bar scribble and the lyrics to a folk operetta and my emotions in a hard packed case and my brain in the bottom of a glass.

The music wasnt awful.

Bad Drunk, Bad Prose

She wasn't in love with you.
She was in love with run on sentences.
As long as the sentence kept going,
as long as there was a comma,
as long as there were more words to add,
more thoughts,
more feelings,
let's compound it,
let's infatuate it,
let's infuriate it,
let's keep it going, and running,
as long is there is a run on sentence,
it won't end.
But eventually even the most beleaguered sentence has a period.
It sucks to be the period.

They say that if you follow a point long enough it becomes a straight line.
If you follow a girl long enough in a straight line, she breaks your heart.
No one ever wants to be the period, but on a long enough line everyone eventually becomes one.

bad prose at one a.m.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Whoring for a Hundred

Take a peek and see what I see. Art disguised as modern living and the banal. A cup of coffee with my rubbers and flowers sprouting from the sunset on the city in the middle of the beach. The flickr projections of a mind in bloom and the works of someone less a madman and more a folly.










Orange and yellow peek on walls by artists who are not artists, caught by a photographer who aspires to inspire. A curiosity and poetry in the fluid organic of digital film at www.disassociated.com.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Then there were my emotions on paper.

I have not been to the studio in what is easily a month.

This is problematic as I probably need to go more then I realized. I need the escape. I need the release.

I've been writing, and writing, and writing, drowning and chocking on words on screen and that don't stop, that keep demanding that keep wanting more and more and more and more and still I'm not done with the writing. I developed a severe case of writers block. I could not find words. I could not find anything. And the writing was not even the healthy expansive escapist writing, words turned to pictures, illuminating the doldrums of my dull life. This was work writing, and it robs something from you after a time.

I walked home last night and thought I would not go to the studio, I don't have time, I thought. I don't want to. I need to work out.

So I worked out.

It was 7:00. I was sitting in my apartment. Sweat poring down my chest and off my brow and I'm sitting in my bed thinking, okay what now.


"Sara, get your ass in the studio, now!"

I don't know who was yelling at me. A voice that is ethereal and real, and old friend, a warm hand, power and control and direction, and I thought, yes, yes to the studio with me.

I said goodbye and went to the studio.

It was musty and hot in the studio. The boys have been working on the back and filled it with sawdust and construction, but I don't mind. It smells familiar in it's mustiness and feels like home.

I fill buckets of water and look at one unfinished painting and blank canvas. I take a drink. I look.

I pull on my loose fitting over-sized artist blouse flecked with paint and brain spatter, or maybe thought spatter a garish mess of colors. I look at the canvases and think, what now.

But I know what now. It's been an emotional couple of months for me. I know what now. I turn on the music it takes a bit for me to find just the right mix, but I do find it and while music pulses in my brain, in English, in Spanish, in French, and German, and Techno, I fill brushes and start to fill in the canvases with my pain.

After a time I pause to wipe away sweat, clean brushes, rinse water, wash away pain, colors pouring down the drain and unfinished art hanging all around me and flecks of paint in my hair and new flecks on my blouse and I don't mind, and I don't care. I am at the happy center of my own universe, surrounded by pain decorated in
colors I have chosen, dressed up pain, presentable pain, pain that is outside my hanging on walls on hooks I fixed in the walls, pain that is escaping and gone and gone and gone.

I pause, I drink, I smoke, I think, I watch, I look at my art.

It's not finished.

Not yet.

Time is passing.

And I don't care.

I pour out more color onto ancient pallets and pick up brushes I have owned for years and I pour more and more and more onto my canvases, the paper picks it up and soaks it and I continue to work into it, thrust into it, brush, stroke, flick, rub, pull and push and toy until I feel that thing I am waiting for that push that tells me it is no longer just close to being but is.

And I find that too.

I'm tired today, I still have paint in my hair. But somehow I am cleaner and more whole.

Little Red Wagon

Note: A found story from this time last year.


I walk to work with a backpack that I have purchased for my computer. The beautiful little red clover carryon that got me through my entire run of the United States in December and not to mention through a year or so of traveling back and forth between the Village and Daegu, finally died. The zippers no longer had clasps, the red was tearing up in tuffs. I'm not even sure anymore how I managed to keep so many tricks and trinkets in it for so long and have it not fall apart.

It was like a good luck bag though. I never had any problems traveling with it, and was never looked at twice when sending it through scans at various airports, even when I pulled my computer out of it like a rabbit from a hat. This is probably a good thing, that bag was crazy fun. I went to the market to get the bag repaired, as I didn't want to give it up. The bag at this point had too many memories.

I remember fondly managing to drop it down the escalator at Gwamyung Station at least once, watching as my computer bounced up and down and wondering if it would still work when I was able to recover it from below. I remember tossing the darned thing into the backseat of the my cab, driven by the very nice gentlemen who shuffled me from point to point every Friday for a year in a half. I remember half sitting on it to get it closed when I had gotten too stupid at the fabric market and had bought far more fabric than I had time to work up.

I remember hauling it from Chicago to Indiana, where it was smelled fondly by a big orange dog who was looking for the other half that was expected to walk in the door at any second. I remember stuffing it full of essentials for a trip out west, and managing not to loose anything even after getting no sleep on Christmas eve. I remember carting it on planes through security in Korea and not having anyone look at it twice even with my computer all zipped up in it. It was a good bag, it was a great bag, and unfortunately the shop guy smiled wearily as he looked at it with a sort of what the hell have you done to this bag look while explaining patiently that he only had the tools to repair some parts of it.

I think the bag had come to symbolize the little red wagon I dragged around everywhere when I was a child. A place to put things, a place to keep things safe. A place for toys and memories and all the like. I really did love that bag. But when nothing can hold it together you have to let it go. So I opened the bag and pulled out my computer, which I had taken with me to the shop, and asked for help. He just gave me another goofy look and then told me I needed a computer bag for it, which I agreed.

Pulling the bag around, even with it's wheels, was throwing off my balance not to mention my shoulder, so I finally settled for a nice backpack that would evenly distribute the weight of the computer, be easy to haul hither and tither, and did not have wheels. I said goodbye to my little red bag and headed back towards home, feeling ill at ease but none the worse for wear.