overhaul / undertow

Sunday, November 30, 2003

surface appearances

"You radiate bold confidence," writes a friend to me, today.

That's amazing, because my own perception of things is so utterly different from that, that I find myself wondering if he's joking. But I'm aware he's being sincere, and that makes it all the more jaw-droppingly inane and nonsensical for me to hear: me, bold? confident?

You've GOT to be kidding me.

Friday, November 28, 2003

dropping a line

Here's an email I sent to a friend, but it pretty much sums me up these last few days, so I thought I'd post it.

~ ~ ~

sorry I didn't write back sooner. The show went well--everyone was impressed, the bands did good, I didn't decapitate anyone with the sword, and my pasties stayed on. A success all around. We actually sold the place out--they were turning loads of people away at the door. It was packed.

It was very difficult for me, though, 'cos I'm battling MAJOR body issues right now (self-loathing girl crap). And it's just plain hard to take yer clothes off in front of a crowd, no matter hwo artful it is, no matter if you've got a badass weapon in your hands or not--even if I had the perfect body it would have still been a horribly stressful event.

In fact, it was so stressful and such a traumatic experience I got a cold the next day and broke out in rashes. :\ I guess I pushed myself too hard--I was shaking when I did it (everyone told me they didn't notice).

I also have been really loath to leave the house. I used to feel like I HAD to do something every night: had to be out with friends, seeing a show, at an event, something, anything, or I'd start to go a little stir-crazy in my apartment. The compulsion to go out was so strong I'd call it neurosis. I was running from something, there was something I didn't want to think about. But after the show something shifted, like I'd just realized deep down that was the most running I could do, and I couldn't do any more--it was literally making me sick. And then I didn't want to go anywhere at all. All I wanted to do was go to work, earn money, and go home and sleep and then wake up to do it all over again. I think the biggest problem I was running from was finance (or the lack thereof), and so now I'm kinda having to face all that.
Other stuff is good. I just wrote my second article for Coagula Art Journal. The LA Alt Press FINALLY paid me for my article on the Brewery I did about two months ago. I want to do as much freelancing as I can so that I can maybe find a staff position or get a regular gig like a weekly column or monthly article--that kind of thing could permit me to quit my current job, which is my goal.

How is everything going with you? You're prolly in the midwest right now visiting your folks for Thanksgiving, right?

Anything happen with *****? Last I heard you two were working some stuff out. As for me, I'm not dating anyone and not interested in anyone. Well,....not really. No. And I'm glad for the respite. I just want to focus on stabilizing my own life right now and taking care of the basics, which I've really let slide.

My ex-boyfriend from when I was in college showed up at the Silverlake Lounge show and freaked the hell out of me. We'd found each other on friendster and had corresponded just a little, and I thought maybe we could be, I dunno, loose aquaintances again. But seeing him in person and talking to him, and seeing he hadn't changed an iota--in fact, he was downright CREEPY, obviously full of venom and anger at me but with this spooky fake smile pasted to his face, and so passive-agressive in every poisonous word he spoke--it brought it home in a way I'd never before appreciated, how deeply and thoroughly he'd abused me when we were together--he subjected me to the worst sorts of emotional and verbal abuse, and I didn't really appreciate the seriousness of it until NOW, looking at him with lucid eyes, with my judgement undimmed by years exposed to his unkindness. I could see how bad it really had been (he's still on all sorts of drugs for depression and anxiety) and I felt my heart kind of break all over again for the young naive girl I'd been back then, eighteen years old, him seven years my senior, and me so willing to be completely broken and dominated. He truly did rob me of some of the best years of my life, and they will never come back--nor will I ever truly be rid of all the cruelty he poured into me. I'll always have to battle that negative voice inside me.

So I've been kind of just coping with that, too, the last week or so. I'm just going thru something big and internal, and I can't quite describe it, but it's like one of those phases you just have to go through once in a while.

Well, all that was a big fat serious mouthful. I hope you're good and that things are going well in all the parts of your life. Drop me a line and let me know; we should go out for beers sometime soon, or catch a show and crack jokes about the hipster kids.


Sunday, November 23, 2003

no translation needed

So for Coagula I had to go interview this gallery director off of Beverly and Crescent Heights ( this one, if you're interested), and review the show he has installed there: Gil Garcetti's photos of Disney Hall, in downtown LA.

Mat, my editor, did a lot of snickering when he assigned me this one, 'cos it truly does at first glance seem smarmy: ex-District Attorney gets hired by highfalutin' building company to document the construction of one of LA's most visible buildings.

My honest assessment: I found the photos to range from okay (artfully documentarian) to good (the photo image creating something truly new and different from the subject matter, and that something being created actually intriguing and involving to look at and think about). I don't think any were really really earthshattering, but yes--some were damn fine photos. I've never been big on photography though, so maybe I'm missing something.

I was talking with the gallery owner/director who really seemed earnestly to love the photos. Which, I guess, helps when you're selling them for 8,500 dollars. In describing Garcetti's approach to the work, the director paused and fixed me with a stare. "My first language isn't English, you know," he said.

I looked at his skeptically. Tall, overweight, graying and balding, with a scruffy unkept beard that didn't conceal his lack of a chin--no way was this guy from Europe. Only an American would not give this much of a shit about his appearance. Those Europeans are always put-together.

By way of explaining, he reminisced about an experience he'd had at a meeting with some fellow small-business owners (a digression: for some reason I never thought of an art gallery as a "small business." "Small business" always brought to mind an auto repair shop, or a catering agency, or a floral shop...you know, like in those credit-card commercials that promise to "get your small business off on the right foot...", with warm sepia-toned images of businesslike--yet motherly--young professional women earnestly potting orchids or baking bread while accepting packages from couriers and looking intently at their laptops...but whatever)...

So he was at this meeting, and the man speaking was a guy who owned a music studio and recorded/produced primarily classsical music--orchestras, big and small. And he was speaking to the group, and as he spoke he gesticulated, with his right hand--up and down, then reaching up towards his face and then extending back out to the audience, and back and forth, back and forth, rhythmically--


His movements were exactly those of an orchestra's conductor, shinking to tiny constricted movements as his speech contracted, then expanding wildly as his words poured out faster and faster. He couldn't think without thinking musically; only then did his brain translate the sound into language, into words, into English. His gesticulating hand betrayed the inner translation, the interpretation from sound to speech going on under the spoken words.

"So, for me, my first language is primarily visual," explained the man in front of me, shrugging. "I have to picture something in my head, to fully understand and apprehend it. And I see this work by Gil, and I can see--he is too. Visual. His modality is visual before speech. It's how he thinks. You can see it." And he nodded back at a large print behind him depicting the undulating walls of the music hall as they abruptly sank into the darkness of shadow, and then erupted into the negative space of the sky.

I looked at the photos, huge hung on the wall, and thought about the director's story. I wondered silently, what's my first language?

Interesting. It's English.

Words. I think in words. Worlds flower and unfurl in expanding rings in my mind, and it's all verbalized, set to speech like music, but in utter silence: just the words, each signifying for an idea, a thought, a substance like ether, nebulous, undefined, expanding to fill space yet with just the right word--just the precise one--you can capture it, distill it, condense it into the most magical transformative potion, pure vital unabashed and wildly exploding life compressed and crystallized into one single utterance.

Garcetti and the gallery owner may think in images before they try to put them into words; that small-business owner may have to conduct an orchestra to give structure and rhythm to the ideas within him; perhaps a sculptor thinks, first and foremost, in tactile sensations, and only then attempts to cast them into speech. Somehow I feel lucky, though. These words come pure and unadulterated, untranslated, no vagaries of interpretation to filter or dilute them. These words are my heart and soul.

The words, the writing, without it I could not live.

I'm sorry, Eric Schlosser

From the McDonald's website:

"McGriddles® breakfast sandwiches provide an innovative way for customers to eat warm golden griddle cakes (with the sweet taste of maple syrup baked right in), and different combinations of savory sausage, crispy bacon, fluffy eggs and melted cheese in a convenient sandwich."

And then this:


My resolve not to eat there, ever, is weakening.

Friday, November 21, 2003

So...now what?

So I did it: I did my burlesque routine, with the tai chi sword, for the killradio.org anniversary show.

So ends about two months of stress, anxiety, self-loathing (primarily directed at my thighs), compulsive yoga-class attendance, and general freaking out.

I did it, and I'm proud I went through with it, but now I need a break from the world and all its stresses. I'm turnign off the ringer on my phone and not going out at night for as long as I can get away with it.


Friday, November 14, 2003

I'm in a good mood.



walkin' to the henry fonda thatre now to meet Vanessa for some death cab for cutie rock action.

Monday, November 10, 2003

Ok, so for a week I'm gonna try to live all clean'n'shit.

No, really, I swear.

Whoo. God, that makes me want a drink.

Okay, so I have to make myself my own improvement project for a week: stop all the drinking, yoga every day, and a walk every day, and more salads and veggies and fewer carbs; sleeping would be good; be around less cigarette smoke and stuff...

I rarely put myself first, I'm always doing things for somebody else, so this'll be interesting.

Can't get this song off my mind...

I want to be a good woman
And I want
for you to be a good man

This is why I will be leaving
And this is why
I can’t see you no more.

I will miss your heart so tender
And I will love
This love forever

I don’t want be a bad women
And I can’t stand
to see you be a bad man

I will miss your heart so tender
And I will love
This love forever
So this is why I am leaving
And this is why
I can’t see you no more

This is why I am lying
when I say
That I don’t love you no more

-cat power, good woman

Friday, November 07, 2003

a timely haiku

They say drugs are bad.
After trial and error, I
must admit they're right.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Don't post drunk.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

wisdom with age

ladies, I'd like to share a bit of insight I've uncovered with time.

A woman ceases to be magical and enrapturing to any man,
when she herself ceases to find joy, involvement, obsession and--yes--enrapturement in her OWN life;
and instead finds it in the lives of the men who love her.

Then she becomes, to those men, a bore and a banal distraction from the other thigns they'd much rather be doing. And she loses both their love and herself.

So, girls, always throw yourself into your own life. Then everything else will find you--not the other way around.