Friday, December 7, 2007

War of the ascii Roses

Yesterday I texted him and said, "while I am unable to speak in words feeling 4 u, I am able to express it physically." And he responded, "Then I think I know how you feel..."

I didn't respond because really, I don't know how that is possible because I don't always know how I feel. Making it even more difficult is the fact that I don't always feel the same way.

There's this song by Sebadoh, Think (Let Tomorrow Bee):

Think (Let Tomorrow Bee) Lyrics

It's a song I've sent to other lovers. It's sort of like my penoir set. And yet... while I think it's time to buy new lingerie, Lou Barlow sums up my self-conscious and questioning nature nicely.

Yes. Love is the elephant in the room. But what color it is, what I'm going to do with it, and whether it's figured out how to apparate are entirely different matters. Today, tho... a line from the poem, Song, by Allen Ginsberg is repeating ad infinitum through my head:

"No rest without love, no sleep without dreams of love"

But I digress.

There's so much to share with you that is entirely un-related to the beloved boy y.

How is it possible it's only been a week since I last posted? Seems like a lifetime.

Okay, so the week before last was a rough one. I mentioned that I worked hard. Truly, I marketed my little heart out. People think of marketing as conceptual, right? You don't think of it as nitty-gritty, in the trenches, direct contact with your targets. Well, that's not always so. I was, in fact, in the trenches. Suffering the bombs and bullets of direct contact while praying for victory. At the end of the week, all my hard work paid off. I had two events that were full enough to viably run. I was the happiest girl in the world. Exhausted, but elated.

Experimental Tuesday of that week was... one of the best since the first piece I saw. The first piece was almost viral, I've never forgotten it. The speech, the colors - it didn't evoke much feeling but as a piece of art it evoked my love of aesthetics for aesthetics's sake. Nazuna, by Hitoshi Toyoda, managed that feat - and I'll tell you why it was a feat. This was not a film I went to see. It was a slideshow. An honest to goodness slideshow. So honest, that there was a scaffold set up in the back rows of the theatre which I watched the artist climb up to and load, reload, and reload again the merry-go-round. Still photos, a progression of still photos evoked tears from me. Amazing.

It started off inauspiciously. I've developed this allergy. To 9-11. Every time someone mentions it, every time it turns out to be a theme in a book I'm reading, every time the imagery from that day passes through my ocular web... I cringe. I turn away. There is a chain reaction inside my being that screams, "NOooooooooo! Not again! Stop it already!" It's sort of the way I feel about anything having to do with World War II. I'm tired of it.

Toyoda's slideshow began in New York. A few days before 9-11. It takes you through that day and then, mercifully, on a plane to Japan. We follow Toyoda as he goes home for the first time in 11 years. To Tokyo. Then to the mountains where he searches for a mythical group of Japanese Amish. Then to a Zen Monastery. And through the death of his mother. It was stunning. And I loved it.

The following Saturday the sky in Wisconsin exploded and the first flurry of serious snow hit the ground in Milwaukee. I decided this would be the perfect time to try out a recipe I'd seen in the Vegetarian Times. I've never made risotto before because it is an intimidatingly time and energy-consuming dish to attempt. But the recipe for Radicchio and Plum Tomato Risotto was too tempting to pass up. I was waiting for beloved boy y to come over, we'd planned to hibernate and to that end I'd rented 2046 and breathless and endeavored the risotto, bought wine. He was finishing up some things at work and running terribly late. I had no sooner gotten to the final, most delicate stage of preparation (the 1/2 cup addition and stir stage) when he arrived. Within minutes a series of text messages reminded him that a group called Korporate Media was premiering their series of shorts at the Hide House in Bay View. So I quickly finished the risotto, changed into something noteworthy and dashed with him out the door. We'll not discuss the terms of our transport but we made it in just enough time. We'd only missed one, most likely because we couldn't find the room and wasted some time dashing about the building. It was totally worth the rush and arrival-mishaps. Korporate Media is a hilarious group of geeks who produced an incredibly funny series of shorts. I highly recommend checking them out.

With the both of my events running last week, I was a whirling dervish. For any of you who've done event planning you know the "on the road dog n' pony show" event is probably the most energy-draining. I schlepped, I networked, I smiled, I trouble-shot, I did it all. The first event went over beautifully. The presenter was happy, the attendees were happy, and I was happy. Awesome. The second? Well, it was a bit of a comedy of errors. Presenter? Late. Attendees? Thin on the ground. Technology? Temperamental. None of this was my fault, but it's the stress it causes that tips the scales.


I had originally decided to take a half day on Friday. But I need new tires like a body mod addict needs a new hole so I took the whole day so I could drive down to Farm n' Fleet on the south side, hoping to buy and have new tires mounted all in a morning's rush to get down there before 8:30. I waited in line with a group of middle aged white guys. Sore thumb effect, definitely. But there was tire sale on, and apparently Farm n' Fleet's Automotive division is operating half-staffed so it seemed it wasn't to be. Still, I stood around and chatted about technology, the changing workplace, prostate cancer with a couple of guys who worked respectively for Allen Bradley (back in it's heyday - the man was retired now) and Quad Graphics. Nice guys. It was nice to have someone to talk to. They thanked me as I left when it was discovered they'd lied to me on the phone. Not only did they give me the wrong price but they didn't even have my tires in stock. But I got a "Rain Check" which means I'll still get the sale price - buy 3 get one free. And with the price of tires for my car being quite high, this is a deal I can live with.

But the reason I'd decided to take a half day was so that my sister and I could journey down to Chicago to see a new exhibition at the MCA. I'm a member there and I don't think I've been back in the 3 years since I joined when my former Dutch lover came last to visit me. But this exhibition sounded too good to miss. An artist named Sara Schnadt was mapping search networks as they related to geographic locations. Plus, it was a First Friday. T2 and I have always wanted to go to one of those but we've never been able to work it into our schedules. And it was FABULOUS! I loved it! I need to go again. We hopped a train and then a CRAZY crowded bus. Chicago at rush hour is incredible. It was such a mad rush to see that many people out in the streets at night like that. I was totally exhilarated. We walked around near Michigan Ave, looking for a place to grab food and an ATM and found this little place called L'Appetit. An Italian bistro-deli type joint. Delicious sandwiches and cookies. After that we found the MCA, tucked away in it's little corner near Lake and Chicago Ave.

The exhibition was... well, less than I'd hoped it would be. But then, I only saw it being constructed, I'd like to go back and see the finished piece. Because while T2 made arrangements to stay in Chicago for the weekend, I had planned to head back on the last train. Forgetting that the last train in so goddamned early. I only got to stay at the MCA for like, an hour and half. But in that time, T2 and I got our picture snapped in a little attendee photo shoot after an MCA employee dragged us out of the crowd. And I got to see their more permanent exhibition of Japanese and Brazilian takes on American Rock n' Roll. Which was awesome. They'd dragged out Andy Warhol footage of Lou Reed, John Cale, and Nico. There were little rooms where little films were showing - The Spirit Girls film piece was probably my favorite oddity from that bunch.

It was an awesome, inspiring experience that I hope I can repeat. But I've made this mistake before. Most notably when I went to meet Beth and Anna. So, I think this time I've learned my lesson. Get down there on a Friday night, make sure to make arrangements to stay.

I suffered for it. I'm sick as a dog (heh, accidentally typed "god" first. heh.) right now. I think that's been creeping up on me all week. But it was so worth it. It's a crazy life and I love it when I get to run around and see cool things.

Anyway, I've given you all enough to digest. Muchos lovas to all y'all!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Trans-Orbital Torture

Last Christmas I remember driving out to T2's boyfriend's mother's house for Christmas eve dinner. It's kind of a haul, way out in the styx of a far-flung suburb. I was listening to a Sound Portraits piece on Howard Dully, who had had the misfortune of having the "Trans orbital Lobotomy." It was an amazing piece. I got lost in farm country looking for Ms. Boyfriend's Mother's house, which I think was unconsciously intentional. It was an NPR driveway moment, only I kept moving.

I mention this because last night I felt as though somehow, during the two hours I slept on Thursday night, someone snuck into my apartment and performed this procedure on me. All day Friday I felt out of sorts and over-caffeinated. I was up, up, up all afternoon at work. Chatty, excitable. It's been another tough week but mostly from the perspective of how very, very hard I worked. It's paying off, but I just have to hope that it pays off enough to make a go of things. If you believe in that stuff, pray for me. You never know what might tip the balance of the universe ;)

So, after a long day of working to make it work I had intended to go home and nap. I had tried to entice the beloved to come and nap with me, but I was unsuccessful. We'd planned to meet up but I had a feeling that beloved, being in the same sleep-deprived position as me, would end up falling asleep and miss out on the evening's goings-on. And I would be disappointed to find I was right. I laid down around 6, hoping to blank myself out and recharge my batteries for at least a half hour. But my phone kept "sonnez, sonnez, sonnez" begging my attention. So when the sister-person "sonnez-ed" me and begged me to come to an event her museum was hosting because no one had showed up, I gave up the nap. I put on a beautiful outfit.

Like, serious.

There's this dress that I've had for years. I've always loved it but never quite known how to wear it. It's a billowy baby-doll type-thing that taken by itself, obscures my lovely figure. And I've had the idea to belt it, but never had the right belt. So, needing tights last night I ran over to Moxie (Entertaining sidenote: on my way there, I ran into Mr. Houdini. I wouldn't have noticed him, but he called out to me. He gave me a huge, wonderful hug which took me off my feet - literally. I was glad to smile at him again.) where I found not only the perfect tights, but also the perfect belt. So picture this: deep wine-y red velvet short dress with three-quarter length split sleeves and arrow-shaped pin tucks at the neckline, chiffon ruffles along the collar and sleeves. Belted with a deep wine-y red leather belt with a silver circlet buckle. Silver and garnet earrings, vintage silver bracelet. Deep wine-y red tights and grey leather boots. Gorgeous.

So, I went to the museum-thingie. It's called Allis After Hours and they have wine and food and a band. This event was their "Autumn Equinox" event. And when I got there, there were tons of people. I silently cursed my sister. So I drank a glass of wine, ate some food, listened to the indie-hipster band and hung out. There's this guy who comes to all the events at the Allis whom I adore - very gregarious, very animated and sweet and he is a go-er. By which I mean, he goes to everything. He finds all these fabulously interesting things going on in this city and he goes to them. All of them. As many as he can. Which I love. He was telling me about having gone to see this revival preacher on Tuesday night. Some guy preaching against consumerism, I guess. Go-er Todd isn't particularly religious and he'd never gone to anything like it before, but he found it fascinating. I found it fascinating to be told about it. He's such a delight. He's actually the one who clued me into Experimental Tuesdays. Bless his little heart.

Now, it is traditional that when T2 is quitting smoking that we avoid each other and the reasons are two-fold. One, she smokes. And two, we kind of tend to fight. Last night we didn't fight but in my weakened swimming brain-state I was unable to fend off some stuff. I was starting to get cranky just before we left the Allis. By the time we stopped at Balzac for a quick glass of wine before we attended an MAM event, I was officially in a bad mood. T2 is always very judgmental of the men who enter my life. One mis-step and her whole perspective on them can be altered. I spent most of the time we were alone at Balzac fending off needling attacks against the beloved. She made fun of my outfit too. ("I always hated that dress but it looks good with the belt, I guess." or my personal favorite, "You look like Courtney Love." Bah. Courtney Love wishes she looked as good as I did last night. Everyone else said I looked totally NYC. I prefer to go with that interpretation.) As she spoke I felt the pound, pound, pound of the ice pick in my ocular cavity. T2 trepanning. Heaven help me, I was so not prepared for that.

After Her Abby-ness, queen of my hairstyles showed up to rescue me, and Timothy the Gay Boyfriend just after, it took forever to extract them from Balzac to attend The Cedar Box event at the MAM. That was the one thing I wanted to do last night. I was about ready to leave without them when around 9:30 I finally managed it. When we got there, by the time we paid our entrance fee and checked our coats, we discovered that the exhibition had closed at 10. It was just after. Cranky meter raised to red level. The party was okay, there were people there I knew. Jon Jackson from the MIFF (such a cutie, but still needs a haircut ;), the wine-god from Downer Wine and Spirits, and one of T2's board members. It was fun, but I was really disappointed to miss the exhibition and in no mood for working the room - which is normally a delight of mine. The beloved slept the night away. I probably should have too.