Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Ugliness of Effort

The Ugliness of Effort

Reflecting each other
in the loneliness of our dark waters
we chose to ignore the placid ripples
distorting the refreshing vanity
of our inverted symmetry
until we had to reach arms deep
into each other
to anchor from the storm
that whipped our images
into grotesque forms
we could no longer recognize
or recognize too well

how humbling to discover
it was me staring up
from beneath your reality
servant to your movement
twisted by your storm

i can say it now without wincing
beneath the full dizzy melting
and curved hollow swooping
we were two touches falling
insides echoing
what would always last
if it ever had
pretending not to notice
all the shadowed hands
upon our sinking
slowly surrounding
my forced forgetting
those times i couldn’t keep
ourselves to myself
or had to substitute memories
for the unregarded of me
until it became the want of exit
despite ourselves
or to spite ourselves
(never an easy distinction with us)

in the end
what was between us
was between us
pressed against our best wishes
until i left us
openly buried in our borrowed home
to return myself
and leave behind
the favor you never gave me

you thought i held you too tight
that i would break apart the wings
i knew you never had
your lightness my weight to lift
so high you could fly
if you closed your eyes tight enough
to pretend the strain of my muscles
was the blow dried wind in your hair
those nights you stranded me
on the island you had me build for us
while you
innocent and untouched
blew through the streets
leaving me scattered
among your cluttered dinner table
with the rest of your neglected responsibilities
waiting for the generous outpouring
of your unforced hand
in that forever tomorrow
that richly saturated future
you borrowed against at my expense

you thought in time i could be trained
to join your exclusive stable of janitors
dressed as magicians
each taking a corner of your palanquin
with curtains drawn to the reality you expel
though sometimes you see too clearly
through those thinning muslin clouds
and sneer in confusion at the strain
because being close to someone
means you can magically float above
the ugliness of effort
and just maybe
you'll never need to understand
magicians are not real.


Drafts in chronological order:

No Talking Tuesday # 189

No list. Nothing special to report.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

No Talking Tuesday # 188


I was listening to Joanna Newsom and focusing on a intense chess endgame with some Latvian dude online, when my Austrian housemate knocked at the door, and handed me a package I had been eagerly waiting for (Containing various camera supplies), I was so out of it from the music, solitude, and chess, I forgot it was Tuesday and said out loud: " Oh sweet! Thanks!"

I hadn't even realized I made a mistake until he pointed it out, and then the failure wave washed over me and I slinked back to my chess game...

No list.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Six Months of Tasks

At the beginning of the year I noticed a nifty task/to-do list feature in my e-mail client. I'm rather addicted to to-do lists, and realized this was a way to consolidate my various lists (those in my sketchbooks, pocket notebook, work computer, post it notes etc.)

The to-do list feature let me continuously add new items to the pre-existing list, and over time I found this to be an interesting record of my various reminders. I told myself I would collect the tasks to post here when finished. That is to say, completed all the outstanding tasks, before I had a chance to add more. I was a bit disheartened to find that took six months...

Here it is, in reverse chronological order (most recent first):

blog radio show
go to blue bottle
drop off typewriters
call back Doug
call expression about jacket
call mexican restaurant about jacket
composite decap
composite osario/temple tigers
blog weird dream 1 & 2
six month stickies 7
blog five a month club feb
create music web section
scan in round 2 robot drawings
create 3D section for site
create food section for site
upload cgtalk and concept art lg paintings
figure drawing photos
pick up taxes
faculty training fri. 8th 09:00
taxes thursday at 16:00
tutoring thursday at 13:30
bring computer to insight and print tax papers, paypall, bank, and credit card
buy eiko lights
compress and upload film
transfer music
make class final
call mundi 10am
paint window
final color correct feb film
galileo phone: Monday 10am
calculate environment and midterm grades and email
write February scene
shoot February film
cash check
check costa rica flight possibility
get midterm photo
back up drives
get serpent column boards
get art test rules source images
retrieve memory card
get february sculpture images
tutor repost
give students their grades
late lunch with brother friday 1600
buy file
combine random writing to notebook
order super sculpy
order glass paint
pick up teaching notes and natasha's camera
edit February song
email Joel (sailing)
bake sculpture
resubmit camera drawing
sculpt february project
submit time card
check if worked monday
return glen gould cds
call hoa
finish transcribing notebook
buy floss and razors
finish writing digital painting course syllabus and email Andrew
upload cat power mix
go see ocscar animated shorts
email interior design proposal
go see the illusionist
email compositing teacher
meet up with digital painting teacher
call insurance
six month stickies
pick up paycheck
replace short film
pick up film
finish fox mom and daughter
import low a lifetime of temporary relief
download Debussy, paul simon, csny,
purple rhinestone eagle
apply to jobs
put 3d spaces email in writing folder
put snow monkey article in writing folder
contact digital painting teacher
call insurance woman
write down expression tutoring number
finish art test
pay hoa
submit time card
call troy
call bon
blog 5 a month club
call plumber and make appointment
finish flower painting with gesso
Leo Skype Date 11am
edit film
email leo
upload icon scans and resub
monkey article, add bit about low sperm in water and remove end with disclaimer
shoot a movie
sculpt something
record a song
erase pencil and scan mother fox drawing
buy super sculpy/armature wire, glass paint?
write/research snow monkeys
sand window
blog new teaching job
3 year end no talking tuesday

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Before & After

A little while back a friend of mine asked me if I was interested in contributing a story to the first episode of his radio show.

He was trying to figure out a common theme for the stories he was soliciting from various friends/artists/writers. I suggested he make the theme "Before and After", a moment that split your life definitively into two periods, a moment of maturity, consequence, revelation, etc.

My moment was the first time I asked out a woman I didn't know. It is the story of a bewitching woman who worked at whole foods near my work soon after I moved to L.A. And how I struggled to muster the courage to introduce myself and ask her out on a date. The experience was a revelation and forever changed me.

My friend ended up putting his radio show on hold, so I offer it here.

The whole adventure was inspired by a TV Eyes song, so I included the song here, to be listened to before the story

TV Eyes - She's a Study

Whole Foods Ask Out by Ali Jamalzadeh

No Talking Tuesday # 187

No list, nothing special to report.

Monday, June 13, 2011

No Talking Tuesday # 186

The List:

which scene do you think is better served in a indispe

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Most Intense Dream of my Life

The other night I had the most intense dream of my life. In order to keep things clear let's call the dream I had "dream-A". It was inside dream-A, that I had "dream-B". In other words I dreamt that I was dreaming. Let's also define "true-reality" as the non dream reality we are in, in other words real life.

So, in dream-A, I was handicapped, and wheelchair bound. I wasn't surprised at this, and understood myself to be handicapped for years due to some accident.

Now I would like to take a moment to consider a very curious aspect of dreams. Namely, that in a dream you can "understand" something to be the case, without support from reality, experience, or memories. For example, you could have a dream where your sister was about to jump off a building, and you may scream out in anguish, despair, love, and fear for her life. When in fact, you don't have a sister at all. Yet in the dream you believe you do with all the certainty and conviction as if it were fact. What's interesting is that you might think that in order to be convinced of having a sister, you would need a lifetime's worth of shared memories and experiences with this person, before your mind would accept her presence in your dream as your sister. When really, your mind doesn't need to be furnished with any such proof, and yet you will completely believe this person is your sister.

The therapeutic power of this could be immense. If somehow you were able to get a trauma victim to dream themselves free of their past, confident, self reliant, secure and emotionally stable. Then even when they wake up to reality (where they are none of those things) they would at least have a reference point for what it feels like to be that way. And could gauge their future real life choices based on how close or far away it puts them in relation to that feeling.

So anyway, back to dream-A.

Reality as I knew it, was one where I was reliant on a wheel chair, and had been for years. I didn't think critically about what the accident was, exactly how long ago it was etc. I just knew myself to be crippled, and believed and understood it completely. What was interesting was while in dream-A (where I was handicapped) I had never really accepted it as part of my self-concept. I was like a rich guy who became poor and wouldn't accept that fact, and still acted like he was rich, or some middle aged guy who hits on teenage women because he still thinks of himself as a young stud. Similarly I was handicapped but didn't really see myself as disabled. But in dream-A, I had that moment where it finally sunk in, and I came to truly acknowledge the reality of my disability. I thought with bitter irony that all the times I saw handicapped people and felt sorry for them, that I was actually no different, and that people must look at me with the same sense of pity. I felt shame when I thought of all the women I've dated, and how they all were doing me a favor by choosing to tolerate my disability, and that I never really acknowledged their sacrifice to be with me. I felt like a pathetic charity case, and a burden to my friends and family. These and many other bitter, sad thoughts suddenly flooded me in EXACTLY the way it would in true-reality if I was disabled and finally coming to terms with it for the first time.

After considering all these things, I arrived at a place of peace. I came to truly accept my disability as part of who I am, that there was nothing I could do to change that, and I just had to accept it and move on.

Then I was in line at a drug store to buy shampoo.

I was far back in a long line, and noticed that every checkout stand had a long line of people. We were all annoyed to be waiting so long, and upon closer inspection I saw that there were no tellers at any of the registers. I thought rather indignantly that if the drugstore wasn't going to do their part and have people working their stations to sell me this shampoo, then I wouldn't do my part as a customer in buying it from them. I resolved therefore that I was perfectly justified in stealing the shampoo, as their not having anyone on the floor working is what would have otherwise prevented me, and that they were wasting my time (and therefore money) in expecting me to just stand in line waiting for them. So in a demonstration of forethought, I rubbed the bar-code off the shampoo bottle (so as not to set off the detectors) and walked out of the store with a self righteous, indignant, and slightly triumphant attitude.

It was night, and everything was wet from the rain. The exit of the drugstore was below street level and a steep, rain soaked, shaggy red carpeted staircase led the way up. I looked around for a wheelchair ramp, and got even more angry and frustrated when I saw there wasn't one. I was about to go back into the store to look for another exit, when suddenly I realized that I had walked out the drugstore, and wasn't in need of a wheelchair. For a brief moment I was confused and amazed, then realized with a pang of bitterness that this must be a dream(dream-B), and that soon I will wake up to my crippled wheelchair bound life(dream-A). I then resolved that as long as I was lucid dreaming, at least I would enjoy it until I woke up, and began walking up the steps.

Now that I realized I was dreaming (B), the sensation of walking up steps, seemed strange and awkward since I hadn't walked in so many years, but there was also a note of familiarity that recalled my youth before the accident.

I walked on and eventually found myself walking up a steep narrow stone path to the back of a provincial ivy covered cottage basking in slanted rays of warm light. The sun had lowered itself between the smoothed forms of distant mountains, across from a vast vineyard. A couple cats wrestled in the house and sent up swirls of dust which sparked in the amber light.

Then I woke up.

Simultaneously from both dreams, to true-reality. For about ten seconds I didn't know if I was crippled or not. Remember that I was never aware dream-A was a dream, I thought dream-A was reality, and dream-B was dream-A. So when I woke I didn't think to examine the reality of dream-A. Which made things confusing because the reality of dream-B, which I understood to be fake (in dream-A) was more like true-reality than dream-A was.

For ten seconds I felt this intense spike of fear, dread, hope, and confusion not knowing what was real and if I could walk. Of course the dream realities faded and I felt my legs moving under the sheets and I remembered that in true-reality I'm perfectly healthy and have full use of my legs.

I closed my eyes and a wave of relief and gratitude washed over me. I don't think I can even begin to describe the intense feeling of gratitude I felt in this moment. In my dream-A which represented many years, I had wanted nothing more than to walk again, I would have given anything, sacrificed anything to walk. And my wish had come true. I could finally walk again, my prayers had been answered.

I thought about how often I define my life by how it falls short of my ideals, where I focus on the goals I haven't met or situations or people I have a problems with. This dream was a real lesson in perspective and appreciation, and taught me how truly privileged I am.

No Talking Tuesday # 185

The list:

One baja fish torta special please.

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