Archive for November, 2008

Rock Star Slimey

Posted in Uncategorized on November 30, 2008 by darcyarts

I knew that Slimey was ultra cool but I didn’t know that he had a rock band.

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Slimey

Posted in socialization with tags , , on November 29, 2008 by darcyarts

persimmonsaBeautiful fruit, extras from the fact shack. Persimmons. Such an odd thing. So sweet and gooey but slimey as well.

The color is one of my favorite.

I’m on day three of a rare five-day jag at the news factory. So time is limited. I’ve been trying to sleep in so I’m not so dragged out at work after 6 p.m.

I may have turned into one of those people who need to buy a sleep mask and ear plugs. I’m a light sleeper but I need real sleep in order to do a full day.

I worked Thanksgiving. It was very pleasant I had plenty to do and got to work with very positive people. Friday it was back to slime of another kind. Negative Nelly and her right hand man were getting on my nerves in a major way.

I had a dream this morning in one of my falling back to sleep periods about this grouchy coworker. Someone had take her baby and killed it and stuffed it into a small space, like under a theater chair.

Negative Nelly said “What do you think the tattoo is for?”

I take this to mean that something that N.N. valued, her metaphorical baby, has been hijacked by outsiders before she really got to put her mark on the effort. The tattoo (on the baby) was very, very small. This dream allows me more empathy for the woman who has invested her life in this thing called journalism. She finally takes over the newsroom only to have a mixed bag of folks tearing it down at every turn.

Sadly, she mostly looks at me as part of her problem. But I’m not the only one put off by her tough exterior. Sometime I wonder if she ever has fun. Then I tell myself she just must love to tussle and fight and grouse her way through each day. Maybe that’s her modus operandi.

People will rise to your expectations if you encourage them to do so in a way that makes sense to them. They will give up and write you off if you give them nothing but sour puss interaction.

I wish I was more detail oriented. I wish I could crank out perfect copy the whole 7 or 8 hours I’m at the factory but I’m flawed. Still, I’m determined to feel good about the good things and the cool people who remain and I intend to stick with it until I can open another door to a place that will blend more naturally with my sensibilities. Beggars can/cannot be choosers?

I was flummoxed to see J. back at the fact shack last night. It was so incongruous. In my mind she is free of the ever-moldering, once-kinda-cool enterprise and wanders on clouds of joy about the City by the Bay charged with new life.

I was off on a break. It was late and I didn’t want to open that can of sentimental worms (btw: For clueless grown ups “Slimey” is also a cute Sesame Street worm character) for a departed former coworker even though she rocks excellently.

Slimey of Sesame Street:

Sometimes I get so carried away with things I’ve mostly invented in my mind. I’m a mental embroiderer and I have to remind myself that I’m fanciful. Most often the people I make up stories about don’t even know how much mental landscape they have occupied.

I’ve always been that way.

blurrysidewave

Happy Tofurkey or Lasagna Day

Posted in Uncategorized on November 27, 2008 by darcyarts

Love this:

Photographic Memory

Posted in dreams, socialization, writing with tags , , , , , on November 24, 2008 by darcyarts

melivingroommirrorThis past year I have been conjuring familial/historical recollections based around a series of photographs. I’ve exhausted nearly all the photos that remained in my possession.

Don’t I look like a muppeteer?

I recently proposed a joint project to my daughter, Jessica. She’s in possession of the leopard print box that contains our family photo collection. I asked her to choose small batches of photos, things that she is curious about and I will tell her the stories behind them.

The first batch arrived Friday.

I’ll start with this photo on the bumpy paper that reflects light. Brian is holding his University of Iowa notebook. That is where we lived, Iowa City. Their father and I were attending the University and we started out in the barely livable cinder block student family housing. We shared the small two bedroom place with an epic number of cockroaches. It was kinda grewsome, not the cushiest environment.

jessicabrianuofiowahousing Here, we see a two-or-three year-old Miss Jessica and her brother Brian.  He would be six or seven years old. They are both cutting up for the camera.

Jessica is standing on a chair and seems to be remembering when her little body had other powers. You can see it in her eyes.

As a small child it seemed as if she was a little disappointed to find herself back in the world and hindered from doing her full thing by having to spend time in a child’s body.

She wasn’t interested in television. Loved to climb, to dress up and be a tad theatrical on occasion, but in a self-possessed, stealth, two-year-old way.

The housing was creepy but the kids had lots of other kids to play with and a little playground right outside their door. Despite the massive snowfall which seemed to come in October and leave in May, they were out there playing. In the summer the weather could turn horribly hot and extremely humid.

Brian loved being physical, running, jumping but he loved the social interactions, too. Brian made friends with everyone who seemed to really need a friend. He was kind and fair and a deep thinker even then. He and I had great discussions about the nature of the spiritual world in the kitchen of the apartment here.

Jessica asked about the playhouse opened on the bench behind her in this photo. It came from the Goodwill on the main street which, looking at a map was probably Iowa Street. All the toys at this Goodwill, no matter what size, shape, or weight, cost 25 cents. We eventually had a roomful of them.

Here is a photo I’m adding. It was taken in our bedroom in Iowa City.  I liked to adorn Jessica with headresses when she was a little bitty thing. This is actually a rolled up yellow T-shirt. Perhaps I must have been responding to some part of her personality or a vague memory of her past life as a royal. Or maybe I’m just trying to match her to the Keith Richards photo, or recalling my fave Keith look: him in a Bedouin type headdress.

jesskeithvertical

Over the next couple of years Jessica  would insist on wearing dresses. She did not like pants or overalls or any practical, long lasting play clothes. She wanted frilly, girly things. 

When I was a child I detested being dressed up like a doll. My granny loved to buy outfits and we had to wear them on every special occasion. I felt naked with my legs exposed. I wanted pants.

At that time girls had to wear dresses or skirts to school. Convention, conformity are linked in my mind with dresses and skirts. I will get tarted up in my own fashion.

Jessica has managed her own fashion sense very well, too.

She’s a cool dresser.

 

 

How did we end up in Iowa City?

I had finished a year and a half at Fullerton Junior College with a 3.8 GPA. I had planned to attend U. C. Berkeley and was admitted provisionally. I was required to get a C in all my classes.  I was on my fourth straight math class. Everything after Intro to Algebra seemed like the most intense gibberish. I got a “D” in Statistics.

I was also accepted at U. C. Irvine but my then-husband Doug had already quit his job and did not want to stay in Orange County. I wanted to be a writer. I hated math. I was impulsive and impractical. So, off we went to the University of Iowa.

We were spending lots of borrowed money to go to school and we were very poor. We were sell-your-blood poor and Doug got pissed when I went the first time and was too anemic to have my blood drawn. Such a romantic period.

I’m being sarcastic. It might have been a good experience if my partner had been up to the task but he resented our move from Seattle where we lived prior to Fullerton. Junior college was much cheaper in California than in Washington state. It may not have been the best idea to pull up stakes but I wanted an education.

Still, I had embarked on this journey and I worked very hard juggling all my responsibilities. 

I wanted to stuff myself with knowlege that would allow me to write and create interesting things. I had dreamed that I would be able to breeze right into the U of Iowa writing program. It was for graduates, so that was dumb, but after a semester in the Department of English, I found my way to Communications and studied film with the best teacher in the world Steve Wurtzler.

Wurtzler is an amazing teacher! The best I’ve ever had. If anyone reading this is considering going to college and you have a strong desire to learn about the world through film, and from a man who is passionate about it, please consider Georgetown University. Wurtzler has won numerous teaching awards. He’s created nine film classes in their English department. You will never regret it. He gives you the most wonderful political and sociological context for everything you learn. He’s organized, sincere and allows you great creative freedom.

He was the first person to love my writing.

 And just think at Georgetown, you’ll be close to Obama, too.

Man, I want to go back to school.

The Return of Moxi

Posted in socialization with tags , , on November 23, 2008 by darcyarts

me111908Wednesday I waited for the cable guy to show up. The second one in two days.

I tried to return my Motorola DVR boxes by taking them to the local cable office and asking for two Moxi boxes instead. Moxie boxes are far superior to the latest Motorola.

I found that Moxi boxes can’t be given out over the counter. They require a serious hook up by technicians who must call in series of numbers, program this and fiddle with that before the box is ready to go.

When it’s ready to go, it’s ready to go and you are good, really good until your poor little box dies from exhaustion.

My son was the first one to have his Moxi box die. The new box I brought home from the cable office wasn’t in his room for more than a couple days before he gave it a hard core thumbs down review. The only good thing about it was its storage capacity. Operating it, well, it was hardly worth the added space, he said.

Our Moxi box died a month ago. We got a new Motorola box. The Moxi is actually a Motorola but there is world of difference between the two.

We tried really hard to give the new box a fair shake and time to prove itself. Our initial discontent was never ameliorated. It seemed clear that the functionality of the new cable DVRs was designed by smart-ass monkeys.

The overriding criteria of the design plan must have been to increase 10-fold the difficulty of each and every operation.

Something that once took two steps now required five or six. The designers eliminated the handy carousel where all the main functions of the Moxi were located.

Bad move. 

The “recording series” options in the new box went rogue immediatley. Unable to distinguish a new series episode from it’s twin or triplet if it occurs the same day  the machine records all of the repeats even if you tell it to record only one. 

Any sort of interference causes your recording to break up into small separate segments.

There is advertising on the screen with the sorry TV Guide menu.  The way you must scan through the channels is far inferior to the display offered with the Moxi. It streches out in linear fashion to infinity and it is very easy to lose track of where you are.

Did I mention there was advertising stuck to the menu?

When the corporate office sends a particular type of new info to your box you often lose the ability to see future listings for a while.

I will warn those who might be about to make the change. DON’T TAKE the NEW BOX!!!

Wait for a reoriented Moxi! Tell all clerks and technicians who will listen that the new Motorolas are an insult to you as a paying customer. Demand that they BUY NEW MOXIs.

On the phone to a non local customer service person (you can no longer call the local office) I registered my complaint. Then the call handler assured me that the company would be getting new Moxi boxes in January or February.

The cable guy who showed up here Tuesday, without Moxi boxes, intended to talk me out of making the switch. I knew he would so I was ready for him. He also said the coporation was not buying new Moxis because they were too expensive.

I pay nearly $200 a month for my bundled services, phone with free long distance and all the call waiting etc., fast internet and lots of cable. I like it but Charter better pony up for the new Moxis or they’ll be shoving customers out into the cold and right into the hands of the Dish guys.   

Bottom line — I’ll cancel the cable before I settle for the monkey-designed new box. The Monday cable guy set me up with another appointment for today saying they would have a hundred refreshed Moxis by then.

Saturday when we had a slight outage I got confrimation from a second corporate spokesperson that Charter would indeed be getting new Moxis. Paradise!

Mojo and My Next Painting

Posted in Art, esoterica, etsy, music with tags , , , , , , on November 20, 2008 by darcyarts

mewavemagicIt took me years to understand that the notion of inspiration could be a slippery slope where creativity is concerned.

“I believe in magic. Why? Because it is so quick . . .”*

If we wait to be impelled by mysterious forces before we begin to practice our craft well, we don’t, practice.

It took me a very long time to conquer my distaste for making a mess. I was loathe to do it wrong the first time I tried so I never tried. I finally realized time’s a wasting and I took the failure bull by the horns.

By it’s very nature diving into a new project is guaranteed to produce a uncertain amount of mess.

Now I take the risk but believe it or not I am a cautious person. I have trepidation as I take pen, paint brush or keyboard in hand. In the case of my top hat (above) it took leather and glue to lay down something new.

I dream of something I want to bring into the physical world, and that journey, by way of materials and a fake-it-till-you-make-it know how is often a bumby ride. But that’s the fun of it. I never know how a thing will turn out.

It took me a good week to make this top hat because I’d never done it before. I bungled the steps, I fretted over it’s roughness but I pushed on. I had to add a star to cover a blemish.

starontophat

The actual sequence of steps in the process of top-hat making were revealed to me through my mistakes. Now I know the right order. Next time it will go  more smoothly.

And Lordy doesn’t it feel new each time? I face the same amount of risk with each creation. It’s a new set of circumstances each time.

What’s next? A painting of Arthur Lee.

arthurleecl

Having read the 33 1/3 Forever Changes and having noted my impressions here while listening to the Rhino Love collection while doing so, I was impelled to make the sketch of Arthur. 

Even though I know that relying on inspiration can be a detriment to getting one’s thing on and even though I would like to start painting projects in a more rational way, the truth is that I am “moved” by my passions to put an image onto a board.

I can think of a number of good subjects and have in the past few weeks catalogued a number of them, but I did not pick up the pencil during this vacation until I was feeling a strong desire to bring this particular face into the physical world.

I have been deeply moved by music over the course of my life. It makes sense that a lot of the faces I’ve been “moved” to portray are the faces of musicians.

Below are links to the portrait prints at darcyarts.etsy.com:

I’ve painted Frank Zappa, Jeffrey Lee Pierce twice, sorta David Bowie, Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme, Elliott Smith, Pete TownshendGram Parsons, Howling Wolf, and Brian Jonestown Massacre’s Anton Newcombe.

There is a long list of faces I’ve still got to manage: Pamela Des Barres, Linda Thompson, Lucinda Williams, Victoria Williams, Patti Smith. Joni Mitchell, Odetta — I need to do more women. Poison Ivy and Lux interior are high on my list. So are Marc Bolan, Jerry Garcia, Joey Ramone, all the boys and girls who struggled and made their best effort and died young  . . . the list could go on forever.

Sometimes if the feelings are too intense that kind of clouds my abilitiy to deal with the physical necessities of working with real-world elements. I guess I get star-blind or love-blind or something. I couldn’t write with a clear, analytical head about Mark Twain when I was in college because I love him to a degree that is unreasonable. I have been unable to paint a portrait of Jeff Buckley for the same reason. If I painted portraits in an order related to the number of hours I have listened to a particular artist Jeff would be first on the list. The members of X would be next. I painted Gun Club’s Jeffrey Lee Pierce.

I painted John Doe but was disappointed with the result.

johndoe

I’ve got a few of these paintings.

I like my James Brown but, early on I mod podged with a glossy finish. Bad move for photos:

bestjamesbrown

 

 

 

My Brian Eno’s not bad but in all three I used shiny materials that I do not know how to photograph without shine, glare, light bounce.

Love that glitter! I learned, though.

These were some of my earliest paintings.

 

 

 

eno4print

My biggest diappointment was my Bob Dylan. I found a beautiful picture that I think everyone loves and even though the angle of the face, with Mr. D looking down, is pretty much outside my skill-set to pull off accurately I didn’t let that stop me.

I loved the challenge of the curly hair, too.

I am currently listening to the Five Royals. Early R and B. Too Cool.

“My baby’s got the best washing machine in town. Ooh, Ee, what a machine.”

This disc is a great mix of wonderful, sincere gospel inspired ballads and these sweet, funny, raunchy tunes. They rocked.

bigbob

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*lyrics by Arthur Lee from”The Red Telephone” on Forever Changes.

Forever Changes

Posted in music, socialization with tags , , , , on November 18, 2008 by darcyarts

“Humans are one big spirit separated into different bodies wandering around a hunk of mud called Earth, and all beings are basically reflections of each other. That’s what my songs are about.”

Arthur Lee said that.

Arthur Lee was a musical genius and according to the thesis-like text by Andrew Hultkrans, a prophet.

“Forever Changes”, about Arthur Lee and Love’s 1967 album, the second book written for Continuum’s 33 1/3 collection is an odd one.

 I read the reader criticism on Amazon before I bought it. Most of it was very good. One review included this:

“This product reads like something someone wrote as a literary disertation for some type of graduate work in music studies.”

This could never be a disertation in music studies but could very well have been written by a serious student of American Studies.

I wasn’t put off by the criticism. I thought to myself “I would love to read a disertation on Forever Changes.”

Hultkrans brings in many interesting references — Marat/Sade and Nathaniel West’s “The Day of the Locust.” He quotes Soren Kierkegaard and Joris-Karl Huysmans but we also get a good picture of Arthur Lee’s experience in LA then and an epilogue that contextualizes his triumphant post-incarceration, turn-of-the-new-century tours of England and elsewhere. Lee often played the entire album with band (Baby Lemonade) and an orchestra. He was greated by appreciative, adoring audiences everywhere her traveled.

I saw the band LOVE in 1968. I didn’t know them then. I was lucky enough to see a reincarnation of Arthur Lee and Love in 1980. I had a friend in a band who often played LA clubs and he knew about the show. The show was upstairs over a bowling alley. Every second of the performance was riveting.

Arthur Lee was not a wastrel. He was very serious about his work and his work was very serious. In the history of 20th Century music this sound is on the top of my list of the best ever and geez, there is a lot of competition. America produced alot of groundbreaking sounds over the course of roughly a hundred years.

I admire and respect Arthur Lee to the very depth of my bone marrow. He came to serve. He was a bodhisattva.

from the book:

“And why is this 58-year-old crazed genius not back in LA eatin’ chicken like a mother fucker and rollin in his caddy (an earlier quote from Arthur about what he could have done after he got our of jail) — ordinary, noble pursuits he is more than entitled to indulge until his dying day? Because, as he claims God came to him back in 1995, before he was sentenced to prison (my note-for allegedly shooting a gun into the air during an argument with a neighbor), and said, enunciating as Arthur does very clearly: ‘Love on Earth must be.’ Apparently, this directive was reiterated several times during Arthur’s imprisonment. Back in the 60s Arthur’s songs came to him in dreams, and he knew then as he knows now that when you get the call you pick up the phone — red or otherwise. And if the call says go out and tell the people, well, then, you go out and tell the people — but quick.

Arthur Lee says of his song ‘Nothing’: ‘This song to means life is short. It’s sort of like Ecclesiastes inthe Bible — meaningless . . .I’ve studied the Bible a lot. I know a man’s words are as deep as the water (my note-Arthur was a Pisces). Even though our lives are so short, we’ve got time to get involved . . .We shall perish, you know? The thing about me . . . the souls goes on . . . I’m doing what I’m doing because I have a lot more work and I chose to do it.” 

There are points at which I wished there was more Arthur and less intellectual speculation in Hultkrans piece BUT Arthur Lee was a brilliant thoughtful, spiritually-motivated man. He was simultaneously inside and outside his time. He was no fool. He was hugely talented. Arthur carried the burden of insight and his intent, he said, was to sing us subversive nursery rhymes that he knew would stick in our heads and maybe change our lives.

For all the accolades and attention that he received in the decade prior to his death from leukemia in 2006.

If you have not heard LOVE go buy Forever Changes, the album, and play it. If it doesn’t catch you on the first listen, spin it five more times. I guarantee it will come out to you in all its glory. Feel Arthur’s heartfelt, artistic intent and give thanks for his having been through this life with us in mind.