7/31/10

TIGERMILK, the song by Jenna Gross

SO GUYS I AM HOME IN CALIFORNIA FOR THE WEEKEND.



When I got to the airport on Thursday, Sarah McLachlan was sound-checking for a free concert she was giving that night.Yes Really. I had just left the office job I've had for the last two years and was feeling a little emotional. And then I got to the airport and there was a free Sarah McLachlan concert. Amazing. But unfortunately she was going on at 7 and my flight was at 7:30. So I thought ok oh well maybe I'll just hear a little. The set up was just her and two backup guitarist singers who both seemed nice also are married. Good for everyone. But then my flight got DELAYED and I thought "OH FUCKING RAD NOW I CAN SEE THE SHOW so I got a glass of white wine at the airport bar and flipped through I-D Magazine then I saw the show and it was FANTASTIC and she opened with "Building a Mystery" which is such a great song. Anyways it was really magickal and she played some new stuff, her new single is really good and cute. Then it was over and I got on the plane and that was hella boring cause the TV on the flight was OUT so I had to watch the same Jennifer Aniston RomCom over and over. It was cute, a little. But ugh. So that for six hours after Sarah.

Anyways yeah so I'm back home in Alameda.


This is my cat, Nora. She's very nice. A little shy. You can only see her head but she's pretty big.

Hung out last night with Cotton. Went all the way out! San Francisco! Let's never talk about last night ever again. let's keep it between us and San Francisco. Secrets. West Coast. "Witch". You know what? Fuck Nerds. Seriously. Haters are Nerds. Nerds are (evidently) haters. Get over it. For so many reasons. Whatever though we had hella fun last night. SF is so crazy different than new york. I got into an argument, I was part of an argument between me and two other boys. They kept saying that the real future of fashion came from Milan. I said i didn't know what they were talking about what where they talking about? They said like Moschino or some shit. I was like That's not really cutting edge and they said that it wasn't Gucci. Whatever! SF! Yikes! Did not get barely ANY SLEEP AT ALL but I sort of meditated for a few hours and the way I did was by having very light lucid dreams about the supermodel Maricarla. So it was pretty cool.

In the morning I met up with Grey. Beautiful Grey. Wonderful Grey in Alternate reality boyfriend Grey. Hi.


Here's Grey.


He's doing crazy shit on that insane thing! He must be out of his mind!


OK in my hometown, Alameda, on a Saturday at 7pm. This is the front of City Hall. There's some guy sitting on the lawn and reading and it's not really a big thing. That's happening. It's totally insane, I feel like. From living in Brooklyn. I don't know. Lawns? Whaaaat?

UPDATE: My parents are watching a movie they rented from netflix. It's the same Jennifer Aniston RomCom I watched a a million times on the flight over. THIS IS ACTUALLY HAPPENING. ITS SO INSANE. This fucking MOVIE.

ok B.O.A.T.S. (Based On A True Story): Scott Panther hated Jennifer Aniston because she shortened her name and he thought she makes her a bad role model for Greek people. But we both thought that Uncle Jesse is a good role model. For everybody. John Stamos, in fact, for President. So glad we got along.

So it's crazy to see this movie SO many times. Also: Cotton said, at the bar last night, in describing himself and in a conversation about Atari Teenage Riot (I told him that he looked like both of them): "I'm like Jennifer Aniston in Atari Teenage Riot". Master of soft reads, Cotton.

By the way, the movie in question is about getting back together with your ex and it working out.


So this is outside the elementary school in my hometown. I guess I come from here in a way / sometimes. Hello.

7/29/10

Baby On The Plane

Thinking as I always do about that Lisa Germano song "Baby On The Plane" when I'm travelling. "Oh Yeah / Your Eyes / And Tequila / Get Me Through Today". But maybe none of those things get me through today. CONFESSION: Today has barely started. It remains to be seen what will get me through today.

So today is also my last day at my current job. Next week I start work as a part-time arts admin. It's definitely bittersweet at the office today. They're throwing me a pizza party. And then I get on the subway to the bus to the airport to go to California. I'm excited to see my homegirls Cotton, Grey, and Arizona.

Been thinking a lot about the Softies lately.

This Summer (actually probably this Spring, but Summers are easier to count), I will have been queer for ten years. That is staggering. And the Softies were a big part of my being queer, I think.

Ten years ago I went to the first Ladyfest in Olympia, Washington with my mom. I was 15 and it was heaven. I could not keep it together. I didn't know anybody at the festival. My mom would usually go do nature things or visit with friends in Seattle while I went to the shows. And almost exactly ten years ago, I waited in line to see a show at the Capitol Theater. For some reason I was there really early, there was a long line. The show was opened by a really fantastic songwriter named Amy Blashcke. Then it was the Softies, then Cat Power. There might have been other bands that night but if there were then I don't remember. Anyways. I was there by myself and really feeling like the world was suddenly open to me. I was in, finally, Olympia. Everything felt right. But I was very lonely.

In line for the show, I remember Beth Ditto and Sassy Lassy (the Gossip's original fourth member, full-time soft butch backup dancer) sat behind me in line on the sidewalk and chitchatted. I was eating some vegan treat or another and Beth asked what it was (tabouli). She asked SassyLassy what she hoped Cat Power would play, and SassyLassy said that she hoped she'd play really anything off of "Myra Lee". Beth said that Myra is her mother's name. Beth hoped that she'd play "Salty Dog". I was incredibly star-struck by all of this, obviously.

Anyways, Amy Blashcke was incredible. She went on to release two albums and they are both fantastic and it's a shame she wasn't a bigger deal but get into her if you can.

Then the Softies played.

I had never heard them play before, ever. They were just beginning to play shows again after a brief hiatus, and celebrating their return with their new (and final) album "Holiday In Rhode Island" which was for sale that night, ahead of it's release on the legendary K Records. They were incredible. For one thing, they both wore matching pink gingham sundresses and played sparkly guitars and when they set up I noticed that they both plugged into such tiny amplifiers. I quickly realized the practical idea here: they don't have to play over drums, so they don't need huge amps. Rose dedicated a song to her mom. They played a bunch of old songs, I later learned, and some new ones. Their music was really beautiful and sweet and sad (Rose began crying, though didn't falter, while singing "Make Up Your Mind"). They played an oldie, "Alaska", because they saw a girl in the crowd that night who was wearing a t-shirt that said Alaska on it. The girl was in the front row! Everybody cheered. It was very... sweet. Very community and welcoming. And fantastic.

But then they finished and we were all waiting for Cat Power and it was tense. And I overheard someone say, right in front of me, "I thought the Softies were broken up for the longest time, since Winter Pageant came out like four years ago". It was Cotton. I recognized him from various girl-rock shows around the bay area. We did not know each other. He was, by my count, the cutest boy I had ever seen in the whole world. And I felt very conflicted about what that might mean for me to be attracted to other boys. And that was when I first ever heard him talk. And it was pretty magickal.

Anyways. Cotton and I became good friends. We dated for, like, a second, before I went off to college. TYPICAL DATE: going to the Fillmore to see Quix*O*tic and Erase Errata open for Sonic Youth, and arriving no less that four hours early so that we could stand directly in front of Kim Gordon (which we accomplished easily but then our friend James came to the show late/on normal people time and squeezed up front with us and it was like we've been waiting allll day!). And then the next day after that show we'd go to Amoeba records to see Sonic Youth, again, and stand in front of Kim, again. While they played a nearly identical set of songs off of Murray Street which we didn't even really like except that Kim wasn't playing bass as much now that Jim joined the band she was free to dance around a bit more in her beige beige beige Marc Jacobs dresses. It was magick and it was romance.

And now Cotton and I are good home girls. And I feel like though I've spent much of the last ten years living on the opposite side of the continent, that we've come a very long way together. And I'm super excited to see her this weekend. And of course Grey, my NYC long lost soul. And ZONA: the most brilliant girl in the world. Possibly. God.

I am feeling really bad about stuff in my life these days but writing all this down makes me feel super lucky. If you have the time or inclination or $, do go out and buy every Softies record (well, It's Love & Winter Pageant are really the necessary ones).

Okay.

7/27/10

Point Of You



Epically late to work this morning. The subway stopped for a long time, and I refused to get off because I just fucking knew that the second I got off of it, the doors would close and it'd bump along into the city. Eventually, though, the conductor came on to tell us that the train had been discharged and in fact we did all have to get off of the train. I stumbled up the street to the other subway, watching as fancy European guys waltzed out of the subway station and flagged down various black Lincoln town cars, muttering in their big-tongued accents "How much to city?" I passed a bunch of taxis and thought about getting into one because then I'd definitely get to work on time. But then I figured: "Wait, why would I spend money on a taxi? To get to work? That is insane." So I walked really fast and in big huge strides the 20 blocks to the other subway. I'm wearing really heavy shoes today, it was hard. And when I got to the platform, a train had just left and I was really feeling like I'd made the wrong decision to not take a taxi or something. But then the train came and it was the new M train, which means I wouldn't have to transfer. And it was air conditioned. And there were seats.

I sat across from a medium-cute kind of guy in ragged jeans and a white t shirt and a big woven duffel bag that made me think he wished he was a hippie or something. He was good looking but not too. He had long-ish hair, and I have this thing where I don't respect men with long hair. Like: I'm sure you're great, but unless it's very long (past your shoulders) I don't respect you. I'd be delighted to be proven wrong on this-- please!-- but that's what it is. Anyway this cute guy I decided not to respect was sitting across from me flipping through his phone. He has an old-school flip phone like me, no internet e-mail magickal packets for us, no no. He was smiling super hard and giggling, so I guess he was reading a really nice text message or something. And he was smiling and giggling about half the time, and the other half of the time he was staring directly at me and also smiling. SO you know: M train-- way to go, right? Then at fucking Essex St. Some idiot skateboard surfer asshole got on and even though the train was almost entirely empty, sat down next to me, across from the cute dude. (Not even cute, but the cutest person on the train, besides me, that I knew about at that moment even though I kept my sunglasses on because I never want anybody to talk to me, ever).



Look: no offense to skateboarders, their symbolism, or those of you who dig that whole trip. Not hating. But THIS GUY was in the wrong. For one thing, he had his shirt hiked up on one side, revealing a taut little tummy, but not appreciably tauter than my own. He had a blond buzz cut. Is there any worse haircut for a boy than a blond buzz cut? If there is, I haven't seen it. ANYWAYS, he was sitting next to me, totally oblivious, and definitely getting in the way of the vibe magickal eye session between me and the weirdo / cute dude. And I was thinking: "What the fuck is a skateboarder doing on the train? Isn't the whole point of that so that you have your own mode of transportation? Like, isn't that the whole trip? So that you can get your faux-surfer, probably meat-eating, definitely-not-Californian-not-with-that-haircut, poseur ass wherever it is you need to go? Why are you on the train?" Also he even had one of those really wide skateboards, the kind that look like surfboards, which pissed me off even more because I identify, nominally, with Surf Culture, being as I am from Los Angeles (originally) and Surfer Dude being the socially acceptable identity-space for me to inhabit as a child, given my accent / dialect / permanent affect. (Now obviously I make no bones about sounding like a Valley Girl Intelligentsia-- 'Granting Girls Wishes From My Stone Cold Bikini, Yeah'). Also his wide fat ugly surfskateboard was bare wood, not even painted. Like WHAT IS THE POINT OF YOU, EVEN?!

Then I turned to look at him and the skateboarder was staring at his reflection in the window and his mouth was open like he was stupefied. Then I saw that his chin and thigh were both scraped up and so was his torso and I guess that's why he had his shirt rolled up. He was also holding in his left hand a balled up tissue which was slowly soaking up blood from his palm. He turned to look at me cause he saw me staring at him and between his dumbfounded expression and the scrapes all over him he looked like a zombie in one of these recent "funny" zombie movies (of which I am not really a fan yet I always seem to find myself watching zombie movies). So I felt a little bit bad for him cause he was all scraped up. I guess. He was not cute. The guy across from us was still giggling at his phone, smiling at me, and now, alternately, making sad puppy face at the skateboarder. Which made me respect this cute long-haired guy even less. Anyways there was this fantastic tension (as far as I'm concerned) and it was really exciting and an awesome way to start the day until the M train got to 23rd street at which point both Pitiful Skateboarder and Billy the Witch got off, in different directions. Which was also nice.



I feel armed in a way and what I am armed with is something approaching "my heart" or "love." I mean, I don't want to refer to those things ("compassion" works too) as weapons. But, like, maybe thinking of it as a machete which I am using to hack my way through the wilderness. Out here, deep out here in the jungle / forest, people change. And not from isolation. That's this huge misconception, that you change because you're alone. It's totally the opposite, you change because you encounter everything and everyone, and those encounters change you.
And when you measure, or even acknowledge this, then you change yourself.

7/26/10

Wake Up On A Satellite

Oh, weekend! Much much-needed R&R. I dunno. Not a whole lot to report.
I'm this spooky region of transition! I am going from full-time to part-time work, which means I need to find ever-new and exciting sources of income. And also I am using this as an excuse to buy new Work Clothes with a credit I have at H&M. Also I'm going home to California next weekend to see various home-girls whom I love to death (Hi! Let's hang out!).

In his fantastic show Cat Lady which I have seen probably four or five times and predictably rips out my heart each time, Joseph Keckler describes quitting his day job to have time to work on his art with "this is a dragon at the edge of a flat world". That phrase has always stuck with me. And I think I first saw him do that piece like two or three years ago, and even then I thought, really consciously: 'Yeah! Me too! Yes!' but am just now quitting my job. So we'll see. But I feel like that: taking flight. Hopefully.

This is really sweet. Saw it this morning and it did make me smile.
I feel really grateful for this. Thank you.

Also this weekend was The Need's reunion. Here's another video of it! How great!



God, just about everything about the Need. I could go on for days. Suffice it to say that if you're reading this and you don't know who they are, go to http://theneedisdead.com and buy everything they have, etc. SO much of the ways in which I think about the world around me, music, art, etc. are directly or indirectly influenced by these two amazing people Rachel Carns and Radio Sloan. And in their hey-day they were a cult favorite band. No Top 40 breakout hits for them (though "Crown" coulda been huge), they exist in my memory as unsung heroes. In an interview once, Rachel described touring with the band where they'd go to some small town and play in a basement, and all these teenage babyqueers would show up and dance. And then the next year they'd come back and those babyqueers would be the opening band.

Maybe this sounds like really easy, obvious, basic punk stuff. To me, it changed my life. The Need were (I guess I can say "are") a band / project that gave me permission. And I know I'm not the only one. I think for me, what was so inspiring was the totality of vision, the fearlessness with which they navigated their aesthetics, and the uncompromising sounds they made. I love the logic and the lyrics. And the newness. Even more than ten years later, there is nothing else that sounds like the Need.

I am loving them so hard right now.

7/23/10

LOVE NOTE FOR DANCE

For those of you who couldn't make it on Wednesday night, this is what I performed at Dixon Place for the Hot! Festival edition of UnderExposed curated by the illustrious Jack Ferver. Jack was called away to Paris at the last minute for a very special teaching gig and he asked me to fill-in as the "host" of the evening, introducing the brilliant co-performers and then reading my piece at the end. This is the piece that I read. It's still pretty raw but I wanted to post it here for a few reasons. For one thing, I kind of like how it turned out. Also, the piece includes a couple different threads which I'm working with in a few different stories / ideas. I'm also into the idea of 'performance texts', especially insofar as they convey a verbal quality. I've included what could be called stage directions as "pause", etc. So you have to kind of imagine what that would be like if I was reading it onstage at the end of a very exciting and very queer dance performance.



BILLY CHEER'S LOVE NOTE FOR DANCE

Jack asked me if I wanted to participate in this evening and I just kind of went for it. So: I’m not a dancer. I’m not even a non-dancer. I feel like I should disclose that because dance audiences, from my understanding, do not take well to bullshit. Y’know: NO TO MAKE-BELIEVE. They also probably don’t appreciate pandering, either. Oops.
(Pause).I would like to think they would accept someone failing onstage, like as a possible outcome. So.

I wanted to address this the best way I know how. I’ve seen Dance at parties. I’ve met Dance, I think. I think I’ve seen it, but like anything else in New York, everybody tells me that I haven’t seen the Real Dance, that maybe if I were here in the 1980s, 1970s, 1960s, I could have seen the Real Dance. But I am pretty certain I’ve seen it or something close to it. I think I would recognize it but I don’t think Dance has any idea who I am. Doesn’t even know I’m alive! Okay, I take that back.

I asked a friend of mine, a dancer friend, what to say. Like, if I was writing a love note to dance, what should I talk about? He seemed confused, and suggested that instead of writing it a note and reading it out loud that I just do a dance instead. That I should talk to it in it’s own language, but that kind of defeats the point of it, to me. Somebody else said that if I was going to write the note that I should just refer to the reading of it as “mouth choreography” cause then it’d count as “choreography”. But that seemed sort of like co-opting it, kind of presumptuous or something. Like getting into bed when Dance goes to get a glass of water, if we were on a date or something. It seemed like jumping the gun, or cheating, or tacky. And isn’t that what Dance is all about? Seduction? (Pause). It might not be, I’m just asking. Gosh though, wouldn’t that be great if it were? I think it’s probably about a couple of other things, too. Okay.

And then my dancer friend said that I should just talk about the QUALITY OF MOVEMENT. That makes absolutely no sense to me. What does that even mean? How can you describe that? It seemed like an impossible thing to do, and the futility factor of it was a turn off for me and so I gave it up. It seems, then, like maybe a bad idea to ask a dancer how to address Dance, in a love note. It feels like I’m asking someone how to hit on their parents or something. Just creepy, and I can’t entirely trust the kid.

I feel like I used to know so many more Dancers. Like, when I was in school. When I was in college, it didn’t seem so inconceivable that Dance and I might wind up together, somehow. Like, I know I definitely thought Dance was cute, there were really attractive things about it, and I think I could have been with Dance. But it just never happened. I felt like there was never time. The people I know who were with Dance the most, the most dedicated Dancers I knew were all in college, or just out of college. Most of the dancers I knew aren’t dancers anymore, either. They’re chefs, or writers, or performance artists or filmmakers or something else, now. I feel like either Dance is really fickle or my age group and I are just on the outs with Dance. Next week is my birthday, I will officially still be popping zits at twenty-six. It seems like Dance is sometimes really into younger people, but I also know for a fact that Dance has a lot of lovers and hangs out with people over 35.

So, I’ve been thinking a lot about perfume commercials, as a way of saying something without saying it. The whole premise of perfume commercials is to show you pictures and sounds that relay the feeling you’d get, or give the impression of, a smell that you have to imagine.

When I am thinking about perfume commercials I am thinking about dance. And I’m thinking about how when you go to see a dance show it’s sort of someone making something with their body that’s resonant with the body you have too. Or, just, that there are other possible ways to express something without coming right out to say it, that that’s not always the best way to say something. You can’t describe everything that way. And Dance, I guess, describes things in ways other than the explicitly verbal. And I’m also thinking about perfume commercials because even when they’re freaky (I mean, who wants to smell like a salty Kate Moss?) they seem to be sexy. Or at least sensual. They’re pictures and sounds that get you to want to have a certain smell. That is complex.

I’m just thinking a lot about desire. And desire, as we know, is the distance between what you have and what you don’t have. Desire is a space. How nice. What are some things you can do with a space?

(Pause).

It seems like dance is about addressing and sometimes potentially conversing spaces, and distances, and feelings, and ideas. And that desire could be one of the spaces that Dance does it to.

So this is the big thing that I think I might have in common with Dance. This is the thing I think I could maybe bring up at a party, by way of an introduction to Dance. Something we could talk about. Desire. Using Desire (the feeling) to talk about desire (the space). I think Dance might understand. So this is the love note to dance, to recognize something in it which is: to project outwards from ourselves in hopes of making each other understand.

Keeping You



Been feeling sort of weird lately. A lot of transitions in my life. A lot of uncertainty. I still dunno what's up with my teeth. It's frustrating. Working on some new things.

I have some ideas for some new projects. I am trying to stay positive and possible.
And that's easy to do when The NEED reunites! God. I wish I could have been on the West Coast for these shows. But I am hoping against hope that possibly I will see this band again. They are maybe my favorite band and absolutely central to my queer identity and also here is a video of them playing a show and one of the fans in the audience gets overexcited and licks Rachel's leg!

7/20/10

Where I Love You

I want to invite you, friends, to a couple of things. First of all, I am guest hosting this event tomorrow night. I will also end the evening by reading a short "Love Note to Dance" which I am excited to share with you.

Thursday, July 21 at 7:30pm
UNDEREXPOSED at Dixon Place
Tickets: $10 (advance sale), $15 (at door)
BUY ADVANCE TICKETS HERE

DP's dance series that provides an opportunity for choreographers who are either beginning or evolving in their careers. Curated by Jack Ferver. Featuring choreography by Benn Rasmussen, Max Steele, Darrin Wright, and Tyler Ashley

QUINTET: UNTITLED
Tyler Ashley creates theatrically charged atmospheres and sweat-provoking movement, engaging his audience in a mediated self-discovery. Mining outbursts of humanity for ugliness, drama, color, and moments of awakening, Ashley focuses on the spectrum of the human condition-from mundane everyday occurrences to transformative rights of passage. With Tyler Ashley, Kris Seto, Michael Ingle, Goldie Peacock, Rakia Seaborn.

LOVE NOTE FOR DANCE
Billy Cheer has never been a dancer but always wanted to. He writes a love letter to the form and brings it to the stage. Performed by Max Steele.

SOLO WITHOUT ME
Watch Darrin dance. He might fall. Intentionally. He'll get back up. You might be bored. Look out for Jack's hands and make a mental note of how many times he does it. Tell Benn he's very handsome and sincerely mean it. Created and performed by Darrin Wright.

So that will be way fun.
THEN on FRIDAY NIGHT IN WILLIAMSBURG a super fun dance party where I will be the guest dance judge. SO come impress my, why don't ya?


You best keep on jumpn' cause this dance floor is too hot to handle... but don't fuck up... it's judgment day! ☆ CELEBRITY disco devils FRANKIE SHARP and MAX STEELE are ready to poke your sorry asses back to where you belong-no worries- Angel in disguise, SYLVIA LONDON saves you !!!! ☆ Dance off at midnight. Winning team=FREE BOOZE!!!
Photo Booth by : Cielito Vivas for http://thepostups.blogspot.com/ !!!
Sweet.
$5 entry
rsvp to: Xanadude.nyc@gmail.com for reduced list.



And then it's the weekend.
I feel good. I feel good and excited. And possible.

7/19/10

Every Hollow Has Its Favorite Sound

To start off with, my new band B0DY H1GH played our first show on Thursday night at my friend Thain's event at Dixon Place as part of their Hot! Festival. I think that we did a pretty good job. We only played three songs, but it's so exciting to play music. I forgot! I think the crowd liked us. Much, much excitement. Friday, I was exhausted but in a good mood. Flagging energy all day at work, and then some good news which did certainly pick my spirits up.

The good news is this: I have accepted a part-time admin job at an arts nonprofit. It gives me health insurance, will just barely pay my rent, and will leave my afternoons free to scramble for money, hopefully getting paid to do things which are nearer and dearer to my heart. It's a big transition. I am medium scared and large-size excited.

Last night I was working on some writing, and getting really down on myself. I sort of was doing that usual "You're a fake, you have no talent and nothing to say" trip on myself (Y'KNOW IT'S CALLED "THE ARTIST'S WAY" OR WHATEVER) and I was so bummed out. I thought: "Great, I'm quitting my job to be broke and have more time to devote to my writing, which sucks and makes everybody hate me." But then I actually had some initial / good ideas and I felt better. So maybe all I need is a little more time to get over my self-hatred, work out some demons. You never know. I think it's a step in the right direction.

TRUE STORY: As you may know if you've been paying attention, I've been doing zines for over ten years and for high school my first zine, Zombie, I once conducted an as-yet-unpublished interview with Madigan Shive aka Bonfire Madigan), about her artistic process, etc. I wish I still had the transcript of it. Do you want to know why I don't have the transcript? I'll tell you: because we conducted the interview over AIM, and we had this little chit-chat on the public computers at the Alameda City Library, where I worked after-school. I was ostensibly a shelver, but I spent most of my time reading Maria Callas biographies and looking through old Sears catalogs for potential zine clip art. ANYWAYS THE POINT IS: in the interview with Madigan, one of the many Formative Experiences Of My Youth, Which Shaped My Destiny, Madigan said something along the lines of (this quote I actually do remember because I often wrote about it on my LiveJournal and DiaryLand online diaries): "You have to kill the self-doubting tower in yr head. If I didn't do that I'd never finish a single song."

I am inclined to agree. And eager to see how this plays out.

So anyways Friday night began thusly excited. I have this new job to think about, some new stories which are urgently due and begging to be finished, at least a couple of ideas for new songs (what? stay tuned), brand new teeth which don't need any dental work for the first time in a year, a definite h1gh from playing with b0dyh1gh the previous night. All good things. And also on Friday night, I was on TV! I play Becky on Jeffery and Cole Casserole, the Best Television Show in the World. Here is a link to the most recent episode.

Friday night went all out, all over the place. To my friend's birthday party, to go see Sassy Magazine's former Sassiest Boy In America DJ for a minute. I swear to God I saw him smile if not at me than in my general direction and my heart still aches from the feeling it gave me he has such a perfect smile. I could go on forever but I won't. After I went to sleep on Friday night I had a kind of nightmare. At least I was asleep and it wasn't real. Saturday and Saturnight (Satyr Night-- I wish! If only! Couldn't you just?) I walked around so much, talking to various cute boys and feeling for all the world like some kind of lost fisherman, amnesiac (like in Long Kiss Goodnight!) or something, floundering. I don't know how to describe it. I am shifting my attitude, manually, to the everything is gonna be okay mind-mood selection. And it's scary and it's hard.

I'm trying to find a way to say this. I'm working on some new stories and I'm trying this new approach to the writing I am doing for Scorcher and others. The new approach is to still be specific but maybe reveal a bit more. I feel like the most recent issue (I Love You, You Little Crocodile, which is still available HERE) was all about exposing the heart or something. It felt like ripping my face off. I am moving forward from this place of sort of "expressing" "vulnerability" or something. And I'm working on this new story which is basically a continuation of the first story in that zine.

Basically what I'm doing is trying to make art out of the feeling of profound disappointment that certain people won't be my boyfriends. I think this is a noble, usual, and entirely OK thing to make art about. SIDENOTE: Once on a long-weekend in college, my friend Liz and I went to Philly and there we met the famous wonderful artist Alex Da Corte with whom we instantly fell in love. How could you not? He told us about this cool show happening that weekend and we all three went together to go see Cat Power. It was a seated show. This was during the days of Cat Power as a solo act. She was, I don't mind telling you, in a state. At one point, in-between songs (she rarely played a song all the way through, usually just enough to give us the general shape of the song), she was smoking onstage, sipping from a bottle of whiskey and sitting on a folding chair, tuning her guitar, when all of a sudden she broke into sobs. Real tears. "Why?" Chan Marshall was crying, in her thick beautiful Georgia Accent (much like our own beloved Jeffery Michael Self, n'est-ce pas?) "Why can't I..." she'd trail off, then recover her line of tragic thinking, "WHY CAN'T I BE WITH HIM? WHY? WHY?" She kept crying and asking us, "Why can't I be with him?" Eventually she added, "Why can't I be with him? John Gillis? Why not? Do y'all know who I'm talking about?" I did not know who she was talking about, but my friend Liz leaned over and clarified: Cat Power was crying onstage because she wanted to be with Jack White.

I've been thinking a lot about that impulse. The impulse to do that, onstage. That was a big moment for me. And so now I feel like I'm making art / writing about that feeling. Or, I'm using that feeling as a way to ask questions about other things. That's closer to the truth.

Sunday I hung out with my best friend Bobo. We got pizza and walked around Williamsburg and hung out with Jess Paps. It was a beautiful calm quiet hot lovely day. I came home, cooked dinner and listened to reggae and chilled out. And wrote. And felt bad about myself but still wrote anyway.


Saw a Chick-O-Stick for the first time in forever. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Enjoyed, I mean, my ability to enjoy it. Love those new teeth. Chick-O-Sticks were also a really important formative thing for me in high school, too. (Gawd, who AM I? Why can't I shut up about anything that happened more than ten years ago? Shit I am so fucking old oh my god). Chick-O-Sticks, as you may know, are Vegan. To peanut butter-obsessed young vegan warrior princes like myself, trying to maintain their Vegan Edge while not living in a state of Utter Candy Denial, it was important as a youth to have readily available Vegan Options. Chick-O-Sticks were a big part of my Vegan Identity. And they still taste great.

And that's just about all. I guess. For now.

7/15/10

Action Painting

(from a current work in progress, a new story about Magick)


Joan Mitchell, Sunflowers
He’s telling me about this art project he’s working on. He’s describing getting really into you know the process of making art. Jumping around, hurling paint at canvas, smearing it, touching it with your fingers. Imagining a picture and then beating it into submission. Throttling it into visibility. (Fizzy Billy Tea). Harnessing an image in your mind and then trapping it, nailing it to the floor, ripping its insect wings off. Working up a sweat and looking for that sweet sound the sigh of satisfaction, when you’ve done enough or just right or it’s finished.
It sounds like Robbie is an Action Painter.

Re-Visionaire

Thought I'd start as all things do with basic elements. Some notes from the train this morning. (On the left are some leftover notes I took on Sunday morning).





Maybe you can't read my handwriting. That's okay, too. I'll explain all of this to you in person. FURTHERMORE: I need to edit it. Or at least update it.

Took the train this morning to Park Slope, to see another dentist. I was seeing him because I wanted to see a real, live, actual (not student) Dentist and this one came highly recommended for his insight and very cheap prices. He did not disappoint. I was told by the most intrepid student I had been seeing at NYU (the student who built my beautiful implant crown) that I had two very serious cavities! I was pretty disappointed and it definitely took the wind out of my sails yesterday-- since I figured the real end of my dental work would be after having these fillings done today. BUT the dentist I saw today x-rayed and examined me and had every assistant in the office look at the photos-- could not find anything that needed doing. All we need to do now is maintenance and checkups on the implant itself, which is standard, to make sure it heals and integrates alright. Fingers crossed, etc. But still,

HOW FUCKING ECSTATIC AM I?
I feel like I have a new lease on life. I think my attitude changed, actually, before even seeing the new dentist today, when I was on the train and really trying to interrogate my bummer. I thought: Why are you so fucking bummed out, Billy? but I couldn't find a reason. Not that there necessarily needs to be one, but I just couldn't figure it out. I felt like because my teeth were so bad, perpetually, that I couldn't be happy or have a good life or do what I wanted. So now that my teeth are more or less entirely fixed, I don't have a concrete reason to feel like I can't do what I want, can't have a good life, can't be happy. So why can't I? I think maybe I can. Maybe. Right?

Playing the first B0DY H1GH show tonight. So excited (info below).

7/14/10

Gimme the Gatorade!

Gosh guys it feels like I've just run a marathon. And by 'marathon' I mean the last year. Maybe people who know me in real life haven't noticed it, I've actually tried to be pretty discreet about it, but for the last year I haven't really let people see me smile. Like, if I do grin it's been with my mouth closed. When I laugh or smile I've been covering my mouth. So anyways, I got my new tooth put in today, here you go:



Guess which one is fake? Honestly, you can't tell. I couldn't tell. If I didn't know, I wouldn't be able to tell. SO from here on out I just have a couple more check-up appointments for the implant, and tomorrow morning I get back to my regularly scheduled dental appointments at a NEW dentist, to get some fillings which I earned by chewing on the opposite side of my mouth for the last year. It's been such a trip. I can't even get over it at all.



And immediately after leaving the dental office this morning, feeling dazed and reeling, I called my mom and we talked about how the last year has been so weird. We got into a fight! I was telling her about how now, all of a sudden, it seemed like on one hand this huge weight had been lifted from me. But on the other hand, now that I didn't have this impending dental thing hanging over my head, the rest of my life needs tending to. I want to change my job maybe, I want to move out of the country, I want to be a more honest and happy person. I want to be able to feel like I'm actually alive, living my life, rather than bouncing from one catastrophe to one windfall and jumping between deadlines. I don't know. I feel like I'm always reacting, instead of responding.

So anyways the fight with my mom (you guys still with me?) went like this:
Billy: I just feel so... weird, now. Like now the last year of feeling shitty every single day is just now occurring to me. I guess it's always been occurring to me, the whole time.
Mom: I know what you mean. Sometimes, it's only after a really traumatic thing that I can cry about it. Like only once it's over can I let down my armor and really experience it.

And I totally lost it! I thought what my sainted mom was saying was "Well, here is how I experience it here is MY VERSION..." And I wanted to say MY OWN VERSION. I argued with her, like, "no it's not like that for me at all, I am experiencing this so differently you cannot even imagine how deep and private my pain about this whole thing is".

And I caught myself. This is exactly what I was talking about in my previous post, about how sometimes we think no one can understand our private pain or isolation or worry or something. And we think the problem is that no one can understand it. The distance we're indicating is, we think, the source of anguish. But that's wrong! Everybody's got problems! And when you have something which is causing you anguish it's actually a really fucking amazing opportunity to connect with other human beings! SO I realized this. Mom was totally right, again. Only now, after everything is more or less fixed, do I really feel bummed about it. It was the same way after I got really sick, in college. I remember after I recovered, like months after, being at some party where straight guys where being all menacing insulting to me and I just totally flipped out and broke down and Bobo had to take me to her room and I was sobbing hysterically and she said "but they were just joking!" about the guys teasing me but I was crying because I was, as I said, "Just. trying. not. to. die." It takes a while for the dust to settle and to see what's still there.



I think I need to drastically change my life in some fundamental way(s). Like maybe move to Europe. I am tempted to go to graduate school, but really only so that I can fix my student loans from private to federal. And so that I'd have time to work on writing about my feelings. These seem like bad reasons to go to graduate school. Right? Also I can't afford it, at all. And also I want to live somewhere where I can go to school and have a life.

So what now? It feels like I'm just now grieving for poor tooth number four. It just occurs to me that I've kind of put my life on hold for it. In the last year there were some awesome things that happened to me, but there was also a lot of deferral. And now I can move forward, I guess. And I'm really sad and I'm really scared. Stay tuned. Captain.

IN OTHER MORE EXCITING NEWS:

I started a band called B0DY H1GH a few months ago with my friend Perfect Little Daniel. Here is a photo of us we took with Jenna from the Gentle Laxatives. (You all know I have a Tumblr, too, where I post pictures of girls I think are rad, right?)



We're playing our first ever show, a short three-song set, TOMORROW NIGHT at Dixon Place! My rad room mate Ptrck has made a video we're gonna show while we groove. Info below!



Okay. Going BACK TO THE DENTIST tomorrow morning can't really wrap my head around that. Feel really freaked out so please be nice to me.

7/13/10

The Worry Remix

So what's up is that tomorrow morning I'm having my dental implant crown placed. That is, my new tooth. For those of you just joining us, on July 22nd of last year (almost 365 days ago) I went to get have a filling done at a dental school and there was a very bad accident in which a dental student dropped a tool in my mouth and broke one of my teeth. Not, incidentally, the one which needed a filling, either. After much hand-wringing and endless meetings and many many visits to the dental office, the tooth was extracted and I had a titanium screw put in (a dental implant). And tomorrow will, hopefully, be the end of this insane ordeal. The next day, I am getting some cavities filled on the opposite side of my mouth. Obviously we need to watch it and see how it heals and there's a whole lot that could go wrong. I'm incredibly nervous, actually. Very very anxious and antisocial and really sort of slowly and quietly freaking the fuck out. BUT if I have learned one thing this year (and I hope I have), it's that freaking out so rarely helps and almost never makes you feel better.

What I've learned this year is to not listen to the Worry Remix. The Worry Remix is so much harder to dance to, y'know? The Optimism a.k.a. Courage Remix is totally my jam. That's my favorite. Let's focus on that.

THESE THINGS WHICH WE CALL MIRACLES AND DREAMS: THEY CAN AND DO COME TRUE.

OH YES THEY DO!

Thinking as I often do when I am inspired and optimistic, about Mecca Normal, and their fantastic 7" Oh Yes You Can!


Just generally trying to be more about, say, feeling good. Instead of down. I don't know. I think this involves a certain right-brain kind of thinking though. Something along the lines of "I don't want to talk to clouds on a sunny day", you know what I mean? Like I just feel like I cannot engage with certain Certified Bummers Of The World. Like, I don't know. I think if we're just trying to communicate our pain, our sense of loneliness or isolation or alienation, that's kind of a waste of energy. I don't know. I guess what I mean to say is that the precise articulation of so much pain, and the articulation of this agony as something which makes the speaker (artist, writer, etc.) somewhat separate or distinct from the viewer is not interesting to me. Because I don't believe we are separate and distinct. SO: I'm not saying it's not ok to make art or whatever about yr pain, cause it totally is. But I am saying it's not okay to act like your private struggle could only have happened to you ever and then make the audience (or your friends, or whatever) bear witness to it, as if the problem is that people don't understand or comprehend the totally vanguard, individual pain of you. That's not cool. That's not a good reason to feel special. OK enough bummer talk.

I'm gonna go back to the gym tonight and run so fucking hard and fast. Last night I went to the gym, too, and I left in kind of a bad mood. I dunno why. Sometimes exercise makes me feel euphoric and sometimes I feel manic and sometimes I just feel mad. I was walking down Metropolitan on my way home, all sweaty in my black gym clothes and with my sunglasses on, caught up in my own antisocial little bubble, when I ran smack dab into my good old friend Kevin. I haven't seen him in such a long time! Only really by chance, on the street. Definitely check out his website by clicking on his name. Anyways he just got back from a quick jaunt to Gay Paree to do some work in the fashion world and now he's going home to Indiana for a bit. So I felt really lucky to run into him. He was delightful and hilarious and when we were talking about what's new with each other, I mentioned my teeth, and Kevin motioned to his crisp clever little khaki shorts, and said "Well, what's new with me is that I'm cleaning up, and I've started wearing khaki." And I giggled so hard at that. Maybe you have to know Kevin for that to be funny? Anyways it totally brightened up my day so fucking hard. Psyched on life.

Not. Gonna. Worry.

7/12/10

When We Mean Another Way

As a balm against my funky bad mood from the previous post, another tidbit from Encourager (which may not be called that for much longer):
____________________________________________________________________

It's like you discovered my weakness and you forgave it at the same time. You found something wrong with me by healing it. I didn't even know. Your diagnosis is also the cure, so I guess what I should be saying, really, instead of "I love you", is:

Thank you, Physician.

Before I met you I guess I didn't even know what love was. It's like I was numb before I met you. I was so numb I didn't even know it. You've brought me to life, animated me. So I guess what I should be saying, instead of "I love you" is:
Hey, Gepetto. Where'd you get to?

Hey, Gepetto. Poor boy.

My Face'd Be A Black Hole



I think it's a lot about, like, saying things that you wish somebody would say to you. I think it's a lot about trying to find a way to say something. Like, imagining yourself on the other end of a conversation. By conversation we mean microphone or audience or movie screen or mommy/baby relationship. I think it's a lot about that Sinead O'Connor song "This Is To Mother You". Y'know: trying to recuperate something. Trying to imagine someone saying the exactly right thing you'd want to hear. Because that presupposes that you know what the exactly right thing for someone to say would be. It presupposes that there is one perfect thing. And trying to nail that down, even for the purposes of imagining, is pretty good. I think that's a useful practice. It's a very good habit to be in and, I think, a project that more people are involved in on some level than may even be apparent to them.


Gawd remember how SK had all those CD singles on Matador Europe?

I feel like I'm really done being the mom. I dunno. I feel like that Sleater-Kinney song "Little Babies". People don't seem to get the, you know, message of that song. They're essentially making fun of their fans. JC Mitchell said that it was an inspiration for his first film, about an immigrant transvestite rock musician. I can't find the original quote but he said he felt like Sleater-Kinney performing that song for young girls, there was a kind of seduction there. He used that word, I'm certain: seduction. I don't know if I agree (big surprise). I never thought of that song as seductive. I thought of it as very astute. A very sort of slight read of the audience. A very tender mocking of not only the dynamic of the audience-performer, generally, but also a kind of mocking statement of Sleater-Kinney's own audience. So, in a way, as a fan, you have to decide whether or not they're making fun of you in that song. You have to decide what the song is about and whether or not you're one of the "little babies" they're talking about. Maybe that's the seduction, is you have to decode the song as a message or something. But anyways I'm thinking a lot about this. About how sometimes the response you get to things (maybe let's say yr music or yr art or yr blog or some other blog that wrote about something you know about or maybe you just have a photo of yrself) is one of "Me too! I can do that! I wanna do exactly what you did but in fact you're an asshole because I could have but did not think to do that first!" I dunno. Am I projecting? Maybe. I just feel like my big revelation of this weekend's eclipse was that I think I needed to treat people (I am counting myself as a person-- something I refuse to apologize for and as such something I am continually punished for but o well) with a bit more maturity. As in, I'm done having the conversation where I tell people "It's okay, maybe no one else sees it, but I really do see that you are a Closet Secret Mommy Femme Top, though, and no one will ever fuck you / make you feel bad / like a girl or something, ever. Don't worry, I will take care of you. Here is my blood, I can cool it for you". HyPerBole, I know. High Her Bolee. But Listen: I think we need to be more real with each other and I think that means not acting as if we're accountable for our feelings when nobody is, ever, because feelings are sometimes out of yr control. Right? Right. I think I get myself into a lot of trouble by accidentally acting like it's okay to be an jerk to me, and it's not.

Anyways. Courage in this now. New Goals.
MY POINT IS: I really do love you and I wish you'd just let me do that.
Luckily, the technology for this already exists.

Woke up on Sunday in a blind rage. Well, not blind. I knew what I was looking at, but my rage kept my vision expanding so it was hard to maintain focus. I kept repeating over and over in my head "this always happens. . ." or "this never happens. . ." which are prime examples, as we discussed previously, of what is clinically known as stinkin' thinkin'. So I was having a real hissy-fit Sunday morning on the L train. I had my sunglasses on and was projecting a lot of 'don't talk to me' energy, which was probably unnecessary since the train was nearly empty. It was 10:30am and I had slept for probably four hours, and I was really fucking pissed about stupid shit from the night before and I was sulking. And this elderly lady sat down next to me on the train, and said 'Hello' with a very thick European accent (like, Italian or something). She was wearing a muumuu which was blue with white and green flowers on it. She was very short and nice-looking.

"Excuse me," she said, "what is your language?"
"Um," I said, already regretting turning to face her "English."
"Oh, good." She said, then she pulled a small book from her purse, it showed women and men of different ethnic shades and costumes (sort of "It's A Small World" but with grown-ups). Above them was written the phrase GOOD NEWS FOR PEOPLE OF ALL NATIONS. The woman tapped the cover of the book and said "Do you know this?"
"Yes." I said, turning away from her and staring off into space and wishing that my glasses, which are black, were blacker, so black that not only would no one be able to see where I was looking, but so black that no one would even look at me because my face'd be a black hole from which not even light can escape. I wanted to turn inside out.

"You know this book, then?" The woman continued. She started flipping through it.
"Yeah. I mean, no. I'm not interested, okay?" I said. I was trying to be polite. "Sorry." The woman kept muttering and trying to get my attention.

And I was thinking very consciously about how I was in a really bad mood, and I would need to restrain my feelings of anger. This woman probably got up early on her Sunday to ride the train to convert people to Jesus because she probably believes that she can save people and how could I really hate on that?
"Listen," the woman said "you will die..." then muttered something, she kept saying the phrase "...after you die." But then I thought, you know, I'm in a really fucking bad mood and this lady won't leave me alone and she probably only came to sit next to me because I look like a godless faggot and in fact am one. And since she will not respect my boundaries and go the fuck away, she seemed like an appropriate receptacle for at least some of my rage. So she kept saying "...after you die."

Without turning to look at her I said in my sternest voice: "Seriously, you need to go talk to somebody else. I'm not gonna die. Okay? I'm not gonna die."
The woman was only slightly discouraged, got a concerned look in her face and stared at me, muttering "You will die, you will die, you will die..." over and over again for another two stops. Like, TELL ME SOMETHING I DON'T ALREADY KNOW ABOUT, LADY. Ugh.

I got off of the train eventually and I bought myself a Mountain Dew and had a cigarette and spent all day filming Jeffery and Cole Casserole and it was a really fun and fantastic day of shooting. Afterward, exhausted (I hadn't really slept much the night before) I went up to my rooftop and listened to Bongwater and read about Annie Sprinkle in Richardson Magazine and ordered Thai food and then watched the Simpsons and read magazines in bed and passed out at, like, 10pm and now I'm here. For now.

7/8/10

The Color of Enlightenment

I had so much fun last night at the Jeffery and Cole Casserole Season 2 Premiere Party. I was dancing with the inimitable Gerry Visco and I could barely keep up and she said: "If you can't take the heat-- THEN GET OUTTA THE KITCHEN!!" It was so great. There were fantastic snacks and nice cold drinks and much dancing and merriment and the new episode was just so fucking great. A really wonderful evening. I was thinking, like, how truly lucky I am to get to have nights like that. I feel really happy about it. I'd get into the nitty gritty of just HOW wonderful it was, but suffice it to say I was among friends and getting pretty fancily snacked up for FREE and it was so much fucking fun and nice and magickal. I just cannot say this enough.

Now, for the bad news: during a frenzied attack on the hors d'oeuvres, I managed to bite my tongue, on the underside, quite badly. It is now definitely very painful to do things such as: eat, talk, be awake or alive, really, at all. I seem to remember hearing that the tongue (the inside of the mouth actually) was one of the fastest-healing parts of the human body. I hope this is true and that my tongue heals PRONTO because I have a lot of eating and talking to do.


PLD and Ptrck. Have you ever seen such cute boys?


Scissor Girls, SG Research

Feeling more than a little bit weird, I guess. About lots of different things. Next week I am getting my new tooth installed on Wednesday, then if everything goes well having some fillings done the next day. It will be the week of Dental Work for Billy. And, hopefully, the end of a really long, drawn-out, and pretty horrible experience. So there's some real apprehension there. (When I say "there" I'm pointing to my heart). Pray for me, kids.


Newly discovered species of jellyfish at the bottom of the Atlantic ocean.

Also just dealing with some old feelings. Want to remain cognizant of the fact that what I am thinking about is "old". As in: I don't necessarily have to keep reacting the same way to it. It's kind of hard to put. When I had my shrink up until pretty recently, I was describing some awful feeling or exchange I had had, and I said "I ALWAYS... and I NEVER..." the way I am usually wont to do. We kind of broke down the situation I was talking about, and related it to various other things that've happened in my past, which could maybe have prompted my reaction. She made a really good point about this. I am paraphrasing but don't be surprised if this kind of self-help mumbo-jumbo starts turning up in what I generously refer to as "my work".

The good point she made is this: The "always" and "never" reactions are, basically, the reactions of the child's mind. When we have these really extreme reactions to things, in terms of "always" and "never", what we're actually reacting to, what the feelings are about, are things that have already happened in the past.

Isn't that a good point? Maybe that really is worth the money I had to shell out every week. Oh well. At least I got that kernel of wisdom.


Penny Arcade at a gay pride party the other week. I told her I liked her yellow pants and she told me that Yellow is the Color of Enlightenment. I have a yellow lighter and it literally does enlighten. As with most things Ms. Arcade says, I am inclined to agree.

So without getting too-too into my feelings (or WHATEVER), suffice it to say that I am dealing with some old things. I just kind of wish I could change. I guess this is how one goes about changing. My first instinct is to be like "Man, I wish certain things didn't so reliably upset me, and make me flip out". But I don't wanna just be down on myself, so I am trying to look at the bigger picture. And the bigger picture is this: it really, really sucks that I have such sensitive spots in my life, such profound insecurities around very tiny, almost secret things. But what doesn't really really suck about that is that at least it lets me know what it's like to feel really bummed. And I earned these sensitive spots. And I think it makes me respectful and appreciative of other people. Anyways.


Mary Heilmann, Some Pretty Colors, 2001

Anyways I'm dealing with some unpleasant feelings. BUT WHO ISN'T? Gawd, my fucking tongue hurts so bad. My Lesson To You: Don't bite your tongue, if you can help it. I'm excited to go to the gym tonight, I guess. Maybe eat some soup. I have some writing I really, really, really need to be doing. And I'm excited to do that, I guess. I wish that things felt a little bit easier. But sometimes just that wish is as close as I'm gonna get to it actually being easy. Which is kind of close, I guess.


Kat Bjelland on Courtney Love's Behind the Music

Trusting my guts. They trust me, so I trust them. That's actually what confidence is, right? Like you've put your confidence in someone or something, you have faith in them, you trust them. Some people are very self-confident.

Damn, what a rad, inspiring game that would be to make a list of the things you are confident in, people you trust, things you believe in. I once made a list on this blog of things I do and do not believe in, which was also a fun game.

But, really, the overarching art project of human life, which is MAKING LISTS OF THINGS YOU CAN BELIEVE IN AND DEPEND UPON is so hard, and inspiring, and unavoidable. And it keeps changing!

And it will take you at the very least until you die to ever finish.
And sometimes, the certainty of that feels pretty fucking great, too.

7/6/10

Also I'm A Cat

Gosh. On Friday Lovely Room mate Ptrck and My Best Friend Danielle Rosa and I all went out to dinner at this Italian restaurant near our house. And that was it! We all got the same really delicious pasta dish and drank a big carafe of White Wine and then came home. I was fucking exhausted. Slept super hard.

I feel like in the summer, there are two ways to sleep:
1) Either lightly, restless, waking up every ten minutes sticky and disturbed. Too anxious for dreams. Like trying to sleep while on a boat that's going down a river. Dangerous, unmoored. Or;
2) Heavily. Like syrup. Hard. Fast. Nothing can disturb you. Too deep of a sleep to remember your dreams. Waking up jet-lagged. Like trying to sleep on an ocean liner stuck in the middle of the ocean. In heavenly peace. Unreachable. Out of range.

So I HAD BEEN getting a lot of #1 Summer Sleep, and was none too happy about it. But this weekend I got a lot of #2 Summer Sleep. I feel like I've been Eating Lotuses or something. Really great. Kind of trippy. Such a nice change.

Saturday I went for a walk over the Williamsburg bridge and to the Union Square GreenMarket. It was such a gorgeous day but I got really good produce and a sunburn on the back of my neck and it was all worth it. So fucking pretty. Later I met up with PLD and we went down to Bedford Avenue to hang out in the park for a bit. Ran into Everyone's Favorite Best Looking Boy In The Entire Fucking Universe, Brad in the park. We decided to begin our evening so we retired to the Maison for gin and tonics. Gathered with Ptrck and PLD and Brad and we all got nice and cute to go see Little Victory play in Greenpoint. They were so great! Also on our way to the bar where they were playing we passed the newly-opened Greenpoint 7-11, so that meant one thing:

YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! Seriously this weekend was all about BEVERAGES.

After Li'l Vicki we went to the Metropolitan, for like a second. Had exactly one drink, then headed over to our Big Sister Ben Rimalower's House, where we saw Cole and Kenn and Matty and we listened to music and drank drinks and hung out until all hours on the night. Until 3am. Then we went back to Metro (at, I guess, My Insistence) for literally 15 seconds (just long enough to use the bathroom, grab a glass of water, and head out: what we in the Show Business call a pit stop). We all convened back at our house where everybody crashed, in my bedroom, around 5 in the morning, with the lights on and blasting this really rad techno mixtape that Ptrck made. Everybody passed out except for Ptrck and I, who went up to the roof to do some yoga poses as the sun came up. Finally, retiring to bed, I was just walking into the bathroom to brush my teeth, and I tripped the cord to our modem, thus basically breaking it. It's broken now. Now it's broken. Fuck.

SO SUNDAY MORNING I woke up early and Ptrck and I went looking to find another A/C adapter for our wireless router. We thought we found one, but it turns out not to work. Ugh. We did, though, go to this really amazing Fruit Juice / Smoothie place around the corner from our apartment which was so fucking good and exactly perfect for our hangovers. Might be my new summer morning spot.

(In the morning, when we wake up stuck together with our sweat and spit, I will take you there and I will buy you a large-size juice and you can have any kind of fruit in it that you want. And I'll buy it for you and watch you suck it through the straw all cold and cheap and thick and nutritious then I'll take us back to bed and blast the air conditioner and put on This Mortal Coil records, warping vinyl in the summer heat).

Finally broke down and called the internet company. Not without some finessing did I get them to agree to come fix our wireless router, in fact replace our whole internet setup AND give us a discounted rate (knocking off a whopping $2 a month). But they won't come until NEXT SATURDAY. So I am sort of borrowing wireless from somewhere else in the neighborhood. I don't know if my room mates get it. I am so sad / mad about that but what else can I do? Oh well.

Took a nap and did laundry and decided to make everything okay again. Ptrck and I went to the Metropolitan Fourth of July BBQ to meet up with PLD and Diego and Sister Pico, just back from her fabulous vacation in Northern California. She was very well-rested, looking pert and gorgeous as usual. Made me excited for my own brief upcoming San Francisco Sojourn at the end of July. I simply cannot wait. I wish there was a way to type in my computer to make your experience of reading it even gayer, world. I'm working on it. After the BBQ we hightailed it uptown to Miss Jeffery Self's house in Hell's Kitchen for the fourth. The fireworks were astounding. Everyone from J. Self's building was on the roof. It was so magickal and communal and we kept playing Mariah Carey songs and it felt very patriotic. Somebody brought a young girl to the party, and a very muscular man brought his dog which he did not keep on a leash, which PLD wasn't very happy about. And then the muscular dude LITERALLY PICKED UP HIS DOG, CRADLED IT, AND STARTED MAKING OUT WITH IT. I SHIT YOU NOT. I kept telling PLD to look, look at the man kissing the dog, cause I know it'd gross him out. Anyways it was a totally rad party.

And hey, speaking of Jeffery and Cole, their wonderful TV show Jeffery and Cole Casserole will premiere it's second season this Friday July 9th at Midnight on Logo.


It's absolutely my favorite show on Television and on a related note I'm sometimes on it but that's not the only reason it's my favorite show on TV. The main reason it's my favorite is that it's hilarious and nice. And also Erin Markey is on it.

After the rooftop we went BACK to the Metropolitan (after running into Brad on Houston Street in a ferocious pair of Patriotick High Heels, literally SHUTTING THE CITY DOWN) to hang out for a bit. On our way home we ran into Meli Darko's house party on Grand St where we also saw My Best Friend Danielle Rosa. What a wonderful ending to a wonderful night. I got home by 2:30 a.m. and thought to myself, very consciously: "I am so fucking responsible for calling it an early night. You are so grown-up, Billy. Good for you. You deserve a reward."

One thing that happened over the weekend was that I was loudly recanting some fantasy scenario I was having, embellishing out loud. Things like "oh, and then it would be like underwater too, and I'd have to have long blue hair and a pony and a castle". (I use that quote not to signify something along the lines of my fantasies, but to quote directly from my fantasies). While doing this kind of out-loud-imagining, PLD said: "...also I'm a cat". Which is a) perfect and b) so fucking perfect that I have added it as a mini-tag line to every out-loud fantasy I have. Which is a lot. SO from now on, for the Summer of 2010, I am ending every sentence or thought with "...also I'm a cat." That's just how it fucking goes.

SO ON MY BIG DAY OFF YESTERDAY: PLD and I went on an adventure. The L train wasn't running, but we didn't let that stop us! We took the JMZ to Canal St. where I bought a really cute Cookie Monster T Shirt which I don't know if I can ever wear outdoors, ever. Then we got briefly lost, before finding the 1 train which we took all the way to the Wild Wild Upper West Side to go to my favorite place in NYC (as well as My Mom's): ZABAR'S. I had been obsessing over their gazpacho and we fucking WENT AND GOT SOME. We also got other assorted fancy snacks and treats. I found my precious, precious, exorbitant Kusmi Tea:


Went and ate our feast on Cedar Hill in Central Park. A quiet, beautiful, sunny perfect day in NYC. Came home and realized it was only 4 o clock! So accomplished! And no L Train! Stopped by the local Botanica near my house where I got some much-missed Nag Champa Super Hit incense.


Took myself on a stroll down to Bedford avenue to do some last minute, on-a-whim record shopping (it has been such a long time). And I totally scored! OKAY HAUL VLOG MOMENTS. Here's what I got:


Unwound's New Plastic Ideas
Some people (though not, however, this young intrepid reporter) think of Unwound as the "West Coast Sonic Youth". Hm. That's not exactly true but it is almost exactly true. Unwound and Sonic Youth have such divergent philosophies, it seems like. For one thing, Sonic Youth is all about a certain kind of cosmopolitanism, and Unwound feels very Pacific Northwest. I love Unwound very much, though I never got to see them live. Actually I almost saw them live once at Yoyo A Gogo in 2001 but I was like 17 and I was really sleepy and I didn't stay up late enough to see their set and I left after the opening act. I wasn't a fan at that point. I didn't know shit when I was 17. I still might not. Anyways this record is totally iconic and perfect and I love it.


Cat Power's 1994 debut Dear Sir
But the original 10" version released only in Italy on Runt Records. It features the song "Mr Gallo" about Vincent Gallo and it's so weird how Chan Marshall was onto Vincent Gallo's preeminent creepiness in 1994, before the rest of America and event I think before Ms. Chloƫ Sevigny. Such a fucking trendsetter, right? So ahead of the curve. So autistic, awkward and yet psychick, almost.


Huggy Bear's Weaponry Listens to Love
It's totally a sign that I found that. That is literally an omen. I mean it. Oh man. It's actually their only full-length album. And it's also their least-understood album. It seems like they knew it would be their last (I could be projecting because I only heard any of their work long after they'd broken up). Huggy Bear had a plan for the trajectory of their group, up to and including the end. I love this record and I can't wait to rediscover it again on vinyl. I think it will totally help me write the 17,847 new things I'm supposed to be writing as we speak.

As I was walking around, I could not get the images / concepts out of my head. JUCIFER!

Fucking, god. Amber Valentine from Jucifer. Right? Total Style Icon. I think I might need to write a book about Amber Valentine. MAYBE THIS IS WHAT I NEED TO GO TO GRADUATE SCHOOL TO STUDY: WOMEN IN METAL BANDS. Seriously.

Nabbed some cold sesame noodles from my favorite cheap gross Chinese takeout place in Williamsburg, Red House. Watched cartoons and red magazines until Sleep Style #2 brought me here, to you, world, today.

7/2/10

Exaggerated Manners

Been sort of seeking out inspiring bits in the Universe to help get my thinking organized. I have a lot of notes and ideas and I guess I need to just be more vigilant and where I put each thing. Writing two new stories and one new piece and sort of like, dividing my ideas among them. At least until each thing has it's own legs and sort of know what it needs. It's like houseplants.

I've been toying with the idea of writing various kinds of manifestos. Sort of for my own benefit, really, to be like "This Is What I Am Trying To Do". Here's what I'm working with. Y'know? But I'm still trying to think of what I would say. The point is, my kindred spirit soul sister La JohnJoseph just posted a sort of beautiful manifesto herself.

God you guys yesterday was so hard. I was exhausted. I had that thing where I get really tired and sappy and sad. I had a pretty heartening online chat with La JJ about it. It's really hard sometimes. Just, like, to acknowledge the struggle or whatever. Not trying to have a pity party or be like "My Life Is Particularly Difficult". Just trying to acknowledge that sometimes people can be real jerks and sometimes you feel blue and that's okay. Getting a solid ten hours of sleep really, really helped last night. I feel a bit sturdier today.

But still totally apprehensive! I'd been listening to this art piece about junk a lot yesterday (more on that later) and I had the most insane dream last night. I am trying to recollect it. But in the dream, certain friends of mine (whom I jokingly refer to as comprising a "Drug Cult" when I really mean "Drug Culture" a.k.a "Artistic Community") were all hanging out at a big house party. Obviously, this being a dream it was like a labyrinth and also vaguely familiar, filled with people I sort of knew. Anyways the main thrust of the dream was that we were all using heroin and kept trying to convince the people in the house that it was okay, that we were safe, that we were being responsible. That we could afford it. Basically running from strange room to strange room, looking for a place to fix. Every room was painted white and lit by the moon which came in through windows. All the rooms were connected via strange stairwells and secret passages. It was like the Winchester Mystery House. And in the dream we just kept trying and trying to convince everyone that we were okay and to let us use in their room. It was tense. I don't remember the rest of it. Don't worry though I'm not using and never have and never will. Though I sometimes forget that for a while the only guys I was involved with were, like, ex-junkies. Maybe I don't mean "like". At the time (my late teens) I thought this was kind of hilarious and sort of spoke to a kind of tragic self-mythologizing I thought I needed. Anyway I ditched it. Too spooky. I miss you Chuck.

I feel so ready for the long weekend. I really need to get my shit together. This video really inspires me. I don't know why I never bothered to look for it online before. I first saw this in my junior year of college in a lecture course on contemporary art. We didn't even watch the whole thing but I was transfixed. It sort of changed me in a profound way.

I love you, Bruce Nauman.


For me, the experience of this video is liberating on two levels:
a) Conceptual Art. The idea that this is something that you can make as an artist. The catalog of questions this raises and aesthetics which it speaks to are really inspiring to me, as somebody who considers herself engaged in the art-making milieu.
b) Queerness. My own initial experience of watching this video was (and remains) one of profound attraction. Bruce Nauman's Butt! His stern little expression! Oh my gosh. WHAT THE FUCK KIND OF EXAGGERATED MANNER IS THAT EVEN SUPPOSED TO BE? I am also interested in how my own boner for B.N. intersects with the "serious" a.k.a. "nonsexual" world of conceptual art. But then: who says it's nonsexual, right? This video is, for me, about desire. It is a precursor to the kind of work which I saw last night at the CTRL+W33D show at Envoy. But this is old. I am thinking a lot about the experience of being a viewer and being a voyeur. And I am also thinking about the distance between me and Bruce Nauman in this video, in terms of time, location, sexuality, and mediation of film. I'm thinking about the privileging of the viewer in this video and wondering whether or not Bruce meant for bitchy queens 30-40 years later to use this video as masturbatory fodder and then whether or not my doing so means that I (and/or anybody who wants to be part of my "We") can use other materials for other kinds of masturbatory fodder and I'm thinking about Worship and I'm thinking about Us, Together. And Exaggerated Manners.

7/1/10

Empirical Pants

Um, Space Cadet, party of ME.

My friend Alex' opening wasn't at Yvon Lambert last night. It's at Yvon Lambert tonight. I planned my whole evening around walking over to the gallery, only to hot-foot it there after work and discover the gallery was closed for installation. What a maroon!
Tonight I can't go to Yvon Lambert because I'm going to the CTRL+W33D opening at Envoy Enterprises. My lovely room mate Ptrck has some art in it and he hasn't told me what but I am super duper excited to see it.


Went to go see I Am Love last night. Was suitably overwhelmed. It's fucking gorgeous. Totally mind-blowing. And this is coming from someone who doesn't really like movies. I don't have the attention span for films. But this movie was gorgeous, I really liked the clothes. Does it make me shallow if I liked looking at the Jil Sander clothes? I guess asking if something makes me shallow effectually neutralizes the shallowness. It deepens the question. Also, though I don't eat seafood (Fuck What You Heard, She's A Vegan), I could watch Tilda Swinton eat forever. I wish she was eating throughout the whole movie (SPOILER ALERT: she doesn't eat the whole time, unfortunately, there're some other things that happen). I've also been thinking a lot lately about how Marrying Rich might be the best solution to the problems of my life. And then thinking, further, about marrying a gay mafia heir. I know there are all kinds of flaws with this plan, but I'm just brainstorming, you guys. Get off my back. Anyways this movie made me really wanna me a mafia heir's wife, or marry into some wonderfully rich Italian family. I don't think I would do Tilda's character does in the movie though (to wit: if I were the star of this movie and god willing some day I will be, then I would eat the entire fucking time. If my mouth were full of delicious vittles then I couldn't say the wrong thing or whatever, right? Nom to the motherfucking nom. Ciao!).

Went home and got myself a really horrible case of insomnia. In a way I almost felt it coming. I thought, very consciously during the day yesterday: I wonder how I'm ever gonna get to sleep tonight. It's like I can predict it. It happened the way it always does, where I felt anxious and sleepy, and then did really fall asleep for like an hour, then wake up in some kind of strange waking anxiety dream, and once I realize I'm at least partly awake, this running loop in my head starts off with "WHY CAN'T I FALL ASLEEP?" over and over. And then THAT keeps me up. And then I'm looking at the clock and it's 3:30am and I have to get up at 9 and is that enough sleep? That's not really enough. Not the amount of sleep befitting a Mafia Widow-To-Be. Ugh.


I totally feel like the baby turtles in this photograph except instead of the ocean, it'd be "Sleep". Like, I wanna go back to there! Let me back in! I literally have miles to go before I lay my head down. It's okay. Everything will be okay. Somehow. I kinda feel like I have a date with destiny tonight. But I don't wanna get into it on here. But then I'm realizing: we all have dates with destiny, all the time. How lucky we all are. Right? Right.

This morning on the train, without having had time to have my usual morning coffee or cereal, thus adding to my already sleep-deprived Sheen of Crankiness, I noticed some Steampunk-looking guy on the L Train staring at me. I had my sunglasses on and my headphones in and I was reading. If it were more hygienic I would definitely have brought a blanket from home with which to shroud myself.

In our culture, people are so rarely shrouded. I think we should get back to the shroud.
There are a couple of people I would highly suggest shrouding today, in fact.
OK! STAYING POSITIVE!
("STAYING POSITIVE" is another word for "NOT NAMING NAMES" and I am a fucking NAMER).

Anyways so I'm on the train being as conspicuously absent as my Morning Luke allows me to be and this Steampunk-looking dude with a moderate to severely wax-enhanced mustache situation is staring at me and I notice he is drawing my portrait in a sketchbook on his lap. It's kinda fucked up in a sort of "pot vs. kettle vis-a-vis blackness" type of way. Like: are YOU really drawing a picture of ME? You're the one with the complicated Luke, dude. I'm just being me.

"Don't you know my name? It's spelled M-O-D-E-R-N-I-T-Y."