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I've been doing zines for over ten years and for high school my first zine, Zombie, I once conducted an as-yet-unpublished interview with Madigan Shive aka Bonfire Madigan), about her artistic process, etc.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.