11/23/10

Yr Worst Enemy

Been sort of out of the loop these days. I guess I got really busy in October and put myself into tunnel vision mode, and then forgot to take myself out of it. SO: I'm back. I feel like I've been neglecting to update the blog during all this excitement, which kind of sucks. A lot of really great things happen because of this blog and I hope that people still read it? Find it useful? Anyway I'm back. For real, this time.



The big news is that I got a promotion at my job. Beginning December 1st, I will be working full-time. I was initially a little bit unsure of myself, cuz I felt like working part-time was a step in the direction of not having to have a day job. Here's the thing: I wasn't really making money these last three months. I mean, I effectively cut my income in half, which is OK I guess, but having my afternoons free is kind of a joke. I get a lot done, but more along the lines of: laundry, grocery shopping, exercise, etc. Not more "artistically" productive. And I've been really broke. I dunno. I am working every day as it is, and then finding stuff to do the last few hours. And the opportunity I've been given is pretty exciting, definitely something I think I can do, and something I think I can do without driving myself nuts, like at my last job. And also: I'll be making a little bit of money. More than at my last job. More than I've made since 2007. So I'm looking forward to a little bit less stress there. This is a decision I was wrestling with but am now really excited about beginning. Watch this space.



And so what else is going on is, you know, more of the usual. Insecurities and awkwardness lately. I feel like I catch myself suddenly caring a lot about what other people think about me. Like, people I don't know or who I'm not really friends with, opinions that should matter so much (/at all) to me are really tripping me up! I mean, not even their opinions, but my sense that they have negative opinions of me. Like, based on various bits of secret evidence. I dunno. It's not like people are telling me that I've done (or not done) something to upset them. We're not actually having any of these conversations. I find myself over-analyzing situations, like: "Why is this Dude mad at me? Is it because I didn't remember his name after meeting him for the first time because he randomly added me on Facebook? Is that mean of me?" And I am tearing my hair out because someone I don't know is always really frosty to me / maybe throws a little shade behind my back. Or, like, I'll be wondering if the reason other people in my life seem to resent me so much. I understand that this kind of resentment is a lot more about the resent-er than the resent-ee (me) but still, I want to understand it somehow. "Maybe the reason this other Dude is so negative about me, and says such nasty things about me to my friends, and goes out of his way to hurt my feelings / one-up me / start fights is because of something that happened to him in puberty. I bet he's in pain. OK. Let's identify the pain." And like, not to be a jerk? That's bullshit. I mean: not the thing about treating other people as a reflection of how we feel about ourselves-- that's still true. What's bullshit is that I think I can figure it out, or that figuring it out will help the other person, somehow make them stop being a dick(s) to me. But it's not my job to understand everybody's feeling, and it's impossible to try. I think it is also kind of a waste of time. SO: I am identifying this trend in myself and trying to notice it and work with it. We'll see.



I normally wouldn't even get this into it, but my AstroBarry horoscope begins with some advice which seems really spot-on in this regard:
You ought to know how often I defend you, Leo, from the unfair stereotypes you regularly reap from those who envy your warm vitality. I tell them you are more generous and heart-centered than they give you credit for… that it's their unresolved resentment about their own inhibitions which is where this projection stems from.
Like, this is it, man! Whatever. Same boring thing. I think the big lesson here is that instead of, you know, trying to rationalize and understand is a way of trying to control. Like, control the situation. And you know what? Some people are haters. And that is OK. And haters need love too. And I hope they get it. And I think that the most radical act you can do is try to love a hater. Your hater.

I read a lot of Pema Chodron, and she talks about this meditation practice called tonglen. Which is, in so many words, a way of practicing conscious empathy. And she talks in her books about focusing on people who really annoy or upset you. The last people you'd want to sit around thinking good thoughts for. They're the hardest people to imagine nice things about. But they're also the best opportunity for you to stretch your capacity for good-feeling. She quotes an old Buddhist scholar (not even gonna TRY to find the quote, sorry), who says something to the effect of how annoying people, people who bother us and drive us crazy, are such a blessing, for this reason. Which I really like. Like, what if your worst enemy was who you thought about living a long and healthy and happy life? Then that kind of changes what "worst enemy" means. I think it helps close this perceived distance between you and worst enemy. Which is rad (as in radical).


Thanks, Pema!

And then also, I got this 7" in the mailorder recently, the legendary Frumpies' ultra-scarce Chainsaw release, Alien Summer Nights.



So crucial, the Frumps. Also noteworthy is that they released a series of 7"s, on Kill Rock Stars, Lookout, Chainsaw and Wiiija. They're totally the unsung heroes of the Riot Grrrl aesthetic/mo(ve)ment. And their music is really gratifying to listen to, especially when I'm feeling bummed out or pissed off or frustrated and looking for ways to express it and see it expressed or whatever. So, thank you Tobi, Billy, Molly, Kathi and Michelle. Thanks, I mean, again.

Spent the weekend with Sister Pico, Lauren Wilkes, Chantal V.J. and PLD at our friend Dr. Perez' house in Connecticut, having an early holiday dinner.


PLD. Climbing in a tree. In a cemetery. In a photo by Teebs.

It was perfect and quiet and cold and peaceful. We ate and drank in abundance and laughed a lot. It was really fun to have indoor excitement. Definitely restful, and a god sort of cap to my mini-hibernation. Cause I'm back.

I'm going to pick back up working on the new issue of Scorcher, which is gonna be titled WHITECHOCOLATESPACEEGG. (Mine is gonna be in all caps). I've been taking my time with this one cause I have some bigger, broader ideas I want to talk about in it. I read the title story, which is a kind of "zine intro" written in the style of, say, Doris, at the event at PPOW Gallery where I read with Brontez. But the rest of the zine is still being stitched together. And I can't wait.

Things are going to get exciting.

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