Monday, January 30, 2006

Yukon Canada not Gold Potato Latkes with Lamb and Puppetry of the Sexy Ass Search Action

So. Last night. I could not sleep. The Sprinkel left my house at 12:38 am give or take five minutes after a lovely and not so lovely musical evening. Those we know created something magical and beautiful. Those we didn't know created the onset of a migraine in the overwhelming majority of the crowd. So. Sprinkel and her pigtails bounced off. And I thought I was tired. I felt tired. Almost deliriously tired. But then. After crawling into bed. And tucking myself in. Under nice sheets and warm blankets. My eyes flipped open. Yes. Flipped. And I was wide ass awake.

Now I know that I am going to get all sorts of bizarre hits on this page because of the proximity of the words "wide" and "ass" referenced above. In fact. I have been watching you all. Noticing who is coming and going. Not that I really "know" who the hell most of you are given the information available. It is not much. I assure you. But I am curious as to who is who of my dear friends. The only person I can pretty much bet on the identity of is my very wise friend. And this is due to his location.

It is sort of interesting to see where you all are from. Kind of. I mean a little bit. Interesting. Or not really so interesting. Well. It is. Yes. Interesting.

Let me just say that I am quite curious about the individual I will refer to as Yukon Territory. I have a feeling I may actually know. Who. Yukon might be and that perhaps Yukon is not in fact in Yukon. Instinctively I feel this to be true. But perhaps I am wrong. Perhaps there is actually some RCMP secret squirrel monitoring going on.

Do NOT get me started on the RCMP. For those of you who think that moving to Canada might be a good idea especially given our political climate here in the good ol' U S of A let me tell you that unless you have done a bit of research with respect to the actions of the RCMP you do not want to make this move. And this is all I will say on this particular topic for now.

At any rate. Here is what I find even more interesting than Yukon and such. It is most amusing to review the google search terms that brought those of you non-regular readers to this space. Those of you who never intended to read these words. Here are but a few of my favorite examples. Wait. Let me back up for a moment.

Apparently I have used some rather interesting words and groups of words in my postings. I have discovered that I have typed the word "ass" quite frequently. And "ass" is apparently a hot search term. Oh great. Now I have placed the words "ass" and "hot" in close proximity to one another. Great. So I have received many interesting hits from all over the world. For example. Because I did say that I would provide examples. I have received hits on the phrase "sexy ass" from Saudi Arabia more than once. Many many times actually. And I will absolutely refrain from commenting on this little tidbit. Additionally I have received hits on the phrase "male exibitionist" and simply "exibitionist" from various states in our own fine country.

And in reviewing this information I decided to go back and review some of my previous postings in order to determine the context of said searchable words and phrases. I can only imagine the disappointment from my Saudi visitor when it was determine that my use of "sexy ass" briefly referenced my sexy ass friends, but more extensively discussed the consistancy of phlegm I have been coughing up and the thousand and one ways in which I have been scarred by watching an up close and personal video of childbirth. Sorry Sexy Saudi Ass Seeker. Better luck next time.

But I do not mean to imply that all googling individuals have sex on the brain twenty-four-seven. I have received google page hits that had nothing to do with sex. Well. I have received one. And when I say one I mean that many of you have been searching for the lyrics to "The Song that Never Ends" and therefore have. Found my page. However that is the only non-sexual google search term or terms that has brought those of you unwilling individuals to this space. And I have never posted said lyrics to my page. Even though I do have a fondness in my heart for Shari Lewis and Lambchop.

RIP Lamby.

No silly. Not THAT lambchop. This Lambchop.

Have I ever told you about my little stuffed lamb. Probably not. I don't think anyone knows this story. When I was a small child. Perhaps three. My Aunt Stella gave me a stuffed lamb. It was a very simple stuffed animal. I do not even believe it had a mouth. But it went with me everywhere. Much to the chagrin of my parents. Until that fateful day. Lamby Pie was lost.

Yeah. You heard me. Lamby Pie. Do not fuck with the Lamby Pie. I swear I will fuck you up with my steel toed boots if you even so much as make a cross eye at the Lamby Pie.

The losing of Lamby Pie is a long story which I will not relay in this moment. But suffice it to say it was the first of many tragic experiences in my young life. Somewhere there is a photograph of me and LP by a swimming pool in Florida. I shit you not.

But I was talking about Lambchop. And I think that perhaps my favorite episode of Shari Lewis and Lambchop involved Shari making potato latkes. Which of course Lambchop loved. And they sang a little long about potato latkes. Which everyone should do at least once. As an aside. My mother used to make potato latkes. But she isn't Jewish. So she called them potato pancakes instead. Same deal.

But. No one is searching for the potato latkes song. Except for me of course. So. I will do something I would not normally do. I will provide those of you lyric seekers with said lyrics. They are quite simple actually.

Here we go.

"The Song that Never Ends"

This is the song that never ends.
It just goes on and on my friends.
Some people starting singing it not knowing what it was.
And they'll continuing singing it forever just because.*

*Repeat above forever and ever.

There. Now you have it.

And let me say that I do believe this has been the longest tangential digression in the history of all tangential digressions. I have perhaps broken my own record for tangential digressions. Indeed. So. I was talking about sleep. Or lackthereof.

Last night I feel asleep at some time I believe after three am. That's three o'clock in the a and the m. After a small coughing episode at two twenty five I finally was exhausted enough to drop into slumber. Unfortunately the alarm clock chimes its final chime at six fifteen. No snooze. And I am starting to think the lack of snooze action was not exactly the best idea after all. But I know that if I had snooze action I would have hit that damn button thirty million times. In fact. I might still be hitting it. And that would probably not be the wisest decision for my career.

But I suppose sitting at my desk. Looking out the window. At the blue sky. And sunshine. Writing this post for all of you is not exactly a. Career wise decision either.

But of course I am just kidding. I am most certainly not writing this at work. No way. I would never do that. Nope.

And I guess I don't really have that much to say about my lack of sleep after all.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Just a Spoonful of Sugar and an Axe Murderer

Last night. I got the call from Rainbow Sprinkel. Coffee at El Diablo. My hands are covered in photography chemical. Fixative agent to be specific. And I probably should have washed said chemical from my hands. But I did not. No point really. No matter what I do my hands are going to smell like photo fix. It is just one of those things. Occupational hazzard.

At any rate. First bus to Queen Anne. Lower. And then the Two to the Soy-Sprinkel Estate. But as you know the Two will not arrive. Did not arrive. And I have learned not to wait. So I hop a Thirteen and request the Sprinkel meet me at El Diablo. And to bring the Soy with her.

Sometimes he is very vanilla. Sometimes he is not.

So I grab a Cafe Cubano. The hard stuff. No soy additive. And usually. I enjoy the soy additive. Which is not to be confused with the aforementioned Soy of the Soy-Sprinkel Estate. He is not an additive. And I head up the spiral staircase to find seats for my compadres. And then I see them. The Nine. Nine women knitting. Nine women knitting in a circle. And for a moment I freeze.

For the first time ever. I am unable to speak. Well. There was that incident in the summer of 1992 when I could not speak. But that was an entirely different matter. So I guess I probably could have spoken. But what would I have said.

So. There is a fucking knitting circle of nine at El Diablo. Instantly I wonder if this is some sort of a coven. And I do not mean a wiccan coven. No. Rather. I am transported back to Rosemary's Baby. A good ol' fashioned satanic coven of folks who want to impregnant a young woman with Satan's spawn. Which of course would not be complete without Ruth Gordon. And in case you were wondering. Ruth Gordon was not one of the Nine.

Her group looked a bit more like this:

But that would have been fucking awesome. Freaky considering she died about twenty years ago. But fucking awesome.

No. The Nine are all very young. The oldest of the group perhaps thirty years of age. Most I would guess are in their early to mid twenties.

The nine knitters stop. And look up from their yarn. They are looking at me. And no longer knitting. I feel like I am some sort of exotic animal. Perhaps part of some traveling exhibit at the Woodland Park Zoo. On loan from a foreign country with a name that no one is willing to learn how to pronounce correctly. Because after all. This is the United States of America. And besides. No one in said country has any resources for us to steal or rape or otherwise pillage anyway.

Uh where was I. Oh yes. The Nine.

The Nine are freshly scrubbed faces with. Ivory soap. Hair pulled back in elastic. Or headbands strategically placed so that long undyed virgin hair remains perfectly in place. The Nine are lily ass white.

I smile. Sheepishly. And find one of the few remaining seats in the corner. Eventually they return to their yarn. Pink. And baby blue. Pastels. The rebel of the group knitting hunter green. And I do not know much about knitting. But I can see from a distance that the stitches are intricate. Their needle work complex.

And it is not that I think there is anything particularly unusual about knitting. In fact. I have friends who knit. And one friend in particular whom I adore. Even though I do not know her nearly as well as I would like to know her. She knits. And she is a dreamy knitter grrrl. But this scene was a bit unexpected. And the dreamy knitter grrrl I know has jet black dyed hair and a lip ring and a very sexy smile.

There were no lip rings among the Nine. I am certain of this. Yes. I checked. In fact. I did not notice so much as a set of pierced ears on the entire group. Perhaps the hunter green knitting rebel had a small set of diamond studs. One in each ear. No more.

So I sit down. And pull out my notebook. Along with a squishy Procrit drug company pen given to me by my nurse practitioner friend who always hooks me up with interesting things from the oncology conferences she attends. So. I am barely doodling on the page. I do not believe I have written a single word at this point. And then. I hear it. And I am not trying to evesdrop. But something catches my attention.

We had the best cake at our wedding. It was so beautiful. Three layers. With a chocolate ganache.

Really. I wasn't happy with my bakery at all. But my younger sister is getting married next year and she could use a good recommendation. What bakery did you use?

You know. I never can remember the name. Isn't that funny? I should know. But I have it written down in one of my wedding scrapbooks. I'll get the number for you.

The conversation about wedding cake continues for at least ten minutes. And I am looking at my watch. Wondering where the Rainbow Sprinkel and Soy might be. I am feeling lost. And abandoned. Afraid. So I do the only thing I can do. I start scribbling frantically upon the page.

The Nine are discussing their respective weddings. There are simple gold bands on the majority of the ring fingers in the room. Each with a large accompanying diamond stone. Almost all of them are wearing little white Keds sneakers.

So I am sitting on the Ikea green denim sofa. And drinking very strong cuban coffee. Listening to seemingly neverending talk of wedding cake. And wedding flowers. And wedding photographers. They speak of wedding party favors they provided to their guests. And bridesmaid dresses. And the various wedding traditions that I find so repugnant that I cannot even repeat them in this post. Not even for you.

And I am starting to feel a little bit ill. Like maybe the coffee was a bad idea. Perhaps I should have gotten a glass of Shiraz instead. And I feel their bright blue eyes staring. Glaring at me. One woman in particular. She cannot possibly be a day over twenty-three. Looking up from her knitting momentarily. Her eyes burning holes through me.

She is wearing pink. And she appears perplexed. I imagine that it is my appearance she is pondering. Perhaps my fire engine red hair and blood red lips and the fact that I am clad entirely in black clothing is somewhat perplexing to the young knitter. And perhaps I am stereotyping. Assuming as much about her as she is assuming about me. But I imagine that she is Mary Poppins. And that she imagines me to be some sort of psychopathic serial axe murdering witch.

And I think it is important to state. For the record. That I have never been a witch.

Addendum: Shortly after witnessing the above. The Sprinkel and the Soy arrived. And I share with them all that I have now shared with you. And in this moment. I stop to ponder the scene before me. And I wonder if I really am that different from other people. And I realize that I am. Thank goodness. Because sometimes I wonder.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Just a Little Song and Dance About My Underpants

Well. I have been writing about some pretty deep shit lately. I suppose I have been in a somewhat contemplative sort of mood. Contemplation is good. Everyone should do it. But I knew that it could not last. Something of the non-deep variety was bound to occur. And today just happened to be the day of that sort of occurrence.

So. Many of you are aware of the fact that I work with a kooky bunch. They are all a little bit. Well. Uh. Different. But I love them all dearly. Except for our former bookkeeper who was recently fired for embezzling large sums of money from the firm. I do not care for her so much. Everyone else I love. I love dearly. But I already said that. You know. I should say it again. Because I really mean it. I love them all dearly. There. I have said it. Thrice.

And the reason I love these people dearly is simple. Our office is one happy dysfunctional family. On any given day I can expect to be yelled at or slapped or otherwise made to feel as if I should just go to my room without dinner. Yeah. That makes it feel just like home. And it makes me rather nostalgic for my childhood and my mother's proclivity toward the wooden spoon beat down.

But my childhood dysfunction is not at issue here. That is an issue for my therapist. If I could actually afford a therapist.

And speaking of affording a therapist. I must share this story. Yet another digression. However I will return to the point eventually. But this is worth mentioning. So. Yesterday. Unnamed Attorney One tells me that they are giving me a special bonus. And for a moment I was worried that this "special bonus" might involve some "white pee on the front butt" sort of action.


For those of you who did not specifically follow this reference. Have no fear. There is nothing overtly kinky happening in my office. I was merely looking for an excuse to insert that phrase in this post. For those of you who do specifically follow this reference. The other thing I should say is gu-gunk. Gu-gunk. Because after all. I carried a watermelon.

Sorry. Enough. Moving on. At any rate. This bonus I received was for coming in to work for the past six weeks while I have been on my death bed with sickness. And if you did not know that I have been on my death bed with sickness then where the fuck have you been. You should do a better job of keeping in touch with me. Geesh. Anyway. My office. They just wanted to let me know how much they appreciated my dedication.

Wow. Nice huh. I almost did not accept said bonus. But given the fact that I am already grossly underpaid. It seemed as if I should probably just keep my big mouth shut. For a change.

But the point of my story. For this is not the point. The point of my story. So. I am in the office. And I am speaking with several of the unnamed attorney persons. And I am looking for something in the pocket of my jacket. So I begin to pull things out of said pocket trying to find what I am looking for. And I feel something sort of fabric-esque. I do not really think much of this as I often carry some sort of scarf or bandana with me. So I pull said fabric-esque item out of my pocket and toss it on the counter in front of everyone.

Only. It was not a scarf. Nor was it a bandana.

It was a pair of my underpants.

So now I am standing in a room with two men and my underpants are on the counter. Now I should say. My underpants. The underpants on the counter. They are clean. I have not worn them. But they are now on the counter. In the office. Just sitting there. Mocking me.

And they both look at me for a moment.

I am not entirely sure if I am supposed to pick up my underpants and shove them back in my pocket quickly. Or attempt to be a bit more casual about it. Perhaps they didn't notice. Maybe they don't even know that the lump of fabric on the counter is my underpants.

Ugh. They know.

I am now getting a look. And I cannot exactly describe the look. However I do notice a glimmer. Some sort of twinkle that represents the overwhelming need to laugh. The funny thing about this whole situation is I know they will never believe the real story of why I have a pair of underpants in the pocket of my jacket.

Correction. I had a pair of underpants in the pocket of my jacket. And why is it a pair of underpants. Does anyone know the answer to this question. Please let me know. Those of you who study origins of underpants. Why a pair.

Anyway. I know they will never believe me. They will think. That I actually. Have something remotely resembling a life. But I really don't. Not uh. Really. No. I do not. Sad to admit. No life here people.

No one will believe why a womyn is carrying underpants in the pocket of her jacket anymore than anyone would ever believe the real story of how someone ended up with a black eye. It is just one of those things not even worth explaining.

Except here. So. For those of you who do not know why I had a pair of my underpants in the pocket of my jacket I will tell you. And you will believe me. The answer is simple. It could not be more simple. Innocent really. I assure you. The answer.

Dirty Dancing.

Doesn't that explain everything. It does. Right. Good. I am so glad that is over. Because I was beginning to feel a bit self-conscious for a moment. That leaves only this left to say.

Damn you Curator of the Hidden Mangrove. Nice nickname huh. I just made it up at this very moment. But as you are the OG of said hidden grove of men. I thought it seemed. Fitting. So Damn you. For this is all your fault.

In case you were wondering. I did eventually put my underpants back in the pocket of my jacket. And yes. They were black. If you want any more information about my underpants than what I have already provided. You are going to have to buy me dinner first. Or at least a drink. Perhaps a cup of coffee. How about a muffin. At the very least a pack of gum.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Fuck You Cowboy

Fuck You John Ashcroft.

Sorry. But that felt good. It isn't exactly the point of this post. Or rather it is. I haven't quite decided yet. But something amazing happened today. And you all should know.

Yes. Something amazing happened today. The United States Supreme Court did something right. Oops. I mean. Correct. They did something correct. Today. Well. I'm a little bit late posting this posting. But I feel that it is still close enough to today to call it today. So I am calling it today. Today. So there.

Anyway. Something happened "today" and it was amazing. The Supreme Court decided that Oregon's Death with Dignity law permitting medical doctor's to assist certain categories of terminally ill patients to end their lives is not in violation of the Federal Controlled Substances Act.


I know. I know. Let me back up. For those of you who are not aware. In 2001 then Attorney General John Ashcroft went after Oregon with a vengeance. They had twice passed. And possibly thrice passed. Legislation that permitted medical doctors in very specific circumstances following very specific procedures and guidelines to assist their patients with terminal illnesses to end their own lives. Ashcroft said this was a violation of the Federal Controlled Substances Act. He declared that medical doctors providing such care to their patients could be arrested and convicted on federal charges.

And let me tell you. This federal stuff is serious business.

But today. The United States Supreme Court decided the matter. And the medical providers in the state Oregon are no longer at risk of losing their medical licenses or facing the possibility of federal conviction for violating the law. This is a pivotal decision. Especially in this era of "family values" propaganda. If you are interested I encourage you to read the full text of the decision for the scoop in its entirety.

In the majority opinion, Justice Kennedy stated that the "authority claimed by the Attorney General is both beyond his expertise and incongruous with the statutory purpose and design." Emphasis mine.

In other words. The Attorney General doesn't know shit and the legislator never intended the Federal Controlled Substances Act to be used to prosecute medical doctors providing legal medications to their patients. Dumb ass.

And that the Attorney General doesn't know shit. Oh wait. I already said that didn't I.

It is notable. Although not surprising. That the dissent was provided by Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence "Whatever Scalia Said" Thomas. And guess what. The new Chief Justice John Roberts joined the Scalia-Thomas dissent. Imagine that.

Now. If you are wondering why I actually give a shit about this issue. Let me explain. Many of you know that I worked for Company F. Surely you recall my tirade on Company F from a previous post. But this is not about said tirade.

One positive thing about working for Company F was that I was given the opportunity to confront death on a daily basis. And in doing so I was able to develop peace with death. Quality of life must be defined on an individual basis. And we certainly all sit at different points on the continuum. Ending one's life in the midst of a terminal illness is personal decision. I do not imagine that anyone in such a circumstance would make such a decision in some willy nilly fashion.

As Oregon has explained. This is a decision that must be made between a patient and his or her doctor with specific guidelines in place to assure that such a decision is not made in haste.

It is a decision that I hope never to be forced to make. But I most certainly hope that if I am ever in such a prediciment that I have the freedom to make such a decision in the manner that I see fit for myself as a human bean.

Oregon has recognized the complexity of this issue. And their law addresses the potential ramifications of such a decision. So congratulations to Oregon. It has been a long and arduous battle for the ability to make decisions for their community in their way. For the people. By the people.

I imagine the right will view this decision in much the same manner as the recent Terri Schiavo incident. Interesting how quickly the right has forgotten about the now deceased Ms. Schiavo. Nevertheless. I believe it is important to state that as a proponent of quality of life measures. I am not anti-life. And how could I be. I am at this very moment a living breathing human bean. So. I am not anti-life. On the contrary. I have a deep respect for life. And in possessing such a respect. I am also aware of the personal decisions involving life. And the ways in which one must define life and living in a way that speaks to one's own heart.

So fuck you John Ashcroft. For starting this mess. And for wasting so much time and energy and resources. And fuck you Alberto Gonzales for allow it to continue. Fuck you. This time a small bit of sense has filtered back into society. Let us all hope that the seed that has now been planted will begin to grow.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

The Song Remains the Same. Except for the Moment in Which it Changes.

Late last night. Well. Early this morning. Actually neither. I starting writing this post yesterday. But I rather appreciate the way "late last night" and "early this morning" sound. So. You may refer to this as creative license. But. I am just letting you know. If you do in fact know.

Anyway. Late last night. Well. Early this morning. Ahem. Over coffee with too much sugar. And when I say sugar. I am referring to that delightful overly processed bleached to high hell will give you cancer in twenty years regular ol' comes in a fifty pound bag white as snow sugar.

Yeah. Never trust whitey. Waitwaitwait. I was talking about sugar.

Sugar. Coffee. And sugar. Drip coffee with too much sugar. I never really drink coffee. Unless it is very late at night. Or very early in the morning. And I am having some sort of insightful conversation with you or you or you.

Then. And only then. Do I drink coffee. Drip coffee. Drip coffee with too much sugar. I stopped measuring the sugar a long time ago. I just pick up the container and pour. And most people stare a bit. Sometimes an eyebrow is raised. But it all dissolves so I figure it must not be that much. When I reach the point that the sugar no longer dissolves. Then I will worry.

Uh. Yeah. Anyway.

So I am drinking my coffee-sugar mixture or sugar-coffee mixture if you prefer. As it is early in the morning. And when I say early in the morning. I really mean late at night. For I have not yet slept and I do not define a day as officially complete until I have slept.

So I am sitting. And I know my alarm clock will be chiming in but a few hours. Yet I sit. Drinking coffee with my friend. The Piscean Musician. He is yawning. And quiet.

And for a moment I sit in silence with him. It is a comfortable silence. Sometimes silence is not comfortable. But I enjoy silent moments with this particular friend. Although I would say they are rare as we both have so much to say. So I really want to enjoy my sugary coffee and this silence. But I cannot do this because I am compelled.

I am compelled because I know that my very talented friend is not aware of the extent of his talent. And I cannot merely sit here. Drinking coffee and sugar in silence. Not until he knows.

And as I am writing these words. I cannot help but wonder. If telling the world that my friend does not know the extent of his talent will in some way embarrass him. I do not think that I am outing him in some bizarre fashion. This does not seem to be some mysterious discovery that only I have made. I believe this is a well known fact. And therefore. I do not feel guilty about said post. However. I am willing to be corrected. If need be. Until then. Please allow me to continue.

So I am attempting to explain the fact that I believe he has something wonderful and unique to offer the world. And perhaps he believes me. I am not quite sure. Maybe he thinks I am merely being kind. Perhaps he believes that I am merely trying to get into his pants. He is a musician after all. And isn't that what women do.

It is entirely possible that he knows that I am in fact sincere. And serious as a heart attack. Which might be right around the corner if I continue to drink this coffee sugar concoction.

My friend is a humble man. In in between sips of sweetness I think I see a glimmer of understanding in his left eye. And then I realize that it is just the far too bright grungy hipster pseduo-diner lighting bouncing off of his teaspoon. Neatly placed on top of his napkin. So I continue. I wax and wane. Wane and wax. Sometimes I over talk such things thinking that if I merely continue I will find the perfect words. And a flickering of light will occur. Then everything will be illuminated. And then. I realize something.

I realize that. Everything that I am saying to my friend. Every ounce of wisdom that I am imparting. Each syllable that I utter is filled with information that is not only meant for him. But also for me. Through my words to him. I am giving myself. The advice I so desperately need.

Funny how that happens.

The Piscean Musician was my most willing subject in the first photography shoot of my current project. And I have been stumbling through this project. Recently I understood. I understood everything.

So I tell him that I was in the darkroom. Printing away. I was working on printing a few photographs I took of him in his bathtub. And I was pleased. Tickled in fact. And then I realized. I began to develop a sense as to where this project is going. I thought I knew. Actually. I knew that I didn't know. I had no idea where the idea came from as it was nothing like anything I had ever attempted. So I dove in. I did not try to examine the origins of the idea. I dove in. Confused. And unsure. I dove in and began to realize. It wasn't really what I thought at all. It is becoming less and less about bathtubs. And more and more about identity.

And I now know that I want to push the ways in which we view identity. I have always been obsessed with this notion. And now I am examining identity in an entirely different way. I realize that my tongue-in-cheek project is merely the beginning. And now I understand that it had to begin here. In order to get there. And I am hoping to get there soon. But I have more work to do here first. And I know this.

I am stirring the sugar in. And I know that I do not need any more coffee. Sleep will not come easy tonight. In this moment. I see that I need to begin to view things in a different way. Maybe. Perhaps I am too hard on myself. And perhaps we all are too hard on ourselves. Well. Some of us.

So. We are driving. Over the Fremont Bridge. And he asks me if I am a perfectionist.

Yes. I am.

Me too.

And in this moment I understand. I am not alone in this space. This place of self doubt. Even one of the most talented individuals I know is in this place. At least sometimes. And I wonder if we continue. If we all began to share such things with each other. Sharing our insecurities and doubt. Speaking openly about our fear. Communicating all of these things. With each other. Around the world. I wonder if perhaps we might be able to turn everything inside out. So that we are all on the other side of all things that hold us back. Leaving it all behind.

Photographer Schmatographer

So. I guess it is finally time that I admit something. It is not easy for me to admit things. Well. Some things I admit very well. For example. I do not experience any difficulty when it is time for me to admit that I am always right. However this may be due to the fact that you all are aware of this as a fundamental truth.

Seriously. My point. Admitting stuff. Here we go. And you may be wondering why I feel the need to admit what I am about to admit. It may already be clear to some of you. In fact. Many of you have described me in such a manner. I have posted information about what I am about to admit. In a previous post or two or thirty. And I have probably talked your ear off about it if you have spoken with me for more than five minutes. Still. I feel the need to admit it now. So here we go. I am going to do it. I am going to admit it. Once and for all.

I am a photographer.

There. I said it. Wow. That was tough. I didn't think I was actually going to get that out. Please do not make me say it again. It was difficult enough the first time. What. I have to say it again. But what if I don't want to say it again. Damn this is a tough crowd. Fine. I will. I will say it again.

I am a photographer.

And why is it so difficult for me to admit such things. It seems curious. Since. Well. Uh. How about for the umpteen reasons posted above. So what gives. Why am I suddenly admitting something so seemingly strange to admit. Something that most of you already know in some form. What is up with this whole stating the obvious thing.

Well. Maybe it is because I do not believe it.

Huh. What. You don't believe it.

Yeah. I know. But I don't. Not really. I do not believe it. Or I did not believe it. But I think I do now. I mean. Well. I just admitted it so I guess I must believe it. Maybe. I just might.

It is a considerable amount of pressure. What hidden implications exist in such an identity. Photographer. It is as if the notion of wearing the photography label someone implies that you know what the hell you are doing.

And sometimes I do not know what the hell I am doing. What if I suck. What if I suck at photography. How can I justify the label photographer then. Worse. What if I suck at photography. And I do not even know how bad I suck. In these not knowing kinds of situations. It is implied that everyone else on the entire planet knows how bad I suck.

It is like one of those dreams. You're running. Or you are trying to run. But it's like you're running through molasses. You cannot get here or there or away. You cannot run. It is not much different. Except it is. This is...uh...real. Not a dream.

She's no photographer. Whisper Whisper. Her photographs are terrible. What a hack. Whisper Whisper. I could take a much better photograph than that garbage.

Nevertheless. I have said it. Well. I have placed it in print. Uh. Sort of print. You get the idea.

So. I am a photographer. True. And tomorrow I will forget. Tomorrow I will no longer believe that I am a photographer. Tomorrow I will consider myself a half-assed hack again. And I do not say any of these things as a way of seeking out confirmation that I do not suck. I am not fishing for compliments. In fact. I cannot recall the last time I did any actual fishing. But I believe it may very well have been 1979.

So. What I am saying is this isn't about something I need from you. It is about me. Actually. It is about us. It is about our own self-doubt. Our internal critic. That voice that tells us that we are or are not.

So today. I am a photographer. And maybe. If I am lucky. Tomorrow. I will be a photographer as well.

Monday, January 09, 2006

May I Please Have the Honesty with a Side of Something Splendid

Wouldn't it be great if we were all a bit more honest with one another. Well. Wouldn't it. I think it would. And I have learned something. The something I have learned with respect to this topic is that everyone and I mean everyone because I do not know an anyone who does not fit into this everyone generalization. Everyone always seems to say "wouldn't it be great if we were all a bit more honest with one another" or some sort of permutation of that sentiment.

So why aren't we more honest with one another. And more important. Why aren't we more honest with ourselves.

This is curious. We all seem to want something. Honesty. Yet we seem to be unable to attain said something. Perhaps this means that we do not really want this thing. With said aforementioned thing being honesty. Or maybe we only want it as long as we are able to receive honesty in exactly the way we want to receive it. And what I mean is I think that we want others to be honest with us provided that they tell us exactly what we want to hear.

And this never ever happens.

Yes. We know this never ever happens or we are afraid that it will never ever happen and so we convince ourselves that we do not really want honesty. But at the same time we are unable to admit that we do not really want honesty.

Perhaps we believe that the fantasy that we have created in our mind is better. However. I will be the first one to admit. And I now know that I am not alone in this admittance. Thank you very much for admitting this tendency by the way. And you know who you are. But I will not out you here. Anyway. I am admitting. Yes. I am admitting that when I do not know something that I want to know I will create whatever it is I want to know in my mind. I will not only create whatever it is I want to know in my mind. I will create the worst possible scenario. The most insane fantastical situation. An explanation that it most unpleasant. And if this is true. Then why in the world wouldn't I and others want honesty. For it surely must be better than the horrific tale my imagination is able to conjure up. But perhaps we believe that our horrific tale might in fact be true. And so we do not really want to know for sure. Therefore. We do not really want honesty.

Yet we pretend to continue to want honesty. And then everything gets all fucked up. Why does it get fucked up. Simple. Or not so simple. At any rate. I will provide an example to explain. If you tell me that you crave honesty. Real old-fashioned handmade no preservatives added honesty. I will be honest in such a manner. Or at least I will make every possible attempt to be honest in such a manner. But you do not really want me to be honest. You actually want me to tell you XYZ. And I cannot tell you XYZ. Because you have not told me anything about XYZ. I do not know that you are even thinking about anything remotely related to XYZ. Or maybe I do know. And I cannot tell you XYZ due to this honesty that you say you crave. So when I speak to in the manner of the old-fashioned no preservatives added honesty. You become upset. And I might very well know that you are upset. Yet I will not understand. Most likely it will be because I haven't addressed XYZ. Because I do not know that is what you want me to address. Yet I will not be aware of the fact that this is why you are in fact. Upset. Confusion will set in. Hence. Everything will get all fucked up.

I have been there. So have you. More likely than not on both sides of the equation.

And here is what I know. I know that I do not want to "be there" anymore. Not with you or anyone else. I do not want to be on either side of the equation. And this isn't to say that I will probably ever stop wanting to hear what I want to hear. For I am equally guilty of this tendency. But I would rather hear something that is honest. Perhaps we fear that honesty will always be negative. And this is not true. Nothing can always be negative. The world simply does not work in this way. Perhaps the honesty. If we were to permit ourselves to speak it and to hear it. Would be better than whatever it was we wanted to hear that prevented us from honesty in the first place.

See. It's confusing.

So I have made this pact. Mostly it is a pact with myself. However I mentioned said pact in passing to a friend recently. The same aforementioned friend who admitted to creatively creating answers to unspoken questions. I do not know if said friend knew that I was completely serious about said pact. But the pact is simple. I vow to be more honest in my relationships with everyone I know. And everyone I sort of know. Even with those of you that I do not know. I will be more honest. And I sincerely hope that you will do the same with me.

As an aside. But not exactly a digression. I am reminded of a statement made by my very wise friend. He once told me that if you want something you must "ask for it by name" and he is correct. This is the heart of this honesty thing. How can I possibly know what you want unless you ask for it by name. And how can I possibly know that you know what I want unless I ask for it by name. But I am guilty. Guilty of not asking for it by name. In fact. I have probably not asked for it by name recently. Perhaps we are afraid that if we ask for it by name we will be rejected. And rejection. Well. That is most certainly a topic for an entirely separate post.

But I was talking about a pact. I said that I was going to be more honest with you and that I expected the same in return. And why do I say "more" honest. Simple. I do not believe it is necessary to be one hundred percent completely honest about everything. I am certainly not going to go up to a complete stranger and say something mean just because it is a thought I happen to be having at the time. No. I am talking about honest about the things that really matter. And we all know what these things are so I do not feel the need to make a list.

I have always thought that I was a fairly honest person. Perhaps it is my east coast bluntness. It often startles people when I say things in such a straightforward manner. But I know that I have moments in which I do not speak about things that are important. I do not often share my feelings easily. And I am fairly skilled at avoiding.

As of late I have had some rather polar experiences. I have experienced communication challenges with individuals that were confusing enough to propel me into a killing spree. And I have experienced amazing moments of communication. Moments of intimacy that were deeply honest and in experiencing such uh...experiences I understood. I understood that I cannot accept anything less from myself or from others in my life. And I will not. This does not mean that people always communicate with one another easily. We all stumble. And there are things that we do not always feel comfortable communicating. But perhaps when we are stumbling we can simply explain that we are in a stumbling moment. If there are things we cannot easily discuss we can share that our comfort level has been reached. And most importantly. If there are things that we must say we can find the courage to say them.

We never know what life will bring. And so I wish for myself and for you the courage to develop such honesty and enact it in your life. I wish for myself and for you the courage to always ask for it by name. In other words. I suppose what I am saying is that. I could be hit by a bus tomorrow. And I could be instantly killed. Or I might be in a permanent vegetative state. In which case I would hope that one of you will pull the plug. Quickly. But I digress. So. Where was I. Oh yes. I could be hit by a bus tomorrow. And then. You would all feel guilty. Guilty for not telling me how amazing you think I am and how much you love me. So what you are waiting for. And really. What in the world are we all waiting for.

* Credit to my very wise friend for the phrase "ask for it by name" which I could not have created if I tried. And special thanks for reminding me to use said phrase. Even though I seem to "forget" to use it when it is often most in need of being used.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Inspiration Contemplation and Self Deprecation

Last night. I was. Inspired.

For those of you that know me. You know that I have been obsessed. Obsessed with the Secret Chiefs 3. And last night. Secret Chiefs 3 played a show in Seattle. Let me just explain that this show. Blew my fucking mind. In a way that I cannot even begin to articulate in this moment. And perhaps the moment does not need articulation. Those present may. Very well. Understand. Not to mention that Trey Spruance worked his own merchandise table. Well. I suppose I did just mention it so I do not know why I utilized the phrase "not to mention" when I was mentioning. The point. He did. And. Well. I may need a moment to compose myself. Or two.

So. After the performance. I felt somehow renewed. Inspired in such a way that. All of the concerns that have washed over me. In the past week. Seemed to. Not so much vanish. But not feel so concerning. Anymore.

You see. I have been feeling a tad bit frustrated as of late. Some time ago I decided to push myself out of my comfort zone. It was time. I had an idea for a photography project. Different than anything I have attempted in the past. And I began this project. Not really having any idea as to what in the hell I was doing. So I began. And let me just say that I am learning. But not. Fast. Enough.

So I have been. Frustrated. And I realize that life is all about making mistakes. In order to learn and grow and evolve. This is essential. And the only way to make said mistakes is to. Try new things. Different things. Things that you do not know. So. That is what I have been doing.

And this means. That I have been. Stumbling.

If I am going to truly learn and grow and evolve. The way I want to learn and grow and evolve. Then I must admit something. Right here. Right now. I must admit it. That I have had this tendency to do things that I know how to do. To do things that I do well. And to in some way avoid those things that I do not know how to do. Well.

Or completely avoid said things by any means necessary. Avoidance. I think my next post will pontification on avoidance. Anyway.

It isn't that I am not a risk taker. But. Perhaps. In some way. I am afraid to fail. So I avoid things. Things that I know I do not know.

But here is the thing. And perhaps why this is so difficult.

I have the most amazingly creative and talented and supportive friends that anyone could possible dream of having. In so many ways I have had the privilege of meeting and knowing the most beautiful people. They inspire me. And at the same time I wonder if anything that I am working on can ever measure up.

Measure up. Measure up to what. I do not really understand why I feel such a need to do whatever it is I am going to be doing at expert level. Particularly if it is something that I have not previously attempted. This clearly cannot be the case. Yet. That feeling. Lingers. Perhaps I am not as tough as I thought.

It is not easy to place pieces of yourself out there in the universe. But I think that it is essential. I believe that we all must place pieces of ourselves into the universe. This is intimacy. Real intimacy that often does not exist between people. Among humanity. It is in these beautiful intimate moments that we see and hear and taste and touch and smell everything. These small intimate moments. Moments of utmost simplicity. Moments that are life altering.

It is in these moments that we find everything we could possibly need. And in the sharing of these moments that we realize the connectedness of humanity. Everything becomes clear.

And I know that in this moment. My life is traveling in a necessary direction. I am encountering people that I am meant to encounter. As we always do encounter those people we are meant to encounter. But it is beautiful when we can see the reason that we were meant to share a moment. When we know exactly why such interactions take place. Yet. At the same time. We must be open to the possibility that there are reasons that might not always be so apparent. Reasons that we could not. Imagine.

So. I am pressing on. Pushing through. Against wind and fire and smoke. And I know that I will be better for it. In the end. I encourage you all to do the same.