Monday, December 31, 2007

There comes a moment after you break up with someone where you have to re-examine who you are outside of the context of the relationship. I think I've alwyas been inclined to get into safe relationships with people who I knew wouldn't leave me, whose emotions I seemed to control more than they controlled mine. To counter that control, they would frequently exaggerate specific qualities and traits, which are, in moderation, perhaps endearing, but when amplified, often very negative. They may have loved me for those traits, but in the end, they would always make me feel indebted to their ability to tolerate them, as if I were some sort of wild creature that only they could tame. Maybe this is true. I am a believer that pain is superior to numbness, that suffering brings enlightenment... perhaps I too often apply those beliefs to my relationships. Sometimes I amplify conflict because I like seeing how the other person can handle it, because I want them to see something about me that I don't know how to communicate, that I fear they will reject. Men meet me and assume that because I'm blond and personable, I'm sweet and safe and predictable. The truth is, I don't know if I'm really meant for anybody. There are plenty of men who would be willing to tolerate me, even love and appreciate me, but those men never seem to challenge me. The men who challenge me seem to want their own opposite... sweet and safe and predictable. I don't think it has anything to do with my age, I think it has to do with the fact that I expect some level of masculinity and persistance and open-minded acceptance that only exists in my imagination. I'm tired of men making me feel like I'm crazy because I drink and get loud; cry over stupid things; rant about everything I hate; cavort and whore for attention; push the boundaries of what is socially acceptable; get restless whenever I do one thing for too long; am incapable of making decisions; rebel for the sake of rebelling whenever someone tries to push me to do something--regardless of whether or not I want to do it; want what I want and refuse to compromise; think too much--about everything; ask questions and push people's boundaries of comfort; come up with the lowest, most biting insult imaginable and say it even though I don't mean it... I am not a moderate person. I never will be.

When I was a kid, I exhibited a memorable self confidence, according to my friends of childhood. I was self confident. I was smart, I was funny, I was adventurous and brazen and felt a strong connection to boys and a strong disrespect for women, who I perceived as petty and boring and weak. Secretly, though, I hated myself and I envied the attention other girls got for their obedience and idiotic cheerfulness. I wanted desperately to be one of those pretty, simple girls that everyone liked, that adults doted over, that did everything right and kept their room clean and got straight As. I was always being told that I was negative, obstinant, opinionated, disrespectful, sloppy, lazy, incompetent, blah blah blah. All I ever wanted was someone to pat me on the head and say, "Good job! You're great! I'm proud of you!" I wanted the kind of positive attention that those girls got. They're the kind of girls that everyone wants to date when they grow up. They get engaged when they're 22 and have perfect children with a perfect man and live in the suburbs. I know how most of those women end up... their husbands start cheating, the marriage falls apart and she's left with no work or life experience at 42--and no independent sense of self, either. Sometimes it doesn't even take that long. These women are rarely loved for who they are, but for the combination of qualities they project, which makes them good genetic canidates for men who must reproduce but are more focused on their own ambitions than anything else. This isn't the fate I want. But these men at my age are everywhere, trolling for a perfect mate, not a soulmate. They seek an attractive female who will fit into the design they have already made for their life and are threatened by any female who already has her own design. They see me, a personable blond and assume I'm "one of those girls". They worship me--until we have an actual conversation. Then I disappoint them and threaten their proverbial male ego because the last thing I'm looking to do is comform and fit into someone else's life agenda (what a crime). Then they end up attacking me and telling me all of the same shit I heard my entire childhood, only they sum up all of those adjectives with one word: bitch. Frankly, all I want is someone to love me for all of the things I'm inclined to hide or tone down about myself and to love someone for all of the things that they have had to hide from everyone else.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas was less than pleasant. Somehow they always turn out that way. Last year, I went home from the Bahler family Christmas crying. This year I didn't even both going. I stayed at home with my mother and Christina. My mother was volitile as always, and there were good moments, but they barely outweighed the ones where she was ranting and screaming. Christmas eve I walked out of my apartment and roamed the streets of downtown and took a long drive, crying pitifully and wishing I'd just volunteered at the shelter instead of participating in all of this bull shit. Christmas can be such a great thing, but only if you really have a family that's warm and loving. My family has never been warm or loving, except in a few isolated, redeeming moments, which never seem to happen on holidays.

Misery lingered until Christmas was over officially. Then last night Christina and my mom and I went to Nicky Blaine's in downtown Indianapolis and had a fabulous time. We ended up drinking two bottles of wine, dancing to the jazz band and stumbling through the rain in downtown Indianapolis.

I took this picture Christmas morning...

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Oxygen network. "Oxygen delivers edgy, intelligent entertainment for women and the men who love them."

Um... let's review the lineup. First of all, we have the show "The Bad Girls Club." This show is all about a bunch of anorexic, self absorbed bitches who are self-declared "bad girls". They are the dregs of society, according to Oxygen's "edgy, intelligent" standards: strippers, girls who will "cut you up", who steal from the registers at their menial food service jobs, alcoholics and promiscuous bimbos. But what actually makes them "bad girls" is their affinity for getting drunk and having bitch-fights in bikinis by the hot tub while male viewers mute their TVs and wank off. I get plenty of criticism for what I do for a living--I'm a stripper (who has never been in a drunk bitch-fight, incidentally), and apparently stripping is "degrading to women." I hear that crap all the time. Excuse me, but women seem pretty busy degrading themselves on a much more public forum. We have a network for "edgy, intelligent women" that endorses and promotes stereotypes of women as dumb, self-absorbed, mean, belligerent, shallow, classless, unambitious, promiscuous and, of all things, misogynistic. Ironically, the stripper is the smartest and least obnoxious one on the show.

Then we have the Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency. This is a show which I cannot even stomach long enough to watch an entire episode, but one needs only see three or four minutes to know that it's an ego trip for some has-been bag who hit her career peak as a model thirty years ago and who has had so much plastic surgery she's practically humanoid. She basically walks around telling emaciated, starry-eyed young girls who aspire to be models that they're too fat. It's a show entirely dedicated to making women feel bad about themselves so some vile hag can relive her glory days in psychosis. If one of these girls didn't have an ounce of body fat on her, she'd tell them to have their eyelids liposuctioned and injected into their lips. It's offensive, it's vile, it does nothing but empower the sins of this culture's media which I don't even need to name.

These seem to be the only two shows on this channel's line up, probably because they have no money for production, which hopefully foretells their eminent demise. Occasionally they have reruns of mediocre, feel-good chick flicks like the Amanda Bynes epic, What a Girl Wants. How about some shows about female attorneys or, at the very least, high school graduates. How about some shows where the women have witty dialogue and keep their clothes on and don't demean each other? How about some shows that don't make me want to go out and get a sex change operation?

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Last night I went with Kirk to an office party at one of the law firms. I drank a little too much wine and went on a rant about how prosecutors need to stop focusing on petty drug and alcohol misdemeanors (that are easy to deal with because they dont require investigation and never go to expensive, time consuming trials but make them look like they're actually dealing with "crime" in the community) and actually prosecute REAL, violent crimes, like child molest and murder. Afterwards we had sushi and went to see I Am Legend. I didn't piss anyone off for the rest of the evening.

It's been snowing all day. Dan and I went to the Bistro and it was so pretty sitting inside and watching it.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Would somebody fucking comment on my blog? I feel unloved.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Thanksgiving was strange. The Professor ended up in the hospital with a blot clot. I've visited a few times, but probably not enough. Then again, I don't think I've ever written about the Professor on this blog. I will do so in the future.

The rest of the weekend I spent with my mom, mostly getting drunk in public. Actually, to tell you the truth, that's pretty much all I've done for the past few weeks. I've been going through a pretty major transition, in terms of my relationship, my life and my mental health. Tuesday I spent bar hopping on campus, which I've never done before. I ended up making out with some gorgeous girl in a bathroom for half an hour. Jon eventually carried me home after I apparently cussed out the guy at McDonalds because they weren't taking debit cards. For some reason, I get insane cravings for McDonalds cheeseburgers when I'm drunk. I don't even eat beef.

Tonight I took Makenna, my 13 year old art student, to get hot chocolate and go ice skating at Tapawingo park. It was really lovely. For the first time in a while, I felt really, really content.

My creative drive seems to be coming, maybe, out of it's slump. Today I was painting over with gesso (gesso is primer) an old canvas that had the remnants of a half-started, crappy attempt at forced creativity. I was having a hard time covering the sharpee and charcoal (it was a mixed media), but started to like the way the image sort of seeped through, ghost-like. Then I started sponging the gesso lightly over another painting that I wasn't too satisfied with. What was a fairly amatuerish painting was suddenly visually complex and very interesting. I got excited. For the first time in a long time, I felt like I was going to create a good piece.

I'm trying to sublease my apartment. With the uncertainty of the building my studio's in, I should probably find a place where I can have my studio IN my house/apartment/wherever I end up. What I'd really like is a really large studio apartment or one bedroom where I can sort of have an office/studio/livingspace without them interferring with each other. And of course, I need hardwood floors. This may be a challenge to find. I may need to move to Indy. I don't really know. Blah.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

I read through one of my old journals today. It was from a few years ago, when I was living on Alabama Street, driving my Pontiac, working at the coffee shop and broker than shit. Here are some excerpts:

...I'm sick of not having money. I should just suck it up and let my parents help me. I work full time and I still don't even know how I'm going to afford a winter coat...

...Speaking of Sean, I had a big fight with him about how much money I DON'T make. I tell him I only want to work part time so I can get another part time job that pays more, then he's like "blah blah blah I bought this coffee shop for you" and I say "well I've been here for two years and I only make fifty cents more than the morons you hired two months ago" and he says "well they can't live on what you were hired in it--I had to pay them more" and I say "they all live off their parents and work here for beer money. I can't live on what I make now" and he says "fuck you for threatening to quit" and I say, "I wasn't threatening and you should understand wanting to make more money since that's all you care about" and then he comes into the store and it's all kissy kissy...

...So I signed the lease today for the efficiency. I like it, I think. It's close to downtown, it's new and clean, and it's only $300.

I am so broke. But I don't feel bad about buying a car. I had to. My piece of shit died in traffic today on the way to meet with my insurance adjustor to insure the Civic.

My landlord said he would give me my deposit back before the first, but now he's decided to hold it for the full 30 days. I'm so fucked.

I'm starting a housecleaning business. I have confidence that it will work...

The good news is, I no longer drive an unreliable piece of shit car or overdraft my bank account or worry about affording the basic necessities or live in an apartment that gets broken into or where I can hear my neighbor's beating their wives (like Alabama Street). But I remember that point in time and how depressed I was and how overwhelmed I felt by life and money and other people. And I wonder why I still feel that way. It's like I've been in this anxious survival mode for so long that I can't get out of it and I can't trust myself to be happy. So what about all of the things I was going to do when I wasn't broke and working constantly... I can't even remember what they were now.

Friday, November 16, 2007

I haven't had cable or internet in over a year. Here I am, on a Friday night, sitting on my ass, watching Erin Brockavich on TV and surfing the internet. How sad. I've only had cable for about 2 days and I already want to cancel it. About the only thing that's nice about it is that I see movie previews. I've maybe seen two movies in the last two years... mostly because I don't ever know what's out. Otherwise, it's all trash. Dumb girls in bikinis and obnoxious sitcoms. I just saw an advertisement for some reality show called "Intervention" where they exploit the pitiful misery of people with meth, prescription drugs and alcohol. The world makes me so depressed. I work in a fucking strip club and five minutes of television is more dark and depressing to me than anything I've seen there.

Interesting note... I've had some problems with my art studio. It's in the Reifer's Building, which is now taken over by the bank, as the former owner went into bankruptcy. It's been managed by a guy who I've been unable to get ahold of... and I don't even want to complain about anything, just rent more space. I don't have a lease anymore and neither does anyone else in the building. Basically the management is non-existent. But anyway... I noticed that they'd actually added my name to the directory downstairs. There's a sign that says "Gwyne Bahler, 3rd floor." They even spelled it right. It struck me as odd... they won't return my emails, but they'd take the time to do that.

Anyway, I never did post any pictures of my apartment. This is my happy little cave where I'm now sitting contently drinking wine and chatting on the internet. This is the best Friday night I've had in a long time.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I got my first tattoo today. It's the polar equation of an logarithmic spiral. I use to wear a nautilus shell necklace because to me it symbolized an intentional design, a mathematical consistancy in our universe - from a snail to a galaxy. Therefore, the spiral, to me, is a spiritual symbol. Sadly my neckless broke. I'm always inclined to collect nautilus shells, partly because of their beauty and partly because of their significance. But I figured an equation would make a better tattoo than a spiral.

I also just found out that hawks hunt their prey in a logarithmic spiral pattern. Huh.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The types of strip club patrons:

Cocky, broke college guys
These are the types who come in with their friends for the “scenery” but don’t have any respect for industry ettiquette or the dancers. They talk about themselves incessantly—mostly lies about how much money they make or how great their academic careers are. They expect you to pay lots of attention to them but usually refuse to tip and get indignant about being “hustled”. They seem bothered when you don’t want to sit with them all night for free and listen to them spew self-important bull shit. They go to strip clubs to feel like “men” and carrouse with their buddies. Usually painfully mediocre and unintelligent, they have to masturbate their egos by innanely trying to prove to themselves how much smarter and better they are than “some stripper”. They try to make us feel like ambitionless sluts with no self-worth who they are privilaging with their attention in order to make themselves feel better. They will try impotently to be clever get inside our heads and figure out what motivates us to do what we do—assuming they can expose our psyche in some devastating way. They also sit there with a hard-on all night underneath their Abercrombie jeans but claim they aren’t buying private dances because “it’s just a tease”—when really the reason is they only have fifteen dollars in their bank account. These guys will end up marrying TRULY ambitionless whores who will blow all of their money and become frigid in a matter of 20 years, then they will come crawling back to strip clubs throwing money at any woman who will so much as cast a glance at their pitifal little erection.

The delusional saps
This can be a guy from any socio-economic background. These guys actually think there’s a chance you’re going to go out with them. They give you their number. They think that they’re going to be the one to “save you”. Occasionally these guys are sweet and well meaning. They can also be great customers… respectful, interested in hearing YOU say something, generous and probably genuinely interested in dating you, yet not pushy about it. They can also be obnoxious as hell. They will follow you around all night, refuse to buy dances because they “respect you too much” or don’t want you to “think of them as a customer”, badger you relentlessly about going out with them, and generally get in the way when you’re trying to interact with other customers. They waste lots of time. When you explain that you’re working and need to keep moving, they go off about how they have more money than any guy in the room, on and on and get offended when you politely excuse yourself. These guys are the reason door guys walk us to our cars. One of these guys unfortunately works at the store where I buy my art supplies, and makes a point to seek me out everytime I shop there. I’m not worried about him kidnapping and raping me, but he’s definitely annoying.

Middle aged men with jobs
These are my absolute favorite customers. These guys understand and respect the relationship between dancer/customer… they offer to buy us overpriced drinks just to be gentlemen, buy lots of dances, tip very well and are a relief from the average patron. They are relatively interesting, educated and polite. They don’t brag or talk down to you. I strive to seek these guys out when I’m working. They usually sit alone, and for some reason, are neglected by the other dancers, who seem to gravitate towards large groups of guys. Groups of guys at strip clubs don’t have any money. The older guys who come in by themselves generally come in with a wallet full of cash that they intend to spend, not to compare cocks with their buddies. But more than being a great source income, they are usually a pleasure to sit and talk to. I try to make as many of these guys regulars as I can—sometimes I even buy them drinks. If it weren’t for this type, dancers wouldn’t make money, and it wouldn’t be a fun job.

The awkward guys
These guys come in a variety of types, but they’re lonely and unsuccessful with women for one reason or another. They will come in regularly and blow their entire paychecks to get a female to pay attention to them. These guys make me sad. They need someone to be nice to them. Sometimes they will buy dances just to sit and talk to you. They are also great customers—usually very nice and very generous. These guys aren’t as interested in the sexual aspect as they are the attention. They think that a stripper is as close to a girlfriend as they’re going to get.

The perverts
These guys range from amusing to disgusting. The disgustings guys I avoid… these men have no respect for women in general. They make crude comments and try to push boundaries. They’re usually looking for “more” than a dance. I have kicked these men with my 6 inch stilettos, but I can peg them fast enough to avoid now. The others are ok… they’re usually old men. They ask to buy your underwear and such and are generally harmless.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I'm Charlottesville visiting my mom. Last night we watched All About Eve... the classic Bette Davis epic and beginning of Marilyn Monroe's career. We were lusting all of the various fur accessories throughout the movie. I've always wanted a fur coat. I'm not sure why - it always seemed glamorous and no one does it anymore. All of the animal activism craziness has put it out of style, but there's something undeniably classy and womanly about a fur. And so today my mom and I were at a shop and there, waiting for me, cranberry colored, hand-sewn pom mink stole. It was both love and fate. Of course I bought it. I now own a mink. Not just a mink, but a really unique one.

I considered writing a long blog entry about why I don't consider it wrong to wear fur, but I'll spare you.

Charlottesville is great. I love it everytime I come here. Today we're going to the vinyard we visited last night for some spectacular gouda and cabernet franc. I should wear my mink. Hee.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

When I was a teenager, I hated the mall and I hated shopping for clothes. Trying to find dresses for special occasions that didn't make me look like a bag lady or a tent was impossible. Seeing manniquins in the windows of what I called "skinny girl stores" made me feel like I would never be able to view clothing as something enjoyable or fun. I was 50 lbs overweight. I had no desire to draw more attention to my body. I hid underneath baggy jeans and extra large t shirts.

Now, of course, years later, I thoroughly enjoy shopping. The Limited, which was then to me the quintessential skinny girl store, is now where I spend most of my clothing budget. I don't think too often about all the times when I would cry in the dressing room after a fruitless day of shopping or how I felt everyone was staring at me when I would walk into The Limited or the Gap. They were staring at me. Now when I walk in, they catagorize me as a likely spender, not some poor, lost nerd trying to kid herself.

Yesterday I went into Victoria's Secret. I don't have a staggering collection of lingerie the way I have, say, a staggering collection of black shirts. But Dan thought it would be fun to buy some together. I looked through racks and racks of overpriced "specialty" bras with lace and sparkles and embroidery. There was not a single D cup to be seen. Now, I would think that a store that specializes in lingerie would carry D cups, seeing as how it's a common size and Victoria's Secret markets to the masses, not to girls who look like eleven year old boys. I began to feel discouraged. Then I felt angry. We left. Dan convinced me I must be wrong and to ask a salesperson. She says that they do carry my size--but only bras that aren't "specialty bras" (i.e. the pretty ones). So obviously Victoria's Secret HAS heard that there are women who wear D cups--they just obviously don't feel that they deserve to look sexy. I felt myself starting to get upset and wanted to cry. I wasn't sure why I reacted so strongly. On the way home I realized that all of the emotions I felt when I was a teenager were coming back. It wasn't that I felt fat... but I did feel descriminated against. I don't understand why our society seems to be on a mission to make all women feel like they're freaks.

When I got home, I went online and looked at bras on their website, hoping I would be able to order something. I was horrified when I realized they actually had the gull to charge MORE for D cup sizes! Like they aren't overpriced enough anyway... but seriously... to treat D cups as if they're some sort of "plus size" is bull shit. A 36D is completely within the universally accepted normal range of sizes. I have no problem finding my size anywhere else. That's like if I went into the Limited and they told me they didn't carry a size 8, unless I wanted to purchase some unattractive yet practical elastic stretch pants. A store that specializes in bras should maybe take a moment to educate themselves about them.

I suppose I've lost sight of how our culture catagorizes, glorifies, demonizes, and demeans women while capitilizing off of their subsequent insecurities. I may be able to have mostly pleasant and comfortable shopping experiences, but not everyone can. That's unfair. Every woman has the right to feel sexy, beautiful and confident, and none of us need to be told that we're too much or too little of anything.

More reasonsto hate Victoria's Secret.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Christina is in town for her fall break. We drank girly martinis at Bistro and stalked our old boss at Nine Irish Brothers, who bought us shots of Jameson and sat and talked with us. We ended up at my strip club, but it was uneventful.

I just got back from Chicago. I took Dan to see his $400 an hour psychiatrist. The whole thing really just served to piss me off. Psychiatry is such a joke. This man spent thirty minutes with Dan. Dan said he felt bad. The Psychiatrist asked ME what I thought the issue was. I told him Dan hated his job, felt stagnant and unstimulated, and should find another job. The psychiatrist repeated what I said, told him to get another job, and wrote him three useless prescriptions for random, new drugs, on top of his old prescriptions, and charged him $200. One of the things he prescribed was Ritilin. Ritilin turns people into zombies... no one even prescribes it anymore. I couldn't believe how useless he was. I thought, I could do this, but I could actually help people. No one is interested in the sources anymore, or causes. People are only interested in symptoms, in making people think that they're natural fluxes are an illness. I leave exception for the exceptionally unhealthy, but the number of functional members of society convinced of their dysfunction is disgusting. It made me think of the movie Brain Candy. Our society really does just want a bunch of catatonics walking around continually funneling money into the drugs they believe they're dependant on.

I had the thought to look into nutritional psychology. It's one of the few valid fields of psychology, in my opinion, and one of the most attacked. A great example of this is the current, insane propaganda of "vitimins are dangerous." 0 people died from a "vitimin overdose" last year. How many thousands died from prescriptions spoon fed to them by some shrink who got a vacation to Hawaii as an incentive from the drug companies? This could be a career possibility for me, and I could actually work with teenagers and people with eating disorders, obesity, sugar addictions and nutritional deficiency-related depression. Drugs are like fad diets, and they can't replace nutrition and introspection, just as diet and exercize can't be replaced as a solution for weight loss. There is no "quick fix" for people's problems. Drugs may help, but it should never be the first "go to" solution. And thats' what they've become. I think I've always had an aversion to psychology because my mother is a psychologist and most of what dominates the field is politically motivated bullshit. And I was always raised with the attitude that it was bull shit. Plus I HATED psych 101. But this could actually be something to take seriously.

Anyway. I finally got glasses, just short of failing my driver vision test. I can see things now!

Monday, October 8, 2007

It appears I can't leave for Toronto until tomorrow because I don't have my birth certificate yet. I'm meeting up with the lady I'm working for in Spain. I am somewhat annoyed I can't leave early, but I'll get over it. I don't know if I should consider leaving tomorrow evening and stopping at a cheap hotel along the way. That might be the best idea.

Today I ran across king size, organic cotton sheets in a lovely earthy tan ON SALE while I was getting my oil changed. It made up for this shitastic day.
I hate Columbus Day. He didn't discover America and he did nothing but rape and murder the natives. Why do people still buy into this propaganda?

I am supposed to go to Toronto tomorrow but I can't cross the border because my birth certificate is in the mail and it won't be delivered today because of this stupid holidy. I have $1500 in cash that I can't deposit and have to carry around because the banks are closed. I hate Christopher Columbus. I hate stupid patriotic holidays excuses for the world not to function.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

For some reason, I've been slightly obsessed with this Britney Spears drama. I think it's ironic, with all of these unoriginal morons like Christina Aguilera trying to be Marilyn Monroe, that Britney actually is. People forget that Marilyn wasn't the pinup, she was a tragic, lost individual whose identity had been completely wrapped up in what others had created for her. I can't help but wonder if the media had been as intense and as exploitative as it is today if we wouldn't have been just as horrified but Marilyn's personal battles, which from a more distant perspective, seem glamorous and interesting. I think there's a lot of tragedy in what we do to women in our entertainment industry. Where there used to be talented actresses and singers who were self made, with only the lucky breaks they got along the way to help them climb the ladder, we now have a fame factory that can program any girl in the world to be an idol if they're skinny and impressionable enough. What this does is stunt the development of individuals and create a thin, shiny shell of glittery sex appeal to be sold anywhere and everywhere. But what happens when that individual starts to get restless and what happens when that individual realizes they can't compete with the illusionary image of who they've been made out to be? Maybe this is why I like Britney Spears, and hate celebrities. I like her vulnerability, because as fucked up as she may be, at least there's a part of her that still maintains some sense of the fact that she's a human and who wants to be a human. It seems pretty easy for celebrities to believe they're gods because their agents and magazines tell them so, but don't realize that they're not worshipped for their merit or talent or greatness, but for their shred of entertainment value to us, like trained monkeys on rollerskates. We don't care who they are. I think Britney, like Marilyn, wants someone who care about her, not her image. I think she hasn't diluted herself into believing all of her success and all of the attention she has received has anything to do with her, and I have to respect that. We as a culture ought to look at the impact we're having not only on the girls we're turning into media whores, but also the generation of girls who are saturated by it. Hell, when I was 13, Britney and Christina were still virgins. There were no stories of 18 year old pop stars getting DUIs without licenses, going to rehab and doing coke in public with their shirts off. I'm sure it was happening, but it wasn't being thrown all over teen magazine. There was still such a concept as "role model". And as a former camp counselor, anyone who wants to argue that young girls aren't influenced by all of this should try spending some time around them. I'm only 21, I can't even imagine what kind of warped culture we're going to have when I have children.

A few years ago, I was at an opening for an Andy Warhol exhibit in Chicago. While "society" was downstairs flocked around the hors d'oeuvres buffet, I was upstairs, undisturbed, able to really concentrate on his work. I'd never had a great appreciation for Andy Warhol before then, but I remember one blown up photograph of Marilyn Monroe in which I noticed that her lipstick was literally painted on in the shape of her famous, pouty lips. As gorgeous as she was, it wasn't good enough... her real lips weren't good enough. Everything had to be made bigger, brighter... just like Warhol's lithographs. We all look like people, and we all have to accept that we are what we see in the mirror at the end of the day. As Gwen Stefani wrote, "the magic's in the make up."

Friday, October 5, 2007

Last night I went to the Neon Cactus with Dan. I've never been to the piano bar, but I was over it after about 20 seconds. Something about an enclosed room with two hundred drunk college students that I couldn't handle. I have no problem with large crowds of adults, but large groups of people my own age make me really uncomfortable. We ended up just playing pool and having a few drinks. Somehow, over the course of a short period of time, I got really, really, really drunk... drunker than I've been in many years. So drunk I could barely speak or stand up and much drunker than I should have been off of two vodka and sodas - especially when I couldn't taste that much alcohol in them. I ended up sloppily dirty dancing with Dan in heels and a mini skirt and looking like all of the other hoochies with their pumps and Coach wristlets that I hate so much. When I got home, I was still drunk beyond drunk and it didn't seem to wear off in a normal course of time. I ended up just falling asleep after rambling and sobbing about something on the couch. I have a pretty good idea of how alcohol effects me and my tolerance is pretty high. Either I didn't eat enough yesterday or someone put something in my drink. It was bad.

Tuesday I'm driving to Toronto to meet the woman I'm going to Spain to work for. We thought it would be a good idea to spend some more time together before committing the next 6 months of of our lives to each other. It should be a lot of fun and I'm excited about seeing Toronto again. Of course, making the drive last minute is going to be a little stressful, but fortunately I have that freedom now. Speaking of which, tonight I have to work. It's Purdue's homecoming or some bull shit. Should be a good money making weekend.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

A year ago, I decided that stripping was the perfect job for a 20 something year old girl who wants to do other things. I've worked lots of shitty jobs, multiple shitty jobs at one time, struggled to pay my rent and hated my life and compromised things that are actually important. I now makes lots of money, have lots of time to spend in my studio and go running and read and have lunches with friends on sunny patios while everyone else is stuck offices. When I worked as a waitress, I had to pretend that I actually cared about the shit jobs I was doing soley for the money. I was not there to be personally invested, I was not passionate and excited about the fish and chips and beer, I did not want to be friends with everybody I worked with, and I did not want to hang out after work every night and drink and talk about who was fucking who and all of the petty restaurant drama. And I think I was resented for it, even though I was nice and did a good job. I couldn't get the good sections because I didn't suck up to the managers and act like my dream in life was to be them. No one had my back because I wasn't out stumbling drunk around campus with them after work. I wasn't "one of the gang." All I wanted was to go to work, do what I was hired to do, make my money and go home. Instead, I was wasting too much of my time for not enough money.

Well now I don't work for an incompetent asshole. I don't suck up to anyone. My income is the direct result of how much I work and how good I am at what I do, not how much someone else likes me or doesn't like me for whatever irrelevant, personal reason. I don't have a lack of job security. I don't wonder if I'll get too many hours or too few hours or worry that I'll get a string of shitty sections and not be able to make rent. I have absolute control of my schedule, my income and my life. I don't have to rely on anyone else... I can invest money, travel, go to school, buy the desperately needed new laptop I'm writing this on. I can take off for Spain for 6 months, come back, and instantly be employed again. I'm not tied anywhere. It's an amazing thing. Of course, I realize that I can't do it forever. But by the time I'm too old to do this, I'll have an education that I didn't go into debt for, a retirement fund and a nice little nest egg that should launch any ambitions I have. So then, you have to ask yourself, in this world, does it matter where your money comes from or just what you do with it?

I've always hated that speech "I'm young and the world is at my fingertips." Whose fingertips is it at? My friends who are graduating with degrees and no job prospects in a saturated market that tells them they're overqualified? My friends who are still working in restaurants to pay off their tens of thousands of dollars in education debt? The people who spend their lives tied to shitty jobs that they hate and making sacrifices constantly of what their want their lives to be for the sake of "security"? Who has all of that figured out? I don't want any part of that system that's designed to entrap people in a material hell and make them believe that dissatisfaction is somehow the sign that you're doing everything right.

This isn't supposed to be career propaganda for stripping. It's just supposed to pose the possibility that maybe doing the lease amount of bull shit for someone else in order to get by the world so that you can live your own life is actually the way it should be. People throw away their whole lives just to be part of this machine that promises to protect them, but really, people don't need that much security. People need identities and lives and dreams and adventures. We've evolved out of a survivalist species. I can insure security for myself with some ingenuity. I don't have to rely on some horrible job that will turn me into a nameless, indentured servant out of fear I will end up starving on the streets.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I just got back from Kentucky yesterday. Dan, his sister and her husband and myself went to Mammoth Cave for the weekend and camped. The cave was great, the tacky tourist area around it was better. It was truly reminiscent of my childhood when my mom, grandma and I would drive down to visit our family in Tennessee and stop at every imaginable dilapidated tourist trap in between. Kentucky was like being in some sort of twilight zone. We stopped at one gift shop that had a sign on a shed next to the building that said "Big Mike's Mystery House." We laid down the $1 admission, despite fears of being raped anally and never found. It was a series of rooms of glow in the dark paint, peeling AstroTurf and psychedelic art from the 70s.

Then there was the diner we went to. Well, we went to two... the first, the waitress came to the table and just said to me, "Pancakes." I just looked at her, confused, and she said, "Pancakes. We only serve pancakes for breakfast." We left of course and went to another diner, the entrance of which was littered with garbage and children's toys. Our waitress was an older woman who had bright green shiny eye shadow. We waited an hour for our food, but I got the requisite fried okra so I was happy. Fried okra redeems the south.

On our way back, Dan and I stopped at a winery in southern Indiana near Bordon. It was absolutely beautiful. I forget sometimes that not all of Indiana is flat. The winery ended up being part of a pumpkin patch and farmers market and there were people everywhere riding on haywagons and eating ice cream. We bought a bottle of dry, oaky white wine--I didn't like any of their reds. It went nicely with the shrimp teriyaki skewers we grilled last night, but today I'm a little hung over. And back to work. Blah.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

It's noon and I'm lying in bed, fully dressed, with absolutely no will to do anything. I should have gone to an ASAP board meeting, yoga, done work at Erika's, worked out... I haven't done anything of these things. Basically I've felt this way all week. Yesterday I fell asleep while having my hair done. It occured to me a few minutes ago that I'm actually sick. I never get sick. I'm sniffling and my head feels like a sandbag. I have to work at Nature's Pharm and then the club tonight. I'm tempted to just stay in bed until I absolutely have to go to work.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Last Tuesday I began moonlighting as an "exotic dancer." I've wanted to do it forEVER and, finally, I got up the guts to go and "audition." I had to set aside all of my "body issues" and the fact that I've only gone out dancing a couple of times. Stage fright and being naked were never so much issues. To my surprise, it came quite naturally. To my further surprise, my first night of work I realized dancing is actually a lot of fun--and empowering. How could I complain about getting to dance, dress up and be drooled over all night by men who pay me just to pay attention to them. Even better was walking out with a wad of cash the size of a large grapefruit.

Anyway, it looks like it's final... I'm going to Spain for 6 months in January.

What could be better than stripping and international travel?

Saturday, September 8, 2007

My apartment finally has furniture. I won't even go into the nightmare that was involved in my mother moving her stuff out of storage and into my spare bedroom, but suffice to say, most of it is still in storage. I'm still grateful to have shelves and a king size bed and my grandmother's china cabinet.

I'm sitting here reading about the latest actress who posed nude before she was famous. I'm so sick of these stupid bitches "apologizing" for doing it and giving some sob story about how they "needed the money." The only reason anyone cares is because people love to see a groveling, fallen woman that they can throw stones at. If one of them would just say "yeah, I got naked for a camera. So fucking what? It was great and empowering", I bet no one would publish a single story about it because they couldn't bask in someone else's humiliation. I've posed nude lots of times, and if I got famous, I wouldn't give two shits if anyone saw the photos or knew about them. Obviously if I was worried about someone seeing me naked, I wouldn't have allowed myself to be PHOTOGRAPHED that way. Ugh.

Anyway. I'm going to go make some spinach and quinoa.

Monday, August 27, 2007

This morning I drove back to Lafayette at 5 a.m. The moon was full and huge and orange, turning bright red right before it set. All the fields were misty and looked like lakes. It was beautiful.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

I'm sitting on the porch swing outside my apartment with Dan drinking chai and whisky. In the last week or so since I've been back, I've managed to masterfully manuever my life so that I can work three jobs, freelance art and web design, go to yoga class, work on my yoga teacher training, and have one day off a week. I work at a health food store for the sweet discount and free expensive organic grocieries past their best by date (and all that I'm learning about herbs and alternative medicine.) I also work at Murkys in the morning and at a bar on the weekends. I always feel like I'm rearranging my life to do something or go somewhere, living out of boxes or on someone's couch. I'm thoroughly enjoying the experience of going to work and going home at night. But then, of course, there's the possibility of moving to Spain in 6 months, which is way too soon, and would require me subleasing my apartment and being unsettled and incredibly stressed out until then. And I just want to be able to settle into a normal life for a while. If the possibility holds out and I can go in a year, I'd do in a heart beat. Maybe I'd do it anyway. It's an incredible opportunity. But I'm really really not ready to even think about it.

Monday, August 6, 2007

I'm back from camp. It was an amazing experience and definitely something I will do again, but it's time to find a job and move and pay the bills I haven't paid. I'm not exactly thrilled. The last two weeks were great, and I loved the teens and loved my cabin and loved the camp. I walked on hot coals as people drummed and chanted and threw pots on the wheel and developed an appreciation for veganism and quinoa. It was fantastic.

Last weekend at the Omega Institute, I met a woman who wants me to be an au pair for her kids in Madrid, Spain. If she's serious about it, I'll go in a heart beat. It was an incredibly serendipitous meeting, since I'd been looking up plane tickets to Madrid randomly an hour before I met her. We'll see how that pans out. In the mean time, I'm trying to hunt for gainful employment.

Friday, July 20, 2007

I’m sitting down to write at my first opportunity so far, and I don’t know where to begin. I arrived at camp last Sunday after an adventure which took me on too many turnpikes and toll roads and got me lost in the Bronx. But when I finally found my way to Omega Teen Camp, I found a place of indescribable beauty and positivism. When I think back to the miserable days I spent at camp or in youth groups or even Peru—for that matter, any situation involving numerous people I didn’t know—I’ve always felt like the outsider. I have never been able to make friends easily. I use to be too shy. Now I’m told I intimidate people. I don’t know how to not intimidate people. They should get some aplomb themselves. I have never been able to find that many people that I like in general. But here there’s some sort of strange phenomenon where 40 completely unique people are able to make a true community because they, in and of themselves, are so whole and good. There is nothing but love here, genuine, not the forced or fake acceptance I remember from church. There is no segregation, no cliqueyness, no unspoken conflict. It’s an incredible sensation to be in this kind of energy, especially backdropped with acres of dewy Northeastern forest and overgrown stone walls winding over the hills.

Right now I’m sitting in the cafĂ© of the Omega Institute, about a half hour from camp, having a kind of vacation with the staff before the kids arrive on Sunday. I’m full of delicious organic vegan whole foods and relaxed by the air and the sun and the distance between me and my life in Indiana.

Yesterday was our last day of orientation. I spent most of the day practicing my long-forgotten technique on the potter’s wheel on the porch of the art hut while it rained warm and hard through the afternoon. Before dinner, I went for a run in the drizzle and explored winding paths and meadows. In the evening, a man called Medicine Bear came and led us in an Iroquois peace pipe ceremony around a fire (that he started with a bow and drill). He gave us all a handful of tobacco and we said a prayer over it and cast it into the fire. I prayed that I would find my path. Then I watched the glowing tobacco ashes that were spit back from the violent hot center of the flame and fluttered over me like drops of baptismal water.

The man who works in the kitchen is named Robert and he’s a trained chef and the owner of a bread bakery in Omaha. We’ve adopted each other as friends, and he’s become my jolly, middle aged, white sage with sparkling gray eyes—everyone’s eyes seem to sparkle here. The first night we took a walk to the house on the lake where he’s staying and I told him all of my confusion and pain and lost-ness. Then he told me something about myself that I’ve always known and never really had realized by another person: that I’m intuitive. Well, of course I am, but not just in the obvious way, but in the way I’ve been guided in my life, the way I’ve always had a sense of what I needed to do or what I wanted to be or how things would work out, even when it seemed insane or irrational to others. It’s been the source of all the confusion and self-doubt and isolation in my life, because I haven’t ever allowed myself to trust it completely, even when I end up acting on it. Just like coming here. Coming to this camp was not the practical thing for me to do, especially financially, but I knew I had to. I knew I had to be here, that it would be the next step in my life, and work out all of the strange struggles within me that I can’t even name. I knew. He told me that others may think I’m floundering or directionless or not to be taken seriously because I make decisions like waiting until I’m older to go to school or because I know I want to do (not just try but DO) things that I know virtually nothing about—like making goat cheese. But really, I’m passionate, and I know myself beyond my experiences, and I can’t let the limitations or the needs of others define or set the boundaries for my own life. It was profound. Today, I arrived at the Omega Institute and felt so at home and so at peace. Robert and I walked through the library, leaving our shoes and our voices at the door, reverently absorbing the beauty and sacredness of the books and the feel of life and the wholeness of human experience that I’ve always craved and sought and which feels so good and so impossible at the same time. I somehow knew I’d find it here, this pure, organic joy that comes with a way of living as part of the earth and loving people as part of you. I could stay here forever, I could stay in this peace forever, with these people forever. I can only hope I can give a piece of this to these kids who come next week. If I’d been exposed to this when I was that age, I would have had so much less pain and so much less self-loathing in my life, even now. I spent so many years hating myself because I couldn’t function in the “world” and being lonely because felt disconnected and different from other people. Now I realize that what I’ve lived up until now isn’t the real world at all and that those people were disconnected from themselves.

This is the poem Robert read to me:

There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.

William Stafford

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Today was amazing. We went to a vineyard outside of Charlottesville at the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains and drank cabernet Franc outside and ate gouda and french bread. Then we went for a drive in the country and downtown to the main street, which is full of restaurants and galleries and neat little shops and outdoor tables. We had dinner outside at a Japanese restaurant called Ten, which had incredible food, and there consumed our second bottle of wine. The weather was perfect, we were fabulous, everything was fabulous. I love Charlottesville. I don't want to go back to Indiana. If I wasn't taking off for New York tomorrow, I probably wouldn't leave anytime soon. I'm driving up tomorrow, a little nervous about getting lost, and a little nervous about the whole thing. I'm sure the experience will be great though. Still don't want to leave my mom's.

Pictures of fabulousness:

Yesterday my mom and I went to Virginia Beach. The day was pretty disappointing... cloudy and cold. We should have gone today-it's unbearably hot and sunny. Oh well. We still had a good time.

Anyway... After sitting on the beach for a while, we both start to notice some suspicious-looking fins bobbing up in the water. We watch closely as they start to move back and forth in front of us about a hundred feet off shore. No one seems to be reacting, including the lifeguards. I'm fascinated-and trying to, as people do, rationalize that "maybe they're dolphins" or "maybe people around here know they're a non threatening type". But I'm convinced that they are, in fact, sharks. After a while, some people start to point at them and look at each other questioningly, but no one seems to be staying away from the water. In fact, one man actually takes his 3 year old daughter out waste-deep and points at the fins which are stalking the near distance. This is when I realized in a rather profound way what stupid sheep people are. This morning I came across this story about a Virginia Beach shark attack in 2001. Somehow I now have a feeling blatant stupidity was somehow involved. I wouldn't have felt sorry for a single one of those idiots in the water if they'd been attacked. Actually, I was sitting there drinking beer and sort of hoping it would happen. Of course, my mom made the observation, especially since we were pretty inebriated, that if a big tsunami were looming in the distance, we'd probably just sit there and say, "Man, look at that big fucking wave."

Thursday, July 12, 2007

I'm at my mom's place is Charlottesville after much driving through winding mountain roads. It's so beautiful here. Now we're enjoying some cheap wine and fine herbal inspiration and watching All About Eve. Tomorrow we're going to the beach and I'm going to sit in the sand all day and try to come up with ideas for my classes. Then I think Sunday we're going to go to the winery (something I've always wanted to do.) After that, I take off for Holmes, New York to Omega Teen Camp, which, I'm hoping, will be as amazing as I have a feeling it will be.

Aside... Christina please water the plants in my art studio! The staghorn fern is expensive.

Monday, July 9, 2007

In my body, a sleeping weapon waits
and no one can warm the gears to move and slide
and open wide, after all these years
I cannot possibly say I’m sorry enough
But nothing is so serious in the candle flames
You look at me and I know what you see:
ivy on brownstones,
your children in homemade sweaters,
and tattered, antique rugs and things.
And you claim to see right through me but you really see
every movie that you’ve ever seen
about beasts and beauties
and I’m much too dark and wide
for you to see the other side.

Dear stranger, there is enough in the universe
and in our strange, young lives
besides emotions and relationships
And the same dull analysis
of insecurities and pride
it makes me quite uncomfortable
to watch somebody lie
It’s not a necessary thing
When we commune so nicely
over wine and weed and dreams.

In my mind, a sleeping woman
Is listening for boot steps
On the creaking stairs
And waiting for a man
Who has been away at war for years
Struggling through some strange and awful place
That is just as deep and wide
As the woman to whom he lied about his fears
And he will place around my neck
the simple string of beads he bought
at a market outside Bangkok.

Don’t kiss me,
he will find you when he comes
And remember your name
Even when I do not.

Hush, you say, the sea is washing in
But we live nowhere close to it
Come, I invite you, try again
I tell you all the rules and
you sit just like a Master
But you are falling far behind, my friend.

I cannot possibly say I’m sorry enough
For the way I am
I am not a woman
Because these strange desires can’t define me
And I am a stranger to this body, but I am accepting of its
I’m resourceful, as well
as you can see
and I understand the equations of beauty and symmetry
and my body’s primordial recipes.

You see, inside my soul, a strange, old man awakes
He sees your boyishness through his age
And you can never be as wise as him
Because he is me, and I am old and I am strong like him
And when I die, this soft and envied girl
will also die
Poor foolish boy, you only touch a phantom lie
And I cannot wait until I wake
and I’ll be him again.
When I was a kid, my mom and I went on lots of great road trips. I haven't been on one in a long time, but the idea that in a few days I'll be trekking towards the mountains with my Honda loaded up with art supplies and tank tops and granola bars has me thrilled. Of course, this trip has a destination--my job at Omega. It's not actually the trip I've always envisioned myself going on. For some reason, since I was a kid, I've always thought that at this age I would take off for the west on some sort of Kerouacian spiritual pilgrimage. I am still compelled to do this. No, more than that. I have to do it. I had a dream last night I was in my car and had salvaged all of my mom's old travel maps from her last garage sale... the ones we had sat down together and highlighted our routes on. Sometimes I wonder why I'm still here. I wonder why it's taken me so long to let go of things I don't really even care about. I wonder if this summer will be the final step.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

I'm getting excited about camp. I'm going to be teaching ceramics, sewing, henna, facepainting. I got an email from two other counselors who are teaching labrynth building. How amazing is that? *I* want to take a class on labrynth building. I arrive on the 15th of August. A few days before, my mom and I are going to go down to New Harmony, Indiana and spend a night to see the lightning bugs, then I'm going to stay with her in Charlottesville for a few days. Yay! Excitement!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

I rented an apartment on the 9th street hill, but I can't move in until after I come back from camp. It's really cute, and the landlord is something out of a book. After proudly telling me in detail the makings and workings of the air conditioning system and the plumbing, he then showed me a variety of unusually thoughtful features, such as a carbon monoxide detector and mail boxes large enough to receive packages. Then he went on to tell me about his church missions around the world, including an almost poetic recapitulation of Vietnamese farmers harvesting a rice crop. When he was describing my lease terms to me, he said he didn't care much about late rent, but was very adamant that I stay off the roof, which I thought was hilarious since my apartment is on the ground floor. He lives upstairs with his wife and a married couple lives in the basement. My apartment is on the front of the house and has a porch with a swing and little trees in the front yard and a very homey feeling to it. There are mirrors everywhere, which is a little bizarre, but I'm vain anyway.

Now that my mom's sold her house, I'm having a hard time accepting that she lives in Virginia. When she was in town right before the closing, I slept in her bed with her, and it was like being a little kid again. I felt so comfortable and happy. I got to go to dinner with her and talk in restaurants all night like we did when I was a teenager. The absence of this is bothering me for the first time since she moved. This feeling is coupled with the fact that I don't really have a home right now, and am technically living in my art studio with heat and bugs and no bed. I drive to see Dan and sleep with him more than I can actually afford to justify. I feel lonely constantly, even though my art studio is "my space", it's stark and open and strange at night. It's been months since I've had a "home" per se. Sometimes when I get off work at night, I get so depressed about not being able to go home to a bed and a cat and a refrigerator full of goat cheese and apples and comfort, and I call Dan crying about how confused I am about my life and sit in a bar and drink until I can pass out on my studio couch.

But life is yet happy because it's summer and almost blueberry picking time. And I made a salad with mandarin oranges, tarragon, goat cheese and honeyed walnuts.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Pretty much the best thing ever happened the other night. I met a FALCONER. Oh yes. I mean what are the odds? Obviously this is fated to be. Now all I need to do is convince him to make me his apprentice.

I had a bad day (I've been having a lot of those) and Dan made me cookies. I have the best boyfriend ever. Actually, I also have the best ex boyfriends ever. Sometimes when I'm feeling sorry for myself because my life is directionless and floundering, I think about all the luck I've had with men compared to other women I know. Someday I'll make some sort of tribute to all the nice, helpful, protective men I've had in my life.

It's about to storm.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

I'm going to do some free advertisement for my friend Justin here. He's an incredibly talented photographer, and more than that, he's an artist. I want to see him succeed as a professional, so if you're in the market for a photographer, contact him.

I'm never letting anyone else photograph me. Pure love, Justin!
I get depressed about jobs where I have no sense of purpose or investment... especially when I have so little control over the circumstance (my hours, in this instance) and I'm completely replacable. For example, yesterday apparently there was a mandatory cleaning day that no one bothered to tell me about. Of course, as far as they're concerned, I work during the day, so could they really have expected me to be there anyway? Who knows. I might get fired. It depresses me that my source of income is that fragile. It also depresses me when other employees gossip about each other or talk about how much they hate the managers because they've been waiters too long and are bitter about all their evaporated dreams. I just want to make money and go home, not get sucked into their bull shit drama.

Of course, here are the happy things: I went running yesterday morning and spent the rest of the day painting. I had lunch with Marty walked from the west side to my studio in the rain. The painting I started is nearly finished, and I think will turn into a series, although I'd really like to paint something less dark. I'm going to try to organize a show by the last gallery walk. I have this idea to do large works on light weight boards and suspend them from the pipes in the ceiling and make a sort of hallway type exhibit. We'll see.

My mother is coming back tomorrow to close on the house. I'm not really sad to see it go, but the lady who is buying it is a bitch. I'm thinking about signing up for a bunch of stupid mailing lists and having them sent there.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

I expanded my studio!

Long week... Last weekend my mom was in town getting her house ready for the closing, so we spent some time together before she left to go back to Virginia on Monday. Tuesday I worked and Wednesday was Dan's birthday, for which I made a cheesecake and bought a bottle of whiskey and a bottle of vodka. Thursday I woke up at 6 a.m. with a hang over and drove back to Lafayette to pick up Makenna to take her back to Indy to the zoo. This was a lot of fun, and I was very generously compensated for it, considering I would have done it for free. We had lunch at a very nice restaurant downtown where I had a spectacular salad with goat cheese and where I was informed by the waiter that Indiana is fast becoming the biggest goat cheese producer in the country. I then decided I want to own a goat and learn how to make goat cheese. Makenna and I pretty much saw everything there was to see, and after her mother picked her up, I went to Dan's sister's rehearsal dinner across town. Friday I went to a cook out at his Dad's house, then to my cousin Caitlin's graduation party. Saturday was the actual wedding, which was very beautiful and ended with me drinking gin in a limo. I love gin. And goat cheese. Sigh.

Now I'm about to go buy a sewing machine.

(That picture of me kissing the walrus at the zoo is actually from March.)

Monday, May 28, 2007

Waitressing is a double edged sword. On the one hand, the money I make where I work is great and I generally enjoy the job. On the other hand, it seems to exaggerate the stagnant reality of my life right now. Every other table asks me questions about myself that I really have no answer to. There's something sort of fundementally depressing about saying "I'm a waitress." Then again, maybe more depressing are my co workers who have degrees in both useless liberal arts areas as well as seemingly useful ones (example: meteorology) but seem to have given up hope of getting "real jobs." Then I have to wonder if it's worth it trying to prod myself through school just to get a degree for the sake of having an answer to give to the nosey customers who want to know what sorts of fabulous and interesting things I'm doing with my life when I take off my apron and go home. It's a little ridicuous, really. It seems to me that I shouldn't even bother unless I'm going to school in order to pursue a specific career, not just "get a degree". On the other hand, I'm certainly not happy just waiting tables, ignoring my art, and living in my studio. I've decided that when I come back from Omega this summer, I'll have a decision about what I'm going to do and where I'm going to go. Hopefully a summer spent in New York with lots of eccentric, free spirited individuals will give me some perspective I'm missing here.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Look at my drunk ass! Rawr!

Photo was taken by Justin. <3

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

I am so happy I finally have a real desk. I feel like I actually work in a real office. It makes me hate my job so much less. And I'm actually *gasp* caught up at work. I'm even nicer to people on the phone. Okay. That's a lie. One of my greatest pleasures is putting people on hold mid-sentence.

I got a job Nine Irish Brothers. I really like it and I think I'll make decent money. And I get free beer. What could be better?

Sunday, April 29, 2007

I'm going to borrow some Ani DiFranco wisdom:

I am not an angry girl
But it seems like I've got everyone fooled
Every time I say something they find hard to hear
They chalk it up to my anger
Never to their own fear

In other news, Dan assembled a desk for me at work and helped me clean out my car this weekend! He's the best. Oh, and he cleaned my computer screen and grilled some salmon. I'm lucky.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Today I went to see a psychologist who actually recommended I deal with my problems rather than medicating myself into a vegetable. I really appreciated that. Life sucks, no one's brain is wired the same way, and people should learn to manage pain and problems, biological or circumstantial, rather than numbing themselves out of the human experience. Lets face it. We're all insane.

In other news, last week my 12 year old protege, Makenna, brought two of her chickens to our art lesson. It was awesome. We took them both to the park for a walk. Behold:

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I have a confession: my guilty pleasure is celebrity gossip. Yes, much worse than McDonalds cheeseburgers, M&Ms or tanning. I've slowly become disenchanted with the actual news. I use to watch nothing but news programs and shun every aspect of pop culture, but frankly, which is really more soulless? Since I don't have TV, I check Fox and CNN online once a day or so at work, but whenever I'm in a place where I have the opportunity to watch them live, I can only stand about a minute or so. News has become repulsive and base and transparent. Everytime I encounter the news media, I'm reminded of Andy Warhol's Car Crash series, which mocked us for our fascination and commercialization of tragedy and death. Such as, the other day I showed Dan an article about the acquittal of the "dugeon rapist", and he replied, "There's a video so that you can watch the family of the accusors cry?" I'm not the only one either--I just read a great article at the gym about news programs having to compete with the Daily Show for ratings and (snicker) credibility. Good! I hope the news as we know it ceases to exist. Frankly, I don't give two shits about politics anymore. I don't care about Iraq, I don't care about dismembered ex girlfriends, I don't care about the election, I don't care about Congressmen jacking off to gay porn. All I really care about anymore is when vile Tom and Katie are going to get a divorce (I hope it's soon).


Monday, April 23, 2007

This weekend was the Grand Prix. On my way to the park--because it was such a gorgeous day--I passed all the fraternities on the hill with students lying in the grass, drinking beer and looking forward to things. It occures to me that I may never be one of them. Money is bull shit, I just want to go to college and have a normal life.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Apparently I shocked some people with my post about smoking weed. I was advised that any prospective employers will likely not consider me after doing the routine stalking through Google. Their loss. Seriously, people. Our great art museums and galleries would be empty were it not for the phenomenon of mind altering substance. Even the Renassiance painters were all mad from lead paint fumes.

All I can say to this is... LEGALIZE IT, BABY!

Speaking of idiosyncratic Conservativism (and close to home!)...

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

This morning I was driving out of Dan's sub-division and there were so many goddamn mini vans at the corner that I could barely get by. I couldn't figure out what was going on at first; it seemed strange. Then I realized they were all waiting with their middle school and high school aged children at the bus stop. In the area, at least two 14/15 year old girls have been abducted from bus stops and raped in the past month or so. I was sure that was why they were there. It was a testament to how fucked up the world is when kids in suburbia can't wait at a bus stop for ten minutes a block away from their house.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

I've been drinking way too much lately. However, vanilla soy milk+vodka+kahlua+more vodka+sex=a better white Russian than you've ever had.
I finished a painting of Dan and me. I think I want to dedicate an entire series to our sex life, since it's so good and so integral to both of us, together and respectively. I would like to organize a show before the next gallery walk. I managed to throw the last one together in a month, which involved completing half the paintings in it and spending an entire week on the food alone. It was insane, but motivating, and I had a great time at the show, despite being too drunk to remember most of it.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Last night I started on a painting. It made me happy, because I haven't painted something that really clicked in a long time, and I need to do something besides brooding around in my art studio being miserable. I've spent the last few days overwhelmingly depressed, barely able to function. I've had to leave work early two days in a row. This morning I woke up with Dan in the loft and realized that the fact that I'm essentially homeless and chemically unbalanced is inconsequential when I have a man who will drive an hour on a weeknight just to sleep next to me on plyboard and ceiling tile. When I was a kid, I loved books about people who lived in bizarre places... box cars, hollowed out trees, museums. I should be all about this.

Anyway. I'm going to go for a run tonight. Then I'm going to attempt to work on the mural at the yoga studio and make some progress. I think as long as I am investing myself in the things I should be doing, I will be happy.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Designing the layout for today made me really sorry I Googled for images the phrase "meat hooks."

Friday, March 30, 2007

I never thought I'd say this, but sometimes I miss high school. Not the beginning of high school, but like junior, senior year. Not particularly even high school itself. It's a gorgeous, sunny day and I'm stuck inside an office with no windows. I remember how great it felt to get out of school at 2:30, go hang out in the parking lot and bum a ride off someone, drive down country roads with the windows down and end up spending the afternoon smoking weed and blowing off homework. I miss having a lack of responsibility.
I'm reading A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah. And yes, I did pick it up in the line at Starbucks. I bought it because I don't really waste my time on a lot of fiction, so I like non-fiction that is still literature, and because I don't really know anything about Africa. But it's not really something you can even pretend to read for pleasure or casual interest. I can read about 10 pages before I have to stop, stare off into the distance for another 10 minutes, then spend the rest of the day depressed. Everyone should read it, nonetheless.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Get ready for the cutest thing ever.......

Okay, I'll stop.
I had an idea.

I've always been bothered by the idea of having to "choose" a doctrine. I think part of the reason Christians are so defensive and close-minded about their religion is it's intrinsic (as it's been interpreted) intolerance for interpretation, as well as error. Christians are taught to believe that the Bible is the true, accurate, unfailing word of God, that it has no mistakes, that everything has magically transferred through translation after translation, edit after edit, century after century. This is simply not true. If this were true, it would contradict another foundation of Christianity: individual spiritual understanding and path. This individual spiritual path has been compromised and demeaned, however, making it a religion of rules and hierarchy, even for those who claim to be "filled with the Spirit." I know, I was one of them.

Eastern religions are more individualistic, more accepting of personal goals and personal spiritual discovery. It's more about co-existence with the spiritual, rather than worship or contrast between spirit and flesh, perfection and mortality. I recently became very interested in Buddhism. I had always thought it was the religion that interested me the least, as, at face value, it disregards the individual. However, Buddhism does not disregard the individual, it disregards the ego. Recently, I've studied Wicca and nature-based religions, which intrigue me because I've always felt much more spiritually connected when I'm in nature than in a structure, which ultimatley only emulates nature anyway. Wicca involves, in no large way, spells, which are really only concentrations and visualizations of desired outcomes and the channelling of personal energy. I find this to be, in motivation and purpose, identical to prayer and identical to some forms of meditation. I also am also learning about Shamanism, which is much like Buddhism and other Eastern religions in it's focus on higher or complete consciousness. Growing up I observed some Jewish holy days and traditions, and when I was 16 I developed a fascination with Islam. However, since unsubscribing myself to Christianity, which really only means in the political sense, I haven't really been tempted to subscribe to any other religion.

It's pretty common to feel that all religions have elements of each other and are all parts of a greater truth. But why do we only choose one to practice and follow? I despise "organized religion", but I understand why it exists. I only hate what it has become. Religion exists to give us a structure and a devotion. It exists to remind us, to keep us focused and aware of what we believe so that we don't forget or lose our connection to it. But the opposite happens. Religion becomes habit, a means of appeasing rather than fulfilling our duty to our spiritual nature. Our practice becomes more important than our introspection and continual discovery because it is easier and more black and white. I think that rituals and traditions serve a purpose, but only if there is conviction behind it. Rituals are meant to connect us to our believes, not become a substitute. However, different ways of practicing spirituality suit different people, regardless of what they ultimately believe. I never felt particularly comfortable in a church or discussing my beliefs or praying with others. As a child, I was told to pray and that meditation was evil, that it would open my mind to demons and the like. I have never prayed and felt anything. I have never been prayed for and felt anything. It was an act, it made me feel even more hollow because I felt that I was missing something that I should have gotten. For some people, it works though. I've found connection to God through meditation. I've found it through fasting, I've found it through hiking and being in nature, through art, through yoga, through elements of Buddhist practice, Christian practice, Shaman practice, Wiccan practice, Hindu practice, Native American practice... but I didnt always connect those practices to those religions consciously. My point is, is everyone is different, if some are more intuitive while some are more structured, if some are more communal while some are more private, how can one religion teach everyone how to find God/goddess/truth/wholeness/energy/light/the Ultimate/spirit?

What I propose to myself is this: I create a book which details my beliefs, create rituals and structure which allows me to re-connect to my spirituality in a way that works for me, establish which holy days or occasions or seasonal celebrations I should observe especially, establish a moral code and include a journal to chronical my experiences and feelings and what I continue to learn. This is very similar to the Wiccan's Book of Shadows, but rather than particular to one belief system, it would be my own personal belief system which is meant only for me. I will self-bind it and illustrate it/decorate it as well. I will make one every five years so that it continues to grow with me and my own spiritual path.

Horray for major life projects!
I refurbished last night. It needs more work. It ALWAYS needs more work. (So does this blog.) The commissions are also horribly out of date. I don't have pictures of any of my new murals, which upsets me, or the stuff I've done in Brian and Erika's homes.

Yesterday I took the day off. I spent half the day being productive, the other half being unproductive with Dan, grilling salmon outside, making "earth works" at the park and drinking. If you have never made a white Russian with ice cream, I strongly recommend it.

Today I have no motivation. I am supposed to be writing subpoenas right now. Sigh.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Here is a story: in ancient Greece, there was a courtesan who had a great deal of status, as she was the most sought after courtesan of the time. Then, she fell in love. (Oh no!) She lost her status, as did he, and both of them spent the rest of their lives as outcasts. Why did this happen? Because people are selfish, jealous bastards and view others as comodities, not people, much of the time, so actually revelling in the happiness or success of others doesn't happen unless it benefits them in some way. The point, people suck. Most "adults" are no more mature than 9 year old bullies trying to dominate their inferiors on the playground to satisfy the insecurities they have their entire lives. Adults only become more sly about it. It irritates me that people have the nerve to shit all over something good because of their ignorance and own emotional damage. The end.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

This makes me want to go have an abortion out of pure spite.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

I built a bed in the weird loft area in my art studio. Basically I swept out all the saw dust, put down styrofoam ceiling tiles, put an egg crate mattress over that, and piled on blankets and pillows. It's not bad, really. I curtained it off and it can precariously be reached with my six foot ladder. The first night Dan and I slept in it, I kept waking up because I was afraid he was going to fall out, so we ended up sleeping on the hardwood floor, which he was unhappy about. So I nailed a board across the openning.
So far it's okay, showering is really the only hassle, but it encourages me to go to the gym more. Viva la bohemme.

I bought a big floppy straw hat today. I'm excited about it.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

See here.

Isn't it great when one backwards, Conservative stance backfires on another backwards, Conservative stance? It's almost like two evils cancel each other out. Hey, Bush, maybe we wouldn't be losing the imaginary War on Terror if the government wasn't more interested in its twisted, moralistic bull shit than actually getting things done. Yes, let's fire scarce, highly sought after Arabic translators because they're gay. Something tells me if I, as a woman, were an Arabic translator for the government and told my boss I'd been with a woman, he'd try to get in my pants - God forbid consider firing me.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I like to start out my day by being completely outraged: see here.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Let's see. I never update this. I don't have any news in the art realm to report, so stick with personal stuff. First, we have a new relationship, which is really an old relationship of multiple intervals over the past five years. His name is Dan and he likes it when I mention him in here because it makes him feel important, which he is. He also wears a fedora and kisses really, really well.

Second, I'm going to I.U. next year, which means I'm moving to Bloomington, which means I'm homeless for the next few months, which means I'll be sleeping on the couch in my art studio. I may have found an apartment there, not sure yet. Trying to work out the details. I'm going to major in International Studies. This means I'm finally going to get to take an Arabic class. I've been waiting for that since my second trip to Israel in '02.

I've also got a job this summer as a counselor at Omega Teen Camp in New York state. I'm going to be teaching art, which is going to be awesome because it appears I get to come up with my own projects. I leave in July and don't get back until a week before classes start.

By the way, if you're someone who has talked to me about a commission, please contact me as soon as possible. I'm going to try to get as much done before July as I can.
I like to start out my day by being completely outraged: see here.

Monday, February 26, 2007

I watched Requiem for a Dream last night. Oh my God. I hated it so.

I couldn't believe how stupid it was. I mean, it was "well-done" or whatever. But as far as being "deep" or "brilliant" or having whatever qualities of greatness that all of these pseudo-intellectual emo fringe types credit it with... I don't think so. I don't think I would have been able to sit through it if I hadn't been inebriated. Why are suburban white kids so fascinated with gritty movies about drug addiction? I mean, it was tolerable until Jennifer Connelly started doing the double ass penetration to support her heroine addiction. That's a little too much contrived melodrama for my taste.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

I suppose I have to go back to work today. By some rare miracle, the courthouse was closed two days in a row. Today I'm sure it's open. Oh well. I should probably actually make money before the end of the week.
Also, I'm inexplicably happy. See below.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Love is someone driving an hour to see you in a blizzard for Valentine's Day.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I can't believe I went to work today. We were the only people in our entire building who came in and the freaking court house was closed. Happily, I got to go home at 11. Unhappily, the broken toilet flooded half the house.

For dinner I had a huge head of broccoli. I love vegetables. I wish people could understand.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

I saw The Vagina Monologues last night with Ariel. It was just... fantastic. I don't know that anything else can be said about it. Just... fantastic. And I bought a chocolate vagina lolipop. Eee!

Friday, February 9, 2007

Conveniently enough, I hosted a "tea party" at an elementary school for Murky's and the mayor was there. I had the opportunity to ask him why they didn't make graffiti removal part of road crew. He paused, told me a bald face lie--that they only have road crew a few times a year. It pissed me off. The real reason? They want the revenue from the fines. Great "friend to small business" you are, Roswarski.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Here's something stupid:

The mayor of Lafayette is proposing a $1000 fine to business owners who do not have graffiti removed from their buildings within 10 days.

No, seriously.

Yes, let's penalize the small business owners who already have enough things to worry about in a local economy that isn't exactly lucrative for them anyway. Here's an idea: let's make graffiti removal part of road crew or a community service opportunity, rather than the financial responsibility of the victims. And since when is graffiti a problem in Lafayette? Maybe this city, instead of sitting around tonight voting on a dumb idea, should be out plowing the roads that are still, after 7 hours, covered in 6 inches of snow.
I'll tell you what I'd do if I owned a building: I'd get a bunch of kids together to graffiti the entire fucking thing as an art project and sue the city when they tried to fine me. HA!