Sunday, June 28, 2009

Last Night in Collinwood

Of course these pictures have nothing to do with it. But they're symbolic right? Am I starting the race or finishing it?

I didn't get to go to the actual Waterloo Arts Fest yesterday because I was working, but after work I headed over to check out Low Life's closing party for This Is Cleveland (all the stuff I see) exhibit. Connected with my friend Wolf again, and spent some quality time hanging out on the sidewalk meeting people. Headed over to the gallery, where there was a movie I didn't know about - "Battle for Collinwood". Wish I could tell you the name of the guy who made it, but whoever you are, man in the green shirt, it was awesome. A good plot (the story of Danny Greene), and an excuse to have all your friends dress up as gangsters and shoot the shit out of each other to punk music? Always a winning combination. Arte Povera played, and I liked them an awful lot, very danceable, but staying inside was too hot. Their guitarist looks like Paul Rudd.

So, I wandered over to Waterloo 7 to look around. Got greeted by painted puppies at the door, and then hung out in the sculpture garden chatting with some guys who showed me their books of art. The owner Jerry told some good stories about gangsters in Cleveland. Then back across the street to say goodbye, and meet up with some cool kids from Youngstown who try to convince me there is an art and music scene in Youngstown no one knows about, so that's a weekend trip there I guess. An Ethiopian Jew tells me I have the cutest nose and asks if I have pretty feet. I tell him no, and he's very disappointed.

It's a good scene in that neighborhood. Everyone's friendly, everyone wants to meet you. It's relaxing.

Finally back across town to Laura's housewarming party. Small, but I'll always listen to Dawn and Lori talk about shit, and Laura is a consumate hostess. I hang out for about an hour, but then it's 1:30? And it's home to bed.

As a final thought, let me just mention how impressed I am by CB's devotion to the Cleveland scene. I was talking to him outside the gallery, smoking, and I ask if there's any good small shows coming up? Oh, he has a calendar filled on his iphone. He's got a show for every day in July. He is fanatically successful at going places. He is the man with the plans.

Now I'm off to a picnic in the woods, maybe. If it doesn't rain on us.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Getting rid of the aftertaste

, originally uploaded by sharpshinyclaws.

Ugh. Just even writing that long ass catalog of pain makes me feel like, I don't know, 24 again. Also it makes my blog look ugly. So here's a pretty picture of my mom's garden (flowers! a world of violence and territorialism and drugs!) and some thoughts:

1. Synecdoche, NY was a fantastic film. I loved it. I loved it as much, and in the same way as Stranger than Fiction.

2. My sneakers were being held captive by the villain Gimley, and I have to rescue them tonight. It reminds me I have to buy more shoes. Going two days without sneakers is like, tough man.

3. Going off number one - I only like comedians in serious films and vice versa. This is probably why I don't like Jack Black.

4. I honestly feel like Michael Jackson died a long time ago. And I actually thought Farrah Fawcett did.

5. I'm contemplating a proposal for an article to this small local magazine, but I can't decide on a topic. What are you most curious about in Cleveland? Please don't say the single scene.

6. Popsicles. I love popsicles.

7. I have to get some pedals, so I can actually ride this bike I bought. Or it needs to rain more, so I get distracted.

The Break Up

It appears that S.'s way of "protecting himself" is to tell all our friends a completely different version of what's happened the last three weeks. I've already talked to two people who had no idea what really happened, and since he's determined to talk a bunch of shit about me, let's clear the record. You can choose to believe who you want.

How it started:

Now A. is the friend who S. would not allow me to hang out with for two years, because if I did, he wouldn't be able to "act" the same. She's not the first girl he did this with, but the most recent one. He's admitted he was attracted to her and would sleep with her, a long time ago when we first started fighting about her, but has maintained that nothing has ever happened between them, and I believe that. I however don't subscribe to the idea that just because you haven't made out with a girl, it means you go out drinking with her a lot and your girlfriend is supposed to be okay with that.

On the Wednesday before shit started, my friend was coming over to hang out with us, and S. came home late because he'd been drinking with her. I didn't say anything. Then Thursday, he didn't want to hang out with me and my friends because he wanted to stay home that night. After hanging out, I called him to bring him some food, and he was at the bar with her. He said "come over". I said no, because it was 11. He said "I'll come pick you up." I said, stay out, I'm going home, have fun.

On Friday morning I call him and he's at the hospital with her, because she didn't want to go to her doctor's appointment and he made her. He tells me they spent all night drinking, and A. slept over at his house. He's had no sleep. I tell him that sucks because we had plans to hang out that night and now he's had no sleep. I'm annoyed. He gets immediately defensive, and refuses to apologize for making it so we can't really hang out. I hang up on him. I'm at work, I don't need to get into this stuff at work.

Minutes later I get a text message that "we're through." So I just got dumped, by text, at work. He doesn't pick up the phone when I call him, so I leave him a message to put all my stuff in his house in a bag and leave it on the porch, I'll get it on my way home from work. I'm done with this shit and I don't want to talk to him, I just want it over.

When I come over after work, A.'s there drinking with him. I tell her I'm sorry, I don't blame her for this, I call him an asshole and I leave. A. also stays there that night. He says she didn't. But her car was certainly still there that night as I was driving around crying.

So he doesn't call me for two days, but Sunday morning he decides to start calling, and we have the big fight phone call. He tells me he didn't mean to break up with me, he was just really angry about my reaction to A. He tells me he's sorry for hurting me. It's exhausting. We finally make peace, and I ask him to show me some leeway with A., to understand my feelings. He says he will.

Well here's the point upon which the worm turns. As I find out later from him, when I asked him that, he took it to mean I was asking him to tolerate my craziness with her and not let it bother him. And see, I meant, hey don't go drinking with her for days at a time.

So he asks me if I want to see him Sunday night, at the time I say no, because I'm tired and worn out from crying. I change my mind later and call him to come see me. He doesn't pick up the phone. All night. Because he's out with A. drinking.

Monday morning, he calls me and we have another huge fight. I ask him what the hell he was thinking, he tells me I shouldn't be upset he went to hang out with his friend. Then he apologizes again, and says he's sorry, he didn't mean to hurt me. He feels horrible. I forgive him. Then I go out building hunting with Jere. Afterwards we go to a bar, then I go home. On my way home I go by S.'s house, thinking I'll come over and we'll make up. He's not home.

By this point I know exactly where he is. So I drive wasted to the Spitfire. I see his car. I cry for a minute, and then I walk in. Both he and A. turn and smile at me. I walked over, slapped him twice (because the first time didn't feel hard enough) and then I leave.

About 45 minutes later he's calling and calling, saying how sorry he is and how he called me to come out (there was no missed phone call or voicemail or text) and how he thought I would like to come out and drink with them. He drives to my house, I don't let him in. The next morning he comes over my house, with coffee, and I tell him to leave me alone.

The next Saturday is the Belmont. I tell him not to show up since we had previously made plans to go with friends, and I'm still going. He doesn't, thankfully. Instead he has A. over to drink. Big surprise.

Next comes a week of S. refusing to call me, but texting me like crazy. I call him and tell him to stop texting me, if he has something to say, then call me. I'm less angry at this point than I am very very hurt. I feel like he must have done this on purpose, or he's a bonafide idiot. He doesn't stop texting me. I tell him I need an apology, not more arguement. But he insists that now I'm the one at fault because I slapped him.

On Saturday we finally have a very long phone conversation. We don't make up in the phone conversation by any means. He demands an apology for being slapped, I tell him I won't give it to him. Sure it was awful, but I was wasted and he hurt me terribly, and he's still hurting me, so fuck him. He tells me he hadn't looked at it that way before. But we still hang up on each other and nothing gets accomplished. It's very over.

At this point I hear something about him and A. I don't know if its true. If it is true, it's terrible. I decide the only thing to do is ask him outright. At that moment I'm thinking to myself, if this is over, I don't want to spend the rest of my life thinking this evil thing about him if it wasn't true. This will drive me crazy. Also it makes me feel like a fool. Things seemed to have calmed down considerably, but I get very upset over this. So I call him. Of course he doesn't pick up his phone. I get angry, and I leave him a voicemail that says I need to speak to you about something really important. He texts me "what the fuck". I tell him to call me. He doesn't. Until the next morning. Cause he was out doing....well, guess.

The next morning I tell him I want to ask if this is true, but I'm not telling him where I heard it and I ask him to not say anything to anybody about it, because I don't want to start drama. I tell him if he can't agree to this, then I don't need to talk to him about it. I just want to have a better memory of him than this.

He refuses, he in fact gets incredibly upset, screaming at me that someone could be telling people he was a baby killer and I would protect them, and I don't care about him at all. I hang up. He keeps calling me all week to try and get me to talk about this. Being the consumate salesman he keeps trying to argue me into it. I tell him I don't trust him to not start shit. He tells me it's not my decision, that if I love him, then I'll put him above anybody. I tell him I don't think I have any responsibility to put his interests over anybody elses after the way he's treated me.

There's a week of more awful phone calls, where I tell him that all his apologies sound false to me, and the fact that he goes out and does the same shit tells me he doesn't mean it. Then he tells me that yeah, he doesn't mean any of it. Also, he can't love me cause I slapped him. I call him and tell him to never call me again. He calls me 7 times after that, and then comes over my house and tries to come in, so he can have one last look at me and give me back the love letter he took away from last summer. I don't pick up the phone.

Finally, as the final weekend approaches, I break down with the pain and the drama, and I tell him what I heard but not where I heard it. He tells me its not true. I tell him I believe him. I beg him not to say anything to A., because there's no way to prove whether or not her involvement is real.

That Saturday was the Art Museum party. We all know what happened there. He showed up with girls, I told him he was a motherfucker. I left drunk and texted him about what a bastard he was.

That Sunday he comes over my house. I'm crying, he's standing in my kitchen telling me over and over how he didn't mean to hurt me, and he feels so guilty, and he feel horrible, and he loves me so much, and he keeps trying to hold me even though I'm pushing him away and his presence is obviously making me cry more. Finally he leaves.

Then I find out that the first thing he did after we talked about the rumour. was go to A. Cause he had to confront her. Despite me begging him not to, and me telling him I believed him.

So that started the 48 hours of "I hate you, I'll destroy you, you'll never work in this town again" bullshit, and yeah, that wasn't right. But it got out of my system and I realized that he doesn't love me, he does lie to me, and he's a fuckhead. It says a lot when someone who used to be in love with you can't do you the common friend courtesy of not saying anything about something stupid. And I don't deal well with betrayal. So for 48 hours I was on the "I am going to take out ads about you motherfucker" kick, and then I got drunk and it was over.

But even though I even do him the courtesy of telling him I won't do any of that shit, he still insists on talking shit about how crazy I am. I go to visit my friend Colleen, who is unfortunately his neighbor, because her cat goes missing and her boyfriend's working third shift, and I hang out with her. I don't say anything to him, I don't knock on his door. I ignore him. But as soon as I leave, he's knocking on her door demanding to hear what we talked about. And when I see her the next day, he's talking to her about restraining orders and slander suits and how he'll stop talking to her if I take any action against him. I'm ignoring him, but he makes a point of leaving when we leave, which is obvious. Then he sends me the email where he tells me I'm a liar and I'm crazy and I need therapy and once again, he loves me so much.

And now I'm getting facebook messages from a person I thought was my friend, but really is more S.'s friend, that's okay he's a good guy, but this person is also telling me to get therapy. Wonder where that idea came from?

So there you go, that's the whole story. I think I got the dates right, but I was pretty upset, so it's possible I mixed the order up. However, everything is true. I will admit I said some crazy shitty things. But when you fuck with a girls head like that, and she lets you do that for 7 fucking years, some craziness is going to come out. And if you agree with him, then fine. Why don't you just send me a check for that therapy huh? Just be sure that when he talks about calling me in 4 months, like he has the past three summers we've broken up, that you, as his friend, you stop him.

And please let this be the last time I have to talk about this, in this blog.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Upon Awakening

It's funny how heartbreak works when you're in a cycle with someone. First there's the crying, lots of it. Then there's the "lets keep fighting with each other so we're at least talking to each other part." Next comes the post-break knife, the moment when he does something that makes you realize he doesn't care about you at all. At which point you board the crazy train of hurt and want to ruin him. Usually there's the "I can't believe I actually dated this asshole, what was wrong with me" self hatred, buried in there, which can lead to some super crazy cause what else do you have to lose, right? And finally, there's the moment of "fuck this guy. Let him do whatever he wants. I'm better off."

In the past, I would have expected the crazy train to last at least a week. This time around it was just about 48 hours. I woke up this morning completely utterly hungover, maybe still drunk, and not hurt at all. In fact, I woke up pretty excited about the new writing project. I woke up with this great novel plot in my head, and a title for the new blog, and composing sentences. I woke up determined to turn this crap into something readable, to not waste this.

And then I got this great email from Sean which was all like, everything you've said is a lie, go see a therapist, I want you to have a happy life, I will take action to protect myself from you only because everything you're saying is lies and if it was the truth I wouldn't care at all because I'd just be sad about it, I love you and if you hadn't believed those rumours we'd probably still be together.

Yeah, cause the rumour, the one little rumour, is what ruined things between us.

Actually, it said about ten more very thick paragraphs as well. I was going to post it just so you could read it yourself. But really, like most of his writing, it's pretty boring and redundant. With Sean, you get the same lines over and over again.

So this, you know, is the time I realized that this guy was a little more off the wall than I was. It's the final snapshot, the slow developing Polaroid of his distortion. I mean, yeah, I left more than enough very nasty messages over the last 48 hours. Oh, I was a complete bitch. But he's incapable of understanding how much he hurt me, and he can't even comprehend the kind of anger I had, because he'll never see what he did to me as wrong. His reality is self-defined. He sees himself as the victim in all of this. So I'm not going to beat myself up over being crazy for a few days. I'm just going to feel good about getting it out of my system.

I'd like to thank Jere and Colleen for hanging out with me last night, it was a good out. First there was Eric's band at 806, and then Matinee for dancing, sort of. It was a nice, regular night. It was the beginning of a nice, regular summer. And I forgot how much more creative I feel when I'm not tangled up in Sean's depression and drama.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Expense of Going Crazy

, originally uploaded by sharpshinyclaws.

This S. thing has either gotten out of control or gotten in control, depending on which way you want me to argue it.

1) He's been out every night with different girls since the moment he dumped me. Which, by the way, was only a few weeks ago.

2) In between going out all night with this myriad of single desperate over 30 bar sluts, he's been telling me how much he loves me and misses me, and how none of these other girls matter to him. Because the fact that he hasn't kissed any of them, only had them sleeping at his house in their underwear and staying out with them till 7am, is the fact that matters.

3) He's also telling everyone how depressed and hurt he is over me. 'Cause I did anything to warrant getting dumped by text message and then shit on like this. Remember, he's the victim here. Remember, it's not like I've forgiven him 6 times over the past three weeks only to have him do the exact same thing to me I forgave him for, like a mutated version of our fucking relationship on meth.

4) He's also established that no matter how much I beg and plead for him to not tell something to someone, he will. Because I don't matter to him even a 15th as much as his own reputation does. Even accepting that he doesn't love me anymore, I now have to accept that he will also hurt me anytime he feels like it if he wants something that conflicts with my begging and pleading, or even human decency. I have to accept that I cannot trust him. That's actually harder than the love thing.

5) As a second example of his deluded "what did I do?"ness, please see the part where I invited him to the Art Museum wing opening a month ago, when we were together, and he told me he wasn't interested. Then he showed up with 4 girls, and spent as much time as possible with his arm around one particular girl. He then showed up at my house Sunday and told me how much he loved me and she didn't matter. What?

6) This weekend sent me spiralling into a crazy hate tornado. Several very good ideas came out of that tornado, most of them having to do with his complete destruction. See, I can't hurt him emotionally (because he is a sociopath when it comes to me) and I can't hurt him physically because I'll get arrested. The financial destruction option is very appealing, however i've been begging him to quit that job for years, so it would ultimately be better for him.

7) This leaves humiliation. I fully intend to follow my current mission of throwing a drink on him whenever I see him, but I recognize this will eventually get boring, plus its a waste of alcohol. So I've settled on comedy. Website is forthcoming. I have to research slander laws first. I did get the domain name going though.

8) The thing is, I know this is crazy and also sad. But crazy and sad can be very funny and true. I feel I should get something out of the waste of the last 7 years of my life. I have a lot of fodder. And the creative juices are more often bitter than sweet, darling. So I'm considering this summer project my alimony.

9) It would be best if you just shook your head and didn't say anything. No, seriously. If you saw my eyes right now, you'd understand. Anything that prevents me from keying his car is ultimately better for me. And fuck him. The thing is, I can't keep responding to his texts or calls expecting him to suddenly stop lying to me, and he is lying to me. He's insisting on how much he cares for me while doing things that show he really doesn't. I'm sitting here unable to eat, chainsmoking, drinking, and avoiding people. Crying at Jennifer Aniston movies. He's out every night flirting from day one. He says it's because even though he's so hurt, he still has to live his life. He delivered that line like he was going to war. So all that's going to happen is the same crap. And, while apparently I'm not pretty enough, or cow eyed adoring enough anymore, I am, and will always be, a fucking good writer. He's a character, and he had a choice of what kind of character he wanted to be.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Reason I don't go to the Opera more often is because I hate to wear dresses

I mean, I love dresses. I just hate dresses on me. Right now. Not in the past, and not in the future. See me being *optimistic* and *positive* there, you haters?

But I sucked it up and wore a dress last night when Jere and I went to go see Falstaff at the State Theatre (theater? teatro?). Jere had the hook up with some very nice Opera Girl, and got us free tickets.

I looked dumpy, but Jere was dashing, and some of the other outfits around us were entertaining enough that I mostly forgot about my mom-like dowdiness and concentrated instead on spiky hair, bouffant shoulder dresses and stopping myself from snapping pics. I love when Cleveland gets dressed up.

Falstaff itself was great. Gaetan Laperriere is fantastic as the naughty little fat man, and I loved Anya Matanovic's Nannetta. I kept expecting her and Fenton to break into "I am 16, Going on 17". Sadly, no one else behind the scenes heard my telepathic cries.

The scenery was that intentional minimalistic skeleton boards feel, where they just move stuff around on stage to change scenes, right? I normally hate that schtick, since it throws me back to community theater days. However, the last act, where they lower a tree of chairs over the stage and the lanterns light up? Was my favorite. It actually made me feel for a moment like I felt when I was a 7th grade little urchin in Man of La Mancha at Near West; kind of impressed.

Falstaff is a weird thing, because you know, Merry Wives of Windsor isn't that funny. It's supposed to be, but it isn't. It's the insults that really make this opera, cause they're the only thing that save that play. I know, there's so many more levels you can read it into it, the class system, the hypocrisy, the irony, blah blah blah. Whatever. Shakespeare's comedies all follow the same theme - drunk "wise" fool, man in drag, hidden love, masquerade, double wedding. And seriously, Alice and Meg can suck it. They're just mean.

But this particular play is known for its crassness, a quality that plays really well when you hear it sung in beautiful Italian by professionals. You don't think it's going to be funny, I mean it's theater funny but not really funny. However you find yourself laughing out loud more than you thought you would. With a lot of old people around you. And have you noticed how older folks will repeat things they find funny as they're laughing, like, out loud and loudly?

Afterwards we had some drinks and some eats, and then I drove home in a great lightning storm. I stood outside and played around with my camera's continuous shot feature, trying to catch some lightning in the frame. It worked a couple times, but the problem is that those frozen pictures just look like normal evening blue colored sky. You can't tell it's lightning or even a storm. There's a lesson in there, but I'm going to blissfully ignore it.

And tonight, once again, I'm wearing a dress to the museum. Goddamnit.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Friday News Roundup (Yes, I do wish I was Diane. Don't you? Doesn'teverybody?)

1. Happy Birthday to Jay, yesterday. You're adorable. And old. And adorable.

2. Congratulations to Scene Magazine for finally spotlighting some actual Cleveland talent. Shame on me for not having the money to buy Amy's painting when I could have afforded them, but also maybe this means at some point she'll sell lots of prints?

3. Good Job to Momocho, for feeding me what could possibly be the hottest chili salt on my margarita glass ever.

4. Go see Dawn's final recital at CSU tomorrow at 7pm. It is quite possibly the last time you will get to see her sing for free.

5. Buddy and I are going to the Solstice party at the Art Museum tomorrow. Dan Deacon is playing, which is ironic, since that was S.'s favorite performer last summer when we were broken up and he was traveling to New York every other weekend to see him perform. And I refused to listen to him then, cause I didn't want to be reminded of those girls he went with. But now, surprise surprise, he's at the opening of the new wing.

6. Also the Walkmen are coming to town, another band S. saw without me that summer. So it looks like the universe is trying to replicate last summer for me in every conceivable way. Maybe I missed doing something really important last summer, that, like, affects the fate of the universe. So I'd better get it right this time. Let me know if there's any babies you need me to save or trains that need re-railing.

7. This morning I was woken by a sonic boom outside my window, followed by fleeing birds and what kind of sounded like a train. While this can easily be explained as thunder, rain, and an actual train, I prefer to think it was something really horrible happening.

8. I've decided that being heartbroken actually feels less like the incredible pain everyone is always talking about, and more like a slow internal bleed that's draining me, but not killing me. Like, I'm exhausted and anemic, and could possibly keel over at any moment. But there's no sharp oh my god feeling. It's a weird heavy feeling. I'm not enjoying it per se, but I'm not un-enjoying it. I am lonely though, which is stupid, cause I've been talking to so many people about so many interesting things having nothing to do with any of this. Whatever. Fuck texting, is all I have to say about that.

9. Do not re-read About A Boy when you are feeling useless and unloved. Also do not read angry woman Beat books. Or anything written in the 19th century. You will want to quit your job and flay yourself and maybe never talk to anyone again.

10. That Obama fly thing was very cool, wasn't it?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Westinghouse: They used to make lamps? Or chairs. Whatever.

When you start to actively search daily for places to trespass, it becomes clear pretty quickly that there are certain places everyone has gone to. These are like the novice levels, the wading pools of decaying civic gawkery. Westinghouse, for instance, will come up on everyone's Flickr page. It's like, the easiest place in the world to get into to. There's like, big open loading docks and no doors.

What the hell, I'm a novice. J. and I were going to try to get into this recently boarded up middle school first, but the only entrance was between some bars, walking a narrow ledge, then down a scary looking ladder, between some broken glass, into the pitch black basement. That would be what I would call intermediate level. I might have made the leap if I was wearing long sleeves and boots. But for now, maybe next time. For now I'll stick to the obviously open.

I love walking in these places. I feel like, with all this other stupid horrible crap going on in the outside world, nothing is going to touch me here. Except maybe a hobo. And I'll shank them if they try. It's so quiet and still. I mean, they are ruins. People go visit ruins all over the world. People pay lots of money to stare at buildings left behind. That particular sense of history you get from being in and around disuse and abandon, it's better than valium. I calm down instantly, but my heart also starts to race. J. called it "afterglow".

Architecture is marvelous to me, all exoskeleton and steel. The bones of the structure that poke out as the soft stone starts to peel away. And rust. Rust is amazing. I feel like if I get it on my body, it will eat me away too. It's looking to kill me with every step I make, I'm being hunted, I have to be careful. The rust is all around, a predatory fungus, winning. I'm the stupid bumbling thing in its lair.

And its great to run across good graffiti. Funny graffiti. It's a flag in the alien landscape. It reminds you to be braver. It's an important reminder to get every once in a while.

More photos can be found here.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Cask of Amontillado, Reinterpreted.


I forgot to get the name of the artist who had this installation set up at Shoparooni this past weekend. But whoever you are, I appreciate you.

Friday night...


The Tremont Artwalk is going to the dogs.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

St. Joseph's Byzantine: Where the Crazy Giant Space Bugs Live

It's been a hellish surreal last two weeks. It's like I was immediately catapulted into the crap I had to fight through last June, and the last year of my life never existed in the first place. Imagine dealing with the finally permanent break-up of the guy you loved for the last seven years. Now imagine dealing with that break-up twice. I know, it's my own fault. But taking blame for getting myself in the same circumstances doesn't assuage the dread I have of the next three months. I remember those three months last year. I was productive, I was full of hobbies, I was drunk a lot, and I was miserable. So, you know, good times ahead.

Lucky for me, Cleveland is an aging industrial pit of despair and rapidly forgotten old people culture that has been infiltrated by a colony of brain sucking alien vermin. And also lucky for me, I'm a lot braver than I was before. I ain't scared of no bugs.

As you can see, the Space Bugs have eaten most of the viable structure, and all that's left now is the shell of the building, and heaps of broken timber, which the Space Bug hive queen breaks up to use as a nest, and that her babies then devour as they emerge from their cocoons.

Evidence of humans suggests that the space bugs have enslaved a few strongmen, who go out into the streets and capture more prey for them, thus eliminating the need to expose their vulnerable living quarters. It appears they drag them under the altar, a safe dark catacomb with which to juice their flesh.

I wonder if the space bugs stare at the old paintings and wonder about our winged ancestors who were obviously more advanced than our current race of squirmy soft shell-less maggots. They probably wouldn't use the word maggot though. We're probably not good enough to be called maggots.

The neighborhood, silent, still, and cursed, cowers before the Gaping Maw.* For a deeper look into the colony, go here.

*That's not true at all. There were, like, tons of people around. Also, there's a new church like right next to it. Probably run BY the Space Bugs.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Ah, Wilderness!

Yes, it's true. No pictures yet. I've been isolated from uploading. On my camera right now sits a horsie nose, and a fake hurricane, and a giant shadow insect crouched on the roof of a church. At some point, you will see them, and you will be envious.

Last night was the finale of my new favorite reality, Discovery's Out of the Wild: The Alaskan Experiment. The quick and fatal synopsis is that they leave 9 people out in the middle of the woods, with a map and very limited tools. Then those people have to hike back to civilization without knowing where it is or how far it is or how long they'll be out there. If they get sick of it, they can press a little button on their gps and a helicopter comes to get them. There is no prize at the end. It's glorious. I hope the show comes back again and again. I hate prizes. Yes, we all know a 100,000 dollars would change your life. No, I don't want to hear about your heartwarming single mother upbringing and then listen to you sob about your kid's lost opportunities, or that fashion line you have to start to be a complete person. I like this whole "nope, I'm just going to do this because" mentality.

Really quickly, within a few days, the group lost half its people. It worked out well, because instead of 9 people arguing and being dimwits, you got to watch five people being decent and rugged and hungry. They couldn't hunt or fish all that well, so they survived by splitting the random gopher between themselves as their only meal for days at a time. Once they killed a porcupine. They hiked in blizzards. They spent 8 hours at a time gathering firewood. Between hikes, the producers set up overnight spots for them, which was anything from an old hunting cabin to a crashed airplane they camped under the wing of. They never knew what they were in for, something warm or something crappy? Are there any beans? How will we fill the gaps to stop the snow getting in? And through it all, as they starved and froze and inwardly crumbled under depression, they had no idea how long they would have to do this. That's the really impressive part. That's the part that would have killed me.

It was heartbreakingly sad last night, because one of the final five quit literally a mile before they found their way out. She just couldn't stand the not knowing anymore. We, the audience, knew. So I was literally on the verge of tears, watching her leave. I wanted to scream at her to just hold on a little longer. I liked her, because she taught the others how to skin things.

And the ones that stayed? I don't think I've ever felt as happy for a tv show contestant as I was for them, watching them stumble into the abandoned hunting cabins, and then finally find the train tracks. There was this dumb shit where the producers were all like "since it's illegal to break into houses and trespass, they can't do it." If I've been stranded in the wilderness for a month bivouacking in pine trees and eating snow with cayenne pepper to stave off crippling hunger, I'm breaking into a house. No question. I would expect the owners to expect me to, quite frankly. Isn't it in their religion or something? Jack London would not have hesitated.

It was such an accomplishment for them. They will never do anything like that again, and they will always know that at least they did that once. I would like more reality shows like that, please. Ones that give chance of a lifetime challenges, and ones that expect you to be more than you are, be more noble and more tough and a better human. So, not reality, but supercharged reality. Fantasy reality. The kind of stuff they used to write young adult novels about before sex became an okay topic for preteen consumption. Into the woods and out of the woods and home before dark.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Impromptu Poetry-Off at Happy Dog Last Night

Contestants: Bridget and Jeremiah
Topics: chosen by assorted patrons and bartender
Note: not to be judged on spelling or grammar or my inability to read Jeremiah's handwriting.

Topic One: Chickpeas


Fallafel a Ancient
Ongoing tradition
The weight of interminable
centuries and here we ate
putting the same thing
in our mouths,
Fuel for wars,
secular, religious, internecine
stronger than steel
Armies traveling Napoleonic
on their bellies.

Bridget: winner

The grinding
The mush against the edge
Of the bowl
Smells like lemons
And young boys running in sunshine
And sand.

It coats the nostril
With garlic
And seawater.

Topic Two: PJ Harvey and Elliot Smith

Jeremiah: winner

Goblin Mouth and
unlimited teeth
Mourn all you want
unknowable feminine traumas
I see your glorious witch face and think:
Kiss Me?
And don't bite
too hard
or do.


Elliot Smith
Did not actually stab himself
In the heart.
He was murdered.
On purpose?
Is losing soft breast
and direction
An accomplice to assasination?

Topic Three: Gilda Radner


Emblamatic halo
The cursive hair
matching tone-
becoming character.
Becoming -
An act.
The act of becoming and who?
The reckless pleasurable panoply
A parade
And a person.
How long?

Bridget: winner

There's only so much coke
One girl can do
Before she starts to doubt
Her success against the
Fat Men.

But in her mirror
At fifteen
With braces and a shirt
With horses on it,
She was the star.