Monday, August 31, 2009

I'm getting embarrassed by these--

--almost embarrassed enough to stop posting them, but I'm stubborn, and it's not like I was impressing anyone before anyway. So I now have public documentation of this sad little project I've embarked on. My only defense is that I don't take it very seriously.

Obsessive Collection piece #24a and 24c

(It makes more sense in context.)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Obsessive Collection piece #5871

It's a shame, 'cause he really does look awesome. Oh well.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Obsessive Collection piece #58

notes for essay #1

My name is Angela, and I'm a liar.

[insert a few long winded, funny-but-sweet stories here]

Friday, August 28, 2009

I like making up meaningless catalogue numbers

Obsessive collection piece #56a

Things to do when my paycheck arrives

pay State Farm
buy books for class
apply for shows/contests
buy Iowa threadless shirt

there was more but I'm sleepy and forgot

Thursday, August 27, 2009


I need to write new artist statements. I really have no idea what I want to say. One of the biggest incentives to keep going with the self portrait project is that I already have an artist statement for it. (Don't get me wrong, I am not one of those people railing against the idea of writing artists statements. I'm just stumbling on these particular ones.)

So I took my old statement, and replaced "me" with "dioramas." Ta-daa! New statement:

I don't know where along the line I began to see natural history dioramas as something other, a separate entity with its own set of needs, desires, its own agenda. I plead with dioramas, I argue with them, bargain with them. I make them promises. I punish them, I reward them, and all the while I never actually acknowledge them. They are the space I reside in, but they are not me. I created a psychic separation between dioramas and my mind. Then after the separation came a kind of willful ignorance. I no longer know what dioramas look like. I haven’t wanted to know.

Needs some work.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

another one

Didn't get to make a phone call, didn't really expect to. Did, however, have a very nice, very long IM conversation that kept me up far past my new bedtime. I love being kept up past my bedtime. Thank you.

Friday, August 21, 2009

kind of hard to believe

(Sorry for the poor quality, It kept trying to make it too small.)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Blogspot, meet Twitter. Twitter, meet Blogspot.

now twittering

Because I needed to split my internet excursions into even MORE individual sites.

And because I wanted to follow Fenna.

My Summer Vacation in Berkeley, part V



I used to love these things when I was a kid. Probably not because I actually liked the taste any better than any other sugary option, but because I only got them on rare occasions. This one you see here may actually be the only one I've ever eaten while in the United States. That made them exotic, and therefore special, and therefore desirable and delicious. I got this package (along with 9 others) for 30 cents in Chinatown in Oakland. They taste pretty awful.


This is my Uncle Kurt. Just so you know, his eyes were in focus, but his glasses make them soft. I was careful.


Mike. I may have mentioned him before.

All three photos were taken in my aunt & uncle's kitchen, which is beautiful, and sunny, and a great place to make pie for breakfast. I love pie for breakfast any time, but I especially love it in this kitchen.


I have photos of other important figures, and may dole them out later to break up more strings of text. It's good to have a few backups for the next time I start talking too much.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

and again

They all look the same, don't they?

Monday, August 17, 2009



I hear rumors: my mother is unwell.

She's lost most, if not all, of her hair, and many, if not most, of her teeth. Supposedly she has no medical condition besides for extreme mental and emotional distress, but I don't know what kind of medical treatment she has had. It may be that she is only seeing non-western practitioners, and using crystals to substitute for blood tests. I don't know. We don't talk.

It has been suggested to me that I should consider her health as a motivating factor for renewing our relationship. It has been suggested that she may not live long. I don't know what they mean, by not long, but I suspect they don't really know either.

This is hard to talk about. Not for the usual reasons; not because it is painful, although I admit it is unpleasant. I fear how this makes me look. I fear judgment. And so my telling is always filled with self-righteousness: a defensive tactic. Because otherwise I think all you will see is a girl who refuses to talk to her sick mother. Which is true. I am that girl.

(And, immediately, I want to follow that statement with justification to prove that I am being reasonable, rational. I am not cruel, I am not even unkind. I have suffered. I am right. This is the way the story always goes.)

I'm not going to tell you what my reasons are. I don't know if they matter. If it would make her happy to give her everything she wants, does it matter if her demands are unreasonable?

But can I give her everything she wants from me? And would it make her happy? And does it matter that the likely answer to both questions is no?

My Summer Vacation in Berkeley, part IV

I find myself putting off and putting off writing more about my trip to California, and I'm wondering if I'm forgetting already, deliberately. The problem is, I really do forget the things I don't write down, and there are plenty of lovely, not-difficult things I haven't written about yet:

I went swing dancing in Golden Gate Park. I went by myself, which was a risk. In some places, everyone gathers in huddles, their backs to the outside, right up until the moment they pair up and move to the floor. They dance with friends, then go back to their huddles. I have a hard time being assertive about getting dance time with strangers, and I'm not such an amazing dancer as to draw them to me on skill alone.

In San Francisco, people were open, friendly, easy to dance with, and made themselves available to ask. Strangers would ask me first. Most of the music was at a moderate tempo, which meant I could dance most of it, and I was much more familiar with everyone's stylings. It was sunny & breezy, with about half the "floor" in spotted shade. I'd forgotten how effortless and enjoyable dancing could be.

. . .

I met two flickr friends, both of whom I've known for some time now, but hadn't ever had the opportunity to spend time with in person. It's a little strange, because it isn't quite like meeting a person, I already know the person. But typing is no substitute for talking, and flickr just isn't real life.

Jen & I tried to go to the beach, but ended up lost in foggy, twisting roads in Point Reyes. Instead of beach, we found an elk reserve. And it was more of a drive, and less of a walk, than originally planned, but no less lovely for the change.

Grumbles picked me up after Lindy in the Park and we gossiped about flickr, had Thai food in the Castro (where, apparently due to the success of the movie Milk, has gotten a sudden glut of tourists who come to look at The Gays), and then he took me to get my lip pierced.

. . .

Mike & I took the Muni out to Ocean Beach (which is a worthwhile trip in itself), had sugary coffee drinks, and sugary confections (just a muffin for him, but a macaroon as big as my fist for me), and walked for a few hours in the water. This deserves a post in itself, really. I don't know if I could fill the post with words, I am running out of words for water, but it deserves at least a big, empty space on the internet to convey it's importance to me. Things are occasionally difficult between us, but that day it was easy, and it felt good.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


To: Scat-Holloway
From: thebluestgirl
Subject: I am too old to appear highlighted in your mailbox,

but perhaps you will see this message anyway. If it helps, I am not particularly good at being nearly-30 years old. I like it fine, but I feel as if I am not doing quite as good a job as I am supposed to be doing.


I am feeling confident enough in my grammar skills, bravery, and patience, to see if I might be able to try them out. You know, for coffee or drinks or something. Let me know.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

My Summer Vacation in Berkeley, part III

New Jewelry

I still can’t quite talk about anything important. So I want to thank, in a search-able manner (well on blogspot, if not flickr), Eldo Chan at Body Manipulations for AMAZING service.

I got my lip pierced when I was 21 or 22, and within a month it swelled up to a bizarre, frightening, amount. Infection, I’m sure. A girl at work told me that this was just part of living with piercings; hers got infected every once and a while, no matter how well she took care of them. I was shocked. This was not what I’d signed up for. I had been prepared to suffer for neglect. If I messed up, sure, I’d get infections. But if I did everything right, I still had to go through this?

They sent me home from work (no one wants to buy cameras from a girl with an open, infected, wound in her lip), and I took the damn thing out, smothered it with Neoprene, and resolved to end my piercing career.

Since then, I have always been nostalgic for my month of jewelry. I’ve thought about how much I liked it, but those thoughts always ended with yeah, it’s too bad I can’t have one. But when I told the story to a friend this summer, he said I’d been misinformed. I must have done something wrong, and if I’d done something wrong before, that means I could do it right the next time. There could be a next time.

So I thought I’d ask a friend for recommendations for body piercing in San Francisco. It seemed like a good souvenir to bring back to the Midwest. He said he’d heard very good things about Body Manipulations, so I looked them up.

It turns out that the place that pierced me before neglected to tell me nearly everything I needed to know about the care and feeding of my new jewelry. They’d told me to rinse with mouthwash after eating or smoking, sure. And I’m sure they told me to clean the ring twice a day. But they didn’t mention avoiding alcohol (in cleaner, mouthwash, even in drinks), they didn’t mention sea salt soaks, they didn’t tell me not to spend all night making out with Yuri. These things might seem obvious, but I often need the obvious spelled out. So I not only did something wrong the first time, I’d done everything wrong. This was great! This meant I could do it right this time.

I was still anxious, though, when it came time to actually get it done. I was obviously a beginner. I was nervous, unsure, out of my element. Eldo was kind, friendly, and confident. He gave me all the hand-holding I wanted. He walked me through the procedure, showed me all the safety precautions. And not only did he give me much more detailed after-care instructions then the last place, he explained them all. He explained why I was going to get crusty deposits on the ring, he explained what happens when someone else’s saliva gets on the pierced area, he explained the effects of alcohol, dehydration, airplane travel. When I told him I was leaving town almost immediately, he got me a reference for a colleague in Iowa City he recommended.

Eldo Chan, at Body Manipulations in San Francisco. I can not praise him enough.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

not related to anything in particular

I can't kiss anyone for the next 4-6 weeks, on account of the open wound in my lip that needs to heal properly.

This will probably not actually make a difference in my life, but it feels like an unendurable restriction nonetheless. I find that when I meet people, in my head I am always saying the same thing:

Hi, I'm Angela. You're attractive. Are you single?

I have become entirely ridiculous.

My Summer Vacation in Berkeley, part II

The Wedding

Jane looked wonderful. The flowers were lovely. The food was delicious. The drinks were complimentary. I stuck with lemonade.

I feel like it was mostly distinguished by my own sense of awkwardness. There were all the women in cocktail dresses. There was my cousin Gladys, beautiful and friendly, classy and cosmopolitan. She has a posh accent. She recently moved from Sydney back to Hong Kong. And there was me, not exactly posh. I was both very grateful that I’d chosen to not get my lip pierced the day before, and further resolved to get it done the very next day.

My uncle Joseph, who seems to have only two subjects to address with me – my weight and my relationship with my mother – said this time that I was less fat than before, and I should call my mother.

That is an entry in itself, though. Maybe more than one.

My Summer Vacation in Berkeley, part I

excerpts from notebook

Airplanes make me sentimental. I want some Great Love to be flying toward. Since I don’t have one, I promote the nearest crush to Great Love status, at least for the duration of the flight, so I can day dream about him waiting for me to arrive.

* * *

I thought I would feel more nostalgia, more affection, for this place. I thought it would feel like coming home, and it does, but in a literal sense, vaguely familiar but slightly strange, both changed too much and not at all. There is no sense of relief, no comfort in this place. I feel like I’ve always been a stranger here.

I don’t miss it. Not Looking Glass, not Berkeley, not even making crepes in my aunt’s kitchen. When I take the N Judah out through and across San Francisco I think “yeah, I could live here,” but I have no particular desire to do so.


Reading Lorrie Moore always makes me maudlin; reading Lorrie Moore in the laundromat makes me want to write down things like silhouettes of trees on a hillside look like sutures, as if it were something important. Without a notebook to write it down in, I had to repeat it over and over in my head so I would remember. This entire paragraph, so far, has been repeated several times in my head as I drove home.

I want to write about something important, but I can’t yet.

I am considering ordering pizza for dinner tonight, and to take leftovers on the Greyhound for tomorrow.

I am considering trying to be social tonight. I am wondering who is in town.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

something else

I just wanted a different post for the next two weeks when I most likely won't be posting.

Leavin on a jet plane, and all that.

Saturday, August 1, 2009


I've been saying for a while now that "shouldn't" be dating. Not because I haven't wanted to, but because I felt like I was Bad News. I'm someone I would warn my friends against. But the last few times I've mentioned this to someone, I've started to forget what my reasons were. And I'm starting to think they're not as relevant as I'd previously thought:

1) When I first broke up with Mike, my thinking went: I thought I was going to marry him. I thought I was in love. Maybe I was, at some point, but I'd ceased to be for a long time before I realized that things were wrong. If I could be so wrong about something so important, how could I trust myself again? What reason would I have to think any future romantic decisions are right? So I can't have a serious relationship. And that just leaves casual ones, and who's going to want a casual relationship with someone with no sex drive?

Except that my sex drive is back. I still have enough hang-ups to not be able to jump in bed with someone right away, but that's within the sphere of normal dating, as opposed to the Crazy Frigid Ice Queen that I used to be.

2) While crushing on someone, I really don't see anything besides what I want to see. During this time period, I'm the least casual dater in the world -- I want to see someone all the time, every time, I can't get enough. And then the crush wears off and I'm like, oops. What happened with B. is an extreme example of that. I was a fucking asshole.

But this is really only a problem, I think, if I were trying to find True Love. This doesn't mean I can't date anyone, ever. It just means I can't promise too much.

And every other problem I've been thinking of, my selfishness, my unwillingness to compromise for a relationship, my being super clingy followed by super casual, these are only problems for real relationships.

So, on the subject, here's what OKCupid has to say about me now:

Fiery. Hungry. Blatant. Sexual. Christ. You are Half-Cocked.
There’s a lot of wild lust inside you, banging around, that much is obvious. There’s also a lot of untamed emotion. When either escapes, look out. One minute you’re completely together, the next you’re a howling gale of hormones and opinions.
Outside relationships, your intense, mercurial personality makes you a charmer. You can be fiercely devoted, and it’s likely that many of your friends will be friends-for-life. Of course, your enemies are likewise certain and zealous, especially your exes and their therapists.
You will find the right person. In the short term, he’s someone virile who won’t sweat your imperfections. In the long term, he will be someone mature and caring who will grow to love them.

All right, who's next?