Sunday, February 28, 2010

Unrelated Internet Items

A couple weeks ago I started writing a story about someone I used to know. I'm going to call him Harold, which is the fake name I gave him in the story. I haven't talked to him in about 7 years, and I haven't seen him in 13 years. It's not a comfortable story. I've been processing the information, emotionally and on paper, and writing this story. Last night I told it out loud at a storytelling show.

This morning, I get a Facebook friend request from Harold.


Last night I found out that I'm not in Satanist Dan's phone anymore.

Tonight I find his ad on Craigslist.

So, yeah.


That's it.

My head is useless for writing things down. The internet is much better.

I need a list again.

Bridge instructions: exposure, black & white (due: Tuesday)

Anne Arundel application (due: today)

SCAD applications? AI applications? I say I'll take any job... I should apply. (due: ASAP)

Format thesis work on final images (due: Friday)

Write for weeNP (due: Thursday)

Read for Radio (due: Friday)

edit Radio essay (due: ASAP)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Still sending, collection item #3

blah... they don't even interest me anymore.

Friday, February 19, 2010

from The Reading, Part II

I have notebooks full of this, full of half-formed sentences and carelessly scribbled notes. They are full of lists and memories, full of dreams and fragments of dreams, full of the beginnings and endings of a thousand ideas that could have been. They begin, or end, and I never read them again. Like the smoker who wears a nicotine patch but continues to smoke, I am only going through the motions. I never follow through.

In a book with a cover the color and dry texture of a robin’s egg and yellowed, unlined pages, I write down a comprehensive list of every scar, or set of scars, on my body, and their origins. There are twelve items on the list, beginning with a thin line, about ¼” long, on my left hand where the line of my thumb and the line of my index finger intersect, from a thorny bush I walked through on a choir trip in middle school, and ending with a slight indentation in the middle of my back, at exactly the point where I can’t reach it from either above or below, from the surgical removal of a sebaceous cyst one year ago.

I have been collecting these notebooks for almost as long as I have been collecting scars. As the scars fade over time, the distance between my earliest scar and my earliest notebook grows smaller. Some day I will have notebooks older than my scars. Some day I will take all these books and tear them apart; I will build something from the pieces. I will build a new body out of all of the thoughts I’ve abandoned, out of all the people I have never been.

The Locked Door and the Light

There are many technical advantages to photographing in the bathroom. Tile, porcelain, and stainless steel all reflect light, becoming light sources in their own right. What begins as a single light (a lamp or window) becomes dozens of lights in every direction. Photographic reflectors, mylar stretched over flexible frames, might cost as much as five hundred dollars to cover a small room. Beginning with an already reflective room is simply a practical decision. Similarly, the white-dominated color scheme popular in home bathrooms eliminates the worry that those reflected lights will need color-correcting during post-production.

I don’t think of this when I use the bathroom. I only think about the way the sunlight is softened through thick textured glass windows. I think about the way that light brushes against the folds of the shower curtain. When the shower curtain is clear plastic, it creates folds in the space behind it, and through them the shower walls recede from view as if seen through fog or great distance.

I think about how the stainless steel curves of the faucet look like the curves on a chrome fender on a 1969 Ford Galaxy that my high school boyfriend was very proud of. I think about how every surface is curved, smooth, cold to the touch.

I think about how there is a door I can lock, about how, growing up, it was the only door that locked, about how much that mattered to me. I think about feeling safe.

I think that there are few things as beautiful as a bathroom, and because it is beautiful I want to photograph it so I might show it to you. It would not be a photograph of tiles or curtains or bathtubs or toilets or even abstract curves of stainless steel. It would be a photograph of comfort, of safety, of light, from everywhere, light.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

mint chip milkshake

I am consumed this morning with missing Satanist Dan. In my memory of him he is my comfort food, my favorite movie, my place to go. I miss, not just him, but mornings waking up next to him with nowhere to be anytime soon. My memories of him are memories of feeling confident, happy, stress-free. And, at the time, I was confident, happy, and stress-free, with or without Satanist Dan. But it's hard to miss a state of being, and it's so easy to miss him.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


I eat, I eat. I think, how silly of me to describe what it feels like, eating, because you eat. You already know. But then I think, how could you know what this feels like without wanting more, always, always, how could anyone keep a hold of their life when there is so much food always around, always there, for just a bit or maybe a lot of money? How does the world carry on the way it does, as if it didn’t constantly ache? I salivate. It tastes salty, smoky—ham and bacon and mayonnaise. The bread doesn’t leave a taste behind but fits warmly into my stomach, holding me from the inside. I am filled, but I am not full. I am never full.


Now the messages are beginning to quote the radio essay about sending messages. I am Super-Meta-Woman.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Longer Term Stuff To Do:

I've been good about keeping a day planner, and writing down assignments and when I'm going to do them. But it's harder for me to think of the things to do that don't exactly have due dates, or they have due dates but there are many steps and I can't just plan it out for the week before it's due.

-I need to write a thesis. I need to figure out what I want to say in my thesis.

-I need to write, record, mix, shoot, mix, a video piece. I hardly know where to start. It's all a mess in my head.

-I need to hang a show in March. This is pretty much done. I just need to mat & frame. Frames are on their way, shouldn't take more than a long day. But I also need to decide on a statement & image to send to the gallery. They are terrible at getting back to me with things like deadlines, but I'm guessing they need it soon.

-I need to keep working on applications. I need to write out my unsolicited submissions and apply to some more shows.

-I probably should start doing things like cleaning out my apartment of excess stuff in preparation for moving out at the end of May.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Starting over, collection piece #1

I dunno. I'm snowed out of class tonight. And wishing I had something to balance my being good against. I'm a bit out of practice. This one needs work.


I bet you thought you were off the hook. No more Satanist Dan, no more boys at all, at least for a little while.

But I still think about Satanist Dan. I still miss him. I don't mind it the way I used to, it doesn't occupy as big of an emotional space, but it's still there. Out of all the people I encountered in my short-lived experiment in sleeping around, he was the only one who was ever in my bed. It matters more than I realized at the time. I feel like someone quitting a habit, I need to stop putting myself in situations that remind me of what I've left behind. But I can't, because I let him in my apartment, and now I want him back in it again.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


I am pretty sure I can fit, with a minimum of squishing, 10 images in the space. They are 16" images in 24" frames, arranged in two rows of 5. I think that 8 images would also easily fit the space without looking sparse. So the question is: does the series benefit from being pared down? I keep vacillating. Here are potential layouts:

8 images

10 images

The more I look at them, I'm not really fond of the two images (the tapir and the dik diks) that get cut in order to pare down to a set of eight. They start to feel like filler, and I don't need to bother with filler, the space is tiny as it is.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Inez (part II for the weeNP)

Inez is tall and voluptuous, dark-skinned, darker-eyed, darkest-haired, she is every cliché developed by white men about exotic women. She is the Top Ten Latina Actresses. In more specific terms, she is five-foot-seven, weighs one-hundred-and-fifty-four pounds during the summer and one-hundred-and-fifty-nine pounds during the winter. She prefers bright colors or no color at all: reds, teals, or black. She often doesn’t wear a bra. I picture her with hair as long as my arms, or I picture her with pin curls. Either way, I picture her with jewelry, more than I’ve ever felt comfortable wearing. She is everything that I’ve never felt comfortable wearing.

I want her. I want her hips, her parted mouth, her hot skin. I want her confidence, her brazen stare. I want to have her, and in the having I want to be her.

Keeping Organized

Due Mon:

Write syllabus for hypothetical digital imaging class
Put together application package for Ramapo
Write "reviews" for sculpture

Find a current NY or LA Times art review
Email "science is real" contact, arrange meeting
Figure out framing option/ order frames
Hem interview pants
Schedule hair cut/dye appointment

Due Tues:

Make slide show for photo workshop
Reading (semi-optional)

Due Thurs:

Write another 2 pages for weeNP

I love this blog.

Love it.

If A Softer World started using images from Dwell, this is what you'd get.

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Reading (for the weeNP)

Everything conspires against the spoken word.

In front of me, a man reads aloud. As he reads I can feel my pulse as it hits the insides of my teeth, like waves breaking against a seawall; I had a root canal this morning.

I can smell the stranger next to me. I want to describe it. I spend several minutes trying to think of some association I have to his smell, some trait I can identify so I might communicate this experience to others. But I fail. I can smell him; you can’t. I can’t even tell you what he smells like. His right elbow intrudes into the corner of my vision. I see a maroon sweater and the edge of the arm of the seat separating us. I want to turn my head, to see more, but I don’t want to be caught looking. So I keep my head turned towards the speaker, my eyes slyly drifting away.

Words on a page, at least, know they command my vision, even if they can’t control my aches or sweat or the feel of the seat underneath me. On the page, words command my actions, the gesture of my hands as they hold the book, the page, as they turn from one page to another. I can’t move or walk or speak. As I read, the words sneak into my ears, not through the usual channels of waves through the air, pressure on my eardrum; they come in through the back, through the employee door, through my eyes into the space where I understand that words have sound, and I can hear them. The voice is clear and familiar. It is my voice. The act of reading makes the words mine.

In front of me, a man reads aloud. His words filter through the air between us, through the sight I have of him, through the sight he has of me. He is tall, well-built, handsome. When he raises his arm to drink from his water bottle (plastic, disposable), his shirt lifts away from a studded leather belt. Hip, but not ostentatious. I am one of one hundred or so Iowans in a lecture hall; I am in the fourth row at the edge on his right hand side. We are students, faculty members, writers, hopeful writers, writers who have given up or come back, who still struggle, love, abandon, rediscover, break up, and get back together with words on pages, words spoken, words ignored or igniting, words looking hopelessly and self-referentially for an ending to a very long sentence. I am being self-indulgent. I am trying too hard to be clever. I will end this piece and begin another.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Not sure what to think

Do you think he knows it's a backdrop painting?


I'd like Satanist Dan to be my boyfriend. I really, really, like him. But it isn't going to happen, and no amount of waiting or hoping or trying is going to make it happen. And now that I've stopped waiting or hoping or trying, instead of sadness I feel relief. I feel free.