Posts Tagged ‘life’

ROAD UPDATE: Pensacola

Sunday, February 14th, 2016

Originally posted to my Patreon community at https://www.patreon.com/posts/4413008

Mississippi: OH EM GEE you’re heeeeere omg yay! Here, have a welcome center with all kinda free camping with picnic benches and spigots and shit and a FUCKING NASA SPACE CENTER!!

Alabama: Fuck you. Welcome center closed.

Florida: Fuck you. Show us your vegetables. Then welcome center, maybe. Also toll roads. Also palm trees. Also fuck you. — Facebook

The above selfie was taken in the divey bathroom at The Handlebar last night in ‪Pensacola, where I played an impromptu show for a tiny, tiny audience in a mostly empty bar. I got a nice fueling practice in and made my beer money back.

New Orleans shaped me as a musician. It is different now; stronger. More solid. More joy in it. Truly beginning to embrace and simultaneously transmute the darkness. Thank you for that. I like being a performer. I just needed to figure out what kind of performer I am. It’s taking a while, but I think I am well on my way, now.

Here are some amazing pictures of me doing my thing, taken by an amazing man: http://neevita.net/louis-maistros-lower-decatur-street-new-orleans/

And here is some soul healing no nonsense darkness for anyone who might be feeling the pitch lonely creeping in today, or know someone who is: http://blog.neevita.net/archives/14927

I plan to be in Florida playing and enjoying the weather/beach for a bit, then moving up northish. I’ve shifted my long term plan, and will be back in WA state this summer rather than heading all the way up to the NE. I need to see a doctor about a few things and get my motorcycle sold.

Keep Going is a year old today. It is an album I released last valentines day about healing, heartbreak, patriarchy, sexism and rape culture, which is surprisingly soothing and, if I may say so, well-crafted. It’s well suited for the day particularly if valentines gives you the intense desire to side eye the fuck out of everything.

Http://courtneefallonrex.net

In a somewhat fitting turn of events, on the same day as Keep Going’s first birthday, Wounded was played on That Indie Thing with Rob on sinwebradio.com! As far as I know, this is my first radio play from the album. https://m.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1182534628424252

Also, Reverbnation keeps sending me emails complaining that my ranks are slipping. So, this seems like a good time to mention that there’s a pretty decent sampling of original music up there including most of my originals from Keep Going and a couple of my old ambient electronic tracks. It is representative but also not too long. If you wanna go stream ’em and give RN something happy to mail me about I wouldn’t mind. :)

I’ll be picking from my Feb 14th random pool of $15 a month and above potential art receivers and notifying the winner today. $5 and above Patrons: Also look for another Seven Deadly Days of Naked (SDDN) post in a few minutes.

Glad you’re all here with me,
-nee

The journey that began thrice

Monday, May 25th, 2015

Originally, I was planning to leave for Spokane last Friday, giving myself a whole day to prep for the house show I was to be headlining in Spokane on Saturday.

Alas, a 3 hour brake job ended up taking all day long on Thursday, setting me back and causing me to be working late on other elements of the trip. It took forever because my emergency brake light was stuck on. They checked and checked and checked, and had gotten to the point of tracing wires and dealing with electrical, convinced that it was not a brake problem.

By 5:30 I said fuck it, and just decided I would pull the damn handle before I moved the van ever, and call it good until I could get down to New Mexico to hang with my pal who has a shop (and who I will be doing work on the van with anyway) to figure out what the stupid electrical problem is.

And of course, the tow equipment I ordered arrived late Friday evening without all the proper hardware I needed, so it was a somewhat stressful pain in the ass to get put together, too.

By the time I was planning to leave on a 5 hour trip Friday evening, I still had some things to deal with in Seattle and I was a deep fried shade of worn out tired. So much tedious shit had gone wrong I was walking around muttering ‘skullfuck’ most of Friday afternoon. So I decided to leave Saturday morning, rested, instead.

That was the first time I didn’t start my trip. No biggie.

Take II:

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I left around 11am Saturday morning, driving by that fuckass eyesore inconvenient ass canoe fucking sadium for the last fuckass time in a long while, commemorating my pleasure at this by snapping a picture while I waited at the light.

Not long after North Bend, I started having the roadtrip feels. During my first solo road trip in 2011, the surge hit me as I was maybe 20 miles south of Seattle. Pearl Jam’s “I’m Still Alive” came on the radio.

I hadn’t heard it in years, but that trip was all about confronting the darkened hallway of my past in California. I didn’t understand exactly what I was in for at the time, but I did sense that song was the perfect floodgate opener for what would come in the weeks later.

This time it was about 20 miles outside of town again, east this time, listening to Keep Going, when my cover of Heavy in Your Arms came on.

Like the Pearl Jam song, there were a lot of applicable layers to why it hit me like it did. It’s a fresh wound that’s also been salted recently. And like the Pearl Jam song, there is hope there.

I recognize how I anchor myself stationary in order to ‘be’ with people. How heavy I HAVE to make myself to justify doing that, how hard I lean in to them because of it. And I also recognize how much I received from them while I stayed. I recognize how much I still miss some of them, sometimes. A lot, sometimes.

But mostly I recognize how done I am with all that shit. I cried out my doneness. I cried out the regret and the pain and the loss and the missing. And I let in the goodness and the openness and the raw cold air taking its place. Just like I’d done with Pearl Jam, when I’d finally gotten done being anchored by my heavy past life in Sacramento.

Mixed in with the missing and the hope and the exhilaration was a sense of relief, of freedom. Against many odds and my own resistance and fears, the van was packed, running, stopping, full DOT inspected, puttering down the road. My motorcycle was softly swaying on the tow carrier and I had alternative, maneuverable, affordable transport other than the huge van. Just that I was here at all proved I could count on myself, and that I could trust my instincts well enough to ask and receive from people.

I started smiling through my tears. I started feeling the excitement. I started believing in the possibility, in the adventure, in all the shit everyone ELSE has been so excited about while I’ve been making big asks, and doing a lot of physical and soul grinding work to make this actually happen. I started believing in the positivity of my choice to leave, not just the necessity of it. I started having faith.

And then I smelled the smoke.

The first time, I figured it was the semi next to me, burning some brakes, like they do. I recently saved a friends van transmission with my nose and insistence that we pull over in Maui, so even though I thought it was likely nothing, I rolled my window down and sniffed and paid attention. Then the smell went away.

..And then it came back, right next to a road construction site another mile up the road or so. I wanted to believe I was smelling something in the air, but as my friend Neil so elegantly taught me not long ago, while wandering a crowded area with a friend, if you smell the same fart twice, that means it’s your friend farting.

In that teaching moment, I was the farting friend, in case you’re wondering. And in this case, I was pretty sure I was the farter by now, too.

Trouble is, I had no shoulder and nowhere to pull off for another 3 miles or so. The smell was getting worse when I opened the window. It took me a while to figure out my cab was filling up with a delicate haze of white smoke. And my brain kept spinning back and forth between believing it was me and thinking it was some horrendous tire fire or something somewhere.

As if I didn’t know tire fire smoke is black, or what burning breaks smell like. Stupid brain.

I finally pulled into a rest area, went to the semi side, got out and popped the hood. Nothing. The smell wasn’t even very strong now, mostly in my scarf and clothes. Then I took a look down the passenger side of the van and saw this:

Neato.

I wasn’t particularly worried — I have AAA, I’d mentally prepared myself for breakdowns of many types, expecting things to go wrong. I wasn’t expecting them to go wrong on my first day, with a system of the van I’d just had worked on two days ago.

I knew it would take forever to get a tow (I was right – 5 hours), and that I was too far from Spokane for that to be my destination, so I cancelled my performance immediately, thankful that the house show organizer had found a couple of openers and the show would still be great without me (it was). Then I started trying to figure out wtf went wrong.

At first, I thought it might have been the weight of my motorcycle on the back. That was the only thing that was different from yesterday, when I’d eaten half a tank of gas driving that damn beast around running errands, and the back of the bike made for the load to be slightly heavier on the right side.

I know how ridiculous that sounds NOW, but at the time I had decided I wanted to take the bike off the tow carrier, turn it around, and try to make it the 30 miles into Cle Elum without waiting for a tow.

I walked around a bit and asked a couple truckers to help me get the bike off the rack (it’s not possible for me to wrangle it off myself). Once we got the bike off, one of them asked me what was up with the van, looking at my tire pensively.

We talked a bit about what happened, and soon thereafter I had confirmation from three separate people who tow shit for a living that there was no way the bike caused my breaks to seize up. We tried backing the van up to release the brake adjustment, which we confirmed was stuck slammed to the inside of the drum.

I suppose you could say the van moved.. If two inches of strenuous lurch and then locking up again under a tremendous amount of engine torque counts as moving. I tried both directions. Both back wheels were stuck as fuck. Which begged another question — why wasn’t the left back wheel of a rear wheel drive vehicle, which wasn’t brake seized, spinning?

Thus began the wondering of whether the ebrake was stuck on, perhaps the cable broke while I was driving or something. Plus that stupid light being on. But that seemed unlikely, given that I’ve left my ebrake on before (who hasn’t) and it’s more of a lagging kind of thing rather than a seizing up kind of thing, and I felt nothing while driving. I thought maybe it could have been the ebrake, and with the drag at 60mph for god knows however long I was driving, maybe I’d friction welded my breaks or something.

“You got a jack?”
‘Yeah.’
“Well, I’ve got tools. And I don’t have anything better to do, my pick up got cancelled and I’m stuck out here til Tuesday. This sort of thing happens to our rigs all the time. I’ll bet we can get this fixed”

The plan was to get things cracked open to see if I’d thrown a spring into the brake which had gotten stuck, check the shoes/see if I’d need to ride over to Cle Elum to get parts or not. So my new friend Marcus started working to get the wheel off and the brake cylinder open, while we talked about what could have caused the seize and what to do next.

*bang*bang* .. and the break cylinder open. *pry* … and the break cylinder open? … *tap taptap* OPEN SESAME, FUCKING BREAK CYLINDER!!..

Or, not. Not is fine too, I guess.

By this time, I knew I was getting towed back to the place that had done my break job, Tire Factory in South Park, and I’d be spending another night in Seattle. In fact, Owen eventually worked out a way for him to come in the next morning (Sunday) to get me back on the road, so I didn’t have to wait the entire holiday weekend.

That sounded about right, to me. I was convinced this was their problem, anyway. In fact, I was pretty pissed off, especially about that brake light, and letting them convince me my breaks were fine while the fucker was on. I was handling it super well, though. Like someone I didn’t really know very well.

Like someone who knew they could count on themselves, maybe.

Many hours, a nap, and much conversation later, including two more people coming over to see if I needed help/drinking water/etc, and my tow driver stopping by to let me know his person before me needed a tow to Tacoma (4 hours! yay!), Eddie from Cle Elum towing showed up, for the second time, to rescue Vandwell.

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Day 1: Spent at a rest stop outside of Cle Elum, waiting for this. Rear right brake (which was adjusted along with other brake work two days ago) stuck and burned to utter shit over the pass, van won’t move. Met many helpful people, was actually a pretty enjoyable day all considering, perhaps a blog post about that tomorrow. For now, lotion on my increasingly roughed up hands, an unexpected extra night of KEXP radio, van tea, and sleep.

PS: Loretta’s in South Park for breakfast around 9:30, if you want the in person version, or are curious what fried brake smells like, cause everything I own smells like it now.
I will quit you yet, Seattle. (And sorry I am not performing tonight, Spokane)

Her name is Vandwell now, btw. And as she was pulled onto that tow bed by a metal rope with a skid under her back paw, I saw her big pretty face for the first time, a little sad, a little scared, a little sick, and I realized: I love my van. I love my big stupid rusty gas guzzling van. That, and also there was something in my eye.

I also noticed that with the skid, passively, all three of the other wheels were rolling, and the ebrake caused a noticeable change/lurch when Eddie took it on and off. So, no ebrake sticking there.

Eddie and I took my tow carrier off the van, since her fat ass took up his ENTIRE tow truck bed, and ratcheted it to the bed floor near the cab. I rode the bike back to Seattle, into the sunset, as it were. I beat Eddie to the tire place by a few minutes, hung around while he dropped off the van, got the tow gear back on her big dirty butt, and wished him a safe drive home.

And that was the second time I didn’t start my trip. Somewhat bigger biggie.

Take III

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I didn’t sleep very well that night, in a deserted parking lot BY THE RIVER (y’all happy now?). On Sunday morning, Owen rolled in around 9 and started getting to work on what I felt surely would be a much bigger deal than he seemed to think it would be. I was thinking for sure I’d friction welded my breaks dead and I’d be in Seattle another fucking week getting them fixed. But hey.. better than Cle Elum where I don’t fucking know anyone, right?

I started wandering around to find a place to get breakfast. The place I wanted was closed. I met an artist rapper named Kaev on the sidewalk. We walked for a while, chatted philosophy, drugs, trust, art. Sat in the Subway for a bit, until I gave him the $4 he asked for to cover the gap between what he had and the sim card he wanted. Then he disappeared. Funny how that works.

Did you know, btw, that if you stop in at Subway really early in the morning and order a cookie (so you can kill time in their shop, being the only place open at 9:15am on a Sunday in South Park), there is a possibility they will tell you with a crinkled nose that those cookies are from YESTERDAY, as if you wouldn’t want them? And when you say, well, how about selling me two cookies for the price of one, then, they might look over the entire case of cookies, about two dozen maybe, and offer to sell you the whole fucking batch for three bucks? Cookies have been on me ever since. YMMV.

Since I was back in the area, my friend Chris, who walked me through making the brackets for my bedframe last weekend, met up with me to get breakfast. Around the time Loretta’s was about to open, I got a call from Owen, asking if I was ready to hit the road.

I stammered a little, cause actually, I wanted breakfast now (that wasn’t cookies), and I was a little shocked that it’d taken less than an hour. Incredulous even. I had questions.

“You got the cylinder off?”
‘Yep! Needed a chisel and hammer, but yeah, it came off. Those semi’s, they’re big, they use big tools. I’ll bet what your friend had just wasn’t small enough to get in there.’
“Wait.. the pads are still good?”
‘Yep! You caught it early! They’re still super thick.’
“And the spring is still there? It didn’t break/get caught?”
‘No problem with the spring. Your adjustment wheel just froze up. I had to really work at it to get it loose’
“I’ll be right over. Do you still have the wheel off? Can I see?”
‘I can totally take it back off for you and show you.’

And show me he did. The shoes were, in fact, in darn good shape. There was a fresh coat of shiny metal goop on the adjuster mechanism that I found out was lubricant. He also told me about how neither wheel would move under engine power because the right wheel is always the drive wheel, so the left wasn’t trying, either.

I got under the van and looked at the star wheel through the adjuster hole and was taught how to use a screwdriver to adjust my breaks if they ever lock again — which they shouldn’t. But, as is made clear by the existence of this story, sometimes shit happens.

Slowly and surely, it was coming back to me, how much I liked working on my own cars when I was a kid. I started remembering my drum breaks on the Superbeetle, how I’d change my own muffler, and how I’ve periodically been thankful for my Dad teaching me about tools and cars when I was younger.

Chris, Owen and I put the bike up on the rack, and said our goodbyes.

The moment when I put Vandwell in reverse and she MOVED was very exciting, indeed. We were back in business, and while I wasn’t thrilled with losing 60 miles of gas, I was very glad I’d taken her back to Tire Factory and gotten complete with them, without being charged, or having to wait for the holiday weekend to be over, even. I gave them a chance to take care of me, and it worked out. Otherwise, like if I’d gotten towed to Cle Elum instead, I might have been farther along in my miles, but I would have been out more money, and stayed pissed at those guys for a good long time.

I took the opportunity, since I was in Seattle again, to hit up Ballard one last time to pick up my NAS, which I’d realized I’d left just before this break shit went down. I was getting low on gas, the needle had hit empty, and I remembered still having about 6 gallons left the last time it’d been there — plenty to get 9 mostly-highway miles away to the Safeway by the shed for the cheapie gas. Right?

#nope.

Not only did I run out of gas, like full on engine death out of gas, I ran out of gas … on 99, in the battery street tunnel.

For those of you not in the know, it’s a two lane one-way tunnel with a 40mph speed limit where people regularly do 60+, with zero shoulder in sight, an onramp/merge point about 50 feet past the tunnel, and a concrete median between lane directions once you’re in the daylight again.

In short: A motherfucking death trap. Even if I could have gotten out and pushed, it would have been a level of stupid I just won’t go to anymore.

I can still hear myself mumbling encouragement as my dead full ton van full of everything I own in the world rolled along like a fucking steel whale in the dark. Just a little farther, boo, and we’ll be heading slightly downhill. Maybe we can get off the highway and onto Harrison if you have enough momentum, big girl. Hoo, that’s not looking so likely, creepy mccreeperson. Just get us out of the tunnel, then. Keep rolling until we’re out of the tunnel.

I came to a stop a few car lengths outside of the soul eating dark, with my hazards on, and my eyes unable to stop watching in my rear view as people blasted out of the hole, seeing a horizontal motorcycle hanging off my ass end, gears in their heads turning, changing lanes around me.

First things first: I called 911. I never call 911, and honestly, I was pretty cool and focused about this whole thing. I knew what to do, that I wasn’t getting out of my car no matter the fuck what, and that I had AAA and I’d be covered (if you don’t have AAA, fucking get it.).

But I did use 911, because that was the quickest way to get the information I needed to get to the people I needed to get it to rather than trying to fuck with my shit cell service to look up numbers. Besides, I knew I was about two freaked out drivers away from having the cops called on me, anyway.

I am in a very large stalled vehicle in a very, very unsafe location. I said, yo, you need to know I’m out of gas on 99. I’ll call AAA after you, it’ll be a quick fix, but I have no idea how quickly they can come to me, and when they get here, they’re gonna be a sitting duck in the road (my gas tank is on the drivers side, and I was in the right lane where I’m supposed to be). You might wanna get someone down here. Like, now.

I called AAA for the second time in as many days which is as many days as I’ve been on this fucking ‘adventure’, and get an estimate ‘within the hour’, but I’ve been red flagged, so it should be less than that.

Well let’s fucking hope so.

I settled in, continuing to watch Rear View Roulette in some weird abstract fascination. Being a holiday weekend, traffic was fairly loose. I wasn’t bogging anything down save for maybe two or three cars when someone had to actually stop and wait a few seconds to get around me. But it was steady, always cars coming.

I remembered hearing that they generally ticket people for breaking down on the bridges and wondered if I’d have to deal with any shit when the cops showed up. I hoped since I wasn’t actually fucking traffic up they wouldn’t think about it.

At one point, a big truck changed lanes smoothly behind me, seeing me in plenty of time — but the Car to Go that had been tailgating that motherfucker blind barely, barely missed my bike.

Every time a large vehicle came up on me slowly, I fantasized that they’d stop, hop out of the car with a gas can and come ask if I just needed gas.

I wondered if maybe I should make a cardboard sign that says “Need Gas!” and keep it in the car, cause, despite the encouragement from my friend that I keep 10 gallons of it with me in the cab.. that ain’t gonna happen.

Then my phone rang.

“Hi, this is Mikey from AAA.”
‘MIKEY. How far away are you man.’ (in my ‘I have a sense of humor AND this is fuckin serious’ voice)
“I’m about 5 minutes away. Are you past the denny onramp? Or before it?”
‘I am just outside the tunnel, before the onramp. I’m blocking the right lane.’
“Ok. I will be there soon. Hang tight.”

5 minutes. Ok. Cool.

About two minutes later, a giant truck pulled up behind me. I watched in the mirror as the door opened and showed a big WSDOT on the side. Then I noticed the light bars — not tow lights. MOVE THE FUCK OVER lights. They started blinking bigass arrows toward the left.

The tension broke and I laughed. FOR ME?

The driver walked to my passenger side, I shuffled over (the van is so wide, I can’t adjust the rear view mirror while sitting in the position I drive in.. it’s like two steps to the passenger side) rolled the window down and let him know AAA was close, and thanked him for showing up so quickly. I wasn’t sure what they’d be sending, but I was really pleased it wasn’t a cop, which is what I guess I was expecting.

I really don’t like cops. Not because I have anything to hide or reason to fear them, other than not having the money to pay the damn tickets they write, but because the police as a system require a bunch of brainwashed (in the best cases) uniformed oppressors masquerading as service workers. The institution of policing is one of the most violent dirtyworker tools of the imperialist capitalist colonialism bullshit I fucking hate about America that’s infecting the rest of the world. Their jobs exist, and have always exited, to bully and injure and kill a demographic of people I have come to care about, and many Seattle police have fucked over and hurt and maced friends of mine. Upon first glance I pretty much fit the stereotypical demographic they’re supposed to ‘protect’ (rich/not obviously poor, white) but I don’t trust them, I don’t think we as a society need them, having them around makes me nervous, I can’t pay their fucking ransoms, and I don’t like dealing with them basically ever. Which is kinda why I don’t call 911.

But I’m glad I did, in this case. For me, it was the smart thing to do, and having that truck on my ass felt like the most direct protection I’ve had in recent memory. I was in a bad way and someone flat out had my fucking back, no question, literally, standing up and in the way for me. I really felt the bigness of the truck, the power in the engine, the magnitude of that signal saying, fuck off, get out of the way, heed, we’ve got this. I felt covered. It was good.

I’ve had a lot of support from a lot of people in recent weeks, amazing support. And, I didn’t realize until I wrote this, after having some rugs pulled out from under me by people I thought I could trust to stand the fuck up for me and help me when I’d fallen flat on my face, how much I needed to feel something just like that truck at my back.

And then a second WSDOT truck came, stopping behind the first, and I chuckled again. YES I AM THAT GUY. I AM THAT FUCKING GUY WHO RAN OUT OF FUCKING GAS IN THE WORST POSSIBLE PLACE EVER.

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I called Mikey back to let him know I had a posse behind me now. He said he was almost there and he had an officer with him. I had a flash of a cop in the cab with him waiting to fingerwag me and write me expensive tickets. I pushed the thought away and decided I’d play that as it came.

Mikey showed up a few minutes later, escorted by a police car with lights on, who rolled right past us and kept on his way. Mikey got me my gas, shared a few commiserating words (He has a suburban that likes to run out of gas before empty — I just didn’t mention I actually WAS empty :P), was helpful, fast, and friendly, and did in fact completely avoid getting run down in the middle of the street just as I’d suggested.

Mikey left. The WSDOT guys smiled, waved, told me to have a good weekend. I was moving again, about 15 minutes after I’d stalled in the tunnel. I got back to Ballard and picked up my NAS, filled up my tank, and went on my way toward Spokane.

I stopped at the same rest stop, which will be closed permanently in two days, to get a healthy picture of Vandwell, pleased to not have been inhaling break smoke getting up there this time. It’s really a shame, save for the Bonneville Salt Flats rest area, this was by far the nicest one I’ve been to.

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I caught up with Marcus in Ellensberg for lunch, still hanging out waiting for his next pick up of hand sanitizer or apples. “I wish I’d thought of lube!”, he said. Indeed. :P

And, I stopped at a scenic overlook, walked up (and down) a bigass hill in flip flops to snap some pictures.

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I’m now safe in a little attic in Spokane in my friends, Craig and Mark’s, house, who have been fans of my music from the beginning. I played their house a couple years ago for their wedding, my first house show ever, and here is my home base for the next week or so, complete with a bath tub that I am using indiscriminately, along with the ridiculous selection of bath sauces Mark picked up for me knowing how much I dig his tub.

I’ll be getting the glass tinted in the van on Friday and after that, be continuing on my way, potentially camping a night in Coeur d’Alene. I’m thinking Zion, after that, but the for-sure part is that I’m heading south, toward Los Almos, and what is sure to be a prime selection of problems to solve, working on getting the AC functional in the van.

Here’s hoping I’ve gotten this good batch of teaching moments and calamities out of the way, and I’ll have mostly smooth sailing for a while. I was shocked at how tired I am today after all that excitement and problem solving and learning. Which, it turns out, I’m remembering, I’m actually quite good at.

Also; My stupid parking break light? Still on.

It’s been a long time since a blog post took 4+ hours to write. Time for another bath, I think.

Maui 2015

Monday, May 25th, 2015

Back in April, with a little help from my friends, I returned to Maui for a week, where I was expertly whisked directly from the airport to Baldwin beach.

OH GOD THE WATER SO GOOD SO GOOD OH GOD OH GOD SHO GHOOOOOOOD OH GHAAAAAD — Facebook

Mostly, I spent my time sleeping, reading (the Percy Jackson books, to prepare for Camp), learning some basic archery, and swimming about a zillion times a day whenever I needed to cool off (or felt crabby, which usually meant I needed to cool off).

I also ate lots of cake, drank lots of water, cooked breakfasts, shared shaved ice and fresh coconuts, enjoyed the jungle, hiked small cliffs, and swam with turtles off the coast where I was staying.

I returned to Little Beach, shaved my head again, got naked a lot, rescued an umbrella from a tree after a split second wind storm, and it was a good week had by all — even when the van overheated, dumping its transmission fluid, and we needed to be towed a zillion miles on the road to Hana. I also added a bird and a branch to my sleeve tattoo (reminding me of the importance of rest) on my last day.

Here are some pieces of photographic evidence of my downtime, taken by Shawn Jezerinac. Thank you especially to Shawn, for offering to share his fortune of a place to stay on the island, and Cliff, for helping me get there.

The few photos I took are on neevita.net

Twins

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

“Do you believe in life after delivery?”

‘Why, of course. There has to be something after delivery. Maybe we are here to prepare ourselves for what we will be later.’

“Nonsense. There is no life after delivery. What kind of life would that be?”

‘I don’t know, but there will be more light than here. Maybe we will walk with our legs and eat from our mouths. Maybe we will have other senses that we can’t understand now.’

“That is absurd. Walking is impossible. And eating with our mouths? Ridiculous! The umbilical cord supplies nutrition and everything we need. But the umbilical cord is so short. Life after delivery is to be logically excluded.”

‘Well I think there is something and maybe it’s different than it is here. Maybe we won’t need this physical cord anymore.’

“Nonsense. And moreover if there is life, then why has no one has ever come back from there? Delivery is the end of life, and in the after-delivery there is nothing but darkness and silence and oblivion. It takes us nowhere.”

‘Well, I don’t know, but certainly we will meet Mother and she will take care of us.’

“Mother? You actually believe in Mother? That’s laughable. If Mother exists then where is She now?”

‘She is all around us. We are surrounded by her. We are of Her. It is in Her that we live. Without Her this world would not and could not exist.’

“Well I don’t see Her, so it is only logical that She doesn’t exist.”

‘Sometimes, when you’re in silence and you focus and you really listen, you can perceive Her presence, and you can hear Her loving voice, calling down from above.’

– Útmutató a Léleknek

Shed Lyfe: Commenced

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

I’m moved into the shed, and it’s basically heavenly. It’s warm, it’s comfortable, it’s just the right size of a project.

It seems I could in fact actually have a much smaller tiny house than I had anticipated having, presuming I had access to a shower somewhere.. but life has occurred, business is slow, and I’m once again off track to having enough finances to build when it’s time to move again.

I’m trying to settle into the 6 months of solace but am finding it difficult to do that, cause 6 months isn’t a long time and I’m so weary of moving and scrambling around, and it’s looking like I’ll be shooting again for a van or an RV or fucking something and will have to pare down even more than I already have *sigh* — but for now, I’m enjoying living on my own, and how cozy/comfortable this tiny space ended up being.

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We didn’t get to the window sils or finishing the painting before the plastic had to go up. Finishing that is on the project list for the spring before I leave, and I’m looking forward to it. Once the show in Tacoma is down in January, the upper walls will have stuff on them, too.

Monday, October 28th, 2013

“Only two things can reveal life’s great secrets: suffering and love.” – Paulo Coelho

Well. That explains a lot.

SEAF 2013

Monday, August 5th, 2013

Disclaimer: After a long week on my feet, I am a bit fried mentally, more than a bit exhausted physically, and yet still rather awake and energetic. My creativity is in the shitter, though, so if you’re hoping for poetry unfortunately I doubt you’ll find much this time. You will, however, find a blog entry about my experience performance directing for the Seattle Erotic Art Festival this year, and a little bit of a backstory as to why that’s kind of a Big Deal for me. Also; I speak only for myself on this blog, and do not represent any official stance of the FSPC or SEAF directorial committee here. Enjoy.

Well, that was really something!

This year’s Seattle Erotic Art Festival had us returning to one of my favorite festival venues – the Showbox Sodo – which, at the time of our last occupation in 2007, was the Fenix. The Showbox had the best facilities and friendliest staff of any venue I’ve worked in, ever. They were wonderful and contributed highly to my enjoyment this weekend.

After many years of vastness and what became a disproportionate focus on spectacle performance art and dance parties, it feels to me now that SEAF has again embraced its roots as an *ART* festival. Though the event wasn’t perfect (um, we seriously need to strike those walkway tables after 10pm next year – great when there’s 100 people, not so much when there’s more.), I would be hard pressed to be more pleased with the results of our hard work this year.

Up until 11pm, patrons could browse, hold a conversation, ask about the artwork and purchase pieces without being interrupted, or having to scream over loud thumping music. During our after-parties when we’d raised the volume some, patrons never had the lights illuminating the artwork shut off on them and were still capable of browsing and buying, and were never forced to pay attention to anything they didn’t want to.

The artwork was the best I’ve ever seen at the festival, which is including the catalogues from previous years in which I did not attend. Most of the pieces that weren’t really my style had a clear validity and seemed to belong in the festival regardless of my personal preferences. I think I only truly disliked perhaps two. The film exhibition, which I unfortunately had absolutely no personal experience with due to it being offsite (I’d like to see the films onsite, or staggered next year with the visual art festival on another weekend), was spoken of incredibly highly and sold very well.

My absolute favorite parts?

In addition to this, I directed a suite of beautifully organic and diverse performances that included many shapes, sizes, and colors that complimented the art, captivated our audience and helped maintain a dignified, elegant and erotic atmosphere.

My team was impressive, I had an excellent stage manager, and every single one of my performers made me look really fucking good.

In addition to that, my workload was reasonable enough that I got to have a lot of fun at the festival, both during my tenor as a director and after my performances were finished. The vibe in the venue was positive, and everywhere I looked patrons were smiling and happily chatting. I even spent a bit of time at the bootblacking station overseeing most of the venue, smiling, watching people slowly pour in through the cash doors.

And boy do I fucking love being on a headset!

These are only my vanity pictures. To see the other amazing pictures of the festival check out SEAF’s flickr stream and be sure to log in to see the ‘adult’ ones with buttcrack and boob.

SEAF for me carries a long backstory with many deep layers, in regards to my individual growth in sexuality, as an event director/performer, and in terms of healing from an abusive relationship. I was first involved in the festival as a model in an accepted piece in 2003, and nearly every year since then.

From 2005-2008 I contributed to SEAF directly as a performer, patron and director. After the 2008 festival, in which I had directed aerial performances and performed, I stepped away from SEAF during a bad breakup with the Performance Director at the time, who had eyes on directing the Festival.

When we split up, we were both heavily involved in SEAF and the Little Red Studio together. In the separation, though we never officially divided things, I basically got LRS, and in turn got Obsidian (If you don’t know about that show, you probably should.), and he got SEAF, and with that, the Director title he’d wanted, eventually.

I was angry, hurting, mentally dismantled, and felt left out by cutting myself off. I was also busy with my own creative endeavors, and really, I had no choice but to leave given the circumstances.

Over the years, I heard through the grapevine of the changes being made to the festival, how it had become bigger, more glitzy, more stage show, bigger, bigger, bigger, and less focused on the artwork or feeling like an art festival.

In 2011, I submitted artwork, a performance proposal and returned in a limited capacity under the direction of Eva Luna as an ambient performance artist, with my most estranged year away being 2012 in which I strenuously returned to having no involvement.

I had no idea how much I missed SEAF, in part due to these changes I didn’t agree with and my bitterness toward the person making them, until I was capable of returning in a directorial capacity when my ex left on bad terms in December. I wrote after being invited to the first planning meeting I’d been to in 5 years;

It’s funny, when something is simply off the table, how disconnected with missing being involved in it you can be. – http://blog.neevita.net/archives/13498

I had forgotten that SEAF, when available to me, is one of the few places I absolutely, without doubt or apology, belong.

My reentry has been validating, satisfying and very fruitful after a rough start in preproduction earlier this year. I can attest with no hesitation that we pulled off a miracle given the circumstances and logistical/administrative turbulence we all went through.

One of my favorite things to do right now is marvel at how impressively all the people who remained involved stepped up and gave this event everything they had. We worked together naturally and without any pettiness, arguments or personal difficulty that I could see. Everyone was amazing at their jobs and awesome to work with.

I am so thrilled that I stuck with this through my storm of concerns over the last few months. I have learned a lot in the past 6 weeks and grown as an event director as well as personally through this experience. I really just can’t express in words how lovely it is to be back, or how proud I am of what the festival has become/returned to being.

As the smoke clears I can see that the occurrences which lead me away for a while had also saved me from the corrosive aspect of the learning experiences the org went through during the time my ex was in charge, and for that I’m thankful. Had I still been working on SEAF since 2009, regardless of my personal feelings regarding him, knowing myself as I do, I suspect I would have been worn of it and have moved on by now, just as it’s getting good again.

Instead, I get the best of both worlds – I didn’t have to continue working with him, didn’t have to be around him, I got to take a break and focus on my own work and artistry, put on some amazing shows, created an arts nonprofit, nurtured my massage and gallery business, and now I have the ability to reap the benefits of his work and what was learned from his mistakes regardless. Thanks, dude!

Now Extrovert Entertainer Whip-cracking Chatty Me fades into the background, and Tender Introverted Drained Me begins her recovery from intense connection fatigue and activity of the last few days. I connected with a LOT of people in profound and significant ways, my feet are killing me, and I am very, very tired.

For now, I will be behind the scenes again for a while, tending to myself, my personal creative work, and processing through the emotional impact of a very big few days – which includes being rather elated and prideful of my accomplishments, and planning my strategy for next year.

It feels good to be back to what was my element for a long time, and to again embrace it as a keen expression of who I am and who I want to be in the world.

After

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

I don’t feel anymore. Not really. It’s more an echo of what feeling was like, an echo of what traveling in a flesh and pulsing nutrient water casing was like. I exist in sensory deprivation, not having senses.

I do still have consciousness and empathy, which actually feels pretty serene now that I no longer have hormones or a brain to fuck up my experience of either of them. My body, the brain and endocrine in particular, were like two hideous menacing bullies permanently clawed in my back, pulling me every which way, tearing me from my insides, constantly, for entirety.

You’re still there, and I can see what your poor brain is doing to you. How you are so beautifully agonizing over how dreadful it must have been for me, consumed in your own terrible awareness of loss. My dearest imperfect tortured captured soul, projecting your images. How I wish I could tell you what it was really like for me.

First, a rustle in the bushes. I wake from a dream in which I am walking over stones cast in iron under a purple sky with green clouds and seven moons. I realize it is something large and fast creating the noise. The familiar state of paralyzing fearful power takes hold as my skin flushes in electric tingles.

My body is still churning in slumber chemicals, lethargic and flopping as my mind recognizes the sound of my screen door being thrown open. An instant flash of fear sparks adrenaline which surges me into more discombobulation.

For an instant my mind is the dull one, comparatively, as I mindlessly spring out of bed like an animated corpse, half dreaming, and press myself against my wall, crouching, feeling a pleasant cocktail of flooding sensations and emotions.

As a large figure in big boots and cotton for a shirt steps onto my floor mattress, a loud sound I momentarily don’t understand explodes through my consciousness. As I begin the thought of the idea of the question of whether or not I actually heard it, or was perhaps waking myself up from a dream or imagining it, a flush of heat from my side expands in all directions. More chemicals.

I begin to formulate the words I will use against the back of the man who is well on his way to running down my hallway, which are something along the lines of “SHhheholy you ffffhh.. did you just fucking shoo–”

Then, a calm in my inner storms, like the sudden and absolute silence of flipping a toggle. I look down.

The shitbag psycho had, indeed, shot me. The color is beguiling, black and deep and thick and gushing and pooling away from me like a radial colony of fire ants at 6200fps. It reminds me of the Big Bang of which I have never actually seen. I marvel at how gorgeous it is. I probably even smirk. It is all I am aware of, untroubled and harmonious.

Before I can test to see if it hurts to chuckle, calm gives way to the halcyon I’d sought to claw toward every moment of my existence. I have been here, and the body of your lover has been where you now find it, ever since.

I wish I could tell you what it was really like for me.

I was falling asleep late in the night with my glass door open, realizing the screen door was not locked. This realization gave way to the image of someone rushing through the brush outside my room into my house, and a tumble of images and feelings after that. I then sat up and wrote this story in bed, squinting without my glasses.

The Art of Stock

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

During my stay with my friends Per and Ingrid, who enjoy cooking with fresh food and especially bone-in meats, I came to discover that *gasp* they don’t save their trimmings and bones for stock makings. Blasphemy!

Stock is awesome. It’s cheap as hell, even if you buy everything for it specifically, and easy to make. It adds flavor and nutrition to just about anything savory that you make with water traditionally. It’s a great start for sauces and gravies of all kinds, and makes for an excellent base for cups of warm broth when you’re under the weather. It allows for fast and healthy soup preparation, and cuts down on your waste factor, too.

“But I don’t use stock!” you say. Well, that’s partially because you don’t have containers of delicious home made beef jello in your freezer on demand. If you did, you’d be a lot more likely to find neat ways to use it. And having stock means that when you’re cooking a recipe that calls for broth, (even if it’s only on holidays, yo.) you know what’s in the broth and that it’s not full of preservatives and unnecessary sodium. Plus, at least for me, the act itself of making stock is grounding and nurturing and feels good.

“But I don’t have time!” you say. You probably do. You freeze the makings until you’re ready to use them, so there’s no pressure to make stock before your loot goes bad. You can make a damn fine chicken stock in about 5 hours, and you barely have to pay attention to it. That’s throwing the pot on the stove when you get home from work. If you’re ok with having something on the stove overnight it’s even easier. And really, aren’t you supposed to be making more time for yourself to relax, anyway?

I said I’d write down my method for them before I left, and forgot to, so I figured rather than send them an email, I would take the opportunity to jot it down here. Behold, after a couple years of research and experimentation, my method for making stocks:

Gathering ingredients: I generally have two large freezer bags in my freezer – one for meat, and one for veggies. Occasionally, if I happen to have bones from multiple animals, I’ll have a poultry bag and a cute land mammal bag. Though I’m big on experimentation I don’t really mix chicken/duck/turkey with beef/pork bones when making stock, the poultry is inevitably overpowered.

Bones: I roast chickens at home and save the carcass. Or, I get a roasted chicken on sale from my grocery and save that carcass. I take my bones home from restaurants. Sometimes, when I tell them it’s for stock, they will go to the trouble of packing me other bones they have laying around, too. When I want something specific, like cow knees for beef gelatin, I go to a bone fide butcher, and get bones for about .80c a pound. Keep the joints and the tendons and the gristle! That’s the best part for stock!

Veggies: I keep my ends and tops of veggies, and unused portions. Keeping things like kale stocks has encouraged me away from pre-packaged bags of kale to actual bushels of kale and to enrich my relationship with my food. Onions, carrots, sweet potato, leeks, kale stocks, that kind of thing. I stay away from delicate veggies like spinach or fruits that masquerade as veggies, like cucumber and tomato. I also don’t use whole garlic in my stock because it takes over, but I might try it for a veggie stock some day.

Ok, now that we have all that out of the way: This is how I make stock.

1) Add bones, enough water to cover them, and 1tbsp unfiltered apple cider vinegar to pot
2) Simmer 3-8 hours, adding water occasionally to keep desired level
3) Add veggies and herbs (Sage, Rosemary, Thyme, and a Bay leaf)
4) Simmer another 1-3 hours
5) Cool, strain, refrigerate/freeze
6) EAT THAT SHIT!

Starting the stock
I put what’s probably about 1.5 pounds of cooked bones or a chicken carcass in a 10qt stock pot, cover it with cold water (warm water if I’m in a hurry), add about a tablespoon of unfiltered apple cider vinegar, and put it on the stove on medium-low heat (the heat which I have found keeps a stock at a simmer when uncovered).

Some people skim the top of their stock once the water comes up to a simmer – I historically do not. I want all that stuff in my stock and I like for it to have sediment and as much fat and nutrition in it as I can get. This is a matter of personal choice. I think it’s more important to skim beef stock than poultry, personally.

The vinegar helps draw nutrients from the bones. Don’t add too much or your stock will be all vinegary.

Cooking the bones
You want the stock to simmer, not boil, and you want the temperature to rise slowly. I have started on high heat and turned it down once hot before, but I don’t like it – I have to pay attention more, and I risk boiling the stock. Instead, I will cover with a lid and check in about 20 minutes to see if it’s starting to steam, then take the lid off.

I make stocks with the lid off so I can keep track of it better, and because I like to reduce my stock a lot. It’s easier to boil stock with a lid on, but it can also prevent loss of liquid if that’s what you’re going for. Your choice.

Note: I have stuck with stocks that I have boiled and they taste fine, but don’t have the jello-like consistency when cold that I want.

I simmer and reduce the stock down, then add water, reduce down, add water in a few cycles with bones only for multiple hours before adding veggies. Veggies are more delicate and can’t take as much abuse. If I am simmering a stock overnight I put it on the lowest setting I can while still seeing some bubbling and add an extra few inches of water. So far, I usually have a few more hours of reduction ahead of me in the morning.

Don’t judge your stock until you’ve added the veggies and herbs, which are the fragrant and flavorful elements.

Adding Veggies and Herbs
As for veggies, I’ve made some stocks with so many veggies I could barely fit them all in the pot, and other stocks with less. I also experiment with what types of veggies and in what ratios. The things that I tend to stick with are at least half an onion, kale stocks and a carrot. I don’t bother with celery, it can get bitter when overcooked, and I don’t use it usually and you can’t just buy a stock or two.

Once the stock is reduced down again after adding the veggies, the liquid level is blow the veggie tops. It will look like a pot of squishy wet slop. I cool it for an hour or so on a windowsill before transferring.

Getting that shit outta there
At this point I squish the solid food to the bottom with the large pasta colander insert for my stock pot (http://www.amazon.com/Cuisinart-77-412-Classic-Stainless-12-Quart/dp/B0000UV01S/) – which if I didn’t have, I would substitute a potato masher for I suppose. This presses the stockmakings to the bottom allowing the stock to rise to the top. I then pour into containers, pressing the bulk down by squeezing both sets of handles on the stock pot, through another small strainer to catch extras.

I generally get a few pints of condensed stock out of a stock pot, and freeze most of it. I eat refrigerated stock within a week.

Dilution ratios
A few tablespoons of cold jelly in a mug + boiling water = a mug of broth, I probably do a 50/50 split that way. I salt and pepper to taste for each thing I use the stock for. While it may smell really good, a bit of salt is what really brings out the flavor in a stock, as most anyone who’s used unsalted broth can probably attest.

If you wanna know more, google. There are infinite resources for this stuff online.

Do you make stock at home? How does your method differ? What are your favorite ingredients?

Sweden: Two Weeks in Photographic Review

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

Like a glass of tasty bubbles, all good things must come to an end..

Click the first thumbnail and use the arrow keys to advance.

Check the Sweden tag for all posts from my time abroad.

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

“I know that love is unconditional. But I also know that it can be unpredictable, unexpected, uncontrollable, unbearable and strangely easy to mistake for loathing” – Neil Gaiman, Stardust

Nalle

Monday, June 17th, 2013

“My heart wants roots. My mind wants wings. I cannot bear their bickerings.” – E.Y. Harburg

Midnight in Sweden

Sunday, June 16th, 2013

If London is a watercolor, New York is an oil painting.

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

“For in that city there is neurosis in the air which the inhabitants mistake for energy.” ― Evelyn Waugh

The New York subway has its own distinctive scent, like a cocktail of black tar and metal shavings, that I immediately find familiar and comforting every time I retun. You’d think it would mostly smell like pee and refuse, but for the most part it doesn’t.

I was periodically thankful for having that sense memory, and generally a lot of time, the half dozen or so instances I took the train in the wrong direction during the week I was visiting; also a bit of a staple experience for me here.

In the first day I was back, I remembered one of the reasons I considered moving to New York City – all the free stuff on the streets! Within a few blocks of walking a neighborhood, there’s always some motley crew plethora of building materials, toys, electronics, old furniture (much of it antique) and, of course, actual trash laying around. I remember fantasizing about having to purchase nearly nothing for my shoebox apartment should I have moved, back in 2005.

I also remembered one of the reasons why I decided not to move to New York City; There’s, uh, fucking trash everywhere. And with trash, comes vermin, which is also everywhere, including squashed on the streets and scurrying across all manner of floors, sometimes even near my stuff. Humph.

Slow Start

For various reasons, including working my way through the antibiotics I started in Sacramento and actually getting a ton of shit done in between, I spent a couple entire days in PJ’s (or rather, the clothes I slept in, because I didn’t really bring PJ’s) without going out or eating much of anything. With the exception of a few days in which I had plans already, I found that I didn’t have the motivation to do much, and was rather steadily depressed with a few spikes of life in between.

Sitting alone in a small, tidy NYC diner. A white nondescript plate of steaming corned beef hash that most certainly came from a can sits half eaten in front of me, its ridiculous portion blanketed in eggs over medium. I’m listening to Dido seeping from the ceiling, remembering my trip to Toronto when I listened to her a lot. The cold, mostly, and the alone time on the vibrating street cars. My heart is lighter than yesterday, allowing for sweet sadness to spread to my throat and the furrow of my brow. A small wise smile finishes the edges of my lips that feels like a gate to the knowing field. Everybody seems to want to ask me about myself. Perhaps it’s because they know, too. I’ll stay here until the plate is clear. Two more rest periods, I’ll bet. – June 7, 2013

It rained as much as it was nice while here, complete with the signature humidity of an NYC summer, but thankfully it never got agonizingly hot. On the few days it never stopped raining I pretty much hung out in bed with Bejeweled, which I had played for the first time on the plane ride out.

That said, there were plenty of standout times, starting with seeing my friend Rob Paravonian (for the first time in like 6 years) opening and MCing for his friend Liam McEneane’s live show taping at Union Hall in Brooklyn, the day after I arrived. They’re both funny as shit and super sweet – buy their stuff.

Saturday

On Saturday I went to FIGMENT NYC with Donia, my friend from Seattle whom I originally learned fire spinning from, and my host in NYC. FIGMENT is a giant not for profit public collective interactive free-for-all art event on Governors Island, an amazing retired military base converted into a public park, complete with dozens of huge, gorgeous Victorian era houses and lots of green hilly things. The weather, thankfully, was perfect for it.

The day before FIGMENT (a Friday that was lost to the rain and the comfort of Donia’s guest bed), after looking over the website and really liking what I saw, I sent a little introduction mail through their contact form explaining a small portion of my background in the arts and non-profit work and expressing my interest in putting on a FIGMENT event in Seattle. To my surprise, I was quickly responded to by the Executive Producer and given contact information to be utilized when I arrived.

Within about 3 hours of meeting, wandering, philosophizing and effectively interviewing one another, I was given a nametag, shirt, and was being introduced as “working on Seattle”. Suddenly, I had plans to return for the second day to attend the producers brunch in the morning, which I did, and it was pretty glorious too. One of the things that traveling to the east cost illuminates is just how fucking passive aggressive and flakey people in Seattle are. It’s a wonder anything ever gets the fuck done.

I feel confident that there is intense possibility here, though. Many more things need to fall into place before I know exactly where I fit into the Seattle plans with FIGMENT, however, it’s safe to assume based off my experience with the organizations core assets and many representatives from other areas, including Washington D.C., Boston, Chicago, and even Australia, that it’s rather likely I will be involved in some sort of leadership role in the process. (Unless, of course, I decide to stay in Sweden.)

Hack tha planet, bitchez

After my first day of FIGMENT, and discovering my notable sunburn, I stopped by a place in midtown for some Summercon afterdrinking with my hacker boys, and to pick up the convention badge I never ended up using. I had supposed to attend con and meet up the night before but I simply didn’t feel well enough yet.

I did, however, show up eventually. In turn I got to visit with a few of my favorite people in the world, many of which I hadn’t expected to see, and got a little bit of my drink on.

I was met almost immediately with a pretty awesome exchange with my longtime friend and hobbiest photographer Weld, who happened to notice some time ago that I borrow the SLR camera I often use. He also happens to have a Canon 40D he is not using, and happens to think I need to be taking WAY more pictures. What can I say, the man’s a problem solver – He offered his old camera to me, and I’ll have a 40D of my very own shortly after I settle from my trip. I live a charmed existence indeed.

I invited my distant ex to join us as part of our shenanigans and we ended up having an awesomely entertaining and rather public series of heart to hearts, in which we aired out a lot of the crazy shit we’d pulled on one another, sometimes for the first time since it had happened, and recounted some pretty awesome memories in there as well.

There was a lot of laughing, from both us as well as the people around us who were listening to these tragically hilarious recountings, and a lot of recognition between us. Much Good Stuff was had from our interactions, especially for him, as he’d been slower to process and grow out of the place we were back then and had apparently been holding on to a lot of stuff I’d put down some time ago.

It felt really good, and I was aglow with the familiar feeling of having contributed profoundly to another persons inner world by being generous with mine, though I never stop being surprised when that happens. Nothing we talked about triggered me and I felt a lot of gratitude and connection about it all. It’s sort of amazing how healing admitting to your ex you were kinda happy when you saw he got fat can be.

I ended up spending a night in Manhattan which consisted of very little sleep, not enough dancing, and long awaited connections of multiple types. It was a welcome contrast to the work emails, event coordination mode, recovering from infection, actual work, etc. I got to just be myself for a while, say what came to my mind and be with people who’ve seen it all and stuck around anyway. It really felt great.

Sunday

Spent some time at MOMA in NYC yesterday, mostly mouth agape at the ridiculous piles of shit that the elite seem to think constitutes as artwork. A few things stood out for me, including an antique slideshowing depicting horrific facial deformities, many appearing to be the result of bombings and shootings to the face in the world wars. Some of them were so brutalized it was difficult to imagine how they continued to exist, missing large portions of their bone structure. Something about it captured me but I couldn’t put my finger on it; I realized this morning that the exhibit spoke to my experiences regarding the uncertainty of the results of healing. I expect a scarless, flawless result from mine, particularly when addressing emotional and spiritual injuries. But sometimes, no matter how much more you fiddle with and stretch your skin over the giant hole collapsing your face in, there comes a time to accept that it’s just always going to be tender and unsightly. Disturbing.

I have decided that most Modern art is a bunch of fucking bullshit, and the Museum of Modern Art kinda sicked me out. It’s almost impossible not to compare my work to the work that’s displayed, and so much of it is SO BAD it’s just unbelievable.

Indecipherable pencil scribbles on torn pages of newsprint? Horrifying greenscreened clunky dancers in garish bedazzled zentai suits on video, chunks of which are invisible because the colors of the costumes matched the screen too closely? Chunky paper with strands of human hair swirled sloppily on its surface and put in a frame? Duct tape squares on fucking cardboard?

It seems that any old piece of trash is modern art as long as you make it a series. Who the fuck decides to put this shit in a museum, anyway – cause I’ve got a pile of my crap smeared to a 2×4 to fucking sell the pretentious fucker.

The one thing we were actually there for, the Rain Room, was an hour and a half wait when the exhibit closed in an hour and 15 minutes. No pictures in the Rain Room for Will and I on Sunday. We decided to try later in the week. BLECH.

A Case of the Mondays

Low energy and fairly uncomfortable, strumming the uke without much direction. I’m traveling, taking antibiotics and have pooped twice all week. Help a sista out and suggest some songs you’d like to hear me cover. If any of them work out well I’ll post the progress to soundcloud.

Once that eventful and potentially life altering weekend was over, New York City spent another solid day raining. The last time I was around these parts for this kind of weather, I spectacularly wrecked on the NJ turnpike with my ex after hydroplaning over a temporary lake I couldn’t see.

That was about 16 years ago now and the sound still shoots me up with adrenaline, but that’s about the only thing that remains in me from our ridiculously abusive (both self, drugs and one another) history, for both of us now, I think, and I found the weather to be almost communicative, like a final nod goodbye to all that fucked up victim bullshit. I found myself wondering if I would still periodically panic when I heard hydroplaning anymore.

Monday also happened to be the day that I traveled farther east in Brooklyn to meet with Dese’Rae Stage of the Live Through This Project (for those who know NYC, I was staying on Atlantic Ave near the Nostrand stop on the A, and went to Saraghina off the Utica stop for my meeting) to talk about life after an adolescence wrought to the core with suicide attempts.

When I had originally contacted Dese’Rae after discovering her project, I was in a pretty solid mindstate. I offered to talk about my experiences because I felt I had a lot of encouraging words and insights that could help people who weren’t feeling that life was very worth living, or were questioning if it was all worth it. I’d been there and done that and was proof that it got better.

Of course, when it came time to actually talk to Dese’Rae, I felt like total fucking shit. I was worn down again, tired, sad, alien, weird, alone. My trip wasn’t freeing and energizing like I was expecting, the time off felt like an emotional prison plagued by sickness and conflict, all these fucked up emotions kept surfacing and for much of the weeks leading up to this commitment I’d been stifling tears and avoiding feeling what was calling them out.

As I sat at the table with her chatting and occasionally advising about the administrative challenges of her project, what felt most real to me as my time to speak and be recorded loomed in the distance was how hard it still is. How hard it is at least a portion of almost every single day of my life. How hope for living is a constant battle, a constant struggle to remember that year that gets farther and farther in the past where I didn’t see suicide as an option, or a concept that was just at my fingertips, at the ready, waiting for me to slide down far enough to have nothing but it to cling to. How hard it is to remember the tiny strands of that reality, to remember when I feel bad that it is possible for me to feel better, for what felt like a long time, and maybe some day if I work hard enough I might feel that way again.

So, that, and ideas and insights surrounding that, was what I talked about, once I got through the basics of my history, which took a while in and of itself. I’ll be interested in seeing what she chooses to include in my story on the projects website, which as far as I can figure is about 6 months off from being published. I’m glad I did it, and I know I will be touched by what comes out of it. For now, though, I am comforted by the fact that I’m likely to forget about it entirely in the meantime.

The Final Act

This vacation, thus far, has turned into a lot of work, very little movement/exploration, and laptop forearms. Considering unplugging entirely while in Sweden.

The last few days in NYC were pretty typical. I slept a bit, scheduled a shoot in Sweden for the 17th, checked a lot of email and took Donia for Indian food as a thank you for letting me crash at her place.

Will and I did get some good pictures in the Rain Room exhibit first thing in the morning the day I left, and I was reintroduced to SnapSeed, which I had tried but didn’t really get into before, for post processing arty images.

Up at 7am preparing for a second crack at getting into the MOMA rain room exhibit to have some pictures taken of me. After that, a final couple of hours in NYC which are likely to include central park and stopping by the piano stores I noticed in the neighborhood last time. Then back to Brooklyn to pack up, and the long flight to Sweden.

I had the opportunity to play a Yamaha C7 grand piano at the recommendation of my friend and musical collaborator Aaron Marshall, who suggested I try a Yamaha after reading about my experience with Steinways. We hit up Central Park for a walk and some ice cream and had a ridiculous lunch at a place called the Jekyll and Hyde club in Times Square. It was good to see Will again, it had been since 2005 that I had, and he is what one might call Good People.

The plan is to return to New York for FIGMENT next year. We shall see. I have a lot of travel, still, this year, and next year might need to be a year that I stay home and tend to my various businesses. Especially considering a majority of my commitments in the near future include SEAF and FIGMENT which are volunteer. I really need to figure out how to get paid for this shit.

Packing up and soon to be out of communication until July. If you’re planning on having any big news or have something to say to me before then now’s the time to speak up. Otherwise, see you on the flip side.

Given my penchant for spiraling into the social networking abyss, I will be offline apart from updating my blog until I return from my trip.

On the Road Again

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

I’ve got a lot of things swirling around right now, but I’m discovering that I’m not ready to write about any of it yet. So, for now, pictures, and basic recap of my trip thus far. My more interesting half-fragmented thoughts will remain in draft form for a while.

For traveling with a person who a) has a dominant personality similar to mine and b) had just dislocated, broken or otherwise injured one of her floating ribs the night before, the 3 day trek from Seattle to Sacramento was almost cosmically smooth and uneventful.

Watching her pack for the trip while impossibly doped up was pretty entertaining in its own right.

We drove down to Olympia and immediately headed for Astoria, OR where we ate an ok seafood dinner, prepping to travel the coast.

We eventually decided on settling in Manzanita, a place I’d never actually been but feel familiar with because of the street named after it in Sacramento. That way we’d have something cute to wake up to the next morning.

We scored, or so I thought, a room in a beachside motel with no vacancy, by my deciding to walk in and actually check just in case.

When I opened the door my heart sank. As it turned out, the room we got was not only one of the four without a beach window, it was basically an add-on room for kids or grandma or whatever, so it was tiny and relatively skank.

Still, I had a bath and a shower and a good nights sleep – and a few laughs.

We went to breakfast at Bread and Ocean and were completely blown away by everything we ate, including the best baguette I have ever stuffed down my cake hole in my entire life. Highly recommended.

We drove down to Florence via Lincoln City, occasionally stopping to hang out on the windy coldass beaches long enough to get some pictures and talk about how windy and coldass it was.

The coast did not cooperate as much as it could have, and also the weather could have been a hell of a lot worse. We were seeing mid to upper 50’s and very little rain, not too much wind, and some interesting shifts in the atmosphere as we drove, including driving through a thick and creepy fog bank.

The sun started coming out as we were stopping at a pirate themed coffee shop just south of Lincoln City, and pretty much stayed out for the rest of the trip.

Florence, despite its frilly and hopeful name, is a complete shithole. There, we purchased some discount cheese and questionable (but hearty) produce at the local Grocery Outlet and ate lunch in the parking lot looking around and sorta smacking our mouthes with that “ick” sense that one might get just after licking into a scoop of flavorless mashed potato smashed into an ice cream cone.

It was here that we decided to turn inland, even though the better coast areas were south of us. I’ve been to Bandon and the like numerous times, already gotten my good pictures of the area, and Bev didn’t much care about it. We decided to go for time and a change of pace rather than more coastal scenery.

We stopped at some point in farmville to legstretch across a bridge and look at some cows. We’d hoped to find someplace nice to walk around and maybe nap in the sun in Florence, but that came about later at a rest stop just outside California, once the temperature reached the low 60’s for a bit of yoga in the grass.

Then, Grants Pass, for a completely bland and forgettable dinner at an Italian bistro who, for reasons no one understands, went with the Papyrus font for their branding. If any place needs Gordon Ramsey it’s them.

Mental note: Next rode trip, eat in Medford, even if the name does indirectly remind you of someone you currently can’t stand.

Also, purple and pink dusk colors become Mt. Shasta. Stunning.

We’d thought to stay in Weed that night, because ha, ha – but ended up calling it in Yreka, at a Holiday Inn Express, to make up for the freakishly ghetto room we’d had the night before.

They had an indoor salt water pool that I utilized, rad smelling toiletries, luggage carts, a king sized bed, and an included cruise-linesque breakfast, complete with a pancake making machine. Hard to ask for more on the road.

We finished off the drive through red Bluff, Chico and Yuba City, deciding to deviate from I-5 since it’s boring as fuck and has less things to buy on the side of the road. I introduced Bev to Stephen Lynch, finding that she can in fact laugh a little bit without notable repercussion.

We also stopped in Marysville to walk what will forever be known to me as GoosePoop lake, or potentially “Florence”, as Bev and I agree is our new code word for “thought it would be cute but actually it’s kinda shitty.” and got some exercise.

Once we arrived in Sacramento, we immediately killed an hour by the pool, in 90 degree weather, before unloading the car, which was easier than I expected given that I am the haul horse for the time being.

After that, dinner with Bev and her sister Judy and Judy’s husband Kirk, wherein we talked about our trip and what I would be writing about here became clear.

It’s strawberry season right now and we’ve been enjoying the amazing berries we picked up on highway 65, wishing we’d gotten more. Even the avocados and bananas we got at GrossOut are tasting pretty great. Other than that I’m doing a lot of lounging, ukulele playing and drinking iced tea.

Farmers market up the street on Thursday and on Sunday in Sac! So there.

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.” – Maya Angelou

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

Was in the bath again, thinking about times in my life I’ve fallen deep, and started looking to my relationship with music.

Nirvana. Portishead. Dead Can Dance. Donnie Darko. Batman Begins. Amnesiac. Archive. Hula. The Fountain. Alice: Madness Returns.

All music I’ve lived, sunk deep into, invited into a certain significant flow of my life, lapping over the edges of my work in addition to welling up inside my spirit, have been the soundtracks for the times in my life, I find later, that I had been transforming my view of myself.

I never understood why my connection with music deepens and fades as I live my life until now.

In other news, I found myself considering that, perhaps, I am in my core simply too dynamic and shifting a person for a contemporary type of partnering to endure, and the trick, as it turns out, is finding a way to make that ok.

#differentwaystolookatdyingoldandalone (It’s not hashtag. It’s pound.)

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

“The most important things are the hardest to say, because words diminish them.” — Stephen King

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

“I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has had to overcome while trying to succeed.” – Booker T. Washington

Bitter Soda

Monday, December 17th, 2012

One of the things I have taken very seriously since having become suicidally depressed last month is my relationship with drugs and alcohol. Particularly alcohol, which has by far been the most destructive of my coping mechanisms in my life.

Of late, I have partaken rarely, usually in very small amounts when I have, and never when I have been significantly distressed. It has been important to me in my decision to surrender to the difficult feelings I have been having to do it with my eyes open.

I believe it has been about 6 weeks now, the amount of time they say it takes to develop a habit, since I began doing this exclusively when I went to bars – So I think it’s safe to say my official drink is now soda water and bitters.

Bitters are aromatic botanicals in an alcohol base and, technically, alcoholic, but in my experience they are pretty much like shooting yourself in the throat with breath spray when it comes to any effect one will feel from the few dashes that are needed to flavor a drink.

It’s actually quite fun, and encourages me not only to save money and remain sober, but to also hang out in the kinds of places I truly enjoy being at. Angostura bitters taste nice enough and are a standard I enjoy (as opposed to well alcohol which tastes like shit) but the opportunities beyond can be endless depending on where I go.

A good bartender will enjoy creating a special drink for me, include me in the process and let me see and handle all their cool little bottles. I am learning about different kinds of bitters and the types of flavors I like and getting inside scoops on where to buy from.

Self care can be hard, especially around alcohol and attempts to remain social particularly when avoiding it. Of the many changes toward health and happiness I have experienced in my life, this has been one of the easiest small, yet significant, adjustments I have made. And I really love simply letting a bartender surprise me without having the concern of ending up Gin or Jager drunk – which, let’s be honest, no one wants to see. :P

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

“He who works with his hands is a laborer.
He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman.
He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.”

― St. Francis of Assisi

Namaste, suckers: My Qi Revolution experience

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Friday, July 20, 2012: Packing for a 4-day, 36 hour Qigong seminar at the Tacoma Convention center. I am not bringing a laptop.

Recently, along with about 425 other people, I trekked down to Tacoma to attend “Qi Revolution“, presented by Jeff Primack. The course is $99 and the CEU (continuing education credits, which are required to maintain a massage license in WA state) hours are a whopping 32 hours for 4 days, so you can imagine why most people were there.

I went to the workshop with very few expectations. My hope, however, was to have an enriching and calming experience in the midst of increased stress in my life lately. I’ve never done qigong and understood it to be similar to taichi, which I have seen footage of, so I figured we’d be moving through forms like that.

The first thing I was struck by when I walked in was that the production quality was excellent. I liked the sound setup, the stage setup, the visuals they were using (This Aeon visualizer, was one of them.), and I liked the instructor Jeff Primack. His sense of humor was accessible and fun and he is a good public speaker and very personable. I also liked the Tacoma Convention Center, enough that I snapped a photo of it on my phone, which was mostly off for the first day, and the staff from both the center and the Qi organization were all smiles and assistance.

While registering on the first day, I had already begun thinking about the parts of my personality which had emerged, or perhaps more accurately had been muted, in this particular environment. I rarely spoke, to anyone, and did not strike up conversations with the attendees. Being at this workshop was a window into some of the personality changes in myself that I’ve noticed over some time (like discovering that I am in fact an introvert) and a great opportunity to consider them, especially since, with the exception of a few surface conversations in which my hair or hat was complimented, I didn’t want to spend any of my time talking with anyone. I spent a lot of time quietly observing, and waiting for energy and intuitions.

After we had learned and attempted our first form, I found myself suspecting in the first few hours that I did not, apparently, like qigong. It is extremely slow and hard to relax into, and I just wasn’t feeling the love after standing in one place and following instructions regarding how we should be moving our hands slowly through the air for 40 minutes

By now, Jeff Pirmack had used the G word one too many times for my taste, and had begun incorporating his personal spiritual beliefs into the lectures, which I hadn’t reacted negatively to, but was aware of due to the direction they showed to me that the workshop was in danger of going. He was also quoting religious scriptures, which I consider tall tale fables, and interpreting them rather literally, which.. you gotta wonder. But he had done so with the preface that he would do it occasionally and hoped it wouldn’t offend anyone, and I appreciated that, so I wasn’t really offended.

Then, we did the “Breath Empowerment” exercise, in which we all laid down while Jeff lead us through a breathing exercise in which we hyperventilated ourselves for a number of minutes. Many people had many profound experiences, felt vibrations, heat, cold, saw God, etc. I was physically effected by this, in the same ways I’ve been effected by having the wind knocked out of me or crying too hard, but the thing I found most impressive about the presentation was how well the sound guy had incorporated the breathing audio we were being lead by while still allowing Jeff to instruct us. The thing I found the least impressive was Jeffs assurance that we were not, in fact, hyperventilating.

Saturday, mid-day: So far, my favorite part about this qigong thing is the music they are playing. I’ve felt a vibration or two but nothing like the crazy religous experiences people are crying about here. Reminds me of landmark, with a physical bent and without the hard sell pyramid scheme (Though overhearing the wide eyed fast talking volunteer trying to talk some chick into buying a $125 book is grating on me.). I am learning some cool things and think the experience worthwhile, but the more I go to things like this the more I understand that some people just arrive ready to pop and believe, and some don’t.

By the time I’d written this update, it was becoming clear that many of the people in the room I was in were on a train I had not boarded. People were crying and gushing slowly and profoundly on camera about their experiences, and I felt that there was a strong possibility that they had been manipulated by the so-called “Breathing Empowerment” exercise. Overall, I was feeling positively for the experiences other people were feeling and know what it’s like to have a big breakthrough, even if you later discover that it wasn’t quite the miracle you though it was at the time, and that was fine by me. If it works it works.

That said, I was beginning to dislike how physical manipulations and over oxygenation were being touted as spiritual/energetic miracles, and it was pretty clear I wasn’t in this for the long haul.

Saturday, late-day: 99% certain I wont bother with this entire class. I like the instructor, the class is neutral and accessible, but standing around holding my arms out for 30+ minutes is just not my thing. Reminds me of my craniosacral elective – great stuff, love receiving it, and also not my bag. I could get into dance based on similar principal, but this energy harnessing shit is difficult and frustrating and I suck at it. It would be like another job to take this on and be any good at it. I am fine with my attunement with woo being somewhat divine and random.

After the first day, I had noticed very much the lack of personal instruction when attending a physical workshop of 425. I was working through a completely new experience with the aid of a couple video projectors and some great animations, but if I wanted a closer reference all I had to go on were the hesitant motions of a person near me who was also trying to fumble through with the same tools I had. I wondered if part of the reason I wasn’t liking this more was because no one was ever correcting me or interacting with me directly, but I also accepted that honestly, I most likely didn’t care enough about qigong to take a smaller class later.

One thing I very much enjoyed about this experience was the food and nutrition lecturing. Some of it was very similar to the nutrition class at Brian Utting which I loved, with different presentation and slightly differing naming conventions (Jeff Primack calls them ‘phytochemicals’ while Brian Utting called them ‘phytonutrients’, for instance).

In that vein, it was a fabulous review for me and by far my favorite part of the information that was presented. But I was very wary of the continual claims by Jeff and his associates and followers of miraculous healing and complete disease reversal based off his nutritional and food related teachings. I absolutely believe it’s possible and firmly consider food to be both the source and the solution to many, many medical ailments, but something about these claims and the consistency in which they were being presented didn’t sit well with me.

I had also noticed, by now, that the way Jeff Primack speaks shifts into a strange and subtle “Engrish”, and I found myself wondering if this person who is clearly a marketing and presentation genius didn’t do that to intentionally confuse and simultaneously play a race card. I don’t know his history or if English is a second language or what, but the fact that my guts were going in that direction about him spoke to my flags being up.

That said, many of the things he talked about resonated with me, and the experiences I have had with food, and my philosophy on eating well. I am still interested in his cookbook and may in fact buy it.

Sunday morning: Day 2 of day 4 (maybe) and I am borderline zombie. It was an act of sheer will to get out of bed, even with Tim Minchin playing and a large cat person pawing at me to get up. The nutrition portion of the workshop yesterday lit a fire under my ass that I’ve been needing for a few months, and today we get to try some smoothie recipies that I hope to add to my arsenal. I have also concluded that a vitamix is no longer a nice-to-have, but rather an element of my health that is important to me, and it’s now at the top of my “once I’ve saved up a few months” list. I want more living food and seeds and pits and stems that I won’t eat without a blender that can break them down.

I came back Sunday knowing I would almost inevitably not be returning Monday or Tuesday, yet open to and even hoping for a more profound qigong experience. As per usual, I loved the second part of the nutritional lecture. The level 2 qigong sequence did very little for me, but that was fine — I already felt like I’d gotten my $99 worth in other information from the course, and had committed to finishing Sunday out so I’d also gotten 16 CE credits, which was a damn good deal.

By now, I could tell that 4 days of this experience really wasn’t for me, but on the second day I found that it seemed it was for the kinds of alternative healers and massage therapists I intentionally set myself apart from when I explain my practice on my website. The ones who claim to be human and real but behave as if they float a foot above the ground by the power of their perceived connection with some greater universal vibration, especially when collected in a sizable group.

Now that people had met and bonded a little, every portion of off-topic conversation around me that floated into my consciousness was about some kind of extreme philosophy, spirituality, some other form of energy work, discussing the intensity of the chi in the room, or anecdotal health advice. I imagine that was in large part because the people like me who weren’t sold simply weren’t speaking, but the environment began to color my experience, and I found myself in a consistent state of low-level annoyance.

Jeff had also taken to expanding his God/Bliss/Love talk, which was really starting to piss me off.

Sunday mid-day: Excellent. This is the last day of the food/nutrition portion, and I have decided to continue to take Monday and Tuesday off, for myself.

By mid-day, it was sealed: I would not be returning, and my time today and tomorrow were going to be better spent processing what I’d already experienced. We did some more qigong that day, including some walking qigong, and I found that I gravitated not only toward the smaller movements like spirals and pulses, but I preferred doing them while focusing on isolating different parts of my body in motion. I consider that a cool little tidbit of qigong that I am happy to have taken with me, and want to play with on my own.

After my lunch, and many hours of nutrition and excessive health lecturing, I passed Jeff Primack in the hallways of the convention center as he was carrying a bag of takeout. Huh.

Jeff spent a potion of Sunday afternoon talking about Chinese element philosophy in terms of personality and relationships, which was fun and interesting, but then completely lost me by his ending presentation on spirituality which was basically his take on how the world and people were created (people first, as receivers of Gods love, then the world, after we requested that we be capable of sharing as well as receiving).

Human beings are exceptionally complex and intricate, and no one is perfect, even if they imply that in some ways, they are. For a person who claims humility in his spiritual beliefs, Jeff Pirmack sure spends a lot of time “proposing” them to his students.

Additionally, Jeff speaks often in his lectures to the virtue of humility in teachers, yet teaches gigantic impersonal workshops to hundreds of people at a time, standing on a stage in a special costume on camera and under lights, often relying on misinformation and manipulation to synthesize a spiritual group experience. Though, to be honest, I eventually found the anonymity comforting, and appreciated that I was never approached or spoken to by him or any of his staff.

Similarly to the Landmark Forum, which I have also done, there are many things of value that can be taken from this mans performances. My concern is that a lot of people in that workshop did not have their critical thinking activated, and will not realize that was what they were witnessing, and will identify this man with a power he has not earned.

Sunday late night: Preparing for a long soak in a salted bath after enjoying an excellent homecooked meal with great friends. Fookyeah.

I liked a lot of things about the portion of Qi Revolution that I took, but none of them were the things that I was expecting to get based off the information I’d received in the mail. I went to a qigong workshop and ended up getting a food refresher by learning about Jeff Pirmack’s take on nutrition.

That said, it is clear that a tremendous about of work, planning and thought has gone into the various presentations that Jeff chooses to teach, and they are presented well. It is my opinion that there can be something for everyone in the first two days of this very affordable CE course. If he’s a swindler, he’s a pretty cool one, and I can think of a lot of people doing a lot more damage out there than this guy.

One of the most valuable elements of this experience for me was the connection I had with myself and my limits. Looking at the event-lineup on the website (note: There is no syllabus or paperwork regarding the course offered at this workshop) I am even more pleased with my decision to take my leave when I did. It appears as though the last two days revolve mainly around the 9-Breath exercise, which was being described in the course as a direct descendant of the “Breathing Empowerment” exercise.

Here’s a video showing a bit of what Jeff talks about that I agree with, portions of which I have found to be true in my life experience and other elements of my health/healer education. Here’s another one. I have a lot of notes that I plan to keep from this portion of the workshop, which I didn’t even realize I would be getting.

Jeffs courses are affordable. His materials, books, DVD’s, are all top quality productions and also affordable. Though some of his methods don’t jive with me, I still like him, and I expect after this writeup I will remain quiet and neutral about what he’s out there doing in the world. I will be contemplating many of the things I learned and discovered myself through attending his workshop for a long time and I found the experience valuable.

But really, I can’t help but say, in closing; to all the people who are still in Tacoma at the Qi Revolution workshop: Namaste, suckers. :P

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Confucius

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

Not that I am generally asked, but if I were to give artsy learn-from-my-experience advice, I think the point I would stress the most is: Just keep going. Even when you think everything you do is shit. Even when your gear fucking breaks. Even when you’re ripping hours worth of work off stretcher bars because resin won’t harden unless you buy it dinner and milk its dick dry with your foot webbing. Even when you’re convinced all this stuff you’re putting your money and energy and time into won’t make you a fucking penny in return. Even when you think you fucking suck. Just keep going, and eventually all that dumb shit will pass, and you’ll be satisfied with your work again.

If you are in the suck and don’t keep going, or if you do set your canvases on fucking fire and destroy everything, or if you do dump your manuscript in the trash, THAT is when things really start to suck. Once you done wiped out your work, you’ve erased the possibility of ever proving yourself wrong. And wanting to be proven wrong is really why you’re so pissed. Isn’t it?

So, think you suck. Think your work sucks. Think the world sucks, think art sucks, hate your music, hate your novel, hate hate hate. Fuck art up its fucking dickhole. Just, you know, keep going. Even if it’s just a crawl, or holding your puny angsty ground.

That’s how I’m doing it, anyway.

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

“Sometimes life is hard. Things go wrong. In life and in love and in business and in friendship and in all the other ways life can go wrong. And when things get tough, this is what you should do: Make. Good. Art. Husband runs off with a politician…make good art. Legs crushed and then eaten by a mutated boa constrictor…make good art. IRS on your trail…make good art. Cat exploded…make good art. Someone on the internet things what you’re doing is stupid or evil or it’s all been done before…make good art. Do what only you can do best…make good art.” –Neil Gaimain