Saturday, July 30, 2005

John Hiatt at Bele Chere

John Hiatt at Bele Chere
Originally uploaded by mygothlaundry.
This is the clearest picture but I couldn't quite get the way the sky behind him was striped pink and orange. I love John Hiatt - I'd been looking forward to this concert for months. But I forgot it was Bele Chere and the yahoos would be out in force. I had to leave after 5 songs - can't handle crowds like that. Still it was great - he is so wonderful in concert.

Drunk and Blogging

Okay, I'm drunk. I freely admit it. And now I'm going to treat us all to a lot of drunken meandering about my evening and what it all means.

I was sick all day with that odd hangover-like thing I get sometimes about 10 days before my period. Nausea, sore throat, dizziness, low fever. Fuck that shit, I went on downtown to Bele Chere: because my man, or one of my men, John Hiatt was playing. It was really great and I got some good pictures and tried desperately to audio blog but it's damn near impossible if you can't hear the prompts and well, whatever. I love the man and he played Cry Love, which is the song that got me through my divorce from M's father, and then the crowds got to be too much for me (I can't handle it if I can't see an exit that I can clearly get to, and that counts for outdoor festivals too, thanks) so I left.

And then all was golden, and I met my friend D at the VIP tent and hung out there drinking free beer, leaning over the fence and counting mullets, teen mothers and white dreads for a while. Left that, got some red curry at the Doc Cheys tent and walked through the festival eating my curry with chopsticks and feeling really terrifyingly cool. Drove on over to the Westville. Got a beer at the bar, sauntered out and saw

G, the guy I had a one night stand with on St. Patrick's Day. Sitting with another G, this artist I know from the museum. I was still very cool so I sat down - they were all happy to see me and shit, yeah real happy - and then other friends showed up. So we drank a bunch of beer. Well, me and my friends did, because after that, G didn't acknowledge my existence all night.

So okay. It was good mostly and jesus, fucking awful also. I ran into this guy I know a little, who I see about twice or maybe three times a year, and we always get into these massive intellectual new age oddity conversations. He made a bit of a play for me a while back and I politely put him off. Tonight, ignored completely by G the ONS boy I said, "hey, why don't you call me sometime?" And he politely but firmly said, "No." Well he said some things about, well, we see each other enough here at the bar and I'm very busy and well, honey, no."

Great. Jesus, it's fucking impossible, you know?

So I sat back down with my friends and G-one-night-stand-boy who has this whole time ignored me in favor of an extremely drunken and increasingly senseless argument about the virtues of the self taught artist versus the trained variety. I tried to talk to them and that was an exercise in complete futility. They were very drunk but also G-one-night-stand-boy really wouldn't hear me. It was like I just wasn't there. At least the other G acknowledged my existence.

I don't really think it's asking too much for someone you've slept with to acknowledge your existence. Maybe I'm old fashioned. Maybe I'm a fucking fool.

So instead I talked to D about the weird feeling that you get when you go back to your ancestral lands. We've both been to Ireland and he's soon taking his son there - we know that odd, unsettling click that your soul or DNA makes when it hits that previously unknown home ground. We tried to explain it to J. Now if I ever get a million dollars I know one thing: I'm taking J to Poland. So she will know. Which is worthy of it's own entire blog post, becuase it is strange and beautiful.

Meanwhile, you know, what the fuck? I slept with this guy and we had what I thought was a meaningful encounter? Okay, more than once. Like, four times. And all good.

And let's face it. I just dumped somebody after date #1 because I saw huge trouble ahead, and because, I guess, I'm not interested in guys who are interested in me. All three of them. It hurts sometimes to be so goddamn alone. I walked all night through Bele Chere alone, I got there alone, I left alone, I went alone to the pub, I left alone, I do everything alone. Which is okay, I like being alone. I do alone well. I'm happy there - I don't even like having people around that much.

But I would like to try again, someday, having somebody around.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

down by the river drawing

down by the river drawing
Originally uploaded by mygothlaundry.
I actually got my shit together enough to do a drawing. And here it is. I kind of like it actually. Hopefully too it's the start of me going back to making art - it's time. Too many years of doing fuck all. Meanwhile, art historians please not that this marks the debut of Jackson as the dog in my paintings - used to be Toby, sigh.

James McMurtry

is as a god. You may have gathered that I hold this opinion from certain other posts on this blog. He's right up there with Nicolas Cage & RB Morris on my personal stuck on a desert island with list. Here is his new protest song: We Can't Make It Here Anymore. Play it. As usual I love it, agree with it, and it is most awesome, although not, well, uplifting. Hee. But then who wants uplifting? Also, this site has downloads of more of his recent music. Check it out. Than go buy the CD when it comes out. Hell, go buy all his CDs, support great music, brilliant songwriting and dark humor. This is my fangirl rant for the day - I love love love James McMurtry. I even have his picture in my bedroom: because I am at heart a 13 year old. Which you may have already guessed.

However, surfing along through the various fan comments on his site I was surprised at how many ranting right wing dittoheads were complaining about his politics. James (may I call you James? Thank you. Shaken, not stirred.) has never, to me at least, come across as either apolitical or a right wing moron apologist and it seems kind of remarkable to me that he would count a bunch of them among his fans. OTOH, I can see where it must be tough to be a Republican who likes music. Good music isn't made by the right wing - creativity, talent & brains don't seem to be a natural fit with the Bush administration, after all. If they want music, or art, or movies, they have to listen to us, hee hee, but then they complain bitterly about getting politics mixed in with their music. God save us from content, I guess. Let's not have any content in our entertainment. Please let's never think. Let's leave the content up to Karl Rove & his ilk: content should come direct from the Diktator, otherwise it's disloyal. Sometimes I hate this century. And no, we can't make it here anymore.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Bankrupt & Unemployed: Actually, It's Pretty Cool

I went to bankruptcy court today. I was nervous as hell so I made sure to go out last night and drink a little too much so that I'd be all, you know, pale and shaky and hungover. I wanted to look & feel my best in preparation for the Group W bench, or, in my case, the Chapter 7 Bench.

Aside: This is why I love my city. Last night I went with my best friend J to the 48 Hour Film Project showing at Asheville Pizza & Brewing Company. She & her coworkers had made a film that was in the project. The films were all great (really. Seriously. And I was dreading it, because I was sure they would suck. I mean, you know, 12 7 minute films made by amateurs in 48 hours? Sounds godawful.) and then I went over to the Grey Eagle to see RB Morris, (who currently has the half of my heart that isn't devoted to James McMurtry) Sean Mullins and Tyler Ramsay. Free. All free, except for the beer. In what other town could you do all that on a Tuesday night and also run into some old friends you haven't seen for a while and hear new gossip and just generally have a great time? There is no other town like this. Also, PBR draft is only like $2.50 everywhere. Cigarettes are cheap as well. It's a good town to be bad in.

Return to main post: At any rate, I found the courthouse and went inside. I was running a little late and I had never read the papers my lawyer sent me (bad Fliss! Bad bad Fliss!) so I tried to skim them at red lights (more badness! augh!) but there was nothing in there I hadn't seen before. Fortunately. The security guards made me take off my shoes and walk barefoot through the metal detector (mental note: don't wear Danskos to fly; apparently they have metal in the soles) and assured me that the digital flash card in my purse would be okay. They were older and came over all fatherly, which is an effect I have on men of a certain generation. I think it has to do with being scared of authority or something. Or maybe it's my ancestral peat bog pallor. Anyway they were very sweet and gave me lots of helpful advice and directions and didn't even look scornful or shocked when I said I needed to go to bankruptcy court.

Than I sat in the courtroom and listened to all the other people going bankrupt, and there were a lot of them. I am not alone in my hideous mismanagement of money. In fact, there was a local business owner there, hmmm. Who I happen to know is holding some paintings of a friend of mine on consignment. That was a little worrisome. There were two people who didn't have lawyers: the judge found problems with their papers and sent them away. I had no problems; apparently I am completely eligible to be bankrupt and in fact my sad status elicited sighs of pity and wishes for good luck to me from the judge. I was up in front of him for less than 10 minutes and that was it: all over and I'm officially bankrupt.

It was all very undramatic. I was expecting more shame, more opprobrium, more wailing and gnashing of teeth. At the very least I thought I would be firmly scolded by the judge. But no, nothing like that. And no wigs, of course, no robes, no pageantry of any kind unless you count the ritual removal of the shoes at the entrance. It's too bad, in a way: I think court should be more like church, more like medieval church even, not modern church. The lights should be dim, there should be hooded acolytes and lots of latin. We should all be properly awed. Alas, however, this is the modern age. I did have to put my left hand on the bible & hold up my right hand and swear that I was telling the truth, just like a thousand thousand movies and TV shows. That felt strange; I think I'd rather swear on the Encyclopaedia Britannica or some book that means a bit more to me. Maybe Faulkner; I can kind of see swearing on Absalom, Absalom.

So, it's really hot and I'm bankrupt & unemployed. I think I'll make cucumber yogurt soup for dinner. Things are okay!

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Lovely Timewasters

Planarity. Untangle the strings. I can only go through level four, because after that I get frustrated, but levels one through four are just so oddly satisfying.
Jigzone. I specialize in landscapes, 80 piece classic cut. I blame my carpal tunnel issues on this site.
The bubble game. Soothingly simple, goes on for hours, I can almost always win it. Ahhhh.
Alchemy. I'm kind of over this one, I did it to the nth degree a few years ago.

Ahhhhhhhh lovely. Timewasting games. Brain soothers. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Me yesterday

fliss beer july 05
Originally uploaded by mygothlaundry.
Me today is kind of hungover. My friends C & S were in town from Baltimore; S took this with his camera phone. We went to the Southern Highlands Craft Guild show (note the glamourous new earrings I can't afford but god, they're so beautiful) and then to Asheville Pizza & Brewing's new brewery tasting room. Good beer, fun place, etc - and then we came home & grilled & drank mojitos. Today I haven't been much use. Still it was great to see them!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

craggy wilbur

craggy wilbur
Originally uploaded by mygothlaundry.
This is Wilbur, the pig who was being walked by his family up on the Parkway this afternoon. I'm glad they let me take a picture, because otherwise noone, including me, would have believed it.

Joblessness is Underrated

Unemployment is the shit, man. This is awesome. I am having the best day. I know that soon the novelty will fade and the poverty will start to be irksome, but in the meantime, it is absolutely incredible to wake up on a beautiful morning and not have to go be trapped miserable in an office for 8 or more hours.

It's beautiful today, the nicest day all summer, not humid & hot & horrible, miraculously not raining (so far but it's about to kick in) - just sunny & breezy & about 82 degrees. So I took Theo up on the parkway to Craggy Gardens. It was absolutely lovely up there and it just felt so right to be back out in the woods by myself. I've been a little low on solitude lately. On the way up we stopped at the scenic overlooks and at one of them was this great Asheville character: the Shofar Man. At least that's how I think of him. He's an older black guy, very nice, who goes around to various scenic spots and blows on this incredible long rams horn. I used to see him at the river park early in the mornings; he used to drive a cab (or maybe he still does) and he would stop at about 7:00 am to blow his shofar over the river as the sun rose. It was beautiful and eerie. So there he was today, without his cab, blowing the shofar over the scenic overlooks on the Parkway.

The hike up to the top of Craggy Gardens was gorgeous; I took many pictures and Theo had a wonderful bouncing time. There were rabbits to smell and lots of nice friendly people. Craggy is crowded, yes, but less so on a Wednesday than on the weekends - and anyway, the crowded spots off the parkway have less bears, which I like in a trail. We came back down to the parking lot and some people were emerging from another trailhead with. . . the ugliest dog in the world. Or so I thought at first. Then I thought, that's a baby rhino! They have a baby rhino! But no, they had a pig. On a leash. With a harness. A big pig. Named, of course, Wilbur. "That isn't a dog." I said to them. "No," said the guy, "It's a wild boar we just found." They were very nice and let me take a picture of Wilbur which I will post here momentarily. They said they were going to go home and give Wilbur a bath, since he kept wanting to root in all the mud. It was adorable.

And to cap it all off, there was an extremely cute park ranger type guy there who was watching the pig, than turned to watch me, gave me a big smile and said hello. Then James McMurtry came on the radio as I left and everything was really good. I like this feeling.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Unemployment: The Reality Show and the New Harry Potter

Unemployment is going to give me almost $300 a week!! Whoot! I am all, like, happy now! Except for the panicky feeling, that is. But really, that's nearly what I was making and now I don't have to go to work. So I am thinking I will do all these really great wonderful things: write a book, make art, go camping by myself and possibly even go on some kind of half assed vision quest - you know, the whole thing. Self realization & creativity, hooray!

That was yesterday. To complete my vision quest yesterday I went and bought some new underwear and rented two more discs from the first season of Angel. Yeah vision. They're really cute underwear from Victoria's Secret. Since I have no job and no boyfriend, I need such things. Hmmm. Perhaps this isn't going so well after all.

Then I dreamt last night that I was a vampire, and not a nice one like Angel either. I was your basic total evil vampire (albeit much sexier than that picture) and perfectly happy about it. Actually it was fun. Now I'm worried that perhaps this forebodes some appearance of total evil in my soul, or, I've been evil all along and just haven't noticed! Bwah ha ha ha ha ha. Although then you would think I'd be rich with a castle and tank full of sharks and all the other beautiful accoutrements of evil.

Maybe that's what I'll do with my spare time - create an evil empire of doom. As opposed to lying on my bed reading bad sci fi novels. I read the new Harry Potter in about 6 hours on Sunday: we are not amused. No, we are not amused at all. If I was weirder than I in fact am, I would be tempted to rewrite it on the internet. Or actually I'd go back and start rewriting with the last book, since Sirius Black is the first fictional character I've been desperately in love with since Zonker Harris, and when Sirius died I was heartbroken. My feelings for Zonker, on the other hand, have just kind of faded over time. I grew and he didn't. Or something. But at any rate, JK Rowling, who I admire desperately, being as that I am also a poor single mother with a tendency to type a lot, has, in her last book, set herself up to write a whole bunch more Harry Potter books and they keep getting further apart, and, sorry, worse. She's a bazillionaire now, why try to extend the franchise? Unless she's in love with her characters, but given that she keeps killing off the most interesting ones, I find that difficult to believe. So, JK, I am peeved. Not only wasn't the book that good, there wasn't enough of it!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Holy Shit - Impoverished Lady of Leisure

I've been laid off. As of 45 minutes ago. My position has been discontinued. This isn't really a shock - I've kind of been expecting it for two months. Wait, what am I saying? FUCK YEAH IT'S A SHOCK! I'm freaking out - quietly. I've never been laid off before. Now I have to go apply for unemployment. Holy, holy shit. Now I HAVE to find a new job and fast. Now. . now things are different. Now I have a theme for my party on Saturday: it's called the Felicity's Been Laid Off Party. Holy jesus fuck, sweet mary & all the blessed saints. Or something. Whoa. Instant poverty, just add weirdness.

To top the strangeness of it all, today my boss had me go pick up his kids & drive them to the pediatrician's office. And then I was thinking I would quit. And then I got laid off. And then my boss and I got into a terminally strange conversation about relationships. But I didn't wig out, I just came home. I have to go back in tomorrow & get all my stuff & tie up loose ends & then that's it. It's all over.

I knew I should never have gone back into restaurants. But, you know, he could have been an asshole about it and fired me - some evil bosses would have. There is no recourse when that happens. Instead he nicely terminated the position and laid me off so I'm eligible for unemployment. I should be thankful. I am thankful. I am FREAKING OUT.

Gross Post on Menstrual Misadventures

You have been warned. This is gonna get graphic.

Last night I went on a date. It was the first date I have been on since April 2003 and so I was nervous. I was also nervous because, while I genuinely like this guy, I don't really feel those sort of jittery I'm-going-to-fall-in-love emotions about him. I feel kind of guilty for going out on a date with him, if you want the actual and literal truth. He's really nice & we had a good time. However. I was nervous, also slightly hungover because I had gone out & drunk a bunch of beer the night before, being as I was so nervous and all, and then I got my period, so I was crampy and cranky too. A charming concatenation of circumstances, really. Leading to me being at my best as you can well imagine.

We went to Carrabbas, which is a chain Italian restaurant; it was actually pretty good. After we had a drink & an appetizer, I went to the ladies room. It was almost too late. I looked down at the floor in the ladies' room and there were four quarter sized puddles of blood. Oh yeah! So I started cleaning myself up, hoping against hope that my long walk to the ladies' room had not been marked by a bloody trail. Toilet paper is completely inadequate for this task, because it just gets all scrumply and then turns into little beads. Before the bead stage it smears the blood around, making the whole thing worse. It was beyond gross - the stall soon began to look like I had slaughtered a goat or something. Which, you know, is the sort of thing that can happen at any time in the ladies room at Carrabbas, where they feature an endless tape of Italian to British language lesson. I don't think I'll ever need to say "I'll have those trousers!" in Italian. At least I hope not - but if I do, I know how now. Although new trousers would have been handy, if difficult to explain, last night. I was wearing a black sundress, thank god, since I almost wore a white one. There was blood on my legs and probably on the back of the dress, but fortunately I don't think it was visible.

You'd think that by my age I'd be immune to menstrual mishaps like these, but alas they get even worse as you get older. Gah. I walked back to the table watching the floor all the way: it was miraculously clean and nobody pointed at me and shouted, "There she is! The bleeder!" The rest of the evening was uneventful, more or less. Just as long as I didn't bleed in his car - now that would be gross, and I'm sure, since he's a gentleman, he would never mention it. Although he'd be squicked out about me forevermore.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Big Fun in Little Asheville

Or something. Actually fun is stretching it a bit. My ex husband the loony was in town. He brought M back for his doctor's appointment and ended up staying for a couple of days. We're all very civilized and hippie around here after all. My x is sober now and even more of a conspiracy theorist than he used to be. He's still a monologuist; he hasn't changed, I haven't changed - or have we? Maybe we've intensified. Maybe we're more us, and completely antithetical. He's single again now too - before I saw him again I toyed (extremely briefly!) with the idea that maybe we could be one of those couples who get back together 10 years later. The minute I saw him that idea was out the window, forever. Not because he's unattractive, because he's still a good looking bastard, but because seeing him makes me remember just how bad it was. And it was very bad, oh very bad, very bad indeed.

So last night we had dinner at home together, which was eerie and surreal, then went to see Being There at the Walk In Theatre. It wasn't a very good choice for walk in theater: it was crowded and the sound was all blurry. We sat behind a couple in their early thirties: they were very affectionate and she was expecting. It made me feel weird - as if they were us 14 years ago, in love, pregnant with M. And I didn't want to curse them or anything by being so utterly divorced - so utterly that it's hard if not impossible for me to even remember what I ever, ever saw in the X.

M & the X left early; A & I went to the Westville & drank beer & smoked cigarettes and discussed how much we didn't want to go home. But eventually we did, and then he & M left for West Virginia today, and M will have to figure out his relationship with his father on his own.

Poor A's friends have all deserted her somehow and she is relying on me for companionship. Leaving entirely aside the question of whether it's healthy to go out drinking & smoking with your 22 year old daughter on a regular basis (I think maybe it's not), I'm starting to feel like we're dating. For one thing, I have to buy everything since she doesn't have a job, and then we've taken to going out almost every night. Tonight we had dinner at Taqueria Fast & then went to a ball game. You can't smoke at the ballpark anymore - suckage!! - and the first place we went to sit we were chased off by an extremely nasty Xtian man who told us officiously that this was the FAMILY area with NO alcohol allowed. The ball game was fun, but not worth that. Than A wanted to go out again but I said no, I can't afford it - which I can't - and then I felt guilty, like I was letting my SO down. This is nuts.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


That is all.

Wait, no, actually, that isn't all. If that's all I will just have to throw myself out the window into the endless & eternal rain. I swear though - if I spend any more time on the internets I will throw myself out a window. And yet I can't look away. So here are some random paragraph-ettes.

I have nothing to do. If I ask my boss for something to do he will tell me to do something like mop an already mopped floor or something completely insane like go to his house, pick up his laundry and do it. I wish I was kidding - he's crazy like that. Or he's just plain crazy, you pick.

I just put ads for Jackson up all over every single damn adopt/rescue dog site I could find. That, and reading the coon hunting sites, kept me busy for a while. Whoot coon hunting! Rah! Actually catch & release coon hunting sounds kind of like fun - although, come to think of it, the last time I chased Jackson through the night woods I was not too happy about it.

There's a hurricane coming. Great & terrific. M & his father are supposed to be driving down here through the worst of it tomorrow or tonight. And then there's another one coming in a week or two, just like last September, which was supposed to be so weird and once in a century and all. Go global warming! Rock on!

My friend A who moved to Illinois last fall is in town & the arrangements to go get a drink with her & some other friends have involved too many phone calls. Why is it never easy? But it will all be worth it to see her except that it will bring up the painful truth that she doesn't live here anymore.

And I think I want a basset hound.


Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Baltimore Fugue

I went to Baltimore for four days. I lived there for about 12 years, all told, with a two year break in the middle where I lived in the East Village and tried to be a famous artist. My son was born in Baltimore; I was married and divorced there; I still have many close forever friends there. I moved away five years ago and I hardly ever go back - time, and money, and jesus, who wants to go to Baltimore in the summer anyway? Or any time - I miss the people but I have managed not to miss the city. Hearing my friends say, "well, we don't watch the fireworks from N's roof anymore because the random gunfire has gotten so out of control" and seeing the bloodstains on the sidewalk in front of N's house from a stabbing Friday night - well, Baltimore is just a bit much for me. I'm a wimp these days.

It was weird and lovely, both at the same time. I drove in through the harbor and went across Pratt Street to Butcher's Hill where most of my friends live and I got dizzy and felt high; a dream of brick rowhouses, an overwhelming sink of memory and time. I don't know if place hits other people this hard; I suspect it doesn't, but going anywhere I used to be throws me into this strange state. Smell and light and color and sound - it's almost overpowering and I begin to forget who I am. I get disoriented and a little lost in time as well as space. I think I root myself too much in places; comes from a peripatetic childhood.

So I was there and I saw a lot of old friends and a couple of ex lovers, which went mostly well. I got drunk the first night and subsequently had about the worst hangover of my life: embarrassing, throwing up all day in N's top floor - thank the gods for A & his handily installed toilet in the bedroom. I thought I was dying of heatstroke and hangover, but I survived. I took a lot of pictures from rooftops, which you can see by clicking on the friendly flickr link on the right hand side. I had a crab cake sub at the Sip N' Bite and mussels at John Stevens and a soft crab sandwich on thick terrifyingly white bread at J. Patricks. I bought a dress at Value Village in Highlandtown. I walked through Patterson Park. I drove by my old house. I walked around Fells Point. I saw a lot of my old art, and that was disorienting - my art is hanging in my friends' houses and every time I rounded a corner I was confronted with it, from paintings & drawings to coffee mugs I decorated, photos I took. I have forgotten that I used to be an artist. But I was, and there was proof all over the place.

Now I'm home. It's a 9 hour drive, up 26 to 81 to 70 to get there, reversing it on the way back with the half remembered shortcut through Leakin Park to get to 70. I am dizzy again and I'm not quite sure who or where I am. My house smells & is disgusting; I have to go to work in the morning; I have a dog to get rid of and a life to pick up. But it feels now like half of me is still in Baltimore; part of me hasn't caught up yet. Or maybe part of me is always there, the part that's an artist.

Monday, July 04, 2005

fliss painting mid 90s

fliss painting mid 90s
Originally uploaded by mygothlaundry.
My friend N had this in her living room, stacked behind other paintings. I had forgotten about it altogether, but here it is, complete with Felicity's customary themes: buildings without windows, a dog, a mask. All that's missing is a car and a tree. I have forgotten what it was ever called - the Rise of Communism over Baltimore maybe?