Monday, April 30, 2007

project 365 #119: first butterfly

A lot of big heavy thoughts and decisions for a hungover Monday. I'm not buying a house after all, or certainly not a certain house on Spooks Branch Road, for all that I really would love to live on a street with the euphonious name of Spooks Branch. However, good sense won out and I realized that I didn't want to leave my neighborhood and end up in a house that was collapsing around my ears for lack of actual money and time to fix it up. It's in worse shape than I thought and so I'm possibly/probably renting a little house about 4 blocks from this one. I have an application in, anyway.

Big changes are all afoot here and it's weird as fuck and I'm tired and not handling the whole stress and move and leavetaking and all that particularly well. However, do not forget that I'm having a party on Friday night and you had damn well better be here or I will be miffed.

project 365 #118: loquacious

At Pack Place on Sunday - my friend Jason, who is visiting from San Francisco, which is apparently located in an entirely different universe than any of us inhabit. I had long thought as much but he's actually handling the chaos of my house and the vortex of Asheville with admirable aplomb. He got here after days on a Greyhound bus at around 10 am Saturday, at which point we all began drinking vodka and smoking heavily and that, although not the vodka, which we ran out of and had to supplement with PBR, kept us going into Sunday night. I took him for a walk around downtown and did the obligatory tourist thing, or part of it, the part without the waterfalls anyway. It's always kind of cool to see your own city through new eyes and thus I must now push the DILOA exhibit, which is currently on view at the Pack Library downtown and which I personally have not yet seen but intend to tomorrow and in which I have five photos. So go see it. My picture of BJs is up and when I was in there this evening buying Yuengling and Klondike bars (two great tastes, etc.) the BJs guy whose name I can never remember told me that people had already come in to tell him that his picture was up on the wall of the library.

Also. PARTY. Friday. A party to which you will come and leave with much nifty stuff in hand and then I can start packing in earnest.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Project 365 #118: old paintings with theo

So I'm cleaning out the shed and I pulled out all my old paintings from way back in the day when I used to paint big, some of which I had completely forgotten. The top one here is the painting that I was in a movie about Charleston artists and it used to have broken glass all over it. The poem is Snorri Sturlesons' Prose Edda, which I had recently discovered and decided accurately foretold the end of the world by nuclear holocaust. It was, after all, the 80s and all this was extremely Deep and Meaningful because I was in my 20s.

Moving brings all the old strange stuff to the surface and it's interesting.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

project 365 #117: montford park

Yesterday I went over to my friend J's apartment in palatial Montford and we went for a walk - well, okay, we walked down to the store to buy some more beer and then walked back, but hey, that counts. On the way back we stepped into the edge of Montford Park, where I actually had never been before and took a picture of this tree.

My other friend J is going to be here momentarily or in like an hour - he's in Waynesville, which would take me 30 minutes to drive to, but the bus will take a bit longer. I'm so nervous I could, oh, I don't know, wake up at 6:45 and clean the bathroom to within an inch of its life. Or possibly, having decided that I must wear my favorite shirt (my favorite shirt is this long sleeved gray t-shirt with a V neck that I made into an Escher shirt by virtue of downloading that Escher with the round reflecting ball and printing it onto a decal and ironing it onto said shirt, thus covering up the grease stains nicely. ) try on about 400 iterations of other things with this shirt, all of which make me look hideously fat, whimper, toss all my laundry around the room, vow to diet, whimper more and finally slam myself into a pair of jeans, remarking, "Self, it doesn't matter how fat you look when you have a huge goddamn zit like that on your chin. The zit completely takes the eye away from the mufffin top over the jeans." This is not the kind of thing my therapist thinks I should say to myself but, well, I'm nervous.

I don't think he's an axe murderer - I've actually met lots of people from the internets over the years and I haven't been axe murdered yet, nor have I axe murdered anyone, although I have thought about it, but not, oddly enough, in conjunction with people on the internet, more about people in traffic and at work and stuff like that. Or possibly members of my family. So I think all this internet axe murdering stuff is overblown. And I'm pretty damn sure that J is not the axe murderer type. But he is Californian, and I have it on good authority, namely, like, reliable media sources such as Fox and the Weekly World News, that you never know what one of them weirdo left coasters might do.

Friday, April 27, 2007

project 365 #116: nightskycoxeave

Last night I filled in as co host for Drinking Liberally since my friend S is out of town and my friend A had an experimental music gig (I was going to go over there, A, honest I was, but then. . it got late. . . I suck. . . ) and, while it was kind of a small turnout, it was fun because we got to watch the "debates." Of the democratic candidates for president, of whom there are a lot, despite the fact that the goddamn election is over a year and a half away and this constant damn campaigning is getting ridiculous. Now, these were not debates as I understand the term; they were more like a game show or a panel discussion or a really short interview with lots of people, but it was interesting all the same. For one thing, it introduced me to the redoubtable Senator Mike Gravel and, forgive the pun, but Gravel Rocks. (I made that up! That is my meme! Laugh!) He does, though. Rock, I mean. We were literally standing up and cheering him wildly - among other things, the man came out against the military/industrial complex and so I, for one, am totally madly deeply in love with him. I want him to be our next president.

The thing is, at the last election the stupid Dems chickened out and refused to nominate anyone who they thought was in the least confrontational or controversial or anything, really, but bland and annoying and wishy washy. They said someone angry and tough, like Dean, or visionary and smart, like Kucinich, couldn't get elected and I went along with them because I thought they had a handle on this thing called realpolitik which I, a humble dreamer who is only even interested in politics in occasional spurts, do not. Well, fuck that. I'm not going along anymore. I want someone angry. I want someone controversial and pissed off who's not afraid to alienate people and ignore his handlers and speak his mind. Not a slick politician like John "Did I Mention That Daddy was a Millworker" Edwards or a tough politician like Hilary "Pearl Collar = Bad, Bad Fashion Choice" Clinton or Barack "I really like him but I don't think he's ready for the presidency just yet" Obama or Whatsisname "Did he really just say that if he'd been in charge at the Bay of Pigs he'd have nuked Cuba? He didn't really just say that, did he? Holy Shit." Richardson or any of the other old party hacks like Dodd, or, for gods' sake, Biden. Joe? Earth to Joe Biden? The original election jokes about you weren't funny when I was in high school, Joe. That was a loooong time ago. This is not the Academy Awards. No one is going to give you a lifetime achievement award for running in every fucking primary since the Taft administration. Give it up. Go back to Delaware and drink yourself to death like a good hack, okay?

There is, of course, a school of thought that says that the last election - and, in fact, most of them - were masterminded by the Demopublicans/Republocrats/Evil Corporatocracy Lizard Overlords of Cthulhu which is why we ended up with a shlump like Kerry as a nominee and while I do not often don a tin foil hat, sometimes I think they're right. However. Let's hope they don't do it again. Maybe this time we will free ourselves from the terrible grip of the evil lizard people with their paranoid reptilian brains and actually end up with a reasonable government. Maybe this time we can not listen to them when they say that a person with an actual functioning independently thinking brain cannot be elected and so we all have to go out and vote hopelessly for the robot. Maybe this time the electoral college will be turned into a purely ceremonial thing (hopefully involving horses and lots of gold braid and funny hats) and the Diebold machines will not skew to the right and the Bush dynasty, having pissed off their demonic master, will vanish in a puff of evil scented smoke and the Christians will come to their senses and realize that Jesus didn't advocate hatred and/or running the country and everyone will finally get a grip on the simple, basic fact that if somebody's sex life doesn't involve you, your kids or your dog, then it is None. Of. Your. Business who the hell people sleep with or marry and also that if every child was a wanted child, this damn world would be one fucking hell of a lot better and everything we can do to get ourselves in that direction is a good thing. One can always hope, right?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

project 365 #115: dandelion fluff

Work, work and more work. And then there's something else going on that I wasn't going to blog about but, well, fuck that: y'all might as well be privy to the fact that I'm soon going to be interviewing a candidate for the position of my boyfriend. I had to import him from California, but I think he might just work out fine. You know, I try to buy local, shop local, date local - but sometimes the local talent just doesn't cut it and you have to go foreign. It's a shame; I blame Wal Mart. So,, some of us occasionally have to Import a guy to get the groove back.

Anyway, all joking aside, a good friend of mine is riding Grayhound across this great land of ours, seeing the sights through a haze of tweakers, diesel fumes and pure exhaustion and experiencing travel in America the way the forgotten poor do. Since, uh, we both are the forgotten poor, that seems appropriate. Besides, it's amazingly cool and, much as I have never been west, he's never been east, so culture shock is probably in store for both of us.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Iproject 365 #114: orange

Iproject 365 #114: orange
Originally uploaded by mygothlaundry.
So, it's Tuesday, and in keeping with the general theme of Tuesdays past, I went out and got a wee bit tipsy. Bourbon on sale - what are you going to do? I got tipsy enough where I delivered a rant against gentrification, developers, the perniciousness of the rich and the primacy of the working class. At Broadways, it got a standing ovation from the other two people who were there. At home, where it was coupled with a lengthy Marxist diatribe against those parasites of the proletariat (M, n & A) who live on the backs of the working classes (moi) and never do the dishes and apparently don't care when the proletariat (moi) comes home from a long days work and long evening's drinking and nothing around the house, but nothing, is done. This is the moment when the proletariat (moi) flip the fuck out and yell like crazy at the aforementioned parasites (my loved ones.) And then, the proletariat feels horribly guilty and apologizes all around and reminds the parsites that the proletariat loves them above all others and the proletariat will now clean the kitchen. There is a problem with this equation but I'll leave it to the dedicated Marx scholars to spot the logical lapse here.

In other news, everybody think good thoughts about Greyhound buses and how they make their way tirelessly and thanklessly across the country and in particular you might want to think about buses that come from San Francisco to Asheville and think, you know, good thoughts about smooth passages and easy travel about them. Because the goddess knows I am.

Monday, April 23, 2007

project 365 #113: my soon to be ex house

I have had one of those not so good very bad awful gruesome days today. Nothing particularly extreme happened; it's just that I woke up tired as hell with a sore throat and then work was meeting meeting meeting basically all day and then I went to look at that house that I knew I couldn't afford only to discover that a) it sold for the asking price already and b) it's exactly the house I would love to live in and c) I'm going to have to leave my neighborhood and it's no good thinking that there's any way I'm going to be able to stay here and it makes me want to cry or scream or rant or throw things or possibly strap on some Doc Martens and kick me some yuppie ass. I ran into a couple of friends at the Ingles (another reason for the bad mood - the weekly gigandor Ingles trip) and that just reminded me of how much I love living here and how many friends I have here and fuck, I'm going to have to move out of my comfy west asheville enclave and go to a whole new neighborhood because. . .

Because, in a story that has been repeated many, many times in the history of the world, I'm an artist and I moved here back before West Asheville got cool and hip and yet then more people moved here and more and then more and all of a sudden there were people with more money than I'll ever have buying up everything in the neighborhood and so now I have to leave. God fucking damn it. I should probably go back to Baltimore or somewhere similarly unscenic - Detroit? South Dakota? - where noone with any money wants to live and give up on the lovely garden spots of this world.

Maybe I'll be able to come back to Asheville one day after the developers have finally killed off this egg laying goose and the derelicts and feral street children with tattooed faces and Uzis are living in the ridgetop McMansions and the wailing of the yuppies can be heard throughout the cracked pavement that covers each and every inch of what was once a small valley in the mountains. I am living for this day, when I'll roll into town in black leather and spikes in my specially reinforced Saturn station wagon with my own feral children leaning out the window manning the grenade throwers and we'll take all the water and oil and go dance with Tina Turner. Or something like that. Clearly, though, black leather and spikes are a growth market and I'm going to go invest my money in canned food and shotguns. I think I can probably afford half a shotgun and a rather largish can of black beans.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

project 365 #112: living room with dogs and bare feet

Catching up - here's today's photo, a sorta lameout taken towards the end of the evening. Today we cleaned up like demons and the guys worked on the basement - if only they had let me take their picture in dust/mold masks made out of a particularly hideous giant Seattle T-shirt that used to belong to my brother. It was bright teal and made oh so attractive masks. But they would not allow photographs, alas. Then I went to a work thing for dinner and now I'm home and being utterly mellow, thus the lameass picture and subsequent lameass blog post.

project 365 #111: emily and emma

I had such great plans this weekend to clean this entire house down to the ground and completely trash out and empty the basement and the shed. Alas, it's 2:00 on Sunday afternoon and, well, we did the dishes yesterday and pulled some stuff out of the basement but that's it. However, I did walk over to my friends Z & H's house and see their lovely garden and then S & I went over to my friend E's (pictured here) and hung out and drank some beers and ate great smoked baby back ribs and it was very nice. So it's not that I haven't had a good weekend - just not a particularly productive one.

Still flipping out over the housing situation; still no changes. E has a friend D who's a real estate agent and she was telling me about a house in this neighborhood that's just listed. The people bought it for $36,000 and they're selling it, two weeks later, for $150,000. She thought I should make an offer for my paltry bit of money - $100,000 - but my real estate agent is less encouraging and the whole damn thing is so effing depressing. Why can't I find a house for 36K? Who the hell sells a house in West Asheville for less than 150K?

And I hate being one of the artists who moves to a cool neighborhood only to be followed by yuppies who then gentrify me way the hell out and complain about the crack whores and put CHAIN theme bars up on Haywood Road in what used to be the smoke filled rooms of Eddie, my favorite grizzled mechanic. Bah.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

project 365 #110: charles and his cool sweatshirt

And yesterday's picture on 4/20 is my good friend C in his amazing WFMU sweatshirt which I totally love. Yes! Eat flaming death, fascist media pigs! By all means! We all went out to drink beer for a while last night but I had to come home early since I suddenly discovered that I was drunk. I hate it when that happens; damn - I'll just be going along drinking beer for several hours and, go figure, I'll get drunk. Amazing.

Then I got home and argued with young M for several hours. He is the most contrary person on the face of the planet and he knows exactly what to say to start me going. He does it for sheer amusement, which I know, but somehow I am unable to stop myself rising to the bait every time, which he knows. Allah preserve us from 15 year olds.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

project 365 #109: goldfinch

project 365 #109: goldfinch
Originally uploaded by mygothlaundry.
And this is today's picture, which I shot out of my mom's kitchen window when a goldfinch alighted upon one of her sadly, miserably frost blighted trees. For my mom, the master gardener, this spring has been a disaster of epic proportions and all I, the clumsy amateur gardener can say about it is damn, it's the silver lining in the giant black cloud that is having to move away from this house because at least I don't have to stay here and acknowledge the death of way too many perennials and trees and shrubs.

How do small birds manage not to get blown away in high winds, anyway? That storm blew my lawn furniture all over the neighborhood: why isn't this finch in Tahiti or somewhere?

project 365 #108: jodis elbow at broadways

And here is yesterday's picture, taken at Broadways where we went after going to inspect the house that I want to buy, that unfortunately somebody else wants to buy as well. Yes, somebody else, who put a contract in on Sunday while I was still dithering about how I didn't want to leave West Asheville. Damn. Well, I have the backup contract, so keep your fingers crossed and think good thoughts about me getting the house and good thoughts about that other person finding a different house that's far more to their liking or something else happening (a good thing, of course, no voodoo dolls unless you insist) that stops them from following through and gives me what my expert friend D, who went over with me to make sure that the house wasn't actually going to fall on my head right away, called a "crappy little house in a good neighborhood." Yes. That's MY crappy little house, motherfucker, and I want it. Not yours. Mine. So think along those lines, oh power of the blogosphere, and let me get it.

In other news, yesterday was N's birthday and I made him a truly awesome t-shirt featuring a completely bootlegged image of Curious George on ether which he likes I think a lot and then took him and M out to dinner at India Garden which was also truly awesome. I believe I have to learn how to cook Indian food now; the only thing I know how to make is an only fairly awesome chicken curry but it's kind of boring and I've made it a million times and I'm ready for truly awesome. It's time to branch out into chicken tikka masala, because I think I could eat that every single day for the rest of my life, except for the days when I was eating palak paneer or rogan josh.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

project 365 #107: shadow boot and beer

A silhouette from the early evening, when S & I were sitting on her porch drinking beer. Good thing I wore my cowboy boots today.

People keep asking me if I'm going to leave Asheville and so far the answer is only if I'm forced out. Which is what seemed to be happening and if you enter that vortex of despair which is the house rental part of the Iwanna Castles & Coves section, as I have for the last 2 weeks (Why don't people just come out and say Woodfin? Why do they say North instead and then hem and haw when they are, in fact, in the center of what passes for red hot swingin' Woodfin?) then you'll be right there with me. Well. I went to see a real estate person and a mortgage broker last week. I was expecting them to say "NO! Are you mad? You cannot buy a house!" and I figured I would be lucky if they didn't say "Begone!" and start waving incense and the Bible around. I hate it when that happens. But, as it turns out, my credit is not anywhere near as bad as I thought it was - my earnest, haphazard efforts to sort of repair it when I'm thinking about it have apparently paid off. So they said, instead, "Felicity, do YOU want to buy a house?" kind of in the manner of Bob Barker and so of course I kind of jumped around in my nifty chair (it's a very shiny office) and said, "Yes! Yes, I do want to buy a vowel house."

Then they told me how much money I could spend on a house and unfortunately it happens to be the equivalent of your newer garden shed - see previous posts re: gentrification, evils thereof. And the first house I went to see, which came complete with Dale Earnhardt shrine in the kitchen, snarling Rottweiler in the backyard and bathroom in imminent danger of complete collapse, reinforced my belief that this whole idea was impossible and crazy to boot.

Today, however, I saw a house that I don't want to jinx by saying anything about (dude. There was a black cat sitting on the roof when I drove up.) because as we all know these things seldom work out. However. If it does? I'll be in Asheville for a while, I think.

Monday, April 16, 2007

project 365 #106: puppies!

project 365 #106: puppies!
Originally uploaded by mygothlaundry.
We went up to Bat Cave to see my friend D, whose little eeny dog Cookie Bob had 5 puppies about 5 weeks ago. I was all prepared for hideous mutant puppies, since Cookie is a yorkie poo and dad is, as far as we know, a dachshund, and I'm not keen on small dogs, but actually they're amazingly cute and friendly and all, you know, puppy-ish. Puppalicious. They make little eeping noises and they wiggle. It's like being mauled by cuteness.

D still has no power and there were branches down all over 74 across Hickory Nut Gap and the wind is still howling madly. I'm glad I don't live up there but then we got lucky here and just had the power flicker a little last night. Then this morning we though M had missed the bus and so I took him to school with all the good humor that entails which is to say, not much, and yelled at him and all and then dropped him crankily off and tore off to start my day listening to loud rock music in the car which is why I felt rather guilty about an hour later when he finally got through to me to tell me that there was a 2 hour delay. Damn. I didn't even think to check.

Gods! Where is the fucking mouse now? What if it goes insane and creeps around doing horrible mouse things all night? Ack, mice! Help!

project 365 #105: django with a toy

It was the day after DILOA and the last thing I wanted to do was take a picture. Then Django came trotting in with this lizardy thing in his mouth and I jumped about 2 feet in the air while simultaneously wondering where the hell he'd found a lizard that big in Asheville. Thank god it was just a toy although once, during M's younger, dragon heavy years, it was kind of a nice toy. All good lizards come to an end.

As I sat down to write this M announced that there was a mouse in the stove. The dogs are useless in this kind of situation. N is not much more enthusiastic about mice than I am - and I'm thoroughly phobic, I admit it - but when pressed he got a butcher knife.
"Not my good knife!" I yelled from the doorway, "Besides, you can't stab a mouse. Catch it in a bowl and let it go."
M tried. There was a thump and a shriek from N. Apparently the mouse has left the stove. So, you know, where is the mouse? Django is snuffling madly around but you know he's going to be useless. Argh. I'm sitting here with my legs up around my ears, flinching every time I hear a creak. I hate mice! God, I hate mice!

project 365 #104: barleys upstairs bar 1

So, here is Saturday's picture of the day. I took over 300 pictures, spent all day Sunday going through them, dumped slightly more than half (yeah, I probably should have dumped more) and uploaded 13 or 14 of them to the DILOA pool and all 129 that I saved to my photostream. My 24 hours is here. If you haven't already, check out at least the group photos; we got some extraordinary shots, although I think the prize totally goes to the two people who ran into a mama bear and cubs - I was all prepared to accuse them of cheating, but no, they just have great luck. Although considering that my Day in the Life of Asheville centered around the bars (NO!?!?! I know, you're shocked. Shocked. Whoda' thunk it?) the appearance of a bear not of the human kind would have been unlikely and even scarier than finding one on top of Town Mountain Road.

So I'm tired and have a sore throat. During this 48 hour marathon - Sunday, seriously was like being at work: I was at the computer from 9:30 to 3:00 and then I had to go drink beer with the other photographers - I smoked 2 and a half packs of cigarettes, drank untold quantities of PBR and a couple of pints of some delicious thing called New South Lager which they have on tap upstairs at Barleys and I heartily recommend and walked through snow, sleet, rain, sunshine and temperatures changing from about 65 to about 30. Ah Asheville and the mountain microclimates: I've never known them so extreme and my gardener friends are all near despair. Weird weather to be sure.

Anyway. Check out DILOA; it rocks; it was tremendous if exhausting fun; great people, new friends and old; and fantastic photographs of freakin' asheville.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

project 365 #103: walk in theatre

Friday night was Walk In Theatre and they were showing one of my favorite movies: Ghostbusters. Shut UP. I don't care what you think, I love Ghostbusters. I love the way Rick Moranis goes around looking for the Keyholder and offers to free the horse and the way Sigourney Weaver's hair is so perfectly bizarrely 80s and Bill Murray who I just love anyway and, suck it haters, I love Ghostbusters. Unfortunately on Friday night it started raining and so they pulled the plug right at the best part.

So I had managed to inveigle my friend J to go with me. I also invited a bunch of other people who made uncomplimentary remarks about the movie, but J, like me, has impeccable taste and so he met me there. When the rain came and we went inside we ran into my friend D who was with a bunch of people playing trivia. I excel at trivia and in fact I think I got every single question right and if they had only listened to me with the true attention due my utterances I bet our team would have won instead of coming in ignominiously somewhere around 5th.

Anyhow, though, I had a great time and then at midnight the DILO Ashevegas project began. Although I had these great plans to just not sleep and take pictures for 24 hours I didn't quite manage that, but I did take over 300 pictures yesterday, which I'm about to go through, one by one in the possibly vain hope that even one of them is good enough to make the final cut for the DILOA thing. We shall see. It was a fun day though and all of this - DILOA, Walk In Theatre, trivia at the pub, made me realize that okay, I probably won't leave Asheville after all. In a little over 24 hours I ran into so many friends of mine and I thought, you know, it's taken me 7 years to get to this point where I know and like a ton of people here - I'm not sure I really want to start over again anywhere else.

Belize is still a possibility though. As is a small booklined cave in Tibet without a phone, where when I call home as I did last night, I don't have to find out that A & J & N are making mudslides in the food processor and M has gone over to a friends house which wouldn't be alarming if he hadn't been clutching a Japanese sword and muttering something.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Project 365 #102: weird wachovia statues

Here's yesterday's photo, taken at dusk at the mysterious Wachovia drive in apparent public art piece on Coxe Avenue. This thing has always fascinated me and I wonder about those strange carved figures, which are oh so WNC and yet. . . not. What are they? Why don't they have some kind of explanation or a text panel? Are they bad customers who got horribly transformed?

I have always suspected that actually, there's a secret passageway underneath it or in the middle of it and Wachovia actually has an entire really cool secret lair under that parking lot. The teller I used to refer to as The Miracle of Modern Makeup, who used to work at the Patton Ave. Wachovia, now works at the drive thru, where I fear her incredible grasp of makeup - lots of makeup, hoo boy - and her unflinchingly coordinated accessories - navy blue polka dot cardigan? Make sure you have the navy polka dot giant hair bow, navy polka dot bracelet, and the navy polka dot scarf too! - go unnoticed.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

project 365 #101: malachite

project 365 #101: malachite
Originally uploaded by mygothlaundry.
I took this for work today: a big beautiful chunk of malachite. That has little or nothing to do with what I'm about to discuss, which is whether or not Asheville has changed for the worse in the past few years. My daughter and I are having this conversation right now and our consensus is yes, it kind of has. There are just so many damn people here now, and it always seems like more than half of them have no visible means of support yet they can afford big fancy giant homes and cars. Where do they work? Where do these people earn their money? Where do they spend it and can I get some?

I've just been priced out of my house and my neighborhood and yeah, okay, I've made terrible various mistakes in my life over the years which, if you really want, I could enumerate, boring us all to tears, but still. I've lived here for seven years. I've held a couple of fairly high profile "upscale" jobs downtown for most of those seven years. When I moved here it was still a livable if a little decrepit city where you could rent a beautiful old bungalow for not much money or a grand apartment in Montford for even less. And I look around now and everything's been cleaned up and fixed up and some people are making money hand over fist, but the rest of us are not in great shape. It's unfortunate that all my mistakes led to me not having the money or the credit or the ability to buy a house seven years ago when they were still in my price range but that's the way it was and frankly, my income hasn't risen one iota in those seven years and now I'll never, ever own a house. I don't know if I can even find one to rent.

And I don't like gentrification; I never have. Yeah, I like good coffee and good beer and those supposed hallmarks of gentrification were already here a long time ago. Better coffee and beer, actually, because I miss Bean Streets and Vincent's Ear and a couple of Starbucks and an Indian restaurant (okay, it's a really good Indian restaurant, I give you that) haven't replaced them in my heart. I confess to being tired of the eternal snotty hipster scene (who are these people? Why are they so obnoxious? Where do they buy their clothes?) and the early retirement baby boomers (to quote the Bobs, first I was a hippie, then I was a stockbroker, now I am a hippie again!) and I don't really want to live in a town where the working classes are increasingly forced out into ever more distant and depressing trailer suburbs.

So more and more, I don't know if I'll stay. I have family here. I moved here because of my family; I've been coming here my whole life; WNC is a big part of me. My friends are here and I love them; I've built a whole life here. But I'm not certain, anymore, that this is the Asheville I've known and loved and I'm not certain either whether I belong here anymore.

What If?

Last night - or, actually, early this morning, after drinking too much beer again with S and N and then being yelled at about Palestinian politics by M & N, god help me, we're all going to Guantanamo Bay if this keeps up, or I'll become close friends with John Walker Lindh's parents - I was lying in bed thinking about the next two months and where it's taking me. And I thought, you know, the expected thing here is that I'll find another house to rent and I'll move into it and keep on going with the life I've been leading, la la la, chaos at home and order in the workplace (okay, semi-order) and dogs and freedom fighting pyrotechnician teenage son: continue an Asheville life. Except without the yoga. And I could do that and that would be the responsible and sane thing to do.

But. But I'm about to get what is for me an extremely large chunk of change from the government. And I could add to that, because of birthday money in May and the vague possibility that I'll get at least some of my security deposit back. And I hate to blow all that money on being responsible. I mean, urgh. I may never, ever have that much money again. Hell, last week I had no idea I would be getting anywhere near this much. So, I thought, what if?

What if I put all my stuff in storage and give Django to A to take care of and Theo to my friend D, who loves him and lives up on the mountain? What if then I move to Ireland? I've always wanted to go back to Ireland. Or Holland? Or Belize or Costa Rica or New Zealand? Or a small island near Fiji? Or Toronto or Vancouver or New York? What if I throw the I Ching and ask it what to do and just leave, or invest all my money in an Airstream and go, taking odd jobs here and there, homeschooling M as best as I can (his math education would stop now, but it sort of seems to have stalled out anyway.) And then, you know, what if I fail miserably or come home with my tail between my legs? Well, what have I got to lose? And the answer to that is not much. Not really a damn thing, actually. I have never been much good at the responsible day to day daily living thing, the middle class American existence and even though I've tried and tried, let's all face it: I'm really not cut out for it somehow. And I'd rather have a wild life to look back on from my dumpster when I'm 80 than be sitting financially secure in a nice old folks home watching people die around me.

My guru therapist says that even though I keep saying I don't know what I want that I actually do, that my bones know. Well, I'm kind of thinking that maybe my bones know it's time to do something really radical. Or maybe not. Or maybe the something radical involves somebody, that's possible too.

But I'm terrified. All these choices, jesus; my bones want to go sit in the back of my closet with the shoes and giant alien dust bunnies and just shake for a while until it all goes away.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

project 365 #100: everybody jump

We're 100 days into 2007 and already I don't want to think about counting the ways in which my life has radically changed. Jesus. Be careful what you ask for, I guess, because you don't have to look back that far to hear fat happy me whining on about the world being boring and nothing ever changing. Well.

So it has, and it's 100 days and here's my friend S and my daughter A and my friend N jumping around a bemused Theo, 100 damn days into this benighted year. Excellent. This year is not so bad.

Monday, April 09, 2007

project 365 #99: ortonized frost damaged tulip

The weather has not been kind to the plant kingdom. I don't think any of the daylilies are going to make it, which is sad and also strange, since I usually think those things are indestructible. Even though we usually get a cold snap in April, it's seldom this cold or this prolonged, so I guess that's what did it. But then, what do I care anyway, since they're not going to be my daylilies anymore. Waaaah!! I'm just hoping the Japanese maple makes it - it looks most unhappy too - because that I'm digging up and taking with me. I love my Japanese maple by god and I bought it and I planted it and bless its dear little Japanese heart, it's moving too.

I did my taxes today, which was surprisingly painless and the government is going to give me a whole lot of money for being such a good selfless poor single mother and all, thank you, thank you, oh government, because that takes a lot of the financial stress out of moving. It's funny - I think on some level I've known this was coming for a while, because I've been dragging my feet on a lot of spring things I'm usually pretty prompt about, like getting the vegetable garden ready and doing my taxes in February or March. I think I knew I was going to need the money for something more important than CDs (I have a need to own all the Camper van Beethoven and Modest Mouse in the world. I neeeeeed them. I do.) and, sigh, a digital SLR. I was hoping - but oh well. Maybe next year.

Picture note - I ended up rotating this into a horizontal on Flickr and it actually looks better. So click it to see it the other way. I just can't make it turn properly now and I'm too tired to redo the whole thing.

project 365 #98: susan and her white trash barbie

Yesterday was my friend S birthday. All hail S, goddess of beer and proud owner of an actual working white trash barbie who says things like "Pour me a double, boys, I'm drinkin' for two." We like white trash barbie. This may be because we - and I'm using the imperial we, here - kind of are white trash barbie or, then again, it may be because the imperial we is actually an elitist snob who is just not down with the common people. One - and that's the unimperialist one - may never know.

I'm still wigging out about the house but I guess I have to take it as AFLO (another fucking learning opportunity) and a chance to clear all the clutter out of my life and look on the stupid goddamn bright side and all that. It's all in the spin, I know, and maybe the next house will have a fenced yard that actually keeps Django in. Maybe it will have water pressure and lots of electrical outlets, too.

The next two months are going to be sheer hell, though.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

project 365 #97: dilo asheville flickr meetup band in the glass door

Thank god for beer, because without it I'd really be a fucking basket case around now. I was all day, which I spent mostly walking around in circles looking at my house - my soon to be ex house - and saying "Oh god. Oh god." Then I would freak out a little more and my family, who have far too much experience at this point in dealing with Mom in a state of terminal freakout, would pat me gently or say something patently artificial, like "Gee, Mom, your hair looks nice!" They never ordinarily say such things, so I know it's bad.

But then I went on over to the Flickr Dilo Ashevegas meetup and drank a few beers and luxuriated in my friends being angry on my behalf (another friend called after reading my blog with words of sympathy, which was really nice) and now I'm home (soon to be ex-home, god) eating hot and sour soup from Dragon China and feeling at least a little more coherent. Which all just goes to prove that beer is a Good and a Necessary thing.

Jesus. Fucking evicted. I can't believe it.

project 365 #96: snowing on an april night

It snowed last night, like crazy, but you totally cannot tell from this picture. Oh well.

Fucking God Damn Jesus Fuckity Fuck Fuck Fuck

I've been evicted. Kicked out, tossed from my home, told in a short unfriendly note that I have 60 days to vacate the premises. Why? No explanation was offered, just that they have "new plans" for the property. I bet they do. I bet they have plans to paint it and turn around and rent it for twice what I'm paying, or maybe they're going to sell it (I've offered to buy it but they said no) or maybe they're going to do what everyone else in West Asheville is doing and plop about 5 hideous modular homes on the lot and make big, big bucks. Whatever. It shouldn't matter to me what they're going to do with it but it does.

I love this house. I've lived here for six years, which is longer than I've ever lived anywhere in my whole life and I don't want to move and I'm so upset I can hardly even breathe. I've spent a small fortune on the house and garden and yard which I landscaped myself and planted with perennials and even a goddamn Japanese maple tree not to mention huge butterfly bushes and a hydrangea and a rose garden and, god, all those day lilies and tulips and daffodils and dahlias. I want to cry. I've never missed a rent payment or barely even been late (I was late in February because I had to go out of town for a death in the family for chrissakes) and I've never asked the landlords to do a god damn thing, which is good because they don't ever fix anything or do anything anyway. And they're fucking kicking me out. And they said that they didn't have to give me 60 days because there's no lease but they're doing it out of the kindness of their hearts and because I've been a good tenant. There's no goddamn lease because they never got around to writing a new one up last July when they raised the rent, even though they said they were going to. But then they've never gotten around to a lot of things, like fixing the fucking plumbing.

And now if I want my security deposit back I'm going to have to fix all the stuff like the screens where the cats chewed holes and so on and so forth and what am I going to do with all the shit in the shed and the basement? I have way too much stuff. They'll never give me my security deposit back anyway; there's a bad patch on the living room floor from when Theo was a puppy. Oh god. Oh god, oh god, oh god.

Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck fuckity fuck fuck. What the fuck am I going to do? I am so doomed. I have no money and 2 dogs and the worlds worst credit record. Noone will rent to me - I went bankrupt two years ago. I can't believe this. I don't know what to do. I don't know if I should leave Asheville or stay or what and I'm just totally upset. God. Damn. Hell. Fuck.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

project 365 #95: drinking liberally

I went to DL tonight for the first time in ages and it was really nice. Saw a lot of old friends, made some new ones: it was lovely. Even the part where I thought I was in a 1979 Wim Wenders film was cool, honestly. No, it was lovely and fun and much beer was had by all and I even got roped into a political discussion (the avoidance of which at Drinking Liberally is one of my personal goals.) DL, BTW, AOAA (and other annoying acronyms) is, as you know, the political drinking group whose Asheville chapter I cofounded, and so I try to avoid politcs there because occasionally, I have been known to take the art of contrariness to fine heights.

And now, I must go watch some weird movie that I don't know what it is that seems to be playing in my living room. The scary thing about that is that I picked these movies out, so I know they're weird, I just can't remember which four I picked in some odd moment at Orbit.

My daughter just came in and said she had to boil all the eggs. "What?" I said,
"We're egg dying at work." she said,
"And you have to use MY eggs?"
"Mom." she explained, "Please."
"Okay," I said, "But they're brown."
"Oh. My. God." said my daughter, "Oh hell what do I do now?"
"Well,": I said, "I guess it's the 24 hour Ingles for you."
"No," she wailed, "I don't want to go to Ingles.":
So I thought for a while and finally my creative mind kicked in. "I know! We can carve white eggs out of bars of soap. . . of course, we'll have to go to, uh, Ingles to get 12 bars of soap and then spend all night carving them meticulously into eggs but it'll be easier than going to Ingles!"
"Turn around, Mom," said my son, who had just come into the kitchen, and he gently spun the chair around to face the computer again. "Just turn around."

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

project 365 #94: lights down on McDowell St.

On the way home from work on the corner of McDowell & Hilliard, the lights across McDowell were dangling like 3 feet off the road. There were two cranky cops directing traffic and so I snapped this not particularly good picture to memorialize such an epic event. I have no idea why the lights fell down; there was no sign of an accident or anything, just dangling lights and cops.

Then I came home and whined until we got to go to Burgermeister, which was just what the doctor ordered: the Bo, the feta burger, which I adore and which, when ordered with a salad instead of fries, makes me feel virtuous. Well, okay, not virtuous exactly, but I didn't order fries, so less calorically challenged. Besides, the salad made up for N's fries that I swiped and M's chocolate milkshake that I drank half of, which was utterly, utterly yum.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

project 365 #93: house

project 365 #93: house
Originally uploaded by mygothlaundry.
Here's my house. It's been a long and fun night that featured vodka and herbal goodness and, well, I got around to making dinner at 11:00. Also, I just sawed my way into a bottle of cranberry tablets with a butcher knife. Damn. There seemed to be no other way to open them, and when you need cranberry tablets, you need them. So I cut the top off with the butcher knife and, as it turns out, my knives are dull as hell. They don't hardly cut through pill bottles like you'd like them to.

In some kind of theoretical past universe, men come by in white trucks to sharpen your knives. Nowadays, of course, if the men in the white trucks come by it hardly ever means anything good, and sharpening knives is the last thing on tieir agenda. Which is, on second thought, a good thing. Because honestly, having guys come by and sharpen knives at your house was probably a good thing back in the day, but now we've all seen too many horror movies.

Which still leaves me with dull knives. Damn.

Monday, April 02, 2007

project 365 #92: newly orange office

My office is orange! And white! And fabulous! I'm so excited; it's truly pathetic. My office has been depressing and half finished and full of dust and crud and old tape on the walls ever since I started working there last August. Finally, now, it's amazing and wonderful and feels nice - nicer, possibly, than an office should. I like it better than my house - god knows it's cleaner, now that I spent all day tidying it up.

I went over to my mom's after work today and she gave me a laundry basket and an article about autism for my daughter and $50 to buy groceries, which was very nice. We pulled out this French porcelain egg cup thing - it has a platter, and a lovely bowl with a rooster on top of it, and 12 little egg cups, and 2 tiny little tray things that I guess were for salt and one eeeny porcelain spoon for the salt. My mother is thinking about dying eggs for Easter but I think she has probably gone mad. I am not doing Easter anymore: my kids are, respectively, 24 and 15 and that's too old for Easter baskets. I mean, my god, I could spend $30 on chocolate and easter grass and jelly beans that noone will eat and little tweeting fuzzy things that sit around the house until the dog chews them up and possibly some other kind of eastery gimcrack novelty like yellow bunny ears, or I could give each kid $10 which they could promptly spend on whatever it is they spend money on - small amounts of drugs, probably - and they'd be happier and I'd have saved $10. This strikes me as a better deal and one which, forsooth, does not involve a trip to the Mart of Ultimate Evil. Also the dog will not be sick, which is always a net gain.

"I'm not doing Easter," I said to my mother.
"No?" she said, "I guess it's your Aunt Ginny who always does Easter."
"Does she?" I said, with mild interest, "The whole thing?"
"Oh yes," said Mom. "Catholics, you know."
"I'm not all that Catholic anymore," I said, "As you may have noticed."
"No," said my mother, "Neither am I."
"I do Beltane now," I said firmly. "Fires. More fun than baskets."
"And you wonder, " said my mother, "Where M gets it from."

Sunday, April 01, 2007

project 365 #91: wet pansies

A nice rainy day for a hangover. I got up around noon and N and I promptly went to McDonalds for the appropriate hangover cures, then I went back to bed for 3 hours and then, I got up and went shopping with my friend S. Ross Dress for Less and I scored, coming home with skirts & tops & underwear and even a slinky nightgown. Ah retail therapy is sometimes just the best thing for hangovers and lazy Sunday afternoons.

project 365 #90: gordon bowling

The bloggers went bowling again last night and a good time was had by all, particularly after we discovered that vodka & tonics at the bowling alley are a) only $4 and b) 60% or so vodka in a large plastic cup with a little tonic tossed in as an afterthought. I still wouldn't have been as hungover today though if I hadn't of come home and proceeded to drink beer all night with N and S. But that was fun as was the bowling.

So I suck at bowling, as always, raking in impressive scores of 96, 97 and 56 (that was after the vodkas.) N, who knows little about bowling, thought I had done pretty well until I told him that you're supposed to break 100. I bowl a great golf score.