Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Local Politics

I tell you what, Carl Mumpower is just the gift that keeps on giving. Check out his latest brilliant idea (you have to get to the last paragraph, Something Smells Fishy, or so to discover the true glory.) I'll wait while you read it and then spit your coffee all over your keyboard.

Yup, you read that right. Our esteemed City Council Person wants to put drug sniffing dogs and random searches into the city parks. Hey that's a GREAT idea! Why not? And while we're at it, let's find out what they're reading, and burn it. It will make the parks so fun and friendly! "Mommy, why is the police officer pulling Daddy's pants off?" I mean, frankly, I am in AWE of the greatness of this idea, because it means that the parks will be completely deserted again, so I can let my dogs run illegally off leash - they can frolic with the drug dogs. While we're at it, I think everyone at the park should be questioned as to their politics, their taste in music and oh, hell, why not - their clothing. I would actually pay good money to watch dress code enforcement at the park.

See, I don't care, because I personally hardly ever carry illegal drugs to the park, so, you know, I'm safe. Why should I care if people are getting strip searched at the playground if they don't strip search me? The Constitution is stupid and people who go to the park are probably suspect anyway; real Americans want nothing to do with nature. Health care is wrong! I have health care through my husband's job so why should I care about anyone else? It will never go away and then when I'm old I'll have Medicaid but any kind of government interference in healthcare for anybody except me is just evil socialism and horrible and will make us weak and . . . Whooops! Sorry, channeling Republicans through my fillings again.

Anyway, as we know, I don't usually do all that much political coverage, but this, from Carl "Ratdog Concert" Mumpower, is just so great, I had to share. For the out of towners, the history here is that a couple of years ago he went to a Ratdog concert. There was marijuana smoke. He pitched a big old fit and demanded something equally insane be done that I have mercifully forgotten. Machine gunning? Random strip searches again? Decapitation of guys with beards? Something like that. Then for a while a brisk trade was done outside all Asheville concerts of Mumpower face masks so that everyone could be anonymous. That was totally fun. I'm more than half convinced that he is actually a performance artist and not a politician at all. At least, I can hope, right?

The primary is October 6, which is to say, next Tuesday. I will be at my precinct voting (I like to go and vote on Election Day - fie, I say, on this early voting convenience crap. It's too convenient and I don't trust it. *Waves cane.*) for Gordon Smith, who is my friend and will be an actual city council person as opposed to a raving loon and probably for Cecil Bothwell as well, although he seems to have lost his sense of humor sometime in the last five years and that worries me. LIghten up, Cecil! Oh and in the spirit of Lightening Up I will be voting heavily for Shad Marsh, because, you know, tigers. Poland. Clearly there is no choice, there.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Whole Problem With Facebook

chickens three
Originally uploaded by mygothlaundry
I hate Facebook. This blog entry is about to go up on Facebook because of something I did months ago that I can't quite figure out how to undo (my other dominant personality trait besides hating Facebook is an abiding, deep, bone laziness) which makes me look like something of a hypocrite but there you have it: just hating Facebook doesn't mean it isn't useful. Well. Sort of useful. I have reconnected with a lot of people I had lost touch with and that is awesome, but Facebook is so awful; it gives me hives. That is partly because I can't figure the fucking thing out. Here I am, all savvy, spending way too much time online since 1996, knowing basic HTML (whoa. I am SO cool.) and yet the Facebook interface reduces me to a gibbering idiot. I can't do a damn thing with it. But my blog goes up there and some of my Tweets and people read them and that's good, I guess, but.

Here's the problem with my blog going up on Facebook: people answer it and say nice things but to reply to them I would have to log in to Facebook, which causes me immediate acute physical pain and thus I never get around to it. I'm going through one of those guilt spasms over this so, look: I'm sorry for not answering! Thank you for commenting! My blog actually lives here and if you go over there, to the real blog, and leave a comment you have a much higher chance of getting a response from me! Not a 100% chance, because I'm lazy and sometimes deeply, deeply weird about messages in general (there have been periods in my life when I have to get my daughter to listen to my voice mails and then tell them to me; even though she always does this with a lot of "Oh GOD mom you are such a loser!" commentary, it's better than facing up to them myself) but I do try to weigh in at least. Mostly. Sometimes. Definitely more than I do on Facebook! I also have been known to answer the occasional email.

In other exciting electronic internet news, I am contemplating putting a sort of permanent link to a kind of flattering page of myself - a personal ad, okay, let's not beat around the bush - with a link here that says something like "Want to date me? Currently accepting applications! Click here." Is this a terrible idea or just a sort of pointless one? I am having no luck at all in the traditional internet dating arenas. I think Susan's cousin was right and I should have lied about my age, because the only guys who have even responded to me have been in their late fifties and early sixties. I have acquired a certain ageism of late - it comes from being pretty damn old, myself - and I don't really want to date anyone more than about 7 or 8 years older than me. Or younger, for that matter, but younger guys never, ever, ever seem to answer the internet ads of older women, so that is not much of an issue. The whole thing strikes me as ridiculous, yes, because I tend to think of anyone within about a decade of my own age as my generation and not worry about it, but apparently I am alone in this.

I never meet anyone in the traditional real life dating arenas either, like bars. I go out to bars, as we know, far too frequently. I go with my friends, hang out with my friends while there and never speak to anyone I don't already know, nor do they speak to me. Perhaps it is the scowl. Who knows?

Yes, okay, this all points out the lamentable fact that I seem to be essentially unfriendly and that is a problem for dating, but I swear, once you get to know me I can be sweet! Sort of! Well, fun, anyway. Sort of. At any rate though, clearly, Something Must Be Done about this dating thing before I become an embittered divorcee with too many dogs - wait. Okay, too late for that, but still, someone had better date me before I end up with another dog or a kitten or a lizard or something. Therefore I am contemplating this idea, a personal ad right here on the old blog, as a New Thing. Input is welcome. Oh and, um, I am accepting applications for dates. Email me.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Hazards of Chickens

one picnic table
Originally uploaded by mygothlaundry
My friends Kyle & Jen are in Prague. I am jealous, of course, but I am glad for them and, better yet, they let me take a shift caring for their cats and chickens. "Cats and chickens?" said another friend of mine, "Sounds like a kind of uneasy pairing." Do not fear! The cats live inside and the chickens live in their luxury coop outside, making chicken-y noises and laying eggs and being all, you know, chickens. And, apparently, yearning to run free and wild, to peck around the yard, which Kyle & Jen let them do sometimes, properly supervised.

I went over there on Friday evening between work and the Decemberists. I was feeling all cocky, like, hey, I can feed cats! I do it all the time - in fact, every morning I give Pebble some fresh kibble and a can of Fancy Feast for her to inspect with disdain. Feeding chickens is new to me but I am sure I can handle it. Right? Heh.

The cats were no problem, once I found the cat food. I went out to the chicken coop with a bucket of chicken chow in hand. The chickens were making chicken noises of welcome and crowding the door - they are not, alas, chicken. At all. I do not apparently inspire fear in poultry - even when I make weird noises and jump up and down a bit and wave my arms. They crowded up against the door, I tried to open the door and shoo them back and in the resulting melee one intrepid fowl got out: chicken ran.

This led to about a half hour of high physical comedy in which I chased a chicken around the yard. In my work clothes. In my good shoes, which, by the way, a chicken shat on while I was trying to get in the door. I tried cornering it. I tried tricking it. I tried bribing it with lettuce from Jen's garden. I tried lurking about the door of the coop with a stick to open it just at the right moment - the escapee didn't go far from the coop but rather walked around and around it, probably exhorting her sisters to follow her to freedom. I tried everything else I could think of, including twittering for help and calling my son, who has some chicken experience, to catch the damn bird. Finally I called Susan and she duly arrived (just as I was chasing the chicken in circles around the yard at high speed) and promptly wept with laughter and wished out loud that she had her video camera. Then we set to work to shoo the chicken back into the coop - and immediately succeeded in freeing two more chickens.

If catching one chicken is difficult, catching three is even worse. It took a while but we finally managed to corner each bird and then, made brave by company and the knowledge that I was going to be late if I didn't catch them, I swooped down and grabbed them one by one. Chickens feel weird when you carry them - they feel, in fact, like chicken. I mean the breast feels like a chicken breast. It was strangely unsettling but also hilarious and I've rarely been so pleased as when I managed to get the dastardly beasts back into their coop. I deserved the dozen eggs I took away, I tell you.

And now for an abrupt segue into something completely different! The Decemberists concert was wonderful, amazing and we had a great time. The first set was all of the Hazards of Love; here is a pretty fair review of the album and thus, the first set. It was very prog rocked out and brilliant, even though I wished for a libretto or something, since although I own the album, have listened to it all the way through a bunch of times and listened carefully at the concert, I still cannot quite get the whole story straight. But whatever! It doesn't matter if I never figure out who, exactly, is imprisoning whom and why. There were arias, notably by a black clad woman singer who totally ate up the scenery and had such an amazing voice that it threw you back against your seat. There were songs about multiple child murder that got cheers and shouts, which was slightly unnerving. There were lots of lights and fog machines and the music was amazing. The second set, which was more relaxed and less operatic, was even more fantastic. It turns out that Colin Meloy is hilariously funny and likes to talk at his concerts. And, get this, out of the blue, the two women singers did a pitch perfect, totally unironic, version of Crazy on You with smoke machines and everything, which brought Jodi and I to tears of laughter and completely baffled the row of young teenage girls we were sitting amongst. This is how awesome the concert was: I bought a t-shirt. I've been wearing it since yesterday afternoon and I don't want to take it off and yesterday morning when I woke up the very first thing I did was listen to the Hazards of Love all over again.

Update! I have found a synopsis of the story.

Friday, September 25, 2009

And Here It is The Weekend Again, with Bonus Rain

perdita twice
Originally uploaded by mygothlaundry
So Asheville flooded again last weekend as you know if you're from around here, except this time, unlike our last go round with 100 year floods, which happened 5 years ago, only the parks really flooded. This was a terrific innovation by the French Broad River and I heartily applaud it because, among other new and different things, I got to keep running water and power. Also, it transformed my ex-favorite park, Hominy Creek, back into my favorite park for the duration. It was just like it used to be: blessedly deserted. Ha! You fools don't know when it's really great out there!

I put on my rubber wading boots (the ones I got in New Orleans with the tattoo designs on them, that are so awesome they make my feet attempt to leave the rest of me for insufficient coolness; so awesome that I would wear them every day of my life if I could get past the part where they're made of rubber and hot as hell) and took the dogs there on Wednesday and Thursday mornings and it was brilliant. It was, in fact, basically like a water park for dogs and while the backseat of my car may never recover from three mud and water soaked large furry creatures bouncing around in it, the rest of us had a blast. Unlike the floods of 2004, the water was not smelly and disgusting and I didn't think it was going to kill me when it sloshed into my boots, which it did, because there were places the water was more than knee deep over the path and it was necessary that I jump in them. Actually, I have now decided that floods, at least the small and tame variety, are, like my boots and perhaps because I have my boots, awesome. Pictures are here. There are a lot of them: I am a sucker for a good reflecting wet dog.

Tonight I am going to see the Decemberists! Yes! I am extremely psyched! I think I will keep it up with the exclamation points to punctuate the true excitedness of me! I really hope the entire thing is not their new album because I didn't like it as much as their earlier stuff! But even new Decemberists is better than most anything else! So, you know, yay! Also, I am going to an actual rock concert. Dude. I always impress the hell out of myself when I do this because it is fairly infrequent and feels like such a big major fun thing to do, as well as slightly forbidden. When I was a teenager I didn't go to many (pretty much any, actually) concerts because my father went through a phase of believing that everyone who went to rock concerts was a) a drug befuddled hippie and b) probably going to get trampled to death. He was right about a, of course, which is why I wanted to go in the first place and hopefully he was basically wrong about b. So far I've done okay on that worrisome trampling bit despite having attended quite a few Rock Concerts. (it's almost Rocktober! Rock On! Rock Off! Whoooo! Where's my lighter?) Let us hope that trend holds! It would be so embarrassing to be trampled at somewhere like Thomas Wolfe Auditorium!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Mommy Blogging

So I see from the latest Mountain Xpress that there is going to be a mommy blogger conference right here in Asheville. I kind of got irritated, actually, when I saw that my name wasn't up there as a mommy blogger but then I was forced to pause and reflect on the fact that I am not, actually, a mommy blogger. I have two children, or, rather, I had two children but some years went past and they were replaced with adults in a process that I apparently kind of missed, because I still get a bit weepy eyed and surprised when I come across something like Panda, who is a well loved stuffed animal I found in a closet the other day. "Oh Panda," I snuffled, "Your little boy is not around anymore." It was awful - I'm telling you, it was horrifying. The sentimentality alone sent the sugar content of the air up way too high. Thank the gods that nobody was there to make a cutting, ironic remark, particularly the little boy in question, who specializes in cutting, ironic remarks. Anyhow, my kids are adults now, basically, although the younger one is still sort of in progress, which means that sometimes he's an adult and sometimes he fades in and out and is not at all an adult, which, actually, you could say about me too, so perhaps it is genetic.

However, even if my children were smaller you would not find me at a Type-A Mom conference because frankly I'm much more of a Type-Z Mom. I mean, I have a postcard on my fridge that says I feel if the kids are still alive at five, I've done my job. I am the kind of mother who occasionally took a margarita in a go cup to the playground where my filthy children tussled around on top of the monkey bars while clean, cared for children looked on in envy. I let them run around the neighborhood all on their own and ride public transportation and go with their friends to the park. Sometimes I pulled them out of school for a mental health day and we would all go have a picnic or go to the zoo or just play motel by dragging the air conditioner and the TV into my bedroom so we could lie on the bed and watch TV and eat junkfood. I let them jump on the beds every time we went to an actual motel and when they were babies, I not only weaned them to a bottle, I let them go to bed with said bottle clutched in their chubby fists. By modern standards, I was a frighteningly terrible mother and probably should have been arrested. Oh well. Guess what? Their teeth are fine. They're great people. They even have manners, although how that happened I will never know (I suspect my mother.) They're pretty much completely fine in every way, even wonderful, even amazing - and we all survived lice and broken arms and angry teacher conferences and came out the other side okay. It's been a relief and while I'm sure I would have had a mommy blog if somebody had gotten around to inventing them ten or fifteen years ago, I'm kind of glad I didn't. Because the cutting, ironic remarks would be flinging even faster if I had.

Friday, September 18, 2009


Originally uploaded by mygothlaundry
It has been a long and busy week yet I don't have much to show for it. Most importantly, I do not have the book I ordered from Amazon marketplace last Saturday with, goddamnit, expedited shipping, to show for it and this has made my heart sore and my head ache and forced me to reread Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell which I didn't like much the first time around and am not liking much this time either. The only other thing I think I have to show for this week, besides a staggeringly high grocery bill - note to self, do not congratulate yourself on saving money by not going to Ingles for ten days: you have not saved money, you have just concentrated your spending into one horrible trip - is the corpse of a large and peculiar cicada type bug that all four animals, in a fascinating and unprecedented display of teamwork, hunted down and killed last Monday night. If I ever decide to make insects an integral part of my balanced diet, by god I won't be going hungry with four such dedicated bug killers at my disposal.

In other news, it looks like I'm going with Annie - and my daughter and my brother and whoever else wants to come - to Gatlinburg for the weekend in a couple of weeks. Whooo Gatlinburg! Conceivably the tackiest place on the planet! Myrtle Beach without the beach! I am looking forward to playing innumerable games of miniature golf and checking out the Gatlinburg nightlife in the form of the Hard Rock Cafe Gatlinburg because, well, I'm a masochist that way and I've never been to a Hard Rock Cafe and why start with London or Hong Kong or New York when you have all the cosmopolitan glories of Gatlinburg, Tennessee at your fingertips? It is going to be one hell of a big fun time, let me tell you and could probably be turned into one amazing short documentary film. Of terror.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

bee face

bee face
Originally uploaded by mygothlaundry
I went to the fair on Sunday afternoon and it was extremely fair like: there were rides and funnel cake and mysterious teenage girls riding western on fast quarter horses. Also, there were geese. I know about the geese only because that is where the cable car ride lets you off and I needed to stumble over, white faced and freaked out, and commune with the geese for a moment to get myself back into some kind of composure with which to really face the Midway.

Yes, I was afraid of the cable car ride. Yes, I am the worst ride chicken in the long and storied history of ride chickens, beginning way back in the eleventh century when one of my Celtic ancestors, being forced aboard a Viking ship at knifepoint, refused to get on because it just didn't look safe and that bearded guy running the oars was definitely, but definitely, kind of sleazy and probably not up on modern safety standards. She was knifed and thrown aside, of course, whereas all I had to put up with was a man (with a beard who probably was a Viking, now that I think about it) laughing at me from the car across the ride, but still, the principle holds. I am terrified of amusement park and midway rides. And airplanes and rodents, for that matter, but they fortunately don't come in to this account except that the Giant Rat was there again, but I have already seen him and he is nothing but an overweight capybara in a too small cage. I am not, it turns out, particularly afraid of capybaras, although that is subject to change should one ever turn up in my kitchen in the middle of the night.

So I am all impressed with myself for even getting on the cable car ride. I had to do it immediately at the beginning of my fair excursion, because I knew that waiting would be fatal. Accordingly, I dragged poor Susan directly from the car to the cable car and then she very kindly didn't overtly laugh at me while I hyperventilated my way through the perfectly tame and unfrightening to any normal person ride across the fairgrounds. Then, duly recovered, we went on a photo safari of the midway, having previously agreed to skip the farm animals. That was mean of us, I know, but honestly, while I think we can all agree that llamas are awesome, still, one photo of a llama is much like another photo of a llama.

Anyway, we had fun. We ate: I broke my own cardinal rule again and ordered something (a "cheese steak sub" they called it) besides Polish sausage and it was duly completely disgusting and I'm surprised I'm not dead and Susan had funnel cake which was, well, funnel cake. Which is to say that Susan bought the funnel cake and I wolfed down half of it because that's just the kind of good friend I am. We played games and lost: Susan threw a softball at some bottles and failed to win a truly hideous stuffed animal while I threw a ping pong ball at some fishbowls and failed to win a live goldfish. We watched the human cannonball get shot into a net, which was entertaining:

Human Cannonball: Let me introduce myself! I am David Smith, a second generation human cannonball!
Susan: Wow! Now that's a resume!
Me: Why don't I ever date guys like that? Nobody I meet ever describes himself as a second generation human cannonball.

We met a carnie selling goldfish who had a Love is Suicide tattoo on her arm (Felicity: "Yes it is, my sister. Yes.") and watched a girl in a pink bathing suit do tricks on the trapeze and then on the way out we saw a lot of girls on horses race around an arena while they were introduced by the emcee. Then they left, so that seemed rather pointless but perhaps we missed something earlier. Then we left as well, unpoisoned by fair food and unkilled by the cable car ride, so it was a highly successful fair outing all the way. Hurrah for the fair!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

and one gone

and one gone
Originally uploaded by mygothlaundry
Well, here it is the weekend again and not only do I not have a damn thing to report, I also have not done a damn thing all day, thanks to a vicious and persistent and utterly unfair hangover. I drank less last night than I usually do on a Friday (yeah, yeah, I know, shut up, it's a lifestyle choice, but really, like 4 beers) and yet today was a wipeout. All I managed to do was drag myself to Ingles where I bought a lot of greasy ingredients that I then cooked into a hugely greasy brunch - sausage egg and cheese biscuits, hash browns and jalapeno poppers: perhaps it is not surprising that I haven't felt well all day - and then I lay around and read an entire mystery novel set in ancient Rome. That was pretty good, actually, and I'm going to seek out more of her books. I never thought I would enjoy ancient Rome all that much but it sounds like fun to me now. Remind me to program it into the time machine as a possible destination after all.

I have been trying to teach my dogs to stay. They come when they're called - well, Django does, anyway, and the others do too, except they wait until they're finished with whatever it was they were doing first - and they can sit, but so far stay has been eluding us. Stay is complicated because basically you are training them not to do something. There's a logic leap here that I can't quite figure out how to convey so none of us really get it and we all start milling around the kitchen aimlessly. Story of my life and career.

In other news, there is no other news. I am planning a wildly exciting Saturday night where I try yet again to get interested in Mad Men (so far, no go; it is possible that I'm really only capable of getting into shows with vampires and so far Mad Men has had a depressing dearth of the supernatural) and then sleep the sleep of the wicked, unjustly hungover and tired.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Setting up the Fair

OH HEY THIS BLOG ENTRY IS MILDLY OFFENSIVE TO CHRISTIANS SO IF YOU ARE ALL ABOUT THAT YOU SHOULD PROBABLY NOT READ IT. You have been warned. Okay? Okay. And now, let us proceed to our regularly scheduled Hangover Journal blog post.

The fair is coming and so I was there on Tuesday night, being, essentially, the worst volunteer ever, in that I was 40 minutes late, took several lengthy breaks and made fun of all the displays. It was awesome, in other words. I took a couple of pictures as well but I find myself weirdly reluctant to publish them.

Fuck that, I'll do it. Here, but not on Flickr, where I attempt to maintain some crazy veneer of professionalism. That's why you'll find moodily lit pictures of empty, motionless ferris wheels like the one on the right there but not the following things of beauty and joys forever. Well, those I could even bring myself to photograph, that is, because they are but a mere tiny sampling. There was much weirder stuff, to wit: late on Tuesday evening a lady with many children and that familiar, slightly crazed, home schooling Christian look, came in with a piece of art. I helpfully sent her off to the childrens' section. Then she came back: turns out it was her piece of art, that tinfoil covered piece of cardboard with a red and blue checkerboard made of playdough attached to it and the words American Checkers, also in red and blue, also of playdough, as well. In case, you know, you thought perhaps they were checkers from some other, inferior culture. I honestly support all methods of artistic expression and I love outsider art and I really try not to be a horrible snob and so on, but, yowza. That thing was scary. I couldn't quite bring myself to take a picture.

ANYWAY! Let's get to the snark!Here on the left is a still life that I actually quite like. It grew on me, if you will, just as that apple there on the left apparently grew - and grew - and grew some more until it had dwarfed that freakishly tiny summer squash! Now, keep in mind that this painting was done by a "professional" artist - at the Mountain State Fair you get to call yourself either a professional or an amateur and this is clearly the work of a professional. Clearly. Because an amateur might not have grasped the full enormity of those peas or that lemon.

For the work of another professional, we turn to this masterpiece, which I , or, actually, Audrey, who was there helping me out like to call "Willie Nelson is My Spirit Guide". Yup, there's Willie, all right, handing out important Native American wisdom with his spiritual brethren: a bird with a very sharp beak, a, um, sort of fox thing and, well, hmm, what I think might be some kind of demonic monkey being. Wrong India, Willie! Hanuman does not feature in the lore of the Sioux! Or whatever Native American lore you are trying to access here, because, frankly, it's kind of hard to tell. Note the nifty ass framing on this one, as well: four pieces of bamboo held together with the kind of sueded thongs you can buy for chunky pendants - if it's 1979 and you're at a street fair.

That's all the adult work I could handle photographing. I'm nasty enough where I'm going to make a couple of comments about some children's work. Yes, yes, that is pretty nasty, but whatever, I can't help myself. I could make comments about the child whose work was entered in the ages 6 - 8 category who was either an unbelievable artistic prodigy or substantially older (I vote for substantially older - sorry, but there you have it, I'm a cynic) and the parents who entered coloring book pages (please, parents, please) or the parents who spend huge sums of money on double linen mats and serious frames for their precious' collaged picture of Jesus. And that's where I'm going to start with criticizing the kids: Jesus. Ah Jesus. Is there nothing you won't do for publicity?

Can you read the writing under the yellow at the top? Yes, it says what you think it does: Jesus Loves the Indian Girl. Well, huh. That sure is mighty white of Jesus! Even the lowly Indian girl gets some love from Mr. J! Yeah, okay, I'm being deliberately offensive and what I really, really hope is that the child who drew this is not herself an Indian Girl, being convinced that yeah, she gets love too. Or maybe that would be better than the earnest outpourings of a pint sized proselytizer. I'm not sure what would be more awful, really, although the equally stereotypical picture of the Mexican wearing a sombrero, done by the same child (that perfectly circular head is a dead giveaway) might come close. Particularly since Jesus apparently doesn't love the Mexican boy.

There was a lot of Christian themed art at the fair this year. Yes, there's always some of it, but the children's art seemed particularly apocalyptically fundamentalist. There were pictures of Jesus and pictures of the prophets and pictures of churches and lots and lots of crayoned crosses and all in all it kind of unnerved me. I come from a more secular age - they didn't have all this Jesus shit on primetime when I was a kid in the sixties and seventies unless you count Davey and Goliath which I, personally, don't. And I don't like it. Jesus and I years ago worked out a strict non-interference policy: he doesn't fuck with me and I don't fuck with him. We're both happier that way.

HOWEVER that is not to say that all Christian art is bad! I spent four years prostrate to the higher mind, as the Indigo Girls once put it, and in my case a high percentage of those four (well five, actually; maybe six even) years were spent looking at slides of Christian art: I was an art history major. I can match you saint iconography for saint iconography any day; dude, I wrote a paper on Hieronymous Bosch and I know more about Saint Jerome and his lion than you ever, ever wanted to learn. And I am going to put this wonderful piece right in there with some of the great masters of Christian art. The diorama, after all, is a sadly neglected medium. And I, personally, cannot resist these guys - I mean, look - they are hog wild about church (it says so right there, rather blurrily) and they're going to ride that Harley on up to the doors. There is the church and there is the steeple; open the doors and see all the. . . bikers! And can we assume that once they get there, unlike every biker movie ever made, these bikers are not having a biker orgy and killing everyone and smearing pig blood around? Man, how the mighty have fallen. We could assume that, but, frankly, I'd rather not. I'm hoping for some good old fashioned mayhem.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

evening and shadow

evening and shadow
Originally uploaded by mygothlaundry
I stayed off the internet this weekend and found it utterly painless. I think I'm actually somewhat less addicted than I used to be, although this could be completely untrue. Still, it feels weirdly good to go a couple days without even thinking about checking my email. Yes, this means it's now damn near impossible to get ahold of me! Ha ha! I love staying right there in my booklined cave reading enticing novels that make little to no sense which I then overanalyze as I walk to work or around the park, to wit, if an advanced civilization sent a spaceship out to colonize another planet and then dumped the colonists all on said planet and told them to forget technology, would they? My answer is no, they would not, because then they would have to stop texting, which is not going to happen, because texting is staggeringly useful. They would also be highly resentful at the lack of running water and unless they'd been completely brainwashed or were not real in the first place, they would sit around the new planet bitching nonstop about how much better it was on the old planet. I could go on, but I will not; however, this is the stuff that's going around in my head when I'm wandering down the street staring into space and not noticing my friends waving at me. And I wonder that I cannot get a date! Go figure!

I did get out this weekend though. I went to the Admiral on Friday night and on Saturday I had actually quite a lot of fun wandering around downtown with my aunt. Asheville is in that lovely space where most of the tourists have left and most of the kids are in school and it's really pleasant downtown. We went to the farmer's market and to the Tibetan store, where Annie bought a necklace and showed me the TIbetan healing bowls, which I had never heard of before, and then we had coffee and bought art supplies. And then I cleaned up the house and Miles and I ate large amounts of junk food all weekend so it was pleasant and relaxing and fattening (odd how those things go hand in hand, isn't it? Sigh.) and all in all mellow.

On Sunday I went on over to LAAFF - the pictures, which are not so spectacular (except for the ones of Jodi & Susan dancing) are here. LAAFF has grown and it took a while before I was comfortable with the new, giant Lex Fest - it took, actually, a couple of beers and a seat on the Broadways roof deck. I'm not hugely into crowds and it was crowded as hell and the beer lines were lengthy. I started getting all kind of senior citizen cranky and muttering about how much better everything used to be and how when the festival first started it was just so much cooler and, also, I was thinner, younger and cuter. Then I cheered up and had a lovely time and then we had a small but highly intoxicated post LAAFF party on my porch and that was fun too. It is still the best festival even if it was better back then. Like everything. You kids get off my LAAFF! Except for the tall guy with the mohawk and the kilt and the combat boots. He can stay. Really.

In other news, I'm going to be hanging the art at the Mountain State Fair tonight and I'm really looking forward to it. Even though it is a royal pain while it's going on, I enjoy looking at it later with a sense of accomplishment and also, I get a parking pass and a pass to the fair out of it, so, all good. Also, with a little luck and maybe better light than I had at LAAFF (although I like these broody blurry night shots like the one up on the right there, I mean, dig that blue sky) I can probably take some nifty photos tonight of scary carnies setting up the midway rides and maybe, just maybe, people will be unloading giant pumpkins. I like giant pumpkins and tiny horses and pig races and Italian sausage and hurrah, it is fair time again.

Friday, September 04, 2009

world in a puddle

world in a puddle
Originally uploaded by mygothlaundry
It is the official celebration of Labor, this weekend, which you would think would have been done away with by now, since America doesn't much like labor, they like owners. No, America has successfully brainwashed their working class to the extent where they happily vote to harm themselves in a kind of psychotic daydream self hatred fugue that I cannot understand, but I tell you, I am holding out less and less hope lately for the future of this country. Stuff like this is making me want to give up. The right wing objects to having the President of the fucking country address schoolchildren. Nice. It's not that the President being in the schools is always good: I grant you that I while I survived the Gerald Ford / Jimmy Carter edition of the President's Physical Fitness Challenge thingie in elementary school, I didn't enjoy it much. It was grueling and horrible and I hated it and the president for making me do terrible things like hang from a bar for three seconds, but it never occurred to me, Mr. Quigley my scary gym teacher or anyone else that President Ford didn't have a complete right to demand that I climb a rope. Why anyone thinks that President Obama shouldn't be telling schoolchildren to study harder and set goals is totally beyond me. These people, and by these people I would like to include the anti healthcare reform evil bastard lunatics from hell (I have a sneaking suspicion that they're the same people) are horrible, insane, traitorous and the reason I swear I'm starting to see civil war in our future.

WELL THAT WAS DEPRESSING. In other downer news, I am going to clean my entire house this weekend and I'm actually looking forward to it because I am clearly clinically insane. It's gotten so awful that it's well beyond just basic maintenance and into full hazmat intervention and that's kind of fun, because when it's done it looks so amazing that you feel as if you have actually accomplished something. Assuming, that is, that nothing better comes up and I do get it done. LAAFF is this weekend after all and since I am pretty sure I have been to every single LAAFF ever (I might have skipped one year; I can't remember) than it's a pretty safe bet I will be at this one. Wearing my boots, because LAAFF marks a special day for me: the day I put my boots back on for fall. Big excitement all around, I know.

Hmmm, it would seem that I have nothing else to say except that I finally, finally got around to reading Anthony Bourdain's breakthrough book Kitchen Confidential and it was fantastic. You have probably already read it, seeing as how it has been out for nine years. Yeah, yeah. If you haven't read it then I urge you to immediately drop what you are doing right now and go off and read it. It's hilarious and entertaining and great. Also, he's so damn cute.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

sunset and mist on the mountain 3

My aunt Annie had the last of her teeth removed yesterday. Sing sayonara, brothers and sisters, say goodbye to those two unnerving upside down vampire fangs she used to sport. It was apparently a deeply traumatizing experience that hurt like crazy and she was not happy about it, but, on the other hand, now that her teeth are all gone, it was pretty much the last dentist visit ever. Well, except to measure her for new false teeth that I am fairly sure she will rarely if ever wear anyway.

We had her whole dental surgery thing planned like a rocket launch at NASA. My mother, dizzy from pain relievers, fell after surgery a couple of years ago, shattering her pelvis and in general fucking herself up but good, so we were all paranoid about Annie. Therefore, we refused to leave her alone for 24 hours, which she hates and resents, but we were determined and thus first Helen was with her and then me and then Audrey and my brother was in and out. We were all watching her like hawks, waiting for the first moment of dizziness, of spaced outedness, of by god Drug Abuse from the Vicodin the dentist had sent her home with.

Well, that worry was pointless. It takes more and better drugs than Vicodin to faze the Queen of Bohemia. She felt fine. She wasn't in any pain; her mouth wasn't bleeding; she was perfectly coherent and all in all she was in better shape after dental surgery than I generally am after flossing. I should have known she could handle her drugs.

You never do know, though. I tend to react to pain meds by going to sleep - actually, I react to a lot of things, including unpleasant tasks, this way - while my son and daughter both get sick. Back in the late 70s, I took Quaaludes twice. For pain, okay? For the PAIN of TEENAGE ANGST. I reacted exactly the same way both times: 20 minutes of nothing merged gently into 20 minutes of pleasant loopiness which then merged gently, or not so gently, depending on if I was standing up or not, into 14 hours of absolute and unshakable slumber. It didn't, somehow, seem worth the investment.