A wicked big thanks

to my FOs who believed in me, to Daniel for convincing me, to Allison who gave me a chance to do something right, to my friends for never giving up on me, to my family for agreeing to love me the way I am, to Wink for inspiring me, and to you for reading and supporting my blog.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Highway Shoulder to Cry On: Music for Prague

This is just a random thought I wrote and I'd rather not lose and thought I might as well hide it here. It started as a formspring question and then snowballed into this.

Q: What was the best concert you went to?

A: Music for Prague 1968.
When I was in high school our Symphonic Winds played a piece called Music for Prague 1968.

It was a musical narrative of the spring of 1968 when a new national government swept into Prague and began instituting changes like allowing freedom of the press and freedom speech and a possibility for multiparty government. The leaders of the USSR feared this democratization so they started talks with the government of Czechoslovakia. When talks broke down the USSR and three other nations decided to invade with more than 200,000 troops. The results were bloody and brutal.

The music is designed to reflect the events in very literal ways. Oboes play Morse code. Trombones are meant to be air sirens. The entire third movement is nothing but percussion. In the music you can hear the chaos of the invasion.

Woven into Music for Prague 1968 is a melody of a folk song that is traditionally symbolic of resistance and hope. In the movement describing the chaos of battle and the brutality of the USSR invasion the folk melody is played on the timpani almost as a song of mourning.

It made me cry in a way nothing else had ever made me cry. It was a deep and inexplicable pain that made no sense so I tried to stop the tears and move on.

We all left the concert hall and as I was driving home I ended up in the wrong lane and had to exit and merge on to the highway. I was finally alone in my car and I had to pull over on to the shoulder of the freeway and put on my emergency lights because I was crying so hard I couldn't see or breathe and I didn't know why. The thought of people being shot as they tried to help people, of people being killed for wanting to be free made me physically hurt inside.

That was the first time I ever understood what a really well written and well performed piece of music can do.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Oxytocin Dreams and the feeling of her fingers on my face

I was asleep. It was a crazy dream. The end of the world was coming. We all knew it was coming but we couldn’t do a damn thing to stop it.

I remember being a model and the guy I was working with was a complete ass and totally jealous that I could wear these pants he couldn’t. He was mad at me and was determined to get even. I think he may have had something to do with bringing the world to an end but I can’t remember. What I can remember is standing next to her looking at these magical pants and laughing about this guy being an ass. I remember her wide grin.

She lived in an apartment near the one I was living in. I don’t remember what hers looked like but I remember she lived there with a guy. I assume he was her boyfriend but I never actually knew or if I did I’m trying not to admit it. They were friends with a gay couple but it wasn’t safe to be gay so they were trying to be quiet about it.

When the end was coming they were going to run away. All of them were going to leave but I remember her next to me, holding my hand as we counted down the moments until the end of the world. There was a moment when we all held our breath and then, nothing. Nothing happened and we all jumped up and down because the world was still there.

I remember a party. It was huge. People were everywhere but what I remember most is carrying her on my back. I was giving her a piggy back ride through the party and I could feel her arms and legs wrapped around my body. I could feel her breath on my neck as she laughed. I could hear her voice as she squeaked in surprise. We passed a table with all of her friends sitting around it. I could tell she wanted to be with them but I never wanted to let her go.

I set her down and turned around to face her.

I remember feeling her fingers brushing the hair away from my eyes and tracing across my cheek. I remember feeling her hands on me. I remember feeling her touch me. I remember reaching out and rubbing one of her tightly wound ringlets of hair between my fingers. I remember how coarse the hair felt. I remember her looking down. I remember bringing my hand to her face and stroking my thumb across her cheek. I remember her looking back up and me.

I remember the feeling of her hands on me as she told me I was amazing and that I was okay and that I was going to do amazing things and that I shouldn’t give up or stop now. I remember her saying she did and always would believe in me. I remember believing in myself.

I remember pulling her into my arms and holding her and feeling safe and loved for the first time in weeks.

I remember waking up alone but feeling okay because I know she is somewhere quietly believing in me.

I do not feel safe or happy when I am touched or hugged by my family members but I felt so content and safe in her arms. I know those arms weren't real but this memory of her that I have constructed is enough to keep me going because I know that pieces of her are real.

With my world slowly crashing down around me, my world truly coming to a slow-motion end I needed to hear her voice comforting me but I couldn’t ask her because she does not understand what she means to me. Apparently her deep belief in me and confidence in my abilities managed seep into my subconscious enough that when I needed her she still came to me even though I couldn’t ask her.

I know that the memory of this dream is going to fade and it almost physically hurts to think about losing this moment but I’m so grateful I even got to have it if only in my dreams.

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Dots

 Redux. I know I did a post a while back about "The Dots" but I just thought I'd throw a new one out there.

It's been awhile since I dragged this theory out but I think everyone can use a reminder now and again.

There is a school of painting known as pointilism. The idea is that you can create a huge picture using tiny, individual dots of paint. The most famous of these paintings is "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte". Everyone knows it but few people realize that there is not a single brush stroke in the painting. The whole 6ft x 10ft canvass is nothing but a field of tiny dots. It's an amazing thing to see.

What if the whole of existence was a blank canvass full of empty dots, each of these blank dots representing an interaction, action, feeling, or thought? As we live our lives we slowly fill the canvass and create our own picture. Subtle changes in the colors and tones of the dots can change the picture from a Van Gogh to a Bosch.
What if each of us lived our lives trying to make each dot as beautiful as possible?
What if we all tried to create a beautiful picture of our lives and in turn made the pictures of other people's lives more beautiful?

It doesn't take a lot of effort to be compassionate or empathetic so what if we all went ahead and put in that extra bit of effort?

My life is largely dedicated to the pursuit of making each dot as beautiful as it can be and to making the dots in other people's pictures as beautiful as they can be. You can think it's hokey or stupid but I think it's making the world better one dot at a time.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

wtf? moment brought to you by Ketel One

So I'm watching The Daily Show on Hulu and the commercials between the segments are for Ketel One vodka. I'm a vodka girl and have nothing against Ketel One but I was struck by how gender specific their marketing was. They made no mention of women in any of the three commercials I saw and all the ads focus exclusively on men as their subjects only using women as sex objects in passing.

I couldn't help but feel slightly unnerved that a brand would market itself as gender specific especially a brand of food/liquor. It just doesn't seem right.

Check it out...

Monday, June 8, 2009

Battle for the Sun

It's here!!

My favorite band in the whole of the world is Placebo. They have managed to hold that spot longer than any other musical act in my life. When I was 14 I discovered their album "Without You I'm Nothing" and felt a strange sense of auditory belonging. The words and sounds made sense in my twisted and confused world of teen angst. They have managed to stay contemporary with my life as I have changed.

Their sound has evolved greatly since they released "Without You I'm Nothing"(WYIN) and changes from album to album. Each new album has shown new levels of lyrical complexity and musical challenge. Their first album had a very raw and untrained sound but "Battle for the Sun" has a much more refined sound, so much so that the band seems more comfortable playing around with the musical structure of their songs.

The musical logistics aside, the lyrics have certainly moved from drug fueled crazy to clear messages and metaphors built surprisingly well. I've learned to not expect much from my lyrics but Placebo has blown me away with "Meds" and now with "Battle for the Sun".

If you have the chance you should listen to this album a few times. The first time you hear it you won't get the full effect. The more you hear it, the more you grow to appreciate the nuances and craftsmanship.

It's a great album from a great band. I'm psyched to see what they do next but for now I am more than happy to enjoy their latest work.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

"Switching Sides Later In Life" a blog response

So there's a post up on Huffington Post about "switching sides later in life" and I can't help but feel it misses the whole point.

While I appreciate this post I also have fundamental issues with the idea that there are "sides" to sexuality. The inherent hetero/homo dichotomy is unfair to the vast majority of people who have attraction to both sexes, even if not on a major scale, but are pushed to ignore them in favor of a single sex preference.

The gay community is just as, if not more, guilty than the straight community in this regard. We inherently distrust people who openly identify as bisexual and force them to hide who they are so we feel more comfortable.

How hypocritical is that?

I expect that people are going to come after me for my opinions but I feel strongly that there HAS to be a safe middle ground where people are allowed to exist without labels of hetero/homo/bi or even man/woman just to make others feel more comfortable. As long as these categories persist the biases and discrimination surrounding them will continue to exist as well.

I understand that many people feel we are better with these categories and expectations but I genuinely feel that we would be better off simply viewing each other as "human beings" rather than man, woman, straight, gay, bi, christian, muslim, jewish, black, or white.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Art is relative

These are various photos I've taken over the years that I'm particularly proud of. They're not amazing but They're significant to me.

I like the way the only clear thing in the picture is Andrea smiling. Just a friend but a beautiful one.

My sister named this picture "Persephone" and I quite like that name.

I kind of feel like this photo explains my entire relationship with Fae. It's all blurry and distinguishing what's actually there and what isn't is almost impossible.

Allison was so amazing and beautiful and trying to capture that in a photograph was almost impossible. This was the closest I ever came.
I still miss her but I wish her all the happiness the world could possibly offer.

If you haven't seen the movie Cashback you totally should.