Thursday, December 31, 2009

More; and MOAR!

Got home a couple hours ago; and in a good mood about things in general. The drive home did not involve ice, snow, or any other wintry mix of precipitations bombarding the car, so it was pleasurable.

Yellow Springs is just out of ear-shot of Columbus' NPR station, so I listened to crunchy static steadily fade to "Echoes," which is my Secret Shame Ambient Music Program, or SSHAMP! for short. Funny, it's not something I listen to on purpose. "Echoes" just always comes on the radio while I'm driving, and I recognize the unspoken words in each song: "You are up late, my friend." Over and over. 'This is John Diliberto, and you are listening to... Echoes."

Here's a sample of what I've been up to in the studio: making precarious vertical structures. I may never get to be a doctor or an architect, but someday I'm going to build a wicked tree-house.

i dream of driving when i sleep, and i day-dream about sleep while driving

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Looking for the Dogstar

I've been brought low for the past few days by a cold; but managed to get it together enough to drive over to the studio space, and now eager to get working. My muse isn't here. It's somewhere else; out of sight, but always tantalizingly close in my mind's eye. Even out here, the faintest glimmer sustains me, fills me up, and pushes me to do the things I mean to do.

I had gotten bogged down in this space, trekking from one end of Yellow Springs to the other, till I got sick as a dog from walking in the snow-- all the while hoping I'd find that perspective; an audible click in the back of my mind, and then I'd have it for sure.

But my work here can't be about this place, it's about me and you; and how we relate to the problems of this world. Stop trying to make a site-specific piece, because in the end you know in your heart that every piece is site-specific. And maybe person-specific; though that remains to be tested here. Maybe next time I'll be brave enough to make something like that: something just for you; or you.

Sirius, the dog star, is the brightest star in the sky because it's actually two stars. It's a binary system, two suns working in tandem. What power we derive from each other!!

now go make some art

Sunday, December 27, 2009

My Middle Finger

Injury post tonight; quite a little ordeal so I figure I'd share the story with you. A little bit ago I accidentally lodged a splinter of wood up under my fingernail. It was easily a half-inch long, and sunk in as far as my cuticle. At any rate, I was introduced to a pain I had no prior conception of: the nerve-endings under the human fingernail are alive and well, and very excited about conveying signals to the brain.

My mother-in-law managed to pull it out with tweezers twenty minutes later, and My God The Pain. But the main thing is that it's out, and the ordeal is over.

Gloves. I'm buying gardener's gloves, and wearing them every day for the rest of forever.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


I see you when I close my eyes now. You're miles away, and still there's an image of you emblazoned on my retinas. Neat. It keeps me up at night; the need to finish, to start. It's all I ever wanted. The only cost is a little bit of sanity. Or insanity-- I really always considered those progenitors of darker subject matter to be much saner and humane people in life; as if some soul-cleansing had taken place, and the canvas acted as a sort of filter, straining out the grit and garbage, dispensing only the flavor. So, yeah, coffee.

In other news, the gifts I received for Christmas this year were all very useful: coat, scarf, gloves, hat, wristwatch, rotary tool, windshield wipers, gift-cards, pajamas. All-in-all, I'm very content, and made out like a bandit this year.

And you probably guessed it; I took this photo in the Glen at Yellow Springs. I've got a lot fuel for this endeavor. The holidays have given me an excuse to slack off though, but the lack of sleep is a clear signal that I need to get back to work.

you are crystal-clear in my mind now;
you are so far away
I'll do what I can
just stay in my head a little longer

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Apparitions, and I'm Still Looking

Despite the cold and snow, this week has been remarkably comfortable.

We finished up the Christmas shopping yesterday, which entailed less than two hours. Wading through the pre-Christmas crowd at Easton was bearable and, dare I say, pleasant?

I lost my scarf somewhere there, which was heart-wrenching since my mom got it for me just this week. I lose winter accessories; they just leap out my pockets unbidden.

After I gave up searching, the scarf appeared. Someone had laid it on the newspaper rack beside Cup O Joe. I love that about strangers: people will pick up lost articles of clothing and move them to a better spot, safe from trampling feet. I was grateful to find it there. And reunited, I now believe it to be a "lucky" scarf, imbued with new powers from its time away.

The Glen has it's share of foot-bridges, though there's one place where you must hop from stone to stone to get across the creek. They tell me the floods here are pretty amazing, and from the shape of these gullies I wouldn't be surprised if whole sections of the place go underwater after a hard rain.

I've got a neat project idea that should keep me busy these coming weeks. It's something that I can work on both at home and in Yellow Springs, which is a big bonus. I'm pretty happy about it. More on that later.

maybe I'm done looking for you

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Different Halves

I was in familiar territory today, taking care of some business on campus. It was different this time, deserted, between quarters, and far too cold and biting for anyone to be out except on urgent business, though I did see the odd grad student puffing away on a cigarette here and there, sheltered in various alcoves.

I stopped off for a cup of coffee, but Hagerty was empty. The coffee shop was closed down, a metal cage dividing the space. I hung there for a moment considering my options, and then quietly left.

I visited the raptors last Friday. It was a little walk through the glen to their hutches and the caretaker's station; nothing like the epic hours-long trek that many of the locals had described. It's true: several people got great big googily eyes when I told them I intended to go on foot to see the birds, as if I were talking some kind of madness. "Walk? It'll take days to walk there, boy! You'll never make it!"

But not a bad walk at all. And I saw the birds, and marveled: owls, hawks, kestrels, vultures, a bald eagle, each hunkered down in their respective hutches against the cold. None are fit to be released into the wild due to their injuries, but at least they are well-fed and looked-after.

Crazy like a fox

Friday, December 18, 2009

In Unknown Lands

Okay, time to get to work. One of the other residents asked me what I had proposed for the space, and I could only shrug and say, "Dunno." I have no clue other than I'm hoping to stumble across it during today's wandering.

This town is a special place, and I'm hoping to capture an impression of it, sort of like when you lay a piece of paper over a leaf and color over it. I'm looking for imprints, and raw materials.

We're forbidden to remove materials from the nature preserve, nor can we leave stuff there. I'm going in today with recording devices: camera, eyeballs, sketchpad. That's all. I'm hoping to get a feel for the place.

Everywhere else is fair game for salvage, which is good: this place is a goldmine.

new purpose is old purpose.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Driving Days

That's my studio!

That's my computer!

That's my waste paper basket!

Okay, so technically I'm sharing the Mac with two other people, but it's still cool nonetheless; and that keyboard needs to go.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Well, I'm officially an artist-in-residency today. That's where I'm writing from, in fact. Two of us moved into our respective spaces this afternoon. I built a bird-mobile as a preliminary for my visit to the Raptor Center later this week. Too bad it wasn't a Canis Lupus Center, though large predatory birds rank in at a pretty close second place in terms of animals I admire. Third place being the Land Shark.

Ugh... the space bar on this keyboard sticks. May need to cut this short.

More later.

Monday, December 14, 2009



I think I just illustrated an album cover for Gwar. Ugh. Neat.

If you hadn't noticed, me and the stylus have been getting pretty wild these past few days. I've got a secret crush on blue and violet that surfaces on occasion, usually when depicting otherworldly things. There's something special about that end of the spectrum. Dark blue with accents; rawr.

I went to a former student's graduation party tonight. He was very happy; gave me a big hug when he saw me. Good times.

Although, I was an hour late looking for the place-- "Google-Maps" put me in the middle of an empty field. Obviously not the place. But I found it eventually, even had a stern conversation with the proprietress of the party site, as if her and Google had combined forces to undermine me in this life.

Picked up a bottle of pinot noir on the way home. I couldn't pass up the brand: "Rex-Goliath: Giant 47 Pound Rooster." Not a bad purchase, and one of those rare moments where my North Market 'Rooster' wine glass matches the bottle. Good boy, Rex.

See ya around.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Do To Me

I hit the town solo last night to see some art. Junctionview was having an open studio event and I was eager to see what my old chums have been up to this year.

Any Junctionview event in recent history can be summarized in one word: overstimulating. While not as big as the biannual Agora exhibitions, the place was still packed. I commend the crew there for whipping it into its current incarnation: I'll take crowds of snooty "alternative" kids over the empty tomb I first encountered in 2006. The place used to be dead, now it's living. Good job.

That said, you'll never see me drink too much at these large events. The reason being that it requires a sustained effort for me to navigate those corridors, with art and artists elbow to elbow: peddlers of wares and glowing proud egos all jostling for position. I worry that were my self-control to slip in this place I'd run gibbering from studio to studio, telling awful truths, and then flee into the night to the echos of sobs, wails, and the gnashing of teeth.

So yeah, it's important not to say too much. After a single beer, I caught myself starting to slip, and crazy-upon-crazy, suggested to one artist that he not build a frame for a piece in question. I hinted that maybe it was done, and he could leave it at that. "Your work looks better without those gaudy frames, sir." After receiving an incredulous glare for response, I slithered away.

The diversity of Junctionview is where I run into problems. You advertise an event as an Open-Studio Night, and I think, "Okay, time to sweep in, meet some artists, and discuss their work and ideas." But my interpretation of 'open studio' is flawed; instead, I walk through the door and get a sales-pitch, "Hey, is there a lucky lady in your life you want like to buy something for? It's the holiday season afterall." Damn, how I wish I was making that up.

But it's not their fault. They're just trying to survive, to turn a profit on their talent. Who am I to poo-poo on that?

Despite my criticism, It really was a fun night, and I did enjoy seeing the wares, mimes, and jugglers, as well as old friends and some new art.

What you do to me
What you do through me

Saturday, December 12, 2009


I'm impressed by the sheer number of ways we abuse ourselves. It'd be almost comical, if our time here was an infinite function. Sadly, it is not.


I met with some artist friends at a local restaurant last night. I thought it was neat that we all brought our sketchpads and notebooks unprompted. It spoke of an eagerness to share, to be involved. Still don't have a clue what anyone's artwork really looks like; though it was only the second time we've met. And at least we're talking shop. The rest will come soon enough.

They're a good group of folks. I'd like to see them go on to do great things in their respective careers. It's not an easy path, that much is sure.

I devoured those stories. Every nuance and pause. Our rhythm was awkward; the pacing wrong. Too many people crammed into a single booth, but this was the third time we had moved and the waitresses were ready to kill us. We dared not move to a fourth table, so there we sat crammed together like sardines. I contemplated letting myself go, simply tipping out of the booth and slithering away underfoot.

Aren't there some reptiles that can shed their tails to deter and confuse attackers? Not a bad idea as long as you remember to make good on your escape.

We should make this a weekly thing.

ah.. oh.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Recycled Landmarks

I swear we passed that structure fifteen minutes ago. I think we're lost. Probably going in circles. That would explain the recycled landmarks. Pull over, I'll go on foot from here.

And now I'm here; lost. Marooned on an alien world. But I know what I'm doing, I've packed a lunch.

Man, I'm going to miss that flavored coffee; the morning exchange of resources for nutrients at Hagerty that I grew to depend on, the jostling crowd. If you stand there for longer than 10 minutes, you'll see everyone you've ever known walk by. Uncanny; wonderful.

I will not miss getting up every predawn morning and tripping over things in the dark.

I'm waiting. Working things out here, but also just waiting. I have no idea how to prepare for this residency program except to relax and go with the flow. I'm good at stifling panic, though a slow-burning anxiety glows just below the surface. 'Let this work out,' I think over and over.

Today's secret music shame: The Birthday Massacre.
Pros: Crunchy Synthrock
Cons: Girly, corny, melodramatic, lyric content and delivery sometimes make me cringe

Yesterday's secret music shame: Slick Idiot.
Pros: German Industrial Band, helps me focus
Cons: the bad songs are really bad. Same as above, cringe reflex engaged

Secret music shame of the week that's not really all that shameful to listen to because it's flawless: Hybrid (Mike Truman, Chris Healings)
Pros: danceable
Cons: danceable
The Morning Sci-Fi for the win.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Rare Sleepless Night

Restless night. Ugh...

I tried sifting through the junk on my table to see if it sparked anything in the creativity department, followed a couple of tangents to dead-ends, but nothing useful. I've given up on it and decided to write a bit:

So yeah, hi.

I keep coming back here. Each day I sit down to write, and feel like I never get to the thing I've been meaning to say to you. I'm close; I can visualize the words, but they go all wrong when I try to pin them down. It's like a dream or something, where the message gets lost in the reading. Though that's borderline cliche right there.


Do I speak in cliches? For someone with no qualms about being cheesy, I have a fear of speaking in pre-programmed phraseology, "Ain't that right, Sport?" *shudder* I think it cuts too close to the bone with the whole art thing. Name me one artist who'd not be offended by being labeled as "prone to using cliches."

It cuts too deep! Aaargh!!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Raining Again

I'm used to blaming the weather for the bad things in my life. It was 54 degrees this morning so I grabbed my light jacket. Lo-and-behold,: something like a Nor'easter is roaring in to pummel the inhabitants of this city as they scurry for shelter. I can barely keep my eyes open because of the wind and rain flying sideways into my face.

It's beautiful though. Leaves leap up in great walls, breaking like waves, and spinning in rustling tornadoes across my path. Winter reaches her hands down the back of my shirt and I jump at the shock-- the audacity of such a touch. She pulls me close, breathes into me; my lungs burn from the cold. Like a persistent lover she hounds me every step of the way. I can't ignore her, there's no way. I'm wearing a jacket and a t-shirt. All the world they'll do me here, I might as well be wearing swimming trunks.

I'm almost done with finals. By the time you read this I'll be starting my math exam, or fighting my way home through this wind. I can't wait till I'm on the other end of this thing, just to close the book on it and say 'done.' There'll be the inevitable fallout, of course: the mental repercussions of failure, and the resources that this expedition cost, but I'll pay for it, and gladly.

I got my teeth cleaned a little bit ago. Despite the rampant coffee consumption I was awarded a clean bill of tooth health. Coffee's apparently not as bad as I thought. It's got a relatively high PH level, equatable to rainwater, which is like 100 times more acidic than regular bottled water. Good news is that figure is still not enough to destroy tooth enamel; I'm no doctor, but I'm going to go ahead and say that the coffee and booze actually strengthen my teeth (and give me super-powers).


Monday, December 7, 2009

Successful Despair Mindwarp

Amidst the wreckage of academic defeat, I am surprised to find myself in dual universes tonight: the first, where I kneel over broken things, and a second, warm and inviting place, where I apparently have a new gig: an artist residency.


I'm excited about this. And terrified.

You asked the other night how we envisioned our future selves. A fascinating question, but too easily blunted by inane chatter. I snatched it out of the air, filed away for later consideration. Our future selves...

I see an ocean; the sand at our feet. We run along as the tide rolls up, splashes against our ankles. Is this the future? The past? I don't know. Probably neither. And both.

I've missed you these last few days: the heat of my routine. I got used to staggering around in the predawn gloom. Purpose. Fire. Impulse. Structure. I daydream about finding a poet to break these words for me. In my fantasy we hold up the paintings for him and he translates. Wonder of wonders, wouldn't that be something to behold?

For the time being, we'll have to get used to walking in the dark.


Deviation of Orbit

Okay, right, so... let's try this again.

If you see me in person and/or read these blog posts often, more than likely you can consider yourself apprised of the situation, and aware of The Big Ole Plan. This operation began 10 months ago when I decided to reenlist myself in university studies with the intent of climbing the highest, steepest mountain available to me: Pre-med.

The furnace fires were lit, the ancient machinery of my math-brain roared to life: I had a new goal; something that seemed impossible. I would become a doctor and help people with my giant brain; do things for them that I couldn't as an artist. I'd become someone new and useful. It would be great. I would scale this mountain. Oh yes, I would.....

Alas, as the door creaks shut on 2009, I find myself floundering in intermediate classes-- Physics 111, Math 150, ect-- scrambling for purchase on icy slopes. Now I'm taking my finals, totally confused, more than likely failing these classes (unless they curve these grades). However the chips fall in the next couple of days, I think I'm done with school. I won't be returning next quarter.

But I'm not in despair. Not anymore. I gave it a good try. And maybe my heart wasn't totally in it, or it could be that my brain isn't wired to deal with high mathematical concepts. But I do want to thank all of you who stood by me this year, built me up, carried and tutored me, kept me caffeinated. I love you guys.

together now

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Okay, Right, So...

Weekend shenanigans....

Ready for a life change.

Should be an interesting week.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Disguised As Artist

It's really hard for skinny guys to look cool in puffy winter coats. There's something about the profile I cut around this time of year that I really don't like. The bird-legs spoil the effect; not that I'm trying to impress, but it'd be nice to have a warm coat that I loved, and not this puffy aesthetic abomination.

Though I am warm.

And then there's the goofy winter hat I got in Yunnan that is the warmest, most awesome thing to sit on my head, though functional, makes me very self-conscious in public. People stare at the hat. It's not red, and it doesn't say, "Go Buckeyes!" and it makes me look like I'm about to go for a sleigh-ride in a Norman Rockwell painting.

I've actually got an identical problem with the goofy summer hat I acquired in the same province. It's a giant cowboy hat. There were two different styles circulating in the village; I started to go with the classic Western cowboy hat, but our guide nodded me toward the authentic one. This thing is a massive tower that says, "Hey look, guy in goofy hat!" wherever I go. I'm not brave enough to wear it, though I really love the way it keeps the sun off.

I did the art thing last night, went to some openings. I'm usually a champion eater at these things, loading up a towering plate of food and shoving my way through like I own the place. Last night however, a more cautious, almost birdlike behavior emerged. I nipped at the food table surgically, and my stomach was appalled at the weak offering: one mini-peanut butter cup, one sushi roll, one piece of broccoli, and what looked like about ten grains of rice. What was this? A growing apprehension?

Ah, the old ghosts. I was anxious about facing them, looking somewhere, anywhere for a friend, someone to back me up. But we all must face the music on our own, and that's how it was: these benchmark moments where you stare eye-to-eye with the past and say, "Ah.."

Don't blink.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Let's Roll

Whether it's another dream or just a hallucination, I'm now certain the Mothman that terrorized my homeland has tracked me here, and these cloistered city walls are no longer a safe haven.

It's probably my fault too. I had to time-travel in order to find something that was missing; some old memories. Now I've remembered, but at a small cost:

the beast has returned...

mothman's shorter than I remembered....

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

In Your Dreams

This week I've been hiding just beyond the reach of normal events, sometimes observing scenes as they would have happened, but not participating in any real way. It's like watching surgery on yourself as an out-of-body experience; or watching your own funeral from behind a tree. There's a detached curiosity that goes along with it.

I walk behind myself a couple of paces, watching the back of my own head; and wondering if I could just hit the breaks and let the body go on by itself. It knows the routine well enough, I think it'd be fine on its own. I can just float here like a cloud and catch up on some sleep.

And then I realize once again this is a dream and I've overslept for the third time in as many days. I crawl out of bed, limp to the bathroom in the darkness.

Huck Finn watched his own funeral, right?

Or was it Tom Sawyer?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Torque and Lever Arm

Everything feels broken today, though that might be the lack of sleep talking. Throw in some post-holiday blues and a gaping wound that won't heal to make things worse. Fortunately for me, typing out this junk actually helps, so I continue:

I applied for that residency yesterday. We passed the hypothetical question around last night regarding what would happen if I actually got in. I laid out an elaborate plan that involved sleeping on a cot in the workspace and driving a million hours every couple of days... It's a good plan.

It'll work, as long as reality isn't taken into account. I don't know how I'd make school work out with a residency so far away, but if I can't make it work under current circumstances I might as well go for broke. Compound things until something snaps.

Some machines are built with the sole purpose of shaking themselves apart. I actually take comfort in that. I might need this system to break down again. Why? To get back up. Dust myself off, build something new.

Good. See? Now you've cheered me up. Easy.

Now back to work.

Take care of yourself. I miss you.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Continuing Mission


Getting kicked out of the lab.

I'll have to come back and write this later.



*hours later*
Okay, I have returned. This is one job I don't like leaving half-finished; God-forbid someone actually comes along and reads the thing.

Okay, so let me lay this on you: there's an artist residency over in Dayton that sounds pretty awesome. The application deadline is tomorrow so I will need my patented brand of Quickness to get my materials in. Luckily, it's all here- i just have to craft a legible statement of intent. Should be cake.

On the chance I am accepted, the gears will start up immediately; in the first week of December the three chosen applicants will be whisked away to beautiful Yellow Springs for six weeks to do something. So yeah, I want to go be a part of that.

I do. Despite the logistical mindwarp that would require one to exist in different places at the same point in time, I want in. Also, if you're curious, here's the press release for the residency.

I knows me something about shared environments...

okay boss, you win...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Room to Grow

I marvel at this room, how a single space could contain so much. We do so much of our living here. It's a stage for every sort of scenario: drama, comedy, tragedy, and others; all unfolding from a blissful spool of hours, mornings and nights. More so than any place I've ever called home, this room contains the highest concentration of memories tied to a single spot.

What I've learned here is that if anything is to get done, the previous mess must be cleaned; the space rebuilt and organized; a clean slate.

And that's why I'm procrastinating: there's much to be cleaned before I can get to work again. Bah;

I consider the rampant abuse of the semi-colon these past weeks and how long I can get away with this new brand of punctuational evil.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Clear the Air

There are things I'd love to say; to fling back the curtains of my soul and exclaim 'Ah HA!' But that won't happen today. I've tried putting the sounds in my head into comprehensible language, but to no avail. It comes out like the sound of a deflating balloon, or sometimes like a roaring tyrannosaurus.

So I am stuck communicating to you through our common language, with all our familiar symbols and characters. Jab-tap-jap, from the keyboard to the screen. But it's not enough. It's never enough to convey what's in here (leans in to you and pokes your chest dramatically).

Where are the poets in this age? Are they like us, hidden away, clinging to the flotsam, adrift somewhere in this ocean of the Communication Age? In this dangerous place where people inscribe messages via keys on a small electronic device while driving cars.

I'm serious about finding the poets, if they still exist: people to weigh the words. Someone to explain our purpose here;

God help us.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Thanksgiving is tomorrow. I asked a guy from my class if he had anyone to spend the holiday with, and he said no. I started to invite him over and then remembered that we'd be out of town. We exchanged numbers though; at least we'll try to get him over for Christmas.

Hard to connect that paragraph to anything else in this "inward-looking" blog. Kindness may be an alien concept at times, and I'm terrified of coming off as sounding (more) self-righteous (than usual) when I write about 'nice things I did today.' And who wants to read that?


This morning; 9:15am; that familiar ache sets in that tugs my feet in the direction of Hagerty Hall. Stand in line at some odd angle, glance once at the 'flavor of the day' sign, glance twice at the television, pay, and then flee with my prize.

It's horrible, I know, but if you picture a cat running with a chipmunk in its mouth, that's a small part of how I feel during that episode.

...incoherent drivel.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

And Gone

Haphazard forms in the bleak pre-dawn lurch toward unknown destinations, and I can't help admiring the silhouettes we make; outline and contour, and I think about charcoal between fingers and the quiet raking sound it makes on paper.

I think about guns today, and my brother's old habit of shooting outside my bedroom window, usually during those early weekend mornings. "Sighting in his gun" he called it. Though some mornings he was just content to rev his dirt bike and fly up and down the yard like a maniac. I may have been less angry about the noise if he had tried combining the two elements; firing his shotgun while airborne on a motorcycle. Now that would be a neat trick.

I always wondered how I turned out so different from the rest of my family; being surrounded by all the trappings of local culture, but not finding a sustained interest in any of it: hunting, dirt bikes, four-wheelers, et all. Ah, but who knows? I blame video games and a childhood aversion to high-velocity projectiles.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Amuse Amuse

Today I collided with a chunk of debris while navigating through the warrens. We live in the belly of a submarine: constant noise, sirens, alarms, the ring of metal collisions, and the din of life packed into tight compartments; so running into things isn't exactly new. But the topography changes on a hourly basis, and I've tripped over an inventory of objects in dark rooms that include guitars, metal folding chairs, laptop computers, circular saws, and drum sets to name a few.

Today's injury won out in the category of horrific things not to happen to your pinky toe. Whatever I connected with this time was metal and unyielding, and I'm not embarrassed to say I spent the following moment face-down on the floor in a whimpering, quivering pile. I won't be any more specific about the details other than 'things had to be taped back together.'

Thankfully, we live in this age of wonderful home remedies to anything: namely stero-strips, adhesive medical strips, and anti-biotic ointments, and presto! we're walking around again!

But toe injuries were not on the agenda for today's blog; the position was snatched away from deeper philosophical bleating. So I'll have to cram it in here as a kind of footnote; something to pick up later on in the week:

It is my desire to exhibit artwork again, though I've become spoiled in my hiatus: I'm not sure I want to deal with 'the art crowd.' I'm reluctant, because I'm not sure we'll speak the same language anymore. My speech has grown into something coarse and bristly; my disposition is easily annoyed by 'clever, cute shenanigans,' and I get bored easily by a lot of this fanfare. Okay, footnote footnoted. We'll pick this up at a later time once I figure out what I'm actually trying to tell you.

...who's my goat?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Ugly Green Dude

Even though it directly contradicts what I said last week, I'm sharing some new artwork. I wanted to show my dad what I've been working on. It's small, but heavy. And oh-so-ugly. I love ugly paintings. The ones that shrug and say, "Here I am. Now deal with me."

And I stand back and admire my handiwork, like a proud parent glowing over their newborn's first poop.

...stink or swim?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Dance Fever

Sometimes I wonder if I've run out of things to say; told you all my stories; shown you all the shades and moods of my mind; every little Photoshop trick.

You can go back and read each of these posts, and come away with a picture of the type of person I want you to think I am.

But I will keep writing to you, hopefully very often. Because this is my purpose: to communicate something to you. Even when it's akin to the incessant bleating of a siren, I have to keep going.

I will speak to you in cliché, riddle, and sometimes just plain. I will speak on themes that will be cheesy and corny, because I love cheesy things (like mohawks and KMFDM). I love Germans when they try to sing in Spanish. (And yes, I will digress like this.)

I will cut my posts short when I realize I'm late for class.

I will tell you old stories again and again. Because those are the best.

I will make attempts to be clever, and then denounce cleverness as a tool of evil.

We are a transmitter and a receiver

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thursnight Bleaklight

I have nothing to share today, so I'll have to make something up:

Actually, here it is. Another childhood story to pass the time: my forays into the wild.

As you know, I grew up in a fair backwater by the name of Salem Center. I always thought it was a peculiar name, though a vast improvement over the neighboring places-- names like Rutland, Wilkesville, and.... Dexter. (shudder) People always shuddered when they heard the name Dexter, though I no longer remember why. It was a backwater's backwater, if that means anything.

A name like Salem Center calls to mind witches, and 'Center' as a good place for them to congregate. There's some logic there, I think.

As a hobby I would devote a portion of my youth to seeking out these witches, or at least some evidence of their existence. I would walk around in the nearby forests and fields, keeping on the lookout for 'witchy-type-happenings.'

The evidence is as follows:
  • Strange flat rock in cowfield. Possibly used in summoning rituals.
  • Cursed trees with deadly poisonous spikes (later debunked as the Honey Locust tree)
  • Deer skulls, snake skins, dead birds, misc. animal debris (all due to witchcraft)
  • Unmarked cemetery (weird, creepy)
And the most difficult one: I used to swear that I could see shadow people standing around, but only glimpses of them in the corner of my eye. This was too difficult to document. But one day we'll go back there and I'll show you.

be you.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Gap Fill

Computer lab access was denied to me this morning, which had the interesting effect of causing me to lurk in various alcoves, trying to find "a good spot."

Once settled, another surprise: I wrote a blog. On paper. The old kind that sits buried in a notebook forever. Ah.

And it went on for pages, the silly thing. With all the poignant, indulgent observations and confessions residing in these human guts; something so precious and revolting a new word had to be invented in order to contain it:..... Blaaawg!!

Was planning on copying some/all of it into today's post, but the Eater Blog is time-sensitive, and demands the here-and-now to be recorded; and is more likely to reject any prepared capsules in favor of these juicy morsels.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bench on the Edge of a Ravine

Despite today's melodramatic title, this entry is actually about a real bench on the edge of a ravine, and not just a metaphor. But since I'm a creature of habit, don't be surprised when it turns into a metaphorical bench in a few seconds.

Among one of my father's greatest ideas was to build a bench in the woods behind our house. It perched on a hill above a yawning crevasse. Seated there, you would immediately hear the world go silent. Whatever baggage you were carrying around in your head would leave you. And then it was just you and the ravine, staring back at one-another. I swear you could hear it breathe.

Don't misunderstand this as a horror story though; quite the opposite. The ravine was not an abyss; it's a hallowed place--something revered, like Mother Nature's belly-button. But still imbued with the savageness and timelessness of Nature.

You sit there, looking down into the shadows; looking across to the hill on the other side; at the trees clinging to the steep sides over the gulf-- and it begins to show you things: the insignificance of your worries, the natural course of your life, and the eventual conclusion of these events-- and for a brief moment you are at peace.

Why aren't you sleeping?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Infernal Internal

Today I was shocked to find that my 'creative' endeavors are very much alive, and ferociously territorial. Pressed for time this morning, I had planned to update this blog with pics of last week's art projects. In all honesty, I think it would have been a half-assed post masquerading as workin' hard, but you'll have that.

With fifteen minutes to bust out a post, I uploaded the art photos with the indulgent notion that "eater blog and fine art are now united in a grand spectacle of ME-ness." And that's when it happened: whatever part of my brain whose strings are pulled by this blog threatened to detonate an improvised explosive device within my cerebellum if I did not delete the 'offending art.'

The internal dialogue looked something like this:

Eater Blog Cortex:
I have a bomb.


Okay. I believe you. What's up?

Eater Blog Cortex:
Delete the artwork photographs or I make myself a skylight in the top of your head.

Ah. But I spent a lot of time on these, and I think people would be interested in---

Eater Blog Cortex:
NOOO. No. I will blow us up, I swear. This is MY blog, and the only artwork should be those little drawings we do every day with Photoshop and Gimp.

But this is better. This is fine art. Listen to how the italics roll off the tongue.

Eater Blog Cortex:
In like two seconds
, they'll be scraping your tongue off the ceiling--

Okay, okay. Fine. What's the big deal?

Eater Blog Cortex:

We've got a good thing going here, is all.


Eater Blog Cortex:
Yeah. I've been here through thick-and-thin for almost two years. I'm low maintenance. I don't have weird expectations of you, like whatever deal you and fine art had going on. Too much baggage. Here though, we are free to be ourselves.

Alright, I guess this makes sense now. But I think I'm still going to make this new artwork. But if I don't share it here, where does it go?

Eater Blog Cortex:
Ah, I dunno, genius.... art gallery maybe?

Oh. Right. Cool.

Eater Blog Cortex:
So I guess that's settled.

Huh? Ah, talking to myself again. Well, here goes nothing... (clicks "publish post" button)

Eater Blog Cortex:
Good boy.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Three Second Infinity

It's probable that I hoodwinked Death again this morning. While I crossed the street on the way to class, a car chose that moment to run the red light. It flashed in front our faces for an instant and then was gone.

The following moment was almost casual; the only thing betraying our shock was an unspoken sidelong glance with the guy next to me. It was a wordless non-nod, but it spoke volumes about our shared experience: something far more stark and meaningful than, "Wow, we dodged a bullet there, sport!"

And wordless, we walked on as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened; as if some maniac hadn't just come plowing through the intersection.

No coffee today. At least that was my goal. My plan to avoid Hagerty Hall was dead-on-arrival when my presentation group suggested we go there to hash out our project after class. Whee! And as usual, I found myself standing in line to order the same as every day. I wonder if you could set your watch by my routine. I know the baristas can. There's a guy there who rings me up without even hearing what I'm going to say. Just a smile, a nod, and "So,... the usual?"

So why do I even make these flimsy attempts to avoid it? Well, a person's heart shouldn't ache for coffee. We learned that one in third grade, when Mrs. Gobblechins forced us to line up along the wall and recite the Eighty Statutes of Tindalos. Most of those were about avoiding time-travel, though coffee-fixation was also mentioned.

I've been meaning to go out with "the guys" more; do some bonding and drinking and whatnot. People invite me out all the time, it just happens that usually there's some mitigating circumstance that prevents my participation. I attribute this to bars and restaurants giving me claustrophobia if I'm forced to be bound up in them for very long. Though alcohol-consumption seems to lessen this terror, and we begin see how the bar turns a profit.

I am going to make more of an effort to attend more outings. Going to Studio 35 tonight, for Mr. Broken Bones's Buddy Birthday Blast-off Bashtacular.

He swims through time, battered hull and broken bones; heart laid bare, thumping like a drum. And on and on he roves through time, forever beating that lone drum.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Unsaid; Unwritten

Whatever flickering sun I orbit these days is too bright for any direct analysis; though I can list the trajectory:

Galactic Period: (2.25-2.50) x 10^8 a*
Velocity: (~2.20 x 10^5 m/s) - orbit around the center of the galaxy.

Where the hell are we going?

*-"a" as in Julian years

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Swerve to Avoid Collision

It turns out that the game of chicken has some deep philosophical connotations, and that Wikipedia proves itself yet again as my one-and-only source of knowledge-absorption outside of these textbooks.

The idea of playing Chicken is even more fascinating now that Physics has armed me with The Numbers. Indeed, I am bristling with equations that tell me exactly when and how energy is transfered between colliding objects. I won't take the time to expound on it, but let's just say the results are 'bad' in most head-on collisions.

Back to Chicken. There are four possible outcomes: both cars swerve out of the way, Car X swerves, Car Y swerves, or neither car swerves and they collide. Swerving results in the best-case scenario for both parties, though the 'swervee' loses face and is branded the Chicken.

The game of chicken can be used in a variety of other different applications. Here are a few:

  • Two people walking toward each other on a narrow sidewalk
  • Two flocks of geese, one flying south for the winter, the other flying north for the summer
  • A cat and a ball of yarn
  • Knights jousting on horses
  • Two rams ramming
  • Airplane vs. Mountain
And here's me driving without airbags...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Together Again

I have very dearly missed you...

I had the itch to make some new art today. It felt really good.

Lately I've been thinking of life in terms of episodes. Each day of the week is similar; but while our schedules may be set in stone, variations inevitably arise: you bump into an old friend, oversleep, or forget to return a library book. The endless variations we weave are as unpredictable as the weather.

I'm interested in exploring this idea through more of these diorama projects. Hopefully I'll have more to share soon.

Gravitational Attraction

Yet again I find myself here. I'm starting to become convinced that Hagerty Hall exerts some kind of gravitational pull beyond the sum of its mass and I'm caught up in some awful singularity that spins just out of reach. Granted, this is probably the most well-kept computer lab on campus, and the ratio of crowded-ness is much lower than it out to be.

So here I linger to muse, caffeinate, and brood-- all of which look the same from a distance. I consider assisting Michael with his sheep-project this afternoon, but another gravity-force has been tugging at me these past few days, and I can't ignore it.

Swimming is great once a person is able to shoulder through the hassle of getting submerged. Yeah, it's crowded. But never a terrible problem. Though I do miss the YMCA pool at Hilltop: though there were only four quaint little lanes, they kept that pool well-heated throughout the entire winter. Balmy is the word to describe it. In contrast, the OSU pools are all business: dive in and suffer a momentary shock from the cold.

Though it does make one swim faster.

Friday, November 6, 2009

My Plain-Talking Trick

It's difficult to put into words the things I'm feeling right now towards Art-- capital 'A' Art like it says on the diplomas. I will try my plain-talking trick to express myself here, though expect to see an inappropriate overuse of semicolons.

I feel a longing, like something's been cut out of me; like a bad breakup or something; like something has been irrevocably broken, and there's no chance in hell of getting it back.

Nor am I even sure I want it back; a big part of where I am now is also my inability to cope with other artists. The 'Art Scene' here is something that makes me physically ill. It's no one thing in particular that rubs me the wrong way; though runaway egos and the rancid glow of self-importance immediately come to mind. To be fair though, I've found these qualities in earnest throughout the non-Art world as well. So the conflict I'm having may simply be with people.

That assumption fits with the yearning I have now: to flee this place; to retreat to the house where I spent the first two decades of my life, surrounded by nothing but trees and grass. I used to come back there to recharge; to walk for hours, going through the cowfields and thinking about Stuff.

As it stands with the past, these things are inaccessible to me. Hell, I'm even allergic to cats now. When did this happen? I used to believe I'd become a veterinarian someday, a sort of cat doctor that worked pro bono.

So back to Art. I want to reconcile with you; to kiss and make up. But how do we do that? What's the first step? I don't want to be culturally relevant or witty, I just want to get back that feeling of standing in the studio and knowing that it was the right thing to do.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Ghost in Here

Halloween has come and gone, another spoke on the turning holiday wheel, and yet I glance behind me and over to the door, anxious and unsettled. "This place is haunted," I say in a low voice. Something has stayed behind-- a specter from the past fluttering against the window.

My mind is on the rolling hills of childhood; those wild woods and sunless ravines forever impressed on my memory. I've got to go back there.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

That'll Learn Ya...

So someone got crazy with the smudge tool again. This is the resulting train-wreck. It'll grow on you. Just give it time.

Today: my workspace is remarkable. It's clean... ish.

We'll have to remedy that in a bit. Dad challenged me to work on some art stuff today. I'm sure I can indulge him. It's cathartic after all.

Tiny pinpricks of something neat broke through today. I felt like singing despite the cold. If I find my fingernail clippers sometime in the next couple of hours we'll chalk this one up as a success.

That late-night Powerpoint bender left me in an interesting state this morning, a situation easily remedied by accelerating the caffeine timetable. I'm becoming more and more like an old spanish galleon: stubborn, requiring a soft touch, and growing more crotchety and outmoded by the day. "Steady as she goes, men!" the baristas cry out as I walk up to the counter, all barnacles and backpack, wallet snapping in the breeze with deadly intent...


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Fast Days of Whine, Wine, and the Grind

I don't have much to offer today in terms of witticism or introspection. Maybe something awesome will come later. I will have to invent new language for it. Let's just call it turbospection for now. And while I already see the spell-checker waking up to prod me, to bite my finger and say, "Hey, boss. Dat ain't a word." Sorry little buddy; I am the law 'round these parts and I say turbospection is a word-- and a great one at that.

It sounds the two of us are both having our own personal meltdowns this week. School is a wonderful thing for that. Go invest your blood, sweat, and tears, and so what? It's practicing in the mirror for all we care. (leave the money on the nightstand and get out. You'll have your diploma mailed to you in 4-6 weeks)

The difference between the two of us is that I am trying to get my third wind, trekking up some ungodly mountain in a painting; trying to care enough to keep going-- trying to quantify my reasons for ever setting out in the first place-- and feeling the weight of it all push me flat against the ground.

You, though. You are/have been/will always be an unstoppable kinetic force and I stare agog while you go days without sleep, poring over texts and scribbling notes. God, I wish I had that motivation, that sheer fascination with the content of my life. Don't give up. You can do it. I know you can.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Tag Along

Claws waving wildly, impotently, against flapping pages. Chalk dust permeates the scene. The scrape of metal against linoleum filling the air. A sea of gerund nouns pouring out onto the ground to let you know this is happening now.

Fleeing to greener pastures: to the coffee shop for sustenance, and then to the computer lab to hide and eat. Here I run through the mental checklist of worst ideas and daydream about old video games-- "Pixels as big as a man's head, I tell ya!" (makes fisherman hands gesture)

I think we'll be fine here. The pixels have gotten alarmingly smaller, but it shouldn't effect you and me.

I'm still waiting to see if any pictures from Halloween surface. Thanks to some quick thinking from my crack team of specialists, the 5 minute 'Lobster Man' costume became the 10 minute 'Santa Claws' costume and the evening went according to plan.

Weekend Wrap-Up: (things I never, ever want to forget)
  • Dirty Bastard Scotch Ale
  • Chocolate Bark
  • One needs no prior training to become the worst DJ of all time
  • Chocolate Fontini
  • Always shop around for your glue sticks; never settle
  • I can fall asleep suddenly and irretrievably-- even with a spotlight on my face
  • The video game Doom is possibly better than I could have ever remembered
  • On that note, giant pixels will always be cool
  • I love everybody

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Intruder! Intruder!

Happy Birthday!!!!!

Mrs. B

(Orion and his nephew, Jarod at our family birthday shindig)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Photoshop, Destroyer of Visions

So based on the title you can probably guess that Photoshop crashed on me today why I was trying to do the most rudimentary exercise: drawing with the pencil cursor (gasp!). So today's image is a bastardization of the original, a small snippet saved with the 'print screen' button. Anyway, it's better than nothing.

I've reached the point in my Physics class where I've gone from the meadow of unsteady, yet capable, understanding into the forest of confusion and despair. I concede that my prior success was in part due to people close to me pointing out aspects of the content that were visible to all but myself. Suffice it to say, I'm not a physics person.

Caffeine as a motivational shock prod has failed me this week (see prior posting), and I'm unable to focus on my assignments. I write to you now from a flaming aircraft in free-fall, with a constant acceleration in the y-axis of -9.8 meters a second. There is no velocity in the x-axis. Impending doom has a displacement of -86,000 meters. How long does the pilot have to eject before his plane experiences some of Newton's Neatest Laws of Physics?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

U&eye R Solemates

Apparently word has gotten out that I like coffee. My mom and step-dad got me a Starbucks gift card for my birthday. The bad news is that I have the willpower of an infant and found myself buying coffee from the barista twice yesterday with my fancy pancy card.

Looks like I'm cramped for time so the rest of this entry will be less flowery prose than that which you have grown accustomed.

Ode to the Caffeine Titan:

He stirs in the depths, blind and massive
Mausoleum-backed and marble-skinned
He grabs hold of the paper cup
And pulls himself upright
No more time for deathlike slumber
On to bigger and brighter things
He builds vast works with one hand
And topples empires with the other

He fills his head with raw ideas
And jumps river banks in spectacular fashion
Alone and worthless, or surrounded, or dubious,
He makes his friends and enemies as they come