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)