Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Can I Buy You A Drink?

When you're out at a bar, you get chatted up, and perhaps someone will offer to buy you a drink. This happens much more in movies than it does in my life, but it does happen every now and then. Just now, however, I got chatted up on the street, on my way to the store, and had a fellow attempt to pay for my half gallon of milk. What an odd thing.

I'm walking to the store because I think I don't get enough physical activity, and I'm trying to incorporate it more in my transportation. I could ride my bike but I'm in no hurry, and I think walking will provide more exercise. Also, not driving is sooo good for the earth and society and etcetera.

So I do this thing where if I cross someone on the street at night, I try to make eye contact and say hello. The reasons behind this are twofold: friendliness/community and also, it makes me a less appealing target if I can pick someone out of a lineup.

So as I'm walking to the store to get some milk just now, a short exchange of "hello"s and "how are you"s led to asking my name and walking with me the rest of the way to the store. Over the course of our walk, he asked me what I do for fun. I told him that I make videos on the internet, that I'm an artist, that I'm a creative type. He told me he raps. I asked him if he freestyles. He said he did and proved his worth by throwing down some rhymes that were about me but would really work for any girl he was chatting up.

When we got to the store he waited by the register and tried to pay for my milk. I, of course, wouldn't let him. I mean, what? It was just too weird a situation to accept a......drink.

As we left I told him that I was headed home and as nice as he was, I wasn't ready for him to know where I lived. He seemed to understand and asked if he could have my number or give me his. I asked if that, too, could wait until we ran into each other again.

As I walked home I wondered: would I have given that guy my number if he was wearing a plaid shirt and horn-rimmed glasses instead of a flat-brimmed baseball cap with his hair in braids? Is it terrible to favor someone of my own culture / subculture?


Sunday, August 29, 2010

RE: Body Image / Health

Before you read further, please read this blogpost by the lovely Becky, and watch this video by the fabulous Paige.

I am trying to reconcile these two things, because I can sort of see and agree with both.

I think the difference is that Paige is talking about people mentioning weight issues out of a concern for someone's health, and Becky is talking about people discussing weight issues as a matter of aesthetics.

I really can't fathom Western society changing to the point where it is anything less than rude to state something about someone's weight matter-of-factly, but I think it would be beneficial to pay attention to someone to the point where we understand if they are healthy or not.

A few summers ago I spent some time in what is essentially but not actually an orphanage in Mexico. My friend I traveled with and I noticed things that seemed alarming in the eating habits of one girl (she mostly threw the bulk of her meals away), but it wasn't until I found her gagging herself with her toothbrush that I raised our concerns to the house madre. It wasn't that I thought she was too thin, it was that I thought her actions were unhealthy. See, this works both ways.

If someone expresses disdain for their own body image, instead of throwing them a "you're not fat," how about offering to participate in some physical activity together? My friend Luke did this for my friend Beth and me, and though I resisted at first, soon I was jogging several times a week with them, and that fall I ran my first 5K.

People noticed, too. I got people telling me I looked thinner and asking me about it.

This was a couple years ago and those friends have moved away and I hardly run anymore. During #818 I noticed I was much more physically active, and I think that it is because a lot of my time is spent sitting. Oh, internet. You can't really remotely be physically active with someone.

I went for a jog the other night and got that terrible itchy leg/ itchy belly thing. This time I decided to google it.

The first result was slightly embarrassing, but probably dead-on:

It usually occurs during exercise performed after a long period of inactivity. The itching is not on the skin, it’s inside the actual limbs. There are millions of tiny capillaries and arteries inside our muscles which expand rapidly due to the demand for more blood that is brought on by exercise. When fit, these capillaries remain open allowing maximum blood passage, but when unfit and inactive they tend to collapse, allowing only minimal blood passage (which is sufficient for a sedentary person however). The rapid expansion of these vessels causes adjacent nerves to send impulses back to the brain which are interpreted as an itch. That’s why after a few sessions the sensation tends to go away. Just another indication of increasing fitness levels.

So probably, I need to move around more. Also, it's completely ridiculous the standard of body weight that is prized by society. It isn't that people were loads skinnier years ago, it's just that the fashions didn't make you look ridiculous if you weren't extraordinarily thin. Check out this picture of my Grandma:

She's the one on the right. It's not that she was entirely lacking the sort of belly that I loathe on myself (moreso because kids ask me if I'm pregnant), it's just that her shorts rise above it. I hated high waist pants as a child, but now I totally understand the benefit.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Someday I won't suck.

I made a public comics blog for your enjoyment.

The goal is that if I just keep making things and throwing them up on the internet, I will someday not suck.

Oh! And don't forget that I'm really poor and you should buy some stuff from me so I can afford to pay my rent!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

818 Wrap-Up

On Wednesday, August 18th occurred the first (to my knowledge) Albany YouTube gathering (organized by yours truly). While it wasn't a success by local gig standards (all of the local acts backed out), I'd say it was a huge success in terms of the number of people who traveled from out of town to be there. Over the past week or so, I've seen a lot of things posted about it, and it seemed appropriate that I sort of gather them here for you.

Here's a blogpost.

And some pictures:
WaterfallLizzie 818 Poster @ Valentine's

Ben Mike
Ben Amanda Karen Caitlin Lizzie Emily Erica Andy

A few vlogs:

And, of course, performance footage:

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Things I've been told to check out

From papers I'd like to toss:

The Race for Theory - Barbara Christian

language as currency (up the ante, more currency)

Michel Foucoult -- Discipline & Punish -- now people are trained to be workers in the structure of a system

comic book? :( Martin Heiddeger

Jill Dolan
utopia in performance ... joy through performance

Amiri Baraka (Leroi Jones) -------> Black Arts

Controversial Black Mountain College

bell hooks (accessible?)

changing feminism

Men, Masculinity & Love

bertolt brecht

Ain't I A Woman?

Social Justice Conv & Performance

Peter Brooks Theater

Susan Sontag
the art of seeing

Bryant Gumball "For Those Who Don't Do Nuance" oversimplifying

My aim is true - Elvis Costello

Bootleg [10000 (Screaming) fans can't be wrong]

Handmade's Tale (book & movie) Vanessa Redgrave's daughter Natasha

New Teacher Project

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Sometimes you wake up and realize there is only $10 in your checking account and you, as a substitute teacher, cannot expect to see any paychecks until at least October, based on the previous years' experience. And by "sometimes you", I of course mean, "this is what has happened to me".

I had decided that I would be working on my comic with Alec Longstreth intensity, attempting to ink and pencil a page a day for the rest of the month until my comic (projected 30 pages) is finished and ready to be mailed. Annnnd then I penciled in all of those receipts sitting in my wallet and had to face the cold, hard truth.

I really don't want to have to ask anyone to borrow money, and I had some paychecks and cash lying around that made up a portion of the rent that will come due at the end of this month, but next month...well, I need to earn the entirety of that between now and October 1st.

Don't get me wrong, it isn't as though I've been NOT doing anything. I had been scheduled to teach a summer camp at the local arts center, but that got canceled due to low sign ups. I also did some work for a local paper, and I've yet to see any green, or even hear anything back from them, now that I've spent hours upon hours doing what I didn't consider volunteer work.

So, faithful blog reader, here is the part where I span the gap from secure to feeling sleazy.

I realize that, as a printmaker, I have a TON of prints, some of them considered rather beautiful, just sitting in a giant portfolio in my house, not being viewed by anyone, taking up space. "WHAT IF," I thought to myself, "WHAT IF I sold these at prices drastically reduced from what I would normally ask?"

So I'm doing just that. For instance, I'd usually sell this print for $85.

I'm even offering to sell my only remaining print (I believe there were only 8 to begin with, and only 4 on paper) of The Birth of the TV Dinner, a local favorite, for 75% off what I had previously said was my absolutely lowest price. It's still $500, and you have to pick it up, but if you are willing to pay $500, which would cover all the money I'm trying to raise, then I am totally willing to part with it. (Desperate times - desperate measures, etc.)

I'll probably be relisting some earrings and other things on there as well. If you are at all interested in buying something, or sharing my stuff with others, that would be MUCH appreciated.

If you live in my area, I think I'll be having a print sale at my apartment, bargain-basement style, to hopefully sell some of the larger pieces that wouldn't easily ship, or some of the things I happen to have framed.

Oh! And to bring it full circle, you can also preorder my comic which will hopefully get me back on track.

FULL DISCLOSURE: also inspired by Alec Longstreth, and maybe a little by Tom, I've been learning to type using the Dvorak keyboard layout. I've been increasing the places I use it, and it's been getting easier and easier for me, but I decided I'd type this blog entry in qwerty for efficiency....and I keep looking at my Dvorak keychart and typing jibberish :o

Monday, August 2, 2010

Red Plates

So on my way to the White River Junction to take a class at the fabulous Center for Cartoon Studies, I stop to get some gas. After filling up my tank, I start accelerating. For much of the past few miles I got caught behind a truck in a no pass zone. I'm clearly glad to be rid of him and having the chance to.... stretch my wings, say. This relief didn't last long as I soon found myself on the tail of a large Blazer going painfully slow.

Though it wasn't my intent to be right on his tail, I figure that it will probably send "hurry up" signals, and as I'm trying to figure out why this guy has red plates in a state where all the rest are green, he puts on his directional.

Yes! He's letting me pass!

Only as I went to pass him I read "POLICE" on the side of his vehicle and promptly pulled over as he switched on his lights.

The painful thing is, I remember thinking earlier in the journey that I ought not to get pulled over in this 'other state' as I'd yet to replace the one I left on the airplane on my way home from LA.

As I hand this pignosed, moonfaced man my passport and registration, I offer: "I've misplaced my license."

He's incredulous: "You've MISPLACED your LICENSE?!?"

"Yeah, I need to get a new one. I'm sorry, I'm sorry."

As he scolds me and looks over the documentation I've given him, I continue to respond with "I'm sorry." What else do you do in this situation? I was clearly in the wrong, and I'm sure that letting him know that I didn't realize he was a cop isn't going to help me any.

"I don't care that you're sorry! I still feel like writing you a ticket!!"

"I can still say I'm sorry." Sheesh!

"Are you in a hurry?"

I wasn't, but I figure that can't be a good thing to tell him now, so I just say: "Sort of."

"Well I don't care about your hurry!"

He takes my stuff and heads back to his vehicle. I think about how this being in another state will just be a fine, and although that sucks, it's better than points on my license.

He comes back 5 minutes later and hands me my stuff back. "Apology accepted."

I sit confused for a moment and he starts in: "Now I don't care how you drive in New York, here in Vermont we're nice to each other! Your unsafe! It's NOT NICE!"

I feel like a preschooler. Is he REALLY yelling at me with these words? Whatever, it seems he wasn't able to write me a ticket.

"It's NOT NICE!"

and then before turning away, as if to spit in my face, he adds (with mild disdain): "Your earrings are weird."