Monday, November 24, 2008

A Spotty Mind

I have just returned from seeing "Synechdoche, NY" with a friend and I feel as though my brain has been lifted out of my skull, rinsed in cool, clean water and returned to me- oh, and sorry about dropping it on the floor on the return trip but the 5 second rule applies to grey matter too... What a movie!

I also had some great cider- Doc's Cassis Cider- a delicious union of black currant and apple cider with hard cider's dryness, drinkability and don't forget the kick.

An altogether pleasant evening but the movie will be difficult to forget.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Some Little Art, A New Word, No Tea

Since the beginning of this year, I have been dabbling in ATC's & ACEO's. No, these are not stocks or some arcane- and possibly unethical, financial scheme- they are artists trading cards & artists cards, editions, originals. They are small works, the same dimensions as a baseball trading card: 2.5"x3.5". The only difference between an ATC and an ACEO seems rather arbitrary and a bit silly to me- that ATC's are traded and ACEO's are sold; as far as I am concerned, selling something is a trade- you are trading the card for a twenty dollar bill in the case of my miniscule works. And besides, Artists Trading Card sounds better.

But I, as usual, digress. The WAAM held what was billed as an ATC swap meet the other evening but though I spent the day churning out my tiny contributions, I came home empty handed. I looked at the work others had produced but by and large they were just little color printouts of their larger works glued onto poster board- very few original pieces in the bunch. The few originals that were offered looked to have taken the artist all of 1 minute to produce- each or as a collection it is hard to say. I didn't want to trade my truly hand-wrought cards for cards I perceived as not of equal value so, I ended up just consigning what I had brought to the shop and consigning myself to disappointment.
So, I ask myself: am I working too hard or are they working too little?

I am always on the lookout for new words for my Word Project and this landed on my desktop the other day: mythologein (to tell mythical tales). This is an archaic word but it packs a real semantic punch for me. Twice in the past week, observers of my work had commented on its connection to deep wells of myth and symbol- they had also asked why my work is not being shown in NYC- a question that I have no answer for since I cannot ask it of any gallery owners, since they don't answer my queries...
So, now in addition to styling myself as a bricoleur (someone who makes artful use of materials at hand) I can now add mythologeinist (teller of mythical tales.) Does this increase my chances of getting my work at the very least seen by the swells in the big city? No, but it puts a name to the mantle I have been wearing these past years and gives me frisson of linguistic delight; for today, that'll have to do.

As for the tea? Nothing to speak of beyond the usual too many cups of.

58 days to go and counting... (W and Dick: resign today if you love this country at all.)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

What a Difference a Day Makes

Part of today's agenda was picking up some household items at the hardware store in Woodstock and then attending the opening of the current show at the WAAM, "Grey Matter." I was astounded to find the village humming with tourists and the opening full of optimistic, energized people. There were red dots on a few pieces in the show, unfortunately none of them were on my work, but who knows what the future brings. It was as if a cloud had lifted, a pall had been removed. And then it hit me- of course, the election.

73 days to go and counting...

Sisyphus Gets a Rain Day

I am taking a Rain Day from work at the nursery today. While I was having breakfast, I was pondering what I would do with my day and came up with a list of the usual suspects: housecleaning, errands, and obligations.

I caught myself up short- where was the fun? I tried to come up with something fun to do... hmmm... still thinking, still thinking... aha! um, no, not really... then it struck me: I haven't the foggiest idea of what is fun for me. And I mean real fun- not glee which is the twisted joy of inflicting a small amount of pain on someone else (Karl Rove comes to mind as a gleeful person;) not hysteria, somewhat resembles joy but is actually fear-based (me on a roller-coaster;) not contentment, but fun- the kind of fun that refreshes one's innermost being, that unplugs and drains the sludgy recesses of one's psychic oil-pan. In the old-fashioned parlance: good, clean fun.

I have always enjoyed going to flea-markets (see the ur-bowl story below, March 27th entry) but I really don't need any thing and I don't want to spend the money, and heck, its November, not too many flea markets around here this time of year. But, that is a starting point... So, what does a flea market have that I like? (Besides, large pottery bowls that connect to my semiotic desires like a fork-wielding two-year old to a wall socket.)

  • People: But I usually am at these things alone, so it is people at a distance. Would I prefer to be flea-marketing with friends? Yes, being alone wore thin quite a while ago.
  • Eye-candy: lots of textures, unexpected juxtapositions, colors. Okay, that seems non-toxic.
  • Road-trip: Aha, a critical ingredient! When I was a child, my father would announce on a Saturday or Sunday that we were going to go on a Mystery Trip. Sometimes it was just the immediate family, sometimes it would involve a caravan of other families and friends; but it was always someplace fascinating that my father had found. It also usually involved a picnic or stopping for lunch at a diner- a rare and exotic treat for us. I loved those days.

So, these are the ingredients I want- going someplace far enough way to necessitate a road-trip, a place or event full of interesting things and opportunities, with friends and stopping on the way for lunch...

Then again, dancing around the apartment to the music of Abba sounds like a possibility, too...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Voting and Hoping

Today is, in case you just dropped in from another dimension, election day. I did my duty, and gratefully so, this morning at my new polling place, the Wiltwyck Firestation on Frog Alley. Shortly after I moved here to Kingston I walked the hundred feet or so down the block to the Board of Elections and changed my registration to my new address. I had read earlier that day about how some folks uprooted in situations similar to mine had neglected to change their voting address with their county boards and because of the rules in their state were ineligible to vote in the upcoming elections. I am a member of the first cohort of 18 year-olds eligible to vote, and barring 2 school board elections and a library vote or two, I have voted in every election since that time- I take my franchise very seriously and did not want to miss this one. I remember going with my mother when she voted at the school, comparing all the different, and anonymous, shoes and legs set off by the booths' curtains and then suddenly, it was my babysitter, or someone from the hardware store attached to those shoes. I frankly do not understand people who don't vote, but there you are.

I have spent the rest of the day organizing, cleaning and attending to the many small chores that needed doing, a little more unpacking- nothing terribly creative or important but just about all I could handle. I know it is anticipation of the outcome of the vote. I am very hopeful it will be Obama/Biden. I am also terrified that by some horrible circumstance it will be McCain/Bible Spice. Even though I am very well aware that the outcome is out of my hands, I am still unable to settle to anything serious or focussed. I am not listening to the radio or the television, I have had the music of Samuel Barber, Percy Grainger, and Ralph Vaughn-Williams on rotation.

I must say I much prefer the English system- the day of the election, there is a crew standing by to remove the old PM's worldly possessions and bring in the new PM's, if that is way the citizens choose. Why wait? Speculating on the amount of damage Bush/Cheney could and probably will do to our rights and freedoms in these last days of his reign makes my blood run cold. Oh, now I am getting all fussed up again; time to go for a walk and be in the present.