Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Age 7

A glimpse into the root of my drag king leanings.
Check out that commanding stance!
Total tomboy.

Adjuncting Blows

I am going to resist the urge to collapse into a completely furious rant on this blog. That is not what this is about, but I will simply say again, ADJUNCTING BLOWS.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Derby Madness

Watch the video

Hands down, the most diverse crowd I have ever experienced at an event in Columbus, Ohio is at the premier of the Ohio Rollergirls.  Their first bout, aptly titled "First Blood," took place Sunday, April 23th at the Columbus Convention Center. 

Outside the glaringly obvious void of people of color in the crowd (nothing new to "mainstream" events in Columbus), there was the most amazing cross section of fans I have ever seen in one place at the same time.

I alone sat surrounded by gay men, lesbian women, a presumably straight middled aged Harley couple, and a punk rock family. While waiting in line for beer I stood among indie hipsters, frat boys, burlesque divas and four year olds carrying signs that read "My Mom Can Kick Your Mom's Ass." 

From what I saw last night, Roller Derby bouts are prime locale for studies in 21st Century Urban Diversity.  

And by the way, the skaters sported names like "Mother Trucker,"  "Pippy RipYerStockings" and "Ruby Doom."  I'm certain we weren't the only ones who left the match plotting names of our own, like "Ripper Titsoff" and "Sveltana Slapabitch."  If only old bones and shitty health insurance weren't keeping us from fame on the flat track! 

an explanation

Folks, I think I need to clarify my venture into abstract daffodil art. I left my podcasting class last week feeling lame. All of the "hip" podcasts we looked at struck me as nothing special. One of them was by a woman named Rayne, I guess her blog has had all kinds of attention from the New York Times and other culturally significant publications. Anyway, the post we watched showed her in a car at Mt. Rushmore, where she considered the value of actually pulling over and paying to park or just viewing from afar and moving on.

Anyway, the point is that I left class feeling like it is totally random what gets to be counted as "cool." I told Liv I might have more luck if I just did some random daffodil art podcasts and called it a day. Thus the abstract daffodil art. I just wanted to prove that I could make something abstract and seemingly artistic..."artistic" by virtue of the fact that it is inaccessible. It seems like that is what defines so much of what we call Art--work that is completely inaccessible to ordinary folk.

Yeah, 'ordinary folk,' that's me.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Help me determine my artistic future.

People, I have not taken an art class since I was in 8th grade. 8th freaking grade, that means I was 13 and living in Portsmouth, Ohio. I was on the JV Basketball team, ran track, was as gangly as they come and had a mouthful of braces. My English teacher was a dyke, my favorite class was Science (we were learning about rocks and minerals) and the only project I remember from Art was a stamp pad I made with my name on it in a very futuristic computer font (lest you ponder the ability of a font to be indentified as "computer," do consider that I was 13 in 1984).

Soooooooo, 22 years later I find myself in an art class again. This after two degrees, one in Political Science and one Women's Studies, with nary an art class in my transcript...not even Art History.

(Did I mention yet that I LOVE it, this experience of learning art in school?)

OK, so here is where you (my loyal subscribers and other casual readers) come in. I need a direction for my art project this quarter. I am to compose and post 30 multimedia blog entries over the next 6 weeks. I am considering following one centralized theme for the project, mainly because that seems to be the most logical thing to do. I am tossing around the ideas you will vote on in my poll.

If you have followed my recent posts, you have watched an abstract daffodil video, listened to an odd audio post, and read various everyday musings. The question is, what direction shall I follow? HELP.

Direction for my art blog?
Tupperware Tracker
Abstract Daffodil Art
Continue on Present Course
Blending of above three options
Scrap it all and start over
The brilliant answer to my dilemma will be revealed in a comment to this blog.
Free polls from Pollhost.com

Tupperware Tracker

So one of the ideas I had for this project is to create a faux website and new pop culture phenomenon called "Tupperware Tracker." Recently I was at a friend's house for dinner and upon finishing our meal, my generous host packed up a tupperware of leftovers for me to take home. There was no discussion about returing the tupperware, it was simply understood that I would either return it to my friend, continue to use it in my home, or pass it on to another friend or family member packed full of leftovers. The practice of travelling tupperware caught my attention because Liv and I had been talking about the "Where's George" dollar bill tracker.

Anyway, it occurred to me that one could do the same thing with tupperware. Then, one night I couldn't fall asleep (a total rarity for me, ever since I started counseling 12 years ago, my sleep problems ceased...fancy that!) and I started to think about how one could make money selling the idea of Tupperware Tracker to the Tupperware Company. I started imaging the presentation I would make to the marketing department about how common it is for people to pass tupperware, about how the act of doing so speaks so much to values of family, home, community, etc. I started imaging the website and the process for tagging tupperware (it would almost need to be etched into the plastic so it wouldn't wear off after repeated washings), and the stories Tuppeware could collect about the role their product plays in the American Experience.

Suddenly I could hear women from Omaha dialing in to tell their stories...

abstract daffodil art

Watch the video
An exercise in abstract artistic expression. Just to prove I can do it too.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Jetgirl: Open for Business

Saturday, June 17th, 2006. Jetgirl:Launch at Skully's

Get your official accoutrements so as to be fly!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Captain's Table

Several weeks ago I got a letter in the mail from my mother. Yes, a real life, hand written, popped in a blue mail box, carried by a postal worker, honest to goodness letter. She doesn't have a phone right now, so U.S. mail is the primary way we communicate.

Anyway, she wrote to invite Liv and I to Easter dinner. She told me she had a roast to cook and wanted to make it for us. I am not a vegetarian by any means, but it is not often that I eat a homemade roast, so I jumped at the invite. I am from a small town on the Ohio River, so I expected to come home to a roast with potatoes, carrots, rolls, etc. The standard Appalachian Roast Beef dinner.

Boy, did I have it wrong. Little did I know, but my mom had been reading a cookbook about famous last meals and decided to re-create the dinner served at the Captain's Table the night before the Titanic sank. We started with a cheese plate of imported Scottish, Irish and Swiss cheeses, adorned by a poppyseed crackers, buttered pretzel twists and garlic bagel chips. Next we snacked on freshly chopped broccoli, green red and yellow peppers, celery, carrots and English cucumbers with dill dip.

After the appetizers we filled our plates with USDA restaurant quality prime rib; roasted tomatoes stuffed with bread crumbs, parmesan and fresh chive; braised spinach in light vinegar sauce; caramelized onions in a creamed pecan sauce; roasted red potatoes lightly coated in Kosher salt; braised radishes; and a fresh dinner role accompanied by a side salad with assorted greens, avocado, tomato, kalamata olives and red onions drizzled in a honey vinagrette.

Somehow we found room to finish it all off with a modern day delicassy that would have fit right in on the Titanic, Jeni's ice cream. In true Jeni's form, we cleansed our palatte on a trio of Dark Chocolate Gelatto, tart Lemon Yogurt, and fresh Raspberry sorbet. The meal was incredible, absolutely divine. Sadly, Easter only comes once a year.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

racial profiling

Guess who likes my scooter best besides me? No, not indie boys or sporty dykes, or even full on vespa enthusiasts. Nope, the typical fan of my scooter is a 50 year old black male driving a conversion van. How do I know this? Because without fail, 99% of the time someone yells out to me while I am stopped at a red light, or parked in the gas station, it is a person who fits this description.

Seven years now I have been riding this bike and for seven years this maxim has held true. Last week it was a city worker who was driving a giant street cleaning machine by UDF. Liv and I pulled up to get gas and a middle aged black man yells to me over his roaring machine "where'd you get those bikes?" His vehicle was so loud I couldn't hear him, so he turned it off, took off his headphones and yelled again. We chatted for a few minutes, he cooed over the bikes and we went our separate ways.

Now, you might think as I have, that the shiny chrome or the fly white walls or the overall vintage styling of the scooter are the reasons that older black men like my bike so much. And that may be true because the line between a 1980 P200E and a 78 Cadillac are not that far off in terms of style.
But, the thing that fascinates me most about this re-curring experience is that I know there are plenty of indie boys and sporty dykes and hard core vespa enthusiasts who ooh and ahh over my bike from afar (the time I came out from a movie and found a woman straddling my bike while her boyfriend snapped pictures is proof enough), but the thing that makes it different is that the black men take the time to talk to me. Despite all the power of our everyday racisms that might keep an older black man from rolling up next to a white stranger on a scooter, it happens again and again, truly without fail. Sometimes it's ironic how life works.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

take my poll

I'm in class burning up because they have the damned heat blasting even though it is 70 degrees outside. This experience has governed the creation of my first poll.

Body Temperature Preferences
Hot in Winter
Cold in Summer
Hot in Summer
Cold in Winter
Free polls from Pollhost.com

yet another way

Didn't work though, but i took a screen shot by pressing shift key, apple key and 4 key all at once.

tribute to War Games

another way to post the post

cantaloupe butterfly

Watch the video

A tribute to "War Games"

(made in my podcasting class as a test run)

Monday, April 10, 2006


Unbeknownst to me, the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati is the first museum to be designed entirely by a woman architect. Keyboards lay underfoot and sloping concrete walls recall urban skate parks.

It's too hard to write artistically about the architectural magnificance of the building itself (especially at midnight). Go see it.

sound squares

Watch the video

Sound and squares from the Contemporary Art Center in Cincinnati.  Interactive art in an architectural wonder...a trip well worth taking.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

a gardener, i am not

Inspired by the sunny weather Friday afternoon, I decided get out the trowel, hoe, rake and loppers and take to our overgrown jungle of a yard -- this on the heels of a recent conversation with my neighbor about the abundance of wild onions in and around our yards.

Anyway, after mowing the yard and trimming the walkway while down on my hands and knees (these are the perfectionist distractions that often keep me from making art), I found my way into the onion/daffodil patches. Weeding, while obnoxious, is also rather satisfying and borderline addictive. So, I got onto a weeding spree, yanking and pulling and digging up clump upon clump of the pesky things.

Somewhere in the middle of this process I moved away from the deeply rooted purplish weeds and started with the onions. Compared to the purple things, the onions came up like a breeze. I could grab a whole handful of them and pull gently and they slid out like butter. It was so much more pleasing than whacking and digging at the other weeds to get the f@*kers out.

After pulling out four giant piles of onions it occurred to me that I wasn't smelling the typical onion scent. Upon further examination, I noticed that the tops of the plants weren't rounded like onions usually are. Then i starting thinking about the fact that I was weeding in the part of the yard that was flowery last year. Next, I started to get worried because flower bulbs do look quite a bit like onions. Finally, I started to get that horrible sinking feeling that I had made a big mistake.

Now, I ask you...how do you tell the difference between clumps of onions and clumps of soon to be flowers?

The onions are on the right and, dammit, I learned the hard way.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

photoshop ala Mexico

Learning photoshop. Here are some images from Mexico that I am manipulating tonight. For the moment I am learning to re-size them (finally) and how to apply filters (a novelty that I am sure will grow boring after time, but is really fun at the moment!)

I guess now would be a good time to warn my subscribers that I am going to be doing a lot of experimenting in the next 2 months with this blog. So, if you feel inundated by my seemingly random posts, feel free to take a break!

podcasting class

I am in class at the moment and we are learning how to start a blog, which I now know how to do without needing to be here, but practice is a good thing, right? And by the way, I modified that picture of the "Toe Separaters" on Fireworks yesterday, which is some progress from the gigantic post of the hairy purse last week.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

go homos

Over the weekend I competed in my first gay swim meet of the year. The Ohio Splash coordinated the meet and over 250 swimmers competed from 29 states across the nation. While there I saw the one of the strangest things ever.

(As a side note, I think it's worth saying here that I rarely go anywhere without my camera anymore. One of the reasons I like blogging so much is because it gives me an outlet for documenting and commenting on all the bizarre things I encounter in any given week. Perhaps it seems odd that one would have so much to comment on, but once you start looking, oddities are everywhere.)

Anyway, while on deck I noticed a swimmer from my team with his toes bedecked in wiggly green rubber contraptions. In all my years of competitive swimming, I have never seen a swimmer using any such gear, so I had to ask him what they were all about. To my surprise, they turned out to be "Toe Separators," for use when one suffers from bunions. Apparently they alleviate bunion pain by keeping one's toes from touching. So, since I have now discovered these wacky things, I had to search for them on Google and there are plenty of websites that sell toe separators, but NONE of them seem to have the model my team mate sported that day. This leads me to wonder if he had his special ordered...hmmm, tricky!

In any case, aside from my newly expanded knowledge about foot care accoutrements, I had some fast swims, wore myself out with 8 races in 8 hours and got to witness two blue ribbon performances by the best volunteers ever. Nothing captures their dedication to their assigned duties like this pic. Aahh, what a blessing it is to have such a wicked cohort!