Saturday, May 30, 2009

Two fireworks in one week!

Thank you, Rockfest.

(PS, wow, I know absolutely none of these bands / never heard or heard of or seen. Not that I would know much about this genre, but 20 years ago, I did know a bit more. Bleh.)

Looks like my headache

Hate, hate, hate

She remembered that today

she saw one of the urban red-tailed hawks emerge low-flying (her height) from a parking lot south of 21st and Her-Aunt's-Name-Street this morning, just a few feet away and back and forth through her walking-point, on the way to work.

The aftermath was her walking dressed in black in the increasing sun wondering how her near-sighted squint was affecting the kept-looking-over fellow-with-headphones who was, by her intention, two one-directional lanes away, when she noticed a small black spider on her left hand … hawk had been on left and was almost audible … no one is claiming to have heard the movement of a miniscule arachnid.

Left, left, west or left.  It's funny to pretend to listen to Spirit Animals.

The missing element would have been a snake, obviously (to anyone who has been with me a while), but they are quite rare in cities.

She should be moving pavers in the front yard at some point this summer and shall be charmed to greet that little garden fellow again; and she will let you know.  (S/he's very difficult to photograph.)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

1984@451ºF: Requiem for paper

I shall miss you.

Admittedly, I have become less patient with digging physically through thin layers of pulped and pressed trees, on both a merely visceral level and also in terms of how the contemporary pressure to know everything precisely and immediately — to have facts and figures and photos to entice, back up, be countered or agreed with, on hand, in documentation and very quickly — has made perusal into a folly, deep reading an unaffordable luxury, and proper digestion of information a thing of the past.

I do not think people have gotten smarter or that they have such lighting-fast synapses that we can actually keep up with all the input we receive.  I believe that the best conclusions are those that take a bit of time to assemble.  There are always five or six sides to every story … and it's often not the correct story one guesses to start with.

Most of us do not take time or have* time to read much. It is done in 20-second to 5-minute snatches.  Personally, occasionally and especially when I was lately in undergraduate classes again, I will finish a whole chapter (or, in magazines, a whole article) before becoming distracted by something else and wandering off the job.

Perhaps I am just kind-of stupid.

I believe, however, that I can see writing on the walls about where writing is going to live.

The other morning, which seems so incredibly long ago and did even several hours after it was gone, I tried to compensate for having to get up and work very early and all day long on something that is not my own project (and is not being managed in such a way as to minimize impact on the domestic environment) by getting coffee and eating a pan au chocolat.

At the café, I picked up from their overflowing recycling bin one of the clean section As ofthe daily local, dated a day earlier**, and I enjoyed being able to start on page 1 with a story, jump to page 23 to finish it and then read the rest of the articles backwards to page 1.  I liked having reading material provided for me.  It helped make sense of all the random radio-news items I had been hearing for weeks but could not understand for lack of time and lack of sleep enough to keep my brain able to take in or put out more than a sentence at a time.

When newspapers can no longer afford to use cut-down trees or recycled formerly-cut-down trees to share information by physically delivering these printed pages to place after place after place, day after day after day, I will be sad.

Is it the same as having a set of newsprint pages lying around to share at a coffee shop to have tastefully-concealed computer stations offering items free-of-charge to patrons? With le screen, we would all have all the limitless choices we do right this instant and would opt not to stay with skimming or reading through 20-some***  items — no,  we would be bouncing to whatever Friend-345 recommended as a link on Facebook or be looking at the first paragraph of five or six stories recommended by whomever is in charge of culling stories for Yahoo! news digest pages.

Sometimes it is nice to have limited options in entertainment.

On a physical level, paper is portable and does not require anything but the energy of the sun to be useful as an information-sharing device. Yes, at night this is not true, but even the poorest person has access to daylight.  And many do have electricity or other sources of artificial (fossil- or nuclear- or bio-fuel) options.  Many, many more do not have computers and power enough or can afford phone or cable connections to get to all the information being stored in a machine that is specialized, requires power and technically-informed maintenance in order to function.  It is centralized; papers — books are everywhere.

I hate all the paper in my filing cabinet.  Of course, I love it, too. There are clippings.  There are entertaining letters from creditors and other official offices.  The letters live in a 70-pound plastic tub.  The photos, as with phonograph records, I shall not weigh.

At ye olde IRS, I developed a new anti-appreciation for the tedium of paperwork, and in only 8 short weeks … the day-traders who have literally a half-foot of one-sided printed pages detailing every little financial orgasm or wound, the destitute whose 1040EZs only contain a name, no address, no number, no job and an extra note in the "do not write here" spot that was my stamping target, reiterating, "I have no income."

By now, with almost a fortnight between me and the desk, the lights, the carts, the folders, the German-made stamping tool that looked exactly like the one they had in the B&W 1960 videofilm they showed us that one time the director was talking, my cuticles are no longer shredded and my first misplaced blister is not a scratchy entity on my palm; my thumbs, index base, pen-ballast at final knuckle of my right's middle finger have stopped peeling, the sharp spots of dead skin no longer needed.

I used to think of Tom Joad and how he was used to swinging a pick-axe from his prison term but had to re-break his hands after being away from it for a while; he mixed mud into his broken blisters and took solace from wincing that the blister is the built-in step to a protective callous. Our skin is interesting that way.… the paper cuts in the web connector between my thumb and hand, on every finger on both sides at one time or another, coupled with staple-scrapes on my wrists like Morse code and the shocking stabs from unsterile barbs sharp like tiny sudden attacks from the back of tax documents carelessly fastened together or falling apart from their fourth or possibly tenth human handling — I shall miss none of these.

Would that everyone did e-file and save laborers the trouble.  Many of those who felt the need to cram an eventual shelf in a cave with their hard copies used an accountant or professional preparer, even Turbo Tax, so it is not at this stage a matter of access.

I usually work in the industry that is dancing around trying to reinvent itself.  As it is an industry and not an art, the dance is not very fun or spontaneous. Though my keyboard is nearly as stained as the pages of my favorite novels: hummus, blood, pen marks, and other evidences of emotion or carelessness, it is not cozy in bed nor something I want to be staring at when at coffee shops. Bye, paper, bye, no one wants to buy you when you are priced what you really cost …

And we shall become more stupid, less informed, etc., as no one is paid to track down facts — as no one has either access or willingness to read them.  It was readily apparent that most of the people I was sitting around night after night were not tuned in to even the basic information streams we computer-chained office people are used to, we have-time-enough folks with merely one job, no kids, and only moderately demanding and not consuming obsessions, hobbies, illnesses or charges … when someone nearly one's own age, with a college degree (and to be fair, very sleep-deprived with two full-time jobs) turns to ask, mid-narrative, "Which is the bad Korea again," I have very little analysis to offer that you can't fill in for yourself.

However, having some researching journalist come and really look at how many accidents we night-owls cause nationwide by our ridiculousness (mandatory per lifestyle and circumstance), how much we contribute to the health-care bill down the road by our poor sleeping and eating habits, how many relationships we let go of attending so that they die, how many politicians we allow to continue in their negligence while we are not watching … well, it would interest me.  Too bad that I couldn't afford to hire someone to do that (you know, like in the Marxian model, where art-lovers somehow actually support artists directly and completely, sans government-grant interference).

*(We can deal with this modern myth or fact later.)

**(So old, so outdated, by Internet-news standards : )

***(I am estimating; though I did bring the paper home to remember to be against a comment in an anti-cursing article, I am not going to count articles right now)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Gimme Bunny

We want soft things until we have to take care of them.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

R.M. Fisher

Suikang Zhao


Matthew Farley

Facebook comment du jour

"I must say, ...Your quite a bit more attractive than I remember you.." [grammar preserved]

"Yes," she replies in her head, "I wanted to be at that 10-year reunion to show all you boys how some women take longer than 12 years to get to sexy and how I hated you for treating me like you did.  And, today, 21 years later, well, it's just an inappropriate thing to say."

All she did was "like" a series of pics that clearly displayed him with his girlfriend at some wedding reception.

Are hormones really able to convey themselves over inter-chakra lines of consciousness even without intention?  I think [choose to believe] not, despite additional evidence to the contrary.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Writers from DF and ATT crews have converged this Memorial Day weekend in Kansas City from around the country for their semi-annual reunion, drawing professional graffiti artists from other crews to town … Thursday and Friday, they painted at Grinder's / Crossroads KC music venue (19th and Locust, south roof and west side … and bus), and Vulcan and Apex (NY / San Francisco) will be completing the south-facing rooftop mural over the weekend.

Today, James Elementary School in Historic Northeast offers up its lovely retaining wall once again for an all-out set of great DF/ATT pieces and characters, with music by Hip Hop Academy, all starting at 1 p.m.  Watch layers of color emerge and converge, and try to read what you see as the artists work … get blackbooks signed and interview and photograph to your heart's content. (See pics from the August 2007 event at the school.)

Additional sites in Kansas City, Kansas, are also hosting guest painters (900-1100-blocks of Southwest Boulevard … on Lincoln near Strasser True Value Hardware and at 3 Axis fabrication company).

Friday, May 22, 2009

Bitches at Bice, or: "Failed Experiment"

I had a notion that it might be like "being in another city," since it's certainly not like being in my own and thus like a vacation.

It was not fun at all.

"This is so-and-so, and he'll be shadowing me, I'm training him, I am the trainer for this location, we have to give him a hard time" speaks volumes.  Esp. when supervisor-server is overheard saying same line to other couple in same way later and overheard and overheard and overheard as he chooses to engage in a too-loud conversation with other couple, because he and male counterpart both have experience in leasing / real estate: "Oh, you should charge them such-and-such and run their record through the mill. And, pets — I get at least another month's rent deposit — you have to protect your investment!"

When you can hear the server's babbling over your own thoughts two tables away …

Dear So-and-so didn't do much nor receive a hard time.  He did come and ask if we wanted more water, right after he and trainer had just been by.  Mostly, I feel bad for him, since the place was sooooo underpopulated — on a Friday night at 7 p.m.

All we wanted was outdoor dining with decent food for price … I don't even mind paying $8 a glass for $12 bottle (retail) wine, but what is there to see but running boards that fold in automatically when the SUV door closes across the street at the steak place where the valets were busy — or the homeless people walking on the same Hollywood-poured sidewalk as the bachelorette partygirls or the conventioners with their matching over-the-shoulder string-sling conference bags?

Calamari might be "better" for being made of more rings than tentacles, but even with the tempura batter and the addition of mushrooms and pepper strips, I could not bear finishing them … yes, fresh tomato purée to dip them in is good, but all of it very bland, very bland.  And, that doily was a nice touch, but draining the fried sea creatures longer would have pleased me more.  Or, maybe some pepper (chef's addition, not mine).

Angel hair pasta with olive oil, basil, tomatoes … really, a clump like that?  I know it's very hard to get fresh mozzerella to the table in good form, but all the oil should not abandon the pasta for the bottom of the bowl right off, leaving a mass of angel tangles to pick apart.

And, while I appreciated the unsolicited commentary by trainer-server about how the eggplant parmesean (on the anti / appetizer menu but chosen as entrée) was not fried and "more healthy," I found it way oily anyway and had no use for the slab o' cheese on top besides.  Visually, it was fine, but to taste the same (sooooooo nearly) tomato purée surrounding it …

Worst $50-dinner ever.

Irritating, faux-doting yet condescending service … maybe happy hour (before 6:30 p.m.) is fine, but we would have enjoyed having hot dogs from the vendor cart down the block 1,000 times more.  The seller has a tattoo of Afghanistan on his neck and when asked, said, "But don't tell anyone," and, of course, I find that humorous.  He's been here since 1979 (Kansas City), which "is long enough to be a vendor."  I can't determine how that linguistic nuance should be interpreted.

But back to "Italy" — maybe the Bice bread has something Milanese-regional going on, too, but I think that crumbly pan is bad.  Where's the yeast and crust we have come to know and love when dining American Italian?  The roasted pepper-something cream cheese did pair with it well, but I tasted very little (and the cheese came on a chilled square plate in yet more olive oil).

Anyway, needless to say and without photos because the camera was off doing art things, I could (in the re-contexted words of my friend whom I dragged there against the instincts I used to use) give a flying sweet potato that "Bice Bistro arrives in Kansas City."

Chain CONCEPT restaurants are useless food-wasting-factories.  The eggplant strata (and everything I have eaten) at One-80 is far superior.

When even I, the most starving-to-death middle-classer-on-the-edge, do not take a box of leftovers home but sends the greasy mess to its rat-bin … well, I guess it's high time I return to my instincts.

And and

Could be me but I'm not cool enough to skate DT

Voluntary Honda ad

Perhaps it's a Honda, I didn't check; you all can speculate based on body-shape, but it just so happened to be coordinated to the background, which is from Asia (mentally; it's a functional piece of art by Suikang Zhao that was fabricated locally at A. Zahner Co. for the north end of Bartle Hall convention center, and this is the more functional side). But if you've been watching, I'm on a kick about emphasizing how everything's all connected and there are no borders and all elements (not the Honda Element) are one and the same. Anyway, this view of sparkle just makes me happy to look at it.


We breathe the same air, too

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Spinning clean

Evolvement by Lori Raye Erickson and Lisa Marie Evans, part of the 10th anniversary of Kansas City's Avenue of the Arts, opening tonight with a reception and music and food, etc.

This is a zoetrope; the artists created three zoetropes, each with a different animation. This one is about the rise-and-fall relationship between a building and a tree. (Yes, my film is tilty and might require Dramamine for viewing; the real-life experience, as always, is 1,000-times better, so go.)

What I find

Go out for art, come back with science.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Seems a bit loopy

They hightlight the changes and then ask you to read about 20 screens of text, the legalese that usually comes on thin folded paper with a credit card statement, and I sort of started reading because there is an "I agree" button at the bottom.

This seems rather unfair:

C.  Waiver of requirement for two or more signatures
You recognize that any requirement of verifying two or more signatures on checks, if such a requirement exists, does not apply to electronic or telephone transfers, and release us from liability when making these kind of transfers. This means that any person who is an authorized signer on your account is authorized by you to individually make electronic or telephone transfers, even though that person's authority to transfer or withdraw funds from your account by some other means (e.g., by check) must be exercised jointly with one or more other persons. This provision controls and takes precedence over any conflicting provision in any other agreements you have with us.
Electronic law has not kept up?  I recall talking to a credit card company on behalf of cardholder spouse and the rep's wanting to have him in the call too … until there was an authorization, perhaps.  That authorization did not include my SS#.

What's the point of double-signature checks if the provision can be overridden so easily using a phone or e-transfer.

Thank you, mortgage bank.

Thank you, too, Federal Mutual Bank that used to be a Credit Union that made us vote on the switch that supposedly would free it up to open more branches, etc., for closing the one and only local branch and only bank within walking distance of my house — as well as the lovely 24-hour ATM your study says is hardly ever used … I really appreciated the letter you sent that said you were sorry for no longer being able to offer live services in the Chicago area and therefore were depositing $25 into our account … I'm thrilled about the prospect online-only banking and mailing deposits in to Minnesota or wherever you're based.  So much so that I will be seeking out another bank shortly. Inconvenient?  Indeed.  Necessary, though.

I hate getting swished around by financial institutions for doing nothing wrong.

I am going to incorporate this phrase into as many conversations tomorrow as possible:  "This provision controls and takes precedence over any conflicting provision in any other agreements you have with me."

We know we're blurry

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Some people

at our house …

with, you know, graffiti names …

Monday, May 18, 2009


Thanks to a particularly remembering friend …
I now know that today is the 17th anniversary
of my high school graduation —
(when I was 17).

Going to go bury something …

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Back stage

Pan cake
Grease pencil
Gum arabic
Proscenium arch
Tech rehearsal
Hell week
Cast party
Cold cream
Prop mistress

Saturday, May 16, 2009

GeoQuiz 3

"All flash incidents do not equate to a violation."

We just had to.
I love, too, how the purpose is to reduce red-light running
"without impacting City funds."
Don't they know impacts can be negative or positive?
They meant to say "negatively."
They meant to say, "and if we make some money in the process, and if some contractor who made the cameras makes more, we'll be fine with that."
Today seems like it would be a good day to go fishing.
I wonder if I shall ever do that with my oldest male relatives ever again.
The last time I fished was with my spouse, and it did rain, of course,
and we ran the boat into the dam.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Free Hour and $5

"They said they weren't going to do early layoff tonight, but then they called back two hours later and they are."

(… said manager, who was chewed out earlier and irrationally that night by a person, male, who used to go off on breaks to read the bible with a person, female, who was escorted out the night before while cheerily covering the firing with loud "bye, everyone's" … oh, something about cheating, something about she should have taken the option to resign a couple of weeks ago instead of calling in the union and starting some investigation … the same manager whom the trainer-elevated clerk doesn't like for "dictating things she doesn't know anything about" while not helping her know anything, of course … and there i am in the middle of these things all …)

That's what it's like at the IRS.

Thursday was employee appreciation night, which means that some of y/our tax money went to cheering up federal workers such as I — who were against the idea of "wasting" an hour they were giving us off of production time (use code for "engagement," not "administrative") to play games like musical squares and giant Monopoly and Sorry — but then I laughed a little, ate the ice cream and played some balloon game in which you see how far yours goes when launched from behind some line in the non-smoking courtyard … and I won a five-dollar QuikTrip gift card.

I'm extra happy about not getting one of the Wal-Mart ones, you know?  Very much better than my last day at Taco Bell, for example, when the A/C went out in August along with the register computers, and we were sweating to death doing manual orders, addition and change, and my drawer ended up $20 over …

Eight weeks and lots of social input later, my $12.91/hour night-gig has come to an end.

I am leaving on proper terms that allow me to be considered for seasonal recall (sounds like some Christmas-toy malfunction thing) in January or February 2010, and the rest of the numbering crew only expects another week or to be shifted to days very soon.

The director came 'round and thanked us mechanically like she must, for the campus' having met our deadline for refund returns.  "You just numbered and got them out."  Yes, indeed.  We're so proud that you all should have received your money by now (unless you're in the late buckets or only filed your 4868 so far, like me …).

Thursday, May 14, 2009


… down … seems …
to be …
something … missing … 
after (before) may 7.

just me?

we think that tomorrow (today) is the final one for the early-leave-takers.  nothing is certain, though, esp. in a government job, except the pettiness of people who will talk about others they then talk to to their faces as if they hadn't just said what they said for weeks and weeks and weeks or five minutes before.  we are complex enough to manage dozens of overlapping relationships simultaneously.

it's a delicate dance, a strange capitulation of levels and positioning.  she (M____) can be honest to criticize T____'s 3-inch heels or shown-through bra-strap and then be criticized for her own tops that men (B___ said, to me, when M____ was away) were coming to the atrium level on purpose just to look down and see and wear that same day and the next a bra with colorful straps, which i can for myself see … yes, the previous comment-day, i asked about hers out front, but in an off-handed comparative way.

and i can be honest about my "man shoes" as B___ points out her own slippers (after admonishing me about chips before i had seen the weeks of what i know she eats now …), and not give a damn what anyone is wearing. 

people say what they say when allies are near to say hear-hear — knowing and/or not caring that the allies have the power to relay that information to the talked-about …

i so so so wish i could hear what they say about me.  it's not vanity.  it's just material.

is it more honest to gossip and put your impressions about people out there (like mine about how M___ was wearing white pants i thought were ___) rather than not say them (like i never said anything about the pants or anything else around there)?

clothing is so WHATEVER, and even though i get a small kick out of the anti-hipster-look site, i have to say, "hey, we all wore really dumb clothes at one point, and really, what ARE dumb clothes?"

i'm all for wearing what you have, what you like, what you feel like that day.  i have always had HUGE anxieties about getting dressed (to leave the house or even to clean, because one never knows when someone else will show up … and naked cleaning is not "cool" — see, i'm not all that free) and spent, sometimes, hours doing it (putting on and taking off dozens of combinations), and i can only find peace in dropping back on a faux-buddhist feeling that THIS IS REALLY SHALLOW AND MEANINGLESS, thinking of what prisoners wear, what homeless people wear, what poorer people wear, what we see African and Vietnamese children wearing …

[not to downplay designers' art.  that's a whole other layer of discussion.]

Monday, May 11, 2009

day off

paid time off is
was used all up entirely with not-resting

one day away and next
thing is return to find three desk-land companions

i'm the only one in my row-for-eight
and now i get to move into the girls' neighborhood
else be considered anti-social

they resigned as requested
because they are too slow

it was like being on LOST or something
sudden disappearances
and that one guy did ask how i liked it on my island

john donne had it wrong
but nevertheless i'll play along.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Friday, May 08, 2009

Sisyphus had his rock

There's this pile of postcards by my bed, and in my body, it's 2 p.m., as if for the last seven weeks I've lived beyond the dateline, over in Asia again.

The postcards are waiting, along with the uncounted … scroll and scroll and scroll … e-mails waiting for my attention, for conversion, for legitimacy, a notation of this-is-important, though nothing is important.

Tasks we take on in hopes of what —

(Mommy, it hurts so much.)

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Someday, 2 p.m. will be that late-afternoon lull again.
For now, it's my sunrise.
And I'm sick of it.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

I hate being itchy.
I hate that it's already dawn.
I hate when feline pets are bothersome.
I hate finding time to deal with fingernails.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Notice of Completion of Suitability Investigation

"Employment with the Internal Revenue Service requires both good character and a high degree of personal integrity. I am pleased to advise you that the background investigation conducted incidental to your employment with the IRS has been completed and it has been determined that you are suitable to occupy your current position."

Well, that's good! … I've been there 7 weeks, and I hear that voluntary layoff time is just around the corner — maybe Thursday, before I get my free ice cream at Employee Appreciation Day (May 12).

That would suit me just fine, incidentally.

For now, my suitable co-workers and I shall be "enjoying" "Cinco de Mayo" together by eating food that we signed up to bring in and scarf down between quota-making document-stamping exercises.

Extra points to those who can find the grammatical (punctuation) error in the director of personnel security's paragraph.

It goes along well with the computer-printed sign that's been perplexing me all along that tells clerks that certain shelves (called The Wall) contain boxes of #2 and #4 filing supplies:


Friday, May 01, 2009

Day of Labor

Somewhere, many wheres, several 1--- places, a woman is giving birth.

I shall lie on the lawn and see what crawls over me, and
at dawn the breath of soil smells inhaled will remind me that it is spring.

September brings sorrow renewed by personal anniversary; however,
we are choosing this year to take a belated honeymoon toward another wedding.

Theirs is on a ship; both request costumes, and my hope is that then
I will have but one paying job and no non-paying ones.

Hers is on Beltane (belated one day),
and the technical Saturday anniversary of ours (belated two, but both on Derby Day).

You can change anything as easily as the weather in Missouri
and probably as effectively — you are powerless, but time is not.

Time gives rise to creative togs, panels, embracings of life —
otherwise, we are just surviving and have no costumes.

For amphibians, amoebas, fish, crustaceans of the land and sea,
survival is blessedly enough (esp. since we think they think of nothing all day).

Our worries build up higher than Babelicious towers, and we want so badly
to have something, be something, do something more

Than convert
Time to
Work to dollars,
Dollars to things that allow one to
Arrive back at work somewhat rested, usually bathed,
Often fed, adequately clothed, and "willing" to keep on feeding
The self, the debts, the unavoidable expenses of being around
In this country.

Deterioration and entropy happen.
Poems don't always make it to the end.

Everyone needs an editor
is her adage:

This piece — like the little piggies whom (no one talks about it)
apparently died from the flu — had none.

Happy birthday, Mom.

I think you must be 49.

So, I won't be any more than merely and wholly present … I am supposed to
be doing something else even now, but these are my choices.

The ear thing of the year has begun. Mark-ye the ache as starting 48 hours ago;
wait for the fun reports of über pains and submissions to Take Care Health Clinic.

Souter, you are going?

These next few days mean we are halfway between the last equinox and the coming solstice.
That was fast.