Posts filed under ‘stories’
As per usual, art making stuff over at the studio blog: http://upthefolksstudio.wordpress.com
Putting together things I want to put in the bike trip zine, I came across this.
After the bike trip, on the morning I was to go to the airport, I ordered a cab. The cab driver was exceptionally chatty. He told me, I think, that he wrote stories. Then he recited to me from memory one of his more recent ones. I think it was about a waitress, and it was from the first person perspective, I assumed it was meant to be coming from him. Something about cigarettes, coffee, and some unspoken desire on her part (that, I thought was strange, and presumptuous, but I said nothing) I wish I remembered it better. At the time, it was something I did not care about. I was in emotional turmoil, I had left something else unfinished and I was about to return to my mother’s house with no plan, no future, and a backpack full of salt-stained clothes. What was this man to me? Just another in a surprisingly long series of people who had told me more about themselves than they would tell the average stranger. It is odd to me now that I was not phased by an impromptu recital in a yellow cab on the way to the airport. Now that I think about it, he was smoking. It wasn’t about cigarettes, definitely about a waitress. He was smoking the entire time. Cigarette and thin leathery arm dangling out the window as he lightly tapped the ash in to the street.
as per usual, if you’re looking for artmaking stuff, please visit the studio blog: http://upthefolksstudio.wordpress.com/
Two nights ago I had a dream that my father died.
I’ve actually been having a lot of dreams where my family dies or is in mortal peril recently. It’s probably some sort of reaction to the stress of school mixed with the guilt of not being able to see any of them due to time issues. I’ve been trying to figure out a time to go see my grandparents and I honestly can’t find a time in the near future where school lets up for long enough that I could visit without destroying my GPA and subsequent college career.
Anyway, because I had this dream I’ve been thinking about my dad a lot.
(I don’t have any pictures of my dad currently on my computer because of the great unplugging of the external hard-drive tragedy of 2008, so the only pictures I have to go with this post are some old army ones I took digital pictures of, out of the albums he has in Florida.)
I remember one night when I was little, (maybe 6 or 7) and my dad was home at night for the first time in ages and he had come in to my room to read me a story, and fallen asleep on my bed. I remember being so cold because the fan was blowing on me and it was almost September, but my blanket was under my dad (this giant, gray, hero of mine) and the last thing in the entire world that I wanted to do right then was to move him. I wouldn’t even touch him because he might wake up and leave. I remember sitting there for what felt like hours, terrified to move and absolutely chilled to the bone. Then I found it. The top sheet was only wedged halfway under my dad, so I scrunched down near him, and put the sheet over myself. The warmth, just the thin cotton was enough of a reprieve from the cool wind that I felt like I had just crawled inside a giant fluffy sleeping bag. I think that was the warmest I’ve ever been. That night in august, near my dad (but not touching him, for fear of waking) huddled under a sheet, I was contented with my situation.
For as long as I can remember my dad has known everything.
He showed me how to braid challah when I was so young that I didn’t understand why we ate it on Fridays. When I was in junior high and struggling through biology, he explained to me how genetics work in simple terms and drew me a Punnett square on the back of a napkin while we ate dinner. One afternoon while we were walking around his neighborhood with the dog, he tried to explain to my 12-year-old self how light refraction works. He is a doctor; I was always amazed that he knew how to fix people. I still am amazed. I never knew how he did it, how he knew so much, and I was jealous and sometimes annoyed. I couldn’t get facts to stick in my brain like he did. Nonetheless, it was exceptionally comforting to know that there was this adult in my life who could answer any question I had (and sometimes lecture on those questions which were never asked.) But now as I get older I am starting to become more like him, more aware of how my brain works, and I can finally begin to understand more of how his may work as well. I am not an encyclopedia, but a collector. I collect information I find interesting. I think this is also how my dad works. This mental compulsion is what creates in me the desire to learn. I find myself spending hours researching everything I possibly can about something just because it sparks my interest. I wouldn’t change it for the world, because of this I care about things; I am able to immerse myself deeply in something and truly learn. I got this from my dad, my dad who knows everything. I think he is a collector, too.
So thank you, dad. Thank you for my desire to learn, for teaching me, and for always being there with an answer when I needed one.
There is no format today, I just wanted to share a couple good things with you guys.
I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned it before, but my absolute favorite part of my entire apartment is the built in cabinet in my dining room.
Another thing that makes me happy is this camera:
Its a Kodak Duaflex II and I’ve had it for about 3 years (my friend Kate got it for me for my 18th birthday.) I have moved it from philadelphia to chicago to philadelphia to maine and I have never used it. I am sick of not knowing what to do with it, so I’ve decided to figure out how to use it and print some sick photos this summer.
I’ve been reading The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle for the past month in my down time and I am in love with it.
I love the atmosphere, the strange short mysteries, but mostly I love the vocabulary. I always knew that the term “Pub” came from the phrase”Public House” but I had never heard that phrase used in context until Sherlock Holmes. It sounds so lovely. I’ll see you, I’m just going down to the public house to engage a man in a round of fisticuffs etc. Love it.
SPRING BREAK IS ONLY A WEEK AWAY. Sweet Jesus thank God praise Allah Sh’ma Yis’ra’el Adonai Eloheinu Adonai Echad etc.
Oh how badly I need this break.
Not that I’ll actually have much time for rest as I have projects for all six of my classes due the week after break, but at least I won’t be in classes all day everyday, and Dan and Kate are visiting me! So Excited!
Your favorite movie and what it’s about
No, I cannot possibly narrow it down to one.
I can list some of my favorite movies right now. Lets go for 5 that I would want to watch right now if I had the opportunity.
1.) Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Man, I really need to invest and buy this movie. It is just wonderful. It’s adapted from the musical of the same name about Hedwig, who grew up in east berlin, had a (botched) sex change operation so ze could immigrate. Its also about gender identity and it has great music.
2.) BBC’s 6 hour Pride and Prejudice
Old fashioned polite british romance, AND sassyness! It is the adaptation most true to the book , and it has colin firth.
I really like the Frames, and this movie is sweet. Its about a serendipitous musical connection of two artists/friends.
4.) the Up Series (documentary films)
This is about people. It follows a group of kids from the age of 7 to 49. Its an astonishing piece of documentary filmmaking that spans (almost) an entire lifetime.
5.)Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill (documentary)
Its about a man who takes care of parrots in San Francisco. Its so great.
I could think of 5 more, this list is ever changing.
One of your favorite television shows.
Northern Exposure is one of my top 5 favorite television programs of all time (shout out to my mom who was the one that got me started watching it.)
I don’t really feel like talking about how great it is, it just is. Watch some.
“Nah, I never really liked the whole structured education thing”
I agree with Ed on computers.
A moment you felt most satisfied with your life.
Ah, trick question.
I am never satisfied with my life, if I were I would have no reason to go on living. The drive towards a life that I can be satisfied with is what keeps me sane and motivated. I think that this question meant to ask about happiness, not satisfaction. Satisfaction is a whole different monster.
If you changed that question to a moment in which you were happy with the state of your life, I would not only be able to answer, but I would have a lot to draw on.
That’s what I will do (have you noticed that I keep changing the questions? I am apparently terrible as abiding the rules)
It is not surprising that most of the moments in my recent past that I remember feeling quite happy with life were in summer. It’s pretty difficult to look out your window at sleet and snow and a muddy gray city and think to yourself “This is good, I like this.” I’d like to focus on just two recent small scenes, not any grand sweeping moments of happiness.
- August 2010, I have recently moved to a new city and a new apartment. I am washing dished and all of a sudden the smell of woodsmoke comes wafting through the window. Instantly I am woken up from a strange anxiety haze and look around to realize that my life is actually lovely (I then go read harry potter.)
- April 2010, It is the first really warm day of the spring, around noon. Lawn mowers are buzzing all over the neighborhood, every flower is opening and the air isn’t yet heavy with summer. I’m doing mosaics. I am happy.
They may seem insignificant, but little fleeting moments of joy (in my opinion) are what makes life good.
So those kinds of moments throughout my life are when I have been closest to “satisfied” (though this quiz is slightly different in definition according to this challenge.)
this road kind of feels like my home
i’m always aching
to find out just exactly where it goes
Icarus made some wings and tried to fly up to the sun
even though everybody told him that it could not be done
so he died, but at least he tried
and i bet that he had fun
Wow, I was in a state of pure delirium by the time I posted that last night. I don’t even remember uploading that photo of Nick Cave but who can complain, amiright?
I just spent he last 2 hours and hours looking for the right felt for my metal smithing+jewelry class (why am I doing a metals project out of felt? I’ll explain when I finish the project and show you guys.) But I eventually did! Hooray.
Today I want to show you guys Ivan E. Coyote. I am totally in love with him (excuse the gender-specific pronouns, but I just don’t like how Hir and Ze look. I’m sorry)
Happy day before thanksgiving! I hope all of yours are filled with family, friends, and delicious/ cruelty-free foods.
A story from the Li Su people who live in the mountains and do not feel as though they belong to any nation, but would probably be found near cambodia. Told to our class by our professor, and told to you by me.
There once was a creator god. He, much like the greek Zeus created this world without chaos, he too bundled up all of the unmentionable things in a box and left them out of our world.
Once the creator god was riding along in the woods, enjoying the view that he had created, when all of a sudden he comes upon the trickster god. The trickster god is riding a goat. The creator god laughs and asks,
“Trickster god, why are you riding that goat, you look ridiculous.”
“I am riding this goat” says the trickster god “because it is the fastest animal ever ,faster even, than your horse.”
and the creator god looks down at this horse and he is filled with pride, he knows that this horse is the fastest animal in creation because he himself created it.
“That is impossible”
“I can prove it to you in a race, and if I win, you must give me your horse.” replied the trickster god.
The creator god accepts, and they line up to race on the edge of a cliff shaped like a horseshoe. Now, you have to remember what the jungles of cambodia are like, because the fact that they are well below the tree line is important. On this race track, you cannot see more than the road in front of you.
The race starts and the creator god starts off racing hard at a gallop. The trickster god sits there on his goat for a bit, than quickly magics himself to the finish line of the race. The creator god shows up, exhausted, panting, and is shocked to find the trickster god there. You see, the creator god cannot fathom that the trickster god has cheated, that action is outside of his realm of knowledge.
“you are surprised?” says the trickster god “surely you saw me pass you?”
“I guess I missed you” the creator god replies, still confused. but he is not one to back out of a deal, so he humbly hands over his horse. The trickster god gives the creator god the goat as a condolence prize and rides back towards the house of the creator god.
Once he is well out of sight (for the creator god, having to ride a goat is much further behind) he changes himself to look like the creator god. He rides up to the creator gods house (still disguised as him) and goes inside. The creator god’s wife is there and asks him why he is looking so upset.
“It is that annoying trickster god,” says the trickster god disguised as the creator god “he is going around pretending to be me, he is so terrible that I ought to kill him. If you see him, you must kill him. The only way to tell that he is not me is that he will be riding a goat instead of my fine horse.”
The creator god’s wife, not knowing that this is in fact the trickster god, sees the creator god riding up the path on a goat and with a swift throw of an axe kills him dead.
This is why there is chaos, this is why bad things happen to good people, because the trickster god has been running the show the whole time.
*photo of a drawing i did last week.
This one time, I was riding my bicycle up the side of a mountain and a guy asks if he can use my handpump (for pumping up tires, creepo.) He is about 40, medium build, a little on the scruffy side, not particularly threatening and there is a lot of traffic on the road so I hand him my pump and wait on the side of the road for him to return. The pump doesn’t work and he tells me that they are old bikes and maybe it has a different valve or maybe the tubes have disintegrated and I say that I hope he figures out the bicycle problem and make moves at to continue my journey up the mountain, but he stops me and proceeds to tell me the following.
At the time, he was living in town, but came up the this house on the weekends to work on it, and his ultimate goal was to get it in a condition that he could live there full time. He’d been coming up to the house to work on it a little at a time for 2 years, and he thought he still had at least another year to work on it. He had bought the house shortly after he moved back to the states from Germany where he had been living ever since he was stationed there with the army. While he was there with the army he had started playing for a local german Hockey team and he had liked it enough to stay there for a while, and a while turned in to about 5 years. He said he liked it over there, and had a girlfriend who was also an american, but they were just friends now and she “still came to visit him sometimes even though it was a long flight.” I asked him why he had decided to move back, and he told me that he had moved back because he had started to feel homesick for New England. He had lived in a city in Germany and had missed the wildlife and nature. He had grown up in the area and had always wanted to live on this mountain, he said that he liked being on high ground, it made him feel like he could see more, even if there were trees everywhere. I asked him if he had seen a moose (at the time, we were seeing dozens of signs for moose crossing and not a single moose. I live in Maine now, and I still have yet to see a moose.) He said that he saw moose all the time, but his most interesting animal encounter was when he had first bought this house. He had no electricity yet so for dinner he was making hotdogs outside on the fire and all of a sudden he had caught sight of a bear “medium sized” he said, “couldn’t have been much bigger than me, but wasn’t small enough to worry about the mother” on the edge of the ring of light shed by the fire and the bear had just sat there. He knew that if he made any sudden movements he could scare the bear in to attacking so he just sat there for “what felt like an hour” and then the bear just got up and left. He said that he liked to think that the bear was sitting there with him, not just because of the hotdog smell.
At that point Rosemary showed up (she was biking in front, and when I hadn’t shown up for a good 45 minutes she began to worry and had backtracked to make sure I wasn’t dead.) So ends that encounter, but throughout the trip people kept telling me things about themselves. One man (a mechanic at a bike place in NY who was very nicely giving us a lift to the shop because I had my tenth flat tire) spent a 15 minute car ride telling me about his ex wife who lived in Jersey and his decision to move to upstate NY after the divorce, it was strange because in my mind that isn’t something you tell someone you’ve just met. I think something about Rose and I bicycling this far, doing something so out of the ordinary made people feel like we were somehow witnesses, that they needed share with us so that they could have something about themselves, some crucial part of their lives or person on record with us. Or maybe they were just chatty people, who knows.