Processed: week of July 21, 2014

The third in what seems to be emerging as a weekly series. Despite all my high-minded creative ideals, I spend a lot of time on the internet. And of course while I’m there I get distracted by shiny objects. Sometimes what I see can spark a new path of thought, which can be great, but only if I allow myself time to follow that path where it leads. Unfortunately, bookmarking and jotting quick notes just weren’t working for me, and at the end of the day all I was left with were vague memories of ideas that were really cool…if only I could remember what they’d been. This series is my effort to capture my train of thought throughout the week as I fall down my various online rabbit holes.

Bits and Bobs

Whoa, have you ever heard of an Earthship? I hadn’t either! So rad. I want to build one. And they remind me of another article I read a year or so ago, that featured this gorgeous house that a guy built for super cheap.

I read an interesting post about emotions coming out during yoga. I’ve never experienced a rush of emotions from yoga, but I have experienced it at my chiropractor’s office while getting electric stimulation. At the time I thought it was just because that 10 minutes lying down was the only time I had to reflect during my hectic week, but maybe it was something else? I’m just not sure how much I buy into this whole “body storing emotions” thing. I want to believe it because it sounds kind of awesome, like if I found the right combination of pressure points I could solve all my emotional problems, but somehow I don’t think it’s that easy.

I really like this place on Houzz, especially the clothes pin spiral and the backyard DIY abundance vibe. Someday I’d like our yard to have a similar feel.

Reminder to Self: in September I need to purchase the book Smoke Gets In Your Eyes and Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty, the founder of The Order of The Good Death. What a brilliant title!

Hooray, the third installment of Vice’s series on Terence McKenna. This one is a brief account of Terence McKenna’s life, in chronological order. I especially love the quote from his book True Hallucinations: Being an Account of the Author’s Extraordinary Adventures in the Devil’s Paradise:

The flow of the river was like the rich smoke I inhaled. The flow of smoke, the flow of water, and of time. “All flows,” said a beloved Greek. Heraclitus was called the crying philosopher, as if he spoke in desperation. But, why crying? I love what he says—it does not make me cry. Rather than interpret pante rhea as “nothing lasts,” I had always considered it a Western expression of the idea of Tao. And here we were, going with the Putumayo’s flow. What a luxury to be smoking, again in the tropics, again in the light, away from the season and places of death. Away from living under Canada’s State of Emergency, on the edge of war-bloated, mad America. Mother’s death and coincidentally the loss of all my books and art, which had been collected, carefully shipped back and stored, and then had burned in one of the periodic brushfires that decimate the Berkeley hills. Cancer and Fire. Fire and Cancer. Away from these terrible things, where Monopoly houses, waxy green, go tumbling into fissures in the animated psychic landscape.

I think I’ll buy that book. His writing flows nicely and is reminiscent of the styles of both Hunter S. Thompson and Tom Robbins.


I’m getting ready to start in on some assemblage work, so I’ve been doing a lot of research in that vein. I’ve always had an appreciation for the form, but the process is so different from mine that I’ve been delving deeply in order to wrap my mind around it. The difference is that when I begin a new painting, I allow it to speak to me and tell me what it wants, following that conversation with paint. It’s an ongoing process that I really enjoy, and the end result is always a surprise as I’ve never begun an abstract painting with an idea of what the final piece will look like. Assemblage seems to be the exact opposite of that approach; one has an idea for a specific feeling or concept they’d like to impart to the viewer, and then sets out to create that environment very methodically and intentionally through color, material, and scale. It’s so foreign to me that I must admit I’m struggling a bit to get started. I’m trying to reconcile my technique with assemblage technique in some way, and I think that I might be able to do it by working with materials trigger strong emotions within me. I’m thinking an ode to my ex, who was a heroin addict. I’ve purchased a box of 100 syringes that I might use somehow in the work. (By the way, purchasing needles when you have bad memories of them from a past life as a junkie’s wife is a totally surreal experience.)

Anyhow, as I was digging in with my online research, I ran across an artist named Fred Tomaselli who embeds actual street drugs and pharmaceuticals in his art. It’s interesting as a concept, but as far as the street drugs go I don’t really feel that they make any impact on his work in a visual sense. I do like that he is using the skills he picked up in a surfboard manufacturing shop in order to finish out his work. It always feels good when I can bring multiple, disparate talents to bear on one project.


Someone posted the link to this video of teens in 1984 talking about fashion. It really took me back to the wayback of getting messed with constantly because of looking punk, or new wave, or whatever you want to call how I looked as an alternateen. And the funny thing is, none of those kids from the video look at all “out there” now. The ones that look the strangest are actually the ones who were wearing the cool kid uniforms, because that’s the stuff that dates them. Turns out that alternative dressing is somewhat timeless. Especially as we did back then; it was a bit couture/avant-garde since we had to pull it all together from thrift store items, rather than having the ease of marching on down to Hot Topic and buying a full, mass-produced ensemble.

Watching that video made me think of Tavi Gevinson, who I adore. I think that if she and I had had the chance to be 14 together, we would have been amazing friends. She’s awesomely quirky, think outside the box-y, wise beyond her years, and massively creative. These days (I think she’s 17 now, but the link I posted above is from her 2008 posts) she’s a serious fashion icon and it turns out that she’s growing up to be quite beautiful, but back when she was more unformed it was really cool to see her not giving a shit and putting together some seriously awesome, wack-ass outfits. Like, crafting tiaras from thrift store finds and wearing them to middle school with giant oversized man-sweaters and high fashion shoes that were two sizes too big because she bought them from a consignment store with money she saved from her allowance).

Tavi started a great online magazine called Rookie, and I am not at all ashamed to tell you that I read it at least once a month in a fit of nostalgia and optimism. Yeah, I’m 41 years old and reading an online magazine for teenage girls. But this is no Seventeen. This is a magazine that speaks to the teenage girl inside of me who always felt misunderstood. It’s nice that the internet can show her, all these years later, that she’s not alone. I wonder how different my life would be if I’d had the internet back then?

Oh hey, wow! Three paragraphs on one topic! Maybe this experiment is actually helping me sort my brain out. Nice.