JibJab sums it up nicely.
Yes, I'm super-late doing this. I finally have some time on my hands (two posts in one day, can you believe it?). I must memorialize my brand-spankin'-new nephew, born September 28th 2008, ten weeks early.
I know what you're thinking, and the answer is no. They did not pose him. Apparently this is the position he assumed just a couple hours after being born. It's obvious to me that when he grows up, he's going to be an underwear model.
My sister had returned home after her first baby shower about a week late because of the hurricane that had hit Houston (I forget which). She had a routine pre-natal check up and when she went, her doctor saw that she was beginning to dilate already - no explanation why. They put her on magnesium for a couple days to relax her muscles, but that can't go on forever so they had to let the baby come. This is him smiling already at his father, James (the young man who knocked up my sister).
This is from Jayden's first bath. He looks just like my sister in this picture. I love the expression on his face, he's like "Okay, I don't know what's going on but I'll bear it as long as I can..." Isn't he precious? Everyone tells me he's so quiet and sweet! He has my sister's eyebrows and nose and my temperament, but the rest is all James...
Everyone except me - his own aunt - has seen him by now. I'll be seeing him next week though, I'm going to visit them in Houston. I can't wait! We're gonna have so much fun! We're gonna do baby yoga! Feel free to leave comments extolling my nephew's good looks and sweet temperament, and congratulating me on being an aunt. (Note: I'll not be following in my sister's footsteps so don't even ask. Unless, of course, I can be with the man of my dreams again... I love him too)
Everybody's doin' it!
I'm still voting Green. I'm tired of wasting my vote on candidates that I have no faith or confidence in, who fall all over themselves pandering to a non-existent middle class and "moderates". People who call themselves moderates, in my opinion, have no backbone and need to figure out what they stand for - they ought not to be pandered to. What! I said it. Y'all better ask somebody...
I think we're all gonna get ear cancer. I usually only use my earbud in the car, but I think that I'll use it every single time I speak on the phone from now on. Good Christ! This can't mean anything positive for our brains!
You will not be disappointed.
smockshop presents: screeners I -
video work for screening and for sale
September 6 - 21, 2008
summer smockshop, 936 Mei Ling Way, Chinatown, Los Angeles
September 6, 7 – 11pm
with live performance by
VOS - Yes, We Can Do It? at 8pm.
"Yes, We Can Do It?" is a 7 minute video and performance created by Peggy Jo Pabustan as a collaboration by "VOS" featuring Amanda Alfieri, Alexia Lewis, and Peggy Jo Pabustan. The screening will be accompanied by the performance "Cock & Bull".
Dude. ALL OF US had tracks glued into our hair. After the show was done, it took the hair dressers 15 minutes to get one track out of the homie Warren's hair - po' thang had his hair and scalp yanked repeatedly. That was a first for me, and I hope they never do it again. Aren't there clip-ins that can be used? It made us look great, tho...
I mentioned in my previous post that I went to the CalArts grad show at the Chinatown galleries to complete a day of art-ing. My homegirl wants me to let the world know about my interaction with David Alan Grier (two snaps and a head-roll, haaaaay!). It was nothing, really. I promise. He was there that night - we think that either he's a patron of the arts (I saw him at Kara Walker's puppet show at the Redcat in 2005), or he has a son or daughter who goes to CalArts (the Redcat is affiliated with that school).
Anyway, me and my friends were standing in a group, and my homegirl Amanda was pointing out this really tall guy with a small head. I think she said something to the effect of "Wow, for such a tall guy, he has a really small head." I followed her gaze, pointed (subtly) and said "That guy? Yeah, you're right. He has a really small head." Unfortunately, the tall guy I was (subtly) pointing at was standing behind D.A.G. (btw he has great skin), and later my homegirls told me that he saw me pointing and kept looking at me weird the rest of the night, unbeknownst to me.
So when he left and passed by me, I let him know that I wasn't pointing at him, there was a guy standing behind him with a really small head that my friend pointed out and I was pointing at him. I have to show clarification, you know? I wasn't raised any old kind of way. He said he didn't notice, and my friends were all like "I can't be-LEEEEEVE you!", and I'm all like, "What? What did I do?". Yeah, what did I do? I just wanted to let the guy know that I have manners, ya know?
Before I got into my most recent accident (not my fault this time!) this past last Thursday, I was at Saddle Ranch fellowshipping with my friend Lynnise who's in a band called Swivel - they were playing at the House of Blues that night so a bunch of friends met up there. The Lakers game was on the TVs, and Spike Lee was sitting behind us, watching with Elise Neal. I had met him before in the summer of 2003. I had made friends with a man named Ralph Wiley who was a writer. He died in the summer of 2004 of a totally out-of-the-blue heart attack. He was a very decent man - not once did he even try to hit on me, and if you don't know how it is out here with older successful men, then be glad you don't (ew). He was friends with Spike, and once took me to the set of Sucker Free City, which was shooting at the time. Since my breathtaking meeting with Mr. Lee was negligible at best, I didn't try to reintroduce myself while he was so fixated on the game last week.
Ralph Wiley was a great guy, and I hope he rests in peace.
I'm noticing more and more that Tecate is gradually replacing traditional red/white wine at art openings in LA these days. Why, man? What about those of us who don't like beer?
Corey Helford Gallery still serves wine. Actually, I really enjoy the openings there because even though the work exhibited is usually quite commercial, the parties are catered with an open bar and a variety of hors d'oeuvres. In fact, the first time I ever went there they had a cotton candy vendor there, matching the theme of the artist's work.
But seriously; yesterday I did the Culver City Art Walk, and attended the CalArts grad show at the Chinatown galleries, and it was Tecate everywhere, with a little Budweiser thrown in from time to time. Hate to sound like a lush, but some of us non-beer drinkers have the right to get our buzz on in order to better pontificate about how the work shown is utter BS, too.
It's just that when someone tells me that someone OD'd on [insert drug of choice], I think that they're dead. Well, Tila Tequila isn't, after all. Apparently, this happens all the time with her. So, just in case anyone actually reads this blog, I'm correcting myself just as any good journalist should, which I'm not.
In other news, this Memorial Day was very Surreal Life. I went to a really lame pool party where Ron Jeremy was making hot dogs. I think that dude is depressed. The people there were... not my crowd, I should say.
Moving right along, I just want to say that I'm SO GLAD I don't have a TV. Sometimes I get access to some, and it's just confirmed that I'm really not missing out on much. If I see one more Cialis commercial...
More like four degrees.
I was at work today, and I got a text about 2 hours ago from my homegirl that Tila Tequila was dead. She knew because she was hanging out with the guys from ICP, and one of their friends had been partying with her last night and found her dead. I'm not gonna say the reason why, just in case people actually read my blog and I get sued or something.
1. Because of my lack of an idiot box, all that I know of Tila Tequila is that she had the most friends of anyone on MySpace and she's on a reality show now. I hope that she rests in peace, and that people will catch on that they need to learn from other people's mistakes and blunders. A lot of what happens to us doesn't have to happen.
2. OMG, my homegirl was hanging out with Violent J and Shaggy!!! I used to LOVE them in high school, no joke. I bought every CD they put out up to The Wraith, which I missed out on. I'd love to meet them, I gotta hook that up. Ok. I know what you're saying. "What's a brilliant, demure, delicate young lady such as Alexia listening to the crass and vulgar ICP for?" The answer is " [sigh] I was in high school and this guy I had a crush on got me hooked on them. OK? Sheesh..."
WICK-ED VOO-DOO DOPED UP KILLAAAAAAAA!!!!
1. I'm doing a fashion show where I'm wearing bikinis tomorrow, so the other day I had to get a spray tan (but I'm black!!! wth?!)
2. On my way to the designer's house, Janeane Garofalo crossed the street in front of my car. Upon visual confirmation that it really was her, I yelled in a deep manly voice, "I love you!". She smiled and waved, and my life is now complete.
3. I'm so waxed right now.
4. I'm 'bout to go to the beach.
5. I was at Target today pushing my cart along, and then this Hare Krishna guy in full regalia emerged from an aisle in front of me, caressing a yellow handtowel with a stunned look in his eye.
1. I can die now.
2. I know I looked a fool in my outfit.
2. JESUS I'm exhausted. Still. But the constant screaming made my voice even deeper, and therefore more... how shall we say... sexy.
3. Kraftwerk. What can I say? Could they have been any more German?
The answer is no.
It was sooooooo weird, soooooooo conceptual and stimulating, suuuuuuuuuch an experience, I loved it! I could tell while I was in the audience that it wasn't everyone's cup of tea, though. Man, if you thought I was stone-faced... Any attempts to describe their set will butcher what it was like, but I will say that those robots were soooooooo cool!
4. The sculptures that were exhibited this year were way more interesting than last year's.
5. Man, there were white people everywhere!! Maybe last year's constituency was more of an anomaly than I first thought. I did, after all, attend only on Sunday when Rage was playing - La Raza was in full force that day. One such white person...
She was cool. I met her during the Kraftwerk set.
6. Wow! VHS or Beta! They were really great and I was impressed! Can you believe they formed in Kentucky? I need to let go of my stereotypes of the South. It's hard, though, because I travel there often. I'll be doing my best to get into them ASAP. Same for Bonde do Role!
They were having so much fun, despite the fact that the band before them - like total @$$holes - didn't get down when they were supposed to: Bonde do Role didn't have time for a sound check and didn't sound as good as they could have. They MORE than made up for it in energy, though. The only song from them I had ever heard was Gasolina, and my Brazilian friends (I've got quite a few) had never heard of them. Think of them as a Baile Funk/techno/mash-up type group with hip-hop formal qualities. SHOW!!!!
7. I caught a DJ set by a collective of sorts called Institubes - super cute! Super fun! At the end of the night on my way to my car, I passed by one of the guys mixing a set out of the trunk of his car...
Isn't he cyuuuute! If you're in LA, he's mixing at a club located behind Avalon on Sunday, May 4th.
8. What was up with the lead singer from Cold War Kids hating on Prince? The Cold War Kids (so overrated) played on the main stage in the late afternoon, and I wasn't really in the audience but I was just chillin' in the grass nearby, minding my own business, when I hear the guy, in between songs, showing barely veiled contempt for Prince. It was purple this, purple that; the guy seemed kinda jealous. Tell you the truth, they were boring. The other guitarist repeatedly played to the drummer and there was just no show.
Oh My Christ
That was one of the most wonderful experiences I ever had! I was right up front! He was beauuuuuuutiful! The fact that most of the people in the audience weren't real fans didn't dampen it too much for me, but the next time I see him live, it's definitely going to have to be in a more intimate setting. I felt like shaking some of the people around me and screaming "THIS ISN'T PORTISHEAD!!!!!" directly into their faces. Nothing against Portishead, btw - they had a great live sound. It just wasn't right for the venue, though. But back to my future husband. Let me break it down for you...
The lights were low. And then, Prince sailed onstage: I had a screaming fit. The opening chord to "Let's Go Crazy" sounded over the speakers, and I had a screaming fit. Then, after a brief intro, he brought out...
I had a screaming fit.
They did "Jungle Love" and "The Bird" with all the dance moves, thank you very much! And after that, Prince brought out...
She performed "The Glamorous Life" and then proceeded to lead a jazzy jam with the band with her her good-lookin', mature self! My favorite song of hers is "Love Bizarre" and I would have loved to hear it, but hey, I didn't have to be there at all.
Here are the songs that I remember Prince playing:
A slowed-down version of "Little Red Corvette", "1999", "You Got The Look", "Anotherloverholeinyohead", "Musicology", "Controversy", "Come Together" (Beatles), "Creep" (Radiohead), a Sarah McLaughlin song that one of his back-up singers broke her foot off in, a version of "Shhhh" (Tevin Campbell) in which he inserted a guitar solo that made me cry, and of course, "Purple Rain".
You can tell by the lack of photos above that I was too busy having fits to take pictures. You can click here for more pics if you feel so moved.
I don't know what else to say, except that a few days later, I was describing that guitar solo to one of my friends and I started crying again.
I just want the world to know that I'm in love with my mother (browse the comments on my blog and you'll see why). Some of my friends are in love with her, too. My step-dad is in love with her. I think that she'll be the subject of the next photography project that I take on. I've made a lot of personal work in the past and have moved on to subject matter that starts off personal but kind of has universal tones to it. I'm a strong believer in the line of thinking that the best art is honest and stems from personal experience and feelings, but it must transcend personal issues. Or else, why should anyone spend their time standing in front of it and looking at it? People got thangs to do! I think that my maternal grandmother will have a place in this project.
Just something that I've been thinking about for a while.
BTW - if you live in Los Angeles and you haven't been to the Hammer Museum to see the Kara Walker exhibit yet, you deserve to be stung repeatedly by angry wasps in your left ear. Get to it!
This one's for you! I'm sorry you're too prudish to enjoy Prince, but I'm glad that we share an admiration for Morris Day and The Time. Sometimes I fantasize about how your life was before you had me - how you dressed, bossed Otis or Daddy around, flirted, clubbed, all the things that I now do. You must tell me one day...
That no other political party in American history has fostered corruption and outright hypocrisy as artfully and as 'dodge-fully'.
Proof here. Thank you RepublicanOffenders.com! You're helping us concerned citizens to shut self-righteous and forked-tongued mouths one at a time.
Thanks to Crooks and Liars again for the tip.
Again, not really. My mother would purchase an airline ticket immediately, come to my place in LA, and beat me with whatever she could get her hands on as if I were 15 instead of 25. Disturbingly, I would probably like it. I'm sorry Mommy, but it's your fault that I have a thing for older women who exude power.
Anyway, back in January my friend told me that her friend's friend needed people to lip synch for a Polish music video, and I jumped all over that. You know I had to!
It's a song about a young boy in a small town who's gay.
I'm bona fide.
Sometimes I do runway. And when the show is over, I'm SO BAD at follow-up - getting to know the designers, talking to photographers, getting acquainted with the fellow models, etc. I don't know, but I think it's because there are things in life that are more interesting to me than fashion. Doing the shows can be fun sometimes, and I've been fortunate to take part in Dress Right, housed at Apartment 3 boutique downtown.
The photo and video is from February's show, and I just did a show last night: very vintage-ey, but without hipster pretension. One girl told me that I looked like a 70's literature professor about to "school" a young male student...
Let me just say - I really hate most pictures and video taken of me. I think I look ugly in them, even though people are like "Awwww, you're so cyuute!". Whatever. I could have sworn that I was cuter than THAT. Not really, but to me the captured image looks different from what I see in the mirror, and it's kind of unsettling. Same goes for my voice too. To me, my recorded voice sounds different than the way I hear myself. Does anyone else experience this? Anyone?
Not really. Just wanted to point out the fact that I've changed the title of my blog in favor of something a little more inspired. The web address, however, will forever remain the same.
One night a few years ago, I was out with my friend Sal (hey doggy doggy!) and a couple of his friends - we went to Tigerheat back when they were doing it at Arena . BTW, it's gay bars and clubs that I mostly frequent after dark these days, but I can't stand the 18+ ones! Too sweaty!! Anyway, Sal has a friend, Saul, who is OFF THE CHAIN. I swear, I just don't understand it. That night after we left the club, we were driving back to my car and after I said bye, Saul yelled something after me that I didn't understand. I was like, "Rest in peace??", and my first ever nickname was born.
Sal and Saul started calling me Rest In Peace, and I kinda liked it - I had never had a nickname before, and I don't think anyone has one as unique as mine. Not many people refer to me as such, but I don't care. "Hey Rest In Peace!" has a certain ring to it, a je ne sais quoi that feels so right in its reference to me.
Why is this one of the best songs ever? Answer: because David Bowie is singing it.
There's just something about a manly man with cheekbones in drag that makes a woman melt...
It is an unfortunate thing that the right was successful in claiming the narrative of the anti-war movement during Vietnam - the false claim that protesters spat on returning soldiers in San Francisco persists until this day. Most people don't know or have forgotten that it was the soldiers themselves who made up a great chunk of the anti-war movement during Vietnam. I recently saw the documentary Sir! No Sir! by David Zeiger, and it really shed light on what soldiers were going through during that time, and the different ways that they found to support each other and the anti-war movement during their service.
Iraq Veterans Against the War held an event this past weekend that was predictably ignored by the corporate media, but was fully covered by the Pacifica radio network. Just like in the Winter Soldier proceedings during the Vietnam war, veterans of our current illegal wars gave testimony about the atrocities that they witnessed as a result of our military actions. They spoke about how that racism was policy, and how torture was dictated from the top.
As citizens of this country, it is up to us to be educated about what our tax dollars are funding in our name, and in the 21st century of fast and available information, we have no excuse and no right to claim ignorance about what is going on in this world of ours. You can't just sit down and expect the corporate media to tell what's really good - you've got to seek it out.
Both acts were wanton, wicked and lewd. But there’s a BIG difference. The Governor was using his own checkbook. Bush’s man Bernanke was using ours.
This week, Bernanke’s Fed, for the first time in its history, loaned a selected coterie of banks one-fifth of a trillion dollars to guarantee these banks’ mortgage-backed junk bonds. The deluge of public loot was an eye-popping windfall to the very banking predators who have brought two million families to the brink of foreclosure.
Up until Wednesday, there was one single, lonely politician who stood in the way of this creepy little assignation at the bankers’ bordello: Eliot Spitzer.
And just to let you know, I'm subbing today right this second! Oooooo! For some reason, the district's net-nanny system won't let me check my Gmail, but for some reason I can blog (Blogger/Blogspot is owned by Google). wtf? I got thangs I need to be checkin' on!
...also, think of the money that we could use if all of our overseas bases and the recently re-named School of the Americas were shut down. Our tax dollars would be ours again! I'd rather our country were a trillion dollars in debt because we were offering free education, free healthcare, and keeping kids and homeless people off the streets instead of being in debt in order to support a worldwide hegemony that not Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama are willing to do away with.
This is the performance I wrote about a few weeks ago that I participated in at ArtLA in the Regen Projects booth for Molly Keogh. I should maybe make a career out of this. Artists who compose performances for others to execute can hire me for the low low fee of $150 per performance (fee negotiable - you can always pay me more if you feel so moved...)
It emphasizes something that gets lost in all the O'Reilly-like screaming and circular pseudo-debate between Democrats - point of view.
All it takes is a little consideration, such as "What would I as president do if a hostile foreign nation started flying bomber jets in my country's airspace?" Or maybe "How would I feel if one day, I woke up as my home was being bulldozed for no other reason than that an occupying force decided they wanted to settle on my land?"
When we say "the world", are really talking about the world, or just our corner? Do we really understand the meaning of the word "terrorism"? Hmmm....
I think the answer is 'no'.
If I can save up enough money and find a scalper, I'll go to the 2nd day of Coachella this year. I'm just not as excited about it as I was last year. Coachella 2007 was my first time going to such an event, and of course you know the reason why I went...
I couldn't believe it! It was everything I thought it would be! I paid way too much money on a Sunday ticket just to see them, and it was so worth it! Favorite quote of the evening:
"Some of those that hold office are the same who burn crosses..."
-Zack de la Rocha
A little background: When I was in high school, I wasn't allowed to go to any concerts because most of the artists I like cuss in their songs. And my mother (bless her heart) felt that any cussing was wrong in any context and I couldn't go. I became a Rage fan in the 8th grade, but never had the opportunity to see them live. And then they broke up and all hope was lost.
Fast forward to when I heard on KROQ (eww, please don't think that I listen to that station) last February that Rage Against the Machine was playing the 3rd day of Coachella. I said "WHAT??!!!" And I proceded to pay $200 for a scalped ticket. Such is my dedication. So Sunday morning, April 29th 2007, my homegirl and I got on the road to the middle of the desert to go feel some music.Even though I went to see mainly Rage, I got to see a West African group called Konono No. 1 They were super cool, and very entertaining - I highly recommend their music. The way I and the people in the audience responded to their sound made me think of it as an organic rave. Very long songs that would vary slightly after a while, changing it into something new with a little African-style exhortation here and there.
Paul Van Dyk was AMAZING and so cute! He was all the way live, I'm telling you. His set was a contiguous one and a half hours of spontaneous creation, and he never missed a beat. It was like he was sending energy into the crowd of thousands in that tent, and we were sharing it amongst ourselves before sending it back to him. It was like a larger-scale Konono No. 1, and I couldn't stop moving! I met a guy there from Chicago who promised to protect me during Rage's performance, because I wanted to be close when they came on.
I ALMOST DIED. First of all, I had barely eaten that day. If I remember correctly, breakfast was a donut and coffee, lunch was kettle corn and a smoothie, and dinner was whatever water I could manage to gulp whenever someone would crack a bottle and pour it all over themselves and other people. Plus an afternoon screwdriver that we had brought in the car. So it was only natural that I came close to passing out several times during Rage's set, and collapsed with exhaustion on my way back to the car afterward. Second of all, the festival is held on polo grounds with loose grass being kicked up by Raza and hipsters high on ecstasy/acid/mushrooms/weed/whatever. Add that to the fact that the pollen count was high, and it's no wonder I fell was wheezing in my car afterward. Third of all, Chicago-dude had managed to get us front and center before Rage came on. As soon as they walked onstage, the pushing started. I was in the middle of the largest mosh pit ever for the first time in my life, and if it weren't for Chicago-dude, I would have been trampled to death by Raza and discontent headbanger white boys.
I also lost my shirt.
I don't think that I'll ever hear live rock and roll that good again in life. They sounded so extraordinary - I thought my heart would explode!! When Monsieur de la Rocha proclaimed that those in the current US administration should be hung and tried and shot for their war crimes, I thought I was gonna catch the Holy Spirit and have a righteous fit! If you love rock and roll music, and you weren't there, you super missed out because their sound is electrifying. I tell you what; Tom Morello needs to be my boyfriend. They appropriately ended with "Killing in the Name", and I was surprised that there wasn't a full-scale riot! A second time, I nearly spontaneously combusted.
Isn't that the best experience ever?? I know little black girls aren't supposed to get down like that, but maybe they should. I never was that prissy, and I never was that interested in living in a mental cage. My apartment is small enough (14 x 9ft), thank you very much. That was the best day of my LIFE!
I don't think that this year will compare, but like I said, if I go, it will be to the second day. I LOVE M.I.A., and I've always wanted to see Kraftwerk live - I heard that they're super-weird. And maybe I'll enjoy Flogging Molly. I'm not a huge fan of theirs, but I have a feeling that it will be - shall I say - an experience. Leading to an adventure. Any suggestions? Anyone willing to sponsor my trip? Let me know... I'll write about it on this blog...
I and eight others performed a re-telling (of sorts) of Bruce Nauman's 1973 work "Tony Sinking Into the Floor, Face Up and Face Down". The modifications:
1. For over two hours, we had to continuously perform death poses.
2. That continuous movement had to be sssslllllloooooooooowwwwwww.
3. And we had to imagine ourselves sinking into the floor.
The concentration. The itches. I was super zoned out, but at one point I locked eyes with a friend of mine who came to see, and nearly burst out laughing because of the look on her face. I also nearly crushed every bone in my left arm trying to turn over in slow-motion with rubber samurai armor on my body.
It was grrrreat!
Except for the ONE morning I decided to sleep in because I had had trouble sleeping the night before. All those days getting up and waiting for nothing, and the one morning I'm unprepared they call me! Ten minutes after the workday had started! I couldn't go: I hadn't showered or brushed my teeth, my face was still ugly with sleep-puffiness, the drool...
You get the idea.
Today I subbed special-ed at Johnnie Cochran Middle School. It was an alright day. The kids that they call special-ed aren't what we would have called them at my high school - they're just slow learners, and honestly the vibe that I got from most of them was that they didn't want to try anymore because they were afraid of and angry about failure, and rather than feel stupid in front of everyone, they would rather joke around or do other things. I've heard of worse - this guy I know subs also, and he told me about how on his first day, one of his classes erupted into a melee of students throwing desks at him and at each other.
There's a HUGE population of kids in LA who suffer from PTSD because of the things that they've been through early in life, who are foster kids, who don't know english because they've arrived here from Mexico or other parts of the world... The list goes on and on, and these negative situations are guaranteed to influence behavior. As a sub, you have to choose your battles.
I was planning on voting only for the propositions on the ballot, when who should I see still listed on the Democratic ticket? Dennis Kucinich, my hero! So I voted for him. What, did you really expect me to vote for Hillary or Obama? Ick! Take your belligerent, tax dollar-wasting foreign policy elsewhere, you fakes!
I know Kucinich is no longer in the race, but they should have taken his name off the ballot.
My "I voted" sticker fell off, and I can't find it...
To paraphrase the late, great Eugene V. Debs: I'd much rather vote for who I want and have them lose, than vote for who I don't want and have them win.
This "lesser of two evils" crap MUST stop...
I was honored to be asked to perform for Molly Keogh, an artist who makes dresses in conjuction with Andrea Zittel's Smockshop. The performance was called "On Her Dress She Wears a Body" - five girls interpreting five different dresses through movement as shapes five separate times, making a star configuration. We performed at the Regen Projects booth at ArtLA.
I was asked by a friend, and I jumped right in even though I've not performed in front of an audience since May 2001, and even though I've not stretched or excercised since October 2007. I did it because I wanted to make sure that my balls were as big as I thought they were, or at least as big as my mother's. It has been confirmed. I do indeed have quite large balls. Now I'm performing a piece for an artist on Saturday at Machine Project in Echo Park. Now we'll see if I have what it takes to handle these balls. Okay, you know what, scratch that. I really wasn't trying to innuendo at all, just trying to be clever, and of course, it backfires...
So there was the fair. I didn't make it to LA Art - no money. If I weren't involved in anything at ArtLA I wouldn't have made it there, either. I really enjoyed myself, even though it was a little cramped. There were people and galleries from all over. I really like how a lot of the galleries made use of the limited space that they had. It was like installing the different galleries became an installation show in and of itself. Of course, there was bad art represented. But there was also a lot of good stuff, and I ran into a lot of old USC classmates. We're all over. During a stroll I was taking, I overheard this guy speaking loudly into his cell, "...yeah, I'm at the fair. Looking at at what's here makes me feel much better about my art." Stupid stuck-up attitudinal (another word creation) tactless BOY. It's true, about one-third of the art there made me feel better about my art, but you don't see me yelling it into my cell phone at a crowded art fair, making sure that somebody notices how cocky I am. Stupid boy.
After the performance Saturday, I went home and rested - I swear I think I pulled a back muscle. And then I had to get myself all spruced up and thangs for the solemn business of knocking back wine and hors d'oeuvres and looking important at gallery openings in hopes that the PR people will want to buy ad space in the magazine. I visited Corey Helford, Blum & Poe, LA X Art, Sandroni Rey, the Mandrake bar, Angstrom, and Honor Fraser with the 'SC homegirls Kate and Peg. We're gonna start a gang.
After that, I met up with my good friend Mike/Miguel and his cousin Ishmael, and we headed over to my friend's tattoo/piercing party. I'm very fortunate to have made good male friends here in LA, and even though I'm usually one of maybe 4 or 5 girls at his parties, I never feel uncomfortable at JB's parties. And as usual, I was the only one who wouldn't hit the blunt...
Sunday was also a great day - after bible class, I went to the information meeting where I found out more about the performance piece I'll be participating in Saturday. Then, I had to man the Artillery booth for a couple hours at ArtLA again - met a lot of cool people. My homegirl Brooke is obsessed with my aunt's recipe for corn pudding, so I went over her apartment and made her some as we watched The Wire. And by the way, what a great show! I usually feel intellectually superior because of my lack of ownership of a television set, but there are a few really great shows that I'm missing out on.
Like The L Word. I looooooooooooovvve The L Word, it's sooooooooooo good! Now I know what lesbian sex is! But seriously folks, despite the fact that they paint the lesbian world as endlessly glamourous consisting only of amazingly gorgeous women, the writers delve into really deep issues and go all the way, never flinching. And how about last night??! Don't want to spoil anything, but I'm keeping hope alive for Bette and Tina. I usually watch the show with a friend of mine who's still at USC and her group of friends she refers to loosely as "The Lesbians". My homegirl is a woman-eater. As in opposite of man-eater, you prurient gutter-minds. Anyway, we had a good time yelling advice to the TV screen and cheering and booing.
For more coverage of Dennis Kucinich, go to the Openers blog.
Well, it's not like he was going to win, anyway. I just wish that he would have waited until after the California primary. I was looking forward to requesting a Democratic primary ballot, as is my right as a registered non-partisan voter according to Democratic Party rules. And with a flourish, I was going to press the little ink dot next to Kucinich's name in defiance of everyone who tries to convince me that there's no point in doing so.
Sigh. Unless Nader enters the race or the Green Party mounts a coherent and viable presedential contender, I won't be voting in the general elections. I'm sure the world will mourn...
Notice how Barack Obama tries to praise Ronald Reagan (for some ungodly reason) using vague generalities. Wonder why he can't cite specific examples? Because there are none!
I'm so glad she invited me, it was so informative because when it comes to the art history that is taught in universities, the only black artists you'll ever hear of are probably Betye Saar, Lorna Simpson, and maybe Kara Walker (whom I love and want to stalk). For instance, when it comes to video being used as an art form, because of the way that history has been written on the discipline, I've been led to believe that Bill Viola and Andy Warhol were the ones on the forefront of that medium. However, we in the audience were able to view excerpts of some of the video work that the panel members and others collaboratively produced, and because of the strength of the concepts presented in the works, they were very powerful. I really enjoyed myself because they spoke about their strong work ethic, about the bond that they shared, and about how that upon realizing that the white art world at general wouldn't know how to write about what they were doing even if they knew of it, they had to document for themselves and write for themselves. THAT'S what I'm talkin' about. All in all, it was like a shot in the arm for me.
Sometimes, I feel discouraged because I have many ideas inside of me, and occasionally they form into something concrete, but for lack of money I can't execute them. I think that I may start working collaboratively in the near future. It's also irritating when I know how much time I've put into making quality photographs and making solid conceptual art that is nevertheless accessible, and then I see trust-fund art grads making huge careers out of crap art. There are soooooooooooooooo many galleries in LA now, and a good 40% of what is represented out there is really bad. That will probably never change, though.
Kind of on the same subject but not really: something that I've been thinking about is artists and drug use. Sometimes I hear people say something along the lines of "It was alcohol/pot/acid/mushrooms/LSD/opium/absinthe/whatever that gave the great artists through the ages their greatest inspirations."
WRONG! Either you have it in you or you don't. True artists don't have to go outside of themselves to be inspired, or to influence them to make the best art ever. In fact, it's the other way around. Many artists go outside of themselves because they're crazy. I'm serious. I'm crazy. That's why I don't date artists and musicians: there's gotta be one person in the pair with a firm grip on the concrete, and it ain't gonna be me, thank you very much. Most of the artists that I admire are constantly pushing themselves because they can see farther than most people, and they allow their imaginations to run wild. I guess the substance use comes in when imaginations get too wild - sometimes you need something to temper it.
I ate a special brownie once. That's it. I laughed so hard I was hysterical, and then I saw the face of Jesus in a tree. It wasn't a bad trip, but I'll never do it again. I felt that anything could fall into me, and if something had fallen into me, who knows what would have happened? I was with a super good friend at the time, but still... I slept super good, though. I feel that there's enough inside me to make great art without relying on "experiences" to "enhance" and "expand" my mind. Most of the dreams that I remember upon waking up are enough for me.
I don't know about you, but I've been hearing radio commercials advertising this new energy drink called GoGirl!, and I swear, they make me wish I didn't have ears. Don't click on that link unless you actually like being overwhelmed with a nauseatingly (I think I just made up a word) thorough spectrum of pink. Are you kidding me? PINK??? And the radio ads are made to sound like you're listening to a focus group, and the women are all like, "I love the pink can, it's for me!", and they're all, "Ooooh, it's so fruity, I like that! It's like grapefruit!". Sweet bald-headed Christ! In the 21st century! It's nice that they donate a portion of their profits toward fighting breast cancer, but COME ON!!!
Also, if you have Gmail, then you know that your inbox is surrounded with ads that are inspired by certain keywords in a given email. I got an email about modeling, and this made it's presence known on the right-hand side:
It's nice to know that there are people out there who will facilitate this sort of thing...
btw, after leaving Trader Joe's today, a seagull dropped me a present on my windsheild. Now I have to wash my car.
For the record, ever since Dennis Kucinich was pointed out to me, I've been a huge fan - I'll be voting for him in the California primaries. When I told my parents that, they starting harping about how that's a wasted vote.
This is a wasted vote: when I am ardently anti-war, anti-imperialist, anti-colonialist, pro-choice, pro-affirmative action, anti-NAFTA, anti-IMF, pro-nationalized medicine, pro-labor, and then I vote for someone who talks about bombing Iran, making concessions to "pro-life" wackos, mandating that every American buys insurance or face tax liens and garnished wages, will never have the balls to abolish NAFTA and withdraw from the WTO and change the rules of the IMF, won't liberate Puerto Rico, and uses economic sanctions to punish nations who don't get in line with our will.
When I vote for Kucinich in the primaries, I will be casting a valid, un-wasted vote for a serious candidate who has a past of following through on his word, and is the ONLY progressive candidate. I fully realize that he will not ultimately win the Democratic primaries, and therefore I will not be voting for president in the elections come November. My vote is too precious to be given away to people that I find reprehensible, irresponsible, and just more of the same.
Just in case anyone's reading this, I want to make a point - the only reason why Kucinich, other "second-tier" candidates, and third-party candidates don't have a chance is because Democrats and Republicans are too invested in the two-party system, and the media - even though they have no right to - decides for us early on who will be a "serious" candidate. Take the case of NBC. According to the rules that NBC had set up (which are inherently undemocratic), Kucinich surprisingly made the cut, and was originally invited to participate in the debates that were held earlier this week. They didn't want him to debate. So they changed their rules and disinvited him. He sued them in court, and won - the judge said that they have to let him debate. NBC then appealed, and won, and got their way - even though Kucinich is still in the race for the Democratic nomination, they didn't want him on.
Why? There are many theories, but personally I think that they - and the corporate media at large - do not want to upset the little applecart that they have set up to where only the candidates that they want the public to see will be seen. You can click here to see Kucinich's interview with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now. He responds to the questions that were asked of Obama, Edwards, and Clinton. What we've got to realize is this: the corporate media are not disinterested viewers, merely reporting what they see. They haven't been that for a long time. This is why I'm glad I don't have a TV - I'm sure I'm not missing anything.
One thing that bothers me about Kucinich, though, is that he is still affiliated with a party that likes to treat him like crap. They do nothing for him! I have a plan, I just don't know how to implement it: get him and all the people who call themselves Progressive Democrats to join the Labor Party. Get every union to get its members joined up with this party. If the party got bigger and more people knew of it, I think that the 40% of Americans who don't vote would, and would vote for Labor Party candidates.
We don't live in a democracy. The electoral college ensures that the will of the people will not prevail in a presidential election, and the two-party system is working too well for the moneyed and propertied. If this were a democratic society, senators and representatives would not overwhelmingly be lawyers, CEO's, and other such criminals. There would be more artists, teachers, small businessmen, and other such working-class people representing us. Most people are poor, whether they be working class or "middle-class" (although the middle class dwindled away to nothingness quite some time ago).
This is my political rant for the day. If you already know me, you are not surprised. If not, then let me introduce myself: I would call myself a socialist, but I'm wary of being associated with groups, be they social, political, whatever. You will never convince me that capitalism has done beautiful things for the world, and that I'm too idealistic and therefore unrealistic. You're wrong and I'm right. Boo.
I googled my name to see if my blog would show up in the search, and one of the results included Mistress Alexia, a London dominatrix. Wonderful! I am so pleased, don't ask why! This takes me back to an adventure I had with a couple friends not long after graduating from college. Let me tell you...
I'm on Facebook (of course!), and one of the groups that I eventually joined is BDSM-Fetish. The concept of BDSM had always intrigued me for reasons that I never really understood. I don't have enough balls to order someone else around, and neither am I into being flogged or suspended by rope. Am I? I don't think so. Anyways, the group moderator would post different bondage-related events that happen in LA and thereabouts, and naturally I decided to see for myself what goes on in these clubs.
Upon doing a little background research to make sure that no one would immediately seize me upon entrance in this club and then clamp electrified pliers on my nipples (I know, I'm such a nerd), I got a couple of my friends to go with me and check out DV8 night at Passive Arts. We were scared. To say the least. S&M is something I had only ignorantly joked about with my friends or to scare my mother (more on her later this week). The dungeon's location isn't necessarily out-of-the-way, but we did drive past it a couple times. We parked, nervously giggled all the way to the front door of the place, paid our cover, and walked in.
Oh, joy - you know, I like God. He's so funny! Not that our experience was hilarious, it's just that I was unmanned by how relaxed I felt. Yes, there was a creepy guy binding a scantily clad girl in miles of intricately knotted rope, suspending her from the ceiling, and spinning her while alternately slapping her @$$ and tickling her with a feather. Yes, in a separate small room, a dominatrix who startlingly looked like Loretta Devine was spanking a naked white dude who was slung over a chair with a riding crop. But there was something about the atmosphere that made me feel safe (can't speak for my homegirls, though). I think it had something to do with the fact that it's such a community. I don't know. I do know that I felt more apprehensive at the nightclubs I used to frequent - that it felt more like a meat-market there than at the dungeon.
One friend got into this little cage, and I suspended it and spun her around in it. That's about as kinky as it got for me.
We left when this one guy was preparing to suspend himself from the ceiling using his flesh-hook piercings. I can sit and watch a foreboding looking man run the tips of sharp knives and daggers all over a half-naked girl's body, but I do have my limits.
It was an educational night, and I went again, the second time with an ex-boyfriend of mine. We're still friends. He thought that everyone there eventually gets their fill of bondage and humiliation and then erupts into a spontaneous orgy, at which point he could jump in. No such luck, my nig.
I'm still fascinated, but I haven't been there in over a year. At least there's a mistress out there in the dark alleys of London, whipping and humiliating powerful Anglo businessmen into submission, all in the name of Alexia. Right on.
It was really crowded - there's probably no artist that has attracted so many people both during his life and after his death than Andy Warhol. The title of the event was "Andy Warhol: Dead at 21". Much of the artwork on display was inspired by Warhol's persona, artwork and films, and featured appropriations of his ideas. Pretty interesting night. Mary Woronov - a Factory actress, B/underground movie phenomenon, and writer - read from her new book about her days with Warhol. I first met her when I joined the staff of Artillery Magazine (see links list), and not only is she super nice, she's a very good writer.
After we left, we walked up and down Hollywood looking for a bar, me snapping pictures along the way, dipping into the occasional sex shop (yes Mommy, I'm sorry, but I've been in a few sex shops). And only 20 minutes after shooting a pic of one of Angelyne's billboards did we see her turning a corner in her pink Corvette! Christ, I love America.
*ADDENDUM* Click here to see pics from that night...
Soon our feet began to cry out in agony, so we went to The Abbey. And let me just say, I think I know why I love the gay bars in West Hollywood - I can be ME and it's safe too! Dreamgirls was playing on the flatscreens. Much better than the anime/hermaphrodite/rape-porn that was up the last time I was there. We danced a little too, but mainly got cranky when people had the audacity to dance in front of the screen while the movie was playing.
So, that was my weekend. Except I was accidentally in a movie yesterday.
Okay, the story is this: I was driving through downtown to a job site - catering for a Vogue event - when I got to a place where everyone in LA it seems had to detour because the street was closed for film shooting. It was taking way too long, so I decided to park at a meter and walk before I was too late. All the extras were milling around, and nobody stopped me, so I was just walking down the sidewalk trying to get through to the other side when I heard "ACTION!"
My eyes widened as the extras started their sidewalk foot-traffic action, so I kept walking as if I were in the production also. Good thing I blended in.
Two actors were running across the street - probably away from a bad guy - while a prop charter bus looked like it was about to run them down.
When I reached the other end of the set, I heard "CUT!", and just barely registered the fact that I had whisked right past Ryan Gosling, who was on his cell phone. He was excellent in Half Nelson, by the way.
I don't think this film will be set in Los Angeles, because you never see that much pedestrian traffic here.
Okay, that was my weekend, I promise.
If you get a chance, grab a copy of the current Artillery issue - I just finished it this morning and I really enjoyed it.