Latest Performance

I'm a small-town poet in both written word and performance. I'm more influenced by rock and roll but I am also a lit-chick full of curiosity. My influences are far and wide and I can find writing inspiration in anything, from important matters to pure whimsy.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


The year is winding down, and I am wound-up.

The semester is coming to a close (thank goodness!) and I have been rushing around trying to finish up final projects. Three classes after this and I'll graduate. Already registered for the spring!

Holidays, Mom put me in charge of dessert for Christmas dinner this year. I'm known for making lots and lots of amazing cookies. I'll probably start on more cookies tomorrow evening. I'm too busy today. Got half my gift wrapping done, still need to wrap gifts for my family.

Last Friday I had my first non Open-mic or personal show performances. It was for an art reception. Okay it was at BluSeed, but the suggestion that I read came from an artist friend who thought it would be cool, and BluSeed has a stage so there was no special set up involved.

I've had two meetings this week, and another one to attend this afternoon. I went to the ArtWorks meeting Tuesday morning, paying job meeting yesterday and a business meeting for Art Works members from the entrepreneur center. It's free and will help the group orchestrate a five year plan since Art Works is growing.

I also have Open-mic tonight! Getting poems ready, show's just mere hours away and I'm putting finishing touches on pieces, but that's how I apparently roll. I'll be fine, just a matter of getting my mind in gear. Don't worry mind, you'll get to relax soon!

Friday, November 26, 2010


Life has been a whirlwind lately.

I registered for classes a short while ago, and I'll need to start buying books. Fortunately if you look in the right places the financial pain isn't as bad. I'm finishing up my American History credits with a course on The Pursuit of Happiness. I don't know why, but up until this point all the classes I took were only partial credit and two halves don't seem to make a whole. I'll also be taking a course on visual literacy, which seems like a good follow-up to communications analysis seeing the unit I had to do on mass media.

Thanksgiving was okay. I had to work at my paying job, and got extra hours because a co worker broke her leg. It was okay until I got the "fuck you" from a guy for just doing my job. Carding laws are a pain in the neck I know, I don't have a choice unless I want to get fired or arrested. I just remind myself that some day I'll be doing something more worthwhile. I've been looking into social media management and maybe I'll contract myself out to area businesses. Do their social networking in exchange for money. It's modern work, and it would give me plenty of time to work on my writing. Weekends and holidays may be a must, but won't be an issue, taking my work with me won't cut into vacation fun, etc. Basically up my alley, especially since I have been having a blast doing social media for Saranac Lake Art Works.

Went to Paul Smiths College for a show last week. Performed at open mic right after. I had to pull a set out of my ear because of all the time I've had to devote to class work. I did okay I feel, it really could have been better. Since I told Steve he could go in my place if I'm not there, I had him on stage with me doing audio experimentation. I guess it made up for the one good, one okay and half finished, and one crappy poem I read. I'll do better next time.

I was also asked to host open mic this coming April for National Poetry Month. Yay I'm moving up in the world. Somewhat. I'm being given local opportunities where venues allow. I've been also asked to read some time in the future at the AUUC (Adirondack Unitarian Universalist Community) which would be awesome too. I recently joined the congregation there, I like the whole here and now focus and lack of dogma. My leanings have always been towards being more humanist-driven and feeling one can make the world a better place, for the sake of just making it a better place.

Peace out.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Why are we a Culture of Baby Eaters?

I ask because I was making a salad for lunch, to see it is labeled as 'baby lettuces'. Now I have to write a poem about baby eating, we eat baby carrots too. Yet tiny tomatoes are named in comparison to other small fruits, they're not called 'baby tomatoes'.

Been keeping busy, and behaved. School, paying job, volunteer job. Losing motivation but maybe it's because of how I'd been cruising along with homework for these past several weeks. Now between the cold, rain, snow and weeks of work I'm feeling unmotivated. My paying job is over the worst of the renovations, just nuts and bolts. It feels so different now, not the old, dingy, cramped store it once way. Yet working in that dingy old place for nearly seven years has kind of messed up my mind. The volunteer job, well that's a whole new experience. I do get paid, it's a barter system. I offer one service, and get another in return.

My world has been stable. Seeing if I can get some transportation for the 18th. Another installation of Word! at Paul Smiths' College. I'd have to miss performing at open mic very likely, but it's a sacrifice I'll make to see other awesome poets in action.

Glad election season is over too, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I didn't have as many calls, although the mailings have been regular. Crazy Carl wasn't elected which is a relief. Political parties aside, he was just so inconsistent and came off as unstable. Remember the Dean Scream years ago? Picking fights, words and actions not matching up, not sure if I'd have someone like that running my state. We'll see how the country fares in the next couple years.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Another Week In the Hamster Wheel of Life

I'm adjusting to my new social media position. Taking the time to learn how to optimize the pages I run for Art Works and what I can do in the near future. I have a ton of ideas, but many of them will have to be proposed next meeting. I'm excited to do a presentation on what I can do for Art Works and the benefits of using online mediums for promotion/connection to the audience.

I'm so excited for Word! tomorrow night. It will be an exciting evening of poetry. Always refreshing. Speaking of refreshing, I've discovered Indiefeed a regular podcast of performance poetry. Plus I've discovered so many other wonderful things through listening, such as different projects and YouTube channels for performance.

Not much else going on, open mic was great. I had another outstanding performance that I'm still receiving compliments for. Thank you everybody, it really means a lot. Compliments keep me going, I know I'm in a productive direction when other artists say nice things to me!

School is the usual. Starting a paper on Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, since her work was interesting. Communications analysis is on a unit on mass media. Intriguing stuff really. I've been on a roll and I'm almost halfway through the term. Plan on wrapping up my studies for the day so I can get some rest before the paying job.

I also discovered something new and awesome. Neatorama has a sub-blog titled Bit Lit which features chapter-by chapter postings of novels, stories and poetry. A new chapter is added every day until a novel is done, and yes they have the rights to post published material from major publishers. A great way to read without adding yet more books to my already crowded apartment.

Monday, October 18, 2010

I'm Excited!

First, these three fantastic poets (Roger Bonair-Agard, Samantha Thornhill and Rachel McKibbens) will be performing at BluSeed Studios on the 28th. It will be an amazing event. I've been attending the Word! shows for the past few years, and the first one I attended was the one that inspired me to write again.

I feel poetry is an art you need to hear to fully take in. Speaking poetry gives it life and makes it grip the listener's soul. It can give the listener shivers, make a lump grow in their throat, puts the mind to work.

Speaking of BluSeed, Open mic is Thursday. I'm considering reading something by Edgar Allan Poe in celebration of the season. I'm thinking of reading "A Dream Within a Dream". I also have an election poem churning further in my mind. It's a piece already drafted, but ready to make the steps towards maturity.

Thursday the Youth Center is holding an open house. I'm thinking of paying a visit to propose my plans for hosting workshops there. I want to teach kids an art form that can give them a voice and help them overcome their troubles, teach themselves how to get more out of life.

I also have another job to add to my list of writer, student and lowly store clerk. I am now the social media manager for Saranac Lake Art Works, I've set up a twitter page and a facebook page. Please join!

Friday, October 8, 2010

All's Quiet on This Front

Not much news, but I've been really busy with school. Moved on from argumentation to learning about influence and the science behind it. Interesting stuff, especially since we're being influenced on a daily basis, everything from advertising to politics uses influence. I even conducted my own experiment one day to consciously use influence in action. Don't worry, I use these things for good.

I've also been reading through some guides and taking notes in hopes of doing workshops next summer. I'm not an expert by any means, but I'm active and enthusiastic. I've had experience to a degree working with what resources are around me.

I'm also enjoying this sunny day after so many days of clouds and rain. Kinda wish I could go out, but I have work to do. New poems are forming in my mind and I have to keep up with my schoolwork in a timely manner unless I want to become a stress case.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

New Network

I got a Dreamwidth account tonight. It will be a mix of personal and professional. Most of my blather here regards my writing and the local art community. I'll have some of that there, but I'll also have more personal material there. Nothing incriminating though, like I have time to be getting in trouble.

My journal is here->

Sorry I haven't been updating much. My Communications Analysis course has been taking over a good chunk of my time. I've mainly had time to write and that's been it. The poems are the most important part, without them I'd be nowhere.

I did have a fantastic performance at Thursday's Open Mic at BluSeed. I wasn't sure if I could make it due to family plans, but everything was timed well. It felt great to take the stage again in front of an audience. Unfortunately my shows this past summer didn't turn out as large as I had hoped.

Moving forward, I'm already planning for next summer. The new Art Annex has opened downtown, offering workshop/performance space for $5 a session! I'm researching to hopefully teach work shops at the Youth Center next summer. I have a note taking binder ready since I'll be flying by the seat of my pants on this one. I have some good guides though for exercise ideas and coaching information. I'll see what happens when the time comes, but in the meantime I'll prepare.

It's late, feeling tired. I hope some of you went out and enjoyed the Artists at Work Studio Tour. I took a couple hours on Friday to make some rounds, and spent much of Saturday out and about. Art Walks are always fun, but with the Studio Tour you can actually see works in progress.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

What We Should Remember

As we all know, today is the ninth anniversary of 9/11. I remember that morning as if it were a recent memory. I was a freshman at NCCC getting ready to make the trudge up the hill for class; when I heard my Mother in her upstairs bedroom shouting. I turned on the television and saw history unfold before me.

In wake of such tragedy I also saw the country band together. Not just at Ground Zero, but everywhere, I saw unity. Something that has sadly crumbled and been replaced with ignorance and misunderstanding.

Today it is hard to believe that at times this country seems more divided than ever. The small minority of hatemongers unfortunately has such a loud voice that everyone is forced to hear their vile rhetoric. We have a small church in Florida that wishes to hold a "Burn the Koran" event because the 9/11 attackers have somehow represented all Muslims in this church's eyes. Even some of my own friends are against the proposed Muslim community center two blocks from Ground Zero. They're being told to believe that such an establishment will piss on the graves of those who lost their lives that day. Although there were American Muslims who felt the same tragedy that was also felt by Christian, Jewish and people of every other faith who died that day. USA Today has a wonderful article about this issue. They shared the story of Salman Hamdani and his family. Hamdani was an EMT who ditched work when he saw the smoke coming from the towers. He sacrificed his life to help others and is a 9/11 hero, who happens to be Muslim. Yet his Mother, Talat, has to feel old wounds open as she receives hate mail for her beliefs. We've forgotten about the Muslim passengers on the planes, and the workers in the Twin Towers and the Pentagon.

We as Americans, and as human beings, shouldn't let the twisted beliefs of a few yahoos ruin our whole perception of a major religion. Al-Queda is not the whole of Islam, just a small radical fraction. Just like Westboro doesn't represent the whole of Christianity. We don't attack Christianity based solely on the beliefs of Westboro, or Dove Outreach. As much as these churches leave a sour taste in my mouth, I would never host a "Burn the Bible" event. Burning books is the first act in attempting to eradicate a culture. It is a destruction of knowledge and culture.

The more we live and act in fear, the closer the real villains are to winning. To reach out our hands in understanding and reject fear, the closer we will be to defeating our true enemies. We forget they want us to fear and attack. To attack would be to prove their point and fuel their fire.

Please, let's keep the spirit of unity that had first followed us in our darkest hour. Through that we can find strength.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

NYC Oddysey

Last week I was in NYC, my first "real" vacation as an adult. Not staying with any relatives. It was just me and the boy, staying with the friend of a friend and his room mate. Steve and I were all over the place seeing both the cultured and the freewheeling. It was an inspiring experience.

I visited museums, the Bronx Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, and the New York Aquarium. I also wandered Chinatown, St. Mark's and Coney Island. I found inspiration in The Cyclone, the subway stations, walking the streets, seeing classic works of art, eating street food, seeing fossils, etc. I met with an online friend and tried Korean food for the first time. There's still so much I want to do. Fortunately it looks like we now have the connections to stay in the future.

Maybe it's because I'm so smalltown, but I took in everything. There were instruments from all over the world playing in the stations. I heard everything from a saw player, to a violin duo who stood on opposite sides of the tracks, to an accordion player doing Lady Gaga and Blondie covers. I went to the Cloisters and saw the unicorn tapestries after years of dreaming. Coney Island is such a center of Americana. There's just so much I took in from my week there, it will take some time to digest.

I wasn't able to make it out to watch any shows with the exception of the Dir en grey concert on the 24th, but I feel I've gained so much on a spiritual level. In a way it is almost zen seeing how much changed since my last (and brief) visit two years ago. Last time I visited St. Mark's on suggestion of a friend, it was fairly quiet, today the streets are crowded. Bamn, the automat, is gone which disappointed me. I lugged along what change I couldn't roll for a visit there. Even the Port Authority bus terminal underwent changes. When I arrived they had the big board listing which gate your bus is at, when we left it wasn't there. It was a good reminder of how impermanent the world can be, how everything is in a constant state of flux. Some things will always remain because our culture wants to hang on to them and honor heritage, while other things change. What is preserved evolves to fit today's needs and wants. What doesn't change gets placed in a museum.

I could go on forever on how much I saw and felt during my vacation. I think it's left better for my writing. I have so much new material for poems and stories that it will take a while to get it all out.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


I've been wrapped up in my final project, it's due this weekend. I can say I'm satisfied with my progress. I still see ways I can change the story, but that will be left to future work, on my own. I'll be glad when the class copy is done and sent in, loads of pressure will be off me.

I do have a show tonight at BluSeed, I have some new material all ready to present. I will mention not all of it is exactly happy, but I've been in yet another funk.

Last weekend I learned one of my favorite bands, Ayabie, split, which came as a total shock. I went out of my way to see them in NYC two years ago on their first and only US tour. It was one of the best nights of my life, I met so many awesome people there and the show itself was loads of fun. As a band they did something for me on a personal level, cheered me up when I felt sad, calmed me when stressed and helped me find parts of my identity which has been crumbling as of late anyways. Yeah I'm bummed, will be bummed for a while. Just tired and stressed in general anyways between school and work.

I'm keeping my head up though, somewhat. Pressing on, getting the projects done, taking some time to relax. Talking with a friend next week about her business plan she wants me to be a part of. It's a handmade craft shop where part of the profits will go towards local nonprofit organizations. I'm psyched by the idea but it's been hard finding the time to actually sit down and talk about how it will be approached, my role in the business, etc.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Festivals, Stories, etc.

Yesterday I contributed a couple poems for the Art Works booth that will be up at the Farm 2 Fork festival in September. Visual artists are more than welcome to illustrate my pieces, I have one on mashed potatoes and one about raspberries. I'll be looking forward to what comes out of it.

I finished the rough draft of my classic folktale reinterpretation project. Now I'm in the midst of rewriting it. Hopefully I'll be sharing it with an audience at some point, which could be months down the road. I'll probably rewrite it again after I turn my project in. Rewriting is pretty common, you want to make a work be the best it can be for readers. It is also a service to your characters as well since they will be full and mature.

I realized when I finished my draft and studied some critical analysis that my initial writing was too gentle. Everything was too soft, and too understanding (as weird as that can sound, the world needs more understanding). It was honest about the gruesome aspects but not about the painful aspects of human nature. It makes a handy guide so to speak though and I've been working through for a more elegant work.

Not to say I am ignoring all my poems. I am getting my latest art machine contributions ready to turn in. The "scrolls" are coming along, I'm 1/3 of the way done and then have to start rolling up my Art Walk round for after the Block party.

Monday, July 26, 2010

I've been keeping busy. My mind has been so full lately I've been feeling the stress.

Thursday I took a hike up Baker, fell down a couple times on the way down and still have the bruises. It was worth it though, it's been about ten years since I was last up there, and I call myself a local. The view is incredible, and the weather was fantastic.

Been gearing up for the Block Party on August 5, the art machine will be there. It was emptied last Art Walk so I need to double the printouts to provide for the Block Party and the August walk.

I'm also planning my vacation, booked bus tickets today. I do not know how Steve got the page listing standard and refundable fare and why the normal old refundable was several times cheaper than the standard. Of course we went with the refundable, and I will make this an educational trip and go to some shows in the evening.

I am working to up my game. Yeah I get told I'm talented, and I believe it. If I didn't I wouldn't be investing the time and energy I have been investing for the past couple years. But there is always room for improvement, no matter who you are and I'm taking the time to work on that. I've ordered some books to assist and inspire me and am right now reading Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life With Words. I've only read one chapter, but it inspired me, and the chapters are short and sweet. It won't help with formality or really push on the scholarly level, but I like the casual feel.

Aside from poetry, I've also been drafting up my rewrite of The Little Mermaid. I've taken a more novella/teen lit slant to it rather than try to rewrite it in the fairytale format it was originally written. Take the time to use more dialogue with the characters, embellish events while keeping the spirit of the original story. I felt it would be a good starting point for working on lengthier stories and I have been having so much fun writing it.

The only downside I've experienced is that all the stress and excitement have made me feel a bit unwell. Combined with the bruises I've gained over the weekend between hiking and other events. I'll give my spirit a few days to calm down.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


My final project story is coming along. Now that I have my other assignments behind me for now I have more energy to devote to writing. Starting out I had such a hard time with voice and tone, the plot was coming along, but it wasn't coming out the way I wanted it to. It took rewriting the beginning to find a presentation that suited the actual story itself.

Poetry wise I've been working on a poem about raspberries. I've also ordered some books to help me up my game as a writer and performer. There is always room for improvement, no matter how good everybody says you are. There is always something more you can give, it's just learning how to find and express it.

I am also planning my vacation. Everything's a go, so I'm scoping out things to do, places to go, etc. It'll feel nice to get away for a bit, put myself in a new environment. Got somewhere to stay, will book bus tickets soon and get directions. I'll see how educational I can make my trip too.

I also got an offer to go into business with a friend. I'm supposed to meet with her tomorrow evening about it. I'll give more detail as everything becomes clearer.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Back....I Guess

So that's the art machine, isn't it a beauty? I've already used it several times. Tuesday there's going to be another party to replenish the stock. Expect it somewhere around town during Thursday's Art Walk.

So luckily, my Dad doesn't have cancer. He does have COPD, still lung disease, but at least it's not cancer. I am relieved about that.

I've been trying to keep my mojo up with writing, and have a few pieces in the works. I've been feeding myself inspiration in the form of Brave New Voices on DVD. My mind's been locked as of late and watching has become a sort of cerebral ex-lax, when I have the time to write. I had a long week last week honestly, extra hours at the paying job. Then I was feeling a bit ill over the weekend which kept me resting most of the time when I was home. I did take the time to go to Pendragon for a show, I needed the laughs.

I did have a show in Thursday, but there was no turnout. I haven't had a turnout that bad since March 09. It was the heat, ninety degree weather all week. The heat may have been part of why I felt so unwell these past few days too. Better luck next month.

I should get plenty done this week though. My paying job's giving me a little break hour-wise. Plenty of time to finish projects and hobknob around town.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sorry I've Been so Quiet

I've been very busy with this literature course. I'm preparing to write a story/novella for a final project, on top of the other assignments. It's a final project so I'm going to be busy with that. I'll admit I've been slacking with submissions because of this class.

Plus there is a possibility that my Father might have lung cancer, which has left me in a state of worry for the past week. I'll find out tomorrow if he actually has cancer or not, but the waiting part is straining.

I guess I'm just going to be a bit quieter here. I'll still continue to write and the July show is still on. If I don't have much for material I'll most certainly bring some poetry books to share poems from. For readers in the neighborhood I'll still be out and about as I have been. I'll attend what art openings and shows I can paying job and school permitting. I feel in a time like this it's probably best I am out and about. The world still moves on even if you're sulky. I will update if anything happens (writing wise, etc.), but this blog will probably be quiet for a little bit. You can follow me on twitter if you want, I'll be more likely to update that with anything small and/or random. In the meantime don't be alarmed if I'm not updating regularly.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

First Art Walk

The First Art Walk of the season was an awesome experience. It was a beautiful day which made the event even better. Wandered all over town taking it all in. Live music, gallery showings etc. There was a book release at the Adirondack Artist's Guild for a cookbook of local recipes featuring some of these recipes prepared for tasting.

The art machine was a blazing success! Every time I went by it I saw a crowd of people. 2/3 of the art was sold that day so there is a call for more contributions. It will only run at certain times fully supervised, because there are times the machine jams up. I even put some coins in for a few pieces. It's almost like Christmas because each box is a surprise. Apparently the Village Justice got one of my poems. An artist friend of mine got one of my handwritten pieces. I can't wait for the next art walk.

Today has been a good day so far. I went to the village farmer's market for some honey and iced wildflower tea. Afterward I went to one of the many little parks dotting the village and sat in the shade with my homework. It looks like it might storm later, glad to have spent some time outside in the fresh air. My porch garden is beginning to bloom too, already the planters are overflowing. I even have plants growing from under one of the pots. Seems some seeds were under the pot but exposed enough for sunlight. It looks odd, but kind of cool.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Shows and Such

Thursday's show went over very well. I am very pleased with how things turned out. Turnout was small, but everyone who attended was very enthusiastic and helpful. I live for nights like that actually, they fuel me as an artist.

In other news I have been slacking with submissions. Mainly because I've been in a writing slump of sorts. I've been filling it in with related work. I have performances uploaded on YouTube and Viddler now, and I'll have Steve make buttons on the main page for those sites. I've done some journal reading and once I have appropriate poems ready I will send in my submissions.

Tomorrow evening I'll be attending the box-stuffing party at the 7444 Gallery to help prepare the art dispensing machine for the first art walk. Grand unveiling is Thursday and four quarters will get you something wonderful.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Summer Series Starts Tonight!

Tonight will be the inaugural show of my summer series. Anyone is invited to read whether you're a writer or want to share the work of your favorite writer(s)! Shows will be the second Thursday of every month June through September, and the best part is they're free! We read outside weather permitting, and if the weather is still rainy then the gallery space upstairs is free. Hopefully by next month I'll have use of the outdoor stage to throw these shindigs.

Until then I'm trying to hustle today. Upload a bunch of videos onto YouTube and Viddler. Hoping to make a fb fanpage for my work and have them all linked from here. My tech guy is feeling not-so-well mindwise today. That's how it usually works though, days I'm psyched he's dragging, but on days he's psyched I'm the one slacking off.

I also have to admit that I am such a nerd. Against better judgment I've started another game of Final Fantasy XII. For those who don't know it takes approximately 400 hours of gameplay to get the most out of the game, as in side quests and extra goodies. Less if you're going with a straightforward game. Last time I played I had much more free time on my hands. My internship was postponed and I only had my paying job to work with. It was my pre-performance days since open mic started late that year. It's good relaxation though in between all the other things I've been doing.

Open Mic All-Star the other night was fantastic. Everyone was great that night and I was so happy to see everyone. Picked up some photos of Steve and I performing taken by BluSeed artist in residence Shaun Ondak, seriously this guy is amazing. He's a wonderful photographer and he plays the digeridoo.

The art dispenser is almost up and running too! Tuesday night is a box-stuffing party to prepare the machine for its unveiling. It will be up on June 17, the first Art Walk of the season. For just four quarters you can get a piece of art, one of my poems or coupons from Pendragon Theatre for shows. I urge anyone in the neighborhood to use the machine!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Upcoming Events

Well tonight I attended SCTY's opening, I learned about it last night. Fantastic show, interesting and whimsical art. Very fun and surreal. I met SCTY member Joshua Ray, and he's an awesome fellow. I wish I could have stayed longer at the gallery but my paying job needed me to save the day. Scheduling there will be a pain for a while, so long as I have a couple certain evenings off next week it's good.

I have two performances. On Tuesday I will be reading at the Open Mic All-Star Invitational/fundraiser event at BluSeed Studios. Then on Thursday I will be back at BluSeed for the first of my summer shows. In conjunction there will also be a paper-making social. For ten dollars you can make your own paper from fabric based pulp. There aren't many places around here where you can make paper. Whether you want to write on it or do some pulp painting (using different colored pulps for abstract creations). I might have a go at it as well depending on time.

In the meantime I've been keeping busy with school and journal submission things. I've had to give myself two weeks for this latest read through/submission because of how much I had to read for my class last week. So long as work to keep myself on track I won't mind the occasional delay. If I'm productive that's what counts.

Monday, May 31, 2010

A Better Week? I Hope

Hoping this week is better than last one. A lot of people seemed to be having a horrible week last week. For me it was just an emotionally off week. I made sure to end it on good notes though. Visited the grand opening receptions of two new art galleries in town. Funny that some people are complaining about how all these art galleries are stealing space from more "commercial" businesses downtown. Well there's less empty store fronts, which many of us don't like seeing. We can't say all the commercial businesses have no room when a clothing store just opened and a French style cafe will be opening once renovations are finished. I'm pretty excited about this new cafe.

Yesterday I went to a birthday party for a couple friends whose birthdays are two days apart. Met some new people, got to talk with other people I haven't seen in a while. Steve got to play bass until his fingers hurt. We also had delicious pie. It was a great night.

Now it's back to the grind. Hoping to get another submission out soon. Have school assignments. This submission might be a little delayed because of school, but as long as I'm productive that's okay with me. It's when I start slacking things aren't good. That was my big problem last year, I became too much of a slacker. School was over so I took as much of a real break as I could. Keep myself to be inclined towards productivity.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Existential Crisis Mode

My mind's been in a weird place as of late. Maybe I'm just pushing myself a little too much and have little time to relax my mind. Being driven is a good thing, but I wonder if I'm burning my candle at both ends. Lately my dreams have been weird and my mood has been snappish.

I got my first rejection for "not following directions", and it feels like a slap in the face. And for such a "warm" journal the message I received was rather cold. I'm a bit confused as to what I didn't follow since quantity and spacing were considered as requested, and all fields on the digital form were filled. Only other thing I could think of is some bureaucratic fine print. This led to my first real "drama diva" moment as I felt frustrated the rest of the day and the bitch in me said "they'll regret it when I'm famous". Honestly, I have never shown that before concerning my writing, I have had no acceptances yet, haven't one an open mic and have had nights where reception to my work has been lukewarm and I haven't had a fit. But the thought of my submission being discarded without ever being read makes me feel insulted, even if I have wound up to be at fault. I'll just not send anything to that journal again, simple as that.

Maybe I need a real day off. The self conscious part of me started questioning myself. I realize that I'm in an area where although there are other writers, I'm not taking their approach. I have little to base my performance work off of and learn from what and who I can access. Basically I'm all variable and no control right now. I'm just hoping I'll be over this slump in time for my first summer show in two weeks.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Another Education Post: Say No to Retconning

I know my last post became education focused, but now I have another one.

It's funny that a lot of lit. students apparently go into education, I don't want to. If I am to educate I'd rather do so in an unconventional manner. Mainly because I can't stand the bureaucracy of education.

A few days ago I read about some of the new textbook standards for Texas. I've heard the horror stories of poor editing, typos not caught, information that should have been fact-checked. Plus a crap-load of textbooks are published in Texas that are sent all over the country.

Personally, I feel their new textbook standards are unconstitutional. They ignore separation of church and state and freedom of religion. If someone want's to be conservative Christian that's fine by me. If you don't want your kids in a secular public school you're free to send them to a religious private school or home school them. Don't take over education boards to spread your brand of religion to other students. Hell, most schools are okay if parents send a note excusing their child from sex ed. and maybe science class when it comes time to teach evolution. It's disrespectful to other families that don't practice evangelical denominations or aren't Christian.

Too liberal? When I was doing my time in public school as a student I don't think textbooks were all that biased. They weren't telling me who to vote for or which way of life was better. They said the beauty of America was that you as a citizen had a choice in how you lived and America was all about the concept of freedom. Apparently now if you don't go by certain ideologies you can't have that freedom.

Some of the concepts the new standards will introduce in history textbooks:
Teaching the laws of nature vs. God's laws- For one, this is History, not Science class. Whole other subject, get your creationist debate out of US History.

Replacing how we call the government "democratic" and changing it to "Constitutional republic": From what I know, our government is called a "Democratic Republic", so stop being fussy over jargon. Terminologies haven't kept some of my classmates from growing up to be Republican. When I went to high school my region was known for being rather Republican politically.

Focusing on the Second Amendment: Yes the Bill of Rights is an important document on our freedoms. I also find it funny that the people saying that we need to keep our right to guns are also the same people who don't give a flying rat's ass about the First Amendment.

Teaching the students the Conservative Resurgence: Bias, bias, bias. Why do we students need to know about political party "trends". Teach kids that there are political parties, you can even teach the history of major political parties, but please teach students about both major parties, and not just the party of your preference.

Teach students about the Black Panthers as well as Martin Luther King Jr.: Okay in studying civil rights I agree that it's good to learn the different facets of a movement. There was a peaceful movement for equal rights and a violent one. Yet I've heard rumors that they're going to put both the Black Panthers and MLK in the same league. Don't do that. They're different entities who had different approaches. If you want to teach both, teach as a way to show things aren't as simple, not as a way to find means to brush aside a movement. That goes for any other social movement, teach it as history and don't just teach the "bad" stuff as a way to push the whole movement aside.

Also state that German and Italian Immigrants were also put in internment camps, so America doesn't sound so racist: Ummm.... don't rewrite history to make this country sound like it's not full of racist assholes. It still is full of racist assholes. It's actually pretty disturbing that people want history to be retconned.

Teaching the history of McCarthyism and why McCarthy was a good guy: Because we don't want all those filthy communists. Kids need to know how to sniff them out. I wonder how some of the conservative nutjobs would feel if it became a more well-known fact that McCarthy liked men. Yes he was gay, gay, and gay. Just like all those other "homophobic" conservatives who get caught in gay sex scandals.(note: I am not homophobic, I just find homophobic paranoia funny) He also a pro-temperance alcoholic.

A focus on "difficult life choices": Okay, this doesn't fit History and politics either. I believe in educating students about issues such as dating violence, eating disorders, and suicide, but not in History class. And the POV they may want to teach on some of these issues may cause more shame than help.

Reducing the importance of Thomas Jefferson: WTF? He wrote the Declaration of Independence and did a lot for our country. He's no saint, but he's still a Founder of our country. Yet it's okay to teach the sentimental smarminess of Thomas Kindade, a charlatan who likes to pee on things when he's drunk. Okay, I have a couple framed Kinkade puzzles, they were free and I got them before I know how much of a hack he really was. I guess I can keep them for irony? Or is that too "hipster" of me.

msnbc article

Guardian article


What can we do? Well not much on an individual level unless we work together. We could do what some are doing with Arizona and have a boycott against the state. Don't give your money to Texas companies, don't visit Texas, etc. Historically they're alright with being seen as not part of the rest of America anyways. Teachers could stop using textbooks from Texas based publishers, even if it means dropping the use of a textbook altogether. Kids would be happy to have one less huge book to lug around anyways. At my high school some of the classes didn't even have enough books to distribute to all the students and for some classes it was okay to do without. The Chemistry book I used was from the 1970s and was only seen as a "study supplement" the material we needed was taught right in class or was given in handouts.

I will admit that personally I'm pretty liberal. At the same time I'm annoyed that bias is being taught in schools, and that bias is coming from actual education boards. Even if they say it's at the teachers' discretion what and how to teach, there's no denying that there's bias in the actual textbooks that most students are told to read from. I want to see kids learn history, not some glossed-over neocon fantasy that both diminishes important parts of non-white male history and covers up the ugly stuff we've done. Students deserve to learn the facts and be allowed to come to their own conclusions.

*steps down from soap box*

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

School's Here Again, Literature and Education

My Children's Lit. course has started. The actual literature focus on this unit is poetry, rhyme and verse. I spent much of last evening reading old nursery rhymes and nonsense verse. It was a pleasant trip down memory lane as well as a discovery as I read rhymes, street games and folk songs from other countries.

I've also enjoyed how my textbooks are encouraging an interest through enjoyment. I feel that is the key to keeping people interested in poetry. All too much, especially later in childhood, we get all caught up in the structures and "deeper meanings" of poems and not the pleasure one can find from reading or hearing these poems. Poetic devices are fine and dandy, but they aren't strictly what makes a poem. To interpret meaning should be left to the individual and not an instructed meaning.

It brings me to a memory of "learning" about poetry in tenth grade. Aside from the stories, I don't remember much from tenth grade literature/english. I read some interesting stories, and some literary canon, but the actual teaching I feel kind of sucked joy from literature. Specifically I'm thinking of a poem about a butterfly on a rock. I forgot the title and author, even though it may be classic. The class was told it is to be interpreted as a message on overcoming life's obstacles because the butterfly is on a rock and not a flower. Like that could strictly be the only meaning to the poem. Fortunately my love for reading overrode my frustration with that particular class.

It also illustrates one of the problems with keeping people interested in poetry as an art. We love it as children and find it pleasant. Then along comes the need to analyze and be uptight on the education of poetry. It is not just an art to be appreciated and explored, but something to be dissected and pored over until it twists your brain into knots. That is also the flaw in teaching interpretation and critical thinking, it's enforced rather than encouraged. Kids get forced to poke and prod a piece and take it to levels that might not be appreciated yet.

Maybe we need to change our approach a little when teaching literature to students. Teach an appreciation for an art rather than a formula. Fortunately I see more and more of a relaxed approach being taken. Seeing things like high school writers' retreats where students meet and work with professional performance poets. It becomes a place where students learn of the art form outside the classroom, and are introduced to works that can be easily related to or touch on a subject that's close to a person. This is an art form for everybody, not just the small child, the "disaffected emo kid" or the literary scholar. It's for anyone who has a love for expression.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Losing a Friend

After work Saturday I got the call from my Mom that Trixie passed away. She was a very special cat to me. The family's had her, and her sister Alice, for nearly seventeen years. Luckily it was a peaceful passing, age and illness took her. Last fall she had a stroke which amazingly she recovered from, we were afraid we'd lose her then. She's always been tough, even in her last days despite her weakness she was climbing stairs.

Growing up is a strange experience. For me Trixie helped me through many of the rough spots; bullies, my parents' separation, coming home after my first ventures into the big wide world. Whenever I got home from school or visited with my moms she'd be there to greet me by rolling on the floor. I wasn't her only buddy, but we had a special bond.

I've been feeling rather moody the past week because of it. A bit more down than usual. I didn't have a chance to say goodbye between my paying job and all the other things in my life. I wasn't there to get the phone until it was time for burial. It leaves me feeling a little guilty that I wasn't there for her in her final days. Luckily for me my paying job had already scheduled an extra day off for me out of pure luck, so I've had some space for the most part away from all that madness.

I'm carrying on though. Still reading journals for submissions, sent out my first one on Monday and got a rejection (don't worry noobs, it happens to everybody, a lot). I put up fliers around town on Tuesday for upcoming shows. I also got some business cards made, mainly because I need them for the Art O Matic project I'm contributing to. They have my blog url and my professional email address. Soon I'm hoping to get more social networking things set up. I'll be making a facebook fan page, and I'll look into the new facebook alternative Diaspora. For those who don't like facebook's bullshit. I'll upload some stuff to my Viddler too at some point. I'm not going to set up a Myspace though, it's definitely become old hat.

So as you can see, my world has been a mix of busy and dreary. I went to Mom's to celebrate Mother's day early under morose circumstances. There was snow afterward and I've been grieving while working my ass off.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Summer Shows Scheduled!

Next week I'll be posting print copies around town. I'm just waiting on a shipment of color ink since I didn't make it in time for the print shop's 29 cent color copy sale. Unlike last year this flier lists all the dates for the season and I've used the ever-popular Bleeding Cowboys font as a header.

Design is important if you're trying to get something across. Last year's shows were an experiment both in scheduling and design. I experimented with dates and found it best to schedule when there's nothing else going on. When I held a show right after an art walk I found that most people were too tired to trek out and stuck around downtown. I had only one person show up, my last show of the summer was the same way. Now though I've had a year's more experience and more support so hopefully more people will come. I don't care if they're writers or appreciators, everyone is welcome.

My creative mind is loving this little break from school. I have several pieces in the works now and just feel motivated. In my spare time I've been watching Asian horror flicks. The paying job's been alternating between giving me extra space and putting me on whole weekends. The week after next I start my summer class. I should be able to balance work/school/writing though. It's only one class.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Great Show Thursday, feeling pumped

Thursday's show, Word Spring, was excellent. I had a fantastic time. I'm glad the show was packed, it shows how inspirational poetry can be.
It just shows how much poetry can be modern, and how it can be a beautiful and exuberant blend of thought and feeling. It really is all about the art here folks.

Jon Sands and Jeanann Verlee first took turns reading. Jon had us waving our hands in the air, shouting etc, and would apologize for making us do all that "silly shit". Jeanann didn't work the crowd in that manner, but reminded us all it's okay to be crazy. Liza Jessie Peterson had her own little time block since she also performed an excerpt from one of her one woman shows featuring the character Merlina. And Liza wants us all to get out and write!

All three are wonderful performers who can captivate the audience. It's people like this I aspire to be like some day. I want to go out and use my art to encourage others. I want to be using my art to help people and entertain them. I will work my way towards that.

As a medium I've found performance poetry to be very encouraging. While getting my books and DVD signed I mentioned how I'm a performance poet as well whose been reading for about a year and a half, and I got so much encouragement. Like I said above, it really is about the art and sharing it with others.

Speaking of sharing the art I drafted up the flier for my summer series. Once again I want an open reading where I flush other area poets out of the woodwork to share their art. I'll have better promotion this year. The Adirondack Center for Writing will be posting the dates for my shows on their calendar. I'll be printing fliers soon and sharing .pdf copies online.

I should also be able to look through journals this summer and work on submissions now that the homework load has lightened.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

WordSpring, Concert, Writing

Open mic went off fantastically. I'm hoping to get the performance videos up soon. Since April is National Poetry Month there were more poets reading. Almost half the performers on the sign up were poets.
The day after I had a nice chat with one of the other poets and let her know I'm organizing some poetry only shows for the summer. I'm waiting for approval on the proposed dates and then I'll have fliers prepared. This year should be easier since I've had one more year of experience and I'm more recognized in the art community now. With reputation and networking I'm hoping to create a poetry scene in the community. There's people who write, but keep it to themselves. I want them to come out and share their art.

Saturday I attended the concert at Bluseed. It was a fantastic evening. The show was great, and I stayed pretty late after the concert. Natalia Zuckerman is an awesome guitarist. I love her slide playing. Andy Friedman had some hilarious songs, and I learned he started out as a poet before he did music.

Tomorrow evening there will be a more professional show at North Country Community College. The Adirondack Center for Writing has invited poets Liza Jessie Peterson, Jon Sands, and Jeanann Verlee to perform. I'm really looking forward to the show. I'm still growing and learning as an artist so I like to see more experienced artists. It helps me see what I can do to define my art. Especially since growing up I never saw anything like this. If there were writers' retreats for students and professional poets reading up here when I was in high school I may have started my career earlier instead of the on/off writing I did. Better now than never, and hopefully my efforts will contribute to creating a literary art scene in my community. We have a huge visual art and music scene. There's concerts all the time. In the summer we have the monthly art walks. We even have a First Night celebration.
Theater does well here too, we have a LPCA (Lake Placid Center for the Arts) and Pendragon Theatre
I'm glad there's more professional artists of all forms of expression coming to the region. Hopefully I'll see many more. A great ending to National Poetry Month.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Penguins! And a Busy Week Ahead

These cute little guys are in the Central Park Zoo. I went there June of 2008. What transpired here got national attention and became part of the inspiration for a hilarious play I saw this past Sunday.

The local theater hosted a staged reading of Stephen Svoboda's "The Penguin Tango" to raise money for the local chapter of the Wildlife Conservation Society. I linked a review for the NYC production to give a better idea of what the play's all about. The event was hosted by WCS members and Svoboda. I found the play to be very cute and charming as we look into the fictional lives of penguins. After the play we went to the WCS offices for a talk back on the writing process, the events that inspired the play and acting. And we watched the Daily Show clip on gay penguins.

As an artist I like how artists outside the area are taking interest. Svoboda brought up two actors from the original NYC production, and had local actors from all over the Adirondacks work with these professionals. Svoboda is also involved in the Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts as well as their Out in the Adirondacks event for members of the LGBTQ community as well as their friends, family, and supporters.

It's taken me a few days to post about this since I've been swamped with school work. That cold I had last week sidelined me for a bit, and the extra hours at my paying job this past weekend didn't help. I need to make sure the stress doesn't interfere any further with my motivation, I've been doing well so far. And if I get my work done I'll be able to enjoy some upcoming events.

Like open mic tomorrow. I don't think I'm going to be doing anything particularly theatrical this time unless I have a last-minute idea that could work. I have material ready to go and I got my flip cam in for filming. It should be a good night, hopefully this one won't start as tensely as the last one. Last month the list filled so fast and we had extra acts added in which made timing kind of tight.

This weekend is going to be a busy one event-wise. I'm actually a little torn on where to go. Saturday night there's three different arts events going on. Saturday afternoon I will be attending the NCCC Environmental Club's Junk to Funk fashion show. Where entrants make trash into fashion. In the evening there's four events in town. First one I heard about was High Peaks Opera Studio's Operetta and Broadway evening.
Also on Saturday Bluseed will be holding a concert featuring Natalia Zuckerman and Andy Friedman.
Pendragon Theatre is holding a reading of A.R. Gurney's play "Love Letters". This is a joint event with North Country Public Radio and the Adirondack Nonprofit Network.

I know I kind of crammed a lot into my latest entry. I'll be so busy this may be the only real time I have this week to post between school, work and the arts. My schedule should breathe a little easier this summer as I'll only have one class to worry about.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


I haven't felt this scattered in a while. Doesn't help that I was fighting a cold all week, and have to work all weekend on top of that. I'm in the final stretch of the semester and am totally unfocused. When I do have the focus I'm getting interrupted. I just want this semester to finish so I can have my couple weeks break and then start the summer class.

Other than that things are well. Just got a Flip cam which I'll be using to record performances. Next week is open mic.

I have a few ideas to work on. Hoping I can get them out in just the right way to be thought provoking and entertaining.

Not much really to update on. Just gearing up for the summer. Planning when to hold my summer shows and set up a reading schedule to work on journal submissions. I should have an easier time now since I'm mixing my gratifications. I have my performance videos which get me out there, and I can work on submissions for journals for "official" credentials. Maybe my current presence on the net will help with the getting published part. Never know until I try.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Fracturing Fairy Tales

My layout is finally up! So far for outside networking there's just the link to my Twitter. Hopefully I'll get my other network links up during the week.

Doing last-minute touch-ups on my latest story for my fiction class. I like the story, but it still need something before I turn it in. I really need to send it in soon.

I've gotten my second cold in less than a month, lucky me! I went almost a year without getting sick and now there's something wrong with me all the time. I'm catching colds, messing up my ankle, etc.

As the title states, I've been thinking of fairy tales. Fairy tales have always fascinated me. At first it was the fantasy element of fairy tales, and as I grew older it was knowing how dark and gruesome many of them really were. I've had a tendency to fracture the occasional one for my own amusement. I wrote a series of poems a couple months back focusing on that. It involved people getting arrested, and plastic surgery.
I decided to do something different, and actually write a serious story based off a fairy tale. I got the idea from reading Chekhov's "The Lady With the Pet Dog" and then the version Joyce Carol Oates wrote. Oates took a classic Russian short story, gave it a setting familiar to American audiences and wrote it from the woman's perspective. I've been doing a similar treatment to The Little Mermaid. I want to write a modernized and mature story that further explores the mermaid's character. Of course I'm leaving in all the gruesome parts.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Pop's Not All Mindless Crap

I feel I should just make a post on just how awesome the new Gorillaz album is. I've always loved Gorillaz, I love the music, I love the concept. I like how the ultimate prefabricated band is at times more real than a lot of the so-called "real" things that are out there. You're invited to indulge in the fantasy of a cartoon band and take it as a believable fantasy. Behind it though there's a lot of fantastic artists working together to raise the bar with pop music and re-define it as something anyone could appreciate. Not just twelve year old girls. And far as I know the twelve year old girls who have discovered Gorillaz went on to liking more eclectic music and have stepped away from the bubblegum stuff "normal" society thinks they should listen to.

Dang I would have shared the video for Stylo but embedding was disabled. Bruce Willis looks like he's having a ton of fun.

I've also found that the latest album, Plastic Beach, is great mood music. Some of the songs have made for great mood music in my story writing. I've been having a difficult time focusing. I never really worked with redrafting until I took that story writing class. I don't know how many times I restarted my latest story before I wrote a draft I actually liked. Poems seem to come easier to me, I write bad ones every now and then, but it's rare I have to completely re draft from scratch. Most of the time editing individual lines and stanzas is enough to give a poem its full potential.

I've also been checking my YouTube stats lately. It seems out of all my poems the most viewed would be my poem slamming bullies. I'm glad people are liking it though, it was very intense for me to write. I spent an afternoon of blood, sweat and tears writing that piece up. Not to mention dredging up my own personal experiences with bullying. I hope those who have suffered through bullying take comfort in my words and those who have bullied see the error in their ways and change for the better. They may eventually become victims of schadenfreude like many of my unapologetic bullies.

Well here's hoping my focus returns so I can finish my school assignments and get these latest poems out of my mind and onto something more tangible. Open mic's a couple weeks away and I've had so many ideas incubating in my brain.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sorry I Forgot About Things

Steve's finally working on a layout. I kept telling him simple because I knew he'd return to square one a million times, and he did. At least the layout's almost ready and should be up soon!

I've been getting a better feel for writing stories thanks to the fiction writing class I'm taking. Inspiration for stories is coming to me quicker. I remember back at the start of the semester I'd have such a difficult time trying to find idea since I'm so used to more abstract forms of expression. Maybe I'll start submitting short stories this summer too.

The last open mic was off to a rough start, but when showtime came things were pulled off beautifully. The sign up sheet filled up almost instantly, and we had two write-ins who were promised performances that night. Some people had to be turned away from the main performance. Musicians were invited to play in the after-show jam session if they wanted to play for the sake of playing. I ended up writing a couple new pieces in between sets that I'll probably showcase in April's open mic.

That Voyant Chai Cream Liqueur I tried was super tasty! I was sipping it on the rocks all evening. Unfortunately Steve didn't film my last set of performances, he was too caught up in the moment. His set went well as well, probably the best set he's had there so far.

On a more serious end, I've been feeling the personal changes I've undergone these past couple years. I know I have been changing a lot since I've started reading, and it's great, I've come a long way from who I used to be. I'm very happy about that, but it comes with its own growing pains. In a way all the things I took as influences for so many years have become discarded. The core of who I am is changing and it's been difficult. I've been in a funk these past few days because of it. I know I'll be fine, it hasn't changed my goals of how I'm going about achieving them.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Another open mic tonight. Should be a good one, the weather's beautiful today. I think this will be the first open mic this season that has nice weather. All other times it's been rainy, slushy, or really friggin cold.

It looks like I will be covering Horse Latitudes tonight. Steve's been working on an audio track. I'll be bringing along some Voyant Chai Cream Liquor for the evening. I love chai, so this should be really delicious!

Got a copy of the new Gorillaz album Plastic Beach I forgot how much I love Gorillaz, the whole concept to me is fantastic. When taken as a fantasy it's weird, wild and wacky. When taken as an art project there's so many influential artists who contribute.

School, well the interesting part is story writing class. The focus this unit is on setting and I got a good idea. Yesterday I came across a website that claims that a lot of pop stars and whatnot are really Illuminati puppets who underwent mind-control experiments and are recruiting the youth of America to do so as well. I think it's daft, but the idea of writing a story about it and having it take place in the mind of an experiment subject who is promised superstardom in return is something new for me. I'll see how it turns out.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Another Day Another Term Paper

Finished up an American History Through Literature paper on Alice Walker's The Color Purple. I focused on racism in the South during the Depression, the Civil Rights movement and black music culture. Specifically early Blues and juke joints.
Now it's on to a paper on the historical aspects of Ethan Canin's America America on the Ted Kennedy Chappaquiddick scandal, the end of the Vietnam War and urban sprawl. The novel was enjoyable, I liked reading it. I found it very intriguing how the political scandal in the novel was slowly unpeeled. I could enjoy it when I was reading it, but when it came to finding time I ended up distracted.

Currently I am reading Barbara Kingslover's Animal Dreams I'm having a hard time taking time away from it. I got through the first hundred pages in a day and the only thing keeping me from reading further is the rest of my homework. I really like the main character Codi, her out-of-place feelings are relatable to me in a way. I'm more comfortable in my differences, and I find embracing them gives you place, but I can understand the difficulties when you feel you've never fit in.

Listening to The Brightness by Anais Mitchell. I remember when I wrote the article about her upcoming show a few months back. I really enjoyed her interview responses and wish I could have included everything in my article. I got pages of information on her folk opera Hadestown and how it came to be. I should get the album soon.
Tonight I'm going to be seeing The Honey Dewdrops. The reviews I've heard on their music make the emotional pallet sound intriguing. I know, the little glam poet has been enjoying folk music. I enjoy work that has thought put into it, in any way.

Open mic is coming up, and I'm getting ready. Unsure on whether or not I can perform Horse Latitudes. Steve still hasn't done the audio track I want yet. If he can pull that together in time I'll do it. He's promising to work on my blog layout again this evening. I just need to find one or two more pieces to perform as well and I'll be ready.

Now I must sign off, I'm hearing too much from the fuzzy peanut gallery.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Latest Performance and Preparation for the Next

Finally have video of my latest show, it's the full set. Steve was working the camera from his station by the piano, he has it set so you can watch him manipulate the music while I'm reading.

I have to link it since he posted it on his Facebook

I got more audience feedback this past Friday while I was at BluSeed for an art opening. It was great, and a lot of people found the irony of the poem itself to be funny. I was a little insecure after my last performance, but it's all good.

And now I'm working on my latest piece. It's inspired by the article I posted the other day. Once again, a stage presentation, no music for it, but I'll be planning out a "costume" to go with the poem. I am also thinking of still covering Horse Latitudes mainly to collaborate with Steve. I told him the sound pallet I want, and he can take that and do whatever.
Back to the new poem I've been writing, I am taking the feeling of being lied to and deceived. I became a fan of visual kei because I believed in the artistic integrity of many of the performers. It's heartbreaking to learn that even the integrity of the artists is some lie contrived by greedy businessmen. And it's so hard to find the few exceptions because culturally it's all about that professionalism, so to tell the difference between a genuine band with real sentiments and a contrived band is difficult.
Image wise I'm trying to figure out how to do a bastardized visual. I do have some clothes by popular VK labels, but I don't want to ruin the actual clothes themselves. I have to mock it through accessories, hair, and makeup. Show that this has been a part of my life and it's left a significant impact on me, but at the same time I've been so disillusioned lately I want to display that as well.

I devote attention to all my writings, but I always seem to get that one showcase piece where I can put on a show with it.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Music Rambling

I'm a poet, but I love music. I am influenced by rock stars just as much as I am by other poets, if not more at times. Over the years I've been a fan of a style of Japanes rock called visual-kei. Most Westerners who've heard it seem to see it as weeaboo music. Much of it is highly-stylized and has image as much as it has music.

Last night I found an article one of my fellow visual kei fans found and shared from Tokyo Damage Report. Now I know and am cool with these bands being all about image and illusion, the fantasy on the surface is cool with me. What bugs me is learning how that illusion goes deeper than stage costumes and makeup. Reading the article is very shocking, and you think Western artists get financially screwed by label executives. At least Western artists can make money off merchandise sales and aren't forced to psychologically manipulate their fan base.

The level of seediness and manipulation is more seen in international pop outfits. Last year The Guardian ran an article on the dark underbelly of Japanese boy bands, which sounds like the same story we hear when 90s American boy bands are filing lawsuits against that Pearlman dude who manipulated and molested several of his acts.

I guess in a way I feel hurt as a fan. All that sentimentality bands have for their fans is just part of the illusion as they've become nothing more than trained Circus poodles. At the same time I feel sorry for a lot of these bands since they're being used. You really have to read the article to understand that this particular genre has executives who pretty much run their own music mafia. There's one artist in particular I can think of where I really think his fame actually kept him from any harm or blacklisting.

Onto a different subject, all of this inspired me to write a killer poem! I've developed an odd liking to ruining the things that make me feel sentimental. But when those things are gone, they're gone. I've realized in my online snooping that I'm one of those poets who goes beyond verbal aesthetics and goes for the grit. I could write about moonlight on roses, summer thunderstorms and morning dew, but I also want to write about hearts betrayed, the jaded pain of being on the bottom rung, the things that twist people.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Another Show Over With

So Thursday's open mic was just weird.
For one the weather sucked. I don't mind snow, and it wasn't too cold out. The slush was another story, that and the super sticky snow made walking miserable. You didn't even have to stick your tongue out to catch snowflakes, they'd just fly into your face.

Much of the core audience and core performers weren't there. For some it's likely the weather, there were others I know were out of town. The lack of their energy just gave an odd vibe to the night. A lot of people were coming who were people I didn't really know. I don't think it's a bad thing, I like seeing newcomers come around.

My performance was in top form, I was at my best on stage that night. Yet my first piece was being interpreted as being funny ha-ha. The costume, props and music were not for comedic effect. I just find it kind of off-putting to be doing this serious and intense piece just to have people laugh. I know I do funny, I do lots of funny poems, but this wasn't one of them. Not to mention that when Steve was starting the music Renoise wasn't working and he had to reboot Sammy (our netbook).

A few people got it, and they're the ones who count. The host of the evening liked it, the people running the show and the other artists liked it. Out of towners just passed me off as another mad-poet. I guess it's put me into a little artistic identity crisis. Am I just the funny person who occasionally has angry poems? Am I just passed off as pure comedy? I want humor, but I also want to wow people too.

Maybe next time I'll do a cover of Horse Latitudes.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Poetry to Music? Of Course!

Tonight is open mic, and another performance for me. I'm doing things a little different this time. Steve is going to be mixing music live while I do my reading. I'm also going to be reading in costume, it's a bridal theme. Inspired by my sister-in-law's upcoming divorce.

It's going to be unconventional and bombastic. You can do poetry to music though, it's been done before. As seen in the Poetry in Motion project from a previous post. Jim Morrison also had poems set to music. The album Strange Days featured the poem Horse Latitudes, with audio track, and the music made it even more frightening.

There was also his posthumous album An American Prayer, where the surviving members set music to many of Morrison's poems. Of course we can't forget Celebration of the Lizard which has been performed live as well.

It was actually getting into the music of The Doors and Jim Morrison that made me want to first become a poet. This was a little over a decade ago and my easily-influenced teenage mind found something dark and subversive about Morrison's work. I wanted to do the same and was writing on and off for about ten years before I decided to take poetry seriously in terms of my own writing. At the time I knew nothing of contemporary poetry, or poets who broke boundaries. The most contemporary poet I knew of at the time was Shel Silverstein (whose poetry I've always loved). Other than that, I only knew of the classic poets you learn about in school. There was no writer's retreat back then, no focus on modern poetry in English classes, just a unit on classic writers and poetic devices.

I would like to see things modernize a bit more. Part of the problem is that people usually associate poetry with stuffy grad-students/academics and beginners just starting who might not even think of making some sort of career out of it. You know, the stereotypical "emo-kid" who "whines" in their livejournal. Not a lot of people think of the world outside of those extremes. It's sort of like wine, how some people see wine drinkers as either snobs or the cheap wino. Take that dichotomy away and wine can be a fun thing to get into. It's fun to experiment with wine/food pairings, or see how different kinds of wine taste, and some are pretty tasty!

Speaking of which, do I want to bring wine to open mic? If so what kind?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My Latest Performance Piece

Well yesterday was my birthday, it was the lamest ever. I sat around at home all day and then worked at my paying job, wouldn't be as bad if I had something more enjoyable.

I did write a new poem in lieu of my sister in law's upcoming divorce. I learned that her marriage was ending on Valentine's day, of all days. I came up with a good performance piece, my second that will actually have a costume to go with it. Hey, I like playing dress up! I'm going with a semi-bridal theme, I found a dress and ordered a tiara, already have shoes, jewelry, and even a scarf that could double as a veil. I'll also incorporate a souvenir bell I have from my sister in law's wedding. I asked Steve to set up some music to play while I read, I'm going to have him render Pachabel's Canon into a twisted, smoldering wreck. I know a stage show seems to be a bit much, but I do things my way. If I want to show the world that poetry can be an enjoyable art form I'm going to make things fun for the audience.

This whole setup is also going to be funny because afterward I'll probably read a piece I wrote about the virgin/whore dichotomy and how silly it is. I got the idea from the big Taylor Swift debate since she won album of the year at the Grammys. She is appreciable in the fact that she is self-made, and has artistic integrity and consistency ie: what she says and what she does are closely related unlike other pop stars. Yet her whole ultimate Good Girl message grates on a lot of us people who don't believe in the virgin/whore dichotomy her music sometimes projects.

My life has felt a bit more disorganized as of late, and I'm trying to keep it all together. Working on yet another paper, reading books for class, working on my poems and looking about the web. And I felt so together the other week.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Video Poetry on the Web

I recently set up a Viddler account for myself to go with my YouTube. Since Viddler is uncharted territory for me I thought that I should explore first before I put up any of my performances, and so far I've found some neat little projects. Not all of them are my style exactly, but have great concepts!

One concept I see is titled Poetry in Motion (Not to be confused with the MTA project that posts poems in NYC public transit systems)
This video project features poems both classic and original with video and music. There is not much information on the actual account
This is a project by Full Sail University, a media arts college based out in Florida.

I also came across another video poetry project by user scumnation. The poems are all original works, with alternating images and text with music. There are several lyrical references in these poems, but it's got a good hip/fresh vibe to it. I particularly like this one called Barbie's Night Out. Plus you get to see Japanese Lolitas and VK cosplay fashion. Another interest of mine ^_^

I apologize if the videos only show up as links, I still can't seem to find the embed code if there is any. I can just find the permalink. I'm not the most code-savvy person out there, part of why I'm having my fiance work on my eventual new layout.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Videos are up!

The videos from my latest performance are up on YouTube! I will be posting them on Viddler in the near future as well. Keeping both accounts, but material may vary between them.

Steve's been working on the layout in between his music work. I'm hoping he finishes it soon, I asked for something simple and easy to navigate. I know he likes giving everything full bells and whistles which can become further time-consuming.

Not much else to report, wrote up a few more drafts to work on as well as my schoolwork. I finished Little Women and now have to move on. I love the novel even more now that I've read the full version and would love to read the sequels on Gutenberg if I had the time.

Without further delay, three originals and a spoken word cover.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Chugging Along

I've been plugging away at a lot of things as of late. I bless my random mind for it's wonderful ideas. I think I shall write a poem about the Tidy Bowl Man for the next open mic. The world needs more whimsy.

Steve's been working on a layout for me. Since we've separated our desks we're both being much more productive at them. Both of us aren't really the type who like having others peek over our shoulders. Now that we have our own makeshift desks we're both working a lot more.

I've been reading right through Little Women, it's such a sweet book. Alcott herself had an interesting life as well. She had to play breadwinner while her idealist Father was doing his own endeavors that never paid much; he was a poet too. I'm an idealist at times too, but more sensible I guess. I also wrote a five page story for my story writing class. The draft needs to be gone through again, and then I'll post it for peer critique. I would very much like to learn how to improve my story writing skills. I did finish my paper on the Salem Witch Trials, and it was interesting going in-depth on some of the key figures. I've taken a bigger interest in history over the past few years.

I will get the latest videos up soon. And I will be sharing a bunch of other places you can find me at online as well. Those will be shared once my new layout is up and running. In the meantime I will keep the content going!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Where to Start

It's been an eventful week in my writing and pop culture.

First, open mic was another fantastic evening, videos to come soon. The host said my poem about dinosaurs and eating chicken is the best piece of literature ever, I'm not sure about the best, but it is entertaining. I autographed the printout and gave it to him, my first ever autograph :D It is a surprise, but I'm happy. I will be working to expand and tie my networks together. I made a test blog for Steve to tinker with so he can get templates configured.

J.D. Salinger passed away, read the news shortly after my last post. Best known for The Catcher in the Rye, the epitome of teen jadedness. It's a challenged staple of high schools, and it's even influenced mentally unstable assassins in horrible ways. My father's girlfriend, who works as a teacher, hates teaching it, but love it or hate it, it's a modern classic.

Been plugging away at my schoolwork. I've actually been keeping good pace with my work, hopefully it continues throughout the semester. I'm almost finished writing about the Salem Witch Trials and McCarthyism.

And because I am an armchair pop-culture analyst, I've been seeing all this stuff about the Grammys and how Taylor Swift won album of the year. I haven't jumped on the GaGa Got Robbed bandwagon fully, as much as I love Lady GaGa. I saw the other nominees as well. I guess my opinion is that I'm not going to say Swift is out of her league; but it's too early to tell what league she's in. The artists she was up against have all made a strong impact on music, and she may have won a slew of awards and broke download records, but in terms of her place in popular culture she needs more time. For all we know she may just fade in a couple years into pop-country obscurity. I know her music's not my cup of tea. Never really been into country music, it's too much schlock for me.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

It's That Time Again!

Open mic night! A week late, but still happening! Yay I'm psyched!

I just need to finish looking over the drafts for my latest poems and decide which ones I will read for the evening. I also plan on sharing a Tom Waits spoken-word piece as well, because Tom Waits rocks.

Still bugging Steve to design a layout and setup here to help connect me with the rest of the web. I'm thinking Saturday would be a great business day since we will both be off from our paying jobs together. He can work on the layout and I can organize my networking accounts to make my work more reachable to the rest of the world!

I just finished reading Crush It! by famed netizen Gary Vaynerchuk. I recommend it to anyone wanting to do something with themselves, no matter what it is. It really helps with giving advice, ideas and organization to help make whatever your passion is your life. Once I have all my bearings together the rest should be a busy (but smooth) ride. Not that things are ever supposed to be easy, but getting started is usually the toughest hurdle, but once you're fired up it's just keeping up on fuel.

School has been off to a great start for instance. I just started on my paper about The Crucible for my American History Through Literature course, and am already starting on reading the beloved classic Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. As a child I had a Great Illustrated Classics copy of Little Women and I loved it. Even though Great Illustrated Classics seems to condense a lot of literature, breaking down a 450 page, two-part novel into something that can be read within the span of a few hours if given the time. Not complaining though, I'm glad my parents encouraged my reading habit, and the actual full novel is even more exciting!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Benefit Concert

Tonight there is going to be a Haiti benefit concert at the Waterhole, featuring some wonderful music, a silent auction with some pretty awesome goods and services and Haitian cocktails. Proceeds will go to the local chapter of the Red Cross for the earthquake relief effort. There's no cover charge, give money as you wish, whether you bid, buy drinks or just put money in the donation pool.

Today's local paper actually ran a story on a group of Haitian refugees who were incarcerated in the early 80s. These men didn't even know they were going to be incarcerated until they arrived at the prison, they just wanted to emigrate to America to work and earn money to help their families. Fortunately out of the situation many locals helped these men out during their time at the prison, providing supplies and care while rallying for their release.

The more I learn about this town, the more amazing it is, even though I've lived in the area practically my whole life. Local history is indeed a very interesting thing. The building I live in first housed a grocery store, which was the first in the village to have a walk-in cooler. Later it became the newspaper offices for almost half a century. Funny seeing that I interned for the local paper last semester.

Classes are off to a start. Been reading and discussing. Today I'm feeling a little tired which is expected after another late night. It was Steve's birthday and we had a friend over as well. It was a fun night overall though. I just need to get my energy back for tonight's show.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

This is Disgusting

I just learned that open mic is on for this month! It's going to be a week later than normally scheduled, but it's still happening apparently. I'm glad. Now to figure out what poems I will read there for the evening.

I also learned something today that upsets me. I heard of how Borders is closing 200 of their Waldenbooks stores. For a while the company has not done well at all, which is say when hearing that in their heyday they were known as a company for people who love reading. The worst part is that they've decided to destroy unsold product, rather than donate it.

Once again it's putting pennies before people. The decision to render an item useless because a company is unable to sell it, rather than give it to someone who normally wouldn't be able to afford it. We've already heard of how some H&M stores are destroying unsold clothing that could go to thrift shops and homeless shelters. Now to hear of the thousands of books that will be destroyed that could go to shelters, libraries, reading programs, schools, etc. (never thought I'd link anything here by Perez Hilton) Just because you can't make a profit on something shouldn't mean that it has to be needlessly wasted. It's sickening how much corporations who adhere to the old ways of things would rather put pennies before people.

After this I don't know if I'll be able to set foot in a Borders again. I love going to Borders because there's such a wonderful selection of books, but a lot of the news I've been hearing about them lately sickens me. It's all about the money and not about reading anymore. Either they're breathing down the necks of workers to upsell like crazy, or they're destroying stock that could go to worthy causes.

There is a Facebook fan page created regarding this issue. I suggest that facebook users who are just as outraged add it.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Attempting to Settle

I'm attempting to get things settled down around here. Hoping to tie my networking together in an organized manner so no matter where people find me, they'll be able to see my other platforms as well. I'll create a new YouTube account just for my performances (unless you want to see some goofy cat videos as well). I should link my Twitter as well, and at some point create a facebook fan page. I know I've blathered about this all before.

I'm feeling kinda bummed, there's no open mic this month. Between winter break/semester starting, and the director needing a little break there is no open mic. Open mics are one of the highlights of the month for me, not just because I perform, but I get to meet other wonderfully talented people. At least there's one next month.

February should be interesting. I'll have more material than usual to go through and pick from if there's no open mic this month. I'll be turning the big 2-7 in a month. In terms of entertainment the new season of RuPaul's Drag Race will begin in February. I'm usually not into reality shows, but I love watching RuPaul's Drag Race. Plus it's always good to be reminded to be fierce, everybody needs a little fierce in their lives.

Other than that, just trying to keep the winter blahs away. Writing helps on the therapeutic end. Because my mind wanders I also like escapism. Lately I've been watching Farscape, I got my fiance the whole series for Christmas, and we've been watching it together. I don't know why I didn't get into it when it was on television, then again I would probably have had to fight with my sister over the TV since she prefers sports.

Monday, January 11, 2010

New Decade

I don't feel it's too late to think about leaving the previous decade and entering a new one. There is a lot to think about concerning the decade (how do we name it, what mattered most, what mattered least, etc. ) Plus we think of what we gather from the previous decade that will help us launch into the new decade.

First there's all this talk of what do we call the previous decade. The Oughts? The Noughties? the Nulls? etc. Maybe it's best to leave it nameless. Part of the conundrum is that it's hard finding something with a good ring to it, it's not like you can have a simple, catchy, explanatory name like previous decades from the teens on. Does it even need a catchy name? We know it's already defined by some strong moments.

It was a decade where the modern generation lost its identity and innocence. 9/11 was a changing moment in history, Americans hadn't felt that fear since Pearl Harbor. What happened in the aftermath were a bunch of political snafus that we still feel the effects of. Two wars in the Middle East, an economic downturn that was a combination of the costs of war along with corporate greed. The job landscape is changing, and there are a lot of questions now.

As a member of the millenial generation there is a level of uncertainty. We first saw it a few years back with the "quarter-life crisis", graduates having a hard time finding employment in their degree fields. Which has now expanded to finding employment, period. Even though I'm working towards what can be called a flexible degree, I wonder if I'll even be able to find anything after graduation. Especially with discussion of it taking this whole decade for the job market to stabilize. Unemployment statistics are not accurate because they don't count people who have lost hope of finding work. They say that more jobs will be temporary, unstable, and employers will be much harsher on their help, with more work and less pay. It begs the question of if there will be such a thing as a "good" job. I even see it in my current employment. It is not the company that hired me years ago, the way things are conducted now are like many businesses. It's about making profits, upselling, the employer end creates a more restricting, pressured hold on the employee. It seems to be like this everywhere though.

It looks like the best way to accomplish anything in these uncertain times, is to work towards being self-made. We've been seeing this over the past couple years, consumers aren't as swayed as marketers want them to be, and people who have their own branding power are able to take control. Especially in this digital age, where anyone with talent and charisma (and sometimes lack thereof) can become a star if they know the right buttons to push. More and more that's becoming the way to take control of your future. Those with privilege are shutting out the little guys to protect their own assets and the world has gotten a little more dog-eat-dog. Now the best strategy is to bypass all of that and use accessible resources for all they can be worth. The marketing-focused business giants are slowly dying because they have forgotten the passioned, and human element. They forget such things as pride in work, and encouraging such pride through strong values beyond dollar signs.

I'm not a business person, I'm just a writer. But, one major thing that helps in my writing is the ability to observe and analyze the world around me. I can give the perspective of a blue-collar retail worker, I can give the perspective of a college student uncertain about my future even if I know the ways my degree can be used. I can speak as someone concerned that post-graduation there will be few stable jobs that pay enough to make ends meet, and I can speak of my frustrations towards these concepts. I need to feed myself too, I know poetry is a career of passion and not money, so I need a paying job to at least sustain myself, and want to go beyond being a convenience store clerk. The cocky part of me says I'm too smart for that kind of work, but cockiness and pride have to take a back seat in times like these. One of the few things I've learned from growing up poor. You have to give up pride to feed yourself.

Innovation is making the way, we're already seeing this in pop culture, and if it grows the next decade will be a changed, but hopefully fruitful one. I know that I will be utilizing these ideas more in the future as a writer, if anything just to let my voice reach out.