personal

Geckohaven

I have another one of those "I'm busy, just going to briefly mention a variety of recent things." blog entries. Maybe I should make that a new category. For lack of a better title, I named this post after the house where there was a big party I went to last night. Geckohaven is a cool collective housing in Dunbar Spring neighborhood. They have an amazing garden set between 2 houses. The party was a little less happening then i expected, but that's probably my fault for having expectations, or maybe for getting there too early.

Yesterday afternoon Geoff, Jessica, and I did an Indymedia workshop for border activists. It was similar to other workshops we've done before but we wanted to have an event tailored to No More Deaths and other people doing border stuff, as we approach another summer that will be very busy for them. We included a discussion about ethics and sensitivity with regards to newsgathering and its possible effect on the main goal of NMD: to save lives. It was largely a pretty good workshop, tho i was hoping more than 14 people would show up. Oh well.

After that was a meeting for a new campaign or group or collective. It's not clear. I don't know, practically, logically, why I went. I don't have the time to get involved in yet another thing. I guess I just can't say no many times. It was about forming a local group or project that has a more radical analysis and praxis on the border and immigration issues than what's currently here in southern arizona. This is of very great interest to me. But there just isn't any more time in the week for me to do this. I told everyone at the end that the only way I could come to another regular meeting is if there's alcohol involved. I was only partially joking.

Friday night was a screening of the little videos that the kids in my video production class made. It was really satisfying to see how all the projects really came together at the last minute. And they were obviously psyched to see their work in a real theater with all their friends and families.

After that there was a slideshow presentation by these 2 guys from Florida, about riding freight trains and distributing food in Mexico. They just went down there and would buy ingredients, then go to a train yard and cook, jump on a train and feed everyone on it. then get off and repeat the process. All the way from Guatemala to the U.S. It was an amazing and fascinating event, and they're such cool people.

Hmmm, so... yeah. anything else of interest in the last few days is way too personal to go into here. But, I'll just note that in that vein things are still really really good. yay.

Dancers and Videos and Rocks and Thorns

So I spent almost all weekend editing the May Indymedia Newsreal. It was a lot more work than it's supposed to be because we only received one submission. So I had to montage a bunch of internet clips together to make a May 1st medley segment, which turned out alright, and then I also made an 8-minute piece about May 1st in Tucson. Just mailed out the master tape to FSTV this morning and now i'm building a DVD of it. will send that and another miniDV to the dubbers in Seattle.

I did take a little time off to go for an early hike saturday morning, since i had a friend's car for the weekend. Drove out to Ventana Canyon and walked a few miles. Shot a bunch of clips of myself walking around and being an alter ego I just made up on the spot. Maybe that will be the start of a new secret videoblog. or maybe not. you'll never know. hah...

Then last night my housemate threw a big party. He's finishing his MFA in dance so he was celebrating. Tons of very well-endowed, in-shape young BFA and MFA dancers were here drinking like mad. I mixed a bit, 2 of my friends showed up, after which we sat around grumbling about dancers like the bitter old nerds that we are.

Seriously, one real observation I made that's really interesting is that, from my chatting with these slim and beautiful people, I noticed that most of them who are finishing their graduate degrees this spring are all hoping to be or have already suceeded in getting academic jobs, teaching dance at some little university or community college. This is strange to me. In what seems like a previous life to me now, about 15 years ago, I hung out with lots of dancers at the University of Michigan, because I was composing music for several choreographers' pieces. Many of those dancers talked only of moving to New York and working crap jobs by day, dancing and choreographing and forming their own companies by night. And most of them went on to do just that. I'm still in touch with a couple of them and they still work as secretaries or whatnot, but have their own nonprofit dance troupe, for which I've written more music for a few years ago.

My point is that there was much more of a scrappy, fine art, new york, DIY, idealistic vibe back then, whereas now, or at least here at UofA, everyone just wants to settle for an academic teaching job, anywhere, be it missouri or Scotsdale or buttfuck, ohio - why, by the way? I guess so they can start paying back their enormous student loans? I dunno, but.. it just seems a little sad, a little soulless.... oh hell, here I am sounding like Grandpa Curmudgeon again. dammit. "kids these days wouldn't know a dream from a 401(k) if it bit 'em in the amygdala, gol durnit... grumble grumble..."

suspira.

Like A New Life

In the last 5 weeks I've written more in my journal than in the 4 months previous to that. I don't want to take the time to provide the visual proof of this - the photo of the edge of the journal, a marker on March 28 when this new thing with stillsecretperson began, clearly showing that the last 2/3 of this journal that i'm almost done with, which i started in mid-November, is from the last 5 weeks, and that's largely because of her, or more precisely, because of her and me.

[overpersonal stuff redacted]

Life seems on the very edge of control as big changes of all kinds float down like provisions and materiel being parachuted out of an Army cargo plane to the battlefield. What a weird metaphor. stop.

Other things on deck: increased involvement with border activist groups. a sort of whole different experience compared to media or environmental stuff. I guess I should blog about that in more detail some time soon. And increasing frustration with all the meetings I have committed or half-committed myself too. Pan Left, Dry River, Dry River events committee, Root Force, NMD, EF!, Indymedia, May 1 Coalition... it's dizzying.

I'm going to have to cut down very very soon, because I've just committed to doing a lot more work-work for awhile. And I'm just tired of so much stuff going on. I have to prioritize. and simplify. My top priority is really just to lay on a beach with her and a mojito for about a week. but of course that's not very realistic.

sigh.

crazy crazy times

This week is proving insane for me: AZ Intl film fest started last week & is going through sunday; working with small adhoc group on a pamphlet for May Day that will be providing a radical context for the immigration rights struggles going on; getting more involved with No More Deaths, talking with them about a new media strategy; financial meltdown; dealing with all the bureaucracy and logistics of getting my DVD pressed; dealing with other possible opportunities involving my film; trying to think hard about a career choice a friend has unexpectedly thrown my way; and trying hard while i have all this other stuff to do during the day to not think too much about this special person who just made my life 10 times more interesting and complicated exactly 4 weeks ago today.... sigh...

A Good Day For My Ego

Today I was in the bathroom at Epic Cafe and noticed some new graffiti, and it was about me:
graffiti about me
Very weird. Very funny. A German pun on my name. I immediately thought I knew who my humorous admirer was. But as soon as I got back to my table I emailed her a question about it, and she denied doing it. Claimed any graf about me that she wrote would be much more poetic. And besides, she'd already left a note for me somewhere else that I'd found earlier today.

So it's some secret admirer, or just a joker with a Sharpie and a little knowledge of German. Or I did it, and then forgot about it. The writing kind of looks like mine. Maybe I'm like the guy in that film Memento. Hmm.

And also today I found something on another Indyblogger's blog that I wondered if it had something to do with me, but thought I was being egocentric to think that. Found out later, yeah, it was inspired by stuff I'd been writing here in my blog. Small world. I will leave it as an excercise to the reader (who gives a damn, and of course you do, right?) to find which blogger I'm talking about.

Varias Cosas de Ayer

Yesterday I ran around doing stupid errands and then went home and actually got some paying work done, which is a big accomplishment. Pretty important, since I'm pretty broke.

In the evening I went to spanish class at Dry River. First time I'd gone in a few weeks. I really should try to go more. It's a nice casual thing that Varo runs. He gets other native speakers to come and help teach too. We watched part of a little video by Guillermo Gomez-Pena called La Frontera es La Lenguaje that someone had brought, she'd found out about him in an art class. I mentioned I'd seen him perform twice, once in San Francisco and once in Portland. Sometimes it's really weird, to have so many different experiences, because of my age and all the places i've lived and different "careers" I've had, such that these things get brought up as extremely "out there" but I'm already really familiar with them. Sometimes I'm worried that by expressing my familiarity I'm sort of squashing the youthful enthusiasm for some newly-discovered bit of coolness that the other person has. I'm sorry to sound like such an aging hipster. Just trying to be honest about my experience.

After the class I went over to the Earth First! Journal office to help with the mailing of the new issue. They were pretty much done with everything but one task, which I helped with: hauling big boxes of copies to FedEx to ship to retailers. This issue of the journal was produced car-free. All the shopping for the office and the hauling of copies back from the printer and out to be mailed, was all pedal-powered. Very cool. I hitched a trailer to my bike and was one of 5 people who transported about 20 reams of copies in boxes a couple miles. It was fun. We cut through campus, and the big 2-person, 4-wheeled "bike car" that Jonathan and Shanti "drove" just barely fit through between the metal posts designed to keep regular cars out. But we made it.

The other special thing about this issue of the Journal is it has something written by me in it. They asked me to write a review of "The Snowbowl Effect" and I suggested I also review "Mauna Kea: Temple Under Siege" because it's about a similar issue and was made very recently too. They agreed to that and it was a good experience working with the editing collective. If you told me 2 years ago I'd have an article in the EFJ I would have probably smiled in disbelief. I just never expected it.

image flood

Alba-quirky - 15
I just caught up to only 2 weeks behind on uploading my photos. upload speeds at home really kind of suck, i've decided. i guess i should go to cafes and do it. Anyway, lots of interesting shots from Albuquerque in this last batch, so check them out...

Past Predictions

I've been sick the last couple days, I guess mainly because I haven't been getting enough sleep. As I lay around trying to nap I've been reading my old journals a lot. There's this new person I'm getting involved with who I'm still not at liberty to say much about but she's really great, and she keeps a journal, and that has been making me think a lot more about my journals.

Anyway I've been scanning through these old journals looking for some sort of wisdom about life. I just found this entry about a certain neighborhood in Portland that some friends there will I'm sure find interesting:

There's a street fair over on Mississippi Street this weekend. Last night as part of it, Ed and I showed some videos outside in an empy lot next to a building. It was pretty cool. It's always good to see yr. work in different contexts.

It was strange because a lot of people in the neighborhood are just normal people, poor black families and some lower-income whites - basically what i'm saying is these are normal americans, they sing off key, they love america and macarme and apple pie and baseball. This guy put on a talent show that was mostly kids, which you can forgive, but the adults reminded me of what my old English professor called "The Art of the Feeble."

But that's okay, I think I was just in a bad mood or something. Maybe I'm bitter or something because the neighborhood is in the early stages of being gentrified. you can see it just getting ready to spring into action. There's a new, hip cafe that just went in, there's some hip little shops about to open, but it's still really formative. There's still lots of empty store fronts and shuttered windows and wierd, industrial/workingclass kinds of businesses.

In a few years I can see that all changing and there will be a a street lined with gift shops, bistros, and galleries.

It's so interesting. So what does that have to do with the lame talent show? Maybe because I thought "normal" people had more talent. Maybe I thought communities could live without professional artists and freaky hipsters-for-life, and still have an interesting culture. Maybe I'm just spoiled? Disillusioned, at least. Maybe it's that I wish I wasn't so spoiled. So jaded and ruined.

Sure enough, it turned out that 2 years later, last summer, all that had come true. that street in Portland is now completely gentrified. My comments from back then seem somewhat snobby and priveleged, but one has to understand how it comes basically all from the frustration of seeing that steamroller of change coming. And perhaps knowing that I was part of it, showing my arty little video collages on the side of a building where before there was mostly stuff like blues music and barbecue contests.

Sigh.

Here Comes Summer

It's only early April and it's already super hot. Must be like 85-90 today. Wow. Really an omen for this summer. Everybody's been warning me, every time I say how I like Tucson, about the summer. Hmm.

In other news, last night was a super awesome art auction at the Dry River space, to benefit a political prisoner, Harold Thompson, an anarchist organizer who was jailed 26 ago for life+, for killing a guy who was going to kill his son. We had Patrick do the auctioneering and he was great. I guess he learned it from his Aunt who worked in a carnival in Texas or something. He was really entertaining.

My friend Lenara who was visiting from Brazil then took me over to this party, the closing night party for the Towards a Science of Conciousness Conference. That's why she was in town. It was a nice little party and I got a taste of the diversity of people in the field. Everyone from really starched neurobiologists to wacky extropians and new age freakazoids. Today Lenara headed off to the airport to catch her flight back to Sao Paulo and then Porto Alegre, and now I have another guest rolling in from San Diego, a member of the Organic Collective who is on a little Southwest roadtrip.

Tommorrow is what looks to be a massive student walkout and march here in Tucson, part of a national day of action against the anti-immigration legislation in congress. I'll be there shooting video, I think.

Anarcho-Love Dance Party

Last night at the Dry River space we had a dance party and I DJed. It was pretty fun. I've never really actually DJed at a party before - I've been a radio DJ, and obviously I've manned the stereo at parties, but its never been DJing in the sense of like mixing and beat-matching and stuff. I used a cool piece of software called Traktor, by Native Instruments, which auto-calculates BPMs and lets you sync 2 tracks by adjusting BPM of one or both, and you can loop, skip around, scratch, filter. I didn't do too much fancy stuff, just tried to keep the beat going and stick to a few conceptual themes, not paying much attention to genre. The latter made for a pretty weird set, lots of stylistic variety. It was fun. So below is the playlist, roughly, but at some point during the set I hit the button that sorts the list by beats per minute, so this isn't chronological, its roughly in order of fastest to slowest.

Awe by League of Infinite Justice
Vamos Con San Pedro (Son Times) by Los Sampler's
Rockstar by Z-Trip
Virus by Deltron
Life In The Greenhouse Effect by Steroid Maximus
Skelechairs (Venetian Snares Remix) by Doormouse
Evil by Paris
DJ Peron by Tango Crash
Give The Anarchist A Cigarette by Chumbawamba
Electrolatino by Se

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