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Les Semaines

99.06.20

what I'm thinking and doing § what I'm listening to § what I'm reading
what I'm writing § retrospective: The Phonosnout

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Wandering Strange

I always thought of myself as a wanderer, someone who would never settle down. It's amazing how life surprises you in these ways. I mean, I was never going to get married, and here I am celebrating my 16th wedding anniversary today.

All this was brought home for me both by reading The Phonosnout during the strange period of my belief in the Christian god and church and yet being rebellious personally in how I wanted to live my belief by working at The Mustard Seed. And brought even more immediately home to me by going to the Fremont Fair Solstice Parade yesterday. Fremont is an area in Seattle which was the Haight-Ashbury of Seattle, and though it's going through a slight yuppification with Adobe's new building and other construction in the area, it has managed to keep its rebellious, unique identity by means of odd public art and such events as the Soltice Parade.

It's very funky and homegrown. Everyone makes their own floats--no corporate floats. No big signs on the floats. They don't allow any motorized floats or live animals (except the hundreds of people walking their dogs). There are groups of belly dancers and people on stilts and people wearing wonderful costumes of goddesses and demons and lions and fish and insects and rocks and trees. There's music and some perform little skits like the guys with the wrecking ball and someone dressed up as the Kingdome--followed by a bunch of people with a float portraying the new Mariner's stadium, complete with water spray and them going "Oh no, it's raining!" and having trouble pulling the retractable roof closed and asking everyone for "Money! We need more money!"

Fun and crazy, like the series of nude bicyclists that streak the parade, and the story about them that hit the national news. And so several people dressed up in fantastical "nude" outfits (one of which had three buttocks, very dangly breasts and a dangly penis, all in one outfit), cycled around chased by people dressed as police officers with pictures of nude cyclists on their bikes with the red circle and line through it. Very funny. And there were regular nude cyclists, this time several of them wore crepe paper or socks or lots of makeup.

I wish we still lived in Fremont--we did up until we bought this house, but house prices there were too high for us and so we live in tidy Ballard in our tidy house living lives that seem at least tidy.

I'm still always surprised at how radical I seem to people at work. It's only when I really look at what the mainstream is that I realize that I still do wander strange. It's just that it's my life and seems normal, but it's not the average. Things look more strange from the center and I'm further from there, especially in this country, than I usually realize. Maybe I'm not out there cycling nude or dressed as a tree or a moon goddess, but I do live my life as myself. After all, we're off to Turkey in just a little over a week.

Happy anniversary.

last week's thinking and doing § next week's thinking and doing

Listening

Lots more listening and listening and listening to Kym Brown (http://www.kymbrown.com)--the toughness/beauty combination that flourishes in almost every way on this disc is hard to beat. She's like but not like Sara Craig, Dalbello, PJ Harvey.

And somewhere along the way I also got stuck on a Baxter promo sampler that I picked up--now I'm gong to have to buy the full album, simply because I need more songs of theirs. It's electronica stuff with vocals. You might have heard their "Television" song about "you blew up your television / the whole world to you" which is getting some airplay here and there.

I'm also starting to get to know Tamara Williamson's Nightmare on Queen Street. She's the lead singer for a Toronto group called Mrs. Torrance, which put out one album which I've heard but don't have, and an ep called Porn and a follow-up album called i'm the bird. She has a wonderfully distinctive voice, but I'm not sure I can describe it. Nightmare is an odd album, and it seems a little out of control or messy but I think that's part of its power. Sometimes when you're not in control good things happen.

last week's listening § next week's listening

Reading

Slow reading week. I only finished one book, Katie Waitman's The Divided, which I must say I quite enjoyed. I had liked her previous novel, The Merro Tree, but I think this one is stronger and is something I'll reread someday. It's a novel about two cultures at war. It's never stated outright, but it seems to be a future human colony. There's a mix of technological advances and retreats. The novel is about what happens when the balance in the war becomes unbalanced and it seems it's now possible for one side to win. Intriguing both on the philosophical, emotional, and political levels.

I've also started reading Cecelia Holland's Pillars of the Sky, a novel about the creation of Stonehenge, and am quite caught up in it.

last week's reading § next week's reading

Writing

Bits and pieces, finishing nothing. Good thing my poetry workshop was postponed. Did get another grant application finished.

last week's writing § next week's writing

Retrospective: The Phonosnout

About the Phonosnout

February 1976

233. Getting on

Wow, i'm really getting on here. I've aged a year and four months since i started cette monstre. Does it show? I wonder. I feel ages older, it seems a lot has happened since the beginning. Times have changed, and yet they haven't. Underneath i'm somehow exactly the same. Whatever, i'm not getting my homework done by babbling here. See you late.

234. Later now

It's later now, and maybe i should start talkin about what's happening to me right now; the answer is nothing! Nothing! Well, actually something, but i'm a little too worried about it to talk about it. Drag-O. O dear. I'll wait. Maybe it's time to talk about some class(es). It's a new semester.

235. Acting

Seems to me that it looks a little strange, wandering around, pretending to be in an old house, or even an animal. (I am a strange creature, in the dark, creeping, crawling... f'router than truth.) I like wandering strange, but i hope no one ever catches me. Anyone who sees me must know. Oh dear. Dear oh. My goodness (my badness ha ha). I wish i were, and if i were, i'd... yup!

236. English Literature

Beowulf, Cynewulf, Chaucer, and Malory, all my old friends are back! Anglo-Saxon, Mediæval far, far, far, far out! Infinitely distant! I love it all, but we're pushing through it. After Civilisation i should be civilised enough to take it, but i'm not. Literature hooray! Time to study and explore is needed' that's what i call for. Hey friends.

237. Drama

Study da plays. Oedipus. Sad, sad man. Antigone. Strong. Mixed up. Lots of death and tragedy. Antigone dies. Haemon dies. Eurydice dies. Death has lots of dominion. Trés dramatic.

238. Drawn by the sirens of Titan

Well, we were drawn by the sirens of Titan,1 same's Vonnegut. Irresistably drawn, couldn't get away if we tried. Lemme go, oh no no no. Again last, i want to break away, fly away. Da da n de da bop bop sha bob. Drawn by the sirens. I'm going to Titan, Titan's going to take me, and there i can become an aardwolf. Then i'll be free from this sense of unreality that is keeping me confused.

239. Spare

Should be working, but instead i'm just sitting here. There's a beautiful view (hello, Mount Baker) and i can see the ocean.2 I wish i were there; i love the sea. But i've got to learn to discipline myself. myabe when i get my work done i can go down there. The problem is, i'll never get all my work done so i'll never get down there. Maybe i'll just escape.

240. I didn't escape

I didn't escape, i got too guilty. Must get homework done, must get correspondence course done. That is, if i want to get to the Seed3 tonight, it's Friday night, and all my Seed-friends will be there. Seed friends are the best type of friends to have (i love you all!) However imperfect Seed-friends may be, they care a lot. Anyway, imperfect's the way to be... work now!! Go to it, kid.

241. Hi, Phono

Hi, Phono--back again, i think i'm lost in these page and will never be found.
     Sorry, i got interrupted (like always) and then got carried away (like always) just like yesterday... and forever.

242. The Little Dream, by Gipp4

One there was a dream.
It was a pretty dream but it was very young and thought itself to be the most magnificent dream that ever was.
One day a very old nightmare came upon the dream sitting by a small stream, contemplating its imagined greatness.
"Who are you?" asked the old nightmare.
The dream look at him haughtily and said: "Are you blind? I am a magnificent dream, colourful and real. Not old, black and grey like you."
The nightmare roared a terrible roar and stuck its tongue out at the little dream.
The dream screamed and ran away.
After that he became a sigh and no one noticed him.
And no one called him beautiful ever again.


NOTES

1. A curious combination of Vonnegut's novel and Al Stewart's song about it.

2. My parents' house was up high on a ridge above the Strait of Juan de Fuca. From the balcony, especially when the dogwoods and alders weren't in leaf, we had a view of the distant ocean and the San Juan Islands and the mainland, including Mount Baker on clear days. We were only about a ten minute walk (downhill) from the water, but there was another ridge in the way of the view in that direction.

3. The Mustard Seed, the teen drop-in centre where I volunteered.

4. Gipp is the man who ran The Mustard Seed.

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