An anonymous novel written on the walls of an abandoned house in Chongqing, China (2012)
There are many ways to think about your final project, which has to have a visual element and a written element. For example, this would qualify.
Latticework above Griffith Park.
I love you, sun.
I couldn’t find any other blank notebooks in the size I prefer in my empty notebook collection & it was time to start a new journal.
Heaven is also other people, but only a select few.
A couple of weeks ago I flew out to Chicago with my thermal underwear that I save specifically for trips to Chicago. I was lucky enough to be invited to my second ORD Camp. It’s quite a task to piece together everything that happened in the less than 48 hours or so that I was there, beyond the fact that I “lost” my phone for awhile (that’s what I get for staying up until 3am drinking & playing Werewolf! Find My iPhone came through and told me my phone was like a yard away from where I slept. Errggh/Yay!). Anyway, here’s what I remember. Consider it a puzzle that doesn’t even know what shape it wants to be in.
—Ignite talk from Mitch Altman, who, among other notable achievements, is the inventor of TV-B-Gone universal remote controls. Someone told me that once used at a consumer electronics show, the tvs could not be turned back on. Imagine a world filled with these.
—chatted with Brian Bannon, librarian & commissioner of Chicago Public Library, who admitted to grilling me about my writing. Super pleasant conversation. Glad he’s one of my best friends’ bosses.
—had dinner & stood in line for ice cream with Kristin Barrett of 1871 Chicago, “where Chicago’s digital designers, engineers and entrepreneurs come to build their businesses.”
—allowed Jennifer Brandel and Christen Carter to take me to a wholly unusual state of relaxation amid ORD Camp overwhelm with the help of breathing exercises, stretches, and essential oils.
—enjoyed several short spontaneous chats with the incomparable Jacqui Cheng, Editor in Chief of The Wirecutter & she did a very good job of not making me feel like a tech plebe while talking to her
—talked at length with Tamara Clammer, whose illustrious bio I can’t help but share: Maker Advocate at Brown Paper Tickets; Event Coordinator for Power Racing Series; Space Coordinator for Greater Seattle Linux Users Group (GSLUG); Organizer of Seattle Leatherworking Meetup. We also discovered we have Olympia people in common.
—David Pablo Cohn, “professional dilettante”, helped me understand the different bases in Antarctica and doesn’t know my friend’s brother who lives there part of the year.
—said hello again (since last year) & had breakfast with Jennifer Farrington, President + CEO of Chicago Children’s Museum, & talked about being only children & raising children.
—talked about Seattle’s Hempfest & the people who attend who don’t know how to park with Ben Huh.
—had dinner with Sandee Kastrul, president & co-founder of i.c.stars, a not-for-profit organization that provides technology training and leadership development for Chicago’s inner-city young adults. Lots of positivity & extra energy for the long night ahead gained in that conversation.
—enjoyed ice cream while chatting with Dawn Xiana Moon, director & producer of Raks Geek: Geek + Bellydance + Fire. She did a great Ignite talk that began with a dancer wrapped like a mummy.
—watched my pal Jerry Pyle work out his Human Centipede game idea in the hallways—picture people strapped to one another in bizarre poses hobbling about.
—enjoyed Jeff Solin’s Ignite talk on tattoos and tattoo conventions!
—put on some latex gloves and physically pulled pork and enjoyed liquid pig thanks to Moshe Tamssot, maker of Liquid Pig BBQ.
—ran into Schuyler Towne, who I met at last year’s ORD Camp, whose session last year I got much out of. Always happy to see him (I see him most on Twitter). See his TEDxSomerville talk on locks & why Schuyler believes locks are beautiful.
—wine chat with Nnena Ukuku, based on her session title “Let People Save Themselves.” We talked about what that meant from different perspectives and found a lot of common ground. Common ground included a lot of red wine.
—hung out with Michele Larimer and talked medical marijuana industry, snow, living in cities, and other good stuff. Michele works for Benevolent which I only learned just now as I wrote this, because we talked about so many other things aside from “what we do.”
—spent a good amount of time chatting with Paul Hatch about David Byrne, Ira Glass, design, how to come up with a good name for a product, and life in general. He is the last person I remember talking to Saturday night before I gave in to numerous hands of Cards Against Humanity.
—my hosts & dear friends Andrea Saenz & John Bracken made me feel at home as usual. <3
And that’s what happened between Friday at 3:30pm and Sunday morning at 6am when I had to catch an early plane back to Los Angeles after my later flight was cancelled…
Inspired by Kevin Sampsell’s blog post where he lets loose his obsession with collage, here are a few old collages from my collage book, with a couple of details. Hundreds of pages left to fill. Thanks for reminding me I love collage, K-Samp.
(The one titled “walk home” was created after a particularly traumatizing trip to Las Vegas, if you couldn’t guess.)
The last time I was in Seattle for a significant amount of time, not just bypassing it for a ferry to Whidbey Island, was in September 2007.
Becka and I planned a trip in which I would fly to her and then we would take a ferry to Bainbridge Island and find a place to stay and commune. And commune we did.
When we returned to Seattle, I spent time with the people I think of as “my boys.” The ones I drank with in that bar one afternoon after watching the Sherman Alexie film “Smoke Signals”, all of us crying openly at our table. The ones who watched me mud wrestle, who slid down the bannisters of movie theaters, who heard me puke in their bathrooms, who picked through piles of secondhand clothes with me, who walked in the rain through Capitol Hill with me. These boys who had met in high school & whose friendship I found in my twenties, friendships that persist until this day.
I will get to see two of these people this weekend. Tassoni, I hope to see you this summer on my tiny west coast book tour. xox
See you soonly, Seattle.
2.24.14. First parent-teacher conference/I love the light in this room selfie.
Ink splat tattoo.
First thing in the morning I put the end of a pen in my mouth without thinking and suddenly my mouth is full of ink. I spit like twenty times and every time it’s still black, then gray. I scrape my tongue and use mouthwash until I’m spitting clear again.
Then I notice my hand. A Rorschach blot of ink already seeping into my palm. I scrub it but it’s stubborn. Ink explosion documented. Looking for the metaphor here.
I keep thinking I’m swallowing ink.
No one can take that away from me.
Well, I guess the NYT can because they own the essay.
—from “Interiors” published in PANK, April 2012.
Because a twitter friend revived this piece by telling me she loved it way back when it came out. <3