Monday, November 30, 2009

neo nazi gay bashers.

I was having coffee with my friend Davis the other day. We went to Rudie's Coffee House on West 7th... I'd never been there before. The coffee was inexpensive and came in ugly Styrofoam cups. Overall though, I got a good vibe about the place. If you're in the area (i.e. heading to the airport, or from the airport, or just cruising along 7th street), I recommend checking it out.

Davis is 70 something, and has been growing out his beard all year so he can be Santa Clause. He's looking good. If you're in need of a santa, hit me up and I'll get you his information. Or, stop down to the Artist's Quarter any Tues-Sat night and he will be there.

Davis and I talked about my schooling...and how I'm on a "leave of absence" right now. I tell him I've got 3 more projects to do, most of which are half way complete or more. Yet, because there's no "time line" or "deadline", I really am struggling to get them done. Better said, I'm really struggling to want to even look at them or deal with them. This is for 2 reasons.

Reason One: I don't have a deadline/time line, therefor it's like these projects don't exist.

Number 2: My projects are the following: A student teaching stint I completed a couple years ago, the composition of 4-5 songs (including recording/producing), and all the work/outreach I did 4 years ago in New Orleans around the Mayoral Election of 2006. None of this interests me anymore, at least not in the way that it used to.

I love(d) my experience volunteering/working/teaching/playing at Southside Family School. It was incredible, beautiful, spiritual, inspirational. But now it's over. My teaching is done (there, for now) and writing the last few essays about it does not seem to interest me at all.

Next, when I am super depressed, I write significantly better and more frequent than when I am feeling "good". Lately, I've been feeling pretty good, which makes writing songs/poetry/stories/rants not as easy.

Would I trade "happiness" for the ability to make good music? Not yet.

Lastly, the New Orleans thing was really emotionally exghausting. I came home from that trip and wanted to go back to school so I could "make a difference". When I realized that school is only a small part of the puzzle (and things like money, skin color, family history, etc matter a whole lot more than a degree), I kind of gave up on the idea that I could "make a difference". It's not that I think all my work is for nothing... I just think that politics and school are so full of bullshit, that it's hard for me to really care about either of them right now, because in the end, it probably doesn't matter.

Davis listened quietely as I bitched and moaned about school, and my lack of interest, and lack of deadlines. He gave me a suggestion...

"'When my ex wife was writing her thesis', he said, 'her therapy lady told her to write out a check to some neo nazi group and put it in an envelope with a date and stamp on it'. 'If the ex didn't finish her work by the time she had agreed to, the therapy lady would mail the check'".

FUCK!! For real?? My mom asked me once "Will it help if I tell you I'll give you 500 dollars if you graduate"? "Nope, it won't help at all", I replied. But this idea of Davis' is a whole new ball game. If I sign and date a check made out to the neo nazi, gay bashing, (fill in the blank) group, and had to send it if I didn't get my work done by a certain day, would I actually get my work done? And who would I give the check to (to bring it to the post office)? I don't have a therapy lady anymore. I could give it to my mom, but I don't think she'd be able to bring it to the post office without becoming violently ill. Maybe I could give it to Davis? Or to Greg, my former advisor (who got canned for no good reason)?

Really though, I am scared to write/date/sign a check made out to any sarah palin/michelle bachmann/neo nazi klan group. I don't want to contribute to their bullshit.... and I would have to, if I didn't get my work done.

Can these crazy ideas/people/groups motivate me to finish my projects? I don't know. Can anything? I sure hope so. I'm on year 7 (or 8) of going for my 4 year degree. I have been blessed with lots of work experiences and some travel during these years, but I would also like to just "git er done" and move on with my education/work/life.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

juanita c

After a year and a half at my old apartment, I decided it was time for a move. I ventured a whole two blocks!! I love my neighborhood, and couldn't find any good reason to leave it.

Moving sucks. I solicited a few friends (koby and emily) to help carry books (i.e. I'll pick you up and bring you to the Y, if you run a backpack full of books with me to my new place). Another friend (jen) helped me load my moms car a half dozen times with bigger things (desk, turntables, boxes). And lastly, my "guys" (kevin and mike) helped move the couch. I'd consider it a "community" thing, that folks helped me move. Oh, and of course a big shout to my "other boys" (antonio and donald) for helping me clean!! I wouldn't have known where to start without you!

I got the keys to my new place October 15th. Unfortunately, it rained most of October, so I didn't get to move as much as I wanted (each day). It's now November 4th, and I'm all moved in. I haven't "unpacked" just yet, but it's on my "to-do" list.

I have a weird bed at the new place. It's a murphy bed, but rather than pulling down from the wall, it pulls out of the wall. It's cool, I guess, because then I never have to make my bed.... I just push it away. Jeez, I wish I could do that with other things in my life.... something is a mess (figuratively or literally) and I could just push it away and it's gone till I bring it back out again.

Anyhow, I was putting my new "bed" together, which meant putting on the electric mattress pad. If you live in the midwest and don't have one, I highly recommend it. I once dated a dude (kai) who slept on the porch of his house.... he said it was okay because he had a heated mattress pad. I refused (being the Indian Princess that I was) to sleep out there, but a few years later purchased my own mattress pad... it's amazing. You crank the heat 30 minutes before you get in bed, and it's like climbing into a womb. (....i could not, for the life of me think of a better analogy).

So as I was putting on my mattress pad the other day, I noticed a sticker. "Sewn by Juanita C". What?! For real? I felt sick. Maybe it's because my friend (sally) calls me Juantia 1-2-3? Nope. It's because "Jaunita C" is likely a part of foreign labor (and all the bad shit that you think it entails), which makes the concept a little more personal and a little more sad.

I'm not gonna lie. I wear clothes from the GAP. Most are from Jess or from the goodwill, but nonetheless, I know those close were made by some little honduran kid, or some underpaid Indian. I'd be willing to bet that a lot of my appliances are made under unfair labor practices. It would be hard buy/own things only made under humane and safe guidelines.

(I once had a coworker who said she didn't want to buy anything that wasn't made in America. Well, there goes the gas for your chevy, your clothes, your hair products, your wood floors, your coffee, your DIAMOND RING, etc....). It's damn near impossible to filter it all out, right?

I wonder why Jaunita C had to put her name on my mattress pad? Maybe she wanted to? Maybe no one else put their name on it, and she wanted to stand out from the crowd? Maybe her boss made her put her name on it. What happens if the blanket starts on fire, or worse... stops working in the middle of winter?! Do I call the company and ask to speak to Juanita C? I doubt it.

I have friends who are artists. When they paint or take pictures, they often add their signature to their work. Perhaps this is what Jaunita felt inclined to do? I'm not sure why, but for some reason, Jaunita C has been on my mind lately, making me look at what is right and what is wrong, and furthermore, what you can change and what you can't.