Monday, March 31, 2008

The Irony of Being Me

Why is it that when writing a story involving the Muses I can't seem to think of anything creative? Don't they hear me out there...wherever they are? C'mon break is over.

Anyway-been pounding keys-a vastly different task than actually writing-and have now decided to rant about it for at least a few sentences. Write something that is coherent instead of babble. Inane at that.

So yes-I'm back in Germany as stated, which is great-it gives me time to work on my artwork, draw aimlessly for a few hours if I want (the latest trend seems to be having the kids either hand me Pokemon cards to draw or setting up still life images with their stuffed animals) and whatnot. Problem is, it also gives me time to think about all the other things that I want to be doing and to worry about getting things "done". That seems to be a constant theme in my life. Looking towards the end of something and occasionally paying attention along the way.

Another consistent yet completely unhelpful trait: I'm great at the theory behind how things are's the doing part that I suck at. I can bullshit my way through just about anything I dare say but ask me to actually do something productive with my knowledge or....gasp....follow my own advice and well...the flash paper and pretty lights go up in smoke and you're left there gape mouthed doing nothing. As per usual. :D

Hooray for artistic angst. Or something. I'm not sure what. I did have a really great time, as mentioned, in Barcelona enjoying all the beautiful artwork and architecture of the ever-playful Gaudi. A lot of it got me thinking too...which is a blessing and got me started on an idea for a gallery show when I get back to the states and or find a gallery willing to show my work. That could be anywhere.

So yeah-when I was in Budapest I was asked what I liked about art. Sort of a vague question but important. I said surprises and color and texture and stuff like that. I was reminded of this as I was walking around Barcelona taking photos of random things. I did my touristic duties and took photos of all the cool monuments and the beach and all that great stuff but I also found myself taking photos of things that were out of place, or flashes of color or weird cracks on the steps. I've always done this, but I think now I am getting a handle on why....because I like surprises. Maybe that's why I'm a big fan of Pantsing...even if it does threaten to drown me in uncertainty.

But yes...I am wandering. My gallery show idea/potential body of work concept is to take these photographs and find maybe...6 good ones. Ones that really depict and discuss a specific artistic element. That communicate. And then recreate them using the different techniques that I know, mainly Fiber and Painting. So each photo would have two or three interpretations. I think this would not only be an interesting project because it would give me some insight into how I think and visually process things (and who doesn't love mental clarity) but, it would be an interesting way to document and exhibit the elements of travel and story and the such that I seem to be a complete sucker for.

Anyway...really no other point to this blog than to keep my fingers moving and hopefully calm some of the storm raging in my brain as I fight myself for the right answer to things. I'm going to go attempt to do something productive. Or sleep. That could be a good thing too. Kids will be here at 7am as always (assuming Johannes doesn't decide to play Alarm Clock again) and will be demanding irrational things like breakfast and school snacks.

Goodnight. And to the muses: Your unemployment checks are in the mail.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Reality Strikes Back

So yes...enough of sun and play time. I am now back in Germany for a bit less sun, more "play" time but with the added kick of being a nanny. :D

The kids are making up for lost time I think.

So yeah-this is the official restart of me actually posting things for Beyond The Seven Seas. Just in case any of you are still listening out there in TV Land. (c:

More to come after these messages....

Sunday, March 23, 2008

BCN should stand for BecauseChaosNeverends I'm not sure I can actually put Neverends as one word but I yeah. Whatever. :D

It's been a crazy week. BCN is Barcelona's nickname. I am in love with the city. I am coming to this web blog update thing a bit late...I've already been to Rome. Did some great research for the story which I promise has not been forgotten...just put on pause because well, internet is a commodity and I need more time than I have to get things typed and posted. And I'm a big lazy butthead. But whatever.

Rome was amazing. I trekked all over the city and had a great time spending time outside of Rome in a town called Priverno. I couchsurfed with a kid who was a fantastic host and had a really wonderful time hanging out with his friends. We went to some awesome clubs down by the ocean 'til dawn, drove around Terrecine and played pool, listened to music and overall had a really great time.

I went salsa dancing in Rome! :does the happy dance: That was awesome. I met some great people in the city and ended up having some really fun times dancing, going to dinner and checkin' out all of the amazing artwork. I got to see the Sistine Chapel of course, which is so much more than anyone ever mentions....the suspense is amazing. They route you through the whole place, you see all of this amazing stuff and then the end all Finale is the Chapel that Michaelangelo did. I stayed in there for an hour just looking...and looking...and was surreal.

I managed to find an art store! that was a really great day actually. I had spent the day hanging out in Priverno basically sleeping and enjoying the mountain air after a solid day of dancing and partying and then went into the city and went on the hunt for an art supply store and went to the Museo Borghese, which is really.....really outstanding. I walked around the gardens, enjoyed the most delicate of was great. That was the night I went salsa dancing too I think. so yeah...

That was entertaining in and of itself...let's just say I salsa'd in hiking shoes. "nuff said.

So after Rome-there is more to tell but I will have to leave it there for now..not to mention all the stuff I haven't told about Florence!-I headed to Barcelona.

Let the insanity begin. I started off just fine, had a wonderful couchsurfing host, walked around the city and went to the Picasso Muesum. Really fantastic, it showcased his first work, like the work that he did while he was a student in art school and stuff so that was really amazing for me to see...he was a genius. Classically trained, and it gave such a level of context and structure to his later work that I can really begin to appreciate what lies beneath the initial surface. I like abstraction and cubism, but I think it becomes a lot more valuable when you have the social and mental infrastructure to support it exposed.

Anyway-after the Picasso Museum I went and got some lunch and explored more of the city and then chilled out with my couchsurfers. The next day we went shoe hunting for him and I went to a yoga class. Best feeling ever. It was my recharge for the rest of the trip I think. I am going to to try and go again on Tuesday. :D We'll was all in Spanish but I am basically familiar with the moves...still a really funny and good experience though. The teacher speaks good english so she was able to correct me on a few moves. Good times.

I went and explored Montjuic-which is a really great place. I spent hours and hours at the MNAC which was the best exhibition I have been to in a loooong time. I also went to the Joan Miro Foundation which was a cool experience. his work is a little too abstract for me but I love the use of his colors and shape. The MNAC had such a plethora of genius art work done by Catalan artists that I had, sadly, never heard of until that day....I gorged myself on all of it and then went and found dinner. Which was really nice. I was starving. I guess art makes me hungry? I dunno what that was all about.

So-to cut to the quick here...the insanity began more on Friday and Saturday night. I didn't find a host so I booked at this great hostel. Met some cool people about two minutes after I walked in the door. We all went to dinner and proceeded to hang out until 4 in the morning after buying beer on the streets and partying at some random park until we got cold. It was awesome.

Rolled in to the hostel, got up for breakfast...that was painful hehe...and spent the next day walking around some more. Had to find a new hostel because I had a host that bailed on me...and that was awful. Stayed in a total shithole...pardon the language. So yeah...was unhappy about that. Stupid Easter weekend (happy easter Barcelona! mrgh.)....the next night I went back to the hostel I had stayed at originally and paid to use their emergency cot...which basically translated to me sleeping in their lounge downstairs on a cot with five other people (each with their own respective cots) but was insane. I was stressed and tired and yeah...the joys and toils of traveling.

So...the night I stayed at the totally assy hostel I went out with some guys from New of them got us kicked out of the bar because he was retardedly drunk (yup...making up another word)...and finally got back to the hostel around 4 in the morning. Got up, trekked over to the old hostel, got the emergency bed...they made me a coffee and I walked around the city some more. And went out again that night, against my better judgment. Had a good time...but yeah. Spent the next day just chillin' at the hostel...I surfed the web, wrote in my journal, walked down to the city beach...bought a cute if cheesy shot glass....

I will have to put some updates about Poble Espanyol....Great little artist village in Barcelona. Expensive to get in and lots of stuff is overpriced but it's still really cool. I got my mom some stuff. It was great. :D

And then, after chilling at the hostel all day, stayed up with the AWESOME group of people I met (we had members from France, French Canada, America, Germany, Brazil...) It was fantastic! We played silly drinking games...pausing to explain everything in several languages, listened to the great music that they were playing and had a really fantastic evening. Went to sleep at two...still in the lounge because everywhere is still booked...and then decided, on a whim today, to come with some of the kids that I met to their flat in Valencia. I am going to go to the beach, check out the museums and hang out with them for a couple days and then it's back to Barcelona to see what other sorts of trouble I can get myself into.

I go back to Germany on the 28th....yay for children....oh boy. But I have some fun times planned ahead of me and I am looking forward to all the debauchery I can find. hehe.

Alrighty, there will be more later but ya's not like I'm writing a book or anything here.



Sunday, March 9, 2008


So its not very warm here at the moment...but I think that Rome will be better. I'm having a blast in Florence so far though. I've been walking my tail off everywhere in the city that I can find to go. I went to see the David, which was the most amazing thing. I can't begin to describe it in words. He was breathing. It was beautiful. Currently hanging out at the hostel, no chapter three yet, mainly because I couldn't bring my laptop with me and this is the most time I've had to sit at a computer since I got here. I am writing it via notebook and pen however-it exists, just not digitally yet hehe.

Waiting at the moment to get some dinner. Staying at a bed and breakfast that is pretty cool. Florence is a great city, its a bit slow at night but overall I really like it. I have been taking some cool photos, so hopefully I'll get the chance to get them uploaded shortly. We'll see about that.

I checked out The Uffizi Gallery the day before yesterday. That was amazing. Everything in Florence has been amazing so far. I also sinned and bought myself a leather jacket. I got a good deal on it though (no, really-guy wanted 260, I paid 75) and I wore it around for the first time today. It was cool. (c:

I am currently searching for some accomodation in Rome. I have a few potentials but the ones I thought I could count on ended up not working on so well. No problem I guess.

I could kick myself for not bringing my sketchbook. I don't know where my head has been the past couple days. I blame...I dunno what. No good reason really.

So Florence has the most amazing bridges...they aren't big, they aren't extra long, they are just beautiful. And there are a lot of them. Four maybe five? Great. One, Ponte Vecchio is insane-they turned it into a strip of shops basically so there's always tourists but it's a neat experience even if it is crowded. I took some cool pics from the bridge...and got some really good ones when I went to the Boboli gardens which are part of the Palazzo Pitti which belonged to Cosimo De Medici II. :D I also checked out his apartments and all the corresponding artwork. Holy crap. Sensory overload but amazing nonetheless.

I have been getting some good ideas for "Beyond the Seven Seas" as well....lots of mythology that played into the Italian history existance, it turns out. Sort of the whole Mediterranean thing I think.

Uhm....what else....not a whole lot really, just been exploring and exploring and exploring. I saw some original Michaelangelo's which floored me. I realized at one point though that I needed to take a break and eat something, even if it was too much money, because I wasn't fully enjoying things. I have been doing pretty good money wise though. It was crazy when I first got into town-flew in to Pisa-crazy turbulance-and met some nice German guys on the train between Pisa and Florence, hung out with them-turns out their friend that they were meeting lives on the same street as the Bed and Breakfast I am at, so that was cool. We got into town really late because the train broke down a few times...I think it was a symptom of getting in so late at night. It was all good though. (c:

Okies, not a whole lot left. There will be more once I get to Roma. hehe. (c:

Alrighty kids, Enjoy and I'll talk to ya'll laters!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


and thus begins the endless chant in my head "i'm going to italy i'm going to italy i'm going to italy" ....on Thursday. Totally stoked. This may mean a minor delay (in true Italian fashion) but I fully intend on pressing forward...pantsing all the way. (c: I love that term, by the by.

So yeah, there will be photos of said travels on flickr...there are currently photos of travel on

I may have mentioned that before...but anyway.

So I am going to be utilizing one of my favorite resources-Couchsurfing-for my trip to Italy. I am also going to be traveling to Spain (finally!!) and will be using it there as well. Couchsurfing is a really great community of travelers who open their doors to fellow wanderers and host them for a few nights...really cuts down on the costs. It's a great experience so long as you pay attention and do your homework on the people before you contact them. I'm very excited. So excited I'm blogging about being excited at 12:15 in the morning. Oy.

But yes....all of this to mention that there will be chapter 3, it just may be late. Aside from that, I have nothing more to say because I can't possibly begin to describe the buzz of kinetic energy I have at the moment...there was that song...anticipation...pretty much my theme song at the moment.

Cheers and happy writing to all!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Chapter Two of "Beyond the Seven Seas"

Without dogging this too much before it has had a chance..I'm going to announce that this was a considerably more difficult task than the first chapter and there's less to show for. I'm going to leave it at that. : repeats mantra: I can edit later. I can edit later. (c:

Random side note: I had to change's not cheating if the rest of the story wouldn't have gone anywhere really without it being changed does it?

Chapter Two

Ilse’s head bounced against the window as she twitched violently upright in her seat. The train had stopped. She lurched herself from her seat and tottered to the door. She was shaking from head to toe with adrenaline and the rush of being awakened from an unexpected nap. She shoved her hands in her pockets and made her way to catch her transfer. The overground to Piccadilly Circus was waiting and she chose an aisle seat. Her head pounded with her pulse. The sunlight was out of place.

She hadn’t thought of Mr. Watkins for years. A man walked past her and his cologne hung thick in her nostrils. She reached back and tugged down her tank top and readjusted her jacket—the flesh-like texture of the worn leather seat was going to make her sick—everything felt and tasted and smelled like him.

She had been twelve when it began. He was fifty-seven. Three years was a long time for a soul to weep. The insides of her thighs twitched uncomfortably. She ran her sweaty hands along the tops of her jeans. Get a grip. They passed a building and a shadow slid across her face. Then the sun was beating down on her, over bright. Painful. Hot. His breath was on her neck. Her chipped blue nail polish was flaking onto his tweed jacket the color of wet tobacco. He’s not here. There’s nothing here. Take a breath.

A man lit up a cigarette behind her and she gagged. They weren’t allowed to do that. Why did he do that. She tried to turn around, to force a smile on her face, to ask him to put it out. She didn’t move. In her mind she moved but physically she stayed rooted to the seat. The bus driver turned a bored eye to the back of the bus and said nothing. Laws were not enforced when it came to the small things. The echoes of those small things rang clear in her head. The bus jerked as it came to a stop. Her mother had, in typical fashion, ignored her. The smell of oil and city were boarding the bus, clogging the air. She had left the house then, left the dying interior of a house that had never been home. She dug her nails into the leather seat and shoved her toes against the insides of her boots hard enough to make her feet cramp. Take a breath.

She had nowhere to go. Cars were sinking into the familiar grooves of traffic jams past on all sides of the intersection. She went to him. People were getting out of their cars. The walls in his house were white. People were getting out their cars with cell phones stuck to their ears like barnacles on a sunken ship. He played music. People were getting out of their cars. There was no cussing. No loud horns honking. There was always music. People were getting out of their cars. When autumn begin to seep into the air she had left him too. A surreal haze was rising from the streets with the heat of the exhaust. People were pointing. She left her childhood on his doorstep and found herself in London. The cars were emptying. Her father had expected his little girl. He had gotten her ghost. People were pointing. Ghosts are uncomfortable houseguests. She had no more tolerance for betrayal. The crowd was growing outside the windows of the bus. There were leagues between her and the girl in the memory. It might not have been her after all.

Ilse forced her eyes into focus. What the hell. Her lips were dry and her head hurt. She ran a hand through her hair. The bus driver was muttering and attempting to see over the top of the throng collecting in front of the bus. Ilse slid stiffly over to the window. Hurt her thumbs as cracked it open and pushed it down as far as it would go. The top of the butterfly winged Eros was barely visible. Her thoughts were jumbled acid as she clumsily stood up. She hit her head on the top of the bus and cursed loudly. An elderly woman scowled and Ilse flipped her off. She had no mind for tact. I shouldn’t have answered the door this morning she thought to herself. Did half of bloody London have to pick today to stand around a gawk in the middle of the damn streets? As fast as she could condemn, however, she found herself edging through the narrow aisle and pushing towards the door. Curiosity is a virus and she ducked her head and stepped out of the bus.

She squeezed past a burly man who was speaking rapidly into a cell phone.

His shoes were untied.

He was dressed in a business suit, expensive looking cufflinks gleaming in the pathetic sunlight and his shoes were untied. It begins to get messy here: She really hated people sometimes. There was just no end to their stupidity. She pushed past a few more morons standing around. The tourists were out in full force. Naturally. Why wouldn’t they be? They were like the second coming of the plague. Her eardrums hurt with the pressure. She was underwater and sinking fast. She pushed her way through the seaweed and hoped for daylight.

She came face to face with a camera being pointed into the crowd and ducked under it violently. Vultures. This had become the kill and they were all swarming around trying to get their fill. Of what she couldn’t imagine. A large group of people standing around was not exactly what she would want to remember ten years from now. London at it’s finest. Glimpses of what she hoped was the front of the crowd peeked in and out from between the throng of people like a view through a jail cell door. A lady on her right was unwrapping a sandwich and the smell of grilled onions and grease mixed with the smell of city. I bet I could steal it—just grab it and run—though it’s a little crowded to make a clean escape.

And here: Contemplating her skills at sandwich thievery did not last long however. Her bag caught on something and she wheeled around. Green eyes locked with brown eyes.

“What the fuck! Get back here!” She elbowed past some people and took off into a halting jog them. There were too many people. The kid was faster than she could maneuver. People were cursing on all sides of her as she pushed and prodded and fought to get past them. She was losing ground. Her hand was thinking for itself as it rummaged without the gift of sight around in her bag, searching for what was missing. Pieces of paper were falling like leaves and her hand twisted and pushed against the corners. Something clattered to the ground unnoticed in the noise. She could not get a clean line on him.

“That little bastard…” She was pointing vaguely in the direction she had been heading. She couldn’t even see him anymore. No one made any indication that she had said anything. Classic. She saw him briefly before he ducked around a corner into a less crowded alleyway and she aggressively hurled herself around the brick wall. The noise pollution dropped a few decimals and her brain began to catch up with her body. It came reluctantly. Her hand slowed its desperate search and the soles of her boots slapped pathetically on the concrete. The set of grubby fingers had disappeared from sight. Her tempo slowed and she slapped the rough brick with her open hand. It should have been his face she thought as she brushed he grit off of her stinging palms.

She slammed her back up against the wall and slid down angrily. There was something about being awoken by Jack that ensured a lousy day. She yanked her bag out from under her thigh. The stitching was torn along the side and the strap was hanging like a broken limb from the exposed threads. Fuck. She wanted to cry. Because that’ll help she thought sarcastically. She picked up the change that had leaked out the sides and threw it into the inside pocket. The piece of paper with her record deal on it was missing. Well, whatever. I didn’t want to go there anyway. The bar was called Blue something. She pulled her wallet out the bottom of the bag with a degree of surprise. A tiny voice inside her let out a breath it had been holding. What the hell. He didn’t take my money. She begin to get really worried. Nothing was missing. Why. This doesn’t make sense. Something should be gone. What else would he have wanted. Her stomach knotted. Her history couldn’t be repeating itself. She reached into her back pocket and pulled out her cell phone.

“ ‘ello? You’re actually awa..”
“I was just mugged”

“What? By who? Are ya a’right?”
“Yeah—yeah. No. I don’t know.”

“ Where are you? There’s fuck all for background noise.” She stood up slowly. Her voice wouldn’t work. He couldn’t have had anything to do with this.

“ ‘ello? ‘ello? Ilse?” She was touched by the concern in his voice. He sounded sluggish.

“ I’m here James. Did I wake you up?”

“ Nevermindthat.” He made it one word. “Where are you?”

“ The Circus. I was on the overground and I was thinking about…well…shit this is stupid…well, I was thinking about him again and we got stuck in a crowd of people staring at god knows what and I got out of the bus and was trying to get through the mess when this stupid asshole grabbed a hold of my bag and I tried to catch him but I lost him in the crowd and…and…dammit. I’m freaking out.” Her voice broke.

“Christ Ilse. Al’ight. Take a minute and slow down. You’re fine.”

She let James listen to the noise of too many voices coming from the streets around her.

“He didn’t even take anything.” She said stupidly.

“No. I can’t find the stupid piece of paper that what’s his face gave me the other night but I could have dropped it. I was sort of slamming into people trying to chase him.”

“Who’s what’s his face?”

“The guy from the bar.”
“Forget that. You’re not missing anything?”

“I don’t think so.” The phone was shaking against her ear.

“You’re damn lucky then.”

“Am I? What if he had something to do with this?”
“You’re not making sense. Who?”
“Who the fuck do you think?”

“That’s ridiculous Ilse.”

“yeah. It’s stupid I know. Look. I’m sorry I called. I didn’t mean to wake you up. Go back to sleep. I’ll be fine.” She cleared her throat.

“You want me to meet you somewhere? We can talk this over?”

“No. I’ll be fine. Don’t worry about it.”

The cell phone clapped shut and she shoved it back into her pocket. She needed a cup of coffee. Why did she always have to drag other people into her mess. She took a deep breath and carefully slid her bag over her head. Maybe she had just been lucky. The kid hadn’t taken anything. She should be happy. James was right. She was being an idiot and she knew it. It was crowded. She was in London. What the hell did she expect.

“There are more fools in the world than there are people” she said to oblivion. Thank you Heinrich. Which category I fall into on any given day, however, is a mystery. She dug around the inside of her purse gingerly and came out with a safety pin for her efforts. It will have to do. Ilse sutured her miserable strap and took a definitive step back towards the insanity. A red phone booth stood against the wall just ahead of where Ilse was headed. A man was inside having a completely ineffective phone conversation judging by the color of his face and the frantic waving of hands.

Two of us who haven’t gotten what we wanted today Ilse thought with a sour note of satisfaction as she walked past.

I will get to my café today if it kills me. There was little debate to be had over which option she would prefer at the moment. She crossed back towards the main intersection area and shimmied alongside the crowd. Piccadilly Circus opened before her with the grace of arthritic joints being stretched. It was choking on people.



There was a pig standing directly under the statue of Eros atop his stair-stepped perch. A pig—in the middle of the intersection—At least, it might be a pig. Or was it a hedgehog? How big could pig/hedgehogs get anyway? The absurdity echoed in her brain for a few moments. It stood medium in size with what looked like coarse fur all over its body and the ears stuck out at a funny angle. They were distinctly red on the ends and they twitched back and forth with the breeze. The intense white body shone in what remained of the daylight. It was not acting like a pig should act. Not that Ilse really knew how pigs acted normally but she didn’t think that sitting there placidly looking at a crowd of people was within normal pig behavior.

The pig/hedgehog (she had never considered that they could look anything alike but today she was not surprised by much) then did something that was definitely not within standard pig nature. It changed size. Ilse blinked hard. That was impossible. And then it did it again. It was like someone had inflated a balloon to its fullest potential and then let the air out slowly. There was no mistaking that it was several heads smaller and thinner than it had been a moment ago. And it wasn’t stopping. The animal was shrinking.

Piccadilly Circus had never been so pregnant with whispers. Her teeth had begun to hurt with the tepid air and Ilse closed her mouth. The thing stood there for a moment, contemplating what to do next. It sniffed the air and turned its head a quarter of a degree to the right and with a twitch of movement disappeared. The Londoners didn’t budge. There were standing, most paused mid sentence, eyes fixed, staring as if someone had stopped time. And the breeze stirred and the people stared and Eros looked down on all and didn’t say a word.