16 November, 2012

The Death of Oranges

I know what I said, I was done. And I am; this being the exception. This is the final post at Oransje, and I thought it was fitting that I took that opportunity to share some things about the people I have met in Orlando, and those elsewhere since moving here. I know I used this avenue to express a lot of hurt, anger, and seemingly little to be optimistic about. Most days, that is how I perceive my surroundings... unfortunately. But that's a post for my other blog.

This is going to go in length, and I may add to it as I remember more. I'm going to start with why I am even here in Orlando, what possessed me to move here?! That's rather simple actually, it was go to Orlando, or leave the company I had been a part of for seven years. The severance package was enticing, and at the time, that economy bubble hadn't yet burst, but given where May and I were at the time, in quiet stagnation, and being the provider for both of us - being unemployed wasn't a reality I wanted to gamble with. In hindsight, I made the right choice. We found a great apartment, and it provided May some privacy and an art room that was solely her own. Our lives were about to change in ways we couldn't have imagined.

It really started with a trip to the Winter Park Spring Art Festival. The utter chaos and draining environment of that pushed us away quickly, and May remembered seeing an ad for the Outsider Art Festival in the same area. We found it and our path changed from then on. We met Ed Hdez, Ralph Verano, and Tracy Burke. They were so embracing and warm and encouraging of May showing her art. They opened that first door that led to a much different existence for us. May's first showing was the following month in Baldwin Park, and the ball rolled fluidly from then on artistically. She made fast friends with Orlando's artists, and built a foundation and developed a belonging to this city's artist community. It was a vision and effort come to fruition for her and it was beautiful! For every sour moment, there was a dozen experiences that were memorable and irreplaceable. As a witness to this, very few made me feel unwelcome, or outside the circle, but I certainly viewed myself as such. A non-artist in an artist's world.

Over the years, we didn't spend much time with Ed, but he was always supportive and encouraging, and even up to the moment May left, he was checking out her sketchbook at Full Sail during The Sketchbook Project. Ed has an amazing spirit and talent, and his soft-spoken beauty emanates purely from his core. Tracy and Ralph became close friends; confidants, and a source of exhaltation whenever we could share some time with them. I fondly remember May and I trying to piece together our conversations with Tracy after any given encounter at Redlight Redlight with her... she sometimes talks at a level only dogs can hear. More importantly; both Tracy and Ralph were so supportive and encouraging, it really made us feel like Orlando was a community with human spirit and a beating heart. They shared so much with us, beyond art and contacts... there were meals, music, friendship, sincerity and trust. Of all the relationships May and I built as friends in the Orlando community, I would struggle to think of one that was more important to us.

It was Tracy and Ralph that challenged May to paint publically, something she'd never done even for an audience of one. She embraced it, and we met even more of the artists working in and around Orlando. It was at this event that she met Travis Smith, and began a strong friendship with that continues today. He too, was another person that was unyieldingly supportive and helped open even further paths to explore artistically. I never made it easy for Travis to be in my company, but despite that, he never stopped trying to accommodate me or engratiate himself to me. I will forever be thankful to him for the support and friendship he gave May.

That brings me around to Tr3 Harris and Frankie Messina. One would think that two people connected to every nerve and vein in Orlando would have little or no time to stop and converse with an unknown artist on the scene. Beyond doing exactly that, they also found time to engage me. Share stories, pick my brain, and seek out what talents I keep buried beneath the skin. Frankie and I have connected on a personal level sort of hemmorhaging from painful places, and that is something that I was profoundly affected by, even if it was momentary. When you see the vulnerable side of someone, it changes that relationship; in this case, for the better. Tr3 is amazing. He's a man always moving; I doubt he sleeps, he might be undead, but he will always take time to talk with me, with anyone. He is sincerely interested in people and their stories, their muse, their voice, and I have to be honest, that is so rare and amazing to me, that it borders on reverence. I would have never guessed I would meet someone else like that, especially in Orlando, but more on her later.

Okay, so adventures lead us down so many paths, but none so unique as Karen Russell. I am utterly enamored with her, artistically and personally. I envy the people that are close to her, because she tugs at every synapse my brain will fire. She exudes mystery and sexuality with no effort, and life sort of chases along after her barely keeping up and probably hungry and tired and sick from the horrible food she feeds it. I hear and have probably said the phrase, "hot mess" , but Karen is one of the most real people I know. She exists in this life, but is not it's bitch, and embraces the moments that matter to her without inhibition. It's admirable, and like I said, unique. Karen is amazing, we all know it, and she always manages to make it, whatever it is, happen.

Moving on to Art In The Park! More new faces, more amazing people! I met Veronika, Dana, Hannah, and solidified friendships with Van J, Justin Barrows and Snappy. Snappy is someone who, despite where he might be personally, makes someone else feel like the most important person in the room. His heart is beautiful and sincere, and I can only imagine that he must be made to suffer for that as I have... inexplicably. I am pretty sure he's a genius, and his knowledge of culture and music is staggering. I am blessed to know him, and no matter where I am, I will always carry memories of his frivolity, creativity and smiles. Van J, I met outside of Milk Bar, and I had no idea how often our paths would cross afterwards. It's been countless years since I've known someone with such a peaceful spirit. His mere presence is calming. The people that can call him friend are truly blessed. Justin Barrows... I don't even know where to begin!?! No one has tried harder to make me unleash the inner artist than Justin, and it's only out of his sheer determination that I shared what I've had. Without him, there would be no unfinsihed art books piling up in my apartment, there would be no dead trees on a door somewhere, and a piece that went god knows where? He is the most dedicated and determined artist in Orlando, and at the same time, a great friend who I don't see enough of.

Okay - moving on. Jenn. My amazing, unspoken, undefined bond with Jenn. She got me to dance... so, like Justin, she pulled the impossible out of me. I really have no words to describe her, only feelings and emotions. If she was a painting, she would be priceless and as mysterious as a Mona Lisa smile. Going away, I would certainly feel that break in our connection, whatever it is, and despite how rarely we ever get to see one another. I feel good in sharing with she and Teege what an inspiration they are to me, and how they give me hope for a relationship with such strong and healthy roots. If I listed 10 things beautiful about Orlando, their relationship would be number 1.

Cake, Mikey, Jeffrey. I love all three of them for different reasons, and I cherish each of their friendships for different reasons. Cake, being such a figurehead of the Orlando art scene, could very easily turn his nose up and not really look beyond his magical world. His talent is only rivaled by his enormous passion and enthusiasm over the Orlando art scene. He's caring, supportive, embracing, and willing to help out the entire Orlando scene. More importantly to me, as a non-artist, Cake has been a friend. Offering advice, allowing me to intrude into his world, and allowing me to share pieces of mine. There's not a lot of people in Orlando that know my business, even if they think they do, but the 3 Bears know more about myself and May than almost anyone in Orlando says alot about their sincerity and trust and friendship. Mikey, always boosts my spirit, even if that encouragement is ill-advised. I know Jeffrey is Orlando's cheerleader, but Mikey is mine. If there's a more comforting presence in Orlando, I haven't found it. Jeffrey, whom I am probably closest with. He and I have spent a lot of time talking, because he's always working at places I tend to go. I think we share a commonplace that is rooted in some sadness. I don't know, we've never discussed it, but I feel like we are kindred spirits. If I was at bottom, I feel like I could reach out to Jeff and he'd extend a hand.

I would have not expected this time last year how close I would have become to Joe Quillsong and Anne Schummer. Joe reaching out to me and opening up to me is still a moment that is carved poignantly on my heart. It was someone who I respected making an effort to reassure me. If I trusted anyone with anything, it's Joe. His spirit, his soul are like beacons in a storm - it's safe passage through some miserable darkness. Anne and I bonded after May left, and it's a relationship that defies explanation. She may be my little sister. We love the same music, movies, fashion, etc.

Someone who has piqued my curiosity since I met him is Thomas Thorspecken. He has sketched May at least a half-dozen times, and an adventure with him is always something special. I will never forget our canoe trip, or having him over for lunch. He's a fascinating person, with an intoxicating smile, and a huge heart and sense of humor. His laugh is infectious, and I know if I am out somewhere and see him arrive, my night will somehow be improved. He was offered a unique perspective on my divorce, and was witness to it's fruition.

Two people that came into my life this year and had a prominent impact are Tonya and Stephanie. I only group them together, because both those relationships are fractured or non-existent. They did however ground me when my heart and mind went far reaching looking for understanding, and bore witness to the shattering of my relationships, ultimately our own. Stephanie is one of two mothers I met this year that I have utter respect and admiration for. I don't know how she juggles everything and still manages to raise such a well-rounded, intelligent, respectful child, but she does and I am in awe of it. We share a love of music and challenges and movies and I always welcomed our conversations over coffee. Tonya is talent, layered upon talent. I don't even know all the skills she possesses, but her thirst for adventure and learning inspires me. Her aesthetic eye, and devotion to her art ushers me to other-wordly places and each creation is a storybook land that is somehow rooted into her life. She is one of Orlando's unique souls, and the time we've shared talking offered me so much perspective and understanding and I will always appreciate those moments.

There's so many people that have just been amazing, and unexpected. I can't say this from experience, but Orlando must be unique in that atmosphere. It's truly beautiful. Steve Parker, in his accomodation and above and beyond dedication to curation, besides his amazing talent as an artist. Marcus Adkins who always remembers my name, despite my having to add him on Facebook to concrete his name into my brain. Little did I know until I added him that he was this phenomenal photographer. Jay Gordon and Beni Belak and eventually Charlotte who I met when I forced myself out on my own one night. Three inspiring, engaging, brilliant people that broke me out of the belief that I could only have friendships via May. Katie Dannelly, who has become my refuge and grounding rod at work, and has become a close friend. Leon Carter who embraces my passion for music and buying music! But more importantly, supported me through my darkest moments in Orlando and gave me the time I needed to set things right. Leah Fairchild, with an enormous spirit and heart, and a real beauty that precedes her. My newest friend, Nick Mariano who shares the same interests in music as I do and he's a DJ! But as I have known him, completely approachable, amiable, and sincere and I hope our friendship continues even if I depart. Eric Johnson who gave me a monicker, and an escape one weekend to go see art. He is the antagonist in my "pull the shades closed" world. He always finds a way to pull laughter out of me, and remind me that I know and am friends with some awesome people in Orlando. Another person I bonded with, and who's friendship and support has been invaluable is Kim Marshall. I haven't met anyone more gracious and caring. Jessica Earley reinforced my belief that being vulnerable and sharing feelings is okay, and nothing to feel ashamed about.

But my life in Orlando really took root when I met, really met, Hannah Braden. I felt a little lost here until we began to talk. She offered me a perspective that made Orlando feel like home to me for the first time. I am not going to start sharing more than you already know, because I do respect privacy. Suffice to say though, I don't know anyone more inspiring than Hannah. I've witnessed a curator, artist, manager, mom, friend and on all levels, I was left enamored and transfixed. I have never known someone like her, that manages so much and still maintains such a beautiful presence. Wherever I go, for however long, if the word Orlando is uttered, she will be the image that comes to mind, because Hannah made Orlando feel like home to me. Made me embrace it's people and it's places in my own exploratative way.

Outside these walls, I also bonded with Zara Kand, Allie Hartley, and Bethy Williams since landing here. Three artists of extraordinary skill, whom I have also had the pleasure of knowing on a personal level. I only met Zara as a result of the work I did for her mother, but as I saw her artistic and music talent outside of that realm, I realized what incredible talent she had and what a beautiful heart she possesses. Allie paints what I see in my head, quite inexplicably. I know so, very little about her, but I am so very intrigued. We are going to start sharing correspondences, so I hope by this time next year, we will have a much more profound idea of one another. But her kindness has been inviting over these past few months. Bethy, has been a foundation for me (possibly unwillingly) over the past year. Talking to me into the wee hours, and sharing our quirky interests with one another, and allowing me to make compilations for her that would make babies cry. That's how you define a unique and priceless bond. I love her in how we connect in that way, and as I said - it's been the only light a few times over the past few months.

So, that's it! I know I forgot someone(s). But the point of this LONG-ASS post is this. As I put this blog to bed to awake as something else, I wanted to do so by thanking all of you that I have encountered in Orlando and elsewhere. I did not want to be gone, without having said it, at least one more time. Since this blog was about my time in Orlando, it's befitting it should end this way. I may or may not be moving on, but whatever happens, Orlando specifically is no longer the adventure. Today, it's the point from where my adventures originate, but not the focus. One last person that deserves thanks is May. Without her, and her determination, the adventure that lead to so many amazing people would likely never have happened. I'm blessed to know you all, and above all else, thankful for knowing you.


a Blue Pair

I found this adorable couple last weekend, a thrift store find. I picked them up and put them down more than once, but in the end, had to take them home. I can't imagine what their use was/is. I feel if they were simply figurines then they wouldn't be hollow, perhaps that's a bad assumption? Upon seeing them, I immediately thought Dickens, and Victorian England, but again, that might be a bad assumption. I also think they are someone's creation as opposed to some commercial item based on markings in the base.





12 November, 2012

From the Least Cool Sister's Album

Though I do admit, it has some great tracks. And "Sister's Least Cool" is still rather fucking cool. I've had an utterly defeated kind of day, so there's this.

11 November, 2012

Last One

This weekend has been an anxiety meteor shower, last night being a full blown storm. If I didn't literally wake-up every twenty minutes, I would be amazed. I feel wrecked instead of rested. I've been making an effort to not act on anxious thoughts and instead give them time to be well-formulated decisions, but I've one more, possibly irrational thing to do.

First off, I was of the opinion that no one was reading this blog. The lack of comments supported that belief. Seriously, that's fine. My perception of my blog was one of a journal/diary. I wasn't uncomfortable with doing so in an open setting, because I am generally pretty open with how I feel about things. I also believed that as long as I kept names out of my blog, then I wasn't publicly admonishing, praising, worshipping, hating anyone... beyond what anyone else would know besides the person involved. Recently, my friend, K. quoted a sentence from a post, and I realized someone was reading my thoughts, and further comments from others cemented that  curiosity. Again, I don't have a problem with people wanting to know, or voyeuristically reading the "tickings of a young man".

I have however, decided to stop making personal posts. There's two reasons. The main reason is this: my blog is in no way a supplement for you and I to have a conversation. There is nothing I write here that I wouldn't share with you in person. And I know the majority of you, whoever you are reading my blog, don't know me well enough or have enough trust in me to know that I am open, trusting, and not looking to crawl down your pants. That was an assumption I was making that a friend helped me to understand better. It was quite an epiphany really, not everyone is like me, and not everyone knows me as I'd like them to. Back on point though, there's been a series of conversations where assumptions have been made about a blog post, or feelings have been hurt. If you knew me, as I'd like you to know me, hurting people is really the last thing I'd ever want to bestow on someone, anyone. I forgive a lot,  A LOT, to my own detrement, but hurt whether intentional or unintententional is not who I am. These interractions in which my a phrase from my blog takes breath is alarming, and for those with enough courage to challenge me on it, I wonder how many haven't, and how many upset/confused/hurt people are there that I haven't uttered a word to?

Secondly, I tend to write from the endless springs that are my emotions. Emotional writing is charged writing, and I feel it carries an energy. Which brings me to why I chose electronic writing over pen and notebook. I have a few of those notebooks and volumes of poems from my teens into my twenties, and they still reek of a very fractured and broken spirit. I felt brave enough to open one the other night, and it made me ill. I also realized that if I burned all of this, I wouldn't miss it, because I suck at writing. Between losing countless journals due to incapacitated states, and having a physical manifestation of raw emotion pulsing from a bookcase until the end of time; I decided electronically writing is like a cloned sheep... no soul. It's life begins and exists on a series of cables and encased discs until such a time that the Terminators take over, or I swallow the correctly-colored pill.

So, no more personal posts. I will continue to share music, photos, interests, but not much depth beyond that. At least until some aspect of my life begins to settle. The big one is myself. Understanding why I am the way I am, either accepting or changing it, and why I seek unreciprocated love. Secondly, my personal life needs to have some stability. I need to understand and trust it, and find a friendship that values me as much as I value them, without the worries of, "when are we going to be naked?" And finally, I'd like to find harmony in my personal interests as much as my work interests. I want to continue to feel valued at work, but I want new challenges, and I want the focus and energy to take those on. Originally, I thought I'd commit these thoughts to pen and paper, until that encounter with history the other night, so now, I will simply internalize them. And that's that. If you want to know what I am thinking, you'll have to ask...

Listening to: R.E.M. - "Fables Of The Reconstruction"

09 November, 2012

And You Are...

Been here at work now for a little over an hour. Amazingly, but not surprisingly, I am the only one here and the only one on time. In fact, a handful of people are over an hour late. Obviously, if I have time to write in my blog, then I don't need to mention how dead it is right now. I have as many work projects to do, as I have projects at home to do - and they are getting equal amounts of attention: none.

So, what's going on? It's really not easy for me to describe. On a surface level it's confusing; on a deeper level, it's a debate on the impact of Ayn Rand on modern society; in that it hurts to think about. You sort of evade some things when you elect to not define it, not discuss it, and refuse it labels. As my manager is fond of saying, "it is what it is". Okay, but what is it? Maybe I am not okay with such simplified reality, maybe I'd like a little shading on that stick figure, give me a fucking crayon, give me something. Are we benefitting by that avoidance? Do you feel better than if you said, "you are..." . That's the point I realized, it's not the definition, it's the responsibilities that are associated with labels. I don't think it's fair to call this, "living in the moment", because that suggests it is care free, and repercussions and emotions and hurt, and love, and pleasure, and joy, and experience are circumstance and devoid of depth, devoid of reaching something amazing, incapable of touching heart, incapable of setting fire to soul, uninterested in making a bond that transcends today. I am an analytical, science as religion, technogeek who refuses to subscribe to a notion that the ability to feel is a weakness, or is somehow controlled. This isn't a rant, and I am not accusing anyone of treating me this way. I do however bear witness to it daily. It goes back to what I have asked many times in my blog, why is it so hard to be honest with one another about our feelings toward one another? Why is it a bad thing? Someone told me yesterday, that they realized I was a rock in their life, and there's been times that I was the only anchor that kept them from giving up, I gave them hope. I can't describe how touched I was to hear that, but I was so struck with someone being so open and honest with me. If this person had told me that I made them feel torn down and small - I would still be struck by their honesty. People are complex, and today I may make you angry, tomorrow you may think I'm amazing. It's not about that really, it's about connecting. It's about being real and being open. You could be angry at me forever for all the times I've hurt you. Maybe it's unforgettable, but is it unforgivable? Am I capable of being selfish? Of course. I have failings like we all do. I chose to love someone despite their flaws if more often than not I feel valued, respected, and reciprocated in our relationship. A bond with someone is precious, and it's not simply undefined. We made this bond, however we came to it - with trust, with intimacy, with sacrfice, with mutual respect - it ties us together, and I am not able or wanting to simply let that go because right now there is hurt.

I have to get back to work, and I am rambling. But my lips are bruised, my tongue a pariah - so I will remain silent unless asked. Because if I have learned anything this year, it's that people don't want to know how I feel about them. Going forward, I will respect that.

Succession

Last night, my dreams were the freight train that runs through Downtown Orlando at 3 A.M., seemingly endless and frustrating, because all you want to do is get somewhere that's comfortable. Each boxcar representing some event, either from the past or as of yet unfulfilled. And though I outwardky have almost no anxiety regarding H., clearly, I do so internally and she was the tether binding one scene to the next. Even though, I am trying to accept each day as it presents itself and not look for horizons, my mind will in the end, do what it does with or without me. This may also be the results of weaning myself off of anxiety meds, in fact, I am electing that as my resolve and resuming my normal activities. Keep messing with me brain, I have pencils now.

07 November, 2012

Can I Set You On Fire?

I have zero time to write, but much to say. It's been one of those days; the kind, where I wish I could set people on fire. Fed up with my manager, and right now, fed up with a few Republicans. I can empathize with your pity party, but the toxic, nasty shit falling out of your face this morning is absurd, and only reinforces my resolve to make sure you and who represents you never have a voice in determining my rights, my liberties, and my freedom.

I will write more this evening; perhaps I will be calmer then. Right now, quite livid.

06 November, 2012

Blueberry Muffin Coffee

In my odd, horny-as-hell, 5 A.M. wake-up, I feel like I want to do a thousand chores and work on Christmas presents. Not sure if that's the pulsing testosterone or the blueberry muffin coffee?! Whatever, I'll take it, I have neglected chores.

It's been a long while since I busted out my Dulli. There's a certain mood that tends to precipitate his inclusion in my playlists, and oddly, I am not feeling those feelings. I think in lieu of sexual appetite and suave confidence, it's actually New Orleans that beckons the former Afghan Whig to my ears. Like New Orleans, Greg Dulli is at surface a polished, and inviting mistress, with a language that weaves about loin and heart, and a soulful gaze that pens fantasies in your mind. But with tips tracing the flesh, you can find the fractures and scars. With each kiss, the flame upon your tongue tastes like decay; and whispers spin spells that purchase the remnants of your inhibitions. In all, it's a decadent feast that ends only when every ounce of you is barely recognizable.

So, in addition to Mister Dulli's intrusion into my days, there's also been a flood of thoughts. Short scenes of inticing moments I'd love to share. Cuddled on a couch watching movies; preparing meals together; exploratory walks with endless eye candy and dialogue; and a shared inspiration what will become part of who we are, forever. It's not that I am engraving my expectations in stone, or writing intentions to paper and setting them to flame. But it is an intoxicating series of comfort that sells me on the idea of embracing something new.

Last night, I watched, "Broken Blossom", a D.W. Griffith film starring Lillian Gish from 1918. Sadly, even the stunning beauty of Miss Gish can resurrect how depressing this film was. Set in London's Limehouse District, we are first introduced to a young Chinese man's arrival in the city to spread his Buddhist wisdom. He immediately realizes that the brutality of the London is spirit-crushing and he finds himself living in the midst of opium dens which soon take hold of his spirit. Meanwhile, Gish portrays the daughter of a drunken boxer that funnels his frustration into beating her within an inch of her life. She's not allowed to eat while he's eating, and is expected to be home when he's home (which isn't exactly a set schedule), so just always be home. After one such beating, Gish wanders into the streets and collapses at the doorstep of the Chinese man's home. He mends her, takes her in, and falls in love with her. The whole thing unravels when it's discovered that Gish is staying there, and her brutish father arrives and takes her home where he beats her to death. Her new suitor arrives too late, and is confronted by dad, and he's shot-to-death by the Chinese man. He takes Gish's body back to his room, prays for her and then kills himself. I expected a lax respect for minorites, but D.W. Griffith still managed to hit my frustration point. Our main character is dubbed, "Yellow Man", and Gish gives him the pet name of "Chincky". An Opium-addicted friend of "Yellow-Man" is called "Evil Eye". Even the father, with his drinking, anger, and facial expressions is a stereotype. It's truly hard to enjoy a film, or appreciate what it offers when we've been so conditioned to recognize the disgusting elements of human behavior. Beyond that, the bleak, hopeless aspect is only barely breached with the building love between "Yellow Man" and Gish, but they are absolutely punished for that experience, and you are reminded that chincs are dirty, and you leave feeling that their love is forbidden because of only that. It's not even classism, it's clearly racism.

Well, off to chores and breakfast. More later.

05 November, 2012

Strangers

My head is so full... all of it is trying to fall out at once and thus nothing can get through. I accomplished none of the personal things I wanted to do. I want to avoid my usual holiday procrastination this year, and start working on presents. I was supposed to be off work today and tomorrow for doctor visits, but the situation in the Northeast continues and my time-off was canceled. That might be okay on a personal level, I am still full of thought and emotion from the weekend, and perhaps a distraction is exactly what I need. Over-analyzing is afterall, my super power.

So, the weekend. It was similar to those moments in our lives where we set off thinking we know exactly what will unfold, and it's familiar, but as it begins to play out you find yourself ushered along a path that has an infinite number of possibilities; there is no clear conclusion and you're left with only embracing the experience and the excitement it offered. I could not have expected where I'd be, how I would be feeling. Internalized; the fight that was happening was as contentious as anything a politcal ad could throw down.That's multifaceted. That connection: my own insecurity has convinced me is so paper-thin and delicate, that at any moment I am a ghost again. I don't know if my actions are what's best for anyone involved, and I don't want to hurt people. With no clear understanding of why people have been cutting me out of their lives, as I mentioned before, the coincidence of the act has left me convinced it's me. So, I have only insecurity in my words, my movements; so the struggle between thought and action is bloody (literally). So, for much of the night as emotion bottled up behind my tongue, I sat quiet, allowing the night to go where it would. And in retrospect, that was best. I managed to do so until dawn's break, and said those words that perhaps burned as painfully as a fire's ember. I am foolish if I want to believe that wasn't already known. Yes, I love you.

So, there was star-gazing, misdemeanor criminal activity, music sharing, bonding, a lot of laughing, and a wonderful fire. Nothing short of an awesome night.

I am heading into work wrapped in the experience of the weekend, and haunted by the phrase, "imperfectly connected". However true it is, love makes it hard to accept. It is reality, sadly; it's actually the perfect description. Of course, I am compelled to fix that, but that internalized struggle is telling me: "Right now, accept the connection, embrace the bond you have with someone you love, and if it is supposed to be anything more, it will be." So, thank you inside voice for the wisdom, and I will spend a few days trying to convince myself that you do actually have a clue about what you are telling me.

Listening to: Portishead - "Dummy"

04 November, 2012

Thrifted

Yesterday, I had a few moments free, so I swung by my favorite cd thrifting spot and picked up three completely unknown-to-me discs, much as I have done my entire post-adolescent life. This is obviously a hit-or-miss process. So, here's the three:

Dewey Defeats Truman: "b-sides, rarities, and out-takes"
This early 2000's, San Diego-based band is not terribly unique, but offers enough nuances that makes it worthy of listen. Clearly talented, and diversely influenced, it's surprising that it doesn't seem to fight beyond such familiar trappings. It is at times familiar to Harvey Danger, and probably a lot of pop-punk bands I am barely familiar with, but as I mentioned, there are some sparks that grab hold. Tempo changes, and Fugazi chord progressions wrapped in a bittersweet punch of Weezer is my best effort to offer some define. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a single thing on YouTube, or the interwebs to provide a sample. So, unless you are a huge fan of indie/pop/punk - then I think you might not want to seek this one out. But if you should locate one of their two releases, I wouldn't say, skip it. It's worth a listen and it's worthy of being in your collection.

The Teacups: "This Will Come Back To Haunt You"
Okay, this is immediately adorable. It's "Lump"-era Drop Nineteens, Deerhoof and They Might Be Giants. Not at all surprised that their label is based in Athens, GA., or at all surprised this they are Wisconsin-based, but quite surprised to discover this is a '98 release. This may very well be pre-hipster?! It is painfully familiar, and simple on most levels, but it's permeable innocence is intoxicating and I love it. This disc is a gem and I am ecstatic to have discovered it. Again, couldn't find anything to share. Eff! The album is on iTunes.

Homescience: "Jungling"
This was another score. I love that it was recorded into multiple channels, so that sitting in the car listening to this disc is like being surrounded by the band. Homescience is from Edinburgh, and that comes as a bit of a surprise because the britpop elements are subtle at best. The y may very well be Scotland's answer to Low. It's equal elements harmony, and muttered vocals subdued beneath a wave of keyboards and 60's fringe pop. It's a brilliant melange of textures, unique instrumentation and manic-depressive lyrics.



01 November, 2012

Fat City or Bust

For a few weeks now, I assumed there would be an opening in New Orleans within my company; a position that would be a promotion for me. I thought about how amazing it would to live in The Big Easy, but there's plenty of rumors afoot that New Orleans, like many branches, will be gobbled up and centralized. Let me give some back story here. I used to work in the Tampa, FL. branch. We were self-sufficient, everything happened in our building; from taking the payroll from our clients to the printing and delivery of the payroll to our clients. After 6 years of that peaceful tranquility, along came the concept of centralizing the print operations aspect of the payroll process, and thus the fulfillment center was born. This was a cost-saving measure, as well as a disaster preventative leap. All print operations for all of our Florida locations were relocated to Orlando... safer from hurricanes and close to the airport. We were not the first center, but it's a concept that's caught on nationally. It was a brand new center that I almost relocated to in California last year.

So, here in lies my concern. New Orleans is still a branch setup, just like Tampa was. They have already gone into recovery once, during Katrina. The rumor is, they are being absorbed, like Tampa was, to a center that already exists in either Houston or Dallas. And so, I have two conerns that need to be dealt with and feel some assurances about before I commit myself to pursuing New Orleans. One, I need to know with some certainty that they are not being relocated; I have no interest in living in Dallas or Houston. Secondly, what happens to me if they do relocate, not all supervisors from Florida came to our center, how do I know I'd even be needed at a new center? So, it boils down to, are you moving or not New Orleans branch? I don't want to be without a job in this environment. All I have is my history and talents within my job; I have no degree. So, this is a critical concern.

On a different note, we've done recovery for Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York this week. It feels good to allow our peers in the NE to be with family and freedom from having to worry about work. But more importantly, I have thought about myself as one of the millions of employees that work for our thousands of clients, and I thought how important and reassuring it would be for me that despite all the obstacles, I could still count on my paycheck to be there. It's the kind of thing that despite the size of our company, allows us to connect on a very personal level with the people we provide service for and that really resounds with me. Our donations to United Way, and verious charitable organizations is one thing to be proud of company-wide, but this is something that goes beyond that easy, philanthropist, pose-for-the-cameras effort. We found out today, as has the nation, that the NE is without gas and we are about to go down again. Our affected centers have been running off of generators, and that's about to be an impossibility, so the recovery effort will continue.

Well, that's all I have for now. Halloween was a little depressing to be honest. So much is different now.

Listening to: Coil - "Musick To Play In The Dark"