Monday, June 29, 2009

a few blueberry pickin' pictures.

Mmmmm, locally-grown berry-pickin' awesomeness. I'd like to thank the Schuster family for being awesome and growing a bunch of their own food and especiallyespecially for being willing to share it for free with us. I'd like to thank my roommies for coming out (I need to get less shy with the picture-taking because I didn't get any pictures of Jill and Adam at all) and adding to the berry-pickin' good time. I'd also especially like to thank the weather for being absolutely perfect. The air was cool and fragrant with naturey life!! I had an awesome awesome weekend and I'm giddy with how many times I've put the word "awesome" in my blog the last two days.

Mark said, "Do you want to take a picture of my face lit by the sunset?" Yes, nerd. ;)

Berry loot!!

Berry monster!

Freaky cat with extra toes attacked my camera strap!!

After berry-pickin', Luna was jealous she didn't get to go.

Now playing: depeche mode - blue dress
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Weekend Exploits.

Friday night-- Michael and I met Mark at a metal show at Blackthorn. Talented musicians. Shocks of long blond metal-boy (I heard they are like 18!!) hair headbanging. Hello Kitty guitar straps. I can't believe I didn't get a picture of this. Michael and I went outside for a break from the metal and happened to see Wendy's husband Greg (Wendy is a fellow library girl) and his friend Matt outside. They lured us from the metal into Matt's open-air-climb-into-the-back-"Dukes-of-Hazzard-style" Jeep to a classy lounge bar called Trios for a glass of wine and good conversation about music (The Mars Volta, Metric, Michael Jackson, etc) and art (the definition of, viewed through the lens of the prices of the art at the lounge bar). Afterwards, we headed over to Wendy and Greg's and listened to the Michael Jackson Tribute channel (channel 62) on XM.

Saturday--Michael made M&M and cashew waffles and we cleaned the house feverishly until 2pm. We then met Wendy and Greg at Club 609 for a drink before heading out to Adrienne (former fellow library girl) and Andy's wedding, which was beautiful and very classy. Mark was photographer and they had a keg and amazing vegetarian food. After the wedding, I read a little while Michael napped, and then we went out for coffee and wandered around Books a Million looking at art books and trying to get answers right in trivia books. We then went out for burritoes at Gringo's and watched Moulin Rouge at home, after which I pirouetted around the living room like a Green Faery to "Bolero", the song that plays during the credits, and thought about Sagan and Brandon.

On the far left you'll see Mark with his camera, then the Lone Bridesmaid, Carrie officiating, Andy, and his Lone Groomsman.

Adrienne with her mom and son Conner.

Mark and the kegs. Is Mark's expression BECAUSE of the kegs, or perhaps the extreme heat?

Michael with a sweet face just SECONDS after flipping me off. ;)

Wendy and me demonstrating how huge my mouth is, apparently.

Adrienne and Andy with what I think is Andy's dad.

*Cheesy tidbit: this is the book I'm reading right now, checked out from the library and has been at the library since June 1996...

While I was reading "Grrrls" yesterday afternoon, I noticed these little pink boxes around Tori's name in the introduction. This HAS to be me. A teenage me obsessed with Tori Amos. I almost remember doing this, and I used to do subtly destructive things like this. Once, I tore a page out of a magazine at the library at the age of about 15 (a two-page poster of Shirley Manson) because it was an old issue (had to ask a librarian--was it Patty?--to get it out of compact storage) and I knew no other way of obtaining this poster. Apparently, I didn't know about copying. I apologize to my current place of employment and libraries everywhere for my destruction of library property. I have since learned proper manners in a public library, but to my credit, I STILL have this poster of Shirley Manson in a frame hanging in my bedroom. I still appreciate the fruits of my little act of library kleptomania, however wrong it was.

Sunday--Picked up sandwiches at Jimmy John's and headed to the gparents for lunch. Afterwards, picked blackberries off Virginia Ave by one of the Massa warehouses.

There's something awesome about picking your own berries, and something even awesomer when it's in between a building and a parking lot in a downtown area. Consumable urban life!!! So awesome. Hopefully, me and the roommies will be picking blueberries at the Schuster family blueberry farm later tonight. I hope I hope I hope!! It's been too long since we had blueberry waffles.

Friday, June 26, 2009


Art is a slippery concept. I've always thought that art is in the eye of the beholder. You can call ANYTHING art, and people often do. Is it a concept? Is it a performance? Is it a portrait of a girl? Is it a realistic representation of a beautiful nude? Is it abstract? Is it Renaissance? Is it Monet? Is it Dali? Is it Salma Hayek? yes. yes. Yes. Yes. YES. YES. YES! YES!! and YES!!! Yesterday I took pictures of a bunch of my "art" (photography, collage, sketches, cut-paper designs, paintings, etc etc) and posted them on both myspace and facebook ( and Here I shall post some of my favorites, some I hadn't thought about in awhile, and two self-portraits in chronological order. Above is a drawing I did in classes I wasn't paying attention in in junior high school (probably 8th grade History, mostly). Poison Ivy was a comic book character I identified with. I wore ivy in my hair frequently and thought of my kiss as poison, or hoped it would be.

Snapdragon from the Kabuki comic was another of my favorite chick comic book characters...why are the cool chicks always villains? I did this one in the late '90s.

This one features another Kabuki character; Kabuki herself. I did this in 2007.

We had to pick the title of a book (2007) we hadn't read and then do a print based on the concept in the title (Beginning Printmaking). Mine is "Women Who Run With The Wolves" and when we did the art critique and everyone was intellectualizing their concepts, all I had to say about it was, "There's chicks AND wolves in it." This was one of the defining moments that made me realize I wasn't an art major; because I can't intellectualize my art and my psychological reasons for the things I create are private. I believe artists should let their art speak for themselves and let the viewer interpret it through their own filters and let what it means to them be the meaning...but that's just MY interpretation of the interpretation of "art". Slippery, slippery, slippery.

Now playing: Portishead - Undenied
via FoxyTunes Once (2002?), Kim Gassen let me borrow one of her digital cameras and we walked around Springfield, MO taking pictures of all kinds of things. This was one of my first experiences with a digital camera and this is one of my favorite pictures I have ever taken. I call it "Purple Dog" and I have like five different variations of it on my computer.

I love taking pictures of graffiti. LOVE it. This is another from that fateful Springfield day and it's usually my desktop background.

From 2006 Basic Design at MSSU. Burt Bucher (instructor at MSSU) reawakened my love for art in this class (also when I decided to be an art major which lasted about a year) my first semester back to college in 4 years. It was how an art class SHOULD be: basic guidelines, lots of time to complete projects, philosophical/nonsensical discussions in class, and lots of freedom. For example, I did a collage for this class made entirely from porn magazines (without showing any naughty bits, but just barely).

Now for the self-portraits: This one I did with colored pencils (my trusty prismacolors) in 2000 or 2001, right before I graduated high school in Mr. Buchanan's independent study senior year. I was in a detrimental relationship (he and I were BEYOND incompatible, his childhood was BEYOND horrific, and my compassion for him wasn't enough to bridge the gaps, though it was BEYOND huge) and one could say this picture represents this pain I felt for him, felt because of him. Like I was manifesting his pain onto myself with flesh wounds, which I did metaphorically and physically over the 5 1/2 years I was with this Gemini. Gawd, how goth is that? Back in this time period I drew chicks sewing their mouths shut (communication issues, anyone?), chicks without hands (to keep themselves from touching his darkness?), and blood blood blood. In many ways, this is just a teenager thing. I was experimenting with my own mortality and the limits of my compassion and pain. Back then, I refused to call this darkness, but it stings me when I see it now. I will never need to go back to this dark place, though I will always cherish what I learned from living in it.

Self-portrait 2006 or early 2007.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Talking to Animals

This is Chundo, my mom's weimeraner and this is an homage to a photo by William Wegman, by Kim Gassen.

This is Beau, the late ferret of Vicious Weasel descent.

Chundo again.

Beau and Patchouli circa 2001.

Sifl (aka Szifal); 1/2 Husky, 1/2 Lab (aka Labsky).

Maxine, my cat soulmate, who lives with my mom.

Pele Cottontail, roommate.

Inga, golden retriever, roommate.

Luna, 1/2 Husky, 1/4 Pit Bull, 1/4 Blue Heeler, roommate.

Psymon, roommate.

Once, many moons ago, Shane (my tarot-card-reading-shaman-guy-who-is-also-a-Libra-and-a-gay-boy-with-a-parrot he calls his "familiar"--he doesn't sound real, does he? I miss him...) told me one day I would suddenly realize I could talk to animals. For years I waited for this to happen; for a time, I even lost faith that it would. Lately we've (me, my bf, and my two married roommies Jill and Adam) been having issues with Inga escaping our backyard into my mother's (she lives next door) all day, every day. The SECOND we let the beasts outside, Inga is gone. A few days ago Luna was whimpering and whining. I went outside to check on her and found her attempting frantically to dig under the fence to join Inga perhaps? To prove she could get out too? To run off and explore the town? Whatever her plan, I was NOT having it and I scolded her sternly in my most authoritative voice. I held her gaze with unflinching eye contact for about 45 seconds, telling her with my eyes that she would NOT be escaping our yard. I felt my communication of dominance reverberate through her and I KNEW I could walk back inside without any worry that she would return to her task of disobedience. And I was right. Despite Inga's daily escapes and Luna's loneliness without her, she stays without question. And THIS was that moment Shane had predicted many moons ago. I do not feel that this is a supernatural ability. It is available within us all, should we choose to use it.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The End Of An Era

Today was the big huge liquidation auction for my family's wholesale floral supply business. It was a sad day, but MUCH got carried away (most of the stuff, though the buildings and vehicles are still up for grabs), and MUCH of the work of putting this grand business my grandpa has owned since 1969 to sleep is behind them. Soon my grandpa and grandma can retire officially (though my grandpa will probably get a job, because he's not into being idle), and maybe just relax...perhaps?

Here, you'll see the auction trailer, some chairs and stuff, and the door to Massa on the right.

In the distance (through the massive amounts of boxes of 50+ years of stuff) you can see the Massa truck.

Just before the auction officially began, my grandma pretended to be interested in something one of the auction guys said.

Michael reflecting over his year of service at Massa. Good times.

Me emerging from silk flowers.

Michael surfing a trailer of ribbon.

A view of the basket warehouse.


On the left is a beautiful sandblasted sign my mom made for Massa.

The multitude of boxes you see in these pictures were all in the upstairs (I call it the attic, and am frequently corrected, but it FEELS like an attic; all hot and attic-y) of Massa, and ALL hauled down in the last three days. ALL of it. Done by us (Mom, Mom's bf Steve, Michael, me, Steve's sons Jake and Ben, Papa, Gma, and assorted friends of Ben's).

As you can see, even in the hard times, Michael and I are still super goofy. This is me standing on the Massa truck to take the aerial shot above this one.

Last night I dreamed I was a zombie...this is my impression of that dream.

This is a former employee of Massa, Dave, and his girlfriend.

My wonderful, hardworking, honest, charismatic, loving, vital Grandpa, Jim Allan.