"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are."
- Anais Nin
It's time again for another episode of Heathervescent's wall of sound. Yes, I will be playing music that puts you out of this world for 3 hours - Wednesday night. Since I am in Boston, I'll be broadcasting from my cushy hotel room near Fanueal Hall. Maybe I'll eat a Boston Cream Pie on air. I'll most certainly have some Boston Baked Beans. Who knows? You'll have to tune in to find out. I'll be playing my standard pacific coast time set - 8pm to 11pm (which is 11pm to 2am Boston time) - Hey, who says I have to be rested for these business meetings?
Anyway, tune in here!
I can't help it. I'm a moth to a flame. I am in love with the earth and it's bare elements. I was going to write that Fire is my favorite, but it's not. I love the ocean, the wind and getting the earth in every pore. However fire brings out something wild in me. It is a drug and brings me - takes me - to another place. A place where I feel the need to build up the fire and then release it. Sometimes that comes by mere tending the fire, coaxing flames from hot coals. Other times it's dumping pallet upon pallet into an already roasting flame. More often than naught, it includes exploding certain flammables. If you ever hear me yell, "Fire in the Hole" you will want to get away from the fire as fast as possible. Recently I've been branching out to other metals that burn bright. A friend recently presented me with at 2 ft brick of magnesium.
This past weekend, out in the desert with about 50 of my best friends, I put that brick into a hot fire. About 30 to 45 minutes later, we saw green pools of light (through the welding glasses). 15 minutes later, the fire was ablaze. The photographs that were subsequently taken did not need a flash.
Then someone had the great idea to pour water on the fire. So we started making water balloons. Someone handed me a water bottle and an idea flashed into my fire soaked brain. I remembered how fire spitters blow fuel out of their mouth to create flames. I have always wanted to do that, but have yet to learn. But here I was, water bottle in hand, with the primary objective of putting water on the magnesium! What better way to spray the fire?
Ranger Rugburn. Note the people shielding their faces in the background. And
yes, I am wearing a white ball gown. And no, no flash was used to take this
photo. Thanks to Jetfuel for the, well, fuel.
ps. Mom, don't worry, I didn't get burned. But I do kind of feel like G-d now. ;)
pps. ha ha Rob Brezsny!
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Lightning strikes somewhere on the earth
6,000 times every minute. A single bolt may carry a million volts and
reach a temperature of 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit. If this elemental force
could be tamed and utilized, it would provide enough energy to raise a
cruise ship six feet in the air. While you won't be able to literally harness a
lightning bolt in the coming week, Aquarius, you could accomplish the
metaphorical equivalent. At least temporarily, you have an uncanny talent
for mobilizing tremendous power that's normally too hot to handle.
Halloween costume suggestion: a relaxed, smiling lightning bolt.
It's Halloween and of course my blog is full of Aeon Flux costume search hits. I know, you guys want to see me in Aeon Flux pictures and the girls want patterns. Well let me help you out.
2. On the costume
First we must realize that Aeon Flux is drawn. She does not exist in 3D space. She is a style. A persona. A character. A caricature. A possibility. A dream come animated reality. So girls, first off, give up on being an Aeon like before. Aeon is well... aeon and constantly flux. That is the point.
What can you pull off? Do you need a wig? Breast implants? Do you have 6 pack abs? If not, so what? Pick the look you want. Aeon has many. You don't have to be a stripper to be Aeon.
It's not just about liquid latex. Or vinyl. You don't have to suffer to be Aeon. I had my costume made out of black crushed velvet. I wanted one that I could wear without showing everything (and staying warm), so I picked the high neck and full arm. Don't feel like you have to exact - it's about expressing and being the essence - not a clone.
One more note: get professional help. I had a seamstress/pattern-maker make my costume and it was well worth the $200!
Let's get real. Aeon's hair twists are crazier than Princess Leah's donuts. Don't think you can get those? Well don't worry. I've seen people go the wig route, but those always look too big and bulky. Here's what I've done. If you have a graduated bob style it brushed forward. Don't worry about the curls yet. Get a wig or some hair. Form it into long curled hair pieces. These will attach to your head around the ear or the ends of your hair, depending on how strong they are.
Take a 3 to 5 inch piece of hair, spray it with some strong hair spray or other setting glue like substance, wrap it around a can and let it set. Have some slightly sticky hair gel or pomade to "attach" the hairpiece. Style the rest of your hair and put your make up on. Then start with the hairpiece attachment. It might take a few tries and different hair products so be sure to practice before the big night.
Aeon is a double agent. She's a confident trickster with her own agenda. She'll kick your ass and has a deus ex machina in her boot. That doesn't stop her from getting killed over and over. These seemingly conflicting characteristics make aeon Aeon.
Boots are key to give the allusion of height and length. Even if you are 6ft get yourself some platform stilettos. Frederick's of Hollywood has some good mail order ones. Or if you live in LA go down to Hollywood Blvd and hit up the stripper stores. If you're not in Los Angeles, a stripper store should have a good selection.
Final Accessories: Fishnets, Laser Gun and a Podbelt
Under the boots I suggest fishnets. If you go the more revealing costume route, you might want to get an fishnet body suit with full arms and wear gloves and neck choker.
I also suggest a podbelt from my good friend Isa.
And girls remember. Guys only think they want you to show it all. Leave a little to the imagination and get a good laser gun.
I left the party and hiked up a wide wash to the base of a small mountain. At the furthermost tip a pile of crumbling rock surveys the view. I rest here, like a hawk, the west wind screaming down my chest. I feel it pierce every fiber. The sun is hot, the wind wild, but I am not cold.
Directly in front of me is our motley camp. A collection of vehicles, tents, shade structures and fire-making devices. It is a tiny speck on the edge of the dry lake. Ominous rocky mountains surround, secure and hide the place, the huge space. Scrub grows in the wide washes, until nothing grows demarking the edge of the lake. Off-white smooth flat for miles.
I find a wide crack between the rocks. There is both sun and shade. Cool rock and hot stone. I set down my pack and lean back, face the wind and look out onto the landscape.
I love the desert. Its rough mountains raising out of rocky washes. I love the angle landscape and the tricks it plays with my mind. Twisting my perception into another reality - a new possibility. The wind has silenced me and yet caresses my body. I am a small being in a vast desert. A pair of eyes looking out from a crack in the rock.
My mind wanders as I turn my view east. The mountains open onto a vast plain that is not playa. Do not make the mistake and think it is level. The desert is full of anglepoise plains that do nothing but twist your perception upside down. I see myself as a tiny self-contained being, wedged between rocks. Similar to this neural net Mez writes about. I've just finished reading Hyperion again, so Brawne's story is fresh in my mind. And the possibilities of enhanced brains with tiny nanotechnology nets that settle in our brainspaces. Kind of like my nestle between these two rocks.
There are no words for the ideas that pour out of the silence of the desert. Only the audacity to make them real in some future reality.
"I thought I knew how to love. Don Juan said, 'How could you? They
never taught you about love. They taught you how to seduce, to envy,
to hate. You don't even love yourself- otherwise you wouldn't have
put your body through such barbarities. You don't have the guts to
love like a sorcerer. Could you love forever, beyond death? Without
the slightest reinforcement-nothing in return? Could you love without
investment, for the piss of it? You'll never know what it's like to
love like that, relentlessly. Do you really want to die without
- Bruce Wagner
I'm never going to have a house for all time. More than ten years ago I looked at a house in upstate NY. An old Victorian thing with formal rooms, big columns in front, redwood planks buried behind plaster and lathe, a row of lilac bushes in full bloom their purple and purple fragrance bobbing in the spring breeze. That was a house for all time.
I've always dreamt of a huge house, rooms filled with eclectic furniture. Always ready to come home to. A place to keep my various projects. My monkey and horse and magic oak tree out front. (Yes, ok, I was seriously influenced by Pippi Longstocking.) A place called home. That would never change, nor go away, even when I might.
I've found many a home, bought it, moved in, made it beautiful, lived in it a relatively short time, and inevitably moved on. Passing the home onto another set of hands in better condition than when I acquired it. I'm doing it again.
A little over a year ago, I bought a house with a friend We found a house and bought it and lived together. We delighted having tricked time and held parties deep into the future.
But the future is a tricky subject. And life often gives you turns and twists. They say the future is much like the present, only longer. But that is not exactly true. The future does not go on inevitably, it ends. My friend was called away and I got a boyfriend whose first words (after I told him I lived in the future) were a trickster's taunt on putting the future behind us. I knew he would tear me from the future, eventually. Well, eventually is no longer the future, it's today.
And soon, the future will be the past. It will be one short chapter in the life of heathervescent. I can quip, well, I've been to the future, I lived in the future, I used to own the future, the future is now in my past. And when the future, is no longer a concept of time unfurling in front of you, and merely a construct of an object in the past, then what?
Will I be destined to merely live in the present? Or will some other possibility present itself. . .
I was making a list - an assessment of my life a few days ago. I felt like I had lost the spark of activity, although I'm in the midst of many activities. I wondered what my goals in life were, what I was doing and where I was going. I had one goal for 2006 and I hit that in May. So now what?
As I made my list, I asked myself the question: "Am I satisfied?"
Being satisfied doesn't mean that I have completed all my projects or that they are necessarily successful; it means am I happy and satisfied with my life. And I was - am.
This is a shocking realization for me. I've never thought about or actively observed myself being satisfied. It's always been about improving, learning more, or different things or actively reaching for the farthest point on the horizon and working to hit it.
But I'm sitting here, on this plateau, or mountain top, or wide desert valley, and I know I can hit any horizon point I dare look at. But I like it here. I've worked hard to get here. And there are plenty of things to do. But I think I can stop shooting for the moon for a while. Because, I'm finally standing on it. And I just found the plans to build a landing module.
If mass media is media reaching a large audience (perhaps the largest audience) then what is the opposite? The theatrical performance for one for Bron on Triton? Performance for an audience of 1?
I've found myself doing a fair amount of performance or activities for audiences recently. I don't do these events to hit a mass market or get a large audience. In traditional measurements of success, popularity = success = idea validation.
But not so, necessarily.
I didn't expect Hollaback Thriller to become a traveling troupe of zombie cheerleader/bananas. But we're doing our third show this week.
Then there's my radio show. I rarely have more than 15 listeners. (I know, I can see their IP addresses.) I'm fine with that. I don't do the show to have the most listeners. Hell, it's an INTERNET radio station with no distribution to satellite or radio towers. I had a bigger audience when I did 5 second breaks at 3am in Iowa. But instead of playing the programming, now I play what I want. (Which I think is the most innovative new music out there, thank you very much gybo.org.)
I don't expect my expressions to be fit for more than a crumb-sized audience. I don't do it for the audience. I do it for the idea. To express the idea. The idea doesn't care about the audience. It wants expression. And so, I'll do my best, with even an audience of 1.
I know this ad is for a pharmaceutical company, but beyond that, I echo the sentiment. Have you abandoned your dreams? Do you know what they are? Are you living them? Why not? (And why hasn't a pharmaceutical company created a drug to stop being afraid of living your life and start risking it to live the life you dream of?)
A real blast from the past here:
"Young hothead suggests it one time, then in subsequent practice said
hothead makes suggestions and abruptly leaves; we decide to pursue
hothead's suggestions in her absence as a sort of not doing. We found
out she's essential to the group."
It's interesting to find this again after all these years. And to see the essence in the absence... again.
So LA Decom was this weekend. I had never attended a decom before because I really see no reason to try to re-live the burning man lifestyle in real life. I'm not one of these people that tries to turn burning man into this year long lifestyle.
But some friends got talked into doing some interesting things and I agreed to organize Theory Radio broadcasting live in addition to reprising Hollaback Thriller on stage. Decom was really like the playa. And not in a good way. It took 4 hours to get everything set up and then the Internet connectivity didn't work. (We planned to broadcast the event so we needed the connectivity.)
Then we switched over to wireless and got going. About 20 minutes later the huge sound system set up across the street from us started blasting music so loud that my colleague and I had to yell at each other to have a conversation even though we were standing next to each other. Then there was the drama of moving everything. More connectivity issues. It was like living in a third world country.
Then when we're on stage ready to perform Hollaback Thriller the music never started. (Apparently the CD could not be read.) It didn't help that I experienced the day on I had 3 1/2 hours of sleep and little food.
Once they opened the door, the freaks came in. I don't really want to look at women's asses hanging out of your tight bikini boy shorts, and if I want to see a pole routine, I know where to go, thank you very much.
There were some good times. It was fun to make weird hot dogs for the hot dog glory hole, experience puppet karaoke, make fun of people on the radio and give people whipped cream "in the mouth". But you know what? I don't think it was worth it. I realized I really do have candy raver rage. I don't like fake fur. And I really don't want to see your naked ass, apron man.
I'm glad burning man exists, but the power in it, is that it's not everyday. Or even twice a year. Or maybe, I'm just a bit more private in my yearly expression. I don't know.
I remember the first computer I ever used. I was in 4th grade and there was Apple2 tucked away on a rolling cart in the corner. Occasionally we would get computer privileges if we wanted. Even then, I always wanted to be on it. But once on the computer, there wasn't much to do. I could write, but I didn't have much to say. I could do my math homework, but I wanted to have fun. (Math wasn't so much fun to me at that time.) A classmate had a computer at home and he would bring in and show me programs he created. He showed me a little bit of programming (I realize in retrospect) and offered to teach me. I learned as much as I could with my 4th grade brain and the tiny bit of computer time available to us. The next year I moved up in the system and none of my teachers had computers in their rooms and I got sucked into alliteration, onomatopoeia, assonance and other poetic techniques. The apple had been forgotten.
Enter summer school. I have no idea how it happened, but before I went into high school, my mom enrolled me in a summer computer class - which was basically an entry level programming course. We had those tiny black and amber or green IBM screens with the huge floppy discs and our teacher proceeded to teach us programming concepts. The whole if/then statement and how you write so the computer understands you and executes what you want.
We wrote a program and tweaked it for our personal interests. It was a simple concept, you typed some commands into the computer and it would say something back and then launch a game depending on what you typed back. Or something like that. It wasn't very big, it had to fit on those big 5.25 floppy disks.
I remember my excitement of being able to take the floppy home with me to show my mom my project, but we didn't have a computer a home so my cool project because a dusty black floppy on my bookshelf.
These are my first two memories of computers. I've been passionate about learning and using them ever since. I didn't go on to be a programmer. I skirted the fine line of translators. Those able to understand technology in it's native language and translate it into the genre-speak of a particular audience.
I've always been a PC person. I rebelled against the "macs are for creative types" and got a thinkpad. I'm most certainly not going to adhere to someone's marketing campaign to express my creativity. So I shunned the silicon valley hardware manufacturer out of my principle of the opposite.
But that's all changed. Because a few days ago, I bought my first Mac. It's a black powerbook and the exterior rivals my matte thinkpad. I hate the touchpad and am forced to use it and the keys are a bit awkward, but for the most part I am getting along. I miss the little red mouse pointer button on my thinkpad (that is my favorite feature). But I dig some of the meta/individual organization techniques. The built in iSight is cool, but the quality is less than average.
The main reason I decided to get the Mac is Video. There is so much and much is done on a Mac. Plus it's about time I do my own cross-platform QA testing for projects and sites. So there. I've come to the dark side. But I don't expect to put down my IBM anytime soon. Oh yeah, this entire post was written on the new macbook.
"The words of the world want to make sentences... a paratactic linking of scattered fragments of lost sound, acoustic aberrations and apocrypha: vintage/modern electronica, progressive trance, soundscape/soundtrack, acoustic ephemera"
If you missed the midnight show this weekend, don't worry, we have it on video. Do you dare to watch zombie cheerleaders, dancing zombie bananas and a lead singer called Gwenchael Jackfani dance to one of my favorite mashed songs Hollaback Thriller Girl by DJ Schmolli?
Well, just hit play. Yes, another heathervescent dream come true. Thanks to everyone who was part of it!
oh, if you missed it, we're planning some reprises - first one at LA Decom this weekend, and later this month at a club in Hollywood. Details will be coming!
If ye love wealth better than liberty, the
tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom,
go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down
and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon
you, and may posterity forget ye were our countrymen.
-- Samuel Adams
Did you exchange your walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage? Do you have the guts to call yourself American? Do you fight for freedom, or prefer complacent consumerism?
Just some light questions to start off Monday morning. ;)
If you were at the echo last night and saw the midnight mashup show of Gwenchael Jackfani and the Hollaback Zombies then you know it was a smashing success. The bananas blew the crowd away. We've got photos and video, but give me a moment to recover and get it posted. YouTube, here I come. Thanks to everyone who came out for the support - and thanks to A+D for running a kick ass club night. xoxox
"Jung once told me that he thought the dream was always going on in the unconscious, but that it usually needs sleep and the complete cessation of attention to outer things for it to register in consciousness at all. As a rule, the first step in active imagination is to learn, so to speak, to see or hear the dream while awake."
Reminded via RS.
To persuade someone of something you have to start small. Big changes take time and they happen step by step, moment by moment. You'll plant the seed. But then it must take root and become part of the new. Take an innovative idea. You can talk and show and display all you want. You may not persuade them to see your point of view in one meeting. But they'll leave with the seed planted. The next time you meet, the seed may have taken root. It may grow in a new direction. That's even better than you expected.
And then there are the days when I don't care about persuading. I have no patience for those who can't keep up with my thinking, extrapolation and the "right" way to do things. Those are the days I want to dump. Those are the days I question my existence. Or start wondering if being aware and paying attention are all they're cracked up to be. If I am so obviously enlightened, then why am I irritated? Why do I care? Why can't I find a method for these dunce-heads to see the light? And then that leads me to, well, there is probably more to learn.
Or maybe when I feel like this, I should go do something to take my mind off these irritations. Even the Dali Lama retreats to fix clocks occasionally.
Not from this weekend, but it might as well have been.
Let's just say, that heather once again forgets she has limits and blew right past them in her paramnesia. Sometimes the line between reality and non-reality is blurred - especially out in the desert.
Photos by Kmo.