Thursday, June 7, 2012
Dearest friends and loyal readers for whom I know there are still a few - that stat counter never ceases to amaze me!- As it has become abundantly clear I have been a sporadic, at best, blogger over the past year. I tried in vain to keep this going but after six years I think it's time to bid adiu. I probs spelled adiu wrong, but whatevs, but not whatevs. I live in a world now where autocorrect has taken my slanguage and corrected it without asking and correcting it back seems to take more time than just letting autocorrect do it's thing- which honestly is kind of hilarious and at times weirdly sexual, apple people why does everything autocorrect into filth?- so that it actually ends up taking more time to fight against the grain than it does to go with the flow. I have spent the past 32 years doing it as that old dead horse of a song says, My Way, truth be told my way has often not been the smoothest or wisest course of action. Last night while watching a horrible Sandra Bullock movie on Netflix, her character a funny alcoholic forced into rehab is asked by my boyfriend Steve Buschemi, whose playing a drug councilor, Do you deflect everything serious with humor? Sandra had some thinking to do. Well, I've done thinking and I've done work and I've done work and I've done work and I've done work and I've done work and I've made some tough choices this year. I think though they are all in line with me clearing my true path to greatness. That's right I said GREATNESS. I'm through fighting. I'm getting out of my own way, I'm not listening to the inner voices anymore. I'm taking my dragons burning my way out of Quarth and heading straight for Kings Landing. Anyone who says I can't I say, FUCK YOU. And I guess those will be my final parting thoughts: You can to. Grab your dragons and as the great Joseph Campbell said: Follow your bliss. You can do it. We all can. We each have our own purpose and light. Let's put King Joffrey's head on a stake, send that bitch Stannis packing, throw Arya on our dragon's back and DO THIS THING. You can make out with Jon Snow and Robb Stark and pity screw Theon Greyjoy before you do though, that's allowed. I am writing a novel, a book of short stories/creative non fiction essays, and a screenplay. I need to put all my efforts into those things and really follow through and quit distracting myself with smaller time consuming projects. I am a firm believer in verbally articulating goals. This blog has been the most fun fun thing for so long and I've changed and grown so much in the past six years. When I started I honestly just wanted to make my own version of Amy Kellner's amazing now dead blog Teenage Unicorn, which I read obsessively on my bed in Williamsburg Brooklyn while looking outside my window at the projects across the street. This blog has also brought me one of my greatest professional achievements yet, the 2010 Best Music Writing for which I will be forever grateful. In line with that it has also put me in contact with strong amazing women like Ann Powers who I feel so blessed to know, and Daphne Carr whose advice and kindness has helped me more than I could ever say in the past two years. Both were gifts of just getting myself out there on the interwebs and saying what's on my mind. Writing for you has been an honor and a blast. Thanks for letting me share my life, however inane it might have seemed at times. I am a feminist, womanist, transcendentalist, universalist unitarian. I believe in love, the universe, Henry David Thorou, Elizabeth Taylor, Gloria Anzaldua and Rudolph Steiner. I believe in people. And I believe in you.
Monday, April 16, 2012
Sometimes I feel like the world has pole vaulted over me.
An excerpt from Fade Into You:
My grandpa’s from Echo Park. He grew up on Carroll Street, in a rundown apartment. They’d come over from Canada, the part that’s above Washington. They were French, Spanish. The last name changed somewhere along the way. Became Darling. Can’t tell you how exactly but I’ve made up tons of fun stories. Spread them thick around town. It’s a thing do when people ask. But that doesn’t matter anyway because my grandpa’s family never talked about before California. They’d cut that part out like a cancer. We burned the tip like a shoelace, made a hard gnarled new closure so the past won’t unravel.
This I do know, here’s the truth and you’ve got no choice to believe me but I’ll tell you what, I wouldn’t lie about it anyway because I think it’s cool. Were in the social registry. When Junipera Sera and his long lineage of Padre’s took off down the highway of old news and Pio Pico rode into town with his books and architecture my great, great grandfather stood in line to record our shit. We exist. I’ll tell you that.
Alta California, my girl. My woman. Queen. Open your legs and give birth to this dirty nonsense. This muck rucking nest of black magic and flickering film reels. You unforgiving greedy plot of flowers. You empty desert. You cotton ball dipped in sand. My history lies with you. I’ll make hands to that. I’ll spray paint my name across a slip of a boy to claim you. A stocky rod. A silver, shining, sad, eyed boy. Brown. White tube socks in Nike chanclas. Tiny pin pricks up and down his mocha arms. Yellow crust around the outsides of his mouth. Thick tongue trying to moisten up. SGV scarred and scabbed blue into the skin. Old English. Let’s take him. Let’s eat him alive, you and me.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Friday, March 2, 2012
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Apologies for not having blogged in one plus month. I've been writing like a mad person. The mania of a new project has settled on my shoulders and I'm blazing through it at lightning speed. I've started a new novel! My second ever. I think I'm kind of writing the one I've always sort of been dancing around writing and now just was like, fuck it. Male Americana, lets do this. Maybe this can make its way into the world? Who knows, still waiting to hear back on the first. I've also had some writing work deadlines- also very exciting things on the musical horizon- So that's where my head has been and probably will be for some time.
Masculinity! I am in it. I am deep in it. I'm riding the snake that leads to the mystic river. My chariot is Sophocles and my guide is Han Solo. If you love them, desire them, no need to whisper it softly, they know, they're men!
A boy, an actor.
Thebans and thespians.
A man, an archetype.
George Lucas filming American Graffiti.
A mad man.
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Image of Esme taken from http://esmeandyou.tumblr.com/page/2#3
On New Years morning twenty-nine year old Esmeralda ‘Esme’ Barrera was killed after returning home from a New Years Eve party. Esme was a counselor at the Austin Rock Girls Camp, a special needs teaching assistant at a local Austin elementary school, and record store employee at Waterloo Records, a popular Austin record store. Police found her body at 3 am on the 3100 block of King Street, not far from the party she had just attended. In the same small block radius that evening two other women were attacked. According to reports a friend discovered Esme’s body at 2:45 badly injured, she phoned 911 but Esme died shortly after of her injuries. New details are still being released.
On the afternoon of January 2nd I signed into Facebook and saw the news of Esme's death in fellow journalist and friend Jessica Hopper's newsfeed, I looked below her status update and saw that my best friend from college, social worker, music lover and San Antonio native Heather Mockeridge had posted the same link. I opened the story and my heart sank. I knew that at that exact moment another good friend, feminist filmmaker and first wave riot grrl Cathy De La Cruz was on an airplane toward LAX, returning from visiting her family for the Holidays in Texas. I knew that Cathy most certainly was at the very least an acquaintance of Barrera. I also knew from looking at her last Facebook update since leaving Texas that she had not yet heard about the murder.
There is no making sense of Esme’s death. Her tragic passing is, in the words of Hopper, an ‘unfathomable’ loss to her close friends and family, it is a loss as well to the feminist, music community. I did not know Esme, in fact we had never met, but she was as important to my spiritual life as De La Cruz or Mockeridge. Across the country a network of women is mourning Esme, not just for themselves but for the women and girls she inspired, for the work she had yet to do that will not get done and most of all, as a soldier in a small yet growing network of women whose main objective is to elevate girls and women to a position of self empowerment. Women like Ann Powers, Daphne Carr, Erika ‘EMA’ Anderson, Erica Flores, Cathy De La Cruz, Sara Marcus, Tobi Vail, Christene Kings, Margaret Wappler. I mention their names because their names are important. They are just a handful of the hundreds of women who undoubtedly felt an unspoken connection to Esme’s purpose and life. Writer and queer activist Raquel Gutierrez posted that Esme’s senseless death reminded her of another tragic loss almost twenty years earlier; Mia Zapata of the punk band The Gits, who was also killed walking home. The get home safe project, Home Alive, which advocated women learning self-defense was created in the aftermath of her death. Gutierrez noted that ‘Rad women shouldn’t die before their time. Period.’ Someone else made an insightful comment underneath speaking to the self-defense classes Home Alive encouraged, “This is tragic. Self-defense classes yes, but another kind of self-defense: making sure children are raised to respect women on all levels.”
The fact that Esme died in a manner which she was working to eradicate, and almost twenty years after the death of Zapata, in an almost identical scenario is a chilling reminder of exactly how important the work that Esme and the community she belonged to is doing. If only her life could have been spared. Her death was useless. Her life was necessary. My heart goes out to her family and friends.
To make a contribution to help pay for funeral expenses for Esme’s family click here. http://forouresmeb.blogspot.com/