GOODBYE TO ALL THAT

June 4, 2009

News: I have gone official regarding teh internets. This means DOT COM WEBSITE dudes. No more of this stuff. (It’s actually not as core as all that because I’m using WordPress as a CMS, but hey, if you don’t know what that even means, it’s cool. It means “I’m really good at the internet.” Shhh. And if you do know what that means, don’t tell everybody else because I still aim to impress.) 

 

So, from now on: www.fruitofthesea.com is where you get your daily delicious dose of my totes mamazing mind’s thoughts about shit and stuff and fucking cool shit and stuff. 

 

Bye, blog. I got a website now.

OH SNAP? NO SNAP.

May 27, 2009

What’s that in the air? It’s not swine flu, it’s WEB DESIGN FEVER. Not only does this mean that I developed the totes official GAY SCIENCE website this long Memorial Day weekend, but I’m also hard at work on my own most legit website, which will not only include all of the archived posts from this blog, but also some film projects I’ve done, and a list of all the kind magazines that have published my poems, and news from my summertime ambition to watch all of the films in the Criterion Collection. So, I’m telling you this because nothing new is going to be going on around here, and even if you only read my blog to re-read my doubtlessly well-written posts about manicures, you should re-read them on the new and very official actual DOT COM website I have going on over at fruitofthesea.com OKAY?

Okay. Yes. Permanent re-direct starts NOW.

when he said that the waiting is the hardest part. Dude, I know. But the waiting is pretty much over. I received the last rejection from the various residencies I applied to, and instead of being all oh cruel world about getting dissed across the board, I was just kind of glad about making it through the Uncertainty Period and arriving, blissfully exhausted, on summer’s doorstep.

Because I love summer, even though I don’t always admit it. I don’t always admit it because I consider summer a big season of self-improvement, the way some people see January 1. I don’t think I would have developed this weird expect-a-makeover-miracle attitude if I hadn’t spent most of my life in school. In high school especially I would spend the summer plotting my rise to popularity by trying to lose weight and attempting to become cooler through many small adjustments and studied aspirational research in fashion magazines. And then August would roll around, seldom bringing any of the visible changes I pined for, which is why I kind of hate summer, too.

But oops, nothing has changed. This summer my big plans include learning everything I can about electronic music, watching the entire Criterion Collection (or at least the portion they have at I Luv Video, which is a little more manageable than the 800-something films included in the whole collection), and working out every day. Plus all kinds of aspirational fun (making art movies! dancing! developing impenetrable inside jokes with friends!), you know, the kind of fun you can envision very clearly but only as a fuzzy montage based on wacky times montages from ’80s movies. Or am I the only one who does that? Okay.

Anyway, the point is that now that graduation is over, I’m finally feeling excited about all of this stuff. I was secretly depressed most of last semester. I say “secret” because I didn’t want to admit for some reason that I was struggling with such predictable emotions. I felt like the bloom was off the rose. I felt like everything I was doing was less good than the stuff I had made before. Silly nonsense, but not completely unreasonable since I’ve watched friends deal with this same sense of let-down after the Michener gravy train pulled into Graduation Station. But it isn’t so bad in Graduation Station, because all of these people show up to remind you about what was so great about you. And do you know what I say to that? I say YES. I say BRING ON THE FUTURE.

First of all, where have I been? I’ve been over here at the Gay Science blog. Gay Science is my band, in which I do many things, including sing, play trombone, rap, and sing in Portuguese, and my friend Anthony also does many things, including sing, make music with math + sequencers, rap, and sing in Portuguese while also understanding what he’s singing in Portuguese because he’s going to be a doctor of that shit someday. We decided to up the regularity of our posts like crazy in a bid to get an actual blog readership. No word yet on how well that’s working out. Anyway, most of my blogging energy has gone to that project, and big fucking thanks modern world for making me write that sentence. Gross.

In other news, I’m still into nails. I started with pearlescent yellow but immediately moved into the hard shit: safety orange. Safety orange got me a lot of notice and compliments, but I foolishly went for pinkish red as the follow-up, and then I got sick of going to Funny Nails in the basement of the Dobie Mall (those of you who know Austin know the prolific sadness of the Dobie Mall, and can accurately imagine the extra sadness of its basement, and for those of you who don’t know Austin, it’s a mall below a teal highrise dormitory with a food court, an Army recruitment center, a tanning parlor called “Tan It All,” and Funny Nails). Sure, it only costs ten dollars to get your nails done at Funny Nails. But maybe it should cost more than that, you know? Also, the last time I went, the dude chastised me for smoking so much. But maybe he was right, because my right index finger is a mess o’ tobacco stain. Anyway. I invested in a cuticle shaper and a cuticle nipper and some topcoat so I can do my nails at home now. Last week I painted them coral to match my one pair of high heels (P.S. I’m trying to learn how to walk in high heels based on an abortive attempt to audition for America’s Next Top Model, more on that some other time) which are coral. This week they’re bright yellow, which is nice except I suspect it will succumb quickly to the inevitable nicotine staining. I’ll probably try to do something special for graduation next week, like etch James Michener’s likeness into them.

Speaking of which, graduation is next week. I am basically right now a MASTER OF FINE ARTS. Let that sink in for a minute. It still hasn’t hit me, and the future is scary and uncertain. I’m waiting to hear back from residencies I’ve applied for. They say “no news is good news,” but in my case I think that probably means it’s only good news for the makers of Bulleit Bourbon. Until I know what happens to me next year, please don’t ask me what I have planned for next year. I have no plans for next year. Except punching you in the throat if you keep asking me about my plans, which do not as of yet exist.

shaker

Except for WORKING IT, which I plan to do every day.

The motto for 2009: GRIND TO SHINE.

OMG, Max Tundra. I don’t know why it took me two extra weeks to get all enamored, but that happens sometimes. Probably because I get suspicious of ten minute long songs, even when they end up being really good. Good thing he’s playing nineteen hundred some times at SXSW next week. At this rate, by the end of the week I’ll probably run into him at Fresh Plus buying carrots to juice at his crash pad. Don’t ask me why I think Tundra drinks carrots. Sometimes I just know stuff.

Also, not completely related, but I want to know how I can become David Shrigley. He is a wise man. But it seems like, as much as it’s awesome that he ended up getting 39 bands to make songs out of his fake lyrics (WORRIED NOODLES, DO IT), and he makes stuff that people like so much they get it tattooed on their bodies, he could have just as easily ended up being the requisite coffee shop weirdo who hangs out solid through from open to close drawing in a befouled notebook and sustaining weirdly intimate relationships with the lady baristas and claiming that he has heart attacks but can control them with his mind. You know? But I’m glad it turned out right for you, Shrigley. You’re probably way more normal than I’m giving you credit for.

NOT THAT YOU ASKED or anything, but WORRIED NOODLES is kind of sprawly, and I think it would make a better one-disc record than two-disc behemoth. So, in that spirit, here’s my trimmed track list suggestion:

WORRIED NODES

1. Live in Fear

2. I Saw Gold

3. No

4. The Hole

5. Elaine

6. A Truce

7. The Film

8. A Song

9. Maybe

SAY YEH

March 6, 2009

It’s so cool that you guys are too cool to get friended by bands on myspace. Really, I get it, because I’m too cool to get friended by bands on myspace too. Maybe if Austin’s myriad chug rockers hadn’t abused the privilege of trying to friend me I would already know most of the local minstrels. But I don’t, and neither do you. So the point is, GAY SCIENCE has its myspace game in gear (DO IT, BE OUR FRIEND) and you should befriend us, if only so you can be made aware of the next occasion of our bringing it, prepositions and all. I don’t tile animated rainbow gifs of equations for just anybody. Show some respect.

From what I can figure out, the deal with West Texas is that you could die at any time. If you had the misfortune of blowing out a tire, running out of potable water, and mistaking the shimmer on the horizon for anything other than a mirage, you would be fucked. They would find your truck days later parked on the shoulder of I-10 and mutter something about how Cormac McCarthy was right.

And don’t get me wrong, Cormac McCarthy is kind of right. Yesterday driving through Big Bend National Park after a hike through the Santa Elena canyon, we noticed how much the cottonwoods in the Rio Grande’s floodplain resembled a certain gory chapter of Blood Meridian (tree full of babies, anyone? I realize this referent may seem obscure to some, but those who have read Blood Meridian know what I’m saying about). I mean, that and all the white pickups abandoned next to I-10. I think I saw five today on the drive back, not kidding.

But my point is that West Texas is supposed to scare you a little. You’re supposed to go into survival mode. The fact that your cell phone doesn’t work out there is supposed to be terrifying. But as much as there is some scary, I didn’t feel the full measure of it, maybe because my cell phone doesn’t work at my parents’ house, and they don’t live in some kind of rural gothic wasteland. Was it a coincidence that they chose to film the adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road” in Greene and Fayette Counties, where I grew up? Okay, maybe it is a rural gothic wasteland. But like, that’s not so bad. 

I’m not saying this to be all IM TOO COOL FOR WEST TEXAS because it’s obviously a whole different matrix of rustic out there, and they got scorpions and different snakes and shit. I only make the comparison because during the trip out to Terlingua all of my friends and travel companions wondered, “Wow, what would it be like to grow up here? How would you turn out if you grew up here?” and I was all UM I DONT KNOW. MAYBE YOUD JUST BE LIKE A REGULAR PERSON? EVENTUALLY? I didn’t talk a whole lot about it because 1) I’m afraid I talk too much about my ambivalent relationship to the Appalachian foothills as it is and 2) I get the sense that I’ve done too good a job seeming un-country, and so now it’s hard to believe that, growing up in a place like that, you could turn out to be a ceviche-making bangs-having sasspants. Or, you know, not.

I’m non-legit sleepy in that way you get after being in a car for too long, so I’m going to have to save everything else about West Texas for tomorrow, including getting ferrets and freestyle hiking. I hope you can wait. Because you know, you could die out there.

GOOD THINGS ABOUT TODAY

February 26, 2009

+This really overwhelmingly large collection of Ecclectic Soul compilations. Really, who are these people, and where did they find these records? I bought the “Deep City Label” disc today, but really could only make the decision because the album cover has a picture of the Incredible Marching 100 band, and I’ve been psyched about brass bands since Sunday, when I saw the Hot 8 Brass Band, an occasion so good it could almost carry over past the two intervening days and count as one of the good things about today.

+ Eighty degrees in the city. Come on. Except eighty degree days don’t happen without more allergins, and I was all sleepy today thanks to Sudafed and the general feeling that my head was in a box. Or was a box. 

+ Overheard somebody in the Calhoun stairwell whistling “Misty.”

+ Okay, I’ve been holding out a little–the real good news today is that my poetry manuscript is a semifinalist for the Walt Whitman prize. WHAT? WHAT? WHAT? Too bad this Sudafed is keeping me so calm, because otherwise I could go on a tear right now, I’m so happy.

+ As a result, I treated myself to a copy of “The Art of Eating,” which is basically all of the gastronomy essays ever written by M.F.K. Fisher, who happens not only to be a witty food writer but also a master prose stylist. 

+The manicure (see previous post) makes it five times more fun to send texts or manipulate any stylish hand-held electronic device. NAILS YES.

+ Bat City is going to establish an editorial fellowship for recently graduated Michener Fellows starting this year. What this means, basically, is that I have a sterling backup plan in case all the other things I’ve applied for don’t work out.

+ Joshua Beckman reading, friends, poetry. Poetry!

+ Just feeling fancy.

STAND BACK, STAND BACK

February 24, 2009

 

NAILS YES

NAILS YES

 

 

Today: first ever meeting of the Nail Club. Lauren and I talked about shoes, beds, the icy fortress of solitude, and my claws were lathed down to manageable lady hands. I had never before had a manicure, and admittedly didn’t get the big to do about them. Like, nails are fine, whatever. But there’s something about attaining a certain level of grooming that makes you look at your stressful anxiety shit and be all, “Fuck that. You won’t get the best of me. Have you seen my hands? They look REALLY NICE.” 

Which is maybe why the nail salon posters are so fanciful. That sentiment, I think, is the driving force of this nail poster (which I tried tried tried to find a downloadable version of,* just follow the link, trust me, it is going to fix your day). It’s like, NAILS YES. RAINBOWS. GET MONEY. WORK. You can visit the original at Funny Fingers on the first floor of the Dobie Mall. Where manicures cost ten dollars. Also, it’s where the Nail Club meets. 

Also, if you missed the GAY SCIENCE show on Saturday, well, that’s a real shame. But not too much of a shame because it will not be the only time. And I’m going to keep adding feathers to that headdress until my head is so much heavier than the rest of me that I fall over adorably, like a kitten. And the jams, they just won’t stop. Neither will the face paint. Nor the headdress.

* Searching teh internet for nail salon posters is a quick introduction to the pathology of nail madness. Search for “nail salon poster,” you get little of interest. Search for “crazy nail salon poster,” you get nothing. But search for “nail art poster” and you get EVERYTHING, including amazing gems like this one: nailflies

Yes, nails, yes.

LOVE IN THIS CLUB

February 20, 2009

Time to be fancy: Gay Science debut show tomorrow, 2701 Willow Street, starting whenever we happen to get started, it’s a motherfucking party so just come and hang out for a while, why don’t you? It’s also the birthday of a sweet dog named Ivan, who is holding down a top-five place in my friends’ dogs hot chart. You need this. There will be a cover of what is probably your favorite song ever if you have really good taste, three new songs that will eclipse the aforementioned song as your favorite if you continue to have really good taste, and a totally all new rap song that has some stuff about sexy nurses and olfactory excitement and baseball bats. I am going to demo my eye makeup right now. WORK.

 

Also, just for your Friday reading pleasure, a gchat conversation between myself and Adam Atkinson, AKA Best Boy Ever:

 

Adam: hey i am invisible

but not TO YOU

me: HELLO!

Adam: HELLO I AM A GHOST OF GMAIL

me: SHHH I THINK THERE IS A GHOST IN HERE

Adam: OH OKAY

me: SHHH

Adam: DAMN

SORRY

 me:  I JUST HEARD SOMETHING
DID YOU JUST HEAR SOMETHING?
 
Adam:  YEAH
 me:  AHHH THERE IT WAS AGAIN