DCWEEK = Burning Man + SXSW

No time for a post, having too much fun with DC’s chic geeks, need a nap.  Most of my musings will be found at the DCWEEK blog.  For now, here are a few curiosities from last night’s Opening Party.

A Dot Original DCW Shirt & A Painting Of The Metro

Curious Pedicab Barbie Wall

Wall Art

Key Wall

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Why Sex & The City Is Good For Women: As Written By Someone Who Pretty Much Hates The Show

“I must have hit her pretty close to the mark to get her all riled up like that” – Han Solo

Ah SITC, no series besides the Jersey Shore probably gets more people riled up, opinionated or able to lie about their viewing habits like this one.  People actually take time to brag and pride themselves on NOT watching it. Others attempt to emulate it, its most loyal followers are complete addicts and most of us who might catch an ep late night like to deny that we are somewhat intrigued by the lives of these fictional characters, that YES, have NO BASIS in reality.  I’ve got my own series to get back to work on tonight, but as I cleaned up after my Memorial Day never-ending backporch High-life-a-thon with fellow local writer Mike Ryan, I thought about the hatred I read last week from Dana Stevens regarding the newest installment of HBO’s controversial commercial golden ticket.  Cos-playing math geeks have their Star Wars and BSG and now cheerleaders and heel-wearers have SITC, everybody chill.

Yeah thats right, I said it, Sex & The City is the same as Star Wars.  Or Harry Potter, or Twilight or LOST or any other completely fictional commercial product.  I say this as an attendee of both runway shows, sporting events and comic book conventions as I’m a bit of a culture junkie, and I also say this staring at my stuffed Storm Trooper beanie baby that sits perched next to my Dwight Shrude bobble head. So don’t go thinkin’ I’m some huge fan or that I know everything about the show, because I don’t.  What intrigues me is how sexist it is to criticize this series and the films for being anti-feminist just because they are superficial, self-indulgent or pointless.

Why isn’t women’s entertainment allowed to be just as dumb and pointless as men’s?  Why are we supposed to raise the intellectual bar every time we open our mouths or walk on screen?  I love me some Kate Hepburn, Tina Fey or Whoopie but really?  Its Kim Cattrall for God’s sake, her last hit was Mannequin (ironically enough) and you would think she is supposed to win the peace prize for curing Cancer with her role as Samantha rather than just make us laugh.  The sexpot is an ancient archetype, and deny it all you want, she’s pretty funny.

"You get married and hope for the best. If it doesn't work out you'll get divorced. You can take tap with Bojangles over here."

As I picked up empties, or in my case, “floaters” and cleaned out my grill, I thought about the hatred for SITC and how its mere existence marks the apocalypse and the decline of western civilization.  Whew.  As I finished up a few art projects and did the laundry I chuckled thinking of how many, HOW MANY, main stream tv shows or box office films are so remarkably superficial and moronic.  I mean Avatar, really? Men blow shit up while hot women try to play mother protector and this is considered innovative just because its pretty to look at?  Jim Cameron meets Jim Henson for “Terminator: Escape From Muppet Island in 3-D”!

I mean “The Man Show” had a cheerleaders jumping on a trampoline for its opening credits, but was considered satirical as is Howard Stern, another NY pop culture icon.  Hell part of why the chicks on that show are the way they are is because they live in New York, where everyone’s crazy anyways.  Most network sitcoms still revolve around the “hot wife dumpy husband” Honeymooners construct and generate no press, but make a show where the only thing elevating the women is their heel height and salaries and we demonize it for being an “abyss of material excess and spiritual loneliness”.  No fair.

The best part is journalists and bloggers who give SITC the city hell, which has got to reflect some inner jealousy of Ms. Bradshaw’s career and effortless fame.  I myself spent many years quietly rolling my eyes at the hen parties in the break room that inevitably discussing the show, but as the hated has swelled a part of me wonders what the fuss is really all about.  I live in DC, where everyone’s going to save the world, or quite literally die trying, so when I decide to gnaw on the comedic cud that is SITC its because its nice to watch people who don’t care about anything but themselves, and its actually kinda liberating.

And oh yeah, not only do we malign the characters, but the actresses who have brought these scripts to life.  Like these A-listers are the first to see the virtual end of a photoshop brush or the smudge tool?  If the hags in Aerosmith, the Rolling Stones or The E St Band get together and relive their Glory Days its considered “legendary”, but when four women in their late 40s and 50s get touched up and joke about sex its pathetic and shallow?

Theres only one man here who's hair has not been dyed, and even that is questionable.

Now sure, there are basically no roles for minorities on this show. This sucks, period the end and I wish they could have done something to fix it, but its moot and I halfway give them credit for not trying to bandage this up in the movies. SITC is not intended to be some existential journey into Jungian self-actualization either. Nor is it John Adams or Band of Brothers.  Getting mad at this show and its motion picture offspring is like getting upset that your Us Weekly isn’t The Atlantic Monthly.

Is there a part of me that wishes that shows like Its Always Sunny or Treme or Freaks & Geeks or even My Life As Liz (which is a great show) had the fanship that Sex does? Sure.  But I don’t blame it for its success, and neither should Trekkies, Twihards, UFC/WWE Fans, MSN Fans or dorks like me who wish they’d bring back Firefly.  If you have ever dressed up like, bought anything related to or watched anything more than two times (on purpose), you need to cut these women, and their fans a break.  And go hide your light saber.

Must all tv shows, especially those involving female leads, supposed to reveal something deep about reality and change the world?  Is that still our job or can we goof off and pull an ostrich just like men do?  America, the reason I’m able to handle an episode of Treme is because I will probably watch a full hour of Jersey Housewives right after!

I deal with “reality” all the time in my own life, I don’t need every show to be some tear jerker drama sponsored by Celexa.  Life for most of us is pretty damn hard and it’s relatively easy for the ladies on Sex, but apparently a show featuring an all-female cast is completely useless if SOMEONE isn’t trying to be the evolutionary role model nature intended and men yearn for.

Apparently women can’t be selfish, we can’t be greedy, gross, selfish, vain or materialistic.  We can’t crave great sex, act like children or mess up a good relationship.  We can’t cheat, lie or grovel, and most importantly, we definitely can’t abdicate from our role as the wisdom-goddess Eve.  I mean a “National” football league, 32 real teams and a billion dollar high school, collegiate and Canadian industry wasn’t enough, we had to create a “Fantasy League” as well. I dont’ hate football, not in the slightest, I just don’t get why apparently women arent allowed to have their own “Fantasy League”.  This show gives women the permission to suck, and we should really celebrate that.

Sex & The City shows just how aloof, caddy and pointless women’s’ lives can be.  It’s a show where the intense pressures of womanhood are washed down with pink vodka like a Norms beer on Cheers. I mean even Diane laughed and chased her own Big and lord knows Lillith enjoyed her liquor and had a wild side.  My question is, when’s the video game comin’ out?

"Miranda was a huge fan of the Yankees. I was a huge fan of being anywhere you could smoke and drink at two in the afternoon without judgment." - Carrie

An Unspeakable Act

Colorbox 1 Aquarelle on Hardpress Paper (Thumbnail)

As I’ve written, its very hard for me to talk about my artwork.  I read in Smithsonian magazine that it Pollack refused to talk about his work, which was conforting to read. Not that I’m Pollack….

We can wiki and research anything these days, find out the origins of any idea or tease out the psychology of someones thought or belief without even knowing them which makes me more attracted to the silent treatment method.  Its surprising for me, considering I am known to be a chatterbox about pretty much anything.  But not being able to talk about my work sort of feels nice, it lets me know that despite my counselor’s suggestions, that I do have boundaries and private areas of my heart and mind that belong to me and no one else.

I know, I know, art is meant to be shared and that I should go to art school to learn how to invite others into my weird little world, but there’s a real part of me that doesnt want to, which is why its hard for me to put my work up on the Intertron or even sell it.   I am speaking when I paint, so why ad words, titling my work is hard enough.  Art is where I communicate nonverbally, about things that cant be put into words, so why do I then need to torture myself by trying to name something that just is.  Does everything have to have a category to be understood? I thought that was why art existed, to inspire or provoke thought not to tell someone what to believe.

It makes me really happy to paint or draw, like the kind of quiet happy that you enjoy on Christmas morning when you are the first one up.  Im allowed to be an introvert when Im working, Im most at peace with quiet (which is as some of you know hard for me) and it is where I feel most loved.  My work has a way of showing itself to me, and in some cases some of my pieces have taken years to show themselves to me or define themselves.

For example, I had no idea what I was painting when I first sketched this one out

Fall & Rise 5' x 2' Acrylic on Canvas

but now nearly two years later I think about what I was going through and am able to see what was happening.  Perhaps that is why its so hard for me to talk about it, the production cycle may be short, but my process works in reverse: create then define.

The id is voiceless, it doesn’t use language and is largely considered a negative aspect of our composition as humans.  But for me, theres something comforting in that.  I talk a lot. Like A LOT.  But you want to shut me up, stick a canvas in front of me and its like a staredown or a game of chicken.  And like most artists, probably a mirror too.

Weekend Art Sale: First Batch O’ Sneak Peeks

Yellow Roses 4 x 3 Acrylic w/Metallic Pen

Time to clean out the studio in preparation for new projects!  Here are a few sneak peeks as I prep the full shots of the pieces I’m ready to part with.  Aside from a pool party on Sunday and perhaps Jackson Edwards’ show at the Red & The Black tonight, I’ll be around all weekend working on, well, new work.  My work has been described as energetic, emotional and full of color, go figure!  Illustrations, portraits and more paintings to follow.  If you want to cruise around my portfolio, click here.

Woman's Back and Hips 3 x 4 Acrylic with Gold Overlay

Jazz Pianist 30 x 24 White Pastel on Sepia Blackboard Paper

Jazz Pianist 2 30 x 24 White Pastel on Amber Blackboard Paper

Margie's Piano 36 x 24 Acrylic on Canvas

Fall & Rise 5' x 2' Acrylic on Canvas

The Jabberwocky 30 x 17 Aquarelle with Wax Crayon on Paper

An Email From My Sister

You may have read Mark Lorando’s letter to Miami, or watched Wayne Spring let his friends shoot his TV over a Saints game, but below is the email my sister sent me late last night.  I tried to paste the color version into wordpress, but no dice, so for the extra curious, the link below  opens a word doc with a screenshot.

My best friend (bc only a best friend would do this) called Sunday night and asked me “What would you say if I flew you down to Houston and we drove to New Orleans for the parade?”

I think I have to sleep at DCA for the next three days.  The airport bar will have the Superbowl on right?

Rets Email

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Loretta Eleanore Johnson
Date: Thu, Feb 4, 2010 at 11:18 PM
Subject: GET THROUGH THAT SNOW AND GET DOWN HERE!
To: Dorothy Johnson

“four years and four months after hurricane katrina,
forty-four days after christmas,
in the forty-forth year since the beginning of the saints franchise,
after an overtime championship win that occurred just four minutes and forty seconds into the overtime period,

on Feb 9, 2010,

ret, dot, ade, payton, and brees stormed up the avenue…,
what occurred that tuesday night …
may never be completely understood,
but this city is sure of one thing,
it needed to happen…”

MONDAY NIGHT: arrival at casa de loretta

i have ordered 35 pounds of fresh boiled crawfish,
a cooler of abita-
andygator, purple haze, amber, turbodog etc…
all will be waiting on the front porch,

if you arrive late monday night and are tired,
we may sit, eat crawfish, have a few beers and watch the streetcar go by,
talk about our tremendous season and our victory over the colts,
and scheme about how we are going to get drew, payton, jeremy and reggie back to 2102 s carrollton.

or

if you arrive in a timely manner,
the crawfish and beer can wait and be consumed the next day.
monday night we can venture into the french quarter,
have a champagne toast at antoines to celebrate our team, our city, and breesus.
chat with fellow fans who will have taken over the quarter completely,
and head home when we are inclined to do so,

TUESDAY:
loretta has taken work off this day.
we will wake up, cook breakfast, catch the parade news,
visit papere (and nanie – loretta will stay home and prepare things)
around 11:00 we will hit the road,
we will take my grill, crawfish, and beevos to peniston street (one block off of st.charles ave),
where we will proceed to grill out, chat with neighboring parade waiters, and saints fans,
and simply await the most glorious parade in mardi gras and saints history,
not to mention the most historic parade in the entire history of this city,
during the day we may choose to walk over to magazine street to grab some ice cream at sucre,
or visit the legendary storyville t shirt shop– (who dat officially belongs to the who dat nation as per yesterday)

5:00pm: THE PARADE BEGINS
we fight our way to the front row so we get a prime time street parade watching spot,
so that we can give our boys the support and lovin’ they deserve as they pass in the next hour or so,
my friends house on Peniston street will have a clean bathroom, a fridge, and friends passing through all day,
it is located one block from some pretty prime time uptown bars/restaurants,
which, if we choose to do so,
we may become patrons of throughout the day and after the parade,

or

we may make the 45 minute trek, with -what i assume based on prior mardi gras experiences,
will be a large crowd of paraders making the nightly journey to bourbon st.,
doing so will shift our day from totally crazy to borderline insanity..
our choice.
of course.

WEDNESDAY:
loretta must go to work on this day 😦
she will leave her car here for any errands dot might need to do
you all will make your departure 😦
and loretta will come home and cry.

a brief but memorable,
fleeting but legendary visit.
but you two, of all people,
must get used to this.
why?
joyce did it every time she hit the stage.
(inside reference)

CANT WAIT TO SEE YOU!
love love love
pass this along to adrienne,
ret

your beads are waiting.….
i also think this email is proof of the fact that new orleans should add the color black to the mardi gras color scheme,…
it just fits..

ps- i had pictures but couldnt get my old ass computer to make them work in the email!
so just visualize or something 🙂



Q & D on the Skins Logo

Because I am a junkie for twitter and branding, I caught Matt Terls exchange with Chad Dukes and others about the Skins changing not only their logo but their unis entirely.

Here’s the birdfeed, here’s the pics.

Here’s my suggestion

1. People love the maroon helmets, they have to stay.  I know the zing of just something COMPLETELY diff is exciting, but heritage is important here.  No reason to abandon everything (I dont like either/or thinking, I’m an and/both gal)

2. Feathers dipped in gold paint = badass, they inspire fan costumes to games, harken to the old imagery and keeping them is a peace offering (wink).

3. What the hell is that Seminole, USC tired ass stock image spear doing on a Skins helmet?  Lose it. It has no purpose here.

4. The integrity of the original logo is maintained, ethnic slur Wiped clean, and a We get a new Way to root for our dear city.  Worked for the Nats.

5. Keep the fans happy, refresh the brand, give everyone a new start without totally bailing on what makes the team great.

Course I was born a traitorous Saints Fan, what do I know.  I don’t hate on the Skins btw, this logo is my attempt to love by proxy.   Here’s proof of my affection for what is technically my hometown team.

The 30 Something Split

“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!”

I hate to give Keruoac credit but its a good quote.  After recent interactions with a few folks, I’ve gathered together a “few” somewhat harried thoughts and decided they would make a decent first post of the New Year.   People have left or lost jobs, relationships, launched businesses, moved, had kids, decided not to have kids, started school, handled rejection, went on meds, got on match.com, have cancer, opened a gallery, lost weight, passed the bar, left their marriage, lost friends tragically, began writing, quit writing, been on TV, finally put the bong down, became famous, cut records, quit bands, and gotten out of jail, or war,  or rehab.

2009 was an incredible year, so for my first post of the New Year, I offer a few pearls I’ve earned and a few I’ve cast.

First, breathe. You are doing really great, none of this was made in a day, so it won’t change in one either. The important thing is that you’ve decided to make a change which is what makes us human, our ability to think and adapt (if yure not doing it, you are a moronic mouthbreather, no matter what your income).

You are a really smart, very bright and insightful person, being this in the world is hard, especially when paired with your hotness.  In like high school and college, you end up getting forced to choose between aspects of yourself then eventually things change, life happens and those other parts of yourself begin to surface, which causes a schism.

Some people just blow life off, they keep being their “old self” and let the world adapt to them, rather than in reverse.  I call these people knuckle draggers.  They say “meh” a lot.

So there are these two parts of yourself, or many parts, life is about threading them together not picking just one. Things like counseling groups, religion, meet ups, kickball teams, gym memberships, the military are actually helpful in providing discipline and structure, but be careful, because you cant hide there either.

The Beast (i.e. the Party Animal, the Sabateur, the Con Artist whatever) is pretty serious.  It lives in the back of your head.  While it might have been possible to balance time with the beast with your other responsibilities (college, work, girlfriends), the beast can cause a fair amount of trouble.  Mine’s quite a trickster, lemme tell you. 

Women can smell a beast. Same goes for men, women with lousy “pets” suck too.

– If a job is a means to an end, its not necc a bad thing. Lots of people arent “inspired” by their jobs, but their ability to make the money that comes with them affords them an inspired life.  Heck I’m jealous of you and everyone else who can add.  Life’s harder when when you cant add.

– Hate her all you want, but I’m with Snookie, sometimes its necessary to throw your own boardwalk rave.

-Keep writing, stop thinking about who’s reading it, and don’t go shooting with unregistered weapons. Especially in Nebraska.

– Its not about any particular relationship, its about YOU.  There are a few versions of you out there, and its now your job to put them together.  Chicks get confused when there are like six versions of you.  You cant blame us, but you could lay off with the whole women are crazy thing. Men are just as nuts.

“Get Naked” All of the “clothes” / selves we put on through our 20s end up having to come off.  Its time to strip down, and get nekkid.  It happens like every ten years. You dont want to be some stale version of your college self do you? People build whole lives around their college self.  Dont be Uncle Rico.

– For talented assh*les like you, who are naturally talented, maybe this is the first time in your life you have had to work really hard at something.  Whether its getting a date, a promotion, a job you really like, parenthood, whatever…its not just coming to you like it used to, and in that case, go f*ck yourself, because natural overachievers really piss me off.  I killed myself for every C- I ever got so welcome to my world.

– Indulge your interests and if you dont know what they are, thats a problem.  I’ve never really appreciated what this meant until I was broke and couldn’t afford to do anything but my own hobbies.  Hell, Jason Segel is into puppets and now look at him. Okay, maybe thats not the best example.  Although, I am into puppets so if you meet him, give him my number.  God he’s hot.

– You don’t have to have it all worked out before you can be in a relationship, but you cant use your relationships to work things out.

Enjoy the upgrade.

And If you are wondering where I pick this shit up, Joseph Campbell, Carl Jung, The Stages of Change and lots of Star Wars.

May The Force Be With You.