Sunday, February 18, 2007

Riddles, for real

This is my favorite riddle. Do you get it?

If in panic I forget it, in despair I need it, in my mind I save it, in death I have it?

Even better, where did I hear this riddle?

I was just listening to This American Life and it had a puzzle theme, so here's my puzzle. Also, here's something from the show I heard, it's an anagram for " a dream within a dream"-What am I, a mind reader? I kinda liked that too.

And something else for those folks into radio stories. A while back I actually taped a special show from this festival out of Chicago, the stories were awesome, so here's a link to the homepage.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Passionate and Dangerous

I hesitate and a thought flickers forward. What if I start crying here in the library? I let it pass. That is not an issue now, I will certainly tear up and besides, grief is good. Then I consider for a moment if, or why, I need to share such personal experiences? Yes, I am sure. It's why I got tattooed "passionate and dangerous", which will forever lie acrosss the top of my back. So, I take in and release a deep breath, even if it hurts. I am as committed to what has been as much as what could be.

Today we honor and celebrate the lives of our amazing friends, Emma and Oona who died together on this day February 12th, 5 years ago already. They were coming home from a wonderful adventure and died suddenly in a car accident. They were both 21 and part of the Trumbullplex Collective where we lived. I never want to forget and always remain inspired by them. In a way I feel like this is what you do when you are touched by humans with such spirit, it's barely a choice, we have to keep their spirits alive because it rests inside us all now. They were so amazing, I could swear it's impossible that not one of us saw them while their wings were visible.

I know that sounds so cheesy, regardless they do make me think of angels. Not flawless perfect beings that wear white dresses in heaven, but humans who on earth tore it up! They had spirits that soared higher than Icarus had. While here they touched so many more people than any of us even know. They were angels that were anarchists and bouncers, artists and gardeners. They skipped classes but knew volumes: from linguistics to welding to breathing fire to geology to what friendship and community should mean too. The list goes on and on. Angels that liked to be loud and party, dream and experiment, think, work, feel, and live to the fullest, the best kind.

I really miss them. I miss them all the time and in my own way. They were family to me, as is the rest of the Plex from that time. Some of this extended family will get together tonight as has been the tradition, to remember them as a community, as well as how we individually each do. For me they have settled into a precious and deep place within. It may sound selfish, but they are always there for me, so I hope I can repay them for this. I hope we can let them out of the recesses of our hearts when we are together more often and share with each other what they and the experience of their death means to us now.

This year I tried to imagine how they would have physically changed and where they would be. The way they looked may have changed is not as hard as what they would be up to. At this point they could have done and been anything. They were both uniquely beautiful and gifted, I had such crushes on them. On that note since I had no intentions previously to write about them today I'll try to just share a little more about how I felt about them and maybe some day you can ask me more about what they did and who they were.

One time I was trying to find a quiet place and ended up on the second floor living room near Oona's room (which I have to mention was painted a bright blue with stars too), I don't think I was even reading, just sitting and resting. Suddenly Oona's door opened and she came out of her room totally naked. She turned to face me and said "oh, hey what's up" and I said "just sitting here" and then she smiled and walked into the bathroom. I didn't know she was in there with her lover. She was so cool about it, while my jaw was still sitting on the floor.

We all had a lot of fun. One time in the theatre after a FIASCO, drinking beer and whiskey and Emma being plenty drunk started to hit on me. We didn't know each other very well yet, but it was clear that she was hardcore and probably more than I could handle. Emma was pierced, had most of one arm tattooed in the most beautiful and twisted tree I can ever recall seeing, then and since. She was a traveller punk and truly defined artist-activist. She could play a saw, wore masses of shiny silver jewelery (this is where my thumb ring comes from), and like Oona had a perfect smile.

For as fierce as they were they were the sweetest pirates I have ever met and I will love them always. Appreciate and love one another because you never know

Saturday, February 03, 2007

It's About Time

That's what I figured out. Things are about time, including how long it takes to get your electricity turned on. I used to believe it's about work and vision, but now I know that those things are incidental to this...thing, this concept, discovery or you know I really don't care how you view time, as long as you realize it matters most.

Of course, I am being a litte bit facitious and what the fuck am I talking about really? Well, I am here to announce that I have electricity! After months of rewiring and 4 months of calling and waiting and moving the meter can and removing this and adding that and mostly just not knowing what they (DTE) wanted from me, two days ago something that took them probably 10 minutes tops to hook up finally happened.

Did I ever tell you about the time that I called the main operator system to try and trick them into coming out. Oh yes, I was desperate by then. I figured if you have a downed wire that they would come out right away. I never looked forward to calling and going through all the choices on their automated menu (though I was starting to get pretty good at it), but this time I was feeling like this was gonna do something, this attempt would matter. I was a little worried that maybe I could actually make the situation worse if I just straight out said there was a downed wire and sparks were flying or something, so I said "you know I am trying to get my power on and there are some downed wires in the alley (which is really just my driveway at this point) and am not sure how safe that is..." ok sir can you give me your address (or sometimes it's social security number, phone number or name) so I can look up the record on your account?" I think, 'nope, doesn't look like she's buying it'.

Turns out that she is actually really interested in figuring out why I do not have electricity yet and begins to ask me about the situation. I tell her that I finally got a meter installed and that I had to move the meter can and add a ground wire beforehand, but at this point "my electricians" (read-friends) say everything looks ok and we should be good to go AND I have this reference number for a DTE inspector to come out to see if there is a problem, but the problem there, is everytime I call and eventually get an answering machine that is full, so it just hangs up on me. To this she assures, seriously, that she is going to help me, and she's really down to earth and I believe her. How I feel about this person matters to me, but that's a whole nother story about one of my phone calls to a different DTE operator. That was a bad one for sure.

She says, "if you hold I will call their office for you and then connect you. See, they are moving their offices and I hear things are a little busy over there right now." Of course I say, "sounds good, please do". "Please hold sir". So, the downed wire thing didn't work and I hold and I hold and I walk around my yard, rake a few leaves and then just before it gets bad here she is. "OK sir, I got someone on the line and they should be able to help you out." "Wow, thank you I really appreciate it". "No problem, just stay on the line and I'll patch you through." It rings and guesss what happens? It's that same fucking answering machine and the same thing that always happens happened, it would not even allow me to leave a message and hung up on me. And, in all my excitement I forgot to get her name which means I had no way of getting back in touch with this operator, ever. Doomed, I must be doomed.

It wasn't long after that that I gave up and seriously started thinking about just saving up for an alternative power source and for now making sure I was stocked with batteries, candles, wood and pyschologically ready to go ahead and face the winter without electric lights or a space heater. Around that time the weather was not so bad and I think we had just went through that really warm spell, so I had a short reprieve and it wasn't too bad yet. I bought a cheap chainsaw, started scoping out places to get wood and rearranged my furniture again ( I do this about once a week, and again that's another story), but low and behold last Tuesday or was it Wednesday, as I was pulling up, this guy with a clipboard starts to walk up to the upsidedown house, using the sidewalk! 'This must be an official', I think, but rather than drive off worried that they were coming after me for something, I jumped out and said "hey, what's going on?" HE says he's form DTE and the inspector and just needs to look on the outside. NO problem.

As I suspected there were no issues and he apologizes and shows me with his thumb and first finger the size of the stack of orders he has to check on and says he really wishes they would hire other people, which sounded like to me that he was the only one who had this job. I did not envy him nor did I give him a hard time. I simply told him that I was surprised to see him because I had given up. He said that he would put "live in" and actually showed me that he wrote this down in large letters on the order form and also said that should help a little bit and hopefully they would get to me soon. 3 days later, whala!

Thought that was the end of the story did you? Hell no. Did I ever tell you about the time that I got a bill from DTE, as a matter of fact two (turns out all I ever get in the mail at this point is bills for utitilities I do not have). Yea, that's right they started billing me before I even had service. At first I thought, "what the..." then I realized, maybe they will come out to turn my electricity off and I can get them to actually turn it on? Ridiculous huh? Yea, but not as ridiculous for how long it took to get my eletricity on so I can start paying them money?? OR, did I ever tell you why I had to decipher "meter can must be no more than 17 inches from meter can", which was them saying that we needed to move the meter can down before they would insert the actual meter because they wanted it in a better position for shutting the power off if I ever don't pay my bill, for a service I had yet to even begin to recieve...

Now, to remember that they are evil and I should try and minimize my usage and keep on working toward having the choice to be off the grid. For now, it was so good to hook up my stereo system today and listen to XTC's Drums and Wires, especially the 2nd song.

Power to the Peoples!