Archive for December, 2005

great teenager diaries throughout history

From The Journal of Marie Bashkirtseff (who claimed to be 13, but who was probably 15 in 1873):

Sat, Nov. 29th, 1873. — I am tortured by jealousy, love, envy, deceit, wounded vanity, by every hideous feeling in the world. Above all, feel his loss. I love him! One thing tortures me especially; it is that in a few years I shall laugh at myself, that I shall have forgotten all this! (1875 – It is two years since that time, yet I do not laugh at myself, and I have not forgotten.) All these sorrows will seem to me childishness and affectation – but no, I conjure you, do not forget! When you read these lines go back to the past, think that you are again thirteen years old; that you are in Nice; that all this is taking place now! Think that the past lives now! You will understand! You will be happy! (1880 – All this on account of a man whom I had seen a dozen times in the street, – whom I did not know, and who did not know that I was in existence.)

There was quite a lot of waffling about whether the best thing in life would be to go upon the stage, or to marry the Duke of H—, object of her affections.

Tuesday, July 6, 1874 – I am in a bad humor; I fail in everything I attempt; nothing succeeds with me. I shall be punished for my pride and my stupid arrogance. This journal is the most useful and the most instructive of all the books that were or ever will be written. It is the transcript of a woman’s life – her thoughts and hopes, her deceptions, meannesses,good qualities, sorrows and joys. I am not yet altogether a woman, but I shall be. One may follow me here from childhood to death. For the life of any one – one’s entire life, without concealment or disguise – is always a grand and interesting spectacle.

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out of town girls

Oh and I just got sweet email from the Utah poet I picked up in Muddy Waters a year and a half ago, because she was so cute and out-of-town wistful and writing obvious poetry in her journal and reading Rilke in the cafe, and I almost tried to ravish her but then realized she was like 12 years old, and so me and Quilty brought her to this SF reading and took her out for middle eastern food. We couldn’t bear the thought of her going back to the youth hostel and then to Utah without having some random nightlife. That’s the night I met Chula for the first time! She was like a neon motel sign in the desert on Route 66 at midnight! Or maybe she was like a lone car on Route 66 and I was her alien abductor. Anyway, this cute-as-a-bug butchy punk Utah poet has a blog: punklove1978!

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day in review

Lovely breakfast… nice to bring Rook to a place I enjoy… visit to the Italian deli where I got a nice tin of olive oil, some anchovies, and a box full of fancy groceries to send to my mom and dad so they can have their own proustian moments. If only I could send them the ambiance of the deli with the dudes in paper hats and the gossip flying about international artichoke prices and The Game (what game? I’ll never know.) I bought Moomin some socks at one of the crowded stores on Mission; they all stock the same stuff and are all run by Chinese people. I wonder if they compete, or are all owned by related families or friends, or some kind of consortium? Surely they all get their stuff from the same import/export company.

BART is weary and dingy, loud and stressful compared to the glories of Caltrain, as always… but I still have a happy cityish feeling. Rook asked me what stop? and I answered him as if I knew. He didn’t catch me out! Then he realized when I brightened up at a corner at the 2nd st. sign. Huzzah, savor the uncertainty! We looked into the Cartoon Museum bookstore, then SFMOMA. Not for the first time, I thought of how much money and space churches suck up in our communities and how much nicer it would be if all those resources went instead into libraries and art spaces that would be beautiful community temples of doing stuff. And, you know, why not get your community at the bookstore/temple/cafe/laundromat? Screw churches.

Back on Valencia again… some photos, and then to the cafe… we talked about rpg stuff, thoughts on what we’d want a conference to be, and where – theory and games, mixed, maybe one programming track – maybe try to become another track at an existing con – we ate croissants and sank into the spell of our cosy computers – Then to the Buffalo X to see if they had some pants for Rook – they did – and after resolving that my book splurge meant no new boots, i… I found the perfect red boots for 20 bucks and bought them. I had my eye on some expensive fluevog boots. But these are great and I’d rather have the books! At some point it’s going to be cheaper for me to fly to buenos aires, buy them and ship them. Soon… soon I’ll have the 1906 edition of that cuban anthology where they didn’t leave out all the women poets! And didn’t just leave in 2 of them! And didn’t just put in one of their dumbest most sentimental-drivel poems! Anyway, I was going to go over my book-introduction rough draft with Rook, but then didn’t.

I’m thinking tonight (again) that the best thing I could do with this info is post it on the spanish & english wikipedias. An entry for each poet & a sample of their work. I could submit to Palabra Virtual, but I’d rather have control and I’d like to write mostly in English. I’ll try Spanish too, but then someone else will correct it when it’s awkward. Then, too, I can create my own genre entries and interfere in modernismo/vanguard stuff that’s out there already. The author bios are hard for me to write, but I can at least put a stub and hope for others to contribute.

We went and hung out with Chula for a little bit, just to say hi. She was sort of bubbly and glowing today even though in mid-novel-revision, perhaps end-of-week euphoria. Then we ran off to pick up Moomin. Foolishly, Rook accepted directions from me again though I told him I was “exploring”. My experiment succeeded and now I have another piece of the map clear in my mind! One cuts over on Church to Clipper, then up to Portola. woooo!

Moomin is a bit dreamy, odd, and listless; then hyper and whispery. I think he must have had some social difficulties in zoo camp, after all, from the way he’s been cagey about it and kind of perturbed.

I made dinner – antipasto and potstickers. Hey, it’s what was in the house. Laundry. Dishes. Blogging and photo-messing. Rook is typing up notes from our Polaris game from last week. Read Angry Black Bitch – and Twisty Faster – bathed Moomin – played “purple horned starfish horse yugioh wars” and then pretended to be Superman’s cats – tried to watch “Iron Monkey 2″ but it sucked so hard we stopped in the middle – bath – messed about with my gross, gross, but now much cleaner, tonsils, and I will spare you the details – Read Seneca – and now perhaps another glass of merciful brandy and hot milk.

That’s the shorthand… useless to anyone but me… I just wanted to remember this day b/c it was so nice. The usual Deep Thoughts will go unwritten… others will replace them. Enough that I insulted the memory of some hapless SFAI prof and his ugly hand-ground pigments.

I’m worn down to a tiny pale echo of my usual self from all this activity!

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Wake Up mural


Murals and street art in the Mission
Originally uploaded by Liz .

Great lettering… I like the stars, and the sentiment.

I was amazed once I started taking photos a few days ago – how many great murals there were in such a small area, maybe 4 blocks or so between 21st and 24th. I didn’t take pictures of them all.

Some of the plain old tagging was unusually arty, too. The stuff on top of the “giant value” building was interestingly symmetrical and I wondered what tagger would name themselves “Vegan”… that’s so charming!




Murals and street art in the Mission


Murals and street art in the Mission
Originally uploaded by Liz .

At 24th and Mission. I enjoy this sort of psychedelic La Raza thing!

The city needs more murals. I wonder if there’s a program where people volunteer a wall of their house or storefront or warehouse or whatever and then get artists to sign up for it? Though… how awful if then you got something you hated.




Coffee, San Francisco


Coffee, San Francisco
Originally uploaded by Liz .

My decaf soy latte, so fancy! I ruined the leafy pattern with sugar before I remembered to take the photo.

It’s so decadent for food to be pretty. You know how I make fun of people who write poems in cafes that are about drinking coffee? So boring! And always like, “I sip my latte/ and think of bombs falling/and mass graves/and then a single perfect flower in a vase/ and then I remembered how my dad never showed any emotion/ except that one time/ and here I am with my latte, wondering…” At least this cup of coffee is worth writing poetry to!

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Paper cut-out and wheatpaste


Library day and some more street art
Originally uploaded by Liz .

Someone tell me the artist’s name… I really love these! I’ve seen them around town for a while… this one had amazing detail if you look closely.

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Hi, Pi!


Murals and street art in the Mission
Originally uploaded by Liz.

I liked these stickers. There were three of them outside of Boogaloo’s at 22nd and Valencia, on the newspaper vending machines.

And I used to swipe the free stickers from the post office too, to draw on them!

Note the cool repetition on the top sticker of the stylized “pi” symbol…




arty day

I’m hauling rook all over town today. We went to the SFMOMA and mostly all I could think is, “Why is Serena not in here?” and then contemplating through my limited experience of organizations and non-profits and things Arts how horrifying the scene probably is. Oh, some of the stuff in there was so awful!!!! OMFG! I wouldn’t wash my car with some of that “art”.

Looking up Chuck what’s his name’s nose didn’t at all appeal… I liked a few things by Kiki what’s her name, like the black stone woman stepping out of the dead wolf’s rib cage (“Rapture”) and I admit I kind of liked the crawling endless poop statue as well, mostly because everyone was so disturbed by it they couldn’t bear to look. yet most of her stuff made me think of this guy I used to date in college, Maul Pillar, and his art which was always like “and now I will light 1000 matches and lick 1000 hard candies exactly once each and stack them in a pyramid.” Me and Basina for years would strike an attitude and say in his voice, “I’m picturing a room. it’s WHITE…” and we’d trail off. I think it was an idea of his for an Installation in which everything woudl be painted white. and it had some sort of Meaning. and he described it to us once and we were all doing sidelong glances and then burst out laughing at how trite it was and yet with affection at his ambition… Sometimes I liked his pieces… I enjoyed the one where he built a wall around himself with concrete blocks. it would have been better if he’d used mortar. Anyway he was a truly lovely person… we dated for a while… and with good taste in art and an understanding of decadence… just… an astonishing lack of subtlety sometimes. I will certainly never forget the time he woke up very early and kindly brought me the sunday new york times and fresh-squeezed orange juice in bed.

As I went thru the museum with Rook I began sputtering with rage at some of the more boring crap… The shelf guy makes me nearly lose my mind. I pity him. Imagine spending your Artist life making those shelf boxes over and over in different little variations. yes, it makes a statement. but… for fuck’s sake, once you’ve made it, doing it over and over? I’d lose my mind! How boring! What a waste of a brain! I do love complexity…

I did enjoy Wangechi Mutu, Braque, most of everything from 1910-1930ish, the blue sail, the photographs of storefronts from the 30s or so, and I loved, loved, loved Jess the collage artist. I spent all yesterday writing about Narcissus and statues and so the Narcissus collage — besides floating my boat in every possible way — was also weirdly timely. Jess, I love you! You are neobarroco loveliness, the delicate antidote to the irritating shelf guy. I’m bursting into tears and falling in love at the thought I’ll never meet him. Why why why? Such a beautiful mind!

I liked the czech modernist photographers, and Eleazar Longman.

I’ll post my illicit photos later today. I took a photo of one sign that explained the most boring stupid paintings EVER from some dude who taught at SFAI for many years. i believe his name was Still. It was so pretentious!! Wait, I’ll transcribe it right from my camera…

Although Still vigorously denied any direct associations with landscape imagery in his work — “I paint only myself, not nature” –his paintings nonetheless suggest primordial landscapes depicted in the deep colors of the earth.

Holy christ! Hahahah! Nonetheless indeed. They mostly suggested infinite labor in the pursuit of really dull meaningless ugliness and a particularly pretentious vain silly dearth of thought. I am not immune to the charms of Rothko and complete abstraction and forms and color. BUT it has to be done well and with depth!

Also, where was Sandow Birk, my very favorite painter… not there at all! A travesty.

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moody as hell

Irritable, moody, still petulant and crowded-feeling… I think I haven’t had enough sleep for days. Moomin was irritating me this afternoon… I tried to nicely take him to the carousel after the camp, at his request… and then he freaked out after getting on a completely stationary animal.. the merry go round took a while to start, and so… again, the entire structure was standing still, but he turned pale, broke into a sweat, and nearly threw up from stress. Ooooookay! I tried hard not to be annoyed or roll my eyes! Yet somehow it was still annoying as hell. Then I forgot the parking voucher and had to drag him (still limp, damp, pale and incoherent) back from the car to the camp and out again. Then all the way home I STILL didn’t have my headphones and he wouldn’t stop whispering eerily just too soft for me to hear individual words. No conversational tactics worked to get him talking to me instead of doing whispery imaginary movie-dialogue with himself. I was reduced to begging him to quit whispering because I was cranky… Then I snapped a couple of times… then asked nicely… ARRRRRRR.

Home. I have leg cramps and a headache. No reason I can figure out… I want to go to sleep RIGHT NOW. I’d like a shot of whiskey first though. My writing went well, but the very thought of either stopping working tomorrow or continuing to work tomorrow makes me feel like I’m going to scream. The intro is at 25,000 words but it’s kind of some fuzzy blobs stuck together with blank space. I have no clear picture of its arc. Instead I have sections and subheadings, and yet something’s not quite right, something’s not jelling.

My imaginary gallstones hurt. I’m still mad at that guy in the library who kept sitting in different places with his jawbreakers and rustly copy of “El Mundo”. For 5 hours! I found earplugs in my backpack, and yet… it got to where I could see him out of the corner of my eye and even THAT would make me want to pick a fight with him.

Pleasures of the day – many good books. I had fun taking photos, but am overly aware that I snapped things while walking by, with no flash and a bad camera, at funny angles… and I wish I could do justice to what I could see. Instead, cruddy snapshots! Waaaah! maybe if I try again tomorrow? I could borrow Jo’s camera?

Okay, this was supposed to be the positive thing… pleasures. One awesome pleasure – the italian deli turns out to be totally dreamy. I had mozzerella and anise biscottti which tasted perfectly of xmas, and some properly italian tasting bread (why is it never right? bad olive oil maybe). I liked the guys in the deli and their paper hats! I totally had flashbacks to how my g-ma would drive all over RI to get the proper food. I used to make fun of it but now I understand! Well, except i wouldn’t freaking go buy rolls every single day if I had to drive all the way to pawtucket and back for them.

Tomorrow Rook is coming with me to hang around town. I thought I could buy him some clothes at buffalo exchange and maybe get my jacket and we could go to the Overly Hip Cafe.

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