Friday, January 29, 2010

Today is one of those days when I don't want to do any of the things I need to do. I want to lay (in the sunshine) and read books by interesting intellectuals.
There are just some people I really appreciate. Some of those people would be Brandy and Dee and Tasha and my cousin Maddison and Josh and Jennifer. These people bring joy to my life regularly.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Picasso's painting has a six inch tear in it, due to a woman who lost her balance and fell into it. Many are concerned the value will go down.

When Duchamp's masterwork was shattered, he was delighted.
In an earlier post, I commented on how much I appreciate Michelle Obama's honesty when it comes to long term monogamous relationships, such as her marriage to President Barack.

After Obama's State of the Union address, I realize how appreciative of his honesty I am. It always bothers me when public figures attempt to create an image of stoicism and perfection when reality is not so. I find it deeply troubling, still, when public figures acknowledge flaws, conflicts or problems that need to be addressed but then quickly undermine this honesty by saying these problems will be resolved with little or no instability or strife.

This sort of deceit is troubling when any public figure fails to be honest, but is most troubling to me when politician display this cowardly, childish behavior. George W. Bush so loved to delude himself and many Americans that the U.S. has an answer for everything, a solution to every problem and we are never really in a position where we could fail, or perhaps even worse, use the wrong solution (read: War with Iraq) to fix an entirely different problem (read: Al Queda attacks based in Afghanistan). One does not have to look hard to find an example of Bush behaving this way. The first article google pulled up about George Bush's State of the Union was text from his 2008 speech. The speech began:

"Seven years have passed since I first stood before you at this rostrum. In that time, our country has been tested in ways none of us could have imagined. We have faced hard decisions about peace and war, rising competition in the world economy, and the health and welfare of our citizens. These issues call for vigorous debate, and I think it's fair to say we've answered that call. Yet history will record that amid our differences, we acted with purpose. And together, we showed the world the power and resilience of American self-government."

And we can clearly see how he continuously undermines any presentation of flaws in America, concluded that the US always acts in a just, righteous and appropriate manner. I think Bush holds a deep-seeded belief that if one acknowledges any flaws, this is an indication of weakness and therefore exposes you to your enemies. It is despicable. We all have flaws. None of us have the answer to every question. The Industrialized Western World doesn't have all of the knowledge and wisdom. Sometimes we FUCK UP--real bad, say by invading the wrong country. To convey any other picture of the U.S.A. is beyond dishonest, and, frankly, right in line with our typical egotistical inflated self-image and superiority complex.

Barack Obama, while I don't always agree with his actions and while I think he has done next to nothing for the queer community (despite his many promises), must be commended for his ability to recognize our collective flaws.

Obama begins his speech similarly to Bush:
"It's tempting to look back on these moments and assume that our progress was inevitable -- that America was always destined to succeed. But when the Union was turned back at Bull Run, and the Allies first landed at Omaha Beach, victory was very much in doubt. When the market crashed on Black Tuesday, and civil rights marchers were beaten on Bloody Sunday, the future was anything but certain. These were the times that tested the courage of our convictions and the strength of our union. And despite all our divisions and disagreements, our hesitations and our fears, America prevailed because we chose to move forward as one nation, as one people."

However, Obama makes reference to much darker times than Bush ever did and speaks with clarity and specificity.

He continues:
"Again, we are tested. And again, we must answer history's call.
One year ago, I took office amid two wars, an economy rocked by a severe recession, a financial system on the verge of collapse and a government deeply in debt. Experts from across the political spectrum warned that if we did not act, we might face a second depression. So we acted -- immediately and aggressively. And one year later, the worst of the storm has passed."

"But the devastation remains. One in 10 Americans still cannot find work. Many businesses have shuttered. Home values have declined. Small towns and rural communities have been hit especially hard. And for those who'd already known poverty, life has become that much harder." (emphasis mine)

He lays it out clearly, without hesitation. We acted quickly, but our response wasn't flawless. We acted quickly, but our economy is still a shit-show. He goes on to say that recent economic events have "compounded the burdens" we face.

Later in his speech he says:
"So I know the anxieties that are out there right now. They're not new. These struggles are the reason I ran for president. These struggles are what I've witnessed for years in places like Elkhart, Ind., Galesburg, Ill."

He is willing to admit that not all of the actions we take are well received, "...we all hated the bank bailout. I hated it. I hated it. You hated it. It was about as popular as a root canal."

He recognizes the discomfort involved in trying to balance the many different wishes and ideas of the people (read: Lobbyist and politicians, but nonetheless): "As hard as it may be, as uncomfortable and contentious as the debates may become, it's time to get serious about fixing the problems that are hampering our growth."

Near the end of his speech, he made a statement that probably best illustrates my point: "But remember this -- I never suggested that change would be easy, or that I could do it alone. Democracy in a nation of 300 million people can be noisy and messy and complicated. And when you try to do big things and make big changes, it stirs passions and controversy. That's just how it is." (emphasis mine)

By creating a false and inflated sense of perfection, we weaken ourselves--this is the time when we are most vulnerable. Having the ability to be sincere and genuine about our own short comings, have the ability to reevaluate our decisions and course of actions, to admit that it is possible for us to fail--this is where we find strength. It is only through constant self-reflection are we able to grow and work towards a better life and better society. I applaud President Obama for at least taking a step towards a more realistic self-perception of the U.S.A. This flawed and fucked up perception of America is one I can believe in. ...and one that I can make a commitment to, one that I can hope to improve, on the that I can envision change for.

Bush's 2008 State of The Union
Obama's 2010 State of the Union

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I am also envious of Marcel Duchamp's ability to scribble. I wish I were a good scribbler and I wish I were Duchamp.
I am still envious of her blog, and thus her ability to write...or scribble, maybe I am envious of her scribblings....
Nova graduates do great things!
Sometimes we read things about people that cause us to entirely reconsider how we perceive those we interact with, how people make decisions and how we come to an understanding of the entirety of a "self" (whether that be our own "self" or a "self" of someone we interact with), through a series of reconciling conflicting schema and what we assume to be mutually exclusive parts of "selves". In other words, it is not always readily understood how my perception of some can include a series of opposing decisions made and rationalizations made by that person (or a multiplicity of incongruous actions and explanations).

Today I read one such text that caused me to reevaluate one of my own schemas.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tomorrow I am cooking with a friend. I wish I was doing that right now.
Basically, I am famous because my former roomie is basically famous.
I feel like I am operating closer to 100 percent today and it feels good. Despite what we tell ourselves when we want to procrastinate, being productive is amazing.
I heard this very interesting story on NPR about the feebleness of our rational brains. All you have to do to confuse your rational brain, is give it a seven-digit number to memorize. Then your emotional brain will be free to do what it pleases.

Last night, Mark Holmes was in my dream.

I miss Open Studio more than I am willing to admit.
The snot-freezing cold is back.

Monday, January 25, 2010

I need someone to help me file my taxes. This is something I am completely inept at and I blame that on my parents.
You have to be honest. You have to be genuine. You have to lead independent, autonomous lives.

You will be manipulative sometimes. Your partner will be manipulative sometimes. Sometimes other people will be attractive. Sometimes other people will be attracted to you. You will NOT always understand each other. You will not have a divine connection to each other every minute of every day. Sometimes the sex will be bad. All of this is okay.
I feel almost like nothing is possible right now.
I got a real bad paper cut in the crook of my hand this morning. It stopped bleeding. Now it is bleeding again.
The things that I need to be writing right now are not of the creative or self-reflective variety, unfortunately.
I still wish my blog was her blog.
My brain feels clogged up with snot of a non-physical sort.

I went shopping on Saturday. I bought a new winter coat (which seems like a silly end-of-January purchase), 2 black cardigans, 1 navy blue cardigan, 1 lilac cardigan, 2 argyle 3/4 length sleeve sweaters, a green turtle neck, a cat litter box with a lid, a cat play cube (a building block to a kitty city), a new tire dog toy, a pop-up "doghouse," and a 25 pound bag of cat food. I enjoy shopping.

My wish list for clothing:
- 1 or 2 pairs of black slacks
- 1 pair navy slacks
- 1 or 2 pairs of gray slacks
- 1 or 2 brown suit jackets
- some new shoes (as always)
- 1 beautiful wedding dress

I am trying to decide who to take dress shopping and where to go and when.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

I want to continue my research on Marcel Duchamp.
There are so many decisions to make in life. Sometimes I want to say YES to them all.
Last night I had a dream that Bill Clinton spoke at Ripon commencement. I flew through the sky to Ripon and saw Leila, who was chatting casually with Clinton. I went over to talk to him and I started to tell him about the love of my life and he asked me when I was getting married. Immediately I began to sob and said, I cannot get married until Illinois legalizes gay marriage. Clinton was overcome with emotion and he, too, began to weep. Our sadness connected to the core of the earth. He told me I needed money to get married, to get married somewhere else. He pulled several hundred dollar bills out of his coat pocket, still weeping, and offered me all this money to make it possible for Brandy and I to get married somewhere else.

Also, then the devil became the heat miser and he was tormenting our house. I was a child again, running about my house trying to escape the heat miser. Then Bill Clinton and Tianna Cervantez each dressed up like the snow miser and hand gloves made of ice. The dressed up like the snow miser to protect me from the heat miser. They had done this the year before, because, as you know, the heat miser torments children every year. The only way to defeat him is to dress up like the snow miser and scare him away.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Have you ever felt like you were breathing a person in, in the same way our nostrils absorb such luscious aromas when we fully immerse our noses in a bouquet of fresh lavender and lilacs?

I have had a fabulous afternoon at work. Right now I am all smiles!
Do you think animals are capable of consenting to sexual acts with humans?

I think animals are capable of not consenting (Dogs can bite, bark, scratch. Horses can kill a person with one kick of the hoof).

One time Dan Savage interviewed a Kentucky man that married a horse. Dan asked this man if the horse was a wife horse or a husband horse. The man replied by saying "WELL, I'm NOT a homosexual!"
So apparently there was a dozen roses that were supposed to come with the strawberries. Someone at Knox signed for them from FedEx. Apparently someone signed for them and picked them up from the mail room. But these roses are no where to be found. I think someone stole my roses.

I am hungry for more than one thing.
I have a friend and she has a better blog than I do. I have realized that I just want my blog to be hers, but we are not the same person and thus should think and write different things. For some reason, I am envious of her blog. I guess since she is a writer, it makes sense that she would have a better written blog.
I want a baby. When I find out that a friend is pregnant, I have mixed feelings (but I am mostly excited to see cute baby pictures).

More than having an ugly baby, I am afraid of having a stupid baby or a republican baby...or both. I don't know what I would do!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I love Frank Warren, don't get me wrong, but can we please invite Dan Savage to campus?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Today she sent me a dozen chocolate covered strawberries.

And the flowers are blooming.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Today my fiancee sent flowers to my office. Why? Because she is the best fiancee ever!
The other day, someone asked me what the library would be used for. I found this question to be quite puzzling.
I think since so few people rely on print materials as a primary source of news, it is fully appropriate for us to take advantage of technology and the fact that any person with an internet connection (and a properly screwed-on head) can be experts about the news that is occurring around us in a highly localized area. I, being in Galesburg or more specifically on the Knox College campus, could provide expert and immediate information about an occurrence here on campus. I cannot provide any expert accounts of newsworthy events in Roma, Tokyo, Lima or Haiti. But people who work for MSNBC and can travel to Haiti are fully capable of reporting on those events based on first hand accounts (and a huge media conglomerate is alfo fully capable of disseminating this information to many people quickly). I see no problem with local news sources giving preferential attention to local news, of which they can provide (hopefully) accurate and up-to-date information.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I am still at work. I don't know why I am still here. I don't know why I am posting about this. Probably because having a blog is still a novelty. Probably also because I am much to vain.
Ok, this is really why I decided to create a blog today:

I am frustrated by the fact that we (as a collective) have created so many mythical paradigms that we expect each other to live up to. None of us can live up to these idealized constraints and thus we all feel inadequate at some point or another.

For example, we have created a myth that "true love" means that if you have true love, you will never again have any sort of attraction to anyone other than your true love. We perpetuate the myth that you should just "know" when you are truly in love with "the one" and it will be easy to be happily wedded to "the one" forever. That is NOT true. I love my fiancee more than anyone and anything on this planet and I wouldn't trade the universe for her. But I still recognize that sometimes I will have silly third grade crushes on other people and she will too. This attraction to others is not something to be threatened by, it doesn't lessen the love or intimacy my fiancee and I share. It would by so false for us to say that we never feel any attraction to another soul. What is important is that we do not feel an impulse to act on these menial attractions to others. What is also important is that we acknowledge that our relationship is not infallible, our commitment to each other will not always come easily.

I must applaud Michelle Obama and her efforts to be honest about what a union of two people can realistically be--“The bumps happen to everybody all the time, and they are continuous,” said Michelle in an interview with Jodi Kantor (, page 2). It is only fair to be honest about the fact that entangling the lives of two people will be challenging for as long as those to lives are tangled together. In fact, I think being honest about this is the only way to have longevity in a union like a marriage. It is because I am able to go to my fiancee and say "Baby, I have a crush on this girl and I love you," that we are able to maintain and build such a strong bond with one another.

I intended to also discuss false ideals of gender and gender roles such, but other mythical paradigms that we create will have to wait for another time.
A couple weeks ago, Dee, Tasha and I made soup. Making food is one of the things I like to make with my hands and this soup was totally delicious. It was like a variation on French Onion Soup. Started with lots of caramelized onions, then we added so cremini mushrooms (which are exactly the same as baby portabella mushrooms, for those of you who don't know). We added lots of vegetable stock and some heavy cream too.

We severed it with a nice, crunchy baguette and some imported cheese. The name of the cheese was in German and I don't remember what it was called, but it meant "Butter cheese" or something to that effect. It was a sweet, mild, silky cheese. The meal was delicious and so was the company.
I have started a blog because I have ideas and because I want to write more and because I want to make more things. We should all make more things with our hands.