the art of getting shit done, zinefest 2014, gomoku, and canadian shoegaze

hi. hello. how are you blogofolks?

It’s been awhile since I’ve logged onto this blogomine, and we have the beautiful Los Angeles weather, my sudden fascination with arcades (& barcades for that matter), and love life issues (which was handled with panache and waterproof mascara) to blame for it all. But I’m back, my online comrades, to end the tragic atrophying of my writing skills I had dutifully honed in my hours under LED library lights and I return to the e-community I had sought a year ago as I jetted off for worldly adventure and the perfectly crafted croissant. I think we did well in finding both of those. The only significant writing I think I’ve done in the past week is making a haiku for a baristo at my local cafe, but was too much of a chicken shit to hand it over and because I’m not that desperate and I like to have a healthy stranger daydream every once in a while and saying anything to me other than, “Would you like room for cream?” would just ruin the allure and mystery. If you don’t have a stranger to headline your daydream, then you need to get on over to your nearest cafe (breeding ground for daydream characters) and find yourself one so that you have something of mild entertainment to ponder when you’re stuck in traffic and kxlu is flipping out with all the afro caribbean tunes.

But, really I’d like to think that these brief hiatuses are just periods for me to gain valuable life experience and get some real living done, just so I can report back here and dispense all my life lessons over to you and in turn make the earth a better and savvier place as it spins on its axis with a bit more ease. And if humans have evolved into anything of substance, like I think they have, then we can assuredly connect all these unrelated moments and feelings to concoct elaborate stories of grander meaning. Right? Right. Let’s move forward.

In the meantime, I’ve finally started to dabble into my watercolor set — which I bought over 5 months ago and have been too bogged down to do anything else but stare at its packaging — so that maybe one day it won’t look like I draw like a gifted 6 year old. And I can now tinker with the guitar pedal I bought with almost a weeks worth of my salary so I can produce some sounds that I’ve been wanting to hear. Or make another stop motion video because I’m a bit rusty on new technology and I’m pretty sure there’s some newfangled iphone app I’m not utilizing to give me some grade A video quality. This Onion blog post eloquently sums up the idea I am getting at, folks (I promise this isn’t just an online diary. There is a grander point to glean from all this) and one that I have been trying to remind myself when everything else gets in the way of doing the few things that actually make me happy: http://www.theonion.com/articles/find-the-thing-youre-most-passionate-about-then-do,31742/    

But basically: never put off doing the things that you love, the thing that makes you forget time no longer exists (this might or might not be limited to binge watching Game of Thrones for two days straight) — whether that be traveling, drawing, writing, or bird watching and this idea spans all levels of skill — or you will continually find frivolous reasons to not do them, until one day you have a real roadblock that actually prevents you from doing/starting these things, and goddamit that’s just unacceptable. Even if you have to force yourself to get up at some ungodly hour and enact these tasks because character, ethic, and skill is only cultivated through repeated action. I mean Sylvia Plath had two needy children, a twisted adulterating husband AND serious mental problems, but still woke up at the crack of dawn and penned her best work. I am lucky enough to have none of these (although I might have to question the latter) … and my watercolor set is portable, which gives me no excuse. And living in such a lively and bustling city that oft caters to her ADD denizens with her flashy lights and her hip coterie is no excuse as well. Saying “no” to a night out to see Maria Bamford crack her witticisms like the overzealous whip she is, is attainable and so is overcoming FOMO … ya dig?

And some dissonant Canadian female powered shoegaze sounds are proving to aid the process of buckling down and gettin’ er done too:

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Aaand to the left you will see my photographic metaphor. I secretly snapped this shot of an older man learning how to play gomoku from a lil gomoku master. I was close to getting in on the action because I love me a good board game, but I’m not very keen on a possible defeat at the hands of a child. Bottom line: if this guy can make time for gomoku and get publicly pwned by an 11 year old, then you can draw that sketch of Leonardo Di Caprio you’ve been meaning to get to.

Alright, well that was very heartwarming & feel goody, but I’m officially on my third coffee and I’m at work and my boss just left which meant my coworkers and I decided to see who could do the most Chuck Norris roundhouse kicks in a minute and basically I’m feeling AMPED.

With all this in mind, my recent attendance to Zine Fest was a great way to scope out the DIY community and LA craftiness, and see all the things one could do with sharpies and … man does a little bit of glue go a long way with this crowd. So, if you weren’t privy to the chaos and the cheek by jowl madness, then well thats okay because then you also weren’t jabbed by all the arms akimbo stabbing you when approaching every booth (and boy do these zinesters have sharp elbows). But then again, I would take the jabbing any day since there was a plenty art/literature fodder to drool over.

Basically, I love the art work and comics usually at the forefront of these events, but my inner Literature major always craves some cleverly crafted weaving of words and luckily one of my newly acquired favorite authors, Chelsea Martin, was there to fulfill that hankering with her pithy flash fiction and short stories. And if she lived in Los Angeles we would definitely go on a falafel date and probably talk about Rimbaud and shitty Jezebel articles. I mean a girl who can confess to crying over a 30 second trailer for a Robin Williams movie she saw 15 years ago AND philosophize about the human condition under a well crafted metaphor about watering plants just speaks to me, yknow? My purchasing was then followed by a very long and emphatic laudation of her work & my spilling of some poetic emotions, which left me only with a faint simulacrum of dignity. But hey I love my unapologetically fragile and fearless women who have a penchant for words. I grew up on Alanis, Fiona and Buffy for gods sake. So, I left the place with 3 zines, one book, a radical day planner (no, not the ‘radical’ you use to describe those technicolor cat leggings at Target. I’m talking social reform radical b/c I’ve been feeling very revolutionary of recent) and a newfound respect for people who can unabashedly share their life experiences through art with complete strangers and simultaneously connect to them in hopes of creating something greater than the sum of their parts. I mean we are trying to build a community here. gather in!

Talking to a few of the festival organizers made me remember (because its easy to forget on the paying side of the booth) that profit is scant for many of the artists and I give everyone mad respect for compiling everything with their xeroxing/stapling/knitting/silkscreening precision for little to no remuneration and simply for the pure fun of it and necessity to create. I truly wish I could’ve given them all my money because goddamit they deserved it after slaving over pins and cat patches and staving off infection after encounters between their rusty stapler and fingers (or so I can imagine). And as I thought of my pocket money slowly dwindling and the lack of food in my fridge, I thought about the necessity to make zines in the first place. None of the people there needed zines in the way their forezinefathers did prior to the late 90’s who lived without the advent of the internet and needed a platform to get their points heard. We have options that our predecessors could only dream of. Yet, there they were — zinesters — at their booths peddling their collections of craft and adding to the gestalt of the day, because when you can look past the large crowd and sharp elbows and people wearing cooler shoes than you, it was a chance to witness the galvanizing forces of art and community. It was a way to remind yourself after a shitty week at work that humanity isn’t lost within a world of bitter pencil pushers and coworkers who frequently spout off inane stories about their trip to Africa, and that cultural and social capital is something worth investing in just as much (and maybe even more? but no amount of zine fest attendings will get me new doc martins, so I might have to eat my words on this one) as your financial capital. amen.

Alright, that’s it for now folks. I’ll try to keep posting as if people other than my mom and my five “fans” actually read this stuff. In the meantime, I’ll be over here trying to understand how the emojis are organized on my phone as I reason with the solubility of these paints and attempt to problem solve why los angelingos are plagued with commitment problems. Hasta luego, amibros!

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