Monday, December 29, 2008

Dear Me!




Wow. I made it to Oregon again.  For the first time since I left, when I left, in September.  Since I've been here I've:

Been pushed into the snow (by a dear old friend),
Slept in a bed with three other people and one giant Maggot (also a dear old friend),
Got stranded in Eugene for Christmas eve,
Contracted a really AWESOME head cold that is still finding it's way out of my head,
Been to two spontaneous high school reunions (one of which was fun and took place at a bar), 
and sat on my brother.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Input at the Airport

My corner of the airport.

My small red table and little green chair. 

Me watching CNN.

CNN is commenting on Obama's celebrity while zooming in on a picture of his perfectly sculpted abs.  Their hypothesis: Obama is a celebrity because he's hot.  My hypothesis: CNN is turning into Entertainment Tonight.

I am sitting at a toadstool height table with my most worldly possessions: my guitar and my  computer. I also have cowboy boots. Very worldly.  I am in Phoenix Arizona.  My flight is continually being pushed back and I am entertaining very entertaining dreams of small campfires built entirely of napkins, stolen magazines, toilet paper, and newspapers critiquing Obama's abs.  (VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: CNN is now talking about the wardrobe of their reporter who is wearing silly shorts).  I imagine that around my fire of airport kindling will gather the other stranded travelers lost in Phoenix on this the eve of Christmas eve.  I will whip my guitar out of its casings and begin to sing carols to the my new wayfaring friends.  Ah how romantic to be stranded in the airport.  

I am intrigued. I have never really been stranded before.  They haven't actually canceled my flight yet, but I may be strung along with promises of 11pm and 1am until it is actually morning and I find that I have spent all the night in Arizona.  Something truly amazing has begun to happen.  I am being surrounded by adorable children.  A small girl has plopped herself down with a ziplock bag full of crayons and a Mary Poppins-like bag of tricks.  Her sister has joined her and has been trying to read what I'm writing.  I keep trying to hide it from her, since I am writing about her.  In addition a very small orange headed baby keeps crawling over and making a grab for each of my few (and very worldly) possessions.  I like to imagine that these children are gathering around me because I am exuding wonderful art teacher joy but I also suspect that I am sitting at the kid's table.  Maybe they are exuding something that I want to be around.  

CNN is finally starting to report real news and unfortunately it looks like airports everywhere are experiencing the same kind of delays as my airport, right here.  Oh, and Portland Oregon can look forward to ten more inches of snow!  Even if my dreams of campfires fall through in Phoenix I may end up stranded in the snowy streets of Portland for Christmas, a raggedy waif adrift in the elements.  I am having a good time dramatizing my circumstances.  I've been reading Henry James and so far everything is really dramatic and dire, but I can't actually tell what is happening.  

I am now having a nice chat with the girl who has the never-ending bag.  She's asked me if I like flying, and has informed me that she likes getting off of the plane.  She is currently unpacking everything anyone could ever need to make a scrap book.  Her sister is jumping around like a monkey.  It's weird, I like kids more the more I work with them.  I think they are teaching me how to play again.  Yesterday I spent a half an hour as a zombie queen.  My scroungey little zombie helper clung tick-like to my neck as I chased the smaller children around the room saying things like "BRAASRISLIFN!!!" and "I'm going to eat you!" I instructed my tick to bite Bryan (my fellow teacher) but we never caught him.  I really enjoy being a teacher. 

"CNN Christmas eve.  Barack Obama will be REVEALED" Yeah whatever CNN. You're just going to show me his hot body again.  ("I can't wait for the airplane to yand!" -little sister).  Oh, wow, they are actually reporting real news, but their interspersing it with the topless photo.  

My small companion is really organized and awesome. "Yeah. I brought a lot of stuff to do because you can't just come to the airport and get on a plane, you know?" Well, I didn't know actually.  I am finding this out for the first time.  This girl seems really sweet, but now she is making fun of me because I don't watch TV. "You don't have cable? You don't have nuthin'?" she corrects herself a second later "nothing." Now she murmurs "Friends don't let friends watch cable." I laugh because she's contradicting herself, she says, "that's from a commercial!"
This is hilarious. 

I will write more later if I find myself huddled around a small illegal fire.  But for now, this is Christy, signing out.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Too Music




Yesterday we drew to music at one of our community centers.  I really liked it.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Where is the Sun Today?




What a dreary moment. The rain seems to have couched itself over Albuquerque just as my darling Stephanie has returned to North Dakota for Christmas.  Last night I gushed enthusiastically to some new friends about how wonderful this place is, emphasizing the sun.  But where is the sun today!? Oh me oh my o.  


Friday, December 12, 2008

What do you think?

video

Dancing to the talking heads is good for the body and mind.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Albuquerque


Albuquerque, I have heard recently, is a land of the brokenhearted. This idea interests me because locals are forever cryptically calling this the land of entrapment --although the license plates insist it is the land of "enchantment." What is it about Albuquerque that has it stepping between love and loss?  Neil Young wrote a sad song about Albuquerque.  I am downloading it now, so I can listen, and hopefully, understand.

Here is comes!  Now I am listening to the strains of "Albuquerque." As I listen I will muse.  


Driving back from the community center where I work in the "war zone" I was drawn into a discussion about the garish lights and signs that are so central to Burque's mystique.  The conversation lead me to proclaim that 'some people don't do things to do them beautifully.'  But then I realized that after they do these things without beauty in mind, beauty still comes.  Once, I wandered into the reference library downtown and found a book of photographs documenting the signs of Albuquerque.  They advertised fuel, fast food, and hotels- and they were beautiful all seen together like that.


That's how the signs are here.  They are grouped together, lining the longest, most tired stretches of roads.  My favorite garish and aging advertising remnant is sculpture of a lumberjack sitting on a pole twenty feet up and reaching twenty feet higher.  I have never found out what he's advertising. There aren't many lumberjacks here.



Actually there aren't a whole lot of trees here either.  The only place you can really find a lot of trees is down by the Rio Grande which is quickly becoming my favorite part of Albuquerque. While the streets are crowded with loud reds and bellowing yellows on all the signage, the river and all that surrounds it is a comfortable range of browns.  The river is chocolate milk, the leaves are aging orange, the ground is thick brown, the goat-heads are a kind of blonde, and the wood comes in a variety of shades between stark white and black.  The overall effect is extremely calming.  I feel that I am being reintegrated into the earth when I am by the river because there is such a contrast between the low brown everything and the exemplary unending sky.




Maybe it's something about the difference between the land and the sky that makes this a heartbroken place.  We are exceptionally close to impossible empty beauty from the vantage of our brown river, and our prickly plants.  Maybe the gaudy yellow and flashing neon signs intervene in this relationship: each glowing "El Rey" and "Red Ball Cafe" a lonely love letter to the sky.


Friday, December 5, 2008

Location







Location, my back yard at 1pm on a Friday.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Communion One










































Our first ever music show at Park Ave. was dream filled.  It was the first of a new monthly event to be called "Communion"—we are in direct competition with an established show called "Sunday School," so we kind of had to go with the religious terminology.  It was really good.