gordonzola: (Default)
I didn’t know how we got on the wrong road, or rather on the right road headed the wrong way. We didn’t know it yet anyway. We were making the best of a not-bad situation -- like everyone else on that stretch of road -- sitting and waiting for the one-way construction to be cleared. It seemed like a good excuse to open up our cooler for a spontaneous picnic. Better than stopping in Vegas for lunch anyway.

Oops, the Tupperware container I wanted was underwater. I opened the lid and saw our lunch was submerged. I poured it out hoping to salvage the food. Stagey pretended it would work.

It’s a good thing that I over pack the food for vacation. I mean, I work in a damn grocery store so that’s pretty easy. Today’s intended lunch was destroyed, but there was plenty of bean salad, chips, cookies and cold drinks. And cheese, of course. The Tupperware of cheese -- probably the most expensive collection of cheese to be found in 200 miles –was on top of the submerged Tupperware. Hell we had more real food in the car than most of the gas station mini marts we had stopped at for the last two days.

Plenty of time to picnic as we waited for the road to re-open. We were happy to get on our way when it finally did. But five miles down the road we realized that we were headed to Tonopah, not Vegas, that the whole waiting 20 minutes for the construction to clear was completely unnecessary. We laughed. I mean, when else would we get to have lunch in the middle of I 95? Besides, wasting time is the point of vacation. It’s like getting on the wrong MUNI and being able to enjoy the ride instead of calling frantically late for work.

Coming back through Beatty looking for where I went wrong in the navigation, we saw the sign for 95 S. Then we saw the back of the sign that we missed when heading the other direction. Then we saw the huge tree in front of it.

“Probably planted by the Tonopah business association,” Stagey said. We laughed.
gordonzola: (Default)
We stopped at an alternating, one-way construction zone, dead stopped on a road with hard winds and dust devils rocking the car back and forth. Opening the windows to get fresh air… closing them after getting hit in the face with dirt. Snow in the distance, rocks and mud close by. It summed up Nevada in early spring.

We waited. I got out of the car and retrieved the food I made but I had fucked up that up too. I hadn’t drained the melted ice when I added more and the water level of the cooler had risen above the level of the Tupperware as the ice melted, soaking our lunch. I pulled the Tupperware out of the cooler seeing if I could save the food. No, but I poured out about a pint of cold water trying.

We waited for a full 20 minutes, other folks got out of their cars and walked around, no cars were moving at all, even towards us.

When we finally got on the road we weren’t exhausted per se, just feeling ready to move. Ready to get where we were going. Ready to get somewhere.

Five miles down the road the sign told us we were on the way to Tonopah, not Las Vegas. We missed the exit and it was my all my fault. All my fault. There was no choice but to wait for the next exit, turn around, and get into the line of stopped traffic going the other direction, waiting in the same wind, the same dirt and the same drowned, inedible food.
gordonzola: (Default)
Sure, I don't see "Ho-made" pies as a negative, but I would think that it wouldn't be a selling point in Southern Utah. Maybe it was run by one of those teen-incarceration places that take all the bad kids from California? Perhaps it was run by a sex worker rehab non-profit? Maybe the sign-maker was taking a little slap at the pastry chef? I don't know... I do know that while it jumped out at me, no one else seemed to notice it.

clicky clicky to see what the hell I'm talking about )

It may be too hot here to post anything but pictures.

Rock pron

Apr. 14th, 2009 08:32 am
gordonzola: (Default)
It’s odd being totally in the middle of nowhere for a week. You come back and see lots of hoo-haw about things you haven’t even heard of. Things happen quickly: “#amazonfail”, Somali pirate hostage stand-off, secret Green Day show, right-wingers adopting “tea-bagging” as a slogan, The Giants seemingly having no hope.* You folks are all worked up!

I will slowly write about our trip as I have time. I just uploaded a ton of pics to flickr.

I’m no back-to-the-lander, but Zion and Southern Utah are pretty damn amazing. I mean, look at this:

These are best appreciated BIG )
gordonzola: (Default)
I had a great trip up to the Russian River. It was rainy and restful.

I had a nice drive down to Pescadero to celebrate a very special birthday, visit baby goats, and eat ollalieberry pie.

On both trips I forgot my brand new camera that I was really excited to take pictures with. So instead, I’ll give you a picture of some partially unsellable cheese (Which is usually a great cheese, btw) because I did remember to bring my camera to work on the way to the Pescadero trip.

Enjoy:

badSJ

bad sj2
gordonzola: (Default)
My favorite thing about Wisconsin is all the cheese crap everywhere. It’s like suddenly everyone can suddenly see what's going on in my head. Despite the disastrous “World’s Largest Cheese Box” that I visited a few years ago, I have forgiven the state of Wisconsin. I just refuse to drive miles out of my way for the attractions anymore.

And why would I when I can just be driving down the road and see things like this:
IMG_1969

One must always stop at the Mars Cheese Castle. Someday I will have the courage to order a drink at the bar.
IMG_1961

Paul, where’s Babe? And why are you holding the axe like that. I don’t like that look in your eye
IMG_1956

And this will be the cover art for my emo album
IMG_1978

But seriously, this is creepy, right?
IMG_1977

Back home

Oct. 13th, 2005 09:48 am
gordonzola: (thatsabigcow)
Back from the Northwest. Tired. Got in at 4:45 AM and construction started on the burned out house next door at 8 AM. Ouch. Expect coherency another day.

About ten miles south of Grants Pass we hit a full-grown deer while doing 65 mph. Luckily for us, it was already dead and lying in the road. A big truck was in front of us so we didn’t see it until it was too late to swerve. I can’t believe the car didn’t get fucked up but the side is covered in spattered blood and the smell was BAD, I assume from where the blood got on the engine, by the time we go back to Frisco.

Stupidly, I scheduled myself to give a tour today for a UCB class on co-ops. I just realized there are 30 people in the class and it is going to be a bit of an ordeal space-wise. Oops. Hopefully most simply won’t show for the trip across the bay. If you see me in the store today trying to herd 30 disinterested college kids, don’t heckle. I’m already on edge.

I’ll talk about the conference in a future post but I need to thank a bunch of folks: [livejournal.com profile] arispurr, thank you so much for the apartment to stay in. [livejournal.com profile] prof_southbay, thanks for everything. Come home now. [livejournal.com profile] goodbadgirl, you too.

[livejournal.com profile] dirtylibrarian, [livejournal.com profile] thisisnotanlj, [livejournal.com profile] ladycakes, [livejournal.com profile] somepoems, and [livejournal.com profile] sleepyhen, thank you for all the hospitality. [livejournal.com profile] chloesha, unbelievably the poster made it back intact. [livejournal.com profile] queen_beeanna, I loved seeing you but fuck you for making me explain the concept of "cuddle parties" to people at my conference because I was still chuckling over it days later. [livejournal.com profile] elementa thank you for showing me a part of Portland I never knew existed.

It was all too fast and I’m back full speed at work too soon.

oh yeah

Oct. 5th, 2005 12:36 pm
gordonzola: (Default)
I forgot to mention that I am away for the Western Worker-Coop Conference so don't expect much from me until mid-October. I'm sitting in [livejournal.com profile] dirtylibrarian's library right now exchanging conference e-mails and waiting to go to lunch in beautiful Bellevue.
gordonzola: (Default)
I probably wouldn’t reminisce about my dead high school friend Rachael so much if her grave wasn’t in a cemetery on the road to the Russian River. I realized that with [livejournal.com profile] dairryiere moving in, [livejournal.com profile] obliviot and [livejournal.com profile] psoup in Pennsylvania, and Niki and Scott somewhere further north, there’s more death than life in Sonoma County for me. At least with my oldest friends. It seems like every time I drive through Sonoma, and as you can see I have less and less reason to, I pass Rachael’s grave or the stupid golf course where Ron’s memorial was held.

I know the body is empty of life and decomposing peacefully into the earth. And I know that I didn’t see her alive for the last years of her life. But it still seems rude to pass by her grave without stopping. I mean, it’s not like she can visit me.

I had forgotten that I would be passing the cemetery until I turned onto it following the weird but good directions I got from yahoo maps. I looked down at the map and sighed. Oh yeah, Graton Road. I tried to think about what I could leave as an offering. I had a cheese button and a Gang of Four button on but I knew Rachael pre-cheese and she never liked the English bands. I had some food but she sailed off to Valhalla years ago. I only had CDs, no tapes that we would have shared. None of the rubber iguanas that I buy in her memory to leave when I pass by.

Luckily I looked in the rearview mirror and saw the reflection of an X promo poster that I had gotten at a garage sale the last weekend along with a book on Chinchilla care. I bought it for someone else, but it seemed like fate. Or at least good enough for the spur of the moment. Rachael and I had shared some quality X moments together, back in the day.



The river was wonderful, by the way. Sun enough to burn me, water cold enough to cool me down, Lagunitas Pils, gin and tonics, Boggle , [livejournal.com profile] jactitation, and [livejournal.com profile] confabulator. A perfect day away from the city.



(backstory for those interested can be found on my memories page under "obituaries")
gordonzola: (Default)
Making observations on the people you see while driving across country is fraught with the danger of pretentious first-year-in-college prose. It feels so right and Kerouacian (or even Cometbusian. Actually, I don’t know why I wrote "even" since I like Aaron’s writing better than Jack’s) but that’s only because it’s usually so thread bare as the tires on the trucks of the Oakies who left the Great Plains during the Dust Bowl years.* Salt-of-the-earth, how-do-people-live-like-this, or oh-shit-they’re-gonna-Easy-Rider-us, we’ve all read the narrative. They write themselves as most cliches do.

We stopped in Sioux Falls, South Dakota at the Food Co-op we found on the internet. We needed to replenish our sandwich supplies both because it was cheaper and neither of us could deal with stopping at Perkins twice a day. It was exactly the way a small city Food Co-op should be: a commingling of hippies and punks. The punks were so cute I wanted to take them home and cuddle them. I still feel guilty that I laughed when one of them asked if we had just moved to town from San Francisco. I mean, it could happen…

But we were the walking cliches, in town for a half hour. First stocking up on food and then both yacking on our individual cell phones in the parking lot because it was the first place in 1000 miles we’d gotten reception. ([livejournal.com profile] tubyred that’s where I called you from). What a couple of urban assholes!

No, what I feel qualified to write about is the dashboard of the car. And other tourists. And the bad indie rock [livejournal.com profile] prof_southbay likes so much. Actually she was very nice to not inflict very much on me. It was, after all, her car. She never made me listen to Interpol, for example, though we did listen to Postal Service. I’m sure it says something deep that these angsty boys name their bands after government agencies. Is it about being so filled with emotions when the world is an unfeeling, faceless bureaucracy? Or just pure lack of imagination? When I start my indie rock band I will call it "Weights and Measures". Feel the awesomeness.

I love driving across the country because it’s empty and relaxing. To be sure, it’s relaxing because I don’t live there. Though I have connections with rural folk through my job, it never really dawned on me that my family has been urban/suburban for all the generations back to people’s homelands. Though I was born in Michigan, my parents were only there a few years between coasts and since we left when I was 2 and a half my only tangible reminder is an "a" I occasionally lose control of while talking. Those formative years really are important I guess.

I don’t want to speak for the Prof, but it was amazing to see her see the old downtowns of small towns for the first time. It made me feel a little like a jaded jerk because I wasn’t feeling the wonder as much. But that stuff is infectious. It wasn’t like we wanted to move to Sheridan, Wyoming but built-to-last, untrendy buildings and a nice café certainly made it a great rest stop. We didn’t get to find out if the "Rainbow Bar" with the neon "Welcome Strangers" was queer or not but maybe next trip.

In rural Wisconsin, where I made us go for the lame-ass cheese replica, the myth of California was still alive, albeit in the confused way that it is for people who don’t know how big California is. The woman behind the hotel desk asked the Prof if she saw a lot of "stars" walking around. I think the answer she got was "not so much". In other places, people were amazed to meet Californians who actually grew up in California.

Outside the Corn Palace, actually inside the "Mad Cow Café", the person in line in front of us asked if the "King City" on my shirt referred to a town in Texas. I told him it was a city in California but a band from San Francisco. He said he lived in SF for a year in the early ‘70s and asked if Nob Hill still a "wild place". I swear he got a little lost in time for a second and was disappointed to hear the answer was "no".

I’m surprised when I see the myth of California living on. But then, having grown up here I’m not sure I really get it either. Sure, I’ve got the inherent smugness of a Californian whose parents moved here, but I long ago stopped trying to get people to move here. In the words of fellow Bay Areans Rancid, who I don’t tend to quote often, "This ain’t no Mecca man, this place is fucked". But it’s still home.



*This hackneyed metaphor was used to drive home the point. The "drive" pun is your bonus treat.

More pics

Aug. 11th, 2005 07:57 am
gordonzola: (Default)
Here are some more trip pictures from our favorite stop, The Porter Sculpture Park

The steer sculpture is made out of railroad parts and is 65 ft tall.
skeleton steer

Me and Pandora’s box for a sense of scale
pandora

The last one is behind a cut. I made it big so you can read the sign )
gordonzola: (Default)
carousel hotr

The carousel at The House on the Rock. I had no flash or tripod so I had to use those old photo lab skills I thought had atrophied. The three photo geeks on my list might care, so I'll tell you that I used my Pentax P3 propped up on [livejournal.com profile] prof_southbay's bag in self-timer mode and the longest exposure possible.
gordonzola: (Default)
Here ya go. I wish it had been chaps and a vest too. But the Jolly Green Giant was never really known for his fashion sense. I dare someone to dress like this for Folsom.
jolly green leather boy
gordonzola: (Default)
Hey, I’m back. God damn, much of this country is big and empty. I’ve driven x-country about 6 times so I did know that, but 15 years of cramped city living gives it more perspective. And I haven’t driven across since 1993 so I really had forgotten.

Here are some highlights (no pics yet):

Best Breakfast Special: Hattie’s Hat, Seattle Washington. Fried chicken and eggs any style is called "Mother and Child Reunion"

Best Sign on side of the Road: Somewhere in Montana near Butte. Handwritten "Yard Sale! 1000’s of items. Man Stuff!"

Best Roadside Attraction: Porter Sculpture Park At one point, [livejournal.com profile] prof_southbay pointed out that we had left the interstate, no one else was around, and we were walking through a garden of creepy and twisted sculptures. Sounds like a horror movie, it does. But this stuff was great. I owe [livejournal.com profile] jamie_miller bigtime for this suggestion.

Best Alteration of a Famous Roadside Attraction: Blue Earth, Minnesota. Doing the Jolly Green Giant up in fake leather in honor of the Sturgis Biker Rally. Yes, I will have pictures.

Biggest Roadside Disappointment: Neilsville, Wisconsin. World’s biggest cheese replica. At the motel I asked the woman at the desk where the big cheese was. She replied, "You mean the big cheese replica?" When I heard this I thought to myself why does the "World’s Largest Talking Cow" get to be just a cow but the big cheese has to be a "replica"? When I saw it however, I understood. Unlike the rest of the state of Wisconsin which goes all out on its huge replicas of farm animals and wild beasts, Neilsville half-assed this cheese display. It’s a fucking BOX inside a trailer that is the same size as the original cheese was. Have they never heard of Styrofoam and orange spray paint?

Song stuck in my Head (Positive): "Chewing Gum" by Annie. We listened to it every morning when we started driving.

Song Stuck in Head (Negative): The tinny, slow version of "Octopus’s Garden" playing at The House on the Rock.

Moment of Destiny? As we drove through Mitchell, South Dakota, I saw an abandoned building in the downtown area set off from houses. I said, "That looks like a great place to start a punk bar." As we drove out of town after seeing the Corn Palace, I noticed that it was a failed cheese shop.

LJers who made the trip fun (Besides[livejournal.com profile] prof_southbay of course): [livejournal.com profile] dirtylibrarian, [livejournal.com profile] goodbadgirl,[livejournal.com profile] lth, [livejournal.com profile] grapesoda, [livejournal.com profile] teabee, [livejournal.com profile] oldfatpunk, [livejournal.com profile] thisisnotanlj, [livejournal.com profile] slanderous, [livejournal.com profile] icki, [livejournal.com profile] carpacegreen, carpace_spouse">, [livejournal.com profile] n2plus6, and [livejournal.com profile] azazal78.

Best Thing Immediately upon returning to San Francisco: The weather. Cool and wet. How do you people survive in that fucking heat?

PS I can't read anyone's comments on LJ. Is it just my old browser?
gordonzola: (Default)
Been passing Custer/Little Big Horn memorials all day. I am so glad I bought a copy of the Minutemen's "Punch Line" CD in Seattle. As d. boon once said in the song "The Punch Line",

I believe when they found the body of Genral George A Custer quilled like a porcupine with Indian arrows, he didn't die with any honor, dignity, or valor. I believe when they found the body of General George A Custer, American general, patriot, and Indian fighter, he died with a shit in his pants.
gordonzola: (Default)
People, people. Take a deep breath. You’ll have to make do without me for the next two weeks or so while I drive cross country with [livejournal.com profile] prof_southbay from Seattle to Michigan. In response to many of your inquiries, no, I am not going to the Michigan Women’s Music Festival. Ever since they started letting punk bands play there it just hasn’t been the same. So much anger. Not enough water metaphors.

Here’s a fun discussion, what would be a more absurd vacation for me to take than that? Behave yourselves down there. I won’t be around to referee. While I’m gone I’ll miss all your soundless voices in the ether of my best electronic friend. Take care.
gordonzola: (Default)
So, if you were driving x-country from Seattle to Ann Arbor what sites would you stop to see along the way? I mean, besides this of course.
gordonzola: (Default)
I was in a quandary about yesterday. I was invited to two events I would normally love to attend but didn’t know if I wanted to go to either. Yesterday was the one year anniversary of Rachael’s death* and I felt the need to leave my options open for depression if I needed to.

Further complicating things was that one event was a baby shower for two co-workers which meant that [livejournal.com profile] anarqueso was having problems finding a sub so she could go to the other event, [livejournal.com profile] plee’s (who should write more often, by the way) Birthday Party of Pies. Since Queso knew Plee first, I’d promised to work for her if no one else could.

I expected the one year anniversary to be emotionally meaningful but I realized late this week that it wasn’t going to be. Sure, I would think about Rachael. I would call our mutual friend and my partner in mourning. I would re-read some of her letters. But I’ve felt sad all year and I didn’t feel like staying home al day inviting more sadness in. I don’t feel like I’ve been lacking in remembrance.

Then my Husband co-worker told me they were playing a house party in Santa Cruz and there was space in the van. Plus they were playing with [livejournal.com profile] icki’s band Short Eyes. Plus [livejournal.com profile] reddawn just moved to Santa Cruz and needed a break from the Stepford Hippies. Fuck this grief, I said, I’m gonna go have fun.

After Queso’s shift ended, I got in the Husband van with a MPW tote** filled with ice, beer, and iced tea and we headed the hour and a half to the show. I tried to get everyone in the mood for Santa Cruz by pulling out my old California accent and saying, "Sweeeeeeeeeeet" a lot but no one noticed.

It was a typical house show in a lot of ways. No one from the house was there when we showed up but The Husbands began loading in anyway. The mics didn’t really work, especially after Icki started banging it around while singing. There was confusion. The bands played short sets in case the cops were gonna come.

But it was just what I needed, the reason I got into punk in the first place. An event. A happening. A friendly community beyond the mean exteriors. Too many people crammed into loud, sweaty, beer-filled rooms. Anger and noise and musical release of emotions.

And of course, Peeps. Any good punk show gives you a physical reminder that you were there: Bruises, new haircuts or piercings, grafittied clothes, hangovers, lost voices, etc. While I didn’t get to see the Suit of Peeps Armor that his girlfriend*** made for him for the tour, Peeps were flung with abandon as Icki charged the crowd in a room where no one could move. He fell. Other people fell. He fell a lot more times, and all the while Peeps filled the air. Soon the Peeps were ground into the carpet by boots and backs. My physical reminder? A pair of Peep encrusted boots that I’ve been trying to clean for the last hour.

It would be a cheap thematic link to say this show was somehow connected to Rachael, the girl who I first went to punk shows with back in the early ‘80s. I wasn’t actively mourning as I drank beer, moved awkwardly to the music and tried to avoid being hit by stale marshmallow "food".

But a day later, I can appreciate that she was there for some of the first times I realized that I needed loud, obnoxious music and parties on the verge of veering out of control as staples of my life. It’s one of the reasons she’ll always have a place in my heart.



*no more linking of this. You can find it in the memory section if you want.
**true story but kinda a natural foods worker in-joke. I didn’t have a cooler so I used the heavy plastic boxes that come with the pallets of groceries we get from our biggest distributor. It worked great! Mountain People’s Warehouse (MPW) is known as UNFI elsewhere, fyi.
***oooooh, [livejournal.com profile] slanderous may hate me for this one.
gordonzola: (Default)
I like LA a little more every time I visit. I still couldn’t picture actually living in LA, but it’s got lots of good things about it and I see more every time I’m there. It’s a real city in ways which SF is not (size, racial diversity etc) and I think I want to visit more often.

Understand what a struggle it is for an (almost) native Northern Californian to say this. Whenever I used to think of LA it was all negative. Nothing but water stealers and plastic people! It’s still too hot for me. (The East Bay is too hot for me) and I would hate having to drive everywhere. But LA has the possibility angle still intact. You can still find a cheapish place to live. You could actually own a house. You could actually rent a big, abandoned storefront. . .

Of course, it seems like my friends there have a hard time finding work.

Anyways, Feelings on a Grid and I left SF on Saturday at the crack of Noon. The Feelings boys don’t move quickly except on stage. We tried to make it to the Scutterfest (http://scutter.hypermart.net/) punk show that night but 7 hours later, and stopped dead in traffic near downtown LA, we abandoned plans and headed for Yucaipa to stay with Le Grid’s family. Yucaipa’s a hot, dusty, working class town not far from Palm Springs. The family Grid was wonderful, putting us up on their couches and floor, and sharing stories of conception music and industrial accidents at the Wonder Bread factory. They even had two huge pigs in the back yard. Though sold to them as those cute little pot-bellied pigs that stay tiny and pet-like, these never stopped growing and are now 7-800 pound PIGS. Are there any animals cuter than pigs? No way.

We drove back to LA for the show and were the first band to arrive. Since we couldn’t set up until right before the performance we sat around and read zines. The owner/manager came through and checked everyone’s IDs except mine and DM Feelings. "You guys are as old as me," he said as he stamped our hands. Heh heh. I love being a grown up.

The crowd itself was one of the most diverse I’d seen in years at a punkish show.. Partially because it’s LA, partially because it was the electronic/new wave night of Scutterfest, I guess. Scutterfest is one of those events you love to go to because everyone’s happy to be there and super-friendly.

It’s always weird to be at a punk show in another city. It’s like when you haven’t seen your soap opera in a year and all the actors have been changed. "Today on ‘Punkshow, Anytown, USA’, the part of Drunk Mohawk Punk will be played by. . ." I wander around thinking I recognize people but then realize they’re someone else entirely.

Soon enough [livejournal.com profile] misscallis, [livejournal.com profile] mazette, and Dk arrived and it was time for Feelings to go on. They had to follow a tragic lone, love-gone-wrong, guitarist balladeer which could have been terrible, but luckily enough people were arriving so the crowd was inching closer to the stage.

I realize I think of some of these things as structural issues. What makes a good party/show? You need a critical mass of excited people. In this case, someone needs to break the ice because the crowd was pushing itself against the back walls of the club to be as far away as possible from the tragic crooner. Scarred by the previous performer, they left the center of the club empty except for the occasional tumbleweed.. A band can play its best ever, but if no one approaches the stage it will be a sucky show. At this point, the crowd needed not only to be won over, but they also needed to feel unembarrassed to come close to the stage. This can be a hard thing for a band to do, especially in a city where no one’s ever seen them before.

But Feelings were up to it. I got my friends to be the designated front-row-center people and Feelings did the rest, playing one of their best shows ever. Partially that was because the sound system at Fais Do Do was great, but it was inspiring to see them turn an uncommitted crowd into a happy dancing one. One lucky crowd member, who had been running/dancing around the audience to show his love for the Feelings boys, got to give DM Feelings a little horsey ride when he got too close to the stage and DM sat on him. They also had a lovely unicorn painting for the "You see art. I see clay" section of "Sonoma". And a lovely trannyquin head that supposedly looked like Le Grid’s father with a beard.

After the show I gave out "I’m on a date with my Feelings"(thanks again [livejournal.com profile] tarynhipp) buttons to excited zine girls and someone did the weird LA thing of asking for the band’s business card. ("No. But I can rip off a piece of paper and scrawl their e-mail address if you want," was my reply). Some CDs were bought. We hung out to watch a couple of bands including the wonderful "Hot and Heavy" who were kinda like Le Tigre meets the Human League. Rudy, the person who organized Scutterfest was in that band and though fairly unpracticed, they were totally fun.

I do want to mention one thing about Scutterfest that made me pause. But because negative things always seem to outweigh positive statements 10:1, I want to make it clear that this was a great event. Almost unbelievably well-organized, a great mix of performers, a good cause and an atmosphere of support and unity. None of this is easy to do and Rudy should be proud of this event. And this criticism comes from me an observer, not the Feelings boys. They knew the show was a benefit and knew they were going to lose money to support the event and were happy to play it and even happier after they saw what a terrific event it was.

But while it’s great that it provides a couple of $1000 scholarships for queer youth in the arts, it made the bad economics of being a performer even more obvious. Feelings had to rent a van, buy gas and miss a day of work each to play their show and they got paid not even a tenth of their expenses. Supporting queer youth is great, but what about working class, queer adults? Figuring out a way to support them might be even harder. Don’t misinterpret me. No one is getting rich on this fest. Not being an artist, I just saw the economics of performing in a starker way then I ever had before. It’s a hard world out there.

After we left Scutterfest we tried to make nomy lamm’s performance across town but missed it by 10 minutes. Though I’ve known her for about10 years and read all her zines I’ve still never seen her spoken word performance. Sigh. Kelli, Mazzy and Dk then took us to a very LA Thai place for food that wasn’t nearly as bad as they warned us it would be. But then again we were very hungry

Our ride home was fairly uneventful. DM broke the tape player for awhile but the radio wasn’t bad near Fresno. We read out loud from "Brother", an early ‘70s pro-feminist Men’s zine which looked at the roles of men in society with a critical Gay Liberationist, anti-racist and socialist perspective. Since the tape player still didn’t work, we convened a little men’s group meeting and talked about our relation to women, porn and our feelings about our own roles and goals.

And that’s why I love Feelings on a Grid.



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