Thursday, February 26, 2009

Jitterbug Perfume

So I finished up Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins the other day. I mentioned in this post that I was reading it for the millionth time. I love this book, especially around my birthday. The main theme of the book is immortality through mental and physical conditioning, which intrigues me, especially at the start of another 365-day journey around the sun (i.e. birthday).

I finished up this book the same night as the presidential address, which is pretty ironic because my favorite final quote from the 1,000 year-old main character, Alobar, was...

Our political leaders are unenlightened and corrupt, but with rare exception, political leaders have always been unenlightened and corrupt. I stopped taking politics seriously a long, long time ago, therefore it's had practically no effect on the way I've lived my life. In the end, politics is always a depressant, and I've preferred to be stimulated.

Jason and I agree that we couldn't have said it better ourselves.

Stay Stimulated!! You'll live longer!!

P.S. This post is probably the most political thing you will EVER read on this blog.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Marching Right Along

First March in Portland like our first March in Los Angeles together, when this show was created. "Desperate Living" is just what it says it is and on many levels. Living desperately yet still celebrating life. This show as with the others, although different in theme, content, feel are all pretty much constructed the same way. I select the material, such as audio bits from television, radio, personal recordings, movie dialogue, scores, music, (live and recorded), readings from chosen text, (others as well as mine), to elicit a change in perception through a sort of disruption of the normal routine. With great music and quality material carefully chosen though. Application and placement is where it gets tricky for me, but it is also where the nice little happy accidents take place. I usually have an idea of a starting point with a solid grasp of what will be the thread or the feel, which ends up changing anyway through the progression of the show. Like things tend to do. I get into a groove which then clues me into what will be the next bit of material to mix in. You can, as the listener, choose to listen here and there as you vibrate through a couple hours of your day with great music or listen closely to find the ideas I use to punch through those walls and get into your brain. It's up to you. Hear it is!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Bamboo Bathrobe

That's right, a bamboo bathrobe!

Since it is crazy-cold when we get up in the morning, a bathrobe for me has been on the "list" for awhile. So for my birthday/Valentine's present, Jason and I went on the search for the perfect bathrobe. Our #1 criteria that was that it be made from natural fibers. (There is nothing worse than a polyester/velour robe that gets slimy when wet.) After checking a few stores, we got very lucky and found a fluffy pinkish pale purple Eco-Spa Bamboo robe at Macy's that was perfect for the following reasons:

1. It was on sale -- whoo hoo!

2. It was not just made of natural fibers, but to our surprise, it was made from 70% bamboo and 30% Turkish cotton!

In case you're wondering, "What the heck good is a bamboo robe?" Well, here's the skinny:

The Eco-Spa Bamboo robe is a favored alternative to traditional terry robes because it is four times more absorbent and it has natural antibacterial properties from the bamboo.

70% naturally grown Bamboo fibers blended with 30% super absorbent Turkish Cotton.

Bamboo grows naturally without the use of pesticides. It is a natural cellulose fiber which is converted into yarns without the addition of chemicals, and is 100% biodegradable in soil by micro-organism and sunshine, causing no pollution to the environment.

Bamboo is incredibly soft, long wearing bamboo adapts to your body's temperature and wicks away moisture. The fast drying, antibacterial nature of bamboo greatly reduces natural allergens.

Perfect! I love it!

In case you're wondering, "What about Jason, doesn't he need a robe too?" Don't worry, we're going to share it, he looks great in pink! ;-)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

"And She Was" by Talking Heads

I feel like I didn't do justice to my favorite get-your-butt-moving song, "And She Was" by Talking Heads in the last post. The lyrics were in a scrolling box in the sidebar, but I really want you to understand why this song is SO GREAT! So I thought I'd post the lyrics for you to read here with a link to the song. Now, you can listen to it yourself -- maybe it will inspire you too!



And she was lying in the grass
And she could hear the highway breathing
And she could see a nearby factory
She's making sure she is not dreaming
See the lights of a neighbor's house
Now she's starting to rise
Take a minute to concentrate
And she opens up her eyes

The world was moving she was right there with it and she was
The world was moving she was floating above it and she was

and she was

And she was drifting through the backyard
And she was taking off her dress
And she was moving very slowly
Rising up above the earth
Moving into the universe
And she's drifting this way and that
Not touching the ground at all
And she's up above the yard

The world was moving she was right there with it and she was

Hey, hey

The world was moving she was floating above it and she was

Hey, hey, hey

She was proud about it... no doubt about it
She isn't sure about what she's done
No time to think about what to tell them
No time to think about what she's done
And she was

Hey hey, hey hey, hey!

And she was looking at herself
And things were looking like a movie
She had a pleasant elevation
She's moving out in all directions
Oh, oh oh

Hey hey hey Hey hey hey
Hey hey hey Hey hey hey
Hey hey hey Hey hey hey

The world was moving she was right there with it and she was
Hey, woo hoo
The world was moving she was floating above it and she was
Hey, hey

Joining the world of missing persons and she was
Missing enough to feel all right and she was

Ha ha

And she was

My favorite lines are...

And she was looking at herself
And things were looking like a movie
She had a pleasant elevation
She's moving out in all directions

...because most of the time I feel like my life is something from a movie or a book, but definitely not a conventional reality. And I think the idea of having a "pleasant elevation" is a nice compromise between elated and content. And if you know me, I'm forever "moving out in all directions", so much in fact that I hardly ever know where to start and when to stop, so I just try to stay "right there with it"...


Listen to "And She Was" here! Just scroll down (I think it's number 15) and clickety on the play button next to the name of the song and listen for free.

If you like that, check out "Road to Nowhere" (number 14) on the same page. That one hits close to home, too. "Feelin okay this morning and you know, we're on the road to we go, here we go!"

Monday, February 09, 2009

Finding Inspiration

I try to keep the posts on this blog as creative as possible, but it’s hard to ignore that the majority of my day/week is spent away from my creative setting. I think it’s necessary for me (maybe not for you) to address the non-creative, completely anti-inspirational other part of my daily life and then to realize how inspiration can be found anywhere.

I work at one of the largest HR consulting firms in the WORLD. It’s a very serious place, with lots of serious people, and we deal with serious money. So you can see that this is SERIOUS stuff. It can get pretty stifling at times. That’s why my creative outlets are so important to me. Not everyone has the luxury of being a full-time craftista. Maybe there are some of you out there that can empathize with my situation, maybe not. If not, here’s a look at a work day in the life of me. Please indulge me as I lament...

Getting Up
First, it’s DARK when I get up (nothing new) but now it’s COLD too. This is new to my system. Living most of my life below the Mason-Dixon Line has proven to be a debilitating factor for me here. It wouldn’t be such an issue if I just jumped into my roasty-toasty car and drove to work, but I have a bit of a commute on the public transit to get to my office downtown.

Getting Dressed
Next, I have to figure out how to wear the most layers of clothes without overtly looking like the crazy-southern-fried-hot-house-flower that I really am. On the coldest days, I have ended up wearing a tank top, long underwear top, long sleeve cotton t-shirt, wool sweater, long sweater coat, wool socks, leg warmers, wool pants, and tall woolly boots. Of course, that is just what’s under the wool coat, wool scarf, wool hat, and wool gloves. Overkill? I think not. You can always take the layers off, but once you’re frozen, that’s it for the rest of the day!

The Commute
Then, I step out of the house and choke on the frozen fog that has settled in our valley, walk half a mile to the MAX station, hop on the train (whenever it decides to show up), ride for 45 minutes, get off downtown, walk another 1/2 mile to the office, up the elevator to the 11th floor, enter my beloved cubicle (kidding) where I spend the next 8+ hours staring at a computer screen and being very serious. Then I turn around at the end of the day and do it in reverse, hoping it won’t rain/snow on me or that the train won’t get delayed (I’ve waited in the rain for over an hour on several occasions.)

Getting Home
Finally, once I get home, I strip off the layers upon layers of wool and jump directly into my jammies, put on two fresh pairs of socks (house shoes just don't cut it), have a beer and think of all the crafty things that I’m too tired to do.

I know, you’re thinking “You wanted it. You chose to live where you do and you chose to live the life that you do.” I’ll give you that. I’m not complaining, even if it sounds like it, I’m really not. There are so many things about my daily routine that I am thankful for and find inspiration in.

MUSIC. Specifically, Talking Heads during the commute. I put on my trusty mp3 player (not iPod, not really interested in tricked-out technology for mucho $$$ when the cheap version meets my needs just fine) and I listen to “And She Was” by Talking Heads. This song really gets me to steppin to and from the J-O-B and puts me in a good mood.

Once I’m at work, I have a giant playlist on my computer that gets me through the day, ranging from Bob Marley, Tori Amos, Nina Simone, Sam Cooke, Leonard Cohen, Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan and Stan Getz to Sublime, Radiohead, Temple of the Dog, Stone Temple Pilots, The Verve, and Rage Against the Machine. There are SO many more, but I think this is a representative cross section. Listening to music while I work lets my mind ponder and wonder about the not-so-serious things in life.

BOOKS. Specifically, Tom Robbins when I have a feeling of heightened awareness, curiosity, or lightheartedness. (Jack, Jan or Joan) Kerouac when I want to dream about living without consequence or direction. I also find solace in their descriptions of the “road” that we all seem to share. Steinbeck when I want to embrace fine literature and the allegories that he magically creates. In general, I’ll try out any author or book, but I do prefer to read prose. I just finished Anna Karenina and it was so good, I dreamed in Russian aristocracy for weeks. I cherish the time I spend taking public transportation and not driving. I get to have some prep/recovery time instead of going mad in traffic (and paying tons to park).

Today, I was reading “Jitterbug Perfume” by Tom Robbins for the millionth time and the intro is fabulous. I must share:


The beet is the most intense of vegetables. The radish, admittedly, is more feverish, but the fire of the radish is a cold fire, the fire of discontent not passion. Tomatoes are lusty enough, yet there runs through tomatoes an undercurrent of frivolity. Beets are deadly serious.

Slavic peoples get their physical characteristics from potatoes,their smoldering inquietude from radishes, their seriousness from beets.

The beet is the melancholy vegetable, the one most willing to suffer. You can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip...

The beet is the murderer returned to the scene of the crime. The beet is what happens when the cherry finishes with the carrot. The beet is the ancient ancestor of the autumn moon, bearded, buried, all but fossilized; the dark green sails of the grounded moon-boat stitched with veins of primordial plasma; the kite string that once connected the moon to the Earth now a muddy whisker drilling desperately for rubies.

The beet was Rasputin’s favorite vegetable. You could see it in his eyes.

In Europe there is grown widely a large beet they call the mangel-wurzel. Perhaps it is mangel-wurzel that we see in Rasputin. Certainly there is mangel-wurzel in the music of Wagner, although it is another composer whose name begins, B-e-e-t-----.

Of course, there are white beets, beets that ooze sugar water instead of blood, but it is the red beet with which we are concerned; the variety that blushes and swells like a hemorrhoid, a hemorrhoid for which there is no cure. (Actually, there is one remedy: commission a potter to make you a ceramic asshole--and when you aren’t sitting on it, you can use it as a bowl for borscht.)

An old Ukrainian proverb warns, “A tale that begins with a beet will end with the devil.”

That is a risk we have to take.

So now when I get home, I think “I’m beet” and just laugh a little on the inside and know that it’s all about seeking out and finding inspiration, whether it is creative inspiration or just inspiration to keep on keepin on.

What inspires you?

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Oregon Sunset

All I can say is "Wow!"

Check out more pictures of the Oregon Sunset at Cannon Beach on Flickr in the Cannon Beach, OR set. There are several more that are just as spectacular. It was a glorious evening for photos.

We will be uploading TONS of photos to JaSar Creative on Flickr in the next few days, so take a look. We thought you might be interested in peaking into our world through our eyes.