Category Archives: Everyday

Whose sparkling personality?

So I’m trying to figure out if I’ll be earning enough to move out and rent a small room somewhere…it’ll be tight but probably worth it. In the meantime I’ve been amusing myself, I’ve embarked on one mad adventure and I’d tell you all about it but am hoping that everything I write on the subject will be one day copyrighted and sold in newsagents everywhere so you’ll just have to wait for it to be published. I’ve started work on the novel as well, I knew moving was a fucking brilliant idea.

And I’m having so many adventures that some can be shared…yesterday I went into town and walked around with Bob, started at the Gallery of Modern Art which is kind of a cool place and I discovered there’s a library and a cafe in the basement, who knew? I’m going to have to go back and see about getting a card. On the second floor there’s a crazy art piece about the weapons invented by schoolchildren, I quite like it. So after a coffee and some discussion of the common good games, we went off on our walk and Bob’s brilliant to walk with, he knows everything about everything. We passed my new place of work, walked past the old sherrif’s courts and I learned that the building in front used to be an old sweatshop with artist studios on top and Bob had a studio up there and they used to sit out smoking weed while staring down at the sherrif’s bldg, and when the sweatshop workers went on strike in mid winter, they’d come warm up with a quick coffee or tea in the studio before heading back out to the picket line. Passed the Trongate which has a brilliant history: http://www.tron.co.uk/about.asp?page=History, and the Panopticon theatre where Stan Laurel of Laurel and Hardy made his stage debut http://www.monklands.co.uk/panopticon/index.htm… I love Laurel and Hardy, and I love Glasgow, this town is full of treasures and no one even knows that they’re there. Hope the fucking council doesn’t decide argyll street needs another mall and that it has to knock more cool old buildings down.

Then we headed down to the print shop, I love print shops, met Tom who prints all kinds of radical literature for groups for free, prints the variant paper, and whose door is covered with stickers I assume he printed as well, anti-war, anarchist, punk rock groups, anti poll tax…very cool. Walked past the old anarchist centre which is now a trendy shop selling very expensive industrial looking jewelry. Walked on down to an art centre right next to the 13th note…will have to go back to that pub, plastered with indie rock posters and have bands playing live in the basement, but the art spot was cool as well and I got to go into my first darkroom which was brilliant, made me want to go buy a proper film camera and play with chemicals, I think I’m going to take a class. Heard stories about art under Maggie Thatcher and the beauty of a tube of vermillion paint…fucking beautiful man. I don’t think Bob paints anymore, but I really want to see his canvases which apparently are all huge and piled up in his basement…I’m dead curious to see what kind of things he was painting. After leaving there we met up with someone named Jo who makes documentaries, and the first question out of her mouth was, “well, how was your equinox?” Who knew it was the equinox? Fuck me, can’t believe I let another equinox slide past without proper celebration, which I’d hope involves alcohol, my celebration certainly would at any rate. Found another great pub, cafe, vegie fare place, could end up one of my favourite places here I think…big, relaxed, good music, lighting that’s brilliant cause it has this dome sort of thing…and definitely lefty, bet its one of those places you’re always running into people you know if you’re involved in anything here. Called Mono anyways. So it was a brilliant day, it even snowed! And the wind was calm so the snow just floated down to kiss your face just the way I like it to do, it was beautiful even if it melted as it hit the ground…the hills were all covered in snow and shining white…too bad I started coming down with something yesterday and spent most of today in bed. Reading the Kite Runner, it’s a bit shattering.

Oh, and I think you can tell I haven’t been able to curse freely since last Monday morning…

Tuesday morning at 9 o’clock

Ahh, beatles reference, nothing beats it! It is of course late afternoon and I am sitting in my uncle’s office with a torrent of water pouring down the little waterfall, it is quite incredible what some rain will do. Today on the train back from Glasgow I saw a rainbow between Paisley Gilmour Station and Johnstone and it made me extraordinarily happy. I do not believe that rainbows represent God’s promise to Abraham never again to destroy the world by flood…even if they are nothing but a refraction of light and water they are miraculous, but I like to believe they are promises of something, pure beauty flung across the sky, living colour against the darkness, a call to remember that life is fucking marvelous and to be lived as deeply as possible. My ipod was presenting a classic rock moment as I watched, a little Marshall Tucker band and led zepplin, it was perfect.

I have this ring I wear all the time, silver with amber set into it. I was sitting on the rapid bus down Wilshire in L.A.next to this guy who was tatted and pierced and covered with jewelry and scarily thin. He liked my amber earrings so we started talking and I was telling him about all of the wonder and magic of the Tucson gem and mineral show, and as we approached La Brea his friend sitting across from us pulled out a rubber tourniquet and wrapped it around his arm, then a little vial and shook some heroin into a spoon and held his lighter under it and then he pulled out a syringe and filled it up and I know my face changed. The pain of his addiction hit me like a hammer for some reason even as I pretended not to see not to know not to feel, I raged at the sadness of the human life before me because every human life is beautiful and I wished there was something inside of me strong enough to stop him, to make him choose life, to give him hope as a gift without judgement…I wished I were more like a rainbow than a girl. He sat there, hand with syringe in pocket, veins bulging beneath the rubber, leg nervously bouncing up and down from the balls of his feet, waiting for the bus to stop so he could shoot up. The guy I was talking to leaned over and said it’s alright, there’s nothing anyone can do but him, but us. And then he pulled this ring off of his pinky finger as he stood to go and gave it to me and it was so unexpected I took it without thinking and then protested but he was already on his way out the door…it’s a prized possession though I don’t know why looking at it makes me happy…

Escocia Querida

I love it, and why? I’m sticking the funny stuff in first this blog because it’s hell of long and philosophical:

Wholey apart from fabulous whiskey flavoured condums, as though you hadn’t just drunk far too much, I have never read anything with more delight than the “WARNING: Do not drive whilst using this product.” It is quite fun to imagine operating a condum and a vehicle at the same time, full of interesting possibilities, even more interesting for the men. Sadly, the machine was empty…I shall be on Rose street again though, it was a really nice pub too so I shall definitely be back. Bet you all know what you’re getting as birthday presents and christmas gifts now…unless I find another stock of Nightrider and A-Team beer coasters at Pivo Pivo, you never know.

So, I am enjoying myself here but I am missing frijoles y tortillas y chile. I knew I would. And I am missing spanglish and gerry’s jokes and my friends quite terribly.

It’s incredible to think that you have the power to send your life shooting off into whatever direction you choose, and incredible to wonder who I would be if I had moved to Gallup, New Mexico or the Yucatan or Mongolia. I wouldn’t be a different person right away of course, but after 6 months, a year, who would I become? And who shall I become now? I want to know, and when I want to know something i can’t know it rather makes me feel like throwing a metaphysical tantrum. That would be a good novel actually, the parrallel lives of A Gibbons all branching out from one single point like the delta of a river and each of them throwing tantrums over not being able to unravel the secrets of life at various points in the book. I might write it, so consider it copyrighted though I have a sneaking feeling it’s already been done. I can’t decide if I believe in fate or not, soulmates or not, God or not, death as the next adventure or death as the absolute end, if you should work to live or live to work to change the world, if there’s any hope at all for us, if the rightwing tide will ever turn, if enlightenment is possible and if so do you really have to go without sex to find it, if the revolution is ever fucking coming and if it does will it actually result in equality, if one day everyone will just suddenly stop believing in money cause it’s make believe anyways…I could just sit and wonder all day, wish you could get paid to wonder…the point I wanted to get to was that my being here in Glasgow is based almost entirely on my brother’s chance meeting with scottish girlfriend laura several years ago on a study abroad program in France…and looking farther back I suppose meeting my ex, getting hired by Carecen in L.A., getting my university scholarship cut which means I didn’t go to Russia. Can you believe I was studying Russian and planned to go to Russia? Fucking hell, but Swarthmore College screwing me over more than 10 years ago now has possibly had the greatest impact of all. And then there was this beautiful and tiny blue butterfly flapping its wings on the asian steppes at 11:34 am on February 2nd, 1982…

Still, I am here! Still swinging between intense happiness and loneliness and a bit of panic. I had forgotten how much I hate not knowing what I am doing, I wish my ego would take a bit of a rest because I know that no one really knows what they’re doing, still, I hate not knowing what I’m doing. I have to go to the job center tomorrow and it’s freaking me out a bit. Which is a bit justified because I have heard terrible things…but more of the annoying bureaucratic sort rather than of the random beatings for being unemployed and occassional public humiliation kind or vampires in the plumbing so I know I really have nothing to worry about, which is why I am annoyed with myself.

Anyways, haven’t been able to write for a while, you can tell because all kinds of silliness is just pouring out…haven’t been with my beautiful silly L.A. friends, that’s probably the problem, I need to find silly Glasgow friends who like to discuss life and politics and videogames at length over pints – maybe I should do a personal add? That would give me some interesting stories…But I had a great weekend with my cousin and his girlfriend in Edinburgh and and walked miles and miles and took some brilliant photos. We went up the coast a bit on Saturday to Gullane point which looked like this in the afternoon:

And became even more beautiful as the sun set

And looking at beauty such as that you don’t worry about life or death or sex or revolution at all, you just feel intensely alive and content in standing seeing breathing living…so forget everything I just wrote, I really do have the answers.

Sunday we walked round Edinburgh, down Leith walk which is also absolutely stunning

Edinburgh is honestly one of the most photogenic cities I have ever been in, you could just wander about taking the most incredible shots day after day after day. I love Glasgow as much, but it requires more work to discover its beauty…like L.A. I think, funny how I prefer L.A. to San Francisco and Glasgow to Edinburgh. Or do I? That’s a discussion for another day though. We walked all the way up to the museum of modern art and one of the coolest art pieces I have ever seen and fell in love with at first sight:

And now I’m back in Howwood, the weather has turned cold, grey and rainy again, perhaps also inspiring such a ridiculously long blog. I might go down to the local pub by myself now, that would certainly be adventurous of me. But dare I court the dissaproval of the aunt and uncle? Perhaps not since I’ll be staying with them another couple of weeks at least and its a dubious sort of adventure, with a possibility of intense discomfort…I might save it for later.

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1st blog from scotland

Sunday morning, sitting in Hamilton sipping tea and eating toast…it’s cold and grey and raining softly outside and i can feel the cold creeping in through the window. Can’t believe I’m here, it doesn’t feel real at all which is why I don’t mind the cold or the rain and just feel a bit removed from myself, outside myself, a stranger’s hands typing on the keyboard, a body I am watching from just above and looking beyond to the green grass and bare branches of the trees and roses outside. I hope it snows today, and apart from hope i think I am feeling very happy, a quiet happiness this morning, and lonely, an expectant loneliness this morning, and nervous, a nervousness born of infinite opportunity and new beginnings this morning…

time to go eat square sausages with Laura, I love square sausages. I have been made sad, however, by the absolute absence of pinto beans from the supermarket shelves, and the fact that double sinks don’t seem to have caught on here, and I cannot figure out how you wash your dishes and then rinse them without what seems like a lot of extra work…still, I went out to the pub with my uncle on Friday and ordered a steak pie and just on the off chance I asked the waiter if they had any chile sauce or red pepper flakes…they didn’t of course but guess what? The chef made me chile sauce…and it was really good, not so spicy sadly but really good and it made me so happy! I love this place.

monster trucks

Alright, hanging out, went hiking this morning and it was great except for the bit where we left the trail and I led Mikey’s lovely lady into danger and she was attacked by a cactus and blood was pouring down her hand and I did feel really bad about that…she is now extra special welcome to the Gibbons family though, she was awesome and laughed more than she cried and she didn’t even curse me none…and I’m tired, not as tired as this dial up connection, but lying on the couch with the laptop I pay that no mind, just finished watching Talladega nights extras if you couldn’t tell.

Talladega Nights was just a wind up to what’s on now…monster truck rally! Fuck yeah! The only place you can hear announcers saying

“that truck’s broke”

“The escalade’s real popular with the young people, the neon, the spinners…dude, it’s got it’s bling on!”

The judges were like 3 regular guys in T-shirts and caps and they were snapping pictures with their digital cameras while holding up their scores…Too bad we tuned in at the end, it was the world championship but not much international competition surprisingly enough…now it’s a real life…ron jeremy in the flesh! And Pepa (from Salt n Pepa) deep throating a banana, she put the whole thing in her mouth and then took it out again…nice. She’s got skills I can only dream of. Webster! Cool! And China Doll with dogs Bambi Roo and Honeysuckle Hunnybunny…tv is just so good on Sunday afternoon! Superbowl coming up. Let’s just hope I never have to go through the superbowl again, my dad signed us up for neighborhood party…I’m just going for food. Some classic American moments before I leave…three days, can’t tell if I’m happy or want to throw up. Both maybe.

weekends

they’re full up to overflowing and I’m exhausted, I just don’t want to forget everything once I’m on the plane…so, in a mad rush to finish and go to bed, went to the mercadito with bev and jose and gauri, sang to the marichis and thought how much I’d miss mariachi and got sad, walked past the stalls where they sell mole and chiles out of buckets like so

and thought how much I’d miss mole and chiles…I also stocked up on magical oils like theses:

thought they might come in useful in Scotland, and I just don’t know how widely love potions are sold there…it’s the secert to my success really. I also went to Santa Barbara and on the train Bob Dylan singing the times they are a changin’ actually made me cry, can’t believe how many years ago he wrote that and how much worse things have actually become. Saw Sten and Shithi and baby Didin…now Didin stared at me for 10 minutes or more like so:

I couldn’t decide what was wrong with my face, it made me very nervous…luckily she decided I was worth her while and we became friends…here’s my beautiful friend and her family:

and damn but I shall miss them! No photos of beautiful Santa Barbara or Goleta or the ocean…it was raining all weekend, and looks to be cloudy and drizzly the rest of the week. Just my luck my very last week in california shall be without sun…doesn’t seem fair.

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The secret to fun on jumping castles

Alright, this will be quick, had a little goin’ away party last night, so much happened, I’m off to san diego in 30 minutes, so I decided to just focus on one thing before I post the rest of the pictures…chinatown, 2 am…you know who you are. And you should be afraid 🙂

Right, so if you’re lucky enough to have a friend who actually owns an inflatable jumping castle, and you’re lucky enough that he decides to throw you a little going away party one Saturday afternoon (Gerry, you are the best), this is how to have a good time.

1. Find an adult friend who also wants to jump in the jumping castle. Funnily enough, this is a bit difficult, I cannot understand why…Ludin can’t either.

2. Kick all of the kids out of the jumping castle (one of the few perks to adulthood as far as I can see)

3. Get in and start jumping!

oh the joy! DO NOT allow the kids to discover that you are only pseudo adults, they will quickly pile in, and since this is a small home version of the industrial strength fair castle, it will immediately start to deflate. And I’m a bit out of order here…you should have taken off all of your jewelry before entering, because if you don’t, it will get trapped in the netting and you will end up like this…

arse in the air and children laughing at you…so you boot them out again, wait for the thing to re-inflate (with some help from Evelin, photographer), and then jump once more. Sadly, it often happens that you forget just how tiring jumping castles are, and when the kids pile in again you don’t have the strength to boot them out, you end up semi-comatose, getting bounced around like so, this is when it’s not bad, Ludin looks positively asleep:

This, however, this is not good at all:

So finally, with the last ounce of strength you possess, having given up the battle against the evil children and the castle that continues to deflate and inflate, you struggle out of the mesh exit designed for 5 year olds, and collapse onto the grass like so…

And then. once you’ve some breath back, you spring back up and put on a good show like everything happened as planned and you’ve had the upper hand all along.

Ta Da!

like sharks, children can smell fear and weakness…

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mango hookahs

I highly recommend…they’re quite lovely, and habibi’s is a cool place, a bit far but I wish I’d known about it when I was at UCLA because i might have wasted a few less hours in class listening to stupid professors in black turtlenecks and v-neck sweaters telling me how to think. Not that I’m still angry about that or anything…anyways, here we have the best shot of the evening…Gauri

I might never be forgiven for posting these, but gauri at least despises myspace so I think I’m safe…here’s sumaiya

I don’t think I am yet able to smoke a hookah with the same je ne sais quoi as them, but one day perhaps…And finally, me at the end of the evening…I’d had quite enough by then…

I might have a silly grin, but god damn I shall miss my folks here! We didn’t get a group shot because I was busy smoking, about 10 of us and dinner was delicious, but here’s some faces I shall miss

Kique, Evelin, Jackie, and Baby Steve. Right, definitely bed time..

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California Dreaming

January 2007, god damn but time goes fast, no? Back at work now, so so so sad, but I don’t mind so much because I’ve only 33 more days to go before my move and the count down has begun! Work makes it go faster at any rate, most of the time I hate my days passing as frantic blurs behind me, slipping away into mist. With something so looked forward to however, they can race as fast as they please. I’ve a feeling 2007 will be brilliant anyways, I’m doing something absolutely mad to start it off, and a year so well begun can only promise great things. I’m leaving all of my baggage and material possessions in the states, I’ll have quit the mad crazy rush of work at the height of my powers, I’m single again, I’m moving to the UK which I have been thinking about since I sat in a kitchen at the tender age of 5 and contemplated a bucket of fresh milk and cream on my Gran’s devonshire farm, and all these things are inspiring a million thoughts and dreams to rocket about my head, who knows what I shall do?

I don’t fucking care at the moment in the general sense of the word…as long as I grow and grow and grow, break out of shells, ruts, and habitual ways of being, it is what I am demanding of 2007. I love New Years and its reflection on the past, dreams of a better future, it’s a good time to think once you’ve gotten over the hangover…not that it should be the only time. But life is so short, so short…and it goes by so fast. If you don’t take stock and push yourself, whatever time of year you may choose to do it, how can you live without regrets? This is all a build up to a couple of stupid new years resolutions, but I take mine seriously and you all can hold me accountable. I do not want to conform to low level misery and boredom, a world narrowing about me, a hollow in my couch cushion that conforms precisely to my ass.

1. To be bolder, wilder, and live life to its fullest. I’ve been getting better and better at that, and my shyness is going, going, perhaps it shall be gone?

2. To bring out the best in those around me (a bit hokey I know, but how better to move the revolution along?)

3. To make approximately one million new friends in my new city and have people i can always call up to go out with, travel with, laugh with, go to pubs with, dance with, see live music with, play cards with, be football mad with, take random day-trip adventures with, go hiking with, talk crazy politics with, walk the city with, rebel against the world with, watch movies with, be a bit lazy on Sunday mornings with, cook with, try new things with, bike with, build a beautiful world with…because these things make life so so good to me.

4. Clearly doing much more of the above list of activities

5. Write as I’ve never ever dreamed of writing before

That’s it, not a bad list I think, I shall enjoy fulfilling it. If I could sing I’d scrap all the above and be a long cool blues singer in a black dress, but as it is, I think I shall have a damned good year. As shall everyone lucky enough to be my friend.

Tucson Christmas

Christmas was marvelous, all three of my brothers at home, folks doing well, reunited with the dog and the cat…thought I’d just give the highlights though, it was eventful:

Friday went to Berky’s Bar with Mike and T, only 5 blocks from my house and full of crazy bikers in black leather, where you can hear all of your favourite classic rock tunes played live…an eventful evening but I am writing a story about that so I shan’t share here. I did rediscover my love of classic rock and motorcycles however, especially given the Bush bashing from the lead singer between songs which restored a little of my faith in america.

Christmas eve spent making cookies, wrapping presents – I love to wrap presents, apparently that’s strange but so it is. Played hearts with the family and I WON! It was unprecedented, and I now have the confidence to take on the whole world. Also played Oh Hell, and I came in second and that’s a bit unprecedented as well.
Christmas was lovely, opening presents is always lovely, I love opening presents as much as I love wrapping them. Some of my tags included:

To: Everything sucks, give me a beer (somehow they all knew that was me)
From: Dan

To: The revolutionary
From: George W. Bush’s Biggest Fan (that’s a joke btw)

To: The Beast’s Id
From: T’s Ego

To: Andrea
From: Santa

It’s nice to know Santa is still around. We played boggle before dinner and I WON! Again, unprecedented. Not that we’re a competitive family or anything. I drank steadily after the small family spat at the beginning of dinner, tension was high…the boggle rematch after helped to calm things down, and i discovered I play dismally while drinking. Luckily while drinking I don’t care. Went out on the town after, to Ray’s houseparty first, huge bonfire in the backyard, a keg of Killians, and his band filling up the whole front room of the house so that everyone had to kick it in the kitchen to listen. This particular configuration has only been together a couple of months but sounded really good. After Ray’s we headed over to the Buffet…another dive bar, absolutely packed full and everything on tap was sold out, suppose Christmas is a popular day for drinking. They are called the buffet, but the only food they sell are hotdogs cooked in Coors, luckily I wasn’t quite drunk enough to try one of those…and on the way out some guy grabbed my hand and actually asked me, “Hey beautiful, where have you been all my life?” I smiled, patted his shoulder and thanked him for a marvelous line never yet directed at me, and continued out the door. T was behind me and he said, “hey man, that’s my sister,” upon which I cursed under my breath and turned around, but luckily all went well, the guy responded, “then you can be my brother-in-law,” everyone laughed, shook hands, and we were off.

Boxing day…fucking huge ass hangover. We watched the dvd’s we’d gotten for Christmas, the daily show, boondocks, father ted…we weren’t good for much else I must say.

More dvd’s the next day, went down to Hotel Congress to see another band, they were accoustic and cheesy. The first is alright, but the second really unforgivable when the singers are actually taking themselves seriously. We contemplated following up with more beer at the Hut, but T was off at 4:30am the next morning so we called it a night.

T left the next day with only one emergency and one tantrum, to Scotland the bastard which is where I should be, and I was sad, but we had an amazing thunderstorm…I sat outside in the porch and wrote and the lightening cracked impossibly across the sky and the thunder rumbled deep and the mountains were cloaked in black and grey and then it began hailing. It smelled of life itself, nothing smells as good as the desert in the rain, and I do believe I achieved enlightenment…well, at least I realized that in the midst of a thunderstorm I am entirely happy and alive and…can’t describe it, but the cold whips through you until you are entirely tingly and awake and nothing exists outside of the moment and the flashes of light and the wind and thunder’s sounding and you desire absolutely nothing more but to be there, to be…

vacation settled down after that high point, a little shopping, lots of eating, more games none of which I won. Final Thursday night at Berky’s, grateful dead night with Ray and his dad’s band…it was rocking, they play in front of these huge tie dyed banners and have their die hard fans who dance their pot smoker dance to every song. We were there talking and watching the 50 most ridiculous moments in sport (muted which made it even better) it was incredible, needless to say, and we drank ’til the bartender kicked us out. Today was again a bit painful, low key…and here i am home again. I’m off once more tomorrow on grand adventures and the new year festivities appears to hold tents, a bonfire, music, and a beach in Mexico so life will be good until Tuesday morning.