FROM THE VAULT #2: Will there be mud in the future?

I like reflecting on things I wrote in the past. And the conclusion is… I think I AM too hard on myself…

It’s also nice to see that I am right on track with “the plan” and I am no longer working as a phone slave at that “fluorescent nightmare.”

Well, an entry seems appropriate right now… because I’m pretty upset… not like crying upset… like… futile upset. Like, no matter what I do it won’t work… life wont work and all I’ll do is sit at home all awkward in a yellow camping chair writing about a fucking yellow camping chair… that’s all I got…. Really that’s IT. If genius comes from misery then I should be belting tight four part harmonies while painting Dali’s lost masterpiece right now. But no. I’m listening to Bollywood funk, avoiding a much needed shower, wanting to rot away into this damn yellow camping chair. At least I’m writing… big fuckin deal… I just beat myself up in these… I mean… due to the eh… what’s the word… oh yeah proof and data collected from previous entries such as, lemme see… I believe the exact words were “just stop it you fucking loser” or bitch… I dunno. I guess I’m a little mean to myself… if I’m not nice to me, who the fuck is going to be.

 

Ra ra shish boom bah

 

Rhyming, yay…

 

 

Anyway… so I dint get on the team… I’ll take DIFFERENT CLASSES and then get on a better team! With rockets! And uh… a soup buffet… and travel. Or I’ll be a receptionist forever…. God I better not be working as a phone slave when I’m 23… I cannot have two birthdays at that god forsaken fluorescent nightmare… I just need to follow my plan… move out… get  a better job… its all in the plan, no more fucking around. I’ve been spending too much money. I have enough stuff for awhile and should even get rid of some… what is with my fascination of stuff anyway… wtf is wrong with me. I form attachments to the smallest piece of garbage that might have a cool slogan on it or a pretty color or some fantastical sentimental attachment… more beating myself up… whtv… maybe I just appreciate the small things… like, small 

pieces 

of garbage…

 

Damn, I am having crazy mood swings…. Maybe I’m going to get my period… fuck, whatever… the sooner it comes the sooner it goes. Its probably all out of wack cause all my friends are on the pill so my hormones gravitate to them… or some science-y bullshit of that manner.

 

Ok… life plan, here we go, in writing….. er typing… maybe I should physically write this… it would have more sentimental value… ha ha… small joke at my own expense. I just miss my own handwriting sometimes. I wonder if children in the future will even know what their handwriting will look like… will they bother to teach penmanship at all? Is cursive going extinct? Will notebooks, pencils and pens soon become like chiseling words into granite? Probably… haha, then I’ll read this and think of the good old crayon, paint, and mud days

 

I wonder if they’ll have mud in the future… I wish I could type without looking… I shoulda learned or forced myself… I think im stuck this way forever now… depressing weh weh weh weh.. I need to perk up and take a shower… the thing in this chair is starting to hurt my neck… like I should move or I’ll have to speak out of a tube… hmm not fun

 

Ha ha ha this song called typewriter tip tip tip tip just came on and it’s the noise im making… oh itunes, you know whats up

 

Sad. Mom isn’t going to be ok when I move out…. It sucks that sometimes you have to make others so unhappy to make yourself happy… where is the line between selfishness and selflessness? I haven’t found it yet… but im honing in on it

 

Ok, shower time, my stomach aches… its been like that for a few days… I hope im not getting sick… 

 

The Estate Sale

The Estate Sale

It was hot and her thighs peeled apart inside a pair of baggy short shorts as she stepped from the car and onto carson. She’d never parked on that side of the street before and her mind’s eye saw a girl carting a clarinet, kicking a rock stop slowly in front of the house with the creepy bamboo lady inside. The sun was licking hot her wounded tissue and her back started to ache a little. “Fuck my back is toasted.” she said to the girl entering the warm air on the other side of the car. She stroked her burned skin lightly with her nails upside down, sweeping away from her head…. like she was taught to do.

“It’s a little red, yeah” said chick.

“I feel like someone put a wool blanket around me, it’s so dry out!” said Kea. They had just come from the beach, her bathing suit was still a bit damp, but from salt water or sweat… she didn’t know.  Her hair had wrestled with the elements that day but she hoped she looked more like a mermaid than a bird’s nest. Sadly, she was wrong but her romantic illusion and relaxed attitude kept her from brushing it or putting makeup on. Free drinks and shade were what they were after when they saw the sign for the estate sale about two blocks away from Kea’s house. Kea was glad for the interruption. She wasn’t looking forward to going into the house where she grew up. She had moved out and now when returning, she would get this weird feeling that she was visiting someone who was terminally ill in a hospital. She felt sick and itched to leave and would start to imagine that it smelled like bleach. It wasn’t as bad when she was alone in the house.

They walked across the street which was quiet except for the sound of the sun slamming into the asphalt. A pool of sweat was beginning to form between Kea’s breasts, “shit I’m gonna get all pimply on my chest” she thought. Then she thought about the last time someone else had touched her between the breasts where the pool of sweat was forming.

“What’s an estate sale? Are they selling the house?” she said to Chick while flipping her hair around like a horse swatting at flies. “I think someone died… and they don’t have a will or something” Chick said as she shrugged and walked up into the house.

“Sad… I always wondered who lived here” Kea said to the sun.

The steel blue house was hidden behind a small forest of green bamboo looking plants that were shooting out of the ground like post growth spurt teenagers at a high school dance. Kea had always hated those plants. they almost conquered a small part of the deck in her backyard one summer a few years back. They were ugly and she never liked that this house  had them all over the front yard instead of grass. Some of the forest had been chopped down to make room for a mountain of old tupperware to sleep soundly on a red tarp. She looked for Chick for some sort of support but she had already trotted off inside where Kea’s eyes couldn’t see. She was on her own outside and found herself tiptoeing lightly around the situation. She wasn’t quite ready to walk inside the house yet. She felt like an intruder and began to awkwardly shuffle through a pile of old sweaters on a tarp. This turned out to be a gold mine for old t-shirts with the name of her hometown on them. Torrance 75th anniversary, Torrance Farmer’s Market. Torrance YMCA, Torrance grower’s Association, each one a legacy to a story that Kea had never heard of yet could somehow still be familiar with. The things they make t-shirts for… she thought condescendingly as she folded some neatly into a pile. Pointless as they seemed, she was going to buy one anyway. Deep inside her, in a closet, behind some boxes and shoes and forgotten report cards you could find Kea’s love for her old town. “This woman really loved Torrance.” thought Kea. It was obvious to Kea that the clothes had all belonged to one person, so Chick must have been right about the definition of estate sale. Kea suddenly felt like the intruder again and set everything she had greedily hoarded into her arms back down on the blue farmer’s market tarp. Once again her mind powered up its projector and she watched home movies of her walking on that very square of sidewalk, avoiding the cracks and holding her breath.

“You have to hold your breath while your walking by the witch’s house!” said her brother.

She was so scared that she held her breath all the way to the end of the block then gasped “You didn’t hold your breath when we walked by cause you told me to hold my breath which means you were breathing cause you were talking!”

“No! I can talk without breathing!”

And the witch was forgotten and replaced with an argument over how one can talk normally without breathing.

Kea looked up from the sidewalk, waved and said an awkward hello to three people sitting outside who seemed to be on the other side of the situation. Kea wondered if they were friends of the “witch” or family. Had they gone to the funeral? Did she die recently? How did she die? How many kids did she have? Grandchildren? Was she happy? Alone? Scared? Heavy thoughts made the weight of the sun on her back triple as Kea stumbled for the shade on the side of the house.

FROM THE VAULT: Lungfest

A quick note: I wrote this on scraps of paper I found in the airport, one being the ticket I printed out from my work printer. I bring it to you, unedited.

 

I am going to write while i travel; this is a testament to my future life’s goals. An ultimatum to myself.

So far:

Y drove me to the airport. It was nice to catch up with her. It’s nice having a seester who I can chill with. We pick up on conversations days later… it’s amazing. I’m in a crappy Disney bar with chrome tables and business men. There is some sort of teen dance troop watching TV and yelling “woo” as dance the stars murders the imagination. This 70’s dad with a stache guy just looked at me… fuck I’m gonna need more paper. A grandmother just told a girl to stop eating with her fingers. The girl shouldn’t talk to her mammy like that. My posture is getting RI-DICK. Wow, you are such a grandma, Grandma sitting next to me.

“She’s so pretty.” she says through a mouth full of pasta salad, indicating to the host of American Can Dance or whatever the fuck. They aren’t speaking to each other… just watching.

Some “club-y” woman, wearing clothes far too young for her (the Limited 2??) : “OMG! You got a picture of THAT!?”

She snorts into her champagne… champagne? Are they drinking champagne? They are… ha ha.Oh shit is my flight  nott delayed. I better chug this heineken. BTW, the waitress gave me a pen. Niceeee. Suck it Hudson News, effin three dollars for a  pen.

I like writing in public… it’s my new high.

Commercial flashes by on TV-

Sears: “Don’t just go back… ARRIVE”

really? Really?? Slutty kids…

Now the girl is flicking oranges at her grandmother. I wonder how she will arrive at school this year.

Isn’t it enough to get to go back to school? WHy don’t children enjoy learning anymore? Why doens’t our country value it?! …and they wonder why we weep for our future… if you raise children who’s heros are false idols… then you are aiding the problem.

I better go check on my flight.

Hours later in JFK…

Flight was ok. I awoke with bright red fingers and thought I was bleeding… but it was just flaming hot cheetos. Too bad… it might be fin to start bleeding randomly with strangers surrounding you. What would they do? WHat would I do?… While we were getting off the flight, some kid dropped the F bomb, but botox/juicy couture matching sweater and track pants set, didn’t seem to mind. We were standing awkwardly close to one another in the aisle and the lights flicked off as the power on the plane went out. I thought about having sex in the small utility closet bathroom. Most people panicked… i rolled my eyes and turned my phone on, and noticed the boy looked nervous. I told him that the power went out because he swore.

I had to go back through security in order to get my boarding pass… god i hate being cattle. I feel itchy. I found someone’s laptop when I was getting my boarding pass. This pushy, highlighted, matching pants and jacket wearing dried up fake tan 48 year old (I’m being nice) woman told me to give it to the attendant. She looked at me like I was about to bust a move outside and start selling that shit on Canal Street. I am not a juvenile delinquent.

I refused to get Dunkin donuts… and I’m sorry, but America doesn’t run on Dunkin’ in fact… I’m pretty sure  America’s not runnin’ anywhere because of Dunkin donuts. I stole Burough’s Dry from one of those Hudson news joints.

8/12 7:30 AM

Well well well look who’s finally on a flight home. After a calm olympic, rat infested weekend I am finally sitting, center seat, in front of a pterodactyl on a plane that will get me back to sunny CA. On the puddle jumper flight I sat amongst a large red haired vera bradley family. The girl(?) across the aisle from me kept poking her mom in front of me every five fucking  minutes. “How long will this take Mommy? Mommy, will you hold my hand? Mommy, dolly needs a snack. Mommy, I think I like girls” etc… The girl spoke as if she was eight , but looked at least forty-three.

The baby behind me is crying. Is there baby Valium? Like, a half tab?

“Mom Mom, MOM! See the clouds?!”

“Yeah quit pokin’ me”

(5 Minutes later)

“Mom (poke) MOM I’ve never been on a plane when it was raining. Do we get to watch movies?”

The girl is wearing all pink, a baby Target pink. Her muffin top rolled over the top of her sweat pants and made a shelf for her pre-teen, already flabby boobs to rest on.

 

Jesus I’m a bitch.

CHAD BIRD / L FAN ART

 

A few days ago, Chad Bird (or “L” his drag persona) left this physical reality to join the light from where he came. He was my friend, my brother and my sister. He made everything around him more beautiful and was constantly smiling. not only that, but Chad was a fierce, SICKENING trend setter. His curated imagery and style is way ahead of his time and his fashion sense was going to take over the world. Chad was an angle… but L is a star and will live forever.

I decided to generate som fan art for L, because like I said… she’s fantastic and beautiful and was going to bring so much beautiful change to this world.

Here’s his Time Magazine tribute:

 

 

Chad Bird / L had aspiration to join RuPaul’s drag race to shake up those fishes and bitties with some hardcore California REALness. L’s beauty goes beyond androgyny to a world where its not necessary to separate one from the others. He defines beauty as beauty, no labels, no limits… just love and L.

this of course, is L’s debut album of sick dance tunes which will come out as soon as she wins RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season 7.

All these images were originally pulled from Chad Bird’s archives on his website.

http://bbattlecat.tumblr.com/

thanks… and don’t forget to create memories and cherish every moment with your loved ones. You never know how fragile a human life is until you see it smash. But out of that rubble rises the phoenix… so don’t give up- love love love love love.

[10.19] Derde Verde / Spaceships / Jung Hollywood / LadyHeat

Summer Fun Time Society [SFTS] presents:a fuckinshow, with lotsa ladiesFRIDAY OCTOBER 19TH
9pm or whnv

5 Star Bar
267 S. Main St.
Los ANgeles
90012

$5 / $2 with SFTS button!
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9pm Jung Hollywood
10pm Spaceships
10:30 Derde Verde
11pm LadyHeat
11:30 TULIPS
12am Jung Hollywood

VIZ by SamPartal Inc.

SFTS Photobooth
electricity!
running water!
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AND MORE

[oh fuck yeAH]

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BOOKERS

SO I’m in the amazing city of Atlanta, Georgia… an i gotta say, shit’s nice here. I’m not gonna lie and say I thought Atlanta was the greatest city on Earth, in fact I thought it’d be a little plainer and smaller. But it’s huge! There’s like, culture and happy healthy people, shit tons of fried food but art everywhere. Things are a bit cheaper here which is always a plus, but the things aren’t of lower quality. right now im making out with a peach in room 333 at the highland inn. this is like the little sister of the chelsea… cept i doubt anything as amazing as 2001 was written there lol.

i going to look up some visuals for sasha’s set later tonight. perhaps this

Are You There “God”*/Me/#? It’s me Vivian

“God”*

*for lack of a better word

or

Are You There “God”*/Me/#? It’s me Vivian

“I don’t disagree with [the idea that] the almighty is also in search of Someone, and that Someone of Someone above him (or Someone simply indispensable and equal), and so on to the End (or rather, Endlessness) of Time, or perhaps cyclically.” – Borges

When “God” “found” me… I sobbed. The last time I cried like that was the first time I got the “it’s not you it’s you” speech in my studio in downtown Los Angeles.

I felt a wind brush through me that was either imagined or mystical (unless those are the same.) The sky was yellow and I felt “God” for the first time in my life.

But let me stop here for a minute to make one huge correction in this essay to be. By “God” I don’t mean “God”…

The magnitude of “God” lies within and without it’s word… but we must remember that the word is in itself a symbol. Just as words represent our language and language represents our thoughts, the word “God” describes and replaces a concept which is always out of reach. Like the word “infinity” replaces the endless vast future of things we are unable to bear all at once- like how love can never be set concrete.  And that, brings us back to much rawer and older tears.

I was “a sick kid,” I had a rough time with a bad case of eczema. Picture me, 11 years old, blowing out the candles on my birthday cake and wishing for new skin. Not a bike or toys, but skin; an interesting fact but more interesting to me now is the question- who exactly was I wishing to? “God”? Cake deities? My parents? I’m sure it was cake deities, or I imagined a pleasant scene in my head of me waking up on the bottom bunk, not stuck to the sheets. Either way, I’m sure it was a form other than the “God” I never believed in. There were two reasons I never believed fully:

One – I prayed every night for new skin. Obviously that shit didn’t happen…

Two – My mother is Jewish and my father is Catholic, we were raised Unitarian, “to keep spirituality in our lives” as my abuela puts it politely. When they were divorced, as is the fashion now, they returned to their original religions. This provided tons of theologic information, in a large rainbow of topics, to me at a very early age.

So I grew up thinking that I could control the waves in the Pacific Ocean, watching for my dolls to come alive and praying for a completely infeasible thing. I kept praying and my skin kept getting worse as I grew up hiding behind long layers and hats and developing a OCD which I am still battling against today. When I wished, it was not to ”God;” when I prayed, it was not to “God”. It was to anyone. Anyone who would listen, anyone who would care, anyone who could help me inside of my mind and out.

Let’s stop again. I am using the term “God” a lot, and I want to try and define my sense of the word for you. I honestly can’t think of the word god without seeing in my head a rotary of stock images of “God” from television, movies and art. That Simpsons episode where Homer talks to “God” (Harry Shearer iplays the voice of “God” by the way), Michelangelo’s Birth of Man, Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey, a swan or Zeus, Morgan Fucking Freeman, I mean come on… my own imago of “God” never had a chance to form in this sea of pop icons.

Our images of “God” or what we perceive to be, “the answer to the question ‘so whatta you believe in?” is very important in the lives we live; whether we choose to believe in Harry Shearer or not. The beliefs of our culture and the subcultures around us map the path our spirituality will go in. As William James said in an address to the Philosophical Clubs of Yale and Brown, “-if I ask you to believe in Mahdi, the notion makes no electric connection with your nature… as a hypothesis it is completely dead. To an Arab, however, the hypothesis is among the mind’s possibilities: it is alive… the deadness and liveness in a hypothesis are not intrinsic properties, but relations to the individual thinker.” (James: New World, June, 1896)

Boom, yeah. Interesting right? I suppose the Arab analogy is a bit outdated but you get it. Since I never had a live sense of the “God” hypothesis, I started my own spiritual journey. I pulled out crayons, assigned them names, genders and husbands, and drew my own path as I walked. Atheistic hypothesis was a living breathing possibility for me to make in my world of wonder. I remember the day it all started, or rather- the night.

I caught my mother putting money under my little sister’s pillow one night as a kid. I was awake (on the top bunk back then) scratching, or thinking, and in came my mom. I kept very still and silent as my mother crept in and put a dollar under my little sister Yvonne’s pillow and took the little letter she had written. I saw all of this perfectly outlined in our closet mirror doors, my mothers glasses sparked in the light from the hallway, flashing like a warning or alert to something coming. Finally I broke the silence and squeaked, “mom?”

“yes sweetie”

(“dammit” is probably what she wanted to say…)

I stumbled over my words, hardly believing what I was seeing, I managed to sleepily say, “are you taking Yvonne’s tooth?”

“Yes, go back to sleep honey it’s late.”

“Mom… (there was a pause as the universe collected and poured a very important, but light, thought into my head) Are you the tooth fairy?”

She stood up, cornered and said, “yes honey, we’ll talk more tomorrow.”

We didn’t talk about it, but next week at my father’s house I had a major realization. I was standing in front of the mirrored closet doors in my room while my father gingerly helped to brushed my hair. (Both our rooms in each of their houses had mirrored closet doors, a fact I never thought about until right now… none of this would have happened if there was just normal closet doors…) I told my papá about what had happened and as I explained my new-found skepticism about this tooth fairy conspiracy, I watched his face. I’ve always been able to read people… especially my father. The more I talked the bigger his strange grin became, and I soon realized that my father was in on it. The thought poured itself into the very fibers of my mind and it suddenly became clear, my mind rebooted with this update and I asked my dad-

“There’s no tooth fairy, is there Papá?”

“Well, I mean-”

“I knew it! You know what this means? There might not be a Santa Cla-” My father’s grin grew into one of pride at his little girl’s mind working so quickly on this make-believe children’s riddle. When he looked me in the eye I exclaimed, “So there’s no Santa either! Which means there’s no Easter Bunny and no “God”!” It was the biggest ‘a-ha’ moment of my life. Once I knew the tooth fairy was a fake, the conclusion that none of the other make believe characters I believed in were real either became sadly real, it was a live hypothesis.

“Well Vivian… you’re right.” my dad explained. He could never really lie to us, “there is no Santa, or tooth fairy or Easter bunny… but we’ll talk more about “God” later.”

After that, my dolls no longer came to life when I left the room, there were no more monsters in closets and I stopped talking to the waves.

****

[the following excerpts are taken from the journal entries I made while traveling in South America in February and March 2011. The words in italics are what I wrote in cursive, the [brackets] are what I’ve added, the rest is unedited…]

2/6/11  My first brush with a sense of spirituality

I headed [to get food], but something stopped me.

A long forgotten string attached to my heart suddenly became taut and jerked me towards the closest collective primal expression of life. I could only describe it as soul. Which made me think, perhaps none of us have a soul… but there is one large soul that we are all connected to. Be it karma or soul or ideas or rhythm or ether… it connects us all together. You borrow from it and give back to it throughout your life and when you die, your energy feeds back into that large group in order to shoulder the burden of those who need to take when they cannot give. It’s the space between the space, the feeling that someone is looking at you and the reason you laugh. When you hear music like I heard… you can’t help but feel the need be part of the bigger collection. I was pulled to the sound out of some unconscious thirst… or maybe I’m just a curious Latina. Either way, with only the map of my heart, I found a street plugged with people dancing in praise of our collective soul. I couldn’t have left the sound even if I had wanted to. We danced, baby, abuelo, chica, wretch and tourist- there was no color age or nation, only the need to be.

2/11/11 8am  A few words on belief versus reality, I’m talking about finishing Heinlen’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress on the morning that Mubarak stepped down in Egypt

…It’s these moments in life that make me happy to be sentient. I think not being able to agree, even with myself, about how I feel is one of the most beautiful mysteries in life. Why is it so sad and yet so wonderful? The characters I have come to know so intimately will live on forever in the printed word… And again I am happy, because only our species can feel such passion for something that has never tangibly existed. Yes the ideas and even efforts of Libertarian revolutions have coded, slipped down from balconies and through back rooms; and yes, real humans have expressed feelings and died for more than the words on the pages of my recently departed friend [the book]… but to be able to feel for something that exists in only the metaphorical sense of the word is something that I feel truly blessed (blessed in an unreligious sense) to be able to experience.

When was the last time you felt like that? When was the last time you mourned so loudly that your heart grew larger? Or you touched something so cold that your flesh burned?

Thanks Heinlein, (I grok you) for filling my spirit to the brim by using your words as a tool to carve the most beautiful images into “realities.” I will go out today, head filled with visions of star freedom, blood secured and eyes shut forever with such resonance that the Earth will echo cold when it is dimmed.

2/17/11 7am  Waking up on a bus headed to Posadas to see the ruins of the Jesuit Missions.

I am humbled by the modesty and simple grace of the ‘frontier.’ To the left I see a short forest of trees in, what seem to be, defiant straight lines. The sun rose fast and orange over a small town with ruins of ruins, sketches of sketchiness and untamed wilderness strewn with shacks of goods. I saw a sign for Budweiser and found myself wondering about the similarities in all our lives. I feel rich, But who is truly richer? I have never felt so detached from the gray metropolis or the blue seasides that I can familiarize with a concept of home. It reminds me of when [my sister] and I were driving through South Dakota and Colorado. The sense of awe at just how big our world is. And the feeling in your belly button when you realize that it isn’t even it. Once there is more, there is more… and then more and more until your mind stretches out so far that your womb aches and snaps you back. We truly weren’t meant to understand ‘all this.’ We think we are humans but we are really just cattle, no… grass. Once our blip exits the screen, there will be no one to interpret our primitive scratchings. We will only finally refuel the universe in a smaller amount than we took once our foolish graves dissolve and feeds back.

3/14/11 While flying home from São Paulo, hours after ‘God” found me-

Holy Shit journal. My world has been shattered. I actually might have had an experience with “God”. or maybe I should write G-d. It all started w/my conversation with Eduardo about “God” jesus etc. He said that he asked to see jesus and jesus performed a miracle to save him. [Eduardo specifically said, “I ask Jesus to reveal himself to me, and when he did I believed… and I still do.”] All I needed to do was ask jesus to reveal himself to me and he would in time. So I decided, why not. I asked jesus. That night (Thursday 10th) [I was staying with Eduardo and his family in São Paulo] I prayed for the first time in years. Not since I asked for new skin over and OVER again as a child, not since abuelita asked us [to pray] as kids. I prayed for Japan… major earthquake and tsunami… so sad. I prayed for my family and for Eduardo’s family for being so amazing to me. [Pause for a sec, I was writing really fast so I skipped this part cause I knew I’d remember it later. Here is my actual prayer, “Dear jesus or “God” or, universe- whatever you are, please (blah blah Japan and my families) Anyway, I wanted to ask you if you could reveal yourself to me. I don’t know if you’re there or not and I never thought to ask even though this feels silly to me. I don’t believe in you specifically but I believe in the power of belief and possibility and energy… so if you’re there- could you reveal yourself to me? I mean, I don’t know why I’m doing this. I can’t look forever, plus- how will I know if it’s real? I mean, I could see a sign and think its a sign just because I’m looking for one, you know? Like when you see your own car everywhere. Like how people at séances see things because they want to see. Ok, well… g’night who ever you are.”] Anyway, today at the park we were walking, hanging out. I love hanging with Eduardo, I fall in love so easily, sigh. As we were leaving a man stopped us, I thought he was going to ask us for money, Eduardo talked to him and I wandered away, avoiding ants. Then they called me over and Eduardo began to translate. The man asked to speak to me specifically [Eduardo later told me that they talked about his mission for a bit but then the man said, “Ok I need to talk to her now. Will you translate for me?”] because as he was about to leave, “God” told him in his heart to “reveal” himself to me through the missionary. [I understood the word ‘reveal’ (revelar with an ‘heh’ noise instead of a R sound) when the man said it in portuguese and my jaw dropped before Eduardo even translated that part]  I was so shocked, I began to shake and then the missionary gave me a bracelet w/6 beads on it. [The missionary was wearing the bracelet and took it off to tie around my left wrist. In my journal I drew a picture of the bracelet and the colors and order of the beads and what they meant.]

black- consciousness (uh I dunno but something about me not being w/”God”)

red- blood of christ

clear – blood of christ washing me clean

green – new hope

blue – [Eduardo’s translating was less than perfect plus he’s really absent minded. He explained what the blue bead meant but later forgot. I didn’t remember either and now we don’t know]

yellow – the heaven that awaits me

holy shit right?  I mean… I was shaking and then I told Eduardo what I had prayed for and he ran to tell the missionary. The missionary stopped [his car] (Eduardo had goosebumps even before I told him what I had prayed for) he got out of his car, listened to Eduardo then embraced me and asked “God” to accept me or love me or something, deff praying. I completely broke down. I felt.. uncomfortable, confused but also embraced in such a pure comforting way. I was crying and when I looked at Eduardo he was crying too, Then I said I had to sit down [I really thought I was going to faint, especially because I felt a strange wind blow through us as we embraced and I NEVER cry] Eduardo said it was ok and touched my head. The whole car ride I couldn’t stop crying. I mean, I didn’t know what to think and I still don’t. Can I really ignore this? was it because I simply wanted to believe? We stopped on a quiet street to talk for a bit then returned home. [section removed] I’m going to be honest and do what I want from now on. If people can’t handle it, who needs em. I’m going to try and be more open, honest and loving. But also loving of myself. And maybe even love “God” while I’m at it. Maybe he likes me back, maybe not but either way I love myself and the universe, or “God” for lack of a better word, loves me too. [here I drew an arrow down from the statement “I love myself”] I never say that! I’m so proud of myself. Maybe I’m finally starting to understand myself as I understand the rest of the world. I mean, that sculpture exhibit really spoke to me “to know something you must know it’s opposite.” so true. [Here is the actual quote from the pamphlet I got after seeing Obsessões da Forma or Obsessions With Form at the Museum of Art in São Paulo “To know one thing, it is important to understand its opposite.” (Henry Moore)] Something that I’ve always believed.

****

So what do I think now?

I was raised by a family of engineers and I believe that in order to explain something you need to dissect it and understand it’s parts. “God” is not omnipresent because there is no such things as omnipresence because there is nothing watching us, there is only us. There are no parts or units to “God”, you can’t break “God” into units that make sense… and you can’t do it to our existence because there is only one unit which we are still trying to understand. We are all that “one” unit, a collective soul, the literal emptiness that binds us together on a physical and irrational realm that lives inside our perceptions of reality. As time goes on, in whichever fashion or direction you please, we’ll learn more about ourselves and eventually find a complete sense of knowing. Kurzweil calls it singularity, some call it Quantum Mysticism.

I call it, Vivianism. The religion of “we’ll get there.” And on the way I’m going to do my hardest not to judge people on subways drinking Dunkin Donuts coffee, because I should understand and digest rather than dismiss and scorn. This way we can all reach the end of our spiritual journey, only to turn around and see everyone else right along with us, holding crayons and grinning.

That’s what  I think of, when I think of “God”.

But to leave you with something else, this is what my father told me about “God”:

“Imagine a little snail, crawling through the grass. If you picked it up and placed it somewhere else, would it even know?”

Posadas and the Jesuit Missions

the day before I left I took a stroll over to San Telmo (the long route through the botanical gardens) amazing street art going on, if you wanna check out the album, it’s here. I LOVED that I got some snaps of these kids

But my fav pic that day is of the little guy that lives in our house:

¡¡QUE CUTE!!

Anyway, I left Buenos Aires late at night and woke up the next morning to a sunrise and an itch to write. I had my journal with me, so the rest of this will be unedited from the pages of my journal (unless I choose to leave something out…) I’ll use [brackets] for when I add a note, and the italics indicate when I wrote in cursive:

“17/2/11 7AM On the bus headed to Posadas to see the Jesuit Missions. I am humbled by the modesty and simple grace of the ‘frontier.’ To the left I see a short forest of trees in, what seem to be, defiant straight lines. The sun rose fast and orange over a small town with ruins of ruins, sketches of sketchiness and untamed wilderness strewn with shacks of goods. I saw a sign for Budweiser and found myself wondering about the similarities in all our lives. I feel rich, But who is truly richer? I have never felt so detached from the gray metropolis or the blue seasides that I can familiarize with a concept of home. It reminds me of when [my sister] and I were driving through South Dakota and Colorado. The sense of awe at just how big our world is. And the feeling in your belly button when you realize that it isn’t even it. Once there is more, there is more… and then more and more until your mind stretches out so far that your womb aches and snaps you back. We truly weren’t meant to understand ‘all this.’ We think we are humans but we are really just cattle, no… grass. Once our blip exits the screen, there will be no one to interpret our primitive scratchings. We will only finally refuel the universe in a smaller amount than we took once our foolish graves dissolve and feed back. I wonder if I will ever be famous… and if so, will it ever matter? And now a few words on bus travel. It’s as bad as I thought it would be. Not better or worse. The bus station in Retiro was strange and chaotically efficient. My bus showed up right on time but there was no announcement until (literally) one minute before. The bus isn’t packed, which is nice, normal amount of talky toddlers, but none screamy. As we pulled out of the station a woman one seat ahead and to the left started freaking out. Not too loudly, but noticeably. I didn’t understand a made a ‘that bitch is crazy’ face. Which I still regret [even now re-typing this into a blog] because as she begun to cry I heard the words ‘abuelo’ and ‘murio’… I’m SO SORRY! I’d be a wreck if I found out Abuelito had died. When that day comes… I will not be ready. ooof I can’t even write about Abuelita. It makes me too sad. I wish I had charged my iPod more… it was VERY cold on the bus all night. I’m so glad I brought mom’s/my cardigan at the last second, and these pj pants. I just saw a very skinny cow. Flaca vaca… hahahaha. The cucumber I brought is gross. I can’t believe they served us a meal. It wasn’t great… makes me think twice about complaining about plane food. Also everyone got a Pepsi. No choices, which sucked cause I didn’t want caffeine. Just passed by another smattering of buildings all I saw was ‘bar’ y ‘carneceria.’ [guess that’s all that any city needs really] These must be the ‘saltine crumble cities’ I saw from the plane on the flight to BA. As we ate a movie starring Hillary Duff came on. I literally thought of seven different ways to kill myself with various things I had packed. I tried to sleep but there were two people on the bus snoring loudly. One is behind me and the other one IS BEHIND ME [this was underlined]. Really? REALLY?! You snore like clockwork the whole way and your wife snores like some foley artists’ dream?!! Then I thought of seven ways to stop them from snoring (or breathing) using only the things I packed. I chose #7, loud Daft Punk and finally found some peace. The man across the aisle and one seat back is watching a video with his headphones in and is unaware (or a jerk) that his headphones ARE NOT working. Surprise! Now we all have to listen to that sappy crap. I hope he is embarrassed by his music selection. Why is this country obsessed with the dulce? Everyone eats cookies and drinks Pepsi or café w/loads of sugar. Even that Hillary Duff move movie was syrupy….

Friday: wow wow wowiw wow. I loved Posadas and the surrounding mission area. It was so beautiful. Orange streets, sweet smoke, glitter sea, tranquil faces, maté sipping gentle green trees hills and bush. [This sounds prettier in Español… Calles de naranja, el humo dulce, el mar brillo, se enfrenta a tranquilo, tomandomate suaves colinas verdes árboles y arbustos.] Posadas reminded me a bit of el Centro or Ensenada. But San Ignacio was so simple, but beautiful. It’s as if I visited a jungle city in the clouds, like I was in a movie about visiting the ruins, not like I was actually there. Everyone looked healthy, happy and peaceful. There were horses and dogs running freely through the town. And motorcycles everywhere. Never in my life have I wanted to ride a motorcycle. But seeing those bikes breach the crest of a hill with clouded backdrop and descend down a red clay road passing pink shacks and yellow flowers into the golden purple sunset…well. It was stunning. [This sounds prettier in Español tambien… Pero al ver las bicicletas incumplimiento de la cresta de una colina con telón de fondo nublado y descender por un camino de arcilla roja que pasa chozasde rosa y flores amarillo en la puesta de sol de oro púrpura … bueno. Fue impresionante.] The Mission was about what I expected. Learning about the Jesuit and Guaraní lives and how the town worked was really interesting. The rocks glowed orange blood red, well more like sand on fire. Or burnt skin but less pink. Anyway, I kept sneezing the whole time… allergies. So I was actually glad to leave. But I think the journey there was more important. It was a grand feeling. Walking along the side of the highway, alone, not sure where the bus station was. Completely free, but safe, knowing that I did it all on my own w/o agenda but with only curiosity and my intelligence. The moon shone bright with a mustache as I walked along the river/port in Posadas. Everyone was out jogging, literally everyone. And everyone was enjoying a maté w/friends. It was very enchanting. I had dinner at an ‘Arabian Mexican’ place… very extraño. I had a gyro type thing w/steak, tomatos, [yes I spelled tomatoes wrong twice] corn and cabbage… the tomatos and cabbage seemed like they’d been soaking in vinegar, kinda like the asparagus I had @ Las Violets café en BA. (That sandwich was weird…) But I ate all my Arabian Mexican gyro, it wasn’t good but it wasn’t bad… drinking a bottle of wine helped. I walked back to La Vuela de Pez hostel and passed out. I slept pretty well and this morning woke up and caught the bus to Iguazú where I am now. Things are going well! Strangely, I find myself missing ****** often. I’m gonna miss Posadas, but it deff was a ‘one day town’ the crazy hills, the  resteraunt [restaurant] with the friendly waiters. The dark lit streets and that crazy dark market with all the maté. I deff need to try it out when I get back to BA.

Saturday?? [Insert weird dream here, I will include this part about me and this ugly baby I had] I tell everyone the baby saved my life and some woman on the street said, ‘you best not be buying any nice furniture o theyz be takin’ pictures of that and not the baby!’ everyone laughs as we get into a pink square taxi. [There’s more, but back to reality] weird weird dreams………… ANYWHO I’m on the bus now heading home to BA. (Weird saying ‘home’) I smell like wet dog but am very happy with my weekend excursion. Why do my ankles look so god damn fat!? And what is this scratch on my arm 😦 I have the worst skin. I hate you skin. So I wanted to write about las cataratas [waterfalls] but what is there to say really? They put Niagara to shame. It was an eerily beautiful day, like lightning in the air or like a storm was coming… and it did. I had just walked to the bottom of one of the falls and gotten all wet. On the way back I stopped to eat my sandwich and BOOM rain and thunder and sun. I packed my camera in plastic and napkins and continued on. After a few mins it stopped and I did the rest of the paseo superior. Luckily my camera died right as I left the park. Oh I forgot! My unplanned extra day. Friday I got to puerto Iguazú too late to see the falls so I had to stay the night in a hostel. THANK GOD FOR EXTRA UNDIES. [mom was right] I have never been so grungy in my life and I’m so proud that I figured this all out on my own w/only a backpack and a few torn pages out of Lonely Planet. The hostel was cool, I slept in a 10 person room and just chilled at the hostel all night. I didn’t really fell like exploring, plus they had a BBQ that night so I didn’t have to go looking for a resteraunt. [yes, spelled wrong again] It was really good and I got to chat w/a bunch of people from all over the world. This one guy Tav, from London or UK, really buddied up to me and expected to go see the falls w/me the next day but I politely told him I wanted to do it alone.. I’m glad I did. I like doing things at my own pace. I’m really glad I came here on my own. It’s so much easier to get around! I’m on a nicer bus this time. Blankets! Whiskey! I smell terrible but whatever. I’m drinking my maté and I absolutely love my new cup and straw. I ate WAY too much delicious meat at the hostel… tummy ache now. I need to start doing sit ups. Three more hours to go. I’m glad I was able to sleep last night. AND I got to watch Prince of Persia. It was actually pretty cool, plus my boyfriend Jake G. is such a hottie. Armed officials came onto the bus twice this trip to check our passports which is weird cause they didn’t check at all on the way to Posadas.”

That’s all she wrote!

“recoleta-cha-cha-cha” or “how many puns can viv make in one blog?”

So I dragged my corpse out of bed early one cold dead morning and hauled my bones to the Recoleta Cemetery. A grave feeling settled over me and dug right down to my skeleton. The death everywhere gave me a feeling of my own mortality and gripped my heart till it turned stone cold.

The extravagance scared the life out of me, it was like a cryptic plot to bury one’s feelings with stone, gold, flowers and boxes. It was quiet as a tomb ‘cept for the tourists laughing themselves to death over the various funny names they encountered. I thought their grim humor would soon decompose as I walked the ground, wishing my feet weren’t killing me. I almost died when the sight of (what I thought was) a living angel popped out of the ground through the crack in a tomb’s door, it had me sputtering and coffin‘ for sure. My life was rotting away in the heat and it was time to terminate my visit to the reaper’s playground. I followed the tourists to Evita’s grave, then said bye bye to the death museum.

24! BOOM… all time pun bog record?? Me thinks so.

In no way am I trying to make fun of the long passed, I just think puns are fun. Plus, Recoleta was ALL about not letting the dead be forgotten.. so why not remember them with some humor too?

Check out all the pictures here.

holy cataratas batman!

too much to even talk about, I’m going to have to scan the pages of my journal in order to express exactly what I was feeling.

I have never felt so free and independent. Traveling around the northern countryside of Argentina without plans, limits or schedules.

All I can say right now is, thank god for extra pairs of underwear.

 

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5am nightmare

It began with dinner with ****, I never see his face only the grafitti on the wall next to our table on my right, it is a bunch of small geometric shaped faces. In the background is the diner out of Nighthawks by Edward Hopper, **** is standing at the window.

A flash and I see all reds greens yellows blues and purples.

Then my bike is broken, a pink bike broken clean in half. My sister tells me that I am the one who broke it. I have a cut on my head, this is the first time I blacked out from drinking. She tells me the story in our poor apartment with gritty drug den walls and a mattress n the floor.

I am sleeping in the park outside, pillow under my head and the blanket from my childhood covering me. It was my favorite one, until I left it outside under my plum tree one day. It had the alphabet on it with mickey mouse and his friends.

A dark man walks up and takes my blanket, I let him have it and don’t put up a fight hoping he will go away. But he doesn’t and I can’t fight him (this happens in dreams a lot, I am literally unable to punch or kick people) Suddenly, after some light slaps I manage to hit him in the groin

I run

I hide under table, I ask a woman with red dyed hair to be quiet as I hide. There is lots of jewelry hanging under the flimsy gray cardtable.

The next day I look for the other half of my bike. A man with a gray hat, like in film noir, gives me a number saying he knows where it is, he also gives me one gold coin to make the phone call with.

Suddenly, someone takes me away.

tattered clothes

raped in car?

I am in a den of girls, 18 – 30 years old, all with battered faces and smeared doll makeup. All sitting on the floor. They assure me everything will be ok. The walls are gray, the carpet is old and gray. I am dirty, dirty, dirty and scared.

The man with the hat comes in, the girls crawl towards him, hands out to receive colored scarves. Most are gray, some are gold… only one is red. One girl gasps, “I’m gold today!?” she seems excited and thankful. Like when a dog is thankful when it’s master stops beating it.

I get the red scarf, it has sequins.

messy

torn

The girls fix me as I am broken tired dirty, one paints my toenails with a paintbrush, purple gray.

They go to the other rooms, as designated by their scarf colors, for rounds of god knows what.

There are many men, lost boys… newsies hats cheap suits, film noir.

I am the leader’s, no one knows which one he is.

I escape in the building, he dies near the elevator.

I run into an apt for help, I am in a kitchen with a family. I am wearing my torn black pajama pants and a sad thin grayish purple cloth hangs torn around my waist.

flashes

Some of the girls float away down a river inside a cave, there is a large jump over a waterfall. I am too scared to go (“It’s the only way!” they shout) but the girls who try, holding hands, die along with many others.

I wake up in the back of a movie theater where there are cartoons playing, felix the cat. I try to turn the show off so no one realizes my dream is actually the next cartoon.

I steal candy, can’t decide between gummy bears or chocolate.

My parents are at the theater, they want to get sushi and I don’t tell them what happened to me. I am ashamed.

It’s ****’s movie, and I might love him. The movie is Housesitter with Goldie Hawn and Steve Martin. I am inside the movie and talk with Steve Martin. It becomes dangerously windy outside the house in the movie. AN old man warns that if we don’t leave the house then we’ll die. We all leave to go to a shelter.

The movie turns grainy, then a crappy godzilla like clay creature catches a human in his mouth and flies away.

An animated woman cathces her baby off of a swing, the sun comes out and they are smiling without any faces.

I am watching the movie again.