Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Tale of the House and the Man Made of Stone

Here's a picture of me standing in front of some Damien Hirst spin art. Why? Because someday I will destroy him. Now here's some emo poetry to accompany your breakfast. I haven't written anything in a long while, probably because I've been so busy making my transition to DeeeeKalb, Illinois. This worries me a bit. I need to get back into it.

Well I built you a house, on top of a hill,
with a little red door and little white window sills.
All of the things you expected from me,
a white picket fence and a room for a baby.
I built up the walls with the finest of timber,
a little stone fireplace, for the cold winters,
a small little kitchen, for making our meals,
a porch in the back for the nights we'll spend dancing
alone in the moonlight, under the stars,
so far from the city, no traffic from cars.
Well I built it all up, then tore it all down.
Despite strong foundation it fell to the ground,
'cause you would not live here, you left me alone.
I'm just a house, I was never your home.
These rooms will stay empty, the yard overgrown,
a note in the mailbox, with words that you'd written in stone.

So I built you a statue of hard stone and clay.
I worked through the nights and I slept through the days.
My back started burning, my arms were so sore,
but I kept on building and building some more.
Well I built up a man, with a heart made of stone,
the flesh of my flesh, the bone of my bone.
His gaze never faltered, he stood on two feet,
with a spear in one hand and a bottle half empty.
I built you a monument that stood oh so tall,
that the weight on his shoulders would cause him to fall,
and as the man crumbled he rolled down the hill,
and into the ocean to where he lies still.
As he sunk to the bottom he noticed a whale,
with skin made of ivory and jewels on her tail.
She blew tiny bubbles that turned into glass,
that danced on the waves as the ships all sailed past.
The sailors all dancing for joy with their rum,
would shoot the glass bubbles with bright silver guns.
They sang drunken songs of a man made of stone,
who'd built many houses, but not any homes,
and he lie in a bed that looked more like a grave,
with a blanket so dark, made of salt water waves.
He lies wide awake in the darkest abyss,
with the thoughts of her touch and her warm perfumed kiss.

On a night when the ocean was pulled by the moon,
and the waves would crescendo to build sailor's tombs,
the man kept on staring straight up to the sky,
and his hard stony gaze could not let the man cry.
Holding tight to his spear with a grip just like death,
warding off any evil that might take his last breath,
after many long years the man wanted to stand,
but couldn't for now he was buried in sand.
Though he struggled to move and he had a strong will,
and he longed to be back on the top of that hill,
there would be no long journey, for his legs were hard stone.
He was not a real man, but you'd never have known.
He still felt like a man, way deep down inside.
He was stubborn and strong, with a chest full of pride,
and he knew that one day he would be back at home,
standing tall on a pedestal, like a king on a throne.
But tonight he will lie and tonight he will wait.
He will ponder the future of his cold stone fate.
But don't ever have pity for this stone of a man,
for this was just part of a much greater plan.
Someday this statue will represent good,
admired by other men carved out of wood.
Though sea salt and sand will bring age to his face
it is only a testament to his wisdom and grace.
For you see, men who sink, they must learn how to swim
and the greatest of men, well they sank just like him.
And while some men build houses and some men build homes,
the greatest of men are those carved out of stone.

Top 10 Reason Dekalb Illinois was a Good Move for Me

I posted this a while back on my facebook page. It's funny how enthusiastic I was to move up here, but you know what? After living here for almost three months I am still just as excited to be here. Pretty much every day I get to see something new that I've never seen before. I have to admit though, at this point I am a little bit tired of the Italian Beef. Give me a hot, fresh, made to order Whataburger any day!

10. DeKalb is named for Gneral Baron Johan DeKalb, who served under General George Washington during the Revolutionary war. This dude was such a badass that he was wounded 11 times before he died! That man deserves a beer. Who could go wrong in a town named after such badassery?

9. Barbed wire was invented in Dekalb, by a man named Joseph Glidden. I like barbed wire. Keeps my favorite foods from getting mixed up on the ranch.

8. I like corn. A lot. Aside from being one of Illinois top corn producers, Dekalb likes corn so much, they have a festival dedicated to it every year! What is it called? Drum roll please........Corn Fest! Billed as "one of the last remaining free music festivals among Illinois music festivals in Illinois" Corn Fest features live music, food, a beer garden and a carnival for the kiddies. I wonder if Korn has ever played Corn Fest.

7. I will have studio space in the building that at one time housed the Wurlitzer Piano Company. As if that wasn't awesome enough, while they were based in Dekalb, Wurlitzer produced what they called, "The Mightiest Wurlitzer" which is a theatre pipe organ reaching over three stories in height! Doesn't get any better than that!

6. Dan Castellaneta, the voice of Homer J. Simpson, attended the school of Theater and Dance at Northern Illinois University. Homer just so happens to be my favorite character from The Simpsons. Here's a fun fact. Dan Castellaneta's co-star on The Simpsons is Yeardly Smith, who does the voice of Lisa. In 1985 Yeardly Smith appeared in the movie The Legend of Billie Jean, as Putter, the girl who gets her period in the back of the station wagon. The Legend of Billie Jean was filmed where? You guessed it! Corpus Christi, Texas! My hometown!

5. As a young stud in grade school I was just too much of a hoss to fit into those 1980's skinny jeans. All the big boys at school wore Husky jeans. The Northern Illinois University mascot is Victor E. Huskie. Coincidence? I think not!

4. I used to have a huge crush on Cindy Crawford back when she was peddling Pepsi and showing up on the cover of Sports illustrated. Cindy Crawford grew up in Dekalb. Apparently she was the valedictorian of her high school class and had a 4.0 GPA. Hot and smart, just like I like them! All the girls in Dekalb look just like Cindy Crawford. Jealous?

3. Dekalb seems to have lots of dive bars like the Annex or Otto's. Dive bars are my absolute favorite! While I was there I met lots of cool people with interesting stories and opinions. I also met a lot of weirdos and creeps. I think I also witnessed a mental patient being kidnapped by a high powered attorney. Whatever. Gotta love a place where you can get a large pizza and two pitchers of beer for like 15 bucks.

2. I hear it snows like 6 months out of the year in Illinois. I've been told by many many people that I am going to freeze my ass off and that NOTHING can prepare me for what the brutal midwest winter has in store for me. Well you know what? This week in Austin our LOW temperature for the week was 102 degrees! Yesterday it was like 106! IT IS FUCKING HOT!!! Believe me folks, after 29 years of sitting on satan's front porch, I'm ready for some snow.

1. Everyone in Texas knows that there is no substitute for a Breakfast on a Bun or a Number One from Whataburger at 2 in the morning. As a proud Texan from Corpus Christi no less, The Hometown of Whataburger, I have to admit the Italian Beef comes pretty close.

Oh yeah, I forgot about grad school and stuff. That's a good reason to go too.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Dusty oh dusty...

I have two pet peeves. One is that I cannot stand the sound of someone chewing ice. My brother used to do it all the time and it irked the hell out of me! We actually got into fist fights over it. It's not that my brother and I didn't get along, I just really hate the sound of ice being chewed. My other pet peeve is that I cannot stand a dirty studio. I don't understand how artists can work in a messy space. I'm all for dumping your crayons out on the floor while you're working, but it's when you don't pick them up that I have a problem.

No that's not snow in these pictures, it's saw dust! Thick layers of it. As it collects on the floor, the hairs on the back of my neck stand straight up. For me it's the visual equivalent to finger nails scratching across a black board. I can't begin to describe the utter horror I experience in the sculpture studio while my students are hacking away at their wood projects. The feeling is compounded by the fact that I am fully aware that undergrads don't enter their first year of college knowing how to properly push a broom. Sweeping is an art form in itself, a skill that one masters after having spent hours and hours in an art studio. If you learn nothing else from four years in art school... well, you should at least come out of there knowing how to sweep.

The feelings of panic and anger quickly subside as I am encouraged by one simple fact. Despite all the loud noise and dust, one thing is for sure. These kids are working and they're working hard. That is all that I ask. So I will bite my tongue and think happy thoughts until it is all over. The sweeping skills will come later.