Circuit Bent Answering Machine
Here is one of my weirder bends..
I went through three answering machines to get a bend to work, but its fun. Next I’m going to have to figure out how to add an audio in, so I can skip the microphone.
Volunteering at 826 Valencia
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
I think I’ve posted about this before but I sometimes volunteer at 826 Valencia, also known as “the pirate supply store” or “that McSweeney’s thing”. It’s a non-profit that focuses on teaching creative writing. They have all sort of different workshops, I help out with one that they call The Field Trip.
Basically, a group of 20-30 kids (around the age of 10-15) will come to 826 and write their own story. There is a person who sort of focuses the kids and helps them put the story together, as well as someone on the computer who is typing the story on an overhead projector. My job is to illustrate the story, the ideas are always very fun to put together and it’s really fun to have the pressure of time and being watched while working on the story.
Today’s class was the first spanish only speaking class that they had ever had for a field tripo. A few of the kids spoke a little english, but mostly we had to rely on a volunteer translator. That made today’s project a little more fun… “I heard someone say gato, that’s a cat right? Here I’ll draw a cat. You like cats right?”
Here is what the story mainly consisted of, Mr. Blue (Sr. Azul) lives in a black castle out in the water with his small dog. There is a bridge from el castillo negro to the dark forest where the ugly witch (named Nosey) lives.
She wants Azul’s castle, and turns the woodland creatures into gaint creatures. Azul magically turns his dog into a gaint dragon and they battle. “De repente…”
At this point the kids are given copies of their books with my drawings and a page left blank. They finish the story and hand them up to the mysterious and mean editor Mrs. Blue that lives upstairs to read. She says a little bit about each and all the kids get their books back, all within two hours.
I did two illustrations, the first is of Nosey creeping up on the black castle, and the next is of the dragon dog facing off against one of Nosey’s gaint flying squirels. When we finished the drawings the kids starting yelling “vive Doc!”. That was, of course, fun for me.
It was a great start to the day, hope the week gets even better. I sold 75 yo-yos to a friend at a decent price, I got a gig, and have been contacted by Etc. Magazine for an upcoming article.
The weekend was great, but ended on a terribly low note, at least I have some music projects to work on. MC Frontalot sent me the rough vocals that he cut over one of my beats. I’m fine tuning it and gonna bounce some stuff back to him throughout the week, the album is slated for an end of august release. That’s also when I last heard the Scream Club vinyl will come out.
If anyone in the city is reading this and would like to get together let me know. I’d love to hang out with some of my friends.
Posted on May 30, 2006
Monday, July 04, 2005
… Have me running for cover.
I actually turned my phone off for most of this weekend just to try to relax.
There’s been a battle with depression for quite sometime now, and I’ve never been good at letting out steam from that sort of thing. Things actually got so bad that Saturday night I called my mom.. Um, I have a feeling that nobody knows this about me, but talking to my mom about personal stuff is a big deal. I have NEVER expressed any sort of “heart to heart” conversation with either of my parents. We’ve talked, and I’ve been there for my mom when she was sad and needed to talk, but I come from a family where communication has never ever been a part of our lives.
Even with friends, there have been very few people I could allow to express myself with. I get my feelings hurt very easily, over things that some people don’t even think are that big of a deal. I don’t hold grudges with people, but if I get hurt once, I will never be able to open up fully after that.
The big thing for me is saying what you mean. When I say something, I really do mean it, I don’t like to fuck with games and I hate it when someone tell’s me something, even though they know its not true. If you can’t say what you mean, then don’t say anything, I’d prefer no communication to someone lying to me. Some of you may know that I’ve always expressed disdain towards the west coast, this has come largely as my view of the west coast being filled with people who say “let’s go see a movie friday” then never actually plan on meeting up. I know that’s a sweeping generalization, but I have to say that sort of thing is as common out here as I thought, luckily the people in San Francisco seem to be an exception to that rule for the most part.
People complain about how closed off I am, it’s true there is only a certain point that I’ll let people get to me. That’s because I’ve been hurt so many times. I’ve travelled around, and known many people very well, but I’ve never been able to get over the feeling that the only person I could trust was truly myself. Even with Rhea, she’s been the closest person I’ve ever opened up with, we lived together for over a year and I did open up to her, but she would make plans with me without any intention of ever keeping them, I just got to the point when I couldn’t tell when she was being honest with her emotions.
She once told me that she hated MCAD art school, and how it was just a factory for artists, she wanted to go to another school. A week later she got accepted to MCAD, when she told me I didn’t know how to react, after what she had told me I thought getting accepted to this school was a bad thing. When I talked to her a few days ago she told me that this reaction was still something she never forgave me for, I wasn’t excited enough and she hated me for that. Meanwhile for me, I wasn’t able to sort out what she said with what the real meaning was. When she would tell me things, I felt like I was part of this game, trying to understand what the real meaning behind simple statements was.
When I was younger, in high school, my mom used to pick me up after school. She was never on time, for several years I would often spend an hour or sometimes two waiting at the school. I talked to my mom about it many times, she would just be out shopping and forget about the fact that her kid was stuck at school, getting beat up by bullies or hungry or whatever. I would be worried about her, or angry, and when I would talk to her about it everyday I would just get “I forgot” as the answer, and that was supposed to clear it up.
It’s fucked up to let that affect me so much, but it’s prevented me from being able to truly tell my mom what was going on my mind ever since then.
Bringing Rhea to my parents last year was the closest I have come to sharing my life with my parents. It was a big deal to me, but the whole time we were with my parents Rhea wasn’t friendly, it crushed me to step out like that and then have someone rip my heart out like that. Thinking about it now, I probably felt like Rhea did when she told me about MCAD. I didn’t know how to react, because Rhea had never been a bitchy person before that incident with my folks. I can’t remember, but I think I felt that our trip to Georgia was one of those things where Rhea said “sure I’d like to meet your family”, but really didn’t mean it. During that trip I went with her to a college called SCAD. I went on the tour with her, and told her I would move there with her if she wanted to go. I was so angry that couldn’t be polite just a little for my folks.
I know that she was going through some hormonal imbalance due to a change in her birth control, and I let the trip and the hurt slip away. But the rest of our relationship became a constant victim of a god damn chemical imbalance. It was a series of events leading me to withdraw my real emotions more and more.
I’m not a basket case or anything now, but it feels like it’s been so long since I’ve opened up with anyone that I’ve forgotten what I’m like.
This has given birth to a new desire to play music live again. The fever to play again has entirely consumed me, melodies going through my head, lyrics coming out faster than I can write them down, before new ones appear. No matter how bad things have gotten I have always been able to express myself through music. I can put everything out there in front of strangers easily and I have never regretted doing it afterwards. I can express myself with pictures, or words, or skill (juggling etc) and that has kept me happy, but it’s like none of these things are enough for me right now. I need to let some steam out, for my own sake, and probably for the sake of everyone around me.
Writing this isn’t helping, I’m-a grab a guitar quick before I become a zombie.
Sex Party Barbeque
Monday, May 30, 2005
So I got a call from “P” today about another party at his theater.
This is the same place I went to a few weeks ago and was surprised to find out that it was pretty much an orgy with several absynth bars.
You can find that blog entry by looking in my blog a bit back.
Anyway, so I get this call for another party would I like to come over, you betcha. So he mentioned food and stuff, but I totally expected this to be another sex party with a loose “food” theme.
Turns out it wasn’t a sex party. It was fun, don’t get me wrong, but… well, when your expecting hot flesh on the floors, and instead are served hot steaks… hot delicious steaks.. mmm, it was pretty good.
I spent an hour teaching Paul the basics of freehand, and then another hour with Scott Nery figuring out everything that could possibly be done with a couple juggling balls and some large pasta bowls.
On the bikeride home I had this pretty bizarre realization that I can only interact with other people creatively. I’m not really of having a conversation unless it’s it’s getting my mind racing on other ways to do whatever we are talking about. I’m a friendly dude, shy, and I know a little bit about a lot of things, but if I’m not talking about making music, crafts, comedy writing, skill toys, object manipulation, etc… I feel pretty uncomfortable.
Of course I’m not being literal here, I’ve had conversations about movies, or politics or food, but you’ve got to understand I’m the type of guy that can go to a party for hours and not say a word. I just don’t know what to talk about, furthermore, almost all of my friends are people that I can only talk to about certain creative things. Theres the people I know from acting, the people I know from yo-yo, the people I know from cartooning. If we aren’t talking about these things, I have no idea waht to say. Looking back my best relationships have been with women that also shared a creative interest that I could talk about, you see I don’t have to talk about MY creations, I just love talking about creating in general. The best times I’ve had with girlfriends was during periods where we both were creating. If she was working on a bunch of paintings, and I was doing a bunch of music, we’d have so much to talk about. It could be because it’s through these creative processes that I’ve best learned to communicate instead of just uh.. comunicating. So talking about these things is easier to me, because I’m talking about how we express ourselves, instead of having to actually do it in real life.
I know that sounds ‘tarded, but it was sort of an epiphany on my way home.
There should be another sex party in a month or two.