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I LOVE THE CUTOUT FILTER [01 May 2011|01:54 pm]

in which I further realize I require more life drawing classesCollapse )

Also, here's how the Beauty and the Beast project turned out.Collapse )

Some people do nothing but anime fan art. Well, this is what I do.
link raise your glowsticks

(no subject) [14 Apr 2011|08:33 am]
My college life moves so quickly yet tediously that I won't be surprised if, by the end of it, I'm left stranded in my own dust. The scrambling rat race that we hilariously feed money into for a flimsy receipt that no longer seems to vouch for our efforts does not coincide well with the world of art, simply in that art cannot be churned out.

I know, I've tried. And I'm falling behind.

No ideas anymore. Nothing to say, to express. All of my everything feels drowned and squelched by the hastiness of it all. Individual days are endured and drag on; I glance at the calendar and remember the hurdles of the weeks gone by. What's my problem? The bottom line is that I'm unhappy, but I can't figure out exactly why.

It's a number of things, I guess. I'm disappointed in myself because I'm in my third year of college and still feel as if I'm ambling in the darkness with no idea of what I want to do with myself or my pointless degree. I want to learn to draw, to be a better artist, yet I rush all of my assignments and thusly do myself no favors. Then I second-guess myself: is art what I want to do? If I could do anything for the rest of my life and get paid for it, what would that thing be? I'm trapped between "being loud and obnoxious with friends dancing to pumping music" and "sealing myself off from the world to hone my craft". The latter is what college is supposed to be, to go off to a university and have my number one priority be art. But the university system is oddly meshed with artwork in that the environment encourages collaboration, yet creating art is deemed to be, and assigned as, a completely introverted, singular effort. So we get to "art class", sit in our seats, and, in assembly line fashion, quietly retreat into the cubicles of our minds and get to work. Why even show up to class? Why is attendance mandatory? Sure it helps to get advice from the teacher as you're moving along, but isn't that what office hours are for? Being around other people is a distraction: either I am pulled from what I want to do by paranoia or I am drawn away from what I don't want to do and talk to people instead.

Maybe it's taken me three years to realize I'm not ready for college? I just feel like the boat's taking off without me; everyone seems part of It and I feel instead that I'm whisked along for the ride. College should be MY experience, one that I mold for myself to fit my needs and desires and to get my money's worth, but instead I feel I'm being angrily pushed through the entire process just to get me the fuck out. Well, it's working: I want to get the fuck out of here and have felt that way since day one. I have no idea what I'll do afterward, and neither do the universities (nor do they care!), but that's the way the school systems are being forced to function now and by God it's working. So we're sent out into the Real World with this piece of paper that says "I did X000 hours of this yet I may only know a thing or two about it since it's all a blur" and it doesn't matter because my sister's bachelor's in psychology from one of the best schools in the state and 35th best in the nation has landed her a job at Trader Joe's. If a degree used to decipher the inner workings of the human mind biologically and behaviorally is only good enough for a clerk position, where the fuck am I supposed to go with my pathetic "years of combined forced and voluntary solitude have led me to hate everyone and myself, but I can paint the fuck out of that still life"? Yeah, that's promising.

I woke up about an hour ago with a sense of loneliness, dawg, the crushing loneliness. I felt the pain of a cyst trying to break out of my face and my insides churning. Here's nature, back again to remind me that indeed I am not pregnant. Thanks. I'm acutely aware that there's no way I'll be getting pregnant any time soon unless, y'know, there's a surprise. At least in getting up this early I can present my middle finger to the world and curl right back up to sleep. Then again, the sun's middle finger got me first by shining directly into my face, as my room faces east.

I hope I get to go to Hamburg. They have more clouds.
link3 ravers | raise your glowsticks

(no subject) [22 Mar 2011|08:46 pm]
In my illustration class we have to adapt a fairy tale into three two-page spreads: beginning, middle, and end. It can either be traditional or of our own interpretation. The three fairy tales available were the Pied Piper of Hamelin, Little Red Riding Hood, and Beauty and the Beast. I've aptly been given the last of the three and I have no idea where to start.

I mean, of course I know what I'd want to do with it—my life is Beauty and the Beast— but I don't think that's something I'm comfortable putting up on the wall and having an hour long critique rip into it. Not only that, but drawing myself for a college project is beyond infantile and my siblings certainly haven't gone to the extreme of rubbing onions in their eyes.

Things would be a lot easier if it were just "pretend", trust me.

Thought of You by Ryan J Woodward.

Womanly tears.
link raise your glowsticks

(no subject) [29 Oct 2010|04:14 am]
[Tags|, , , ]

So my current schedule consists of four classes, two being studios.

Monday, I have Foundation Life Drawing from 1-3:45PM, then Comparative Studies from 5-6:15PM. Tuesdays I have Abnormal Psychology from 8-9:15AM, then Intro to Painting from 1-3:45PM. Filling a schedule around studio classes is astoundingly difficult, especially with the recent budget cuts limiting class sections and occupancies.

The studio classes are kicking my ass, primarily because the instructor, Siobhan McClure, equips a heavy workload. She teaches both of my studios, so she gives me a bit of sympathy. Due Monday, for Life Drawing, I have a charcoal self-portrait that needs to display something about my personality. Kandi it is. I can probably bang it out in four hours or so, which is a fairly short amount of time. Due Tuesday, for Painting, I have a 24x30 still life themed "Personal Clues". More kandi and a couple of skulls. I'm about a third of the way through it, blocking in colors and adding value here and there. I guess I decided to make it as hard as possible for myself by throwing in a skull bank covered in Celtic knotting and stringing neon purple holiday lights for numerous, colored light sources. Smooth move, Dexter. Alas, the painting is well on its way and it's too late for changes. I'm hoping she'll appreciate me attempting to challenge myself and going the extra mile to accurately portray myself in the still life. Because, y'know, I'm all about purple lights an' shit.

So today and yesterday she pulled us aside, one by one to discuss our standing in the class academically and artistically. I'm on the unnecessarily-irritating cusp of B+/A- in both classes, to which she requests an extra push. An extra push! I'm shoving as hard as I can! Angry and starving—that's the life of an artist! Truth to be told, I'm sleeping less than five hours at a time and eating even less. My diet consists mostly of on-the-go carbs and sugars: cereal, cereal bars, granola bars, Pop-Tarts, PB&Js, bagels with cream cheese (occasionally). If I'm lucky, there's some kind of chicken in the dining hall, though I'm usually dependent on potatoes as usual. When I have time, I pick up frozen things at the market, as well as milk, juice, and apples. Basically, whatever I can carry a mile home. But I digress.

I'm having a blast in these classes and I can definitely see my improvements, but I feel as if there is never enough time to devote to my artwork and to my friends. I recently went the longest I've ever gone without seeing my family: over a month. It would be different if I were on a trip or studying abroad, but when you're tantalized by all of these events happening within just miles of you and your family being so close, yet just a tad too far, it's really grating to know you're stuck at school. Because I live on campus, I never come home from school. Sure I throw down my backpack and lurch myself onto my bed the same as ever, but the environment is still around me. There is no signal to the end of a day, not even the sun setting or rising. It's school, constantly. School. I'm not complaining; going to university is a great opportunity and I'm (finally) learning a lot, but there's no downtime to turn off my brain and let the day's thoughts and activities marinate. The bed I jump on to is the same one I crawl toward at 9:30 in the morning for a quick nap before I wake up three hours later and go to my next class. It's like Monday morning twice a day for four days. My only escape is on the weekends when Pulse/Descent is going on. I see a more comfortable set of friends who aren't going to ask me about my homework, or where I'm going, or if I did such and such yet, or if I can hang out. I can't hang out with people as liberally as I was able to last year, and people on and off campus take this as a personal insult.

I've been reading Marry Your Muse as suggested by oolong, which suggests that I shouldn't be afraid to devote time to my craft instead of other people.
"As I began to work on projects that called for focus and creative attention, I experienced the same need—to be totally alone when I entered the space I had defined sacred. [[More on this later.]] I was always living in households with other people, and it seemed to take forever for them to understand this need. Despite the fact that my door was shut, meditation music was playing, or incense was burning, housemates would still knock on my door to call me to the phone. Limits were tested by children, parents, and friends, all wondering how I could really put my personal life ahead of them and their pressing needs.
I went back and forth between feeling angry at their lack of understanding and feeling selfish for wanting a solitude I didn't deserve... When I hear others say how hard it is for them to find any solitude in their lives, I flash back to my years of struggle with it, to the constant conversations I had with myself about whether I was worth it, whether my work was important enough to deserve being placed above the needs of others, and to the embarrassment I often felt when others failed to understand my need for prayer and aloneness."

I guess the main problem is that I don't want to be shut away from people. I like talking to people, being hugged, and going out dancing. Maybe it's just that I've been locked in my room for enough weeks at a time that I feel deprived of people and I'll be able to return to my normally introverted solitude once I burn out. No, you know what though? I want to exercise. I want to go hiking. I want to travel and meet people. I want to listen to music as loud as it will go and stomp around until I've sweat my last drops. I want to eat fruit picked off of trees and scribble on the sidewalk with chalk. I want to sleep on ten different couches a month and see the insides of hundreds of showers. Someone very important to me once said that being a raver was like running away and joining the circus. It's a shame that aspect of the scene is degrading, if not grasping its last crippled breaths.

The absolute worst part is that Madrid has been steadily absent. He's told me before to lift my hand to create, and his fingers will wrap around mine. I've been drawing and painting practically nonstop, yet during these periods his visits have been brief, if they happen at all. His mood is usually negative, accusatory, mocking, or just plain pissed off. He's always been the Bad Cop in terms of artistic coaching and support, which I accept as part of his personality and is beyond my control, but these last few weeks he's been increasingly bitter. Through his own emotional issues, he's been unable to directly compliment or praise me. Often he will tease me until I've descended to his level of vulnerability before he "admits" something positive about me, especially when he "confesses" his love. This doesn't bother me as much as him being entirely gone. I paint as if in a void, just getting assignments done instead of enjoying the experience. Just because they're assignments doesn't mean they aren't personal works of art. Well, they were until recently, where I'm feeling empty, unmotivated, harried, hungry, tired, and alone. Now I'm sitting here and typing this shit up, staring between the screen and my painting with contempt. I know he's moody and mad at me, or at someone, but I don't know how to fix it or what went wrong. It's left me quite adrift, so I'm further making time to finish Marry Your Muse so I can prove my commitment to him.

Oh, right. The sacred space. Haven't got it. This dorm room is too small to physically paint my still life in. I had to assemble it underneath my desk and I'm sitting on the floor with the canvas, propping it up against my desk. I had the still life set up on my desk before, but the canvas is too tall and interferes with the shelf on top. I would remove the shelf, but it's crammed full of my books. So there I sit in my narrow, tiny space, claustrophobic and cramped, tangling myself in cords and sifting through tubes of paint and somehow getting my entire palette on the length of my arm. The only mirror I have is within my closet, meaning I have to stand and prop my drawing board and paper up against the set of drawers inside. There is no quiet, secluded space that allows me to "step aside from the chaos of daily life and open channels to a higher frequency, tuning in to the language of the spirit, the voice of the Muse." According to this book it's like, Step fucking 2 or something and I don't even have that.

When I get frustrated I pick at my skin until it bleeds. Good thing I don't do meth.
My hands are dry and clammy now from washing paint off of them so often. Is it worth it?
The Artist's Creed
I believe I am worth the time it takes to create
whatever I feel called to create.
I believe that my work is worthy of its own space,
which is worthy of the name Sacred.
I believe that, when I enter this space, I have the right
to work in silence, uninterrupted, for as long as I choose.
...I believe that the time I spend creating my art
is as precious as the time I spend giving to others.
...I believe that I am not alone in my attempts to create,
and that once I begin the work, settle into the strangeness,
the words will take shape, the form find life, and the spirit take flight.
I believe that as the Muse gives to me,
so does [he] deserve from me:
faith, mindfulness, and enduring commitment."

I need this book a lot more than I thought.

Also, Halloween is my favorite fucking holiday and I'm going to be spending it locked inside my room. A massive middle finger to you too, midterms.
link1 raver| raise your glowsticks

Reading List [20 Oct 2010|10:41 pm]

  • Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman - Good Omens
  • Jerzy Kosinski - The Devil Tree
  • Mike Mignola - Hellboy: Seed of Destruction; Wake the Devil; Wolves of St. August; Corpse and the Iron Shoes; Almost Colossus
  • Jamie Hewlett & Alan Martin - Tank Girl; Tank Girl - Apocalypse; Tank Girl - The Odyssey
  • Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons - Watchmen
  • Frank Miller - The Dark Knight
  • David B. - Epileptic
  • Art Spiegelman - Maus
  • Rutu Modan - Exit Wounds
  • Charles Burns - Black Hole
  • Alison Bechdel - Fun Home
  • David Mazzucchelli - Asterios Polyp
  • Alan Moore & Keith O'Neill - The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol.1

In progress
  • Mike Mignola - Hellboy: The Middle Years
  • Warren Ellis & Darick Robertson - Transmetropolitan
  • Neil Gaiman - Neverwhere
  • Jan Phillips - Marry Your Muse
  • Marjane Satrapi - (The Complete) Persepolis
  • Steve Darnall & Alex Ross - Uncle Sam

To do:
  • Alan Moore - V for Vendetta
  • Bill Willingham - Fables
  • Mark Z. Danielewski - House of Leaves
  • S.L.M. Mathers and Aleister Crowley - The Lesser Key of Solomon
  • S.L. MacGregor Mathers - The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin
  • Brian K. Vaughan & Pia Guerra - Y: The Last Man
link raise your glowsticks

(no subject) [14 Aug 2010|01:43 am]
Know what it is? I'm letting them win. I'm letting all of them win. I've got a cauldron of hate stewing in me, yet I'm letting them win. Like nails on a chalkboard or cat's claws in my back, I'm letting them drag me down. I'm not a mop of dead hair on a toupee, I'm not a piece of fine upholstery on the curb. I'm a human fucking being, and by God I will not let them draw blood. My only problem is that—for all of my defenses, for my supposedly thick hide and duck feathers that let it all roll off my back—I've no arsenal to attack with and no filthy assistants of my own. I'm no boss, no leader; I'm not even a rogue of any sort, lithe and wily and cunning. I can't do it on my own and I'm weaponless. The infestation is creeping and there isn't a single can of killer left on the shelf. They've bored themselves like maggots into the pillars I'd erected around myself. I built them because I don't nearly stand as tall.

It seems like dominoes, having them all take each down one by one, peg by peg, like bowling pins in a strike. Nobody's trying to snuff me out individually or bring down my shields to do it (I haven't got that paranoia); it's all just the happenstance of the stinking tendrils of society's evil smog reaching out and curdling the nuggets of cream and sugar in my life. Everybody's affected, but now it's hitting close to home.

Lethargy. Apathy. Let's-call-it-a-day. That when a suffering young woman phones in for her week-delayed test results, she has to specify it's cancer she's being tested for to get someone to answer her. If she asks too many questions or knows too much, if she threatens your poorly-maintained title of Doctor by questioning your dismissive diagnoses, you chuck her a bottle of mind-mush capsules. You send her away with pills so you don't have to do another check up because your Hippo-fucking-cratic oath just isn't in your heart anymore, is it? It's lost somewhere in an ocean of slimy shit and fizzing little happy tablets of your own. The crazy don't know they're crazy, isn't that it? Too bad it doesn't work the same way for all biological illnesses.

But on the subject of mental disorders—you know, the whole "holes in your brain" deal—you're going to dismantle that fluted column like the ruins of the Parthenon with that, aren't you? Crumbled little bits of marble that epitomized human ingenuity and imagination are all that remains under your hammer of iron, ineffable Right. It stands as a monument of scientific advances in all fields, from the heavens above and beyond to the sand and rocks and minerals beneath our feet, and from the functioning and mechanisms of the clockwork universe right down to our own very brains. Philosophy, democracy, astronomy, psychology, mathematics, chemistry, biology; a victim of its own discovery. He is Order and Reason, but you deem it Subjective. You have killed Daemon with the rest of antiquity, it seems. Under your gauntlet his name is Schizophrenia. I've told you once I can't be two-faced, so why do you call me Eve, she accused of three?

Of all this injustice and impurity, it seems the wisest to simply hide away. It's not a matter of "die trying" when you can't even put up a fight. I'd be swallowed up and eaten alive if I stepped out of bounds now. I've retracted the harpy talons, left their brooding nest, and holed up until the grenade assault stops spitting bits of stone in my eyes. I've plucked the leeches and lampreys and parasitic fleas and gnats from every pore, though they took some of my body hair with them. Some are still sucking it for delusional sustenance. I've got my hard hat, my deadbolt, my earplugs, and my own bed. There aren't any scorpions in the sheets (this time). Unfortunately, here I am, trembling beneath my blanket fort with rage, fear, and a full bladder, biding time until I can strike.

Wound up and coiled like a boa constrictor, ready to strike...
link1 raver| raise your glowsticks

(no subject) [11 Aug 2010|01:46 pm]
I wish I had been born ten years earlier. I hate this millennium.
link4 ravers | raise your glowsticks

(no subject) [03 Aug 2010|06:37 pm]
So I passed my written driver's test with four wrong. I guess that's one thing out of the way. I'm supposed to start driving school too before I go back to school. It's worth the money to have a stranger assume I'm a moron with no intuition than to have my parents or friends assume I'm "smarter than that" if I make a bonehead mistake.

At twenty years old, I shouldn't be at such a stalemate in my life. There is so much I want to learn about and improve in, yet so much of it I quickly dismiss. I wonder if that makes me a bad person. It's as if everyone I meet is trying to place me in a little box all the time, to cherrypick what they think I like or what kind of person I should be to fit their expectations. Because of the company at CSULB I feel I need to sacrifice my comfort zones out of desperation. For instance, picking up drinking. I don't want to. It's disgusting. I've had alcohol pressed on me a number of times and have taken only a handful of sips ever. I don't want to learn to enjoy alcohol. I don't want to "acquire" that "taste". I don't drink and have no interest in starting.

But then I wonder. Does that make me a stiff? A prude? Does that mean I'm not willing to try new things? Is this part of the wall that everyone blames me for sealing myself off behind?
Or is my decision justified? Is it acceptable to be a college student that doesn't consume alcohol? Will it hinder my chances of meeting people, or is it possible it could even bolster them? Is being a sober student enough of a special interest that I could find common grounds with people just based on that?

I've never concerned myself with others' thoughts so much in my entire life, but now that I'm left stranded and alone I'm wondering if the problem is in the way I am or if I'm simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Am I the common denominator, or is my company at fault? Most of my observations lead me to believe it's the former, as I'm continually growing distant from the majority of my high school friends for the same reasons (I didn't expect anything to last forever, but I didn't know it'd be over so soon). I don't drink, I'm barely starting driving education, I don't share musical tastes, I don't do drugs, and so on and so forth. There are several quite basic strands of idle chitchat that I can't seem to contribute to, as evidenced by the fallen looks on others' faces when the conversation goes flat. I don't drink coffee (hate the taste no matter how much whipped cream and sugar is dropped into it), I don't wear makeup (expensive, have enough acne as it is), I don't listen to the radio (obnoxious), I don't go to the movies often (no one to go with, expensive, nothing looks interesting), I don't follow sports (why bother), and, most of all, I don't watch TV. I don't even own a TV in my dorm.

Because of all these factors regarding standard topics of small talk, I can't blame the everyday person for not knowing what to say to me. I don't expect them to cater to my personal interests at all. In fact, I want them to do the talking. Unfortunately I find myself intolerant of these topics in general. I don't care about True Blood or Desperate Housewives, or 3OH!3 or Ke$ha or Katy Perry or Lady Gaga, or purses or lipsticks or blushes or mascara, or Starbucks or Coffee Bean, or Twilight or Scott Pilgrim or whatever new action movie has consumed thousands of dollars of CGI.

Does this make me intolerant? Does this mean I can't open up? In short, why should I even attempt to be interested in those things if it does? So I can get to know these people? What is there to know if we have nothing in common and they don't interest me? I mean, what's going on here? What's wrong with me? I've never really had any problems making friends until now. Where did I go wrong?

I'm so fucking confused...
link5 ravers | raise your glowsticks

(no subject) [14 Jul 2010|03:48 pm]
Well, according to this post...

I write like
Chuck Palahniuk

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

link6 ravers | raise your glowsticks

(no subject) [03 Jul 2010|08:55 pm]
Pretty tired of this by now.

It's no wonder I'm an introvert. Step my foot into anywhere and there's always shit underneath it. Even when I look, even when I stare down at the place I'm supposed to place my sole, a lump of shit squeezes into the cracks of my sneakers. I leave, stomp around in a river for a while, wipe my feet on the mat, and hide away into my hermit shell again. Do I attract these untrained animals, or maybe even their owners who have neglected them? Is there some sort of sign outside my hovel that advertises—encourages—this behavior?

You'd think that, with the invention of the Internet, we'd have advanced a little further as a species by now. We have access to every imaginable niche and mystery, every fact and fiction, and every scrap of information anyone could ever want about anything. Literally everything is available and, if you look hard enough, even for free.

Free education. Globally accessible. We've got the power to name stars in galaxies we haven't visited yet. You put something out in the web and eventually a spider—some sort of spider, any spider—will prey upon it. Spider Jerusalem. What a hero.

Where are the steel-headed renegades of this generation? Why have the men fallen so far?

So far... so far they've fallen. Brought up in a society where they must watch their every utterance, that raising a fist to a woman is the greatest crime he could possibly commit, men have kept their hands to their sides and their mouths shut and their faces to the ground. Meanwhile women rise up as these supposedly invincible, ever-valuable and always beautiful purveyors of life, confident that no man will keep them down in a society supposedly teeming with sexism.

In case anyone was wondering, there are a few damsels still in distress without their hands covered in motor oil and fish bait and splinters and dirt. We may not be in ballroom gowns with sparkling tiaras on our immaculate hair and glass heels on our dainty feet, but we're still waiting on our hero. Even if he has no noble steed, no armor, and a broken wooden sword.
link1 raver| raise your glowsticks

(no subject) [29 Jun 2010|01:07 pm]

link9 ravers | raise your glowsticks

(no subject) [07 Jun 2010|04:43 am]
[Tags|, , ]
[music |Masters of Ceremony - Bass Sequence]

I kept thinking about this, so I'm just going to come out and say it.

I can't believe I spent so much energy on you. Barnacle.
And they had called Madrid the parasite.

The more aggressive of the two "psychiatrists" had his permissions to speak with me revoked and his involvement with me and my "treatment" severed. I'm not sure if it was directly related to my situation or not. The more passive counselor pulled me aside to apologize for what happened. "He kept asking me if I was following and I honestly wasn't. It's like he was just making it up as he went to hear himself talk. I was just sitting there and seeing how far he'd run with it, but that was at your expense. I wanted to say I'm sorry for that." Before the semester ended I talked one on one with my psychology professor and a lot got sorted out. I feel a lot better about the whole issue. From what I know—due to his interactions with both students and staff— the counselor in question won't be returning next semester.

Being the massive troll Fate is, my horrible art teacher also will not return next semester. She's received a grant to go teach in Italy. Questo è spiacevole.

(I'm really getting the cream of the crop at CSULB, aren't I?)

I handle my feet a lot. My toenails are kind of long but I like feeling how smooth they are. I should clip them but I don't want to yet. I really like making kandi. It relaxes me. I make cuffs for no one in particular, but I tell random ravers who beg for them that they're for someone. I guess I'm saving them for a special moment.

I had made kandi that said Rexxar Mok'nathal for myself, but I gave it to a raver named Disease after Klub Kandie Pop 3. I still have the receipt from when we all ate at Denny's; we being me, Blyth, her boyfriend Steven, Wiggles, Enigma, Fangirl, Sweetcheeks, Disease, and Stebs. We were just standing in the parking lot talking about Warcraft 3, and he'd mentioned the Beastmaster. I gasped and said, "You have no idea how much I love Rexxar! I—look—I even made this." I'll never forget the look on his face when he read it, and how he immediately snatched me for a hug once I gave it to him. It was barely dawn. The sky was a neutral blue-gray. And it was a tight, true hug. That's why kandi is significant.

I've been in group Skype calls with a number of people from around the world. Two from Ireland, two in Canada, two in the U.S., two in New Zealand, one in Greece, another in Sweden, and one in this conversation is from Finland. There was another English speaker from Japan, but she didn't stay long or say much. They're excellent conversation partners for intellectual stimulation, and I feel appreciated and accepted. For instance, I know I'm going to have to expand my wardrobe if I expect to assimilate into my college or present myself for a job. Of course I don't expect to walk into a professional setting wearing kandi and Tripp pants, but my social life and networking is suffering, since people find me "intimidating" because I "walk fast" and "look mean". The Greek (actually, half-Greek and half-Dutch :]), Yanni, expressed his disappointment. "I don't know how an Arete can be intimidating."

Thinking about college still really depresses me. I'm going to try studying abroad or possibly even transferring if shit doesn't get better.
link8 ravers | raise your glowsticks

(no subject) [28 May 2010|02:11 am]
My mom asked if I had a crush on anyone at my college. I answered truthfully: I don't. She sounded disappointed. "Really? You don't like-like anyone, not even a little bit?" I wish I did.

I don't want to be in college. Not this one, anyway. How come my college experience isn't rooming with a bunch of friends, cracking open tomes of knowledge and improving myself at every turn? Why is my college experience me hiding in a corner with my drapes drawn, trudging to class every morning to just sit there feeling lethargic and worthless? Why am I paying thousands of dollars to learn what I already know and to be denied classes I need and want to take? Thanks to state budget cuts, it'll probably take me 5 years to get my degree and I've already spent two of them being miserable.

I want someone to beat me up so I'll feel something. I don't want to cut myself or anything like that. I'd rather someone else do it. I don't even have the guts to hurt myself. I wish I had some sort of excuse or even a reason for being miserable. I feel like running away, joining some sort of traveling caravan where I can see a world outside this celebrity-obsessed, fashionista, drinking-smoking-mindlessly-fucking sewer. Isn't there someone out there that wants to refresh and sustain their spirit with me?

That's the person I want to like-like.
link1 raver| raise your glowsticks

Forward the Revolution [25 May 2010|03:59 am]
[Tags|, ]

>> It's cool to dress how you want and act how you want, but there is such a thing as taking it too far. It's not even the colors or the drugs or raves themselves, it's that no one needs to wear a full sleeve of bracelets. No one needs to wear 20 layers of chopped up technicolor cloth over three pairs of different, ripped up fishnet and combat boots. You just don't need to take it that far is all. Maybe if there was an actual reason to be a raver other than partying once or twice a week, it'd make sense. But as far as I see it, you do some drugs, dance all night, wake up feeling like shit and spend a week recovering while avoid all things neon.

Your view of the rave scene is the same as comparing punk or rock to the people who shop at Hot Topic. Raving is about the music and freedom of expression. It's about art, traveling, and community. Drugs are involved in everything—every scene—and raving became associated with drugs thanks to the nightclub's absorption of electronic dance music in discotheques. Freeparty is raving; underground warehouse parties are raving. Raving is about spontaneous, unbridled, united celebration. At least to me, and that's why I wear "the bracelets" every day— they're made by people I have met at these parties who share the love of the music and the DJs who spin it. It makes me feel less like a freak, less alone, less estranged when I'm in a sea of faces that seem to know the world of 9 to 5 and nothing else.

The 90s were all about DIY. Safety pins and pants patches became punk because whippersnapping little varmints decided to make their own clothes. Art Brut. But wearing clothes with safety pins and pants patches doesn't make you punk.

Glowsticks were most likely a result of generator conservation and possible ecstasy usage. When you're in an abandoned warehouse or under a blanket of stars, there aren't really any lights available. Regular safety glowsticks used for camping probably became essential in the days before light up cell phones. They're also fun to play with and create entertaining light trails for someone on ecstasy. Whether you're high or not, some lightshows are very impressive. Twirling glowsticks in a a dark room does not mean it's a rave. The inclusion of ecstasy or any other controlling substances does not add to or detract from the definition of rave.

It makes me physically ache to look at all of these people who call themselves ravers and have no knowledge of what the rave scene has endured just to be barely breathing today. Tear gas. Arrests. Confiscation of property. Riot squads. Violence. Death.

"I think they're serious-- they've got guns, man."
This was in America. In 2005. Helicopters.

Armed with semi-automatic assault rifles, tasers, and tear gas, the police used dogs to sweep the crowd for narcotics. At least one helicopter was used in the operation, which served as a large spotlight for the ground teams. Prior to raiding the show, several unnamed police informants had reportedly told police that they had observed some "illegal activities".

"The jury found us innocent—all of us innocent—of any crime. What had we done? We had just turned up at a party."

What is a rave? An exercise in freedom, to play our music without being told to turn it down. Yet even when all permits are attained, everyone is sober, and not a crime in sight...

The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act of 1994 grants police the power to "remove persons attending or preparing for a rave". A rave is described in the act as "a gathering on land in the open air of 100 or more persons (whether or not trespassers) at which amplified music is played during the night", "'music' includes sounds wholly or predominantly characterised by the emission of a succession of repetitive beats. "

In response to the proposed bill, UK electronica band Autechre released the three-track "Anti EP" on Warp Records, stating:
"Warning: Lost and Djarum contain repetitive beats. We advise you not to play these tracks if the Criminal Justice Bill becomes law. Flutter has been programmed in such a way that no bars contain identical beats and can therefore be played at 45 or 33 revolutions under the proposed law. However we advise DJs to have a lawyer and musicologist present at all times to confirm the non-repetitive nature of the music in the event of police harassment.

By breaking this seal, you accept full responsibility for any consequential action resulting from the product's use, as playing the music contained within these recordings may be interpreted as opposition to the Criminal Justice and Public Order Bill."

...our music is against the law. At least in the UK.

You want to ask me the difference between a club and a rave? Clubs make money—filthy, drunken, coke-smeared money—and that fills the pigs' trough. Clubs are seedy whorehouses to flaunt status, cash, and how well you hold your liquor. Rubbing your itching genitals in an inebriated stupor against some equally sedated stranger, hoping one will take the other home to sate a carnal obligation. Barely scraping beyond the threshold of the Jurassic. Fuck, even the name "club" connotes membership, "one of us". Accepted based on your capability to conform.

Pardon all the biding rage. Just thinking about all this makes my blood boil. Despite it being an uphill battle, I'm willing to defend the scene I love to the ends of the earth.

But why? "Maybe if there was an actual reason to be a raver other than partying once or twice a week, it'd make sense."

I love the music. I love the people who love the music. They love me too.
link5 ravers | raise your glowsticks

(no subject) [20 May 2010|06:28 pm]
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I can't be two-faced.

When something becomes integrated into my life, it's woven into the fabric of my past and whatever is presently occurring. I keep thinking my life needs to read like a book, like everything needs a justification and footnote and citation as to why it is so.

It comes from all sorts of external and internal analysis, of others looking you over and linking cause and effect to why things are as they are. Responses to external stimuli become the causes of things rather than the effect. Because you didn't tell anybody, you've become this way. Because you liked these images, these sounds, this media, you are this way.

Raves are an escape for me, sure. But I don't become "someone else", I become myself. The Pulse parties restore my confidence, if for only an evening. I feel dumb because I can't shuffle or glowstring or poplock or poi or use photons or fingerlights or even tektonik (hahaha) but no one's there to say shit to me. I just dance like a fool and if I accidentally hit somebody, I apologize and they say it's fine. Nobody shoves me, grinds against me, or points and laughs wondering how high I am. They aren't begging me for a cool bracelet. They aren't taking snapshots of 14 year olds with their asses hanging out of their tutus. That shit's a rave is why.

People often ask me what the difference is between a club and a rave. Bright lights, dark room, techno music, people dancing. Oh, so raves are just, um, illegal, right? Because people do drugs?

I don't even know where to begin with this. I could, and maybe should, write akin to a book on this distinction, because every time someone asks me there is an entire world of hatred ready to burst from my veins and thrust my hands straight to their fucking necks. There is such a difference between clubs and raves that, augh, I can't even think, I can't even put this into words it makes me so angry, so frustrated.

It's the same thing as I mentioned up there, okay, that people take these little patterns and images that have become associated with raves without understanding the causes of it. They attribute the response to the whole of the situation. They take things like candy kids and oonts oonts techno music and glowsticks and use it to define what a rave is or isn't, instead of recognizing that a rave is an environment in which these patterns were allowed to develop. Unbridled, spontaneous celebration of self-expression. I could go on, but I won't. Maybe later. I can't think.

Anyway, so, I can't be two-faced. There isn't a "college Rita" and a "raver Rita" and an "Internet Rita" and a "family Rita" and an "artist Rita". I think it'd be a disorder if things were that way, but it seems that a lot of people expect that of me. Sure, there are some things I limit in the presence of others (i.e. trying not to swear like a sailor around my family) and the groups of friends associated with different interests don't mix, but who I am doesn't change around them.

But I've noticed that people here have a college them, and a family them, and a certain-group-of-friends them, and a club them, and a Facebook them, and an anything else them. I'm not really used to that. They'll be this straight A student then get piss drunk and fucked on the weekends and then go home and kiss their mothers. They're these masters of closing doors after leaving rooms, that there isn't this overhanging guilt of "gee I was a total slut 24 hours ago" tampering with their psyche. Because I'm an open book, I'm afraid of what people will read of me. I always feel that every single thing I do someone will see, someone will find out, and then I'll have to explain myself, and it better be good, missy. Even if I didn't do anything wrong, I feel like I'll get in trouble. You should have been doing this, or this, or...

I'm interrogated, I feel, a lot. Rita, it's one in the morning and you're in your pajamas. Why aren't you wearing your bracelets? ...I was just about to go to bed. Why did you have to ask?

What are you wearing? What are you all dressed up for? I dress like this every day. Because it's what I like to wear, and I might as well wear what I want until I'm forced into some occupation or grow old enough where I can't wear chains hanging from my hips.

What are you drawing? Please leave me alone.

Please leave me alone...

When are you coming over? I'll be right there! ...no I won't.

I have this overwhelming social anxiety when Ryan asks me to hang out with him. Sometimes I'll pace around my room whispering until I just collapse on my bed, staring blankly at the wall and then falling asleep. Sometimes I've said "I'll be right there", get completely showered and dressed and brush my teeth and then I grab the door handle, press my body against it, lock the door and hide in the darkness.

"Thanks for ignoring me. No, really, thanks a lot." I'm sorry. I didn't mean to ignore you. I just... can't seem to make it downstairs. Not even to tell you sorry. So I'm just staring at your Skype window, I guess, thinking "I'm sorry", but not typing anything. After fifteen minutes I manually switch it to away to make it look like I'm legitimately idle. Blyth is talking to me about her new boyfriend and I'm responding, so I'm not technically idle. Idle Rita.

Then again, I did finish two finals yesterday and they weren't necessarily hard, but I was still stressed out and worried. I have a lot of stuff coming up that's bogging me down. I'm moving out tomorrow but still wondering how I'm going to get to Dissent. I should post something on Facebook but--
--if Ryan sees me on Facebook he's going to know I've been here the whole time, not sleeping.
I did sleep later. It's late enough in the afternoon.

Just don't look at me. Nobody look at me.

Big orange arms. Warm and solid and leathery like a big baked potato. He tells me to sleep and I do. He doesn't care if my stomach makes noises. He doesn't make fun of me for being hungry, or gaining weight this semester, or for having zits or pubic hair. He doesn't mock my obnoxious voice.

Nobody's looking. No one has to know.

We dance together in the dark, the bass beating in our chests like a primal warcry. There are four dancing in the little room, but I see five. The DJ, Heavyarmz, comes up to me and thanks me for dancing to his set. He says I'm a pretty girl and gives me hook-ups to some of his mixes and tracks. I trust everyone at the Crud Muffin. E MB offers to drive me home, sharing his dreams of restoring the hardcore community. I offer everything I can, including a couple bucks as a gas money "thank you". He drops me off and I return to my little hole in a brick wall. I crawl into bed and the arms are there. His chin digs into my back but it doesn't irritate me.

I want to climb to the rooftop and scream to the whole world, "ISN'T IT AMAZING?" Few look up from their Starbucks. He stands with me--a warm contrast against the black sky--then gets on his knees and leans over the side of the building, shaking a boulder fist and spitting, "Oi, fuck the lot of you then!" He crawls over like a spider, despite being a brick, and defensively hugs my legs, pouting. The wind is soft at 5am. Azure dawn peers over the horizon, grayed by the smog already seeping into the atmosphere. The city never sleeps thanks to people like us--the starchildren, the nightwalkers--and the pollution mars the dark circles under its eyes.

We survey the landscape like superheroes, knowing that for every crime solved there are a dozen being committed. We save a different kind of civilian though, and in a different kind of way. Those who need our help know who we are: we're turning outcasts from stowaways into refugees. Here's your safety net, even if only for one night. Go ahead and scream it all out-- no, no, you don't need a pillow. It's okay.

The resonating bass drum is our signal in the sky. Beads and chains are my cape. The darkness is my mask. Oh, uh, the demon is my trusty sidekick. Yeah. He's usually the one getting his hands dirty.

A sea of eyeless faces stare up at us. The sun is barely peaking. The undead have more consciousness than the crowd before us. The huddled mass sways lazily. They don't even think to ascend the stairs. Black sludge seeps from their slack jaws and one of them gurgles for help. Some drop to the ground, seizing. A crow takes his usual perch by my window.

We are not your heroes.

Sunshine permeates the scope of our vision at an eerie rate. When the flash of light subsides, we rub our eyes and see the morning smiling upon a throng of bright-eyed students on the way to class. Cars driving by blare an all-too-familiar rhythm.

We can't save you. In fact, we're still trying to save ourselves, and the orange lug already messed up once.

No one thinks you're a hero unless you have a secret identity. But I can't be two-faced.
link1 raver| raise your glowsticks

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