Friday, October 29, 2010

The Drawring Room

This is a painting that I dreamed about. While I was working on it, I couldn't stop smiling and thinking 'I'm so messed up'. I hope to fix a few things, but for now I've inhaled too many paint fumes.

Oh yeah, those are moth wings.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A is for A-bomb

My teachers asked the American lady to teach the third graders a story from the book about Hiroshima. Thanks guys. There's no way this could be awkward for me. Here's a list of new vocab from the text;

"Alright, minnasan (everyone), please listen and repeat."

I could make a pretty silly greeting card using all those new words.
Ok, a quick once through this story.
Close your textbooks.

For the next 40 odd minutes, I decided to derail from the story and have a discussion about war. I told them about the events that had lead up to the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings from a Japanese perspective and from an American perspective. I opened up about the feelings exchanged between my grandfather and I, and how difficult it is for adults to reopen their hearts. We listened to a John Lennon and a Buffalo Springfield song about war. A few of them started crying. During the last 10 minutes, I asked them to write down their feelings in English. They could talk about reactions to the class, thoughts about war, destruction, Hiroshima, anything, really. Below are a few that I thought were worth sharing.

“People have anger but I think that people must coorporate.”

“I think... We mustn't war again. This time was very important for me. Don't worry. We like American people.”

“Big bomb is body injured”
→ (I think he's in special ed. He's seems to have a lot of trouble speaking and sweats when I talk to him. I was really proud that he was able to express himself in English.)

“I think war is very bad. Because it crash many people's lives. I want to peace is No. 1!!”

“I think bomb is scary. War ≠ ☮, too.”
(I told the class that people have different opinions on when war should be used. I told them that in my opinion, it may be necessary sometimes, but people should remember that hate usually begets hate even if it solves immediate obstacles... 'War ≠ ☮' was a little picture I drew on the chalkboard).

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Thursday Shmursday

I am amazed that I did not murder a student and smear the blood down the hallway walls today. I should have. I was groped, the students mocked gay people at lunch, didn't try worth a damn and more than one said,                           'I don't understand English! Yada yo!' 
No, YOU'RE yada, you muck boat of turd gravy. English doesn't just osmose into your brain. If you don't put down that pile of plastic shit you're fiddling with and listen for 2(+) seconds, you probably won't understand. Furthermore, I've no qualms about knocking your tiny head off of your tiny shoulders and wearing your face as a mask. Questions? No? Excellent.

And my elementary classes (which I had to run to down the street to in heels, thanks to the bizarre requirement of business attire) weren't much better. During a 6th grade lesson I played a familiar game that the kids ordinarily respond to really well. I checked my meticulous lesson notes to make sure that I hadn't done it recently, and figured I was in the clear. Nope. They bitched and moaned about not doing a new game even though they ended up having fun. You're impudence is insufferable, children! My remedial class was actually quite good, but tiring. The fourth class out of five in a row. Unfortunately, I started off a little sour since I'd just come off the lesson that my teacher talked over me the ENTIRE time. Really lady? You feel compelled to paraphrase what I'm saying... while I'm saying it? Give me a shovel, so I can hit myself with it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Modern Times

I've been thinking about the future a lot.
Mostly because recently I've been living in it
and there doesn't seem a place for me
or anyone that I love.

We're a flying car generation with Coca-cola dreams.
Our parents called themselves middle class, so we do too.
They were promised the world with a little hard work and a little decency.
We were promised the world with little hard work and little decency.
We never toiled as hard they did, sure.
But we feel entitled because we jumped across the same bars.

We were promised the world
and now we can't have it.
Waa waa,
Sorry, Charlie, S.O.L.
Figure out what to do with yourself.

Sacrifice your integrity for something that you're told will amount to a hill of beans but you know won't. Send that stack out. Pump it full of fancy words. Pump yourself up like a body-builder at a steroid buffet while you question why companies request your utmost disingenuousness. Then probably get let down and repeat the process until you go nutzy kookoo.

                                                       ..........Education! More of it.
Get over-educated and under-employed just like everyone else. At least it'll pass the time and be interesting.

                                                       ..........Suck it up!
Accept any job you can get your dirty little paws on and hold onto it like a fat kid with a twinkie. Eventually there won't be any jobs and you ought to be grateful for your gleaming little turd nugget.

These are our options.
What happened?

Agricultural revolution,
Industrial revolution,
Technological revolution. ← (you are here!)

Yep, here we are. Revolution time. We can feel the wind shifting and most of us are finding ourselves swept up as collateral. 
                                                         Confused, disoriented.
Society has never suited us, but at least there were illusions of structure before.

Everyone's paralyzed and we've all got bedbugs.
The future doesn't feel futuristic.
It kinda feels like unemployment and depression.
Humanity is on the brink of something maybe great, but for now we're just disenfranchised.

Friday, October 8, 2010


This is a sketch that I submitted for my JHS' fall festival. The ghetto frame that I made at my desk is my favorite part. Hope to have more art posted soon.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Since I was a kid I've ridden my bike to the Midland art fair almost every summer with my family. Usually my dad will have checked out all the stalls in less than 5 minutes, followed by my brother (under 20), followed by me (maybe an hour), followed by my mom (a full Jovian revolution of the sun). There's something about middle-aged women and art fairs. Anyway I hit one up about a month ago in Komagane City.

“Oh, that's nice.” Putter putter.
“Oh, look at that.” Putter putter.
“I'll bet you could put a lot of things into a jar like that.” Putter, putter...
“Daaaaaaaamn, bitch!” (directed at a girl in a stroller) “Did you see this shit?!”

The booth belonged to Kouya Takahashi, although I didn't ask his name at the time. I did, however, buy a small metal figurine with a lightbulb head as a present. It was about all I could afford among the more extravagant pieces which moved and lit up and rattled. His wife handed me a flyer as per request with my purchase. I made up my mind that I would eventually visit his gallery when I had the time.

On Monday, opportunity struck. I had the day off and submitted to the three hour pilgrimage to Gunma Prefecture. Thankfully, Gunma is one of the more serene landscapes one might be prompted to, in my opinion. The unbroken rain enhanced the drive's mysterious ambiance through thick green mountains. Idris tagged along and we almost made it through the first two Harry Potters on my laptop. Our map was worthless, but we stumbled across the place, somehow. It looked like a shop on Diagon Alley.

As we walked around his cramped space, “Ko” started up gadgets powered by air compressors, flicked on the lights to shoe houses and gave a hanging fish skeleton a few taps to get it going. We were surrounded by the creaking of mechanized driftwood, metal and glass. Hulking shadow pieces cast profiles against the walls. Every item looked like it had been worked by a crazed magician. He told me the inspiration behind most of his creations came from dreams. He probably meant acid. I told him I've been having a lot of vivid dreams myself and offered my sketchbook of current project ideas. He flipped through it and his wife brought out some coffees.

Ko went on to talk about subjects that he seemed to be drawing out of a hat, in no particular order. He expounded upon his various uses for junk, including an old whale bone that he carved out of the beast himself. He told us about how he and his wife were married in an Australian desert, about motorcycle races along the Gold Coast, and subsequent publications of the photos he'd taken. I'm not sure of the publisher, but he hauled out a box full of magazines that he claimed were the destination to both his snapshots and, incidentally, his articles.

During our visit I was struck by something. Mr. Takahashi didn't come off as arrogant, although he readily accepted compliments. He understood that what I had to say about his work was not meant to be taken as flattery, but as truths void of sentiment. The appreciation of others seemed secondary to his own self-appraisal. His sincere integrity was refreshing. Also, a thought occurred to me that at some point, Ko must have chosen not to chose. He didn't finally 'decide what he was going to do with his life'. He's just done everything he's felt compelled to.

I can say that I have been so inspired very few times before.