Thursday, July 31, 2008

does not play well with others

I really can’t believe that tomorrow is the beginning of August, which means I’ve lost another month of time and am still woefully behind on just about everything. I was trying to explain to a co-worker, who has been trying to urge me and another poet on staff to do some sort of library poetry blog/zine/reading series, etc. The idea actually terrifies me. Not so much the idea of it, easily manageable, but all the hoops and approvals, and committees that anything that has to do with the library, that such a venture would have to be pass in front of before taking flight exhausts me. I hate any sort of groupthink red tape. I avoid meetings like the plague. I’m so used to just doing things on my own, starting my own ventures, building websites, my own marketing, that having to depend upon anyone else to do those things makes me SO not want to do it. If it were as easy as starting a blog and adding content, that is one thing. But any sort of decision in the library has to be made by about a dozen people and usually takes months to come to fruition.

I’ve also rather settled in on the idea that the less involved I am in my workplace extracurricularly, the better. I rather enjoy my day job for its routine, its autonomy. I come to work, I type and file invoices and check requests, do other paperworky tasks, occasionally check the shelves for missing items, supervise the student workers, and sit on the circ desk for a few hours (during which I get a lot of poetry & art related things done.) No one really bothers me, it’s not at all mentally taxing, and my immediate co-workers are a rather cool & artsy lot. I don’t think about it when I go home….hell I hardly think about it while I’m doing it. My mental priorities are elsewhere. I’m not sure mixing my passions and day-job drudgery, however, is a good idea. Sometimes, since my mind is running constantly in regard to my writing, the press, the etsy shop, it’s actually nice to come to work and zone out. Also, while I would technically have all the time in the world whilst at work to launch such an ordeal, I honestly have not an inch of mental and/or creative energy to spare. There’s just not room inside my head for another project. I’m barely hanging on at times to the ones that matter to me.

And, truth be told, the other reason I am saying no is the control freak factor. Again, years and years of just doing things has made me dreadfully impatient with decision making in which I don’t have the freedom to do what I want to do, how I want to do it, when, to do it, etc. I always joke with my sister about how she’s the only staff member of the press since I’m a control freak and she’s the only one who’s gotten used to it after 30 odd years and doesn’t hate me for it. I am so used to just doing what I want, which usually involves a bit more work for me, but much less internal angst. A few years ago, I found an old report card from kindergarten in my parent’s basement, in which the teacher had commented that something to the effect that I had a hard time sharing the attention and decision-making with others. It apparently starts very early…

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

hair products and existential angst

I recently bought some new conditioner, and I swear it smells exactly like Agree shampoo which I used constantly as a teenager. I tend to commit to certain hair products—Agree as a teenager, St. Ives in college, Herbal Essences in my early twenties (though the conditioner is too thick.) In the last few years it’s just been whatever fruity Suave I can get my hands on—usually apple, sometimes coconut, occasionally strawberry.

Anyway, all day, every time I catch a hint of it today it’s making me think of my early teens, in particular summers. Maybe I have summer vacations on the brain, but I’m nostalgic for camping trips. The summers we spent in cabins up in Black River (now when we go it’s usually a hotel). Laying around the cabin reading teen magazines and Sweet Valley High books, begging my mother for money to walk up the road to the store to buy those sweettart suckers and other dimestore candy. Later, we had a camper, but my habits were much the same, though I moved onto horror and romance novels, as well as the fluffy True Story and True Romance Magazines (my mother's one and only reading interest at the time) that I’d read up in the bunk of the truck camper. This was around the time I first started writing poetry, and like everyone, I was probably lured by those National Library scam adds you’d find in the back of them. I remember very distinctly sitting at a picnic table and trying to write a poem, that is, in between mooning over boys, which was only fueled by the romances and the magazines.

I was fifteen, the worst time. I fought with my mother almost constantly. I was too dreamy, too much of a smartass. I preferred to live very much inside my head (and this is different, now?). I had this feeling of so much, I don’t know, possibility maybe. Optimism? This was before my first kiss. Before I learned to drive. Before I started planning what I wanted to be when I grew up, where I wanted to go to college, what sort of life I wanted to live. Sometimes I’m so nostalgic it makes me slightly nauseous. To be that hopeful and foal-like in my new body. To be fearless and dreamy and romantic. But then isn’t that always the curse. To wish you always knew then what you know now. *sigh*

Of course, sometimes I feel like I'm still that girl, too dreamy and romantic, too much inside her own head. Too much in love with romantic drama and angst...It also feels sometimes like I'll always be that 15 year old inside, that I never really quite grew up, or never grew up correctly, or in the way other people do.

(Sidenote: whereas Agree pretty much made my hair like straw, this new Dove kind is actually very nice..)

Monday, July 28, 2008

monday obsession


I have a bunch of new S&P shakers that I will be adding to the shop this week, the usual collection of ridiculously adorable wildlife, including these little guys...

Also new, these sketchbooks that I ordered for another project that didn't quite pan out, so I decided to just go ahead and collage the front covers. There will be more of these in the shop this week as well, rabbit and non-rabbit, as soon as I photograph the things I took the antique market...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

the spread

see more pics here...

A pretty nice day, but as a shopper a bit overwhelming...

Friday, July 25, 2008

dgp will be back out at the Chicago Antique Market this weekend, with our usual fare, plus lots of new things like pendants, naughty bookplates, and collaged notebooks, and my fantabulous new display idea involving louvered window shudders (er...shutters, I mean..)and tiny hooks. We'll be there all day on Saturday, and the weather is supposed to be lovely, so come on out...

And finally, amazingly, watch here and the dgp site for new chapbooks by Anne Heide and Miriam Pirone / Edward Smallfield. We are pretty much ready to go on the much behind schedule chapbooks, the covers finalized, the corrections made, the printers ready...lately I'm beginning to think I only make a schedule so I can be perpetually be behind it...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


I’ve been thinking about a certain hypersentivity to stimuli I have lately, or maybe always had and only can articulate it now-- sometimes visual, sometimes auditory or touch or taste oriented—--to various sounds, and colors, and sensations. Probably why I tend to be an artsy sort and also probably why I tend toward excess in a lot of things too much poetry, too much ambition, too much art, too many projects, too much food, booze, sex (insert various addictions here). Impulse control issues on just about everything in my life, which isn’t always a bad thing…..depending on what those things are (thank god I never started smoking, or I’d probably be dead already.) However, I think when I am at my most hypersentivity to these things is when I am at my most creative, at least in terms of ideas. A color, a song, a single image, can set off all sorts of plans in my head, poems to be written, art to be made, other little projects. It’s like this rush, this sugar high, which sets my mind and my heart racing. Sometimes it’s a little overwhelming, choosing which thing to do, which thing to divert these energies to. When there always seems to be so little time. On good days, I feel these things all the more, am more attuned to everything…..

But, really, these days are also terrible for actually, you know, working, in that I’m too scattered, too racing, too obsessed with stimuli, too distracted by shiny objects. Everything is too pretty, too distracting, too seductive. I'm high on new ideas, new brainstorms, new things to devote my energies to. Just too much going on in my head... Of course the flip side of all this is there are bad days, that are equal in their hypersensitivity, except, maybe it’s just my mood or external factors, I am just a mental mess. Too much light, too much noice, too many people, too many voices, too many obligations. Things that on a good day don’t even phase me. These are the days I feel most in danger of bad things happening. The days I take extra care in my physical space. The days I worry about getting hit by cars, of accidently hurting myself, getting pregnant, coming down with some terminal cancer, of messing up my life with some terrible mistake like slipping on the stairs or falling out a window. The days I feel like I’m in danger of fucking things up. When I’m feeling like I’m barely holding on to the thread that ties it all together.

The best days for work are probably in the long run, the days that are somewhere in between, when my head is not rushing, but focused, and calm, and capable of actually producing. Not flitting on to each new things, and not moribound in badness, but just plodding along. My days lately, for the past few weeks, have vascillated back and forth between the rushing, gushing happiness, and the downright miserable, sometimes running the gamut in the span of a single day. I’m no good for writing, or editing, or working on anything lately. The slightest thing falls out whack, the tiniest detail or skip in my routine, and I'm done for. At least for anything that involves mental exercize. Working with my hands is good, probably why I’ve been making so much jewelry, which I can do sort of rotely whilst watching movies or listening to music. But if it involves anything greater than deciding what bead to put where, I’m no good for any length of time. Maybe its summer legarthy, but I feel lazy. I have all sort of new ideas, but I feel I can’t deal with them until I execute the old ones, new projects that can’t be started until the old ones are finished. I hated myself so intensely yesterday for about an hour that I had to throw away my to do list.

Today, I’ve been distracted by collage ideas mostly, and it’s a good day, but did manage to get the cover designs under wraps for two chapbooks and another laid out. I was even, for a few moments very intensely happy on the bus on the way to work, reading my novel, wishing I were in Italy, and craving my daily raspberry scone. But one slightly bad thought filters in, and by the time we get downtown, I’m in a bad mood because of R, and him being a bastard, and a liar, and really sort of a monster in retrospect. And hating myself for still wanting him. And how much I hate that desire (not love, never love) apparently makes an idiot out of me. And suddenly, by the time I got to campus, I was in a good mood because I liked the way my new dress swished when I walked (it’s all about swishing..) Happy to sad to happy all in about a forty minute bus ride…I don’t know even what this entry has to do with anything, or why I’m writing it, except that the circ desk is very slow these long summer days, but then it’s just one of those days…I can’t concentrate on anything for shit…

Sunday, July 20, 2008

everyone's a critic


She actually had this copy of feign in her mouth about two seconds before I grabbed the camera...

and to be fair, another gratuitous kitten pic featuring both...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

new @ etsy

I've been working on various sorts of earrings over the last few week. Since I don't have pierced ears any more, it didn't really occur to me to add them to the shop initially, but I fell in love with these brass kidney ear wires. I made my mom a few pairs then was hooked, since they are pretty simple and inexpensive to make.

When I was in Rockford over the 4th, I found this vintage dress at a thriftstore that was on the verge of closing. Since, I've been hooked on finding sweater dresses for fall (both to wear and sell). I'll be adding more to the shop as cooler weather approches, as well as some cool rehabbed vintage crochet clutches.

I've been making more of the mechanical influenced pendants, which seem to be be selling well, made with old watch parts and brass stampings..

Thursday, July 17, 2008


1. The kittens are adorable and pretty much keep themselves entertained. I woke up twice during the night and they were running around tackling each other both times. The rest of the time they like to sleep curled up in the bookshelf on top of some old anthologies. I have decided on Isabel and Zoe, though I’m sure these names will migrate into other names, as I’ve already taken to calling them “Zoebean” and “Bella”.

2. I am continuing to work my way through Carol Goodman’s books, which have definitely become more and more supernatural, or I should say that the supernatural is playing a more obvious role than in the first two books, which I love, of course. I keep merely missing my stop whilst commuting and last night, stayed up til 3am finishing Ghost Orchid. I only have one more then will have to wait til August though for the next, so I should read slowly.

3. Tis the week for post apocalyptic movies—first I am Legend, then last night The Mist. Not particularly thrilled with either. While the zombies in the first and the big bugs in the second were cool, the plots and dialogue in both sort of sucked and both seriously blew their endings, a pity since by concept, they were promising.

4. I've been formulating some thoughts about this. I'm particularly interested in what Lara Glenum says about "performing the grotesque" since it's that gothic element that I'm more interested in than the frilliness and ponies (all well and good as well). I also feel that at the same time it is altogether either too limited or too broad in scope. I think it definitely might be used to encompass alot of what I find myself drawn to and or find myself choosing to publish as an editor...more soon..

5. Otherwise I am laying out chapbooks, making more jewelry, and tweaking the kissing disease...I have been remiss keeping up with submitting the new poems, just sort of just non-plussed by the whole tedious process. A necessary evil, but these days, if I can't just e-mail the submission or do it online, it doesn't seem worth printing out a copy, finding a spare stamp (all of which I prefer to hoard for mailing dgp things.) I also can't bring myself to deal with the wicked alice inbox when I've been devoting so much time to chapbooks. Since I'm reading for the summer and fall issues, though, I might just roll them into one and get it out in September. Tomorrow, a blessed half day, so I have to restock notecards for the antique fair next weekend (I can't keep any of them in stock for long, it's insane), as well as more paperweights and various whatnots. I just need to get through the next few weeks then I have some time off around the end of August.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

um yeah....

so I definitely crossed that line...

As yet, they are unnamed, except I've been calling them the girls (actually they seem to not be freaking out Sophie and Giles all that much)..almost identical sisters, though one is smaller than the other and one has a whiter nose...this what they've been doing most of the afternoon.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

ok, so

at what point does one become the weird lady with too many cats? Two? Three? Seven?

Apparently a friend of my boss has a giant litter of kittens (two mothers) out in the burbs that are in danger getting put to sleep...I've been considering adding a third to the household...ergo...

Monday, July 07, 2008

new things @ etsy

I am wholly obsessed with finding things to do with a whole batch of vintage wallpaper scraps and the above patterns, wrapped around one the flasks, is one of my favorites..

I have also been collecting a whole bunch of these little japanese cabochons from the 50's and 60's and making them into pendants. They come in some of the most delicious colors. I have a few different ones, sakura blossoms, roses, sunflowers, and lilies. More to come when I get my new shipment of brass clasps..

This purse just kills me...

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

the kissing disease..

So far, I'm still sticking with the title, but I think I have come to the point with the new poems that I am ready to begin putting them in order. Right now, they are sort of a chaotic pile of things. So far I have the first three poems decided upon and not much else. I nearly forgot how hard this is. Now, I remember how long and involved ordering the fever almanac was, probably the most difficult. I used to take each poem and make painstaking marginal notes as to what was going on, how it fit with other poems. Since I tended to get distracted at home by various things, I took to forcing myself into caf├ęs to work on it, and then spent an entire two week span when I was on vacation in the summer of 05’ determining the final order…The only thing that saved it from being a total nightmare was a bit of narrative, a timeline, that in some ways determined what came next. The second book wasn’t so bad, since it consisted largely of series that already had somewhat of an order as chapbooks. At one point I think I had everything sort of sorted out, but the poems didn’t have the same impact as they do when grouped together. girl show, oddly, once I had determined the sections (which took a while), the poems fell into them rather nicely despite the sress of it being my thesis, and feeling like too many people were looking over my shoulder. This book seems different , though. No one is looking over my shoulder, thank god, but there also isn’t really a narrative, or a series, or a clean obvious thematic unity (actually there are a few recurring themes that I think tie it together, but other than that—nada. *sigh* I would like to get it finished by the end of summer in order to concentrate on another project that’s been brewing and demanding my attention.

And of course, since I”ve been busy doing other things and hardly sending much out, who knows, all the poems may be crap. But there’s part of me that wants to hoard them in until I’m certain what their doing and how they fit into the bigger picture. Maybe it’s just a little post MFA stress syndrome..too many cooks in the kitchen and now I’m locking the door til I’m done…