Monthly Archives: November 2004

on the plane during boarding at the gate at newark airport listening to teargarden. my heart expands to edward kaspel’s voice and i think of how seatbelts on planes are rediculous. before i board a plane i always touch the outside of it, fingers spread out, palm on the cold metal. i send silent safety wishes to whoever is listening and once acknowledged, then i release the fate. no seatbelt is ever going to save me when cloud hopping…

11pm in some time zone, somewhere… daydreaming on the plane. i see an island in the mist. through another window leaning forward i see it is just a design on the wing through night’s haze. i just finished watching ‘the notebook’ and it reminds me of TJ, my first love. he loved me like that… and although i wouldn’t trade all the growing from learning that has happened since, i sometimes think of him… he still has the old monte carlo that we used to make out in when we were 16 years old, rusting in his parent’s backyard. grass grows tall around it. when i come to visit once every few years we press our faces to the backseat window and smile…

lights flash on the wingtip. it is so odd to be older sometimes. random strangers remind me that i cheat time. today someone asked if my 20-year-old sister and i were twins. on line for this flight a man thought i was in high school. at my newlywed cousin’s house in long island on saturday, my sister and i whispered on the couch, hiding from our chain-smoking, gossiping, heavily-brooklyn-accented aunts. “i don’t believe in forever love anymore…” i confessed sadly… “i know you don’t” she said… “it’s always beautiful for a time…but something always goes wrong…” i tell her. i confide in her my biological panic. how i know i could raise children on my own if need be, how i feel them waiting, but how desparately i want to believe that there is a true man out there for me, a partner to build a life with… i will wait some more… i know i still have time and career karma is surging… i will ride it out…

diana and i flipped through photographs of my cousin and her new husband. he is a white haired italian mobster with an obsession for rod stewart. my cousin, (his third marraige, her first) is a much younger motorcycle chick that always looks tired. he made his fortune designing custom limosines. they have a dog called ‘limo’ and do not want any children. diana and i wandered around the huge house, stepped out on the deck overlooking the water and pool, dark wood steps descending right into the water. “i wouldn’t be happy like this,” i found myself saying out loud. a house on the water, yes, but an older house that my love and i would fix up and make ours, living just comfortably enough… a house with a story to it… one that i don’t have to embellish.

cloud misty daydreams, i get ahead of myself. a man nearby has tattoos on his wrists, “whereever you go… there you are” yes… i agree. the fae send me a flash of calm. i am where i am… in this seat, on this plane, recycled air bringing imminent bronchitis. i feel the elephant returning. bad actors kiss on the small screens in front of me. thoughts surface of what it must feel like to fall right out of the sky. pink floyd’s ‘learning to fly’ plays behind open eyes. eagle flickers, a natural transformation… always a sadness in the beginnings of ancient journeys… i think i am meant to love many people in this lifetime. i am confused why my loves have not worked out… i am confused in the guilt i feel when i am so happy in being on my own, in being the sole momentum of my creativity. it must be a gift only i can conjure… “boys get in the way,” diana and i conclude. yet we are both hopeless romantics with big hearts and big love to share… she just broke up with a boy, a very dramatic scene at the airport apparently, because he did not challenge her. we know ourselves too well to let someone steer us from our core or to let spirit lie dormant for the sake of ownership. we do not want a sedatory life… there is comfort in it, yes…security, peace… but there is no elixir, lessons few and far between. for time to pass so slyly by, for years to accumulate and no big life work to come to fruition… that life is not for me…

for the first time in my life, i truly cannot see around the bend. i cannot even guess… it must mean that i should make the most out of where i am now… and i think i am doing just fine…

it is my last morning of my last day on this visit home. i’ve been packed for 2 days to return. i awoke to barren trees swaying in cold rain, american flags soggy and a gray horizon view from the round purple satin bed that diana and i share. i want my sunshine back! i will see my sisters again in 3 weeks in the dominican republic for a holiday with dad. this pixie is CALI BOUND!!!!

when I was little, my dog would run away. He would dig under the fence and run through the streets. I was jealous of his courage and curiousity. I too wanted to dig under my fence, to escape the reality that I was owned. My mother used to hit my dog, just like she did us. She would call his name low and threatening and laugh as he bent his tail between his legs and shrank away upstairs to my room. He slept always under my bed where I sometimes joined him. on bad nights, I would rub his head… his eyes flickering in the dark scared while one of my sisters got beat in the next room. As an adult, it is easy to say that mother was just an unhappy woman but when you are a child that is your entire world, all you know of life. One time when my mother was beating me with a metal coat hanger, I detached from the panic enough to think where would my dog go and without thinking of the consequence I ran out of the house. I ran to where I imagined he might go. I hid in the bushes one block over, barely dressed, eight years old… I didn’t cry. I wanted to know what it felt like when he escaped. But he always came home… and I knew I had to also…

eventually I did figure out how to dig under my own fence. I dug so deep that now a hollow trench separates my self-perceptions of past and present, from believing all my mother said about me to what I now know to be true about myself. Eventually I came out of the bushes and jumped into the world that matters. I am more myself the further away I am from my mother. I can listen to people’s happiness, respect their boundaries, not put fences around those I love. I sometimes think this is a miracle…

My mother now has another dog. A skiddish gray lamb of a mutt, with eyes that cross and roll back from abuse suffered before my mother got her. I am home now on my yearly autumn pilgrimage, my reminder of why I do not willingly enter this arena more than is emotionally safe for me. this holiday is the first time i have slept in my mothers house in six years. My mother has now developed a form of OCD. The laundry machines have not ceased since diana and I arrived on Wednesday. She cannot eat unless the table is blasted with chemicals. She goes from room to room cleaning and muttering to herself how all she does ‘is fucking clean.’ She invited us all home, we are five girls (including my neice). We leave hair brushes on the side of the sink and socks near our suitcases. Temporary messes are to be expected. But somehow it feeds some anger in her. She never seems to be satisfied. Most amazing to me is how she is with this dog. She warns us sternly, controlling about how we should not make sudden noises or moves, that it is from how ‘she was horribly abused’ and she goes into long discussions about the dog and my ex-husband, as if physical abuse is the most appalling concept, the furthest thing from her capacity. I stare at her when she talks like this and remember her ripping the hair from my scalp, throwing my sisters against walls…. And I walk away from her mid-sentence. Prozac, the law and a few heart attacks have changed her views on child-rearing it seems. She now does not beat up those inside her fence, those in her care, currently my neice and the lamb dog. She just controls, yells, threatens, projects her constant dissatisfaction and overfeeds but she does not hit anymore. Evolution is sometimes a hidden devil, a give and take of bad or worse. The dog seems happier since last I was home and my neice, although obese and unliked at school for being ‘bossy’ is able to laugh and play. She will be ten years old in february. I will her to grow older and to grow up more wise and aware and stable before my mother has another heart attack…but I admonish myself… because it’s never good to wish away time. I reminded myself of this on thanksgiving, right before we ate. All of my sisters from the corners of the country converged and my mother looked happy… for a moment…

THANKSGIVING IN NEW JERSEY

“it’s an experiment!” adrienne says, “experimenting is good!” as diana and alexis sink a purple butterfly cookie cutter into the chocolate chip batter. Diana hunches over the pan. Mom reads the obituaries. Potatoes are boiling. Adrienne licks batter off her finger and alexis’ hands hover impatiently over the pan waiting for her turn to flatten it down for the next cookie. Outside, a strong november wind swirls the leaves and creates ghostly drafts that slam the metal blinds together. Oldie songs blare from a small radio… mom puts down the obituaries to take things out of the oven… brisket, frikazee, and other things I don’t eat. This makes room for our cookie sheet experiments. Brady calls from his uncle’s house in virginia and tells me about a puppy. He has sent us a storm from virginia that we are now enjoying in new jersey. We are all in sweaters and fleece. Mom hands renee the biscuit package, a seemingly easy baking experiment… she studies the package for directions on how to open it, hands it to me. I try to wrestle it open. Adrienne calls us retarded and opens it effortlessly. Diana struggles with the insides of it. Mom grabs it and unrolls it, throwing it into a pan and it is done….

sitting nauseous on the runway at lax. The sun blinds me and creates prisms on the seat fabric. Tiny mirror flickers dance all over the page. I press play on an old cassette mix from danny. The moon rises thin on daytime horizon and a reluctant, foreboding feeling fills me… I keep it in check. Diana will be with me. I’ll be fine. Danny’s song drowns out the safety demonstration, ‘baby crossed an ocean just to see what she could see… had the world between her feet, a rose between her teeth.’

The plane races and we’re off east bound… heavy feelings surge… ah, going home for the holidays…

The sun sparks off the curled wingtip. The engine is deafening, irreversible. We puncture the sky lost in our own thoughts. I want to feel stronger and more patient than I do right now. I want to focus on good things… I swallow the momentum as miles separate rocket from earth. Hazy mountain ranges turn into desertlands. I think of the playa and wonder how next year will feel. Diana left arizona an hour ago and has a connection in dallas. We play leap frog across the country, landing at exactly the same.

The big cheese came over last night to pick up the photos that I shot from his party. He sat in my purple velvet seashell chair and told me his life story. “my wife was my biggest love,” he said with wet eyes as he told me how she went in for a simple surgery and came out brain damaged. A malpractice suit followed but six years later, she is still in a bed, a vegetable, doesn’t know him, gets fed by a tube. “I lost my wife,” he said quietly… and then he told me how he met matty at burning man three years ago… squeeze loves mutaytor… hence the big surprise…

Burners are ageless… we’re all tapped into each other in such a way that we spark each other in direct ways, sifting through the energy of each other and finding ways to further the best parts, soothe out in understanding of the worst parts. On Saturday night, wolfie sweetly offerred to DJ my ‘next photo exhibit.’ “anything you need, consider it done,” he said and kissed my cheek. I hadn’t thought about having a photography exhibition here yet but the prospect of wolfie spinning inspires me to put it together. This is exactly what I mean… we all spark each other. “since you’ve been shooting us, we’ve never looked better,” bryan said to me recently… with these friends, I feel limitless… supported, inspired, accepted and loved… I love my mutants most of all, every single one of them… I will be traveling for one of their upcoming shows and asked mathew to stand in for me. Shooting all the mutaytor shows for months now, I feel a sense of responsibility. I told the others about mathew, who’s a wonderful photographer. We shot arabia exotica in tandem, together creating a story, him as an audience member, me backstage and views from the wings. Karis rejects the idea entirely, “he ain’t no pixie!” he said as he clicked his tongue and stormed off. My new nickname for him is ‘luscious’. He feels like a risky little brother with secrets and desires shrouded in vanity. His beauty inspires me… bryan and I chase each other in parking lots and talk of poetry and projects. During performances he is aware of my camera. “would you STOP it!?” I say to him when we pass each other between songs as I show him an image I took of him, “stop being so damn photogenic!” I say faux-miffed to which he throws back, “only if you stop taking such damn good shots!” as his grabs his fire and jumps brattishly upstage. Hambone laughs at me as I balance precariously on nearby speakers in the wings as he bangs his drums effortlessly. Brady says he’s never off-time and has played with a lot of musicians that I love. He can play like a madman and pose sadistically for a photo. His kindness and humbleness inspire me… eric is a cross between a faux-mechanical organ monkey cymbal-smasher and a passionate unstoppable fire whirlwind. He surprises us all with last minute props… from appearing out of no where in a highly-flammable dress to an impromptu act with a suit and briefcase. He never poses casual for a photo. He likes to show me his skeleton by pulling his face to the sides. kj never takes a bad photo… she is versatile and free.. her smile speaks wicked oceans. she likes to compliment my t&a. “nice view!” she said on the rubber bed at a party in san fran when I bent to pick up my bag. Brady shot her an amused look. “what?!” she said giggling. On Saturday I took a group photo backstage from atop bryan’s shoulders. You can see the devil vixen in her as I click the shutter. “nice tits!” she yelled. Everyone looked at her. Again, “what?!” we share a secret love of DMB and we never hug goodbye. Her radiance inspires me… jenn owns it… all of it… she gets sexier every time I shoot her. Her self-esteem inspires me.. matty is the ringleader, encouraging the madness. Everything he says takes on a life of its own. All his energy surges in his face when he plays. He is always smiling, eyes bugged out, mouth all punkt out behind his kit, loving life. He has a balance I identify with. He is business-aware and devoted, in love with his creation and constantly in awe. He believes in everyone and brings the love. “I kissed your wife!” I told him on Saturday. “lucky YOU!” he said. Crunchy, his wife, is the sweetest woman ever. Like matty, with sick business sense mixed with a soft, genuine heart. We talk of having a fondue party with her mother’s retro set. Natural colors suit her well in this day glo world. She projects love sitting low on stage with a fire blanket and wide smile. She is quick with the ‘oh shit bag’ (first aid) and is the emotional glue of mutaytor. I love her to bits and have a secret agenda of marrying her. Buck makes a killer liquid chicken breakfast and can make a mess in ten seconds flat. He has serious eyes even when he’s drunk. He never blinks when he is behind his laptop on stage. During soundcheck I walk silent up to him holding my uploading wire and he never says no. he can upload my photos, burn them to CD and continue soundcheck and I love him for it. Roo is the girl everyone warns me not to mess with but I just can’t help it. She holds me the deathgrip of her thighs as I thrash and spew big imminent doom threats that probably sound like mice on mountaintops to her, my muscle-laded pirate girl. She does my glitter before shows. On stage, I am in awe of her… her focus, stage presence and reckless precision are unreal. She flies over the crowd on a gong flailing angst and spinning fire as if in love. At home she always has a glass of ravenswood in her hand. Her talent inspires me… she is my superhero and I love her endless… Russell is quiet… he sets up his fire safety and then retreats into books. Once when I asked him what he was reading, he told me something perverted and then looked back down to his book. He has celtic tattoos and unblinking eyes. When fire is on, he does not move. He shakes his head disappointed if he feels danger is near. I would feel safe anywhere with him. Steve is always first to sweat. I met him on paynie’s roof and was impressed with all the famous people he has worked with. Like hambone, he poses well and plays with skilled passion. I like capturing him psychedelic. Lazlo is quick with a flask between songs and is getting better at the crazy faces. He works as a porn lawyer and has a bad knee. Lucky and I work together silently. His video projections enhance my images, turn them mutayted. When asked if he is gay he says he is ‘strictly dickly’. He is my visionary brother. And brady, my adorable punk… the sexiest thing behind two drumsticks this pixie has ever seen… he smashes his cymbals so hard that they chip away and he has to turn them around. He feels music like me, from the ground up and he jumps rhythmic with each tension-filled climax, back ablaze with sweat, stage lights flickering off his metal belt. “enough with the butt shots!” he says embarrassed… at soundcheck I pinch it as matty yells into the micrphone, ‘SMASH!’ during shows, we smile love and respect at each other, each in our humble elements. I started shooting mutaytor 6 months ago, met him in july… my camera saw him before I did at the 4th of july burn. I pointed my camera into general darkness, a firestorm shadow of energy was there. I met him the next day. I am so thankful and excited about this relationship… we are great companions… Brady has a world weight that I like to pull thin. He has a cosmic anger that propels him. He hates mayoinaise, loves metal clips. He brings me flowers often.. he has a classic charm to him that sometimes gets overshadowed by his moods, which, when called on, dissipate apologetically. We adore each other, give each other space and trust. He is dangerously quick with a whipchain. He never leaves the house or starts a show without first re-applying his silver nail polish. He never starts from the beginning, just layers over the old. He loves to paint shoes blue, makes me laugh endless and always surprises me… this is just a fraction of my mutaytor family… at every show, at every party, at every event, I love them all the more… the fact that my dreams are coming to fruition through what they inspire is almost secondary to how I feel about them. Contacts, connections, job offers.. it’s sometimes overwhelming… and it’s not just through them but thru this forum that I feel a solid jumping off point. What is inside is now coming out… because I share common ground and motion with these like-minded people, not just mutaytor but all my new friends, burner and others… technology is more my friend now, opportunities are presenting themselves on an almost daily basis. Vision complimented and exploded. There’s a fire poi in my head and the momentum has finally caught up…

heading to the airport soon…. my sister and i discuss rendesvous points, resolving to meet up at newark airport at midnight tonight… excited to go home!
“Wuddup playa?! Ok, so I will head over to your terminal when I land and we’ll take the car home and jump on Alexis and wake her up and start cookin thanksgivin dinner and and and go sprinker hoppin… and everything else. it’s on! see you across the country!”

There’s something about flying home that makes me want to floss. There’s also something about going home that makes me scatter suitcases of all sizes haphazardly about my room only to pick the smallest one. Nothing says, ‘only visiting, not staying’ better than a small suitcase. My boarding pass is printed out. I am packed ‘in theory’. My sisters’ excitement of us all being together is infectious…

Tonight I came home from work to someone trying to get into my empty house. I parked my car and called out to him from the window. He ran to our backyard without looking back. I locked my car and called the police, who put me on hold for five minutes. The whole time I was on hold I just kept thinking ‘what if I was being murdelized right now? Five whole minutes is a damn long time to be put on hold when you call 911!’ what if I’d been left for dead in the desert and I finally get to a pay phone after walking miles only to be put ON HOLD. Meanwhile, the nutcase ran back to my front door and was pushing on the handle, banging the door, ran back to the gate where the dog was barking as ferocious as she could be. He then ran down the street. I watched all this from my inside my car until someone finally answered my 911 call. “are you calling about a crime in progress?” “well I WAS! Now he’s run off!” he was long gone by the time the police showed up… this happened before in august. I was home alone in the morning when some guy rang my doorbell. There was construction across the street and I thought it was one of them asking me to move my car like they’d done the morning before. I opened the door a crack to tell him that I’d be right out when the guy, obviously delirious, starting raging about how he could get me a new car, that he owns a dealership.i went to quickly shut the door and he stuck his hand thru the opening. My heart nearly exploded. I felt that primal surge that mothers sometimes get, the kind of superhuman that can lift cars off of babies and I slammed that door shut. He pounded on the door, banged windows and screamed at me. I ran to my phone and called the police hysterical, thinking that he was going to get inside and hurt me. The police came and arrested him, put him in a mental hospital. That was the last I heard of him. Tonight the police told me that his father lives next door to me and that he may have just gotten released…. Shivers…

recent photos

photos from the film set on saturday… http://www.pixieonline.com/pixgallery/alvareen
photos from mutaytor’s key club show on saturday night… http://www.pixieonline.com/pixgallery/album17
photos from gemini manor on sunday night… http://www.pixieonline.com/pixgallery/gemini

(photos of dresden dolls from friday night to come soon…)

my boss threw me into the ring of the ‘fun’ committee today which puts together all the fun parties and events for the employees. the first meeting was today where i got put in charge of photos and the website for the holiday party in 3 weeks. twelve chatty girls in a room surrounded by charlie and the chocolate factory sketches. some girls were eating ice cream, some were making jokes. by hour’s end the business at hand did get delegated out but the journey there was full of indecision. i drew angels in my notebook and laughed alot… toni got very serious at the end and said “now the fun committe should show up to the party at least a half hour early…” she warned in her southern drawl, and thoughts of last minute setting up and balloon-adjusting wafted through our minds… “so we can, of course, get the best parking spaces!” laughter and “fun committee adjourned!!” and we all went giggling back to our desks. i pass the A-1 space modulator hallway that looks like mars, pass the sign in the creative department that says ‘please do not feed the animals’, pass the carrots hanging from the ceiling in the lobby surrounded in superman pogo sticks, back to my desk which is decorated in power puff girl pinatas, tiny soldiers, bouncy balls, scooby doo, sylvester the cat dolls and tazmanian devil cut-outs…. i love warner bros…