Monthly Archives: July 2006

camping in oregon

i watch mesmerized as holly prepares our fire pit. a teepee of thin wood, newspaper in strips. she lines some of the wood around the rim of the pit to dry it out. i call her a country bumpkin and return the wheelbarrow to the office. the pot-bellied park ranger asks me where my wings are. “well you are one of dem fairies, ain’t cha?” the man scared me so i nod and disappear between trees…

“spirits of fire be with us,” our new friend patrick says as he hunches over our fire pit trying to ignite our campfire.

a quest for waterfalls, washington state

faded signs of old towns as we cross into washington state… old train tracks, forgotten time. holly flew out from boston and we are on a roadtrip to visit kasia, who made fire art at burning man that i photographed last year… perforated sun thru tall pine trees, strong wind making ripples on the river… we squeal over old thin bridges and in unison as we look down thru the metal grating. we gasp and point intermittantly at breathtaking mountain scapes as we climb the twisting path. we follow directions like scavenger hunts. “turn at the country store. cell phone reception cuts off after the mill,” it reads and this we welcome. we shut off our phones and turn up thievery corporation as roads like forest tunnels loom ahead. so many shoots this week, so much planning and logistics… it all fades away now as we pass the mill where time stops and our quest for waterfalls begin…

a day shooting the dresden dolls in portland

i spent the entire day shooting the dresden dolls…. creative synergy, an open frenzy… high noon, i run on the tour bus and they are no where near to shooting. brian, with hair wet, amanda still showering… i rummage thru her suitcase, try on her scarves, try not to drink all their redbull…. i run off the bus to our rental car to make sure i have the rope to tie him to the train tracks and amanda walks from the hotel onto the bus all freckled and without make-up…. we kiss and i give her a gift of prints from the past 2.5 years that i’ve been shooting them. she smiles and does her eyebrows and make up in a cramped tour bus bathroom with most of the lights blown out. i promise emily, the tour manager, that i’ll have them to the expo center in time for soundcheck and we head off in our rental car. holly, my rockstar assistant and the sweetest of friends at the wheel~

getting lost was in the cards but we eventually find our way to the old train tracks and i giggled fiendishly as i tied brian up and shouted ‘more garter!’ to amanda as she hoisted up her polka dot dress~ brian was suffering in the heat and we escaped trains passing and cops on bicycles warning us it was a federal offense what we were doing, instead we opted to play with horse dolls in the shade. that location done, we wandered around the old industrial areas of portland. “we don’t do photo shoots. we have scavenger hunts!” i tell them… ” the moments, they’re already there. we just have to FIND them!!” and with that, amanda says “how about this antique store?” “ok” and so we go in and the owners are kewl and let us have the run of the place.

“we have a coffin,” they offer and amanda and i turn excited to each other, our wicked grins and wide eyes only inches apart from each other as we run upstairs like children to find it. we got sidetracked by a wardrobe and mirror, by sunlight on old dark wood floors, by an intense shootin frenzy on top of a marble counter… i posed amanda backwards on a small wrought iron chair as brian paced in dusty light doing a phone interview. we gave the owner’s daughters 2 tickets to the night’s sold out show to thank them for letting us play in their store… what magick there… what playtime… alone wandering aisles, jumping on our ideas, in love with light… the coffin did not fit our imaginations and so we used the last of our images sitting on a bench tired with sweat running down our faces, holding the camera out and snapping them chewing my hair…

a quick lunch and we drop them to the venue. i set up backstage and shoot lucent dossier as the dolls get massaged and prepare for the show. security was brutal, tried to kick us out of the pit, the standard and understood “first 3 songs” turned backwards in one of the security guy’s minds. during the first song he comes up all puffed-up squirrel at me “that’s it. you got your shots. first song, three shots!” and tried to muscle me out. i stood firm and advised him in the nicest way possible to go to hell as i continued shooting. holly followed my lead and when she tried to be polite and considered leaving the pit i turned to her ‘nuh uh. fuck that!’ and we got our shots…. i packed up and sat on stage bouncing for the rest of the show, mouthing all the lyrics and smiling…. show ends and dolls again take up our backseat, more driving direction faux pas and i get them to ‘fuck the back row’ at mission theater. we’re starving, sweat has withered us. brian treats holly and i to dinner at a nearby restaurant as we talk of our personal histories… back at the venue, under age kids outside stand dissappointed so they prepare a special concert outside just for them. i snap away as they do ‘sing’ and a crowd forms. we set up backstage in an office and amanda goes on. dim red lights, her passion amazes me… the highlight was a pink floyd cover… signed posters and big hugs… we’ll do another shoot in l.a. in a few days when they play the wiltern and they’ll sleep over my house… i can’t get enough of them…

 

the circus awaiting me

two full suitcases of studio gear and clothes. i’ve packed and repacked, made lists and more lists, confirmed shoots, printing out 12 different directions between all the locations and cities… when it comes time to go out in the world, all i can do is let go. everything i need to do is written out. i’ve planned well, i’ve packed well… and now i let it go to enjoy the circus awaiting me on the other side of this flight…

between catching up and the next plane ride

plum wine, sweet and raw,
toi on sunset, radiohead overhead,
parking police saddle up to misbehaved vehicles.
a tilt of the head and a ticket is drawn…
my head is awash in the space between
catching up and the next plane ride on tuesday,
my new apartment seems only to serve as
boarding for my suitcases and equipment…

next up… portland…
everyone orchestra, dresden dolls, bellydance troupes, hoopers, fire performers, circus freakz, faerieworlds and brian froud… that elusive troll that i love so much… the one supposed to come to my studio last week but cancelled the night before…

wisconsin / colorado

early morning in milwaukee… roo straddles the trailer, the van shakes. badass checks the engine, drums are laid aside for people flying to the next gig in colorado tomorrow. talk of the show last night, the one some of us missed due to flight goblins and circumstance. to hear of the fun makes my fingers spasm and i whisper consolation to my camera like a whimpering child to my bosom. matty’s dad described the beginning of the show as ‘watching ants coming to the sugar’. matty and i exchanged looks after he said that and i ran to write it down. imitations of a girl hanging on brady after the show. ‘she was shameless!’ kj says. milwaukee summaries included bratwurst and fresh root beer from a keg, exaggerated accents of ‘bangin a hyooo-eee’ and ‘dat deeeer’…

last night we all met up at the crashpad at 2am. brady and i enjoyed rockstar reunion love in the dark while everyone hottubbed~ a few hours later we all settled into sleep, most of the band all together on futons and air mattresses in the basement of matty’s aunt’s house, a celtic happy place where the banana bread is always warm. at 9am i got the green light for steamrolling… “gently!” crunchy warned… my initial attempts proved futile, a bunch o rootbeer-laden heavy socks all grumpy-like… a half hour later and duty called for more rigorous tactics… “ok 80%”, mama said… “90!” “85!” we settles on 82% of full throttle steamrolling and i basked in success in the form of bryan’s bloated morning face sniveling at me and matty’s one eye acknowledgment of consciousness, eric’s adorable, yet ineffective pout… breakfast and coffee and hugs goodbye… 10 of us now make the 15 hour drive to boulder… the rest fly with rayray heads and kick drums…

6pm
driving thru iowa, thru nebraska, been on the road for 12 hours… we took boobie photos at the ‘welcome to illinois’ sign, endured another flat tire and walked thru fields of chest-deep wildflowers and corn fields. the blue haze of dusk settles in and my eyes are heavy…

7 JULY
11AM ~ morning faces, more driving to do… we pile into the van and hope another tire doesn’t blow… “who’d rather be working a desk job?!” kj says and we all pull to perspective. day 2 of driving from wisconsin to colorado. i return calls from NBC about some images they might use and set up another portland shoot from the road. notes on post-its and prayers for wireless at the next hotel.

road madness has descended… buck blindfolds eric with a seatbelt, alphi kicks buck’s seat repeatedly. bowie plays on but does nothing much to tame the beasts… brady and i make mush faces at each other and then pretend to throw up, roo drives, staring thru bug encrusted windows driving us closer to our venue for tonight. “has anyone been keeping track of our mileage since we left home?” silence answers that question… “does a SHIT-TON qualify?” matty says absorbed unblinking behind his iggy pop biography…

we arrive in boulder… the fox theater creeps up… ‘THE MUTAYTOR’ big and huge on the marquee and a photo of mine of the band in the window… another temporary home of which to rock… we all jump out and make busy the toiling… i run to the front and snap away before the raindrops get any more funny ideas…

morning glories in fences

sitting on the sidewalk barefoot in my pajamas setting off fireworks by myself…. i’m waiting for crunchy to pick me up to sleep a few hours before our flight to shows in wisconsin and colorado. i’ve been watching the moon for hours…

brady calls to tell me he just landed in wisconsin and how kewl the fireworks looked from the plane. bottle rockets go off in the street. i add to them my morning glories… it was nothing compared to the fireworks up high in the sky from universal studios a few hours ago. i stood on a fence to watch them thinking about all the times i’ve seen fireworks, all the different states and countries i’ve seen them in and who i was with… so many beautiful and important memories…

tonight my new neighbors brought me lottery tickets… i gave jennifer, my next door neighbor all my birthday flowers. “someone should enjoy them while i’m away…” her face brightened then and she talked to her cats about them while choosing a vase in her kitchen…. there’s nothing sadder than coming home to wilted flowers having not enjoyed them at all.

the air is cool yet the sidewalk holds the heat of mid-day. i stick morning glories in fences and run away as they explode. there are crickets here… down my new street are mountains and nice homes… i love living by myself… fireworks like gunshots go off and dogs bark in the distance… crunchy calls. she is on the way… i sit on my photo gear and watch the moon… i am 33 now…

my 33rd birthday

today is my 33rd birthday and i feel an urgent need to write about how happy i am. how my life feels so present, so full right here, right now, how much i love my friends, how much i love to take photographs.

to think this life was an undercurrent to the undertow that i thought was my life. how many years had i sat back inside myself wondering if this was even possible? how many doubts did i rely on to not do this sooner? to take a back seat to anything is an abomination to living itself. there is no maybe someday… there is only the here and now.

i am thankful today for clarity, for the palmolive drop of dissipation that fell from the sky into my life. like a song that starts, that has a middle and end promised, i understand this cycle more as i get older… mostly the urgency in it…. i know what is to come and i fight it with the longevity and potential of each day. doldrums occur and escape more quickly now than when i was younger. in these 33 years i’ve learned to let negative emotions go, to be in control of them and morph them away…. to keep them is to embed them and that goes against every fiber. to embed them means to say a day or more is sure to change it, when the truth is that day more is never really promised…

this morning brady showed up with bright flowers from his garden and treated me to brunch. we had mimosas and important convorsations. nostalgic songs came on the radio… ‘gigantic’ by the pixies and ‘fall on me’ by rem… and at windsor manor, buck gave me a gift wrapped in brown paper with the letter ‘P’ on it. i jumped in place until he said “wait! it gets better!” and then i opened it and he had decroated a cigar box with monkey stickers and photos all decorated buck-like with music i adore. musically, he’s pegged me…. i have so many brothers now, so much family…

spoiled rotten

yesterday was my birthday party hosted by squeeze and big cheese, complete with spankings, rum balls, sky writing, amazing prezzies, being stripped nekkid and a cake fight. gooferman and mike & shannon from vau de vire came down from san fran to join my mutaynt family. neighbors blew air horns to try to quiet the madness. the bartender that was hired last year shocked me by actually returning. last year’s hazing apparently didn’t phaze her. shayde brought me a butterfly balloon, vegas got me an aquapet that i’m obsessed with, amy and c-love (who are now preggers!!!!) got me a beautiful journal, mama and matty got me a happy bunny make up case and many other amazingly purrrfect prezzies that i was not expecting. i spent the day with my favorite people going from pool to hottub to bar… i am spoiled rotten!!! 😉