Sunday, August 25, 2013

IN THE DREAMHOUSE : Puppets, Aliens, Jan Brady, Bjork, and Separation Anxiety

     Last night I struggled to keep my head above a stew of disorienting dreams that all bled into each other. I'm not sure of the order of these things, but here are the various elements:

     I was hanging out with Jan Brady, and we were looking through a bunch of old photos of us together as children, at birthday parties and such. The photos were obviously from the 70s. They were square, and had that distinctive coloring to them. I wasn't sure if Jan was actually Jan Brady, or just a family member or friend who looked a lot like her, and I didn't want to offend her by the comparison, and not knowing if she really WAS Jan Brady or not.

     Bjork (or possibly Mimi, a longtime library friend I met when she was in charge of the children's room at the Santa Ana Public Library) and I were receiving help from eerie yet beneficent aliens in order to operate a large machine. The machine (like the photos of Jan and me) looked distinctly 70s-era. It was that gross tan/beige/Band-Aid color, very large and blocky, with reels and slots and lots of buttons. It also had color ink cartridges. Bjork (or Mimi) and I were trying to thread long strips of film through it, but we couldn't figure out which slots or trays to put it in.
     I don't know what the purpose of this machine was. It was all very mysterious and exciting. But the aliens' instructions were too complicated and confusing, and we just couldn't figure it out. My dad was hanging out nearby in another room, and wandered by to say, "Wow. It's amazing that even WITH alien assistance, that thing is still too complex to figure out."

The one in the dream looked kind of like this.

     Anthony and I were with a big group of friends up in L.A. at some sort of art/performance event. Lots of people performing one after the other. Everyone there was actually performing briefly at some point, even Anthony and me. There was an organized line-up, with Anthony and me following Matt and the rest of our group of friends. Anthony was last, so as I followed Matt into the performance area, Anthony was in back and I lost sight of him.
     I was involved with these big elaborate European marionettes made of papier mache. In the back of the venue there were shelves full of them, and they were totally cool. One of them was even a Saint Nicholas/Santa Claus. I discovered that they had hinged mouths, and their bodies unscrewed at the waist line so you could remove the lower half and put your hand up into the torso in order to work levers that opened and closed the mouth. The mouth made clicking noises that fascinated me.
     I guess it was designed with the detachable lower half so that you could convert the marionette into a hand puppet. The strings and crossbar must be removable.
     I did my brief performance, whatever that was (details not included in dream), and grabbed my Santa puppet and made my way past the curators in the lobby and out the front door. I joined my friends and we all waited for Anthony, who should have been right behind me.
     Other performers started coming out, and I grew puzzled, and then anxious. Anthony had been RIGHT BEHIND ME in line. I went around back to the rooms where the performers were all lined up ready to go, and searched for Anthony everywhere. No sign of him, and everyone I asked knew nothing about him. I circled back out to the lobby and asked the curators, who also showed no sign of knowing anything about Anthony.
     By that time I was getting panicky. I wanted to call or text Anthony on my cell phone, but of course it wasn't working and I was getting weird error messages I didn't understand. I stashed the Santa puppet in the car in the parking lot and went back circling through the venue. No sign of Anthony ANYWHERE. I could feel it in my chest, this horrible constricting ache.
     I noticed that there were a lot of former classmates from high school in the line-up waiting to perform. Not all of them nice. I started fearing that maybe some dangerous bully types had abducted Anthony. It turned into this awful cycle of me going through all the rooms of the venue, searching, asking people, then out into the parking lot, desperately trying to get my cell to work, then back into the venue searching...
     At some point I finally woke up, and went straight into the living room to find Anthony, who had woken up before me. I gave him a big hug.

Friday, August 23, 2013


(done during meeting while new boss was speaking. The dot in upper right corner was added by coworker on my right, and the lipstick coloring on tongue by the coworker on my left. Teamwork in action.)

(done between dealings with parents and students)

(done between dealings with parents and students)

(done during stupid meeting activity about personality types)

Friday, August 16, 2013


     Just finished reading PEACE, COURTNEY LOVE, AND UNDERSTANDING, Debbie Stoller's interview with Courtney Love from the June/July 2013 issue of BUST magazine.
     I'm an unashamed forever-fan of Courtney Love as a cultural anti-hero. Love all her music, love watching her, listening to her, and if there were a 24-hour Courtney channel I'd be glued to it. She's confusing and contradictory and complex. Like most truly great art, it's best to look/listen/watch, rather than judge/analyze/categorize. There's real energy and ideas there.
     I loved the article, and found Courtney's ranting and rambling to be mesmerizing, as usual. I chortled out loud several times, and felt like highlighting a few lines that resonated with me for various reasons. (I refrained, because I'd borrowed the magazine from a friend.)
     I'm also left with a nagging irritation that interviewer Stoller got some things wrong, and left some details blurry.
     For example, on the first page she describes Courtney thusly:

"In her babydoll dresses, combat boots, and smeared red lipstick..."

     When I read that, I looked up from the magazine and asked my husband, "Hey- do you remember ever seeing Courtney wearing combat boots?"
     He was playing Animal Crossing on his Nintendo DS, and was like, "What? I dunno. Why?"
     I read him the above description and was like, "I don't recall EVER seeing Courtney wear combat boots!" My pants were in a serious twist. I even marched in here to the computer and did a Google image search for "courtney love combat boots," and of course found no such thing. "Mary Janes" are the iconic Courtney Love babydoll kinderwhore footwear. Patent leather Mary Janes.

     I realize this all makes me sound like a crazy faggy lunatic, but seriously. If you're going to write about an icon like Courtney, shouldn't you get that kind of detail correct?
     Then, I read the part where Stoller mentions Courtney's forthcoming memoir for HarperCollins and some other projects:

"In addition to writing, she is also working on a fashion line called Never the Bride, and recently had a show of her artwork. (...) She brings out a bound book of her work and leafs through the pages with me. The images look to have been hastily created in watercolor and pencil."

     Stoller doesn't name the show or the book, so I had to do a little digging.
     The show in question must be 'AND SHE'S NOT EVEN PRETTY': THE ART OF COURTNEY LOVE, which I found info on HERE. I wish I knew if the book in question was something produced exclusively for that show. I searched "and she's not even pretty courtney love" on Amazon and couldn't find anything. Maybe Stoller was referring to DIRTY BLONDE: THE DIARIES OF COURTNEY LOVE. That's a big lavish coffee table art book with writings and drawings and photos, the 2006 publication of which was an event to us Courtneyfiles.
     I'm a little surprised that Stoller, co-founder of BUST, and feminist commentator, didn't clarify for us the title and availability of that "bound book" of Courtney's artwork. Is she just fucking with us? 'Cuz she makes a point to mention that Courtney autographed the book and gave it to her for keeps. GodDAMMIT.
     Maybe I should forgive Stoller for these oversights. At least she does tell us two specific song titles from Courtney's new band, which is now just called COURTNEY LOVE, instead of HOLE. The titles are WEDDING DAY and CALIFORNIA.
     In typical Courtney style, she tells Stoller,

"I've been offered money to do an oldies (tour) sort of thing," (...) "It's just not me."

     But on July 27th my husband and I saw Courtney and her COURTNEY LOVE band perform at the Grove in Anaheim and do exactly that. I don't care about the contradictions. I loved every minute of it. (But I do wish they would have played those new songs! Damn you, Stoller!!!)