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posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 03:42am on 11/02/2009 under
I still have a little ache inside me for you, you know. Maybe it's for you, or maybe it's for the you I thought you were. Then again, it might be for your sister, or the last girl I kissed for real, or that punk on the train with the blue hair. It might be for any number of women with accents-- British, Aussie, Kiwi, or deep American south. Perhaps that ache is actually for the woman I kissed during a thunderstorm last summer, or the one who kissed me hard and fast last fall.

The ache travels. I have always fallen in love with women with lots of teeth, I think to myself as the ache centers itself in my right hip, reaching around toward my spine. (Of course they have the same number of teeth as anyone else, but they smile more.)

The ache reaches around to my abdomen and I remember the women I wanted children with, girlfriend number three, who is still married, and girlfriend number four, who I saw in the window table of a restaurant a week ago but did not approach.

The ache resides like a knot in an overtired muscle, deep in my neck. A woman once slid her hands across it and pressed down, saying, "There's the spot" as I yelped. Her transparent hands worked at it and she told me the trick was to breathe, although I have been breathing and the ache remains.

If I could, I would decant it, sliding the ache off as it floats on top of the rest of my life, bottling it in a jar with Your Name on it. I'd send it to you through the mail and the United States Postal Service would think me a terrorist.

I'd cut it out with a scalpel or a rusty letter opener and vacuum seal it and leave it in the freezer until it was just a lump of frostbitten, out-of-date ache.

I would draw a sign, "Free to good home: one ache," and I would put them up all over the neighborhood and when someone came to ask about adopting the ache I wouldn't tell them that it makes me drink and sometimes doesn't go on the paper.

"One hundred and two," says the nurse taking my temperature. I want to explain that if she was able to find the perfect spot and thrust the thermometer inside, she would find a marble ten degrees cooler and could we please do something about that? I want to say that, but instead I talk about the flu rather than the ache.

There is still a little ache inside me, for you, or for a multitude of things that are not you. I drop it like pennies on the pavement and it clinks. I fling it in the air like confetti.

There is a very little ache that I would like to be rid of. It's not worth much at all, except... every now and then, I open my mouth and it sings.

Love,
Beth
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posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 01:16am on 09/02/2009 under ,
This breaks my heart.

Abby Ahmad "In Favor of Braver Parts" (2009)


Love,
Beth
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posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 01:32pm on 07/02/2009 under , , ,
After my last post, y'all delivered magic in the form of the SNL videos of the Cranberries that I wanted.

click for video goodness )

This makes me realize a couple of things.

- Dolores O'Riordan is not an incredible lyricist. That is okay. I still love her anyway.

- It's no wonder I'm totally emo, considering THIS was what I cut my pop music teeth on.

- Memory is such a malleable thing in some ways. If you'd asked me to describe that video of Zombie before I saw it, I would have told you that Dolores was wearing ripped jeans and had choppy blonde hair and was playing a red electric guitar. I would have sworn in front of God and country that it was a red guitar. But it's a white guitar? Where did the red guitar come from?

It probably came from here:


My brain conflated the two.

- But in other ways, memory is solid. In Ode to My Family, the first time they went from close up on Dolores to the two-shot, I remember it. I could have told you precisely when she'd open and close her eyes. I don't always remember the details, but I remember the visuals that really impact.

My blogs are ending abruptly recently because I am distractable. Today is day one with no Redbull... I'm not quitting, per se, but I'm seeing if I can go a day without the stuff. We'll see. Generally I'm just feeling mentally fuzzy without it.

Love,
Beth
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posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 01:20am on 07/02/2009
So. I'm contemplating doing something very un-Beth-like.

I'm considering going to a Vipassana Meditation retreat this spring.

Ten days. Silence. No Blackberry, no laptop, no communication with the outside world.

Just typing that makes me tense. But I suspect it would be good for me to unplug.

Really what I'm craving is a cabin in the woods, alone, with no telecommunications technology. Fuck meditation and fasting, what I really want is fresh air and no email.

If I were alone without technology, what would I do? I once took a vacation and didn't check my email for a week and it nearly killed me. And I'm even more deeply mired in it now.

Something to think about.

Going to bed, dreaming of empty cabins in big woods.

Love,
Beth
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posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 09:16pm on 06/02/2009 under , , ,
Katrina is magic. She loaned me her acoustic guitar and now my fingers hurt from the strings.

The guitar and I already have a complicated relationship. You see, I am not used to doing things I'm not good at. Generally those are the things I stop doing in favor of things I am good at.

Yes, no one is instantly good at everything. But generally there are things that one shows aptitude at and things that one does not, and music has always been in my "not" category, which explains why I quit the keyboard, flute, violin and choir. (I also quit ballet, tap, rollerskating, iceskating, softball, dinosaur club, key club, glee club, national honor society, quiz team, math team, physics, calculus, and my last three jobs.)

But... I like music. I like singing and I like the ukulele and I think I like the guitar too.

I am not a musician. I will never be a musician. But I don't have to be a musician to play the guitar. I can just be... a person who plays the guitar as well or as badly as she does, because it makes her happy. Not to be the best at it, not to be admired for being great at it, not to make money at it, not to entertain people at parties. Just to do it, because it feels good.

[livejournal.com profile] fishmakestwo reminded me of The Freshmen by The Verve Pipe tonight. I was a freshman in high school when that song came out and I really liked it. I bought the album on CD through one of those music club things. Tonight I found an acapella version on YouTube.

Jesus.

I love that he's so awkward. The man is a professional musician, a famous one at that, and he looks... uncomfortable. And I love it, because it feels real.

I recently told [livejournal.com profile] weezerchild703 about being 12 years old and seeing The Cranberries play on SNL and how it changed my life. I spent some time looking for video of that performance (even though I watched that tape so many times I can still see it in my head) and I've had no luck.

Love,
Beth
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posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 02:28am on 06/02/2009 under ,
I am feeling complicated tonight.

I worked much of the day perfecting a Project for work. It's something I've worked on for more than six months and it's been a long journey, but the finish line is in sight. I am really proud of it.

My brain got fried, so I took a break from work that turned into two hours of playing the ukulele. It made me miss having a guitar, because it's really hard to play a slow, sad, emo song on the ukulele. I told Katrina this and she said that she'd loan me her guitar.

Then I sang acapella in my bathroom and recorded it and showed it to people on the internet. This made me feel extremely vulnerable so I also did it naked. That was good.

Then I made some art, and that was good, too. Things went awry, like they tend to, but in a good way. I'll post photos tomorrow.

Then I answered some emails and sent some things to some people that they needed and remembered that there are new photos to go in Amanda's press section on Flickr.

This is one of them:


I think this is possibly one of the best photos I've ever taken. It is certainly one of my favorites.

Love,
Beth
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posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 02:54pm on 04/02/2009
So. Apparently my 25 things post dated out of order and as such didn't show up on people's F-lists. So I'm linking it because it's actually a cool thing.

That was the same post where I came out as a Twitter addict. I still am. I love being forced to keep it short and simple (but still hopefully compelling.) And you all really care about my Redbull consumption, right?

Also, thanks to those who offered help with my email situation. I switched to Thunderbird for a week, hated it, and as such reinstalled AppleMail. If Thunderbird would automatically resize photos and let me paste from the clipboard into a mail message, I probably would have stuck with it. The good thing is, it seems like my AppleMail is now mysteriously working again, so I'm happy.

Amanda is in Europe, first show of the tour... about now, actually. I am sure it will be a smashing success. London is whoa sold out. I am sure it will be BEAUTIFUL.

Need to get serious work done in the next few hours if I'm going to make it to yoga tonight. But I SHOULD GO so I am going to go. My back has been killing me and I'm ten pounds up from where I like to be and the solution to both these problems, plus the problem of my general crazyness, is yoga.

Hodgepodgy today... back to work.

Love,
Beth
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posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 02:15am on 03/02/2009 under
So. I'm now on Twitter and love it. It works really well with my Blackberry, which makes me happy.

Speaking of non-LJ social networking... that Facebook 25 random things about me.
25 is the loneliest number... )

Love,
Beth
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posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 08:44pm on 31/01/2009
On my way back to New York... almost. Waiting for the Fung Wah at South Station. It's chilly. I'm excited to be home.

Amanda is on her way to tour. Probably I won't see her until well into spring. She asked, the other day as we left yoga, if I had any plans for the time she's away.

Do I?

- Hang many THINGS on the walls.
- Reply to 89 key letters and post photos of the keys on my blog.
- Finish sending out the commissions, which I just realized with horror are still sitting on my desk awaiting stamps. (Wow I am a flakey artist. Sorry guys.)
- Send the second round of surprise free art.
- Finish reading "extremely loud and incredibly close," "neverwhere," "the hipster handbook," and "female chauvenist pigs."
- polish the red shoes.
- clear off and sell my desk on craigslist, as I NEVER sit at a desk. Replace with something functional, like shelves.
- hang keys from the ceiling
- photograph Abby
- set up shoot OF rather than BY me, with Lauren G. Concept we have = awesome.
- mail Christmas presents to the Vermillions, more than fashionably late.
- see Lauren W, Spring, Nathen, Dan the Jester, Jennie J, Navah, Kimmie, Erin, and veryone else I haven't seen in about a million years but miss a lot.
- Go to yoga.
- Go on a date.
- Go to Dr. Sketchy's. Maybe on a date!
- Lose 7 lbs to get back to the weight I was in London.
- Make a book on lulu.com
- Cook periodically instead of ordering in.
- Learn how to play "Dyke in Shining Armor" on my ukulele.
- Finish "Dyke in Shining Armor."
- Read tarot cards for strangers.
- See Jessy Carolina Twing play.
- Make art with the Diana camera I borrowed from Amanda.
- New Orleans.

And that doesn't include the list of work I need to do. Eep!

Love,
Beth
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posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 11:20pm on 30/01/2009
[livejournal.com profile] fairytalevegas is amazing.

New Year's Eve.



Love,
Beth
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posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 06:49pm on 28/01/2009
I fix Amanda's email a lot. Things tend to go wrong with it. I always approach with the idea that I can figure out the problem and correct it and generally (knock wood), I can.

MY email is now broken. Applemail updated and now I can't get it to work with Gmail IMAP. Do I look at it and go, "Well, I don't know what the problem is, but I'll figure it out and fix it!"?

No. I wail, "SOMEONE FIX IT FOR MEEEEEEEEEE."

Proving once again that I can do scads of things for other people but fail at doing it for myself.

Love,
Beth
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posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 01:31pm on 27/01/2009
Had very weird dreams last night that involved shaving my eyebrows off (because someone was trying to kill Amanda and someone decided they needed a fake Amanda to distract attention) and my computer crashing so completely that it wouldn't re-start and I lost EVERYTHING I'd worked on for ages.

Anxiety? I'd say so.

Having an insanely hard time getting moving today. Not feeling altogether well. Have a presentiment of doom.

Nothing to do about it, I suppose, but shower and sing along to Fall Out Boy.

Love,
Beth
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posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 08:50pm on 24/01/2009
1. Links to your favorite photographers. I'm on a nudes/semi-nudes/photos that tell a STORY kick and want to expand my brain. Not just famous photographers, either. If you know a college kid who takes AMAZING photos, I want to see. Comment with links.

2. Your favorite poem. Seriously. In the comments. Here's mine:

Love Is Not All by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Love is not all: it is not meat nor drink
Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain;
Nor yet a floating spar to men that sink
And rise and sink and rise and sink again;
Love can not fill the thickened lung with breath,
Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone;
Yet many a man is making friends with death
Even as I speak, for lack of love alone.
It well may be that in a difficult hour,
Pinned down by pain and moaning for release,
Or nagged by want past resolution's power,
I might be driven to sell your love for peace,
Or trade the memory of this night for food.
It well may be. I do not think I would.


3. A quote that sums up how you're feeling about your life right now.

4. An image that says something true.

5. A photograph of someone you love.

You don't have to do all of them or even any of them, but I'd like to know a little bit more about all of you out there and I thought this would be a fun way to do that.

Love,
Beth
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So. Went to DC and worked the Dolls show at the 9:30 Club. Bought a Bling-Bama shirt on the street (Barak, all in bling, it's amazing and says HOPE on it.)






It was a really beautiful night. I met a musician named Ari Gold who rocked the uke, keyboard, drums AND danced his ass off and was actually a really nice guy backstage too. And then I walked past Grace Potter a bunch of times while she was practicing backstage and every time thought, "Damn, that chick in the boots with the electric guitar is HOT." But we had to leave before her set was done to get the 2AM Chinatown bus back, which ended up not leaving until nearly three but which got us to NYC before 6. Daaaaaaaaaamn.

Highlights of the trip:
- War Pigs (AMAZING)
- An empty Chinatown bus on the way down... because we missed the one we had tickets for.
- Buying the BLING BAMA shirts with Katrina.
- The sense in the air of togetherness.
- Obama on my Metro ticket.
- Ending up at a restaurant in DC, randomly sitting next to the cousin of a girl I know through Amanda.
- Eating lo mein with my hands on the bus ride home.
- This photo:


Oh... and the fact that "President Barack Obama" isn't just a nice idea, but a reality.

So. Got back Wednesday EARLY morning, slept a few hours, worked for the rest of the night. Thursday we shot some material for an electronic press kit (EPK) for Amanda and then Friday we had the What's the Use of Wonderin' shoot.

Video shoots are hard. Crew members and space rentals are expensive, so you try to cram as much as you can into one day.

I've now done.... ten? Ten music videos. Wow. That's what happens when you work for an artist who decides to make a video for EVERY SONG ON THE RECORD. Anyway, every single time, I'm in awe of the quantity and quality of work that gets done in the course of a day.

Yesterday was a strange one... some of our usual crew wasn't there (since we were shooting in NYC) and there were a few new people filling in for them. It also felt exceptionally long, along I suppose it was about the same as all the others.

I did what I do, which is to say I took stills and pinned dresses and went on soda runs and made inappropriate comments to Pope and tried to stay out of the way. We also ran a Party on the Internet (partyontheinternet.com) which was fun but there was really too much chaos. An experiment, we'll know for next time. I really want to do another Party on the Internet like the first one, which was on release night, at the Cloud Club. We drank a bottle of wine and Amanda talked for two hours.

I like video shoots because I feel very useful and I get to use my body in my work. So much of what I do takes place behind a computer screen, I start to feel disconnected. Must get back to doing yoga regularly.

Art. Let's talk about art in this rambly entry.



That is from a short (ten minute) shoot I did with Amanda before the EPK shoot. A friend looked at a larger set (about 20 images) and declared that a few of them were the best photos I'd ever taken. At some point, I'll release them and you'll see.



That's from the What's the Use shoot. I love it and I'm not precisely sure why.



Hillary, the director of photography. One of the things I love about Michael Pope is that he puts women in power. He's smart enough to pick the right ones, too--- Hillary is awesome, as is Bri Olsen, Pope's producer, and Casey Long, art director and reluctant music video star.

This is Casey:


Pope manning the monitor:


This entry has really meandered. So much going on, both within and without. Yesterday was the first day since New Year's that I didn't feel sick. Amazing feeling.

Paparazzi (photo by Bri Olsen):


I everything about that picture. The handsome fellow next to me is Desi and you can see AFP's profile in the shadow on the reflector. Also, BELLY.

Love,
Beth
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posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 02:55am on 23/01/2009
I took a break from work tonight to do something important.



They aren't perfectly even, but I did it. Wall no longer bare.

Love,
Beth
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posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 08:38pm on 22/01/2009 under
Katrina and I saw a woman playing in the W. 4th Street Station last week.

People were actually paying attention. When the F train came in, a bunch of people rushed to give her money and take one of her flyers before they got on the train. And then when they were on the train, a bunch of them clustered around the doors watching her play until the train left the station.

It's not what I usually listen to (aka EMO ROCK) but I love it. I very rarely rave about a musician but this one is incredible.

BOSTON FRIENDS: she is playing The Lily Pad on Monday. You should go.

NEW YORK FRIENDS: she lives here. She plays in subways and not in subways. You should go.

Her name is Jessy Carolina Twing.

Love,
Beth
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posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 07:46pm on 19/01/2009 under
I cannot focus tonight. I have been fighting myself for hours.

So I'm taking a break and hopefully I can attack work with renewed vigor afterward.

Blind items. The most random collection, to people I love, people I hate, people I barely know.

- I saw a video on the internet of you, laughing, and it made me nostalgic for things that never really existed.

- It's your birthday today and I miss you with my entire self. I wish I knew how to be in your life when I only see you once a year.

- It's your birthday tomorrow and I miss you, but now that you'll be 21 maybe you can really be my drinking buddy.

- It's your birthday tomorrow too and I made you a present but I didn't send it.

- I bought into your game for a while but I think you don't actually feel feelings. I tested you once and you failed. You gave me exactly what you thought I wanted and it showed me that the rest was a lie.

- You sent me something beautiful in the mail and I don't really have words to express how much I love it. So... I love it. And maybe I'll hang it on the wall.

- Someone said your name today and it took me a moment to process who they meant. You slipped out of my life so completely that I didn't even realize you were gone and I feel... nothing, nothing.

- I am so proud of your incredible talents that I get a little verklempt.

- I would open my arms and let you into my life and we'd be happy for about two years, until one of us realized that comfortable is no viable alternative to epic passion.

- I think you don't respect me and that makes me sad.

- I wish I would have kissed you, for real, before you were half a world away.

- I hate the way drugs use you.

- I do think you're beautiful. I won't say it because you'd hit me. But I do.

- I understand you because I'm a lot like you. You understand me because you're a lot like me. Our packaging is different, that's all.

- I want the you back I met a long time ago. I miss him.

- I'm jealous of your light, I'm jealous of your talent, I'm jealous of your perfect face, I'm jealous of your fit body and quick mind, I'm jealous of your fashion sense, I'm jealous you get to kiss her, I'm jealous of the places you've been but mostly I'm jealous of the fact that you've realized that this life is not a competition.

- I love that you're emo and I love that you love that I'm emo.

- I would do anything you asked of me, anything at all.

Love,
Beth
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posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 02:41am on 19/01/2009
Free Will Astrology says:
Gemini
It's a favorable time for you to phase out at least 60 percent of your stale old fears. The cosmos is poised to assist you in this noble cause if you'll exert even a modicum of effort. What's that you say? You're afraid you can't live authentically without a hefty amount of anxieties? You secretly believe that you'd be bored if you didn't have your worries to entertain you? Well, here's an idea that might work: Simply replace your hackneyed, knee-jerk fears with a slew of silly and outlandish ones. They'll allow you to feel the friction you rely on to feel alive, but they won't bog you down with heavy stagnancy. For example, you could contract automatonophobia, the fear of ventriloquist's dummies, and apeirophobia, the fear of infinity. Other good choices might be kyphophobia, the fear of stooping, and lutraphobia, the fear of otters.


I think I'll go with koumpounophobia.

Love,
Beth
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So. Today I was alone in my apartment for the first time in quite a while, so I decided to drink a Redbull and clean my room naked while screaming along to songs by various groups that I love, some of which other people would consider "bad."

On the cleaning playlist today:

Served Faithful - Ani DiFranco
Take It Outside - Barenaked Ladies
Skyler - Brad Yoder
Just the Girl - The Click Five
Purpose - Avenue Q
Coming Up - Ani DiFranco
Star Pupil - Abby Ahmad
Breakfast at Tiffany's - Deep Blue Something
Save Tonight - Eagle Eye Cherry
Tourniquet - Evanescence
Campaign of Shock - Evelyn Evelyn
Sugar We're Going Down - Fall Out Boy
Thank Misery - Jill Sobule
Ghost - Indigo Girls
12 Bellevue - Kathleen Edwards
Hurts Like Hell - Kim Vermillion
New York City - Moe
Build God, Then We'll Talk - Panic! At the Disco
It's the End of the World As We Know It - R.E.M.
45 - Shinedown
The Bitch of Living - Spring Awakening
Buddy Holly - Weezer
Where Does the Good Go - Tegan and Sara

By the time the second Ani song came around, I'd found a pair of black knee high boots I'd forgotten. I put them on. Then I found a riveted belt, but that required underwear so I put some on and the belt. And then a bra. And then I found another belt, so I put that one on too. Then David came upstairs to tell me that a new potential roommate was seeing the place and that I shouldn't be wandering around looking like I beat men for a living. So I closed the door.

By the time Olga arrived home about an hour later I'd added a wooden key (dangling from a belt) and a red and white scarf (ditto.) I was startled. She was amused.

By the end of the evening I was wearing a long gypsy skirt (tucked in in the front so the undies still showed), a tiara, a heart necklace that my roommate Gavin got out of a vending machine when he went to get vodka, and a third belt across my chest as a bandolier.

Actually, by the end of the evening I'd changed outfits entirely into a Text Me shirt with a black dress over it and all three belts. I liked that incarnation and will probably wear it out. Because three non-functional belts are better than one.

But my spare room is more organized than it's EVER been (mostly thanks to Moogie, while she was here, but I did move a lot of things into there tonight AND threw out a lot of things) and all the books are on the bookshelf and all the Post-War Trade stuff is on shelves and all the random AFP stuff is together and all the keys (OH GOD ALL THE KEYS) are in a GIANT SHOPPING BAG waiting for me to take them out of their envelopes and mail amazing things to the people who sent them.

Oh.

And the point of this entry.

I hung a mirror on the wall.

Love,
Beth
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posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 11:05pm on 08/01/2009
So. I have a new website.

Olga is trying to convince me to Write a Book. Or, rather, Put Together Words and Photographs In A Pretty Package For People to Buy.

My internet has been frequently not working. This frequently prevents me from working in an efficient manner. Singing "the internet is really really great... when it works" every time the connection fails is really inefficient.

Love,
Beth
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posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 01:44am on 08/01/2009 under , , ,
I have a whole story about how the girl in this video was the one who made me understand that "The Fans" is not a real, valid concept. There is no homogenized mass; there are only amazing, artistic, passionate individual human beings who love Amanda's music.

It was an important lesson. I was really glad she found me months after the story took place, because I got to tell it to her.

Now she paints ukuleles for Post-War Trade.

And she wrote me this beautiful song.

Her name is Kayla.



Love,
Beth
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Hodgepodge.

---

My dear friend [livejournal.com profile] indecisean is trying to Do Good for animals. I love animals, especially Cinderella, who is a rescue. Sean has a rescue dog and wants to help the shelter who brought them together win money to help MOAR ANIMLS!

Go here and vote (pls?):
Click for Kitties (and Puppies)

---

I had a fever so high the other night that when I went to the kitchen to get a drink of water I couldn't walk back. Not that I was weak. I actually was trying to walk and kept staggering and flailing about. Anyone in their right mind would have woken someone else up, but I did the opposite because--- and this is the one clear thought I had--- if I woke someone up they would make me go to the hospital. And this seemed like a bad thing. So I took another try and ended up sitting at the foot of my bed and eventually crawled up onto it and fell asleep.

I imagine that I looked very much like what the rabid raccoon I saw once looked like. It would try to go in one direction and then would lurch and fall in another. Watching it made me very sad.

Scariest illness ever. But I'm feeling better now.

---

Moogie is here. She has been helping me clean cleaning my room since she arrived two weeks ago. My goal is to hang some art on the walls before she leaves.

This is terrifying. Hanging things on the walls makes it seem like I intend to stay. Nevermind that I've lived in this house for almost three years and this room for nine months. Permanance is terrifying.

Yes the thing that EVERY PERSON who comes in here says is, "But why is there nothing on the walls?"

I own the art. I really do! It's in stacks and piles and drawers and on shelves and in cabinets.

I haven't hung art on the walls since I lived at 210 N. Dithridge in college.

I have a fear of commitment to a location.

--

I am giving myself until January 17th to do my "2008 was" (tm Katrina) post. 1/17/09 is the THREE YEAR anniversary of my move to NYC. Holy shit.

Love,
Beth
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posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 11:00pm on 04/01/2009 under , , ,
New Year's Eve.

Last year I wrote that I felt that everything was full of potential.

I saw The Dresden Dolls perform last New Year's Eve. For the first time.

I wrote this afterward:
She takes the time to have moments with people. There was this tiny goth teenager who was obviously saying something both intimate and long and Amanda was completely focused on her the entire time. No glancing around looking for her bandmates, no rushing people off. Just a genuine connecting to person after person after person. Sign this, smile for a photo, hug that fan, sign this, crazy face for a photo, hug, sign, smile, sign, crazy face, sign, smile, hug. At 2AM after playing a two hour long set, with the flu.

I wouldn't want her life. The crowd congealing around you, each person in it wanting a piece of you, a scribble on a napkin, an image of you in their iPhone. I didn't want to add to that, but I wanted my piece too. A delicate balance.


She is still that generous with her time and her self, but I've learned so much more about those little post-show connections after watching it happen again and again for the better part of a year.

The people who come to the shows aren't a swarm of hungry, desperate insects. They don't want pieces of her that she can't grow back.

They want to say thank you.

They love her and they give back more than they take.

The only difference this year is that she did all the hugging and signing and crazy photo faces at 6AM, not 2AM. And I felt comforted to watch it rather than anxious.

---

New Year's Eve was constant motion. The private party was a huge success. I was the door girl, which turned out to be way more complicated than I thought. There was a lovely girl named Pi who helped me the entire evening. I wish I'd gotten her email address, I wanted to give her some merch and explain that she saved me from spending the entire night frozen and stressed.

Midnight was... beautiful. Seventy-five people, completely silent even as we heard the screams and horns and cheering from outside. Amanda took my hand and we looked at each other and said nothing.

After midnight the night truly began. We made our way to the venue, where the bouncer wouldn't let us in. Jeff (the tour manager) explained that we were the next act. The bouncer said he didn't care. They argued. Amanda shivered.



We got nowhere until Jeff's girlfriend (also named Amanda) realized there was another door. We walked over and Jeff's Amanda said, "We're the next show, can we wait inside since it's so cold?" and the bouncer told us that was fine.

The moral of the story is to try another door.

Once we got in there was chaos from the midnight Patti Smith show cleaning up. We didn't get to set up merch until a half hour before doors. On a GOOD night I could do it in 45 minutes, but this was not a good night and a half hour is not 45 minutes. We were still setting up when people came in, but Katrina managed to sell anyway. She's an excellent merchy.

Katrina, after consuming only sugar free Redbull all day:



The show itself was epic. Amanda played Trout Heart Replica. I was sad that I didn't get to hear it in San Francisco but I think our version was even better. I hope someone recorded it. I stood with Katrina and did my best not to cry.

She played Hallelujah, too, and Another Year, two of my favorites that I have never heard live.

Hallelujah was incredible.


I did cry that time. I cried from happy, I cried from tired, I cried from conflicted, I cried from lucky, I cried from ALIVE.

After the show was signing and after signing we drove to Brooklyn. Amanda taught me how to parallel park as the sun came up.

I made it home around 8:30AM, after about 21 hours of work (minus one hour of tattooing). It was perfect. Exhausting, but perfect.

Love,
Beth

ps - Did I mention that the Other Girl with a Key Tattoo is here?

bethofalltrades: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 08:47pm on 01/01/2009 under ,
It was... what I needed it to be. Exhausting, epic, beautiful, meaningful, full of work and friends. I will write something more comprehensive when I'm not still half a human. We got in at 8:30.

I got a new tattoo. I'd planned on getting something completely different and decided yesterday morning that I wasn't ready for it. So I did something else, which turned out to be the Right Choice.

Placement:


Close up:


(I had the key retouched as well.)

Nemo perit. It means "no one dies." Not as in immortality, but in the sense that... I am not a brain surgeon. If I fuck up, no one dies.

Love,
Beth
bethofalltrades: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 02:05pm on 28/12/2008 under , , ,
Please Don't Divorce

I have a lot to say about this, but it's mired in a larger discussion of rights and family and love. I don't know that I have the energy for it right now.

I don't. But I'll come back to this.

In the meantime...



Love,
Beth
bethofalltrades: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 09:52pm on 27/12/2008 under ,
At some point today someone broke into Moogie's car. They got her jewelry box (with a few sentimental pieces in it), a Mamiya medium format camera she'd brought for me, a box of old photographs (from my college years) and a tea set she'd gotten for Amanda.

I canceled my trip with the Lawyer to see Abby's show in PA and spent an hour walking around talking to people and asking them about pawn shops in the area.

I am looking for the Lesson in this, but other than "bring things in from the car" I am not coming up with much.

It's just stuff. Almost all of it can be replaced, and ultimately for those things that cannot, a loved one does not reside in an object. It hurts that my photographs will probably end up in the trash. It breaks my heart that a ring my mother loved will end up on someone else's hand who will not realize that it was important.

But it's just stuff.

I am surprised that I am so calm about the whole thing.

I think it's that I was so scared in October of losing Moogie. On that bus back to Pittsburgh I bargained with the Universe, offered up whatever seemed of value as long as the Universe would make sure she was okay.

And she's okay and sleeping on my couch and wandering the city with me, so I can't get upset over things stolen from the back seat of a Honda Civic.

Love,
Beth
bethofalltrades: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 12:04am on 27/12/2008 under , , , ,
I did an interview of sorts with Upstream of Consciousness.

It was a lot of fun.

I actually don't even remember writing this line: I find often that the more complicated my feelings for someone are, the more interesting the photographs I take of them.

I answered that one on the train, on my Blackberry. I think I had been drinking.

Nonetheless, it's very very true.

Cut for complications. )

Love,
Beth
bethofalltrades: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 12:56pm on 26/12/2008 under
If you live in my neighborhood and see me on the street and say, "Sister, can you spare some change," I will give you whatever is in my pockets.

I don't care if you use it for food, drugs or a ride on the train. If you call me "sister" it's a done deal.

You can call me "miss" with a certain amout of success. Call me "ma'am" and I'll give grudgingly and spend the next fifteen minutes worrying I look old.

Call me "sweetheart" or "honey" without a leer and I'll reach into my pocket, but "baby" is never acceptible. I've been known to snarl "FUCK OFF, I AM NOT YOUR BABY" in response.

You can't call a stranger "baby" unless you're over the age of 80. Or a woman.

Attention pan handlers and hecklers alike: "Snow white," "snowflake," "white girl," "blondie(?!)" and "hey bitch," will get you the finger if you're lucky, a full-scale bitching out if you're not.

And "fucking dyke" will either get you "Yes, but my NAME is Beth" or "Tell your mom I said hi!"

Love,
Beth
bethofalltrades: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 07:46pm on 25/12/2008 under , , ,
My friend Steven wrote a summary of his year.

I want to do that.

At the bottom, he wrote messages to specific people.

Mine:
Beth - I hope you're chasing your dreams.. you've got the key already.. you don't need to seek it.

Yes. I have the key. But I'm standing in a room looking around and every single inch of wall is covered with doors.

I can't see my dreams for all the possibilities.

The Princess used to criticize me. "But what are your GOALS," she'd ask. "You're so smart and you're so talented, but you don't have any direction! You need to make a plan."

My plan is to do cool projects with cool people.

My goal is to make art in many forms.

My dream is to make people happy.

My purpose is to love.

---

My goal is to make art in many forms.

Two nights ago, I made this:


It needs to be re-done as that chain was much more complicated to work with than I thought it would be and got a little twisty. I am really happy with it, though. It's Frankenstein jewelry, made of little things I've collected over the years. I need more broken jewelry to cannibalize. I want to make many, many more of these and give them to everyone I love.

I love this key. I BOUGHT it, it's not something special that was given to me.


I drew this lock as part of a present for someone. I burned the edges of the paper and then photographed it on some book pages (cut out of another project in process):


I haven't drawn anything in ten years. I am really happy with how it turned out.

More art. More art and more love. This is the dream.

And I am following it.

Love,
Beth
bethofalltrades: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 11:52pm on 24/12/2008 under , , ,
Dear Beth,

Perhaps in the new year, you should resolve to be less emo.

Love,
Beth

...

Dear Beth,

Fuck. You.

Just for that we're listening to Weezer ALLLLLLLLL night.

Love,
Beth

~~~

I showed up in two dreams, two blogs and one possibly precognitive vision this week.

It's weird to me that people think about me when I'm not around.

I think maybe both the dreams were precognitive too.

The blogs were re-cognitive.

One re-wrote history.

~~~

David took me and Moogie out to dinner at Gusto. It was incredible. I don't think I've ever had a meal like that. Many courses, EVERYTHING delightful and tasty, good wine, and happy people all around. Yay, Christmas Eve.

I am not a Christmas kind of person. I love giving presents, I love getting presents, but... I've never had a big family. Christmas stopped being a big deal in my house fifteen years ago. Last year Moogie and I had dinner and saw "I Am Legend." I don't think we exchanged gifts... we do that all year round.

It's not that I don't like Christmas. I am just... mostly indifferent.

That's not true. I like that other people are happier this time of year.

~~~

Today was a good day. I've been having some of those recently. I'm feeling better about my job and my life. I have great parents and wonderful friends and a beautiful community. Life is awesome, actually.

But I'd still rather be sleeping next to you.*

Love,
Beth

* Funnily enough, there will be about five people who read this journal who will be ego-centric enough to think I mean them, three who aren't quite so sure but will suspect, one who'll NEVER guess it's them but it could be and one who may or may not read (but I suspect does) and may or may not catch this (but I suspect will). Who it may or may not be about (but I suspect is.)

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