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Wednesday, October 2, 2002

Practical Measures

In 1997 I had several ideas for novels that were simply rotten, and I kept bits and pieces of inspirations that came to me in assorted notebooks. None of them went any further than being note collections except one concept for a novel that I began to compose an outline for in the beginning of 1998. Parts of this outline have been rewritten by hand at least 5 or 6 times, and I did have the first two chapter outlines entered on one of Ann's computers by the end of 1999. I then stopped working on this novel because it became too emotionally intense to continue. I transfered the first two chapters over to my computer thinking that I would just file them for later development. Instead, since August when I first transfered files to my iBook most of my time has been spent editing the first two outlines for my novel which is called (Practical Measures) as a working title.

What seems strange to me is that something I thought was well developed when I put it away a few years ago turned into a huge editing project now. I think at this point I've edited the first two chapters as much as I can and now I'm ready to enter the remaining hand written notebook materials on my iBook. I feel so old, because if I were a younger person everything I've written would already be in a computer format instead of hand written notes.

I wonder if Mohammed would have used an iBook instead of a pen if he were alive today? Since his pen was divinely guided; if he had preferred an iBook, would Allah have allow divine guidance to flow through an iBook?

The main plot of (Practical Measures) is about a instructor who was falsely accused of being a terrorist and then put do death as an innocent person. This is a plot I began writing in 1998, a few years before the so called "new war". At that time I didn't think the idea could be relevant to too many people. While the American landscape is occupied by hostile flag wavers, what I'm working on still isn't going to be that relevant to most people. However, by the time I finish this novel there will probably be lots of people with real life stories about the burdens of enduring these kinds of false accusations. I would not want to trivialize this issue in any way, so I'll have to be even more careful and thoughtful with this material than I previously imagined. Especially because what I'm writing is a fictional work, rather than real life stories, and real life stories of people getting falsely accused of being terrorists are going to have a more permeant impact on our nation than anything these misguided flag wavers are saying now.

The subplot is that the former student of this instructor tells the story of his life as the narrator, and is at the same time trying to come to terms with memories of sexual abuse from the same instructor who's death he mourns. I started with this idea for a subplot over two years before my own memories of childhood sexual abuse successfully became clear. It is strange how art and writing can be intuitively relevant to us years before we rationally understand our own experiences. When I first started with this subplot I knew I had some reasons to be suspicious about my own childhood memories, but it was not completely clear and I had a lot of denial too. Now I think the process of writing is helping me come to terms with and accept these memories as part of my own life experiences. I still have a lot more writing to do, because I'm still in the outline phase with (Practical Measures).

Posted by Stan on 10/02/02@03:21 PM CST ..::Link::..

The Piano

Tonight will be the last night of good sleep. The following night I will be somewhere in the middle of nowhere on a stiff mattress with lumpy, knobby sheets and covers in a city whose only redeeming feature is the absolute best coffee shop in the world (where? hint: go cornhuskers. rah.). After that, I will sleep on a roll-away mattress cot next to the piano. I have strange karma about sleeping next to pianos. Not is it the only place I can sleep at my parent's house (unless I want to sleep in their cold, unfinished, concrete floored basement), but when I was a kid and visited my grandmother, I slept next to the piano in her house, on the very same rollaway mattress cot. I don't like pianos. They're like large coffins. Both pianos were my mom's. My grandparents bought her the piano that was at my grandmother's house. She always wanted to play one, and they got her a used player piano when she was a kid. The piano my parents currently have my mom bought when I was about six or so, after my dad landed his first "real" job after his post-doctoral work. They were renting a house, but my mom had to have a piano. I remember going to large city so they could find one--I think it was Providence, but I can't remember. I remember getting awfully tired and bored and whining, and this one nasty old queen of an excuse for a man who was selling pianos complained that I was just like a little old lady, but I think he was looking in a mirror instead. My mom tried to teach me how to play, but I didn't like it. After we moved to upstate New York, I was in 3rd or 4th grade and the music teachers at school came around with information for the kids about learning to play band instruments. I looked over the information and decided I wanted to learn to play the clarinet. I presented the information to my parents, who declined and said no, they could't afford it or something. But my mom had a piano.

I hate pianos, and I especially hate sleeping with them.

Posted by Ann on 10/02/02@11:48 AM CST ..::Link::..

DREAM - See Ann Play

Stan and I were in a room that actually looked like our bedroom, same chairs, but we were visiting Fort Collins. Sitting in one of the chairs was an old boyfriend of mine, Mark. He didn't look a thing like he did as I remember him in high school/college...he was rather bloated. He was telling me how he had actually come to Madison and Milwaukee a few times. I told him that he should have looked me up. (I don't even think he knows where I live) He shrugged and tried to explain something which didn't make any sense, but implied that he was on company time and that would be difficult to do because his employer was paying his expenses. I tried to ask him if he was a cartoonist, but I never got a response. Then I was in a backyard, a big, green backyard that was probably in the back of Bill's house, but it was like his former place on Mulberry Street, but without all the overgrowth. Bill was digging out a large part of his backyard and filling it with water, sort of like a pond, but it was more square and geometric, like a crop circle (crop square?) but with the added element of liquid. There was a very small, sink-sized square that he had constructed with stones and a weird substance that looked like dog poop but that he said was tunafish. I was wearing a tacky shirt that I had tied around my middle and unbuttoned the top, exposing cleavage. I was trying to seduce Bill. I came up to him as he was working on the small cropsquare and asked him what he was doing, and started to step inside of it. He pulled me back and told me not to. I guess it was art or something. Then I stepped in the large crop square, to Bill's chagrin. I was happy and laughing and trying my best to seduce him, but he was pretty oblivious to my intent. There was a table set up in his backyard with people selling music paraphernalia...cds, books, etc. I went over there and found this paperback book that said it was rare old Pink Floyd/Syd Barrett, like pre- "Piper", like Barrett before he even *created* Pink Floyd...60s British Blues stuff. I snatched it. It supposedly contained a CD. I put it in some sort of satchel/purse I had, but I was fully intending to pay for it, but I was going to do that later after I played in the water and on the swing (?). Then I showed the book/CD to Bill. He was opening it up, and it not only had a CD, but a vinyl flexidisc (remember those? I got a lot of them when I subscribed to Trouser Press back in the 80s...I remember the first one they issued was REM...Chronic Town? I wonder if I still kept those...yet I digress) Bill was parental and told me, "next time you get something like this, make sure it's not a flexidisc and make sure it's on CD." I was rather insulted...he obviously didn't see the novelty of the whole thing.

I also remember something very weird, like there was going to be some sort of run/walk to benefit lawyers (ha ha haha hahahah!!!!) advertised on the media, and people were all "ooh, ahh, a lawyer benefit," and I was thinking, "this is absurd, if they had a run/walk to benefit artists, people would just think, "those flakey artists," but since it's lawyers, it's supposedly dignified. I was so pissed that lawyers felt the need to raise money for themselves. Then when I woke up IRL there was a lawyer on the Tom Clark show, discussing how dissed lawyers are in our society. Weird.

Posted by Ann on 10/02/02@08:48 AM CST ..::Link::..

Tuesday, October 1, 2002

Vincenzo Bellini

Writing on my iBook is going very well, and now I'm listening to Bellini while I write. When I was younger and painted both in and out of college I use to listen to music in my painting studio. The Virgin Prunes were especially fun to paint to, but now I think they mixed better with painting than they would with writing for me. I think I could also listen to Brian Eno's ambient music and write, as well as a lot of different classical composers too. However, Vincenzo Bellini seems to me to be exceptionally harmonious with writing as if there is something supernatural or cosmic in his music that goes well with the creative flow of writing. I think it's more than just a matter of the subject matter, this music is astonishingly beautiful and it must be for me; very beneficial to creative thinking. Well, all kinds of music for all kinds of people I suppose, but Vincenzo Bellini is a new discovery for me and I am grateful for his music. I can see that his music is quickly becoming an important influence in my creative life.

Posted by Stan on 10/01/02@07:25 PM CST ..::Link::..


Stan and I were lying on a bed naked. We weren't doing anything, just lying in eachother's arms. I'm not sure where we were--perhaps a hotel as we seemed to be rather high up, but there was a large plate glass window in the room and the drapes were drawn open. I suddenly noticed that there was a highrise building opposite the bedroom, and a team of construction workers on scaffolding working on it. I also noticed that the workers seemed to be looking our direction, and then I realized we were naked and that they were probably looking at us. One construction worker seemed right out of The Village People. I think at that point we got dressed and went on to the next part of the dream. (Let me preface this part of the dream by saying that as I was getting ready for bed last night IRL, I noticed that Stan had a dead Swallowtail butterfly behind his area of the bed enclosed in a plastic container, one that unfortunately didn't make it from last season.) We had a butterfly that hatched in our was a Giant Swallowtail. I was trying to usher it outside, first into the front porch. Our house didn't look like our house, it was more a combination of our house, my grandmother's house and the flat we lived in when we first moved to Madison. The front porch construction was quite different. As I went out to the front porch with the butterfly, I noticed a room off to the side that was like a utility entrance way. The door was wide open. I also noticed that the front door was unlocked. I told Stan about this, that anyone could get into our house this way. He seemed unphased. The next part of the dream I was in downtown/midtown Fort Collins with Stan and I think Tim as well. We were in some restaurant around Olive Street and College and were leaving, heading northward. I forgot what else happened.

Posted by Ann on 10/01/02@08:39 AM CST ..::Link::..

Monday, September 30, 2002


...I am a total idiot.

stoopid stooopid stoooopid.

Repeat after not add things in your .htaccess file that might redirect your index page of your add on domains to your main domain!

stoopid! d'oh!

I think my webhost will start to think of me as a ditz. I am naturally blonde...

Posted by Ann on 09/30/02@08:39 PM CST ..::Link::..

More Terrorism Dreams

In my dream Ann and I were sleeping in a very large house that reminded me of a house that belongs to an aunt and uncle of mine. I had to go to the bathroom, but on my way I kept finding lights and fans on in hallways. While I was turning them off Ann got up to use the restroom too, so I decided to use the bathroom on the other side of the house. The more I walked the bigger the house got as if the bathroom kept getting farther and farther away from me. While I was walking the house soon became as big as a mall, then it was so large that there was an airport between me and the bathroom I was trying to get to. Later I was actually getting close to the bathroom, but the airport was gone and there was a large empty field in it's place. This field reminded me of of the eastern high plains in Colorado where I grew up. The field was very flat, very dusty and there was a lot of dried up low growing grasses. I was getting closer to the restroom, and the bedroom where Ann and I were staying was now on the other side of the dusty plain. Next, off on a distant horizon an atom bomb went off and as I stopped to look at the sky I thought that I must be far enough away that the flash didn't hurt me. I became afraid that I could not get back to see Ann before the radiation reached me. It made me very sad to think that we could be separated in a crises like this, so I decided to try and run across the flat field and try to reach her before the rising storm of radiation reached me. While I was running another atomic bomb went off in the sky and this time I saw the flash illuminating the sky. I knew that I could not reach her, and the field I was running in was where my life would momentarily come to it's end.

Then I woke up to realize that this is yet another obnoxious terrorist anxiety dream.

The dream does ring true to what I've always thought about atomic bombs, especially back in the cold war era. If an atom bomb did go off I've always wanted to be right out in the flash, so that death would be certain. I don't want to be one of the survivors who lingers on clinging to life against the horrors of radiation poisoning. The dream was awful, but under the circumstances it ended the way I would want this dream to end if it were real life.

Posted by Stan on 09/30/02@07:46 PM CST ..::Link::..

DREAM - fertilizer, chinchillas, malls

I dreamt that Stan and I were at my parent's house. They told us that soon we'd be able to let the dogs come into their bedroom because they're in the process of clearing out the fertilizer; once the fertilizer is gone, the dogs would be allowed in. Evidentally, they had some commercial grade fertilizer (like the kind you get at greenhouses for plants) in their bedroom, and I guess it took quite a bit of effort for them to remove it--they couldn't just take the package out of their room, they had to shovel scoopfulls of it out the window. Weird. IRL, my parents never allow our dogs into their bedroom. Ever. I also dreamt, in the same dream, I guess, that I had a pet chinchilla/flying squirrel/some sort of cute, soft big-eyed rodent thing. It was quite smart and responsive to me, and knew when to crawl on me when I wanted to go places with it. I was afraid I'd accidentally sit on it, though. Also, I dreamt that I was in Fort Collins with Stan and we were going to buy some more CDs, except the city looked more like Madison. There's this reocurring store in my dreams that is sort of like a very large craft store/five and dime that sells practically everything, and it's located somewhere in the suburbs. That store was in this dream, except this time it was at a mall. I told Stan I didn't want to go into the mall, but we did want music. When we walked into the store, Stan immediately asked an older woman who worked there where the Pink Floyd section was. I felt embarrassed because I was thinking "look under 'p', moron", but there wasn't anything under 'p' so I'm glad he asked her; it was as if he knew when he walked in the store that their categories were really messed up.

Posted by Ann on 09/30/02@07:59 AM CST ..::Link::..

Sunday, September 29, 2002

DREAM - Art Thieves

I dreamt I was visiting a website of some person I never visit, and on their site was a link to someone else's art site. The link button looked like one of my metal paintings, like something I might have done in the mid-90s. I clicked on it, and found this person's art looked very much like my mid-90s metal paintings, except they used a lot of copper and I use/d mostly bronze/brass (immitation gold). I was extremely mad.

Posted by Ann on 09/29/02@08:57 AM CST ..::Link::..
By Stan @ 20:56 PM CST:10:20:02 ..::Link::..