These are old archived entries from my journal, Ornamental Illness. I have eliminated all graphics (except those in context of an entry) to save on my bandwidth usage.

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Art Objects

Eyebalm Fine Art

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Saturday, December 28, 2002

9 Rosebuds

In my dream Ann and I bought an old farm house with a large barn full of stuff. I noticed a lot of toboggans in the house and barn, so I started counting them. Then I told Ann that we had nine sleds and we both thought this was very strange. Two of them were sleds that I had from my own childhood. I have no idea were they are now, and I suppose my parents gave them to other children a long time ago. Back in the dream though I took one of the toboggans off a wall in the barn and it turned into a bike, or more of a tricycle looking thing, and then the dream was over. In the house we live in IRL we have a toboggan in our basement that came with the house. I really need to get it to a donation center so it can be sold and used again by children instead of sitting in our basement.

Posted by Stan on 12/28/02@11:38 AM CST ..::Link::..

Thursday, December 26, 2002

What's the connection?

I got Stan three Bryan Ferry CDs. Stan got me four Woody Allen movies. I'm trying to figure out the correllation:

Let's see...Bryan Ferry: Tall, dark, British, suave. Woody: Short, ruddy, Jewish-American, paranoid.

Hmmm. Nope.

Both Woody and Bryan's subject matter is often about problems with women/inability to maintain relationships. Is that stretching it?

OK...Stan used to (maybe still does? dunno) have a crush on Diane Keaton who starred in Woody's movies. I used to have a crush on Brian Eno who was in Roxy Music with Ferry for the first two albums.


Posted by Ann on 12/26/02@09:16 AM CST ..::Link::..

Wednesday, December 25, 2002

It's not funny anymore

Yesterday I was sifting through some magazines and catalogs that accumulated over the past few months that I hadn't looked at yet. I found an Archie McPhee catalog and leafed through it. Not so long ago, I got a charge out of 'Archie's' products. I got a charge out of the irony, the retroness, the intentional tackiness. But it's different now. I no longer identify. If I'm going to spend $12.99 on something, I want it to be something I like because I truly appreciate it and it gives me a true sense of pleasure or meaning. It would be something like a music CD or a houseplant or even a shirt that I need. It wouldn't be a bobble-headed nun figurine (just an example). Sure, a bobble-headed nun figurine would be funny (scenario of recipient: unwraps gift-papered box containing said nun, looks at box 'oh look, a bobble-headed nun!' pulls figurine out of box, 'oh, isn't this funny!' wiggles nun, watches head bob, 'ha ha!' so there's the entire worth of the gag gift for that moment in time...nun goes into a drawer, pulled out every once and a while for a party.) but it would be completely without meaning. On the other hand, a music CD for the same price (provided it's someone I like) would provide much meaning, not to mention enjoyment, if I may use such a casual, dispassionate term. A houseplant would hopefully provide many years of fulfillment as it grows. And a shirt would be very useful for years until it's reduced to tatters.

I used to go to a few parties at some people's apartment several years ago. They weren't close friends; they were friends of a friend. Everything in their apartment was ironic; nothing was 'real.' It was as if they were incapable of having posessions that truly meant something. Obviously there were no things like houseplants or objects that had some great sentimental value or prized have such would make them shallow in their eyes, cheesey, either low-class or ironically, snootily upper class, I suppose. They didn't listen to music because they loved the music...they collected strange CDs...old crooners from the 50s, not because they liked that kind of music, but because it was funny. One CD I found particularly baffling was some retarded (literally, downs syndrome) guy from some television show that was singing. It was dreadful...why would anyone want that? Evidentally the only reason why the CD was put out in the first place was because the promoters of the TV show (don't ask me what it was...I don't watch network TV) thought they could make some money off this guy, marketing him as some sort of idiot savant to fans of the show. And my acquaintances who bought it? They didn't have it because it was funny because it made fun of retarded people--at least I hope that's not why they had it--I would guess they had it because it was funny ha ha making fun of the kind of people who would put it out (the promoters) and the kind of audience who would be *serious* about buying it. Of course they weren't *serious* about buying it (even though they bought it)...they were *ironic* about buying. That makes a world of difference. Or does it? The marketers still made money off of them, nonetheless.

Archie McPhee also sells quasi-religious artifacts...candles in long glass jars with pictures of The Madonna or Jesus, for example. My acquaintances had some of those that they placed in their bathroom, of course, in irony. Go to any small family-run Mexican-American grocery store and you will find the same, exact Madonna/Jesus candles (probably for half the price as the McPhee ones). That is the audience the manufacturers of the candles are targeting, the people who actually are fulfilled somehow, by having them in their household, not the patrons of McPhee: 'ha ha look, it's a madonna and jesus funny.' To the people who buy the candles at their grocer, it has meaning. It's part of their family traditions. And as unreligious as I am, I can still understand where they're coming from far more than I can the ironic crowd. To them there is no value to the object, other than to make visitors laugh 'ha ha oh how I wish I had one of these it is so funny where did you get it?'

The ironic crowd would marvel at my lava lamp collection, thinking I, myself, was being ironic as well, not understanding that I actually find beauty in lava lamps. To find a lava lamp beautiful would be, in their eyes, well, tacky (there's a spot waiting for them in graduate art school if they're interested), but to appreciate a lava lamp as a tacky object from the past and to display it as such, is advanced and witty. They found my collection of indoor gazing balls ironic and funny (funny in a good way, meaning, I had a well-developed sense of irony), because to them, a gazing ball is 'a white trash lawn ball.' For a college-educated person like myself to bring several of those inside and to display them, is acknowledging the fact that I too understand they are white trash lawn balls and am making fun of them in an ironic statement. I'm cool in their eyes. What they don't understand is my life-long fascination with the sphere and my almost-as-long fascination with these magical shining orbs I would see in people's lawns as I drove by them as a child, not knowing white trash from upper class. To me, the gazing ball is a beautiful object, symbollic, if you will. And I don't think they would ever understand that.

Posted by Ann on 12/25/02@11:56 AM CST ..::Link::..

DREAM - Keyless

I dreamt it was like when I was young and I would travel with my mother from whereever distant place (usually out east or Colorado) to Racine, WI where my grandmother lived. Except I wasn't young in the dream, I was the age I am now. We were in Milwaukee or someplace and needed to go back to Racine, but also in this case, Racine was also Madison. It was most confusing. We were standing in line to take a bus 'home' but somehow I got separated from my mom...not that that's a big deal, I mean I am an adult...but it was very inconvenient because she had the keys to the house and I didn't. What house was it? Was it my own house in Madison, or was it my grandmother's house in Racine? And here's the creepy thing...I was thinking that maybe I could *call* my grandmother (who was still alive) to see if I could stay at her place (which wasn't her house, but some small apartment she was living in) while I waited for my mom to take the next bus. Most odd.

Posted by Ann on 12/25/02@09:37 AM CST ..::Link::..

Monday, December 23, 2002

Joe Strummer is dead at 50.

I saw The Clash at Red Rocks in 1982 with a friend, Susan. This was before Stan and I were 'going out.' When I told him I went, he really wished he could've come. I wish he could've too.

Posted by Ann on 12/23/02@08:33 AM CST ..::Link::..

Sunday, December 22, 2002

Christmas Day, December 26, 2002

One of the best things I've heard anybody say lately was when Tim was talking about Xmas and Stan asks him, 'So, does Christmas come on the 26th this year?' It wasn't was an authentic question. It so perfectly sums up our states of mind lately. Gravity all nonsense now. Practically speaking, you can look it like this: For fourty-one years, we(Stan and I)'ve been living in a world where Thanksgiving, which for all intents and purposes is very much like Christmas, is on a different day every year. For thirteen years we've been living 1000 miles from family (yeay!) so we don't do the family thing for Christmas (yeay!)'s just Stan and me alone. We're not religious and we don't have kids, so we don't have to put on a show. And for the past six years or so, Stan has been working at a job where he usually does not get Christmas off. Who cares about keeping track of when Christmas is? Not only that, the last half of this year has been intense. We feel like we've been pushed down a tube, a black hole vortex, and come out the other end in some other universe. I can't speak for Stan, but my mind definitely is not here thinking about the holidays. It used to depress me. It used to make me angry. But now, I think I have successfully removed myself from it to the point that it doesn't even affect me at all. And it's a good place to be. That's not to say I'm detached or dispassionate. On the contrary, I'm feeling very alive and very passionate, moreso than ever. But it's not about the things that contemporary popular sentimental society says I need to pay attention to. To that end, I am invisible to it, and it to me. I'm like in my dream where I was walking around and I was dead and people kept bumping into me because they didn't see me. Except, unlike in the dream, I already know I'm 'dead.'

Posted by Ann on 12/22/02@05:16 PM CST ..::Link::..

Twin Pinks: A Crustless Cherry Pie

The other day when I was reviewing my search referral statistics, nestled amongst the tiresome plethora of 'my cold dead hands,' the baffling perennial 'naked construction workers,' the amusingly ever-present 'David Sedaris stadium pal,' and the nauseatingly over-repeated 'Greta Van Sustern/Courtney Love/Michael Jackson plastic surgery' I found a gem of a search: 'Twin Peaks Pink Floyd.' Did they find what they were looking for here? Probably not if they were only searching for superficialities...this is not a fan site. What exactly were they looking for? Were they fans of both the band and the show, like I am? Perhaps they have found some thread of similarity in both? The theme of madness...the laughing in Dark Side of the Moon reminiscent of Windom Earle and Bob? Are there parallels between Laura Palmer's death and Syd Barrett's departure? Is Agent Cooper's descent into the Black Lodge what Roger Waters was going through as he wrote The Wall? And would Nick Mason request a cherry pie without the crust at the Double R? Most of the things people search for that brings up my site makes me wish they'd never found it, or that I could virtually hose off my pages after they've cyberleafed through them. But this time was different. It was like for a second, two minds had connected. Unfortunately, I will never know who the visitor was.

Posted by Ann on 12/22/02@04:54 PM CST ..::Link::..

DREAM - Scary Motel Stuff

A little history first: In August of 1997, Stan took a one-way plane to Colorado to help his recently widowed mother help clear out her house before she sold it. He inherited a 1985 AMC Eagle from his late father that he would drive back to Madison, along with a bunch of other stuff...paintings and such, that he had stored at his parent's house. He started out on a Friday morning, heading from the eastern plains of Colorado toward Madison. Like we do when we visit Colorado, he was planning on getting a motel in Lincoln, NE, but he couldn't find any vacancies when he got into town at the usual stops on the highway. He thought he'd go another 200 miles or so to a place we stayed once in Iowa on our move out to Madison back in 1989. Once there, he tried the motel we stayed at, but they wanted $60. For a single person. Outrageous! (He says he thinks they were prejudiced against him because he was a single male on a Friday night and to the motel owners they might have thought he was planning on partying with whores...little did they know he just needed a place for the night on his way home to his wife). So, Stan pulls a marathon and makes it back to Madison around midnight...all the way from the eastern plains of Colorado to Madison in one driver. Amazing.

Now to the dream: Stan and I were travelling. It was near dusk and we pulled into a motel that was reminiscent of the motel in Iowa, except in the dream it was architecturally was a series of older one-story motels. We enter the back way, and go into a room immediately, without asking at the front desk if they even had any vacancies or how much it was. There were old people in the room next to ours, and they were making a lot of noise. One old guy kept staring at me. The room was was very long. There was a door that was unhinged, leaning against a wall and it was covering another door that led to the old people's room. We brought all our stuff inside, and I told Stan that he'd better go to the desk to check in. I then realized that all our stuff that he'd brought in was in the hallway, which was why our room appeared so long, and that our actual room was very small. I was hoping our stuff would be ok in the hall, and that no one would steal it. I go to the front desk to find Stan. Everything is bathed in red light. Stan has his credit card out. I ask him how much it is, and the clerk says '$121.' I thought that was outrageously expensive, but I guess it was too late to turn back. Then I'm in another part of our motel room, which is a back room. I'm using it as an art studio. I took the unhinged door from where it was leaning and stacked it on some boxes or something on the floor and started to paint it or cover it with turpentine. There was turpentine running everywhere and it was starting to stink quite a bit. The paint on the door was buckling, like it was lead paint peeling off. I thought I'd better open the window and the back door to get some air in the place. Turpentine was all over, on the floor, everywhere. It was quite a mess.

Posted by Ann on 12/22/02@09:49 AM CST ..::Link::..
By Stan @ 20:56 AM CST:12:20:02 ..::Link::..