Values & My Favorite Things: Week 1

Like a lot of people resolving in January to do things differently or better or more or less, I committed myself to working on my values in three tangible ways, and blogging about it weekly. The first couple of things I’m dedicating myself to practicing weekly are like a lot of people’s resolutions: go outside more! Keep this one area of life clean and pretty! Blah blah blah … you’ve heard shit like that before from all kinds of folks. But my third values-magnifier is probably not something anybody else is devoting a year of mindful practice to.

The third way I’m connecting to and meditating on my values is through an object I treasure: my dancing bananas ashtray.

trixie's dancing bananas

It’s cheap metal. I think it cost about $2.57 over a decade ago, wrapped in crinkly cellophane. I DON’T EVEN SMOKE but when I saw it, I had to have it. I’ve kept it ever since.

There are a lot of things I’ve bought compulsively, but there’s something special about my dancing bananas. I need them on my nightstand. Sometimes I forget about them, but whenever I pick them up I get a surge of some kind of rightness that cuts through everything else competing for my attention as Most Important. I experience a rare sense of easy and relaxed happiness; THIS is CLEARLY what’s most important: my dancing bananas ashtray.

If I were to measure the worth of all of my possessions against this Most Treasured ashtray and throw away everything I don’t love as much? Pretty sure my environment and priorities would be cleaner, happier, and more in keeping with my honest values and aesthetics.

Classy People with Good Taste would dismissively call it kitsch. If they were giving me the benefit of the doubt they’d assume I love it as kitsch. I DON’T. It is a fucking spiritual touchstone and perfect example of beauty in my eyes. My dancing bananas remind me what makes human so lovable and fucked-up: our imaginations.

If you do not love my dancing bananas, I’m pretty sure you’ve advanced yourself into a profound disability that renders you unable to find comfort or delight in basic human yum yum. I do not want to spend a single night in your dry complicated irrational land of sophistication. I will stay here where we tell each other stories of saucy faceless slow-dancing fruits dipping their toes in gluttony’s sweet hot goo.


 

Like many Americans, I have way too many things. Many of them I value so much that I’m afraid to use them, even though they’re mostly worth nothing. So I’m going to check in every week with my dancing bananas to remember what it’s all about, this thing called (my) life.

Visit TrixieCams.com for a delightful array of webcam performers — you can probably even pay one to show you her favorite things!

Not That Crazy, Actually … and Still Happy!

Spent most of today attending FREE lectures at the Seattle Design Festival‘s Conference (held at one of my favorite places in the world):

#SDF2014 "Design in Motion"

EXACTLY THE KIND OF THING I NEED TO GROW AND THRIVE AND UNDERSTAND WHAT I’M DOING SOMETIMES. Without having to commit to a school schedule or one narrow path or a single school of thought. And accessible to the public.

I have a ton of work to do . . . and am beginning to see more clearly that I am capable of doing that work AND MORE, with a vision and to standards I’ve been dumbing down for years. But that’s cool, because it’s all coming together at the right time. I feel clearer and more confident than I ever have about the possibilities and directions I want our sites and my work and our projects and our daily lives (work lives, creative lives, physical lives, sexual lives, LOVE lives, spiritual lives) to go . . . and more realistic about how much help and time we need to accomplish that.

Part of why I’ve been crazy isn’t just because I’m bipolar. A big part of it is that I haven’t fucking EMBRACED that shit.

A big part of why I’ve gotten crazy is that I’ve been isolated trying to survive running ourselves ragged to cater to shitty low-quality oppressive norms and standards and expectations, and hamstrung because of that instead of BLOWING THAT SHIT UP AND SHOWING PEOPLE HOW FUCKING BEAUTIFUL (and goodness- and beauty- and pleasure-filled) OUR LIVES CAN BE . . . and leading by example.

Today I got to listen to a brilliant woman talk over our heads at miles a minute (but at a steady unflustered pace) without wasting time to breathe for an hour while she showed us a billion fucking amazing ideas and pictures and possibilities and connections and relations . . . and when it was over (and some damned fool added his absolutely stupid two cents THE WAY THEY DO) and someone else thanked her for sharing her brilliance (okay I was that person), they were gifted with her relief and her bizarre self-doubt. Because even (especially) someone like that sometimes wonders if maybe she’s just full of shit.

I haven’t used my freedom and defiance and entrepreneurial visions enough to seek out the art and wisdom and experiences and guidance and connections and inspiration from allllllllllll the seemingly disparate sources and voices and places I’m driven to look to OVER and OVER again be reminded of what is fundamental to our health and vitality and JOY and safety and pleasure in life. I’m weirdly good at synthesizing shit that other people don’t put together in the same breath or dance or picture or story, and making and strengthening connections between those awesome things, and turning them into humble pictures and promises and encouragement and examples and challenges and maps of DREAMS that can come true for people.

It’s all coming together.

I know I sound crazier than ever, but . . . I’m not. And I know that because I’m listening to people and admiring people who talk and think like that AND THEY ARE MY HEROES. 

I am ready to be one of my heroes, too. I am ready to be patient with myself like I’m driven to win a five-year bet. I am ready to suspend other people’s disbelief. I am ready to RUN AS FAST AS I CAN AND LAUGH HYSTERICALLY AT THE PRIMAL THRILL OF IT. I am ready to fail without shame.

I am ready to be crazy in all of the very best ways possible.

I am ready to believe I am a child of good.

Doodle Tumble

So I don’t feel like taking my clothes off at all for a picture today, so here’s a private doodle as a consolation prize:

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Note: I didn’t draw this thinking, “oh yeah — they’d way rather see a folk-doodled conflicted logger guy with a Libertarian-ish banner than my boobs”, it’s just that this is one of the things I had fun doing today that’s intimately me, though non-nude.

But if you want something more naked, I posted some stuff on my blank tumblr trying to start recreating in grid format the joy I get from googling myself and Delia and looking at the variety of images returned — outside, inside, naked, not.

Probably totally bad timing now that Yahoo bought it and they’ll probably get rid of the porn like they got rid of/hid all the adult yahoo groups a decade or so ago, but whatever.

PS: I TOTALLY WISH I HAD TIME AND THE BRAIN FUNCTION AND DETACHMENT to explain the sentiment (which was not written with forethought like I would be posting it here – it wasn’t like that — I didn’t intend to post it when I doodled it — but just a random scribbling of my own personal anger), but a good place to start is that I AM NOT FOND OF LIVING IN A CONSTITUTION FREE ZONE (which I only became aware of around this time) and it made me really mad to see armed federal agents milling around at the carnival, particularly knowing they’re there to harass and intimidate and snatch up people with brown skin, which is especially sickening and weird when some of those brown-skinned people are descendants of people we’ve trespassed against and stolen this land from. I’ve ranted about it here a little, and probably in other paranoid pockets. I know I shouldn’t say anything since it’s really just a bad idea to attract their attention at all since they have no real jobs to do and waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much power.

Drawing Words & Writing Pictures

I WAS/AM SO STOKED TO GET THIS BIRTHDAY PRESENT!!!

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I Shall Learn to Tell Picture-Stories about Naked People!

Thank you, Nugget! It was such a good surprise to get this one, and makes me feel encouraged and that someone perhaps really really does want more alternative porn (in addition to standard photos and videos) on our sites.

A LOT of folks who fill out our New Member Questionnaire indicate that stories and/or cartoons/comics are their preferred or amongst their top three favorite kinds of content, so I don’t know why it’s taking me so long to get on that. Of course I try to remember there’s a pretty good chance that the people who take the time / are interested in filling that out are perhaps more likely to be into wordy fantasies and interactions. Still, though, I think mainstream folks and people in the porn industry would be surprised to know how desirable those forms of content are.

The library is going to be happy to get their book back now that I have my own copy; it’s the kind of book I want to have around as reference forever, and be able to loan to my nephews when they get older.

I’m not sure I have it in me to be an amazing cartoonist, but Drawing Words & Writing Pictures is an awesome book that delivers on a variety of levels. It’s super interesting, well-organized, designed and written by real teachers and cartoonists comic artists, is welcoming to people of all (or no) drawing abilities and is massively intriguing for anybody fascinated by communication and all the different ways of storytelling. And I’ve only read the first chapter and a half.

I’m excited to go through it and the exercises and share that learning and experiences with members!

AND I’m excited that I don’t have to spend any of my birthday money to buy this, because purchasing this book was at the very top of my list of things to do with that money!

Steve & Lena

Thank you, Henley, for the stylish royal package and note in your own hand making me look forward to going to my mailbox:

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I adore that image of Steve McQueen, and my mom and sister seem to have a bond over Lena Horne that I missed out on while they were living together taking care of my dad, so it’s like being let in on a little secret of feminine majesty.

November Sun

If you work for yourself sitting on your ass at home in front of a computer with a 70% chance of rain tomorrow and sunset due at 4:30 in the afternoon and the sun comes out around 2pm, YOU SHOULD GO FOR A WALK!

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So I did.image

When you walk by a family or group of people on a path in a park, it’s funny how all but one of them usually leaves the greeting responsibility to somebody else. A couple of the other people may smile at you, the kids may stare (but generally avoid eye contact), but usually just one says “hello”.

Do you think there are any groups of people or families who decide in advance who that one friendliness-extender will be? Like, “the dinner you made last night was shit, mom! So today to make up for it YOU have to say hi to everyone we come across while the rest of us get to remain mute, as though from an alien race.” Or, “Okay everybody, I’m the best at saying hello to people and making us look normal, so the rest of you just keep your damned yaps shut, but Bobby? You’re allowed to back me up with your winning smile. Everybody got their windbreakers? Let’s go!”

Today the first person I saw alone was on my wavelength and easy to exchange acknowledgments with. The second person I saw approaching from too far away so I stared at the light green of fallen maple leaves against the other colors on the side of the road. The side of the road OPPOSITE the side of the road the person was on. When I thought we were close enough to each other I glanced up, but she was staring down at the ground in front of her. So I looked back at my sideline of leaves and we pretended to ignore each other.

I smiled the whole time I saw the two old people clutching each others’ elbows coming towards me and wished them a good afternoon. Whatever the lady said in return sounded like pleasantly intoned garbled dementia.

I got way on the left side of the path to leave lots of room for the person riding up on his bike behind me to pass. But he didn’t pass in the expected amount of time, so I had to look behind me to see if he’d turned off my path so I could get back in the middle of it. But he was still behind me: stopped, calling his off-leash dog hidden somewhere out of our sight at the edges of the field. I worried about when he and his (I imagined) HUGE snarling out-of-control dog would run/ride about behind me and startle/bite me, and practiced yelling, WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU, YOU STUPID SON-OF-A-BITCH?!?!? in my head. Then I realized what I was doing and practiced looking at the things around me that are real instead, and forgave the man on the bike because whatever his dog problems are, they weren’t intended to personally offend or scare or harm me.

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Image captured by me on my phone, ARTIST UNKNOWN.

So anyway. I guess I don’t know how common it is to overthink all of that kind of stuff, but that’s part of why my brain and nerves feel worn out and a lot of times I just pray to not have to see anybody at all. It’s also why I don’t usually take walks on the weekends (and today is still part of the three-day weekend, not a regular Monday when normally some of these folks would be at work and school and stuff).

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