Rachel and I are moving to Yellowstone National Park for 5 months, starting in May. We will be wait staff. We will camp. We will live on the lake. It is a Super Volcano. It will be a time to decompress, reevaluate, compose, and reconnect with one's heart. And to see some pretty amazing views. I'm excited and nervous. When we move back we plan on renting a big house with friends.
Brian said, "Wait... Wait... Wait a minute."
Saturday night Brian and his girlfriend Josie came over to socialize and to eat ham and cheese bagels. At one point I asked him over to the computer to show him some of my mother's website (www.nanonore.weebly.com[new window]) she is a painter, draftswoman, and ceramist. Earlier that night we had all been talking about how after three generations of living a certain way, it becomes a family's universe. Whether it be only eating fast food, or piano lessons, after three generations that family is fixed until a great force shows up to change it. We'd had a splash or two of whiskey as well so I took Brian over to my computer and showed him my mother's site. Saying something like, well if I were to have a kid, it will be the third generation, here's the proof. Then it came.
"Wait... Wait... Wait a minute."
Brian stopped me and told me to go back. He was right. I never think about my mom's art. It just was always there. I didn't know how much they are alike until that night.
In the images below, my mother's art is on the left and mine is on the right.
Last summer Rachel and I were waiting for a bus downtown to take us to the State Fair, when I saw the Google Steet View Car slowly driving towards us. Should we pose? Maybe stage a breakup, or a wedding proposal? Well in those few seconds we decided to just play it cool. You can see it for yourself if you Google Search "735 Nicollet Mall Minneapolis" [new window]. When my friend Nicole saw this she responded, "You're now a location!". I like that, I also like to think that Rachel and I are the face of Nicollet Mall, albeit the blurry face.
Better late then never. For Halloween I went as Wikipedia. I paper mache'd an exercise ball, then painted it. The logo Wikipedia uses only shows 12 symbols, so I had to figure out what to put on the other 20 puzzle pieces. This is actually a well covered area in Wikipedia. The symbols are suppose to be the letter W in other languages. The debate is that these symbols should not be the letter W, but the first letter of "wiki" in the respected language. So if in Zanzibar they call a Wiki a Zani, their letter Z should be displayed. It goes on and on like this so I used their suggestions for languages that were not included on the front and copied them.
Somebody asked me, "Arn't you worried that you're going to go out and everyone's going to start asking you hard questions?" Somebody else replied, "If he doesn't know the answer, he can just make them up."
I attempted to upload a photo of the costume to Wikipedia's Halloween Costume entry, but they rejected it, claiming it was derivative art. Well yeah. But they refused to allow it. It's like a child dressing up as his father, then when dad get's home he says, "Why are you wearing that ridiculous get-up? Go to your room and take that off." But it ain't no thing, 'pedia I still love you.
Boss: I don't drink. After that first hangover, I said, "this is not for me." So I don't drink. I worked in the resort business for ten years taking care of drunks. I know there is a difference between drinking and being a drunk. I knew people who drank cologne.
Joel: What are you talking about? That's how you finish out the night. Drinking cologne is the only way to improve the smell of your breath after you've gone around and drank all the empties. It's the only thing that can combat a hundred stranger's combined backwash.
>>Then I looked across the sea of cubicles and saw a new employee pop her head up and do that kind of jaw drop smile face. We made eye contact. Instinctively, I batted my eyelashes, then laughed. She sat down. I sat down. Looked at the clock on the computer. Three more hours to go. Then I thought, you only get one crack at this whole big ongoing mess. Nah! I've got things too good. This has been one rollercoaster of a ride year, but it's ending at the very tippity top. Hey I didn't get arrested, like last year!
Happy New Years!
Happy New Year!
All of this years poems are up. They are going to be called "Preventative Maintenance". This is the first year that I've titled a poem set with something other than the name of one of the poems (or in the case of Funny Stories About Thirst & Drowning, two). The title is hinted at in the poem "Fountains". The Idea behind the title is two fold.
As a mechanic in the National Guard we spent the lion-share of our time performing PMCS (wikipedia link) Preventative Maintenance, Checks, and Services. It's the act of inspecting and re-inspecting equipment at various intervals. It's a good habit. Heck, it's a great habit. It's like cleaning the bathroom every Sunday, and inspecting the drains every month, stuff like that. And one of the stages of entering adulthood is the transfer of these tasks from your parents, to you gradually. It's how you define what kind of household you are going to have as an adult.
The second idea is the negative side, how constant maintenance prevents you from your mission. The world throws so much rifraff at you, too much stuff to process, and it all wants your constant attention and upkeep. You must decide what things to worry about and what not to worry about. You get hooked into a dependency hell (wikipedia link), eventually chasing things you have no interest in, but need, "The constant maintenance of his life, prevented him from living it."
So I guess you could say the poetry set is about striking a balance, or you could say I'm a beach ball since I kind of just made all that up. Enjoy! -Joel Lueders