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DIGEST

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Thank you for your interest in HERE Digest.

This collection is ripe with passion and has been carefully prepared for aesthetic ingestion. Inside, you will have the opportunity to share in the creative culmination of our contributor’s pleasurable pastimes. HERE Digest is guaranteed to evoke some worthy sentiment after reading. Since this project began in January, We have been in hot pursuit of a means for giving an amplified voice to the inspired individual. Well, we found it and feel that presenting these innovators HERE will serve the dual purpose of being a cerebral indulgence to the reader and also a motivational reminder of how vitally important it is to be in tune with the limitless supply of inventive minds that surround us. HERE we believe that collaboration can generate beautiful invention. Though the content within these pages vastly varies in topicality, the core of passion from which the content came is one in the same. Our hope is that you will read HERE from cover to cover and become confident and motivated: Confident to share your passion and motivated to collaborate with others in your community. A special thanks to each contributor for their creativity and conviction to preserve collaboration via their individual distinction, and lastly, a word of personal thanks to you – the reader. By supporting HERE Digest you’re helping to spread the contagion of collaborative creativity and that’s what being HERE is all about.

Lisa Turso Editor / Co-Founder

Lauren Balser Designer / Co-Founder

contents

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Feruvius The Anesthesiologist

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Jennifer Fisher Monogamy

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Jennifer Lynn Kaminski One On Fire

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Nick Robinson Featured Artist

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Radio Stevie The Mood Stabilizer

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John Kurzawa The Opening Monologue of Gareth Price

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Amanda Johnson Describing Beer Creatively

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Jake Blake Featured Artist

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Jonathan Gibbons Stone Cold Obsessed or: How I Was Swept Off My Feet

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Kris Kazlauskas An Interview with an Animal

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THE ANESTHESIOLOGIST The anesthesiologist

has come into our world and breathed his breath of complacency over the people. The groove that marks the path where people walk is a trench with mud-sliding slippery slopes; a container of contentment for the weak, obese and convenience -obsessed majority that concentrates their powers attempting to dominate as a world culture. Who has the strength to resist? Oh! Alas! Where are the willful? The strong minds to rise up against this stifling unanimity? Where are those brave souls who might individuate themselves from this hypnotic flow of frightening force?

The renegades of free will — rebels disobedient Artists and poets: Nature’s sensitive souls stifled amidst this sea of fearsome ordinariness overflowing.

We must rise up as One and One and One and One to stand in stark contrast – illuminated against this vast, undulating infection of murky grey.

Feruvius 7•16 •09

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Monogamy By Jennifer Fisher

Monogamy is a result of Greco-Roman propaganda. That is where monogamy came from. The Greek and Roman churches realized that they weren’t generating enough money through families because men had more than one wife. So in order to make more money, they used monogamy as propaganda. They convinced people that to be monogamous brought them closer to god, and to be non-monogamous was a sin. In doing so they increased revenue to the church; because instead of having one man, having eight wives, only paying for one family, they now had eight men with one wife paying. Other religions that did not adopt this monogamy standard were seen as savage and uncivilized; thus, much of the Western society as we see it today has adopted the Greco-Roman beliefs and enforcements on monogamy.   In modern day, there are monogamy laws in place in most Western societies. These laws state that an individual can only legally be married to one person. Monogamy in unmarried couples is seen as a commitment between partners, true love, or romantic. Although there are still cultures in the world that practice polygamy, the majority of the Western society has adopted the Greco-Roman views on monogamy that was originally enforced to benefit the financial standings of the church. The question that many sociologists and biologists have tried to answer is, is monogamy innate in humans, or is it a learned behavior?

Monogamy is not a biological response to mating patterns of human beings. It is a social construct to maintain social norms between humans to ensure the smooth running of other social institutions such as marriage, an inherently sexist institution.

Monogamy as a Social Construct It is possible that there are some innate characteristics to monogamy. The rules of monogamy are created and maintained by culture and society, and it may interact with the little biology involved in monogamy within humans. With social constructs come myths, standards, and stereotypes. One of the most prevalent double standards, when it comes to monogamy, is that females are more capable of monogamy than males. The notion that females are more inclined to be monogamous is a product of patriarchal ideologies. Of course, this double standard came from somewhere, and there are multiple theories attached to it. One of the theories is that males are capable of multiple ejaculations – of spreading his seed, so to speak – and once a woman is pregnant, she cannot get pregnant again until she gives birth.

In the modern Western society, monogamy is strongly enforced by law and, more importantly, by society. To be non-monogamous is to be sinful, dirty, and a deviant from what one is supposed to be while in a committed relationship with another individual. This is not the case all over the world. There are still cultures today that practice polyandry and polygamy. There are different traditions of marriage, and there are even some societies that do not even have marriage as a social institution. This paves a good argument for monogamy as a social construct.

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Is monogamy innate in humans, or is it a learned behavior?

It is possible that this double standard of monogamy erupted from the theory that men have an instinctual need to have multiple partners in order to ensure offspring. Women face different repercussions than men do in today’s society if they do not uphold the standards of monogamy. They are dirty, promiscuous, loose – the list can go on. Men who do not uphold the standards of monogamy as outlined by society get excuses: “Men are not capable of monogamy,” “A man needs to spread his seed in order to ensure offspring” – that list can go on as well.


cultures. Argumentatively, marriage is traditionally considered a patriarchal invention. In heterosexual marriage, women and children are chattel, property, owned by men. In this case, feminists would not agree with monogamy. This lifestyle, whether free will or arranged, forces women to be controlled on many levels. Obviously, feminists would be anti-monogamy. On the other hand, there are feminists who are accommodating of monogamy. For instance, many people support the legalization of marriage for same-sex couples. Instead of reinforcing patriarchal norms, the people involved do not take on gender dualism. They are then equal partners in their marriage. Arguably, this will perhaps, or inevitably, revolutionize traditional marriage.

Conclusion

Through these double standards of monogamy, we can see how monogamy is indeed a social construct, and also how monogamy is gendered. It is true that women, much more than men, have been held to the strict monogamy standards of Western society, to benefit men in these societies. When women were seen as a man’s property, straying from monogamy for women was not an option. Even in today’s society, there are specific consequences for men for “cheating” that differ from the consequences women face. Whether monogamy is natural or a social construct, it is certainly gendered in the societal outlook on individuals who are non-monogamous.

Feminist Perspectives There is an ultimate question of what feminists think about monogamy. However, a conclusion is not precise by any means. For example, there are roughly four waves of feminism, and each has its own ideology. In order to clearly illuminate an answer, we will use marriage as an example for monogamy in Western

In doing this project, my views of monogamy have changed a bit. I would like to consider myself a monogamous, committed person, but in doing research on this subject I was forced to ask myself “Why is it important for me to fit the standards of monogamy?” The answer to this question is that I suppose I have the same fears that any woman would have if I were to been seen in society’s eyes as a non-monogamous person. But that is not a good excuse for me. I suppose most importantly, if I have committed to someone and love that person, then I would be more concerned with how that person would be affected if I was not monogamous. But then I had to ask the question “ would that person’s feelings be hurt because society tells us it’s wrong to have more than one sexual partner at a time, or is it natural for humans to remain faithful to one partner at a time?” For my case, in particular, I am an exception to the evolutionary explanations for monogamy, because I am a gay woman. My sexual encounters with partners are for sexual purposes, not for reproduction. So then I came to the conclusion for myself that the notion of monogamy is strictly a social construct for me. To me, monogamy is a personal choice, or a choice made between two people to stay committed to each other during the course of their relationship. However, I now have a different outlook on what it means to not be monogamous. I feel that commitment and monogamy should not have to always come hand in hand with each other. I believe two people can be committed to one another but not be monogamous. I suppose after all of my research on this subject, I would not consider myself a serial monogamist. I will leave my choices on monogamy up to circumstance.

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one on fire Burn your path ablaze Brightly in the night blind beyond the days Flesh dripping black bones Time churning here it goes The tides are turning inward Do not let the moon escape you or else fumble in your breaking Break yourself within her rhythm cast your rhymes move within ’em Ignite your pulse and push the pressure till you hear them screaming Then gather pins and push ’em in until the world is pleading Now you’ve got ’em make them listen  Shake their eye balls till they glisten Do not stop till flesh is dripping And there mind is fucking tripping  From a fire that is burning that has always burned within ’em Be creative beyond measure don’t stop now you’re building pressure Pressure’s building the mind is bloating infection is bubbling soon exploding Frothing pissing pussing puke, purge their nerves till they rebuke Make humanity your whore fuck ’um hard wanting more More original creations till we don’t know what we are Only ALIVE in PAIN and LOVE Touch yourself succumb and if it hurts press harder Till it feels good press more Until you’ve stretched the chasm in-between and the choir comes together because of ONE unwilling to ignore  

Jennifer Lynn Kaminski Certified PPTM and Birth Doula

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Nick

Robinson Interview by Feruvius

BALBOA PARK

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Explosions of white light descending from the silver-moon canopy of cosmic infinity – below me, an abysmal uncertainty. My stomach swallows itself, and emptiness wraps me in silky threads of bewildered wonderment. Passionate crimson punctures my side, releases from my flesh a fantasy overflowing – pouring out from my body, saturating my skin. Standing in a pool of magical incantations whispered from the canvas of endless possibilities, I sink – submerged – smothered in dream kisses and the delicate touches of creation. Tearing my gaze from Nick Robinson’s “Night on the Town” is no easy task, but I manage to will myself away. Now in the delightful post-trance I often feel after experiencing a powerful piece of art, I

reflect on the earlier interview I had with Nick concerning his own art and his creative process therein. Nick explains that his “Night on the Town” is painted from a collage of five of his own photos cropped together. In fact, he continues, many of his paintings have their beginnings in his own original photography. The watercolor “Balboa Park,” also featured HERE, is another fine example of such a work. The scene, rendered in the comforting color palette of light blues, soft grays and greens, instills in me a giddy contentment. Nick speaks of the unexpected quality of working with watercolor. The spontaneous gesture of a medium with an intention all its own. He talks of the ability of these qualities to capture the imagination of the viewer, and indeed, on intensifying my focus on “Balboa Park,” my imagination is certainly triggered. I begin to see myself as the shadow cast over the pond – optimistic and light. I’m gazing down into the water with the warm sun at my back when, suddenly, raising my head to salute the summer sun, wild flowers sprout from my exposed neck and drown me in their fragrant intoxication. Nick talks about the “ongoing discovery” that takes place when engaging in the creative act. How when immersed in creativity a person tends to find himself face to face with his desire to strive for something more – something greater. When asked to elaborate, Nick mentions the sensation of risk that accompanies him when composing a piece of work; the subtle fear of failing in the attempt to realize his ideas on canvas. One eventually comes to realize that there is no attempt at creation without the anxiety of risk and possible failure, but Nick insists that, though uncomfortable, persevering through these insecurities – sitting with them, interacting with them – ultimately leads one to overcome them. It’s a wonderful thing to admit that accomplishment is the result of perseverance – that risk, uncertainty and doubt enhance the satisfaction that comes with an accomplished task. In Nick Robinson we have an artist who not only acknowledges but puts value in the struggles of creation and whose art, through critical consideration, inspires one to do the same.

NIGHT ON THE TOWN

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NICK ROBINSON

HER COLORS

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{ { I am a graphic designer and artist in search of ways to satisfy a hunger to create. Painting is a process of building and layering color to create imagery not

representing anything but itself. Therefore, subject

matter is trivial in my attempt to discover an end result. Nature is often a theme in my artwork because of its unrestraining, chaotic, and organized realness.

My application of paint is meant to mimic nature in hopes to invite the viewer into an atmosphere of subtleties

created by an attention to the building process, rather than the focus of an end result.

The goal is constantly being reached, but never met. Nick Robinson

E+ nickr0@optonline.net | nickrobinsonart.blogspot.com | foodforcrows.blogspot.com


R RADIO STEVIE

THE MOOD STABILIZER

I always say, life’s lessons are life’s weapons. In other words, the challenges we face in our lives should be used to strengthen us with wisdom to face our next obstacle. There is power in our darkest hour. You learn quickly that life is not always easy. At times, it may feel so difficult that you may even want to give up. We have all been there, and some of us have been there longer than others. However, the obstacles we face in our lives are sent to strengthen us, not destroy us. The beauty in life is that there are several different ways to make life less stressful. There is much beauty in the world, and if we stop to take it all in, we would realize that our problems are only a small part of this big world. Instead of suffering in depression or anxiety, discover your mood stabilizer and enjoy your inner peace. One of the most beautiful gifts we have been given on Earth is the power of music. We have been blessed with many genres that are each unique in their own way. The sound of music has the power to take our minds on a mental vacation where there are no rules, and you control the soundtrack. Music is my ultimate mood stabilizer. In the sounds I find peace and tranquility that can turn any dark day into a sunny day (even if it is only for the duration of the song). On my local radio show, “Radio Stevie: Mood Stabilizer,” I generate playlists with you in mind. While researching music, I star the songs that take me out of myelement. Mood-stabilizing tracks make you want to play the record over and over. Stabilizing tunes make you smile, with great production and lyrics (which at times are not necessary). The electronic music scene is where I find most of my mood-stabilizing tunes, which is why I dedicated my radio show to the theatrical genre. I decided to dedicate my entry to you and your mood. I hope these tunes change your mood ring to a calming green or a relaxing blue. These down-tempo electronic grooves set a relaxing tone perfect for a night alone or with someone special. Stay stable!

Radio Stevie’s Stabilizing Groove The Cinematic Orchestra, “Child Song” From the album “Ma Fleur” (Ninja Tune, 2007) Bonobo, “The Plug” From the album “Animal Magic” (Ninja Tune/Tru Thoughts, 2000) Sounds from the Ground, “Move On” From the album “Luminal” (Waveform Records, 2004) Signal Path, “Slow Your Thoughts” From the album “Imaginary Lines” (Ryan Burnett, 2011) STS9, “Looking Back on Earth” From the album “Ad Explorata” (1320 Records, 2009)

On Air For more stabilizing tunes, check out Radio Stevie: Mood Stabilizer - ON AIR Wednesdays, 6:15 p.m. on WSIN. For more information check out the official Radio Stevie Blog at http://radiostevie.blogspot.com.

Radio Stevie is a radio personality for WSIN, Southern CT State University’s ON AIR/Online Broadcast For “Radio Stevie : Mood Stabilizer” show time & information check out http://radiostevie.blogspot.com

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The Opening Monologue Of

GARETH

PRICE By John Kurzawa

Being in desperate need of a fugacious interregnum from the unrelenting phrenic blitzkrieg which had bombarded my cerebellum; I scrutinized the lone banana that reposed on the table beside me, and felt a swelling abhorrence for the seemingly unoffending piece of fruit, despite the fact it had perpetuated not a single act of malice against my person. Now, for all of you self-anointed shrinks who think that because you drunkenly read a passage on Freud during an undergraduate class serving nothing but the purpose of ascertaining collegiate credit, you now have the prerogative to diagnose me with having a Freudian complex; I only ask that you please take the time to dislodge your belfry from the small orifice that resides south of your lumbar region. The banana’s striking resemblance to a phallic symbol was in no way a catalyst for my disdain, as I had abandoned that idea during my formative middle school years; as simultaneous to reaching the coveted adolescent threshold of puberty, my mind suddenly was transfixed with musings that seemed to be more sophisticated and voluptuous than comparing the semblance of a banana to that of the male reproductive organ. One may concoct the hypothesis that my detestation of the banana may emanate from its receptivity upon mingling with my palate; howbeit, that is significantly distant from any verisimilitude in regards

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to the matter. In fact, I actually luxuriate in the way the piquancy of the fruit moseys its way across the tongue, occasionally allowing a withdrawal from the acknowledgement of the other four sensory perceptions; and a complete immersion in the decadence of a fleeting taste, whose departure leaves me transiently disheartened until another banana-flavored comestible can become acquainted with my oral cavity. I am currently struggling to summon the proper moniker for the hard confectionary product that comes in the cardboard box and actually possesses a simulacrum of the banana itself. The candies themselves may mirror the taste of the banana slightly, but they just happen to be my preferred flavor of the entire compendium residing within the box that shakes with similar sounds to the maraca. Banana bread hits the spot as well, but of course you are dealing with a more subtle flavor. I definitely would not become mentally unhinged over blundering my opportunity at the hindmost slice of the baked good; but if someone furnished it to me, I would definitely not refuse. Drinks that smack of banana also are known to tickle my fancy. In the days when I once consumed beverages of the alcoholic type, I was known to luxuriate in the smooth, cold refreshment of the banana-flavored margarita. Ugh, the banana margarita brings back some irksome memories; the details of which I


hold responsible for the solitary grey hair that once resided upon my scalp (and the others that likely came and went unnoticed). I once had the misfortune of dating a woman who could be effortlessly described as an imperious and presumptuous jackanapes. I’ll refer to her as—eh, screw it. Trying to find an alternative method of identification is not worth the expenditure of any further oxygen nor brain cells; and the same goes for her in general. However, I must venture down this loathsome path, albeit briefly, for the sake of the bananas. Anyway, for whatever nugatory rationale, at the age of twenty-four; this woman still presupposed to have the life of a Disney princess bestowed upon her, congruous to the whimsical and delusional fantasies of the pre-pubescent whippersnapper. Believe me, I’m not making up the princess part out of vitriolic indignation. This fairy tale postulation of hers was made considerably transpicuous in a rambling, long-winded, and very prevalent Internet publication in the form of an open letter; with the claimed ulterior motive of said diatribe being to release her previously incarcerated agitation. Having seen the horribly worded circumlocution, it seemed that the pleonasm was a periphrastic stream of consciousness, clouded by her usual prominent affect of acrimony. You see, rather than shedding most of the conventional adolescent characteristics by the time she packed her bags for a post-secondary educational tenure, she carried her glaring juvenility well into adulthood; synthesizing it nicely with her pompous and self-righteous disposition. Lucky for her, through omnifarious means of social networking, she had agglomerated a small coterie of like-minded, pretentious females; it was an abhorrent little trio, where her contemptuous and grandiloquent attitudes assimilated amiably with those of the others. These dispositions were trussed with her insolent and haughty approach to the world around her, and bundled nicely with a glaring superiority complex. All of this was meshed with a desire to do nothing except to affront anyone possessing an independent opinion which she autocratically deemed inferior to her own, and that happened on quite a systematic basis in regards to myriad topics, from music to food to—well, just about anything. I only mention this, because my preference of the aforementioned margarita was once chastised to no avail; as in her superciliousness, she believed that her choice, whatever it may have been, reigned supreme over mine. Honestly, keep your wild peach-mango-kiwi-papaya-guava-passionfruit margarita, and while you’re at it; take a leisurely, yet extended stroll off an undersized promenade. Well, that’s enough on that detestable topic. I’ll enjoy my banana-flavored beverage, thank you very much. Anyway, I digress. What was I pontificating about? Oh yes, the bananas. Come to think of it…I happen truly to relish in the flavor of bananas; so my glaring antipathy towards the

fruit may be somewhat unfounded. I’ll admit that there is a prodding perception that I may have very well come down in somewhat of an obdurate fashion to the banana. Come to think of it, I’m starting to sound a smidgen like the individual I’ve chronicled a few moments ago. It’s honestly not the taste that creates a burning hatred, so what is it? Maybe the moment has arrived when it is time to welcome the banana back into my circle of trust. Yep, I’ve got one of those, and you sure as hell are not invited. I presently find myself scrutinizing this innocent herbaceous plant and trying to derive a foundation from which my ill feelings should be radiating. I suppose that the intense flavor invasion was just distracting me for a few fleeting moments. However, that fails to rationalize why am I sitting here, venting feelings of true malevolence towards the banana. Hmmm. Ah, that’s it. It’s that infernal texture which subverts my placid nerves, and brings about a question as to why I decided to consume the fruit in the first place. There is something about that mushy, slimy, gloppy mass slopping around in your mouth before taking a header down the esophagus that just turns my stomach, and that is before the banana even gets there. On occasion, one may hit that evanescent period of time, when the banana is just ripe enough to be eaten, and even then, it’s just scant of mephitic. That’s not all, since there is always the whole thing about how bananas truly do not have that long of a lifespan. You can bring them home from the store, and they’ve got that placid shade of green that gives you the confidence that you can put them on the counter, and relinquish them there for a good long while until you obtain the desire to shove the penis-shaped fruit down your throat.

“Maybe the moment has arrived when it is time to welcome the banana back into my circle of trust.” They may be allocated to a corner of the kitchen, to be at ease while they promptly become consigned to oblivion. However, they soon begin to metamorphose to a shade of yellow, and once they do, it’s all downhill from there. See, that is when your time to consume is now, at the yellow stage; because if you hesitate, you will do nothing but witness the brown spots initiate their coup slowly at first, before overtaking your banana like a demonic crowd of pathetic human beings pushing down the doors (and each other) to snag an extra ten percent off of a blender at 4 a.m. on Black Friday. Once your banana has been defeated by time, there is no recrudescence. Even then, the nasty texture that you can feel as you pick it up

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to discard it can initiate the gag reflex in one with a delicate stomach. Shit, now I am getting a bit queasy just ruminating about the stupid things. They taste fine, but the noxious texture is going to reign supreme. Sorry, bananas...the circle of trust has been shuttered, and you are staying on the outside. Maybe I will let you in someday, but right now there is a queue building, and I must keep this circle reserved for those that do not make me queasy. Now, I’ve invariably been one to cognize the paramountcy of a captive audience, so I’m going to make a major accommodation. You are going to be spared an ambagious and discombobulated self-aggrandizing recitation regarding the historical aspects of my upbringing. I envision no justice in imposing upon you myriad anecdotes of my youth while attempting to fabricate rationalizations for my current mental state based upon episodes from my juniority. Should I ever encounter the inclination to divulge enigmas of my yesteryear and how I believe they have amassed to compose the person that I am today; then I’ll repose upon a couch, and soliloquize with one who holds the belief that the parchment furnished upon the wall of her workplace sanctions the ability to delve within whatever personal circumstances are occurring within the confines of my grey matter. If some trifling shrink even knew the half of the desultory musings that traversed the synapses in my skull, she would presumptively decree that I be fitted for one of those comfy jackets that nestle the arms within close proximity to my body.

So, to spare myself from the having the necessity to implement any strenuous mental exertions, as well as obviating you from recoiling in horror; I’m going to leave my childhood alone. Come to think of it, my fucking childhood is none of your goddamn business. My formative years will remain an epoch whose memories will remain firmly tucked away, and if you perceive a quandary with said withholding of childhood memoirs, then I suggest you divert your attention to a more unsophisticated undertaking. I’m not here to promulgate apologues of my past for the entertainment of the feebleminded, nor to bolster the content of a doctoral dissertation for a future student of the psychological sciences. I suppose that you are eagerly anticipating the enunciation of some type of appellation by which you can refer to me from here on out. After all, presently I am simply a mysterious and circuitously pontificating individual, whose objectives you are probably clueless to. So, without further ado, you may refer to me as Gareth. Gareth Price.

“So, without further ado, you may refer to me as Gareth. Gareth Price.” I possess little knowledge as to why the progenitors in my life named me as they did, but I do know that the eponym bequeathed to me is the one that I’ve got, so it’s how I’ve been signing my documents and introducing myself for the past thirty years. Yep, I’m thirty years old, supposedly standing on the precipice of real adulthood; with the paradisiacal days of my twenties now nothing more than a dwindling speck in the rearview mirror. Now I’m not going to don a cardigan and summon a trolley from the trippy province of the puppets; while espousing halcyon stories of the past ten years; explaining how the positive and negative situations I encountered came together to mold the individual that I am currently. As I formerly disclosed, I am not here to disentangle multitudinous incidents from my past to fabricate a psychological delineation of my current identity. You are not going to descry anything about the individual I formerly was, whether it be regarding my childhood or the initial stages of adulthood. If you are looking to scrutinize my past, I suggest you delve into some research pertaining to time travel, whereas it will be your only method of gaining insight into the chronology that has led to this very juncture, which finds my person sitting in a chain coffee shop, suddenly noticing that my rapid consumption has led to the emerald-encircled siren no longer having a beverage to oversee.


Beer ★

Describing

It’s a Friday night and you’re friends have dragged you out to the local watering hole. They have forced a beer you’ve never heard of into your hand and bid you drink up. You’ve just taken a huge swallow of a beer that your more adventurous friends have described as “the best beer ever!” Total shock sets in when the exact opposite flavor you expected assaults your palate. As the liquid swishes from the front of your tongue down the back of your throat, a thought pops into your head: “This does NOT taste like Bud Light! So… this is the ‘BEST BEER EVER?’ What is that I taste? Bacon? How the #*%^ do they get a beer to taste like that?”

Creatively By Amanda Johnson

the sugars and convert them into alcohol, we’d all just be drinking boiled grit juice). Malting grains (usually barley but also wheat, rye, and corn) involves roasting them, and the time and temperature they are roasted at will later lend themselves to flavor nuances of the beer (think about toasting a piece of bread, from just warmed to burnt to a crisp). Hops, flower buds similar to cannabis (yeah, I said it), add bittering and aromatic oils to a beer that not only preserve it, but also offer you the dry, crisp finish at the end of each sip. There are multiple strands of yeast also, but for today’s purposes, let’s just imagine yeast as a very small, very hungry magical being that eats sugar and poops out beer.

Now, with all that in mind, let’s start describing beer. Here are a few pointers when it comes to describing your beer: • Make sure the brewer is not within earshot when complaining about his beer–or,If he IS within earshot, make sure you look him right in the eye when you tell him his beer sucks. • If you taste something in a beer, mention it. You’ll be surprised at: The amount of times you are correct and have expressed you’re beer savvy, or the amount of times idiots will agree with you solely because they’re scared of looking stupid. Science, my friend, science. C’mon, you knew that C+ in chemistry would come back to bite you in the ass eventually. Think about it this way: Beer is closely related to cereal or bread. There are four main ingredients: water, malted grains, yeast and hops. Each ingredient is equally important in constructing flavor (although let’s give yeast some extra credit, as without it to eat

• Keep in mind that beer is like cereal or bread when you’re trying to decipher a flavor; you could easily taste something nutty or toasty or even grainy maltiness. • Be creative. If you’re wrong or way off, at the very least you can make people laugh at your descriptions.

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My last statement was clearly the most important. So, now you’re ready to review your first beer. If you’ve never had a beer other than Bud before, I recommend Brouwerij Smisje Wostyntje (sort of a F%*# YOU from me to you). I’m just kidding; why not start with a Newcastle, or Palm, or a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale? Something a little “craftier” than a Bud or Coors. First, I want you to appreciate the look of your beer. What color is it? Is it the pale yellow of straw, or more like a brick red – a violent bloodbath of oxidized brown? Perhaps it’s unfiltered, like Colin Ferrell. What does the head look like? Thick and frothy, like Santa Claus’s beard, or weak and simpering like Woody Allen? These things ARE important. Your beer should look appetizing, appealing. You should be desperate to take that first sip. If beer wasn’t irresistible, we’d all be thin and miserable. Next, you’ll need to smell the beer. Take in its hop aroma. Measure the level of alcohol (by how bad your eyes tear up), and note the region the hops come from (always guess Yakima Valley). If your beer smells like vomit - DON’T DRINK IT!! If it smells like grapefruit, oranges, pine trees or violin bow resin, you’re A-OK. Note the reaction of people when you smell your beer. They all think you are retarded. This is just an occupational hazard.

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16 HERE Digest

Ok, ok. Take a sip already. Don’t be afraid if the first sip turns you up short; it takes three sips to assimilate your palate to something new. Note how the beer feels on your tongue. Is it flat, or bubbly? Does it fill your mouth, or sort of wander away like a stray puppy? Does it taste malty (When I say malty, I mean sweet), or bitter/ hoppy? Is it a well-balanced measure of both? Don’t be surprised to taste hints of coffee, toffee, biscuits, yeast, bananas, bacon fat, smoke, molasses, maple syrup, caramel, nuts, espresso, earthiness or candy sugar. DO be surprised if you taste cardboard, green apples (unless you’re drinking an apple-flavored beer – woman), buttered popcorn, Band-Aids, or creamed corn. These are all signs of an infected beer, and let’s face it, those cereals we are comparing beer to are all made in huge facilities by super-sterile machines. Your beer was most likely made by an overweight drunk guy named Tim. I joke: Only one-third of the beers you drink were brewed by an overweight guy. Lots of women brew beer too. Back to that beer, huh? Do you like how it tastes? (You’d be surprised at how little this gets asked in the beer snob world.) If you do like it, WHY!? Try to describe what you like about it. If you don’t like it, try to pick out the flavor that you don’t like. This may take many beers to decipher, so bring a designated driver along with you while you research. After all this reading, you must be thirsty. Well, what are you waiting for? Get started!


THE ART OF

JAKE BLAKE My first reaction to

is one of conflict. I am all at once hypnotized, enamored, repulsed yet thoroughly engaged.

Interview by Feruvius

Who is this “Untitled” woman? This beautiful face of a dark haired Madonna illuminated by a saw-blade halo and supported by a mass of guts, dead trees, and tenderized meat shanks, severed limbs, and aborted fetuses. Amidst all this, though, one finds flower blossom sanctuaries bouquets overflowing from this body of alternating skeletal and fleshy variety. The border is lined with pharmaceuticals – maybe to help one dull the impact of such visceral and contrasting imagery? At this point, I am intoxicated - fully immersed in an internal dialogue struggling to reconcile the paradoxical challenge of this beautifully rendered image. When asked, Jake explains, “This piece is a statement on how humans, mainly women, deal with the knowledge of inevitable mortality and how they cope with it.” So here we have Woman as a symbol of life and death interacting, never canceling one another out, but co-existing; each being ever present simultaneously. Jake explains the border of pills as being representative of society’s obsession with temporary relief and artificial medication. Amidst his artistic exploration of the natural life/death duality we find illuminated our culture’s solution to its squeamishness when faced with mortality: to desensitize by inducing a half-coma or somnambulistic anesthetization. And so I find myself asking the question, does not the diminishment of sensitivity to the reality of death also diminish the inspiration that the knowledge of our mortality gives us in life? And, in this way, do we not come to find that the denial of death is also a reduction of life?

PIG ONE

HERE Digest 17


In the two charcoal drawings of “Pig Triptych” we find a more literal approach to another challenging duality, but one that is no less stimulating. Without the symbolism and allusion of “Untitled” woman we have the directness of a severed pig’s head rendered in the light of a chiaroscuro luminescence. The scintillating visual effect of his rendering technique makes the canvas seem to glimmer. A kaleidoscope of reflected light, the image is abstracted just enough so that what you’re looking at isn’t immediately discernable. I am lulled in and swaying in the delightful reflections, and if I were to look away at this point, I would feel as if I certainly had experienced something beautiful. But as my eyes adjust to the spectacle before me, I fall slowly into unease as the realization dawns on me that what I was so close to considering beautiful is actually the severed head of a dead pig! Once again, I am conflicted by a duality that refuses to be separated from itself. So when Jake explains, “This piece ties into one of my constant theses, which is to show beauty in the grotesque–and to render it in a classy, elegant way,” I can’t help but applaud him for how successful he is here and how effective these three pieces are in accomplishing just that.

PIG TWO

18 HERE Digest

So after many moments of intimate attention to these works of Jake Blake, my mind wanders off in a flurry of fantasy and question, and I wonder…Does not the fresh air of the country taste more sweet after being too long in the confines of the city? And does the sun seem more amiable and friendly after many days of rain? But do we thank the rain for how much we love the sun or the city’s polluted air for how it enhances our appreciation of the country’s freshness? And should we thank death, shake it’s hand and sing its praises for how much more it brings us closer to our own lives and the lives of those we love around us? How noble, then, is the attempt to use art as a means to mollify distinction between realities that are in fact inseperable? In Jake Blake’s work I find a disturbing comfort so that comfort may be transcended and become enlightenment – a challenge to the socially induced contentment that begs to be augmented but is comatose and silent in the face of a knowledge that in the end will prove to be undeniable. Here we have an artist whose challenge of conventional beauty we are able to attain and consider a new perspective that bolsters an awareness of life by viscerally illuminating the natural end to all things that live.


JAKE BLAKE

UNTITLED

HERE DIGEST


{ { My work pulls the viewer into an intimate look at the

grotesque in hopes of imparting a sense of normalcy and

even beauty upon otherwise unnerving subjects. The hard, antiseptic lighting draws the twisted figures from their

textured shadows, which are left alone to pulse with a

dreamlike shimmer. Unable to hide in the darkness, the carnal figures of sex and death are propped up with an insistent presence and awkward honesty. Sometimes

mundanely macabre, at other times, painfully personal, the subjects are all treated as realities from which we hide or dismiss as abnormal. Yet, the figures demand a sense of respect beyond the obvious intimacy behind their

careful rendering. Their grotesqueness is sublimated in their refusal to hide; in their insistence to be front and center not in order to shock, but simply to exist. JAKE BLAKE

E+ j.blake8689@gmail.com | jakeblakeart.com | artillery.carbonmade.com


STONE-COLD OBSESSED OR:

How I Was By Jonathan Gibbons

From the first moment, I knew this feeling was special. This was not mere infatuation. This was love. And not just any kind of love. This was the kind of love felt way down in the cockles. The kind of love that encompassed my every thought and grew as each day passed. The kind of love that made better men than me sing songs and wax poetic. This love was pure. Welcome, my friends, to the sport of curling. Curling is a simple sport, but it’s not an easy sport. That’s about the best way I can describe it in one short sentence. I say this because I am constantly bombarded by comments of “You curl? That’s basically shuffleboard on ice!” Sigh.

Swept Off My Feet

I understand the comparison, but it still makes me cringe. Yes, it’s true that the basic idea of both sports are similar, but that’s pretty much where it ends. First of all, shuffleboard is not played on ice and, therefore, isn’t nearly as cool. It also doesn’t require balance or the same level of teamwork, and lacks the same kind of foresight that is needed in curling (much like in chess, where you have to plan ahead based on what you think your opponent will do). You see, to curl is to love. What does that mean, exactly? Well, let me put it to you this way. I willingly hang out in Bridgeport three nights a week. In other words, nobody curls unless they love doing it. And, really, what’s not to love? Curling is a game you can play with friends before, during, or after having a beer or two. Granted, the same could be said of pool or darts (or shuffleboard, I suppose), but while I enjoy those activities, I can find a pool table or a dartboard anywhere. A sheet of curling ice? Not so much.

HERE Digest 21


A lot of curling clubs are lucky and have their own dedicated venues. Many, however, are not so fortunate. Some are forced to exist under the tyrannical rule of country clubs. Others are required to schedule their times at odd hours of the night around hockey games and practices, often playing on ice which is poorly suited for curling (hockey ice and curling ice are totally different). Still, people will go out of their way to play in these clubs.

Curling is not just a sport. It’s an art. We don’t just slide forty-two -pound granite rocks down a sheet of ice and hope for the best. First, we have to choose the right shot. As I said earlier, it’s like a game of chess. We have to anticipate what the consequences of our actions will be. Once that’s been decided upon, there are other things to consider, such as the speed of the ice, which gets faster as the game progresses, and the right amount of “curl” to put on the rock, allowing it to maneuver around the other stones. Then, of course, there are the sweepers. Yep, those crazy people with the brooms. I know it seems silly, but those people can make or break a team. If they don’t sweep enough, the shot can fall short or curl too much. If they sweep too much, the shot may go long or not curl enough. These slight miscalculations can result in drastic point swings. Curling requires strength of mind, balls of steel, pinpoint accuracy, and lots of patience. The subtle nuances of the game constantly take our emotions on a roller coaster ride that Six Flags would be proud of. Plus, the learning curve is such that newer players can quickly improve enough to play respectably, but are still years away from having the proper judgment and muscle memory needed to compete at a high level, which makes getting to that high level all the more satisfying. Oh, yeah, and it’s a hell of a lot of fun, too. As for my fellow curlers, they’re all really great. They’re all really fun people who enjoy curling and love to have a good time. After games, everyone sits around, throws back a few beers, and shoots the shit. Works for me. Plus, everyone in the club volunteers. From the bartenders to the club president, to those of us who help out with the little things whenever we can, we’re all happy to donate our time to help people of all skill levels have a great experience. It’s a level of camaraderie that is truly unique. It’s so unique, in fact, that I went to Rochester for several days in February, just to compete in a bonspiel (a curling tournament). Yes, I wrote that correctly. Believe me, if you told me a few years ago that I paid money to go on a trip to Rochester and that I had an amazing time, I’d have thought you were certifiably insane. But, hey, love is a funny thing.

22 HERE Digest


An Interview with an

Animal

By Kris Kazlauskas

Tell us a little about yourself. My owner calls me Peggy, but my real name is Varanus niloticus, and most people refer to me as a Nile monitor. I am 3 years old and almost 4 feet long.

What’s your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Well, I typically get mice, chicks, and superworms, and I enjoy all of them. However, my favorite things to eat are hard-boiled eggs and large snails and I love quail on Thanksgiving!

Four feet?! How big do you get? Well, I am an adult and most of my growing is over, but I will continue to grow. I was only 8 inches when I was born, and within my first 2 years I reached over 3 feet. I will eventually reach close to 7 feet, maybe even longer.

What’s your favorite pastime? I absolutely love to take a warm bath. It’s so relaxing, and I get to take a swim in the bathtub. It’s even more fun in the summer, since I get to go outside and hang out in a big plastic pool.

Whats your nationality? As my name says, I am native to the areas close to the Nile River in Africa. My relatives can be found throughout Africa’s forested areas, along river banks and near lakes. They don’t typically travel into the desert areas, since we all like to swim. So did you come from Africa? No, I was bought as a cute little baby at a pet shop. I soon outgrew my first tank and was moved into a large dog crate because my owners didn’t know what else to use. I became too large for that, and was burned on my belly from a bad heating set up in my cage. I was taken in by the landlord of my owners, who healed me and put me for sale since he knew he didn’t have the room to keep me around either. I was taken in by my newest owner, and he built me a really big 8’ x 4’ cage with branches and platforms to climb on, lots of heat, woodchips for me to dig in, and even my own mini bathtub big enough for me to fit in. I am much happier here! You’ve been through alot. Is this why you were partial to doing this interview and pictures? Yes, I just don’t trust many people, so I whip them with my tail and try to scare them by puffing my body up and hissing. I’m starting to like my owner, and since he gave me some treats, I’ll let you take some photos. Don’t worry, I don’t bite.

What do you suggest to people who want to have someone like you in their home? I am not for a beginner. As a baby, Nile monitors require lots of handling and attention. I also am fairly high maintenance, requiring multiple feedings per week, water dish changes more than once per week, and lots of heat. I have a basking spot of 120 degrees, and the rest of my cage is 90 degrees during the day and 80 degrees at night. A baby of my species will also grow fast, so constant upgrading to larger cages, bigger heat sources, and more food is necessary. If you think you can accomodate the requirements so far, then when buying a small baby like I once was, take this into major consideration: Where will you be in 3-4 years, and will you have room to give the space needed? As an adult over 4 feet long, we require at least a 10’ x 5’ enclosure. Since I do get so large, several states have banned me as a pet, including New York, and possibly soon in Connecticut. So please, don’t ruin it for the responsible pet owners and really do some thinking before buying an animal like me.

HERE Digest 23


Sidewalk Dave • Can’t Be Your Friend.

EP out now

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HERE Digest Volume I • Issue I  

HERE Digest is a 24 page color-printed collection featuring visual artists, poetry, short stories, essays, and articles written on various t...

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