The GLitter Issue
Tuff Nerds & Glittery Girls
Magic Octopus Magazine currently has an open submission policy.
Poetry Gary Blankenburg Matthew Falk Chris Toll Michael Monroe Mary Elizabeth Mays All That Glittes Is Glam 29% Battery Power Remaining The Gospel According to Glitter Disco Ball History My Vida Loco: How to Glitter a Concrete Floor Wash Your Face with Honey Why Diamonds Earthgoddess Sex Advice Column
We accept literary submissions of poetry, short fiction or excerpts of novels. Query for featured articles. Please submit work as a Word doc and, on it, include: Your name Best email to reach you A few sentences of bio We accept visual art in jpeg format. To submit, go to: http://magicoctopusmagazine. submittable.com/submit
Mars/Venus Golf Pro Seeks Stars, Saves Life Paco Fish & Marla Meringue Green Currency Association Feng Shui for Prosperity Food Glitter Unicorn Poop Science that Glitters Astronomy Tidbits May Day Faerie Fest Blast Supper Flashing in the Sun
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Getting To Know Magic Octopus
A magazine for intergalactic warrior mystics who love to step outside of the expected, embrace dualities of light and dark, cynicism and optimism. A playground for those who practice courageous curiosity, magical creativity, and hunger for knowledge. A travelogue of the fabulous, who insist on a passionate existence, who act, question, and crave new ways of living in a beautiful world. We feature people, organizations, and businesses that persist, invent and inspire. We are a voice for the glittering revolutionaries of this wondrous age So why Magic Octopus? Because an octopus is a great signifier of having a hand in multiple things at once, by choice. Magic, because it evokes what our mainstream media ignores. I’ve looked for a magazine that speaks to ME. I want an enterprise that notifies me of amazing people doing difficult things. I want information that enriches my life. Don’t make me feel inadequate so I yearn to buy what I believe will make me sensational. I want to explore the many ways to move within the messiness of life, find contentment in the ordinary day to day. I want to reach out to people who feel isolated by the way they prioritize creativity in their lives. I want to re-establish an honor in producing your art. The whim bounced around in my head for ages. Not ever getting serious towards it. Ashley Scurto is the big twist in the fairy tale who said YEAH! I’ll be managing editor. Let’s make this thing real. And we thank EVERYONE who gave freely of their time and art. Actually, we’re just getting to know Magic Octopus too. We are engulfed in the singular process of taking thoughts out of our heads and manipulating them into a really great magazine we want to share. Magic Octopus can shine a tiny beacon for those of us, listening to the voice in our bones and not giving in to the cubicles. Send out a little whisper that says look, there are others who are doing it too. Mothers and fathers who stay home to paint and write poetry, graduates who stage rock operas of their own design, individuals who break free of the status quo and make startling discoveries. Families who learn where they are, not necessarily in a classroom. The great circus of us who cherish the urge to push boundaries and transform what we have at hand, into what is fantastic. I hope you LOVE Magic Octopus Magazine!
Julie Fisher, founding editor
Tuff Nerds & Glittery Girls:
A Profile of Photographer Zachary Morehouse by Earl Crown
“I’m not a gambler by nature, but I think I understand why people do it. My first show, in the first ten minutes, I sold my most expensive piece. After that I was hooked.” —Zachary Morehouse In 1989, when he was seventeen, Zachary Morehouse was a featured performer on a local Baltimore televised talent show called “In the Spotlight”. He was invited to perform his magic and juggling skills. On the day the show was taped, the other acts ran long. Zach’s act was pushed to the end of the program, crammed into the final seconds of the show. Zach came out on stage and attempted to juggle. He immediately dropped his balls all over the stage as the credits rolled across the screen. It was a disaster. His televi-
sion debut was over in seconds, and other than a few comedy class performances at Towson University, his performing career was put on hold for almost 20 years. But art and performance are as much about failure as they are about success. Zach is a resilient person. He refused to abandon his creative pursuits. He pushed forward, re-creating himself as a stand-up comedian, a videographer, and (eventually) as a photographer. Zach has an undeniable talent for all three art forms. Zach is a Baltimore native. He grew up in Waverly, and graduated from City College. He began making videos as an adolescent, using the two-VCRs-and a pause button method of production. By 2005 he had moved on to digital video and photography. Morehouse’s artistic alter ego, Tuff Nerd, is de-
rived from the way he grew up. He is and always has been a “nerd”, in the best sense of the word. But as Waverly became a more dangerous place to live in the 1980s and 1990s, Zach also had to learn to be tough in order to survive. The name was chosen after filming several events that involved rowdy partygoers and women on rollerskates careening into him at high speeds, where he discovered his mutant ability of becoming a virtually immovable object while filming. Under the name TuffNerd #3.14FU, Morehouse began videotaping Baltimore roller derby matches in 2006. Zach honed his skills as a videographer and editor, bringing his keen visual instincts and sense of humor to all of his projects. He gained a reputation in Baltimore for doing high-quality video work. Zach’s involvement in roller derby and videography gradually evolved into an interest in photography. He became focused on photographing the female form.
In 2010 Zach’s friend Mikey Love, a promoter at The Depot nightclub, was putting together an art show for the Charles Street venue. Love asked Morehouse if he had any art worth displaying. Zach accepted the challenge. He assembled a sensational set of photographs, which he framed himself. Zach’s hard work resulted in a very successful first show. Zach’s photographs are both erotic and (often) humorous at the same time. He has been fortunate to work with models who are not only physically beautiful but also gifted performers. Some of his models have been drawn from the ranks of Baltimore’s burgeoning burlesque scene, circus folk, and random solicitations on the street and in bars. Morehouse is particularly adept at using colorful costumes and unusual props in his photography. His technical skills, creativity, and natural wit result in a striking portfolio of truly exciting pictures.
That first show at The Depot caught the attention of local photographer Joe Giordano, who suggested that Morehouse contact Eduardo Rodriguez of Gallery 788 about doing a proper gallery show. Zach contacted Rodriguez and not too long afterwards his erotic photography was on display at Gallery 788. The show at Gallery 788 was both a critical and financial success. But for Morehouse, success as an artist is not about money. It is his firm belief that “if you break even, you’re doing awesome. It’s about getting people to see the work.” At Gallery 788, the featured artists take turns covering shifts at the gallery. Zach used his time at the gallery as an opportunity to do a photo shoot at the gallery itself. He brought models in to the gallery, and took a series of pictures where his previous work served as the background. Zach’s work has been featured in the highlyrespected “Girls and Corpses Magazine.” He has also self-published a collection of his work in the form of a small hardback book, “Tuff Nerd’s Eye Candy.” We have assembled a sampling of Zach Morehouse’s photographs for you to enjoy, with captions written by the artist himself. The stories behind these pictures are as interesting as the photos themselves. Zachary Morehouse has already proven himself as a highly talented photographer, and his work is on an exciting upward trajectory. His pictures are dynamic and sexy, with a flavor that is tough, nerdy, and uniquely Baltimore.
ABOVE ALL THINGS He loved his whiskey, his cigar, his dog, and the river. From his porch at twilight he watched it flow and imagined the fish following the current or gathering in pools. Never did he fish anymore, but instead simply remembered wading the river as a boy, casting his lure and following with his eyes the riverâ€™s bend and disappearance into all that green.
FIRST MARRIAGE Danville, Illinois 1946 At twilight— while our parents chat on the porch— Jean Anne and I are collecting fireflies. We carry flickering Mason jars of lightning bugs. She calls me to her side, takes my ring finger between her thumb and forefinger, and smears a firefly across it where its guts— for the moment— shine bright yellow. She applies another to her finger as well. Now—she says— You and I are married— forever.
New Adventures of Supermoon Did you see the moon? The largest of the year! I would like to write a poem about it, about how it followed us from New York to Ontario as if it knew how long we would have to wait to look at it together again, how it appeared to me without my glasses as a great bright blob, a future-shaped hole in the empty sky. But I don’t know how to put the moon in a poem without saying the same things everyone has already said. What if I put in a word such as “perigee”— Will its scientific precision redeem my poem from sentimentality? Or will science only discover the problem is the poem doesn’t want to be about the moon? It wants to be about how it felt to hold you naked in my arms and wonder if this was the last time, how your breath synched up with mine, how your heartbeat felt like mine, a rhythm as primal as the phases of the moon, our bodies at perigee, our blood made of the same substance as the salty tides that rise and fall like breathing at the moon’s command.
The poem wants to be about waking up next to you into my real life at last, about the joy and the suffering of the world. But there’s even less that’s new to say about that than there is about the moon.
Stack Overflow at Line 1 Light fills my page. The Good Tasha Yar and the Evil Tasha Yar sit at a table in Ten Forward. The lipstick of the Good Tasha Yar glows with a supernatural ardor. Why is air in despair? A serial killer washes his copâ€™s uniform in a laundromat. I remember boarding a galleon and laughing with glee as my cutlass slashed a fat belly and guts came pouring out. Sherlock Holmes hides the God particle inside a snuff box. He slips the snuff box into a pocket of his waistcoat, strides from his flat, and disappears down a fog-haunted street. I philosophize with a sledgehammer. The elf is eight feet tall. He wields a sword in each hand, whirls through the foot soldiers, and lops off their heads. The knights know fear. The dead love the battered black van of the Door + Way Church.
Death in Hampden I want to be impaled on a pink flamingo. I want to be trampled over by stiletto heels sticking out from beneath leopard print miniskirts. I want to be smothered by velvet Elvises while wearing fluffy bunny slippers. I want to be pummeled with antique furniture falling from the roofs of art galleries. I want to be smashed in the face with Rosie the Riveter lunch boxes. I want to have my eardrums busted by bad karaoke turned up so loud it shatters the windows of quirky restaurants and dive bars. I want to bash my head into a giant Christmas tree made of shiny silver hubcaps, wrap myself in Christmas lights, and jump into a bathtub full of Natty Boh, expiring in a puff of rainbow-colored smoke. Then, I want to be buried beneath scores of beehive hairdos under a fluorescent pink tombstone with a glowing neon Jesus fish flashing gaudy light into the smoggy sky.
Just Another Love Poem I love you like a spent gas tank, like sickle cell anemia, like the raspy voice of a good blues singer, like the imperfections in a diamond, like the foam on the edge of breakers crashing against a rocky shoreline. I love you like a gentle brook caressing pebbles. I love you like an avalanche, like a slow dance. I love you like crack cocaine, like a hurricane. I love you like broken iron chains lying in the dust on a prison cell floor, like the steel beams in a skyscraper towering over the relentless city. I love you like a dinosaur fossil, hidden beneath the earth for millennia, dug up and displayed in a museum. I love you like a child playing with his favorite toy beneath the Christmas tree, like the cracked concrete sidewalk, like extra sharp cheddar cheese. I love you like a samurai sword slicing through your enemies with steel precision. I love you like a fire burning unburdened, passion igniting the sky red, orange, and yellow. I love you like the sun blazing infinity into the vacuum of space. I love you like the chill of death spreading through the crisp winter city, desperate, inevitable, and eternal. I love you like a worker ant carrying a potato chip crumb, several times the size of his tiny body, to feed his colony and his queen. I love you like bitter dark chocolate. I love you like a couple stopping to share a kiss as the bombs flash in the sky above the war-torn desert. I love you like mouthwash, leaving your breath minty fresh, like fireworks cracking explosive blossoms of color. I love you like a prisoner etching the hash-mark days into the grey wall. I love you like a car wreck, mangled metal and bodies, blood blossoming like roses on a thorn bush. I love you like a poet waiting for the lines to come, like a monk waiting for enlightenment. I love you like a coffee-stained greeting card, like a dying man waiting for the end. I love you like the sunset spreading pastel colors across the horizon, like a dog chewing on his bone in the corner of the room. I love you like a church steeple pointing at the infinite gray sky. I love you like a young bird, pushed out of a tree, learning to fly.
After Swimming Painted words on the bathhouse wall make it clear who goes where, but we are our mothers children, each throwing an elfin arm around the scent of an oiled calf. Our bellies are filled with mouthfuls of sunrays having laid our backs on a mattress of ocean. I am aware at five years old, on a public beach I could be a boy just as easily as my brother. Our mothers know this, we are only pairs of sand encrusted toes, faces dried tight with the salt of other childrenâ€™s splashes.
Seagulls perch atop a bathhouse labyrinth lit with open sky. Greeted by wet headed toddlersa chorus of small voices crash against the walls of an open shower, begging to return to a watery playground.
I listen as they become their own waves, their mothers speak to them as if trying to reason with the tide, washing the oceans froth into a trickle around the drain until the waves have stopped, until they are their children once again. Two round faced two year olds peek from the stall over, I shape the lather on my face into a beard, standing proud beside my brother with the same naked chest.
Mary Elizabeth Mays
Earlier this year, David Bowie’s seminal album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders from Mars celebrated its 40th anniversary with a deluxe reissue—replete with CD, 180 gram vinyl reissue and a DVD remastered in Dolby 5.1. In many ways, 1972 was Year One for Glam Rock …
All That Glitters is Glam Glam Rock turns 40 Jim Warner photos by Theresa Keil
In many ways, 1972 was Year One for Glam Rock—the culmination of theatrical rock and sexual politik who’s roots are in the free wheeling Woodstock Generation. This wasn’t a freak flag being flown fueled on drugs and marches on Washington DC— in many ways, it was the antithesis to the Summer of Love. Glam rock pushed boundaries in a way more in tune with the earliest of rock n’ rollers. No one would mistake Marc Bolan for John Lennon—this wasn’t Imagine; this was Get it On. In many ways, Glam Rock’s rippling effect is more tangible than any of the politically conscious voices from the same era. The languid excess of the time was slowly being consumed by the dark gathering shadows of the 1970’s, and Glam Rock was the orchestral band playing on, regardless of the ship sinking into the druggy oblivion of bottomless waters— and yet there was an enthusiasm in their songs. For all the conflict and coming consequences, Glam Rock worshiped at the altar of the Bacchus, and if the end was near, the descent into decadence would be glorious. The artist arguably most responsible for Glam Rock’s pervading reach is David Bowie. Not only does Bowie’s iconic Ziggy image continue to dominate classic rock radio, it still inspires and fuels the success of current pop royalty-(Lady Gaga and Bowie’s
early 70’s work, par example) In recent interviews, Gaga talked about how she would spend entire days copying Bowie’s make-up in her apartment as she was planning her own genre defying career. Gaga has successfully zeroed in on the pan-sexuality of Glam as well, seeking to break down whatever boundaries to the gay community have been left standing in the wake of Glam and Madonna. It can be argued that Gaga (as well as Bowie) are just links in the chain of in the cultural zeitgeist of gay rights (with a history spanning back to Esquerita and Little Richard) but marketably public champions in the eyes of teens and tweens as well—a demographic that is bound to become tomorrow’s agents of change. It may be a forgotten aphorism in this day and age of social media and information entropy, but music is still the great leveler. Bowie’s over-the-top spaceman persona coincided with an era ready for hyperbole and grandeur. Elaborate staging and costume changes took Bowie’s show from concert to theatre, and with Pandora’s box open, it wouldn’t take long until such concert theatricality became the norm. Even in the postMTV universe, the live pop concert has an
When you consider the watered down, junk food version of Glam which stormed through middle America in the 1980’s (thanks in large part to MTV), it’s easy to discount its overall impact and power. By the time Brett Michaels and CC Deville were pouring over issues of Vogue to get make-up tips for their But it was not just Bowie the rock star which first major photo shoot, Glam had been discemented his status in the Glam Rock hier- tilled down to mascara and lip gloss. Sure, archy; it was his ability to resurrect a pair bands like Poison or Ratt or Motley Crue of American musicians who seemed to be boasted sexual ambiguity—but only as far destined for obscurity—Lou Reed and Iggy as fashion was concerned. Make no misPop. It’s amazing to consider that by 1973 take about any of these bands—they were both Iggy and Reed were considered musi- 100 percent testosterone, and they were cal also-rans. Sure, there was a hip underonly dangerous to the ground culture who parents of teenybopknew the power of the On the musical timeline, pers throughout the Velvet Underground Rewind ten Glam’s heyday may have heartland. and the Stooges, but years prior and the true this circle was decidbeen a minor blip, but danger is revealed; a edly smaller than we which every band it’s hard consider what band can fathom today. Daon the Sunset Strip bevid Bowie’s considerthe musical landscape tween 1981-1989 owed able clout allowed for would look like without their Aquanet hairspray his management comto—The New York Dolls. pany MainMan to have its progeny. If we celebrate David significant pull with Bowie as the musical Reed’s label RCA, helping him release such work as Transformer chameleon who effortlessly moved from and Berlin. Bowie also produced the final style to innovation, David Johansen and The Stooges album, the aptly titled Raw Power. Dolls were the Rolling Stones—dirty, overAfter the dissolution of the Stooges, Iggy sexed, and always three chords away from follows Bowie around Europe, and builds giving you a primal revelation about your his Act Two with albums like The Idiot and own lusts and frustrations. At the apex of Lust for Life. The British press dubs this David Bowie’s glam phase, he was still othAmerican-styled Glam rock “Glitter Rock,” erworldly—like an androgynous alien with and are quick to point to the undercurrent exotic over the erotic. The Dolls were firmly of darkness in their work. This was the flip rooted on the mean streets of self-destrucside to England’s Glam coin—earthy, cyni- tion, wearing their girlfriends blouses and cal, and full of dread. As the “Me Decade” heels, looking terminally fucked up. Nobody wound to a close, Glitter Rock’s Glitteratti would confuse guitarist Johnny Thunders or would prove to be the poets of disillusion- bassist Arthur “Killer” Kane as women—the ment which Punk Rock chose to follow to its look wasn’t there to confuse and tease— this was shock and awe—to confound and nihilistic fruition. defy. immensity which is always on the verge of dwarfing the very music it is there to support, and in some cases, such shows are about the production (knowing full well the overproduced studio music wouldn’t hold up in the harsh light of live performance).
Much like Iggy Pop and Lou Reed, the New York Dolls were also destined for obscurity, running well off the rails by 1975. Drugs, lackluster album sales, and a record label who had no idea how to promote or deal with the patent leather dumpster fire (their first drummer, Billy Mercuia OD’ed on their first tour of the U.K. before their first record was even out) meant the band was out options when Malcolm McLaren swooped in to manage the band for its Communist flag waving swan song. McLaren took a page for the outrage and put together his own band back in England. They were called the Sex Pistols. Johnny Thunders and his new band, The Heartbreakers were invited to England 1976 to help sire punk rock as part of the infamous Anarchy Tour with The Clash, The Damned, and the Pistols. Thunders also introduced Sid Vicious to heroin. While there was life after the Velvet Underground and the Stooges, Johnny Thunders never rose above cult acclaim post-New York Dolls. He died under mysterious circumstances in a New Orleans hotel on April 23, 1991. His song “You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory” is a tragic testament to his own potential and flaws. It’s difficult to sum up the legacy of Glam in so few words. The number of bands who can call Bowie, Roxy Music, T. Rex, The New York Dolls, or Slade an influence are too numerous to mention. On the musical timeline, Glam’s heyday may have been a minor blip (especially stateside), but it’s hard consider what the musical landscape would look like without its progeny.
Oh You Pretty Things: 5 Glam albums you need right now. 1. T. Rex: Electric Warrior. Many believe that Marc Bolan is the original Godfather of Glam as his band pre-dates Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust. Regardless of where you land on this debate, this album from 1971 is the transition from hippie mysticism (Cosmic Dancer) to full on electric sex (Je epster, Get it On). By far their best album, and perfect for the sultry days of late summer.
2. Mott the Hoople: All the Young Dudes.
Another David Bowie reclamation project, Mott The Hoople’s come back album re-imagines the freak rockers as full on Glam superstars.
3. The New York Dolls: s/t. While the Todd
Rundgren production makes music sound brittle and tinny, the fire and passion which bellies “Personality Crisis” or “Jetboy” more than makes up for any sound issues. If life was fair Johansen/Thunders would have been America’s Jagger/Richards.
4. Suzi Quatro: s/t. The original riot grrrl, Suzi’s
debut album comes roaring out of the Motor City with such classics as “48 Crash” and a blistering cover of “Shakin’ All Over.” Suzi was the blueprint for all female rockers who followed but has been criminally overlooked. Fix that.
5. Roxy Music: Avalon. Slick, airtight production compliments Bryan Ferry’s detached world-weary playboy vocals. The great and almighty Glam come down—influenced as much by disco as Bowie’s Berlin trilogy. For Roxy Music, the party might be over but there’s time for a nightcap. Essential late night music.
by Justin Sirois
– You know what’d be great right now, man? Khalil asks. – What? If he says swimming, I’m going to break his nose. – A cigarette. It’s so cliché that I have to pass it of as small talk, just something to dispel the tension. We’ve been talking all day, staring at the river. I chew the inside of my cheek and look away. – Whatever. You don’t really smoke. He snickers. – Yeah. Shit.
But I know he’d smoke as often as he curses if cigarettes were as cheap as the crap that continually sails of his tongue. Khalil indulges vices only comfortable to his economic situation. And both our situations are shitty.
lessly in every direction. Widening blue bows westward, and we keep watch for waylaying troops stationed along the shore, but there’ve been no patrol boats or soldiers lurking. We’re thankful. We’re quietly thankful.
We keep walking.
Khalil snaps the knife open and slashes at some invisible enemy.
The clicking starts again. Ever since I let Khalil hold my pocket knife, he’s been opening and closing it, over and over, exhausting the hinge – snapping the blade out with a one-handed wrist-l ick and thumbing the safety mechanism. The blade will loosen soon. Sometimes he stops, looks down at the sand, and lets the blade plummet like a tent stake, and he gives the knife an inquisitive squint before scooping it up, blowing of grains so it doesn’t jam. He does this while we walk. But right now he’s just clicking and clicking and talking. – I smoke, he notes. I pay no attention. It’s too hot to reply. – I smoke all the time. You’ve seen me. I have. Desert sand scorches my toes, and I’m careful, lifting my sandals only so far of the ground. Grit paints little black frowns under my toenails – haven’t bathed in days. A briar snags on my leather strap. I bend down and pick it of before it burrows into my foot, and we walk around wild patches of dry grass to avoid thorns and fly swarms and I don’t want to see any more sunbleached ribcages of a dead horse like we saw a kilometer back. God willing. The river bends left. It’s the only contrast to the mundane ochre landscape that rolls end-
– Not a menthol or anything gross like that, just a regular cigarette. Smooth, Khalil continues. I nod, eyes on the river. – It doesn’t even have to be a Gauloises. Whatever. I’ll take anything. He breathes in deep through his nostrils. The knife thunks in the sand, straight. Khalil retrieves it, retracting the blade with the palm of his free hand, then flicks the blade out, teaching his hand how to fold the blade back with just a thumb. He’ll cut himself sooner or later. That’ll be his excuse to go swimming—wash out the cut in the water. We detour the larger rocks cordoning the shoreline, and navigate the loose gravel where the grade positions us higher than the river— a perfect vantage point for kilometers. Scanning along both sides of the water, we stop and I crouch and take a minute to make sure we’re not trespassing on farmland or open to ambush. The view is breathtaking. We’re constantly beckoned riverward, called by the water and faithful to its guidance. It’s the only jewel we’ve ever seen. I want to say how beautiful it is, but that would just give Khalil something else to comment on so I keep quiet. – You’re telling me you’ve never, never in your life smoked a cigarette? Khalil asks, hands on his hips.
– I wasn’t telling you anything. When I get back on my feet, my backpack and the blankets rolled between its straps feel much heavier. We’ll have to take a break soon, drink some water. My stomach sounds like a gurgling drain. – C’mon smokes.
sweat. It’s like the sun has distilled every last tear from our bodies. We pick pebbles out of our hair, silt from the cabinets of our clothes. My keiffyeh is sweat-drenched, but I wrap it around my scalp. Passing a jar of water back and forth, taking meager sips, Khalil and I slow and give each other knowing looks of fatigue.
He’s always smiling though. – Well, when did you ever get the idea that I wanted to be – It’s just ironic, Khalil said. like everyone else? – What’s ironic? – Just sayin’. I pass the jar. – Do you do anything but just – We’re risking our lives walksay? ing through the desert, and He doesn’t answer. you wouldn’t smoke a cigarette if we had one right now. We walk and walk and it’s boring. I think I see a jackal – That’s not irony, man. hunched in the dirt, stalking silently, but it’s just palm fronds – Sure it is. We’re literally dywoven in a thicket, the thick ing right now. If we wanted to, blade of a leaf mimicking a tail. we could just not drink anyAt least that would’ve been thing and we’d be dead in a interesting some. Khalil picks day. Completely dead. up a long, straight stick, and, snapping of its smaller twigs, He upends the jar over his mouth, siphoning the last swings it with each step. drops. Then he stashes it in my At least he’s stopped clicking backpack. He’s kinda right. If there’s anything we’re bringing the knife. to the desert with us, it’s irony. *** Buckets of irony. Khalil takes care not to break the glass jar, Lowland sprawls forever. We packing it between clothes. descend, wiping our forehead, noses, cheeks, and armpits of – You have any tape in there?
– Uh, yeah. Electrical tape, I think. Somehow he knows to unzip the small, outer compartments like he’s gone through every pocket before and he gets the little black roll of tape on the first try. I’m not even sure why I brought it. – You’re always prepared, Sal. He zips the pocket back up, tugging hard. We go. Joshua trees and poplars crowd the shoreline. We see more palm trees than I ever thought possible out in the barren dryness – golden wheatgrass carpets their trunks where we mistake the occasional stone for a rooftop or outpost, but nothing’s really there. Nothing is ever there. Khalil sniffs, picking at the tape with his fingernail to find the end. – You know Falah? – Huh? – Falah. – Of course I do. Mentioned him yesterday. The guy with the crippled hand. I stop myself from miming a
– What, the tape?
– Yeah, him.
– Yes, the tape.
– Like we’re going to need it, really, he says.
Khalil finds the end of the roll and pries its gummy skin, turns and says,
– We need tape more than you need a damn cigarette.
– A cigarette saved his life.
I shouldn’t have mentioned cigarettes again.
I rub my neck, shake my head.
– No. I’m serious. Really. A cigarette saved his life.
The spear drags while Khalil replaces the tape in my pack, and a long line is drawn in the sand like a contrail marking our path and I don’t like giving someone such an easy way to track us. It’d be simple to track us anyway. It doesn’t matter. But Khalil finally lifts the spear and says,
– Falah’s walking the Jolan with his brother.
– I’m serious. I wouldn’t lie to you about this.
– Are you really going to tell this story?
Khalil mumbles this while holding the open knife against the end of the stick, and pulling the rubber tape loose with his teeth, he unwinds a black ribbon that flaps behind him. A little drool gathers at his lip. He wipes it. He keeps the roll in his mouth while fixing the knife. Yanking the tape tight, he adds another strip for extra strength. When the spear is constructed to his satisfaction, Khalil secures it under his armpit. He skips, joisting invisible competitors.
– Yeah, man.
– Khalil. Will you stop?
– You’re gonna make the handle all sticky. – I’ll clean the damn thing. – It’s going to be really hard to clean. You’ll need lighter fluid to get all that glue off. Khalil pays no attention. He stops skipping and pulls another long rubbery strip, wrapping a handle on the opposite end of the stick. – Don’t waste it, I say.
Khalil held the spear straight in the air. It’s the equivalent of a lighthouse broadcasting our whereabouts. I can’t tell him to put it down without upsetting him now. – Anyway, Falah and his brother went to buy a few chickens for their mother. I think family was coming over that night. They needed more than just one chicken so they got like, three or something. Live ones. And they’re walking home, you know, and they leave the market and they’re getting close to their house. While Khalil’s telling me this, he’s scanning the horizon, pointing the shiny tip of the spear at imaginary targets. When he turns away, I struggle to hear. – Yeah, okay. I say loudly. He shifts back towards me,
– Falah’s got two chickens, his brother’s got one. I’m not sure how Falah’s holding two with his gimpy hand, but he’s pretty good with it. Good enough. So, the chickens aren’t going crazy or anything, they’re holding those bastards around the neck good. – How do you know?
chicken’s neck strangled in one hand and he’s using his lighter in the other. So they turn this corner, maybe like, five, six blocks from their house. And from out of nowhere, out of nowhere, a dog starts running at them. Unprovoked. Bam! – A stray dog?
– Must’ve been. Mad dog. – ‘Cause that’s the way Falah Mouth foamed over like it’s been licking detergent all day. told it, man. And it appears like it just tele– Okay, okay. ported there. We walk down to the gravel beach once the cliff is entirely compressed into shoreline, and Khalil pokes at the dirt with his spear, nicking little triangles between his footprints. He rambles. For some reason he describes the incredible size of Falah’s brother’s chicken in such great detail that I can’t remember everything he said about it. I guess it was really huge. And Falah’s brother spent a little extra—throwing in some of his own cash— wanting to impress his mother by bringing the enormous bird into the house with its maniac face cackling for the oven. I could understand. I might’ve done the same thing. Khalil retracts his arm like a javelin thrower, slowly faking a throw.
cause I’ve been ignoring him for most of the day. – The dog got him? – Well, Falah’s about half a block ahead, both chickens have probably passed out, and he turns down this alley. Not sure why. The dog’s right behind his brother. So his brother turns down the alley too, puffing and puffing on his cigarette and sees Falah frozen at the end of it where all this garbage is piled up.
Khalil cranks an open hand in – Blocking the alley? front of us like he’s opened a – I guess it was a lot of garbage. portal. – Did they run?
Khalil stops, still. With his palm blocking the sun, he peers out – Did the dog want the chick- in the distance and he’s standing with his spear erect like ens? some conquistador defeated – Man, it wanted that fat-ass by ungovernable natives. His chicken Falah’s brother had brow wrinkles. He nods. stuffed in his arm ‘cause that dog started barreling down the – What? You see something. street. But Falah can run, he’s got a lot of practice running – Naw, not yet. from things. When God curses you with a gimp hand, he gives He walks. you extra abilities somewhere – So Falah’s about to snap his else and Falah’s never been two chicken’s necks and pick caught by anything. So he up a piece of wood or rock or takes of . But his brother’s a whatever to cave in this dog’s little slower. head, but his brother’s run– Yeah. They had to.
– Falah’s brother lights a ciga- Khalil knows I’m enjoying the ning towards him with smoke rette while he’s holding that story now, and that’s good be- blowing out the side of his mouth and the dog’s getting fat chicken and he’s got the
closer. Falah’s frozen. But his brother’s face is calm, you know, and Falah doesn’t feel that threatened. His brother’s taking long drags of his cigarette, pulling it out to see how short it’s getting.
Khalil laughs through his nose, wipes away snot that’s not there. We walk to the shore. Feet disappear into mud. He asks for the sheet that’s rolled under my backpack and he dampens it before folding it and draping it over his shoulders. It’ll dry before we camp tonight. Clouds dispel the sun with their vapory curtains, giving just enough relief for us to uncover our heads. We drink from the river with our hands, watering the backs of our necks and shoulders. I give Khalil half of my bread; he thanks me with an elbow nudge, says,
– So the dog’s like paces away from burying his teeth in Falah’s brother’s leg, and he takes one last deep drag, sucks his cigarette down to the nub, crouches, turns, and flicks it, flicks the burning thing straight into the dog’s mouth. I stop and look at Khalil. – No way. – I’m serious! Khalil yells.
– He would’ve been eaten by that dog. – Very unlikely.
– Why haven’t I heard this before?
– If I can find a cigarette, will you smoke it with me?
– I dunno. I’ve never told it to you.
– What? I say, chewing.
– Yeah, ok.
Right now. If I can find a cigarette, will you smoke it?
I keep walking and that lets Khalil know to keep telling or lying or whatever he wants to call it. – It shoots straight down its throat and the dog rolls over itself – runs away gagging. Crazy! – I can’t believe it, I say.
– How’re you going to find a cigarette? – I’m going to hunt one, he explains, grinning as he tests the tip of his spear with the middle of his palm.
– It’s crazy. I know. The way Falah told it to me, it has to be true.
– You are going retarded, I say.
– I guess. Gross. Man, poor dog.
For the next fifteen minutes, Khalil crouches and slows. He must know it’s infuriating; we don’t have time for this. We’re losing the daylight as the sun shifts in the direction we’re headed, a radiating spotlight in our eyes, but he stalks, squinting, one foot sidestepping over the other through the gravel. His of -brand Adedas have turned from black to chocolate brown. I can’t even tell if he’s laced them.
– Dog was fine. Probably never chased a chicken again. – Yeah. We laugh a bit, but not much. – And that’s how a cigarette saved Falah’s life.
– Oh, you’ll see retarded.
Khalil’s spear points us forward. It’s the needle of a compass pulled by forces invisible to anyone but him and I wonder how much lead paint he’s ingested in his childhood to trigger these endearingly deranged bouts of weirdness. He splays his free hand towards my chest, keeping me back. A rush of wind l aps the white sheet over his shoulders like a cape and it snaps in my face before I wave it away, backing off. The tightly rolled hems of his tracksuit choke his knees.
I don’t run. There’s no need. I watch Khalil circling the spear, and he waits over his kill, arms crossed, occasionally rubbing his chin in thoughtful self-congratulation. He’s nodding, glancing up to read my expression – I’m trying my hardest not to reveal one. It doesn’t look like anything is there until I get close. A pack of Marlboro Mediums crumple under the tip of the knife. Soft-pack. Sun-bleached. Cellophane crackles in the breeze. – Lucky, huh? Khalil gloats.
– We don’t have time for this shit, man.
– You had it all along.
– Wait, just wait, Khalil hushes.
– Yeah, if by it, you mean the ability to fend for myself in this openly hostile terrain, then yes. I do have it.
– This is ridiculous. A few seconds later, he perks up, neck extended and rocking. He gestures for me to keep low. – Ridiculous, I hiss. – Stay here.
He bends down, pokes the cigarette pack with his finger as if he’s checking to see if it’s still alive, and yanks out the spear. – In your back pocket the whole time, I note, pointing.
Khalil waves his fanned fingers one more time before he bolts, cocking the spear over his shoulder, mud flinging of his sneakers. Sand clouds spit and disappear behind his heels. Fast bastard—this is all about showing me how insanely fast he is or something – like it matters, like I give a shit. He dashes straight, then sideways, leaping. And he spins around completely, scratching his ass or digging in his pocket for just a second and continues straight.
Khalil flips the spear, frees the pack. The knife shines above his greasy head like a star burning in the late afternoon. He flips the lid with one finger, displays the two cigarettes inside; one of them is crushed. Pinching out the surviving smoke, he puts it in his mouth and draws deep, holding and holding before his nostrils flex with outward air.
His body shrinks. His little, far-away body climbs a rock and chucks the spear and it’s just a toothpick from here. Watching intently, Khalil waits for it to pierce the sand and when it does he turns toward me and pumps his fist in the air, calling,
– We don’t have a light, I say.
– I got one! I got one!
The corner of his lip shrivels into a smirk.
Khalil sucks another drag and passes it to me, says, – Guess we don’t.
IN THE BEGINNING, there was the drum. The Original Skin. A love heard beyond the serpent Garden. A togetherness covering impossible distance. A hundred-mile heartbeat. A hand striking up against the hide of something recently alive. A hand talking or singing some life-or-death message. With a drum. “Meet us at this place and here is what we’ll do.” “Food is here.” “Water is there.” “God is here.” “The enemy is there.” “Tonight we go to the other world.” “Tomorrow we come home.” But there were closer distances, too. Way closer. Distances inside. Neighbors crowding shoulder to shoulder with their hands pushing words and music from skins stretched over carved shells: “Move this way.” “Sing this, then jerk yourself like lightning, then sing that.” “Close your eyes and climb this beat.” “Play this one of the 12 parts and be in harmony.”
o t g n i cord
Ac l e p s o r The G e t t i l G
How glitter helped bring about music as we know it by Bruce A. Jacobs
BUT IT CAME TO PASS THAT THE SLAVERS ARRIVED and joined with others in treachery. They dragged the drummers and singers and sayers in floating slime boxes through the ocean. The survivors of the ships and the chains hid the drum, guarded it. The drum was officially illegal. Punishable by lashes or death. To the slavers it was dangerous: the voice of too many memories, the telegraph of too many revolts that awoke slaves to march plantation to plantation and to kill white people as the drums barked orders. And so it was the drum was illegal but it hid and it lived. In holiness churches and in juke joints, in fire-lit clearings in the woods, on hand-hewn porches on delta nights too hot for any kind of lie.
AND THEN THERE CAME the drum-and-bone march of the truthsingers: Robert Johnson with his crossroads devil deal and his death from poisoned liquor; Son House riding his guitar strings like a freight train and calling out towns by name; Bessie Smith shaking the landscape with her Blues That Ate St. Louis; Elmore James and Little Walter and Muddy Waters and Riley B.B. King and Etta James; Dinah Washington singing “Send Me to the Electric Chair;” Louis Jordan and T-Bone Walker and Bobby Blue Bland and Ruth Brown and Koko Taylor; Albert Collins plucking ice with a Fender Telecaster; Buddy Guy setting a match to a blue city stacked with guitars; Chuck Berry walking his oiled duck like a pied piper with trouble in mind.
AND THEN THERE CAME LITTLE RICHARD. Singing Good Golly with his headband and his sweeping cape and his orgasmic keyboard staccato like Stravinsky with a bulge in his pants. And there was Jerry Lee Lewis marrying his cousin all over the pounded white and black keys, and Bill Haley and the Comets shooting off about Rocking Around the Clock. And then there was Elvis. And there was Elvis. And there was Elvis. And then there was James Brown in a cold sweat, singing “I don’t care/about your thoughts/I just want/to satisfy your wants,” James Brown on his knees onstage like a butcher-shop saint as he sliced his way through the fatback moves of inventing funk. And then the arena broke wide open with the flood: The Rolling Stones naming themselves after a Muddy Waters song, Stevie Winwood giving the phrase “blue-eyed soul” a reason to exist, The Young Rascals, Led Zeppelin taking Robert Johnson up two octaves and keeping the royalties; Sun Ra; Jimi Hendrix; the Beatles; Jefferson Airplane; Sly & the Family Stone; Grand Funk Railroad; Cher; Rotary Connection; Dr. John the Night Tripper; Liberace; Deep Purple; Elton John; T. Rex; The Pointer Sisters; ZZ Top; Kool and the Gang; Black Sabbath; Mandrill; Blue Oyster Cult; Rufus; Earth, Wind and Fire; Ohio Players; Parliament Funkadelic; Rush; Yes; Emerson, Lake & Palmer; Rick James, Lou Reed; Foreigner; Isaac Hayes; David Bowie; Tina Turner; Styx; Ozzie Osbourne; Boston; Kiss; Be-Bop Deluxe; Madonna; Michael Jackson; Prince; Culture Club; Genesis; Sade; Motley Crue; Journey; Whitney Houston; Jill Scott; and on and on, a sizzling fuse winding its way to Mariah Carey and Amy Winehouse and Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings and a trail of upcoming voices growing nearer that we cannot yet hear.
Without glitter, Little Richard would have stood in the spotlight in a dark suit looking like something less than a god. Which is not possible.
AND THE MUSIC SAID, “THERE MUST BE GLITTER TO FILL THE BLINDINGLY BLUE SPACES BETWEEN THESE MAGICS.” AND SO THERE WAS. Glitter is the wonder rain. Glitter is the cosmic shininess of everything that burns brighter than life. Glitter is the shimmering promise that there is something more. Glitter is the flecky fragments of heaven that whirl down around our earthbound bodies in stadiums and music halls where we come to be taken. Glitter is Lou Reed dolled up like some Junkie Barbie as he and his band wailed “Heroin” at those of us who lacked the will to surrender. Glitter is Little Richard wearing raw sex onstage as if it were mere body makeup, and tossing his coiffed hair with a “WHOOOooooOOOOoooo!” as if he were surprised at how 1950s white kids raised in picket-fence jails were so ready for the addiction. Glitter is Elvis. Elvis, the man whom Mark Crispin Miller wrote “was the first person in America to get a hysterical white mob to approach a black phenomenon without violating the Bill of Rights.” Elvis taking the stage as a shining apparition, a glowing ghost thrusting himself pelvis-first through what had been the wall between black music made for black people and white music made for white people. Glitter is ex-paratrooper James Marshall Hendrix becoming, like his jazz predecessor Sun Ra, a messenger from Saturn. Glitter is David Bowie re-igniting his career as
a sci-fi traveler who made the fiery line between manhood and womanhood invisible. Glitter is Liberace wearing a thousand sequins and flashing ten rings on his fingers through a neon-dream rendering of Rachmaninov. Glitter is Whitney Houston appearing as a distant 3-octave flaming goddess to fans a 200 rows back in a rock arena. Glitter is James Brown shrugging off the shining cape again and again after each collapse onstage, rising from Death By Funk to scream it one last time and then one last time again, while his trembling minions shake their heads in pantomime as if to say, “No, James, no, you cannot do any more of this tonight, the universe will not allow it.”
THE HISTORICAL RECORD ON GLITTER, we are told, is that it has been with us since the use of mica flakes in cave paintings in 40,000 B.C., and that, more recently, glitter was industrially invented in 1934 by a New Jersey machinist named Henry Ruschmann, who found a way to create mass quantities of glitter from ground-up plastics. But this we know in our gut: Glitter is the glue that holds us to the unreal. Glitter is the atmosphere that showers us with the impossible. Without it, The Show could never, ever be The Show.
Without glitter, Little Richard would have stood in the spotlight in a dark suit or some improvised drapecloth and sung in falsetto looking like something less than a god. Which is not possible. Without glitter, Etta James would have, yes, still strutted onstage and shaken it and shouted it — but without blinding you with her glare. How could you possibly watch Etta sing “I’d Rather Go Blind” while still being able to see your hand in front of your face? It could not be done. Without glitter, Bette Midler’s mirror-scaled mermaid sheath would have left her tubed like a dull sausage. Without glitter, James Brown would still have been the Hardest-Working Man in Show Business, Mr. Dynamite, Soul Brother Number One, The Godfather. But he would have LOOKED LIKE A MERE MORTAL. And this could not be. Without glitter, you could stand and booty-boogie to Bootsy Collins or George Clinton — but not feel any need to wear outrageous sunglasses. And what is the point in that? Without glitter, an entire generation, maybe two or three generations, of musical spectacle — from Little Richard to Elvis to the Isley Brothers to Sly and the Family Stone to Santana to Joan Jett to Patti Labelle to Cyndi Lauper to the B-52s to Usher to Kanye West to Queen Latifah — would be stranded without its angel dust, stripped of its magical display, a dream ship run aground in a golden river.
BUT LUCKILY, it did not go that way. The music came, and the music said, “Let there be glitter.” And there was glitter. And it was good.
Disco Ball History (with Pictures) By TheApple Lady
Now that weâ€™re about to enter the summer season in earnest, i know what youâ€™re all thinking about.
Disco balls. Sparkles everywhere, courtesy of the disco ball. (Photo from Mike Ruel)
Here’s a disco ball — excuse me, mirror ball — hanging from the ceiling in Some Like it Hot (1959). Looks like a pretty good place to be, doesn’t it? (Photo from Sparkles and Crumbs)
No mirror balls here. I did see a lot of these hanging Moroccan-looking lamps, as well as wall sconces, and table lamps with beaded fringe on the shades. (Photo from Sparkles and Crumbs)
Still others say that the mirror ball first appeared in the 1920s, during the Jazz Age. These folks typically cite a German silent film, Berlin: Die Sinfonie der Großstadt (Symphony of a Great City), which was released in 1927. You can view that video at Youtube [http://www.youtube.com/embed/ LfmaM6ADp40?feature=player_embedded]. The film is a tour of the city, a day-and-night-in-the life of Berlin in 1927, but what you see is thematically organized. There are sections about transportation, about machinery, the military, work, lunch time, leaving work, leisure time, sports, vaudeville shows (very brief nudity), more sports, nightlife, and finally, fireworks. It’s actually pretty cool to see what people doing ordinary things on an ordinary day looked like in Berlin in 1927. The mirror balls make their appearance at 4:22 in this segment of the film. This part is about nightlife and dance clubs. The shot of the mirror balls includes the nearby lamps that illuminate the balls and it shows them spinning and the light glancing off them. It’s very brief, but it’s there. One blogger says that, no, the mirror ball is older than 1927. He says that, in fact, it was his great grandfather, Louis Woeste, who invented the mirror ball. He called his invention the Myriad Reflector, and he patented it in 1917. (It couldn’t have been a very solid patent if lots of other people made them and called them something different afterward.)
Cover of a brochure for Woeste’s Myriad Reflector. “World’s Most Novel Lighting Effect.” (Image from a blog in Kay Corney’s honor)
I’m not sure how well you’ll be able to see it in the reduced version, but the snapshots show the Myriad Reflector in action at the Greenbrier Hotel in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, at the Gibson Hotel in Cincinnati, at the Elks Lodge in Phillipsburg, New Jersey, at Lantz’s Merry-Go-Round Cafe in Dayton, Ohio, and at the Sefferino Rollerdome also in Cincinnati. That the Myriad Reflector/mirror ball was in use in all these different places, which have different purposes, and which are in various states, suggests to me that our friend the mirror ball was pretty widely used around the country at this time. (Image from a blog in Kay Corney’s honor)
“People never tire of its Glamorous Beauty!” But wait, it couldn’t have been Woeste who invented it because I found still more mirror balls that pre-date his Myriad Reflector. The Wisconsin Historical Society has a photograph from around 1912 which includes a mirror ball. The photo is of a sun parlor (solarium) in a hospital which treated (or probably more accurately, housed) tuberculosis patients and the insane. The tuberculosis patients were encouraged to sit in the sun parlor to relax and take the air. Suspended from the ceiling is none other than our good-time friend, the mirror ball.
Sun parlor (solarium) for tuberculosis patients at the Milwaukee Hospital for the Insane, ca. 1912. If anybody needed the cheering effects of the mirror ball, it would be people with tuberculosis and/or insanity. (Photo from the Wisconsin Historical Society)
But wait, there’s more. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 103, which likes to describe details of its history, mentions the use of a mirror ball at one of its celebrations very early in the Brotherhood’s existence, in 1897. The February, 1897, issue of the “Electrical Worker” discusses the Third Annual Ball held on on January 6, 1897, at Roughaus Hall, Charlestown, and of the spectacular lighting display, which could be seen for miles around Boston. The letters “N.B.E.W.” were done with incandescent lamps of various colors on wire mesh over the ballroom, highlighted by a carbon arc lamp flashing on a mirrored ball.
The affair was hosted by Brothers Flynn, Melville, Colvin, Smith, Ellsworth and Dacey. About 800 people enjoyed the spiked punch and melodies of Dunbars famous orchestra. “Spectacular lighting display,” “800 people enjoyed the spiked punch and melodies.” Oh, yeah, you bet that was a good party. 1897 is the oldest date I could find. I have the feeling that the mirror ball may be older yet, but I can’t back up that feeling with any evidence. If any of you out there know of a mirror or disco ball that existed before 1897, let me know. Even so, 1897 is a heck of a lot older than I ever guessed.
An 8-inch blue disco ball. Available by itself (no lamp, no motor) for $19.95. (Photos from House of Rave)
now that you’ve seen the mirror ball in use at these various locales, i know that the next time you’re at a party this summer, a shindig, a get-together, heck, even a cookout, and it’s feeling a little weak, you might cast your eyes longingly about for a disco ball.
To rectify the situation and equip
yourself with a disco ball, you actually need three items: the mirror ball itself, a motor to turn it, and a lamp to shine a light on it and cast the miraculous sparkles all about the room.
A sad 8-inch half disco ball. Really, why would you do this? It’s like cutting off your friend’s legs then telling him to be happy and fun.
You can buy the standard silver disco balls, or you can go with disco balls that have all-blue mirrors, or all-gold mirrors, or mirrors of all different colors. You can get standing varieties that sit on top of your table and spin, or stationary half versions that crouch like a small mirrored hill in the center of your dining room table and wish they could be as fun as their complete spinning, ceiling-suspended brothers and sisters.
If you want the real deal, the full enchilada, a complete 12â€? disco ball kit which includes the ball, the motor, and the lamp, all of which can be suspended from the ceiling, is available from one vendor, House of Rave, for a mere $69.95. Volume discounts are, of course, available.
Complete 12â€? disco ball kit available from House of Rave for $69.95. If you want to make your own, all you have to do is cut up some old CDs, glue the pieces to a styrofoam ball, hang the ball from the ceiling, and shine a light on it. Maybe turn on a fan to make the thing move. I myself would prefer the real thing, but hey, weâ€™ve got to get our disco balls however we can. The point is, we could all have disco balls in our houses if we wanted to. Dinnertime getting a little blah? Flip on the disco ball. Sick of folding the laundry? Bring the laundry basket into the living room and switch on the disco ball. Having an argument with your spouse? Switch on the disco ball and within seconds, that argument will evaporate. Yes, disco balls have that power.
eHow, The History of Disco Balls Kevin Hopcroft, NJD Electronics, History of Disco Lighting Disco Ball Info, History Wisconsin Historical Society, Sun Parlor for Tuberculosis Patients Kay Corney, Myriad Reflector aka The Disco Ball ~ Invented by Kay’s Grandfather Yahoo Answers, What year was the disco/mirror ball invented/created? Ask Metafilter, Who invented the disco ball? International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 103, The 103 Story, A New Industry, A New Union, Local 35 and the ‘Electrical Worker’
My new glittered floor. Yes! It is all sealed in!
Mi Vida Loca: How To Glitter A Concrete Floor by Kathy Cano-Murillo
In the process of redoing our art studio,
I wanted to go big and sparkly. We ripped up the icky carpet and found smooth concrete underneath. We went to Home Depot and bought a garage floor epoxy coating kit. I saw that it came with black and white decorative flecks, and instantly thought— “why not glitter?” We bought the sandstone color and I bought 6 jars of chunky gold glitter at Michaels (I was going to use my Crafty Chica Goddess Gold Glitter, but I didn’t have enough to cover the room). Here’s how I covered and sealed my floor in glitter.
You’ll need: • 1 garage floor coating kit (found at home improvement stores) • 2 paint rollers, handle, 2 trays • 1 scrub brush for cleaning the floor before you start • 1 bucket and mop • 6-8 jars of chunky glitter, bowl • 1 brush for edging • 1 gallon of water-based polyurethane varnish, high gloss • Fans, open windows!
DIRECTIONS: 1. Use the cleaner in the kit to fully clean your floor. Mix it in the bucket, scrub, rinse with mop. 2. Scrape off any glue, patch holes, let dry. 3. Mix the two parts of paint mixture according to package directions. Stir vigorously. Seriously, this stuff is just like resin, you have to mix it really good or it won’t work! 4. Pour into one paint tray, use a brush to paint the edges of the room. 5. Now use one of the rollers to paint a section of the room. 6. Throw handfuls of glitter in the air so it lands evenly. Don’t throw or toss it like chicken feed or it will land in piles or splotches. 7. Keep working section by section, make sure to add glitter to cover the section lines so it will all blend. 8. If you want light glitter, just lightly toss. If you want heavy glitter, spread generously (like mine!). 9. Let dry over night, extra if you live in a humid climate. Use push broom to sweep off excess glitter. Scrub away areas that are too thick, you want it to all be even. Sweep up extra and toss it. 10. Open can of varnish, pour in the second paint tray and use second roller to apply an even coat. Let dry and add another coat. Repeat four or five times. You want the floor to be smooth so you can wipe up any spills. 11. Let dry for 2-3 days before moving in furniture or walking on it. TIPS: • If you use the flakes that come with the kit, toss those first and then add the glitter. • Keep the window open in the room, keep the fans going. It’s stinky! • If you miss a spot, don’t try to backtrack while the paint is wet, your feet will stick to the floor. I know from experience! Below is a link to a video tutorial I made of the process! Enjoy! (And psst...if you like glitter, you may like my novel about a girl who accidentally buys 350 pounds of green glass glitter and has to figure out what to make with it!) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOWLFhTXRQ4&feature=youtu.be
h s a W e c a F r u Yo h t i w
y e n o
A Challenge by Crunchy Betty
Toda y starts a new da y for you. For us all.
Starting today, we’re going to wash our faces with honey – at least once a day. Honey. And water.
Don’t forget the first rule of the Crunchy Betty Honey Challenge: Talk about the Crunchy Betty Honey Challenge. You can recruit people as often as you’d like – even in the middle – and don’t forget all the goodies you can grab at this page: http://www.crunchybetty.com/the-crunchy-betty-honey-challenge-launch-stage-1 —for free to help you with that (bloggers, take note). The first part of the challenge consists of washing only a face that’s free of makeup. So for the first week, you’ll either want to wash with honey only in the morning, or twice a day if you don’t wear makeup during the day. Check the above page for a variation you can use to get rid of makeup (or just keep doing your oil cleansing, too … that’s fine!) I’ll answer some questions after the introduction on how to do it (and you’ll also find a video I sang on, shot, and produced to help you learn how to do it). It’s not hard. In fact, it’s probably the easiest face washing you’ve ever done.
Why You Want to Wash Your Face With Honey 1) It is antibacterial and antimicrobial. It will get off any lingering nastiness that’s thinking about setting up camp on your face and creating pimples. 2) It is slightly drying which means it helps soak up any pimples or oiliness. 3) It is also incredibly moisturizing. Seems like a double standard, doesn’t it? But it’s true. Honey sinks into your skin and moisturizes like you wouldn’t believe. (Remember Cleopatra and her honey baths to look young?) 4) It imparts all kinds of beneficial enzymes that work at scrubbing your face for you, as well as perform a little anti-aging action.
5) It’s great for acne, aging skin, normal skin, dry skin … honey loves EVERY SKIN TYPE. 6) It is healing and helps repair acneic sores and scars. 7) It’s 100%, absolutely, positively natural, great for your skin, and such a SIMPLE addition to your routine!
How to Wash Your Face With Honey Just know that if your honey says “raw” and “pure” on it, it’s fine. So here’s what you need to get started:
Here are your wash instructions: 1. Tie your hair back or get it out of your face. (Honey makes hair really sticky.) 2. Pour 1/2-ish teaspoon of honey into the palm of your hands and rub your hands together for 2-3 seconds, just to warm up the honey. 3. Place the honey on your face and massage it in for a minute or two – all around, don’t forget an inch of face. 4. Optional – leave the honey sitting there on your face for 5 or 10 minutes, just so your skin can drink the goodness in. 5. Rinse a few times with water. You’ll be surprised at how quickly and easily it rinses off!
Honey, water, and a towel for patting dry. Also, remember that these directions are for washing a face that doesn’t have makeup on it. Honey alone doesn’t take off all the goopy gunk. If you wear makeup, just continue to take it off the way you normally do, and incorporate the honey wash into your morning, pre-makeup routine.
6. Bask in the beauty that is your face now.
That's it! If you want visual directions, here’s a silly little video I made (I was a bit loopy). Yes, that’s me singing, acting silly, and annoying my cat. http://www.youtube.com/embed/ SaBcTNvRA6g?feature=player_embedded
Diamonds? By Joe Wall
I simply adore diamonds. What better industrial mineral with which to kick off an absurd formal relationship recognized in legal code by a country that’s still hung up on the illusory duality of gender, than a glassy lattice of everyday carbon vomited forth by long-extinct volcanoes in the incarnation of a starry sky? I suppose the diamond is the only gem that can be pressed into service immediately upon the receipt of an unwanted marriage proposal—with one quick grinding loop of the perfect stone on the dark plain of a plate glass window, one can neatly cut a circular opening and make one’s exit like an ungainly cat, escaping the unseemly environs of a presumably romantic restaurant to fade into the grainy darkness that permeates the noir visions of a lost monochromatic age. The pretty things rise and fall, but diamonds have the advantage of being nothing, or near enough to nothing. Like the layers of birthday cake stucco in the architecture of Los Angeles, diamonds are just a refraction of a moment disguised as something considerably more dignified, displayed in the blue-white light of the right now. Gold wallows in a urinary parallel of luxury as a stalwart metal best used to make solid, oxidation-free electrical connections, but diamonds cut and grind, embedded in carbide blades like the tongues of teenaged harpies ruling the halls of the high schools and pointing out that you are not like us. The same grim daylight that illuminates strip malls and fluttering parking tickets, once passed through finely ground faces and vertices, breaks into cascades of sparkling delight, but it’s all just daylight, sliced and folded around molecules of the most common element in our leaky, flatulent, lopsided bodies. A kiss on the cheek may be quite Continental, but when one has brought Superman into a state of profound limerence, nothing will do but for him to raid the coal bin for a lump of anthracite from which to squeeze a perfect diamond. Reading all those comic books, we never questioned exactly how even the mightiest of superheroes was able to cut and polish
the appropriate gem with nary but his Wagnerian paw, but we dream big. Little girls, if television is to be believed, begin planning their weddings at twelve, and little boys begin planning to intentionally leave the toilet seat down at all times. The cliches drift and coalesce, and one does not dare to diverge from the established path. Neal Stephenson wrote about a concept he called the diamond age, when nanotechnology would reach the point of building ubiquitous material objects from the strongest material known. We’ve arrived at our own sort of diamond age; In our embrace of the seemingly traditional, we’re celebrating a forgetting that diamonds aren’t a tradition of the distant past. In this same way, we’ve failed to recall that marriage is a recent notion replacing countless millennia of marriage as a transaction concerning distribution of real estate and skilled labor in the domestic trades. We are mistaken to think that the glittery rock of overwrought engagement is a time-tested sign of love. In reality, it’s a mere flash in geological time, a flicker of advertising from the marketing department of De Beers, and serves an aptly practical double duty of being a financial payout for the jilted bride in the occasion of an interrupted engagement. Such mythos and marketing have reached their perfect apotheosis in the era of the reality show, when potential mates and in-laws fuss, fight, scream and claw their ways toward the best wedding ever, and nothing will do but to mortgage the future for the biggest rock a decade of unearned money can buy. We as viewers have dutifully tagged along behind the advertising executives, and as a result, everything is AMAZING and UNBELIEVABLE and INSANE and THE BEST THING EVER, and as we distort our language, our language distorts us, our anticipation jagged refractions of real light passing through complexes of sparkling prisms. “Yes,” we say, “the cupcakes from that new place are amaaaaazing.” Just amazing. “Have you seen the new Hyundai? It’s insane.” We can hardly expect to do better. Mind you, the engine of our lifestyles is the computer—machines borne out of melted sand, artfully contaminated—but you’ll rarely see the core of a CPU shining from a ring setting. As a society, we have cultivated the need for flash and instant reward, the reminder that we are truly insanely happy and destined for amazing, unbelievable adventures together in this magical thing called “marriage,” and it’s the point where our most superstitious nature is revealed—thou shalt not alter or discard any tradition, no matter how vague or preposterous—a constant cycle. It’s just, well, it’s just enough to make a grown man sigh with the innate exhaustion of anyone who’s ever chased after the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. This one, this key perversion of an acquisitive, desperate people, seems to hold our attention, because the alternative of good sense just seems too far-fetched to be real. As for me—well, when you ask for my hand in marriage, nothing will do but a polished ingot of purest plutonium set in a ring of laboratory-grade metallic sodium as a reminder that a flaming radioactive death is always right around the corner in any relationship.
Earthgoddess sex advice column
The advice offered by Earthgoddess is offered for enlightenment purposes; she is not a doctor nor is she a psychiatrist. She is sexually very open-minded and oh-so-willing to call her own health practitioners and ask a series of bizarre questions in order to satisfy your curiosity.
Dear Earthgoddess, Can the use of regular craft glitter harm our best parts and most delicate ladybits? Signed, Lorelie
Dear Lorelie, We are not a preschool art project, use no glitter and paste upon thy tender parts. In fact regular glitter is made of plastic sheeting and could cause tiny cuts or abrasions on mucous membranes, so no craft glitter for men or women on sensitive membranes, no sparkly anal play unless it is a product designed for such frivolities. Use a product designed for sex play, or try some of the edible products sold in cake decorating shops-tasty and shimmery! If you want to use a body adhesive and glitter on other areas—breasts, hips, and ass checks are great canvases, even the pubic mound will work as long as it is hairless. Most makeup stores like http:// www.sephora.com have a number of makeup options for a fabulous and opulent glitter effect for your skin. Just do not spread Elmer’s on your downtown and shake glitter all over yourself; no one wants that action, no one at all.
Dear Earthgoddess, What are the types of glitter available for tantalizing my lover? I want options and textures and more glitter! Rose
Dear Rose, Glitter products can be as simple and as “vanilla” as going to a craft store and purchasing cake décor items. Glitter sugar for cakes could be used to decorate your deliciousness, as can metallic cake dusting powders which are typically mixed with an alcohol base and painted on, although they can be rubbed in as a powder. Try the cake metallic mixed with your favorite flavoring extract (vanilla or almond) or get a little wild and use a bronze finish powder mixed with cinnamon flavored vodka or liquor. A great resource for all sorts of edible products that would be so yummy on your tummy is http://layercakeshop.com they have colors and shapes… image tiny little hearts in a trail leading to all sorts of fun places. Many of the edible products are available at large chain craft stores that sell Wilton and Duff’s lines of cake décor items as well. Just don’t tell the lady in the sweet apron where you are applying that hot pink edible glitter. Glitter dust can be sprinkled over a fine line of chocolate or honey as well; use a soft small paintbrush and rinse it well after it has helped spread the glimmery goodness. There are a multitude of online stores that carry a huge array of glitter based sexual toys, lotions, powders, lubes and body paints. Of course we always should strive to shop local when we are perving so try Sugar in Hampden, http://www.sugartheshop.com/ for a nice array of products designed for sexual pleasures and shimmering. Of course there are always the options of glitter filled sex toys; there are glittery dildoes, anal plugs and lots of beautiful glittery body jewelry from nipple rings or clips
to clit rings. There are so many options to get your glitter going, make sure to check out “vanilla” sites like Etsy as well for handcrafted jewelry that might be re-purposed into intimate jewelry to adorn your erotic fantasies. If you want texture in your play try using a bindi or two or ten, many Asian markets sell beautiful glittery bindis for a few dollars, in fact you could easily use them to decorate your pubic area as the adhesive is designed for facial use. Bindis are the temporary vajazzling, and that is a phrase I doubt Bollywood ever expected to see written.
Dear Earthgoddess, Should I be concerned about glitter in the urethra after play? If so how does one most effectively remove the glitter before it becomes a problem? Thul
Dear Thul, Glitter and for that matter any body-art substance should be removed after play using warm water and soap, personal cleansing wipes can also be used and should be followed with soap and water later. If the glitter is contained in a food, i.e. honey or chocolate syrup special care must be taken to thoroughly cleanse the urethra and vaginal/ anal areas. Clean playgrounds are fun playgrounds. The imbalance of the sugars on the surface of the vagina could cause a yeast infection, and if the urethra becomes irritated a UTI could be the result of your Twilight inspired excursion into clit glittering.
Dear Earthgoddess, Can men dare to glitter? I would love to decorate myself and let my partner be dazzled, is that ok? Shhhhhh
Dear Shhhhhhh, I think anyone can glitter, and it can be used to emphasize whatever loveliness you choose to embellish. The same rules apply for penile glitter as for pubic glitter—watch the urethra. Do not force glitter into the urethra opening, and make sure the area is cleaned thoroughly after play. Be wary of using alcohol based products on the foreskin or glans of your penis as they can dry out the skin. I am fully supporting your penis’ right to shine, so glitter on my friend. The same rules apply to your bits, so clean them thoroughly and enjoy the shine.
Rediscover balance, health, prosperity and bliss in your life through Feng Shui ~ Over 10 years experience Get 2 FREE Astrology Readings with every home or office consultation LYDIA NITYA GRIFFITH ~ Consultant and Chinese Astrologer 804-678-8568 www.kharmakhameleon.com
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The Chart Tells All:
An Astrology Obsessive’s Take on the Love and Sex Planets by Ashley Scurto
Mars and Venus. Well known as the two planets that most accurately codify our courtly nature. They call down from space, at a pitch only each of us can hear, and guide our moves. How we attract a romantic or sex partner, who you seek in that lover, and what we do to this individual that leaves them either confused or delighted, is all the Mars and Venus domain. When I was a young astrology lover, I would look in magazines at “love horoscopes”, little colorful grids that featured your sun sign and compare it against others in jaunty, teen-marketed language. Now that I’m a young wannabe astrologer, I know better than to simply consider the Sun (the overarching symbol of the personality) in love matches. I now consider two planets that provide a precise picture of love and sex: Venus, the ruler of attraction, desire, of what and who we want and also how we love, and Mars, the libidinous drive, the passion— how we get what we want. The twelve flavors of each planet—do you have a Mars in Gemini, a Venus in Pisces? Just like the Sun sign placements are ruled by different elements, so are all of the other planets in your chart. Each sign is ruled by an element. Since there are 12 signs of the zodiac and four elements, three signs are alloted one particular element, and each of the four have a set of specific, overarching qualities—as is seen below:
The Fire Signs: Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius, have the unique tal-
ent to passionately act before they think, surpassing no opportunity, and leaving behind the details, no holds barred.
To find your sign placements in the planets, go to http://www.chaosastrology.net/astroform/ephemeris.cfm. Input your date and time of birth and the longitude and latitude of where you were born. When your chart generates, match the sign placements of your Mars and your Venus to the placements listed below.
The Earth Signs: Taurus, Virgo, and
Capricorn are sensual creatures, grounded by pleasure in the present with fervor for the palpable, visual, material.
The Air Signs: Gemini, Libra, and
Aquarius think and reason, have the extraterrestrial ability to detach themselves from emotion and have a balanced, if sometimes cold, view of what’s in front of them
The Water Signs: Cancer, Scorpio,
and Pisces’ ability to emote is unmatched, have great skill for depths of subjective thought and deep, intuitive action, whereas they are not as attuned to reason.
Romantic compatibility by wrote in today’s astrology seems to follow a strict code of what works and what doesn’t. How else do you run damage control for countless people with diverse characteristics? Are people with signs in the same element strictly well matched? Would a couple with Mars and Venus in Air signs, their signature aspects of thought, reasoning, and an array of information barraged back and forth all night be a saucy melange? Would two earth signs who want practicality and sensual comfort, giving each other back rubs and making out with little creativity for volleying thoughtful, cerebral flirtations make it work? I start to wonder how lovers get it right and get it on... The aspect of your venus to a lover’s mars or your mars to a lover’s venus is measured
to check for compatibility. A Conjunction is an aspect of 0-10 degrees between the two sign placements in the compatibility chart. They say this bodes perfectly for compatibility and mutual fire. However, a conjunction is said to intensify the effects of the conjoining signs—so if, lets say we’re matching two Scorpios—would this cause a Scorpionic thunderstorm? In the study of compatibility, we usually don’t like to see “sameness” or a “clash”. I’d say, from experience, that we are attracted to activity rather than the possible lack of motion that occurs when two signs conjoin too perfectly like puzzle pieces, inert, unable to compete for expression, wrestling to create spark. Most of us purposely do not stick a fork in a light socket because you know you will get electrocuted. The fork fits perfectly, but you know it’s dangerous, even deadly, when the direct current flows through to your hand. Possibly the same effect occurs when two conjoined, all too safely compatible people unite—a painful battering ram. A Sextile is an angle of 60 degrees(or half of a trine). It is similar to a trine, but less intense, and requires more effort. Hey! more effort! You mean we have to talk?! Apparently, the energies can be directed well. Planets that form a Trine (120 degree angle) aspect are always of the same element in the chart. A trine is a sought after aspect for a mars and venus deemed compatible, but as I said, two people of the same element won’t always work.
Two people who get on well are a dynamic force to be reckoned with. Energies, histories, habits, goals, intellect, emotional and physical response—Relationship success wouldn’t be called compatibility if love and sex were a simple fusing of two parts of a whole. The Sextile aspect might be my favorite, because it doesn’t bring an immediate flare, but “immediate” is not how relationships happen—it’s a slow burn, a point of interest, you might like the way she smiles, he might have nice shoes...the process of meeting someone and wanting them is a fiery, seductive, fun game, rather than saying “Oh hey, you like neo-psychedelia too? Let’s date!” In astrology, and in life, we don’t want things to be too easy—every lover, no matter what, wants a chase. Another trend of thumb: Fire signs clash, Earth signs get too comfortable, Air signs think too alike or become intellectually indignant, and Water signs become tired from all the crying. Here are very basic profiles of Venus and Mars as they express themselves in any of your various romantic dalliances. Find your Mars and your Venus in the list to gain a bit of insight into your romantic inclinations: Venus in Aries Lover: You believe in love at first sight, and are drawn to independent, perhaps dominant people. You love the chase, sparky competition, and to tease. You want a quick commitment, at least for the moment, or you forget about it.
Mars in Aries Lover: You are direct, no frills. In bed, you move 0-60, you get it done quick. Conquest is your game, you like to prove dominance and prowess, and you don’t mind tension and argument that leads to wham-bam-thank-you-sir-orma’am. You want sex to be fiery, unique, challenging, and passionate, and get bored and will abstain from sex if it doesn’t promise to be so. You go for the gold in terms of looks and perceived prowess, even if you aren’t conventionally “gold” in same such terms. Venus in Taurus Lover: It’s hard to separate your love of the five senses and your sexual-sensual side. You are so sensuous, it spills out of your clothing in public. You may treat a banana like a phallic object, moaning and slurping simply because you enjoy the taste! This is problematic because you’re so private about your sexual self—you become worried that someone has noticed the faux pas, and you may attract those you don’t wish to! You favor food, various comforts, amorous exclamations, and bold, physical expressions of love—more than other types of lovers. You are possessive, and want to know where a relationship is going. Watch for getting too complacent and taking things for granted. Even so, you are a steadfast belle or beau. Mars in Taurus Lover: Your sexual stamina is only matched by Mars in Scorpio, you can’t go long without sexual contact, and you also don’t like to intellectualize the
physical act. You like to project yourself as established, strong, and solid. Palpable, sensual pleasures are your game, and like Venus in Taurus, because you are so naturally sexual, you feel the need to censor yourself publicly. Venus in Gemini: You love long conversations and attract lovers with your wit, knowledge base, and smorgasbord of interests. You like using pet names, talking deeply about your feelings, maybe writing love notes, and definitely constant communication. Your tastes change often, and you like to keep trysts light hearted, because your feelings are so changeable. Mars in Gemini: You are a curious, talkative bedmate. You may enjoy role playing, you may over think things or not totally be able to lose yourself due to your usual intellectual overdrive. You woo through heady games, like showing up and shipping out, sarcastic teasing, or extending an invitation to a party or event. Jackrabbit sex, over and over may be your style. Venus in Cancer: You are attracted to people who need a mother/father in their life. You like to feed and shelter this person. You can be submissive, and you long to give yourself over to your Valentine. You strive to prove your emotions through thoughtful gestures and interdependence. Mars in Cancer: You are not straightforward like an Aries, no. You would rather
peek around the corner, and unassumingly, possibly, sidle alongside your intended. You provide a dry sleeve when your best friend is getting weepy over a questionably intentioned jerk, then take them to your place to make them pasta and cheese and snuggle on the couch. Watch out for yourself though, you can be very guarded, but at the same time. your watery emotional changeability and want for interdependence may cause tumult for you and your love interest. You also strive to be the best lover, because of course, you are the best. Venus in Leo: You attract by looking your best, being showy about talents, speaking dramatically, and selling your most attractive aspects. You will play damsel in distress or ask for help and compliment your target mate to attract them. It is hard for you to separate love and sex. Mars in Leo: You are playful, dramatic, and love all eyes to be on you. In order to woo, you show off that you’re the very best, and you are attracted to a person who will notice that and feed your ego. You want someone you can dominate, and who will take a subordinate role to your attentionseeking. Sex must be firmly centered in your needs and wants. The good thing is, that you Leos show creativity and excitement about the sex act and in public, you will treat your partner like royalty—I guess because you think that’s how everyone should be treated.
Venus in Virgo: You like taking care of people, so you might pursue a beautiful rose by telling her which exercise routine is best for her body type or set her appointments—you love to clean up messes. You attract a lady or lad by being neat and clean and taking him/her home to an anally retentive example of an apartment. Mars in Virgo: Sex is bread and butter. Basic, and needed for bodily survival. You like your partner to be the sweetest of jams. Also, you like this bread to be a white bread—you don’t take any saucy advice in order to improve it, and you don’t make changes to make it more interesting. However, you use empirical, vocational experience to institute your own developments. Venus in Libra: You prize equilibrium, pleasing your partner, role playing. You are conscientious and considerate, and expect similar compensation in return. You are an expert flirt, attentive, a classic romantic. Mars in Libra: You are the ultimate schmoozer—classy, balanced, old fashioned manners, and sweetheart flirtation and love making. You enjoy stimulating conversation when wooing, and in order for you to be ready for a sexual liasion, you need the shag carpet vacuumed, the lights dimmed just so, rose petals scattered on the bed, and Al Green on the record player, or it isn’t perfect enough to attempt. Venus in Scorpio: You are an indomitable lover. You exhibit Intensity and a full
range of desires, you love deeply, commit staunchly, and are focused on the sexual pleasure of your partner. Anything goes, but most of the time you like to set your own rules. You relish dangling the possibility of sex or another reward like a carrot in front of a girl/boy toy’s face until they earn it, or deny a luxury as punishment until they redeem themselves again. You love heavy and deep, so much so that your sweetheart might feel burdened. You can be counted on for complete engagement and excitement about the relationship and the sex act is a deeply personal, private experience for you. Mars in Scorpio: You exhibit a seductive quality, and thanks to this, you often get what you want. You are a tireless lover; an endurance unmatched by any other sign. You cannot bear to share your play mate, especially when you give of yourself so wholeheartedly. You might enjoy the prospect of someone giving themselves wholly to you, and perhaps serving you. You love playing out any number of chosen taboos. Venus in Sagittarius: You like social, fun, adventurous ramblers. You aim to make your love interest laugh. You prefer your freedom, you like honesty, and you don’t care for assumed or quick commitment. Everything exotic, far away/foreign, or a mate with a unique accent attract you. Mars in Sagittarius: You’re candid, freely communicative, direct, and expect your lover to be equally as direct. You show off
your physical abilities to impress. Getting naked for a laugh, then going at it might be your style. Storybook romance is not your thing. Venus in Capricorn: You like to show off how much of a fuddy duddy you are. You’re responsible, put together, and you have your route planned. Everything’s accounted for, and you will tell your betrothed exactly where your mutual love boat is headed. You are a shy loner, but once you’ve chosen your swain, you are an amorous lover who will stick around. You use your humor to woo as well, so there is some fun in you. Mars in Capricorn: You are a self-disciplined perfectionist in love, and even during sex. You are just fine with consistency and security, rather than sexual variety. Whatever works physically, you can do over and over. You are a private type, but want to tell your friends just enough detail so they know of the magnitude of your sexual proficiency. Venus in Aquarius: You like to be friends with anyone and everyone first, then choices and sex are an afterthought. You like livin’ on the edge, defying convention, showing off your intellect, being quirky and different. You like to playfully discuss sexual possibilities. Mars in Aquarius: You are great at phone sex and being playfully witty about the topic of sex from afar. You are fairly detached
in person, and detachment, for you, is boner-raising. You attract a main squeeze by showing the depth and breadth of your eccentric interests, and attempting to surprise and impress them through enthusiastic demonstration. Going on wild trips, forays into unknown territory or doing something different is an appetizer to adventurous sex. You get your way, and you will push your current agenda, whatever that may be. Venus in Pisces: You like to play a good guy/girl, but you also inhabit an ethereal cloud of moods, feelings, and mystery. You use sugary jokes, clairvoyance, endearing, dreamy play, and you set your own course. You go for the dark horse, and enjoy saving a person in need of help. You like a perceptive, artistic, imaginative mate. Commitment, due to watery emotions, is sometimes difficult. Mars in Pisces: You gently tug at someone from all sides when you want to catch their eye. You’re seemingly impassive, then you reach down into depths to be reckoned with. You experience and emote more than any of the other signs, bafflingly so. You’re vulnerable, so you subtly flirt at first, but when committed, it’s an all-go plunge into the mysterious depths, and which way it goes, no one knows—you are hard to predict. The confounding side is, you’re moody, and you can sometimes easily replace emotional, romantic feelings with a one time bang.
“I have always been a DIY type of man,”
says Chris Carpenter, who is actually the impassioned and encyclopedic director of programming at Spoutwood Farm Observatory in Glen Rock, Pennsylvania. “The advantages of such a system include the satisfaction of knowing I accomplished something myself, and eventually developing the reputation as a man who can cut through the deadwood and get things done.” The steward and principal champion of the independent observatory adds wryly, “The drawbacks are myriad.”
GOLF PRO SE
Born upstate in Wilkes-Barre, and a resident of nearby Shrewsbury since age seven, Carpenter studied Astrophysics at Penn State. Between stops, he nurtured a passion for golf that would lead to an unlikely career. After mastering a mathematics few can understand, Chris turned his focus toward developing as a professional athlete and instructor in the sport. It was during these post-collegiate years that Chris first came in contact with Spoutwood Farm. Located just outside of Shrewsbury, the farm; which boasts horse pastures, vineyards, and a CSA, is best known for its annual Faerie Festival around May Day. Throughout the 90’s, Chris’ sister would attend the event as a vendor, and on one such visit, Chris traveled along with her. Of this place which has become by degrees a bigger part of his life, he says: “One constant I can always rely on is Spoutwood - it will always remain a sanctuary where things move a little slower.” Coincident to Carpenter’s nearing orbit was the vision of Fred Ruof, who was busy during these years planning and sponsoring an observatory to be built on the high field above Spoutwood’s main campus. A minister, Ruof added to that sense of sanctuary one feels at the farm by adding both the observatory and an otherworldly strawbale structure which sits beside it. The latter functions today as a library, educational center, and place of refuge for guests.
by Jeff Brunell Photos by Shelley Burke
Carpenter had joined Spoutwood in 2008 as a versatile contributor who happened to excel in astronomy. After years of construction and thousands of dollars, the structures were completed, and shortly thereafter, Ruof relocated to Texas in 2010. At this point, Carpenter officially took the lead role at the observatory. This ascendance marked a major comeback in Carpenter’s life. “Spoutwood offered me a fresh start certainly. After banging away most of my 30’s in bars, I was worn out, my self-esteem shattered, my finances a mess, and I had no car or driver’s license. I used to go to work on a moped, even in winter. The confidence and sense of self-worth that so clearly define who I am today were simply not there in 2008 - I had to find them again. Spoutwood was a place I could slow down, take my time re-integrating myself with society, and re-learn what it means to love and be loved for who I am. The Observatory was like icing on the cake.” Since that time, the success of the center has mirrored the trajectory of its steward. Spoutwood has hosted scouting and educational groups, and engages in an ongoing and collaborative research capacity with the York County Astronomical Society. Carpenter has simultaneously advanced his career as a competitive golfer and professional instructor in the game while nurturing the observatory and its programs. “Astronomy has always been a passion of mine, but remained on the back burner as long as I felt young enough and strong enough to remain a competitive golfer. Now I have the good fortune of having both - a great career as a golf pro, and an excellent side-bar as an astronomer.” Asked what’s next for the astronomical center at Spoutwood, Carpenter says: “The Observatory, I envision expanding into a full-fledged Academy, oriented around astronomy yet also offering a diverse curriculum of other Earth-science based courses. As my career as a golf professional advances, I see myself more in a director’s role at the Observatory and not so closely connected to the day-to-day stuff.” On a Friday night just after the spring equinox, Carpenter opened up the center to dozens of visitors. The wide eliptic view from the hillside- showcasing all but 20 degrees of the night sky- was nearly cloudless, affording revelers essentially unobstructed sight through the centers’ high-powered telescopes. Candles, torches and a bonfire cast a magical air over the proceedings, where visitors moved from one station to another, variously looking through telescopes, exploring the observatory, and learning a bit of foundational astrophysics. Drifting through crowds of awestruck kids alongside their fascinated grandparents; young lovers in reverent quiet; neighbors of many years speaking in excited and hushed tones, our writer got the sense that this place is facilitating something really sacred. “It has given me a chance to justify why I bothered getting my degree in the first place, and given me something to do with it. One never knows how the dice will fall - as things shake out for me I am just thankful to have the chance to touch so many lives. Golf and astronomy allow me to do just that - to widely different audiences.”
Paco Fish and Meet Paco Fish and Marla M eringue Marla Meringue by Julie Fisher & Jim Warner You can’t go to a burlesque event in Baltimore and swing a tassled pasty without grazing the up and coming Sticky Buns Burlesque and its creators Paco Fish and Marla Meringue. After sharing a mutual passion for burlesque and costuming, Paco and Marla’s relationship flourished into developing a troupe “So we could do large, solid productions…I wanted to do shows that tell a story.” Sticky Buns Burlesque is troupe of five performers currently doing shows throughout the Baltimore/DC area. Let’s get sticky… Marla Meringue-When we started the Sticky Buns troupe, I came on board with some experience performing in Baltimore. I had taken Trixie Little’s Burlesque Bootcamp. doing variety style shows began crossing into the idea of a show as an arc of a story. It was something I wanted to do too. My first burlesque shows were at MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art), with students who had pretty much taught themselves, and put on a show with funding from the Activities Office, as another avenue to express themselves. I was doing some MICA shows as well as my art. Julie Fisher (interviewer)- You were in MICA studying costuming right? MM- Yeah and I was doing large-scale art, like wall hangings and bigger art projects. I gradually came to the conclusion that costuming was a legitimate way to pursue my art. I’d been doing it forever. When I first came to MICA I was becoming a painting teacher, because that was my background. I was sewing all the time too, but on the side, like it was my hobby and this other thing is my art. JF- Was there a moment for you when you were performing at Mica shows when you said “Wow! THIS is what I want to continue doing” or was it a more gradual process? MM-It happened a lot earlier with another series of shows, multi photos by Theresa Keil
media fashion shows consisting of mini performances of characters and costumes I made and it was the first time I wore pasties. It wasn’t really a traditional burlesque show. It was a performance multi media thing. That was the moment I said this is something that feels really good and has the potential to be explored. JF- Paco, what was being part of The Dresden Dolls’ “guerilla” performances like? Paco Fish- It was amazing and I owe so much of my performance life to that time. It was my entre’ into performance. There was a mentality, a set of values they were using that they were calling Punk Cabaret. Which translates to take it out of the trash and make it as big and beautiful and amazing as you possibly can. Part of it was to blur the line between performers and audience and part of it was to allow the downtime between the show to be entertainment. While bands are changing instruments between sets on the stage, people don’t have to just stand around and smoke cigarettes and drink beer, be bored. Instead there’s also something in the audience for them to watch… They had someone playing accordion in the bathroom for people. Another person wrote poems and printed them on beautiful paper and pasted them up above the urinals. And so you have creativity everywhere, whatever it was. So I got involved in a role of communicating online and getting a lot of people involved. A lot of them were teenagers responding to the punk cabaret concept. When I was growing up apathy was totally in and it was cool to not care and the result of that was shit. Nothing worth caring about was happening. Since I got involved with Brigade and it changed my life so dramatically I was eager to do publicity and bring more people on board. So that was my Brigade life and how it influenced my future burlesque life. With Sticky Buns we try to take risks too. We take a new performer on board for a show because they had an idea and we want to see its fruition.
JF- Let me ask what you get asked a lot I imagine, did you have to get used to being nearly naked on stage or was it automatically freeing? MM- For me, my first performance I was nervous but it was a freeing experience. I’m not naturally a naked person. I was raised with a Puritanical background. So it was my rebellion against that. The British prim and proper—don’t make a scene. (It’s) very liberating to go beyond that. And the funny thing about being naked on stage is how quickly the novelty wears off and how it’s no longer a big deal in your mind. I get much more nervous when I’m doing something NEW and naked rather than just naked. I’m kind of at the point it’s a non-issue. I did one naked performance and I was surprised at how surreal it felt. PF- I have been arrested naked in public…went to a Loyola party once and it was boring and I didn’t know anybody so I took off my clothes and everybody was…there is definitely a rush. Like skydiving. You get to the edge of the plane. I don’t have to jump if I don’t want but— MM- “I’ve come all this way, with a parachute strapped on and somebody behind me waiting to jump…” PF- It’s having the idea to get naked in front of people and then all the energy and the tension that happens between having the idea and making the decision. Honestly I was not really comfortable being naked and I had this sort of realization that because what I was trying to do, entertain people, not arouse people, being naked is the easy part. Trying to entertain people with my clothes ON was harder and more scary. Now if I can’t do it, if the audience isn’t engaged, I can TAKE OFF MY CLOTHES, they’re entertained! (It’s) sort of a guaranteed reaction.
MM- We’ve done and seen so many burlesque performances that nudity itself doesn’t interest me so much. Followed closely by sexy. Sexy is not that interesting. I’ve seen a lot of sexy and although there are lots of ways to do it— JF- It gets homogenized? PF- Well. What are you left with? So you see sexy and you get aroused. And you go home and you work that out. What are you left with? Whereas, if you see something that’s thought provoking, you have to have thoughts. And those breed more thoughts. I guess arousal could lead to more arousal and then sex but…so what? JF-Since the first issue of Magic Octopus has the theme of Glitter we want to talk to people about glitter and find out what if means to them. Would your business be less appealing without glitter? PF- Absolutely! Because we’ve been going to and performing in a lot of burlesque shows and festivals. We watch a LOT of other performances and when you see a performance, it can be good and moving but we often think that it could be so much better if it also looked really amazing, looked really fabulous; unless there was a specific reason not to. We’ve seen some acts where it makes sense for the character in the story, the act, to be sort of dull, or distressed, So then the reveal, the body is made more poignant in the act. But a lot of times we also see the opposite effect. We see performers who are covered in crystals, but the performer doesn’t DO anything…when you see the costume and it looks amazing you have high expectations. You say, ok there’s a lot of potential here putting that much time and money into making the costume so beautiful. You think it must be important what they’re doing and they fail to do that, to reach that goal. But that means glitter alone won’t be a good performance either. The way I feel, if you’re going to do something, do it the best that you can. MM- Coming from a costume point of view, having the sparkles for a costume makes it larger than life and it makes it kind of transcend reality. In the same way, if you are putting on a musical, everything is bigger, more exaggerated. It does translate into the realm of performance too. I think a performer can sparkle from their movements and scintillate with their movements. It’s really important to me that people recognize the importance of a façade. They can be glittery and sparkly and use these tools to enhance the way they look, point things out with the way they’re moving.
JF- If you want our readers to have something stick with them from this interview, what would that be? MM- It’s really important to allow yourself to be open to new ideas, to take advantage of opportunities to learn. I think Baltimore has a vast artistic community filled with new ideas, going on all the time. Get out of your comfort zone. See something or do something you aren’t used to doing. I don’ think people take advantage of that enough. I’d really like to see that change… Examine things you see and think about how they affect not only you but the rest of the world and the people around you. Burlesque is an unusual way to do that and an unexpected way to do that. Clouded and veiled in this guise of glitter and comicality and silliness, it has the potential to really offer us critical thoughts. PP- Something that will stick with readers? I need money. No, in all seriousness… Baltimore (the arts community) in general has a tendency to reject glamour. And on the other hand (it) has a tendency to embrace novelty—which is a great thing… This is one sense of the Baltimore arts. It’s really easy to get things started but then projects don’t necessarily gain their full potential. Performers and artists say, “Hey I’m doing this really new thing and it’s great.” People come see it and agree and then they are all ready for the next NEW thing. New is important, but it could also be really solid and really great. It’s like doing a strip tease from your clothes OR doing a striptease from an incredible costume to an incredibly small costume to an incredible very small costume—that’s inviting glamour. Going that extra step because you want to, because you want your heart speaking in your work, Baltimore has lots of heart, but let’s amp up to some glamour. For more information about Marla Meringue, Paco Fish, or Sticky Buns Burlesque: • http://www.pacofish.net/ • http://marlaparker.com/sample-page/ • http://stickybunsburlesque.com/
Green Currency Association Aims To Keep Cash Local, Encourage Community Investment by Anthony C. Hayes
Mark Twain once wryly noted: “Everybody talks about the weather but nobody does anything about it.” It’s a ridiculous observation, but suppose you could do something about the weather while simultaneously stimulating local economic growth?
Sounds farfetched, but that’s exactly what one man, Jeff Dicken, and an enterprising group of like-minded Baltimoreans have set out to do. About a year ago, the Baltimore Green Currency Association (BGCA) launched
an innovative homegrown currency which is simply called, The Baltimore Note (BNote). The notes may be traded just like dollars but can only be used for purchases from participating members. The handsomely produced gold embossed scrip, which features either a raven or a Baltimore oriole along with the likenesses of famous Marylanders Frederick Douglas and Edgar Allan Poe, comes in denominations of one and five. According to the groups website, you can exchange dollars for BNotes in multiples of $10 for $11 worth of the scrip, a 10% bonus on the initial exchange. BNotes may also be exchanged for dollars at the reverse rate. While to many this may seem like a novel idea, trading with a local currency is really nothing new. Some 20 years ago, Paul Glover founded a similar program in Ithaca, New York. According to Wikipedia, Glover’s “Ithaca Hours” are currently the oldest and largest local currency system in the United States. The system has its roots in the alternative local currencies that proliferated in America during the great depression. While doing his research into local economics, Glover had seen an “Hour” note which 19th century British industrialist Robert Owen issued to his workers for use at his company store. Glover later discovered that Owen’s Hours were based on Josiah Warren’s “Time Store” notes of 1827. The idea behind all of these systems was to strengthen the local economy by assuring that monies spent for goods and services would stay in the community. In formulating the BGCA, Dicken initially found inspiration in The Foundation for International Community Assistance (FINCA International). FINCA supplies credit in developing countries to help women and small businesses. According
to Time Magazine, programs like FINCA, “strip away the bureaucracy common to aid programs of governments and large foundations, and repayment rates of 97% are the norm.” Dicken also used the more modern models of the “BerkShares” which circulate throughout the Berkshire region of Massachusetts, and a contemporary version of “Lewes Pounds” which are popular in East Sussex, Britain. In both of these cases, not only is stimulation of the local economy a goal but a corresponding concern centers on minimizing the impact trade has on the environment. Dicken says the term for this idea is “transition city”. Buying local means less traffic and less waste; hence, the conservation of valuable resources and a cleaner, perhaps more weather friendly, planet. A membership directory is available both in print and online, as is a helpful guide which answers the most common questions people have about BNotes, such as “Is this legal?” (It is.) “Can I get my dollars back? (You can.) and “How are BNotes better?” (They encourage production of commodities closer to home.) Dicken estimates that there are approximately 27,000 BNotes in circulation. That’s good news to the more than 150 local businesses which honor the scrip. These include restaurants and retro clothiers, galleries and grocers, law firms, auto shops, even a childbirthing service. The notes can be obtained at several money exchange locations (cambios) around town. To secure the system, the dollars are held in an account at Patapsco Bank in Baltimore. Julie Gouldener, the Director of the BGCA, says the notes find their greatest use in the neighborhoods of Hampden, Station North, Fells Point, and Hamilton/Lauraville. Minas Konsolas and his wife Peggy
thus far City Hall’s official support has been somewhat tacit, representatives like City Councilman Nick Mosby (7th District) have enthusiastically embraced the strategy. In time, Dicken sees the use of the scrip moving beyond the aforementioned progressive arts enclaves and into the more economically disadvantaged areas of Baltimore City. Ideally, the BGCA would like to partner with nonprofits to reach those underserved populations. Are BNotes just a fad or are they a neighborly nexus which will carry our city through these troubled economic times? With 27,000 notes in circulation it would seem the future of the new green currency is promising. Some even wonder if the system could lead to total bartering. Rasmussen remains cautious, however, and offers one final, cogent observation for the long term success of the BNote. “Merchants need to be behind this to make it work.”
Hoffman, proprietors of Minas Gallery and Boutique in Hampden, are among the many merchants in Hampden who accept BNotes. The couple says they enjoy using the scrip they collect from sales for dining out. Hoffman estimates that BNotes account for about 1% of their weekly receipts. At Breathe Books, just across busy 36th street, that figure is somewhat higher though store clerk Betsy Rasmussen would not hazard a guess as to how much so. Rasmussen says the bookstore accepts the notes for up to 50% on any given purchase. The percentage allowed by other vendors varies. Gouldener admits BGCA has no hard data on how the percentages apply from business to business but believes those figures will be available when the new merchant guide comes out later this summer. One year in, the system is not only up and running but appears set to take off. Several shoppers I spoke with in Hampden seemed to think it’s a good idea. And while
Feng Shui for Prosperity by Lydia Nitya-Griffith
• Clear Clutter, nothing blocks the flow of money worse than clutter, so ensure your home is open, well lit and uncluttered. • Check the South East, using a compass to determine where that corner of your home is located, and keep this room open, full of lush plants, free of clutter and brightly lit. Hang a faceted crystal ball in the window if this room is too dark or the energy feels stale. • Put 6 Chinese Coins in your Wallet or Checkbook for Money Luck • Place a Brass Money Frog at your front door facing in to attract wealth • Check outside your home or office to ensure there is nothing pointing towards the South East that would be negative like a roadway, the corner of a neighboring home, or a dead tree branch – use a concave Ba-Gua mirror to deflect these poison arrows as needed.
• Make sure you have no fountains in your home or fish aquariums. These need to be placed by a professional Feng Shui practitioner. Water is one of the fastest and most powerful elements in Feng Shui. Misplaced Water features can quickly drain your pocketbook where as well placed Water features can reap great rewards. • Look in the South East to ensure you have no clashing elements like the color Yellow, Brown, and other Earth tones, heavy square objects, lots of pottery or crystals, Metal objects, gray, silver, gold, copper, exercise equipment, a garage where a car is parked or other machinery and tools. The cure for too much Earth in the South East is to add accents of Red and the cure for Metal is accents of Blue. If there is a heavy influence of either Metal or Earth, remedy that with redecorating immediately. • Support the South East with Water colors like turquoise, Mediterranean blue, navy, silky fabrics, along with all shades of green. Use artwork and fabrics with flowers, landscapes, stripes, ivy, trees, leaves, and live plants, and Wood furniture. • For 2012 make a Vision Board collage of everything you want to manifest and place it in the North East corner of your home or office • For 2012 place 8 yellow silk flowers in the West or hang 8 Chinese Coins on red string in the West. If possible, place a large stone or statue in the Western part of your yard to support wealth in 2012. • Focus your thoughts on prosperity rather than a poverty mentality. Trust that everything you need, will be provided for – that shift of consciousness can have a powerful influence on your life!
FOOD GLITTER by Brian Garrido
As a “foodie,” I don’t know the first thing about food and glitter. In one of my worlds, the less serious side, it conjures up one of two things: drag queens or the horrible movie which starred Mariah Carey. In my other world, the world of high-end food, glitter doesn’t really compute except in smaltzy pastries, colored salt-rimmed Margarita glasses and perhaps, floating in liquor such as Goldschlager, a high-end alcoholic beverage. The German word Goldschläger (“gold beater”) designates the profession of gold leaf makers, who beat bars of gold into micrometre-thin sheets. These sheets, were once used for interiors, as wall accents, in tastefully, garish homes. Occasionally, it is used as an elegant statement, like at Los Angeles-based bakery; Susina, which has created a divinely decadent Hazelnut Chocolate Torte. Deadcenter in this nutty and creamy round of chocolaty goodness is a delicate fleck of gold. Its shimmering presence intensifies the beauty of the crushed Filberts and makes the dessert fit for a king.
As I am writing this though, I thought how would I use food glitter that might dazzle the food world or at least my streetsavvy, intelligentsia friends? My friends are smart people, the kind that are terminally-hip. Many with tattoos, some with piercings and others with both. Writers and artists. Chefs and designers. These select friends and family are intensely creative, sublimely liberal, and open to provocative ideas such as eating edible glitter—but not on Margarita glasses. Never on a glass except on a 1950’s inspired Salty Dog….a drink people don’t regularly include in their bar scene tableau (If you don’t, it’s vodka and grapefruit over ice with a salt-rimmed glass.) Instead of coating a cake with silver glitter honoring a 70s disco ball at a homosexual’s 50th birthday (belaboring the fact that he/she survived the cocaine, the drinking, the rehab…) or dusting it around a cocktail glass trying to make winter holidays just a tad more festive, I was thinking that I might use a dusting of red glitter over Paprika Roasted Cauliflower.. The sweetness of the roasted white vegetable would be the canvas for the “glitter” and paprika. This could be used a as a side dish for the Fourth of July, giving an extra “zing” to the fireworks or serve it during Valentine’s Day for a little more “passion” and “fire” during the meal. It’s simple to make the decorative salt, as is cooking the vegetable. Roasting the
cauliflower is the process of removing all the florets into bite-sized pieces and tossing them in a bowl with olive oil. Spread onto a baking sheet for about 20 minutes in an oven at 375 degrees, until tender. Once cool enough to handle, powder them with Hungarian paprika, coloring the edible flowers and dust with a dash of hand-made red “glitter.” Serve with Sautéed Cod and Cilantro, Basil or any emulsified green herb. Still smaltzy but done in a savory dish, making it fun yet smart at the same time…. kind of like Andy Warhol, The B-52’s or a still rotating ball at a gay disco.
How to Make Edible Glitter for Savory Dishes (Or Sparkly Salt) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix in a small bowl coating evenly: • 2 Tablespoons table salt • 1 Teaspoon food coloring of your choice Place colored salt on a roasting pan, spreading it out thinly. Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Now, that you have your fairy dust….go work some magic.
by Kristy Lynn Magically Delicious! Unicorns may manage their elusiveness but they left behind some fanciful evidence of their existence and I was able to recreate their leavings. The real deal - itâ€™s made of sugar cookies, rainbow dragees, rainbow star sprinkles, white sparkle gel, and rainbow disco dust. Enjoy! <3
Step 1 Ingredients Below is a photo of the ingredients, so make note of what you have or need from that list!
Now - on the sparkly side: • Disco Dust, Rainbow - $8 • Wilton’s Sparkle Gel, white - $4 • Rainbow Dragees - $8 • Star Sprinkles - $2 • Food Coloring, Standard + Neon - $7 (You can never buy too much food coloring.) • Cheap Paint Brush
(The amount of poops that you will get from this recipe depend on how big your unicorn is.)
Step 2 Make the Dough
Once youâ€™ve made the dough - before you pop it in the fridge to harden - do your separations and use food coloring to get the colors that you desire. I did: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple. (Traditional unicorn stuff.)
Then you can put the colored dough into sandwich baggies and let them chill.
Step 3 Roll your snakes.
Just like the clay and play doh, you need to roll snakes. But sugar cookies are MUCH more sensitive. Be very careful, this will take patience and dedication. I started with red, made lots of lines, then added the next color and just kept pressing them together from there on. Until I was out of colors. Make sure to use a flourâ€™d surface and use that to help you roll, too. Once the cookies sit on the cookie sheet, (next step), the flour absorbs into the cookies and they donâ€™t have a white powder all over them.
Step 4 Getting Dirty Now... Now that you have your thick poop rainbow, it needs to be shaped as such. This part happens swiftly and you don’t have much room for error because the dough is so fragile. Take your poop snake and gently flop it onto the ungreased cookie sheet. Once you have it there, just start winding. Decide how your unicorn rolls and let the poops form themselves. Be gentle though, they will break and mess up your spirals. If you need to make any repairs, just use your fingertip and lightly sweep it back into the portion where it broke off. That re-connects the exterior so you don’t get poopy cracks. Pinch your tips and then you’re done! Just bake them and wait. (As per the recipe, you may want to add a minute or 2 because these are thicker.)
Step 5 Add the bumpy stuff!
cookies chill and harden loosely around the dragees.
Take those fancy and expensive dragees and push them into the cookies as soon as they come out of the oven. You want to lightly break the surface of the cookie and make sure that your balls are settled nicely inside. Then you can let the
Make sure that they are pushed in, more than half way, because they may roll out later.
Step 6 Glitter Gel!
Now that they’ve had time to cool off, it’s time to add the sheen! This thin coat of Wilton’s Glitter Gel will be sure to keep your poops looking fresh. Just squeeze it out all over the cookie in spirals and then start brushing it out in a smooth coat all over the cookie. You need to hold it in your fingers so that you can turn and brush as needed. Make sure to manipulate the gel into the holes and cracks so that it has a better finish. This stuff is great! It doesn’t dry HARD, but it stiffens up pretty well after it’s had time to dry, and it’s in a thin layer. Just don’t stack them. :)
Step 7 Stars! Now it’s time to turn into a crazy person and pick out individual stars out of the sprinkles and place them on complimentary colors on the poops. Press them lightly to make sure that they gel layer holds them into place. Don’t put too many stars because you want them to look NATURAL...haha. I found that white stars give the best contrast. :)
Step 8 Disco Dust! Okay, this sh*t is expensive and difficult to dispense. You’re supposed to put a sheet of parchment paper over the top of the container, punch holes out with a pin or something, rubber band it in place and use it as a shaker. But I didn’t have those materials. So what I did: I took a TINY pinch in my fingers and lightly and tightly sprinkled it over the tops of the cookies. That worked really well, for being in a “pinch.”
Step 9 Play with your poop!!!
YAY! Now that they’ve had time to dry, and they don’t stick to your finger when you touch them, you’re done!!` Some will look better than others, naturally. But they should all resemble poop. Tah-dah!
Now you can eat them in nature, as you ponder the existence of unicorns and magical beings, or even take them to work and impress your boss.
Science t ha t g li tte r s it is Lux’ing and GFP’ing all over! by Kate Gillespie
The movie Avatar captured the viewing public imagination of a mythical alien world where from the smallest whirligig of a flying lizard, to the freckles on the faces of the sexy blue feline aliens, everything fluoresced. On our boring planet earth, there are also natural glittery things to be discovered, when the light is right. From fungi to microbes to insects and sea critters, they bring the shiny. Their need to give off photons of light can be an adaptive function, and often occurs in a symbiotic relationship. One amazing example is with the marine bioluminescent bacteria, Aliivibrio fischeri. So, say you are a tiny Hawaiian bobtail squid, and want to go feed up near the surface at night. But, there are hungry predators. So you turn on the vibrio in your skin, and what may be prowling below can’t see you. The presence of illumination can mimic the light of the moon, masking your shadow. Under the eyes of “flashlight” fish, the brightly glowing microbes are snuggly packed into special pockets. Those guys form so dense a crowd that when a “quorum” is reached, chemical are released on queue and the bioluminescence genes are turned on.
But what exactly is making this “cold fusion” of light happen? The answer is proteins, reactive, active, and excited proteins. The genes responsible for making them are clustered together in a series, called an operon. This particular operon is referred to as Lux (short for luciferase, the devil’s protein). Please indulge me while I go all full science- nerd mode for a minute by including a Wiki-Google quote and reference. (Ahem); “ Luciferase produces blue/green light through the oxidation of reduced flavin mononucleotide and a long-chain aldehyde by diatomic oxygen: FMNH2+O2+R-CHO → FMN + R-COOH + H2O + Light” Silverman et al., 1984. That was impressive, eh? Yes, what fuels your summer fireflies blinking lust calls is just a simple snapping of a reactive oxygen site. However, my favorite glittery protein comes from the jellies. I mean the ones that swim in the ocean, not the ones that melt painfully onto your feet while waiting for at an ice cream cone stand on the boardwalk. The jellyfish species Aequorea victoria contains the unique photo organs which were found to express a green fluorescent protein (aka GFP). Though the true utility of this protein is unknown, it is thought to act as a means of electron donation; like chlorophyll does for plants. I myself have handled GFP in the lab, and its one nifty little organic molecule. When you look at its secondary sequence, it resembles a sturdy beer can ( hence the” beta barrel” nomenclature) surrounding a chromophore unit. This chromo (color) is activated when 3 certain amino acids are in the correct orientation. Then you simply shine a UV light on it to get it excited. “POW”! You are treated to an eyeful of the glowing scary green color often experienced at raves and grateful dead concerts (so I have heard). What makes the GFP so “lab geek-chic” is the way it’s able to be incorporated into different biotechnology applications. A researcher can track where a molecule goes by tethering it to a GFP, then it will “report” where it is by looking at it under the UV. When you see the color, there is the location. Believe it or not, zebrafish, mice, rats, cats, rabbits, flies, and even pigs have been labeled with GFP and its derivatives and these critters will glow under UV light. To be honest, I’d rather just enjoy the light show already happening in nature. The yellow blinking against the dark on a summer night and the shimmering red, purple, green light show behind the aquarium glass reminds me of the beauty of biological complexity. It’s not just about being able to quantify and utilize it scientifically. Glow on, little bioluminescents!
By Chris Carpenter
Our recent Venus Transit on June 5th was a once-ina-lifetime event. Venus transits (eclipses) the Sun about every 110 years in 8-year pairs. The last pair occurred before 1900; the next wonâ€™t happen until after 2100. The sun contains 99% of the mass in the solar system, yet only about 1% of the angular momentum. The sun will live for another 4.5 billion years, give or take. If you added up the mass of all the comets in the entire solar system, they would approximately equal the mass of the Earth. If the Earthâ€™s orbit was 1% closer or farther away from the Sun, we would boil or freeze to death.
Optimism of the May Day Faerie Fest By Julie Fisher
You cannot mention glitter and not summon faeries. Elusive beings that shadow us through history and culture, inviting us to dream, play and perhaps be a little mischievous. Glitter evokes pixie dust, magic dust, genies and princess fairies with wings bedecked and bejeweled and there is a place, a secluded place where this all comes to pass â€Ś Nestled in a rural pocket of Glen Rock, Pennsylvania lies 26 acre Spoutwood Farm where thousands converge over 3 days for the May Day Faerie Fest. This event became a mecca of mine, roughly 10 years ago. My curiosity tickled by fanciful, intricate, ink drawn fliers winking at me from coffee shop windows, I gathered my best pals and we made the jaunt.
Enchantment. The people watching is mesmerizing. It is clear who is there for the first time. They are a bit wide eyed, as if just awakened. Some have been traipsing awhile and have purchased accessories. They are a bit giddy. Soon you will see the Veterans. They are heavily adorned, and made up and committed to the persona they select. You cannot help grinning. They make you happy. You’ll find local farmers, a scattering of bikers, middle class families uber equipped with wagons and coolers and wet wipes and water bottles, hair well coifed directing pods of clean costumed children. Renaissance Festival regulars who add fairy wings to cherished leather and chain maille outfits. “Hippies” and Chip Irvine “pagans” clad mostly in mud. Babies in carriers and kids in strollers. Older people at home in their skin and rocking their costumes, teenagers and college students, singers and dancers and poets and hoopers-a gentle circus of exhibitionists. Even dogs in attire. A nature honoring ambience mingles with mythology and imagination.
The creative atmosphere recharges. Vendors and artists are chosen with care, selecting those that embrace magic and whimsy. Handmade and/or traditional wares are represented. All shopping, including food, is delightfully free of corporate blare. The festival layout meshes pockets of greenery, weathered farm buildings and a stretch of meadow with a real gem—the Spoutwood Observatory (see page 64). Playfulness is expected, making a perfect atmosphere for children to romp with their families. The farm is enhanced by thoughtful creations like the Oracle Maze and the Faerie House Trail. The Oracle requires traipsing through trees and shrubbery to find hidden pots of color. You must find five colors to get a complete Oracle reading. Once each finger is dipped, a giant sandwich board at maze end translates your color combination into a fortune. Even grownups get tangled in the playful spirit. The Faerie House Trail, this year’s discovery, is sequestered enough from one of the music stages you might not notice it right away. We sleuthed little dwellings hidden in foliage, and cozied in trunks. Visitors are invited to design with a hodge podge of recyclables like colored yarn, foils and a smattering of doll house furniture. Once we found a suitable nook, we busied ourselves. While the pageantry is such a treat and the farm is lovely, it’s not necessarily what draws me back each year. There is a quality that is singular in my experience, the sense of sanctuary offered. A recognition we need to
step away from the â€œrat raceâ€? from time to time to honor roots, history and natural cycles in order to greet the future. We NEED something to believe in when times are really hard, when odds seem insurmountable. The May Day Faerie Fest reminds us we have magic, stories, fairies to pull us through-give us that extra ounce of energy at the last possible moment. May Day is a recognition of Beltane-the end of winterâ€™s obstacles. The welcoming of Spring and new beginnings. A crucial ritual in human communities, I imagine this celebration is as old as people. The people of Spoutwood Farm recognize the need to unfurl and share the optimism of spring unfolding. We shed some angst and don some whimsy to eat, dance and play with one another. For a few hours unencumbered to celebrate Creation. This celebration is not new and the farm and festival organizers embrace science and technology that furthers their mission to reconnect people with nature. One example, using solar panels to provide some of the bands like, Telesma, electrical needs. Another is using social media to enlist the many volunteers that maintain daily functions of the farm and during Faerie Fest. The website, www.spoutwood.com is a great communication tool for newcomers and veterans alike. It often feels like modern society invests a lot to trivialize natural rhythms and cycles. Our techno age trumpets our dominance of the food chain, excusing our impulsive plunder of Earth and its creatures. So little, consequence is given to our addiction to instant gratification. Faerie Festivals are one visible manifestation of an effort to implement more conscious living. A growing but not quite mainstream concept some-
times called Transformational Culture. It meshes technology, art, improvisation and acknowledges having fun is a tool. These gatherings use performance and dance to cultivate a unity of purpose, not political affiliation. Spontaneity, Earth honoring, fusing ancient knowledge with new gleanings characterize this pseudo-communal approach to feeling less scattered in our lives. All kinds of people undertake celebrations which prioritize values often overlooked in capitalist driven cultures. This optimism is what I want to soak up. It’s what calls me every year, beckons my bones. The Faerie Fest is not Utopia. For example, it is predominantly White. I don’t know why. It is not Utopia, but it is a treasure. A little bubble saying “NO” to mainstream entertainment that nudges us towards buying stuff so
we’ll feel better. These “let’s just have some fun” and “express ourselves” gatherings seem to generate something truly valuable. It feels like the awareness of possible dire futures is fuel, a call to action rather than an ingredient for apathy. A mix of “do it yourself ” but “you can’t do it alone” makes this swell difficult to label or pigeonhole but you’ll know it when you feel it.
Blast Supper A grand scene, bits and odds hung from a ceiling or light fixture. A fan of some kind blowing glitter. “Full Bullets” Dates pregnant with cooking fat and and a violence of curling metal shavings
“Moonlit Harbor” Glittered broth with a deserted island of incandescent green garnish
“Rose Almondine” A dry almond cradled in fatty bacon swathed in an affectionate red rose
“Young Chickens in Detroit” An eggs-bolt salade, heavily peppered, dusted with glitter of multi-colours, with a drizzle of motor oil, set gently in a pellucid glass vase.
“Birth to Death” Chicken thighs, two dollops of whipped cream, colored metallic jewellery beads and tiny specks of gilded paper. (menu by Ashley Scurto)
Photos by Ad-Lib for Marvin Dobson Media
Flashing In the Sun with a Glitter of Knives by Dylan Kinnett “Except in struggle, there is no more beauty. No work without anaggressive character can be a masterpiece.” — The Founding and Manifesto of Futurism, F.T. Marinetti, 1909
carousing, Picture this. Wild youths have been drinking and e, lush carlate into the night. Surrounded by a beautiful dom dream aloud pets and hanging lanterns, they argue and they This is the and they proclaim their demands of the world. them, artists noisy spirit of youth at its best. They are, all of own genius. and thinkers and poets; every one of them is their s, old acadThese dreamers are finished with stuffy old idea night, lookemies, and old mythologies. They’re scanning the g to throw ing for adventure, looking for something, anythin ld around off the weight of the slow, tired, immovable wor ies of giant them. Out by the water, hot fires burn in the bell izon, huge, steam ships preparing to embark. Out on the hor in the first belching engines haul trains across the land. Yet, re doesn’t hours of this early morning, it is still too quiet. The lull seems to seem to be anything to break the lull, and that and quiet have lasted for centuries; things have been slow nd of autoforever! Suddenly, there is the unmistakable sou mobiles.
The leader of this young group of midnight poets exclaims, “Friends, away! Let’s go! Mythology and the Mystic Ideal are defeated at last. We’re about to see the Centaur’s birth and, soon after, the first flight of Angels!... We must shake at the gates of life, test the bolts and hinges. Let’s go! Look there, on the Earth, the very first dawn! There’s nothing to match the splendor of the sun’s red sword, slashing for the first time through our millennial gloom!” With that, they run to their cars and drive through the streets of the city like bats out of hell. Barking guard dogs recoil in horror at the powerful roar of these three cars. Zoom zoom zoom. People on bicycles can only wobble and look pathetic next to the incredible speed with which these young rebels tear through the streets. Zoom zoom. Crash! One of our young poets crashes his car, flips it, and submerges it in a sloppy ditch. No matter to him, though. He climbs blithely out of the sludge, and has the car towed, in front of an audience of onlookers who seem to him like relics from some ancient world. Everyone wants to know: will this car start again? It starts! Zoom! The events in this picture seem like something out of an all-American tale, perhaps from Kerouac’s New York, from the exploits of a Tom Wolfe hero, or even from a conversation overheard last weekend in a college bar. They occurred, however, in Italy, more than one hundred years ago, in 1909. The events of that night are written down, at the start of the Futurist Manifesto, which was one of the founding documents of a group of painters, sculptors, architects and musicians who called themselves the Futurists. Their movement, Futurism, would have a lasting effect on the art of the Twentieth Century and beyond, but it was a poet, not a visual artist, who first gave voice to the idea of futurism. The Italian poet Filippo Tommaso Marinetti wrote the first manifesto. He tells his exciting story about fast driving at the start of the manifesto in order to make two things clear: machines are glorious and speed is king. Understand these two ideas, and you understand the emotional force behind Futurism. Today, you hear the word futurist thrown around a lot by ped-dlers touting their internet solutions, their consultancy skills, their viral marketing strategies, their availability for public speaking engagements, their science fiction novels. You hear the word futurist in eulogies for Steve Jobs and biographies of James Cameron. You may hear the word used to describe monuments proposed to be erected on the site of the World Trade Center, or to describe any architecture that looks, somehow futuristic.
It seems we’re transfixed, now more than ever, with the glit-tery promises and dire consequences of technology. We call it a revolution, and we invent grandiose terms to describe it, like information superhighway or Cyberspace and many wonder whether this new age of information may be so boldly different on an evolutionary scale as to set it apart, the way the bronze age is set apart from the stone age. In 1909, it was the industrial, not the digital revolution that was on the minds of young, reckless writers of manifestos. The new age, for them, was one which had brought them steam engines and electricity, telegraphs and telephones, towering steel structures and, best of all, zooming automobiles, all within a relatively short period of time. The pace of invention during this new age must have seemed staggering, and to many, exciting. In 1909, the Titanic hadn’t been built yet, but that ship was the product of the spirit of its day, a spirit which put tremendous faith in the infallibility of the machine. At the time, there had never been a World War, but the possibility of one seemed interesting, even desirable, to the young futurists, as an opportunity to shake off some dead weight. It is important to note the political aspects of Futurism, which was born out of a time of increasing industrialization and tension in the years leading up to fascist Italy and World War One. By 1918, a political party was formed, called the Futurist Political Party, by the author of the original Futurist Manifesto, Flippo Marinetti. The artists thought of Fascism as one of many ways to bring modern reform to their society. Futurism’s spirit of liberation from the past that is ultimately more interesting than its unfortunate political affiliations, which left many futurists shamed or overlooked, in the years after the fall of fascism. The futurist manifesto made bold promises to establish an aesthetics of the future, and it spread quickly. The clear demands, instructions, numbered statements and bold claims published in manifesto format made a potent way for the idea of futurism to spread worldwide. It could be said that the manifestos describing their art are actually the best artworks the futurists ever produced. In 1910, two manifestos were published, “The Manifesto of the Futurist Painters” and the more detailed “Technical Manifesto of Futurist Painting” which set out to define a new school of futurist painters, with a new, more scientific approach to artistic experimentation. The Technical Manifesto of Futurist Painting says, “we would at any price re-enter into life. Victorious science has nowadays disowned its past in order the better to serve the material needs of our time; we would that art, disowning its past, were able to serve at last the intellectual needs which are within us.” More manifestos followed: in 1911, the “Manifesto of Futurist Playwrights” and the “Technical Manifesto of Futurist Music”; In 1912, the “Technical Manifesto of Futurist Sculpture”, the “Tech-nical Manifesto of Futurist Literature” and “Abstract Cinema – Chromatic Music”; In 1913, a second literary manifesto was published entitled “Imagination Without Strings – Words-in-Freedom” as well as “The Art of Noise,” a founding document for much of experimental music in the Twentieth Century; In 1914, the “Manifesto of Futurist Architecture” and so on... Over time, more than 50 manifestos in total applied the idea of futurism to nearly every aspect of life.
The futurists reimagined even the culinary arts. In the 1930 Manifesto of Futurist Cooking and in the more detailed 1932 Fu-turist Cookbook the futurists describe recipes for dishes and ban-quets that push the experience of food into the realm of performance art. Today, a futurist banquet might remind its participants of the “happenings” of the 1960s, or of contemporary performance in general, which has become more common during the 20th Century. At one of these banquets, instructions for the behavior of dinner guests would include absurd, sensory experiences, such as wearing sandpaper and eating in total darkness. The food is meant to be sensed and interacted with all the senses, and thus it is rarely edible. The Italian futurists were opposed to that most traditional of Italian foods, pasta, on the grounds that eating too much of it would make a person sluggish. This antipasta attitude (pun intended) was controversial, of course. Writings that resemble recipes are found throughout the body of futurist writings. After all, a manifesto is similar to a recipe in several ways. Both frequently contain lists. Both are written to prescribe a course of action to produce the intended results. Both can be modified in order to produce slightly different results. It comes of little surprise then that the author of so many manifestos would eventually turn to writing recipes. In the manifestos, the futurists are opposed to the traditional aspects of nearly every form of creative work. One example is an opposition to the painting of nudes, not because the naked body is dirty, but because it has become a boring, overused subject for art. “Nothing is immoral in our eyes; it is the monotony of the nude against which we fight.” The manifestos challenge some long-held assumptions, traditions, habits and practices, such as the assumption that literature should be beautiful, or that it should be able to be understood by everyone. “They shout at us, ‘Your literature won’t be beautiful! Where is your verbal symphony, your harmonious swaying back and forth, your tran-quilizing cadences?’ Their loss we take for granted! And how lucky! We make use, instead, of every ugly sound, every expressive cry from the violent life that surrounds us. We bravely create the “ugly” in literature, and everywhere we murder solemnity. Come! Don’t put on these grand priestly airs when you listen to me! Each day we must spit on the Altar of Art. We are entering the unbounded domain of free intuition. After free verse, here finally are words-in-freedom.” Today, even though some ideas like abstraction and a focus on the “new” have been communicated to nearly everyone in our culture, there are still some ideas in the futurist manifestos whose time seems yet-to-come. Many of these are the literary ideas set down in Marinetti’s manifestos, which are now one hundred years old. Now that today really is the future, from Futurism’s point-of-view, perhaps a survey of those ideas would prove to be inspiring, for a new literary generation, who now enjoy computers, desktop publishing, the Internet and an unprecedented ability to manipulate and disseminate language, quickly and globally. Perhaps now is a good time for futurist literature?
RECIPE FOR THE LITERATURE OF THE FUTURE Like any good manifesto, the “Words in Freedom” manifesto be-gins with a list of conditions. These conditions are elements of life and society, in an increasingly modern Europe at the turn of the Twentieth Century. To be fair, there are some ideas on the list that sound very dated, and almost naive, after the fact of two world wars. For example, “a modification in the idea of war, which has become the necessary and bloody test of a people’s force.” Those ideas are the exception, however. Most of the premise for the manifesto sounds very familiar, with several useful ideas that sound as though they could have been written very recently, or at any time: •
Pace of life is becoming faster.
People love anything new or unexpected.
Excitement, danger and heroism are emphasized.
Gender equality is better now than it was in the past.
• For better or worse, materialism has replaced romance as the place where desire is most often expressed. •
Cultural identity involves a sense of the national economy and industry.
The world seems smaller now, with increased and improved travel.
Attention spans are getting shorter. “Quick, give me the whole thing in two words!”
The human experience is infused with evermore technology.
A common theme throughout all these observations is speed. Another is technology. These are two of the critical elements of a futurist literary aesthetic, first outlined in the manifesto entitled “Technical Manifesto of Futurist Literature” and refined further in “Destruction of Syntax—Imagination without strings—Words-in-Freedom.” WORDS IN FREEDOM Speed is an important element, because it enables a more direct approach. Speed frees words from clutter. Speed makes words direct. According to Marinetti, words should be free, they should be delivered swiftly, “with the same economical speed that the tele-graph imposes on reporters and war correspond-ents in their swift reportings. This urgent laconism answers not only to the laws of speed that govern us but also to the rapport of centuries between poet and audience. Between poet and audience, in fact, the same rapport exists as between two old friends. They can make themselves understood with half a word, a gesture, a glance. So the poet’s imagination must weave together distant things with no connecting strings, by means of essential free words.”
He names this idea “Words in Freedom” and today we can find similar things everywhere. We’re increasingly able to communicate in ways that resemble Marinetti’s futurist recipe. Since the telegraph of his day, we’ve experienced developments like the one minute commercial, the subway poster, the e-mail, the text message, the tweet — all of these are delivered swiftly, simultaneously, and many of them resemble the rapport between friends, more than they resemble the traditional sense of “literature”. The suggestion to write in short, swift and fast-traveling ways now seems to be a very easy suggestion to take. MULTI-LINEAR LYRICISM Among many observations about contemporary life, there are common references to “information overload” which is a condition, real or imagined, where the swiftly delivered messages are coming too often, all at once, and at such a pace that it has become impossible to consume all, or even most, of the information in depth. (The idea of information overload presupposes that all information is best consumed entirely and in depth, like a newspaper that everyone would read from cover to cover.) A century ago, a state of information overload seemed inevitable, and even desirable, to the futurists. It provided a relief from what Marinetti calls Art with a Capital A. “Art with a capital A constitutes the clericalism of the creative spirit. I ... incite the Futurists to destroy and mock the garlands, the palms, the aureoles, the exquisite frames, the mantles and stoles, the whole historical wardrobe and the romantic bric-a-brac that comprise a large part of all poetry up to now.” What today we might call “information overload” Marinetti calls Multi-linear Lyricism, and he offers a recipe for how a writer might create the effect. “On several parallel lines, the poet will throw out several chains of color, sound, smell, noise, weight, thickness, analogy. One of these lines might, for instance, be olfactory, another musical, another pictorial. Let us suppose that the chain of pictorial sensations and analogies dominates the others. In this case it will be printed in a heavier typeface than the second and third lines...” Today, when reading this outline, it is easy to associate it with multimedia, cinema, or performance art, where these different sensory elements are as “lines” in a poem. With the advent of so many tools for manipulating typefaces, sounds and pictures, millions of people are now able to create multi-linear lyricism. It seems only a matter of time until writers take up these tools to aid them in the creation of new work. FREE EXPRESSIVE ORTHOGRAPHY The futurist manifestos were written at a time when abstraction was becoming an increasingly important element in the visual arts. Impressionism, Cubism, Futurism, and others — all involved the creation of images that were less literal, less precise than, for example, the paintings of the Renaissance or even the photograph, which was still relatively new at the time. Why didn’t literature become more abstract at the same time? Futurism pro-
posed that it could, by admonishing writers to “freely deform, reflesh the words, cutting them short, stretching them out, reinforcing the center or the extremities, augmenting or diminishing the number of vowels and consonants.” This kind of abstract writing does occur from time to time. Some examples include skat jazz lyrics, DaDa sound poetry, phrases invented for use within text messages; it can be done visually by zen calligraphers or by visual poets, but it isn’t done very often. Literary artists just don’t seem to be as interested in abstrac-tion as their musical and visual cousins. In the future, perhaps they might be. On the other hand, many might object to too much abstraction, because words are expected to have meaning; it requires special talent and understanding to convey abstraction in a compelling and interesting way, and without that, most people will say “I don’t get it.” Marinetti would say “I do not care for the comprehension of the multitude, I will reply that the number of Futurist public speakers is increasing and that any admired traditional poem, for that matter, requires a special speaker if it is to be understood.” MUSICAL NOTATION So much of poetry depends upon the way it sounds and yet, more often than not, it is written on paper and read silently. Futurism suggests a way to break free of those silent habits, by borrowing from the idea of musical notation. In written music, there are easy ways to read instructions to speed up, slow down, to grow louder or more quiet, to add more sounds or fewer. A large part of written music is a set of instructions for how to perform the music, to control the way that it sounds. If the sound of poetry is also so important, then why do we only write the words and not those instructions? This can be done very easily, with the use of parenthetical instructions. “We put between parentheses indications such as (fast) (faster) (slower) (two-beat time) to control the speed of the style.” Just as it is often done in music, the instructions might also be placed above the lines of the main text. If, one hundred years ago, the futurists had known about pocket-sized sound recording devices, they may have suggested that all poets should write by speaking into these, and to abandon the page. After all, it is easier, faster, and more direct to hear the changes in the sound of a poem as performed by its author, than it would be to decipher some stage directions about it. DESTRUCTION OF SYNTAX The syntax of a language is the set of rules the govern the way that words are arranged. There are right ways and wrong ways to arrange words. Not so for the futurists. Marinetti proposes that writers should destroy syntax. This can be done by using any of the methods above, but in particular, it can be done with a new understanding of pronouns, adjectives and verbs. The pronoun “I” is to literature what the nude figure is to painting; it is overused, boring, perhaps meaningless because of its overuse and should be avoided. This sentiment is parallel to a common statement today, a statement expressed by the title of a recent book which purports to be a kind of tutorial for how to write on the internet. The title is
“No One Cares What You Had For Lunch Today.” It is good writing advice to focus on more substantial things, especially in a world where people are live-blogging their lunches. If the focus is on substantial things, then it’s possible for adjectives to get in the way, according to futurism. “We must make use of the adjective as little as possible and in a manner completely different from its use hitherto. One should treat adjectives like railway signals of style, employ them to mark the tempo, the retards and pauses along the way.” It might be difficult to imagine a text that uses adjectives in a completely different way, but Marinetti suggests something that sounds quite a bit like what we now call a “word cloud” where the adjective is in the center, and other words and phrases surround it, so that the adjective is understood to modify every other idea on the page. He calls such an all-modifying adjective the “lighthouse adjective.” A style focused on speed, and on direct things, would naturally prefer the most direct form of a verb, the infinitive. In many cases, the infinitive can stand all alone, as a sentence would, so that the words are free. To live! To die! Infinitive statements like these lend a sense of urgency to the text, and can be used to make calls to action. For example, in what is now a familiar trope for a manifesto, the Manifesto of Futurist Musicians contains a list of numbered conclusions, or calls to action: to convince, to combat, to abstain, to keep at a distance, to destroy, to proclaim, to transform, etc. TYPOGRAPHIC REVOLUTION Futurists are keenly aware that printing a mechanical process. Futurists celebrate this and, for example, one Futurist book was bound together by large metal bolts. Perhaps the most important mechanical process involved with printing is the type itself. For the futurists, words in freedom would demand that the typography should also be free. No more regimented rows of letters in neat, orderly arrangement. The size, shape and position of the words, letters and symbols on the page can be freed up, and used as part of the artwork. A futurist writer, one hundred years ago, would thrill to see the word clouds and info-graphics in use today, or the many software applications that allow us to manipulate the appearance of text on the page or a screen. As these tools become commonplace, they are able to have some effect on the way people write with them. The goal of all this, in Marinetti’s words, is to “redouble the expressive force of words” to “hurl them in the reader’s face” to “impress on the words (already free, dynamic, and torpedo-like) every velocity of the stars, the clouds, aeroplanes, trains, waves, explosives, globules of seafoam, molecules, and atoms.” It would be just as new and exciting, now as then, to write this way, and with the tools that are available now, it should be easier and, best of all, it should be faster.
CO N T R I B U TO R S
Photos by Ad-lib for Alexander Dobson Media. The Apple Lady has a Master’s in Library Science and another one in Fine Arts (writing), but one of the reasons she keeps her Daily Apple blog is to show people that anyone can look up pretty much any question, no matter how silly or far-fetched it may seem, and find someone on the internet who knows the answer! www.dailyapple.blogspot.com Jeff Brunell is a songwriter, transit-advocate and autodidact living in a wide bucket in north Baltimore. He’s wearing just Underoos and some black knee socks. Shelley Burke www.scarlethana.deviantart.com Gary Blankenburg has degrees in English from Illinois University (B.S., M.S.), Johns Hopkins University (M.L.A.), and Carnegie-Mellon University (D.A.). A retired English teacher, he is the author of several books of poetry and fiction and have published widely in small magazines, literary journals, and anthologies such as The Wormwood Review, The Salmon, Puerto del Sol, The Baltimore Review, Poetry Motel, Blue Collar Review, Gargoyle, Passager, etc. He was a founding editor of The Maryland Poetry Review and edited weekly poetry columns for a number of newspapers. His doctoral dissertation treated the confessional poets: John Berryman, Robert Lowell, Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, and W. D. Snodgrass. During the writing of the dissertation, he often met and consulted with Professor Snodgrass while he was at University of Delaware. Author and artist, Kathy Cano-Murillo is the founder of the award-winning web site, CraftyChica.com. She has been making, selling, and teaching her “Chicano Pop Art” crafts since 1990. Her handmade pieces have been carried by Target, Bloomingdales, Hallmark, as well as hundreds of indie boutiques across the country. She has her own craft product line, has been featured in The New York Times, USA Today and on Lifetime TV, HGTV and DIY Network. A former newspaper craft columnist for the The Arizona Republic, Kathy has authored seven craft books including Crafty Chica’s Guide to Artful Sewing (Potter Craft), and the novels Waking Up in the Land of Glitter and Miss Scarlet’s School of Patternless Sewing (Grand Central Publishing). She lives with her husband, two kids and five Chihuahuas Chris Carpenter—Director of Programming at Spoutwood Farm Observatory http://spoutwood.org/spoutwood-observatory
Earl Crown has worked in financial services and also as a freelance writer and journalist since graduating from Towson University in 1997. His work is regularly featured in independent magazines such as “Smile, Hon, You’re in Baltimore!” and “Tales of Blood and Roses.” He has been a featured speaker at the CityLit Book Fair for the past few years, and in 2012 Earl was a featured storyteller for the Stoop Storytelling Series. Find his work www.eightstonepress.com.hon/index/html & www.unpopularpublications.com Crunchy Betty www.crunchybetty.com/about Clark Doherty is a 29 year old charm city vagrant with a sweettooth that’ll boggle your mind. When you don’t see him wandering naked on his back porch, you’ll find him busy doodling on sugar packets, trying to create his next art piece. Earthgoddess is a writer, a poet, and a general smarty-pants who has been involved in the expression of alternative sexuality for over two decades. Matthew Falk is a writing teacher, editor, grad student, and musician who lives in Baltimore. His poems, stories, and reviews have appeared in dozens of online and print journals. His favorite legume is the chickpea, and his favorite number is *i*. He believes people should be nicer to one another.” Julie Fisher believes in magical human beings and sacred places. In her bones, she knows poetry is the language of desire and transcendence. She cultivates communal experience in public spaces like poetry readings and quietly with words on pages. Magic Octopus Magazine has been haunting her brain case for a number of years. “Skittering Thing” her just released chapbook can be purchased online from Furniture Press (http://furniturepressbooks.com/) It was through his travels to intoxicating locations such as Palau, Bali, Provence, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Venice and Paris that Brian Garrido became enamored with world cuisine. Garrido believes that food is an intrinsic part of the travel experience, beyond the shopping, museums or sites a location has to offer. From fresh tortellini served piping hot in an Umbrian trattoria to the ancient delicacy of ant larvae in interior Mexico to Palaun fruit bat soup, which was created as remedy for ridden disease (or so say the Palauns), the local food in the 142 cities (and 22 countries) that Garrido has visited played an intricate part of his travel experience. Kate Gillespie is “a microbiologist getting my mojo on”. She is very new to the creative writing scene and happy that Baltimore has been the big inspiration to explore things speculative,poetic,and scientific. Her writing has been published in the 2010 Urbanite magazine’s “what you are writing” section, and select poetry featured in the 2011 “Follow the Buffalo “Anthology. The Toska Magazine premiere issue in June 2012 includes her short non-fiction “Ground, in water”. Simone Gray www.simonegray.tumblr.com
Lydia Nitya Griffith is a certified Feng Shui consultant and Chinese Astrologer with over 10 years experience working with clients throughout the USA. She lives in Richmond VA and is available for consults in the Virginia/ Maryland area. Contact Lydia at nitya108@verizon. net or 804-678-8568 Anthony C. Hayes is an actor, author, book and theater critic, raconteur, rapscallion and popular area poet. A frequent contributor to the news blogs, Voice of Baltimore and The Baltimore Post-Examiner, his poetry has been featured in the Baltimore Post-Examiner; in Smile, Hon, You’re in Baltimore and Tales of Blood and Roses. Tony is best known for getting quite pouty when he’s had a few too many. And stand back when he gets all Paul Lynde in your face. Chip Irvine is a multimedia artist with a BS in Fine Arts and an MFA in Digital Media from Towson University. He is a published poet and a sailboat captain. www.chipirvine.com Bruce A. Jacobs is an author, poet, musician, and performance artist who lives in Baltimore. Theresa Keil www.theresakeil.com Dylan Kinnett is the founding editor of *Infinity’s Kitchen http://infinityskitchen.com/*, a journal of experimental literature. He is a published author of hypertexts, art criticism and a spoken word album. In 2006, he collaborated to write “The Physicalist Manifesto,” the start of a artistic movement that ultimately failed. Renee K. Noll aka New Moon—You can view more on her site www.Newmoonoracle.com or send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Kristylynn84 Designer, Creator, Inventor. #1 Hobby—brainstorming. I love doing things for people and I love crafting. http://www.instructables.com/you/inbox?view=X24HRZVH2TIL6C1 Philip Edward Laubner “I grew up outside of Boston, MA, playing music, taking pictures and eventually moving into the city to work as a graphic artist. I get bored easily and I crave excitement; so I moved to New Orleans in 2002, I didn’t realize how exciting it was going to get! After Hurricane Katrina I worked at an under-staffed, full service ad agency; I wore a bunch of hats including graphic designer and staff photographer. I moved to Baltimore in August of 2007 and was struck by its quirky charm, its amazing people, and its incredible art scene. I love it here!” Alex Masica www.alexmasica.com Sophia Matricciani attends Arts & Ideas Sudbury School, makes art all the time and freely admits she has a Dr. Who problem.
Mary Elizabeth Mays—A poet who lives in Baltimore. Michael Monroe was born in Baltimore, MD in 1976 and has lived there most of his life. He is a computer programmer who works at the University of Maryland at Baltimore’s School of Social Work. His poetry has been published in Gargoyle Magazine, nthposition, the Lyric, Scribble, the Loch Raven Review, Foliate Oak, Primalzine, and various other publications. Two of his poems were also recorded on the Words on War CD produced by Birdhouse Studios. He often does poetry readings with Gimme Shelter Productions to raise money for the homeless in Baltimore. Matt Muirhead—A multi media artist living in Hampden Adam Robinson lives in Baltimore, where he runs Publishing Genius Press. He is the author of Adam Robison and Other Poems (Narrow House 2010). Ashley Scurto is a multi-talented cynic and a driven sensualist, bound always for greener pastures. She writes poetry, nonfiction, sings, and plays inexpert guitar. She has a genius-level spelling IQ, she dislikes literality, and has a strange affinity for sucking on sponges. She has been Belly Dancing for 8 years and teaching it for 3. Music is her sixth sense, and language, her fifth limb--she cannot live, cannot move without them. Becky Siegmund is a Baltimore resident and a 2004 graduate from the Maryland Institute. Her work tends to use the faces of cats as a vehicle for expressing our own emotions. Justin Sirois is the author of the novel *Falcons on the Floor *and * DMBSTRCK*, a new novel that will be out from Dark Sky Books in 2013. He publishes books with the Narrow House collective, and is the recipient of several Maryland state grants. Chris Toll is a poet and collagemaker. He co-curates the Benevolent Armchair Reading Series. In 2011, Publishing Genius Press released his book, The Disinformation Phase. Joe Wall www.joewall.com Jim Warner is the author of two poetry collections Too Bad It’s Poetry and Social Studies (Paper Kite Press). His poetry has appeared in The North American Reviews, Word Riot, Drunken Boat, Cause and Effect, and various other journals. Jim is a the former Assistant Director of Graduate Creative Writing Programs at Wilkes University and currently hosts The AWP All-Collegiate Afterhours Poetry Slam. Jowita Wyszomirska www.jowitawyszomirska.com
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Published on Aug 28, 2012
A Baltimore arts, life and writing magazine, Magic Octopus features essays, fiction, poetry and lots of photographs. This is the pilot issue...