After stumbling upon a Pitchfork article that completely shat all over one of my favorite albums, I started thinking about favorites.
The album in question was my guide down the rabbit hole of electronica. It’s a little bit wacky, and a lot a bit psychedelic.
DJ Me DJ You’s Rainbows and Robots was a huge part of my adolescence. Even now, I have the entire album loaded onto my phone which is a rarity for me.
While I was reading that article, I started to think about other things I’ve liked in the past. Some that have stuck around, and some that haven’t. My favorite movie when I was 13 was Rat Race. Now, it’s Carrie, which ousted Hannah and Her Sisters (because ew, Woody Allen come on). What’s funny is that Scotland, PA has been second on my list for the duration of all of the switching around of favorites. Most of the list has stayed the same, actually. The Cruise, Judy Berlin, Harold and Maude, Little Shop of Horrors, Blazing Saddles…
It’s funny to think about how parts of us change, while others stay the same. Is it fair to say that when we get down to our most intimate pieces, we will have parts of us that will always be the same? Our superficialities may change rapidly, but the core of ourselves shifts very gradually.
I implore you now to get out your idea books, and take stock of some of your favorites. If you don’t have a “numbered list” think of the exercise as more of a cloud of things. Maybe favorite is too much pressure. When you think about things you may like to put in your cloud/list think about media, or people, or whatever nouns have brought you the most positive feelings. Maybe you saw a movie that didn’t make you feel great, but it opened your eyes to something you hadn’t considered before. Maybe you have a deep appreciation for something, but not an inherent ~like of it. There aren’t really any strict rules to making your favorites list, however you want to define “favorite” is the right way to define it.
Think about some benchmarks in your life, and try to remember what things brought you the most joy at those times. School wasn’t too long ago for me, so I’m still able to recall a few of my favorites from then. Portland had a really great oldies station called KISN FM for most of my childhood, and it was my favorite radio station. I liked watching E.R. (and still do!) it’s one of my favorite shows.
Anyway, it may help to break things down in one or more of these ways:
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL // MIDDLE SCHOOL // HIGH SCHOOL // COLLEGE // NOW
MUSIC // FILMS // TELEVISION // BOOKS // PEOPLE // PHRASES
WINTER // SPRING // SUMMER // FALL
INSIDE // OUTSIDE
HOME // AWAY
Take as many pages as you need to create an accurate representation of your favorites. Don’t be embarrassed of what you put on the lists/clouds either! (My favorite band is a vocal jazz quartet from the 70’s, for instance.) Remember: no one has to see this list but you. It shouldn’t be used as an exercise to show other people how ~rad~ you are, or make you feel like you need to put certain things on there to fit someone else’s definition of cool. It’s all you baby, just you.
Lately life has been insanity. I’ve been quite busy with work, which I love; and I’ve been a little stuck creatively—which I don’t love.
I haven’t been feeling well, and I finally figured out that my body has no vitamin D. The last time I was severely low on vitamin D I felt better immediately after I started taking supplements. Here’s hoping!
My plan for the evening is to slam at PPS. I have two poems ready to go, and I hope I make it past round one because my round two poem is nuts.
With that said, it’s been a sad week. My lovely friend Cassandra died, and I’ve been really upset about it. I’ve been trying to think of an idea book post, or something to ~say about it, but I have nothing. She was a truly wonderful person, and the world is less without her in it. It’s weird that even if you lose close touch with someone you can still miss them as if the last time you’d seen them was yesterday. Sometimes life is cruel, I suppose.
Lately I’ve been putting on music before bed again. My anxiety has been flaring up in a major way the last few weeks. I’m thankful that, like always, my meds take off the physical edge; however it’s been hard getting to sleep lately.
I threw together a playlist of stuff I’ve been listening to a lot lately, some of it sleepy, some of it I’ve been enjoying singing in my car, some of it tending to my hurt heart.
I hope everyone’s been having a better week than I have.
Click the image to listen~!
I have been doing so many things this week. My housemate invited me to go climbing at the bouldering gym she works at, today I biked 15 miles because I was too cheap to take the bus, and I’ve scheduled a private dance lesson for this coming Saturday which I am completely stoked about!
The only sad news about this week is that Divaville is coming to a close. Christa, the DJ, had asked fans to send in voice memos about anything related to Divaville and said she’d play some of her favorites on the show. Naturally, being the heartbroken young lady I am, I sent her a quick message that I loved the weird looks I got tapping in public when I was listening to the show on my phone. She sent me a lovely email back thanking me for the message, and then said that she’d definitely be using it in the show this week!
You must, must, MUST tune into the final episode of Divaville, it’s such a wonderful show and a darn shame that it’s not going to be on anymore! It’ll be on KMHD this Wednesday from 7-9pm PST. I’m considering skipping my dance class to listen to it and cry. I’ll miss it so much!
As I was biking to my friend’s house across town this afternoon, I stopped into a coffee shop for a spot of iced tea so I could slow my heart rate down. I mused in my journal that I was excited to be out and about on such a beautiful day, and that even though the ride would be difficult, it wouldn’t be impossible.
I’ve had this journal for a year and a half, which has to be a new record for me. I decided to skip back a few pages and see what I was doing this time last year. I came across an entry that I consider to be the most private one in my entire journal: 50 fun facts.
Something relatively simple shouldn’t be seem personal, right? I had a teacher in college who was a really interesting lady named Ann. My roommates had her as well. In their class, she had them write 50 things about themselves, and then went around the room having everyone share their lists. She didn’t have us do it, and I was kind of bummed.
Here was the blurb I wrote before my list of 50 things:
I was thinking about Ann today. She corrupted my thoughts such that I shouted her name instead of an obscenity at a driver in front of me on the way to work. Her innate ability to turn even the most benign thing insufferably awkward will always astound and delight me. So future Mac, this one’s for Ann.
Here’s a video of Ann doing a reading at an SVA event, for context.
Your idea book prompt is to write 50 facts about yourself.
I’m going to share with you the first fact on my list, because I think it’s important when going forward:
1. It’ll be really hard not to make these glib, or tongue in cheek.
Basically the hope for this prompt is not that you’ll list simple things about your life. (Though, if that’s what you feel most comfortable doing, don’t let me stand in your way!) Dig really deep and think about some really important truths in your life that maybe you haven’t been able to express out loud, or concisely talk about before.
I’ll share some of mine to help you see what I consider some of my more personal facts.
7. What frustrates me most about my artistic process is the notion of accuracy. I hate feeling that I’ve expressed myself inaccurately, or that I’ve failed to properly capture what I’ve been thinking.
9. It irritates me when people say they have me “figured out”.
20. Sometimes I think I have OCD, but I’m pretty sure I just have compulsions caused by anxiety.
36. Artistic or otherwise inaccurate representations of penises make me laugh, but actual penises gross me out.
50. Because most of these were written in one day, I’m not sure how accurate they are. I’m really emotionally inconsistent sometimes.
See if you can find it within yourself to articulate things you notice about the world, or hopes about how the world notices you.
It may be emotionally draining, but I guarantee it will be totally worth it.
Some of you may be spending Valentine’s day sulking. I’m spending my VDay working on robot slam poetry, and eating dollar boxes of heart-shaped junior mints. Magenta may be my favorite color, but Valentine’s day has always bothered me. Even when I’ve been in various courtships, I’ve never been able to get my head around it. Finally I was able to put aside my confusion and find a reason to celebrate, thanks to Amy Poehler.
Honestly though, why do we need a calendar day to celebrate our lady friends?
The other day Hannah and I were texting back and forth about the complete craziness that makes up both of our lives, and I was tickled pink to have a friend like her, she’s fabulous!
Your latest idea book prompt is as follows:
Isn’t it about time your BFF got a love note?
Think of it like you’re singing this to the universe, proclaiming how awesome your bestie is:
Whether you decide to actually *send* the letter to your best friend is completely up to you. Hannah and I basically text each other on the daily about how awesome we think the other is, but you and your BFF may not.
Essentially this idea book prompt is all about expressing gratitude for the awesome people in your life. Let loose: why are you so lucky to have such great friends?
Maybe you make a list of awesome qualities this person has…For Hannah, I’d say stuff like:
- Super practical about her creativity. (I’m always off in space, so it’s nice to have something bringing me back down to earth.)
- Motivated & driven.
- Zero tolerance for people’s bullshit.
Maybe you make a list, or write longer entries about some silly memories or inside jokes you guys have?
- No one RANTS like P-Dawg, drills in CAN’TS like P-Dawg….
- One time Kathryn (my other best friend) and I went to go see Hannah at her SUPER RAD apartment in SF. It was awesome!
- On my 20th birthday, Hannah, our other friend Caitlin and I went to go see Storm Large do a one woman show at Portland Center Stage. So great!
Or maybe you do something else like draw a picture, make a collage, or compile a playlist of songs that remind you of this person?
What makes you happy to have your bestie in your life?
Happy Galentine’s day (or Anna Howard Shaw day)~!
Made a mix the other day because I was daydreaming about lazy summer afternoons. Click the image to give it a listen!
The other day I found a confusing post about something that really caught my eye. Apparently you can use ink blender pens to do image transfers? Color me intrigued! I scoured the internet for more info, as that post was a little bare for my taste. I found out that you need a few things to get started. Naturally, I was all over it.
Above is a photo of my workstation for the day. Items pictured are:
- My sketchbook. It has bristol paper, so it’ll handle both paint and pencil.
- A few images to transfer, that I cut out of a local newspaper.
- Packing tape, to secure the images.
- Scissors, for…cutting more pictures out.
- A popsicle stick to press all the bubbles out, if there are any.
- My lino press, for the same purpose as the popsicle stick. (I ended up using neither.)
- And most importantly: A BLENDER PEN.
The reason Chartpak is recommended pretty much across the board is because of a chemical called Xylene which is instrumental in the ink transferring process.
I wasn’t thinking enough ahead to take step-by-step pictures of the process, so I’ll do my best to explain.
- FIGURE OUT WHICH PICTURE YOU WANT TO USE. I’d read that pictures from newspapers seem to work the best, so I tried those first. I had absolutely the worst luck with them! The other thing I’d read was that you should only use laserjet, or copier printed images instead of inkjet. The next few pictures I tried were just some I had stored away in my reference box, and those worked the best of all. I have no idea which type of printer they came out of.
- TAPE THE PICTURE TO THE PAPER. If you’re at all worried about if you’ll manage to keep it in the same spot the entire time you’re coating it with ink, (as I am) this step is important. Make sure that the tape you use isn’t covering an integral part of the image, because the ink won’t be able to soak through the tape. It also doesn’t have to be a lot of tape either. A little strip on the corner that just holds the image in place should do it.
- OPEN A WINDOW. Believe me when I say those markers smell HORRIFIC. Pretty sure I have a bit of a contact high right now, and it’s not at all pleasant.
- COAT THE IMAGE WITH YOUR MARKER. After futzing around with a few different styles, what ended up working best for me was coloring right over the important parts of the image with a healthy glop of ink. I tried doing alternating vertical/horizontal lines, but those didn’t work as well as just throwing caution to the wind and coloring like I was in preschool. The other thing you can do is peak a little to make sure the image is transferring properly. A few times I’d noticed that some facial intricacies hadn’t come out as detailed as I would have liked, so I was able to just glob a few more coats on before taking the tape off.
- TAKE A SECOND AND MARVEL IN YOUR ARTISTIC PROWESS. You know, because you’re awesome!
Before I’d messed with things a little, I was all ready to right a blog that was like, “I had higher hopes for this experiment.” After testing different pictures that I’d had laying around, I was absolutely delighted to find this was a totally viable method of image transferring! In the past I’ve messed with a plethora of methods of polaroid transfer, so it’s nice to find something that isn’t as expensive and delivers a comparable result.
Here’s how my end product turned out:
The fuzzy, non-identifiable images are all pictures that I cut out of the newspaper. (Wah-wahhhhhh…) I kept the two scraps of Gillian Anderson, as well as the Alice drawing next to the transfers so you could get an idea of how they turned out vs. the original image.
I HIGHLY recommend giving this a try. After I was able to figure everything out, it was a blast! Don’t give up hope if everything looks terrible at first, keep working with it until it does; because the results look awesome.
Wednesday was my last full day without tattoos. Weird, right? I live in the most inked city in the USA, and I waited until I was 25 years old!
I had been thinking about getting tattoos of my two favorite ladies, my own personal Frances and Jet, the women who always make me smile no matter what; for ten years. Since I was 15, I’d been dreaming about getting something to remind myself that when I was sad, things would turn out alright.
Last gratuitous ink-free selfie! (Yes, I’m wearing a Blanche Devereaux shirt.)
In any case, mid last week I got fired. I needed a little pick-me-up from feeling bummed, so I dipped into my savings and rewarded my hard work over the last four months.
A photo posted by Mac (@bittaterrific) on
Finally, Gilda and Madeline’s signatures on my wrist! I was (and still am!) elated. The artist did a terrific job, it wasn’t terribly painful, and now I have my most favorite ladies with me at all times. How cool is that?
Thought I’d share my process incase anyone else (like me!) is a super tattoo newb.
TIPS FOR YOUR FIRST INK:
1. Decide what you want, and figure out if it requires a consult.
The shop I went to offered a free consult, to meet with your/an artist to discuss ideas, placement, and other shenanigans. If you’re not sure, a consult would be a great time to ask all of your questions. (How long will this take? What’s your hourly? Do you have a shop minimum? Will the spot I picked feel like someone’s stabbing me with a rusty pickaxe?)
If your idea is also complicated, and you’re mildly tech-savy, it’s a good idea to throw a mockup together in Photoshop or Gimp to give the artist a better idea of what you’re looking for. With me, because my designs were small and simple, I just found the signatures I liked the best, and put them on a jump drive for her to size & print at the shop.
2. Do your mother$%&#ing research!
For the right artist of course! I was really particular about who I went to. If you’re looking for your piece to be done in a very specific style, do some googlin’ and see who’s most well known for that style in your area, or google something like “tattoo shops in (wherever you live)” and poke around through people’s portfolios to see who’s you like best. I wanted some tight lined script, and went to see Leslie Hero in Portland. She did an awesome job!
In Portland, it’s not rare for artists to book out MONTHS in advance. Call the shop, see what the booking schedule is like for your artist. I was very lucky, as she was able to fit me in the week I called her. (Phew!)
3. Check your bank account.
Regardless of whether you want a star on your pinkie toe, or the Mona Lisa covering your entire back, you need to make sure you have the money to pay someone to do it right. Good, intricate tattoos don’t come cheap, so make sure you have enough skrilla to give your artist before you book an appointment.
I set aside $100 for my work, and she only ended up charging me $80, so I left her a tip.
4. On the day of, make sure your body is ready.
Not exactly in this way…
Make sure you’ve had a good meal (or a meal with some complex carbs for your body to break down while you’re getting tatted), make sure you’re hydrated, and make sure you’re not spazzing out on caffeine.
Depending on how long your design takes to be finished, your artist may offer you breaks in between. (Mine took maybe twenty minutes, and she said she would stop any time I needed.) In any case, those times would be awesome opportunities to refuel/rehydrate. Make sure you’re not going to faint!
I was really nervous when I got there, so I was glad that I’d had a big bowl of cereal before I’d left my house!
5. LISTEN TO THE GODDAMN AFTERCARE INSTRUCTIONS.
After you’ve just paid somebody to stab needles in you and make permanent art on your body, the LAST thing you want to do is f*ck it up. Make sure you pay attention to the aftercare instructions they’ll give you. Keep your new tatt clean, and don’t pick at it. I have been rubbing Madeline’s all day because my skin’s been a little irritated, and I’m going to scrub them both when I get back to my house.
Your artist doesn’t want you messing up their work, but more importantly they don’t want you ruining your tattoo.
If they don’t give you super detailed instructions about aftercare, or you’re curious if you should be doing something else, google it. If you’re not clear on something they themselves told you about, it would be easiest to call the shop and ask, or see if you can shoot them an email directly. Sometimes google can be an absolute black hole with boundless amounts of conflicting info, so if you’re not sure about something it’s best to check with the person who did your tattoo first if you can.
Good luck to you if you’re planning on getting your first ink anytime soon, I hope you have as great of an experience as I did!
Last week was bummer central. I was exhausted from work, my car hadn’t been fixed (it still isn’t) and I was sick of riding the bus everywhere to conduct all of my business.
…then I got fired.
Being fired is like getting a flat tire. You’re going about your life, on your way to some place, and then all of a sudden you have to stop and take care of something you hadn’t planned on. Right now I’m at the tire change part of the flat tire. I’ve gotten over the fact that it happened, but I’m not quite back on the road yet. Luckily, I’m not SOL as far as money is concerned, as I’ve been able to work up a bit of a savings, and my boss agreed to pay me through the end of the month which was very kind of her.
In any case, I thought I’d write a post about how to deal with your post flat tire bum out.
OOPS, I DON’T HAVE A JOB. NOW WHAT?
1. Take a minute and breathe deep.
I was really sad most of the weekend. The thought of not having work was totally stressing me out, as well as bumming me out majorly. I didn’t want to be sad anymore, I tried to fight it off because it totally felt counterproductive. This was stupid. I just needed to take a minute and allow myself to be a little bluesy. I was really angry as well, and nothing I was trying to do in those few days was productive AT ALL. I didn’t have a sound enough mind to just sit myself down and be like “Yo, hey self, it’s ok if you just check out for awhile.” Remember it’s ok to take some time for self care.
2. Don’t make any big decisions.
Luckily I hadn’t agreed to make any big financial commitments before I lost my job. I decided I was going to treat myself with a tattoo, which my mother advised against; but I thought about it for a long while and decided it was what I needed to help me push forward into whatever my next step is. I thought about doing a lot of other rash things as well: going out to eat a bunch of times, getting drunk with my housemates when we went out, new shoes, other miscellaneous expenses I hadn’t budgeted for. The tatt I’d been saving up for for awhile, so I figured it would be ok to allow myself one major indulgence and let the little ones fall by the wayside. I may write a blog post on my experience in the next few days, but we’ll see how things go.
3. After you’ve recovered from bummertown, get a game plan together.
I hate people coming at me being like, “it’s for the better.” Alright, yeah, I had some issues with my last job, but it was comfortable and I was able to survive financially unassisted which was a thing that I’d never been able to do before. I don’t need people getting up in my business about how fate has better things in store for me. I know that I’m going to need to get things together and find a new job.
Think about where your skills are and what’s on your resumé. Could it use a punch up? Could you think of more creative ways to word your job descriptions? Are your references current, and relevant to the next jobs you’ll be applying to? Now is a good time to give it a once over and see if it needs a little freshening up.
Next, set aside a few hours each day to dedicate to resumé bombing. I know it’s daunting. (Trust me, I’m well aware.) You need to make sure your brain is ready, and up to the task. Make sure you have a full meal, and if you survive mostly on coffee like I do—make sure your stomach has some complex carbs inside of it to absorb all of the caffeine. No sense getting jittery from anything more than anxiety.
Set a goal for yourself of either an hourly, or daily amount of resumés you want to send out. For example, I usually stop at 10 in a day. After that, reward yourself with something nice to cool down. Maybe you decide you want to go out and have a beer afterwards, or get something sweet to eat. Maybe you’ve been drooling over something in your Netflix queue. Give yourself a pat on the back for all of your hard work.
My friend Hannah always tells me that looking for a job needs to be your job until you have another job; and she’s absolutely right. Even if it takes the piss right out of you, it’s important to remain diligent in your search.
Another thing I would suggest while you’re looking for work is to pick a couple of pipe dream jobs, and apply for them for fun. So maybe Vogue Italia isn’t going to hire you, but it never hurts to try anyway. You may be surprised!
Anyway, for someone who no longer has steady employment, I’m actually quite busy with work this week. Picked up a few interim gigs, one of which will put all the money back in my tattoo fund that I’m taking out. We’ll see how everything goes.
In any case, I hope no one’s in the same boat as me right now, because being unemployed is TOTALLY LAME.
Hopefully though, we’ll be able to find something else that suits our talents.
Happy job hunting!
Since I was 14 or so, I’ve been doing something in my journal called “the good, the bad, and the ugly.” At the end of each year, I make three lists that help me check in with myself over the events of the year. I’m about to work on my lists for this year, so I thought I’d invite you to join along!
What you’ll need to do is set aside three pages for yourself: one for good, one for bad, one for ugly.
Some of the things I’ll include on my good list this year are:
-Jensine coming to visit, and being able to meet Bridget while she was in town.
-being financially stable
-getting paid to write!
-still living in my awesome house, Weekend Dads.
-Hannah moving back to town
-SEEING TUNE YARDS!
-AND CHER AND CYNDI LAUPER!!!!
Think about your year: what are you grateful for? What good things have happened this year? They don’t have to be earth shatteringly great, just things that when you think about them your body gets filled with positives.
Some things I’ll include on my bad list are:
-Tim Hauser and Robin Williams dying
-My grandmother passing away as well
-everything going on in Ferguson, and beyond.
-dealing with insane crisis overload
-dealing with depression/anxiety
The ugly list is your wild card. I use mine as a release for all the silly, glib things I want to put in the other lists, but you can certainly use yours for something else. (For example, maybe you had something really bad happen, or you’ve been sick, maybe something else. The ugly list may be the place to put those things.)
Normal things that I put on my ugly list are:
-my bank account
-the floor of my bedroom
This year I may include:
-the badditude of the young ladies I nanny for
-Rick Perry’s continued national relevance
Haven’t worked things through all the way yet, just throwing some stuff out there to get you inspired!
Later today, I’ll upload last year’s lists to the end of this post, and put them in the journal section.
Until then, here’s a snippet from 2011’s:
Have a wonderful and safe evening everyone, hope it’s grand.
Happy new year~!
A lot of my friends decided to DIY the majority of their Christmases this year. I committed to one project because I’m not handicraft-able by any stretch of the imagination.
I hung out with a lot of the sisters in my created family last week at Rimsky Korsakoffee House. (A rad late night haunt in SE.) I asked them to draw in my sketchbook while I excused myself to go to the bathroom. I returned to a fully inked page, and was beyond delighted. The next day I decided to add some color for oomph, but I was happy to have such awesomeness to work with. Included were random snippets of dialogue from the evening’s conversations, (Hannah hates tech bros from SF and I was trying to sing Please Warm My Wiener.) Of the four girls out to dessert, Bridget is definitely the most talented proper illustrator so she took the majority of the page. The giraffe is Ellen’s, the fu with three eyebrows is Hannah’s, all the people are Bridget’s, and I colored in everything after the fact.
I love having talented friends who are game to collaborate, it makes everything so much fun!
For Christmas, I decided to make my brother an MF Doom mask. The two of us are totally in love with him, because his rhymes are inSANE. I made myself earrings out of sculpey of his mask, because I couldn’t find anyone selling them on the internet.
I knew they weren’t going to look perfect, but the world could not provide me with MF Doom earrings, so I had to provide them to myself. I posted the picture on instagram, and my brother immediately commented on it like I WILL PIERCE MY EARS IF YOU MAKE ME SOME OF THESE.
Let me give you a short background on mine and my brother’s experiences with clay: I took ceramics in HS for an easy A and something to do that wasn’t going to stress me out. I got a C+, and the teacher said that grade was “generous”.
On the flip side, my brother took ceramics to meet girls and ended up being a flergin’ prodigy at it. It was like he’d discovered his life’s purpose. The teacher loved him, he had like, seventy-thousand girlfriends, and he could throw a mean pot.
So, the fact that he was asking me for some earrings was pretty miraculous.
This Christmas, I’ve been the most financially stable of my entire life, so I sort of went all out. In addition to my brother’s clay project, I also got him a Tower of Power t-shirt (the band is a huge inside joke in my family, because my dad always tells us about the time they played at his high school), and a Carly Simon record.
I’d put off his Doom mask the longest, because I’m not ‘turn something into something else’ creative. I can’t sculpt, or build, or craft to save my life, and I’d been dreading the point where I was going to have to ante up and finish it.
I would say all and all, it didn’t turn out too terrible. I’m a bit of an artistic perfectionist, so the fact that I even finished anything is a miracle.
If you’re worried that you suck at things, remember: try a bunch, f*ck up a bunch. It’s totally fine. All practice is good practice!
I hope everyone’s holiday was wonderful~
I got a really nice collection of gouache tubes for Christmas that I’ve been *dying* to try out. I literally got into a small car accident earlier because I was really excited to go get a mixing plate for them. Oops! I’ll add some more sketchbook pages to my Journal section as figure the paints out. For now, here’s this: