Sunday, February 22, 2009

Is this normal?

I have a question for the internet community at large:

There are some townhomes under construction next to my apartment.  Unsurprisingly, there is a porta-potty for the workers out front; it has a padlock on it but apparently isn't locked.

The reason I know it isn't locked is that on at least two occasions, I have seen someone drive up from outside of the neighborhood, park their car, get out, go into the porta-potty (presumably to use it), get back in their car and leave.

My question is: is this a normal thing to do?  Is it common for people who need to go to the bathroom to scout for construction sites and use their portables?  

If it had only happened once I might have assumed that the person knew someone working on the site and was therefore aware of its presence, but I've seen it happen two or three times now.  We're near amajor road, but we don't get much drive-by traffic and you can't see the porta-potty from a major road, so people either need to know about it or be hunting for one.  Maybe the people I've seen go in aren't actually using the toilet; maybe it's being used as an exchange point for drugs or black market pedigreed dogs or something.

Anyway, it's just struck me as really bizarre that people would use a random portable toilet on some out-of-the-way construction site, but maybe I am just not in the know. Is this something you've seen/heard of people doing?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Hey you, creative person! Want an Arbitrary Art Grant?

I think this idea will interest most of you who read this blog regularly.  From Greg Lundgren, via The Stranger

...I wanted to talk about my Bumbershoot exhibit this year that I am curating in the Olympic and Orcas Rooms. It is called Dada Economics, and I think it's going to be quite fun. I'll be announcing and producing (12) + Arbitrary Art Grants over the next 5 months in mediums such as dance, writing, painting, music, art dealing (hey the market's falling) and sculpture. Actually, sculpture is the first one I am announcing and even though the art grants are only $500.00, I anticipate the collective project to generate a lot of work (and yes it will be the good, the bad and the ugly).  ...Here is the poster:



to one person who builds a


inside of a steel grocery cart,

created only from the store inventory.

Build it, photograph it and email a picture to: before May 15th, 2009

On May 30th, a winner will be randomly selected, called, and handed $500.00 in cash. There is no application or judge.

Visit for more information.

This sounds really cool, and I plan to participate.  The website spells out the mission of these grants, which is in short "to fortify the arts community, reinforce the ideology that all people are artists and stand as a catalyst to create large scale group performance." Hopefully the website will be announcing each new grant.

In related news, I actually wrote a piece of fiction last night, for the first time in quite awhile.  It's not in any shape to display publically, but I will tell you that it is (surprise surprise) zombie-related.  The zombie stories I enjoy best are always the ones that take a different angle on the situation, and I hope to do that with this idea.

Anyway, when/if I participate in these grant thingies, I post my photos or whatever here.  If you participate, post yours on your own blog, link to mine then comment here and I'll link to yours.  Sweet!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

One other thing

Today is a perfect day for sitting inside, drinking hot tea, and writing.  It is far too dark for 1:30pm, the raining keep starting and stopping, and there is a slight chill in the air.  I am drinking Russian Imperial, with jam mixed in (crazy?).

Back to work.


The inability to get writing done is one of the easiest things to make excuses for. Can't focus for a variety of reasons--must be your environment: the wrong seat, the wrong music, haven't eaten, cat's distracting.  The mythical beast of "writers' block" (if you can put words--any words--on paper, you don't have "writers' block; as Neil Gaiman has said before, you're just stuck).

I have had an impossible time trying to get anything accomplished on my paper at my apartment.  So I decided that if I was going to blame my surroundings for my inability to focus, I'd better believe my own half-truth (instead of a simple lack of will power) and find a place that allows me to focus better.  So here I am, for the third week in a row, at the Te House of Te, lunching and drinking tea, and thinking about getting down to work.

So why am I blogging, instead of turning off my wireless and working on what I'm supposed to be working on?  Last week, I wrote a response to a friend's blog post and then got right into writing my own stuff; I think writing something  got me the groove, if you will.  An d that's not completely surprising, since the most common advice to writers is to just always be writing.  It doesn't have to be good or long or evern worth rereading, but you need to keep yourself in the habit.  Cory Doctorow wrote an article recently on getting writing done in the digital age, and I like his suggestions a lot; unfortunately, my work (job work) has been so exhausting lately that it feels masochistic to make myself sit and work when I get home (also, remember the no will power thing).  It's more fun to cook or look at pictures of other people's weird weddings or annoying the cat.

Long post short, wish me luck on my work!  I'm going to grab another pot of tea.