red-headed stepchild in the house of love (djmermaid) wrote,
red-headed stepchild in the house of love

Art, Friends, Love and the Beach

Saturday Jovino and I went over to the Lobot Gallery for the opening of the art show we were invited to show in, Community Virology.

It's a really cool show idea - they started with 6 Oakland artists who each invited 6 more, who each invited 6 more, and so on through 4 iterations. Everyone gets a 22" x 22" x 22" space to show a work (or two smallish ones.) The end result is 1554 artists (all from Oakland) and an amazing variety of work. We were in the final wave, so we didn't get to invite anyone but we did get to see the show in its entirety yesterday, and I have to say: whoa!

Here's what they say about it:

The PURPOSE of this virus is more complex than it seems, this is not only a show of quantity, it is about making connections. As Oakland rapidly develops new groups form and old groups dissapate. And while Oakland is composed of many communities it is also one community. This show is an attempt to remove control from individuals and give it to the community, the result will be the bringing together of a group no one person could form, but is entirely Oakland. The movement of the virus will be tracked, and presented visually, so at the end we will be able to discern how this group of artists has formed, and how we are all connected.

We created a new piece just for this show, which was an interesting process in itself. We've done a lot of collaborative work together with Bunnywarez, but we didn't want to show that stuff, we wanted to do something new, and we'd never made anything together except for clothing/costuming. We spent a lot of time coming up with an idea that worked for both of us, and we're happy with the result: a soft sculpture transformer doll made of fleece. The title of the piece is "Fleeced for $950" and, as it happens, we're offering it for sale for $950, the amount of money the deadbeat housemates took us for (while continuing to feed a rather rabid ebay toy buying habit, yo.)

On Fryday, my good friend Liz was in town from NY. We have not seen each other in YEARS, but that didn't slow us down much. We had a lovely day, talking and catching up. We hung out with Jovino for part of it, since he was home from work with a painful back injury, and I was very pleased to get to introduce the two of them.

Jovino's back improved gradually, and he felt good enough for us to stick with our plan to accomplish a fair amount around the house over the weekend. The garage/shop is much improved with a lot more open space and our camping stuff stowed in a convenient area on the ground floor (instead of having to climb a ladder to get at it.) I have moved a bunch of stuff into the goodwill box, with more to come. Jovino also set up a great DJ stand in the living room, and made himself a welding cart for his arc welder. It's coming together, and we will definitely be ready for our birthday party and the housemate search.

We have had some great times together lately and I am so in love, and so happy to be right where I am!

I've also been going through my Mom's old photo albums, pulling up the photos from those fucking sticky pages (the glue is a bit overenthusiastic and some of the older photos are hard to remove without damage, but I think I'm getting to most of them just in time.) I'm storing them in a shoebox made of corrugated plastic, which I think is a better choice. It takes a lot less space, if nothing else, so I can store them down in my office where it's cool instead of the elevated storage in the garage/shop, which is a sauna.

It's been a trip to see these old photos, both due to the memories evoked, and also because some of them are new to me. For instance, I knew I had Gypsy blood (Eastern European, though I have no more specific info than that) on my Mom's Mom's side of the family, but yesterday I came across a photo of my mother's father's mother standing in front of a VARDO which was parked in a field of long grass. It looked like it was being stored there as the grass was not at all stepped on, and the wagon looked like it was long unused, and gradually falling into disrepair. It had a beautiful scene painted on the side and looks like it had once been a very nice wagon.

I marvelled at the sight of this! Unfortunately there was no writing on the back of the photo, but the woman is clearly my grandfather's mother, and she is standing and smiling next to the wagon, with her head tilted towards it. I have no idea what the connection is, but it seems to be on their land, and I have to think this is somehow connected to that side of the family. It wouldn't just be abandoned by the Gypsies, because their tradition would be to burn it if the owner died and in any case they would not just leave it somewhere. Also I can't see why my grandfather's mother would be photographed with it unless there was some kind of connection. All the other photos I have from that side of the family are family gatherings, parents/grandparents and children, etc. So it must have some meaning. I wonder if she used to ride in it when she was young, or if it came from some other relative? Could she have even been born in it? It was a beautiful vardo, with a lovely tromp l'eoil scene skillfully painted on it. I must brave my mother's notebooks and journals and see if I can find out more! (Unfortunately there are really no living relatives I can ask about it.) I miss my Mom, and I so wish she was still around - not just to ask her about historical stuff like that, but just because we were always such good friends. Anyway, I am now wondering whether I have more Gypsy blood than I'd previously thought. I know for sure that I have some (and I have the characteristic weird feet) but beyond that it is probably going to be tough to get real info.

On Sunday Jovino and I worked for most of the day, then decided to chill out at a BBQ just down the road, which was a fun and low-key way to end the weekend, seeing friends and enjoying a few beers and the warm evening. After the BBQ we came home and took a nice hot bath together, then I ran the massager over his back for a long time, which seemed to help a great deal. It was a lovely end to a lovely weekend.

In other news, Fire Island has SO been calling to me lately... I really want to go back. First, Liz was telling me about going out there in May and how great it was to be out pre-season when the weather is good but there aren't many people around yet. Then on Saturday, I got a call from a friend who is travelling on the east coast and had decided to head to FI for some RnR time. I happily listed off my favorite places on the island, and tried not to jones too much. Finally on Sunday I saw exbf at the BBQ and he also brought up FI. It seems that wherever I turn, there it is! Maybe next summer...

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