So when I wrote that the new, improved deepsicks was a farewell burial for the Death of the Internet, I wasn’t kidding. Thus… long lag. Not that I haven’t been making treks cross and back the world wide web. I’ve just been making strides in Real Life, too, and that feels pretty good. If falling off the radar here makes me appear on my own, so be it. But here’s a nice long post and some new photo albums to boot. Enjoy~
Last week I took a real vacation for the first time in four years, visiting my old high school friend Nathan in Tacoma. I hadn’t been on a plane for six years—I had a window seat both ways and like a little kid my greasy head was glued to the plexiglass.
Flying’s neat. Staring at the wing with its shifty shape and mouth agape of hell engine, I knew I couldn’t explain how flight works, and when I did know, in fourth grade, I didn’t understand it. I’m okay with this. Less okay with the airline trying to feed me meat after I told them I was vegetarian and further rankled that they didn’t have alternatives. Death-centric jerks. I rattle my fists.
Nathan and I had great fun: tasty food, long, needful conversations, interesting movies, and of course, driving around and on-foot adventuring Seattle and Tacoma. Everything’s so green there, mossy and in bloom (though the weather’s been lovely, Minneapolis still wears dirt on dead grass and trim skirts of sandy snow)
We checked out Seattle’s newly remodeled Central Library, a wacky structure of glass and sky that made my library lust trill. We also went to the Experience Music Project, another crazy building, at the base of the Space Needle (I’ve been to the top of the Needle before, and it’s swell, but once covers a lifetime). At the recommendations of brother Sam, who with Ben lived on First Hill a short spell, we also checked out Bimbo’s Bitchin Burrito Kitchen (which was indeed bitchin); Bauhaus, a coffeeshop; and Left Bank Books, a delightful nook of all things radical (and I mean that in a progressive, revolutionary way, though yeah, I guess it was also bodaciously tubular).
It was cool to see where my brothers used to hang out. This was when I was a senior in high school and hating my life and missing them terribly.
Another prime highlight was seeing John Digweed Friday night—or rather, hearing him, because the club was packed and poorly planned, and I got no where near. His playing Seattle while I was there was coincidental; I dig ‘im, but not enough to vacay around him, and actually he himself wasn’t the highlight. The highlight was dancing in a different city, bringing down another house, knocking eyes from stranger heads and ripping jaws from Northwest faces. (Note to Uninitiated: I’m normally humble to the point of oblivion. The exception is dancing. I’m good. I know it. I say it. So there. ; ) )
My first mission was to find the good dancers—second, to destroy them. The main dance floor was deplorably small, and the “mutherfukkers with all the muscles” (some Russian guy’s words, not mine—now that was an awesome conversation) and their fall-down diva girlfriends self-corralled themselves in this vortex of suck surrounding the venerable Mr. Digweed. Upstairs, which had a balcony overlooking this orgy of not nearly enough room to do anything at all but perspire profusely and get “inadvertently” groped, I found the Robot People.
The Robot People were in theory good dancers. Fun to watch. Skilled, at least for their twelve-second stints, lock-joint shifting through mechanical yet curiously fluid, graceful poses. But ultimately they were boring. They didn’t break sweats or risk shattering highballs or ankles. The five or six of them stood against a wall and stayed against the wall, cycling through their robot routines then leaning back to look cool. They weren’t playin superior-like, and yeah, they were all right, but they didn’t seem to do much, and honestly, well, I couldn’t dance like that, but nor did I want to. Not enough go. Not enough paying attention to the music and what it begs of the body.
Not feeling like showboating my expansive style for the benefit, confusion or battle-incitement of the ‘Borgs, I went downstairs to a disconnected back area where the music was piped in like an overflow room for a fancy funeral—a funky funeral. I scanned this new realm of so-so moves—and please understand, I love anyone dancing, having fun; I’m not knocking with a mean heart… but yeah, I do appreciate seeing the exceptional.
Before long I found the only person who turned my dance-wise head all night. His workings were familiar… recognizable, close to my own, not exactly me, but still what I know and respect. (I know I know, I’m setting myself up for accusations of unsavory conceit and diversity obstruction, but seriously, yeah, he was good, not just ’cause he moved like me.)
Dancing ourselves into a corner, we mimed and goaded and laughed discreetly our disbelief and pleasure of the mirror we showed each other. Though our repertoires varied, our foundations—how we approached movement, tackled a transition, what we did with rhythm, how we turned it into vision—were too similar for convergent evolution.
I was convinced he was from the Midwest. There was no other way, no other explanation. I remember hitting clubs in New Orleans (that four-year-old last vacation), searching for someone who matched my movements and coming up short. There were good dancers—but they weren’t like me. Makes me smile to think it—it’s all the same music but interpreted differently. Styles cross over and carry through but also carve out geographically breeding grounds of discernible modes of dance, of insanity, that don’t seem able to develop independently.
Losing the good dancer for awhile, I retreated back upstairs to find the Robot People scattered. More comfortable in my skin by this time (even the fleshy get rusty), I laid down some shut up seriously, and before long the good dancer found me and made a lengthy and hardly subtle examination of my footwork. Finally, sidling up, “I like your moves. I don’t see that around here much.” “Well, I’m not from around here.” “Me neither.” “No kiddin. Where you from?” “Chicago.” “I’m from Minneapolis!” “Ha!” “HA!”
Fastly friends we proceeded to dismantle the club, clearing the floor within seconds of standbys and gawkers so we could more efficiently school Seattle. We spun, dipped, punched the roof and kicked out wildly but always in time, always in deference to the sound shaking through us, playing off each other like stones hurled in water, making our own splashes but absorbing and reacting to the other’s magnificent waves. At some point the Robot People shuffled in behind us, slack jawed with barely a knee bend left in ’em. I didn’t expect them to take notes and they didn’t, but they did gape like giants strode through and jerked away their CPUs. Eat it, robots! Yeah! I was close to fisting the festering air and shouting, “Midwest über alles!” but refrained.
And John Digweed was pretty good, too. ; )
See some pictures from the trip! They’re from both Seattle and Tacoma—some have captions, others, eh. On my last day, Monday, Nathan had to work so I got a chance to explore Tacoma on my own. Intending to snoop about antique shops, I found a triple garage of contract parking filled with graffiti and a couple writers in action. What serendipity! My voice shook like a stage-frit, uh, shy nervous dorky person requesting to take some shots. They obliged with much thanks that I bothered to ask first, and away I went. Those pictures are in a different album for the sake of continuity but accessible through the same splash linked above.
I love graffiti (and had a chance to scope it elsewhere, too). I also encountered loads of other street art, particularly stenciling which has always fascinated, as well as postering of various sorts. In sad MSP graff news, the bombed abandoned building along Highway 280, home to much art and a welcome sight every morning and night on my work commute, has been bulldozed.
I saw this Tuesday morning, my first day back on no sleep, my head full of my recent spraypainted ‘scapes and renewed intent to document more, and screamed. I’d been meaning for months to make the trek up there, to uncover the daring and crawl to the roof and click my way through capturing, through homage into infamy, put to digital the gritty criminal. The cry dead as suddenly born, I nearly steered into the guardrail, staring cold at the concrete rubble sparkling every color, a mountain of talent, time and trouble laid to waste, then truck by truck as the week wore on, taken away.
Though I’d never visited the building on foot, never saw it up close or peeked for more than the few moments it takes to drive past it, I have driven past it, looked forward to it, loved it, twice every workday for the past twenty months. I feel homesick for it like I feel for the Pits of West Fargo—devastated and angry hollow, similar pangs for its similar fate.
In Internet News: I think this site has been around for awhile, but in case you missed it, race to and worship www.answers.com. It’s my new favorite place in the whole wide web, overflowing with excellent information. Far quicker than a hit-and-miss search engine, more thorough than a single source, it compiles every useful resource on the net: multiple dictionaries and glossaries (general, medical, law, military, technology, food, poetry, investment, and more); thesauruses; translations (including ASL in vid clips); and encyclopedias, spewing both entire and entirely concise histories, showcasing wunderkind Wikipedia alongside schoolmarm Columbia University Press. Type in a city, you’ll get a five-day forecast. Throw in “mango,” you’ll get a chart of its nutritional value and recipes for smoothies. It cross-references within itself and offers links to the outside web. It’s also great for deciphering acronyms (the not-as-intuitive-as-they-pretend-to-be Internet jargon ones and those obscure political humdingers, too). Do yourself a favor and revel in its awesomeness—you’re guaranteed to get smarter and possibly lost.
And if you get lost lots!!!: Evincing further proof of its quest for and probable success of world domination, Google got itself some terrific maps. Very functional. Super hot.