Thursday, April 23, 2009

My Work as Honest Scrap

The Utah Savage has given me an award - and, like her, I'm pleased by the honest muscularity and gritty reality of the image and the concept. My recent self portrait was up close and honest, and I strive to be open and real, like an old restaurant or movie theater that has nothing to prove, and is confident that it's filling its proper role. I'd like to think I'm aging into some honest scrap.

The rules of this award are:

1.You must brag about the award.
2.You must include the name of the blogger who bestowed the award on you and link back to the blogger.
3.You must choose a minimum of seven (7) blogs that you find brilliant in content or design. 4.Show their names and links and leave a comment informing them that they were prized with Honest Weblog.
5.List at least ten (10) honest things about yourself.
Then pass it on with the instructions!

No one I pick should feel that they need to follow those rules - I often don't. I usually don't choose, but given where my day job has been lately, I'm in a selecting mood. Some of the blogs I would have chosen the Utah Savage already chose... So I choose:

Moominlight - because I love the quality of work she has sustained over there for so long, and because her blog has moved her into my world more - composition. She's taken a number of photos I wish I'd taken. And I'm really curious to see if she can surprise me with even 5 of the 10 things. We don't keep secrets from each other - we can't.
Lisa over at That's Why - because of her creative writing, and because I'm wondering what additional interesting things I'll learn if she takes up this challenge.
Leah at Creative Every Day - for her beautiful blog, and the beautiful revealing material she puts on it. I have one of her prints in my office at work.
Linda at Vulture Peak Muse - because of her intense honesty, her photos, and mostly her very personal painting and the way it deeply inspires me. She and Moominlight push me the most as an artist.
Distributor Cap - because many of his posts are researched and crafted like articles I enjoyed in the old Smithsonian. Pretty incredible work for us to read for free. Go look at his most recent post about China's part in the long story of the Jewish diaspora, and the Chinese response to the Holocaust. He takes me places I didn't know existed. And they're all subjects he CARES about.
Susan of Phantsythat and Adventures Ink - for sharing her fascinating life and her unique paintings (on silk or paper) and drawings. And I think both of her blog names are among my favorites on the Web.
Summer at Phoenix Berries - for her honesty and the amazing combination of erudition and straight talking Texas sense that run all through her fascinating blog. Read her short sermon (homily), for example... I was sorry I couldn't come hear her preach.

And now - ten honest things...

1. I am uncomfortable in small spaces or crowds, and this is getting worse as I get older. I will use the small downstairs bathroom and then open the door before washing up because I don't want the door closed any longer than absolutely necessary.
2. When the stress gets to me, and I feel like I am letting everyone down, I fantasize about running away, changing my name, getting a no-stress job, and living with almost nothing but dreams and sunlight in the sonoran of New Mexico. Of course then I would be REALLY letting everyone down, so this fantasy has the lifespan of a soap bubble.
3. I bought a pummice soap for the shower and I hate and love the way it feels like it's tearing my skin off, but actually leaves not a single red mark on me anywhere. It makes me feel like a cry baby and a tough guy all at once. I will be glad when it's gone. I'll miss it.
4. I feel that I am a dilettante, dabbling in many things but doing none of them with the discipline they deserve. When the learning or practice requires deep discipline, I get bored and find something else to do. It's the other edge of intelligence - a particular form of intellectual laziness which is relatively easy to hide (which just makes me even more uncomfortable with it - it feels sneaky, on top of lazy).
5. I love to set up my bed in some different room of the house, where the lights are off for me, but I can see lights in other rooms, and hear distant conversation or someone working on a computer keyboard. It feels like it did at Nana's house, tucked in on her couch with grown-ups still up and talking in her kitchen.
6. I hardly ever draw in my moleskines, but I want to. OR I want to be the sort of person who draws all the time in his moleskines. But I'm not. I'm a painter, not a sketcher. I bring it along on trips and never get it out. Oh well. My little moleskine is called "El Pocito," though inside the cover it says he's "Poco Uno."
7. I can't have anything bothering my wrists or the soles of my feet. I prefer to wear socks and shoes (except in bed and shower) for this reason, and I like sleeves either totally off my forearms, or all the way down onto the upper part of my hands.
8. I often don't like to shave, and I often don't like my beard. Because of the type of beard I can grow, I have to put up with some of both. But I wouldn't really change either one - I haven't enough chin for one extreme, and I look like a mangy werewolf at the other.
9. I do not like to ever cause conflict, and I get violently, cussingly angry when I'm put in a position where I have to confront someone about something. If a neighbor or co-worker is doing something that requires me to complain to them in order to resolve the issue, I get REALLY angry that they've put me in that position. Manners, people! Courtesy! I shouldn't have to come tell you!
10. I can't stand the smell of a milk bottle long closed up on the counter, waiting for a rinse before recycling. I also can't resist the urge to see how bad it smells when I open it to rinse it. What a dope! But to make the story quite accurate, others in this house are good to do almost all the dish duty. I seldom have to do any, and I appreciate that. Dishes and laundry (my two least favorites) - nearly never. I would rather clean toilets. I suppose that was TWO honest things about me in this tenth spot. But I came home with a migraine from the work this week, and the wild ride today in particular, and with this absolutely stupid section of a Madonna song stuck on 10 second re-loop in my head, so I washed it all away with one big glass of red wine and EVERYTHING seems better but wobbly now. So I've lost count of how many honest things there are in this last item of this post I'm finishing now. Only 9 and 10 were written this evening; I could never have written this whole thing in my current state. Grammar is hard. Whoa!... typing is hard.


linda said...

steve, thank you for such an honor as your words to me...when i have more energy i shall come back and comment on your honest things nobody knows or whatever it was....they were very interesting and provoked reactions but i have to either rise and go be social or give up and go to off i go to be social and happy for awhile and then sleep...

blessings on you having a wonderful creative weekend and screw the work.

DebD said...

congratulations on the awards. I don't usually like getting them myself (too much stress) but enjoy seeing other's awards and finding new blogs.

Michelle said...


Lisa said...

I love this post of honesty. Wow - I'm trying to think if I can mine any more honest stuff that hasn't be broadcast. There might be one or two new things. Others might be repeats.

Thank you for the tag. I agree, though I'm hopped up on Oreos and appetite suppressants (I know, those don't go together!), and grammar and typing seem quite hard this morning.

I really laughed at the hating a smell, but sniffing the thing anyway. That's such a human gesture.

linda said...

steve, what a fun way to get to know someone and only possible, to my way of thinking, in blogland, where we don't actually get to see each other, face to face, just mind to mind, which is so much more intimate!! no one would ever stand around discussing the 10 things nobody knows about them !

you have to come up with some good ones here and i am challenged to really ponder my own and do i want to share them would probably be the deeper question....but since you asked, I will try and muster up something worthy of the challenge...about that pumice soap, it's very interesting how you see/feel it! and i also have 3 moleskins i don't use but love them anyway and always think someday i will...reading this made me realize exactly why i don't...i'm a painter not a sketcher too.

Summer Kinard said...

Thanks, Steve. This is my first night off from sanging all week, so I just caught on. I was in difficulties coming up with stuff I hadn't already blabbed about, so I cheated and got Andrew to help me with the last few.

Thank you for sharing your honest scraps. Have you ever smelled Kefir? It has a similar love/hate aroma for a lot of folks.

Steve Emery said...

Linda - Yes, blogging allows some remarkable things to happen. I love this medium. I only realized my problem with my moleskines as I wrote that post - and I'm not at all surprised that you have the same thing going on. Looking forward to reading your 10 items, if you do it.

DebD - Thanks so much, and thanks for coming by. I've been enjoying reading what you are reading - even if I never get around to posting anything myself on there (I'm lucky I squeeze in some reading).

Lisa - I'm fascinated by how many of these things I only realize fully about myself when I sit down to write them. I'm looking forward to some further revelations about you - if you have anything you haven't already shared...

Michelle - Thanks for the giggle!

Summer - I have to come look.