april [02] "Feng Shui THIS"

Monday April 8 - Champaign, IL


I am on a Buying Freeze. I am not allowed to buy anything that I cannot eat. This is a self-imposed Buying Freeze, brought about from reading my little sister's Feng Shui book in Florida. I am not able to get anything done because my house is Very Un-feng-shui, it is FILLED with shit, broken things, dead batteries, things like tin plates that say "Niagara Falls" on them, plastic smurfy dolls, tape demo cassettes from bands who broke up 10 years ago, rubber Big Boy figurines, serial-port macintosh printers, jaz drives. A huge plastic holder for 1.4M floppy disks. Of the 10 or so computers we have in this house, none of them have floppy disk drives, but for some reason, I can't throw this item away. The house is filled with this stuff that I will never look at again, but can't bring myself to get rid of.

So I've been forcing myself to throw stuff away and bring stuff to goodwill that I know I will never use again. I do this every couple of months but never as intensely as this.

The most amazing thing I read in that book was that you shouldn't have dead batteries or non-working electronic items in your house. "They sap your energy."

People in other countries have so little compared to this. My friend from school just got back from Kathmandu, which now is filled with policemen patrolling the streets. I know that no one over there has to worry about what the hell they're going to do with these two stupid rubber Big Boy banks.

Why the hell do we have TWO of these?

Work, Work, Work.

Now I'm starting to feel overwhelmed with homework and other stuff. All morning Rick was freaked out about being overwhelmed and now I'm freaked out about being overwhelmed, and he's off bowling, with his bowling team, "The Human League." And I'm here, freaking out about not getting work done. I am going to try to convince my professors that what I am doing right now is work, but I don't think it's going to work.

Tuesday April 9 - Professor Doyle Moore's class, Champaign, IL

"Zen Aesthetics and Japanese Tea Ceremony" Class

Today is the 4th-to-last class; the semester ends pretty soon. Today was the day that Professor Doyle was going to teach us how to make "Sweets." This class is so fantastic, I could sit in it for 8 hours a day. This professor obviously just loves teaching, and doesn't care what we think of him. I know he is trying to get us to realize that we are doing this for ourselves, and I'm almost 'over' trying to get him to like me. I'm just another in a bunch of a million students he's had over his years of teaching. But I have to admit, if I ever make him laugh during class, I feel like I have made God smile. I made him laugh today about some silly wordplay, and I was in the clouds for the entire next half-hour while we watched a beautiful movie about japanese sweets-making. The care that goes into these beautiful sculptures of candy is amazing. Then afterwards we got to make bean-paste candies and then eat them and drink green tea afterwards. You can see my picture of my food above. Below is a picture of Doyle teaching our class.

The directions are you take a brown bean-paste glob and form it into a ball, then flatten out a glob of pink bean-paste, wrap it around the brown ball, then take some green bean-paste, rub it onto the bottom of the pink ball, then take a little white rag and wrap the ball in it and twist firmly - that makes the top look all curled like a flower.

I think about asking my classmates to come to the Poster Children show on Friday, here. What would they think? Am I that much older than them? Do these kids even listen to rock music? I am always too afraid to ask people to come to the shows because usually they don't come and then I feel stupid.

I really like keeping my lives separate. My first love is playing shows and being Rose from Poster Children. I don't want to get that mixed up with this other stuff and have it tarnished in some way. It's strange enough when Tae Kwon Do people show up at the rock club. I don't feel like showing them who I really love to be. It feels vulnerable.


Remember when I said something amazing might happen? It did - we got on another Fugazi show, this time in Boston. Next week! I didn't want to jinx it so I didn't talk about it until it got confirmed.

Now I keep thinking about how awesome it's going to be to see them again and play with them. Ian MacKaye is my hero. I'm to the point where I've thought about this upcoming show so much that I feel like it already happened and I'm sad that it's over.

Everyone here is freaking out about something or another. My little Kung-fu sister Jane is about to test for a black sash in Kung-fu and she's making some sort of noises like she's nervous or something, but she's so fantastic and the instructor wants her to test, she's so obviously ready. My friend Jason is swamped with work, his artwork is going to be displayed in an REM-inspired exhibition in Athens Georgia in a couple of weeks, and he's going to play guitar there too, and then has to drive back quickly so he can attend his college graduation. (He just got his 2nd degree black belt a couple of weeks ago!) Rick is always worried about something when we're home, or he's bowling. Actually he's quite wrapped up in cleaning the computer lab in our house right now, which is cool. But I'm totally freaked out about the amount of work I'm supposed to do.

So I forgot that we're supposed to be Superheroes. We're not supposed to worry like this. Just go along and get stuff done and be happy. I feel such a tightness in my chest when I walk to work nowadays, even though I love my work. I guess I feel like I'm not doing enough of it, but then instead of worrying I really ought to just do the work.

Jimmie Soundguy, apparently inspired by my "getting rid of shit" tirade, brought over an old zine with an Ian MacKaye (from Fugazi) interview in it. I'll quote:

Interviewer: "You once said that you don't think anyone is going to change the world, but at least you want to live your life in the healthiest manner, with as much care, consideration, and love for people around you as possible."

Ian: "Yeah, I still stand by that. There was a point when I felt that punk rock was all these people yelling about making life better, and part of what I thought making life better was about was being happy. I thought if you really wanted to reach that, then you should not just fight to be happy, but actually start allowing yourself to be happy. This is not a trivial thing. I'm not talking about having fun. Fuck fun. I'm not interested in fun. I'm talking abourt when people are fighting for happiness, or fighting to be free. Then I think that their biggest fight is sometimes with themselves."

- Thirsty Ear, Dec 2000/Jan 2001

Wednesday April 10 - Art School Sucks


I went in with my stupid artwork to get it critiqued today in my other class and somehow I came out in a very bad mood. I don't think I'm a very good artist.

What the hell am I going to grad school for anyway?

To learn to keep better track of my mood swings? To learn how to hate myself and my artwork even more?

Friday April 12 - Damn, we've once again over-played our home town. Shit.

Ok, so a colleague of mine confirms that the Art Critique I got yesterday was brutal and harsh. I guess I need to learn how to handle getting critiqued, but I am glad that someone else thinks it was harsh too.

Tonight we played a show at the Independent Media Center in Urbana, such an incredibly cool place. The main point of this place is to provide media-making materials for anyone to come in and borrow, so they can make their own news. Video cameras, audio recorders and mixers, and computers, are all available for anyone who wants to use them. These types of centers are springing up all over the world!

Show turnout: Should we move?

(here is a picture of all my friends in Champaign, IL!)

I wasn't sure whether or not to address this but I think I will.

200 people at our show in Kalamazoo. 400 in Madison. 150 people in Indianapolis.

60 people in Champaign, Illinois, our home town. And most of them were my own friends who I invited to come to the show!

This was a really small show, embarrassingly small, probably the smallest we've played in a while (except for LaCrosse!) - on each night in these past tiny midwestern towns we have consistently drawn between 150-400 people, but tonight, in our home town, we had a crowd of 60! It's embarrassing because I asked a lot of friends to come who have never seen our band, and you know, I'd like them to see us play to one of our huge crowds, like in Seattle or Madison or Chicago - shit, I know the Boston show is already sold out and that's at least a 1000 people. So it's kind of weird when I'm supposed to be this big "rock star" who goes travelling all over the world to play shows and then when my friends in Champaign come see me, they're basically the only ones there! Yikes! What could they be thinking of me now?

Of course the show is not about the audience though, it's about us, and it's not hard to remember that when we get on the stage. I think we played quite well, even though the stage was very small and it was way too loud in the room. Hopefully other bands will know this too though; on tour you can play to big crowds each night and then go play in Albuquerque to a throng of 20 people. And you just have to persevere and play the best show you can. After all, it's about your work, not who is listening to it.

It is weird though, that hundreds of people have been coming to all of our shows so far, even in towns like Cedar Falls and Kalamazoo. I know there was another big show happening at the Union with 5 punk bands playing, so maybe that drew some people away from this show. Or maybe we've played this town too much, once again.

Matt, at the Independent Media Center, Champaign

I'm looking forward to going to the east coast next week.