Archive for childhood

My Bike is a Magical Pony

Posted in Adventures in Design, Dork Alert, Goof & Glamour, In Celebration of the Absurd with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 16, 2010 by alphabetfiend

I rode a horse long before I ever road a bike. Born in the nothern New Mexico mountains, I was riding bareback by the time I was 2. Too bare from the sound of it. “You were just like Lady Godiva!” my dad would boast, often in mixed company. The horse was Jack. My Dad had known him for many years and trusted him. Not one to spook, Jack was emotional, intuitive, gentle and wise. I was never afraid.

It wasn’t until we moved to Toledo that my grandpa gifted me with a sparkly Schwinn, presenting it to me like it was a Cadillac car (which it became.)  

The bike scared me way more than the horse, or at least it did for for one terrifying 1/2 hour, after the training wheels came off. I was still uncertain of the physics but my Dad wasn’t willing to mosey through the big-girl bike process. (Years later, when teaching me t0 ride a motorcycle, he employed the exact same “Now or Never, Do or Die” method.) 

Once I managed to stay up after he broke his vow and let go — WOW! A bike with training wheels is like an orgasm without a moan. The release that comes with speed or sound, mmm. The bliss of velocity, the rush of movement, oh I was hooked. I hardly missed horses after that.

And when I did, my bike became a rusty stallion; mane blowing in the wind, hooves hitting cobblestone.

A few of the roads in our little south Toledo hood were brick paved and ahhh that pompompompompom sound still thrills.

Wasn’t I just telling y’all about the furious pedaling that took place as I rode my bike home from the library?  The potency is undiluted by the years. The musty papery scent of library books combined with the snapzap of rubber & gravel.  Those memories are saturated by the heady oomph of freedom. I had a lipstick red convertible Caddy and a platinum AM EX  (cherry red schwinn, library card) It’s not surprising that I often find myself back there in my dreams, navigating those roads in a strange bike-car hybrid.

For a kid, a bicycle is always more than a bike.  To you, it’s a beater with a banana seat. To them it’s a Venice beach lo rider or a gondola gliding along the canals of the otherVenice. To you, it’s a crooked big wheel. To them, it’s a monster truck.

Kids are always peddling in a ghosty aura or otherness.

Which is why I’m madly in love with “horsey,” eungi kim’s entry in ‘seoul cycle design competition 2010‘.   Kim’s design entry was shortlisted from over 3000 designs. The designboom competition was organized in collaboration with the  seoul design foundation.

Kim’s clever creation turns any bike into a magical pony.

 

Kim describes the product thusly:
 

‘horsey’ is an attachable bicycle ornament/accessory which makes one’s bicycle look horsey!
the ‘horsey’ package includes wooden ornaments (horsey shape body), metal parts, and screws.
the manual is very simple so that anyone can easily arrange it according to one’s needs.
through this ‘horsey’ project. I wanted to give a special look to bicycles so that people would care
about cycling not only as transportation but also as a lovely pet.

 

I think “horsey” is a magical ode to dreaming. I have just two concerns.

1) Will this horsey actually be sturdy enough for the kind of galloping I’ve got in mind?

2) When will you be launching a unicorn version?

Cause I’d like to order one of those suckers in either black licorice or pink neon. Hmm. What do you think? Black unicorn or pink unicorn?

Happy Belated Birthday, Roald Dahl!

Posted in Alphabetfiend, Books & Writing, In Celebration of the Absurd, Top 2% of Coolest Mofos with tags , , , , , , , , on September 15, 2010 by alphabetfiend

Happy *Belated* Birthday, Roald!

OMG! I love you so much!

Hey… is that a big spliff yer smoking? Wow. That explains a lot. Well, like my friend Dan sez, “Don’t treat me like yer step-sister, I like to bake too.”

Roald Dahl is a patron saint of childhood, along with Dr. Seuss. His birthday was September 13th. He would’ve been 94, had he not died in 1990.

There were days, coming home from the library, where I could not pedal my bike fast enough, so eager was I to curl up and crack open a new Roald Dahl book. The papery whiff of  absurdity that wafted from the page was a powerful intoxicant.

If you have not read the stuff Dahl wrote for grown-ups, then you have not know true creepiness. Go! Start with some short stories from The Best of Roald Dahl.

If you have not read the stuff Dahl wrote for kids, well, what is your major malfunction?

Go!  Post haste! James and The Giant Peach awaits.

Check out the bitchin’ Roald Dahl website, complete with tips for kids & parents on how to use Dahl to increase childhood literacy.

Happy Birthday, Sam I Am!

Posted in Alphabetfiend, Books & Writing, I Heart My Love-Tribe, In Celebration of the Absurd with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 12, 2010 by alphabetfiend

Today is the 50th birthday of the Dr. Seuss classic “Green Eggs and Ham” which is undoubtedly one of the most amazing literary masterpieces of all time. Seuss wrote the genius gem after his publisher bet him that he couldn’t write a book using only 50 words. A fine 5o words they are!

Dr. Seuss was a true poet and a gentleman of letters. He was a master of surrealism and a great hero of mine. 

I could not, would not, in a house.
I would not, could not, with a mouse.
I would not eat them with a fox.
I would not eat them in a box.
I would not eat them here or there.
I would not eat them anywhere.
I would not eat green eggs and ham.
I do not like them, Sam-I-am.

I’ll be celebrating the book’s birthday by introducing it to my niece — Thing 2 — for the first time! She’s nearly 2 and it’s high time she fell in love with Seuss. I’m sure we’ll read it about 50 times.

50 words, 50 times, 50 years.

Maybe I’ll be a real go-getter and whip up a batch of green-egg cookies … mine will be like these:

Rather than like these fancy-schmancy hams. Hey, I’m not that ambitious!

I gotta save my energy for repeated animated readings. My niece refuses to let others read to her, claiming they don’t do it right. Naturally this is an enormous source of pride for this book-worm Aunty.

Enjoy this book’s birthday, y’all! Maybe a ham & spinach omelet for dinner??

Green Eggs and Ham is available on amazon!

Blondie & Kermit Duet: Rainbow Connection (Sunday Punk Rock Gospel)

Posted in Pure Sweet Chocolate Sense, Sunday AM Punk Rock Gospel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 24, 2008 by alphabetfiend

Lina and I were just talking last night about connections that happen in art without the artist’s awareness. The subconscious strings beads, the conscious wears a perty necklace. The knowing inside the oblivious. We both agreed that it’s our favorite part of making art. She with paint, me with words. I had one of these moments recently. The RobotBoy and I had a nice hazy smoke and broke into a mile-a-minute conversation about racism and homophobia. Big issues for both of us; life themes. I confessed to three brief moments of ingrained racism as a child, flashes where an adult’s fucked up toxic mindset had made its way into me and I had to then kick it out. But, I told RB, I’d never experienced a moment of prejudice about homosexuality and had this innate calm understanding of it for as long as I can remember. My mom always says it doesn’t surprise her that while not gay my life is a gay cabaret. She tells this story of me casually referring to a friend of mine as gay and she asked “Do you even know what that is?” and I told her in great detail without a hint of judgement. That kid, by the way, came out 15 years later. I do however have an attitude about gay people who are prejudice against themselves. That riles. On that thought I was led to tell a story about my aunt/cousin showing up in our living room and begging my Dad to save her from her terrible situation — she’d come home to find her husband wearing a mask with lipstick & eyeshadow, in a dress, being ass-farked by a man. Of course I was sitting there rapt, being the nosy and non-sheltered kid that I was. And of course my Dad helped her and of course she farked him over. He ended up having to evict her after she completely trashed the place he’d let her live. It took him weeks to clean it up and one day he parked a pick-up truck in the driveway that was over-flowing with ephemera from the lives of these kinky relatives. Being, again, the nosy and unsheltered kid that I was, I began to sift through it all with an archaeologist’s precision and he let me (even left it for days until I’d had my fill.) Was it the choice that most fathers would make? No. Was it the right choice for that kid who would eventually grow up to be writer-me? Hell yea! I poured over piles of love letters, deflated mylar balloons, teddy bears that were far too tainted for me to introduce to my stuffed animals and — Jackpot! — the creepy as hell translucent rubber mask with red lips and blue-shadow eyes. The fact that it had been taken with her to the new place and then abandoned with bears makes me think she was down with the kink and had played up her boo-hoo to win my father’s sympathies. Not that it didn’t suck to then be left for a man and cheated on and betrayed. I’m sure it hurt terribly, enough to abandon love letters in a house filled with cat turds. But that mask was not the trauma she claimed, that mask meant something to her though I’m not sure what. The mask was my trauma! No such thing will ever find its way into my boudoir and I’m the experimental dress up sort. OK, here’s where it gets kinda funny and little kid absurd. When I’d had my fill of voyeurism, the one thing I took away from the bed of that pick up was a 45 of Kermit the Frog singing “Rainbow Connection” (“It’s Not Easy Being Green” was the B side.)

kermit

As a kid, I had to take my music where ever I could get it. My entire music collection was comprised of a few records pilfered from alley ways on trash day and Columbia House rejects from when my dad neglected to check “no thanks” on the little card that announced it would be sending him cassette tapes by Huey Lewis, Kenny Rogers or A-HA. Thus my eclectic musical sensibilities. I must’ve listened to that Kermit record 100’s of times over the years and still have it somewhere. I sang a few remembered lines for RB and he says “Never heard it.” Never heard it? The computer was on my lap because I’d been working on my book before getting carried away with smoke and talk, so we make our way to youtube and hit play. And then it hits me — my own personal RAINBOW CONNECTION. Here I am, taking a break from the book, chatting about totally unrelated things, and ending up right back at the damn book. In  Pure Sweet Chocolate Sense, one of the characters is a cop with “blue sense” who experiences psychic visions of a girl’s body trapped in a mine and the girl is wearing a jeweled rainbow around her neck. All of the characters are dealing with “knowing” and with the feeling that there is something more to be had, to be known. My characters and their maker/writer. The lovers, the dreamers and me! I did not recall the actual lyrics or think of “The Rainbow Connection” in relation to my book but connections were happening beneath the surface and I remembered every word some where. Kermit was poking at me no doubt.

RAINBOW CONNECTION
Kermit the Frog

Why are there so many
songs about rainbows
And what’s on the other side
Rainbow’s are visions
They’re only illusions
And rainbows have nothing to hide
So we’ve been told and some chose to
Believe it
But I know they’re wrong wait and see

Someday we’ll find it
The Rainbow Connection
The lovers, the dreamers and me

Who said that every wish
Would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that
And someone believed it
And look what it’s done so far
What’s so amazing
That keeps us star gazing
What so we think we might see

Someday we’ll find it
That Rainbow Connection
The lovers the dreamers and me

Have you been half asleep
And have you heard voices
I’ve heard them calling my name
Are these the sweet sounds that called
The young sailors
I think they’re one and the same
I’ve heard it too many times to ignore it
There’s something that I’m supposed to be

Someday we’ll find it
The Rainbow Connection
The lovers, the dreamers and me!

It’s the perfect Punk Rock Gospel for today because it has to do with the book and thus serves the gods of nanowrimo but is still a wonderful discussion of spirit and the search for something more. Plus Debbie Harry gives Kermie some punk rock props. Enjoy!

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