createGrandmother’s Flies

One Tuesday, when nothing spectacular happened, Spider heard his belly grumble. Having just eaten, he had forgotten that he was still hungry, so his stomach churned noise like a whitewater rapid to remind him. For those of you that don’t know much about Spider, his empty gut always led him into wiseacring times, weaving webs of trouble that made tangled messes.

So Spider left his webbed-up raspberry bush home and set out to find food. After some time, he came up on a river and saw Bear’s den.

“Hello Auntie Bear,” Spider bellowed into the cave. “You up for a visit?”

There was no answer, so Spider crept into the den. Over in a corner, neatly stowed, sat Bear’s winter preserves. Being good with her resources, Bear had taken the Salmon she needed, eaten what filled her up, and kept some for her long nap.

“Well, well. Nothing like a bit of dried fish to quiet my tummy,” Spider mused. “I’ll just eat the first row so Bear won’t notice that any are missing.”

He ate the first row, and his stomach kept screaming. So he at all the Salmon and waddled out of the cave to go home. When Bear returned, she roared with anger that someone was stupid enough to take her winter rations. Her cries were so loud, the nearby mountains split open and created a valley; her tears so many, they made lakes and rivers.

Meanwhile, Spider’s belly hurt with hunger again. “Hello, Mr. Tummy,” he joked, “I hear you arguing and don’t know what to say. What? Eat more you’re yelling at me? Why, sure I’ll help us out!”

Instead of going home, he took a left at the Timeless Oak Tree and headed to Grandmother’s house. Grandmother, older than the rocks that lined the oldest river, always had food to eat, tales to spin, and lessons to teach. Wise in many ways not known by regular folks, Grandmother actually knew that Spider’s stomach headed her way.

“Oh, oh,” Spider said. “I can smell Grandmother’s home cooking already. Mmm, collard greens, black-eyed peas, and corn from her garden! (slurp) Apples from her orchard and berries from her bushes!” Spider jumped in excitement, squirted some web for good measure, and doubled his time to eat sooner than later.

Nestled in the burned-out hollow of Dan the Old Redwood, Grandmother’s house stood. Grandmother looked out one of the small half-circle windows and saw Spider walk into a nearby meadow. His stomach grumbles echoed across the ridge, and he hastily crawled up to her door.

(knock, knock)

“Grandmother, so gentle and kind-hearted,” purred Spider in his most polite voice. “So giving with your big heart and abundant garden.”

“Hello, Spider,” she said flatly. “Nice day for a little mischief, isn’t it?”

“Oh, no honorable madam,” he lied. “I was just in the nearby meadow, and saw a dead tree that would make good kindling for your hearth.”

“Firewood, huh? Are you offering to haul a few loads to my wood pile?” Grandmother said, playing along.

“Why, of course. I’m a bit hungry right now, but wouldn’t mind the chore if you fed me first.”

“That’s a fair trade. Here’s a carrot for now. Eat this and bring me back some more veggies from my garden that I can cook up for you.”

“Oh, boy!” Spider exclaimed (crunch) “Carrot and veggies, all for me.”

As you may already know, that dead tree never turned into firewood. Once Spider ate that juicy, orange carrot, he forgot about his offer to trade. Instead, he ate all the veggies from Grandmother’s garden, all the apples from her orchard, and all the berries from her bushes. With his stomach about to burst, and his greedy appetite temporarily gone, Spider realized that he’d eaten ALL of Grandmother’s food.

“Um, I need to figure a way out of this mess,” he told his aching belly. Shooting his web, he climbed up into a secluded tree and tried to think. Then his aching belly began to hurt a little more. As the pain grew stronger, Spider had a harder time thinking up a good way to not get into trouble. The pain got so bad, he slid down the tree and staggered home.

His vision blurred and his stomach heaved. Spider could only make it to the dead tree in the meadow. There, he spun a bed and rolled into a ball of pain. So, on any other day like that particular boring Tuesday, when you’re hauling wood to your own pile, check for Spider before you pick up a piece. His stomach ache will make him bite!

What about Grandmother’s garden? Well, that carrot came from a nearby garden that had been infested with nasty No See Um flies. They’d laid eggs in all the veggies, so Grandmother hoped to make a cure to save her neighbor’s garden. She thought Spider wouldn’t mind being in a little experiment of hers. In his greedy state, Spider blindly ate the sick carrot and didn’t notice the flies. As for the rest of her garden, Spider didn’t notice that Grandmother had other sections. So, being wise as the ancient sun and resourceful as the rain and clouds, Grandmother had plenty of food to feed all her friends and family. As long as you helped out around her farm, Grandmother gladly filled your pail with yummy produce.

Eugene, OR (7/12/05)

createCall for Cranky (Movable Mural Storytelling) Performance Art

Got a cranky (a rolled-up mural in a frame that moves when hand-cranked)? Do you have a story you’d like tell with a cranky and would like to make one?

Cranky art uses ancient scroll technology, with a TV-like interface, to tell stories that are typically politically-themed. We think that the artform came out of the 1960s peace movement, and the art form was recently performed by the San Francisco Mime Troupe, SF Art & Revolution, and the Big Tadoo Puppet Crew. A cranky is easy to make, and better than watching cable TV. But the art form is underutilized and not widely known.

A small group of artists would like to have a Cranky Fest that would help share this niche art form. We are putting our feelers out to other artists who have a canky story to tell or would like to make one for a night of performance.

We are in the early stages of booking this event at the CounterPULSE space. The date is TBD, but will most likely happen in the month of November.

If we get enough interest in performers who wish to tell a story with a cranky, and can work out a 2 hour show with the content, then we’ll have an event!

No experience necessary, but we also do not have any budget to help you build a cranky. We would like to offer a workshop to show ours, and give you ideas on how to build one.

Any type of performance is OK as long as you use a cranky in it somehow. Times should run about 10-20 minutes for your part.

We also hope to have a “Make Your Own Cranky” workshop at the time of the event. This will entail making simple shoebox crankies for the folks who come to the workshop, with maybe a performance or two during the main show’s intermission.

Please get back to me ASAP so I can get an idea of the show for the CounterPULSE events bookers.

If you want to commit to this event, please do not flake out in the process. We want solid artists who’d like to make this unique night fun, collaborative, and informative.

Please help us start the Neo-cranky revolution!

Contact: happyfeet[insert @]

createWindow Washer Man

Can I wash your window for a dollar?

Hey Mr. Windshield Washer Man
waiting by the gas pump
hoping that murder of black birds
will drop you a black feather

Looking for magic
on the cracks in the sidewalk
in Victorian nooks and pee corners
stuck under random bar tables

Special moments crop up
(like that special item you find
in a sidewalk free box)
to turn into gifts of sunshine

Sunny Mission wash muraled over
caught at a certain angle
opening rainbows into one-kind cultura
we sing similar beats

Our hearts pump the same clave
while hands meet tomorrow
on many levels of bounty

welcomed in the quiet spaces of now

createPics from Mercy Hot Springs

Nice close up of the State Flower…a poppy that is.

This rabbit didn’t move while I shot about 10 pics of it. I creeped forward about a foot and managed to get this good shot before it ran off.

create Recent Pics

Finished Mural
A mural that I made with Josh MacPhee and some other friends. Took about a week to design, cut, and paint.

Yummy large stencil cutouts that we used on the mural.

Tahoe Ducks
My childhood friend Mark coaxed me up to Tahoe for a few days. This is during sunset on the first night there (might post a few more from a great hike we did).