Tuesday, January 27, 2009

"Carving" Out A New Life

So we moved to Portland in the summer of 95'. In fact, for what it's worth (nothing btw although Portland has a couple of hippies here and there so I have heard), the day we arrived was the day Jerry Garcia died. You can wiki it-August 9th 1995. So I like to think I had something, even minor, to do with his demise because for the life of me, AND I HAVE TRIED AND TRIED, by listening to their heinous music, but I do not understand the appeal of the Grateful Dead. I mean, they could NOT write even a slightly catchy song to save their lives. Didn't matter if you were on acid, PCP, weed, coke, alcohol, horse tranquilizers, angel dust, whatever. It just didn't matter. Their songs just blow. Trust me I gave them the ol' college try. Heck, the lovely Throbbing Gristle is 100 times more tuneful and their stated goal was NOT to be tuneful. But I digress...

It didn't take long for me to start digging the artistic motifs of the First Nations Coastal Indians that historically inhabit a range from Northern Cali up to Alaska and beyond. At first, during long weekend road trips to Vancouver BC (lovely city) to see my beloved DETROIT RED WINGS play hockey, the greatest game on earth (screw soccer and those floppin' fairies-well EXCEPT for Pele and some of the artistic Brasilian homens-including Umbabarauma, my URL namesake from the awesome Jorge Ben song of the same name), we would go to the galleries throughout the city (particularly Hill's Native Art) and purchase cool carvings that were in our budget and “mount' them around the living room back home in order to spook any lame Anglos who came over (and that's all there is in PDX as I recall).

After a few years of this, circa 1999 (screw Prince too, he can barely write a song and is a total “twit”-purple is the color of royalty???!!!! My bunda!), I figured out that I, a total white man with a dull Northern European lineage starting in Britain/France and ending in Poland/Russia could be allowed to take local community college courses and learn the art of this noble art style. Which I did. It is not actually that hard once you learn the basics (kinda like sex in that way). In short, here is a sample of the results (not included is my first carving of a whale head in relief-it was putrid like if you actually saw a rotting, putrid whale on the beach on the coast of Oregon-that's how bad it was but my instructor still encouraged me to become the “rank” amateur I still am).

And credit where credit is due: all painted colors are the responsibility of the ex as I can only paint walls successfully and all hair is the responsibility of my Olde English Sheepdog, Windsor, who was not harmed in the creation of this art and still has more than enough hair left even at the ripe old age of almost 14 to drive most adults crazy and all young girls at my local park loco. More on “her/hair” to come later.

I Hit the Road/It Hit Me Back-But In A Good Way

So post the separation/divorce a few years back, international wander”lust” is my calling and I've carved out a way to make it happen while still maintaining a steady cash flow so a roof covers my head (and cashing out at the top of the market in late 2005 in PDX and Santa Fe doesn't hurt).

Here's the link to Webshots to assorted and edited digital pics from the past few years.


I still need to load some Rio/Brasil fotos from 2001, 2005, 2006, 2007 (see a pattern here?) of course as well as the shots from my addled adventure with my ol' OZ matey, Nathan, from 2004 when I met up with him in really totally gay Paree during his personal sabbatical and my own personal hell and we traipsed thru Spain, exiled in Fez Morocco for a few days (a lovely 110 F in July!) before they determined we were indeed infidels and sent us back up to Amsterdam and Brussels to “chill” out before taking over the Louvre.

Kickin' It With The Doc

Heck, where else would be a good starting point but this subject, right, amigas and amigos??? As I recall my gradual transformation from a “new wavy” guy in 1984 to a much serious harder noise industrialist in 1985 during my tenure at thee Olde University of Michigan (Red Berenson-best coach ever!!!), I did high tail it to the nearest Army Surplus store in Ann Arbor to purchase a pair of de riguer combat boots in order to somehow compensate for my lack of altitude which had dogged me from the ripe old age of 12. Naturally they were quite used and gnarly but I recall only being set back about two sawbucks ($20 for you youngsters out there as well as those not fortunate enough to be simmered in Midwest cultura as an “enfant terrible”).

They served me well for a number of years into marriage and into the early 90s despite not being well insulated (remember, we are talking Michigan winters here) nor all that comfortable. Alas, after cashing in on the “go to Japan, teach English, make some serious cash and retreat from that humid concrete hellhole” event of 92-93, the future ex-Mrs. Williams and I returned for a brief rendezvous in Royal Oak (Joke) Michigan, the emerging hipster suburb just north of the humid concrete hellhole belovedly known as my hometown-Detroit, where I previously had acquired most of my obscure vinyl, to purchase a real pair of combat boots, better know as Doc Martens.

Now, even for that time, $110 was quite an outlay of cash for one as frugal as I. But I tell you what, those suckers are still with me today, better than even pictured here. Yes, a little world weary for sure (six continents and counting including favela retreats, natch) but dang, despite some wear and minor scuffs, they are like the day they were new and still so damn comfortable (and sexy, to “boot”). In short, I like rugged, well tailored things, so Doc Martens-you are the best and I bow to your creator-a real man and not some dude in the sky. And here's the “kicker”-I even have a back up pair-a pair of shiny bronze colored ones for special “kick ass” occasions (not pictured here). The best part of this pair is that I picked them up at a Big 5 Sports Store sales event in Portland at the turn of the century for about $60. WHAT A STEAL!!! But unlike that hippy Abby Hoffman, I will never, ever say, “Steal these boots”. In fact, if you try to steal my boots or any man's boots for that matter, I will get all nasty on you like Blondie (Clint) in “The Good, The Bad And The Ugly” to the soundtrack of Ennio Morricone in my head...”I've never seen so many men wasted so badly”.

To quote Ian Curtis, "Where have they been"?

So I set up this blog as I previously mentioned basically on a whim and a challenge from other lame folk like myself who have them though they are actually doing creative stuff and what not and then I did jack with it for quite a while as you can see-seems I was sidetracked by sciatica (since alleviated by the curative miracle of bad golfing-I kid you not) and an Xmas time excursion down to south of Tucson to visit the folks combined with a further excursion down to Sonora Mexico (Puerto Penasco specifically) to visit with a sweet chica named Raquel who I originally met up with at my folk's vacation place, the Shell Castle (www.shellcastle.com -btw, please, please buy this place or recommend it to some millionaire you know with mucho cash flow as they own me muito dineros but can't pay me off until they sell it-trust me, I need the cash flow myself like the rest of the world these day-oh meu deus), in San Carlos Sonora Mexico near Guaymas-6 hours directly south of Tucson.

But the motivation has hit again during the anti-dog days of January so I am moving forward with great vengeance and will be pontificating on a few subjects whether you care or not. Who knows, deep within my tortured psyche, this may only be for my own edification in the end. To act as a juxtaposition to a noted quote by Hunter S. Thompson I say, “Tear up the ticket, don't take the ride” for all I care.

So anyway, where to begin?