Saturday, June 19, 2010

In case anyone is still reading this shizz, I would like to formally invite you to look at and enjoy my new blog, Sexy Depressed Berlin which details lotsa Berlin crap in comic diary form. Also, I'm blogging for Art:21.
So folks, please join me in my newer, more spacious online abodes. Seriously, come over. I won't do anything untoward.
Yes I will.

xAli

Saturday, October 03, 2009



So I was thinking about why I haven't blogged in a while, and after sifting through my dreary and cliched attempted drafts, which resembled the verbal dry-heaves of a Bush speech writer (wassup Matt Lattimer!!!), I realized that I was blocked. My blockage came about because of three things: My root chakra being completely undone and not at all like Ms. Chaka Khan, (who I thought birthed the chakra through incredibly danceable beats and sassy hip swivels), crippling Morrissseyed introspection, and quitting smoking.
Now, quitting smoking sounds like a good thing, but what happens when your sexy throaty sputter goes away huh? How do you seduce people? With your looks? By NOT slowly killing yourself? I don't think so. Killing yourself is like those Axe commercials and is inndddddubbbitably hawt.
How do you look cool at parties? How do you hide your cleft palate? How do you pretend to be Marlene Dietrich in the rain? I mean, do high waisted pants work without the requisite lip-dangling cigarette???? How do you replace that tiny phallus in your mouth? An elf? An ancient ceramic virility bong? Those dumb Chinese electronic nonsense cigarettes?
*I will never smoke anything Chinese....never! Reds!
Anyway, it's been 4 months now, and for once I have not cheated. Not even a little bit. Although I did cozy up to a subway regular once to smell his sweet, sweet Gaulouise scented flannel. He looked away, coyly, but I could see the tendril of smoke rising softly from his chapped bottom lip, beckoning me to suck more, saying, "I don't want this to end, drink from my odor, and then let's go to my cardboard gazebo and make out"*
*The last paragraph was written by guest contributor "that lady who writes the Twilight books."
*Seriously though, I read part of one at the airport and it is like porn for babies.

My point is, and I feel weird saying this but it's true, is that I lost part of my identity after quitting smoking...really. Also, I gained like 10 lbs which makes me feel like I look like the fat version of an American Girl doll.
Also, too much has happened really. Here are the highlights, and yes, this is all true.

-My Italo-German actress-roommate Lucia went to the mental hospital after having a psychotic break. She left me a note which consisted of a picture of Frank Zappa giving the finger with a caption that read "and fuck you too." It was surrounded by candles. She also stuck lasagna sheets in our mailbox and spread baking powder over the floor of our apartment to see who was coming in and out. This was disturbing and took up way too much of my mental time. Needless to say I have moved out and now live with a growed-up woman who enjoys rock-climbing and other mentally stable pursuits.

-My folks visited and we went to Venice for the Biennale which was amazing for me. And I will discuss my personal highlights soon.

-I went to New York and Austin, and got drunker and fatter and have now imposed an only-vegetables and water routine until I become the svelte young girl I never was. Like that American Girl doll that was actually hot.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

It's really been a long time now, blog. Probz the longest I've ever gone without, you know, touching my keys. I mean, I was sharing a bunk at camp that one time, but somehow I still found the time to nudge a spacebar once or twice.
Anyway, I don't know, I have weird blisters on my feet today, it's finally summer here in Berlin, I'm re-reading Siddhartha in order to claw my way back onto the path of the buddha (clawing is not very zen, but is totally effective against weak, self-flagellating monk types). Also, I have been smoke-free for 48 hours and because my brain is drying up like a menopausal woman and giving me headaches, I have been replaying several murderous scenarios in my head:
One: Knifing the stupid fucking kids who harass me in the subway.
Two: Knifing the stupid fucking adults who harass me in the subway.

I met some interesting people and saw some interesting showzen lately. Mike Smith had a great screening at The Building and a subsequent show at Homie, which is run by Dan Seiple.
I saw a whole bunch of shit last weekend including a group show at September, which looked shitty until someone explained it was curated around a bauhaus collaborative idea. And then it somehow it seemed less shitty---as these things tend to do after clever exposition.

Carson Chan curated a good show at COMA gallery, called Back to the Future, which dealt with the passage of time etc. There was a nice video piece that spliced different time-travel scenes from movies I believe.

Earlier, new friend and sometimes artcrush Lisi Raskin had a show at Tanas, which was a precursor for the Istanbul Biennial and was really interesting.

Marie Lorenz and Jeff Williams visited from Rome and I took them to the gay parade where we enjoyed a beautiful drag queen vista from the idyllic location of a sticky bar stool.

New bestie Jesper Nordahl was in town for a few weeks and we ate cheeseburgers every day.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Things I have eaten while in Germany: lamb heart, lamb liver, liver cheese, blood sausage, sliced fat, pig tongue (a slice of barely cooked pig tongue on bread, mind you....the first time I have been truly, and not just melodramatically, horrified by food).

I wonder how anyone gets laid in this land of cool demeanors. I bought skinny jeans at some point. And they make my stomach hurt from the soul compromise and the unnecessary tightness around my beerholdingplace.

It rained as I explored old city Leipzig, so I saw "Terminator: die erlosung," to get out of the wetness. I understood 90%, but mostly because it was just explosions and the overwhelming sound of no Sarah Connor.

My future is a pastiche of possible nightmarish scenarios like a David Lynch movie. And I am a misogynist like Lars Von Trier. And the movie "Up" is awesome. And the movie "Drag Me to Hell," is awesome and Bob would have liked it.

I saw Lucia play at the Kinski Bar last weekend, which was amazing; she strangled herself with her microphone cord and married herself onstage. Soon I will post her myspace page, and also the flyer I made for her performance.

I went out for Nicky's birthday and smothered my depression with a joint, which made me happy, and make-out-happy and I think I'll do that more often, partly because I was born in Oakland at 4:20 a.m. which means my destiny as a stonerbaby is probably written in sanskrit on an ocean wall somewhere.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

For my blogfan, mentor and friend, Bob Anderson.

Bob died. He was a good friend I like to think, and a great, absurd man. I am sad. He read this blog just about every day, and used to quote me to myself when I was his teaching assistant. I quoted him too, because he had a blog as well. We both knew too many of the mundane details that comprise a person's life and in the end, our conversations went like this;
A: I ate the best Ethiopan last night at....
B: Yeah, I know, I read it on your blog. I went there 2...
A: Weeks ago, yeah I know.
(We both drum our fingers on the table)
B: Have you read this Chris Ware?
A: No, can I see it?

I can't believe he's gone, partly because he was and remains a kind of emblem of Austin for me. I mean, he was everywhere, all the time, supporting his students, his colleagues---I'm pretty sure most of UT enjoyed a bit of drink with Mr. Anderson at one time or another.
His visage is just so burnt into my brain, his long hair and consistently mischievious smile; a soundtrack of truly spooky noise music playing in the background. He loved that stuff. He was a big part of my life at UT, and he really supported me and his other students in their art-making and basic life stuff. He listened to me complain about so much stupid shit over the years, and I acted all the more dramatic and ridiculous because he was so calm and understanding about it all. I really felt I could tell him anything and he would remain amused yet without judgement. He was equally non-judgemental towards his students' art, and he was a great teacher, and he loved it, and he loved his students.
Here's some amazing stuff about Bob, I wish I could remember more, because I really enjoyed some of the weirdly wise things he said over the course of our 4 year friendship:
Every year on Halloween he stayed at home dressed like some kind of ghost and scared neighbor children when they came to ask for candy.
At Nohegan he wore a balloon hat and made intricate little pen drawings on rocks. They were totally fucking beautiful and bizarre.
He made drawings for all the grad students during their oral exams. He made one for me just months after I purchased a drawing of his at Arthouse's 5x7. I think I was kind of pissed that I spent 75 dollars on a drawing, only to have a similar one given to me a short time later. He told me afterwards that he made it with a blue ballpoint pen bought in Berlin, where I am now living. Somehow this seems important.
His three drawings were the only things adorning the walls of my room while I lived in Austin, and I'm pretty sure they are the only pieces of art I didn't lose or mistakenly put gum on over the years.
He swam every day, and was a fellow Pisces and sometimes we would talk about how fucked up we were because of our sign. We both had a lot of nightmares about sinking ships. And if I remember correctly, he was a glider in his flying dreams, while I was a flapper. And I might be mistaken, but I'm pretty sure he chose invisibility as his preferred superpower.
He came to every party I ever threw. I remember having a robot party with Erin Curtis and he wore a Mexican Wrestler's mask. I've never been sure how he misinterpreted our robot theme, and frankly I don't remember him giving much of an explanation but he was never really the most orthodox thinker (or costumer apparently).
He introduced me to some of the most perverse comics ever. S. Clay Wilson I remember in particular. Man, it was so disgusting and so good. I remember really vividly his excited and naughty expression as we poured over some of those lurid pages. I mean there were others too, Charles Burns and company---that was kind of our daily ritual. Sometimes he would copy stuff he thought I would like and put it in my box at school. Really grotesque woodcuts of birthscenes and the like. In return I would lend him some of my favorites like Dick Tracy and Flannery O'Connor. He loved Flannery and Evil Dead II and The Exorcist and all of those other things that are dark and ridiculous and poignant.
When he met my mom he told her some really sweet things about me, giving her a false picture of me as a better adjusted human being than I was at the time. As a consequence, she always asks about him.
In the fall of 2007, I TA'd his shared class with Michael Mogavero and it is that time that I'm trying to hold on to the most. When he came back from Italy to resume teaching he was like a changed man. I mean, he was fucking ecstatic. Definitely the happiest I ever saw him. He talked about his trip all the time; the wine, the students, the swimming, the conversation, the beautiful Tuscan landscape. Right now actually, I am drinking red wine and remembering him talking about those Italian days of wine and ping-pong. He loved friends, and I think he made some good ones in Italy.
Thinking about him so much today, I realize how many friends the man had. Every one involved in any facet of the arts in Austin knew Bob. That's lovely, I am not trying to eulogize him really (although I think Bob would find something inherently funny in that) but it is really beautiful how many lives and currents he was connected to. Bob was a sweet, sweet, sensitive man and even though I'm so far from Texas I can feel how acutely painful his absence will be. God Bob, I really will miss you. I'm trying to download Evil Dead II right now but it's not working.

http://conduitgallery.com/artist_pgs/anderson.html

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Newsies:

Not much is actually happening in my life besides my monthly ovarian revolution. Little bolshevik bastards, pounding outside the doors of my beautiful palace and makin' my palace look all bloated and shit. So bloated that I can't wear any of my palace pants, and have to resort to the only pants that will accommodate such rancor for the monarchy and abdomen beating...they happen to be plaid.
Nor can I wear my normal palace shirts because they make me look like a big bratwurst with ill-measured casing....or Star Jones-Reynolds. Zing! So, instead I have to wear my special palace shirts, which are large, were purchased in the 90's and also happen to be plaid; but of a different variety than the aforementioned pants.

Lessee, I'm working on a installation for Leipzig, but the wardrobe I'm making is frustrating me. To find the line between deliberately crappy and accidentally crappy is hard. Like finding the appropriate tone of jibing with your close friends.
statement: "Nice shirt Ali, you look like a pirate."
rebuttal: "I despise your outlook on life and have slept with both your siblings."

Berlin is good and alive, yesterday I slipped on a half-eaten apple and some youths called me a "schlampe."