15 December, 2015

Being a fish along the dirty, sacred river; or piscean mind puzzles


I've been fighting the wallpaper in the dining room. I promised this time last year that we would tackle the project. Neither of us are sure exactly how long the dingy, annoying stuff has been stuck to the walls, but since the house has only had 3 owners and WE didn't do it, it at least narrows the field. Our initial impulse is to blame the most immediate former owners, the Beamus's. Amanda's been living in this house for about 10 years and whenever we run across something that is rigged, rushed, or done incorrectly, it almost always traces back to them. We curse them regularly.

The wallpaper appears to pre-date them, however, so we cannot curse their name. This time.

Removing wallpaper is a frustratingly slow process. Having never done it before, and having only an abstract notion of how to do it, naturally I did research first. What I found quickly was there is no one correct way to strip the awful stuff; there is, in fact, a host of moderately successful DIY methods that no one can make up their minds about. There are manufactured chemicals, of course. Then there's the diluted fabric softener method*, the vinegar water method**, the patch and paint method***, and the dynamite method+. All of those (except the dynamite method, though my impressions are hypothetical) pale in comparison to using a steamer.

The work is still tedious, but it moves faster. Unlike the first day, when I wasn't entirely sure we would ever be able to finish it, I can see a tangible time line -- though a much longer one than I originally thought. ++

I've also been working on the technical aspects of podcasting. The talking part is easy. Finding news is
even easier, although I have to rebuild my credibility as someone news sources need to talk to.+++  I'm not too worried about it, though I am anxious to record. There are some real stories going on that need to be told and told better than they are being told now. The advantage of the podcast is that I can dig as much as I like and tell the story that insists itself instead of being beholden to mediocre editors.

Teaching myself the technical aspects of podcasting and remembering how sound recording equipment works has kept the prospect of actually DOING the podcast in the abstract -- much in the way that spending a year talking about how great the dining room will look once the wallpaper is gone and it's painted kept the project in the abstract.

Abstract is easy for me.  I could spend all day, everyday, lost in the visionary mist of the abstract. I lose track of time. I lose track of myself. I imagine, if there is a Heaven,it feels something like that. Within the realm of abstract thought there are no creative delays. Creation is as simple as letting go of the interior time clock and seeing what happens.

Delving into the abstract is the work of poets, sages, and visionaries. Genius^, however, is the ability to manifest those abstract thoughts into tangible life -- into the now. The wallpaper will come down and the paint will go up. I'm preparing a podcast that will come out soon, as a test to see if the feed will work. In addition, there are poems to write, a chapbook -- Cortez Eating the Sun -- to prepare and publish under the banner of Dirty River Press, next semester's classes to prepare for, and query letters to write.

Push.

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*1 part liquid fabric softener and 4 parts warm water in a spray bottle. In theory, after you shred the paper (scratch a bunch of holes in the surface plastic with this nifty tool.) the fabric softener will loosen the glue. Mostly I find that getting it wet does the same thing, sans the chemical clean smell.
** Vinegar and warm water. See above.
*** This entails covering each seem with Spackle and painting over it. While this seemed less tedious, I had images of newly painted walls peeling. 
+I have threatened to do this. Amanda is not on board with this one. Yet.
++If you have to remove wallpaper, and if dynamite is not an option, skip all the above methods and get a steamer. You will thank yourself.
+++Thanks again, LEO WEEKLY, for being one more job that believed I was good enough to fuck but not good enough to marry.
^ Genius, as it is classically understood, is not a personal adjective. A person is not a genius. The work brought about is an act of Genius.

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