I’m okay you’re okay: L.A. edition

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I’m beginning to worry that people who know me solely through this blog and website may be thinking that I am not okay, owing to the fact that for the last year and a half I have been writing and making sculptures almost exclusively about grief. The truth is that I was not okay, then I was okay, then I was deeply not okay, and now I am okay again. The reason that I’ve been writing about grief so faithfully is twofold: 1. writing helps me to heal in a way that nothing else can 2. I want to explode any taboos or discomforts our culture has with loss, grief, and depression and 3. (bonusfold) I never want to fall into the alluring social trap of curating my life by making it seem brighter or shinier than it is.

That said, there have been some bright spots and they are getting more frequent and closer between.

To wit, my recent trip to Los Angeles:

First, I went to LACMA with a friend thinking I was headed to the quaint little county museum for the afternoon and then holy cow, whaddya know, dum dee dum:

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Don’t mind me, just one of the most important surrealists paintings in history.

I took this photo before I realized that photography wasn’t allowed in this gallery because Brancusi’s work is so beautiful it might blow up your camera.
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“Speechless” by Shirin Neshat. Everything but the eyes, the head scarf, and the gun is covered in arabic script.
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My favorite piece in LACMA. “Prayer Mat” by Mona Hatoum. Object embedded towards the top is a compass that marks the direction of Mecca. The rest of the mat is a bed of tiny nails. This, my friends, is how you make conceptual art.
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A casual and artistic segue:

watts towers painting

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Me and the lovely Aleshka. Like Cher, she only needs one name.

At the age of 43, Simon Rodia, a construction worker, felt he had something great inside of him. For 34 years, he worked every night, weekend, and holiday to build what are now known as The Watts Towers. When they were finished, he handed the deed to the property to his neighbor and left town, never to see them again.

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I galavanted. I cavorted. Shit, I even I capered about.

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The following photo is significant because of what I am standing above,

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which is, of course, the 6th Street viaduct where the racing scene from Grease was filmed (!):

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I told Aleshka to pretend to be Sandy waiting in her poodle skirt for Frenchie to come make her over except that Aleshka is way more Cool Sandy than Prissy Sandy, so I think it was a stretch.

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I went to the Museum of Jurassic Technology, an experience about which, according to law, I must remain very opaque and mysterious. You can look it up online, but you won’t find any real information. The only way to crack the code is to go and see it for yourself.

I did everything you would want to do in Los Angeles, including getting caught in a downpour in Topenga Canyon, driving Mulholland at night, and having secret information passed to me while walking the Venice canals.

Observe the various and sundry wonderfulness.

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