Discarded food-packaging is a mood board of my lifestyle. The compost is a mood board of my lifestyle. Purple onion skins on trend for SS17.
Xtian: I followed your crush on gram so i can keep tracks on the whereabouts of the crush
INTEL NEEDS TO BE SHARP HERE
M: Ha ha ha! Where is my crush?
This weekend I applied for a 10k grant (a low brow one) for which I had to make a video. I am one dorky looking dweeb. Good thing I’m adorable or I’d get nowhere.
I also deep cleaned the house
And got pizza/fries/gelato with Nicolas.
What’d you get up to?
Xtian: Dense and sick! Sounds like some shredder vibes mixed with some daydreamer vibes
What kind of pizza?
I stayed up until 4 Friday and Saturday
It snowed in April as you know is a thing
Lots of walking this weekend too
M: Walking like the hometown hero who’s still there. White snow in April up the nose. But what party? And to answer your question, Marinara con verdure miste – melanzane, pomodoro, pepperoni, zucchini, olio picante – they should call it the “M.” Pistachio gelato senza latte! That’s my favorite, AND ciocolatto senza latte. Two scoops as a prize for 2+ decades on planet earth.
you don’t eat pepperonis em
DO YOU PICK THEM OFF AND FEED THEM TO NICOLAS?
M: It means bell pepper in this crazy backwards Italy!
And LET ME TELL YOU, I had never tried bell pepper before now they are the best thing that there is in Italy. SO FLAVORFUL.
Whenever there is pepperoni at mensa I say “it’s a mensa miracle!” And faint.
“Sorry, you are an asshole, you aren’t meant to be in this place and you have to go.” – Massimo Banzi, on moderation in tech forums
He came to speak at Fabrica, talking about cool Arduino stuff and the evolution of maker culture.
Thinking about maker spaces and DIY culture in general, my mind drifted to how these things are supported: these ideas and cultures that define my life/generation inhabit literal and figurative structures that have been abandoned by capitalism.
I ended up going out for dinner with Massimo and the other key nerds of Fabrica. We were all out of place at the luxury countryside hotel where thousands of jewel-encrusted event-goers drunkenly waddled on their heels. “Where’s the hot tub?” Asked Massimo.
There was nothing vegan on the menu, and naturally trying not to be too much of a bother about figuring out what to eat inspired in our group a micro-discussion of ethics.
There is essentially no way to live ethically, at least not if you eat food or wear clothes or use electronics. For some reason I still have conviction about trying.
My restaurant-Italian has improved. With the help of the waiter we were able to come up with a non-menu vegan entree. For desert he said there were no options, unless I wanted fruit. I said I would take grappa (for those who don’t know, this is a divisive hard liquor made from grapes, I think it’s tolerable but many do not. Whenever a young person orders it everyone pretends to be surprised).
The waiter brought me a giant bowl with mandarines, bananas, grapes, apples, and a pomegranate with the grappa (and everyone else’s tiramisu). We all guffawed. The next time he came around I asked for a box – “I couldn’t finish it all!” When he brought a bag Angelo said to take the bowl and leave the fruit on the table.
Isaac got kicked out of Fabrica “for designing a banana holder” we all say. I brought the bananas from the fruit bowl to him at the bar (Colonetta) after diner. The bartender knew Angelo. She was sweet, the bar was tiny. Angelo got red wine, I got a spritz campari, a bunch of people joined us because it was one of a series of going away parties. All the days are the good old days if you are sentimental enough.
I made good vegetable soup and didn’t drink. Nicolas watched Fireworks by Kenneth Anger. Alexis came home and had some of the soup. She read a book and I wrote to my mom about my overdue student loan payment and the debt my gym is trying to collect, even though I cancelled my membership. We were all sitting around the table peaceably when Alexis said “ice cream.”
San Agostino is closed on Mondays, and will soon close for Winter, which has been causing us some grief. We biked five minutes to another place and it turned out they had even more vegan options, and will be open through the season. I had a cone with chocolate amaretto that was deep and rich… like me.
What are you doing for world beer and kissing and ice cream day?
We happened to have a four day weekend over Halloween because of a Catholic holiday. The nerds had a party with a costume contest so I took what was around and free (trash bags, glue, time…) and made a typical M Wingren DIY Masterpiece:
Heading out of my apartment in my brutal sandals (Rick Owens runway – thanks Italian eBay) the neighbor came up to yell and yell and yell at me. I guess it was worth it because I won the paper flower and bottle of prosecco ;)
Deniel, Antti, Kendra, Alexis and I hopped on a bus to Slovenia so that we could generate in-jokes and not speak a different new language. Except in Ljubljana they do speak my language: DIY everything, squatter communities, vegan restaurants, queer culture…
The mixture of castles, dragons on everything, remnants of communism, Brutalism, graffiti, mountains… it was novel. The air was brisk. I kept saying I wanted to find the “scarf emporium.”
We went to a vegan restaurant, it was good, it was cheap – €4 for a giant burger full of vegetables and a cappuccino. Then we got gelato, it was good, it was cheap, it was vegan. After exploring the “Luxury Communism” of DIY spaces Antti bought us all warm honey brandy. As it got dark we found ourselves at an Indian restaurant getting pleasantly tipsy on beer with elephants imprinted on the bottles.
Alexis told us about how she was asked to be the model for the Benetton Spa graphics the department was working on. “Bring your bikini” they told her.
“Ciao lil’ mama, it’s time to go to the Versace-beach – where’s your Pizza-kini?” I said… to sum up everything about Italian culture.
The conversation surrounding traditions of patriarchy continued. Instead of referring to a group of people as “guys” I proposed to start using the gender-neutral “bitches.”
“Ciao bitches” we would all say, for the rest of forever.
As with any shoestring vacation, most of our time was spent walking. At one point we ended up at a place I visited in a dream a few years ago – a minimal structure on the river with round windows looking out to the water. The place had polished concrete floors and stainless steel tables in the center – repurposed lab tables full of professional looking zines and prints. Deniel traded zines and arranged himself a solo-show. Just like that.
The next morning we went to a different vegan restaurant, with even bigger and better burgers than the day before. I also got a raspberry croissant and a cappuccino. I don’t usually go so full luxury, but was having “treat yourself” feelings.
Right after that my wallet was taken. I thought: “But that was a vegan restaurant, presumably their customers are ethical people?” I was glad that I had bought the pastry and went about cancelling my bank card, standing outside the restaurant. About a half hour later, having had no success with Italian banks (Catholic holiday) a guy with long black hair, eyeliner, and a happy-face emoji beanie came up to me holding my wallet. He thought it was his friend’s and took it off the communal table, then borrowed a bike to race back and return it. “Welcome to Ljubliana!” he said.
We went to a castle, got another snack, and made it to the bus stop early. I had a big red can of low-alcohol beer with my avocado-bagel (it was the same price as a water bottle ;) The pedestrian signal produced a constant stream of minimal techno, and when its clicking reached the “drop” Antti and I would dance wildly.
Feather and I went to see Tanya Tanaq. Very good. Viscerally avant garde. They re-scored “Nanook of the North,” shifting the Colonialist angle of the original film. Tanya talked about how how her people have always eaten meat to survive and critiqued PETA etc. for stripping Inuit seal-hunting rights. After the show, Feather asked me what I thought about all the pro-meat talk. I said: “She is right and I am right and everyone else is wrong.”
I helped to detect and deactivate the bomb – both high stakes tasks that left me fearing for my life. I abided by the reason of the situation: If I didn’t do this more people would be die, I might be killed in the process but it was something that had to be done for the greater good. And there I was. What a martyr ;)
It was maybe just a metaphor for voting for Hillary Clinton to avoid Trump etc. In the dream I was literally saving Hillary Clinton, thinking “This is not more important than my life, although, it is more important than my life.” I had to let go of being an individual to keep things at a level of stasis less harmful than the degradation of stasis, for those masses of humans of which I am part.
I don’t know though. Upon waking I reasoned that I would do better for the world if not dead, and that sacrificing myself would be a quick end to a longer term problem. Thankfully, IRL, I’m not on a bomb squad, and if I am metaphorically, it is very low stakes. Like “Oh no, I have to prostrate myself at the feet of advanced capitalism so that I can continue to pursue my dreams which involve bettering the system of advanced capitalism for myself and others.”
Dion knocked several thousand times on the front door, waking me up. He was wearing black skinny jeans, boots, and a white t shirt, as always this summer. I changed into black skinny jeans, boots, and a white t shirt, throwing on my sunglasses and a pot of coffee he said “I need sunglasses, then we’d match.” We moved his mattress and bed frame from The Bass. Lynn (still my former boss) encouraged him to leave the bed frame (“It’s just as easy to sleep on a mattress on the floor!”). Of course my mom (and myself) wanted him to take his stuff away from here so that we didn’t have to deal with it. Lynn also didn’t want to deal with it, she was already doing enough of a good deed by helping this wayward-good-kid move. I got in the truck and showed them how easy it would be to transport the bed frame alongside the mattress.
“Is Dion really living with such an officious and bossy roommate?” mom asked me. “No, Dion’s roommate is probably more lazy, as he backed out of helping him move, that was Lynn… How do you think people join the 1%? By cutting corners and not thinking of the consequences for others.” We laughed.
I cleaned out the rest of The Bass, relics from tens of people and former tenants. I went to the thrift store with the objects. The attendant at the thrift store was beautiful, and wore diamond earrings. I asked if GoodWill would accept old laptops (from dead friends, – I am the worst, I am the worst, I am the worst) He said: “No.” Then: “Just kidding! Just kidding! Just kidding!” He bounced the dodgeball I gave him. I was in love.
Summer construction on Cerrillos makes every trip feel like crossing the Bay Bridge at rush hour. I dipped into the new “Food King” (formerly Lowe’s) having a hunch that they would have cheap beer. They did. A representative from Santa Fe Spirits was giving cocktail samples. I had one and impulse bought a fifth of the vodka he was peddling. The wrong choice. I went to the gym and did 100 squats, 100 kettleball swings, 100 tricep pressdowns, 45 Romanian deadlifts, 45 dumbell lunges…
I went to Ta Lin and bought Sriracha, chili sauce, seasoned rice vinegar, shiso, mint, Thai basil, tofu, mushrooms… I made a ginger/garlic sauce and while the tofu/mushrooms were marinating I wrote. Xtian and MC texted to say they couldn’t make it to see Joe Hayes, so I made the dinner I was making for them for Eryn, Isaac, and Noah, during the golden light of August post-rain.
After Eryn and Isaac left, I wrote more. My feet were chilly so I climbed under the duvet on my ice slab to read Amrita. Noah came in and threw my keys and a few putty-knives at me.
Noah: “Watch the next two episodes of ‘Stranger Things’ so that we can watch the finale of Stranger Things together.”
Me: “Okay, I guess we have to go to Whole Foods to buy ice cream sandwiches first.”
Noah: “I have been craving cheesecake lately”
Me: “That is so weird”
Neither Noah nor I have ever cared for cheesecake. We bought Tofutti Cuties AND Lil’ Dreamers PLUS Daiya brand New York cheesecake, which tasted like cheesecake, at least as far as I can recall, having never really liked cheesecake and having been vegan for the past six years. We finished Stranger Things, we left the windows open through the chilly rain, we ate frozen novelties. What could be better?
I had FOMO so I went to Jay St. and hung out with my pals.
It was pleasant enough on my side of the invisible and impenetrable wall that stood between us. I don’t know what the threshold was, or if its crossing was conscious, but as I left at 2am, I understood that whatever there had been was over.
It was a sad feeling.
I left work five minutes early, went to Crocket/Sandra’s cute house, admired their vegetable garden, and got some money for the weed I gave Crocket.
At the R@R@ John was having fun hanging the trampoline skin in different configurations. At one point it looked like a little theatre and we laughed about setting up cinder blocks as actors.
Sandra and Sarah came over for dinner, to sit in the hottub, and to write my Santa Fe Bucket list. I made nachos or maybe more accurately “deconstructed tacos” with apricot/garlic/turmeric rice, chipotle beans, calabacitas and purple cabbage/lime, topped with smoked mesquite almonds. We drank La Croix and ate dark chocolate while planning a four square/heaven and hell night.
I was disappointed to find that all the relics from my childhood, which I had thoughtfully sorted and let go of ages ago, had reappeared. It was a heavy feeling, modulated only by the bittersweet memories attached to a collection of gelato spoons amassed over a summer with my (now dead) first love.
A music book stood out in the pile of discarded and homeless items. An illustration of a pig accompanied a wild post-bop jazz piece. I mentioned to my dad that it was a wonderful song and he said he couldn’t read music.
Mykki Blanco was sitting in our living room after a show and before a party, talking about feeding apples to pigs in Germany for a music video. I jumped up and said “Oh! Pigs love apples!” I know this because in the mess of old stuff a piglet appeared, eating what looked like a very juicy apple. It shook its head around playfully, looking me in the eye.
Beyond the pile of things was the shore of some spirit realm where we would have a family dinner with our deceased loved ones. Pork was on the menu and I wondered if it would be served with an apple in its mouth.