rose marshack : whyamistillawake.com

This is my private blog to piss off anyone I can’t piss off anywhere else.

Tues Feb 27, 1996 - Liverpool, Eng.

I’m trying out a Billy Pilgrim experiment, where I become unstuck in time (or at least my blog does) - I need to do something with these tour reports and think I may import them to this wordpress blog. Not sure. But here is a clip from one of our European tours, 1996 with Steel Pole Bath Tub…

Please remember. I am the Original Blogger! hahaha…

Not ‘Fuck,’ ‘Shit.’

Today the bus broke down, parked across the street from the Liverpool club. This seems to have eased any tension between all of us and the bus driver, but he seemed pretty upset! By the end of the day, he couldn’t start the bus at all, and he said, “I am just to laugh at this now.” (Austrian accent.) He is kind of funny; the first day he talked to us and told us the rules of the bus he was swearing a lot - he uses the word “Fucking” a lot, as an adjective, which is fine, only he also uses the word “Fuck” as a noun. He says, “I have been doing this a “Fucking” long time.” Then, “My English is “Fuck.” Later he points to a lot of smoke outside the bus and says, “Do you see all this Fuck?” He needs to learn the word “Shit,” I think, to use as a noun. I don’t want to teach it to him though.

back again

I am on hiatus from writing for Smile Politely; I have a column there called “Building a Sustainable Baby” - I really enjoy writing there but feel constrained; they want mommy columns and I don’t always feel like writing about being a mommy. I have so many other things I do and I like to do them very emphatically. So sometimes I have stuff to say that isn’t related to being a mom.

Speaking of being a mom, I had unprotected sex once this year and got pregnant. I think it’s pretty funny, seeing as though it was so hard to get pregnant the first time around. So I basically have this alien life form (like the movie Alien) bouncing around in my stomach right now. 32 weeks.

I have gestational diabetes again and am shooting up insulin, just like last pregnancy. The shots don’t hurt so much but the diet does. I feel a lot more resistant this time to keeping under 15 / 30 / 45 carbs per breakfast, lunch, dinner. I have eaten eggs and one piece of toast every morning for at least a month now. I don’t really like eggs. And I’ve had to eat meat, too. If I don’t, my blood sugars go nuts. So I eat meat and then get terrible stomach-aches. The tofu and seitan do not cut it; chicken has so much more protein per oz.

I try to detect whether or not I can feel anything when I shoot insulin into my stomach, but I do not feel anything. One morning I messed up and was too low (56) but I just felt shaky and out of it. I went down and made myself my eggs. Another couple of times I’ve been in the low 70s or upper 60s but I just feel bad when that happens. I think ideally you’re supposed to be between 80 and 100.

The economy is scaring my friends into thinking their going to lose their jobs. For some reason I feel very safe in mine. And I do absolutely love it.

Response to a student’s questions

A student named Kyle wrote this wonderful email to me early on in the semester and it was hard for me to answer back then. I just answered him now, and it’s such a wonderful set of questions I thought I’d post my answers here, just to add to the Poster Children online knowledge database.

***
Hi Kyle -
I’m trying to clean out my inbox! This is one of my most special emails to answer. So I’ll try! (I’m also going to post this to my blog - thanks for asking these really great questions!)

1. What were my favorite songs to play live: mostly the ones where we could improvise near the end, ones where I could really, really thrash myself around. There was one called “Space Gun” where there was a lot of time to try to get bass feedback, lay on the floor, pound my arms on my bass, etc. Another called “Wide Awake” - although I hated trying to sing the ending part. Definitely the funnest “live” songs were not always everyone’s favorites, that’s for sure.
I always loved playing “Revolution Year Zero” too. And the ones that people would sing along with and jump up and down were fun, some of our audience had hand symbols for some of the songs (like “6×6″) and actually I used to like playing “Where we live” because it’s a pretty song.

2. Most successful song / album in terms of record sales? I don’t know, that’s probably the question that stumped me. We never, ever, ever paid attention to that stuff. I’ll tell you why - because I think that even when we had a “hit” record (which would be a record that was pushed by a major label) - probably “Junior Citizen” - it was a record that the majority of people bought because they heard the single on the radio. I don’t think those people were really “true” fans in a way; I think they were more fleeting.This may not be a valid opinion, but I’ll go on: when people come up to me now and tell me how much they have loved Poster Children over the years, they usually talk about our song “If You See Kay” which was on “Daisy Chain Reaction” which came out on Twin/Tone Records, an indie in Minneapolis. That song made it to MTV a couple of times, so people knew about it, and we toured extensively on that record, it was our first big tour. People will also tell me that they loved “Junior Citizen” which was the pushed radio single from Reprise / Warner Brothers, but I kinda feel like “If You See Kay” was more successful just because it seems like more people may have discovered it through more indie methods.

I’m happiest with our newest records because we had the most control over them. To me, that’s how I count success. I’ll bet you’ll get the same answer from other rock bands too, just because when it’s all over (or almost all over!) the money is really all gone, and all you have left is your integrity and what you really loved, and how many lives you changed. We have had so many people come up to us and thank us for changing their lives; that means more to me than a number of records sold.

3. How difficult was it to get endorsements from instrument distributors?
We never tried. I know we were offered free shoes a bunch of times and we thought hard about taking them - but we did. We never accepted endorsements from people whose names we’d have to carry around with us; for example Dockers offered us thousands of dollars to do an ad for them, playing a show with their banners up behind us, and we refused - and it felt really great to do so.
Actually we used to get free software more often than instruments; (which is what we wanted anyway!) - and the instruments we’d like to use were always very old anyway so it’d have been impossible to get endorsements for them.

4. If I brought my bass in during your office hours, would you be kind enough to sign it?
I don’t think you really want that! I’ll sign your report card when class is over, is that ok? :)
If you do still want your bass signed after the semester is over, I’d be happy to do it!

blogging at Smile Politely dot com

I’m blogging a lot more consistently over at smilepolitely.com; here’s the URL: http://www.smilepolitely.com/opinion/building-a-sustainable-baby/index.php. I’ll still try to keep up here, but it’s hard to do both regularly….

Wouldn’t Pay

You know what? I wouldn’t pay to become a Premium Member of classmates.com or reunion.com even if it wasn’t some ridiculous price, and the reason is, that just by looking at people’s names, I cannot remember if they were mean to me! I recognize some of the names but I don’t know if I’m angry at them or not.
Facebook’s good enough for me. HRMPH!

How and why flash sucks my ass

In answer to the previous post comment,

Flash is popular because it’s easy to use and you don’t need to know how to program in order to use it. You can make very shallow, gratuitous (but arguably beautiful) animations without knowing anything.

So back in the late 90s, early 00s, people were using flash all over the place and it made the web look much nicer than just plain tabled and framed html. If you used flash, things moved; circles got bigger, etc. It was vector-based, too, so it was small, quick load-times, and looked great. And every computer came with the flash player loaded, so everyone could watch words fading in and out and circles rotating.

Back then, the only people creating web pages were designers and programmers; content-creators (i.e. heads of companies and normal people) had no experience with the web and were just trying to understand what types of things should be on the web. So flashy, flash-driven shallow designs (like the kind you also find in processing) were ubiquitous; it was because there was nothing else available. Hired web designers didn’t know much about the company, and they shouldn’t; they were busy learning flash and dreamweaver.
Now, however, we have CONTENT. Everyone, even non-programmers AND designers, can create content. Everyone knows why the web exists. So there’s no need for crappy shallow spinny graphics; there’s more of a need for content and upkeep.

Unfortunately the rest of the world does not move as quickly as web innovators, so you still have company owners and ‘those who call the shots’ looking for Flash programmers so their sites “look modern.” It’s in job descriptions everywhere. It will be a couple more years before they realize that flash templates are available for under $100 all over the web, and that gratuitous animation is irritating - what we want to see is quick and constantly upgraded content (not something you usually see in flash-driven sites). Content management systems (CMS) are way more useful because content-creators can add information quickly and efficiently, without having to buy additional software authoring suites, and without having to pay someone $100 an hour to make circles and text fade in and out.

Now, Flash still has some very important uses. It is wonderful for web-delivered education / edutainment content; children’s games like you find on pbs and nick. I’ve made some educational game content using flash; it’s nice because again, most people have it. If I could use anything to make games, I’d probably use director, because I’m more familiar with the programming (and I am a programmer) but not everyone has shockwave player, which is necessary for viewing director-created content. The flash actionscripting environment used to be so disgusting that any self-respecting programmer wouldn’t take two minutes to try to figure out which catacomb of the authoring environment to hide their “on mouseUp” script, but I hear it’s much better now.
The one thing I hate most is if I’m on the web and I’m looking for content (which I usually am) - either for art information, or more likely, for something to buy - and I have to watch something slide in or fade in, or rotate in.. with tiny words sliding and fading in… it makes me insane. I’m on the web for content.

my 2 cents.

gaming class!

So far there are only 3 students signed up for the “Ubiquitous Game” class and about 15 for the “Flash” class. So I made a flier. We’ll see.

game class flier

Why to keep awards in a closet

In searching for examples of interconnectedness I found this, which is amazing:
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Academy/9280/coarise5.htm

“A simple example: For the average person living in a competitive world, success does not stop at merely the social phenomenon of success, with all its trappings, but includes clinging to the identity of being a successful person, which is a ‘becoming,’ or life state (bhava). Occasionally the feeling of self will manifest as thoughts of “I am a success,” which in effect means “I have been born (jati) as a successful person.” However, such success, in its fullest sense, is dependent on external conditions, such as fame, praise, attainment of special privileges, admiration and recognition. Birth as a “success,” or “being successful,” depends not only on recognition and admiration from others, but the presence of a loser, someone to succeed over. As soon as a successful being is born, he or she is threatened with fading, obscurity and loss. In this situation, all the feelings of depression, worry and disappointment which have not been properly dealt with by mindfulness and clear comprehension will become accumulated in the subconscious, and they will exert an influence on subsequent behavior in accordance with the Dependent Origination cycle.

Whenever there is the arising of the self-concept, there is an occupation of space; when there is occupation of space, there must be a boundary or limitation; when there is limitation, there must be separation; when there is separation there must be the dualism of ’self’ and ‘not self.’ The self will grow and extend outwards through the desire to attain, to act and to impress others. However, it is not possible for self to grow indefinitely according to its desires. The expanding self will inevitably meet with obstruction in some form or other, and desires will be thwarted, if not externally then from within. If one has any sensitivity to the esteem of others, opposition will arise in the form of one’s own sense of conscience. If there is no suppression of these desires and they are allowed to express themselves fully, opposition will appear from external sources. Even if it were possible to indulge every desire to the full, such activity is weakening. It only serves to increase the power of craving itself, together with its attendant feeling of lack. Not only does it increase dependence on externals, but it increases internal conflict. When desires are unfulfilled, tension, conflict and despair are the natural result.”

Hopefully this explains why the awards are kept in a closet!

Lifetime Achievement Award!

Wow - does this mean we have to move now?

Rick and I won the “Lifetime Achievement Award” (for Poster Children) at the Local Music Awards tonight!! Thanks to Buzz, WPGU, the217.com - that was something else! We are in the company of past winners Mark Rubel, Chef Ra, and Ward Gollings - people for whom we have a great deal of respect. I told the awarders that we were honored and speechless!

It is just such an incredibly NIFTY thing to have happen to us - I mean, I suppose we did give up a good deal of money to press up Hum, Lovecup and Steakdaddy Six albums, and we did take local bands on tour with us… housed tons of other national bands …taught other bands to do E-CDs and webpages… spoke lovingly of our fellow C-U bands and colleagues while on tour, anytime we had the chance - and we lived by the DIY ethic - but all that is so natural and so healthy and made us so happy over the years! It’s a funny thing to be rewarded for. But it’s really nice.

I said, “Rick where should we put the award?” and he said “We can put it with our other awards.” I realized that we do have some others. We have them laying in closets, under shelves, etc. It’s just like Doc in the Cars movie. Trophys are just Empty cups.

Life at work has been rough. I’m never sure if I’m teaching enough. The students seem happy - most of the time. It’s the toughest time of the semester right now. Everyone’s losing steam. All I need to do is to keep people engaged and learning for another month or two, and then in the summer I can fill up my mind again so I can disseminate more knowledge.

And when it FINALLY gets warmer I can practice my FUCKING CARTWHEELS outside! HURRAY!!!

Lie your ass off

From my sister in London:

Q: sascha [her child] has been really scared to go to bed at night. tonight she told me that she was scared of robbers. she asked if there were any robbers in london and i said “well…” then she asked if robbers have guns and i said “sometimes”. [daddy] said that i should have lied and said no. she was shivering in her bed saying she didn’t want to sleep alone.

i told her that we live in putney because it is a very safe place to live and that there is no way any robber could get into our house. i don’t think this helped. should i have lied? Bear in mind that i have spent my WHOLE life being scared of robbers coming into my house….

My Answer:

In my opinion, until the kid is old enough to start not believing you,

LIE YOUR ASS OFF.

about those sorts of things. Lie and distract. That’s what I’ll be doing with gram.

Of course Gram also still sleeps in our bed. I figure that even if we got him out of our bed, he’d still come back in from time to time, so why get used to sleeping alone? Besides it’s freezing in his room and he warms up our bed, and his room’s kind of a mess anyway. This spring and summer is when we’re gonna try to get him to sleep alone.

But about death and heaven and robbers, I’d lie my ass off. This, I think, is what our parents did for us.

Here’s what I’d tell Sascha:

“There are no robbers in England.”
“There are no robbers where Gabba and Papa [grandparents] live.”
“Robbers are not allowed to have guns, so they don’t. If they did, the police would pick them up in an instant and put them in jail.”

“Robbers don’t care about little children. They just want money. If they take our money we can always get more.” (this is TRUE; the media have blown all child and adult kidnapping cases terribly out of proportion because they sell very well.)
“Robbers are people too, people who just don’t have enough money.”

God forbid if they ask about dying:

“Only very old or very sick people die.”
“When a person dies they go to heaven and they see everyone on earth and can talk with them on special occasions”
“Heaven is full of candy, chocolate, and everyone there is a real princess”
“Some people (like Auntie Rose) believe that all people come right back to earth after they die”
“Mommy and Daddy are not going to die for a very, very, very long time”
“You are not going to die unless you don’t listen to Mommy.”

I haven’t come up against this yet but Gram’s been slightly freaked out in bed lately. So we’ll see. Perhaps I am talking out of my ass, but this is what I will say. I will lie my pants off.

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