"Begin at the beginning," the King said, very gravely, "and go on till you come to the end: then stop." --Lewis Carroll, Alice In Wonderland

Ernest Elmo Calkins, Obsolescence and The Path to Hell, Paved With Good Intentions

If you’re an American who wants the latest and greatest, even when what you already have is perfectly adequate, you’re not alone. We have been trained as a society to not be ok with what we already have. Consumer capitalism came about in response to the Great Depression. What you’re about to read (the attached … Continue reading Ernest Elmo Calkins, Obsolescence and The Path to Hell, Paved With Good Intentions

Undercurrent

I went to an immersive art installation in East Williamsburg tonight only because it featured The 1975. And as you know, they are my guiding star. It’s called UNDERCURRENT, and it’s “a new event that immerses visitors in over 11 original audiovisual art installations, created by influential musicians to inspire positive impact around the Climate … Continue reading Undercurrent

You can go with this or you can go with that

https://youtu.be/XQ7z57qrZU8 https://www.instagram.com/p/CTGPfYnjfyg/?utm_medium=copy_link I don’t know for sure, but I’ve got a hunch that Borderline Personality Disorder is a huuuuuge boogeyman that people get saddled with. Big surprise that the DSM gets it wrong AGAIN. If it were to occur spontaneously in a person, then we could call it a personality disorder. Let’s say you grow … Continue reading You can go with this or you can go with that

Imuris

There was a humble stuccoed house down in Imuris that my father used to take me to when I was a little girl. It had once belonged to his grandfather Cirilo, a blacksmith. My father spent his summers there as a child. He’d wake up to the smell of his step grandmother Julia roasting coffee … Continue reading Imuris

From whence

Nicole asked me if I missed the desert.How can I miss it when I carry it inside of me? Strangers to Southern Arizona lament the absence of green,But the brown is beautiful.I know the colors of the dirt. The veins of clay. Volcanic and sedimentary rocks that read like storybooks. The mountainous skylines that act … Continue reading From whence

Scenes before the Italian restaurant

“It’s going to be uncomfortable.” I’ve been hearing that a lot lately. Uncomfortable is sweating on a train platform in sweltering NYC August. Uncomfortable is blistered feet on the second day of a weeklong trip to Rome. Uncomfortable is a scorched mouth after drinking scalding hot chocolate. Somehow these procedures are never just uncomfortable. Today … Continue reading Scenes before the Italian restaurant

A fuerzas

What do strong people fear? Being alone during tough times. I have a friend who’s very strong. Everyone respects them for their strength. Looks up to them. Leans on them. But who is there in their weak moments? No one. And that is terrifying to this person. Not because they can’t handle the difficult life … Continue reading A fuerzas

Dopamine and me: thoughts on autism, dyslexia, social deficits

Note: I’m reading a lot today. I didn’t cite anything on this blog post but any fact that wasn’t personal came from reading a scientific article with some definitional support from Wikipedia. What interests me today: dopamine and memory recall. I’m listening to this Alec Baldwin conversation with psychiatrist Julie Holland. Amphetamines like Adderall increase … Continue reading Dopamine and me: thoughts on autism, dyslexia, social deficits

El poder de la transfiguración

Por la noche, vestida en mi armaduraPor el desafíoPor la conquista Ojos de una cazadoraVoz baja y mesuradaRespiración constante y resuelta Yo soy la tigresaSoltada de los barrotesLista para atacar Pero por la mañanaCuando todo es nuevoMi corazón se despierta tierno Mi aliento tranquiloMi voz suaveMis huesos aliviados Tus ojos negrosImpregnan los recovecos de mi … Continue reading El poder de la transfiguración

Stuck in my brain: memory, failure and paradigm shifts

Yesterday I wrote about creative breakthroughs coming from unexpected places. Artists and scientists who get stuck in a dead end have learned to reverse engineer creative solutions. Today, while sick in bed, I meandered down internet paths and came upon more fun stuff, completely without meaning to. Or, maybe it was intuition. Who knows? In … Continue reading Stuck in my brain: memory, failure and paradigm shifts

Random shocks: local optimums and getting unstuck

https://youtu.be/YLp2cW7ICCU It’s a snow day. And I was feeling stuck...until I saw Matty Healy’s Instagram stories that included Brian Eno’s deck of Oblique Strategies: https://videopress.com/v/F2Lfcji0?preloadContent=metadata The cards Here’s a podcast that describes the deck and Brian’s Eno’s philosophy of inserting shocks to spark creativity: Here’s the link. It talks about computer algorithms and the concept … Continue reading Random shocks: local optimums and getting unstuck

Intuition: what almost killed the cat and what’s bringing her back

https://youtu.be/liQB7ZycEOg Intuition is a funny thing. You’d think it would make life easier, but it’s not always the case. I remember being little and getting annoyed when my mother could guess what the actors on TV were going to say or a plot twist before it happened. What a party pooper! I do the same … Continue reading Intuition: what almost killed the cat and what’s bringing her back

Salon

Note: this is an entry from winter 2020. The awful person I talk about tuned out to be awful but I didn’t want to post this because she was dating Mikey and he really wanted me to like her. They broke up for all the reasons I knew they would, but you don’t come between … Continue reading Salon

Brooks Brothers Date Rapists: the obligatory Promising Young Woman post

It's fabulous. Dangerous Liaisons level fabulous. Count of Monte Cristo level fabulous. Everyone should have to watch it. If you're a woman and you haven't been date raped yourself, you've come close to it or you know someone who has. These things don't happen in a vacuum. People know. But why ruin a man's life … Continue reading Brooks Brothers Date Rapists: the obligatory Promising Young Woman post

Look, I told you guys a million times, I ain’t no grasshopper

Passing for white/masking as neurotypical is like being a cricket who looks a lot like a grasshopper to other grasshoppers in a grasshopper-dominated society. They take you in as one of your own and tell you that you fit right in. They tell you that you’re so good at grasshoppering that you couldn’t possibly be … Continue reading Look, I told you guys a million times, I ain’t no grasshopper

Nevermore

What do dolphins plan for?Not the right bag that will carry the wallet, the keys, the hand sanitizerOr the train that sometimes comes lateOr which end of the block to cross at Do elephants worry about shrinking sweaters in the dryerOr the missing sock that is never found? Do crows count calories in anticipationOf bathing … Continue reading Nevermore

Because the night: Punk, jokes and a little frightened girl

https://youtu.be/6OjW1TDANxk Note: this is one of those late Gen Xer’s lamentations of growing up in the pre-Internet days. I beg thee, dear reader, forgive the sanctimony and predictability in advance. I shan’t harp on the “back in my day” aspects. In 1992, I was a 12-year old girl who lived in a tiny border town, … Continue reading Because the night: Punk, jokes and a little frightened girl

What’s the difference between a pit bull and a hockey mom?

https://youtu.be/vSOLz1YBFG0 Lipstick. I’m known at this point for wearing lipstick. It’s like a calling card. Before Covid, I wore liquid lipstick and regular lipstick but masks have made it so I only go out in industrial strength liquid lipstick that won’t come off for 24 hours...mostly. It’s potent stuff. There are three lipstick moments that … Continue reading What’s the difference between a pit bull and a hockey mom?

If you make sure you’re connected, the writing’s on the wall

https://youtu.be/WoESSG6iSAI Tl; dr: I went to a fun party. But this isn’t about the party. It’s about how I interact with the world. I’m never not wearing my journalist Fedora with the paper sign tucked into the band that says “PRESS.” If I could ever have both feet in any single present experience, I wouldn’t … Continue reading If you make sure you’re connected, the writing’s on the wall

Rose and Valerie, screaming from the gallery: Christi Smythe and Martin Shekreli and the world of conformity

https://youtu.be/mJag19WoAe0 Ew. She fell for a negging beta male. Another reporter went on a Tinder date with him just to write about it. He liked the attention. She liked getting a byline and some noteriety for having done it. The mutual selfishness was palpable. I saw him on Tinder in NYC in 2018. I swiped … Continue reading Rose and Valerie, screaming from the gallery: Christi Smythe and Martin Shekreli and the world of conformity

He’s been pretty much yellow and I’ve been pretty much blue (pt. 1)

Thanks to Fiona Apple who gives me words when I don’t have them or the courage to say the ones I really do feel. https://youtu.be/0nmODDYJjHI I don't understand about complementary colorsAnd what they saySide by side they both get brightTogether they both get gray But he's been pretty much yellowAnd I've been kinda blueBut all … Continue reading He’s been pretty much yellow and I’ve been pretty much blue (pt. 1)

Wouldn’t it be nice if we were older

https://youtu.be/nZBKFoeDKJo There is a condominium complex in the beachfront town of San Carlos. The exteriors are white stucco with rod iron stairs leading to the second floor and curved terracotta tile topped porches. Inside are glazed terracotta floors and tile countertops, dark wood accents, built in couches, and outdoor sitting areas with views of the … Continue reading Wouldn’t it be nice if we were older

What’s my age again? Neurodiversity, executive functioning and time management

In typical Vene fashion, I confused the dates. The talk is tomorrow. Now I wish I realized that before I woke up at 8 a.m. to put makeup on. What talk? A talk I’ve been hired to give about my life with autism. It’s been in the works for months. I’ve had the date on … Continue reading What’s my age again? Neurodiversity, executive functioning and time management

Nogales, Arizona: The myth of the monolith Latino voter dispelled in microcosm

Let me tell you about how complex the “Latino” vote is in Nogales. Prior to the 1980’s, Santa Cruz County was the most stable democratic county in the state of Arizona. The demographics skewed highly in favor of established families who’d lived along the border for generations. The voting population was mostly middle class Greatest … Continue reading Nogales, Arizona: The myth of the monolith Latino voter dispelled in microcosm

Mexico lindo y querido: Day of The Dead (Día de los muertos)

https://youtu.be/g9N1BUV8d40 (2017)I miss Día De Los Muertos in Tucson. I used to make own headbands. It was an important part of my life in my 30’s. My grandmother used to clean the graves of loved ones in Nogales, Arizona during this time of year. It wasn’t a concocted affair. It was very authentic to who … Continue reading Mexico lindo y querido: Day of The Dead (Día de los muertos)

Think of me what you will, I’ve got a little space to fill

https://youtu.be/9TlBTPITo1I I actually do have an idea for a screenplay that I think could work. I don’t know how other writers get their ideas, but mine come from replaying conversations in my head, sifting through the details of someone’s life from what they’ve told me, consciously or subconsciously, and then expanding into fantasy. Even before … Continue reading Think of me what you will, I’ve got a little space to fill

Killer Queen: The Queen’s Gambit and the price of genius

https://youtu.be/2ZBtPf7FOoM When Anne of Green Gables was young, more than anything, she wanted three things: to find kindred, to beat Gilbert Blythe, and for her vibrant red hair to mellow into a more refined Auburn. One of the major themes in this series I’m watching is the isolation that genius brings—the burden that must come … Continue reading Killer Queen: The Queen’s Gambit and the price of genius