Archive for the nature of life

Ghana in Reverse (Two)

Posted in GFYS, Literary Masterpieces, Loves, Note to Self, Rants with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 20, 2012 by ccartlidge

This last week has simultaneously been the worst and best. The shit finally hit the fan. I am relieved and looking forward to the day I stop torturing myself. I’ve been in my head for months, more than is habitual even for me, and it’s hard to tell what’s real and what isn’t. It’s horrifying. Any self-respecting overthinker is conscious of overthinking, and conscious of the high that results from the occasional desperate sprint through a labyrinth, but I’ve turned around so much as to have lost my bearings and I’m afraid that I’ve allowed myself to become ridiculously lost. High, but lost.

I like to think that I’m good at reading people. That may be true, but if it is, it is certainly also true that I’m a bit of a masochist. Ever since studio taught me how to see, I’ve seen that I am bored and frustrated by that which doesn’t at least acknowledge the sick beauty of dichotomy. Being absolutely sure is idiotic, which I realize is hypocritical coming from someone who enjoys having strong opinions, but I enjoy being an idiot because, after all, I’m smart enough to know that I am, in fact, an idiot but perhaps not quite smart enough to always be able to tell what is self-aware and what isn’t. I suppose it’s always been true that most things aren’t, including me. I’m disappointed and simultaneously smug.

I feel gross, and even grosser because I got exactly what I thought I wanted. At least now I know what I don’t want, which is a step forward unfortunately.

There are a few people I want to send a care package to when I get back to the States, but I’m not sure if they even print porn dirty enough to be worth it. Who buys porn anymore? No one. The internet killed the centerfold.

Ghana in Reverse (One)

Posted in GFYS, Literary Masterpieces, Loves, Rants with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 13, 2012 by ccartlidge

A little background: I’m planning on doing a whole series of posts about everything I’ve learned living in Ghana. Now I realize that this is going to be more time-consuming than I had originally imagined, as I’m still learning it, and more difficult, as I’m in a decent mood today and most of my creative energy comes from extremes. Unfortunately, I just happened to see a No Reservations about Ghana [I have a bone to pick with Anthony Bourdain, that man did not address exactly how he felt about the delicacy Fufu, which is a damned travesty. I do not like or even understand Fufu although it is kind of fascinating to watch it being made], so now I’m dedicated to writing another post. I have to start somewhere and don’t want to write anything that is entirely devoid of value. Twisty brain tells me that the solution to this is to write about my time there in reverse, and I’m going to start with the two days I didn’t sleep while travelling back from Ghana to the US.

It’s December 6th. It’s 5:30 AM in Ghana, but it’s 7:30 AM at the airport in Istanbul where I’m sitting, waiting for my plane back to the States. I didn’t sleep on the plane from Accra to Istanbul, because I never sleep on planes and there were so many movies in that silly box on the seat in front of me, so I had two glasses of red wine and watched Sherlock Holmes, The First Wives Club, and Beetlejuice instead. I’m now sitting at a bar, drinking light beer and waiting for a Turkish coffee (Turkish coffee might be the manliest coffee). Yes, I’m drinking coffee and beer. Fuck it, I’ve already had breakfast and since it seems like I’m still in the midst of a two-year, third-life crisis thing, I might as well go for it. The airport is practically the only fucking place you can drink without judgement at any time of day. It’s probably safe to say that no one sitting in this bar with me now feels like it’s 7:30 AM. We could be from anywhere. (On a side note, I just found a 20 Pesewa coin in my DVD drive, which I hope is the reason I couldn’t play DVDs). I’m tired.

Exposition Upon Death

Posted in GFYS, Literary Masterpieces, Loves, Note to Self, Rants with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 10, 2012 by ccartlidge

It has only been a few days since I moved back from Ghana. In retrospect, time seems to have passed disturbingly quickly (which isn’t surprising, as they say that about practically everything).

It seems like a dream that manifests in the midst of the rising action, leaving me to fabricate the introduction, scramble to prepare for the climatic action, and then it ends so quickly that the conclusion seems not to exist at all and I still have no idea whether this dream was a comedy or a tragedy. Or nightmare, as it were. I suppose the truth is that it is both, because everything is, and it would seem so obvious as to be stupid, if it wasn’t also so complicated.

I may have learned more about human nature in the past year than I’ve learned in the previous 28 and I’ve certainly learned that the dramatic arc only exists, unadulterated, in a fabricated drama.

Endings are for the dead.

A sketch and a mystery involving chickens

Posted in +/- Minute Sketches, Note to Self, Personal work, Photos with tags , , , , , , , on August 30, 2012 by ccartlidge

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a sketch or anything really, so here’s a semi-random page from my sketchbook. After flipping through it, I’m noticing that the eye-and-diary thing is a pattern.

Ghana and the sauce

Posted in Aesthetic Day, Literary Masterpieces with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 4, 2012 by ccartlidge

The sauce being the keyword there. Because I imagine a severe dearth of it. (Side note: whiskey is delicious and I’m very sorry I didn’t open up to it earlier. Either that or eternally grateful. You know, given how poorly I respond to tequila. Sorry, Geoff). Also: a severe dearth of the innerwebs. Upon my return in November or December or sometime decidedly earlier than next May (Sorry, Danielle), I might have 20 posts at once.  Until then…

There is a human, who I’ll call “Parenthesis Brit”. I didn’t realize until a few days ago that he might be the king of backhanded compliments. Desperately, I hope I’m overreacting. (I’m known to do this). BUT. If I’m not overreacting than either A) I was wrong, B) We were both wrong, C) He’s wrong, or D) One of the above combined with my severe self-doubt regardless of who is actually wrong, if anyone at all. At least part of D) is true.

(Also, I was being serious about Ghana).

(On a super side note, Adam Yauch will be missed. Rest in peace, MCA)

I’m Glad I’m a Lady, Because I Might Not Otherwise Have Learned To Braid / Maybe I’ll Look Back On This One Day and Smile, Slightly.

Posted in Literary Masterpieces with tags , , , , , on April 19, 2012 by ccartlidge

I always thought it was something. Here at the end I can only wish for something more tangible, as our timeline has split into yet another thin tangent: the prince, the pauper, the second after a forgotten dream, and so on. The space directly behind my forehead fills with a sort-of meta sorrow, forcing out existential expletives.

Extracting lessons from hardship mutates sorrow into sick joy, which settles into the space directly behind the space directly behind my forehead. Still shapeless, this lesson laces itself wherever it can and cannibalizes itself when necessary. It might also dissipate, shamefully, as happier times trot in. Which makes it meaningless.

For better or worse, I no longer have you living permanently among my influences. This is the good mourning.

The Mountain Impass and Buckaroo Banzai

Posted in Literary Masterpieces, Loves, Personal work with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 6, 2012 by ccartlidge

Clarity and the bright places come for me in waves now, which is a notable improvement to the murky, dark shit I was wading through before. Hence: curiously colored boulders and an unreachable shore! Oooh, it looks so nice and surreal! I’d visit this place wearing a bikini and a parka. (I’d need both.) I’d heroically fashion myself a slingshot and try desperately to propel pebbles far enough to rustle leaves on the other shore. This would be impossible. I’d move on to ascend the mountain of rainbows and possibly lick it on the way up to make sure the mountain isn’t made of Peeps. Upon discovery of Peep Mountain, I’d scramble to the top so I could eat my way to the bottom. Regret would overcome me. A nap would then follow. Eventually, I’d swim across and either A) admire The Mountain of Rainbow Peeps from afar, make camp, a fire, and wish I’d taken some Peeps with me to roast or B) drown.

So, the next Portrait is still to come but I have this as a temporary replacement. I actually did complete a portrait, but it ended up looking just enough like Jeff Goldblum that I couldn’t post it for fear that it would seem like bad fan art. I do love me some Goldblum. Which reminds me of the insane magnificence of The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension! Facetiously hip things make me enjoy life a bit more.