Sunday, January 25, 2009


I have been on facebook more than I'd like to admit lately. Why, after all, do we need to be that in touch with friends? When we went to see "The Wrestler" and we were leaving we saw a friend who was first in line for the next show, smart phone in hand. "I knew you were here!" she said. And, indeed, I'd said I was off to see the movie a few hours before. This is what the kids have been doing for a while, starting with their voice calls "Where are you? Oh, I see you..." and ending up texting a continuous stream to one another and now, with Twitter and facebook, to everyone they know. I'm not sure I'm happy with it. I don't use the phone that much and I tend to pull back eventually from chat streams to write entire paragraphs for you to read (or ignore) at your leisure. I'm tantalized by the immediacy of things and by all these smart phones in the hands of my smart friends. But I resist as well. (I have a stupid phone. It does text messages but don't send me one. I don't know how to read it.) This is typical of my contradictory nature.

People (including FFP) have been writing notes on facebook with "Twenty-five random things about me." They are fascinating, but I haven't done one myself in spite of being "tagged." I don't take to tags or tagging others. If I inspire someone to write or comment, fine. Otherwise I'm on my own spouting nonsense, usually here. (Or, you know, one blog or the other.) These lists, though, are conduits of contradiction as people find themselves writing that they are one way but act another or desire some other path.

The above photo is a house in Old West Austin. Dramatically modern and different from its neighbors it would be patina-less but for the winter-stripped tree in the yard. I love patina, actually, but I find the house and its modern, sterile aesthetic appealing, too. We adopted a very modern look for our condo decoration albeit softened with art and books and some whimsical toys and collectibles. We left the concrete pillars and ceilings with their patina of seams, nail marks, wood grain from the forms. We used wood which has its endless swirls of grain but we have some sleek glass and chrome, too.

My personality is full of contradictions. I like to go places and see people but I'm shy and have spent a lot of effort over the years trying to get comfortable in social situations especially with strangers. Yeah, I'm the person who will invite fifty people to a party and then be exhausted, not by the effort to entertain them but by the effort to interact with them. (Of course, we won't be throwing parties for fifty in our new digs. Maybe twenty tops.)

I'm constantly yo-yoing between getting out among folks and retreating to my recluse mode.

I like to talk and I like to be listened to, but social situations still feel like work.

My love of patina extends to art where I'm a fan of abstract or the slightly fantastical realism (but nothing too fantastical, mythical or comic-like). I love collage and found object sculpture and assemblage and well, whatever you choose to call it. Mixed media. I love clean modern lines, glass and chrome. But take some paper ephemera, arrange it artistically and it grabs me. Rusty junk? Priceless.

I'm a bundle of contradiction. We all are, I guess. Collage appeals because we see ourselves in the complexity.

1 comment:

deb said...

"I like to go places and see people but I'm shy and have spent a lot of effort over the years trying to get comfortable in social situations especially with strangers."

You just nailed my afternoon.