Thursday, December 16, 2010

Rad Dad 19

will be released in Mid January!

But in the meantime think about writing for Rad Dad 20:

Patti Smith being interviewed by Stephen Colbert explained that being an artist is like being a mother; there are sacrifices that must be made. Colbert without a moment’s hesitation quipped, that’s why I'm a father. I laughed, Patti Smith laughed, the audience laughed. And then I stopped.

Two points stuck out to me: as parents it’s true; we make sacrifices to be the parents we want to be, sometimes it tough, painful, sometimes we like the cliché states just have to grin and bear it.

The second point: for fathers, there has been a history of refusal, a ridgity to sacrifice, to giving up careers, hobbies, behaviors, you name it…

For the next issue of Rad Dad – Rad Dad 20 – I ask you: what are the sacrifices you make or have made? What are the ones you didn’t make, what have you given up? What have you gained? What lost?

And, of course, I’m always open to other essays, rants, collaborations, interviews…think of the above questions as starting points…deadline April 1st.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Keep it Low and Slow: from Rad Dad 18

A movie script about a father, three kids, the evil media, and the perils of sex education

I always thought this would be easy. I humored myself with assurances that I wouldn’t handle the subject like my parents did, that I would be a beacon, a guide, dare I say, a confidant for my children.

Ah, the bullshit we tell ourselves when we’re rocking babies about how we will parent in the future. Let me tell you right off what the moral of this story will be: humility.

Scene 1: I was driving in my car with my thirteen-year-old son; I discovered a few days earlier he’s acquired some pornographic material. I know what you’re thinking. What’s the big deal about some adult magazines tucked up under a mattress. Oh, how I long for those good ol’ days. You see, if only I discovered a dirty magazine. Nooooo. Thanks to the Internet, instead I discovered 45-second clips of hard-core group sex on my computer desktop.

It’s time for The Talk, which I’ve had many times before, so this should be easy.

Hey, I found some…stuff…on my computer I think we need to talk about.

Awkward silence.

Really? What? he asked.

More awkward silence.

He continued, do we have to talk about it?

Cue cheesy music.

As I pulled over, I mumbled something like, well, if you’re gonna look at it, I guess we need to talk about it

I‘ll spare you the gory discomfort (though if you are really interested, check out Rad Dad 3) but admit that: Joking about sex with him when he was ten, was nothing like having the first real conversation with him about the seriousness and the responsibilities of sexuality.

Flashback: I was standing with my father in the garage. It’s dusk. I was about fifteen. I rarely had time with him alone anymore because he’s a busy man, he’s a silent man, but I knew he loved me, I knew he tried the best he could. He didn’t look me in the eyes. He called me out here because he caught me the other night getting down like only teenagers can in the horrifically uncomfortable backseat of my ‘76 Toyota Corolla.

So now was my The Talk.

Listen, he told me, and waited, the pause pregnant with anticipation.

He said, keep your willy in your pants. I’m serious. Then he walked away.

And I’m serious; that’s what he said, the extent of our birds and bees conversation.

Of course, soon his advice became my way of joking with my girlfriend about getting it on, it’s time to release the willy; it was funny until at the age of eighteen she becomes pregnant.

Non-sequitor Flash Forward:
The horror and accompanying popcorn gag as my son and I were getting ready to watch Aladdin (don’t ask why my son was invited to a three year old’s birthday party at a movie theater) when I witness for the first time the preview for the movie Free Willy.

Scene 2:
After having a difficult discussion about drug use with my fourteen year old daughter, I jokingly asked her, well anything else we should talk about, like are you having sex?

Now, of course, I joked with her too from around age four about sex, but once again not really prepared for her response.

No, dad, I mean I‘ve made out with a few hot boys that’s all.

I stared blankly at her.

And, once again, in a moment that highlights the generational differences between my teenage years when you had to have a girl/boyfriend to free willy, today’s young people are more empowered to be sexually active without having to have a significant other; the wisdom is shocking.

I stuttered something like, I didn’t even know you had a boyfriend…

I don’t.


Picking up on my mental conundrum, she explained, there are boys you want to be your boyfriend and then there are hot boys you just wanna kiss.

Still stuck somewhere in the1950s, I asked, but don’t you want your boyfriend to be hot?

Yes, but sometimes you just want to kiss a hot boy. Can you leave my room now?

The third time really is the charm. I understand that now. From the sheer horror at the need to talk with my son about masturbation and pornography, to the disorientation of generational changes with my middle child, to finally the self-reflection, the epiphany of oh I’ve been here before with my youngest. Now some people may not need three children to see the light; unfortunately, I did. Of course, my cynicism almost makes me blow it again. And here’s where I blame the evil media. I hate all this faux female bisexuality (it’s almost never male) that has became a pop culture trend; it’s all over YouTube videos, hip-hop songs, and Facebook groups, but then again who am I to judge or question Lady Gaga’s sexual dalliances.

Scene 3:
When my youngest daughter informed me that she’s joining the Gay Straight Alliance at her middle school, I almost missed it. When I was twelve, I was still playing with tractors and thought my willy was indeed a whale.

Uh huh, I mumbled while trying to decide what the hell to make for dinner for two daughters who never want the same thing.

But after a second, her words reached me. I remembered my father, the dark garage, the silences. I stopped what I was doing, and I looked at her. I told her how proud I am of her. I asked her questions, and I just listened.

And a few weeks later, I listened again as she shared with me her frustration that even people who are members of the alliance use the word gay derogatorily.

And later still, I apologized to her when she overheard me joking with a neighbor about a friend of ours who is a self-proclaimed fag hag. I saw her face; I knew immediately she only heard me saying the word fag.

Scene 4:
We are watching the movie La Mission; it’s three teenage girls and me. At first they wanted to see Hot Tub Time Machine. To be honest, I did as well, but I knew that it’s not often we get to see movies that bring up issues critically. It’s true though that even bad movies are opportunities to discuss the way things are fucked up: sexual violence, gender rigidity, racism; but tonight I wanted to go the high road. We’re in the dark, and it’s the scene in which the father is refusing to listen, to know about, to acknowledge his gay son’s desires. It’s the familial version of don’t ask, don’t tell. We’re in the dark, and my daughter reached to grab my hand; she leaned into me and said, I can’t believe there are still people like him.

It’s then that I am thankful for the privilege of being a part of communities in which the homophobia I remember as a teenager seems surreal, seems like Hollywood exaggeration to my teenage daughters.

I rented The Life and Times of Harvey Milk and planned on watching it with my kids, but now they’re busy, now they have so many other things to do that they just wanted to watch the funny parts. Funny, you might ask. They simply loved the scenes of street life in the Castro. They commented on the clothes, the hair-dos, laughed at the Castro street parade footage, the dancing. But as the story shifted to the spontaneous memorial that moved down Market Street after Harvey Milk was killed, they watched silently; I saw their sadness, felt their disbelief. They soon left and returned to their rooms. I didn’t have to say anything. They knew.

And when I tell them about the event I’ll be reading at a few weeks later to celebrate the city’s first annual Harvey Milk Day, they smiled and one added, that’s cool, but just don’t embarrass me, ok.

So it’s come to this. Even though I don’t have to explain things anymore and even though I am so clearly the last person they want to confide in about anything sexual, I still ask questions. And they still hate it.

I still ask if they are having drugs and doing sex. They just roll their eyes and look utterly offended. My mantra now to them is low and slow; I’ve stolen the line from La Mission. I tell them in my best vato accent to have fun but keep it low and slow.

I think it’s better than telling them about willies and freedom.

Monday, July 05, 2010

We Remember! On the Eve of The Oscar Grant Verdict

It was an accident that I hopped on the wrong train heading back to the East Bay lost as I was in the gallery of Sunday characters riding BART: tourists, hipsters, workers, and young teens. I smiled at them especially, the teenagers, excused their loudness, their energy. I imagined my teenaged daughters and son acting a little crazy just like them on the BART.

As we slipped past West Oakland station, I began to close my book, gather my belongings, but when we pulled into the Lake Merritt station and not 12th street I was confused. I realized I had boarded the wrong train. On or off? I couldn’t decide in time, and the doors closed.

No biggie; I’d just get off at the next stop. Which was Fruitvale.

I froze right there.

The skyline swept into view as we emerged from the tunnel, late afternoon sun spilling over the port of Oakland, serene and blinding.

It hit me then: Fruitvale BART station, the place where Oscar Grant was murdered.

His murder has stuck with me since it happened on New Year’s Eve 2009. I have been to vigils. I have facilitated discussions in classrooms and at Rad Dad readings. I have refused to forget for the last year and a half now the violence that is consistently perpetrated on the youth in our society. Especially youth of color. Especially young men.

But I have not come to where it happened.

The train hummed to a stop and I stepped off. The platform was empty, barren, almost peaceful. The geography was familiar. The cement walls. The red tile flooring.

Immediately, those bumpy, pixilated cell phone images come to mind, and then the noise, the chaos.

It was nighttime.

There were kids along those walls.

There were cops strong-arming and stomping back and forth.

There was Oscar Grant pushed face down on to the ground.

Then, there was the shot.

Standing in the Fruitvale BART station, I couldn’t help but feel my chest well up with such emotions, such sadness, such anger.

I searched for the spot thinking there must be a memorial: candles, pictures, flowers, something.

But there was nothing.

No sign to mark the spot, no image to bear witness. Everything wiped clean. I wonder what is left behind?

I walked the platform.

Soon, the first train heading my direction arrived. Two young men stepped off, laughing, holding cell phones to their ears. They nodded at me and walked to the stairs.

I was alone again and felt that I should do something.

But then I saw it; someone had written something in black sharpie, on the railing.

“We remember.”

I remember this as I, like so many in the Bay Area, await the verdict that will most-likely come out in the next few days. Initially, I was nervous, but still sure that justice would be served. Nothing could bring back Oscar Grant, nothing could give his daughter her father back, but at least a message would be sent to other officers of the law.

Now, I am not so sure this will happen.

I don’t know how I will respond to the verdicts. I fear the police are all too ready to subdue, to quell, to brutalize.

But they will not scare me away.

One thing I do know is that my daughters and I will be there with other people in downtown Oakland the evening the verdict is released.

I know we will not forget.

Join us.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Rad Dad zine party in conjunction with the first Harvey Milk Day!

Come join parents Tomas Moniz, writer/editor of Rad Dad zine, Rahula
Janowski writer of Joybringer zine, Jeremy Adam Smith, author of The
Daddy Shift and others as they read about the pleasure, politics, and
pain of radical parenting and radical families. The event takes place
on the first annual Harvey Milk Day! Not only California’s first
openly gay elected official, Harvey Milk was a trail blazing organizer
who built coalitions across race, class, and sexual orientation,
changing the face of San Francisco politics and organizing.

Location Modern Times
May 22nd 3-5 pm
Kid Friendly

Thursday, March 25, 2010

a kid friendly wild rumpus!

I was twenty and about to be a father. He had just turned twenty-one and was on his way to Redwood Summer, a call for people to come participate in direct action to save the redwoods and old growth forests of Northern California. We ran into each other at the local hardware store. It was May 1990. We had been friends during the school year at UCSB, studying together, attending environmental meetings on campus, talking politics, becoming more radical like many college students. We had fantasized in hushed tones during class breaks what it would be like to join hundreds of others attempting to make a change. But as the spring quarter came to a close, we saw less of each other; he, in fact, was actually planning on participating; I, however, was planning on preparing the small home I shared with my girlfriend for our first child.

So there we were standing in some aisle; it had been a couple weeks since we last talked. He was holding a back-pack full of stuff for a road trip. I was holding a bag of supplies to baby proof the electrical sockets in my house. He was picking things in preparation to camp out for weeks. I was going to pick up a few more shifts at the used bookstore that I worked for to help with the bills over the summer.

I remember the look on his face when he asked for the last time, ‘can’t you just leave the baby with your lady for awhile; they’ll both be here when you get back, but, right now, the earth needs you; right now, not when your child’s eighteen or nineteen.’

Now despite all the ways that this statement is fucked up, it’s painful for me to admit that it almost worked. I saw Rainbow Summer as my big chance, my opportunity to do something more. I feared that the pending birth of my son would be an impediment to my abilities to participate in creating social change. Up north in the trees: that’s where the action was, not singing lullabies and changing diapers.

And so I squirmed and gave some lame excuse about how I would love to go but that my lady won’t let me. Pathetic to blame family, to see it as a burden. But I did.

Now as much as I hold myself responsible for those former attitudes, and I do, I believe there is a larger issue also at fault. As a burgeoning radical, I was surrounded by a mythology of revolution that celebrated only one way to be a revolutionary; and, believe me, there were no newborn infants involved.

So at the time, I felt cheated at having to miss this event because of my other responsibilities; I mean all my radical role models seemed to have chosen otherwise. Che (and who didn’t love Che at twenty) left his kids behind and wrote oft-quoted, eloquent letters home; Ulrike Meinhoff, who haunted my dreams as one of the few revolutionaries who had kids and chose to commit herself anyways, had to send her children into hiding and then sever connections with them entirely; my chicano icons Joaquin Murrieta or Gregorio Cortez, didn’t saddle up with their two year old. In the corridos about them, there were only guns, whiskey, and getaways.

None of the stories my friend and I shared about radical politics included parents or children or grandparents or safe spaces.

So he left, and I remained.

I went on to evolve into a radical parent through reading and studying and working to create a small community of like-minded parents. But during those first few years, I secretly dreamed of the chance to once again be “able” to participate like a “true” revolutionary. The mythology of the revolutionary created a chasm between what I was “doing” and what was “important;” someday, I consoled myself, I could return to the fray, just as soon as I got the kids to bed.

So I longed for the road to the next demonstration even as I sat worked to create a childcare cooperative in my neighborhood. I imagined campfires in the forests of Northern California while I changed diapers on my feminist studies teacher’s desk. I dreamed of delivering fiery orations as I read Where The Wild Things Are over and over to my son, both of us yelling, ‘let the wild rumpus begin.’ However, it finally dawned on me: why the hell couldn’t there be a kid friendly wild rumpus?

And, yes, I know there were parents who have been able to participate in various forms of resistance throughout history (a testament, I’d bet, to the people who surrounded them). I have even had powerful support from my family to dedicate time, energy, and finances to various projects. So it can be done. But it shouldn’t be so daunting, so isolating. I am calling for an end to the dangerously powerful myth that revolutionaries leave their families behind. We shouldn’t have to choose? That’s a false dilemma. I sometimes dream about what might have happened had my friend encouraged me to come with my lady and my baby. Perhaps I still would not have gone. Or perhaps I would have. Perhaps some else like me would have. Perhaps a bunch of us would have. If the entire event was kid friendly, family friendly, with various actions and spaces, some of which, of course, could be more “direct” than others. But the possibilities, the potential, seem unlimited.

How about a new mythology, celebrating revolutionaries who refuse to leave anyone behind and refuse to remain silent? If I have learned anything, I have learned this: whatever we are involved in, it should take into account the ability for multigenerational participation. That’s sustainability, that’s revolutionary, that’s the pre-figurative politics I want to commit myself to.

My son is now nineteen; I am at peace and, in fact, grateful for the choices I have made. Looking back over the time that has elapsed, I have no regrets. I often wonder what my friend is doing. I want to ask him how that summer turned out. What was climbing those tall trees like? What craziness happened around the campfires? Did he fall in love with a little earth mama like we joked about? I’d also like to thank him. He was one of many people I have met in the radical community who have inspired and revolutionized me.

In fact, when I think about being a radical parent and an anarchist, I remember fondly all the strange, amazing people that I‘ve met in this loose-knit diverse thing we call a radical community who continue to challenge my thinking and expectations: the ones who organize anarchist conferences with childcare and parenting panels, the mamas and papas writing zines and the allies who buy them, the infoshop volunteers who do it year after year, the anarchist parenting listservs with their thoughtful reflections on how to parent in radical ways, the wandering crusties I encounter as I travel, sometimes alone, sometimes with my children, the artists who plan midnight mystery murder bike rides, and the strangers in distant cities who welcome me into their homes.

Because whether I’m home or on the road, whether I’m with my children or not, I am always a parent as well as a radical, and I will not be silent about demanding we consider ways to include everyone. And when I’m old, I want to embellish stories of my swarthy figure, similar to the Chicano banditos of old, only instead of the reigns of a horse, I am cupping the palm of my child.

Welcome to rad dad 17!

Friday, February 19, 2010

lots of upcoming events

1. rad dad 17 release party march 11, 7 pm rock, paper, scissors in oakland!!

i am excited to announce on the eve of the bay area anarchist bookfair
weekend, rad dad will have a release party in conjunction with corbin
' release of creating a life and her long running zine reality
mom as well as the release of the new issue of mamaphiles...

i will also have a table at the march 5 oakland art murmur in front of rps to spread the word -- stop on by

2. on saturday and sunday march 13-14 the 10th annual bay area anarchist bookfair will be kick ass with so many radical mama and papa events so look out. there will be two panels and several parenting writers having events around the bay...

3. on sunday march 14th at 5pm at the green arcade in solidarity with my baby rides the short bus and the daddy shift, a bunch of parents will give brief readings...come on by...

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Ten reasons why I both love and hate cell phones

Or, yes dad I know, no sexting!

If you saw me now with my iphone, warm against my left butt cheek like a lover’s palm, the last thing I see before bed, the first thing I stroke in the morning, you wouldn’t believe that less than two years ago, I had never even owned a cell phone. I was (and to be honest still am) a Luddite in theory though in practice I struggle. It’s become even more of a struggle now as each one of my three kids has a cell phone. Sometimes I wonder what the hell happened to me. But in an effort to understand more critically my love/hate relationship with the cell phone, I explored these ten scenarios.

Reason 1:

SUANT p: \sue –ant\: Lying on the couch, my daughter and I were watching a movie and every couple minutes I observed the dexterity with which she would do her nifty wonder-woman like phone flip, nimble fingers texting faster than I could LOL and then slip the phone back in to her lap.
What the hell’s going on? I barked, that’s so irritating.
Dad, it’s a SUANT night.
SUANT, she declared as if I should know exactly what the hell she was talking about, Stay Up All Night Texting. Me and my friends are doing it.
Are you serious? I asked.
My daughter’s response: the perfect eye roll, and then, as if to accentuate the point, her phone buzzed.
Yes, dad, I am.
Now recently, my kids have been very interested in reading everything I write for rad dad for “clarity and honesty” they intone, like editors from hell. So after this exchange I told My Youngest that I was working on an essay about cell phones and said, you know this has gotta go in that essay.
And, I added, I gotta text your mom about this, grabbing my own phone which conveniently is always within arm’s reach.
You text? My Youngest declared horrified as if she’d just seen me naked.
Ah, yeah.
Stop acting twenty, Dad. You’re forty.
Somehow every conversation ends with this statement
Addendum: a few weeks later when I read what I wrote to her, she laughed and smiled but confessed, well, we really only ever stay up to twelve texting.

Reason 2:

Random text messages that continue conversations or more particularly arguments from days earlier. I’m in my office one morning. And in comes a text from My Youngest; she’s had the phone for only a month, so each text is the cutest thing in the world: an ‘I love you, dad’ here, an ‘I miss u’ there, perhaps even a random ‘hey dad, whats happenin.’ So I open the text and discover nothing of the sort, but instead find a final point in a week long discussion we’ve had about shaving her legs since she’s eleven. ‘what about that smooth away stuff - it’s not a razor and it’s not a chemical!!!’ We initially agreed that we’d consider it after the holidays. This, of course, was unacceptable to her. So her strategy: intimidating and/or pleading texts sent sporadically at various times of the day and night to pressure me in to caving. She’s trying to wear me down, I know. I text back, ‘how ‘bout we just wait until your legs are as hairy as mine and then you can decide if you want to.’
Ah, the textual silence that follows.

Reason 3:

I love photos. I own two manual cameras, a Polaroid and a stash of Polaroid film. However, there is something cheesy and immediate about cell phone images, the pixilated quality, the surreal feel captured. Like these scattered throughout the essay.

Reason 4:

Lately my son and I have been a bit short with each other, and what I mean by short is that within thirty seconds of him entering a room, we both end up screaming at each other. So ironically the cell phone gives us the distance and space we need to be able to talk about things in a normal tone of voice. Of course, I have to get over the momentary panic coursing through my body when I initially see the call is from him fearing it is going to be about being arrested: but every now and then:
Ohmygod Dad, guess what.
Guess who’s walking in front of me.
The Raiders’ head coach.
Raaaaaaideeeerrrss, I yell.
Raaaaaaideeeerrrss, he responds like some strange bonding ritual in which all acrimony is immediately forgiven and forgotten.
Ask him what the fuck, I excitedly implore.
What the fuck!, I hear him yell.
Then, realizing my son might actually accost the head coach of a National Football Team, I quickly decide to redirect with a more positive approach. Ah, the art of redirection; some toddler parenting skills you never forget, especially when they seem to also work so well with young adults.
Hey, wait; tell him, tell him that you still got faith.
Yeah, that’s a good one. Ok I’m gonna do it. Thanks, Dad.
Click and he hangs up before I have a chance to say, you’re welcome son, you’re welcome.

Reason 5:

When I call my Middle Daughter she often asks why I sound so grumpy. And I am. It’s horrible but the explanation is simple. I blame the 45 second delay in each and every phone call as we try to establish who is speaking. It goes something like this, I call her and she answers:
What? Hello.
Um, hello, hello!?
Zora list-
Uh, yeah well um hello?!
Repeat for at least 20 more seconds and by the time it actually all clears up I feel like grounding her. Instead, I take a deep breath in and, of course, as if the universe is testing to see if I am really breathing deeply enough, I usually hear one final: um, hello.

Reason 6:

The realization that my children’s friends no longer have to interact with me as a parent. I think this make kids kinda creepy. Especially teenage boys. Both my daughters’ boy friends (note from The Kid Editor friends that are boys, not boyfriends) stand a house away when they “come over” and text that they’re here. So instead of having to knock on the door and be greeted by me, they sulk forty feet away and wait for them to come out.
What happened to showing a little courtesy, what happened to navigating the small talk, what happened to my chance to be the scary father interrogating hapless thirteen year olds? I want that chance.
Solution: Dad, my friend’s outside. Can I go play? My Middle Daughter shouts down from her lair upstairs.
I rush to look out the living room window, and sure enough at the corner of the house just out of sight stands a group of kids.
Ok, I yell, but let me walk you out.
Now my Middle Daughter is quick, but the speed with which she bounds down the stairs three at a time is impressive. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a child move faster, bolting out the door ahead of me, an audible trail of, it’s fine, Dad. I’ll be back in a few. Stay inside and relax.
Needless to say, I don’t.

Reason 7:

I know it sounds horrible and manipulative, but in a fit of fear and distrust, I somehow informed my kids that when the bill comes I am able to read every text message they send and receive.
My Middle Daughter nods her head, her face full of trust and says, wow, really. Every one. That’s gotta be one hecka long bill. And simply goes back to whatever she is doing.
However, I begin to feel a burning sensation on the side of my head; it’s My Youngest staring at me. Finally she asks, Dad, can you see them if I delete them?
Immediately, I suspect something devious. I know I better be careful.
Why do you want to know?
No reason, and then as if on cue.
Buzz. Smile. Flip. Text. Flip. She looks back at me.
I’m just curious.
Somehow I feel outwitted.

Reason 8:

My Middle Daughter pleaded to be allowed to go to her first high school party. Of course there were random text messages in the days leading up to the party. ‘You’re the best, dad.’ Two hours later. ‘So can I go?’ I’m such a sucker.
As she leaves for the party with a friend’s parent, I calmly state:
Now when I come to pick you up, I’ll call when I’m outside.
Ok, Dad, she utters pushing me away from the car window.
I decide to add, you know if you don’t answer the phone when I pull up though, I’m coming in to the house to find you.
Both her and her friend stop everything they are doing and stare at me horrified for what feels like 30 seconds. And then my Middle Daughter calmly states: don’t worry, Dad. Believe me, that’s one call I’m not gonna miss.

Reason 9:

Driving my nineteen year old son, who is moving to NYC, to the airport, I joke with him about the things I’ll miss: yelling at him to turn down the music or picking up his soiled underwear off the bathroom floor.
We laugh and then he yells, shit!
I forgot my cell phone charger at the house.
This was after we had to turn around twice already for things he forgot: his 600 hundred dollars he had stashed in a sock that he put into a bag of clothes to give to Goodwill as well as a third baseball hat he just had to have.
I, of course, want to say something about irresponsibility and how that’ll have to change as he’s on his own now, but instead I smile and say, well I guess you’ll have to just write me a letter then.
I will dad, I will. Or maybe I can get grandma to just buy me a charger.
And off he goes.
Good luck!
Addendum: it’s seems distance and cell phones do make the heart grow fonder; we’ve talked every other day.

Reason 10:

As I hand My Youngest Daughter, my sweet, innocent eleven year old, her first cell phone, I am about to give her a little word to the wise.
Now remember, baby-
I know, Dad, I know, she interrupts.
What? I ask wondering what cute little thing she knows about owning a cell phone.
She looks me in the eye and says, no sexting. I’m only eleven, Dad, I don’t even have a boyfriend.
I almost drop the phone out of my hand, but manage to say, well, I was gonna say something abut not leaving your phone anywhere. But how do you know about sexting? I ask.
How do you, Dad?! Remember you’re forty, not twenty, gosh.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

zine expo in san jose

I'll have a table at this event.

Anno Domini // the second coming of Art & Design - 366 South First Street

Opening Reception: ART OF ZINES 2010 featuring hundreds of zines from basements, bedrooms and midnight copy shops througout the U.S. and abroad.

Opening Reception: First Friday February 5th, 8pm 'til late
Part of the South FIRST FRIDAYS art walk in downtown San Jose's SoFA District. Visit for the full lineup.

We love zines… those little diy, cut-and-paste, copied-on-the-cheap, hand-folded, self-distributed gems that continue to surface because someone, somewhere feels the need to express themselves. It's that simple. Zines exist and fleurish outside the mainstream with no particular interest whether you're paying attention or not. According to Chip Rowe, creator of Chip's Closet Cleaner, "They're Tinkertoys for malcontents. They're obsessed with obsession. They're extraordinary and ordinary. They're about strangeness but since it's usually happening somewhere else you're kind of relieved."