Monday, May 15, 2006

BONFIRES UPDATE (05.15.06): Late Mother's Day Notes, West Ashe Takin' It Easy

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY! Yes. I am either a day advance or a day late. But to all the Mothers of Life – there are no you and me, without them. There is no way to return or repay that gift of life but to love and cherish and treasure life itself. Don’t waste it – feel good, live good, love good, and eat good food.
It’s the first Mother’s Day since my own Mom passed away (Aug last year)... I know she’s happy somewhere. She “watched over” a member of the family who has just gone through surgery in Manila. The operation happened two nights ago – three days earlier than scheduled but she’s safe now, recuperating.
I still am, sort of, reeling for not being able to get the May Indie out—due to this barrage of obstacles/problems that struck me almost all at the same time this month. But maybe, as in the usual case in my life, things like these happen to force me to rest, take it easy, regroup.
Rain has the ability to stop my relentless madness, I mean—rain sends me a message, as ever. Two years ago, rain stopped a “Bonfires for Peace at Pritchard Park” to let me know that my Mom slipped into a coma; again, last year—on a Bonfires event at the park—rain made me stop the show, but the message was devastating. My Mom passed away that same August night.

HOW MANY friends tried in vain to convince me to take it easy, I am running so fast again. The seven-magazine madness, the all-weekend shows... Two years ago, the monthly Vagrant Wind up-north road journeys. The weekly club gigs.
I didn’t listen. I always fail to listen. In 1995, in Manila, I collapsed because of sheer burn-out; in 2000, in New York, I again almost lost breathing after I sunk myself in relentless, maddening work pace. I eventually had a surgery—which later, brought me to Weaverville, North Carolina to rest.

I AM NOT whining anymore and be angry that Iwanna refused to print The Indie – though I only owe them one issue’s worth of back account. The other community paper that we love to read owes them $5000. That’s okay. I should have looked for an alternative printer a long time ago. My fault.
At this moment, it’s either I pay up upfront (as in cash-on-delivery) or print somewhere. I will be talking with The Blotter’s John Pence today to see if their printer’s (based in Athens GA) work specs and printing cost fit ours. If it doesn’t, I will have to bring the work back to Iwanna. (I also emailed Mountain Xpress’ production/distribution people for some advice.)I will update one and all this week.

THIS BRIEF RESPITE makes me regroup and reassess The Indie and the other publications (under Loved by the Buffalo) and Traveling Bonfires projects. This new house gives me that peace and quiet to pore deeper and calm down. For sure, I don’t really feel good about going downtown these days. Apart from the “Bonfires for Peace” at the park, I don’t see reason why I’d go there these days... (The next Bonfires is on June 10, featuring the Touch Samadhi family of trance goa DJs, from 1pm to 10pm.)
I again feel semi-reclusive. I am satisfied walking from Dunwell Av (the house) to Haywood Rd here in West Asheville – to have coffee at West End Bakery or Ideal Market Cafe, grab a Highland Ale at Westville Pub on Tuesday blues/rock night, get a few DVDs at Orbit, buy house implements and garden tools at Dollar General and all the thrift shops on the block.
Meantime, distribution of all our publications will/shall be handled by the Community Publishers Group, LLC, headed by Sammy Cox of Mountain Xpress. I will have a meeting with him and his partner Jessie around May 24. I am intent on handing distribution of The Indie etc to this professional/organized community group—me and Marta are apparently tired (as well as gasoline cost-exasperated).
Currently, I am doing a lot of replanning/pencil-pushing.

I’D LIKE TO free myself up of pressing administrative/marketing chores—so I could concentrate more on editorial and project planning/redrawing. This house gives me more breathing room. I am making my basement as a workshop/backup library/art studio. I have started landscaping the backyard/garden – and turn it into a “meditation spot,” chill area/meeting area, greens and flower/orchids garden. I will have a small pit for a bonfire. The patio/porch is also good for writers groups meetings and chat area. The fenced frontyard will be a playground for your kids and pets.We will have the entire house and immediate periphery/yard wired (wireless) via MAIN, effective first week of June. So when you come over for dinner, barbecue, yard sale visit, or meeting, you can simply check your emails from any part of the house.
You are all welcome. Bring some food that I could cook, or you can cook also. Bring drinks, as well. Our recent NJ/NY visitors, I reckon, loved my chicken adobo...

ME AND MARTA THE NICER don’t plan to book club gigs for now. Traveling Bonfires will only be focused with the Pritchard Park events. I may organize special ballroom gathering for my fellow Pinoys here (at Fortune Bldg) or maybe a singles dance party—but I don’t know when. Jonah G (owner of the building) is temporarily closing the area for couple of months, he said. It’ll be back soon though.
We will start the Bonfires Yard Sale on May 21. In case you want to donate stuff to sell, or you want to sell your merchandise/old things, as well—feel free to come over and join us. (We can pick your donations up in your house...)

I AM EXCITEDLY awaiting our new housemate, Karen P. She will be here around June 3 to 8, from Massachusetts. I decided to get just one other housemate – so there’ll only be three people in the house. But those who may want to paint, sculpt, make potteries etc with me in the basement/garage, feel free to come over and work with me.
I chose Karen from five other applicants to the room—I feel I can find some parallel vibes with her. She’s into cooking (she’s a chef), poetry, single, no pets, my age, and we have been talking in the last four or five days, everyday.
By the way, if you have friends who are visiting Asheville from this week to last week of May, looking for cheaper room, pls recommend ours. I only charge $200 for two weeks...

SO WHENEVER you’d like to hang out and be quiet (you don’t have to talk to me), watch a DVD movie, read, write—come over to our house. (Yes, you can bring your dog or cat—as long as they don’t mutate into anacondas and scorpions when struck by rain.) Bring your kids, too. I babysit Dale and Loretta Hoffman’s young Mikey and Cynda, once in a while.
This morning, Dale will help me do some garden work for an hour. Tomorrow, Janis Rose, Marta’s workmate at Ingles, will help us repaint the living room walls.
Finally, I feel like I am in a house at last, a home.

Buenas dias!


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