Sunday, July 09, 2006

UPDATE (07.08.06)--Indie Printing Schedule, Bonfires Cafe, 61 Dunwell Stories

... He carries poetry to the people
as simply and calmly
as a loaf of bread.
[Yevgeny Yevtushenko on Pablo Neruda]

AS EVER, my apologies for not being able to update one and all in the past few weeks. It has been a prolonged "reflective break" for me. First up (I guess, a good news), The Indie is up for printing -- as per Iwanna's (printer) schedule for the month -- either on July 17, 18 or 19. In case you deem it necessary to revise, change or update your respective articles (Mike Hopping, Gaither Stewart, Karen Helman, Linda Brown) and columns (Lady Passion, Debbie Metcalf, Benjamin Bernstein), let me know. This coming issue should be out on the third week of July, which means stories/articles apply to August timeline. Again, my apologies for the inconvenience.
Apart from the obvious funding/budgetary constraint, I had to focus/concentrate on a more pressing/practical concern -- my immigration status in the US. For the last four years, it has been a debate within my family circle in Manila and the West Coast whether I'd pursue (American) citizenship or not. So these days, that's where my mind is mostly concerned with. Until my Mother's death last year, I haven't really considered 100% to at least try to seek citizenship. Now, it's not just my Mom's passing that made me decide once and for all... While I'm not illegal, it has been very hard for me to smartly finance and professionally manage my projects in the US, esp. that I am far from my family support ssytem. Seeking citizenship means more money (mostly attorney's fees), more paperwork, more budget planning. I guess, that also explains why I prioritized spending to secure a permanent house in West Asheville under my name in the last three months in favor of paying up (magazine) printing back account and putting more time and money with Traveling Bonfires projects (like what we did in the last three or four years). Having a permanent residency in a US city where I generally contribute or carry out community work should help speed up my papers.
So these days, I seek more paying jobs instead of pursuing gig bookings and club fundraisers (that don't really return investments). Although I still plan to organize and produce shows (apart from "Bonfires for Peace at Pritchard Park"), I will be more entrepreneurial than idealistic/quixotic this time out. Moreoever, while the monthly park events keep us on "community map" (esp. at the time that the magazines "rested"), it also (at least) breaks even with expenses through tips and donations. There will be upcoming Bonfires projects, for sure (discussed below)... meantime, me and Marta The Nicer are available for any kind of side-job -- nanny work, babysitting, simple graphics work, housekeeping/cleaning, yardwork, tutorials etc.

MY VISIBILITY in downtown has diminished considerably as a result of my more "realistic/smarter" budget consciousness. It's hard to come check downtown Asheville out these days without spending. Chillin' in my house and hosting dinners with longtime friends are cool and less cost-oriented. I expect more friends to come for a visit and chat. Matt Mulder and family, Dale Hoffman and family, Linda Brown, Chris Malz, Jonah Goldwag, Chris Johnson, Steve (*Diuvei) Rasmussen, and new neighborhood friends Tammy Myers and Lynn Adkins, have individually dropped by, had dinner, and spent time here. Jim Cox and wife Paulette, Rena Wright, Bob Brown and wife Mollie also promised to come over one of these days. I also occasionally babysit Dale's kids -- Mikey and Lucynda.
It's family and I like it this way -- something that I couldn't freely do when I was on 70 Woodfin Place or 62B Lexington Avenue. So it's just 61 Dunwell Avenue and Haywood Road. We have two temporary summer sublet roomies -- Gayle Sovinee from San Diego and Jessica Ziegler from Chicago. Gayle has given up California for North Carolina -- right now, she's scouting for a house to buy so in case you got leads, let her know. She's very cool 5'11" lady. (Karen Helman becomes our permanent roomie by mid-August or Sept.)


[ ] Wander and Blue Sky Asheville should come out middle of August. I will sure interperse Wander or Blue Sky with The Indie... for sure, I'll devise a way to make these three magazines more profit-oriented. Meantime, in case you'd like to find ads, we could give/offer cool commission rate/s--to as high as 35 percent... Another way that has been helping us raise buffer fund is by way of donations or subscriptions. Marta is very good at it--while fixing coffee at Ingles Merrimon, friends donate money for The Indie. So thanks to her workmates Melissa Sumner, Steve Meisner, Jennifer Parker, Alison, Janis, and Missy for the kind hearts. Well, if you have friends who might wanna share $5 or few more to this continuing madness, just email me the address/contact info, we'll send them copies and/or free ad space.

[ ] We are definitely (date undecided yet) showing the Sundance-winning documentary, "Imelda" (about the shoe-obsessed former Philippine First Lady) this summer. I have started talking with Jonah Goldwag of Fortune Bldg/WestAshe for the kickoff screening this July. This filmshow project could be an end of summer till winter program. The main features shall be paired off with shorts that could be motivations for discussions (starting with New Yorker Penny Lane's "The Abortion Diaries"). I am also mulling over a Vagrant Wind Independent Film Festival and poetry/fiction writing (as a Wander promo project) -- though I need to brainstorm these projects more. (Last winter, Jim cox has also suggested a literary contest.)
Meantime, I am trying to forge out-of-town, beyond Asheville poetry readings and filmshows -- to basically pitch my work and drum up interest with the Vagrant Wind Filmfest and the literary competitions. I am talking about mostly NC "college" cities -- Durham, Chapel Hill, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Wilmington, etc.

[ ] The cafe business brainstorm is still here, consistently being discussed and explored. Right now, we have at least two other people/co-partners who are very interested in pursuing this entrepreneurial project. We simply need to invest on endeavors that could usher more income to support the publications. Other possibilities on discussion -- house rental/bread&breakfast, catering service.

[ ] I have initially negotiated/discussed website development work (for Loved by the Buffalo Publications and Traveling Bonfires) with Kathy Hardin and Lindsay Hardin of Compass Point, LLC (based in Hickory). But I need to study more the contract that they submitted. Those who are knowledgeable about rates vis-a-vis web work, maybe you could give me advice. Meantime, in case you have some leads for more website devt service/work, let me know.

LASTLY, y'all are invited to my 106th birthday on July 23, a Sunday. We could celebrate it on that Saturday weekend, if that works better with your schedule. It's potluck although I will sure prepare more Filipino food (c/o my Pinoy chef-homey in Patton Avenue). We can also do the frontyard sale on this day.
So that's it -- everything's cool, so far. Again, please check out your last-submitted articles in case they need revision/rework... It is great to be living in a real home--as usual cooking more good food, and feeling like my house and yard is the world (I pitched a tent on my backyard besides a small bonfire pit). I watch more TV, as usual (although most are "bad" news but I get to be more abreast with what's going on... North Korea, World Cup, Jacko's neverending troubles, Nancy Grace's "sexy bitchiness," and oh man, I like watching goofy commercials and "Law and Order" and Jeopardy)--to complement my incessant New York Times and Rolling Stone readings.
Right now I am reading Adam Feinstein's biography of Pablo Neruda, rereading Amy Tan's "The Kitchen God's Wife," and Ethan Hawke's "Ash Wednesday" and about to finish the Johnny Depp movie, "The Libertine." (I didn't enjoy "Syriana" as I did another Stephen Gaghan-penned film, "Traffic" though -- the latter was crafted/written more powerfully and smartly than the former, to my opinion. Meanwhile, I recommend "16 Blocks" -- Mos Def is usually an excellent, underrated actor.)
Have a great sunny Saturday. Live good, love good, and eat good!
July 8. Saturday


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