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APE AND TACO

*DISCLAIMER: This site has nothing to do with apes or tacos, except in the broad sense that I am a human that eats tacos, and as a human, I am an ape.

Month

December 2016

Sunday Night Live: Music at The Mill

This was MONTHS AGO but I really liked the acts I saw and want to mention them on my blog.

I heard about the show because a band I like (and have mentioned on this blog before!) NOTS was playing. When I saw the show announcement, I pictured the back room of Iowa City’s The Mill restaurant and bar being bustling full of college punks. In reality, it was just a handful of college and townie punks, a quarter of whom were there for the opening local band and a quarter of whom were members of the other bands. It was a very chill scene. How chill was it? NOTS’ bassist was casually just writing in a journal at the bar while the other bands played. I was with my sister, and although it was a Sunday, being someone with no job, I had several beers and got tipsy. It was a thoroughly enjoyable night and here’s a little bit about each band that played that night:

Continue reading “Sunday Night Live: Music at The Mill”

A Traveling Web

The absurdity of my life is not lost on me. I find myself in these places and I kind of just laugh at how they seem to not predict each other. Like, if an algorithm were trying to forecast my life, I think it would be unable.

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FIVE DAYS ON FIRE!

My life is the most random string of experiences. Thus, this blog.

My most recent experience was a five-day wildland firefighting training camp in Los Padres National Forest near Santa Barbara.

Those who know me are probably like: what? Why? How? I didn’t know Erisa was interested in fighting wildfires!

Those who know me REALLY WELL are probably thinking: I didn’t know Erisa was interested in fighting wildfires, but it doesn’t surprise me one bit.

Continue reading “FIVE DAYS ON FIRE!”

Literally, Everyone is Afraid

After November 8th, I became afraid to stop for gas. I drive across the country frequently, so I have to stop for has, often in small towns off the interstate. And I’m afraid because I’m hearing all these stories (from friends and on the internet) of KKK fliers being passed out, women getting assaulted for wearing hijabs, black people being verbally harassed on the road, etc. So I feel justified in being afraid to step out of my car. I even wrote a little song as I was on the road (one of many songs I write when bored 5 hours into a drive):

I’m afraid to stop for gas / Afraid some racist, misogynist ass / Will stop his car by my front end / And call me that name that starts with “N” / He’ll pull a gun and shoot me dead / And I know that this is all in my head / Such a simple, menial task / But I’m afraid to stop for gas.

So I told this to my white relatives – who didn’t necessarily vote for Trump but are on the conservative side of things – and they told me personal stories of their acceptance of America’s diversity, their rejection of hate crimes, their fear with regards to negative experiences they’ve had with black people, and their fear of being attacked and misunderstood by liberals, etc.

I actually began to cry reading what they wrote. I did not cry when Hillary lost. I cried when coming to the realization that, literally, everyone is afraid. I was depressed for a couple weeks because it feels hopeless. Everyone lives in fear. How do we stop it?

Several weeks later, the only thing I can think of is to smile at people and if you see someone struggling with something, help them if you can. I think there’s nothing else that can be done. Because fear is perceived, it does not actually exist. Fear is a thing we feel that will only dissipate as we feel more comfortable in our environments. Each time I stop for gas and encounter nice, respectable people, I feel a little safer. So just smile at people! Boom. I just solved all the world’s problems.

Iowa City: An Oasis Amongst the Cornfields

Is weird. I think I think this about almost every place I go. That wherever I am is a weird place, but for a different reason.

For one thing, the municipal seal says: “City of Iowa City” and I think that’s ridiculous. But moreso I found it interesting to ponder the ecology of the city; it’s demographics and economics. It’s a college town. It probably only really exists now because it’s a college town. So it swells pregnant with the weight of tens of thousands of students for 9 months out of the year and contracts into a sort of reverse hibernation in the summer. When I was there for the month of October, I saw signs in almost every shop/cafe/bar/restaurant looking for new workers (I assume students) to handle the presumably increasing amount of business (also, I assume, due to the influx of students).

I sat in an industrially decorated sandwich place adjacent to a hardware store, eating sweet potato fries and writing postcards when I overheard the staff chatting about picking up additional part time jobs now that other shops were hiring again. They complained about the students who were hired but then quit within weeks because they couldn’t handle their jobs in addition to their schoolwork. And I remarked on how interesting the mix of people in Iowa City are – students, academic faculty, support staff, townies – all shopping at the HyVee, objectively America’s greatest grocery store.

To me, Iowa City also felt weird because it was an oasis of “culture” amongst the cornfields. Every day I worked for several hours in a “hip” coffeeshop called High Ground. I’ve yet to find another shop (IN ALL OF THE WORLD!) so conducive to my mental work processes. Ten percent of the baristas had alternative hair styles (dyed, shaved) and one-hundred percent had tattoos. Down the street sits an arts collective (Public Space One) that hosts printmaking (among other creative endeavors) workshops and afrofuturists in residence.

I felt like I could live in Iowa City for a long time because of the HyVee and the variety of arts and music without the chaos that accompanies large cities. Literally what more could you need?

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