|Welcome to my online journal. I'm Alex Mead. For many years people called me AMPro --so much so that it seemed like my name. More recently, a lot of people on the internet have come to know me as green.earth.al and in show biz...My Rap Name is Alex. Whatever name I'm known by, I still seem to have the same opinions and convictions, I still like to write and make public my introspection and try to say something that will provoke some thoughts and help people see the world in new and helpful ways.|
this journal entry posted on November.27.2005
As November wound down some things were going good:
- My friend Christina introduced me to her new boyfriend who seems like a really awesome guy and gives me a sense of hope that she's finally selected someone who will treat her the way she deserves to be treated.
- My friend Alyssa had send me CD (Hal Walker) and after months of it sitting around I finally listened to it and it quickly became one of my favorite CDs. I listened to it constantly while I was drawing pictures for my book.
Some things were going bad:
- Leslie, through car troubles and illness and general business had not been available to get together for the whole month of November.
- The weather got super cold.
- I tried to ride my bike on the bike path to get home and ended up falling three times on this stretch of the bike path where the waves come up onto the path and freeze there. I hurt myself and had a hard time at work.
But mostly, as November was drawing to a close, I was feeling the effects of the end of the cycle.
I'm a project oriented person. And I was nearing the end of a project. My book: Relations 2. I was starting to go on the radio to promote it, I was trying to finalize it so that I could order copies and have it ready to roll out by December 10th. As with most major projects of mine, as it neared completion, I became hyper-focussed on it. To the exclusion of all else.
When I am finishing up a project the house becomes a total mess, huge stacks of mail pile up, bills go unpaid, I lose touch with some of the people that I desperately want to keep in touch with, I have no time to make journal entries, I don't take even basic care of myself, etc.
And then when I'm finally finished with a project, I go to church more regularly, my house gets clean, I begin to look more well rested, and I can start showing up to events, etc.
Some people who know me well have a hard time percieving or believing in the cycle because no matter how pressed for time or hyper-focussed I get, I will still drop everything to perform a rescue operation if there's an emergency I can assist with in a half-day or less. I still will show up to weekly community dinners and such, as I've discovered that I need them to stay sane.
The cycle for Relations 2: SMASH YOUR TV! was especially hard on me. I wanted to start writing it in August. Finish writing it in November. And release it in mid December. I was prepared for the possibility of unexpected snags, and prepared for the posibility that the book might have to be pushed back until January or February 2006.
I did indeed start writing the book as soon as August started. I was very inspired, wrote a lot, had an unexpected layoff, and before I knew it, the writing was finished early, in early October. So I went ahead and started advertizing for the book figuring it would be easily finished by mid December.
I figured I had time to do a lot of drawing so I undertook a style of drawing that required a lot of drawing. A whole lot of drawing. And then I got really stuck trying to work Christina's awesome website idea and finish my book at the same time. And then disaster struck. At the same time that I injured myself by falling off my bike a lot and was hobbling around work, they took my stacker (the palett jack that I use at work all the time) and they put it in the shop for "repairs" (that's code language for 'we're butting it in the garage forever! Good luck ever getting it back out.) So just as I had made the decision to do fewer trucks at work and accept a little less money, work started taking way longer with all of these other palette jacks so I got to spend more time at work AND make less money working longer hours.
Fucknut! Put me in a bad mood quite a bit.
this journal entry posted on November.22.2005
I have a friend named Kathy. I know her from Women in Black. Last year I gave an instore book reading for Relations: McEmpire
and Karen came to it. After my reading I was talking with her and her friend and they were telling me that they teach a class on wellness and writing, and maybe I could come and speak for their class sometime in the fall. I said sure. Sounded like a fun thing to do.
As the fall rolled around I had forgotten all about it. She called me and started talking about possible dates. I was feeling quite overwhelmed. Trying to finish off Relations: SMASH YOUR TV!
and trying to find a spare minute to work on my friend Christina's website, and working tons of hours to get some bills paid off. The class only met on Saturdays so that meant I would have to take a day off from work to go talk.
I tried to convey how difficult this was going to be for me to arrange figuring most people would just give up if it became to difficult to schedule. But Kathy had no such inclination, she was willing to call me as many times as it took. So a date got scheduled, Nov. 19th. And as the day was approaching I was feeling SUPER overwhelmed. I couldn't afford to take the day off so I asked my boss if I could come in late. The weekend was jammed packed with stuff. I wasn't getting enough sleep. I had absolutely no time to prepare anything, I would just have to go in and fill time basically. Not that that posed any big problem for me. I seem to do much better when I'm unprepared.
So the day kept getting closer and closer. I wasn't spending a lot of time stressing about it, but whenever I would think about it it seemed like suicide: trying to present for a class that I had no idea of the nature of even, and then go to work and then do all the other things I had to do that weekend. I had very serious thoughts about calling and canceling and just telling them I was sorry.
But I didn't do that. I went and found the place and met the people in the class and went through a bit of telling them about myself and asking them to tell me about themselves. Then I started to do my poetry thing and it just went really well. I was so well recieved. I had been trying to get myself into novelist mode and gear up to promote the new book. But from somewhere within, poet mode came roaring to the surface. It felt SO good.
Then during discussion they started talking about other poets, including one from my ice9 family. And then during announcements they announced a poetry gig for the following day where another friend of mine would be performing. And so a day later, instead of doing all of the stuff I was supposed to be doing, I found myself writing a poem to go perform as an open reader at a poetry gig that I totally had no time to attend. And that went AWESOME! My new poem was so well recieved. It was just a most awesome poetry weekend.
Then, today, Monday, my ice9 poetry friend, Anne, whom they had been discussing at Kathy's class, was on one of my favorite radio shows. And man, I just began missing my ice9 family so much. Being defunct is totally, totally dumb. We should totally quit being so damned defunct and just start existing again. Feeling like a I had a poetry family was a great feeling. We probably was taking up too much of our time, and I'm sure we've all become even busier of late, but I don't think it would take us much time to exist again. I see them individually or read about what they're doing from time to time, but that's nothing like how it used to be.
Okay. Gotta get myself back into novelist mode now.
My Friend Christina...
this journal entry posted on November.19.2005
This is the journal entry about my friend Christina.
Christina is a SUPER Activist. Even if she's not even doing any aftivism. She has powers and abilities WAY beyond what most activists have. She is the chosen one and sometimes I get these premonitions that she will bring balance to the planet Earth some day. And sometimes I get to feeling like we're like Batman and Robin or something. But I dunno which is which. But we're totally a dynamic duo of some sort. We're each going to fix a lot of stuff during the course of living our lives.
Once she moved away from Buffalo. While she was gone I felt rather directionless and hopeless. Kind of like HeatherK's absense, but different. But then she moved back here and plugged into the Judy4Mayor campaign for a bit and it was like the future reassembled itself in my mind.
In September she fixed on my crazy art co-op idea and found this huge mansion that she wanted to live in and we tried to combine the two. I was about as prepared to fly to the moon as support a huge crazy ass mansion, but just through her super powers she had me genuinely convinced that I could leave most of my problems in this house behind and scale up and attract the people to make it work. And, scarily enough, we maybe could have. I learn not to put anything past her.
In October she had a cool website idea, and I signed up to bring it into reality. And I still haven't found the time to do it. And I, personally, have failed with a dozen similar web ideas. But I tried my damndedst to carve out the time to bring her idea to life just because if anyone could make it work, she could. And I kinda whalloped myself trying to make too many things happen at once and made my book a little late, but I still believe she can make her idea fly so I'm gonna really try to stop dropping the ball.
November 2005 Christina said she'd like to come check out my UU church. I thought that would be really cool. Not only did she come check it out though, she plugged right in with her Christina powers, she started making friends and connections and such. And then, right then and there, on the first day, she went and signed the book. She had seen enough to know she wanted to be one of us. And my churches future just became that much more vibrant and healthy in my mind.
This has been my journal entry on the totally awesome powers of my good friend Christina who I dearly love. She's gonna help me make the world better for the future generations.
this journal entry posted on November.12.2005
I ran again for board of directors at the Food Co-op. In a field of seven running for five seats I came in sixth. There will probably not be such an opportunity again to make the board. I imagine the elections next year will be a much harder race. It's all very discouraging and I begin to give up hope that the food co-op will ever become more than a store where I reluctantly go to grudgingly surrender my money for slightly less corporate products because I'm unable to find anything better.
I suppose I have a few more ideas to try out in 2006 that don't involve getting elected to try to mitigate the effects of some of the more nafarious of the super-corporate products that they carry. And I suppose if I was really as motivated as I like to believe I am I would finally get round to buying a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share and such.
And then also Judy Einach ran for Mayor of Buffalo again this year. In early November her campaign team went as a group to see the ArtVoice movie that covered the campaign trail. It's a safe bet that most people who saw the movie probably voted for Judy. The movie clearly illustrated why she was far and away the best candidate. But unfortunately, not nearly enough people saw the movie. After the movie I hugged her and told her that I loved her. I got that part right at least.
I was pretty removed from the rest of the campaign team at that point. Focussing on my book and my job. The media had managed to successfully ignore us and it was fairly apparent by that point.
We had started out at the right time, years in advance. We had attracted some really inspiring talent to our team. We had gotten some really lucky breaks when Sam Hoyt and Tony Massiello dropped out of the race. Sam Hoyt's departure in particular freed up a lot of "our people" who were, until that point, divided. But we probably didn't go after the people that had been working with Sam nearly aggressively enough. We managed to get the anti-casino people, but Hoyt's other important constiuent groups largely just dropped out or reluctantly went to stand behind Byron, the mayor of ultimate apathy.
We dropped the ball during a lot of the endorsement proccess and we spent time in pursuit of a primary challenge endorsement that proved to be little more than a useless distraction and a mild publicity boost.
I can remember the precise meeting and moment where Judy reminded us Green Party folks that we could take twenty bucks down to the BOE building downtown and become a commissioner of deeds and qualify to carry petitions. I can't for the life of me figure out why I didn't do that. I could have gone out and gotten a ton of signatures like the anti-casino guy did. But I didn't. I tried to give Christina to the campaign, but that didn't work out. She was doing Buffalo a favor just agreeing to live here and couldn't really afford to fix the city on a volunteer basis.
And so we squeaked over the 2,000 signature threashhold and we easily disqualified. I, seriously, could have gotten another thousand signatures or so and I failed to do so. So as mayor Byron continues to be just another mayor Massiello in a different skin color I will have to just sit and wonder what might have been if we'd have handed in the number of petition signatures that Darnell Jackson had handed in. We would have had a whole different sphere of legal assistance flock to our aid if we'd have handed in the 4500 that Mr. Jackson handed in and so we'd have been in court with both barrels loaded for bear. Who knows, the Democratic primary could have been an entirely different matter. We caught them off guard at first, but they quickly recovered. In the end, the only message we ended up sending to the future generations is that if you cheat and if you have the most money that is how you can win and what is most important.
We gained a lot of knowledge, but I'm very affraid that this knowledge will just disappear into the ether and the next time a truly progressive candidate steps up and puts their neck on the line they will be starting over from scratch.
Running for Mayor was a lot of good memeories, but I personally could have done a lot more than I did. That period of time in Jan 2004 where my phone and internet got disconnected and I couldn't get my email or work on the website and I didn't take the time to go touch base in person and at least let them know what was up with me and they ended up replacing me... well... that was a bad sign.
Bill Collectors Ringin my Telephone
this journal entry posted on November.05.2005
So, it's a long way up out of the pit of abject poverty. But November 2005 I actually managed to pay my rent on the first week of the month for the first time in a while.
The phone rings off the hook every night. The Credit Card companies. It will take at least until December to get started on them, but at least I can dedicate the rest of November to getting my electricity and phone bills caught up.
I'm writing a book "Relations: SMASH YOUR TV!" which talks about how people are shamed into hiding their poverty and wages. That's mainly why I have such a willingness to talk about my own. Not so much to engender sympathy, but rather, to offer it up so other people can see whether their in the same boat or whether they know people in the same boat and begin to think more deeply about this sort of thing. If this generation coming up is more and more debt laden. And if this generation is far more debt laden than their parents'. Hasn't something gone wrong? If the median wage has fallen and continues to fall in real dollar value and the cost of basic needs for people continues to climb, don't we have an unsustainable system that's inevitably going to break?
I've been drawing a billion pictures for this book. Can't wait to finish it and get people reading it. Finally got around to the cover design for it.
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