So I was out in the garden trying to track down the snails/slugs that are eating all my damn strawberries (DIE SLIMEY FRUIT SUCKERS, DIE!) happily plugged into my iPod when I realized I was singing out loud. At stadium volume. To Billy Idol. “Rebel Yell” — which is pretty good for raining hell down on slugs and is seriously hard not to sing along to. (There’s a fun description of Billy’s early days with Gen X here). When I dialed down the volume I realized my next door neighbor was just on the other side of the fence, but you know what? If that’s the most embarrassing thing I do this week (heck, this month), then I’m doing okay.
Other things thing I find really embarrassing — listening to my voice on the answering machine, or worse, seeing myself on film. I still haven’t been able to watch “The Lowdown on Lowbrow” (even though I’m really interested in seeing what the filmmaker put together) because I’m in it and I don’t want to see myself. I’ve seen the preview clip on YouTube and it’s ten times worse than hearing my voice on the answering machine.
It seems like everyone else got interviewed in a nice, clean studio environment with a powdered nose and lighting and I got caught stumbling out of a gallery opening, three sheets to the wind. I look like a total loon! (Note to self — no more cocktails before the camera rolls.)
I wonder if this is similar to the reaction a friend had when she posed for a painting — when she saw the finished piece she said “I will pose for you anytime, I loved it, but I cannot look at that painting.” I was kind of crushed but the more I think about it, the more I understand.
What’s not so bad is re-reading stuff you casually, conversationally wrote or said — which is the entire body of a recent article in the fledgling art mag Stretching Canvas. Issue #82 has a big (BIG) article about my work, which takes the form of an email back-n-forth between myself and writer Sherri Cullison. The thing is twelve pages long! To be honest, while I’ve looked at the pretty pictures (including a snap of the goldfinch outside my window who later became a star in the painting “Song of the Goldfinch”), I can’t read it yet. Because it’s just me nattering away it sort of has a little bit of the same effect for me as hearing my voice on the answering machine. I think I’m worried I’ve said something completely idiotic. Twelve pages is a lot of ink — chances are pretty good I said something fairly goony in there at some point.
But you can go and pick up the mag and see for yourself.