Sunday, November 30, 2008
I’ll try not to ramble on about this for too long, because everywhere you look there is some form of analysis regarding what just took place.
I woke up on Tuesday, November 4, 2008 with a good feeling in my heart. Figuring, “Today is the day that America names Barack Obama the next president of our country,” I walked across the street to my polling place and waited in line for about 40 minutes. After what took place that evening, the importance of that 40 minutes cannot be measured, though many will try to relay their feelings on to others.
Two beautiful things happened while I waited to vote. Both cases showed the magnitude of this election, as well as how much this day meant to so many people. The majority banded together for a common cause, feeling what was at stake, weight on our shoulders like a child during a lengthy parade. There was excitement in the air, but it was visible too.
A father stood in line with his son, who I guessed based on his looks to be just 18, and they waited patiently. The father grabbed his cell phone and began a conversation. Meanwhile, another young man walked out of the gymnasium of the school, passing the line of anticipating voters. The two men, recognizing one another, greeted each other with words and hugs. The one who was exiting the facility told the other to tag along with im, to which the father immediately whipped around and said, “No! Get back in this line! This ain’t that kind of party! Get over here, you’re voting!” The son disappointed, complied with his father, hood up and lip poked out.
The other thing that took place was a woman standing a couple spots in front of me grew weary of the wait and began to get antsy. She voiced her displeasure and made a gesture as though she was soon to leave without voting. At that moment, a volunteer looked her in the face and pleaded, “Please don’t get out of that line. Whatever you do, do not leave here without voting.” The man showed anguish and a great need for a call to action.
November 4, 2008 started off as a day of desperation for millions of Americans. The American justice system and electoral system has let so many of us down it seemed as though all hope was lost. That Tuesday was the day for all of us to prove ourselves wrong. And we did!
This past Election Day was more than electing the first African-American the president of the U.S.A. Obama’s election shows the change and progress that has taken place in this country for all people of this nation. All parents can look their children in the eyes and say to them proudly without feeling like they’re telling them a half truth, “When you grow up you can be whatever you want.”
Hope. Change. Progress. Vision. Yes we can. Yes we did.
Like I said, there will be some artwork coming soon enough.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
The City of Brotherly Love. Yeah, that’s what they call it, but to those who have ever been there, they may see it differently. Maybe not. For those in the sports world, that title couldn’t be further from the truth.
Philadelphia, the home of the Phightin’ Phils, the Iggles, Sixers, the once-known Broad Street Bullies, the Flyers, and the country’s most iconic sports figure, regardless of his lack of existence, Rocky Balboa. This is a city full of love for its brothers, but with very little tolerance for opposition. Call it a hive-minded mentality if you will, but we call it family.
Even with the celebration of our beloved teams, Philly fans are no strangers to disappointment. The championships won by our teams can actually be counted on both hands, but one hand for each team (if division and conference titles are to be excluded).
A short review of Philadelphia’s history shows that the Eagles last won a title in 1960 (lost title games in 1980 and 2005), the Flyers in 1974 and 1975 (lost title games in 1976, 1980, 1985, 1987, and 1997), the 76ers in 1967 and 1983 (lost title games in 1977, 1980, 1982, and 2001), and the Phillies in 1980 and 2008 (lost titles in 1983 and 1993).
In my lifetime I’ve seen the Phillies go to the World Series…and lose. I’ve witnessed the Sixers go the NBA Championships, win game 1 against the Lakers, then throw the next four games, the Flyers have made it to the Stanley Cup Finals, almost won convincingly, then blew it, and the Eagles went to the Superbowl, led the entire game, then lost by a field goal. After the Eagles loss, I fell into a slump of depression for a week. The Philly fans’ dedication runs that strong.
Enter the 2008 Philadelphia Phillies.
I started this season saying to my father during a phone conversation, “I think this is the year. I have a good feeling. I think the Phillies are going to the World Series this year.” My dad being an older version of me simply replied, “They have to get there first.” Well, they did. And they won. Convincingly.
I have waited 15 years since the last Series visit, and all my life for a win. The feeling is inexplicable. The assumption is that anyone supporting a team in a drought understands the emotion involved in a championship win.
The evening before the second half of game 5, members of the Tampa Bay Rays, while staying here in Wilmington, went to one of our local pubs. The Washington St. Ale House. I’m not sure if that was a wise decision on their part or not. The people I met were nice, and some got harassed by a few locals (Philly Phaithful). All in all, it was a fun and exciting evening. However, and I mention this once more, I’m not sure if it was wise of them to hit the bar the night prior to a Do or Die evening.
In typical celebratory fashion, the night the Phillies won the 2008 World Series, people flooded the streets, fireworks were set off, funs were shot off, drinks were shared, and cars were flipped. Enter the parade.
I rode a school bus up to Philly with my sports league, the Delaware Sports League. The day started off with a broken down bus (not mine, the other one), drinking at 9:30 am, and urinating in plastic cups and bottles on I-95 en route to the parade (yes, that includes me). Once we made it into South Philly, we were greeted warmly by our Philadelphia brethren. Horns were honking, people were screaming, first were pumping, and index fingers were raised to indicate, “We’re number one!” Hell yes.
The second our bus came to a complete halt in the Linc parking lot, the DSL members cleared out with the quickness, linking up along the parking lot fence under I-95, and watered the sports complex vegetation. Truly a sight to behold, the line included men with beer in their hands, and girls squatting in groups of twos and threes. Aside from public exposure, the rest of the time in the lot was spent drinking and tossing around a football.
Everything else that occurred between our arrival and the Phillies showing up an hour and 20 minutes late can easily be told in pictures…minus more public urination (the lines for the port-a-potties were too long, so lines formed on the backsides of the johns).
Our day ended with a certain young lady going to relieving herself on her boots, while another young woman dropped her phone on the ground, possibly had it pissed on then, tried persistently to get the device to cease vibrating and actually function properly. Said young woman later said that her cell phone was now her second dildo. Yes, she said her phone doubled as a vibrator. Classy.
Departure took approximately 45 minutes to reach I-95 from the Linc parking lot (I-95 runs parallel to the sports complexes), but the wait for the trains was much worse, as they were backed up over two hours. That mob was beyond ridiculous.
We made it home, and I ended my day with a pepperoni calzone and some hot wings. Grease makes everything better. Delicious.
Rotten to the Core started with a project I did as a senior in college. Long story short, on that project was a graphic of a banana. The response to the banana was so positive, I opted to go bigger with the banana, turning it into something for me to play with later on.
As I played with the idea of the banana, my mind started to wander, and I dreamed of a deeper exploration of the fruit. "What if I had a hatch of spiders pouring out of the banana peel?" Eureka! I had my plan—discuss the the relationships of fruit and insects/arachnids. Each fruit is paired with a bug that can be associated with it in some fashion. Each skateboard is hand-painted with acrylic paint on a California maple.
The first deck completed in the series is titled, aXc, or Apple Core. Pairing the apple with a series of cockroaches came to me easily. When I was younger, my seventh grade science fair project was to raise crickets in a tank, with their food source being apples. Then for almost two years I worked in a natural history museum in the education department. In that department we had a tank of cockroaches. Aside from lettuce and potatoes, the roaches were fed apples. I wouldn't recommend leaving any sliced apples out in your home to find out if this is true.
The second completed deck was wXc, or Watermelon Core. The name doesn't make much sense, but it doesn't have to. I have artistic liscense. wXc is by far my favorite of the bunch. What fruit would come to one's mind when thinking of a picnic? Watermelon perhaps? What else comes to mind when thinking of a a picnic? How about the invasive ants? The explanation behind the watermelon, as well as the next board, are rather simple compared to that of the apple and the closer.
I struggled briefly with pXc, or Peach Core (peaches have pits, not cores), not with the style of execution, but rather, what do I couple the peach with? Worms and maggots—while creepy and fascinating—are not insects. I eventually considered the state of Georgia and how it's known for peaches. I also thought about the Southern United States and how people complain that there are too many bugs in the summertime. One of the main offenders to which people seem to be bothered by is the fly. When any kind of food is left out, flies will rear their ugly faces, eating and vomiting in the same sitting.
Finally, what started it all, but also brought it to a close is bXc, or Banana Core. While I was working with the banana, I got to thinking about agricultural exportation and importation between the United States and South American countries. Sometimes in the freight comes unwanted surprises, such as harmful snakes, spiders, and other insects unnatural to our region. It's not always as easy as discovering these offenders in the crates while receiving the shipments. From what I've come to understand, it tends to be more about snakes and spiders laying their eggs inside the produce before it is gathered and sent elsewhere. Can you imagine peeling a banana and being greeted by a brood of creepy, crawly spiders? I can, but I wouldn't want to.
NWAA members exhibit their work during the Wilmington Art Loop series, every first Friday of each month in Wilmington, DE.
The NWAA is sponsored by Delaware's Dogfish Head (As seen on Reno 911).