writing to know, knowing thru being, being for writing... this is me, writing about the one thing i know, which is myself... and even that is sometimes a mystery...

Friday, September 30, 2005

the happenings and goings-on report

hi, friendly readers and reading friends!

i've been up to my ears in work this week! want to see? well here you go:

Sunday: Community Life Council meeting, for which I am the treasurer. (remember this incident? yeah, well, the bitch is apparently also a power monger and a raving fascist. oh, the joys of petty undergraduate bureacracy and politics!) Also had a meeting for the Ernst Fall Fest committee. I'm in charge of getting bands and performers. I also work with the charity to which we are donating all the proceeds.

Monday: went to Bob Woodward's lecture. Surprisingly disappointing and uninspiring. Aside from his edgy (and risky!) harassment of the conservative audience-members, nothing really worth noting. Sorry, Bob.

Tuesday: huge linguistics exam (first of the year!) I had thought I did really well, but when I woke up the next morning, I realized that I had misread the directions for an entire section on the first page, and thus, missed at least 10-15 points out of 100. So, I am not too pleased with myself. Also, a WMSR meeting in the evening.

Wednesday: Writing Center meeting, EFF meeting, working with people doing promotional stuff for the concert.

Thursday: worked a 5 hour shift at center, covering for a friend who is in London (!) performing some of his poetry at an electronic poetry symposium. (he would probably hate the use of that word for it, but I can't think of another one that would give you an idea of how big a deal it is. And it is, exactly that: a BIG deal.) Read lots of papers and books...

Friday (today!): 10 am meeting with my Women and Theatre group to discuss our performance for next week (which I am quite excited about, as they finally took all of my directorial suggestions and interpretations. Plus, it's just a really awesome play, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Not Enuf by Shange. Read it. It's good.) Then off to WMUB for an interview for the board-op position. (I got it!) Later, going to see a movie with some friends and then planning for tomorrow's radio show (which I highly suggest you listen to!!!!)

...realize now there's better ways to spend my time than rambling on about this, especially since no one would really care to read about how busy my week has been.

so, onward and upward!

p.s. enjoy your weekend! and listen to THE AVOCADO COUCH!!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

the exposed rotting innards of wal-mart (part deux)

and here's some more for you to ponder...

o say can you see?
the oppression proliferating in the systems these days?

o, and the last picture reads:

"Are you holding us up?
Are you holding us BACK?
See for yourself.

[Daily breaks] should be under 30 mins Daily!"

at the bottom, you will see that each employee division has guidelines as to the ideal length of breaks, with courtesy technicians getting breaks as limited as 9 minutes!

the exposed rotting innards of wal-mart

here you will find graphic visual details of the innards of an abandoned wal-mart.

can you even see the moon in the desert wasteland when you stand on your feet and look to the reddened sky? or have your eyes learned not to search any more?

this is why i hate wal-mart and refuse to shop there.


Monday, September 26, 2005

the waiting

sitting stiff
and upright
waiting for silence
to calm my nerves
so i can hear my heart
beating in the space
between my ears and eyes
and in my throat a hesitation
and knot of nerves and
blinding me
and drugging me
to the point of anticipation
like a reversal of echoes
in the walls of hearts
and chest caves

Sunday, September 25, 2005

capturing the invisible

i had an amazing night.

very infrequently do i ever feel every fiber of my being come alive in the way i did last night. i don't know what it was, but i felt really, truly happy.

and this all seems so ridiculous, like a cliche i'm putting out there for the world to see and cringe at and feel disgusted by. but i don't even care. which is the great thing.

because as i write this post, i just want to scream and throttle and beat my happiness out on the empty spaces between all the other people and fly to the sky and come pummeling back to the ground and soaring high and low and senseless, tripping madly and foolishly and motherly and sad to all the corners of the world, screaming the word, the word, the word, and then i would be happy and everyone would know it.

i am so happy and dwelling in it so completely, that i now lose myself in the grand beauty of it all and words don't even matter any more and these words i am typing are borne of something completely apart and alien and strange and frightening to me.

when sense can be abandoned and honesty is what comes pouring, screaming out, that's when you know for certain.

and the invisible becomes more tangible and your words that once were contained in the world, have subversed the order and the world is reduced to the word and you are finally satisfied and happy.

Friday, September 23, 2005

this week, on the avocado couch...

hi there.

just a friendly reminder to tune in tomorrow, from 4 to 6 pm EST for the premiere of THE AVOCADO COUCH's fun, fantastical, flippant romping and raving and razing of the air waves.

no clue what we're playing yet, but i guarantee you it will be good. great even. magnificent if you're lucky. and eargasmic? hahaha, most definitely.

catch ya on the flip side,
dj ogbuefi stephi

Thursday, September 22, 2005

caged animals

two tibetan monks
enclosed by velvet rope
sitting upon carpets thinly disguised to imitate tibetan cloths
surrounded by tourists, gazing fascinated
at extinct specimens of human kind
for display in a stolen art gallery
to be made passive penguins
or metamorphizing butterflies
for impatient passers-by

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

a million ways to be... cool. ok. GO!

we're gonna take a little break from the usual poetic musings that proliferate my postings, and focus instead on some scintillating points of general interest and amusement:

ok. well, first, THE AVOCADO COUCH will begin its terrorism of the airwaves this saturday, the 24th. that's right, and no amount of bald men, locks, misfortune or otherwise will prevent you from hearing brittany and me and our music on the airwaves, on your local cable channel, over the digital divide, so on and henceforth ad infinitum.

furthermore, i've been updating the avocado couch website periodically, albeit un-regularly, and have posted some short, though certainly not inferior, amusing blurbs. check it out, won't you? make me feel someone out there will be listening this saturday!

and i've been trying to compile a songlist for the show on saturday. i feel that this should not be a difficult feat, just requires some creative energy and zeal. and requests!!! so, if you think you'll be listening in, and want to hear something special, let me know! seriously. i will even dedicate it to you. or your mother. or your dog. just let me know...

i also stumbled across some terrifically amusing things on the internet today and thought i should share:

first, righteous beards!!! your ultimate guidebook and reference guide for the world beard and moustache championships, coming to you fast and furious in London, 2007!!! (really. you cannot make this stuff up!)

and last, but certainly not least, i've decided i'm going to channel the superb musical stylings of a band called OK Go and emulate their other-worldly moves in this friggin' amazing dance video for the next talent show.

a milion ways to amuse yourself this evening. i hope you indulge.

keep it real,

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

a feeling for your autumn monday nostalgia

(not really a poem, but more of an attempt to capture a feeling... so, well, i guess... poetry)

Listening to Tom Waits sing about passing time,
about seeing the love of your life again, having both married and "moved on," but with lingering love still between you,
I think of a Christmas from my childhood, and a feeling of being inside from the falling snow, seeing the glowing, glinting crystal snowflakes falling against the darkening bleak black late December sky, walking out of a grocery store with my mom, clutching a Holiday Barbie doll to my chest as I hold onto the plastic cart's sides, my mom gazing on.

We go home and I put the doll away. Her red/green polyester outfit, lined with white fur trim, her red plastic snow boots, her winter hat, stockings and mittens. So life-like. I combed her hair and looked at her constant contented face.

My mom was downstairs, putting away groceries and preparing dinner. I crouched on the floor of my nursery, hearing the distant kitchen noises as they came to me through stairwell and hallway, listening for the sound of my mother's voice.

Something I always feel this time of year, with the coming winter shortened days, the crisping cold, the absence of my mother by my side, and the constant smile of commodity plastic friends,

makes me recall this eternal winter day.

And the grocery gifts my mother buys me.

i wrote this while listening to tom waits's "martha," but i find that the same feeling can be conveyed by the inconsolable's "we, emmanuel light, love ocean." try it.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

autumn song (sung family-arity)

wind sweeping hair about my cloudy eyes
as i hear echoes of childhood autumns in the corners of my memory
and i smell my mother's hands in my fingers,
so like my father's,
which stretch out to grasp this fleeting feeling that accompanies the waning day
the sense of life on my body and the weight of time and measured breaths
a filling for the lacking and the missing
which accompanies the shortening days
and the sinking sun in the trees reflecting orbs into my dimming eyes
while i fall into autumn's cool embrace
and allow the breeze to wash over me.

Friday, September 16, 2005

more sufjan stevens goodness for your friday night and weekend


so i wanted to post more pictures from the sufjan stevens / laura veirs concert along with a sweet review, but, for some reason, blogger's been having trouble with my pictures. so... you'll just have to settle for a sweet review. (i know, i know...)

so, i thought (in my naivete) that the sufjan concept wouldn't work for a live concert set. i mean, the way i figured, it's a concept album, you have to experience it in a specific sequence.

but, oh boy, was i wrong.

he started out with the fifty states song (to which people cheered at mention of their homestates. i ended up looking foolish when i was the only one who cheered for michigan (it being a mostly kentucky/ohio/indiana crowd). but what can i say? sufjan is from michigan. ergo, michigan=awesomeness.) then he transitioned smoothly into the rest of his set, after a seamless costume change (oo... cringe-worthy word choice there. sorry guys.)

the performance was amazing. the chemistry between all the members was palpable, infecting the audience with their charm and spunky energy. sufjan et al are remarkable performers and musicians, their stamina and generosity was scintillating, inspiring, causing me to drown into fits of ridiculous admiration, hand clapping, foot stomping and body swaying.

the setlist left something to be desired however. don't get me wrong, sufjan can do no wrong. every song he played was amazing and gorgeously poetic and lyrical, in true sufjan-style. but his song choice left me feeling disappointed, and thus surprised, rather than exuberantly satisfied. his bold exclusion of "come on! feel the illinoise!" and "john wayne gacy, jr." were definitely the boldest blows to the collective audience's expectations, as those seemed to be guaranteed features of recent performances. i wanted so desperately to hear him break into that elevating wail that makes "john wayne gacy" one of my favorite sufjan compositions, and felt that in his with-holding, i was left in a funky state of eargasmic limbo.

another one i kept listening for was "concerning the ufo sighting..." sufjan's intention for that track always intrigued me, and speaks volumes about his creative vision and intention, his poetic craft and his creative sensitivity. i think he shies away from performing this one live, but i still harbored a wild hope that maybe he would add it to his repertoire on that night.

one delectable surprise was his beautiful "predatory wasp of the palisades," which, though not as haunting as "john wayne gacy" or as instrumentally moving as "concerning...," was alluring, setting a good tone for the rest of his show, which, after many solidly performed tracks interspersed with endearing cheers, and a quiet encore of "to be alone with you" after strong, unabating five-minute-long applause, was still one of the best shows i have seen in recent memory.

which makes me excited for the magnificent sufjan stevens' 50 states of our grand union tour that will inevitably follow.

oh, how i cannot wait.


pictures from sufjan's concert on wednesday night

sufjan wearing a "laura veirs and the tortured souls" t-shirt, tuning his banjo before the show

sufjan and the illinoise makers doing "wasp of the palisades" (?)

(left) sufjan looking peeved and feisty

saying goodnight after his "to be alone with you" encore. (the whole time i was so tempted to scream something to the effect of "i would swim lake michigan and sell my shoes to be alone with you, sufjan!" but, sadly, i did not.)

laura veirs and the tortured souls (below), the wonderful opening act doing "galaxies," my favorite song from their set.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

i love you, sufjan!!!

yes, this was the resounding vociferated opinion of the night.

sufjan packed the southgate house full of fans and soon-to-be fanatics at a wonderful sold out show in newport, ky this evening.

now, looking back on the whole experience, i can definitely say with a great deal of certainty that this was one of the most remarkable and amazing experiences i have ever had.

i mean, i got to see sufjan live!! and that in itself is remarkable.

more tomorrow. i'm going to bed, wisked away by dreams of sufjan in a star-spangled jumpsuit.


Wednesday, September 14, 2005

come on, feel the illiNOISE!!

get in the groove with me:

sufjan stevens (with opening act laura veirs)
@ the southgate house
wednesday, 9/14 (today!!!)
7:30 doors // 8:30 show

hope to see you all there(?!)

check out my full post at the avocado couch!!!

(and keep yr eyes peeled for a review!)

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

we're on the air!!!

that's right, friends!

you can now get ogbuefi stephi and her music, live and direct every saturday from 4 to 6 in the pm, in all its spectacular glory, on the radio!!! (or rather, from wmsr's website)

anyway, the show's called THE AVOCADO COUCH and will most likely begin rockin' your socks off beginning the 24th of september in the year of 2005.

so tune in, lay back, and spend some time reminiscing and enjoying yourself... on THE AVOCADO COUCH!!!

(website/weblog for the show will be up shortly... so keep an eye out for that as well!
EDIT: the avocado couch is now online and can ostensibly be found here.)

catch ya on the flip side!

Monday, September 12, 2005

the arcade fire are splitting up?!

please say it isn't so!

i got wind of this from said the gramophone, which has always been a good source for "scenester musings," indie music news and new indie music.

the idea of my favorite band breaking up is just so... surprising. i definitely could not think of any good reason for them to do so. they are nothing short of magic together. they meld so remarkably well, and produce some of the most wonderfully charming music out there.

rock and roll was made for the kids, and the arcade fire definitely gets that right in there music. their energy, their sweet cooing and screaming... you can imagine them swinging alongside you from power lines when the power's out.

and isn't that all we want and need and look for in our music? a companion, a soundtrack for our childhood rebellion?

Saturday, September 10, 2005

moonlit evening casting shadows on the eve of my goodbye

alone in my consciousness
awake in the house of my childhood
walking past sleeping rooms
to an eery glow
from the open window.

in my old nursery
the moon is bidding me a fond farewell
as i look upon its familiar open face,
it is bathing me in light.

and my eyes gaze wide
upon the lighted night
as the trees sway in gentle breezes,
the clouds gliding thru star-lit sky

and the majestic moonglow
illuminates the room of my past
in this house of my memories and dreams.
~late evening (or early morning), 8/18 (/19)

Friday, September 09, 2005

Labor Day

here's a short story for a change. i am compiling short stories i've written about home and/or my parents, and will hopefully be posting more in the future. let me know what you think...

It's a warm Friday evening.

The a.c. is pumping through the vents in my parents' car.

My mom turns to me. She says, "Steph..."

My Mom always does this. She'll say my name and pause... She likes to drag it out as long as she can, letting the tension between us build. Like pulling a rubber band, slowly, and waiting for it to snap back on you.

She likes torturing me. She knows how much I hate lack of continuity in conversation.

"Steph... I think..."

Again with the pause.

"I think the time for America is over."

I automatically smirk and am filled with the desire to oppose everything she said and is about to say.

I knew what was coming next. The memory of the following words was all too familiar, and I could guess the next statement's timing and arrival in the same way a music afficianado knows the order of songs, the length of pauses, the rises and falls in music on a favorite CD, simply from listening to it multiple times on constant repeat.

"Steph," she says, "You should do something with your Chinese history."

In that moment I wonder, how much of what she says is true? How much am I willing to admit to myself? And how much will I deny and contest what I know to be true, solely in order to defy my mother?

It's a warm Friday evening.

I'm in the back of my parents' car, going home.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

alienated by the nature of my work (the marxist experience)

so i just got back from the thrill and excitement of my first day at work.

perhaps it's sad to admit, but i've never worked (for money) before in my life! and today, i feel that i got the full marxian experience: alienation (searching for fulfillment in my work, only to find emptiness and disappointment, and ironically, a feeling of lack, rather than achievement of purpose), marginalization (my rights and the rights of my fellow workers were secondary to those of our patrons. indeed, i had someone actually say to me, as if this excuses everything, that i "was getting paid," and that he could therefore expect to have me do his every bidding... because i was getting paid, like that's some sort of compensation or something. sorry, but i work at the writing center out of the goodness of my heart. the pay, as minimal as it is, is just a small bonus), exploitation (obnoxious, disrespectful first year students using me to help them write their papers), etc.

anyway, i'm exhausted. and for the three and a half hours i put in on a NON-WORK DAY, for a full HOUR after the center technically closes, i only get $16.84.

yeah. apparently that's the value of my time and mental energy.

barely enough to buy food for one day on the high-priced miami campus.

"it's better to never get paid,
than to bank on shit and dismay."