Gum in My Hair

An embarrassingly honest blog

If Resolutions are for Suckers, Just Call Me a Tootsie Pop. December 31, 2012

Filed under: Ooooh, Shiny, Pretty — dulcedementia @ 1:51 pm
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This isn’t going to be a post about working out more in 2013. This isn’t a post about eating healthier in 2013. It’s not about finding emotional balance and it’s certainly not about achieving fiscal responsibility (I’m buying a camper and traveling around the country, remember? Not exactly “responsible.”). This is about me making a resolution to do something that makes me happy.


You see, I think resolutions should be something that enriches our lives. It’s something that we may not necessarily need to do in order to keep having a healthy life; something small that we don’t consider important until we have it in our lives. Last year, I made the New Year’s resolution to see at least one concert a month all year, and with the exception of March (you know, when I went to Mexico for a week), I more than met my resolution. Just a few of the bands I got to see this year:

And SOOOOOOOO many more. Of course, my favorite local band is Bonnie and the Beard, who I discovered at the Underground Music Festival thanks to a buddy of mine. I’m in love with them. No seriously.  All of them.


The point of last year’s resolution was to force me to listen to more music and to listen to it live (obvi) because, well, I love music, but I had gotten in a bit of a musical rut and I wanted out, so what better than to see new music live? If a friend invited me to see a band play and it was under $10 and I was free, I went almost without question. Because of that, I expanded my knowledge of genres and artists and I expanded my mind, soul and heart.


And I totally achieved a goal.


This year, I spent some time thinking about what I wanted to get out of 2013 that was new to me and incorporated my interests. My little gears got going and I thought, “Well, I love street art (so much so that I got a tattoo of the Denver flag “spray painted” on my arm this year) and I love the city and I love the simple pleasures of discovering a new piece of art around a corner or down an alley.”


Plus, since I’m taking off to travel around the country this year, I have all these opportunities to discover the little things in every city, tucked into corners, sprayed on dumpsters and pasted to walls. So I decided that this year, my resolution is to pay attention to the little things.


Sort of.


street art, graffiti

Paying attention meant I found my skater name sprayed on a dumpster in Cap Hill!

I’m not going to make a resolution so grandiose as that. But I am going to resolve to see a moment every day.


This year, I’m going to post 365 days of street art. I’m going to take a photo of art every single day this year and hashtag it #streetart365 so that at the end of the year, I can go back and see them all at once and remember all of the little moments I took time to document in 2013.


Some days will probably be shit and others, I’ll probably have an abundance, but to make sure I’m always looking is the point and not necessarily the quality each day.


I’ve told a couple people and they’ve looked at me like I’m crazy, but fuck it. If I can remember to take an allergy pill every morning, I can certainly remember to take the time to find something new and unique every day.


So now I’m curious. What are you going to do this year to renew yourself? What are you going to do that lifts you up and expands your heart and mind?


If anyone of you says “lose 30 pounds” I will punch the weight right off you. I think a lot of us want that, but I think it’s easier to accomplish the physical goals when our hearts are happy and our minds are at peace.


Tell me that story, loveys. Tell me that story.

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Stop and LOOK! November 14, 2011

Filed under: Ooooh, Shiny, Pretty — dulcedementia @ 10:57 am
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It’s been around two and a half years since I gave up my car. Maybe less, I don’t know, unless there’s an “o’clock” next to it, I’m really bad at gauging time. But I think it was around two and a half years. Sure, there are days when I wish I had a car. Have you ever tried hefting a 50 pound bag of dog food home? Yeah, no, neither have I. But that’s what friends are for and if I’m really in a bind, I know I can count on one of them to bail me out. So, sure, I have to leave a little earlier for things. Sure, I have to sit next to some funk on the bus, but you know what, I would change it for the world. You know why?


I like the way that this sticker tore. I think it's pretty. That's all.


Because I get to see the city. I mean really see it. We miss so much zooming through neighborhoods in our cars and, yes, our bikes (I use my Millie for anything over a mile). When you walk, you really get to take in everything. Hell, even the bus is a nice, passive way to get around and stare out a window without any social pressure to make conversation with the person sitting next to you.


The saying goes, “God is in the details.” To change it around for my fellow atheists, “Beauty is in the details.” We’re so inundated with bright flashing lights, billboards and messages shouting at us from every possible medium, that we’ve stopped noticing all of the small things that make up the beauty in the world around us and give us insight into humanity.


It’s one of the biggest reasons why I love street art so much. It makes people who might not ordinarily pay attention to a drab brick wall, stop and maybe even take a picture of the discovery of a beautiful work of art pasted to the side of an abandoned building. Also, street art rewards those of us that pay attention to our surroundings as we walk. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve pointed out art to friends that they walked right by because it was on the sidewalk or the lower corner of a building or electrical box.


When you look at your surroundings, you start seeing the little things. The pieces of frost clinging to one of the most goddamn stubborn, resilient roses you’ve ever seen. The deep, rich maroon of one singular leaf clinging to a barren branch. The kindness of a homeless man sharing half of his cheeseburger with his dog.


In my opinion, these are the little things that make up a whole that is a pretty wonderful life and I’m always shocked when people don’t see the same things I do. I guess it makes sense. We spend so much time involved in things that take us inward or give us tunnel vision: computers, phones, video games and more. It seems like we’re starting to forget how to look outward for inspiration and awe.


So, here’s my challenge to you. Take a 30 minute walk around your hood. Bring some music if you want, I find having a soundtrack is always nice. But no email, no phone calls. Just re-engage with your senses. Really look at all of the details surrounding you and be grateful for it. Your eyes have so much to look at; your nose, so much to smell, your ears, so much to hear.


Just stop and look and marvel at the world around you.

 

The Poetry of Street Art March 4, 2011

Filed under: Ooooh, Shiny, Pretty — dulcedementia @ 3:44 pm
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Most people use their camera phones to take pictures of themselves or friends or goofy cereal boxes. I’m glad for the invention of camera phones for one reason and one reason alone: graffiti. Yeah, street art. I love it. I love the thrill of spotting a new “installation” on the corner or the smile it gives me to see blatant acts of intelligence and wit sprawled out on cement for everyone to see.

The photo file on my phone is quickly filling up with posters and spray-painted artwork and, though I share a lot of the finds on a site called Unseen Denver (if you don’t know, now you know, now go!), I want to showcase some of my favorites here for all to see the great street art you can find around Denver if you just keep your head up and actually look at your surroundings. I’ve noted the locations as best as I can remember. Some of these are over a year old.

I totally love Denver too! By the Rose Medical Center

This is by far one of my favorites. RTD Bus Stop at Colorado & 9th

9th & Grant

This is actually chalk and it was gone in a couple days. 12th & Logan

11th & Grant

On the side wall at Benny's Mexican Restaurant. 7th & Grant

12th & Penn

I love the way spray paint runs. 12th & Washington (I believe)

This was over by City Park. I DID have a fabulous day after I saw it.

13th & Lincoln

Alleyway between Penn & Pearl on 11th.

 

Near the Whole Foods on 11th.

On the guard rail at 13th & Penn.

 

 
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