Conceal Me What I Am

The goblin, the superhero, the princess, the wench, the husband, the son, the friend, the lover, the wife, the mother.  Everyday we don masks and costumes to pretend to be someone else.  I remember from the time I first entered the workforce at the age of 14 (my first job was as a cashier at McDonald's), until a few years ago when I left the traditional workforce and ventured out on my own, I was constantly told to, "Look busy."

This used to irk me.  Look busy?  I could never understand, if I was done with my work, why was it necessary to look like I wasn't done with my work.  One supervisor told me, "You should always look like you have something to do, to look productive."  Huh?  That is what I call, "The crazy talking."  "The crazy talking" is when someone says something, obviously disconnected from reality, in such a way, that they think it makes sense when, in fact, it does not.

Note that this person told me to "LOOK" productive, not actually be productive.   Americans have one of the lowest productivity rates in the world even though we LOOK like we work harder than people in other countries.  I am going to guess it's because of this insane ideology.
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Breathe In, Breathe Out...

A park in Northern Virginia, one of the many paths I've walked. (Photo by Xelinda Aïda)

Stop, breathe and look around.  Everything you need is usually right there, in front of your face.

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College...Take 2

Crouse, home of the College of Visual and Perfoming Arts (VPA) at Syracuse Unversity  (courtesy of syr.edu)

I've been traveling extensively over the last year, and I have been plopped into various situations only to find out that the experience was there for me to learn as well as for me to teach (see the What's an "Arty Hobo" Anyway post).  Now my wandering ways have landed me in Syracuse, a moderate city in upstate New York, and the home of my alma mater, Syracuse University.  When I was "called" to come to Syracuse, I knew I would be here "indefinitely," which I didn't understand at first, but slowly, like my other adventures, a picture is starting to emerge.

Since graduating in the 90's, the longest I've been in Syracuse was for two months, and that was when I was working on a script for a story that takes place in Syracuse.  Suffice to say, I was in the scriptwriters' bubble and did nothing outside of focusing on the task at hand.  Before then, I would do what most alumni do, visit for three or four days, talk to some students, catch up with my old professor(s), meet the Dean, walk the campus, recall fond memories and marvel about how things change.  I would then hop on a plane and head back home not really soaking in any of the new experiences the university had to offer today.

Well, this time it's different.  Well heck, my life is different, I'm different, so yeah, everything's different.  This time, I am like a student but in a more engaged way, without any of the pressure.  What's funny is that many people are shocked that I am not a student (this has been going on since I graduated).  They think I'm a graduate student (which is up from being mistaken for undergrad a few years ago).   I do, however, talk to students and the faculty and it seems that since I am an alumnus who has come back for more than a few days, people treat me like a wise escapee returning with secrets and knowledge of the outside world, out there where the students and sometimes the faculty hope to be someday.
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Everyday is a Winding Road...

...I get a little bit closer.

I thought about this Sheryl Crow song when someone posted this on Facebook:

It doesn't matter what your idea of success is, this is just about right.  However, this is also the beauty of life, because it is all about the journey not necessarily the destination, and sometimes we have to remember that.  Have fun, sit back and enjoy the ride.  I had to learn how to do that and no, it's not the easiest thing when you have a mind condition that tells you, you should always get what you want when you want it, like you did when you were a baby.  Well you're a grown up now,  so let go of that.

We must all come to the realization that everything isn't about us, other things have their own time, which is what Einstein was trying to explain through his Theory of Relativity, so our desires and wants must work in harmony with everything else.   So, whatever you are waiting for to happen in a week, a month, a year, stop waiting for it and start enjoying life NOW.  It's something that I have come to appreciate, the ability to enjoy the present moment in all of it's glory, even if it's eating a bag of Wise Honey BBQ potato chips, like I am doing right now:-)

©Copyright 2011 by Xelinda Yancy aka The Arty Hobo.  All rights reserved.
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Yeah Baby, Tell Me Whatchu Made Of

cod filet poached in a coconut curry sauce with red pepper and mango chunks 
over coconut rice, topped with a sauté of red Swiss chard, shallots, garlic, and bacon.

Get the recipe at The Arty Hobo Kitchen

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You Vill Be Bored!

A couple of weeks ago, I volunteered for the Syracuse International Film Festival, ran by my former professor of all things film.  I've always told him if I were ever in town when the festival was going on, I would pitch in.   He is the Morrie to my Tuesday:-)

Anywhoo, there I was manning the shop in the lobby of Watson Theatre waiting for the film, GRAVEDIGGER by Hungarian filmmaker, Sandor Kardos, to finish and getting ready for the next program, when a petite, elderly, firecracker of a woman busted out of the theater and made a beeline towards me, pointing to the program.  In what can only be described as an Eastern European accent (all of her "w's" were pronounced like the American English "v's"), she laid in on me...

Firecracker Lady:  Ahhhhh, this is the same director I saw last year and I can't stand his vork!  It (pointing to the program) needs to say that this is an experimental film!

I, who I will call The Arty Hobo for the purpose of this exchange, noticed that the program said the film was indeed fiction not experimental... oops.

Firecracker Lady:  You need to varn people next time.  you need to tell them, "You vill be bored!

I was taken aback, but totally amused.

The Arty Hobo:  So, you want that to be on, what, the poster or something?

Firecracker Lady: Yes!

The Arty Hobo:  Like a tagline?

Firecracker Lady:  Yes!

The Arty Hobo:  With an exclamation mark!

Firecracker Lady:  Yes, yes!

The Arty Hobo: Gravedigger... you vill be bored!

Firecracker Lady:  Yes, that way people vill know!...

It made perfect sense to me... We must be varned!

fake poster for Gravedigger based on Firecracker Lady's suggestion

©Copyright 2011 by Xelinda Yancy aka The Arty Hobo.  All rights reserved.
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Benching (a.k.a Gumping)

while some people get their jollies off of planking, i have a pass time of my own.  it's called BENCHING or GUMPING (as in Forrest Gump).  this is how you do it, so pay attention.

1.  find one of these
photo by Paul Goyette (Flickr)

2.  sit down.

3.  do nothing.

4. on occasion, enjoy eating a box of chocolate.

it might seem a little complicated at first but give it a try a few times, preferably near some trees, and soon you'll be a pro.  try it today and post it on youtube!

©Copyright 2011 by Xelinda Yancy.  All rights reserved.
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What's an "Arty Hobo" Anyway?

"They call me a wander, yeah wander, i wander 'round and 'round and 'round and 'round," those are the lyrics to a very old song by Dion.  Even though the song came out long before I was born, I grew up listening to it on the oldies station.  Anywhoo, that particular part of the song is exactly what I have been doing for the past year.  Some would call me a spiritual nomad because it all began with a transformational experience which change EVERYTHING in my life and sent me on this path of total surrender to what is, true love, and total bewilderment.  I can say that my life has turned into an adventure that keeps giving in more ways than one.
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