Thursday, December 31, 2009

Catharsis on a blue moon

One by one my lovers come. They call, they write, they wish me the best. Wish for a kiss.

I am alone. And perhaps the best New Year's Eves I've had have been spent alone, quietly contemplating. I see people posting about how 2009 was a hard year, good riddance. But, I think, don't we say that about every year? Life is hard, it gets harder, each year is worse. I didn't want to cast the stones, but...

...2009 was hard. I lost love, my band, my innocence. I know I'm still young, but a large part of my invincibility died this year when I saw my father in that hospital bed. Everything ends. I always knew. But beneath my knowledge of endings there was also the belief that nothing ever ends.

And it doesn't.

But it does.

People leave. They die. They tell you they are moving on to solo careers. They tell you they are not in love with you anymore. Or they say nothing. They are just gone.

I miss my band. So much. I miss believing that my father was a constant, unchangeable force in the world. I miss love. Just love. I miss being invincible - even if other people found it intolerable. I miss my cats, having a home, and feeling safe.

I love my new music, my friends old and new, the new possibilities in my life. I love my family, and my art. I love being unencumbered by things like home, and bills, and jobs. I love being able to travel.

I'm moving forward. With grief. With relief. With acceptance. With anger. With sadness. With love.

New Year's Eve is always cathartic, intense. And this year is also a new decade. And a blue moon. How many arbitrary numbers align to add an extra kick to just another night.

I am uncompromising in my need to create. I wish for all who read this to be a little bit more this way. Compromise makes us safe. And let me tell you, I am not safe. But I am free. And if you can find a better balance, between safety and freedom, between home and passion, between reason and insanity, then do it.

Goodnight friends - though when you read this the night will be over.

I am the walrus.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Oakland Love

A friend of mine got mad at me the other night because in the past I have been negative about Oakland. Dissecting my negativity I realized that while there are many things I love and many things I do not love about Oakland, I really just don't want to live here anymore and I'm trying to convince myself it's ok by being negative about it, when I really could just be ok with not wanting to live here.

A short list of things I love about Oakland:

My friends: some of the worlds best artists and musicians live in Oakland. Also some of the world's best friends.

The soup bus: a converted city bus on which a friend makes and serves soup to his friends once a week.

Art: an interesting, and vibrant art scene that thrives on exploration and interaction.


Projects like this:

The cute boy sitting opposite me at the coffee shop this morning: he asked me to watch his laptop while he went outside. He has a really nice smile.

There are things to be negative about in every city, and I have some criticisms about Oakland that are useful and some that really aren't. I am ready to move on, but having a hard time because my friends and family are here.

And who knows? Maybe I will live here for the rest of my life. I don't have plans right now beyond the making of my album. I love Berlin and can see myself living there but right now I can only focus on one thing.


I start to rehearse with a band today. Strings at my show tomorrow! Really excited! Yay!


And this is a conversation started by my last post: Pretty Cute for a Homeless Girl

wakingdreaming ( has left a new comment on your post "Pretty Cute for a Homeless Girl":

"I kind of feel like you're trivializing homelessness with all of this. You're not really homeless, in the sense that kid was probably homeless. You were staying someplace, whether it was in a hotel, motel, or someone's house or apartment or whatever. You have money to do what you want and need to do. That kid didn't.

I'm annoyed you didn't help him out to get a shower just because you have a "list" of things to do. I'm really disappointed you couldn't take time out to help someone for real. I'm a fan of you but I won't be buying any of your "cute for a homeless girl" shirts because you're not really homeless and pretending you are isn't cute or funny."

I suppose it might sound like I am trivializing homelessness though it certainly was not my intention. All I meant to do was talk about my experience, which is that of being without a home. I never stated, or even implied that I sleep on the street. I do have places to sleep, shower, be warm, safe, and loved.

I related that story because to me it was an intriguing pick up line. Not that I thought it was coming from a place of sexual desire - more from a place of human interaction. I do not feel obligated to give anybody a shower - certainly not when I don't even have a shower at my disposal. I can't afford hotels and friends are lovely and tolerant of my wandering nature but not so keen on me bringing other people over to shower. I do not feel obligated to talk to people, or spend time with them. When I talk to someone it is because I want to. Sometimes I might seem aloof for not talking to people but I think obligation cheapens human interaction. I had a very nice conversation with a homeless man the other night, because I wanted to.

I will continue to say things off the cuff, let things fly. I will also continue to write what I think of, even if/when it trivializes, or potentially offends. Better than than silence. Even if I get a comment about how someone is annoyed with me. I'd rather an honest communication than none at all.


This has reminded me of one of my very favorite books: Down and Out in Paris and London - by George Orwell

"Down and Out in Paris and London, published in 1933, is the first full-length work by the English author George Orwell. It is a story in two parts on the theme of poverty in the two cities. The first part is a picaresque account of living on the breadline in Paris and the experience of casual labour in restaurant kitchens. The second part is a travelogue of life on the road in and around London from the tramp's perspective, with descriptions of the types of hostel accommodation available and some of the characters to be found living on the margins. Orwell gives it an autobiographical feel by interposing chapters presenting his personal opinions."

George Orwell is a truly fantastic writer, I love his mind. Great read!

Buy the book through Alibris


And you can still buy a t-shirt, if you want. But I get a temporary home in three days so get them while they're hot (or at least while I'm hot.)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Pretty Cute for a Homeless Girl

Photographer on Flickr

Yesterday, as I was getting into my van, a youngish man approached me.

"What are you doing today?" He asked in a familiar tone.

"Stuff." I answered.

"Are you going home?"


"I'm looking for a place to shower." He explained.

"I'm sort of homeless myself," I said, "I can't really help you." His eyes scanned the van.

"Do you travel around?" He asked hopefully.


"Do you want to hang out?"

"No thank you, I'm busy today."


But he kept watching me like a sad puppy. And I thought for a moment that my world might expand just a little bit if I said yes and spent time with this stranger. But I actually was busy yesterday. And today. The list of things to do never ends - we all have it, the list that gets longer and longer, the more you accomplish the more there is to do.

Today I feel a little buried under the list. Not much of a list really, more of a tangle.

But on a good note: Tuesday night's show was lovely. The audience was tiny but dedicated and I love my fans. I got a big beautiful gift basket filled with flowers, chocolate and port wine, and I got a really yummy eggplant parmesan dinner. People travelled from far away to come see me. People took time out of their busy list-filled lives to listen to me. For this I am grateful.

I have a tiny little following of dedicated, intelligent, creative, lovely people who are all intense in their own ways, and love what I do. Even when I feel I am floundering, lost in an abyss of "I don't know how to do it all over again!" I can look to the gifts I have, the people who support me, the daily emails of appreciation.

It's good, my ambition is a bottomless pit. Exhausting, and exhaustive.

It's hard to be homeless, internet connection doesn't always happen where I am staying and I live out of a suitcase. I don't get to rehearse enough and I haven't had a good night's sleep in a few weeks.

But I'm pretty cute for a homeless girl. And you can purchase a t-shirt that says so.

Read a review of tuesday Night's show here: Review

Buy tickets for next week's show here: Tickets

Buy a "Kim Boekbinder - pretty cute for a homeless girl" shirt here by sending $20 to kim (at) via paypal - specify gender and size.

Pre-order my album and make love to the universe here:

I've posted my new song in the member's section of my pre-order website - if you are a member you can hear the new song!!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Fire and The Flame

On the way to my show last night a man on the tram said "Du bist das Feuer und die Flamme."

"You are the fire and the flame."

The show was very early for Berlin and there was hardly anybody there at 8, but when I started at 8:30 the room magically filled, and by my second set at 9:30 the room was full, and quiet, and great. It was such a good show. I was confident, flowing, ready. The emotional arc of the show was complete: from the vintage ukulele covers, to the happy Kim songs, to the saddest of the sad Kim songs, with an anecdote about my father's heart attack and a friend's attempted suicide.

"We're going to be sad for a few minutes," I said, "But we'll come back up. I just want you to follow me." And we went. And I didn't feel like I needed to apologize for not only playing happy, fun, sing-a-longs. Sometimes I feel like people only want the fun happy songs, but that is monotonous. I've been really (REALLY) sad these few months and my music shows it, but I am always and will always be the silly, irreverent, surreal, creative force that wrote songs like "The Organ Donor's March" and "The Astronomer." And I will always be the honest, somber, melancholic girl who wrote "The Day We Met" and "Bad Man." I've got a full palette and I intend to use all the colors - the best shows are created from the full range. I'm learning how, or relearning, or always learning. Yes.

All in all, a wonderful last Berlin concert. I am so very ready to go back to SF and show what I have created here, and to add more instruments and see what happens there. I am genuinely excited about my music, my show, my future. And I feel very fortunate to have so many listeners and supporters. It is moving along, gaining ground. Slow, little steps.

I love Berlin, it is a very special city, and I look forward to returning, for a day, or forever. I have no plans now beyond the making of my music. But I am sure that that path will lead me back here.

Now I will spend the rest of the day finishing my art piece for Strychnin Gallery.


Get your tickets for the SF shows: Brown Paper Tickets Shows are Dec. 8th, Dec. 15th, and Dec. 22nd.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Packing Circles

This morning I was having coffee with the lovely Saudia Young when I noticed a fantastic looking lady walk in wearing a really fantastic altered pin-striped suit jacket with lots of buttons and flourishes. The woman approached and handed me a flier for her show, so I handed her a flier for my show.

"I already have one of yours," she said,"Actually I'm going to come to your show. Actually I was going to contact you. And here you are."

We talked about her show - duo contact juggling, and I told her I liked her coat. She told me her coat had been a Burning Man costume. Something sort of went click inside of me. I asked her if she would like to perform a piece at my show on Sunday to promote her upcoming show.

As she talked and moved and as I admired her clothes I felt more things clicking inside of me. She gave me her website and email, told me she makes clothes, and said she would be happy to perform on Sunday.

The clicking started to form a picture - like a dolphin! I went home and looked at her websites. The clothes are wonderful, I have such a crush on a few of the jackets. I'll have to find a way to buy one. So beautiful.

And then I watched the video of her and her partner.

And then the clicks made pictures made a scene:

Two years ago I was at Burning Man, watching a shadow puppet show under a tree made of steel, when I saw a couple I could only describe as impossibly beautiful. They were both women, wearing androgynous, anachronistic, hand altered clothing. After the puppet show one of these beautiful women arose and walked to the stage where she took out three glass balls and began to contact juggle (think David Bowie: Labyrinth: HOT!) I was completely transfixed by the performance, the performer, the event.

This was the woman in the coffee shop this morning. Across the world, across the room, across the table. All across the universe. Her name is Frix.

Things like this happen. The other day while at an art opening at Strychnin Gallery here in Berlin I recognized the subject of a painting as my friend Carrie, and then the painter as my friend Ben. I haven't seen them in years, we don't really keep up. And here we were, in the same gallery. Click, click, click.

All the clicking, and thinking, and then the forming of a circle. When something comes round again in your life, we say that things come full circle. And I think of the art of Origami, which has been discovered to be a secret of circles. To make a shape you figure out how many circles fit inside of it. Then you fold up the circles and the shape arises. From one sheet of unbroken paper, you get details and definition, and folds, and beauty. And I think of all the circles that appear in my life, superimposing a pattern on the background chaos, and how, with this pattern, my life folds and unfolds, and folds again, into a constantly changing shape that moves with me as I wander and gather more circles, more patterns.

And then my thoughts went way into outer space. And I want to write more about that. And I will. Later.

Now go look at beautiful art by someone in one of my circles:

The Clothing Website

The Performance Website


And also find out about Origami and circle packing.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Pull That Pony

There I am, pulling the horse. Maybe 3 years old, Oma (grandmother) just looking at me like I'm crazy. I don't even know where I am going, but damn it! We are going to go there NOW!

I still feel like I'm pulling the horse, a look of fierce determination on my little face.

Why do I not ride the horse?

No idea.

And no idea what 'the horse' would be in my life at the moment.

But I'm pulling for all I'm worth.

2.7 weeks left in Berlin and lots of work to do still. I can't believe it's almost over. I never want to go. But I also want to get on with things too....just not quite yet.

Today I recorded a song, had a brainstorming session with my mother, and am now poised to launch an email about my album fundraiser/pre-order.

You can find out about it here:

And sign up for my email list so I can send you this fancy email and you can then forward it to frienemies.

Music Player web

Monday, November 9, 2009

It's only bad if you think about it.

I am so tired. I hardly did anything today - physically that is. I spent the entire day hunched over my laptop coding something I will tell you all about very soon - tomorrowish.

I also went out a little bit today to hand out fliers for my next Berlin show and I helped build a wall to divide a living city.

What I mean to say is that I took part in an art project in which 33,000 people stood along the line of the wall and blocked streets and sidewalks, many holding candles. I had no idea this was going on, I just stumbled across it with my mother and since we are the type of people who do not need our arms twisted in order to stand around in the middle of the street belligerently blocking traffic, we were all in.

The street was only blocked for a few minutes as people milled about with beers and soggy umbrellas. Then suddenly the "wall" opened and cars started to stream through while we all cheered at the newfound freedom.

It was powerful to see, we were having fun but the statement was clear.

We still build walls. We build walls that keep people in, or out. We restrict movement. We tell people it is for their own safety. We do it without a sense of irony.

I asked my East German roommate what it was like to live behind the wall when he was younger. Was it hard?

"It was not terrible everyday." he said, "It was just life. It was only bad if you thought about doing anything."

So what, dear friends, do we do about this?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

My Goat Sized Hole Needs to be Filled

Word of the day: Audacity

*Insolent boldness, especially when imprudent or unconventional
*Fearless, intrepid daring

My mother is here. My hair is pink. Last night I owned my stage for the first time in a long time.

Also last night people kept handing me money for my album pre-order/fundraiser because kickstarter is in bed with amazon payments who do not accept worldwide payment methods. Some people have been able to donate but many have not because they lack a visa or mastercard.

MAJOR FAILURE. Might scrap kickstarter completely and migrate over to a paypal based system. In which case everyone who donated so far would have to re-donate (your cards have not been charged.)

Reasons for migration:

A.) Residents of the UK, EU, and everywhere else in the world would not be LEFT OUT.

2.) Indefinite time line. I'm not a "hard seller" I don't want to send 8 emails, and 65 tweets a day, and go door to door to try to sell my product. I'll do my work, and maybe I should push it more, but I think at this point trying to get another $17,000 in 20 days is perhaps a tad overly optimistic.

Reasons to not migrate:

1.) Kickstarter is a neat idea and the impending end date and threat of receiving no funds may urge people to donate sooner.

b.) If I choose to migrate I could lose some people who change their minds, or just forget or whatnot.

3.) The link to my kickstarter page has already been seeded across the internet and I risk confusing the hell out of people - including myself.

But seriously the non worldwide payments thing....kind of a deal breaker. I am not super famous, but I do have friends and fans all over this lovely planet and leaving them out of the loop seems lame. Lame. Lame. Like a racehorse with a broken leg. You know what happens then?

So weigh in here. What do you think I should do?

And does anyone out there want to intern 4-6 hours a week on this with me?



Friday, November 6, 2009

The Animal of Doubt

My mother is almost here. She is in the air right now, gliding as gracefully as ever, when she lands she will roll over to my house, then we will roll together to my show tonight. I've been practicing so much my voice is raw.

I've been getting a lot done but still feel like I am slacking. Probably because my fundraiser is floundering and no amount of other work is going to fix that, actually I'm not sure what will. Somehow I am still optimistic. Oh yeah......because I am an optimist. Sometimes people think that optimists are happy people. That is sometimes true, but also optimists have their feelings crushed under the cold, hard, spiky, awful wheels of reality. Basically every day.

You think we would learn. We being me. The duality of my singular nature.

This is really rambly,

I love this video!

This video is for the Music of Susie Asado who lives here in Berlin and I have an impending coffee date with. She has a show tomorrow - if you live in Berlin you should go see it - with Kat Frankie. I can't go as I will be singing a duet with Jim Avignon somewhere else.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

What is she building in there?

I thought I might write a little blog about what I do with my days in Berlin.

I drink a lot of coffee. I cook soup.

I make postcards to sell at the Sunday market - it helps me to have money to do things like buy coffee and food.

I practice Ukulele alone, and with other people for upcoming shows.

I do graphic design jobs for money (useful for the aforementioned reasons.)

I work on art for Strychnin Gallery in Berlin - they carry one of my pieces already, you can visit it if you are here.

I ride my bicycle four miles out to the recording studio to work on songs. The studio belongs to Elyas Khan of Nervous Cabaret who will be touring with Amanda Palmer this month. Elyas and his wife Melissa took me in and let me live in their house and use their studio. If you see them on the tour give them love. Tell them Kim sent you. They are really nice. Also the band fucking rocks.

I play guitar and sing and work out arrangements for songs.

I write.

I drink a lot of water.

I walk up and down eight flights of stairs.

Sometimes I record with other people, like Jim Avignon, whose new album just came out - I am on it. Track 9!

I play shows.

I meet people and we hang out and talk about life, art, music.

I do interviews and photo shoots.

I tweet.

I see live music.

I have Skype meetings with Sean Slade, my album producer. Sean is really really nice, and excited about my music. He is wonderful.

I do webcasts

I make videos!

Another video is in the works.

There is more. I do a lot. But I wanted you to know what I do since I am asking you to support me and you may be curious about what I do and how I live.

Oh yeah....I dream:

Last night I dreamt I was fighting an evil force that was trying to destroy the world. A truck full of wolves crashed into a group of cyclists on a crazy elevated skyway. I was walking through swamps and working so hard to save everything. In the end the world had to be destroyed so we could all start over again. I was wearing overalls.

Pre-Order my album for as little as $5. Help me make my art!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The vague, yet unmistakable, feeling that I am doing everything wrong.

I can be thrown into a spiral of doubt by just about anything. Looking into the mirror at my tired face spirals into me being ugly, into being ugly on the inside for even worrying about being ugly on the outside, spirals into being untalented as well, into having nothing to offer the world, into I'm doing everything wrong.

And then you may find me all dressed and ready to go -- coat, scarves, hat, boots -- lying prone on the floor, staring at the ceiling and muttering about failure.

"But everything was going so well," you say, "just moments ago you were singing about the snow and all ready to go out for hot chocolate and art."

Yes, it was all going so well, and then I started listening to myself again. I should not listen to my own opinion of myself, it's really terrible.

I am a happy person: singing, clapping, skipping down the street in my bright red wool cape that makes me look like little red riding hood.

I am a brave person: I smile at strangers, ask drug dealers for directions, walk into blind alleys looking for underground concerts in the middle of the night.

I am a sad person: haunted constantly by my inability to affect or even comprehend the atrocities that are perpetrated on this planet.

I am a depressed person: thinking about myself in endless, deepening spirals of doubt and pain. And then nothing.

I am a person: conflicted, afflicted, affected, defected, detected, defeated, seated here on a couch in Berlin, thinking this piece of writing too solipsistic to be of interest to anyone else, and too banal to be of interest to me.

Thinking I may post it on the internet anyway just because I am the type of person that will ask a drug dealer for directions, and skip and sing, and cry on the floor, all at the same time.


This was written after receiving 6 comments and several emails about my blog.

I certainly did not mean to sound whiney or overly sad. While I do often succumb to depression at this time of year I wrote this blog to communicate rather the momentary spirals of doubt which afflict me. My thought was that since most people go through the same doubts someone mind find solace in my words.

I wasn't fishing for compliments or to be told to stop whining and "do" something. I just wanted to get over myself out loud - as it were.

And then I played music.

And now I'm going to the opera.

p.s. Thank you for loving me back!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Signal to Noise

We are information gluttons. All of us, in our own way, pushing information into ourselves as fast as we can. Even the slow people -- not the stupid people -- I mean the people who just move slower than others, even they are guzzling at the info nozzle for all they are worth.

Information is our mental sustenance. And everything is information. Even the tactile, the solid. We don't think of food as information, but it is. For our brains every single interaction with the world is a piece (rather billions of pieces) of delicious information. And regardless of whether we actually "like" something or not. Too hot, too cold, too painful, too fast, too slow? How the brain exalts in laying down the neural pathways that tell us how we feel about the things we dislike, and the things we like, alike. (Like totally.)

Remember that time you got a ride with that guy who drove too fast down that tiny curving road and all you could do was bite your tongue to hold back your screams?

How many times have you been in a car? You can't remember. But that time with that guy, that time you really didn't like: your brain was going "FUCK YEAH! Ima lay down this memory nice and deep cuz this shizzle is whack!"

MmmmmHmmmm. Your brain is a pervert. And so are you.

It doesn't matter what the information is: we want it, we want it now. And we want control over it. Some background noise is inevitable and often yields the juiciest morsels of new experiences, but we all seek to increase our signal to noise ratio.

Some people seek their information in the physical world, things they can touch and interact with, they sneer at people who spend time "blogging" or catching up on a social networking site. Other people are happy to interact with the internet, which in many ways gives us a high degree of control over our signal to noise ratio. It's all personal preference. But it sure is fun to sit up on a high horse (especially if it is a real horse cuz you're one of those physical-world-is-better folks) and toss your lofty morals down onto the masses who find their information fix in another way.

My horse doesn't feel so high at the moment, more of a pony, or a chicken, or maybe a kitten. Yeah, I have a kitten sized pony that just wants to cuddle and we don't care where you get your information (oh wait, is it too late to change my spirit animal? I would rather have a kitten sized whale. On a stick.) - anyway....I don't care where you get your information today. Just get it, enjoy it, maybe think about how you're thinking and try to start a little feedback loop inside your head.

I'm going to ride off into the sunset on my high pony/chicken/kitten/whale now and leave you with the aftermath of this information. On a stick.

Nerd out.


Monday, October 19, 2009

The only way out is through.

Someone asked me about my motivation the other day and here is what I had to say:

Starting solo really feels like starting over. I know it isn't quite starting over, but it feels like I've been kicked back to the start by a cruel overseer. I am really quite scared of performing solo. And that is exactly why I keep doing it. For some reason I have been shaped as the type of person that charges forward when something scares me. When I don't understand, when I can't see, when all I want to do is hide: I keep going.

Someone told me once, "The only way out is through."

It's so true. There may be nothing truer.

I know that no matter how scared I am of success or failure or whatever it is I am doing, even if I back out the fear will stay. The only way to get past the emotion is to continue what I started for as long as I want to. For as long as my passion drives me.

I decided long ago to not let fear guide my life. I do what I am driven to do, what I am passionate about. If I let fear stop me my life would be a small pale thing instead of the wondrous fairy tale I choose to live each day.

Fear is the little death. Fear is the mind-killer...

I have to remind myself often of this choice to not be ruled by fear: to be open: to smile at strangers: to hitch hike: to speak a language I am not comfortable with even if I sound stupid: to go for the high note even if my voice cracks: to love someone beyond reason, even if they don't love me back.

The choice has its costs. I am sensitive. I am often hurt. Because I am an optimist I always expect the best and end disappointed. But because I am an optimist I also see wonder where others see none. And because I push past my comfort and beyond what I know, my time on this planet is richer and deeper and filled with strange and wonderful things.

And the more I push my boundaries the further I can go. The less I give in to fear the better I get at it. I exercise my will and it gets stronger, like everything else I exercise. It isn't easy. But it is rewarding.

I take these chances because I know that when I go beyond my comfort, beyond what I know, that is where the purest art comes from.

"When we venture beyond the edge of our knowledge, all we have is art." Jonah Lehrer (Proust was a Neuroscientist)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Video, Blog, Art

I made a really good video for this fundraiser: go watch it before alien squids eat your face!

The Disconnect

We do what we love, we follow our passion. We make our art because we have to. Asking for money in exchange for art is a strange concept. I won' sweep your floor unless you pay me but I will write songs no matter what. My creative output is not dependent on monetary contributions.

Well: everything is connected, and all things are affected by the environment in which they exist. So an artist making money will have more resources at hand in order to make the art. And a starving man will only make grumbling sounds with his stomach. But beyond the basic necessities and some resource issues, we make art because it is as compulsory as breathing.

To put that art out into the world is an entirely different matter. To attempt to 'make a living' off something as intrinsic as breathing seems somehow wrong. And yet the effort to make art is great. Blood, sweat, tears and more. Art consumes us, chews on our bones, has it's way with us. Sometimes to connect to the art we disconnect from the world. We cannot sleep, we cannot eat, we forget our grandmothers' birthdays.

To further our art we hurl ourselves down into the rabbit hole, blind faith tells us it leads to a new universe, reason tells us we are mad. And since we live in a world which insists quite unreasonably that reason is the order of the day we are made mad by our choice to be mad.

But is isn't a choice, no not really. We can stay on the surface and let the tattered and forgotten beauty of our dreams drive us slowly into the death of the mind and soul, or we can dive deep, down into the thick soupy abyss of the creative force that spawned us and lose the thin threads of reason that keep us tied to the 'reasonable' persons on the surface.

And somewhere in here, in the midst of this and that, the surface and the abyss, the beauty and the boredom, the guitar and the television, we must make our way to eat, must remember to keep one golden shining thread trailing back up to the light above - our life line. We must remember how to speak to others, how to ask for what we need. We must do the unthinkable and ask for sustenance so that we might breathe.

I'm going off the deep end friends. Follow me or feed me. Maybe both.

If I forget how to talk please remember: I always loved you.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

To catch the light

"Looking into your eyes is like looking into a very deep river." She said as we danced, "What is underneath the river?"

"More river." I said, "Forever."

We kissed on the stairs, she in a white ballgown, me in black sequin bodysuit. We were both covered in fake blood, the spectators watched while she pressed herself against me for more. More river. The boy she had been kissing before looked heartbroken, he thought he was special, but it was all part of the act. Interactive German theater. It was just like life really, but more blood, and in the end quite boring.

I left the theater with a girl who had light spilling out of her eyes. We talked all night about art and orange juice concentrate. Over shots of vodka we started a theater company.

My world is spinning fast these cold German days. I've already played in Berlin, Hamburg, and Leipzig. My stage fright takes the form of self defeat and pushes me down in the cold German ground. I fight the gravity and play on. The shows are getting better and better, the songs stronger, my voice more clear. I wear sequins onstage because they catch the light and throw it back in every direction.

I sleep alone and dream of death. The death of an era in my life maybe.

I wake up and catch the light, throw it back in every direction.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

My Diamond Mind

I am the worst type of person: a romantic idealist. I see and want the very best in people. I will not settle for less.

I lose friends because I am intolerant of their choices. We all go through hard times, but when I see people actively and willfully choosing to stay in the same comfortable rut instead of facing a challenge which points in the direction of where they want to go I just get so disappointed.

I do not want pure women to stay with cheating men, or passionate men to stay with bitter women, or for people of any gender to stay with anyone who denies such a beautiful part of them.

I can see it all so clearly, this hard precise diamond of my perception, it is not a nice metaphor, the hardest substance. I cut everyone who touches me.

I'm not a good friend. Too demanding. I want your best. Your very best. And I think you want it to.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Excerpts from my Berlin journal

When we hold hands a universe is born between our palms. I can feel it all: galaxies swirling, their confounded nebulae erupting in iridescent clouds of refracted light: cascading stars: planets colonized with strange and wonderful life. I feel entire civilizations rise up from swamps. Teeming cultures. Cities are built and destroyed. Built again. Histories are written and forgotten between our hands.

The web of our entwined fingers is the cradle of existence. My outward experience is now focused inward as I watch with my mind how life begins each time you take my hand.


On the train from Hamburg the croissants are shaped liked turtles, little flaky turtles in a wicker basket. I doubt anyone else sees it this way. The man next to me fidgets and sighs, watches me out of the corner of his eye, eats fist fulls of Tic-Tacs(tm) as though he were starving and this his first sustenance in weeks.


I dream of death every night. I write in golden chalk. I try to save lives, sometimes I succeed.


There is a man standing on the corner with a piece of an Oboe.


The left handed boy on the tram is very cute. He watched me with my friends, being silly, probably thought we were drunk. Me in my red cape. His face is so well formed. He is highlighting something that looks like a script, maybe an actor, a student.

I miss someone very much.

When I look back the left handed boy is gone.


Morning coffee. Mac the knife. A wasp hovers. I must be sweet.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Supercilious Fenis Pencing

Last night was so good. I have great friends. Amanda has moved from the "person I know from work" category to a proximity friend (great friend when in the same physical space) and that is pretty fucking great because she is fucking great. Neil is still on the periphery but we can be silly together and walk arm in arm and he confides in me when I'm around, so while I wouldn't say "Yeah, I'm like totally best friends with Neil Gaiman." I would be sure to pick him up if he fell down a flight of stairs rather than water his plants when he went out of town - that I only do for the best of the bestest friends.

There was no dressing room in the venue last night so Amanda and I dressed in the men's room - "Better make-up tips from the boys." Amanda explained. We practiced 'Such Great Heights.' Cute German boys told us it the "the best pee we ever had!"

I got to see lots of friends, got to kiss AFP and NFG, got lots of good video footage, was VERY sparkly.

AFP and NFG signed my Ukulele, which will be available to one very lucky person after I am done with it here in Berlin and recording my album - details soon!


I'm making a video......!!! If you want to be in it just film yourself saying "We believe in you!" (even if there is only one of you please say "we.") You can say it in any language, including Sign (!!!! yes please!) and you can film it with whatever camera you have - laptop webcam is great.

Then email me a quicktime movie file to kim (at)

This will be an ongoing project - the first edition will be posted in the next few days - maybe tomorrow!


Berlin is basically magical for me. I have an art piece going up at Strychnin Gallery for the next show which opens Sept. 9th. More details soon.

I love my life! Except when people throw eggs at me, which happened today for NO REASON. Luckily I was not hit, just splashed on one arm. Gross.

And now for something completely different:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Abundance of Marmalade

I'm eating breakfast in Berlin and watching two wasps hover over the marmalade -I've placed it across the table so they stop hovering over me. I really don't like to be hovered around.

Segmented abdomens pulsate with what imagine to be pleasure as they eat the jelly. The wasps are very territorial about the marmalade. They ambush and tackle each other. While one wasp is eating the other will attack from behind, they fall to the table and tumble, curled around each other in a fierce embrace, until one of them takes flight, carrying the other for a moment, suspended in the air like a tangle of Escher, until they break apart and hover.

The dance begins anew.

Now they have discovered that it is effective to knock the other wasp into the bowl of marmalade. They eat, their movements sharp and intense, and then they throw each other into the sticky mass where they are momentarily immobilized. They fly out ever angrier.

They hardly get to eat.

There is enough marmalade for 100 wasps.


Why do we fight?

Over the abundance.

Of marmalade.


Speaking of marmalade: I'm doing this thing with Amanda Palmer: it's her concert, I will be there doing something yet to be determined, perhaps playing tambourine, perhaps just listening to one of the most engaging artists I know.

And just so you know I will be launching another fundraiser soon, this one for my whole solo album.

And also you should know: Berlin is fucking amazing.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Back in B-town

No one calls it B-town as far as I know, I just made that up and I think it sounds really lame. Anyway...I'm in Berlin, again! I love it here, the city, the people, the food, the hats. I am needing to be especially frugal, saving all I can so I can record my album - for which there will be a fundraiser very shortly - but I found a hat. Maybe even THE HAT. You know? The one that changes everything. It is very Berlin, very cabaret, very Kim, very very necessarily: MY HAT!

Berlin is good to me: good friends, good food, good shoes, good hats ...(....I know you know already!)

Tonight I had a great pasta dinner at 'Mädchen Italianer' in Mitte, even though we had to wait over an hour for our entrees and I spilled wax all over my velvet coat while pretending to throw a lighted candle at the next table which was full of obnoxious coworkers trying to dominate each other with laughter. Let this be a lesson to you:

If you are going to pretend to throw the candle just go ahead and throw it because the wax gets spilled all the same.

I move into temporary housing tomorrow - I'll be there for a week, still looking for more permanent digs in B-town (NO ONE CALLS IT THAT!)

I've been toying with the idea of doing webcasts of songwriting sessions. Probably mostly silly stuff, but maybe something nice will come of it. Basically I will write songs live online, and maybe take suggestion as to what the songs should be about. What do you think?


Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Socks Off My Feet

First the news:

The Socks Off My Feet!

Tuesday night I started listing objects to sell on my Twitter Stream, dresses at first, shoes, and some random little things, and then it became an art project and I was just grabbing things that I didn't necessarily want to get rid of just to see what would sell: original art, Geisha Wig - real hair, a marching bass drum, the socks off my feet (sold for $4 incl. US shipping.)

Here is my Tweet Stream if you want to look it over:

I will have another Twitter Yard Sale tonight! - Thursday night starting at 7pm PST (10pm EST) and will also webcast the event here:

I will also play some songs on the webcast so even if you don't want to buy anything you can check out the weird stuff I have and listen to some sweet tunes.

I have also decided to have one final show before I leave for Berlin. This show will be at my house in Oakland on Sunday, sept. 6th, and there is only room for 20 people so reserve a ticket. You can purchase tickets here for any price (pay what you can, I need money for life [$20?])

The show will be on Sunday, Sept. 6th at 7pm. The address will be sent to those who reserve space.

Schrödinger's Love?

Everything we see, feel, experience is ourselves. When we love another person what we love is our own experience of this other person. The more we experience them, the more we see them through the filter of our own perceptions. We cannot observe something without changing it. A person is a multitude of possibilities (perhaps endless) which are constantly being expressed, but because of the way our perceptions seek to maximize efficiency and streamline what we experience we can only perceive a small sampling of the varying states of another human being.

We love, and we want to believe that our love is unconditional, but everything we do is based on the conditions with which we experience.

A person - a lover - may exist in every state at once, but our perceptions change this state of constant everything into a single state of one thing.

Or: we do not change our lover by perceiving her, rather the universe splits - strand by strand - in each moment, as each possibility is expressed. The universes unfold before us and we choose which one we will exist in from moment to moment, splitting ourselves - strand by strand, every once in a while glimpsing from the corner of our minds the possibilities we have chosen not to see, these moments chilling or thrilling us to the core, sometimes shattering, sometimes making stronger the way we have chosen.

My mind unfolds in endless possibilities and I could keep writing forever, or else fall into the pit of my words' inadequacies...instead I will post this. Because sharing is caring.

And I like the me I see in you.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

An Embarrassment of Riches

First, a video from the recording studio featuring a new song dedicated to you.

Demo Recording with Sean Slade from Kim Boekbinder on Vimeo.

This last week has been a time of wonderful support. I feel so lucky, and whelmed and flowing over with gratitude. I am absolutely humbled by the generosity of spirit I have encountered these past few days. Thank you.

I have been fed, entertained, taught ukulele, given sparkly dresses, given a place to sleep, picked up, driven, cared for, and supported by so many that I'm at a loss.

Thank you: To those who donated to my $500 fundraiser for my first day of recording. I made $1500 total! You &$#%#$ rock!

Thank you: Beth and Kayla for kittens, couches, uke lessons, patience, and guiding through the subway system.

Thank you: Molly Crabapple for letting me play Dr. Sketchy's and being such a **^&%^$ amazing artist and friend.

Thank you: Ryan, who drove Kayla and I to Boston in the middle of the night - with a kitten - and whose generosity is inspiring.

Thank you: Sean Francis, who makes me happy.

Thank you: Bonnie and Chuck for food, bed and love. And Ross!

Thank you Sean Slade for such a great day in a great studio. And Adam, and Alex, and Paul at Camp Street Studios.

Thank you: To my mother who drove from Toronto, ON to see my show in Boston and to her boyfriend (who actually did the driving.) My mom showing up made me so happy that I cried and ran down the street to hug her.

All of you mentioned above, and those of you who donated, and those of you reading, are so very appreciated. I feel like I'm flailing in sea of words which cannot express how happy/supported/awed I feel.

Here are some of this week's exploits in video form:

Live at The LilyPad in Boston - with Kayla Oberlin:

The whole show:

Video from Dr. Sketchy's:

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tiny Fundraiser Launched!

Sean Slade (producer of Dresden Dolls, Radiohead.....etc) is excited to work with me and I am REALLY excited to work with him. We are mutual fans and this is one of those moments where all my hard work seems to be paying off with a great opportunity (for more hard work!)

Sean has graciously found a way to make the recording as cheap as possible for me, but it's still more money than I have. So I'm kickstarting my recording with a tiny little fundraiser for this one day of recording with an amazing producer!

After this one day of recording Sean and I will spend the next few months planning the next phase which will lead to an album (or two!)

I need $500 at the very minimum to make this work, any more money donated will go into the album fund and will help more than I can possibly express.

Since my home is filled with amazing things I have decided to send care packages to those who care and support my musical career. I wish I could spend all day everyday making packages since it is such a rewarding thing to do for others. And I hear I send great packages!

Follow me to get updates on the recording process - videos, songs, tweets!:

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tour recap

I have so much catching up to do here in blogworld. My little one week tour with Mark Growden was really interesting. It was my first solo tour ever and it was terrifying and wonderful. Terrifying because i am really scared of performing solo. Wonderful because I met so many great people, and performed through my fear.

Day #1: Justin and I drove to Chico to meet Mark, on the way we stopped to take photos of ourselves among the depressed sunflowers. We then stopped for peaches and pie at a fruit stand and I got some mango salsa which I insisted was really a good gazpacho and ate with a spoon while Justin laughed at me. We decided that my tour nickname would be "a half a slice of cheese" and Justin's would be "Chaucer." The first show was put on by the lovely folks at Tion in Chico and was attended by some Octo-Shirt wearing fans! Go me! I was really nervous but I made it through. Thank you Christopher for making me feel slightly famous, and to all those cute boys at Tion who danced the night away with me after I was done singing.

Days #2 and #3: Drove to Eugene and sang a song at Sam Bond's to entice people to come to our show the next day. Micheal and Leah were putting us up in their gorgeous fairyland cottage in the backyard. Mark made breakfast and Justin made a giant bee for the stage. At some point in the afternoon before my show the bottom dropped out of my confidence and I almost started crying while I sang. The show was magical anyway, and I was joined by a great saw player named Erin. We were fed wonderful food and entertained by Michael's super talented band "Mood Area 52" and basically seduced by two of the most beautiful people I have ever met. Seriously: Michael, Leah, THANK YOU!

Day #4: Portland bound! We played a secret house show at Genia and Tia's where I met Jordan and Katie who had hung posters for my street team. Thank you! Thank you!! I was only a little nervous. Then we had macaroni and cheese at Montage.

Day #5: Drove to Seattle, ate yummy Ethiopian food at Seattle center and ran around in the fountain, then did gymnastics on the lawn. Handstands are getting pretty good. Then we went to Max and Theresa's house where Olivia had set up a wonderful show for us. I was almost not nervous at all, the show was really fun. The house was great, the people were even greater. I love playing house shows and I love Max, Theresa and Olivia for making it happen. Thank you!

Day #6: Back to PDX for our show in Portland. I was a little worried about time since I had promised my street team I would make pie to thank them for helping me promote the show. My friend Molly let me use her oven while she made art - Molly is one of my favorite people and artists in the world. She rocks. I got my pie made in time while Justin made me a narwhal for the stage. We had a pie party in front of the venue - along with some fans too young to go to the 21+ show (I hate age restrictions!) Sal, Mark, Katie, Jordan, David, Molly: THANK YOU!

The show was great, the venue sounded fantastic, I was only a little nervous, but mostly very charming - or so I heard. Then we had more macaroni and cheese at Montage and I got a giraffe shaped takeout package.

Day #7: Drove to Medford which sucked. Played late to a very nice but very small crowd. Then we drove until 5 am to Chico. That really sucked.

Day #8: Justin and I left Mark in Chico and drove on to Nevada City where I did a short set in a record store. Thank you Mat at After the Gold Rush Records, and Tyler, and Jinny, And Jen, and Ben!

Day #9: Nevada City was filled with smoke from fires so we hightailed it out of there with me in a fit of coughing.

Thank you to Mark Growden for touring with me. Thank you to Sean for sending me uplifting text messages and general goodness. Thank you to Justin for EVERYTHING, you are my favorite touring buddy.

Now I'm home, getting ready to record my album, buying tickets to fly all over the place for shows, feeling good but nervous about the future and getting on with my life.

Song today: Canto 1 by Le Loup

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Self reliance, and the bees knees.

Yesterday I read "Self-Reliance" by Ralph Waldo Emerson who says, "Nothing can bring you peace but yourself."

Yesterday I got a present! This video was made by David Westway of Portland, OR. David is also a talented poet.

Yesterday I made t-shirts for my upcoming tour, using some wings I had around the house I made myself a pattern which reminded me of a phoenix bird (as does my new hair color.) For now the shirts will only be sold on my tour at live shows, but when I come home I may sell them online.

Yesterday I uploaded songs onto my bandcamp page. These are new songs and old songs with new arrangements which were recorded live at my show in Oakland last Saturday.


Yesterday I made myself an interim website. Just something to pass the time until I have some art that I want to use for myself. Ideally I'd like to not design my own website, but I think it's kind of charming.

I leave for this tour with Mark Growden on Saturday:

08/08 Chico, CA
08/10 Eugene, OR
08/13 Portland, OR
08/14 Medford, OR
08/15 Nevada City, CA

If you are nearby you should come out and see me. I play new songs, old songs, happy songs, sad songs, ugly songs, beautiful songs. I have a new guitar.

Yesterday I talked to my dad, he is doing really well, feeling great, losing weight, loving life.

I love my life too.

It's the bee's knees.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Color of the Sunrise

A friend of mine recently asked why I sometimes do not respond to her emotionally charged and urgent emails. I explained that sometimes, many times, I just start thinking about what to say and then keep thinking and follow each thought on to the next thought and the inner conversation splits and wanders and then simultaneous but divergent paths suddenly cross and meld into each other and basically I just get locked inside my own head.

Like a princess locked in a tower of solitude, not knowing that she's even locked in. Needing to be rescued but thinking everything is fine. Thinking. Thinking. Thinking.



Another friend was exasperated because I have been so quiet as of late. I tried to counter that I hadn't been quiet, and the truth is that to me I have not been quiet. I just forget that the conversations in my head do not always (and these days rarely) make it out into the world at large.

But so many people have been confused about what I am doing with my life that I realized I haven't been forthcoming at all about the fact that I have been confused about what I am doing with my life.

Things are changing. I'm moving on. Zoe is making a solo album and focusing on the promotion and touring with that (it sounds great.) The band is taking a vacation from itself. My living situation in Oakland is coming to an end.

I've been unmoored of late. A little adrift. Not sure what is next for me. Clearly I will continue to make art and music, but I wasn't sure how to do it on my own.

About performing solo I feel abject terror. Shaking, nausea, curl up in a ball and never come out, terror. The past four and a half years I have devoted myself entirely to Vermillion Lies. Every waking second has been consumed with the creation, promotion, joy and pain of this band. And for whatever reason I haven't felt that what I have for my solo career is good enough to promote.

SO...I bought myself a new guitar, some new pedals, set a strict regimen of practice everyday. I am writing new songs, learning more about music, arranging, crafting. I play at open mics and in coffee shops and living rooms to get over my fear.

And you know what? I really really love what I'm doing now. My songs are flowing in a really great way and I'm actually excited to share what I have inside me.

I even have some concrete plans:

I'm doing a one week west coast tour with Mark Growden. Come out and see what I'm doing, and if you want to help promote you can download a poster here:

8/8 Chico
8/10 Eugene
8/13 Portland
8/15 Nevada City

I'm recording a little bit in August with a very wonderful producer named Sean Slade (Dresden Dolls, Pixies, Radiohead - seriously Google him.) I have two shows on the East Coast in August:

8/21 Brooklyn
8/23 Boston

And then I plan to spend three months in Berlin developing my songs further so that I can come back with a set of finished pieces to record with Sean in December or January.

Why Berlin? Because it is amazing, cheap, and inspiring. There is music and art everywhere in Berlin and I need a culture of creativity. I also plan to tour a little bit in Europe which will be easier from a Berlin base.

But before all of this I have a show in Oakland on Saturday at 8pm PST with my good friends: Corpus Callosum. The show will be webcast here (I play at 9:15 PST - but don't miss Corpus Callosum)

I feel overwhelming gratitude for my life and friends and loves. Thank you for keeping up with me, for following our band, my sister, my art, my octo-shirts, and my new solo music. I'm going to be blogging more, sharing new songs and the recording process and asking for input and guidance along the way.

And my hair is the color of the sunrise:

Or perhaps a little like a Pheonix rising....

Saturday, July 11, 2009

On the Seventh Day - Evolution in Berlin

Today my coat is torn, luckily I live just above the Sewing Cafe where I can apparently get coffee and rent a sewing machine or serger for €6 an hour. Can Berlin possibly get any better? Well, I could really use a washing machine. I had to take a shower with my clothes last night to get the laundry done. Damn this indoor smoking thing, that is a serious mark against Berlin.

But I didn't come here to be negative!

Last night:

Lots of riding in the rain, apparently Berlin has got itself a Monsoon season. Nice.

Dinner with a sweet Swede who may be my new Berlin flatmate.

Stopped at Strychnin Gallery to ogle their latest scrumptious show and say hello to Cookie and Graham(I am not making up names.)

I need to submit my art to them. Yes. Yes, I do.

Then I was tired and cold so I rode home but an encounter with the ever entertaining Scream Club had me ready to go out to a party for graduates from a fashion program that just had their final exhibition today. So out we went to find a really cool bar that was an old industrial space with a disco ceiling and lots of attractive, well dressed people grooving on the beats.

I generally feel socially awkward and out of place at parties (especially those filled with attractive, well dressed hipsters) but I danced like no one was watching (which is my constant style of dancing*) and then lounged around with Cindy Wonderful inside a massive boiler/gas tank type of thing which had been converted into a secret couch/room.

Dancing is so life affirming.

* Zoe says my physical comedy is the best she's ever seen. If you catch me in the right mood I may show you my moves.

Today's website: Bacteria as Art

"These images are patterns that bacteria form when grown in a petri dish. While the colors and shading are artistic additions, the image templates are actual colonies of tens of billions of these microorganisms. The colony structures form as adaptive responses to laboratory-imposed stresses that mimic hostile environments faced in nature."

Today's song: mmmm can't decide, how about two of my own from my 31 songs in 31 days project?

<a href="">01/23/09 - Riding in the Rain (written by request - with Handsome Chuck) by Vermillion Lies</a>

<a href="">01/17/09 - Put on the Suit and Dance (with Myles Boisen)****! by Vermillion Lies</a>

Today's quote: "We are a process, and an unfolding." -George Elliot

Friday, July 10, 2009

Pull the pin - Berlin, Day Six

Sometimes I just have to cry. Life just pours out of my eyes. I flew across the world to be in a wonderful city but I can barely get myself out of bed. That is the truth.

And I am also having a good time. So there.

There are things happening right now, which I cannot presently disclose, that are breaking my poor little heart. It's ok.

I am ok. Just sad. And feeling as though this endless stream of tears is washing me clean, getting me ready for the next step which I am VERY excited to make.

Today's Website:

The Katrina portraits are especially wonderful. I have a hard time with Katrina portraits as many of them seem to just be hanging on the coattails of hyperbole in order to make a powerful image. But these images are beautiful and honest as they are from someone who lived there. Photos of his mother, lost home, drowned life.

Today's Song: All the Night Without Love - Elvis Perkins

Today's Quote:

"Whatever it is that pulls the pin, that hurls you past the boundaries of your own life into a brief and total beauty, even for a moment, it is enough." - Jeanette Winterson

p.s. I'm looking for apartments.......

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Today in Berlin

First off, my father is fine, healing well after his heart attack.

I am still shocked but getting better everyday. I have a new appreciation of grief and its effect/affect.

Also: I am in Berlin! Which I love finding myself in. Today maybe the Botanical Gardens. Read my book on the grass. Picnic by myself. Dance tonight. First write blog.

Off to a good start and I haven't left the bed.

Today I have some favorites to share with you sweet readers.

Today's favorite website:

Today's favorite song: "we are gods we are wolves" Le Loup

Today's favorite quote:

"..learning how to think really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think. It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience. Because if you cannot exercise this kind of choice in adult life, you will be totally hosed.”

David Foster Wallace

Thursday, June 25, 2009

My Father is Tired

I get the call at noon from a family friend "Your father is in the emergency room, they think it's a heart attack." I cry and tell myself not to fall apart yet, I still have to be useful, I have to call family, I have to get myself to the hospital 3 hours away. I am also not surprised to get the call, my father eats a lot of butter - like half a stick at a time, with cheese. History of heart disease. Blah blah. All the rhetoric falls to the wayside, yammering away as we speed to the ICU.

My friend Kate is driving. I am crying silently or making small talk, in turns. She offers me a squashed roll of toilet paper. At this point, while driving, we don't know what is going on. He was awake as they took him to do tests. They think it is a heart attack. He was dizzy, throwing up, had chest pains. But he is still awake.

When I get to the hospital they tell me I got there fast but it seemed to take forever. My father's wife cries when I touch her, the new baby sleeps in her lap. I have a little sister, she is one year old.

They take us in to see my father, he is naked and wrapped in white blankets, like the day he came, only I wasn't there that day.

Today my father is covered in little foil tabs that are hooked up to machines that click and beep and whirr and buzz, they are keeping time, my father's time. Through the oxygen mask he tells us he is ok, it is over, he will be fine. The nurse says he is very lucky.

My father is very tired. Very tired.

They show me a map of his arteries, one of them was 100% clogged. Massive heart attack they say, and I feel one of my own coming on at the word "massive." On the map is the stent they put in to open the flow. 0% obstruction is the new diagnosis. But on the map I can see other arteries and other obstructions: 90%, 85%, 40%, 40%, 45%.

They fixed the one that was breaking his heart, but there are others waiting in ambush. How terrible, I think, to be attacked by one's own heart.

"I wasn't supposed to have a heart attack." He says.

No dad. Nobody is.

This is a map of my father's life:

And this is the screen that tells us he is still alive:

And this is the little girl he just brought into the world:

And this is me, just words in vacuum.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Pair

I will repeat myself. Perhaps endlessly. You may read a string of words I have put here for you only to find that that string of words adds up to the same thing in the end.

I believe that truth can only be expressed through paradox. The paradox of my 'truth' is that that statement is not a paradox. It isn't, so it is, so it isn't, so it is.

This morning, while reading, I found this quote:

"The only way to keep it is to give it away."

Which is so incredibly true to me that it shakes my bones. And then some.


List of things to do today:


give it away


A link to the article I was reading in Atlantic Magazine this morning about the Harvard Study of Adult Development which follows 268 male Harvard students from 1937 to the present.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Laughter and Tears in Berlin

Yesterday I had a short tour of Berlin on the back of a motorcycle, it was a lot of fun and very interesting. We went by the most touristic places and I got a history of Berlin from someone who has lived here for 15 years.

The Berlin Wall:

The Reichstag (site of the infamous Reichstag fire which propelled the Nazi party into majority and signaled the decline of the country into the insanity that followed.)

Then, without warning, we were at the "Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe" (actual title.)

The memorial is very powerful. There is the impression of single graves, as each stone if the size of a single person, and also a hints of mausoleums, barracks, skyscrapers and mass graves.

Because of it's natural maze like quality children use it to play hide and seek and you can hear them laughing in the distance as they run back and forth. My guide told me there are guards that tell people not to play here because it is a memorial.

"But I think it's good that they play. It's more...." Then he turned away from me, saying softly, "It was so stupid." When he turned back his eyes were full of tears and he couldn't speak. We stood quietly in the middles of the "graves" and I let the feelings wash over me, feelings I'd been holding back without realizing.

I cried for my grandparents, for family I never met because they died in camps, for six million murdered jews, gypsies and unwanted people, for a Germany that has to live with the guilt of this terrible crime, for pogroms against people all over the world that are part of all our shared history, because these things are still happening, and because the guilt of the holocaust is used by the Isreali government to perpetrate it's own crimes against it's own "unwanted" people.

We were there for awhile.

And children played and laughed and lovers kissed and people posed and took pictures and life continued as it does, inside and outside of the memorial.


My grandparents are from the Netherlands, both were born there, as was my father. During the war my grandfather was in the Bergen Belsen concentration camp in Germany. He has always told us stories of his time in the war, both in and out of the camp. Though quite awful there have been no stories of death, he never spoke of anyone being shot, or gassed, or directly killed. The worst thing he said was that it was his job to pick up the pieces of bodies (heads and arms mostly) which had fallen off the corpses on their way to the mass graves.

A British reporter who was there while the camp was liberated said of the experience, "This day at Belsen was the most horrible of my life."


My grandfather has been back to Belsen, where he donated some very small watercolor paintings he did while in the camp. He told the museum that they could reprint his paintings and sell them as postcards if the proceeds went to orphans of Palestinian children killed by the Isreali government.


We laugh, we cry, we live. We play.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

May 1st in Berlin

Yesterday I got up at 3pm to start my day, went for a soy chai (no milk for me while I have this damn cold) and a lasagna (cheese is still on the list of things I shouldn't eat but will anyway.) Then I went out into the streets of Berlin where tens of thousands of people were out. It was like a festival, with vendors, and music, and people everywhere. We were trying to meet up with a group but all got confused and tired out by the masses and had to go off into quieter places in smaller pairs or trios. I did see a large group of anarchists with black face cloths march past gathering empty bottles (presumably for molotov cocktails.)

Police vans lined the streets and police men and women stood at the ready to defend all the corporate chains lest they should have their windows smashed out. 

I went to dinner with a new friend and had a hard time finding a restaurant that would serve food. We were walking back through the crowd when I suddenly realized that we were in a square where everyone was waiting: protesters sat in the street, police lined the blocks with full riot gear, photographers and news crews hovered on perches above the crowd, and everyone just....waited. We were already in the thick of it by the time we caught on and just hoped that we would make it through before the first rock was thrown. 

Police were blocking all the exits - insanely, there was no way out. We were trying to leave this intense square and at each blockade they would point to the next and tell us to go that way - literally back and forth. Finally, we talked our way through a blockade.

I had a nice non-camera-photography moment when I saw a man lean over to tenderly kiss the top of a woman's head in the middle of the madness. (CLICK) went the brain camera.

We finally found a very lovely cafe where a man a la Tom Waits played some nice acoustic songs and we got food.

At 2am we walked home, it was quiet - mobile jails rolled by full of sullen faces, the streets were covered in a gravel of broken glass.


This idea of one day a year where police and protesters get in fights is very interesting. One day a year we will throw flaming bottles and break bank windows.

I was interested to see what all this fuss was about but in the end felt disinclined to participate - even as a spectator. This is not the circus for me today.


Just now I was interrupted while watching skateboarding videos on youtube by the sound of the front door buzzer:

"Hello," said the man in English with a German accent, "We are looking for English speakers to do an interview of what the future holds, or the meaning of life."

Oh is that all?......?

"Everyone is sleeping here." I told him, which was not strictly true (obv) but I'm still in what passes for pajamas this morning and not in the mood for company. I do feel as though I have missed out a little.

But I still have my chances to be interviewed since I was also asked to be in a documentary about Freedom/Work regarding my thoughts on music piracy.

If you would like to download high quality versions of all my music for FREE you can do so here:


Sunset in Berlin: this bridge was once walled off as it marked the boundary between East and West Berlin

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Rock on Wheels!

Finally slept A LOT and woke up in the afternoon. Went for soy chai and chocolate croissant in the little square where we are staying. The house we are staying in used to be occupied by "Robots in Disguise" (great video here) and is now occupied by Cindy Wonderful from "Scream Club" (video here!!) and now Vermillion Lies = EPIC HOUSE!

We decided to walk to our show tonight - just me and Zoe - pushing our gear on a skateboard. Yes, so glamorous! After a mile I DID NOT FEEL LIKE A ROCKSTAR!

Later in the evening I met a german (really? in Germany?) who thought it was really cool that we brought a skateboard all the way from america for the purpose of pushing a damn suitcase down the sidewalk.

The show was at the Lovelite and it was fun. We played with the Kamikaze Queens - they are rockin'!

Then I made out in a room with a disco ball. With someone else.

Tomorrow is May 1st and it will be a MAD party in the streets. Anarchists, police, artists, scared tourists. Wheeeeee!

Please enjoy this complimentary photo of myself with a skateboard and a bunch of *&(*%$#@ heavy gear in Berlin:

skateboards = glamour on Twitpic

p.s. Zoe is in love.