Response to Nov. 8th

Last Friday, three days after the election, one day after a riot, around 7:00 pm, I set up a table on SE 82nd and SE Powell. It was lightly sprinkling and my table was lit by a combination of car headlights and fast food signs. I had a big sign on the front that said “Let’s Talk about Donald Trump and America”. I had two chairs, mugs, and a thermos of tea.

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People came and talked. They laughed, people yelled, people gave me funny looks from their cars. A few didn’t speak English, but they stopped and smiled at me. A few felt angry and anxious. The whole experience reminded me who America is and how much I love them. Below are some excerpts.

Imil was one of the first people to stop and we talked for a while. He is 30 years old, Muslim, black, and from Seattle originally. Our conversation was fast and fluid. I had a hard time following him at first, but quickly enjoyed his quick wit and wisdom. “Donald Trump is going to do his job” he said, “if we learned anything from the last two presidents, it’s that nothing is going to change overnight.” Our conversation moved from politics, to Trump’s cultural movement, white supremacy, and how he expresses his faith. I ended our conversation by asking him to record some advice for a friend.

Unnamed man riding by on a bicycle: “Not much to talk about”

Matt and Elliott: Our conversation quickly turned to end times prophecy and how “things aren’t supposed to be getting better.” Matt told me there would “be wars, and rumors of wars. Signs in the sky.” He went on to tell me he was a drug addict who was “looking for joy in the bottom of a spoon” until he got involved with Victory Outreach. Now him and Elliott canvas streets like 82nd and invite people to their church.”

Devin: Devin walked right up to my table, sat down, and said “yeah, let’s talk about Donald Trump.” I think he was ready for me to defend Trump, but I explained I was just hear to listen and he shared his perspective.”I’m diabetic, and insulin is expensive. I’m worried what’s going to happen to my healthcare.”

Unnamed woman from car: “FUCK Donald Trump!”

Two guys wearing MMA shirts: “Oh man, you could be here for a while, bro. So much to talk about.”

Unnamed couple: They laughed and offered to buy doughnuts to contribute to my project. They mentioned the need to be civil, but I told them this wasn’t what I was doing. I want to hear the anger. We have to let it out but we must reject violence in all forms. We talked about the riot the night before. We didn’t know a man would be shot at a protest just a few hours after our conversation. I wanted to add that rejecting violence has to include rejecting the day to day violence aimed at people in the margins our society.

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Mini Early Edit

Dogs, volcanoes, and stupid trick no grabs edited together on the ride down the mountain. It’s going to be a fun winter.

New Zines for Fall

Things have been busy lately, it’s just been happening off-line. I’m sorry to leave you in the dark internet friends, but you really should get on the Bear and Shark mailing list. My gmail is barnheart, so send me your address and I’ll mail you stuff when it’s released. Here’s a few new projects!

Ultimate Summer 3: Ultimate Summer Reading Program. If you completed the challenge, you got a sneaky book safe prize.

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Lichen Layers Issue Two: I’m very proud of this colab with Kelsey Harte- her cover rules!Lichen Layers 3.JPG

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Sneak peak of issue two

After School Snack #1: All my buddies added something to this issue which looked at connections to people. Number two is in the works and looking at connections to objects. Chris made this killer cover.

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Skate or Try

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I knocked apart a few teeth last week skateboarding. It got me thinking back to about five years ago. My skating isn’t much more impressive now then back when my brother and I  first learned to drop in on our DIY ramp. However, I do have something to show for those five years. There’s the bad days turned into good days. The good days turned unforgettable and inspirational. Skating has taken us to towns we never would have found and mountains we didn’t expect. I can’t count how many random connections I’ve made or amazing friendships I’ve cemented through my skateboard.

What would I have done five years ago if I had to chose between all this and my front teeth? I probably would have chosen to keep the teeth because I can be a coward sometimes. I’m glad I didn’t have to make any choices. I’m glad life just gives you what you get and you make sense of it any way you know how.

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I’ll take the madness

Baby in a Greenhouse

painting of a baby in a greenhouse

watercolor and ink on paper

I Want To Believe

I used to think the only way to travel was for months at a time. Then I took on a serious job at a small college which limited my ability to buy one way tickets to random places. This last week I experimented with a “normal” vacation. You know, the ones that only go one week. But in that week I made it to New York, Bulgaria, and a 11 hour night time expedition through Berlin during a layover. Here’s a quick story from my road trip in the Balkans.

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If you google Buzludzha Monument, or even just “Bulgarian UFO Thing”, you’ll get some info about this awesome building the Balkan High Country. So for this post, you’re going to have to choose your own adventure, like my friends Patrick and Aylah, who came with me on the 3 hour car ride from the capital Sofia.

If you want to hear about what this building is actually about, read this

If you want to hear a history I made up, read below

If you just want to look at some cool pictures, stop reading now and scroll to the full gallery below.

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“Buzludzha” literally translates to “Space Person” and commemorates the first contact with extraterrestrials by the Soviet Union. The building appears to be just a monument, but it was actually also one of the first Bulgarian attempts at time travel. The original scientists deemed the project a failure, and it was abandoned in the 80’s. However, time does actually travel slower through the building at rates of 40-50 seconds/minute. Today it is only visited by nosy kids with too much time on their hands and weirdos who would have gotten away with it too if it wasn’t for those aforementioned meddling kids.

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“Do not enter. Falling Objects. Extreme Danger”

“Are you sure you want to go in?” Our friend who spoke Bulgarian said after translating the signs everywhere. All the obvious doors had been welded shut, but Aylah had just found an entrance and we were halfway through squeezing past a little hole into a pitch black room. We paused and looked back. Yeah, we were definitely going in. Unfortunately, so were a few people who noticed us sneaking around. Eventually most got scared off by the dark hallways, sketchy climb through another hole, and 15 foot drop that you had to shimmy down. Once you were in, things got good.

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Aylah found the portal under the ledge on the right

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We ended the exploration by finding a ladder that took us up the tower into the star. Wish I would have packed a picnic because it was a nice view up top.

The months long trips might be in the cards again- I’m maneuvering to get summer’s off at the college- but until then I’m going to keep finding adventures wherever and whenever I can.

Full gallery is below so you can look at pictures in higher resolution.