Fishbowler

I make art in strange places and blog about it.

Tag Archives: California

A Window Cleaner Solicits Work

Cold Springs Valley is the farthest out. We’re a suburb of Reno surrounded closely by lovely mountains. Ad & I like to brag about our California sunsets since we’re–literally–right on Nevada’s Western border here.

About 10,000 people live here and I’ve vowed (to myself) to hit every single home with my flyer soliciting for window cleaning services. Today I started canvassing the valley.

I walked out the door, down the street and approached every house and left a flyer. My flyer says “about a buck per window per side” and I figure I can’t get much more straight forward than that. There’s a hand-drawn illustration of me window cleaning on this flyer and it also says “trust me, lemme’ do them because you won’t get around to it yourself.”

Sorg Window Sorg Window Stretch

It’s all so old fashioned–flyers, door-to-door.. locally focused.. I think I’m on to something here.

I had some success. One guy, he answered the door and I said “window cleaner”, he responded “just the man I need to talk to..” I was only a couple blocks down.

It’s very nice to see the neighbors face to face and step into their particular worlds. I had to overcome my shyness and fears. I did respect the houses posting “no soliciting”. At least I’d not knock but just slip the flyer, half exposed under their doormat, instead of knocking to talk.

Upon walking up to the door, there was alot of self-talk keeping myself from over-thinking too much. It reminded me of window cleaning in LA where it was necessary and I had no choice. It’s kind of nice that way, cold calling.

This valley is well defined–mountains line all sides, as previously mentioned. It makes for a good marked off area to conquer. Psychologically, I know how far to go. I can see my goal.

Goldfield had a similar ease of demarkation. Goldfield, though, only has 2oo people and most of them are socially retarded old, poor people. The young bloods are too rebellious to even see that they could use a little help. As I like to say, fuck Goldfield! You’ve never been there–you wouldn’t understand. Bitter? Me? Maybe yes. It wasn’t all bad; I’m just ranting ’cause it’s funny.

Reading Hunter S. Thompson‘s “Fear & Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72”, as I am now, makes me more receptive to all the various types of people I encounter on the streets. Canvassing door-to-door is a full time job–insightful. It makes the beer taste better at the end of the day. I can’t imagine what I’d be drinking if I were working for a Presidential candidate or Rolling Stone Magazine for that matter!

My border lines were mentally marked off. I knew how far I’d be going tonight. If it hadn’t been snowing I would have went later than 4:30. Walking the streets in the snow? It made me look pretty determined, all of which was unplanned. Basically, I only made it down one street today but I felt accomplished. I need to redo my flyer a bit tomorrow at Kinkos.

One guy wanted to talk to me for a bit. He informed me that most of his street, a self contained side street on my route, was inhabited by new residents. Former owners there had lost out to banksters & vulture capitalists. He had an engine crane in his driveway that he apparently had constructed for a buyer that had dropped out. He was really down & out about the economy. He invited me in to warm up but I declined.

His neighbor’s yard housed alot of junk & a giant CD stack which formed a hut–air conditioner above the window & all. I asked if that was a Burning Man thing. My new friend in the neighborhood informed me that his neighbor’s driveway’s unusual trailer-bound giant ornament was once employed by a radio station for remote broadcasts. KOZZ, he thought. I didn’t mention my past (volunteer) occupation as a radio DJ in Goldfield, KGFN.

He had asked me if this is not what I usually do and times have just hit me hard or what? I told him I’m an artist and the occupation doesn’t really pay the bills without “filler” work. I’ve been cleaning windows for 20 years. He found my buck per window price reasonable and thought maybe he’d call upon me for window services at some point. Either way, I think I’ll make it back around to talk to this guy a bit more.

Back In Goldfield, Out of Oakdale and Out of Wal Mart

I love it on the road. The mind races as the scenery swooshes by. Ideas coagulate.

If you read my last blog, you’ll already know that my Dad came to visit in Goldfield. After here for a couple days, my Dad left Zak and Alison behind and we went on the road to visit some national parks.

It’s good to be back home. It was good visiting, Death Valley and the Sequoias were inspiring, but now that Dad’s gone, it’s nice to get back to life here in Goldfield.

I have to tell you, while putting on some hefty miles, father/son bonding, on my mind was fishbowling. Touring highways and lonely routes, I got hours to explain my ideas to my Dad and I relayed how successful I feel my performance art was. One part of me feels that that chapter of life is over, but another part of me -especially while on the road -feels that fishbowling is not a done deal for me. It’s a more interesting thing, for most, than paintings. Fishbowling is about intimate exposure.

Do you know what it is, fishbowling? In simple terms, I’ll say this: fishbowling is living in public spaces and blogging about it. That’s what my business cards said. I would broadcast interviews with artists and creatives in return for meals. I saw alot. I lived simply.

Now that I’m established here in my little town, I still think about the road. It means so much to me to be traveling like a rolling stone, day dreaming about those like me that came before me. It’s good to be out there in the world, forgetting who you are and taking it all in.

Since moving to Goldfield, I’ve become the President of the Chamber of Commerce, but since then, just a month ago, I resigned from that position. It was for the best and I truly mean that: it was for the best. It was a moment of enlightenment for me to realize that I needed to extract myself from that spot in this microcosm of the world. Without the title, I wish to act on the consensus of this town.

I don’t want to embarrass anyone or make this sound negative, because it all worked out the way it was supposed to -I hate when people say that, as if the future has all been recorded before we ever lived it. I’m not a fatalist and I don’t believe in ‘destiny’ as a prescribed thing where we’re just mouthing the words or marching rote paces prescribed us. I feel our daily decisions make a difference.

Anyhoo, I wanted to recount some points from a conversation with the hotel clerk, Brianna, who I had a late night conversation with in Oakdale, CA, population of 15,000, at the base of the Sequoia National Forest. She had asked me what I was writing about there as I sat in the lobby with my note pad. I was writing about ideas of how to involve our locals to help Goldfield’s commerce.

She relayed to me that, as a “chubby girl”, she was fond of the idea that her town could get a Wal Mart, as the store’s selection of plus sizes is amenable to people of her size. We had been talking small towns and my personal experience with the Chamber of Commerce.

Oakdale is only a town and had recently voted down a bill to make it a city, I was told. A politician, new to town and unpopular, had been pressing the matter.

My little town of 200 deals with related issues. Here, we continually question whether we’d like to open ourselves up for higher levels of commerce or not. We like our streets with no names. We like the quiet.

In the end, I shared the book I had with me about my town of Goldfield by Sally Zanjanni. Brianna was interested to know about how our fires were put out in the 20’s with beer. I explained that only liquor is flammable but not beer. She was impressed with our historic population of 20,000. She understood our unique position as an all-but-dried-up little town.

Wal Mart, it seems, is a very divisive subject that can separate people into groups. The moment I realized I needed to resigned as President, I was listening to a TV program about the store’s insidious practices in America and beyond. In Reno, I had shopped there out of necessity. People like me created Wal Mart. I am the problem.

Goldfield is different and at that moment of clarity, I had decided that if Goldfield saw me as a Wal Mart type, I should not stand as a leader. I would agree with their impression and step down. Only time will acquaint my townsfolk with the real Chad Sorg.

So I told Brianna to form a chubby coalition and talk to the small businesses in town that supply apparel. “Show them the buying power of local chubby girls; Wal Mart is a rapist,” I suggested.

Brianna believes, also, that if the town becomes a city, they’ll get a 24 hour hospital of their own instead of having to travel 60 miles to Modesto for medical emergencies.

I don’t know the answers to these questions. I appreciated our momentary connection, though.

“I Can Break Dance When the Spirit Moves Me” Goldfield Journal #18

I got pulled over today for not having my headlights turned on in the Trans Am. It was 2 in the afternoon. Wide open stretches inspire a kind of roadway delirium and the powers that be insist we make our car’s presence known out here to divert disaster. I have to go to court now. My license is good. Thank Buddha for that. They just want to know this car is registered and insured. I must present proof of that.

Michael Mark is convinced that the sheriff’s department is after him. It seems to be true. The Trans Am is his and it stands out.

Changing the subject, um, let’s see, oh, I dunno, the end of the world?

As of late, the government has started to assert itself, from what I’m gathering. The Feds are cracking down on California and its legalized marijuana. I’m not even the biggest fan of legalizing it, but it seems like a war of the body building variety.

You know how there’s weight lifting competition and then there’s body building? One is more aligned with aesthetics while weight lifting wins with numbers, statistics. What we’re seeing in California, with federal bureaucracy backing the State’s government into a corner, it’s the show of power that the federal government is seeing most valuable in this kind of skirmish. They want to use this as a show of force; they flex for their national audience.

Very recently, neo-hippies have taken over Wall Street, in demonstration, and there were similar kind of strong arm moves by policing forces against protestors. The hierarchy is trying to remind us that they are more powerful than we. A state is nothing, federal is everything. They’re drawing clear distinctions for anyone paying attention. Aldus Huxley saw it coming eighty years ago.

I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t know me. This government does not know me. They are not on my side and they are not working at their best to help me. They can’t even see me. The government is too wasteful here  in the United States and it has lost its purpose of being.

Like backtracking during that other hypothetical line of talk “..but I’m not racist,” this is the point where I say, “…but I’m patriotic, I love America.” I do love America. I was prom king, but these people who historically were there to be looked at as ones who could save us, well, those days are long gone. We’re smarter than the sluggish sassy federal monster putting on this show with its fat lined pockets.

What are we doing to make change ourselves? What am I doing? How am I a role model? I’m not a parent. I don’t teach classes, much, anyway.. My point is this: I’m not in a position of authority or enlarging circles of knowledge. What I DO hope to pass along in a mindset of D-I-Y in what we do on this earth. We can do it ourselves. To make one’s way and look at all the indulgences of America that we let ourselves whore out to. It’s an old concept of non-capitalism or non-materialism I’m drooling about this particular minute, but it rings solid. Anything we assume to be ‘me’ is a practice. We practice consumerism or we don’t.

Never ding a dead horse, never ring the death bell. I like big butts and I cannot lie.

Anyway, what if the direction of our energy in this country were steered toward strengthening our own powers, our creative instincts-no more telling people we’re “not an artist.” What if our artistic ideation was funneled better and became seen as more valuable than a widescreen? I have ideas and that is why I’m important.

My point is all knowledge, all style, all trends rely on the artistic display of those ideas-FIRST! ..hot and bold, that first pushed new vibrations to fellow beings.

We are the boss here. I am the boss of me. I don’t even need complete sentences. This is my life and my direction that’s sustainable and holistic, pleasant, truthful, base, honest, simple, pure, selfless, beautifying, gentrifying, growthful, positively pushing, transcendent, joining, healing, replenishing, uplifting, enlightening, entertaining, free… these are just words but what the hell, why not live your ideals? I’ll take a vow of the bodhisattva.

Whatever I can do to push mankind, even very slightly, toward a more useful trajectory, I will do that. I want to add to this world that nourishes me. I am not a ‘consumer’. I do more than that. I have more uses in this world than that.

I can think for myself and I trust those who do not agree with me. That is, if they’re not trying to change my life. I trust those who want my money, that is, if they have no power over me. I trust those who live by a different purpose than I, that is, as long as no coercion comes from them.

Government has a stronger arm to push down with than I do. I can’t subscribe to this slavery. I don’t believe in this.

I can break dance when the spirit moves me.

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