Monday, April 19, 2010


Hello, I'm a little apprehensive about contacting you but this really is strange.

I'm currently in the process of getting a divorce. My husband moved out.

Last week I heard footsteps in the kitchen. Very clearly. I thought it was my husband.

I was in bed and decided to wait in bed until he was gone. I didn't want to talk

to him. I heard the footsteps approx. 30 mins. later. I was getting annoyed.

Our front door has a very distinct noise and I was waiting for that sound. Finally I got up

and he wasn't here. I called his work and asked him why he had been at home. He said he hadn't

been at home all day, he had been at work all day. I blew it off to dreaming.

Then today the same footsteps came from the kitchen. I knew it wasn't him because

the gait wasn't his. The first time the gait wasn't his either but

I wasn't thinking about it the first time.

Everynight when my daughter and I go to bed we hear the exact same sound

overhead. It could be an animal in the rafters or the house settling but it is distinctly the same

every night.

Ever since we moved here I've seen shadows move out of the corner of my eye -

someone looming. Not often. The house was built in 1953.

Sincerely Tammy Strnatka

Please return my correspondence via email

Have a great day!

Monday, April 05, 2010


It all started about three days into my pregnancy. Being a bit of a partier I was depressed about not being able to drink anymore. Pathetic but it had only been 3 days. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do. I have a degree in art but painting didn’t appeal to me at the time. I was lying face down on my bed when it came to me. I saw it. This tapestry of broken records. It even has Carol King’s Tapestry on it along with Willie Nelson, Linda Rondstadt, E.L.O., Kenny Loggins and many others. I found the records at thrift stores.

The concept is about how much music plays a part in our lives. Old music I listened to as a kid. Records have become somewhat obsolete. The memories. The ‘broken record’ of memories that go through our minds over and over. Waxing nostalgic. It’s not just visual. It’s how our lives fit together. How important and painstaking so many deeds are.

I broke the records which represents heartbreak. It was painful to break them. Really painful! I hand drilled every hole. I sewed each piece with wax cotton thread. It was my catharsis before I took on a new life as a mom. I was a musician. Music was my soul. My new baby meant more. I sang to her so much as a baby she won’t listen to me sing anymore.

It’s been sitting in the closet for 9 years.
It took a year to make by hand.


Today is Easter.
The Easter bunny was a hit.
I got up to greet my late (as in tardy not dead) soon-to-be-ex-husband to pickup our daughter for Easter festivities at Gramma and Granpa’s.
When they left I cried.
I got in my car and drove to Madera Canyon to pick up sticks.
Seriously. I’m picking up sticks to make biodegradable public art.
I drove the wrong way for about an hour before I realized I was heading back to Tucson.
There were rows and rows of pecan trees.
They’d all been shorn and stacks of glorious sticks lay by the side of the road just beyond
a barbed wire fence.
When I was younger I would have ignored the fence and taken as many sticks as I wanted.
It felt wrong, being Easter and all.
I finally made it to the gateway of Madera and the Sheriff was turning people back.
Too full.
I asked to use the restroom and was allowed to park in the lower lot.
There in front of me were piles of sticks.
Mesquite sticks
Beautiful sticks.
I took as many as I could muster. I say muster because I haven’t been eating much.
I tend to feel like I’m going to pass out.
An older man that I thought was a forest ranger was watching me.
I said “Are you the ranger?”
He said “Oh, no, no I’m just out enjoying the day.”
I said “I thought I might be in trouble.”
“I’m not collecting kindling. I’m working on an art project.”
He said “Oh, what kind?” (For some reason old people say Oh? a lot.)
I said “I’m building structures out of wood and twine. All biodegradable.
I want to build big structures out in nature or in a busy part of downtown and just leave them there.
I don’t know why I just feel compelled to do it.”
He thought that was right dandy. He’s a retired architect and his late wife (not tardy) was apparently quite the artist. He helped me load my car with my pile of wood and sticks. I should have photographed him.
I was nervous.
Stupid brain.
We exchange numbers and addresses. He didn’t have any need for email.
I pondered how to send him pictures without email for quite a while when lo and behold I realized I could mail prints to him.
We both had a good laugh about that one.
He invited me to Easter dinner but I declined. It probably would have been interesting but I was anxious to get building.
On the way out I saw a beautiful hawk.
It was sitting by the side of the rode.
I pulled over to photograph it just as it took off.
It disappeared. It was gone. Just silence.
I turned on the radio and Little Bird by the eels came on the radio. It was beautiful. And just having seen a hawk disappear. Oh I don’t know – I’m a line drawer. Here’s another one. I stopped at McDonalds’ for a soda. It was $1.07. That’s all I had in my wallet - $1.07.
Then Lou Reed started singing Jesus on the radio.
“Jesus, help me find my proper place
Jesus, help me find my proper place
Help me in my weakness
'Cos I'm falling out of grace
It’s a Velvet Underground song.
It’s a new recording with 5 Guys or something like that.
I’ve been pretty lost lately.
Everything was speaking to me.
But I couldn’t speak to me.
I wanted to build my structure – art - thingy.
I couldn’t figure out where.
I drove all over downtown, by El Tiradito a shrine to a murderer (where I was married incidentally). I was going to ask a friend if I could build it outside her coffee shop, but she wasn’t there.
By this time I had to go to the bathroom again.
I drove home deflated but I waited to get home to pee.
I signed back onto facebook.
I hang my head in shame but I have deleted most all my old friends.
The urgency to build the art thing was prodding me like some weird electrical impulse. I drove to Reid Park. There were three million Mexicans barbecuing for Easter there.
Nothing felt right.
I made myself stop and eat some sushi.
If I’m going to eat it might as well be worth it.
I came home and unloaded the large pieces of wood.
The trunk is totally full of sticks.
I will find a place to build it.
I will find a place of my own.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Influential Foofaraw: Forgiveness

Influential Foofaraw: Forgiveness


You appear to be the bigger person
Extending an olive branch
Let bygones be bygones
The bruises have healed
We can be friends
We can move one
But the truth is your deed will never allow you to be the bigger person.
You will always be a whore whether I forgive you or not.
Yes we can move on
But you are not my friend.