Visual Art

Regretting Me, Regretting You

A Year of Neurosis, Debt, and Death

Regretting Me, Regretting You

Kathryn Rathke

ONE LESS REGRET Artist Kathryn Rathke had always regretted not drawing Kurt Vonnegut Jr., so we thought we’d give her the chance. We live to serve.

I regret stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from Intiman Theatre and spending it on subprime real estate in Florida. —Mike Mathieu, Cody Rivers Show

I regret everything I didn't do. —Lesley Hazleton, author, After the Prophet: The Epic Story of the Shia-Sunni Split

I regret the indestructible distance between my reach and my grasp. —Steven Arntson, novelist, The Wikkeling

I regret watching the entire year pass by from the window of my studio. I trust it's been worth it; I'm pages away from finishing my first graphic novel (hooray!), but it's been crazy- intensely time consuming, and I miss my friends terribly. —Ellen Forney, graphic novelist

I've appeared in only one commercial in my life, for Lowe's Home Improvement. I never imagined myself doing a commercial, since my act is generally critical of the garbage culture that capitalism creates. But it was an acting opportunity, and I'm an egomaniac. I'd also read up on the company, and their record didn't seem awful. Not spotless... but my justification was: "Hey, at least it's not Walmart." In December, Lowe's pulled their advertising from the reality show All-American Muslim after pressure from conservative Christian groups. They were bullied by bigots into making a cowardly decision that does not reflect my values. Also, I was playing half of a couple with my now ex-girlfriend. I REALLY REGRET MAKING THIS COMMERCIAL. —Hari Kondabolu, writer and comedian

I regret that I didn't promote the Langston Hughes African American Film Festival more. I regret having dinner at Lark only once this entire year. I regret not going to my 40th high school reunion, but fuck, them peoples is old. I regret I didn't work on my books. (How you gonna call them works in progress if there ain't no progress?) I regret dubstep. I regret not getting to the Burn, but then I heard there was a lot of dubstep. I regret Amy Winehouse, seriously. I regret Lars von Trier. I doggedly regret getting cellulitis. Twice. I regret cancer. Fuck cancer. I regret not walking up that hill, not getting in the water at midnight, and arguing against both. I regret not seeing anybody naked that I'd vowed to see naked this time last year. I promise to do better. —Riz Rollins, KEXP DJ

I regret that Saint Genet's four-part Transports of Delirium series last summer at Lawrimore Project isn't an ongoing weekly event. Everything on Friday night since has been easily understood and defined, paling and peeling in comparison. —Korby Sears, Seattle School

My regret in 2011, and in every year since 1990, is not seizing the opportunity to buy a dirt-cheap, post-unification pied-à-terre in Berlin. —Jenifer Ward, associate provost, Cornish College of the Arts

I regret that I was seven years late in hating Amazon.com. —Sherman Alexie, author, War Dances

I regret ticket service charges. Listen, theaters (especially theaters that run THEIR OWN ticketing services—ACT, the Rep, etc., I'm looking at you): If a ticket is going to cost me $34 (or in fringe, say $20), it's a lie to advertise that it's going to cost me $30 (or $18). A LIE. I don't give a shit that you only get $30, I give a shit that my debit statement says $34. Advertise truthfully. Charge $34 and make it known that you're picking up the service fee so that I don't have to. (Hey! Good PR!) That would be neat. —Peggy Gannon, actor, director, and producer

I regret that Al Roker's middle name isn't "Mond." —Dina Martina, chanteuse/raconteur

I regret I fell for the pitch

of Vincent Kitch.

Public trust is no small thing

When you grab for the brass, it should ring

true. —Cheryl dos Remedios, artist

I regret that I haven't used our comedy to whomp our audiences upside the head more about their privilege, both white and Asian (and note that ours is one of the few companies that have an "and"). I regret that Seattle's theater media can only focus on one Asian American production at a time. (A David Henry Hwang play IS flashy... but there ARE other good Asian American playwrights out there.) And I regret not taking the chance when David Henry Hwang was in town to film a sequel to Greg Pak's satirical short film, Asian Porn Pride. —Roger Tang, producer with Pork Filled Players

I truly regret the moment I decided to read True You by Janet Jackson instead of Moby-Dick by Herman Melville. I promised myself I would finally read it this year, and when I went to get it, Miss Jackson's just-released book lured me away. I lost a week to that dumb book. I still love Janet Jackson, but the spark is gone. And I still haven't read Moby-Dick. —Jason Miller, curator of BadMovieArt

I regret asking so many artists to work for so little. I want to pay more but still can't. Seriously, how do these big houses do it? I'm selling out and still writing little bitty checks—or is that why they're all going under? —Mark Siano, producer/performer

I regret taking an OTC allergy medication and drinking a quadruple espresso before a class critique. To this day, I am uncertain of what I said to my students. —Left Eye Rico, photographer

A whole slew of shows went up right when my show went up in October, and I regret missing them (especially Wayne Rawley's). I regret that I let another year pass without attempting the Beard of Bees as a publicity stunt for some show. I regret not bringing Pullo (my 70-pound mutt, who is super-sweet with people but will try to attack and kill any other animal) to the Sylvia dog night. That would have been an exciting night of theater! —Scot Augustson, playwright

I regret the times I lost faith in my work because someone didn't like it, or didn't get it, or didn't want it, and I thought I cared about their opinion. —Ellen Ziegler, artist

I regret that I spent six thousand dollars on health insurance for my family last year, and that we only went to the doctor once between us, and the coverage totally sucked ass. I also regret that I paid life insurance, auto insurance, homeowners' insurance, and whatever other insurance I paid. In short, I just regret insurance. I'd like to have all that money back so that I could buy a thirty-foot inflatable duck with sunglasses for my front yard. —Jonathan Evison, author, West of Here

I wish I could understand why my sister was so miserable and caused everyone so much pain before she hung herself. My relationship with her was over a long time ago, but somehow it still feels unresolved. —James Harris, art dealer

I regret living a vice-laden life of sin and selling my soul at the crossroads. For all those ships that never sailed, I regret standing ashore with only status updates to support. I regret being afraid of the wild indescribable sea and never learning to swim. —DK Pan, artist

I had a moment this summer when I realized that if I had only six months to live, I'd pretty much be living my life the exact same way. My first thought was "Then why aren't you happier?" I regret being too hard on myself and resolve to lighten up in 2012. —Joey Veltkamp, artist and blogger

I regret the fact that there is no literary bar in Seattle. —Aaron Talwar, publisher, Dark Coast Press

I'm Filipino, and I regret that I still have trouble pointing out the Philippines on a map. —Ray Tagavilla, actor

I regret not being able to make Seattle my permanent home. Moving to Los Angeles has greatly benefited my comedy career, but that career would have never been if it weren't for Seattle. I miss my city, and I hope one day to help lift the glass ceiling that too many performance artists have been bumping their heads against. —Solomon Georgio, comedian

We regret not realizing the deadline for this was yesterday. —the staff of literary magazine HOARSE

I regret that I regret. I spend so much of my day regretting the mean things I said, people I let down, friends I lost, lovers I disappointed, money I spent, drugs I took, opportunities I fucked up. This regret ends up causing me to distract myself from these regrets with behavior that I later regret. I regret the ouroboros of regret. —Tommy Smith, playwright

Regrets are Out. Failure is In. —Yoko Ott, curator

I regret that my generation of Seattle theater artists isn't coming close to matching the level of hedonism displayed by the folks who went before us in the '70s, '80s, and '90s. The sex! The drugs! Oh, I've heard stories. That's right, Kurt Beattie, we all know you used to get into trouble, you rascal. —Renata Friedman, actor

I regret the high price of new books, which is my excuse for falling behind in my reading. I don't regret any of the money I have spent on books, however, especially the eleven dozen books of poems I've bought at Open Books since 1997, according to their index cards. —Ed Skoog, author, Mister Skylight

I regret not quitting my day job and setting out on my own earlier. This past year of poverty and harsh enlightenments would have been much easier to do in my 20s. —Emmett Montgomery, comedian

I regret that due to limited resources, we had to mothball NewsWrights United prior to the Occupy movement blowing up, because I would have really liked to cover that in a living newspaper. Adjacent to that is my regret that none of the big houses in Seattle (or small, for that matter) saw fit to include making topical theatre, based on events happening right here right now, as part of their regular programming this year. And above all those is my overarching regret about the woefully sluggish and blandly generic quality of most theater in America. My sidebar regret is that the Seattle Rep seems to have reserved a regular slot in each season for producing a play they already produced in the last 15 years, and usually a particularly banal play at that. —Paul Mullin, playwright

I regret not standing up for an artist friend when a critic I was speaking to bashed their work for no particular reason other than the joy of the kill. —Ryan Molenkamp, painter

I regret clutching onto selfishness and petty jealousy like a pair of security blankets. They have always and will continue to hold me back. I also regret eating that expired cake. Mostly. —John Osebold, writer/actor/musician/2011 Stranger Genius Award winner

I regret not being John Osebold last year... at least then I would've had a REASON to never leave my apartment! —Troy Mink, actor and improviser

A man in a suit minus the tie arrived late to my performance and sat down in the front row. He promptly tilted his head back and fell asleep, his mouth wide open. I regret not reaching in and tickling his tongue. —Stokley Towles, solo performer

I regret losing my studio in the 619 Western Building, knowing that I will never have a space as great as that again. Sunsets over and under the viaduct, over West Seattle, Bainbridge Island, and the Olympics; dirt and grime from the traffic above; alpenglow; sun reflections off the water reaching all the way to my far wall; high ceilings; energetic community; great studio mates; a space in which to dream up new work, test new ideas, try the ridiculous and impossible. Bad parking, lobby always in disarray, the Ye Olde Curiosity Shop calliope driving me crazy, worn wooden steps, huge elevator, 30 years of art ghosts, maple floors and fir floors, pivoting windows, huge lumber beams and columns, Pioneer Square, landlord too cheap to make the alterations/fixes after the earthquake. Spaces determine how and what we can make, how we think about our art... limit or free us, and that is our life. —Norie Sato, public artist

I regret wasting 226 hours of my summer watching every episode of Melrose Place. —Jessica Powers, curator

I regret that the year passed without seeing Seattle School's 24/7 storefront vending-machine/Most Dangerous Game hunt-club/live-installation piece called SHOOT THE FREAK mounted for the hungry, hungry public. And rents are so cheap right now. —Korby Sears, Seattle School

I regret not poking that guy in the dick at that Halloween party—his Reno 911 shorts were screaming for it. (Much respect to Hannah Victoria Franklin for living my dreams.) I regret not buying my tickets yet to see the regional premiere of the Broadway smash hit Spring Awakening. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to wait for my cousins in high school to tackle that show. I regret calling Implied Violence the GWAR of theater so many times. —Noah Benezra, actor

I regret not properly using capitalization and believing that lowercase letters are somehow inherently more artistic. —Serrah Russell, artist

I regret not applying for Project Accessory. Fingers crossed they will have a second season. —Jana Brevick, jewelry artist

I regret not providing more support to the creative endeavors of people I appreciate. I regret not throwing more rotten fruit at lousy comedians. I regret feeding into the egos of musicians. I regret being spiteful toward Occupy protesters: It isn't their fault they are trying to fix a clock with a banana. I regret that I spent so much money at big box stores and not as much in small independent retailers in the name of convenience. I regret 60 percent of the illegal downloads I may or may not have downloaded. I regret talking so much and being interesting so little. —Chas Roberts, performer, musician, and impresario

I regret not having one more week to go toe-to-toe with Charles Leggett in Of Mice and Men at Seattle Rep. My experience, both with Mr. Leggett as Lenny and Mr. Teagle Bougere as Crooks, taught me that contrary to all of those "good actors share the stage" affirmations we like to throw around, the stage is something of a cage fight for the light. There was a silent gauntlet thrown down every night, and I discovered that I secretly reveled in the challenge. I know it takes years and years on the boards to shine like those guys, but I would have liked another week or six to give it my best shot. —Elise Karolina Hunt, actor

I regret that certain theater professionals witnessed the drunken Le Frenchword melee that happened onstage after the benefit performance for Seattle Scenic Studios—especially the moment when I knocked Sachie clean across the stage and she busted her ass and bit her tongue (there was blood). I do not, however, regret the act. Only that others saw it. —Carter Rodriquez, actor

I regret nothing I have done or did not do, I live my life to have no regrets. —Faye the Tattooed Psychic, seer

I regret spending so much time agonizing over Facebook requests from people who were mean to me in high school. Also, I ate too much pie on Thanksgiving and threw up. I guess I regret that, too. —Paul Merrill, writer/comedian

I regret not having done most of what I did this year five years ago. 2011 was a year of growing some balls. —Gavin Cummins, puppeteer

I regret not having gotten to know my sister-in-law better. —Ben Hirschkoff, sculptor

I regret all uses of the prepositional phrase “In this economy.” —Karen Finneyfrock, author, Ceremony for the Choking Ghost

I regret being played the fool twice within one year. More, I regret that I allowed my love and excitement for a person to tap into my figurative space I keep for art. 2012 is not about Armageddon but about learning how to keep my creative space (literal and figurative) sacred. But mostly, I regret congregating near the thief who stole my favorite coat on my freaking birthday. Shame on you. Free yourself from karmic destruction and return my long, army green trench coat with mandarin collar and bleach stains on the right pocket to Sun Liquor Distillery. Immediately. —Kat Larson, artist

I regret everything I did that didn’t involve love. —Lyall Bush, executive director of Northwest Film Forum

Regret-free since 2007. —Jen Zeyl, director and designer

I regret that everything is really fucked up everywhere and that I haven’t done a lot to take charge of things that I may have some control over. Like, I regret not going to as many awesome Seattle events as I should have, especially zoe | juniper’s A Crack in Everything. And like never, hardly ever (maybe really never in the whole year?? Oh shit), going to any first Thursdays. (However, the awesomeness of the NEPO 5K Don’t Run may have been great enough to cancel out this regret.) I regret not having enough money to go to every single event at On the Boards. I regret not having enough money to go to any event that costs more than $12. I regret turning 28, therefore rendering me extra-ineligible for the On the Boards 25-and-under discount that would allow me to afford tickets. I regret not being able to comfortably talk to people I admire but don’t know very well. I do not regret my new mantra of “radical self-acceptance” (thank you, therapy!) without which I would have regretted the before-mentioned regret twice as much. I regret being scared of it and not going to therapy earlier. I regret that “talking about therapy” is kind of weird and annoying, except not really because it kinda is, so I’m half-sorry for mentioning it, but I don’t regret it. I regret that it confuses people (including myself) that I cannot choose one or a few related mediums to pursue creatively. I regret that I don’t have tons of real space to construct and store the physical manifestations of the giant stuffed sculptures that are living in my head. I regret that I didn’t scream at people who were mean to me. I regret that I haven’t won a GAP grant after a million tries and I forgot to apply this year because it didn’t seem worth it. I regret that a lot of other rad local artists are in the same boat. (WE HAVE ADD AND SUCK AT FORMS, OKAY?) I regret that the UW art department did not hire me for an office job. I regret that my portfolio is in shambles but that I don’t really care about it enough to change that. I regret that I am increasingly scared of driving over Snoqualmie Pass in the winter. I regret that I barely know the small surrounding towns of Seattle. I regret that I cannot teleport to Federal Way right this second and just hang out for 15 minutes. I regret that the Helm Gallery in Tacoma closed, even though this happened a long time ago. I regret that it took me so long to look up the phrase Prole Drift. Or is that something I am supposed to know? If it is, then I regret that, too. I regret I didn’t go to Canada even once this year. I regret that tons of people don’t wear their bike helmets all the time. I regret that otherwise seemingly sane adults do not wear bike helmets because they think they are dorky. I regret doubly the people who ride bikes but don’t wear helmets, wear all black, have no brakes, and have no bike lights. I regret that I care more now because a brilliant loved one of mine was in a bike accident without a helmet and it has been really tough. I regret that you can’t say things like this to people all the time because they’ll think you’re “a bummer.” I don’t regret getting married this year to the love of my life, but I intensely regret that this is not something that gay people can do. I regret accidentally showing up one hour late to the Streaming in from the Moon conference at the Henry that featured icon Carolee Schneemann. This is because it was one of the most awesome, brain-stretching, joyful events I’ve gone to in YEARS and I’m sorry I missed even one small part. I regret that when I briefly met Ms. Schneemann at the reception, I was awkward and had nothing entertaining, witty, meaningful, or interesting to say. I do not regret blaming most of my problems on money. I AM THE 99 PERCENT. I regret just now trivializing the Occupy movement and I’m sorry I haven’t camped or hung out, but I don’t regret you. —Jamey Braden, artist and musician

Fuck that. I don’t regret anything. —Erin Jorgensen, performer/musician/asshole

I regret that no Seattle citizen ever performed the following songbook selections at Frances Farmer Organ Karaoke: the Jeopardy “think” music, “No No Man Part 2” by Steven Jesse Bernstein, the whistled theme to Mr. Show, the performance-art classic “Undertone” by Vito Acconci, or “Do You Take This Man??” by Diamanda Galás. Come on—that’s funny stuff. —Korby Sears, the Organ Monkey/Seattle School

I also regret it took me so long to finally meet Robin Held. Should have happened 35 years ago. —Korby Sears, Seattle School

I regret that my Halloween costume as the Frye Apartment Building (filled with Communists) did not get more attention. —Kathryn Rathke, artist

I regret fucking Newt Gingrich while his wife was getting chemo. —Waxie Moon, international boylesque sensation

I regret that underneath all this motorcycle gear, I am in fact wearing pants under the other two pairs of pants over my pants. However, I am not wearing pants under those pants. I regret that my brazen political commentary/criticism of OWS (of which I am a supporter) involves more suggesting proactive civil disobedience through daily subversive acts, and less lolcats. I had a politik, but I eated it. —Sharon Arnold, artist

I regret that I can’t get drunk under glittery dicks at Pony with Severo Sarduy while discussing the chiseled thighs of Soviet ice skaters and Roland Barthes’s predilection for Italian coffee, unmixed. —Amanda Manitach, artist

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Comments (5) RSS

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1
Please do this every year!
Posted by DreamCrusher on January 4, 2012 at 1:51 PM · Report this
2
Goddammit. I just convinced myself to knock off all the guilt and regret, and you get it all started up again. Thanks for ruiniing Resolution #2.
Posted by portland scribe on January 5, 2012 at 2:12 AM · Report this
Gordon Werner 3
I regret trying to read them all in the print edition where y'all used 10pt font size
Posted by Gordon Werner on January 5, 2012 at 11:04 AM · Report this
Vince 4
I regret my golf game with Bill Gates. I swear I didn't see that hole-in-one coming.
Posted by Vince on January 5, 2012 at 1:27 PM · Report this
5
@3 Mr. Werner,

Your post touches a concern of mine. I fear the Stranger may be having financial problems. The evidence is the changes that have occurred in how page allocation (space) is being used. We were used to each art form (Visual, Theater, Books, etc.) having a whole page dedicated to the art form with a large color picture and the text filling the whole page. This luxuory seems to have been given up. I presume this change comes from the top. Now we find the arts sections no longer separate but presented as concatenated run-on columns, often with small or no pictures and much of the page taken up with ads. The Seattle Times seems still committed, on Fridays, to a full page art spread. Also, the index at the front of the paper has been eliminated with the addition of the strange categories flagged at the top of the pages. You can no longer go to page two and find out where the food page is, for example. In place of the lost space is money earning ads. The Pop Music section still dominates giving a clue as to what moves the reading public. The impact of culture on the dominance of the Pop Music section is also clearly a priority at the Weekly that has taken a hatchet to its commitment to art. It can’t be easy giving away such fat newspapers free and paying for the cost. One thinks of the history of the Village Voice. Not only music, but tons of ads for flesh at the back. It’s seems sad but a sign of the current economic times. Wait till gasoline hits $5 plus. In the future keep an eye on the dedication of page columns on any given paper category. Notice that the feature articles seem to get top privilege.

So I regret the way this has irritated me last year and pledge to do my best to be uninfuriated and calm when facing the situation and changes I must face when opening and reading the Stranger! The art community continues to suffer from tough economic times as does the printed word. The planet is giving us feedback.

Any chance of morning delivery?
More...
Posted by GFinholt on January 9, 2012 at 6:38 PM · Report this

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