Doll Closet: Day Eight
Streaming Footage Part One
Streaming Footage Part Two Coming Soon
Jesse Call-in Transcription
(timecode from Streaming Footage Part One)
AMBER: Good morning. Is it early for you?
JESSE: No, not really. It’s not bad.
AMBER: Oh hold on a second, I think one of the computers is playing audio of the Livestream.
JESSE: Oh that was probably me.
AMBER: Oh that was you? Could you—
JESSE: There we go.
AMBER: You got it? Ok.
AMBER: So how you doing today?
AMBER: Better? Better than yesterday? Was there something wrong yesterday?
JESSE: Yea, I uh…I’m feeling a little better. I was getting over a cold and stuff, and um, I guess my girlfriend’s daughter is sick now. She stayed home from school.
AMBER: Oh no, with the same thing, with a cold?
JESSE: Um, similar, but she says she has a fever and a sore throat, so. How’s it going there?
AMBER: It’s good, but you know here people got sick here, so it’s really that time of year I guess.
JESSE: Mm’hm. Must be.
AMBER: But so far we’re ok. I think I get sawdust in my face a little bit and that’s been making me, I don’t know, like clear my throat a bunch, but.
AMBER: But I don’t think I’m sick, sick. So that’s good news, but I’m sorry to hear that you were. I’m glad you’re feeling better.
AMBER: I got really far last night, so, uh I still have to finish the locking mechanism but it’s really straightforward. I just couldn’t tell from the video where—basically, I’m actually trying to think of how to even do this. I wondered if maybe I should take a picture and text it to you right now.
AMBER: Ok, so that’s what I’ll do.
JESSE: All right.
AMBER: I’m setting the phone down right now. Can you still hear me?
JESSE: Yea, a little bit.
AMBER: OK, I’ll just yell a little bit.
JESSE: I mean the farther you go away from it the harder it is to understand what you’re saying, but.
JESSE: The acoustics of the room.
AMBER: OK, I’m texting you a photo. I basically kept rewatching the very end of the video and I couldn’t tell where the 1/8th inch rod that goes into the lever of the locking mechanism, got drilled into because even at the end of the video it looked like there were only 2 holes: one for the top and one for the bottom of the rods, but I know there must be three I just couldn’t see if from that angle so I’m texting you a picture. It’s taking a while. Sometimes I have to walk to the other side of the room for a text to go through.
AMBER: Let me do that and I’ll be right back, ok?
JESSE: OK, I’ll just keep talking though. You remember me saying yesterday the top and the bottom rods, the lock rods, are going to be coming up from the bottom beneath the wheel and the lever that goes to the lock cylinder connects to the wheel from the top of the wheel. OK.
AMBER: So, ok, wait. I had to actually step outside the room in order to get that text to go through. So you said the top and the bottom are um, the top of the bottom rod goes to the top of the wheel and the lever rod goes on the top of the wheel?
AMBER: But how far should they be spaced out? I couldn’t tell that from the video either.
JESSE: That’s, that’s up, that’s why I said you’re just going to have to think about it. Ok, it looks like your lock cylinder is finally tightened into that piece of wood. Did that work out right?
AMBER: Oh yea, that worked out really well.
JESSE: OK, good. Um, you’ll have to imagine it looks like, let me think… so when you turn the, right now is the key slot vertical, straight up and down?
AMBER: No, right now it is…
JESSE: I mean, as far as the slot. Not the lever.
AMBER: I don’t know what you mean, the slot. But the lever—
JESSE: Where you put the key.
JESSE: Where you put the key in.
AMBER: Oh where I put the key in. where I put the key in is perpendicular to the two, 2 by four, so it’s up and down.
JESSE: Ok, vertical. Straight up and down at, at that position and your lever is at 3 o’clock position
AMBER: Yes, correct.
JESSE: So when you turn your key to the right your lever is going to be at the 12 o’clock position.
AMBER: Hold on, let me do that.
JESSE: Yea, I can see that’s what’s going to happen.
JESSE: Did you do it?
JESSE: OK, when you turn your key to the right, and that would the unlock position and the lever is at the 12 o’clock position then that’s going to turn your wheel 90 degrees counter-clockwise.
JESSE: And what you want to happen is for your top pin to be pulled down, and your bottom pin to be pulled up. And so…
AMBER: Sorry, why would the top pin pull down and the bottom pin pull up?
JESSE: That’s why there’s a wheel there.
AMBER: Oh, right. I mean I get that but—
JESSE: Because, because the lock cylinder itself couldn’t move both pins in opposing directions unless they were on a wheel and connected to opposite sides of the wheel.
AMBER: Right, but like—
JESSE: That’s why the wheel’s there.
AMBER: Sorry, I’m just thinking this through right now, is all.
AMBER: Yea, that makes sense to me. So, the question is though is like where to place all these things. It seems to me like they’ll be, the holes will be pretty close together—
JESSE: No, they’ll be, they’ll be um, at 3 spots on the wheel, each 90 degrees apart.
AMBER: Oh. That’s really helpful. So, ok, so it will be at 12 o’clock, 3 o’clock, and 6 o’clock.
JESSE: I’m thinking, as you look at with the lock pins, the top and the bottom lock rods to the wheel, they’re at 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock. And then the, I’m sorry, did I say the—it doesn’t…from, well to back up a little bit, your bottom rod looks like it needs to be moved over about a half inch. To the right.
JESSE: So that it lines up to the side of the wheel. It looks like it’s more towards the middle of the wheel.
AMBER: I don’t think so.
AMBER: Maybe it’s just your angle, but I’ll take a look at that.
JESSE: It looks like, yea it’s got to be in a straight line to the right side of your wheel. And the top rod has to be in a straight line to the left side of the wheel. But you know, about a quarter inch from the edge of the wheel actually. So ¾ of an inch from the center, probably.
AMBER: Yea, I think it’s right. But I’ll take a second look.
JESSE: OK. Um, then go ahead and fasten, without even worrying about what position the lock cylinder is in right now, we’re not even going to worry about the lock lever right now, what you need to do is drill a whole, not too close to the edge, but like I said, you know about a quarter of an inch from the edge, or ¾ of an inch from the center of the wheel, you have to take the wheel back off to do this, by the way. It will be easier to drill and then drill a hole on, it doesn’t matter where you put the hole, just put your other whole completely on the opposite side of the wheel.
JESSE: For the other rod.
JESSE: I’ve got to clear my throat. Hold on a second. Yea, it’s getting over a cold still so my voice is a little raspy this morning. I went and visited my stepmom. It’s her birthday today, so.
AMBER: Is it the same stepmom who broke her leg?
JESSE: Yes, and I was talking with them and my voice, I started kind of started loosing my voice a little bit. So, once you get that, you’ll get the top rod on the left side of the wheel, and the bottom rod connects to the right side of the wheel and then when you get that done manually turn the wheel with your hand and see that the lock pins do indeed go in, you know, pull down or pull up.
JESSE: Pull back from their locked position. And then we can go ahead and fasten the lever on the from the key cylinder and make sure in the open position with the key turned to the right, make sure that it turns the wheel counter-clockwise about 90 degrees. So that’s all you’ll have to do is when the lock pins are out and they’re both at the left and right side of the wheel, you know what I mean?
AMBER: So when the top and the bottom are across from each other on the wheel, and then I manually turn the wheel counterclockwise to ensure that the rods are moving properly—
AMBER: That’s when I determine where the rod that is connected to the lever will go?
JESSE: Right, but that’s what I’m getting at now is in the lock position with the pins out, where they would be connected into the two by fours, then the top and the bottom rods connected to the wheel will be in a straight line across from each other, as you’re sitting looking at it now, I think it would be too—if you’re looking at it from the bottom of the door, they would be on the left and the right. You don’t want them to be on the top and the bottom. They have to be on the left and the right of the wheel.
AMBER: Yea. That makes sense to me. I have that correct.
JESSE: Ok, good. And then, what you need to do is um…I’m not sure mine actually is at 12 o’clock. You got your 9 o’clock, your top rod at 9 o’clock and your bottom rod at 3 o’clock, and then I think my lever going to the lock cylinder is actually around 2 o’clock. It was going to fasten very closet to where the one for the bottom rod goes into, but you don’t want to drill those holes too close together obviously because you don’t want to break that wheel.
AMBER: Right. Well, why don’t I just do the top and bottom and then I think it will be a lot easier for me to figure out where the lever goes. So, I feel really good about that. And then, when that is all working properly I use the angle grinder to make sure that the rods protruding from the 2x2 frame on the top and bottom are an inch, um, past and I sharpen them so they can go into the holes of the 2x4 that I’ll drill?
AMBER: And then I will adhere the nipples with the bearings using the method that you showed me with the brackets.
JESSE: And another thing I was thinking about that is it will be pretty easy for you to at least do the bottom the way I originally intended, the bottom hole that you drill with hole saw for that nest for the bearing to sit in, don’t go all the way the 2x4 with that one because you want the door to, you want the door to have something to sit upon so it doesn’t go down to far.
JESSE: And the top one I don’t care if you drill all the way through. And it would be easier and a lot quicker just to drill it all the way through.
AMBER: For the top of the 2x4 where the bearing will be?
JESSE: Yea, you just need since gravity’s hold it down, I mean nothing’s going to push the door up, you don’t really have to have that, you don’t have to make a nest out of it, you can just make a hole.
AMBER: So how far would you go in to the 2x4 on the bottom?
JESSE: As thick as what the bearing is, it’s probably, maybe a half inch.
AMBER: Yea, I think it’s—it looks like maybe ¾ of an inch but I’ll measure that, do the tape method on the—
JESSE: On the hole saw.
AMBER: That you taught me. So, that will be great and then—
JESSE: Then chisel it out, yea.
AMBER: The other thing is, I suppose I should drill the plywood further into the 2x4. Right now it’s just on 4 drywall screws, but I should probably add a couple more, right?
JESSE: You should go ahead and do that because I think you have enough time, yea. I mean, I think that things are going along pretty smoothly now. Yea, I would go ahead and do that to make that a little stronger. And to me, seeing it here on the video screen it looks to me like that plywood might be a little bit warped. It’s not as thick as I thought and I’m hoping the door won’t be too flimsy, but yea I think if you get some more screws in it, it should stiffen it up a little bit.
AMBER: Yea, I think, yea that will help. Um, so that is all making sense so basically it’s like I’ll finish the locking mechanism and then the door is done. Then I’m going to, I had to glue back in the mistake hole so I have to sand that down. And then can we talk a little bit about the knot of wood?
AMBER: So, I went to the hardware store and I got all of the things I need. The nylon bushings, or spacers and then um, I also got the nut that corresponds to the you know whatever, the way that you pull the knot out. The guy at the hardware store helped me pick out the correct nut.
JESSE: Did you get two of them?
JESSE: Oh. Yea, it’s alright.
AMBER: Was I supposed to get two of them?
JESSE: Yea, but it’d be actually harder because if you don’t have them exactly lined up together when you glue them in, then it can be hard to get screw in. So, one is fine, as long as you can—you just have to drill on the opposite side of the nut, drill down just low enough with a bigger bit, big enough just to set that nut down in the knot and then superglue it in.
AMBER: Ok, so that’s pretty straightforward.
JESSE: Yea. And just don’t get any superglue on the threads because you don’t want your bolt to stick in there.
AMBER: OK. Um, so that that will go in and um…
JESSE: And you can tap that nut into the hole once you get it drilled with another drill bit probably. Just push it down in there and it should fit pretty snug.
AMBER: It’s actually pretty close right now from the hole saw.
JESSE: Ok, well start with the, you know, just like the next size up bit or just step up a little at a time so you don’t go any, any bigger around then what the size of that nut is because you don’t want it be loose. You want it to be able to press into the wood.
AMBER: Ok, well then yea. Yea, basically I’m going to work on the locking mechanism, finish that, then I’m going to flip the door over and use drywall screws to adhere it a little tighter, the 2x2 frame to the plywood, then I’m going to put the 2x4 frame into the doorway with drywall screws. Then I’m going to use the angle grinder to grind off the rods at the tops and bottoms so only an inch protrudes and I’ll make it sharp. And then I’ll hold the door up to the 2x2 frame—or no, I shouldn’t do that, I shouldn’t put the 2x2 frame into the doorway. I should test it on the ground, right?
JESSE: I would, yea.
AMBER: So then I’ll do all that stuff where I put a hole into the 2x2, or the 2x4 frame on the top and bottom for the rods and I use the hole saw just to go in a half an inch or ¾ of an inch at the bottom on the hinge side and all the way through at the top. And then I’ll put the 2x4 frame into the doorway and I’ll install the door, and then I’ll paint the wall. And then I’ll put the trim up.
JESSE: That sounds good.
AMBER: Oh my gosh, did you ever think I would get this far?
JESSE: I was kind of worried that things like the locking mechanism, but yea, that came out, that came together pretty well yesterday. And I don’t know why it seemed like it was too short that you couldn’t get the nut on it. It looks like you got that figured out, so.
AMBER: Yea, well I took your advice and used that spade bit and just a little more, I mean, honestly ideally I would have more thread to work with so that the washer could go further through. The washer is just there protecting that piece with the ears.
JESSE: Right and that’s what sticks into the wood.
AMBER: Yea, but it’s not actually onto any of the thread so it just is there. And it’s working that way but obviously that’s not idea.
JESSE: Did you get it really tight with a wrench? You know tighten that nut down really tight.
AMBER: It um…I did not use a wrench. But I used a screwdriver because it’s a Phillips head.
JESSE: I’m talking about the nut that holds the cylinder into the wood.
JESSE: If you tighten that with a crescent wrench really tight, to get that washer to bite into the wood, then your cylinder won’t turn.
AMBER: Ok. Well, I’ll work on that too.
JESSE: Yea. Because you don’t want that to turn, it will mess up your, you know you won’t really know when you’re turning the cylinder, if the key turns the cylinder too far you won’t, you know you could actually jam up the rods and you won’t—if your wheel turns too far, your rods can get kinked. That’s all I’m saying. So you want that cylinder to be tight in the hole that it’s in and you don’t want it to move at all.
AMBER: So which one would I use for that?
JESSE: The crescent wrench. For that nut that holds the cylinder into the wood.
AMBER: All right. Well, I feel pretty good about the tasks at hand. How are you feeling that we’re at the last day now?
JESSE: Good now.
AMBER: Yea. About the door itself and then how about all these conversations we’ve been having. Is there anything that you want to add on the last day?
JESSE: Uh, I don’t know. We’ll see how it goes. I read some of the transcripts yesterday and I, I tend to stumble with words that I’m trying to pick out exactly what I’m going to say, and then when I finally figure it out then it just flows and then I don’t quit talking. And Davecat is like, in his transcription, he really just flows when he’s talking and he doesn’t really stop to think, you know. I just, he’s a lot more articulate at words than I am and I just. I mean, when I’m writing I can write really well, but when I’m speaking live it’s just hard for me to think about what I’m saying and I have to stop and think about what word I want to use. And by the way, you know, I uh, that’s what I was telling Davecat that I was really worried I was going to say something that was just too stupid or you know, didn’t make sense or whatever, and you and Davecat kind of both make me feel comfortable about it, so. (23:30) Whatever I said and stuff about the, you said that you don’t use that term cross-dressing in your community because it’s more um, I don’t know, its more accepted or something in New York, I don’t know, but yea, I feel ok with what I said. I mean…
AMBER: Oh yea.
JESSE: I’m still anonymous, but its just one of those things that people need to be aware that there’s a lot more people out there that have these sort of issues that are not quote unquote normal. And you know, I don’t think there’s a person out there that’s really normal, so that’s just a laugh anyway when someone says I’m weird or normal or whatever. There is no such thing as normality.
AMBER: I agree, and just to back up slightly, I also take a long time to talk live and think a lot about what I’m about to say before I say it, so you’ll notice in the transcriptions there’s just as many pauses in my part so I hadn’t noticed that about you at all.
AMBER: But I think when we read back our own words, we always feel something one way or the other--
AMBER: That our performance, and then the other thing is I did just want to clarify that cross-dressing comment on my side is that its just a word that doesn’t come up much in my community. I don’t mean to put a value judgment on it’s use. But it’s not, it’s not a word that I encounter much in my community of Queers in New York. So I just want to underline that wasn’t with any judgment or hierarchy whatsoever. And I’m glad you brought that up.
JESSE: Good. Well, I didn’t take it as anything other than you just don’t, that they just don’t really use that word. Apparently I don’t know, like I said, I don’t know if it’s because it’s just more accepted and people don’t speak of it as cross-dressing because it’s just whatever you want to wear you where. Or, what did you mean by that?
AMBER: Yea, I think it doesn’t come up as a word in my community partly because as Queers, a little bit what you just said, right, people are presenting their gender in whatever way feels comfortable to them and they are accepted for that preference, for that identity, for that presentation, for who they are generally and tends to shift even among individuals. So, right, not just—
AMBER: Well, I guess what I want to say is there’s a wide range of gender in my community and even within individuals there’s a wide range. Gender is always shifting in my friends, right? And so, so yea, I guess that word doesn’t come up very much. I also end up hanging out, you know, certainly the people that I date tend to be transmasculine and so their identity is really different from the way you’re describing you know, wearing women’s clothes sometimes and not identifying as transfeminine, for example. I tend to hang out with, like basically the people that I date um, people who identify male right, and uh, who were assigned female at birth perhaps. So that gender is really different from what you’re describing, but I wonder how you would respond to thinking about those other identifications and where you might fit in that spectrum?
JESSE: Um, I would I guess, I don’t really fit into any sort of um, transgendered or homosexual or anything like that because mine is just, like a fantasy type thing and I would never give up my masculinity. I mean I have brought it to my own thoughts, just to see what I would think about it if I ever would have a sex change or want to become female and you know I did kind of think about a little more seriously probably when my wife and I weren’t getting along and I was just so into getting away by myself and having some clothes and stuff somewhere out on a country road, like I told you.
JESSE: Somewhere secluded. And you know as I thought about I really came to the conclusion that I really wouldn’t want to give up my masculinity and who I am now, it’s just if I did become a woman, if I became a female than the fantasy would be gone and it would be reality. And so with the way I am now, if I choose to have that fantasy I can live it for awhile and then go back to being a man and having my same normal routine and my life and working on cars and you know doing whatever a man does. So I would really never want to be apart from what I am, it’s just the fantasy is there if I want it. And so I would never go as far as making a transformation because honestly I have had some you know some nails glued on and I had a phase once where I spent as long as I could dressed as female and with my nails long and everything and when I became bored being in the house and I thought, well I want to go out into the garage and get something or do something, or whatever it was, and I had to throw some gloves on and throw on a big winter coat and stuff—I kind of disguised what I had on underneath, I had to have gloves on so no one could see that I had nails on—but, I came to the realization that when I was out in the garage I lost a nail or a I skinned up my polish or whatever, I’m just not careful, I’m just rough. So there’s another thing, I’d rather just have the fantasy from time to time and not really go that far to be fulltime because I’m just careless and you have to be really careful, like you just pointed out when you scuffed up your nail polish and stuff during this project, so it’s not really something that I would want fulltime. I don’t know if that answers your questions, or…?
AMBER: Yea, I’m definitely interested in what you just shared and I keep thinking about this project in relation right, so I was assigned female at birth, I identify female, I identify as a Queer fat femme, I have bright pink nail polish on and it’s been fun to scuff it up. And I tend to scuff it up when I do Olympic and powerlifting which is something I really enjoy doing so I really enjoy as part of my gender you know, the range that includes this kind of femme presentation and also what it sounds like you would describe as more masculine tasks, right.
AMBER: so I enjoy all sides of that in one container so that’s my response to what you just shared, again not as a judgment of what you just said, just in thinking about how it translates to my own identity.
JESSE: And to expand on what I said that I don’t, you know I know my own sexuality, I’m not at all homosexual, it’s just the fantasy of feeling female. If anything, I am a lesbian in a man’s body. That’s what I am I think.
AMBER: Yea. Can you say that again? You’re a lesbian in a man’s body? Is that what you said?
JESSE: Yea, because I don’t, I love women and feminism, I mean female, anything female is so beautiful and so alluring to me, and I, I’m definitely a man underneath at all, like I said, I don’t identify at all as homosexual, it’s just that you know I like feminine things so if anything I’m a lesbian in a man’s body.
AMBER: I remember when we were doing that chat on ODC that we were recording, and you mentioned that you wanted to be reincarnated as a hot lesbian.
AMBER: And then I think I said I want to meet you in that lifetime.
AMBER: Um, so what would, I’m just going to ask a question that you can feel free to not respond to. It’s maybe a little personal, but I’m wondering if you’ve ever pursued I don’t know, this feels funny to ask you because we haven’t talked about sex together, but um, have you ever felt interested in dressing in the high heels that you described, and with the fingernails that you described and making out with your girlfriend, for example?
JESSE: I have heard about that happening and I actually thought no, that’s not really, because to me I am a man and that’s all she knows and so even if she did say that it was ok, I wouldn’t feel comfortable with it because I think that would change her perception of me totally and it might make things a little weird or worse down the road, I don’t know.
AMBER: Well, maybe not her but somebody that was excited about the fact that you know you would be dressed in that way and you would be enjoying being dressed in that way.
JESSE: Yea, I don’t know. For me it’s just a fantasy for myself, I think. And it would be a little embarrassing I think.
AMBER: I understand.
JESSE: I think it would be hard to really hard to get used to. And it’s just I guess because I really don’t you know as far as porn goes, I never really did get into seeing two women. I mean, it’s ok and I can understand it, but it’s not, I’d rather see penetration of something real, you know?
AMBER: Oh my gosh, speaking of porn then if we’re going to go there, I’m super into porn where there’s either a transmasculine person and a kind of like, fat femme, and there’s penetration that way, or where there are two women fucking each other with dicks.
JESSE: Yea? Strap on?
AMBER: Yea. It’s so weird to talk to you about this, but I am into that, so since we’re talking about penetration, I’m super into seeing penetration, but not with what I think you’re describing.
JESSE: Well, what’s weird about that is that you asked uh, if I’d ever thought about sex as being dressed as a female and not that she’s ever said anything about me playing a female role or anything, but actually I don’t know, she may have alluded to it. She said that she had some gay porn, some men on a video. And I said, ‘Why would you have that? And she goes, ‘I don’t know,’ She said, ‘I like to watch it.’
JESSE: And I said why would you want to and she goes because I get it. Two, you know, at least they have something to penetrate and two men can actually have sex, two women can’t. And I said, ‘No, I can understand two women better than two men.’ And she’s uh, when we first started seeing each other she said she was going to surprise me and just pop it in one day and we’d have to sit there and watch it. And I said, ‘I don’t want to see it. I really don’t.’ And she’s all the time talking about putting something in my ass or something and I said, I don’t, I don’t really want to go there.
AMBER: Yea. I mean, that’s fair. You don’t have to go places you don’t want to go. But I think it’s really common for women to be into gay male porn.
JESSE: I don’t know. I, that’s uh, only the second time I’ve heard about it, so.
AMBER: She sounds quite open-minded in general.
JESSE: She is, and over the last, over the last few days she’s complaining because you know we haven’t had sex enough and it’s because you know she’s been sick and then I got sick. I don’t know She said, ‘It used to be every other day, or every day.’ I says, ‘I know, but you know…’ Um, actually when we were in New York it was just very stressful and we had a two room suite and her daughter slept on the other side of the door.
JESSE: And that made it hard so um.. Yea she’s really kind of, really kind of complaining that she isn’t getting it enough. And I complain, or I didn’t complain I was bragging to one of my friends at work that I get it every night. And I said, ‘I’m not kidding you, I’m telling you every single night we’re together.’ And he couldn’t believe that I was serious.
AMBER: Is it because that is not the reality for him?
JESSE: No, he’s been trying for, as long as I’ve been talking to him he’s been trying to find a girl and most of them, they like to hang out with him because he’s fun and they laugh and they have a good time and usually he pays for their dinner and their drinks and I think that’s all it is. But he’s gotten lucky maybe once every couple weeks or once every month or whatever and then he’ll come and tell me about it. It’s just funny.
AMBER: Yea, and then your report is a daily report.
JESSE: Right and I try not to go on and on about it but—and like I said here lately she’s been reminding me that I’ve been slipping a little bit. (Laughs)
AMBER: That’s funny. It’s also funny because you’re so…like, hearing that you talk about sex with the coworker doesn’t surprise me but I just see you being so sort of protective of Rhiannon at Dollstock so I wondered if you might be the kind of person who would just not at all go there. You know? Like, have a lot of privacy around your sex life with your girlfriend at work.
JESSE: Yea, I don’t talk to anybody about it but this one guy. He’s just, he’s just all sex. I mean it’s all he wants to do is talk about the—and he tells everybody too, there was a time where everybody was playing euchre at work and I don’t play cards but I’m sitting off at a table by myself with my computer and stuff and you know, whatever I do on the laptop and stuff, and they’re over there playing cards and my friend starting talking about his escapades and it usually is an embarrassing story. It usually, by the time he gets this long drawn out story about how the evening went it ends up he either didn’t get lucky or she, he played with her boobs and that’s it, or I don’t know. He’s always going on about all these things that’s embarrassing and then everybody will just laugh and I mean he’s just so unlucky, but he just keeps trying. You would think that he would give up but he doesn’t.
AMBER: Yea. Do you consider him a friend, or do you get turned off by the stories?
JESSE: No, he’s a good friend of mine, and it’s just funny because I like to laugh. He’ll tell me all his bad luck and stuff and it just, I have to laugh but you know, and that’s what I mean, that’s why I don’t want to brag too much because I don’t want him to not like to talk to me anymore because he’s fun to be around.
AMBER: Right, right, right.
JESSE: But as far as being protective and stuff, I think all men talk about their sexcapades and stuff but I don’t really. Like I said, I don’t tell everybody, I just tell him because you know, he’s just fun.
AMBER: Yea. Would he be open to hearing about dolls do you think?
JESSE: Uh, maybe.
AMBER: Yea. It’s funny because I don’t think of—I mean, we’ve talked about this at length, but I also don’t think of our community’s relationship to their dolls as particularly sexual, so I don’t know that it even makes sense in that context except that someone like him maybe really into the fact that they’re designed for sex, or penetrable in 3 orifices.
JESSE: Uh, I asked one of my friends years ago when I first bought Heather, I brought up the subject that they were making life-size dolls and I said, I said if you had a chance to get one, and said if you had one, would you have sex with it? And he said, “oh yea, probably.’ And then I just dropped it. I just kind of laughed. I thought, I was thinking to myself, well, I got one.
AMBER: You know for a time period when I was in transition between Chicago and New York my father had Amber Doll?
JESSE: No, I didn’t know that.
AMBER: Uh, yea I wasn’t sure if I told you or not, so anyway he’s always been really involved in my art work and followed along, and you know he lives in a small town in Iowa. And he’s just a rebellious guy in a lot of ways, and had fun with Amber Doll by dressing her in a witch’s costume and then putting her in the living room facing out and so just kind of used her as this decoration. But then he started joking with me that he was going to rent her out.
AMBER: And um, I still feel a little disturbed by it that it was even a joke. But you know she’s just never even been, or she was never penetrated.
JESSE: I was wondering about that.
AMBER: Yea. Um, my friend, Ollie Rodriguez, who’s another artist that I was in graduate school with, who was close also to Barbara DeGenevieve who this performance is dedicated to.
JESSE: And that’s the one who you went to the funeral and then the memorial to in Chicago?
JESSE: Oh, yea, I’m sorry to hear about that again. She…OK.
AMBER: Ollie was a good friend at the time that, and still is but certainly we were close and living in the same city when I got Amber Doll, and he did fist Amber Doll at that wedding reception performance that we did, but um, I didn’t know about it until years later, so now whenever I see him that’s all that I can think about.
AMBER: Yea. He put his whole fist in her.
JESSE: That’s bad. Well, some of the video that I’ve seen on your blog or somewhere, where, I don’t know, at the tailgate party or wherever? Where the guys were just really humping on her and stuff and I thought the one guy was actually trying to put something in her mouth. I don’t know. I thought, that’s you know those guys, I don’t know if you knew any of them, but they were pretty rude.
AMBER: Oh, I know. That was a lot of what happened with Amber Doll during those early performances. She was pretty violently explored for sure and I’ve thought a lot about that recently especially since Tilikum is such a big part of my life and yea. I don’t know, this week has been so interesting because for the most part we’ve spoken in the mornings and then I’ve had the afternoon to build and sometimes my mind is really focused on the task and that’s all I’m kind of able to handle, but other times I think about our conversation and just about I don’t know I guess our different relationships to gender and my what feels like deep understanding of where you’re from, having come from somewhere so similar and some of my feelings of isolation in the Queer community in New York, but feeling really aligned with the politics there and um, thinking more about the closet as a metaphor the way that you’ve interpreted it, the way that we’ve interpreted it together and then some of what it brings up for me personally and then I’ve been thinking a lot about Barbara who this performance is dedicated to partly because we met when I was 24 and I was making out with women like at nightclubs but I was definitely stumbling out as Queer. Like really interested in coming out in particular and didn’t really know how to do that and felt really naïve to um, I don’t know I guess some of the etiquette involved to the Queer community in Chicago where I was living at the time. And uh, you know I’d been involved with a woman in my sorority at Delta, Delta, Delta in the 90s and it still just took so very long.
AMBER: I would say partly coming from where I came from in Iowa and not really understanding, even though I was so liberal, politically rather as it relates to LGBTQ stuff, um, it’s still just didn’t feel like an option for me and I’ve been thinking about that time and it’s just about a decade of me being out as Queer.
AMBER: And understanding my gender in this very femme and fat way and really thinking a lot about who I’ve dated over these ten years and how important these relationships have been since most of them have transitioned to important friendships and yea, I’ve just had a lot of reflecting time as I’ve been learning how to use power saws.
AMBER: I was thinking about if there’s anything whatsoever that is left in any kind of metaphorical closet of mine. Mostly because I’m really interested in what can flourish in secrecy. You know that was some of what I was interested in writing about when we were going over the text for the performance. So I wonder what you thought about—I just talked for a long time—so I wonder if there’s anything you want to pick up on from that or just the concept of like, though, I think there’s like such an emphasis on outness in, certainly in my community and I’m wondering what you think might be some of the advantages or the sexiness or the appeal of some of the secrecy that involved with the closet
JESSE: Yea, I was, uh, I’ll back up a little bit. I was looking at your pictures on face book, and one of the pictures of the pink room with the doll closet door, someone commented that it was creepier than she imagined or something like that.
JESSE: I just wondered if—hold on, I’ve got to get my other phone. This one’s going to die again. I just wondered if—let me take my recorder with me.
JESSE: If the overall attitude about that doll closet being in the same house that my wife and I both lived in and I just wondered if the overall consensus was that it was creepy that it was right under my wife’s nose. Maybe you can expand on that or maybe I’m totally wrong about it, I don’t know.
AMBER: Yea, I think that some of the, yea, and I think you saw that I commented after that and said I don't find it creepy at all, that it’s really amazing to me and I think it’s really special and there’s something charged in the exciting way that you described being on stage in your old high school, that like, kind of thrilling thing is something that I connect to pretty deeply, so I felt that even being in the doll closet room and imagining that she was there. I don't think that, I don’t know and it would be great if we were on some kind of radio show to have her call in, right?
AMBER: And describe what she thought was creepy. I don’t, I suspect knowing her that it’s not the secrecy as it relates to your wife but instead the realness of the real dolls, right so the fact that that doll especially back in the 90s looked so much like a real woman, like an organic, and so I think some of the creepiness is the thought that something that resembles a human form so closely was living in captivity.
JESSE: Right. That’s exactly what I was just thinking she meant, but on the other hand it was, you know, I probably more than anybody um, realized that it’s just a fantasy and that, you know, I have thought about the doll having some sort of soul maybe but out of anybody that I know in the community, I think I’m one of the ones that doesn’t take it so literally and it’s just to me it’s just a mannequin, other than, well, Heather especially was just a mannequin.
JESSE: But, but, I’m going to back up a little and say that Rhiannon is a lot more than just a mannequin to me now since she’s so much more realistic and beautiful. But, the idea that I had just an object that looked like a woman, yea it was kind of weird maybe that, you might say captivity, but it’s not really a living being, so it’s not really captive. To me it was just in, it was a way to keep me from wanting to venture out away from my wife and to try to keep my desires in check and so that is a little more sane than, than what it seems on the outside to somebody, thinking that oh, he wanted the best of both worlds. Well, wasn’t really like that. I mean I wasn’t really, the real doll wasn’t real enough, there’s no doll in the world that’s going to be as realistic or beautiful as a real woman. So, it was just a fantasy or a way for me to explore my own sexuality without leaving the confines of my, or the, the relationship with my wife.
JESSE: So that’s how I would explain to her if I was talking to her directly. It was not really creepy, it was something a little more sane than what most men do. Because most men, well I don’t know what the statistic really is but most men that have an extramarital something or other, whether it be a doll or some cross-dressing fantasy life, they go out and actually have relationships with other people when they’re still married. I think that what I did was a little better than cheating on my wife with a real person because then, you know that would be a lot more hurtful.
AMBER: Yea, I think that some of the, well let’s just keep talking about that creepy comment—but some of the, in those moments I think that there’s the combination of you know the history of, really even just 2 major recent news stories of fathers locking their daughters pretty literally in secret areas of their homes. And, the generally held misconceptions about doll owners being misogynists wanting to fuck something that doesn’t talk back.
AMBER: Right, and so I think those moments where it feels creepy you know there’s also the color pink that makes it look like a little girls room, you know I do think that, I think all of those really powerful charged misconceptions come together um, in that one image that we were talking about just now that was called creepy. But also I’m thinking about the doll closet generally in this performance and some of what interested me in working with you was you know, I know and like you very much, and I know that all of the things that even my friends but a general audience would assume about you and doll owners generally people who choose not to be out about aspects of their sexuality, or aspects of their lives, people who choose to have some secrecy in something that is dear to them, yea I guess I just feel excited that our conversations may have shed some light on people making pre-judgments.
JESSE: Right, I hope so. And one of the other things about the picture was the left side of the door that goes to the room, the white paint, and there’s a lot of like dirty handprints or dirty, the side or the edge of the door is kind of dirty.
JESSE: And it, it was always like that because we never painted that room, since we bought this house. We never did anything to that room. It’s still the same pink from the teenage daughter that lived in there and the door was never cleaned off it was just left that way because we didn’t really have anything to do, it was just a spare bedroom or a place to put extra junk or whatever and so yea, that kind of looks a little creep too, it looks like maybe the house was an unkempt house or whatever stuff too. But you know, that’s just that one room up there.
AMBER: Well, you know, I’m glad that it looks creepy to people, and I know for a fact that it isn’t. And I enjoy being in there and I feel excited about one of the ideas we had earlier in the week which was to put a small piece of Heather into the doll closet before you drywall it out. So she can be there in some way and the other thing I feel excited about kind of in this category that we’re touching on now is that so many other doll owners have contributed images of their doll closets, or you know, I’m using that term but other people just talk about the space where they keep their dolls.
AMBER: So I feel happy that there’s a number of spaces where dolls are kept represented in this project and uh…yea I don't know I’m just interested to allow this work to be a vehicle for your self-representation and for the community generally so I hope that it’s felt that way to you, but let me know, what do you think?
JESSE: Well, I don't’ know if you think of me as such but I’m not really a spokesman for the whole doll community or anything—
JESSE: And like I said, I’m not really as into the doll life as some are and um, my story is just one of many different kinds of people that own dolls, but yea of all the guys that I’ve met so far there’s not been that I could tell I men, there’s not really one creepy person. You know it’s just I think people think we’re just all a bunch of lunatics that can’t get along in society so we buy dolls because we can’t have relationships. That’s not true.
AMBER: Yea. And certainly that’s proven wrong by the mere fact that we all have such strong relationships with each other.
JESSE: Yea, and I knew of at least one, and I don’t know if you knew this but I know you know his name but I don’t need to say it but he’s got a girlfriend also and she doesn’t know about his doll, so.
JESSE: There’s more of us out there that have actual relationships, but we just have another side of us that want you know, something else to work with. So…
AMBER: Yea and often that something else to work with is non-sexual. And has to do with projection of self on doll, or has to do with you know, some of what we’ve talked about at length, an interest in being the doll or dressing like the doll or having the opportunity to buy clothing and accessories for a doll so getting the experience of shopping for shoes on Ebay without um, without out doing it in a way that makes you feel comfortable, right? Like…
JESSE: Yea. Yea, I’ve had a little outlet by doing some searches for shoes and stuff, I mean that, I really have sat here on my laptop for hours, I mean I’ve sat here a couple nights in a row when I felt the need when I wanted some shoes for the doll or myself, I sat here for 4 hours probably two nights in a row deciding what shoes I wanted and trying to find the right ones on Ebay or you know or brand new shoes, which some of them are pretty expensive and some of them are decent reasonable and at one time I thought, I had the money and I was going to buy some nice pretty expensive shoes for what they were going to be used for, for Rhiannon. I wanted to buy something from Gwen Stefani’s collection, or one of the top, top or higher end designers that—
AMBER: Wait, sorry to stop you. But that Gwen Stefani, um, the Lamb line?
AMBER: Oh my gosh, I like that Lamb line.
JESSE: Mm’hm. And I thought, you know I had the money at the time and I thought it would be really cool to have some of her shoes, not to, again, not that I would tell anybody unless maybe you came around to Dollstock or something and said, ‘Wow, those are Lamb shoes.’ Yea? But, yea, they’re like 300 dollars or more, some of them.
AMBER: Yea. Um, do you have buy yourself matching shoes with Rhiannon, like I used to do with Amber Doll?
AMBER: You do?
AMBER: Do you have any that you want to share a picture of?
JESSE: Um, I don’t know if that, what, like not right now I don’t. I don’t even have pictures but the ones that she was shipped in um, the little purple sandal prom shoes that she was shipped in I bought a pair like that and obviously the strap around the heel wasn’t long enough so I had to buy another pair just to cut the strap off and superglue it to the other one just so it was long enough.
AMBER: You’re so good at building things.
JESSE: But yea, I mean it, it wasn’t the same thing. Some of that stuff I thought would be really fun and cool, but I was disappointed. So yea these little prom shoes and whatever, it, it’s best kept to Rhiannon because it’s just you know, like I said it’s for my eyes only but it’s not, it wasn’t as fun as I thought it would be. So a lot of that stuff I keep for a few years and never play with it again, I just throw it out or whatever.
AMBER: I know what you mean because when I first got Amber Doll there were things that I thought would feel really powerful or fulfilling about our relationship or about items you know, kind of objects that would exist between us, and some of them, I don’t know it surprised me what was and wasn’t after all.
AMBER: Yea. But I would love to see if you were able to today, and wanted to share, a picture of the shoes you know, um, that match.
AMBER: Obviously that’s up to you. I don’t want to push you in anyway, but I’m curious you could also just send it to me if you didn’t want them to be shared.
AMBER: But I wondered if that was the case mostly because I get it. I get, I get it to the extent that it’s possible um, the projection to self on doll you know having gone through it with Amber Doll and having had those issues myself.
JESSE: Yea, it’s kind of fun, um, yea I have a bunch of different shoes that maybe I’ll get out. You know, if I don’t send them today I’ll send them to you.
AMBER: Well, gosh I have so much building to do today but I’ve been enjoying chatting with you from the beginning of the stream instead of an hour into it today.
AMBER: Is there anything you want to add because you’re going to get off to work, and I'm going to get off to building and even if we’re able to Facetime briefly with questions, I just want to make sure that if there’s anything you wanted to add for this performance, you know we’ve had 8 conversations now, anything hat we’re forgetting to say?
JESSE: Um, I don’t think so, but you know it comes to mind something that I said last year for the Lolita project is one of the things was um, and I noticed this of most of the other, I mean all of the doll owners that I’ve experienced at some of the meets we were at, we all take such care, and we have fun dressing them up and brushing the hair and mine has real eyebrows so I have to smooth out the eyebrows and eyelashes and all this stuff is something that um, like you said when I was talking to you on the phone last year that it’s a sign that we are, we’re caring and we want something that we can take care of or love, or I can’t remember what you said, not relish but—
JESSE: It wasn’t even cherish. (Groans) But the word that you picked, it summed it up. You know, something beautiful, something, I can’t even think of it right now but just to sum it all up, most doll owners have a doll mostly because they want something beautiful to take care of and the word escapes me but, my point is, contrary to what people think, we’re not just a bunch of heathens jumping on a rubber doll or something because that’s not what most of the guys I’ve experienced are like, at all.
JESSE: So, if anything comes from this, I hope that maybe people see that there is, there’s a need that’s being addressed, a need that we have as far as loving and taking care of something—oh wow, the word was just there, and now it’s gone. You’ll probably find it.
AMBER: Yea, I can find it from going through last year’s footage for sure.
JESSE: Yea. And there’s that need where for whatever reason most of these guys don’t have, most of us in this community don’t have that in our lives where they’re actually taking care of something and I guess, to sum, to, to, make one more reference to my wife when she was in the hospital, when she was dying and I turned to my dad and when we both realized when she was on her death bed that she needed me more than ever, she wanted me right there to the very end, and I had tears in my eyes, and I said to my dad, I said, all these years that we were apart and we weren’t close, my wife and I, I said all I ever wanted was for her to want me and lean on me to want me to take care of her and I finally got to do that. And, I think that’s what’s missing in a lot of people’s lives and that’s why they choose to have a doll rather than a total relationship.
AMBER: And how would you summarize why you have a doll?
AMBER: We’ve been talking for 8 days about this and there’s a lot of reasons and a lot of nuance to it, but if you were to have the chance just to sum it up, what would you say?
JESSE: Well, usually when you sum something up you make one generalized point about it and I can’t because there’s more than one reason. There’s the fact that I use a doll to project my fantasy life or my desire to have or to dress in or to even look at lingerie on a body and you know, just the nice feminine things, I like that stuff, I like to take care of it, I like to take attention to detail either when I put it on, or when I put it on a doll, and more often now since I have Rhiannon I’m dressing a doll and I just living like you said I’m projecting my fantasy on to her and it’s more fulfilling to see it in front of me than it is just to see it from my eyes on my body. ‘Cause I don’t like looking in the mirror when, if I’m dressed up, I just like to see it on a body. Or, you know, there’s that, or like I said there’s just said the caring, and the taking care of something, and the…just being able to take care of something precious I think is the word you said.
AMBER: Precious. That makes sense.
JESSE: And as far as sex goes I think to me that’s the least of any of it so because for me it’s just not really that exciting. You know, sex with a doll, but I mean, there is that if I want that. So having a doll is like three of things. Well, there’s like there’s the sexualness of it, and there’s the fantasy of being able to project myself on it, and then there’s the care aspect of wanting to take care of something precious.
AMBER: Yea, and then can I ask a clarifying question about seeing the lingerie on a body? Is it specifically a body that represents you?
JESSE: I think so. And like I said I don’t look in a mirror, and I don't want anybody, it’s not what--if and when I would dress up, it’s not that I think I look good or I want people to see it, or you know like I said I did have one picture that was blurry that actually looked like I was a female. That’s when I was just playing around when I bought a new camera and I thought ‘what if” but, no, for seeing like long legs and when I used to shave and do my toenails and whatever, I mean, from my eyes and from my perspective I was seeing what a female sees, and that’s the closest I can get to being a female without actually going all the way, you know. And I didn’t want to go all the way, I still like being who I am, so, uh, that’s what I meant, projecting that onto her where—
AMBER: And I know you were saying at one point at Dollstock that uh, Rhiannon is kind of your ideal. Right, so like--
AMBER: So if you were to be a woman, it would be her that you would choose to be.
JESSE: It would just be so cool if in the future we could put all of our sensory, all of our perception and all you know, our 5 senses if we could put them somehow onto a doll, and live as that doll. I mean, not really, kind of, it would be really neat.
AMBER: It would be really neat. You know what’s so funny I’m reminded that a couple months ago, I have a good friend Tina Zavitsanos who is another artist, and um, we talk a lot about each of our work, and on the same night we had dreams that involved each other, and her dream that involved me, I hope she doesn’t mind me sharing this but she’s talked about it publically at a dinner party so, I’m going to go for it. She dreamed that basically like she was inside of my body as, kind of like a game, right, kind of like a video game and she was cruising the halls of her high school, you know it was her mind and—
AMBER: Being, but inside of my body. And um, my dream was basically that I was laying on top of her and I was being hypnotized and there was more to it that I don’t recall at this moment, but it was a pretty long and specific dream, so it felt like—
JESSE: That’s weird.
AMBER: We connected in dream space. And I thought a lot about, it’s so funny that you bring this up today because I thought a lot about her dream right, when we talked about putting cameras in Rhiannon’s eyes.
AMBER: Yea, I think that’s a fantasy or an idea that um, is charged for a lot of us. That seems interesting to a lot of us and not just in a Sci-fi way.
JESSE: That’s really wild that it happened at the same time, you were both thinking about it and maybe, maybe you were abducted by aliens than actually put through that. (Amber laughs) I don’t know.
AMBER: Are you teasing?
JESSE: Maybe. Who knows? No one knows everything, so. My sister was telling me a story about when she was growing up she woke up in the middle of the night and her-- no her sister said she saw it, my half-sister said she saw three guys hovering above her bed but all you could see were their faces.
JESSE: And, she told her, my sister about it later and my sister started remembering something that she was repressing from her childhood and she said she remembers somewhere that she wasn’t supposed to be, in the middle of the night.
AMBER: This is your sister and your half sister talking.
JESSE: Yes. So you know I never doubt stuff because no one knows for sure.
AMBER: Yea. Wow, was that in Ohio?
JESSE: Yes. And as a matter of fact, the same town that they grew up in just recently had a UFO sighting.
AMBER: I think that—
JESSE: A couple of weeks ago.
AMBER: I’m sorry, I’m kind of interrupting here, but I just feel excited coming from another corn state, isn’t there some statistic about how the highest number of sightings, or the highest number of sightings of UFOs or uh, anything extraterrestrial come from corn states?
JESSE: Yea. And I think I heard that the gist was that there, the people that are reporting these have no lives and they’re just a bunch of hillbillies seeing UFOs. And I thought that was funny too.
AMBER: Well, I don’t consider you a hillbilly, and I don’t consider myself a hillbilly—
JESSE: No, but—
AMBER: And we’re both from um…
JESSE: Maybe the word was redneck. I don’t know. ‘Cause there is probably a difference between hillbillies and rednecks but it just all kind of meant the same thing. Whoever said it was slamming the people who were seeing UFOs in those states.
AMBER: Well, as people from those states, I don’t know, I have no comment but I’m just so thrilled that we’ve been able to talk the way we have to the extent that we have all week.
JESSE: Yea, me too.
AMBER: Yea, and uh, it seems like a funny place to land on, to land on—
AMBER: Corn states. But it’s a bonding thing.
JESSE: Yea, I just uh, I don’t know, I don’t doubt anything anymore, but yea, I’ll believe about anything. But uh, maybe that’s what they meant, whoever said that, made that comment because they think we’re all naïve but yea, anyway.
AMBER: So now what’s your day like, you’re feeling a little better, you’re going to head to work.
AMBER: You’re maybe going to before work head up to the bins and grab those purple shoes if you can.
AMBER: And then, I don’t know, is it possible--what do you think you’re day will be like if I have some major question, would you be open to some text messages?
JESSE: Definitely. Yesterday I didn't’ have to do anything so…
AMBER: Awesome. Oh yea, you had that Christmas dinner, how was that?
JESSE: Oh, it was pretty bad.
JESSE: Well, every year and you know it's a big company that I work for, so every year they usually have a band in the cafeteria, and it’s a big cafeteria, they have a band over in the corner, playing Christmas songs and they have Christmas dinner catered in and it was, you know you get your fill and it was good and there was a lot of you know, fellowship and everyone’s sitting in the cafeteria talking to each other, you sit and talk to people that you hardly even know or you haven’t seen in awhile. Um, last night when they designated the time for our department to go, there were maybe 15 people up there in the cafeteria and there was no band.
JESSE: And they just played piped in Christmas music, Frank Sinatra and some oldies and stuff and on the video screens, because the cafeteria kind of doubles as a conference room, part of it anyway, on the big screens they had a laptop hooked up to each one of the screens with a fire, a virtual fire on each one of the screens, so…
AMBER: What did you think of that? I kind of like those, but…
JESSE: Yea, but when I went to get some more, they, they had some Styrofoam cups that were only half full of punch or lemonade or ice tea, when I went up to get another ice tea I walked past one of those screens and I put my hands up and rubbed them together like I was feeling the warmth. And the catering company let you put everything that you want on your plate except for the meat. When it came to the meat at the end of the table, they had a server there placing whatever piece of meat, or whatever size, or whatever amount they wanted to give you so you didn’t go overboard. And they only let you take one piece of pie, and it was just a disappointment. I mean, it was good enough tasting food, but instead of a salad this year we got coleslaw, so, yea, they, and everybody sat in corners and…
AMBER: Yea. Well, from what you described of last year and years prior it does sound a little different. Was it still barbeque chicken?
AMBER: Oh. That sounds good.
JESSE: And a little bit of barbeque pork.
JESSE: But years ago I was told that the talented people that were in bands and whatever, they would load them up on a wagon, and pull them all through the plant um, on one of those electric Cushmans, pull the wagon on one of those Cushman carts and they would stop at every one of the assembly lines and plug in and they would play some Christmas music.
AMBER: That’s cool.
JESSE: Yea. They used to do that and now they don’t do that, they just hire a band in and they all stay up in the cafeteria. And they, they have some volunteers from the, whatever shift you’re on will be Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus and this year they just walked around and passed out candy canes and yea.
AMBER: Yea, so a little different.
JESSE: More and more disappointing.
AMBER: Well, two different holiday get togethers, or work dinners in the last ten days, right?
JESSE: Yea. One was departmental, and the other one was plant-wide.
AMBER: Yea, so now those are done and your birthday’s done and today’s the last day of the performance.
AMBER: And we’ll definitely stay in touch like we always do but…
AMBER: But have a good day in the meantime and I don't know, I feel a little—
AMBER: Well, there’s still a lot to do, but um, I just um, I don’t know we’ve been in this kind of this alternate reality that is Doll Closet, the performance and we’re almost to the other side, so…
AMBER: We’ll have to text each other through it.
JESSE: OK. Yea, I’ll definitely be there if you need me, so.
AMBER: All right.
JESSE: Yea, I was surprised that the Facetime worked because you have to have Wi-Fi for that to work and apparently, one of the departments that I’m close to has wireless and even though I didn't have a password for it, it still worked, so I was surprised.
AMBER: That’s awesome. Well, that’s really good news because that was really great yesterday.
JESSE: Yea, it, it lost connection a couple times, but it was helpful.
AMBER: Yea, totally, and it’s fun to see your face.
AMBER: All right, well have a good day, Jesse. We’ll talk soon.
JESSE: All right. Good luck.
AMBER: Thanks, bye.
(timecode from Streaming Footage Part One)
JESSE: Hi. I wonder what happened?
AMBER: I don’t know, but I’m glad that we’re connected now.
AMBER: How’s it going today?
JESSE: Good. I’m going to have to mute the TV; I still have it up pretty loud.
AMBER: Oh, ok.
JESSE: Have to go back downstairs. Yea, it didn’t even ring in here.
AMBER: That’s so odd, because I have your phone number now, your ground-line, obviously I have your cell.
AMBER: But, I have the ground-line in a note in my iPhone. So, I’ve just been trying from there but it does seem like on the 4th ring it does go through to you. Or rather, the 4th try. Who knows? Who can know?
JESSE: So how’s it going?
AMBER: It’s good. You want to hear like a status update of where things are?
AMBER: So the trim, the door molding fits exactly on the left-side—
AMBER: So that’s good news. And it’s painted and the floorboard has got the 2nd coat of paint, so I’ll probably just do one more to both of those categories of trim. The 2x2 frame is all set with it’s new 1/8” rods, and it’s setting now with its—
AMBER: Superglue. And the 2x2 um, pieces that are 6 and ½ are now mounted to the 2x2 frame, and the 6203 or whatever that is bearing nipple is mounted on you know half on the 6” piece and half on the frame itself. But not screwed all the way in, the way that you recommended.
AMBER: So that seems all set and then also the 2x2 frame is drilled into the plywood, just with 4 screws.
AMBER: And not with anymore. And, everything fits inside itself so the 2x2 frame fits inside of the 2x4 frame with the ½ and inch on the left side, and um, I do see that because the whole issue from the beginning was the top being wider than the bottom, my—now that I have it laid down—my circular saw cut on the right hand side of the plywood is pretty choppy, so I got some sandpaper board and I'm just going to kind of smooth out some of those parts, and it will just be a little—
AMBER: It’s not off, it just clearly looks like it’s not a straight line. It was supposed to be a diagonal line, but it’s just like a choppy one, so that’s not very satisfying, but I’ll try to fix it as best as possible.
JESSE: OK. Um, one thing I noticed when you’re drilling, when you’re screwing a drywall screw in, it seems like the bits slipping a lot, and I don’t know if you have something, like you push it, you push the door up against the wall so you can actually push harder against the screws so the bit doesn’t flip ‘cause it should only take a few seconds to set a screw in. And it sounds to be like the bit’s just rounding out that head of the screws. So it’s just jumping around, and also, I don’t know if you have another bit for the drill? For a Philips? Do you have an extra Philips bit, maybe one that’s a little bit sharper? That one might be dull also, maybe that’s why it’s slipping.
AMBER: I wonder if that’s just the way (ind) because that’s from many years ago—I don’t even know who in my family kindly gave me this tool set, and it’s kind of for like very light home improvements, you know so. I noticed a everything is a little weak and flimsy, so that, that’s a good idea. I’ll look for a different bit.
JESSE: Yea, a different bit, one that’s like a newer, sharper, because they wear.
AMBER: Ok. Because I do still have a few things to drill in. I have to drill the 2x4 frame into the doorway with drywall screws, and I also have to um, you know screw these bearings, or nipples all the way in.
AMBER: Ok, I’ll look at that. Maybe it’s in the toolshed.
AMBER: But right now I feel like, you know after we talk I’ll do one more coat of paint and then hopefully that superglue will be totally set. I don’t want to mess too much with it.
AMBER: And then, I think the next step is to take off the rectangles from the top and bottom of the hinge side with the circular saw, right?
JESSE: Yea, see if you can figure out where it’s going to, where the axis is, the axis point or how the door’s going to open. Yea, you’ll have to just use your head and figure out exactly how much to go down, and how much to go up from the bottom. It should be probably an inch and ¾ or so. I mean, just enough to clear that 2x4, which is only an inch and a ½ thick, but you know, you want to go a little bit more than an inch and a ½, so.
AMBER: OK, so most likely, you know, I’ll figure it out, but most likely it will be an inch and ¾--
JESSE: Yea, from the top and an inch and ¾ from the bottom. You just cut that much up into the plywood and then, right about I would say probably let’s think here, a half inch plus, maybe just another half inch so about an inch, so an inch from the center of where the pipes are. Maybe an inch away from that, you know, an inch further toward the inside of the door, go that far with that knotch and that might be enough. An inch farther than the hinge point.
AMBER: Got it.
JESSE: And I might be wrong, because the thickness of the 2x2 is an inch and a half. And then you’re into the bearing about ¾ of an inch, to the center of it. I think they’re an inch and half in diameter, those bearings. So, ¾ and an inch and a half is 2 and…uh, you might want to go 2 inches. It’s probably about 2 and a quarter. It isn’t going to hurt anything to make it a little bit more, you know?
JESSE: And then, I would save that piece that you cut out and make it all in one cut and don’t, don’t just cut little pieces. If you can make it all in one cut, and don’t, to get that rectangular piece out, save that and then you can drywall screw that to the top of 2x4 frame so that hole is covered. It just won’t be attached to the door.
AMBER: Cool, that’s a good idea.
AMBER: So, Jesse, I guess I do have a question about using the circular saw now that everything is drilled into itself, like won’t I be cutting into the 2x2? I just have to make sure that the blade doesn’t—
JESSE: You can set the blade to certain depth can’t you? Most of them have it so you can just set it down that it only goes a half-inch in. And it should be ok, even if you do cut into the 2x2 a little bit, it isn’t going to hurt anything as long as it’s not too deep.
AMBER: Ok, but my plywood is less than a half an inch.
JESSE: Is it?
AMBER: I think so. I’ll measure it.
JESSE: Yea, just make sure you can set your blade down so it doesn’t cut too deep.
AMBER: OK, then what would you recommend as the next step?
JESSE: Mount that wheel.
AMBER: Mount that wheel. So, I’ll have to rewatch the video. I did last night but for some reason that still gets me stuck.
JESSE: OK. Um, really, like I said yesterday, the hardest part is getting that lock cylinder together so it opens and so that it turns in the way you want it to turn. And in my video I’d say that there’s two key positions: there’s the lever—the lever should be probably be the same as the key. The key slot. I think the lever and the key slot line up. So that when you turn the key from 12 o’clock to 3 o’clock, the 3 o’clock position should be the open, it should unlatch. And when you turn it back to 12 o’clock, the slot is up side—or straight up and down and the lever’s pointing up. And then that should be the latch position where the pins are out.
AMBER: And just to state the obvious, I’m mounting the wheel, onto the plywood, I’m sorry, not onto the plywood, I’m mounting the wheel via the 1/16th inch rod?
JESSE: Well, you’re mounting it with a bolt to the plywood.
ABMER: Oh, ok. I’ll just rewatch the video for that part.
AMBER: And, I guess the part that confuses me, even in the video, and sorry to ask these basic questions—
JESSE: It’s all right.
AMBER: I really appreciate how patient you are with me. So, it’s like one of the rods goes down to the lock,
AMBER: and the other rod goes where?
JESSE: There’s, there’s just a bottom rod that goes to the hole in the bottom of the door for the lock pin down there and then the other rod goes over to the lock cylinder to turn the wheel. The lock cylinder is what turns the wheel from that third rod. And all you’re doing, what’s that?
AMBER: Remember how you said not to drill the hole in for the bottom?
AMBER: So like where does that rod go?
JESSE: It will go, based on where you mount your wheel it should be probably ¾ of an inch from the centerline of that wheel.
AMBER: Into the 2x2?
JESSE: Yes, in the bottom, and then if you mount the wheel so that the top rod is ¾ of an inch from the center point of that wheel, so from the center of the wheel you’re going to drill a hole ¾ an inch away from the center, for mounting the top rod, and then on the opposite side of the wheel, completely on the other side of the wheel, there’s going to be where you mount the bottom rod and so, that’s going to be another ¾ of an inch away, from the center of the wheel.
AMBER: OK. I think it will make sense when I rewatch the video and listen to this one more time. It just takes me a really long time to absorb this stuff, so.
JESSE: Ok, and then one other thing, I think it’s clear in the video but I’ll just say it right now, is the, um, I believe the rods, the top and bottom rods mount to the bottom of the wheel, they mount from underneath the wheel and go up and then the lever of the lock cylinder mounts from the top of wheel going down into it. (1:19:27)
And that’s just basically so the wires don’t run into each other.
AMBER: And then the other thing I wanted to just mention logistics, I went and got, well two more pieces of, I keep saying 1/16th inch, but it’s 1/8 inch rod last night, but I ran into it and tripped over it today and bent it again so I don’t need as much as 4 foot for the rest of what I'm doing, can I just use channel cutters, or the angle grinder to cut it where it’s bent?
JESSE: Yea, I would.
AMBER: What would you use, channel cutters or angle grinder?
JESSE: Uh, I don’t know. I don’t know what channel cutters are but I guess, are you talking about channel locks that have a little cut thing in them, or?
AMBER: I guess so. But I was thinking of just using the angle grinder if you think that’s an ok idea because I’m finally used to it.
JESSE: Well, that’s the best way for me. That’s what I would use, but also I saw one, when you first started using that grinder, something I would advise is, you’ve got to always keep in mind what way the wheel’s turning ‘cause I saw when you were cutting something the other day and sparks were flying up at you in your face, if you’d always keep in mind that the wheel, as you’re looking down at the grinder, the wheel’s turning clockwise, and just know that the top, the top part of the wheel, the cutting wheel, is going to throw things to your right. So, if you’re turning the grinder, if you’re holding the grinder in your left hand and you’re turning the grinder sideways, then the top of the wheel is going to throw sparks at the floor. And then that’s something that I found useful because I did actually get a piece of metal in my eye once and they had to pull it out with a magnet and a tweezers.
AMBER: Oh my gosh, Jesse, that sounds awful.
JESSE: It wouldn’t let me close my eyelid. It was so small, it was like a splinter you get in your finger but, and it set into my eyeball so far that I just felt something hit my eye but I didn’t think about it and then later on in the day it started to work its way out and I couldn’t even close my eyelid because it hurt so bad, because it kept scratching.
AMBER: Oh my gosh. Were you wearing goggles?
JESSE: Yea, I actually was and it went up underneath them. (1:21:38)
AMBER: Oh my gosh, well you have inspired me to always have sparks to the ground. That is so painful sounding.
JESSE: Yea, it was not really painful, well actually when you can’t close your eye and it’s all read and teary, yea.
JESSE: But I mean, it didn’t really hurt as bad as what it sounds.
AMBER: Ok, well that is perfect advice, I’ll definitely be following that advice.
AMBER: Anything else we should check in about now, technically? I haven’t—the only thing I didn’t get to from my list yesterday because I ended up, I don’t know if you noticed, my ended up stopping the stream at 4, ‘cause I got worried about getting to the hardware store. It closes at 5:30.
AMBER: Um, so I have not tried the lock out of the knot of wood yet, that was actually going to be on my list right before I cut the rectangles out of the piece of plywood. So you know, I’ll do that but then it’s basically like lock—well, I’m going to do a second coat of paint. Lock out of the knot of wood, or knot of wood out with the hole saw, then rectangles cut out of the plywood. I’m going to try to fix this. I’m going to send you a picture of the right side of the plywood. It’s pretty choppy. And then I’ll try to do some um, you know sanding just to make it look a little more diagonal looking. And then I’ll try to work on mounting that lock cylinder which is also involve using uh…the tool that starts with an S that goes into the drill? The s…
JESSE: The spade bit?
AMBER: The spade bit. Which is also going to involve using the spade bit and the 2x4 and I also have to, I got the correct hole saw for the bearings on the nipple saw, so I’ll put that into the 2x4. But basically, those things, it would great to get them all done today but, if I don’t, I still have all day tomorrow and painting won’t take long so.
JESSE: Ok, well, I from here, I’m starting to worry, because the lock cylinder is, and getting it lined up to the wheel, is one of the hardest part, because you have to really think. I edited a lot out of my video that I sent you because I was recording about three different takes because I was you know sitting there and playing with it thinking that I had it. And then I didn’t, so I’d have to start over again, and so if you could take that lock cylinder home with you, back and you put it together. There’s you know, make sure you watch the video, because I do point out in the video how to put it together, there’s a couple pieces that fit on there that inhibit the rotation and you can put, there’s one piece you can put in there that will make it turn 180 degrees, and you don’t want that. You only want it to turn 90 degrees. You know from 12 o’clock to 3 o’clock and you’ve got to put that right piece in there. And, it’s kind of hard to get together.
AMBER: Let me, let me go get it real quick, ok?
JESSE: (Whistles ‘Pop Goes the Weasel’) That’s my favorite song.
AMBER: Oh yea? ‘Pop Goes the Weasel?’
AMBER: That’s so funny, my grandfather used to sing that. That’s like, some fort of farmer thing. His name was Iyvl. OK, I have the lock cylinder. Oh, it’s not like a zip lock thing.
JESSE: OK. It’s funny, I whistle that song at my radio at work, and somebody else, when they answer it, they’ll finish the song.
AMBER: Oh, and they’ll sing the pop goes the weasel part?
AMBER: That’s funny. I’m notoriously a pretty bad whistler according to my family. But I think it’s just in comparison. My dad is such a good whistler. Oh wow there are a little—
JESSE: Lots of little pieces.
AMBER: Well, I guess I should save this bad because maybe I can also look up the instructions online.
JESSE: I can tell you which pieces.
AMBER: Do you want to tell me right now?
JESSE: Actually, it’s in the video, because yea, if you, if you would hold it up to the camera it would probably take us like 5 hours to say yes, no, yes, no, not that part.
AMBER: Yea. OK. Well, I’ll just watch the video and I know you go to work today, but maybe I could text you if there’s something that really holds me up.
JESSE: Yea, and something you said, you know using a spade bit on a 2x4, you know that spade bit for a piece of the plywood that you cut, I think it’s like 3x3…
AMBER: Oh, yea. Man, I forgot about that 3x3, maybe I have one that’s close enough.
JESSE: Yea, it’s in the video. I can’t remember what size it is for sure, but I think it’s 3x3. And you’ll take the hole saw down a certain depth in the 2x2, and then you’ll take your circular saw, and cut out from the other side, um, a rectangular notch.
So from the front of the door you’ll have a hole saw hole. And from the back side of the 2x2, the back side of the door, they’ll be a rectangular notch, and they won’t come all the way together in the middle, because you know, that would obviously ruin the 2x2. So, there’s just a little bit of 2x2 left that you screw the 3x3 piece of plywood with the lock cylinder mounted into it down in that notch. You’ll see it.
AMBER: Ok. I mean, I know you’ll say that I’ll see it. I have watched the video a bunch of times, but you know, maybe it just becomes more and more clear when it’s rewatched.
JESSE: Yea, um, the notch I’m talking about is the part where I take the circular saw and do a left cut and then the right cut on the right side of the notch that I’m making, and then I take the circular saw and I make a whole bunch of other notches in between those notches to make it week and then I take the chisel and I knock them out.
AMBER: 3x3 feet?
JESSE: No. Inches.
AMBER: Inches. That’s what I figured but when you started saying bunch of little pieces it made me wonder how big—
JESSE: Oh no, I’m making several cuts in the space between the left and the right cut of the notch that I’m making, 3 inches wide. I’m making a bunch of cuts in between those 3 inch pieces, or lines, and then you’ll have a hole bunch of stuff you can knock out with the chisel. And then that will make your notch.
AMBER: Well, I think it will become clear, and if it doesn’t I’m just going to give you a text. But, um, are you saying you’re a little worried that I won’t finish in time?
JESSE: Yea, basically because of the wires and you know, getting the wheel and the lock cylinder and everything, because that part, the last part is um, getting the lock pins and stuff together to work with the lock cylinder, that kind of takes a bit of experimentation, but I think if you see in the video what I do you’ll understand it.
AMBER: Ok. Even with, even with this afternoon and all day tomorrow?
JESSE: Um, I just was kind of worried that things weren’t, like I thought today or even yesterday you might be onto the wheel by now. But, like you said the paint and stuff won’t take so long so I shouldn’t be worried.
AMBER: Well, no, I really wanted to hear your feedback because you know I really want to stay on task, and it’s really good to hear your realism, because sometimes I get a little over confident.
JESSE: Well, that’s a good thing too but I, knowing from sitting here and seeing you struggle getting the screw in, it really shouldn’t take that long. I think you need to change that bit because it seems like it’s pretty dull. It should only take a few seconds to set a screw in, and then again I think you have to push a little harder on it, make sure it doesn’t slip. Because when it slips then you’re just chewing up the head of the screw and making the bit even weaker so…yea it’s just, you know, like you said it probably wont be that bad. The paint shouldn’t take too long.
AMBER: Ok. The other thing is, we’ve been stopping each night at five, but we can go as long as we want.
AMBER: So maybe I’ll just try to go as long as I can today and if not just make it a really long stream tomorrow. But, thank you so much as always with all this technical help. I guess I expected to—
JESSE: Your welcome.
AMBER: to need a little less technical support, but I'm so glad that you’re generous with it.
JESSE: Yea, because it’s wood, yea it’s, and I’m not that good at wood either, but it’s a lot easier than welding it would be and as far as stuff that you can learn really quick, I mean, the wood is pretty easy. And if you just, if you ruin a piece of wood you can just go by another one. It’s not as expensive as metal is. And its not as dangerous either, but.
AMBER: Yea, that all makes sense. Hey, how are you feeling about our chat yesterday?
JESSE: Um, I was drunk out of my mind what did we talk about.
AMBER: Nuh, uh.
JESSE: (laughing) Yea, I was thinking about it last night, it would be cool to look into what kinds of things are out there now with the electronic magazines that I used to get. There used to be some kits that you could build with miniature cameras, and I, I would probably expect by now there’s some Bluetooth radios built into the circuitry so the camera, the radio and everything is built in, so there wouldn’t have to be any wires. Everything would be inside her head.
JESSE: That would be kind of neat.
AMBER: Yea, that would be really neat, especially at an event, you know, at an event where a lot of people were interacting with her.
JESSE: And not, not tell them that, yea, not tell them that she could see.
AMBER: Yea, because Dollstock—although, people are really respectful of Rhiannon on a whole ‘nother level. I mean, we’re all respectful to each other’s dolls, but just some people are more up for their dolls being—
JESSE: Yea. And you know, it made me feel good when you stuck up for Rhiannon and, I mean there was some people who were wanting her to be more um, a part of the doll pile and stuff, and I, I’ve seen a couple dolls fall over and stuff and maybe their arms or hands get, maybe not stepped on completely, but you know, bumped or whatever--
JESSE: And I’m thinking, I don’t need that. You know, I want to take care of her, and then I sat her on the couch and one of the guys came over and said, ‘Well can’t you at least stick her tongue out and act like they’re kissing each other?’ And the one guy came over and pulled her tongue out and you said, ‘Hey, don’t mess with her.’ And that made me feel good that you were, you were uh, you know, sticking up for her.
AMBER: Well, I felt outraged. I was so, I honestly meant for that to come out a little nicer but I think I, I don’t know that I raised my voice but I was definitely a little sharp.
JESSE: Well, you know what I said, and it sounded like what I said was pretty dirty, but I didn’t mean it that way because that’s not what was going on, but you know, if anybody’s wondering, Synthetics, um, mannequins, their mouth, you can’t really pose their mouth to stay open and I was doing a photo shoot the night before and I wanted her, I wanted her jaw to stay down a little bit like she was talking, or like she was saying something or reacting to something I was doing while I was shooting the pictures. And the little thing that they put in the anal opening of them, they call it a balloon knot, and it’s about the size of a gumball, a big rubber gumball, and I thought, well, I’m not using that, I'm not really taking any up close pictures of anything, of anything sexual. So, I was going to take that and put it in between her teeth, and it held her mouth open. And it was perfect, and I need something soft because I didn’t want to put anything hard and big in there and because I don’t want the silicone to tear and it would, so I was being pretty respectful of trying to take care of her—
JESSE: And so what I told that guy, I said, ‘Hey don’t be touching her. You don’t know where her tongue’s been. She had an asshole in her mouth last night.’ I said that and I think they thought I was talking about me, but you know, I was talking about that balloon knot.
AMBER: I know. I know, because you then did explain but kind of under your breath that you were talking about the balloon knot, and that cracked me up. But, that whole moment because you know at Doll Stock, participating in that doll pile is always super interesting to me and sometimes a little exhausting because you know, it’s holding positions for quite awhile and as the only non doll, you know like, I feel it in my body. But um—
JESSE: You’re the most famous doll.
AMBER: There you go.
JESSE: Well, I don’t know, you might have a little bit of competition with Dotty though.
AMBER: Oh my gosh, Dotty. I hope Dotty and I can collaborate next year for my December performance. I’m trying to—
AMBER: Yea. I don’t know that Cred or Camp have been watching but, I’m hoping that Camp is into it, we’ll see. Anyway, gosh, yea Dotty. Anyway, I think I might have gotten just a little crabby. Like my knees were hurting from the position I was in. I was on all fours. And then, I think that’s when I switched to the other side. Because I saw the person who stuck his hand in Rhiannon’s mouth do it and I was outraged and really like, snapped a little bit. I didn’t mean it to sound that mean so I had to apologize but just everything in that little passage of time was like, you know, it went from being a sweet doll pile, but it’s also just odd in a lot of ways, but really fun like a tradition and a ritual. To then being like, I don’t know I guess being a little bit about consent, because he hadn’t asked your permission—
JESSE: No, and that’s the thing. I’ve never even pulled her tongue out like that like that. You know. I’ve never, I just didn’t want somebody’s hand in there, fingers in her mouth, and I’ve never really touched her tongue, I don’t think, you know.
AMBER: Yea. Well, as you mentioned, none of the dolls are really designed for that much action in their mouth. And their mouths do tear at the corners. If they’re not treated very gently, so it’s for good reason. But I do think that protecting Rhiannon, it’s also like protecting you, right? Like, we’ve talked a lot about your relationship and your desire and wanting to see through her eyes, even literally as we discussed yesterday, so. It felt a little bit like sticking up for you in that moment.
JESSE: Thanks. I mean I got that. I felt that. And you know it always makes me feel good that you want me to run your camera too, so. I don’t know, how’d that turn out.
AMBER: Oh, it turned out really well, just like the year before. I haven’t worked a whole lot with any of that footage. You know, it’s funny to do this now kind of ritual of dates, right, so last year at Dollstock I picked up Heather and Sidore/Mark II, in order to make the you know, Heather/Mark II, or Heather/Sidore/Mark II Lolita performance, just a few months later and then this year at Dollstock I picked up your door, or rather we took a close look at it in order to prepare for Doll Closet so I end up between Dollstock, which is October and November, and December when I have my December performance, you know, end up kind of not spending a lot of time with the Dollstock footage until you know, the following year. But the pictures this year were outstanding and also we just got so much more playful with the doll pile this year. I really had fun squatting Missy.
AMBER: Yea, like, um, as if I was doing weightlifting you know?
JESSE: I’ve seen those pictures, that was cool.
AMBER: Yea. And also that time lapse that you made was awesome.
JESSE: Oh that was, um, it was last year um, one other guy’s camera and he had time lapse feature, and actually it wasn’t a time lapse feature, I think it was just taking a picture every 30 seconds, and we took them all and put them in my laptop and put them in video software to do that. But yea, this year the iPhone comes equip with time lapse in the new software update they had so I just used that and yea, it did turn out pretty good.
AMBER: Yea, it was so sharp until you know, it ran out of batteries it did it’s job.
AMBER: That’s good to know that it uses a lot of battery to use that feature.
JESSE: Did it run out of battery? I thought it went all the way to the end.
AMBER: No, it ran out of battery right as I…someone handed Missy to me in order, then I squat her down and it ran out right before I squatted her down.
JESSE: Ok, I didn’t see that.
AMBER: Yea, but it’s just good to know for next year and we might go to another location, I hear, so. That would be great, and I hope you can come.
JESSE: I do too. Um, but we’ve kind of set a date for our wedding. It’s going to be about a year and a half. It’s going to be…let’s see…no it’s going to be just a little more than a year. February 2016. So yea, I won’t be married yet so we’re not going to live together until we’re married, so you know, it’s a chance that I could still get out and do that, so.
AMBER: Well, that’s exciting.
JESSE: Yea. And I hate to be sneaky but as long as I’m still living here and I don’t have the eyes upon every little thing that I do, I’m sure I could probably you know, load the car up the night before and head out and I mean, she’ll obviously know where I’m going, but I don’t want her to see what I’m taking. (1:40:29)
JESSE: You know, she just knows I’m getting together with some people that I met. I do have a good time every time.
AMBER: Yea. And it would be great to get Rhiannon out. And now that I’ve been to your house and I’ve seen how big your garage is and how possible it is to slide her from the rafter there.
JESSE: Oh, up in the loft?
AMBER: Yea. It’s so possible to easily get her in the car without anyone in the outside seeing.
AMBER: Yea, I’m going to keep my fingers crossed and maybe next year we’ll be working with some camera eyes, we’ll see.
JESSE: Yea, um, that means I’m going to have to start doing my homework.
AMBER: That’s right. Both of us.
JESSE: Yea. That’s another project I’m going to have to had to my list.
AMBER: Yea. You have a lot of projects, I know. You’re a not only creative but also very building and engineering oriented so we might make a good match that way. Um, anything else you want to follow up on? I’ve been reading the transcripts and thinking about how to kind of check in with you after we talk about technical stuff each day. But I really just enjoy when you lead the conversation and talk about what it is that feels good to you to talk about really.
JESSE: Yea. Um, I don't’ know I can’t think of anything that I was going to add today, but. Unless you can think of something that you want me to expand on, or…
AMBER: I don’t think so. I wanted to just think a little bit more on what you said yesterday that it felt a little bit like I was your therapist, right? That it felt good to talk about this stuff and to have a place to talk about it and I think you said something about you know, wondering if anyone would ever know some of the stuff you got away with.
JESSE: That, that’s the thing because a lot of times when I would go off on my little adventure, and it wasn’t like I was pushing it and hoping that I would get caught, but there was always that feeling of—I think that’s what made it more exciting knowing that I could get caught, you know? But, I never wanted to be caught, it was just that I was getting away with something, and I always had kind of grin whenever I did it and I got back home safely, and, and uh I always felt like there’s another one I can add to my list than I can, but you know, say that I did. But, I was always grinning because I though, who am I going to tell?
JESSE: But I always wanted maybe some day get it off my chest, some of the adventures that I did, some of the things I dared to do. But you know. (1:43:21) Now I got, I guess I’ve got another one that’s exciting. I went to a parking garage in one of the bigger towns close to here that has big buildings and stuff and there’s a parking garage and I went clear up to next to the top level, the top level is obviously not enclosed so any body from an adjacent building can see onto it, but you know I did, I did get dressed up and whatever on one of the top levels and walked around. So, that was another thing, I was in a public place, but it was in the middle of the day when no one was at lunch break and no one was coming and going, so I got away with it.
AMBER: Yea, but there were people all around who could of.
JESSE: Yea. And the thing is, and I can, I’m sure that most men can attest to this, and probably you to, and the sound of just, and I really don’t have the rhythm, but just the sounds of hearing high heels on concrete is very, is a very good sound.
AMBER: Yea. And that’s been a big part of this performance, huh?
AMBER: Do you have any of the shoes that you have worn over the years in that purple bin that's over the locked part of your garage?
JESSE: Yes, I do.
AMBER: Would you feel interested in taking pictures of them?
JESSE: One of the pairs I had, well, I still have, but it’s uh, like the shoes that you wore last year at Dollstock. The black--I think they had a thick sole? Like maybe an inch and a half platform or something?
AMBER: Yea, yea. Oh my gosh, those are actually really uncomfortable for me to wear.
JESSE: Really? Those are my favorite ones. I like those.
AMBER: Awesome. I mean, in theory they’re supposed to be more comfortable because the bridge of your foot is elevated you know, to a certain extent so its kind of meeting your heel in a closer way than the shoes that are to the floor, but um, mine are just so high, um, I have an ex-boyfriend that gave them to me and they were his excitement, they were his preference—
JESSE: Oh yea?
AMBER: But I found them really hard to walk in. But that’s cool. Were yours as high? Or, are they as high?
JESSE: Yea, I think they must have probably a 4, 4 an ½ inch heel, but of course they have the platform, you know an inch an a half, so they’re probably only 3 inch. But you know I hit my head on the doorway and stuff when I walk around the house, but…
AMBER: Um, are you able to get that nice clicking sound up in the loft because of the plywood?
JESSE: Yea, but the thing is, I think the sound travels throughout the whole floor of the upstairs so I think that the neighbors can probably here if I do that. So, I was kind of paranoid.
AMBER: Except that maybe they think you have a hot date.
JESSE: Yea, maybe.
AMBER: That’s probably what I would think. Um, wow, well I’m so curious, and I was that day but obviously I wasn’t going to ask. You seem to always when you want to talk about something or show me something offer it. And also, we’re both Midwestern, there’s just a way to that, right?
AMBER: There was no way what I was going to ask to look in that bin, but I know you mentioned there were some of Rhiannon’s clothes and some clothes that were closer to your size. So I was just curious about, mostly because I love that stuff, and I love getting dressed up.
AMBER: So that’s when, on my gosh, I’ll just never forget that first Dollstock dressing Rhiannon up like, it was so fun to do it.
AMBER: Especially because I’m just so into her, and I know I’ve said that a couple of times this week, but um, she’s just beautiful when we put that feather in her hair too and then had the kind of like, flower, feather situation in her hair and um, she had that kind of white lacy shirt and she was on that saddle that was in the hunting lodge, that was really nice, that was a really nice like, I just had fun setting it up with you, but also it was a really nice picture.
JESSE: Yea. I was really glad that you took interest in her and I was you know, when we saw her in Synthetics at L.A. and she was just hanging there, honestly I was kind of disappointed because I thought wow, I thought it was feel better than this or look better than this but uh, but then they said, well she’s not finished. I said, oh ok. But, then there’s the fact that they got, they had some problems, they were, they had her hanging there for I don't know, probably 3 or 4 months before they even got back to her. And that, that kind of bothered me but, everything worked out well and I even made a comment to one of the guys, I said, look at that doll hanging there. They keep pushing her aside when they have to go behind her to get something. And I said, I think every time they push her she bangs into that table right there. And that ended up being Rhiannon but she was fine.
AMBER: Yea, I remember that really well. Because we had talked before hand and you said you know, well, I don’t know if it was you who said this, but I guess the year prior to Dollapalooza, someone’s doll who was attending the event was you know, almost finished and they worked hard to finish her for the Dollapalooza event just like as part of the open house, so I think someone said to you—
JESSE: That was mine.
AMBER: They were like, oh yea, maybe, maybe that will be you this year, so I think all of us were going to meet Rhiannon in our heads and then she was hanging there.
AMBER: But I have to say I’ve seen a lot of their work. All of their work is amazing.
JESSE: Right, I know.
AMBER: And out of all the work that I’ve seen, I love Rhiannon the most. I can honestly say that.
AMBER: Yea, I don’t know what it is, she just looks so alive and she, the freckles and beauty marks on the, you just did such an amazing job of picking all of the elements. Like her skin is so creamy and her freckles kind of accentuate that.
AMBER: Yea, I find her to be just gorgeous so, I hope you come to Dollstock next year and we find a way to work with her again, but yea, I just have to admit, it’s kind of unflattering to admit this about myself that I was a little curious about what was in that bin, so.
JESSE: Oh. Yep.
AMBER: Maybe I’m nosy.
JESSE: Well, maybe I’ll show you next time. But yea, I, I kind of wavered back and forth on the options and, and I cancelled one of my orders and started all over, and then…I don’t know, I think I confused Ronwen (?), or she was wondering why, you know, I kept changing my idea on what options I wanted and she helped me, you know figure it out. You know, obviously she’s always there for anybody that needs help if they can’t decide and so I’m really glad that I went with the beauty marks and stuff because I wanted, like I told you one day, I wanted something that was perfect. And then I thought, well, how perfect is that? That’s not perfect. There’s no such thing as perfection in anybody, you know? And everybody, everybody has some sort of flaw or a mark here or there that may not be very flattering, and I said, yea just scatter them: beauty marks and freckles. Not a whole lot, but I wanted, I wanted it to be as close to real as possible and nobody’s perfect so. You know what I’m getting at.
AMBER: Oh, totally and that’s some of what I love so much about her. Like, it’s also that she’s just so miles apart from the other dolls, it’s just, it’s just my personal interest. I know that. I don’t say this as a way to create a hierarchy, but my taste is 100% in her direction and it’s just fun to think about you twos relationship and some of how she functions for you and so, it’s all just a lot of love toward y’all’s direction.
JESSE: Thanks, I’m glad you like her. And that we’re working together um, maybe we can see how this goes with the eyes and stuff. And um, I actually threw away a lot of shoes and stuff that I bought awhile, you know, after using them a couple time and the effect wasn’t there, but whatever, I just threw them out.
AMBER: Well, what if um, what if you sent some pictures of Rhiannon’s shoes. Only if that feels comfortable to you but um, but I have that pair of red high heels.
AMBER: Which is why I chose these high heels for the performance.
AMBER: And um, yea I don’t know, I’m into heels and it’s good for me to know what you picked out.
JESSE: I am to and what if I just sent you a mixture of—maybe not today—but I’ll send you a mixture of different shoes and stuff and you guess whose is whose.
AMBER: Oh my gosh.
JESSE: But, maybe not side by side because then it would be obvious, but um, I also have to tell you that my brother and his wife, I told you that she lets him pick out stuff, you know, shoes and whatever—
AMBER: Yea, yea, yea.
JESSE: one day we were up in his bedroom and he was going to show me something on video that he had, an old TV show, or something that he bought and he opened up his wardrobe, and he said, ‘check it out.’ and he had probably six or seven pairs of heals in his wardrobe and another set under his bed and he told me that when he gets off work in the morning when he gets off third shift and his wife goes to work, he says he dresses up and sleeps that way. (1:53:39) I mean, not totally dresses up. But he’ll wear, he’ll wear some leather pants and some heals or something and wear them to bed and even when we’ve gone out to a car show, or looking for car parts at a swap meet or something, he’ll, he’ll have a pair of leather pants on underneath his jeans and he’ll start grinning at me and I’ll say, ‘what’s so funny?’ And he’ll, he’ll like undo his pants, he goes, ‘look.’ I said, ‘you’re sick,’ I say ‘why do you want to’—he’s always telling me you know, we, if I get pulled over by the cops or get in an accident, someone’s going to see that I, well for instance like I had shaved legs or painted toenails which I haven’t done in awhile, but he was always giving me some crap about that when he’s, he’s always doing something too, you know. But I think that’s kind of weird. He’s wearing two pairs of pants just for the feel of it. But that, that’s just, I was just trying to get some of the guilt off of me I guess by saying my brother does it too, but.
AMBER: Well, you know my stance, I don’t think it’s anything to feel guilty about and I don't think it’s sick, none of those things, but I do think it sounds like in a brotherly way you all have a little double standard, or he does.
AMBER: Wow, I am thinking more about the logistics of leather pants under jeans and yes, it sounds like a little bit hot.
JESSE: A little much.
AMBER: No, I don’t think it sounds like too much, not in a judgment way, just in a like, right now I have control top pantyhose underneath this like, pretty unflattering green suit thing, you know this one piece, and you know it’s like silk. I think it looks like something that Hillary Clinton would have worn in the early 90s. Uh, it’s a little short so like, you know, a little bit referencing you know, like overalls, like work outfits.
AMBER: But to wear the pantyhose underneath is really just all about the heels fitting better.
AMBER: I don’t know if you’ve experienced that, to put high heels on without panty hose, you’re feet kind of like just stick.
AMBER: But, you know, it’s better than last year when I was wearing control top pantyhose and Spanx with that dress, but it does take—
AMBER: Yea, but it does take just another level of intention to wear multiple garments.
JESSE: Huh. I was just thinking about the reason that we put pantyhose or stockings or even knee-highs on a doll because yea, it’s the same thing. You get the shoes on a lot easier and they recommend putting some short stockings or knee-highs on the hands also when you’re dressing them so you don’t smash the fingernails and stuff so yea, here in the doll community we all try to take care and learn stuff that we wouldn’t otherwise know about femininity. And uh, Camp was talking about, he was there, I think it was last time, but I think he was talking about looking on EBay for clothes and he said, he made the comment that we’re all a bunch of grown men getting excited about deals on EBay on heels and stuff and I thought it was funny.
AMBER: Yea, that was. He’s hilarious. But also, it revealed a little bit that I think he might be super into the heels as much as both of us are.
JESSE: It could be.
AMBER: Yea, well, in any case he’s into getting heels on EBay for his doll, so.
JESSE: Right. Yea.
AMBER: So that’s good. Oh man, I guess I should, I’m having an eye on the time and I guess with everything that’s left to do build wise I should get going. And you have work today, right?
JESSE: Yea I have to get in the shower here in about five minutes and get ready to go, so. I’ll be watching, though.
AMBER: Ok, well sounds good and I’ll text you with this locking cylinder if I can’t follow the video as perfectly as I hope to.
JESSE: Ok, that sounds good.
AMBER: All right, have a good day!
JESSE: You too, thanks a lot.
AMBER: Ok, bye.
Doll Closet: Day Six
(timecode from Streaming Footage Part One)
AMBER: How are you?
JESSE: Good. How are you doing?
AMBER: Good. You were running errands?
JESSE: Yes, I don't’ know what happened here, I don’t know what, the phone kept showing up something else coming in and I’d answer it and it would be the dial tone. Yea I was running errands and I’m going to do some car work this afternoon. My stepmom broke her leg last week so I had to visit her. How’s it going?
AMBER: Wait, are you off work today?
AMBER: Oh, that’s nice. Are you of on—what day is it even, Monday?
JESSE: Monday. I’m always off on Mondays.
AMBER: Oh I had no idea. That’s cool. Um, it’s not a rotation, for whatever reason I thought it was like a rotating day off during the week.
AMBER: Um, I’m sorry to hear that your stepmom broke her leg.
JESSE: Yea, it was last year—last week. I had to, I figured I’d go and visit while I was going to get some oil and stuff. I want to do some oil changes while it’s nice here in Ohio, it’s about 50 degrees.
JESSE: So I thought I’d do that.
AMBER: Awesome, and it’s sunny too?
AMBER: Yea, it was really sunny here yesterday. We took a day off, as we texted.
And it was super sunny. I just took the day to run to Home Depot and pick up a few things that we didn't have.
JESSE: So you ran to Home Depot, you said?
AMBER: Yea, it’s in Riverhead, so it took maybe, I don’t know, 35 minutes to get there and um, you know Home Depot on a Sunday isn’t the most fun.
AMBER: But I got what I needed and I just rebuilt the frame, the 2x2 frame so it’s a half an inch shorter on the left now, so that is all set.
AMBER: But I messed up the wire, just stupidly. So…
JESSE: What the, what was glued?
AMBER: Yea, because I had to obviously re-put on the little 2 inch 2x2 blocks. And then I drilled it in too soon and the stopper stopped it, you know what I’m saying?
AMBER: In order for me to drill the bottom. So it just means I have to replace the, I have, whatever, I’ll just run to the hardware store in town and get a, what is it? A 1/16th I think four-foot rod.
JESSE: Yea, I think that’s it.
AMBER: I’ll just redo that little part.
JESSE: But you’ll have to have another four-foot rod anyway because I don’t think that just two is enough, for as tall as you made it, so.
AMBER: Yea. Well, I have an extra one here, so. Um, I’ll make sure I have three total.
JESSE: OK. So the little plastic piece, did that break?
AMBER: It didn’t break actually that was some of what was some awesome about it. Like, it worked so well, that’s why I couldn’t, um, get it through, I don’t know how to explain what I did. Basically, I put in the three blocks—
AMBER: Having already strung the wire through.
JESSE: And glued it?
AMBER: Well, I glued it on the other frame. I rebuilt a whole new frame today.
AMBER: So then, because I had already glued it on the old frame, I tried to just transfer it to the new frame—
AMBER: And I couldn't have done that had I screwed in the two inch blocks at a different time, but I didn’t and then I thought I could solve it by twisting it a little bit and pushing it in, but that just bent it. So now—
JESSE: I see, it’s bent, yea.
AMBER: Yea, so the good news about that is I know how to make the angles that I need to make for the locking mechanism because now I understand better how that wire bends, like how to get it at a 90-degree angle.
AMBER: So that’s what is the bright side of having made this mistake and it’s no big deal ‘cause the hardware store has the 1/16th. So, that’s not a problem but I mostly just wanted to see what you thought I should do next. Like, I basically am at the same that I was yesterday, but with everything correct now. Like I’ve double-checked on the 2x4 frame and the 2x2 frame are right. All I have to do is swap out that wire, but everything else is correct.
JESSE: Ok, I need to ask you: that nylon spacer that glues the two pieces together, it, was it loose when you said you put the rod through it, it was loose? Was it real loose? Loose enough that you could put two pieces in there?
AMBER: Yea, so that’s what I did and then the superglue held it perfectly.
JESSE: OK, but I think I recommend re-doing that, but if you go to the hardware store get a nylon spacer that’s just a little bit—you cant test it with one of their round stock 1/16 inch rods that they have there. Just test it on there and see if it only allows one rod through, but if it slides but not, you know what I mean, not too loose, I would get another one and try to do it—well, if you don’t mind trying to, well if you’re going to replace the whole rod, you have to.
AMBER: Yea, I have to so that’s good advice. So you know, this is probably good of a mistake to have made on a couple levels.
JESSE: Yea, and so the next thing I would recommend is um, you can even do this after you put the plywood onto the frame so, I would, today I would just shoot uh, four screws like I showed in the video to put the plywood, or the plywood frame on top of the frame and shoot a screw into each one of the you know, corners there. So you’ll have four screws holding the plywood onto the frame. And then you can go ahead and finish the rods.
AMBER: Ok, but um, I rewatched that part of the video because I suspected that’s what you were going to say so just at like 12:55 I watched that little part—
JESSE: I saw that.
AMBER: Oh good. It’s always fun that you’re watching. But I guess I don’t really understand how to put the screw in like, what, because there isn’t a close-up which I understand because you were shooting on your iPad, how do I, like, where do I screw it, do I screw it into the 2x2 frame like, do you know what I mean?
JESSE: No, are you talking about the screw that holds the wheel?
AMBER: No, um right now, basically could you just say with words instead of the video how to put the 2x2 frame onto the plywood?
AMBER: I know you said 4 screws, but where or how?
JESSE: Um, when you had the 2x2 frame on the floor, you would take the plywood and have the outside--that’s the one that you’re going to paint--that side of the plywood, have it facing up. On the floor, and lay your frame on top of the plywood and then trace it with pencil and then you’ll know exactly where to shoot the, when you put the—leave the frame on the floor, don’t move it, don’t flip it in any other direction, just leave it, slide it off the two by, or, slide it off the plywood and then move the plywood on top of the frame and then you can line it up to where your pencil marks are and you’ll know from the opposite side where to shoot the screws, that they’ll meet where the frame is.
AMBER: And they meet in the corner? Like, in the thickest part of the corner, that’s where I’m shooting the screw?
JESSE: It don’t have to be in the corner, anywhere you’re not going to run into an existing screw that holds the frame together would be good. You know where the screws are that you put into the frame? Just try to avoid those.
AMBER: Yea. And I just need to get my left and right correct because the left side is the side with hinges and right side is the side with the lock.
AMBER: And you said to leave room on the bottom for the 2x4--
AMBER: So really since my 2x4 frame isn’t in yet, I can trace both the 2x4 and the 2x2 frame on the plywood?
JESSE: You could do that.
AMBER: That might be a little more exact, you know?
JESSE: Yea. As long as you’re thinking of how the door is going to open and what you don’t want to rub up against the 2x4 frame, you know.
AMBER: Yea, because the left end of the two by, or sorry, the left edge of the plywood, only goes to the 2x2, it doesn’t go to the 2x4 which is an half an inch difference between the 2x2 and the 2x4 frame.
JESSE: Right. Yea.
AMBER: S basically if I accomplish um, if I accomplish the getting the plywood onto the 2x2 frame today what could I move on to without the rods as a next step? ‘Cause I’m going to build until 5pm Eastern today.
JESSE: OK. Um, next thing to do would be to cut another 2x2 for the top and the bottom that you’re going to mount your pipes to. Do you still have the clamps I gave you for the pipes?
AMBER: Sorry, say that again.
JESSE: The little clamps that hold the pipes on, the pipes have bearing on them.
AMBER: I’ll look, let me go get those ok?
JESSE: Yea. You’re going to be using that next.
AMBER: (holding up tools to camera) These?
JESSE: There’s a 30 second delay so I have to wait and see what you’re holding up.
AMBER: OK. I feel like Vanna White.
JESSE: (Laughing) Yea?
AMBER: Do you see them yet?
JESSE: I do now. Yes, that’s it. That’s what I’m talking about.
AMBER: OK, so um, why do I need more 2x2s?
JESSE: That’s what mounts those on. You mount the pipes onto the 2x2s. You know, um, um…
AMBER: Is that in the video?
JESSE: Yea. You’ll, I think you’ll have to be, if you lay those on the table and lay a clamp on one side and a clamp on the other, you know what I mean? Straddle the clamps left and right, on the nipples, on those pipes and you’ll see that, I think you’ll need more than just two inches.
AMBER: I’m sorry that I don’t understand. I’m holding the pipe, what is the nipple of the pipe?
JESSE: The pipe is a nipple, actually whenever you cut a short piece of pipe it’s known as a nipple. I don't know whoever made that up but it’s um, we’ll just call them pipes.
AMBER: Ok, but like…
JESSE: Unless you want to call them nipples. I don’t care.
AMBER: I like calling them nipples, but what do you mean, which end, because one end has a roller on it and the other end has um, threading.
JESSE: Right, don’t worry about the threads. They’re not even of use for this project. But, lay, uh, lay a pipe nipple onto the table with the bearing off the edge of the table.
AMBER: Ok, I’m going to do it right now and tell me if I’m doing it right.
JESSE: And then, I’m sure you’re doing it right but then lay the pipe—
AMBER: Hold on, because I’m not sure what the bearing is so that’s why I want to make sure that I’m doing it right.
JESSE: The bearing’s the thing on the end.
AMBER: The rolly thing.
JESSE: Right, yea.
AMBER: Ok, so I’m laying it on the table with the bearing uh—
JESSE: Hanging off the edge?
JESSE: And then that will allow the nipple to lay flat on the table, and then take one of those little straps and put it over the pipe and then put another strap on the pipe going the other direction. So now you’ll have two different holes to shoot that are probably more than 2 inches apart. That’s why you’re going to have to add another one of those 2x2s. Just to have more support for that--
AMBER: But where are on the frame am I putting these?
JESSE: You remember that time when you asked me what is that thing on the left side of the video?
AMBER: Oh yea.
JESSE: It’s right up against the bottom of the 2x2 on the hinge side.
AMBER: On the hinge side. So I put another little 2x2 thing over there?
JESSE: Well, vertically, yea.
AMBER: Vertically, but it’s going to be longer than 2 inches?
JESSE: Oh yea, its going to be as long as the pipe is. The nipple. It’s gotta be probably 6 or 7 inches I would guess.
AMBER: Why are there two nipples?
JESSE: One for the top and one for the bottom.
AMBER: Oh so I have to put one 2x2 six inch thing on the bottom, and one on the top?
JESSE: Well they’re going to be on the right side, or the left side of the frame, yea. Vertically.
AMBER: The left side, the hinge side. Vertically.
AMBER: One on the top, one on the bottom. Got you.
JESSE: Right. Because that will give the nipple something to mount to. And yea, once you get that far then you can set the door inside the 2x4 frame and see how those um, those bearings are going to line up so you know where to drill your hole saw.
AMBER: Oh because I have to…drill a—
JESSE: Drill a nest—
JESSE: No, for the bearings. On the hinge side. You’re going to have to have, you’re going to have to drill into the bottom and the top of the 2x4 frame to make a nest for the bearings to fit into.
AMBER: Oh, yea, yea, yea, yea. With the same hole saw that I already bought for the knot of wood?
JESSE: It has to be a hole saw that’s the same size as those bearings. I would guess they were probably about 2 inches. That's the thing I didn't’ measure anything, I just threw a lot of stuff together, and I thought well you could measure it and figure out what you had to work with, but I think it’s about 2 inches.
AMBER: Ok, same size as the bearing.
JESSE: A 6502 bearing. Uh, well, I can’t, I got my laptop here maybe I can look. Maybe I can look.
AMBER: No, that’s ok. I can go to the hardware store and ask for help. I really love to ask for help at the hardware store.
AMBER: ‘Cause mostly I think that when I go in there people don’t think that I’m getting anything serious, but this time I am.
AMBER: Yea. I’ll tell you what, it’s hard to find things at Home Depot. It’s such a big Home Depot. It really depends on asking a—usually a few different people—to help you find items.
JESSE: Yea, well here in town I have an Ace Hardware and I know where pretty much everything is.
AMBER: Well, you also know what tools are what. And you know what you’re looking for.
JESSE: I’m sorry, did I say 6502? I think it’s a 6302. 6502 is a computer chip. 6302 bearing, yea.
AMBER: Your brain is full of numbers that correspond to objects.
JESSE: Yea. Theres a lot of stuff I haven’t used in 20 years too.
AMBER: Wow. My brain does not connect numbers to objects at all. But I am into associative logic.
AMBER: Yea. Um, ok, so my first step is going to be to get the 2x2 frame onto the plywood by tracing and also using the 2x4 frame, trace wise. And then.—
JESSE: And then to see how it’s going to line up to your plywood. That would be a great idea.
AMBER: Yep, and then I’m going to shoot four screws into each corner of the plywood, not into any area that there are screws holding it together—
AMBER: The 2x2 frame—
JESSE: Well, one screw in each corner, yea.
AMBER: One screw in each corner. Then I’m going to cut two different pieces of 2x2
and mount them onto the 2x2 frame on the top and bottom of the hinge side.
JESSE: Yea, I would guess what, I don’t know, as long as it’s long enough to cover, as long as it’s long enough to support your pipe nipple. I don’t know if I gave you a 6 or 7 inch long one, whichever it is.
AMBER: Yea. And then do I mount the nipple onto the 2x2 yet?
JESSE: Yea, um…
ANMBER: And how far do I do that? Just with the bearing, just barely pointing out, or with a little overlap?
JESSE: It doesn’t really matter because all you have to do is loosen the straps a little bit and then you can move the pipe nipple up and down as far as how deep you want the bearing to be but I would say at least get them mounted and take them back out. I mean as long as you have the straps and everything ready for them to be mounted, I would say…probably just leave them loose until get an idea of where you’re going to have to put the hole saw. Or make a hole in the 2x4 frame. Just leave them loose and move them up and down so you can like trace around them.
AMBER: OK. And it’s an actual hole that I will eventually put into the 2x4 frame, it’s not like a groove? It’s a hole?
JESSE: Well I wouldn’t make it—
AMBER: I’m not going to make it yet.
JESSE: I was going to say I would make it all the way through but, I mean, unless, unless the pipe nipple is long enough, it probably wouldn’t be a problem to make it all the way through but it would be a lot less work for you because I was going to have you only make the hole saw go down about ½ an inch and then take a wood chisel and chisel out all that instead of going all the way through. But it wouldn’t hurt to go all the way through. It would probably be a lot less work for you.
AMBER: But, what I guess I don’t get, because I just can’t picture the door going inside of the frame yet, so like, when the 2x2 frame goes inside the 2x4 frame it will have these nipples and bearings, or the bearings at least sticking out, and then those bearings go into the hole on a 2x4 and that is the hinge?
AMBER: Oh, all this time I didn’t get it.
JESSE: And then you’ll have to remember at the top of the plywood you’re going to have to cut off that notch so that when you open the door, there’s going to be a little bit of a notch for the clearance of that, that, the whole or the, the whole height of that plywood isn’t going to be able to be on the door. You’re going to have to cut out the notch on the left side so that you have something to clear the 2x4 frame when you open it.
AMBER: On the hinge side?
JESSE: And you’ll have to measure that and figure out what it’s going to be. It’s going to be probably at least an inch and a half, I would go maybe an inch and 3 quarters. Um, from the top to I think I showed you on the drawing I texted you, what you’ll have to cut out. It’s going to be, have to be at least as thick as the 2x4. Which the 2x4 is an inch and a half and I would even give it a little bit more clearance and maybe an inch and 3 quarters.
AMBER: Why do they call it a 2x4 if it’s an inch and a half?
JESSE: Good question, because, and I was going to tell you this and I think I did tell you in the videos I made but it was just too much and I cut out a lot of stuff that didn’t need to be said, imagine that because I do talk a lot I know. 2x4s, they cut them down rough, at the lumber yard, and they’re 2x4, 2 inches by 4 inches when they first start out, but then they have bark and a lot of rough edges on them so they run them through these planers that take all the edges off to make them smooth all around, and by the time they do that they’ve taken a quarter inch off of each side. And so you’ll have a quarter inch plus a quarter inch is a half inch, so a half inch less on each dimension, so instead of 2x4, it’s an inch and a half by 3 and a half.
AMBER: But why don't they just start with 2 and ½ and go to 2 if they’re going to call it 2x4?
JESSE: I know. I don’t know. I didn’t make it up. That’s what I was wondering too. I mean, it would make it a lot easier.
AMBER: But it is good to know and the 2x2s aren’t 2x2 either so that—
JESSE: No, they’re not. I just found that out when I was doing that door for you when I was making the videos.
AMBER: Well, I’m glad to have been part of some cool—
AMBER: Because you provided me so much. OK, so that seems like a good plan for today, but um, oh, can I show you something else too? Can I bring something up to the Livestream camera?
JESSE: Sure and then, and then while you’re doing that I’ll keep talking and in 30 seconds I might be done talking.
JESSE: When you were talking to Mahtek yesterday, speaking of associative logic, all the things that you said that you put together as far as dates and um, other similarities and things, I thought was really cool when I was listening to that. It was either Davecat or Mahtek that was talking about how you connected a lot of things and I thought that was really cool.
AMBER: Yea, because we were talking about the fact that 1998 was the year that Mahtek and Davecat, or not we were talking about, oh it’s Davecat. In 1998 was a year having to do with Sidore and with the doll community that I’m now blanking on. Oh my god. But also I was just mentioning that was the year I graduated high school and the year that you got Heather.
AMBER: But yea, I like to make those connections. That’s some of what we’re doing together.
AMBER: Ok, I’m going to hold this up to the Doll Closet, or to the livestream. And then you will guess what it is and you’ll tell me if you think it’s cool or not. Ok. (2:32:05 approaches camera)
JESSE: I’m still here I'm just waiting.
JESSE: I think at this point there’s more than 30 seconds of a delay. Here you come to the camera now.
AMBER: Ok. Yea, we’re using a different camera today to stream so I think it’s going to be more of a delay.
JESSE: That looks like it’s an antique piece of wood that was beaten with something to make it look like it’s got wear marks on it.
AMBER: You know what it is?
AMBER: I couldn’t stand in the right place for the camera, the camera is set up to shoot this whole set and not for something close up. But what it is is door molding that has a leaf pattern on it.
JESSE: Ok, yea.
AMBER: I remember you saying that I had to do the um,
AMBER: Molding to cover up the gap that will be between the 2x2 frame and the 2x4 frame—
AMBER: And so I hope this covers, it was the wider one of the options—
JESSE: That would be nice.
AMBER: Yea and I also, it just like reminded me of something that would be in my fathers house, which reminds me of your house.
AMBER: Yea, ‘cause you know just like kind of, I don’t know there’s something a little bit um…something a little Midwestern about it and also the other thing I liked about it is it related to—remember Ace’s doll closet that he posted pictures of and he put those fake flowers in so it made a little garland?
AMBER: It also reminds me of that so it’s a little bit in honor of the pictures that people posted.
JESSE: That’s nice.
AMBER: So I guess the other thing that I can do today if I still have time after the other tasks, is paint that white after cutting it to size.
JESSE: Yea. Have you, you were painting something the other day. What was that? Were you painting some other trim?
AMBER: Yea, that’s the floorboard.
JESSE: Oh, ok.
AMBER: Yea, ‘cause you know, they get it all ready for you to stain, but I just thought white would look better in here.
JESSE: Ok, yea.
AMBER: Yea. I don’t know, the stain didn’t seem right. And then I do think I’m going to pain the door pink even though you know, it’s not accurate to your door. So doesn’t make for a close replica but I think, um, I don’t know, I just kind of want to see what it looks like all hidden like that.
JESSE: Yea. Ok.
JESSE: So that would be a good idea, it’s a little bit of different worlds of different people’s doll closets and ideas and um, yea colors of you know, like you said mine wasn’t painted but if it was painted it would be more hidden so that would be cool.
AMBER: But then again since I’m putting the door trim on it, maybe it is weird to paint it pink, but I guess if you were to have a secret, you know what I mean, if you were to have a secret door you wouldn’t put molding around it because that would like display the fact that it’s a door.
AMBER: But we’re trying to make a replica of the fact that, and it’s clear in the pictures of the original doll closet that left hand side was trim because it butted up the—
JESSE: To the door, yea.
AMBER: To the doorway. So, but I have to kind of make it fit to this space too so I’m going to think more that about that. I’m not convinced actually that I’ll paint the molding or the door pink yet. I’m going to think more about it, but as we talk through--
JESSE: Well they--
AMBER: Sorry, go ahead.
JESSE: Oh, that’s all right, I was just going to say will they let you paint the wall pink around it?
AMBER: Oh, yea, yea. They’re going to let me paint the wall pink around it.
JESSE: Really? Ok, well then you could leave it the way it is. Paint the wall pink and leave uh, the molding just on the left side white and leave the door the same color as I mean, normal plywood.
AMBER: So it would be like a pink wall, a white trim on the left and then plywood
JESSE: Yea. Then it would match what I have.
AMBER: Yea, if I only put the trim on the left?
AMBER: It would match yours.
AMBER: Would you rather I match yours?
JESSE: Oh, no it doesn’t matter to me, but I mean, that’s what I have and if you want to.
AMBER: I mean, that would be cool.
JESSE: Yea, um, it would be kind of a tribute because I wouldn’t put the, I probably when I get that door back I won’t use it in the same place so that would be, excuse me, kind of a tribute to what was and then it won’t be that way again.
JESSE: I’ll put it in the garage instead of in the house.
AMBER: Well you made my decision easy, then. So I’m going to do the walls pink, I’m going to do the molding white, and I’m going to do the door plywood.
AMBER: And that’s what you’re saying would match yours the best, right?
JESSE: Yea, that sounds good because I didn’t even realize that they were going to let you paint the wall. I thought you were just going to pain the plywood.
AMBER: Oh, no, no. Watermill is super, super accommodating.
JESSE: Wow, ok.
AMBER: Yea. And also I should mention that everyone has been really supportive, not only of the project, but also has been really interested to hear what you have to say in the call ins, and the transcripts have been a really important part of the project too, so. I’ve only gotten compliments.
AMBER: And I want to pass those along to you since you really made this possible.
JESSE: Oh, thanks. That’s nice to know.
JESSE: I read some of the transcripts yesterday and I think it was from the first day and I didn’t realize there were so many dropouts and a lot of indeterminable things but—they typed into the script “ind.”
AMBER: But you know we can go—what we’re doing is I have a close friend who is super skilled at transcribing and she’s transcribing the from streaming footage, but you know, we obviously had really good audio on our camera end, so we can go in and fill that in, once we import all the footage, which we’ve done but we just don’t, basically we don’t have the time at night to go through every single thing.
JESSE: And once you get my audio footage, which I’ll put up on that same drive for you to download, um, it will be kind of neat to see, it will be kind of, it’ll kind of be confusing if you’re looking at the video and seeing why we were looing puzzled because in each case the audio will be filled in from both sides.
JESSE: But we’re looking like we can’t hear anything.
AMBER: That’s so true. But at the same time, you know, we can cut away to something else that’s happening in the room since we’re shooting with multiple cameras.
JESSE: OK. And you probably won’t want to use that first twenty minutes when we were trying to figure out how to get the best sound anyway, so.
AMBER: Probably not, but you never know.
AMBER: Ok, wait. I had one other question because I think that the other thing I can do um, so basically it will take like two seconds to cut the molding on the saw, on the table saw and then paint it white. I also have to cut the floorboard for the size of this room. But that’s not all going to take very long, so I could really move on to like a 4th task this afternoon, which would be to get the knot of wood, but yesterday—or the day before’s knot of wood was such a failure because it all fell apart.
JESSE: Mm’hm. Ok.
AMBER: So I don’t know if you had any other tips on that?
JESSE: Um…yea, if you have another knot there, just I would look at it closely and make sure there’s not a lot of sap in it. If there’s a lot of sap in it, it’s more than likely that it’s going to fall apart once it you know, get’s a little bit of torque on it.
JESSE: It’s either that or, use the knot that's in my old door. You could, you could you know, you could go ahead and cut that out.
AMBER: I don’t want to mess with the original door.
JESSE: I mean if you had to you could use that knot, if you can’t find one.
AMBER: Yea. Well, that’s a very generous offer. I will think about that.
JESSE: But then, I would like it back as you know—
AMBER: Yea, obviously. Well, what I’ll do is try to um…’cause I found just the most knotty piece of plywood you could imagine. So I have a lot to try on. And I’ll just try and hopefully one of these will work. I still feel confused why we used the same size hole saw to drill out the um, oh, I know, you told me, because tools aren’t very precise.
AMBER: So what I’ll do is the masking tape option. Um, and then I can’t do anything more with the locking mechanism—that circle that you drilled out for me at your house—without the rods, right? I can’t mess around with that today?
JESSE: You can mount it, maybe. You can mount it in the door on the plywood you know, with the bolt. Go that route. Get the bolt in there, and get ready to mount the wheel. I mean you have to put the bolt through the door where you’re going to put the wheel, but you also have to have it so that the bolt gets drilled in at the halfway point where the top rod and the bottom rod are lining up. Does that make sense? You have to have the axis of the wheel in the middle of where the top and the bottom rods line up. And actually, since that wheel was cut out with a 2 inch hole saw, I think, then you only have an inch between the center point of it and the outer edge and you probably don't’ want to go all the way to the outer edge or you won’t have anything for the rod to hold into. So you might just make the top rod be ¾ of an inch, you know you can get a straight line from that top rod, and then mark over about ¾ of an inch where you think you want to put that wheel and then it would have to be ¾ of an inch away from that straight line of that top rod.
AMBER: You know, I’m going to wait ‘till tomorrow on that.
AMBER: I just want to absorb what you said and play it back to myself. I’m sure I’ll understand it with a little time. So, we’ll revisit that tomorrow, but let me just go over with you what I’m going to do next. So I’m going to mount the 2x2 frame to the plywood. I’m going to mount the 6 to 7 inch 2x2 to the 2x2 frame. I’m going to put the nipples on the top and bottom of the hinge side, the left side, using the buckles.
AMBER: And um, the way that you showed me how. And I’m going to work on the um, knot of wood which will hide the lock. I’m going to cut the floorboard and I’m going to cut the molding and then I’m going to get the floorboard and the molding a second coat of paint, well a second coat of paint for the floorboard and a first coat of paint for the molding. And then I’m going to go to the hardware store after I’m done streaming and I’m going to get, so I have a total of 3 1/16th inch 4 foot rods, and then I’m going to get a um, hole saw that is the same size as a 6302 bearing.
JESSE: Make sure that that, look at the bearing, there should be a number on it somewhere, you can see the number engraved on it. I think it is a 6302. Um, yea. Go ahead.
AMBER: It says 6203 Z.
JESSE: 6203? See, I’m dyslexic.
AMBER: 6203, got it.
AMBER: Wait. 6203, yea. 6203 bearing, and I’ll take the bearing to the hardware store.
AMBER: And, um, now, should I mount the plywood to the 2x2 frame before cutting that groove out on the top of it?
JESSE: No, I don’t think you have to because it should be overlapping. It should be sticking up past that. You know, that’s a good idea. That’s another thing that, all you have to do is cut down as far as that 2x2 frame.
AMBER: So, should I do it before I mount it?
JESSE: Yea, you could.
AMBER: Or should I do it after, you tell me.
JESSE: It would probably be better just to go ahead and trace the top and the bottom of the outside edges of the 2x2 frame, and then cut that as the notch. And then, but you’ll have to figure out later where the hinge point is and cut it out, cut it at the top and make the vertical cuts after you figure out where the hinge pin, hinge point is. You know, in order, in other words, what, where exactly is that door going to be, where is the axis of the door? How’s it going to rotate. That’s what I’m getting at.
AMBER: I’ll, I’ll trace it but I won’t cut it yet.
JESSE: Yea, ok.
AMBER: OK. I guess that’s kind of all that I can accomplish today without the rods. And—
JESSE: Make sure you get that little nylon spacer too.
AMBER: Oh god, yea. And um 1 inch, but with less room on the inside.
JESSE: Yea. Make it so it fits pretty decent, of a fit, you know, not tight so you can’t move it but.
AMBER: Yea, Ok. Well, I think that’s probably all that I’ll get done before I have to stop, because the hardware closes at 5:30.
AMBER: So I’m going to shoot to build until it makes sense and then head over there. Um, gosh, do you think that since I’m as far as I am today, I could finish putting the door together tomorrow in order to have the last day just be painting?
JESSE: Um, there’s a little bit of, kind of stuff that I couldn't really tell you in the video. Because I don’t know exactly where you’re axis point for your hinge, where it’s going to swing and you know what I mean? The axis of the hinge determines exactly where you’re going to put your holes, your holes on the top and bottom of the 2x4 frame, and then, also the bending of the wires, getting them into the wheel. And the hardest part honestly, I think the hardest part is that lock cylinder itself. So, I’m thinking that if you move as far and fast as you can today, that lock cylinder itself takes a bit of experimenting. There’s different ways to put it together. And you want it to you want it to move a certain way, so you’re going to have to experiment with that to get it to move a certain way. And then you’re going to have to attach that wire from the lock cylinder to the wheel. But also, the mounting of the lock cylinder itself is kind of tricky.
AMBER: And for that, and the mounting of the lock cylinder also involves the drilling out using the—
JESSE: The hole saw.
AMBER: Um, no, hold on let me get the tool that I bought yesterday, ok?
JESSE: And the spade bit, yea.
(Amber holds a tool up to the camera)
AMBER: Ok, you’ll see it. It’s just a spade bit. But I use the spade bit having to do with the lock cylinder right?
JESSE: Yea, you’ll have to cut into the 2x2 frame on the bottom with the hole saw first, and then you’ll make a little, I don’t know if it was, it may be a 3 by a, a 3 inch by 3 inch, yea that’s the right bit. And then I made like a 3x3 inch piece out of plywood that you would drill the spade bit through in order to mount the lock cylinder into that little piece of plywood.
AMBER: But why am I using, I used the hole saw on the 2x2 frame on the lock side in addition to the hinge side?
JESSE: Yes. You’ll have to use a hole saw to make a hole for the bearings, the roller thing.
AMBER: Right, but the bearings are on the left side. They’re on the hinge side.
AMBER: But why do I need to use the hole saw on the right side? On the 2x2 frame? What is that purpose?
JESSE: Because you have to have, you have to have a depth for that knot to slip into. Because your plywood is only ½ inch thick, and the knot itself is probably—that’s the point, the thing I just realized, why you’re not fell apart. Did you take it out of another piece of ½ inch plywood?
JESSE: Oh, then that’s probably why, yea the knot that I have in my door over there in the corner is probably a 3.4 inch and it held together pretty well. So if you want to you can use my knot. That would probably help a lot, but you have to drill out the 2x2 frame a certain depth, for the thickness of that knot, and also so you know so you mount your lock cylinder inside so it’s flush with the door.
AMBER: Oh, oh, so I use the hole saw in the 2x4 frame, not the 2x2 frame because—
JESSE: No, it is in the 2x2 frame at the bottom.
AMBER: But my hole saw might be bigger than the 2x2 frame. Let me go get my hole saw ok?
JESSE: Yea, I don’t think that really matters.
AMBER: Oh, ok.
JESSE: Well, you know, as long as it’s the same size as the knot, the hole saw that you use for the knot, it’s got to be that same size.
AMBER: I got it. So really there, even if I get as far as we described today, there still is a lot to do tomorrow?
JESSE: Yes, that lock is pretty tricky.
AMBER: OK. Ok, Well that’s just good to know and be and prepared for. I just wonder if there’s anything else I should be running to get, you know tonight when I go to the hardware store, is there anything you can anticipate I might need for tomorrow, during the tricky time of figuring out the knot? I mean, Watermill is amazing. They have so many tools, so I’ve really been able to get everything that I needed out of the shed for the most part, but there’s a few things that I, you know, grabbed. Like, it’s not like they have an endless supply of 1/16th inch rods for example.
JESSE: Right. I can’t think of anything, unless you I mean, as long as you have everything I described in the list and the only other thing I didn't’ say for sure was the hole saw for the size of the knot, which I should have included that. You know, you should get a hole saw, you know a separate hole saw for the knot and include that—
AMBER: Well, I have that.
JESSE: Yea, I know you do now. But that’s the only thing I can think of I forgot, so, as long as you follow that list, I think everything’s there.
AMBER: Oh, great.
JESSE: You have superglue obviously?
JESSE: I love superglue.
AMBER: I know.
JESSE: And tape, masking tape, so…um, I really don’t think there’s anything else.
AMBER: Ok. Well, that all sounds really good and I’ll just be prepared for that lock cylinder to be a little tricky and I’ll rewatch the video to prepare for that also and then what I anticipate having questions about it is you know, axis points and also exactly how that little circle works. Um, not the lock cylinder but the circle that--
AMBER: Basically contains the wire. So, we’ll just deal with that tomorrow, though. I think I have some nice tasks at hand.
AMBER: For today.
AMBER: And I realized that you so kindly kind of jumped in and talked a little bit about what Davecat had to say about associative logic, and I wondered if you had any other you know, observations from the other night when we did the gosh, so much, it was 2 hours, it was you and me, me and Davecat, and me and Mahtek.
AMBER: Yea, the day before.
JESSE: I thought it was yesterday we talked to Davecat, you talked to Davecat and Mahtek. Was that the day before?
AMBER: Yea, it was the day before just because yesterday we took off.
JESSE: Right, ok, I’m sorry. Let me switch phones real quick. My one phone is starting to beep like the battery’s dying. But there’s another one here.
JESSE: So now I have them both on, does that sound weird? No, I guess not.
AMBER: No, I don't think so.
JESSE: It only sounded weird to me, ok. I, I kind of got carried away yesterday, I was having phone talking about it. I don't know. I think I did think of something but, what would you like to go on about?
AMBER: I’ve just wondered how it’s been feeling to share the way that you have been. Like, we’ve both been talking about the technical aspects of the closet, and talking about the closet as a metaphor, and you know—
JESSE: (coughs) Excuse me.
AMBER: That’s ok. Bless you.
AMBER: You talked about Wisconsin, and you know, there was just some stories that I hadn’t heard and um, I wondered how it was to share those with me since we’re also Livestreaming, since we’ve talked a lot about this, but um, this content, this part of you life. But not necessarily for an audience, and now here we are talking about stories that we haven’t discussed before.
JESSE: Yea, well, was there, was there actually people in the studio yesterday, or the day before?
JESSE: As an audience, when I was saying all that?
JESSE: Ok. Well I just wonder if they seem surprised. Of course, they don’t know me, they don’t even what I look like but, I just wondered what kind of things people think when they know a grown man is doing that sort of thing and it’s, it’s, you know if you want to go on about the closet metaphor, it’s been a big part of my life as far as doing those sort of thing and no one knows about it unless when I got pulled over by the cops that one time if they said anything, and they may have ‘cause it’s a small community, but I never had anybody remind me of it, so I just assumed it was forgotten.
JESSE: So, the other times that I can think of besides the, the high school that I shared with you, that was kind of neat because the power was still on in the building and the lights were still on in the auditorium and I stood up on the stage and they just, and I felt like doing something, I felt like recording it or doing something but you know, who would care or who would believe me that I did that? You know, they would say I was a nut, that I did it to be funny, but I don’t know. There’s been a lot of times when I’ve taken off, even when my wife was still here with me, and, and I would have a bunch of stuff in the trunk of one of my cars, and my big car I would like in the middle of the night—since I didn’t sleep with her in the last couple years she lived here—
JESSE: I would sneak out and find a place, down at some places there was like a dead end road where they build a highway and the little county road stops because they built a highway and there’s no access to the four lanes highway here so, and then there was a cornfield all around, no one could see but it was fun. It was fun. (2:58:20) And I haven’t done it in a couple years but, I mean, it was fun siting on the hood of my car and being dressed like that as the big semis were going by on the highway and I was sitting right there.
JESSE: And but no one, I realized that no one driving down a highway at night is going to realize what I just passed unless they’re looking for it. Especially if it’s just all of a sudden in a clearing by a cornfield.
AMBER: Right. But you know, at Dollstock we were once with a number of truck drivers, and um, remember they told some stories about some things they’ve seen looking out?
AMBER: So maybe it’s not so far off that they would have driven by and noticed.
JESSE: Well, what did you say? Where did you hear those stories?
AMBER: At Dollstock, remember?
AMBER: There were 2 truck drivers there.
JESSE: Right, ok. Yea, I just felt kind of weird sharing some of the stories knowing that possibly some of the guys from the doll community, the community that I know, they obviously never knew that about me, but it’s uh, like I said it’s one of the things that led me up to buying a doll in the first place and it kind of made me feel like since I have a doll, I don’t need to keep doing this, this sort of risky behavior, risk getting caught or whatever. But, in a way it’s kind of relieving to talk with somebody, even though I am live and maybe other people are hearing me. No one else knows me but you and the other, whoever else might be listening that I know from the doll community, but you’re in a way kind of a therapist, right now. And it’s fun to relate these stories because I always thought in my mind somebody’s going to know that I did this someday. They’re going to say, no you didn’t. No you didn’t. That’s stupid. Why would you do that? You couldn’t get away with that. Yes, I did.
AMBER: You sure did.
JESSE: I’ve, I’ve, you know I like old abandoned houses and stuff like that. It’s kind of neat to go into places where you know that it was a livelihood at one time and there’s a presence and a spirit all around you for, even though the people are gone and most of the furniture’s gone and, I don’t know.
JESSE: I like that kind of departure from normal life and that’s one of the things that dressing up did for me.
AMBER: Yea. Yea, I’m still really touched by the high school story because when you talked about it, you talked about the potential for there to be a time warp, which makes me think of some movies from the 80s that have really inspired my work with dolls like um, not that there’s a time warp in Weird Science but there’s like kind of that--
JESSE: Yea. They’re trying to build one.
AMBER: Yea, it’s kind of like that, I don’t know, that note or tone. It’s something that I think a lot about. The potential that right at the right or wrong moment all of that could shift, to be a little Sci-fi about it.
JESSE: That’s kind of what was exciting about it. I knew that there’s no such thing but just the fact that I’m standing there and not too long ago all by peers were in the audience, or up on the stage, and the principle was up on the stage. It was, it was kind of me, it was kind of a sexy, kind of a risky thing knowing that you’re standing there and what if boom, everybody was right there.
AMBER: Yea, right. Can you imagine being on that stage with an auditorium full of people that would accept you, dressed that way? I know that you’ve described you know, where you live and your general community is being compromised of people who you feel wouldn’t but what if you were in an auditorium of people who you know for sure would accept you? Would that change how you felt about dressing perhaps the way you want to dress, but in a public way?
JESSE: I don’t I don’t think so because like I shared with you the other day, I don’t do it for what I look like, it’s only for the feel of it and for my eyes only. I mean I like the, and I don’t know if anybody has ever realized this, but one of the appeals is you don’t as a man dressing like that you don’t look, most men anyway, at least me, I’ll just speak for myself, I don’t look in the mirror and think wow, “I look like a woman.” That’s not what I’m going for. It’s the feel of it and also, what I’m seeing with my eyes through the perspective of a woman that is dressed like that, or, had her nails done or whatever.
AMBER: Like Rhiannon, for example.
JESSE: Right, and that’s I’ve often thought of putting some optics up inside the eyes of Rhiannon, you know, and seeing what it looks like from her face looking out.
AMBER: Oh, wow. Yea. What if she wore the GoPro camera at Dollstock?
JESSE: Well, that’s the other thing. I have hooked up the Go Pro to the neck bolt and I almost tripped on the threads, because it wasn’t the exact thread pattern so I thought I better not do that so I need to do a little more research. But, the other thing is, if I even do that, I would like a 3 dimensional, since I’m such a technique, technological geek, I’d rather see it in 3D. It’d be the most realistic.
JESSE: So, thought about putting a small camera in each eye, but—
JESSE: But that’s, that’s just a thought, you know. Whether I actually do it or not, I have so many other projects.
AMBER: You do, but if we wanted to collaborate on that together that could be interesting.
JESSE: Yea, it would.
AMBER: If I could, I would put cameras in my eyes for you.
AMBER: Not permanently but—
AMBER: If there was some way—
JESSE: Some goggles that had cameras in them or something.
AMBER: Yea, I guess that’d be less invasive.
AMBER: Oh my gosh. I’m just thinking about that for a moment, and what that would be like for Rhiannon.
JESSE: Uh, yea it’s a always wondered what it would look like from a woman’s perspective, so again, it’s not, I’m not comfortable being around other people even if they were accepting because I know that I don't’ make a good, I don’t look good.
AMBER: What if you did look good?
JESSE: I would if it was done professionally, maybe. You know my sister has talked about, for my mom’s Halloween party, if I wanted to dress, I never, I never told my sister that I was into it. But she said, she brought it up. I was just half joking, my brother and I and my younger brother said they would be willing to go as women, and my sister said, “That would be so cool. I could do your makeup and stuff for you.” I thought, yea that would--but the thing is, the thing is I would be outted for sure, because I would have the right size shoes and everything, else and I would be almost perfect and my step dad, you know I told you I had a gay nephew? My stepdad is really, kind of not into that. He’s not, he tried to, when we were young he tried to get us to, my brother and I into baseball and he’d always buy us sports things and we weren’t into that, so. And, that would be kind of funny. I’m sure I would be outted if I showed up as a girl in my mom’s Halloween party because they would know that I put a lot more time into it than anybody else would.
AMBER: Except that you put a lot of time into a lot of things. Like you are--
JESSE: That’s true.
AMBER: A very exact and precise person, and uh, you know they know you to put a lot of time into cars and building and it’s part of personality. I’m not sure that, I mean, I don’t know them, but…
JESSE: Oh, you don’t know them?
AMBER: Yea, I don’t know them, but I suspect from the amount that I know you, from the extent that it’s possible for me to imagine the scenario, um, I do imagine it not being particularly surprising that you put a lot of effort to a costume since you put a lot of effort to a lot of things. Your proposal for example. I was there and that was really special. And that ring is gorgeous.
JESSE: Oh, thanks.
AMBER: Is that a ring that you would wear?
JESSE: Um, yea. I like the, it’s unique because it was, it was not um, a white diamond. It was a chocolate diamond and it was in rose gold and it had some white diamonds around the band, so um, that’s the first one. And she showed me last night the one that goes with it. There’s the wedding band that goes with it. And so, there’s a lot more diamonds on it than what I realized, ‘cause I just bought the ring and she said, ‘Well, there’s a band that goes with it.’
AMBER: How did she know that there’s a band that went with it? Did she look it up online?
AMBER: Oh, I see. I was just struck by the ring in person because I love rose gold. I love things that look like the color of my skin.
JESSE: Right, yea, it’s really unique and I want the same thing. She’s going to have to surprise me by picking me out something, because, I don’t know, maybe I’ll help her look at rings one of these days.
AMBER: Maybe you should have a rose gold one because it would—
JESSE: That’s what I want.
AMBER: Yea, that would be awesome. Well, cool. You’ll have to keep me posted about all that. And let’s, let’s talk more about the camera in the eyes thing. I’m wondering if there’s someway to collaborate.
JESSE: Excuse me, um, uh…let’s see what it would take.
AMBER: I mean some other time, I don’t mean to put you on the spot. But I think we should continue to talk about that, the way that we did over chat, like last spring after Lolita?
JESSE: Yea. And it would be an awesome way to have security also, because she would see an intruder, herself. I wouldn’t even have to--
AMBER: Oh my gosh, yea.
JESSE: And then, if I’m going to go that far I can put audio in the ears, so that it would record.
AMBER: Wow. And you know who would be really into that is Davecat, because he’s so into gynoids.
JESSE: Yea, I heard that. That’s cool.
JESSE: I always thought about that possibility but there’s just not as much, as far as the development of that stuff, there’s just not as much, the realism isn’t there yet as far as the, you know the beauty and stuff they’ve done so far. And the detail of the skin and the look, but I’m not even sure they’re ever even going to get as far as being movable, you know, by themselves, self-moving and acting, because that’s just so complicated. I can’t foresee that happening very soon, and that’s just a whole, a whole other ball game. I’ve seen some really good, some what do you call it—the robotics from the Japanese? It’s not animatronics, but whatever it is. They have a robot that actually walks now, but it takes so much mechanism and the size of the robot itself, in order to balance itself and everything, I don’t think we can incorporate that into a small, beautiful female body. I don’t think that’s anytime soon.
AMBER: Well, we’ll find out. But we could also kind of mess around with what we have, and do add-ons.
JESSE: And I’ve seen some of the sexbots that they’re working on in Germany and they’re just so crude and the way they move their hips and stuff, have you seen that?
JESSE: And they sound, they make so much noise they sound like a crude wind-up toy just gyrating on the floor and stuff. I don’t see how anybody could be into that, but, I hope they do for Davecat’s sake anyway, make some great strides in it. Because yea, I think he’s really into sci-fi a lot more than I am.
AMBER: Yea, definitely. He is, uh, he’s very into sci-fi and he’s also very into his role as the archivist of our community. So, I was thinking more about that last night and feeling really grateful just or all of you. You know?
JESSE: Yea, I didn’t realize that until I heard that, that he must have a picture of everything?
AMBER: Yea, he really does. And through the years, you know we met way back when, and through the years he’s always kind of checked in with me and asked for images from certain projects and he has a print, a photograph actually of Amber Doll that I shipped to him one year.
AMBER: Yea. I don’t remember which one he has. He actually was picking it…it must have been 2012. No, 2011. Um, he wrote an essay on my work, on Amber Doll/Tilikum. And in exchange—
AMBER: I gave him…yea, a print, you know, a photograph and so he went through all the photographs that were available and he kept picking video stills, not realizing that they weren’t in the photograph category. It was a little unclear on my end. And um, so I don’t actually remember what photograph he chose. But, yea, he’s really on top of it.
AMBER: Yea. Well, anyway, I’m looking at time and realizing I should probably get building and I should let you get to your car stuff.
JESSE: Oh, yea. I have about 3 hours of daylight left I guess.
AMBER: Yea, all right. Well, you get to it and um, you have a good day off on Monday here, and I will just talk to you tomorrow. Does 11 work tomorrow. Or, I’m sorry, noon?
JESSE: Noon, yea. Noon is good.
AMBER: OK. Well just talk to you tomorrow, then.
AMBER: All right, bye Jesse.
JESSE: Good luck.
JESSE: Bye. Yep.
DOLL CLOSET is closed today and will resume at 11am (EST) on DAY SIX, December 15, 2014 on livestream.com/amberhawkswanson. RSVP on the Facebook Event Page here: http://on.fb.me/1GmS4x1 for updates.
Doll Closet: Day Four
Streaming Footage Part One
Streaming Footage Part Two
Davecat Skype and Jesse + Mahtek Call-in Transcription
(timecode from Streaming Footage Part Two)
AMBER: Davecat, I can see some light moving.
DAVECAT: How’s it going?
AMBER: That was so good, I saw some light moving just in time.
DAVECAT: Yea, do you need anymore, because I could probably add just a little bit more.
AMBER: Yea, if you could adjust it just a little bit more, that would be perfect. And you know what? Your headset mic is in the perfect place, so thank you for that.
DAVECAT: Excellent. All right, I’ll be right back. See, the misses is in bed and won’t actually get up and do some of this stuff for me, so it’s like I could be sitting here having her wait on us.
AMBER: Well, and there’s two others who apparently aren’t helping.
DAVECAT: (sighs) Doll’s man. What are you going to do? Be right back.
AMBER: Ok, sounds good.
DAVECAT: All right, better?
AMBER: Oh my gosh, that’s perfect. Ok, so I am going to…
DAVECAT: Check to see if audio is still running on my recording devices which it seems to be.
AMBER: Awesome, I totally appreciate that you’re recording on your end, that really helps us.
DAVECAT: Not a problem. I mean, it makes sense, so. (Holds up too phones to the screen)
AMBER: Look at you. Ok, Davecat, so here’s the funny thing about me talking to you. I am looking at you on this Livestream computer. Does that make sense from last year when you were in New York with me?
DAVECAT: Oh, yes.
AMBER: So what I’m doing is I’m looking at the Livestream computer and then behind the Livestream computer is this live, beautiful audience.
DAVECAT: Awesome, see if I had found out I was going to be in front of a live studio audience I would really have made more effort to actually be in New York.
AMBER: I know.
DAVECAT: Hello audience.
AMBER: Oh, they all say hello. It’s lovely and of course we’re livestreaming and Ren is here who you haven’t gotten to see in a picture and you know, you can picture him from last year.
DAVECAT: Yea. Hello, Ren.
AMBER: Ren waves back.
DAVECAT: Got ya.
DAVECAT: And hello, Amber.
AMBER: Oh, hi. I wish you could see me but what I’m going to do is just like show you the uploaded Vimeo live stream footage later tonight. The other thing I want to mention to you but I think you already know this from following along is that there’s been a transcriptionist working on transcribing all of these conversations. So far I’ve only been chatting with Jesse, as I think you know. But what you say will be typed up.
DAVECAT: Yea, I kind of like got a chance to look over like the skinny basically of all three days.
DAVECAT: And some things that I’ve seen, that’s like, wow, I hope you got to like sit down and read this stuff because it’s…
AMBER: Yea, it’s really quite long. One of the days Jesse and I chatted for like an hour and fifteen minutes. He really got into the closet as a metaphor, which we’re going to talk about a little bit more today.
AMBER: But yea, I just kind of wanted to check in with you about, not how you’re entire year has been since we did Lolita since we’ve been emailing, but how it felt to perform in Lolita last year and then call into Doll Closet. It’s been awhile.
DAVECAT: Yea, it’s been about a little under a year, I’d say. Well, I mean, between this year and last year, yea, that was…I hope this a regular thing. Like, ok what’s Amber’s project going to be for 2215, you know.
AMBER: Oh my gosh, well I’ll tell you what it is. And if Cred and Camp are watching than they can know that I have something in mind with them.
DAVECAT: Oh ho, ho, ho. I think I have a vague idea, but I will not say anything. But if it’s what I’m thinking it is, that will be pretty awesome.
AMBER: And Dotty. But I’ll just leave it there. Ok.
DAVECAT: Ok. Well, um, I don’t know. Having been a part of the Sidore (ind), is there an official title for it. Is it Sidore/Mark 2 plus Heather equals Lolita or…
AMBER: Yea, I didn’t deal with the equal sign in the way that you are interpreting it, but I appreciate that you used it.
AMBER: I just usually say “Sidore Mark II, Heather Lolita” basically.
DAVECAT: There we go. Got it. I mean my involvement in that was I think well hopefully it was useful but I think it was pretty impressive.
DAVECAT: I actually enjoyed working in that context. Because it was really interesting, ‘cause it was just like, in like the context of like re-purposing a doll’s whole body into something brand new and more transformative. I mean, I don’t want to like, use a cliché here, but it’s very Phoenix-like.
AMBER: Yea, totally.
DAVECAT: That was just like, come on, to reduce it to it’s base terms, it was fun. It was fun being able to do that. It was fun being able to like, work with you. It was fun going to New York. And fun being able to like actually get a second life out of Sidore’s body.
AMBER: Yea. Out of her torso, right. Do you still have her calves?
DAVE: Uh, the calves? What did I do with those? No, those, I think you have those, actually. Yea, because the ones here, those are from loveable doll. Or Night Horse rather.
AMBER: Um, I don’t know Davecat because I had Sidore/Mark II’s torso and then one of her calves, but not the other and there was like a thigh missing too. There were some leg parts that you kept. Remember?
DAVECAT: Yea, well the leg parts actually I had ended up getting rid of.
DAVECAT: Um, I mean cause basically, yea, when I gave like Mark II to you, uh, it was just like the head—well, the head was missing—I still have the head. Um, everything from the waist down was pretty much, I just got rid of it, because it was just—
AMBER: All right. Because I was going to ask you if you could quickly run and get them if they were handy because it would be fun to have the pieces of Sidore/Mark II present with, uh, you’re not watching the livestream now, but I know that you will be and I’m pointing right now—there’s a thirty second delay to other people who are watching—but, eventually you’ll see the pieces of Heather who’ve been present for the, what I call the attentive reconstruction of the Doll Closet that Jesse made in the ‘90s. So, Heather’s actual pieces are present for the building of the replica of the closet where she lived for fifteen years.
AMBER: And I was thinking it’d be fun if you had the pieces of Sidore to bring them out and it could be a little virtual reunion.
DAVECAT: Yea, yea actually I could. Um, I’m trying to think of where exactly, because I know exactly where the head is. In fact, let me go do that right now. I’ll be right back.
AMBER: Awesome. (Clapping)
AMBER: Thanks, Davecat. (31:48)
DAVECAT: Not a problem. (Davecat exits and returns with head) There we go. Can you see her?
AMBER: Yea, is that Mark II?
DAVECAT: That is Mark II’s head, yea.
AMBER: Oh my gosh. I’m so excited. That is so super awesome that she was that accessible.
DAVECAT: Literally the head is sitting on our bedroom shelf.
AMBER: Oh my god, I’m so into this. I want to--Ok, I want to do something really quickly. Would it be distracting for you for me to remove the tape from the camera?
And you’ll see a little bit of the live audience but I really want to show you just like Heather’s hand really quick.
DAVECAT: Ok, go for it.
AMBER: Ok. Well, mostly because I want to show Heather’s hand to Shidore.
DAVECAT: Oh nice. Ok, cool.
AMBER: Ok, so get ready. There’s my torso.
DAVECAT: I love torso. I love—wow, that’s a big house.
AMBER: Do you, Davecat, do you want the hand with the wire with the pokey(?)
Or without the pokey?
DAVECAT: We’ll go without the pokey.
AMBER: OK. She’s missing one fingernail but…
DAVECAT: That will happen. Especially dolls that age.
AMBER: I know, 1998.
DAVECAT: Oh wow.
AMBER: Hello. (Holding Heather’s hand up to screen) I feel like their energy is connecting.
DAVECAT: They are definitely connecting.
AMBER: Ok, good. Well, it’s awesome to have her here.
DAVECAT: You should have let me know ahead of time. I would have gotten a little better set up.
AMBER: Oh, but I like to surprise you.
DAVECAT: Fair enough.
AMBER: But I also didn’t really think of it until we were chatting. All right, so a few things I wanted to check in with you about because we have until 4:40 or so to chat and it’s 4:16—
AMBER: Um, I was hoping because I’ve never really asked you this, well I have in person but not in a way where I’ve forced you on the spot like this about your role as the kind of archivist for our community. And I was struck by your email to me today that said that you need copies of course of Doll Closet for archival purposes and I was hoping that you could talk a little about how awesome it is that you have such a deep library there. In your apartment right?
DAVECAT: Yes, it is literally, the uh, without giving too much away, the archive as it were is located within arm’s distance of where I’m sitting right now. Um, it is basically compiled of, of course when I’m using synthetics I use that in the context of dolls, human robots(?) mostly female, some male, anything pretty much along those lines. Like, any synthetics which I can get my hands on, I will like almost obsessively collect and put in these archives. The reason for that initially started because, you know, for personal reasons. All these dolls, all these dolls are really attractive, I look at them, I have sex with them but it got to the point where like it was almost a running joke where I was calling myself archivist but then I realized like yea, I really am an archivist sort of thing. I’m trying my damndest to keep, in order to keep on top of of stuff. Like you know, as a matter of fact I got, this morning, I want to say, or off the top of my head like 840 new photographs a couple of dolls and I’m like, yea I’m going to rename those probably some day or something.
AMBER: Wait, you got them from other people in the community or?
DAVECAT: Hmm’mm. I’ll tell you this, like every day, at least once a day I want to say at least, like off the top of my head, at least 20 different sites that I check like Japan, England, the United States, um, couple other countries of like various people’s dolls, basically checking to see like you know, ok, are there any new photos up? You know, what companies have sales going on, what companies are bringing out new heads, new bodies, etc, etc.
AMBER: I see.
DAVECAT: And all that stuff I collect. And this again extends into like not just dolls but like robots, there’s like the new (ind) that Toshiba called Shikito Iko, so basically like any photos I can collect off the internet, any videos, documents, transcripts: hint, hint, and uh—
DAVECAT: It comes in handy. You know because a large part of this I think, well there obviously is history to synthetics I mean, I’ll run things by people like, oh well you know dolls have been around technically speaking since 1970—the late 70s I would say, I wish I knew that exact date, but um.
AMBER: Well, I’m really, I’m not going to interrupt you in a rude way, but maybe you’ll interpret it in that way, but I’m going to stop you there, and just say that I really enjoyed that part of our conversation from last year, when we talked about the difference in bodies, so we had Heather from 1998, and what year was Shidore Mark II from?
DAVECAT: Mark II was from about 2003.
AMBER: So that was nice to compare, even just the tin silicone from those different years, it was so strange. I was actually just reviewing that the other day, and remembering cutting Heather open and now I sit here with her pieces and the hardware is too the right the right of you. My right, Davecat. You’ll see on Livestream when you watch it.
AMBER: Of the computer where you’re being broadcast. She’s so rusty.
DAVECAT: Yea, yea. It’s , there’s just so many, and again this where archiving comes in handy because you can see the progression of you know how dolls used to be made verses how dolls are made now. A lot of companies used steel joints and now it’s stainless. I don’t know why that didn’t occur to me. And, but you know…you’ll let if you, really archives, I mean my archive serves the same purpose as any archive, to know a history you have to have evidence. We’ll like look back on how things were verses how they are now. (38:56) It’s fascinating.
AMBER: Well, and I don’t know if you’ve been following along because I know that you dislike Facebook, but I’ve been posting doll closets, images of doll closets. And so far it’s been Cred, who’s are especially sexy. There’s some dolls dressed in Home Depot aprons.
DAVECAT: Ah, yea, there a little—
AMBER: And then Mahtek sent some images of the doll closet that he had in his old home where it’s the sliding mechanism. And um, oh my gosh Seige posted some pictures, Ace posted some pictures.
AMBER: So, I don’t know, I’ve been, as you know especially interested in the spaces where people keep their dolls this year. And with Jesse thinking of the closet as a metaphor but some of why I was interested in having you call in is that you’ve been part of my work for a decade, but also because you don’t keep your dolls hidden, right? They’re out in your house, and you’re also really out about being a doll owner. Am I correct that you still describe yourself as a synthetics advocate?
DAVECAT: Oh yes, definitely. Definitely.
AMBER: So I just kind of wanted to offer a little counter to all of the closet talk that we’re up to.
DAVECAT: Closet vs. out of the closet: that sort of thing.
DAVECAT: Well it’s, I mean, I guess on some level you could say on some level that Cicon, Lenka, and Miu Miu are in a closet of a fashion, but if you define our flat being a closet, because I don't take them out of our apartment. They you know, don’t leave the apartment except for Dollstock, which I missed that again.
AMBER: I know, I was so bummed to miss you at Dollstock. And you know that Ren came?
DAVECAT: Yea, you know, honestly it sucked. Because it was just like the way things were, it was mostly I want to say the weather because we were going to go but it was just going to be way too expensive to do it. So, next year…
DAVECAT: Damn it.
AMBER: Well, we’ll be there. I’m trying to get everyone to change the location though because as great as it is to go to Fim Firm Feather, um, I don’t know I feel like we can switch it up a little bit and get some different backgrounds.
DAVECAT: Exactly, exactly.
DAVECAT: And then there’s always Dollapalooza as well.
AMBER: Yea, Dollapalooza in L.A. which is where I met Jesse and we haven’t talked about that in this performance but um, we talked about it a little last year when we all called in together.
DAVECAT: Yea, and that was fun. Because even just like bringing him back into the fold it was just really stunning to me. It was like yea he hasn’t really done anything in the community since ’98 and then things happen. He was trying to repair Heather, that didn’t work out. He got himself a synthetic and now he’s back.
AMBER: Yea. And we’re glad for it.
DAVECAT: Yes. Oh, and happy belated birthday, Jesse.
AMBER: I know, and he’ll hear it. He’s been watching the Livestream intimate—like, he’s watched all of it so far, which is awesome. Oh my gosh, that’s right because last year we got to wish him a happy birthday together, as we disassembled Heather, which is—
DAVECAT: Exactly, it’s just like happy birthday, here’s Heather in pieces.
AMBER: Yea. So Davecat do you, as the kind of archivist of our community, do you have any stories to share about—well, actually I’m curious because I haven’t asked you, what was it like to be out for the first time as a doll owner, because you were kind of one of, one of the early community members. Like, how would you interpret that, like how did you check in with people in those early days?
DAVECAT: Well, things were a little simpler back then, I want to say, like almost fifteen years ago. Um, instead of the main forums that people are aware of now, the main forum back then was RDOL, Real Doll Owners Lovers, and I was on that forum like pretty much like every day just hanging out talking with people, learning about like what to do with dolls, how to lift them, how to dress them that sort of thing.
AMBER: And what year was this, Davecat?
DAVECAT: This would have been about like, well, I started saving up for the misses about 1999 and she came into my life about 2000.
AMBER: So you and Jesse were both on RDOL?
DAVECAT: Yes, as a matter of fact—
AMBER: Sorry, did you know each other virtually?
DAVECAT: I want to say that we did I don’t recall because it’s been so long. But yea, I’m sure that we had spoken on more than one occasion.
AMBER: Can you move your microphone just a little bit away from your mouth again? Sorry to be picky about that.
DAVECAT: Oh, no problem. Audio.
AMBER: Also, I like bossing you around.
DAVECAT: (Laughing) I know it.
AMBER: So who else was on RDOL that’s in our community now? Screen name wise, obviously.
DAVECAT: Oh, well, jeeze, well, Mahtek joined a little afterwards. See that’s the thing a lot of people from RDOL, I know there are a couple people who basically were on it and then when people starting getting dolls from other companies—
DAVECAT: Left. Because, well like the whole point of RDOL is just for, well the first two letters are RD, Real Doll, you know, there’s other dolls. We don’t want to be involved. Which didn’t make a lot of sense to be, but um, there’s a couple There’s Tarn, who still runs Cover Doll, and –
DAVECAT: Yea, Cover Doll actually uh, Sidore had made an appearance in Cover Doll twice. The first time was like October 2000.
AMBER: Well, I remember finding Cover Doll when I was first discovering all of the different platforms for images of dolls in 2005. So, that was one of my first stops. But, um, so it sounds to me like you were on RDOL before Sidore arrived. Is that right?
DAVECAT: Yea, to do research—
AMBER: So there was no period of your doll life where you weren’t connecting with other people about it?
DAVECAT: Correct, correct. I mean, just like basically me being in that community was just for me to find out like exactly how to interact with dolls, how to handle them. Doll training is a way to put it. And like just basically how to (ind). Um, it was interesting because like back then I identified as a technosexual, a robosexual, whatever. I hadn’t decided what the proper term was, and no one else had.
AMBER: Say it again, technosexual or what’s the other term?
DAVECAT: Or robosexual. You know.
DAVECAT: Basically sexually attracted to robots.
DAVECAT: Um, when I first looked up about the Real Doll, it was real interesting because I had been on ASFR, back in the Usenet days, which is you know for you youngsters basically what existed before the internet. It was the internet—
AMBER: So, remind us what the acronym stands for.
DAVECAT: Yes. ASFR stands for Alt Sex Fetish Robots. And basically the Usenet was like it’s really kind of hard to describe, where as the internet is kind of like watching—contemporary internet now is really like watching television because you can like select what shows—
DAVECAT: Usenet was more like a filing cabinet. A vast series of filing cabinets. You just open it up and it’s “Oh, here’s a picture of, you know, sexy robot.” That sort of thing. And you know the various (ind) of media, the various sites and one of them was alt sex fetish robots. And what’s interesting to me was when I first got into basically the doll scene, there wasn't like a unification between like ASFR, like you know people who were attracted to robots, and people who were attracted to dolls. It’s like—
DAVECAT: They are usually exclusive groups. And uh, as I’ve learned over the course of my existence as a doll owner, just because someone’s attracted to dolls doesn’t mean they’re attracted to robots, and vice versa.
AMBER: But um, I’m struck by the fact that you found the community before you received your doll which is something I did also but that the kind of outness of your doll ownership started prior to you actually owning Sidore so I’m wondering how long—I think I know the answer to this, but I want to, I want to ask you here and put you on the spot in this way, to everyone in your life outside of the community about being attracted to (audio fuzz) or however you may identify now, and about your doll ownership, now that you have three dolls by the way, sir.
DAVECAT: I know. Three and counting. Three and counting. Um, I’m trying to remember when I like personally came out along those lines, to people. A large part of it was so many of my friends know that I’m unusual, weird, whatever—
AMBER: What? What do you mean? In what way?
AMBER: In what way? What would they say about you if you were here?
DAVECAT: Well just like that I’m into, like, similar to say, like a lot of my friends, most of them are into like Japanese animation, you know. So there’s always something where it was like I was always on the look out for like animation or any shows, or any media I guess you could say among other things that had to do with gynoids which of course are female robots. And they’re like, oh that’s what he’s into and I think somebody asked are you turned on by robots, Davecat? And I’m like ‘yea, I don’t know what part of that you didn’t pick up on.’ Yea. So. And just, they just know that, I mean like when I was younger I used to paint all of my nails and I used to wear eyeliner and that sort of thing so they’re just like, oh that’s just Davecat and how he does things.
AMBER: Let me stop you there because we’ve been talking a lot about fingernail polish in this performance.
DAVECAT: Yea, and how Heather had the missing finger on that one--
AMBER: Well, I’m going to, I’m going to take the camera off again, rather than tape off the camera to show you my terrible manicure right now. Look. Pink.
DAVECAT: Well it probably started out as a great manicure and then you started working with building a door.
AMBER: I know this is what I’m trying to tell you I can’t even explain how table saws, are you kidding me? I used a table saw, a circular saw, an angle grinder.
AMBER: I can’t even list all the tools and none of them have been happy on my fingernails but that’s some of what Jesse and I have been talking about is um, we had, oh, you and I also had this chat. We were sort of unpacking Lolita and the experience of performing together for that, that last December, and we were talking a little about the novel, Lolita and the status of captivity—
AMBER: And Jesse and I started chatting about gender and that time and he said that he really wanted to paint his fingernails and I knew that I’d be driving from Iowa to New York because I have a car that lives in Iowa that I use each summer. So I knew that I’d be driving through Ohio and I suggested that we just get together and paint our nails. He’s listening right now, I’m sure, so, hi. Hi Jesse. (50:24) We talked about this a few days ago so I don't mind sharing this story with you. Um, anyway I think I made a joke, like, you know, like let’s just do it. I tried to be a little bit flirty in like a friend way.
DAVECAT: Kind of spur of the moment, yea.
AMBER: Yea. And he said that he didn’t feel comfortable with that, that it’s not so much that he wants to paint his nails as they are now but that he’s a little bit interested in being reincarnated and he described then over chat wanting to be reincarnated as a hot lesbian. So, I remember then answering—
DAVECAT: I don’t blame him.
AMBER: Answering that I hope we meet in that life time as someone who identifies as a queer fat femme, so you know, we were just having fun with this conversation that started about nail polish but it’s come up in Doll Closet also because yesterday Jesse was explaining when he watches the live stream and he can see that I’m really struggling with a tool, which according to Ren is probably 100% of the time here (they both laugh) um, he said that he just wishes that he could be here and he wishes that he could help me. And I love how he said it, it was so sweet, it just felt full of care. And I realized in that moment that that’s how I feel when Jesse talks about wanting to paint his fingernails or some of the other gender stuff that we’ve been talking about that seems to fit on the transfeminne spectrum and um, yea, so—
DAVECAT: You just want to be there and help out a friend in that context.
AMBER: Well, it feels like we both have skills in areas that the other um, desires and so some of what we’re doing in this performance is I think sharing those skills to the extent that it’s possible and in really, really, really different ways, but I’ve now gone onto a really long monologue having stopped you about the fact that you painted your nails in high school. So I want to talk to you a little bit about what that was. I think of you as a little bit goth.
DAVECAT: Yea, it wasn’t so much high school, this would have been like college. Like the ‘90s, the early 90s. Lord knows that was a long time ago. But I remember distinctly, this was back before I moved out of my parents’ house for the first time which would have been 1998.
AMBER: Oh my gosh, ’98. That’s the year that Heather was acquired and that’s the year I graduated high school.
DAVECAT: This is why I like working—among one of the reasons why I like working with you because there’s all these like disparate things that you like, that exist, but then you make these connections between them, and it’s just like I didn’t really think of that, my god, she’s completely right. We’re all linked by, in these instances, these coincidences. I mean that’s…so there you go, there’s another compliment for you. Well done.
AMBER: Thank you. I’m glowing and grinning as a Leo.
DAVECAT: It is entirely true, though.
AMBER: OK, so ’98, you’re still at your parents house: go.
DAVECAT: I don’t live with my parents, well it’s like I moved out around ’98 but basically what I was doing around that time was that I didn’t have the courage to just buy like a thing of nail polish ‘cause I was still with my father and he would have been like, ‘No, um that’s unacceptable.’ That sort of thing so I spent a lot of Saturdays hanging out with one of my friends, Mike. We were making music together at the time, and uh, basically just sitting around brainstorming for songs, just screwing around playing video games, that sort of thing. Half making music, half making video games. I just basically, just picked up one of his sharpies and started drawing on my nails with a black sharpie.
AMBER: Oh my gosh.
DAVECAT: Yea. And it looked like crap, as it would. But then it just progressed from there like I said later that year I moved out into one of our mutual friends homes and I was just like well screw it, I’m just going to buy some nail polish.
DAVECAT: And uh, a large part of it now is just like being able to be comfortable at my job and to be able to just like paint the other nine nails but you know I’m getting away with like one nail which you, there you go, good reflection.
AMBER: Oh my gosh, is it silver?
DAVECAT: It is silver it is almost the exact shade of silver that my misses wears.
AMBER: Oh. ‘Cause I noticed Sidore’s nails when we um, remember in 2012 when I went to your apartment
AMBER: And we have that nice picture of me and Sidore on the sofa. I remember her nails that day. What was the name of that very first color that you bought in whatever it would have been, 98 or 99?
DAVECAT: Well I’ve always worn black because it goes with everything. Very slimming color. But I guess I’ve always painted this uh, I guess nowadays you would call it the accent nail, but my ring finer I just realized I used to do it on my left but I was supposed to be doing it on my right, I always painted it silver.
DAVECAT: And the reasons behind that without getting into too long of detail is I used to really, really (ind) on Pen and Teller. Pen Jilette, I don’t know if he still does because I haven’t kept up with them in awhile but Pen Jilette used to paint his right ring finger nail red.
AMBER: Oh, I didn't know that.
DAVECAT: Yes. And he said, basically when people would ask him- the first time he had asked, basically the first time someone had asked him why do you paint your nail red and of course his response was ‘if I told you, I’d have to kill you.’ There have been various speculations, rumors as to why he paints his nail red but the prevailing one is that he’s an illusionist and he’s constantly using his hand and if you as an audience member are constantly getting distracted by that red nail, you’re not really paying attention to his hands.
DAVECAT: So I just thought it was a really cool thing because it’s kind of a devious thing to do. ‘Oh my gosh a man with nail polish. What’s he doing?’
AMBER: It is a deviant thing to do, isn’t it?
DAVECAT: Yea, you know. It’s fun.
AMBER: What kind of deviant, what kind of deviance do you think it is for you? Specifically?
DAVECAT: The nail?
AMBER: But, are you commenting on, I guess when you said it was your ring finger I wondered if it was the symbol of some kind of union between you and Sidore, some kind of public-- I know that you also wear a wedding band.
DAVECAT: Yea, now that you mention that it was kind of cool because it was like oh, straight line down the nail, the wedding band. But then I realized now I do it on this finger and I think I was doing it for awhile, because I hadn’t been doing it for awhile and it was just like yea, a third ring finger, it’s got to be this one because it’s easier for me because I’m right handed.
AMBER: Oh yea, that’s the other thing about nail polish is when you’re applying it.
DAVECAT: Maybe that’s why Jesse was like you know what I don’t want to do this because it’s just going to be a mess and that’s where you would step in.
AMBER: Oh my gosh, I know. Hopefully that still happens. Hey, so can you tell me a little about when you first did a doll meet up and met other doll owners in person?
AMBER: What year would that have been?
DAVECAT: That was, that would have been, I basically-- very short story. I moved out of my parents’ in 98 and lived with a friend moved out with the misses into my own place, got a house, and then moved back in with my parents around 2003. So this would have been around 2003 the very first time I met up with other dolls and that actually was Mahtek.
AMBER: I think I did know that.
DAVECAT: Yea, cause it was cool cause basically I was back at my parents being plenty miserable, as one would be, I had been, I was spending a lot of time on the doll forum at the time and I can’t remember exactly how I learned that Mahtek was living about 15 minutes away from my parents house. I was just like, ‘Dude, let’s get together and have coffee, talk about doll stuff.’ And he was like, yea, let’s do it.
AMBER: That’s how Cred and Camp, right? They met online and then found out later that they lived really close.
DAVECAT: Yep. And we just met at a coffee theater over at nine miles Woodward which no longer exists, don’t try to look for it.
DAVECAT: And uh, we spent like three hours just talking about dolls. Like holy crap, it’s really neat to actually finally meet you in person because we, we’d known each other for a while online but it was just neat. It was very cool.
AMBER: Yea. Oh my god.
DAVECAT: So we met a couple times. We met up with, at some point we met TJ (ind) who is you know Sandy guy.
AMBER: Wait, are we talking about CJ?
AMBER: OK, cause we only have a few more minutes together and I wanted to make sure to do something that CJ asked me to do while we were together and I’m looking in my phone for it which you’ll see later when you watch the livestream. So, CJ has asked me to read something since he can’t—he can’t be around a phone privately today and he, unlike you is anonymous about his doll ownership—uh, let’s see. So, so also you’ve seen the pictures and everything on ODC but people tease him of what is a shrine for his dolls. It’s so epic.
AMBER: Like all the shelving and it’s so brightly colored and amazing.
DAVECAT: The misses is always like you know I’ve got some clothes but I don't think any doll on the face of the earth has as many clothes as Sandy does.
AMBER: It’s unreal. So what I’m doing right now is kind of going through my phone to find this thing that he’s asked me read. Ok, so here it is and maybe you can help flesh it out for us. So, um he says, ‘Hi Amber. Thanks for the compliments.’ I wont’ explain what it was. But I think you can imagine. ‘Again I’m really sorry I’m not available for the phone-in. I really would have liked to participate in that. But you can use—but if you can use a little written description, I can tell you a little bit of why and how the room became the way it is.’ And the pictures are on the Facebook event for Doll Closet.
AMBER: Ok, so, he says, ‘When Sandy was on order it really felt like quote someone was on their way here.’ Which I totally remember. ‘And I felt like making a place that’s her own. It was inspired by other doll closet hits I saw. I wish I could remember who but I can’t right now. But someone’s photos of their doll closet really stood out. It had a space for some clothes, some accessories, some wigs, some care items. You get the idea. I thought this looks nice and cozy. A special place just for his doll. I thought I’d like to do the same. I intended to make her room resemble a girl or young woman’s room.’ That's in quotes. ‘Complete with plush animals, souvenir trinkets from places we’ve been’--which is awesome—a shelf top table for a vanity mirror, lamp and other such things. There’s also a small bookshelf with some books, she even has some Playgirls for when she’s quote alone. (1:01:30) LOL. Over the years, as we came across more and more neat stuff in her room and it grew to become a busy looking room or quote shrine it has become now you’ll notice a few of her pics in the link I sent you are called summer, fall, and so on. We decorate her room seasonally. One year, a few years ago, my dear wife—I’ll not mention the name—and I were at a store looking on and she spotted these really nice mini patio lanterns and she suggested those would be nice in Sandy’s room. I liked the idea and we ran off with it to include some flower garland, which is also really striking.’ And Ace has flower garlands too also in his cabinet.
DAVECAT: Yea, I’ve seen that. That’s a pretty cool cabinet. Well, they’re all cool cabinets. But go on.
AMBER: As the seasons progressed we found other light and garland to suit each season: one for each season, plus Christmas. Since we don’t take Sandy outside she can share the seasons with a bit of seasonal themed garland.’ Um, CJ and then there’s an emoji as part of the sign off. So, oh, our alarm is going off and I feel bad about it because there’s so much else to talk about.
DAVECAT: We’re out of time but thanks for participating!
AMBER: (laughing) Not even like that I just feel when we get to talking we really get to talking so I set an alarm because looking back at Lolita to prepare for Doll Closet, I can’t even tell you I mean there was just like something out of those two days like ten full hours of dialogue between us. Which was great, you know, we have a lot to say to each other.
DAVECAT: It is. Every time we have a lot to say to each other. There’s never enough time.
AMBER: Is there anything you want to add to Doll Closet while we have you in your lovely Skype presence?
DAVECAT: Oh my god, you know people always ask that and I never know what to say. Um, keep up the good work.
AMBER: Oh, well. A compliment.
DAVECAT: Well, in addition to that no, I think it is, I think much like what—I don’t remember what I told you in that email that you sent to me-- I think it’s fantastic that you’re actually doing this because it’s you know, the whole concept of you like having a closet as a metaphor for like basically doll owners coming out of the closet and being able to say yes, I’m proud of my doll, she’s my companion, she’s you know, something, I adore, I think it’s fantastic and I hope it really does inspire a lot of other doll owners to say you know this is nothing to be ashamed of and it’s perfectly normal, it’s perfectly fine, fantastic and something that brings happiness to us. That’s the goal
AMBER: You know…
DAVECAT: So keep up the good work.
AMBER: Well, thank you. I have follow up things to say to you that I feel interested in saying now, I’m stopping myself so what I’m going to do is I’m going to hang up our Skype with main and them I’m going to hop on the phone and call Jesse. It sounds like he’s driving to a carwash as an excuse for why he’s leaving. (Davecat laughs) So we might actually hear the audio of the carwash. And if you want to join us by watching the live stream you’re obviously welcome to but I’ll follow up over email or text, OK?
DAVECAT: Definitely, definitely.
AMBER: Oh, thank you so much Davecat.
DAVECAT: OK, thanks Amber for including me and tell Heather I said hi and I’ll tell the misses, Ariel, and Lanka that you said hi.
AMBER: Ok, well all right. Bye.
DAVECAT: Take care, bye. (1:05:00)
AMBER: I’m getting a text. Can you give me a couple of minutes?
AMBER: Hi Jesse.
AMBER: How are you?
JESSE: Whoops, ok.
AMBER: You’re ok?
JESSE: Yea. I dropped something out of my shirt pocket.
AMBER: Oh no, what did you drop?
JESSE: My recorder.
JESSE: But, yea I’m just getting ready to leave and not going to a carwash. Because I’m home, uh, hold on.
AMBER: Do you have a really big front pocket?
AMBER: Is it like one of your work shirts?
JESSE: No, it’s a sweatshirt but normally my iPhone stays in it because of the silicone case and it stays tucked into the shirt that doesn’t slip around it.
JESSE: Yea, the recorder that I have is my actually my old PDA that I used to use 10 years ago for business and whatever, it doesn’t have a cover on it. It’s just plastic.
AMBER: Right, and that will slide right out of a dress shirt. Is it ok now?
JESSE: I’ve got a little time to talk and…
AMBER: How much time do you have?
JESSE: I’m supposed to be back at about a quarter till six.
AMBER: Oh, ok. Great. What is your excuse for leaving?
JESSE: Oh, well, it’s just that I came home to work on the house and she was getting ready to go to the party, so…
AMBER: Yea, what party are you going to?
JESSE: We’re just going out to a restaurant with a bunch of coworkers for pre-Christmas party.
AMBER: Oh my god, two Christmas parties in one week!
JESSE: Well, taking out some people. Is it really? Did I tell you, maybe it’s the same thing.
AMBER: No, I think that you had one at work on the 10th which is your birthday, and then I was teasing a little bit that it was also your birthday party.
JESSE: Yea that was just a little potluck at work. They do, you know, like shredded beef and stuff like that for being good employees and everybody brings a dish which I didn’t because it was my birthday and I forgot. And somebody else brought a cake and they claimed it was my birthday cake for me. So, yea, um. Well, I was just listening to Davecat calling in when I was getting ready.
AMBER: Oh yea.
AMBER: How was that for you?
JESSE: Good. I kind of, when I started to get into what you guys were talking about um, nail polish and being different in a community, you know Davecat was actually doing it in public because you said he was kinda goth. Um, yea, I was just starting to get into that conversation and kind of had a smile on my face, and was getting into it and my sister called me so I lost the connection.
AMBER: Oh no. Well you can watch it tonight. I’ll put it on Vimeo.
JESSE: Yea. I got it on my laptop also.
AMBER: Oh that’s right. You’re recording everything, right?
JESSE: Well not everything. Well, whenever I want to see something that I don't have time to sit down and watch, yea.
AMBER: Yea. Well, that’s helpful to me because I need your eyes on these closets parts. Can we talk about technical stuff really quick?
AMBER: Ok, one, I messed up a huge amount on something really big.
JESSE: What’s that.
AMBER: Ok, so, the first of all can I describe this from the positive side first? What I decided is the silver lining I’ll say first.
AMBER: I feel really proud of myself that the 2x2 frame fits perfectly inside of the 2x4 frame. Like, it took a lot of extra little shaving off on the table saw and it took the angle grinder to get the screws the right amount of stripped. So, like you know it was a lot of effort to get the 2x2 frame inside the 2x4 frame perfectly. However, now I recall it wasn’t in the video but it was in our conversation that I was not supposed to make it fit perfectly. That there was supposed to be an 8th or a 16th of an inch on the left side.
AMBER: So, now that I have used an angle grinder to actually like get rid of the strip screws I can’t take the 2x2 frame apart.
JESSE: What you can do then is um, that’s probably a little more trouble than it’s worth. I was going to say take the left side of the 2x2, or the 2x4 frame off if you could and then, um, that’s a little bit more than what you can probably do there.
AMBER: Well, I thought about like, oh I know I’ll just make the 2x4 frame a little bigger but of course it’s so uniquely made to the door frame which is wider on top than it is on the bottom.
JESSE: If it’s just the left side that should be that much of a problem, should it? You can use your angle grinder to cut down into the—you’ve got another 2x2 piece that you haven’t cut yet or even used. You can just go down between the 2 pieces of wood with your angle grinder to just cut the existing screws to release that left side part and then um, you know you could put another left side part in there but you’d have to make the top and bottom pieces just a hair shorter. Like you said they have to be, there has to be a gap in the left side of the door.
AMBER: OK, then hold on one second because using the angle grinder to saw away at the screws does not release it in my experience it so far on all four sides. Do you know what I mean, like it’s not—
JESSE: No. Do you have a saw valve? Or do you have a hacksaw?
AMBER: No, are you, are you saying tool names that would cut threw the screws?
JESSE: Well, yea the grinder will cut through the screws also but you have to, well, doe one thing you’re probably cutting through pine so the grinder is probably going to get a lot of pine wood build up into the grinding wheel so it might get a little bit hard for it to cut if you do that. But I would use a reciprocating saw to go down in between the 2 pieces of wood and cut with—they call them sawzalls: S-A-W-Z-A-L-L.
AMBER: Wait, say it again. S-A-W—
AMBER: Z-A-L-L. Ok, I thought you were going to say like, oh, that’s such a bummer, I’ll just come and help you.
JESSE: Oh, I could, I mean if I would, I would if I could. But, the other thing is if they have a hand saw, a hack saw for cutting pipe and stuff, just use that to go down in between the two pieces of wood to cut your screw.
AMBER: Ok, well I mean, you make it sound easy and I’m sure after I get a good night sleep tonight I’ll feel better about it. I mostly just, I—there was such a short moment of pride. You know, there was like 20 seconds where I was like, ‘Oh my god, this fits perfectly.’ And then, you know I remembered that, well it’s not in the tutorial video, it’s in our conversation. So what I’ll do is use a hack saw or a sawzall to cut the screws or cut the 2x2 piece off on the left and then I will trim on the table saw the top and bottom pieces but that will be hard because it’s already attached to the—
JESSE: Don’t, don’t use the table saw then. Just use the handsaw. All you have to do
AMBER: Hold on, hold on. Sorry, Jesse. I’m being bossy right now, and I’m a little bit crabby, but do you mean a circular saw?
JESSE: No, you don’t want to use, you don't want to use, uh, if everything’s already put together like that just use a handsaw because it will allow you to fine tune and control the speed of the cut and everything. You know what I mean? I mean it’s just a saw you know what a carpenter uses?
AMBER: Oh, right like just a normal saw. Yea, OK. Right, oh my god.
JESSE: Use that to trim off the top and bottom pieces by a quarter of an inch, maybe.
AMBER: So than that’s easy.
JESSE: Or like, I think I said a half inch yesterday. Didn’t I? It doesn’t matter. Half inch would be great.
AMBER: Half inch. Ok. On the left side. And then, so I need a handsaw and either a hacksaw or a saw saw.
JESSE: Yea, if you haven’t used a saw saw before you could just use a hacksaw if they have one. I’m sure they have something like that.
JESSE: It’s another handsaw, but it’s for cutting metal.
AMBER: Cool. Oh, I know that what is. I have that saw at home.
AMBER: Yea, I used to for Amber Doll Tilikum and also for Lolita.
JESSE: Yea, I remember seeing it. OK.
AMBER: Ok. But hold on really quick. Because, can I use the same piece of 2x2, moving it over slightly even though they’ll be that weird you know, screw in there.
JESSE: Yea, you can do that as long as you miss the screw that you already have in there. That’s no problem. Just try to shoot off to the side if you know about where the screw is. The other thing I have to say is I noticed you’ve been picking it up and laying it on the table which it doesn’t fit on the table very well anyway, and that being pine it’s a soft wood and there’s a chance that it might split if you’re holding it like that.
AMBER: Oh my god.
JESSE: Yea, you don’t want that to happen and –
AMBER: I actually don’t think I could handle that, if it split.
JESSE: No, and I think once, once you get the side and everything the right specs so that it fits into that 2x4 frame a little looser, I would go ahead and put the door skin, the door, the plywood on top of it. That will hold everything tighter and it will make it stronger so you can move it around. And then once you do that, all you’ll have to do is concentrate on getting the wheel in the right place and the reason I told you told you not to drill the bottom hole yet for the rod on the bottom was because that bottom rod is over a couple inches.
AMBER: I know.
JESSE: It’s not in the same place as the top one.
AMBER: No, I know that because I kept watching more of the video.
JESSE: Well, it’s not a problem. I mean, a hole isn’t going to hurt anything.
AMBER: I know but can I ask you some questions about your video now?
AMBER: Ok, so one thing is, um, hold on, are you watching the livestream? Or you’re not because you’re in your car.
JESSE: No, I’m not in the car. I haven’t left yet.
AMBER: Oh. Are you watching the Livestream with the audio off?
AMBER: Oh, ok in 30 seconds you’ll see that I’m squatting down, and I’m touching the thing that I super glued, but it was not that easy I had to use the angle grinder on the rods as you saw. And then I put them together and then I put the nylon, what do you call it? Bushing or something?
JESSE: Well, it is a bushing but it’s used as a spacer, so in the store they call it a spacer
AMBER: Ok, the spacer. And then it worked really well so that’s awesome, however, there’s a little bit of a difference, like, it moves here pretty ok when I push it on the top and bottom. But then like, I don’t know how to explain this because we couldn’t find any of the nylon spacers that had a small enough inside so it’s kind of a lot of space and I overlapped them inside which means that it doesn’t make a straight line from one rod to the other. Do you know what I mean?
AMBER: Is that ok?
JESSE: It should be as long as your, as long as it’s glued in tight and the one farthest, towards the wall from your hand, that other one, as long as that hole is big enough to allow it to move through without being in a bind, since they’re not in a straight line that should be fine.
AMBER: It’s ok. OK. So, that’s good. And then the other thing now that I don’t understand about the video, and maybe I could just get a little bit of call in help with you about this tomorrow…but it looks like, ok, so the when we were at the house and you made me that circle out of that thing you took from work—
AMBER: I don’t have it on my table but it’s in the other room. I get that that goes, I mean that’s like the locking mechanism and I get that 3 different rods go inside of it, but it looked to me like you curved the rods to fit the—
JESSE: I bent them.
AMBER: Did you?
JESSE: I bent them at a 90-degree angle, yes.
AMBER: Is that in the tutorial video? I think I’m missing one.
JESSE: That’s what the vice is for. That’s what the, you know you put the end of the rod in a vice and then you hammer it so it’s bent into a 90-degree angle.
AMBER: Oh. Jesse, can I ask you a big favor, which also if you don’t have time to do this I understand because I don’t mean to put you into a full-time job here, but if you did want to come I wouldn’t say no.
AMBER: I’m teasing you. Could you just send me that tutorial video again?
JESSE: Which one? The one with the—
AMBER: The one where you’re bending the wire, or the rod.
JESSE: Oh I didn’t actually have a video of it. I just said, I just said, ok, I went down and—‘cause my vice is downstairs—I said, ‘Ok, I went down and I bent this in a vice.’ And I said what you want to do is clamp—I think this is what I said in the video—but I didn't show it happening but you put about an inch and half, maybe just an inch of that rod into the vice just to tighten it up and then hammer it with a hammer as your pouring on it with your hand so that you can help the hammer you know, bend it, and then once you get it into a 90-degree angle you’re done. You can release it from the vice. Yea, it was just something I didn’t think I needed a video of. I was just going to tell you put this in the vice and bend it now.
AMBER: I mean, I can take it from there. I thought I had just missed the video.
JESSE: No, no.
AMBER: Ok. So, I have, remember how I didn’t have enough rods but my friend is in town and she kindly got me another rod so I can bend that one the way you described and maybe we can just talk about the lock tomorrow. Tomorrow morning, because the structure of tomorrow is the same as today where I build first and then talk to people second.
AMBER: What do you recommend I get started on, like, I should take apart the 2x2 frame and do all the things that we just described, using a hacksaw and all those other tools that I can easily find. And then, I should start working on using those other rods with the circle—
JESSE: I would mount the frame to the plywood first before you do anything because you’re going to have to figure out where you’re going to mount the circle and then you’re going to have to drill a hole in the plywood and then put that-- you have the bolt, right? With the (ind) on the end?
JESSE: The bolt that the wheel’s going to mount to. Ok.
AMBER: Ok, so you mean that I don’t have to, sorry to be so basic, but to back up you mean mount the plywood to the 2x2 frame?
AMBER: Ok. And then, really quick the other thing before we kind of move on from technical stuff that you know really well and I clearly don’t, um, I tried to use, and maybe you weren’t able to watch because I think you were with your girlfriend at the time, your fiancé. But, I used the hole saw and—
JESSE: I watched that.
AMBER: You watched it?
JESSE: And it got stuck and I was actually anticipating what you were going to, I thought you were going to text me and I had anticipated text written out, can you pry it out with a screwdriver in the slot on the side of the hole saw, but then it looked like it fell out. So it looked like you got it out, but did it crack when it hit the floor? Did it break?
AMBER: Hold on, you know what I used was some screws from Heather’s body.
JESSE: No. To get it out?
AMBER: Hold on. I just didn’t want to text you because I thought you were with your girlfriend. But hold on, I’m going to put the phone down and I’m going to hold this up to the livestream camera and then I’m going to ask you a question about it ok?
AMBER: So you’ll see it in 30 seconds.
JESSE: All right.
(Amber walks up to camera and holds out screw)
JESSE: 25 seconds.
AMBER: 25 seconds.
JESSE: Twenty seconds less. Ok, I see it.
AMBER: You see it?
JESSE: Yea. That looks good. I would say it looks good. You put tape on it so it fits tight in the hole already and everything.
AMBER: Uh, yea but I have to disagree with you because I don’t think it looks good at all. Like the whole knot--
JESSE: Did you knock the knot out of it yet?
AMBER: Well, yea, like I used a hole saw to get the knot out, but the whole (ind) part of the knot fell off of the space of it.
JESSE: Oh, I didn't see that. I didn't’ see the knot, the knot broke then.
AMBER: Yea, I mean honestly, I’ll pick another knot but are all of the tops—because the tops are the weak part of the plywood, but since the coolest ones look like they’re already kind of starting to break anyway, then I just come all apart in the holes saw.
JESSE: Normally the knot is the hardest part of the wood, but it’s got, it’s got like pine sap in between, you know, it’s another branch is what it is, coming out of the tree.
JESSE: And it’s got pinesap in it and stuff so where the sap was it’s probably starting to crack. And sometimes they’re weak, if you know, if they fall and hit the floor they can break. But I think you might be ok if you can go ahead and glue it back together where it broke and put tape around the knot. The piece that you cut out with the hole saw, get the knot out of it that uh, the actual knot is just removed from that piece, and glue the knot back together and hold it with masking tape.
AMBER: But the problem with that—I love that idea—the problem is the knot, the cool part of the knot broke into just tons of pieces.
JESSE: Oh, because it had a lot of—probably a lot of sap and stuff in it. OK.
AMBER: So, what I should do is find another knot that is less cool looking but will hold up better to be the secret lock, right?
JESSE: Yea. But honestly what I would do is not even worry about knot yet. I would get the rest of the door done and the lock cylinder and everything mechanically working and then later on, you know find a knot to put in that hole. Or, if we don’t even get to that knot, just go ahead with the painting and stuff.
AMBER: Well, I’m just so—sometimes when I feel frustrated with the task that isn’t going well I skip to another one that is more satisfying.
JESSE: Yea, I do that too. I understand that.
AMBER: I watched you do that a little bit on the video. Ok, but last question about knots and then I was hoping to ask you a little more about some of the stories that you told me the other day?
AMBER: It seems to me that I should use a smaller hole saw than the hole saw that I take the knot out of from the knot plywood, on the plywood that is the actual door, and then we can skip the masking tape. Because it’s like eh, a quarter inch around. Do you know what I mean? Like you can’t see this on livestream but when I put this knot back in with masking tape, there’s so much space. And what I like about your original doll closet is you have to use that little um…that little screw just to pull that knot out. I mean, that’s what made it look so secret and awesome.
JESSE: Well the masking tape goes around the knot itself, not the piece that you cut out with the hole saw. The piece that you cut out with the hole saw has to be glued back into the whole over the lock cylinder.
AMBER: Yea, I know but should I use a smaller hole saw? For the actual plywood of the closet than I did for the knot?
JESSE: No, you have to have the same size knot, or the same hole saw to cut out both things or else it won’t fit in there.
AMBER: Right. But given the like, this is what I’m learning about cutting wood, which you already know, but like, the um, the size of the saw, the size of the blade rather is something that I hadn’t thought about much in accounting for the measurement.
AMBER: So what I was thinking if I go just slightly smaller than that piece of knot will fit snugger without using so much masking tape.
JESSE: No, they don’t make them in sizes that—I mean, thick sizes are probably an 1/8th inch, I mean they go by 1/8th inches, you know you would have to I mean there’s just nobody in the world who’s going to make a hole saw just slightly smaller than the next hole saw. You know, they’re going to go by some certain measurements I think.
AMBER: I mean—
JESSE: I was just thinking maybe they make metric ones but it’s just even a millimeter is too much of a gap, you know what I mean?
AMBER: Well, then make really close in color nail polish, like there’s secret stash for the pink that I’m wearing and—
JESSE: It’s a shame that tools, I’ve found that yea I used to think the same thing, all I need is a tool that’s just a little bit—no, they come in such I don't know…the sizes are just so course in difference, I mean there’s, they’re not really fine, you just have to find a standard really when you’re finding, when you’re working with tools you just kind of find the closest standard--
JESSE: Size because they don’t make them that size or that different. That small of a difference.
AMBER: I find the whole thing to be pretty punishing.
JESSE: I’m glad we’re not trying to do a metal one then, but actually, actually the metal one to me was easier because I’m not as good with woodworking as I am with metal. And if you cut something that is metal a little bit too short one of the metal pieces, you just can fill it in with weld and make up a gap with your welder.
JESSE: You can’t do that with wood. You can’t just throw sawdust and glue at it because god, that would take forever.
AMBER: Well, I sure appreciate all your assistance. It’s been so great to be able to text you. I tried to not next you so much today knowing it was the weekend you were with your girlfriend but I really, really appreciate that you’re on call the way you are. It’s been really helpful. And it’s also been really nice to be in touch with you this much this week.
JESSE: Yea, so I’m glad to help, but um, I left the house, I left her place, I don’t know, probably around 11 or so, and I’ve been home ever since working on stuff here.
AMBER: Oh you’re working on the bay window stuff.
JESSE: Yea. So I’m going to head back over there.
AMBER: Oh wait—
JESSE: I can talk to you on the road.
AMBER: Ok. I also wanted to revisit the conversation we had, not yesterday but the day before, and I wondered if you were able to look online at the transcription at all?
AMBER: I’ve been posting them on my blog, which is something I emailed you about. And you know, some of what I’ve been thinking about in the last 2 days as I build, is that you shared a story that I had never discussed with you before. And I both really appreciated that and wondered if there’s other stories that you haven’t shared with me privately but maybe interested in sharing for the performance.
JESSE: Actually, that’s probably about as far as I want to go. I mean everybody does stuff in their experimentation and stuff, that they’re not too keen on everybody knowing. But you know, I’ll just leave it at that. I mean, I you know, like I told you when you were in my garage, I consider myself a good man, but there’s probably a lot of people that would think otherwise, that would think I was a little too weird or whatever. But yea, um, what story were you thinking of? The nail polish or getting caught by the cops when I was dressed up or whatever?
AMBER: Oh, I guess we, we had just never talked about you being pulled over. We talked a little bit when we were um, in your hometown and went to that little bar and had lunch. You were telling me about finding that abandoned home and finding all of the clothes with receipts and price tags. But, I hadn’t understood before that that you had got dressed up and driven to the ditch to call your girlfriend and then stopped by the police.
JESSE: Well, I can tell you some other stories. Some of the are actually kind of funny, but some of them are just, some of them are just kind of things that I wanted to get away with just to say that I did them. But then I was thinking, well who am I going to tell that I did this. Well, now I have an out.
AMBER: Yea. I think you found your venue.
JESSE: Yea. Um, not too long ago, when my wife, when she was diagnosed with cancer and I told you she moved out. Well I was here alone, and I was thinking that I was lonely but I was going to make the most of it and so I started to venture out into my little world that I discovered. And they were rebuilding the school that I graduated from. They knocked most of it down and were going to build a brand new school, so I thought that would be a great thing because you know, I’d go take my, I had a big car, you know, a four door, a nice big car, lot of stuff in the trunk and I went over to the high school, the old high school that they were knocking down, and I mean they didn’t have it knocked down yet but it was not secured, I mean you could get inside it. So, I got dressed up and had my, lots of stuff on you know—
AMBER: What were you wearing?
JESSE: Oh I don't’ know, I had some kind of dress and a long black overcoat and some stocking and heels and I went, got into the high school when I went into the auditorium and stood up on the stage and thought not too many years ago there were a lot of people looking up at this stage. I thought, what if there was a time warp or something odd that happened while I was actually standing there and they happened to see me. And I just thought it was kind of a daring thing to do. You know, doing my alternate ego in the high school that I was so…um, kind of a shy kid when I was in high school, and you know I was teased about things a lot—
AMBER: What were you teased about?
JESSE: I’m going to put my phone down a second.
AMBER: Oh, ok. Is that your car alarm--
JESSE: I had to tighten my seat belt. So, stuff like being skinny and you know being um, I was into computers and stuff and everybody else was into sports. I was one of those kids.
AMBER: Can I interject just very briefly to say that when we first met in L.A. I was so—I had no idea who you were other than that you were at Dollapalooza—and I took you to be just so traditionally good looking. And so—
AMBER: Yea, and so tall and you know we talked about identifying each other as Midwestern and, and kind of from the same farm stock. Driven immigrant farm stock, right? So, there’s that. And I’m sure that’s some of what I was picking up on but also looking back on that I found you to just be tall, traditionally attractive guy, you know, so—
JESSE: And you’d never guess—
AMBER: Go ahead.
JESSE: I was just going to say that you’d probably never guess that I have the issues that I have and that I had a hard time growing up and never really felt like I fit in and I have low self-esteem, and yea. And—
AMBER: Well, to--I don’t want to interrupt you, and now I’m doing it for the second time. But I have to say I don’t think of what you just described as an issue. And I—
AMBER: Go ahead.
JESSE: I was just about to say this about a couple girls that I’ve been with, and I don’t want to sound like I think really highly of myself because I don’t really know what I look like, or know what I look like in other people’s eyes unless they tell me. So, there’s been a couple girls that I’ve been with, well, they felt threatened and said, ‘well, we can’t keep doing this.’ I said, ‘What do you mean?’ She said, she told me, the one girl said ‘we really, we don’t fit together.’ I said, ‘what you mean?’ And she was a short red head girl, kind of, kind of a little thick, not bad but she, she was popular, but she felt threatened by my good looks. And she said, ‘Well, it’s not, one of us is going to get hurt. I’m sure it’s going to be me.’ I said, ‘What are you talking about?’ I’m not the kind to run around on someone.’ She said, ‘No, but,’ she said, ‘we just don’t belong together and I think you know that.’ And I said, ‘ I don't really know what you mean.’ And she told me that I was gorgeous and this and that, a pretty boy and she was going to get her heart broken you know, and I’ve been told that a couple times since then, and I’ve just never really thought of myself as that.
AMBER: Well, I think of you as a lot of different things, and you know, I’d be happy to tell you. They’re all flattering.
AMBER: I also think of you as someone who would look really fabulous with painted nails as we’ve described. And I’m picturing this moment of you on stage at the auditorium at what was your high school and imagining what a powerful moment that was.
JESSE: Well let me tell you this though—
JESSE: You know, I mean, I want people to understand my side of cross dressing, I don't do it for other people to see. I don't want anybody to see it, and I don’t even want to see—when I pass a mirror, I don’t look good. I really don’t look good. I just do it for the way it makes me feel, for the way it makes me feel like I’m not really who I am. It’s just a way to escape. And I did kind of toy with it one time, I had some makeup on, and some mascara and I took a picture in the mirror when I had the wig on, and it looked good. It looked like, it looked like a woman, like somebody that I knew. It kind of looked like her, and I told my brother about it. I said, you ought to see it because it doesn’t look like me at all. It looks like this, I told him about this woman at work.
JESSE: And the reason it did was because the picture was slightly out of focus but if would have been sharp, I’m sure it would have been a nasty looking picture. But, the way it was, the soft focus and stuff, and I had long fingernails and lipstick and everything on and a wig. It kind of looked convincing, but I don't do it for that reason. I really don’t get off on the way I look. So, I don't’ know if that’s different than the way most people are. You know, I just do it for the feel of it.
AMBER: Have you ever asked--
JESSE: Well I haven’t done it lately so.
AMBER: Have you ever chatted, I’m sorry, Jesse, am I interrupting you?
JESSE: No, I’m just saying I haven’t done it lately. It just, it comes and goes.
AMBER: I just wonder if you’ve ever connected with community other than your brother around—
JESSE: No, and my brother would never, well, actually, I can’t say he’d never do it, but his wife knows about it and they actually bought him some shoes and leather pants and leather mini-skirts and stuff together and she just chuckles at it you know, like it’s an innocent thing. And she just calls him her little kinky boy or something like that. Well, he…here’s how far I take it. Whenever I was feeling, when I was alone not in a relationship or whatever and to feel that feminine feeling, I shaved my whole body and did my toenails and everything. My toe nails –honestly my toe nails were still kind of a glossy purple when I—
AMBER: Oh, really, I didn’t know that.
JESSE: When I talked to my girlfriend for the first time and she wanted me to come over. And I though, well, nothing’s going to happen. I mean, I don’t move that fast. And I don’t think she does either, but I, I cleaned off the polish, got cleaned up because I didn’t want anyone to see it. But they would be like that for months at a time because I’d just think nobody’s going to see my feet anyhow.
JESSE: And I had shaved legs and everything. It just felt good for me to feel free. But now that I’m in a relationship, I wore shorts for the first time in 20 years probably.
JESSE: And we were actually sunbathing and having fun on the beach and I was feeling like I probably should be. But that’s what I’m saying, I don’t cross dress unless I feel lonely or feel like I need to feel like somebody else I guess.
AMBER: Yea. And just to back up. I just think we disagree about a few things including language around should. Right? So when you said you were wearing shorts for the first time in 20 years and presenting the way you should be, I just don’t know if I agree with that.
AMBER: Or I don’t know that I agree or disagree actually but we can—
JESSE: I was feeling like I should feel, you know, proud of my body as a man.
AMBER: Oh, I see.
AMBER: Well, I’m all for you being proud of your body, but…
JESSE: Yea. But, but normally and I can say this probably in most certainty, my legs were shaved probably for a good I don’t know, ten years. I mean I just did it all the time. And my wife that died, she knew about it. She just said that it was weird and she didn’t like but I just couldn’t help it. So, um, what I was getting at is I feel—I felt more free that way than I do as a man with hairy legs, and a hairy chest and everything—I don’t, I don’t feel good like that. And it makes me feel, I don’t really identify with, a lot of men are just, they pretty much piss me off the way they treat women, and the way they act, and the way they think they’re better than everybody else they’re hey man, you know and that’s one of the reasons why I didn’t really want to, I didn’t really want to fit in as a man. So that’s why I started to get rid of my leg hair and whatever. I did that years ago. The first time I did it—now I’m really getting excited talking about this, and I get to talking to much, but—
JESSE: The first time I did it was when I was still in the service and I was out of active army but I was still in reserve, and I got shipped out to Wisconsin for a couple weeks for you know, going to the field exercise two weeks in the summer. And I was out there alone and the unit I was out there with never picked me up so I stayed in the transit bearings which had porcelain bathtubs down in the vitrine area, and I went down there, I stayed there for a couple weeks and nobody came and got me, nobody bothered me—
JESSE: So, I thought, well, I’m going to go and rent a car and drive in to the next town and next city and buy some lingerie, come back and take a bath and shave my legs. And that was the first time I did it. (1:46:42) And I felt really weird, it felt really weird and out of place but I knew I liked it.
JESSE: And now I don’t feel that feeling anymore because it seems (ind) whenever I do it.
AMBER: Right. Jesse, what year was that?
JESSE: Um, probably 86 or 87.
AMBER: So, a good decade before Heather.
JESSE: Yes. And it, that’s one of the reasons, one of the reasons I bought Heather was while I was going to be married I couldn’t continue doing these sort of things while I was married so I thought if I had Heather it would kind of take the place of my feelings if I had something to project the lingerie on to or the feminine allure onto my Real Doll, maybe I would be satisfied. I even wrote, I participated in this article when I was part of RDOL, I heard you and Davecat talk about that—
AMBER: Yea, RDOL from the 90s.
JESSE: Yea, and I participated in an article that somebody was doing but I never got to see it in print so I don't know if it made it. That’s one of the things I was explaining to them, one of the reasons I had a doll. And you were asking before what other members might still be present from RDOL.
JESSE: I do know one that I used to interact with. Perry. Have you ever seen the name, Perry?
AMBER: Wait, I’ve seen that name but also someone just posted on my um, you know on general discussion we’ve been going back and forth on the thread about Doll Closet?
AMBER: Someone named Bezilla just replied but I can’t read it. It’s not that person. You’re saying Perry or Barry with a B?
JESSE: No, Perry as in, with a P. As in pizza or whatever. But anyway.
AMBER: P as in pizza.
JESSE: Yea. So he used to have a real doll named Sarah and that he would he would wrap her legs in Ceram wrap and I like shiny stuff and he’d take pictures of that and I thought that was really good.
JESSE: And then later on, years later when they started making the 2D body at Synthetics, Perry had a doll named Shannon, with the red hair and everything that I liked about um, Shannon, I ordered as an option for Rhiannon. And I told Perry about it, I said that it was really cool because I picked the name Rhiannon based up the classic rock theme names—
JESSE: I wanted to have two other dolls with classic rock song names and Perry thought it was funny that Shannon and Rhiannon rhymed and I said, yea they could be sisters. (1:49:26) And the only difference is, actually I think Shannon’s a 1H body—
AMBER: Shannon is a Synthetics?
AMBER: So from the last few years?
AMBER: So she had to have been from the last few years then?
JESSE: Well, I don’t know I thought Shannon was a 2D, but I might be mistaken. Maybe she’s a 1H. But anyway, someone just recently bought Shannon. Our friend from Dollstock, the goofy guy from California?
AMBER: Really, the cute one? The young one?
JESSE: Yea he bought her. The head.
AMBER: Wait, hold on. He bought Shannon, the Synthetics.
JESSE: That’s Sex Panther. Yea, he bought her.
JESSE: And I thought, wow, that’s really cool because that’s the one that inspired me for Rhiannon.
AMBER: Well, can he bring—I know that he comes from California so it’s hard for him to bring any dolls, but he should bring Shannon to Dollstock next year.
JESSE: Yea, he said they had to meet. He said they, you know if I can get away this time, and you know I definitely will--
AMBER: Oh, I really want you to come next time. I don’t like when you say things like now that you’re engaged you might not be able to come.
JESSE: Yea. I know. But, who knows how it’s going to go. I don’t know. I have to find out.
AMBER: Well, it would be very cool if Shannon and Rhiannon met. I have to say when we talked for even an hour, we were at that brunch in L.A. and you, I don’t know, I guess that, it’s probably annoying to people but I like to guess things. When I first meet people. Do you remember that, so you said something like oh, I’m going to name my new doll after a classic rock musician, or referencing one. And I said, Stevie, remember?
JESSE: Yea, classic rock song names. Well, I said classic rock probably and you said, ‘Stevie.’ And then I thought, are you serious, are you just guessing, are you do you know something?
AMBER: No, I was just guessing.
JESSE: You were guessing but I mean it was right off. I mean I said, yea, like Fleetwood Mac? And I don’t know if you really liked Stevie Nicks or—
AMBER: Yea I do.
JESSE: Yea. I thought that was really cool because I had already chosen the name, Rhiannon, based on Stevie Nicks’ songs and Fleetwood Mac.
AMBER: Well, some of why I chose Stevie is ‘cause I picked up something kind of gender-neutral about it, is that Stevie thing. I know that people in my queer community in New York resist the term gender neutral but there’s something that kind of fits all in that name. And that’s obviously why I blurted it out but I also got a Fleetwood Mac vibe from you.
AMBER: Oh my gosh. Are you driving where you’re driving? Are you getting close?
JESSE: About ten minutes away.
AMBER: OK, well you know I actually have Mahtek who’s going to call in, well, now that I look at my phone right now.
JESSE: Yea, it’s 5:34 now.
AMBER: Yea, but are we all set to talk again tomorrow? I like that this is a conversation that gets to continue over 8 days.
JESSE: Yea, that’s—today I lucked out but tomorrow might be another thing. I don’t know ‘cause we’re going to be working on the house. She’s going to come over. And if I do, it is going to be honestly one of those I have to go to the carwash or whatever. But—
AMBER: Well, I love the idea of us talking from the carwash because I think the audio could be pretty weird and cool.
JESSE: Yea, well I am going to go to the hardware store because I know I’m going to need nails for the trimmer on the window.
JESSE: I could use that but I’ll only be gone 20 minutes.
AMBER: That’s ok. It would be really fun for you to call in even if it’s for 5 minutes and the fact that you might call in from a hardware store is pretty cool.
AMBER: Since I’m surrounded by tools which is not my normal surrounding you know.
AMBER: I much prefer being surrounded by cats and the smell of something slow cooking.
AMBER: Well, I guess I’m going to hang up. I’m going to be the one to hang up today. Even though usually I’m the one that like, you know sad to let you go and trying to get you to stay on the phone as long as possible.
JESSE: Yea, who else is calling in? Is it Mahtek or?
AMBER: Mahtek. Yea, Mahtek’s calling in and remember his old house?
AMBER: Well, I don't know, yea, yea, you know how he had that sliding mechanism?
JESSE: Yes, yes.
AMBER: So we’re going to talk about that. He emailed me just now to say that he also wants to talk about the first time that he met a doll owner.
JESSE: Ok. Is that at 5:45, is it?
AMBER: Uh, you know we talked about a range from 5:30 to 5:40 so I think right now is probably the perfect time to give him a ring.
JESSE: Yea. All right. All right, well I’ll talk to you tomorrow then.
AMBER: OK, sounds so good. You have a good time at the Christmas party.
JESSE: All right, thanks.
AMBER: OK, I’m going to call Mahtek.
JESSE: All right bye. Tell him hi.
AMBER: Ok. I will. Bye.
AMBER: Oh hello.
MAHTEK: How are you?
AMBER: I’m really well, how are you?
MAHTEK: Oh, I’m just peachy as usual.
AMBER: You sound so happy and I’m picturing you right now with your big smile.
MAHTEK: Yea, I am.
AMBER: You’re also giving us just a little taste of that great laugh.
MAHTEK: Oh, yes, yes.
AMBER: So, how are you doing? Are you recording audio with your video camera?
MAHTEK: Yes I am.
AMBER: Great! I’m really grateful for that
MAHTEK: Not a problem.
AMBER: So I just, I don’t know have you been watching the livestream this week?
MAHTEK: No, I missed it. I’ve had to work late and I haven’t been able to get on, so…
AMBER: Yea, you work a lot of hours I remember you telling us at Dollstock.
MAHTEK: Yea, yea, um, well a lot of it is because we’re gearing up for the Christmas holiday so. The end of the year is always rough.
AMBER: Are you off work a few days for the Christmas holiday?
MAHTEK: Yea, yea, a few days.
AMBER: I’m sorry. Say that again.
MAHTEK: I’ve got a few days available so I will be off.
AMBER: Oh, nice. So I’m going to catch you up just a little bit. I have been building a replica of Jesse’s doll closet from the 90s, which I’m sure you know from the texts we’ve been sharing on ODC. But he and I just chatted. I made a few not I guess, huge, but I did make a few mistakes so we’ve been talking about technical stuff but we’ve also been talking about closet for a metaphor and some of what he isn’t necessarily public about, though he’s public and anonymous for Doll Closet, which has to do with dressing in the clothes that he purchases for his dolls. And there’s a lot more to it so you may want to read the transcriptions that I’ve been posting on my blog. (1:57:14) If you want to know more of what we’ve been talking about. But I was really excited that you were interested in participating partly because I’ve heard for years about this awesome sliding mechanism that you have. Or had, right, in the old house?
MAHTEK: Yes, yes. I made a store room in a knee wall of an upstairs bedroom, the master bedroom in fact.
AMBER: What’s a theme wall?
MAHTEK: A knee wall. It’s a oh, if you have an angled roof and you have a short wall on one side because of the angle of the roof, that short wall is called a knee wall.
AMBER: Oh, I mean I can picture it from the pictures that you sent. But I didn't know that term, so thank you.
MAHTEK: You’re welcome. So yea, well, it was totally enclosed and in other places that I had lived that had walls like that, it was very common to have a little door there for storage. So I knew none of my family would take any great notice of that, so I was able to put that on there. I put deadbolt locks on there. One for privacy but two, I told people I didn’t want the doorknob sticking out to where I might hit it or get in the way of furniture, or things like that. And it seemed to make sense so nobody questioned it. Um, now when people first came over to see the house they’d ask to see this attic storage that I built. So what I’d do is I’d stack boxes up completely in front of the door so when you opened it up it looked like it was packed to the gills with boxes. There was nothing to see.
AMBER: Yea, that’s pretty smart.
MAHTEK: So we closed the door and that was it. The girls were still hidden.
AMBER: And how many dolls lived in there at that time?
MAHTEK: Four of them.
AMBER: Now Mahtek, is this, remember we met in 2008 in Detroit?
AMBER: Is that the time period of this doll closet?
MAHTEK: No, no, this is uh…probably the last four years.
AMBER: Oh, ok, because I’ve seen the difference between the two that you posted that kindly shared pictures of for me on that thread. But I’m recalling now that we’re talking about back in 2008 when we met in Detroit that um you built what you talked about as a panic room. Am I misremembering?
MAHTEK: You’re actually pretty close. What it was it was a hidden room that even if someone broke in and ransacked the house they wouldn’t find because what it was, I had a ranch style house and they had one of these small 16” by 16” openings to get up into the attic crawl space. Well I was able to put an electronic winch up on the rafters and I made a floor up there and I used these same foam pads and what I was able to do is I’d take the, open the closet, drop down the winch, run the girls up, put up a ladder, climb up, take them off, lay them down there and then when it was all said and done no one could see anything. I’d take the latter away and no one has any idea there’s anything up there.
AMBER: Did you ever spend time up there yourself?
MAHTEK: Uh, yea actually I did. Whenever I had to do like a major repair, I would put, I would do that up there, because I could leave them in whatever state they were when I was done for the day.
AMBER: Right. Well, that’s when, as I recall, you were doing things like injecting into the fingers to avoid pokeys.
MAHTEK: Yep. Yep. That’s what, where I was first learning my doll surgery skills.
AMBER: Yea, I remember that because we emailed a good bit in 2008.
AMBER: So it sounds like everywhere you’ve lived, you’ve built some kind of hidden space for your dolls?
MAHTEK: Yea, this house is the only real exception and that is because it is just so small. When I moved to this area I didn’t really know exactly where I wanted to live but I needed to get some place to live just to learn the area, so I decided to get just a small house that I could easily sell when I decided I wanted to move.
MAHTEK: And um—
AMBER: Oh, go ahead.
MAHTEK: That meant um, not having the luxury of you know space to make hidden walls and things like that. So right now the girls are in their travel cases, two to a bedroom closet because I got a small 3 bedroom home and the closet will fit two of their travel cases so.
AMBER: So that’s what you sent me in the second email today?
MAHTEK: That’s correct.
AMBER: OK, got it. I see. So I got to see the sliding space and I got to see the current situation which is just as exciting as, I’m really, really thrilled that you sent me kind of this timeline of doll closets.
MAHTEK: Yea. I looked forever and I could not find any pictures of the hidden attic room where I had my first kept my dolls. I just, in fact I think the only picture that I had was looking up from the closet into this hole where you could see the lynch on the rafters. On the roof.
AMBER: You know, you know who I bet would have them?
MAHTEK: Davecat may.
AMBER: Yea. If anybody has those pictures it’s Davecat.
MAHTEK: He is the ivory of Alexandria of doll pictures.
AMBER: It’s really, really impressive isn’t it?
MAHTEK: It is. It is.
AMBER: And we just skyped him in and there was a small spoiler in our skype in with him because you emailed me saying that you wanted to talk about the first time you stepped out of the closet, for being a doll owner and can you guess what story he told us?
MAHTEK: What was that again.
AMBER: Well, maybe I should just ask you instead of prefacing this as a spoiler because I don’t mean to tease you. But you did email me saying that you wanted to talk about the first time you stepped out of the closet and met another doll owner. Right?
AMBER: Do you want to tell us that story?
AMBER: Oh, thank you.
MAHTEK: Ok so this was oh back 2006 maybe 2005 it was just after I had become a doll owner. I think it was 2006 because I had two dolls at the time. And uh, I was active on one of the doll forums, yea, actually fairly active at that time. I was posting a lot of pictures. And out of the blue I got this PM from this rather big name in the community called Davecat
MAHTEK: And I was pretty blown away. It was truly one of those Wayne’s World moments where I’m like Davecat wants to hang out with me? I’m not worthy! I suck! And actually I said, yea, not a problem. And we met at a coffee shop and it was like a whole new world because this thing that I kept so private and so afraid that anyone finding out about, suddenly I had a kindred spirit that I could speak openly about my experiences and share their experiences and you know, share knowledge. And it was great and we met a couple times and one of the moderators on the forum mentioned that hey, there’s another guy named Uker that lives close by and maybe you should get in touch with him.
AMBER: Now can I stop you for just a minute?
AMBER: When Davecat first PMed you, how did he know that you two lived close.
MAHTEK: Because I mentioned that I lived in the Detroit area.
AMBER: Oh I see, you posted that.
AMBER: Now, I guess, I don’t mean to get to into moderator questions, but how did the moderator at the time know that Uker lived near by? Had he also posted that publically?
MAHTEK: I think so.
AMBER: Because that’s the time, I guess it would be two years later that I met up with all three of you?
MAHTEK: Yep, yep, and—
AMBER: So…go ahead. Sorry, I interrupted.
MAHTEK: That’s ok. And well I sent Uker a PM saying myself and Davecat would like to you know, meet with you. We’ve been getting together and would you like to join us? And he had the exact same reaction as I did. Again, another Wayne’s World moment. But it was great because it was the same for him. Finally meeting kindred spirits. And that’s where we developed what we called the Michigan Doll Congress where we get together, break bread, and talk dolls.
AMBER: Well, that’s pretty great. I was so honored to be a part, but now I have to say it’s so great to be in the, involved in some of the doll meet ups, at the L.A. the Dollapalooza, and the Dollstock and I know that we were talking privately so, I don’t mean to bring up something that we first referenced together but just how important it is to both of us and I didn’t know if you wanted to talk a little about how all that’s come together and what it’s like for you to meet up with the big groups.
MAHTEK: Uh, big groups, uh that was great. Um, the first time I actually had to travel to meet another doll owner, um, another forum member named Z Doctor, he PMed me and said hey uh I’m going to be working a booth with one of the doll manufacturers at the AVM and he seemed kind of cool. We’ve been talking and chatting. Would you like to come out? And I thought about it and thought well gee you know, hop on an airplane and not tell anyone where I’m going to meet up with total strangers in Vegas at an adult show. What could possible go wrong? And I did exactly that and had a great time. Uh, and again met new people, the manufacturer was really happy the way I worked his booth and told me if I came home with and he was going to keep me.
AMBER: Aw, I think I know who you’re talking about and that’s a really sweet story.
MAHTEK: Yea, so anyhow and then from there on out we just started expanding the number of people and it just ballooned from there.
AMBER: Well, it’s pretty amazing. I know we talk about it each time we get together but it is kind of amazing to have that kind of boots on the ground in person commiserating even just carrying the dolls and that sort of thing. Even just to be around people who—I don't know, I don’t mean to speak for everyone here but—I’m personally so attracted to the material silicon and I know there’s a good number of people who come to the events who feel that same way and it’s really powerful for me to just be in a space where that’s a thing.
MAHTEK: Yea, its pretty amazing you know one year when we got to the Dollstock event we had some 23 different silicon dolls there. And we started counting up, and it was like you know, we’ve got over 100,000 dollars worth of dolls in this one venue. It was pretty amazing, you know, it was a lot like a classic car show.
MAHTEK: Where everyone brings their prize possession to show off. And everyone’s a proud papa, you know. Um, walking around squeezing boobies.
AMBER: Yea, there’s a lot of squeezing boobies. But you know what I like about the classic car analogy is that it’s not particularly, well it’s sexualized somehow—
AMBER: The dolls are replicas in some ways. Sexualized replicas of organics that are penetrable in 3 orifices but it’s not particularly sexual and that’s what I think, you know when I go to Dollstock and take a photograph or two and use it in my art practice there’s always a conversation about what that space is like for me as a woman, right? So, there’s so many misconceptions about doll ownership and doll owners are thought to be not only misogynists but you know, um, somehow hyper-sexualized, this question comes up and it’s so not that. Would you agree?
MAHTEK: Oh, absolutely. The car show is a perfect analogy because if you’ve ever gone to a car show nobody lets you drive their car. So, uh, and it’s the same way at a doll meet. You know, yes, you can touch, you can look. This last meet I actually did some major repairs on two friends’ dolls.
MAHTEK: So there’s a lot going on that’s definitely not sexual at all but then again but we love to dress them up and take pictures and take pictures of our dolls together. Things that normally you’d have to use Photoshop to get these dolls together now you have them sitting side-by-side or standing around a pool table together.
AMBER: Which is awesome. It’s awesome to see them standing.
AMBER: Um, you know some of what I think about at those events and some of what’s been interesting to kind of carry as a thread throughout this performance is some of why we’re dressing the dolls up and photographing them, right. We talked about the space not being particularly sexual, um, what is it to you? Like what is it of interest to you in dressing your doll up and photographing her?
MAHTEK: Uh, just make her beautiful. Again, you’ve got, you can have a basic going back again to my Detroit upbringing where you can have a basic car, or can you put a nice set of wheels and tires on there and (ind) and really make it stunningly beautiful and that’s part of the point. That’s part of the showing off. We’re actually a very small group of people as my friend Uker pointed out. We’re a lot like Ferrari owners. There’s not many of these things out there and you know I’m not trying to be big headed but we’re kind of an exclusive club.
AMBER: We are. I like when you put it that way.
MAHTEK: So um, so yea, there’s a little bit of friendly competition there. My dolly is prettier than you’re dolly. You know that sort of thing but uh again it’s a friendly competition. Nobody ever says, ‘Gee, that’s a really ugly doll.’
MAHTEK: Yea, and you know, well you’ve seen my Roxyanne(?) she’s a demoness with horns.
AMBER: That she is.
MAHTEK: And uh, no one’s ever said, wow that’s hideous. They’ve always said, well that’s kind of different. Kind of cool. Um, maybe not for me or I couldn’t imagine doing it with something like that but then, you know once I explain to them how you have to immerse yourself in this whole forbidden fruit sort of fantasy, you know, they get it.
AMBER: Yea, a very accepting space would you say?
MAHTEK: Oh, a nicer group of people you never want to meet. Yea. We get our occasional troll, but usually people are coming to these forums and doll meets and they’re really opening up a very vulnerable part of themselves.
MAHTEK: So, you know, they’re going to gentle with you hoping you’ll be gentle with them and most people are very respectful of that.
AMBER: Yea, and I really like what you just said. I just want to take a minute with that because it’s so intimate and I think you just described it in a really nice way.
MAHTEK: Yea. It is very intimate because again, you know, you’re, you know, this is a sexual thing in a context. It’s not completely sexual for everyone. For a lot of people it’s just the photography, and the beauty of the dolls having a, that presence in your home. I know even though I like being single, having a doll in bed next to me, under an electric blanket so I’ve got that warm body next to me, I sleep better.
AMBER: Oh yea.
MAHTEK: There’s a comfort there even though uh, you know, I come in from work dog-tired and I have no interest in sex, it’s nice to cuddle up and know that she’s there. And you know, unless you’re another doll owner, you’re not going to really understand that, so…
AMBER: Yea, well and I’m particularly happy that there’s space for people in the community who, I don’t know if this is describing it accurately but, to, to be reductive who kind of want to be the doll, or dress in the doll’s clothing at least. I’m glad to see that there’s space for those feelings in our community.
MAHTEK: Oh, absolutely. There’s a lot of people who enjoy um, how should I say it, playing the part of their doll. They may not necessarily dress in their doll’s clothing, but you know, they’ll come in to chat and chat as their doll or they will post as their doll and allow their feminine side to come out. There was one member a few years back who came in immediately as their doll and always stayed in character and one day said I have a big announcement to make. I’m going on vacation. When I come back, you know, I’m going to you know, I’m going to make this announcement when I’m sure I’m clear in my head.
MAHTEK: And a few of us got in a chat and wondered what this is I told them right out, this man is going to have a sex change and become a woman. He’s been a woman for years now. He just hasn’t realized it. And sure enough, that was exactly the case. The doll was, he, the bridge that needed him to find, for him to find out who he really was and have the courage to make that change and then he did. Though he’s left the community or she has left the community. Um, I hope everything worked out wonderfully for her. And she’s happy.
AMBER: What, what year was that Mahtek?
MAHTEK: That was…I think 2012 was the last that we heard from her.
AMBER: OK. Yea.
MAHTEK: Yea. She went through the full change and posted about it and the recovery and then one day I guess she decided she didn’t need this forum anymore, she had a new life. And, that’s fine. That’s the beauty of the forum. You can come and go as you like, so. It’s kind of nice when somebody does at least post a goodbye because sometimes you just wonder, you know, you get—these are your friends now and you worry about them.
AMBER: Yea, well I just want to underline that I feel so grateful that there’s a space for all of us in the community. And I love that there’s a space for me as someone who identifies as a queer fat femme who dates transmasculine people and um, who I date is never a question to anyone in the community and I think that’s the other thing that comes up for people in my particular queer community in New York because I do think there’s this assumption that doll owners are misogynist as we talked about before, which I just haven’t found to be the case. And I often get questions in addition to questions about my perceived safety in events like Dollstock, if the community is accepting of me and my sexuality and uh, I feel really glad that that’s never been a question to me. It’s just never occurred to me that it wouldn’t be.
MAHTEK: No if anybody tried to mess with you it’d be a hole bunch of doll owners jumping on them.
AMBER: (laughing) I love that. You just kind of made my day with that.
AMBER: Um, that’s awesome. And same for you, you know we would protect that little lass, voraciously.
MAHTEK: Well, thank you.
AMBER: Do you have anything you want to add? I’m realizing we’re a little bit over time and I want to respect that you’re so generously calling in on your weekend.
MAHTEK: I’m happy to uh, participate and I’m glad you had me on. I think I’ve spoke enough for now.
AMBER: OK. Well, two years in a row almost to the date. So I really appreciate you making the time, and we’ll follow up over email so I’ll say goodbye to you on the phone but check in with you digitally.
MAHTEK: All right. Thank you.
AMBER: Ok, well you have a good night.
MAHTEK: Good night, goodbye.
AMBER: Bye bye.
Doll Closet: Day Three
Streaming Footage Part One
Streaming Footage Part Two
Jesse Call-in Transcription
(timecode from Streaming Footage Part One)
AMBER: Hi Jesse.
JESSE: Hi how are you doing?
AMBER: Good. You sound a little raspy.
JESSE: I just got over my cold. So, yea. Just my voice is probably still lagging a little bit.
AMBER: Maybe because you know, we’re talking for like an hour a day.
JESSE: Oh. No it’s all right.
AMBER: So how was work yesterday?
JESSE: It was good. I kept busy. It wasn’t too bad. I mean there wasn’t as many as the day before on my birthday so.
AMBER: Oh my god that’s right. Did you spill any coffee on yourself?
JESSE: No, I actually didn’t drink any. Oh, yes. I did. How’s it going with the build?
AMBER: It’s going well. I have a whole list of questions for you. I’m just right now posting on Facebook that we’re doing our call in. So let me just do that really quick.
JESSE: Ok. I think I only have like a half hour today because I have to finish that stuff I’m doing in the living room. And then get a shower.
AMBER: OK. Can I just jump into some technical stuff?
AMBER: So my first question is, now that—well this is something that we went over yesterday.
AMBER: So now that the door is 7 and a half feet tall, you know?
AMBER: Instead of six feet tall or eight feet tall, um could you just go over again how I should do the inside frame. So the inside frame with the 2x2’s, it’s like you said something about on the right and left I should have a certain space. And the top and bottom there should be no space, right?
JESSE: Yes. Well, what side are you going to put your hinges on?
AMBER: On the left.
JESSE: On the left. So the left side of the door should just barely touch the inside of the frame. So you’ll be able to see the frame, like the drawings I sent you yesterday—you’ll be able to see the frame on the left side because the door has to swing on the hinges and it has to pass that left side of the frame. I mean, it can’t be held by that side of the frame because it has to swing inward. And on the right side it should cover the frame so it’s hidden.
AMBER: So, that I understand. But I mean the inside frame, the 2x2 frame.
JESSE: Oh, ok.
AMBER: So on the left, I assume because the plywood is not um, covering the 2x4 that the 2x2 should be flush with the left side of the plywood. Is that right?
AMBER: OK, so on the left the two by two is flush.
JESSE: Yea, with the frame.
AMBER: With the 2x4 frame.
JESSE: You know I would leave probably a half inch gap because it’s going to—you know, even the outside of the plywood that you’re looking at if you’re looking at the door, there should maybe be a sixteen or an 1/8 of an inch gap. Just because I don’t know what thickness you bought. Do you know what it is? Is it half inch?
AMBER: Yea, half inch.
JESSE: Ok, well there’s going to be, it’s going to stand out a little bit farther from the center point of the hinge so there’s going to be you might have to, I cant really tell you for sure, but you might have make some adjustments for how it turns on the hinge points.
JESSE: Because it might still rub a little bit so you might have to do something about that.
AMBER: So there’s maybe like a 16th inch gap between the plywood and the 2x4 frame?
AMBER: So then you can see through there right?
AMBER: Oh wow, ok.
JESSE: And then, in my case, when the original door was put up in the room that I put the doll closet, the left side of the door was hidden behind some trim, the trim work that was around the door that you come in to the room with. You remember that door how it had the trim and there was a cross above the door? Well all of that trim hid the left side so when the door was closed the left side of the door came up against that trim. So, that’s kind of what I recommend in your case is, well I mean, just for this presentation I don’t think you would have to finish it like that, but I was going to say you could put some trim around the door way to hide that gap.
AMBER: Yea, I will because I bought some trim, um on the bottom.
AMBER: But, I have baseboard trim, but that won’t work, right? Like, what’s the kind of trim that people put around a door? Is it baseboard?
JESSE: No, it’s a fancier, curvier, it’s got more curves to it. So, yea.
JESSE: Just ask for window trim and that’s basically the same. I mean door trim, window trim-- it’s all the same stuff.
JESSE: And the inside of that, the 2x2 frame should be flush on the top and bottom, it should be flush with the 2x4 frame.
JESSE: Because you don’t want there to be too much of a gap between the locking pins and the holes that they’re going into. So you want it to be close as possible.
AMBER: Ok. And then what about on the right side? How much should the distance be between the 2x4 frame and the 2x2 frame?
JESSE: You know what, I think on the right side it should be flush also.
JESSE: And, uh, the left side is more critical. I would say maybe leave a half-inch gap.
AMBER: Ok, leave a half inch gap between the 2x4 and the 2x2 frames, and then leave a 1/16th inch space between the plywood and the door frame—
AMBER: And then get a closet or door window trim to cover that gap?
AMBER: Now I was thinking last night, I was in the shower just thinking about the door and um, I know that you never painted your door but I’m thinking of painting mine pink to match the wall.
JESSE: That’s what I would have done, yea.
JESSE: It’s just that I, I never I never really finished it because no one really questioned it being plywood but only a couple people saw it. But if anybody would have you know questioned it, and they probably would have expected me to put drywall in it’s place and no one paints the—
JESSE: Plywood like that. You don’t patch a wall with plywood, so, that’s why I never painted it because if I did, then I would have been ridiculed more for painting over the plywood than I would for just putting plywood up instead of drywall.
AMBER: Now, keeping it plywood just made it look like it was in progress.
AMBER: Yea. Well, I think I’m going to paint mine pink even though it’s not the way you did it because I’m in the mood to. I just want to see what it would look like all totally pink.
JESSE: Yea that’d be good.
AMBER: And I was thinking about, oh my gosh some pieces of Heather are falling. Are you watching, are you watching the stream?
JESSE: I am.
AMBER: In thirty seconds you’ll se it.
JESSE: The one hand or what?
AMBER: No, the small pieces of Heather.
AMBER: They’ve fallen onto the ground. I’ve got to pick it up. You know, it’s so hard to arrange all the pieces with the build. I want them to be present to witness the build but it’s logistically a little difficult. Maybe I’ll put them on this chair that I’m sitting on today.
AMBER: That way I can use my ladder chair.
AMBER: Um, ok. So, sorry I’m so technical today but I just know we’re limited on time and I want to make sure I make some doll door progress.
JESSE: There they go. Yea.
AMBER: OK, so my next question is, now that the door is 7 and ½ feet tall, um, will I have enough scrap of 2x2 to make those 2 inch long pieces, three for each side?
JESSE: Um, how many pieces of the 2x2 did you get?
AMBER: Four, like you told me to.
JESSE: Ok. I think you’ll have plenty.
JESSE: Because the door’s only what, two feet wide maybe?
AMBER: 37 and ½ inches at the top and 37 inches at the bottom.
JESSE: Oh, that’s bigger than I thought it was. That’s ‘cause the door’s so tall it looked like it’s a skinnier doorway.
AMBER: Yea, exactly.
JESSE: Ok, um, so…2 feet, 6 feet, and then there’s one, yea you’ll have some left over.
AMBER: Ok, so I won’t worry about that. But I wonder if now that my door is taller than yours was should I do four 2 inch 2x2s on each side instead of 3 on each side? For the pin holding?
JESSE: You can if you want to. I think there, what are they each 4 inch, or 4 feet long, each one of the steel rods?
AMBER: Yes. And I have two, and so I know that’s enough because I held it up and there’s still 2 inches of over hang.
JESSE: Yea but, um, 8 inches, you’re only going to have a foot, or half a foot left over. And you’ll need, you’ll need one that goes to the lock cylinder also. A rod.
AMBER: A rod?
JESSE: Yea. The rod that goes to the lock cylinder. It may be, yea it’s going to be longer than six inches I think.
AMBER: So do I need another rod?
JESSE: You may have to get another smaller, shorter one. Yea.
AMBER: Ok. So things I need to get at the hardware store is another rod—
JESSE: A hole saw.
AMBER: And door or window trim
JESSE: Mm’hm. A hole saw.
AMBER: I also need another—I’m just reminding myself of some thing that we haven’t talked about, but I need one more floor trim. Floor board.
AMBER: Ok, so that answers that. How many inches apart are the 2 inch 2x2 pieces?
JESSE: It doesn’t matter. I would just think what I did was just take the overall distance and divided it after you subtract the total width of the 2x2s so if you have four, there’s going to be 8 inches. Minus the seven and half feet, or however long your rods have to be. They might have to be—if your door’s 7 and a half feet than it’s going to have to be 7 and a half plus two more inches. You know what I mean? Because the rods stick out.
AMBER: On the top and the bottom?
JESSE: Actually that’s not true because the rods, the rods are incorporated in the 2x2 frame, so they’re not sticking up past the plywood so, yea that’s not true. I think your’e going to be fine with the 7 and a half and then that... You’re still going to need another rod just to make sure but—
JESSE: I just took the total distance that the rods had to be and let’s just say, let’s just say 7 feet minus the 8 inches from 4 of those 2x2s if you’re going to use 4 of them, and then divide that by what, what’s that going to make, 5 spaces in between them?
And then you’ll know how far to space them out.
AMBER: Ok, so I’ll do a little math.
JESSE: Yea, and the bottom one, you know honestly I think you can get away with just using 3 because the bottom, the bottom rod is going to be supported by the wheel that turns everything so you won’t need another one down there.
AMBER: Ok. So I’ll just use three. That will give me more scrap anyway. And I think I have strong control over the circular saw now but just in case then I can make a mistake and not have to get another 2x2.
AMBER: Ok, and then it looked to me like you drew in the tutorial video, that after you measured how far apart the 2x2 2 inch pieces were, that you used the carpenter’s square to draw with the pencil all the way across?
AMBER: Is that right? Just to be like triple sure that they’re measured on each side.
JESSE: Well, you just want to make sure that they’re square because if they’re not square and you’ve already drilled a hole through all 4 of them, or all 3 of them, that’s got to be--just use 3 because your drill bit won’t go through 4 of them at a time anyway, so, and it might not even go through 3 at a time—you want the hole to be square and you also want the edges to be square because when you’re screwing that up to the one side 2x2 you want the holes to be square and parallel to the sides or the wires will get stuck in there.
AMBER: Right. That’s a good segway to my next question which is I feel confused about the part of the tutorial where you—and now, you’ll see in 30 seconds what I’m holding up, which is just the pin—
AMBER: The rod I mean. But you also call it a pin. So, now I have my drill bit set, which is the Crayola set up that we talked about and then you picked a drill bit that is smaller than the rod right?
JESSE: No, a little bit bigger than the rod.
AMBER: Oh, bigger than the rod.
AMBER: Ok, but the thing is like the one that’s a little bigger than the rod is so short, how can it possibly go through three pieces?
JESSE: It won’t. That’s the problem I ran into also. You can go through maybe two.
JESSE: And, but if not, you’ll at least go through the top one and then make a hole in the next one down that you can, so you know where to start. Then you take that top one off and drill all the way through the next one down and…Just as long as the holes are all pretty much in the same spot in each one of the 2x2 pieces.
AMBER: Ok. Well, this is super good. So now my next question is um, you said to rough up the metal a little bit on the ends?
JESSE: Just the ends that you have to put into that long spacer. You have a long spacer that’s about ¾ of an inch, maybe an inch long, and you want to rough up the edges of the rods, the you know pieces of round stock so that the super glue that you’re going to put into that spacer, so that it has something to adhere and lock into when it’s set--
AMBER: Are you talking—Sorry, can I interrupt you for a second?
AMBER: Are you talking about the nylon spacer?
AMBER: Ok, so the only part of the metal that gets roughed up is the part that goes inside the nylon spacer?
JESSE: Yea, the long one.
AMBER: So, hold on, I have a 1-inch long one, is that the one you mean?
JESSE: Yes. And all the rest of them are just the small pieces.
JESSE: The, the smaller ones are just there to lock into that wheel, you’ll be able to press them on, they’ll fit firm enough to lock into that wheel.
AMBER: Ok, now I’m holding up a wheel. It’s the one that you gave me at your house.
AMBER: That’s what you mean, right?
AMBER: Ok, then the way that I rough up the metal is with this grinder?
JESSE: Yea, do you have a grinder?
AMBER: Yea. I’m getting it out right now. So I have a grinding disk for metal or stainless, that’s the one that I use?
AMBER: Ok, in 30 seconds you’ll see what I’m holding up, I just want to double check it’s the grinder. I got Milwaukee brand instead of Dewalt because, you know, it’s Midwestern.
JESSE: That’s good too.
AMBER: Yea, and I like the color red.
JESSE: There’s the wheel.
AMBER: Yea, so this is right?
JESSE: No, I was looking at the wheel that I cut. Now, the other one. Yea, that’s the right thing. Yep.
AMBER: Ok. Well, I’m also (ind) and it comes with a tote bag, so I’m pretty excited about that.
JESSE: Yea. Good.
AMBER: I think that’s all my questions. My goal today is I have to like, I did a pretty good job with the circular saw on the plywood, but the problem is, I know I keep talking about this, so I’m just repeating myself, but since it’s a little wider at top that it is at the bottom, it’s hard for me to make a diagonal line. I found a good tutorial with someone that I perceive to be butch and I was kind of into her. I don’t know if you saw the video that I posted on the Facebook—
JESSE: I heard her though, talking about how to use the circular saw and table saw.
AMBER: Yea, I was pretty into that video, so that was really helpful and um, then I also found another video of someone who taught me how to basically cut it on the floor and so that person said to use a like, to make a fence basically so I used some of the floor, or what I’m going to end up using as floorboard as the guide, as the fence.
JESSE: Ok, good. I saw that.
AMBER: Yea, so that was awesome but to make a diagonal was nearly impossible so I’m going to trim that up a little bit—
AMBER: And then I’m going to make the 2x2 frame, and then I’m going to use the scrap to make the 2 inch, 2x2 pieces, and then I’m going to put the holes in them, and then I’m going to screw them in the frame, and just test out putting the rod in, but that’s probably as far as I’m going to get today. And then, I have a really good friend who’s in town for the performance, and she’s out running errands right now, because we figured out that—remember when I held up to the camera what I thought was a circle saw and it is but it’s for a drill press, not for—
JESSE: Oh, a hole saw?
AMBER: Oh, sorry. A hole saw. So, she’s going to get a hole saw for the Dewalt um, drill.
AMBER: So then I’ll be able to you know, hopefully tomorrow early work on the um, work on the knot of wood.
JESSE: Yea, and don’t forget you’ll need another hole saw that—I think I listed there’s two different hole saw sizes that you need. One is for drilling down into the 2x2 to put the lock cylinder into.
JESSE: So you might want to have her get that too.
AMBER: What size should that one be?
JESSE: I don’t know I have it listed on there, somewhere. I think it’s like, I think it might be the one-inch.
AMBER: Ok, I’ll look at that again because I missed that—oh, I know what it was, because I sent that list to Watermill Center—
JESSE: Oh ok.
AMBER: And what they said is that they had everything on there, which they did except that that was the right drill press so I bet that they have to but they’re both for the drill press. Ok. So I’ll take a second look at that and then ask my friend to pick up a smaller one also.
AMBER: So I should write that down.
JESSE: And then the spade bit—you have a ¾ inch wood spade bit?
AMBER: Um, no. I don’t think so. So, two hole saws
JESSE: Well, just uh—
AMBER: Spade bit? What’s a spade bit?
JESSE: It’s for boring a hole through wood. (1:36:55) So that one piece that I cut to mount the lock cylinder into, did you see that?
AMBER: Um, I keep re-watching the video but I can only handle parts at a time because I realized when I kept watching the whole video, it wasn’t helpful. Like now I’m just breaking it down into pieces.
JESSE: Yea, that’s why I cut it into, well, actually you know what honestly I used to do is set up the iPad on Heather’s old chair, I set up the iPad, and I had wheels on it and I rolled the iPad to wherever I needed it. And then I did, recorded a step and then I ran over and stopped it, and then just you know, a step at a time. So, and I was thinking on my feet, you know, I didn’t really have it all planned out, so.
AMBER: You did so great, Jesse. I’ve been able to refer to it over and over. I’m so grateful for-- first of all can I also just say, I’m so grateful to be making this performance with you.
AMBER: It’s awesome.
JESSE: Well, I’m honored that you’re doing it and you know, like at work, I was sitting there looking at it on my phone, watching it and stuff, and I’m thinking, you know, I want to be there so bad to help you on some of the things you get stuck with but, it’s just, I just can’t really fathom, it’s kind of hard to believe that you’re in New York doing this thing that’s based on a thing I did years ago. Is it because you thought—and it’s a really cool idea, you know, it is like you said, it’s a way to bring out conversations on closets and things that people try to repress and it is a good segway into that and I hope other people call in Saturday.
JESSE: Um, I may just, you know, not talk about that kind of stuff today. I’ll just keep on--
AMBER: I understand.
JESSE: If you want to talk about technical stuff, but maybe later on we can get into that again but—
JESSE: Today I’m kind of pressed for time because I’m putting the window sill back on the bay window the living room, and then finishing up the fireplace, so.
JESSE: I’m kind of, I’m kind of being um made fun of because I don't have it done yet, so.
AMBER: Oh, I gotcha’. Well, I’ll let you go then it just a minute. I just wanted to say quickly, because you brought it up, but when you watch me on Livestream and you notice things that I you know, am struggling with, with the tools—
AMBER: Like I kind of understand how that feels, because I have that a little bit, just like a little tug, when you talk about nail polish.
AMBER: And like the, the press-on nails. So, I’m kind of like, ‘oh, I know exactly where to get those, that would be so fun.’ And we could do it together. And I know how to do that and I could help you and you know like, that’s how I'm imagining—and I don’t know for sure—but I’m imagining that that’s how you feel when you, and other people have written to be like, ‘You know that you need to like, pull your hair back when you use a circular saw, for example.
AMBER: But, I’m wondering if there’s a parallel there. I know you’re pressed for time, but maybe we can talk about that another time.
JESSE: Yea, I mean I have a couple more minutes but you know, I uh, it just, if you need to, or I don't’ know how, how you’re iPhone situation is, I don’t know if you have it on you all the time, but—
AMBER: Yea, I do.
JESSE: Like yesterday I saw that you were wondering why the plywood didn’t meet the top of the frame and everything and I was trying to say oh, that’s what you want. Don’t worry about that, and I could see you were kind of upset, kind of worried about it. But, um, yea it’s better that you cut it down to 7 and a half-foot.
AMBER: Yea, I feel really glad about that and you know, all we did was change—because you know, now there’s like 3 feet between the top of the closet and the top of the actual ceiling, but all we did was change the camera angle a little bit and—
JESSE: Yea, it looks good.
AMBER: It looks good in the angle today. It just isn’t continuous with yesterday. You know, I’m just a little weird about that stuff.
JESSE: Well, maybe you can crop the video a little bit in post-production.
AMBER: Yea. I mean, that’s not my end. The thing is, you know how I am with Ren, and he’s so good with that stuff and when he hears me talk about technical stuff because I use all the wrong words. Um, we have lots of inside jokes and he and I are laughing at each other right now. We’re smiling. It’s kind of like how I talk about tools. I’m sure you’re just rolling your eyes, but that’s how it goes.
JESSE: Yea. I mean, you’ll learn. If you want to, you know, you’ll get better at it. You might even be inspired to do other things with it so.
AMBER: I know, who knows what I’ll build.
JESSE: That’s what I’ve always been into, I like to—and my brother as well—you know, you learn by doing. We never, there’s no such thing as you can’t or you don’t know how. You just set off on doing it and then you get the experience and you do more with it later on.
AMBER: Well, you know, I really appreciated you posting on ODC today. I posted—mostly because people had already posted picture of their doll closets—and Ace gave me permission to repost his so I posted them on the Facebook event page and then I’ll post them on my blog. And I wrote some other people directly, but did you see those pictures that Cred posted? They’re awesome.
JESSE: Of uh, his space in the basement?
AMBER: Yea, I mean I’ve seen that space but what I really loved is the picture with the doll building the space.
JESSE: Oh yea and then Camp helping out?
AMBER: Yea, I’m really hoping that Cred and Camp call in so—
JESSE: Yea, that’d be nice.
AMBER: But Davecat’s going to Skype in and that’s the other thing before, before we go, we’ll say goodbye because then I know you have to get to the bay window but I wondered what time worked for you for doing a, Watermill calls it an open rehearsal, so basically it’s just open to the public tomorrow for two hours from 4 to six, so what time works for you to call in? I was hoping you could call in at 5.
JESSE: Is tomorrow Friday? Sorry.
AMBER: Tomorrow is Saturday, right?
JESSE: It is?
AMBER: Hold on. Let me see what day it is. I’ve been in this room. Yea today’s Friday so tomorrow is Saturday and I know you said weekends are harder for you but you could find five minutes or so to talk away.
JESSE: You know, if I can make an excuse to go down to the carwash or something I might do that. But, yea, what time you say, 4 to 6?
AMBER: Four to six, five o’clock would be ideal for me, but really, whatever time works for you.
JESSE: I’ll try 5 o’clock, if not you know, I’ll text you and let you know.
AMBER: Ok, but I don’t—I feel worried sometimes when I text you. I don't know how you have me entered in your phone. But I know you said your fiancé would maybe feel confused if you were receiving texts from someone.
JESSE: Ok, I’ll tell you a little secret.
JESSE: You’re name is Elle in my phone.
AMBER: Like “L” just the letter or e-l-l-e?
JESSE: Oh no, A-L.
AMBER: Oh, smart.
JESSE: Al. Al Swanson. And then I delete every text after, you know, I kind of like, I take a screenshot of it and I put it off in a hidden place and then you know that way I can refer back to them if I want to see what we’ve texted.
AMBER: Well, that’s so smart.
JESSE: Well, yea. I can’t afford to have any problems. She’s, she’s one of those who’s just worried about every little thing and anything my family says and stuff like that so. It’s just kind of, kind of got me worried. But as far as us, I don’t think there’s going to be any problem but--
AMBER: Well, so, I won’t worry about texts. It’s not like I’m going to text your face off but I’ll just text the check in tomorrow because we won’t have our—you know, we’ve been talking every day at noon but we won’t have our talk at noon tomorrow—I’m going to swap the order of the day where I build in the morning and then do calls at night.
AMBER: Or, you know, in the evening from 4 to 6. Even if I’m Skyping with Davecat, which I will be, we’re going to set up the monitor to do that—
JESSE: Ok. Um, tomorrow—
AMBER: Even if that’s happening and you know, and that’s when you’re available I’ll just call you in because you know, we’re working on a, or on my end anyway tomorrow, I’ll still be on my ground line even if you’re on the cellphone, and then I can still be Skyping with Davecat. It’s fine.
JESSE: Ok. So for the sake of audio and everything, I’ve been recording like I said with my iPhone off to the side here, but tomorrow I’ll probably have to call in with my iPhone because I don’t know where I’m going to be so, you know, I won’t have any audio for that day.
AMBER: That’s ok, because what we’ll do is if the audio sounds different we’ll just include some of the introduction that you’re like at the carwash, you know?
AMBER: So that’s no problem.
JESSE: All right.
AMBER: Aw, good luck with the bay window, and you know, go get showered. Is it snowing there?
JESSE: No, is it supposed to?
AMBER: I don’t know but it snowed a little bit here and I know that we’re just states away and sometimes it comes on your side. Like when I drove to your house, it was so sad to me to drive into the snow.
AMBER: Because we had gotten it in New York, and you are all just a little before us that way.
JESSE: And then on the way to New York we ran into snow in Pennsylvania. After that it was not too bad.
JESSE: But there was people going off the road left and right so.
JESSE: All right.
AMBER: All right, well, I’ll talk to you tomorrow and we’ll text in the meantime but I’m really excited to get going with this 2x2 frame.
JESSE: Ok, good.
AMBER: All right, have a great day.
JESSE: Yea, you too.
Jesse Call-in Transcription
(timecode from Streaming Footage Part One)
AMBER: Well, cool. We’re together. How are you doing? How was the rest of your birthday yesterday?
JESSE: It was busy.
AMBER: Yea? How was work?
JESSE: That was what was busy. I was trying to answer all the messages on Facebook, and texts and stuff like that. Trying to keep—I had more calls at work than I usually do, so…
AMBER: Yea. Well, that’s a bummer on your birthday.
AMBER: Um, did you have any special dinner or anything? I know you had already gotten pizza with your fiancé but…
JESSE: Actually yesterday they had a meal for Christmas in our department, and someone brought a cake that they said was my birthday cake. I don’t know if they were--
AMBER: Oh, come on. That’s nice.
JESSE: joking around, but you know, when I went over to get the birthday cake, I went over to the coffee they had set up on the table, with those big plastic canteen type things that they put punch and coffee and decaffeinated coffee in or whatever, and when I went to get the coffee the spigot broke and the coffee shot out like a garden hose all over me and all over the floor and everybody laughed—
AMBER: Oh, no, that’s terrible. It’s because you’re so strong that you don’t know your own strength and it just broke off like Hulk Hogan.
JESSE: No, it was just broke anyway I think.
AMBER: (laughs) That’s terrible. Well I don’t know, maybe it’s some kind of birthday good luck or something.
JESSE: Yea could be.
AMBER: So, have you been watching the stream by chance?
AMBER: I’m a little bit frustrated because in order to get it fit really tight in the door way I had to recut the wood on the table saw to be just slightly longer than I thought, and then I’m hammering it in so it can be like as tight as fit as possible.
JESSE: Yea, well, it doesn’t have to be that tight. I mean, as long as you have the dry wall screws. Are they holding in? Are they not long enough or what? It looked like you might be having trouble getting the screws in far enough. Maybe it is a metal substrate behind the drywall. So, you might have to drill a real small pilot hole if the screws aren’t going in.
AMBER: Yea. Well the screws are going into the drywall, but the problem is yesterday—see, I didn't follow your advice exactly mostly because intuitively I just wanted to and I’m glad I did because it’s true that the top of the doorway is wider than the bottom.
AMBER: But, I just wanted to do a little test to get it in and then pull it down and build it on the floor like you suggested, but now because before I had the drill set to the setting that you recommended, you know before I had it on 17 and now I have it on drill bit, but when it was on 17 it struck the screw and I can’t get it out and it’s poking out and I just can’t get it out no matter what I try.
JESSE: Um, if you have a pair of channel locks maybe you can grab it and twist it out with a channel lock, you know like the big pliers the plumbers use?
AMBER: Oh yea. All right. I tried just a small plier. But obviously that didn’t work. OK. So I can come back to that because my goal is to finish the frame really quickly obviously because I need to get started on the rest of the door.
JESSE: Yea. Um, one other thing I noticed is if you’re not pushing on the drill hard enough you’ll tend to (ind) because you’re just, your bit keeps falling out its running around and grinding the head of the screws, so you’re going to strip the head of the screws if you’re not pushing hard enough. And I also recommend you have fine thread screws, just put it down on the number one speed setting, you have two speed settings on that drill, just put it down on number one.
AMBER: Um, which is not, that’s not the drill bit setting that someone else—
JESSE: It should be—you’ve got the same drill that I have—it should be the switch on top, just goes forward and back, one and 2.
AMBER: OK, those two things will help. (1:18:54) But then, what would you recommend me doing next? Next I was going to cut the plywood to size. Right? So, since my two by fours are 8 feet tall and the door is 37 and a half up top but it’s a little shorter at the bottom, how do I that, you know? Like, I guess I just draw, put together my frame, and then I draw I like trace it out on the plywood.
JESSE: That would be an easy way to do it but you’re not going to be able to use the whole width of the door because you have a pivot point on the one side of the door where the hinges are going to be. And they can’t overlap your frame because it’s got to turn inside when it opens the door.
AMBER: Oh right, so it has to be from the inside of one side and the outside of the other side.
AMBER: OK. I can do that.
JESSE: And also, I didn’t realize you were going to use a table saw, if you would use a circular saw it would be a lot easier for ripping down on a piece of plywood like that.
AMBER: Yea, I know. I might take a second look but I’m pretty sure the table saw was what was available.
AMBER: I know that in your tutorial you had mentioned buying that set including the circular would make sense, but I wanted to just make use of what the center has here because they’re super amazing and super generous and they have a bunch of what we needed. So I tried to kind of cobble things together a little bit. But, I will go take a second look for a circular saw before I get started on the table saw. Though, I feel very excited to have used the table saw for the first time.
AMBER: The circular saw’s a little scary. It’s a little like um, I don’t know like some kind of horror movie I saw as a child.
JESSE: Yea? (Laughs) Um, the one that I have is battery bowered and it’s not, it’s not as scary, but I mean they’re all dangerous and you have to especially watch your long hair and stuff like that.
AMBER: Yea, no kidding. Um, I think it’s worth tying it back just for that.
AMBER: I had one other question for you tech wise but basically I think I’ll on schedule if I finish the frame and I cut the plywood and the second thing I wanted to do after the plywood, like moving into the plywood category is to take the knot out of the—you know I sent you the picture from Home Depot of that awesome knot that I found?
AMBER: And I wanted to cut that out. So to do that, are you watching the stream right now?
JESSE: Yea, there’s a little bit of a delay but not too bad.
AMBER: OK. Well that’s fine, if you have it on mute. What I’m going to do is I’m going to bring the tool over that I think I’m supposed to use, and I’m going to ask you for help with that. Is that ok?
AMBER: Ok, I’ll be right back.
AMBER (setting phone down): You can talk right now because—
JESSE: Can you hear me, while you’re walking away? I want to see if you can hear me. I want to explain what happened. Um, I hooked up an old phone to my cable tv modem and it has the Internet and the telephone and everything. And the old phone, for some reason, it would not pick up, I couldn’t even hear it ring.
AMBER: That’s so weird.
AMBER: Well, can I tell you something really bad that happened?
AMBER: So, when I first called you, I texted you this but it went to your machine and it picked up just a small amount of your name.
JESSE: Yea, I heard that, but you know, who’s going to know how to spell it anyway?
JESSE: And Ren can edit that out, anyway. You won’t put it in any of the final version that’s something you’re going to put on, but you know, it’s not that big of deal.
AMBER: OK. Should I edit it out, because I’ve been posting the stream footage at night, should I edit it out of the stream footage before I post that?
JESSE: Yea, that’d be good.
AMBER: OK. I will do that. And um, Yea, gosh I just can’t believe, I was just like ‘Oh, Jesse’s picking up’ and my mouth was starting to move to say hello to you and then I realized it was a recording. So I didn't hang up in time. But, um—
JESSE: Well, there was that problem, and then when I said well, I can’t even hear it ring, so let me call you and I called and some foreign guy answered and said that he knew what the real number was but this number that you have printed on your phone is his number now, and so he gave me the real number for your center there. And of course they have an outgoing greeting and there’s no one at the front desk to transfer it or something.
AMBER: Oh, gosh.
JESSE: I spent a few minutes trying to get connected.
AMBER: Well what ended up happening is I saw the red light blinking on the phone and the person who picked up is super amazing. His name is Machek and he works here at the Watermill Center and uh, we had a really nice dinner together last night. While I was performing he made a whole slow cooked meal and then we all ate and pet that cat, Jasmine that I texted you a picture of.
AMBER: Yea, so thank you for talking to Machek and I’m really glad that all worked out and that we were able to connect. So, I’m sorry I kept putting, I kept giving you his number.
AMBER: Because it’s printed on my phone, but now I see what happened.
JESSE: I’m sorry; you said I talked to Matek?
AMBER: Oh, not Matek, his name is Machek. Matek is our friend from the doll community.
AMBER: But their names sound similar. The person you spoke to hear at Watermill is named Machek.
JESSE: That’s who it was, ok.
AMBER: Yea. But I hadn’t thought about that. That sounds really similar to our doll community friend Matek, who I hope calls in on Saturday.
AMBER: Um, remember, he called in to Lolita?
AMBER: OK. So I’m going to go, I’m holding something up. Can you see it, or should I come closer to the camera?
JESSE: Um, how about give me about 30 seconds and I’ll see it when you hold it up on the stream.
JESSE: There’s a bit of a delay.
JESSE: As long as it has, you know the diameter is big enough to encompass the whole knot, you should be ok.
AMBER: OK, I’m going to go look at that and then come back to the phone, ok?
[Amber puts phone down and exits room]
AMBER: Yea, Jesse it’s perfect.
AMBER: But how, I put it into the drill, I have a video of you showing me how to do this that I took at your house. But, I just put it into the drill right, and then I push the button on the drill and it makes the hole.
JESSE: Do you have a center bit? Is there a pilot bit in the middle of it?
AMBER: What’s a pilot bit?
JESSE: The one in the center, it should be a small one in the center that directs the hole saw.
AMBER: Hole saw? Oh, yea, see this thing—I’ll wait 30 seconds so you can see. Oh, I’ll move closer to the camera, ok?
(Amber holds up drill bit to camera)
AMBER: Jesse, can you see it? (Picking up phone) Were you able to see it?
JESSE: It’s coming up now.
JESSE: Yea, uh, there’s no pilot bit in there. You have to put a drill bit in the center. There should be a small hole that goes right in the middle of that whole saw, and you should be able to tighten the drill bit down tight—
AMBER: Here, let me go get the drill bit and I’ll show you.
[Amber walks off camera to get bit]
JESSE: That looks good when you’re up close to the camera.
[Amber holds up drill bit pack to the camera]
JESSE: Ok, now I kind of feel like the astronaut talking to one of those space probes millions of miles away and they have to wait.
AMBER (picking up phone): You know it’s so much like that. It’s really cool because right now, oh, I ‘ll take a picture and I’ll text it to you and I’ll put it on the Facebook event page, because right now I’m talking on the phone in order to hear you really clearly, but we have the speaker that I think of as you mounted to a light stand. So, I’ll take a really quick picture and send it to you because it’s really funny. This is you, ok?
JESSE: OK. All right, the drill bit stuff that you’re holding up is a nice big set like I have so it should work. Um, I turned my phone, the phone that I had to hook up because the other one wasn’t working, the battery’s dead in it so I can’t lift up the handset, so I'm leaving it on speaker phone, so I don’t know where the microphone is on this. I hope I’m sounding clear enough to you. Now I need to see the middle of that hole saw, I need to see the face of it that’s pointing down toward the wood and see the hole in there. There should be a hole.
AMBER (approaching camera): Yea, there’s a hole. See? Can you see the hole?
JESSE: Eh, maybe in thirty seconds.
AMBER: Sorry, I’m so impatient.
JESSE: Ok, I see the speaker. (Laughs) It’s on a stand.
AMBER: It’s on a light stand.
JESSE: Ok, yea, that’s good. Now it should, if you find any size that they I don't know, whatever will fit up in there, say a 3/16th or something, put that bit up in there, and there should be a set screw that you could tighten up with a screw driver that will hold that bit in there.
AMBER: Ok, my, this is so frustrating because I want to know how to do this stuff and unfortunately it’s not always clear to me as someone who doesn’t speak tool language. But like, I actually can’t get this thing open. You know, this black box full of the drill bits?
AMBER: How does it open?
JESSE: There should be like three tabs that, there should be like two tabs on the bottom and one and the top, it’s got like a hole if you hang it up on the wall with if you want to hang it on your (ind)
AMBER: Whoops. I just broke it. A little.
JESSE: Well, you just twist those. Well…
AMBER: It’s like you need a tool just to open it. Oh, here we go.
JESSE: Yea, it looks a little different from mine but it should—
AMBER: Whoa, look at that. Hold on, you’ll see it in 30 seconds. It’s like a Crayola box. Now I get it.
AMBER: OK. So basically I’m just going to find something that fits in this hole. What number did you say it would be?
JESSE: Maybe a 3/16th. I wouldn’t think it would be anything as big a quarter ince. But maybe an eighth inch or a 3/16th inch bit. Yea, I see how it opens it up now. That’s similar to mine.
AMBER: OK, I think the one that says seven…I think it’s 7/32nds.
JESSE: OK, that would be good.
AMBER: But um, how do I get it to fit tight in here.
JESSE: There should be a set screw or something that you tighten down on the stem. The part that goes into the drill, it should have a screw or something in there that you tighten down to hold the bit in.
AMBER: It doesn’t. Here I’ll go up to the camera and show you.
[Amber approaches camera with drill part]
JESSE: Yea, there’s got to be something on the side, on the outside of it that you tighten with a screwdriver. Um, you’re walking toward the camera now so I’ll tell you in a minute…No you got to turn it, um, the part that you’re holding with your fingers opposite, yea opposite end of the drill bit, uh, wow, there should be some sort of a screw there that tightens the bit.
AMBER: Wait, hold on, maybe I have to big of a thing.
JESSE: It would be on the outside of the hole saw. If you would hold the hole saw in your hand and put the part, turn the part so that I can see the part that sticks into the drill. I could tell you. Um…I think the part of the Wi-Fi problem here is I’m streaming from my iPad to the big TV so there’s got to be lag time there too. Let me shut down the air plate TV and watch it straight off the iPad. I’ll get right back with you.
AMBER: OK. (1:35:51)
JESSE: Ok, you got your back to the camera right now.
AMBER: Jesse, I just, I just texted you a picture of it.
JESSE: Of what.
AMBER: Of the thing that we’re talking about, I don’t remember it’s name.
JESSE: Hole saw.
AMBER: Hole saw.
JESSE: OK, I see you texting it now, so…crazy. Just to make this work I have wires all over the place. Still some lag time, I didn’t think there’d be that much lag time.
AMBER: Jesse when you get a second can you mute the live stream?
JESSE: Can I what?
AMBER: Mute the Livestream. We just don’t want to hear any feedback.
JESSE: Right. I put it on the iPad, I took it off the TV cause I thought there was a lot of lag time there, but it seems about the same.
JESSE: All right, the part that you’re holding…I’m looking at it now off the picture you sent me. I don’t know, it’s not going to work if you don’t have a way to clamp down that drill bit. It will spin all over the place. Is there anybody there that can show you how to put the drill bit in?
AMBER: Um, well, everyone here that looks at it says there’s no way that it’s tightening. Why don’t I, why don’t I just take one piece outside and see if—remember the person that you spoke to? His name is Machek.
AMBER: Maybe he knows and maybe I can just pop outside and if he’s here I’ll ask him really quick. Can you stay on the phone though?
AMBER: Oh, ok. Hold on.
AMBER: OK, so he had to go to New York for the Watermill Christmas party.
AMBER: For the holiday party. So, the problem is like there’s not, I know you’re saying there should be another thing to tighten it with, and there’s just, maybe this thing is missing a piece.
JESSE: I think it is.
AMBER: What should the piece look like?
JESSE: I don’t know because it’s a different kind of hole saw than what I have. But if you have the time we can skip this knot thing right now. If you have the time to go to Home Depot and buy a Dewalt hole saw I know exactly what those look like and I can…
AMBER: OK. That sounds good. But basically I think I understand the gist of it. Like, I’m going to be, I guess the one thing that I don’t understand is why would there be a drill bit, like why don’t I just put this thing on the back of the hole saw into the drill and isn’t this a saw on the outside? Like why does it need the drill bit in the center?
JESSE: OK, to answer that question best, I’m going to have you, if you have time, take a scrap piece of wood, and put in the drill bit, or put it in the drill, and try it and see what happens.
AMBER: Oh. That’s such a mean lesson.
JESSE: I mean, I can’t explain it to you. You have to have, you know you have to have that bit in the center to hold it, to hold it around the center point because if you don’t have that pilot bit, it’s like flying a plane without a pilot.
AMBER: Well, ok, but won’t it make a hole in the center of the knot?
JESSE: The drill bit will, yea.
AMBER: So why don’t you have a hole in the center of your knot?
JESSE: Oh, I do. That’s where the nuts are—the little nuts that I have—they are in that hole.
AMBER: Oh. Ok. All right. So I’ll just go get a different hole saw tonight. I’m picking my friend up from the train so, I can do it then.
JESSE: But you really ought to try that because I’ve done it too thinking I can do it without a pilot bit and it doesn’t work, it just walks all over the place.
AMBER: Oh man.
AMBER: Well, I guess that’s a good lesson, a tool lesson. Which is really what you’re giving me.
JESSE: Yea. Tough love.
AMBER: Tough love is right.
AMBER: Sorry, hold on one second. Ren is trying to tell me something. Um, Ren is saying maybe we can do it with a drill press.
JESSE: If you had it in a drill press and your, the wood that you’re taking the knot out of is small enough, that you can clamp it down to the table on the drill press, yes, that will work.
AMBER: OK. I guess, I think that, I don’t know for sure but it looks like Ren is into rebuilding it and that this piece is from a drill press, right?
JESSE: Um, you know what, that’s probably true. That’s probably a hole saw for being used in a drill press.
AMBER: And, the thing is there was no hole press back there in the tool shed.
AMBER: So, ok, so what I’ll do is when I pick my friend up from the train I’ll just get a what do you call it again? A hole saw that’s Dewalt.
JESSE: Dewalt. The same brand that that drill is that you have. The yellow, it will be, almost everything they make is yellow so it will be a yellow hole saw. So get like a 2 inch hole saw. Or make sure that the knot
AMBER: Right. So basically the hole saw’s bigger than the knot. ‘Cause this is 2 and eighth. But the knot that I want to use is actually even a little bigger than that.
JESSE: Hmm. I thought it looked like it was a little bigger.
AMBER: Anyway. Enough about tools.
AMBER: I wondered if you want to talk more about the closet.
JESSE: OK, well first of all the other thing I wanted to tell you, because you have that frame made, don’t screw it tight to the doorway yet, because you have to leave that laying on the floor to drill out the places where the bearings are resting in the—
AMBER: Right. I mostly just wanted to get the measurements correct because just from my eye I could tell that the top was just a little bigger than the bottom. And then the other thing about it is I feel pretty frustrated at two by fours because one is eight feet like it’s supposed to be and one is just slightly taller than eight feet. I guess that’s common.
JESSE: Did you cut them to the same length?
AMBER: No, because I was just trying to minimize the number of times I cut things. But I should huh? I should cut the one that’s slightly taller than eight feet?
JESSE: Yea, you should make them the same because you don’t want anything to be at an angle, you want it to be square.
JESSE: Everything should be, I mean it’s a rectangle with square angles in it. But since your doorway isn’t really square in the first place, you might have problems anyway. We'll find out later.
JESSE: Um, the other thing is…um, I guess we’ll get to that later. But ok, talk about the closet you said?
JESSE: My closet that I built for heather?
AMBER: But also I wondered if you wanted to tell the story that you told me when we were driving to get lunch together in your hometown?
AMBER: You told me a story about getting in your grandmother’s while she was taking a nap?
JESSE: So you want to go in another sort of closet direction?
AMBER: If you’d like to, but it’s up to you.
JESSE: Um, well I don’t mind. I mean, it’s uh, it’s one of those things that made me who I am I guess. At a young age, the earliest I can remember, when I was 4 I think when my mom and dad split up and one day on the way to where mom moved to she had me and my younger brother, my younger brother was pretty much a baby. I don’t even really remember him being there. Maybe he wasn’t going along this time, but, we always stopped in the town, which was on the way to where mom moved to to, um, to see her mom, my grandmother. And my aunt, my youngest aunt that is my mom’s sister is only five years older than me and I remember it was just my mom and my grandmother in the kitchen and they were sitting there talking at the table and I wandered off. You know how kids do, they get into closets and pantries and whatever and so I went into the pantry where the food was kept, the canned stuff and whatever, there was my aunt, Sara white patent leather boots, little-- almost up to the knee, you know. (1:47:13) And I said, ‘Oh, wow, I like shiny things.’ So I put them on. And I remember I was standing in the closet and I was wearing my aunts boots and thought that they really made me feel different, made me feel like somebody different or not myself. And I kind of liked that feeling of alienation.
JESSE: So I, I was in there for a couple minutes and my grandmother was always paranoid that the kids were going to get into something and she said, ‘What are you doing in there?’ Mom came and opened up the door and saw that I was wearing those boots and she made a comment, ‘What are you doing’ You know, ‘take those off.’ And that was around four years old but another time when I was probably nine or ten and I lived with my dad who had moved in with his mom, you know and he was working a third shift and it was hard for him to take care of the two boys that he got custody of, and so we moved in with my grandma since she had bought a new house, this was my dad’s mom, not my mom’s mom. And one day when he was taking a nap because he worked third shift and he was trying to take care of us boys the best he could but he had to take a nap—
JESSE: And my brother fell asleep so I thought, ‘Hey, I was going to look around and get nosey’, so I went into my grandma’s room, l went into her closet, I think there was a dress there and I put on one of her dresses and some earrings, and I don’t know if I had some of her shoes and panties hoes or whatever, but I was just, I liked the feeling of alienation. Being something other than what I really am. And, I don’t know if I fell asleep or I just was just enjoying it sitting there and not doing anything, but I was in there for quite awhile and my dad started looking for us, wondering where I was, and kept calling my name and I didn’t answer because I was hurrying up trying to take everything off, and uh, about a minute you know of him calling my name I finally felt compelled to answer. So when I answered he said, ‘What were you doing in there?” and I said, ‘Well we were playing hide and seek and I fell asleep.’ And he opened up, it was one of those sliding door closets, and he opened up one of the doors, and he saw that I still had the dress on. He said, ‘Get that off. What are you doing?’
JESSE: And so, my dad knew about that and we never talked about it and my brother and I are really close and uh, when he wasn’t getting along with my stepmother when I was in the army, my younger brother moved in my with my grandma who at this time was living in an apartment.
AMBER: Your grandmother on your father’s side or the mother’s side that had the white patent leather boots?
JESSE: No, the same grandmother. My dad’s mom.
AMBER: Ok. Got it. So she was living in an apartment and your younger brother moved in?
JESSE: Yea, my younger brother moved in because he wasn’t getting along with my stepmother while I was gone in the service. I was in the army for a couple years and uh, the one night when I went up to visit him and sit and talk to my grandmother and whatever we got to (ind) and whatever and we got to talking, then we decided to go out and, my brother and I go out and take a cruise and he noticed there was a suitcase in my back seat in my car. And I was hesitant at first but I grabbed it and showed him what I had in it. It was a bunch of stockings and panties and bras and stuff that I found in an old abandoned house that somebody—a lot of the stuff had price tags on it so somebody had stashed them there.
AMBER: Oh, like it was brand new and it had store price tags on it? Or like garage sale price tags?
JESSE: Store price tags. So my—it was another guy like me that probably didn’t want to be found out and he probably owned this property and stashed all this stuff there because there were other things that made me believe that this wasn’t just a woman’s clothing.
AMBER: What other things?
JESSE: I don’t know, there was just, whatever it was it just made me believe because—
JESSE: The house still had all the furniture in it and it kind of made me think maybe this guy went there to dress up to get away from his wife or whatever. But uh, when my brother saw that, at first he made fun of me and he said, he said, ‘I like these.’ And he was saying that he put on stocking before, stuff like that. And I said, ‘are you serious?’ And he said, ‘yea, I’ve been doing it for a couple years.’ And it was funny that he and I both kind of came out to each other that we were like that.
JESSE: That we liked those things. And, just like, looking at or feeling or seeing lingerie and stuff that was not meant for men but it made you feel like you were different. It alienated you from who, it was kind of an escape. (1:52:21) So there’s that. OK, there’s that part of the closet.
JESSE: Now leading into one of the reasons I bought the real doll back in ’98, I was set to be married to my first wife, well actually my second wife. The first marriage is not even worth speaking about, it only lasted five months. But, I set aside some cash and I got this real doll before we got married because I thought this was my last chance to actually have something other than my wife that I can, you know continue on with my little fantasy, in my own world. And, so when the doll came, I had her delivered to a warehouse that I had some cars stored in and over the course of the next couple months I tried to figure out a way to get her into the house so I could have her whenever my wife was away or dress her up or do whatever I wanted to do that way I wouldn’t have to you know, it was kind of like I could project my fantasy on to her instead of myself.
AMBER: Yea. Right. And dress her up in the lingerie you wanted to wear.
JESSE: Right. And so that’s where the closet came in to being. And I kind of like your, your comparing the two ideas into one theme, a closet because yea when I had the doll I had to try to find a way to keep her hidden also because obviously I didn’t want my wife to find out about it. Really, nobody in the community where I live would accept it anyhow, so one day when my wife was on out at one of those parties that girls do—selling candles or whatever, there’s many different kinds of parties that people do—but, she was away one time and I got to working on the door. (1:54:15) For the closet, after I realized there was that space behind that hole in the wall, and I guess we should back up. Yes, that hole in the wall when we first moved in this house where a door knob went into the plaster, in the teenage girl’s bedroom. I don’t know if she threw a fit and slammed the door into the wall but, I put a flashlight in there to see if, to see how far that hole went back in, and I realized it went back you know, a few feet so I thought that would that would be a really cool idea to put a door that I could put on that, that would like it was part of the wall.
JESSE: But, it wouldn’t have a door knob on it, it wouldn't look like there was anyway to open it but, it would, but to me I would know how to open it.
JESSE: So, it was ideal. So I got to work on that idea and how I was going to do it. And then one day when my wife went to stay with her mom, in you know one of the bigger cities and I was here for a couple days alone and I knocked out all the existing plaster and threw it away and made the hole, a nice open rectangular area that I could put a filler door in and then I went to my place of work after hours and built this metal frame and a little locking mechanism and the metal rods that locked in the holes in the wall and turn the key. It all worked out really well and I only had one person came up to me when I was building it because of most of the other people on the off shifts, there’s only a few of them, most of them are working and not really paying attention to what was going on.
JESSE: But one guy asked me what I was doing and I told him I was building a locking cabinet for storing guns and stuff in it and I said that’s why I’m putting this knot in front of this lock cylinder and I said it’s going to look like it’s just a regular piece of plywood but you pull that knot out and there’s a lock going behind it. He thought that was a really cool idea. So, that door has been there since I don’t know probably, I don’t know at least the year 2000.
AMBER: Yea, that’s quite a while.
JESSE: I took it back off because, well for one, you wanted to see it. And you took it along with you to Watermill Center.
AMBER: Yea. It’s right here.
JESSE: And, I’ll probably close up that existing hole with regular studded wall because when I get married I don’t want any questions about why is this plywood hall, seal it with drywall. My previous wife, she didn’t really question it.
AMBER: Jesse, would you like to put the pieces of Heather into the room before you seal it with drywall?
JESSE: Well, that it’d be a cool idea.
AMBER: Yea. Then she would be in her original room.
AMBER: Can you see, I know that you’re watching the Livestream, I have all the pieces of Heather laid out on the table.
AMBER: Whoa, that would be really…I don’t know part of me would feel really sad that she would be in there, kind of, without a door that opens. But, in another way, it was a special space for her, right? Like something that you built with such care.
JESSE: Yea. Well maybe just a small piece. You know. I don’t know if you heard me yesterday but I liked what you did with the picture that you made for the presentation of the Doll Closet performance where the finger nails are the same color red in the lettering and your shoes.
AMBER: Yea. And the paint container or the—
AMBER: What is that called that you pour paint into while you are rolling it?
JESSE: Uh, I don’t know, a can.
AMBER: Yea, a can. It was hard to find a paint can that was that color, of Heather’s finger nails.
JESSE: Yea, and the stool that you’re on.
AMBER: Yea. Well thanks for noticing. You always notice all the color details and I like that.
JESSE: That’s pretty neat.
AMBER: Yea, well and I don’t know, oh um, I’m going to put my fingernails up to the Livestream, and then I’ll tell you something about them, OK?
JESSE: And then what?
AMBER: And then I’m going to tell you something about them ok?
AMBER: OK. (Approaches camera and puts her nails out) Ok, so we’ll wait 30 seconds and then you’ll see my fingernail polish.
JESSE: I noticed it was pink yesterday.
AMBER: Yea, it is pink. But um, so the exciting thing to me about the pink, well first of all, remember you gave me a paint chip from the room of the doll closet?
AMBER: So I took that paint chip to Benjamin Moore in Dumbo, which is near my studio, in Brooklyn--oh right, you’ve been to Dumbo in Brooklyn because that’s where you proposed to your fiancé.
AMBER: Oh my gosh, that’s so wild we didn’t talk about this yesterday, but when you proposed to your now fiancé right in front of me when I was working at the carousel, we were just like, I don’t even know, like fifty feet from my studio.
AMBER: Yea, because the carousel is right next to my residency this year. I didn’t even think to tell you that but that’s part of why I have that job is that the funder for the residency is also the person who restored that carousel for like, twenty-five whole years.
AMBER: But yea, there’s a paint shop, there’s like a little hardware store that has a little paint shop inside, and they sell Benjamin Moore paint, and I took the paint chip that you gave me to them and they did a scan, and so what they determined is that the color of the room was like the Benjamin Moore brand named, “Secret Garden.”
JESSE: So, is it an old vintage paint style. Or are you saying that’s—
AMBER: Yea, the contemporary name for it like, I don’t know what year that paint, that room would have been painted, but whatever year it was I'm sure that was around the year my bedroom was painted as a little girl, cause it’s the exact same color.
JESSE: Huh, so I bet it was in the 70s then.
AMBER: Yea, and then they um, at Benjamin Moore they just went ahead and did the little scan. They have a scanner um, that tells you basically like the CMYK breakdown, and then they match it as close as possible to one of their color brands. So the name of the color that’s like, you know available now is called Secret Garden. I just really like that because you know we’re talking about this secret room and this hidden closet and I love that it was in a room um, you know, that was painted a color now called Secret Garden. Anyway, maybe I’m just nerdy about it, but I really liked it. (2:01:39)
JESSE: That’s really, that’s a cool connection.
AMBER: OK. So then, the reason I held my fingernails up to the camera, is that I went to go get a manicure while Ren and Barry kindly worked on all the audio the other night, and um, I was looking through all the pinks and I was trying to match it to all the paint that I’ll be painting the walls here. Um, which is that paint that I found from your chip, but I couldn’t find a pink that I thought that would look good, like on camera, and also would match so I went through all the names and I found a pink called “Secret Stash.” (Jesse laughs) That’s what I used, so. Anyway, um, I don’t know I thought that you would appreciate that because we’ve talked about fingernails before because I remember us chatting, remember when we did that video chat last spring and we were chatting a little bit about how you said you didn’t want to paint your nails as they are.
AMBER: You said that you would like to paint your nails if your nails were different.
AMBER: And then, what did you say, I was joking a little bit with you because at that time we were planning on hanging out a little bit in the summer in Ohio, ‘cause I had to drive that car from New York to Iowa.
AMBER: And I was like, oh we should paint our nails together. But you weren’t into it.
JESSE: No, I uh, my I don’t know, they’re white and they’re man hands and I don’t know. They look all right but there’s one of them that’s really bad. I split it in the middle when I was in the service.
AMBER: Oh, wow.
JESSE: But, I don’t know. Maybe putting artificial nails on it or something. But, you can’t find any there that long anymore.
AMBER: Oh, I can.
JESSE: Like long ones.
AMBER: Oh my gosh, Jesse, I can find you long ones for sure.
AMBER: Yea. Let’s just, we’ll revisit that but, um, I don’t know. I think it’s possible and I think it could be really fun because I’m very into my nail care and I think it could be something that we do together. Also, I was remember that when we did that chat, what’s it, you said something about being reincarnated because you were like, ‘No, I don’t want to paint my nails when you come to town.’
JESSE: Well, I mean, ultimately if there is such a thing as reincarnation, I’m happy with who I am now, but, you know if there is such a thing as reincarnation I hope I come back as a woman because I like that kind of stuff. I like I like fancy things, I like soft things, it’s just part of whatever made me this way, I don’t know if it’s because, you know, missing my mom because I lived with my dad and I only had my grandma around. My grandma was one of the softest, nicest, most forgiving people I’ve ever met. And, I’m not saying she was ultra feminine, because she wasn’t I mean, just part of my soft personality came from my grandma.
AMBER: Well, I like your soft personality.
AMBER: You know, it reminds me of--it’s so funny. I have an aunt who makes these watercolors, so you know she lives in a small town in Iowa and this small town like, I don’t know what it’s called. It’s not community access television but it’s just like the local channel, did a feature on her which is amazing right? And um, they showed her watercolors. They were calling her a folk artist. And she’s so soft spoken and sweet and round like I am, you know, she’s curvy like I am and um, I had forgotten that she was this artist and I was remembering last night that she’s both really soft and feminine and also um, in this way that is I think unique to the small Midwestern town that we’re both from. Also not particularly, I don’t know how to say this because I don’t want to say that she’s not feminine, but I think that my um, expression of femininity and my ID as a queer fat femme has a lot to do with things like nail polish and bangs and red lipstick. And when I dress the way that I dress in my real life in New York when I’m in my small town in Iowa, or when I came to visit you in Ohio and we went to visit that little pub, I felt really out of place.
AMBER: Yea, I felt like—I mean, I feel this way in my small town in Iowa but I just felt like a lot of eyes on me. (2:06:29) You know, like I felt a little judged, for the red lipstick look in particular. I feel like thats the code for that in, at least where I’m from is a little bit like uh, on the slutty or sex worker end of the spectrum. But maybe I’m misreading that. Do you know what I mean?
JESSE: Yea, because not a whole lot of people where lipstick like that, I mean I like it, I like seeing that. But not a lot of people around here do that.
JESSE: Um, before we get to far, I…
AMBER: Oh right, I don’t have my time today.
JESSE: I probably have about another ten minutes.
JESSE: But if I can like, maybe make a point here, like what I was getting at for buying Heather and since I bought Rhiannon also—I never thought I’d buy another doll but since Rhiannon was in, or since Heather was in such bad shape and the dolls that they’re making now are so much more better—
AMBER: Oh my god, they’re unbelievable.
JESSE: I really wanted to continue on. I felt it would be healthier for me to continue on with another doll that I could present my, or project my fantasy on to. I think it would be better than, better for me to buy another doll and continue that way than it would for me in my community to be found out as being a cross dresser or something. So, I don’t do that as much anymore. You know what I’m saying? I try, I’m trying to since I have a new girlfriend, I’m going to be married, I’m trying to be more of a man, living up to my expectations as a man and trying to um, when you were in my garage I pointed out some places where I had some stuff hidden—
JESSE: I really am trying to get away from that.
JESSE: Trying to get any clothes that I have left behind from me you know experimenting I want clothes and the shoes that I have left behind to be sized for Rhiannon so if they’re ever found I can say well I have a doll and that goes with my doll.
JESSE: If they find my twelve shoes they’re going to say these are way too big for that doll.
JESSE: So you know I’m trying to be a bit more um, I guess there’s nothing wrong with it if you want to continue cross dressing or whatever, but in my community if I was found out as that it would be a lot harder probably to live down than it would be for me being found out as having a doll.
AMBER: That makes sense to me.
JESSE: And I could still project that part of me onto Rhiannon.
AMBER: Yea. I mean, I support what makes sense for you and I just have such um, big feelings of care and love for you. I also feel just, I have to be honest, like a little bit sad, about um, you know the fact that that isn’t something you feel you can express. That it isn’t something you feel you can talk to your fiancé about or talk to your community about. And I absolutely understand and come from a really similar community, um, but I just wanted to say that out loud. Like I both identify with you, understand the space on a pretty deep way, um, as far as where specifically you’re from, and feel really excited about your generosity of sharing with me and sharing with the Livestream. And then just also feel a little bit sad that it if this is something that feels important to you but it feels like something you have to stifle. Do you know I guess I just wish it wasn’t that way and I’m wondering if um, that’s something we could talk a little more about tomorrow if you want to. Not that I’m trying to change your mind, whatsoever.
JESSE: Yea. Maybe, but I mean you understand too where I’m coming from because of our similar upbringings.
AMBER: Yes, totally.
JESSE: It’s better to leave it in the closet than it is to be ridiculed if it was found out. So, I kind of live a duel life I guess, but that's if anybody is hearing what I’m saying and they can identify with it, or maybe they can’t identify with but they’ll understand it a little better that that’s one of the reasons guys like me have dolls because I didn’t really play with Barbies when I was little. I played with dirt bikes and I was a normal boy but um, I’ve always had it in the back of my mind that it would be really fun to get into fashion and stuff like that and so it’s better to have a doll to project that fantasy on to then it is to keep on stifling yourself, like you said, I will probably stay you know in the closet because I don’t want to be found out that I have a doll even. It’s a lot easier to go that route than it is, in my community anyway than being found out as—and by the way, I will say this. And I told my brother about this too. My brother was pretty upset thinking that ‘Oh my family name is going to be shamed’ and everything but I was pulled over by the police one time while I was wearing the mini skirts and heels, and they came in with their flashlights. It was at night and they had their flashlights all over my car and at the time you know I worked on a lot of stuff, I’m into a lot of different things. Well, I had my car apart and you know the dashboard was tore apart and everything and I was just driving down, down the road to back in, I don’t know ’91 or ’92 back when there weren’t that many cell towers and I had to drive down the road to get a cell phone signal so I could call my girlfriend. This was the girl who died of cancer but—
JESSE: But, at the time I thought it was kind of, I was dressed up and I thought it would be cool to call my girlfriend at the time while I was dressed up. So I had to go down the road and I didn't tell her that I was, but it was just one of those things.
JESSE: I went down the road and pulled off on the side in a ditch of this back road and sure enough the police came and wondered why I was pulled there, in there. And I told them I was talking to my girlfriend. And of course not many people had cellphones back then but mine was built into the car.
AMBER: Oh wow.
JESSE: And they shined the flashlights all over the car and they said, ‘Huh, we don't see your girlfriend.’ They were giving me a hard time.
JESSE: And uh, then they started noticing that I had heels on and my mini skirt and whatever and they just gave me a warning you know, you’re not supposed to pull off to the side of the road. You’re not supposed to be parked in a ditch and whatever. And uh, they kind of had me, they detained me for probably twenty minutes and I um, was getting pretty nervous and then they finally told me I was free to go. But then they said, ‘One more thing would you mind stepping out of the car. And I said, ‘No, I’m not going to do that.’
JESSE: And they just laughed and said, ‘Ok well, you’re friend would probably not appreciate you doing this’ and they told me to go home and get changed so. I told my brother that and he was pretty embarrassed that you know the family name is going to be shamed. But that’s the only time I had ever been caught.
AMBER: Yea, and to your knowledge they didn’t, the police officers didn’t share that story?
JESSE: Oh, share that story?
AMBER: What, what I’m asking is, to your knowledge did the police officer share that story with other people, like in a gossip way. Did it get back to you that it had been—
JESSE: Not to my knowledge but, no. There have been, there have been some comments with people saying some things to me later on in later years that made me wonder, you know how much do they know about me?
JESSE: It may have been, but I don't care.
JESSE: I mean, I try not to be found out but I mean if it happens it happens.
AMBER: Yea. Well some of what we’re up to now is kind of providing this public but anonymous platform to have this conversation. Maybe that’s where we can pick up tomorrow is talking a little bit about that.
JESSE: Well, it’s turning, it’s kind of turning into psychological therapy for me, but I don’t want to go off base or off target for what you’re, you know, I hope this is what you’re you know, get the community to understand us you know especially the guys that own dolls or whatever because it is an oddity where I’m from but I’m sure it will eventually be accepted.
AMBER: Yea, and maybe that’s some of my interest. As you’re talking I’m thinking a little bit more about conversations we’ve had in the last I guess two full years now, as someone who dates people on a transmasculine spectrum, as someone who’s in a queer community in New York City that talks a lot about gender, uh, in obviously in a very accepting way um…yea, I mean I want to be careful about our conversations because I both identify with where you’re from and feel really happy to be out on all the levels that I’m out. So you know, I think some of our interest in each other has to do with both of those things, right, so like we get the small town Midwestern-ness um, we get some of the gender stuff, and I think perhaps some of your interest in me and this public and anonymous platform for you to have this conversation and in my position as being out as queer and out as someone who dates transmasculine people um, you know, I’m kind of wondering if that’s some of your appeal in our relationship. But of course, I don’t know.
JESSE: Um, I…I don’t know I guess I don’t understand, you’re asking me if uh…
AMBER: Well, I mostly wanted to address your question if we’re getting to off base. And I wanted to—I answered in such a very long way and I’m sorry, I think we are not off base at all. And I hope this is the conversation that we have, partly because I hope that building this closet could be a vehicle for your self-representation, however you wanted to interpret that. So, I feel open to the possibility that we talked only about the closet and the logistics of the closet and hiding the doll. Um, but I’ve been very happy to connect with you on some of the gender stuff that we’ve talked about over the last two years, partly because it’s content that I think about all day every day. But also because I think that I tend to interact with people in this one certain community in New York City that has you know, shared politics and um, for the most part a shared way of talking about gender and trans folks. And I think that our way of talking about gender uh is really different.
AMBER: Yea. Our conversations have words like cross-dressing.
JESSE: Yea, because—
AMBER: And that’s not a word for example that we use very much in my community in New York.
JESSE: Yea, maybe we can expand on it tomorrow.
JESSE: But I’m going to have to get ready to go to work here pretty soon so.
AMBER: Yea, definitely. Oh my gosh, it’s the day after your birthday so I guess that means you won’t get coffee spilled all over you.
JESSE: No, I should be ok today, maybe I won’t have to work so hard.
AMBER: I can’t believe you got coffee spilled all over you and you had the most calls on your birthday.
JESSE: And I had a speeding ticket in the morning.
AMBER: Oh my gosh, that’s right. You get a lot of speeding tickets you seem to imply.
JESSE: Yea. Well, I guess we’ll talk about that later.
AMBER: All right. Well, hey are you going to watch the stream if it’s possible?
JESSE: Yea, I watched a lot of it yesterday at work so if you have any questions or problems you can feel free to text me—
JESSE: I’ll do the best with answering the texts also.
AMBER: OK. I’ll also send you more pictures of Jasmine the cat.
AMBER: All right. How you feeling?
JESSE: I’m feeling all right.
AMBER: All right. Well we’ll talk over text. You have a good day at work.
JESSE: OK, thanks a lot.
AMBER: All right, bye.
JESSE: Later. Bye.
Doll Closet: Day One
Streaming Footage Part One
Jesse Call-in Transcription
(timecode from Streaming Footage Part Two)
AMBER: Oh my gosh, Jesse, I’m so glad to talk to you.
AMBER: But here’s the thing, I just have to ask you—and I’m sorry if I’ve asked you a couple times—to turn the Livestream off again.
AMBER: Because we can hear it.
JESSE: Oh, oh, I just muted it. I just muted it.
AMBER: (laughing) OK. I like that you just asked me how I knew.
JESSE: I had it off…(ind)
AMBER: Yea, we’re hearing some feedback.
JESSE: OK, I think I know what it is. There’s a window behind here. AMBER: Oh, yea AMBER: yea yea. Every place that you have the Livestream, if you don’t mind closing it, that would really help us out.
JESSE: Yea, I just realized that I…(ind)
AMBER: Oh my gosh, that’s what was going on. But also, there are things on our end so you know, we’ll just start from here.
AMBER: And we can hear each other, it’s beautiful.
JESSE: Sounds good.
AMBER: Good. Ok, great. So Jesse, happy birthday!
AMBER: Say that again?
AMBER: Hmm…you’re breaking up.
JESSE: After you laughed, I could see that you said something, but I couldn’t hear what it was.
AMBER: Oh, ok, yea. But I think we have a really good connection now. So lets just get to chatting and I also want to tell you for like the fifth time now that you can hear me: happy birthday.
JESSE: (breaking up) Birthday, it works for about ten seconds and then
AMBER: Hmm…well we have full bars on our end and I know you do too, so we may just have to keep our fingers crossed for tomorrow, but, let’s just keep chatting as long as it feels comfortable. Um, so I started saying earlier I broadcast your instructional video for the first hour. From 11 to noon, Eastern, and it was amazing.
AMBER: Did you watch it on Livestream?
JESSE: Yes, I said I watched it but I was supposed to get around for work also.
AMBER: Oh yea, yea, yea.
AMBER: Um, so I’ve watched it a couple of times now, and the main and the main thing I have a question about is how I get the two by fours into the doorway. Right, so you said to just drill in those dry wall screws, but is it as simple as that. Like, I just…how many would you put in, that kind of thing. How do you, how do you recommend I get that stuff done?
JESSE: If Watermill is ok with it, then you could shoot some drywall screws through the doorframe that’s already there. I don’t know if it’s metal or made of wood, if you could go over or not—
AMBER: It’s um, it’s just, it’s just drywall.
JESSE: But what’s behind the drywall, what’s that attached to?
AMBER: Here, let me find out. You said I should just knock on it? (35:29) [walks over to door and knocks on it]
JESSE: Yea…it might be metal.
AMBER: I can’t really tell from knocking on it because I’m not an expert like you.
JESSE: It sounds like wood.
AMBER: Oh, it does? You such an expert, even from far away! So that’s good news right? I could just put the drywall screws right into the drywall and wood?
JESSE: Uh, lost what you are saying, can’t hear it.
AMBER: I said that’s good news right? That I can just put those two by four screws into the drywall and the wood on the frame?
JESSE: Right, uh, that’s what I would do.
JESSE: Are you hooked into the Livestream with an audio cable on your phone?
AMBER: No, I’m not. I’m hooked into a speaker and then we’re recording the speaker into the Livestream, which isn’t ideal, but it’s what we can only pull off today since we had that technical problem right before we started streaming.
JESSE: Ok. Um, I don’t know if it’s a Wi-Fi problem or if it’s the chord you have hooked in your phone, unless it’s just a power chord.
AMBER: No, this is just a chord to a speaker, I think our issue together right now is Wi-Fi.
JESSE: Well, whenever you picked up the phone and pulled that wire, moved that wire, I missed some of the stuff you’re saying.
JESSE: But, yea, if you would built that two by four frame, as high as you want it, say about six foot, or so, and then you know obviously the wood’s in the doorframe so it fits in there snug, and then shoot some drywall screws, one on each side of the bottom and one on each side of the top so all together four screws, that would hold that frame in there.
AMBER: And then how do I—I’d have to cut the third two by four to be the length of the doorway. And then do I drill it like on the top into the other two that I’ve already adhered to the sides?
JESSE: I don’t understand like what 3rd two by four. If you make a rectangular, just a rectangle, and then fit it into that doorway so you have a top and the bottom and both sides, there’s four—
AMBER: Oh, oh, ok. I didn’t realize, cause I’m putting one on the bottom too, yea?
AMBER: OK. Gotcha. And then you’re saying what I can do is build that—‘cause that’s not in the video, the two by four section. So I have a lot of questions about it. And you know me, I’m asking like the most basic questions but that’s my skill level with tools. So um, so I can build that rectangle on the ground and then adhere it into the doorframe…
AMBER: Yes, OK, cool.
JESSE: And then, after you get it a nice tight fit, and you got it screwed in and everything and it looks good, then unscrew it and lie it back on the floor so that you can after you build the door you can set the door into it.
AMBER: Oh, ok.
JESSE: Because drilling out the little round nests for the bearings that press on the pipe nickels, you’re going to have to drill out that on the top and the bottom two by four and it’s going to be easier to just lay it on the floor to do it—
JESSE: You have a (ind) in the doorway.
AMBER: So that, that I hadn’t understood that in the video. So the two by four frame that you built, you eventually adhered into your own doorframe?
JESSE: Um, in the original door, it was already existing in the construction of the house, so the only thing I had to do was put that that top two by four, that little piece that’s about four inches by four inches,
JESSE: I put that in the top to put that top bearing in
JESSE: So the top had enough support.
AMBER: I see. So if I were to start with that task today, like, if all I got done was that rectangle, I wouldn’t adhere it to the doorframe, I would save it and do that very last? Just to like underline and confirm.
JESSE: That’s true. You don’t really have to screw it firm into the doorway. You could just make sure it fits tight.
AMBER: OK. Cool.
AMBER: Um, I’m mostly just thinking how to start. I have everything pulled together and I have a table say all ready, which scares me but um, you know, I don’t know, it’s a daunting task for someone who hasn’t used any of this but I’m really excited and I’m excited to work with you. And also, um, I’m thinking back to your (ind) on your birthday and Davecat and I called you.
JESSE: Yes. We had a moment—
AMBER: What’s that?
JESSE: We had a little trouble hearing each other then. It’s just a matter of getting set up. But tomorrow should be a lot better on the set.
AMBER: Yea. Totally. So, what are you going to do this year on your birthday?
JESSE: What did I what on my birthday?
AMBER: What are you going to do this year?
JESSE: This year?
JESSE: Oh, we went out to eat. We went out eat last weekend. And got a pizza and went to a place that we hadn’t been in a long time. I’d been there before and she’d been there before but neither one of us had been there together. So…
AMBER: Where? Where is that place?
JESSE: It’s a small bar, in a small town in my county that has the best pizza in the county and everybody, you see t-shirts around that say it’s the best pizza around and it is pretty much. I mean, it’s a good place to go.
JESSE: I hadn’t been there in years. I used to do little bit of computer work for them when the previous owners had it.
JESSE: So yea there was the telephone wires and stuff like that still I could see that I rang years ago.
AMBER: Oh, see you’re so good at all the technical stuff and all the building stuff.
AMBER: We need, we need you over here as part of our team on the phone wire. You know what’s so funny is somehow the trouble that we ran into today was because everybody uses cellphones. So to use a ground line ended up being more challenging than we imagined.
AMBER: Yea? It was worse than yesterday. Anyway, I’m wondering how the birthday pizza compares to the pizza you had the weekend before?
JESSE: Oh. Oh that was not really comparable. I mean, the one we had in New York was at a historic place and it was a world famous, I mean anybody that comes to new york should go there. It’s uh, not that the business has always been in that building, but the building itself is a historical building. It has a significance and the pizza, the owners that own that restaurant now are very good working and the pizza was great and uh, we had a great time when we were there so, yea the only thing I regret is not buying a t-shirt from the place before we left.
AMBER: Well, do you- you know what I realized is that –I meant to text you before hand and see if you ok talking about the fact that we saw each other briefly.
JESSE: Oh, that’s fine.
AMBER: Oh, yea? OK. Good, ‘cause I’m still thinking about it. Like, my mind is still a little bit blown by the fact that you were in New York and you came to where I work and you know, and we acknowledged each other but not in the way that we acknowledged that we knew each other in front of you know, the folks that you were with. So how was that for you? Do you want to talk about it? Do you want to tell us, I don’t know, I would love for you to tell the story because I’m still thinking about it.
JESSE: OK. Um, well for people who know what this is about, I’m a doll owner. I have had a doll for—I don’t know, what’s it been, like, the first doll I had was in like 1992, I’ve always had (phone breaks up) in love with dolls…I’ve had a couple different wives before. One of them, that marriage didn’t last, and the second wife I had, she passed with cancer. And, the girl I’m with now I’ve known ever since we were in high school and so that was you know, 30 years ago. We’ve always thought about each other now through the years, we recently reconnected this year. I’ve been with her since February of this year and we realized that you know, we’ve what we both have and what we both want out of a relationship is the same. (44:56) And so, I knew that I wanted to have her for the rest of my life if I could and she was thinking the same thing and we were going to go somewhere on my birthday and we decided not to go there and instead that we were going to go to New York because in a nutshell, my previous wife had had cancer and went to New York, which is two states over from where we live. The cancer specialist was in New York and they had a doctor there that was supposed to be the best at that kind of cancer and by the time we’d been through all these other treatments and everything and by the time we got to New York to see this specialist it was too late. So, when I went to New York a couple years ago it was for a different reason. I didn’t get to see what I wanted to see-
JESSE: And, my girlfriend now wanted her daughter to see New York before she got into her career and did whatever was her life, she wouldn’t able to – you know sometimes you can get trapped at the job or career or whatever, not have the freedom to do what they wanted to do before they got too busy--
JESSE: So we decided my birthday—
AMBER: Is she, she’s young, right, Jesse? Your girlfriend’s daughter?
JESSE: For my birthday and for her daughter we’d go back to New York to see it and I could make some good memories to replace the bad ones that I had. And I decided there really cool (ind) I could see the carousel, the place where you work and maybe brought you (ind) close together and it worked out really well. But I tell you by that fifth day we were in New York, we were so tired of walking around that my fiancé and her girlfriend or her daughter were so tired that they just wanted to stay in the hotel room, and I said, ‘No, we really have to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.’ And they were really they said it was a lot of fun with me, you know there so many different people walking across it; they thought we were the only ones being stupid walking across the bridge.
JESSE: So everything worked out well. I’m glad I got to see you and I’m glad you were there.
AMBER: But Jesse, how was it for you to act like you didn’t know me?
JESSE: Um, it was kind of scary because for one, my girlfriend is the jealous type and if she saw anything that she questioned she would probably have like doubt. If she knew that we knew each other she would have asked, want to know exactly why or how we were so friendly if we talked so much and that’s why I just had to play it off. But, it was fine.
AMBER: Yea, you know some of what, well, first of all, congratulations on your engagement, and you know, happy birthday again. And I think that it’s awesome to have been a small part of that day and you know to also be a part of your birthday two years in a row. So what I’m still thinking about in addition to all the warmth that I feel for having been a part is um the fact that you were, her daughter filmed the engagement right? I’m understanding that correctly that she was holding the Go Pro?
AMBER: And she was filming you proposing—
JESSE: She had no idea.
AMBER: Oh, she had no idea either?
JESSE: Nobody did.
AMBER: Wow, so when you handed off the Go Pro was it just ot like, what did you say to her?
JESSE: I said why don’t you hold this camera, and I'll get my iPhone out, and my girlfriend had her iPhone out pointing toward her daughter and getting a shot of the horses and stuff—
JESSE: And her daughter said to me, she says, “Oh, I don’t know what to do with this. What do you want me to do?’ and I said, ‘Well just point it around, you know.’ And then I said, ‘No, point it over here at us. Come a little bit further.’ And I was afraid she was going to lose interest so I pulled out the ring behind my girlfriend’s back.
AMBER: Oh my god.
JESSE And I held it up and her daughter’s mouth dropped, her eyes got real big and my girlfriend was still videoing her daughter and she did the same thing with her face but she didn’t know why.
AMBER: Oh my god. You know what, what was so interesting for me, Jesse, was ‘cause you know I work at the carousel so I’m there a couple times a week and I watch people get engaged all the time and I watch people, you know do there wedding photographs and bring their babies for their baby’s first ride. It’s such a magical place, but um, to watch you, someone that I know in this intimate way, but also with this distance. Like we’ve hung out in person, like what, four or five times?
AMBER: But that’s it. We’ve corresponded a lot digitally. So it’s kind of surreal just to see you in my non-doll life, like at my work, but also to see this intimate act and then to watch your now fiancé’s daughter recording you. You know, I guess the other thing about it is that because the carousel ride is like what 3 and a half minutes, two and a half minutes—
AMBER: Um, you know I can see you in the rotation only every 30 seconds or so, so it was like piecing together this, um, amazing moment but in slices. So right, I would watch you go by, and I’m still thinking about it and still struck by it when you took the camera and pointed it at me, and I felt at the first time in our collaboration surveilled by you.
AMBER: Yea. Yea, it took me a minute but I was like, oh, this is Jesse’s video and I’m in Jesse’s video whereas I’m often making a video and asking you to be a part of it.
JESSE: Well, I wanted to remember that you were there, and what all happened. You know maybe some day—if it comes down to it, if I get put on the spot, if she finds evidence or sees the doll and I have to come out about it, I might have to tell her that you were there and say this girl right there, and I might point you out, and say that I’ve known you for a long time but I couldn’t really say it because—I mean, not really a long time but you know—
JESSE: But I couldn’t say anything because the only thing we really have in common is well, your performance and me being a part of it and the doll life but that's the only thing that’s really tying all this, it’s making sense that anybody that’s watching this, the doll closet and everything, doll’s have been a part of my life, but I’m not exclusive to dolls. I mean, I, I do have relationships but my dolls also they were another part of me that I can’t find in a real relationship. (52:14) So, uh, in the place where I live I really doubt anybody would understand it, so it’s important to have a doll hidden behind the secret (ind)
JESSE: And maybe through this performance people will understand why and how and understand doll owners a little better too.
AMBER: Yea. That’s my goal. I want to back up just a little bit though and assert that I think we have a lot more in common than just dolls and the performance.
AMBER: Well mostly because coming to your house a couple weeks ago, I felt really-- and I haven’t told you all this--but I felt so struck by the similarities in the, you know, small town-ness as far as where I grew up in Iowa and also just like I think we share a really similar class background and I think um—
AMBER: Oh my god, yes, both of our fathers were mail man, letter carriers, and there’s the you know, generation before that, farm lives, and really there’s even just objects, like that paint that you have in the room of the house that you know, is yours, you’re saying that you didn't’ pick that pink. But that pink is the same that I grew up with in my childhood bedroom including that cross. So, like, including that Lutheran cross that was in that pink room.
JESSE: Can you hear me?
AMBER: I can hear you. Could you not hear me for a minute?
JESSE: I lost reception for a minute.
AMBER: Oh, well I was just going on and on and on about the similarities in your house and some of the houses I grew up in Iowa.
AMBER: And I was talking about the pink room being the same color pink as my childhood bedroom. And—
AMBER: Oh my gosh, yes. And that Lutheran cross. That silver cross with the wood background. That’s the same exact cross that I was given at you know whatever point in Sunday school. And then, also that Schwinn bike that you had hanging in your garage is the same that was my mother’s in Iowa. So it feels like, I think it was just like the small town Midwesterner and the shared class background that feels similar to me. But you know, I acknowledge that I live in New York City right now and our lives are pretty different other than the doll connection but I also think there’s some more, I don’t know, maybe some core childhood value in us or background that brings us together too. (55:01)
JESSE: Yea, I think so. That’s cool.
AMBER: Yea, I don’t know also I’m just, Ren was teasing me that I’m always talking about how I appreciate the way you talk and also how tall you are. You just kind of seem like men in my family. I’ll leave it at that because now I’m just going on and on and probably creeping you out a little bit.
JESSE: Nope. Nope. I’m all right.
AMBER: Ok good.
JESSE: You know, when I first saw you in LA I think, I don’t know for some reason I gravitated towards you (ind- phone breaks up)
AMBER: Wait, say that part again.
JESSE: When I met you in LA, when we were at Synthetics studio seem like my (ind)…
AMBER: You said you gravitated towards me? I lost you for a minute but I think what you said is that when we met in LA at synthetics you gravitated toward me.
JESSE: Uh, I can’t hear you.
AMBER: Shoot! How’s that?
JESSE: Yea, hold right there.
AMBER: OK. I’m holding right here. So, I was repeating what I thought you said which is that when we met in LA at Synthetics that you gravitated toward me. Is that, did I hear you correctly?
AMBER: Oh, Jesse?
JESSE: You said what?
AMBER: Oh you think it’s this wire?
JESSE: No, I can hear you. It seems like a certain way you hold that phone.
AMBER: Huh. Well, if right now is working I’m not going to move the phone.
JESSE: No, it isn’t.
JESSE: If I sit right, right by it I can hear you. Can you hear me?
AMBER: I can hear you perfectly.
JESSE: Ok, now I can hear you.
AMBER: Awesome. All right, well you were just saying—
JESSE: I was just saying about—
AMBER: Go ahead.
JESSE: LA when I met you in LA at Synthetics studio I seemed to want to gravitate toward you and hang out with you more than anyone else.
AMBER: Yes! That’s how I feel. That’s how it is at the doll meets. Because, not only are you awesome, but you have the most beautiful doll, Rhiannon.
JESSE: I’m a what?
AMBER: I said, not only are you awesome, but you have the most beautiful doll. Rhiannon is just so gorgeous.
JESSE (laughs) That part killed me.
AMBER: How’s Rhiannon?
JESSE: I haven’t, I haven’t looked at her since you were here.
AMBER: But that door that you built for the instructional video that we broadcast at 11 will be the door for her new closet? Is that right?
JESSE: The doll [sic] that I built for the instructional video, I’m not really sure if I’m going to use it.
AMBER: Oh really?
JESSE: Yea, at least it was built within my new specs for where I’m going to put it in case I do, so…
AMBER: But now will your old door still fit it, because that’s the door I have here at Watermill.
JESSE: No, the old original door right in back of you, probably modify it to fit it out there.
AMBER: OK, ‘cause you’re not going to put it back inside the original doll closet, right?
JESSE: I doubt it because it will probably raise more questions than anything.
AMBER: Yea. Because Jessica, what would happen—
JESSE: Feel pretty bad about it
AMBER: What would happen if it did raise more questions? You just don’t feel interested in talking to your fiancé about it?
JESSE: I think, I can’t hear you again.
AMBER: OK. How are you on time, Jesse. It’s one o’clock. Are you good for getting to work?
JESSE: Can you still hear me still?
AMBER: Yea, I can still hear you. That’s ok.
AMBER: I just wanted to do a quick time check if we’re starting to break up again. Are you OK with getting to work? It’s one o’clock.
JESSE: Yes. I’ve already missed an hour, so I can probably give another 20 minutes.
AMBER: Oh, ok, great. Well, I was just starting to ask, like what would happen like, I don’t know, if there were questions that arose, like from your fiancé. Is there something in particular that makes you feel hesitant from sharing with her that you have Rhiannon and that you used to have Heather and that we’ve performed together for example?
JESSE: Well, one because she might not like, like most people around this community and she’s heard about what’s right and what’s wrong and we’ve talked about (ind) that some people in our community look down on and she’s kind of that way. You know, she finds it hard to understand or hard to tolerate other people.
AMBER: Like what people?
JESSE: Um, my nephew is gay and she makes fun of him and kind of my sister, if she were a good parent her son wouldn’t be gay and things like that. I don’t really believe that but, I mean, on the other hand, my sister did do some things that were not—she wasn’t in my nephew’s life for a long time. So, that sucked. I mean, she just seems to be like a lot of people in this area, so I don’t think she’d really feel too good about somebody having a doll.
JESSE: But, I did take the movie, Lars and the Real Girl to her house one time and we watched it. She kind of, she kind of made some funny comments but at the end of the movie she said had the (ind) for some male dolls or something like that.
AMBER: Oh, haha!
AMBER: Well, there you go. Maybe that’s the way in.
JESSE: She’s very, I don’t think she would explore something like that.
AMBER: And what is it in particular about the dolls that you think she would feel resistant to? What would she imagine you were doing with the dolls that she would feel frustrated by?
JESSE: Well, for one, not that it’s any body’s business but my girlfriend and I are different with each other and I don’t really feel the need to do anything with Rhiannon. You know when I bought Rhe, I was kind of resigned to the fact that it was going to take me a long time to find a relationship because it’s hard to find somebody um, and then this girl came along that I’ve known for a long time and she is a lot of the things, almost everything that I was looking for. (1:03:25) But if she found out that I had Rhiannon, I would tell her my fiancé is number one, and Rhiannon is not that (ind). And you know, the other part of me that I can’t really express. And I’m sure she would be saying, or she would throw it in my face in the times when we weren’t getting along about you know, why don’t you go have sex with the doll. And you know, I don’t really have time to take Rhiannon out and do that sort of thing in the first place. So, right now at this point in my life I have a fiance and I have a relationship, and I have a lot going on with my life, Rhiannon’s staying put up inside except when I get her out and do a photo shoot which was great, when we were in Pennsylvania.
JESSE: I had a couple chances to do some really cool photo shoots. So, the thing that most people don’t understand and I really don't think my fiancé would understand is Rhiannon is to me something to project the lingerie and the clothes and the stuff I would like to see which I don’t think my girlfriend would really relate to because she’s more of a, I mean she’s explored the country, but she’s not really the type of girl that would dress up in all the stuff I’d like to see.
JESSE: So that’s what I use Rhiannon for is more of a means to project this, you know, fantasy on to and take pictures of and um, that I don’t know if she’d understand or not, or if she’d even believe that that’s what I was doing with her.
AMBER: I think from what you’ve said it sounds like it’s more the lack of belief that it would be non sexual. Not to say that it is non-sexual, but that it would be sexual in a different way than she expects, right?
JESSE: Right. And I don’t want any argument to happen or anything thrown up in my face years and years from now, so it’s best just to keep that part of my life hidden.
AMBER: Yea. Yea, so then what does it mean to you to meet up with the other doll owners the couple of times that we do. I don’t know, it’s a really special time for me, so I’m wondering how it is for you to do the meet ups?
JESSE: Well, it’s a freedom. It’s the chance to do what you want to do when normally you can’t just do it freely. With the meet that we have there’s like three or four days at a time when we can do whatever we want and have photo shoots and see each other’s dolls and you know, different types of different materials, different clothing from what one might have.
JESSE: It’s just fun.
AMBER: Yea. Well, and I enjoyed this year putting, putting Rhiannon in the wedding dress.
AMBER: Yea. She looked so stunning.
JESSE: I’ve seen some of those, but I haven’t (ind) that shoot we did with Brandon, uh, and anther one that I did when I got home before I put her back in her storage place.
AMBER: Yea. How was that for you? That was your wife’s wedding dress, right? The wife who unfortunately passed away?
JESSE: Yea. It was a way of kind of like, I mean it was, I hadn’t looked at that dress, for well, since our wedding. And since the way she, she slipped away from me not only in her death, but also in I don’t know if you need this amount of detail, but we were actually separated for a couple years, well, right after she found out she had cancer she wanted to live off on her own and—
JESSE: Try to beat cancer without the stress in her life, but I was pretty much a lot of stress for her, because we weren’t getting along, and when we did come back together as best friends, I helped her through a lot of the travelling arrangements for the cancer, and you know just being with her, being there for her more than anybody else was. (1:08:08) It brought us closer together. And, when I moved all her clothes and belongings from where she was, she had an apartment. I moved it back home, as a way, as way of bringing everything back here because I thought that she never really should have left me. So, I got (ind) go through all her stuff and give it to Goodwill and whatever. So, in the process of doing that, I hung that wedding dress off to the side and I really wanted to look at it. It was kind of sacred. But that was one last piece of her clothing that I had to get rid of, so it was good bringing it along. Not really defiling it or anything dirty, but using it for a purpose so I could create a different memory and let go of any hurt from the past relationship. (1:09:03) So that’s what that was for.
AMBER: I felt really struck when you proposed to your now fiancé at the carousel in front of me that we had just done that you know, wedding dress shoot with Rhiannon a few weeks prior. So the timing felt really intentional. I hadn’t realized until your email, which was just a few days before the carousel engagement that you were going to propose, so um, I don’t know, I felt really struck by the timing of that. Like the wedding dress shoot was somehow the end of a chapter or the marking of a chapter would be more accurate.
JESSE: I was interrupted, I’m sorry.
AMBER: OK. I was just saying that I felt really struck by the proximity, by the timing of the wedding dress shoot and then you proposing to your fiancé.
JESSE: Can you hear me?
AMBER: Yea, I can hear you.
JESSE: I’m sorry.
AMBER: That’s ok.
JESSE: I couldn’t hear you for a bit.
AMBER: How about right now? I guess not. How about now Jesse?
JESSE: Um, yea.
AMBER: Ok, well I was just saying that I felt really struck by the proximity by the timing right, we had done the wedding dress shoot maybe just a few weeks before you proposed to your now fiancé.
AMBER: So it felt um, surprising to me.
JESSE: It was-
AMBER: Yea, go ahead.
JESSE: I was just saying it was a way for me to move forward how I felt. Like now I can propose marriage because I’ve gotten all the other memories behind me and that was another reason to go to New York, was making good new memories out of the bad ones.
AMBER: Yea. That’s really powerful.
AMBER: I feel really touched to have been a part. I want to talk to you more about that, but I have an eye on time and I want to respect the fact that you have to head to work and that we’re going to talk everyday so um, maybe we should stop here, and pick up tomorrow at noon when hopefully we’ll have the ground line in and no technical issue leading up to our chat. How does that sound?
JESSE: Yea, that sounds good.
AMBER: OK. Well, thank you so much. And I hope that you celebrate your birthday in a way on today, on the day itself.
JESSE: Huh. Yea. I’m sure it will be a good day.
JESSE: Even though I got a speeding ticket this morning and everything it will be a good day.
AMBER: Wait, what? You got a speeding ticket? You got a speeding ticket coming back from your fiancé’s house?
JESSE: I’m sorry I got to tell you about all the speeding tickets sometime. So I don’t get speeding ticket on the way to work I’ve got to go.
AMBER: All right, well that's a good place to end then. Thank you so much, Jesse. You have a good day. Happy birthday, again.
JESSE: All right, thank you.
AMBER: All right, bye.
JESSE: I’ll talk to you tomorrow.
AMBER: All right.
broadcast via Livestream beginning at 11am (EST) each morning with daily call-ins from doll owner “Jesse” beginning at noon (EST)
open to the public at Watermill for live viewing on December 13, 2014 • time TBD
This work was made possible, in part, by the Franklin Furnace Fund supported by Jerome Foundation and by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
Video production and streaming by Renato Velarde.
Doll Closet is dedicated to the memory of Barbara DeGenevieve, (1947-2014), artist, mentor, friend.