Tuesday, December 30, 2003

I rode the subway home with my head on Peter's shoulder, drunk, tired, and sad, terribly sad, while Joe and Peter were having some discussion that I really did not care too much about. I might have some other time, but tonight I just wanted to mope. I went out to the Cock (yes, again), and so many of my crushes were in attendence. Josh. Who I talked to, and who is not interested in me. Jonathon's friend, who I talked to about Jonathon and his 32 year old boyfriend. Jonathon's friend may have liked me I think, but I just wanted to talk to him about Jonathon.

And then David was there. I slept with David at the beginning of the summer, and was obsessed with him before then, and still am. He is into queer theory, sex work, and works for Routledge. I think he is so fucking cool. Tonight, I found myself talking with him about this Judith Butler essay I am reading, "Global Violence, Sexual Politics," about 9-11. I think he thinks I am an interesting person because he sincerely complimented me, saying he was glad that I read this stuff, and that I let things affect me. He was actually really nice to talk to. But I do not think he is into me in a physical sense. But it is nice, really nice, to get that impressed look from someone's eyes, where you can tell they think you are a neat person.

Later, after exchanging glances with this one boy all night, I finally started dancing with him, and he did not touch me, he did not grab me, did not pull me toward him, did not desire me. I found myself touching him, and wanted so badly for him to grab me back, to touch me. It did not happen. We danced more, he talked to me, asked me the what's your name and what do you do questions, and then I ran away, ran to Joe and Peter, ditched the boy because he either he did not desire me or was too shy to act on it - and either way, I would not have been satisfied. And really, this all relates back to this Butler essay, because in it, she goes on and on about the vulnerability of bodies, a really beautiful essay, and it had me thinking about my own vulnerable body, and I just want to be touched. I want someone to desire me.

"The body implies mortality, vulnerability, agency: the skin and flesh expose us to the gaze of others, but also to touch, and to violence; the body can be the agency and instrument of all these as well." (185)

"I also suggested that the way in which the body figures in gender and sexuality studies, and in the struggles for a less oppresive world for the otherwise gendered and for sexual minorities of all kinds, is precisely to underscore the value of being beside oneself, or being a porous boundary, given over to others, finding oneself in a trajectory of desire that takes one out of oneself, resituates one irreversibly in the field of others. The particular sociality thtat belongs to bodily life, to sexual life, and to becoming gendered (which is always, to a certain extent, becoming gendered for others) establishes a field of ethical enmeshment with others." (189)

And I wasn't touched. My body was left vulerable. I was terribly sad, and rested my head on Peter's shoulder. Tomorrow, Beki is coming. The next day, Rebecca. My room is a shithole with used tissues all over the floor from when I was sick and too lazy to throw my snot rags away. Also, I am pretty sure that I do not have one towel that has not been used to clean up cum. Oh well, I doubt that I will wake up early enough to do laundry tomorrow morning.

Monday, December 29, 2003

hierarchical thinking 2003

Best Albums
1. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Fever to Tell
2. Belle and Sebastin – Dear Catastrophe Waitress
3. Gillian Welch – Soul Journey
4. Postal Service – Give Up
5. New Pornographers – Electric Version
6. Outkast – The Love Below (and just “The Love Below”)
7. British Sea Power – The Decline of
8. Justin Timberlake – Justified
9. Mates of State – Team Boo
10. Missy Elliot – This is Not a Test
Critically lauded album that had me rolling my eyes: The Strokes – Room on Fire
Best show: The Gossip at the now defunct Luxx. I went home high on rock and roll, and the next night saw the Gossip play again at the Knitting Factory and realized how special a show that was at Luxx where she sang on the floor in the audience, and belted out those tunes like I have never heard rock and roll do.

Best Art Shows
1. Marcel Dzama at David Zwirner
2. “The American Effect” at the Whitney
3. Larry Clark at Luhring Augustine
4. Simen Johan at Yossi Milo
5. The Real Royal Trip at PS1
6. Pierre et Gilles at Robert Miller
7. Joe Deal at Robert Mann
8. Rev. Billy performance at Deitch
9. Bruce LaBruce at John Connelly
10. Andrei Molodkin at Kashya Hildebrand
Critically lauded show that had me rolling my eyes: Matthew Barney at Guggenheim

Best Books I Read, Not all of Which Came Out This Year
1. Haruki Murakami – After the Quake
2. Dave Hickey – Air Guitar
3. W.G. Sebald - Austerlitz
4. AM Homes – Things You Should Know
5. Dave Eggers – You Shall Know Our Velocity
6. AR Ammons - Garbage
7. Chris Ware – Quimby the Mouse
8. Jonathon Lethem – Fortress of Solitude
9. Billy Talen – What Should I Do If the Rev. Billy is in my Store?
10. Jonathon Franzen – The Corrections
Critically lauded books that had me rolling eyes: Yann Martel – Life of Pi; and Alice Sebold – Lovely Bones

Best Films I Saw This Year
1. Lost in Translation
2. In America
3. Kill Bill (Vol. 1)
4. 28 Days Later
5. City of God
6. Spirited Away
7. Monster
8. 21 Grams
9. About Schmidt
10. Raising Victor Vargas
Critically lauded movie that had me rolling my eyes: Elephant

Thursday, December 25, 2003

I arrived back home last night. My mom and my sister picked me up at Union Station. We walked out into the chill air and the first thing I saw was the lit dome of the Capitol, magnificent looking and letting me know that I was home, that there were beautiful things to take in on this trip. Lit white marble against a black night sky being one of them. As we were driving home, I noticed the sky, the blackness of it, and the stars, constellations. I saw the dippers. Both of them. And I don't see the night sky in New York. Last night was a treat. Tonight is. And tomorrow, my last night here, will be also.

This morning after opening presents, we went out to the recycling center and to pick up a paper and we drove down Route One, near buildings I spent time in as a kid, as a teen, places, physical places containing all these physical ghosts. I was there at one point. We were. We ran around the store, buying nothing, intending to buy nothing, killing time, talking.

On the way to the recyling center, we drove down Beacon Hill road, near where I went to elementary school, near where I went to high school, and the sky could be seen overhead, in front of you, and yes, behind you, physically, while you are trailing mentally behind, recalling the moments you and Bobby Wozniack used to spend playing in those woods, by that creek that constantly smelled like sewage. All the while the Beatles were playing because every Christmas, the classic rock station here plays nothing but Beatles, and pretty much every Christmas, the radio dial eventually will settle on 94.7, and all over the physical terrian of my past, as we drove around today doing these little errands, I had this sound, this familiar sound evoking other things, helping with the evocation of these things.

It was a nice day. A very pleasant Christmas. This afternoon, I saw In America with my mom and sister. And it was sentimental, but beautifully so. My eyes watered at the end, and that never happens for me in life or in movies, and my mom was wiping away tears next to me. It is just a gorgeous movie, and it tackles and plays around with the issue of race in brave ways, questioning our own racial expectations as viewers of what will happen when two little white girls go into a burly black man's apartment. It is a gem of a movie that I was entirelly taken by surprise by. I love when that happens. I also love when you leave a movie theater after watching a film that makes you think about this life project and makes you a little more sensitive to it, and you step into a chilly outside just as the sun is setting and the sky is a marvellous display of pinks, purples, and blues. And the colors, these non-screen ones that the screen ones are never capable of rivaling, are amazing, make it seem like the witnessing of these colors should mean something. You are not sure what, but want to find out and want to linger staring in hopes of coming closer to. [See also Proust's description of hawthorn flowers in Swann's Way] And as you ride home, and the Beatles continue to sing their gorgeous tunes, the bright colors of the sunset eventually melt into the dark one that is night, you step into your mommy's house, turn on some lights, and eat a nicely prepared meal made by the hands of the person whose body was your entrance into this world. And you think about this because after all, it is Christmas, and another Mary on this day gave birth to a boy whose entrance is celebrated today. The food is yummy as it passes through your throat, and as it sits in your stomach.

I got a long, black fleece scarf for Christmas, and I am not sure if it has been off my neck for more than a minute since I opened it this morning. It is warm and cozy and makes me feel extremely comfortable, loved.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

I love waking up to treasure. It is almost eight thirty. A while ago, I woke up to my alarm, looked out my window, got giddy like a kid and thought that yes, it is Christmas Eve now! I then read an essay by Zadie Smith about Christmas, that was good and touching. I love good writing, stuff that can evoke something for you, and there is an endless amount of it out there to touch me, to evoke things for me. And this fact, I love. Last night, I read a poem by Yoko Ono that she had printed in this week's voice as an ad that I also loved, that made me excited about Christmas, and New Year's, and the potential for a new world with it. Merry merry merry.
Man, so today was the second to last shopping day before Christmas and stores were packed, including the Strand. After I got off work, I ran to the grocery store, bought some pesto sauce and ran to catch the train just before it left. And who do I find myself sitting right next to, but my co-worker Keith (my former crush) who had the day off. He asked me how it was today, if it was nuts, and I said no. I am sure everyone else in retail today probably would have told you that it was nuts, that it was awful, but I love crowds, I love people, I love pressing the flesh, and talking to tons of people. It's what we look for in a bar, it's what makes a bar cool, so why does it make a job awful? It doesn't!!!

I got my train ticket to go home to Virginia tomorrow night at 7:30, after I get off work at 6:30. I am working on finishing off this bottle of Cab, after finishing fairly yummy pesto, and am about to start wrapping my family's presents and packing some clothes to go home. Today, I realized that I love working at the Strand. That it is a fucking incredible bookstore that I would probably spend hours in if I were not working there, but I work there, and everyday I learn so much. I become more familiar with artists and authors and people, human beings. Today, I encountered three people that I knew, and I chatted with them and hugged one of them. I read words, just opened random books and read random paragraphs and looked up to the top of eleven foot shelves at all the other books occupying this one shelf in this massive store and touched the titles, ran my fingers across their spines and thought about this life, past lives - and where, here in language, they intersect, thought about the sheer number there with me - felt a communion with them - and I was awed and in love with this thing, my time, with you, all of you, those here on the shelf, and those elsewhere. I wish you all the happiest of holidays, the happiest of todays, and if I encountered you, I would hug you. I will.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

People, I just want to say that I love you. Each and every single one of you. Tonight at work, I got into an argument with Will about love/compassion. I chastised him for being constantly rude to customers. Everyone at the Strand is rude to customers (I am guilty of this myself) but Will just takes it to a whole another level. Think of that time you went into some trendy little store, and either a bitchy gay male or a sullen teenage girl treated you like utter garbage. Mulitply that by ten and that is how Will treats customers who ask him to help them find a book.

My admonishments somehow led into him proclaiming that loving everyone is impossible and this is the reason Christianity is stupid because it is based on this impossible premise. Anyways, he went on and on about how it is impossible, completely impossible - that no one has enough energy - to love everyone.

I took the bait and argued with him about the nature of kindness, and later tonight found myself put to the test. I went up to 34th Street after work to go the main post office which is open 24/7 (!!!) - and was utterly wowed by the building. It takes up a whole city block, and has huge columns out front. It looks like one of the many federal buildings in DC, with columns so large they remind you of how small you are and how grand this world is.

Then I got on the train back home, took the A to the L, got on the L, and at the next stop, three rowdy teen males got on, making loud comments about people on the train, making everyone uncomfortable. I hated them. I had no love for them. They really made the entire train ride unneccesarily tense. Not only did I hate them, but I wanted to punch them. For real! They challenged one nerdy "computer geek white boy" to a fight after he asked him why they called him that. He cooly replied, "Merry Christmas." I was ready to fucking hit them at this point. This is already after one of the kids would not scoot over to let an elderly Asian man sit down. There is ample room for three people to sit on each bench and there were only two people sitting on it. The Asian dude squirmed his way into the open spot and the young punk started shouting about how there wasn't room for him. The old dude still had spunk, yelled back, said that there was room for three, that he had paid his fare also, and he could sit down, room for three! The three of them then started mimicking him in horrible Asian accents. Wom fo tree! Wom fo tree! Everyone on the train was beyond uncomfortable.

And at this moment I had love for everyone on this train except for these three. You don't treat old people with disrespect. And you don't make racist jokes. Two things that I cannot stand. How was this boy raised where it is okay for a 16 year old to try to prevent a 60 year old man from sitting down at fucking midnight?! People!

I got off the train, and not a moment too soon, the train was unbearable to be on, and started cursing these three, cursed them practically all the way home so that I forgot to stop at Kellog's and pick up spaghetti sauce so I could eat pasta tonight. I ate tuna fish instead. But now, I am at peace, and it is because earlier today, I had the foresight to purchase a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon. I have only drunk half a glass but man, I have not had a Cab in so long. It is only a ten dollar one, but boy oh boy, is it the yummiest, the most relaxing thing in the world. It is like a bubble bath in a glass. Just recapping those events stressed me out but then I took another sip, and man, I am at peace again. It is a drive through the country in a glass. It is a nice swim in warm water. It is just turning in a paper you stayed up all night writing and breathing out. The last time I bought a bottle of red wine was back in June I am pretty sure. The taste brings back so many pleasant memories. It is my madeleine. Florida, Publix, Madison, and on and on and on. I love all of you so much. I am going to tell all of you this more often.

Friday, December 19, 2003

My sheets, my bathmat, and some clothes are all spinning in a washing machine a couple blocks from my house right now. There is throw-up on my floor that I have been postponing cleaning up. I had to throw away my to do list book which I also vomitted on. Not that anything on that to do list was going to get done today since I spent the majority of it painfully hung over in bed, resolving to myself to never drink again (at least for a little while), and wondering if the statement is "liquor before beer, you're in the clear," or "liquor before beer, never been sicker." I can never remember how the phrase goes.

Open bars are bad news. On game shows, sometimes there is that money machine, a big clear box that people step into for thirty seconds or so, and then the fans in the box turn on, money flies all around the person, and they grab as much of the stuff as they can in the alotted time. That is what open bars are for me. Normally, my wallet and an unlimited sense of time prevents me from getting totally wasted. However, at open bars, I get into this mental mode where I try to take advantage of as many free drinks as possible before it ends. I grab like a maniac for all those dollars floating around me. I had some whiskey before consuming a pretty much insane number of beers. And then that was it. I lost pool to Joe, talked to some random people, got on the train, got off at Bedford, ate some pizza with Joe, and then somehow managed to get home, to get upstairs, and in my bed. All of that part, I really cannot remember. But thank god, our bodies are machines in love with routine, and can perform functions (getting us home and in bed) even when we are completely out of it.

I am so not looking forward to scrubbing the throw up out of the carpet in my room, scrubbing that nasty stench into the air. Luckily my nose is pretty stuffed up. Besides the hangover feeling, I really do feel less sick than yesterday. I think all that alcohol in my system killed off thoses viruses, that or I spewed them out all over my floor, my toilet, my bed.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

let me hear you say Whoo, Whoo

Okay, fuck it, I'll say it, I am sick. I talked to Megan on the phone today and right away, after hearing me talk she said, "Are you sick?" This morning when I got up to blow my nose, Dara asked if I was all right. I wanted to ignore them, to ignore my body, and to think that I could exert some control over my life, but the fact is my body is at the helm of this mind-body ship, and it is sick sick sick.

I picked up my contacts but postponed Jeff Koons until tomorrow. But don't think that means that I am not going to the movies and not going out and taking advantage of free booze. Right now, it is time to celebrate. Tonight, I will be drinking to our court systems. I was so happy to read that our constitution still means something, that people can not be tried without due process, that they can not be held indefinitely as enemy combatants, that we have access to lawyers, and the right to face trial, that civilians cannot be detained in military brigs! This is important stuff! Our liberties were asserted in an awesome way today! People, let us rejoice for America today, that there is still an intelligent judiciary that has the power to check that fucking idiot, Bush. I will be celebrating at Nowhere tonight at least from 9 until 11. Come join me. This along with the Supreme Court's upholding of the campaign finance laws a couple weeks ago is reason, real reason to be happy about this country, to continue to have faith, and to keep fighting. Sickness be damned. Tomorrow, I will nurse you. Tonight, I celebrate.


This afternoon, I feel more culturally literate that I did this morning. I have finally gotten around to reading Proust, and read the first section of "Combray," that talks about that oft-mentioned madeliene. Now, I will finally be able to nod my head whenever I come across one of those madeliene references. I am reading the standard Moncrieff translation because it was cheaper, way cheaper, than the new Lydia Davis translation that the Voice had been jizzing about lately. It is really amazing stuff. It has me excited about reading again, about writing's potential.

Once there was a discussion at the Strand about fiction, precipiatated by someone saying that they didn't like fiction, that it was boring, and how did reading about a bunch of rich, white people relate to their life? I am never sure what to say to such a thing, such a thing that strikes me as totally alien to my way of thinking, where pretty much all I read is fiction. But luckily, I didn't have to respond because Tom replied quickly something like, "It is a way of experiencing the world - you get to see how other people envision it, all the many ways there are to percieve life." And of course that is not an exact quote, but that was the idea he argued. And reading Proust now after just finishing Mansfield Park by Austen, and after starting and abandoning Jane Erye, I see how right that idea is, how amazing it is that there are so many different voices out there, and it has me totally excited about the rest of my life, those many years ahead (knock on wood) in which I can read more and more of these authors, and I can see and experience the world from all these different minds. Man, intelligent things will eventually be said about Proust. I promise, if the rest of Swann's Way is even a smidgen as amazing as the section I have just completed.

I am feeling a little s--- today. I don't want to actually say the word. If I don't declare it, it has not yet happened, it is not born. So I am just S right now.

Last night, I saw the Mama's Boy show at White Columns. The show was not nearly as good as the statement about it made it sound. About a couple of the pieces, Christy made the comment how she did not she how some of the work related to the artist's relationship with his mom, and now, in retrospect, I totally agree with that - that the show did not totally match its title. I thought about this while reading Proust, whose protaganist is such a mama's boy in the first section.

After that show we went to the K48 Klubhouse at Deitch Brooklyn where there was supposed to be an afterparty for the Outlaw art festival, however, the party consisted of a band playing and about five people sitting on a bench listening to them, and a gigantic map to the convience store where you could purchase beer. We wondered through the clubhouse, which was a maze-like structure erected in this warehouse space with rooms and halls literally plastered with artwork, that evoked for me trashy one level Florida houses occupied by college age kids. I am thinking specifically of Remington House. There were people lounging on thrift store couches in one room smoking. In another room, people were playing video games. There was a bedroom that was completely mirrored. Think teenagers off on their own, runaway pirates, living with other teens recently away from their parents. That immediate post-parent life totally was a more naughty version of a clubhouse. This morning I read more about Scott Hug, and found out that he erected another clubhouse last winter. Knowing this gives me more of a context in which to think about the clubhouse I saw last night, which Scott Hug told us, after we signed his petition to keep his current clubhouse open, involved the work of about sixty artists. Last night, I thought it busy and chaotic that all the work was clutered into this clubhouse space, being used to seeing art in a more traditional gallery context, hung and spaced evenly on white walls. But now, away from the work, I see the whole polyphonic clubhouse as a pretty amazing way of representing American adolescence. Here is my favorite piece in the cluttered clubhouse, the photograph behind the woman that looks sort of like a middle-aged version of Bonnie.

Today, I am going to go pick up my contacts, am going to run and check out the Jeff Koons show before it closes tomorrow, and will then rush back to Williamsburg, see Peter's new apartment, trot off with him to see a screening of Monster. Then open bar at Nowhere from 9 to 11, and no mention, not even a thought of that nasty little S word.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

I may be on time for work today. However, I will be leaving four or so hours early to go check out some art and drink some free booze. I have five dollars in cash until I can get more from the Strand tomorrow. My bank account is in the red by eleven dollars and some cents. I am totally living paycheck to paycheck. And this is normally okay except I want a new pair of shoes, sort of need one because the pair I have now is starting to rip and fall apart.

I am so happy to be in New York. It took a while for me to realize why I was here. People ask all the time, "So why did you come to NY?" Fellow New Yorkers ask this, also runaways from somewhere, and they want someone to explain why we are all here, what we are all doing. And I never have known what to say when asked this, never really have know why exactly it is that I decided to come to NY, and so I would usually just shrug my shoulders and say either, "I don't know," or "You know," hoping that they wouldn't call my bluff. But now I know, or I have got some better idea of the why: We are all motherfucking runaways, and that is why I am here, that is why we are here, because there was a dream we couldn't tell you about, and we had a feeling that maybe we could find it here. I am doing my best to create a community of love with friends here in New York. Dancing, laughing, imbibing booze. But yesterday, hung over and buzzed on too many cups of coffee, I thought yes, I am here in New York! I looked out my kitchen window and saw lots of other apartment windows, and I knew all those people were runaways also, that they were all big dreamers, and they all came here seeking something, chasing something, even perhaps just trying to figure out just what that something was, and knowing that if it could be found anywhere, this must be the place. There is a treasure map that we stole glances at as kids, and we remember that mythic land of treasure, and later in life bought plane tickets to that place, that mythic name, running away in search of pirate booty, running running, and getting here, meeting all these other pirates and coming to the realization that these pirates are it, here is the treasure in the bonds between us chasing things.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

I have no self-control whatsoever when I have booze in my system. Example A: Last night.

I went to go see Avenue D perform at the Cock but not before comsuming an insane amount of rum at the Phoenix. Once at the Cock, I consumed an equally, if not more so, amount of rum because, hey, there was an open bar for an hour, and so why not consume an additional four drinks in the span of an hour?

The night was a blur of events, and really I think that is how I like to experience my events, when they are a blur of noise, dancing, movement, and bodies. The sound system was not up to par for Avenue D's peformance, which I was worried about before hand. But they were still fun to see. The rest is in fragments that I recalled this morning when I woke up, feeling incredibly silly about some of them. Why did I kiss my doom and gloom co-worker Will? And yes, I do feel like I had his cock in my hand for a moment or so. Oh, that's going to be weird seeing him. There was contact with a couple of other boys. Comments from Daniel, Ben's boyfriend, about how he thinks Ben has the hots for me. And he said it jokingly, but I think he was perhaps serious. And to distinguish between Bens here, this is the New York Ben that I have an insane crush on that was being talked about. Not Ben from Sarasota, another crush who was in attendance last night also at the Cock, and it was not a big deal at all. I was excited to see him, to see a familiar face from Florida. Dancing, way too much booze, and going into work with a hangover -- when should this cycle start to worry me? Right now, I could ask for nothing more, except perhaps a better job to go into with a hangover.

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Galleries were fun, amazing, and more fun. Marcel Dzama show was mind-blowingly good. Rev. Billy performance was good for so many reasons. Mainly, that it was a New Press X-Mas party and I ran into Izzy and drank way too much free booze, and hit on a boy who looked like Mr. Bean and whose name was Gabriel. Hit on an orange-mohaked boy also. Exchanged air kisses with mohawk boy. Rode home before midnight, Cinderella, Cinderella, catching the last L train before it shut down for the weekend, riding with Peter and running into my manager from Borders in Arlington, Virginia in 1999. Crazy small world. And he made some comment about how everyone that worked there was gay. And my bookstore manager from Virginia from 1999, I ran into on the L train. Fucking fucking small world. Time to write some missed connections. Gabe and mohawk boy.

Friday, December 12, 2003

I am going to blame it on Le Tigre. You see, I was listening to them all day long yesterday thanks to the discman technology, and it got me fired up about a lot of stuff. I went gallery hopping last night in Chelsea with Peter and ran into Daniel and Ben while out. We were at the Kashya Hildebrand gallery, and I asked Peter what he thought of the work, because really, I didn't like it, and I wanted confirmation that this dislike was mutual and was hoping that someone could perhaps articulate my dislike of the work. Peter said he didn't like it, and that the work was "feminine." I reacted probably more strongly than I should have about the adjective choice and I think pissed Peter off a little. It's hard when your friends that you like and respect say something that you find offensive, because tension invariably is the result of trying to discuss the offense. But, I think that it is good to have these conversations with friends, that it does establish some bounds for each of you to be aware of. I just need to work on being more delicate in discussing these subjects so I don't alienate people that I like, that I instead can hopefully by being delicate show them why I take offense to certain things, certain habits of speech.

We then went to other galleries and downed more free wine, both of which helped to alleviate the tension, being away from the art that neither of us really liked that much and that set off a tense discussion about gender, and also having more wine to wash away the tension that I was perceiving. We then went and saw two photography shows, the Joe Deal show, which was amazing, and the Robert McCann show, which I also found to be pretty awesome. And I am sure my enjoyment of these two so much had a lot to do with receiving them right after the Thierry Feuz show which I did not like much, but I am also convinced that it had a lot to do with the pretty much insane quantities of wine that I had consumed by this point in the evening. Being inebriated really does remove some of the self-imposed boundaries that we have. This is obviously why dancing like a maniac and making out with people tends to occur when you are drunk, and this is all well-known, but alcohol also removes those boundaries that exist when you are engaged with a work of art. You allow it to possess a meaning that you otherwise would be to socially aware of how you are being perceived to grant it, and usually that awareness of how you are being perceived is you perceiving yourself, too distanced by levels of awareness to engage with the piece on any meaningful level.

It also probably had a lot to do with these two being photo shows. I wonder if I had lived in a pre-photography era if I would have had a more engaged interaction with painting, because as it is now, I find it much harder to be wowed by painting than it is to be wowed by photography. Peter, Daniel, and I then trotted off to SoHo to see the D Troit show. I was way too drunk by this point and as such, remember absolutely nothing about the art, all I remember is that the opening was crowded with young, pretty people.

The three of us then hiked to Ben's apartment, stopping at Au Bon Pain to eat cookies from the dumpster, stopping at Urban Outfitters where Peter's old roommate works and she was more than a little wicked to me for no particular reason, and then we stopped at K-Mart where I stole a pink headband that says "Princess", and where we were going to buy beer, but where I just walked out with a huge case of it because it looked too easy. And it was. Then we drank more at Ben's, listened to a kitschy song by Jerry Falwell and friends singing an anti-evolution song. Who knows where Ben found that record, but its existence is pretty amazing.

Then we went to country night at Nowhere where I ran into Naomi and her cute friend, Michael, who I started making out with shortly after meeting him. The effects of alcohol at work. And I don't know in what context it was mentioned, but he made some reference to "ebonics" and I stopped making out with him, asked him what the hell he was talking about. Again, I am blaming Le Tigre for my bout of righteousness yesterday. And I was appalled and told him good night, stopped making out with him, and talked to Daniel and Clint, the bartender. We were most definitely going to go home together, and I was really into the boy, but then he had to go and be a jackass, and then his unawareness about the offensiveness of that term, stating that it is a real term, that they use it in his college classes made me even more annoyed with him. I am pretty sure when I asked him what he meant by "ebonics" there was some use of the phrase "jive." Cringe cringe. And so, I put an end to our making out. I have never so briskly and determinedly ended anything. It produced an empowering feeling.

I woke up this morning, and my body stunk like sweat and booze and grossness, like an old man. I took a shower. I feel better. This afternoon's agenda includes depositing my paycheck, finally paying my December's rent and then, of course, more gallery openings. Three of which I am so stoked about: the Rev. Billy, the Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin show, and the Marcel Dzama show!!! Today is good. Yesterday was. And tomorrow will be also. This is wonderful knowledge to possess. Try stopping me.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Work work worked tonight, went to the Phoenix with Joe even though I am supposed to be at work at 9:30 tomorrow morning. Drank way too many beers even though I am supposed to be at work at 9:30 tomorrow morning. Then went to some other bar on Avenue A where my friend Josh was spinning even though I am supposed to at work at 9:30 tomorrow. Danced to Le Tigre, Peaches, and drank more beer... even though, yes, I know, you know about my irresponsibleness.

Waited for the subway at 1st Avenue, listened to Talking Heads before my discman batteries died and checked out a girl across the platform who was checking me out. I was cruising a girl!!! She was a little, cute hipster girl and for some reason kept checking me out. When she got on her train, she gave me a "What's up?" head nod through the windows. And it was weird to flirt with girl, but I am blaming it on Talking Heads and the beer.

I got off the train and walked in the same direction as some random gay boy who I struck up a conversation with since we were walking at the same pace in the same direction, and talked about how awkward that is when you walk next to someone, should you slow down, or speed up, or tough it out. And then at my block, he gave me a kiss. And now, I am home, way drunk, and am supposed to be at work at 9:30 to make up for calling in sick yesterday, and working the early shift so I can get more drunk tomorrow afternoon at gallery openings.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

"Hi Charlie - I thought of you when I saw this - remembering how you wanted a UPS uniform."

My mom just forwarded me a warning about fake UPS employees, and prefaced it with the above sentence. I had totally forgotten that I got a job with UPS just to obtain a uniform. To do something like that seems unimaginable and irresponsible now. I realize that I am getting older when things like this occur, when someone says "Remember when..." and tells a crazy story that I had totally forgotten about, that I could not imagine participating in now. When I hear things like this, I really wonder if I was (or am) crazy.

"and every sound is a song to be found"

I just got back from watching Jamie Seerman and numerous other people from the anti-folk scene performing at Pete's Candy Store. It is a pretty nice bar to watch music in. Intimate, well-lit, kitschy. I got a little tired after watching three performers, and had less and less patience as the night wore on. I think three is the perfect number in many respects. This now includes the number of musical acts that should perform on a bill. Anything past three and the audience just gets tired, which is bad for everyone involved. The musicians aren't enjoying an engaged reception with their work, and the audience gets restless, and as result are not having any artistic visions. It ends up in bad art for everyone involved.

Watching Jamie though, and going to see her perform made me aware that I am friends with talented people who often want to share their amazing gifts with their friends, and I feel like I am not doing my part in these friendships, that I do not have beautiful creations to trade with them. It is unbalanced, there is taking and no giving, feeling of unworth. Tonight, I felt like a bit of a putz and thought that I needed to live a more inspired life so that when I see people like Diana and other people who ask the questions, "So what's new? Are you still working at the Strand?" that I can reply No, or can say Yes, I am still working there and I am also doing this amazing thing and this amazing thing.

Friends are good for sharing. I have found out about so many bands and so many writers from good, knowledgable friends. Their knowledge has inspired me to also see the world from these perspectives. I like cream cheese rolls because of Jamie. I like Amy's Burritos because of Bonnie. Friends are good for sharing their tastes with you, letting you discover that mmm, mmm, that is an amazing food product. Or that yes, that is wonderful, that music, or that yes, that is wonderful, those gigantic cloud formations.

And friendships also give the (positive! yes, positive!) gift of insecurities. Your friend works for positive social change. You feel insecure about your own uninvolvement with working towards social change. And out of these insecurites you become more aware of your own self, of your own actions, and often times, to quell those insecurities, you will take action to try to be a "better" person. Similar dynamics go on when you are friends with a creative person constantly producing pretty good art, it makes you want to nourish your own artistic tendencies. It makes you insecure about how you have been negligent in creating objects, about sharing things with this world. And for this, friends are awesome. Seeing Jamie tonight did make me feel a little insecure, made me whip myself for not being as good a human being as is possible. And now I know and will work on change, will work on sharing. Friends rock.

Tuesday, December 9, 2003

There are other things that I could talk about, about how I called in sick today because I drunkenly last night did not set my alarm after going to the Cock and decided I had a new crush. I could write about how I am still sick, but denying this fact. I could write about how I am reading 19th century British females right now. I could write about my rent (how I haven't paid it yet). Or, I could imagine that I am already late for leaving to see my friend Jamie play at Pete's Candy Store in my neighborhood. But, I just read the latest Ward Sutton cartoon in the Voice, and it shocked me because I had not yet heard that the turkey I saw served over and over again by Bush to US troops serving in Iraq on Thanksgiving was a motherfucking fake turkey! I searched online and found out that it is true! How did I not hear about this? This seriously disgusts me beyond words. Things get more and more horrible. Abominable! Did other people know about this and not post LJ posts about it? Because LJ is often my source for shocking news to further despirit me.

Saturday, December 6, 2003

So you know at the end of a makeover show when they unveil the changed person, decked out in a new haircut and a new outfit, and you, the audience, say wow and look at this person as a totally different person, or you see a person that ugly clothes and an ugly haircut prevented you from seeing.

Well, snow provides that same Wow effect for the landscape. Everything is cloaked in a fluffy whiteness, even the black streets. It is all white, it is all clean looking, it is all changed. Man, snow is so amazing. To make me see the same streets I have seen day after day for months now in a whole new light, to make me see the beauty of my surroundings, of this space that I occupy, that is incredible. Snow under streetlamps may very well be one of my favorite sights in the world. Both the snow flakes falling that are briefly illuminated as the pass through the streetlight's halo, and the snow already firmly settled on the ground that takes on a pinkish, light purple tone, a glow even. The snow contains the light, and it is so gorgeous.

I have slipped a couple times walking around in the snow, but I have yet to fall, although secretly, I would like to. Maybe tomorrow I will fall on purpose.

Tuesday, December 2, 2003

I called in sick to work today. I have a cough that will terrify kids and small animals. I have been awake for no more than three hours total today and I am about to go back to bed so that hopefully I can go into work tomorrow, so that I will get paid some money in this paycheck, so that I can pay my rent.

When I awoke to pee this morning at 11, my groggy sick mood vanished as soon as I looked out the window and saw it snowing like crazy and some accumulation already gathering on roofs. It made me so incredibly happy. With delight, I then thought about how I will be allowed to experience this snow joy this year since I am not in Florida for the first winter in four years.

When I next woke up to pee again at three, the snow had all melted.

I am tired of being sick. I am tired of being tired. It prevents the wild life.

Monday, December 1, 2003

don't fuck with michael jackson

Earlier this evening, as I was walking back from a Chinese restaurant with my manager's food, I kept passing lots of restaurants filled with people not too far from my age sitting with friends and eating. Gophering my manager's dinner past these dinner scenes led into a train of thought that went something along the lines of: I am so lame . . . I have been in this city for seven months or so now working at the Strand and have not even applied to one other job . . . I want a real daytime job so I can eat dinner at dinner time, so I can quit thinking two paychecks ahead of this one about how I am going to pay all the various bills I have.

And it was during this depressing train of thought that I passed a boy, and as soon as I passed him, I realized that it was my crush, Christopher. And I thought about whether I should call after him and say hi. I thought about this for a long time. Too long a time to actually do anything. And so, I kept walking back to work, filled now with not only self-loathing but a potent mixture of desire and loneliness (and the two are probaby the same at the root).

Then I started thinking about how perfect that was, just fucking perfect, that right as I am thinking about how much my life sucks, here walks by another aspect of my life practically screaming, "Hey, don't forget about me! While you're berating yourself, add to the list, your appaling lack of luck with boys." And I kid you not, right at this second as I was thinking about the timing of Christopher's appearance, I tripped over a curb. That's what you get for navel-gazing, I guess.

I have been sick. I still am, sort of. For this reason, I have not been in tip-top shape in any respect. Tomorrow, I will be better and the world will look rosy again. The world will look fucking sexy. When you are sick, nothing has sex appeal - you're a zombie with a soft dick, stumbling around the streets, mumbling grunts, coughes, and sneezes. Your body is too busy fighting off those viruses to get hot for all the amazing stimuli this world has to offer a young person, and hopefully tomorrow with the assistance of some more cold medicine tonight, I will be able to see the sexiness in each and every motherfucking last one of you.

PS: Have you guys heard the new Missy album? I stopped into Virgin today to listen to it, and it is so fucking fun. I have to get down to Canal Street to see if I can find a copy, and then I can dance my sickness away.