Sunday, April 30, 2006

Yes! I have finally done it, despite my worries that it would socially isolate me even further and I would never again find out about cool parties and open bars, but since I haven't been going to them lately, it doesn't really seem to matter to me right now. This is hours of my day I am again reclaiming to waste in (hopefully) more productive ways.

All I ever did was look at the profiles of people I wanted to sleep with, or in the trainwreck way of observing how lame most of the people from my high school still appear to be. I said good bye to Friendster months ago, and was too weak then to also say goodbye to this site. But after months of wanting to do it, and given the determination that three beers will give you, I said, Fuck You Myspace, See your ass later. I mean the main boy whose profile I liked to look at was just on Friendster and not on Myspace, so that helped the decision also. I am free! It feels so good!

And so now, I hope that you all still in that world will keep me connected and tell me what events I should know about and attend. First day of work in countdown eleven hours!

thought there was love in everyone and everything - you're so naive

The trailer for Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette is amazing and makes this movie look so good. Ethan told me about the trailer a couple months ago and I didn’t pay much attention to him then, but am at the point in this biography of John Adams, where the French Revolution is in full bloody swing and Antoinette has just lost her head. And so, I found myself on the internet today, intrigued by her story and watching this trailer which is set to a New Order song and is amazing, as I have already said.

God, the French Revolution! What a crazy time. I am so fascinated by things like this when seemingly ordinary people go psycho and commit outrageously violent actions, when the streets are total bedlam. Human beings have such violent tendencies and they are awful, but also totally fascinating. Carrying around heads on pikes through the street, beating in heads with hammers, hacking off limbs. And the same violence happened in Liberia just several years ago when citizens seemed utterly hellbent in the savageness of their violence. And some thing similar is going on in Darfur right now. Where does this violence spring from? I know that it is somewhere latent in me and that is what fascinates me so much about these situations, about what would provoke it and what would keep it in check. If I had lived in Jacobin France, would I have been taken with that seeming joy of killing? These are the questions I ask myself reading history accounts and surely, why they are so fascinating, a bit of roleplay and assessing your own character, asking under those circumstances how you would have behaved. If you were Antoinette would you have behaved so bravely with muskets pointed at you? Would you have been pointing one of those muskets? One of the masses cheering on the insanity?

Has anyone read a really good (readable) history of the French Revolution that they can recommend?
Mariah Carey’s “Fantasy” is being played really loud over and over again. Being played by me because this song is amazing.

This weekend:
Friday night: Awesome head, Curb Your Enthusiasm
Saturday: Curb Your Enthusiasm, John Adams, Judgement at Nuremberg, awesome masturbation
Sunday: awesome masturbation, John Adams, Mariah Carey, and...

Tomorrow, I start working and am so excited. Last night, walking home from the grocery store as night was just setting in, there was a sliver of a moon, almost a new moon, and I asked myself a question I ask myself a lot on such nights. I can see the full circle of the moon even though most of it is shadowed by the earth, can trace the outline of it in the night sky - but can I really, though? Or do I just see the sliver, and like connect the dots, imagine the circle that the sliver is part of? Am I really seeing the shadowed moon, or just projecting my knowledge of it onto the night sky?

Friday, April 28, 2006

Fuck yeah! On Monday I start working at The Wall St Transcript as a transcriptionist/copy editor.

Fuck yeah!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

I am pretty sure I have the slightest, smallest shard of glass stuck in the big toe on my left foot, probably from taking out the trash or the recycling at some point in the past couple days, stuff I am always doing since my roommates are assholes who I wish would disappear (well, not Adele). Mainly, just Jillian and Josh. Adele never takes out the trash either, but that’s okay, because I like her and she talks to me.

I hate, hate, hate Jillian and Josh and they are still here every night despite our talk about a month ago, they still have not taken out the trash once since our talk about a month ago. I hate them more than I have ever hated any other roommates. I really wish they would move out now. I have thought about telling Jillian she should move out within a month, but am too scared to since I think she could easily say No, since she is on the lease and then there would be ugly tenseness for months and months, worse even than the ugly tenseness that now fills our house. But our lease in up at the end of August and I am just counting down the time until then, trying to tell myself that four months is not that long. I don’t think she is planning on staying when the lease is up, and even if she is, she’s not going to. I am going to ask my landlord to just resign the lease with me.

Um, yeah, I did start out talking about glass in my foot, but like so often, my rage again focused on these assholes of roommates I have, even though that shouldn’t be a plural statement because only one of them is my actually roommate. But, this glass or splinter. I can’t see it and can’t reach it. It is into deep, but I know it is there because it sort of hurts to put my weight on that foot and I am scared that I am going to die, to develop some horrible infection from whatever is stuck inside my big toe and unreachable.

Also, I think Ethan might not be talking to me. And this is depressing because now that means no one is talking to me. For the past couple months, he has been the only person I have hung out with and our friendship became really close, but last week, drunk, he told me he liked me a lot and it was very awkward and weird since I do not see him in that light, and we have not hung out since then. I talked to him a couple days ago and he was at an opening and told me he would call me later that night, and never did, which is weird with him since he is always really prompt about calling back right away. And he didn’t call yesterday and I so called him today, left a message early this afternoon, which he has not returned. Again, it wouldn’t be weird if it were anyone else, but he always returned my calls right away before the weirdness of last week. Also, there is the very probable option that I am being overly paranoid and melodramatic.

And I am terribly broke, fairly depressed about many things, and am about to drink another beer and watch Salman Rushdie serve as the guest host on Charlie Rose. I really wish I could run away to somewhere, but that too, requires money.
Adele came home and asked me if I was listening to Counting Crows.

I was shocked. "Counting Crows? Counting Crows? This is Bruce Springsteen!"

Before she came home, I was listening over and over to Bruce Springsteen, sort of losing my mind, getting really emotional over nothing, being vaguely stressed about not having a job, about living in New York, about missing backyards and beaches. I smell like jizz and it is very distressing since there is no reason for this, that I haven't masturbated in days and that I took a shower just a couple of hours ago. Perhaps it is because I haven't done laundry in something close to a month.

If I don't get this transcriptionist job, I really am going to lose my mind. Fingers crossed. Fingers crossed that she calls me tomorrow. If I look at one more job listing, I am going to combust with unformed fury.

Counting Crows?

This is Bruce goddamned motherfucking Springsteen!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Last night, another excellent Herzog/Kinski film, Fitzcarraldo. Wow. Another dreamlike movie set on a river in South America, this time going upstream and a couple centuries later. There are so many beautiful moments in this movie. Kinski’s character has a steamship that he carries over a mountain. Herzog is insane. He really dragged this steamship over this mountain to shoot this movie. It’s a beautiful, beautiful sight. And Kinski’s character is doing this to hopefully profit by tapping the rubber market on an area of the river above the rapids, unreachable by boat. And he is doing all of this crazy scheming with the boat to realize another crazy scheme, to build an opera house in the jungle. His obsession with opera is so beautiful

There is a moment in the film when his crew abandons him in the middle of the night and the captain is one of three people left, and Kinski, a bit depressed sighs and says as if it is the only sensible thing to do in a situation like this, “Now, we really need some Italian opera. Don’t you agree?” And he starts blaring an opera record from his phonograph set up on the top of the steamboat. Amazing. This movie is a dream, so beautiful.

I might watch Les Blank’s Burden of Dreams which is a documentary about the filming of this movie tonight. But I really want to watch another Herzog/Kinski movie. This is why I try not to ever go to the video store, because if I decide to watch a movie one night, then the whole following week (if not weeks) I am watching movies, so tempted to rent another movie each time I return one.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

From last week's New Yorker, this tidbit about Aguirre:

Perhaps unfairly, [Herzog] is less renowned for his oddly brilliant movies than for the arduous, and sometimes savage, circumstances under which they were made. On the set of his 1972 masterpiece, "Aguirre: The Wrath of God," a vertiginous portrait of a Spanish conquistador who unravels during a search for El Dorado, Herzog struggled to control his gifted but satanically mercurial star, Klaus Kinski; at one point, when Kinski abruptly announced that he was quitting the production and leaving by canoe, Herzog threatened to shoot him. ("I said, 'You may reach the next river bend, but you'll do so with all the bullets in this gun in your head - except the one for me,'" he recalled. "He did not get in the boat. I believe that it was the right thing to do. Otherwise, there would be no 'Aguirre.'")

Perhaps, I am unfair as Daniel Zalewki implies those of us are who are so fascinated by the backstory to these movies, but I also think the films are totally brilliant, so I think it is okay, my fascination. One more tidbit that I find amazing is that Herzog and the crew were scheduled to be on a flight and at the last minute despite Herzog bribing the airline crew to get on the flight, weren't allowed to board because the plane was going to be rerouted. That plane crashed, killing everyone except one passenger. Herzog made a documentary about the survivor of that flight, Wings of Hope.

It is a beautiful day outside and I need to get dressed and head down to Wall Street even though I did not refresh my knowledge of copy editing symbols which I haven't looked at since high school, and which even then, working on a crappy high school newspaper, my knowledge was surely amateurish at best.

This Viswananthan story makes me so mad and it is so absurd. She is the Harvard student who wrote what sounds like a crappy YA novel, and got paid a $500,000 advance for it. Um, what? A half million advance?! That is a really obscene amount for what sounds like a book that probably wouldn't sell enough copies to even come close to even making back the advance. But, despite having a gigantic advance, something most people only dream about, she plagiarized from another YA novel. This isn't a term paper that you are turning in last minute, which even then, would be really disgusting. Surely, someone was going to notice this. What the hell was she thinking? She claims that she "internalized" these books that she was a big fan of, and accidentally, unintentionally copied them. Yeah fucking right. Some of the passages are way too identical for that. This is disgusting. This story probably makes me irrationally angry.
I think helicopters that circle the sky, circling back and forth, back and forth should be shot out of the sky. It is one of the most horrible, nerve wracking noises and perhaps in some past life, I was in Vietnam, but the hum of helicopters puts me on edge. That mechanic hum, that industrial throttle is a close cousin to the noises motorcycles make, which really make me lose my mind. It really sounds like they are right over my roof and they have been at it for over the last hour. The only reason I can imagine for this is the news that the leader of the Hasids died tonight and according to news accounts, there are people gathered in the street not too far from my house mourning him.

I get put on edge by noise so easily, and yeah, how do I live in New York? I have seriously at night, restless, kept awake by barking dogs, daydreamed about how amazing it would be if someone shot them. A child of America and its movies for sure, all these cowboy fantasies about shooting things. Instead, I shout occasionally when I can take it no more for them to shut their dogs up. The dogs normally heed my crazy shouting but I feel like a crazy person yelling out my window. I am going to find out this man with the dogs' address and call noise complaints nonstop. As I just started to write this, the dogs, as if to taunt me, have started barking. Dogs and helicopters and I am approaching something close to the delirium of fever. It was brought on by watching Werner Herzog's Aguirre: The Wrath of God, an amazing nightmare of a movie that makes me think everyone who travelled to the New World was batshit insane. How could they not be? Either they were gold hungry people who from their cracked minds, imagined cities of gold, or religious nutcases who imagined settling cities of God. It's totally fascinating to lose yourself imagining this past time and the lives of these people and what a terrifying place the jungles of South America must have been to these crazies. The lead actor, Klaus Kinski, is amazing. This is the film, which he threatened to leave in the middle of, and to make him stay, Herzog threatened to shoot him.

Also during shooting the film, Kinski, much like me, easily enraged by noises at night, but much not like me, doesn't just daydream of violence, actually enacts it. Into a cabin of extras who were being rowdy when he was trying to sleep, he shot a rifle three times, luckily killing no one, but shooting the finger of one actor. Herzog had to confiscate his gun.

The helicopter still roars and I imagine myself on a raft, floating downstream toward madness.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Well, there is yet another interview that I did not go to. This time because I totally forgot about it. I got a call about 3:30 from the Museum of Jewish Heritage. Apparently, my interview was at three today. I thought it was tomorrow. But of course, confusion might happen when they schedule an interview weeks ahead of time and change the time and date not once, but twice. Not that I am terribly sad about this because I think it would have obviously been a depressing job to work at a Holocaust museum, and to work only part time in a boring capacity getting shitty wages.

Tomorrow, I have an interview at a job which I am a little scared of but which I would definitely like. It would be doing copy editing and transcribing of interviews with CEOs and money managers for a small unnamed financial magazine. The offices are actually on Wall Street. Oh shit, an interview with Corporate America tomorrow. I don't know the copy editing symbols but am going to lie and say I do and am going to study them tonight. I don't think I have clothes even remotely businessey enough for Wall Street, but whatever. The job is also part time, but about 25 hours a week which I could live on, assuming it pays a decent wage, which I am imagining it does given the location.

I finished today's crossword puzzle in less than thirty minutes. Another Oh Shit!

I watched Fassbinder's Ali: Fear Eats the Soul last night and enjoyed it a lot. Earlier this weekend, I watched Godard's Masculin Feminin and enjoyed it far less. Would it be too gross a generalization to say that for the most part I do not like French and Italian cinema? Of course, it would, but I am going to say it anyways. It's all so surfacey, the concerns, boring. Saying a lot, but saying nothing striking. The only New Wave director I like is Eric Rohmer, but of course, I've only seen one of his films and have been intending to rent more. But Truffaut and Godard are both wankers.

Hopefully, the New German Cinema trend will continue tonight and the video store will have the Herzog movie I tried to rent last night. Also, I have an interview tomorrow to transribe interviews of CEOs on Wall Street! WTF?

Sunday, April 23, 2006

One of the best lines in a song ever:

"We learned more from a three minute record, baby, than we ever learned in school."

That line makes me happier and nod in agreement perhaps more than any song lyric ever. I love this song.
From John Adams by David McCullough, this quote from Adams appeared that I thought really intelligent. It is reproduced here so that you might also be charmed by it, or that, I, upon rereading this on some future date might be again taken with this quote:

I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study paintings, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain. (236-237)

I am nearing about the halfway point of this book, which means it is finally becoming comfortable to read in bed on my side, rather than when I was just starting, and one half of the book would be unwieldy and heavy weighing uncomfortably down my arm. This is the first nonfiction book I have read in a long time, aside from collections of essays. I can’t even think of the last nonfiction book prior to this one, and beyond that, I cannot think of the last nonfiction book I have actually finished. Normally, I quit not even halfway through, totally bored and move onto a fiction book I am eager to read. And while I am not yet halfway through this one and perhaps should not yet be boasting about again liking nonfiction, I do see myself finishing this book in the next couple days.

I am enjoying this book way more than I thought I would have. McCullough is a good writer and gives this story a strong narrative pull that keeps me starting new chapters even though I am tired. It also probably helps that I am really interested in constitutional history and find this era totally enthralling.

This book is my weekend. I didn’t leave the house yesterday and don’t forsee any reason that I might leave it tonight. So really, nothing much to tell. I am sort of sad the rain let up. It made me feel good about being inside, not that I was being lazy or missing out on life, but that it was raining and I was to stay inside, even though were it not raining, I probably would have stayed inside also. The rain just removed any guilt I might have felt about this decision of staying indoors. Now with the rain no longer coming down, I no longer have that justification. Am now officially lazy, lethargic, loserish and any other pejorative L adjectives you can think of.

In book news, Dave Eggers has a new novel on the horizon, What is the What, coming out in September, and from its description on Amazon, I am a little worried. A novel set in the conflict in Sudan? From Dave Eggers? At least, success has not tempered his ambition and I am really excited to read this, however nervous I might be as a big fan of his.

Friday, April 21, 2006

I was planning on going to the reading tonight, but last minute, decided that I would go last night and so rushed to the train and over to Greenwich Village to Three Lives & Co. for the David Mitchell reading. I had never been to that bookshop. It’s really cute and small, like someone’s living room. They are also already selling Philip Roth’s Everyman there, a couple weeks ahead of its street date, and as soon as I get some cash, I am going back there to get this book and hopefully they will still be selling it.

A bookstore employee, trying to encourage people to move further in, told me there was an open seat in the back corner, and so reluctantly I went and took this seat. This seat was in the far back corner, trapped among so many people in a really hot store, and also right behind the author’s seat, so I would have been staring at the back of his head. Yesterday, it was about eighty degrees and really beautiful, but this store was like the Strand of olden days, with no air conditioning, no open windows, and one pathetic ceiling fan swirling around, doing nothing against the mass of bodies gathered in this small space. I almost thought about leaving the reading before it started because I was so hot, sweaty, and uncomfortable, was thinking of just going the next day when it was going to be held at a gigantic chain bookstore that surely would have a comfortable temperature inside.

But I stayed, and he read, and I wiped the sweat from my brow again and again and didn’t mind because I was within arm’s reach of this person whose writing abilities I am envious of and whom I admire so much. The book sounded even better as he was reading it in his British accent. He was also totally charming, admitting guiltily that he had had a couple of pints before coming to the reading to ease his nerves, and how he hoped he had got the balance right, just enough to not be nervous, and not enough to talk nonsense. He answered questions afterward and of course, “What is your writing process?” was asked. I don’t think I have ever been to a reading without this question being asked. How do writers not roll their eyes and lose it if they must answer this every time they read. I rolled my eyes and it wasn’t even asked to me. Granted, I was surely more annoyed than I would have normally been because I was getting mildly faint and was ready to strangle anyone that asked any more questions that kept me trapped in this warm, overcrowded corner for even one minute more.

I ran into this boy, Ben, there, who I worked with for a really brief time at the Strand, and who is a really nice boy that I am always glad to run into. Talked to him while waiting in line to get my book signed. Talked about the heat of the bookstore, which was what everyone was talking about. I handed David Mitchell my book and I was so nervous. I had nothing to say. Totally starstruck. I felt like a little kid, really nervous and scared to meet Santa at the mall, but wanting to anyway, and not really knowing why. Under the spell of his beer and the heat of the place, he did all the talking, going on about what an amazing day it was, how beautiful this weather was, how he loves New York in this weather, that it is something about the buildings and their proximity, how the heat and sunshine sort of bounce off of them – and really, he was saying such a beautiful monologue, and I was so stunned and giddy to hear him riffing on the weather. And he signed my book saying: “Charlie, well. met on a divine day in NYC. David Mitchell 2006.”

And yesterday was divine. I stumbled out of that bookstore, still starstruck, went to Kmart, where I bought a generic white pair of Vansesque shoes. Went to Trader Joe's, bought some cheap wine, and came home, watched The OC with some of this decent wine and due to the wine, passed out around 11:30, unable to hold my eyes open as I tried to read.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Rather than try to fashion a narrative that might tie all these things together, I will just list them in brief and provide links to things that are linkable. But these are the things that are on my mind today:

-Even distinguished theater critic, Ben Brantley, cannot resist the spell of Julia Roberts, and writes a pretty interesting and starstruck review of her performance.

-There is a really interesting profile of Werner Herzog in this week's New Yorker that isn't up online, but is well worth reading, because it provides more crazy antecdotes about Herzog, and because the conflict of shooting his latest movie is pretty entertaining. He is shooting a studio retelling of his documentary, Little Dieter Needs to Fly, Rescue Dawn. So much of the crew trash talk Herzog. The crew hired by the studio purposely shoots shots that Herzog doesn’t want shot, and they shoot it in secretive ways, hiding the camera behind banana leaves. It is rather absurd sounding, but Herzog recognizes stuff shot by the second unit during editing and doesn’t use it. The conflict between the studio’s vision and Herzog’s is pretty funny.

-I became worried about The Village Voice a long time ago, a year or so ago when Richard Goldstein was sacked. Now, with the new ownership, I am even more worried. They have gutted most of the paper, sacking most institutional figures, including James Ridgeway and Tony Schelsinger’s brilliantly offbeat “Shelter” column. They are firing long time music writers, which I see as a good sign because The Voice’s music coverage has been way late to catching up on trends and reviews boring, major label bands too often. The music section is too often left covering the musical tastes that Pitchfork established months earlier, and in a far less interesting style.

But still, the way they are going about gutting the paper is pretty scary and I have no clue what the owners are doing and am wondering if they even know, if they have a vision that they are working toward. This article in The New York Observer discusses these changes.

-In the comments section of Dennis Cooper’s blog, someone mentions the controversy surrounding this young porn star, Brent Corrigan. Apparently, he did some videos for Cobra Video when he was seventeen, claiming to be eighteen, and has now, at the age of nineteen, came forward about this so that Corbra would stop selling the videos. Cobra is pissed and countersuing and all of that is boring in comparison to the boy, and on Corrigan’s blog he posts pictures of himself, and holy hell, this boy is fucking gorgeous. Surely, so much of it is the cute haircut, that without it he would just be another pretty porn star, but his haircut makes him a gorgeous porn star. I am sort of in love with looking at these Corrigan pictures, check out the brown hair and brown eyes and tell me you are not in love: So, so, so - fucking - dreamy!

Other things on my mind:
-thoughts about getting a job
-thoughts about John Adams by David McCullough, which I am reading now.
-the weather
-and as always, other things.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Julia Robert's toothy grin and that of a boy singing at a gay bar in the West Village

The weather was beautiful last night and I was in good spirits and in the West Village and I wanted to linger in this weather, stay out in it longer before heading home, so I called Joe to see if he was around and lucky me, he was just a few blocks away, and so together we explored gay cultures of New York that I normally don’t inhabit. The West Village gay scene is refreshing and I feel good there. There are lots of black and Latino gay youths roaming down Christopher Street, kids looking really happy, making me really happy by their being so.

We started out at Monster, which was really fun, and a really mixed bar racially and age and even gender wise (downstairs, at least). Going out in the West Village, you realize (or I did) how specific a scene it is you and I normally occupy. The bars of the East Village and Williamsburg all filled with twenty something white boys. Little boxes made of ticky tacky. Despite not even being drunk yet, I found myself dancing around to disco songs down in the basement, really loving this music, this bar. I did get a little tired though toward the end of what felt like a never-ending version of Diana Ross’ “Love Hangover.”

From there, we went to Ty’s, which supposedly was a leather bar. It wasn’t too crowded and there wasn’t so much leather, just lots of plaid. It was pretty boring, but I was sort of excited to be far and away, the most femme person at a gay bar. From there, we went to Pieces, which was cheesy in a totally different way. It was a bunch of twenty something toothy white boys in polo shirts and baseball caps, so many baseball caps, all tipped just so. And it was karaoke night, which made the bar even more of a train wreck, a fascinating spectacle that neither Joe nor I could turn away from. This bar made me feel so cool because I thought everyone was such a loser.

To escape this scene, to get to some place we were more comfortable in, we headed to the Cock. More disco! It was pretty disappointing, after paying the cover and making it inside to see so few people just sort of standing at the bar and sitting on the benches. But I will not let a lack of a crowd and low energy prevent me from dancing like a maniac to old disco songs, and so Joe and I danced and at some point the bar started to fill up with people, and occasionally even other people would dance. There were some muscley go-go boys showing their junk and I was a little drunk by this point and sort of in love with these muscle men, despite my normal aversion to them, and I touched two go-go boy’s cocks. The DJ came over to Joe and I to talk to us and to thank us for dancing and gave us drink tickets and that felt pretty good, almost as good as this ass of this really pretty go-go boy.

I started to talk to this German boy, Rico, who was only here for a week or so and was here to see Julia Roberts on Broadway. He was pretty fascinating and I made out with him, but didn’t take him home because Adele had a friend sleeping on the couch last night and I have a glass door through which all sound carries and I thought it would have been pretty rude, and so I made plans to hang out with him today and to show him around Williamsburg. I was so excited about this boy last night, totally having some Before Sunrise delusions of having a brief fling with this guy who is just here for a short time.

I got home a little after four and a little after that got a call from Ethan who was totally smashed and didn’t want to take the long train ride back to Crown Heights and so I let him in and talked to him and he slept over and so I didn’t get much sleep because I can never sleep well with other people in my bed and I woke up at a fairly early hour this morning and felt energized and was looking forward to my date at one.

I met up with Rico outside of Kellog’s and he wasn’t as cute as I had remembered and conversation did not come as easily as it did last night. There wasn’t a soundtrack to fill our silences and I was no longer fueled by however many beers I had had at the point I met him last night. We hung out in McCarren Park and my hangover finally caught up with me and I totally crashed and started to feel like shit, tired and irritable and sort of found myself wondering how I could extricate myself from this situation, since last night I had excitedly offered to spend the day with him, telling him I would accompany him as he explored Brooklyn and walked over the Brooklyn Bridge. Now I didn’t want to spend another minute with him, was realizing that this was not where I wanted to be and did not see an easy way out.

First, before the escape, I talked to him about his Julia Roberts obsession and it is the most fascinating aspect about him. It is a nonironic obsession. He came to New York just to see her play on Broadway. In a couple of days, he is going to meet all these other members of the Julia Roberts Forum (an online discussion group), who came from all over the world to see her on Broadway, to see her in person. I really wanted to understand this and so he told me that he grew up in East Germany and that they didn’t get American films there, and after the wall came down, one of the first movies he saw was Pretty Woman, and so Julia symbolized all sorts of things, her smile did. He loves her smile, he said. This, I found so terribly fascinating, an amazing short story. Too bad, it wasn’t plot enough for a novel because you can’t talk about this for hours and I started to get bored though, not having much to talk about, and while walking around, I told him that I had to go pick up boxes of contacts (which is true, but which had I liked the boy, could have easily waited) and that I was going to get on the train here and I asked him where he was going, what was he going to do, sort of making it clear that we should go separate ways. I felt a little bad about this but he didn’t seem to mind at all. I think he could also sense that I was bored and itching to get away.

And so no meeting the love of my life while he was on a brief holiday out of his country. Richard Linklater couldn’t make it to the set today. I picked up my contacts, and then picked up a steak and cheese sandwich, ate it, and then passed out in my bed, taking a nap, so happy to have the bed all to myself, to be able to sleep easily.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

My phone rang twice today. Both times, I ran toward the phone, hoping to see numerals scrolling across the front, a phone number that wasn't in my phone, not letters, not someone's name. Both times, letters, Ethan's, Adele's. And I was happy to talk to both of them but slightly disappointed because I had been waiting for a call from that literary agency since the guy said he would make his decision by Tuesday, today. And the clock just struck five and so I think I am giving up on the hope that I will receive a call from them today, that I got the job. I guess it is safe to assume that I did not get it. I will probably call tomorrow just to confirm this bad news.

The weather's amazing and that's good news. I might still hear back from Harlequin and maybe I might get a call tomorrow from this agency. Who knows? Right now, though, I am a bit disappointed. Perhaps this is not the time to be listening to Joni Mitchell.

I have an interview tomorrow to be an operator at a gay escort agency, answer phones and make recommendations (like they are wine or something). It sounds like it could be funny, but it really isn't at all what I would like to be doing. Maybe it is the time to be listening to Joni Mitchell.

I did something that has been on my to-do list for the past week and I feel good about it, just for doing it, even though it isn't great and it is being done about a week later than I had meant to do it. I wrote a review of David Mitchell's Black Swan Green for my own benefit. I read another review of the book today and was mad at myself for not doing this thing that I had told myself I wanted to do, and by this point, had read too many reviews of the book to separate other people’s thoughts from my own. My goal was to make clear my thoughts on the book before they became clouded by the general critical consensus, which didn’t happen, but at least, I finally did write something.

I had tried a couple of days ago to outline my thoughts but only got distracted by rereading sections of the book and thinking about my own childhood. This book is really good for that, for letting you think about your own childhood, and being a young boy and playing in woods and seeing the world as this big, mysterious place. I have read nothing but amazing reviews of this book. Everyone seems to really love it. The review in the Village Voice is messy and not really a review at all and I don’t see how someone who hasn’t read the book, which I assume is most people since it only came out a week ago, could gain anything from this review. I, however, having read the book, found these insights and observations really amazing, some things that I did not pick up on at all. And after you read the book, which I encourage all of you to do, you should read Ed Park’s review.

I guess it is time to look at job listings again and time to put on some other music. I feel pretty good. Thank God for this weather.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

I had dinner with my mom and Kent at Bamonte's and God, I have not had such good food in the longest time. The place is a bit out of the way, on a small street next to the BQE but was totally packed and the man at the next table sounded so much like Joe Pesci and I didn't giggle even though I wanted to and I ate so much food and even despite the espresso I had afterward, am having trouble staying awake, am having trouble not rolling around in my sheets with my full belly and making pleasurable purring noises. And the place was really loud, which was good because I was making moaning noises eating just about everything I ate.

My mom brought me an easter basket and a couple boxes of Girl Scout cookies and that dinner went nice and I am glad it is over with so I no longer have to fret about it. And oh my God, that espresso was amazing and I sort of have a coffee fetish (in case you did not know) and I want more coffee right now. But I am going to resist because I know once my fullness wears off, I am going to be totally wired and unable to sleep and will lie awake thinking terrible thoughts and feeling all alone in this great big universe and my pillowcase has holes in it and I notice them when I have trouble sleeping, blame my restlessness on that, these holes, focusing on them rather than bigger holes. These ones have easy answers, a new pillowcase.
Reading the newspaper often upsets me, normally because most news tends to be upsetting. I read this story this morning and it upset me for totally different reasons. First of all, I didn't understand where the story was. It is just a glowing profile of a spoiled 24 year old twat who lives in a $6,000 per month aparment in Chelsea and yet the writer a couple of time mentions his bohemian sensibility, at one point calls him a former punk (something I find more than doubtful). The first paragraphs already had me angry at the world. Check this out:

WITH his vintage blue-and-red rep tie, carefully tousled hair and old metal lapel pin reading "I {sheart} Grandpa," Loren Kreiss looks like a typical style-conscious 24-year-old. He collects cool things, like 2,194 "friends" on, an antique Coke machine and 15,000 songs on his hard drive. His vintage wristwatch is a fashion accessory, not a tool.

"My watch and all my clocks are set to the wrong time," Mr. Kreiss said recently. "It's symbolic of me. I don't like to look at time."

But as the scion of Kreiss, his family's California-based furniture business, Mr. Kreiss (pronounced to rhyme with nice) sometimes has to work at being an iconoclast. He can barely contain his contradictions. For instance, his three-times-a-week maid often resets the clocks correctly, forcing Mr. Kreiss to reset them quirky again. (To avoid missing appointments, he consults his ever-present BlackBerry.)

I don't know why I am sharing this and I don't know why this article made me so mad, don't know why I even read it if I knew it would make me so mad, but it gets at so much that's wrong with everything, people of insane wealth appropriating hipness and cultural trends and somehow making it into a product or a commodity of wealth. It's the trying so hard, the affectation of hip that I cannot stand. This boy sounds so annoying. I want to punch him over and over again.

And then this bit here, I cannot decide what makes me want to vomit more, the fact that this 24 year old has someone illustrate his graphic novels and then gets them printed as wall panels hanging in his apartment, or if I want to vomit more because the writer takes time to explain what a graphic novel is (is there someone reading the Times that does not know; why not explain blogs too?), and in the smarmiest way possible:

He has pushed creative boundaries in his attempts to enlarge the family's market share. His most startling foray involves using excerpts from his own graphic novels — basically, long-form comic books with literary pretensions — as interior decoration.

And another aside, how are you going to write a graphic novel and not illustrate it yourself? What is it you are writing, a couple of lines of shitty dialogue? Fuck the world!

And so, for some reason, I decided to look at his Myspace page. And other news about him that I find really hard to believe, is what he claims his orientation to be. Yuck! Why are human beings so disgusting?
My windows are wide open, it is Easter Sunday, and there is a glare off of the roof outside my window, a glare because the sun is bright on this beautiful, warm spring day, really bright and making me feel like I am wasting even this time here on this computer since it is in here and not out there, out in the sun, where I should be, where I feel like I should be. My mom is coming later this afternoon. And so, yesterday, I spent a good portion of the day cleaning up, scrubbing tubs, sinks, and stoves, folding clothes, vacuuming, making my life seem as orderly as possible for her arrival, trying to perhaps cosmeticize the disorder of my life for her benefit, but also for my own benefit. A clean house is such a good feeling and allows your mind to continue its paths uninterrupted by coming into your house and not seeing crap scattered everywhere. Your thoughts can continue to take what paths they may; they aren't put on hold for you to move stuff off the couch so you can sit on it, wondering where you should put this stuff, as a result, no longer wondering (the perhaps wonderful things) you were thinking.

I wish there was a beach within walking distance of my house. I wish I knew someone that had a car and wanted to go on a car ride right now this second, windows down, music blaring. I've got a bike, it is true. However, I don't want to carry it down the three flights of stairs, scratching up the walls and having to talk to my landlord's family who are all here this weekend. Also, I don't really like my bike. It's heavy as shit and only two of the gears work: the highest and the lowest. So a deal with myself: If I get a new job, I am buying myself a decent bike as a present. That, among other things. But firstly, a good bike.

My mom is coming and I am excited because I am excited about my life in general and don't mind my life being scrutinized by someone right now, held up for viewing, because there are things on the horizon, potentials that may hopefully be realized. I downloaded a bunch of Bruce Springsteen yesterday, mainly provoked by reading articles about his new album, We Shall Overcome, covers of Pete Seeger songs - it'd been a hell of a lot cooler if they were covers of Bob Seger songs (and probably closer to Springsteen's own shtick - this rockin' celebration of blue collar Americana) - but anyways, the new album, like his other most recent albums is good but just kind of boring. Some of the songs are really good and sound a lot like Tom Waits with a band sounding like a bunch of drunk, backwoods carnies. Other ones, especially the title track just sound like mush. They never really soar. Springsteen does some Dylanish slurring of the words and the band is too thick to actually follow any of the individual instruments. But what I was meaning to say, and why you shouldn't take my assessment too seriously (if you take it at all) is because I only gave the album a cursory listen, before I started listening to Born in the USA, an album that I have already heard a million times, but an album which I hadn't heard fully since I left my tape cassette of it behind somewhere in Sarasota. Springsteen's ass in tight jeans. The red (?) hanky hanging from his pocket. White tucked in t-shirt. I can still see the cover of that little cassette.

And I am listening to it again right now. I have been listening to it pretty much nonstop since downloading it. This album is so fucking good. It really is my favorite Springsteen album. I used to occasionally claim that Nebraska was because that's the cool album to like, the one hip people are supposed to like, not the pop of Born in the USA, but fuck that shit, this album is so good. Nebraska is good, great even, as is Born to Run, another favorite, but none of them have me cranking the volume and dancing and singing along like Born in the USA, and fuck - a while ago I did say something about trying to get outside and play in this sunshine. And so...

Friday, April 14, 2006

Publishing houses are a bit like the military in some respect, all these titles and rankings. Many of them were explained to me today by the guy that interviewed me at Harlequin. He started out warning me that this is not an "editorial assistant" position, but rather an "editorial services assistant" that they were hiring for. It's not a creative job. He said this a bit exasperated, saying that he had to explain this to the last people he interviewed, that they were confused and thought it was an editorial assistant opening, implying that they did not bother to read the ad closely. I am glad he had a chance to clarify this before I let him know that I had also thought the job was for an editorial assistant.

And so what does an editorial services assistant do? Well, that is just Harlequin's title for what every other publisher calls the assistant to the managing editor. And what does one of those do? Apparently, they nag editors of all the various books to turn in certain sections to go to press, and they also present typesets to the editors to make sure everything's okay, and basically it's just lots of talking to people and making sure things run smoothly. There is also an "editorial services coordiantor" who apparently would be just a bit higher on the totem pole than me. Than me if I got the job, of course.

The offices are located in the Woolworth building, which I had never been inside of, but man, that is the most gorgeous lobby I have seen in New York, the ceilings and walls are covered in these intricate mosaic tiles, something that no one would ever take the time to do with a new building. I love how there was at one point in time such an attention to the details, the small details. I would love to walk through this lobby every morning. It is right by City Hall and so I would only have to take one train to get there, could just hop on the JMZ. It pays 30K and I want this job, but I think I want the scouting agency job even more, even though it is not as easy a commute, does not pay as much, and is less demanding work. The agency deals with literary fiction and if I were to advance with an organization, I would rather it be there, than at Harlequin.

But of course, this is all wild speculation, assuming that I get even one of these jobs. My interview went pretty well today. This guy was much more chatty than the guy that interviewed me yesterday, but the thing that helped me yesterday, made me seem a bit snobby today. Just a bit, I think. Maybe. The guy asked me what I had read lately and so I told him that I just finished the new David Mitchell book, Black Swan Green, and he gave me this blank stare before saying he hadn't heard of it. I was a bit surprised and tried to help him and said, "Oh, his last book was Cloud Atlas." Another blank stare. And I explained that he's a young British writer and has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize a couple times and is a really awesome writer.

I think he wanted to know if I read mass market stuff but I don't and so I told him such, and he said that that was okay, that you don't have to read the stuff and he was friendly and then kept chatting away. And while I think I did good in the interview, that's not even the end of it. This guy's just the office manager and interviewing a big pool that he is going to narrow down and then the managing editor is going to interview those people. So I have to make it to the second interview stage and do good with that person also. I really hope I get this scouting agency job so I don't have to fret about them calling or not calling me for a second interview.

I also went to an interview later for an internship at Next, the cheesy gay weekly, perhaps even cheesier than HX, because it didn't seem hard to get and it seems like an easy, not too time consuming way of getting some clips and maybe making some contacts. I am doubtful that this is something I would want to do after going to the interview. The guy was young and friendly but it would just be dealing with a part of gayness that I don't really care about.

So now it is the weekend, it is raining. I am broke and need to try to do sex work, lots of it this weekend. Easter is Sunday. My mom and her husband are coming to the city to have dinner with me on Sunday, which will be nice, and which may involve me asking my mom for money depending on whether or not sex work happens before then. Hopefully, it will not involve that because that makes me feel less like an adult. And why, oh why am I drinking coffee?

Thursday, April 13, 2006

I talked to my mom tonight on the phone, and for the first time in a really long time had a lot of things to tell her. Normally, our conversation are her telling me where she has been, what rooms in her house she is repainting and news about my sister, and I would try to think of something to say since really nothing has been new in a long time and would tell her such sort of despondently, oh, nothing new, same old samd old. And today, I told her about all these interviews I have coming up and the on I had today and told her how much I want this job and it felt so good to have something to say, some good news, not same old same old. Tomorrow, two more interviews. One more on Monday. And hopefully, hopefully I will get one of the two jobs I really, really want.

Also, I have decided that I love nineties music, and that I need to download more of it. I love Gin Blossoms and Spin Doctors and Sneaker Pimps and Luscious Jackson and Cranberries and Smashing Pumpkins and Toad the Wet Sprocket and they make me feel really good, remember certain things and are pushing me onwards and upwards as I try to get things done I want to, giving me that enthusiasm that I had when I was 16, some sort of magical energy time warp, this stuff, piping through my headphones.

This afternoon near sunset, I sat on my roof and read David Mitchell and didn't read him, watched the clouds pass thinking they looked too cloudlike, too like the background clouds on old Super Mario games. I love the sky and life and am so scared of what death means, was terrified looking at those clouds because they were so beautiful and I wanted to always be able to see them, and I have no clue what it means to not be able to see them anymore. Last night, I had a bit of a panic attack trying to fall asleep because I thought about death and had that brief flash where you realize what it means to not exist anymore and wonder what the fuck this is. And God, I hate those moments and try to squash them normally before they even have a chance to grip their terror inducing claws in me.

I don't know what has happened with The OC but for the last month this show has picked up a second wind and has been pretty amazing, holding my attention and entertaining me and reminding me why I fell for this show. Next week's episode promises to be amazing and I cannot wait. It has been since the first season where I couldn't wait to watch next week's episode. I am glad that this show isn't going to end in a crappy fashion if it does in fact end. According to today's NY Times, the show's prospects of being renewed are not certain. I love this show but would like to see it end this season. I never understand why people are upset about the cancellation of shows or when show's end. Some people were sad that Six Feet Under were ending. Lots of people were upset about the cancellation of Arrested Development, but shows shouldn't last forever. They are more beautiful if they are short lived. A Wallace Stevens quote to end this: "Death is the mother of beauty."

No, I will end it with something I said: I love you and don't want us to die ever!
I am within arm's reach of this job I want so bad and I am giddy and nervous and trying to stay even-headed so I won't be disappointed if I don't get it, which you know is very likely, since it sounded like this guy was interviewing a decent amount of people. But I should know by Tuesday he said.

The job itself would be being the front desk person at this agency with about ten scouts, that it is easy and would just require answering the phone, occasionally researching foreign rights to books they are interested in, and calling people to fix equipment when it breaks. So basically an easy receptionist job since no one really comes into the office, with the added bonus of getting exposed to this world of publishing deals and learning about authors before they've even been picked up by a publisher. Right now, this is my dream job. I mean, obviously it would be more of a "dream" job to be the scout, or to even be the writer represented by that scout, but for now, this is a somewhat attainable dream job that could very easily lead to other jobs with literary agencies.

The person I would be replacing is a cute homo about my age who is moving up to become the title scout's assistant. It pays in the low 20's which is enough to pay my bills and no longer be broke all the time, but besides that, this is the type of work I would like to be doing. It seems like a perfect job to get exposed to this world and make contacts. I want this job so fucking bad, seriously, I came home and threw off my clothes screaming PLLLLEEEEEASSSSEEEE to the heavens, throwing off these warms clothes and putting on shorts, but not fast enough and yes, I had a bit of coffee which is making me more of a nut than usual.

And the interview went fairly good, not totally smashing, but good. The guy seemed a little tired interviewing me but friendly enough. He asked me what I had been reading when he finally came out to the lobby (where I had been waiting for a long time) and I told him the new David Mitchell book. And he told me that I was reading the right things, and that that was in my favor. Ha! I mean I guess I have already said it, but this job sounds thrilling to me because I am a total nerd for books and I want it so bad. And knowing that I have made it to this stage and that there are probably just several other people, probably less than ten who I am competing against makes it so frustrating. I want this job and if I don't get it, I will know that I was so close! Uh, all right, now to look for more jobs and keep us this momentum in case I do not get this one.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

So, like most of you, I had heard the news that our government is planning on using nuclear bombs on Iran. Indeed, very horrifying stuff. I finally sat down and read Seymour Hersh's article last night that was one of the first to break this news. The article is totally terrifying and if it weren't so terrifying, it would be pretty humorous that even a former defense official said in response to hearing these plans: “I was shocked when I heard it, and asked myself, ‘What are they smoking?’”

Hersh has been a thorn in the side of the US government for decades and I am totally shocked that harm has not come his way. It's sort of amazing and inspiring that truth tellers can still operate. This is the man that broke news of the My Lai massacre and the Abu Ghraib abuses. Thank God for this man.

What to do though? How to help avert this? And also disturbing to me, are IT companies' complicity in Chinese oppression. Google's cheif executive defended their having censored versions of Google for China. And while I think Google's participation in this is really disturbing, it is not to the level of moral rephrensibleness that Yahoo and Cisco are. Yahoo is directly responsible for the arrest and imprisonment of two dissidents, having turned over records of theirs to Chinese authorities! Fucking disgusting. And Cisco is providing China with security systems to help authorities monitor activity. I was vaguely aware of these things a while ago, but I watched this documentary last night, Tank Man that explained it more so and made me so enraged. We are the internet, all of us bloggers and nerds - what can be done - surely there must be a way to somehow utilize our voices and our internet habits to make these companies change course. If I didn't have to have a Yahoo account for the Princeton Review, I would close that account now. I fucking hate Yahoo right now.

I am reading Black Swan Green and love it so much and will tell you more when I finish it, which should not be too far away since as I just said, I love it.

And this Jewish Museum that called me yesterday about my resume wanted to schedule an interview with me, and I was excited about this, only to find out they wanted to schedule the interview for the 24th, nearly two weeks away. That is insane, fucking busted is what it is. When people apply for jobs, it usually means they need one then, not a month into the future. Why even post an ad now if you are not even ready to start interviewing candidates? Fucking busted!

Things seem like they are coming together and I am really excited and am ready to take on lots of projects. I have a second wind and I feel pretty good and I really, really hope I get this job at the scouting agency I have an interview at tomorrow. That would be fucking amazing! There are other potential things going on but I don't want to talk about them until (and if) they happen. Chickens. Not counting. Hatch.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

So I sent out resumes and cover letters left and right this morning, to just about any ad I was even mildly qualified for, some of which I would have hated. And no, despite my being overqualified for many of these dreadful jobs, I did not hear back from them. At least, not yet. I have however heard back from one of the exciting jobs I applied for. Granted, it's not the job with Harlequin (the cheesy romance book publisher), but still it is awesome, or maybe not - probably not, probably boring office work, but at least it is for an awesome company. And again, everything is comparitive.

I have an interview on Thursday with a literary scouting agency. And I have a general idea of what a literary agency does, but I had no clue applying to this job what a literary scouting agency does. But from what I can gather, they obtain and help sell foriegn and translation rights to books. Fingers crossed that this interview goes fucking awesome. Maybe I'll even hear back from some of these other literary jobs I applied for. Maybe even Harlequin. Toes crossed.

And I have some news that I am about a year behind on, but The Emancipation of Mimi is fucking awesome. Sasha Frere-Jones' interesting article (also about a year late) about Mariah Carey totally (re)sparked my interest in her and last night in bed, I listened to these tracks totally dancing and listening to the insane things her voice can do. But again, you probably have already tired of this album that I am just discovering.

In other music news you may not know (but very well probably do considering how behind I am on the Mimi album), there is this Brazilian group, Bonde do Role [via BrooklynVegan], and oh my God, they are totally awesome and have me dancing like a maniac. And I can see myself tiring of this band so quickly, but right now, they make me lose my mind (in the good way).

Monday, April 10, 2006

Last night, around 12:30 or so I was coming home from uptown, riding the 2 train. The first car I got on was a little too warm and smelled a little too much like a diaper, like a warm diaper, and no way was I going to ride a local train on this smelly thing all the way to 14th, and so, at the next stop, I switched to a different car. This car was filled with mostly black males scattered throughout the car, in various groups, and all of them, I am pretty sure, were homos. They didn't even seem to be together. It seemed really odd that I was on a car full of black homos. It would be just as weird to be on a car with mainly white homos, with a few hets scattered throughout.

The group near me got my attention somehow and one of the guys asked me where I was from. "Uh, Brooklyn," I said.

"No, no. Where are you from? Where's your family from?"

"Uh, my dad's from Chile."

And that satisified this one guy and he seemed about to say something else but his friend then jumped in. "So you're Brazilian?" he said excitedly, mishearing me.

"No, Chilean. My dad's from Chile." And this one dude totally seemed repulsed by me with this news that I was not Brazilian, something that he would not have known one way or the other, but now that he knew I wasn't, I was no longer interesting, was no longer the sexually fetishized Brazilian. Brazilians and Puerto Ricans - how did they come to be so eroticized by homos? I was already pretty annoyed with this guy, but he would make me more annoyed before our conversation would end. "So you're dad is white?"

"Uh, no." Notice all the uhs, my hesitance as I try to figure exactly what he is aiming at, that I sort of know that it is some game to idenitfy me as inauthentic even though I never made any claims to whatever notion of authenticity this guy had.

"So, is he black?"


"Is he Indian?"


And I was a little too tired to explain to someone that had no interest in subtle distinctions, the way race works in Latin America, and how you cannot apply the same racial identification system that holds sway here. That my dad is probably all three, like most people from Latin American countries, he is this mestizo mix of centuries of interracial fucking.

Somewhere after these nos of mine, this aggresive guy turned around and talked to his friends again. I was pretty annoyed the rest of the way to 14th, having to think about this, about how obiviously these guys did not see me as white, otherwise they wouldn't have asked where I was from, and yet then wanted to peg me as something for some reason. I hate it when people are idiots.

Today, an opposite feeling, that I was surrouned by nonidiots, thousands of them demanding what is due to them. I marched across the Brooklyn Bridge, finding Beth in this mix and talking to her the whole way. It was such a good feeling to see all these Latino families, little old white ladies, some nuns, the Housing Works group, all of these benevolent people fighting the good fight, playing drums, chanting, all under a brilliant blue sky. I almost cried with happiness so many times today.

My dad was an illegal immigrant. He was deported when I was in high school, one of the many traumatic events of my life relating to my father. This fight over immigration status is something that means a lot to me, and seeing all these Latino families, I projected some of my experience onto theirs and wanted the world for them.

When we reached Broadway, I was again so happy. Sometimes I am impressed by human beings. Today was one of those times. As far as I could see in both directions on Broadway, there were people packed in, happy and wanting to stay so. So many people, so fucking awesome. All these voices, all in sync together, or trying at least, this massive body, God, God, God.

Sunday, April 9, 2006

A short while ago, I consumed some sausages and onions that I had fried in beer. I ate this while watching Anchorman and drank the other half of the beer that was not used in cooking. But now, problem is, that that half a beer has just whetted my appetite for more of the stuff and it is really hard not to go into my fridge and get one, but I really don't want to be drunk by eight o clock and asleep by nine. I really want to read more of this book and get some things accomplished today.

Whatever, it's Sunday. I mean, not that I have a job to go to come Monday and that this weekend is somehow distinct from weekdays spent working. Again, whatevs!

Saturday, April 8, 2006

I get hints of something whenever I am in the outskirts of Times Square, specifically that stretch of 8th Avenue in the 40's. I get wide eyed and see New York as this overwhelming, rowdy place when I am there. I feel like a kid, I feel like I just moved to New York when I am there, that it seems so big and amazing there. I get hints of the seediness that that entire area used to be under, that I have read so much about. I walk through those memories of other people, of Delaney, of Wojnarowicz, and countless others when I am walking there, of even a Gore Vidal novel and old movies with sailors on leave.

There are bright porns stores, bright tourist stores selling postcards and t-shirts, bright pizza places, and then dark hole in the wall bars. There is an aggressive energy on this street that I feel really comfortable in. The people are not ugly, but not hip and not pretty. There is something decidedly unhip about this section of town and I fucking love that, that it feels more real somehow, this crowd, they are not too cool for this place, in obvious contrast to other neighborhoods where I do walking, in SoHo, in Williamsburg, in Chelsea, even in the business district of midtown. It's grimey and there are people, lots of people gathered on the sidewalk, some of them seemingly looking for trouble, drunk on the night and other more obvious things. And then in the mix of that, you've got theater goers, old couples and out of town families making their way through this motley mix.

I was listening to the Rolling Stones both on my way to the theater and my way back from it and this surely had a lot to with my impressions of this scene. It was the perfect music for this moment and made me feel deliriously good. There's a line from a song, not by the Stones about feeling good because you've got on tight jeans and good music, and really, that was sort of the feeling. Surely, had I been listening to J-pop or something, I would have had a totally different reading of this scene, and the Stones allowed me to feel the scene, the part I wanted to play better as I walked through these memories that were and were not my own.

The play that I saw that was the reason for this walk through this part of town was really good. We were up in the nosebleeds and I found myself getting annoyed through the early part of the show about all the noise that seemed to be going on around me. Someone turning off their cellphone once the show had already started, people coming and going out of this really loud door right behind me. Two people taking their seats halfway through the show. Aside from these distractions, once I got into the show, I found it really enjoyable. A few of the jokes seemed too forced, a little lame, but I tend to think that about most comedic things, but there were some excellent moments to the show that made me laugh, that made me really happy.

It is raining right now. Again I am listening to the Stones. To different effect this time, the 8th of April, a Saturday afternoon, my apartment, Brooklyn, New York in this, the year 2006.

Friday, April 7, 2006

Remember how just a few hours ago, I was predicting how great today was going to be, how unless something went horribly wrong, I would be reading David Mitchell all day and night long. Well, nothing went horribly wrong, more like comically wrong, more proof (as if you need it) that I do not have things together, and am an easily confused mess.

The details of which are a little too time consuming and too tedious to detail in full, so the short version will have to suffice. Got a call last night, someone wanted to get together. I said today during the afternoon. They said 2:30. I said sure. They said let me give you the address. I said Don't worry, I still have it. And for some reason I had thought this conversation was with a Bob, the Bob I occasionally see because it sounded like him. I show up at Bob's at 2:30. The doorman says he doesn't think Bob is in. So I call Bob to find out that he is in Mexico and I certainly did not make plans with him last night. I was totally confused and overwhelmed by this for a bit. Then I tried to figure out who this person I did make plans with was. I find the number in my phone and call it, curious who this was, and they said Paul and that I had seen them before, and I didn't want to press for too many details and sound rude for not remembering them. They said they couldn't get together anymore today and would call me this weekend. And so I went home very confused still sans the exciting new book I was going to purchase, and searched through old emails to find this person and I saw them like a year ago. Of course, that is why I did not remember them. But yes, a fairly embarrassing interaction with the doorman, with Bob, and with Paul.

I am leaving for this play soon and hopefully nothing will go wrong. Hopefully tickets will be waiting for me and I can see it and laugh really hard and feel like I did something at least with this day. But man, tomorrow, sex work needs to happen for sure somehow so I can buy this book and of course, toothpaste.
I missed out on the past few days worth of crosswords and so did not get to experience that gradual progression, and instead have gone from feeling like a champ for completing Monday's (mildly controversial) puzzle, to feeling totally frustrated and subliterate for only getting three of the clues in today's puzzle. I could stare at this puzzle all day and try to conquer it, but luckily today, there are things to get done and I will only be able to stare at this puzzle part of the day, maybe not any more of it, if my schedule goes according to plans.

In an hour, I am supposed to go see a regular, which will put some cash in my otherwise empty pocket, and from there, I am going to walk to the Strand, where my copy of Black Swan Green is supposedly waiting for me, and which I am going to read nonstop (this, unless something goes terribly wrong, is what is going to prevent me from glancing at this crossword puzzle), then a trip to Walgreens to pick up some essentials, you know like toothpaste since I am gettting tired of wrestling with the tube trying to squeeze out the remaining dollops of it, and since it doesn't seem my roommates are in any rush to purchase a new tube.

And then laundry, so my clothes don't smell like ass anymore. I plan on reading nonstop during laundry, and at some point, taking a break to shower, eat and get ready to go see this play, Los Big Names, which I have comp tickets to go see. Um, then more David Mitchell!

And no, I don't have a job, don't have any potential ones, have not really figured out what I am doing with myself, but today, for a brief while, I have pleasing distractions from those thoughts.

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

All right, now I really have no excuse for watching Idol anymore, not that there was ever really an excuse. By far, the most talented, the only inspired singer was booted off, Mandisa. My mouth dropped in shock and watching the other contestants, I really think it was happiness, relief on their faces, that the best person in the competition was eliminated and now a mediocrity, maybe even them (fingers crossed) could be the winner.

I want to smash everyone else's skinny faces. Except for Taylor. I do love Taylor. But, bullshit is what this is.

My head is a mess and I just want to sleep forever. I am sort of in love with a reality show contestant, and no, not Christian (yuck!), but some sleazy guy on some sleazy greed show, Unanimous/ Earlier, this evening, I had resolved to quit watching tv altogether except for Law and Order and The O.C.. Of course, I am not holding to this resolution so well. I did however manage to not watch Top Model tonight. Not that that is saying much, saying anything. And why do I love this over worked out sleaze bag? Um, duh, because I heart sleaze bags, especially ripped ones.
I talked to my mom on the phone just a short while ago, and I was already a confused, emotional mess before talking to her. Even more so now, after talking to her. You see, I have no job, no money, which is nothing new and which doesn't entirelly worry me, but it leads me into thinking about jobs and careers and about what I am going to do next month once I get this month's rent, and then also the next month's, and then the next year's - that I have no long term plans for myself, no long term goals. And to be honest, not even any noteworthy short term goals, aside from somehow scrapping together enough money to pay my rent. I look at the jobs online and while I would do them, while I have applied to them, none of them are things I'd really like to do, and then there is that awful problem which I have never known the answer to, what it is I would like to be doing. For a very brief time, around tenth grade, I wanted to be a journalist. That is the only time I have ever had a desired profession in my head. Later in high school when we had to take various personality and career tests and talk to our guidance counselers about our goals, even then, I was a confused mess who obviously had no desire to work and my counselor, I believe his name was Mr. Tillman, told me that I should join the merchant's marine.

I disregarded his advice as I have tended to do when most people give me advice. But I am thinking about him right now and thinking about my mom, who has now decided to take up his role and try to help me out with shaping my life. For the past couple months, each time I talk to mom, she has a suggestion for me. The first one was that I should work at Starbucks. She has suggested this for years and I finally convinced her to quit suggesting this, that is throughougly depressing to hear your mom tell you should aspire to be an underpaid barista shelling out overpriced espresso drinks to bougie assholes to line the pockets of a gross corporation that exploits coffee farmers. And she would always say that they gave you benefits and treated employees really well, surely something she read in some business magazine at some point and which has always stayed in her mind. But I am aware that she loves me a lot and that her proddings are the proof, the form her love and concern vocalizes itself in, that she doesn't want me to be unhappy and poor and wants to see me doing something with my life.

About a month ago, her suggestion was that I should go to cooking school. I explained to her how gruelling a job being a chef is and how I would not want to work those hours in a hot kitchen all the time. Aside from that fact, there is the even more basic one that I don't even like to cook that much. It's cute, these efforts of hers and they do show me that she is thinking about me, but they also force me to ask similar questions, about what I would like to be doing with my life.

Today, her suggestion was that I should study graphic design, by far her least objectionable suggestion to date. She told me she would pay for me to go to school, that she just wants me to succeed. Oh, and before she started this thread of the conversation, she told me that her sister, my aunt Carol is really sick and has some rare blood disorder where her red cells attack each other and she has been unconcious and receiving transfusions for the past week. This news already made me emotionally upset, fearing that another person close to me might die, and then this thread of This is Your Life really scared me, that the threat of sickness and of death made me realize that I am living my life right now, that it is not too long and that I don't have time to dilly dally, that the news that I am sick isn't too far into the future being told to someone else.

Seeing yourself through your mom's eyes is the worst, especially when you feel like a look of worry or disappointment is what is crossing those eyes. My mom never says anything to make me feel guilty or tell me what I should be doing, that is all self imposed, she is just trying to be helpful and trying to start a conversation to help me. This, I realize. But since she has two masters, and my sister is about to finish her Fulbright and will probably start work on a masters this fall, I cannot help but feel like a total fuckup, getting kicked out of school, never returning and not having a job, doing nothing with my life. I really have to get myself together. What the fuck am I doing with myself?

Tuesday, April 4, 2006

I am surprised I haven't read in any of the (too numerous) blogs I read, commentary about the site redesign. I hate it. Hate it. I really hate when sites launch redesigns. Never, not once, have I been pleased with it, only angry that a site I had come to know all corners of had suddenly become a more difficult thing for me to navigate, even though, surely, the intent behind any redesign it to make it easier to navaigate.

The front page is too picture heavy and that font is not a newspaper font. The fonts are so soft. I want the old font back. My eyes just glaze over this smooth, neat, smaller font. It's similar to the font type Salon uses. Lots about this redesign is similar to Salon's site. When Salon redesigned their site, a year or two ago, that's when I stopped reading it altogether, that this thing I knew visually had become something else, and it made me look at the content as something else also. I fucking hate this redesign. The top stories are confined to a tiny little sidebar on the left hand side.

The best thing I read all day was in a customer review on Amazon of Count Duckula: "As a huge fan of Daffy, Donald, Scrooge McDuck, and duck animation in general, I simply cannot believe that Count Duckula is being released on DVD. All I can say is WOW!"

This person is a big fan of duck animation. That is amazing. I love this person. I want to add that to list of interests on MySpace, duck animation. I wish I had money so I could buy this set, but I put in a request at my video store for them to buy this and hopefully they will and I can rent it soon. I just watched Fellini's La Dolce Vita and there is this brief moment where someone plays the Dracula ghoulish melody on the organ and for some reason it made me think of this show that for the past several years has been haunting me because I knew I loved it and I could think of the animation and the opening credits but could never think of the name of the show or what it was even about. For some reason, it hit me tonight, vampire duck, and I googled it and sure enough, found it. Watching this could kill me. It's a vault of memories that this has the potential to open and I want to see if I can withstand it. I need this to think about things I want to think about. This is essential for me to grow as an artist, to watch Count Duckula. I am incomplete without it, and I am not joking in the slightest. It is my madeleine.

I canceled my plans with Paul tonight because I was feeling weird and sad and didn't want to have to interact with people I didn't have to. I saw a couple of boys tonight and they were gorgeous and untouchable and I almost like it better when they are straight (like they were tonight), because then their untouchableness is rooted in a reason I am okay with, it is them, that they don't like boys, rather than me liking a boy that likes boys, just not me. La Dolce Vita is fucking insane and I didn't like it (and did) for the same reasons that I felt during 8 1/2, that it's about vapid fashionistas who don't really seem to talk about anything. It is totally irritating in the same way that I find being stuck in conversations with people image obsessed and in love with themselves (reason #32 that I don't go out anymore), that we don't have anything in common, that I just can't relate. And so far, La Strada is far and away my favorite Fellini movie.

I threw my couch out into the street tonight, into the rain. I am glad it is no longer in my living room. I hated it from the day it made its ugly ass gray, purple appearance three years ago. See you later, stinky couch! See you later, Porpoise Spit!

PS - Someone said totally seriously that they were a big fan of duck animation. I need to become best friends with this person.

Monday, April 3, 2006

Yesterday, I tried doing the Sunday crossword puzzle, and was left feeling pretty humbled, realized that I did not know that much, and that there are apparently a whole mass of people, Sunday crossword puzzler doers, who are way more knowledgable than me. I got maybe about ten of the 250 clues yesterday. It was a totally frustrating experience. And so, I was eager to get today's paper and do the easiest day of the week's puzzles, to redeem myself in my own mind's eye. And I am very excited to say that I completed today's crossword puzzle just now.

Further proof, as if you needed it, that I really need a job. In Mr. Sammler's Planet, Sammler had this young relative who had his father buy him an office for him to go to work to everyday and to start a law practice. With the office, however, he just went to it each day and did the crossword puzzle as if it was his job, and he would occasionally ask Sammler about specific clues. I identified so much with that section of the book, knowing how it feels to do the crossword puzzle, as if doing it is some form of work and that is should count as such. Oh, how I wish. I guess it's time to look for a job now that I now longer have the distraction of the crossword puzzle to make me feel as if I am doing something with my time.

Sunday, April 2, 2006

This morning I took some Cod Liver Oil pills because I am out of multivitamins and they were there and why not, although after I took them, I started to worry about whether or not they could go bad. I bought them over a year ago for some reason or other, had probably read in some article somewhere about the benefits of cod liver oil, and took them for a few days before I started worrying about taking an excess of A and D in since I was already taking multivitmains and so stopped, and since that time they have been sitting on this bookshelf in my kitchen underneath the window, not in a cool, dark place at all, and basically I am worried that they have gone bad and that nastiness is now swirming through my body and shortly I will collapse in pain. This, of course, probably will not happen.

Yesterday, I read this poem, "The Thing Was Moving" by Charles Olson and it was really good and totally sent me spiraling back in time recalling my childhood and playing around construction sites also, playing in the woods and finding adventure in suburban spaces that now, imagination dulled by age, which I guess really means not that age itself means anything, but that the whole of those experiences I have had since then, that point a decade, nearly two ago, and that those added up, that, aging, prevents this ability to play.

I cannot get over how amazing spring is. Outside this morning, I just wanted to lie down on the sidewalk and roll around in sunshine. I am really happy as of late, and I think my social isolation has a lot to do with that. Last night, I was really tempted to go out to the gay hip hop night at Alligator because I had not danced in a really long time and because there would have been people that I would have liked to have seen. But there also would have been people that I would have liked to have seen in different ways, crushes that sort of make me insane, and yes, I did maybe think around midnight last night of a couple boys who I would have really liked to seen and imagined fun that I was missing and this was the first time I have done that, cared that I was not at some place, some bar, where I imagined fun to be happening, felt like I was missing out. Lately, I haven't give a second thought to going out, that it doesn't offer me what I want. It does on some level - social interaction, dancing, drinking - all things I do love - but more often than not, the experience leaves me unsatisfied in vague ways, and I have removed that from my life and feel so much better. If you don't see crushes, don't talk to them, you can't feel rejected. I feel so much better, so much happier than I have in the longest time, despite not having a job and barely having any money because I have got good music blaring and the sun shining out my window, and maybe, yeah, it is all due to Spring, this change in mood, but I really do believe it is just one factor. My roommate's watching tv, and this, not that I needed it, gives me a brilliant excuse to go out on the roof and read more poetry, bring headphones, water, phone, and I am going to be underneath this bright sun on this excellent, excellent day, and fuck fuck fuck, it might be mainly because of the change in weather. I am a Florida boy, after all.

Saturday, April 1, 2006

this morning's reading

In this review of a collection of Elizabeth Bishop's unpublished work, David Orr, says something that I liked a lot, talking about subtlety in art:

Dana Gioia, a longtime Bishop advocate and current chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, gets only a few paragraphs into an essay on her reputation's dramatic rise in the poetry world after her death before asking, almost apologetically, "Is Elizabeth Bishop overrated?" "Perhaps a bit," he answers, which presumably is what you say when you've gotten in the habit of thinking about poetry so much that you forget Bishop's poems are less well known to many people than the lyrics to "Total Eclipse of the Heart."

So why do we feel compelled to elevate Bishop while simultaneously worrying that we're raising her too high? In large part, the answer has to do with the difference between difficulty and subtlety. Difficulty is a beloved concept in the poetry world, because it's the crux of an old but cherished argument: Are poems too obscure? Or not obscure enough? The debate is a canned one, of course, but it lets all parties make their favorite points, and everyone is therefore happy to argue over "difficulty" at the drop of a hat. The reality, though, is that most readers and writers aren't actually made nervous by "difficulty," at least as the term is usually meant. For one thing, difficulty is straightforward — you either figure out what's difficult, or you don't. You might fail, but you aren't going to be misled. (In this sense, and in its implicit endorsement of hard work, difficulty is a concept that has long been central to our shared identity as Americans). Subtlety is different, though. Subtlety wants to be missed by all but the chosen few; it is aloof, withholding and aristocratic — sometimes manipulative and always disguised. It has less to do with theory and technique, which can be learned mechanically, than with style and sensibility, which require intuition. It wants to be looked at but not seen. It's unnerving.