Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Echinacea, ibuprofen, Sudafed, multivitamin, and then while I was trying to swallow this Vitamin C pill, that's what got caught in my throat. I gagged and started coughing. Coughing led to dry heaving, which led to me running to my toilet. And thankfully, I did not throw up the breakfast I had just ate. Instead, I threw up a bunch of snot that had been in the back of my throat and seemed like it would never go away. Thank fuck!

Why do I feel so good? I was so sure last night while smoking pot, while getting drunk, while dancing, while smoking cigarettes, while getting further drunk, that I was bound to wake up painfully ill and even more sick than I was yesterday. The night before last I coddled this cold, sleeping a lot, drinking a lot of juice, and what happens? I just felt even worse. But last night, treating my body like shit, ignoring the symptoms I had had just a short while earlier, by doing that, I am able to wake up today on four hours of sleep feeling totally amazing. I don't understand. Feist is playing in my ears. That could be a reason.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

i keep forgettin'

Not until yesterday, in the McKibbin loft, playing Michael McDonald's "I Keep Forgettin'" over and over on YouTube, did I realize that this song, McDonald's, is where the sample from Warren G's "Regulate" comes from. This morning in the shower, the two were in my head together, layered one on top of the next, seeming like an important manifestation of unities in this world - the same path a riverbed takes found in your vein structure, found in the path tree branches grow and split along.

There is something in these songs. I don't know what and I am not sure, with even a lifetime of listening, I would ever be able to get at what that thing is, aside from the slight intimations of that thing I get when I am really drunk and/or really caffeinated. The world and all its loveliness are in these two songs, I am convinced.

I love certain human beings a lot. Things can be so good, I can't handle it. This, and other things, I thought about last night after being with friends and then being alone with a cheeseburger from La Bonita, a cheeseburger that went down my throat like some elixir out of a fairytale, so yummy that burger, so good that, other things, life.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Giovanni's Room

I read The Fire Next Time a couple of years ago and can barely remember anything about it - really nothing at all - but I do remember that, at the time, I loved it. And I don't know what this means, my inability to recall in detail much of what I have read. I read a lot and love the stuff I do read, but a year or two later, ask me to tell you about that thing, and you will not get much out of my mouth, aside from me telling you this same thing, that I don't retain the details. For me, reading is something else. It's not done for, in later days, being able to recall the details of books with someone or having said I have read it. Rather, it is time away from the world, or perhaps actually time in the world - time away from things that are not the world and which I mistake for it. It's a nice little contemplative time to myself where I can marvel at the abilities of other people to encapsulate nice thoughts in even nicer sentences. I am reading Giovanni's Room right now, and really like it, partly because the narrator is such a catty, hateful person at times. This second quote below is such a good example of that. I just read it and marvelled at what a demolishing zinger this is. Both of these have such a nice rhythmic usage of commas:

That was how I met Giovanni. I think we connected the instant we met. And remain connected still, in spit of our later separation de corps, despite the fact that Giovanni will be rotting soon in unhallowed ground near Paris. Until I die there will be those moments, moments seeming to rise up out of the ground like Macbeth’s witches, when his face will come before me, that face in all its changes, when the exact timbre of his voice and tricks of his speech will nearly burst my ears, when his smell will overpower my nostrils. Sometimes, in the days which are coming—God grant me the grace to live them—in the glare of the grey morning, sour-mouthed, eyelids raw and red, hair tangled and damp from my stormy sleep, facing, over coffee and cigarette smoke, last night’s impenetrable, meaningless boy who will shortly rise and vanish like the smoke, I will see Giovanni again, as he was that night, so vivid, so winning, all of the light of that gloomy tunnel trapped around his head. (59)

Giovanni was far from me, drinking marc between an old man, who looked like a receptacle of all the world’s dirt and disease, and a young boy, a redhead, who would look like that man one day, if one could read, in the dullness of his eye, anything so real as a future. (73)


Last night, I went to Rawhide finally. I got pretty trashed because the bartender was thankfully serving me really stiff drinks. I tried to hit on a couple of older men, none of whom had any interest in me. A rather disappointing night. I then ate two tamales smothered in hot sauce right before I climbed into bed. In the night, those tamales did a little jig on top of my stomach in stilettos, and I woke up with the worst stomachache I have had in recent memory.

Friday, September 22, 2006

the view from the bar of a roof on delancey overlooking the williamsburg bridge

And yet, despite loving several things last night, I would be hard pressed to tell you what stuff I saw and who by. I remember a Matthew Richie. That's about it. But there was nice stuff. I really need to go back to Chelsea this weekend and look at all of the stuff, relook at all the stuff, sober and with perhaps more of my critical faculties about me.

I was pretty shitfaced by eight o'clock and wanted PENIS, kept on shouting about how we should find it, tried to mobilize the party I was with to go to Rawhide - but there is that tried there because the attempt was unsuccesful. Rawhide did not happen, nor penis. I told a waiter on 23rd Street that I loved him. He smiled, having heard me. I told the same to several other people, but either they didn't hear or pretended not to, or maybe - probably - I just never wanted them to hear me, wanted to play love, pretend it was something I was after, but only in a ritualistic sense, something that would allow me to mourn its lack of occurence. But that's all maybe. And had I more energy or more optimism that something may come of it, and that, even if it did, I would want that thing, I might post a Missed Connection about the boy - but, really, what are you going to build on the humoring smile of a stranger? The world! The goddamn motherfucking world! That's what. But there is my lack of luck with the world of Missed Connections lately and also my desire to listen to more Hall and Oates on my headphones and to read more of Giovanni's Room and to never again in my life think that the Internet, this www, is capable of providing me the things I can find, and occasionally do, out on those streets of this city.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

everything is free now

Today, hungover, I thought about the choices I make everyday and how living one life prevents me from living others - specifically that there are these choices to be made between notions of adulthood garnered from some unknown source (parents, an old movie, a book - God knows!) and between its seeming opposite, that of reckless abandon, of, for lack of a better term, the rock and roll lifestyle. I had a really good time last night and because I did, because I had such a good time and stayed out so late and imbibed so many substances, I was unable to fulfill my other life today. I called in sick to work today, the first time I have done so at this job for reasons of being hungover and tired. Luckily, this is during a down period at my job. Yesterday, there was about an hour's worth of work to do, and today seemed like it would be the same, so I didn't leave anyone stranded with tons of work, but, still, I couldn't help but feel guilty in the shower about my inability to go to work this afternoon, that I should have, and I thought to the choices we have to make in this life between one thing and other things.

Will I never again get to live that rock and roll lifestyle? Working at the Strand, and the period after that when I was unemployed, was close to this lifestyle in some ways, in that I could get smashed every night and not worry about the consequences of sleeping in until two in the afternoon or showing up brain-dead for work. And I waved goodbye to that in the shower, knowing that that period, or one like that, was never going to happen again. And this is good, obviously - that a body can't sustain that abuse for so long, nor can a mind expand too much enacting the same scenarios so often. It is good to switch things up. But what joy there is in those moments!

So the question I was posing to myself in the shower, the question that I am finding myself asking often is essentially this: How do I balance these competing lives and my desire to live both of them? I do like having this job even though it does bore me silly sometimes. But in doing this, what all am I missing? Anything? And how do I go about experiencing those things while still holding down a job and being in tip-top shape in the morning at this job? Do I need another job?

I hung out with the Florida boys at their house, watched them paint, and drank beer, then gin. And that is what I love, the company of these people, and I don't like that I have to limit that, to at some point say Goodnight and go home so I can wake up in the morning. There was no Goodnight said last night. We went out to the Cock and were bought some drinks by these two men, Marcos and David.

And perhaps it was because I was drunk, but it is also likely that I would have done it sober, I approached one of my crushes, David (a different one), and there might have been some words, but not many, before we were making out. He was chewing this minty gum, and his lips had the flavor of it. The gum ended up in my mouth. He said he wanted it back, and so I kissed him again, returning the gum. I basically told him I wanted to have sex with him. He said Not Tonight, and gave me his card, telling me to email him, something I just did, and something to which I am not necessarily expecting a response.

And here, again, another perfect opportunity to call it a night, to say goodbye, and get to bed and wake up hungover for work, but still at least wake up. But to say goodbye, to end your night when you know the nights of others are still going, that those courses are still being plotted and that yours may intersect, align, or even diverge with them - the thought of that is thrilling and the desire to see how things play out, to see what else might happen, the desire not to die essentially, to be alive and in the company of friends, of human beings, will keep you, or at least kept me, out way into the night, not wanting it to end, not ready for bed.

Marcos took the three of us back to his apartment in SoHo and we got naked and did poppers as Marcos played with our bodies. Even under the haze of poppers and numerous drinks, there was still an aspect to this that was weird, but the amazingness, and the closeness of it, outweighed that. At some point, some coke was snorted as we all sat around his glass dining room table, everyone's nakedness visible through the glass. It was really a lovely moment, a lovely moment in a night of them - and when you think about it, a lifetime of them, and that knowledge is so thrilling. There was talking and cigarettes, Parliaments, smoked on his couch. Behind us on this couch were two Marilyn prints by Warhol. On this couch, he again played with our bodies as we sat on his couch, him sucking our cocks - this under the eyes of two Marilyns, neither one of which seemed to be fazed in the least.

He gave us a ride out to Williamsburg on his way to the airport, dropping us off right after the Williamsburg Bridge. Walking toward home with these two, the sun was starting to come up, dawn cracking through the sky, and at this point, past six in the am, I was still trying to convince myself that I could wake up at eight. And these are the tradeoffs I am talking about, the things I fear that I allow myself to miss because of the necessity of work – that had I been the good boy, not gone out, and been in bed early for work the next day, I would not have had that night, nor the end of it – would not have seen the gorgeous pink of a just breaking day. It is balancing these desires and these obligations that I really need to figure out.

Monday, September 18, 2006

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, right, met President Hugo Chavez in Venezuela met before heading to New York for meetings at the U.N.

Looking at this photo, I imagine other people looking at it - Bush, Cheney, Rove, etc. - and what their reactions might be. I gleefully imagine seizures. It could only be more amazing if Kim Jong-il and Castro were there for this lovefest. I don't know why this entertains me so much.

I recently read Goodnight, Texas by William J. Cobb and it was so bland and so mediocre that I don't even know how to approach it critically, what it is I could say about it.

All this UN business prevented me from eating lunch in Bryant Park today. Much of midtown was blockaded, and so I ate in the courtyard of some boring office complex, determined to eat outside on this last gasp of summer - this beautiful, warm day.

Maybe the problem wasn't the book, but me. This journal and its lack of activity here evidence of that potential problem, of an inability to think critically about anything, or to devote attention to anything other than planning my calender, meeting up with friends, drinking booze, drinking coffee, or, as I did yesterday, consuming sour pickled goods at the Pickle Fest on the Lower East Side.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

spiders on drugs

Reading the article of the day on Wikipedia about caffeine, I came across these pictures of the effects of caffeine on spider webs. Science is amazing.

So I looked for the source of these to find that Life published this story and pictures on March 22, 1954. They gave spiders all sorts of drugs to see what types of webs they would make. Look at these! And here's a reproduction of the story.

Would I be making amazing webs sober? Does constant drinking and constant coffee make my web as janky looking as that caffeine web picture?

spiders on drugs

Reading the article of the day on Wikipedia about caffeine, I came across these pictures of the effects of caffeine on spider webs. Science is amazing.

So I looked for the source of these to find that Life published this story and pictures on March 22, 1954. They gave spiders all sorts of drugs to see what types of webs they would make. Look at these! And here's a reproduction of the story.

Would I be making amazing webs sober? Does constant drinking and constant coffee make my web as janky looking as that caffeine web picture?

Friday, September 15, 2006

Two days ago, I saw the Gossip perform. Last night, I saw the Hidden Cameras and the Ballet. All three bands were quite excellent. I danced a lot and got real sweaty. There is a bunch of stuff happening. Really, there alway is and has been because this is a fairly busy city, but the difference seems to be that there are now people here who I want to do stuff with, that staying up late and going places and getting little sleep again has appeal to me.

And while I do enjoy it, I am not sure that my body does so much as I do believe that I am starting to get sick. I have that dryness in the back of my throat that always seems to indicate an approaching cold.

The Beatles are awesome, as is coffee, as are many things. Sadly, I am off to work before I can contemplate these many awesome things any further.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

There is a Miranda July story in this week's New Yorker. I was going to link it, but the story is not online. It's charming and, at times, really good. There are echoes of her film in here along with slight echoes of Eggers (don't you think?). Apparently, she has a book of short stories coming out in the spring, No One Here Belongs Here More Than You.

I had never met her, but I was glad that we were using her. We practiced a loose, sporadic form of class warfare that sanctioned every kind of thievery. There was no person, no business, no library, hospital, or park that had not stolen from us, be it psychically or historically, we'd concluded, and thus we were forever trying to regain what was ours.
Coffee is my favorite thing EVER. I am in love with this song. It is my new favorite song EVER. I am in love with the bassist from the Rapture and he was djing tongiht at Mr. Black and I stared at him for a bit and danced for a longer bit and drank a bunch of free drinks care of an open bar and shot girls. Happy Valley was the pits and the rumored open bar was anything but. Guess who has to work very shortly? Work is my least favorite EVER! I am not sure when I decided EVER was going to be capitalized, but we are going to try to do it at least twice more before I go to bed like the good worker bee I am. Spitzer, who I did vote for and who did win, is my favorite New York state politician EVER! I can't wait for him to governor. Michael is my favorite doorguy EVER! I have a huge crush on him and asked him to be my friend tonight. He doesn't seem to hate me, but everyone and their mom has a crush on him. Ben proposed some frat boy type competition to see who could get with him first. Keep your fingers crossed (and your legs, motherfuck!) because this boy is so dreamy, so nice - perhaps most so EVER! That makes three more times.

Monday, September 11, 2006

and i will never grow so old again

This morning, for whatever reasons, I watched a bit of the 9/11 specials that were on just about every channel before I went to work. The local Fox news lady was way too bubbly as she was interviewing the brother of a fireman who died in the WTC, and I was so mad at her, at the world really, and so sad for this crying brother. I turned it off pretty quickly because it was making me far too emotional too early in the morning, really, too emotional for any hour of the day. I watched Flight 93—again, for whatever stupid reasons—last week and was a total mess. I cried so much. God, when was the last time I cried during a movie?

Though I certainly had problems with the movie and certainly wondered if the whole thing might not be the retelling of a fiction. On PBS last week, there was an American Biography special that aired about Lee Harvey Oswald. Even this standard PBS history documentary was presenting the idea that there was obviously more to the Kennedy shooting than Oswald. The Warren Commission presented a nice clean narrative soon after the shooting to give clean answers and ensure a stable government. The 9/11 Commission presented just as clean a narrative for similar purposes I am certain. And so, yes, God knows what the hell happened on 9/11. I become less certain with each day.

Regardless the film still had me balling, recalling crying on 9/11, being told just after waking up that the Pentagon had been attacked. During that film last week, I recalled all of this, that morning and how horrible I felt before I had got confirmation that my mom was totally okay.

And so this morning, I turned that off quickly, put on some good music, and felt so much better. I don’t get it, a lot of things, but I also am convinced that I do get a lot of things, particularly the need not to get certain things, to walk away and let other people scratch wounds over and over while I listen to things that make me feel good. (Thanks WW).

But then I went to work and couldn’t turn it off, the stuff in this world that I find distasteful, instead had to listen to it, read it, albeit stuff of a different sort. The first interview I read this morning was the CEO of a patent holding company. He bought up old patents to a now standard technology in microprocessors and is suing just about everybody to make them pay his company royalties, even though no one in his company invented the technology. He is what is known as a patent troll. He is a disgusting human being and that I had to read this guy talk about this and have to edit this to make him sound intelligent made me so dispirited, and I resolved that I had to find a new job. The second interview that I read today was perhaps even worse – the CEO of a copper mining company talking about the troubles he was having with the indigenous people in Ecuador who were trying to resist his attempts to mine in their villages. I didn’t know what I was doing, how I ended up there, was pretty uncertain most of the day about what it is exactly I am doing and how it is I got to this place, and where (the big, never answered question) it is that I would like to be and what it is I would like to be doing.

I came home and got a call from the guy on 96th Street, went up to his house, and felt so much better. I pissed down his throat while twisting his nipples, taking intense pleasure from this perversity I was engaging in, from his pan, and this behavior that threw everything else about my day into stark relief – that there was stuff pure in this world. Then I got a blowjob from him in which I was really aggressive, as he likes and as, I am discovering, I do also. It was a really awesome release, just what I needed, and I understand violence and its appeal a lot of the time.

I bought new shoes to go running in, which I plan to start hopefully doing nightly, and I am going to kick Brooklyn’s ass and its streets with these things, with my feet, am going to run and run and run until I am near tired. I am going to rest and do it again. This is a metaphor FYI, and things are going to start getting awesome.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Love Streams

The video release of Cassavetes' Love Streams, the most interesting film of the ones that came out on video in his own day, illustrates that. Since it was co-produced by Canon Pictures, it was released on video. That's a plus. But the downside was the producers didn't like the fact that the original film had a 141-running time so they retaliated by doing a tiny release of only five hundred video copies and by cutting 19 minutes without telling Cassavetes. You know the Groucho Marx joke? The food in that restaurant is terrible and the portions are too small. Well, it's hard to say which was more discouraging—the tininess of the release or the fact that what was released was a cut print.

If you can believe it, the story gets even worse after that. Canon went out of business a few years later, so the only video release Love Streams ever got was the one back in 1985. The only way to get a video of Love Streams nowadays is to go on Ebay and buy one of the old, cut, used VHS cassettes.

The print situation for Love Streams is equally discouraging. When Canon went under, their library was sold to MGM/UA, and the elements of the film were lost. So until they are found, no one is able to make new prints. The few prints that are still around from 17 years ago are gradually wearing out—getting ever more scratched and spliced.

In a few years, there will be neither prints to screen nor cassettes to view—not even cut ones. Love Streams is an obvious candidate for a restoration project, but since there is no money to be made on the deal—either by a studio or by Cassavetes' estate—is it any surprise that no one is doing anything?

This is so sad. Reading the IMDB message boards about this film is just further depressing. Apparently, Sony recently made a new print of the film, but it appears that at least one scene was cropped. I imagine this is the same print that was supposed to be shown at BAM in the fall, but which was cancelled last minute. This film was also supposed to screen at McCarren Pool this summer, but that showing also was switched last minute to a different film. I wonder if something has happened to that print. I would really love see this film on a big screen in a restored version, but might go to Reel Life and rent the old VHS with 19 missing minutes(!) just to see this film since it does not seem like a restored version is ever going to happen on DVD.

Friday, September 8, 2006

I don't remember the name of one artist whose work I saw last night. I don't particularly care.

Ethan's alarm has been going off for an hour and a half and it is making me lose my mind. The key to his room is in in the living room, which I would normally get and solve this problem, however some boy, a James Dean, is asleep on the couch and I don't want to wake him anymore than I already have.

Yesterday, I stepped on my headphones and broke them. This, I do particularly care about. I want to listen to music on my way to work, on my way home from it.

What I would like to hear: Everybody's Working for the Weekend

Thursday, September 7, 2006

I have to go to work soon. I don't feel tired, shitty, or hungover, but I normally don't after going out the evening before until I have been awake for a couple of hours. I imagine it might hit me come one o'clock, but if not, excellent.

I tried to go to the Michel Gondry opening at Deitch Projects, however, so did half of New York, and so I waited in a line that wrapped around the block before finally giving up and, with Bri and Ben, went to Niki's. Then I went to the watering dens of the rich with these three because there were open bars happening there. Open bars are amazing for many reasons, not the least of which is the exploring of new bars you would otherwise never go to without the incentive of free booze. So we went to Sway and drank some Italian beer that I found to be pretty gross and undrinkable. Then we hopped on the subway and went to some fashion party at Bed that Niki somehow was on the list for. And it was here that I had my most exciting celebrity sighting in New York to date. As we were getting in line to get in the club, Jay-Z was coming out of the club. He walked past us and was within inches, this person that I used to see on music videos all the time when I was in high school, and who, at the time, seemed like this emblem of tough New York. So that was pretty exciting. Also exciting was this open bar that seemed to be going on all night with pretty much everything as part of the open bar. There were also decadent finger foods being carried around: salmon and caviar on crackers, deep fried artichoke hearts, and duck quesidillas. There was a bed that I lounged on with these free drinks, free fancy finger goods, and friends that make me happy. There was a boy that was really cute there in a vest. I danced a little at the end to some songs, including some by Jay-Z.

Hall and Oates is the best thing to listen to on these mornings and the sun is shining unhesitantly for the first time in what seems like weeks, and tonight, the fun continues. A girl last night, a stranger, while I was dancing, told me to never stop moving. With that, I am off to work.

Friday, September 1, 2006

power of attorney

As some of you may know, there has been some recent drama between my landlord and her daughter and my landlord and myself. Long story short: Ada (my 73 year old landlord) is fighting with her daughter Iris, who is the person I have dealt with since moving in, paying my rent to her, and who, in turn, pays the various bills that keep this building humming. A couple of months ago, Ada yelled at me for paying the rent to her daughter and turned off my hot water and so I called the police on her. She has ignored me since and I have continued paying the rent to her daughter.

Yesterday, she gave my roommate a letter written by someone with not only an English vocabulary (which she lacks) but also a legal one. The letter:

Attached herein is an [sic] copy of the formal letter that I have sent my daughter revoking my Power of Attorney, and that said power is hereby null and void and is therefore no longer in full force or effect.

Please note that all future rents, commencing with the September 2006 rent, must be paid directly to me. Any rental payments sent to my daughter or any other third party will result in my commencing an action for the non-payment of rent.

Very truly yours,
Ada Acosta

However, I mailed my rent earlier in the day before receiving this letter (which, I am pretty sure, actually needs to be drafted by a lawyer to have any force). So in a couple of days, I am anticipating another berating from Ada when she asks me where my rent is. I am not looking forward to that. I called Iris, the daughter, yesterday to talk to her about this and her advice, typically, was to ignore it. Another problem involved here, casting dark clouds, is that our lease was up yesterday. We are now no longer on a lease and thus lacking some of the securities that would make us more stable here should Ada decide to try to evict us. Iris told me, though, that her dad left his half of the building to her and that Ada couldn't do anything to us without first taking Iris to court. Ada asked Iris when our lease was up because she knows she can charge more and wants to. Iris, however, said that she wasn't going to raise our rent and did not tell Ada when our lease was up. To make our position even more precarious here, if this fight between them escalates to court, Iris said that she told Ada if she wants to control the building, she needs to sell it, and give Iris her half. So I don't know how long this can go on, my living here. I don't want to move. I can't really afford to move, and surely will not end up in as nice a location or as nice a room if I do move. I want Ada to take some tranquilizers and just chill out. I have no clue what is going to happen. At the least, I know that I have several months once Ada does decide to try to evict us. But hopefully that won't happen and I can stay for longer.

So I am caught between these two fighting family members and do not particularly like it.

There is that, and then there is the weather, which is lovely. Summer ended without warning a week ago and fall arrived. It has been dreary, rainy, and slightly chilly - and this weather is my favorite type, provoking feelings of nostalgia, melancholy, and somewhere in there, excitement and the feeling of potential. Things are good. I love you.