Saturday, March 24, 2012

the explosion next time

I was getting ready for work in our kitchen, either brushing my teeth, putting leave-in conditioner in my hair, or just staring absently while barely awake into the mirror, wondering if anything could be done to make myself look cuter before I headed off to work. It was during this time that I heard a pop from my bedroom. I assumed something had fallen off a shelf since our apartment is a little slanted and I was in no hurry to attend to it, would pick up whatever fell before I left the house. Having realized that there was no more that could be done to make myself look more presentable, I was about to head out the door, already running late for work, and looked around my bedroom to pick up the book or vase that had fallen on the floor. I didn't see anything on the floor and became very confused about what the noise I heard was, what it could have been.

I began to smell a weird odor, something vaguely chemical, some type of gas. I began to wonder if some pipe transporting dangerous gas had ruptured and if I would soon be dead from the smell. Apocalyptic thoughts at 6:30 in the morning, proving that is never too early in the day for your fears of death and destruction to start spinning their detailed fantasies.

I noticed the smell though soon enough and wondered what could have happened that I was smelling poppers. I opened my underwear drawer, home of lube, cock rings, condoms, a Fleshjack, and poppers, to see if the smell was coming from there. I saw a bottle of poppers, felt it, and saw that it was perfectly fine, that it was not leaking, that this was not the source of the smell. My eyes finally landed on the culprit though, seeing the blown off cap of an old bottle that I had forgotten about in the back of my drawer. There were shards of glass everywhere, the smell was overwhelming, chaos and destruction to start off my day.

I didn't have time to clean up the mess, knew it would be awaiting me when I arrived home from work, this mess. I have never heard of such a thing, of a bottle of poppers exploding. I have Googled some keywords and have been able to find no other instances or references to this phenomenon.

The day continued in a fashion befitting its explosive start. There was explosive diarrhea for most of the day, the sickness that had been in my throat the past two days moving its way through my digestive system. And then there was a brief encounter with a co-worker at work in which we played with each other's cocks.

I left work and took the train down to Union Square. The increasingly annoying Occupy Wall Street people were again there, making it very difficult to get around this park that I pass through all the time and that I enjoy when it's not filled with these loud people who would disrupt your ability to enjoy the ability to sit and daydream in a public space with their frenzied sloganeering. Equally disruptive are the police and media they bring with them. I really wish they would move their show back to the financial district. They are making it increasingly hard for me to sympathize with them by continually disrupting such a utilized public space. I don't think this move uptown is a well thought-out move and I think it is going to unfortuantley sway more public sentiment against this movement. Anyway, it was a surreal scene though when dizzy and hazy with sickness to have to maneuver through crowds of protestors and masses of police trying to corral them when all I wanted to do was buy some Advil and Listerine at Duane Reade. I was inside strolling the aisles, looking at face creams. Other people were doing the same, picking up things, looking at things, purchasing things. We all were doing our New York thing that we self-identified New Yorkers like to do and ignoring the insane mass of people shouting outside these glass doors, ignoring it all. What celebrity? What homeless person? What revolution? We don't let these things stop us. We are never shocked or impressed. I did buy an impulse purchase of oil-absorbing facial sheets.

I came home and cleaned up the poppers explosion.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

the time in which a face masks dries

The weather has been unseasonably warm and it has brought out something in me, brought out a spring fever, a summer fever. That fever has been accompanied, perhaps the real source of the fever, by heavy drinking. My body feels like shit and it will be a couple of days probably until it gets the rest it desperately needs.

Despite finally feeling better yesterday after my bender of drinking on Sunday night that had me fall asleep and miss my stop not once, but twice on the subway, encouraged yesterday by a new friend from work, Darnell, I hung out in the beautiful weather on the Christopher Street Piers drinking a bottle of wine from deli coffee cups. It did not end there, as my body has a very difficult time saying no, and the two of us walked across town to International Bar to have drinks with Erica. That continued until Jacob joined us and then the two of us had a drink at Tradesmen before heading home to watch Drag Race.

Today, my stomach was in knots as it tried to process all the cheap well whisky I drank at International Bar. There was a Roisin Murphy song stuck in my head all day and that made things bearable until I could come home and take a brief nap.

I woke up and the lines, "I don't belong to you and you don't belong to me," were still drifting like rings of smoke up and away from my fuzzy brain. A cup of tea and a facial mask will hopefully restore me to some level of presentability, that and this Roisin song. I'm going to join some friends at ten for a free dinner at a new restaurant that is about to open, a restaurant I would never be able to afford on my own, so about which I am so excited. But drinks are also included which means tomorrow the cycle will probably repeat and then I am going to Jacob's show in the evening after work. Roisin may or may not be the song stuck in my head tomorrow.

Monday, March 12, 2012

talk about the weather

Since seeing Melancholia a couple months ago, I have found myself retracing plot points from it, recalling specific imagery. It's a beautiful film that talks about how terrifying existence is and it does so in a slow-burn fashion that builds this terror in you, the viewer, as well.

I thought of the film again today. Something is not right with the planet. Some people, many people actually, have cheered this mild winter that it now seems we are officially done with. The weather today was in the high 60s. Tomorrow, it will be in the 70s. My body has come to expect certain things, has physical responses that coincide with certain months, the body expecting certain temperatures in December, January, and February. My body never relaxed this winter, kept on tensely awaiting the arrival of it. The dog had run away and I couldn't sit comfortably on the couch. He was probably gone for good, the Lost Dog signs up for weeks with no response, but still my body tensed at any noise outside, wondering if that might be him.

That other planet, Melancholia, is bearing down on Earth and for most of the film, it is ignored. People continue to hope for the best, believe that it will pass Earth by, rather than crashing into it, but at a certain point in the film, it becomes inevitable, and there is the slow, painful wait for the event to occur, a wait in which every character must confront the reality that they will die, that everyone they know will die, that the earth will be no more, and that everything they have known, everything that constitutes life for them, will be no more.

That is how I felt today, walking down Broadway in the beautiful weather, that it was too beautiful, too nice out, ominously so. The planet is fucked. Normal weather patterns have been thrown into disarray by global warming and we are all going to have a catastrophic end. But, vain, easily-pleased creatures that we are, we are happy because we can wear spring clothes, can show more skin to the world, don't have to wear socks and winter jackets any longer.

Friday, March 9, 2012

evelyn playground

Yesterday afternoon, the start of my weekend, timed too perfectly, my throat started feeling funny. I could feel some type of sickness about to overcome me. I went to the gym to work out, knowing that I had to do so then before the sickness fully set in, before I felt too lazy to do so, knowing that there would be no exercise over the next few days. By the time I left the gym, it had already worsened, and today the soreness is spread throughout my throat, not debilitating in any way, but annoying nonetheless, especially in that it is coinciding with my two days off work. But given how broke I am right now, perhaps it is actually a blessing in disguise, this thing making me want to stay at home and not go out and spend money I should not be spending on drinks and food and expensive art fairs.

I spent the day on my couch finishing Jeffrey Eugenides' The Marriage Plot, which was disappointing in how average it was. I had been hoping for something better, perhaps am remembering Middlesex as better than it actually was. It wasn't a bad book by any stretch, but it never came close to greatness, which I had been hoping for.

I think that my sickness may have been caused by being at my job, which is still an active construction site with dust and other particles floating through the air, down into my lungs. I leave every day covered in dust and imagine that breathing that in all day has not made my throat too happy.

I went to my first female strip club this past week with two of my co-workers during lunch hour, titties jiggling on stage while we ate food a few feet away. It was much nicer than I expected, the club. I felt vaguely uncomfortable looking at the ladies, less so once I had a martini. This week I also saw Sharon Needles give a great performance at Westway. I also had a disastrous dining experience at a restaurant I cannot mention for various reasons, but it is often cited as one of the top three restaurants in New York. The food was great and I got to tour the kitchen, but it was unnecessarily awkward and I can't say more than that online. I have had a quite a few martinis this week, been in places where it would be okay to order one. I really love a good martini, though the problem is that the places that make them aren't the places I want to party, and so I will chug cans of bud light or vodka sodas in plastic cups, and I will dance and get sweaty, and ride subway train homes with my boyfriend passed out on my arm. And I will be happy.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

cities regained

My life probably would not have turned out any differently had I been able to see Bjork finish her set at the Capitol Ballroom in DC when I was 16. Fourteen years after the fact though, I still curse the fact that Elaine was in trouble with her parents and had a curfew that she had to be home by. Over the course of the last year, I have been trying to make up for this, have seen Bjork perform three times on two continents. That original concert in 1998 was such an incredible experience for me for reasons that could probably never be replicated. Not only is Bjork a very different performer now with a much more austere catalog of songs, but even more of a factor are the changes that have occurred in my own self, mainly that of being dulled to the sensation of live music by having seen it so many times now. That the thrill of being sixteen and seeing one of your first concerts, driving to a sketchy part of DC when you weren't supposed to drive into the city, and seeing this musician that you were obsessed with with an intensity that seems unique to those teenage years of music listening - that despite your attempts to recreate the thrill, to finish the experience that was abbreviated a decade and a half ago, that moment is gone forever and the attempts will invariably fail.

I saw her Tuesday night at Roseland Ballroom and the show was nearly identical to both her Manchester and Queens shows that I saw. I was disappointed to see that it was the same setup of theater in the round. I had bought tickets to this show because I thought it would be a bit more raucous, more club-like, more like an experience left unfinished from 1998. The stage was set up on the middle of the floor at Roseland and unless you had the more expensive tickets that were seated right in front of the stage, you had a pretty shit view. The sightlines were terrible for the masses with standing room tickets. The only place where Jacob and I could get close to the stage was behind a huge organ that blocked off a large section of the standing area from being able to see the stage. We eventually went all the way to the back of the space by the bar to be able to try to see a bit of the stage, even if from far away and on tippy toes. I drank whiskeys on the rocks and tried to get into the experience even though the sound wasn't nearly loud enough to envelop you, wasn't loud enough to drown out all the chatter going on around me from people at the bar. The setlist was pretty similar to the past shows, though there were a few variations that did have me very excited. She played "Where is the Line With You?", as well as a really fantastic version of "Possibly Maybe" during her encore that used the big booming sounds of the on-stage Tesla coil to great effect.

After the show, Jacob and I walked down to 32nd Street and explored K-Town. We had a great boozy meal at Kunjip, a bit confused by all the items they placed on our table. It was a new feeling, the thing I had been hoping for with all this money spent on Bjork tickets, but found here in a 24 hour Korean restaurant on 32nd Street, with small plates of snacks brought out before our meal that I didn't know what to do with, that I wanted to learn about, that brought about that sense of wonder and curiousity I had been trying to recreate earlier in the evening. From there, we went to Chorus Karaoke a few doors down and few floors up. We sang some songs and drank some Hites and I had a really fun night that reaffirmed why I love New York, that despite living here for nearly a decade now, there are still so many new experiences to be had.

New York has been offering quite a few experience this week, or more accurately I have been taking New York up on more of its offers this week. These things are always on offer, but it is easy to stay in and watch something on Netflix and get high and eat burritos, which I have still been doing a fair amount of this week, but I have also been doing other things, taking this city up on some of its offers to do this or that. I saw the Cindy Sherman and Sanja Ivekovic shows that are up at MoMA right now. The exhibits are overlapping only for a short time and it's too bad because they pair together excellently, showing these two artists who both say very eloquent things very differently about the representation of women. The Ivekovic show definitely packs more of a punch. There are 10 prints on a far wall that I found myself paused in front of for a very long time, really taken with the piece, "The Right One. Pearls of Revolution".

The pieces in the Cindy Sherman show, which I really like when shown in small groupings, lose a lot of their punch by the time one makes it to the end of the exhibition. Sherman's work about identity and the artifice of it becomes quite repetitive toward the end of the show, becomes a shtick of sorts. They are all great pieces but I find it so weird that visual artists develop a visual identity, a particular theme, and rework that their whole career, their work essentially becoming a brand. I think the same thing about Pollack and Rothko. The "Untitled Film Stills" are my favorite part of the show, probably also because they are in the beginning of the exhibition, in the beginning of Sherman's career, before the dressing up and photographing one's self becomes shtick, before it become's her body of work, when there is still the possibility that she might explore other things in her career. Her clowns, in this respect, are my other favorite series in the show, that these photographs, intentionally or not, speak to the confining nature of this body of work, that like a clown who is continually expected to perform for us, to be in character, that we don't want to see them out of their clown face, Sherman too is boxed in by these expectations of the art market and audiences, that she will always be expected to put on the metaphorical red nose and wig.

And taking this city up on more of its invitations to leave the house, to get dressed in front of my long mirror, trying on different outfits before heading out, before deciding on a look, I went to the Whitney Biennial last evening after work. I didn't get to see the work on the fourth floor (where I wanted to see a piece Dennis Cooper worked on) because it was closed off for a performance, but did see the rest of the exhibition. By far, the best part of this exhibition, which I thought was supposed to focus of the best of current American art, is a room devoted to the work of Forrest Bess, a painter dead for 35 years now, which was curated by Robert Gober. The paintings are very beautiful as is their history and Bess', which is told on wall text and magazine articles. The paintings are the only work in the show that have zing, that speak for themselves. Pretty much all the other work in the show speaks in reference to earlier artists or has to have wall text speak for the work to explicate what the materials mean, how they were scavenged from the ruins of Detroit, or how they were hand-crafted to resemble actual artifacts. Bess' paintings are the only works from the parts of the exhibit that I was able to see that actual spoke loudly, that were fueled by vision.

Werner Herzog's contribution is a tribute to the work of Hercules Segers. It is very beautiful but much like the Gober homage to Bess and the Nick Mauss installation of curated works from the Whitney, it focuses on the work of other artists. It looks backwards. The show is very neat and orderly, too so. That the best parts of the show are the paintings of a man dead for 35 years and a video homage to an artist dead for nearly 400 years does not speak too well of the current state of American art, and that is a shame. The curators didn't include the great stuff that I know I have seen in galleries and on Tumblrs, the Go-Go Juice toddler and her pageant mom, or the UFO paintings I have seen for sale in subway stations. The curators's taste is very evident throughout the show - muted, neat, and appreciating works that show concerns with either process or curating. It's a taste that it very different from mine and so I found the most of the show quite boring.

Afterwards, I ate dinner at Frankie's 570, drank a lot of cheap merlot, which was delicious, stumbled out on to wet streets in the West Village, and purchased a lotto ticket. I did not win, but the good news is that the clouds of the past few days are breaking, the sun is poking through. And the even better news is that the clouds of the last long while are breaking and New York is again a place that I kind of have a crush on.