Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Monday, November 28, 2005
For how long have you stood sentinel here?
Your outstretched hands offering succor and shelter to the supplicants in the square.
What wishes lie within your bronzed breast
And where would you fly, if you could?
Or would you choose to stay
Crowned forever with your trinity:
Three solitudes, each refusing to acknowledge one another,
Like the cherubs below you
Staring blankly away from their companions.
No water runs today;
Life has ended.
But the stains remain;
A reminder, and a promise for the future.
This next thing I'm not too sure what it is...I just let my mind wander and kept writing.
The angel had water running down her face and she turned to me and said, "This is not yours," so we took flight and roared through the skies like the faint echoes of a police siren screaming as it winds its way down the paths of the park, paths I walk down with your hand in mine. We sit on the stairs and you tell me you love me and I tell you I'm nuts for nuts. Or was that me in a past life? The trees rustle and tell us to move on but we won't be bullied and we sit while others come and go around us, talking in languages that haven't been invented yet, and it's all so petty and done. The wind blows and the cradle rocks and the chattering foreigners leave us to our decay. You say you're scared and I feel numb like a leaf. We take a picture so we'll always have a memory that we'll wish we could forget but we can't because we don't really want to. I want to tell you I hate you but a pigeon gets in the way and then you get on its back and fly away from me. "Come back," I say, "I know what I did wrong," but I'm glad you don't because that's a lie. I look around and there is youth everywhere and I wonder when I got old and if this is the thanks I get or maybe I've made this bed. The girls in front of me are distracting me, so they turn into leaves and roll down the path. I hear laughter on the other side of the square, and then a wave sweeps me into the reservoir where I sink like a stone. And then it's not water after all, and I'm back on the stairs with you and we start to dance. You have sunshine for hair and moonlight for eyes and I think if I kiss you I can take your beauty inside of me and make myself real. Or is that worthy? A baby cries and I'm falling through time and across bricks while clicking heels keep time and I'm screaming but the only thing that comes out is ink, ink like a river that I dive into and ride while it runs through it and out the other side, where you're waiting for me and always have been. The leaves are changing color and the sun is on the tops of the clouds. "And I wanted the outside freedom," you say, but I won't give it to you so I give you a thimble instead. You take the thimble and throw it away, and it grows into a can that rattles away and then stops. People line the railing above us and take pictures, but they can't see us because we're too real. The baby is still crying but no-one cares, and you ask me how long I've been in love with you. "I don't know," I say, "But there's a helicopter overhead somewhere." You nod and we skip down the road above the trees and for a while I think everything's going to be fine.
Friday, November 25, 2005
"I don't know."
"You don't know?"
"Yeah, I don't know; we lost touch, I haven't spoken to him in about 2-3 years."
"Gosh...I guess all you kids became friends because you had the same dreams, and lost touch now that all your dreams are popping...popping like bubbles! Ha ha ha...popping like bubbles!"
Shit, this one I tried my hardest to remember word for word...I should have gotten up and typed it out right away. Oh well.
(opening my door somewhere between 3-5 am)
"Were you in trouble or anything?"
"I remember, I tried to call you for about 2 weeks and you never picked up, were you in trouble?"
"No." (at this point I'm remembering this time, it was because she needed these tax forms filled out and I hadn't gotten them done yet and I knew that was what she was going to call and bitch about so I just didn't pick up the phone)
"Nobody took all your money or anything?"
(she closes the door and steps out, only to return a moment later with this:)
"Are you gay?"
Commentary later. Out to lunch.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Guy #1: How long have we been coming here and how long has that waitress been working here?
Guy #2: She's been here for at least 2 years.
Guy #3: She must be the worst actress in all of New York City.
--Brother Jimmy's, 3rd Avenue
Overheard by: Fritz Chestnut
I wonder how you get to post those? Can just anyone send them in? And someone selects which one to put up? I love eavesdropping on conversations...
Edit: Anyone CAN send them in...I need to start listening more carefully and writing shit down!
I'm thinking I might make this a daily-ish ritual...like my version of Pee Wee's word of the day. I did end up writing that poem last night but I'm not quite sure if it's done or not. Well...what the hell.
Thundering through the catacombs, filled with the dead and dying.
Badoombadoom. Badoombadoom. Badoombadoom.
A bottle travels back and forth on the floor
An underground metronome for the song and dance.
"What stop you getting out at?"
shift; bodies move as one.
An escape opens
The turnstiles await; silver dance hall hostesses
2 dollars, 2 dances
Step turn turn step
Up the stairs, into the rain
Tiny universes impacting on your face
As the city rushes by below you.
Monday, November 21, 2005
Currents of grey on a scorched field
Swirling and swooping, zigging and zagging.
How many facts could they tell us?
How many layers of thought, scrubbed away and written on top of one another,
Each replacing each: marching lemmings
But tonight you are pristine
A fresh-faced ingenue ready to sing a song of
Come into the light.
I will listen.
Footsteps in the snow.
Three coats in a line.
Grey. Blue. Orange.
Hanging; cold and motionless marionettes.
A bag, straining to touch the ground,
Bursting with hidden treasures.
An umbrella lounging lengthwise:
A woman in black, waiting to be taken out for a night on the town.
The titles suck, but that's what the poems are about, so bite me. I actually have the germ of an idea for another one that hit me as I was coming home, but I haven't written anything down yet...just an idea I'm probably going to work on for the next little bit.
I know, I can hear your breathless anticipation. But sooth! How can I hear it if it's breathless? HOW ZEN.
Hm...so the stupid hello program I use isn't letting me upload more than one pic to a post, or maybe I just don't know how to do it. Anyways (and I swear I'm out the door as soon as I finish this post), I followed a link off of Banksy's site to this one...I think I have a new fun obsession to sit and click on when I'm bored. Nooch!
|The Movie Of Your Life Is A Cult Classic|
Quirky, offbeat, and even a little campy - your life appeals to a select few.
But if someone's obsessed with you, look out! Your fans are downright freaky.
Your best movie matches: Office Space, Showgirls, The Big Lebowski
Sunday, November 20, 2005
The funny thing is, they probably don't really tell you (and by you I mean any readers out there) all that much about me. I mean, if I got an answer I didn't like or didn't agree with, do you think I'd actually post it up here? Shit no!
That said, here's one I just did:
|The Keys to Your Heart|
You are attracted to those who are unbridled, untrammeled, and free.
In love, you feel the most alive when things are straight-forward, and you're told that you're loved.
You'd like to your lover to think you are loyal and faithful... that you'll never change.
You would be forced to break up with someone who was emotional, moody, and difficult to please.
Your ideal relationship is lasting. You want a relationship that looks to the future... one you can grow with.
Your risk of cheating is zero. You care about society and morality. You would never break a commitment.
You think of marriage as something precious. You'll treasure marriage and treat it as sacred.
In this moment, you think of love as something you can get or discard anytime. You're feeling self centered.
It's a little surprising that it (the movie) affects me so much, I suppose, as the main thrust of the story deals with the relationship between parents and children: in this case, daughters. Not the first time I've felt a connection to and an involvement in a story about mothers and daughters (Joy Luck Club), which I suppose could say something interesting about me. I'm going to go with I just happen to be a little extra sensitive because I'm an artist. Yeah, that sounds good.
It's also a little bit about immigration and assimilation, with a dash of star-crossed love thrown in for extra seasoning. I don't know if straight up WASP-y type people would really be able to see the point being made in terms of assimilation and the issues that go along with being a minority parent, but it's definitely there. Not that I'm knocking WASPs, Lord knows I love 'em, it just might not be something that they would see as a big deal, because they might not understand what that's like. I don't even know if I understand what that's like. I mean, I know my experience, but I know there are millions and millions of others grappling with the same issues in their own way.
I guess maybe the reason why it affects me is because I'm getting close to the age when being a parent isn't that odd of an idea. It's funny how things come in waves...like one year, everyone you went to high school with seems to be getting married...then the next year they're all having babies. I'm still at the point where the idea of marriage is bizzare, not because I have a problem with the idea, but because I can't see myself getting married when I don't know what the fuck is going to be happening in my life in the next year, or 5 years from now, or 10, and I can't see committing to something like marriage without having at least a bit of an idea. And of course, I tend to extend that to all the people I know - hence my reaction to my roommate Sara's being engaged. Well, that and the fact that the guy that she's marrying is...you know what? Let's not go there, I don't need the negative energy.
I've always been terrified of being a parent, in the scattered moments when I stop being worried about finding someone to live my life with, much less have kids with. Again, not because the concept of kids is frightening, but because it's so much responsibility. I mean, you have a life, you have a person that it is your job to raise and make an intelligent member of society out of. I was going to say productive, but that makes it sound like all you have to do is raise a fucking accountant, which strikes me as a great way to end up with the most boring society ever. And if you screw up, there's no going back. There's no manual, there's no guide, there's nothing but you and all the little hangups and issues you've built up over 20-30 years of living on the planet.
Sometimes there's a lot of attraction to the thought of being Holden Caulfield. You know, not in the whole nervous breakdown sense, but the catcher in the rye idea. You want to shield kids from all the nasty shit that's waiting out there for them, but if you do it too much, you turn them into little spoiled bastards. But then, if you just let them run loose they also become little spoiled bastards. So it's got to be somewhere in the middle.
Realizing this has played a big role in the recent (last 4-5 years) reconciliation I've been able to feel towards my mom. I still don't agree with a lot of the things she does, but when shit happens now I'm usually able to take a breath, count to 10, think what must be going through her head and shrug it off. It's not perfect, I don't pretend to be, but I can say that I do respect and love her, which is a lot more than I used to be able to say. I'm glad I've come to this place; it's a much nicer place than where I was.
Saturday, November 19, 2005
|The Cure Shares Your Taste in Music|
See their whole playlist here (iTunes required)
Man, I would have been goddamn DEVASTATED if it turned out to be like...Britney or some other useless twiddle.
The motif for the tour he's doing right now is...um...well, I forget the specific name he had but it's Star Trek:TNG themed. So, picture one dude in an S&M mask and a Trekker uniform surrounded by 8 robots screaming out metal songs like "Wesley Crusher Fuck You" and such. It's actually quite funny, and the robots kinda have to be seen to be believed. He's got two in the back that have a set routine (in this case, it's Geordi and Worf) and then two robots in the front that do some more impromptu stuff (telling him to fuck off and die and such). I can honestly say I've never seen anything quite like it. In a good way, of course.
Hm...what else. Watched Casablanca today for the first time; it's quite good. Ingrid Bergman was quite the looker, though my favorite actress from that era remains Grace Kelly. There's actually a surprising number of storylines and themes running through the movie, the main one being the love between Bogart and Bergman. But it's interesting how that love is interwoven with the war, and also interesting to consider the fact that the movie was released in '42, when the US had just entered, meaning that it had probably been shot prior to Pearl Harbor.
I always wonder if authors/filmmakers deliberately aim for symbolism and allegory in their stories; I suppose it varies according to the individual and the project. Lord of the Rings, for example, can be viewed from many different perspectives, but I know Tolkien never felt it represented anything more than the history of Middle-Earth, and he hated allegory. It's very difficult to avoid seeing the parallels in Casablanca with the real situation though; Bogart, the American, is determined to avoid becoming entangled in the war raging across Europe and Africa, but in the end he becomes an active participant. It's a very fine line to tread without getting pedantic and tedious, but when it's done properly it adds a whole new element to fiction.
I keep getting distracted by the Hairspray soundtrack, which I was never able to play on my computer before so I haven't listened to it in like 2-3 years. Oddly enough, it worked today, so now it's playing. I remember seeing it when it first opened and being completely captivated by Harvey Fierstein's performance, which is just as good on the soundtrack. Groovy!
Friday, November 18, 2005
Banksy's (http://www.banksy.co.uk) balloon girl graffiti
Banksy is a graffiti artist who lives in Britain...London, to be precise, I believe. The work of his I've seen is absolutely brilliant. His website has a pile of pictures of his work, though possibly the most interesting thing is his manifesto.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
The ad itself is a quick montage of various shows in the various categories, and as such my appearance is quite brief. But still.
Times fucking Square!
Jimbo started asking me about this, so it's probably only a matter of time until he tracks it down. In the event that he's reading this right now...Jimbo rocks! Yeah!
What else have I been up to...spent a few hours at MoMA the other day. Very cool, some fascinating pieces up there. Oddly enough, my favorite exhibit was actually not a conventional painting or sculpture - it was a single, square room with a couple benches in the middle and a large number (40 or so?) of speakers set up in a circle, facing inwards, with each speaker projecting a part (perhaps 1 speaker for each singer) of a choir singing some chorale. I spent a few minutes sitting on the bench just listening and letting the sound wash over me.
Also went and saw my first draq queen performance...I had no idea that almost all of them lip synched! I guess it makes sense, I'd just never really thought about it before. That said, one performer didn't and she (I believe they're referred to as shes when in drag) was fan-fucking-tastic. Her name's Grenadine Ross, and if you're into drag queens and you see her on a bill, I can wholeheartedly recommend her. It's a bit nepotistic, as she is a friend of a friend, but she really is quite a performer. The only odd thing about the night was that it was at this bar, OW Bar, and they insisted on referring to it as "Oh Double-U" Bar. I mean, come on. It's fucking "ow" bar. That's just like calling N.E.R.D. "Enn Eee Arr Dee" all the damn time...it's "nerd", get over it or name it something else. Retards.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
From that perspective, obviously it's pretty sad. But I don't tend to find it all that depressing, nor is that the way I look at it. I mean, yes, he does lose contact with those two individuals (I think...it's implied). But I think the message that Kevin Smith was really aiming for is that the genuine relationships you have in your life, whether romantic or friendly, are the ones that have the capacity to change you for the better, even - and perhaps especially - if you end up losing contact with those people, because your journeys take you in different directions. Or, in this case, because you ask them to have a ménage â trois with you. Holden loses Bankie and Alyssa, but he is able to grow through the experiences he has with them, and is ultimately better off not only for knowing them, but also because of the pain he is forced to go through, pain he brings on himself.
It's funny how knowing people and being in situations changes you and you never realize it. Usually it takes someone else's perspective to notice those changes. I think back on the person I was 4 years ago, and then 4 years before that and it makes me feel mildly ashamed. A lot of that I chalk up to retarded youth and generally having even less of a clue than I do now. It's funny, actually, I'd say the only advances that I've made in that area are somewhat Socratic: it's not that I have more knowledge, it's quite the opposite...I'm aware of the fact that I don't know anything.
My dad is always asking me what my plan is, where I'm going, the sort of things most parents wonder about their kids. I always want to say I have no idea. Where's Morty's going? Beats me. How long am I going to be able to stay in New York? Dunno. What am I going to do for money? I'll figure that out when I run out.
On a completely unrelated note, I've been listening to a lot of NIN (Pretty Hate Machine/Downward Spiral) and Nirvana lately...it's been a total junior high musical revival. That shit rawks.
Saturday, November 12, 2005
One of the things mentioned in one of the books I flicked through today was that in order to truly love other people, you must love yourself. I also kinda cobbled this thought together with one from a book on Bruce Lee, in which he mentioned that there were 4 types of ethical systems, one of which was based around the opinions of others.
I think a lot of the time, the reason why I'm so nice to people is because I want them to like me. I want them to think I'm a good person; I want them to validate me and my existence.
In order to break out of this cycle and begin to love yourself, you have to acknowledge what it is that you fear. So that got me thinking...what is my biggest fear?
The first one that jumped out at me was being alone. But then I also thought of my general fear of inadequacy: never being smart enough, attractive enough, interesting enough, whatever. So there I sat, mulling over which one was the big one.
Eventually, the realization I came to was that my fear of inadequacy is what leads to my fear of being alone. Why am I afraid of being alone? Why is it that I fall (or, actually, convince myself that I've fallen) so hard for people I meet who show even the least bit of interest in me? Because I'm afraid that I'm not really good enough to attract someone, something that my experience has, with a few exceptions, validated.
So now that I know that's what I'm afraid of...what do I do?
Deep seated fears like that can't be changed overnight. I'm not even sure they can be changed at all. It is a process, and a journey. I think they can be overcome. So, every day, I will try to do so. I will not let myself believe that I am not enough. But I'm also not expecting it to change overnight. There are no ends; only means. If you focus on a goal, inevitably you will be disappointed because either you fail to reach the goal or you reach it only to find yourself still unsatisfied, so you create another goal for yourself, and so on. You end up spending your whole life pursuing a goal, and you're never good enough because there's always another goal to reach for.
What you can do is turn your focus inwards. Monitor yourself. And there, in the silences of your soul, something may start to grow; something that, if you nurture it well, will be your journey, your answer and the question all rolled up into one beautiful little package. The answers are all inside of you; what's really important is which question you choose to ask, or if you even choose to ask at all.
It sounds so New Age-y and hokey, I suppose. But it's the only thing I've got right now.
I have walked alone
to find your face
to feel your eyes
I am found
The mutterings around me
Mouthings that pass by
Rolling overhead;dragging me under.
But I surface
Where are you hiding?
In the forests of my memory
Weaving in and out of the trees
Always ahead, never behind and never beside.
I hear your smile in the breezes
Sighing to the river
The forest ends.
You are lost.
I am found.
I don't flatter myself by thinking it's good; actually, it's probably quite crap. But it's mine, so there it is.
Friday, November 11, 2005
So we're at the Roca Wear offices today picking out clothes and Trevor pointed this interesting little detail out. See, one of the racks in one of the rooms they took us into was clothes intended for spring - two years from now. So a lot of the clothes on the rack weren't finished, and to simulate the details they actually had stickers on the clothes, just like you can see in the pic. Cool, huh?
Man, I hope I can't get sued for this.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Finished the Cary Grant bio, it was good. Would love to get some more about other icons from that era, but not really sure where to start or which ones are good. Ideally I'd love Jimmy Stewart, Grace Kelly or Marilyn, because they're my other favorites from that era...I don't know if there's any out on the first two and there's too damn much written about Marilyn, so not quite sure what I'm going to do there.
The new nerdy obsession is Admiral Horatio Nelson, of the Battle of Trafalgar fame. Who would be interested in something odd like that, you ask? Me, goddammit. DON'T JUDGE ME.
It's funny, the reason why I picked this one was because every time I walked through the biography section at the Barnes and Noble at Lincoln Center, this book would be sitting with its cover facing out and it would catch my eye every time - the cover is a close-up on the face of a portrait of Nelson. So kudos to whoever put that on the cover. You bastard.
Oh, I know something else I can talk about: my most recent iTunes purchase. Jason Robert Brown is, in my opinion, the best young songwriter on Broadway. That cd is actually a collection of songs he wrote and performed himself. He isn't the strongest singer, but he's acceptable...and it's really more about the lyric anyways, as most musical theater since the 70s tends to be. The three best songs on there, in my opinion, of course (and seeing as how this is my blog, that's the only one that matters), are "Someone to Fall Back On", "Nothing in Common" and "I Could Be In Love With Someone Like You", though I'm starting to hate that last one now for having such a long goddamn name. "Someone to Fall Back On" and the third one (I refuse to even copy-paste that travesty of a title) are about relationships, and "Nothing in Common" is actually about his brother. Here's a bit of the lyric to "Someone to Fall Back On":
...and I'll be that
I'll take your side
if I'm the only one i'm used to that
I've been alone i'd rather be
the half of us
the least of you
the best of me
and I'll be your prince
I'll be your saint
I will go crashing through fences in your name
I will, I swear I'll be someone to fall back on
I'll be the one who waits
and for as long as you let me I will be the one you need
I'll be someone to fall back on, your prince, your saint
the one you believe you need I'll be
Thinking about why I like the song so much, I actually have kind of a love-hate relationship with it. I mean, what he expresses in it is/was the way I looked at relationships, and what I wanted to be in a relationship. But I'm also tired of having that being taken advantage of, or taken for granted. Not to mention it frequently lands you nothing but a big trip to the friend zone, which just sucks. I don't want to be the one who waits anymore, the one who's always there for you. I have my shit that I want to take care of, and maybe for once I want to be pursued a bit, to feel like the other person is as interested in getting to know me as I am in getting to know her. That's what frustrates me about Stef a bit, actually - she says she likes hanging out with me and wants to get to know me better, and then she barely fucking calls. And yes, she's busy with class and job and, you know, her relationship (heh), but still. Friendships and relationships are both two way streets, and I'm tired of always being the one to compromise.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
No, that's not the oops.
The oops is that when she TOLD me (and showed me the ring) I thought it was like...some kind of a joke? Like she'd gotten the ring in a box of Cracker Jack and was being cute or something. So I think in response to her telling me that she was engaged, I kinda chuckled. Or maybe I smirked. God, I don't remember what I did (and I'm certainly not going to ASK her), but I'm pretty sure it was to the typical engagement congratulatory display what Danielle Steel is to J. R. R. Tolkien.
Now I'm stuck in a bit of a quandary...do I apologize? Or is it too late? I think it's a bit too late now. Maybe my reaction wasn't that bad, maybe it was acceptable. I mean, she didn't look PISSED...but then maybe she was just hiding it. Beats me.
Sunday, November 06, 2005
Generally, I guess it's part of a larger non-fiction awakening I had. More recently, this led me to the Founding Fathers of America, with one excellent book by Joseph Ellis and a biography of Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow which was fantastic, and then one he wrote on John D. Rockefeller. I think he's got one more I'll be picking up eventually, on J. P. Morgan.
Anyways, I'm currently working my way through one on Cary Grant, born Archibald Leach...good change there. And it turns out that, among other things, Grant was apparently gay. Isn't it odd how you never really think that famous people from the past might have been gay, and then you find out they are and it's like...huh...didn't see that one coming.
By far the most interesting aspect of his story has been the calculation behind the creation of the Cary Grant persona. He actually named his dog Archibald Leach; is it just me or is that a bit crazy? But the amount of work that went into the creation of Cary Grant the star: the number of years it took him working in the studio system before he was able to break out, the precise rehearsing of his roles and the control he demanded over his characters in order to ensure that he would be viewed the way he wanted to be are fascinating and illuminating. Man, I dream of having the luxury of turning down parts because they won't showcase me in the way I want. Right now I'd do just about anything for that kind of break. I say just about because the universe has a funny sense of humor, which typically involves giving you what you wish for but in a really fucked up way that you weren't really expecting because you weren't specific enough about what you wanted.
Speaking of which, Jimbo told me that when ImaginAsian opens here in New York, they'll be running ads in Times Square, possibly with the faces of those of us in Uncle Morty's up there. That simultaneously excites and terrifies me. I have this image of me camped out in Times Square on a blanket watching for the ads and scurrying away the second they actually come on, then coming back once they're over to watch for the next appearance.
Friday, November 04, 2005
Irony, thy name is the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
So anyways, I spent a fun day walking around the Met. They have an awesome exhibit of Van Gogh's drawings up right now. This was actually the second time I've been, I went a year or two ago when they had an exhibit of Da Vinci's drawings. That time I just went in for the exhibit and left though, this time I spent a few hours walking around and saw a ton of art...a surprising number of Rodin sculptures, the Asian art area, the European painting section (Renoir, Degas, Manet, Monet, a couple by Van Gogh and Seurat) and the modern art section, which was mostly kinda crappy aside from the one Pollack, a couple Warhols and some of O'Keefe's work. On the whole, quite enjoyable.
Things have cooled off with Stef. I've been reading (and re-reading) Letters to a Young Poet, by Ranier Maria Rilke. Um, I just realized those two things don't really have anything to do with each other. Let me refocus here.
So Stef is kinda confused (there's a shocker) and I'm backing off there. Well, she's not really confused so much as she is...still in a relationship. Yeah, it's weird, don't ask. We'll hang out, I still like spending time with her and it's cool but I'm not going to push her. Yeah, it sucks, but whatever. The reason why I bring up Rilke is because there's a passage in it where he mentiones that life is about living the questions, not looking for answers. And in a lot of ways, that was something I'd come to myself in the last year or so, about life: the point isn't to find the answers, the point is the question itself. Rilke believes that in living the questions, you will eventually find one day that you've found the answer, that it was inside you all along. Trust in life, because when you are ready for experiences, they will come your way.
At the same time, that line of thinking can be dangerous because it can lead to complacency, to a sense that if you just sit back, things will happen for you. I don't think that's what Rilke meant to say. But there has to be some kind of trade-off between active and passive, between contemplation and action. Fate, or fortune, or god or whatever will bring you to a point, and will give you all the tools you need to succeed. All you have to do is take the step.
Yeah, I don't always believe that. I have good days and bad days. But I'm hoping the former will outnumber the latter in the days to come.