Thursday, May 19, 2011


The play that Ian and I are writing—have been writing, will always be writing, it seems—is nearing a stage where I actually enjoy it. I am proud of it. I spent a thrilled evening yesterday reading through, imagining it, making subtle tweaks that were all that was necessary to make it resemble the thing I think it should be. It does! It is gawd awfully long, but still really fun and engaging. Great satisfaction.

Also great is the feeling of writing it these days, knowing what is wrong, chewing on it for a while and coming up with something that feels right. And the empowerment of this feeling. I realize that not all days in hot creative pursuit will yield feelings like this, and that this heady plateau was reached only by much discouraging toil, and that getting here on this particular occasion has required spending approximately 72 of the last 96 hours writing. I don't care. I'll take it.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

cutting loose

I shaved off my beard just now. This was the longest stretch I've kept one--half a year. It had grown in more evenly than I thought was possible and filled in patches that lesser beards lay naked. I think I could have kept it forever. I'm sure I'll grow it again. Starting now. This is the pleasure of facial hair, that it grows back, like the tail or head of the (apocryphal?) worm, undeterred by age or available resources. It almost feels like I must cut if off from time to time, if only to validate its regeneration, if not also to test my responses to loss and repair on a micro-scale.

Though I've found it to be a little unruly in the last couple of days and thought it might make me look haggard at moments, too, I really shaved it off for this more self-symbolic reason, to signify a new beginning. I've done this before, and it doesn't always take, but sometimes I need the symbolic action to give me forward momentum and a new start. Here's hoping.

Friday, April 16, 2010

thank you, art

Today was the fourth consecutive day I spent alone in the office. This week at work reminded me of sticking around school for an extracurricular commitment after the end of the school year--everyone else is now on to other things, but here I am, unable to move on. At the end of the workday, I went to the MoMA. God damn, there is some HEAVY DUTY ART there right now. I had forgotten about the William Kentridge exhibit--amazing, inspiring, enviable art making. He is so impressive because he is so prolific with work that is both rich with content and formally rigorous. There was also a collection of Picasso's drawings that I hadn't known about and had planned to just scan, but which were SO AMAZING too. That dude seriously knew how to move his hand. Some of his curvier drawings of mythological figures having sex just blew me away. Then there was the Marina Abramovich show, the big sexy show they have now because there's nudity in it--and it was very good, solid work, too. AND there is also the Henri Cartier Bresson retrospective, too--what!--which was also amazing. I found myself walking into each gallery feeling like there was so much amazing art there that I really just couldn't process any of it, so why bother? So I walked around with a big grin on my face because that is a real embarrassment of riches, and i felt grateful for being so spoiled today.

The crowds were thick, and I left ten minutes early to try to spare myself some of the chaos of the mass eviction I knew was coming. I had a sandwich down the street and rode the train home listening again and again to the Shins' 'Gone for Good,' trying to suss out the harmonies in it but constantly failing to hear them or to untangle them from the lead vocals. Came home and tried singing them out to the song--still hard. Played around with the banjo, trying to find the chords for that song. Flummoxed at the minor chords accompanying the chorus. Fingers are tender from not having pressed down on steel string for a while. Feels good.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

i am lonely

This morning I waffled for three hours about attending a really fun-sounding day trip with a group of people I don't really know but who seem really cool and hip and best friends with each other. Ultimately didn't go; too nerve-wracking to be that much of an outsider, I guess, seeing as I often feel like an outsider among people I do know. Had a nice bike ride on my own, though haven't spoken more than 30 words to another person today otherwise. This is a lonely life I'm leading. I have vague plans to make my way out of it, but maybe I'm actually just waiting on myself to decide to make real plans. Do I really have to hit rock bottom here, or is the view of rock bottom from where I'm at enough?

I just found out that someone else I sort of know, and who I think would have been nice to me, also went on the trip. Damn. Now I regret not going. I should go to these things, really, even if I don't know people. Because then I will know people, and the world will be smaller, and I will be less lonely, even if the hazard is sometimes going to these things and feeling more lonely for the moment. Muscles must endure micro-tears so that they may reset and grow. Acute emotional trauma might actually be the path to social satisfaction.

For what remains of this month of April, I am going to go to everything to which someone invites me. Let's see how this goes. Bear witness, unknown four readers of my blog!

Friday, March 5, 2010

got talent

Last dream of the night: a talent show/American Idol-like live program where the main attraction of the dream was a four-girl group singing an original song called 'Cenotaph.' Catchy song. They got immunity. Follow-up was a dude covering "Jesse's Girl."

Friday, January 22, 2010

moments of truth

Conan O'Brien closed out his Tonight Show run tonight with an appeal to fight cynicism. Well, actually, he closed it out with a performance of 'Freebird,' but before that, the cynicism bit. If you work really hard, and you're kind, Conan said, amazing things will happen. I believe it. Why disbelieve it?

I love momentous moments on TV like this--outpourings of heartfelt sentiment from personalities whose job it is not to be sentimental. After a childhood spent more with the tube than with any human, it's nice when TV tells you it loves you back.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

the street where you live

I had a dream last night in which I passed, on foot, a sign reading "Now Entering West Stranglehold." It was not a nightmare, but damn if my dreams aren't all stress these days. I'm really running my night guard through its paces.