Wednesday July 23rd 2014, 11:38 pm
Filed under: Boozy,change Tags:

The rhythms, they tend to be all consuming. Not that I can stick to them for that long – I can get lost in 24 bars of 3 chords in So What rather quickly. But in an empty house, the buckling down to an article, a talk, and a highly public presentation – no problem. Back from that weird-ass rock of sunlight and ice and green and elves and trolls and a frightening per capita percentage of academics for a handful of days, and seeking out new rhythms before night falls or day breaks or whatever the fuck preposterous metaphor applies to the major changes ahead. First, though, some hyper organic paint, without VOCs (volatile organic compounds, for those of you playing along at home) that offgas for years. We survived cigarettes and scotch drinkers and lead paint, but the next gen won’t be able to survive a fricking splinter. But it’s so hard to resist. Saw Boyhood yesterday, as an unapologetic sucker for Linklater’s romantic shtick. Six months ago, it would’ve been about me. Now, it was 20% me and 80% himself. Which made it harder, not easier, to watch, but a remarkable act of filmmaking, regardless. An old friend. this evening, for just enough drinks to break through the catch up and onto the now and the next, but, alas, not enough time to go very far into it all.

I’m on 80% holiday. All my major work deadlines met, new projects and the New Project still a bit down the road, and time for 10 days before summer teaching is upon me. The idea I might think better if I take a step back from the work and read for the big picture for a bit. Or not. 10 days of drinking myself senseless might also help. Not fussed.

Thursday July 10th 2014, 10:18 pm
Filed under: Berkeley,damn,family,HelLA,something new Tags:

How crazy is it that just fucking anybody is allowed to do this? That there’s no age limit, beyond 14 or so, no you must be this tall to ride this ride, no sobriety check, no banned substances check, no interviews of your friends or neighbors or your high school English teacher. No moment for everyone to say “he was quiet, kept to himself, mostly” before you go on the biological rampage that changes everyone’s fucking opinion of you.

My ?second cousin and her girlfriend in town, choosing to visit. A Bay Area duo if there ever was one, though natives, which is fairly unusual, particularly these days. If the Bay is artificially authentic, and HelLA authentically artifical, they’re just a drag king and a nice nurse (cue nominative determinism of the most remarkable variety, however), living their thoughtful, political, community believing lives. And they’re both awesome with the smalls – my two over-one, down-ones were beside themselves wiht trust and love and enthusiasm after maybe 30 minutes. The under 6 crowd can be surprisingly tough, but they were all in.

And articulating to them, in a brief interlude, the bigger, more awkward questions. On how to do this different. On how to do this so it matters (and not, a la Ms Plath, so it feels real, so it feels like hell. I worshipped that line at 16. How to do it so he doesn’t?) How to believe in interacting with others, as well as consuming narrative? Or does it not matter so much. We all turned out interesting enough, and I can’t think that any of the people in the world who mean the most to me had a particularly straightforward time of it.

So, perhaps, like cereal, there’s not so much you can do to fuck it up, or make it better.

Wednesday July 09th 2014, 9:47 pm
Filed under: can't make that shit up,damn,nextish,nostalgia,something new,summer Tags:

Shit’s getting real in the Whole Foods parking lot. Or, really, in our parking lot. The first paraphernalia is in the house. Or, rather, under the house. And in the garage. In pieces. Ragazzi! Posh, Italian, beautiful hard wood, and apparently banned by the federal government. Living on the wild side, really, or the drop side. My reverie shattered by the car not starting after leaving the lights on for five minutes while I unloaded the pieces into the garage and the basement. A “for fuck’s sake” and “you’ve gotta be kidding me” thankfully the only cursing, as I managed to roll start in reverse on the first attempt. Let’s hear it for manual transmissions, folks. But the infinite shift in stuff has begun – the soft and the pretty and the tender the more likely show in town. Of the donors, one ready to be rid of it and its rude occupying of space, the other rather more nostalgic for a lot of years of life lived across two smalls, but very much past. And so it goes, not quite generations, but hand me alongs. Ragazzi! (Which, a little googling suggests ain’t as posh as it used to be. The donors suggested it was a little company that has gone out of business. Possibly, but if so, the name is now on sale at a major mark down good old fashioned retail outlet.)

new old wave
Saturday July 05th 2014, 10:05 pm
Filed under: Boozy,can't make that shit up,exit pursued by a bear,summer Tags:

Yet another french coming-of-age film, young love and cinematically convenient and rather photogenic politics of the left. The title different – goodbye, first love, rather than the love of youth. A strange choice, really, as though loss is central, goodbye certainly isn’t. Less fauxlitical left than last night’s fireworks-and-poodles-don’t-mix showing, a foreign film to celebrate #merica, but both delectable after their fashion, both finding words and frames and soundtracks to things I only ever circled around. Nostalgia for a time without nostalgia, I would say, if it weren’t for memories of young love nostalgic for when I wasn’t in young love, or young despair unironically broken, recalling a time when I was more straightforwardly broken. Fuck those larks, Pip. Even if they’re SOuthwark mudlarks (Lambeth?), in rags and in the mud.

The work, it gets written, though slowly. 5 open deadlines and one i’m neglecting, 4 of which I hope to get done and I can’t recall the 5th. Oh, yeah. Proofs to check. I got that one.

A few nights in, and the memory that I’m good alone begins to stretch and reoccupy the space. THough I’m not wholly alone, and if you could smell the dog-fart wafting on the wind of fans not really cooling the house, you’d exit pretty damn fast, pursued by a gaseous bear. But the work gets done and the living gets done and the rhythms aren’t so very different. So where’s the space? Music a little louder, a little more continuous, a little more varied in catering to where I am rather than where it’s polite/broadly acceptable to be. Narrative a little more french, and new, and new wave. But that’ll be old by next Wednesday, so that’s not it. So? Space to be “myself”, only to discover I already am, most of the time? Or just time to rattle through the echoes of my head a little more concertedly, a little deeper, with more space in which to keep shaking the tree/digging the dirt/channeling Peter Gabriel’s therapist?

I continue to be fascinated by people and their art, teenagers and forty somethings, photographs or music or poetry, playing/writing/shooting because they have to/want to, or simply do. Like the Russian blonde pouring red wine on my new white tshirt, totally uncaring about my response (or, rather, doing it precisely because it irked me and she didn’t abide with such pedanteria), or, in the same victorian flat (before? after?), her (in the years since lover?) friend peeling off her clothes to change. “Selfconsciously unselfconscious” I said at the time, but she hasn’t changed in 20 years. I might go out on a limb and admit that what looks performative is authentic, and my inclination to perceive performance is me, not them. Which makes creation all the odder.

Thursday July 03rd 2014, 10:04 pm
Filed under: can't make that shit up Tags:

Jesus. Who seems to be part of the problem. A man, not really a friend, but a few occasions for drinks here and there over the year of our acquaintance. Who urgently wanted to go out on Tuesday, only to flake by the end of the evening. So instead drinks tonight, a cute but seriously overpriced place downtown ($8 for a half pint, no matter how fancy the glass, is unacceptable.). Where his tale of misguided romance involved falling for a friend. A straight friend. Who may or may not be a member of his love-the-sinner hate-the-sin, gay “inclinations” are OK, but the gay “lifestyle” is not. Hard to scare quote myself out of the ick. So instead I’m swapping Bible quotations with a man who believes, trying to let him argue himself into not being bullied by his own beliefs. Or something. I rambled. I hit that weird wall that’s come from teaching, where I stand back and find ways to not point out how idiotic your beliefs are, to not call you an idiot, to not come out and say you’re wrong. Not entirely – I did get rough in places, but it’s such a strange shift in myself – not that I’m any less convinced how wrong you are, but I’m less fussed by your right to be wrong as long as it doesn’t affect me. Be glad you’re not a sexually and religiously complicated pianist.

no easier
Wednesday July 02nd 2014, 10:10 pm
Filed under: money,myjobfuckingrocks,myjobfuckingsometimesdoesntrock Tags:

not that it’s so very hard, really, but a request, made long ago at someone’s suggestion, didn’t pan out. A dangerous precedent, apparently, which is bullshit speak for “we can’t reward those who make up for the mismanagement of others.” But ain’t no thang – I stopped counting on this long ago, and stopped counting it not long after that.

A shiny new gadget with which to type on my slightly less shiny, slightly less new gadget. It will take some getting used to, but it’s a fuck of a lot faster than the poke-n-pray of a touchscreen. Not totally convinced I want to write a book on it, but then I probably shouldn’t write a book sprawled on my couch, listening to Nick Drake, a bottle of wine deep in the evening.

Night two of ?eleven or so, meetings in the morning where I work, meetings in the afternoon where I’ll be working, pups before, in between, and after. No writing done, of course, as that would be too useful. But tomorrow, writing, piano, maybe an early feature on analog synthesis, and drinks with my piano teacher. As you do. As you were.

Tuesday July 01st 2014, 6:52 pm
Filed under: summer Tags:

Damn, I’m rusty at the alone. Solo for almost 2 weeks, while YAS tours the land of the -phile, friends and sprogs and a wedding at the minster. As you do. Expect more frequent navel-gazingly indulgent yammering while I also get some shit done. First, I have steak to grill.