Got a light?
Monday April 16th 2018, 7:37 pm
Filed under: birthday,narrative,reminiscence Tags:


A windy day, restoring some of the lost sense of possibility that the move has created. A Hal Hartley film and a nice Spanish red, some quiet time alone with an aesthetic that has aged along with me. Birthday greetings from the woman who tried to make me appreciate films. Thank you. I’m sorry NY last time didn’t work.


The books mostly unpacked and on shelves, a few boxes of stuff there wasn’t space for, a box of books to pitch – too awful to donate, even, and the magic neighborhood curbside disappearance program is 12 miles  east of here. We hiked the mustard flowers, but it confused himself. Which should have been obvious

Back to my red.

This Great Big Hill
Sunday April 09th 2017, 9:31 pm
Filed under: birthday,can't make that shit up,nextish,Work Tags:

(Nearly) [42] years of my life and still / trying to get up this great big hill / of hope / for a destination.

Or something. I’m suddenly in the absurd situation of having 8 months to spend a grant that can only be spent as research money. Which is lovely, but I had wanted to _not_ do research this summer, and instead get some fucking writing done. Instead now scoping trips to improbable locations in September. My life is weird.

Which I suppose was the point.

Not that I give that many fucks any more. The glory of the forties, really. The fucks not given.

The Round Number
Tuesday April 14th 2015, 11:20 pm
Filed under: birthday Tags:

2300. Couldn’t have planned it. When I sleep, and wake, and press play on Pat Metheny’s Map of the World, the play count will click over to 57.5 times tomorrow’s new decade. From a dinner at Perbacco and a visit to Bulgarian Bar, to a walk in the park with my son and some top-notch sushi. I don’t really recall the decade before, though I can place it amidst flats rented and classes taken, people dated and friends gained and lost. This last stretch, though. Fucking ‘ell of a 10 years. Thoughtful, as it’s an occasion to be thoughtful. But the scotch bites and numbs, a coyote howls in the distance, and my family sleep in beds and crates and cribs. “Spend it wisely,” she wrote, an unexpectedly insightful bit of wisdom from a friend. I think I have. Writing in the morning, an afternoon wtih himself, a walk, some piano, some narrative, and the quiet of the night and my own thoughts. Not so very different from so very long ago. And yet. Anyway, I’m thinking Guisado’s for lunch. Because I can.


And so the last weekend of a decade passes thusly. Errands, work, walk, drinks. Eat, narrative, more narrative. Walk, errands, play, narrative, eat, drink. Bustling, walk, music, drinks, eat, narrative, drink.

Much reflecting of late, as the decade ticks around again, but he looks up at me. Not much by way of conclusion, nor thoughts that add up to anything in particular. I’ll take it, I guess.

birthdays, thoughts
Wednesday April 16th 2008, 12:06 am
Filed under: Berkeley,birthday,memory,reminiscence,self-indulgent Tags:

Well, the impossible busyness of the last month or so coinciding, not un-coincidentally, with the resurrection of TPT a mere month ago, well, it’s coming to an end. The talk is basically done, although it needs a final paragraph and a good spit polish, for good measure. Which is now two talks in a row (in case the audience at home wanted to keep score) that I’ve finished in advance. Which, in turn, leads to a certain crisis of self: who is this me that works to the bitter fucking end of the deadline, and not a moment before, who seems to keep finishing with a day or two to spare? Need I radically reconfigure my sense of self-perspective and work habits? Or is it, ultimately, trivial? Crises I’ve merely misjudged by a day or two, thankfully on the right side, rather than not. Can’t quite tell.

Not to mention, of course, the double whammy of today’s birthday, and the upcoming trip to the Alma Mattress in honor of, well, a teacher, I guess. She did teach me, was my teacher, and while I resent, to some extent, the radical appropriation of my successes, the De Certeau-ian poaching of my processes, there’s also a part of me that acknowledges her as an early influence. Not one I chose after a certain point, admittedly, once I was in a position to make a decision, either intellectual or emotional. But, office-supplied and wide-eyed, she was good to me, a long, long decade-plus ago. And thus I struggle to resent too much the co-option I and my work face this weekend. The flip side, of course, is Fuck! Berkeley! Fuck! (Amusing side note – everybody who knows I’m heading up there has offered me a place to stay, all too indicative of a life time of habitual poverty. In declaiming to a friend that I was momentarily out of poverty, and instead on someone else’s nickel for this trip, and off to stay at a slick hotel, said friend remarked, “I feel certain that you have never actually stayed in that hotel, and that you will find that the transition is a lot easier to handle than you anticipate!” Bless.)

Blah. Not a wholly convincing entry. The rhythm, it just ain’t back yet, and I apologize for that. Trying to remember old birthdays, to count back through the years, I found myself at an utter loss for the last I celebrated in London, in 2004. Thankfully, the shiny new and resurrected TPT archives provided the answer: alone, London, broke, crap job, work despair, and a dinner party. Details emerge, if not for the birthday itself, but close enough for, at least, context. But what struck me most was how utterly freely I wrote this, then, sitting in Hammersmith, monitoring tele-sales phone calls, and writing any and all shite and posting it to TPT. A hyper self-examination that was, at the same time, unconscious, unexamined. If you see what I mean and I think you do. Perhaps better, unexamined whilst writing, unconsidered whilst typing. And that seems to elude me, to some extent. It has only been a month. Maybe I can get there from here.

Tuesday April 15th 2008, 8:42 am
Filed under: birthday,Rubbish Tags:

I guess I’m not the messiah, after all. I was holding out the slimmest of hopes, but Easter has come and gone, I’m at the palindrome age, and nothing from God. Not a whisper, not a bad Jewish joke, not a burning bush, nothing. Oh well. Back to work…..

update:My new birthday theme song:, with the nigh-on perfect line, “And I hate Dirty Dancing with a passion / And apparently you don’t like words on the screen.”

the hours roll on
Sunday December 02nd 2007, 1:39 am
Filed under: birthday,talks,whingeing,Work Tags:

If I’m not careful, my ass is gonna attach itself to my office chair. Whoever indicated the life of the junior faculty member was anything other than indentured servitude, well, they were full of shit. “Can’t complain” my ass. Here last night until 8, a full 8-hour day today, and still I’m panicked about getting shit out the door in time for the talk on Wednesday, so shall be in again tomorrow, in between celebrating the 96th birthday of my 4’8″ Jewish step-grandmother from the Lower East Side. Sigh. Although it just occurs to me these recommendation letters could go in late. In fact, fuck ’em. Sorry John of the keen and restless intellect and the methodical deliberation and analysis – it’s gonna have to wait. Although no one will be looking at these files until the New Year, so it’s not as if I’m single handedly going to ruin your future. And if I do, you’ll never know. AnywayS, I gotta tend to my own future. 30 fricking colleagues showing up for what was supposed to be a roundtable discussion populated by 7-10 techies and geeks. My plan is to geek out so much that the colleagues don’t know what I’m saying, but throw down enough period-specific detail that the geeks can’t fault me for it being mostly tech show-and-tell-and-I-wish-things-would-improve. But “show and tell” means “slides” means “screen shots” means “fiddly ass shit you can’t fake” means time, which, of course, is on the short side. fuckfuckfuckfuckfuck. Shrug. Brother-in-law’s birthday party, and Herself is visiting friends up north, so I’m off to drink and drive solo….