Food hall, street food
Monday September 11th 2017, 1:11 pm
Filed under: libraries,myjobfuckingrocks,something new Tags:

“Copenhagen Street Food,” it said on the map. Clearly a ridiculous place, I thought, and well worth avoiding. But the guide on the first-ever-tourist-boat-I’ve-ever-fucking-taken-don’t-judge-me-you-try-traveling-with-a-two-year-old suggested it had a good vibe, and the bodies were packed (on the admittedly unusual sunny day we managed for said boat). Cue happiness, in the form of duck-and-fries and a fine dark ale. Go there. Eat well. Be warm and festive.

The “treasures” exhibit was empty. I hadn’t really thought through it – Marina Abramović’s “Treasures” at the Royal Library. I’ve worked my manuscript mojo there, and done the doing that needed doing to make this trip the done thing. After handing my watch and my phone (“Marina wants you to be outside of time”), and taking the key, and then using the second key for a cubby hole for my boots (“Marina wants you to be comfortable”), I went in…..and it was empty. Me, headphones, voices in my ears, and the treasures of the Danish Royal Library. Saxo Grammatico, the Inca conquest book, Maimonides and Gregory of Tours, Soren K. and Ghandi, Tycho Brahe and Linnaeus, Mozart and Audubon, some sagas and some other shit. Apparently a timer rings after 80 minutes, but I was keenly aware that I had to get back to YCT and small. As luxurious as it was to just listen. But it made it clear how much of a premium time is. All those thoughts, all those journals, all those years traveling and hunting authentic local spots for a beer, and a book, and a corner to write in my black journals – an abundance, a hyper-abundance, an embarrassment of time (a murder of crows). I listened. I sat on the chairs, climbed on the elevated bunkbeds, farted loudly and scratched my feet through the holes in my socks. And eyed the 7th century Gregory, the 12th century bible, the 13th century Jewish philosopher, the 19th century large printed books, the intimate letters from Soren K. to whomever (5 degrees from the Nippel somethingorrather bridge (which I’ve crossed daily since arriving) through a spyglass) and H.C. Andersen (his ardent but restrained passions undone slightly by this weekend’s Guardian article featuring letters in which Dickens declared him a bore). Dunno. YCT, small, totally new city. Time together, time lived in the present without the extra time to meta-present, to reflect. A few more days, remarkably, followed by another country/city, even more remarkably.

More art. More gray. More time.

Friday May 01st 2015, 12:32 am
Filed under: Boozy,HelLA,himself,libraries,talks Tags:

goes the dynamite. Maybe 125-150 people. Nailed it.

Saturday October 10th 2009, 12:26 pm
Filed under: blah,HelLA,libraries,myjobfuckingrocks,myjobfuckingsometimesdoesntrock,whingeing,Work Tags:

Not quite as annoying as Jason Fucking Bentley, but pretty fucking annoying.  So, committee yay or no, the chapter shall be drafted by Friday.  Six days, for those of you playing “will he finish it in time” bingo at home.  Go ahead, put a chip on the number “6” if it’s on your card.  Big prizes!  Anyway, chapter is pretty tight, until the very last bit, where it stalls out a bit, mostly because it needs Grist for the Mill.  I’ve been circling around this particular text, indeed a particular page, which is inaccessible because it’s in Snooty English Library, and I’m well, here.  But!  The wonders of Inter Library Loan and my own stubbornness turned up a microfilm of the text in SEL, which arrived yesterday!  Hark, I said, there’s hope!  Except, of course, it arrived at 4:50, the microfilm has been designated as “library use only” and the fricking microfilm room closes at 5 on Fridays.  Oh, and thanks to budget cuts, is close all day today, as well.  FUUUUUUUUUCK.  In the 5 minutes I had, I desperately tried to locate page 125.  Only to discover the damn thing is unpaginated.  Ever try to count pages as they scroll by as quickly as you can on a microfilm reader?  Not easy.  I was almost there, but the uppity undergrad who was manning the desk (and undoubtedly makes bupkus) wanted to leave.  So, not wanting to be asshole professor, I left.  FUUUUUUUUUCK.  That said, the whole book looks pretty damn intriguing, not just the one folio, so there might be hope for an out-of-the-ballpark final part to the chapter.  Or, it just ends with a whimper.  I’m easy, either way.  Back to (other), less productive, less exciting work. Although I’m beginning to plan my 3 (!!!!!!) trips to Ingerland come the new year.  Places I’ve said I’ll go to look at books: Gloucester, York, Durham, Lincoln, Edinburgh, Aberystwyth, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Maidstone and Wisbech (don’t ask on those last two.)  Places I actually manage to work?  We’ll see.

another title in another hall
Wednesday May 27th 2009, 12:28 am
Filed under: Boozy,libraries,New York,Rubbish,self-indulgent,tempest in a teapot Tags:

Just finished Obama’s first book, Dreams from my Father.  Powerful shit.  I might have enjoyed it more if it weren’t a work read, a trained bear gig for some dinner for those who donate, the ladies who lunch, in just over a week. A follow-up ready to contextualize Obama’s books – Gilead, and maybe Netherland, and if I get really desperate, some Shakespeare – for those who lunch.  It’s not how well the bear dances, it’s that the bear dances at all.  And thus I’ll choke myself with a necktie, do the gel-based equivalent of brushing my hair, and appear as a bright-young-thing for the donors.  Got my NY tickets, so those of you reading there (don’t think any, actually), open a slot in your calendars, as I’m there to work (once I apply properly to the fucking Morgan.  Tomorrow.  Really.) and there to drink and wander and even be a little alone.  Once a year, maybe, last time to Ingerland a few weeks before YCT (YCTNW? Yummy Co-Teacher Now Wife?) arrived for weddings et al, and we gallivanted, most pleasurably.  (Apologies to the grad student who gets sputtery everytime I accuse her of gallivanting when visiting home.  It’s so uncharacteristic yet so apt as to be irresistible.)  Alone.   Not that I’m ever alone, nor that I really want to be alone.  Merely that there’s so much me that sometimes some time without the safety of the us to return to is necessary.  Having lived so much of my life without a safety-net (not that you’re safe), that the seemingly simple act of walking a sidewalk without someone to turn to, immediately, is a reminder of all that came before, all that’s both past and infinitely formative.  I don’t know if I can describe it, babe, and I know you’re likely reading this, or will eventually.  It’s like music, I think.  I don’t create it all the time (and certainly not as often as I’d like, but that’s a different fucking story), but when it strikes, it’s something I have to chase.  For the certainty of the uncertainty, if anything, for the knowledge that I’m unjudged, there, excessive commas and all.  I can work on the manuscripts, drink and dine with the friends, and wander familiar landscapes alone and unalone at the same time, and it’s not that it’s more me, there, not that I can find something I don’t have, but rather be reminded of the vibrancy of all that I do have, of the validation of all the decisions I made and make and believe in.  He says, putting “London Bound” from the album “Black Fingernails, Red Wine” on.  (And, could you ask for a more me title, a more me album?  Hah.  Fuckers.  That was mine. You owe me one.)  I dunno.  A bottle in but only lightly tipsy, a day of petty productivity, but productive nonetheless.  The poor shadow of philoboozo tomorrow, a solid theory book a chapter at a time with a solid friend, but lacking, somehow.  He’s up to it, I’m up to it, and it lacks all embarrassment or self-consciousness, but it really needs a third to give it that swing, and it just ain’t got it quite yet.   “Englishman in New York” says random.  Nicely played, random.  And thus to bed, really, a book down, a day older, tickets to a place that is a past but not The past, even as belief in such a thing slowly fades and is replaced by the impossibly beautiful present of The now with love, Love, and everything in between.  I go not to find, but to remind and remember, I go not to be judged, but to continue a life that I don’t need to judge.

fear, hope, withdrawal
Tuesday May 26th 2009, 9:53 am
Filed under: change,friends,libraries,New York,politrix,seasonal Tags:

The endless nicotine dance continues.  Starting a little bit earlier for a few days, then fighting to hold it back until later.  A tiresome cycle in so many ways, but most of me doesn’t really want to care.  I’d rather just keep the fight going, get fit Mondays and Wednesdays and smoke Thursday through Sunday, pay the piper as and when appropriate.  Oh yeah, gotta refill my asthma drugs.  Moron.  Speaking of, fucking CA Supreme Court.  Supreme Courts generally, in fact, piss me off.  Since they don’t agree with me, always.  Didn’t you know that was the touchstone for whether a judicial institution is doing its job?  Agreeing with me.  Funny how so many people seem to implicitly agree with me on that one.

New York trip plans afoot – a few mss there I actually do need to see, along with a few friends I fancy seeing, and some time to visit before it feels lost to me.  I wonder if that’s what’s behind some of the urgency of the rapidly conceived (and shortly to be implemented) trip – NY feels like it’s fading, a bit, like I might stand and wait at a street corner rather than just crossing the damn street, that I might not know how to change my walk ever -so-slightly between the UES and the LES and points in between.  That its impossible, complex, polyrhythmic rhythms might elude me, or feel strange, or even find them imperceptible or incomprehensible.  So, I call the travel agency, slap it on a not-yet empty account, and off I go.  London feels more recent, even if it has been since last August; we’re planning a return in Dec, as well, a timely if not hasty retreat from the relatives of blood and “I do” who might not remember that I’m me, and not always prone to playing along.  But NY, much longer, and of the four great locations of my life (here, up there, all the way over there, and there), and the shortest of the four, it needs tending. Like a fucking garden.  I have my reasons.  Trust me.

on reading hapworth 16, 1924, for the first time
Tuesday January 06th 2009, 12:05 am
Filed under: copy-and-paste,inner-polish-teenage-girl,libraries,self-indulgent Tags:

A Salinger story I’d never fricking heard of; passive fan-dom at its worst.  To claim it as samizdat, printed out from the online New Yorker archives, facilitated by the New-Yorker-On-A-Harddrive project, is to fall down the wonderland rabbit hole (or whole) of originality in a digital age, of art in an age of mechanical reproduction, of a world Nadezhda would no doubt have something withering to say.  A letter, from Seymour Glass, to his family, written from camp, with only the most minimal of Buddy Glass frameworks.  A short piece, in Talk of the Town, telling me what to think, and, worse and far more notably, to think of it at all.  The new year, the renewed writing, the renewed work, the renewed sense of purposive engagement with a larger and more complex world, the only thin lines standing between me and not caring about this story at all.  I care, but it was closer than I care to admit, and in admitting, there is still much work to be done.  Huh.  Caring. It keeps coming up.  If “exemplarity” was year 1, and, uhh, I forget year 2 (authenticity? morality?), perhaps emotional connection is this year’s theme, brought to you by the letter C and the number 3….

Spartan’s Arrow, Swifter, etc.
Tuesday July 15th 2008, 10:20 am
Filed under: departure,hangover,holidays,leaving,libraries,Oxford,tired Tags:

Off to Ingerland in 6 hours. Packing for a month in Little Green (the replacement to Little Red, which died in Notting Hill on the way back to the airport last April, a timely and noble death), which is a bit challenging. But fuck it – I used to travel for 4 to 6 weeks with shit stuffed in a single army surplus backpack. The fine line between over and under packed, when space is limited. The head is kind of shitty today, but fuck it. A column to edit (don’t ask), hair gel to buy, and maybe a quick shopping trip for an extra sweater if there’s time. Which I suspect there will be. 45 minutes to pack. Kinda scary. But 2+ weeks of manuscripts and friends and pubs and long walks around a country, around places, where my heart lives. And then another stretch, of wedding, family, and quiet time with YCT in the Yorkshire Dales (and maybe a quick manuscript run to Durham…..). Trembling with excitement, but also anxiety. Not sure why. I miss it so. “Both of us know that that’s impossible / and both of us know that I could make you rue the day/ But I could never make you stay / Not for all the tea in China.”

I served the king of england
Wednesday January 16th 2008, 7:29 am
Filed under: libraries,myjobfuckingrocks,Work Tags:

Well, not exactly, but it’s a book well worth reading.  On the other hand, I just had dinner with the head of the Bibliothèque National, which was pretty fucking cool.