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Monthly Archives: January 2010

Going home for Christmas made me realize that growing old tends to mean coming to terms with the fact that you’re going to spend the rest of your life traveling for extended periods to get to a job you might not like. Perhaps a better way of saying that is that growing old seems to be a lesson in patience.

Maybe when you’re young and single, you’ll be able to live right near work or school, but as you grow older it seems that you sacrifice proximity to work in order to get your kids a great education or to have more space for all the shit you, your spouse and your kids are accumulating together. Or because you like the neighborhood better.

So the hope is that you find a career you can settle into, something that you will not only enjoy doing for the rest of the life, but something that will be worth the fucking commute. Either that or you find music that distracts you from the level of suck dictated by your job.

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Here’s some super-exciting news: I start taking a class at Juilliard tonight. I don’t believe it, either. Not only do I live no more than three blocks away from one of the best classical conservatories in the world, but I’m going to take night classes there on Wednesdays for a semester. Oh, to live and breathe with a better knowledge of music.

In a related note, the professor recommended buying a voice recorder so I practice reading the notes the correct way. But I think I’ve subliminally wanted a voice recorder since I borrowed a friend and fellow editor’s to conduct interviews in college. I thoroughly enjoyed interviews even though it sometimes proved exceedingly difficult.

Which brings me to a solution to two of my resolutions: I can start interviewing (something I love) girls over coffee. BAM! 1-2-K.O.! Thus, the concept is to ask the same 5 questions and just watch as the answers pile up, baffle, astound, and impress. And then I’ll obviously have other questions but I think it’ll get too personal beyond that; it’d also be a lot to transcribe for a blog that averages about 4 views a day.

Finished Joyce’s Ulysses today. A good day.

A lot of the language I’ve seen concerning the sitting president seems to revolve around his inability to get anything done. Sure, he’s a Democratic President with a Democratic Congress, but it seems to me that the basic problem is not really his inability to force legislation through congress, but rather democratic dogma itself.

This is extremely reductionist, but, for the sake of argument, let’s say democrats are progressives and republicans are conservatives. How do you plan for progress? How can you get everyone to agree on what will be best for the future? How is it that you plan for a future with multiple wars, languages, religions and races? How do you maintain America’s reputation as a melting pot for a multitude of cultures while fears of terrorism and Islam increase almost daily?

For conservatives, defining policy seems to be pretty easy: if it was okay in the fifties, it should not only be okay now but also a law. No abortion! More God! Less Gays! Less government! But for progressives, a lot of the answers seem to come after sitting around for a couple months, talking about our feelings and then making the best choice possible—because there’s no rule book on this shit. The future could go any way, but it doesn’t seem to go backwards into the past.

And I guess that’s why I believe in the audacity to vote for the hope of progress and change.

Boy, was I right. Beating the shit out of that display thing was pretty awesome. I didn’t grope anyone, though, so I guess my tasks remain unfulfilled…

The day has come and it will be a good one.

Well, mostly. Here’s the thing about sledgehammers: they cost about $60. How can I justify buying a $60 tool I might use only once–like ever? Particularly since Victoria’s Secret won’t reimburse me, let alone pay me enough to be able to afford to live in New York.

So I bought a 3lb. drill hammer and I’m going to break the shit out of this VSX display that’s too big to throw away. Then I guess I’ll grill a steak–super rare with a side of blood–punch a random dude in the face and grab some girl’s butt. MAN-STYLE.

I got my mind chopped in half by the Met’s “Art of the Samurai” Exhibition today. I literally waited to the last day, but it was, nonetheless, excellent.

I was hugely disappointed that they refused photos at every turn with signs and people yelling at people with cameras who hadn’t seen the signs (not me–I know what a camera with a line across it means).

One of my favorite pieces was combination piece apparently popular just before the Edo period: it was half Italian armored chest plate and half samurai leggings, arm protection and helmet. I literally got a chill when I looked at it. Running through my head was, “Yes. I would have worn that in a past life. Had any of my ancestors been anything except very European or Vikings, I would have been that guy.” It had about 10 bullet indentations at it (which totally added to the “HOLY SHIT!” factor) that were induced by the manufacturers to prove it was bulletproof (and finding that out added to the later “Letdown” factor).

I only remember the Edo period because some of the things samurai started doing were kind of ridiculous; crab helmets, swallow tail helmets, things of that nature. One of my favorite sheaths from the period had hearts on it. Like Valentine’s Day hearts. (Then again, chances are good someone probably died on the knife inside that sheath…) It kind of felt like all the excess finally caught up and through attempting to modernize tradition, they retarded their own culture. It looked like they were battling for relevance more than with each other.

But here’s why I liked this exhibit most: I started off not giving a shit about the swords. I was the guy walking through like, “Oh, look. More sharp things. Where’s the fucking armor?” However, I did pace myself and read the placards. By the end of the exhibit, I’d been totally converted; every knife was an intricate piece of art that deserved attention. What I mean is, I went from just seeing a knife to trying to see all the parts of the blade that the Japanese have named (upwards of 15 words if I remember correctly). I was admiring tempered patterns, indentations, signatures, inscriptions, point sizes, and when available, sheaths, handles, and so on. I had a knife epiphany–these were pieces of art because these things were how people lived, this was how you stayed alive. You had to have a quality blade to show that you knew what you were doing but also that you were completely capable of rending guts from bellies. The details weren’t just some bullshit that made it more expensive, they were traditional or auspicious symbols that were meant to aid you in battle. The blade has to be perfect because you can’t always be.

Thank goodness I got in at the last minute because now most of it’s going back to Japan. I told my Mom I was hugely disappointed only by the fact that I had to leave for work. I also told her I’m considering a membership. It’s only 35 minutes away through Central Park–Sunny Days could be Museum Days. Shit, Days could be Museum Days.

Saw Avatar in my local Imax theater yesterday. Stupid humans.

I’ve also been hearing rumors about stolen story lines and assorted complaints, but I tell you I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m also sure when the DVD release date comes up people will start complaining about how it’s not the same as Imax or RealD or whathaveyou, but all I can tell you right now is that it was a beautiful movie. Perhaps a  little weak in places–how the unobtainable-on-Earth mineral was called “unobtanium,” or the guy named “Selfridge” because it sounds like “Selfish”–but I think I was busy staring at Pandora and falling in love with Zoe Saldana or imagining flying on that pterodactyl-thing like Sam Worthington.

[Ed. note: Spoiler–even though they totally foreshadowed it–Alert] Right after Jake Sully conquered the larger pterodactyl-thing and gave his speech about uniting and aligning and strength and stupid humans, I shed a tear. That’s why I liked this movie (even though it made me feel like I have a vagina).

Anyway, love loves to love love and I loved it.

“I came here in the sixties to see the land of the free. I was living in Greenwich Village, going through the counterculture, the culture of love, going to an Irish bar at the end of the day, and getting The New York Times at three in the morning. I was able to go anywhere, accepted anywhere, nobody cared where I came from, what religion I have. It was a fantastic experience. I thought, This is the world as it ought to be.” –Mohamed ElBaradei, Esquire, January 2010.

Those last three sentences are pretty much why I don’t want to live anywhere else.