Tuesday, March 23, 2010

end of blog

i hereby drive the final nail into the coffin lid of this blog. and so it joins the vast dead letter office of abandoned blogs on the internet---burst blog bubble!

i'll probably start another one for fun since doing this one has given me the blog-bug...

from pixels you were made...to pixels you shall return...


Monday, March 15, 2010

end of days, nj

last saturday, i get a call from a friend in nearby larchmont, ny, inviting me over. i figured that i'd stay overnight and packed accordingly: single changes of socks and underwear, with not much else...during the afternoon drive, the rain and wind really started to pound. branches, and in some cases, whole trees, were starting to blow down; roads started to flood. other than having to swerve to avoid some minor road obstructions, i made the trip 'swimmingly'...

all day, the weather continued undiminished---winds up to 80mph and 4 inches of rain! that night, the power went out at my parents' house [and surrounding neighborhood] for 9 hours. their phones were dead and i only got busy signals on the other end. the basement where i now call home, flooded. but i wasn't there...

rain and winds continued the following day, but slightly less so...here in larchmont, hugh grace and i took a post-apocalyptic stroll around the block to find generator pumps bailing out every other house. most backyards were ponds with trees sticking out of them. sewers regurgitated water. i tried to call my family-----still busy....little did i know....

two trees fell and blocked off their street---one to the north, one to the south! the local grammar school that i attended had its roof blown off! two towns to the south, two people were killed by a falling tree!

somehow, i missed it or it missed me...

see for yourself:

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

hey, daddy-o...i don't wanna go...down...to the basement...

both flights were as smooth as they get...yesterday, i landed on terra firma, back to my hometown; i haven't lived here in almost 20 years! it amazes me that i can say the phrase 'in almost 20 years' pertaining to anything in my life ;-)

yes, it's surreal...but better than the anticipated kafa-esque regression and existential terror [stop laughing, god ;-) for i'm retaining an up-to-date sense of my mature myself despite living in my parents' basement [hence the title of this post based on the ramones song]. towards the end of my norwich stay, i tried hard to prepare for this very situation in order to frame it in the most positive, productive way possible to my psyche. my psyche answered that i needed to work actively with my parents to heal our strained relationship and many mutual misunderstandings; no blame, no finger pointing...just as much compassion as we can conjure up...may the patience last!

plan so far: within the next few weeks, drive up to boston, visit whoever i can and empty my self-store unit. my cell phone is back on. get in touch if you like....

i look forward to seeing many of you in person for the first time in 6 months!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

so...a life sorted in 6 months?

i leave in 2 days. how do i see the 6 month experiment from this vantage? neat [cut into thirds], symmetrical, more lax than i would've thought and, essentially, an interpersonal failure...

neat? this relates to the interpersonal failure part. the trip featured three relationship failures: the first one with james' girlfriend, juliette [see post here], the second one with my friend, summer [which i didn't write about] and the unexpected row with the woman i was staying with in town as a result of failure number one. things do come in threes, no?

thirds? each failure marked, almost to the day, a two month milestone; slicing the six-month pie into three parts.

latest failure: as i was leaving her place for the last time, after a two-month stay of weekends, she rather passive-aggressively ran down the stairs saying, 'no, forget it...' after she dropped the bomb of how displeased she'd been with my stay there! i had to chase after her and plead for the privilege of hearing how i'd failed to read her mind about what she was expecting from me, none of which was ever discussed. i was supposed to have known that i needed to clean the house every week, take the dog out more than i had done [though i walked the dog each afternoon i was there, as agreed upon---always asking if he needed more], feed her [owner, not the dog] at least as much as she'd offered food to me, pay more than our agreed-upon price since her bills were 'really huge'! [implying that my being there on weekends had made them that way] she claimed that 'adults just know these things'...this is when i realized that i wasn't dealing with an adult...

despite being greatly disheartened by these failures [especially the last one, as, in my head, it was supposed to 'redeem' the first two] i'm still going to press ahead with the visa application. i try not to imagine this social dynamic between me and british women as being an insurmountable, universally repeatable law. though, i do wonder what i'm not seeing...what am i missing?

i've been consistently surprised during the six months about just how much american and british cultures differ. so much gets lost in translation, in both directions. however, the difference would be difficult to quantify. it would take a lifetime to understand fully...and my life is half over...

thanks to everyone for reading and commenting! i plan to post an epilogue, my landing in nj and whatever happens in my unsure, itinerant existence. then this blog will probably join the massive scrapheap of dead blogs...having served its purpose...

a punchline from the universe: james and i drove over to where i was staying in town with the woman of blowout number three in order to pick up my computer. guess who was sitting at the table with blowout number three?

blowout number two!

[no, they don't know each other]

ha ha...fuckin' ha!

Friday, March 5, 2010


the current was roaring and i tried in vain to capture it in this photo...

some great, old trees in richmond park----like entities unto themselves:

hyde park

my first afternoon in london i spent wandering around hyde park since i was staying nearby. the weather was about as good as it gets at this time of the year in london, as you can see in the pictures.

i followed the route recommended in my lonely planet guidebook to london: following the serpentine water course and making a loop.

lots of waterfowl feeding, jogging, rollerblading, tourists [including myself]...what you'd expect in an urban park...in fact, this looks like a stock photo, but is not.

by the time i made it to the southwest part of the park, i found the hugely overdone prince albert monument glistening in the waning afternoon sun:

thinking of the word association between prince albert the person and the male genital piercing by the same name, made me chuckle inwardly at how different this monument could've been ;-)

appropriate credit crunch juxtaposition

couldn't resist this! all in one: the royal bank of scotland, the demolished devil tavern and 'fleet street', the home of sweeney todd, the demon barber ;-)


did a trip down to london-town, based around two concerts that i wanted to see/hear: matthais goerne at wigmore hall and sophie daneman with ian bostridge at the amazing middle temple hall. in each case, the venue was as remarkable as the musicians; together, they made for an outstanding sonic experience.

matthais goerne performed a program of exclusively schubert leider. before the show, i attended an erudite lecture about a few of the songs to be performed, which deepened my appreciation later in the evening. i believe i experienced the acoustic phenomenon called the 'singer's formant' at this concert. my perception of pitch was totally scrambled---whereas it's usually pretty alert and accurate---for he consistently sounded low and high at the same time [overtones], lending tremendous warmth to his baritone. goerne seemed to arrange his set so that the loud and low passages were to be sung towards the end---to powerful, almost jarring, effect!! what an emotionally true performer!

second show: sophie daneman and ian bostridge...an interesting mix of french and german solo songs and duets. ian bostridge started solo with a set of 6 schubert leider. i only noticed how gothic [as in tall, thin and saturnine...eyeliner and black nailpolish wouldn't look out of place on him...though he'd most likely disagree] and delicate his demeanor was until sophie daneman took to the stage for her 6 mendelssohn songs. she was light to his darkness, extroversion to his introversion, earth to his air, smiles to his furrowed brow. i began to appreciate the contours of their deliberate musical pairing. it added contrast and drama. for the last two songs of the first half, ian and sophie teamed up for duets.

during intermission, the audience was treated to free [and very good] wine, water and juice. i felt like i was a welcome guest at the sprawling residence of a very wealthy host.

the second half followed a similar contour as the first, but was french instead of german. it is here that i regret the mutual antipathy between my culture and the french which keeps much of french language and culture shrouded in mist and mystery. i wish i could understand the set poetry first hand [ear]. sonically and aesthetically the french songs were the highlight for me, especially the ones composed by gabriel faure and especially his 'clair de lune', sung angelically by mr. bostridge.

have to say that julius drake, the accompanist and curator of the concert deserves mention for how seamless and supportive he was. his playing and presence reminded me of a description of the best acting as the acting you don't notice.

sorry---didn't mean for this to be a critical musical review ;-)