Monday, November 12, 2018

My Boring/Busy/Beautiful Life This Past Week, Part VI




Doesn’t it feel like November is already over?! Anyways, what a week. Going to do one of these things cause it’s been a while and yup, can’t think deep thoughts today. Scorpio season is in full effect. I hope we all make it out alive.


Monday 5

I was soooooo depressed (read last post) but I knew I had to just trudge along and trudge along I did. Went to work and was barely cogent but got through it. Afterwards, went to gallery for a meeting to talk about a food project. It was a nice meeting. Went to drinks afterwards and felt a bit better from the buzziness of alcohol and nice conversation. Went to sleep.

Tuesday 6

Voting day! Another day where the whole ‘the universe hates me’ was still in full effect. Went to voting location and waited on a long line even though it was the short line. Sigh. They don’t have my name on record, which is insane since I just voted there for the primaries. Sigh. Fill out an affidavit ballot and walk in rain to subway. Go see therapist. Go to work. Supposed to podcast later that eve but feel like a pile of crap and it’s raining and I just can’t bare to hear the sound of my own voice so I cancel. Go home early and take a bubble bath. Feel a it better. Make hot chocolate and get a hot water bottle. Feel a bit better. Probably watch something, (don’t remember) and fall asleep.

Wednesday 7

Wake up from a crazy dream/nightmare but feel refreshed from all the sleep. Feel like today is the turning point of the depression spell; finally feel like I’m coming up for air. Feels good but also precarious. Go to work. Drop off a piece of work in Dumbo. Go back to Manhattan to kill time before meeting. Walk around Chinatown. Buy some cool, cheap clothes at a martial arts shop. Get to meeting early. Drink wine at the bar. Person comes. Eat mozzarella sticks and drink more drinks. Feel buzzy and relaxed. Person meeting seems young... Another person I know passes by, they come in and we chat. I leave the meeting but have time to kill before friends DJ set. Call friend and we agree to hang out before her set. I get those lycee like fruits that are round brown balls, clementines and soju. We make muddled fruit soju drinks and chat in her room. We get ready to go out. Go to bar for dancing. Dance. Guy comes by and we dance more. Very drunk at this point. Drink more and dance more. Someone picks me up in the air. I think it is fun. Go back in a cab and fall asleep. Can’t remember how I got home…

Thursday 8

Feel like a garbage truck ran over me. Call out of work. Make omelets then immediately need to take a nap. The drinking and depression overlap is not a good idea... Sleep most of the day. Drink seltzer, tea, more seltzer, water. Try to feel better. Go out to eat with friends in Chinatown. Feel like a slug. Eat and chat while eyes half open and wearing sweatpants. Go home and pass out.

Friday 9

Go to work. Go to specialist in Mid-town. Have to check out wtf is up with this lump in my boob. Wait for over an hour. They forgot about me. Sigh. Get mammogram. Have to do 3 times! Freaking out. Get ultra-sound. Wait in a robe with other women waiting in robes. Finally they say it’s all okay. Feel relieved! Feel elated! Feel like my body is my friend again. Supposed to do a studio visit but cancelled it. Go home and make myself a nice meal. Friend texts, she is outside. I share my dinner with her and then she leaves. I watch a baking show and then try to sleep. Insomnia, but it’s okay.

Saturday 10

Go to gallery to meet photographer. Artists come. Photographer comes. Hang out there for more then I expected waiting for photos. Go home and make a grilled cheese. Feel sleepy after eating so take a long nap. Meet up with guy and play pool. Learned how to play 9 ball. It’s fun. Go to a diner for Dominican food. Go to his apartment and chill and watch Planet Earth. Sleep.

Sunday 11

Go back to my apartment and have an urge to clean like a crazy person. Laundry, reorganizing, throwing things away, clean out drawers. Feels productive. Want to go to friends open studio but something last min comes up. Later on go to a sample sale on Canal street. Buy too much but I think that’s okay! Go to a birthday dinner. Eat a lot a drink a little. Go to arcade. Win a stuffed animal. Go home and guy comes over and we watch Planet Earth and fall asleep.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Well, I Guess I am Depressed



Okay, I surrender. I give up! Society, you win! Stick a fork in me I’m done! UGGGGGggggggggggggg is the only word/sound that I think can describe the last few weeks. I think the insanity of insignificant busy-ness, the turning of the season, the sun just ticking away and the barometric pressure karate chopping my body in two has left me in the current state of puddle-blob-weepy-dark-cloud.

I get this way sometimes. I think we all do. And most of the time I know I have to just trundle along and deal, cope, get through it and then voila (or more like, okay...) it gets less and the existential weight, doom, malaise starts to drip off you by Spring time. But let’s get serious for a second. Depression is so real. I think most people have a form of it and for those that are a bit wired differently or are missing a few cognitive plugs and well grooved behavioral pathways, depression can be more then just a momentary blip.

Depression is physical. It’s in you, on you, pushing you down and draining your brain and emotions and all the good juicy stuff that makes you someone people want to be around and someone you yourself want to be around.

Depression is patient. It will wait for you to be exhausted or exasperated or incapable of holding it at bay and then it gets you. Sometimes fast and hard, something slow and creeping but it always gets you.

Depression is embarrassing. I know nowadays people talk about it more then before but it’s still a private island most often through self-expulsion.  No one wants to be a drag. No one wants to make it heavy. No one wants to be needy in a way that is not logical in that it isn’t something that can be nursed and cured through attention and affection. It makes you feel exposed and that can lead to anger to any viewer witnessing it. It’s a double edge of self-loathing and disgusted abandonment and NO, we don't want to talk about it with you!

Depression is common. It surprises me how little we as a society cope and handle depression because it is so common. I feel (maybe wrongly) that it’s sort of crazy more people aren’t more depressed or have episodes more often. I mean look at this world we live in. This society we all cog and cling along too. How can anyone endure it, grin wittingly and not crack?

Sadness, anxiety, they are different things. They are pointed or poking out from something. An event, a tick, an idea that won’t stop churning. I’m not diminishing these types of feelings. I think they have a debilitation in their own way that scars just as deep but yeah, depression is like some smoke monster that fills your lung from out of nowhere.

So, will it get better. Yes. I’m a long sufferer of these spouts with the black blanket and while I have no idea when it will end or how to make it will end or what to do about it, I know that it will pass eventually.

I don’t really have advice to fellow sufferers. Its one of those things that is so specific and internal that to give advice seems arrogant and unnecessary.

All I can say is good luck and when we get to the other side lets remember to give a fuck about things including ourselves. 

(P.S. This isn't a cry for help! I'm fine. Don't ask me how I am. It'll just make me more depressed.)

Monday, October 29, 2018

Poe Poems




Did everyone go out this weekend and celebrate Halloween in some way or another? I actually did this year, which is rare. The last time I dressed up was I think eight years ago. This year I did the utter least in way of costume which was to dress as a cat with just my actual wardrobe, a scarf for ears and a yoga mat string thing for a tail. Needless to say it was very basic but who cares! I was moved by the H-ween spirit this year and going to a fete and walking around the city seeing people in lame to amazingly impressive costumes and general mischievous joviality warmed even the most cynical of hearts.

I know that Halloween is technically a few days away but heck, I don't have kids so it’s already over for me but to keep with the spirit of the season I thought it would be nice to share some poems by American Goth #1, Edgar Allen Poe.

I love Poe’s writing. I always say that Poe has a terrible PR manager because he has this silly perception of being a twee-goth in a whoa-is-me sort of way but he is actually quite a literary technician and he is a sort of American writer that is of the place and time in which he lived and imagined.

Enjoy the turning of seasons and may you find tricks and treats to sustain you for the coming long winter days.


Edgar Allen Poe (1809–1849)

Alone

From childhood’s hour I have not been 
As others were—I have not seen 
As others saw—I could not bring 
My passions from a common spring— 
From the same source I have not taken 
My sorrow—I could not awaken 
My heart to joy at the same tone— 
And all I lov’d—I lov’d alone— 
Then—in my childhood—in the dawn 
Of a most stormy life—was drawn 
From ev’ry depth of good and ill 
The mystery which binds me still— 
From the torrent, or the fountain— 
From the red cliff of the mountain— 
From the sun that ’round me roll’d 
In its autumn tint of gold— 
From the lightning in the sky 
As it pass’d me flying by— 
From the thunder, and the storm— 
And the cloud that took the form 
(When the rest of Heaven was blue) 
Of a demon in my view—


A Dream Within a Dream

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow —
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?  
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand —
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep — while I weep!
O God! Can I not grasp 
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?


The Haunted Palace

In the greenest of our valleys 
By good angels tenanted, 
Once a fair and stately palace— 
Radiant palace—reared its head. 
In the monarch Thought’s dominion, 
It stood there! 
Never seraph spread a pinion 
Over fabric half so fair! 

Banners yellow, glorious, golden, 
On its roof did float and flow 
(This—all this—was in the olden 
Time long ago) 
And every gentle air that dallied, 
In that sweet day, 
Along the ramparts plumed and pallid, 
A wingèd odor went away. 

Wanderers in that happy valley, 
Through two luminous windows, saw 
Spirits moving musically 
To a lute’s well-tunèd law, 
Round about a throne where, sitting, 
Porphyrogene! 
In state his glory well befitting, 
The ruler of the realm was seen. 

And all with pearl and ruby glowing 
Was the fair palace door, 
Through which came flowing, flowing, flowing 
And sparkling evermore, 
A troop of Echoes, whose sweet duty 
Was but to sing, 
In voices of surpassing beauty, 
The wit and wisdom of their king. 

But evil things, in robes of sorrow, 
Assailed the monarch’s high estate; 
(Ah, let us mourn!—for never morrow 
Shall dawn upon him, desolate!) 
And round about his home the glory 
That blushed and bloomed 
Is but a dim-remembered story 
Of the old time entombed. 

And travellers, now, within that valley, 
Through the red-litten windows see 
Vast forms that move fantastically 
To a discordant melody; 
While, like a ghastly rapid river, 
Through the pale door 
A hideous throng rush out forever, 
And laugh—but smile no more. 


Fairy-Land

Dim vales—and shadowy floods— 
And cloudy-looking woods, 
Whose forms we can’t discover 
For the tears that drip all over: 
Huge moons there wax and wane— 
Again—again—again— 
Every moment of the night— 
Forever changing places— 
And they put out the star-light 
With the breath from their pale faces. 
About twelve by the moon-dial, 
One more filmy than the rest 
(A kind which, upon trial, 
They have found to be the best) 
Comes down—still down—and down 
With its centre on the crown 
Of a mountain’s eminence, 
While its wide circumference 
In easy drapery falls 
Over hamlets, over halls, 
Wherever they may be— 
O’er the strange woods—o’er the sea— 
Over spirits on the wing— 
Over every drowsy thing— 
And buries them up quite 
In a labyrinth of light— 
And then, how, deep! —O, deep, 
Is the passion of their sleep. 
In the morning they arise, 
And their moony covering 
Is soaring in the skies, 
With the tempests as they toss, 
Like—almost any thing— 
Or a yellow Albatross. 
They use that moon no more 
For the same end as before, 
Videlicet, a tent— 
Which I think extravagant: 
Its atomies, however, 
Into a shower dissever, 
Of which those butterflies 
Of Earth, who seek the skies, 
And so come down again 
(Never-contented things!) 
Have brought a specimen 
Upon their quivering wings. 

Monday, October 22, 2018

A Million Little Pieces

Gregory Kalliche at Marinaro

I know I probably sound like a broken record at this point but sheesh, am I busy! Not sure what it is but I feel like I am treading water just to keep myself in one place/not drown/die. Sigh. I feel like it’s something in the air, stars, whatever because everyone else I have been talking to seems to be in some such state or another.

Anyways, I really don’t have the time or bandwidth to write coherent thoughts but also feel like you don’t deserve another cut and paste so below is just some random things that I thought, saw or interacted with in the past few days that happen to be pre-frontal at this very moment.

Again, sorry. Again, hopefully next week there will be space and time to do this right.


Fear Faire at Marinaro

Went gallery-hopping solo in LES/Chinatown this past weekend. Saw some good things, some blah but the one that stood out was Fear Faire organized by Nathaniel de Large at Marinaro. It was in their precariously odd sub and sub-sub basement spaces and although that sounds possibly project-space blah, it was anything but. It felt like some sort of art-haunted-house and de Large did a good job of rigging up messy slats of dry wall and cheap plastic curtain to make various zones and general spook-vibes that also felt strangely “hip.” The use of the architecture as medium was done in a way that was playful which made the cacophony and sheer number of artists participating feel well placed.


So You Want to be an Art Dealer

I took some students to a gallery in LES earlier in the week for my day-job and had them meet the gallery owner for a one-on-one talk and meet/greet. It was nice to see students so curious about all that is involved in being an art dealer. It was down right cute some of their questions. What was an interesting theme throughout was this concept of creating community. That buzz word I have been fraught about in various posts. It was also interesting to see how the dealer talked about themselves in both revealing and keeping vague the stratagems of survival. I guess the takeaway is that talking to dealers about the state of art is just as complex and important as it is to talk to artists.


The Perfect Crowd Size

I have figured it out! The perfect size for a lively dinner party is sixteen people. Enough so that there are sub-conversations and general buzziness at the table but small enough so that it doesn’t get unruly. Even numbers are good and with that many bodies in a space it makes you want to stretch out so people make their way to other corners of the room as the evening wanes. 16. It’s the magic number for hospitality.


Relax, No One is Judging You

Okay, so I know people are sensitive, and I know that sometimes we (me especially) can talk in ways that might be a bit rough around the edges, but sheesh, people, relax a bit about being offended. Lately I have noticed within my conversations and conversations I observe, people are very defensive. Any perceived slight is pounced on. Any minor calling out is seen as a incitement of attack. How can we have conversations when we aren’t listening to the other person but just wanting to respond? How can we have conversations that don’t allow for opinion and remark that might not completely mirror what the speaker has just said? Being respectful doesn’t always mean having to agree. Balance and less self-victimization will make everything more understood and generative.


Time Heals All Wounds

That moment of realization when you truly understand and see another person and how utterly unbelievable it is that they ever affected you so much. Liberating.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Vegan Dinner Party



Sorry ya’ll! So so crazy busy at the moment that days become nights and night become days! I promise to stop being such a turd about posting on Mondays!

I have to leave like now… So I will just copy and paste the menu for a vegan, gluten free dinner I made over the weekend. It was for 16 people! So I just tripled everything.

Okay! Till next week! Hopefully I will have some time/sanity! Maybe not!


Winter Squash and Wild Mushroom Curry

INGREDIENTS
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 10 ounces butternut or other winter squash, peeled and diced in 1/2-inch cubes
  •  Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 or 2 small whole green chiles, such as jalapeño or serrano
  • 3 medium shallots or 1 small onion, finely diced
  • ½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  •  Handful of fresh or frozen curry leaves, optional
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  •  Pinch of cayenne
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 pound mushrooms, preferably a mix of cultivated and wild, trimmed and sliced 1/8-inch thick
  • ¾ cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  •  Cilantro sprigs, for garnish

PREPARATION
  1. In a wide skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add squash cubes in one layer. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes, letting cubes brown slightly, then flip and cook for 2 minutes more. Use a slotted spoon to lift squash out, and set aside.
  2. Cut a lengthwise slit in each chile to open it, but leave whole. (This allows the heat and flavor of the chile to release into the sauce without making it too spicy.)
  3. Add shallots to skillet, salt lightly and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves and let sizzle for 30 seconds, then add garlic, coriander, cayenne, turmeric and chiles. Stir well and cook for 30 seconds more.
  4. Add mushrooms to pan, season with salt and toss to coat. Continue to cook, stirring, until mushrooms begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
  5. Return squash cubes to pan, stir in coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Lower heat to medium and simmer for another 5 minutes. If mixture looks dry, thin with a little water. Taste and season with salt.
  6. Just before serving, stir in lime juice. Transfer to a warm serving dish and garnish with cilantro leaves.


Chana Punjabi

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil or other vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 small Thai bird chili, chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 ½ teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or as needed
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained
  • 2 tablespoons minced cilantro
  •  Cooked rice for serving (optional)

PREPARATION
  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, heat oil and add onion. Sauté until translucent and soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, ginger and chili, and sauté until soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and 1/4 cup water. Cover and cook until tomatoes are very soft, about 5 minutes, then remove from heat.
  2. Purée mixture in blender or food processor until smooth. Return to pan and place over medium heat. Add paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, coriander, the garam masala, turmeric and lemon juice. Add chickpeas and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low.
  3. Cover and simmer until sauce is thick and chickpeas are soft, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Stir pan about every 10 minutes, adding water as needed (up to 1 1/2 cups) to prevent burning. When ready to serve, sauce should be thick. If necessary, uncover pan and allow sauce to reduce for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until desired consistency. Stir in cilantro, adjust salt as needed and serve with cooked rice, if desired.

Cucumber And Cilantro Raita (Not vegan)

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  •  Scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped scallion
  • ½ cup finely diced peeled cucumber
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro

PREPARATION
  1. In a medium bowl, combine yogurt and salt. Mix well. Add scallion, cucumber and cilantro. Mix again, and transfer to a small serving bowl.

Cucumber and Tomato Salad With Cilantro and Mint

INGREDIENTS
  • 4 ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 Persian cucumbers, chopped
  • ½ small white onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped purple or green basil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • ½ teaspoon dried mint
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red chili powder(or ancho chile powder)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

PREPARATION
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl; toss, and serve.


Apple Crisp (Substitute vegan butter)

INGREDIENTS
  • 6 cups peeled, cored, sliced apples or ripe pears, 2 to 3 pounds
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon, or more to taste
  • ½ cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 5 tablespoons butter, plus more for greasing the pan
  • ¾ cup oats
  • ½ cup walnuts or pecans

PREPARATION
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Toss fruit with half the cinnamon and 2 tablespoons sugar, and spread it in a lightly buttered 8-inch square or 9-inch round baking pan.
  2. Combine remaining cinnamon and sugar in container of a food processor with butter, oats and nuts; pulse a few times, just until ingredients are combined. (Do not purée.) To mix ingredients by hand, soften butter slightly, toss together dry ingredients and work butter in with fingertips, a pastry blender or a fork.
  3. Spread topping over apples, and bake about 40 minutes, until topping is browned and apples are tender. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.