Monday, April 17, 2017

Million Miles an Hour Thoughts

Violet Chachki and Pearl

I have been sooo busy today and it’s one of those days where I have to focus on a lot of different things and segment them so that they don’t bleed into each other and because of that I am super-duper hyped up. Also, I had some green tea today and I’m allergic to caffeine/trying to see if that’s still the case and I’m luckily not having a bad reaction but wow, caffeine, it is pretty freaking amazing.

Anyways I’m a bit spazzy, {can you tell?} and because of this I’m going to just type away in pretty incoherent ways so that I can check this stupid thing off of my list of things I have to do so I can continue to do all the others things.

RuPaul’s Drag Race – I was really sad this weekend so in between crying and thinking how did my life get to this point I watched RuPaul’s Drag Race (every problem has a solution). I watched Season 7 because that’s the last season I have free access to and I was highly hooked. I know I am sooo behind the times but watching this show makes you want to be fabulous and to appreciate the effort of being different, unique, and to creatively/ fully express and accept oneself. Yes, this show has its structural problems and is it just me or is RuPaul actually quite dull? But anyways, loved it and who knew that all these months when I have been saying “Hiiiiiiiii” and “Byeeeeeee” it just my absorption of this show’s wonderful lexicon. I also want to step up my dress game! If I can be even a speck as fabulous as these amazing drag queens, who knows what one may accomplish.

Morgan Library – Went there to see a lil show on Emily Dickenson. It was pretty yawn to be honest but regardless it’s nice to pop into this place to see the permanent collection. This time around I really loved seeing the musical compositions of famous folks like Mozart and Chopin. Seeing those pages was like drinking a tall glass of cold water on a hot day. They are beautiful and reveal so much character as well as give a preview of the essentiality of the music to be played. It reminded me of those poems that conceptualists etc. do with word and letters that build up to forms (think Carl (I killed Ana) Andre). I always disliked those types of works. Too cleaver. Too casual. But these compositions did what I think those conceptualists were trying so hard to get at. Rhythm, space, time.

Fabulous Weather – Anyone who was in the city on Sunday experienced a bit of heaven. It was 80+ degrees and it was so wonderful and warm. I went to the beach to visit a friend and it was fantastic to see all the people coming out to enjoy this bizarrely warm day in April. This last week or so has been very nice indeed and going to parks and wherever else people are supine-ing and peeling off layers of their clothes is just about my favorite thing to do. New York is known for all its gorgeous people but when the first days of warm spring like and summer like weather appears this city gets down right triple X sexy. I’ll go into a full NYC summer sexy time post another day but wow, from what I have seen so far, this year is going to be fire.

Poison Ivy – I’ve never had a rash in my life, like seriously. And the past 2 weeks I have had poison ivy all – I mean all- over my body. It’s like little patches of annoying hell on your flesh that makes you feel like a leper both physically and socially. It has only JUST stopped burning and I am JUST starting to feel like maybe I won’t look like some deep fryer burn victim forever, but wow has this taught me lesson, nay perspective. For those that have chronic rashes or get allergies of the skin I feel really, really bad for you and I don't know how you do it. You must be angels of patience and acceptance. I hope everyone feels better in flesh and mind and whatever you do, don’t gallivant near wild brush and plant life. Ever.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Marsden Hartley at The Met and Ruminations on Nature

Marsden Hartley, Robin Hood Cove, Georgetown Maine, 1938

Marsden Hartley’s current exhibition, entitled Marsden Harltey’s Maine, on view at The Met Breuer is a splendid little show to see. It is quietly holding ground on the 3rd floor and it’s a show that continues the succession of the highly sophisticated exhibitions at this expanded museum. It begins conventionally at the beginning of Hartley’s artistic journey, around 1908, and it gives a glimpse into the life of an artist through his surroundings and what is explicitly inferred to as his influences.

As the title suggests that influence is Maine and Hartley’s relationship to this place is a familiar one. Born, raised, spent years wandering with artistic itinerancy and then the return and death at the place of origin. It’s all very romantic and I’m not saying that glibly. You can see it in the paintings from early school days to sagacious finale.

The paintings are lovely in all the ways a good painting is but there is more to them then pretty little landscapes.  As the subject is ‘Maine’ the primary focus is on landscapes. Hills, lakes, ocean, sky, all the normal starter kit standards of plein air are on view. They are familiar in their compositions but there is this something else that makes them almost tragic. As I was looking at these lush scapes I felt a sort of sadness. It seemed as if there was something being communicated, or the attempt of it, that felt like a calling out, or perhaps a faint sob.

The coloring in many of his works is dark and only the sky at times seems to be alive or redemptive. But the darkness is also dense and the way his landscapes are composed they seem to push forward even as they are depicting depth. This feeling of pushing through the surface is continued with his later works where landscape and bodies become almost brick-like in their forms and colors. Waterfalls feel like steps, male bodies feel like passageways. This is not abstraction in the formal way but a type of empathic slanting that skews feelings.

Hartley’s biography is a part of the story and is important as it always is to an artist/person but when I was looking at these paintings I thought less of that and more about the idea of how place and nature can develop or ensnare you within yourself. The places depicted in these paintings are intimate and private. They are like bedrooms or the freckles on a lover’s body. They are places where one is usually alone. They are places that are revisited and known. They are bookmarks that stay perennial even as the story of one’s life changes around them.

Going to a place in nature is a form of escaping but it is also a return to something to the past and to one’s self.

Living in New York and not having a country house to be able to maroon off to makes the contact with nature extremely diminished, and it sort of hurts both physically and psychically. I know that my lack of contact with nature, even if in a somehow manicured way, is affecting me in some deeply cosmologic way. I think a lot of people feel this way and access to even the small bits of trees and grass in this city are explicitly connected to wealth. Walking on the blocks near Central Park makes you know that there are very different fiefdoms in this city.

Does this lack of nature and of retreat affect how we understand ourselves? I think yes. The need for solitude and reflection with something within nature and being reminded of the sense of continuity/renewal is frankly, natural. We need it. We crave it. We go on expensive jaunts to reconnect to it. When it storms or there is crazy weather in this city the whole psychic energy changes and we almost yearn for natural cataclysm. We want to be snowed in. We want the lights to all turn off. We want to feel that we are specks and be overcome by forces outside of our control.

Marsden Hartley’s life was complicated, at times tumultuous, at times sad, but he had this steady force and place that was a place of return and reflection. There is such a gift in that and when you look at these paintings, although they are sometimes messy, flat, and possibly even drafts of grander things, they pulse with this intimacy, which makes them generous, vivid and still alive.

Maybe we can live our lives without nature in a day-to-day way. Maybe just a weekend here and there is enough to recharge our primordial selves but I think that this lack impacts us deeply. We may be the person we are but perhaps we are missing out on something deeper that only the interaction with nature can bring. Hartley was lucky to have this and even if we didn’t experience it ourselves his paintings remind us that it is out there and if we want it, we can find it too.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Little Snow-White by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

I used to have a poster of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (The Disney classic) on my wall in my bedroom. It is a fairy tale that still resides in a special place in my little brain. Below is the original (translated of course) by the Brothers Grimm. It was originally written in 1812.

It is simplistic and to the modern reader full of scathing clichés and sometimes illogical deductions but nonetheless there is something fascinating by the endurance of even those things.

Little Snow-White
By Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

Once upon a time in midwinter, when the snowflakes were falling like feathers from heaven, a queen sat sewing at her window, which had a frame of black ebony wood. As she sewed she looked up at the snow and pricked her finger with her needle. Three drops of blood fell into the snow. The red on the white looked so beautiful that she thought to herself, "If only I had a child as white as snow, as red as blood, and as black as the wood in this frame."

Soon afterward she had a little daughter who was as white as snow, as red as blood, and as black as ebony wood, and therefore they called her Little Snow-White. And as soon as the child was born, the queen died.

A year later the king took himself another wife. She was a beautiful woman, but she was proud and arrogant, and she could not stand it if anyone might surpass her in beauty. She had a magic mirror. Every morning she stood before it, looked at herself, and said:

Mirror, mirror, on the wall,
Who in this land is fairest of all?

To this the mirror answered:
You, my queen, are fairest of all.

Then she was satisfied, for she knew that the mirror spoke the truth.
Snow-White grew up and became ever more beautiful. When she was seven years old she was as beautiful as the light of day, even more beautiful than the queen herself.

One day when the queen asked her mirror:
Mirror, mirror, on the wall,
Who in this land is fairest of all?

It answered:
You, my queen, are fair; it is true.
But Snow-White is a thousand times fairer than you.

The queen took fright and turned yellow and green with envy. From that hour on whenever she looked at Snow-White her heart turned over inside her body, so great was her hatred for the girl. The envy and pride grew ever greater, like a weed in her heart, until she had no peace day and night.

Then she summoned a huntsman and said to him, "Take Snow-White out into the woods. I never want to see her again. Kill her, and as proof that she is dead bring her lungs and her liver back to me."

The huntsman obeyed and took Snow-White into the woods. He took out his hunting knife and was about to stab it into her innocent heart when she began to cry, saying, "Oh, dear huntsman, let me live. I will run into the wild woods and never come back."

Because she was so beautiful the huntsman took pity on her, and he said, "Run away, you poor child."

He thought, "The wild animals will soon devour you anyway," but still it was as if a stone had fallen from his heart, for he would not have to kill her.

Just then a young boar came running by. He killed it, cut out its lungs and liver, and took them back to the queen as proof of Snow-White's death. The cook had to boil them with salt, and the wicked woman ate them, supposing that she had eaten Snow-White's lungs and liver.

The poor child was now all alone in the great forest, and she was so afraid that she just looked at all the leaves on the trees and did not know what to do. Then she began to run. She ran over sharp stones and through thorns, and wild animals jumped at her, but they did her no harm. She ran as far as her feet could carry her, and just as evening was about to fall she saw a little house and went inside in order to rest.

Inside the house everything was small, but so neat and clean that no one could say otherwise. There was a little table with a white tablecloth and seven little plates, and each plate had a spoon, and there were seven knives and forks and seven mugs as well. Against the wall there were seven little beds, all standing in a row and covered with snow-white sheets.

Because she was so hungry and thirsty Snow-White ate a few vegetables and a little bread from each little plate, and from each mug she drank a drop of wine. Afterward, because she was so tired, she lay down on a bed, but none of them felt right -- one was too long, the other too short -- until finally the seventh one was just right. She remained lying in it, entrusted herself to God, and fell asleep.

After dark the masters of the house returned home. They were the seven dwarfs who picked and dug for ore in the mountains. They lit their seven candles, and as soon as it was light in their house they saw that someone had been there, for not everything was in the same order as they had left it.

The first one said, "Who has been sitting in my chair?"
The second one, "Who has been eating from my plate?"
The third one, "Who has been eating my bread?"
The fourth one, "Who has been eating my vegetables?"
The fifth one, "Who has been sticking with my fork?"
The sixth one, "Who has been cutting with my knife?"
The seventh one, "Who has been drinking from my mug?"
Then the first one saw a that there was a little imprint in his bed, and said, "Who stepped on my bed?"

The others came running up and shouted, "Someone has been lying in mine as well."
But the seventh one, looking at his bed, found Snow-White lying there asleep. The seven dwarfs all came running up, and they cried out with amazement. They fetched their seven candles and shone the light on Snow-White. "Oh good heaven! Oh good heaven!" they cried. "This child is so beautiful!"

They were so happy, that they did not wake her up, but let her continue to sleep there in the bed. The seventh dwarf had to sleep with his companions, one hour with each one, and then the night was done.

The next morning Snow-White woke up, and when she saw the seven dwarfs she was frightened. But they were friendly and asked, "What is your name?"

"My name is Snow-White," she answered.

"How did you find your way to our house?" the dwarfs asked further.

Then she told them that her stepmother had tried to kill her, that the huntsman had spared her life, and that she had run the entire day, finally coming to their house.

The dwarfs said, "If you will keep house for us, and cook, make beds, wash, sew, and knit, and keep everything clean and orderly, then you can stay with us, and you shall have everything that you want."

"Yes," said Snow-White, "with all my heart."

So she kept house for them. Every morning they went into the mountains looking for ore and gold, and in the evening when they came back home their meal had to be ready. During the day the girl was alone.

The good dwarfs warned her, saying, "Be careful about your stepmother. She will soon know that you are here. Do not let anyone in."

Now the queen, believing that she had eaten Snow-White's lungs and liver, could only think that she was again the first and the most beautiful woman of all. 

She stepped before her mirror and said:
Mirror, mirror, on the wall,
Who in this land is fairest of all?

It answered:
You, my queen, are fair; it is true.
But Snow-White, beyond the mountains
With the seven dwarfs,
Is still a thousand times fairer than you.

This startled the queen, for she knew that the mirror did not lie, and she realized that the huntsman had deceived her, and that Snow-White was still alive. Then she thought, and thought again, how she could kill Snow-White, for as long as long as she was not the most beautiful woman in the entire land her envy would give her no rest.

At last she thought of something. Coloring her face, she disguised herself as an old peddler woman, so that no one would recognize her. In this disguise she went to the house of the seven dwarfs. Knocking on the door she called out, "Beautiful wares for sale, for sale!"

Snow-White peered out the window and said, "Good day, dear woman, what do you have for sale?"

"Good wares, beautiful wares," she answered. "Bodice laces in all colors." And she took out one that was braided from colorful silk. "Would you like this one?"

"I can let that honest woman in," thought Snow-White, then unbolted the door and bought the pretty bodice lace.

"Child," said the old woman, "how you look! Come, let me lace you up properly."
The unsuspecting Snow-White stood before her and let her do up the new lace, but the old woman pulled so quickly and so hard that Snow-White could not breathe.

"You used to be the most beautiful one," said the old woman, and hurried away.

Not long afterward, in the evening time, the seven dwarfs came home. How terrified they were when they saw their dear Snow-White lying on the ground, not moving at all, as though she were dead. They lifted her up, and, seeing that she was too tightly laced, they cut the lace in two. Then she began to breathe a little, and little by little she came back to life.

When the dwarfs heard what had happened they said, "The old peddler woman was no one else but the godless queen. Take care and let no one in when we are not with you."

When the wicked woman returned home she went to her mirror and asked:
Mirror, mirror, on the wall,
Who in this land is fairest of all?

The mirror answered once again:
You, my queen, are fair; it is true.
But Snow-White, beyond the mountains
With the seven dwarfs,
Is still a thousand times fairer than you.

When she heard that, all her blood ran to her heart because she knew that Snow-White had come back to life.

"This time," she said, "I shall think of something that will destroy you."

Then with the art of witchcraft, which she understood, she made a poisoned comb. Then she disguised herself, taking the form of a different old woman. Thus she went across the seven mountains to the seven dwarfs, knocked on the door, and called out, "Good wares for sale, for sale!"

Snow-White looked out and said, "Go on your way. I am not allowed to let anyone in."
"You surely may take a look," said the old woman, pulling out the poisoned comb and holding it up. The child liked it so much that she let herself be deceived, and she opened the door.

After they had agreed on the purchase, the old woman said, "Now let me comb your hair properly."

She had barely stuck the comb into Snow-White's hair when the poison took effect, and the girl fell down unconscious.

"You specimen of beauty," said the wicked woman, "now you are finished." And she walked away.

Fortunately it was almost evening, and the seven dwarfs came home. When they saw Snow-White lying on the ground as if she were dead, they immediately suspected her stepmother. They examined her and found the poisoned comb. They had scarcely pulled it out when Snow-White came to herself again and told them what had happened. Once again they warned her to be on guard and not to open the door for anyone.

Back at home the queen stepped before her mirror and said:
Mirror, mirror, on the wall,
Who in this land is fairest of all?

The mirror answered:
You, my queen, are fair; it is true.
But Snow-White, beyond the mountains
With the seven dwarfs,
Is still a thousand times fairer than you.

When the queen heard the mirror saying this, she shook and trembled with anger, "Snow-White shall die," she shouted, "if it costs me my life!"

Then she went into her most secret room -- no one else was allowed inside -- and she made a poisoned, poisoned apple. From the outside it was beautiful, white with red cheeks, and anyone who saw it would want it. But anyone who might eat a little piece of it would died. Then, coloring her face, she disguised herself as a peasant woman, and thus went across the seven mountains to the seven dwarfs. She knocked on the door.
Snow-White stuck her head out the window and said, "I am not allowed to let anyone in. The dwarfs have forbidden me to do so."

"That is all right with me," answered the peasant woman. "I'll easily get rid of my apples. Here, I'll give you one of them."

"No," said Snow-White, "I cannot accept anything."

"Are you afraid of poison?" asked the old woman. "Look, I'll cut the apple in two. You eat the red half, and I shall eat the white half."

Now the apple had been so artfully made that only the red half was poisoned. Snow-White longed for the beautiful apple, and when she saw that the peasant woman was eating part of it she could no longer resist, and she stuck her hand out and took the poisoned half. She barely had a bite in her mouth when she fell to the ground dead.
The queen looked at her with a gruesome stare, laughed loudly, and said, "White as snow, red as blood, black as ebony wood! This time the dwarfs cannot awaken you."

Back at home she asked her mirror:
Mirror, mirror, on the wall,
Who in this land is fairest of all?

It finally answered:
You, my queen, are fairest of all.

Then her envious heart was at rest, as well as an envious heart can be at rest.

When the dwarfs came home that evening they found Snow-White lying on the ground. She was not breathing at all. She was dead. They lifted her up and looked for something poisonous. They undid her laces. They combed her hair. They washed her with water and wine. But nothing helped. The dear child was dead, and she remained dead. They laid her on a bier, and all seven sat next to her and mourned for her and cried for three days. They were going to bury her, but she still looked as fresh as a living person, and still had her beautiful red cheeks.

They said, "We cannot bury her in the black earth," and they had a transparent glass coffin made, so she could be seen from all sides. They laid her inside, and with golden letters wrote on it her name, and that she was a princess. Then they put the coffin outside on a mountain, and one of them always stayed with it and watched over her. The animals too came and mourned for Snow-white, first an owl, then a raven, and finally a dove.

Snow-White lay there in the coffin a long, long time, and she did not decay, but looked like she was asleep, for she was still as white as snow and as red as blood, and as black-haired as ebony wood.

Now it came to pass that a prince entered these woods and happened onto the dwarfs' house, where he sought shelter for the night. He saw the coffin on the mountain with beautiful Snow-White in it, and he read what was written on it with golden letters.

Then he said to the dwarfs, "Let me have the coffin. I will give you anything you want for it."

But the dwarfs answered, "We will not sell it for all the gold in the world."
Then he said, "Then give it to me, for I cannot live without being able to see Snow-White. I will honor her and respect her as my most cherished one."

As he thus spoke, the good dwarfs felt pity for him and gave him the coffin. The prince had his servants carry it away on their shoulders. But then it happened that one of them stumbled on some brush, and this dislodged from Snow-White's throat the piece of poisoned apple that she had bitten off. Not long afterward she opened her eyes, lifted the lid from her coffin, sat up, and was alive again.

"Good heavens, where am I?" she cried out.

The prince said joyfully, "You are with me." He told her what had happened, and then said, "I love you more than anything else in the world. Come with me to my father's castle. You shall become my wife." Snow-White loved him, and she went with him. Their wedding was planned with great splendor and majesty.

Snow-White's godless stepmother was also invited to the feast. 

After putting on her beautiful clothes she stepped before her mirror and said:
Mirror, mirror, on the wall,
Who in this land is fairest of all?

The mirror answered:
You, my queen, are fair; it is true. 

But the young queen is a thousand times fairer than you.

The wicked woman uttered a curse, and she became so frightened, so frightened, that she did not know what to do. At first she did not want to go to the wedding, but she found no peace. She had to go and see the young queen. When she arrived she recognized Snow-White, and terrorized, she could only stand there without moving.

Then they put a pair of iron shoes into burning coals. They were brought forth with tongs and placed before her. She was forced to step into the red-hot shoes and dance until she fell down dead.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Craigslist Free Stuff Stories

Sometimes when I get bored at work I kill some time and go to and look at the listing of “Free” stuff. I do this because I think it’s a funny way to see how some people live their lives. I guess the idea of taking time to post something online, on craigslist, to take a photo of it and list it for free seems like something different then anything I would ever do.

Below are some silly made up anecdotes/stories and comments based on the images listed as of this date at 1:06pm.

This is weird but meh.

Black Leather Sofa (St. George Staten Island) – Lawyer who is moving his office after he found out that his wife was having an affair with his partner at the firm. During meetings he used to sit on the arm of the chair and sometimes he would place his coffee cup on the top of the seat. He always hated his wife and this couch so he feels fine about all of it.

SBS Technologies Digidesign Expansion Slot Chassis (Bedstuy/Ocean Hill) – What the heck is this even used for?

Moving Out. Giving away furniture for free (Midtown East) – All my stuff is from IKEA which made me have an okay life and maybe if you have these things you too can have an okay life. (Sobs)

Sofa/bed and Chair/bed (Astoria) – One time Bob, from the office, dropped by and we ended up making out on this couch but then my foot hit the wine glass on the floor and we both decided to call it a night. The glass didn’t break though. It was plastic.

free hens and all equipment(Rockaway Park) – OMG, WTF. They are feeding the chickens spaghetti and they are named after Jazz/Blues singers. WTF?!

Red and White Striped Chaise(Flatbush Ave) - We make popcorn in the microwave at least 3 nights a week.

Excellent condition (Brooklyn) – I have a van. Get at me.

IKEA - Klippan LEGS ONLY(Upper West Side) – Hi, I’m giving away the bottoms of ikea legs things because WHY THE FUCK DOES ANYONE NEED THESE? Maybe you do. Call me.

China Cabinet – “Was good use to our family for years, touch it up and make it the same for your family.” Gotcha.

CREAM FOR Diaper rash/pressure sore-preventing cream-FREE (IRVINGTON) – Sometimes you think that the world is a boring place but then you see that someone thinks you need their supply of diaper rash cream and you think this world is bonkers.

FREE Medical Oxygen tubing, nasal cannula, mask, inhaler, brand new(IRVINGTON) – Feel like this is from the same seller as the diaper rash stuff… #dark

Queen-size sleep sofa (Clean) & Loveseat (Stamford) – Why does it seem like so many people from Stamford like to sell their stuff online for free?

Free 3x3 Raised Garden Bed(Greenpoint) – You got to be serious. You are basically asking me to get rid of a box of dirt for you.

Brita Pitcher – I feel like people who use Brita pitchers are just not my type of peoples.

Frank Frank Goldstein & Nager Mouse Pads (Midtown West) – Hi my name is Frank Frank Goldstein. I ordered these mouse pads but heck, no one seemed to want them. I guess Fran was right. Signing off, Frank Frank Goldstein.

Shelves – All these shelves yet so much emptiness in my heart.

Free Dresser & Mirror (Must Pick Up by Thurs 3/30) (Stamford, CT) – When asked if they liked the outfit for the Murder Mystery Dinner, Chuck relied, “you look fine my dear.”

"Seat and a Half" with Ottoman -- club chair -- easy chair --- lounge (Katonah) – Sally used to read books in this chair with Dusty (the golden retriever) sitting near her feet when she was a little girl. When she got older, Sally gave David (the boy next door) his first blowjob while he was sitting on the edge of this seat.

Lumber Wood (Brooklyn) – Pick up this wood cause you want wood right?

My girlfriend left me, my girlfriend left me, doo-da-doo-da.

corner TV stand (SOUTH OZONE PARK) – What your interior design looks like when you lost your will to live.

FREE 300 GLORY Frank Miller motion picture poster comic con (Midtown West) – Dorky but loves to share. Seems like a nice guy.

Porcelain Bathroom Sink Combo(East Williamsburg) – This is the sink that is in all those bars in BK when you accidently vomit but you okay.

1960's Industrial Desk••••••pickup only (Brooklyn Navy Yard) – Artist desk in a far away land.

Baby Goat looking for a new home(NJ) – This goat is cute super freaking cute. Poor goat.

 free wooden pallets (williamsburg) – K.

Wooden Cabinet, Metal Cabinet – Not sure what the heck I’m looking at…

Monday, March 20, 2017

Everything is Basically Weird Right Now

Are the planets all being crazy at the moment or something? Am I living in an alterna-verse where I am not slick backed cool haired Trinity but more the stuck in the mucus pod? I ask because I don’t know about all of you but everything seems off, weird, bizarro. Perhaps it’s my lifestyle but I don’t party THAT much. Or do I? Hmmm… Anyways, I am sitting at work and when I try to think thoughts my brain feels like a bumper car hitting the walls. Light and sounds are firing but I’m like, ‘oops the wall, oops the wall’ over and over again. I think we all feel this way sometimes and since I’m always one to say fuck it and embrace it here goes a crap list of all the crap that seems to be weird to me at this moment. Enjoy! Or don’t, whatever.

Talking to People – The other day I was doing a studio visit and the artist was talking to me and I was paying attention and could understand the words coming out of their mouth but I literally felt high. I wasn’t high at all but I felt like I was in this weird cone of silence/buzzy plane where I might pass out or feel a swoosh of euphoria. It was very unsettling. Also another time this weekend I was talking to someone and I just couldn’t remember what they just said. I knew what was being talked about but the sentence/statement they just said didn't fully register. Not sure what that’s about. Maybe my brain is like shutting things off for some protective reason but nonetheless it was freaky. Also if we talked this weekend and I seemed sorta spaced out, I was probably having one of these moments. My bad.

Polyamory/ Casual Everything – Okay! I get it, we are all hella evolved sexually and while conceptually I totally get it, I just can’t abide. Seriously, is everyone just DTF like whomever, whenever without any emotional commitment? If I have to hear, ‘Let’s keep it casual’ one more time I’m going to throw dirt on myself and call it a day. I think open relationships totally make sense but only AFTER you have established deep bonds first. How can you disassemble trust if you don’t have a foundation of it first? All this poly/undefined everything seems like a bag of phooey to me and I think it’s modern societies way to prevent deeper levels of intimacy because >Gasp< if people actually had to care for one another this whole detachment thing would fall to pieces. I’m not judging, everyone do their thing, but the more I choose not to do it the more backwards I feel. Perhaps I am, I haven’t been convinced yet though…

Trump  - Never, ever going to be able to deal with the fact that this ass hat is our President. Four years feels like a goddamn eternity. I hope something good comes out of all this… And here’s to hoping that we don’t all die in the meantime!

Weather – We did it everyone! We fucked up the planet! Gahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Art Openings – Feel like they should serve food from now on. Like snacks and also have places to lie down. Like futons and couches and big pillows. Blankets would be nice too. I guess I just want to go to bed at these things but also have snacks and light airy convos about art and gossip. Also drugs. Free drugs would be nice too.

Having to Do Things – Every damn day you have to do things. Like wake up. Dress yourself, eat stuff. And if you want to have an actual life you have to nurture relationships, communicate and contribute. It’s cool to do stuff. It actually can be rewarding but Jesus-h, it’s unrelenting! Sometimes I will be walking down the street or about to climb the stairs and I’m like ‘fuck this.’ And I just stare off and feel the weight of existence and then I take a deep breath and keep going. It’s not a depressed feeling; it’s like the reality of reality sort of feeling. Does anyone else get this way? Probs.

Self Absorption vs. Criticality – As the recent blog posts can probably attest I am in a very strange state of mind recently and while it would be soooo much better for me, and everyone who reads this thing, if I just SHUT THE FUCK UP, I just can’t. I have been obsessing lately about self-obsessing. Super gross I know. Anyways, for those that know what it feels like to be a sorta crazy person sometimes, the act of self-reflection is really necessary because it helps you cope and find ways to deal with and adjust emotions and behaviors. But this is also really bad sometimes because one falls into the pool of Narcissism. It’s not a good look. Not sure the point of this but ya, I totally think I’m being self-absorbed and weird and blah blah it’s very unattractive. Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all? NOT YOU! GO TO SLEEP, CHILL OUT AND EAT SOME REAL FOOD!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Am I Too Old and Grumpy to be in the Art World?

So the other day I had a dinner party and I was not in a very good mood. It’s probably a mix of hormones, alcohol abuse and my general existential doom in overdrive but nonetheless I was pretty much a sourpuss for most of the night. It wasn’t due to my guests necessarily, they were all lovely, but they were all super duper young. Like early 20s young.

These hot young things are all in the art world nay, art scene, in one way or another and while I usually enjoy basking in their youthful exuberance I just couldn’t drown out the art hag in me that evening.

It was coming out because they (the young ones) were talking about this that and the other thing and person in the art world. Artist, curators, gallerists, blah blah blah. They are all so sincere and into it that it was sort of breaking my brain. I know, I know everyone’s path must be walked alone but for me, the art hag, being 10+ years older then some of them made me utterly unenthused.

I kept saying old art hag things like, ‘(insert name) is a Queen and a terrible curator.’ Or, ‘Darling, you have no idea.’ Or, ‘I’ve known that person for --- years, they will make it but they are just the worst.’ Insufferable? Yes. I was a total wet blanket and while I knew I was doing it I just didn’t give enough craps to stop myself that evening.

I used to do this ALL the time. Before I asylumed myself overseas for a year + to the UK, I was miserable in NYC for about two years. I had been in NYC for over 10 years and I just couldn’t stand the art scene, openings, conversations, and people anymore. The last year or so before I left I barely went to receptions, was barely seen around town. I literally had a boyfriend and jobs that no one even knew about or met. And when I would hang out with my art world friends (basically the only friends I have) I would end up drinking so much that it came out my eyes in the form of tears and I would rant and sob about how Art was being ruined.

Granted, a few years ago the emerging art scene thing in this city was repellant and I had good reason to feel the way I did, but the real problem was that I let it get to me. I got jaded and bitter and I felt pleasure in my self-exiling and my ‘getting it.’  Hooray, who cares if you ‘get it’ though? I mean it matters but you can’t really care because it will only bring doom and gloom.

So, I went away because that’s my thing, running away from my problems, but thankfully it was a godsend. I came back refreshed, relaxed and had a renewed love for this city and all the art and art scene stuff attached to it.

Now it’s been a nearly a year and half since I’ve returned and I am feeling the blah art bug again. This time around it’s not about the market effects on the art world but more the social aspect. This isn’t the young kids fault though. It is mine. I am too old to be gallivanting like a 20 something when I am very much in my 30 somethings.

Age is but a number you may say but it gets different, especially in the art world. The cycles in art, especially for ‘emerging’ art, last about ~4 years. Every 4 (recently it could be as short as 2!) years a trend comes in, makes some waves, marks, etcetera and then it flames out or fades away and then just when you think nothing will ever happen again, Voila! A new one appears. For someone who has experienced a few cycles of this you see the pattern. You are no longer IN the pattern but rather looking at it from above. Those that are new to this, they are inside of it and it all feels so very important and definitive. Some parts might stick but most drop away and that dropping away is what makes art still vital.

Watching it from above has advantages because you can see a bigger picture and it feels both smaller and larger. Being within is great as well because you are riding in the funnel of the wave and it is alive and real. I guess the other night the true fact that I am too old to really, truly be in the same state of mind as the young art things really cemented.

This doesn’t mean that I am not a part of it but it’s making me realize that I can’t go around wagging my finger at every fresh new face. I know, and everyone who knows me knows, that I’m going to be that weirdo art lady that is chilling out with 20 year olds when I am in my 80s (if I make it that long). I will always be doing this not because I vampire off the young but because I know that youth has an arrogance and stupidity that is truly needed to make great art.

I also know that it’s okay to be an old and grumpy hag stewing the cauldron from above. From now on though, when you hear me gripeing and see me rolling my eyes at some silly comment or desperately too cool for school name drop or insight, just ignore me and don’t take offense. I’ll be here to the bitter bitter end and I hope you are too.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Sex and the City

I did it. I watched all of Sex and the City for the first time over the past few weeks and to be honest I am exhausted by the effort. It has been nearly twenty years since it first aired (June 2008) and I have to say that maybe it’s me, maybe it’s the two decades in between, maybe it’s my general malaise at this moment, but I really can’t be bothered to go into it all that much.

If I were to sum it up in one sentence it would be this: Show that failed the Bechdel test while wearing Manolo Blahnik. It was a TV show. It happened. I guess I sort of understand why people like/d it so much but meh, not me. It did make me think things though. About sex, being a women, being a women in their 30s, about dating, about living in this city called New York. I’ll take some time now to ruminate on some of these thoughts and may ricochet off the show to give it some sitcomic flavor.

Mid 30s Curse

‘Hi there, I’m in my mid 30s and still single, why am I still alive you ask? I really don’t know.’ You are no longer a 20 year old nitwit but you are also at the, should be married/have kids soon/already point in your life. You look good, you are smart, you probably have a good job and you have an actual life. But being in your 30s means that your dating pool goes from a sea of fishes to a muddy pool. As the year pass, it gets shallower and shallower until you are left nose-diving into the dredges and hoping that some salvageable divorcés pop up here and there.

It’s ugly out there and while women in NYC have more time and less expectation then their fellow women, it starts to become stark. The Sex and the City ladies were in their mid 30s when they started the show (besides Samantha who is ~5 years older) and that seemed to be their only hurdle. They were rich (very) and all seemed to have so much disposable everything that the focus of being self obsessed and being akkkin their 30sand single seemed to be their only pressing concern.

As silly as that is, it is sort of true. For those in the art world, youth is more then just an obsession it is de rigueur. Age is just a number but what it really is, is a number that represents certain things. How much you have done or not done by a certain age is a qualifier. Period.

The reality I have seen in the art world is that women rule the show. We really do. We run things, own things, manage things and are the bulk of the workforce within the arts. There are men of course but you know what I mean. So many times I have seen/know of professional women in the art world who are in high level positions and they date or swoon to date a young male artist or coworker of lesser stature. Think gallery director sleeping with the art handler. I know people don’t want to talk about it, but it’s true and happens often. I’m not judging, hey love is proximity and a good shag is worthy of any dismantling of social stratas but I can’t help but ask: Why is it that we women refuse to settle when it comes to our professional life but when it comes to love we settle for settling?

Dating. Ha!

Throughout this series it seemed like 1) There were men everywhere that one just bumped into and then voila, a new love affair. 2) That men actually ask women out. Yes, twenty years and a whole lot of technology has made it so that the process of meeting people and going out on a date has changed so drastically that gendered roles have been flat lined to those blinky (…) things on a screen.

I think I have been picked up by a stranger maybe 5 times in my life. Each time it happens I’m perplexed, annoyed and revolted all at the same time. It happens so rarely because like most veteran NYC women my face isn’t ‘resting bitch’ face it’s more like ‘why are you breathing the same air as me’ face. So instead you go online or you go to a party and you hope that you will meet someone there to create actual sparks with but ya, it usually doesn’t happen does it?

Also, going on a date is so passé. I actually love going on dates. I like being a bit old fashioned and dare say, getting to know someone before you sleep with them, but the rules have changed and if you want to play ball, you gotta be willing to pinch hit the whole ‘it’s cool that it’s vague, of course I’m not looking for a relationship either, let’s keep this simple by not knowing each other’s last names’ performance.

It’s not impossible to meet that maybe special someone in a fantastically real world way, but anyone who dates in 2017 knows that it is rare. Like a unicorn or finding someone’s drugs in the bathroom. So I guess the question is: Is chivalry dead or are we all just dead inside?

NYC Poor

As remarked, the women in the show, Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha, are all super rich. Like they all own their apartments rich and can eat out and get cocktails whenever they want rich. They can go on $500 shoe shopping sprees rich and it seems men just throw diamonds and puppies at them left and right. Well, that shit is not even close to how it really is.

Being well off in the city this day in age means you can take a cab once in a while and not have to worry. It means going to a birthday dinner party and not wincing when you get the massive shared bill. It means buying a bottle of wine AND a dessert on a date. It does not mean having a personal driver, taxi-cabbing a few blocks cause you are wearing heals, buying a house in Brooklyn and being all annoyed you have to live in eh gads, Brooklyn!

Jeez Louise, I know it was 20 years ago but back then the city was still very expensive. Now instead we 20-30s are lucky if we live alone in a small one bedroom or have a few thousand in our savings. We are lucky if we can take a trip to LA or Berlin or rent a car upstate for the weekend.

Money shouldn’t affect love but it does. Money always makes things funny. Money is always personal so when love and dating get mixed up it always rears its ugly head. If you make more money then the other person you soon find out the balance of this and either you adjust and accept or there is humiliation and overcompensation.

You know why so many people are coupled up in this city? Because the rent is too damn high and sharing a bed = half rent not necessarily = true love. Also, showing your independence is another type of qualifier. You made it kid, you are a-ok, if you can make it hear, you can make it anywhere as they keep saying. Managing your money and then throwing in another person’s can be beneficial or entrapping. At times one dreams of finding that person who can buy you the house, the trips, the fantasy lifestyle that makes this city glitter even with all its dirt but then you realize at what cost? When it comes to love and money, is there ever a good exchange?

Gal Pals 

So, the four women on the show are best buds and self-ascribed soul mates for each other. They all represent a color swatch archetype which is so ugg trivial but ya I guess we are all clichés heh? Anyways they lunch and walk around the city and get drinks and go to parties and talk about menall the damn time. It is a bit wretched to watch/listen to but then I also had to admit that this is what I do with my gal pals as well.

Of course we talk about other things but talking about men, women, relationships (whatevers) is usually the number one topic as no matter where or who we are, we are all going through the same complications of love or the lack there of.

Why do women feel the need to chatter about their love and sex lives with each other? Is it a form of competition or companionship? Is it a way to expose ourselves and show our foibles and vulnerabilities hence getting an emotional bug delousing from our fellow ladies? Whatever the reason, it is a real thing that just seems necessary in most female friendships.

Does intimacy require friendship as much as it requires romantic love? All these questions but I must admit I felt a momentary pang of idealized envy towards the lifelong friend bonds that the characters had in this series. A sort of cabal of estrogen sisterhood that to be honest is rare to maintain in the city. Sometimes in this city it is better to have a best friend then it is to have a lover but then you realize you want both and wonder: Why can’t we have it all?