Monday, October 16, 2017

What Happens When You Don’t Like A Show Everyone Loves?

Susan Cianciolo at Bridget Donahue

Yesterday I had to do some work for a project and before setting off to that I wanted to see some art. Looking at art is something I really enjoy, it’s a reboot and many times a relaxing activity that I usually do by myself and on occasion with someone else.

I was in the Lower East Side/Chinatown area so I went to some shows I have been meaning to see but somehow kept missing. Some were okay, nothing really stood outit’s hit or miss when you gallery-hopand I wasn’t expecting much but something funny happened.

At one of the shows, the Susan Cianciolo show at Bridget Donahue, I had a very strange feeling.

I walked in and I looked around and I really wanted to like it, but I didn’t. And for some reason this made me feel bad. Or some sort of emotion of, ‘not getting it’ or a feeling of self-evaluation of aesthetic taste. I’m not here to dog on the show. It’s not about that. It’s totally par for the course that somethings resonate while other things don’t, but what I am curious about is what happens when there is a show that everyone else in the art world seems to love but you don’t.

There is every merit to why Cianciolo is having the applause that she is of late. Her work has bended and blended the lines between fashion and art for years now and should certainly be recognized. Her exhibiting at Donahue, which I have said a loud to many people, is the future and model for new galleries to strive for, and they make perfect sense together.

These things are right and just in the world and I’m not diminishing any of that, but there is an undoubted presence of the ‘cool’, of the ‘it’ in both artist and gallery that makes it hard to vocalize anything but admiration.

I guess it is only fair to say why/what I didn’t like about the show:

The show’s conceptual conceit, at its core, is the concept of the body. Cianciolo created three tent like rooms in Donahue’s space and there are three others, working in parallel, at Modern Art in London. The tents are open structures and are ‘room’ like in that they are populated with a domesticity that harkens to Bedouin tent meets afterschool program, meets quilting circle, meets ayahuasca safe zone. They are open, just beam structures, and you can see what’s inside, even though you are invited to remove shoes and go inside. The tents seem to have been ‘activated.’ There is debris and traces of participation. They are colorful, friendly, and have warmth but for me, something just felt off.

The inclusivity of it all made me a bit wary. The structures made me feel unconvinced. A tent is a place of hiding, a nest of safety, the way these were on view felt like displays and sets for some type of utopian living and interaction that I would only be able to participate in if socially forced and with audience. That felt strange, off, unsettling and it felt counter to the show’s premise. I didn’t feel my body and a relational desire to interact but the opposite. I was all cerebral. Wondering, what’s the point, what am I missing, why do I feel so distant and unconvinced?

This might be the point of the show, to ask these questions, and that in itself is a success but back to my main point. While I was looking and when I left the space I felt a type of guilt. So many people have mentioned this show to me. They don’t talk about it in big idea ways but there is definitely this overriding sense that it is ‘cool’ and that it is a must see because it is.

This happens a lot in art, there is a current of something that makes someone or someplace feel like it is epicenter, hitting a mark, is unquestionably good regardless of what is on view. The art world really loves this. It wants to feel like it is on pulse, on the cutting edge and this is at many times exciting to see and be a part of. What has me a bit flummoxed is that because of this, there is a blanket pass for work and shows and that seems reductive/bad for art.

If I say I don’t like a popular show it becomes not so much about the show but about my confirming a sort of status. It makes one feel like they are off the mark and somehow not attuned to what is ‘in’ and what is again the word, ‘cool.’

I’m not cool. Never been, never will be but I don’t say that or use that as a contrarian badge. I like to think and react to art for myself and I want to feel free to not feel this strange form of guilt because I happen to dislike one of the most endeared shows in one of the most endeared spaces in the city. I want to feel like we are all able to critique and be honest about what we are seeing and have a conversation about it versus feeling like taking photos, going to the opening, having degrees of association with it in terms of its in-crowd spectral is enough.

Not liking something is just as hard to understand and articulate as liking something. I know the word ‘like’ is the least expectable term when talking about art but let’s be honest. That’s what it comes down to and it’s the job of the viewer to understand why or why not and it is through conversations that one can be convinced otherwise or not.

Let’s evaluate how we view and feel about art, without the auras and obligations, and talk about how it can serve this big conversation of ideas and aesthetics without guilt, remorse or social status preservation.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

A Dose of a Hallucinogen From a ‘Magic Mushroom,’ and Then Lasting Peace

I didn’t blog yesterday because I was sad. It happens. I was talking to a friend about this article. I don’t do mushrooms because they make me sick but ya, it is an interesting thing to think about.

A Dose of a Hallucinogen From a ‘Magic Mushroom,’ and Then Lasting Peace
By Jan Hoffman 
December. 1, 2016 - The New York Times

On a summer morning in 2013, Octavian Mihai entered a softly lit room furnished with a small statue of Buddha, a box of tissues and a single red rose. From an earthenware chalice, he swallowed a capsule of psilocybin, an ingredient found in hallucinogenic mushrooms.

Then he put on an eye mask and headphones and lay down on a couch. Soon, images flew by like shooting stars: a spinning world that looked like a blue-green chessboard; himself on a stretcher in front of a hospital; his parents, gazing at him with aching sadness as he reached out to them, suffused with childlike love.

Psilocybin has been illegal in the United States for more than 40 years. But Mr. Mihai, who had just finished treatment for Stage 3 Hodgkin’s lymphoma, was participating in a study looking at whether the drug can reduce anxiety and depression in cancer patients. Throughout that eight-hour session, a psychiatrist and a social worker from NYU Langone Medical Center stayed by his side.

Published Thursday, the results from that study, and a similar small, controlled trial, were striking. About 80 percent of cancer patients showed clinically significant reductions in both psychological disorders, a response sustained some seven months after the single dose. Side effects were minimal.

In both trials, the intensity of the mystical experience described by patients correlated with the degree to which their depression and anxiety decreased.

The studies, by researchers at New York University, with 29 patients, and at Johns Hopkins University, with 51, were released concurrently in The Journal of Psychopharmacology. They proceeded after arduous review by regulators and are the largest and most meticulous among a handful of trials to explore the possible therapeutic benefit of psilocybin.

Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, a past president of the American Psychiatric Association, and Dr. Daniel Shalev of the New York State Psychiatric Institute are among leaders in psychiatry, addiction medicine and palliative care who endorsed the work. The studies, they wrote, are “a model for revisiting criminalized compounds of interest in a safe, ethical way.”

If research restrictions could be eased, they continued, “there is much potential for new scientific insights and clinical applications.”

Although cancer patients will not have access to therapeutically administered psilocybin anytime soon, the findings add vigor to applications to expand research in a multicenter trial with hundreds of participants.

Some medical professionals held the studies at arm’s length. Dr. William Breitbart, chairman of the psychiatry department at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, questioned this use of cancer patients. “Medical marijuana got its foot in the door by making the appeal that ‘cancer patients are suffering, they’re near death, so for compassionate purposes, let’s make it available,’ ” he said. “And then you’re able to extend this drug to other purposes.”

Psilocybin trials are underway in the United States and Europe for alcoholism, tobacco addiction and treatment-resistant depression. Other hallucinogens are also being studied for clinical application. This week, the Food and Drug Administration approved a large-scale trial investigating MDMA, the illegal party drug better known as Ecstasy, for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Cancer-related psychological distress, which afflicts up to 40 percent of patients, can be resistant to conventional therapy. Mr. Mihai’s anxiety began when doctors finally told him he was in remission.

He would keep touching the nodules on his neck, where the cancer had announced itself. He flew to Europe to celebrate the end of treatment and his graduation from college, but abruptly returned to New York, terrified to be away from oncologists. He began drinking daily, hard, jeopardizing his fragile health.

Alarmed, doctors suggested the psilocybin study.

He took the capsule and began tripping. After seeing himself on a hospital stretcher, he recalled: “I had an epiphany.”

“Why are you letting yourself be terrorized by cancer coming back? This is dumb. It’s in your power to get rid of the fear,” he told himself. “That’s when I saw black smoke rising from my body. And it felt great.

Three years later, Mr. Mihai, now 25 and a physician assistant in Las Vegas, said, “I’m not anxious about cancer anymore. I’m not anxious about dying.” The session, he added, “has made my life richer.”

Monday, October 2, 2017

The World Is Falling Apart

Every morning when I wake up I reach over and check my phone to make sure the world hasn't ended/we not at war (a new one), that there isn't another massive devastation natural or otherwise. I know that basically everyone does the very same thing each morning. The time that we are living in feels overridden with calamities and like everyone else I’m exhausted.

This is not about how one feels nor the endurance towards events and its affects on personal scales. That would be entirely too self absorbed, but let’s all sit back and take a second to feel this overwhelming exhaustion for a few minutes.

Living in the US and having Trump in power is like a never ending shouting match where you are talking to the most irrational and illogical person who thrives off audience attention. Most of the time it becomes a form of white noise, you think you have buffeted it out of your psyche but it’s like some high pitched noise that gives you migraines and sporadic nose bleeds.

Then there is all this earth Armageddon. Earthquakes, hurricanes, more hurricanes, more hurricanes. The unrelentingness of it is heartbreaking and the mediation of it repulsing in the story line arc of who gets attention. Easy hint everyone, if it effects people of color then it doesn’t matter and it’s God’s will. If it effects people who are white, than it is tragedy that was never deserved.

Then there is politics around the globe. Catalonia, oh my goodness. Spain what the hell are you doing?! Venezuela, Turkey, all the atrocities in Africa we like to ignore. Remember Syria? How about Myanmar? A Nobel Prize winner ignoring ethnic cleansing, what a plot twist. And North Korea. Sure that bat-shit insane leader had a few good zingers towards Trump but he is literally starving his country. Where did I miss? Oh yeah, just about everywhere around the world is having some form of reckoning/despair.

Where is the leadership? Where are the god damn adults in the room that are facing, recognizing, helping and changing these things? The UN? Sure I think they should exist but they are so self obsessed with proving relevancy that it’s a bit of a lark.

This world is small. We think because of the internet and globalization that it has somehow gotten smaller but it has always been this small and it is inhabited by this species call homo sapiens and we are and have always been linked. Are we a species that wants to self annihilate ourselves and the environment we live in or do we have the capacity to make it so that it can thrive?

We are doing a pretty good job at the self-annihilation or the past forever but it doesn’t feel right does it? It feels terrible to me and I’m sure for most of you it feels the same way. I’m a certified expert on being a homo sapien all my life and so are you and if I hate what’s happening so much, as you probably do, why does it keep going down this path?

It’s all so much these days. Sometimes when I wake up I think, ‘Oh good, the end of times is here, great, finally’ but I don’t want that to happen. But I am exhausted. I’m tired of all this terror and terribleness. It becomes gnawing, relentless and it’s no wonder we are all catatonic and dazed.

Enough of the boo-hooing though. There is work to be done. Many of us are just observers to the traumas to the world and even though we too feel those affects, even in this position, we have an obligation to help those that are actually within in.

Even if you feel tapped out of empathy or caring, still care. Still try and do what you can.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Are You Ready For Some Football – Revisit

Today I am so busy and a little sick and I only have 10 mins to post something so I looked back at my post from around this date in 2011 when I started this blog and funnily enough its about football.

Anyone paying attention to politics knows about Trump and his bat-shit insane tweeting and calls for firing of NFL players who are kneeling during the National Anthem as protest to police violence against people of color in this country. Obviously I agree 100% with the freedom of expression by these players and think Trump is shilling to his racist base regarding this issue. I’d like to get deeper into this but I literally have no time so here is what I posted back then. It’s fun and silly but then as now, I like sports and it is something that does unite in a way that most things, including art, can’t.

Are You Ready For Some Football?
September 25, 2011

Football, America’s game, is in full swing. I am not a football-head, nor do I follow a particular team but football is truly something fascinating to behold. This 9 billion dollar industry is the most successfully marketed sports industry and this does matter, especially for those who have any visual cultural wherewithal. Not only does it have the most revenue of any US sport it also has the most eyeballs with 66,957 spectators in its meager 16 game season.Compare that to the 30,135 for baseball’s 162 game season and basketball’s 17,149 visitors in their 82 games. The disparity of the length of the seasons for each respective sport speaks volumes to this marketing blitz as well as the nature of the game. Many critics of the sport think that football is no more then mindless violence. Some think that it represents all that is wrong with this country and with the shockingly base need for its citizens to see a form of combat on the field. To be sure it’s a physically unforgiving game but football, like all sports, has moments of spectacular form and bodily accomplishment. Those that cannot see even a bit of wonderment in this game lack poetic openness and basic admittance that human beings require many things that this sport allows.

As previously admitted, I am a novice to football. I enjoy watching all sports as it makes me giddy to see perfection of form. Because I do not know much about the players or the rules of the game, at many points of the game I linger on the uniforms, the colors, and the formations before the ball is released. From this activity I will now list some choice teams in the National Football League and reflect on their colors, logos and also the history of their names in brief.In addition I will suggest an artist who may function as a cultural mascot. People who think arts and sports are un-mingleable need to just loosen up.

Baltimore Ravens – This most poetic of teams calls themselves the Ravens after their most notable resident Edgar Allen Poe. They have a ghastly designed logo as does so many of today's teams who seem to be using the same horrid graphic designer who makes the mascots and logos look like a 7 year olds lunch box, but I digress. Their colors are predominantly purple and white with a few dashes of yellow. Although they have a perfect literary reference, an additional cultural mascot could be Rirkrit Tiravanija, their purple color makes me think of grape juice or jelly.

Cincinnati Bangles – They have fab uniforms, orange and black and white and they have Tony the Tiger stripes on their helmet and pants. Very sexy. They are named from a pervious team called the bangles and also from one of its early couches previous gig at a high school with the same name. Their art icon would be Kehinde Wiley, bangle wallpaper, grrr.

Cleveland Browns – They have no logo at all, they are just the color orange and a strip here and there. Their name is from the couch Paul Brown, totally boring back story in a way but one can appreciate the minimalism of it all. Art coach would be Barnett Newman.

Pittsburgh Steelers – Now this is a team with good colors and a logo. Black and yellow is the pride colors of all Pittsburgh teams, just love that matchy match. The logo is the steel industries seal of red, yellow and blue star form. Sadly, they don’t make logos like that anymore. They have a fab ratio of black and yellow in their uniform and I just love the yellow pants. Also love that they don’t have cheerleaders. Art guru would be Chris Burden, sorry Warhol but your just too fey for this town.

Detroit Lions – Fab colors of a more saturated sky blue, white and gray. The logo is just fantastic, a blue lion in full kill mode. Detroit is a hard-knock, no frills city and there art guide should be no different, I name Richard Serra.

Green Bay Packers – Obviously fab-tastic uniforms and color. They are bold and bright in yellow and green and they leave little room for white. The name derives for a wonderful little back story of one of its founders, Earl Lambeau, getting funds for the uniforms from the Indian Packing Company in 1919. I give you Kippenberg, if you’ll have him.

Minnesota Vikings – Their purple and yellow ratios are just perfect. Love the mean looking mascot of the blonde braided Viking. The horns on their helmet are just the best as well.Nodding to the large Scandinavian population in Minnesota the Vikings posses that great folkloric touch. Their patron would be Marina Abramovic, not sure why but she seems like she could handle a horn.

Indianapolis Colts – Love the horseshoe. The blue and white are nice to look at. They were the first NFL team to have cheerleaders. Hmmm. A lot of teams have used the name colts in the past, but with the horse culture in Indiana, it seems the best fit for this team. Their art gal is Georgia O’Keeffe.

Buffalo Bills – The wild west in the cold east coast, what’s the deal with that? Well anyways, the blue buffalo with the streak of red to indicate its awesome fast charging is interesting symbology. Their cheerleaders are called the Buffalo Jills, cute eh? Their art pal would be Jasper Johns

Miami Dolphins – They have odd but delightful aqua and orange colors. Their dolphin wears a helmet making the porpoise look lean and mean. They are from the sunshine state that grows the oranges so the color choice is apt. Their art avatar would be Elizabeth Murray.

Dallas Cowboys – A most fantastic uniform of silver and a blue star, simple yet to the point.Being from the lone star state the team does two at once with the star badge. Their cheerleaders are the best in town and its hard not to like their guff. Their art star would be William de Kooning.

New York Giants – Their stadium is in my home state so there is always a bit of partiality there. They are the USA colors of red, white and blue and they don’t need no stinkin logo besides NY in all caps. Silly that they are actually in NJ but NJ is the type of state that will take that slap in the face with pride. To them they get Robert Smithson.

New York Jets – This team too is fair-weather to its actual location, sharing the Giants stadium but know one really cares. The green and white is classic. The logo includes both NY and the name Jets in case you don’t remember what team is playing at the meadowlands that night.Taking its name from it closeness to the airports, the Jets are truly a Jersey beloved team. Their artist would be Mark Di Suvero.

Philadelphia Eagles – From the constitution capital the Eagles have a darker green and white and have a mad looking eagle as their logo and eagle wings on their helms. This not New York City is burly and they are serious as hell about their football. They used to even have a court inside the stadium for unruly fans. Yikes. Their artist would be Vito Acconi.

New England Patriots – This is the most patriotic of teams with a colonial man as their mascot and a truly red, white and blue all over attire. Being from the refined area of the North East there is a snowy stodginess but the fans are resolutely, if not as boisterous, in their support of this leading team. Their artist would be Matthew Barney

Oakland Raiders – This is the prisoner batch of the NFL. They are rough and tough in black and silver and they have an old-timey, patch-wearing pirate as their logo. Their artist is Carl Andre.

San Francisco 49ers – In 1849 there was an influx of those seeking fortune in this area, becoming known as the gold rush. With gold and red they are a uniquely colored team. The manifest destiny history of the team is charming. Their artist would be Alexander Calder.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Art I Want to See!

Rosemarie Trockel

Back in New York City and yeah-eh, I’m a glad to be back. Don’t get me wrong I had a swell time in London and it was bags of fun but when I landed and was embraced by NYC’s humid stank, I was happy, relieved and excited.

I was extra excited because of all the fabulous art that has opened and will be opening. On Saturday me and my jet-lagged self walked around Chinatown and bopped into many shows. I have this new podcast project (Art Party – subscribe on i-tunes ya’ll) and I’m going to dish about those shows there (don’t want to give you duplicate content dear readers!) but there are still so many shows I won’t be able to see before next week because my life is a piñata filled with acid at the moment.

Anyways here is a little run down list of what I want to see and why. I’m sorry I do these damn lists all the time but seriously, I have like a million emails on like 7 different accounts to crawl myself out of today.

I hope you are seeing some great art. Is it just me or do things seem to be getting a lot more fun and exciting out there in art land?!  Ta-ta till next week and hopefully I can be more thoughtful by then.

Peter Halley, Green Naftali – I feel like I should know about Halley’s work more then I do, but meh, probably doesn’t stick for one reason or another. Anyways, want to see this show because I don’t see shows like this often and I want to see if Naftali is still as coolest gallery cucumber that it is known to be.

Allen Ruppersberg, Green Naftali – Now this I can get on board with! Ruppersberg is so fuckin cool.

Trevor Paglen, Metro Pictures - I feel like Paglen should be considered a scientist more than an artist. He is one of the few whose brain seems massive but his art/his persona is not total shit/ego town. Not sure what to expect and sometimes the end aesthetics of his work don’t quite do it for me but the whole process and the way he goes about it is impressive and so so smart.

Amanda Ross-Ho, Mitchell-Innes & Nash – She cool.

Carey Young, Paula Cooper – I once saw her talk at this weird artist activist place I used to go to back in the day and she seemed so smart and with it. Not sure what her art is focusing on these days but really happy to see she is still at it.

Aurel Schmidt, P.P.O.W. – Full disclosure I used to work for this gallery and I am curious to see this downtown hot thing in this setting/this gallery’s history.

Josephine Meckseper, Timothy Taylor – I will prob not have time to see this by the time it closes (Saturday) but if I did I would.

Andrew Ross, American Medium – My boys at AM opened a new space in Chelsea, got to show that love.

Justin Berry, Essex Street – He is my friend and I support the shit out of my friends.

Omer Fast, James Cohan – Tried to sneak in but it wasn’t open yet. Really like Fast's work and interested to see what he is doing right now as most of my catalog of his work is from a few years ago.

Rachel Rose, Gavin Brown Enterprises – She is still the belle of the art ball. Seems fair.

Rosemarie Trockel, Gladstone – Baddest B eva.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Weird Jet Lag Thoughts While Sleep Deprived – London Edition

I am supposed to be in Berlin (well outside of Berlin in the countryside) today thru Wednesday but instead I just woke up from a nap and am sitting in a fluffy pink robe in my friend’s lovely kitchen in Dalston London. I tried to catch that 6:30am plane but instead I was wide awake, covered in a sheen of anxiety and slight sickness sweat at 3:00am UK time and thinking, ‘I’m fucked.’ I bailed on the trip and have sort of bailed on the idea of sleeping for more then 2-3 hours at a clip since arriving.

Jet Lag, it’s a funny thing. It’s like being on drugs/coming down from drugs but without the fun parts and instead it is time messing up your body/mindscape. It’s only five hour difference from LDN to NYC time (LDN five hours later) and I have traveled a lot and have had much worse time differences but for some reason, on this trip, I am unable to adjust. Maybe it’s my subconscious being like, ‘this is not home,’ or maybe it’s the fact that I am wanting and having to communicate with people in NYC more often than usual so my brain is always thinking in relationship time back there. Not sure why, but I give up and will just be in this weirdo time land until I return later this week.

With the total lack of proper sleep I have been having some weird thoughts and reflections while I’ve been visiting London. (Yes, even weirder than usual...) and I will share some of these with you because god only knows when my brain/body/time frame will ever be right again (was it ever?...) Till then, I hope you are all sleeping a glorious, undisturbed 7-8 hours a night.

Weird Jet Lag Thoughts While Sleep Deprived – London Edition

I wish I had a UK oven, I don’t know Celsius but who cares! I have google and their ovens have this option with a fan so you can roast things easily and better and making roasts is like a thing here (but why?!!) and it comes out so much better even though when you open the door it blasts you in the face with hot air, it’s totally worth it because you could roast like 3 chickens without having to let them air out for hours and they would be perfect.

I want one of those Henry vacuums with the lil cute face on it. Do they sell them on Amazon?

Why do they say whilst? WHY? It’s annoying as fuck but meh…

Artists in Europe are wayyy spoiled. They are always complaining about not getting artist fees to participate in shows. I mean like small group shows, in like nowhere places! It’s nuts! Can you imagine if artists in NYC all were bitching about getting/not getting artists fees to be in some LES/Chinatown/BK group show?! Ha! I mean I guess in the big anti-capitalist scheme of things this DOES have merit but I can’t help but think that in some way it still shows that Capitalism makes everyone their bitch. Am I right? Or am I off totally? (EU artists don’t dare come at me with your PC privileged responses btw).

Museums are free in London BUT what they don’t like to brag about is that to see the featured shows (the main reason why you want to go in the first place) they totally charge, ALOT! Like 17-20 GBP aka like 20-25 bucks so it’s just as shit as it is in the states. You can’t have your ‘for the people’free entry but also have it be elitist! Tsk tsk.

It’s shit that the further you live from the center of London (aka rich town) the more you have to pay for the trains. It is done by zones so if you live in like Zone 5 and you work in Zone 1 you get charged wayyy more then if you live/work in Zone 1. It’s shit and not cool London. The poorer/further you have to travel the cheaper transit should be.

What the heck is up with ‘private clubs’ in London? I went to one very drunk the other night and I get it, it’s posh and makes one feel like they are very ‘VIP’ or something but really it’s so silly. It’s like being on a set for some weird iTV show. I know many people who are members of Shoreditch House and even have a friend who works for them and they told me they are opening a new location in Brooklyn. Ha! I mean people will join but it just really won’t work in NYC. The only members of that location would be like the worst of the art world’s worst. Sigh… Class is so peculiar a fixation.

Not sure if it’s me or just my total lack of reality aka, no sleep, but these British boys are looking damn fine on these streets this trip. Well hello there.

I’ve met and am revisiting the loveliest ladies in London this trip and they are all very pretty and they all have great jobs and these amazing accents and hair and they are all super single. I guess it’s the curse of every city. So many wonderful babes and so few males to date, travesty.

London. Your thrift stores are shit.

People (still) rarely ask you ‘what do you do’ in London and it’s amazing and humane. NYC, stop being a lil thirsty bitch about that!

Biscuits! Biscuits! Biscuits! I love you!

So the weather is crap most of the time but because of all the daily rain spritzes the flowers/foliage in this city is amazing. Like roses shooting up from nowhere and ivy and flowered walls just covering this and that. It’s so lovely it’s cliché.

Eggs on the counter at room temperature still freaks me out a bit but they are way more amazing then the yellow ovary puddles we have in the states.

It’s weird trying to ‘be on vacation’ when you actually ‘work all the time.’ People are like, ‘take a break! Don’t work!’ blah blah, but you can’t, so you keep working and you think, ‘what is this life I lead,’ but you secretly can’t help it so just stop complaining about it.

It’s weird when you are not ‘with’ someone but you are not ‘not’ with someone so when you are away you are all like, I’m single! But you text like soo much it’s silly and you obviously are not taking the, 'let’s use this time to think things over,' in the way you planned and that’s okay but whatever… who cares.

People with babies in Europe are lucky as fuck and they know it and g-damn it USA, get your maternity shit together (plus all the other bullshit you keep messing up).

Everyone everywhere is cool as shit, it’s amazing how small/big the world is. I’m like high on life aka demented from not sleeping but really, going to other places and seeing old friends, making new ones and all that jazz is like pretty freaking amazing. Everyone travel as much they can and as far as they can. And if you can’t that’s cool, the people right next to you are super amazing too.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Whoops, I Forgot to Blog (Again)

I’m in London (and Berlin-ish) for the next two weeks or so and I forgot to blog yesterday and I’m jet-lagged and have to go out with some friends soon so I really can’t blog all that much.

What I do want to quickly say is that lately I have been feeling like there are some big changes to be made. I’m not sure what they are but does anyone else feel like this? Some sort of stuck-ness, or possibly the staggering boredom of repetitions in behavior that feel like yokes of some sort. I’m not sure what is spurning this…Maybe it’s the start of a new season. Maybe it’s the looming new year. Maybe it’s new people in my life or old ones leaving or those relationships shifting. I’m not quite sure but it feels like an overflow.

Perhaps it’s the fact that I am traveling/letting myself travel for the first time in some time. Perhaps it’s my career and how it is steadier and also busier then it has been in a long time. Perhaps it’s the prospect of letting feelings be felt and vulnerabilities being shown.

Still I go in this circle of hypothesis, but yet I know that something will give, has to give. Yesterday I had all the time in the world to blog but I just forgot. I was catching up on rest and feeling a knot of something about nothing in particular. This total slipping of the mind is a bit odd, as this has become such a formula of my week, but at the same time maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe my brain is too busy processing things it doesn’t even know or can name to remember the set rules I have created for myself.

This post is really a bag of nothing and a way for me to just fill a page so I can get on with the living of my actual life. But I wanted to also throw it out there in case some of you are also feeling this strange compression/about to burst feeling.

Luckily for me I have jaunted off to other countries where this process of thinking about all these unnameable things can have some breathing room and my everyday is forced to be different. I am hoping through that whatever it is that feels so essential to change can come to the surface and for me to be okay with whatever that may be, regardless of whether I can name it or control it.

Till next week! I hope you remember what day of the week it is and that in your own way you can take a trip from your regular life and figure out some things as well.

Monday, August 28, 2017

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

It’s still August. What. The. Fuck. With that in mind I’m going to do another one of these cheat blogs wherein I type a bunch of stuff about the last week because it’s Monday. It’s still mother f-ing August and I am so brain dead and busy that I’m in actual physical pain.

Hope your summers have been as full, fun, and sometimes filled with existential doom as mine has been.

Monday 21

Went to work. It was the solar eclipse ya’ll! I was going to go to Tompkins Sq. Park and try not to burn my eyes out but then one of my co-workers got us access to the roof and had extra glasses. That was nice. Went up. Had weird ‘work’ small talk and faux conviviality and looked at the sun. The sun was pretty cool. The roof was nice. Got to see all these roofs gardens and hidden spaces and it was nice to see the city in this way. Watched a man who was sitting by himself in a stairwell on another roof (not looking at the sun). Wondered what he was doing/going through. Went home and made a stir-fry with Szechuan peppercorns and passed out at 11pm.

Tuesday 22

Went to work. Celebrated my one-year anniversary at job by getting a pedicure. Didn’t want to talk to anyone that day but somehow got trapped into a lot of small talk. Met up with friend who was staying with me from out of town at The Narrows. Drank white wine and talked about philosophy, existence of god (theodicy) and dissertations. Got a little buzzed. Made salad and sardines for dinner.

Wednesday 23

Went to work early for a meeting. Arrived late. Craved bagel but didn’t want to interrupt. Talked more then I should have but seemed okay. Went to office. Went to doctor to get new pills. Weighed myself on scale and saw I am losing wait. ‘Must eat more.’ Back to office, another meeting then another meeting. Talked to people from London about upcoming trip. Got picked up by friend in Red Hook to go to Rockaway for dinner. Talked in car and then parked near his apt and got groceries. Cooked food. Talked and then got into a weird, upsetting thing (not really a fight). Leave in not the best of terms. Listen to The Knife, Future, Junglepussy and Portishead on train ride home and try to feel less upset. Don't get back to my apt until 11:30pm. Pass out.

Thursday 24

Went to work. Feel sad about night before. Overly emotional! Leave work early to deal with mental state. Talk to friend. Take a nap, shower and get ready for evening. Take a bus to artist’s house who is reading me and my friend’s tarot cards. Go to bodega and pick up 3 Corona’s to be polite. Friend and artist and I chat and get ready for reading. Friend goes first. It seems good. I go next, I thought about one thing but the cards were all about money. It said I should be wary of an older man who is dull and who is money obsessed. The cards said if I align myself with him, it could be my ruin. Seems okay. Dash off for a dinner party in Manhattan. Train is very slow so take a cab at Delancy. Cab driver is young, 27, eating a slice of pizza and his name is Baz and he is a native New Yorker. He is nice and zips through traffic because I am late. Arrive at restaurant and everyone else is there but seems okay I am late. I’m flustered. Only know one person there. Everyone is young, dressed well and nice. One of the guys who is eating with us, his girlfriend is one of the chefs. The place is very swish. We order lots of food and wine. We are there till the place closes. I feel a bit disconnected at some points during the dinner but plow through it. Go to a speakeasy like bar. Pay for tequila shots and beer for everyone. Drink more drinks. Go to old Swat bar. See other friend there. Go to another bar and then pass out around 5am.

Friday 25

Feel incredibly hung over. Go home and shower and nap for hours. Get some food. Go to a publishing opening at Mathew. Too many people! Get me out of here! But stay and see friend read who is funny so it seems okay. Drink even though I feel pickled. Do some coke. Feel really shitty from the crappy coke for the next few hours. Go to a house party. Do more coke, feel even shittier! Talk to people but barely able to keep eyes open. Go to another thing in Bushwick but it’s a lil weird so go home and pass out.

Saturday 26

Feel completely annihilated from drinking and drug use. Lay about most of the day trying to recover. Try to be human and walk in the park with friend but give up after 15 mins. Going to see boxing match later so muster up energy and will to live. Go to park, walk to Forlini’s, drink wine and eat shitty Italian food. Go to boxing event which is in a weird/but cool Chinatown space. Get more drinks. Talk loudly and become annoying. Sort of don’t remember the fight or my behavior for most of that evening. (Yikes.) Go to old Swat bar (again) get mad at bartender for putting on shitty version of Nothing Compares to You. Slam mic on bar and get banned from karaoke like a lil freak. Feel embarrassed but also don’t remember most of the evening. (Cringing in the inside.)  Wake up entirely clothed and not sure how I got there.

Sunday 27

Dead. Meeting parents for Lunch at 2:30 in Hoboken. Feel bad that I can’t communicate/pay attention. Seems okay though. Go home to show people room in apt open for sublet. Talk to friend. Guy comes over and we get Thai food and eat in bed and watch Armageddon (terrible) and the final episode of Game of Thrones. Exhausted by 11pm. Try to read but just pass out in the AC.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Sun Stories

There was a solar eclipse today and although in NYC you couldn’t experience the “totality,” it was still something special to see.

We know so much about the science and the whys and hows of what happens during an eclipse, but even with all of that knowledge, one can’t deny the mystery, the spectacular, and the vastness of such an occurrence.

The feeling that things possess an archetypal magic is something that feels magnified in these rare events. It also feels like a respite, a pause and a welcome distraction/re-alignment.

Below are some myths about the sun from various cultures and times long ago. There are peculiar and shared manifestations in many of these and it makes you wonder how universal things are and the depth of our human desire and need to comprehend external forces in internal scales.

Enjoy and I hope you had a chance to see the eclipse and had a few moments to imagine how big and small the universe is.

Raven and the Sun, Tribe: Tsimshian 

Once the sky had no day. When the sky was clear there was some light from the stars but when it was cloudy it was very dark. Raven had put fish in the rivers and fruit trees in the land but he was saddened by the darkness. The Sun at that time was kept in a box by a chief in the sky. The Raven came to a hole in the sky and went through. He came to a spring where the chief's daughter would fetch water. He changed himself into a cedar seed and floated on the water. When the girl drank from spring she swallowed the seed without noticing and became pregnant. A boy child was born which was really Raven. As a toddler he begged to play with the yellow ball that grandfather kept in a box. He was allowed to play with the Sun and when the chief looked away he turned back into Raven and flew back through the hole in the sky.

Three Legged Rabbit, Tribe: Western Rocky 

A three-legged rabbit made himself a fourth leg from wood. The rabbit thought the Sun was too hot for comfort so he went to see what could be done. He went east at night to the place where the Sun would rise. When the Sun was half way up the Rabbit shot it with an arrow. As the Sun lay wounded on the ground the Rabbit took the white of the Suns eyes and made the clouds. He made the black part of the eyes into the sky, the kidneys into stars, and the liver into the Moon, and the heart into the night. "There!" said the Rabbit, "You will never be too hot again."

Mesopotamia, Epic of Galgamesh, c. 2000 BC.

In this ancient Sumerian story, Gilgamesh, king of Uruk, sets out on a quest for immortality to the Garden of the Sun, the land of everlasting life. To reach it, Gilgamesh must pass through the Sun's gate in the mountain of the horizon. The setting Sun disappears there and emerges from it at sunrise. A pair of terrifying scorpion-people stationed at the gate of heaven guard the Sun's path. But eventually Gilgamesh gains entrance to the next level.

E. C. Krupp postulates: "Around the 17th century BC., Mesopotamian boundary stones began to carry astronomical symbols, including that of the terrifying scorpion-man... Some scholars identify this creature as the Mesopotamian antecedent of Sagittarius, the Archer. Although no one is sure that the boundary stone scorpion-man is also meant to be the Sun's bodyguard at the gate of heaven, the constellation could have evolved from the earlier imagery through its association with the Milky Way.

Joshua 10:12-13

"On the day the Lord gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel: "O sun, stand still over Gibeon, O moon, over the Valley of Aijalon." So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jashar. The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day." 

This account of Yahweh, the Judaic & later Christian god, stopping the movement of the Sun was the basis for the Catholic Church's refusal to acknowledge Galileo's proofs that the Earth went around the Sun. The Inquisition panel argued that the Sun could not have been stopped if, indeed, it didn't travel around the Earth.

Re, Egypt

Re was known as the sun god and the creator in ancient Egypt. He took on many forms, each depending on where he was. Usually Re was portrayed with a hawk head, wearing a fiery disk like the Sun on his head. In the Underworld, the god took the form of a ram-head.

Re was the creator of our world. In the beginning of time, an egg rose from the water. Once out of his shell, Re had two children who became the atmosphere and clouds. They in turn had more children, Geb and Nut, who became the Earth and the stars. They in turn had two sons, Seth and Osiris, the father of Horus.

Re cried one day, and humans were made from his tears. He also created the four seasons for the Nile, a very important river in Egypt. Re combines with Horus to form Re-Harakhte, god of the Sun and the heavens. 

Liza, West Africa

Liza was the Sun god to the Fon people of West Africa. His sister was the Moon god Mawu. The two were twins, but were also lovers. Together, they created the Universe with the help of the cosmic serpent, Da.

It is said that Liza used his son, Gu to shape the world. Gu was the divine tool in the shape of an iron sword. He taught the people many different crafts, including ironworking.

Liza was also the god of heat, work and strength. Mawu was the goddess of night and motherhood. 

Malina, Inuit – Greenland

Malina is the Sun goddess of the Inuit people who live in Greenland.

Malina and her brother, the Moon god Anningan, lived together. They got into a terrible fight and Malina spread dirty, black grease all over her brother's face. In fear, she ran as far as she could into the sky and became the Sun. Anningan chased after her and became the Moon.

Anningan often forgets to eat, so he gets thinner as the days go by. Every month, the Moon disappears for three days while Anningan eats. He then returns to chase his sister once again.

This eternal chase makes the Sun alternate in the sky with the Moon. 

Amaterasu, Japan

Amaterasu was the Sun goddess of the oldest Japanese religion Shinto. When her brother Susanowo treated her badly, she hid in the cave of heaven and closed the entrance with an enormous stone. This made the world dark, and evil spirits came out of their hiding places.

In despair, a conference of the gods decided to trick Amaterasu into coming out by having a party near the cave. They put a big mirror in front of the cave and beautiful jewels on a tree. Uzume, the goddess of laughter, began a dance accompanied by loud music.

Hearing the music and laughter, Amaterasu was so curious that she took a look outside to find out what was going on. She was so fascinated by her own brilliant reflection in the mirror that she came out of the cave. Finally, the light covered and colored the world.