Archive for October, 2011

CMJ

October 24, 2011

–for Wednesday October 19th, 2011:

I was doing nothing on this Wednesday afternoon when Matt invited me to the Puma store to see DOM play live.  I’d seen Matt was in town; he’d told me the night before that he was in Williamsburg.  I took a train out and got to Union Square, but Matt was not there.  He texted to say he’d be late, and showed up about an hour later.

DOM was fine, if a bit generic.  Matt was thrilled to see me.  He hugged me tightly.  I was happy to see him too.  After DOM’s set, we walked back to the place he was staying on 6th and Washington.  I was surprised that he didn’t know his way around that well.  The place was pretty nice.  Stephanie was there, with some champagne and Indian food.  I was invited to the Indian food, so I went for it.

 

 

We sat around awhile, then headed out to see Netherfriends at Wicked Willy’s on Bleecker Street.  Matt said he’d pay for me to get into shows, and he was true to his word.  I didn’t know Netherfriends was a one-man band of Shawn.  He was great.  He wasn’t enthused to be playing at a pirate themed bar; a sentiment that I appreciated, because I wouldn’t either.  He danced wonderfully, too.

We headed for Pianos and got doused with rain.  I fretted over my fucked up hair.  Once at the venue, we saw Cloud Nothing, who were also fine but not really pushing any of my buttons.  Some songs were better than others.  The singer sang like Britt Daniel.  Pianos was a nice place; one of the better “small venues” I’ve been to in New York.

 

 

Matt smoked, then took us to Sombrero for margaritas.  I didn’t have one, though I did have rice and beans.  A bridge and tunnel bachelorette party was being held, featuring two handfuls of skanks shrilly and atonally harmonizing old Britney Spears.  Some guy (see bottom) yelled it was his birthday and they all cheered, did shots with him, showered him in hot attention.  I asked the guy’s friend if it was really his birthday.  The friend said, “No.”

Despite having an hour to kill, we went to Fat Baby to see Bobby.  We sat around and had a pretty good time.  Matt smoked again.  Bobby were having some trouble setting up, and enough time passed where the three of us were too tired to actually see the set.  So we left and went to Mikey’s, where I had a veggie burger than looked… like raw meat.

I ended up crashing at their place in the Village.  It was nice to sleep around.  Though I approach shows in a decidedly different manner than my hosts, I didn’t have much invested in the bands we saw so it was a good time.  Netherfriends was the best thing we saw, in my opinion.  I think the total amount of money spent on me that evening was about $40.

 

 

–for part of Thursday October 20th, 2011:

It was a very slow start to the day.  Sarah M of Mississippi Studios had flown in at 7:00 in the morning, and arrived at the apartment soon after.  We all awoke slowly and there was talk of food.  I think we eventually headed out around 1:00 or 2:00…  After walking quite a distance and almost seeing Dum Dum Girls at the Ace Hotel, I decided to part ways.

–for part of Friday October 21st, 2011:

Sean was in town from Baltimore.  It was my first time seeing him at New York.  After getting shown how to run a screening at The Spectacle, and some falafel from Habib’s, I walked across the Williamsburg Bridge (with Steve, who turned around and went right back) to meet Sean.

At the Lit Lounge, we saw a very Portland-based bill of artists.  First was Run On Sentence, playing mostly solo and very well.  Second was Southerly, who were incredibly loud and abrasive and, we thought, not very fitting (I think one of them picks up posters from Mississippi).  Third was Nick Jaina, who was great.  His violinist was histrionic, but obviously a great player.  Nick covered “The Old Revolution,” which made the night.  Everything he played was rightly immaculate.  Fourth was Gospel Music, which Sean and I skipped to go eat a sandwich.  Last but not least was Radiation City, who I’d been meaning to see in Portland, but never did.  They were great; I’d very much love to see them again.

So concluded my CMJ 2011.  If I happen to partake again next year, my experience will probably be something I mold to fit my preferences, like MFNW.  We shall see.

 

Real Man Of Genius

 

Visitors

October 23, 2011

 

So far in New York City, I’ve run into almost everyone that’s come from Portland to visit the town.  This surprises me to some extent, but I don’t know why.  I think it’s because the first was Lauren from Mississippi Studios, randomly on Broadway in Broadway my second week in.  I’d been planning on seeing her, but the only time I actually did was running into her on the street.

The next was in similar form; though no meet was actually had.  Some guy named Sam, who I met while hanging out with Katie (the last time I saw David), told me he was going to be in New York.  He said if I saw him on the streets of Brooklyn to stop him and say hi.  I did see him in Williamsburg.  But I did not do what he said.

 

 

The next was Frankie on Monday, October 17th.  We went to Coney Island on the Q train and walked the strand and the boardwalk.  Coney Island was beautiful as always.  I think some people don’t think highly of it, but it’s one of my favorite things.  Frankie found an iPhone of some girl named Mary.  There were great texts in it to her boyfriend, such as (paraphrased): “I know I said it before, but I think you’re showing signs of alcoholism.  Every time I close my eyes, I see the stripper jerking you off and I can’t fucking believe it.”  And he responded with things like, “I know, I’ve hurt you so much.  I need help.  I can’t even look myself in the mirror anymore.”  Frankie’s was probably the loveliest visit to date.

The next was Matt and Stephanie on the first Wednesday of CMJ.  But that story is for next time.

 

People In Park

October 14, 2011

“Don’t blame Wall Street, don’t blame the big banks, if you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself!  […]  It is not a person’s fault because they succeeded. It is a person’s fault if they failed. And so this is why I don’t understand these demonstrations and what is it that they’re looking for.”

– Herman Cain, October 5th

 

 

As I previously mentioned, I went to Occupy Wall Street.  Last week I went to Wall Street to find nothing.  I was informed everyone was occupying nearby Liberty Park.  That’s me: fresh off the boat.  I wandered their direction with a free afternoon and upon arrival acted like a tourist.  It’s something I have a twinge of shame about.  I also wish I hadn’t taken black and white pictures; there’s very limited depth in these.

 

Here’s the first guy I really saw – an activist in his super hero outfit, waiting for the photographers.  I suppose the collective making a stand is about getting noticed.  And yet, this particular posed individual struck me as narcissistic.  I wonder if such a judgment is overly-malicious.  After all, aside from being a tourist to the cause, I just sit around in Queens and apply for jobs.

 

Needless to say, the NYPD were everywhere.  One cop seemed to make fun of a woman selling shirts that said some shit like “I OCCUPIED WALL STREET.”  A cop making fun of the people there is pretty piggish, but if the lady was just there to make a buck and then leaving, I guess there would be something ironic in that.

 

This is irrelevant, but this little man was standing on a bucket (a case full of money before him) with a sign (truly) saying, “HEY LADIES – I AM CUTE?  IF THAT A YES LET ME KISS YOU.”  Once you realize Freedom Tower is there under construction in the background (with another building reflecting off of it), you begin to appreciate what this guy really stands for.

 

It was a real Smorgasbord of politics.  Some guy was saying not to blame Wall Street – that the problem was much higher up.  Some were for the environment.  Some were for Anarchy.  It really wasn’t terribly unified, and I hope that doesn’t mean it just amounts to an airing of mass grievances.  But maybe that’s not even bad.  Despite the diversity, everyone there seemed committed; it was until some logical end or other.

 

 

There were some park denizens scrubbing the ground.  I didn’t know what that was all about.  I later found out about the “eviction notice” Brookfield – the company that owns the public park – had given the protesters.  It was a bum deal, and my first feeling was that I was glad to have visited before it got broken up.  But Brookfield relented and the occupation continues as I write this, which is great.

I’ve been silently wondering if it’s some deficit of principle that I’m not down there every day in support and solidarity.  It’s not overly difficult to get to, especially now that I have a bike.  Every day but this that I’m accounting for, I’ve consciously chosen to sit around, apply for jobs, see the city, see some people, have some fun – instead of join in the rabble.  I’ve got some excuses…  But what does this mean for my soul?  I’ll have a look later.

 

–for part of Thursday October 13th, 2011

Man In Suit

October 14, 2011

 

I don’t get over to Manhattan as often as I’d like.  Seeing Matthew for lunch is always a better excuse than most.  Which is saying a lot, considering how much there is in Manhattan.  It was nice being out, considering how much time I’d spent in the day before.  I had a not-fun time making a Master Application for CUNY Schools.  More on that later, maybe.

 

 

Matthew pushed the schedule back an hour, so I took the time to ride up the Hudson River to about 80th.  It was grey and dreary, but I had my phone’s radio on 89.9 FM.  I thought this was public radio for Classical, but I guess it’s the Columbia student radio station WKCR.

It was a treat.  The lunch program was honoring Lester Bowie on what would be his 70th birthday.  They played a few songs that stuck with me – one being “It’s Strange,” the first part of a two part piece.  I can’t remember the name of the second part… and I can’t find information on any of it.  I’m assuming I hallucinated it.

 

 

Riding around Manhattan for the first time was a rush.  I still have no helmet.  It’s insane the way taxi drivers drive.  But what’s even more insane is the way other cyclists ride.  I was running reds, cutting corners – par for the course as I deem appropriate – but when another cyclist is coming straight at me going the wrong way on a one way and it’s a wet 7th Ave and I don’t have any room to get out of the way… why, that’s madness!

 

 

I met with Matthew and we had satisfactory Thai food.  I went to Occupy Wall Street — more on that later.  On the way out of the area, I found myself behind an older man in a suit on a scooter.  He was heading towards the Brooklyn Bridge, as I was.  Against my hopes, he didn’t get on the bridge, and I lost him at the Subway station just at the base.  I continued on to the Williamsburg Bridge and home.

 

–for part of Thursday October 13th, 2011

El Hijo Del Topo

October 14, 2011

 

I watched El Topo.  I vow to watch it again in approximately one year to get that revaluation of all values.  In the meantime, I say thus:

The movie begins with El Topo stopping his horse in the middle of a desert with his naked son.  El Topo says his son is seven years old; he’s a man now, and as a Man he must bury his first toy – a stuffed animal – and a picture of his mother.  The seven year old does.

I’m 24 years old and I don’t believe I would be able to do likewise.  That being said, the boy only partially buries the picture of his mother (I don’t think this is just for the sake of making the amazing cover of the film).  And, that being said, I’m far away from both my mother and my first stuffed animal.  This is in my mind every day.

It’s hard to tell if his son ever really becomes a Man in the realm of symbolism, but one thing seems clear.  El Topo himself seems like A Man only for about one-fourth of the film.  The rest is a devolution of sorts.

Here’s to a good one year!

Abel Sanchez

October 12, 2011

Abel Sanchez has a lot of philosophical gems in it.  I’m saddened because it’s difficult for me to remember them all.  I read it somewhat sporadically over the course of a ten days or so.  The main theme of the book is the concept and action of Envy, and the connected (possibly larger) concept of Power.

 

 

1. A Misguided Jerk

Joaquin Monegro is afflicted with Envy every moment of his life.  Sometimes author Miguel De Unamuno varies its cause, suggesting throughout the book that it’s either a demon, a sickness, a potion taken, or all of the above.  The truth may be, at least up to a certain point in the book, that Joaquin is just an asshole.  And here’s why.

In their childhood, Abel Sanchez is supposedly the superior to Joaquin.  Joaquin appears superior on paper, but he feels last place in all that goes on.  For instance, Abel supposedly wins over all of Joaquin’s friends because of a superior charisma.  Obviously, this happens to all of us: there’s an ebb and flow to the social game.  I was never the most popular kid in grade school, but I won some and lost some.  It had to be that way for everybody; it hurts but we get over it.

As the two grow and come to embrace their vocations, Abel becomes more famous with his painting than Joaquin at his medicine.  Being a painter and practicing medicines are two fairly different things.  It’s initially difficult for me to understand Joaquin feeling maligned in this circumstance.  They make some illusory but pretty connection: Abel paints like a scientist and Joaquin practices science like an artist…  But all of this can be left behind.

If Joaquin had will for temperance and could see beyond his coming in second, he could – as I say – get over it.  (even more idealistically, he could be happy for his friend)

2. A Malignant Psycho

After certain scenes, and especially in the end, I think it’s consciously insinuated that Joaquin is fucked in the head.  He dedicates his life to outdoing or destroying Abel, thinks Abel and his wife Helena are out to get him, can’t love his own wife Antonia, etc.  The book’s style (or at least the translation I have) seems willfully infantile, so it never delves deep into psychology.  That’s an asset though as it allows Unamuno to lace in more philosophical meanings to the events.  Still, Joaquin strikes me as paranoid, narcissistic, delusional, depressed, manic.

It seems strange, but there are times where he seems in touch.  He seems to act correctly (as in: composed), and consequently things seem to be okay for a time.  I’m going to touch on that later though.

Someone (probably Joaquin) near the end of the book calls Envy both “a form of family relation” and one’s perception of a threat of their existence being “obscured” by another.  Something that is being tackled then is forms of connection.  It would appear something like Envy is an effective means of connection, though less savory than – say – love.  (I also don’t believe it’s sustainable in the real world – envy probably eventually divides for good if it’s too strong and lasts too long.  But it makes a good adhesive for a narrative.)

3. Enviable Fellows

If this is a story about family then it’s a story about the human family.  After all, this is something of retelling of Cain & Abel.  Cain & Abel are the third and forth human beings ever, and like Adam & Eve, the path they all take (chosen or otherwise) will logically dictate the course of the rest of humanity.  If Adam & Eve’s real progeny are Knowledge and Sin, then Cain & Abel bring Envy and Wrath.

What’s there to be envious of, for Joaquin or for anyone?  Joaquin is angry about literally everything Abel achieves, thinking Abel is simply spiting and debasing him in the process.  There’s an interesting choice here about what Unamuno is discussing.  It could be about those who have versus those who have not.  I don’t know if I would take this route, for more seems to be at play.  Joaquin isn’t really envious of Abel’s material goods and achievements.  He doesn’t want to be a better artist.  He doesn’t merely want to outdo his enemy by amounting more things that are better.  He’s looking to outdo Abel in every conceivable area.  He’s envious over what Abel’s status and things mean – a concept of better and worse.  He wants Abel’s superiority.

4. A Nice Place To End Up

Power is an end that brings whatever is desired as long as it’s held.  There are a great variety of ways to end up with power, to gain control.  One argument I probably picked up in 2009 that I always thought interesting was conflict resolution as a means to gain power.

I don’t know if anyone compromises – that is: loses something – unless they think they’re going to gain more.  Even if it’s not immediate, a great strategy for gaining things is Losing To Win.  It’s like having good credit; benefits will eventually be reaped.  This is where I find a great deal of interest in Joaquin’s apparent moderation in the middle of the book.  He lauds Abel’s artwork, he confesses his demons to his wife Antonia, and he just generally seems to be closer to freedom.

He may not have known it, but I believe he was losing to win.  He had to let his interest go – outdoing Abel on every level – to gain that clarity.  His final end must surely be comfort, satisfaction, and happiness.  The “demon” in him pushes this end to be brought about by destroying Abel.  He has a taste of the alternative: freedom brought about by suppressing the demon.  But it comes back.

I do believe that something like this – overcoming “demons” of any kind – is empowering.  It makes me wonder how much of power is good or can be exerted towards the good.  After all, you can’t be empowered unless you have power, and empowerment is a cornerstone of a lot of great stuff like civil rights, feminism, etc.  I would wonder if empowerment is at odds with equality?  I guess I can see equalization being empowering for everyone.

5. A Perfect Man

So what about Abel?  He’s the title character, and yet he’s almost the invisible man; infinitely discussed but rarely present.  For about 90% of the book, Abel seems utterly oblivious.  He stumbles into fortune, talent, charisma, and reaps all the benefits.  Joaquin in childhood is called “the more willful of the two,” whereas Abel is passive and, yet, is said to be more likely to do as he pleased. 

Joaquin is always envious, and he clearly has issues of insecurity and self-loathing from childhood.  The curious thing is that Abel seems flat-line.  He has no distinguishing characteristics aside from being born with Power.  And seems to embrace it as he embraces his eventual fame.  It’s almost a mystery how he deals with his power, how he wields it, how he feels about it.  Almost all a reader can perceive of it is through the fucked up lens of crazy Joaquin.

But there are two moments to give anyone pause thinking Abel is either perfect or benevolent with his superiority.  One is his wife Helena.  He weds Helena with the knowledge that Joaquin is in love with her (she’s Joaquin’s cousin too).  Helena seems to play off the belief that Joaquin has of: If Helena is not in love with me, Joaquin, then she must be in love with someone else.  I’m pretty sure Helena is a bit of a manipulator.  She knew Joaquin loved her, knew he was best friends with Abel, and still put her knife in and left it the rest of the book.  Abel would be a moron if he didn’t know – he did.  But despite being – I believe – less conniving than Helena, he still did wrong by his friend, and I don’t believe he ever owns up.

The other moment is when Abelin – Abel and Helena’s son – tells Joaquin that Abel is a shitty father who is seldom home, is off philandering, and has little interest in raising a son.  He says Abel doesn’t seem to have much of a care about art, only a care for fame.  And he says – most mysteriously – that Abel speaks suspiciously too well of Joaquin.

This all points to Abel not being the benevolent benefactor he makes himself out to be.  Unamuno words keep Abel and his intentions exceptionally opaque, and these parts are either a glimpse or an effort to mislead.  It’s not entirely relevant which – if Abel is being deceitful, he does so with either enough subtlety or enough consideration to defend himself.  And while this makes him an asshole, they don’t lock people up for being imperfect.

So…


 

Joaquin is pretty much a nutcase.  He’s obsessed and it destroys everyone he loves.  He should just live his own life, with or without this person around… and so should you.  The funny thing is that throughout the story, Joaquin doesn’t seem unsuccessful at all.  He’s a doctor, he’s not of ill-repute, he seems rich… All his dreams but one came true, and it wasn’t even a good one.  Such is the sadness of mental illness.  Existentially speaking, he’s a corpse for almost the entire book.  The poor man!

Concept Of Anxiety

October 10, 2011

I was sitting on the bank of the East River in Grand Ferry Park on October 7th waiting for La Residencia when it suddenly hit me – I’m not really here.

 

 

I had some anxiety during the (sort-of) interview at the Comic Strip on the 6th.  It wasn’t just the bad idea of working a job that paid on commission — that did worry me, but it didn’t last because I got out of it.  There was, I believe, another aspect to the anxiety in that moment, not only of committing to a job, but of committing to New York City.

There have been times where I’ve seemed like an anti-social, nervous weirdo in the workplace (Portland State, Fall 2008) and where I’ve seemed like a perfectly nice young man with maybe a little charisma to boot (later endeavors).  I thought I knew how to conduct myself in a job interview…  I try and have my guiding principle be to throw myself headfirst into the maw.  Some Venkman shit.

This is idealistic, of course – it often isn’t so simple.  And typically, even if I am diving in, I’m still confiding concerns to somebody.  Before Berbati’s, it was Matt.  Before Mississippi, it was Kyle.  I don’t think I really had many apprehensions about New York.  There was just sadness for what I was leaving, not nervousness for where I was going.  And no big excitement either.

 

 

And I think this is may be about commitment.  (I hypothesize): I’ve committed to leaving Portland, but I haven’t committed to living in New York… despite already being here.  It makes some sense in that I’ve yet to have my own place, pay rent, have my own job, etc.  But there’s anxiety that seems to reside in me about those things, which doesn’t seem to arise any time except when I’m face to face with them.  Then again this is just going off the Comic Strip interview, so who knows.

Even before I arrived I’ve had to grapple with the choice of being flighty / on-the-go, or committed.  Flighty means not actually “living” in New York, and by that I mean not playing ball, not working hard, not having my own place and job, and not committing.  Like sleeping around, amassing belongings, even traveling the east coast.  Some shit like that.  Clearly I’m not doing that in action, but the thought exists in me.

The way I feel things are shaping out is thus: every failure I face urges me to be flighty and very success I face urges commitment.  It’s like this with anything, I’m sure, but why it’s new to me is because I don’t think I’ve really grappled with this kind of freedom before.

For better or for worse, I’m not thinking too hard about striving hard to build A Future for myself.  With the country on the course it is, the economy in its present state, and all that shit, I don’t know if it’s worth striving for that sort of thing right now.  I mean, it’s bedlam out there, mmmm?

 

 

Scant days have been more bad than good since I arrived.  Some feel mundane, but there have been some lovely successes.  On Saturday October 8th, I purchased a nice bike from a guy named Seth off Craigslist for $180.  I went out and meet him and found to my warm delight that he was pleasant and very helpful.  The bike is great and he gave advice about thievery, and what to expect, and taking care.

I rode around Brooklyn for the first time ever.  I had no helmet, lights, lock, music, or anything I typically have.  It was challenging, but I felt great.  I felt free, and the city once again sort of shaped itself in a new way before my very eyes, as I’m sure it has for so many others.  I’ve mostly have gotten around by Subway thus far, and walking is only so revealing because it’s a slow process.

Biking more than anything else not only opened Portland up for me, but made it a smaller town.  This was good at first, but it went south: everything got old.  That could happen in New York, but there will be more new things to see for longer.  And that, along with the nice rides over the weekend, makes me want to commit, which I’ll probably end up doing.

My body’s not going anywhere — it’s my mind that needs to be coaxed.  Coaxed by the varied, progressive, and continual successes of fortunate, edifying circumstances and achievements.  I just gotta find it.  Help!

Picture of bike forthcoming.

Money Empties Streets

October 7, 2011

 

I can’t say for certain that I am bummed out to have missed the march on Wall Street on Wednesday, October 5th.  I was in the Pain Cave applying for some jobs that I want but may never attain, and some jobs I set up interviews for that went clearly nowhere.

I went down there the following day.  It’s “Occupy Wall Street” – I figured I’d see the occupying forces huddled and waiting and protesting en masse.  But I didn’t see much at all.  I was in the wrong place… Wall Street.  Everyone else was somewhere else, and power to them for it.

 

 

 

The streets were all closed off.  I don’t know at this time if that’s how it always was.  I hear when the march entered Wall Street, it was not supposed to.  It must have been something of a struggle even around impediments that weren’t truncheons.  There were decent blockades where I was, including sections of the street raised up and fortified.  And there were a lot of police hanging around.

I, like many others before me, have wandered around the Financial District on a cold January night.  It’s like Gotham City in Tim Burton’s first Batman.  Its foggy and orange, with narrow streets weaving between staggeringly tall buildings, and steam is shooting up from manholes here and there.  I wondered who lives there, and if they like it, and how much it costs, and all that.

This was lonelier than that.  It was a restricted stream of gawkers like me, with their reasons for being there, looking, and slowly making their way.  There is a morbidity to all of it.  But probably less morbid than having my head thwacked by some heavy under orders.

 

 

Just a few blocks away, they were throwing this up.  I don’t have an opinion on it, though looking at the estimated cost is making me fan the sweat from my brow…

 

–for part of Thursday October 6th, 2011

The Last Picture Show

October 7, 2011

 

(Spoilers):

I’ve been putting off writing a post or two about Twin Peaks for a few weeks now.  One of the topics I’m spinning on is how the show’s portrayal of a small town will stick with me and make me nostalgic of Portland.  (also, how the show’s setting of the Pacific Northwest make me nostalgic for… the Pacific Northwest)

The town in The Last Picture Show definitely has a smaller feel than the town of Twin Peaks.  In Twin Peaks world, Twin Peaks has a population of 51,201.  The show only represents relatively few town residents, but there’s occasionally a sense that at least a couple hundred more folks are around.  (for size comparison: Springfield, Oregon supposedly has a population of 59,000)

The town writer Larry McMurtry grew up in was Archer City, Texas.  As of 2010, the population of that city is 1,834.  Twas perhaps smaller in the mid-fifties, when McMurtry was coming of age; maybe bigger in 1971, when the film was released.  The Last Picture Show is a representation of Archer City, renamed “Thalia” in his book, and “Anarene” in Peter Bogdanovich’s film (thanks Wikipedia!!).  There are considerably less characters here than in Twin Peaks (which has quite a few for a television show; too many sometimes), which is fitting because it’s considerably smaller than Twin Peaks the town.

There’s really not a lot in common between the two.  One thing I felt they did share though was the atmosphere of the residents just coming and going or just leaving altogether for good.  And in that way, both remind me of Portland.

I suppose I don’t know if it’s totally justified.  No later than 2009, I was considering Portland “a small town.”  By 2011, I was convinced by some conviction that it was a podunk town (Wikipedia is telling me “podunk” means “middle of nowhere”; couldn’t any place be described that way with a big enough map?).  But that’s just feeling based off personal experience.  Portland’s got like 700,000 people in it, along with some skyscrapers, major institutions, an international airport, a supposed culture supposedly all to itself.

Whether I’m living in a fantasy or not, that connection is somehow made in my head and its there to stay.  Sonny and Duane are both enjoying the end of a nice tutelage from Anarene High School, and now they wonder whether to go far somewhere else or suck eggs in the same place.

Duane sort of gets away working a job elsewhere, but his heart’s still drawn to Anarene for Jacy – a girl that’s wild, beautiful, manipulative, not to be trusted, lost, directionless, misguided, sad, worried, melodramatic, and human after all.  He sure knows how to pick ’em.  Maybe that’s just a foil though; love’s just a metaphor for an umbilical cord.  He eventually enlists and goes to Korea, but his attitude hasn’t shifted to much more than a sadder resignation.

Speaking of which, Sonny sits around sucking eggs, getting laid, watching friends drop like flies, and Never-You-Minding.  Duane is something of a seeker in his scraping and scrapping for Whatever, while Sonny never even leaves the crib.  This is probably where my antennae are going up.

I saw the movie on Wednesday, October 5th with John and his friend Dakota.  We all loved it.  I made a half-assed attempt to tell Dakota how it reminded me of Portland — but not in a homesick way, just a peaceful nostalgic way — and felt rather unjustified because (I think) most think of Portland as a decent-sized city, not a podunk town.

But!  Maybe it doesn’t matter how big the city is.  “Just remember, beautiful,” Jacy’s mom says to her, “Everything gets old if you do it often enough.”  Likewise, I guess: spend enough time anywhere and it will feel like the middle of nowhere.  Say… just today I was walking down Broadway on the Isle of Manhattan – where it touches Madison Square Park – and I ran into Lauren from Mississippi Studios, Portland, OR.  I hugged her and said, “It is a small town, after all.”

 

 

I ought to add, for my own posterity, a scene I’m stuck on.  Jacy gets a thoughtful, materialistic gift from dumbo Duane (a new watch; “six months savings” I think he says), gives him a feel of the fruit (to make him feel slightly better maybe about running off), runs off to a pool party where she exposes herself with apparent discomfort.  To fit in, she plays it cool.  But her gift is ruined in the pool.  There is a moment of tender empathy for her current actions and for Duane’s sweetness – you see it in her eyes (up top).  But she continues with the philandering, and isn’t quite the same for the rest of the film.

“No Reason” Performed Solo

October 7, 2011

 

I had two job interviews set up today.  They were both failures, and the fault is mine only in that I should have known.

The first was to do “promotion” for The Comic Strip, a super famous comedy club where every famous comedian you love got their start.  They made very sure I knew this, through words and pictures.  But the job was no different than canvassing (which is not intrinsically bad) and paid on commission (which is intrinsically unstable).

The last time I canvassed – in early 2006; the dead of winter, in fact – it was for a Public Interest Research Fund trying to keep the Bush Administration from oil drilling off the Oregon coast.  I only lasted two months before they, with sincere regret, had to let me go.

I’m not averse to the idea of canvassing again.  But I’d much rather do it for a cause I believed in.  I mean… I believe in comedy above all else.  But that’s not the same as haphazardly blowing days selling discounted tickets to a comedy club with $25 entry fee and a two drink minimum, with the minimum drink price being $15.

I feel, internally and self-consciously, that this could be “picky.”  I am mooching off a friend after all, though I try and keep everything balanced out.  Still, in practicality, I feel moving into a place of my own with an income that’s intrinsically unstable would be idiotic, eventually throw me right back to Square 1, and put me out a couple hundred in the process.

The Comic Strip interview was at 9:30 in the morning.  I was back on 2nd Ave by 10:00.  I made it to the next interview on 49th, in a building just a few doors down from the Broadway theatre showing The Book Of Mormon.  It was for a security position – the woman on the phone said “corporate.”  I was told “suite 401.”  When I got the fourth floor, suite 401 was locked and the only sign I could find gave no identifying clues.  I didn’t have a number to call.  I knocked, but eventually left.

 

–for part of Thursday October 6th, 2011