26 June 2006

sometimes i feel lonely

even with the excitement of the crosstown ride and the parade, i came home and things went downhill. i've been struggling with how to interact with such a huge city. with so many things to do, where do i start? and this weekend, what i guess i'd call depression got the best of me.

this morning i started reading the 1937 polish novel "ferdydurke" by witold gombrowicz -- nothing like an eastern european black comedy to lift my spirits.

even page one seems appropriate after a rough patch:

i lay in the murky light while my body, unbearably frightened, crushed my spirit with fear, and my spirit crushed my body, whose tiniest fibers cringed in apprehension that nothing would ever happen, nothing ever change, that nothing would ever come to pass, and whatever i undertook, nothing, but nothing, would ever come of it. it was the dread of nonexistence , the terror of extinction, it was the angst of nonlife, the fear of unreality, a biological scream of all my cells in the face of an inner disintegration when all would be blown to pieces and scattered to the winds. it was the fear of unseemly pettiness and mediocrity, the fright of distraction, panic at fragmentation, the dread of rape from within and of rape that was threatening me from without -- but most important, there was something on my heels at all times, something that i would call a sense of inner, intermolecular mockery and derision, an inbred superlaugh of my bodily parts and the analogous parts of my spirit, all running wild.

24 June 2006

fears and shenanigans

we all have our fears. sometimes we let our fears control our lives, we let them take hold of us with a crushing grip.

i was nine years old. i flew head-first over the handlebars and when i hit the asphalt,
i absorbed the blow with my face. it wasn't pretty. they made sure my nostril and lips would stay attached to each other. i couldn't look at myself in the mirror.

it took me a few years to get back on the bike. when i did, i crashed again. years later in st paul i found some confidence. i started mountain biking. i came to new york.

today i got on a bike for the first time since last fall.

don't worry i wore a helmet.

so i walked through the rain and i borrowed ameet's bike and went to prospect park, where i met my sister and some of my friends but mostly her friends primarily, anyway,we rode through the park and onto ocean parkway, which is a parkway that goes to the ocean. and coney island.

i have never been to coney island.

there were about ten of us. our gang was called the shenanigans. our rallying cry was
YIP yipyipyipyipyip UH HUNH, UH HUNH.
you know, like those aliens on sesame street.

we rode a long way. we fixed flat tires and ate apples.

today was the mermaid parade, which is a parade of mermaids. it's for neptune. there were egyptian zombies dancing to thriller. and pixies. and sexy tattooed sailors.

when was the last time you swam in the atlantic ocean? we did. the waves pulled off my boxers. luckily i grabbed them just in time. even though a little kid was shouting TAKE IT OFF. i think he was talking to my friends who were girls and not me. but i showed him my ass anyway. was that illegal?

it was wet. it was raining, just a little, so even the parts of us that were out of the ocean were wet. strange apocalpytic clouds crept from the sea, a low moist air surrounded us.
an embrace from neptune.

we had french fries. we spun around in circles.
we got back on our bikes, and we left coney island.

the rain picked up. it went from the soft hands, to the snapping and the clapping.
then the pounding, the stomping, lightning and thunder and new oceans of rain.

Avenue Z. Boom!
Y. X. flashBoom!
W. V. U. boom!

we parted at grand army plaza with a final YIP yipyipyipyipyip Uh HUNH!

i rode alone, soaked to the bone, to a hot shower, pajamas and my guitar.

19 June 2006

that is how they play in england.

the solstice is fast approaching and the summer is taking hold. the street clocks said 95 yesterday, tho' i think they were exaggerating. still, it was damn hot.

but tonight things are cooling down and a soft rain is falling. i'm sure it's making that wonderful hushed, palms-together sound which i love. but i can't hear it because a truck is idling right outside my window.

seriously, people, never live across the street from a hospital.

i've been sick the past week with an intense fever:


it's a terrible sickness, to be trapped in front a tv screen in dark, cool living rooms and bars while the world bakes outside. i'm trying to stop it from taking over my life.

the best match i've seen so far was ghana v. czech republic, but watching us v. italy in a bar packed past standing room was amazing. the us is not very good but i think i have to support them, if only that a us advancement would get more americans tied into this global game.

the global game as i've caught it:

kampala, uganda -- a match between manchester united and arsenal, and man u. ended arsenal's 49 (!) game win streak. the streets that night, my god, you'd think it was a national holiday, fireworks in the street, gunshots late into the blackness that is night without electricity. all this for a game 10,000 miles away.

nkhata bay, malawi -- a local league is playing on a rock-hewn, grass-bereft pitch. it's not even summer yet, and already the equatorial heat is punishing. there, on the hands of the players, what are they wearing, i ask my friend. they are gloves, of course, he explains. but it's so hot, why are they wearing gloves, and he replies, that is how they play in england.

but no crumpets?

i can't wait

there's a longer entry in the works, but for now, this is exciting. From the NYT Sunday Magazine interview with Jack Black:

NYT: Your next film, which comes out this fall, is called "Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny" and sounds like a documentary about your band.

JB: No. It's not a rock-you, mock-you-mentary. It is the story of how we came to be, and our first epic journey to become the greatest band on earth.

14 June 2006

turns out feeling old runs in the family

from hannah, my youngest sibling's blog -- here

i don't want to grow up. i don't want my parents to get old. i don't want my grandparents to get older. i dont' want to outlive all my loved ones. i don't want to not have friends for the rest of my life.


modest mouse:

"i'm the same as i was when i was six years old/and oh my god i feel so damn old/i don't really feel anything."

12 June 2006

we will become silhouettes

yesterday i returned from my five year college reunion. yes, we revisited the drunken haze, the riotous four am screaming laughter, the instant social groups (just add liquor). it was a joy to have the crew back together.

but as i walked through the seemingly unchanged landscape, what struck me most was looking at the classes of 96, 91, 86. are these fat balding men my future? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! now granted they didn't all look like shit, but it was a terrifying confrontation with my own mortality, which, closing in on 27, i have still not confronted.

still, i love my friends, and it's always special to see the ones from far away.

on the way home from work today, i walked down to the promenade with a freshly purchased copy of the new yorker, where i sat and watched the boats while i read about the security of new york harbor and wished more paper was as soft silky smooth as that mag. seriously, i'd subscribe just to feel the pages.

so i'm journaling, detoxing, and listening to the polyphonic spree. i plan on writing far more regularly, for those of who have joined the adventures recently. so keep one eye on the lengthening solstician (solstical?) days and the other in brooklyn.

09 June 2006

a quickie at work

i probably shouldn't be doing this, blogging at work. it's gotten some people in trouble.

tonight i head up to vassar for my FIVE year college reunion. i told my grandmother it made me feel old. she laughed.

running red hot errands today, walking down margaret sanger to joey ramone place, i passed a wall of graffiti. one banner read

if you can make it in new york, you made it!

that felt good.