28 December 2006

the great white north

i seem to remember another blog of sorts with the same title, one of the dispatches from my trip, adjusting to the blonde, blue-eyed, scandanavian whiteness of minnesota after africa

but this time it's a different sort of whiteness, the quiet white solitude of standing in the middle of a frozen lake. frozen lakes make the most amazing sounds! frightening, like when the ice cracks and crumbles underneath your feet, and even if you're looking at a car driving across the foot-thick ice, your breath stops. mysterious, like the timpanic shudders of shifting ice plates, deep low rumbling sounds, whale-like and primordial.

it's true, i prefer the lake in summer and the calls of loons and herons, the silent majesty of the northern lights. but let me tell you, dear readers (actually only bret -- i have no illusions about my readership), i *needed* this break, badly. i didn't realize how much the city was getting to me. the late nights, the constant cycle of drunk/hungover/drunk/hungover -- and that's when i'm working! -- the noise, the people, the noise made by people, the dirt and grime and stinkiness of it all. in a few short months, brooklyn has earned a special place in my heart. but that doesn't mean i always love it, or it's always fun. i have a whole slate of new year's resolutions and they all relate to finding time for contemplation, art, self-maintenance and quiet.

and tomorrow i will be right back in it. dates and bartending and parties and bartending and a busy couple of weeks. but i will also be back, and i am ready.

did you know that 200 million people have stopped writing in their blogs? Experts say the number of bloggers in the world will plateau in 2oo7 at around 100 million. C'mon bloggers! Now there's a good resolution:


24 December 2006

happy holidays!

back in minnesota. we're heading up to the lake tomorrow -- looking forward to the quiet solitude of the frozen north. and no internet. next entry should be just before the new year.

it's strange, i've been so busy that i haven't had time to get in the christmas spirit (santacon excluded, naturally). can you believe that jc's bday is already here? i can't. it's a weird one here, since my folks are leaving the country from january to august, or something like that. i'm hoping to meet them in spain. anyone going to be in europe in april?

i was planning on making it to five of the six xmas services, but only made it to three. still, more church than in a long time. i miss it. but now it's time for a bath instead of the late service.

merry chrismukah!

19 December 2006

best christmas ever?

finally i start working on this thing again and our internet goes out. awesome.

so here i am in an internet cafe. is it bad that i'm still recovering from the weekend on tuesday? i can't believe the past week.

it was a big one.

have you ever heard of santacon? it's pretty much the best thing ever. imagine a thousand santas rampaging through manhattan. "WHOSE STREETS? SANTA'S STREETS!" it's not just in new york, so check your local listings next year. and anyone who lives in new york *has* to come next year. we filled up one bar so full with santas that santas were actually crowd surfing on other santas.

here we are taking over the essex street stop:

i have much bigger news though. much bigger.

i seem to have met someone. someone who's pretty amazing. i like her. i mean i really like her. she's from minnesota, so we'll get to spend some time together over the holiday. did i mention i leave on thursday morning? well i do.

i think it might scare you all if i told you how much i like her.

we'll leave it at that for now.

time to shop!

15 December 2006

the week in review


1.all day session working on listening station for january exhibit on media and hiv at columbia college in chicago.
2.magnetic field free show. close at 2 am.


1.all day at red hot.
2.up late finishing listening station booklet.


1.all day at red hot.
2.training at monkeytown. slammed beyond belief. close at 4 am.


1.all day at red hot.
2.live band karaoke at magnetic field. sing springsteen's born to run in santa costume. close at 4 am.


2.late shift at magnetic field.


1.10 am: santacon.
2.magnetic field 4th anniversary party. not working. but partying.


3.holiday potluck at jessie's.

goddamn i'm exhausted.

what time is it?

it is most certainly not time to get ill. it is 5:30 am. the bar is closed, but my god, it's hard to get to sleep straight out of work. i don't have a whole lot of time for writing these days (thus the unforgivable three month gap), so i guess i'll take it when i can. i'd forgotten how much fun it is to tell all my readers whatever i feel like.

so today (tonight? this morning? i'm so confused) i'd like to talk about thumbs.

i never knew how important the tip of my left thumb was to me. and then i cut a nice chunk of it off while making sour mix. it's not the worst ever and i don't feel the need for specific details, but using the tip of the thumb in any way is pretty much impossible at the moment. i've had to readjust everything, and since i work with my hands all day, it's been a little strange. every time i start to get frustrated, i think back to a photo exhibit i saw once in kampala, scarred and battered victims of the lord's resistance army. black and whites of people with one hand, no hands, one arm, no ears, no nose. those suspected of revealing the lra's location had their lips removed. truly gruesome and horrifying.

those pictures make it hard to complain about my little thumb.

14 December 2006

three jobs??

at the end of this year, red hot is cutting my hours back to just a day a week. not really so tragic -- things are slow these days and there's not much more than a day a week worth of work for me.

so i found a new job. i've been bartending since july and getting more and more comfortable behind the bar, so i thought i'd take a shot and applied for a job at a high volume boutique bar in williamsburg. and they hired me! i started last night and it was trial by fire -- we had a private party and were absolutely slammed. plus we make all these complicated cocktails like tamarind margaritas, grapefruit caipirinhas, lavender cilantro mojitos, etc etc etc. i managed to hold my own and the staff seemed to be impressed. didn't get home til 4:30 last night. and since i'm closing at the field tonight and friday night, it's looking like another long week. but at least i'm having fun, right?

don't know my shifts yet -- i'll let everyone know soon. in the meantime, check out monkeytown.

13 December 2006

and three months later....

this blog is officially back.
starting with some late night rilke, courtesy of a new friend.

god speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.

these are the words we dimly hear:

you, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Embody me.

flare up like flame
and make big shadows I can move in.

let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
just keep going. No feeling is final.
don't let yourself lose me.

nearby is a country they call life.
you will know it by its seriousness.

give me your hand