Beer makes you weary
But you need something to get along
As you stare at the flatness
From inside your dark home
Well "not me" you whisper
This isn't where it ends
Your hand holds the bottle
Which has become your last lonely friend
I've lost all hope
But there's hope for you
If not just in the possibility
Of a better next day
If not just in the simple fact
There's no other way
You lie on that couch
And try to dream once more
But your only goal is to sleep
Until the news is over
Outside the leaves are all changing
But you drink to forget
Someone you once met
Stands blocking the bright orange sunset
So open up those curtains
And drink up the daylight
Just by the brightness
Of opening your door wide
'Cause things don't get better
But some people do
There's darkness in this life
But the brighter side we also may view
i used to be so sad. late summer 1993 in saint louis, riding around my honda civic, uncle tupelo on continuous rotation (with a little pharcyde when i was feeling funky), sad and driving all the time. i was in a job i hated but sorely needed, in a small midwestern city that after four years seemed more provincial than the town i left in ohio, and all my dear friends and classmates long graduated and moved away. one of my (still) best friends, sah, i had fought with a while ago and hadn't kept up with for a few years. i had a horrible post-graduation trip to europe with a friend who, after we got back and i dropped her off at her apartment in saint louis, never spoke to me until she came to new york seven years later. one of my (still) best friends tom and i worked on a competition entry, and we fought terribly the entire time, and then he moved away after getting a fullbright. i was alone a lot.
i had no loves save some utterly failed crushes (all previously noted here) that had caused friendships to end and mildly unsuccessful sexual escapades (none previously noted here). i was twenty-two, for the most part a virgin, i had no money; my rent was too high; i had no door or even a third wall to the room i lived in. i hated myself, more than a little, was bewildered in the late-summer stupor that is saint louis august at how i had been left behind, emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, wandering a deserted campus on the weekends before the concert would begin. i had no space to draw in, i had no friends to talk about how we were going to reinvent urban live through the reorganization of infrastructure, i had no way to keep my brain from shutting down during what should have been routinely brilliant grant-writing exercises. there were continuous episodes of cigarettes and drunkeness on the delmar loop, usually at cicero's or blueberry hill or the ethiopian place (dazzling reggae on thursdays), and many parties behind the loop at a threesome's house which was like a gay three's company (redundant?), with jack ritter as the homo (already said?) and me seeing one of the gals, and them always trying to get out of me whether i liked boys or girls and me just wanting to finish the damned james bond marathon without getting hit on by gopher (jack) or michelle, who i ended up hurting a lot entirely by accident.
Slicing an onion
bitter milk serration like the warm dreamydrive
of a highway unfolding
and calling me to her hips
i had no idea what love was, except in one sense:
my only love was the road; i was in love with the unfolding highway, darklit by my headlights, always moving in time, always appealing to my senses, always welcoming me by parting both sides around me. i would drive up and down the quiet streets of downtown clayton, explore the plinths and underpasses at 20mph at the darkest hour, unable to sleep, unwilling, done. well not me, you whisper, this isn't where it ends. i can still croon these words as if i had written them: the road kept me going, the act of driving a surrogate continuation of my life at the time.
i'm sorry but the adjustable leg-piece on the decline bench is rusty and i can't gracefuly change it from 5 to 3 while being watched, mister 'black shirt green nylon mesh shorts buzzed salt and pepper and tippie goatee, pushing-50-and-working-it, tan, smooth, and pushing-too-attentive'.
one motion as he stepped into the leg-piece, forcing me for personal space reasons to step back, and saying "i find it easier to face in" and he skillfully clicked the thing into position by pushing with the tops of his knees, and his hips, the motion not obscene but me stunned because it was done with unexpected force, and i had had to step back and straddle the high wide bench, blue vinyl gripping my inner thighs, and me noticing that our crotches were inches apart. he noticed me noticing this, had begged it, and noticed the slight annoyance in my line,
but as with one who had taken too much from the buffet table, trying to sneak back to his dining table in the rush but instead having his covert action completely exposed, and one who will ignore that he had caused an embarrasing moment but in the process forget the mistake he had just made and make it again, putting another few crudites on top to garnish the overflowing plate, he marshalled ahead while stepping back from the bench.
"that was by way of asking if i could work in with you"
i sat back and did my set, slowly, struggling because i was desparately trying not to arch my back (i almost injured myself doing this a couple of weeks ago, so i'm extra careful now) and my annoyance gave way to several thoughts; i had slightly checked him out on the abs mat a few minutes ago, why should i think he would keep his distance; did he transfer his married-man culturally induced (latin) politesse to a smooth and attractive affability during some late-in-life coming out?; was he really pushing 50 or just really gray?; how could he be so hairless?; did daddy need a spot?; is he ever going to spot me?. i was really struggling with the last couple of reps. he just stood off to the side playing with his towel.
he then went to a flat bench across from me and started setting up there. after i'd finished my reps he said "i'm going to work here first; i've got my own toy here to play with."
if someone told me i'd succumb
if someone said i'd be so dumb
after all the sleepless nights
when i turned on all the lights
i would have hit them
a couple of weeks ago, it clicked, really, in a way that was perfectly part of my emotional state, i didn't have to think about it, really, and i got beyond my emotional attachment to the songs and got to know the person who happened to sing them. mostly through constantly talking about this phenomenon with him. and on the same day i was introduced to the person who wrote this:
no understanding no closure
it is a nemesis
you can't use a bulldozer
to study orchids
where i had more to preoccupy myself with than something i'd projected onto something made. where i should have been starstruck was buried under enthusiasm for the day and my own problems. nice tote, want a drink?
They pass over the really fashionable party, the sort at which the hostess, who could have had all the duchesses in existence, every one of them athirst to be "numbered among the elect," has invited only two or three. And so these hostesses, who do not send a list of their guests to the papers, ignorant or contemptuous of the power that publicity has acquired today, are considered fashionable by the Queen of Spain but are overlooked by the crowd, because the former knows and the latter does not know who they are.
second weekend in a row, in my favorite coffee spot, in the table i always take, where i have always been asked this question: are you reading proust? the guy turned around and chatted with me for a long time. is your architecture becoming a larger strategy, a method, or a sensibility? my astonishment at having been asked such a wonderful question by a stranger was symmetrical to the pleasure i had in answering it. sensibility, of course dear reader, as if i could answer otherwise, my decidedly un-academic response greeted with 'that makes perfect sense'. his dissertation, on the production of the star, the economic structure of theater in the late 19th century, the production of shows in new york for nationwide distribution, was also a precise sythesis. but was currently writing in his journal what a luxury it will be to be sitting here (my seat) in two months after it's submitted and continue reading proust, or anything, for himself, like me. he was writing about me? the disseration only the thesis, the seed of a larger story that is allowed to emerge around it, the real goal, the first book done after you do graduate work. a common inspiration, leading to somewhere else.
The sense of isolation from the workings of a convention which has evolved as a succession of meanings through painting and sculpture in relation to a history of style is characteristic of photo-realism. For there the indexical presence of either the photograph or the body-cast demands that the work be viewed as a deliberate short-circuiting of issues of style. Countermanding the artist's possible formal intervention in creating the work is the overwhelming physical presence of the original object, fixed in this trace of the cast.
rosalind krauss' notes on the indexical nature of 70s art, something also occupying my attention, a perfect extension of several of my own artistic goals. the model is presented, but content is allowed to emerge. or, a way of sidestepping the guilty problem of pleasure of making things, the tiresome need to have it mean something (but different from it having meaning), of using your own voice but not having it be about that, having it be about the city the day the night.
notes for paul carrigan
looking is not the same as having, which is why i'm writing to you now.
only a few things are more important than food. like wrestling for sex.
saw you today at construction site on 50th street. the other day at one on hudson street. last week or so on 54th street. earlier this spring on beach street. earlier this summer off union square. sometime in may on varick. sometime a while ago near the west fourth stop. last year across from my building. most of the time you were unloading concrete block, standing over me on a flatbed. you saw me, and i usually took your picture. you never said a word.
i also enjoy doing arms over doing chest. legs over back. behind over abs. but none over having a good time.
still waiting for your call.
yes, cameras are to be smiled at. or looked at with the question 'are you gonna join us or just take pictures all day?'
what a coincidence; we are both leos, i love topping older, larger men, and also believe it has nothing to do with father/son, at least at first, or it could be said that father/son but not corresponding to our ages, but to say that the need to ride dick after a photo shoot, it's not over till you get fucked, is like a child who must have what belongs to another, what's yours is mine, trapped in a sandbox digging until you find your pal's buried army people.
i also greatly prefer safe sex with shoes, socks, and fatigues shirt on. and whipping it out in public is no problem, free and clear on that one. sporadic chest hair is best, yes. so much in common.
one lines that would get immediate reply of 'will you marry me?'
1.' i hated graduate school.'
2. 'have you read contre sainte-beuve? i haven't either.'
3. 'i thought moulin rouge was a brilliant film, but none of my friends did.'
i wanted to say something about how i recently read something by proust, one of my inspirations, about how men who only want to give pleasure to and get pleasure from older men are like rare orchids that can only be pollinated by a particular insect, and derive their unique beauty from the rarity of their appearance in nature. but it's not so rare.
one lines that would kill the unkillable
1. 'you're smart.' (also accept 'i like art too.')
2. 'i hate prince.'
3. 'like my d and g shirt?'
i will introduce you to my friends if you introduce me to yours.
reading someone else's entry, and beginning the first 30 pages of sodom and gomorrah with a brilliant contemplation on the nature of sexuality as manifest in feelings that must be disguised, i was obliged to count the years, this week. it's my fifth anniversary.
i can trace the dates perfectly, back to a perfect date: i met him for coffee on friday, august 23, 1996, at a completely generic starbuck's on the upper west side, near where i was working, my last day at that particular office, working that summer for two queens. i had one year at columbia left; i'd spent the spring surfing some gay web pages, pages i didn't exactly know were gay, and his, which popped up in early summer. (the luxuries of a private research lab and a good T3 do wonders for one's savoire faire, i thought). and true, my sexual imagination had already been plenty stimulated by a delicious may evening at crowbar for 1984 with my gay friend john t, where i experienced a back room for the first time (as an observer, darling) and had sexual thoughts about this particular beefcake man with his shirt off, but that all seemed very different than the intellectual bond i was forming with this one. we had spent june and july and august going back and forth about his master's thesis, posted online. we both had a lot to say; at a certain point, we decided to say it in person.
when we met, i was in awe; not only was he attractive to me (the axe picture was true, holy beefcake), there was a playfully sensuousness about him, small things he did, in a way that astounded me with it's depth of meaning and also it's casualness, maturity and experience, i liked it. i was also addled, clumsy, and completely unprepared for the inequality between us. he was the first gay man i had a crush on, someone who was capable of reciprocation.
it immediately set in motion several events. he was off to ptown, i off to boston for the weekend. i told all of my dearest friends there; they guessed before i got past the 'i'm reading a book on oscar wilde right now' (the first of numerous, and ongoing i-am-the-last-to-know experiences, not to be outdone, my grandparents seemed to have found out long before mom and dad told them through, you guessed it, my website). i got back on tuesday, august 27, and called mom, and began with 'i'm not exactly straight', my usual affirmation by first eliminating what is not true, by far not because i'm afraid to say things directly, but so that the truth emerges in the other's mind before you utter it, it is conceived by them first. i distinctly remember telling her about my coffee meeting, that i knew the moment i got on the bus for boston that friday evening, that i had felt something new and it made me new too.
culture (the book, recommended by him and the genesis of a project that fall) and crush, which made me suddenly realize that i could be in love with another man, true there was no way it was going to happen with this one because i was too far behind, but it could happen because i could actually feel for a guy now, i had been wrong to believe otherwise, and i was now officially hiding what was my true nature. it took a fucking long time to get to that simple realization (simply because i wasn't very socialized in those days, and had never met guys i was into), but as soon as i did i knew that i could not be in hiding, not dishonest, and of course, must tell mom and dad.
dad wasn't home, and mom wanted to tell him. she was bawling, of course, and wrote me a letter the next day which i keep with all the other ones i got from family those days, it's postmark a critical marker in the calendar of events. as in our telephone conversation, the first words were 'we love you and support you', but my mother's long letter rambles all over the place, travelling places she'd now be embarrassed by. (i just got off the phone with her, she was talking about two guests they had at their small-town PFLAG friday, one person who'd had a male-to-female sex change about 30 years ago and was well into retirement, another who was a cross-dresser also in retirement, both with kids and grandkids, and how their lives were interesting, and how she was thinking 'thank god chad is just gay; these people had much more to go through', and how she had the presence of mind to also feel guilty about that shade of sentiment.) but throughout the letter it keeps coming back: when she had prayed that i would find the love of my life, in her mind she for years had instinctively left open the possibility that that person would be male. she knew and wrote that i would come to terms with and define my sexuality in terms of my work, and would probably end up defining new distinctions through it. she wrote that i would still be ohioan, and would start from there. i did start from there, but i also started from something else: the city of the internet, a book, personal meaning derived from another's constructed identity, and finding out that there was a wonderful person behind that identity. i never told him at the time that i wasn't out when i'd met him, but i found out later that yes, he had understood the situation perfectly.
the chain is an important one, because it transforms the experience into a series of interlocking events that spans some time, although in my case there is also a condensation in a few days that is identifiable. no part of the time can be extracted from the other, large distances and extremely different relationships are linked, and my navigation of those weeks defines a project i'm still working on.
We can as we choose abandon ourselves two one or other of two forces, of which one rises in ourselves, emanates from our deepest impressions, while the other comes to us from without. The first brings with it a natural joy, the joy that springs from the life of those who create. The other current, that which endeavours to introduce into us the impulses by which persons external to ourselves are stirred, is not accompanied by pleasure; but we can add a pleasure to it, by a sort of recoil, in an intoxiciation so artificial that it turns swiftly into boredom, into melancholy--whence the gloomy faces of so many men of the world...
swagger coming off the train tonight; coming home early evening; lou reed softly "i'm set free to find a new illusion" wafting through my thoughts; my cel phone is OFF and not getting a signal down here anyway; going to get home tonight; surely i have exhausted the possible acquaintances and friends i will 'run into' today; some of the running into choreographed by friends to give me a chance to talk about some emotional and creative impasses i've been having; most just serendipity, the god of my urban life, taking charge; no part of my trip from my home to MOMA at 10am this morning (first in the door, baby) with L and on to my trip back down the same street to my home tonight unaccompanied, either through telecommunications, habit (i read alone at the coffee bar, but i bumped into a guy who always asks me if i'm reading proust, because he's part of the proust reader group at the center), or preoccuptions (see impasses, above), or physical contact.
the day, the night are so wonderfully different when you sleep at night and are awake at day; i can see and talk to martin and eric; i can listen to L talk about a funny thing he does when he plays with his gurka knives; i can spend little or no money; i can walk the entire east village to chelsea world; i can stay cool and talk; i can think; i don't have to worry about getting laid; i have energy to work out; i can sing songs; i can write; i can design my portfolio; i can run into an old almost-boyfriend and talk about what it means to be in your thirties (he turning 40 a few days after me); connecting new things and being free to decide my course in an uniterrupted discourse.
there was a time, just before college, when i was free of the producing end of media consciousness, and as such free of an understanding of that consciousness. i could consume at will, of course, but i was also actively projecting into the media, trying to figure out how it was done. it preoccupied my play. needless to say, i didn't spend my time swinging a baseball bat.
i am continually flooded with this feeling of freedom in my sleep. one particular dream that is recurring, and i've had it since leaving high school, is that i'm in a toys r us (an exotic store that only existed in faraway toledo and dayton, and had to beg mom and dad to stop in) and keep seeing aisles and aisles and aisles of new star wars people, all in never-before seen black packaging, characters and vehicles and weapons and dioramas and accessories that weren't even in the films, and i'm alone, and can spend my life rummaging and discovering all the stories behind the strange yet familiar toys. as always, the artifacts and the packaging give me window to the secret life behind their production.
this dream leads to another that i had only this week, a dream i was in ohio at a house near a friend's house in the country, this house being always a little rundown, i'm on the front lawn with the state route whizzing by and looking up at this lean, muscular, tan-chested man who is late 40s, very sexy and wiry, with these sepia tattoos of vines and stars and leaves rising up his torso. the design was like nothing on earth; their color was a sepia tone, almost blending with his skin, but they glowed, as if dimly lit from within. a strange glow like nothing on earth. i was with a female friend who i've never seen before. she was always behind me. i keep looking at this inhuman guy and he keeps holding my arms up in a clinical way, concentrating on the ligaments in my wrist, turning my hands over to examine them, then pulling arms up to make sure the stars are still there.
he examines my friend in the same way and i see a piece of furniture in the front lawn that is stained with dried blood and has a kind of paper-cutter look to it, except it looks like an all-purpose body cutter, curved blade. they (he and his family inside) want to tie me up, and slice me like a cucumber. they have some kind of extraterrestrial power, and the family inside stares at me and communicates that if i run home (my home was only a half mile away across fields) i would be hunted by this man, and i would not be able to escape this guy who emanated great physical power. it's why we weren't tied up; their communication of this power was intended to frighten us into just staying put while he got the equipment ready. if i were a normal person, i would be doomed, but they can't be that powerful because in the next second my friend and i disregard these threats and just fly to my house. we completely slough off their threats, in an almost careless manner, and lift off for my place. in a past dream, i might have been scared stiff, and honestly, their thoughts did scare me, but i've also learned the trick that adversity of mind is often successfully met with the will to do as you please. we called their bluff, come what may.
they weren't that smart, i guess: they didn't even realize that i wouldn't be running, because i can always fly in my dreams. the man glares at us down on the lawn, but just patiently works away, knowing he will come and get us for his family. next, friend and i are in my house and i can see the man trying to get in the back porch door, or through the roof, the wall, the picture window, the screen door. my friend and i are somehow so confidant that we barely have to fight to keep this guy out of our house, our happy insouciance protecting us. we weren't in love, just happy people who were friends or siblings, and who shared this understanding of how to overcome people that think they can beat you into submission. we believed that it wasn't by returning that force to its source, a brute reflection of it, but by maintaining a childlike desire to do something else entirely. later we played risk on the floor.
so many things i cannot write. i thought i had written some of them months ago, but they weren't finished until today, resurfacing done.
(the entry about moving through this city, through its time. i would move back and forth, through time, for you, round the corner and be somewhere else, i've figured out how to do it; you are plural and so is time. i would prevent that critical event that haunts you because the city's time allows one to be somewhere else on a different block, or i would reorder the events of your life because it's like shuffling a deck of cards really, or i would connect places and faces in a way that could solve your unhappiness because faces are connected to places like a cloud-hyperlink that hazily connects me to you. all. my friendship is so deep, and i'm cognizant that this talent imperils our ever meeting. in fact, any disruption in the sequence changes the others, so a future meeting ensures that i will be at most a distant acquaintance. it's a sacrifice i'd make if it would make you better)
the entry aborted because it is unnecessary: i have made a larger realization than how to reorder time; the realization that a cinematic consciousness cannot provide happiness to another in ways that really matter; i cannot change someone at all, make someone feel anything even through a manipulation of things, nothing i can do or say or wish or discover; inaction and ignorance and obscurity have its effects too; what one has can only be shared, taken when obliquely offered, when hiddenly sought.
(the overlaps in time are barely hidden, obliquely perceived, available like one page under another)
a series of dinner conversations and a salon parties and jukebox bars and pickup bars and assignations and lockerrooms and weightrooms and subway cars and other cars, streets and lights and light, buildings and steel and brick, the properties of glass, the properties of food, a mudslide, a sleeveless t-shirt, the nature of performances, the risks of not dancing when you want to, the music that's playing, a staircase and it's railing, a table and it's setting, my satchel and my pencils, notebooks with words that cannot be posted, my bed and my dreams, described as a single event to show the single consciousness behind them, generated by several things i'm reading, long and full of swarms of acquaintances and some good friends all of whom appear at the moment they decide to. perhaps yes, i can move heaven and earth, and any of the pages i choose, but i passionately recognize the greater usefulness of not doing so.
minx playlist 2
nothing special, just like putting songs together so it becomes a diverse, yet continuous track. i hear songs when i'm out and connect the flow there, and come back and WORK the itunes.
1. More Bounce To The Ounce 4:49 Zapp and Roger, going from this song to the next is amazing.
2. Glamorous Life (jazzy remix) 6:39 Shiela E., the one with the sax solo.
3. Wanna Be Starting Something 6:07 Michael Jackson
3 (alternate). Don't Stop Till You Get Enough 6:05, i can't decided which song to put at #3; i really want PYT, but i can't get it downloaded.
4. The Dominatrix Sleeps Tonight (Dominatrix) 3:40 Dominatrix, she's only sleeping.
5. I Drove All Night 4:13 Cyndi Lauper, i cannot get over her vocal on this one.
6. When the Doves Cry 5:55 Prince, animals strike curious poses, they feel the heat, the heat between me and you.
7. Computer Love 4:44 Zapp and Roger
8. No More Words 3:55 Berlin, a song that keeps showing up in my dreams. also can be "let's go" by the cars.
9. So Sincere 3:32 Pat Benatar
10. Straight To Hell 5:33 Clash, another tune where the guitar tune haunts my consciousness.
11. Rhiannon 4:12 Fleetwood Mac, it's arguably my favorite mac tune, next to the chain. spooky: and then she is the darkness.
12. Seven 5:13 Prince, nice crash between the two songs, and some of my readers don't seem to realize that i adore prince.
13. Runnin' 4:56 Pharcyde, reminds me of when jim and i were tooling around cleveland in his car, the radio dj had a continuous mix of stuff with pharcyde on top of old skool. can't keep runnin' away...
14. I Wanna Be Your Man 4:10 Zapp and roger, yes i do, i wanna be your man. computer voice, nuff said.
15. She's Fresh (Cool Mix) 6:17 Cool and the Gang, long percussive remix, lots of fun, kick up the beat.
16. One Nation Under a Groove 7:24 Parliment Funkadelic, like 'life during wartime' but actually funky.
17. Jocko Homo 3:37 Devo, because all songs come from you know who, and you know where (dayton, ohio, baby), are we not men?
18. I Wish I Was Your Mother 4:50 Mott The Hoople, just because i love this song. i'd put the jeff tweedy acoustic cover here, but it's on a different playlist. Is there a happy ending, I don't think so, cuz even if we make it, i'll be too far out to take it, you'll have to try and shake it from my head.
i like all the different people
i like sticky everywhere
look around, you bet i'll be there!
(summer is ready when you are)
i like all the different people
i like every kind of fair
in the crowd, you'll be i'll be there!
(summer is ready when you are)
robin flies again.
i am humbled and astounded by the birthday gift i received from cooter today.
the book is composed of three hand-bound paper-back volumes. one has the book 'polychromie architecturale' printed in it, a study on the use of color in architecture. corb's coloration is something largely ignored in the study of his work. if ever mentioned, it's never analyzed on the terms set forth by corb: that of the psychological effect of color. true, in the last hundred years color theories have come and gone, and no definitive statements come to mind regarding color. but this has had the unfortunate effect of relegating coloration and color logics to footnotes, when as a designer i am fully aware of the complete transformations spaces and objects can undertake when colored differently. corb's colors are often treated as unspoken qualities of color photographs, as if they were secondary characteristics to corb's working method of simple structures and white walls. indeed, the point i would make is that by denying these decisions about colors, treating them as if they were second-handed thoughts below architectural considerations, indeed by the very separation between architecture and color (stunning to even type this phrase), we sorely limit our understanding of the range of logics at play in corb's design process and his built works. critics simplify him to account for their inability to understand. like all great architects (and i don't use that term of adulation lightly), corbusier was eccentric, idosyncratic, messy, open-ended, complex, contradictory, and in control of a unique and fully formative voice that embodied many things at once. nowhere is this more apparent than when he's attempting to be systematic about things, in this case the thing that has continually evaded systematization: the aesthetics of color. through this system, he creates a new world, all his own, beautifully incongruous.
the second volume is le corbusier's color keyboards, which puts color combinations together on each page (hand pasted swatches of actual wallpaper/paint) on a field of basic color: these combinations are decoded with a white card with an irregular rectangular hole, so that colors 1,2,3, and field are put together in the way corbusier intended. the actual combinations, composed of actual paint samples, are very corbusian, yet gorgeous, contemporary, fresh when taken out of the 30s/50s european context they come from. some pages are tranquil: light browns, light greens, light blues. some pages are mediterranean: oxidized reds, gray/blacks, cobalt blues, whitewash, curried yellows. some pages are modern: orange, yellow, green, blue, grey. sidenote on whites: there is no color to match benjamin moore 01, or it's companion BM studio white, both ubiquitous colors for 'modern' interiors.
the third volume are simply full sheets of the paint/paper samples. you can smell that they're real, and not printing inks. you can see the texture of the applied pigment on paper.
a lot of my thinking has been about the painterly use of color. because i have a fairly omnivorous curiosity, part and parcel of developping my own ideas is immersing those of others; i collect ideas as much as i make them, and i honestly have a hard time telling which are which. sometimes i feel alone in this because most all architects, even the same-age colleagues i work with, seem to have a disdain of anything done before, as if we must build/make/think anew each time we set out to do it. the implications are immediately political, economic, and social, not to mention the detrimental effect they have on the making of actually new things (i'm getting off track: i don't think about newness at all. it's all about what my voice sounds like in the world, a great way to sidestep the originality problem).
even my good friend mike, who i work with at the office, continually argues with me over my choice of colors. from his point of view, the choices aren't rational enough, despite how they reflect light, he's not pleased by how unexpectedly fruity or sunny they are or whatever whimsy they convey in me. and i argue with his counter suggestions as being from the very same pallette he always uses, a pallette that to my eyes never changes to suit the project at hand. it's the one argument that deeply frustrates us both because it's a rare point that we don't have common terms by which to politely debate. when he saw the book, he joked (but not-joked, you know?) that it was okay to copy another's ideas about color if i wanted to, if i was too lazy to come up with my own; not to refer to it too much.
my thirtieth birthday was full of calls and emails from those who could not make it, calls from those who do not live in new york, calls from those who do not live in the united states, calls from family (especially my dad's mother who has sung me happy birthday every year for every year), art to remember, a dinner to remember, a little song from dudley on the sidewalk, a full moon, a kiss good night from someone who loves me, and a little gathering that had some surprises and on the whole was lively, and like most events i organize, pleasantly mundane. which is exactly how i like it.
even though many of my friends couldnt make it out to see me, i felt surrounded by friends with the number that could make it, which is a good reminder that i'm not so alone, life is never really as melancholic as it appears (just composed of a little too much lack of sleep and a lot of work and the need to wear pants during the summer work week), the sole reason to make a big deal about a birthday.
i used to organize it all in my head: direction of the project, how to choreograph all the actions, how a particular action of mine would lead to a chain of events, a certainty, successive things happening like a single, slowed string of firecrackers, and so the project would progress.
now, the project is too complex: the territory uncertain, the costs unknown. i'm taking a new approach as well, setting in motion not a single chain but multiple sets of actions that lead to many places at once, so that the project doesn't travel in a line, but rather gains momentum, as in planetary physics a function of mass and velocity in relation to other masses, in elsewhere the project accreting layers of favorable experience: many oysters contributing to a single pearl, through constant irritation.
perhaps you already know, but there are only two shopping days left before i turn 30.
ps all work in this domain is copyright chad the minx.