On January 1, 2004, I completed a list of things I wanted to accomplish by the end of 2004. I was coached, by the co-fiend, to think deep about what I really wanted. It took me a terrified week to even put pencil to notebook. I was literally shaking as I wrote the goals, thinking them so crazy, so completely out of this world, that even to speak of them would disrupt my life. Of course, by writing them down, I brought them into existence. Or did not. It became clear as 2004 progressed which goals were of interest to me. In short, the exercise helped me define who I was and what I wanted.
Now I'm posting my specific, measurable results here for all to see. Measurable results exist in time and space, and can be verified by an independent observer with little expertise in the area being measured. I can now evaluate what I am committed to for 2005, and what I could care less about. Some of the goals turned out to be fantasy wishes that I was far from committed to actually accomplishing. Others were fantasy wishes that I reorganized my life around, and built new emotional support for achieving.
10 Goals for 12 Months
1. leave my former office and be working on my own work full-time.
Result: accomplished. Founded Chad Smith Architect LLC in August 2004.
2. write all i have to write about aaron.
Result: not accomplished. Have not even figured out how many more entries I have to write about him.
3. finish online portfolio at chadsmitharchitect.com. should include fully developed drawings and recognizably unique graphic sensibility.
Result: accomplished. New projects will come online as they are completed. Please note that the second part of this goal may not be measurable by an independent observer.
4. 70% tackles (spring).
Result: not accomplished. 50% tackles. I made up for it by scoring a 50m breakaway try in London against France.
5. land and execute one job i find with a client i do not already know.
Result: accomplished in October, 2004.
6. 15" biceps, 160lbs.
Result: cute idea, but not even close.
7. land teaching position in new york city for spring semester 2005.
Result: not accomplished. This will be a goal for spring 2006.
8. publish one independently executed project.
Result: not accomplished. Independently executed projects are not complete.
9. save at least $15,000.
Result: not accomplished. check back next year.
10. take an extraordinary stand for my co-fiend's greatness by expressing my commitment to him several times throughout the year. Build a loving, long-term relationship with him.
Result: accomplished first part. Please note that the second part of this goal is not measurable.
"Over four decades, public response to Ms. Sontag remained irreconcilably divided. She was described, variously, as explosive, anticlimactic, original, trendy, iconoclastic, captivating, hollow, rhapsodic, naïve, sophisticated, approachable, abrasive, aloof, attention-seeking, charming, condescending, populist, puritanical, sybaritic, sincere, posturing, ascetic, voluptuary, right-wing, left-wing, mannered, formidable, brilliant, profound, superficial, ardent, bloodless, dogmatic, challenging, ambivalent, accessible, lofty, erudite, lucid, inscrutable, solipsistic, intellectual, visceral, reasoned, pretentious, portentous, maddening, lyrical, abstract, narrative, acerbic, opportunistic, chilly, effusive, careerist, sober, gimmicky, relevant, passé, facile, illogical, ambivalent, polemical, didactic, tenacious, slippery, celebratory, banal, untenable, doctrinaire, ecstatic, melancholic, humorous, humorless, deadpan, rhapsodic, aloof, glib, cantankerous and clever. No one ever called her dull."
One of my accomplishments in 2004 is that I have made peace with the fact that people die. My friends will die. My family will die. You will die. I will die. Perhaps this afternoon, perhaps in a century, perhaps in a little while, perhaps suddenly, from a patch of icy sidewalk, perhaps predictably, after a long illness. What I learned, and now believe, is that when you're dead, you are dead.
Yet. I find myself holding onto a particular sadness when I discover someone has died: that there will be no more work from them. The unique source that someone has contributed to the world, to all of our lives, is no longer present. I still feel this lingering melancholy particularly of those who have died young, such as when I think of Enric Miralles, John Lennon, Jimmie Dean, Phil Hartman. There is unfinished business, a potential unfulfilled. It appears to be a loss, but if you think about it, it's a false-loss. Life does not guarantee that an artist will fulfill his or her potential, will have a long body of work, an oeuvre complète that spans a long human life. In fact, when you're dead, you're dead. Your oeuvre is complète when it's complète. To think otherwise is silly, really.
How strange to feel this way about Susan Sontag.
"Ms. Sontag's writing marked a radical break with traditional postwar criticism. She advocated a sensualist approach to the study of art, championed aesthetic form over content and - most subversive - gleefully blurred the boundaries between high and low culture. Learned, thoughtful, deeply cerebral, often provocative, her work repeatedly explored the transcendent experience of making, and looking at, contemporary art, with its jagged edges and attendant themes of alienation and despair. She was concerned throughout her career with sensation, in both meanings of the word."
I suppose, dear reader, it is because I associate her work with the work that you and I do, the work in the everpresent Now.
Time to Boogie-Woogie.
(the soundtrack is the most brilliant part).
i just cleaned out my wood artist's case of all the drafting equipment i've kept over the last 8 years, and have not used since then. this includes drafting templates for bathrooms (one from kohler), circle templates, lettering guides, eraser guides, lead holders, leads, microlead holders, microleads, blue leads, purple leads, orange leads, lead sharepeners, the refills for the part of the lead sharpener that wipes the lead clean, small erasers, big erasers, long erasers, ink erasers, eraser guards, film application tool, charcoal, pastels, and many screws, clips, and guides belonging to a mayline i threw away when i moved into your apartment. i thought it would be easy, but it's difficult to get rid of this stuff, even though i don't need it. it's what i used to create stuff in the past, some really great stuff.
i'm know i'm wallowing in the past. but if i let go of that great past, i won't be great in the future: so the story goes. that's why i've kept the models for so long. but when i look at them from my future, instead of my past, they just seem like great ideas in my past, but ones that i've long ago improved upon. so, i'm choosing to discard all my models, even though i have a place to put them now, so that there is no past architecture, only present and future architecture.
“When winter comes heaven will rain success on you.”
(last night's baby buddha fortune, while it started sleeting)
What an evening.
First, I had sex with a hot guy I met through the world-wide-internet. He had 18" biceps and gave me a good pounding. Life was good.
After I came, and came home and showered, I went to Kenny's CD listening party at Knitting Factory for the recording of Kiki and Herb performance at Carnegie hall (which isn't being released until February). I took the train. I got lost on a block of Tribeca I've been walking down constantly for the last two months. I walked back and forth on the block in a freezing wind. I removed my gloves, googled Knitting Factory from my blackberry and found it.
I walked into Knitting Factory. It felt empty, or abandoned, like a bar in Cleveland on a tuesday evening. There were less than 50 people there, and no one was watching the door. Like a blizzard in Manhattan, these kinds of clearings are so unnatural to the city's nature (density and control) that I find them sublime. Kenny's back was to me as I walked in. I parked my coat on one of the many empty chairs in the bar, and walked over to him, in his cute red zip-up sweater. He has such a breezy air about him; an almost quiet manner that stands in heavy contrast to his loudness onstage. Also, he never complains. This doesn't sound so remarkable, but if you think about it, that someone who I've seen in lots of bars and clubs has never, ever, said that some part of his life is someone else's fault, you'll discover how powerful that is. We caught up with a few sentences (possible because no complaining) and then a slim guy in a schoolboy haircut and a plain gray jacket tugged his sweater. That person turned and it was JUSTIN BOND, who was supposed to be in London. Justin had flown over for this party at the last minute: Kenny only found out last night. Justin turned and smiled at me. Then he went into the performance area.
I told Kenny I had no idea what one does at a CD listening party, and wondered what the agenda for the evening was. He said that he had no idea, but Justin and he were going to play a few songs. And they did. They played two songs Stephin Merritt wrote for them, xmas songs, one of which they couldn't finish because they couldn't remember it. The first verse of this unperformed song was so beautiful: Stephen was writing about New York's weather again.
They did Fox in the Snow. They did another which was their closer for Carnegie. It was gorgeous and electrifying. Kenny makes so much noise onstage, it was frightening. Justin, in his old jeans, plain white shirt, and gray jacket, looked a little like David Bowie: plain clothes, but striking features.
I thought, I love my life and New York. I wish boyfriend were here. This is the city I know and love, the city of accidental parties and semi-famous people doing brilliant stuff the rest of town finds out about years later.
After, I ate a couple of cookies and bought a CD. I got my coat, and went to Kenny, who was talking to Claudia. We made a date. I said a quick goodbye, and he wished us a very happy holiday. We talked about a lot of other stuff, too, but it's not important to this story.
On my way out, I felt like the luckiest man on earth. Come home soon, baby, so I can show you why.
tow horses drag on past
damn, i wish i didn't move so fast.
ps all work in this domain is copyright chad the minx.