Saturday, September 15, 2012
Monday, August 27, 2012
who doesn't love watching cool bands on a cool roof? click to enlarge and all that.
DISCLAIMER: i think/hope/pray i got all of the band names right. if you, dear reader, find that i've been mistaken in any instance, please do not hesitate to let management (i.e. ME) know.
???? (plus crowd)
Posted by RANDALL at 8:32 PM
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Posted by RANDALL at 6:04 PM
Sunday, August 12, 2012
today i walked from my house off the wilson L stop all the way over to bedford avenue. i have no idea what possessed me to do this. at first my plan was to walk over to an apartment building that i had almost moved into, photograph it, and then come home to compose a piece on the nightmare slumlord battle that i and my almost-roommates had to endure in order to get out of that particular lease, which would have trapped us in an apartment with a roof on the verge of collapse. (i still intend to write about that, but not now.) however, i wasn't ready to go home after i paid my respects to 1428 putnam avenue. it was too beautiful outside. the streets were quiet and the hot stillness rising from the pavement would periodically get swept away by a summer breeze that seemed to unfurl from the trees. i decided to keep going and to keep taking pictures.
irving square park
chess board x-treme closeup
bushwick, nearish to myrtle-wyckoff
rubber plants and rings for two bux
by the time i reached the jefferson stop, i decided that i was just going to keep walking until i reached bedford avenue. it was also at this time that i decided to take a beer break at bodega bar, where i drank, smoked, and wrote in my journal.
thankfully i was able to sit outside and gaze upon this rad mural.
r.i.p. sweet action
when i was through with bodega, i kept going. as i walked, i thought about how i love it when certain parts of brooklyn make you feel like you're not in brooklyn. i have been hanging out in red hook a bit lately, and one of the things i love about it down there is that i can pretend that i'm not in new york anymore, that i'm in the midwest, that i am nineteen again and on my way to visit my best friend in columbus, ohio. i know i can't live anywhere else- i wouldn't be happy anywhere other than where i am now. that's why i'm glad that sometimes there are small pockets of this city that can take you away, that can make you feel like you are someplace else, someplace you used to know and maybe love.
in the end, i made it to bedford avenue alive. a normal person would perhaps drink gatorade after a workout. i, on the other hand, opted for a "gatorita"- a tequila-spiked glass of lemon-lime gatorade served at the bastion of classiness and civility that is the levee. i also asked for free cheeseballs, which i NEVER do. i figured that i needed to cancel out my invigorating walk with a bunch of crap. mission accomplished!
ONE MORE THING: is it rude if somebody helps themselves to a handful of YOUR free cheeseballs without asking? i mean, i know they're free, but they were MY cheeseballs! i was writing in my journal and i see this hand traveling over to my balls. i watched in utter shock and horror as this hand helped itself to several fluorescent morsels. "i'm just going to take some o' these," announced the owner of the hand. a guy. of COURSE. i didn't know what to say to him. get your own, dude!
ALSO ANOTHER THING: i can't believe i walked four miles today!
ALSO ANOTHER THING: i can't believe i walked four miles today!
Posted by RANDALL at 9:03 PM
Saturday, July 14, 2012
there are many things that are worse than being DENIED ACCESS, but that doesn't mean that it still doesn't totally suck! here are all the times when i have had my ACCESS DENIED.
1. king and grove hotel, july 2012
when i heard that admission to king and grove's saltwater pool could be obtained by merely purchasing a drink at the hotel bar, i was like, fuck yeah, let's go! my friend and i went yesterday only to be told that we could not use the pool because we did not have a reservation. a RESERVATION? for a POOL!? they are now charging a forty-five dollar cover for said reservation. i guess a couple of beers just won't cut it anymore. lame!
2. random street fair, july 2012
i was sitting in macri square park eating a healthy hummus wrap from hana food. i looked up, and what do i see in the distance but a ferris wheel! i am so getting on that, i thought to myself. so, i finished half of my wrap, shoved the rest of it in my bag, and made my way across meeker avenue, which always freaks me out. when i reached the street fair, i asked the ticket lady how much it cost to ride the ferris wheel. "five bux," she said. i gave her five bux. i got in line. the ferris wheel operator glared at me.
"YOU CAN'T RIDE THIS," the he yells at me.
"WHAT???" (the ferris wheel music was deafening.)
"I SAID, YOU CAN'T RIDE THIS!"
"YOU NEED TWO PEOPLE!"
well, shit. i skulked back to the ticket counter. "NO REFUNDS," proclaimed a sheet that was taped to the window. this did not deter me. i calmly explained the situation. the woman gave me my five bux back. i walked away from the street fair in shame. however, i was able to relive the thrills of childhood elsewhere. i ducked into jaime campiz playground to ride the swingset. this maniacal child was swinging next to me. "i'm higher than you!" he yelled. i let him win and then went home.
3. mccarren pool, summer 2008
okay, so when the first MGMT album came out, i was really into that shit. you know what, i still like "electric feel." anyway. they were playing a free show at mccarren pool back when it wasn't a pool anymore. i dragged my then-boyfriend with me to see them, and i knew we should have gotten up early to make sure we got in, but we were stoners back then and i convinced myself that it would be fine, we could just roll up and get in and listen to some groovy jams. WRONG. the line was insane. it just kept going and going and going and GOING. we stood in line anyway. why? i will never know. we both knew that it was game over. sure enough, after standing there for way too long, a dude on a loudspeaker announced that "IF YOU ARE STANDING IN LINE YOU WILL NOT BE GETTING INTO MCCARREN POOL TODAY." ugh. awful. we went home and smoked more weed and looked at gawker. gawker told us that kirsten dunst had been at the show. she had been chilling in the VIP area. she didn't have to stand in line.
"bitch," i said.
"for real," said my boyfriend.
4. douche-y manhattan club, may 2007
the day a bunch of my friends graduated from college, we were cruising around the city looking for drugs. my boyfriend knew a dude who worked at a club where these drugs could possibly be found. at the time, i was underage. i had a fake ID that i'd purchased for 60 dollars at a shady store in chinatown. it had worked in most bars and even at the mobil station in bronxville, so i was feeling pretty cocky when i tried to follow my boyfriend into the club. i handed the bouncer my id. he took one look at it and stuck it in his pocket.
"i keep these," he said.
"what!?" i cried.
"i said, i keep these."
i was so mad. i stormed across the street and hurled my body against a chain-link fence. my boyfriend left the club when he realized what had happened and we all ended up going home without finding drugs. it was okay, though. i think everybody was exhausted from senior week. we all went our separate ways and faded into the night. i'm glad we never found the drugs.
Saturday, July 7, 2012
i can check this shit off my list:
-securing a spot to see the east river fireworks that is ACTUALLY good
-securing a spot to see the east river fireworks that is ACTUALLY good
-taking a bus out of port authority
-visiting the lovely town of sparta, nj
-going for a night swim
-riding in the back of a cop car
-posing for pictures with antiquated handguns
-partying in NY, NJ, and CT all in one day.
it was a true tri-state weekend. happy birthday, america!
it was a true tri-state weekend. happy birthday, america!
Posted by RANDALL at 8:13 PM
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
ryan mcginley cancelled on us three times before FINALLY coming in to sign his stock. the day after he cancelled for the third time, one of my supervisors asked if he'd made it in and i said, "what do you think?"
whatever. today he was there and today i brought a stack of copies of whistle for the wind up to the third floor, where he was seated at a desk in a far corner of the room, silently scribbling his signature again and again in each of the fifty billion copies of his book that were already stacked on the desk.
"wow," i thought, "sometimes my job is cool...i guess?"
i went back downstairs only to be called up again 15 minutes later to fetch the signed stock and bring it all back to the art floor. i did so. ryan mcginley was nowhere to be seen and i assumed that he had peaced the fuck out. i waited like, a thousand years for our terrible elevator to take me down to the second floor. when i got off, one of my colleagues was standing by the door. i wheeled the cart onto the floor.
"HE CAME!" i cried. "HE SIGNED! HE CON-"
"shut up!" my colleague hissed. "he's right over there!"
i turned my head towards the photography table. ryan mcginley was browsing the photography books. oopsy! he had earphones in, so i don't think he heard me? oh well. on a side note, i really don't like when people wear earphones while they are browsing around in stores.
so, that was the high point of my day. the low point came while i was on the train coming back to brooklyn. when i got a seat, i sat down and examined the couple sitting across from me. the first thing i noticed was that the woman was wearing THESE SHOES:
GROSS. then, something happened that was, if you can believe it, EVEN GROSSER. this woman was eating the following CONDIMENT right out of the jar with a SPOON:
i almost barfed in my mouth. i ACTUALLY gagged when she handed the jar to her boyfriend, who put the jar to his mouth and DRANK the rest of it. WHAT THE FUCK!!!!!!!!???????????
anyways. now it is time for my cleaning party, as my room is a complete disaster area. loud music and beer are in order! wish my luck. i am about to go into the shit.
Sunday, July 1, 2012
i don't know if any of you have experienced this phenomenon, but every now and then one may find oneself in close proximity to a group of people who find themselves so clever and interesting that they feel they must talk very loudly so that the whole world may be dazzled by their wit and enthralled with their fascinating lives! perhaps you have even been involved in such a group. well, the truth is that OTHER PEOPLE'S CONVERSATIONS ARE TERRIBLE. especially if you must listen to them while waiting for food. hot dogs, if you will. at two in the morning. when you only have one dollar. while wondering to yourself, why did i have to spend my last two quarters on two gumballs earlier? i could have afforded papaya dog and avoided standing in line with these jerks! ah, such is life.
yes, i know what you may be thinking: why, not my conversations! i only talk about intelligent things and i have a great sense of humor! and you may indeed! but your conversation still sounds terrible. i can't explain it. the end!
Posted by RANDALL at 8:47 PM
Saturday, June 30, 2012
image via gothamist
yesterday i took mccarren pool redux for a test drive. i anticipated there to be an insane amount of people there so i decided the best thing to do would be to get up early and arrive at the pool around noon. obviously the main reason for my going was to swim, but i was also intrigued by the idea of being in the middle of a complete fucking mob scene. sure enough, there was a huge line to get in. i think i waited for about twenty-five minutes, but it was okay because in that amount of time i figured out how to work the lock i'd just purchased. i have always had problems with locks with dials. i wrote my combination on my arm with a fat black sharpie, just in case.
when i FINALLY got in, i chose a locker and got changed. i love the feeling of wearing a swimsuit under your clothes, especially when people can see the strings of your bikini creeping out of your shirt. i think it is a look that says, "here i am! i am ready for anything!" i am contemplating getting a camp towel and a jansport backpack and carrying the towel, my swimsuit, and my lock around with me all summer. baller! anyway, the locker room was airy and didn't feel all gross and sweaty and disgusting like most pool locker rooms do. it was a bit small, though. however, i'll take a small locker room if it means more room for a HUGE FUCKING POOL! which brings me to the next thing...
...the pool! i have only been to one public pool in the city, and that was the one in sunset park, which is kind of an awful pool. crowded, and waaaaaaaaay to many kids. like, the kid to adult ration was probably 7-1 or something ridiculous. anyway, in its newly-pristine state, mccarren pool looks spectacular. the bottom is painted a beautiful cerulean shade, and the very sight of it looks refreshing. there is tons of room for both lounging and swimming. i found a really great spot on these things that resembled steps that were big enough to lay out and sunbathe on. later that day i managed to score a shady spot in the same area. there was even a little potted plant right next to me for some added ambiance! FANCY! also, i was shocked to see that the crowd was not nearly as big as i'd expected. it was a pretty standard amount of people for your average public pool, i thought.
anyway, i had two swimming sessions and then sat in the sun reading air guitar for the rest of the time. i contemplated going in a third time, but by then the sun was wearing me out and i was starving. i love swimming. i always have. when i was a child, i learned how to swim nearly instantly. i was always the last one out of the water, the one who always begged to stay at the beach a little longer. as i gathered my stuff, kids were going psycho all around me and the lifegaurds were constantly blowing their whistles at all of the stupid and incredibly fun things they were doing. i thought about how i could never be that way again. for a moment i was sad as i contemplated the amount of energy that leaves you as you get older. oh well. i left the pool and ate tacos from calexico in the park. one kind of fun replaces another, i suppose.
i was saddened to hear that hours after i'd left, a lifegaurd was assaulted by a bunch of idiot kids. in the past few years, mccarren pool has become a symbol for urban regeneration, both in its incarnations as a concert venue and now a swimming hole restored to what people hope will be its former glory. i don't think that the pool will become what it became at the time of its closing. chill, people! the security in that place is pretty fucking tight. i don't think anyone is going to be dealing crack to five year olds there anytime soon.
in other water-related news, i partied until dawn and then streaked through an open fire hydrant on my street. i realize that this was an incredibly stupid thing to do but it was really fucking fun and i do not regret it in the slightest.
in conclusion, i highly recommend the refurbished mccarren pool. i also highly recommend streaking through an open fire hydrant. however, if you are not looking to get arrested (or worse), the former option is probably best. A+!
Sunday, June 24, 2012
coney island, 6/23/12
yesterday was fantastic, an absolute success. i have decided that the only way to live is to over-schedule oneself. i had made plans weeks in advance to attend the record release of DIIV, but then i learned that the mermaid parade was also happening on that day. BOOM, solid! i had been psyching myself up all week and was worried that june 23rd, 2012 would not live up to the hype, but it was everything i could have wanted. there is no better feeling than going to bed knowing that you have just lived one of the best days of your life.
i woke up and i thought to myself, my, what a gorgeous day for all of these activities i have planned for myself! then i realized, shit, i slept in way later than i wanted to. THEN i asked myself, "did i remember to take my ipod home from steffanie's house last night?" NO, of course i didn't. i didn't even look in my bag. i texted stef and she confirmed my suspicions. i threw on some clothes and exited my building at half-past noon with the intention of catching the bus to ridgewood to fetch my 'pod. however, i looked at the bus schedule and realized that i had just missed it, and there was no way i was going to stand around in the heat waiting for the damn bus. so, i decided to walk to stef's house, even though i had no idea which way to go. i thought the best plan of action would be to follow the trail of the b20 stops. i walked for about 25 minutes into ridgewood in my unsensible k-mart slip-ons and it was fucking great. i decided that i would not be adverse to living in ridgewood. in a weird way it reminded me of walking in LA. there were tons of two-way streets and trees everywhere and lots of little houses. everything was spread out and nothing felt stacked or crammed. i love stacked and crammed, but it felt nice to walk in an urban area that also felt airy.
i passed a 7-11. without warning, i felt the incredible urge to purchase a slurpee. it was an amazing phenomenon. i haven't drank a slurpee since 2007. it was the most random thing. i went with watermelon-lime in a medium-sized cup. it was delicious and i felt like kind of a weirdo because i was booking it to steffanie's and pounding this slurpee. for some reason i felt like i was in the early nineties, probably because i loved to drink slurpees in the early nineties as a sugar-crazed seven year-old.
anyway, i got to stef's, retrieved my ipod, and swooped out the door to the train station. the M was running as a shuttle bus. it took an ungodly amount of time for it to come and an even longer amount of time for it to dump me off at myrtle-broadway. at this point my slurpee was dunzo and i was worried that my entire mouth was stained red. WHY DIDN'T I GET THE PINA COLADA FLAVOR? i always wondered why my mom would only get pina colada flavored slurpees back in the day, and that is because it is the only flavor that won't make you look like you are five years old. ah well, the more you know.
the j train took forever. the f train took forever. i'm never going to get to coney island, i thought. i knew i had to be patient. i listened to the grimes record the whole way down and looked out the window. long train rides are better with scenery, so at least there was that. it wasn't that i was miserable on the train, i just felt like i was terribly, terribly late for everything. well, i ended up doing all right: i rolled up to surf and stillwell a little after 2:30, where i met ken and a friend of his on 15th street. ken had fashioned himself a lovely cardboard mermaid tail that he promptly threw away as we were leaving the parade. sad! oh well: the mermaid parade was wonderful like it always is. there were mayan mermaids, steampunk mermaids, occupy wallstreet mermaids, IWW mermaids (solidarity, holla!), mermaids from the titanic, and, of course, stripper mermaids. it was great. every mermaid parade is always such a wacked-out little microcosm of what's been going on in the world. i remember back in 2008 when everybody was protesting how astroland was in trouble and how all of the oceanfront property was going up and all that jazz. this year, we are all going to die when the world ends and atlantis has been occupied. wonderful!
the floats were boring and slow and ken and i decided to call it a day when the roving bands of weirdos on foot had passed. ken went home and i went across the street to check out the beach. i hadn't drank water all day because i am a goddamn fool, so i slaked my thirst at a public water fountain. i made my way down to the water, which felt perfect. a girl with a diana camera asked if she could take my picture and i said that she could. i bought an italian ice and stood in the surf while i ate it. it was getting late. i didn't want to use the boardwalk, so i just walked down the beach until i got to brighton. leaving the beach to return once more to the streets of new york city is always such a strange physical experience. the wind is in your hair, everything is golden and blue. then you know you must go and so you pull yourself out. or is it that you are being sucked out? on the train ride home you find yourself to be a complete mess: you are burned, your hair is everywhere, your lips are stained red and the heat has pushed you nearly to the point of delirium. it's like that feeling you get right after having rough sex with somebody you love so, so much. so there you go, completely fucked and completely exhausted and suspended in a state of jittery wonderment.
when i got back to my 'hood, there was a gigundo psycho block party happening on my block. i bought a brooklyn summer ale and smoked a cigarette on the roof. i jumped in the shower and drank my beer while showering. the time was approximately seven-thirty. i felt really nervous about going to the show. i always feel that way when i'm by myself and going to a SUPER COOL MUSIC VENUE even though my friends were the ones playing and that i would see people i knew eventually. my makeup was melting as i was applying it. i am not cool enough for anything, i thought, even though i knew/know that it isn't/wasn't true.
i got on the train anyway. duh! on the way to glasslands, i told myself that williamsburg is nothing but a glorified nerd fiesta. cool: party on, losers! i started to chill out once i smoked another cigarette and got inside the venue. glasslands is probably my favorite place to see music in brooklyn, i've decided. if you are alone, you can sit on the bench. if you are with friends, you can stand anywhere! and if you want to smoke, you can go across the street and sit on the sidewalk like a badass. the sound is great, the drink prices are not, but the drinks themselves do the job. the brooklyn lager tallboy was my drink of choice for the evening. i think it truly is the better deal.
vincent cacchione provided the opening DJ set, of which i caught the tail end. pc worship was warming up as the set was going on, and one of the dudes was doing the sound-check to the beat of the music. "check, check, checkcheckcheck. check. check. check. check. cheeeeeeeecccckkkkk. yeah. good. that sounds good. check, check, checkcheckcheck." awesome. shortly after they started playing, i noticed cole standing off to the side and i went over to say hello to him. we chit-chatted about the opening bands, all of whom he knows and hand-picked to play the release.
"i am so happy for you," i said.
"aw!" he replied modestly. then: "do i have anything in my teeth?"
"you are good to go," i told him.
pc worship was very cool, and so was forma. pc worship was very slacker-y, very pixies-ish, while forma had a staid, slow-building kraut rock thang going on. the pairing of the two for the show was perfect. i ran into gwen in the bathroom line and then i ran into andrew while i was outside smoking. as soon as andrew went in to start setting up, matt appeared, having just emerged from imbibing an alcoholic beverage in the van. we smoked and talked and i told him all about our fucked up union contract at my place of employment. we went inside and pushed our way up to the front of the room just as DIIV was about to start playing. i couldn't stop smiling. i felt so happy for them. the energy was amazing. they started playing and everybody went nuts and started shoving each other around. i thought about the first time i'd ever seen them at shea stadium, what, like a little over a year ago maybe? i instantly knew that this was something. it has been a pleasure to watch this band unfurl.
i am not sure, but i'm pretty sure the set ended with "doused." the boys did not play an encore, but that was okay because you cannot imagine witnessing the comedic gold that was catching a glimpse of andrew spitting up a giant swig of veuve cliquot as the curtain to the backstage area swung open for a hot second.
gwen, matt and i went outside for air and smokes. andrew and cole and the other dudes were making the rounds, so we sat on the sidewalk and took discrete sips of booze. ("LET ME SEE THAT VOOOOOOVE!") "i am always looking for the DIIV band members," gwen said, referring to post-show round-ups. "it's like where's waldo. oh, look, there's andrew."
the men of the hour filtered through the crowd. eventually we went inside for a spell, and eventually each of us grabbed an amp, a drum head, or a case of something to put into cole's van. the bartenders informed us that they were locking up, and it was over. by that time, it was very late. i wanted to stay later, but i had to work in the morning and i knew that ending the day at that point would let it remain as it was: perfect. there was no bombastic ending. it ebbed away, never to return, just like a wave. today i felt sad that this day i had been thinking about for weeks was gone, but now, as i am sitting in my living room searching for an ending to this story, i know that the best thing to do is to let it go so that i can get taken by another one.
Friday, January 27, 2012
i saw this woman from the above charles brittin photograph in a dream a few nights ago. i dreamt that she had been put into a trance before the picture was taken. in my quest to uncover the story behind this image, i found that the woman is shirley berman, the wife of the artist and poet wallace berman. i was disappointed to learn that she wasn't anonymous. that seems like a hurtful thing to think. at least she has a name, thank god she has a name! there is something very sad and very unfair about photographs in which people are pictured and not named. when i see images of anonymous people i always feel bad for them because it seems like common decency that we should know, or at least want to know, their names. however, there is also the obvious enticing mystery that accompanies looking at an unknown. who is she, what is she doing, what is she thinking, how is she feeling? i suppose this photograph has not been ruined for me by learning the woman's name because i still like to pretend that in this moment she is tragically anonymous and possessed: robbed, posable, a vessel.
i've looked at this photograph so many times now that i can see her pupils and connect her gaze to a point in space, but i'll always think of her as being in a trance. i see it in the whites of her eyes; her tousled, haloed head; and the sunlight resting in her open hand. i like to be on the side of the photographer, the one putting the spell on her, the one who can look and impose whatever i want upon her. i also like imagining that i'm her, that my entire being has been sucked away and that i am free from making choices or being affected by anyone or anything. there is something irresistible about a body that moves at the command of a mind that has been overtaken, but nobody wants that, i don't want that. i want my body to do what my mind tells me to, and i want my thoughts and my thoughts only to be the ones that make me do the things i do and say the things i say, stupid and floundering as they sometimes may be. i guess that's life: you want somebody to tell you what to do, but when they tell you, you say, "no! leave me alone! you can't tell me what to do and it's better this way!" and then you fuck up and learn from it wish you were in a trance but not really.
let's just agree on this: it would be nice to be in a trance for an instant, like the one that i will always imagine shirley berman having been in on that day in venice in 1956.
Posted by RANDALL at 8:14 PM
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
SETTING: monday afternoon in greenpoint, yelena shoe repair.
RANDALL enters YELENA SHOE REPAIR, a space no bigger than a manhattanite's walk-in closet. the whole place smells like rubber and there are pieces of rubber that will become soles littered on the counter. THE COBBLER stands at the counter doing something to one of said pieces of rubber.
RANDALL: hello, i am interested in getting my shoes repaired?
THE COBBLER: yes?
RANDALL proceeds to remove the shoes in question, a pair of vintage roper boots, from a re-used trader joe's bag. she flips them over to reveal the soles that are cracked on BOTH of the boots. fucking ebay. why does anybody trust ebay ever?
RANDALL: i need to have new soles put on. do you think you can fix them?
THE COBBLER picks up one of the boots and inspects the sole.
THE COBBLER: these very old. sole made of plastic. the heel? also made of plastic. you need rubber sole and heel. i replace sole and heel and put rubber on. okay?
THE COBBLER: friday will be ready. you come in on friday? it will be thirty.
RANDALL: thirty dollars?
THE COBBLER: yes.
RANDALL: that's fine... but can i ask you a question?
THE COBBLER: yes?
RANDALL picks up one of the boots and taps the heel and the sole against the counter.
RANDALL: i really like the clickity-clack noise they make. if you put rubber on the soles and the heels will they still make that noise?
THE COBBLER shakes his head and looks exasperated.
THE COBBLER: no clickity-clack! you want me no fix?
RANDALL: oh, no no no! yes, please fix them!
THE COBBLER: you be in on friday?
RANDALL: yes, i will. thank you.
THE COBBLER writes RANDALL a receipt and they part. END SCENE.
IN CONCLUSION: i am sad that i'm losing the clickity-clack. i like when people can hear when i'm coming. i hope my stomping and marching tendencies are not hampered by these new soles. to be continued. i have heard good things about this guy.
Posted by RANDALL at 7:47 PM
Sunday, January 15, 2012
i think this is best done in list format. i love lists. i haven't written a list in a long time. let the list begin!
1) i woke up to my alarm clock (i.e. my cell phone), which i had set to 10:30 a.m. so as to avoid the debacle of last sunday, on which i slept until 5 in the evening due to a combination of sleep deprivation, depression (i'm S.A.D.), and an epic and embarrassingly obvious symbolic dream from which i could not wake. i rose at 11, and suddenly i was filled with the urge to listen to that song "time warp" from rocky horror picture show. so...
2) ...i went into the kitchen, put that shit on LOUD, and proceeded to make my epic sunday breakfast (eggs-in-the-hole, fool!). some songs are really good in the morning. "time warp" is one of them. you know, rocky horror is one of those movies you watch when you're thirteen, and when you're thirteen you think it's awesome but then time goes on and you're like, "this shit sucks and is totally stupid and monster mash." but then you get a little older and then you don't really care anymore. that movie and the soundtrack are really fun. i would never go to a midnight showing. all i'm saying is that you should give it another chance and accept it for the goofy semi-stupid yet amazing movie that it is. tim curry, people. you know you want to do him, no matter which way you swing.
3) i looked at the internet and drank way too much coffee and got into the shower. i blasted echo and the bunnymen in the shower. then i went into the living room and watched porn for a while. THEN as i was reheating some potluck leftovers, i heard a door open in our apartment. i froze. who the FUCK was there? "hello...?" i called. that's it, i thought, my worst fears are coming true. somebody is burglarizing my apartment and i am about to be violated. BUT! just as i was about to drop my reheated sloppy joe and run like a bastard into the streets wearing nothing but my mom's old silk kimono (in twenty-one degree weather!), who walks into the kitchen but ANDREA! "you scared the shit out of me!" i said. i started laughing and then i started crying and i couldn't stop shaking. as it turns out, AJ had taken a personal day and i had no idea she was home. "i was watching porn and listening to loud music!" i cried. she didn't care. i live with an awesome person. she is much more preferable to a burglar.
4) i continued my herzog/kinski marathon and watched my best fiend. kinski is fascinating, seductive, an utter maniac, a complete lunatic. herzog is, i feel, a bit of a lunatic himself, but he is a sneaky lunatic, a very composed maniac. sometimes i question the claims that they, at various points in their working relationship, truly wanted to murder each other, but then i think of the gigantic, almost uncontainable nature of fitzcarraldo and aguirre: the wrath of god, and how they almost seem like products of strangulation. their relationship is tragic in its turbulence. it is simultaneously frightening and enviable. kinski died in 1991. i'm sad he isn't alive anymore. he and herzog made five films together. i suppose i am sad whenever any epic saga ends. lump-in-the-throat and all that shit.
4) after watching my best fiend, i felt the urge to utilize the B-level vodka somebody had left in our fridge after the potluck. i put on like, A THOUSAND layers and went to family dollar. god bless family dollar. it is a fucking oasis in this wasteland that is the ass-end of bushwick. however, family dollar was out of orange juice. there was orangeADE and TAMPICO and SUNNY D, but i was not about to fuck with that shit. so i went to the bodega on knickerbocker and THEY were out of huge jugs of OJ too! so i had to buy a bunch of small bottles of OJ to satisfy our need for screwdrivers in the evening. i also bought more coffee. WOW!
5) i arrived home and fixed myself a drink and had some smokes and worked on my writing. andrea came out of her room and we scrolled through the best and worst dressed ladies on the golden globes red carpet. we didn't know who half of them were. a few years ago i would have known every single one of them. today it felt good to not know and just be like, "ew, what the hell is she wearing." i am going to hell! oh well. i pressed on with my second draft and now i am here, writing on this thing and exhausted. these days are so long and sad. i love winter, but it is a masochistic kind of love. i wish that i was not so fascinated by misery, by things becoming darker earlier and lighter later. it is safe here in the house. it is safe if you hide underneath thermals and sweaters and leggings and socks and blankets and comforters. i suppose i'll have to leave the house tomorrow if i am to complete the many things on my to-do list, but it feels good to have sequestered myself inside for the day. in winter, you must hide yourself away as much as possible. you must do as bears do and hibernate as best you can until things are not so cold.
Posted by RANDALL at 11:52 PM
Saturday, January 14, 2012
i am all about taking the bus right now. the subway hogs all the attention and nobody pays any mind to buses. when somebody who isn't from new york asks you what subway they should use to get to wherever they're trying to go, you know exactly what to tell them: which line to take, where to transfer, and an alternative option. boom, boom, boom. people aren't intimidated of the subway like they are with the bus. i recently discovered that the bus that stops right down the block from me goes directly to the east new york post office, which has saved me the trouble of having to haul my ass AND my undelivered packages down atlantic avenue and back to broadway junction. i tell andrea to take the bus when she needs to go to the post office, but she says she doesn't want to because it's hard to tell where you are and the bus announcements aren't always clear. all of these things are true. the bus can, indeed, suck. i must admit that i am still a bit of an amateur bus rider. just the other day i freaked out and got off at the wrong stop because i thought i was lost. i think the key to the bus is to just not panic and let it take you for a ride. of course, you have to have an idea of where you're going, but i've noticed that all of my shitty bus-riding experiences have always been made that way by anxiety about where i'll end up. if you get lost, you can just go across the street and ask whoever is waiting around for the next bus to point you in the right direction. it's embarrassing to be lost, but i also feel that people who ride the bus are nicer than people on the subway. it takes a great deal of patience to ride the bus, i think.
if you make a habit of pausing at various bus stops to check out the route, you can make your life a whole lot easier and more fun. i like the feeling of being whisked away by a bus. it stops with a sigh and the doors open and you can get a seat by a window, and there is nothing more bomb than looking out a window and totally spacing out while listening to music. i never get on buses when i'm in a hurry. i like the way they move through traffic. there is something very lumbering and majestic about them. when you discover these magic little deer paths that buses make around the city, it feels like inheriting a secret recipe or joining a sacred order. to dole out subway directions feels like barking orders; to suggest a bus route feels like passing on a precious trinket of information. i like the feeling of accumulating these little trinkets. now i know that i can take the B20 to my post office, the B54 to clinton hill, and the M14 to library bar directly from work. perhaps taking the bus isn't any easier than taking the subway, but at least you can look out the window. it's a nice change from looking at the floor or a stupid advertisement or at fellow subway riders and thinking, god, what is that girl WEARING? those are the worst boots i've ever seen. dear god, i need to shut up. i need to think positively. find one thing about her that looks good. fine: her bag is okay. dear god! exhausting! we need more windows and slow-moving vehicles in our lives.
so, yes, i do enjoy the bus quite a bit, but i'll tell you something i sure DON'T enjoy about it, and that is hearing it chug past my building on weekends when the L is fucked up and there is double the bus traffic (via the shuttle). go away, evil shuttle bus! you made me fifteen minutes late for work today!
Posted by RANDALL at 10:01 PM
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
"four a.m., bars close. guys asleep in bowery doorways. but just before dawn is the worst: despair city. the jumpers start, out the windows, off the roof. i can't even look. So that's the night, new york. Ain't it grand? what a life."
-arthur fellig, a.k.a. weegee
today it felt like january for the first time to me. a friend of mine recently shared a quote from the author jim harrison stating that "it takes a great deal of strength to keep january out of the soul[.]" the past 24 hours of my life have been a complete freak show. i met a man who had lost his glasses and i told him that i would find them for him. "i'm good at finding things," i said, and even though it took me a sleepless night and a clumsy morning to do so, i found them. they were on the floor resting on a dark spot of the carpet. even though i found them, nothing changed. he could see again, but there was no coffee in the cupboard and too much vodka in the freezer, and there was no way he was going to leave the house that day. so i left instead. i had no choice but to leave. there was nothing more i could have done.
when i left i called out of work. after stopping at home to devour four cups of coffee and put on my best chelsea girl outfit (which is what i always do when i go to chelsea), i went to see the weegee/vivian maier show at steven kasher gallery. the desire to attend an art show originates from the desire to educate oneself; the wish to pay homage to art and artists; or the urge to participate in a timely, intersubjective experience. but in addition to all this, i believe that the most important reason we attend these shows is because they speak to certain needs, questions, castastrophes, and epiphanies within us that we aren't even conscious of. these works and their collective energy beckon to us, and once we enter the space in which they occupy we become completely powerless. one might experience a sensation akin to drowning, or, conversely, coming up for air. in either case, something is unlocked, and one cannot help but feel that it must be fate, that these images were assembled in this space at this time because you needed to see them, because the narrative of your life demanded that you do so. i suppose this all sounds very narcissistic, but i am not just talking about myself, i am speaking for everybody who has ever felt themselves become completely undone (for better or for worse) by art.
i suppose i should continue with my story. i walked from the 6th avenue subway stop to the gallery because i felt like taking a walk. i have new black boots and it's nice to stomp around in them after wearing filthy converse sneakers for so long. i silenced my phone before i entered the gallery, the entryway of which was flanked with a small display of photographs by accra shepp depicting the occupy movement. after perusing them, i stepped into the gallery's main space, which was filled entirely with weegee prints. each of these famously sensationalistic images projected a kind of manic, despairing energy into the room. weegee's work has been described as having captured "the good and the bad, but mostly the bad." at the kasher space, the sampling of the "good" and the "bad" were roughly equal to one another; however, the boundaries between "good" and "bad" became blurred in the sense that the "bad" seemed to bleed over into the "good." in the "good" images, people were gaping and not looking, they were not putting on costumes so much as hiding, and every embrace was transformed into a grope. i felt scared and small in that room, and i was highly conscious of the noise my boots were making as i circled the exhibition. i felt deeply sad as i viewed that show. it, combined with all that had occurred within the past 24 hours, made me feel that our constant exposure to misery has the power to imbue even the most benign sights and happenings into miniature terrible melodramas. i thought about my walk to the gallery, and how my good feelings about taking a walk through new york city were also plagued by my own fears, how i would feel distracted at times at the thought of having my purse snatched or being hit by a car. sometimes i feel that i am never safe, and it is true: nobody is safe, not ever. if we are to lead happy lives, we must learn to ignore this fact while also maintaining an air of caution. this, i think, is one of the hardest things to do.
and then i thought about the man whose glasses i found. i thought about him being trapped in his apartment and about the overwhelming amount of vodka in his freezer. the sliver of his life that i had just glimpsed was harrowing, but i couldn't help but be drawn into it, to romanticize it against my better judgement. to sensationalize it, if you will. as much as it disgusts me to admit to this, i couldn't look away from this man whose life was so obviously disintegrating. i replayed the disaster of my brief time with him in the way one recounts the events of a tragic play. i couldn't help but not only want to watch the play, but to be in it. i always do this, so many people always do this. when you do this, you are trying to break your own heart, you are trying to die faster. to thrust yourself into a dangerous situation, to be the first one at the crime scene (or at least feel like it) is thrilling, but it is thrilling in a way that is completely, knowingly wrong. weegee said that people were jumping to their deaths and he couldn't look, but he did look. he couldn't stop looking, and neither can i.
vivian maier's work was quieter and of course wonderful, but i didn't linger for long in the separate, sequestered wing of the gallery in which her work was hung. weegee had me feeling like a complete fucking maniac. i left the gallery and walked over to where the water was. i watched the water, and it was the color of the sky: ice blue. that was the first time i realized that, yes, it truly is winter, because the sky only looks this way when it's winter. i sat by the water and wrote in my journal until my body was chilled. when i realized i was cold i reminded myself to keep january out, to find someplace warm where i could eat and write while i waited to eat. despite not having consumed food all day, i wasn't hungry. i ordered a burger anyway, and when it came i discovered that i was ravenous. before i left i ordered some tea and perused the arts section of a local free newspaper. as i read, i had the feeling that january was still lingering inside me despite my efforts to drive it out, but perhaps i was just chilled from sitting by the water for so long and sad because i felt powerless in the face of human tragedy. either way, i knew the best thing to do was to go home. so that's what i did: i marched straight home. i think that's what you have to do in the winter: march, and don't stop marching until you're warm again!
Posted by RANDALL at 7:57 PM
Saturday, January 7, 2012
i miss my family. why can't we all want the same things so we can be in the same place all at once? everybody is at school somewhere and trying to make it elsewhere or retired in a place that's supposed to be better. i want my parents and my sister and my dogs. i wish i could hail a cab and tell them to head west. i'd pay for the six-pack and the corn nuts and everything else if i could.
Posted by RANDALL at 11:55 PM
Monday, January 2, 2012
on new year's eve i banged my knee on my bed frame and now i am limping. it is one of those metaphorical injuries, i think. what the hell have i done? 2011 was a complete and utter disaster. on new year's day i went to brunch with kelly, and she had to walk extra slow with me. when we parted ways, i thought about how 2011 has, in many ways, left me a broken woman. it only makes sense that i should be walking away from this wreckage with a limp.
today my knee feels a little better. today i wrote my resolutions on a piece of paper and nailed it to the wall. i think a nail is better than tape. it felt good to hammer it in. it felt good to hit something hard.
Posted by RANDALL at 5:12 PM