Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Three Button Hand Me Down

You Think You're a Man

On a Nerve

Climbing Up the Walls

Flaming Telepaths

The Future, Wouldn't That Be Nice?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

My Pal Foot Foot


Last night was the Public Theatre office Xmas party, i.e. another free meal. Technically, I was not really supposed to be at this one, but it's easy enough to blend into to the theatre crowd. I was under strict orders from my friend, a real Theatre employee, to tell any inquiring minds that I work in Production. And so I held a temporary position in Production at the Public Theatre for about three hours.
As a Theatre employee, I was able to hit the buffet table a couple times over, followed by a couple rounds of sangria, and some trash talking about Ed Harris. When the president of the company made a toast to all of us, thanking everyone for all of their hard work, I couldn't help but think about how that was definitely one of the cushiest freelance jobs I've ever held.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Sea of Blasphemy

Last weekend, I was voluntarily confined to the Lower East Side. There was one night out with an old, old friend and her new, British husband (green card in tote), and another night with college friends -- eight of us made the jump from Seattle to New York -- within the same three blocks. Sushi dinners and Xmas sweaters were included.

Sunday night was the Big Lebowski fest in Ozone Park, Queens. Now, that's a commitment of a commute. But it was worth it just to see The Dude, etc. in all of their glorious forms, although French fries for dinner and White Russians for dessert does not make for a very pleasant Monday.

Somewhere in there, on Saturday night, a girl (diamond ring, left hand finger) who had one too many drinks for my taste, turned to me and said, "You need to grow up and settle down," which is probably the most boring piece of advice I've ever received. I mean, honestly.

Friday, December 15, 2006

When You Get Right Down To It

Because Adam now works for Gizmodo, we went to the Gawker Christmas party at the Belgrade, which is a bar that is so new, it doesn't even have a sign yet. I have to admit, the Gawker party was not nearly as scandalous as I expected. It was kind of like any other office Christmas party: a bit mild at first until people start to take full advantage of the open bar.

Even then, I was underwhelmed by how bland those bloggers are in their holiday festivities. The most galvanizing part of the party was when I overheard a bit of juicy gossip in the ladies room. I guess I should be impressed by Nick Denton, "the Hugh Hefner of bloggers," but he seemed just like any other dude to me. If I were another type of person, I would have walked right up to Jessica Coen and told her how much I admire her and how Gawker has gone straight down the tubes since she left, but I'm not.

Thankfully, once the bloggers cleared out, another party started for A Touch of Class Recordings. This is a record label that I'm pretty excited about because not only do they have an extensive group of music on their bill, but they also know how to throw a party. And it doesn't take much, really, just a DJ to get people out of their tight knit little networking circles and onto the dance floor.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

My Human Gets Me Blues


Last night, I was supposed to see the New York Philharmonic perform Hear & Now at Lincoln Center. It was going to be my one classy night out, where I'd finally see a concert that didn't require me to stuff toilet paper in my ears to prevent future hearing damage. I was going to get some real culture.

Well. If you get out of work in SoHo at 6:20 and you want to arrive at Lincoln Center on the Upper West Side at 6:45 in order to meet a friend for a 7:00 show, you have several options.

You could take the F train to WA and transfer to the C, going Uptown to Columbus Circle, leaving only a couple of blocks to walk. You could take the N/R train at Prince Street Uptown to 57th Street, then walk over to 66th Street, Lincoln Center. Or, the most sensible plan of all, you could walk over to Varick and Houston, get on the 1 train Uptown and, in a straight shot, arrive directly at Lincoln Center, underneath the Avery Fisher Hall, where the concert takes place.

But you don't get out of work at 6:20, freak out, assume there is no way you could make it to Lincoln Center on time by train, and hop into a cab. Only an idiot would sit in a cab during rush hour and last night I was that idiot.

Everything was going smoothly until we hit 33rd Street, arriving to gridlock, at which point I was only slightly nervous. The time was 6:35 and all we had to do was make it up to 66th St and cut through the park. I was no longer going to arrive at 6:45 to meet my friend, but 7:00 would do. However, at 6:50, when we were still embedded in gridlock, as I tried to console myself with the thought that no concert ever really starts on time, I called my friend. He was not happy with my transportation decision.

My friend yelled at me to yell at the cab driver, because that's what you're supposed to do in New York. But I could never yell at my cabbie because he's actually the most interesting person I met all week. You can really get to know someone when you're stuck in gridlock, but this isn't about that.

At 7:00, when we arrived at 66th street, only to find that it was closed for some unknown reason, I abandoned the cab, and my new friend, after shelling out $20. Cars were lining the streets, bumper to bumper, and instead of the New York Philharmonic, all I could hear was the sound of New York assholes stuck in traffic, laying their fists on car horns as if that could really make a difference. Then I walked through the park in the dark, which you really aren't supposed to do, arriving at Lincoln Center at 7:25, or maybe it was 7:45.

Wouldn't you know that the New York Philharmonic's Hear & Now is part of a series titled Rush Hour? Meaning, the show only lasts for one hour and so there is no chance to claim your seats at intermission because there is no intermission. So we went upstairs, where you are allowed to watch the concert on a decent sized TV screen because, you know, I stare at a screen all day long and I can never get enough of it.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Streethawk I

Last weekend, instead of reaping the benefits of sunny Miami at Art Basel, there was the Junior Boys show at the isolated Studio B, a blistering cold gallery crawl through Chelsea, a comedy show, a trip to DUMBO, my favorite neighborhood with a view, followed by a sunset trek out to the ghost town of Coney Island, and a piece of genuine New York cheesecake for my house guest/artist in residence.

Friday, December 08, 2006

You've Got Your Head on Backwards

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Clowne Towne


Last night was a party at the historic Players Club in Gramercy Park. There were decoy directions, an open bar, arm wrestling, burlesque dancers, and gambling. If you are crafty enough, you can form a whole dinner out of hors d'oeuvres -- the trick being to position yourself directly outside the kitchen door -- and I'm pretty confident that if I play my cards right in following this string of holiday parties, I won't have to pay for another drink until New Year's.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Sound of Silver

Harold Bloom is an honest to goodness snob. He's one of those dying breed of taste curators who knows the true meaning of culture filtration and, yeah, he's kind of a dickhead. But I studied the hell out of him in college so I was pretty excited to see him speak last night.

At 76 years-old, Bloom edged up to the podium and apologized for coughing into the mic, since he lost his voice when he lost his temper "yelling at the limousine driver for being tardy." With a green shirt as a base layer and a brown sweater on top, Bloom looked very similar to a turtle. He even speaks at a turtle's pace, his heavy eyelids folding over as if he were boring himself to sleep.

But his introduction for the Henri Cole and Martha Serpas poetry reading was far from sleep inducing. As he went through the generations of poets -- Robert Lowell, "completely overrated," Ezra Pound, "who I confess to loathing," Wallace Stevens, John Keats, Mark Strand, all brilliant -- it became apparent that Bloom had probably made a similar introduction a dozen times over and is therefore able to perform with his eyes closed.

When Bloom finished his introduction, the audience began to clap until he raised his hand declaring that "it is completely against tradition to applaud the introducer," which shut all of us up immediately.

I'm not sure exactly why these two poets, Henri Cole and Martha Serpas, received Bloom's stamp of high brow approval because their poetry seems fairly commonplace, which makes me question what other presents Bloom received in addition to his tardy limousine.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Wincing the Night Away

Last weekend was the first Friday event at the Guggenheim, with Telefon Tel Aviv & Dethlab, a tetris showdown at Barcade, a slap war on Lorimer, a hospitable birthday dinner party in Sunset Park, and a noisy show at North Six, featuring some of my buddies in town from Seattle.

Some part of Sunday night was spent huddled in a loft, with three New Hampshire natives, watching Sci-Fi TV shows. There's something about the impending winter that makes me want to listen to Icelandic rock and throw Alien on the Netflix queue. I guess the cold weather increases my ability to suspend disbelief and, yeah, maybe the space cookies help, too.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Skip to the End


I just got back from an interview at Newsweek, which sounds a lot more glamorous than it actually was. It's not that I'm quitting my current job, which I adore, but rather the funniest thing happens sometimes when you find a cool job: it makes you piss-poor.

Even if I get this Newsweek gig, I don't think I'll take it because it would involve me staying in the bowels of a cube farm from 3pm-3am every Friday. But I must admit that I was rather enthused about the position when I first heard about it. I mean, Katharine Graham, come on!

Growing up in middle-class America, I think everyone is either part of a Newsweek or Time magazine family. My family was loyally Newsweek. In fact, my mother still swears by it.

Now that I am no longer living at home, I don't have the glossy on my coffee table every week and so it's been a few years since I browsed through an issue.

In the waiting room of the HR department at Newsweek, however, you only have Newsweek to choose from, of course. And you know what? The magazine seems so antiquated now that I've been drawing from a wider pool of other news sources.

The interview itself was okay, as far as interviews are concerned. Like a first date, there's no way to skirt around the awkwardness of an HR interview. At one point, the interviewer asked me to tell her about something I have done lately that I am very proud of, which is a standard interview question for which I am never prepared.

So I fumbled around for any piece of shlock I could get my hands on before formulating a somewhat articulate response. Then I asked her the same question because, you know, they say that every interview should flow like a conversation with an old friend. Heads up: HR people don't like it when you turn the tables on them. I watched with only the slightest bit of satisfaction as she scrambled around herself before changing the subject.

Well, Newsweek, I think I have finally arrived at the point in my budding career where I can afford to be a little more choosy with the jobs I accept. If that means that I'm a sucker for putting up with meager wages only because I'm slathered with free concert tickets on a daily basis, then so be it.