Once again I’m looking at the blank box on the screen with little or nothing to say. And at each of those difficult moments, I turn away and look at something else on my browser. Tabbed browsers are my nemesis!

Think I’ll go wash my cutlery and then try again.

Current Book: Richard Brookhiser – The Adamses, 1735 – 1918, America’s First Dynasty

Again, a big gap in postings which means that I can’t recount all the important stuff. Or maybe only the important stuff. In any event, unless you’re a hard core fan of the minutia of my life, scroll down now!

For the rest of you, don’t say I didn’t warn you. This weekend I made substantial progress in getting the house in order. I did it in the classic way: by giving myself two easily acheivable goals. First was to assemble the two bookcases I bought last week. Second was to stack all the loose papers that filled the floor of what should be the living room, but what had become the “file room”. By telling myself over and over that was all I had to do, I of course got excited by the tidier space and branched out from there. I went from the floor to the super cluttered living room desk, to changing the sheets, to taking things to the dry cleaner, to sorting through boxes of books to picking coins off the floor (don’t ask) to transcribing phone info into the palm desktop. Some of the things I discovered:
A. I owned ten pairs of sunglasses, most some variation on aviator frames and all very cheap. I chucked eight of them. On top of that I “found” three pairs of perscription glasses that I haven’t been wearing. Since lately I’ve been despairing at my worsening far sightedness, I should probably start wearing these.
B. I tend to leave pens in the pockets of clothes as part of a cycle where “I can’t find a single pen!” when i went though all those pockets and all of my shoulder bags I ended up with tons of them:thus the title for this post.
C. It’s better to admit that I won’t read something than to save it. I’ve got tons of announcements, catalogs, newspapers, etc. in the apartment that are only there because I think that I’ll get to them. I won’t, and for all the time I don’t they sit there and make me anxious and guilty.
D. My body is inherently messy. When you are hirsute, hair comes off of you and ends up on the floor more often than not. without regular removal, it can make your living space hirsute as well.
E. Placing bags of garbage on the curb feels good. Farewell to the six books of ‘while you were out memos that i was holding onto in order to save contact numbers. Some of them were from eight years ago. I know: a gold mine for my biographers, now gone for ever.

There’s more and more of this stuff of course. One of the most crucial points is that the same information can either make me clean more (as it did this weekend) or make me despair and cringe in my bed (as it has over the past few months). Some of this has to do with available time: when I get into the cycle of Home work shop sleep, I can only note the problem. When I feel that I have more time available, I can devise some strategies for moving it along As it was, I barely left the house Saturday, and got very little Christmas shopping done Sunday. But if it means that after two years I can start to fully inhabit my house, then it’s fine by me.

It is oh so difficult to not turn on the TV right now. Sunday morning, sunlight streaming in and I’m in bed, chilled. Winter has arrived. Actually went through my voice mail just now and listened to my messages and returned calls. Some were 27 days old, unreturned. I think I read some where that a hallmark of the addict was that feeling of extraordinary accomplishment for doing the simplest, most routine things. Spent a while going through my files yesterday. They sit in about ten boxes in my living room., with various other papers and odds and ends strewn around the floor. Any horizontal surface is pretty much obscured. While going through them, I find myself facing previous incarnations: there have been times when I hired assistants and all they were doing was watching after the filing. Other times I’ve been a careless demented pack rat. I have old pay stubs, copies of essays I was assigned in grad school twenty years ago, scripts from performances, designs for neon sculptures that were never executed and manuscripts from when I was the porn reviewer for the Bay Area Reporter. Most difficult are the folders marked “needs attention”. Here’s a lesson I should take from all of this: I will never attend to something I put in such a folder.
Also problematic are other artists’ slides and videos. One way or another I’ve ended up with quite a few of these. Sometimes I’ve asked for them for a curatorial project, other times people have sent them unsolicited. I can’t bear to throw them out, but in many cases a lot of time has passed, and they are not doing anyone any good in a box in my living room. Again , this is stuff that seems to bring with it the weight of obligation. I suppose the graceful solution would be to start a repatriation program, contact the most recent address I have for the person and work on sending everything back.
If only one aspect of my environment was like this it would be ok, but every room has its version of this. How did things get to this state? I feel in service to my stuff, rather than the other way around.
I’m grateful that I’ve had three relatively clear days together, as that seems to be the only way I can make any headway with this process.

Well as some sort of a “reward” for some sort of “achievement” I went out and bought myself a Game cube. Just another way to waste the 18 minutes or so a day that I haven’t wasted already. I’m much more of a recreational gamer than a hardcore one: things like colecovision and pong were the provence of my rich “spoiled’ relatives and I only had a grudging access to them once every few months. Speaking of which: electronic gaming monthly is crap for the most part, but this is definitely worth a look:,4364,1338730,00.asp

Past the burnout of the past couple of days. Overslept this morning, but that left me in a much better mood than previously. Obviously I needed it. There are still many things to take care of on the rapidly-approaching horizon, but at least my conciousness doesn’t seem as sporadic as yesterday. One thing I forgot to mention about the trip to the Tang was the presence of one quite beautiful man who was a friend of one of the Tang education coordinators and who stuck around after the whole thing. We were introduced and I made some fumbling joke. He was around my height and seemed to be a pacific islander, with long salt and pepper hair and a pointed goatee. He teaches at the university in Schenectady. I’m remembering an open smile and the dry warmth of his handshake, but off course his name flew out of my head the moment it was told me. My particular curse – I can remember the jingles from every commecial I heard at age 4 but never anyone’s name.
All of this is to say I was a bit smitten. Rare indeed.
This is another of those “I’m at work and I don’t wanna be” LJ posts. There’s lots of other things I need to finish, pieces that need making, rooms that need cleaning, people that need contacting. But the fact is I almost get more of that stuff done here. And now once again I’m frightened by the messages on my phone, so much so that I won’t pick them up. An absurtity, which has gotten me into bad situations with those around me and hurt people I haven’t wanted to hurt. Time after time I’ve tried to talk through these scenarios with my therapist, yet I lapse into the same behavior. Last week for the first time he suggested medication, which left me both shocked (usually not his route at all) and a little thrilled (is my dowdy, garden variety neurosis blooming into a glamourous anxiety disorder?).
I am reading W.G.Seybold’s book “The Rings of Saturn”. It is stunning: the overall structure is a solitary walking tour through the east of England, but each chapter mimicks the sensation of walking; spare insiscive descriptions of the landscape give way to chains of association that become historical and autobigraphical essays. The erudition is never forced, and exists in conjuction with sensitive observations of people and places. This is the kind of book I wish I could write, and indeed it’s given me some ideas for my endlessly projected, endlessly delayed Jack Smith/Ray Johnson/Cockettes/et al book. When I type those words I feel that everything I’m doing right now is wrong, and that there’s a much more important task calling me

The die is cast. After about 6 hours of cumulative talk-time with Dell tech support over the past two days, I had to clean install this morning. So now I guess my system is spring time fresh, and all that info is gone. If you’re a friend and reading this, I probably no longer have your email address. What has been most overwhelming here has been the loss and frustration I’ve felt. Disproportionate to the event I think. The actual documents and such I don’t miss so much. But while the machine was down, I could barely think about anything else. I was medicating myself by watching season one of Futurama with the commentary track on, which was both comforting and irritating, since it meant that I couldn’t hear the jokes on the show unless the volume was so high that the commentary was completely disruptive. I took a one hour break to watch the Joe Schmo Show, which is one of the only bearable reality shows. So what was I mourning in this whole process? the ability to go online easily? That’s a need I couldn’t have even articulated a few years ago. So perhaps the computer has become one of the battery of distractions I deploy about myself daily. Interesting after London where my media input was greatly reduced: no tv, a little news on the radio, occasional email checks from the gallery’s Imacs. At home I have a media regime and it’s interesting that I got home and almost immediately screwed it up. (I wish I could pretend that this whole foul up was something that happened to me but it didn’t. It was something that I did) One interesting side effect: computer crash stories play around the office like family illness stories.

SO that’s about two hours of work. Things are incrementally better. Is there some sort of recovery tag about “Acting one’s way into right thinking is easier than thinking one’s way into right acting?” It seems pathetic that whenever I spend some time doing self nurtuing things I feel better and yet when I feel badly my last impulse is to do something self nurturing. At the moment that I’m going through the pile of papers I can begin to feel some measure of control of them. Once I begin to reflect on it, I drown beneath the tide. All of this accompanied by paralyzing guilt over everything I haven’t done and every one I’ve let down.

If this activity is about anything, it’s about returning me to a life of reflection and integration. The past two years have been ones of upheaval. My life has been reshuffled, and It seems as though I’m still playing catch up. For the first time since high school I’m living in the same place as all my possessions. I’ve spent the last year in a kind of shock. All of my friendships seem up in the air. In the last month I’ve tried to rectify some of this, to reconnect. Complicating the effort is my tendency to react emotionally and not always in my own best interests. That has led me to false starts, allowing myself to drop out of touch with people. There is a curious way that I’m feeling unable to manage my connections to others. It all seems haphazard. My apartment is a series of narrow walkways between heaps of stuff – clothes, files, boxes, collections of things that only have a value to me because they are collected. Again it feels clotted, constricted, (oh no, my chi is blocked!) . This is a physical manifestation of the past holding the future back. Or at least that is the way I keep presenting it to myself. By this point any one reading this must be thinking “For god’s sake! get up and clean the fuckin room instead of writing about it!” so I will.

It’s a diffferent thing when I acutally get enough sleep.But I have to resist my current habit of reaching for the radio or the TV within the first minutes of wakefulness. Now I’m left with shreds of this moring’s dreaming, and the TV’s yammering. Current house configuration has the TV directly across from the bed. First thing seen in the morning, last at night. Sometimes, I feel pinned bye the great eye. I used to read, I think, some time in the distant past. Even draw. “But TV gives so much, and asks so little!” Well I need to ask myself more.