So Mike has been in town and yesterday he, I, his friend Karen, and Lolita took ourselves off to five hours of liquid satisfaction at Spa Castle. Bliss is a well placed jet of water. If you’re a New York resident or planning a visit, make your host take you there: it’s like a civilized water park with immaculate saunas and a decent food court thrown in. You can get baked eggs. One note though: bring a change of clothes, because you end up so clean that putting your old duds on at the end of it can be a bit of a let down.

We also had two fantastic meals: before we submerged ourselves we had a very civilized brunch with Thor at good. And on the way home we joined Jason and Sue at SriPraPhai (sorry Dan, I know we should have called you), which has expanded and remodeled and yet was still as delicious as ever. Then J was so very kind as to offer Mike and I a ride back to my place, where a not too disgruntled Lehigh awaited her evening walk. There was a little canoodling, and then the Sandman showed up for a three-way.

You could say I was satisfied.


Pulled myself out of the house yesterday evening, to meet with Fred, and a couple of other folks for dinner. I suggested Gobo, which did not dissapoint. In fact, as I was heading home I reflected on how much better my body was feeling after a day full of headaches, allergies, bloaty-ness and lassitude. I guessing that in part it was because there were very few carbs in the meal. The standout dish was a nori wrapped tofu in a thai red curry. It had bite and an undercurrent of smokiness. As for the company, it was one of those evenings where as we talked more, we ran across yet another person that we knew in common. It was one of those cases where we were much in each others lives, even though we saw each other rarely. Perhaps the fact that I didn’t have any real responsibilities in the evening helped to lighten my mood.

Today I’m teaching at the center, and then getting together with some more friends. It’s funny how elastic time is: when I start doing little tasks, I have plenty of it: when I worry about tasks it flies by and I feel like there’s not time to do anything.


Are often difficult to manage.

Recently I’ve been writing down some thoughts on organizations. After a little more work I think I’ll be posting them here.

It’s been interesting to see the ways that my current job has become institutionalized, and how we’ve had to learn how to deal with that perception in the minds of our students and peers.

In part of my attempts to take a longer view of my current situation I’m a little hungry for a bigger art project.

And just after I finished typing that, my Mom dropped by my office. Boy was I happy to see her! I think it marks how disconnected and isolated I’ve been in the past few weeks that I had a deep rush of emotion at just sitting down with her.


Steps had to be taken to protect the art in Union Square from the rain.

Some folks on my frlist have been migrating to dreamscape or dreamworks or whatever it is. Which is all well and good, they seem like a nice company and all, but I’m the owner of a permanent membership here at LJ (silly of me, I know) so it will be a while before I totally jump ship.

As a precaution during the “LJ is dying” scare of the early part of this year, I did start mirroring this blog over on, (of course if you’re reading this on WordPress you already know all this) and in the subsequent months I’ve started to learn more about how to use that site, so much so that I’m using it to resurrect some of the functions of my supposed official site, The formatting is boring, but I am happy about getting some more content up there

All of this is to say that I’ve updated a couple of the pages on that site: the upcoming exhibitions page, the upcoming lectures page, and the selected works page. Because I have stuff coming up y’all. In particular, you Seattle folks might want to check out the group show at Lawrimore.

Closer to home, on Monday May 11, I’m one of the honorees at this benefit. Please, if you have the cash to do it, come and dance and bowl!


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.


Walking the streets of lower Manhattan today, and I passed two powerfully fragrant magnolia trees (this tree isn’t them). Spring is coming, haltingly, forward. The trees on my home block are not yet showing any signs of budding.


On the way to work today, the thought struck me that it’s hard to talk about not making art without it sounding like an alarm. I (and I think most of us) are used to thinking about the process of working as one of dramatic highs and lows, where every stumble is something to be dreaded and avoided.

I haven’t made much formal work lately. Yet I do not feel “blocked” per se. The camera is still always with me, pictures get taken, posts get made here, and the occasional drawing happens. Still, none of this seems to be adding up to much. Is it the notion of “adding up” itself that causes the problem? Or is it the temptation to make all of these posts little moments of problem posed, problem solved?

In all of my written journals, my default voice is one of complaint. And complaint is always safer than expressions of pleasure, because what do you say to Pollyanna? Friends are having a hard time, and I don’t want to go around plopping rainbows on them. I’m reading Reborn a selection of Susan Sontag’s notebooks, and at 16 years old she is intellectually intimidating and insufferable in the absolute nature of her ecstasies. I certainly don’t want these notes to end up in that pile.

So: I’m not working, much. It’s not a big deal, but there it is.


Busy, busy.

Note to self: schedule time this weekend for some long range planning, and to finish up the pressing short range projects.

Prosaic, but necessary.

(EDIT) Or I could while away the weekend playing the best video game ever.


Here, on Bleeker Street, on the former site of a lovely antique shop, Marc Jacobs is paying some wretched NYU drama student to hop around in his window in a frightening rat costume. I tried to get some pictures of passers-by averting their eyes from the humiliation, but everyone was either moving too fast or crossing the street to avoid the shameful spectacle.

Jacobs has staked his claim on any number of village locations in efforts to maintain the sales of his Banana Republic-esque designs, which, as the vernacular would have it, suck. Now we can add fursuit exploitation and child trauma to the list of his many crimes.


It’s cold and foggy here. It doesn’t feel like spring, but rather the downward creep of fall. I’ve been playing catch up with some responsibilities, and reliving some of the high points of IMsL through other people’s recaps.

I’ve been looking for my copy of “Watchmen” around my house for months and have been unable to find it. So I bought another one in the SF airport to read on the way home. Getting through it made me even less interested in seeing the movie. For one thing, it’s not at all an action story: violent things happen, but the guts of it all is reflection, memory and discussion. The narrative moves forward very slightly compared to how much it moves backwards or sideways and it’s not propelled by people doing superhero type things. When I try to think of the directors who could do it justice I think of Tarkovsky or maybe War Wong Kai. If Fassbinder wasn’t dead he could do a great version, with everyone sitting around some broken down warehouse some where.

In other pop culture news, last night’s South Park was one of their tortured analogy episodes, where a goofy incident is made to stand in for a social issue. I laughed harder at a picture of a jar in The Onion with the caption “Heroic Pickles Holding Lid Shut From Inside”.

Speaking of beloved book adaptations, on Tuesday night TCM showed “The Phantom TollBooth”, Chuck Jones’ take on one of my favorite books from my childhood. I’ve seen it before but really forgotten how dreary it was. The backgrounds are mainly recycled from “What’s Opera Doc” and the character design is shabby. Jules Pfeiffer did a great job illustrating the book, but Jones utterly jettisoned his line and balance for the movie. The songs are lackluster and forgettable, and the end is a rushed knockoff of the “All Too Much” sequence from “Yellow Submarine”.


I used to get my salad here. Like, last week.

Further evidence of economic downturn: this storefront on Fifth Fucking Avenue and 43rd Street used to house a Cafe Europa, part of a Deli chain that’s all around midtown. Two doors down from it is a Jam Paper store that is also going out of business. Across the street is a Circuit City that is shuttering its doors after slightly more than a year of operation.

I’m shocked about the cafe because you have to ask how hard is it to sustain a business model of selling office workers lunch? Are that many people brown bagging it now?

It’s starting to feel like the Seventies again around here.


In no particular order:

The first truly satisfying episode of Top Chef this season aired last night. Pouty, self-styled intellectual gets sent home, goofball gets the win, Eurotrash gets slapped around, and some of the food made me hungry.

Today’s lunch: Pesto Chicken salad wrap from deli on 43rd, supposed to have tomato, cucumber and avocado. But once I check it back at the office, I find universal green. Where are my tomatoes? Wrap is passable without them, but still. Banana provides some solace, eaten with multivitamin.

Said banana was bought at Grace Building news agent’s (nervous greedy checking tells me that the Mega Jackpot for tomorrow is 40 million, too low for me to play) along with the latest New York Review of Books. Julian Bell writes on Watteau

Thus I am reminded of the death of John Updike; It says something about my LJ friends list that the passing of Eartha Kitt garnered far more notice; I certainly felt a deeper regret when I heard she died. Updike remains for me one of those indigestible lumps of American culture that always seems to be standing in the way of some other, more interesting activity. I think his art criticism to be sensible and well made, but reading his novels was an experience that I found similar to having to watch sports on TV with my dad. There was clear evidence that the activity mattered to many people, but I could never work up the enthusiasm for it.

Here is a fascinating post on the authority of cultural institutions in the current web climate.

And that white stuff that fell from the sky over Brooklyn a couple of days ago? This picture is what it looks like this morning.


Here’s a nice thing that’s happening with the current show: more people are finding the blog and connecting it with the work. There’s a lovely post about Gorge here. It’ll be interesting to see how these new types of access change what we think of as a viewing public, and what that public’s experiences and expectations of encountering art turns into. We’re used to having gatekeepers, i.e. critics, articulating what the experience of the work is, with the assumption that “average people” can only ever formulate an evanescent “thumbs up or thumbs down” response. But now there is the possibility or a public that is neither inarticulate nor professional critics. That’s exciting.