June 2005 Archives

The boy sitting two seats away from me on the F train was wearing a t-shirt with four lions on it. The red, gold, green and blue lion were probably the repeated logo of some special summer-camp. The boy was maybe seven but he was more than half way through a pretty mangled book from the kids section of the Brooklyn library. His father, a well groomed man with what looked like a special edition of a Trotsky beard (the late version) was sitting right next to me, reading "The Tipping Point." The boy interrupted his reading, looked up in the direction of his dad, seemed to ponder and then asked: "Dad, how can you possibly cheat in basketball?" His book did not seem to have anything to do with basketball. It was one of those incredibly dangerously unrealistic detective stories, in which three smart kids find and catch a mass murderer. I thought the question was pretty good. Basketball is obviously a team sport, played in the open, people are watching, television cameras are running, how does one cheat in that sport? My father's answer would have been a question, I bet. "Dad, how do you cheat in Basketball?" i would ask. And my dad would probably reply something like: "why don’t you ask the neighbor?" or "well, what do you think?" I would say:"I don't know." and my father would give me his famous:"I don't know is not an answer." The father of the boy with the four lions on his chest was a different kind of dad. He looked at the boy from behind the book and gave him a pretty comprehensive answer: "Well, there are at least two ways to cheat at basketball." Two ways? He certainly had the boy's and my attention. "The first way is the very obvious way: You make sure nobody sees you and then you hold a guy from the other team, or you elbow him in the ribs." (He lowered "Tipping Point" and made an elbowing movement. "The second way is a bit less obvious, but certainly not less common. Let's say you are on the blue team. A bookie comes to you and tells you that he has all his bets in and that he can make the most money when the red team wins. He offers you an incentive and you make sure that the red team wins, by pretty much playing poorly. You miss some baskets on purpose, the blue team loses, the bookie gives you $2000 and he probably makes 10K in the same transaction." Wow, I thought. This dad came up with that right there on the spot? He continued, the boy and I listened, full attention: "Things can get even more interesting when the bookie tells you to lose by a certain amount of points. Certain bets are based on by how many points a team wins or loses. So you could be on the blue team again and the bookie tells you to lose by, let's say 10 points. Not an easy thing to do, but if the red team wins by 10 points, you make a bunch of money and the bookie makes much more." The boy stared completely focussed on his father's mouth as if he were waiting for these lips to move again. The father stared at the boy. The boy stared at the father. After a pretty long five seconds or so, the boy looked down on his t-shirt and pointed at one of the lions: "Blue." he then pointed at another: "Red." ... "Green." ... "Gold." No clear winners in this particular match.


Miranda July wore this yellow dress we had seen somewhere else, on her, on some website perhaps or was it in the print media... or maybe we had not seen it ever, it just seemed very fitting on this summery day and her. Her "R" pronunciation was pretty darn close to what Terrence McKenna sounded like when he spoke to us a few years ago, well, more than ten years ago, in Germany. And so Miranda July had to be from Berkley perhaps, or at least from the westcoast. (and she is.) We had actually expected to see that new movie of hers, the one to come out soon: Me and You and everyone we know but instead she showed us some of her past performances and pieces and showed us Learning to Love you more and me and everyone we know (Okay, I just extended the name of the site, okay?) and even read a pretty nice short story which somehow incredibly matched the yellow dress and the expectation of seeing a different movie and the scenes from that other piece and then also the other one which we... Okay, some of the things we saw were a bit confusing. In a good way, certainly, in a good and different way and... There were little snacks served afterwards in the new, actually completely new IFC centre... And the night was very hot and it was time to go home and it was dark and we ended up in a new thai place, where the waiter sold us tap water as if it were the greatest thing since the invention of the spandex full body bunny suit... The couple at the table on the other side of the buddha was talking about their favorite types in gyms. The guy from Sydney was really into the chunky types... "solid, and yet not sculpted". The New Yorker added that he liked them with their chests waxed. They both agreed on something I did not quite hear and then left, into the very hot and humid night. And the food was great and the desert menu had rorschach tests all over it, but only because previous visitors must have cried out of joy or maybe because at the time the desert menu was given to us we were drinking so much water, just to balance the effects of the delicious spicy food. That night I dreamt of finding a secret passage into an elongated temple outside of the building here, except that the marble floor, framed by columns and a far away painted ceiling reached all the way to a pier to which attached was a giant black ship in full sail. The air appeared liquid around it, swaying it, making it fade into a milky sky. I was not really supposed to be there and so i walked down to the beach where there was a slight mixup about my shoes. I waited until the evening to find my way back to the building, and by that time the fountains were turned on and the food was being served. And I ate some of it. Taking several trains to various places this morning left me enough time to mix and match some of the interviews in BOMB. I felt a bit like a chimp boy, just playfully pretending that I was reading, while the sentence I remember most was not written in the magazine in my hand but on the t-shirt of a man sitting not far from me on the Q. "Trust me, I'm a doctor." In a bag attached to his jeans were two drum sticks and attached to a chain a whole selection of keys, some of them clearly for a drum. The chair next to me is smiling. Perhaps because it was shampooed last friday. A service somebody here must have requested for me. How very decadent. Starbucks has ¢50 refills on coffee... (¢54 with tax) and I think I will now go and get one of those...

please stand clear...

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The time spent on a crowded train is a good time, I keep telling to myself, as it keeps getting longer and sometimes even longer than that. And it is okay. I should probably read a book, or maybe listen to one, or maybe at least draw on the train again, into a tiny something... as I had done years ago... just use the search field and type in a word like... subway... or moleskine... or... I was the guy with a big vornado fan today. I had a seat, at least on the way back. Across from me was a lady reading a rather heavy book with the name "good & food". It was about losing weight in some new and incredibly natural way. And the lady across from me did not look too happy reading it. I imagined what would possibly happen if she indeed lost all of her weight, and it was a very horrible thought. Hmm, I think she looked just perfect the way she was. But how could I possibly tell her that? We would probably both die if I did. The two women next to me (at least for a while) were talking about the pretty things on garnet hill. (or was it: "like, garnet hill"...) And one of them wore a very much admired charm bracelet. The other one had incredibly special eyelids. They looked as if they were made out of moss perhaps? Or could it have been cork tree bark? Maybe just a lush layer of thick, carpety velvet? Fascinating. Oh, and they were oh-ing and ah-ing themselves through a glossy and heavy catalogue filled with pornographically shot pictures of silver pinocchios and toy trains and dice and crosses attached to glittery things... or the other way round. There were two women at the other seats near the far window, one of them reading a book called "dry" the other one gasping and grasping onto her completely dieted away chest. As if she attempted to re-digest the last breath she had taken, sinfully perhaps. Or at least secretly and fearfully. I was rather concerned. The woman reading "dry" appeared to almost weep as well. Her head was of unexpectedly large proportions. Her incredibly heavy hait combined to two sculptures resembling sir Norman Foster's London City Halls. (He designed one. She had two on her head.) A new conversation was started next to me. A woman used very complex sentence structures, those that belonged written, not spoken, to describe, with quite a healthy amount of emphasis, how much she was concerned that her recent report on the differences of teaching "there" and "here" was not welcome with the deserved amount of enthusiasm among her peers, to the level where she began to have doubts if they were indeed her peers, or maybe just a pack of hungry wolfs, out there to... her good looking gentleman friend agreed, while using his fantastically shaped man purse in a very well rehearsed way. A woman with white shoes decorated with green hearts looked lovingly up from her soft cover book onto the salt and pepper colored hair of her suit wearing companion, while he, with his lips slightly open, gazed up from his sets of stapled photocopies straight under the skirt of a girl lost between two tiny white headphones. "Jason" and his girlfriend took over the space next to the door on the other side of the train. We all knew that he wanted her. She wanted more and used words like "stop" and "it" and body language like "yes" and "there" and "why not more, and why not over here?" Out loud. And then louder. And then so loudly that the lady reading the "food and good" book had to move sweaters out of the space between her and her book... A delicate person was reading about genghis khan in soft cover. The boy next to me read about the pursuit of happiness (his chapter: "the need to sin".) A gigantic man across from me managed to shuffle his tiny ipod in a rather dainty way and out of sight. And I should stop right now... because my next memory is of that lady solving a cross word puzzle in Chinese... but that was this morning... and now the Vornado wind moves over me very softly and I just knocked on wood that this might be a nicely environmentally sound alternative to a full blown air conditioner... I will complain in a few days, I guess... the wood I knocked on was painted. Please stand clear of the closing... ding dong...

water, no milk.

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A dog in the backyard just started barking at the thunder. Do I wonder who is going to win? The dog will "win", of course, as he is going to be here longer than the thunderstorm and so he will "think" that... He is going to be under the impression that he... no wait... how does that work? it was good to be in the city today, some people actually missed me. so amazing. amazing. it is the end of the day and i am relaxed and ready to work for another few hours. this feels good. i am not going to go out and get milk right now. the water just keeps on pouring down. oh, and I would like to announce that i will soon be powered by intel chips. give me some time. some of my code will need to be rewritten, but then, hey then... i am going to get several hundred units per bowl of rice. things will look brighter then. Oh yes, much brighter. There is a bird out there singing in the rain actually. Or could it be a squirrel pretending to be a bird? We have seen this happen before. Squirrels as birds. Rats as Squirrels. All of the windows are open now. I managed to survive another day without and air conditioner. This is rather exciting. I know it is an illusion that I could survive an entire summer without an air conditioner. I could save a tree perhaps?... hmm... The sound of the rain is so incredibly soothing. Please excuse me while I go and draw something on that bizarre reading table with the silkscreen picture of two colibris flying busily around some stylized petals. The storm is several miles away... I wonder how much wetter it is inside of it's eye... this was a great day. this is a great evening. and water. no milk.

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turned off itunes and the wind started pouring in slowly. with it the sounds of a guitar. perhaps my neighbor down in the garden? Sounds so much cooler than whatever i was just playing here on the computer. A few minutes ago there were fireworks, probably over at grand army plaza. The air conditioners have not quite kicked in yet. The backyard does not yet sound like the space behind the refrigerator. There is a moaning cat sometimes. Sometimes the squirrels give themselves away by their soft shrieks. The birds, the birds, the birds... they are the good kind of birds. Brooklyn has a good glow. The Basquiat show is over at the Brooklyn Museum, but there is the International Film Festival and other great events. That Atlantic Avenue Art Walk yesterday was also quite something. The work ranged from incredible to absolutely abysmal. And this is what made it so great. oh, and I also found a blue button in an artist studio yesterday... What a happy place... Hmm... except that my neighbor seems to have stopped playing... oh yes... it is 10PM... wow.

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