And I give thanks for good friends
I'm back from a highly enjoyable trip to the right coast. It was everything I
hoped it would be. Yang met me at Green and we headed for Dim Sum in Westerly
before continuing our catch-up coversation on the beach at Harkness Memorial
State Park. Wednesday we drove to New Haven and caught the early train to
Grand Central. We/Yang shopped our way up 5th Avenue before visiting the newly
opened MOMA. Highly recommended. Having had my eyes opened comparatively
recently (by Pedro) to Hopper's Nighthawks
I was delighted to see Gas
which has the same eerie lighting effect (the online versions do not do this
one justice). The museum has a Rubik's cube, some Apple gear, a Vincent Black
Shadow motorbike and some other great art. The space is huge, which is just
as well as the queue was long (apparently about 25k people/day since opening
on the Saturday). We then dumped our stuff at a nearby hotel (next to the
Ukrainian mission) and went for food (Brazilian) and scored cheap tickets for
a show (Dracula
). In the morning we grabbed breakfast at a diner
then headed for Broadway. Despite arriving comparatively late we managed to
find a good view at the Broadway/7th Ave/44th St junction at the north end of
Times Square. The temperature was in the 60's and the rain stayed away. I
especially enjoyed listening to the kids standing near us as they became so
excited when the various characters came past. There's some coverage here
order is wrong). The definite crowd favourite was Spongebob with Pikachu
probably being a distant second. After the parade I left Yang to shop some
more while I retrieved the luggage and then we caught the train back. Our
Thanksgiving feast was Chinese food we'd bought on Tuesday night and a bottle
of wine (no turkey, yay!). The next day we lazed and meandered about,
eventually joining the Black Friday shopping crowds before catching a fillum.
Food was excellent fish and chips at Flanders Fish Market
neighbor!"). We watched holiday crap on the television before bed and the next day I had
to head back here (booo!).
The oddest thing waiting for me at work was an e-mail from Liping. She had apparently re-read
a message she had sent to me over a month ago and decided that she had been a
little too harsh at the time and was now apologising(!). I can only assume that some strange
person has taken control of Liping's computer account or otherwise the pod
people have taken over Illinois while I was away. Give me back the Liping I
can argue and fight with! I also ran into my neighbour, Anne, in the car
park. She (who is in her 70's) had become worried that my car had not moved
for a few days and was considering asking the police to check on me in case I
was ill. That is so sweet. I must let her know next time I travel.
Grade A Grey Day
Yes, today had "grey" written all over it and I know that I am a
stronger man for surviving. I made it through the murk by buckling
down to some serious housework. Having lost last weekend to a lost
weekend I had some catching up to do. I am also disappearing at
the crack of dawn on Tuesday as I head east to see Yang. That's
basically what is keeping me going at the moment. I haven't seen
her in well over a year and am very much looking forward to the
trip. Laundry has been performed and tomorrow may even bring
ironing. I actually like ironing. There's something that appeals
to me about throwing down the shirt of one's existence and eliminating
life's creases with the steam power of will and dodging the buttons
of capriciousness. Pity I suck at ironing and end up with trousers
with creases you could cut potatoes with - into many pieces -
Since the last entry I watched Bad Santa and this may
replace The Ref as my favourite Yuletide fillum. As
penance for this I borrowed and viewed the DVD version of Ken Burns'
Shakers documentary. Until now I have been relying
on a fuzzy old videotape I inherited when I arrived in this country
and bought Tim and Helen's old VCR as they prepared to leave the
country. I do like that documentary. Every time I watch it I feel
challenged to do a better job in all that I do. Tonight's pick was
Jeong Jae-Eun's Take Care of My Cat, which is somewhere
between My So-Called Life and Trainspotting.
The current book on the bedside table is one written by someone who
died less than a fortnight ago. As soon as I heard about the event
I felt obliged to do this. Many things in life leave me puzzled.
Currently on the bedside table...
"We injure some people in the course of our lives, and we get injured by
others. And we settle accounts along the way. We make it up to some and
require others to compensate us. In that way we close the books."
Before I left for Ireland I finished both Oe's Rouse Up O Youg Men...
and Nip the Buds, Shoot the Kids
. I liked the former and was interested in his devotion to the writings of Blake. When studying for my Masters in London I attended a lecture on reperfusion injury by Professor David Blake who turned out to be one of William Blake's direct descendents. Prof Blake at one point illustrated his talk with a slide of Blake's Nebuchadnezzar
with the excuse that he thought the figure looked as if it was suffering from
rheumatism. He also took the opportunity to say that his ancestor was "a
religious bigot". I wonder what led to that opinion. The illustration was well
known to me as it is featured on the cover of Atomic Rooster's 1970 album, Death
Walks Behind You
. I didn't like the other Oe book as it seemed too
artificial to combine the themes of Camus' Plague
and Golding's Lord of the Flies
. It could also win an award for excess use of the word "anus".
I took Sputnik Sweetheart on my trip and finished it again in short
order. Tonight's bedtime reading is a manuscript from my boss at UCSF, and
yes, you crackmonkeys out there, it does feature yeast again, just like my previous
This time I don't get to interrupt the workflow for TNICNAZ.
Listening pleasure has been a slew of Beatles albums. I just felt the urge.
For fillums I watched Kill Bill 2 which was truly truly crap.
Then I watched Kurosawa's Rhapsody in August and my faith in the
medium of film was restored. On the flight east I was drawn to
Anchorman in the same way that crowds are drawn to disasters. It
also helped me to sleep a little. On the way back the choices were Harry
Potter, Chicken Run and I, Robot. I watched
Chicken Run before I, Robot and clearly had the
ranking correct. Chickens are automatically funny.
I need a backup liver!
Just back from the trip to the Emerald Isle for cousin Mary's wedding. I was
under the impression that this was supposed to be just outside Dublin but was
actually held in the wilds of the Queen's County: Ballyroan for the service and Darrow for the evening debauch. I met The Brother and his good lady wife at Dublin airport and we headed to Darrow for some catching up and drinking practice. Meeting all of the relatives was great as I hadn't seen many of them in a dozen year and I failed to recognise a few of my cousins. On Friday I headed deeper inland with one branch of the family to their homestead in Tullamore. Hilarity ensued. On Saturday the Offaly folk were keen to demonstrate that the area was a focal point for good science and so took me to Birr Castle
telescopes, turbines and photographs. Saturday night I was in the Holiday Inn
at Dublin Airport and then up at the crack of dawn to get back here. The
plane was full of South Africans who appeared surprisingly undepressed.
Bastards! And it is a good deal warmer in Chi-town than it was over there.
I have a similar game to go through in December when Siobhan gets hitched in
Sligo. Mercifully my recovery should be helped by a quick trip to CT and NYC
as a surprise call from Yang invited me over to do the Macy's Parade with her. Woohoo!
Just an opinion
is a reason that
Cat and Girl should be included in laziness. Even if it only
appears once a week.