Thursday, July 20, 2017

A Question of Altitude

"I have a serious question," I say, seriously, and John lean backs against the counter while Katie watches me closely with narrowed eyes.

"It's not a serious question," she says finally, shaking her head. "His nostrils flare when he thinks he's about to say something clever."

"For real, though," I say, standing up and ignoring her, "do you guys think I've gotten shorter?"
One year ago: Mom and Dad
Two years ago: Not That Nice
Three years ago: Love Anyways

Wednesday, July 19, 2017


"So I listened to more commercials than music," Katie says, coming out of the shower before bed, "and I heard a commercial for cosmetic gynecology."

"Oh, also, they do faces," she adds sardonically.

"Why?" I ask, eyes wide and innocent. "Clearly no one is looking above the waist."
One year ago: Recreational Vehicle
Two years ago: Stranger Danger
Eight years ago: C.H.U.D.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Weaponized Sound

After the Grand Guignol that was "1984," I have to stand outside for a few seconds, across the street from the theater, fighting the nausea and calming down. The psychological aspect of the show is not nearly so distressing as the sound design, which weaponizes amplification and frequency to the point that the body becomes a crucible for really, really bad vibes.

We go to a ramen place in the neighborhood to grab a bite and let the adrenaline work through our systems, only to find ourselves slurping noodles in the middle of a pitch meeting between a producer and a couple of directors whose nervousness has made them into "loud talkers."

When Katie suggests we steal their ideas and make a movie ourselves, just to spite them, I reply, loudly "I guess we could, if we could find an original idea in anything we've heard for the last twenty minutes!"
One year ago: After the Rain
Two years ago: Unasked for Massage
Three years ago: Tone Deaf
Four years ago: Go Make Babies, You Guys

Monday, July 17, 2017

Why We Write About Ourselves

Katie goes upstairs to talk to the woman helping her out with her business, and I wait downstairs with the bikes. The sun's almost gone down, and a wet breeze, still heavy with the humidity of the day, meanders down the street, barely cooling me off.

After about twenty minutes of waiting, I see a woman using a cane slowly making her way past the building, each step an exercise in patience and concentration.

I accidentally make eye contact and give her a small smile, and she smiles back, briefly, but even that little bit of frisson is enough: somebody saw me, and I saw her, and I belong here, and so does she.
One year ago: Oh, Those
Three years ago: I Have The Touch, Redux
Four years ago: Crazy From the Heat
Eight years ago: Word (actually, Excel)

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Weapon of Choice

"The only time I almost got mugged," my new friend says, "I was going through kind of a dark period, so I was," his voice lowers a little in embarrassment, "carrying a knife."

I lean in to listen more closely. "He came up behind me, and I just kind of pulled it out of my pocket and," he demonstrates, "sching, and he looked at the knife, and I looked at him, and he just kind of," he shakes his head, "and took off."

"Well," I say, laughing, "at least your story leaves you the dignity of having an actual weapon," thinking of my attempt to beat a mugger to death with a plastic bag full of empty Tupperware.
One year ago: Convergent Play
Two years ago: Not That Smart
Three years ago: That Old Chestnut
Four years ago: Insomnia Rhapsody

A Grudge

The three-story, stained glass globe in the middle of the Christian Science Library is pretty boss, even if the map it shows of all the countries is frozen in mid-1933. We walk around inside it on a catwalk that traverses the southern hemisphere, wondering at the distance between countries, and at how large Africa really is.

Later, perusing the exhibits, we read about the ideals of Christian Scientists, and how they believe that faith in God can pretty much cure all disease.

"Sounds nice," says Katie, "but I'm pretty sure they took Jim Henson away from us, and for that I will never forgive them."
One year ago: Using My Contusion
Two years ago: Not Feeling It
Three years ago: A Happy Home Has Many Cats
Eight years ago: Nice try, asshole

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Shipping Up To Boston

Three lanes on either side stretch out before us, free and clear, with enormous green signs proclaiming the way to Boston sailing overhead. A throng of trees crowd the verge on either side, as if we're passing through thick forest.

All of the people that crowd every available square foot of space back in New York, standing on top of each other, stacking up into the sky, all of them have been left behind, and their absence echoes in my awareness like the sound of a vast, empty room.

Then I remember the cars all around me, filled with people and music and conversation and arguments and fast food and cigarette smoke and the eternal roar of engines, the eternal roll of road beneath their wheels, and I sigh; a single bird flies overhead in a flat gray sky.
One year ago: Apocalypse Every Day
Two years ago: She Thought She Was Helping
Three years ago: Four
Four years ago: Ikea Builds Relationship
Eight years ago: Welcome To New York!