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073021

I love 2 reset in LA...on the lounger at Lukas and Ori's balcony in Los Feliz listening to the garden, worming with an iced green tea in hand. I feel secure in my individuality, if not yet concretely my solitude...LA ketamine volcel energy, wya?
yesterday we went out in grimy Hollywood, tonight is a rave, tomorrow I will be deposited back in SF for another night out...maybe the solution to being down in the dumps is to keep busy, and to keep company! how could anyone feel lonely or sad with such good friends around, who lift me up when I am low...
I keep riding this seesaw with respect to whether I like LA..."all you bitches love LA"...he's maybe right, this feels like just what I need

072921

hey everyone, again I am reporting from the bottom of the ocean...the center of a black hole...
I have been extremely glum this week – was I broken up with by someone I wasn't even really dating? still feels shitty. I lost my Prada sunglasses which were definitely stolen @ palette. ridiculous. I'm trying to remind myself it's a first world problem and they're just sunglasses. maybe I need to buy another (cheaper) pair to fill the void. hopefully someone who can't afford them is using them to their heart's content, oh well...
the shame and sadness has no bounds – my mom will be pissed, and anyway probably part of the reason I lost them is cuz I was wasted with Jeffrey trying to get over being sad, on krug and the master sommelier's wine pairing. I threw up our prix fixe in the bathroom and then we drank hibiki and Yamasaki, chain smoked at Yerba buena and then drove home, somehow. my dad would be so proud...
I've been wondering lately if my shitty taste in men has to do with the fact that I dont have a dad/have lasting childhood trauma. probably – maybe I should see a psychoanalyst...
zach says, why am I always reeling over men? I said, I can't help being a woman...jk, there is definitely some actual issue there, I should figure it out with my therapist. surely there is a way to be low-stakes about all these things, comfortable and secure in myself, and not take shit from people...why am I so accommodating and giving when men do not earn it? do not value me or my time? anyway, I can do better than a half-brain drug dealer...I am alpha...maybe the root of all this sadness is that I hate myself for putting up with other people's shit. maybe I should be mean again, I've been listening to no compassion on repeat - "So many people have their problems / I'm not interested in their problems..." (except when they are my friends, because I make them listen to my problems all the time, thank you Catherine, zach, Jon, darren, chris, Jeffrey, everyone...) I'll never be as self centered as David Byrne but maybe it would do me a little good...
how to jump back on the bucking mechanical bull that is my life? back to the heart of it all, art, music, parties, relationships with friends, extending my tendrils into the world...build it and they will come, chris says...not sure who will come, or when, or really if, but all we can do is try, I guess...
to be deposited back in a foggy San Francisco is tough on the heart, but as I keep saying to myself, I dodged a bullet, and I have weathered far worse...but somehow when I am sad, it all feels as raw and real as every time, as the time I got off the plane from chicago and saw my bereaved mother and her face was hollow and looked like it had aged 10 years in one day...no one should have to see their own mom like that...
the moral of the story to myself is that I am unboundedly resilient, and surely I can get over some stupid boy not liking me, and anyway did I even like him, or was I caught up in my own fiction, as aquariuses are wont to do? if anyone is reading this, I could really use a few words of support, or some ex-bashing, the tried and true method of feeling better...this is less about him and more about my self-esteem at this point, and anything helps...
what I would give to feel less alone...glad I am going to LA to shake off these cumbersome chains and remind myself I am the main character, the agent of my own destiny, not a side hoe to someone else's delusions of grandeur...but if anyone knows any cute boys in California, let me know...
whenever I am sad, I remember that chris told me I am singular and beloved, and it carries me through to another sunrise...can't wait for my girlfriends (and Antonio) to get here so we can go out, feel excellent and thrive! better days ahead, my capacity for hope in the midst of turmoil is unlimited, and for that I am grateful... 🌟

072221

why the fuck is it so cold in San Francisco?

072021

god im so emo today...idk if its the weather, being sick, or my period...

𝓦𝓗𝓘𝓣𝓝𝓔𝓨
I don't usually love AbEx, but I liked some Joan Mitchell stuff...reading about her now, SAIC grad, ornery, into poetry, lot of baggage, lived in the west village, her therapist advised her to stop summering in the Hamptons to get away from her hard-drinking 1st gen abex painter buddies...she's just like us! I thought in NYC I need more chaotic energy around me, more art friends...I want to be put in more strange situations, teeter on the edge of sanity, I don't want to be the craziest ones of all my friends...ben ate a bath bomb, that was pretty crazy, but he said people are crazy in their own ways, which I guess is true, maybe I just want more crazy friends in a particular way...anyway the Joan Mitchell retrospective is coming to SFMOMA in a couple months. there's just so much capital intertwined with art, another thing I was thinking about in NYC, it's easy to live and love art purely aesthetically and emotionally and never really confront the fact that profit is what guides the whole industry, invisible money from the pockets of the uber-wealthy that fund the things we think are so pretty, so divine...
I got to see the rose, which was such a surprise, I didn't realize that was in the Whitney's collection...it was so nuts to stand there in front of this huge piece and think about the history of it, think about Jay DeFeo working on it in the bay window of her Fillmore st. apartment in the 50s and 60s, and what was going on outside her door back then? what was it like to live in this city? all I want is to be 'at the center of a lively, politically anarchic milieu of artists and poets' in san Francisco...
im big on florine Stettheimer...we love a rich girl who paints!
florine.jpg
The Cathedrals of Art, Florine Stettheimer, 1942
guglielmi.jpg
terror in Brooklyn, Louis Guglielmi, 1941
the Julie mehretu Solo show was cool, too. how the fuck does she make shit that's so big? sus....

𝓜𝓞𝓜𝓐

071921

back in sunny Fremont, with a sinus infection and 7 extra pounds, a fitting goodbye from New York! I had the worst flight ever, extreme congestion (nasal and social) and at the end I was convinced that my flight had been hijacked by a terrorist, spurred by the fact that the plane faked a landing and then went back into the sky, soaring to Hawaii, and my seat neighbor was behaving extremely suspect...
I was so thankful to be on stable ground, tears fell from my eyes in the bathroom of the Harvey Milk terminal at SFO, or maybe my eyes were just watering from the virus. I promise it's not COVID, I got tested at the the CityMed in the village...
my left ear didn't pop until today, the afternoon after the flight, it's going to be a while before I willfully get on a plane longer than 2 hours again...in any case, I'm happy to be home, but not happy to be using up my last few free days of sabbatical on getting better from this stupid cold, which I definitely contracted from going out last weekend in Brooklyn...was it worth it(?) not a useful question, because the answer is definitely no...
my last few days in New York brought me to the edge, likely because of the inconveniences of suffering illness in the wet muggy thunderstormy heat, amid over-booked social agendas and way too much to see within walking distance. I made it to the Whitney and to the MOMA, which I'll write about soon, but every little thing began to get to me, and it took extreme patience and virtue to let it slide...the dried gum stuck in between my toe and my teva, which snapped every time I took a step through the museum, continually sticking and un-sticking, while I thought to myself whose mouth that gum had been in, what floor it stuck to and for how long, before it made its way to my person, and subsequent thoughts on the meaning of life...the totally predictable and foreseeable rain, which we, like idiots, did not prepare for, walking glumly through to the nearest subway station, water streaming down our faces, down our dresses, into nearby sewers, while little girls equipped with umbrellas tacitly jeered. the relentless summer heat on the sidewalk, which made me feel like I was in Do the Right Thing, sweaty, and everything on the brink of chaos... many times walking around New York I felt that my time had come to die in a violent and random way, like a man stabbing me while passing me on the sidewalk, or open gunfire on the subway that would martyr me like Tony montana. surprisingly, it never happened, despite how sure I felt that I had the power to think such violence into existence...
NYC can be so cheap ($5 banh mi's, eating pizza in Washington square park) or so expensive (going out and buying drinks, $80-100 'grabbing dinner's with friends, that begin to blend together into a hazy mass, replete with various mezcal cocktails, fancy pastas, and seafood varieties, and soon induce dinner fatigue). the grind is real, and I don't know if I could live in a threadbare apartment in Bushwick, clubbing into the early hours every night in a converted warehouse, trying to turn my side hustle of DJing into a real career...don't know if I could live in a cozy apartment above the chaos of MacDougal, where you pay for the glamour and grit of living in greenwich village, fending for yourself with a cushy tech salary or dependable bank bonus...don't know if I could live in a spacious 1 bedroom in prospect park, where the door opens onto fly-infested trash bins, having free sex, using novelty electric transportation methods to get around...sorry, friends, if it sounds like I'm attacking any of you personally, and really when I'm there it feels manageable, enviable, even, but the moment I landed in san Francisco I thought - what am I talking about, there is nothing I love more than my time and space and friends, where I am not anonymous, where I can build and not just consume, even though endless consumption can have a poetics of its own, sometimes...
anyway, im still sick, and parsing through all the things I learned in New York, and maybe I will do grad school there, maybe when I feel like I've built something real here. but maybe, like my mom says, I can just do a month there every year, and then escape back home when I feel like it's getting to me, I don't really know if it ever would feel like home, to anyone, not just me.

071421

my skin is crawling...listening to the bowery electric and feelin sum typa way
Jaron Lanier, Visionary and Skeptic (New Yorker)
New York– electric skateboard in prospect park yesterday with ben; ice cream @ ample hills; elsewhere and Jupiter disco with Adam; le Bain with claudia; dinner at claudette with grace; koreatown with Michael and Nate; faicco's, manousheh, Saigon shack, tomoe; vestry, Don Angie, Korean corndogs, $10 immunity juice; the neon of Macdougal on a weekday night; wet dark walks around the west village; muggy grey heat of Bryant park; scary bones; stew at Eric's last night in Brooklyn; a funny kid named Jose who likes worms and wore earrings; wearing through all my clean clothes; is everyone hot in New York or is it just me?; friends of friends of friends of friends; Nate wants to study religion at a monastery in east Asia; Michael wants to quit his job at Walmart and do something more creative; grace is in architecture school and one day maybe I will walk into a building she has designed; Amy is going to organizing meetings for artists against displacement; Catherine hates her job and is moving to California; Adam is trying to make it as a dj in bushwick, and also learn to code; everyone's apartment is meager, wanting, except this one above the funeral home, a safe haven, a respite from the chaos of greenwich; I can't imagine having time or space (physical or head) to do anything here; flirting with the idea of polygamy, but I think its not for me...
im getting a little ready to go back home already...really, I miss my mom, and actually sam, and my friends and my life there, I'm getting a little dinnered out and I want to write and paint and think in my own bed, with my own interlocutors...my Ableton course starts this friday and I'm excited about it...New York is great, but maybe this sore throat has got me buggin...

070921

I'm going to try and address each thing a little at a time—

COMEDY/AMERICAN HUMOR: we saw a show at the comedy cellar last week on a thursday and it was packed. a bunch of comics performed, sort of diverse, I took notes on the back of a receipt to make sure I didn't forget my thoughts. the main thing sloshing around in my brain was how comics often will rest on a kind of pathos to be relatable and funny – they're always pathetic, in some way, but we laugh with them and not at them, because they hold a mirror up to ourselves, maybe. but it's a really specific kind of pathos because you don't want to feel like you're laughing at them, or that they are actually cringe, but that they play this kind of pitiful character that you can secretly relate to. the comics talked about, among other things — not having enough sex, living in their parents' homes, getting divorced, being ugly, losing their jobs, being loveless. no one wants to hear comics talk about how good their lives are going, I guess that's not the point...it made me think about what comedy used to be like, and was it always so wretched? surely the idealism of the 60s did not lend itself to such piteous expressions of the condition of life? if we take comedy as an index of culture, what can past comic tendencies tell us about what the vibe was back then? and in what ways, if any, has that indexical relationship between comedy and culture changed? I've never considered comedy as a point of departure (not because of any quality inherent to comedy, I just have never thought of it seriously as an art form until now, likely because I know so little about it), but it did occur to me how much it also traffics in affect. the success of a bit in some respects relies on communicating the particular type of disillusionment that runs through the veins of the 2020s. we have as specimens, harvested from this show– mr. pilates, microwave burritos, shark tank, bed bath & beyond, absurd YouTube tutorials. I'm not saying anything new here, but I wonder to what extent the turn of comedy to this peculiar brand of self-hatred and dissociation coincided with postmodernism. the relatability of empty consumerism (buying expensive sunglasses to make you feel something, the Walmart vestibule as a site of reckoning), social and economic instability (due to COVID, as related to housing or rent), romantic unfulfillment (not having enough sex, loneliness, online dating) all were common themes in the show, and, I suspect, many similar shows. maybe this is just the contemporary form of the tragicomedy? the last footnote to the show was that I found it kind of surprising how many people still laughed at 'unwoke' jokes. personally, I find jokes dealing in the currency of 'snowflakes,' being 'PC', the stupidity of alternative pronouns, being allowed to say 'faggot,' or one-liners on race not just crass, as many might agree, but passé. it feels very 2013 for a comedy bit to point out and make fun of how comedians are expected to be woke. it just doesn't feel like a contemporary issue, feels dated, and kind of lazy – aren't there plenty of other situations and feelings common to human life that you can pull from to be funny? ones that are more current, more novel? it feels to me like the comedic equivalent of anti-trump paintings – cringe, and bad. comedians making those kinds of jokes definitely feel smug and subversive, but I just feel like it shows their age and out-of-touch-ness. TikTok, for example, used to be hilarious, and there was virtually never any question about whether the joke was woke – it had superseded that dialogue, or something, playing ball in another dimension of humor. that's my taste in comics, too, I think – just weirdos making weird observations about life...
***note: doing some additional research now, it didn't even occur to me that American stand-up got its start from minstrelsy and the stump speech, which of course was just pure racism at its finest...so black comics (esp. black women or nb comics) are kind of subversive, starting on the chitlin circuit, but more interesting than that observation to me is how this history of stand-up squares with comics being anti-PC...'we've always been unwoke!' seems like a poor rallying cry, lol... some of my reading suggests that jewish and Irish immigrants brought self-deprecation to American humor in the 20th century...

apparently, the 1920s brought a shift in american humor, from rustic/western to urban/self-deprecating..."the bragging of the frontier village to to the self-deprecation of the city. the focus of humor shifted from prowess to ineptitude, from strength to weakness, from swaggering confidence to neurotic inferiority." this article identifies the shift through the lens of the New Yorker, which started in 1925 (a lot earlier than I would have thought for the comic turn):
The Art of Self-Deprecation in American Literary Humor (via JSTOR)

separately, vaudeville is so rich with party ideas and game conceits...entertainment as a way to escape from industrialized urban life, 'comic relief'...Freud's 'relief theory'— "the energy that is relieved and discharged in laughter provides pleasure because it allegedly economizes upon energy that would ordinarily be used to contain or repress psychic activity." there's some interesting stuff in this random article too:
Self-Deprecation and the Habit of Laughter

circuses, dime museums, amusement parks, riverboats, town halls, saloons, music halls, burlesque houses, dancing halls, menageries, cabaret, medicine shows, Wild West shows, clowning, puppet shows...for further bookmarking! I wonder what the broader trends are in how popular forms of entertainment have changed over the past century...how do people spend their leisure time now?

070821

lol...I'm not even interested in recounting the events of the past few days in a linear fashion...basically we finished up rockport and now I'm sitting at cafe Reggio in new York. my stomach hurts because all we've eaten in the last week is fried seafood and ice cream. it feels kind of disgusting to have such little self control. tonight we are going to don angie – Amy says it's 'hip and fancy'. maybe New York is getting to me...the heat is white and humid and heavy and relentless and I'm desperately trying to block out everyone else's voice with Dirty (1992) to be able to have some peace of mind. maybe I should have stayed in Catherine's apartment...
NYC is overstimulating, but so is LA. why is it different? New York feels like it has a veneer of authenticity, maybe it's that it seems to have some historical precedent, whereas all of LA feels like a simulation. cafe Reggio is overrated and a little chaotic but maybe that's the appeal. how do you get out? seems like that's what Catherine has been grappling with these days...
people are around because they want to be around people. something about that feels pure and honest and human - ostensibly it should map on to every city, but somehow San Francisco feels like it missed the boat...last night we ate pizza in Washington sq park and I thought that San Francisco is in a moment of redefinition right now. it feels like the city is figuring out what it is going to be in the next 5-10 years and it is definitely an interesting time to consider it home. LA is friendly – you can go up to anyone and befriend them, or at least that's the sense I got when I was there briefly and Ori seconds it. NYC, Catherine says it'd be weird to go up to someone in the park and do that. SF...not sure. what even is SF culture? somehow I like WSP but Dolores, similarly bustling and dense, I feel some distaste towards. why? tech bros? is that even what Dolores is about these days, or is this a lasting delusion from pre-covid? I said yesterday that SF is about something else...but maybe I'm wrong, or maybe it's changing...
I was planning on catching a movie today, a stoner comedy at the quad cinema, but now I feel like I'm slipping. it's easy to be such a consumer here, I guess especially because I'm here as a visitor. maybe it would do me some good to take a breather and try and produce, or at least think...hard to think here, absorbing the summer heat and consuming this inflated iced cappuccino. think, think, think...what about? to what end? life as endless learning, searching for meaning...I'm feeling uniquely hostile today, or maybe on edge – thinking about Mearsault...

last night I dreamed that I saw my dad at a table, at a party, crying tears of joy to see me and my grandma, and I gave him a hug

070721

so much going on as always!

070421

travel, travel, travel! I arrived in New York City after a turbulent flight on Tuesday night, close to midnight. immediately it felt so different from home – the healthy bustle of SFO on a summer morning has nothing on the loud, muggy chaos of JFK... I was so hungry, so I ubered to Bleecker st. pizza, where I just couldn't get over the fact that greenwich village was not just lively but popping at 12:30am on a Tuesday night. the romance of New York! Catherine set up an air mattress in her bedroom for us which takes up the entire floor, it is so laughably inconvenient for her, i can't believe she is putting us (me) up for so long...she says its part of the fun of being young– like berlin, and that is how it felt ascending the meager staircase to her second floor walk-up, just like it did arriving in Berlin in the middle of the night and seeing Catherine open the door to her studio in neukölln...I was too excited to be in New York that night to get a good night's sleep, but the next morning I slept in before leaving for a walk in the rain...I was greeted into the village the next day by the blinding lights from a tv show filming at the funeral home downstairs from Catherine's apartment. a thunderstorm was over New England, and I was (of course) enamored by all the neon on MacDougal shining through the summer rain, and the verdant and lush edge of Washington square park, my feet in my tevas wet with a likely combination of rainwater, pee, and chemicals...I got my nails done a bright green at a trendy nail salon where no one spoke to the workers...the racial dynamic reminded me of the episode of sex and the city...then I was so hungry, I got a book about greenwich village in the postwar jubilance of the late 1940s by Anatole broyard, scarfed down some shawarma from mamoun's and got a cappuccino to sip alongside my book at cafe Reggio, where I sat in the rain for some time and started and finished that book...* I went home to meet up with some folks and we went to get mediocre burgers at some corner joint, then we met up with even more folks (Marc, Eric, etc.) and went to a show at the comedy cellar...I had a lot of thoughts about it that I took notes on on the back of a receipt, but somehow they are all eluding me now...** we had some girl time in the apartment before going to sleep that night, and I was reminded about how pleasant it is to have female company, so few and far between it is for me...I thought that night as my mind refused to go to bed that I want to paint my friends, intimate portraits of the life that we share, because I think I am interested in people, and their lives, and the relationships we engender together, and maybe it all is a little self-serving because I care about others insofar as they affect or relate to me, but isn't that all of life, ? and then maybe isn't life a little self-serving too, and anyway identity is all a charade***, and part of the fun is figuring out where those lines between people blur, where they are tenuous and where they hold strong...in any case I've been thinking about Modigliani...
modigliani.jpg
the next day I woke up startlingly late, jet-lagged likely, and meandered about in the sun in the west village...I grabbed an iced latte from porto rico, which has been operating in that same building since 1907, and had a mostly nonverbal set of interactions with a peculiar bohemian looking black man who works at the record store below Catherine's apartment...later we ran into him again, and turns out Catherine knows him, but little did she know I already knew him(!) I walked around NYU, tried to go to c.o.bigelow thinking it would be a real ol' apothecary but little did I know all the herbal remedies had been gentrified out, and all that was left was kitschy branded hand lotion and various European skincare brands...all I wanted was to be sold a little suspicious concoction that could claim to help me sleep...I wandered around Washington square park trying to run into claudia, and we walked all the way to the high line, to Chelsea, past stonewall, we ran into two uchicago kids (small world!) and even by Waverly place, like the wizards...on our way back we sat on the patio at buvette and ordered croque Monsieur's, then after some logistics we hopped in the car on our way to Boston! the drive was mostly dull and rainy, nothing to write home about except we stopped at a Burger King in Connecticut, where I ordered a $1 chicken sandwich and they gave me the wrong order, then I had a stomachache for a while...we at one point had ambitious plans of going out in Boston but once we reached Wellesley we were so drained that we watched an ounce of jeopardy and hit the sack...
on saturday we drove around Wellesley and Newport, saw Catherine's old high school, went to a nice little pastry shop, made our way to Cambridge where we walked around the harvard campus and got lunch with one of Catherine's ex co-workers, I was surprised by how ugly it was, and retrospectively thankful for the beautiful backdrop that uchicago gave us for our tumultuous four years... we briefly drove through back bay in Boston, but nothing much else... then we arrived in rockport, after making a stop for alcohol, and Catherine and I went to pick up groceries and some weed from happy valley (good stuff, I would recommend...) we came home and made pasta with vodka sauce and palomas and claudia made her signature Brussel sprouts, then we got really high and played games...
today was rainy too, but less so– we had a hearty breakfast then hit the road to go through Gloucester (which I really liked, they got some good stuff there and good prices too), the hammond castle, manchester-by-the-sea, and then Salem...we listened to the Roches, who we thought were witchy and coastal, and breathed in the salty July air, unexpectedly brisk in what is usually the dead of summer...salem was funny, we did a ghost tour in the rain, after a little bit of a funny dinner, then we got ice cream back in rockport, watched a supermarket sweep, then retired...
it takes so much effort to just recount the goings-on of the days– much less get into the myriad thoughts that have been floating through my head...the over-arching thesis, though, is 'wow,' how much would I do and get done if I weren't working, if I didn't have to be a wage slave for 40+ hours a week, how much more interesting would I be, and what could I do with my time and my life...I'm over it, I think– I need to quit...I want to paint pictures of my friends, attempt to show what I see, read more books, watch documentaries and art films, constantly put the things I am consuming in conversation with each other, Lauren Berlant v. greenwich village v. my budding romance v. Folklore by Taylor Swift... there are so many overlapping connections, rhizomatic, if you will...I could be a better thinker if I just thunk all the time...the free time is really a blessing, it's doing wonders for me!****

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