Monday, October 29, 2007

Sunday, October 28, 2007


Originally uploaded by madabandon.

Now I know that I have officially crossed a line, a line of age. Last night I went to see Morrissey at Hammerstein Ballroom. I love The Smiths and I think Morrissey is a great singer. But Hammerstein Ballroom has no seats on the main floor (which is where the ticket put me). And I cannot handle the volume, both of the sound, which was ear-splitting, and that of the crowd. At other shows there I have hung out on the periphery, but the people I was with wanted to be in the center of things, literally, and I was a victim of acute claustrophobia as people closed in on me from all sides. The decibel level made it impossible for me to really hear the music, even with my fingers in my ears. It all sounded like an undifferentiated roar. So what might have been a wonderfully fun evening turned into a kind of torture. I will know better next time. I should have left my friends and hung out in the far back, but I didn't want to feel like I was there alone. Oh well. No more auditorium concerts without earplugs, and no more standing for three hours. My knee is quite painful today.

When the music was not ear-splitting and I could actually hear, Morrissey sounded great. He really possesses one of the best voices in the history of popular music (as far as I am concerned) and it has not deteriorated over the years either. And his band was very tight.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Dumb(o): loathe vs. love

Originally uploaded by madabandon.

For all its beautiful views of Manhattan and its lovely parks, Dumbo is really a horrible neighborhood. I went there both Saturday and Sunday, to buy baguettes at Almondine, an awesome French bakery on Water Street. It is believed to have the best baguettes in NYC, and while I am no expert, I do believe it. However the neighborhood sucks. It is filled with RWBs, as I call them: Rich White Boring folks. Dumbo is an artificial neighborhood, one that was created all at once by a few real estate developers. The artists who once inhabited the loft buildings are largely gone, with only a stubborn few hanging on. There was no gradual gentrification, and there is no diversity as a result. The apartments there cost a fortune. So there you have it. A lot of wealthy families with kids (the apartments, lofts mostly, are large) and some Eurotrash sprinkled in for a little variety. I feel very uncomfortable there. It is not the New York I love. It is the "new" New York, which I am beginning to loathe. So I went there, bought my baguettes and pastry, and fled home. Compared to Dumbo, even Brooklyn Heights looks like "the `hood."

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Originally uploaded by madabandon.

I have not posted in over a week. This is partly because I find myself swamped with work; suddenly I am in great demand, and I can barely keep my head on straight fulfilling all my obligations. This is good for my bank account and for my mental health, because I am so busy that I don't have time to let myself sink into the morass of my depression. Instead I become a hypomanic bundle of energy, and then collapse each night, exhausted. But I still am having a horrid time sleeping and I am wracked with disturbing, often-awful dreams that ruin my nights, leaving me more exhausted still.

And part of my silence is because I have been confronting a lot of things from the past, and having some startlingly vivid memories which have caused a lot of pain in me. I have made realizations that are agonizing. I have rarely felt so completely alone. I realize that I have only the scantest of support systems. Part of this is my fault. I am a typical Aquarian: aloof, often remote, hard to get to know. And I have had to make the sad realization that my family, as I have written of previously, is neither able or willing to help me. So I retreat into my work, my ferocious exercise (which is a true boon to my health; my last cholesterol level was 166!!), and try to maintain a positive attitude, because I am walking a tightrope and it would be very easy for me to fall, and I can't afford to fall right now.

But I truly appreciate the comments from those who have shown concern and sent their good wishes my way. It means a lot to me...

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

with a family like mine...

Two weeks ago or so, my sister called me. She asked me how I was. Normally I just say I am fine and we have a fairly insubstantial conversation. This time, I took a risk. I told her that my depression was very bad and that I was not doing so well. I have not heard from her since.

In my family it is best to pretend all is well all the time. Neither my brother, sister, and especially my father, can deal with any other kind of answer. It's no wonder that my depression persists. The very mention of it scares people off. Oh well. It's not like I am not used to that.

But I am doing better, bit by bit. It helps that I am excruciatingly busy and will only get more busy. I just got a big commission. It is an exciting project and $$$ also. But I must finish it, at least in some form, by March or so.

Monday, October 08, 2007

at the movies

I had Almodovar's most recent film, Volver, sitting on my desk for weeks courtesy of Netflix. So finally last night I watched it. It was--is--magnificent. Almodovar, to my mind, is one of the absolute masters of film. There is such humanity in his work, and such deep emotional worlds are portrayed with panache, visual flair, and sensitivity that it is breathtaking. I was in tears repeatedly. The acting was magnificent. And what I love so much about his work are the brilliant, almost comic, colors. They are saturated, glowing with the intensity of the drama unfolding. And he conveys his story, one of almost epic tragedy, with a kind of unselfconscious ease that towers over any Hollywood director that I know of, at least of the current crop. American films, the "serious" ones, are so overbearing, so exaggerated, that they are more implausible than moving. So if you have not seen this one, please do so. You won't regret it.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Tuesday, October 02, 2007