Thursday, January 31, 2008


I used to get a daily horoscope via e-mail. Suddenly they stopped arriving; I had forgotten all about it (in fact I hadn't noticed at all) until just now, when this one arrived:
Give everything you do your all and you will be successful. Your ability to be aggressive and stick to your game plan will be too much for any competition. Get involved in something you believe in and you will make a lasting contribution.
Interesting timing.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The "Real" New York

So yesterday I had one of those experiences that excite people who don't live in New York. And actually, to tell the truth, they excite those of us who live here when they happen so unexpectedly. I had made a quick stop at a store in Tribeca where I have been buying clothes for some time now. They have a twisted-preppy slant that suits me. It is a small store, and the only customers at that time were me and Julianne Moore. Of course, we who live here practice the art of ignoring celebrities, and I did my part. But she is one of my favorite actresses and I did quietly enjoy being in her presence for the twenty minutes that I was there. She is shorter than I thought, which is usually the case. I always think actors and actresses must be tall. Who knows where I got that from.

Saturday, January 26, 2008


blue green
Originally uploaded by madabandon.

I am learning a lot these days. I am enjoying it. I get restless when my mind is not challenged. As a kid in school I used to finish my work far ahead of my classmates most of the time, and in the ensuing boredom would usually get myself into trouble. It was only in the third grade that I had a teacher that recognized that I was bored, not bad; she made sure to always have more work for me; she celebrated my creativity and I still remember that year of school because I was so happy. Miss Bonner. I wonder what happened to her. She was a great teacher.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


hand foot knee and shadow

nasty man

I can't believe how any thinking person could possibly want Rudy Giuliani to be president. If one simply takes a look at his time as mayor it is amply evident that he is a fascist tyrant who makes G. Bush look like Santa Claus.

Monday, January 21, 2008

To Mr. Hugh Masakela

Dear Mr. Masakela,

I love the energy and passion of your work. It is inspiring.

But there is one thing that bothers me. It is impossible to make a great piece of music from two chords that repeat again and again.

It is "Zeno's Paradox" in sound. But it adresses something too subjective (greatness) for the analogy to work perfectly. Greatness does not equal distance.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


I am feeling energetic and excited about my prospects lately. The thing is, I usually receive enough positive reinforcement in my composing work: performances, commissions, and the like, so that I don't feel unsure of myself in that arena (although I always feel unsure of my work on a personal level, for how else would I be able to grow?). But in my work as an educator the accolades are few and far between, despite the fact that I have an excellent reputation and many happy students and parents and colleagues to make me feel my work is appreciated. But with this new position, I finally feel secure that my work over the years has led somewhere, to a position of higher visibility and "status" and, most importantly, a chance to actually shape this institution, one that I love so much and to which I have devoted years of time and energy. I won't write more about this, in all likelihood. But the school where I teach is quite well known, has an august reputation in the education world, and is so far seemingly invincibly hip and desirable as a place to be educated and a place to educate. So when I look back on my life from this vantage point, I am surprised and thrilled to have ended up where I am now. And if you had told me, when I was a kid, that this is where I would be, I would not have believed you.

So I am in good spirits. I am throwing myself into my work with even more energy and passion. Things are good. I feel energized by the recognition of my peers. I feel confident in my ability to do this new job excellently and to hold myself to the highest standard.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


This morning, walking across the street to the car, I dropped my new orange phone. It fell hard on the asphalt, the impact opening it to expose the hidden keyboard that I love so much. For the rest of the day I have been obsessed with my phone's new scars. It was perfect, unsullied. Now it is scarred. However it works perfectly still despite being flying out of my hands and surviving a crash landing. A woman at Verizon (tech support; I could not figure out how to transfer my contact list from the website to the new phone) whom I spoke with on the phone remarked, unprovoked, that she had the same phone and she has dropped it a numerous times and she loves it and it's great. But I am very neurotic, and wish I could trade it in for a brand new one. So being the neurotic nerd that I secretly am, I just ordered a silicone case for it, transparent so the handsome orange still charms.

I went to the DWR Annex for a big sale, and bought a new dining table, very nice, at a huge discount (from $900 to $200; can't beat that). It extends to seat eight, but is infinitely adjustable within the limits of its dimensions. And another shaker chair, this one bright red. And another Kartell storage cylinder thing, bright red lacquer. Cool. I have just finished getting rid of numerous things in my process of ridding myself of things. I had Y urging me on. He is ruthless, but it is what I need.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

multiply me

video installation by gary hill at MOMA
Originally uploaded by madabandon.

I woke up last night at 3am, wide awake, my mind racing. I am excited about my new situation. I will be engaged in teaching in a very different way. I won't be teaching as much, either, which is good. I needed a change, and this is very much of one, while at the same time I am not going to another school. And all of this is quite unexpected.

On a more mundane note, my lovely Nokia phone died this morning. I could not turn it on. The screen would light up and then quickly shift to an interesting striped pattern and then go dark. I thought maybe it was the battery, so I changed it (I have an extra) and even charged it up. Still nothing. I went to the Verizon store. Dead, they proclaimed. So I had no choice. Funny that just yesterday I was thinking that in June I would be eligible for a big discount on a new one. I must have jinxed myself. I am somewhat cursed when it comes to phones. Most of the ones I have had--and I have had a number of them, going all the way back to 1997 or so--have died. But this new one has a real QWERTY keypad. I like text messaging but I hate doing it on a numeric keypad. And plus my new phone is orange.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


Originally uploaded by madabandon.

A lot is new. One potentially disastrous situation involving a close relative turns out to be much less severe than it might have been. And some very big changes professionally which are exciting and came as a big surprise. I won't mention it again in this post. It is a big decision, the one I must make. I think I have already decided, but I want to mull it over for a day or so.

So my brain has been engaged in constant motion since midday. I was not expecting today to be at all intense, but that's not the way that it has turned out.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

circus dog

circus dog
Originally uploaded by madabandon.

Here is Mabel in a rare action shot. Not that she rarely does this. In fact she is full of tricks. But I don't carry a camera around with me. Or maybe I do (the one on my phone) but it does not take good enough photos to interest me.

Thursday, January 03, 2008


It would be awesome if Mike Huckabee wins the Republican nomination. That way there is no way that a Democrat could possibly lose the general election. The guy is a freak.