Tuesday, February 19, 2008

goodbye for now

For a multitude of reasons large and small I have decided to end my blog here. It has been like my life: tumultuous, beautiful, scary, delirious, dull, intriguing...

So I say farewell.

Friday, February 15, 2008

happy birthday to me

This has been a terribly difficult and sad day. That's all I will say for now.

But this was my horoscope:

You can do no wrong when it comes to self-improvement and updating your life, looks and situation. Get together with people who stimulate your mind and can add to your progress. A serious commitment can be made.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Since I got my new position I have taken care of some long-overdue upgrades to my home. I've already mentioned some here (the bed, for example). But today I received a small yet amazing item: a burr grinder for my coffee. You see, I love good coffee. I dislike bad coffee, and thus I drink most of my coffee at home. Note: Starbucks has lousy coffee, as any coffee afficionado can attest. In fact there seem to be fewer and fewer places to get really good coffee around here, or else my taste is becoming more snotty.

A burr grinder grinds the coffee evenly with creating the heat that dissipates the oils that give the coffee its flavor. The inexpensive blade grinders commonly sold create enough heat to substantially diminish the flavor of the coffee. Burr grinders are much more expensive, but I got a good deal on a highly-rated Capresso grinder through Amazon.com. I just used it for the first time, with some beans I bought the other day at Porto Rico Coffee Importers, a fine source with a few small shops in Manhattan. The aroma of freshly ground coffee fills my apartment, and I am drinking a latte (I have a good pump espresso machine, a gift from Y a few years ago). There is no comparison between pre-ground and freshly-ground coffee. If you are a guest of mine, I will make you some.

And just to report further: although I am not sleeping any more than I used to, I am sleeping much more soundly on my new bed. So when I wake up I feel like I have slept. My back does not hurt. It is amazing.

I am happy these days in a way that I have not been in a long time. I feel like things have come together for me on many levels, and I have an energy and confidence that supports me solidly. I intend to enjoy it and prosper from it in my music and my teaching and my friendships.

Monday, February 11, 2008


Self-Portrait Walking
Originally uploaded by madabandon.

School is closed this week. I will attend to my choral piece. I aim to finish the first movement by the weekend. I am well on my way. It is also my birthday week: my birthday is on Friday. I don't have big plans. In fact, I have few plans at all. Every year school is closed on my birthday. This is good and bad. It's good because it is a special treat for birthday-time. It's bad because I don't get birthday wishes from colleagues. Out of sight, out of mind. But at my age I don't really care much about birthday celebrations.

I have been sleeping so much better on the new bed. The old bed was uneven and flimsy. This new bed is so solid that my mattress feels completely different. I sleep more soundly and my back does not hurt when I wake up. I should have done this years ago.

I went to Tekserve yesterday and had more RAM installed in this computer (my MacBook). Now it is quite speedy. I have 1.25G now rather then the original 512K. It makes quite a difference, especially when I am using sound editing applications.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


green leaves
Originally uploaded by madabandon.

The average New York City resident produces 7.1 metric tons of greenhouse gases a year. The average American produces 24.5 metric tons of greenhouse gases a year. According to the NEW YORK TIMES, suburban living is not sustainable. No kidding.

Saturday, February 09, 2008


I continue to upgrade my apartment furnishings. This morning I drove to Secaucus once again to visit the DWR Annex. They were having a sale on bedroom furniture and my plan for this winter break (which began yesterday) is to get a new bed. And I did. I got a bed (the min bed, it's called, very simple metal minimalist-looking frame, low to the ground). I got the little Eames wire table to place books on next to the bed. And I got this organizer that I've admired for a while; it attaches by balancing so that it hangs from the glass top of this desk. And all I spent was 600+ dollars. Given that I was going to buy a $1000 bed as plan B, I did quite well. And I finished assembling the bed an hour or so ago. It is awesome, and my bedroom looks much much sleeker.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

strange realization

Yesterday I wandered around West Chelsea going to galleries. I didn't see much that was inspiring but for two sculpture pieces, part of a group show at Luhring Augustine. One was by Mario Merz, and was a huge wall hanging with wire and lavender neon, very beautiful and ethereal. The other, by Pier Paolo Calzolari, also used neon along with leather, rusted steel, and a machine that froze sections of the steel so that they were incased in shimmering frost. It was tucked away in the back room, a bit hard to find, but well worth it.

Walking downtown Y. began to film me with his video camera. He trailed about twenty feet behind me. We did this all the way down to the West 4th St. station, pausing of course for various stops. I bought a belt. We stopped at the Maison Martin Margiela store, a particular favorite, although I never can afford the stuff in there. I did some grocery shopping at Chelsea Market. Later that evening, watching the videos after he downloaded them, I realized for the first time in my life just how compromised my eyesight is. The image captured what someone walking behind me would see. But I was shocked: because of my right eye, my field of vision is cut off. I asked Y, while watching, if the wide angle of the area in front of the camera was similar to what he saw. It was. This confirmed for me that I don't really see much to my right. To the left I have a normal scope, but things on the right are cut off. So instead of having a roughly 180-degree field of vision, mine is more like 110 degrees, and not symmetrical. I don't see the world the way most people do. Well, I already knew that, at least philosophically, but the video made it concrete. And it's no wonder that I walk into things and people as often as I do. And it makes me think that maybe I shouldn't drive at all.