Thursday, May 29, 2008


Well, it's happened. I bought a Blackberry. I got the small one which I must say is very well designed. I have reached the point professionally where I must be able to access my email, and this frees me from the computer. I will never--I swear--turn into one of those people who walks the streets of New York never looking up, but squinting down at the tiny screen flicking through messages. If you see me do that slap me.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

play (III)

I spent late last Friday afternoon at Dumbo park with my friend D. It is a beautiful spot. Little did I know what the rest of the night held. Had I known, I might have just stayed put.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


Originally uploaded by madabandon.

It is almost 3 am. I am still awake. I tried to sleep but found that I could not get past the initial stage of tiredness, the one that usually leads to the kind of total relaxation that urges somnolence. I used to stay up like this frequently, especially back in my student days, and also in summer when I don't have a schedule. I love the still of the night. There is something so profound about the darkness, the absence of activity. I feel strange. I am trying to just focus on what is in front of me. I am not going to wish for anything, or mourn anything. I am going to be mindful. Recently I read a quote from a Buddhist Master. I can only paraphrase, but this is the gist: if one is mindful of everything one does then one will not have to apologize for anything. That is what I want. I tend to be mindful, but I am also easily distracted and thrown off course. I want to be more centered. I want to live in a state of ease.

Saturday, May 24, 2008



I guess the balancing forces that I believe in fundamentally are at work. As things go well professionally there has to be some compensation on the personal end. I don't have much to say other than that relationships are extremely hard to being with, and when you factor in things like age, cultural conditioning, two strong personalities...the going is not easy. I am thankful that I feel quite stable these days, strong emotionally and physically. I am happy with my work. More than happy--inspired and energetic--and this gives me great focus. I am putting things into some kind of hierarchical order so that I can best decide where to apply my energy. The ultimate goal for me is to stay healthy. I am speaking more on a psychic level than a physical one. I have to remind myself of all the good things I have and have had, so that even if I lose some, the power of having had energizes me. So sadness, which I feel today, does not overwhelm me, and that is a relief.
hammy sleeping

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Thursday, May 08, 2008

random thoughts

hudson river landscape

I was going through old photos in my iPhoto folders and found this, which I took about one year ago today on one of my then-frequent train rides up the Hudson. I love this photograph. It has nothing to do with my following observations, which, while random, have all been inspired by recent reading and observation.

• I think Frank Gehry is totally overrated. His buildings are just clever surfaces over decidedly unimaginative interior spaces. Plus they leak, they blind passersby with their metal roofs; and they are already looking totally mannered.

•I was filmed for a piece on my school yesterday. For about 80 minutes I answered questions about the school's past, my own past, my views on teaching, and so on. It came up during the interview that when I finished school (after getting my doctorate at UChicago) I was debt-free. Now that I look back on it, that is miraculous and I am very lucky. I guess I was a good student after all.

• I would love to see George Bush and John McCain holding hands and riding off into the sunset to disappear forever.

• I don't understand, on an ethical level, how any intelligent person could defend the policies of the Republican party since Ronald Reagan's reign.

• On the train going to my ear doctor yesterday I was listening to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan on my iPod and I thought I would pass out from the sheer beauty and terrible power of that music. He was a master of a kind sufi sacred music, qawwali. Check him out if you can.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


patsy cline
Originally uploaded by madabandon.

Patsy is a great beauty. She is awesomely graceful and capable of incredible athletic feats, but she is demure and shy. She has a lovely voice which she uses sparingly. She spends her time mysteriously, often disappearing for hours (but never leaving my apartment). I am not sure where she goes, but I have not looked either. It is clear that she has her secrets.

Monday, May 05, 2008


Originally uploaded by madabandon.

This weekend was my weekend of domesticity. I've been so crazed with work the last few months that I took the open-endedness of the weekend (I had not made any plans in advance) as an excuse to do nothing. On Saturday I did some work and practiced. Yesterday I slept. I practiced, but I forbid myself from doing any other work, and I mostly obeyed myself. It was a beautiful sunny day; I might have gone to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens for Sakura Matsuri but, fearing enormous crowds, I opted out. Turns out I was right about the crowds. Apparently they were fierce.