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September 1999

The Runaround

I never thought I’d say it, but I’ve really come to appreciate the efficient bureauocracy at B.U. Pratt really seems to have its head up its own asshole when it comes to administration issues. There are no signs on any of the buildings on the Brooklyn campus, which makes it impossible to find anything, since there are also no maps on display. Even though I was already an employee, I didn't get paid until september for teaching all summer because they couldn't find my payroll paperwork. I can't tell the bursar that I want health coverage when I settle my bill, because first I have to sign up in some office in one of those unmarked buldings somewhere. Grad school is enough of a pain. All this dumb running around to try and figure the place out just make it worse.

flatnessisgod

Well, my head is ready to explode now. stevie Wong, my supplier for all things modern, sent me a little package of goodies (Thank you, sweetie!) including a copy of flatnessisgod, by Ryan McGinness. Wow, I just couldn't believe it when I started to look through it. I think it may be the most exciting book about design, picture-making, and visual communication I have ever seem. Buy it, if just for the square — yes, square — CD-ROM. I swear to god, if this stuff is important to you it'll rock your world.

This, That, or the Other Thing

So many questions! Glasses or contacts? Do I have my tonsils removed this November? Or do I take a free trip to Thailand with Miki? Or both? should I splurge on the next tattoo? Can I handle the possibility of getting involved with someone who lives in another state? Can the Country Mouse and the City Mouse each learn to appreciate the other's way? should I even be thinking that far in advance?

I just wanna take a long nap.

Old School

I don't mind being 29. In fact, I was speaking with Gina today about how I think I may have been born in time to enter the design field at just the right moment. My education and experience as a designer started the old-fashioned way: I drew type by hand as a regular homework exercise, I used gouache and Letraset and colored paper to make comps, and my first job involved specifying type for professionally set galleys that I pasted down by hand for a 180-page book which I planned out on a Mac. And when I started working as a typesetter for B.U., I learned how to use a serious, complex typesetting system on which no assumptions could be made. Every decision about typography and page layout had to be considered, so I learned discipline and craftsmanship which served me through the dark times of the desktop publishing revolution. But at the same time, I was right there working with Macs and the Web as they exploded, and I was in a great position to learn as they developed.

So I am old enough to have learned the craft that preceded me, and young enough to be open to — and a part of — the possibilities that are swirling around us now. And lucky enough to have been able to learn how to use the best elements of both approaches. I love me!

Twee Li'l Moby

That Moby — what a kooky, wee little pixie he is. He's the sweetest, littlest pop star on earth until he starts playing and singing, at which point he becomes this hyperactive, screaming animal with veins popping out of his head. It makes for a good show, but I still don't think I have any need to buy one of his albums. Check your local listings once the new seasion of sessions begins: my pals Mark, Tom, Steven, Alex, and I got seats in the front row, so we'll be on your TV.

One warning if you ever go to a taping for sessions: Don't be intimidated by the blonde bitch who seats the audience. she's a pain in the butt, and you have to pay attention to you or you'll get a crummy seat, but you just have to remember that she's got a sucky, high-stress job. And someone's probably screaming at her through her headset the whole time.

Freebies

Have I mentioned how much I love Sessions at West 54th Street? It's great show to watch - one more reason to support public television, I say. It's much greater, though, to be able to live where they tape. Last season I got to see great live performances by David Byrne and the Balanescu Quartet, Lyle Lovett, and the Afro-Cuba All-Stars. Even though I couldn't use my tickets this season for Cibo Matto, Los Lobos, or Marianne Faithful, I am going to see Cesaria Evora today, and I scored tickets for Moby on Monday. And it's free!

UPDATE! Cesaria Evora is so captivating! She's so dignified and lovely, and her voice is just wonderful — rich and haunting. It frustrated me, though, to be surrounded by so much Portuguese again. I can never manage to translate enough to keep myself from getting frustrated at my lack of comprehension. Natalie Merchant, who sat in front of us, seemed less troubled by it all.

Blow-Out

Well, I said I wanted a blow-out. I said I wanted the last birthday of my twenties to be something to remember. But I didn't expect a week-long bonanza of guests, food, music, and mating frenzies.

My party last Saturday was a lot of fun, to be sure. Who knew I could lure so many people out into the 'hood? But half of them are still reeling from the experience — and I’m not even talking about hangovers. I don't mean to sound immodest or anything, but the whole crowd was extremely cute overall, and I got a lot of people in one room who'd never met before. Flirting and intrigue were bound to happen. Aaron Spelling should know about all this. No, he's too old-school — call Kevin Williamson!

I’m glad that I had people stay until Monday, also. I tend to get sulky when I’ve had a lot of fun with guests, and then I suddenly find myself rattling around the place alone once everyone leaves. It was good for the roster to trail off over the course of a couple of days.

Peepshow II

Here's your humble host. I figured if you've come this far, your innate voyeurism must be chomping at the bit. Here's some stuff to peek at. Or you can just go back to the beginning. I’m not just into leather — there are plenty of sides to me. For a different perspective, try here or here.

(Read the rest...)

Peepshow

R-rated, though, not X. Sorry, fellas, but I have nieces and nephews out there, and a real sweet mom who doesn't need all the life shocked out of her. There's plenty of fun still to be had, though, so you don't have to leave all disappointed.

(Read the rest...)

I Really Dig Leather

But you might have guessed that. I like the feel of it, the look of it, the smell of it, the way it can conform so easily to the body beneath it, and all that other stuff that you can read at any of a million other web pages out there. This shit turns me on, but it's such a delicate balance. I can't buy into the whole notion of an attraction to leather (OK, I'll say it — a fetish) being synonymous with S&M or or any of the other rigorously codified culture that seems to have sprung up around it. I love creative and intense sex, but all that’s just not my scene. I can get past the goofy anachronism of a lot of the standard leather "look" because something about it still works, but so many guys go so over the top that it backfires. Leather can go from zero to cheesy in about two seconds if a guy's not careful. Or it can go from zero to damn sexy in about as much time.

Did I have a weird, supressed childhood fascination with the Fonz? With Roddy McDowall as the Bookworm on "Batman"? Do I have some issues with either latent or coveted machismo? Was I subjected to contraband Tom of Finland drawings at an early, impressionable age? Maybe it was those Ghost Rider comic books. Who knows? I sure as hell don't. I just like to revel in it once in a while. And anyway, if think this is extreme, you should hear about my inexplicable fascination with nerdy, skinny guys with glasses.

(Read the rest...)

Birthday Wishes

Happy birthday, Jen!

And mine is coming up shortly enough. This time around, I feel like I owe it myself to have a real blow-out of a time for the last birthday of my twenties. Despite my massive party-phobia, I’m planning a big birthday/housewarming shindig that will hopefully lure scads of my most beloved pals all the way out to the murky depths of East Williamsburg. We'll see. I still remember the big Christmas dinner fiasco of 1996...

I just got back the other day Tuesday from visiting my parents in sunny Florida. It was wonderful to spend some time with them, but a little strange to see them living in a house where I wasn't raised. The whole time I couldn't completely shake the feeling that we were all staying in a hotel. But they're happy as kittens in a sunbeam as they live out their retirement dreams, so I have no reason to complain.

Thumbs down to Continental Airlines, however. Those pricks left Miki and I sitting on the runway in a plane with no air-conditioning for two-and-a-half hours. And we never got more than a soda and some pretzels the whole way down, even though their unexpected delay nearly threw me into hypoglycemia fits. We could have gotten to Europe in the time we spent on that plane!

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