My pal Mark broke my heart last night, telling me that Buster had just passed away. Buster was Mark's dog — his beautiful, lovable, extraordinary dog — who he adopted when we were living together in a vast, ramshackle loft in Bushwick when I first moved back to New York ten years ago. Buster was a surprise: Mark adopted him from the North Shore Animal League while we were each home for the holidays, taking a break from the months of cleaning and construction we'd been doing. Mark was a little worried that he'd picked up a pet without asking me first, but Buster had me under his spell from the moment I saw him.
Buster's early days in Bushwick were a challenge, to put it mildly. He was a puppy and insufferably cute, though, so it was easy to forgive his misdeeds. Also, neither one of us was able to spend as much time at home with him as he really needed, so his early training went slowly. He ate all the upholstery off a 3-piece velvet couch I treasured. Every day we'd come home to discover a Family Circus trail of pee showing the circles he'd run when he'd hear the key turn in the lock of the front door. He also started out with an awful GI-tract infection that soon led us to the horrible sight of our deathly ill pup hooked up to an IV at the vet's office.
After we left Bushwick, Mark and Buster were my neighbors in Fort Greene for a few years, and I had the pleasure of watching Buster grow up, learn his lessons well, and become the best damn dog I ever knew. I was pretty indifferent to animals before Buster, but I’ve been an avid dog-lover ever since. In many, ways he really embodied everything that I love in a dog, and I can't help but hold the rest up to his high standard of affectionate, loyal, good temper.
Buddy, thanks for everything, and we'll all miss the hell out of you.
It started with the smell. It wasn't the typical, easy-to-identify hobo stank, but more like someone suddenly released all their BO at once. You could see an awareness of the smell spread throughout the end of the subway car where I was standing. It wasn't unbearable, but it was definitely wrong. It's a hot day, but the car at least had a littel air-conditioning so the sudden appearance of the smell was unusual. Wrinkling their noses and edging away from the area where it seemed to begin, everyone tried to find the source, but it looked like no one could. No hobos, no one looking around nervously, no one who even looked really sweaty. It wasn't especially pleasant, but I would have put up with it rather than wait on a hot platform for another train.
The two latinas who first raced down the car to get away from the smell were standing behind me, and one of them was really bothered by it. When she first started swallowing nervously and covering her mouth, we all began to back away. And then she lost it, all over the floor. Thankfully, she hadn't had much for breakfast, as near as I could tell. Still, we all found ourselves in a crowded rush-hour train trying to avoid a mystery odor and then a puddle of puke. I jumped off at the next station, grabbed a different train, and reminded myself that in a few more weeks I could just ride a bike less than a mile down a tree-lined road to get to work every day.
It can't come soon enough.
Hot on the heels of the typolicious preview I saw for Helvetica! The Movie (Well, it's just called Helvetica, but damnit a documentary about a typeface deserves an exclamation point) comes this absurdly sexy system of wall panels made up of interlocking Helvetica numerals. My god, if only I weren't just about to become a poor student!
Another year, another TypeCon. (that’s a good thing, by the way: TypeCon is always a highlight of the year for me. 'Cuz I’m a nerd.) I am deeply, deeply exhausted after 5 days of workshops on type design, presentations on type design and type history, interesting conversations about type, scoping the hot type nerds, and other typey things. I’m not tired of all the typey things, mind you. I’m just feeling very overstimulated and under-rested. I suspect that there will be a very serious nap in my immediate future. I need some sleep, some bland food, and many, many hours of solitude. After all, I have to get ready to do this all over again for another five days in Lisbon in a few weeks, not to mention all that full-time school stuff looming on the horizon. I have a very intense year ahead of me, and I need to pace myself and get ready for this amount of mental processing
Click here for a few more peeks of the inside of the book, put together by my pal and colleague, Ina Saltz.
I still need to write something substantial about seeing Absinthe at the Spiegeltent the other night (short version: Go! Buy tickets! Now! And check out the groovy summer season at the tent that Andy has organized. You'll thank me later.), but first I just wanted to gripe a little about the South Street Seaport area.
Walking around looking for the tent, I wondering what was in store for the area around the former Fulton Fish Market, whose buildings are dark and quiet, surely awaiting some kind of redevelopment. The Seaport itself is a nightmare I try to avoid, but the location is so picturesque that the potential seems endless. Well, Special Agent Josh stumbled across an article in the Gotham Gazette about the current plans for the area that dashes my hopes. I don't think we can expect more Art Deco music halls and beer gardens, that’s for sure.
It's nice to know that they have some plans to liven up the area a little, but once again I’m a little depressed to think that those plans aren't more imaginative or don't include anything that would make it more likely for me to ever spend time there. The Drawing Center would make for a nice visit, but not a regular reason to hang out, and the other prospects tempt me even less. Better malls and luxury apartments may be good for the developers' bottom line, but they only give me more reason to stay away.
This weekend's big project turned out to be the sorting of all my winter-type stuff like blankets and sweaters and coats and whatnot. It started out innocently enough as a hunt for more goodies to sell on eBay, but before long I was doing triage on everything I won't need to wear for the next couple of months so I could figure out what needed to be sold, stored, or shipped off to the UK.
It's hard enough to look at winter clothes in the middle of a heatwave, but I swear that handling wool is even worse. It's a texture that inspires cozy visions of bundling up against a winter chill, and is therefore unbearable when it's too to hot wear any clothes at all in your apartment.
Walking into a subway station today is like walking into the mouth of hell. To put things into perspective, we're now in the middle of a heat emergency, but as I walked out onto the sidewalk this morning, the temperature change from the station to the street above made it feel like I was entering a cool forest glade. If the subway cars themselves weren't air-conditioned, commuting would be nothing but a faint-a-thon in weather like this.
I can only hide in the office for so long today. I have a feeling that when I go out at lunchtime to forage for food, I’m going to burst into flames, vampire-style. Luckily a sympathetic friend is treating me to a movie tonight, so I can keep cool until I pass out naked in front of the fan at home.
My new battle cry from now on is: "It's Competation!!"