my daily life consists of constantly analyzing and judging everything i see and do. probably 90% of the time i am at least partially aware of the impact my actions have on the environment and those around me. i am very aware of my personal space and my intrusion on others’ personal space. i drive my car roughly once a week to get groceries or some other such errand. i take the bus, ride my bike, or walk whenever possible – although i should walk more often. i don’t exercise due to time constraints, but must overcome my time management issues to include it as a defacto part of a balanced lifestyle. i must keep goals in mind constantly to manage my time more precisely. often, the goal gets obscured and i then get bogged down in day to day issues, and before i know it the end of a project looms and i am unprepared. i have problems staying focused on work. i am stubborn about giving up a project for fear of quitting; but i also tend to lose focus as the project exits conceptual stages and the nitty gritty becomes overwhelming.
i tend to to take on more than i can handle. i am overly ambitious in that respect, and ultimately get less done because of it. i like many things, to the point where i have my finger in many pies, but am not expert in anything.
i want to lead a more sustainable life, and want to convince others of its merit. i don’t think that a ‘cuban revolution’ can or will happen here, no matter the doomsday scenarios. although i don’t think its necessarily the best way to move towards sustainability, i think the only way to get our society on that track is to accomodate modern lifestyles using less harmful (or more beneficial) alternatives – alternative power and cradle to cradle manufacturing solutions.
many view sustainability as a way to reinstitute a nostalgic lifestyle; reinstituting town centers and community life, while certainly beneficial for civic and social life, don’t necessarily bring with them sustainable lifestyles.
i perused an article the other day that talked about why french women aren’t fat. the only thing i remember is that french women eat w/ ‘all five senses’. while that’s quite a sweeping generalization for the slimness of the french female, it stuck in my mind. it came back to me this morning as i was eating breakfast while reading an article for school. i suddenly realized that in america, eating has become an almost background activity, something to fill a void. it’s not that i eat when there’s nothing else to do – it’s that i must always find something else to do while i eat.
back when i lived at home w/ my family, it was unheard of to watch tv while we ate. now that i live alone, it’s a different story. there’s nobody to talk to at dinner, and it’s really the only time i have to relax, maybe catch an episode of law & order. but it’s a curse! now if i’m not watching tv while i eat, i have to read. and while it may seem that reading is better than watching tv, they’re both bad activities to partake of whilst eating (ye olde english). why? b/c they take attention away from the act of eating – eating becomes a background activity to reading or watching tv. you don’t taste, smell, see, feel the food w/ the same intensity as you would if that book was closed. there’s no acknowledgement of the role that food plays in our lives (only on an individual basis – family gatherings and religious/secular holidays all glorify food, but those happen infrequently when compared to the amount of times a year we put food in our mouths). this doesn’t mean that we should all pray in thanks for the food we ingest – although it is a very small step to see that progression, and it becomes easy to understand why such prayers and practices developed. it just means that perhaps if we actually focus on the food while we eat, savor its taste and texture, then perhaps we’d appreciate the food just a little bit more – more than as a means to an end.
every religion and every point of view is correct. reality is a matter of personal beliefs, formed by upbringing and all events perceived.
religion is personal, even when imposed by higher authority (not god). one is not better than the other, and within one relgion, one sect or version is not better. i’ve struggled over this break in the past b/c i don’t care much one way or the other about religion. whatever you worship is fine, and i don’t have much personal preference. but when push comes to shove, i get almost scentimental for orthodox jewish services b/c its what i grew up w/. i say that other versions of judaism are fine w/ me, but i prefer to worhsip in orthodox services – even though i am not observant. i now don’t think its necessarily b/c its what i grew up w/, though that obviously hugely influenced me, but moreso b/c i feel that there is a communal spirit of agreement at work. everyone in that service has a relatively similar view on religion, is schooled extensively in it, and feels strongly about it, and this is apparent in their worship.
maybe my predilection towards orthodox judaism is strong b/c i haven’t seen another version of judaism pray w/ as much fervor, dedication, or education as does orthodox judaism. i can relate moreso to a devout catholic service than i can to a reform service – not b/c reform is a stripped down version of religion (b/c, again, it’s all personal) but b/c the service seems to lack warmth, spirit, and conviction. i personally like to feel the gutteral reverberations of a group of men singing from their depths – women singing don’t affect me the same way. perhaps this is CEREBRAL.
this connects to another feeling of higher power and connection – it doesn’t come in the precision tuning of single focus, but in the imperfect singularities that form a greater whole. a group of men singing the same song and tune, but at their own relative paces and tonal abilities forms an extremely strong web of song thats impenetrable. it’s like a mob, a rabble – nothing can get through it, and you can feel it well up to a high degree of power. a choir may be something to marvel at – it’s something that you can listen to and admire, but an orthodox service is something that swallows you and makes you a part of it. single computer = choir. network of computers = orthodox. and if it lacks conviction, it doesn’t produce the same effect, and full circle i don’t respect it enough to worship there (again, even though i don’t worship to a god or through prayer, if a do take part in a service, i want to be among people who are strong in their belief and their religion – my personal connection to something greater, if i even feel that i have one, is entirely undefined and not practiced through reading words from a book).
hopefully this new address will give me some quiet now. i won’t advertise this blog anymore, and will keep it just for my own – record thoughts and work stuff out.
it appears that i’m being selfish about getting engaged. i want, for just one day, my family to stop and celebrate this event. i feel enraged that i should be scheduling any of this around when they have the time. my sister has some gala ball, and so can’t make it back friday night. it happens every year – why can’t she miss it once? this is only going to happen for me once. now everything is getting stressful – an engagement shouldn’t be like this.
this is happening b/c i’m doing it around everyone else. well – then maybe i should just do it wherever and whenever i want, and everything else will fall into place. i’m stressing about proposing in NY or paris so that it will be romantic and near family – near enough that we can celebrate the day of or within days of the engagement. maybe i’ll do it before paris, not in NY, and not in austin, which would be the logical location. maybe i’ll do it the weekend after the bar – in the event the ring is ready – and we’ll take a weekend getaway to someplace random. quiet, and romantic, and just us. it would be great if we could do atlanta, but there’s no way i can afford a quick jump there, plus hotel and restaurant expenses. maybe there is, i’ll check on that – just add it to my debt.
maybe family is about putting them all ahead of you – of course it is, to a degree. but shouldn’t something as momentous as this be about me?
so it’s been a while since i’ve sat at spiderhouse, my favorite coffee shop down the street from my apt. i’m there now, and i’m amazed at the ecclectic group here tonite. way more ecclectic than normal. crossing the boundary to bizarre.
there’s a dude wearing skin tight blue tie-died pants, a large leather spike studded belt, a berret, huge sunglasses, his long curly hair is tied in a pony tail w/ a feather, he’s wearing biking gloves, and is standing next to his sticker covered powerbook dancing. he’s dancing while he’s sitting looking at the system pref window. he’s dancing while stands up next to his table. no, he’s not dancing – he’s rocking. this dude is rockin out. maybe he thinks he’s bono?
rock on spiderhouse man, rock on.
finally, some rest from an exhausting weekend. friday nite after studio, we went to the austin ballet. immediately thereafter drove straight to dallas, arriving at 1:30a (working off of 4 hours sleep the nite before). woke up at 7a to catch a 10a flight to NY, w/ stopover in chicago. upon arrival in NY, quickly rode back to parents’ house, showered, drove into the city to meet girlfriend’s dad, w/ whom we ate dinner (my parents also drove out for dinner). old roommate, who happens to be in NY at the same time, joins us for desert, and then a ride downtown to a bar where high school friend is having bday party. roughly 1:30a by this time, resulting in major overload and crash, time to sleep. drop off old roommate at his cousin’s, drop off other friend at his car, drive home, but accidentally get on the queensborough bridge instead of going up town and taking the triboro bridge. instense need to urinate begins to build. construction on queensborough results in 2 minute drive becoming 30 minute drive. turn around, go uptown, take triboro, to grand central to van wyck to nassau expressway, down rockaway turnpike, left on broadway, get home, and pee until the following morning.
sunday reestablished my belief in the evils of the five towns and long island. following a sloth like morning of recuperating, cindy and i walked into town. i became the boyfriend tag-along for what quite possibly could have become a shopping trip. we stopped at ann taylor, and cindy tried on a dress. i went to the mirror by the changing area to look at the dress she tried on, but the manager informed me that men aren’t allowed in the back, b/c women are changing. well they’re not changing out in the fucking open! that’s why they have changing rooms you craggy old bitch! cindy can come to the front to show me, but i can’t go back. i have my theory for this sales practice, but sorry, i’m not sharing it.
we then walked around town a bit, got a carvel ice cream cone, and i introduced to cindy to cookiepuss and fudgie the whale.
anyone who wants to make a joke out of that fuck off. they’re ice cream cakes, and are well known to anyone in the NY metro area. even the simpsons spoofed them. anyway, while there, there was a family getting ice cream. the parents had to be 24-25. the grandparents were there too. the children were probably 3-4, and there were about 3-4 of them. they were lying on the ground, being loud and whiney, generally pains in the ass. did the parents chastise them? no. did the grandparents chastise them? no. did the grandparents advise the parents how to deal w/ the kids? no. that’s b/c it’s a statewide epidemic. these people, and these are well off, educated people, have absolutely no regard for public space, personal space, or image in public. they are a materialistic, selfish group, who would argue against these identifications to the death. that’s b/c these villifications are the public face they put on to everyone outside their community. to everyone w/in their community, they are angels, caring and giving. actually, a lot of the behavior crosses boundaries, it’s just that w/in the community everyone does it, so you can’t get aggravated. anyway, the kids are screaming and running around out of control in carvel, the parents take 5 damn minutes to make one order, and we’re sucking it up. this is the behaviour prevalent throughout the five towns – a different monster altogether from the jappy behaviour that characterizes long island. we took a walk to starbucks afterwards – there are no other places to get coffee in town – and cindy held open the door for a woman on her cell phone. no thank you in reply. the cashier is leaning against the register, angry at life for making her an ugly bitch, and barely acknowledges our order. no have a nice day, no thank you (which, generally, i don’t require, but at least some cordial acknowledgement that i placed an order). i asked her to turn the volume down a bit b/c i was reading, but she didn’t ‘have the power’ to do that. what?! are you joking? turning the volume down is outside your job responsibility to keep the customer happy? well, does anyone here have that power? the manager does, he’s that guy over there. of course, i run into an old high school friend on my way to the manager, and by the time i’m done, he’s gone. i ask another schlock behind the register to turn down the volume – sure, no problem. volume is down in 2 minutes. that girl was such a bitch!
enough about the five towns. yesterday we explored brooklyn. i’ve never been there before, and obviously neither has cindy. it was really nice – we discovered park slope, brooklyn heights, really nice neighborhoods. great places to move into when graduations are complete. yeah, they’re really expensive, but we can sell our souls for a few years to gather the cash. we found this restaurant under the brooklyn bridge called ‘river cafe’, which was funny b/c we had heard about it from cindy’s mom. now, cindy’s mom is a southern belle, prim and proper, and has never really travelled outside of the areas she’s lived in. sure, she’s done some international travel, but hasn’t really seen much of the US, and is darn gullible to boot. so she was in a cab in dallas, and was talking to the guy about cindy and my trip to NY, as well as her husband’s trip to NY on the same weekend (he had a medical conference to attend). the cabbie proceeds to explain how he’s not a dallas cabbie full time – nooooo, he has a string of cabs in NY and dallas (b/c the dallas cab market is about to be deregulated and he’s gonna make $$$). he only spends about a week driving a cab in dallas and spends the rest in NY in his park ave. apartment w/ his brother. he also happens to have a Ph.d, but won’t say in what. this sounds highly plausible. so when he lists off some restaurants to visit, its not unreasonable to take it w/ a grain of salt. a BIG grain of salt. so we payed no mind to the suggestion of dining at a restaurant below the brooklyn bridge. it should be noted, that we found the idea of a restaurant existing below the brooklyn bridge to be highly likely, we just weren’t going to take this guy’s work for anything. but, lo and behold, as we came to the brooklyn bridge promenade for an amazing view of the city, we found the ‘river cafe’. it had an amazing view, and an amazingly expensive menu. about $90 per person. so we just had some drinks, but you can imagine what the bill was. $$$. we then went back into manhattan to eat at the 2nd ave. deli. now, the 2nd ave. deli is a big piece of NY kosher deli culture. it’s been around 50 years, and is kind of THE kosher deli. i’ve never been there, but yesterday was it’s 50th anniversary, and they were serving food at 1954 prices. who can not eat there when a pastrami sandwich costs 50 cents?! that would have to be us – there was a 5 hour line wrapping around the block to get some cheap deli food. so we had pizza, another NY favorite.
we then quickly met up w/ a friend i used to work w/ at the now defunct iBeam communications at her new apartment. we drank some wine, talked for a while, and then headed back to penn station, got home to cedarhurst, and walked home at 11:30p. it was a very nice day, and we slept most of today away – b/c it’s fucking snowing!!!!!