* Recently I read again “The Stranger” by Albert Camus and somewhat I appreciate it more now than when I read it for the first time many years ago. This time around the end of the novel managed to trigger a couple of tears. And since I’ve been reviewing some existentialist books, there was no better read than Dostoyevsky’s “Notes from the Underground” whose main character repeatedly proves that being a pompous intellectual doesn’t mean having proper social skills… and if there’s nothing good to say, it’s better to say nothing at all.
* The end of 2013 is very close, or should I refer instead to the beginning of 2014? Even though both statements are connected, one feels more positive… can’t wait for the future.
* During three weeks my younger sister was visiting NYC, once again we were temporary roommates. She’s a social magnet, easily makes new acquaintances wherever she goes exploring all the city boroughs, it was fun trying to keep up with her over abundance of good energy.
* Accidentally I broke my favorite glasses. The frame was split in half, right where the nose is supposed to fit. So I decided to fix it: removed the arms and carefully placed the small screws on the side, used super glue to get the frame together and waited 24 hours before attempting to put the arms back. Ridiculously enough I dropped the tiny screws on the floor! Like a snake sliding slowly through the floor I scanned the whole living room, carefully moving or lifting furniture, sucking plenty of dust (need to clean up a bit I guess) until I found the two screws (one took way too long to be found). At the end I was able to put the arms back and the glasses now have a bit more character, with a scar right in the middle.
* After a month of going through the motions of dealing with leukemia, which included a first set of chemotherapy sessions, my sister is finally leaving the hospital, and even though she has her head shaved and is a few pounds lighter, she is still a very beautiful woman.
* One of the most rewarding things of living in NYC is the fact that there are always excellent live music acts to experience. In a single month I had my share of 70’s progressive rock (Goblin), industrial noise (Nine Inch Nails) and alternative glam (Placebo). On another music note, yesterday was sunday, an almost “perfect day”… unfortunately it was also Lou Reed’s death.
* With an increasingly cold weather is getting harder to wake up early in the morning to go out around dawn and run eight ten kilometers (five six miles for those fond of the american way of measuring things). However this daily routine still gives me a wonderful natural high, a pleasant way to welcome the remains of the day…
* One of my sisters got diagnosed with Leukemia, and promptly after being hospitalized she started chemotherapy. My other sister and myself need to be tested for compatibility for a bone marrow transplant. As usual my mother has kept her cool and my father appears to be completely shaken and frustrated. Well, my mother is a nurse and my dad a chemical engineer, and it shows that my mom can handle life and death matters better than my numbers crunching brainiac dad. When my sister shared with me the news that she was ill a thousand images of us growing up together bursted through my brain. Funny how our perspective about things in life changes dramatically so quick and without warning.
* “When you let me fall, grew my own wings, now I’m tall as the sky. When you let me drown, grew gills and fins, now I’m deep as the sea. When you let me die, my spirit’s free, there’s nothing challenging me” – excerpt from “Ring the Bells” song by british band JAMES
* Supposedly we are in the future, however there are no flying cars or personal spaceships, yet we still have primitive acts of revenge and violence, crushing wars across the globe, plenty of mind crippling cults and disparate religious beliefs, social inequalities, hunger and disease, human drama of injustice, disproportionate power and wealth in the hands of a handful of people worldwide. There are toxic chemicals polluting the planet, radioactive spills, mortal diseases without a cure, all humanity guilty of contributing to the extinction of all life. Thinking about it all makes me question my own sanity…
* Tired of wearing my glasses I briefly considered getting eye surgery, then changed my mind after reading an article about the side effects some unlucky people have afterwards. I’ve never had contacts so if I want to keep seeing sharp then I have to wear my glasses. At least the frame is kind of cool… made in Denmark.
* Funny that in North Korea the only fat person is their glorious leader….
* In my dream I was some sort of a devil, ancient and ageless, sporting casual clothes and my mechanical wrist watch. My dad was around but his energy was like a strong magnetic field affecting the gears and timing of my mechanical watch. All of the sudden there was a pandemic turning everybody in the world into monsters or mutations. Took a while but being disfigured became the norm.
* Sumi (my black cat) spent some days at the animal hospital. She was vomiting, drooling, without appetite, dehydrated. When I finally brought her home she was back to normal, eating a lot, sleeping, drinking plenty of water, purring, being cute. However she’s taking various medications and going through a special diet. Promised to Sumi (and to myself) to never send her back to the animal hospital, that I will take better care of her. Yeah, I love that cat.
Got a tip from a friend that “Goblin”, the italian band that scored some of Dario Argento’s films (most notably Suspiria) may come to Brooklyn in October. Now that I think of it, I’ve never seen Suspiria in a movie theater, it would be extraordinary to experience its radioactive colors and creepy sounds in a real theater. In the mornings before going to work I visit McCarren park to run around the tracks so it was very surprising to see people at the park exercising around midnight on a Saturday night. The novel “El ruido de las cosas al caer” by Juan Gabriel Vasquez reminded me of contemporary history that in many ways my generation was part of. Recently I felt the weight of the years and then suddenly felt lightweight. Time is cruel and patient.
After spending the evening recording tracks for a new song and rocking out random tunes, we went out for a drink at a bar nearby. There we watched quite amused some 1960’s movie with greeks in tights, swords and helmets fighting each other and facing one or two monsters that were actually big puppets for some funny close-up fights. One scene in the movie had all this soldiers trying to storm a castle but were deterred with fire balls, boiling oil, arrows and spears.
Next evening at home I watched again a film based on comic books: Edgar Wright’s “Scott Pilgrim vs the World”. Quite a slick love story filled with arcade-like battles between a young man and the seven (7) evil exes of his girlfriend. Imagine if we had to do that in real life, to battle all the exes of our love interest in order to really win her heart and affection. Maybe we would value it more since it was attained at a high cost. At the end of the weekend the only sunny day was fully enjoyed outside of the city, upstate new york, climbing rocks and going through a maze of giant boulders and the greenest trees.
Going back to the office after a holiday weekend gives me the feeling that all those wonderful moments are nothing but a far away memory. Specially when first day back at work is a shitty rainy day…
Last night by chance I ended up watching again the film “Adaptation” and at the end of the film a phrase is spoken briefly: “you are what you love”. Today when I woke up I was still thinking about what it means. I recognize that the moments that I have truly felt alive have been when I’ve been passionate without measure about something.
Wish I could be this passionate with what I do for a living, since it’s not exciting anymore. What else should I do, then? Should I give up everything and start over? It would be great if at least Alessio and I could come out with a one hit wonder song and make some money that way. Maybe I shouldn’t worry about my work, since most people probably hate their jobs anyway.
Recently I’ve been swimming and running again, trying to lose a not-so-cute beer gut and getting in shape before summer. Wish I could go back to school and get a PhD in artificial intelligence or something of the sort… yeah, the brain needs to work out too.
In Sweden some stores use mannequins that resemble real life women, so instead of the tall skinny alien kind, they are a bit wider and not as tall. A rather large meteor crashed in Russia and it’s disintegration was filmed by a patrolling police car. When I was a kid the first mentor I had in the cryptic world of women was Roger Moore while he kissed and lure them to bed in James Bond movies (however Sean Connery was the real deal), and recently I was shocked to see him so old, almost unrecognizable. This summer I’m turning 40 so the idea of aging gracefully has become more relevant. Sex is also a form a communication.