brothercyst: December 2007

Thursday, December 27, 2007

n+1, Maryland, blood

I read the latest issue of n+1. It's really, really good. The essay on "the rage of the loser class"--nominally about Cho Seung-hui but mostly about the author's cold-eyed impression of his life and the lives of people around him--is particularly terrific. The essay about the stages of Gawker's existence is great, too.

******

In Maryland. I've been reading Ron Hansen's The Assassination of Jesse James... but having a little trouble getting into it, although it seems wonderfully written. I saw Juno, which I hated so much that I was overwhelmed with the desire to bludgeon every character; I can't describe how much I hated this movie; I hate cute. I got (bought, not received as a gift) a new computer, since the old one was virtually spitting blood. I wrote a short story. I got (received as a gift, not bought) a digital camera.

took pictures of this person

and this person

and this person

who took a picture of me & some sort of extraterrestrial orb

and also there was some foliage

*****

UPDATE: Here is maybe my favorite scene from There Will Be Blood. And the beginning of another incredible sequence. Spoilers, obviously.

*****

A hell of a review for There Will Be Blood in the NYT. I was thrilled to read it. Anderson and Park Chan-wook are my favorite living directors. I loved Blood--but not as much as I love Boogie Nights, I don't think. I don't know, I need to see it again. But I thought there were a couple flaws--one that's been mentioned elsewhere (Dano's no match for Day-Lewis, especially in the final scene) and another one that no one else seems to mind (what the hell is up with the Paul Sunday character? he never reappears... it feels like PTA just didn't want to deal with the hassle of having two characters played the same actor appearing in the same scene... weird). That said... the film is fucking amazing and Daniel Day-Lewis's performance has to be beheld to be believed. Now that it's officially out I'm going to see it again (curious to do so with an audience of paying customers) as soon as I'm back in New York.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Today I had lunch with someone who introduced me to one of the most fascinating concepts I've encountered since I learned what a strangelet was: "programmable clay." It's... I can't even say how cool it is. It will revolutionize everything. (Especially long distance relationships and battlefield surgery.)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Midnight Picnic comes out next fall. Originally it was May but we pushed it back a couple months--I'm still doing some edits. Here is a random moment. One of the main characters, a six year old named Adam, has gotten lost in the woods and met an old man who seems to live there. Click for big.


Saturday, December 15, 2007

passage

"The reality was, you only knew you were loved if you were left and returned to, if you were ignored and then craved. Occasionally you would be seen for slightly less than the sum of your parts, and that was love, too. Love announced itself with a sting, not a pat. If love was love, it was urgent and ripe and carried with it the faint odor of humiliation, so that there was always something to be made up for later, some apology in the works."

Alicia Erian, "The Brutal Language of Love"

Thursday, December 13, 2007

french cooking, ike turner, winter party

A french cooking blog post mentioning Fires.

***

Ike Turner died.

I prank called him one time.

But then my friend Nicole grabbed the phone--her phone--away.

***

"Work"--that is, work at the hedge fund where I spend many of my daylight hours--is essentially an afterthought in my life, so I tend not to mention it here except in passing. This week we had our infamous company winter party, though. So I will very briefly engage in the internet tradition from which I usually abstain: posting pictures of people who are "shitfaced." (Note: not all the people pictured are "shitfaced".)

w/ my friends P. and Fred, looking dour. Fred: roommate from college.

Tom, the most dapperly festive one, with other friends from yale.

w/ Tom, who began to disrobe. Five minutes after this, he smashed a glass on the floor and passed out.

w/ P., respectable.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

art

Lot of art lately. Saw the Klimt at the Neue Galerie two weekends ago. New Museum soon. Some other gallery opening that was underwhelming. Didn't go to Art Basel but actually, for a half-second, considered it. The AL was having a lavish-sounding event to which I RSVP'd before realizing it was in Miami, too. I replaced my old moleskine with a new one without lines, so I can sketch more assuredly. Sketching helps me write. I feel like I just started strangelets but I can't believe how much I've written. Still at least a year to eighteen months from completion. Home sick from work today. Seeing Atonement soon. Listening to Clint Mansell's score for The Fountain. A flawed movie with a terrific soundtrack. On the subject of films, the San Francisco Film Critics Circle is the first (and will probably turn out to be the only) critics organization to name as their favorite film of the year The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. As anybody who's had a conversation with me in the last three months knows, I think Assassination is pretty much the best film I've seen so far this century. The only other one I loved as much is Park Chan-wook's Oldboy.

***



A strange weekend with regard to sleep. Little patches here and there. (Writing this on Sunday afternoon.) I've become convinced of the value of moments of self-enforced mental isolation. At work or in crowds now I force myself to not speak for periods of time and shut out external sensory stimuli as completely as possible. Then I try to populate the spaces around me with people and things of my own imagining. (Usually they turn out to be large humanoid insects.) I find this calms me and I get ideas. fuerzabruta is a fascinating thing. P. took me. In one setpiece, a transparent ceiling is lowered to head-height (the audience stands for the entire show) and covered in water, and then lightly-clad, nymph-like women cavort on it. Friday I went to a program where I volunteer twice a week with little kids who are doing creative writing; I'm helping a kid named Vincent write a story about a killer plant. He's a startlingly good storyteller; he's nine years old. Yesterday I remained supine in my apartment. In the evening, dinner with Tom, birthday party of coworker, palm-reading and night-long conversation session with E. Didn't sleep til almost dawn. For today: isolation, silence, pomegranate juice, and pastries.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

statistical data

regarding rap music

**



A strange weekend with regard to sleep. Little patches here and there. (Writing this on Sunday afternoon.) I've become convinced of the value of moments of self-enforced mental isolation. At work or in crowds now I force myself to not speak for periods of time and shut out external sensory stimuli as completely as possible. Then I try to populate the spaces around me with people and things of my own imagining. (Usually they turn out to be large humanoid insects.) I find this calms me and I get ideas. fuerzabruta is a fascinating thing. P. took me. In one setpiece, a transparent ceiling is lowered to head-height (the audience stands for the entire show) and covered in water, and then lightly-clad, nymph-like women cavort on it. Friday I went to a program where I volunteer twice a week with little kids who are doing creative writing; I'm helping a kid named Vincent write a story about a killer plant. He's a startlingly good storyteller; he's nine years old. Yesterday I remained supine in my apartment. In the evening, dinner with Tom, birthday party of coworker, palm-reading and night-long conversation session with E. Didn't sleep til almost dawn. For today: isolation, silence, pomegranate juice, and pastries.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

strangelet, click for big:




**

i have purchased the soundtrack to I'm Not There, and listened many times to these tracks in particular:

calexico & jim james - going to acapulco
john doe - pressing on
black keys - wicked messenger
antony & the johnsons - knocking on heaven's door

and there is the best song on the album, dylan's own "I'm Not There," which I had never heard before.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

snow fell

Had brunch with Ned Vizzini and Alex Remington this morning in Union Square as the first snow of the winter fell outside the windows. Before that, wandered in the very early a.m. hours through the snow with P.; the snow had just started falling and the financial district was nearly deserted and freezing and pretty beautiful. Humans have been tolerable lately. I appreciate it when women are awesome. Saw I'm Not There at Film Forum tonight with my friend Esme. Strange, frustrating, generally excellent movie. Reading Alicia Erian's short story collection, which is terrific. Aguirre next week. Wrote more in the last two weeks than I had in the previous three months. Beginning a new thing now. Haven't submitted any stories to magazines in months. But writing new ones.