In a few days, I get to go see The Gates, in NYC, on the closing day. This should be quite a sight, and I really am antipicipating. Thinking about it has reminded me how much I love Central Park. How it’s not like a city, or a park, or the woods. It’s something that is singular and different from those things. I used to like to find places to take naps in the sunlight when I lived in NY. And I used to do a minor running foray around the Reservoir.
Once, when I was in this running period, a wonderful thing happened. I would take the subway from 44th and 9th, up to 86th (I always though that was kind of funny, too—taking the subway to go running.) So, this one night, I was headed out the door, and noticed it was sprinkling. Okay, gotta get a move on, I thought. I got on the subway, and when I got off at 86th, it was totally pouring. I decided to run anyway, and ran through CP, until I was totally lost, and utterly alone. It was great. Slogging through the rain, not worried about any creeps, since they’d have to also be crazy to be out to get me in a total downpour. (okay, so I admit that, in NYC, this combination was a valid possibility)
Oh, I get to drink Mexican Hot Chocolate now at the neighborhood coffee shop, 3rd Street Coffee! It’s a thursday, which means I’ve been up since 5a (early morning r radio show! You can listen online, y’know), which means that by mid-afternoon, my brain is bubbling. and the only way to keep it correctly percolating, on this day is with some labor on the Campsie House including a trip to the dump!
Maybe I am. Maybe it’s the Neil Stephenson books I’m reading. I don’t know. But things seem to be accelerating. This whole blogsphere thing. the photoblog thing. the other information sharing things. I’m kinda swimming in it. It’s not that I love it particularly, because the learning curve is a bit steep and it requires time (too much) and concentration, and signing up for things, which always sets off my big brother alarms. But there is something happening that is new. The way people are communicating. You can call it cold and distant, if you want to be that way, but I don’t think that’s got it right.
Idea: There are these ways for people to share all sorts of notions, emotions, ideas, etc, and for those things to then be parlayed into … other things. I don’t know what to call them. It’s like instant zeitgeist. Imagine if you didn’t know Radio (upper case) existed, and you didn’t have a radio (lower case). You’d think the air was silent. But in fact, it’s full to the brim of information, ideas, music, (ads), flying around invisibly.
This blogsphere thing is like that, too. I’m just in awe of it. And like I said, I’m not exactly enraptured by it, but it is a new and powerful way of communicating and collaborating, of sharing and fermenting ideas and dialogs.
And in the same way that people my parents’ age struggle with “learning computers” (a hilariously overbroad concept, to anybody who “knows computers.”), many of my friends will struggle with the blogsphere. As an idea. Because you can’t see it. You can see blogs, but I’m still trying to get my head around how people and ideas zing back and forth, bouncing around among blogs, web sites, etc., etc., etc., etc.! That’s what I’m struggling with. Trying to understand what it’s capable of. And trying to use that capability to enrich my daily life. Also, I’m trying meditation. Just 15 minutes is a long time!
Threadless T-Shirts seem to bring you even more of that so-very-day-after-tomorrow online collaborating that is just absorbing my attention of late, for better or for worse. Best I can tell, you submit a tshirt design, and if it wins a rating contest, they’ll add it to their catalog and give you a cash prize. and the designs, they ain’t shabby!
So I’m finally starting to stumble across people in the blogsphere. I still don’t quite understand how it’s done, but that’s probably because I keep looking for a shortcut, an aggregator, because that’s what technology teaches us to do, right? “Find all my favorite blogs and create bookmarks for them!” I remember the first time I met Mark. He was doing telecomm/wiring/i-don’t-know-what work for this internet company I was working for in NY. He came around just when I was sure I was the only person in the office who’s body hadn’t been snatched. And he told me that I was “bright,” which, while not a “Southern adjective” (ha), was something I really needed to hear right then, since I felt like everybody in my office seemed to think I was quite dim. Yesterday, I had deja vu about this, at my bank— There’s this kid there who knows so much about music. And he’s working as a controller in a brokerage. I come in and I’m the only person who can say, “hey do you like that new _____ record?” It’s maybe just a moment of– signs of intelligent life in the universe. Which can be such a relief some days.
Well, we had this great parade again, for Mardi Gras. Mecca Dance Studio, the Action Arts Collective, and WRFL-FM all pitched in, with help from scads of cool peeps and food from Gumbo Ya Ya.
But the real wonder was having The Sun Ra Arkestra come here to be the parade marshals. Or deputies. Or troopers. I don’t know, but they had horns and they used them. Even though Sun Ra is no longer here on Planet Earth, his band plays on under the direction of Marcus Allen *right), sax-man from another planet.
Click here to see some fabulous PICTURES from the parade in my patented Smeary-Vision®.
I just can’t eat fruit fast enough. I get it, I sit it, it decays. But those cases of clementines at the grocery just look so great, and it’s easy to think “if I just eat these regularly, well, the would be SO GOOD FOR ME.” I ate two.
Tiff glanced over my shoulder into the tiny viewscreen of my digital camera. “that’s me. that’s my color.” she noted with simultaneous brevity and inextinguishable sunshine.
Rakadu Gypsy Dance at the Dame, opening for Mosquitos last night.
last night, a wonderfully welcome visit by NY’s Mosquitos, and their delightful little bossa-indie songs. A couple of weeks ago, I chatted with singer and dancer Juju to promote the show. When I got to the Dame I looked for her to say hi, during another fabulous performance by Rakadu Gypsy Dance. I said “Hi Juju!” and she smiled and immediately leaned close and gave me the kind of kiss on the cheek that can only be called a buss. It doesn’t really exist so much in America I fear. A south american thing, perhaps. Because she wasn’t immediately recognizing me. Her eyes lit up when I told her that we had spoken on the phone. I thought it was neat because she maybe kisses everybody on the cheek. Which is much better than a handshake, I’m convinced.
My friend Laura reminded me of a story from years ago. I had been driving around Lexington and had started noticing these miniature crowns primly displayed in people’s cars, on the dashboard, or in the back window– plastic, shiny, ornate crowns. I noticed that the driver or occupants were frequently black, and I just intuitively decided that this was some expression of black solidarity, but nothing overly militant, like the myths I found at snopes as I thought back on this story, years later. I just thought: Hmm. Black pride. African Kings. A reminder of heritage. Something. Finally, I got my chance to ask. I was at a stop light and a lady pulled up next to me with a glittering crown on her dashboard. I rolled down my window and motioned for her to roll down hers. She looked a bit skeptical, but rolled down her window, and I smiled and said: “I’m curious about the crown on your dashboard! Can I ask what it is?” And with a no emotion whatsoever, she said these two words to me: “Air freshener.” The period was palpable. There was nothing more to say, we rolled up our windows and that was the end of the Crown Mystery for me.