New York City, June 29, 2015

weather review sky 062915★★★★★ Glowing-edged blue gaps in the clouds let the sun come and go. It was cool out, blessedly cool, cool enough for the three-year-old to stick to his plan to wear his knit winter hat with the Batman ears, all the way past Columbus. A treacherous wet spot slid out from under a sneaker heel on the downslope to the soccer encampment. A woman in the Park was talking loudly and with grief on the phone about needing money. A robin with its breast not fully reddened flushed from beside a puddle and launched itself across the park roadway, inches from the bumper fairing of a passing taxi. The narrow vertical sets among the Time Warner Center windows captured details of the clouds in triplicate. Crushed and twisted umbrella wreckage, completely dry, lay in a crosswalk. A woman in the subway entrance was talking loudly and with fervor about Jesus. The coolness held downtown. Up on the roof, a fly lay drowned atop a bowl of salsa dregs and rainwater. In the late-day streets were light and birdsong and the clink of cutlery. Now the clouds were single and widely spaced. Everywhere were paper shopping bags, brand-labeled and open-topped in the air, the people stimulated to commerce. The sun went down with no chromatic fuss, clean and tranquil, nothing to add to its accomplishments. In the bath, the three-year-old recounted how a butterfly had landed on his brother’s head when they were on the grass roof. Cross-checking the story revealed that the head was the shoulder, but the butterfly was an accurately described red admiral. The conjunction of Venus and Jupiter shone in the darkening west. The telescope could pick out a tiny bright speck of a Jovian moon and, at a higher power, the horns of the crescent Venus. To say nothing, between those, of a third, ghost planet, a smudge or other optical artifact of over-enthusiasm.

I created the Isis dildo flag at London Pride to start a dialogue, not get a laugh#

Big Talk, "What Happened To Delisa?"

For a 2015 track that sounds like the Seventies as reproduced in the Aughts there is still something rather enjoyable about this. I mean, I guess kids today are making music inspired by that first Strokes record, so who’s to say that the future will not continue to be the past? Anyway, enjoy. [Via]

“When it comes to male midlife crises, the flashy sports car is old hat — at least to some New York men, for whom a skateboard is the preferred vehicle for recapturing one’s youth. (In Therien’s case, it’s black, with a rainbow underbelly.) ‘I’m a suit — on a skateboard,” he says, explaining his appeal to the opposite sex. ‘Women like anything that’s unusual — and this is edgy without being over-the-top.’ Therien, who skateboarded as a kid, recently picked it up again as a convenient way to get around town. He estimates that he chats up two to three ladies a day thanks to his ride, and he even plans to launch a blog, ‘Dapper Deck,’ that chronicles both his sartorial and sporty aspirations.”
—I find the older I get the more I admire the classic approach certain publications display in giving a gigantic middle finger to their readers and the public at large. There’s almost an elegance to it. Anyway, this is first class.#

Elijah Simmons, "Scorpi"

Play this in the background and at first you will forget about it but suddenly you will find yourself nodding along, captive to its rhythm. It won’t change your life but it will make you smile and some days that’s about all you can hope for, not that you really even deserve that much. Enjoy.

“Here’s how libertarianism has led me and my partner into polyamory, and why America will have to grapple with this issue next.”#

Are Grocery Stores The Well Of Human Sadness?

groceryIn a piece this week discussing the secular sainthood of David Foster Wallace, New York’s Christian Lorentzen makes a few observations about that Kenyon College commencement speech which helped so much to advance the campaign for Bandana Man’s cultural canonization.

Wallace apologizes at the start for delivering “banal platitudes,” then asserts their “life or death” importance as he delivers a message about overcoming self-centeredness. It’s all breathtakingly obvious, as Wallace keeps pointing out. And then he gets to an example of one of the adult challenges this virtuous thinking will help you overcome: an unpleasant after-work trip to the grocery store. “And who are all these people in my way? And look at how repulsive most of them are, and how stupid and cowlike and dead-eyed and nonhuman they seem in the checkout line, or at how annoying and rude it is that people are talking loudly on cell phones in the middle of the line. And look at how deeply and personally unfair this is.” The horror! Perhaps I’m an outlier, but I’ve mostly enjoyed my visits to grocery stores over the years. In any event, it strikes me that there are more difficult things about adulthood than navigating the express-check-out line, and more that it demands of us than overcoming self-centeredness and reflexive sourness. What Wallace describes as a universal rite of passage into maturity seems more to me like the daily struggles of a serious depressive, which he was.

Now I am perhaps not the most cheerful and life-loving fellow trudging through God’s great green earth, so maybe I am wrong to take exception here, but is this really a reaction confined to those who are always a little sad about things?

“We loved him because he was 400 pounds of uncontrollable nitroglycerin. And now we fear him because he’s 400 pounds of uncontrollable nitroglycerin.”#

New York City, June 28, 2015

★★ Morning seemed stolidly wet and gray, continuous with the wet and gray end of the day before. By early afternoon, though, everything was fluctuating pointlessly. Blue appeared in the north, and the clouds to the south thinned enough to send shadows pointing uptown. Wearing a short-sleeved shirt with jeans was too chilly and too hot simultaneously; within an hour or so, the sun was fully out, creating an interlude of heat that lasted just long enough for changing into shorts and no longer. A returning gray cloud appeared overhead, and a big drop of water fell. By the end of the afternoon piano lesson, the clouds had closed over and there was a smell of rain. Sun and clouds went through another cycle, by which time the transition was no longer worth reacting to.

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