25 October 2005

More New York, New York

New York, New York

Williamsburg Bridge, Leaving Brooklyn for Manhattan...
Is this real? (I'm really asking. I haven't doctored any photos. I wish I knew how.)

24 October 2005

Bond at the Opera???

Well yes, It is true. Bond, after having purchased a new computer (soon to be "repurchased" -- long story) and an iPod, after having begun to occasionally tuck in his shirt for work (Lordy!), after having cut his "glorious" and historically inaccurate locks, after having invested money in a "big boy bed", has finally hit a new and incredibly shocking landmark--The Metropolitan Opera.

I attended this past Friday, ready to be impressed, ready to feel fulfilled after a worthy cultural experience, ready to feel as if I were finally using my time as a New Yorker to some sort of advantage. What I truly did not expect was to have so much fun.

Oh yes, I found myself chuckling heartily, occasionally guffawing along with the bow-tied and blue-haired crowd. I chortled with tuxedoed folk, I giggled with jewel bedecked ladies, I leaned back and exhaled laughter with stooped old couples in tight shoes. In short, I truly enjoyed myself, even while feeling somewhat out of place.

You see, there were others that weren't dressed quite so elegantly. There were others that were even of my age (although they were few). There were, however, that I could see, very, very few operatic aficionados of the pierced, tattoed, somewhat shoddily-dressed variety. Now, I must admit that I do have a well-developed martyr complex and that I can be somewhat defensive in the presence of the gentry. Nonetheless, when the middle-aged lady next to me began shooting strange looks in my direction and I distinctly heard the words "discount student tickets" spoken between her and her companion, I became suspicious and even more defensive than usual.
As luck would have it however, this animosity (imagined or otherwise), did not proceed beyond these isolated incidents, and I detected very little hostility otherwise.

The cause of the general hilarity in this context was none other than Falstaff, a big fat man based on the famed Shakespeare character of the same name. The Opera is the work of Verdi and librettist Arrigo Boito, and is basically a witty, high-class slapstick. As Arthur Lazer writes in his article for culturevulture.net,

"The finely knit machinations of the plot, the inventive
sparkle of the music, and the general tone of forgiveness for human
foibles and weaknesses all come together in a grand amalgam of musical
theater, one that demands a combination of appropriate vulgarity
and refined taste, and the consistency of a well blended ensemble
performance. When all the ingredients are present, Falstaff is as
good as it gets."

Basically, I agree with Mr. Lazer, and to be honest, that scares me. What's next, eating caviar with the boys on my yacht? Engaging in fascinating parlor talk with people in polo shirts and listening to fabulous classical music??? Have I gone yuppie? Have I lost my delectable visions of riding the rails and sleeping in Mediterranean alleyways? What is happening to me???!!!

But yet, I say, Do not fear, oh friends and hypothetical readers of mine. The occasional foray into haute couture is good for a confirmed vagabond and hobo dreamer. In this way, I sharpen my intellect and dig deeper into cultural traditions, coming out stronger and leaner and better for the voyage.
Just as long as I stay away from the polo shirt and chinos, I think I'll be alright.

* Author's Note *

Interestingly, Falstaff is also the name of a beer, apparently quite popular among fishermen, dogs, and American soldiers in the Vietnam War, and is most enjoyed while in the company of friends and fried food. I find it quite possible that I could be as much a fan of Falstaff beer as I am of the Opera. I somehow doubt that my fellow Opera viewers would join me in enjoying this particular cold beverage however. I base this assumption on confirmed evidence of their particular penchant for champagne and the occasional scotch and soda.

05 October 2005


I'm back in business. Back up on the internet diary train. Ready to jump into all of my sworn enemys' camps and declare my allegiance to the movement known as "Tell everyone all the stuff that really have no interest in hearing about, but that you hope they might" - ISM.

I've quit smoking. I can hardly believe it. I'm coming up on three weeks, or is it already three weeks? I'm not sure--something like that--give or take a few days. I've been helped along by the Patch. I've also been helped along by all those people willing to put up with my shit.

It hasn't even been as bad as I thought, but at the beginning I had a rough couple of days. For instance, I nearly strangled my friend Antonella for insisting upon riding her bike while I was forced to walk mine (it had a flat tire).
Although on second thought, to be honest, that shit can be pretty annoying anyway.

Regardless, I'm not nicotine free, but I'm smoke free (except for a whole lot of second-hand smoke) and I feel good, although I'm slowly beginning to expectorate the nearly ten years worth of crap with which I've filled my lungs.

So, that's the news. Now that I'm back I will return with new and exciting adventures, with which I will entice and tantalize my huge and dedicated readership.....

anyone...? anyone...? anyone...?

Oh, and I cut my hair. A lot.