Twitchy twitchy twitch--there are a couple of things that really should be resolved by now that aren't, and they're making me sort of crazily nervous. L. and I just watched a Monty Python episode, which calmed the nerves for half an hour or so, but just as I typed the first half of this sentence there was a massive lightning strike a couple of blocks from here. It's been that sort of week. Hence also my tardy updating. Sorry.
Spoke on a panel on comics at CUNY a couple of days ago, next to a professor who showed a video on how Art Spiegelman put together Maus and Peter Kuper, who gave a slide show on his work. I had by far the least cool presentation--just gave a talk on how contemporary mainstream comics are mostly driven by the idea of the "superreader," somebody who has already read and assimilated hundreds or thousands of other comics, and can understand their cumulative meaning--the subtexts of Spider-Man, of Batman, of the Doom Patrol, etc. that only amassed themselves over time, and how a given story plays with them--and can also understand covert allusions to particular contemporary or past comics. (Which is industry suicide, but is also sort of interesting on a Helen Vendlerite, close-reading-will-save-the-world, classic-lit-interpretive English-major model. I swear, that's what I get for taking English 10 under the Last Bastion of the New Criticism: I think it's interesting when Superman alludes to The Authority alluding to The Avengers, or when Moore and Gibbons pull a Ditko riff.) But I raced through it, didn't have a conclusion, flop-sweated when I saw a couple of people in the audience yawning, etc.
Stuck around after the talk, though, and got to chat with some of the students, who were super-nice. One of them was a hip-hop expert who told me to track down the Last Emperor's "Secret Wars," which I did--pretty good. Consoled myself afterwards by treating myself to dinner at the Bread Bar: ramp kulcha, a dry-cooked asparagus/coconut thing, and an awfully good yogurt/rose syrup-based dessert. Then the Knitting Factory to see the Reputation (got to hang out with Elizabeth Elmore & Maria Catamaro afterwards, hooray).
Then, yesterday, Lisa and Christine Z. and I attempted to go to the "Pleasuredome" festival/performance event in Bushwick. They took our $20/head at the door, and we went in, only to find... very loud trance playing and like six people there, and nothing in particular going on. We got our money back and drove out to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, where we admired the cherry blossoms and the scent of lilacs and ran into a couple of indie-rockers and their babies. Back home, I blew off some steam by cooking: a pilaf-ish rice thing and lentils with ginger, spinach and apples, plus a little cucumber salad. Came out really well, I think.
Today has mostly been devoted to trying to purge some old clothing that we don't like any more. Three big Hefty bags have been filled, & will go to Housing Works, most likely, soon.
The song-a-day project has more or less hit an iceberg where I'm concerned--I've been too stressed to do anything much. Lisa & I agreed on Thursday to each write a song called "Another Armored Animal." Hers is adorable. Mine I couldn't even finish--played a couple of parts, couldn't keep it straight in my head, gave up. I may try to finish & record a sketchy thing called "Kalonji" tonight, but my hopes are not high.