and this shall be the new portrait

it's a great feeling and a slightly worrying feeling. I remember at my wedding the fellas on the ground decided to put me aloft a bunch of times and it was a great feeling, i knew the hands between me and the wet stone below and while some of them had to grab me in slightly uncomfortable spots as I fell back to earth, I trusted them. Similarly, the first second or two after my airplane leaves the ground on take-off.. that moment where thrust weight and lift all are in dramatic shift, I love that moment. The relatively rare and new up-in-the-airness that I'm approaching now is my career; the 9-12 hours of 5/7ths of my week where I hope to aim enough money to live in NYC with a mortgage and a car without losing my mind or my ability to goof around. For the past 8 years I've been grounded with a job retouching at the same place. I routine I knew and appreciated, and yet, it had reached an end point. I had stopped growing, the position was changing in negative ways, and I found that when I looked back on my last 8 years, sure I had cooler stuff, but had I grown as a person? gotten funnier? smarter? I'm not sure.

So here we are, leaving the ground of that job and taking flight on what could be a great career move, or a great change to re-appreciate certain things, or crash trying to establish the proper balance between that lift, the thrust of my wills and the weight of living in 2014. This take-off will begin January 1st and I'm not sure what I'll do, but I do know that I want to try and do it smartly. I aim to have a little bit of time to spend on some of the personal activities I've up-til-now pushed to the wayside. Things like: Dangerhole (cover band with Fiamma), flesh out some compositions I've been writing, practice some drums, some painting ideas that have been resonating, some woodcuts, travels, walking tip-to-tip from manhattan south to manhattan north,things like this. Anyway, it's an exciting time, a time to do some things right if approached correctly, and that is my aim. Most importantly I'm keeping my goal as simple as possible: happiness however I can establish it for the short and long term. While that is a thickly settled request, I think its important to keep it as simple as that for now. Fiamma makes this face when she's not loving something, it's a great face with lips all pursed to the side, but you wouldn't want your disposition to actually mirror that face you know?

On the flip side of that mentality, let me tell you about green man. Now I don't know how legit this information is, but either way its a good analogy, just strengthened if its based on a real thing. So this weekend, Fiamma was away in Mexico, and as such when she's gone, I stay at home, clean the apartment, get weird and eventually as 6pm rolls around I'm thinking it might be a fine time for a nap induced by an historical documentary. This weekends selection was POMPEII: BACK FROM THE DEAD! 

Now I should've known from the crappy subtitle that this documentary was going to be ripe with overindulgent recreations, a narrator with a stupid voice and Dan-Brownesque story stretching. But since Pompeii interests me I gave it a go. Not a full-go, more a half-go, or even a third-go as I only got through a third of the pseudo-documentary before I was worn too thin by the grating narration and thickly-laid-romanticizing to continue. But before I stopped, they were discussing a newer bunch of bones found recently and hypothesizing about their lives from the finds. One man was surrounded by his wealth and he and another seemingly-rich-bag-o-bones but what's more important to my story is that their bones were dyed green. The idea being that they had on gems and jewels that have since melted into their burnt bones and marred the color of the bones. Now I don't fully understand that because I assumed the heat needed to melt gems would probably also incinerate bones, and therein lies my questioning of the story, but more than that, what's interesting is the story that this tells. These two people were obviously very wealthy, so much so that they decided to stay in a town that just suffered a giant earthquake just to save their riches from being looted by the remaining Pompeiiers who also did not leave town between earthquake and eruption. They huddled in a basement with their riches and thought that was the most important thing. They probably worked a lot and led a less-than-fulfilling life just to become rich, die protecting their spoils, and yet a few thousand years later no one knows their names, they are just bags of bones stained green as marks of their hanging onto the less-than-important things in life. A Crimson A, but not crimson, and not an A - nevermind forget that metaphor.

(That painting above is a russian painters depiction of the last day of Pompeii, but it's a great painting and the small scale doesn't do it justice, so here's some close ups I pulled from the Google Culture Institute which is an art resource I love)

you can reeeealllly zoom in

even more than this~!

I'm not doing the greatest job at telling this story, but what I am trying to bridge is their story as an analogy to the everyman, or more specifically myself. What I am telling myself is that priorities need to be in check on more than just an economically-comfortable level, because in the long-run-grand-scape-of-things who cares if you're rich or even if you're respected professionally. Eventually you'll just become a bag of bones and if you're priorities are skewed the only way people will remember you is because your bones are green. For example, even the wealthiest people such as the Borgias or Medici's in the Italian Renaissance, or people that have mastered their craft like the famous sculptors of 3rd century BC greece get forgotten in the long run. Who can name me the best painter in Germany in the 1600s? Who can name me the fastest runner in the first Olympics? Who can name me the most talented Shakespearian actor? Or more importantly, who cares? All of these things I'm sure held great esteem for a blink of an eye, but now are forgotten and it makes me realize the accumulation of wealth or craft are seemingly pointless, I want to focus less on those goals and more on just having a good time. Now that came off a little hippy-ish, but enjoying this little ride and helping others out on their ride is a much better way to spend ones time than just becoming rich, or the best something that there is in any field. This whole rant is just about priorities, and I think mine are sometimes on the precipice of being slightly skewed and I want to try and recalibrate, which is what this whole phase of my life is about I think. Calibrating myself correctly to enjoy my time here rather than putting too much weight on too trivial of things, because in the long run they lead to disappointment and an insatiable hunger that is fueled by worthless aims. At my job that I am leaving, I realized that there were things in the works that we're not making me a better person. In fact the situation was making me grumpy, I was caring too much what certain people think and caring too much if someone at work opted to not talk with me for the past 3 months here, these things are trivial and getting out of this routine was vital now before the wrong perspective consumed me. Now don't get me wrong, some of the people at my work are great, and some aspects of my job I really liked, but there were enough things that were ruining my day that the payoff wasn't worth it. My only fear now is how to find this better balance? I am grateful that I can realize the need or temporary-lack of this ideal, but how do I turn it into a reality while still making enough money to live and enjoy life. That balance is tricky and I am not sure exactly how to get it but I think it's worth trying. I could talk on this for a lot longer, but I think this musing is getting boring. It was important to me to get some things off my chest I guess and semi-verbalize my train of thought these past few months. I am definitely at a cross roads and aim to do it right is all.

In fact, I got my first taste of the nice side of the right life this weekend. Saturday Morning, I woke up slowly, and remembered an smell that hit me earlier in the week. A right nice smell of a toasted everything bagel with butter. So I walked to the newest of 3 Bergen Bagels, ordered myself my food with 2 spare bagels just in case. Then as I sauntered slowly in the morning sun feeling pretty good because Coltrane was playing Transitions thru my earphones and into my psychey, I was stopped by a homeless man who wanted money. Now sometimes I say I don't have money when I do but I'm just not sure what kind of change or ones and I'd hate to pull out my wallet and only have $20's and then feel like a jerk. But this time I knew I actually had NO money at all, but I did have 2 spare bagels, so I gave him one, and he was appreciative, and it made me feel good. And it made me think of always  buying an extra bagel just in case there's someone hungry. Then I continued walking to a park I've never sat in, read a book by Graham Greene who's writing I am really enjoying at the moment. I also brainstormed a new art idea about junk mail, and slowly ate my bagel and enjoyed the color of the changing trees. Then riding that slow high of autumn mornings, I headed home with coffee in hand, wrote a song for my friend Adam for a possible commercial, cleaned my apartment and then got into that bad pompeii documentary. All in all, a day well spent at a reflective pace while still begin productive. I felt better inside on that Saturday than I ever feel on a weekday at work, the payoffs were small but the interactions and steps were honest and felt true and I over that.

Now I love weekends, love the hell out of em , and this weekend our annual camping trip to Anna Michener Cabin is taking place. And I love this weekend. I love the cabin, the hikes, the time with my brother and friends, making dinner on the Edison stove, smoking a pipe and drinking whisky around the fire. Here's a pic or two from previous travels:

this first one is enroute with Creggy

there I am up in the air again. but look at these calves on Dutch!? Craig put it best when he said "you'd really kill in a kilt"

Speaking of travels, I will be journeying to Mexico in December as Fiamma will be there finishing up her pictures for her PHAIDON book. That's right, my talented wife has a book deal and is shooting pictures of mexican food and culture for a world-release of a phaidon book i'm dang proud of that gal. All of this amidst balance a job, the beginnings of an acting career and daily rigamarole of life. Autocorrect just fixed my misspelling of rigamarole and i feel pretty good that it knows that word, and knows it better than me.

Ok, as per usual I'll add some pictures at the end of the musing, and now I'll go and update the news section of the site. Talk with you soon.

this here pic is a collage which I am getting back into because of my new idea for a junk-mail art project. I'll talk about that in the NEWS section

and then the inverse of a statue head, the crouching Aphrodite. I recently read a book about the Venus De Milo called DISARMED. It was a great read, but they spoke a lot about statues and the a little bit about the 4 poses of Aphrodite. The crouching one is most rare and I find an interesting pose for a Greek statue.

I played a little piano this weekend and I love doing that, not this little of a piano though

I think this last picture sums up this musing better than I could with all those words I used

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