I’m just elated about so very much right now. Because there is so much and it is so random in so many ways, I’m going to title and number them with a synopsis following each. I’m going to do my best to put them in chronological order. We’ll see how well I do.
[Note: There were far too many “I’m” and “I’m going” in that four sentence intro.]
[Author has taken note.]
1. Harlem Nights
Holy Shit. As a new apartment renter, I wanted nothing more than to have a most fabulous first party. With friends and freaks all together, booze and bud, and maybe a little lip too, there is no better way to christen a new pad. And so that is just what Roger and I did; with me doing all the stressing. And I’ve learned, because it was such a success, that the stressing was unnecessary and simply irreverently fueled my psychotic, quixotic, meticulous, maniac-like mind instead of, perhaps, focusing on fielding an even more eclectic guest list. But I’m fine, so it doesn’t matter. And besides, I’m going to freak out and stress all over again before the next bash.
Anyway, on with a few highlights: A few words back I mentioned an eclectic guest list. Was it ever. I think I’ve been so taken aback by the cluster fuck of random people because I’ve never had the type of experience. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been a numerous NYC house parties; and christ, I’ve hosted a couple Connecticut Keggers in my lifetime as well. But the difference: this was my NYC house party at mine and Roger’s (and temporarily Kevin’s) abode. Friends from each and every network that Roger and I are apart of made some sort of appearance. Our old time city friends and even some from home, Sabor Latino and the Pace Press, soccer teammates and fellow Semester at Sea Sailors(!) were all in attendance, with even more in between. And then there are the friends of friends of friends that were even delightful. I guess I’ve never been able to have a party to such caliber as my living locales were a hindrance when it came to revelry. But that’s now thankfully changed.
The only hindrance to partying came around 4am when we ran out of beer and just could not stomach any kind of hard booze. We’d resulted to funneling beers out of a whiffle ball bat. My former roommate of two years, Kevin Schaffert, had the brilliant idea of slicing off one end of the bat in order to fill it with beer and chug, chug, chug. My earlier slicing endeavors involved limes and my finger tips ended up bloody. But the bat funnel worked. And after Roger, Kevin, and I each had our time at the bat, suddenly it hit Kevin and me: Meatloaf. And so, just like old times (those in the New School Dorms), we severed up a killer dish of “Paradise by the Dashboard Light.” In our drunken stupor however, we naturally cranked the volume of the bass bumping beat. After the almost nine minute tune finished, Kevin proceeded to the bathroom where he promptly passed out until later that morning. This, my friends, is not at all unusual for Kevin after the night that had just ensued.
Suddenly, after laughing and photographing with Christina and Roger, the buzzer rang: It was the Police. Or the Harlem 5-0, as my father aptly put it once I told him. Apparently, someone called in a noise complaint. Whoooopsie! I tried knocking on doors days prior to the party, but no one answered on our fucking floor!
Roger buzzed them in and up they came to find only two people in sight. Christina had slipped in the bedroom and like I mentioned, Kevin was, well, resting. Roger opened the door with me smiling and laughing on the couch, probably looking more like a mental patient than a drunk, they said to quiet down, that it was 4:30 in the morning. And that was it. No yelling, no unnecessary questioning, nor was there even a sense of power, sarcasm, or degradation in their tone of voice. Perhaps if there were more than 2, a mere 2 people, they would have been a bit harsher. But cheers to you, NYPD…for once.
The next morning was nothing but laughter. Christina had to wake up and practically drag Kevin out of the bathroom around 9am when she had to use the pisser; Roger woke up for all of five minutes before going back to sleep only to wake up maybe a half an hour before he had to leave for work…fucker; and though I was still a bit lit when I woke, I wasn’t hung over and it turned out to be a delightful day. I even got my hair cut and liked how it came out, which is never the case during the first week. Never.
2. Showtime’s Dexter
Dexter, America’s favorite serial killer will be at it again come September 30, and I just couldn’t be more excited!!! I was thankfully able to get Kim hooked in time to start jumping into the second season with a partner, as opposed to viewing it solo.
In light of her loving it, she called to tell me how much she did in fact love it on Monday. My lobbying efforts paid off. So, I ran down there after work and we watched one of the season’s most revealing episodes. It was great and it got me yearning and bleeding for the new season.
There is so much I love about the show. Michael C. Hall being either number one or two, leading or closely trailing the shows weekly introduction. His morning routine is turned into an abstract of his job and life: that of a blood analyst for the Miami Police Department and also an incredibly successful and absolutely brilliant serial killer. From shaving to shoe lace tightening, and frying to slicing, every facet of the show is beautifully and elegantly encompassed in the opener, week after week.
I’m sure you’re bothered by him killing people. You’re simply more caring than I am. But trust me; he’s the type of killer you adore, not abhor. You don’t even love to hate him. You just love him. So go. Read about or even better, watch the show.
3. The Metropolitan Museum’s newest exhibit: “The Age of Rembrandt”
It was just two weeks ago when I started to hear the names of some of the world’s most famous 17th Century European artists: Rembrandt, Vermeer, ter Borch, and Hals, Steen and di Hooch, Maes too. And then to learn that all these names and so many more would be on display together, at the greatest Museum in the world, for the first time. That is right folks, this is the Met’s first time it has ever displayed all of it’s 17th Century Dutch Baroque Art at once, together, in one exhibit!
Not only had I been baited by talk of this exhibit for the past few weeks, I ended up indeed hooked by Holland Cotter’s review of the show in this mornings Times:
"With his opulent paint, acute
ambition, stumblebum’s mug and pilgrim’s soul, Rembrandt van Rijn was a god of
17th-century European art. Some 20 paintings by him — the largest number outside
Amsterdam — pulse through “The Age of Rembrandt: Dutch Painting in the Metropolitan Museum of Art,” a show with an elusive heart."
With some 228 paintings on display (which never have more than a third have been on display at once), from each and every Baroque genera, it was a cluster fuck of sin and seduction, professionalism and portraiture, vanitas and virginity. It was obscene, in the most artistically overwhelming way. Of course it was also a cluster fuck of people: exhausted Europeans, WASPs in town for the day, and those that had no idea what they were looking at. And then there were the regular’s: New Yorker’s, intrigued, art admirers, and free—for the day anyway.
There I was, sitting in the reading room that was apart of the exhibit and on display were other paintings along with the newly published 17th Century Dutch Catalog. I was in awe. It is a massive, two volume, wonderfully composed art literary document. I spent almost an hour reading the section on my favorite 17th C Dutch artist: Jan Hanvick Steen. Steen was a revered painter and savvy humorist. His’s paintings are noted for their sexual innuendos, self and family portraiture, wit and underlying theme. His dissolute households are quintessentially Baroque and were part of the reason American’s adored them. His juiced jovial smile that adorned his face in every poignant snapshot scene allowed the painting to exude Steen, even if he was just acting his way through the piece.
Suddenly, while I was delving deeper and deeper into the paintings of Steen, an obnoxious cell phone ring rang. I was just appalled. Because of this ear piercing sound, I was immediately thrown off reading course and I’m sure near by viewers concentration went awry as well. I just could not believe it; I never can, as phone silencing is something one does before they even enter a museum. I looked up, noted her age (50s), overdone make-up, dyed blonde hair, and saw her slowly reach the phone, take it from her jacket front boob pocket, open it, then just close it in order to silence it. She didn’t even push a button to turn it off! She slipped it back in her pocket and I slipped her a line of my own: “Could you please silence your phone?” I said with a polite yet pointed tone. You’d think she was being scolded by the police. She could barely respond: “What are you talking about, I’m sorry,” exclaimed her snooty, thick accent. To which I replied: “This is a museum.” As I finished my statement backed by a glare, I looked back down only to smile more as I heard her say to the person she was with, “Who is that guy, as if he’s never made some sort of mistake. Piece of shit. Who is he?” And yes, she did call me a piece of shit, to which I just chuckled. I’m sure she heard. She continued to babble as I continued to read.
I caused quite the stir. People gave looks of approval and also of perplexity. But really, I was just looking out for every proper museum goers well being. It really bothers me when guards do not hold up the integrity of the museum, and since there was not one to do the scolding, I did. And it was great; Steen would have toasted and laughed.
While writing, I grabbed my 17th C Dutch Art text book and flipped through the pages and as I did, I noticed painting after painting, all with the notation: New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art. I realized then that the Met really did have all these pieces and now, finally, you can see them all, together at once.
Run, don't walk, to this show of masters.