All posts in friends

the aric special birthday show [2007]

aricandp

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I have listened to this exactly 5 times.

01. the night of my birthday – in a crowded Nepalese restaurant – surrounded by all of the people you’ll hear in the show.

02. later that night, with Pierre and Scott – out on the balcony – fists full of whiskey and celebration.

03. a year later, while riding on a bus in Indonesia.

04. at his grave, last year in Paris – with a bottle of champagne, some saucisson and cigarettes.

05. as I sit here and type this.

… for those who didn’t know Pierre and I’s relationship, we fought and drank and laughed and argued like brothers. weeks would go by with one of us not speaking to the other, but in the coming months, you’d find us inseparable.

the weeks leading up to my birthday – the same weeks he was busy making this, my special birthday show – we were supposed to be recording our podcast OMKOS, but he was ‘too busy, man’. and I laid into him for it. ask me how much of a prick I felt like when he walked into the aforementioned restaurant with his Macbook open and a pair of earphones attached.

a very, very large part of me wanted to keep this for myself, but that decision stopped the moment he laughed.

it’s something that should be shared.

my frère français is missed daily, and dearly, but am thankful we have this – and a few other things – to remind us of his muchness.

I love you man, too.

-a

[for anyone who’d like a copy of this, I will gladly send it to you.]

crystals.

[hit play before reading. it works better that way.]

[ryan adams – ‘la cienega just smiled’]

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I stood there, on that terrace, for one final cigarette.

it was a quiet one, and maybe that’s what seemed strange, as it was this spot that had loudly set the stage for the past 5 night’s worth of a million.

see, sometimes you stumble upon a magical place. and sometimes you find magical people. but rarely do the two ever show up at the same time. but sometimes they do. and when they do, and when the podium is set upon a hundred used wine bottles from the vineyards you can see just past the fishing boats from where we would sit night-after-night, opening one-after-another, it becomes something more than just ‘a few people who met while traveling’.

if I’m being honest, my heart hurt a little bit this afternoon when I was taken to the bus station by the hostel owner. I’m glad his wife wasn’t there to hug me by or I might have fought back a tear. or maybe I wouldn’t have fought it back at all.

but there was something about this place.

there were a lot of us, but there were 4 of us. the ones that would stay up the latest, finish the most wine, tell the naughtiest jokes. maybe we ran some people off, and that’s okay. at times the 4 of us were more than 4. we had our different sides that would come out at different times. and with that much carmenere, with that much sauvignon blanc, it wasn’t always clear who we were talking to.

but that’s not what mattered. what mattered was that at any given time, those 4 – or 8 – possibly even 12 – people got on.

and got on well.

my cigarette halfway finished, tar and melancholy combined for a heart heavy to say goodbye to our ritual. a nightly debauchery of our perverse quartet.

the first – a man conflicted in his own transitions, transitioning through his own conflicts – wanting to take as much as he could out of his unique position, but at the same time fighting the tranquility of where he found. then there were the two – a ying and yang with loud Adelaide accents. one spent too much time on her empanadas when she should have been prepping the dinner, over-thinking snacks when it was the stock she should have been starting. the other had a new life, a new destination and a new plan each new day – this idea and that dream, this possibility and that reality. I bought her a box of gum, ’cause I was sad to her leave. she didn’t say ‘thanks’  until the morning she left, but it was worth the wait. and then, there was me – the person who hadn’t personalized with too many persons on this trip – enjoying, for the most part, the solitude. but from the minute everyone sat down that first evening, I suddenly wondered if I’d been missing things like this these past 5 months.

but I thought back on my past adventures and realized I hadn’t missed out on anything, as this doesn’t happen often.

great things in great places with great people don’t often meet – not often at all.

different groups bring different things, but our nightly intoxicated bipolar show made sure all ends were covered.

my cigarette was almost done, and the more I thought about it, the harder it was to pull myself away from it all.

that empty stained terrace. overlooking the colorful city we saw so little of. my hair that still smelled of barbecue ash.

I was really sad to leave.

and maybe the town had a lot to do with it, a mix of a Berkley student – full of color and mentality – with an uncle from Havana. that’s probably what made the man and wife decide that this place – this spot – this street – was where they would build something beautiful. his favorite movie was Field of Dreams, so that should explain what needs explaining. she, an immediate mother to any who walked through her doors – standing there waiting for each traveler to get out of the cab or bus, kissing us each every morning, every night and making the biggest deal out of the wine glasses we gave her as a thank you gift on that last night.

and I mean – a big deal.

she shouted when she opened the boxes, hugging her husband as if they topped her Christmas list. taking out one at a time with the slowest of movements, pouring us all a wine and then holding it up, looking through it smiling.

the four of us – standing close to one another – could all see her smiling, because we could see her through the glass she held.

they were only a few packs of cheap wine glasses, but you would have thought they were full of crystals.

taking one last drag of that view, on that terrace, I teared up and I couldn’t figure out why.

it might have been the fact that I was coming down from a 5-day bender.

it might have been the view.

it might have been the gum.

it might have been a lot of things.

and I didn’t figure it out until I put my cigarette out and went to the kitchen to wash my hands.

there was a handmade wine rack where yesterday, there wasn’t. the owner must have gotten up early and made his wife a special rack for her special prizes.

and I sure wished everyone could have seen it before they left.

but in that wine rack was where in there it all made sense – what it was that had given me a lot, but also had taken away quite a bit from me as well.

the reason I was blue had nothing to do with the wine – it was those new wine glasses, as they too had two sides.

see, what we saw in them the night before was a lady smiling.

but what she witnessed through her glass were four people standing close – four people who needed one another at the same time. in the same place.

in their place.

her shout had nothing to do with the gift, it had to do with what they had achieved with the terrace.

one look at our deranged-yet-inseparable group was what made her hug her husband tightly.

they did it.

they had made a place with something special – that called out to special people.

they had built it and we had come. to play our deviant game of nocturnal vocal baseball – all-stars the night before became retired ghosts the next morning.

that’s when it finally all made sense – why I left with a heavy heart.

it was those new wine glasses.

and through them – as opposed to what was inside them – lay the magic.

because as it turns out, from the way she held that glass, and from what she saw in it, there actually were crystals.

four, eight, or twelve of them, to be exact.

 

yellow.

as many of you know, I grew up poor in Oklahoma. Dad was a pastor and so meager was his salary, that he actually took a second job – working out in the oil fields, so that the 4 of us [Alex hadn’t come along yet] could eat. this was something that stuck with me throughout the years – seeing him come home in his shirt and tie, kissing Mom, shooting a few hoops with me, grounding Ashley for whatever it was she had done that day that deserved a grounding, and then changing into his stained overalls and heading back out.

a few years later, when I got the illegal scholarship to attend a prestigious Christian school, our friends, The Richardson’s, brought over a box of nice used clothes for me to wear – since my jeans with patches and G.I.Joe t-shirts wouldn’t exactly suffice at a preparatory institution like the one I was headed to. so there I was, in a borrowed outfit, in a school where everyone else seemed rich.

long story short – we were poor.

and when you’re poor in Oklahoma, you dream of a world outside. there was this trip to Europe that the school offered and I remember the look in my parents eyes at the dinner table when they told me that $2000 was $1900 more than our family had. they could tell how bad I wanted to go – my grandpa met my grandmother while they were both working at the circus, so gypsy is in all of our blood – but I simply couldn’t – we didn’t have any money. simple as that.

we also grew up without a television, which meant I never got to see National Lampoon’s European Vacation, Lawrence of Arabia or any other films of that time that at least gave the novice dreamer some context.

what I did have, though, were parents who took me to the library every Saturday morning. what started out as Hardy Boys novels [my parents will still comment to this day how quickly I would go through them – reading one in the few hours we were there, then taking 5 more [the limit] back home for that week] turned into Robinson Crusoe, Jacques Cousteau, and anything having to do with pirates or buccaneers.

and then… one day, I picked up a periodical with a yellow border – National Geographic.

from that moment on, I was ruined. the very first thing I remember seeing were the floating markets of Thailand, then the pyramids. The Eiffel Tower and black people in Africa with things in their ears, lips and noses. at that very instant, longing to travel became an obsession, which soon led to collecting maps – something I still suffer from. you should see my diaries, a running commentary of an idealistic lotus eater – spending hours upon hours drawing points of interest and then figuring out ways to get there. could I go overland from Russia to Alaska? what sailing route could be done to hit the South Pacific Islands of my adolescent daydreams – stopping off in, of course, Easter Island? even now, as I reference a map for this post, I made a mental note to the specifics of getting a boat through the Panama Canal.

all of that and all of this from that magazine with the yellow border.

now -flash forward 20+ years and I’m rooftop in Sucre, Bolivia. I had just visited an amazing monastery and was about to post a photo from the top of it when I get a notification on my email. one of those ‘pingback’ notifications you get when someone links to your blog:

I sat there, before clicking the link it came from and lit a cigarette. I did this because there had been a rumor – a rumor– that someone, some organization had picked up my story, video and photos of being the first person up on Machu Picchu for 2012. I lit a cigarette because otherwise, I wouldn’t have known what to do with my hands.

that someone was the magazine with the yellow border.

on top of the page was the name National Geographic.

and below that was my name.

I cannot describe what that felt like, I really can’t.

I read and re-read the story I had written like it was the first time… and it was.

the last time I did it was when it was on this weathered computer, with nothing above my name and title but a few options for font and spacing. but this time, well… you already know what had changed.

it was thrown up online and never in my life have I welled up with so much love and appreciation for my friends and family. the comments, the shares, the reposts and retweets. the private notes sent, the silly little thumbs-up that usually seem so trivial, upped my day with each tiny hit. my Mother emailed back to say that ‘she and Dad were so proud, they were going to have a steak dinner that night to celebrate!’ [which – knowing what you do now, is huge]. different people prefaced the link with different things about my adventures – and, again, I sat there stunned.

that night, I hid quietly in the pub corner and tried to take it all in – a punk kid who barely finished high school, snuck his way into a career in radio, bummed his way around the world for a few years, lied his way into China and then spent 6 months in SE Asia, India and Nepal paying dearly for the arrogance he accrued in Shanghai. someone who splits his adult life between travel and Facebook. a kid who comes from an amazing family, has good teeth and a circle of friends who have lifted him up time-after-time in his sojourns…

basically – the least-deserving candidate to have been published in the traveler writer’s dream, but for some strange reason, I was chosen as that guy.

you know, since I can remember, I’ve struggled with religion – a large part of it having to have been forced upon me, another begin the judgement of others that follows it, the final being how unbelievably fucking dull so many that claim to worship are… but I’ll tell you one thing – you simply cannot have a life as blessed as mine, with constant gifts like the one I write about now, without knowing someone up there has an eye on you.

it could be The Man Himself.

it could be Pierre.

my grandfather.

Kaz.

it could be anyone.

whomever it is, though, I thank them. with as much gratitude as I thank those who have fed me, clothed me, bought my photos and read my little book – people like yourself.

the magazine with the yellow border didn’t tell me how amazing I am. the magazine with the yellow border told me how amazing I’ve been treated by those around me.

and if you’re one of those people… thank you.

I owe you many more stories like this in exchange for your kindness and generosity.

and – brothers and sisters – with my recent yellow boost, you can be damn sure there’s going to be a lot more.

and very, very soon.

a

tuesdays with tara – volume forty seven

Christmas is a time of year that brings out a great deal of emotions in everyone around us. I do hope you appreciate how delicately worded and understated that sentence was.

I am not one of those bah hum bug types that dreads this time of year. For me, Christmas is, and has always been, all about my family; people who I am happy to say I am rather fond of and very attached to.

Yes, I am very much a family girl. Paradoxically, I always tend to live extremely far away from them. I returned from five years in Turkey only to haul ass across the entire expanse of the nation to Oregon. One would think I were making some sort of statement. It’s not the case. It’s just how my hand has played out.

The downside to this is that my one vacation of the year is usually spent flying home for Christmas. I don’t have to go into the headaches of flying during the holidays, or the additional expense of flying that time of year. But I will throw in the added crap fest of flying into a snowy place at that time of year and the flight delays and wing de-icings and emergency road closures. You know, just because I can.

In my entire life, I have only ever spent two Christmases away from my family.

The first was the year I was married (so so long ago!). Having gotten hitched and moved across the country, we were just too busted to fly home. We decided to drive out to Salt Lake City to spend the holiday with my sister in law, who was in similar financial straits that year.

Unfortunately, Salt Lake City freaked me the heck out. So white! So tidy! Everything closes at 6! The Temple is an ever present shadow! The beer is so weak!

We gave it a go. Honestly, we did our best. But I called home and whilst listening to the drunken merriment on the other end of the phone, proceeded to unravel entirely and curl into fetal position to cry myself stupid. It was a dark moment.

The last time I didn’t go home also involved a lack of funds: my first year in Turkey. I cannot tell you how incredibly pathetic it felt to be living in a country that didn’t even celebrate the holiday I would be missing so much. At first I thought the lack of Christmas-related ephemera would be advantageous. It only added to the sense of dislocation and alienation that I felt. I remember thinking that I was now living in a country in which one of the major celebrations involved the slaughtering of animals. It was another dark moment.

I won’t be going home this year. Again, it’s a matter of funds and the lack thereof. But I’ve made peace with all of this and am determined to do my best to make the most of what I do have ( an absolutely lovely man, two sweet kitties and a cozy home) and be happy for the people I love back home. I will miss them. I will yearn to be there. But I am determined not to fall apart and sob big baby tears.

I may even succeed!

She & Him – ‘The Christmas Waltz’

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for Christmas, you should do something nice for yourself and join the ‘T w T’ Facebook page.

take your pic[k]

man, I’m in a good mood – and that might have to do with a whole lotta stuff. the new cover of the book came in this afternoon and we’re almost done and up for public consumption. it randomly got colder in NYC and the golden bath of a clear sunset lit up Lady Liberty on my drive back over the Manhattan Bridge on the way home from work – sometimes I wait on the corner until a tour bus goes over so I have an excuse not to drive 45mph and I can take it all in along with those paying. maybe it’s because I caved and started dieting – a bit. trading my bagel for fruit and eating smaller portions more times a day than my usual treat, which has sadly resulted in me feeling fantastic. maybe it’s because of stuff happening that you can kind of see here, maybe it’s cause I got pals like Johnny B – tattooed as a muthafucka and who’s good in a pinch – but still thanks me for bein’ his pal. maybe it’s because this horribly cheesy pop song that I’d never admit to you soberly that I like, but how often am I writing when I’m not? I’ll tell you now in case you ever look at my iPod and I stutter – it’s this… except I don’t know how to hyperlink [blessing] in this new format, so just know it’s bad. I’m sorry, but I’m not sorry. it came along on a really good fuckin’ day so I won’t apologize… much. I’m mostly sorry. or maybe it’s because twice a day, I cross a bride to/from Gotham – a cousin of mine wrote on my FB wall today that he’d always wanted to visit and here-I-fucking-am. or because I got to see Brother Cohn last weekend and an hour with him lasts my insides for a year. I don’t know. maybe it’s because of a few of the forms in front of me, or what was in the cardboard box that now lies on my bed in the basement that I live where I can sing along badly to this track and [hopefully] no one hears. there’s a grate, so maybe, but it’s Brooklyn and no one cares. or because Sister Jenni is in town and unknowingly reminds me of a not-so-innocence lost? it could be a lot of things – or maybe not. maybe it’s the wine.

or maybe it’s cause sometimes, a good mood just comes along and I like celebrating it.

the spell check suggests it’s the wine.

fuck it – I’m happy.

[and even more so you can’t hear this song – sheesh]

 

ch-ch-ch-changes

photo

as you can see from this fabulous makeover, there’s changes in the air – and it’s not just aesthetical. I’m not sure that’s a word, but this wine disagrees, so we’re going to go with it for now.

for the past 3-4 months – along with finalizing the book, getting it ready for Amazon and iPads and the masses [who else is there, really?] – myself and a few others have been going back-and-forth on a little [now big] idea I’ve had for the better part of 5 years. that new title on the header bar might give you a clue…

it’s a really good idea and is in no way original, but it still just might work. there’s still not a lot I can say about it, which is tough, seeing how I’m crap at keeping exciting news a secret, but I can tell you it’s exciting news. I can also tell you that all of your wildest web dreams are about to come true – I’m about 72% sure of it.

here’s also what I can tell you:

– the OMKOS and rough sundays podcasts have all been archived and will be back here.

– I’m getting back into making little movies.

– I miss local live music.

– my current Flickr is messy.

– I am constantly blessed with meeting the most interesting and wonderful of people.

– there’s another book being worked on.

– and an app.

okay, so I was going to space all of that out over the next few months, but this wine is too tasty.

basically, what I’m saying is this:

check back often.

excuse the mess.

and get ready to see something pretty fuckin’ cool.

more soon.

a

in sync.

otis_rec

the little basement was basically done – one weekend’s hangover overtaking and me gutting the entire section, a few trips to Ikea and a lot of sweeping. my own little cave, with a desk and a couch and a chair and an end table. but it was missing something. I didn’t know what at first, but it lacked soul – somewhere in my new lounge was a spot for one more thing and thank fuck it didn’t feel like it needed to be Swedish. and then it hit me – a turntable. a real record player! for those rainy mornings or times needing to hide from daylight. I had no idea what to buy. growing up on my parent’s one, sure – with Perry Como, The Beatles White Album and a lot of Otis Redding, but since the invention of the compact disc, mini disc and then iPod, my travels had never allowed me a time and place to have one. oh sure, most nights at Scott’s or P’s were huddled around one, but they also had records from years – if not decades – of collecting. and vinyl was considered illegal when I lived in Shanghai. true story. so I never had one and now I wanted one. but again – what to buy? I didn’t know which was which, so I emailed Scott. ‘Scott’ I wrote – only I didn’t write ‘Scott’, I wrote ‘neighbor’, cause that’s what we do – ‘neighbor, am in need of some turntable consulting – what do you suggest I buy?’. and wouldn’t you know it, he wrote write back saying ‘dude!’ [only he didn’t say ‘dude’, he said ‘neighbor’, but I’m trying to mix it up for you] – ‘neighbor! how fucking weird – I was just about to move to [removed] and had P’s old player and didn’t know what to do with it, seeing how I couldn’t take it!’. well, now, if you know anything about the 3 of us, or you’ve read the book, or both, you’ll know how big this was. in Scott’s possession was an heirloom, an oscillating machine of friendship fuel, owned by one, inherited by another and now possibly passed-down to the last. but we had a problem – it was in Shanghai. and you can’t just pack up a turntable in Shanghai – one that’s priceless – and send to the US. so Scott wrote some more ‘might be tricky, though – unless you know anyone coming from Shanghai to the States’ – and even then they would have to take it to the Post Office and send to me in NYC. poop, right? yes – poop. we were so close and I didn’t understand why we would have been allowed to be so close and it not happen. so we left it.

a few days later, another dear friend of mine named Riaad emailed me out of the blue saying he was going to be flying from [you can see where this is going] – flying from Shanghai to Portland, OR and didn’t know if I was in the area or what, but did I need anything from the ‘Hai? I did, actually, and asked him a Godfather’s Daughter’s Wedding Favor, to haul this bad boy over with him, and I’d sort out a way to get FedEx to pick it up and then to me. problem with this is that I didn’t even want to think about how much that might cost, so I didn’t. if I had to eat water and raw toast for breakfast for a month, then I would. fuck it, right? yes – fuck it. the next day, work gave me my dates I was to be in Seattle and [you can see where this is going] – wouldn’t you know it? I was to be 3 hours North of where Riaad was going to be. at the same time. so, I hired a car one weekend, went to see him, got the turntable, took him on a tour of [removed – to be used in the new project launching in Nov], and then brought the turntable back to Seattle with me, through customs on the way back and down the stairs to its new home in Brooklyn.

and what did I see lying on my bed? a large package from editor-at-large, Sunny. it was about 12” x 12” and [you can see where this is going] it was a record by Otis Redding. keep in mind, neither Sunny, nor anyone else – save for Riaad and Scott – knew nothing about my Turntable Adventure 3000, but just so happened to pass a store with this in it, think of me, mail it and somehow time it so that it was waiting there for me on my return.

ri-fucking-diculous.

I plugged it in – got some technical help from Scott and Otis on. the needle is old and it needs some doctoring per the counterweight, but whatever…

see, I’m a big believer in surrounding yourself with things that make you happy on a daily basis. my little Vespa, for example. it’s noisy and smokey and getting a license for it turned into a major pain in the ass, but every morning, when I cross over the Manhattan Bridge, with downtown New York fuckin’ City waking up in front me – a quick look to the left to see Lady Liberty keeping watch – I smile. and I’m not a huge smiler. but I smile. sometimes I shake my head, but most of the time, that’s not a good idea on the bridge on a Vespa. but it’s a daily reminder of my fortune.

and now – when I come home – and walk by this music playing device that has had the hands of the brotherhood on it, I smile as well. I smile because the world works in bizarre and wonderful ways and I have friends who act on instinct and schlep large electronics around the world and make it all work out.

I mentioned it doesn’t sound perfect – and it doesn’t.

who knows why – definitely not me.

but I also don’t want it to be fixed.

cause, brother, I got to be honest…

it sounds perfect.

stuff[s]. and more.

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every time I go to write something, I usually don’t write something because writing takes effort. and I’m trying to enjoy the downtime between this book being officially released [read: on Amazon in the next few weeks, ebooks, etc.] and the next one starting. it’s a collection of short stories between Dec ’08-present. I’m looking forward to starting it, and I’m looking even more forward to being done with the first one. did you know I’ve never even read it? it’s sitting right next to me, as I had to reference it for a slight design change, but I’ve never picked it up. I should though, it’s a good book. but I digress…

this shall be the most random of catch-ups. I’m doing it more for me than you, but that shouldn’t come as a shock:

– it’s a shame we lost in the final minutes of the Women’s World Cup. it’s a shame we don’t give a shit. but well-played [for the first 108 minutes, at least], girls. you actually made female professional sports exciting. weird.

– the Vespa Saga continues. that actually deserves its own post and I will – as soon as I’m official – post the entire headache. if I do it now, I’ll just be annoyed.

– speaking of annoyed. I can no longer hide my insane jealousy for Mel and Nick’s choice to put their stuff in storage, quit their [very successful] careers and took off sailing the world for a few years. the only thing that outdoes my envy is my intrigue. and respect.

this has been a favorite summer song for some time, and it is again this summer. hey, you should make it one of yours.

– oh! the second day in Philly I wanted to tell you about? the crazy castle [yes, castle. see below] we went to, built by the eccentric tile-maker James Mercer? one of the coolest places in the States, I kid you not. the website doesn’t do it justice. well worth a day trip from Philly. no photos allowed inside, but I got a few of the exterior.

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– the hair stylist convinced me to get something called a ‘keratin blowout’ done to my locks. I’m still confused to what happened.

– the ‘101 best sandwich’ attempt died out [shocking!], as they were all a] more than $10 and b] beginning to not be within walking distance from my office.

– my office is in the exact area the term ’23 skidoo’ was coined. good band as well.

– I haven’t picked up my Leica once since moving to NYC. this hipstamatic stuff is brilliant.

– ah. yes. photos and NYC – that reminds me. took a shot of this the other week and made a point of going back when it was open. one of the coolest shops I’ve ever been in. worth a trip to Park Slope. am pretty sure it’s a Dave Eggers project.

– speaking of iStuff. if you have an iPad, download this. Brother Scott did the music for it and it’s been charting for weeks now on Apple.

– while I’ve always been mildly interested in the occult, reading ‘The Serpent and The Rainbow’ has elevated my curiousity in voodoo and black magic to a point of virtual hopelessness. I’m obsessed. have never seen the film, but have it downloaded for when I’m done.

– speaking of things to watch, I get about 40 minutes a week of time to do it, but Californication is one of the smartest shows ever to come out of the States. season 5 especially.

– this also looks amazing.

– NYC is a fucking fun town. has anyone ever said that before?

– Brother Ben [remember Brother Ben?] has a new project he’s working on and needs help. am hoping to interview him before the deadline, but if not, try and wrap your head around this.

– I rarely drink beer these days. if you email me, I’ll let you in on the best kept secret in the wine world. I’m buying it by the case and would love to say ‘and I’m even dropping some weight in the process’, but no. it is good, though. and cheap.

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– please stop using photos of your child for your profile picture on Facebook. Brother Cohn wrote last year that ‘I’m friends with you, not your child’ and it caused a shitstorm. why? I don’t know. photos of your kids on Facebook? of course! photos of you + your kids in your Facebook profile? sure! photos of your kids as your profile photo? no. stop it. it’s weird.

– this little blog is about to have some major changes happen to it. I’m kind of excited. I hope you like it. it’s cool. and exciting… thus, the excitement.

– a copy of my book was handed to Annie Clark [St. Vincent]. I’m totally keeping an eye out for her next album to see if I’m mentioned.

– I’m turning 35 in a few weeks and change. please don’t forget.

– this is a fun town.

– see ya later.

and so it goes.

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I’m on a bus headed to the Hamptons. and last week, I moved to New York City. it’s all gone a little bit silly. the other night I had to stop and walk into a tattoo parlor and get a new one. it was one of those moments when I wanted to remember. walking with friends, through Brooklyn. I had just moved to New York City. for a good job – and I hate writing that for many reasons. how long I had wanted no part of it. one of my bosses reads this sometimes, so admitting that I walked into the most amazing opportunity means negotiating for more money won’t ever happen. but that’s okay, ’cause I’m being given a very good salary and every day I cross that wonderful bridge and see Manhattan. now maybe that doesn’t mean anything to you or maybe it does – but there’s a magic that happens every morning when I see that skyline. I write like no one has ever said this about New York City before.

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I’m late for meeting friends cause I’m too busy taking photos. that’s what this was about, an apology for bein’ away and then I’d point you to my daily little shots from around this town. I’m done posting the diaries – if you want to watch ’em, they can be found here. they’ll help the book make sense. I wrote a book as well. I wrote a book and then I moved to New York City. today my nephew turns 1 year old and I can’t wait to tell him about his first birthday I’ll be celebrating up in a gorgeous house. you won’t believe this house, brother. I didn’t believe I was moving here. last year I got a little tipsy when he was born. my nephew, that is. he turns me to mush. this town makes me say the f-word a lot. and a few times I found myself sayin’ ‘hey, I’m pretty fucking [see] happy about right now’.

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there’s a really pretty girl who’s far away and I wish she could see all of this stuff, but then again, I might want to fix up the basement before she comes. oh yes, I’m moving into a basement tomorrow when I’m back from the Hamptons.I moved to New York City and now I’m headed to the Hamptons and then I’ll come back and move into a basement of a cool house and then I’ll wake up on Monday and go to work, a work I like and then that night, I’m going to have a launch party for the book I just wrote.

ain’t that a kick in the pants.

the big apple. NYC. the city that never sle… etc.

Ethan Trembley: ‘You can ride with me; I’m going to Hollywood!’

Peter Highman: ‘Los Angeles. No one calls it ‘Hollywood’. You’re going to Los Angeles’

[Due Date]

I suck at keeping secrets. I might have mentioned that before. in fact, how in the world I managed to keep the video that Josie’s friends and I made her quiet for so long was agonizing. I’ve also, in my past few years of constant fluctuation, not been one to say ‘hey! _______ is happening!’, because, along with a first initial ‘A’ and a last name ‘Queen’, the heavens also get their laughs out of my plannings. so no, I don’t usually mention something until it’s all done. I rarely say things like… oh, I don’t know – ‘I’m moving to New York City!’ because it’d suck if for some reason, I wasn’t able to move to New York City.

but I’m moving to New York City.

[exclamation point]

for the past few months, I’ve been in negotiations/talks/interviews with a funky company there and we finally got to that point where they said ‘would you like to come here?’ and I said ‘sure’ and they said ‘we’ll pay you this much’ and I said ‘sure’.

that was all last night. lots of things to sort out, of course, but I’m going to go ahead and take the chance on mentioning it now.

I’m moving to New York City.

this might not be a big thing to you, if you grew up in a big city, but I didn’t. I grew up in Oklahoma. sure, I’ve spent enough time there to have a favorite bar and a strong group of friends, but I’ve never lived there. I’ve never taken the subway to work. where I had to be on time. which means I need to understand the subway.

‘oh god, the J train is running late again!’ I’ve seen friends write on Twitter. I’ve always wondered what that’s like.

another friend just today wrote a moving piece about the people on the train. don’t read it at work though, you’ll cry.

but yeah.

I’m kind of excited.

a job I like. surrounded by people I adore. in a city that’s rumored to be kind of fun.

so, you know… away we go.

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