Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Boston is glorious, soaked in immaculate June sunshine and kissed by 75F with a breeze. We spent the day on pavement, in planes and taxis, and in conference rooms rife with dark wood, modern art, and dizzying harbor views. My meetings went well, the company is good, the fish are jumping, and the cotton is high. But the research guy is pretty beat. Get thee to a bedroom, Aaron! more 2-morrow. peace & love - A

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Come On And Roll Out The Barrel

I'm sick of writing about my business trip, so let's have a barrel of fun! : - ) I turn your attention to Time magazine's 50 Nifty Websites You Should Check Out.Some of my personal favorites: Baby Name Popularity by Decade and Year (Aaron is as popular now as Thomas and Robert!), Dead Or Alive which confirms whether a given celebrity has checked out, and has a list of living celebrities over 90! (among the living: King Kong victim Fay Wray, 97, Brasilia creator Oscar Niemeyer, 96, Green Acres' Eddie Albert, 96, Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal, 95, and keeper of the US economy Milton Friedman,91 ), and National Geographic's One Stop Research, endless fun with plants, animals, fish, and rocks.

Changing brands. The website list singled out some recently improved, better mousetraps for news updates (www.news.google.com), maps (maps.yahoo.com) and reference material (refdesk.com). Pictured above: the world's oldest citizen, Hendrikje van Andel-Schipper of Holland, who turned 114 yesterday. I'm off to Boston at noon, more presentations through tomorrow and then two days of hanging out with my pal Erik Andersen. Happy half-year mark!

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Tuesday, June 29, 2004


G'morn. One meeting down, four to go. Brief break. Here's the taxi explosion that occured right near my building last week (see my Wed June 23 post). I was Johnny On The Spot with my digicamera. Like a cheesy local newscast. : - ) Here are two more shots:

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No Place Like Home

Avoided the red-eye! Meetings went both well and quicker than expected, and Stuart, master of sales and logistics, got us to LAX in time for the 4pm, and even upgraded me to business. Sweet sleep, in my own sweet bed. Feels like a windfall, like finding a $50 bill on the floor : - ) Redondo Beach, pictured left, was the site of Seagate, our third and final meeting. Seagate are a laid back bunch housed in a ramshackle blue-and-white wood-frame 60s mall by the harbor, made up of contiguous Victorian houses. With the Pacific Ocean gleaming in our sleepy faces.. Pleasant dreams, fellow denizens of Slumberland.. : - )

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Monday, June 28, 2004

LA Confidential

Between us, baby, I am one tired dude. And the week's just begun. Dude, where's my stamina? : -) Yesterday's post was unusually meaningful. Read on. Best, Aaron

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Sunday, June 27, 2004

See You, Dad...

Hello from L.A. Just arrived after a circuitous ride from LAX with a clueless and ill-tempered driver who has yet to master rudimentary English. : - ) I am writing this on the TV in my room, the only internet access offered here. I enjoy the novelty though it is cumbersome. This is to interet access what an attic is to a penthouse. My analogy du jour.
See you, Dad, refers to the trendy Latin restaurant where I'm dining with Brian in three hours, Ciudad.

Happy Pride Day, my NY friends. Sorry I can't be there with you. Were it not for this business necessity, I would have actually marched, with either Sundance, my gay outdoors club, or with Vassar's gay/lesbian/etc alumni/ae.

Pride Day 1979 marked my gay coming of age. During the parade I had my first passionate kiss with another man, Michael from the gay youth group I'd just joined.
He sought me out, saying he didn't want to let someone that sweet and cute get away. ; - ) In his eyes I guess I was, and he made me feel a rush of giddy adrenaline-pumping joy and love. He came back to Long Island with me that night, my family was away, and that was my beautiful first true adult sexual experience. For that whole summer, Michael became my pal, only with sex. Though only 17 to my tender 19, Michael knew the ropes, and he taught them to me. We later lost touch. I've never been able to find him, despite a few tries. He was last seen in Florida. I wonder if he's alive... I wish I could thank him and hug him. These are my thoughts as I mark a quarter-century as a practicing homosexual : - ) Practice makes perfect. : - )

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Rushing to the airport! To LA, meetings tomorrow, dinner w Brian tonight, red-eye home tomorrow night. The texture of the next two weeks. I will, though, rise to challenge of regular posting! Happy Pride Day! Love, Aaron

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Saturday, June 26, 2004

My New Hero!

Don't miss Napoleon Dynamite! It'll make you laugh and squirm, and see a little piece of my teenage years (yes, i was that clueless)... : - )

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Friday, June 25, 2004

Canine Miranda… : - )

The Dogs with the Tutti Frutti Hats? Apparently, Denver and Baby were inspired by my Carmen Miranda post last Friday. : - ) The twosome reside in LA with Ms. Kristen Gilmartin, an artist friend of Brian’s.

Quote of the Day:
“When it comes to film, I’d rather see a flawed masterpiece than a successful mediocrity” – Aaron, June 25, 2004

Two of my favorite flawed masterpieces of the past five years are “Magnolia” and “Donnie Darko,” in increasing order of risking confusion and discontinuity by aiming high…

I lunched yesterday with Deborah Papson at ultra-mod multi-colored Genki Sushi on 46th near Madison and had a grand time. Genki is a ‘kaiten,’ or conveyor belt sushi restaurant. Diners may sit at a long ameoba-shaped bar on stools and watch the sushi roll by, choosing pieces on a ‘just-in-time’ delivery basis. : - ) Deborah and I forwent (past of forego?) this and sat by the window.

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Thursday, June 24, 2004

Words For Our Times

Wordspy is always a reliable stand-by for a good post. I have three great original post ideas which require some “studio work,” but below you will find amusement for today. At left: me on Fire Island, a independent Democrat lost among the Log Cabin Republicans….

hand salsa noun. The grimy substance that accumulates on a mouse or other input device after extended use.
jamais vu n. The illusion or impression of never having experienced something that has actually been experienced many times before (cf. déjà vu).
joy-to-stuff ratio n. (joy-too-STUF ray.shee.oh) n. The time a person has to enjoy life versus the time a person spends accumulating material goods.

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Wednesday, June 23, 2004


This morning a taxi crashed and burned near my corner, as I left for work it was spewing black smoke before an army of firemen. There were no crash victims in sight, and no ambulances. Yes, I rubbernecked and thoroughly photographed the scene, from a discreet distance. But my motivations were certainly not sensationalistic or tacky - photography is about capturing life. There are many views on this, and my views are always evolving. Here's an ad for disaster stock photograhy

Dinner with Jon at Japonica was a great two-hour conversation on a banquet of interesting topics. The sushi was exquisite and expensive. Actress Clare Danes was dining two tables away. Noticing the horrified look on poor Jon's face as I reached for my camera, I agreed it wouldn't be considerate to take her picture...

from Wordspy:
meatloaf (MEET.lohf) n. "Homemade Spam" - Forwarded messages, jokes, lists, and other unsolicited noncommercial email messages sent by an individual to a large number of people.
door dwell noun. The amount of time it takes for the door to close after having boarded an elevator.
learning a living present participle. Working in a job that requires the constant learning of new knowledge and skills. (From Marshall McLuhan: "In the age of electricity and automation, the globe becomes a community of continuous learning, a single campus in which everybody irrespective of age, is involved in learning a living.")

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Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Days Of Wine And Diapers

Here's some more gallery art from Saturday. Last night I got 10 sorely needed hours of sleep. I'm in a work crunch, since I have to make presentations in the US next week and in Europe the week after, details to follow. Tonight I'm dining with Jon Schwartz, who worked for me at JPM, to celebrate his leaving the bank, traveling to Portugal, China, and Vietnam this summer, and starting his masters in international affairs at NYU this fall. Jon's my favorite person to discuss world affairs and current events with, he always brings a unique perspective that's intelligent but true to his liberal heart.

AOS abbreviation. All options stink; a situation in which there is no optimum or ideal course of action.
cutensil (kyoo.TEN.sul) n. A kitchen implement or other utensil with a cute design
diaper change noun. A visit by a computer technical support employee to a troublesome user. "[A] diaper change [is one] of several daily visits by a tech-support person to the desk of a particularly cranky, lazy, or technically incompetent user."
—"Jargon Watch," Wired

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Monday, June 21, 2004

anacronym noun. An acronym where few people remember what each letter stands for (anachronistic + acronym).
dining al desko (al.DES.koh) adv. having lunch or dinner at one's desk. Al desko is a clever play on the adverb alfresco, which means "outdoors" or "in the open air."
butt call n. An unintended phone call placed by sitting on one's cell phone.

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Eve Of Summer, Slope of Park

Yesterday flew by quickly, all 15 hours and 6 minutes of it... But it ended nicely, in Park Slope, having dinner with Bart. I arrived there an hour late, 12 blocks further south than I had hoped, after a series of train calamties and miscalculations. Happily, I was able to walk those 12 blocks right down the middle of 7th avenue in the glowing sunset, since a street fair had ended an hour ago but the traffic barricades were still up.

Honey duck at Lemon Grass Grill was succulent, a sensory cyclone of sweet crunchy duck breast, ginger, baked apple, and vegetables. It was lovely to see Bart, who will be moving to Park Slope, together with his boyfriend Ashley, with whom he just celebrated one year together! Happy anniversary, you two..

After dinner, we strolled in the twilight past Grand Army Plaza to the Brooklyn Museum, now ravishing and cutting-edge with its newly enhanced façade. Now, complementing the greek columns is a post-modern glass entrance (see pic from google below), with catwalk promenades and white brick stairways with giant-size steps to encourage sitting down. My own photo, pictured above: museum artifacts decorating the Eastern Parkway/Brooklyn Museum subway station.

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Sunday, June 20, 2004

The Longest Day

Happy Summer Solistice, Everyone!!! We New Yorkers are reveling in today's 15.1 hours of sunlight and 16.3 hours of visible light, that's as long as a New York Day will ever get... Up at St John the Divine's there's a Summer Solistice festival, it's among today's possible forays. I want to digisnap myself some more art to savor as background slide shows on my wide computer screen, so I may hit the Met, by way of Central Park. And, best of all, dinner with my dear pal Bart, somewhere near slope of Park...

More about !!! (pictured left relaxing)... What an exciting band! It's an 8-person ensemble and some are multi-instrumental, so there can be up to 4 percussionists, 2 guitarrist, a bass player, a keyboardist, and 2 horn players... Lead vocalist Ric Offer is a shaggy-haired, hunky, agit-prop of a jumping bean, his growling, gravely, but energetic chanting suggests Lou Reed freaking out on speed... : - ) They embody the dancepunk movement, and they make you shake your butt to hyper-urgent politically-themed grooves, which flesh themselves out over 6,7,8, even 9 minutes, shifting angles, exploring textures, and building in cathartic intensity. "There's Bush's America, and the America of the rest of us. But don't worry, we're gonna get it back!," yelped Offer, to thunderous clapping and footstomping as he launched into "Pardon My Freedom," followed by their signature song, "Me And Giuliani Down By The Schoolyard (A True Story)." Odd invitation: "Come to our afterparty, but not unless you're drenched in sweat and cum..."

Finally, more art from yesterday's gallery hop...

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Saturday, June 19, 2004

Art Gallery Loop, Acronym Soup

Saturday afternoon was as lazy as Friday night was rowdy (we saw !!! at Bowery Ballroom, dancing our butts off until 1:30am!). I did a gallery crawl on 24th and 25th streets, digitally snapping my way through splashes of color while bopping to crescendos of musical bliss courtesy of my mp3 player... Here are some of the results... More goodies coming up for my weekend public... I'm off to the gym before it closes, then dinner and we'll see...

BANANA is my Bizness... : - ) With apologies to Carmen Miranda and Mae West, this BANANA is definitely not glad to see me, because it stands for shortsightedness and zoning nazis rather than lust. : - ) This BANANA stands for "Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything".... : - )

Other Acronyms in this grouping are:
NIMBY - Not In My Backyard
NOTE - Not Over There, Either
NOPE - Not On Planet Earth
CAVE - Citizens Against Virtually Everything
LULU - Locally Unwanted Land Use
NUMBY — Not Under My Back Yard
GOOMBY - Get Out Of My Back Yard
NIMEY - Not in My Election Year

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"It's easier to get forgiveness than permission" - Anonymous : - )
!!! was incredible - a juggernaut of danceable energy - smart, angry, and fun. More details and cool stuff later. Stay tuned!!!

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Friday, June 18, 2004

You Have The Right To Wear
Fruit In Your Hat

You have the right to make racy innuendos. You have the right to speak with a thick accent. These are your Carmen Miranda rights! : - ) Born in Portugal, raised in Brazil, and devoured by Hollywood, The Lady in the Tutti Frutti hat was an iconoclast, ahead of her time, and a gay icon throughout the Americas. One day I'll have to visit the Carmen Miranda Museum in the Flamengo area of Rio de Janeiro. Today marks five months of blogging for yours truly... I may have a cocktail party to celebrate my half-year-versary next month....Tonight: !!!... Have a fruitful Friday and a lovely weekend. More fotos, and fun, to follow....

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Thursday, June 17, 2004

Where They Belong

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"A politician thinks of the next race; a statesman, of the next generation" - James Freeman Clark

pound-of-cure mode, noun
Troubleshooting a problem that would have been less severe if you had taken steps to prevent it (i.e., if you'd been in ounce-of-prevention mode).

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Cast a giant shadow... Here's my outline, snapped during Fire Island's late afternoon hours last weekend... This has been a surreal day, beginning with a 6am call from Singapore in which I learned that my boss leaving finance to go write novels and scuba dive... This explained why his boss asked me the other day how I'd feel about living in London... The answer, of course, was that both my customers and the companies are cover are here, in this time zone, not to mention my personal ties (or hope to develop the same)... Stay tuned, this was indeed unexpected, and could shake up this cocktail.

I'm seeing !!! tomorrow night with Thomas! To clarify, !!! are a cutting-edge punk-dance group with political overtones, evidenced by two of its signature song titles, "Pardon My Freedom" and "Me and Giuliani Down By The Schoolyard (A True Story)."

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"No man goes before his time – unless, of course, his boss leaves first… " – Groucho Marx

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Wednesday, June 16, 2004

"Perfect vision is for fighter pilots, not rock critics." - Twentyfortyzine, 6/16/2004.

Aaron - off-center in the universe! Remember yesterday's post about Helen Fielding and Franz Ferdinand at Union Square tonight, which I was looking forward to? That actually happened yesterday! Oops...

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Intimate And Intense

Kelly's play, "Boy", is wonderful and so is his performance! Don't miss it! Riveting acting, directing, and dialogue make this interpersonal and thematic puzzle of a play into something really compelling. The title character, known only as Boy (photo far left), has fled Iowa for Minneapolis after a traumatic event, on a collision course with a psychiatrist, an English professor, and an unsuccessful thirtysomething creative type (played by Kelly, see black & white photo at left) who he met on the internet. We peel the truth from these characters like an onion, and get ever closer to the emotional bones of the story. That's all I can say without spoilers. Just see it before it closes at the end of the month! Here are three good reviews: CurtainUp.com, TheatreMania.com, and NYTheatre.com. It's at Primary Stages, (212)279-4200, www.primarystages.com.

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Tuesday, June 15, 2004

New York, Center Of The Universe! (though at a humid 89F, we're swimming in it...) Case in point - tomorrow night the casual Union Square stroller can hear Helen 'Bridget Jones' Fielding read from her new book at 7pm at B&N, and then hop over to Virgin Megastore at 7:30pm to see Scotland rock quartet Franz Ferdinand, named after the ill fated arch-duke (see picture left), sing and sign CDs! I may just do both, don't think I won't!

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The Sun Always Shines On TV...

I just completed a half-hour of "media training," taping and re-taping practice questions for a TV camera on our trading floor, and reviewing the results. Now that I'm really thin, the small screen is much kinder to my humble mug. I have the tape, for those of you who'd like to watch me be a 'talking head.' : - ) No alarm could wake me this morning, as my body demanded and received ten hours of overdue sleep! I snapped the picture at left at the royal palace complex in Bangkok, btw. I will be posting more pics to my site's travel pages this weekend.

Tonight, I'm seeing the much-praised off-Broadway play "Boy," starring our very own Kelly AuCoin, with Thomas.. Meaning Thomas is coming to see it, not actually performing in it. : - ) Happy Anniversary, Brian and Joe!

Quote Of The Day, from Brent DiCrescenzo, turning the page on his rock critic career: "Explaining why I love a record in the confines of its production, lyrics and instrumental "tightness" without detailing the first time I heard the band's song drifting from bowling alley in Poland or whatever confounds me. "

Wordspy Word of the Day:
mobile speed bump n. A car that travels at the speed limit to force the cars behind to do the same.

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Monday, June 14, 2004

Czech Out This Joke From Christi

This just in from Christi:

A Czech goes to the ophtalmologist who shows him a sign with the following


and asks...

"Can you read it?"

"Read it???!!!" answers the Czech, "I even know the guy!"

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We're An American Band...

"Look around, around, the second drummer drowned, his telephone was found..." - Pavement, 1994
"Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons." - Woody Allen
"We knew all the answers, and we shouted them like anthems" - Scissor Sisters, 2004
Scissor Fever! My favorite pop group of the moment, Scissor Sisters (pictured left), is back late July in New York for a show at PS1 and a Virgin Megastore Union Square signing. They're even playing Brockton, Mass! (in my lucky Cousin Rich's very backyard)

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Sunday, June 13, 2004

Isn't it great to have Six Feet Under back? : - ) Single-handedly justifying the invention of television for yet another season...

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Sand Dunes, Sunlight and Shady Trees...

Look Ma, No streetlamps and no combustion engines...Just the sound of my sneakers over boardwalk and sand. Fire Island, lovely in any weather, was resplendent on a cloudless day under the white hot sun. Forests of shady trees parallel expansive beach on the forty-mile barrier island. My erstwhile share hosts Chris and Anthony were kind enough to offer a well-needed scenery change. The Pines, as this upscale gay enclave is called, is a somewhat bizarre place. It's a rarified brew of well-heeled hedonism, party boys in various stages of the aging process, and well-toned flesh of every ethnic stripe. And the occasional quieter, older, early-to-bed-and-to-rise types like myself, enjoying the unspoiled nature and often-deserted walkways and beachscapes.

My hosts are gay, "log cabin" Republicans, and I watched them watch the sunset moments of Reagan's week-long last rites. I'm a moderate and open-minded Democrat, myself, so I exercised restraint and mostly listened. One particular guest was my favorite kind of conservative: the thinking, independent, non-knee-jerk kind that realizes that mulitple views each have their own truth, and is interested in exploring them. This quality is rare on both sides of the political spectrum, so many would rather argue and vent than think and explore. His personal story was also quite unusual, with a dogged optimism and sense-of-self unfazed by a cruel stroke of bad luck. Meeting him made me ponder a few bittersweet and disturbing realities, an unexpected and odd occurrence amid the staccato of the housemates' teasing banter and tacky but good-hearted smutiness.

For your viewing pleasure below, the beautiful deck facing the bay and a late-stage sunset. Above right we gather around Chris' delicious london broil and corncob feast on Saturday...

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Friday, June 11, 2004

Don't Go In The Bushes

"Fire Island....It's a funky weekend, a funky funky weekend
This is the place where you'll find me
The summer sea, the place where love is free, yeah" - The Village People, 1977

So I'm off for a weekend at the beach. Forecast is 70F, Sunny. Forecast in my head is cloudier but hoping for scattered sunshine and light breeze. Probably will have internet access to post tomorrow, if I know my hosts... Happy Friday, everyone...

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Not Just A Pack Of Trojans... : - )

Now, That's Entertainment : - ) Facetious? Not entirely. "Troy," besides displaying generous portions of Brad Pitt, reminds us that "engaging Hollywood historical epic" doesn't have to be a contradiction in terms... While dialogue and direction were certainly not Oscar-calibre, I give them points for respecting their source material (minus interaction with Greek gods, as Brian points out), faithfully rendering the character development and emotional center of Homer's original. Acting ranged from good to excellent, with Peter O'Toole shining particularly bright as King Priam; the man's talent has aged like good wine. And, yes, that's a map of Troy, Michigan, just for the sake of completeness.

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Thursday, June 10, 2004

Breathing Air

"England and America are two countries divided by a common language." - George Bernard Shaw

Before the breathing air is gone... Before the sun, is just a bright spot in the nightime... So sang Three Dog Night in 1970 as I clung to my transistor radio on a noisy, sweat-drenched summer camp bus. Iceland has some of the world's cleanest air and water, since there is basically no heavy industry. They live mostly from tourism and fishing, and their electric power is hydro, from the melting glaciers that are 25% of its surface area. Here I am in the brisk 50F air stretching my limbs after a long jeep ride over volcanic gravel roads. Wearing my burgundy shirt, a current fave. Have I babbled enough? I should go do some research : - ) This weekend I'm off to funky Fire Island, invited by my former competitor and former host Chris. Tonight, a rare Hollywood movie outing, I'm seeing Troy with Christi, front row so as best to appreciate the parade of Greek and Trojan flesh...

"The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place" - George Bernard Shaw
Here's some unauthorized humor : - )

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Wednesday, June 09, 2004

"Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh." -George Bernard Shaw

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Through Sangria-Colored Glasses..

Sangria flowed liberally through my veins and arteries last night, during dinner with Pat Stumpp at the colorful El Quijote restaurant, niched in the landmark Chelsea Hotel (picture left) on 23rd St. I gave my digital camera a nice workout, snapping away at colors, angles, and drunk smiles (see me, below.) Blowing off steam on a summer night? Releasing the stress I've felt since returning from Iceland? Post-sickness-revelry? Existential trauma? : - ) Solo Dios sabe... As my sangria level rose, I began snapping wallpaper (see below), waiters, other guests, and, while walking home, an argument between two motorists at a red light. Pat heard one passerby surmise that I was "gathering evidence" for something. : - ) Thomas' friend has this great page with dialogue by random New Yorkers overhead in the streets (much the same as Stan Mack's Real Life Funnies in the Village Voice circa 1985....)

I have Friday off in honor of Reagan! This means I can go to Fire Island early, where I've been invited by my ex-competitor and 2002 beach house host Chris Taylor. I'm sure Reagan will be happy somewhere up there to know that I'm enjoying an extra sunny day at Fire Island Pines because of him. : - )

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