Sunlight reflected from New Jersey at the Whitney Museum, Meatpacking District, NYC

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Today was a fairly uneventful day. And although I am grateful for that fact, I still wish there were some exciting drama that I could relay.

Morning Walk Music: "Fight The Power" by Public Enemy
Morning Walk Music: “Fight The Power” by Public Enemy

Monday, November 28, 2016

Instead, I took my morning walk and then came home to do administrative duties. I sent a number of emails. It seems like a Herculean task to keep up with all of the contacts that one should. If there is a definition for the word charismatic, I most certainly don’t fall under it. I have always been haunted by the lack of endearment that I engender from people. Perhaps it’s because I don’t fit into easy archetypes of what a Black man supposed to be, or because I am simply boring. The most general response I get from most people who meet me is the “I’ve just seen an alien” look: a wide-eyed, vaguely quizzical, but often concretely uncomfortable, stare. In any case, it proves very difficult for me to get meaningful interaction with people that I pursue. Maybe this will change, maybe not, but I can’t let this stop me from moving forward, always.

This is the way life goes. I am, of course, appreciative of the relationships that I have, and continue to dutifully pursue them, all the time knowing that the results might not be as favorable as I would like. Perhaps this task is just as difficult for others as it is for me but as it seems that the world is working perfectly well without my involvement. I’m skeptical that others don’t have an easier time connecting.

53rd Street and 5th Avenue E/M Station, NYC: Up the Escalator
53rd Street and 5th Avenue E/M Station, NYC: Up the Escalator

After accomplishing my administrative tasks, I took the number one train up to school and walked to the Avery library. I once again took the book, Painting 2.0 from the shelves and continued my scanning of the text for my break time reading. I’ve decided that I need to do a chapter a day of text, because the entire scanning project will be long and tedious. For every one page in this oversized book, I have to take at least four photos of each text section. At this point I feel that every publisher has the duty to distribute an electronic version of their releases. It’s quite annoying that I have to do my own painstaking scanning of the book I’d like to read, just to be able to carry it with convenience on my e-reader.

Scanning a Book at Avery Hall, Columbia University
Scanning a Book at Avery Hall, Columbia University

The publisher of a book that I purchased and intend to read refused to create an e-book version of the publication. At this point, I think this is simply bad business, regardless of the intense and almost anachronistic interest in the artistry of a published book. I can appreciate the desire to create a beautiful hardcover and well-designed object, but the company could make a double sale if they sold both a hard copy of the book, as well as an electronic version. I would most certainly be glad to buy both versions, as I have in the past.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn - Black Friday: Nitehawk Cinema
Williamsburg, Brooklyn – Black Friday: Nitehawk Cinema

The Friday after Thanksgiving I ventured to Williamsburg Brooklyn to visit a movie theater to which I had never been. It’s called the Nitehawk, and it seems to specialize in repertory films and left-of-center fare.  The programming of the cinema was intimated by the “goth” stylings of the bartender/ticket taker at the venue. Her look was the perfect mediation between menace, allure, and elegance. It wasn’t a terribly long trip to the theater. I made a day-trip out of it by having lunch at a restaurant called Sweet Chick and shopping at Rough Trade Records’ Brooklyn outpost.

Williamsburg is on the L train from 14th St. in Manhattan. To my knowledge, the L train will be closing for at least two years, very soon. This seems disastrous for the real estate development in the area, but it’s barely any of my concern.

The Happiest Hour, 10th Street, NYC
The Happiest Hour, 10th Street, NYC

I was pleased that my friend Carter joined me. We watched a film called The Love Witch, which was highly recommended by my sister. The film was a pastiche of late 60s and early 70s melodramas, re-creating the aura of films like Valley of the Dolls and Myra Breckenridge. Fitting the era it to which it pays homage, the film was trippy and weird. I’m not sure why my sister was so enthusiastic about the film, except for the fact that it featured burlesque, which is an interest of hers, as well as the protagonist’s awkward and ongoing search for a mate.

Late today, I had a visit with a faculty member of the school. He was pleased with my “Casual Cruelties” series, and gave some more suggestions regarding presentation. I asked him about my obligation to work as a teaching assistant in the next semester, of which he was not sure. I asked him to get back to me, as the small voice inside me says that my time could be better served during my tenure here at the school.

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