Van Gogh shot himself in the stomach. In a cornfield in France.
Corn that was a color we now think of in terms of Van Gogh.
Then after he regained consciousness he walked miles back to the house where he was living with an art loving doctor. Enfeebled by depression and God knows how many other mental illnesses, probably a rare form of epilepsy, and possibly syphilis, he was still strong enough to make a walk that would have killed most men.
Strength learned from the coal miners he preached to in the Borinage.
Strength forged in the burning sun of Arles.
Strength that showed him the sun in sunflowers.
And the fire in the stars at night.
Strength that let him survive another couple days before dying in his brother's arms.
His brother who would die of a mysterious illness (and probably syphilis) almost exactly six months later.
He had a vision and genius that was as rare as it gets. He saw beauty where others saw only ugliness. He found love where others saw only sin. He painted in a passionate fury that he himself was barely able to harness.
Once he figured out that he was a painter, that is. He didn't even consider it until he was 28.
So my question for the moment is - where are you? On a scale of 1-10, where 10 is having sex with your gorgeous true love in a beautiful room with a view of Van Gogh's France on the night you won your Nobel Prize, and 1 is shooting yourself in the stomach, where are you right now?
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Saturday, September 22, 2007
This may be what my loyal readers (both of you) are calling me.
It's true, I've been inattentive to the needs of Love Minus Zero these days. Life happens and all. Explanations? Not too many persuasive ones, really. The dayjob has been busier than usual (yadda yadda yadda). The audition roller coaster has been really fast and steep the last few weeks - the very few of you who know the deal know why I don't write about that stuff here (or even talk about it except with people on the inside. I mean, people in the biz, not those pesky voices in my head.) My personal life has been, you know, personal.
One big thing on the horizon is that my parents are visiting. Some of you will have received this, but for the amusement of those of you who haven't, here's a semi-mass email I sent out to some of my friends and colleagues in Nuevo York:
Hope all are doing well and enjoying this beautiful slice of time between summer and fall!
Ok, this is one of the weirder appeals you'll receive from me...
My parents are visiting new york next month.
"What?!" you say, "mick's parents are actually going to be in new york?"
It's true. For the second time in the many years i've lived here, mom and dad are facing down their fears of the big city and staying with me for a long weekend, october 4-7. And a big weekend it is: my dad turns 60 on october 5; and as if that weren't enough, the folks will celebrate their 40th anniversary on the 21st. Exciting, huh?
SO - we want to do some special stuff. And they get to decide what that means.
One thing it means is playoff baseball. This excites me muchly, but alas, my entry in the mets lottery was not selected for the divisional series. (Don't despair, lottery advocates - i'm still potentially eligible for the league championship and world serieses, but that doesn't help with the birthday/anniversary visit effort.) Stub hub and other legalized scalpers do offer these tix, which is probably what i'll end up doing, but i wanted to see if any of you out there have access to corpo-tix or anything like that. I'm not looking for a freebie or a discount, though i will admit that i'd like to avoid scalpers.
I know, i know, it's a long shot.
Special fun new york thing number two is broadway's Wicked.
"But mick," you say, "why would they want to spend all that money to sit near the back of a 2,000-seat theater, to see a show that is touring all over the country, and will probably continue to tour for years?"
I don't know, people. They're my parents - leave me alone.
But then, while you're leaving me alone, can you check and see if the CFO of your company is friends with the nederlanders, or stephen schwartz is your cousin, or your boyfriend is the house manager or something like that. Again, not looking for freebies, but if i'm gonna spend $100+ a ticket, i would prefer to get good seats.
See - told you it was going to be a weird appeal.
And even if you have no contacts in the world of major league baseball or broadway, please contact me so that we can be in the same room at the same time sometime soon! There are beverages to be shared and conversations to be had...
To update this situation - a couple people came through on the Wicked tix. But they are silly expensive, and i think what we're going to do is try the $25 'lottery,' (you get a number, and if they pick it you can buy seats down front for $25) and if we win that, great, and if not they'll see the show on one of its innumerable tours.
Still on the hunt for Mets playoff tix (and at this point, the Mets are in a serious fight for a place in the playoffs in the first place). There's a side story there having to do with StubHub, but for now suffice it to say - AVOID STUBHUB! Shout it from the rooftops folks, they are evil, horrible people who should be professionally boycotted and socially shunned.
Ahem. I'm ok. I'll write down that story another day maybe.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
...for obvious reasons.
Which was the header of an email I sent to a friend in Texas and part of that email is the foundation of today's entry. I'll try to resist the temptation to go off on ten different rants, but I will say that it's interesting and maybe not altogether bad that this particular September 11 is a little more contentious in New York than usual... people allowing themselves some healthy arguments, being respectful of each other and the Event without going overreverent.
Amy Goodman is fantastic. I wish she'd run for president, if only to get her perspective to more people. Exception to the Rulers, indeed.
The continuing Hookergate business is insane - Foley, Palfrey, Vitter, Craig: I can imagine what the Air America guys are doing with it! (Sort of have to imagine, as Air America is firewalled out where I work) Jon Stewart came back from vacation yesterday and did a good piece on Craig. The hypocrisy is endless...
And yet we come back to today. Here's what the New York Historical Society is offering. I hope all are well and happy, embracing life and memorializing in the ways you are drawn to.
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Once again, we get some disturbing news from the Lone Star State.
Carter Albrecht, erstwhile of (Edie Brickell and) the New Bohemians and a mainstay of the Dallas indie rock, had one hell of a freakout the other night. Had a few drinks, and had been on Chantix, an anti-smoking drug with notoriously unpredictable side effects, for a few days, and he went nuts in the middle of the night, hit his girlfriend repeatedly and went on a screaming fit (which everyone including the girlfriend says was extremely atypical behavior for him), then ran out into the hall, and after some more yelling banged on a neighbor's door. One person who lived there told him to stop, but he didn't. Another person demanded he stop, but he kept yelling and banging on the door.
So the person inside shot him.
Yes, he claimed it was a 'warning shot.' Delivered through the closed and locked door at face level. Hit Albrecht in the head and killed him.
And, this being Texas, he was 'protecting his property' and thus committed no crime.
You can read about it in this New York Times analysis, where they go over the facts of the case and end up condemning... the anti-smoking drug.
Ok, ok - I'm not saying that the drug company is off the hook. If their product has the potential to make a kind, charming, brilliant and affectionate guy fly into a rage, then yes, that should be dealt with immediately and directly. But are we thinking it's a good idea to let the guy who pulled the trigger off the hook? And this is the 'liberal' New York Times. (In fairness, yesterday they published an article that took a longer look at Texas's Castle Doctrine "self defense" law)
Sorry guys, and I know that dude must have been scared, but this ain't ok.
Carter in happier days
Sunday, September 02, 2007
That's what i said a couple times in the last couple days, over sporting events.
First, when maria sharapova was beaten yesterday in the u.s. open by agnieszka radwanska (say it five times fast).
18 years old, seeded 30th, radwanska took apart number 2 seed, tennis 'it' girl and camera spokesperson sharapova. Way cool.
But then the even better exclamation came this morning when i was checking the baseball scores and found that clay buchholz threw a no-hitter for the red sox!
Well may you ask - this was only buchholz's 2nd major league game; he'd had a little trouble with the law while in college, got drafted by the sox as a compensation pick when they lost pedro martinez, had an up-and-down stint in the minors, then comes in and becomes the third person since 1900 to throw a no-hitter in one of his first two games. And could it have come at a better time? We were all stinging from the sweeps of this past week: the mets were swept by the phillies (ugh) and the red sox were swept by the dreaded evil yankees (ok, ok, they're not REAL evil - not karl rove evil - but still, seeing all those NY caps all over town is a little like being surrounded by swastikas). Then the sox lost a nail-biter against the orioles on friday, and the yanks won again yesterday... so it was a HUGE lift for this rarity to happen, boosted by some amazing defense by second baseman justin pedroia and center fielder coco crisp, and ten - count 'em: 10 - runs on offense. Great way to start september.