20030107 - Friends
Took 2 weeks off from work, visited the parents, saw a bunch
of people. Amazing how the net/cell technology turns what would
have been seeing a few people individual people into a mass meeting
of friends without the work of actually planning a "convention."
I saw a lot of people I miss, people who were a part of my intellectual
stimulation during the time-period of college and my first post-college
And there were two people that I had spent a lot of time with
in the past, but it was a relationship where we hung out in the
same place so we always got to see each other but rarely made
an 'appointment' with each other, or there were mutual friends
who were closer so we just relied on them to bring us together.
Anyway, the point is that sometimes you don't realize how good
it feels to talk with certain people till you leave and come back.
Ben set me up first, making me remember why I'm an artist, inspiring
me with some work that had been influenced by my work. Then Kate
spiked with her "first and only Artist's Work." It just blew me
away. I want to take some time to go look at it again...like about
8 hours. I should find out when her Senior Show is and go see
it. Kate's also intimidating because she's not quite graduated
yet and she's already got her business plan.
It was also really cool to talk to people who ask questions
like "what exactly does post-modernism mean?" again. (I think
I broke one of the first laws of post-modernism by actually trying
to communicate my understanding of its meaning to someone. Call
the Jazz Police!)
Where do I find intellectually stimulating people in Rochester?
Yeah, sure, hanging out with burners at Camp Dionysia, Playa
del Fuego, Burning Man, etc. (none of which are Rochester) is
cool, but there's this distance between us that I (at least) can't
break. Maybe it's just my shyness/discomfort with new people.
But it's not just an introvert vs. extrovert issue, because I've
listened to a lot of conversations at such events and I've not
really heard much in that vein. Maybe I'm just missing it, and
maybe it's that these are camping events and not sitting with
a good friend over coffee (or pitchers of iced tea).
Part of the problem is that I didn't know how much I missed
that rapport, and even now I can't quite define what it is that's
missing. Where in Rochester, NY are the pseudo-intellectuals who
are interested in more than social-climbing over your corpse (or
even intellectuals who don't take themselves too seriously).
Kate and Ben recommend House
of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. His sister is the musician
Poe, and her album Haunted
covers much of the same material as the book. They also recommend
I'm not sure if Rochester people read books.
Where are the people in Rochester who want to discuss Stephen
Jay Gould's discoveries about Duchamp's artwork, printmaking
techniques, William Gibson's short story (and cyberpunk manifesto)
Gernsbach Continuum", where to take welding classes,
Wholesome. When people ask us what Rochester is like, the response
is "Wholesome". Sure there's theft and panhandling and black women's
decomposing bodies found in the parks and frat boys, but the part
of Rochester that we seem to be seeing is just: Wholesome -- blandly
wholesome, like Friends.
Then again, I spent a lot of time reading massive amounts of
books and the 20 or so magazines I was subscribed to in Ames,
so maybe I'm valorizing the past conversational quality. But still,
was good to see friends who knew good words.