Studio in New York

Happy birthday, Joannie! Got to celebrate with her in person in Chicago. She has the trappings of an adult now. An apartment in Chicago, a paying job, her very own shoe rack. Got to visit the courtroom where occasionally she has to jump up and shout "All rise! The court of the honorable Judge Holderman is in session!" or something like that. I think I have to see it to believe it. I still just want to put her in a headlock and give her a noogie.
Caught two Cubs games, both of which they won 6-2. In the second game, the Cubs hit 3 home runs on 3 consecutive pitches in the first inning, but I missed it. Derek, Joannie, Mike, and I were late and just missed those. Drats. The Wrigley Field experience is so different than the experience at Safeco Field or that of any modern stadium. Wrigley is like a heavenly playground field sprouted in the middle of a city, surrounded by wood seats the neighbors threw up to stop and watch. In between innings, there are no blooper reels on giant scoreboards to ponder. The view of the city from the field itself, the people on the buildings across the street, the ivy on the brick walls, and the bright green hue of the grass in the sunlight. It feels very intimate. It's amazing. I was so happy just to sit there and watch baseball.
Okay, no more weddings until November. A brief respite. All the weddings this month have worn me out and beat up my credit card a bit. But it was a good run. To counteract all this coupling up, though, Howie and Mark are now once again single. And loose on the UCLA campus. Hide the women and child-women.
If I ever get married, I want to hold it somewhere other than where I live, or my family live, or where her family lives. A place away from it all. More fun for all involved, even if it means a smaller party. The more people that travel there the better. When too many people live close by they all run out early.
Saw the Van Gogh-Gauguin exhibit at the Art Institute. It was instructive. Van Gogh was a great admirer of Gauguin and invited him to his yellow house (it was literally painted yellow) in Arles, France, to work together to fulfill Van Gogh's vision for a Studio of the South. Unfortunately, they disagreed on many topics of art, and over the course of just under a year, grew apart. Still, the two of them tried hard to make it work. In the end, though, just as Gauguin planned to leave, Van Gogh, upset and mentally imbalanced, cut off part of his ear and sent it to a prostitute. Gauguin brought Vincent's brother Theo to watch over him, then Gauguin left. A fascinating story. Joannie wonders if they were gay. I wonder if I could duplicate that type of artistic collaboration today. I've always had this idea that I'd gather some of my artist friends and go live together somewhere, perhaps New York (the city of the moment for me) and work together, inspiring each other to great work. Who's with me? I want to start my own Studio. Fiction, moviemaking, photography. I don't know enough about music and painting.
I had a sudden desire to learn all about Frank Lloyd Wright and architecture while I was in Chicago so Derek took me to tour the Robie House on the campus of the University of Chicago. I was quite inspired. Must learn more. Want to help to design my own house someday. The amazing thing is that the house was built in the early 1900's but still struck me as amazingly modern. I don't have a formal understanding of architecture, but I am familiar with its effect on and parallels with the construction of my mind. In an ideal world, I'd have my own house with a room dedicated to my writing. Today my computer is near my bed, and that juxtaposition deals havoc with my mental separation of work and sleep. Even my television is here in the same room with me. It's like a bachelor pad to the nth degree, and my writing suffers, if you can believe it. Hard to explain.
Jenny is trying to convince me to participate in National Novel Writing Month. An endurance event of the mind, she calls it. The challenge? Write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November, 2001. A 30 day month, so just under 2,000 words a day, which comes out to about 10 pages double spaced, with fat margins. Or, a short English paper every day. 30 short stories back to back. I picture myself, a pack of Dunhills, a bottle of Makers, a Remington typewriter, pieces of sunlight cut up by the blades of a desk fan, strobing my face. Better a mute typewriter than the computer, mocking me with its blinking cursor. Damn, I'm tempted though. What better excuse to write, write, write.
Am more than halfway through The Corrections. Very readable, for a novel, I must give Franzen that. Better written than most novels I've read in the past few years. Still, the topic, a dysfunctional modern family, depresses me.
One thing that suffered while I was home was my running. Kept planning to do it, then had to run out to see folks. Went to the shoe store today and they laughed at my old Adidas which they urged me to throw out right away. Bought some new shoes, and they prescribed some orthotics. Hopefully they'll alleviate my random pains. Took them out right away for a spin around the outside of Green Lake. Couldn't see anything and nearly tripped on rocks and roots along the dirt path a few times. All sorts of silent night runners ran by me. If one thing will keep me running, it's the frustration of being passed by fast moving skinny people all the time. Damn you fast skinny people.
Tim is urging me to do Death Ride with him next year. 16K vertical feet! Good lord. I barely survived 10K of vertical climbing this year in RAMROD. Still...