Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Anacortes or Olympia? Anacortes or Olympia? It's driving me crazy. There's just so much involved in the decision at this point. I need to talk it over with a good listener.

Anacortes (specifically, the Department of Safety):
1) Immediate opportunities for meeting new people.
2) More likely to build character and provide new experiences as I'll be a worker/resident and thus will be performing maintenance duties, helping set up shows, etc.
3) A very real chance of meeting and collaborating with several recording artists I respect.
4) Essentially a positive environment to learn and grow in.
5) A unique opporunity - I don't foresee myself getting the chance to live in such a situation again anytime soon.

1) I'd be living in a house and thus could unload and set up all of the stuff I have collecting dust in my mom's basement.
2) I'd be able to set up my drumset and amplifier and play more or less whenever I wanted to.
3) I'd have access to theaters, libraries, and so on that Anacortes likely wouldn't have.
4) I'd have relative privacy.

It comes down to my character, I guess. Both places present interesting challenges. If I move to Olympia, I'll have to really reach out in order to succeed. If I move to Anacortes, I'll have to be open and positive near-constantly. Which would benefit me more? What do I want right now? I'll get back to you, I guess.


Friday, May 18, 2007

The move became exponentially more confusing since the last entry. I more or less secured that apartment I was talking about, but! two new and alluring options have also come into play:

1) I can/may move to the Department of Safety in Anacortes, WA. The DoS is an amazing community venue/workers co-op chaired by, among others, Phil Elvrum of the Microphones and his wife Genevieve. I sent a resume and personal statement to the Department of Safety in Anacortes, WA, a month or so ago, hoping to move in as a resident/worker. I was/am psyched to move in but I figured it was a longshot, especially after a week or two of silence on the part of their coordinators. Turns out they really liked me and want me to move up in August!

2) My ex-roommate Lisa wants to room with me in Olympia. Despite our tempestuous past, Lisa and I are still basically best friends, so I'm very, very tempted. To sweeten the deal even more, she has a car and wants to rent a house. A house! I could record instruments with impunity! Lisa + a house.

So, to recap, I will either 1) live cheaply amongst a community of artists in a lake village, b) live alone in a 1-BR bedroom at the center of Olympia, or c) live in a house with one of my best friends somewhere in Olympia. I. am. ambivalent.

Weird, dreamy. That just about sums up where I'm at right now.

Haircut happening tomorrow.


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

I may be moving to Olympia sooner than anticipated. I discovered an apartment building that is apparently the Holy Grail of apartment buildings, right in the center of downtown Olympia, and I've been spending most of my spare time trying to secure it. It's tricky - I don't have any direct contacts in Olympia to check out the place for me nor do I necessarily have the credit for this kind of thing. (I lost most of the former in the big Kill Rock Stars change-of-hands last year and most of the latter in this year's taxes.) I do, however, know people who know people, and I'm pretty sure my mom will help out if things get serious. Her basement's storing 90% of my belongings right now and as far as I know she's not loving it or anything.

Allow me to briefly expound on how great this place is. It's on the bus line and it sports an on-site washer/dryer and free wireless internet. It's right around the corner from what Hannah informs me is "the best bookstore in the city" and right upstairs from "the best coffee in the city." It's in front of a lake and has a view of the park. It is one block from KRS and three from K. I want it I want it I want it.

I've been suffering from designer's block the last few days. I don't know where it's coming from. It's an issue of focus and motivation, I think; this is commercial work, so there can't be any real artistic despair to speak of. Hopefully I'll be able to get back on track tomorrow.


Friday, May 04, 2007

I changed my profile picture. This one's more accurate. Enjoy. In deference to Doug, who knew straightaway that the pic I put up was substandard, I'm substituting in the infamous "Ryan as David Foster Wallace" pic.

DFW, as seen on the back of Infinite Jest.

It was a good day. I woke up in the afternoon and decided that I probably wasn't going to get any work done, so I left for Manhattan and bought some books. I ended up with a few French translations - the Radiguet was a real find, if a bit costly - and some books by Latin American authors I'm not familiar with, Jorge Amado and Machado de Assis. I also picked up a copy of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass, which I've never read before. Something in Calvino's Six Memos suggested that a working knowledge of Carroll would be desirable, and I've never been one to disagree with Calvino. He's my main man.

Worth mentioning: Julian Barnes and a colleague were perusing at East Village Books at the same time as myself. Judging from their conversation - "Have you read this? The style is wanting but the story is interesting." or "I could see that, but that's what the writer was shooting for, I think. You should try reading the dialogue aloud." - I took them at first for professors of creative writing, but at some point the name "Julian" slipped out and I immediately became suspicious. A Google Image search confirmed it. This is of course apropos of nothing. I never could get into Julian Barnes. I'm told his stuff is excellent, though. Maybe he suffers from that too-good-for-his-own-good syndrome that people like Nabokov and Martin Amis sometimes suffer from.

Dina received her mix (mentioned last entry) and seems to be enjoying it. The cover was a pencil sketch I drew of me thinking of her wondering where her mix was. I drew her from memory, but apparently it was accurate enough that her coworkers remarked on it. Pretty cool. The previously mentioned "Miscegenation" mix (now untitled) is nearly finished, and I'll probably send that along to her as well.

This evening I spent the bulk of my time spring cleaning. I've reduced the clutter in my room significantly, but without proper shelving there are still messy spots and piles here and there. I think I might pick up some cardboard boxes tomorrow and start packing the stuff that I never use but would like to keep. Maybe a pile of boxes will look slightly less disorganized than several piles of books and CDs.

One of the stranger aspects of cleaning was rooting through my clear plastic trunk. This trunk has been through a lot and is worse for the wear. It was lugged from Jasmine's bedbug-ridden Greenpoint residence across Brooklyn, evacuated from my doomed South Park Slope sublet in midday to Josh's, used as my sole shelf during my three somber months in Williamsburg, fitted with effort into the far corner of my 6x6 lofted bedroom in Hell's Kitchen, and finally deposited beside my dresser for over a year here in Ridgewood, so completely disfigured by this point that the lid would barely stay on. To rummage through it was to be suddently confronted with my not-so-distant Situation as a newcomer to New York City.

(Plus I found $3 and some change that included quarters.)

There's a certain amount of intelligence hiding in one's history, I think. The last two or so years are more than an good adventure story. They reassure me that I have been and always will be capable of taking control of my life. The important thing to remember is that I needn't wait for crises to strike in order to do so.


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

I've been just stupidly skint the last couple of days. But things are swell. Last week was an extremely effective week for Ryan M. I was completing projects right and left: I averaged a card a day, sent off a mix to Dina, sent off a resume to the worker's co-op up in Anacortes that I'm angling to join. I wrote or recorded or re-recorded three songs.

So the Other Plan, if this worker's co-op deal doesn't pan out, was and is to move to Olympia, WA. My roommate-to-be has copped out for lack of fiscal power, but I have an Other Plan (B) and even an Other Plan (C). Other Plan (B) involves moving up with a friend of mine who just graduated from Vassar. She, too, has at least three potential plans going on, so it's not a very dependable plan. Other Plan (C) is a pretty heavy one, though I could hack it if I had to. It involves me moving up to Olympia alone and renting a small studio, alone.

I think I'm gonna send the Department of Safety folks some brownies and maybe a few mix CDs. I could send them the mix I made for Dina, and I'm working on a second mix that I've tentatively titled "Miscegenation Celebration." Is that sort of reappropriation of a vaguely perjorative term considered "black humor"? Maybe I should reconsider.