There’s rather a lot of snow out there.
December 30, 2006
December 25, 2006
I’m Jewish, but my family has generally celebrated Christmas in a low-key way with my dad’s (non-Jewish) family. This year, though, they’re all away visiting other relatives, so we’re on our own. Christmas is actually pretty pleasant if you don’t really celebrate it; my mom and I were just talking about how we don’t feel the kind of holiday stress that a lot of people do, because our obligations and expectations are so much smaller. It’s a nice time of the year to not be Christian. Hope everyone has a nice holiday, whether you celebrate it or not.
December 24, 2006
We watched The Squid and the Whale this evening. Man, that’s a good movie.
It seems an awful lot of straight guys have been pulled aside by relatives and assured that their being gay wouldn’t be a problem. Awkward. Although I was never very comfortable with traditional gender roles and didn’t do much stereotypically masculine stuff as a kid, nothing like this ever happened to me; I don’t think it’s ever even occurred to my parents that I might be gay (although they would definitely be okay with it if I were). In fact, my mom once described me as the least androgynous person she knew, which was inaccurate but should give you some idea of how she sees me.
I think being self-reliant helped me a lot with this stuff when I was younger. I felt left out a lot in elementary school because I wasn’t into sports and other “boy” activities, but it didn’t have a huge negative impact on my life. I just did my own thing and forgot about the other kids. I’ve never felt much need to prove my masculinity (well, except maybe a little around puberty), so I’ve been able to test gender boundaries without anyone thinking I’m gay. Sometimes I deliberately buy pink toothbrushes, for instance, and I’m even comfortable commenting on the attractiveness of other men (though I admit working up to this one took a while). I’m not totally sure this is why I’ve never gotten one of those talks, but I think it had something to do with it.
December 23, 2006
When going out to eat, remember to take a house key as well as a car key.
December 21, 2006
It seems I’m expected to tell you five things you don’t know about me. This is where my obsessive secrecy actually comes in handy; although I’ve revealed a lot about myself in various places on the internet, I’ve kept many things secret for no particular reason. So here we go:
- I have Gilbert’s Syndrome.
- I’ve been published in Common-place.
- My great-grandfather was once Grandmaster of Masons in New Mexico
- I own the entire 50-volume set of the Harvard Classics (passed down from that same great-grandfather)
- When I was little I used to get together with my Navajo friends and act out the Trojan War
December 19, 2006
I’m done with school, but my mom, who teaches kindergarten, isn’t. In fact, this part of the semester (right at the end) is an extremely busy time for her and she’s pretty stressed out, so my sister and I have been helping her in various ways since we got back. Today she had me come down to take pictures of her kids to put on the ornaments they’re making to give to their parents (along with other tasks she didn’t have time for herself). It was the first time I’d met her class this year, and they’re a good group. Much better than some of the classes she’s had in recent years. They were very excited to see me, which was fun, and the pictures turned out great.
December 16, 2006
When I fly, I like to read the in-flight magazine. Most of the articles are silly touristy fluff, but they sometimes talk about interesting places. On my flight home the other day one of the articles I read was about Marfa, Texas, a place I’ve actually been to and can recommend to art critics and residents of Lubbock alike.
Marfa‘s a very small town, population 2100, in West Texas, the driest, most sparsely populated part of the state and the part that most deserves to be considered part of the Southwest (though I’m still reluctant to bestow that honor on any part of Texas). It’s near Big Bend National Park, one of the lesser-known but still spectacular units of the national park system. A few years ago my family went there to meet our relatives from Houston (it’s about half-way), and we went around to several of the attractions in the area.
It’s a pretty nice area. There’s Fort Davis, an ironically-named old fort that was a major base for the Buffalo Soldiers (the informational video is narrated by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), the McDonald Observatory, which has nice public tours of its telescopes and such, and, of course, Marfa.
Marfa’s famous for several reasons; it’s where the movie Giant was filmed, for instance, and the hotel where we stayed is very proud of that. But more relevantly today, it’s the place Donald Judd fled to when he grew sick of the New York gallery scene and wanted to find a place to put his enormous sculptural installations. He was joined by several other artists, and the result was what is now known as the Chinati Foundation. My mom and aunt went there on our trip (the rest of us begged off, not being big art people), and they say it’s very impressive.
As a result of Judd’s influence, Marfa became something of an art colony and attracted some interesting characters. It has a lot more amenities than your average town in West Texas, including a very nice bookstore. In short, I would recommend it (and the other attractions in the area) to anyone who happens to find themselves in that part of the country.
December 15, 2006
I flew in yesterday, with my sister. The flight wasn’t so bad; Tom Udall was on it, which was cool. It’s weird being back. I’ve been taking my time to get my bearings, but I’ll be back with real content shortly.