Friday, January 13, 2006

Friday, January 13, 2006
Waxing Moon (almost full)
Saturn Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Warm and rainy

The arm’s a little bit better, but I want to take it slow this weekend. I can’t afford to be out with an inflamed tendon for weeks, so I want to baby it a bit for the next few days so I’m able to work again next week. Icing it every two hours helps.

Friday the 13th! It’s usually a good luck day for me. There are poems celebrating the day on Circadian.

Wednesday’s matinee was okay. My arm was bothering me, and it’s a track I haven’t done in ages. Plus, all the new people just came in to the show and everyone’s still figuring out the details. But I got through it – nobody died, nobody was in the wrong clothes, they were all out on time.

Had a drink with a friend after the show – only in town for a couple of days, and our schedules are both crazy, so this was it as far as seeing each other. “A” drink turned into a whole bottle of wine, but it was fun.

Yesterday, I gave myself the day off, once I’d posted entries for Circadian and Kemmryk. Ran some errands in White Plains, which included buying a new step-to-open trash can so that the cats don’t get into the garbage. They’ve decided that unwrapping the trash and spreading it all over the kitchen floor at 3 AM is the most fun ever. So now there’s a bright blue trash can with a shiny silver lid and a human has to step on it to open it. The cats are terrified of it, especially when it makes that thwamp! upon closing. They think it’s a Garbage Monster. Good. Although Elsa did try to figure out how to get it open so she could get what was inside it. It’s too heavy for her.

Bought a wonderful, wonderful book called Life, Paint and Passion by Michelle Cassou and Stewart Cubley. I read almost the whole thing. As some of you may remember, one of the 2005 long-term goals is to experiment with painting. For myself, not as a profession. I’ve always wanted to, but for so many years I was told that I “can’t” do anything artistic because “you’re the writer.” But the hunger is there inside me, so I thought I’d get a book to get me going. This is it.

The great part is that so much of it can also be applied to writing – working from intuition, not second-guessing yourself, trusting the process. It’s very much like a Julia Cameron-style book for painters, and it helps me understand why her books are so popular.

While I agree with process over product when you’re doing writing or painting for the sheer joy of it, when it is your passion/vocation/calling/career, however, I do believe you have to take it further. Enjoy the process during the process, but then, after, if it is going to be the way you make a living, you have to add the business savvy to it. Just process is not going to keep a roof over your head or food on the table.

But, painting-wise, for me, this is the perfect book right now because all I want is the process.

And there’s nothing wrong with writers who only want to write for the process. But they have to realize it is highly unlikely that they will hit the bestseller list if they don’t then take the next steps. And that is where I think these self-help, cheerleading books do a disservice. They don’t help their readers fuse the two.

I do not believe that process and product are mutually exclusive. I think it’s terribly difficult to balance them and fuse them, but no one would be able to make a living at any sort of art if it wasn’t possible.

Ah, hockey. What a night last night. Last night, Mark Messier’s #11 New York Rangers sweater was retired and raised to the rafters. What an emotional ceremony! Messier brought more than the Stanley Cup to New York. He brought a lot of what’s the best part of being human – caring, loyalty, friendship. He made a difference in this community beyond hockey, and he was committed to the idea of a city as sprawling and diverse and out-of-control as New York as a community.

While Mike Richter remains (and will probably always remain) my favorite player due to his mix of talent, intelligence, and humour (along with everything else on his long list of stellar qualities), Messier is an important part of what it means to be a New Yorker, whether or not you’re a hockey fan, for 14, 15 years. He’s a part of my life experience as a New Yorker. I value that, and I value him.

Then, it was the Islanders vs. Calgary. Steve Stirling, head coach of the Islanders, was fired, and Milbury will step down when they hire a new GM. I was pretty ticked about that. I have a high opinion of Stirling. I can think of one person in particular who I believe is much more responsible for the team’s lack of success who should have been given the boot over Stirling and Milbury. For some reason, the organization seems to think the sun rises and sets with this guy, and I sure haven’t agreed for the last four years.

I was also concerned because they put DiPietro back in goal. He’s been out for only five games with a sprained knee. If you’ve ever had a sprained knee, you’ll understand why I’m saying “only five” games. The team can’t afford him to get re-injured and out for a long period of time. But he did an excellent job. Of course, since he’s out there doing an excellent job, the commentators start talking about his tendency to suffer “mental fatigue” after about five games. Now, I’ve watched DP closely since he was down at Bridgeport in 01-02. He’s got amazing talent, skill, quickness of mind, a tendency towards arrogance, and yes, if you get into his head, it’s all over. However, he’s grown so much over the past few years – the arrogance is now backed with genuine confidence, because his already high level of skill keeps growing. And, mentally, he’s miles ahead of where he was a few years ago. I felt the comments, especially last night, were inappropriate. His mental strength has grown enormously. He might get on my last nerve sometimes, but he’s so far beyond most goaltenders and he’s only going to strive for more. Of course, it was made by a commentator who’s never been in the goal net.

Facing Calgary’s never an easy task, especially when the stakes were as high as they were for last night’s Islanders. Calgary’s got Miikka Kiprusoff in goal – not only does he have ice in his veins when it comes to the game, he’s got a knife-edge intellect and fire in his heart. And they’ve got one of my all-time favorite draft picks – Dion Phaneuf. Phaneuf – who’s a big guy – zoomed around the ice like lightening checking every Islander in sight. I think every single one of them met the ice at some point thanks to this guy. And he does clean checks.

It was a hell of a game. Truly desperate hockey like I’ve rarely seen, on the part of the Islanders. Trent Hunter (one of my favorites I’ve been watching since his Bridgeport games) gave 900% (he always gives at least 500). He was on the line with Mike York, another favorite of mine since his Ranger days. It’s fun to watch “my” guys play against each other, but awfully difficult to root for an actual team when I’ve got guys scattered all over the place. And the Islanders won, 3-2. Too bad they couldn’t do it in time to save Stirling’s job. And the person I mentioned earlier – I didn’t think he contributed much to the mix tonight, although the commentators practically wet themselves over him several times. I just don’t see it. And I’m not naming this person, because it would simply be mean on my part.

I’m going to try to have another fairly quiet day today, but get some writing done. If I work in short spurts, I should be able to use the arm in bits and pieces, without it falling into bits and pieces.



At 9:22 AM, Blogger Colin said...

Sorry to hear about your arm. Take it easy and rest up so there's no long-term damage. You sound like you need a rest anyway so take advantage of the slow-down.

But above all - get better soon! :-)


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