Tuesday, November 30, 2004

A propos that last brain fart of mine, consider the headline of the day from the WSJ:
Glitch With Satellite

Sends Edward Jones

Back to the Phone Age

All right, it's true that I am easily amused. I stood outside on the plaza this morning gawking at the Japanese film crew twittering around the space, a bunch of Tokyo hipsters like the crew on that Suntory ad in Lost in Translation.

Have we really even reached the phone age? When everyone currently alive has made a phone call, I will be willing to declare the phone age officially commenced.

Tuesday, August 20, 2002

Au revoir, mexerica cega: It is with relative indifference [we are rather busy at the moment] that we bid farewell to the Blind Tangerine as an active blog; it now stands as a testament to one man's experience in the wake of 911, a spiritual time capsule for as long as the storage medium holds out. What? That little time? We'll have to export it all and get it all bound up in paper, which can last hundreds of years. The Eyeball is our blog now: It's a movement from blindness to vision, see? Get it? We'll add a hidden "Private Eyeball" category and send out postings from that to the same Yahoo mailing list, so you thousands of faithful won't be discommoded in any way: you will get to hear about my laundry and my ephemeral enthusiasms and my general pissing and moaning, just as before.

Tonight, working on an overnight translation for Angie in São Paulo, about half done, jazzed up on nocturnal coffee and Art of Noise from the gigabytes I downloaded from AudioGalaxy before it's demise. The new Napster, we hear, is hosted offshore. Wow.

Indeed, I am thinking about going to live in Brazil for a few months, with a tax-deductible gift from the conservatorship and a growing roster of translation clients that I can serve just as well from there, and an unbelievably favorable exchange rate there: And the international long-distance rates down there are so cheap that I could even do phone business from there. 2br house on the Lagoa in Floripa for $100/mo! I actually have people coming to see about subletting this place on Saturday! Now where's my freaking passport?

As the Frugal Gourmet [pervert!] used to say: I bid you peace, until we meet again on another bat channel.

Monday, July 08, 2002

The spirit of blogging. This is the spirit of blogging: Look what I just wrote! My life is pretty boring at the moment, and smelly. These Arabic bank audit documents are killer boring! If there is anything worse than bureaucratese in a familiar language, it's bureaucratese in a language, to quote Prof. Monroe, "invented by the devil." Still, it's pleasing to make a little money back off all that abstruse study. Win me the lottery and I'd spend of my life poring over the diwan of Abu Tammam, believe me. But the rent's due and the cat's meowling. Sad but true.

What else is new? Darkbloom wants her bedclothes back, a not unreasonable request [sorry, I used up the shampoo], but posed with a certain lack of politesse and a bald insistence that extends well beyond the pragmatic signficance of the items in question. Grrr. If the Fleur Obscure were cold and too broke to buy another toothbrush, then of course we would FedEx them immediately, but in matters of abstract principle we send things regular old snail mail and do not mark them highest priority on our iPaq to-do list. Metaphorically speaking.

Where's that Pretty-Ugly in French with a Pun one? Seriously absorbed in social work studies and monogamous heterosexual mating behavior, so we can't complain, these are reputable and legitimate pursuits. We always knew our Jolie-Laide, the lifestyle nonconformist and recovering gender theorist, was a closet seeker of reputability and legitimacy. Sad but true! Actually, not so sad after all, since last time we saw her she was drunk and grinning ear to ear, a good thing.

The Monkey Woman seriously wants to know whether it's stupid to wonder about the meaning of life. I say no. She wants to know if she has to read Wittgenstein to understand the meaning of life. I tell her that's the hard and laborious way, suitable for people who need their life to be really complicated, and that Wittgenstein himself said so, and even acted like it. Just finished reading Toulmin's "Wittgenstein's Vienna," one of the best bits of modern intellectual history I've ever read, kind of cleared out the old mental earwax. Very persuasive about the importance of Wittgenstein's interest in Tolstoy and Kierkegaarde.

What else? Waiting for Moon Bear, our fellow copy editor, to get back from Lone Guy Island so we can meet up at last. What else? Me and Monkey Woman going to the Film Forum to watch a Visconti flick ("Rocco and His Brothers") and discuss how to find her a boyfriend. I keep taking great pix but the boys aren't biting. Her fireman sounds kind of dicey, even though, of course, fireman are a hot commodity right now.

So life is good in between ferocious concentration on the production of such prose as follows out of the right-to-left squiggly talk of the sons of Hagar rather than Sarah (hence "Sarai kenos," or "lacking Sarah" = Saracens — JAFCJR will get the Bibilical allusion):

4. Verifying that the accounting records, correspondence, and ledgers of the bank are keppt secure and readily available when needed; examining the filing system for such documents to verify that the files exist and that they are up to date.

5. Verifying that principle of redundant security is observed with respect to the issuance of keys and the execution of important transactions.

6. Ensuring that any periodic reorganizations or transfers of employees do not interfere with effective workflow.

Gack! The mind blurs and blurts under these conditions, but the job is worth bucks up the wazoo, and more where that came from, so we grin and bear. And how's by you. anyhow?

Thursday, July 04, 2002

Fourth of Goo-Lye:: All outside the footprint of the air conditioning is caustic goo approaching the melting point of lead, but me and Iggy here in the monk cell are cool, calm and collected at last, having jury-rigged the unit last night finally, and damn the expense. Working on an excellent commission from a former military intelligence man in Minnesota with a translation agency of his own now that he's retired, a very professional guy, a pleasure to work with and hopefully a ton of work orders to route my way through his network of funky contacts. Internal bank audits are bad enough in English, but in Arabic, yikes. I will plug away at this for the next week or so for a good chunk of change. Listening to John Adam's Harmonium, orchestral settings of Emily Dickenson, appropriate to a Fourth of July in Brooklyn. Iggy comes in out of the heat to warm my nicely chilled toes. Now the changer flips to Blonde on Blonde.

I receive a note from a friend of Hilda's, so it seems that the critical essay and translation for one of the little lit mags will go forward. After that, who knows, maybe make a book proposal? That would be a dream come true. I want to be just like Isa Mara Vocabu Lando when I grow up: an eccentric genius gadding about the continent.

What else? Upcoming Nerve date with a fellow copy editor [PBS, I am impressed] that seems like it will be fun. Cigarettes are $7, so the pressure mounts to quit or start dealing with the sovereign indigene nations who peddle the cancer-sticks over the Net. Credit cards cheerfully accepted, NO SALES TAX. Monkey Woman and I go to see the new John Sayles movie and have fried ersters at the Chat 'n' Chew; me and Jason and Mike and Caitlin get together for a really nice dinner at a seafood place in that weird Midtown East district that's so thorougly International Style, near the Chrysler Bldg, precincts I don't hang in much, but very pleasant, near Caitlin's new gig with Crain's, where she seems delighted to be; will post pics of the Three Amigos to the Eyeball, where most of my bloggage goes these days. Goddamn work is getting in the way of my blogging full-time! Okay, crank until sundown then wander down to the waterfront for pyrotechnics. Not sure it will won't be a little spooky, explosions echoing across the river. And now a note from the former editor of the Brooklyn Eagle:

Had I the choice to tally greatest bards,

To limn their portraits, stately, beautiful, and emulate at will,
Homer with all his wars and warriors--Hector, Achilles, Ajax,
Or Shakespeare's woe-entangled Hamlet, Lear, Othello--Tennyson's
fair ladies,
Meter or wit the best, or choice conceit to wield in perfect rhyme,
delight of singers;
These, these, O sea, all these I'd gladly barter,
Would you the undulation of one wave, its trick to me transfer,
Or breathe one breath of yours upon my verse,
And leave its odor there

Friday, June 28, 2002

Boiled in Sewage, The Blind One Goes Nocturnal: Been cranking away on Portuguese medical translation and various business development projects lately, and of course posting frenetically to the Eyeball and Jot Book, down for the moment waiting for Ben Trott to fix up the mess we made of the upgrade to Movable Type 2.2. The heat, but most of all the 1000% swampland humidity, has had me really beat of late, so this evening the AC goes up and on and damn the Con-Game Edison cost. I receive a very nice hat from the folks at Copy Desk Inc. today, and hope I will have a chance to work with them. Freaking Aquent stiffed me by $2 an hour on the stated rate for my gig at PwC, which I will have to write a huffy e-mail about. I've been shuttling back and forth to the Kinky Minky's in the Village, having given her a generous proofreader's slice of the pie on this translation project to ensure I deliver top quality to a potential steady client. We're going to practice our picque-nique tecnic in the parque du Prospect tomorrow, we think, the Mink and Ari the Philosopher-King and others. Of a mind to work on some back-burner writing projects, but mentally deflected by the panic of not having the next freelance gig lined up yet. Thinking of taking a certification course in Arabic translation. Certifications would help biz a lot, I think. Joining the ATA and ALTA while I'm at it, and wanting to get the Hilst project going with the notion of making a book proposal on that basis down the road. The point is to keep moving forward, despite the sense of being boiled in soapy diarrhea that one has at the height of a New York City summer. Funny, I had complicated dreams about smog, Los Angeles, and Philip K. Dick during my afternoon nap today, the Mink having lent me her copy of "Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said." Dick, who was actually my late father, and I were riding in a dirigible and he was pointing out to me how the government lied about smog ... I hate it when the new Trillian lies to me in that weird airport lobby anouncement voice that there is an "incoming message." Iggy lies comatose and panting in the cooler shadows, poor hairy dude and objective correlative of my subhuman subcortex. Over and out.

Sunday, June 23, 2002

On Top of It. Getting on top of my shit affairs, finally. Phew. That was some grungy haul, working weird hours, stumbling out into the street at 5:00 AM in my Hush Puppy slippers to buy a couple of mangos at the all-night deli —the mangos are very fine right now, they taste like buttered peaches made of sex and surrealism, little red-green hand grenades of joy— meeting up with this peculiar man who seemed to be incarcerated between his front door and the security gate, asking me to please buy him a "pint" of Bud. His manner bespoke gentility, I thought him maybe Hindu-Caribbean, but his appearance bespoke a terminal romance with the crack pipe. Unheimlich. I treated him to a forty. Celebrated by meeting up with Kinko last night at the Hotel Roger Smith, this really funky joint on 47th and Lexington with an adjoining art gallery and Henry Moores, or facsimiles thereof, under the awning and framing the doors. It seems to serve as an elegant flop for travelling musical acts. There was a bored hip-hop ensemble there and a tour manager yelling on the payphone about where the goshdang limos were at.

The event was a fundraiser for a documentary film about women who choose to live in women's residential centers in Manhattan, such as the YWCA. The filmmaker, a friend of the Kinky Minky, is a former talent agent turned talent-creative herself. There was a four-minute trailer, all shot in digital video, I kind of missed the cinematicity and the questions were pretty much softballs: the filmmaker was depicting her own domestic existence. Three hundred bucks a month, three hots and a cot and a waiting list stretching all the way uptown and down the decades into the age of spiritual machines. And she was working at a hotshot agency? Independent film crowd: a television newsman turned standup comedian, sweet gay boys in leather, guys in bands with CBGB T-shirts, a smattering of the black bohebourgeoiserie, hip-hopsters who looked like Jimmy Cliff with a better shave.

Afterwards, a swing on the E down to Johnny's Bar in the Village to hook up with Brooke, the actor back from his Midwest tour, and Riyaz, a gay Pakistani techie entrepreneur and irrepressible wag. Wound up at Ipanema slurping some really excellent batidas (the caipiras not so good, since apparently Lupe is the only one with the touch and verve to execute these marvels of pre-modern mixology up to spec) until 3 in the morning. Bartender at Johnny's friendly because I recognized Santo Expedito hanging over the cash register. Santo Expedito is being better to me now. Perhaps I neglected his whiskey offering too long.

Home at four [thank Santo Expedito for actually getting picked up by a grumpy Chinese cab driver IN BROOKLYN who ACTUALLY KNEW WHERE HE WAS GOING, grousing all the way] but bouncing up at 8, not even so very hung over, really, and translating para-hidroximetilbenzoato into para-hydroxymethylbenzoate all day, quite the alchemical feat. Off to see the Eskimo movie again with Maximum Minnie, caught up with partly after some months and soon to jetset off to France, where the men go bare cause they chew ... And that is that for now. There's an e-mail from Hilda Hilst in the Mail Washer, which gives me a little rush in my stomach. Think I will let it sit for a while.

Saturday, June 22, 2002

Lost in Translation: The Enigmatic Oi Oi Oi and mother of wisdom points out the overuse of the foregoing as a humorous headline on trans-related stories. In this case, it fits. I'm getting to the point where I can almost count on translating to make a living: long-term relationships with several agencies, a steady Arabic gig in the works [$40/hour]and a couple of meaty jobs on my desk. Solstice and general stress-factors have me a bit freaked at the moment, as I mentioned, but I have my desk ordered and routines set and figure I will be able to ride this shit out. "Writing blogs / like raising donkeys / every day the shit to be cleared / fresh straw laid," to quote the famous Persian qasida poet Abu 'Annan-i-Moose. Well, once a week, anyway. Having the feeling maybe the Blind Tangerine will be folded into the Hairy Eyeball eventually, the public-private distinction breaking down, though maybe not. It is a fun and consuming hobby. Would that all the Movable Type form elements worked in Mozilla, which otherwise is a blogger's browser deluxe-delight. Darkbloom and I: an official history. Will ideological revisionists pore over the archives like the FBI over Monica's hard-drive? Not on this side of the Atlantic. You should see our beard of three days: double Wolfman Jack-slash-Bride of Frankenstein-slah-Osama white stripe, if we cared to let it gestate to viability. In the muggy New York summertime? As if! And now, back to work.