Yearly Archives: 2011

Summer Recap


June 22
Tim put together a kind of critical mass bike pub crawl around North Adams. The bars are too close together so we did more drinking than riding.


June 25 Solid Sound weekend
Gino, Helen, Bill and Esha were all here for the big music festival. It rained most of the weekend and I had to work a lot. We managed to enjoy ourselves enough. I was taking tickets and putting wristbands on people and doing a lot of carnival barking and bs’ing with people to entertain myself.

July 4 weekend
I went down to nyc and meet the gang at some wine bar for a few beers. The next day went to S Jersey with Esha and we went to the beach and to a pool and ate ice cream and swam and ate thai food and went to this restaurant on an oyster bay.

I’d dumped all my stuff out of the Wilson’s and started living in the cabin.

July 18 weekend
Esha came to visit and we saw a bear.

July 24 weekend
Went to Stockbridge and stayed with Abby and Dave for a couple nights. Did a lot of chatting. Ate ice cream and sat by a river. Dave cooked a nice meal. Stopped and saw Sadai w/ her family in Lenox, had more ice cream. On a Monday night I went to Saratoga to hang out with KR and her bro and his wife. They cooked and we practiced putting for frisbee golf.

July 30 weekend
Mike K came up and we swam, and hiked, ate cheeseburgers, scouted land, hang out. It was a real trip.

Aug 6 weekend
Sandman came up to North Adams with 14 students for an intense crash course workshop thing. August came up and we did a brainstorm session and talked to the kids all day. The old adage — “I learned more from them” was true in my case. I learned that I do not want to teach and work with students. They were mostly exhausted, and I don’t have much patience waiting for people to “get it.” It was fun to work with my friends, and the students ended making some fun work.


Aug 13 weekend in Deer Isle, Maine
Esha and I drove to portland for a night, stayed at an airbnb without any problems. Cheap and there really was breakfast and lots of conversation (hosts telling us their life story). Had some good food and saw a movie in Portland. Spent a couple nights in Deer Isle at a house Molly has gone to every summer since her childhood. Lots of relaxing and looking out into the distance. Lots of good eating with extra help from Nick S and Gaskins. Aug took lotsa nice pics. Esha and I also saw a play about divorce at Williamstown Theater Festival.

Aug 27 weekend
Hurricane Irene. I didn’t do much to prepare. Saw a weird dance thing at work. Went to Mezze with Maureen and Tim. Martin made hurricanes. It rained a lot on Sunday and I eventually had to take my wind chime down.

Labor Day Weekend in NYC
Made it to NYC in less than 4 hrs and found a parking spot right away. Had tacos in Queens, saw Jenn at Irving’s show, ran into Karyn and Lindy, drank most of an afternoon and evening with Mike, Nick J, Nick P, Aug. Had to call it quits before midnight and had a terrible hangover the next day. Esha made lamb and stew for Eid dinner at her sister’s. Did a picnic in the park with Emily, David, JWill, Smith, Jenn, Sandman, Maggie, twins. Saw Gino and Helen. Left NYC 5am on Tues morning.

Hosting Hostos

I wrote this for the mass moca blog, but they never posted it. I don’t know why.

Last December I was sitting in a pizza parlor telling my friend Sarah about the position I’d applied for at MASS MoCA. Before I could say any more she bursts “Great! I’ll bring my students up there.” Sarah Sandman is a professor of design at Hostos college in the Bronx, New York. Like most great teachers she thinks the world of her students and had been searching for an opportunity to pull them out of their day-to-day structure and explore what makes the creative life worthwhile — work and play.

Further discussion developed. What resources would they require? What would the focus be? Would the students freak out?

The proposed dates lined up nicely with Bureau for Open Culture’s Work Site — a public, social space for freelancers and work-from-home types. Headquarters would be established there. Naturally, the current exhibitions at MASS MoCA influenced the student’s investigation. The objective was to both ask and answer “what is a cultural worker?” (à la The Workers) As well as to create something from readily available, found and scavenged resources (Nari Ward).

Week one of the two-week residency was spent setting up shop and gathering data. The students broke into two teams and met local artists, musicians, dancers, artisans, and farmers to ask them if they were cultural workers. Individual students worked as reporters, filmmakers, photographers, and sound engineers. Saturday brought both the mid-point of the residency and August Heffner, creative director at MoMA in New York. August and myself spend the day with the students talking about their week. We were delighted to hear their interpretations of cultural work, and could see they were exhausted. August gave them a partial break and lead brainstorming exercises based on MASS MoCA’s Sol Lewitt Retrospective. In the afternoon we pinned down a plan for week two. The next few days were split into working on a collaborative project and a personal reaction. Thursday night was the official opening. Work Site was transformed from a jumble of tables, laptops, sketches and scribbles to a gallery documenting a journey.

As a patron I was impressed with the effort. As a (minor) participant I was proud of the accomplishment. I want to thank all the participants from the Bronx for choosing to work at MASS MoCA, and the Berkshires interviewees for opening their studios and lives. Explore the Hostos DesignLab.

Prom Night

Last weekend was NAMA Prom. I made a poster for it and helped plan it some. It was at the Elk’s Lodge, which was probably the best part. I didn’t know all that many people and everyone else there knew each other. I felt like a chaperone most of the evening. I even prevented a fight. A shirtless man dropped his glasses, while trying to find them he bumped into a very intoxicated young woman. She was very upset and he was very apologetic. She didn’t want to hear his eager apologies and I got in the middle and said to the man holding his glasses “hey guy, please just put on your glasses and walk away, I’ll tell her your sorry, she’s very drunk.” When I was driving home I was inattentive, so I got pulled over and had to do the sobriety test stuff. I wasn’t drunk enough so they let me drive on home. All week I’ve felt worn down and I didn’t even party that hard.

Went and looked at a cabin to live in for the rest of the summer. Found a nice house on a hill for the fall.

Tonight I went to an art lecture and am still really annoyed by it. I have no idea what it was supposed to be about, or what they were trying to talk about, or anything. It was really very much like that snl sketch where the guy reads the newspaper headlines. I really wanted to respond to them and set them straight, but I don’t know what their point was! I wish this could have been explained as being art in itself. But it wasn’t. We were all duped. I googled the characters from the lecture and they had a very thin online presence. I think what they were trying to talk about was artists’ roles as cultural workers. The contexts they were trying to put everything are extinct and they were still talking about it and dwelling on them. Move on you “creative thinkers!” I fell bad for walking out on them, as I’m usually very patient. I gotta give a lecture man.

I’ve been drinking a lot of ginger tea. So good.


Looking through my email history and other digital artifacts. Here’s some notable events of the past months:

Cancelled iPhone
Went to NYC For Mike K and DMP’s bday
I made and Orange-Vanilla Ricotta Cheesecake
I hosted a taco night at my house.

Went to a show at Tim and Maureen’s. Singer from the band was someone I’d met at FEAST.
Sandman came up for the weekend. It rained the whole time, but we got a lot of work done. Fun to talk shop and collab and be somewhat serious about sharing ideas.
Dave and Abby came up and went to see Iron and Wine with Esha and I. I drank too much, but no one seemed to mind.

Went to Connecticut for Sarah G & Nick S’s bdays. Featuring a crawfish boil and pig roast.
Went to NY for FEAST booth at New Museum.
Went to Philadelphia for Theresa and Nato’s wedding.

Turned 31 years of age. Did not party hard or anything. Esha made me two cakes. Made me a special lunch (bahn mi) and dinner (pork chops). She also got me some shirts because I got these chinos and no tops to go with them. My mom sent me a check for $25.

* * * * * * *
Still hitting up Trivia on occasion. One time I went with Cortney, Lizzy and Rebecca and we got first place. It was a good feeling.

Esha has still been coming up on the regular. I like when she’s here.

Been enjoying the Spring and Summer weather. So nice up here. Liking the job. Have a totally new outlook and approach to work. I don’t dread it in the mornings anymore! Crazy feeling.

Tomorrow is the NAMA Prom. I just got back from helping decorate.

Going to move out of my big house at the end of the month or so. Need to start thinking about if I’m actually going to build up here. I suppose that depends if I can get a suitable / affordable plot of land.

Trying to remember to post pics from my phone regularly.

Typical VM from my mom

Month Two



photos via Tim
photos via Tim

Went to New York last Saturday. Would have went on Friday night but it was snowing up here again. This snow is getting old. Both figuratively and literally. I can’t imagine it will ever melt. I hate people talking about the weather, but this weather is going on for a while. Tonight snow was melting and sliding off the roof with a pretty satisfyingly loud thud. Anyhow, another FEAST in Brooklyn. Food and drink served, art funded, floors mopped.

Everyone kept asking me the same questions over and over. How is it up there? Do you like your job? I replied that I still like it up here and like my job, don’t feel isolated, and still wish I had more productive free time. I keep reminding myself the job is pretty much whatever I want it to be, so I need to make it great. Lately I feel like I just answer emails and do little things here and there all day. So I’ve been turning my email off.

My main social event is trivia night at the Polish Nat’l Alliance in the next town over every Wednesday night. It’s pretty fun. We never win, but pitchers of beer are $7 and it’s bring your own snacks, so you really can’t lose. My two main friends are Cein and Kim. They both work in art fabrication at the museum and none of us know each other all that well.

Esha was up here for the last two weeks while she was in between jobs and studying for the GREs. I really got used to her company and miss her not being here after just a few hours of being in the house alone. We did a lot of cooking, sitting under blankets, looking out the window on to the land, and some of the local activities. She didn’t seem to hate it, even though she was kind of trapped in my rental house outside of town.

I hope to buy some new shoes this week.

New Year

Side of Aug’s head, Patti Smith at MoMA

Aug and Jeff playing chess at Shaker

The part of my live radio show where I describe Polaroids

View from my new office

Car I bought for $1300, that runs fine but I constantly worry is going to break down

Some beets I bought at the co-op where I buy all my food now

Film crew

Wrapped up last year in Brooklyn. David and Molly had a nice Christmas Eve party where I consumed many tamales. Jenny and Dan had a nice cookie party where I consumed many cookies. Saw Patti Smith sing a few songs at MoMA. There was a party at 169 bar in honor of Kelly and I quitting our jobs. I went out to dinner a lot. Mostly I thought about my new job I got at MASS MoCA and how I was going to go about moving and getting all the stuff I needed. I packed everything. Breathed a lot of dust in. Kept myself steadily sick. Ended up getting a uhaul and drove it up to the annual Shaker Meadows NYE party.

NYE was pretty chill and a good amount of fun. Lots of good food and being lazy and some partying. This year everyone went back to Brooklyn, and I stayed behind to live up here.

Stayed a week in Artist’s housing with Sandman. She’d work on her stuff all day and I’d come home and we’d eat something pretty healthy for dinner, try and watch tv or a movie with no luck. She left and I moved up the hill to Clarksburg to my rental house. It’s big. I think I’m finally used to the place, but it’s too big. It snows once or twice a week, and the weather is pretty miserable.

I really enjoy my new job. There is a lot to do, some urgent, some long term. It’s strange to be kind of in charge. I have to decide what I’m going to worry about and what not to think about. Instead of working on projects. I have to invent them and then work on them.

Esha has been coming up every two weeks for long weekends. Life is pretty domestic when she’s here and I look forward to it. She likes the big house and the couch in the kitchen, but not the part about it not being in New York.

Last weekend Blume came in from KC, Mike and Aug came up from NY, joined by Nick P from LA. Blume brought a bunch of video gear and we worked like crazy interviewing people in the museum for a video I hope to edit within the next 10 days. We were 5 young men hanging out, drinking craft beers, eating hamburgers, talking about our careers, playing dominoes, watching super bowls, making up jokes, trying to come up with million dollar ideas. It was nice to see everyone. I feel like we’re all real grown up now, but still have this weird, close connection that makes me wonder if it was like … destiny that we became friends?

Groceries Purchased — 2010

6L Olive Oil
4 bottles Canola Oil
10 boxes Veggie Burger
2 bottles Balsamic Vinegar
Sea Salt
Black Pepper
2 packages Pepper Jack Cheese
22 packages Cheddar Cheese
1 tub Pizza Four Cheese
2.2 lbs Potatoes
2 Boxes of Tea
2 packages Havarti Cheese
1 Can Garbanzo Beans
.42 lb Olives
3 pints of Ice Cream
2 lbs Ground Lamb
Approx 18 Tomatoes
1 can Tomato Sauce
3.37 lbs Cannellini Beans
6 tubs of Cottage Cheese
1 package Brown Rice
1.62 lb Cherries
1 can Kidney Beans
44.59 lb Bananas
1 package Dried Kidney Beans
1 package Frozen Peas
7.64 lbs Pears
17 Onions
9 jars of Peanut Butter
3 jars of Jelly
13 heads Garlic
7.37 lb Peaches
20.35 lb Granola
11 tubs Yogurt
2 bunches Beets
1 bunch Asparagus
1 Green Pepper
4 Red Peppers
27 Heads Lettuce
1 bunch Carrots
1 bunch Celery
1 bag Corn Chips
3 heads of Kale
1 lb Almonds
1 package English Muffins
7 packages various Pasta
2 jars Mustard
Some Yams
1 bunch Spinach
2 cans Pumpkin Pie Filling
Ginger Powder
1 bottle Maple Syrup
1 tub Ricotta
1 package Flour
10 Lemons
23 Avocados
9 Rolls Toilet Paper
13 dozen Eggs
4 boxes of Corn Muffin Mi
2 cans of Cream Corn
35 loaves of Bread
26.69 lb Popcorn
6.43 lbWalnuts
33 lb Cous Cous
1 box Wheat Thins
1 box Triscuits
32 sticks of Butter
4 lbs Sugar
2 packages of Soup
12 pack Sprite
14 packages Hard Cheese
Some Pork Sausage
1 package Monterey Jack
Some String Beans
Cinnamon Powder
42.53 lb Apples
6 packages Mozzarella
1 bunches Basil
1.4 lb Shallots
7 Cucumbers
1 head of Broccoli
4 jars Pickles
2.5 gallons Milk
1 lb Coffee
1 pint of Heavy Cream

Cashier Names