The Summer Fun List is one of DJ Kelly’s more genius ideas: Sometime in late spring you make a list of all the fun things you want to do during the upcoming summer, so that the whole season doesn’t fly past without your having done anything fun at all. (This is especially useful for former Midwestern Protestants such as myself, who tend to forget that “fun” is not the same thing as “evil.” Or maybe it is, and that’s why it feels so jolly. But I don’t wanna get all philosophical about it now.) A few weeks ago I was feeling pretty unhappy about something and I drew a big X across the Summer Fun List page and wrote “KILL MYSELF” instead, but I’m sort of over that now, so I figured I’d take another look. Plus, it finally got sunny for three days in a row, and it’s starting to feel a little bit like summer at last. Here’s what’s on my SFL this year:
UConn Puppet Museum
Rosendale (more bees?)
Musical Saw Festival
Book Arts Lounge and/or Class
Bacon Retrospective (& other art)
So far, this has not been a particularly successful SFL season. I used to try to go to one Yankees game a year, but now that tickets cost more than I make in a month, I won’t be doing that. And because of Global Economic Change, there weren’t any 4th of July fireworks anywhere near where I live: All the usual displays were canceled. So Sluggo and I went up on a hill near our house and looked down the Hudson toward New York City and saw just the tippy-top of the Macy’s fireworks—we wouldn’t see anything for two or three minutes, and then there’d be a little puff of red light, and then nothing for another couple of minutes, and then some silvery sparkles. Even though I tried as hard as I could, I wasn’t able to convince myself that it was actually “fun.” And I have been SO looking forward to this year’s Musical Saw Festival on Saturday, July 18. I went last year, and it was truly fantastic. I heard Satie’s “Gymnopedie” performed by a musical saw and the Trinity handbell choir, and I am not kidding when I say that it was life-changing. Seriously. It was great, and weird, and great-and-weird, and I have been looking forward to going again for a whole year—and I have an unavoidable conflict that day and can’t go. But you should. It’s in Astoria, it costs only $10, and this year they’re going to try to break the Guinness World Record for “largest musical saw ensemble.” This is a musical event I sincerely recommend for any WFMU Listener, so add it to your Summer Fun List and go.
That’s the disappointments so far, but there’s been some surprise fun, too. Sluggo and I got invited to cocktails at the penthouse residence of an ambassador to the U.N., which was clearly some kind of mistake but we went anyway and had a very nice time. We also went to the “Agitprop!” Book Arts Lounge at the Center for Book Arts, where we talked about Russian constructivist advertising art with polymath poet Mr. Jeremy James Thompson and letterpressed some little flyers that say “Money is No Object.” I got to take the “Brown Bag Bindery” class, too, and built my own piercing cradle, sewing frame, and finishing press. Sylvia Alotta, the teacher, used to be an industrial designer for GM, and has come up with the most beautiful, functional, simple designs for binding equipment. She is my new hero, and almost makes me want to move to Chicago just so I could study with her there. (*Almost.*) Now I’m looking forward to the “Embroidered Bindings” Book Arts Lounge on August 14. Maybe I’ll see you there.
My friend Miss Manytitles has arranged for me to attend a free screening of Bruno with her this week, but the movie I’m really looking forward to seeing is ROBOGEISHA. Here's the trailer, so you will want to see it too. OMG, I have to see it! My Grammy Carlton used to say, “The world is so full of a number of things, I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings,” and when there are movies like Robogeisha in the world, I think she was right.
Thanks for reading my blogpost this time, and may God bless.