I made a decision this week to extend my stay in Oklahoma from December 29 to January 3, so that I could spend some more time with family and friends out West and see the Flaming Lips New Year’s Eve concert. Or, as it’s officially called, the Flaming Lips New Year’s Eve FREAKOUT, which promises balloons, crazy Okie fans, and a cover of Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon. So I’m pretty excited. Better start learning the words to those new Embryonic songs now.
I spent three days this week temping at a marketing company, where I just had to answer the phone and open the door for people, maybe sign for a couple of packages. Oh, and I solved the crisis of the milk shortage by ordering more, but that was the extent of my troubles. Next week I’m going back to the very important film studio, where I hope to avoid the wrath of any very important film executives. And then on December 21 I’m flying to Oklahoma City, on a very early 6 am flight. I might just have to not sleep that night and get a car at an obscene hour.
I happened to go by Macy’s on my way to an interview and saw their window displays. One has creepy puppets acting out the Miracle on 34th Street film, the version from hell where everyone has looks of horror and despair permanently slapped across their faces and their arms hang stiffly far below their knees. Apparently these are up every year, so maybe this was the height of puppetry when they were first built. Because they were nothing compared to the high tech animatronics that were in the other windows in a nightmare that was a mix of Disneyworld and a casino. There was some sort of “Write Letters to Santa” station that at first glance looked like a slot machine and then windows with a vortex of swirling letters accompanied by an ominous Santa voice, cackling elves, and clanking mail sorting machines, all in colors out of an LSD trip.
On Thursday, Elizabeth came to see my new apartment and we sampled some of the Mexican food in the area. It wasn’t exactly vegetarian friendly, but I did have a papaya smoothie that was delicious. Yes, I realize that it’s freezing outside and even now my fingers are cold, but I refuse to give up my smoothies. We walked a little around my neighborhood and stepped into the Green-Wood Cemetery, which has the gorgeous entrance in the picture above. I feel like there should be a good name for the area I’m living in with its proximity to the cemetery and all the funeral parlors. The District of Death? Tomb Town? I don’t know, I’ll need help on this. And I think that any names I think of would drive developers away.
Yesterday I had a promising job interview and training for next week’s temp job. I recently finished reading one of the best books I’ve read in a long time: A Death in the Family by James Agee. It barely had any plot, but the writing was perfect, more like a long poem than a novel. I could open it up to any page and get absorbed in the imagery. Apparently it was published posthumously and went on to win the Pulitzer. Right now I’m reading On Beauty by Zadie Smith, which is an easy subway book. Although I’m really enjoying it and find it very entertaining, it seems like the same characters from White Teeth.
Today I went for a run around the Green-Wood Cemetery, although this time I didn’t try to make it around the entire perimeter. While running back down the hill to my apartment, the Statue of Liberty comes into view just above a smokestack before disappearing into the smoke. Four months into living in New York and I’m still mesmerized by the way the city hides and then suddenly reveals its icons.