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Cyber Monday 2019

Here, put this on first..

This morning my horoscope said "It's been twelve years since Jupiter has visited your sign, so there is plenty to look forward to."

I had to google what 12 years ago was, and I found myself to be incredibly lucky. It's the first time really that I have a perfect document of a year in my life. The digital camera I had was clear and working well, the archives of the thousands of photos I took that year were well preserved. I wanted to see what the patterns were in my life at that point which might repeat.

First I looked at newspaper headlines and the Billboard charts but I was so disconnected from both of those things at the time that they held little relevance. What I did see immediately is what a year of upheaval it was in my life. My grandparents were both in nursing homes for the first time. I saw AC/DC, Oasis, and R.E.M. for what seems to be the last time I'll ever seen any of them. I went to Shea Stadium and Yankee Stadium for the last time ever. My home was being overrun and destroyed by tourists and gentrification was hitting it's peak. Everything that seemed stable and safe in my life was being upended every single day. What was I doing? I was clutching my headphones tightly and listening to a lot (and I mean a lot) of Black Grape. Why? I have no idea. Maybe because Shawn Ryder was at peak drug addict when he was writing it (he was smoking crack and a lot of the lyrics are improvised about the drugs he had just taken before walking in the vocal booth).  They are chaotic and abstract and urgent and danceable as fuck. They have big hooks and deep beats. An autographed poster of the cover hangs on my living room wall to this day.

2008 was a year where I picked myself up, looked around and saw that my reality didn't match either my personality or where I wanted to be in life. It was a dark, frantic, and exhausting year where I fought tooth and nail to get out of my own way. I explored New York harder than I'd ever explored New York before. I went back to college, but not just any college, I signed up at Parsons and started taking the design classes I should have been taking 14 years earlier instead of simply going to any college that would take me just so I had a reason to move. There was a nearly constant battle daily between who I wanted to become and who I was. I looked around and saw I was surrounded by people who were never going to help me be that person nor would they accept that person. I deleted my twitter account and made a new one. I followed the curators and staff of every museum in New York. I would end up meeting many friends that I still have as a result. 

Out of nowhere Letters To Cleo showed up for a single night of my life in 2008 as if some kind of cosmic reminder of where I'd come from and how it would propel me to where I was going. I added Kay Hanley to my twitter account. This would introduce me to my best friend Angie as a result.

I was editing my first book. It no longer represented who I was or where I was in life. It was a caricature of who I'd been and who I was trying to shed. In this staged photo I'm editing the book by hand on a couch at the Pottery Barn outlet in the Hamptons. In reality I was pretending to edit while watching Nora Ephron shop. It seemed like another sign from the universe. By the time the book came out I was completely removed from anything I'd written about.

Everywhere I looked I was surrounded by filth and ugliness. I felt like I needed a shower several times a day. Whereas I'd reveled in this aesthetic before it was now crawling all over me and I just wanted it gone so badly. Without question I can see how it was a turning point in my relationship that would ultimately lead to my divorce. In some ways it turned me into an elitist snob and in other ways that was just a reaction to trying to escape my circumstances. 

I saw "Live from Shiva's Dance Floor" around this time and that was a major turning point for me. While all these other things in my life were crumbling I saw how none of it would ever matter to anyone. This is where I started watching "Maury" every day. In the past I was really trying to help people, now I was clearly seeing how people didn't really want to be helped.

In random corners and down random alleyways I was seeing artifacts of the boom years on Wall Street in the 80's. I was exploring what happened when they went bust. Somehow I knew they were all about to go bust again. Around this time the financial crisis of 2008 became more obvious. The whole world was falling apart. I was walking around listening to Black Grape on my iPod and watching it happen every single day. My natural reaction was to be more creative than I'd ever been before. I was starting to make art books, I was taking my photography seriously, I started making more art projects than I'd ever made before. I was writing my second book. I can't stress enough just how much Black Grape I was listening to.

Even my teddy bear's favorite restaurant chain (Bennigan's) went out of business in 2008. Every day was waking up and seeing some other imaginary pillar of my life decimated.  People were napping on the floor at the Museum of Modern Art, children were climbing the sculptures at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, they were selling double decker bus tours of Brooklyn. 

I went to Art Basel Miami and apparently got way into interpretive dance. "Get ready, Capricorn: today the beneficient giant of fame and fortune moves into your own stars for the next twelve months," says my horoscope today. I mean I kind of see it, nothing is really holding me back this time.


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