05 March 2008


it was with bittersweet resignation that i passed in my battered old passport at the u.s. consulate last week for renewal. on the one hand, i was more than a little sick of looking at the horrendous results of my decision in 1998 -- deep into my college hippie phase -- to not bother showering before having a photograph taken that i would be looking at frequently over the next ten years. yet what ten years those were. that passport was with me for most of the defining moments of my twenties; it helped me define myself.

i remember taking that grungy photo in hanover, before tami and i went backpacking around europe after junior year of college. the first stamp was at gatwick airport and there are a good collection of european stamps from back when they did that kind of thing. it came with me on my globetrotting early retirement year of 2001-2002 where it was filled up with page-filling asian visas and stamps i accrued walking through rainy border towns in central america. it was in costa rica that i maxed it out, and proudly marched down to a consulate for some extra pages.

the latest group of stamps has been mostly banal: from airports in the u.s. and madrid. combined with a noticable lack of working visa, these present a tell-tale history of my illegal status in spain. luckily these clues are hidden like needles in the haystack of my colorful and exotically-stamped passport so nobody seems to notice.

all i have left from the little book is a set of photographs i took of its pages, which became the banner for my webzine nothing to declare. and now i sit and wait for the new one to arrive: blank pages, ten more years, a challenge to fill up those pages.

well, i have a few stamps coming up for it. i've been on a flight-buying and trip-planning rampage. portugal in a few weeks for easter. back to the alps two weeks after that. morocco with michael at the end of april. barcelona with sky in may. and all while sporting a shiny new blue book with a vastly-improved photograph inside.

04 March 2008

i'm still here

oops, haven't been around here lately. can i blame the doldrums of late february-early march city living? not exactly, because the weather has been unseasonably warm. how about my well-documented bumpy landings after returning from the u.s.? ok, but it's march! i don't know, the culprit is probably just laziness.

so what's been new with me? brace yourself....i've been knitting alot. knitting is a winter hobby for me and lately i've been churning out armwarmers like nobody's biznatch. oh, and reading. yeah, finally finished pollen's omnivore's dilemma -- totally recommended -- and now i'm burning through great fortune about the development and construction of rockefeller center, also a great read (thanks dad!).

around the internet i've been reading this:
  • new york times: this article inspired my column idea for nothing to declare (coming soon!) and this makes me sick. every so often there is an article putting the cost of the war in perspective which i read with morbid fascination.
  • i know everybody read about this last week, but i never claimed to be on time around here, did i? anyway, holy crikey! and, a year of prison is more expensive than a year of dartmouth? did anybody else find this startling?
  • this little easily-missed article was the best thing about the new yorker's anniversary issue, in my opinion. praising philippe de montebello's work as director of the met, it goes further to investigate why some museum experiences feel so good while others render you a pawn of the unseen deciders of the art world; it also explains perfectly what i have struggled to put into words about my disappointment with the moma expansion.
ok. so. reading, knitting. my life is boring. maybe that's why i haven't been blogging?