Late April through May, 2019

Here is some stuff I did after I got back from my Las Vegas/Utah trip. I tried to focus on pictures with people in them here, not as many meals or pictures of out and about stuff. Also, check out this new Journal-style format I’m trying out this time.

April 21st:
I got back from Utah just in time to celebrate Easter at Angelique’s and to witness another epic Easter Basket swap competition.

April 27th: Went down to midtown to help the Holts’ with their move and to admire their apartment’s decent views one last time.

Later on that day, we celebrated Angelique’s birthday with a private tour of the Morgan Library and their Tolkein exhibit (no photos allowed in there, though). Afters we went back to her apartment for a Hobbit Hole cake.

April 30th: On my birthday I ate a plate of nachos, started the before-mentioned Ulysses re-read, and got a phone call from my sister Emily.

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May 2nd: Jeff was in town and bought Jeff and me milkshakes.

May 3rd: Jumped on an up-for-grabs ticket to see Dialogues of the Carmelites at the Met.

May 5th: Threw a Domingo de Mayo American taco party.

May 14: Saw Hailey Blais play the Mercury Lounge.

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May 16: Walked across the river and checked out the Hall of Fame for Great Americans.

May 17: Checked out the lates very ho-hum edition of the Whitney Biennial opening weekend. The museum was getting protested so that was a little exciting.

May 20th: Karen was in town! Maybe you saw the new profile picture she took of me on my socials?

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Then that evening I hosted an FHE at my apartment.

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May 22nd: Indian Chinese food in Queens with Kim and Leanna

May 25th: A visit to Goatham in Riverside Park and a trip out to Brooklyn for Victoria & Logan’s engagement party

May 26th: First Sunday park picnic of the year and a surprise NY appearance by Sara (Lexia’s sister, if you remember Lexia but never met Sara) celebrated with my first startled pig attempt.

May 27th: Lucky me! The Inwood Memorial Day parade went right by my house! And BIG lucky me, Angelique and Heather joined me for a drive to Sheepshead Bay to check out its two star roast beef establishments: Brennan and Carr and Roll n Roaster!

May 29th: Big Finale! Ryan turns up back in town for a minute at Hanks Juicy Beef with Jeff!

Bloomsday 2019!

While I reach for it for some reason nearly every week, on my birthday I began my third decennial reading of Ulysses with the goal of finishing it today—June 16—Bloomsday, the day the story took place 115 years ago. Turns out I finished it in just a month (my first reading in 1999 took 4 months, second about a week or two under 3 months). So either I’m getting faster or I can stand bigger pieces the book daily.

Some things to report from this reading:

  • I began reading at 8am April 30th, the time of day that the book begins. And I finished sometime after 2am on May 31st, about the time Molly Bloom is falling back asleep.

  • I read the first 6 chapters in 1,4,2,5,3,6 order, to match their roughly simultaneous nature. In other words, to better understand what Bloom was doing during chapter 5 while Stephen was teaching in chapter 2.

  • I had BIG breakthroughs reading the Cyclops and Nausica chapters. Huge windows of new comprehension opened in my mind. I absolutely love these chapters now. The drawing and quartering scene from Cyclops is one of my favorite things in the whole book. They should include it as an excerpt in literature books. 

  • Also very much enjoyed Wandering Rocks for the first time. Really a fun chapter. 

  • Oxen in the Sun still I cannot conquer. I may return to reread it alone later this year with every possible supplemental resource on hand. 

  • Still not very into Eumaeus chapter. It’s so long! And something I consider an obstacle before getting to the great Ithaca chapter, my longtime possibly favorite chapter. 

  • On this reading I learned: Bloom is handsome. Who knew!

  • I now believe that I like Finnegans Wake more than I like Ulysses. It’s just such an unrestrained monster. But Ulysses is awe inspiring in its own ways. 

All in all, I’d say it’s worth reading, but you don’t have to if you don’t want