Friday, December 20, 2002

It's been fairly easy the past month to be productive and creative when the sun is shining and the temperature has been around 70° F (21° C). Just about ready to start mailing out the Caelum Moor CDs. And the trance album is coming together conceptually. Hopefully it will be completed by spring. What with a newer/faster computer and a renewed source of energy, I'm looking forward to this next project as well as to those beyond.

Stephen and I went to a preview of Pedro Almodóvar's Hable con ella (Speak to Her) last night at the Inwood Theatre. My favorite line was when Lydia the bullfighter says to Marco, "Take me to Madrid, and I'll talk to you on the way." This film was much more like a Krzysztof Kieslowski film; in fact, with the pairing/doubling of the characters, I was often reminded of Kieslowski's Heaven. But obviously the Spanish writer/director has a better sense of humor than his Polish counterpart had. The music was wonderful, though not anywhere as eloquent as the soundtrack to Frida. Hearing the ballet mistress speak of the Polish composer Penderecki was refreshing since I believe he's not appreciated nearly enough, particularly by other artists. Finally, the ballets made me miss living in Central Europe, where I could most nights of the weeks watch great and thought-provoking performances with an appreciative and engaged audience.

Just think, if every politician who said something stupid would step down, America would have no leaders....

Sunday, September 29, 2002

Finally a time to get away from the studio and out of my own head has come: tomorrow Shayne & I head to the Pacific Northwest by car. We plan to be gone for about two weeks, mostly staying in Seattle, Washington, visiting friends and developing more projects to complete once we return.

The Caelum Moor project is, for the most part, completed. I need to tweek some of the audio settings on the last two pieces. Then I just need to take care of all the business aspects of copyrighting, publishing, signing, distributing. Until that time, please feel free to check out the newly launched (yet not quite completely online) site for Caelum Moor, an album of electronic ambient music. At this time, only the piano versions are live. But the complete songs will be live within the next month or so, and you'll be able to purchase the CD from as well as from other retail markets. My photos of the actual site will be uploaded late next month.

Caelum Moor available here.

Thursday, June 13, 2002

So this is how it all ends:  Frankie and his pals crawling back to their respective rooms at 5:30 in the morning after an indeterminate amount of vodka, an unending night of dancing and rozmowa, with lips smeared with the sauce of good falafel eaten in haste at an all-night Turkish bar and a bad cup of coffee out of the vending machine in the lobby downstairs.  And the question I really need answered is this:  Did it get any better than this?

In an attempt not to regret too much in my life, particularly over the past unnecessarily difficult nine months, I enlist the following list to help me remember what meant the most to me here in Warsaw.  This is what I take home with me:

  • Tomek serving me cafe au lait in a bowel with a smile at 6/12.
  • Angel wings at Polyester.
  • Kino Muranów.
  • Qchnia Artystyczna, CSW, and the entire Zamek Ujazdowski complex.
  • Sweet/Salty (or was it Sweet Elephant?) with Sarah.
  • Sokrat.  (I still miss you.)
  • The night when fondue turned into fondon't at Szpulka.
  • Pub Depresja--enough said!
  • Finding a pumpkin to carve for Halloween.
  • The Asia Pacific Museum's ceramic exhibition.
  • The Nut Lady on Nowy Świat.
  • Day in early December with Thom, watching Cześć Tereska & feeding the animals who would soon star in some holiday performance.
  • Walking around New Town in the snow.
  • Discovering the magic of ul. Chmielna and Muza.
  • Vegetarian naleśniki at Szpilka with a caffe latte spilling over the sides of the glass.
  • Między Nami with Jola.
  • Walking through the old Jewish Quarter the day before my birthday.
  • Women's Day with Jola.
  • Columbian dinner with Germán & John while their cats curled up on my lap.
  • What?!  Another Cafe Brama?!
  • The Noir Desir concert with Mirek & Daria.
  • Not using the line, "I am not you, and you are not your mother!"  Or even better:  "I am not you, and you are not your cunt of a mother!!!" when I had so many opportunities....
  • Parade of Equality with Jola, Sarah & John.
  • Men's Night at Club 69 with Robert & Gwen.
  • Piano recital on a Sunday afternoon in Lazienki Park.
  • MIA 100 Kobiet with Jola & Paweł, and the subsequent bar crawl from Utopia to Organza.
  • The Cesaria Evora concert with Jola.

This will be my last entry from Warsaw.  I return to Texas June 19th.

Friday, May 17, 2002

The past week in Gothenburg has been so tranquil, I already dread the flight back to Warsaw tomorrow morning. I’ve found it difficult to fall asleep at night just because I’m much more interested in staring at the stars outside my window. Morgan and Lars’ house is in the mountains, surrounded by a woods, near a huge lake, under a blanket of constellations I forgot existed.

And the time with Morgan has been really positive. I’m now much better able to understand who I was six years ago when we were last together, freezing to death during the winter in Lublin. That time was magical, and this time--in a completely new sort of way--was magical as well. I am always astounded when I find someone who stretches my mind. I am even more astounded the second time--when I get to reconnect and reacquaint myself with someone who had such an impact and influence on me when I was so much younger and so less the person I am today.

Things I want to remember about my stay in Gothenburg:

  • the scent of lilac while strolling through downtown at twilight;
  • riding the roller coaster and other rides at the amusement park;
  • visiting the manor by the sea with Oscar, who enthusiastically read all the signs;
  • seeing the ancient Norse settlement with the upright stones;
  • the ferry ride to the archipelago.

So I leave for Poland tomorrow, refreshed and revitalized and hopefully better able to deal with the unpleasantness of life there for the next 32 days. Looking forward to spending time with my friends before we all go our separate ways.

Wednesday, May 8, 2002

There are very few things that are as life-affirming as removing unnecessary things from one's life, putting necessary things in a box, and shipping that box to your home. That's the point I'm at as of this afternoon when I carried a 20-kg box to the post office after spending about an hour last night packing and unpacking and repacking.

Ah! the weirdo strange man just arrived at the Internet cafe. He's as predictable as the cleaning lady at the Hera. Even the little black dog that accompanies him seems put out by these daily adventures they have and the extremely bizarre conversations he has with the woman behind the counter every day at about this time.

When answering the all important question, "Was it worth it?" I still keep coming up with the same response: no. But I know I have to make sense of it if only because of the lyrics to that Sheila Chandra song: "An ocean refuses no river." If you have any thoughts on the matter, please send them to me before May 12th! (Just so you're clear, we are talking about sex....)

Sunday, May 5, 2002

I had my first nosebleed of the season. It's amazing how awful my body can be sometimes. The pollen is supposed to be particularly bad in Europe this year. Piles of this gunk swirl in giant clumps all over Warsaw.

Tomorrow is my 13th anniversary.... How could I have survived this long? Should have never accepted the Polish connection even at that point! (I wonder who else thinks about this day from 13 years ago....)

I leave Thursday for a short vacation to Sweden. Looking forward to seeing Morgan again after these 6 long years.

And the countdown continues: is it already only 45 more days?

Friday, April 12, 2002


If you read these pages and think "Oh, what a poor, sad boy!" then you've missed the point.  I am happy in a very real and deep way.  For those of you who know me, the (missing) paragraph was unnecessary.  I hope the rest of you enjoyed.

Friday, March 1, 2002

In a field near the airport with storm clouds blowing in and tears in my eyes, complaining about reindeer games of the Varsovian expat crowd to which I am not welcomed (nor invited), I rediscover the magic of myself. Today is officially declared Dzien Franka--Day for Frank!--and I will vacation from my own head and from those who make me so unhappy. My first official act was to turn off my cell phone. The second official act was to drink a large Zywiec at my favorite cafe.

Last nights's dinner party for the lost felt more like a graduate seminar in Polish sociology. I left at 10:30 feeling just a little bit more lost than usual. And now I only think about "leaving" and "being gone."

Alas there's no point in crying over spilt cologne, even if it is Chanel's Platinum Egoiste. The third official act was to buy a replacement bottle.

Monday, February 11, 2002

Five nights in Venice for Carnevale, drinking bottles of wine passed back-and-forth as we make our way across this city filled with magic (as much so as my belly is filled with pizza and cappucino), among the costumed crowd emerging from and fading into the fog rolling in from the sea. One must choose carefully which cliches one will live out. The twenty-hour train ride from Warsaw last Wednesday was well worth it. The Venetians all are beautiful--from the twenty-something janitor at the train station to the old woman selling us oranges at the market. To lose oneself among the narrow streets and alleys and bridges over canals crammed with gondolas, to drink in the sea, the atmosphere, the Bellini and Peroni, to mix with a people who can appreciate as well as produce beauty and love--I fully embrace these cliches as I face tomorrow's return trip.