Monday, August 11, 2003

Suffered from insomnia all last week, particularly Friday evening after being wakened by one of my black cats attacking the other. I got up, started reading the news, and became obsessed with the whole Bertrand Cantat murder scandal in Lithuania. I’ve become a huge fan of Noir Desir in the past couple of years even though I don’t speak any French. (I know what their songs are about from several articles published in the Polish press and translations of their lyrics.) I even went to their concert in Warsaw last year. Now he’s been charged with murder. It’s almost unfortunate his suicide attempt was unsuccessful. At least I will still be able to sing, “I’m lost but I’m not stranded.” The gravity of his situation makes me dizzy.

Speaking of the gravity of rock stars, Stephen and I went to the Pat Benatar concert at Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth Saturday night. I always know she’s going to sing “Hell is for Children” because, as she says, she sings it at every concert. But as someone who was abused as a child, I don’t much care to hear this song while I’m out enjoying live music, particularly after years of dealing with and getting beyond that abuse. At what point does a political/artistic statement become exploitation of those the artist seeks to aid? If you know the answer, please get back to me.

So much work to do this week, from writing my syllabus to composing more music under deadline and preparing for the radio show. Looking forward to the payoff. And now my chores beckon.

Thursday, August 7, 2003

The party came and went, and I was left wondering why I’ve allowed myself to remain somewhat isolated in this city for so long. Lately it seems that euro-Frankie—-my outgoing alter ego who talks to everyone and meets hordes of new people each week—-has been hibernating, but I’m trying to reawaken him with spirits and strong coffee. Perhaps he will peel back the covers just once more and venture outside of his head.

My membership at the YMCA has been great. Even despite the red-level ozone alert today, I’m looking forward to jogging my 2.5 miles on the treadmill and lifting weights, the routine I’ve maintained since joining. Already I feel better and can see improvements. My short-term goals are to knock off those extra 15 – 20 lbs. and to develop some endurance. Long-term goal: to have the body of a 20-year-old …. Yeah, you figure it out!

In two weeks, I begin teaching my American government course at a nearby college. The professional development will be great for the next year as I wait for my move to London. Wish I could be more excited about the way in which I was hired: the dean made it seem like I was being hired because they were desperate instead of appreciating the fact that I am more than qualified to teach this subject. For fuck’s sake, I have more graduate hours than the dean himself does! Just one more reason to resent working for others.