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Alex of Macedon

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good day [Oct. 10th, 2012|07:39 pm]
Alex of Macedon
[Current Mood |relaxedreflective, generally.]
[Current Music |milk money- tha big J dee]

Breezy day. Translated the mayor's opening speech at the centennial conference next week, as well as my professor's-- a really effective way of exercising your noggin. Rifling a synonym for 'creative,' I learned 'demiurgic', same as in Greek. 
Also got a grade revision, upping my final average mark, TBD when I finish the thesis. Jumped from Turkish soft power to progressive-counterprogressive central-peripheral voting patterns in post-Milosevic Serbia back to Turkish soft power... it's the safer way to go, since the task of sifting through the ideologies of 42 political parties sitting in the Serb parliament has already made a few of my pubes turn white.
Also booked my xmas ticket back home for $666 (will make for an eventful holiday season), saving 600 smackers by using the airline's local website rather than the .us address. 

in spring,
in summer,
in autumn,
in winter,
cold--           and i wonder if these general modes owe to nature, social conditioning, or personal experience, but october always has me staring at my bellybutton, remembering.

Thinking about the proverbial climb up the mountain like a goat, from rock to rock, and this need for the nearly synonymous concepts of power and security. Inevitably, the individual will lose. 
I'll open a farm in some balmy developing country and grow tomatoes and marijuana, and be able to crank the 1812 overture until the goats milk themselves. If there's some money there, I'll grade an ample portion of soil for an airstrip.
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alors, c'est la guerre [Jun. 28th, 2012|08:09 pm]
Alex of Macedon
[Current Mood |pensivetrajectory.]
[Current Music |church hymns]

FINISHED my last essay for this master’s before the big ol’ thesis takes hold. This one was for the minorities course, where I chose historical linguistic minorities in Greece. Kind of a broad subject since there are a lot to be tackled (Pontians, Vlachs, Slavs, Arvanites to name a few), so it was narrowed down to the Vlach (Aromanians) grouping. It went from enlightenment writers of the 1700’s jumping a century to retarded national awakenings in the Balkans to post-WWII legal status. Really interesting to see that in the face of nationalisms, a group without a set locality (FUDGE I totally forgot to put that in there, so important) will end up subscribing to a nationality which does. Location, location, location. Also interesting to see that identities can eventually become obsolete and will get replaced by other more influential ones>>>

Which brings me to a thought:  What about people taking up new, not just cultural, ethnic identities, but also of societal ones; what about subscribing to the “gay” identity? Impossible to be gay and poor in the states, as it’s something associated with fabulousness (excessive consumption, stereotypical hubris, subscription to new trends) which assumes the capital required to support it; no money no funny honey bunny. Exclusivity is key to upward mobility, and being labeled as gay puts you up there with the big boys (statistics of median income of homosexuals vs straight). Some of the straighter-acting men you see have been known to flame out in the company of other men who shake the fig tree, and in a sense speak their language; using jargon and discussing the mundane community topics as exclusive common bonds. Maybe this is linked with conservative rejection of the gay community, where it’s not so much about the lifestyle that is feared but the rapid change of society posing a threat to its structural power. Lesson learned, mischief made.

Papalex’s grandpa gave out to cancer yesterday, and we went to the funeral today. Maybe I’m biased but orthodox ceremonies are really something beautiful, and somehow there is always that one relative who leans over the coffin murmuring their farewells while the priest chants. Thinking back, it was pretty surreal at the burial:

We drove to a hilltop cemetery overlooking the city, and after the priest delivered the last rites, Papalex stood up at the end wearing the John Lennon sunglasses, began delivering her elegy, lamenting these verses of spiritual freedom from a poem her papou taught her by heart as a little kid. As she neared the end, three white pigeons appeared on the headstone next to papou, chilled for a bit, and took off when she finished. Sweet birds.
RIP Thymio, you were a real man; entered the civil war at 14 and battled for those who sent you up the mountains, carried you through adolescence, and then the man locked you up in prison for years but you managed to hold up sweet as possible for your family decades later.

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awal yom [Jun. 17th, 2012|12:44 pm]
Alex of Macedon
[Current Mood |thirstywarm.]
[Current Music |sleepyhead]

Good day yesterday. Woke up and went with alexandra and papalex to papalex's parents' house to go swimming. Saw her taurus sister with her squeeze there and sipped on frappes while planespotting the arrivals from around the continent. 
Laughed it up a bunch with her sister's frenetic henpecking: "Gregory, you're full of riddles and bullshit!" --"C'mon baby I know it, just hold the chair up for me." Checked out an amazing vegetable garden and the mini-vineyard behind the grounds, so planning on this later on in life. I always somehow end up finding a pool.
Returned to base and made some delicious food, and went out to Dany's bar, watched Greece v. Russia win 1-0. Walked back home in another warm, balmy evening supplanted by gossip aplenty closing with a cig in the saloni to end the cycle. Perfect summer day.
Elections today, and bets are on syriza. Cousins come tomorrow for a visit, then we go north.
Briefly thinking a ride to Australia if the rumors of a facilitated procedure for obtaining a 1-year work visa are true.
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asteroid night walks [Jun. 6th, 2012|10:00 pm]
Alex of Macedon
[Current Music |cellphone's dead- beck]

Vividly remembering driving down the freeway that crystal morning and glancing to my right, seeing the Santa Susanas lightly dusted from the night before. 
Faak. Do I actually miss home, or just feeling vulnerable here? I feel like I should and could be making a lot of money if I go back. But the question to pose is that if of whatever "home" consists is actually tenable. Family, childhood home, friends are all disjunct. Time for a reevaluation; what matters most? At this point, forging a path of fiscal independence + being spatially (and metaphysically) closest to loved ones as possible. Maybe it's all an obsession with image and memory. Maybe the healthiest way to reproduce it is to just write it or photograph it and let it go, and get real. Maybe it's just a bit of the realist speaking in me right now, but the prospect of a hellish paradise to attain a vague ideal is turning me off. Again though, home is the most familiar place and if I can bring the best of the experiences I took from here to my home turf, it's an assurance for realizing more valuable goals.

back to reading for Turkey.
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Honey whiskey ice cream [Jun. 4th, 2012|04:50 am]
Alex of Macedon
[Current Music |mambo gozon]

roommate left yesterday, now have the place to myself. I need to finish this essay on turkish soft power NOW. went out last night with the masters kids & met up on f's balcony where she played the perfect hostess. chatted up with etienne about the history of the auvergne dialect (not langue d'oil, neither langue d'oc-- WHAT?) and american civil war (biggest instance of liberalism trumping civil struggles in the US), and f taught me how easy ice cream is to make-- i will dank that honey whiskey recipe i found. we finally headed out to a club at 3.30 (remind myself never to do that again) playing godawful mixes of great songs. we left as dawn was approaching, as i had to jump in bed and pull the sheets over my head before mr. sun started creeping through the window. memories as such won't be forgotten, classmates twilighting around a minor european city in a time when we're still halfways carefree about life. damn, realizations like this have such a heavy implication yet are sometimes just so acceptable to bear.

Truly feels like summer has arrived. Balmy lethargic nights. I want to find a job in Morocco after the masters-- chefchaouen. 
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spiderwebs [May. 19th, 2012|02:00 am]
Alex of Macedon
[Current Mood |sicksick]
[Current Music |walkin' after midnight]

WHATEVER happened to discipline? you're dangling, dangling... not gonna make it in this world at this rate!!!

really feeling the intersection of ventura and fallbrook right now. the weather has been so schizo recently, i thought my comforter's duty was done for the year and excellent timing for finals... runny, explosively sneezy (flying backwards three feet each time) and suburbanly drowsy raaaaawr.
writing on pre-national social and political organization in the western balkans should be fun, what is the freakin hold up;
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rude awakening [May. 9th, 2012|03:42 am]
Alex of Macedon
[Current Mood |calmcalm]
[Current Music |mary tyler moore]

The more you learn, the more daunting life gets.

Don't want to just keep swimming, want to breach.

Write three papers in one week, then it's off to finals. Neon Indian in Milan on the 30th, going to check out Lugano, back in time to finish essay #4 for human rights, and then it's off to the Economist conference in Athens. South of France end of July-early August. 
Albania in late August? Keep the jive on the prize.
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in arrears [Feb. 6th, 2012|02:00 am]
Alex of Macedon
[Current Mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
[Current Music |hap-ki-do kid]

things done in 2011 that not done before:

* resided in a foreign country/moved out of L.A.
* started working on a master's degree
* danced basque at the festivals of bayonne
* stood under the eiffel tower
* danced barefoot at a house party
* ran a marathon
* weeded a half acre of soil by hand
* got a 50% raise after quitting and coming back
* learned "persistence"
* studied macroeconomic theory

when it's 2011, it's all about lauren's face at the office, running in sherman oaks, house sitting with scase, nights out at dive bars, katie's porch [the classics never die], late night donuts and coffee [ibid], a few beach days [ibid] and my studio shack. kinda breezy on the side of getting things done, but a good year.
missing LA. but i wonder for what reasons. sometimes it gets into one's head: is it just that humans are inherently so inept that most can't properly conceptualize two separately existing places that they have visited? if nostalgia plays any role, then emotion definitely trumps logic in these cases, and the thought process effectively becomes a dreamworld. then again, logic does play a role in yearning for home. more familiar, more likely to survive. i wish i had enough money so i could fly to the moon and back dammit.
finished finals on friday and pounded harsh greek wine afterwards in the old machinery district, recovered indoors saturday watching a slew of simpsons and mary tyler moore episodes-- "mr. graaa-aaant"....
political anthro next semester yusssssss. time to get rolling on researching topics for the thesis.

and probably the memorable line of 2011:
Mia: "Local news is a fucking joke... Jamie Oliver complains to LAUSD about lunch meals, and Jews can't fly on Delta? Jesus Christ."
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what the arabs call the "ghurba" [Dec. 6th, 2011|02:41 am]
Alex of Macedon
[Current Mood |awakeawake]

been having disturbing dreams lately, oddly enough, the first dreams i can remember in a long time. i wonder if they've always been playing, and just recently i'm able to recall them. humph.

weeping into a pan of multicolored eggs to foresee the fate of some friends who had been kidnapped, thinking they're never coming back; being brutalized by a macho midget in front of a crowd; and other freaky shit i do not even wish to type.

or maybe it's the very last bits of thc draining away, as well as the eroding flamin' hot cheeto dust, provoking these vivid nightmares. during the day, subjects buried long ago come to mind once again. maybe i'm just stubborn. so tough to move ahead, maintaining such a conviction [an appeal to one's sanity should be sure to follow], fuck crosses to bear.

it's that time of year again, i wish they had egg nog here!!! no wait, i am going to create my own. cheers, good night.
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check the corners [Nov. 26th, 2011|04:56 pm]
Alex of Macedon
[Current Mood |calmchill.]
[Current Music |KUKL- anna]

drove out a spirit today from my apartment with burning sage and bjork's pre-sugarcubes era album blasting in the background. if that doesn't fix my wireless problem and the fact that the heat keeps shutting off mysteriously, i don't know what will.

reading now for privatization in ukraine, what a mess. poor yulia tymoshenko... ahem-- tymonatrix. despite her being a victim of a corrupt court system, her fashion sense is second only to the late muammar qadhafi.

thankful that i'm finally finding a real road this year. missing LA, but leaving the comfort zone does wonders.
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