Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Nine Inch Nails "wave goodbye" @ Terminal 5 - NYC 8/26/09

1. "Pinion"
2. "Somewhat Damaged"
3. "Wish"
4. "Last"
5. "Sin"
6. "March Of The Pigs"
7. "Something I Can Never Have"
8. "Piggy (Nothing Can Stop Me Now)"
9. "Metal"
10. "Terrible Lie"
11. "Head Down"
12. "Burn"
13. "Gave Up"
14. "La Mer"
15. "The Frail"
16. "The Wretched"
17. "Non-Entity"
18. "Gone, Still"
19. "Lights In The Sky"
20. "The Downward Spiral"
21. "1,000,000"
22. "Survivalism"
23. "The Good Soldier"
24. "Dead Souls"
25. "Hurt"

Encore
26. "Suck"
27. "Down In It"
28. "The Hand That Feeds"
29. "Head Like A Hole"
30. "Reptile" with Peter Murphy
31. "Strange Kind Of Love" with Peter Murphy
32. "Bela Lugosi's Dead" with Peter Murphy
33. "Final Solution" with Peter Murphy

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Harvest

Summer concludes early this August with school starting on the 31st. But I'm not bitter. The waning hours of this sweltering season are optimistic and exciting. The seeds sown this summer while settling-in to our new Astoria apartment, promise a wealthy crop of fresh projects and new responsibilities this fall. It’s unfortunate I won’t also be raking-in more money to do these projects, but honestly, I -as few can say - have no right to bitch. Life’s good. And if I can manage to maintain myself on this present trajectory, perhaps it can be even better?

As always, the summer past quick but there were welcome moments to reflect and relax. No doubt, I'm a lucky man: I live with an amazing girlfriend (and her two dogs), was just promoted at work (without a raise, but more responsibility and a new office), and have a comfortable new apartment.

Despite all this, two paradoxical feelings are still pumping through my being. One is guilt: I know others are not having such a good life and there must be some kind of karmic retribution to be paid for all the great things happening to me but not others. Or not, maybe this is my karmic pay off? After all, the last four years haven’t exactly been the easiest. Nevertheless, I still can’t help but feel like a common capitalists crook. Admittedly, I’m not the recipient of any ‘bailouts’, but I am privileged and am just following orders with the rest of the mindless mass. Sure, I’ve worked hard for what I’ve achieved, but I’m, still a slave to the wage and would like to be a part of building a better world than this. Nevertheless, whether I like it or not, capitalism is the name of the game and if I can’t beat it, I damn well just better enjoy it. Besides, everyone else is, so why shouldn’t I? Accordingly, feelings of guilt are wasted emotions and quickly replaced with an evil envy and greed. An insatiable urge for MORE consumes me and I see the same desperate anxiety in the panicked eyes of others. This is who we are. All of us are balancing on a knife’s edge, between oblivion and abundance. At any moment we could either help or harm the other members of our human tribe. And what makes us decide one way or the other? …Survivalism.

While away from work this summer, my days were spent in my study/studio painting, reading, writing, or just dumb daydreaming out a large window at plush trees and a green backyard while blasting music. Other times, I was in the kitchen, cooking food and eating it alongside family and friends. I walk the dogs around the block in the morning, jog along the river under the Triborough Bridge in the afternoon, and watch films over drinks at night. Some friends have jokingly renamed me: I was "Nicky Danger" but am now "Nicky Domestic". So be it. Puking nights and hung-over mornings are over-rated.

The "power of the pack" is essential to survival. Perhaps it's true, family (however, one defines the word) “comes first.” This summer, the Allanach tribe grew by one, with the birth of my beautiful niece, McKenzie. It was also nice to have her older brother and my nephew, Ethan, spend some time with the boys and me at “Camp Astoria”. My father, from Vancouver, also stayed for a week to tour the city and meet some of our friends. Of course, my guests were welcome distractions while Ena was away visiting Osaka in July. And when she finally returned, it was like I fell in love with her all over again.

I’m content. But wonder, now that I’m happy, can I maintain my air of “Danger” without destruction? And at what costs… am I still real? Or, have I just become another illusion sustaining this empire? I certainly still feel real and I know I have a need for adventure. But now, there’s no longer a need to desperately prove, or push the limits of my existence through the failed ways I’ve been so accustomed. Maybe I’m actually breaking out of the illusion for this first time? Instead of being so hell-bent on off-setting my ego through controlled substances or self-destructive experiences, I’ve decided it’s “high” time to stabilize my life. Live my dream and “Just do it.” After all, the best way to prepare for more ambitious future adventures is with a stronger body and clearer mind.

Easier said than done. Enjoy the rest of the summer…