Wednesday, May 03, 2023

It is now Wednesday, May 3; Thursday, April 20, began our sojourn to Martin, Kentucky, to bury the ashes of Larry Benton Qualls in the Dingus family cemetery in Martin. Originally, Barry and i had planned to fly down, but then Charles Lahti got in touch with Barry and suggested that we drive down. Charles promised that he would do most of the driving. So we decided we might as well do that.

So Friday morning (April 21), the three of us started the drive. We set out from New Jersey around 9:30 AM. With rest stops, time to eat, and a stop to refuel, it took us about 12 and a half hours. We finally got into Martin around 10 PM.

The little burial ceremony took place on Sunday, April 23. Luckily, it was a fairly nice day; we met up at the cemetery with some of Barry and Larry's relatives, including their nephew Jimmy Rey, their cousins Julianne and Bonita, and other friends. In all, i think there were 12 people. Barry gave a little speech about their childhood in Kentucky and Florida, then i put the box with the ashes in the gravesite, along with three objects of sentimental value to Larry: the recent CD of the earliest recordings of Joan Baez (his favorite singer), a copy of our play THE SURFACE EQUILIBRIUM WHICH CANNOT BE ACHIEVED WITHOUT DESTRUCTION, and two Christmas Nutcracker figures (in honor of how Larry loved to decorate for Halloween and Christmas). 

After that, we all went to Linda's Cafe in Paintsville for lunch. A lot of lively conversation about Larry and the family. 

Charles, Barry and i finally left Martin on Tuesday, April 25; first, we had to go to check about the headstone for the grave. Got home on Wednesday, April 26.

Since then, have been feeling very lost. And then it was cloudy and rainy all weekend. A disaster: we had flooding in the basement! Seems it was widespread: saw a report on ABC News about flooding in many neighborhoods in Queens. I'm still trying to dry out the basement. 

Saturday, April 15, 2023

Trying to find a way to get back to normal is proving to be quite a challenge. But it's like the post-Covid world: so much happened during the pandemic and the attendant lockdown, it's hard to remember all the trauma that came about because of these events.

Was reminded that this week would have been Carmen's birthday. His death was such a shock! He had no symptoms of any kind, and the autopsy came up negative in terms of Covid. He died of heart failure, but there had been a sudden increase in death from heart failure at that time. It was especially prevalent in people between the ages of 40 to 60. There were articles about this, with no definitive conclusion. 

But i'm trying to start going out, to start seeing things again. But what's happening? Haven't been to museums in a while, but in the last two weeks went to MoMA (Georgia O'Keefe show of works on paper) and The Whitney (Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Josh Kline exhibitions). At the Whitney, as with so many places in the last two months, was amazed to find that i knew very few people. Used to be, at press previews at museums, Larry and i would know at least half the people in attendance. Now, where have those people gone? Ran into only three people that i knew. Two people from AICA (International Art Critics Association), and Brad Balfour. That was it! With Amei Wallach, discussed how Jaune Quick-to-See Smith creates paintings that reference motifs and techniques from recent art (Johns, Rauschenberg, David Salle, et al) in order to question and subvert the dominant art. But we also noted that we felt isolated, because so many of the colleagues and acquaintances who were part of the art world just aren't around.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

It's been weeks since i've posted anything. Did quite a few things, such as attended press screenings for New Directors/New Films, went to the dentist, went to the urologist, got a sonogram. It's been kind of exhausting, and i'm still trying to process everything. It's been almost five months since Larry died, it's been a month since the memorial, and i just miss Larry so much.

Just found out that Tony Pipolo died. He was sick for the last four months. It did take me so long to write my review of his book THE MELANCHOLY LENS: LOSS AND MOURNING IN THE AMERICAN AVANT-GARDE CINEMA for The Millennium Film Journal; i wanted to do it justice, because it really is one of the most perceptive books written about the avantgarde cinema. 

I'm feeling very lost and isolated. But what else is new?

Thursday, March 02, 2023

Unfortunately, came down with a cold. And it's a doozy. So far, it's not Covid, since i certainly can taste and smell, but my nose is all clogged and i'm very achy. I'm probably going to take another nap! But i got some chicken broth and some bread (have sliced turkey for sandwiches). But yesterday, i did go to the Museum of Modern Art for the press preview of SIGNALS: HOW VIDEO TRANSFORMED THE WORLD, a very handsomely installed exhibition. And finally got to see the Meret Oppenheim exhibition, which was amazing. But now, i'm exhausted. And i had hoped that i'd be able to go in to see the Edward Hopper exhibition at the Whitney, but if i can't make it, that's how it crumbles, cookie-wise.

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Well, finally had the memorial for Larry. It seemed to go well. I'm still a little shellshocked. It's really a bitch to organize these kind of things. But a lot of people came, they all seemed to get something out of it. I'm too tired to know what to think. What i particularly don't like is that i had no one to help me. Feeling very isolated. Realizing how much i depended on Larry.

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Anyway, seen: four movies in the Rendez-vous With French Cinema series (as always, held at Film at Lincoln Center; this used to be an annual event with the French Film Office and MoMA, but at some point it was turned over to Lincoln Center). The movies were: REVOIR PARIS, LES ENFANTS DES AUTRES, L'INNOCENT and LE GRAND CHARIOT. Felt a little estranged going to the press screenings. There are a lot of people my age or older at these screenings, and i don't know most of these people. I wonder what outlets they write for, and how long they've been at this. Saw people i knew, but always feel awkward about talking to people. But did say hello to Ben Keningsberg, who writes for the New York Times. 

Have been consumed with the memorial for Larry which is happening tomorrow. As usual, there are some hitches. One such hitch: i sent an invite to someone who is more a casual acquaintance, not someone who is a real friend, but a recent post appeared on my Facebook feed, so i sent him an invite to the memorial. But then he posted it on his Facebook page! I was furious: Barry and i had decided last week that we weren't posting on Facebook, because we'd pretty much run our limit in terms of how many people we knew would be showing up. So i told the guy to please remove the posting. Actually, i was rather insistent! And so now he's blocked me on FB. Which is fine, but people are so crazy. I sent him an invitation, but that was for him, not for him to issue a blanket invite for others. 

People no longer seem to know what is appropriate. 

A little worried, but i hope things will go ok. I miss Larry.

Monday, February 20, 2023

Ok, finished watching screeners (or links) for the Independent Spirit Awards. Quite a lot of good stuff this year, as well as some movies which just rubbed me the wrong way. I finished up with two which proved very difficult for me to watch. However, must say that there were discoveries. But i did vote, and glad that's done. I'll be surprised if there isn't a sweep (as is often the case with the Spirit Awards) and i'm predicting that EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE will be the big winner this year. (The only question i have, will the momentum for EEAAO bring the Best Lead Performance for Michelle Yeoh, or will Cate Blanchett get that one as well?)

It's President's Day. And now i wonder what i'll do: should i try to get to see some stuff at various museums?