Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I've pretty much settled in here at Fritz's, or at least as much as I can settle in given the space available. I've set up an office/"studio" and am managing my affairs pretty well. There's a lot of paperwork to do still to transfer all my contacts and cancel a lot of insurance having to do with the house in Boston.

A great surprise was that my bank here (which was also my bank in Boston, allowing me to keep going on as usual without having to establish myself with a different bank) converted many of its accounts to higher rates of interest. Their super-preferred savings account now pays almost twice the rate of interest as my MIT Credit Union account, so I'll be transferring my money from there to here. I kicked off the new savings rate by depositing the check from the sale of the house in Boston which arrived from the lawyer yesterday. So I now have all I'll need to complete the new house right here and accessible any time.

Speaking of the new house, here's the short-term schedule as I got it from the builder today:

Tomorrow, the last of the footings for the house will be poured. If the weather allows, the shell of the first floor (the parts of the house that will have earth bermed up against them) will be poured on Friday. They'll both cure over the weekend. Then next week, all the pipe work will be set--plumbing entries and drains out of the house, duct for the electric line from the photovoltaic arrays to the inversion panel in the mechanical room, ducts for the phone, cable and internet, and all of the pipe for radiant heat in the slab floor. Late next week or early the following week, the concrete will be poured for the slab. After that cures, the framers come in and the walls begin to go up.


Alan Ilagan tagged me on five blogs from which I've learned. Given the fact that I think (hope) I learn something from all the blogs on my blogroll, here are five that have been big influences in that regard.

Joe.My.God. Joe's a Floridian transported to New York who's assimilated the City's culture. He writes frequently and at length about a wide variety of topics. Joe's authenticity is impressive, his espressivity can be heart-breaking, and the range of topics that grab his interest is amazing. He's a great observer, an activist--and for all the sophistication and tough edge he sometimes tries to project, he's actually a very down to earth, warm man who writes extremely well.

Cooper's Corridor. Dominic (Nicky) lives in western Canada and is as close to Nature as you can get. He writes luminously about the environment, the land and sky, the First Peoples (from whom he descends) and, now, about adopting two very young boys and the whole process of becoming a father. One thing I learn from this blog is how far I still have to go to write the way I'd like to on a consistent basis.

The Rest Is Noise. Alex Ross is music critic for The New Yorker magazine. His knowledge of, and taste in, music of all kinds from rock to the most arcane levels of contemporary composition, is truly mind-boggling. He's never pretentious or obscure. His writing is natural, informative and often extremely thought-provoking. He has a huge readership but, surprisingly, answers email very cordially. From Alex I learn about music history and, conversely, about stuff that was composed last week.

Towleroad. One thing I value about Andy Towle's blog is the easy access to the latest in politics that affect gay men and lesbians, and to the popular culture. With my departure from MIT, I'll no longer be working and interacting with teenagers and 20 somethings on a regular basis. As a working artist, I don't want to lose knowledge of what's going on, and Andy gathers information from a wide variety of sources. I'll be leaning on his blog more than ever now.

Alan Ilagan. Yes, the tagger himself. Alan's a writer and excellent photographer. There was a big connection between us when he began to explore photographically, with himself as subject, the strong undercurrent of sexuality and eroticism, particularly homoeroticism, in Catholic religious art and imagery.

Apologies to anyone who feels he should have been listed in "the five." As I said, I learn from all my blogs. I began blogging to connect with the gay online community and what I've learned from all of you is the dazzling variety and richness of gay life. For that I am truly grateful.

Will, thank you. Coming from a man like you, I am very flattered! Your posts always make me think, although I am admittedly woefully ignorant about opera and such. I look forward to reading about the progression of your new house with much enjoyment. It is going to be a feast for the eyes and the soul.
Happy that you're settled in, semi, and doing well.
Thanks very much, Will. You are too kind. And good luck in the new digs!
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