Friday 1.29.10

The weather is holding, 50F & clear. I spent my morning on The Blue Line. Yes, still writing. I haven't tired of it, but I do struggle to find the time to do all the things I want to do, including writing. I have a book to assemble before this project is complete. Strange dilemma for a poet, wouldn't you say? Not at all. Finding time to write is the age-old wedge between many a writer and a finished book.

Lunch at 5000'

I had lunch with Gregory, The Balloon Man. He’s been at NBBJ for 3 years, in the tax department. What a wonderful story Gregory has to tell! He’s been ballooning since he was a kid. His father was a ballooner. Now he makes his own balloons. Cloud Hoppers, he calls them. He’s made 7 so far. One of the ones he showed me took 5 years to make and he flew it 1700 miles from Albuquerque to Atlanta, which took 2 days, for a race. Such a trip requires helium, but shorter journeys use propane to fill the balloon. He told me about the joys of night flying and about lying on the bench at night and seeing the Milky Way up above at zero speed and how that changes your life. He has trading cards with pictures and facts about his balloons. The second balloon he showed me was tetrahedron, designed for one-person. That’s the one where you strap a propane tank to your back and can, if you want, dip down into the stream to wet your legs and lift yourself back up again. That settles it. I’m on Gregory’s list of summer helpers! Ballooners need people to drive around and pick them up after they land in a field near a road. I offered to gather a group of poets to go up and write about the experience for his website. Sounds like a good trade to me.

Conference Room Recognition Tool

I spent my afternoon following up on two projects I’ve been thinking of. I’m searching for vinyl records to correspond to the names of the conference rooms at NBBJ. There are 30 rooms and public spaces named after famous jazz albums. I called the library the first week I was here to ask what they had. Nothing. Since then, I’ve asked friends, looked online and purchased the few available records at Golden Oldies. These albums are collector’s items. Finding them all will be either improbable or costly. Then I come upon Tom, who says he has most of these in storage. I urge him to pull them out!!

Alley 24

I’ve been thinking about an alleyway project. There are lots of threads to follow in the alley. I feel as if I’ve been wading in this project for a long time. I’ve spoken with Dawn and Brent and Dan and Mylinda about the various ideas I have. Dawn and I have met several times to discuss the ways in which we might call attention to the intersection by weaving some naturally occurring material there. But what material and how? The various threads are the significant history of Alley 24 as a laundry for 80 years, the large green public sculpture and the multiple users: the residents, the workers and clients at NBBJ and the retail workers and clients.

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