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August 31, 2001
Okay, for real this time.

Okay, for real this time.

What day is it? It's Friday, day before the Labor Day weekend, and work is deserted. There's a few people here and there, naturally me among them. But I'm dumping, not working. Not right this minute anyway. I was. Really. After my doctor's appointment.

Joel lost the job he never had, which sucks. Hopefully it'll work out and something will come through for him soon. I'm sure it will, but it's a tough blow to be ready for your last weekend of relaxing before starting work in a new city and find out that they've "bumped" your position to another district. Damn bastards.

I've fallen into the fashion trap. For years I only had two pairs of shoes. Hiking boots that I wear in the winter, and running shoes (sneaks, kicks, tennies) that I wear in the summer. Suddenly, I've found myself with about 5 or 6 pairs of shoes, and it's a nightmare. Let me s'plain.
In Portugal, I got a pair of nice sandals. These I like, and I needed some. It's too hot here in August for socks and shoes. I could handle the sandals.
But a few weeks ago I bought a pair of Merrell slip-on type moccassin things, and the store was having a buy one pari get the second half off, so I picked up a pair of red Pumas too. I like the Pumas a lot, and I've worn them more than the Merrells, but here's the problem: Now when I get dressed in the morning, I actually stand there looking at a line of shoes and wondering which I should wear. And then I put a pair on, look at them for a minute, and sometimes switch to another pair. I haven't gotten used to the Merrells yet, so I often put those on and then take them off. They're super comfy, but I just don't know what I should wear them with. Sometimes I actually have to walk out to the living room and look in the mirror to see if I look like a schnook.

This is clearly unacceptable. Used to be, I got up, and if it was warm or I was going to play sports I'd put on my sneaks; if it was cold I'd put on my hiking boots. Simple. No problem. I never ever ever thought about shoes. Now I see them as some weird torture devices. Maybe I should just burn some of them.

The other day I was going to the bathroom and the lady that cleans the place was coming out. She had just made the whole bathroom all spiffy, and I went right in there and peed on it. I always feel bad when that happens. She just scrubbed out that toilet, and she sees me go in there to take a crap right on it. How would I feel if someone came over to my desk and took a shit right after I finished some testing work? I'd feel bad, that's how.

So from now on, I'm gonna pee outside.

Denyse's blog from last night is funny as hell. That girl is really clever when she wants to be.. I particularly like the part about the gay guys shooting themselves with love. Cam around full circle, tied two stories together, it was brilliant. Rock on, cutie pie.

August 29, 2001
i'm sorry.. really.. I'M SORRY!

i'm sorry.. really.. I'M SORRY! who am I apologizing to? Me. You. Whoever. Whatever it is, whoever it is, I'm a big fat lame for not writing for like 4 days now. I have things to say! Really! Interesting stuff like observations about shoes and peeing. And then there's stuff that's happening in my life. So, really, I will. I promise. Soon. But not right now.

August 25, 2001
The thing about drugs is

The thing about drugs is it's a trade off. Life is more intense and colorful at the moment, and beer tastes really good. Music is god and words like kidney bean are fun. But you don't get to remember it very well. Clear and precise insights into the nature of life, but then you forget what you were talking about. You can really taste the world, whole stories play out in your head, brilliant inventions. But then when you try to capture it later, it just seems silly.

So which is better?

August 24, 2001
So now it's every two

So now it's every two days. I'm running out of fingers. And I don't know what this arabic scrawl in my head says, but it must not be flattering, judging from the looks I get. And the beatings.

So the news today is that Aarti has left Oxygen. As of right now. She "decided to move on". Descretion is the watchword in this thing, so I'll play along. She decided. Wasn't her thing, wanted to do something else. Independent decision. I'm not giving it away, am I?

Regardless of why she left, it's good that she did. I feel a bit sorry for her, but it's the right thing for the rest of us. Restofus. I'm trying to develop and encourage my Tourette's. She wasn't helping, she didn't know what she was doing, and she wasn't in the right job. I'm not saying she's not a nice person, or that she doesn't have some kind of skills, but these ain't them. So begone, begone. Life starts anew.

How this will affect my outlook remains to be seen. I'm not so silly as to think that she was the only reason for my ennui. I know it's me and only me that makes me feel one way or another. I know this. But a nice and productive environment, with fewer INSANE frustrations, will, I hope, help me to center and find my direction. Maybe I'll be a pro volleyball player. Ha.

We played well last night, we could have won. It was more frustrating than usual, because we could taste it. It was right there, floating in front of us, but we didn't get it. We always have a good time, though, and ya know, that's what's really important.

In other news, Laurel is also gone. Sad. She is one of the finest people I've ever known, and I'm super happy that she spent the summer here. It was important to me in many ways. She inspired me all over the place. I'm really happy that our friendship had the chance to grow real, graduate from sporadic friend-of-a-friend. It's where it wanted to be all along. And I'm really happy for her that she's back where she belongs. If I knew where I belonged, I'd be thre too. Here's to you, Laurel. Porchsitting.

August 22, 2001
Hello? Anyone there? Hey! Hey.

Hello? Anyone there?

Hey! Hey. Hey! Hey. I have this interaction many times a day. Hey! Hey. The first hey is usually sort of bubbly, pops at the end, it's an "isn't it just such a great day?" hey. The second, mine, is lately just as it appears. With a period after it. No exclamation point. Just hey. Hey. hey. It drops off.

Okay, so I had a nice vacation and a good weekend. That's good, sure. I want more. Not more fun, just more. More satisfaction. More something. More home.

I like my room but it's too messy. Maybe this weekend will be the one where I clean it up. Make some better space. Get rid of the clutter.

I'm not feeling good lately. I'm not happy at work, not particularly happy at home. I like my room. I like my bed, but I'm afraid I'm escaping there. I'm not sure how I feel about any of it. I feel alone, but I'm not. I feel like leaving town, but I can't. Soon I'll be able to, but will I? Where will I go? No desire. I'm afraid that I'll leave this job, and then one month, 6 months, a year later, the roof will blow out and everyone will get rich. I'll be somewhere else, possibly happy but certainly still in debt. I don't know if I can get happy, really, with this debt. One would think this would motivate me to make this my top priority. The only thing I care about. No beer, no movies, no DVD players, just debt paying. The joys of watching those balances go down. But I'm not. What is it? I'm afraid to be free maybe. Then I'd have to decide. What would I do? I'd be free. I wouldn't need $500 each and every month, I wouldn't need much at all. That kind of freedom must scare me because I have no idea what I'd do with it.

I'm not greedy, I don't care about money at all. That's the problem. If I cared, I wouldn't be in this fix. Or I'd be closer to out than I am. But I don't care. I can't get myself to value it. They keep giving it to me, and I keep spending it on bullshit. Traveling is good, and I like some other stuff. Music, presents. But really, what else? A big truckload of crap. Stop stop stop.

I'd make a resolution, but I don't like them. It's not resolutions that get me off my ass, it's something else. Caring. Investment. Home. Love. I'm still such a small child.

Having Joel here has been cool. It's also a factor on my squeemishness. Not him, but changes. Laurel is leaving tomorrow, and that's very sad. Joel is here and that's happy. Dave is probably coming. Changes. What am I doing? Maybe it's people around me changing their lives, going after something, however loosely defined. They're coming to me, but I'm not going anywhere. I'm just here. Boring. Bored. Joel is going to live with Denyse which should be interesting. World's colliding. Who cares? If I was doing better for me, I wouldn't find reasons why everything else is a source of stress. They're not, I am.

I'm tired of eating.

I don't usually remember my dreams, but this week I've remembered two.
The first one started out with some kind of talk show taping, and I was in the audience. Denyse was on the stage, with another girl. I don't know what they were talking about, but they started kissing. They did that for a while and the audience went "whooooaaaaaa" like Jerry Springer. Then we were in a mall with escalators everywhere. They went up, down, and side to side. Some of them were super short, you couldn't go anywhere without taking one. We were fighting about the lesbian thing, I was mad at her, she thought it wasn't a big deal. Then we walked into a room where there was a big group of young black girls with umbrellas. The kind of cheap umbrellas with a little plastic ball at the end, and maybe some ruffled edges. Purple and pink. White and blue. They were holding the umbrellas at jaunty angles, making a sort of impossible grid. We couldn't get by and started trying to say excuse me, but they wouldn't move. I looked into the middle of them and they were playing air hockey on a tiny little table, using the umbrellas instead of paddles.
We got through and found ourselves at some kind of amusement ride. The front of the contraption had seats, behind the seats were several platforms like skateboards for riders to stand on. Denyse got into a seat and I took a platform. On one side was a hole for me to insert my umbrella (everyone had umbrellas now) and on the other side was a handgrip. They kept switching sides though. I would insert my umbrella and then realize it was the wrong side so I'd switch. Rinse, repeat.
The girl in front of me was making fun of me because I was white, and she turned around and said, "damn. you even smell like vanilla". I told her it was my cologne.

I don't remember this dream making me feel any particular way, and I don't know what it means. Except for the lesbian paranoia part. The rest is up for grabs. I wish my dreams made me think about my life, or gave me some insight, but they usually just confuse me.

Second dream, last night, was about boats. I don't remember it very well. Boats, lagoons, liquid cul de sacs. "We might need someone up here to drive around in circles" I didn't volunteer.

August 20, 2001
I'm a stupid moron with

I'm a stupid moron with an ugly face and my butt smells and I like to kiss my own butt.
Say fifty times for penance.
Everytime I miss a day of writing, I'll cut off a finger. Pluck a pubic hair. Shave an arabic character into my head. Something, anything.

Catch up.
Alaska. Great! I loved it. End.
Okay, crud. The trip was really fantastic. Alaska is beautiful, it was super to see my old friends, and just nice to get away from the city. It's so quiet up there. And dark. Well, not during the day, or until about 1am, but when it's dark, it's dark. I noticed last night that when it's overcast in Brooklyn you could probably read by the city light. Ick. The wedding was beautiful, possibly the "perfect" wedding. My two oldest friends, one getting married, the other performing the ceremony. They were both nervous, but did great, Zach's shaking voice brought everyone to tears. Even Trigger, the guy with the giant knife (one of the guys with the giant knife) on his belt and tattoos on his head. Oh, and he was named Trigger. I cried too, Trigger.. it's okay.

After the ceremony, we ate, drank, and made merry. There was a kickass bluegrass band and they played on stage for a few hours, then moved over to the campfire and played all night. They slept in a tent, got up and played all the next day. As long as the kegs were flowing, they were playing. Back tot he night before.. There must have been 100 people there, all gorging on pork butt and potato salad. I made a toast right after Becky's dad, and I'm told it was good, though I don't really remember what I said. It was really special to be able to stand up there with Zach and Becky and tell them how important it was to me to know them and to be there with them for such a beautiful day.

Other Alaska tales..
Saw the Northern Lights. Stunning.
Summit flight to the top of Mt. McKinley with return down the glacier. Scale of the tiny little mountain cabin with a plane sitting next to it on the glacier. Stunning.
Shadows, prints, and scat of bears. I realized an important fact about myself: I'm afraid of bears. Walking alone in the woods, even just down to the wedding site and back, the thought crept into my head. Bears. Oh my.
I'll save the story of getting drunk in Anchorage for the Topic Project, since the topic for today is "Last Time I Got Drunk". Another deep one, Anthony.

What else.. Fun with kids! I loved playing around with Malila for a week. She's a very cool kid, I'm impressed with the way Faith is raising her, though I'm sure it ain't easy. It was inspiring though. Reminded me that there are 101 ways to skin a cat, or a child in this case, which I think I had forgotten. At least I think I had become a little worried about my ability to do it. To raise a good, smart kid these days with all the nasty influences around. But it's not so complicated. Just respect them. Keep it simple, stupid. Tired, but true.

When I got back Denyse and I almost started fighting again, which could have been tragic, but I decided that was a bad idea. I went to her work and made nice. She wants to move to Colorado, an interesting idea. Things are a shaking around here, and that's not the only way. Joel is moving in, Dave is coming soon (I think), Laurel is leaving, and I feel things changing. I feel like in 6 months I won't recognize my life. It's a weird feeling because it's all been so predictable for the past few years. Well, I guess not predictable, but stable in a way I'm not familiar with. Wasn't familiar with. With which I was not familiar. It's always been life, unpredicatable as ever, but so much of my time has been consumed by this, this, this "work". It's different. I feel it changing. By the prickling of my thumbs.

Friday night I reserved a room at The Muse hotel in Times Square. I thought we could use some time away. And by away I mean midtown. It was a surprise. We checked in, romped a bit, admired the toiletries, and then went to dinner.

**hours later**

Uhh.. yeah.. Turkish dinner, then went to Caroline's for a comedy show, then to ESPN Zone for air hockey and basketball, then back to the hotel. We watched part of Bridget Jones' Diary, and got to bed around 4:30. It was a fun night, for sure, and we needed it. Saturday and Sunday we wandered around the city, with and without Joel and others, watched a couple of movies, ate some brunch. All in all, a flimmy flammy crippy strippy weekend.

I haven't explained everything here. Least of all the internals. The internals is another blog, another day.

August 16, 2001
I suppose I have to

I suppose I have to do this. Have to "dump core". Have to. Can't let it slide jsut because of a vacation away from phones, and thus internet. Can't.

Another can't though, is that I can't relay all that has happened in the past week right now, I'm too tired and it would take too long. I'll do it. Maybe. Yes! I'll do it. And you can't damn stop me. Here's to me.

I've done it once, sort of rough, in outline form (what is outline form? bulleted list?), and I've told a tale or two once or twice. They're still geling. Coming together, that is. Figuring out which parts need embellishment, which should be left out. Hone them. Hone their chant. Hone my chant. Hone Thy Chant.

I will. If ever there is time, I will. And there will be. Time. And one day, I'll write another topic project. Time.

August 9, 2001
I was looking forward to

I was looking forward to getting on the subway this morning. I thought about sleeping on there last night, it was so freakin hot.

Like a stupid head, I've managed to lose my access to posting on the topic project. Dag. I just wanted to change my email address, but the stupid invite system isn't working it seems, so I never get the invite to rejoin, so now I can't post. I won't have access for a week anyway, but still.. It's the principle of the thing. Maybe I'll write down the topics for when I'm gone and try to write a few of them on the road.

Nothing going on.. Leaving for Alaska in a few hours. I'm looking forward to it, it'll at least be cooler up there. It's weird to think of stepping off a place later tonight in Anchorage. It's so far away. I'm excited to see what that area looks like, though. Southeast was beautiful, and I imagine the interior is very different, but also stunning. "Real Alaska", some would say. Not me, but some.

And then the wedding. It's strange strange that Zach is getting married. I guess it's not so strange, maybe, but it seems.. just unexpected. Not that in the past few years I couldn't see it happening, they've been together a long time and are building a life, a house. But earlier in life, years ago, it wouldn't have seemed possible. Just goes to show you.. Germans love David Hasselhoff.

That's it. I got nothing else. Zip.

August 8, 2001
It's hot! Hey, guess what?

It's hot! Hey, guess what? It's hot! Hotter today than yesterday. Hot. I don't care though, I like hot. Feels like summer. Soon enough, I'll be in Alaska and it won't be hot no more.

Reading the Voice can be so depressing. Too much reality. Injustice all around, and I'm not doing a thing about it. Possibly increasing it, by association. Ick. There was a story about a Kosher Food plant that hires illegal immigrants and treats them like shit. They work 12-16 hour days, no overtime, no drinking water, no vacation. They're given thin latex gloves when they use caustic solvents to clean machines, two men were docked a day's pay because one of them took the other to the hospital after he got his hand caught in a machine. The owners refused to call an ambulance. How is it that this kind of stuff happens here? Who should I vote for to put a stop to it? It's really very, very, very frustrating.

Then I turn the page to a story about a woman on welfare trying to get a degree. Apparently they throw road blocks up at every turn, refusing to count education hours toward the required work hours, as they're supposed to. She has a kid, they pay her $106 every two weeks, while she works picking up garbage on Randall's Island and takes 5 classes. Every couple of weeks she has to go to a hearing to demand that they give back her child care benefits. They discourage her taking liberal arts classes, "approved" classes are vocational and "practical". You can't learn history, sweetheart, that's for rich white people. Learn something useful to you, like typing.

I would say "What can you do?" but I know the answer, and it's "a lot". But I'm not. Not now.

Again, things I wanted to get down, didn't, forgot. At least I can be repetitive. Maybe I'll start tattooing things on myself like the guy in Memento. Or taking polaroids of everything. Film is too expensive. Damn practical considerations. If life were only a movie, I wouldn't have to think about such things.

I've decided to write one "epinion" a day, like the topic project, only easier and more profitable. Hell, most of them will be ridiculous, but who cares?

I'm just remembering, again, that I had another dream about Jeff the other day. How weird. I can't imagine why I've all of a sudden had two dreams involving him in the past week. This one we were in Portugal or something, and on a blacony? Maybe. He was across the street, traveling with someone, one of those guys, I don't remember which. I forget now what happened, but there was some interaction, not necessarily hostile, but something. It's not like I hate him, I don't even ever think about him. I wonder where this is coming from..

August 7, 2001
Crap. So many things I

Crap. So many things I thought of on the subway. Damnit.

I'm about done reading through the ShoutNY mag. I like it. Like it good. The stuff is very short, but there are some good pieces, inspiring. I should show it to Laurel, I think it's up her alley. It made me want to write stuff, start my own magazine maybe. Yeah, that's it. That's what I'll do.

Everyone is talking about The Seagull. Apparently at this point you have to get in line at around 10pm the night before to be sure of getting tickets the next day at 1. As Michael so deftly put it, "New Yorkers are crazy." And it's not because they so much want to see this play, though I'm sure it's great, but because it's the thing. It shows just how crazy we are. And it's free. New Yorkers love free stuff. The funny thing is I would do it, and it's not because I'm any great theater lover or so dedicated to any of these actors or anything. I'd love to see what it's all about though, and it can't help but be good when you've waited 15 hours for tickets. When else would I have a legitimate reason to spend a night on the streets of Manhattan in a sleeping bag? I'd have to take half a day off of work though. And you know I'd feel terribly guilty about that.

Bah. My mind is blank. This shit drives me crazy. And it's been happening too often lately. I need more time to sit and write, think, just more time in general. But really, I'm forever planning more and more scheduled things. I'm not going to complain about those things, though, like volleyball and audio class, because those are things I want to do. It's all the time at the job that's getting in the way.

Conclusion: It's imperative that I find a way to support myself that doesn't involve spending 90% of my time sitting at work and going to and from work. Absolutely imperative. Laundry bags may just be the answer.

August 6, 2001
The word for the day

The word for the day is: humid.
It's sort of like trying to sleep in a sauna. I got up at about 3 and emptied all the ice cube trays into a towel, wrapped it up into a little package, and went back to bed with it on my face. Much better for a few hours, but then I was too wet, and had to get rid of it. Hot.

I don't know how people read with headphones on. Maybe if the music doesn't have any words...

Fill-in: Friday night went to Jones Beach to see third and final Trey show. It was a good show, with the surprise Mike encore, but despite that my least favorite of the three. The sound wasn't that great from where we were sitting, and there wasn't enough room to dance. It's far nicer to be sitting on a blanket on the lawn at Merriweather. With Dave and Cass and Denyse. Our crew was bigger this time too, and it's always a challenge to bring the uninitiated. My passion for Phish and Trey, etc, is probably unreasonable, and certainly unfathomable to most people. "You had to be there". I can't expect it to move people the way it moves me, and there's no real reason why it should. For me, it's a history. Memories. It's very personal and very important to me. It's where I feel really good. Other places too, but that ritual aspect of it lends it a certain... ritual. Hard to explain. Dave? Little help? Dave knows what I'm talking about.

Saturday spent hooking up audio equipment. Fun! It was, actually, sort of fun, got everything working and watched a couple of movies. The Virgin Suicides was fair, The Abyss was good, the special edition is damn long though. Either way, they both sounded terrific. As well they better.

Sunday we had skimpy yet overpriced and cramp-inducing breakfast, then went to the Guggenheim to see the Frank Gehry exhibit. Very cool stuff, and as I'd never been to, or even seen, the Guggenheim, that was good too. It's interesting to be in one of these museums where the building itself is a work of art, and then to be seeing an exhibit on architecture, including models of the new Guggenheim that Gehry is building on the East River, it all became very self-referential. Twisted in on itself like a snail shell, and I reached my museum tolerance fairly quickly, but we saw some nice Picassos. Bought funky Polaroid portraits from a Dane in front, then headed for lunch at Comfort Diner. Fattened up (banana split and egg creams), we headed down to the east village to see Memento.

Good movie, uniquely structured and an original story. Rare, those, and that made it enjoyable. I sometimes feel in films like that that it's a bit gimmicky, and that there's no substance, just unique structure and editing, but this one was better because the story and the character were what drove the structure, rather than the other way 'round.

Got a message to join Laurel to see her friends play at the Rodeo Bar, so we trotted on up there. I like that bar, and the music was good, if a tad loud down front. Also could be that my ears are a bit blasted from 3 rock concerts in the past week. Laurel was concerned that we weren't enjoying ourselves, and I think maybe Denyse wasn't. I was impressed with the band, and mostly with the community they have. Iowa City-ans gathering at the Rodeo Bar in NYC, dancing the honky tonk to a band full of friends and ex-roommates. Laurel has a home, and that's the most wonderful thing there is. I need one. Badly, I think.

The article isn't online yet, so I'll have to paraphrase, but Christopher Walken said in ShoutNY, "There's something about it. We know what we're doing when we go to the theater, or the movies. We know that we're basically watching people have fun, and that fun is contagious." It goes for music too, more so for me, since I see more music than theater. No matter what they're playing, especially in a small bar or club, my favorite part is that it looks like so much fun. These people are living the dream, hard as it can be. They create, spontaneously, in front of an audience, and it's fun. I think what kept Phish so vibrant and alive was that they held onto that feeling and worked very hard to convey it to the audience, even as the venues grew larger and less intimate. I don't think you get that at a Dave Matthews concert at Giants Stadium.

As much fun as it is to watch, it also makes me sad. I would add to Walken's idea that for people who aspire to such things, or feel a nagging hunger for it, but haven't followed that path, it can be uniquely difficult to watch. But, in the end, I think this is motivation. Maybe inspiration. I hope that eventually, I'll have had enough and I'll need to do it myself.

August 3, 2001
I was tempted to do

I was tempted to do self-promote on the topic project, but I resisted. I was as always self-referential, buit I think that's the idea. Maybe I should try a different approach to it. I wonder if any of the other people are completely making some of their posts up. The all have the sound and style of the real thing, but I suppose that would be the mark of good fiction writing. Well, one mark anyway. You can have good fiction that is unbelievable, I think.

I have the post purchase blues after my assault on J&R this evening. Or their assault on me. Either way, I'll need some time to get things all hooked up.

At Union Square today, Denyse and I were crossing the street, with thousands of others, when a woman tryed to nudge her car through the mob. She almost ran over several people, myself included. She was smoking a cigarette with one hand and talking on a cellphone with the other. I made a remark to her slightly open window, something to the effect of "there's people walking here!", and she rolled down her window and threw her lit cigarette at me! Hit me in the shoulder! I was about to reach down and get it to toss it into her lap, but she was getting away, so instead I stood up and pounded my fist on her trunk lid as she pulled away. It was kind of exciting, I was almost hoping she'd get out of the car and start an argument. New York brings out the, well, the new yorker in me, makes me argue. I think that's good and bad, but it's hard to know which is which sometimes.

My mind is scattering, it's time for bed.

August 1, 2001
I've lost all sense of

I've lost all sense of my core dump schedule. Now I'm doing it at work, which doesn't really fly. Not that I feel guilty, just that this isn't the place I'm most often "inspired" or "awake". I was doing it in the evenings, but lately I don't feel like I've had any. Evenings, that is. They've been swallowed up by trey shows (good), volleyball (good), and Snatch (that's a movie, don't get excited). Maybe I should switch to mornings. Then I could write stuff like:

White pants.
Black shirt, white pants.
Black shirt, white pants, grey belt.
Balck shirt, white pants, grey belt, no shoes.
Black shirt, white pants, grey belt, no shoes, purple hair.

I had a dream that Denyse was hanging out with Jeff. They weren't doing anything, but they had moved some of my audio/video equipment upstairs. I snuck up on them, and they were watching a movie. I think I shook his hand. You'd think in my dreams I could at least get the chance to tell people off. Oh well. I'm not sure if the dream had anything to do with either of them, or if it was a sign I've been thinking about speakers too much lately. I'm guessing the latter. I want to buy the shit just so I can stop thinking about it. Good tactic. Maybe I should try that with other big ticket items.

Half of my left hand is numb and tingly.