Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Tuesday Tuesday Tuesday 6/28

-Losing my fucking mind today.
-I probably need an attitude adjustment, at least that's what I've been told in the past. Not since the early 90's, but the situation is similar enough.
-Some people don't have to go through this...
-Just returned from lunch at Subway. After I got my sandwich and sat down, they quickly ran out of all bread except honey oat and wheat. A woman came in and looked at the bread selection.
"I'll have a footlong chicken bacon melt on Italian," she said.
"I'm sorry, we only have honey oat and wheat left," replied the courteous sandwich artist.
"Honey oat wheat?"
"No, honey oat or wheat."
"Do you have hearty Italian?"
"No, we only have honey oat or wheat."
"Do you have anything else?"

This is quite true. The sound of my eyes rolling probably echoed for blocks.

-I may have scared a few people in the building today. Everyday, I have an apple for breakfast. Due to my unfortunate childhood accident (so cold...), I am unable to bite into an apple with my front teeth. Naturally, I cut it into wedges before leaving for work.
Today, running later than normal, I didn't have time for such luxuries. Still wanting my apple, I grabbed the only clean tool out of the block: an 8 inch filet knife. Wrapped it with the granny smith and rushed to drop the wife at the train station. Got to work, cut my apple, ate it. Perfecto.
In between 8 and lunch, I started losing my mind and wishing for a meteor to fall from the gods and end my work day. Under much stress, I left for lunch carrying the knife (better to leave it in the car). In my slightly distracted state, I made it all the way to the parking lot before realizing that I had a serial killer's grip on the handle. From a wide enough angle, my scowl and deadly weapon probably looked good enough to call the cops over. I wasn't going to murder anyone, it just appeared that way. I swear.

Monday, June 27, 2005

More Monday for the offering

-Winter is the time for work; summer for play. This is the message ingrained on my psyche by years of experience. It is once again summer, and I am trapped.
Most people tend to romanticize the past and I am no exception. Last summer was a whirlwind of planning and travel for the wedding and honeymoon. There isn't a question in my mind; I would trade anything to go back.
-Before that was 2003, a summer Karen and I spent in the tiny spare room of my mother's house in Buffalo. No air conditioning, barely enough room for two of us on the bed. I loved it. She worked at a local restaurant, I worked at the Hard Rock Cafe. We spent warm nights in the city with friends, ate our favorite foods, and I proposed to her on the marble steps of Albright-Knox. A summer of magic.
-In 2002 Karen lived with her mother and with friends in New Jersey. I went to Buffalo and worked at the Hard Rock. Getting there was a 30 minute drive along the Niagara River under a beautiful summer sky. The work was hard and money adequate. This was before my friends had 'real' jobs; we spent so many mornings at the $8 golf course and so many late nights at Matt's apartment, playing video games and hanging out. One night, at Holly's Parkside house, we got pulled into a late night game of croquet in Delaware Park. We went over and under the wrought iron fence to utilize the well manicured croquet and bocce lawns. Under the lights and through the dew we swung mallets until park security showed up. A few minutes of making nice and we get off with a warning, and he didn't throw us out. The best night of that summer was my impulsive drive to NJ to see my future wife. I showed up, unannounced, to spend two days with her and her friends. The following school year proved to be the absolute low point of my life and relationship, yet that late night burn over to the Jersey state will always stick out on the highlight reel of life.
-Now, summer of 2005. I don't recognize my own life. I have Karen, and that's the most important thing, but neither of us are happy with how things are working out. You say it's our first year working, and the dues need to be paid. Yes, but what is the reward? More money and more work? Perhaps I need to look at the fine print again. She's miserable, I'm out of energy. How do you add kids to this mix?
-I sit here, watching the minutes of my lunch hour tick down to zero and I can't help staring at the rain soaked window. In my former life I wouldn't hesitate to venture into the warm drops and hit golf balls. "The rain gets harder, making the 250 yard marker hard to read. Water rolls from my forehead to my nose, pauses for a moment before plummeting to the green turf between my feet. I keep my head down, adjust my grip for the water and pull the driver back, slowly at first. At the apex, I switch directions and pull the club along its path, never taking my eyes off the ball. The rain thunders down as the club head connects with the ball, launching it into the distance where it will fight vainly against the falling water to maintain its loft. I tee up another ball, soaked." Now, if you could see this in my head, you'd hear a song by the Shins and much of my action would be in dramatic slow motion, including several insert shots of rain drops splashing against the club head and turf mat. I could shoot this in a day, and it would be really fucking good, because I am that good. And I'm doing what with my life?
-I won't do any of this. My Polo shirt and Nautica khakis would be soaked; I'd have to sit in my cube like this...and the soundtrack to that part of my day wouldn't have nearly the dramatic effect. And is life about anything other than dramatic effect? That's all we want, to know that someone else feels the same thing that we do; that maybe for a moment we can be something other than alone.

Monday Malaise 6/27

-Another weekend, over. Another paradise, lost. While driving home from work last Wednesday I saw a disturbing sight in the water off one of the larger bridges of my commute. Out there, in the channel, were sailboats. And they were sailing. I spend my whole week in a four sided beige hell and some ass-clown is spending the day sailing? Where is the justice? I previously spoke of a blue collar romance, but I'm getting greedier by the minute; I want to spend my days sailing or golfing or spitting on poor people or whatever these rich folk do. I can't beat 'em, so I think I'll join 'em. Now I just need some help on the 'joining' process.

-I forgot to mention this tidbit from the Yankee's game: outside the bleacher entrance (we had real seats, thank you very much), I nearly bumped into a gang of orthodox jewish teenage boys. And they were leaning against the wall and smoking. Does this strike anyone else as hypocritical? You can't eat pork, can't keep meat and milk in the same room, can't flush toilets on holidays, yet sucking down the cancerous tar of North Carolina's finest is kosher? On that logic I would expect to see a group of nuns shooting dice against the outside of Madison Square Garden.

-We took my dad to New York for a quick tour of the city on Saturday afternoon. Did the usual circuit of chinatown, city hall, tribeca, downtown, the village, midtown, upper east side, and central park. Once again I fell madly in love with the West Village and swore that I would live there for some period of my life, even if it's short. Stopped to see Russell and his new abode on W 61st. Small by real standards, but somewhat above average for what he's paying and location. Small problem with the hallways though; at 3-4 feet wide, moving in furniture would be a real bitch. Then again, moving furniture up to the fourth floor without an elevator might suck just as bad. Even though it was upper 90's in the shade, the day was a success.

-Now it's time to swallow my sanity and get through the day. It's like nails on a fucking chalkboard.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Freakin' Friday 6/24

-Whew, that was a long night. Went to the Yankees game with my Dad last night; had a great time. Tickets, free. Parking, $12. Two sodas, one hotdog, one pretzel, $18.50. Taking my Dad to Yankees stadium for the first time, priceless.

-There were four guys sitting behind us that didn't shut up. Thankfully they were 30-something contractors from Lawn G'Island and it was hilarious to hear them bicker. Definitely the kind of stuff you can't make up.

The guy on the aisle was named Blubber, because he was huge. So big that he had to have the aisle on one side and an empty seat on the other. Yankee Stadium seats aren't the most accommodating, so this guy might find himself paying for two tickets next time. Can you imagine dropping a couple hundred bucks on World Series tickets and having to sit next some guy already using half your seat?

The stadium vendors quickly realized that these guys were a gold mine. They didn't pass on a single thing, except for the guy selling soda. Thirty dollar rounds of beer, $5 Crackerjack, $6 peanuts, $4 hot dogs, more beer...it didn't matter. They must have dropped $150 on snacks. You could have sold them anything:
"Timeshares, get your timeshares."
"Yo, we'll take four."
"Human kidneys, human kidneys, who wants a kidney."
"Hey pal, two each over here."
"Angel dust, get positively destroyed on Angel Dust."
"Buddy, up here, set us up with a taste."

Blubber was by far the most vocal and my only regret is that I didn't have anything to record them with. Here are my favorite bits (that I can remember):

"Look at that, the (girl in the) pink hat. Yo, I bet that bitch has a stinky box."

(Discussing a major league pitcher their friend knows) "He got divorced and the bitch took him for a fuckin' ride. But you should see the whore he's got now. Fuckin' incredible."
"What, you seen this bitch?"
"I seen her picture."

(Discussing a friend named Underwear, who apparently came into some money) "And you know that light blue Pontiac? He paid for that. You know Dawn Fratangelo? He bought her car and put teeth in her head. Right into her fuckin' jaw."

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Wednesday Wealth (6/22)

-I don't do this often, but take a look at this article in New York Magazine: Con Man. Long, but very interesting.
-More later.
-It's later, and it took me 110 minutes to drive home. Fantastic. What did I do with Kevorkian's number? It was here somewhere...

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Tuesday Tussle (6/21)

-Dad gets here on Thursday. We're going straight to the Yankees game from my office. He is more excited than I think I've ever seen him. Apparently he's some sort of closeted Yanks fan. Who knew?
-I sat Gunfighter at lunch today. Subway can be a dangerous place. Confused? Good, class is about to begin for those who don't know. The rest of you can take five or skip to the next bullet point.
When you enter a room and are faced with a wide variety of potential seating areas, you are making unconscious choices that say a lot about your personality. Imagine a high school cafeteria with one main door. You enter holding your PBJ and Snapple. Where do you sit?
If you sit in the seat closest to, and facing the door, you are a greeter. Not like Wal-Mart, but close. You want people to see you and you want to see everyone who enters. If you sit in the same seat, facing away from the door, you are a monitor (see: lunch lady). It's more important for you to see what's going than for people to see you on their way in. You are inquisitive, or maybe even a nosy shit.
If you sit in the dead center of the room, regardless of direction, you are desperate for contact. You probably can't shut up and have to be the literal center of attention.
If you take a seat in the farthest 1/3 of the room, facing the door, you are practicing gunfighter style. You see who's come in and where they go; you are ready for anything. A variation is sitting in the farthest corner from the door. This is called true gunfighter. You are a bad mo'fo' encouraging some ill shit. If someone has a grudge, you are clearly in a vulnerable position and an attack is likely.
The last position is when you take a seat farthest from the door, facing a wall or corner. You don't want to look at anyone, but you want them to look at you. This is referred to as "God is Dead", named for a friend of mine with a penchant for depressing German philosophy. You are not someone to be trifled with.
Class dismissed.
-Now I have to go...I shouldn't admit this, but I'm going to watch the Hilton reality show. Why do I fall for this crap?

Monday, June 20, 2005

Monday Mania (6/20)

Remembering the already lost weekend: Kevin and I discussed a the romance of a blue collar life. It's fun to imagine working somewhere remotely near your home, punching the clock at 5, home by 5:20. Play with the kids, presumably drink a beer, basically spend time with your family for once instead of the commuters. It's a bit fantastical though; I don't want to explain to my kids why they will have 100k of student loan debt because I felt like having a less stressful job. Or why we can't take vacations like some of their friends. There is no romance to juggling bills and having to tap into your retirement account to cover the roofing work.
So what's the alternative? Leave at 6 in the morning and come home at 7. In bed by 10. That's three hours to spend between your wife and kids. You can make a lot of money though, take care of the ones you love. Seems like I'm chasing my own tail.
I should have gone to law school and became a suburban divorce lawyer. 40-50 hours a week, decent living, and enough balance that my kids will recognize me.
Where the hell is this post going?

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Weekend Uptime 6/19

-I took a good look at my own under-arm hair today, and, I have to say, I'm a little freaked out. There isn't a good reason for this feeling. Just random discomfort with a physical feature that I should be used to by now. Could be worse, I could have hair in all similar crevice like areas such as between my fingers and toes. Maybe I'll skip dinner...lunch is creeping back into my mouth.
-Had a great Saturday. Slept in fairly long for a change. We're supposed to head over to Kevin and Jenny's at 2 to show them the samples. Problem is that we still haven't received one of the main ingredients in the mail. Mail comes, no package from Utah. Filthy stinking mormons. With an hour til departure, I find myself driving up and down the shore to search the craft retailers for the missing item. No luck, show must go on.
-We hang out and do our usual shooting-of-the-shit and some snacking. Jenny made a delicious cheese and bean and some other stuff type dip. And wings, and pizza bagels. And not only am I getting husky (fat), I'm totally destroying my no-dairy trial diet. Sorry doc.
-After dinner we go to play basketball. Kevin and I are shooting terribly and the wives won't stop teasing us about it. Unfair. Neither of us have played since last year. Have a heart. We start playing one on one...and he's beating me. All four games were close, but I only won one of them. Nish nish. He couldn't stop my outside shot but I couldn't stop his drive. My complete lack of endurance and the aforementioned delicious dip's insistence on an encore performance slowed my defensive step. Hey, this is streetball, nobody plays D.
-The doc had me on a no-dairy diet and I broke it. I need a 'you're getting flubbly diet'. I'm not overweight on the whole; I just have too much of my weight centered around my middle. Only ten pounds off my fighting weight...I can lose it.
-The link to my pictures has changed. Look to the left side of the screen if you need to. There are some new ones including my first effort into digital BW.
-Aight, let's all pretend that I don't have to go back to work tomorrow. Maybe if we all believe hard enough it will come true.

Friday, June 17, 2005

More Friday

Did I say that I don't like baseball, except at the park? Well the boss just gave me Yankees tickets for next week. Apparently I am aligned with the universe. Let's see how far this will go:

I don't like Ferrai F430's, except in black.

We'll see what happens.

Today's vocab word:
1. Extremely inferior; very bad
2. Unequivocally detestable
3. Deserving a curse
The traffic on my daily commute is execrable.

Friday Fantasy 6/17

My fantasy is that this weekend never ends.

Yes, I'm blogstipated. I'll try to spend some time updating when I get a chance.

I only like baseball if I'm at the park, and I hate when I get anything sticky on my hands while driving. I'm afraid it will spread to the steering wheel and I can't live with that.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Thursday the 16th, TPS reports?

-Someone came into the office today to clean the water cooler. There's a problem. I had filled my water bottle an hour before. In six months of working here, this is the first time I've seen this thing being cleaned. How often do they do it?
Let's assume they last cleaned it in June of 2004. And that might be perfectly okay. The water cooler has gotten progressively dirtier every day since then. Which brings me to the real problem; I'm drinking the dirtiest water possible. The water will never be dirtier than just before it is cleaned. Do you follow?

Friday, June 10, 2005

Thankless Thursday

-The days are blending together...can't remember...never ever.
-Spent a total of three hours on the phone with Sallie Mae. They promised me a chunky cash rebate on my student loans. Now they say I didn't choose the correct email notification preferences and I'm now disqualified. My reaction? "I'm being screwed out of a thousand dollars because I didn't want your spam? Fine, spam me. I'll give you my email, my mother's email, and my grandmother's email. I'll even give you Jesus Christ's personal email (Google mail), just give me my money. Send us all newsletters and ads for products that you think we might be interested in; fuck it, you can send me viruses. Send gay porn, I don't care. But send my fucking money!"
-Watched Ocean's 12. Not as fun as the first, but well done in its own way. The story is alright, not as fresh as the first, and the locations are great. Vincent Cassell is, as always, a badass. The biggest thing lacking was the enthusiasm of the actors. It just didn't have the same spark. Are they world weary? Is it like when Saved By The Bell goes to the beach for the summer?
-Word of the day:
subsume (v) 1: contain or include; "This new system subsumes the old one"

Wednesday Wuthering (6/8)

-A little sleepy today. Okay, a lot.
-Word of the day: apprise (v) To give notice to; inform: apprised us of our right to wear tight pants.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Dateline Tilsday (6/7)

First thing this morning: Jamie calls to say that her flight out of Philly didn't leave until well after midnight. Poor girl...she spent the entire day in a plane without going anywhere. She called from her car, nearly home after arriving in Charlotte in the middle of the night. I would understand if she chose never to fly commercial again. Continental sucks...just plain shit. Every experience I've personally had with them was subpar, and now this.
Exhausted...I need a week in the Mediterranean to unwind, to really find my center.
While I'm thinking about it, I need some feedback. Both my wife and sister declared that dropping the deuce in a public bathroom is unacceptable under any terms. I think it is a somewhat necessary evil. Perhaps I'm too much of a regular guy but I can't modify my bodily functions to wait for 6:30pm and home-court advantage. There, I've said it. I drop the deuce at work. It's unavoidable. Why should I be declared an untouchable for such a human condition?
The confusion is that both these women in my life use the public commode for #1, but shun part deux. They are already sitting down...so where is the decency disconnect that makes the second stop so taboo? It should be worse for me; I can get in and out without having to touch anything but myself, and I will personally attest to my own sanitation. In my eyes, touching a public doorknob is dirtier than taking a leak.
Now, I was unreasonably terrified of throwing up in any place other than my bathroom. That goes for school, work, rest stop, mosque, Dunkin' Donuts, etc. That was my big hangup. No chunder. No sir.

Moribund Monday (6/6)

Jessica is taking Jamie to the airport for us so we do our goodbyes before leaving for work. Traffic is...I'm running out of adjectives to describe my commute....atrocious. Hour and forty-five today.
I quickly make some calls to the landlord about the AC situation and they promise to get someone out today. Around four I get a text message that Jamie's 1:00 flight is still delayed...and she's been on the plane the whole time. They kept taxiing around the airport, returning for fuel, then taxiing some more. I feel quite bad for her.
On the drive home she calls to say that I should come to Philadelphia to pick her up; the flight is canceled. To make things better, Continental made the preemptive announcement that they won't be buying hotel rooms for anyone. The prospect of sleeping in the Philly airport wasn't too enticing. Eventually she gets Continental to buy her a ticket on a direct US Airways flight to Charlotte and things look alright. That flight got delayed a few times but her communiques ended around 8 so it seems to be okay.
Before that I had to pick up the dry cleaning and go to a follw up at the doctor's office (shpilkes in my genecktecessoink). After my errands I crash land at home to recover.
I enjoy Hell's Kitchen and two episodes of Entourage while Karen and I bask in our newly fixed AC. It appears that someone or something cut the control wire on our AC unit. Suspicions are immediately cast upon the downstairs neighbor; unfortunately I don't think she would be that evil. It would be a great character quirk, but it's far-fetched.
The investigation shall commence post haste.

Weekend Update

Yes, Continental Airlines sucks. My sister's flight was scheduled to land at 5 pm Friday afternoon. Needless to say, she wasn't there until 9:30. The tardiness plus heavy rain nixed our plans to have dinner and explore Philly on a Friday night. The worst part is that her connection, where she was delayed so long, was Newark. Which, as the map proves, is less than 1/3 of the distance we drove to Philadelphia. Bastards.
We showed her around the Shore on Saturday, stopping to have a tasty late lunch at Surf Taco in Point Pleasant. Also managed to walk through the Red Bank Jazz festival. Didn't do a whole Saturday night, watched Shrek 2 in HD (exciting life) and talked for a while.
Sunday was Ellis Island. Very cool, although most of my skyline photos were screwed by haze over the city. Get home and find out it's gotten to over 85 in the house. Both cats are sprawled out on the cool tiles of the kitchen floor. It's time to use the AC. Well, as luck would have it, no AC. Three hours of fiddling (futzing to some of you) with the thermostat did nothing to abate the sweatbox. Hotter than hell. If you turned down the lights, added some sewing machines and unassembled Nike's, we could have made 20 cents for our trouble. Karen kept insisting that the air coming from the vent was getting cooler. I insisted that she was simply sweating more and the moving air was giving her the false hope of refrigeration.
We barely slept as the dark room eclipsed 90 without a trace of a breeze.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Friday Farce 6/3

Ahh, the day that Jamie arrives. I'll be leaving work after lunch, which is close to having a long weekend. Close enough at least.

Strange things are afoot at the Circle-K. In other words, some illness is going down at work. I don't want to give away too many details, but someone is running their mouth behind my back. Let the pissing contest begin.

Why do I like shitty music? Not often, but sometimes I get hooked by a garbage song that I can't stop listening to. Right now it is "Hollaback Girl" by Gwen Stefani. Horrible song, yet I keep turning it up when it's on the radio. Is the beat too infectious? Is it the idea of fighting a cheerleader? I'm definitely amused by it, especially the b-a-n-a-n-a-s part at the end. There is no doubt that she should have stayed with the band. Ouch, that's horrible...just awful. This is no time for puns that bad...we're at war.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Thursday, in June. 6/2

Pretend you have a paper due at the end of the semester. It was assigned on the first day. You haven't looked at it until the last three weeks. You know you have to do it. It won't go away. Yet every day you let it go, it becomes that much harder to tackle, that much bigger in your mind.

That's exactly why I haven't posted in a while. Every day I fell more behind, and thought to myself that I had to do that much more to catch up. Well fuck it, I'm not catching up. I'm going to start again today like I didn't miss a beat.

Okay, the last two weeks weren't that interesting anyway.

Jamie comes to town tomorrow. For those that don't know, which is basically everyone, Jamie is my little sister whom I haven't seen since my wedding last July. She's only here for the weekend, and I probably won't see her again until Xmas...which isn't guaranteed either. This is a person I used to live with, every day, for 14 years. How things change.

Randomly emailed a friend from school. Turns out he got into AFI's graduate screenwriting program...very impressive. Makes me a little bitter about my job. I could do it if I wanted to, I've got the talent. What I don't have is the ability to sleep at night with an extra 60k in student loans. So school is out. But this guy will do very well...he's got the talent, and more importantly, he's fully stocked with motivation. Perhaps I should rob him.