Friday, July 29, 2005

Gone for the weekend

The wife and I are off to Connecticut for the weekend to celebrate our one year anniversary. We've got tickets to see Martin Sexton tomorrow night. Those who know him, you know what's going on.
One year already...rather shocking. Do you want to see our year by the numbers? Do you? Do you know who you're dealing with? Right.
2- Places we moved
5 -Jobs we've had between us
2 -Times our AC has given out
1 - Proper vacations (Vegas!)
2 -Debts fully paid off
6 -New debts taken on
46 -Inches of the new TV (see above)
2 -VW Jetta's purchased (I'm getting sick of them)
453 -Times we thought of leaving Jersey
350k - Cost of a decent starter house here

That's all I can muster right now...I have stuff to take care of before hitting the dusty trail. I'll be back Monday with more details and maybe pictures. You can live without me until then. Who am I kidding, nobody reads this. But isn't that the point? Am I writing this to journal my life or entertain strangers with voyeuristic tendencies? This can wait til Monday.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

These are the people in my neighborhood.

It's about time that I give mention to some of the folks who work in the same building. They work for the other companies, so I don't know them personally, but they cross my path almost every day.

First are the Eastern European guys who work at the hedge fund. Other people in their office dress like Gordon Gecko, they prefer the vintage flannel shirt and a Nordic beard. Odd, but just fine. What bothers me is that they gather in the communal kitchen to chat during lunch. They talk in rushed, muted tones. If I walk in, or even go by the doorway, they clam up and glare at me as if I were some corporate spy trying to eavesdrop on their discussion of feasible cold fusion. This honestly wouldn't bother me if it weren't for the fact that they jabber in some Eastern European Slavic language to which I am utterly clueless. Perhaps if they were speaking high school French or Spanish I could glean the slightest inkling of their diabolical agenda.
Tuesday the 26th, 12:44 PM. Target 1 asked Target 2 if he had seen his suitcases. Target 2 replied by asking for directions to the biblioteque. End transmission.

The other character is The Ginch: a cross between Dr. Strangelove and Wallace Shawn from the Princess Bride. He is short, which already flares my prejudice that short people have an agenda, wears glasses that darken with bright light, and holds his cigarettes in a most peculiar, Strangelove-like fashion. The fact that The Ginch seems to snarl with his thin upper lip doesn't help matters. He doesn't actually do anything to me; it's merely that seeing him gives me the "maybe I shouldn't have cut through this dark alley to save three minutes walking back to the car" kind of feeling.

Totally unrelated: I channeled my immature fascination with automobiles into its own blog. Confessions of a Car Slut. Link is on the left hand nav bar as well.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Lunch in a Jiffy

My mistake. I opted to use my lunch break to get the oil changed in the Jetta. Jiffy Lube on 27 has been good to me in the past (last time was less than 20 minutes), so I hustled over there. Prompt check in, the car rolls over the pit, they start the process. The team leader comes in to upsell me the pine scent and armor all, which I politely decline, but I do spring for the tire rotation. This car has unnervingly expensive tires on it (18 inch, 40 series, Z rated) so the chance to save some life is worth the 15 bones. This is where the trouble begins.

Just after lifting the car and removing the wheels for the above mentioned rotation, one of the workers arrives with lunch. Say goodbye to returning to work on time. I watched helplessly through the glass as my car was left suspended in mid air without wheels. They ate, and ate some more, and I paced the waiting area. No use stressing over it. In the end, they finally finished their Taco Bell and attached my wheels, over an hour since I arrived. Bastards.

The waiting did give me occasion to witness a great intellectual conversation.
Employee: Lexus?
Customer: That's me.
Employee: You got like a hunnerd twenny thousand miles.
Customer: Yeah?
Employee: Yeah, you want the high mileage?
Customer: High mileage what?
Employee: High mileage oil for high mileage cars.
Customer: What's it do?
Employee: It helps high mileage cars. It's thick.
Customer: How much is it?
Employee: Forty one ninety-nine.
Customer: Is that more than the regular?
Employee: Regular is thirty (dollars) ninety-nine.
Customer: So it's only two dollars more?
Employee: (Rolls his eyes) Nah, bro. It's like seven or eight dollars more.

This happened, almost exactly like this. He was serious, too. Seven or eight...

Friday, July 22, 2005

Where the hell am I going?

Got my hat. Keys are in the ignition. And I'm not moving.

I've reached the crossroads of my life and it's crippled me. Not only can I not make the big decision, I can't seem to make any decisions. Perhaps if I choose nothing, then whatever happens can't be my fault. Innocent by abstinence.

I don't have to tell you how foolish this is. Not making choices doesn't stop time, no one offers a time-out, and that's apparently what I'm trying to do: bring it down.

I'm realizing how quickly life can run between your fingers. We're here for a disgustingly short amount of time, and I'm terrified of making choices that will waste a single minute. The irony, of course, is that I've wasted more than a few months in this holding pattern; too weak to step forward.

You'll point out that I got married, wasn't that a big step? It was an immense step, yet many times easier. It was right, I felt it. My instinct practically screamed that I needed to be her husband, and have her as my wife. Was that even a choice? Choice implies options. There were no options; I would have been miserable without her.

Now I'm making her miserable, and that won't stand. She sees the pain on my face, she sees the internal conflict that is bringing me down. She begins to wonder if I've lost confidence in her as well. I haven't.

The pain in my gut is real. Doctors don't know what to say. Despite repeated assurances that it is merely stress, I have to wonder. Did I do this to myself? The choices are endless.

Do we stay? Do we move? Do we go to school? Do we start a career? I don't know...the answers aren't clear, and they're not getting clearer anytime soon. Either way, I have an amazing friend and lover sitting on this bench seat with me and she's getting restless. It's time to put this thing in drive.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Columbus OH Bans Assault Weapons: NRA Cancels Convention There

This is a good thing. I'm pretty damn sure of it. So why does anyone care when the NRA starts stamping its feet like a two year old who doesn't get another Ritz cracker?
"Thanks to the Columbus City Council, 65,000 people will not be coming to your wonderful Greater Columbus Convention Center in 2007," Wayne LaPierre, the rifle association's executive vice president, said in a news conference here. "The only thing the City Council can expect out of their decision is the gratitude of those businesses in the city we go to instead."
Take your stupid fucking guns back to Tallahassee or Atlanta or Dallas. Why is it so wrong for a city to decide that it doesn't want the criminals to be carrying heavier artillery than its police force?
The NRA is stupid, stupid, stupid. Where's my kevlar vest?

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Wednesday Annex (7/12)

I usually don't undercut my own posting, but these bites from Overheard in New York are too good to miss:

A blind Black man with a Star of David is holding court.

Black man: The Pope is a faggot. They molested my kids. I want to go to church, but I can't because they molested my all White people are faggots.
Hispanic guy #1: How come they have kids?
Black man: Silence, you will wait until I have finished speaking...can't no one hit the ball like Hank Aaron. That's why we all in prison and they trying to kill us, but we will kill them. Can't nobody sing like Luther Vandross.
Hispanic guy #1: But--
Black man: Wait until I have the Hispanic people, like Dominicans and Cubans are also the true Jews, and the lost tribes of you may address me.
Hispanic guy #2: What about Black Puerto Ricans, are they from the lost tribe?
Black man: I can't stand Black Puerto Ricans!
--West Farms bus stop, The Bronx

Yuppie: If we just let them kill the Jews we wouldn't have this problem. Then we could buy oil for $6 a barrel.
--A train

Hobo: Excuse me, sir? You dropped some change.
Man: What? Where?
Hobo: Bam! In my cup!
--4th Avenue & 7th Street

Little girl: ...but Mom!
Mom: Say it one more time, motherfucker!
--Pathmark, Cherry Street

Girl #1: So when I was in Italy, I went to France.
Girl #2: What did you do there?
Girl #1: I went to the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Girl #2: Still Italy.
Girl #1: Really?
Girl #2: Yeah. So what did you do in France?
Girl #1: I guess I didn't go to France, then...
--Toys R Us, Times Square

Crazy guy: And what do gay people do with the money they save on child support? The parade! They pay for the parade.
--53rd Street station

Guy on cell: No, I'm waiting for the ferry...No, not him; the boat that goes into the city.
--Staten Island Ferry Terminal, Staten Island

Wednesday Wasting (7/13)

Okay, before you jump all over my shit for being so lazy with posts, let me just say this: a whole bunch of new information has come to light, man, and if you were privy to the new shit, you'd be a lot more forgiving.

That said, let's move forward. I can't talk about any of our job situations, except to say that Karen' stress level has gone into the red. Not good.

Those who know, know that we have something interesting in the works. We are currently doing the groundwork, so the timeframe is yet to be determined.

My current dissatisfaction with my life has brought me back to Green Day, of all things. I didn't identify with all the angst and pissed off energy of Dookie when it came out but I did like the music. Now, stuck in traffic every day, I really understand and enjoy the frustration that lurks below the catchy punk-pop hooks. I like listening to it very loud. It helps.

As most people will identify themselves as a good driver, most will say that they are music lovers. Perhaps it's growing up, perhaps it's my new jaded nature, but 98% of music isn't doing it for me anymore. I'm just not a music lover. There are a few artists that I still have great respect for and will pay to see. Most music passes me with little to no's not interesting.

One of the most interesting music experiences came while working at the Hard Rock Cafe on summer. About once a day, Elton John's "Tiny Dancer" would come on the screens and speakers. No matter how chaotic the guests and staff were prior, the first notes of the piano would inspire a rapid calming action. The servers slowed down, guests relaxed immensely, and everyone seemed to be in agreement...if only for a few minutes. Most people would sing along and watch the video which included clips from Cameron Crowe's "Almost Famous". Every time. It was creepy yet wonderful.

I'm going to scroll through the iPod for Tiny Dancer...maybe it will get me through the morning.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Saturday Sensation 7/9

Uhh, yeah, I've been a little busy lately, sorry to be so out of touch. Here's what I've been up to.
9:00 - Dentist appointment. Five cavities? What the hell is that?
10:30 - 1:00 - Soup kitchen in Newark.
1:00 - 1:30 - Race back to Red Bank, fight the fucking shore traffic.
1:30 - 2:30 - Frantically clean house before guests arrive.
2:30 - 6:30 - Entertain guests at home, then at restaurant, then at home again.
6:30 - 9:00 - Talk business with our business partners. Hammer out the marketing strategy; still need to spend some time on the pricing.
9:00 - 10:00 - Stare blankly.
10:00 - present - Look at houses for sale while updating the photo galleries. Check them out if you are so inclined.

Now it is time for bed; we have plans for tomorrow to meet up with other friends. I also need to spend some time with Dreamweaver. Teaching myself from the book is a bit time intensive...and I promised this site would go live at the end of the month. I'm brilliant.

Friday, July 01, 2005

One more Friday

Since I'm posting so much today, I thought I'd copy a few clips from, one of the funniest websites I've ever read. The link is to your left. Your OTHER left.

A Black kid and his Hispanic girlfriend are arguing on the train. The kid is holding her in the seat and she is trying to rip off his shirt. The entire car is watching, as if it were a car wreck.
Hispanic girl: You're always showing off!
Black kid: What?
Hispanic girl: Get off me!
Black kid: Stop it!
Hispanic girl: Get off me!
Black passenger guy: Man, why's it always gotta be our people pulling this shit? You never see White people pulling this shit. You never see Chinese people pulling this shit. Man!
--C train

Girl #1: They named their kid Lotus?
Girl #2: That's kind of cool.
Girl #1: How?
Girl #2: Well, it's got good connotations, you know? I mean, you'd never meet a bitch named Lotus.
Girl #1: Yeah, but...weren't they, like, a plague?
--John Fluevog, Mulberry Street

Guy #1: Hey man, how you been?
Guy #2: Good, man.
Guy #1: What you been up to?
Guy #2: ...Sorry man, just spaced out.
Guy #1: That's cool, I am coked out of my mind right now anyway.
--Cobble Hill

More Friday, 7/1

-Karen called to say she's been looking at houses in Alabama. No. NO, no, NO, no, NO! How would I tell my parents? I'd rather explain the finer points of my sex life to a priest while riding a school bus packed with every teacher I've ever had.

Vendredi, el primo de julio.

-Holiday weekend is nigh. I can smell it, and it smells patriotic. To quote Apu, celebrate your country's independence by blowing up a small piece of it. Or did he say large piece? Hmm, my Simpsons recall is failing me.

-Karen's father will be in town tonight, and possibly tomorrow. I keep forgetting about this because I forget about most things. It's my defense mechanism against the onslaught of repetitive weeks. This way I can be refreshingly surprised by the smallest of events.

-There is a Carta meeting this weekend. As 25% stakeholder, I'm expected to be there with ideas. And basketball shoes.

-I realized, again, that I would love to stay in Red Bank. It's really a nice change from the Generica of most places. There is no Taco Bell or McDonald's in town, and the nearest Chili's/Applebees/Friday's/Outback is several miles away. The only chain on Broad St is a subdued Starbucks, new Coldstone Creamery, and easily missed Restoration Hardware. To buy a house here will require finding a stack of bearer bonds taped to the bottom of my couch. Didn't find any yesterday. I'll check again tonight.

-Managed to put some good pages down last night in between defending myself against a brutal attack on the VA boards. And no, that's not a basketball reference.

-Could I write a book? Yes. Would it be good? Maybe? Do I want to? Ask again later...

-Things that I'm considering, in random order:
*writing a book (didn't see that one coming?)
*going to law school after all
*being a teacher (summers to write)
*staying up all weekend to finish this script
*opening PS to finish those photos for a gallery show
*taking more pictures to adequately fill said show
*playing more poker for money
*risking financial ruin to shoot my own feature next summer
*never making a list like this again
*starting an indie film review zine (hate that word, zine)