Sunday, December 31, 2000

There's No Place Like Home. But There's . . . No Place.

"Not having secured shelter made me feel flawed, embarrassed in front of myself."

Man, after 3 years, 3 almost apartments, sublets and currently crashing at a friends house.... I can call myself a New Yorker now.

(insert irony here) But to live in New York - Im gonna be moving to New Jersey.

Sadly, with my experiences to date, I wont be surprised if the apartment falls through.
In fact, Im half-expecting it to.
(Already, its been changed from a one-bedroom to a large studio, and a week added to the waiting time. Im focusing on the positives of 'its cheaper rent, and its still a nice apartment'....)

"Real estate in New York has nothing to do with what you deserve. It is a rolling sea. People are dropped in, and some find what they want right away. Others never do. The rest of us bob around on the surface, pushed up and pulled under at intervals, always keeping our faith in that lucky wave that will come along and carry us out to the next port."

Plan B still has me looking at rooms.

Read Tara Bahrampour's NY Times article and very personal story - it's becoming a frighteningly familiar tale of anyone trying to live in NYC.


I dont know the exact definition of a blizzard... but I think thats what we just had, dumping a foot or more of snow on the area in less than 6 hours.

Rich was surprised to hear me tell that this has been the first serious snowfall Ive experienced in over 10 years..

S'true. Florida doesnt get much snow. And we just got more in one day than New York has had annually in the last four years.

(I wasnt here for the Storm of the Century during the winter of 95-96.. when, according to local lore.. the drifts got up to 3 feet deep.)

Here is what I forgot about the experience:

No, not the blinding snow accumulating on every exposed part of clothing, the eerie quietness of fresh snow dampening sounds, the beautiful snow and wind sculptures on parked cars... no, no..

I forgot how much exertion and exercise it is to step OVER snow, never mind through it.

I wasnt about to slog through the un-shoveled sidewalks, so I walked in the street, in the tracks of cars and snow plows.

It still took me half an hour to get to the subway station, two city blocks away.
Where I still had to negotiate slippery steps hidden underneath inches of snow going down into the tunnels.

Oh yeah, the other thing I remember about deep snowfall...

Its only fun the first time it falls.

I got a dozen bagels and a healthy portion of lox (Smoked Nova Salmon) to take home to Staten Island as I left Bay Ridge (Brooklyn) this morn.

The stuff is sublime.

I have become wary of claims proclaiming something as ".. the best in New York".

Usually doesnt live up to the hype.

(eg - Juniors Cheesecake in Brooklyn is NOT the best cheesecake in NY. Its actually quite shitty cheesecake. Do not waste your time.)

But the lox and bagels I got from this place (On 5th Ave and 76th in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn) is at least easily the best Ive had in Brooklyn.

Ironically, it was while I was in SF with JT that I got turned onto bagels and lox.
JT got homesick for a coupla things.. primarily good bagels and lox.

We hadda buy store bought bagels (Safeway and Sara Lee brands) as well as pre-packaged frozen lox.
They do try on the West Coast, but no.. this combo was only 'decent'.

But it was enough for me to like the taste.. and lox is indeed an acquired taste (it being fatty salmon after all), although not bad at all.

But this stuff is .. whoo.

The best *Ive* had in New York.

Now, if I can find New York pizza good enuff for me to forsake Chicago Deep Dish, or at least make me forget about it until I get back to Chi-town for a visit...


After slogging through a SLOW ferry ride in a blinding snowstorm (visibility was down to less than 100 yards on the water, making for a slightly nervous ride), waiting over an hour for a bus to get through the storm and slippery streets and then slogging uphill to the house, then THROUGH fresh deep thigh-high powder to get to the door....

I had no intention of leaving the house until the streets are plowed and chaos has stopped snarfing on the finest meats and cheeses. (Mixed metaphor, but yoo know what I mean.)

It explains why I was not-so gently snoring on the couch when MJ called and left a message on the cell to give word that the get together while she is in town had been changed to another restaurant close by.

(Heh. Again I was surprised by an unexpected Cali accent.. I dont know why that makes me smile.. :-)

Umm. Lemme repeat.. I had no intention of leaving the house again for the day.
This wasnt happening.
It may be navigable in midtown Manhattan, but contrary to what Mayor Guiliani said.. things arent back to normal in the rest of the city yet.

Unfortunately, I had no call back number to get in touch with her.


Hopefully, we can do a cuppa coffee or Bailey's Irish before she leaves.

Man, Ive taken a lot o' pictures today and these last few days (got some great shots of the storm and the snow-covered scenery).. but it'll be awhile before I can figure out a way to edit/downsize the pix so that I can include them in the blog.

This sux.

Its not really about computers. If I werent considerate of other folk's property or space - I would already have a solution rigged.

I realize now, that its been nearly six years since Ive had my own space, with no room-mates, family or coworkers around.

I had it for awhile in Jax, until my rogue ex-brother in law needed a place to stay. Hey, I couldnt refuse him, because he and my sister gave up their space when I needed it.

Since then, except for the period of a few blessed months, Ive not had a space I could truly call my own.

I am craving my own space. Mine. No one else around.

Granted, its pretty hard to do in New York - where space is at an expensive premium.. but right now, Im hoping that this will be accomplished by next month.

Which is why Im awful sensitive about impugning on other people's space.

Even if its only a computer.

Miss Waterbelle- has had her sensibilities ruffled by my apparently inelegant choice of calling this a "NY blog".

This thing needs a better name. You had SF Scribble,NY Journal...NY Blog, though, no no no.

Pennant's Itinerant NY.

There you go.
*giggles* It rhymes and still reveals where you are, AND it
discusses your current state of moving. Yeah. There it is.


She does have a point there, I think.

And its usually something I take a bit of thought to do.

But try as I might - I cant think of anything better to call it.

Actually, following the lead of Miss Mars Bars, who has both a blog and a journal - Im gonna be integrating a blog into my site even after I get my fixed address.

This blog.

I'll still have the journal, but Ive been seduced by the short, pithy, updateable format of the Blog.

So, I called it exactly what it is.

*shrug of shoulders and upturned hands* I mean, what else could I call it?

Saturday, December 30, 2000

Its snowing hard, Im in Kate's place, kate's roomie is cracking me up, my mouth is still reeking of the schmeer of lox I had on the best bagels in bay ridge.

New York, eh?

Now, I gotta head out in this blizzard to catch the boat to the Island.

I dont wanna.. but the cats are smelling my mouth for salmon.

Friday, December 29, 2000

Random thoughts....

(Yeah, I miss the random pix too...)
Bradlee's is closing and liquidating ALL their stores.

The ONLY department store I regularly shop at???
Why dont they just close those stores in Bumfreeze, Vermont and Walden's IceLick, Mass that are sucking the corporate coffers dry and keep the righteous hi-traffic ones like in Union Square open???


Bradlees is the ONLY store Ive found that stocks a selection of regular clothes for us big guys.


So, the choice.. pay my cell phone bill.. or go look at the Bradlees liquidation sale yesterday?

Hm. I hope they dont cut off my phone this week.

As we hugged and parted ways in Union Square last nite, Kate yelled.. "Be online more!!"

She knows Im nowhere near a puter usually nowadays, but I understood what she meant.

Im not online often or long enough to talk to.

However, part of the long-term plan is to cut back drastically the time I spend in front of a puter screen, which is why Im not really scrambling to find ways to be online right now

But I do feel like Im losing touch with my network, who are usually on my Buddy List.

Amazing how pervasive all this has gotten since ICQ and AIM came into being in 96...


Itsa good thing HappyCat makes that little birdlike meow/chirp as he walks around, otherwise Id trip over him a LOT more as he dashes around to where he thinks Im going to be.

Hmm. Eric (ex-coworker and super of the building Im moving into) was telling me it'd be fine, no problem if I wanted to have a cat there.

I protested a little bit, but rilly - I guess I wouldnt mind having one.. but I think I know why Im hesitant:

A cat, any pet, would be a long-term COMMITMENT.


I never said I was commitment-phobic.
Lissa (aka the incredibly talented and long-lashed Waterbelle) wrote:

< So. A cat person convert. *evil chuckles* >

I shall resist the evil plot cat people like you, Kate, gabz and Fred are plotting to take over the world with those mind control...

Aww. HappyCat is rubbing against my leg and purring... purring...must... obey...

< You'll LOVE the Water Bowl Olympics in the wee hours of the morning.>

I am seriously puzzled. WHY must the blasted cat throw his water dish from here to kingdom come??

Goofy thing.

<< The stampedes for the kitchen when you go get a glass of water.>>

I KNOW!! What the hell is up with that???

A midnight pee run is becomes high drama and a trip to the fridge is like a trip to DisneyWorld!

Kate was telling me her cats go absolutely nuts in the middle of the night and just go madd barrelling through the apartment, making all kinda thunderous rackets...


<< And definitely get a laser pointer keychain. Mina and Sebastian go NUTS over them!>>



I only JUST the other day got around to seeing A Christmas Story and understand why some people crack up at that line.

Nah, my cat will be too intelligent to ferk around with obvious distractions like that.. although I note HappyCat goes into Madd Attack Mode if he spots a leaf on a throw rug....

So, I said.. "... never you mind Kate, yer a survivor..."

Immediately she quipped:

"Yeah, at the end, it'll be roaches, Cher and Kate.."

She crax me up. :-)


Lets hope the weather bunnies are wrong this time.. but theyre clamoring for a foot of shnow to be dropped here by Saturday with those oncoming storms.

Dammit. Serposed to hook up with Min Jung Saturday on her visit here.

I dunno, theyre bandying around nasty words like 'major storm', 'foot of snow', 'snow drifts' and chit......


Wednesday, December 27, 2000


Im staying out in Staten Island.. and except for the sound of an occasional full power takeoff from Newark Airport.. its quiet in this little victorian house while I wait for the apartment..

No sirens. Maybe 5 cars go by in a day. Peaceful.

Its New York, but its not New York.

Staten Islanders pray constantly and fervently that the yuppies and city snobs will keep looking down their noses at Staten Island, and stay far far away - or move to Westchester County, Connecticut or New Jersey..

They only want their friends to move here.

Yep. Such a change of pace.

Its making me wish to clear my license, get a car, rent a house, get a cat.
I could do with a bucolic lifestyle.

No. Really. Stop laffing.
I havent taken any pix in a week.

Ive been meaning to go out and about.. but frankly, this bitter cold and constant wind scares me.

This page is looking awful bare tho.

I'll add pix soon.. specially for those who look at a page and go "Whut, no pictures??" :-)

Actually, lemme amend the "I wanna be a surburbanite" rant above..

I dont REALLY wanna live in the country.. no no.

Otherwise I wouldnt have moved to NYC.

I want peace, but I also want to be close enough to a city, so that when I am restless (like Im feeling now).. its only a quick mass transit ride away.

Tish was concerned when I went down with food poisoning these last few days.

Specially with my living situation right now.

I didnt want her to worry, so I tried to slip it by her.

She wasnt having any of that.

I dunno, Im used to suffering by my lonesome.

Although its nothing she wouldnt do for any other friend of hers, Im truly not used to anyone being more than mildly concerned for me.

Its times like this I wish ....

I dunno. I always brace myself for the worst from some people.... so I try to be ornery and independent.

Its times like this I realize in doing that.. it brings out the worst in myself.

And thats a disservice to her heart.

Yeah, theres is a reason Im going through this now. Im trying to be a better man.

And she is making me want to.


That's all.
I suck.

No one got a card or Christmas greeting from me this year.

Im sorry. That did not mean I wasnt thinking of you all.

You all know that, right?

Ok then.

With that in mind, happy holidays to my buds...

And if you think I missed you .. call me on it.

Im open to guilt right about now.
I admire Leo's and their organizational abilities. and are prime examples of that, as a good web site is first and foremost an exercise in organization before the true creativity can even begin to flow.

So, I am awful glad to see Jules of resurrect her site and start showing her skillz again.

Im a HUGE admirer of her talents, as she makes what is hard look deceptively simple.

In fact, I think Carol got pissed at me as I yammered on about how ever-cool Jules' site is as she is learning her own skills & abilities...

Feh. Fire signs. Shoot, Carol will soon be at that level herself....

Anyway, Im glad she's back..

Although, she is kinda on probation wit me until I see several consecutive weeks of goodness on her site.

Knawmean, J? :-)

Tuesday, December 26, 2000

" what is love then?"

"Love is a higher power."

Tisha really wanted to know, and we had started the conversation as to why I dont say 'I love you' easily or casually.

I tried to visualize for her why and how love could be such a powerful and interconnected force, but I think I may have lost her somewhere between the concept of harmonics and angels. :-)

She knows what it is, instinctively - because she is searching for it.

I on the other hand have avoided it like the plague, not because I was so afraid of Love, but I had the feeling it wasnt a trivial thing.

I was right, but I couldnt really tap into its power until I was shown what it was and how I needed to be.

Now, I cant do without love, and I dont avoid it.

But, Im learning to love people, which means I have to accept them....

This last year has been a trying time, where I had doubts even that I would live to see it through.

What has kept me going through it has been the massive amounts of love I have experienced, from folk close and far.

I wouldnt have made it through without it.

Now, the point of this...

Grace Lin Yamamoto, aka 'TigerEyes', mother of Matthew, wife and too-brief love of Brian died in her sleep at 8:30am on Christmas Day.

She was deeply loved.

I want a cat.

I grew up as a dog person, but with my lifestyle, I havent had time for pets.

Actually, I havent had pets for nigh on twenny years.

Not a fish, dog, turtle or snake.

But, after being around PsychoCat (Tito's), ChubbyCat (Carol's), Kate'sKat (Kate) and HappyCat (Rich's) these last few days.. I could do with them as quirky as they are.

Yeah, yeah - I know.. they basically show love as a symbiotic survival instinct - but is that so wrong?

Although it may be the mind control that HappyCat is exerting as he's curled up on my side, purring like a demon...

This food poisoning doesnt seem so bad with a hyperactive furball around.

"One of Us, One of Us.."

Saturday, December 23, 2000

as reported at Kennedy Arpt., NY.

Temp: 15°F
Wind Chill: -17°F
Wind: From the West at 21 mph gusting to 26 mph
Back in Chi-town, I used to regard the overall winter in the Northeast as sorta wimpy compared to that encountered in the midwest.

Once I saw a picture of a NY woman struggling against snow drifts with the low temp as minus 3 that day.

I laughed bitterly as painful feeling came back in my frostbitten fingers, having had to deal with minus 35 degree temps and ungodly windchills that day....

Since Ive been here. the weather here has been fairly balmy, overall.

Now, Im just fucking miserable.

I have not shivered uncontrollably like this in over ten years.

Add that to me not getting any sleep or having a 'normal' routine.. this 'hump' I need to clear is painful.

Talk about a reality check.

All I want now is a warm room, hot showers on demand and a bed to get a lot of uninterrupted shleep.

Thats all.

Anything else for christmas is extry.

I will never look at the folk riding around the subways to get a place to get uninterrupted sleep the same way again.

The cars were iceboxes tonight, the subway tunnels being painfully cold - any latent heat long having been overwhelmed.

I noticed there were a lot of them tonight.

A lot.

All ages and races.. with that blank stare telling me they dont really have anyplace to go.

Shit, for me - there are no rooms at the inns or the rooming houses. Guh.

At least Im able to afford one.

Damn this cold and this crowded city.

Friday, December 22, 2000

Hmm. Being online wit a fast connection is no fun if your Napster file downloads are being throttled.

After the first fast gulp of bytes, my downloads slowly drift downwards to zero throughput.

All of them. The strictly technical term for this is "fucked up".

I dont know who to blame here.. the brand new version of Napster.. or the network folk for the Internet Cafe who found out that far too many people are using Napster to *gasp* download massive amounts of muzik and burn them on those cheap-ass CD's (25 cents) they offer.

*grump*. My bet is on the new and 'improved' Napster, as the staff here are just as pissed......

I want my dollar back, dammit.

Holy light speed, batman!!!

This fucker is FAST.

I had built the Plentium II in '98, with the intention of making it a Win2000 server eventually.

I never got around to it, but as I prepped it today, I can now see what it can do when its finally unfettered (ie: not running Win98).

On one hand, Im sorry I wont be using it the way I intended when I built it, but it's almost ideal for the film student buying it.
This is the perfect machine to get her started on part of her dream.....
Which is why I wanted her to get it, inspite of selling it for about half of what its currently worth.

Things like this isnt about the money for me.

She's way excited about getting it (yes, she knows the deal she's getting) - but Im actually more excited for her.
She'll be able to run hard-core animation and video proggies without batting an eye.

She asked me if the machine is akin to a Porsche...
Heheh. Being the carr geek that I am, I puffed out my chest and said "No".

"Nah baby.." pausing for effect.. "this is a more like a fwuckin *Range Rover*. No, make that a m*%&*#&%*$%^ EXPEDITION! It'll fuckin haul anything you throw at it without coughin up blood."

Shit, more like an obscenely deep-breathing Mack Truck. :-)


But jeezus.. I didnt realize that it had this much giddyup to it.

Wait till I put in those twin Xeon CPU's innit for her next month... heheheh.

Whoo, doggy.

Thursday, December 21, 2000

Goddam, tis cold in this here parts.

50 degrees below zero, with a balmy wind whipping it down to 95 degrees below.

I know, right?

Hey, I know of these things.. I grew up in Chicago where we use winter AND summer to freeze-dry the meat of our polar-bear herds....

Even Florida is getting in on the action, to wit:

McClint: hehehe i'm freezing my balls off
McClint: i ran out of Kerosene sometime during the night
JPennant: I feel yer pain, brother. :-)
McClint: shit i better go find some more kerosene now before i suffer hypothermia. wish me luck! :-)

Checking out the Philly-based Mountain Brothers on Napster.

These fuckers are GOOD. Their old-skool flow is tight.

Id heard Josh mention them, and I first heard them in the acclaimed Nike ads doing the custom rhymes for Jason Williams, Tim Duncan and Kevin G.

Now, Im taking the time to check them out.

Deep. On the head-nodding tip.

Ive heard them acclaimed as the cognoscenti's pick as the best hip-hop group that youve never heard of.

I wonder if its because these brothers are asian?

Or mebbe theyve just got shitty management...

Wednesday, December 20, 2000

Bleary-eyed and eerily un-depressed.. blogging from the EasyEverything internet cafe in Times Square.

I am unofficially homeless right now, so now Ive taken my nights to wandering the city.

Dont worry, my stuff is safe, there is a bed and a shower available during the day and I have a bona fide apartment coming in January (thank you GAWHD). Waay sooner than I expected.

But - I am doing what countless students, artists, musicians, clubbers and other intinerant New Yorkers have had to do since New York was god's green cowpatch.
Wander around at night, sleep during the day.

STILL havent found a room, as the cold snap and the holiday season have made rooming places scarce..

You fucking cant find a place unless you know someone here. Sheesh.

If New York didnt have so many ways to while the night away, this would get old rather quickly.....

On Napster right now:
- Best of My Love, Dont ask my Neighbor - The Emotions
- Cheryl Lynn - To Be Real
- Lisa Stansfield - All Around the World
- Vicki Sue Robinson - Turn The Beat Around
- Tisha Campbell and Jasmine Guy - Be Alone Tonight
- Earth, Wind & Fire - Sing a Song
- Groove Theory - Tell Me

This HUGE internet cafe is a GREAT idea.

Feeling like a warehoused size college computer-lab cum student union, this 24/7 british-based operation kix ass.

800 PC's!!!!!

Yeah, I think theyve hit on the formula for success.. volume, location.. and volume.

They serve excellent coffee natch. :-)

Its like one giant computer lab/coffee shop/student union/library.

In fact, I see mostly young folk in here, student, artists and young travelers.

Very eclectic.

It seems to be undiscovered by the painfully hip, who seem to have a knack for fucking up things that are truly cool and useful.

Now, if the fucker several rows over will stop surreptitiously smoking that goddammed Marlboro light.

Ive grown to hate the smell of that crack-addict cigarette with a passion.
Now.. lessee...

Yesterday, I finally moved everything outta the Manhattan place, Tito giving me a midnight hand.
Events that have conspired to indicate to me that I got outta there at the most opportune time.

God does look out fer fools. :-)

I still havent taken up the kind offers of my friends to crash on their couches.
Im sorta loath to do that unless absolutely necessary.
I wanna KEEP these people as friends.

Man, Ive gotten some concerned speeches these last few days.

Of course. This is far from ideal.

But, it is the choice Ive made.. and believe me - these are conscious choices, not happenstance.

Sometimes, I wonder if I havent lost my mind, doubting my own judgement.

Even tho this a hump, Ive been in far tougher situations before, and so far.. Im doing far better than even I expected.
One way you can tell youre on the right track - is when things fall into place seredipitously.

Id been hoping for a room.. instead an apartment fell into my lap with the words.. "Funny you should mention that youre looking for a place...."

Lets hope that its all good.


Saturday, December 16, 2000

Staten Island, or Brooklyn?

Staten Island is showing a strong lead right now.

Maybe I'll like being one of the 'boat people'. :-)
Moving day.

Im procrastinating as usual.

And as Im moving, Im looking for a place.

As is her skill, DaGirl calmed me down when I was totally stressing yesterday.

As god is my witness, if a bank needs to be robbed, that girl is getting SOMETHING from me for Christmas and 12 days thereafter.....