Friday, February 02, 2001

Random thoughts:

All my adult life, Ive been a wanderer.

I go where I want, when I want, pretty much.
I dont feel I need anyone's permission.

That never really started as a conscious mantra.
I was a reserved person growing up, and in protecting my sensitive innards from the boorish, the snobbish and the thoughtless - it just got reinforced.

I grew to prefer my own company.

So yeah, I like being on my own timetable.

- All this past week Ive been meaning to head over to Brooklyn, see Tito, take care of some business, see Teresa's baby for the first time.. but for various reasons (sleep, cold, laziness) I havent.

Thats not good.. although the tertiary side-effects (I dont have to spend much money, and I dont have to deal with the trains, the travel and the cold) arent so bad.

- I worry that Tish thinks Im avoiding her, or dont want to see her. She knows my personality and gives me a lot of space, and anyway, likes not feeling suffocated herself - but I wonder if she's feeling like I dont care.

I do.

But old habits are hard to break, and Im trying to change them...
I like my friends being plain and straight up with me.. hell, I consider that as part of the job description.

Its not always pleasant, but it often needs to be done.

A close friend had been acting up and playing the fool, thinking that he was playing everyone for fools.

He wasnt.

I was gonna talk to him, but didnt until others convinced me he needed to hear the truth.

So, I did my job, and walked away.

He was hurt, but he heeded the message and has started righting himself.

What he doesnt appreciate is that I held back, and not cut into him with my rapier tongue. (Know a Virgo, is to know their sharpest weapons are their words.)
I couldve nuked him, but I cut him enough to feel the message, not to let him bleed.
It wasnt all his fault, and he is basically a good man.
He has been good to me, and been a good friend. I never forget things like that.

So there was no need to wage war.

However, he is still hurt & pissed at me - even though he tries to shield it. But we remain cordial...

I still consider him my friend. I dont need him as an enemy.. because then he would be dead to me.

In his anger tho, he's tried to wound me subtly.
But all it has taken from me is a few choice comments to remind him as to just how sensitive he is.

Although he is one who relishes a good fight, he knows me well enough not to fuck with me, as I tend to be relentless in returning the favor if Im so motivated.

Yes, I am good at fucking with people if Im motivated.

You dont want me motivated.
Another friend started a conversation today on IM with a sarcastic "You found a job yet?".

A sharp flare of anger, quickly subdued, almost compelled me to say in return "Why motherfucker, do I owe you money?"

But I merely deflected it with a smile and a "That sounds suspiciously like work."

That ended that.

As my friend, he wants me to do as well as he is currently doing. Hell, I trained him. He wants to be proud of me.
As he is of himself.

I keep wanting to tell people.. I CHOSE my life's path.

I made my own choices. Some willingly, some unwillingly.

I am not an unfortunate victim of anything.

So what if Im not making six-figures. I dont want to do what it takes to do that.

I want a different life. Im stubborn on that point.

If I make six figures on that path, mo' better.

I dont want to be like my friend telling everyone how much I make, how much near-millions in stock options I lost from being fired from my previous job and how much it costs to live a lifestyle.

Yes, I know I could be making madd money if I had applied myself to that pursuit.

Yes, I know I could be paying more in taxes in a year than Ive made gross all last year.

My life could be vastly different.

Sure, that would be nice - but thats not the life I chose. I dont do regrets.

I still feel strongly that I am where I am supposed to be at this point of my life.

I have dreams, and Im rediscovering them.

Money is important. But its not the only thing that is important.

So, if you ask me that question again...
From everclear's site.

"Change has a considerable psychological impact on the human mind.
To the fearful it is threatening because it means that things may get worse.
To the hopeful it is encouraging because things may get better.
To the confident it is inspiring because the challenge exists to make things better."
-King Whitney Jr.

Wow. I like that.
I was speaking (on IM) to Gigi, showing empathy on the possible reduction of force in her division.

I love it when she calls me Mr Miyagi, by the way. :-)

It turned out, she was the one who gave the biggest boost.

Unfortunately, I didnt save the conversation - but she eloquently encouraged me to focus my efforts on photojournalism. (Do it!!)

I needed to hear that.

Although, as I told her.. I will prolly have to become independently wealthy before that happens.. :-)

But it is nice to hear.
Kate really takes some things to heart.

I was bitchin' and whinin' about how irritating it was to hook up with people, who a short time later are looking at their watch saying they had someplace else to be.

No, it aint just my breath - its pathological with folk in New York.

She thought I was talking about her.

Not at all. Kate is actually one of the folk who does NOT make a habit of doing it.

She usually makes time, because when she wants to hang out, she hangs out.

Almost all my other NY folk from Lilbro to Tish to Jules on the other hand, act like theyre always on the fucking clock.
*Sheesh* It gets irritating.
Guys.. I can waste three hours by myself in front of the TV and have just as good a time, yanno?

Well, no - but you get the point.

And people wonder why Im not always enthusiastic about going out.

It aint just my anti-social tendencies.

Whats ironic, the other night - after we had a good, leisurely time with shopping dinner and walking, Kate was surprised that it wasnt late at all when it was time to part ways..

See?, I told her.. hanging out on the town doesnt always mean that time has to be wasted, even if you have somewhere else to go.

She still thinks I meant her in my rant.. :-)
Folk think Ive gone loopy with my fixation on fuzzy slippers.

No, no - there is a practical reason for that.

In this winter of cold discontent, my extremities have been freezing.

Combine that with the popularity of hardwood floors, and...

Im finding out fuzzy slippers are PRACTICAL.

I can now see why folk in the old days used to wear stocking caps, scarves and wool socks to bed.

I wanted a big ol' fuzzy bear slipper thingie.. but apparently they dont do tacky in NYC.. so Im getting a belated christmas present soon...

Whoo, my tootsie's will be thankful.

Thursday, February 01, 2001

Hung out with Kate last night, as she was concerned a little for my well-being.

She's good like that.

She gave me her usual 'purring' hug and then another from cyn, as per instructions. :-)

Much appreciated. :-)

My favorite NY restaurant is the America restaurant on 18th between 5th and Broadway.

Great food, and it is in front of an honest-to-goodness fire-station, so conversation is often lit up by swirling lights and firefighters in full NYFD gear walking in to pick up their food orders.

(An incongruous sight in this sleek setting.)

The food IS good there, so that where we went.

Her eyes were as wide as saucers at the expansive menu selection. :-)

Kate didnt expect that this place uses shovels to put food on the plates.

Ergo, she's having Manhattan steak for lunch today and I just had nachos and beef chili for breakfast. *urp*

The desert? A slice of layered fudge heaven called 'Death By Chocolate'.

It scared Kate it did. :-)

Yeah, that was a good night out.

Good to see MyKate have a decent time. :-)

As the meal was finishing, she sighed "I wish it were friday, so I can relax and sleep off this food properly."

Thats what good food, and a lot of it - will do for ya.

Being with a good friend helps too.
Jules of LA and her hubby are looking to do a long-wanted trip to New York, and she asked me for suggestions.

Heh. She was taken aback @ how intense I suddenly got....

> Hehe, why do I suddenly feel like a moving target?

Because I now feel sorta QUALIFIED to do this, being in NY for a coupla years.

Although I usually demur to natives like Jules of NY, this time I want folk to see the place the way I see it.

Not blase. But uninterested in the usual touristy highlights.

I told Kate about my lil project, and she said "I'd like to do that too... I get folk from the company come into town and I want to give them a tour.."

That reminds me though, there is still stuff I STILL wanna see myself.. like the Intrepid Air/Sea/Space museum and the Ricki Lake show...
As per my determination, I tried not to take any half-assed pix yesterday.

I think I made a bit of progress...

14th Street 4/5/6 train platform

John F Kennedy Ferry, Upper New York Bay

WhiteHall, Lower Manhattan

Wall Street/Broadway station

Brooklyn Bridge station

America Restaurant, Union Square

Upper New York Bay, Liberty Island

No, not so bad.

Wednesday, January 31, 2001

My family used to be amused by how, after coming into respective homesteads (Chicago or New York) from wherever Id been, I would simply fall asleep spontaneously - often in mid-sentence.
That was my body forcing me to get some sleep. Which it usually does, because I would rather stay awake doing whatever.

Today, that happened to me.

I had planned to get into Brooklyn, see some folk, take care of business - in spite of the "wrath of Zeus"-like heavy winds and rains falling outside.

I stood there, dressed, running through my pre-going out checklist, when all of a sudden - I felt the need to lay on the couch and close my eyes just for a few minutes.

Except for stirring when Rich got home in the late evening, I got off the couch at 3am.

When the need catches up, it sure catches up.
On one of my rare morning appearances on AIM, an co-worker who had moved from NYC popped on to say hello.

Right now, she is trying to start her own business.. and knowing just how hard that is.. I offered my sympathies.

She retorted "Im not merely broke, Im Po". (Southern emphasis for being "dirt-poor".)

I said "Baby, there's no shame in being broke. But I will never admit to being poor - because that is a state of mind."

She appreciated that. :-)

I was talking to Tish the other night, telling her although I knew what I needed to do, the prospects seem unsure, and I didnt know if I would be making much money.

In an example of of how she says exactly the right thing with me to get me motivated, she didnt merely mouth an empty "it'll be ok etc".

She fixed me with that fierce glare, and with an edge of sisu in her voice, said "Whatever you do, You WILL make good money."

Not try. Do. Not hope. Will.

Because it wasnt just about me.

Yep. Exactly what I needed to hear.

Poor is a state of mind.
My photos suck.

Ive been determined never to fall into the syndrome of not taking pictures because I get tired, but my recent photos are lacking in something.

Good. When Im dissatisfied, that means - I need a different perspective.

Granted these last few months of poverty and instability arent conducive to being able to focus.. that is no excuse.

I am dissatisfied with my pictures.

They will get better.

Tuesday, January 30, 2001

Gabz suggested that my persistent insomnia was probably the likely catalyst for my recent hike in blood pressure.

I think she is right.

So, I darkened the room and devoted myself to getting some sleep.. after being up all night.

Easier said than done, I didnt actually start falling asleep until around 10am.

But it was a hard sleep, meaning that I was awakened easily.


That was HappyCat looking for love and landing on my chest.


Pat, pat, pat, stroke, stroke... Now go'way boy, you bother me.


Cell phone.

Who the fuck? Shit, please leave a message.

*Tahtah etc* to the tune of Fur Elize, meaning a message was left. Ok, lemme listen to the message.

The dead-beat client I had given notice that I was gonna sue for payment called to say "They hadnt forgotten me, yaddayadda" and to call to "go over the invoice".

Hadnt forgotten about me after 5 months, eh.


I didnt want to call back in my sleep-deprived state. I might end being far less than diplomatic.



Another client calling and complaining that he couldnt print. Subtly intimating that I caused it the last time I brought his equipment back from the dead.

Please. I not-so-subtly reminded him that I had used that machine to PRINT instructions to him the last time I was there.
It had prolly crashed one too many times (being a Sony Vaio, natch) and corrupted the print drivers.

I instructed him on how to uninstall and reinstall the drivers.

Calls me 20 minutes later to complain that it was now giving him an error message that it couldnt find the software to install.

I helpfully pointed out that on the new Sony laptops.. the CD drive is the "E" drive, not the "C" drive.

He was amazed that it now started working properly and didnt call back.

I should charge him for that.

*Grumph* Durned idjit. *Roll back over*


HappyCat was now abandoning any pretense of looking for love. I was a warm bed to curl up on and laze the day away.

Fine. Fine, cat. Now lemme sleep.

Things are good now that there is honey in the cupboard courtesy of my honey.

The green tea has a nicer kick, and I dont have to drink as much to feel good.

That honey makes all the difference in the world.

Dunno why, but the feeling of wellness must be caused by something in the rich, uncooked honey.

Im tellin' ya Brian, you need a care package too, to taste summa this goodness.
Itsa pity you forgot to pick it up from that Safeway on Market. (By the way, thats where I went for all my groceries. About the only one I could find that was accessible sans motorcar in all the Bay Area..)

This doesnt evaporate my worries of running out, of course...

"Gimme a little bit o' dat bass groove right there.."
- Humpty Dance

Looped on the mp3 rack...

Shaggy - It Wasn't Me
Young MC - Bust a Move
Da Brat - Funkdafied
Adina Howard - Freak Like Me
MC Hammer - Cant Touch This
Digital Underground - Humpty Dance
Tupac - I Get Around, How Do You Want It
George Clinton - Atomic Dog

I oughtta make a CD of this group.
Random pix..

Monday, January 29, 2001

I missed watching the SuperBowl for the first time in nigh on 20 years.

Eh, no biggie. Apart from the commercials, I usually am unable to stay awake for much of the game.

Dunno why, but I do that for most football games on TV.

I'll start watching in the first quarter, then Im usually unconscious until about 7 minutes in the fourth quarter.

I dunno why either.

Nah, I hung out with Tish all evening.

I had a better time, I think.

I heard the Giants lost.
The other reason I was glad to see my girl.. she had the honey from Cali. :-)

Man, my green tea was sucking without it.

I think the lack of honey was making me cranky.

As I said, she knows how to make this bear happy.....

In fact, like the Virgo she is, she brought back a something indicating a little thought was put into it...

An ivory dragon.
Guest artist.

Going through the photos she took while in the Bay Area for the first time.

She's got an eye..

And of course, she saw this and thought of me..


Sunday, January 28, 2001

Fact: New Yorkers, on a whole - have a propensity for doing and saying things that involve subterfuge and deception.

I call it running game.

They'll tell you thats necessary in this city.

A good majority of New Yorkers have a serious dislike of Caller ID and the *69 callback feature.

They will heartily block that feature.


They'll say its for privacy.

Based on empirical observation.. the primary motivation is to be able to run game.

Be that as it may, Im doing something about it.

When I see "Blocked ID" on my phone.. I will NOT answer it anymore.

MY original motivation was I didnt want to talk to someone in particular.

Now, I dont wanna talk to anyone who feels its all necessary to block Caller ID.

Thank god, most of the folk who call me dont feel the need to have their phone blocked.

For them, I will answer the phone immediately.

All others, please leave a message.

Interestingly, most who call and have that the block on the CallerID, dont leave messages.

Yeah, I can safely asume most of those folk are New Yorkers....
Baby, its cold outside...

Well, actually - today it went up to 40 - but I missed it.

I looked outside the window this morn to see a thick layer of fresh snow on the ground.

Well, I rushed out in a sweater and jacket to capture some images.


By the time I came back in, my inner floridian was COLD, chilled through the bones .

Hours later, Rich came back in from shopping and announced "Its warm outside".

Sure enough, the overnight smow had already melted.

But I was STILL trying to warm up from earlier in the morning...


Im praying for 50 degree weather, even if its rainy. So I can dump this blasted knit cap...
Oh yeah, been meaning to say:

Thanks sistah cyn, for knowing exactly what was up.

And why.

Good luck on the new gig there Gabz. Based on yer job description tho, you will be madd busy these coming months, so I'll have to IM you on the cell phone.

And yes mom, I'll try to get more sleep.