Like my airstream-obsessed muse-sprite pal Fredlet.. I get like this sometimes:
I am a fairly sociable person 'til I get tired. Then I clam up and retreat back into the morass that is my brain.
My closest analogy of this is when you play with a baby for a long time, then after the baby gets tired it turns its head away from you to avoid the stimulus.
Sometimes, I just run out of things to say. My brain just shuts down and refuses to generate phrases.
Like this past week.
Ive got a ton to say.
Sometimes I cant say it.. because SOME people get mad at me because they think what I write about is all about THEM.
Other times, I just dont wanna be bothered to write.
I very rarely put pen to actual paper.. because .. well.. it sounds suspiciously like work. (I threw that in for ya, Stuart. :-)
Sometimes I will sit and stare, lost, searching for the best opening line.
I ache over this detail because my opening line(s) should be restated by my closing line.
One of the very few rules I still adhere to from Communication 202.
But sometimes I have all this shit in my brain, and I dont know how to say it.
F'rinstance, Ive got some e-mail to answer.
Back when I had to process an average of 50 personal e-mails a day, I was efficient enough to be able to dispose of the load in the same day.
Eloquently, and with dispatch.
Nowadays, I only get an average of 5 personal emails daily (from folk I want to talk to even).
Now, they sit in my inbox, and my mind is blank.
It used to be I could answer them eloquently, saying the right thing.
More often than not tho, my return mail is ill-stated and tardy.
I still have a lot to say, but now Ive have to say it properly, which takes time and effort.. and sounds suspiciously like work..
SO, I stare at my inbox, hoping tomorrow brings clarity and that folk will unnerstand why Im being so tardy....
Possible list of topics I may have wanted to talk about:
- Mochi, Princess Mochi, Mochi Ice Cream.. unexplained craving for, since Ive never tasted Mochi.
- Why I want a Mercedes Benz. A used one. Not a flashy one. A proletarian, inexpensive, yet upper-middle class one. In dark blue or black.
- Seeing if I can write Fuji and cajole them them into fixing my out-of-warranty camera fer free.
- Why not giving a shit about friends can be good for all.
- Why, after watching Sex in the City, and noting that unlike the real New York, there arent many, if any folk of african or latino descent in the series, but a decent number of asian folk as extras - why an Asian version of Sex in the City could work, if handled properly....
Like avoiding preachiness, which all minority-based shows seem to sink to quickly.
- Why a good number of the journal writers I read are MUCH better writers than Sarah Vowell, as good as she is.
- How I havent been off the island in nearly two weeks. Actually, could be all of March.. would have to check my notes.
- How I cant seem to write whats on my mind....
Friday, March 09, 2001
Like my airstream-obsessed muse-sprite pal Fredlet.. I get like this sometimes:
The last time I listened to the radio, I was driving regularly.
And even then, I rarely, if ever - listened to National Public Radio. (Sorry Jules).
I DO watch Conan O'Brien.
Hey, Im a man of the populi, yo.
And I caught a re-run of when Sarah Vowell was on.
I didnt know who this mousy, slightly goth-looking young woman was.
But she was MADD funny. Simply by her sarcastic wit and insight, that I recognized instantly.
Her writing, tone and opinion, is exactly reminiscent of the talented journalers I read daily.
Turns out she was hawking a collection of her NPR essays and Salon articles entitled "Take The Cannoli".
In her squeaky, mousy voice, she had Conan, the audience and me doubled over in laughter as she eviscerated the world with her opinion.
Why am I fascinated by her?
I want to do EXACTLY what she's doing.
My literary heroes arent Hemingway, Faulkner and Chomsky. Hell no.
Id rather chew up the works of Mike Royko and PJ O'Rourke, and write and make a living like they do.
Its not easy, but dammit - Ive known Ive always wanted to do it.
Brian Y gave me an idea yesterday, so profound I excitedly yelped 'HOLY COW" as I realised the answer Ive been searching for has been staring right up at me all this time.
Man, I OWE Waterbelle for putting that piece of gold in my hands.
Anyway, tomorrow I think I'll be doing a jaunt of Manhattan..
I'll prolly stop by the Strand Book Store and pick up a copy of "Cannoli".
And sit in the Astor Place Starbux coffeeshop thinking of ideas.
The cat has been in a pissy mood recently.
Tonight he has been wreaking so much havoc, that Ive gently tossed him outside to be one with nature for the night.. and to go claw the trees outside.
JPennant: hey dahlin
JPennant: wass new, pussycat?
Gabz: packing to go snow and boarding.
JPennant: Oh yah. I was thinking today that youd already left.
Gabz: nope. tamale at 6
Gabz: oh hey, it's the bull on your site. :-)
Gabz: i love the financial district of NYC.
Gabz: i got lost around there one year.
JPennant: yeah? :-)
JPennant: Yep. That is Olde New Yorke
Gabz: yeah! on labor day weekend, about 4 years ago.
Gabz: liked it a lot.
JPennant: Lotsa history there.
JPennant: Rotsa rats too. :-)
JPennant: Not as bad as Chinatown, but close.
Gabz: i like that tiny meeces that run around in Amsterdam train tracks.
JPennant: The rats eat the mice here. :-)
Gabz: *turns green*
Gabz: they also take the train.
JPennant: yep :-)
Gabz: and eat bagels with raspberry jam
JPennant: "Big enuff to take the bus" :-)
Gabz: better watch yer bagel.
JPennant: HappyCat keeps this place rodent free.
JPennant: I just had to throw him outside
JPennant: he is mad bored.
JPennant: Literally clawing the ceilings.
Gabz: i want to throw the two girls out.
Gabz: they keep going into heat.
Gabz: rubbing and talking.
Gabz: *pushes tail away*
JPennant: Well, he's addicted to his food bowl.. so he aint goin nowhere
JPennant: arent they spayed??
Gabz: much to my dismay.
Gabz: so, i can't really throw them out.
Gabz: pooty heads.
JPennant: Didja see the PETA bad cats ad?
Gabz: no, i have to watch it. i hear it's funny
JPennant: Its only 15 seconds
JPennant: but you WILL spay your cat after :-)
JPennant: the music crax me up. :-)
Gabz: will have to convince the roomate to take care of her brats.
Gabz: before they become loose lil hussies.
JPennant: show her the ad. :-)
JPennant: "We got it goin on!"
Wednesday, March 07, 2001
In response to what I said about being poor, I had discussions with a few folk...
Actually, the line of thought started when I was talking to Kate, barely listening to me whine the other day about being poor
Me: I seriously dislike being poor
Kate: I know
And I do hate being poor. Having your options and freedom limited. And most recently - not having the wherewithal to even take folk out and pay the full tab.
However, while talking to Mars later...
JPennant: Truthfully, I sorta enjoy being poor
JPennant: dont tell nobody :-)
mars: haha why?
JPennant: Its A Bad Thing to be poor in this day and age.
JPennant: My friends are about disgusted with me, cuz they know I can make a lot of money if I so desire.
mars: oh yeah i know. but why do you enjoy it?
JPennant: I guess because it forces you to keep life simple.
Actually, its even deeper than that.. but it would probably require an essay to expound on that thought.
Rashid and I were talking about that the other night.. his desire to go back to Jacksonville, kick back and live a life that was simpler.
I know what he means.
I got to like being unemployed and poor back in Jax, and worked either only because I had to or because I liked what I was doing.
Not too different from now.
I really do prefer my life being simple.
JPennant: It truly sucks to be poor in an expensive area.
JPennant: and dangerous.
mars: don't remind me
JPennant: If youre gonna be poor.. be poor in someplace like Florida
mars: but why would i want to go there?
JPennant: where you can actually survive on 7 dollars an hour
mars: sooo far from home!
JPennant: Even Hawaii is expensive tho, right?
Its dangerous to want to lead the simple life in a places like New York and San Fran, where simply being poor can have some dire consequences. In a hurry.
JPennant: I stepped right into a recession when I left high school
JPennant: I think it scarred me and my friends for life.
JPennant: Most of my peers are are earning decent money now, but I dont think they spend money like they think it'll last forever.
JPennant: Or like theyre entitled.
Then again, Im getting old.. Ive become a like a depression era baby. No, make that a recession-era baby.. who has learned to trust nothing but the cash and carry concept.
If I dont have the cash, I aint carrying.
Debit cards were made for me.
mars: how do you get by?
JPennant: Ive been poor before. I know how to make money last.
mars: if only i knew how
JPennant: You have to be poor
mars: i somehow talked myself into buying a new jacket today
mars: *hanging head in shame*
JPennant: You have to have had to do things like go pawn stuff to make the rent money
mars: friends have done that before. =/
mars: i didn't know what pawn meant before that
Yep. Built a lotta character back then.
I may be afraid of being cold and hungry, but I know I can survive.
Thats an important skill I think.
mars: i read an article today that said that kids..er...my generation and such...expect to be successful and well off like their parents automatically [instead of being poor at first like their parents once were], thereby incurring debt at a horrendous rate early on. And then I thought "yeah, I should forego the niceties in some parts of my life and go the frugal path like my parents did when they were younger." But aish. its so hard!
JPennant: I dunno if thats really true
mars: i can see how its partially true
mars: i know some people my age that don't ever seem to have money problems...they always have nice things...never any financial hardship
mars: but then, i also have some friends that whooooo..they are struggling. one friend was selling plasma like every week
JPennant: heheh. I did that the first few years I was in florida :-)
Jules of LA put it best when she was telling me about some of the stuff she had to do when she and her hubby were starving students..
> I love talking about our experiences being poor as
> if I were some war veteran. Heh.
Good way to put it. :-)
JPennant: I really think everyone should struggle on their own, without depending on anyone else's money for at least a part of their lives. Preferably sooner than later.
mars: yeah really. i think i'm bordering on it now. if i lost my job i'd be homeless soon. eek
mars: *knock on wood*
JPennant: Would that be so bad?
JPennant: Not being homeless..
JPennant: but the rest of it
mars: no, actually, it wouldn't
mars: but the incurring of debt and being homeless part scares me
JPennant: It also forces you to deal with yourself on a basic level.
JPennant: being poor that is.
mars: but my head just keeps saying "but i don't want to do just the basics!" lol
mars: i've gotten so spoiled. heh
JPennant: Yeah, thas why you gotta be forced to do it sometimes. :-)
Yeah. I may not like it now, but I know it does pay off in the long run....
What in Taurus??
Heheh. Lemme see if I can 'splain without getting too detailed or weird.
To bring Cyn up to speed, I was talking about women I know with their Moon, Venus or Mars in Taurus.
My moon, which is supposed to represents your inner emotional, sensitive core, is in Taurus.
A Virgo Sun sign with a Taurus Moon, in simple terms.
Early on I learned that people with those placements also in Taurus, make me feel reassured, and in some cases, particularly if they two out of 3 there, will - oh yes - absolutely rock my world. :-)
They seem to be somewhat in tune with me on an emotional level.
And dear soul sistah .. you have yer Mars in Taurus.
Not at all a bad thing in my book. :-)
By the way.. Madonna has her Mars there too.. *cough* :-)
Tuesday, March 06, 2001
When you're writing, and into the flow.. its like.. youre surrounded by exquisite vapors, your mind engrossed in several thoughts, feelings and sensations all at once, reacting, doing, choosing deciding all at the same time.
So when Blogger chooses to EAT a particularly choice update that I did not think to copy before I posted it..
Although, to be fair - Dreamweaver has been known to munch my stuff on occasion...
mars: so what have you been up to lately?
mars: just staying indoors all during the "storm"?
mars: hehe. i'm jealous
mars: how's your comfort food?
JPennant: Hm.. the KFC is done, Im halfway thru the Keeblers fudge grahams...
JPennant: Ive finished half a bottle of the raspberry preserves on the fresh bagels
JPennant: Had some of the Entenmann's Carrot Cake
mars: man! i think we should get a huge blizzard here some time
JPennant: hehehe :-)
Sue Simmons, the irreverent doyen of TV anchors in New York (still cute after all these years) properly summarised the storm-that-wont-go-away-and didnt-meet-expectations-and-hype as -:
"The Storm That Got On Our Nerves".
Im fucking fooling myself
What I really want to do is get paid for writing about what I observe and what I see.
Yeah, me and everybody else in New York buddy. Get in line.
I wanna be another Mike Royko, frankly.
I have an idea of what I want to do for the long term, but short-term income?
Right now, Im at a loss at what Im gonna do.
And its frustrating.
I may really be a New Yorker now.
Whenever I see a TV show about new York, I notice whats on screen and if it matches 'reality'.
Rich and I caught a trailer for the upcoming DeNiro flick 15 Minutes, while watching NYPD Blue.
We noted that all the cabs were Chevy Caprices.
Same thing with NYPD Blue, all the cars were caprices too.. using old footage, thinking people wont know the difference.
It makes the show look dated.
You would have to look long and hard to find a Caprice cab or patrol car nowadays.
Most of them having been destroyed on the streets of NY.
Nowadays, its almost all Crown Vics or Chevy Impalas (for patrol cars).
NYPD looks grimy enuff, but you can tell now all the shooting is done on sets in california.
The actors all have that hollywood sheen, that they lose when they live in NY. Cant fake it.
For proof, look at Spin City - production having moved from New York to Cali when Michael J left.
Never mind that the jokes are all "What we THINK New York is like".. but the details.
The cast is no longer fondling those ubiquitous-to-NY 'greek' or blue, red, purple 10-ounce coffee cups like their lives depend on it.
Or ad libs like
"The Mayor was seen handing money to a prostitute."
"Whats wrong with dat?"
"Somebody please tell this woman what life is like OUTSIDE of Brooklyn."
Details like that. :-)
Today, I hauled out my trusty old Toshiba T4900CT and wrote.
Its been through hell, as I lent it to my brothers to learn as well as had it as a testing machine for TSC.
The battery is dead, its only got 16 megs of RAM, and an 850 meg hard drive.
Shit, Im still running Office 4.3 on it.
Its worth between 200 and 350 bux.
To upgrade it with a bigger hard drive, more RAM and a new battery would cost about that.
I would rather buy a more powerful one..
Ive got my eye on the listings for Toshiba 7000CT's and G3 Powerbooks on e-bay.. the best place to find cheap laptops nowadays.
But there's nuthing wrong with this beastie.
I want laptops so I can run the Ricochet service as well as use it with wireless networks at home.
Actually, I could do it with this one. Its still powerful enough and runs clean.
Being poor makes ya look at whats necessary, not what youd like.
Yep, its almost spring
The snow is flying sideways outside, but its definitely a spring storm, as the temperature is above freezing, with the big, fat snowflakes flying around, sticking and covering, but allowing the ground to peek through.
Its pretty outside.
I guess this is better than having to dig out from under a blizzard.
Song Im humming: "Shoo Fly Pie" by Dinah Shore.
All day long, and I dont think I'll be able to stop.........
Mail from one of my favorite people.. Poo in Nova Scotia
> It's been great to read your updates each day with
> my coffee; I spend an hour
> or so on the computer before I go to work. Starts
> my day just right.
> Glad you opened yourself up: it may be wasted on the
> young cuz they really have
> no cloo what they want.
Wise and comforting these folk with their placements in Taurus (Cyn, Poo, Lily, Carol...) are.
My secret wish is to marry a woman with that combo. :-)
Theyre worth it.
Monday, March 05, 2001
This isnt meant to be poetic.
Its a stream of rumination.
I needed to open my soul to someone.
From the get-go, it was apparent to all it wasnt a perfect fit..
But to me, it did.
Things were locking into place with breathtaking accuracy.
If I tried to peer around the corners of my awareness to see what was up ahead
I could see that this person wasnt going to be a part of my life in the forseeable future.
Just the near future. But not beyond that.
It didnt fit.
Yet, it fit.
It was vitally important that I open that window.
The Voice told me to do it, that it was all good if I did..
Not that my wishes would come true, but that in doing so, it was all good.
It made perfect sense, but didnt hold up under analysis.
I was told to let go, see what would happen, go with the flow.
So, I reluctantly aceded.
I was aware, I was right, but I was confused - even though it passed the truth test for me.
I didnt open the window all the way.
An instinct, a voice if you will, told me I needed to save a little bit for myself.
That was just common sense speaking though.
But I couldnt let common sense interfere with what I needed to have faith in
To my friends, they felt i was being naive, foolish.
She herself even told me she was not worthy.
So I asked The Voice again.
It said again, its all good.
So I decided to have faith.
Crushing issues reared up, demanding my attention.
I needed to concentrate on them.
There was a reason I had neglected them, because something was missing.
So, it would be futile to deal with those issues, while this, something, was unresolved.
Because the most important thing was to open that window.
I needed to do that before I could make any progress.
At the end of a year, it felt like I had made great progress.
My folk around me saw nonesuch.
By their standards, I was poor, itinerant and besotted with some girl.
But I felt I was better off in very important ways.
Even though I would not consciously choose where I am right now
I am exactly where Im supposed to be.
I can now move forward.
The issue has been partly resolved.
Opening the window has allowed something important to start flowing.
I truly believe in the concept of congruence.
Things coming together.
Passing the test of truth.
Years ago, I had gone through a similiar experience.
Things were congruent, and yet it wasnt meant to be.
Or so I thought.
I look back many moons later, and I realize the direction of my life changed drastically because of her.
She was not just a catalyst.
She was THE catalyst of my adulthood, affecting my life to this day.
It was meant to be.
However, I never saw her again after that period of my life passed.
To have faith is to learn not to fight the flow of life.
To release your fears and to accept what is, is NOT easy.
Hard as hell.
As times got tough recently, I asked how I was going to get over the hump.
This time, The Voice, instead of telling me, "Its all good" said
"You will get past this. You will LIKE what happens after all this".
And so far, I have been provided everything Ive needed.
I had to have faith in the flow.
Even though it still doesnt make total sense to my logical mind.
Shit. Why do I listen to a voice that is in my mind?
I may be crazy, but it has the sincere ring of truth to it.
Ive come to trust that voice over the years. Many years. It has never steered me wrong.
Its a paradox.
To accept what is, makes it seem like you have no choice.
But you do have choices.
You can choose to go with the flow, or try something else.
Eventually Ive found that, although it is actually harder to go with the flow.. it turns out to be the easier way in the long run.
And you do have to choose.
Otherwise you keep ending up, coming back around, having to deal with yourself.
Do you know what you choose is the right thing to do?
That, you can never be sure of.
You can only hope.
You can never be sure what you do is the right thing.
You'll only know when you look back on the road youve travelled.
And yet you do know.
You cannot avoid what is true.
You just have to have the faith to accept what is.
And go with the flow.
I know I did the right thing to open that window and accept what was given to me.
Yeah, and so far, it's been all good.
Jules of NY: are u ready for the big storm? :-)
JPennant: been fooled before.
JPennant: I wanted The Big One
Jules of NY: lol
Jules of NY: it may very well still be
JPennant: a lousy 6 or 8 inches
Jules of NY: however how many inches it takes to keep me home, i'm happy :-)
JPennant: I wanted frikkin SNOW DRIFTS
Jules of NY: i hear ya
Jules of NY: it would've been freakin cool
JPennant: I know. I had my stories and lies all prepared for the future.
Jules of NY: u could still lie LOL
Jules of NY: i wont bust ya ;-)
JPennant: "Fuckin snow was over my HEAD"
Jules of NY: ooh, me and u can lie
Jules of NY: then its more believable ;-)
JPennant: The one where the Brooklyn Bridge was blocked by icebergs??
Jules of NY: yea
Jules of NY: i can change that newspaper headline with photoshop
Jules of NY: what should be the headline
JPennant: hee hee
Jules of NY: we evil
JPennant: very fun :-)
JPennant: I want a blizzard
JPennant: Like lookin at Hustler an Juggs, I want the real thing afterward.
Jules of NY: bahahaha
Eman was in town over the weekend to visit his mom...
Cris: Hey boss, Eman just returned from NYC...said he couldn't stand it.
JPennant: Poor thing
JPennant: Freezing, cold, gray.. all that. :-)
Cris: I got enough of that when I was younger.
JPennant: hear dat
Eman: Sup pops....?
Eman: NY still SUCKS!!
JPennant: I heard :-)
Eman: I got in and got out as fast as I could
Eman: mom is okay for 70
JPennant: cool. good to hear
Eman: is it still snowing??
JPennant: light rain
Eman: had some flurries when i landed
Eman: are you battening down the hatches for the storm
JPennant: nah. the storm went upstate
Eman: headed for Albany...?
JPennant: 2 feet of snow
JPennant: we'll get some Im sure
JPennant: but not as much as expected
Eman: well whatever you do stay warm...
JPennant: mp3's booming, stocked up on comfort food. Im good.
Mp3's looped an' booming:
Wild Cherry - Play That Funky Music (White Boy)
Young MC - Bust a Move
Will Smith - Miami
Taste of Honey - Boogie Oogie Oogie
Cheryl Lynn - To Be Real
Vicki Sue Robinson - Turn The Beat Around
Da Brat - Funkdafied (Radio version)
Digital Underground - Humpty Dance
EU - Da Butt
Kool Moe Dee - How Ya Like Me Now
MC Hammer - U Cant Touch This
The Pharcyde - Passin' Me By
The Art of Noise -Beat Box (Diversion One)
Fishie = Pisces
JPennant: well hey there
JPennant: hows my fishie doin? :-)
Gabz: fishie is feelin' like swimmin upstream
Gabz: i mean, it's a good thing...but, just tired.
Gabz: that's all.
JPennant: throw away the pager. :-)
Gabz: if i had one i would.
JPennant: I tink you need to get in touch wit your inner snowboarder soon.
Gabz: i am this weekend.
Gabz: me and my board are taking friday off.
JPennant: good deal :-)
Gabz: and how are YOU doing?
JPennant: fine un dandy. :-)
JPennant: apart from needing a copious amount of cash and a copious amount of the nasty.. its all copacetic. :-)
Sunday, March 04, 2001
"We wuz robbed."
Like kids anticipating a Snow Day, Id say most New Yorkers were gleefully looking forward to being socked in by several feet of snow, the city shut down, to have a day they could boast about for generations, where stories, experiences, lies and damned lies could be generated to treasure and retell forever.
Seminal events like Chicago's 79 blizzard, or the 'Storm of the Century' from the years 1948, 1960 and 1996.
A storm of the kind that people still make movies and write books about.
Sunday morning, slack-jawed and disbelieving, we listened to the forecast on New York 1, telling us that the deeply anticipated blizzard wasnt going to be.
Upstate New York was gonna get our promised 2 feet of snow instead as the storm tracked up the coast rather than going out to sea as expected.
WTF?!!! Who the fuck CARES about upstate?!!! We were PROMISED a show!!!
So, we were left looking forlornely at our supplies of comfort food, sitting there stacked in piles waiting for the several days of idleness for when the awaited Nor'easter shut down the city.
Instead we got snow that has barely made a trace, a half inch at best to this point, melting on the warm and heavily salted streets.
Sure, they promise copious amounts of snow, wind, floody and stinky weather for the next few days. But it's not the same.
We wuz robbed of a blizzard of a lifetime.
Stocking up for the blizzard
I picked up:
- Cans of Campbells chunky soup
- Sardines, Hash Browns
- Bagels, Potato Bread, Chocolate Muffins
- Raspberry Preserves
- Soy Milk
Oh, and an Entenmanns Carrot Cake.
I thought long and hard, with Carol and other blizzard-shoppers in line with us saying I didnt need all that fatty goodness.
I pointed out that "Carrots" was fourth in the ingredient list.. proof positive that it was indeed good for me.
I want to be zoned out in a blizzard.
Even late at night, the shelves were picked clean of milk, bread and meats as people are frantically stocking up.
Carol and Rich entertained me on tales about how the Blizzard of 96 shut down Staten Island solid with drifts feet high.
Even though the storm is moving far more slowly than expected, so may not start until Monday, I am looking forward to some serious white stuff.
Rich is hoping it'll be here in time, and come with enuff force - that he wont have to go into work.
He intends to be throwing snow-balls at the snow-plow drivers.
Actually, tonight we drove by lines of city trucks, fitted with deep plows as well as some heavy duty chains, parked and ready to move out before the snow hits.
That is the first time ever Ive seen chains on any vehicles in this state.
Yeah, theyre expecting the Big One.
I was telling George about how Americans would, and do, fake Jamaican accents and heritage to get impressionable females to bed.
To give him an example, I told him about the shennanigans perpetrated at the Wild Hare reggae club in Chicago, where men (and women) would try to pass themselves off as being from the caribbean to get with the young coeds who pack the place every weekend.
It worked very well.
> I remember the Wild Hare. That movie "Love Jones"?
> I had no idea that was what went on there.
> The nerve of some folks, and all for the sake of
> some nay-nay.
Uhmm, yeah.. A good way to put it. :-)