Saturday, April 07, 2001

In my mind:

The rolling, ominous beat of the Sopranos theme, accompanied by a slight feeling of dread.

Ive been humming it and hearing it in the background noise of the house all day.

Ahh, yes. Im moving to Jersey, y'all.

mars: hi jp...have you moved in yet?
JPennant: not yet. Moving some stuff in th mornin
mars: ahh good luck =)
JPennant: Im dragging my feet for another reason
mars: awww
mars: why?
JPennant: New Jersey is not New York even tho its only across the river.
mars: but its close...i guess not close enough huh?
JPennant: Watch the Soprano's?
mars: no i dont'
JPennant: if you did, you would know that the show is too close to the truth. Mobbed up suburbia.
mars: heheh
mars: so for your move do you have a lot of stuff? is it far?
JPennant: Actually no. its right across the river from here
JPennant: and all I have is a suitcase and a coupla boxes and a futon
JPennant: I do have a gong and pictures and books and other knick knacks stored at mom's place
mars: haha a gong? how random
JPennant: The gong was a gift from a client
mars: you don't have a computer anymore right?
JPennant: Actually, I still have two
JPennant: an ooooold laptop and an old Mac.
JPennant: but, I will be without internet access fer awhile
mars: *pout* we will miss ya
JPennant: Oh no, I will have access to puters..
JPennant: so, I will put up thoughts, etc
mars: ah ok
JPennant: Just wont be on AIM etc
mars: so i guess no more aim chats will be posted on your site for a while? heehee
JPennant: dont bet on it. :-)

Heheheh. :-)


What looks confusing this weekend will seem perfectly logical by Monday morning, so promise yourself here and now that no matter what happens over the next 48 hours, you won't let it worry you. That applies to all areas of your life, but especially to money matters and business issues.


Hm. Lucky lottery tix??? :-)

Someone asked me how HappyCat is doing.

He's a cat. Being a cat.

Somedays he's a holy terror, and some days he gets tossed outside to cool his heels.

Some days he goes nuts and destroys the place looking for traces of catnip. (Yes, really.)

In which case he gets tossed outside to cool his heels.

Then he makes up for it.

I will usually wake up to find him sprawled all over my legs. Or waking me up purring.

Or jumping into my arms and laying his head under my chin, paws over my shoulder when Ive got insomnia and up till dawn.

I used to think people overly attached to their pets as kinda nuts.

And cats didnt compare to dogs.

But now I kinda understand. This cat allows me to show unreserved affection that I cannot display otherwise in daily life.

And he gets it by showing me strong affection and loyalty.


But this is Rich's cat that he found as a stray.

He's not coming with me when I move this weekend.

And although I will probably visit occasionally, I doubt I will see this cat more than a few times more in his lifetime.

I will miss him.

Speaking of the devil, here he comes again, chirping.....

According to a report I saw in the Daily News, New York has 30 daily newspapers, out of a total of 198 community papers and magazines.

It may be the big cheese, but I rarely actually buy the New York Times.

As I said once, I dont wanna be identified with ....

Plus you can almost always find a copy sitting on a subway seat in the mornings.

Im more 'blue-collar' in my daily reading.

(As the celebrities read the National Enquirer, so do the beautiful people read the Post to see if theyre mentioned.. but will never admit to it..)

Myself, I grab the Post (cause it is cheap and a quick, lively read, akin to the ubiquitous 10oz New York cuppa coffee) in the morning, and the Daily News if I feel I have time to read it.

Of course, after scanning the entertainingly lurid, opinionated and libelous headlines - I usually head for the comfort food part of the paper (if I havent read it online already).. the horoscope and the comix.

Actually, the Post has a nonsensical, threadbare comic section, and their editorial cartoons are often.. always... rude and crude (ie: President Clinton is always depicted sans pants, showing love-patterned boxers - with a fat cigar somewhere)...

For the best comix, the Daily News provides four FULL pages of comix and puzzles, so thats where I linger...

Sports? I flip past the sports pages. I am not a Knicks, Yankees, Mets, Rangers, Islanders, Devils, Giants, Jets, Nets *breathe* St John's or Seton Hall fan.

I'd rather devour news about Da Bears, Da Cubs, Da Sox, Da 'hawks, Da Bulls, Da WildCats, Da Blue Devils, Da Irish and Da Fightin' Illini.

Nuthing about dem in da sportspages in dis place.

So, therefore I am not as interested in sports here as I would be in Chi-town.

Joey: "I LOVE this jam."
Chandler: "Ok..." holding his hands apart, cupped " this hand, I have jam... and in the other, I have the sexy girl at the copy center, naked.. which would you choose?"
Joey: "Mmmhmmm.... put your hands TOGETHER..."

- Friends


Peanut Butter and Raspberry Preserves on a sesame bagel... mmmm

Why didnt I think of this before?
Since Im getting back into this schtuff...

Its ALWAYS the server.. :-)
Sun asks:

So what's your favorite train?

I think she prefers the N (hence the name of her journal)...

Thats a good question.

I detest all of them for various reasons, actually.. but hmm.. my favorite...

Ok, I'll bite. I prefer the "L" train in Manhattan. The best way to get between the various lines along 14th Street.
(The Staten Island rail would be it, but Ive only ridden it twice).

I also like that theyre air-conditioned all year round. And you actually have to wait a bit before they pull out, not affected by the schedules of other trains.

However. Getting TO and FROM those trains will likely give you a heart attack as this train is also one of the consistently deepest undergound subway tunnels in the system.

Not fun.

I have a soft spot for the number 4 train.... as its usually the fastest way to get out of Brooklyn into Manhattan.

And there is a train less than every 10 minutes usually.

However, fuggedaboutit travelling before and after the Brooklyn Bridge station. Be prepared to breathe underarm up close every single day during rush hour and the party hours.......

Friday, April 06, 2001

I have not collected an unemployment check since... April of 93.

Not because I havent been unemployed since then. Just that I dont like the feeling of depending on the whim and largesse of the system.

Its a matter of pride. Waiting around for the dole and making up lies to keep getting checks isnt appealing.

Could I collect unemployment now? I doubt it, since being freelance and not involuntarily unemployed disqualifies me.. :-)

But nah, Id rather sling Whoppers and go home with that fast-food 'oil' smell/funk stuck to me than collect unemployment again.

Its a matter of pride.

Im reminded of my attitude by this snippet from Dorie's blog.. recently laid off from Inside magazine.. and a coworker fearfully utters the class-defining (and lowering) "W" word...

Monday, April 02, 2001
well, this is it - i've finally experienced the 'dot com fallout' i've been waiting for. it's been the impetus to freedom, and now i'm not nearly as upset about paying taxes since i'm going to get some of it back... that makes me feel a little better about collecting the dole (i overhear my coworker going 'but it's NOT welfare!')... that regular paycheck sure was nice, but hey...

"...but it's NOT welfare!!"

Heheh. I gotta shake my head.. reminded of the phrase my LilBro utters when someone sez or does something that shows theyre a little detached from the common experience....

*White people..*
Still waiting to go back to work.......


Cris: Hey hey
JPennant: yo boss
JPennant: wassup?
Cris: Not much work...designing some tables for a system
JPennant: okie
Cris: Did you start your new job yet?
JPennant: Nope. Havent heard anything
JPennant: So, Im sending out resumes agian. Even the recruiters arent responding, which is odd...
Cris: Well, I saw on the news last night that recruiters are currently floaded with resumes (hi tech recruiters anyway)
JPennant: yep
JPennant: I can see that
Cris: Where most used to receive 5 - 7 new resumes per week they are averaging 20 - 30 now.
Cris: However, they did say that there are jobs and that they are just currently backlogged
JPennant: heh. Lotta low-end techs out there... :-)
Cris: There sure are.
JPennant: I think I need to start learning a buncha skillz to make endz meet.
Cris: More tech skills or other things?
JPennant: I keep nattering about learning mail and QA.
JPennant: yep
JPennant: mail=sendmail and exchange
Cris: THose are two useful thigns to learn
JPennant: Indeed
Cris: How is your SQL?
JPennant: Havent touched it in years.
Cris: It hasn't changed.
JPennant: Watcom SQL on Novell hooking up Access2 databases was my last exposure
JPennant: It HAS changed. :-)
Cris: Well...SQL is different on the various DBs...but the general ideas are the same
JPennant: yeah true
JPennant: but its still been a few years.
Cris: and OOP DBs certainly haven't gotten very far...relational DBs will be king for the forseeable future
JPennant: DB admin, eh :-)
Cris: It's not a bad gig
JPennant: They do charge madd money
Cris: Yep...and it's easy
JPennant: Wellll, its still hard work.
Cris: Maybe you should work on Oracle certification
JPennant: Yeah, I had a copy of Oracle 8i lying around
JPennant: but I need exposure to a production enviro
Cris: I would take that's a good general path to take and Oracle will be around for while.
Cris: And Oracle is used in every computing environment.
JPennant: Heheh.. still. My hair turns green thinking of being a db admin
Cris: hehe
JPennant: Right now I think Im better off learning general Unix/Solaris and mail.
Cris: Well, that isn't a bad idea either....I recommend the "learn them all at the same time" approach.
JPennant: Heheh
Cris: That would be good man.
JPennant: true dat :-)

Ive been through this before. I know what I need to do.

Which is.. relax. Chill. And deal.

This is the point where people lose hold of their dreams, as they gather resources to focus on reality.

Ive rediscovered my dreams.

Why throw them away?

Cant lose sight of them.

So, I gotta stop quietly freakin out. :-)
The full moon is out.

Its particularly bright, as the skies have been clear these last few days.

tisha: <--just updated
JPennant: saw that moon you describe when I took a walk last night
tisha:pretty right?
JPennant: very bright
JPennant: very cold
JPennant: nothing and nobody is out
JPennant: walking, I ponder life, my death, my fears and dreams. Calms me down.
tisha:the cold night does provide warmth to the soul tho
tisha:the moon might not drown in his own tears.. but the night will wither away.. and the cold will provide warmth

With nothing to trap the heat of the day, it becomes spectacularly frigid at night.

But sometimes I gotta go walk.

Congrats to Cyn and Jules of LA for becoming part of the property tax-paying class.

I'm telling ya, if you thought you all were political before, wait till you see your property assessments.. :-)

Thursday, April 05, 2001

Pet peeve #5:

Bad jamaican accents.

Every young black actor has that in his repretoire now.

Oh god, and let me not get started on 'Mistress Chloe'....

No, she's not a Jamaican. I dont know what she is.

Honestly, every time I hear someone try to speak it, I want to beat somebody senseless.

However, there IS one non-caribbean accent that reminds me of home... who I would have to consider 'fellow islanders'.

See, patois/pigdin is not merely an ACCENT.. its an ATTITUDE.

Only those who can feel it, can yeng it.

mars: psst
JPennant: well, hey there hawaiian boid :-)
mars: haha
mars: how is mr JP?
JPennant: standard answer: hangin in there :-)
JPennant: you need to go back home more often
mars: haha why is that?
JPennant: Its like you have an extry spring back in your step. I kin tell.
mars: haha. nah.
mars: i didn't even really do anything at home.
JPennant: eh. dont matter. :-)
JPennant: Its like I go back to Runaway Bay , do almost nothing, and I literally cry when I have to leave.
mars: yeah...exactly!
JPennant: yep. spirit refresher.
JPennant: I was gonna write a little bit about how Hawaiians and Jamaicans speak similiarly
mars: do they?
mars: i didn't realize that.
JPennant: Neither did I until I started reading Kevin Mak back when.
mars: hahaah
JPennant: and Madame X's little Hawaiian translation deal today :-)
mars: oh? ...i'm still catching up on her stuff. ;P
JPennant: Really, thats almost like true Jamaican patois.. the one that most tourists dont get.
mars: haha
JPennant: I think its an island multi-cultural attitude thing. :-)
mars: grant kept laughing at me when i was speaking pidgin. at times i was almost trying to force it out. I'm so not good at it
JPennant: me neither
JPennant: I dont even try anymore.
mars: but its fun!
mars: =)
JPennant: Not when it feels forced. :-)
mars: true
mars: when sometimes its hilarious when it is forced and it sounds so off
mars: haha
JPennant: I dont even dream in Jamaican anymore.
JPennant: Thats when I knew Id lost it.
mars: you did?
JPennant: yep
mars: haha so cute
JPennant: heh
JPennant: Although if Id grown up in New York instead of Chicago, I might not have lost it.
mars: why is that?
JPennant: Lotta folk from the Caribbean here, so I would be dealing with folk from the islands constantly.
mars: that would be cool =)
JPennant: Eh, no. I kinda like my verbal ability now
mars: i hope i don't lose what little i have. haha
JPennant: Ya gotta be talkin to other Hawaiians regular.. :-)
mars: =) my guy fulfills that req
JPennant: heheh

Wednesday, April 04, 2001

As Ive said before, checking one's mail on a cell phone is turning out to be a way cool deal.

*wide-eyed astonishment* Yes, wireless is INDEED amazing, fred.

Saves time too.

So neat, I decided to enable the AIM feature on it. (Free, freeee, freeeeeeeee!!!.. sorta.)

JPennant: my old AOL SN only comes on my cell now.
Aminisha: you're IMing on your cell?
JPennant: yep
Aminisha: lol - oh you and technology
JPennant: quick way to send messages
Aminisha: is the typing quick?
JPennant: its not for conversations, but a good way to get a quick message.
Aminisha: ahh. very neat.

Well, that induced all sorts of hilarity today, as I decided to use an AOL name I hadnt used since last year.

Didja know, unless you forcibly log out of your IM name on your cell - your name stays up?

Why yes.

I mean STAYS up.

No matter if the device is inactive.

A quirk.

Imagine all my peeps, god bless 'em, rejoicing that I was online again after all this time, deciding to give me a hail-up. And chat. And send funny URL's. From all over the world.

All day long.

And my cell is bouncing and beeping like R2D2 on speed.

All day long.

I dont think Lori quite understood what I meant when I kept repeating "Give me a CALL on this number, dear..."
The downside to being able to check your mail anywhere is that...

you check your mail almost anywhere.

On a good day, I may get 10 pieces of mail.

So why am I checking for mail every time I stop for at least 2 minutes???

Using up my minutes this way I am, just a week after downgrading my cell plan because I dont get many incoming calls and thinking my minutes are being wasted.


This brings the announced total since the start of the year to around 350,000.
Unannounced layoffs are even higher.
Panic is starting to spread through the cubicle farms.

- The Economist "DotGone"

Yeah, Im feeling the breeze over here too.

Coupla friends got let go as announced the latest anticipated 20% staff cut, consolidating staff on one floor.

On my end, Im hearing a great silence from recruiters, claiming theyre swamped trying to hook up prospective resumes.

When pressed, they admit - holding off on hiring, most clients arent returning their calls .

If I werent feeling so squeezed, Id laugh. :-)
On the Front of Good News, I signed up to test some Internet games next week.

Quick cash, should be interesting.

Im just wondering if I shouldnt just display some clay balls and go for the alternative shit, the liberal arts schtuff, instead of going for the tried, true and distasteful.

Or maybe, go for both.

As Jules of LA wrote to me the other day...

...but ultimately you're only free if you believe you are. That's what I believe.

Itsa hard concept to swallow when youve got hard choices to make, but she's right.

I may be making this harder than it already is.

"Free your mind."

Monday, April 02, 2001

Random thoughts:

- Media Mail.

Scrawl that all over a box or package and you'll get the cheaper rate.

Much, much cheaper.

Postal Workers do NOT want you to know that.

It is for CD's, Books, Newspapers et al.

Postal Workers will DENY there is such a thing, if asked.

Do it anyway.

Be insistent.

I was.

That is why, Jules - the box will look kinda messy.

It was in a fight.
Checking ones mail on a web phone is way coohool.

Standing at the corner of Church and Liberty doing that will have otherwise blase and busy New Yorkers staring at you.

I swear.

Myth: New Yorkers mind their own bidness.

Reality: They are usually KEENLY aware of whats going on around them.

Proof: Have a package or something half-way interesting in your hand, and watch their eyes dart down to do an in-depth analysis...

But these same bastids will never tell you if your fly is open.

Now I know what Im doing wrong.

I went through same delay the last time I was looking for a Mac support job.

Most people are Mac unaware, unless they have to use it for work or serious play.

Most people, including recruiters, will not admit to being Mac ignorant.

("Do you know..uh.. Appleshare?" Duh. A more cogent question would be: do you know 'Open Transport'.. Ignant.)

Therefore, placing Mac Techs isnt a priority for placement folk.

Ok, time to make the adjustments....

(Yes, I know.. but I have my reasons..)

Today's horrorscope:

Some of your ideas are truly inspirational, but unless you find ways to make them pay, what use are they to you or anyone else?
The aspects at this time of year urges you to be more adventurous, both in your personal life and in your career.

It's time to put your ideas into action.

True dat.

Watching CBS Sunday Morning yesterday morn. Good god, Ive been watching that program for TWENTY years now. Wow.

There was a piece on the famed designer Milton Glaser that kinda resonated internally.

Which means its stuff I would like to do.

If I could draw, I wouldve loved to be a designer like him.

His stuff is considered to be required study for any budding designer.

(His most famous single work, but one that should NOT define or damn him, is the I (heart) NY design.)

In fact, his sensibility mirrors my own, but with an eloquence and range that I doubt I will ever approach.

I'd rather be like Mike Royko.. but one who can draw. :-)

Yes, I want to be an "artist".

His "coffee mugs" and latest book are worth the price of admission.. :-)

Hmm. I should ask fred, goddess of all things literary, how to put up an amazon list of my book references....
Another food related thing:

Since Ive come to New York, I notice I use olive oil a lot more in my cooking.

Why would that fact be amazing?

Because I absolutely detest the smell and taste of olives, and cant stand eating them.

But the other day, out of idle curiousity, substituted virgin olive oil for the unsalted butter I normally use for my risotto. (heat the rice in a small amount of melted butter over a high heat until it turns white and then add water slowly to simmer. Uses less water and is firmer and creamier..)

Turned out very smooth.

Just thought Id mention it.

Yes, I CAN cook - I just hate cleaning up afterward, which is why I rarely do cook...
I need to hie myself to the bay area soon.

Prolly this summer.

For all the usual reasons with the usal suspects, but also for honey stock-up.

This time Im getting a case of that honey.


Look, I dont use sugar anymore...

Sunday, April 01, 2001

I must be nuts.

Id better watch out before I procrastinate myself right out of a place.

I need a stable place so that I can settle in and move forward.

But really, I DONT want to move to Jersey.

Unless I get a position IN Jersey, my commute will be hellish. (Although thats relative, as any inter-borough/inter-state commute of any length in the tri-state area is hellish).

If I had the loot, I dont think Id be dragging my feet this much, and I really dont have much of a choice.

I simply dont wanna tho.

Rich has been ULTRA kind in putting me up, but I dont wanna impose any longer.

And the apaprtment in Jersey, even though it has been an eternity in getting ready, is muy cheap and is being priced as a favor to me.

So why the fuck dont I wanna go?

*sigh* Money does indeed give you options.


You cannot fail this week. Whatever you do will work out as well as - if not better than - you expected. You can assert your will in most situations.
But don't think that means you have to be assertive all the time.
Try persuasion first.
It's less hassle and less likely to lead to a backlash later on.

This would be good.


Staten Island, NY (10303)
Last updated Sunday, April 1, at 3:21 AM Eastern Standard Time

40 °F
Feels Like 33 °F

Cloudy with rain. High 42. Winds NE 10 to 15 mph.
Tonight: Cloudy with periods of snow. Low 33. Winds N 10 to 15 mph.
Snow accumulations of less than one inch.
Still well-dressed and prenaturally happy, the suits on TV have been forecasting wet and wetter.

With the temps stuck firmly in the mid-30's.

Nervous tics evident, burned by the whole Storm-of-The-Century-That-Didnt-Really-Happen forecasting fiasco, theyve been chirping that since spring is officially here, we should be seeing temps in the 50's soon.

Theyve been saying that all month.

Shit, the few times it has been anywhere near 50 this year, the windchill has felt like it was freezing.

Looking in her archives, Cyn recalls exactly one year ago :

i took a mirror shot
right on second ave near 90th or so by
my apartment and only had a thin long sleeved
shirt on.

i also had a pic of the tree blooming outside
of our street.

Sorry dear.. if you were still here, you would be cursing the gods and hating NY right now.

It'd be one thing if it were merely wet right now.

But its wet and COLD.

I wouldnt go wandering about the Union Square Green Market for very long this weekend.. trust me...

Exactly one year ago.. hmm.. Me and Jules were out taking pictures of the Brooklyn Bridge.

The temps were over 50....
Looking back in my own archives, I see was pondering a job offer in San Francisco a year ago.

With the benefit of hindsight, of course, I wonder if I shouldve taken it.

Looking back, I would have to say no.

Not because of San Francisco or the company (who since then have gone thru mergers and layoffs, but are still in biz) - but because mentally I was not into it.

Although I wouldve been far more flush financially, I think I needed to work through some issues.

If I need to move, I think now Im more amenable to the idea.

But I am where I am supposed to be for now.

Itsa pity one's spiritual development often needs poverty to stimulate it. Durnit. :-)

And, looking back in the archives - I see have been poor for far too long.
Another thing Ive noticed looking back on the archives, is that my photographs have changed drastically in the last year.

Poo and Rashid were the first to point it out.

Its as if the way I look at things has changed.

I think the trip to SF was a turning point in more ways than one.