Saturday, April 28, 2001

My father, being of sturdy farming stock, felt he displayed frugal and self-sufficient values.

Except for his cigarettes, and his love for all things Sony - I felt he was one cheap bahstid.

He tried to cut the hair of all his male progeny.. and traumatised us for life.

Failing that, he would later send us to arguably the worst and most-hamfisted barbers extant.

Pops, drinkin' buddies and barbers who need steady hands......

The stuff of pain and nightmares.

My brothers now cut their own hair, and I, not trusting my unsteady hands and myopic eyesight, go very long periods between barbershop visits.......

My salt-and-peppered high-density afro needed to be civilized so .. it was time to go Brooklyn for an expert cut.

In NYC, the black barbershops are pretty much divided by language and culture.

Ive been to Dominican and Boricuan (Puerto Rican) shops. These guys LIKE close, razor-edged trims.
Week old razor burns make me loath to go back, no matter how much Domicans might really like us Jamaicans.
I prefer the muy beautiful Dominican women over the barbers, thank you....

British West Indian barbers all share the hearty patois and their slow, careful attention to detail.
They spend a long time to make sure your haircut is righteous.
A matter of pride, you know.
Clipper, trim, clipper, scissor trim, edge, scissor trim, razor edge, talc, and a finishing scissor trim.

Before you know it, those two hours have just FLOWN by.

AND if you dont use the mirror to check and make sure that job is flawless, and then genuflect in sincere appreciation for the 2 hour effort.......


Wears you out.

This is why I now prefer to go the Haitan places.

Somehow, they give quick, flawless clipper cuts.. using scissors only to smooth and edge.. and none have ever laid a razor on me.

No muss, no fuss.

If only my father had learned to cut like this.

"See, this is why I like this
blog thing. I type out
whatever's on my mind
and soon enough, I have
a solution. It's just like
talking to someone, but
since I don't like to bother
people with my simple
problems, this is a lot
easier. Yeah, or
something. "

- JettaGirl


Joe, why'd you move to NJ??? Lots of nice places in Queens (NEW YORK!).

N Train Babble


As Joey on Friends would say, "Make me an offer." :-)

Nah, as you know.. to find a simple, decent apartment in New York is hard enough, as you have to fulfill a few requirements..

- You have to know someone.

You can never find the apartment you want, when you want.
You have to catch someone who knows of a place, the place has to be available, and it has to be the right price.
And you have to know someone.

I know the super of this place. He is an ex-coworker who has lived here for over 10 years.

And HE learned about from a friend of his living here.

Cant get any better than that.

- Upfront costs require bank.

First month. Last month. Security. Brokers fee (now standardizing on 12% of the yearly rent).

Oh yeah, and you may have to pass along a little grift to the super to make sure there are no 'last minute snags".

Admit it, you will require help from the 'rents/SO/good friends to make bail, er, rent.

Me? Pay the rent. Every month. No security deposit. Month to month lease.

Yeah, wow.

Pays to know the super and have a landlord who doesnt need this to make his monthly nut.

Even though Im having trouble simply paying the rent right now, still a deal....

And you'd hate me forever if I told you what the rent is.

-Location, location, location.

Finding a place WHERE you want to live in the New York area.. is a cut-throat endeavor.

Everybody seems to want to live where you would like to.

If it's convenient to everything, fuhgeddaboutit.

If its in Manhattan? Magnify rules, requirements and hassles stated above by a factor of three.

And you'll be lucky to find a rat-trap.

Queens is nice enough I guess. Apart from the Number 7 train, tho - I dont want to face having to ride the trains into Queens daily.

Oho, yes - I have ridden the N train into Queens before. :-) Not exactly swift, is it? :-)

And I wasnt taking it during rush hour.
Until you get to New York, you dont understand - nay, appreciate- that simply finding and having a place to live is a grimly trying experience, on the mind of everyone.

Your choices are limited.

You end up taking what you can get.

And if you find a good place, you hang onto it for dear life as long as you can.

So, Sun - this place is neat, clean, convenient and cheap. Even if its in the outer burg of Bayonne, right next to Staten Island.
It is not a bad little place.

And it IS New York. Sorta. A hidden part.

Its also absurdly over-policed. Them and the mob keep it quiet. Ask The Kid sometime.

If you can find me better in Queens? Make me an offer. :-)

Plus, the latte's and italian cheesecakes at the Italian joints here are incredible. You'd dump your Dunkin Donuts swill in a heartbeat. :-)

Friday, April 27, 2001

When I was in college, a blunt-speaking communications instructor tried to clarify things for me...

I paraphrase:

"Finish school as quickly as you can. Get it over with. Get your degree. What you learn in college isnt as important as you think in the greater scheme of things.
The real purpose of college is to learn how to learn."

Of all my teachers' advice in college, over 15 years ago.. that indeed is the ONLY thing that still stix with me.

Of course, being young and lacking the benefit of hindsight, I didnt do what he said, so I struggled to stay in school, until the process of living life made me give up in exhaustion without getting my degrees.

With the benefit of hindsight, I shoudve done all that it took to finish school.
Back then, I didnt believe that I could fight and be stubborn until I achieved.
Actually, I didnt know that I could fight and be stubborn until I got what I needed..

Thats why Im so stubborn about things now.

What he said was right on the button. I have done more bookwork and learning after I left college than I ever imagined I did IN college.

Particularly when I realized what it was I needed to do.

Thats life.
Cause we are still all students.

Thats why Im excited about getting back up to speed and learning.......

Thursday, April 26, 2001

There are times in your life when it hits you...


And you realize you havent even been using the brain capacity of your kidneys.

*bang bang bang* of head

Ive been looking in the wrong places for work....

Looking for the wrong type of work....

Wasted all this time.

JPennant: hey mark.. wassup
IO: whatcha up to
JPennant: heh.. im being forced to learn Unix boss. :-)
IO: unix is good stuff to work with
IO: one day i need to learn again more of it
JPennant: yeah, i sorta wish i had some of YOUR experience right now
(He was a Unix admin at a small Texas ISP awhile back)
JPennant: DUH!!!
JPennant: I AM stupid.
IO: not
JPennant: i am
IO: !!
JPennant: i needed to learn unix, right?
IO: linux at least
IO: easy to work between the two
JPennant: Off all the places, where did I NOT apply to work at??
IO: heheh
JPennant: An ISP. DOH!!
(The PERFECT place to learn hands on Unix and admin issues! ANY fool knows that!)
JPennant: Jeez!!
IO: could be fun tho
JPennant: Yes indeed :-)
JPennant: Doh!!
IO: -)

I couldve been earning and learning a LONG time ago!!! AAAAAAARGH!!

I pop in "ISP" for a local search for work at - and sure enough..


I send out two feelers.. I immediately get two responses.

Oh lord. All this time. Wasted.
Nancy used to be my boss at Deloitte.....

JPennant: You know my work..
JPennant: I tend to know my shit.
Nancy: definitely... and you learn quickly too

But now, Ive let my skills deteriorate to the point that recruiters were shit-canning my calls and resume.

Wake-up call. It's time to get my skillset back up.

So... Ive started. Solaris/Unix, Perl etc etc...

JPennant: I have to thank ya by the way
JPennant: made me realize ive been wasting my time these last few months
JT: i'm lost...what are you talking
JPennant: when you hepped me to the potential of learning and earning from Unix
JT: ahhhhhhhh
JPennant: i was looking merely at support jobs
JPennant: and hating the idea of it
JT: dude...there are some things that are dead obvious in life, you know? like where Im are the one that told me years ago that content management/data management/etc would ALWAYS be a need...
JPennant: sometimes you dont see the obvious yanno?
JT: 'zactly

JPennant: today i realized i needed to earn and learn
JPennant: and since i needed hands on unix.. where would YOU go?
JPennant: the one type of place i wasnt looking
* long pause*
JPennant: ISP's.
JT: *doh!*
JPennant: thats what *i* said :-)

JT: dude, UNIX admin skills are portable EVERYWHERE.
JT: banks, isp's, ASPs, software companies.
JPennant: oh god yes.. and not just admin
JT: feh, i dont want to write real code ever again
JPennant: management
JPennant: analyst
JT: valid point, sales/bus analyst with genuine UNIX skills would be a commodity.
JT: i know - we are hiring 40 of 'em a week
JPennant: oh god yes.
JPennant: I fgure 3 months of daily practice will get me to junior level
JPennant: 1 year and change, senior status.
JT: so....

...... so Im learning

Cris is sending me a crapload of reference material.

Cris: I will be real happy for you when you have skills few have again
JPennant: i think everyubody is waiting for me to get back to guru status :-)
Cris: put you back in *elite* status. hehe
JPennant: heehee :-)


In answer to mars' and tish's query as to how Im feelin' now...

I'm feelin' better. With the help of my friends.

It really is true. You cant get anywhere without 'em.

By the way.. no - Im still going to write, photograph and publish.

All this is still to help pay my ways to my dreams.

I will NEVER leave those behind again.

My dreams have become stories now, with little to do with me or my life except as an observer.

I had another dream last night.

It was sufficiently creative enough I guess, in a Lifetime channel kinda way (Olympic champion cyclist, racially mixed california style,with beautiful wife and kids, comic relief provided by a re-done Ralph Kramden-Ed Norton duo.. and a sufficiently dark sad twist revealed toward the end - the couple started off as mutual druggies, the wife had one hand and Ralph and Ed beat the shit out of each other as the pent up animosity of Ed boils over.. in a funny way as Ralph gets his come-uppance.. I woke up laughing)...

But the response of people commenting on my meece situation reminded me of a part I nearly forgot...

There was a stuffed, lifelike puppy that gradually came to life as the dream progressed.

What I wasnt cognizant of while in the dream was that the puppy as he evolved, became more and more cat-like as I became more affectionate with it.

In fact, thats the only thing I interacted with as I stepped out of the role of observer.. the puppy/cat.

Poo suggests I lay out some rat poison for the mouse. Jules of LA on the other hand thinks I should do a trap, as the poison often leaves the mouse dead and rotting in the walls.

I agree with both techniques, although Id rather lay out poison than handle squished, splattered rodents.

No, actually - I was thinking of bringing in a cat to patrol the place from time to time.

Not just to catch the mouse, but the smell of a cat usually makes mice wary of entering a place.

However, I think my real motivation is to have a cat for the company.

The blonde just got a kitten for her kids, that she - a dog person - is bonding with. I dont mind as it attacks my shoelaces, clinging to my shoe....

I really do miss the company, affection and antics of HappyCat, and he was probably one of the best parts of staying in Staten Island.

Down the road, I may just get a cat.
Hm. My honey is finished.. :-(

I gotta get myself to Cali this yar...

Wednesday, April 25, 2001

Kate asked if I was mad at her.


Jules wondered if she had pissed me off.

I didnt think that she had.

No, Ive merely been in a bad mood.

For all kinds of reasons, but Im not particularly mad at anyone.

In fact, I tend to avoid the people I AM mad at.

For all those thrill-seekers and adrenaline junkies tho - trying to get me mad is not a good, nor wise, thing to do.

Not right now, anyway.


kate: hey:-)
JPennant: hey hon. wassup?
kate: nuttin- have massiv allergic reaction or something
kate: my face feels all swollen
JPennant: yeah, the pollen is all about. im sneezing and my eyes are watering too.
kate: :-(
JPennant: or were you out fightin? :-)
kate: heehee
kate: maybe in my sleep
JPennant: your secret life as a superhero...
kate: how did you know?
JPennant: i read the papers..... :-)

Geek, geek, geek...

Spending idle time perusing Perl, Solaris x86 for Intel, mail structures....

My peers have been urging me to get into application development.. even if I dont wanna be a programmer.... or tech.

This stuff isnt so hard tho.

Geek, geek, geek... getting in touch with my inner geek again.


JettaGirl, as usual, often expresses it better than I do......

I hate these fucking allergies. Everyone all
over the world is complaining of having a
"really weird cold" that doesn't go away.
Hmmm no. It's allergies. Sorry to burst
your bubble. But in any event, there really
is nothing to cure allergies and it's totally
chapping my hide. Gosh darnit.

Its not like I can take vitamins for the damn thing to counteract the fucking tree pollen.

Oak and pine usually brings me down quickly, and I see neither around me here in nigh treeless Bayonne, so Cherry Blossoms? Shit.

As she said, chapping my hide and making me crankier than usual.
No phone.

I need to get in touch with recruiters and potential work.

Shit, shit, shit.

Because I now have neither, and because calling New York is regarded as a long distance call by Verizon (JUST ACROSS THE FUCKING RIVER) I have to trek to #^$%%#% Brooklyn to take care of business.

Poverty fucking blows.
I'm reluctant to get my DL re-instated because of the costs and legal hassle I cant handle right now.

Thats why I live in a place with a world-class mass-transit system, so that I dont need to drive.

JT suggests I blow off poverty and come make six-figures for a company thats making madd money.

If anyone can get me in by sheer persuasion, he can.

In Florida.

You need to drive in Florida.

He understands.

I say, gotta be New York for now.

Fine, do they have offices here?

Yes. In *^&%$% central New Jersey to service the entire New York Metro area.

Where you need to drive.


#%#*#^% californians think that a metro area is simply a metro area, and put their regional offices in the area.

They obviously cant fathom a place where MOST people dont drive.

New Yorkers would know better and put their offices somewhere IN, NEAR OR AROUND THE FUCKING CITY.

No wonder EMC and IBM is eating their lunch here.
Sometimes I know what I know.

A CPA in Bayonne that Eric often does business with desires to set up an office server.

He gives me some excellent tax advice free of charge, I figure I'll return the favor and spec him a proper workgroup server and walk away.

It's simple. All I'll do his give him the specifications, costs and vendors he'll need so he can make his own decisions.

I casually mention this to Eric, and his fucking ego gets threatened. Im treading on the turf of Mr Local Computer Guru of fucking Bayonne.

He wants 'us' to go discuss it with the guy. What the fuck, you idiot? Discuss WHAT? This doesnt even need to be a team effort.
He doesnt want me to show him up as the expert . And he wants me to share my expertise to keep him looking good.

No matter that HE comes to me with questions. And he is fucking clueless as to what it takes to design and run a reliable server and network.

This pisses me off.

Fine. Fuckit. I dont give a shit.

Fuck this, I dont need local grief.

This makes me appreciate I AM on a higher level and Im merely fucking around.

JT and Cris are right.
Fucking Microsoft.

For one reason or another, IE4 or 5 will NOT install on this machine.

It has to be their way or no way. That's why I didnt want to pursue the MS certifications. I didnt need to deal with this day in, day out on an enterprise level

Netscape and Opera will install, but Netscape, even with the latest versions, is shitty software, constantly crashing and unable to render things IE does with ease.. and Opera is NOT worth 35 bux if it cant handle the latest sites.

Now, coming from a background of having to support sites on widely different platforms, I know a well designed site assumes that EVERYONE is NOT running the same browser.

So why do motherfuckers design their sites that can ONLY be seen by IE?

Dont they WANT their sites to be seen?

Fucking retarded, no matter how you look at it.
A friend is pissed he got laid off in the latest round of dot-com panic

He blames another person for this, god knows why. That person wonders why Person #1 wont speak to him.

He sends me the vitriolic letter he intended to send #2, accusing him of undermining him with the higher ups, being an all round Judas and selling him out.


Theyre both acting like a buncha pussies.

Person #1 should suck it up. He was acting like a brat and made few friends upstairs, no matter how good he thought his political skills are.
And HE has had to lay off people himself.

Person #2 was indeed acting in his own self interests, and took the pieces of gold.

And hoped #1 wouldnt realize what he did.

Why am I in the middle of this fucking drama???

Fuck 'em.

I gots my own problems.

No, Im not in a good mood.

And I got a fucking mouse in the apartment.

Tuesday, April 24, 2001

"I find romance
When I start to dance
In Booogie Won-der-laaand

(higher octave, quicker tempo)
I find romance
when I start to dance
In Boogie Wonderland..."

- Chorus to The Emotions' "Boogie Wonderland"

Im still humming this song, but now Im doing the backup parts of Earth, Wind and Fire - including their Wall of Horns.

When I left Jacksonville, I'd sold all my stereo equipment - and since then, havent replaced it.

Im partial to boomy Aiwa systems - but the new ones, like most personal stereos nowadays, are icky, *tacky* and cheaply made.

Now, in my decorating theme of spartan and stylish, I intend to be small and minimal in my electronics..

I figger I'll be buying used, classic chtuff.

However, lilbro sees my empty wall and asks if he could put a humungous entertainment center to store for him until he finds a place of his own.


That'll prolly take forever, New York being New York.

There goes my bookshelf space.

Of course Im not gonna refuse him - but that just fucks up my nesting theme.
Belle went on a nesting jag the other day.

Im in the same mood myself, so I had intense sympathy pains.

Ive got dreams of Corelle dishes, Corning Visions glass cookware, sealed masonry jars for my dry goods (rice, sugar, beans), a little herb garden, T-Fal pots, heavy duty woks, classic aluminum dutch pots, lightly stained classic wood furniture and chairs.. and thats just to start.

Basically, I want my place to be gay. :-)
Hm. I just saw my first mouse.

*sigh* Time to start putting away and sealing the foodstuff.

No Gabz, the meeces are not cute.

I may ask Rich to borrow Happy Cat from time to time.

I'll keep him hepped up on catnip if thats what it takes.

If it gets worse, Im getting a resident el bodega gato of my own to patrol.

*sigh* add to my shopping list - D*Con.....

Monday, April 23, 2001

Like Rashid, I didnt like Mark the first time I met him while working at AOL.
Too tall, too arrogant, too handsome.
Like Rashid, over time, I found we were kindred spirits in a lotta ways.

Primarily, we are both determined to live our lives our own way, no matter the consequences.

He popped up on IM, havent seen him on in a long while

JPennant: YO MARK!!! Wassup, boss?
IO: naked dj
JPennant: nut :-)
IO: at unf for the art department
UNF = University of North Florida
JPennant: student, teaching, teching or modeling?
IO: how'r u?
JPennant: Oh, very broke, unemployed and happy.
IO: modeling... i'm much the same
JPennant: heheh
JPennant: hey, play to your strengths
IO: definitely so... been drumming and flying my kite a lot
JPennant: yeah, you gotta be who you are
JPennant: I just realized that my resume has gotten out of date. I need to overhaul it
IO: been ages since i did mine or sent it anywhere... life is so much more fun as such
JPennant: yeah, if i could find ways to pay the basics while doing that...
JPennant: just moved into a place.... cant figure out a way to pay the rent.. but Im here.
IO: few moments i must shower and head to unf for my next adventure as a naked spy
JPennant: LOL
JPennant: whats your current contact info. Im updating my database
IO: i'm between places.... pro tour couch surfer
IO: but i gotta new car
(He has grimly hung onto his 74 VW bus for years)
JPennant: oh cool! Wha kind?
IO: just look for the red ultra-pimp '59 T-bird
JPennant: you lie :-)
IO: got her on valentines day
JPennant: ummm.. aright. send me a picture :-)
IO: i'll take pictures sommetime
JPennant: righteous
IO: ULTRA-pimp even has fuzzy dice
IO: =)
JPennant: heehee
JPennant: whats your current email and IM?
IO: mark_*****
JPennant: okie
IO: rarely im... you're first this year i think
JPennant: hmmm.. aright. i'll keep this and myndgroov up then.
IO: phone is out at the moment, maybe back on later this week...
JPennant: so is mine
JPennant: but I'll track that
JPennant: aright pa.. I'll catch u on the upside :-)
IO: cool... i'm glad we could chat for a few
JPennant: yep :-)
IO: see ya soon Joe
JPennant: later mark
IO: :-D

Like my other Cappy friends, loyal and generous..

He has also turned me onto the most INTERESTING porn.. :-)

A dream tonite:

Im in a Survivor type .. show.. I think.

Odd, since Ive never watched any of that crapp all the way past the first commercial.

A group of folk are given random amounts of money, and handicapped in various ways - and are supposed to survive, in various ways, in the remote but luxurious hideaways of celebrities.

The celebrities are a part of the game, hindering and helping the contestants they like or dont like.

The celebrities seem to be overly tanned former nebbishes, trying to act.. down to earth.. and managing to come off as affected toward the end.

I only remember Steven Spielberg and his wife - as I dont keep track of celebrities.

I manage to lose in the first game. Cause the rules were random and I couldnt keep track.

So I use my almighty power of owning my own dreams to get back into the game.

And do better. :-)

What was funny, toward the end of the dream, I walk in a hallway and bump into Barbra Streisand... and utter a pleasantry.

She stops, with a tray of hors d'ovres in her hands and snaps.. "Look, dont deal with me." And walks away.

Even in my dreams, she's a bitch. She cant get a break. :-)

I think i won the game.

I think I cheated. :-)

Sunday, April 22, 2001

JettaGirl wrote:

my mom was walking behind me earlier
today and she said, "Your ass is looking
good!" hahaha What the FUCK!!!! Firstly,
my mom never says "Ass" and secondly,

Heheh. I know exactly how she feels.

Ma isnt usually free with compliments, although every time Im in Brooklyn nowadays, she comments on how Im slimming down...

Although back in the days when i lived in the weight room, she used to bitch and moan that my shoulders were far too wide. I was like "Where the *hell* is that coming from?"
That would irritate the living daylights outta me.

The other day I walked by her, she sighed and went "You used to have SUCH a nice butt."

I was like "WHOA!! What th' hell??"

She saw the look on my face, and innocently went "What? You did. Then you got fat and now its gone."

Then she sighed again.


I dunno yo, my mother isnt serposed to be noticing that schtuff...