Saturday, May 05, 2001

"... the black folk, theyre aright.. they understand.
But the Anglos.. nah, theyre fucking clueless about us."

- Teenager from an LA barrio
from an MTV 'documentary' on race

All around the world, no matter their actual race, darker skinned folk tend to be viewed as less than equal.

And often get treated as such.

Worse if theyre of a different tribe or culture.

In this country at least, black folk arent the lowest on the totem. That dubious distinction is meted on spanish-speaking immigrants from Central America.

'They' truly have to eat shit on a regular basis.

The subject came around from a CNN item, stating that the nations 'hispanic' population had increased 60% in the last coupla years.

Me: Yeah. Its not surprising. Just look around.
(I was thinking that Bayonne's hispanic population, for a traditionally italian place, was pretty large.)
Him: Yeah, its no wonder.. they have babies like bunnies.

What th'???

Me: Hey, watch that 'they' shit, son.
Him: Its like that joke from Mondo New York "I dont mess with Puerto Ricans.... they all come out HAVING knives."

He thought he was just goofing. I was surprised.
Yes indeed, I was. And I expect the worst from people.

I have never heard him slur on other ethnicities or cultures before.

Me: The used to say the same about Sicilians.
Him: Yeah, well..... THEY come out with tommyguns.

And that pretty much ended that. A lot of the people he hangs with ARE italian.

For a person who thinks of himself as color blind.. he saw no reason not to slur entire cultures..

Central Americans to Puerto Ricans. Theyre apparently all the same to him.


One of my basic tenets is that EVERYONE is a bigot and racist in some form or another.

But that doesnt mean you cant get along with folk and give them the same respect and consideration that any other person deserves.

See them as human.

Not as 'they'.

Friday, May 04, 2001

Heh. Cyn is on a ruminative kick I think.

Because we share the same birthday and some of the same values and characteristics.. she oft plugs into some of my stuff.

And me hers.

She calls my life right now, "indulging my wild side", as she ponders things in her 5/2 entry...

Eh.. she might be transferring a bit tho.... :-)

>i read your journal and feel that you gave
>in to that /wild side/, joey bro.


What wild side?

Just cuz I said "fuck" fifty times? :-)

Or are we talkin bout my stubborn life choices?

>and i slightly envy you for it.

A lot of people do, but obviously its not a choice for the faint-hearted.

I dunno, I cant imagine living much differently anymore.

For someone who is as averse to change as I am, loves being at home and would rather cuddle for days..

I like being itinerant.

Maybe because I always feel like an outsider.

Even among friends and family.

>altho, i think, like me, you would be happier
>with a love and a home and some stability?

Maybe.. although I dont feel Ive ever really had that.

I wonder if I really desire that anymore...

Its ironic. Ive had women tell me I look like the type who desperately wants that life, and then become non-plussed when they find instead I tend to run away from that ideal.

And would rather give THEM their freedom than try to take it.

I dunno. After years of often feeling relief whenever a relationship ends... maybe Ive grown used to the idea of not joining my life with another.

Its really gotta be worth it now.

>but perhaps i assume.
>i dunno.

Heh. Could be you see solutions that you think would take care of the discomforts of my life.

And I see some of those solutions as choices that exact a price im not willing to pay in the long run.

In life, it turns out its easier to make the hard choices, than to choose the seemingly easy route.

And I know *you* know this to be true, stubborn sistah. :-)

>/hugs/ cyn

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. much appreciated luv. :-)

Eh, everything will turn out the way theyre supposed to.

Much love


I think she DOES understand tho.

But for the forseeable future.. for me.. life isnt anywhere near being about love and marriage.

She came in with him and cuddled up against him by the subway car doors, smiling and cooing.....

She leaned forward, closer, contentedly sucking her boba drink, chewing occasionally on the black boba tidbits.

His expression didnt change as he pulled out a napkin, and fastidiously started blowing and wiping, folding, blowing, wiping, folding blowing, wiping mere inches from her.

She tried to be accomodating, never retreating from him, but waiting and apparently hoping he could get it done.

Yeah, it was kinda gross, but she didnt want him to think she couldnt handle a little snot.

He was trying to be cool and discreet.. but the allergies were simply kicking his ass.

He HAD to blow to breathe.

Had to give it to her though... the only thing that tipped her discomfort, was that she tipped the straw of the boba cup away from him, so he wouldnt accidentally spray anything on it....

My allergies are kicking me ass just as badly.

I cant go within 50 yards of an oak tree without tearing up and clogging.

I wake up unable to breathe.

Of course, by my window - I have oak, spruce and ivy.

Its pretty bad in NY right now, as the trees are working overtime to make up for the long winter and cold spring.

Of course, there hasnt been any rain in the last month to wash the air of some of the pollen. Natcherally.

In fact, this is one of the few times I appreciate the urban jungle of manhattan, as I can actually breathe when Im there.

Never mind that the air is stinky.

Of course, I walk by a park like Hanover square, and Im in distress again.

Sudafed aint doin it....
It all started with an offhand comment about being hungry.

In an IRC chat room full of geeks, you wouldnt expect the conversation all night would turn into a discourse on gourmet cooking.

I was there to pick up unix hints, and all we talked about were cooking techniques, and the best pots and pans to have.

Yep, the geek diet has definitely moved beyond the usual fare of Ramen and Mountain Dew....
Kate gave me a little knick-knack she had picked up in Chicago...

A graduated long shotglass entitled Chicago's Big City Problem Solver.

Heheh. The notches went higher up the glass, ranging from "Dog", "Job", "Ex" to "Money".

She laughingly suggested I could use me a coupla stiff shots. :-)

You know what? She's right. :-)
Trust a New Yorker to notice this...

Riding up the busy World Trade Center escalators from the NJ PATH trains.. a man on the escalators next to me bitched.. "HEY!!! That escalator is faster than ours!!!

Yeah, it was a little faster as we glided past him.

New Yorkers never want to feel like theyre moving slower than anybody else.

I hadda admit.. my first thought was "HEEHEE! IM ON THE FAST ONE!!"

Tito is right. I may already be a New Yorker.

Wednesday, May 02, 2001

The Chicago Metro area, loosely defined, covers 4 states.

(Essentially the contiguous states lining the lower shores of Lake Michigan: Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan.)

The New York Metro area, covers the states lining the Long Island Tidal Basin: New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.

Here's the thing though... you may regard a metropolitan area, for practical purposes, as defined by the area's dominant city. Everything revolves around it.

Then you hit hard upon the reality that these are different STATES with significant differences in the way they operate.
They could be different countries, the differences can be so fundamental.

Which is why I now have to leave the state to go to the closest local branch of my bank... which ironically, is a humungous GLOBAL bank.


Which means my checks are now out-of-state checks, with all the associated hassles and joy that designation brings.

*bitch moan*

Metropolis, my ass......

Geek, geek, geek............

JPennant: God help me, Im gonna become a hacker again :-)
McClint: hahaha how so?
McClint: you found a security hole in the pentagon?
JPennant: Kid is hooking me up
JPennant: remember Jon Y?

('Kid' is what we called Jon, as he was the only minor working at AOL. He was one of those supranaturally bright kids who, when bored, redline IQ tests. He hacked into the main AOL servers for fun within days of arriving. We are glad he's not evil..... )

McClint: yeah i think so
JPennant: he is running three unix boxes at his house.
McClint: damn
JPennant: He's setting me up as a user on one of them. I had my choice of
Slackware, Redhat or NetBSD.
McClint: hahaha
McClint: and he's just gonna let you tinker and poke around?
JPennant: yep. Heehee.

Several hours later......

Yeah well.
It's not like riding a bicycle.
Ive had my head in "Unix fer Idjits" for hours now, and I havent gotten beyond listing files.

No, Im nowhere near being able to blow up the world yet......

Tuesday, May 01, 2001

A New York optical illusion

Stationary lights in the night sky.

For some reason, its best seen from the Brooklyn Bridge or a clear vantage point anywhere in Brooklyn looking south over the Verrazano Narrows Bridge.

It will always be three white lights... stationary... impossibly high up... looking as if theyre attached to tethered balloons.

Only on rare occasions is the New York night sky clear enough to see the stars, so the lights really stand out.

Ive spent many a late night staring at those lights, waiting for them to move, but, they never seem to.

Looking from my bedroom window in Bayonne, directly across New York Bay from Brooklyn, I can see one of the lights.

It doesnt seem to be moving either.

New York gets a LOT of UFO sightings, Ive heard.

But this time I have time to track it.. it IS moving.. but incredibly slowly.

Even over five, ten minutes it hasnt moved by much.

Now I know what it is.

Bayonne is in the flight path for Newark Airport, the lights eventually moving faster and adding red, green and strobes to the display.

From Brooklyn, looking south over the ocean, where the view is unimpeded by the lights of The City, you can see the planes coming into land at all three airports, Newark, Kennedy and LaGuardia, but so far out gliding in slowly, they dont seem to move at all.

Amazing you can see the lights from 40 or 60 miles over the ocean, the planes coming in so frequently that you will always see a light in the same approximate position after looking away for while.

At night, due to noise restrictions, you can hardly hear 'em - just an occasional jet's whispered thunder over the water.

I try not to feel silly hoping that the explanation is somehow more magical or incredible.

But sometimes, I still stop and look at the stationary lights, managing to deny analysis and logic..... alluding to magic.

Tomorrow arrives... another day.


jules: btw, r u ok? re: your journal entry
JPennant: Nah, Im not about to jump off a bridge . :-)
JPennant: but it wasnt fun to see someone act true to their worst side.
jules: i know, but i find silence is better than discouragement
JPennant: Uh-uh. Im not discouraged
JPennant: It just made me tired.
JPennant: The next day I woke up and my worries were addressed.
JPennant: but i didnt want to get angry
JPennant: cause that would just distract me from what i need to do.
JPennant: One of my resolutions this year
JPennant: "Not to act from fear or frustration."
JPennant: "because that would make me act in anger."
jules: if it was that easy... i sometimes find it so difficult to control my emotions
JPennant: It really is not easy, thats why I felt so tired.
JPennant: because I AM angry.
jules: gosh.. is that why i'm so tired
jules: cos i'm so angry
JPennant: it can
JPennant: it can sap the energy outta you.
JPennant: and i need the energy right now
jules: sounds like yer getting back the energy
JPennant: yeah, im excited at the possibilities again. :-)

JPennant: Speaking of bridges, I was on the Bayonne Bridge sunday around sunset.
JPennant: wishing that I had time to come back and capture it.
JPennant: even though it was mostly a view of the docks, you could see for miles in every direction.
jules: u can always go back and capture it
JPennant: It wasnt a wish. It was a little prayer.
JPennant: While I was sniffling and sneezing my ass off with all the pollen. :-)

JPennant: How stupid am i...
JPennant: I got an IM outta the blue this morn from ******. Said we should to hang out.
JPennant: I would still get together with her.
JPennant: <-- wonders if he really learned anything. :-)
(Jules was the first one to give me a heads up about what was gonna happen with her, years before it did. She's good at that about people.)
jules: ::: shaking head :::
jules: hopeless!
jules: now i need a cig
JPennant: heheh
jules: :-D


kate: urgh
JPennant: mm?
kate: mmmmm
JPennant: mm
kate: i want to be laying on a beach with a frozen cocktail in my hand absorbing rays!
JPennant: :-)
JPennant: well, i feel human again... they just took away my busted fridge...
kate: :-D
JPennant: and i feel even better today.
JPennant: J is lending me her old P90 for me to play with Solaris on it, so that I can say I HAVE experience
JPennant: and with that in mind - I just found a job I can learn and earn on.
JPennant: things are lookin up. :-)
kate: :-D
JPennant: but tell me about your sun-drenched dream again?
kate: hehehe


To: joepennant
From: fredlet

Subject: Re: honey

ok its in the mail-should be there soon

=: )



No, not a bad day at all. :-)

Why I do it

"I realized..early..that the power of writing my words would help me remember the things I'd been lucky enough to experience and to keep them safe within me for a long as I needed it.

It was much later when I realized that those same words would help me let go, help me put one well-lived experience behind me in order to move on to something new and equally important.

The act of writing is.... a way to look, touch, and savor all life's moments while they are happening, to make each of them count and not take any of them for granted.

It is a prayer of sorts, that that continues to help me attain and conquer my life without, in the end, being conquered by it."

- Kate M. Brausen

from Chicken Soup for the Writer's Soul


Sunday, April 29, 2001

Im tired, and I want to go to sleep.

Its been a long day, lasting through midnight. I have walked and travelled far.

But Im tired because someone LAUGHED and said no when I screwed up the courage to ask.

I didnt want to ask, but I wouldve felt like I wasnt trying if I didnt.

I wont forget her kindness and help, and damned well wont forget that she laughed while she said no.

And kept on laughing ..

She didnt stop until I hardened my voice and said, thats fine, dont worry about it.

Is the friendship over? It likely was before this - although Im not going damn it with prejudice.

Made me tired, although I was surprised I didnt feel much else.

The overwhelming feeling was one of "Im relieved thats over with."

Tomorrow is another day.

Now, Im just gonna go get some sleep.

Im tired.
Im sorry Cyn.. I did get it, and thank you hon. I know you do.