Saturday, May 26, 2001

Writing and thinking...

Things on my mind. Coming along.

A little art appreciation.... wowed by the mascot, I went looking for other work by the artist.



Man, I wish I had just the poster and clothing rights to his work.
Flipping coin:

Blogspot is toast, or not?

Friday, May 25, 2001

(Written from the Bayonne Public Library)

I am broke. Flat-lined broke. But I am not destitute.. even though this is a nagging fear, as I have rent and bills to pay.

But, hey - I will always have bills and obligations.

Last night, going into the 33rd Street PATH station in manhattan, there was a woman, panhandling, who asked me if I could spare a quarter.

As I walked past her, instead acting like she didnt exist, I looked her in the eye, and said "Im sorry, I dont have it."

In fact, I dont. I didnt.

I had an unbroken 20 dollar bill in my pocket, that is going to have to stretch for as long as possible.

Her response was a weary, but civilized "Ok. Well, have a good night."

No. I wasnt traumatized by guilt. I wouldve been very justified to put her out of my mind as I would most panhandlers and be self-concerned by my own poverty. But she touched me by the civility, the acceptance.

Lumbering down the stairs, my feet barking from the uncomfortable dress shoes, I mumbled to her.. "Thank you. You too."

I went directly to the Hudson News newsstand to buy a 50 cent paper to break the twenty, spending a good deal of time deciding...

Not if I would go back up the stairs, but what to give her.

I got the change.. and counted out some bills.

I went back up, found her and gave her the bills.

When she saw I wasnt just giving her loose, ill-considered spare change, but greenbacks and a few extra shiners.. her eyes crinkled as she smiled at me.

No, it wasnt a lot.

Could I spare it? Yes and no.

I have no idea as to when I'll be good. I need every cent.
But the money I gave her, wouldve been spent anyway, with not as much thought as Id like to think.

No. It wouldnt have impacted me greatly.

And her eyes crinkling confirmed to me that her soul isnt dead, and I wasnt being hustled.

As I walked away, she said.. "THANK you. You be safe, ok?"

I smiled back and said.. "Ok. You too."

In retrospect, I now know what I wanted in return for doing it.

It wasnt pure altruism. I did it because I dont ever want to be on the streets panhandling. Even though Im only two steps away from it.

I didnt do it because it was the "right thing to do".

I didnt do it because I "understood what its like".

But I understood the genuiness of her thanks. The same feeling I get when my friends help me, because.

The people who I intend to pay back several times over.

They might think theyre just helping, and I used to consider it just a loan to be repaid with interest.

What I now appreciate is that it is indeed an INVESTMENT in me. I consider them, and legally, as investors in me and my dreams.

Yep. Investors. No less important than the wealthy folk Im trying to hit up for seed money.

And what I gave that woman was a small investment, a reward even, for endeavoring to keep her civility in intact while her soul is...... being tried.

What I now know I wanted, but didnt realize it because I was in such a hurry, was that I wanted to sit down and talk to her.

I wanted to see a little of her lifetime.

Not from pity, or feelings of charity. I am interested. Keenly interested.

If I had the money, I would buy her a coffee, some smokes and sit down away from the cold and talk.

Ironically, if I had the money right then - I doubt I wouldve done or feel the need this keenly.

If I had even a few hundred dollars in reserve, I wouldnt feel it as keenly to start this little venture Ive been turning over in my mind for years.

I would be waiting on the 'right time'.

To act on what I know, what I expect, and what a lot of people see as a venture which will enrich me materially far beyond my expectations.

Even though I absolutely expect it to.

Yes, I am flat broke, and it is NOT fun - but thank god that I am.

It is a million dollar experience.


I truly believe everyone should have the oportunity to be there, at poverty's door, at least once in their adult lives.
Simple Pleasures:

(Homer Simpson guttural voice of pleasure)

"Mmhmmmm.. Potato Bread."

Although this isnt like Staten Island, Potato Bread is readily available in every store in Bayonne.

Its not bad at all. At all. Soft, delicate yet flavorful, even slightly sweet. If I may say so, its actually better eatin' than yer typically gluten/wheat bread.

Goes well with everything.

I noticed I couldnt find it all in San Francisco.

Where I didnt notice most people eating sour-dough bread either.. :-)

- Morning Mail

To me, thats a sign of being in a good place. Your mail is there by 10am.

Regular fedex delivers before noon.

I dont know why, but I like my mail being there in the morning.

Oh yeah, and the mail is actually efficient here. I send something and by the next day or two, its THERE.

Great googly moogly.

(Although that means when I send a check, I'll have to make sure the funds are available..there is no 'kiting'.. there is no time. The check isnt in the mail.. the check is THERE. :-) )

This morn, I was in line to pay for my coffee and donuts (jelly filled cake kruellers - 2 for 1), biz plan in hand, deep in thought...

counter lady: "Oh, you were next.." (to man in front of me) "he was here first.."
Me: "Nah, its no problem.. g'head. Im in no rush."
Man: "Heh. Thats alright, Im in no hurry either."
Me: "Eh, its just nice to stand and think... I was in The City last night.. kinda recovering from the noise and the energy."
Man: "Oy. You dont have to tell me. I did my 13 years there."
Me: "Heheh. Sounds like you did your Time."
Man: "I wouldnt trade Bayonne for nuthin. I cant stand commuting, going back and forth into the city."

I havent heard anyone say "I HATE Bayonne" yet.

Ive heard other things, but not "I HATE this place".

I think along with the peace and quiet, its the simple things.

Maybe this wouldnt be a bad place to start a business....

Thursday, May 24, 2001

The sun is shining, there is a cool breeze, the *%$#&$% pollen is low.

Not a bad day so far.....

And my horroscope for today isnt looking too shabby either...

A chance of a lifetime is being presented. Make sacrifices to get opportunities. Remember, first impressions count. A Scorpio has helpful advice. Take it.

Believe it or not, you have what it takes to succeed. So why do you have so many doubts about yourself?
Someone in authority will encourage you to be more ambitious today.
He believes in you, so isn't it time you started believing in yourself?

If you need to ask a favor of someone in authority, do it now. Planetary activity at the midheaven angle of your chart makes it easy for you to approach important people, and if you flatter them, they'll give you what you want. Make the most of it. It won't always be this easy.

Hmm. Okie.

Excuse me, Im off to Manhattan to go talk about money with folk who make more than I do.

My horrorcope in the current TV Guide...

Before you back out of or go forward with an opportunity, ask yourself exactly what result you are....

Before I finished, I closed the TV Guide and put it back on the newsstand.. the newsstand owner giving me a friendly, but quizzically puzzled look as I stood there shaking my head.

I gave him the money for the morning papers (one Jersey, one New York) and left for the rest of my balanced, but simple breakfast of coffee and donuts, still shaking my head.

Ever had the shortness of breath, dizzyness, chest-pains kind of fear?



Fear of Success is real, ladies and gentlemen.

I am scared out of my ever-lovin fuckin mind.

Earlier today, I was idly ruminating on many things, talking to myself in an empty room, so I decided to take a walk around the block.

When I came back a mere two hours later, I had a proposal to write, a business plan to craft and flesh out, a partner/business beard, a financial advisor, *signed* non-disclosure agreement forms, appointments set up for *very real* investors to get seed money for my dreams.

Yes, it can happen just that quickly.

It started with me idly talking about dreams with a man by his Mercedes and now Im hunched over my laptop with a headache.


All I have to do now is write out a proposal for prospective investors, and draft a business plan.

And I have not a clue how to write a proper biz plan, proposal or how to pitch/ask/beg investors for money.

Other People's Money.

Oh shit.

What.. the... *fuck* did I just step into?

It was so much easier when I was merely talking about my dreams and pondering if I should go with my gut.


My life was simple a couple of hours ago.

Fear of Success is the desire to make it simple again.

Wednesday, May 23, 2001

Blogschpot is still down.

I shouldnt bitch and moan about because its free, eh.

You know the ol' maxim tho..

Dont get mad, get even.

Or get away. :-)


If I keep posting ether-like messages out into the ether, but no-one is able to read 'em.. do I exist?


Deep thoughts.

It does *feel* like Im talking to myself. Interesting.

Better go for a walk.

Aint no sunshine when she's
Anytime she goes away..

The name and artist of this song escapes me...

George? Poo? Belle? Anybody?

This rainy, foggy weather puts me in the mood to sing those kinda melancholy songs. Not becuz Im feeling so melancholy.. just in the mood to sing 'em.

According to the radio, should clear up a bit today.

Ach. Blogspot icht der down.

Ah well, Im updating in the dark then.

Heh.. I was just telling Clint.. the difference between old, grizzled veterans like us and the young, grizzled newbies running these operations...

They continually fall for it when when someone tells 'em "99% percent uptime guaranteed." :-)


What was I pondering... hmmm.. oh yeah.. simplicity.

What with the machinery Im putting in here, Im afraid of having 'ginormous" (is that rilly a word, em?) amounts of machines, desks and monitors all around. I really do want that laptop life with a minimum amount of machinery visible and the wiring tucked away discreetly..

The server that clint sent me, I'd prefer to just wanna load Solaris and Slackware on it, and put it in a closet out of the way, never having to reboot it, it quietly sitting there routing and filing and serving, with nary a beep.

I may face the reality that I'll prolly have to build some ground-pounding Win2000 machine.. but do I really wanna?

I like the simple and the old school, thank you.

No, its more appreciation rilly.

I dont want to have to THINK about the machinery. I just want it to run.

And not be seen.

Where has that ideal, that aesthetic gone?

Call me a luddite. I just may be one.

The weather system is hanging around, bringing us another day or two low-hanging fog and rain.
And its cool.. like Im living in the mountains.

What we needed.

Plus, I aint gotta drive. :-)

Id had plans to do a lot more than I did yesterday, but I sat in and wrote, caught up on some back mail.... perfect day for it.

And I didnt wake up with allergies.

The rain is washing out the pollen.

Lub lub lub this rain. :-)

Tuesday, May 22, 2001

Marn, who I think of as the Quebecois version of my ribald Canuck-based pal Poo (Poo? Her IRC nickname at one time was WitchyPoo, thats why.. geez, pay attention) just turned 50.

Her writings entertain many much.

She had something to say about the counter turning to da Police (50. Five-Oh. Hawaii Five-Oh. Urban slang for da cops. Jeez, pay attention.)

Ten years ago, I doubt I wouldve even grasped the significance of what she's talking about.

Now I might have a clue.

Um, where was I? Oh yeah, The Birthday.

    Will, the trainer down at my gym, turned 27 on Friday. He's still in the "I'm invincible" part of his life, the part where you can't conceive that you're not going to live forever, that you're not going to be able to make your body do exactly what you want it to do whenever you want, that you have endless time to chase down all your dreams. That part.

    I was watching him and his friend working out yesterday morning at my gym as I worked my way through my own routine and I couldn't help but get a twinge about the sheer strength and raw optimism of him.

    It's no accident that this year I'm marking my birthday year with hours spent trying to push my body back to levels of strength I had when I was much younger.

    Marn, the princess of procrastination, is coming to grips with the novel idea that time is finite. I am trying to change the tense in my life, to go from "someday" to "now".

    It's odd, hitting this milestone birthday. The woman who looks back at me in the mirror is no Cher--all the years are etched there on my forehead, around my eyes, and in my hair which has been white for a few years now.

    Even you know what?

    Inside I'm mostly the same, which is kind of scary, when you think about it. Yep, I may look grown up, look as if I have a clue or two accumulated after all this living, but the sad truth is that I haven't. Except for finally stumbling on the idea that I won't live forever, I'm pretty much as I was in my late teens.

    Except now I'm a white-haired, somewhat wrinkly teenager.


Heheh. I get it.

Before we were disconnected abruptly, I had someone run things past me to see if I was missing something in all this.

She said I didnt seem motivated, as well as other things.

But she also said, not to let things and people distract me from my ideas and my work.


I am trying to change the tense in my life, to go from "someday" to "now".


Maybe its not just about the job.

... that you have endless time to chase down all your dreams. That part.


Maybe I should go wish the woman a belated birthday.....
Warning.. this is a rant.. Im gonna be letting loose because I cant take this kinda silly shit anymore... no names are named.. if you feel a bullet coming that possibly has your name on it.. duck.. because it likely is not you and probably doesnt concern you... and this is what this rant is about....

The actor Rip Torn was recently quoted as saying: "When a woman graciously shares herself with me, I return the favor and keep it private."

I paraphrase. I understand.

Now, I dont talk to many people or online about my sex-life, partly because there's not much to tell, partly because Im embarrassed that there's not much to tell and partly because what there is of it.. I keep private.

As verbose as I am, I AM a private person. I dont talk about everything.

Yesterday, I got an ANGRY letter from a woman.. basically telling me I needed to get my ass in gear.
Hmm. I didnt like the tone, even though it was valid advice.

But, this was far angrier than warranted... I had seen it before..

Ahh, yes.. this letter was in response to a letter I had sent to two people, one of them a young woman prettier than she was and had been interested in at one time.

She did NOT like the young woman. And apparently still didnt.

If I had blind copied that letter.. she wouldnt have been in the 'mood' she said she was in.

Jesus. Not even platonic friendship is immune from psycho jealousy???

Now this is where people would start 'assuming'.. that I read too much into it.

Dont assume. I dont make snap judgements.

I may misread the level of intent, but no, Im quite good at recognising patterns.

This woman and I have had a slight history, and because of the paucity of privacy in New York it didnt become a history.

Plans were made, promises were made, bedding was bought :-)

But it bothered me that she showed intense jealousy to even women I knew only online. Think about that for a second.
To this DAY, she still remembers who these online people - most of them Ive forgotten.

Oh yeah, did I forget to mention she was, and is still with the father of her daughter?

Her jealousy, from someone who wasnt even MINE, was the reason I called the whole expedition off. She agreed that her jealousy was rather insane.

I used to hate being the nice guy, the big guy, the black guy. The guy young woman liked the attention from .. but be with? Sleep with? *shudder*
After being resentful of women liking pretty boys, rich boys, white boys, bad boys.. I grew resigned to it, and found there was a wonderful flip side to it all.

I was free from most of the drama! I could have as friends beautiful women, young women, old women, bright women, even gay women! I could be myself, I didnt have to play games, dress up etc etc.

And I could avoid the drama that comes with being involved.(Except when lending an ear as the agony aunt.)

And if I like you beyond that, I could simply tell you.

Even better, as I grew older, I found that I didnt have to be lonely if I didnt want to be. There are a lot of women who like big guys, black guys and yes.. even nice guys.

Cool. So I could be alone and not have to be lonely. Wow. Cool beans. :-)

Almost the best of all worlds.

But that jealousy...

Recently I was walking down the street with my not-yet-faded Puerto Rican beauty of a neighbor when I bumped into a local woman who, I'd had lunch and coffee with, I had thought, had come to the agreement that we were friends. What with her estranged hubby, estranged boyfriend and kids, y'know.

Hey, if yer over 30 - youve got a history.

"Why havent you called? You couldve stopped by... Oh, I didnt realize you were with..."

"Oh. Nah. My neighbor. This is *****, my neighbor. ***** meet *****. **** meet *****"

And then I noticed much shade was being thrown on both sides, distance being kept, wary pointed looks.. Oh jeez.

I concluded that interview, promised Id write and we said our good-byes.

Ive always assumed that if things are platonic, you live your lives and I can live mine.

There should be no need for drama. Or jealousy.

There shouldnt. It all about respect. And on my side, peace and quiet.

I understand the emotion. I dont get the intent.

Oops. Gotta cut this short.

I gotta go get ready to have lunch with someone.


A friend.

I am not going to discuss it.

Its none of your concern.

Monday, May 21, 2001

Been raining steadily since midday.


In addition to liking rainy days, there has been less than an 1/8th of an inch of rain in the New York area all month .. not since march has it rained like this.

So. We need this rain to wash all this &%%%#&%(#^% *#^%^#*(#&%^ *cough* ..pollen.. outta the *#^%%#&( air.

It was getting ridiculous.

Plus, I like rainy days.

While in high-school, one of my part time jobs was that I did gardening for rich folks in Evanston and Wilmette.... very nice folk. Wish I had bothered to keep in touch.
I still regard those seasonal gardens I "built" as 'mine'. :-)

In fact, it was so lucrative, that even my father got into it and helped out for the extry change. :-)

I found out I have a green thumb, even though I never really cared about gardening afterward because I was on the move so much as an adult.

So, with my interests reawakening, I nearly died laughing with Marn's "rumble in the jungle" piece.
Brought back memories of stinky gardens, maintaining active earthworm colonies in steaming compost piles and drowning earwigs in traps of .. beer.

In fact, I used to use that same growth mixture she used.

I'll never forget the smell of it. You cannot go wrong with it and Miracle-Gro. :-)

Oh yeah, and specially for the folks wit penis envy.. check out her Port-A-Penis (aka PocketDick) piece.

I can imagine that'd be useful in gardens too... :-)

JPennant: aright.. the server came! :-D
Now I gotta scrounge up a monitor.
rich: cool...where'd you get it
JPennant: friend of mine had a dual pentium box lying around. sent it to me. gawd bless him. :-)
rich: cool
JPennant: trying to see if someone wants to send me a Sun box. :-D
rich: heh what's a Sun box?
JPennant: Sun Microsystems.. expensive hevvy-duty server grade machines.
rich: heh
JPennant: Most web servers run Suns
rich: uh huh
JPennant: which is specifically what Im trying to learn right now.
JPennant: lotta financial firms run them too.
rich: Any luck with the job hunt yet?
JPennant: no, im still waiting. time to shift to plan b.. go work at Blockbusters
JPennant: plan E rather :-)
rich: heh
JPennant: Everything below what Im training for has gotten muy scarce...
rich: uh huh
JPennant: in fact...
JPennant: this is from a recruiter
rich: ?
JPennant: Dear Candidate:
This is a very hard market at this
time. There are 500 candidates for every one position. I do have some opportunities but the market and demand is drying up.
JPennant: Keep in contact with me through time, I will eventually be
able to help you out if I cannot at this time. Please forward a non text format of your resume.
Keep your chin up!

rich: A non-text format?
JPennant: Yeah, in Word rather than just text, so he can print it out.
rich: Ah
rich: That sucks, man...glad I got this new job (now I'll just have to make sure I make it through my 3 month trial period!)
JPennant: True's bad out there. Its not just me. In fact, on all the below Unix admin posts were being pulled from the database ON THE WEEKEND.
rich: yeah?
JPennant: Which means either the jobs were filled that quickly or that theyve been inundated with candidates
rich: ::nods::
JPennant: yeah.. right now is no time to be unemployed
rich: Nor is any time for that matter...
JPennant: even up to November.. it wasnt this bad
JPennant: but since January... whoo.
JPennant: My mothers place.. (global insurance firm)
JPennant: just let go a lot of their techs.. replacing them with cheaper people just outta school.
rich: That didn't make it better to be unemployed in November, just easier to get employed...
JPennant: quite true
rich: yeah, I guess that's the downside of being in a "hot" field, always someone younger/cheaper they can try and replace you with...
JPennant: yeah.. thats the upside of everybody believing the hype and getting their MCSE... not as many people saw unix as the place to be.
JPennant: but thats changing...
rich: ::nods::
JPennant: Heh. I wish I had the matrix learning machine :-)
rich: LOL
JPennant: "I know kung-fu.... and Unix!"
rich: I just watched that yesterday
rich: "Show me!"
rich: One thing about The Matrix, though...when they're getting set to go in, why not grab a tank while they're loading up with guns??? Let's see what those military folks do when they crash into the lobby with an M1 Abrams battle tank and shoot 'em up!
JPennant: portability :-)
JPennant: gotta be able to hide the fun under them sleek, stylish leather jackets :-)
rich: So, climb out of the tank with your coat full o guns after you break down the door and blow away everybody in the lobby...
JPennant: that ranks as one of the five best movie gunfights ever. :-)
rich: ...and why not some of those "gattling guns" under their coats, too? Even "agents" can't dodge those suckers!
JPennant: heheh

I was just telling someone... right now it would take only about three weeks of work at tech wages to pay the bills, take care of my needs and pay all my debts.

That's it.

Of course, at the start of the year.. it wouldve taken a little under a week.

So, its not really that good.

And of course they reminded me.. "Yeah, you gotta just gotta get it."


Heh. Maybe I can do some gardening.. :-)

Sunday? Not much.

Nah, Im not depressed - although tisha thinks I really need to get out more and be around people.

Actually, I do get out and about in this little burg and talk to people.

Just costs money to go back and forth between here and New York... so its cheaper to hang out.

Depressed? Nah. Frustrated? Much.

Ive been cooking more, getting my stock cooking and meats preparation techniques down.

Jerked chicken and spiced rice was on the menu.

Not bad. Im learning.

Im having a greater appreciation for old techniques and what effort it takes to produce the sublime...

No HBO, no Sopranos.. so who got whacked?

Thank you New York Post:
Like Big Pussy last year, you knew Jackie Jr. was going to get it. Nice touch, though, having fat Vito Spatafore do the honors. It proves he can do something besides eat.

Heheheh. I love that newspaper.

Sunday, May 20, 2001

Da last time, I was really this poor (about - yeah, almost EXACTLY 10 years ago), I had to make some painful adjustments in who I was to become who I am.

It paid off. But as a war veteran once put it about being through war "A million dollar experience I wouldnt pay a plumbed nickel to go through again."


If I were a rich man.. azuba duba duba duba duba duba deeeee....