Saturday, July 07, 2001

Scott Turow's "One L", life as a first year law student.. sucked. Hard.

Dont believe all the gushing reviews you read, ladies and gentlemen.

Im a big Scott Turow fan, mind you.. but yeah - I wasted 15 bux buying that crapp.

Now, Ive got another book by another Scott I REALLY want to read, cept Ive sorta read it already.

So I know its good.

The life of Dr. Scott, and the LIGER! :-)

I came in when when he was engaged to his wife, and now theyre married - and he's a senior resident.

Ive never actually gotten around to writing him and telling him how much I enjoy his schtuff.. probably because I dont want to change the dynamic by entering his world in any way, however briefly.

I wanna keep on reading.

His book, the journal pages and his stunning artwork - are what I want to publish.

Including my own (and with all due respect to all the talented folk I know), his is the *only* journal I would publish, in full, without changing the content. At all.

Dr. Scott, and the LIGER! Heheh. Yes, I wanna do it.

Ok, back to our regular programming....

Happy Birthday, George

Oh yeah, @30 the Saturn return is never technically over... youve now entered a new, fun phase.

Think of it as a new childhood, but now with the benefit of hindsight. :-)

Welcome to the Age of Appreciation, son.

Youre gonna find yerself saying "Remember when.." a lot.


Friday, July 06, 2001

Hair Salons

JPennant: The entry I had in mind for tonite.. frankly sux
JPennant: mind if I edit this and use the part about the cabs?
k12: ok
JPennant: Otherwise, I gotta talk about my walk to go get ice cream in Bayonne :-)
k12: lol
JPennant: and post pictures of the "Curl Up & Dye" hair salon
k12: rofl
k12: omg! I love that!
JPennant: heheh
k12: you know, I think that's gonna be my next project...
JPennant: wassat? :-)
k12: a compendium of creatively bizarre biz names
JPennant: like "US Hair Force"? :-\
JPennant: Oy
k12: lol
k12: curl up and dye is H ILARIOUS
JPennant: Ido have a picture of it. :-)
k12: I must see it, of course
JPennant: okie

JPennant: Thats why I hadda start the journal.. too many things happening
JPennant: The definitive moment was a cab ride with a german cabbie named Karl.
JPennant: It wasnt what he said
JPennant: It was how he drove
k12: lol
JPennant: THIS guy could drive
JPennant: but not your normal every day "smooth, make it look easy" driving
JPennant: He was PRECISE in everything he did.
JPennant: There's no doubt. He was TRAINED to drive like that.
k12: the German apprenticeship system?
JPennant: uh-uh. This was more security agency/fbi professional skillz.
JPennant: And this is how I came up with driving with the East German ex-STASI agent named Karl, driving a New York hack. I couldnt make that shit up.

JPennant: I wish I had acted upon writing down the conversations with cabbies Ive had over the years
k12: yea...somebody did that
JPennant: I shouldve
k12: like lessons learned from cabbies
k12: or the wisdom of cabbies
k12: published it as a little book
JPennant: more like having your perspective broadened, yanno?
k12: ya
JPennant: Driving from Manhattan to Brooklyn, you had time.
k12: one cabbie had his entire cab papered in biblical verses...that was a trip
JPennant: whoa
k12: it was the cult cab
JPennant: good god
JPennant: in philly, itsa bunch of cab companies?
k12: yea
JPennant: ok
k12: with one or two huge central dispatchers
JPennant: yeh, In manhattan - most cabs look the same
k12: not here
JPennant: outside Manhattan, most are Lincoln Town Cars
k12: cripes...must be nice
JPennant: Ehhhhh....Sometimes :-)
k12: we have beat up discarded NYC police cars
JPennant: oy vey
k12: most of our cabs are ugly and odious
JPennant: here, yellow cabs are required to be replaced after 2 years
k12: and where do you think they go?
JPennant: aha
k12: Philly
JPennant: all our chevy caprices went to philly eh :-)
k12: fer sure
JPennant: theyre almost all Crown Vics here now

Funkin Cabs

k12: two things drive me up the wall...
k12: one is getting into a cab with 20 flavored air freshners swinging in the wind
k12: instant headache
JPennant: hoho
JPennant: I got one better
k12: the other is...I don't know how to put this delicately
JPennant: Lemme say it
k12: k
JPennant: actually itsa tie between
JPennant: Cabbie having a pungent middle eastern dinner AND farting
JPennant: or
k12: lol
JPennant: and this happens primarily on saturday nights, early sunday mornings
JPennant: a combination of stale: stale sweat, rank perfume, rancid liquor and vomit
JPennant: you never want to smell those combinations ever again.
k12: ewwwww...both of those are awful indeed but not my pet peeve
JPennant: whats yours?
k12: mine is acute body odor...getting into a hot cab with a driver who doesn't wear an antipersperant
k12: ugh
JPennant: oh...
k12: in my experience, this has occurred only with one group of drivers
k12: that is wretched
JPennant: You know
k12: I know we all get a little ripe in the summer but this is like NO deodorant
JPennant: here, you might get a few funky ones
JPennant: but its not usually a problem.
JPennant: I think because New Yorkers will TELL them to go bathe
k12: I was in a cab once that almost made me ill...the smell was so acrid, my eyes were watering even with the window down
JPennant: and leave the cab
k12: I was just gonna say...I'm too polite to say STOP I'm getting out
k12: (my daughter) would have NO prob with that
JPennant: puhlease
JPennant: youre spending money for the cab
k12: and she would tell them to bathe
k12: I know!
JPennant: she would do well here
k12: oh yea
Five Dollars

JPennant: New Yorkers only act like they dont notice anything
JPennant: They are VERY aware.
k12: hyper aware. have to be.
JPennant: good term. very much so.
JPennant: tell you a story
k12: good...I'm all eyes
JPennant: when I was working in wall street

JPennant: I went to a favorite street vendor to buy christmas gifts for folk in the office
JPennant: but my vendor wasnt at his table
JPennant: so the guy wouldnt deal like the other normal guy would.. and didnt know the prices on the items
JPennant: so Im vainly trying to get prices
k12: oy
JPennant: and I go "How much is THIS?"
JPennant: and then from around me.. guys passing by go
k12: LOL
JPennant: I swear it was the funniest thing
JPennant: 10 guys all goin "ITS FIVE DOLLAHS"
JPennant: New York is like that
k12: lolol
k12: that's hilarious
JPennant: Everybody's got an opinion :-)
k12: oh too
JPennant: And it WAS five dollars :-)
k12: LOL
k12: too funny

Wednesday, July 04, 2001


tisha: heelo!!:-)
JPennant: heya t
tisha: what's up?!
JPennant: chillin.. chattin.. you?
tisha: just finished my homework
JPennant: thought youd be out watching fireworks
tisha: naah
JPennant: im hearing the climax now
tisha: you are?!
tisha: whoa
tisha: cool cool
JPennant: for the bayonne one, at the park near me.
tisha: dont you go out and watch the fireworks?
JPennant: nah, the magic has worn off fer me
tisha: lol.. me too
JPennant: crowd, heat, humidity..ooh, ahh..crowd, humidity
tisha: lol

Plus, it rained just before.. and I know, coming back, I woulda been soaked by the fireworks display nature is putting up right now.

At least you can smell the sea tides coming in with the thunderstorm...
Summer evening at a Fort Greene - Brooklyn coffee shop. Lousy coffee and chai, excellent ambience.

If Starbux had this kinda ambience...
From Belle

We've both changed. But one thing that hasn't is that I still love to be hugged by him. I like to nestle down in his arms and feel safe and happy. Sure, kissing's fun, but cuddling is where the nice stuff is.

Almost... almost.. made the chunky crustiness of my cynicism fall off there. Almost.

Good try, hon.

Tuesday, July 03, 2001

Until Carol took me and a bunch of visiting company New Zealanders to the annual Feast of San Gennaro a couple of years ago, I had no idea that Little Italy still existed in Manhattan.

And really, overwhelmed by Chinatown and Soho.. it only exists as a stubborn pocket, a few secondary blocks. Little Italy is now a vestigal area of food stores, restaurants and tenements existing more as a need to keep a popular tourist destination alive and as a placeholder of Italian tradition.

Pride, really.

In fact, if you dont know where it is.. you will blink and miss it, unless you make that turn on Mott or Mulberry Street in Chinatown and stumble across the murderers row of Italian restaurants.

Still some of the best Italian food in the city.. although Staten Island aint shabby either...

And thats where me and the Cappy headed for a midnight run to show me some of her old haunts.


Caffe Napoli
Mulberry Street
Little Italy




ITS COLD. My tootsie's are an accurate thermometer and its.. 55 degrees.

(Later verified by the announcement of a record low on this date of 57 degrees at Newark Airport..see?)

Yesterday it was in the frikkin nineties, muggy and soupy, before the cold front and thunderstorms rolled through. A drop of 35 degrees in a few hours is MAJOR.

Thank god I dont have bare hardwood floors anymore.

Lemme go put on the fuzzy slippers that Kate gave me.. sheez.
They say things, and ask if I understand.

They ask me questions, and I wonder if its about me.

If I ask, its never about me.

I stop assuming.

And when I dont ask, they try to tell me.

And when I ask if its bout me, they dont want to say.

And say its not about me. To mislead me.


Dont they want me to understand?

And later say I shouldve known.

By that time, its too late.

If its not about me, I dont really want to know.

That's why.

Sunday, July 01, 2001

Some insight as to why my previously gold-plated resume hasnt been good enough these last coupla months...

From Matt Haughey, the founder of ....

The question I'm asked most often these days is this:

"Is the job market really as bad as some people are saying it is?"

and the answer is a definite yes, especially in the Bay Area.

There was (a) saying during the boom, if you wanted a new job in San Francisco, it was simple: grab a dead fish, and stand on any street corner in SOMA. Spin around as fast as you can in one place and let the fish go. Whoever it hit would no doubt hire you to work on a web team for a cash-saturated startup.

These days aren't the same at all.

I've gotten the last two jobs from word-of-mouth and casual friendships, but among all my friends currently, there's nary a one that is working for a company still hiring.

So I've hit the standard paths of checking out,,, and camping on Craigslist. In the old days, making a sound on any of those sites would result in your phone ringing off the hook with recruiters and employers, but I've probably applied to a total of 50-60 positions, and in the first three weeks all I had to show for it was two auto-responders saying that too many people applied for the job and that I shouldn't hold my breath.

It's tough out there..... but it's hard to stand out against the other recently laid-off applicants. I've also learned that a million magazine articles and newspaper mentions don't mean a hill of beans when you're number 238 in a stack of 300+ resumes. I'm confident that a casual friendship or reader (hint, hint :) will connect me with my next gig, since the cattle call for openings still seems like a long shot.

I'm enjoying the perfect weather and time outdoors a great deal, so I can't complain.

The dude gets profiled in the NEW YORK TIMES, and still cant get a gig. How bad is that?

I wish I had the cash to hire him.

Ironically, I was being urged to stay out in SF and make a go of it there last november.


Not having a place out there wouldve been worse than not having a place here I do believe.

Heh. Fredlet asked me when was I gonna start my part-time gig at Starbux... heheheh.

A Barrista, eh.

Man, if Starbux had the sense to put one out here in Bayonne, but eh.

Still, thats a thought.

Maybe I could then find whats the supersecret superaddictive component of Starbux coffee.....

I would then steal the secret formula, market it and TAKE OVER THE WORLD!!! MUAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Uh, yeah. :-)
I dunno why you guys are so fascinated, but more random coffee run pix, from this morn...

Mmmhhmmmm... *donuts*.

Heheh. THAT phrase should make the Oxford English Dictionary too.... :-)

Reason #346 as to why I love living near the water, in a place surrounded on three sides by water....

Rain from a passing thundershower, quiet sunday afternoon, the smell of rain and a faint one of the sea tide... making those falling, splatter sounds of steady rainfall against the roof, the gutter...

Yeah, rain. Windows open, light, chilled breeze flowing in...

And then, a mile away, the deep powerful foghorn of a sea-going giant tanker blasts, echoes and resonates through the background of steady, splattering rain.


And then ...

The musical bells of Mt Carmel church softly peal through the rain and distant thunder to signal the end of sunday evening mass.

Sublime, this.