Saturday, December 08, 2001

I am finding that my local library is like this... storehouse.. The Bayonne Free Public Libraryfilled with interesting things I should have looked at when I was younger, and stuff I meant to look at eventually, but never got around to it.

For instance, I found a copy of Microserfs. Something I had intended to read all these years but never got around to it.

It first came out back in 1994, back when I still worked in a book store part time (pre-Intel, pre-AOL), mainly because Id always wanted to work in a bookstore, and before I switched brain-lobes and became a professional geek.

Seems so long ago now..

"Ive been switching from being a right-lobe person over the past 18 months, and I couldnt have gone on coding much longer."
- Microserfs
Reality and want.

I realized last year that I am a retired tech.

I had switched lobes a long time ago.

Dont get me wrong, I like that I had a heavy duty support background, and it'll carry me for a long while yet.

But I am obsolete at 37.

The last heavy duty structures I could tear apart and put together with ease was Windows95, Novell 4.12, Mac OS 8, cc:Mail, WinNT, Watcom SQL and IIS 3.
All are discontinued products now.
In other words I am 3 years behind the curve in my skillset. I used to be GOOD. Now, I am merely competent.

But.. it was me who wanted to switch my lobes. So, I have to grin and bear it while this ship turns around.
"I think that the books I really enjoy are the ones in which the characters realize, only in the end, what it was that they secretly wanted all along, but never even knew.
And maybe this is what life is really like."

And it really only makes sense later on, as you live through it all.

I think that is what I was trying to say the othernight, gg.

I think. :-)

Profound thoughts?

Bread from Allan's Bakery in Brooklyn. In 20 years I havent tasted better. Got those a-plenty.

But nothing left to say right now.

Severe agita from the lack of money and the impending loss of home?

Hasnt let up since the summer.


HAH! No finance, no romance buddy. :-)

Dreams? Re-pry-or-i-tyzed. But I havent, cant - let them go.
A) Ive let them go before, instead of trying to find ways to make 'em work - and Im still kicking myself over lost opportunities that appeared just after Id given up. B) Somedays, theyre the only thing that still keeps the fire lit.

So no.. gotta fight for them, even though the cost has been high.

The alternative is worse.
My Dad was ranting a bit: "As you get older...the bottom line becomes to survive as best you can..."

"We dont know about that yet, Daddy."
- Microserfs

Back when I lived in Jacksonville (I think back in 91 or 92, when the last recession was in full swing) I went to my local pawnshop to get a loan off my TV and VCR, for the third time - as I was good at paying back everything, plus interest.
(An aside: If a town or state seems to have a lot of pawnshops, think twice before moving there. Trust me on this.)

The lebanese clerk, with whom I was now on speaking terms (I think some pawnbrokers are really moonlighting bartenders in their ability to listen to countless tales of woe) gave me the usual amount of cash for the items.
But this time I was getting to the end of my rope...

"I dont know if I'll be able to come back for them this time" I said.
He looked at me, and in a firm, accented tone answered, "Dont worry, you'll be alright. Youve got character. Youre a survivor."

I never forgot that, drawing strength ever since from that character asessment.

I was right, though. I never did go back for my stuff.

He was right. Ive never pawned anything after that.

I survived.

Thursday, December 06, 2001

Call this morning to Miami:

Me: Happy Birthday, son.
LilBro: Thank you my brutha.
Me: Hows it going down there?
LilBro: Man, its boring in Florida. Cant do the things I wanna do on my birthday....
Me: Ach, its not important where you are. You can find some decent things to do there. Anyway, hows Ma doin'?
LilBro: Doing better.. <.progress report>... shit, at one point she even rolled her eyes at me, so I KNOW she's doing better.
Me: Heehee. You'd make even dead people roll their eyes at you... :-) Glad to hear it.
LilBro: Yeah, she's doing better.
Me: Good. Gotta see if I can find a way to get down there. Anyway, Happy Birthday boss. Go have some fun. Talk at you later.
LilBro: Thanks brother. Peace.

"Chance favors the prepared."

Gah. Easy money. Over 3 grand for a week or two's work I can do blindfolded..

Fuck. But since its out in Central Jersey, and a 45 minute drive one way. Fuckfuckfuck.

Ah well.

On the other hand, I just scored an article in the Bayonne Evening paper. Looks like I have a part time job doing ad layouts.

Excellent. The last 6 months havent gone to waste.

And according to the recruiters, the tech work I specialize in is picking up again.. so the consulting biz looks as if it may pick up.

I just need some cash to stave off homelessness right now.

Dammit. I coulda used that job and that cash right now. Shit.

Wednesday, December 05, 2001


Corner of 34th and 7th Avenue/Penn Station

Sometimes, in her uniquely artless, yet carefully expressed stream-of-consciousness way - JettaGirl will go deep.

Let me tell you what I discovered the other day. I discovered that happiness does not come in list form. I discovered that I've had all these things that I want in a boyfriend or whatever and when I finally find the person that matches most of those things, I realize that it doesn't feel permanent. Like it's just something for the moment.
And all this talk about freezing the good moments? Yeah, well I sometimes like the bad moments, too. I like it when they are shared with the right person. And sometimes the bad moments can't be shared with anybody, that's how you know that your list is just a two dimensional sheet of paper.

Very deep.

So. Before I head back out to Jersey - lemme go get myself a moment of happiness.

A Beef Patty and Cocoa Bread from Nostrand Ave.
Random ride around Brooklyn...

Mosque in Sunset Park

Same Mosque, different side

Love the classic brownstones of Brooklyn....

Bagel Place in Sunset Park

And of course.. the one in ritzy Park Slope/Prospect Heights.


Christmas from the Times Square subway tunnels.

In one of the booths, the transit employees put up their Christmas decorations.

Pretty cool.

And according to employees who e-mailed me after, the people who take the time love it - giving very favorable comments.

Seems to mean something to 'em.


Happy Birthday, princess.

And what is it with you 22 year olds? :-)
Glad you escaped, George.

Also, 'tis good to see you and your lady finally back in the same time zone again.

DAMN man, what is she, yer Muse?? Youre back to filling pages again.. :-)
Cool breezes, B. Congrats on the unexpected boost.

And on the other shytte, fuckem all if they dont understand. :-)
A bit late, cuz I usually would rather wait until the actual birth.. but hey.

I think you and yer Amy will make great (if busy) parents, Dr Scott. :-)

Hopefully ze kid will be a right-brained savant like yerself..

And we WILL make that book. Then sell the rights to the highest bidders..

Ahh, yer scared of the international book tour, eh? (Oh yeah, it will indeed be translated into korean.. heheh..)

Tuesday, December 04, 2001

It was a nondescript box, waiting in a pile to be put out in the rubbish, that was full of generic video and audio-cassettes.

Then I noticed, it had a copy of "Aladdin". Weird, I thought. Why throw this out?

Then as I looked through, the cassettes although mostly unmarked - looked vaguely familiar. Then when I came across a tape marked "Joey's Birthday 8/29/92" then I knew what it was.

I thought this stuff had been lost forever.

The videotape was of the last time I was with my father in Chicago. Music tapes that LilBro used to make for me, tapes for my car, and TV shows I had taped for time-shifting purposes while working the night-shift at AOL. Basically, my stuff while living in Jacksonville, surfacing after 5 years.

I really thought this stuff had all been destroyed.

Man, I am so glad to see 'em intact.

Why? I dunno. It may have been the worst time of my life financially, but I still look back on that time fondly.

Funny how that works out sometimes.

Via the delectably surreal yet complex wahine Sun...

If I was a work of art, I would be Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa.

I am extremely popular and widely known. Although unassuming and unpretentious, my enigmatic smile has charmed millions. I am a mystery, able to be appreciated from afar, but ultimately unknowable and thus intriguing.

Which work of art would you be? The Art Test

Oh yeah? Cool. :-)
And then there are times when I wonder if my impulsive little brother is all there...
(Keep in mind for this story, New York has steps. A lot of them, and most of them are very steep.)
At Macy's, he found an entertainment center that he fell in love with.

Dark wood, beautiful finish, multiple doors, shelves, space for everything.

And it was priced below cost.

Its a beautiful thing.

Its also almost 7 feet high and weighs nearly 500 pounds.


We spent several hours manhandling that thing from storage, to roof of SUV, off roof of SUV, through basements and up several flights of stairs (as it was too big for the elevator..)

So it is no surprise, several times during the day, as I my body threatened multiple aneurysms.. I was driven to shout.. "WHAT THE FUCK WERE YOU *THINKING*???"

My arms, back, legs, ass are still aching.

Me: "...we COORDINATE things here.. we say "Go on 'three'... NOT 'By the way.. LIFT!!' "


It does look good though.

Monday, December 03, 2001

Ah yes.
"I've never met a satisfied rich man." ~ Martin Sheen

I know why I want money. I want peace, stability, choices, freedom. The freedom to have my own piece of the world without agita.

And yet....

When I do have money, sometimes more than I know how to spend - I still have that gnawing, unfulfilled feeling.

Now, Im feeling mightily frustrated, but oddly not as unfulfilled. That tells me I am moving on the right track, and its of my own choosing.

Cant have everything all at once...
LilBro called me over from Jersey to come help him move some furniture, et al.

In my loving, brotherly way - I asked if he was gonna pay my m*$^%%^# train-fare....

Im proud of him.

A Sagittarian, life is apparently is unfulfilling if he's not fucking up in some shape or form... but eh, watcha gonna do - its his nature.

As is my Virgoan nature, and the job of being a big brother - is to point out that fucking up is fun for just so long - "and then what" inevitably kicks in.

This irritates him no end, even as he grudgingly admits Im making sense.

Im still proud of him. He's on the right track, in his own way - even though he cant see it for himself yet.

Having fun is a priority for him, yes.. but he steps up when it counts, which is when family is involved. Specially now.

Ive always told him, since he was a child, that there are two things I am sure of about him:

- He will be rich eventually, sure as shooting.
- He is an extremely wise soul.

Funny thing. He listens to me.. because he knows I wont lie to him, even though I seem to always spoil the fun with my *cough* dry *cough* sense o' humor.

(He did die laffing, after calling me a buncha names, when I growled at him "Youre *this* close to calling me a pussy"... He stopped calling me names. He's no fool. :-)

Yes, he may fuck up, and I fully anticipate several marriages, children, scandals and alimony before the decade is over - but hey, you can be wise and still fuck up. He's allowed. :-)
He smiles when I tell him all that. Apparently, Im the only one through the years who tells him the positive.

Im proud of my little brother, the little #%$#% so an' so. :-)
While Ma is being taken care of in Miami, we decided that this would be an opportune time to start cleaning up 25 plus years of accumulated detrius in her place. (She throws away *nothing*.. thats what a Moon in Cancer does, mars. You all are waaay too sentimental.)

The job would go faster, if we werent stopping to put aside old textbooks over 20 years old, old assignments, our old books. Somehow, Ma turned us all into voracious readers, cept for LilBro - who does treasure the books he has.. mostly my gifts to him to spur his reading.

We were laughing over BigBro's meticulous handwriting .. (LilBro: A work of art, my god. And then what happened to you?), a spelling test from LilBro's 5th grade (an impromptu test found he STILL misspelled the same words from 15 years ago), and old records we forgot we had.. (Teddy, he was high, drunk AND getting a blow job when he crashed his Rolls into that tree.. what a way to lose the use of your legs ). The old Mills and Boone/Harlequin books our sisters had.. were safely tossed. Collectors items some of them, maybe, but who gives a crap for old soft-porn...

Since I stayed with Pops and went with him to Chicago instead of New York, my stuff is long gone to the winds.

In my itinerant lifestyle, I dont think I have anything left over from before the '90's..