Saturday, January 12, 2002

A misnomer about New Yorkers, is that theyre plain unfriendly.
There's truth to that, but - nah, not really.

You just cant be friendly to 10 million people at a time, thas all.

*Fez voice* "Theyre just people!"

Heh. Anyway. Im standing in line at the neighborhood PO this afternoon, and I join in the griping about the long lines and slow service with the guy ahead of me.

You never know who youre talking to in NY. This one turned out to be the president of National Assocation of Physician's Assistants (I have the card), and the conversation turned into a business contact.

Go figure.

So why leave NY if all that I need is here?

Actually, I think today proved to me, that I definitely need to leave.

So that when I DO come back, I will have things in place to be able to REALLY take advantage of what NY has to offer.

Some people get it, some dont, that you often need to go elsewhere to live somewhere.

Friday, January 11, 2002

Being the anti-social bahstid that I am, I dont usually do lists.. but this one I like.
(From Friday Five via Em, who always has these really good *layered* answers.. :-)

1. What was your first job?

At 12, being a stock clerk in my godfather's shoe store in the Parade Square in downtown Kingston, Jamaica.

I miss that man. Mr. Abe Zaide.

Only when I became an adult, did his Syrian Jewish heritage mean anything.

2. How old were you when you had your first kiss?

Nine. With Althea Wilson, the younger of the Wilson twins, who was developing her man-eater persona back then.

Why do I remember it?

Because that kiss produced my first ever SERIOUS hard-on. Surprised and embarrased me, and Althea didnt know what to do with it. Heh. Neither did I. :-)

Not long after, the twins emigrated to Canada.

3. What was your first car? What happened to it?

MY first car was a hand-me down from Pops. A 79 Audi Fox.

Now that I think back, it was slow and unreliable, but sweet to drive.

That started me on my german car jag, owning several Opels, Volkswagens and a Beemer. ...

It got towed after Pop's estranged second wife poured sugar into the gas tank, not realizing it wasnt Pop's car anymore....

She apologized without admitting guilt. Idiot.

4. What was your first concert?

I honestly dont remember. Oh wait.. I do. It was a mega-concert at some arena in Kingston with a bunch of reggae all-stars (except for Bob Marley). Burning Spear headlined.

I was a snob. I didnt care for reggae growin' up.. so I hardly remember anything about it.

5. How do you plan to spend your weekend?

Since 94, with flexible shifts (two days on, two days off), the consultant, unemployed (voluntary and involuntary) and itinerant lifestyle.. traditional time blurs for me.

So the weekend doesnt have much significance for me - unless it involves other folks itinerary.

Sooo, nothing I wouldnt be doing *during* the week....

Thursday, January 10, 2002

Horrorscope from the latest Village Voice. (Indulge me)

Let's count your blessings.

While it's true that you were recently obligated to launch an expedition to Hell, the only truly painful part of your trip has been the salt that got rubbed in your wounds.

And that isn't so bad considering that the salt has acted as a cleanser and purifier.

Anyway, I'm ready to welcome you back to the bright, cheery surface.

Or is it so interesting down there that you want to hang out a while longer?
Heheh. No. Im ready to move on now, thank you. :-)


I had a great entry drafted in my mind as I walked up from 14th street to 42nd tonight .. and now its just bits and pieces and flotsam...

Good Times. At the America Cafe on 17th and Broadway. Damn, has it been a year already? Shit.

Something about not being able to walk this distance without fear, apprehension and loathing. Not so long ago, I woulda reflexively caught a cab or train.

So.. I walked. Briskly.

I did this partly because I wont waste the money on a cab. I dont even remember why I considered them so essential. (Laziness, primarily) Heh, partially because I wont/cant afford to spend the money now.

I want the exercise too.
Kinda proud of myself walking that distance and not breathing hard or sweating. Of being able to do it.

What else?
Ahh, not buying something to eat.

I want to continue to lose weight. Not to eat to be full.

Its not a diet. Its a test of discipline.

Its a hard to do here, walking by everything from Burger King to Bagel Places to the zillions of tempting restaurants all over.

Egg Bagel and Lox.. *drool*

And ever since Dave Thomas died, Ive been cravin' Wendy's sumthin FIERCE.

I dont care if all I get is from the 99c menu.

Must. Resist.

But no, this was to be a piece on .. congruence.. synchronicity.. instinct...

Oh yeah...

For some reason, I went from Times Square to Union Square... for Starbux, I thought.
But why?
I passed 8 of them on the way down Broadway. Why, if all I wanted was some Starbux? I dunno. But I did.

I picked up a cup of Venti Mocha (thanks GG), then went to the Barnes&Nobles. Why? Dunno. But I did. I had to.

I searched for books, found some... and then searched for a table to sit.

Somehow, I found what I was looking for. Not a what, but a 'who'.

The poor man thought I was .. strange. But, he was who/what I was looking for. I asked the question, even though I somehow already knew the answer.
"Are you a designer?", I asked.
"Yes.", he answered.
I was clued in by the graphic design magazine in front of him. But still.. I went directly up several floors without hesitation.
So, he is a graphic designer editor, who does print production, with the life experience and choices Im looking to accomplish. And I asked him things. I asked for advice from someone who had the experience I was looking for.

We talked for several hours.

I got the clues I was looking for. Exactly what I needed to know at this point in time.

Connecting the dots.

Like I said, Fred - I dont know what Im looking for, but I know it, even if I dont know what 'it' is.

I dont consider trusting my instincts strange anymore.

And then I walked, briskly, back up to 42nd Street.
Him: "How long are you going to live out there?"
Me: "I .. dont know, frankly. A few months, maybe longer. Its open-ended. But I do intend to come back."
Him: "Ahhh... you know, I know a lot of people who've come back from being out there. They got tired of having to.. deal with being there, and came back to New York.."
Me: "Exactly, Im going out there.. Im not sure for what yet...but, I have to. Then I'll be back."

He understood, even if we both didnt know exactly why.

The Venti Mocha... err, overpriced mud.. was excellent, by the way Sun.
Hmm. What was the typical New York moment today?

Did the cabbie yelling VERY LOUDLY at the guy who stepped out of his cab in front of the Starbux at 17th and Broadway count?

Hmm. Odd.. shouting matches, in my experience arent a normal and usual occurence in New York.

Maybe people talking to themselves, or shouting to the world at general, as New Yorkers tend to be quite opinionated.

But heated, full-on shouting matches? I find them to be rare actually.

Most people are just trying to get around with a minimum of fuss and bother.

So, maybe that wasnt a New York moment. Not in this kinder and gentler New York <.end sarcasm>.

Oh wait. I have two....

A) Construction worker, tonight, agitated, walking back to the huge subway construction project at 42nd street... talking loudly.. yells friendly ethnic slurs at his colleagues...

Guy walking by.. hears this.. and shouts down the hole "SHUT THE FUCK UP!!"
(As I said, New Yorkers are opinionated..)

The first guy answers back... "NO, *YOU* SHUT THE FUCK UP!!"

This pleasant exchange continued until both were out of earshot.

New Yorkers consider this friendly banter.

B) While waiting in line for the Ricki Lake show.. a construction worker riding by on his bicycle, leeringly shouts at several young women... "HEY SWEETHEARTS, I"LL SEE YOU ALL ON TV."

Everyone looks around, see's him, realizes its his job as a construction worker to say this and laffs.

One guy comments.. "Heheh.. he's got his Hard-hat turned backward too."

That made us all laugh again.

You might have had to be there. :-)

Chelsea Studios
26th and 7th Ave
The Ricki Lake Show
Studio B

Show #9107
Ticket number 98

If you didnt know where the studios were, you would absolutely miss it, even with the big Ricki Lake banner above the doors.
Although all the television trucks outside mightve provided a clue.

- Joined brotha Omar in line. Told his bosses in Queen that his car had broken down, and he was waiting for a tow.
Was aiming to get into work by 3pm.
He didnt make it.
His comment "Man, if this show is whacked, Im just gonna bounce."
Tourist couple behind us.. "What is 'whacked'?
We translated.
They seemed to get the concept of 'bouncing'.

- They checked ID's while in line. When the guy asked me, I busted out laffing, pointing to my grey beard.
He wasnt impressed. I hadda show ID. Damn.

- They gave us snacks. I took a KitKat and TWO pax of Chocolate chip cookies, even tho the sign said 'one'. Eh.

- Metal detector. I was clean.

- Omar on phone while sat in waiting area "Yo Man, you gotta come DOWN here sometime.... OOOOOHHH" (.. he exclaimed as I pointed out some of the sights) "MAAAAN, Its a HO-FEST down here!!!!".

No more than on your usual NY street corner...

They told us the rules...

- Dont read along as Ricki reads the teleprompter
- Dont mack on the show guests clothes.
- Check your hair, makeup or weave. Make sure you look good, as the show will be in re-runs worldwide for YEARS. Damn my homeless man beard.

- Omar still on the phone: "I aint gonna lie brutha, there's some GHETTO chicks down here...real P-J's.."

- The studio is smaller than we expected, the rows only go up 5 levels.

Oh the show.. eh.

"Teen Sex Confessions" or sumthing like that.

It was whacked. Omar didnt bounce. He had a good time.

Some people REALLY come alive when they know theyre 'on stage'.

I was on camera a LOT, as Ricki kept bouncing into our section. Right behind, slightly to her right, hand over my face.

- Omar put his hand up, Ricki put the mike to his face... and mildly admonished the wayward uncle.

- The 'Relationship Doctor' sat beside me. Wearing leather, leather, leather. Red included. I had my hand over my face.
Ricki gushed at her.

- We wondered why Ricki wasnt doing the show with New York teens, who tend to have far more active sex lives than these teens from South Texas.

- The father (step-father), being a southern, church-going man - had his jaw on the floor as a clip rolled of the young teens's BLACK thugged out boyfriends.
He was a bit shell-shocked. The producers (all seemingly older and jewish) nodded in approval.
The mother was prompted to oh.. yell a bit at the girl.
The teens seemed more clued in than the elders.

I noted I was older than the mother, who became pregged at 15 herself.

Fast forward...

- The show ended, they had us do a few extended "audience shots", Ricki came out with her child, we ooohed and ahhed. She asked us to come again. They asked if we wanted to stay for the second show.

I hate clapping. I bounced. Omar too.

He got a t-shirt for dancing on stage (forgot that part), I got a key ring as I left.
There were staff from "Change of Heart", in the same studio complex, looking for audience members.

I declined. Omar signed up for a show next week.

He wanted to be one of the guests.
(From a flyer given to me as I left)


If you cant make it, please pass this flyer along to a friend

(Doing it now)
Also, as a thank you to the audience members, we are now giving away some great prices (sic) such as Sony Walkman, Discman & VCR etc. You could be the lucker winner of these great prizes.

You do it, Em. I dont have the heart to say anything about the grammatical abilities of some of the staff. No concept of proofing either.
It continues..
3:30pm ARRIVAL


To reserve your seat a.s.a.p
Studio Address
221 W. 26th St
(Between 7th and 8th Ave.)


You have been warned. :-)

Wednesday, January 09, 2002

Judy T goes all "Itinerant in Vietnam".
And while she was there, wrote.....

People in Vietnam have a ritual of eating every single freeking meal of the day - dinner-sized. So on the days I wake up at say 10:30 am (late), I may have to eat my breakfast right away, and at 11:30, have a dinner-sized lunch. Talk about being stuffed. After lunch, they like to feed dessert. Dessert after lunch. Crazy. For the next few hours, we'll have episodes of snacks and such and at 6:00 pm, dinner - even more dinner-sized. I'm surprised I actually lost weight while I'm here.

So my question is... how can one be eating dinner-sized meals constantly.. AND LOSE WEIGHT???

What was she eating??

The country wants to know.

No, NEEDS to know.
Today, fellow virgo Dori wrote:
today i have a job interview at the one magazine i'd whore myself out for...

see, i pretty much hate everything as far as employment is allowed... i hate my marginal employment right now because it's so cold, i hate the idea of working in a beaurocratic office system, i hate the idea of doing something that plain don't mean a goddamn thing... still, there are things i just can't do anymore... if at least one remote part of my heart isn't behind it, i can't work there...

there comes a time in someone's life where wasting too much of your time on something pointless is too much to do... if i ever look back on my life, something more than 'lived in new york and worked a pointless job' has got to come out of it.

Hear, hear.

Today's horrorscope:

Everyone else will be marching out of step today. You, of course, will be marching in perfect time. That's just another way of saying that you'll be on your own again; that your thoughts, especially, will be focused in a completely different direction from those of people around you.
And what's wrong with that? Absolutely nothing. The world needs mavericks like you.

Apparently.. :-)
I noticed the ticket half-hidden, tucked away.

Gah. I had forgotten about it, so - figuring it was invalid, I took a look at the date.

It was for today.

I had an hour to be there, and I made it, half an hour late - with the studio already full.


Lets see what a little begging and pleading will do...

Me: "I ordered the tickets almost a year ago!!!!"
Show staffer: "You're gonna havta wait a year and a day then.."

Grabbing the ticket from my hand, she pencilled me in for tomorrows taping of the Ricki Lake show.

Should be good.
I fling out several zillion resumes last year, and I hear zilch.


Now, Im getting calls, as Im preparing to blow this popsicle stand shortly.

NOW they wanna talk. NOW?????

Its a test. Im tellin' ya, this is a test.

Every time Im preparing to leave a place - *in the actual process of packing even* - this kinda nonsense happens..

Chicago, it was a job offer. Jacksonville, it was a girl. North Carolina, they wanted me to stay on with the firm. Badly.

And now?

Although in the previous cases, all it did was delay the motion.

The Chicago job wouldve kept me as a glorified clerk, the girl in Jax.. who initially looked like a smart, sweet thang - revealed herself as truly psycho (a term I dont use lightly), and the company in North Carolina went out of biz not long afterward as they couldnt handle the projects....

So, eh.

Tuesday, January 08, 2002

Sitting in a Starbux this afternoon..

Guy walks in, see's another, starts insisting that they know each other.

Other dude looks at him puzzled at every prompt, desperately trying to place the face, until he's forced to query ..

"I dont owe you money, do I?"

Heheh. New York.
I havent had my Starbux Venti Mocha in months.

I took my time this evening, sitting back in a wingback chair, sipping insteada gulping, reading the Post and New York Times from cover to cover.

I dont know what they put in their schtuff, but I felt good.

And in not having a taste for so long... it felt.. nourishing.

Yeah, thats the right word.

I felt nourished.

Not full. Or sated. Nourished.

And that felt... better.

Later on, LilBro asked if I wanted something to eat, if I were hungry.

Sure, I couldve grabbed a snack, but I declined. I didnt really need anything else.


Nourished. Instead of sated, full or satisfied of food/sex/love.


What a concept.
For prolly the first time in about 10 years, Im growing a beard.

From the looks of it so far, its almost all grey. Even my mustache only has flecks of grey.

Although my family has premature-grey tendencies, mine is far advanced beyond most of my cousins.

From watching presidents visibly age from month to month, I think mine is advanced due to stress.

That seems to accelerate the gray.

So, Im kinda hating it.. the scraggle looking like a homeless affectation, even trimmed and edged.

But it takes about a month for a beard to fill in... so, I'll let it grow in, see if it acquires a little color.

But, at this stage, Im inclined not to wait. I might just sweep it off before then.

Grey beard. Damn.
Cold, cold cold this morn. Ice and brutal wind chill.

Walking out of ma's place this morn, Lilbro met me on the stairs..

LilBro: &#%$. ItS %^$#% COLD OUT THERE.
Me: Welcome to Chicago.
LilBro: Heheh. Thats real.

Ive been using that line all day.

gabz: wassup, shug?
JPennant: yo yo fishy. wass goin on?
gabz: nada
JPennant: hows the weather in SF? :-)
gabz: tis rather foggy
gabz: sun is supposed to show itself. but, we'll see.
JPennant: Feels like Chicago here.
gabz: oh dear
JPennant: (been using that line all morning)
JPennant: impresses new yorkers no end. :-)
gabz: lol

Makes me sound witty an' gritty an' shytte.

I havta admit. Wandering New York this morn had me fired up.

Kinda good to be back in da city.

Good times.

Of course, I still have nary a dime to my name, which aint good in this city.

Good times.

Monday, January 07, 2002

I inquired recently about shooting digital pix for a real estate firm...

I got a reply today. To wit:

This position has been rented.
Thank you for your inquiry.


"This position has been rented."

Heeeeeee. :-)

I could say more.
I have a sign on my apt door from the Hudson County Court of New Jersey that says that the apartment is no longer mine.

Never had one of those on my door before.

I should take a picture.
God bless fred. :-)
About the cross country train ride, sistah cyn writes:
travel while you can joey.
i've only now learned, tied down as i am,
that it's a luxury. and one never knows
when s/he'll be tied down!

She is *absolutely* right.

Who know when or if I'll get another chance like this.

I think I just wanna cross the Rockies in a choo-choo. :-)
Its snowing.

Gives a certain poetic quality to my trek outta Jersey.......