Saturday, May 29, 2004

An email from an itinerant friend came in this morn..

Hello Joe :

Finally I made it.

Greeting from Pattaya, Thailand.

I got one way ticket from SFO to BKK for $

This time no MACHINE GUNS in the Airport,
everything was smooth.

Regards, Ibrahim

He had given me some expensive gear last year, preparing to head to Thailand.That was back in December, and I kept seeing him around town.
He looked awfully frustrated.
Eh, I knew he would get there eventually. :-)

Oh, the machine gun crack?

He's Egyptian, and travelling around the world aint easy for him nowadays.

He got to where he's going.

So will I.

Ooh yah, Land of the Autobahn, and Nurburgring.

Car and Driver puts it thusly..
'Europe, what art thou good for?'

Europe is good for fast, big cars. They rule the left lanes of the Continent's freeways, shipping the Important People around at breathless speeds, wantonly slurping $4-per-gallon fuel, shoving aside the slow goers blocking their way with blinding flashes of xenon.

Europe is good for that, plus frilly food and some old churches and stuff.

Yea, verily. :)

Groping at choices..

Florida (at least to go do any work) is out.

I was far from enthusiastic about that idea, but it offered an escape route from here that is now closed.

I'm here for the forseeable.

Dangit, even if I didnt like the taste, I was chewing on that blasted bone for a good while now.

So, now what?
The other day, I came to realize that part of my malaise came from thinking I had too many choices apparently open to me.

I had forgotten 2 hard-earned life lessons...

- Having too many choices is a distraction.
- The stuff you desire, to the point where you can almost taste it, is what you should go for. Anything else is a waste o' time.

So, to clear my mind and regain my focus.... What? How? When?
A man I worked with while I went through college, a Kurdish Iraqi, pulled me to the side once and in all seriousness, said:

"Joe, my friend, if I had what you had, I would be a rich man."
"Whats that?"
"Your english. If I could speak english the way you do, nothing would stop me."

I was a bit taken aback to hear that someone wished, with all their being, to have something I took for granted.

I often think of Ben and what he said back then, for Im well aware of the resources I have, the opportunities and avenues open to me, and I .. dont.

With what I have in me, as Ben said..nothing would stop me.

But right now, I do lack one thing that Ben had.. the burning desire.

The only thing stopping me is me.
Best Quote this morn

"A broke man is a useless man."

Yeah, because you cant get anything done being broke.

This weeks horroscope
A surfer from California recently collected his 15 minutes of fame when he rode his board for the 10,407th consecutive day. During those 28 years, Dale Webster never took a vacation. To keep his mornings free, he worked exclusively at low-paying night jobs. He surfed on the day his daughter was born and the day he passed kidney stones. His eyes now have scar tissue because he has gazed into the sun for so long, and he's literally afraid to stop surfing for even 24 hours.

I nominate him to be both your role model and anti-role model. It's a perfect time to commit yourself with fierce passion to a long-term dream, but only if you promise not to let your devotion degenerate into manic obsession.

What? This means I should just relax and keep going toward my dream, but stop stressin about it?

Pish. What nonsense.

Friday, May 28, 2004

The spoken words

"So, are you writing The Book?"
"No, its not ready to be written yet. I feel there is more to go through.."

I'd have variations of this conversation over the last year, with people who all agree my experiences from the past two years would make a helluva book.

It just felt presumptuous to start before it was ready.

Now, unbidden, drafts are writing themselves in my head.

The book is starting to write itself.
"Do you speak spanish?"

A little.

Is what the Natives will invariably say.

Its still surprising when the natives (not the transplants), are motoring along in Cali speak, when they'll switch, their accents ranging from harsh to mellifluous, to conversate en espanol.

Yep, I need to learn to learn some conversational spanish too.

A line I heard this morning that made me laugh out loud, and kept me laffin...
(In a Yogi Bear voice)

FUCK the Ranger, Booboo. Im taking the pic-uh-nic basket.

Ya hadda be there. :-)

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Its almost summer, er.. spring.. er.. lack of fog

The morning fog has burned off, and its a sunny, sunny day. First time its been in the high 70's for weeks.

So the trippy happy song that is playing is:

Groove is in the Heart - DeeLite

The mix that has Q-Tip and Bootsy Collins.. always makes me smile.

Yeah, Im feeling semi-happy fer some reason.

Must be the sunshine, err.. fog burning off.

Google pix

Currently the
most popular images viewed thru Google's image search...

School of Visual Arts Poster, Canal Street 'A' train station.

By far the most popular, with a surprising number of hits from vietnam.

'Che-r chic' (Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley)

Also one of the most popular, primarily in Europe and South America

Sunshine in Union Square

Jersey City Waterfront

Lower Manhattan

Summer Parade

Always wanted to print this one out.

Greenwich Village Newstand

Ditto this one. Theyd take a lot of work to scale up and print properly.

But, by far the most popular...

Kissing b*** on Wall Street

A perennial.


Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Berkeley Marina and the Golden Gate

The city of Berkeley wants a framed copy of this to put into a government building, I just found out.

Even if its hung up by a washroom, still cool. :-)

The best way to get over someone is .. someone else.

The other day, while wandering with Gwen, I was telling a story..

Me: "Remember that chica back when I was crazy for?"
Gwen: "Hah. Which one?"
Me: "Whoa! Im NOT that bad. Not even."


So, the Taurean is gone. Eh.

"If you want me gone, I can be."

I didnt tell her to go, but..

It isnt something to say to someone who's preference is to be alone.

Pretty ineffective as a threat or ultimatum.
With my older Virgo friend. Kindred spirit.

" You could see the foolishness starting way beforehand, I was counting my fingers going, its not a matter of if, but when..."
"I know exactly what you mean. Its like you wanna go 'Please. SURPRISE me!'"
"Heh. Exactly."
"By the way, I like the one you were talking to now. She's a good one."
"Heheh, I saw the meaningful look and wink you were throwin' my way."
"So, are you guys.. "
"Nah, just talking. Im too poor to wine and dine."

And so it goes.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Im just a man who likes to say "no"

Today's horrorscope:
Someone will make you the proverbial offer you find hard to refuse today, but because you have been disappointed before, you may be reluctant to accept.

That would be a shame because the planets suggest that this time the offer is on the level and might even make you rich. Go on, take a chance - you're unlikely to regret it.

Dont wanna.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

What is home?

I was born
and grew up in Jamaica. I left, because my father wanted me to be safe. I didnt want to leave. I was 15.

My father was right. All my family had left, I was only there to finish high school.
(I hit the US, school officials couldnt believe I had already FINISHED high school at 15 - combination of having a start of school year birthday and skipping 2 grades - so they nixed me starting college at 15. Heh. Funny now, I was pissed then. It was helpful on a social level at least.)

Chicago was home till i was 25. My sister was living in Jacksonville, Florida when I talked to her one day and she suggested I come visit on my way from one of my sojourns to New York..

Chicago. I dreaded the chill winds in October that indicated the bone chilling cold and grey skies of winter. And the institutionalized racism.

My car broke down on the way there. By the time I limped into Florida, I was skint and stuck. I was frustrated in Chicago, and I wanted something different. The living seemed easy, so I stayed.

Jax. The living was easy. Unfortunately, the money wasnt, so I first learned the bitter taste of poverty there.

Seven years later, drawn by the money and the chance to help support my Mom, I went to New York. Before then I did a bit of travelling as a consultant.

New York. Yep, you can make a lot of money. But, trust me - you earn every penny.
I could afford to live almost anywhere, But the prospect of laying down THAT kinda money for shelter seems abhorrent even now.

At the end of 2002... I left New York. Half a year of Florida, a bit of cross-country, and now California.

Dont listen to the stories of how rich Silicon Valley is. Most folk here are POOR. And having to spend over half a mill for a bungalow.
There are far too many folk here behind on rent and living in their cars.

As nice as Berkeley and the Bay Area is, Ive had enough. Either I put down roots and stay or move on.

So, Ive been pondering. Decision time is coming.

I either make one or one will be made for me.
Actually, in every case, when it was time to go.. it was time.

I should stop wondering. :-)