Sunday, May 28, 2006

I am assuming that my sister is okay, and not one of the 4,000 plus number of dead in the earthquake in Indonesia. I imagine my mom would have called me if so. The last time I heard from my sister, five months ago in a mass e-mail, she was living in a town in West Java, a couple hundred miles from where the quake was centered. So I am assuming and hoping that she is still in that town and okay.

She comes back to the US on June 13, and I will be very glad to know that she is back within these boundaries I know. Indonesia is in the news quite often. I was never aware of this until my sister started living there. The country never registered with me when I was looking at headlines - those were stories I normally skipped over. It will be nice to no longer read stories about bombings by radical Muslims and wonder how my sister is.

I have wasted this weekend in a tremendous fashion and I feel somewhat guilty about it, somewhat disgusted with myself. Granted, there is tomorrow for me to still do something notable, something fun, to leave my house, but really, I doubt it. Yesterday, I went shopping for new jeans, which is really not a very fun process. This actually started a couple days ago when I was at Century 21 (where I bought another pair of boat shoes), and looked through their selection of jeans, girls and guys. They were all either really tacky or really bulky. Why is it so hard to find a nice dark pair of slim jeans? There were a couple of nice pairs of guys jeans there. However, the ones with nice cuts were marred by this greenish tint lots of expensive jeans have for whatever reason, or by really gaudy tears in the denim to make the jeans look worn. No one thinks those jeans look worn in. They know that that look is store bought, and it just looked stupid, tacky, gauche.

The girls jeans were slightly better, except there were way too many jeans with flared legs and/or sequined designs on the back pockets. After Century 21, I crossed the street and checked out OMG, only to again be disappointed.

And so, yesterday the hunt continued. I started at Filene's, which actually came very close to providing me with a pair of reasonably priced tight jeans. The fit was just a little off, and so I said no, and continued the hunt. I headed to the UES and went to that massive Bloomingdale's, which is such a large store with so much stuff, it is amazing. I still have yet to go into the Herald Square Macy's, but that will happen soon, because these old-school behemoth department stores fascinate me in an historical and cultural sense. And that was partly what was going on in Bloomingdales. Also, they had lots of nice, obscenely expensive clothing that I had fun looking at. In addition, there were many obscenely attractive gay men to look at also. Out of reach clothing that isn't me, but yet, which I want in some small class striving way which disgusts me a little. The men, also. Not my type in any way, and yet, knowing they are beyond my reach, of the same level as luxury goods, some economic allure tied to their prettiness - but there is often a link between the two, that that is what so much of advertising is about, sexualizing wealth.

I gave up there, and had to ask for directions to the exit, overwhelmed with the size of the place. I crossed the street and bought a pair of jeans at Diesel that are really tight because they are girl pants and don't really provide room for my testes, and thus, sort of hurt when I wear them, but which look really good.

And that was yesterday, Day #1 of my Memorial Day Weekend, spent doing nothing except purchasing overpriced jeans and window shopping. I really wanted to take the bus to Atlantic City this weekend, but new shoes and new jeans have put that daytrip on hold til next paycheck.

This morning, I tanned on my roof, laid out there in a pair of booty shorts without underwear on underneath, and felt so amazing, drunk off the sunshine, the heat from my roof burning me even through two towels were laid down between us, myself and the roof. I read Saul Bellow's Herzog, some of it. But more often than not, I didn't read it, because my wits were not about me, the heat was overpowering out there on my roof in this glorious sun. I concentrated on how pleasurable the sweat felt on my skin. I love sweating when tanning. It feels so amazing, being drenched in this cool sweat. It is the only time I like sweat. Otherwise, I am mad at my overactive sweat glands, that have me sweating profusely whenever I go into a building for the first twenty minutes, until my body acclimates to whatever new temperature it is placed in.

But there on my roof, things are different. I relish and love my sweat glands, their overactiveness. I lied there on my back and felt the beads of sweat dripping from my testes, down the crack of my ass, these cool beads of moisture, and when the wind was blowing in the right direction, when there was wind, and it blew a breeze up my shorts onto these beads of sweat, man, that feeling was something else, and I am focusing so much on how great these beads of sweat felt as they made their path down my asscrack because if I didn't, I wouldn't have anything else to show for my weekend, as far as pure pleasure. It was an amazing feeling and I am trying to inflate its stature, trying to make it so that my weekend was amazing, that if there was nothing else, there was at least this.

I have been masturbating a lot this weekend, as I tend to do when I am bored and slightly depressed for no good reason. I haven't seen one person this weekend. Besides that, worse, I haven't even talked to anyone this weekend on the phone even. I am feeling really lonely and isolated. Tomorrow, it is supposed to be sunny in the early part of the day for sure, and so I will again be on my roof, losing myself to the delirium of sun exhaustion, because I am not exhausting myself otherwise.

The dog that lives behind my house, that drives me crazy with its frequent, loud barking is kept in a small pen all day and no one ever really plays with it. It doesn't have the chance to exhaust itself, to spend the things its body creates, that it all just bottles up there, and it barks and barks and tries to let that stuff out, to spend itself. And that's what we all do. Some, are successful in finding ways to spend themselves. These people, they are called happy. And others of us, me during this weekend, for whatever reasons, cannot find the way to spend ourselves, it, that we can't just bark, that that is not a real solution for anybody. I have been listening to "Lazy Line Painter Jane," over and over for the past hour or so, and the woman's increasingly desperate singing throughout the song (and my singing (and typing) along with her) is providing some sort of outlet, though. And I want someone to take me out, to let me out of the pen, and take me on a really long walk, so that I come home, tired, tongue hanging out and panting, and plop on the tiled kitchen floor, trying to cool off on those cool tiles. Except, our kitchen is linoleum, and nothing that I would ever want to lie on. There is that, obviously.

What I need to do is to dance like a fucking maniac and exhaust myself totally. And maybe I also need to not be drinking coffee at eight in the evening.

Friday, May 26, 2006

I am remembering both the joys and the pains of taking the L train in the morning. It has been a really long time, a couple years since I have worked in the mornings and taken the L, since sometime early on working for the Strand. The MTA could run trains about twice as often and they would still be crowded, but at the frequency they run at it, they are something a couple levels beyond crowded.

I think it was on Monday that I had to wait for two trains, because the first one I couldn't fit on. People haven't really been able to fit on the ones running on the following days this week. I always seem to have about four people's elbows in my ribs and I contort my body trying not to run into people's body parts any more than I currently am. That is the pain.

The joy (concievably) is provoked by these same painful factors. Yesterday, pressed in this sea of bodies, I had some woman's elbow pressed into my back, and to my left side, there was some boy next to me, slightly stocky, warm. His body pressed against mine, rubbing and bumping against me as the train jerked and swayed. I was getting so obscenely turned on and with no control over it. I glanced at the boy to see that he was someone I would normally not find attractive, but his body against mine felt so good, and sometimes, often times, I am too picky about stupid things, because this is what it is all about, this joy of bodies touching. The haircut the person has, no matter how cool it is, is not going to make me touching a body any more joyful.

I tried to stop my attraction, tried to think about something else, but it was hard to do so with this fleshy body pressed against me that I could feel the body heat of. I could feel myself starting to get hard and since there were about six people next to me, I tried to stop this, told myself to think about unsexy thoughts. I imagined plastic being made, melted, and molded. And then I felt his body again. Tried to think more unsexy thoughts. And eventually I was able to lose myself in unsexy thoughts.

I had forgotten about this aspect of crowded morning train rides.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

I work in an office on 37th Street close to both Herald Square and Bryant Park. It is a nice area to walk around in. On the way to work, I listen to my headphones because the L train is an ugly thing to ride in the morning, with so many people all crammed in together, no room to even hold a book in front of you. I miss riding the JMZ terribly. On the way home, though, it is early enough in the afternoon that the crowds are thin enough so that I can read. Right now, I am reading Saul Bellow's Herzog and starting it, I found it a bit dry, just as when I started the two other books I read by him. But further into it, passages strike me as magnificent, near perfect assemblages of words. This one I read yesterday, and reread it again today, so in love with it:

Leaving the cab, he thought how his mother would moisten her handkerchief at her mouth and rub his face clean. He had no business to recall this, he knew, and turned toward Grand Central in his straw hat. He was of the mature generation now, and life was his to do something with, if he could. But he had not forgotten the odor of his mother's saliva on the handkerchief that summer morning in the squat hollow Canadian station, the black iron and sublime brass. All children have cheeks and all mothers spittle to wipe them tenderly. These things either matter or they do not matter. It depends upon the universe, what it is. These acute memories are probably symptoms of disorder. To him, perpetual thought of death was a sin. Drive your cart and your plow over the bones of the dead. (33)

Sunday, May 21, 2006

As soon as I got to this party, after having walked a far ways and after having already drank four beers, I had to pee. I waited in line for the bathroom, and there in line was that boy that I had been really excited to see, that boy that I am pretty much always really excited to see, Matt. I said hi to him but stopped my attempts at conversation with that hello, seeing that he was pretty wasted and in asshole mode. He went into pee and when he came out, he threw Listerine all over everyone near the bathroom. He got kicked out. And within five minutes of arriving at this party, I saw this boy that can make me so happy, was made unhappy by him, and was covered in smelly, sticky Listerine.

I got really wet at this party a few times. I had so much wine spilled on me. I came home and saw that my legs were a sticky purple mess with wine dried all over them, a little kid who let his popsicle drip all over him.

And so with that crush being eliminated fairly on in the evening, I started to find new crushes, and stared at them and talked to other people about how dreamy I perceived these boys to be. I ran into the Bride of Frankenstein hairdo boy from the music video that I wrote the missed connection about. I said hi, and he said, "Wait, are you Charlie?," already knowing that I was that obsessive boy.

I made out with some boy briefly - briefly because he had no confidence and made me feel awkward. I danced to some songs I liked. I smoked a fair amount of cigarettes. And I talked some more about crushes and dreamy boys.

One of the frequent ones mentioned was this boy that I only refer to as "French Boy." I don't know his name and have never heard him talk but Joe said that he had a French accent, and so he is French Boy. I also saw this same boy at the Metropolitan on Thursday and was quite obsessed with him then also. I don't know what particularly about him is so striking. I keep on trying to figure this out each time I look at him, to figure out how it works, what feature or combination of features is it that makes someone attractive. There are other people surely that have similar features on whatever checklist it is I would be able to compile, and yet, they do not provoke the same tenderness in me, the urge to remark on how beautiful this boy is. And I love that, that it doesn't ever make terribly much sense, that there is so much choice otherwise, all this willing into existence the self you want to be or that you think others want you to be, that there all these mental faculties over which we exercise a tremendous amount of control, but another human being can crash through all of that. That your liking of someone is almost fatalistic, that it is what it is, and that there is not much else to it.

I did not say one word to French Boy, and I am not sure that I ever want to.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Another Saturday afternoon run-in with Matt on Grand Street. He was again friendly and again set my heart/penis/desire into motion, and I walked away from that interaction totally oblivious to everything going on around me. I told him he should come to the green party tonight. He seemed a little stung, and wondered if he had been purposefully uninvited since he hadn't heard about it. And it's very likely that that was the case since I know that Daniel hated him and his posse at his orange party. So hopefully, I did not just invite the people that were not supposed to be invited.

And even though I told him should come, which would mean that I was probably going, he still in a somewhat flirty (perhaps just friendly, but let me read into things) way said, "So you're definitely going? So if I go, I'll see you?" I heart Matt! Nothing new!

I saw him because I thought I would return to Domsey's after butchering the shorts I was going to wear in a very ill thought out plan to alter them and make them fit better. Domsey's did not have any green shorts that I wanted, so I am going to wear this other pair I got there this morning, just dark green mom shorts, also ill fitting, but this pair I will not take scissors to.

And since I am locking this entry so that Matt won't find out I am totally obsessed with him (because, you know, it's a big secret), I will also take this time to do the gloating I didn't want to in my last entry since Jillian reads those unlocked ones. But fuck yeah, I am so happy that she is moving out! She sent an email to me a couple days ago telling me she was going back to Florida for a while and would be out by July 1. That was such good news and both Adele and I were ecstatic that day when we found out. It is going to be so amazing not to live with some cold jerk of a person who NEVER talks to us (not even a hi coming through the door), who had a live-in boyfriend, who never took out the trash or cleaned, or anything. But even aside from all those messy jerky things, I could deal with all those, what I cannot deal with is tension and people not talking to each other and this negative energy that filled this space. That energy is already starting to lift. Jillian hasn't been here in a week since Adele gave her and Josh the stinkeye as they were coming out of the shower. And soon I will be free. Fuck fuck fuck YEAH!
I went to the post office and to the thrift store early this morning, found a silly pair of green booty shorts that I am glad I have an excuse to wear this evening, perhaps the only excuse I will ever have to wear them. I came home, let Peter in to get his stuff, chatted with him for a bit and then hugged him goodbye on the street as he headed back home to Austin.

Even though I only really got to hang out with him one evening, it was really nice, and I found myself laughing a lot more than I have laughed recently, being in his presence. I love that with some people, Peter for instance, whom I hadn't seen in something close to two years - you can again pick up where you left off fairly easily and talk over each other, and joke around and laugh. I for some reason find myself laughing more, enjoying myself more in these sorts of situations, wherein a friend from out of town is visiting, and the laughs are harder on my part perhaps because I know what I should always know, that the time with each of them is short. But it's short with everyone, even the people I see daily, and that's something I have to learn to keep in mind.

I cleaned my house and epoxied this piece of linoleum to the floor that was peeling up and feel like I have accomplished a bit in this day, considering it is just three o'clock.

My life is going so well these days. I have a job I like that doesn't require too much of my time. There are constantly movies I want to watch in my mailbox. I have books to read. The weather is getting nice. My house feels so much nicer to be in since we repainted it. And there will be more house changes soon that I think will bring more happiness to me. Jillian is moving out in a month or so, and Ethan is going to move in. I think it will be really nice to live with Ethan. I also will be moving into a larger room, which will also be nice. And even nicer is that my room will face the front of the house and I will no longer be woken up by the sound of barking pitbulls kept in a small cage. I will no longer have to scream SHUT THE FUCK UP, howl it like a crazy person to the night air. That will be very nice.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room opens with some crazy shots of the massive Enron headquarters in Houston. The shots of these skyscrapers are shown to Tom Waits' "What's He Building?" A really nice soundtrack choice - clever, ironic, made me chuckle. But these filmmakers have no restraint. Throughout the movie, there were ironic song choices that pair up oddly with what the film is talking about at that point, and what in one instance, was amusing, by the twentieth time, starts to seem flippant and begins to really annoy me.

The first and one of the best examples that I know of is Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove with bombs dropping to Vera Lynn singing "We'll Meet Again." I have been noticing this technique being employed in lots of documentaries. Obviously, Michael Moore has used some ironic song choices (I am coming up blank right now with examples, but I know that there have been more than a few). Supersize Me, which I watched last week had a few that seemed appropriate, given the flip nature of the film.

But the technique loses its power when every song choice is ironic, when the soundtrack is just this wink-wink thing throughout the whole movie, where everyone is on the joke. Aside from that (which is a pretty major flaw of this movie), this was a really good movie. I do think, though, that the brushstrokes were too wide, that the filmmakers didn't go into the nitty gritty of how the accounting practices worked because they wanted to attract as broad an audience as possible. But that also probably just bothers me because I am finding myself really interested in business practices and the stock market, given that it is all I read about all day.

But again, those are small complaints because it was really an excellent documentary that made me mad as hell at Skilling, Lay, and Fastow. Skilling and Lay's fate are being deliberated by a jury right now. Fingers crossed that they fry! This movie is worth watching just for the audio tapes that the filmmaker gathered of Enron energy investors gleefully talking about the California energy crisis, tapes of them calling plant managers to shut down for a few hours to artifically lower the supply, and then one investor laughing "Burn, baby, burn," during the wildfires. I knew that the California energy crisis was artificial, but seeing all the details about it and how this company intentionally screwed up this state is so scary.

I am drinking coffee and am going to start editing these interviews about the gold market (boring!) from the comfort of my living room with the sun shining outside my window. Yesterday was my last day working on Wall Street. Today and tomorrow they are moving desks and computers, and Monday, I will be in mid-town, and there, will not be able to blare Parliament and work in my shorts. I am going to enjoy these two days.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Last night, around nine or so, my phone rang. A 718 number not in my phonebook. I don't answer my phone unless I recognize the number because there's the very good chance that it's someone I don't want to talk to, a credit collector (which normally wouldn't be a local number) and then scary guys calling me about sex work. And so I didn't answer it, hoped that they would leave a message. I hit the Silence button to shut it up, and then thought about the alternatives, thought that it might actually be someone I want to talk to, a boy or a friend whose number is no longer in my phonebook after having lost my phone so many times.

And then because I have found myself daydreaming a lot about him lately and because the human mind is not always the most rational thing, it is often given to fantasies and to inflating small possibilities into sure things, I thought that maybe this was Matt calling me, whom I have not talked to on the phone in, what, 3 years? The human mind at work! Or, maybe just my mind. And I imagined my pleasant shock at hearing his voice on the other line, his saying hello and asking me what I am doing. And then we fell into conversation really easily and made plans to meet soon. Really mad at myself for hitting silence when this could very well be my crush, could be Matt calling, I reached for my phone only to see that I had missed the call, that I was too late in this case.

They didn't leave a number. I went to the laundromat to put my clothes in the dryer. Four quarters, eight minutes a quarter, 32 minutes.

Jillian and Josh didn't sleep over last night and I am pretty sure because yesterday morning when they came out of the shower, Adele gave them the look of death. Last night, Adele told me, "Man, I was going to say something to them this morning but they were only in towels, so I felt like I should wait."

Nervous about her boldness but also thrilled by it, I asked, "What would you have said?"

"I would have said, 'Hey, so when you are moving out?'"

Jillian has not been home much, coming home late at night and staying in her room until the living room is clear. There is going to be a blowout soon I am sure. Adele hates them perhaps more than I do, which makes me happy because it makes me feel less petty, less insane, that this is not just a grudge on my part, but that someone else, my other roommate finds their behavior awful and rude and weird also. She is on the lease, which ends at the end of August, and so since I can't really kick her out, I have just been waiting for September to come to be free of her. I'd love to see her gone before then but I don't really have just reason to seek it (other than my hatred of her), and she is on the lease and could refuse to move out. She's knows we hate her. She's heard us talking about her moving out. I don't understand why she just doesn't move out to her boyfriend's apartment (which is surely what she is going to do in September) and save everyone a lot of grief.

Peter's coming to New York today? And I will see him in the next couple of days and that will be nice.

I think today might be my last day working on Wall Street. Thursday (hopefully) and Friday (for sure), I get to work from home. Monday, new offices in Midtown. I am really going to miss the ability to tell people, "I work on Wall Street." It's such a cliched movie line and I love saying it (perhaps too much so). Hopefully I can find an excuse to work it into conversations a couple hundred times today since it will probably be the last time I am able to do so.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

They must keep diaries, Adams told them as once he had told their father. Without a diary, their travels would "be no better than a flight of birds through the air," leaving no trace. (617)

This diary project has lost its momentum in the past couple weeks and that is something that saddens me. I want to leave traces in the air. I feel somehow more alive when I am able to be conscious (perhaps overly so) of my day to day activities, when I am able to shape those into an arc, and perhaps change the outcome of this plotline, or can rewrite it in a more beautiful fashion, squeezing significance from otherwise insignificant activities, people.

But it's also a good thing that is has lost steam. It has done so because I am finally occupying enough of my time so that I don't have time to sit in front of this computer and pick at scabs. I love picking those scabs and think there is a lot to be gained from that, but I rarely feel like writing before work because my roommates are still asleep at that point and I don't want to wake them (even more than I already do) by typing away gleefully outside their bedroom door. And once I get home from work, my eyes don't feel like looking at any more computer screens for a while and so I eat and lie around and read and watch movies, and I am reading a lot, and feeling a lot, feeling different about my life than I have perhaps ever. I am feeling some new state of content, feeling more adult in some ways (whatever that means), and feeling more and more comfortable in my skin. I would like to talk about these changes more in depth, that that is what this diary project is about, is documenting these changes, by naming them, making them. This Edenic connection between the naming of something and its having meaning, being.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

I don't care if it's lame. Matt Matt Matt Matt. Beyond smitten. I want to roll around with him so bad. He was really nice to me all night, and not once did I throw myself at him or ask to suck his dick or anything else that I might regret tomorrow. I played it cool, as they say.

Talked to a bunch of other boys and am pretty much in love with life and conversation and not interested in boys in a sexual manner at all and bored with people that are.

And I danced to a bunch of hip hop and wanted to grind against furniture and kept exclaiming to people in conversation how certain songs made me want to hump furniture.


Saturday, May 13, 2006

What a beautiful day. If you would like to experience it, download "Strawberry Letter 23" by the Brothers Johnson. That song was the soundtrack to my day, to my entire day. I downloaded it last night, listened to it this morning and then went on a long walk, walked through McCarren Park, through Greenpoint, all under an amazing blue sky. It was a gorgeous spring day, hot on the sunny side of the street and chilly on the shaded side of the street. Boys lying shirtless in McCarren Park, candy for my eyes. And this song, candy for my ears. I have been listening to this song looped on repeat all day long. It is still playing. I cannot get enough of this song. It's the perfect walking around town song.

I ran into Daniel on Manhattan Avenue outside of Dee and Dee where I bought some t-shirts. I walked with him up to the Thing, where I looked at records forever before coming home. I had a cup of tea and then went out again, another walk, this time with Adele, this time with the blue sky gone and ominous clouds hovering. We walked down Grand Street and were going to walk to the bank but it started sprinkling and so Adele dipped into Key Food and I kept walking, having brough my umbrella and needing to go to the bank. And it was that beautiful spring type of rain, really thick droplets, coming down really heavy, and sunshine still visible. People running for cover.

Matt was rushing down the street in a green t-shirt, worn, and turned inside out. I waved hi and he came up to me, under my umbrella, hugged me and told me I should come to his dance party tonight, the gay hip hop night at Alligator. He smelled a little of b.o. and it smelled so sexy and for that brief moment, he was close to me, a closeness neccesitated by the falling rain and his taking cover under my umbrella. If only it rained all the time and he was sans umbrella all the time. I am so smitten, but sadly, the rain has stopped. It stopped a couple years ago.

This song, though, has a repeat function and the joy is mine, all mine, until I decide I have had enough, which, at this moment, does not seem like it will happen anytime soon.
“But how much time could a man spend remembering the best of boyhood? What about enjoying the best of old age? Or was the best of old age just that – the longing for the best of boyhood, for the tubular sprout that was then his body and that rode the waves from way out where they began to build, rode them with his arms pointed like an arrowhead and the skinny rest of him following behind like the arrow’s shaft...” (126)

Of course, with Philip Roth’s Everyman on my shelf, in my possession, I could not just let it wait there until I got around to finishing John Adams, and so I read it yesterday, and at first, I found it slightly boring. Roth, for me, is at his best when his prose is manic and spirited and carries itself onward quickly by the talkey, neurotic nature of it. This book is more somber than that, but about midway through the book, I found myself being taken with the narrative, finally starting to get some sense of this main character, this Everyman, and then the book was quickly over. There are some really beautiful moments in this book, of course, as there is in any book by this man, Philip Roth.

Now, the goal is to finish this Adams biography with the same speed I consumed this Roth book, so that I can move on to Bellow and Bolano.

It looks beautiful outside today and I need to figure out what I am going to do underneath the bright, blue sky of this mid-May day, need to figure out, in effect, how to live, what it is I want to do with myself - the seemingly constant question of my life – but today, at least, it is a small scale version of the normal existential interlocution that terrifies me, and seemingly, it should not be too hard a decision to make, but this is the answer to the big question also, a bunch of small answers, a bunch of daily decisions about what to do, how to play in this weather, how to live – the aggregate of which answers that big question.


PS – I think there are a couple friends reading this in the UK, and I just want to let you all know that my friend, Jaymay is playing several shows there in a week or so, including opening for Mates of State in Manchester! So go see her! She’s awesome!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

"They should've been picketing Henry Ford," Mr. Gehry said today, dismissing critics who oppose high-density development in the borough. "There is progress everywhere. There is a constant change. The issue is how to manage it."
-New Design for Atlantic Yards Presented

Oh, Frank Gehry, how you need an undulating steel punch to the head. It's ugly. It's too big. So many things wrong with it just aesthetically. But a worse sin (and yes, there is something worse than an aesthetic sin) is its destruction of neighboring communities, of a feeling of neighborhoods, something so special and impossible to plan, worth more than gold.

The sky is cloudy. I just ate a disgusting amount of food and am thinking about taking a nap/going to bed.

I got my first paycheck today! Whoo! My boss also complimented my work and told me that she hopes I like the job and plan to stay. That felt really good.

I am listening to Toad the Wet Sprocket's "All I Want," an amazing song that sends me hurling backwards to past times, past lives when this song was played all the time, played from my mother's car radio, her minivan as she drove me here and there, or as I drove myself here and there in those years when I was of age to drive, and it is sending me hurling forward also, conjuring those same nostalgic dreams of the future (and yes, there is such a thing - that's not an oxymoron) that I had then, that I am having now.

I am going to the bank to deposit this check and to wake myself up so I am awake for the goddamnmotherfucking OC.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

I was tired from little sleep and from standing in line at the post office forever and from walking to the bank and to Walgreens and to the grocery store, and under this tired, exhausted state of mind, an apparition appears. On the corner of Grand and Manhattan, there is some road work going on. It was just ending for the day. One of the workers, ripped like a cartoon superhero, pecs as big as breasts, hot as hell, had just taken off his shirt and was wiping himself down with his shirt, slowly soaking up the sweat off of his chest, slowly, slowly, slowly. The slow motion effect of it made it seem even more like the softcore scene it was.

I slowed down my pace to a crawl to witness as much of this as possible. I did not know my eyes were so hungry. It was an unreal sight and made me so horny.

...and visions of sugarplums danced in his head.
I thought I would be able to enjoy it for its camp value, like watching old movies from the fifties about the red scare, and teaching you the proper position to duck under a desk in during a bomb raid, or something. But the bird flu movie last night on ABC was too scary. I watched the first hour of it, totally terrified that stuff like this could very well happen.

Luckily, Paul came over to play Scrabble so that I had an excuse to stop watching people cough blood and anarchy take hold. I shared my fears with Paul, who in what I find totally shocking, has no fear of bird flu, thinks it's pretty unrealistic. And watch him be totally fine if there ever is a pandemic, while me, good bird flu fearing person, will be one of the first ones to die.

Between us, we drank a bottle of Merlot.

I lost.

Monday, May 8, 2006

I am watching The Wash now with a bottle of Syrah.

I just watched a man tortue himself with a bunch of other Americans from the comfort of our couches. David Blaine fell short of the nine minute mark he was hoping for, and had to be pulled out of the water, shaking, near death. There was something incredibly ghoulish about the whole thing, and depite this, perhaps because of this, I could not look away.

I love my job, by the way, and I can't believe that I actually get paid money to copyedit, what has always been one of my dream jobs.

Snoop Dogg!

Sunday, May 7, 2006

Our living room is beautiful, a nice light, sandy color and looking at it, being in this relaxing space, comforted by the color of the wall, I wonder how it was that we ever had orange walls and how we had them for so long. Under what fog were Dara and I ever under to choose that color, and to be able to be happy with it? The space is a totally different space now, so much calmer.

Today is beautiful. I bought several books today at the Strand. Found a copy of Simon Schama's Citizens, which I had been meaning to get, for only a dollar. Also a copy of Bellow's Herzog. And I bought a copy of Roth's Everyman for my mom.

I came home, so happy from that exposure to the sun and for all these new books (even though, I have still yet to finish John Adams). Now I am drinking a nice Malbec and just bought more books on Amazon because I have no self control - a copy of Everyman for myself (since it is really cheap on Amazon) and Bolano's By Night in Chile. I am starting to have this habit of book acquiring again that I have worked so hard to kill, to only buy one book when I was done with the other, instead of stockpiling ones I want to read in the future, because nothing ever gets read this way. Um whatever, I am sure I will read most of them eventually.

The sun is shining. This Malbec is yummy. And Ethan is on his way over and we are to consume wine and play Scrabble on my roof. Oh yeah, and Al Green is playing. Today is perfect.

Saturday, May 6, 2006

Because I spent my whole day playing with sentences, because I found myself mentally transcribing the play by play the announcers (including Jesse the Body Ventura) were doing to Wrestlemania III, imagining where periods and commas would be, how I would write what they were saying - because I am scared about what I am becoming, a lack of sentences here, a list:

bought five bottles of wine at Trader Joe's because I have no self control
have not popped the cork to one
popped the caps of three cans of Schlitz, however
watched Wrestlemania III, which expect to here about because it was:
watched The Family Stone, which was:
not amazing, save for, of course:
sarah jessica parker, and
luke dreamboat wilson
new buffalo is also amazing, and also featured in a
crest commerical, about which i say:

tomorrow, adele and i are painting our living room
i am going to blast music and perhaps
drink more schlitz
maybe one of those five bottles of
cheap trader joe's wine

there was going to be a song called
you say artist, i say douchebag
a song by the theoritical bah lidge
a verse to which could be:
you say poem
i say list
you say poetry
i say prose with line breaks
you say sentences with clipped rhythms
but i've got hands that do the same
and do it better

[and he bows]

Thursday, May 4, 2006

Good news. I received a call from that guy yesterday, telling me he got his test results back and they came back negative, and so now, that chlamydia scare of '06 is seemingly over. I should probably still go in and get a course of STD tests done, but now I feel more free to do that at my leisure, like not anytime this week.

I love my job and hope I am doing good at it. It has been a while since I have had a job (have I ever had one) that forces me to step up my game a couple notches. I know that the stuff I do edit, sounds better after I get through with it, but I just worry that I am not doing it fast enough. I need to train my eyes to search for mistakes faster than they do now. And I know that I type fairly fast, but this other girl could be a stenographer - she doesn't ever pause the tape she is listening to let her typing catch up to the point in conversation, she just types away with fingers of fury. I am able to listen to the tapes with less pausing as I get used to this, but I doubt I will ever be not pausing it at all.

I am making lots of observations about various speech habits in this job. People that transcribe interviews have a lot of leeway in how they make a person read. Most people do not talk in sentences and no one talks in paragraphs. Most sentences run into each other connected by "and," lots of "you knows" are also said, and it is fun listening to these rambling talks and making them look really intelligent with clear, cogent sentences.

So many people also have this habit of diminishing what they say, using these modifying phrases to temper their thoughts. I am really guilty of this also, and to a way more severe degree than these analysts, but I am going to try to stop. "Kind of" is placed before so many statements. Lots of "I think"s and "I feel"s - all of which I omit, making these people sound more confident about what they are saying.

Some of the people though, aren't guilty of these habits, and talk in really clear sentences that you can even hear the periods and the commas as they are talking. You can hear the end of paragraphs and the start of new thoughts. It is a really amazing skill, and I think one of the toughest - to be able to speak clearly and confidently. With written communications, you have the ability to see what you are writing, there is a remove and thus, an ability to see mistakes and glaring stupidities and correct them. With verbal communications, there is no time for that, no remove. I think it is the older people in the interviews that tend to talk the most clearly. I think most young people talk like shit, which is entirely unsurprising given the lack of focus we put even on the public speaking abilities of elected officials, that news segments, as has been well documented, have a shrinking soundbite, with decades ago, decent paragraph long quotes from people on air, to now today, with Howard Dean's shriek constituting the only necessary part of a speech to be rebroadcast.

The sun is shining. I am listening to the Supremes, drinking coffee and yesterday I went to Trinity Church on my lunch break and it is odd, but not totally surprising given the lack of open space downtown, that there are all these people eating their lunches in the cemetery there. I imagine if it were a more recent graveyard, if the tombstones all weren't washed out slabs with barely visible dates saying 1700 something something, that things would be different, that people might be more spooked, but here the remove is great enough, safe enough.

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

written last night, but lj was being stupid then

Because tonight was the third night in a row that I tried to rent
The French Connection, only to find it checked out, and because
I am bored, and because I will soon recieve a paycheck to justify it,
and because I already spend way more than the cost of this with the
frequency of my trips to video store, I finally joined the Netflix
crowd. It seems a bit silly since my roommate, Adele, is already a
member, but she watches movies far too slow and the same ones sit on
top of our tv for what seems like weeks, and so now, I am part of that
crowd too, and just wasted a nice amount of time adding and adding
movies to my queue, really excited about no longer having to walk all
the way to the video store only to find that the movie I wanted to get
is checked out.

Today at work, I transcribed a rountable discussion, three analysts
and a moderater discussing investments in educational companies. It
was pretty disturbing to hear people talk about things that are really
important in solely economic terms, and talking pretty gleefully about
how No Child Left Behind is ruining public school systems, allowing
for outsourced education when all these schools fail their mandatory
testing, and oh man, dark days ahead for this republic I fear when we
fail to deal with these things in a not-for-profit way. The
healthcare system and the prision industry are both perfect examples
of this, of how things that are in the public interest have been
outsourced to people who do shoddy jobs of the work in attempts to
maximize their profits. It was a fun discussion though, and surely
one of the more interesting ones I will get to transribe. Yesterday,
I transcribed an interview with a guy talking about the electric
industry and throwing around many terms I did not know, photovoltraics
for instance. I was there for five hours and typed thirty pages of
this conversation, forty minutes of an hour long talk. I really
wanted to finish today, but will do so tomorrow.

I don't really understand why this job isn't full time because it
seems that there is a lot that I could do, that both yesterday and
today, I was leaving abruptly at 3:30 in the middle of the work I was
doing because that's when I am supposed to leave. Maybe I can make
myself valuable enough to them that they make me full time. I don't
know. My eyes are beginning to hurt from little sleep and lots of
time in front of a computer screen. I couldn't even put my contacts
in this morning because my eyes rejected them, they stung at the touch
of the contacts, really sensitive from a change in sleep schedule,
which I am happy about. I like waking up early and am so glad that I
finally have a reason to.

After I get my paycheck, I also plan on buying a nice pair of sneakers
and am going to try to start waking up extra early and start jogging
before work. It is really nice to realize how much control I have
over the type of person I choose to be. I am finally approaching in
some ways the type of person I would like to be.

And oh yeah, the first movie in my queue is Wrestlemania 3. So fucking excited.

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

There is a giant fire about a mile from my house that has been going since this morning in an old warehouse, releasing who knows what scary chemicals into the air that I breathe. I have become recently interested and scared of the air quality in my neighborhood. I walked by a mural about ashtma the other day, that has many scary figures, one being that the air quality in Williamsburg because of things like old factories, is 60 times worse than the national average.

Riding the JMZ home over the Williamsburg Bridge, I saw it from afar. Seemingly all of North Williamsburg and Greenpoint is hidden underneath a menacing black cloud of smoke. I can vaguely smell the fire from my neighborhood, and have closed my windows, really afraid of whatever that smoke contains.

Monday, May 1, 2006

may day

I just got a phone call that has disrupted my otherwise lovely day, a day that I was so excited to record here. And should this news alter the tone of the rest of my day, of those past moments? It shouldn’t, but of course, I cannot recount those moments with the joy that I experienced them with, this other worry now on my mind. Nothing is independent of itself, every thing we once thought perfect is in danger lest we rethink that perfect thing under a less than perfect mood. The world takes on a blahness then, even those special things, moments infected with this general gloom.

First, this worry: I got a call from the regular who hasn’t called me in a couple weeks and I was excited to hear from him. However, he told me that this other guy he sees often just told him that he has chlamydia. The regular has yet to be tested for this, but wanted to let me know of the risk that might be there to me. I wasn’t aware that you could really get much STD-wise just by getting head, but apparently chlamydia cultures can live in the throat, which is just fantastic. And I mean, as far as STDs go, it probably is the most benign one for men, presenting seemingly no dangers to those with a Y chromosome, and it can be easily treated with a dose of antibiotics. And yet still, even knowing this, I am still worried. My genitals feel endangered. They are scared. My body seems more delicate. And I don’t have health insurance, and so I have to go to the free city STD screening places, which from what I have heard, are awful places where the staff tries to scare you about your behavior and you have to wait around all day. And since they close at four (!), I doubt I will be able to make it there and get seen after I get off work any day this week. Which means, I will have to go on Saturday, which seems a long time into the future when I would like to know this information right now.

And what is up with the hours of the STD clinics? Wouldn’t more people get tested if they had evening hours and better weekend hours? I am assuming that there are a lot of people, the type of people that would need free health services, who cannot just take a day off to go into the clinic. Okay, now I am going to try my best to put this behind me, these thoughts, and tell you about my first day at work.

I woke up really early, at seven, had a nice leisurely breakfast, a nice shower, coffee, and read from this biography I am reading for about an hour, and then went into this job on Wall Street. I got off on Broad Street and there ahead of me was Federal Hall, a building that I was really excited to see after reading a bit about it this weekend in this Adams biography. I walk by this building kind of often, and will do so even more regularly now and never really give much thought to the fact that this building was the first seat of our government. The first session of the US Congress held its sessions here. On the second floor of this building, George Washington was sworn in as the first president. Adams, as vice president, was president of the Senate and attended sessions here, giving the deciding vote when there were ties on so many important issues.

The weather was beautiful as I walked past this building a couple blocks further down Wall Street, to my job. I transcribed an interview and copy edited another one, learned the format they type their interviews in. At one point, I asked how to spell a company name I had never heard of that someone said in the interview, and my boss looked at me a little weird and asked me, shocked, if I had never heard of this company. I said no. She said uh-oh, worried I think that she picked an idiot for this job. I have a modest knowledge of business, but some of the terminology I was typing and some of these company names were totally foreign to me. But, it is fun work. I really love typing things and making stuff that was said aloud into nice coherent paragraphs that can be read by other people.

At lunch, I walked a couple of blocks and ate a black and white cookie on the East River, looking over at Brooklyn Heights, imagining this stretch of river covered in fog at night, and Washington under this cover, moving all of his troops across the river silently, one boat at a time from Brooklyn Heights to Manhattan so his troops wouldn’t have been cornered on Long Island by the approaching British troops. There is so much colonial history underneath the imprint of all these big financial buildings in Lower Manhattan. I love it. I tried to be aware of those ghosts I was walking amongst today. Then I looked up at to the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridge, and it was such a gorgeous view, such a nice way to spend my lunch break. I am sad that in a few weeks, the offices are moving from this location, right off the J Train, right on Wall Street, right by the river, to boring midtown, requiring me to take two trains, and have no quiet, lonely place on the water to eat my lunches.

I left at 3:30, really happy with this job and eager to return again tomorrow morning. On my way back, I stopped at Federal Hall, hoping to look at the inside. However, there is a dinky sign in the doorway that says laconically, “Closed for Renovations.” It doesn’t say of what sort, and most importantly, does not say for how long. There is no Reopening in such and such year to even plan some future trip here to. And from the little looksy around I had, it seemed that no such renovations were taking place. There was no machinery anywhere near the building, the inside looked totally deserted. There were no crews actively trying to get this important building up and ready for viewing. Just a bunch of tourists, there to see the Stock Exchange, resting on the steps of Federal Hall, showing each other the pictures they had just taken of themselves with their digital cameras.