Monthly Archives: November 2006

Breakfast in America

After a shitty day at work, walked down to the World Trade Center Path train, smoking a Padron, and feeling like I have to get the hell out of McMann and Tate. I still feel that way. I had arranged for an interview, maybe two for today, Thursday. That meant I needed to not be in the office, in otherwords, play hooky. I had spoken to Isabel Abrahams on the phone when I had some privacy and went through the drill, what do I do, am I working presently, and am I circumcised. A most unusual line of questioning, but I answered admirably.

I came home from work thinking of a good excuse to use to get out of work. Dead grandparents wouldn’t cut it, since that would entail too many questions when I got back, and all I needed was one day off. I decided on the implausible. I sent an email to Linda and Donna since I turn on the night phones at 6PM and no one would answer the phone at 7:33 PM. I know they have blackberries and sidekicks so they are plugged in most of the time and an email would work best. I wrote:

“I just came home to find my bathroom ceiling has partially collapsed due to a leaking pipe above. I’m waiting to hear from my landlord. I don’t think I’ll be able to make it in tomorrow as I’ll have to be home waiting for a repairman. I also don’t have water right now either.”

It wasn’t true of course, I wanted to use an excuse where no one would tempt fate and get hurt or sick. What was true was that the New Jersey State Building Inspector was coming by to check out the apartments and make sure there were no violations. I kept checking my email to see if there was any response but there was none at all. I wrestled with guilt. Some strange misguided guilt about leaving this company that I cannot tolerate much more.

There wasn’t much of anything on TV last night. I almost watched Spalding Gray’s ‘Monster in a Box’ which I ordered months ago and finally received yesterday, but I decided to save it for Juan when he makes his appearance again. I think he enjoyed ‘Swimming to Cambodia’ so this might be a treat. Or a slow painful evening at Casa de Ozed y Vila. Bill came home and we watched Law and Order until I started to feel a great fatigue around 10:30, which is when I went to bed and slept a very sound sleep.

I woke up later than usual since I didn’t have to go to work today. I checked my emails and there was not one response to the message I sent last night. I decided to email Terry, and ask her to forward my ‘dilemma’. She’s always checking her Hotmail account so I figured since she would be in before Linda and Donna she’d be able to.

I wrote to Terry:
“I sent an email last night to Debbie and Lesley about having to wait for a repairman to come to fix the partially collapsed bathroom ceiling this morning in my apartment. I don’t know whether they got it since I hadn’t heard anything. Perhaps you could be so kind as to forward this message to them? Thanks.”
I also emailed Mark the office controller telling him about my ‘situation’, “I sent this (the initial email) last night to Linda and Donna. The repairman should be here in an hour they tell me. I still have no water. I doubt I’ll be in today because of this fiasco. Sorry.”

No responses except for a phone call from Linda around 9:30AM asking if I was alright. She never got the email and she was never told by Terry what had ‘happened’ to me. I explained and she told me I should’ve phoned, not realizing that after 6:00PM, no one in the office answers the phone since I turn on the night phone service right before I leave for the day. What the fuck is wrong with these people?

She also asked that I keep them posted about what time I plan to be in. The Building Inspector left after a 5 minute visit, I got suited up and called the office, using the hands free and occasionally running the electric coffee grinder. I told her the repairmen just got started and it didn’t look like they were going to done anytime soon, and I still have no water. While saying this I kept the grinder grinding. She remarked that it sounded like a lot of drilling going on and I agreed.

I surfed the net this morning sending out resumes and got two bites, enabling me to schedule two more interviews this afternoon, spaced an hour apart from each other, 1:30, 2:30 and finally 3:30.

I headed out the door and got onto a bus to the city. I emailed my resume to Bill, asking him if he could print out some copies and I’ll pick them up on my way to the interview. I sat in the back of the bus, looking bangin’ I must say. I did a quick check to see if the latest Mojo or Uncut Magazines were available on 42nd Street, not far from where I used to buy porn called ‘Mo’ Joe’ and ‘Uncut’ in the eighties.

I met up with Bill outside his building, he printed out 10 copies on some really nice paper. We both looked bangin’ on the street though I think I had the upper hand since I was in braces. He was a close second. Thisclose. I got to the first interview a about 15 minutes early so I filled out all the needed paperwork and met with Isabel Abrahams who set me up on tests, both Word and typing. I used to type about 45 words per minute, and you’d think after writing 450 blog entries it would have increased, but I typed 36 wpm. Go figure. Did pretty good on Word, 96% correct. It was basic common sense.

I figured out that Isabel was a germaphobe. No hand shaking, which in the staffing industry, is what it’s all about. She stuck to the script as I walked her through the resume. After about 10 minutes she showed me to the door telling me she’d phone if she had anything. I walked out onto the balmy November afternoon and headed to the next interview, once again a bit early.

This time it seemed to go well. I met with Jack Cloud who I sat with in a very small room at an even smaller desk. He noticed that I lived in Hoboken and proceeded to tell me about how his son, the doctor, was looking to move to Hoboken and was surprised it was so expensive, as expensive as Manhattan. After looking at my resume, I could see a light go on in his head. It turns out his company is looking for a receptionist. He took me in to see the managing director who seemed glad to meet me. He was in a meeting with his assistant and he had me sit down and he told me all about the job, except for salary and benefits. He basically offered me the job but needed to run it by the President of the company who is out this week, celebrating the fact that she is a grandmother once again. I worked for a staffing agency once. It wasn’t that bad, I could easily do it again. It’s in midtown, which I like. So I think I might have something there.

I walked out and called Bill. He seemed enthused. I was soon off to the 3:30 interview. These were all within walking distance and I found myself walking down the same sidewalks I had walked 45 minutes earlier. It was a beautiful day anyhow and I was bangin’ after all. I walked into a building on Madison Avenue, a building I had passed thousands of times before. Alright, hundreds of times.

This was quite a let down after the previous interview. Even the interview with the germaphobe was a lot more comfortable. More forms to fill out and two tests to perform. Once again, Word and typing. This time though, instead of a comfortable room this was in an overheated cramped room with lousy computers. While sweating, I tested basically the same and met some bat chick in the lobby, who told me about how December is a slow month and things will pick up in January. The germaphobe told me that the timing was right to look for a job, to start in January and that’s basically the ideal.

After that I walked to the Path train, Padron-less, yet feeling pretty good. Working in midtown again, wearing a suit and tie, it could be great. I do think the guys who worked with Jack Cloud liked me enough to sell the thought of me working for them. I’d definitely do it.

No Love Lost

Just when I thought work couldn’t get anymore degrading, it does. Not a good day yet again. The usual morning routine, getting out of bed, showering, seeing Bill off to work, breakfast and coffee and out the door myself. I walked to the Path train, steeling myself for whatever event might unfold before me. I knew Andrea was going to be in today after gallivanting around Manhattan and Brooklyn with her varied New York friends. She’s a good kid and today they started pressuring her to move to New York and become the office manager. A few meetings spread throughout the day for her, all rather hush hush.

I certainly haven’t been selling her on the idea of moving to New York. I’ve been emphasizing staying in San Francisco. I’d rather be there anyhow, closer to my sister and her family, nice city, clean, great art and music scene, and relatively cheaper than Manhattan from what I’ve heard. One transplanted San Franciscan was telling me how she was renting a house in lower Pacific Heights for $750, which is cheaper than the rent that Bill and I are sharing here in Hoboken. It would be a major upheaval for anyone to move across the continent. I thought about it before, and now Andrea is thinking about it, more seriously than I ever did.

Alan is a blessed soul, he sees me suffering and is doing his darndest to get me happy. Yesterday he lent me the Sufjan Stevens Christmas collection of extended play cd’s which I uploaded. He’s definitely into the holiday thing and I am simply not feeling it as of yet. Today he gave me a cd full of 917 mp3’s each and everyone a holiday song. I offered him the Beatles Christmas messages which really only hold an appeal if you are as big a fan of the Fabs as I am. He respectfully declined. Last night while walking around after work I mentioned to Alan that I was tired of complaining about the work situation. He’s lucky, Alan flies under the radar. Lizzie Borden is almost the same though she’s had enough of the nonsense in the office.

Today, the office alpha male, Sean was looking at a gift box of candies and chocolates in the kitchen with Mina Theta and PJ Softskull. They stood there making jokes about the gift box when Sean picks up a bag of chocolates and empties it on the counter right in front of me. He turned and said, ‘Oh sorry mate. Just fooling around.’ It’s great to fool around and make a mess and have someone cleaning up after you. I am the one who had to clean it all up. The majority of people finish off boxes of chocolates and candies and instead of turning 2.5 feet to throw it away, they just leave the empty boxes and bags on the counters.

They do it with glasses, just leave them on the counter. One glass was left there and I didn’t touch it for over an hour. Finally I got fed up and walked the glass four feet and put it in the dishwasher. Something that none of these fantastically creative inbreds are able to do. They wonder why I don’t participate in various office ‘fun’ events, one reason is I am so cut off from everyone physically that I have no idea what is actually going on, and do I really want to hang out with people that are so inconsiderate like these ‘people’? No I really don’t, so I won’t.

Also had the honor of having to pick up a used tissue that someone left on the counter. I have got to get the fuck out of here, the sooner the better. Fuck the bonus. It’s simply not worth it. If I had a job offer and they wanted me to start tomorrow, I definitely would. No love lost. This is quite possibly the worst job I ever had and it’s a wonder that I have lasted this long. Basically they can all go to hell. Except for Alan and Lizzie Borden. Maybe one or two others. That’s it. The boat is full.

Let’s Get Out of This Country

Day two of going back to work. Woke up, fell out of bed, dragged a comb across my head. Bill, up and atom, looking good as he headed out the door wishing me a good day. I showered and dried off, had some cereal and some coffee and after checking my emails I gathered the recyclables and headed out into the world. I was fairly ambivalent towards work, just trudging along listening to the wonderful cd that Juan made for me the other day. Listened to Camera Obscura and thanked Juan in my head. Loving Brazilian Girls A LOT and also enjoying a certain Justin Timberlake again.

Got to the office, setting up and starting things, including new chores like stocking the copiers with paper since no one else can actually do such a thing. Oh these people. They can’t find garbage cans and they can’t carry a cup of coffee without leaving a trail of coffee on the floor. No they don’t clean up after themselves, I had to get on my hands and knees and clean up the mess with paper towels as various coworkers walked behind me. Andrea who used to have the same job as me in the now defunct San Francisco office was flown into New York to see if she wanted to relocate and become the new office manager.

She’s a good kid, she’s 25 and could be on the way to becoming my new boss, replacing Felicia. Of course in the eyes of the management team, I am simply not qualified. Of course communication being as dysfunctional as my coworkers, no one told her about the possibility of working there. They flew her out to New York, and put her up in a midtown Holiday Inn. She wants to see ‘Wicked’, go to the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty. She’s never been to New York and always wanted to. So she’s here, supposed to be working beside me at the desk, no scrubbing floors for her.

Management suggested we go to lunch and I had no idea where to go since I hardly ever go out for lunch. I usually run out, get a salad and run back to the desk, eating my salad and answering phones while I attempt to eat. I thought about where to go and we wound up at the Grey Dog Café on Carmine Street where we sat opposite Web and Baldy from the office. Of course they didn’t acknowledge me, and I didn’t acknowledge them. Andrea and I sat and ate our sandwiches talking about San Francisco and New York. Management wants her to work for McMann and Tate, but no one is really making her an offer. No one told me anything so I said nothing. I just pointed out various movie landmarks in the Village.

They finally spoke to her though I didn’t really know what they said. She said she enjoyed working with me and just in case she thought we’d make a good team working side by side, I told I wasn’t sure how long I’d be staying at McMann and Tate. She’s only working two days this week, today and tomorrow, the rest of the week she’ll be sightseeing. They will supply a temp to work in Andrea’s stead. In the meantime I lined up one, maybe two interviews for Thursday so I won’t be going in to work on Thursday. I feel some relief at going out on interviews and feel this could turn out to be a good thing.

Bumpin’ on Sunset

Back to work after nine days off. Woke up with a feeling of dread and by dread I don’t mean waking up with hair like a Rastafarian. I got out of bed at 6:15, such an ungodly hour, Bill was up and dressed and ready for work after a night of snuggling and an elbow to his forehead. I had some cereal and some coffee after showering and spent too much time wonder which black jeans should I wear to work, after that it was which shirt should I wear. I don’t like dressing like this, I want to wear a suit, but there is too much dirty work in my day.

I walked with the other drones headed to the Path train. I saw Plantain Man as I bought my bananas, too self absorbed to see if he was sporting wood. After last week, I didn’t need to. I got on the train and proceeded to read the book I forgot to drop off at the Library as I passed it. The book, ‘The End of Faith’ is, for me, an enjoyable read. Unfortunately it’s due today and I couldn’t renew it because someone else wanted it. I wasn’t through with it and wound up buying a copy in the city. (Remember, you were reading page 140 Johnozed) The author, Sam Harris presents a brilliant case against religion, one that I certainly subscribe to. Spoiler alert: It’s all mythology! I’m moving onto the chapter where Sam Harris goes after Jean Beaudrillard and Noam Chomsky. Intellectual cat fight! YES!

There are some good people at McMann and Tate and I like them and they like me. But the way the place is run, so slipshod distresses me. Which is odd since I used to fit in a situation like this, way back when working for Rupert Murdoch. But I find I prefer organization to this. I had a new assistant, another day temp, this one named Christina, of course very nice and helpful and of course they’re going to let her go, instead flying in someone who used to work in the San Francisco office to see if she’d like to work in the New York office.

She’ll be in tomorrow supposedly. I arranged to have a car pick her up at the airport to take her into Manhattan. They’re probably putting her up in a hotel. I wonder if they’re maneuvering to get rid of me. I wouldn’t put it past them. But who will clean up after these pigs? Believe me it’s not an easy task, rather soul crushing I must say. Yes, an atheist who claims to have a soul, and a crushed soul at that. People like Lizzie B, and Alan, formerly amiable make it worthwhile and there are one or two others who are quite pleasant and helping them out is a pleasure. There are other nice people who vent with me about how things are in the office.

Throughout the day I worked cleaning things that were in such a bad way since I was out last week. So much trash, so much inconsideration. I fled at 5:30, having Christina the temp turn the night phones on at 6:00. I walked through Manhattan, smoking a Padron, wondering what to do. Can I hang in there at least until January, get the bonus and split? Actively start looking for a new job? I’ve sort of since June really. Perhaps even before that, when I tried to get back to good ol’ Wanker Banker. Time will tell patience is required.

Patience is what I nearly lacked when I finally dropped off ‘The End of Faith’ I tried to find out why I can’t get a copy of Sam Harris’ other book, ‘Letter to a Christian Nation’. Twice I saved it in my http://bccls.org account, the cooperative library for Hudson and Bergen counties. Twice it vanished. Divine censorship or computer glitch? Hoboken has it, but it’s out and they can’t hold it for me. Argh.

Road to No Regret

Sunday. Last day of vacation. Nine days have passed and I had quite a few good times. Juan was up for a few days and that made a lot of difference. Always good to have a compatriot around to get in and out of trouble with. An able accomplice. The past two days were spent with Juan mainly and good times abounded. We watched ‘Hair’ last night. He had never seen it before, and I think he enjoyed it as much as I had for the nth time. Alas he had to go back to school and I have to go back to work so it works out on some malevolent level I suppose.

I woke up this morning feeling sad. Sad about having to go back to work. The magic from having spent Thanksgiving with my cousins has worn off which contributed to the sadness. Bill was miles away on the other side of the bed and that was sad, such a distance of a few feet can amount to a large gap, filled with some loneliness. Julio and Stine are basically incommunicado, still doing newlywed things and getting ready to spend the upcoming holidays in Denmark. No one around much lately. It’s odd because I never had feelings of loneliness before, just lately.

Perhaps I’m on the cusp of a midlife crisis. (I thought I had gone through that in my angst ridden twenties, but with that math I should be dead by now.) A week or so ago, or maybe just the other day, as I was drifting off to sleep I came to the realization that I’m 44 years old. Ancient to some, infantile to others and it was a Naked Lunch moment, in the sense that it’s when you see what is exactly on the other end of the fork, and that was mortality. It was a sobering thought and the type of thought I didn’t really need to ponder as I was trying to drift off to sleep.

Had quite a heavy talk tonight with Bill who said that he sometimes thinks that Juan and I have something going on. That wasn’t the main topic of discussion. It was started by Bill asking me how I was doing, and I told him I was doing pretty good, I had been on a date. Nothing sexual, just coffees in Starbucks in Chelsea with a guy named Baron. We talked about relationships and boyfriends. He was just out of a ten year relationship that sort of fell apart when his ex decided on an open relationship, opening the door for Baron to see what else was out there and deciding to move on. Now that Baron has left his ex wants him back but for Baron it’s too late. Nothing to do with me, mind you.

It got me thinking about whether or not there is hope for me and Bill. 90% of the relationship is functioning, it’s the 10% that isn’t working that stresses me out somewhat and I don’t see Bill thinking about it and that stresses me out even more. I just don’t want to be Blanche Du Bois, dependent on the kindness of strangers. Some personal ice had melted through some casual contacts I had lined up this week, and oh how that human sexual contact made such a difference. That’s the 10% that isn’t working between Bill and myself.

I become hung up and get bitter towards Bill and that is not right since we do have to live together, and I shouldn’t have written ‘have to live together’ since we want to live together for the rest of our lives, both of us looking forward to helping each other off the floor in our eighties when we fall. It was a heavy talk, heavier than we ever had when we were seeing Philip Beansprout. Too much introspection on my side I think.

Things are a lot better now, we hugged and we kissed after talking. We sit at our computers, peace in the air.

Loves Me Like a Rock

Well it’s Thanksgiving Day. Went to sleep at a decent hour, Bill asleep way before me, I crashed around midnight. It was a fairly busy day, hanging out with Juan. We came back from lunch and buying tickets for the train. We walked back through the cold Hoboken Hudson River air, came back to the apartment and watched Shaun of the Dead which was a lot of fun. Juan split, Bill came home and I napped around 5:00, waking up at 8:00, groggy but feeling somewhat better. Got text from Juan who was in Edgewater playing pool. Don’t know how he did it.

Woke up this morning around 7:30, Bill up and moving about. I jumped into the shower, drank some watered down coffee that Bill made. He did the best he could do, but I needed to remake it, if it was going to be the rocket fuel needed to get me moving. Bill wasn’t offended, and took my suggestion under consideration. After that it was getting our acts together and getting to the train station on time. We made it just in time for as we sat on the seats the train slowly pulled out of the station.

The train filled up with people and their packages, heading to wherever it was they were headed to. We got off at Secaucus Junction waiting for a transfer to a train to Trenton. Just a handful of other passengers waiting for their trains. The train that pulled in was fairly crowded and Bill and I were able to find seats together. He sat and closed his eyes, I read the New Yorker, an article about wild turkeys which in the New Yorker style was entertaining and informative enough to want to go hunting for wild turkeys, not to kill them but to watch them behave as the article said they would.

We were in Trenton soon enough, meeting up with my cousin Neil who was there to drive us to his house. His sisters Rosie and Theresa were there as well as Linda, Neil’s girlfriend, her son and assorted other people who I was introduced to and promptly forgot most of their names. Neil’s other sister Ginger was there with her husband Jim and their kids. Ginger’s not doing so well, after having a stroke. She’s lost most of her short term memory and Neil told me that if I have a conversation it would be best to ask only yes or no questions.

I did try but I wasn’t making any progress and it seemed like a strain to her. I wandered around Neil’s house looking at all of his railroad paraphernalia. Lot’s of antique things and things that would be of interest to other train spotters, like Rail Fan, someone I used to chat with online a while ago who had a similar train fixation and had the shoes to match. Madeline showed up at her brother Neil’s house after dinner at her own. She brought her daughter Shauna who just gave birth nine days ago, making Madeline a grandmother for the second time. Their sister Eileen was unable to make it since she was ill. She was missed and I hope she’s on the mend.

It was a good time all in all. Everybody liked Bill, Theresa outdid herself cooking. Her culinary schooling paid off and she’s making a living as a caterer. We exchanged addresses and promised to stay in touch. It’s great to see family without a meddlesome corpse around. Bill and I came back home by 9:00 tired and cold and a bit damp. Now we’re nestled inside the apartment watching TV, nice and toasty.

Love Won’t Let Me Wait

Well the past 24 hours were a bit fuzzy. It was all good and enjoyable as far as I could tell. Tuesday was pretty much an easy going day. I had plans to have drinks with Brenda, a former co-worker from Wanker Banker. I also had 2 boxed sets of Lord of the Rings that I had borrowed from another co-worker, Ahsen that I needed to return to him. These are the super deluxe versions of the first two ‘Rings’ films. Lot’s of plot holes filled. I wound up getting all three boxed sets for about 15 dollars a pop online.

It was odd going to the old office. I wandered into the lobby and was talking to the security guards who were happy to see me. We chatted as Christina my former assistant walked by. She didn’t recognize me so I called her name. She was going out for a smoke so I joined her. She confided in me about her man problems, specifically the guy she’s been living with who has another girl on the side. She was upset because the girl is bisexual and gives the guy what every guy supposedly want. Not a blow job, but a lesbian show. That’s something Christina just will not do.

I rode the elevator with her and walked over to Hansen’s desk where he sits with Gazi and Vinnie. It was great to see them of course. They’re the guys who created my computer. They’re quite silly and funny and I had a lot of fun talking to them again. They mentioned how great it would be if I came back, but deep down we all know that isn’t going to happen. I wound up going outside and having a cigarette with Ahsen and Vinnie, so much like old times.

After that I wandered around midtown killing time before hooking up with Brenda at the Carnegie Club. It’s a cigar bar and last night it was filled with quite a few handsome men in suits smoking cigars. I was also in a suit and fit right in. I just didn’t feel like wearing jeans and t-shirt. I do love wearing the suit and tie as you might well know. Brenda showed up and we sat and talked about how her life at Wanker Banker has been. She’s been going through her own personal hell for the past year. We just sat and talked as I smoked a cigar. It was fun once we got off the maudlin ‘work sucks’ stories.

We left and I walked her to 42nd street so she can catch her train to Westchester. I walked to the Path and caught a train back to Hoboken. Juan was in town for the holiday and he came over. We hung out all night watching movies and drinking beers. I had a lot of fun with Juan and with Bill staying at his parent’s house last night I invited Juan to crash. That was a lot of fun. We woke up late in the morning and walked over to the Spa restaurant on the way to the train station where I bought tickets for the Thanksgiving dinner in Trenton with my Powers cousins tomorrow.

We came back and watched ‘Shaun of the Dead’ which was just as good as Annemarie said it was. I napped for three hours after Juan left and Bill came home. And here I am.

Sky Saw

Ahh, it finally feels like a vacation. Most everyone else is at work, I stayed up late and watched Saturday Night Live, recorded from the night before. It was good. Not as funny as the previous week. Bill had gone to bed really early. He’s been working on some play and yesterday he had church, his parents and rehearsal. I’m getting used to his not being around again. I did mind that he wasn’t around and I did mind that there have not been any physical signs of attraction from him. It sort of makes me feel undesirable, despite what various friends say.

I made a run into the city with Rand. Two days in a row, riding public transportation with el Jefe. He wanted to go to Best Buy and I went along for the ride. I thought maybe buying something would bolster my spirits, but couldn’t find any dvd or cd that floated my boat. We walked over to Tek Serve and I was going to ask about a cd adapter for an iPod but the girl behind the counter was busy trying to answer a couple’s questions, and it didn’t look like any answers were going to come through anytime soon.

I walked out and told Rand what I was looking for. Turns out there is no such adapter for the iPod, at least not yet. I’m sure the question would’ve stumped the girl behind the counter. All in all it was a dash in and dash out of the city. We weren’t there for over an hour and didn’t spend a dime. I suppose that was a good thing. We parted ways at 7th and Bloomfield, once we were back in Hoboken. It very much resembled the ending of the Bicycle Tour’ episode of Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

Just napped and watched some TV. Bill came home and it was odd betweens us, mainly by my doing. I was lonely and dare I say it, horny and I wasn’t going to get anything from Bill, that much was for sure. He went into the bedroom, running some lines for the play then it was off to bed, all by 9:00. I so feel like Mrs. Roper sometimes, but where is my Jack Tripper? I have been noticing some very hot men around Hoboken and occasionally in the city, so perhaps I will test the waters.

Well that’s what I felt yesterday. Today, let’s just say I didn’t just test the waters, I dove in head first in a manner of speaking. Two times and of course, safe and I feel so much better god damn it! And to be appreciated, wow. I forgot how that felt. Apparently I’m not such a lousy lover as I had come to believe. I walked around Hoboken, feeling so good, like I hadn’t felt in such a long time. And speaking of a long time, I spoke to someone from my book company days. Out of the blue! Mi gusta!

Beef Jerky

Well it’s a gray Sunday. Overcast white clouds, not much sun today. It was quite similar yesterday. Met up with Rand for a bus ride into the city. He was off to a Comics Convention, I was off to meet up with Sweet Sarah and her husband Bob at the Museum of Modern Art. The two of them had gotten to the museum before I did and they wandered around the galleries. I got in the queue and paid my twenty dollars and walked around looking at some classic paintings and sculptures that were modern fifty years ago, now are classics.

I finally met up with Sarah and Bob as we wandered from room to room. We looked at Monet, Manet, Matisse, Rousseau, Picasso and Miro and Van Gogh and Man Ray and Duchamp and Warhol, Oldenburg and Lichtenstein. It was fun to walk around and discuss art history with Sarah and explain various things to Bob who admittedly doesn’t know anything about art. We discussed how Duchamp’s ‘Bride’ paintings caused riots in the early part of the twentieth century. He didn’t know and we explained it to him. I was never too keen on the Museum of Modern Art, and even after the renovation I still don’t like it, though I’m pretty sure a security guard clocked me.

After the museum we wandered around midtown trying to find a pub that Sarah’s friend Ellen and her boyfriend were in. I was hungry and hoped to get some pub grub but the pub we found them in after walking around for about 45 minutes was very crowded. I found myself being the fifth wheel amongst two coupes so I quickly downed a pint and said good night to everyone, heading onto to a local train at Grand Central Station to the Village.

I got off at Union Square and walked over to Farfetched, saying hello to Jessica and Lois. Apparently they wished I was there a few hours earlier since they had an unruly customer that needed to be forced out of the store. Luckily they called on Fausto, a local handy man who is big and burly who was able to escort the jerk out of the store. I soon left and lit up a cigar, walking over to First Avenue and stopping by East Village radio to finally meet Tim, someone I’ve been chatting online with for a few years. We both have similar interests though some of those interests are one way.

I hung out with Tim for a few minutes. I was tired and hungry and hadn’t sat down for about six hours. He was busy with his radio show so I walked off after wishing him well and walked up to St. Mark’s Pizza for a slice and a coke. I still think they make the best slices in Manhattan. I do like their sweet sauce.

There was a party I was invited to and I invited Bill, Julio and Stine. Rand and Lisa were planning on going. I got back to Hoboken, Julio not answering his cell, Bill out, who knows where. I called Rand and he was on the phone with Jane. I asked him to call me when he got off the phone, but I wound up falling asleep. It was just as well, since Rand didn’t get off the phone until 1:00. I was asleep by then. C’est la vie.

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Shower the People

Finally. It took forever to get to Friday but it’s here. It also took forever to end. At one point I thought it must’ve been close to 4:00 and it was not even 2:00. It was hellish but I got through it. Almost hooked up with Pedro who had a day off and was downtown. I hadn’t seen him since August and it would’ve been nice to see him if only for a few minutes but he was waylaid in traffic and got fed up, heading upstate to his home in the country. I really couldn’t complain though Pedro would’ve been a welcome distraction from the tedium.

Felicia made yet another final appearance, on her birthday to have her exit interview. There is so much bullshit that goes on in that office, it’s really pathetic. Raige Piney, (vaginal slang word inserted here) has the makings of a double chin. She’s one of the non-thank you types. The others are Web and Baldy. Dondi is alright by me. Those are names I gave out a few months ago to some of the guys who desperately try to be hip. Wearing a ski cap all day in the office does not make one a teenager or even twenty something. Unless it’s freezing in the office I can understand that but it was quite warm.

I am relieved that I won’t be seeing any of them for the next nine days. I have no plans to go to Soho. I dread running into any of them outside of the office. Plus I’m not so keen on Soho anymore. It’s just not the same place it used to be. What will I do during those nine days? Well on Thanksgiving the plan is to go to Trenton and have dinner with my cousins. Tomorrow there may be a chance to go into the city and meet up with Sweet Sarah and go to the Museum of Modern Art, which I haven’t been to since the last century. It was her birthday the other day and she’s such a good person., so why not?

And now, the iPod shuffle

Barrington Levy, ‘Moonlight Lover’
Great classic Reggae which sounds so good on a loud sound system, heavy on the bass. This is a digitized version of a cassette, recorded from an album complete with hissing and pops. This is how Reggae should sound I think, don’t you? Barrington has a great voice and it’s a great song, old school.

Daúde, ‘Marinheiro Só’
Daúde is a Brazilian singer that Pedro and I saw quite accidentally at Summerstage a few years ago. One of the best times ever with Pedro and the show was amazing. It was a hot day and we were sprayed with a hose from the stage. Neither one of us ever heard of Daúde but we were big fans after her set. A few days I wandered around the Brazilian section of midtown, going to various record stores, trying to find her records. Nobody had them so I wound up spending a lot of money on imports at the Virgin Megastore n Times Square. It was better than humming songs to indifferent shop owners off of Times Square.

The Wailers, “Satisfy My Soul’
More old school Reggae, from the undisputed masters, Bob sounds young and vulnerable. He remade the song years later, but this is an early rough version, from the Songs of Freedom boxed set.

Otis Redding, ‘Sitting on the Dock of the Bay’
Otis’ most famous song, a big posthumous hit. Never really got into Otis until a few years ago. One of my earliest memories featuring Otis Redding was returning from a trip to West Point with the Lodi Boy’s Club. The driver played nothing but Otis Redding. I didn’t understand it then. Now I do. I think.

Honey Cone, ‘Stick Up’
Old school disco. Very gay disco at that. I prefer the Three Degrees, ‘When Will I See You Again?’ recorded and released around the same time. It’s funny how 2 minutes and 52 seconds could seem like an eternity. From the Soul Hits of the Seventies compilations.

Al Green, ‘Here I Am (Come and Take Me)’
Classic Al Green from his greatest hits. Al Green wove a lot of thread in the tapestry of my musical youth. Pass the dutchie!

Collapsing New People

Crazy rainstorm a happenin’ right now. Good thing the windows have been repaired. I could’ve been blown away at least in one sense of the words. Another ok day at work. My attitude improves mainly because I get to run errands around town and it gets me out of the office. It’s been good to have Rachel around. It was also a plus to not really have any major client meetings today. Most of my coworkers are still retarded and rude. They don’t say thank you at all. Not when holding an elevator for them and not when I fetch a bottle of wine for them. Unforgivably rude. Where is Serial Mom when you need her?

During one of my errands I was walking through Soho and I knew a group of them all went out to lunch somewhere, en masse. About ten of them where probably rude and obnoxious to the wait staff. As I was walking I was feeling strange, a fear of seeing them outside the office during daylight. I really have to get out of there. On one hand I do want to see what kind of bonus I will be getting. It better be an improvement over what I got from Wanker Banker, though in one of my last conversations with Felicia, she told me an amount which was basically the same as Wanker Banker. Should I believe a liar?

This week has been achingly slow, crawling to Friday. Time Will Crawl, besides being a Bowie song was also a title of a previous blog this week. It turned out to be true. I should have written, ‘John Wins the Mega Millions’, but that song hasn’t been written yet. Maybe I’ll write that during my nine days off, title a blog entry with the same name, and then win the Mega Millions. I’ll actually title it, ‘John Wins the Mega Millions Next Friday the 24th of November 2006’. I like the sound of that.

Twice this week I’ve read about cholera. What a terrible way to go. I had no idea the disease kills so fast. It got me thinking I should attempt to read Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I tried reading 100 Years of Solitude but couldn’t get into it. That was back when I tried to read the important works of the 20th Century. I tried reading James Joyce, Ulysses, but I couldn’t get past page 48 after several weeks. I think there’s an interesting new version that actually uses punctuation which could make it an easy read. Tried reading Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49. Eventually I gave up on those guys.

I am about to read The End of Faith by Sam Harris. The description says it delivers a startling analysis of the clash between reason and religion in the modern world. Sounds like a fun read. Just in time for the war on Christmas. And outside the storm rages on.

Right Now

Right now, at this very minute I am very pissed off at Microsoft Windows. This is the second piece I am writing tonight. Less than 5 minutes ago, I had written over 500 words and the computer decides now is the time for an automatic update and restarts itself, losing everything in the process. And let me tell you, it was killer stuff. Killer, in the sense of being really good and funny and offering a new style. Now I have bupkis. I’m sure I can crib something together but I was basically finished and polishing the piece before posting.

I remember writing about how the landlord had the windows fixed in the apartment. Bill and I tidied up somewhat though neither one of us was going to be home. I found it hard to believe that Bill didn’t know the windows were in need of repair. The empty upended cigar boxes didn’t provide anything resembling a clue. I also should him a kitchen in the window that was so off balance you needed to be a Zen Master in order to open it. All it would take is a sudden glance or a strong wind to send it crashing down. It’s been so windy lately and being on the fifth floor makes it windier. I’d sit on the couch and watch with one eye on the window, the other on the telly. Sort of like Marty Feldman.
Marty Feldman
Bill gave me a nice bear hug last night, almost fusing my spine and my rib cage together. After that it was easy to fall asleep. I woke up once again at 5:45 and sort f hustled around the apartment. Bill was up and about getting his act together. I left and walked out into the rising sun to the Path train which was not as crowded as it is an hour later. I got to the office at 7:00 and set about setting things up for today’s day long meeting. I had the foresight to set it up before I left the night before so it was relatively easy.

I got permission to run up to Macy’s and get two coffee makers. The kind that most everyone has at home, easy to figure out in any event. I got off the 1 train at 34th street and found it difficult to get into the store, it was so crowded. I wandered through the Men’s Suits department and found most everything lackluster. I rode the escalators to the Cellar and what I saw resembled a mob scene from ‘The Day of the Locust’ which I’ve never seen mind you, but I just added it to my Netflix queue.

People everywhere, screaming, running around with boxes of cookware. Totally stressful. I am looking forward to having next week off from work. I picked up two coffee makers and after asking a salesperson where the shortest lines were, I wound up in the candy department behind three women. The woman immediately in front of me had a check, a coupon, another discount and she was having it shipped to her house. The clerk had difficulty and needed top get the same information three or four times. I was tempted to say, ‘Her name is Lydia Carter. She lives on Hawthorne Street in Brooklyn. Her number is 718-555-5555.’

I held my tongue and was out of there soon after. It was a humid day and I found myself out running errands at various points of the day which probably accounted for my better mood at work today. Two more days of work and I’m off for the next nine! Woo hoo!

Time Will Crawl

Last night, came home and wrote. Got on the phone with my brother and talked with Frank for almost an hour. It was good, commiserating about shit jobs that he’s had and that I have. Apparently we both have looked at other people working, Frank looking at Postal workers with envy, me looking at street sweepers jealously. It was a good talk and allowed to let me take some steam off. Bill came home and tried a little tough love regarding the job but I don’t think it was the correct approach.

He was telling me things I’ve told myself countless times. So what good feeling I may have had with Frank, promptly went south after having Bill lecture me about the job. I know he meant well but oh how his timing was off. Then after that I get a phone call from Peter the landlord who tells me that the windows will be repaired Tuesday. That really sucked because the apartment is a mess and I wanted to be here when the windows were repaired and with work being what it is, I wouldn’t be able to take off. I spent about an hour avoiding Bill and trying to clean up the window areas so the repairman would have no problem fixing the four windows. I have no idea what happened on ‘Heroes’.

I went to bed at eleven. I woke up so tired. Up before six and at work this morning around 6:50. Bill kindly stayed out of my way, he was supportive again this morning, soft spoken and wished me a good day. I walked to the Path train in darkness. I played Led Zeppelin, a collection of the only Zeppelin songs I really like. Occasionally a song gets added, usually after hearing it somewhere and having memories that belong to someone else. The security at the lobby desk was asleep, literally. Nothing was going to stir this guy. He does work a twelve hour shift after all.

I got to the office and ran around setting things up for an all day meeting with clients. I had forgotten to set things up last night, but had enough time to do it, relatively stress free. I made two pots of coffee and started a third and went to the loo, the first one to use the bathroom. A cheap, yet good feeling. I came back to the kitchen to find the coffee pot overflowing once again. It would not shut off. I cursed as I had to clean everything up, hot coffee all over the place.

I also had to train a new temp today. Today’s temp Norah was good. An actual temp, not merely a friend of Terry’s. I wouldn’t mind working with her again, but Terry’s friend will be back tomorrow and for the rest of the week. It got fairly hairy today with another client meeting starting up at 10:00. Norah and I made a good team, able to feed and clean up after over a dozen people. It wasn’t easy and it was stressful at times. At one point the C.E.O. came out and asked me to lower the volume on the front desk phones as it was distracting him.

Then I had to try to order cars for the clients when they were leaving and deal with idiot operators who complain I talk too fast. Then it was the idiot known as Christopher Heinz who I’ve been trying to contact regarding activating key cards. I finally got him on the phone and told him I left a voice mail. ‘Oh yeah, I got that voice mail.’ Why didn’t you call me back, stupid ass? He asked if I had the numbers he needed and I proceeded to recite them to him. ‘Whoa, email me the numbers.’ Why didn’t you say that you fucker? He then proceeded to say his email address to me really fast. I had to ask him to repeat it and he did in quite an exasperated manner. I’d like to see him order a car service!

I was able to get out for a smoke when my cell phone rang and I went upstairs. The day long clients wanted sodas, some Pepsi, some diet Pepsi and some without caffeine. I went out and bout 3 six packs of soda and set them up in the conference room only to be put down by a co worker in front of the clients, saying that I was supposed to have gotten Coca Cola not Pepsi.

It’s hard to smile through all this. I have got to get out of there pronto. I’m already planning on being sick the day of the holiday party. I’d rather not have anything to do with them and to go out and celebrate with them right now, seems hypocritical. I came home leaving work an hour earlier, and got a call from the office. Tomorrow’s all day meeting is not going to start until 9:30 so I wouldn’t have to be in at 7:00. That’s nice, but the food is going to be there at 7:30 so I do have to be in again at 7AM. Ta da!

Mama Weer All Crazee Now

I hate it. No really I hate it. I guess Felicia was merely the pimple on top of the problem. Last Thursday and Friday I worked with this nice woman, Anna. She was a good worker, supporting a nine year old son. I liked her and hoped that she would be back. No she wasn’t back today, instead Terry who I am liking less and less each day, had her friend Rachel come in. I figured it out when I heard squealing and looked up to see Terry and Rachel hugging and giggling and doing girly things. No Anna, here’s Rachel.

I wasn’t too happy about it, but then again I’m just the janitor. I asked about what happened to Anna, why wasn’t she coming back and I couldn’t believe the excuse they gave. She was unfriendly. That’s what they said. Now I didn’t think she was unfriendly. I thought she was just fine. The fucked up aspect is all these mother fucking people are the unfriendly ones. I mean I’ve been there since April 19, and have barely had more than three minutes of conversation with some of these former ‘people’, now ‘assholes’. They have some nerve saying that she was unfriendly.

Did any of them put out a friendly hand? No. They barely acknowledged her much like they barely acknowledge me. But then again there is the extenuating circumstance that doesn’t relate to me at all. Could it be because she was a woman of color? In the all white office, in every sense of the word, she was the ant in the sugar bowl. It really really sucks. Also, last week before the shit hit the fan regarding Felicia I sent in notice that I was taking the three days before Thanksgiving off. No one said I couldn’t so I went ahead and started making plans.

No plans really, just taking 3 out of 8 vacation days left. I planned to take the remaining 5 days off between Christmas and New Years. They are now freaking out since I won’t be in next week. They are panicking quite a bit, and had me sit down with Terry, Linda and Donna to discuss covering all bases before I am marked out on holiday. Apparently they are figuring out that it might take four people to do my job. I also found out that the parent company, Engulf and Devour, has been calling the office to make sure the phones are answered correctly.

How nice, not only do I have to deal with these fuck heads when they are in my face, I also have to smile as I’m running around the office, picking up after these fuckers who can’t find a garbage can (there are two) in the kitchen, and sound like I’m smiling as I answer the phone, ‘Good Morning/Afternoon, McMann and Tate. How may I direct your call?’ I really want out of there. I am looking towards January and wish to be out of there as soon as possible. I’m not looking forward to a big bonus, I’ll probably get the sliver of pie which was the same amount that I got from Wanker Banker. I am just so fucking unhappy.

And tomorrow I have to be in the office at 7AM. If anyone from the office reads this, besides Alan and the wonderful Elizabeth, they can go to fucking hell.

Messthetics

Well I know I did the right thing on Friday, leaving work early, coming home and having a disco nap before going out again. I slept about an hour and woke up relatively refreshed. Bill had come home in the interim and dashed back out to see a friend of his put on a dance recital. I sat around, had a cup of strong ass coffee and headed out myself a short time later. It was a beautiful night around 65 degrees. I decided to leave my shoulder bag home, containing iPod and digital camera, figuring they would have to be checked once I got to the Bowery Ballroom.

I walked along the darkened esplanade aside the river, not many people strolling around, just a couple of joggers. I got to the train and sat in a nearly empty car, and since I had nothing to read I wound up going through various text messages on my cell phone deleting most of the older ones and getting off at the Christopher Street station. I got to the street and found most of the Friday night bar hopping underway. I walked through and met up with Linda and Amiable Alan on 7th Avenue.

They were standing outside a bar called Luke and Leroy and about to go in when Linda observed I was smoking and said we should have gone to a bar that allowed smoking. As luck would have it, we were a few doors away from Mr. Dennehy’s, a bar with a garden that was open and decided to go there as it was a warm night, we can hang out there and talk and smoke without having to compete with loud music. We settled in and talked, Alan telling us his story so far which was very interesting and deserves to be written about.

Despite our best efforts, we tried not to talk about work though it was the only thing we really had in common. The subject was broached, and it all came spilling out. Felicia this, Felicia that over my many pints. I was drinking like it was water. It was Guinness after all and after the first pint it all goes down like water anyway. I even was able to sit and have a Padron 5000 which was great, Linda loves the smell of a good cigar. After my grubby fingers eating most of the French fries, we jumped into a cab and headed east over to the Bowery.

I had purchased tickets a week earlier and I had mine, Linda had hers, but Alan lost his so he had to buy another ticket. We walked a bit so that I could partake in a jazz cigarette which would have been forbidden inside. Only a quick couple of puffs before we headed into the club, just in time for Scritti Politti to hit the stage. Green, the leader of the band looked great, not as fey as he looked in the photos from the eighties. Rather tall and hirsute, as tall as me I might add.

He stood and played guitar, chatting in between numbers and stopping a song as it began because he wasn’t happy with the way it was going. The show was great, the beer kept flowing and the songs were performed deftly live, even the heavily synthesized songs from the eighties, including Wood Beez (Pray Like Aretha Franklin) which was originally produced by Arif Mardin. After the set we sat in the lounge for a nightcap. I went to the bathroom and snuck a quick cigarette only to find out that I was really drunk. No one in the bathroom as I bounced from wall to wall stumbling.

I went back out to Linda and Alan and stated that I had to leave that I was pretty much three sheets to the wind. I sobered up when we hit the street, both Linda and Alan remarking how I didn’t seem drunk, but I was. It took a lot of strength to keep my head together as I had a ways to go back to Hoboken. It was late and I was not looking forward to waiting in the Path train forever for a ride home.

I did make it home at a reasonable hour and went right to bed, with Green’s voice and songs echoing in my head. The thing about Green and Scritti Politti is he was very much inspired by punk, formed a band and became smitten with hip hop, so much so that a song on the new record, features the song titles of Run DMC’s first album as lyrics. Like myself, I was enamored with punk and was smitten by hip hop when it started. Some friends of mine couldn’t reconcile the two but I suppose Green could and I could. And here we were 20 years later.

White Bread, Black Beer

Friday. Slept well last night, waking up once again difficult. Had to go in today because I wasn’t too sure whether or not clients were due in, but I knew for sure the biggest cheese was coming in, Mr. Root Beer himself. Mr. Root Beer told me in June I was doing a sterling job. He sort of looks like Ian Holm, from the ‘Alien’ period. No sterling comment this time. He seemed glad to be in New York, though I think his visit was more social than professional. That was fine by me. Rather have him happy than angry anyway.

This part of the blog is written earlier than usual. Way earlier than I expected last night. It was slow going in the office, not many people in beside el grande queso. The show for Scritti Politti is still on and I was driving myself crazy, trying to think of something to do since I was leaving work at 5:30 and the show probably would happen until 11:00. With all this boredom I’d have difficulty staying awake until then. I am going with co-workers Amiable Alan and Linda who were going to stay at work later than I was willing.

I had a brainstorm. Since I was fifteen minutes away from the city by Path train, why don’t I just go home and have a disco nap, and meet both of them at 9:00 in the city. We can meet up and have something to eat, maybe a pint somewhere then head to the show. They both seemed fine with my idea and Linda suggested that I leave then since it was so slow. I stayed on until 4:30 then I split. Came home, took a nap and woke up on my own about 45 minutes later, basically refreshed.

Feeling pretty good now. Bill just came home from work and sits behind me as I write this. I just had a tuna fish sandwich. Felicia made it into the office and showed me a few things that she was in the midst of working on. Nothing earth shattering, though I did take some notes. It was a bittersweet farewell. Her time at McMann and Tate was at an end. She brought in bagels for the office which was a nice touch though I passed on the bagels, having gotten my own on the way into work this morning.

It’s a beautiful night, finally looking forward to the show. I did a Google search for Scritti Politti and a few interesting websites came up with some favorable reviews of the shows that happened already. The tour started in Los Angeles and New York is close to the end, so the band should be very tight. They’re covering various songs from the past including Skank Bloc Bologna from 1979. It’s not sold out and I have doubts that I will know anyone from NJ driving into the city who might be willing to give me a ride home after the show. It’s not a sold out show, so if you’re so inclined, keep an eye out for me.

The Boom Boom Bap

Well it’s Thursday and it’s not raining. I needed to go in earlier than usual since big client was coming in and with Felicia not really working at McMann and Tate I was a solo act. I needed to get bagels and cream cheese and butter as well as flowers. It really wasn’t so bad yet Felicia acted like it was the hardest thing to do. The fact that it wasn’t raining made it easy and the fact that I decided to wear a suit made it fun. The weather was more than cooperative so I wore a gray suit, lavender button down shirt, gray braces and a black silk tie with a ruffled pattern on it.

The atmosphere has improved without Felicia being around. True she got things done, but alienated a lot of people besides me. A few people asked me if I heard anything or knew of what happened. I said that I saw the text message that told her that her head was on the block but didn’t see the sender, though I did. They didn’t need to know that. Today I had a temp working with me, Anna. She was a nice woman, from Brooklyn. She showed up early and I tried showing her how to answer the phone, what the process was for transferring a call.

All went well when I sat next to her but when I stepped away she lost two calls from the office alpha male who was quite irate and probably cursed me out for not answering the phone. At some point I was out on the street and called up to the office and all I got was, ‘Hello.’ Not, ‘Hello McMann and Tate.’ Uh honey? If you’re going to answer the phone for a company it’s probably a good idea to at least mention the company’s name when picking up the handset. I had to tell her that.

It was a slow day, not too busy. Felicia was supposed to come in and show me the things she was working on but once again, a text. ‘Feel a bit under the weather. Will come in 2morrow instead’. We all know what happened. Once she got over the fact that she was losing the job, she celebrated losing the job and probably drank and tooted her way through the night. Which is what I think she’s been doing all along. I know because I used to do that.

Friday is supposed to be the day that she comes in. Friday night I am going to see Scritti Politti with Linda and Amiable Alan. Since it’s on the Lower East Side and probably starts around 11:00, I doubt that I will write tomorrow night. I think if Felicia was still employed at McMann and Tate she would probably be upset that she wasn’t going to the show with us and cause some grief. But she isn’t so she won’t. I’m apprehensive about going to a show so late in the night and so far away from my bed. Jeezy Creezy, what the fuck? Doesn’t matter. I’m going. It’s not a school night. I mean, Jeezy Creezy, what the fuck?

Sonic Reducer

A Rainy Wednesday. Pissing all over the place and another morning where it was nearly impossible to get out of bed. Bill was up and out at 5:30. I sort of remember him kissing me good-bye before he left. That was nice and I soon drifted back to dreaming my dreams. When I finally woke up, the sun was up and it was still raining. I showered, had breakfast and coffee, checked emails and got dressed headed out into the storm. I would’ve liked to stay home again today, but after yesterday’s events it seemed important that I go in.

The Path was filled with the usual commuters. Everyone was wet and soggy and I just read the New Yorker and got off at Ninth Street. I went to the bagel joint and got a bagel, hoping that they wouldn’t be stale like they were last week. Got the usual free papers, the Voice, AM New York and the Metro. Got to the office, couldn’t find my pass card. I heard some music and didn’t know where it was coming from. I had hoped Terry had gotten in before I did and rang the bell. In the reflection of the conference room wall I could see someone sitting near my desk.

I knock on the door and there’s some dude, dressed in black. Turns out he was hired for the night, as a security guard in the event that Felicia tries to come back during the night and cause some mischief. He had her stats and her picture and her ID card just so he wouldn’t make a mistake while sitting at my desk playing ‘I Need Love’ by LL Cool J all night long. He left soon after to go to another job at 9:00. Monica, the new HR person came in soon afterwards and told me to shred the documents pertaining to Felicia.

Soon people started streaming into the office, most everyone asking me if I heard anything about Felicia or what happened yesterday. I knew just a little bit more than they did. Mark, Felicia’s supervisor cornered me in the kitchen and said it was a shame that things were turning out they way they are. He mentioned that someone leaked the information to her that she was about to be, putting it politely, let go. I mentioned I saw the text message that Felicia had but that was it. There was really no way I could have seen it coming.

As usual, I make plans to leave McMann and Tate and things start to look like they’re going in my favor. I think they might make me the offer to fill Felicia’s position. Or maybe not. She stopped by the office today and ironed things out with Monica and Mark. She said she’ll be coming back tomorrow to fill me in on the things she was working on and Monica said she wanted to talk to me about what was going on. Though Monica was driving me crazy and towards another job, I feel sort of bad that her chapter is ending this way. But hey, you reap what you sow.

Tomorrow, one on one with Felicia and I work with a Temp the next two days. If the Temp works out they might hire her on Monday, which also leads me to believe that they might be moving into Felicia’s role, perhaps somewhat reduced.

Possibly Maybe

Bill spent the night at his parent’s last night so he could vote this morning. It is Election Day. Did you vote? You’d better have if you’re able. I voted in Hoboken after deciding to go to work today. No text from Felicia and I thought about not going in but decided to go in, if only to see how the chemistry would feel like with Felicia, Terry and possibly Linda all working in the office.

I was put off this morning by Terry requesting that I ready a conference room in the afternoon for a meeting that she was arranging. Last week she would’ve been setting up the room alongside me, this week she’s telling me to do it.

Oh I simmered. I didn’t like that at all. Linda was out again with a bad throat and Felicia had something going on. She was very distant, not very communicative at all. She was in but not really there. Sort of like a light’s on, nobody home scenario. I ran a few errands outside the office with her blessing of, ‘Sure. Go ahead, it’s a nice day.’ It was a very nice morning as I wandered around Soho for a short while.

Things got fairly busy in the office, lot’s of meetings, messengers coming and in and going out and since we are directly across the hall from the New York City Board of Elections there was a lot of foot traffic in the hallway. Around 1:30 I went out for my usual salad while Felicia ran some errands of her own. I asked Terry to watch the phones while I was out. I came back with the salad about a half hour later to find Felicia eating a sandwich at my desk. I said ‘What a surprise’ as I sat down.

She turned and looked at me with tears in her eyes. I asked her what was wrong and she shows me a text on her cellphone. It basically said that she was going to get fired tomorrow and that she should be prepared, and that if she asks the sender of the email the sender would have to play dumb. That’s why she was acting the way she was acting this morning. I asked her who sent the text and she showed me that it was signed by Paul, the IT guy. Sure enough, she cornered Paul and asked if he sent it and he said no. She came back to me crying.

She ran down a list of people who could’ve sent it. No phone number turned up since it was sent to her cellphone at 6AM from an email account. It was obvious it was Paul. He played dumb like the text said he would. She told me that the errand she ran around noon was about her bringing her things home. She knew the writing was on the wall. I had to run an errand up to Times Square so I left that scene and took the subway uptown. I called up Julio who had called me earlier and told him what was going on in the office. He asked if I was going to get her position.

I told him I doubt it. It might be nice to move up that way, to get a promotion and a raise, but I don’t think I’ll be offered the position. I also called Juan and told him and hung out with Bill for a few minutes since I was across the street. I jumped on the train downtown and Felicia was nowhere to be seen. I asked her supervisor, Mark who told me she had stormed out and left. That’s all I know so far. Quite a day, eh?

Badge

It just felt so right just laying in bed this morning. Bill kissed me good bye as he was off to work. I told him that I wasn’t going in today and if he could give me my cellphone, since I was laying there half asleep. Sure enough, a text message from Felicia. Her boyfriend’s sister had a set back from her coronary last week and they were wherever they were. Middletown NY? That was where she said she had to go last week, when we were discussing her boyfriend’s sister’s heart ailment. I asked if she had a good cardiologist and what hospital she was in. Felicia didn’t know the name of the hospital.

Girl, if you’re gonna lie big, you have to get all the details down. So at 2:00AM, when the bars close, I got a text message that read, “Pats sister had a set back. Going 2 catch a bus. Barf! Hoping 2 b able 2 help P settle in and b in the office by eleven or twelve. Mwah to u and Terry.” So she was going to catch that 2:00AM bus from Middletown to New York City, help her boyfriend settle into her apartment and then come into the office. It turns out that Felicia sent another text message, “Oy vey. Exhausted. Gonna work from home. Xo.” Terry who was my co-pilot last week was no longer my co-pilot. She had been co-opted by various directors who need help booking cars and making travel arrangements.

Once again it was lonely old me at the front desk, various co-workers walking by, barely grunting. I was thisclose to playing hooky today, but my conscience won out. Stupid conscience. Linda sent me an email saying that she wasn’t going to be in due to the fact that her throat was shot and she sounded like a man. Thisclose I tell you. I do believe Linda’s story though. I do have to thank Amiable Alan for hanging with me for a little while today, not wanting to see me so morose. I also forgot my vitamins today so that could’ve added to my Monday malaise.

And my teeth. That’s really bumming me out. And the elections tomorrow. After the defeat in 2004 I am hesitant to be hopeful about the democrats beating the republicans. The republicans are so dirty, full of dirty tricks and hypocrisy. I have no feeling for them whatsoever. Which in a way is taking the upper road since they’ve demonized gay people, and no one can do that except for me. Or another gay person, but with the way they republican party is stumbling out of various closets, I suppose they’re doing just that.

Tomorrow I urge all that can vote to do so. All of the five of you. Sorry Song, you’ll have to sit this one out. Meanwhile I’ve alerted some employment counselors that I’m looking to move on, specifically Lawrence who I’ve never met yet promises to help me find a job. I got in contact with Lawrence when I tried getting a job at the law firm where Bill works. I didn’t get the job because of the relationship of Bill and myself, despite me pleading that at the time of the interview, that Bill and I were separated. Well, we were at that time. The woman I interviewed with liked me enough to forward my resume to someone else, someone named Lawrence. Hopefully in January I’ll be out of McMann and Tate. That is the plan so far. I think it’s a nice plan, don’t you? I thought you would.

Jelly Bread

Last night Juan came over and hung out. Toasted his birthday with Stella Artois and watched TV. It was all very nice and I am glad that it doesn’t take too much to keep Juan entertained. Bill and I were watching ‘Singing in the Rain’ on channel 13 when Juan came in. It was a very mellow evening. After watching Gene Kelly we watched a movie called ‘Running Scared’ which was merely alright and also fairly violent with editing tricks and special effects that tried to cover whatever plot holes existed. From one extreme to another film wise. Last year I had a link to a 7 minute preview for ‘Running Scared’ which basically showed the first 7 minutes, the best part and also quite bloody.

Bill went to bed midway through the movie and didn’t miss anything, Juan and I just hung out watching the telly and talking shit. He split around 1:00 and I went off to bed. Bill was up bright and early and wound up running out for the papers and bagels for the second time this weekend. That meant that once again I’d be able to sleep later, till 9:00. I totally blew off the NYC Marathon for the 37th year and opted to watch it on television yet again.

My brother Frank was selling records at the WFMU record fair and I could have gone, but I thought that the phone calling ‘Get out the Vote’ party sponsored by MoveOn.org was this afternoon at 4:00. I took a nap and woke up thinking that I should get it together and go to Bloomfield Street to my friends Tim Daly and Sheilah Scully apartment where they were hosting. I looked online to get the proper address and realized right then that I was two days too early and I wouldn’t be able to attend on Election Day. D’oh indeed.

Still groggy from the perfect nap I went out to the supermarket and once again picked the wrong time. A ton of people buying groceries for the week. I wandered through the crowded supermarket trying to remember what items I actually needed. I remembered the toilet paper and coffee but couldn’t get my beloved diet 7up. Life can be so hard sometimes. I should have gone to the record fair. It would’ve been nice to hang out with Frank if only for an hour or so, but sometimes it gets hard for me to be motivated to get into the city on a weekend. So no photos of Tom Verlaine’s footwear.

I think from now on I’ll write the blog maybe six days a week. Not set in stone, but decidedly less active during the weekends and would like to relax rather than think of writing something for the day. It is good that I can muster the energy or the wherewithal to get 500 words out, but if I have an absolutely lazy day and nothing to write about I am not going to force the issue.

Adventures Close to Home

Last night I hung out and wrote, and had a couple of Stella Artois before I headed out to McSwells to see the Slits at the ungodly hour of 9:00. With two Stellas under my belt, both literally and figuratively I walked/weaved up to McSwells. I called Rand to see if he wanted to join me for a pint and he begged off, he had some work to do. I was surprised at the fact that two beers made me struggle to walk a straight line but then it’s always a struggle for me to do anything straight after all.

A band was on, one of the two opening acts. Todd Abramson was around, looking as handsome as ever. He is such a stud, eminently doable. Is he as hung as people have said? I saw Ari Up and Tessa from the Slits having dinner in the front room while being interrupted by various guys carrying their first, and only album ‘Cut’ for autographs. Besides Todd and the Slits I didn’t know anyone there as I stood by the jukebox looking around the front room. I walked to the back room and asked the guys working the door when the Slits were going on. They said 10:50 or 11:00.

I walked back out front, finished my Guinness and walked back home. I couldn’t bear to stand around for two hours at McSwells not knowing anyone and not having any drugs. Ah those memories from the eighties, working at McSwells and doing an occasional line while running around pushing people out of my way with two cases of cold beer. I came home, logged back on and chatted with Juan, nursing a semi broken heart on the night before his birthday. Also chatted with Song who was actually in Taipei before moving on back to Sydney. He wished Juan a happy birthday, in Chinese!

I had another Stella and almost settled in for the night, willing to sacrifice $15.00 just to chill out at home, like I do every friggin night. No, Juan wasn’t having it and proceeded to encourage me to go back to McSwells. I told him I think I’ll go and hang out for a few songs but he browbeat me into going for the whole set. I agreed and watched most of ER and left before I found out whether or not patient ‘A’ was going to live or die. Funny thing is I’ve been watching Scrubs all the time and find it hard to take ER seriously anymore. Then again, after the original cast moved on I found it hard to maintain any interest in the show.

I walked up to McSwells again and walked into the back room just as the Slits were starting. I stepped over to the bar and had another Guinness and looked around where I saw Carol Cusack, who I run into occasionally on the Path train and who I used to work with at McSwells in the eighties, Charlie who I used to DJ with back in the day and Stan who is also friends with the Carol and Charlie. The Slits were excellent, with Ari Up and Tessa being the two original members with four other women in the band, including Holly Cook on background vocals. Holly looked like Neneh Cherry to me and she is actually the daughter of Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook. Brilliant!

The Slits were having a good time on stage, urging the audience to scream and participate. I will definitely see them again should this line up come back. I was mightily impressed with Tessa on the bass, playing dub style which is a big favorite of mine. For a band that started back in 1977, not knowing how to ‘properly’ play their instruments opening for the Clash and the Sex Pistols and the Damned, they’ve really made a great impression. Once again, DIY wins out. Good info on the Slits at Wikipedia, featuring a link to an in depth interview with Tessa from few years ago. I even used this quote in the morning announcement at work, “Punk wasn’t about being a follower . . . it was about creating your own thing. The Slits were never a punk band in the ‘follower’, or the normally accepted sense of that word.”
— Tessa Pollitt.

Got home at around 1:00AM and went right to bed, waking up 5 hours later, going to work and dealing with the usual Felicia bullshit and I don’t want to get into that right now. Cheers!

from Rod 2.0 blog
· Houston Mayor Bill White halts flu vaccinations at early voting sites in predominantly black and Hispanic neighborhoods. The program didn’t require recipients to vote and was available to anyone aged 50 or older. Health officials wanted to reach people in medically underserved communities but local Republican Party leaders say this was “completely motivated” to turn out Democratic voters.