bleeps & bloops


I have stopped writing because I work too much. I am now officially brain-dead. Even my inner social commentary has just gone kaput. When I see something entertaining I don’t even shoot sly remarks at things in my head anymore. There’s no more “remember that for later” or “when I’m finally free I’ll….” Nope. It’s just trudging forward through lack of sleep and interest in life these days.

I’m giving the 9-5 a go again, or rather, the 9-6. And I think it isn’t for me, again. No Sir. Surprise. My joy in life has just turned to a sludge similar to what you might find in the drain when there’s a lot of hair and soap residue built up down there. Not a pretty sight. Especially when the water gets all scummy and won’t go away like the people, interests, bills and all the clothes on my floor that are just waiting for me to care.

I’m tired of it. I miss art’s constant magnetism, freaking out listening to music, feeling a mystical religious experience every once and a while, the highs and lows. A natural Prozac substitute, this full-time work business. Maybe once you do it enough then you need the real stuff. Right now it’s just a mellow lack of feeling. Well, a lack of all feeling except frustration.

I plan for it to be over relatively soon with a drop to part-time-ish work, but damn, New York City is a hard place to live in and actually have a creative moment. When I get home I barely have the energy to make dinner.

I’m lucky if I get home by 8pm, so I generally rush along and just bike the 6 miles from Chelsea to Brooklyn with my eyes scanning the horizon and potholes, not stopping until I flop on the couch in my room. Occasionally I get a wild hair up my ass and actually look around me and then I remember why I actually live here.

Like tonight. I saw some things that made me glad. And that was a feeling I had missed for a while. Biking along 20th St towards the Lower East Side I got behind a man on a bike with one of those little add-on back bikes where a little blond girl was perched, peddling along behind her Dad, probably contributing more to fun than peddle power. She was maybe 6 years old. My immediate reaction was shock especially when he barely slipped in between two taxis. Peddling behind them, I envisioned the little girl getting quickly crushed. The Dad navigated along the bike lane until they came upon the NY cyclist’s favorite obstacle- a taxi in the lane. (They should seriously be called taxi or delivery lanes, why lie.) He biked up to the driver’s window and asked him rather nicely to get out of the bike lane. The taxi obliged and slowly pulled out of the way. As they biked by the little girl turned and yelled “get out of the bike lane!” in her squeaky high voice with true conviction. I was so impressed.

On my way up the bridge, I passed a girl weaving her way up the bridge in an “8” formation, going up the bridge circling back and forth horizontally, slowing ascending and smiling to herself. This is quite a difficult way to go up a bridge, but noble none the less.

And then lastly I stopped at the top of the bridge on the Brooklyn side to remove my hoodie as I had worked up quite a sweat by that point and I finally took a breath and looked around me. The city was absolutely perfect- everything had this bright aura around it because of the humidity and the moon hung like a sliver above the skyscrapers. I heard some noise and looked down onto the street far below, close to the giant SCREWRENT graffiti that I love so.

There were some kids skateboarding off a concrete barricade. They had taken some more concrete and smoothed out a spot where the barricade touched the asphalt to create a better ramp. They were having a blast jumping off the thing.

A friend I really like is coming to visit soon. I envision dancing at Weird, playing music together and visits to the Natural Science Museum among other fun things. Having guests helps me take time to enjoy the city again and refreshed my memory of who I want to be.

First day at the new job
September 24, 2007, 7:55 pm
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Oh. My. God. My ass got whooped. Like majorly…

I started my new job at a large web firm in Chelsea this morning. I put on a crisp new t-shirt and my clean-enough jeans and loaded on the crystal deodorant which I knew would be useless against a first day at work so I brought it along for later.

I took the train, which I never do, only because, well, it was my first day at the big firm and I wanted to smell kind of presentable and not be all disheveled and sweaty first off. But the Iranian president foiled my plans by being in town and slowing the trains to a grinding halt because of heavy security. I got there 20 minutes late. Never will I rely on a good first impression by taking the train.

But no one noticed. The punk-looking girl in the elevator just started recently too, it seemed pretty cool to her. And when we got buzzed in through the two layers of glass and hardwood doors, the place was pretty empty and some nice folks showed me around. I was then showed the basics of how the plethora of files are organized and the systems that are involved at my swanky little stainless steal desk and double flat screen monitors. No sweat, I thought. And then I waited to be told what to work on. And I waited, and waited and….

Went to lunch. Had yummy falafel and Turkish coffee and then went back. I was then presented with my tasks, which didn’t seem too rough. Templates existed, just copy them and fill in what hasn’t been created yet. Here are the file names on this piece of paper. That piece of paper took a while to get copied for me and then I was off to work, sort of. Navigating the system of preexisting files and images took me HOURS. I won’t bore you with the details but at one point I had almost completed a page, and then during a search, discovered that it had already been created by someone else.  I almost completed something by the end of the day today. It’s all due tomorrow and then I’ll be on another project.

I walked to the subway, a zombie in a stinky t-shirt, brain-hurting. The subway was fun though. I would close my eyes, wait a few stops, then reopen them to find the whole scene had changed. The closer to Brooklyn I got the more intriguing it became. For the whole ride I sat next to a rad looking black fellow wearing a kufi, baggy bleached jams, jewelry and sunglasses reading muslim literature about the Hajj. Standing next to us was a young Hasidic jew with scruffy eyebrows. They never fail to captivate me. When I opened my eyes again the jew had disappeared and a large woman in a big pink knit sweater had materialized. She was smiling like she had a secret, and I guess she did cuz she was listening to her mp3 player and was really enjoying what she was hearing. She kept trying to be chill about it, but her smile kept creeping back and I couldn’t help but smile too, sharing her joy.

When I stepped out of the subway station, the air was crisp and the sky was pink and the moon, almost totally full, was hanging there straight down Fulton St. Everyone seemed very alive and then I heard the adhan from the Fulton St. mosque and felt like it was all worth it.