So I got eight hours of sleep last night, which makes me wake up bad-ass and ready to take on the tasks before me. So I usually don’t advocate cigarettes, (kids, they’re not good for you) but this is about the coolest picture anyone could take of themselves smoking a cigarette, so I had to post it. That’s me on my porch deciding how I’m going to kick this day in the crotch. And I’ll do it, too.
I’m hosting a discussion between some local real-estate agents, and despite the fact that I’m not too fond of real estate, I like these roundtable things because I learn more about what’s going on in the area. Plus we had local fine artists at the discussion last time, so I can’t ask for it to be that cool EVERY time.
Milford is kind of a growing place with a lot of city slickers buying 2nd (and 3rd) houses here. This is one of the reasons I live above a restaurant, because for some reason people think it’s pseudo-city, which means I pay pseudo-city prices for a shack. I wouldn’t mind my little room at all if I had a kitchen.
So I’ll update my webshots site later today so you can see more about where I live and stuff. It’s like 8:40 right now, though– so I have to get to work pretty soon.
For those of you who don’t know, Virgil’s root beer and cream soda are the BEST root beer and cream soda I’ve ever had. I’m something of an expert on these things, so if you get a chance to try them, I recommend it. It really comes down to using real cane juice or cane extract instead of corn syrup.
Once you start drinking things flavored with real cane, you taste a corn syrup sweetened beverage again and say “Ugh…what the hell is this shit? Am I drinking Nebraska?” It’s really hard for me to drink any regular soda anymore, except ginger ale, which you can’t even screw up with cheap sweeteners.
Land of the dead is out in theatres, but I don’t have much money to drive all the way to Middletown to see it, so I’m going to have to wait until next week to get my zombie fix. The Dawn of the Dead remake was downright creepy, which is what I’m hoping for Land. Dennis Hopper’s in it though, and while I love Dennis Hopper, I don’t really see him as a good zombie-movie guy unless he’s armed to the teeth and really bad-ass. Apparently he’s some sort of Donald-Trump-like suit, so we’ll see.
It’s thundering and raining outside. Maybe the power will go off again. The power goes out like every week here, with two or three little brown outs in between a long outage. The phone system
is screwy, too, which makes me happy I have a cell.
Ok, off to work.
“And if I don’t see you in the future, I’ll see you in the past-ure…get it? Past-ure?”
“Fool, it’s hot! I told you again!
Were you born on the sun?”
–Good Morning Vietnam
Holy hell, my A/C has been on for like 2 hours now, and that thermostat still looks exactly the same. So I made it through my hell day, and I’m convinced I’m about to pass out at any given moment. I sure am hungry though, so that means I’ll probably keep eating until I get not hungry enough to sleep. That’s usually how it works.
So the July issue turned out well. August is being put into the works now and I’m starting to do my research for September since I’ll be going out of state for a week in July. I keep forgetting I turn 22 in a week. It’s true what everyone says about the ages after 21– you just don’t care anymore. So these people leasing the restaurant I live above own two H2’s. It’s like one shitty Hummer look alike wasn’t enough for them– they needed two watered-down I-think-I’m-a-bad-ass souped up Tahoes to prove their worth to the world. So fine– I can cut you some slack if you own one H2– it probably means you weren’t rich enough to buy a real Hummer. But two?
Buy a Bentley, you stupid shit. Or at least two Mercedes. At least you won’t look like a one-hit wonder who spent the only check he’s ever going to get in his short untalented career.
But enough about dumbasses who are rich enough to buy $45,000 vehicles, but stupid enough to buy the wrong ones.
Speaking of which, the new H2H (Hydrogen hummer) says on its website that it can hold enough fuel for a 60 mile trip between fill ups, AND it can go off road. Brilliant…so not only do you have NO milage between fill ups, but also NO WHERE to fill it.
Has anyone ever seen a HYDROGEN station in the alkali flats? Maybe they have them in the Sierra Nevadas. General Motors, we salute your ability to sell ridiculous ideas to American consumers. Everyone else is laughing their asses off or getting incredibly angry that any company could afford such a ludicrously obvious waste of capital.
Slam a book in my ear, kick me in the throat– anything to keep me awake. When
I get home I’m going to pass the fuck out…this is what nights like last night do to days like today. So now I can breathe a little easier, and I can relax a bit, but I’m so god damned tired that it’s hard to stay awake at my desk.
You know what, though? When I go home, I’m going home to a clean room. That’s awesome. When I go home, my laundry will be done and my place will be clean. When I fall asleep and wake up the next morning, reset– everything will be exactly as I need it to be.
I’m waiting for people to get back from lunch so that we can start going through layouts. Today the July issue comes back– it’ll be my second one.
I’m sooo tired. My bed is going to feel so good in 2 hours.
So we backtrack to monday when I went to the city to see Modest mouse. At 11AM I tie all this together and decide that I’m going to have to leave at 1PM if I’m going to catch the last afternoon train into the city. My hair is long and gross (think hockey cut) and I look like shit because I didn’t really expect that I was going to make plans and go that same day.
By noon I’m running around trying to decide what salon’s going to be able to get me in for an emergency haircut, and a coworker recommends this place. I call them up and get a woman who explains that her 11:30 is late and that she’s going to call to make sure this late appointment isn’t going to show up at the same time as me. I get a call back 5 minutes later telling me to come right down.
The place is on the outside of town and I know that I’m not going to be able to go back home to change after my haircut, which is probably going to be really shitty since my hair is always itchy after I get a haircut. So I reluctantly head down, stopping at the ATM of course. I pull in, and she’s a rather attractive woman in her mid-thirties. She has jet black hair and she’s on the curvy side, and I’m rather in stricken by her because she has a really pretty face and this beautiful straight black hair that kind of flows around her face. (Something about women who are 10-15 years older than me. I don’t know.) So we’re talking and she goes on to tell me that she used to be a rep for LP (Latin Percussion) a company which I know because I have an LP bell above my high hat on my drum set. She’s met Carlos Santana, The late great Tito Puente, so on an so forth, and we have a good chat. Her kind of wild beauty makes sense to me now, because I’m figuring she used to be a rocker and she’s seen her days of crazy season-long parties and rock stars, which only turns me on more. She does a good job cutting my hair despite my poor directions, and offers to wash my hair again after I explain that I have to catch a train and I won’t be able to stop home.
The haircut costs $15, but I leave a $20 and say fuck it, because she took me in an emergency, and she’s the first other person other than Anne to cut my hair in something like 14 years, so she’s worth making happy so that I can get another good haircut in a month or two when I need to fly out of town in less than an hour again.
My shirt itches, but my procrastination comes in handy for once when I realize I STILL haven’t taken my laundry baskets out of my trunk. The shirts are wrinkled, but the laundry is clean, so I say fuck it and grab two shirts out of the back. On the way to Matamoras I deftly change shirts while driving and peek at my phone, which says 1:10. The train leaves Port Jervis at 1:27 and for a few minutes I don’t think I’m going to make it until I cross the Delaware River into NY at about 1:20. I buy my ticket from the machine after struggling to understand the directions, and I kind of understand that I have to get off at Seacaucus Junction so that I can transfer to Penn Station and show up on 33rd St. in Manhattan.
The train comes and I get on it, and while I make the two hour ride through Otisville
and Middletown and down back through Orange county I realize how many ghost railway stations there are that used to run on the same set of tracks the commuter trains use now. Rusty sections of ties run off into weeds and nothingness and I watch the landscape go by in blurs of bedrock and ancient train tracks.
You can actally judge how close you are to urban development by how well the graffiti is drawn. I’m reminded of the scrawled pink letters poorly spelling out SOME PIG on the overpass back in Shortsville, which is waaay upstate, and as we cross over into Jersey, the letters I see get more defined, more deftly filled in. The last stop before Secaucus Junction has some really well tagged shit, and then we cross over a marsh to this train station in the middle of nowhere that connects New York to Hoboken and Jersey City.
I’m waiting to buy my ticket into Penn Station from the machine and luckily there’s a knowlegable kid my age (who looks like a REAL punker, not one of those taking back sunday dumbasses) in front of me and a woman who doesn’t speak English next to him. He politely shows her how to pick her destination, and by proxy, of course, shows me how to use the machines that I’m still not too good at using. I make it down to the set of tracks that’s going to take me to Penn and I relax. There’s an unattractive guy in a suit who’s just staring and staring at me, and I’ve got my incredibly tight “BAD T’OLZ” T-shirt on, so I figure he’s either disgusted with me, gay, or he wishes he could be as confident about his skinny frame as I am about mine.
I get into Penn and it’s barely 4 o’clock which means I have about 2.5 hours to fuck around before Matt’s done with his teaching shit he has to do. He’s in some kind of assembly and he left me a text message that says he’ll call me as soon as he gets a free moment. I exit Penn Station and randomly pick a street to start walking up. I’m heading uptown, which I figure by the fact that I’m now crossing 35th Street. I know Lincoln Center is somewhere around the High 50’s or Low 60’s, but I’m not sure exactly where so I just start walking North and slightly East.
I loop a couple of blocks before I start to get real hot…I have kind of heavy tan slacks on and I thank god I’m not wearing black dress pants. Eventually I wander into a Rite-Aid and buy a pack of smokes. There’s a big security guard right inside the door that I’m sure could liquefy someone’s face with a punch, and for a second I catch his eye and immediately feel respect for the man throughout all of me. He must have sensed it, because he had a stern face when I walked in, but gave me an acknowedgment nod that was full of the same mutual respect I just experienced. The counter clerk can’t find Marb lights, which is good because I meant to say Camels anyway.
I walk back outside and try three matches before finally getting it right. I’m not used to matches. Around this time Matt calls me and tells me he has to pick up a paycheck and that he’ll HAVE TO be with his group right up until 6:30 and there’s nothing he can do about it. I understand, but I tell him to meet me outside the building so we can make plans. He’s on 63rd and I’m on 55th, but I’m a quick walker, so it’s no big deal to go up 8 street blocks on 10 minutes.
I meet with Matt for a few minutes while this group of something like 2,000 teachers crosses the street from Lincoln Center to the Martin Luther King Jr. High School. It takes a long time for 2,000 people to cross a street, so Matt and I have some time to talk before he has to disappear for another hour and a half. Eventually the group has parted the sea of traffic
and is heading into the high school, so I tell Matt to call me as soon as he gets out. I head up to this little reflection pool with a bunch of benches around it, and there’s some concrete walls so it’s nice and quiet and not too windy.
I edit my script until 6:30, and I decide to stroll back over to MLK to check and see what’s up. Sure enough, 2,000 teaches are pouring out of the school again, so I sit on a bench and wait for Matt. I get impatient and call him on my cell, and he answers, saying in a really odd whisper, “I’m almost out of here. I can’t be talking right now.” I’m kind of embarassed that I couldn’t wait ten more minutes and I play around with my phone until Matt comes out of the building.
Matt spots me and starts singing about his thousand dollar paycheck a la Wayne’s World. We talk about the concert and though I think it’s already started, Matt thinks Modest Mouse starts at 8PM, so we should be okay.We both agree that we need to piss and eat, and preferably in that order. We see a lot of crowded restaurants, which is something I’m still not too good at handling, but I see the West Side China Fun, and it looks rather empty, so I convince Matt he wants Chinese and we head in.
Inside one of the managers is explaining to this middle aged white guy at a table that there really aren’t egg rolls in China, but that they have spring rolls. “Too greasy,” he says– explaining to the man that spring rolls use a lighter outside wrap than the egg rolls we Americans are used to. He also explains that there’s a noodle we commonly associate with Chinese food that really isn’t Chinese at all. Matt and I shoot the shit about our girlfriends and out jobs and what our plans are for the immediate future.
We’ve had our piss and our meal so we decide to head to Central Park to see if we can score some tickets from a scalper. I realize how much better it is to walk around the city with someone you know than walking around by yourself. It kills that serious laser stare that I usually use when I’m walking alone, even when I’m not going anywhere in particular.
Matt and I get to the Park and once we’re inside we hear music faintly. We keep walking toward it so we can find the entrance to Summer Stage, and eventually the gates and the fences make the entrance rather apparent. There’s a lot of people standing outside, and a guy immediately offers tickets, which is splendid because we don’t have any. The guy wants $35, which is fine because tickets were $28 anyway, and ticketmaster being the way it is with surcharges and everything else they tack on to bullshit you out of a little more money, $35 is fine with us. As we’re making our transaction, Cooley says “run.” I ignore him, but a really large security guard approaches and bitches at the guy selling us our tickets, saying “That’s it– you understand? Last time.” The guy slinks away and we do the same. We have or tickets now, and we go in.
I don’t remember the name of the opening band, but they’re the people who did the “Take the Skinheads Bowling” song. They’re kind of a good on-stage presence, but I’m there to see my musical heroes Isaac and Jeremiah, so I don’t pay too much attention to them. It’s almost 8pm, and they change the stage over for Modest Mouse.
As I’m looking through the crowd I’m seeing all these middle-aged people who I doubt know the band at all. After a few songs (they opened with Bury Me With it) no one is really moving and I decide the crowd isn’t really that into Modest Mouse, they just came because it’s a concert in Central Park. It’s kind of a bummer watching a bunch of urban-I’m-too-cool-to-be-excited-by-anything fucks stand like statues and space out to music that I flip my shit to, but I’m watching my favorite band live for the first time, so it’s still a great experience.
I get a little more disappointed when I realize they’re probably not going to play too many of their songs released by UP since they’re with EPIC now and I’m not sure of the rules when it comes to things like that. Maybe they’re rather sure that this New York audience can only be appeased by their new stuff– maybe the band isn’t too fond of their old stuff– maybe they have no faith in the power of songs like–Beachside Property, Broke, Trailer Trash, Styrofoam Boots, Make Everybody Happy–on this audience because they know as well as I do that this audience blows hardcore. I’m not sure.
They come out and do a half-spitirted encore to match the lack of spirit the crowd has to offer, and the boys are done by 9:45. I don’t blame them. I’d say “screw it” too if it looked like no one gave a shit what I was doing.
Most of the way through the show I met a girl named Megan who was a real fan, and we exchanged insults about the people at the concert and the like. The coolest part about Megan is that she was an awful lot like Michelle the hairdresser might have been 15 years before. I met the same woman twice in one day 15 years apart, if that makes sense. I found that pretty neat and Megan invited Cooley and I out to celebrate her birthday with her friend, but Cooley had to work early the next day and I had to catch a train, so we had to decline.
the 1 back downtown and there’s a guy across from us reading “Screenwriting For Dummies” which Cooley points out to me. I kind of laugh inside because this guy has to be like 40, he looks like he’s kind of an artsy person, and he’s reading a book about writing screenplays instead of just doing it and getting better through practice. Maybe the guy was already a published playwright and I don’t know shit. Anyway, I found it funny because I had no prior experience or formal training about writing screenplays, and I’ve got one done. It’s not great, but I feel like I know what the weaknesses are and what has to be changed. It just seemed odd to me that they have a dummies book for that. Maybe not though, because I’m pretty sure I’ve seen a “Wiping your ass for Dummies.”
I ride home on the train, and there’s a group of six 18-year-old girls from Middletown in the same car with me. They went to go see Modest Mouse too, and from the quality of the conversations they were having I begin to realize why the audience was the way it was. We had an audience full of middle aged elitists and brain dead ditzes that probably also listen to Dashboard Confessionals.
I get home at something like 3:30AM, and I’m tired. I end up not falling asleep until 6 because of my “I worked third shift” syndrome that makes my body think it needs to stay up all night once I get past the realm of 2 or 3. In summary, good experience, good concert, cute girl, shitty audience, stupid book, long ride. That was my monday.
So I ended up writing a kick ass article about trees. The only reason it kicks any kind of ass is because it begins with this quote…
“God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fools. “
John Muir was a pioneer of the science of forestry, along with another local hero, Gifford Pinchot. The best part about this is the insane loop of thought which takes place when you realize the place I’m living in temporarily– The Muir House. No connection, but still kind of cool.
“History is the biggest doink.” That’s way less clichÃ© than “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” or “It really makes you think.”
What really makes me think is this smell I’m experiencing when I look around and start sniffing at stuff to try and locate the source. Feet…nope. Socks…yikes, that’s bad too, but it’s not the one I’m looking for. Shoes…see socks. Heading under the bed, we find a bunch of old papers I haven’t sorted through, and a neon OPEN sign which will undoubtedly be hung up once I find a more permanent residence. We go into the bathroom. No, this smells kind of rosy. Cheap cologne. Dishsoap. Laundry basket? Musty, but still not what I’m looking for.
Now I’m near the window. Powerful putridity. Does my window smell bad? Let’s go out on the porch. DAMN. That’s the ticket. Looking down, we see the dumpster.
Right. That makes sense.
I’m really not a fan of A/C, but human waste wafting from the gigantic metal container leaves me no choice. If I have to close my windows, I have to turn on the enrgy displacement machine we call A/C. Let’s spend a bunch of energy removing the heat from this air so we can pump that heat outside and suck the hot air back in so that we can take out the same heat we just removed.
And people wonder why A/C boxes break. It’s because they’re
pissed at our poor ingenuity.
Okay, so this is about all I’ve got to say right now. I’ll post about my Monday adventure to the city later on today.
P.S. I remember when I used to watch NBC news in the morning (Hell, I remember when I used to watch television) and I’d hear– “Yesterday’s events may cause troubling effects later this week, Tomorrow on Today.”
It was at that exact moment that I saw the face of satan in Katie Couric’s little “I’m a millenia year old demon trapped in a cute complexion” expression. It filled me, thrilled me with fantastic thoughts no mortal ever dared to think before.
Shall I write on?