When I Need A Pick Me Up, by my friend Ryan King

Monday, December 31, 2007

Re: The Last Post

It was vague on purpose. :D And it's better now. (Worst Case Scenario Man said that it was all over and that love was lost forever. He was wrong. Again.)

It's already 2008 for some of my friends.

My 2007 turned out to be amazing. So much accomplished. Such great experiences. Such great people met and kept.

And now, to end on a funny note, you have GOT to watch this in its entirity.

The Mythbusters answer the musical question; "Do Pretty Girls Fart?"

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Missouri Flashback

Well, I might be losing a little sleep tonight.

Back when I lived in Missouri, and I strove to become a part of a community out there, I had opened myself to them and entrusted them with my goals and desires.

I don't think I've learned to take full responsibility for my choices out there yet, but I simply must. I'm responsible for opening myself to them and trusting them. It had nothing to do with them--it was my choice to go and my choice to stay as long as I did.

Still, it was painful each time one of those who I trusted would reveal in a small or subtle way just what was really going on inside them were I was concerned. How a casual comment would uncover the wall that they had constructed between me and their lives. Or if not a casual comment, a bold declaration of opinion. Something delivered with conviction that both drew a line in the sand between us, and called into question the validity of anything I regarded as integral.

I guess I have to learn to accept that all my views, even the most important, most defining views that I hold fast to will not be shared--will even be diametrically opposed by people I hold in the highest regard. I'm a little confused, but I guess that they can or have accepted me too, even though they may have been thinking some pretty radically oppositional thoughts.

It just came like a gut punch. I just thought we had more in common.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Here's To Love ...

Through my comicbook hobby, I met a podcaster who won my heart today with his blog entry about his 5th year anniversary. I wanted to share it with you. He doesn't know that I blog, and I haven't told him about it because of all the Stuff I spill about me here. I just want to be a listener who gives him and his wife some well-earned support.

So, here's to love, and here's one of the funniest podcasts they've done to date (The links take you to The Comics Forums, where there are links to the blog entry and podcast).

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Beyond All Expectation

Beyond ALL expectation.

I am in the counseling group. The interview turned into an adoption.

And then, we did an hour of radio, and he used my suggestion for the music break, and he asked me what else I work with that "we" can do for the radio.

Listen to how he speaks about me. It's as if he's known me my whole life, rooting for me all the way.

BEYOND ALL MY EXPECTATIONS.

Wait, I have more to say about this. It's hard to believe I am this professional of whom he speaks, but as I put my mind to it, I realize I have these answers. It's exactly the same when I'm in an actual session. I don't propose to have all the answers, and I even hold out the possibilities that I don't have ANY of the answers. But as we go into the issues, the blocks line up. Like writing. One word after the other until they form sentences and then paragraphs, and suddenly you have a page. And then two. Then a story. Then a chapter. Then a book.

Me, The Professional.

Who'd a'thunk it?

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

At Long Last, The Novel Is Begun

So this Christmas morning I was awakened by the buzz of my phone. My friend was calling to fudge the details of his plans to come into the city for a Christmas "lunch". By the time he was done, we convinced each other of the complete impracticality of his visit if he were to still preserve his early-evening plans. This is my Blind Hero (see "Sightless Hero," dunno why I changed the name). I am foolish to assume that he needs my company. He goes to a church full of Baptists, runs a company, and has an unlimited bank account. He manages to eek through his days without me.

Having amicably parted with vague promises of a New Year's Day make-up, I was now awake on Christmas Day with an open schedule. Way too early. So, time to do laundry! Except, inexplicably, the elevator does not go down to the basement where the laundromat is. It is "closed". For the holiday, presumably. As if it were inhumane to force the automatons to take the quarters and agitate my dirty clothes with water and detergent on Christmas Day in the mor-ning.

Crap. I have a life-changing interview tomorrow morning and my clothes are dirty. What to do? Catch a movie!

I made a conscious decision to go cry when I picked "Juno." A funny, quirky, and heartwarming movie about a teenager facing an unwanted pregnancy? Please, I'm no idiot.

Going in, I knew I loved Ellen Page to begin with. She was the latest Kitty Pryde of the X-Men and my love affair with mutants is legendary (see; "X-Men 2", Prologue through Epilogue) and I don't even care what else she was in.
Well I'm glad to report that the coming attractions made me cry more than the movie itself. The movie lives up to the hype, if you are attracted by any of its buzz. I loved it. Notably, you should not be deterred at all by Michael Cera as the teenage dweeb who made Juno's baby. Watching him, I had no idea he was the same guy from "Superbad" (which I didn't see anyway, nor had I watched "Arrested Development"). Cera does such an amazing job of playing this subtle and powerful part that I'm convinced once again that acting is an absolute talent, and this young man has it. Unless he doesn't. :shrug:

But if I were in high school again, I'm sure Juno would be the girl I loved. She might not have been good for me, but she would have been my type.

So the story itself was such a good one (sometimes weighed down by just a smidge too much teenage smarm, but only a smidge), that I could no longer hold off on putting finger to key on my own stab at contemporary lit. I'm encouraged also by Grizzbabe's propelling review on her writing from an instructor (since I think she's good, then surely I have good taste), and Childhood Bud's suggestion that I could add my Night Job tales to the smattering of Starbuckensian books on the market.

Add to that the PERFECT perch near Lincoln Center to write (pictures pending when I get back home and upload them*) with FREE INTERNET ACCESS, and thus I began my novel. I shall be maintaining a word count widget at my Creative Life site**. See? You can tell I'm inspired. I used the word "shall"!

*Pics uploaded now
** I'm maintaining the widget here instead of at Creative Life. It's easier.

Ghosts Of Christmas Past

So I don't get to sleep early and while preparing for my drift-off, Mr. Bladder led me out of the bed and to the bathroom. Both roommates are home and it has not complicated my situation any. The leasee who is usually in a foreign country seems to have landed for a spell. Probably concert season is over. But we are the kind of guys who go into our rooms and minds our beeswax. We say hello in passing and it's just so very okay that way. But an added bonus is that he practices his stringed instrument in his room. And I totally mean it. In my last NYC apartment, there had been a student living in the building who practiced her saxophone, and when she played, the soulful sound echoed in the airspace outside my kitchen window, caressing the brickwork and ascending into the night air. It was like a cut on the soundtrack of my life, playing whenever I needed a good uplift.

Anyway, I went to the john and did my business. When finished, I turned to the mirror, as I often do, for a spot check on my appearance. I seem always to need to see if I look better to my eyes than I've done in the past (which could just have been this morning). Self-esteem issues and all that, blah blah blah.at

But tonight I saw something a little bracing. I saw a man three years older than my father was when I was born. I saw a man with a beard absolutely shot through with white hairs. I saw a middle-aged man. And then, when I dared to look deeper into his eyes, I saw my father looking back out at me. Dad didn't have much to say. It was only a split-second's worth of visitation, in fact. But he was there.

It could be that I realized it was Christmas, whereas I spent the Eve earlier today in a Starbucks getting my creativity on (holidays are the most productive times for me!) as if I were from a land where Christmas isn't celebrated. It's apparently a holiday for families and friendliness, and hey, I'm pro-humanity. But I had no intention to bond with my brother man. I just wanted to get out of the house and take advantage of the mild Winter. In fact, I just never want to spend an entire day in my room, isolated. Yet when I go do out, I don't seem to reach out. I'd rather just watch them all than talk to them.

So it seems as though I had a bit of a slingshot effect tonight in the mirror. The family that I tried to avoid lives inside my head, and they wouldn't go away. But what does Dad want? Is he jealous of my admiration of other fathers? Does he want his respect?

Sorry, Dad. You should have earned it.

But I'm no Scrooge and I don't need Visitations. As proof, I submit the following;

I bought these items in the weeks prior, for the first time.


And this is what it looks like when the flash goes off.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Progress 101

First, my hobby went live on Thursday, and I've neglected to share it with you guys. I figured since it's science fiction/fantasy, readers here might not be that interested. But hey, here's the link, oh, and I have an acting part in it too, so you might want to listen to it for that.

Secondly, I have an interview with the counselor who runs his own center and his own radio show on the station that I listen to for arts programming. A few weeks ago when I told my therapist about this guy, she suggested I go ahead and follow through with a resume. She also guided me on what to put in the cover letter. Whereas I was ready to spill my guts as I do here on the blog, my therapist suggested that I do not. She said that they would probably just want to know about my professional qualifications rather than my personal ones, and if they wanted to know personal stuff, they'd ask me in the interview.

Well, "they" is a man in probably his sixties if not seventies. He has a kind and gravelly voice and he strikes me as a wise and caring man who I cannot wait to meet. He speaks with a sense of compassion and a sense of humor. And I like the jazzy music that he plays in his radio breaks.

Now here's the kicker.

His offices are across the street from Carnegie Hall. That's how midtown Manhattan this place is. and I'm interviewing with him on Wednesday morning to take on clients there.

My heart is speeding up a little just typing this. Because ... can I tell you this is insanely dream-come-true? I told this guy that I wanted him to supervise me. I told him that I wanted to be the kind of counselor that he seems to be. I meant every single word of it. Worst-Case Scenario Man sez he just wants to interview me so I can come in and stroke his ego, but WCS Man is a fool. This guy isn't going to waste time out of his day to see me when he's got listeners and clients who he most likely gets plenty of validation from.

And apart from working for this guy, and with this guy, ITS IN MIDTOWN MANHATTAN!!

I've dreamed of working and living in Manhattan for all of my life. And now looky-looky what's a'happening to little old me. I think he'll approve of me. I think he'll use me. Because I think I'm good at it. With all my ups, downs, and sideways, this is the one skill I don't think I've ever lost confidence in. I haven't always have felt the strength to plunge into it, but I do now.

So Lara, this connection definitely makes me smile.

Let's see what else is ahead in 2008! B-D

Friday, December 21, 2007

My Night Job, "Bizarro Shift"

So, Red comes in to visit on a regular basis now that she and Snapper are kickin' it. I like that she's still a cool enough gal that she doesn't fawn all over him, but she does make her appearances. He gets more googly-eyed than she does, in fact. This I know because I caught them having a moment out of the corner of my eye.

Try as I might, my mood lost a little altitude. I wouldn't take the fulfillment of human connection away from anyone, I promise. I just think there's enough to go around and I'm ready for my share.

Later on during the shift, I remarked to my co-workers how A.D. Annie gave me Wednesday night off when she realized that I really did want to stay home that Monday afternoon, and she forced me by sheer force of will to dig my car out of the ice and come in. She felt partly guilty, and partly she wanted to give one of her seasonal employees more hours. Fine with me. But I told Snapper and company that I might take advantage of my Wednesday by going to Caroline's. I was speaking aloud, mainly, just testing how it would sound to actually have a nightlife.

Snapper's ears pricked up catlike. "Who's Caroline?!"
Me: "It's a comedy club. A radio DJ that I like hosts a comedy night there on Wednesdays."
Snapper: "Awww...I thought you had a girl! I was going to say 'Way to go, son...!' "
I forced a smile. After all, the lad cared. "The student becomes the master," said I.
And then I proceeded to wish myself intense bodily harm for the remainder of the night.

Snapper called me "son". His 21st birthday was a few weeks ago. It's amazing what poon on the regular can do to the male ego. Turns mice into wildebeests.

Shortly thereafter, A.D. Annie blurted out for all of us to hear; Sexy Minx was 5 months pregnant and a month married to her baby daddy. So her Botticelli frame was due to maternity. Imagine how Sexy the Minx really has to be to pull off flirtation after having just gotten married and while carrying her nu-husband's second child. Now imagine how staggered I am, reeling from the second reversal of outrageous fortune. I mean, despite my Herculean efforts to resist the absurd notion, our flirting always came with a salacious thrill. A courting of wicked deeds, if you will. A possibility of a lightning round assignation in the back against the frozen scones. But of course, not anymore. Two children and a husband is WAY different than a baby and a boyfriend.

Meanwhile, Scullery has proven herself to be as unstable to others as she has to me. They mention to me in passing how little they like her because she spends so much time chatting and yakking to customers or on the phone, and does so little actual work. It's a fact that I cannot deny. She has reduced the instances of her ill-timed malevolence, however, so I feel less threatened by her. Now I just try to avoid her. Snapper informed me that when I tried to call out on Monday, Scullery told everyone that it was because I didn't want to work with her. So unfortunately, even though Scullery chugs through the night like a Mack truck on the Motormouth Highway, she's got feelings and a sensitivity that I now must take into account.

Whoopee.

As I mentioned earlier, we have had a number of "Seasonals" added to the cast during the holiday. Collegiates who have been working in the cafe for years come flocking back to pick up extra dosh. One of them is The Cutie, who I remember working with two years ago only because she has a something that snatched my attention to her. It could be her horn-rimmed glasses. Self-possessed and confidently trendy without being overt. And just cute.

Another one is a fellow who I've decided, after great deliberation, to call Gay Actually. This is a young Asian man who you would only know is gay when he talks about his boyfriend. Otherwise, there is no other distinction apparent about him. He's an energetic, collegebound, laughy, verbal and friendly guy who wants to be liked and accepted. He makes no angsty presentations. He is not emo. He is not a drama major. The only flaws I find in him is that his energy brims over to the point where I had to beg him to stop whistling once last week. Thankfully, he doesn't whistle as much as Snapper snaps. But this boi is actually happy. And thus, my name for him.

Last night, Gay Actually's father came in to the cafe. His dad might possibly be a few years older than myself, but only a few. Think Asian Gentleman's Casual. Scullery was at the register ringing him up when Actually stepped behind her to use his numbers for the discount of his father's purchase. When Scullery discovered that it was his father, she squealed with Angela Lansburian delight. (That's how I learned Actually had this familial tie.) Scullery gushed about Actually to his father, and Actually entered a series of blushes and self-deprecating chuckles. Then his father actually said to Scullery--with Actually standing right there-- "I'm very proud of my son!"

What's my weakness, bois and grrls? Riiiiight. Fathers and Sons. So how was I feeling at this point? Well, yes, you would think so, wouldn't you? Except earlier on in the week, I'd been knocked down a peg or two by the sudden masculine ascendence of Snapper, and then thrown under the bus by the discovery that Sexy Minx was a married mother of two. So to now see a well-adjusted gay son being doted on by his traditional Asian father?!

I was ready to put the steam wand of the espresso machine into my eyesocket and broil my brains out. There's only so much uplift a sad sack can witness in any given week, people. I mean let's be real.

The night drifted on towards an interminable finish and two things happened. One of which I am proud of, and one which I'm not so much.

A pert little customer, either a grad student or a professional heading to or from her office, was ready to give her order to Scullery while she was chatting up a previous customer, as usual. When this happens, I often intervene because, damn. Who wants to stand there waiting for Scullery to shut her fat gob? So I ask Pert Customer what I can start making for her. On the way to asking her, a Rude Customer hijacked my attempt to help her by shotgunning me with the question, "What size is medium?" Ordinarily the answer is "Medium is Grande" but I was on a mission to help the stranded Pert Customer so I fired back at Rude, "Medium is medium." Something in the exasperated tone of my voice made Pert Customer laugh. She laughed quite a bit. It was apparent that she didn't want to, but there it went. It made me laugh too. And laughter doeth good like a medicine. So I took her order while Scullery went obliviously on yakking away. Here's how it went;

She: "Mocha latte blah-blah bloopity bloop (ed., paraphrased). Decaf!"
I repeat, "Mocha latte blah-blah bloopity bloop, decaf."
She: "Yes! Decaf, please. You don't want to keep me up all night, do you?"
Me: *A pregnant pause and a smile.* Then "I ... think I'll refrain from commenting on that one. I need this job."
She: *A BIG SMILE.*
I begin to fix her drink, heart thudding in my chest, knowing that oh my god, OH MY GOD I did it! This time, I've really gone and did it. I flirted actually. Not just in-my-head, handing-off-a-drink, imagining-I'm-sexy! I can barely look up from the latte for fear of what I might see. But I do. I peek. And she's peeking back, not overtly, but as if she too is amazed by the set-up. Like, "where are the hidden cameras?"
Scullery finally gets around to her and rings her up, THANK GODFULLY deflecting the attention away from me as I top off her decaf with whip cream and garnish. I hand it off to her with a grin I cannot for love nor money prevent.
She: "Thank you."
Me: "Thank you. And ... pleasant dreams."
She:" "Oh I will do."

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I KNOW!!!

Wasn't that WONDERFUL?!?! I'm grinning right now just remembering it!! It was awesome!! I was awesome!!! I am a Sexy Bastard!!!

Lastly, on a very special "My Night Job..."

Scullery was running off at the mouth with Actually Gay. The three of us were left to close the cafe and most of the customers had gone. Even Wont Go Away Girl went away. Scullery ACTUALLY asks Actually, "So how does your father deal with your lifestyle?"

Now, do not get me wrong dear readers. Every cell in me wanted to know that exact answer from the moment I had heard his father crow about his son. But of course I wasn't going to ask him because up until the Pert Customer Incident, I was too melancholy to put it the right way without sounding like a regretful closeted gay man envying the freedom and acceptance Actually was enjoying. And I didn't need Actually later on telling Snapper that I asked this kind of question, since Snapper is apparently aware of the fact that I am without a "Caroline" or any other such female. So leave it up to the diarrhetic yapper of Scullery!! Woohoo!!

The part that I'm not proud of is this; Actually answered Scullery by telling her that he used to be pretty wild, but he's calmed down a lot and so his father and he get along a lot better now than they used to. Then Scullery said something else and Actually said, "Oh, you mean about my being gay? Oh, my father doesn't know."

And I was shamefully relieved. Actually Gay's father wasn't accepting and unconditional and atypical. He was blissfully unaware.

The world was not as bizarro as I thought it was last night. And I do hope for good things between Actually and his father, honestly. I hope he doesn't disown Actually and do a hundred things that a traditional Asian father might do to an outed gay son. But I just don't want them to not do it in front of me. Have your fuzzy warm Hallmark special at home so I don't have to battle suicidal tendencies during this Christmas season.

I'm just sayin'.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

And Sometimes, The Universe Is Not So Crappy

Here's a story that it was an absolute relief to read.

I'm sure the movie rights are being sold to the Hallmark Channel or Disney right now, and I don't even care.

It's about time that something went right and turned out successful on this pain-laced planet! :D

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

See? I'm Not Adverse To Them ...


But they just only seem right at the end of a woman's legs. Men can keep their big ugly feet to themselves.

I snapped this pic because this gal was just all sorts of trendy. She looked a bit like Gwen Stefani. She had Amy Winehouse hair, but it was blonde with dark roots, and she had that one-point eye make-up that made her look somehow like a cat. So I was feeling adventurous and snapped the pic while she was chatting up her Keds' wearin', long-sideburns having, pork-pie hat wearin', horned-rimmed glasses havin' boyfriend with the plaid jacket.

So yeah, cute toes. I would indeed kiss them. And given the right precautions were in place, I'd do more than that.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Another Type of Father

Point of interest. "A Shot In The Dark" is Adrian Grenier's documentary of him finding his father. It was done in 2002, and as it turns out his mother was a hippie and had sex with a few guys around Adrian's conception day. So pre-Entourage, Adrian left what looked like NYC to go to Ohio to see the man that may have donated the sperm with fertilized his egg.

Way past the sentimentality of it all, I kept wondering how these modest rural Ohio people think about him now that Entourage has blown up and made this lanky boy a TV star and film actor.

The other point of interest is that another guy his mom was kicking it with at the same time of Adrian's conception was a man named Bob who is still with his mother now. A DNA test was done in 1982 but it didn't work, so Adrian went out to Ohio with the possibility that the guy wasn't his father.

Then Adrian stepped into the parents of the Ohio man, and the man's father looks like Adrian. In the mouth, specifically. More than the man himself! So I was convinced.

Just interesting.

Oh also? They compared their feet. Yuckk. And typical.

Now, I have to go dig my car out because my day job supervisor is way more patient than My Night Job supervisor, Attention Deficit Annie. As I called out, with her, she put a guilt trip on me and got aggressive. It made me tell her I'd try to make it in, and I'm actually going to.

For a part time job over in Jersey? That I have to pay $6.00 to come back from?

That helps me decide how much longer I'm going to stay employed there. Thankfully.

The Christmas Spirit

Now I'd like to share another story, in pic form, from another blogger in my list. This is just the camera-eye's view of a happy young woman with a nice, comfortable-looking life, and a healthy and awesome appetite! Feast your eyes!

Her life is so attractive that I'm not even tempted to ask questions, let alone be jealous. It just feels good to believe someone, somewhere in New York City is happy.

Friday, December 14, 2007

A Father's Love

Well the week skipped by me with nary a "how-do-you-do". I'm not mad at it. I couldn't wait for the weekend anyhow.

The upcoming weekend promises to be snowy, however. Ever since the car accident, I've been driving like an old woman on the cold wet roads. It is most definitely post-traumatic stress that keeps me imagining my rear end will fishtale again and dance me into oncoming traffic--but this time I won't be action-hero enough to turn my swirling car passenger-first into the headlights. Therefore I keep seeing myself crushed in my car. I keep imagining what the impact will feel like --steering wheel collapsing my lungs, dashboard crushing my shoulders, engine block pulverizing my guts--and what that split-second of helplessness beforehand will turn into. Will I scream? Will I just gasp? Or will I lean into it with an acceptance that says, "Of course. How could it have ended any other way?"

Maudlin thoughts, I know, but it's "Worst-Case Scenario Man" from his perch in my head. I blame him, but he is me. He's the me that was created from the dominoes that have been toppling in my life since age six. Click click click click click click in rapid succession. A steady series of little devastations.

The second therapist that I went to in Trenton was the guy who gave me the identity of being "obsessively analytic". I wear it with pride, because I know how it has come to be. In order to get myself to my next level in life, I have always had to understand first what it was. In the absence of understanding, I needed blind faith. One of those two extremes, or I did not proceed.

Pretend you are a therapist now and try to answer why that would be.

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My answer; because my life has always been an unstable, terrifying mess. If you set a baby out on an ice shelf, and it keeps cracking under him, and sometimes gives way and dumps him into the soul-sucking depths of black icy water, he's going to grow up being a VERY slow walker.

That's me. The slow walker.

That's just me.

But now let me introduce you to a boy named Jackson who is not going to face these particular struggles that I face when he gets to be my age. (For one thing, he'll have a car that flies! LOL) The introduction I will give you comes in the form of his father's birthday letter to him. When you read the kind of love Jackson is receiving from his father, and the determined stability his father is carving out for him with his two powerful hands, you will be able to see the kind of man that Jackson will become. You guys know Jackson's father as my blogfriend Scott, with whom someday will be my extreme privilege to have a companionable slice of pizza here in my city.

"Happy Birthday, Jackson".

Despite the domino effect in my life, I found a strange improvement has come over me in the last few months. If I had read that letter half a year ago, I would have broken down, full of the lament that I wasn't Jackson and that my father wasn't Scott. And while a tear did mist in my eye, what I felt instead of regret and sorrow was a great swell of inspiration.

I'm going to be a father like Scott. I don't care if it takes me until I'm 65 years old. I'm going to give that kind of love to sons and daughters of mine. I am. I'm done lamenting my lost childhood. It's gone and it's getting me nowhere being all runny about it (Scott's phrase, 7 comments down, last paragraph).

Yes, therapy, and all of you, have been very, very good to me.

Thanks for sharing that, Scott.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Peer Pressure


Friends and acquaintences of mine continue their march toward adulthood while I watch. I'm glad to say that I'm not jealous nor do I begrudge them their happiness.

My progress toward that same destination has been slow, but it is happening.

So in point of fact, my gaming buddy, who I once mentioned brings his girlfriend to our games on a Friday night, has just moved in with her in a one-bedroom apartment in my favorite neighborhood, but one block away from Central Park, as opposed to a more westernly direction toward Riverside. Anywhere in that neighborhood is expensive, but a block from the Park has got to be astronomical.

So of course I think to myself about the gaming buddy, and what kind of resources he must have in order to be able to move in to choice real estate. He has good credit, surely. Unless it's under his girlfriend's name. Then she has good credit, even though she looks to be still in her twenties, and he in his thirties. Yet there they go. At least one of them can apply for a lease without being laughed out of the leasing office.

That must be a nice feeling. One that I won't know again until I'm in my sixties, most likely.

And yet, still, I feel a sense of progress and hope. There is a counseling center in Manhattan that I am writing a cover letter to for employment. I really want to work under the man who it's named after because I've heard him on WBAI and I think he's brilliant. And nurturing. I think he genuinely cares for people and a man like that can, and usually does, inspire me.

I'm inspired enough, in fact, to send the cover letter w/resume, and hope to replace My Night Job with some per diem work in counseling. There was a time when I'd look up into the new highrise buildings and shake my head, wondering "How?". Now I look up into those plush, posh apartments and wonder, "When?"

Pizza! YUM!



Yeh, I can't stop eating it. And my face is puffy. And what? :D


Post Script; I forgot to say, I was totally thinking of pinknest when I snapped this picture, what with it being food and New York City and whatnot. It's not her usual level of quality, but it was really, really good. Lexington Avenue, three blocks north of Lenox Hill Hospital. $2.25 :-)

Christmas Wish List

Here.

Cry If I Want To!!

It's probably the music that plays behind this commercial. It's probably the simple faces. Or the slight and innocent smiles that appear on their faces when they see each other.

Or the hug.

Yeah, it's definitely the hug.

I'm glad to report, however, that whereas it makes me want to weep, I don't actually do it. There was a time when it would have -- but not these days. I guess I don't feel as lonely or as lost and in need of a hug as I once did.

Why Doesn't He Live In Albany??

My brush with fame today. I don't think I saw a single Secret Service person. Which is probably what they wanted me to believe!!

Details here.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Okay, This I've Got To Share

I've just learned this from The Graham Norton Show which airs on BBC America (to whom I have to give mad props, for they are giving us original BBC programmes with only about a two-week delay. Gone are the days of public television giving us Monty Python years after its stopped production and one of the actors have died)

But anyway, Graham is quite a publically out gay man living it up with his talk show. This is a relevant fact because the nature of his show is grist for the following types of mills;



Adopt A Bollock
! It looks like a legitimate site, designed to bring awareness to prostate, bowel, and testicular cancer.

But how can you not scream with laughter?

Off the record? "Bollocks" is one of my favorite English curses. No one says it like the English. :-))

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

And Let Me Say This About That

Concerning the idea of fluid sexuality, I've not shared my thoughts on God, and where He fits in with this whole thing. That's because I hadn't wanted to. Because in my extremely narrowminded religious upbringing, there was no room for any other kind of sexuality except married, hetereo sexuality. I was told you could go buck wild after you got married (Christianity no longer advocated for just the missionary position anymore. Too many converted hippies became preachers to let that old trope fly). But still you couldn't dare to imagine that it was okay for men or women to lay with their own kind and get any kind of okay from God.

Of course, I'm in tune with the movement in religion towards supporting same sex unions. Some denominations are pro, and some are still way con. The words in the Bible continue to be reviewed, re-intrepeted, and reworked until someone somewhere hears what they want to hear.

Personally, I'm staying out of all that. I've spent years of my life on one side of that fence and it took a lot out of me. A LOT.

So now, I'm perfectly content to leave it up to God. Because as far as I'm concerned, I didn't make all this, He did. So it's not up to me to sort it all out, and frankly, who can use the headaches?

But I will say this, (as self-quoted from a comment I left at Old Lady's Place), However it is that God made us, He seemed to have included a door that can swing both ways if we so choose. But it also seems that we should be acting responsibly with the design, since I know of at least four committed relationships that were devastated by a switch in one of the partner's sexuality.

So yeah, I think that even though we can do with our willies and marys whatever we want to, we should act like responsible adults about it, seeing that we don't live in vacuums. There's no excuse for hurting the people you say you love. Reasons, but no excuses.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Let's Talk About Sex Again, Shall We?

Boy oh boy have my eyes been opening lately. Has anyone seen this show? Apparently, it was first produced in 2004, and probably aired back then. But it certainly has been airing recently, and it's my first exposure to it.

What is the interesting to me is how the porn stars have accepted the act of sex as routine. How in their own personal worlds, being naked among strangers, getting their diverse rocks off on-cue, and doing this several times a day with multiple partners per month is just so fascinating to me. It's almost as if people are capable of accepting anything. Now, of course, the show did not go into the drug use, the histories of abuse, or the dissolution of marriages and relationships in the lives of these dear ones. But I won't say more than that much because I don't know how much drugs, how much abuse, and how many relationships have ended in the porn community. I've heard "a lot." I just don't know if its more than Clothes-On Hollywood has. Chances are, per capita, not.

But any longtime readers of this blog will know what MOST fascinated me about the series. One porn star, Jenna Haze, as of 2004, had entered a personal relationship with a cameraman, and she said that since she was in love with him, she only did scenes with girls. Then they showed her scenes with girls. And, ladies and gents ... she is indeed getting DOWN with these chicks. Oh, they are licking and nibb ling and sucking and strapping on and pumping and grinding and sweating and moaning and ...

Now, we already know that women seem more comfortable being hands-on with their fellow sisterhood. They'll hug, recline against each other to watch movies, walk arm in arm down Fifth Avenue, etc. At parties, during games of Do or Dare, they will even kiss a friend-girl, and oh how everyone will giggle! But the fact that Jenna Haze, and the OTHER Jenna, (Ms. Jameson if you're nasty) can consider themselves to be in a committed relationship with a man, and then speak so highly of their female sex partners with whom they share orgasms, is another nail in coffin of "hardwired sexuality" as far as I'm concerned. (Post Script; Jenna Jameson's marriage has since ended. SHE could deal with it, but her ex-husband? Not so much, I'm guessing).

Let's take it another step. Evan Stone, as of 2004 has a wife and a girlfriend, living in the same home. The three of them say he services the girlfriend in the morning and the wife at night. And while he's out, they service each other. And sometimes, it's a threesome. And it was the wife who brought the girlfriend into the home. Because she dug her.

But of course, let's go in full-tilt. This series then covered male gay porn. And in doing so, they discussed the male actors who are straight, but do the porn because it pays so well. And they interviewed one dude, who's wife goes on set to give him pointers on how to really slobber his partner's knob down. The WIFE giving pointers to her HUSBAND on how to give ANOTHER MAN oral sex. And the interview with this man, with his wife on his lap, made it seem like he was carrying out duties as common as being a ditch digger or a Starbuck's barista. He had that embarassed-grin-chuckle going on, but the fact remains--he successfully has (as of 2004 anyway) sex with both genders on the regular. (Post Script; The porn actors get paid so much from their performances that they only had to do sex scenes a few times a month to keep a good income. So that took away the idea that they were sex-slaved addicts for me. But still. A straight man who sexes his wife, and then a few times a month sexes a dude.)

But way before I watched the porn industries attempt to show the more positive side of shtupping for pay, there was this show, where five men who married their women, and some who made babies with them, later decided that they were no longer straight, or they never were. But. They. Once. Were. Enough to sex their women, anyway, even if they were thinking about men.

So I've returned to a conclusion that I made a few months ago. Sexuality is fluid. Whatever you allow for in your mind is what you are. "Straight" and "gay" and "lesbian" and "bi" are self-appointed labels that we use to be accepted into certain communities. Communities that society enforces for whatever reason. Is it a function of community to impose order among its individuals? Assign labels so its' individuals know how to navigate and what to expect from one another? Is that how we function?

How's that been working out for us so far?

With labels come misconceptions and stereotypes, don't they? You hear a descriptive word and you get a picture in your mind and an expectation. Is there anyway to break that at all? Do most people care to?

What I think is better is just to keep what we do behind closed doors behind closed doors. It's none of their business what we do (whoever "they" are). I just don't know what to say about those who don't care to understand and have a need to use labels.

As for me ... I know what I want. I know what I am. I know what I like and I know what turns me on. And since I pay my own bills, all I have to worry about right now, is me. I hate to presume that I've arrived, but right now, I feel more attuned to who I am than I may ever have in my whole life.

And that's good enough for now.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

East Meets West

I have a fascination that has followed me through the years. Of course, it has to do with music and singing. It is found in Bollywood! Cruising through the channels today I popped on the following scene and then successfully tracked the very same on YouTube.

I have no idea what the story is about, even after reading the movie synopsis at the station website. But I don't even care. I love the way the Asian Indians dance. (East Indians? India-Indians? Dunno the PC term for them anymore). But they have danced like this for years. Decades. Maybe even centuries. Why have we not known? I forget how I'm fascinated by them until I see another sample of Bollywood. They are like black people who are white. LOL! Of course they're neither. They are themselves. Both diminished in American society as 7-11 clerks and elevated as relentless medical professionals--and both descriptions are ignorant stereotypes, of course.

All I want to know is how common is that dancing in their society, because I totally want in on that action! They can teach Janet Jackson a few moves--or have they already? WOOOOO....!!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

My Night Job; "And Who's THIS Little Minx?"

So I have no idea why I haven't mentioned my one jewel of a co-worker who I must absolutely call "Sexy Minx". Picture Drew Barrymore. Then give her an ample body, like a Boticelli cherub. Then give her the personality of ... I have no comparison. She is amazing. She's hilarious, to start with. And she flirts with me, no, truly and really, like there is no tomorrow. And this time, it isn't illusion (of which I hope that that other times aren't illusion either. But I'm growing suspect at how many people I think are flirting with me. Because possibly my sexually-repressed ass is just projecting ...). But for her, it's all a game. I know that too. She doesn't really want me, for she has a 5-mo old baby and a boyfriend who planted the seed, of whom she speaks about highly.

Yet she's crazy sexy cool. For instance, she'll be next to me while I'm making a drink for a female customer. I hand it off and I say "Thank you," all barista-style and confident and whatnot. And the female customer might blush or return the smile, as usual. Then Sexy Minx will croon, "Omigod, I can't even believe she's firting with you and I'm standing right here." And she says it huskily and with barely a whisper so that I alone can hear it. "I will scratch her eyes out."

Isn't that awesome?

Once I was in such adoration of her, I grabbed her by the hand, put my hand on her waist, and ballroomed her in a few circles before we got too much attention. She makes me feel that giddy. I LOVE working with her. That isn't apropos to the story of the evening, except that she saved me from blowing up the whole joint last night by just being there and being her sexy, minxy self.

For last night it became obvious that Scullery Maid is quite mad. As in bipolar. She asks over and over again what someone said, and then when she's shouted the answer she said, "Yell at me one more time," as though she is about to truly kick an ass. She started in on me, but I was too mystified and maybe a little scared of her to fight back. I could tell it would end in disaster. But now I don't trust her, much as I love her accent.

Snapper was in attendance as well, but he said he was 'out of it' and so not his usual snappy self. Because there were so many working at the same time last night, he didn't give me any further sordid details about his love life. (Remember Red wants to keep it on the low.) And apart from Scullery's imminent flip-out, I was brought a little low by Snapper's emerged libido anyway, so I wasn't firing on all pistons either. Plus there was no sign of Muslim Girl or Ghetto Fabulous. Possibly never again.

I did overhear Snapper telling Sexy Minx about how I moved to Muslim Girl last night when he tried to take her order. Apparently, at times, I go on the prowl! I guess this was when I asked her if she was studying with her friend and she supplied the details of her employment. What I'm realizing just now is that after Snapper dropped the bomb about his shaggerific life, I felt threatened. So I grew proactive with Muslim Girl because I sensed thought she might be into me, what with the changing tables and glancing my way a few times and whatnot

Still, she didn't show last night, so that moment might be gone forever.

Once someone told me that they didn't envy the male position of having to be the one who steps to the women. And in every single other situation, I don't envy it either. But when I tie that apron around me, and I'm handing off drinks to ladies who act as if I just gave them a rose from between my teeth, I can't help but feed off that. And so in that sense, I love being a guy. I love being the knight in shining armor rescuing the damsel from a dreary, chocolate-deprived night. Literally last night, I told a customer who asked if the Peppermint Mocha Frapp was any good --"I've never had any complaints after I've made one."

To which she said, "Then I want one, and I want you to make it."

And I said, "My pleasure."

Hell yeah, I said it.

And there were no complaints. :-) Quite the opposite. And yes, I love that moan they make. There's nothing like it.

I need to carry that over into the other arena. Snapper's arena, if you will. As so many of you have already pointed out, it's all about the attitude. The Just Do It-ness of the moment. I have to believe that I have a service that will make my chosen one happy.

And that I will gladly do, as soon as I believe it myself.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

My Night Job; Episode ? "Snapper Hands Our Hero A Reality Check"

Tonight Snapper joyfully informed me that he and Red are officially dating now. Before they were just hanging out and "kissing an' stuff." Which including getting high, getting drunk, getting whatevered.

So guess what constitutes dating? Yup, in my weeklong absence Snapper and Red did it. Shh, don't tell anyone. Snapper wants me to keep it on the low. Well actually, Red wants him to keep it on the low. But Snapper likes me alot, and he said he just feels so comfortable around me that he feels like he can talk to me. I get that a lot. Hence my professional license.

But what I don't get a lot of?

Doing it is such a phenomenon in my world.

Ladies and gentlemen, I'm talking about SNAPPER. Hyperactive, loud-talking, lazy, a little slow Snapper.

Is getting some.

Snapper stepped to Red, hung out with Red, moved in on Red, got that lip, touched them thangs, and then did it with her. In the space of three weeks.


SNAPPER.


And no, the question isn't "What does he have that I don't?"

In fact, it isn't a question at all. It's a statement. A reality check, if you will. It goes to the tune of this; "I AM NOT AS HOT AS I F*CKING THINK I AM."

Or, I might be hot, but I'm not burning anything.

Snapper has not changed from the day I met him. He's a loopy kid who likes getting high and likes to try hard, but not too hard. And just by being himself, he did what I have spent about a novel's worth of words agonizing over. I mean, he just did it. This kid who could be my grandson just went ahead, without hang-ups, without fears, without inner condemnation, without philosophy and the existential unbearable lightness of being decidedly bullsh!t, just went ahead and did the damn thing.

I cannot hate on the boy for it. I truly can't.

But as for myself? I want to shatter every mirror. I don't want to see him in there grinning his gap-toothed grin, thinking he's all that with his fat cheeks, his manboobs, and his pot belly. Because he so is just not. I mean, what the hell is he doing with a counselor's license for God's sake? Who the hell is he going to counsel? Comicbook geeks who live in their parents' basement with posters of Napoleon Dynamite on their walls? Yeah. And even THEY are getting some.

Ugh, God I hate me so much at the moment.

Maybe I'm just torqued because Won't Go Away Girl stayed true to her name and STILL came in tonight, despite her verbal vomitus at the end of last night's shift. Lucy with the football, and there I was, all Charlie Browned-out, ready to give it a kick.

I got no Carmine Macchiato and I got no Bull with the Lyle Waggoner smile tonight either.

I did get another visit from Muslim Girl and Ghetto Fabulous, wherein I plied her with enough lyric to discover that she and her friend are schoolteachers. (Yup, I talked to her.) And while I'm hating on myself for underestimating Snapper and overestimating Me, the Raging Ego still decided that these two ladies came back to the cafe to do their lesson plans but also to check me out some more.

To quote Fleming & John,
"Ha-ha-hahaha-the-joke's-on-me
I feel jealous and I feel mean"


Because I'm just oh so much man, baby! Gotta come and get some more Big Sexy Barista.

Big Feckin' Wanker is more like it.

However, Ghetto Fabulous, the cute NOT-Muslim one never did come up to the counter. Muslim Girl came every time. And but of course she did. Not to mention that they sat in an area where they could see me this time, and Muslim Girl was facing me. Because SHE'S the one who digs me. And what do I do? I make excuses, while Snapper shags Red rotten.

Pathetic.

I want to end on a positive note, but I got nothin'.

Early Morning Edit: Okay, pity party's over. Please collect your parting gifts at the door and thank you for attending! In other words, I feel better now. No need to collect the consolations I was fishing for. :-)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

When We Last Left Our Hero At "My Night Job..."

... I've realized the name I must give the new English co-worker, hired a few weeks ago. She was raised in a small town in rural England and she very much telegraphed every bit of it. So, and I mean this with every bit of respect I can muster, I shall dub her "Scullery Maid". Because she's incredibly service-oriented, very socialable, and when she gets going, you could close your eyes and visions of Angela Lansbury on crack, scrubbing His Lordships floor with a toothbrush will go skuttling through your mind.

So last night, I worked with Baby Boy and Scullery Maid. Baby Boy likes me a lot. I think he admires me in some skewed white-boy way--emphasis on the "boy". You see, I've come to recognize a certain fog that certain white youth get about black people. I both love and hate these types of lads. (George's Son was one of them, and he was of the "I Hate" variety.) What happens is, they glorify the image of the Black Male. They imbue us with some kind of power, that I think back in the day caused their fathers to hunt us down and hang us. He seems to think I'm wise and that I'm good with women. When he talks to me, he leans in WAY too close, and waggles his head like Eminem in midverse. Both he and Snapper like to share their drug stories with me, instantly including me in their "smooking's kool" club. As though every black male knows where to score. Yoyoyoyoyoyo-yo BOYYYYYYYYYYY! I mean, hey. I only know where to score by accident. I wasn't looking. They just came up to me and offered. Twice. On different days.

I guess Baby Boy looks at me with a filter the same way I look at a white dude in a suit and think "Money."

It's all love.

Anyway, The Bull came in last night (on a Monday. Unusual.) And I shared my teeth-pulling woes with him as I fixed his drink. I don't usually give my personal business out, but it's The Bull! I want to know more about him. And so, I did! I gave him the right line for him to tell me more about himself. Such as the fact that he doesn't eat a lot of sweets because he was a hyper child and his parents (aha! So there were two parents!) gave him only fruit to eat. I told him that I wished they had raised me. And then I told him that he had a great set of teeth. At which he flashed them. You know who he smiles like?

The Bull could be Lyle Waggoner's twentysomething, if not thirtysomething, bald, hyperactive, weightlifting son. Wouldn't you go gay for him? So we progressed a little further in our relationship. lol! Thing is, and seriously, he is jumpy. Seems socially awkward. He's not as silvertongued as I am.

I know! The nerve of me! I'm telling you, I am a Sexy Beast when I'm in my apron. I'm amazingly confident! If I were on the other side of the counter, I know I'd be about as stumbly as he is. But not that stumbly. I mean, I only need a little encouragement and my with sharpens. How I write actually is how I speak. You can ask Childhood Bud. So ... it makes me wonder if The Bull has a sense of humor at all. I haven't made him laugh yet, and in return, he hasn't said anything funny either. Despite the fact that he's fun to look at, I just don't think we'd make a good pair of friends. My heart goes out to you, ladies. I've heard several horror stories about you hooking up with this kind of guy, and how torturous it could be to try to make it work just because he ________________ (has a great job, is so good-looking, has a really kind heart, etc).

In other news, Carmine Macchiato came in solo last night, and he ordered .. A CARAMEL MACCHIATO!!! I LOVE Carmine Macchiato!! He too is a little awkward. While he's waiting for his drinks, he tends to fidget a little and he even murmurs -- or at least his lips fidget, as if he's about to join the conversation that I might be having with another employee or another customer. You know what I mean? When someone on the side is paying attention to you and your convo, and they might chuckle when someone in your cypher gives a witticism? But Carmine doesn't seem to know when to jump in. I mean, I've given him plenty of ins, or I'll throw him a question while he's waiting, but it doesn't go further. He's paying attention, but he doesn't commit. He's like someone right at the edge of the spinning double-dutch ropes who never jumps. And here I shall quote Sheena Easton,
"But when he shines, oh when he shines
Yes when he shines, he shines so bright"

And that time is when he is with Lady Macchiato. He never seems to be awkward or hesitant with her. He makes her laugh. He brings her drinks. He takes care of her. And you can see that she appreciates him. And that he's comfortable with her. She gets him.

Oh. That's what you guys are talking about. Yeah. That is nice.

I had to suppress a whoop of joy while handing Won't Go Away Girl her drink late in the evening, because she supplied the unsolicited fact that she wouldn't be coming in tonight (She's like the Anti-Carmine While Carmine won't jump rope, WGAG will snatch the ropes from the turner and try to do it herself.) She also began going into detail about the reasons why she was skipping a night, but by then the Hallelujah Chorus was cascading in the background and I couldn't hear another word she was saying. I batted away the tear of joy trickling out of the corner of my eye and bid her a safe night.

A maiden wearing Muslim headkerchiefs flirted with me last night, as well. It made me want to give her the Toffee Bar with a "Asalaam Alekhem, My Queen" but I'm not trying to worship Muhammed. (No offense, Childhood Bud II!!). She had a tablemate who had come to get a drink and snack before her, and THAT one wore no rag. Her 'do, in fact, was ghetto fabulous. She started out with an attitude, but but the time she left with drink and snack on tray, she was smiling. Yes, my barista-fu is THAT good.

Drawing back a little from my narrative, I have to shake my head in amazement. I actually mean what I'm writing. I was/am this guy. As sure as I am that I'm a good therapist when in the moment, I actually become possessed with the spirit of some kind of lounge lizard. No woman is too much to handle, and no guy is too hetero.

If I'm going to pick up a date, it's going to be from behind that barista machine! I swear, I think that's the truth! I actually think that the customers see me the way I need to be seen -- which in turn transforms me into the person I need to be! Which is why I have not quit yet! And which must also be why there are actual books about being a barista and "The Starbucks Experience." There's something going on in the coffeehouses across the world!

Gads!

I wonder what tonight holds for Our Hero?

Well if I don't stop pounding this keyboard, I'll never know...I have 7 mins. to punch in, and I haven't even changed my clothes yet!

Catch yous lata' !

Monday, November 26, 2007

These Dreams ...

... are about to drive me up a wall.

WHY did I dream about Day Girl last night? I should have known something was up when it started in my office, which had a big picture window and was beige, and had a couch. Exactly what my office does not have.

Day Girl came into the office looking like she stepped out of a fashion magazine. She had makeup on and contacts, instead of her regular glasses. She ushered in her small son and they had a seat on my couch. Before I had a chance to ask her if she had received any of my notes, she told her son to "Say hello to Alan, honey! He's going to be your new Daddy!" And as I studied this child who was going to be installed into my life, I began to notice the telltale signs of developmental disability. That's when she took out the pamphlets and literature about autism and how there's new treatment for hopeful moms ...

And there I sat thinking, "Well, yeah. This is about normal. Most women my age are single parents with as many, if not more issues than I do. I might as well get used to that. In fact, I might as well just go ahead and take the offer, because ..."

And I couldn't fully form the "because ..." I didn't know why I thought I should. (Mind you, I don't know if the real Day Girl has any kids at all, healthy or otherwise). It just didn't feel like I had any other options. Or that I ever would have any. In my most confident moods, the world seems spread at my feet. But like in the dream, reality seems a lot less optimistic.

Lara, I am content. Too content. I don't mean to stir it up just to keep the drama going, but honestly my happiness keeps me isolated. These are the times when I suspect that I'm somewhere on the autism spectrum. Four days passed with me having my head buried in my laptop screen and earphones plugged into my ears, happy as a pig in poop. Not even motivated enough to make a new friend with an open, friendly, FELLOW WRITER WHO LIVES IN MY FAVORITE NEIGHBORHOOD, not twelve inches away from my nose.

The plusses of happiness is ... well, it feels good. The minuses are that I'm in my forties and alone. Double-edged sword. What do I want more? Happy alone contentment, or the challenges of navigating a relationship? The ups and downs of the ill-thought comment, the apologies, the regret of being imperfect, the one spot I can't reach, the one pain I can't manage to heal for her, the desperation, the interdependency, the responsibility ...

Can I hear a little more from you guys who are in relationships? Tell me about your good times with your Significant Others. And for those who are not in a relationship at the moment--can you tell me what it is about being with someone else that you miss? And I guess "sex" is the obvious answer, but we all know that you don't need someone else in order to have an orgasm -- so can you be specific? Wax poetic, even.

I need some motivation to come back out of my shell. It slipped back around me without my even noticing. :-/

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Tidings Of Comfort And Soy

Thankful that the only drama I dealt with this holiday is this one.

My best friend is having marital troubles. He didn't sound like it was a dealbreaker, but almost anything can be these days. And honestly, if his wife doesn't get some conscious control over her homesickness -- it really could be. I often marvel at the way couples can weather storms, and somehow I feel the same hope for their situation--but I'm not going to get caught out there emotionally. If they do split up, I'll be ready for it.

Needless to say, I didn't want to go to his house for Thanksgiving. I also didn't want to go two hours north to Childhood Bud's rustic place, because that also means two hours back the city. And that would have been the entire day that I didn't get to work on the audio. Childhood bro, you know I love you like cooked food, but I needed a vacation fo' real these last four days. And there's very little that satisfies than the solitary company I share when I make the audio.

So that's what I've been doing over the holiday. Perversely, my internet went out in the apartment, so I had to hit the streets and locate B&Ns and Starbucks in order to surf. Right now, I'm in a Starb's on Broadway in My Favorite Neighborhood (one block North of the Beacon Theater, if you want to pop in and say "Hi," hurry! LOL) I had to walk a half mile to find one with a chair near an outlet, and it happened to be available across a bald writer-guy about my age. When I first inquired, he was very open and friendly. We could have had great conversation and I could've made a new friend. But ... well ... I mean, he bit his nails. Nervous people make me nervous.

Here's hoping you guys had a drama-free Thanksgiving as well. (Those holiday movies? About the families getting together and having all sorts of heartwringing traumas? No. Thank You. It only looks fun in the movies.)

So yeah, I was alone, but it was willingly, I promise. And now, overhead is playing the selection of songs that used to play back when I worked at the Starb's near Washington Square Park. Oh, how music can rekindle. Good times!

Hope you're feeling as sweet as I am right now. Feliz Navidad! :-))

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Television's Best Kept Secret ...

... well to me anyway. I mean, did anyone know that Mandy Moore played herself as the girlfriend of Entourage's Vincent Chase back in the early days of the show? I had watched some of the latest season before I took My Night Job and found it to be a fun romp through LA and the Hollywood scene. I liked the boys and the natural way they acted. But last night they were rerunning the early season shows and I watched because -- well, I get to sleep at 2 AM these days on the regular. So cable TV is my friend at times. And at other times, bitter enemy. And I had no idea that little miss cutsie had a slice of the adult pie that is Entourage.



That bit of trivia was brought to you by the letter M and V, and by the number 1, as in the loneliest number that you'll ever do.

That last bit was for effect. I had a very satisfying New York Saturday even though I was alone. I went to follow the BBQ suggestion of my new acquaintance (downgraded from friend because I tried to solicit an invite to go to this BBQ place with him and he did not respond. I'm not offended, truly, because hey -- I'm just a listener to his podcast who lives in the same city that he does. Why should that make us dinner buddies?) The place is called Hill Country. I instantly thought of Pinknest when I paid. It was a $27.19 combo platter of smoky meats. Chicken, Pork, and Beef, plus two sides and a good-sized drink. I took the food to Madison Square Park, which I believe is going to be prominently featured in the upcoming movie "I Am Legend" with Will Smith. The squirrels in that little park and not aptly named. They don't "squirrel" at all. They are more like aggressive cats. One ran right up the back of my bench and snatched my coat shoulder with its forepaws, about to walk across me to get to my food. I cussed him or her out real good and that seemed to discourage it. Then an old man came by to feed them walnuts. I'm happy to say we didn't get devoured in the feeding frenzy that ensued.

I ate half my food (that'd make it a $13 lunch), traveled south for about 15 blocks, and successfully entered Sing Sing Karaoke on St. Mark's Place -- FINALLY! Except, I took a booth and was alone. It was 4:30 and the bar scene didn't start until 9, but at 7 they would start charging $20 an hour for the booth, so there was no way I was staying that long and paying that much. But it did revitalize me in all sorts of ways. It reminded me that I love to sing and that I'm good at it. When I'm alone. :)

According to the start of the lyrics screen, which displays the key in which the song expects you to sing in, I'm capable of sustaining the key of F and A. Those are songs like "Love" by Musiq, "I Can't Tell You Why" by the Eagles, "True Colors" ala Phil Collins, and womens songs like "No One" by Alicia Keys and "Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield (although that was QUITE a stretch. Its' like opera as far as my throat was concerned).

I sang for two hours, and then took it to the streets with 4 songs from Keyshia Cole's new album on my .mp3 player as I journeyed across avenues 4th and 5th. I felt confident and content enough to sing as I walked. But of course, the songs I saved on my player are her ballads, not her R&B rappy pop tunes. This one, "I Remember" is currently my favorite. Sad songs are still my favorite types. It's what I know -- what can I say?

Then I reached the B&N in Chelsea on 6th to finish my Hill Country (making it a lukewarm, $14 dinner) and read this amazingly gorgeous graphic novel.

This is just one page out of a 12-issue series which took 3 graphic novels to contain. Every page is painted like this. It's called "Justice" by Alex Ross, and he is a comics' god. What I love most about Ross is that he paints superheroes to look they way they would if people really wore superhero outfits. He paints textures and fabric wrinkles and lighting highlights. So his projects are a dream to read. They are second only to looking at the superhero maquettes, such as this little gem;
See how colorful and realistic it looks? Would it have killed Bryan Singer to bring that to life on Hugh Jackman's back?

But that's okay, because I'm a friend of this guy, and he's real!

So that's alright then!

So, Grizz, you see, this is the kind of guy I am when I'm not in an active search for Mrs. Redeemable. Given my hobbies and my work, I have no other idea on what more there is to do. Even my hobbies keep me introverted. Reading, booth-singing, even Dungeons & Dragons, where I'm not myself at all, but a character from a fantasy world. It's so much fun when I'm doing it, then I stop and I turn around, and here I am.

So we'll see how it goes, Karma. Me and fate have a love/hate relationship. I don't tend to believe in it because I can't quantify what it actually is supposed to be. What conspires to create circumstances? Is it an intelligence? And if so, isn't it God? And if God, does He still even like me anymore? I'm way off the beaten path of faith, as MyFriendTheDoctor pointed out a few days ago. Which is why I too relate to Thomas Convenant. My first reaction so often feels like "Leper! Outcast! Unclean!" whenever a social situation opens up. I've done real good in the last month avoiding that reaction --but if I stop trying, that's what I'll go back to.

Sunshine, I'll take more than just a word of prayer. If you could, ask some of your fellow parishoners to send up some anonymous mentions for me. Just a simple "and oh by the way, there's this guy that Sunshine reads who wants to get back to You -- would you give him a helping hand?" God knows how to fill in the rest of the details. :-)

Meanwhile, I thought of Match.com too, Mike. Tried them out maybe a half a year back. Took a nibble or two but was not reeled in, although now I have a much better picture to use. It's amazing how much you guys have in common -- doesn't seem like you even needed Match! Now that I'm in NYC, and not living in a guy's basement, I think I'd have a better shot. So yeah, I'll revisit that. Thanks.

Meanwhile, on I go! Thanks for hanging in there with me, everybody! Seriously. You help me feel still attached to the human race. And that too is alright then. :-)

Friday, November 16, 2007

Internetters Beware

Here's another case of misleading profiles, only this one didn't end as a happy lesson learned.

I think that's the double-edged sword of internet friendships and blogging. For people like me who are guarded and have our social challenges, the internet is a perfect place to disclose ourselves and search for the acceptance we can't seem to manage with face-to-face humans. When we are given the time and ability to type clear and thought-out sentences, we can say what we really want to say without a stumbling tongue or a seizure of adrenaline turning our words into rubbish. Notably, I have felt able to pay compliments to men writers/bloggers that I never could have been able to say aloud, for fear of implosion. (You know our society frowns on open affection between guys! We can only get away with punching each other, doing a tribal series of handshakes, or slapping each other on the butts while wearing matching uniforms.)

But my "disability" also make me vulnerable to devastating rejection, and the poor girl in the above story was not old enough or stable enough to handle it when a reader or commentor turned out to be cruel and a liar. It isn't a legal crime to perpetrate that kind of deception, but it is an egregious lack of integrity and ethic, not to mention irresponsible and callous in the extreme. This is why there's religion. You want to believe that someone somewhere is going to punish that kind of human depravity where human law fails.

Or maybe I'm just in a bad mood.

Day Girl has not responded to my two attempts to have her call me. Again, she could be the shy one, except that doesn't bear out when I consider how many times she popped into my office to say hello. Maybe she hates talking on the phone as much as I used to. Maybe she's married and just wanted me to give her a quickie on my desk.

Who knows.

But I'm glad to report that the failure to connect to either Day Girl or New Employee has not turned off my "head"lights. I don't feel worse off for trying. I feel accomplished that I am trying, in fact. It feels better knowing that I'm stepping up to the plate rather than sitting on the bench, too petrified to take a hold of the bat. And as long as I am still in the game, I might as well stay prepared for more pitches. (Check out my sports-fu, Scott! :-D )

I got this far, why not keep going?

So outside of the workplace, what other suggestions can I get for where I might find the Future Mrs. Redeemable Life?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Susan Ashton Said ...

..."Here is how love was to me,
I could look and not see
Going through the emotions
Not knowing what they mean.

And it scared me so much
That I just wouldn't budge
I might have stayed there forever
If it wasn't for your touch."


I've quoted those lyrics before. It's from "You Move Me"

It's the hopeful me that brings those lyrics up. Scared is so weak and puny. I hate it. I want to do like you, Mike, and buy a rose, and get me a girl. I want to bed and breakfast her, I want her to wear Victoria's Secret for me. I want to be like you, Scott, and ... well, just be like you.

Yesterday, after I blogged, I went to Jersey and did not go to the gym. Just didn't want to. So I went to one of the eighty-eleven malls in Jersey and chucked my diet for a Mrs. Fields brownie (all week I've had to eat "soft foods" so with that came cheesecake and lemon merangue and hot dogs. So no diet last week -- or yesterday). And I went into a Borders and was attracted by the cover to a comic strip collection of For Better or For Worse. This has been a soap opera of comic proportions over the years, found in your local paper. For instance, this strip;

is of the main character Elly Patterson, and her son Michael, who according to the dialogue, is 5 years old. But in the latest strip, Michael is a married, professional author with two kids of his own. So time passes with that family, which is both awesome and awful.

Awesome because it's a unique approach, and awful because I get to watch cartoon characters live a better life than I do. Maybe that, in part, contributed to the fact that I sat in the Borders, reading about Grandpa Jim's stroke, and mopped away tears. Somehow I pulled it together (the healing power of chocolate brownies) and went to the Night Job.

Won't Go Away Girl was holding full court, visiting people at their tables. Baby Boy revealed that he is on probation for getting caught with The Chief in his car (so now I know why Snapper and he are such great friends outside of work). The Bull acknowledged me from his perch as I came to work with a macho nod of his well-shaped head, having arrived early I suspect because the school he mentioned that he attends was not in session on Veteran's Day.

But the highlight was that Carmine Macchiato came in with Lady Macchiato -- and between them was Young Macchiato!!!!! I cannot tell if the boy was his, or if Lady Macchiato had a child by another white guy, but the boy was a young blend of dark and light and they looked perfect together. Perfect like the comic strip Pattersons.

Just perfect.

So I took my phones on break and found out Day Girl's schedule from her co-workers. She is working right now in fact, and will be off at 4:00pm.

My challenge is to find a rose before then and get it to the group home.

My first stop is the therapist's.

It's like skydiving.

My mouth is dry.

ugh

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Sidebars ... And Then Not

First of all--only in New York. This news article makes me despair of the human race, sometimes, I do declare. That's just too ridiculous to contemplate. This is why some countries absolutely hate America.

Secondly, last night at My Night Job, I made a startling discovery. Snapper is a junkie. Not the needles & tie-off-a-vein version, but a suburban, self-medicating bored white kid stoner-with-short-hair version. The longer I work with him, the more he spills. So last night he reveals that he and his friend get high every night. What he doesn't know is that the systematic death of his brain cells is no mystery to anyone else but him. Remember I said he was slow? Now we know why. The other revelation that he disclosed last night is that he is kickin' it with Red (the fellow employee who I only mentioned once because she's harmless. And, apparently, into getting stoned and flirting around with Snapper in his basement mano a mano).

People are hooking up around me like it's the mating special on the Animal Channel. A few other weeks ago, I watched Baby Boy get a girl's digits while he took her order. He was very smooth and I had to give him his props after she left. And he confessed that he already had her digits, but he wanted to have a reason to talk to her some more.

Then in my Friday night D&D group, the geeks are getting their mack on as well! The DM brings his girlfriend to the game because she enjoys the game and knows the rules. But she's hot as a Victoria's Secret model. I isht you not. She works at a cosmetics counter in THE biggest department store in NYC. Then another feller in the group, who I've gamed with in another group a few years ago, got married to his live-in girlfriend two weeks ago. And lately, another in the group has started bringing his girlfriend to the meetings. She's new to his life, and she's a cute waifish little blonde who doesn't play D&D but digs him enough to hang out while we play -- for HOURS. Now that's some love right there. (Or desperation).

So that brings me to my sitch.

All your comments on what I should do with Day Girl are spot on. If I had a client with the same questions, I would have said the same things. But it wasn't a test of your counseling skills, I promise. It's just a totally different thing between my head and heart.

What I know is right doesn't always translate to my emotions. See, Worst-Case Scenario Man (my inner demon) doesn't pester me about other people's problems--only my own. What looks like shyness inside of me is actually terrification(TM). A litany of Worst-Case Scenarios pour through me like ticker tape. "What if this, what if that, what if the other ..." and on and on and every answer to every question equates to disaster. Life-changing results to insure misery and torture for the rest of my meager existence on the planet. And when the Worst Cases are flowing through, they come with this paralyzing nerve agent that locks up my tongue. You've seen this in movies and television shows, I'm sure. I'm here to verify for you ... it's real.

Having said all that, I am going to ask Day Girl out. I will get her telephone # from her sister, who she revealed works at one of the sites I go to regularly. She also lives in a nearby New Jersey city which has a transportation line directly to NYC. I plan to ask her to dinner and a movie in NYC, because that's where I shine.

And then I think I'll probably need to blog like an absolute fiend.

The "what ifs" are starting ...

I'm going to schedule an emergency meeting with my therapist ...

... and with all of you, of course ...

help!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Rubber To The Road

I've mentioned this girl very briefly in the past ... and that in passing. She works at my day job, but just today I've discovered that she only does part time here, as a direct care worker. Her full time job is as a computer operator elsewhere.

I discovered this because she strolled into my office and conversated with me as she has done in the past. And she has done so in the past because ... well, because she likes me. Apparently.

And me? I think she's button cute, but not roaring sexy. She doesn't do what The New Employee at my Night Job does to me. Which, in fact, last night, I caught The New Employee in her own section and queried enough about new music that she spoke to me. And then too, my lunch coincidened with her break so I got to walk with her to the timeclock and back. I exploited the chance to strike up all sorts of conversation, but nothing significant passed between us. I couldn't seem to ignite a spark.

And that's what the Day Girl and I have been sporadically having. I can tell that Day Girl likes me, and it makes me feel extremely good--but I haven't even brought her up as often as I could have because ... well, because she doesn't light my spark.

My last girlfriend was the only girl I've known who was hot and who approached me. All my other ladies, who also approached me--or at least made it clear that they wanted me to approach them--were like Day Girl. Sweet, gentle, and spunky enough to step to me. Clearly finding something in me that they like, and being bold enough to come and get some. I admire that so much that I cannot turn them away. Not only that, but given this specific opportunity, I think about what those qualities would mean in a partner. Someone who is assertive enough to approach the object of her desire, but gentle enough not to be scary.

So I was about two syllables away from asking Day Girl out -- not more than an hour ago, as of this writing. But I did not. I went as far as to ask when her days off were (although it was not related to anything we were talking about), and when she was a little flustered and trying to nail down her floating schedule, I let her off the hook by telling her that "We'll find a way to bump into each other outside of these jobs," in a non-suggestive manner.

My question -- what am I doing?

Is it acceptable to date someone who doesn't rock your socks? Should I just enjoy the moment and the attention, or hold out for fireworks? Am I setting her up for a heartbreak? Am I just being selfish?

I have some of my own answers, but I need to hear more than just my opinion. The rubber's about to meet the road if she comes back and approaches me again.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Newly Opened Real Estate Now Available ...

...IN MY MOUTH.

I had six teeth pulled today. SIX!!!!!!!

I only expected it to be four, because of what I could count with my tongue. They were the roots of dead teeth, long broken off and bygone. Their jagged points littered the landscape of my gums like picket fences on a beach. Mostly, they were molars, so they weren't visible when I smile. But I always felt them, and when I chewed meat or the like ... well you don't really want to hear how a good five minutes of chewing on that wreckage would change the landscape for the worse. But Mr. Dentist also decided that the well-submerged roots on the opposite side of my mouth should go, as well as the one capped survivor standing tall in the midst of the debris. Poor little fella.

The peril of having those teeth staying in my head was twofold. One, they were rotting. There's no telling how much poison my liver has had to filter over the years thanks to those teeth.

And Two, I was never able to develop a good kissing style. All I've ever done was mash lips because I didn't want her to probe in and feel the disgusting wreckage behind my smile. No lie. I was ashamed of those things. Horribly. I didn't want my own tongue to run across them, let alone anyone else's.

But they're gone now. Come on in! The water's fine! :D

One Percocet, two Motrin, a near-puke-up on the 1 train from the queasies, an overpriced soup, and a Jamba Juice smoothie later, and I'm on top of the world! I honestly feel no pain right now. I'll need to be fitted for partial dentures after these stitches come out, since dental implants are way too expensive even with my insurance, and I'm not keen on adding an additional payment to the cost of my living.

But I'm looking forward to tucking into a ribeye with abandon.

And other things. ;-)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

One More Snap of Me ...


...enjoying the attention of the woman I absolutely adored during the meeting of new friends. She is the wife portion of the visiting couple, and her accent was so posh and lovely that I'm typing with her voice narrating the words in my head even now.

She is English, but she lives in Wales with her Welsh husband, the other half of the couple. He was a big randy bloke who said the most wonderfully foul curse words, and so did she when she got rolling. But they said them in their Welsh and English accents respectively, so it sounded so sophisticated.

I just have a fetish for the English, apparently, considering how I hung on their every utterance, and she was amazing with hers. She was very Jennifer Saunders in AbFab with her sense of humor and energy, and happily, she liked me well enough too.

So that's alright then!

And now for your viewing pleasure ... Absolutely Fabulous sweeties darling sweeties!