[27 Sept 2021 | Bologna> Can't focus on the new book we're writing so getting back to transcribing journals, might do a final push to finish 2000—2003 + then have no unfinished gaps in our online journal, our entire life online > here's entries from summer of 2000, picking up from post #922, when we'd just moved to NYC:]
July 1 – NYC [Upper East Side]
Our neighbors across the way keep hats and shoes on their windowsills. Fine Italian woman’s shoes complete with the wooden insert that keeps their shape and top hats on hat stands. We never see them. Their windows are about 3 feet from ours. So close that if our window and their windows were open at the same time we could crawl back and forth. Maybe their shoes and hat display are a reaction to our bonsais and metal statue of Shiva? Last week they had an ugly display of large fake flowers. It’s kind of creepy, never seeing them or them seeing us. Maybe they spy on us.
Yesterday we went to the Mets game at Shea stadium. It was cool to be there and people watch, but the game was a real sleeper. Mets were making all sorts of mistakes and losing 8 to 1. So we left after 8 innings. When we were on the subway back some guy was listening to his radio through headphones and giving us updates on the Mets game. They were catching up, it’s 8-6, Ventura just singled, it’s tied, Piazza just homered, Mets are up 11-9. We didn’t know whether to believe him or what. But when we got home and looked at the news it was true. They called it the biggest comeback in Mets history. Afterwards they had fireworks. Just our luck, serves us right for leaving early. As Yogi Bera said about baseball— “it ain’t over til it’s over.” I had an interview with Microsoft last week, with some HR lady in Redmond Washington. One of the questions she asked me was—“what was the biggest mistake you made in the past year.” At the time I didn’t know how to answer that. Now, it’s simple. My biggest mistake was leaving the Mets—Atlanta game before it was over. Not that I give a flying crap about baseball or the Mets, I was there to see the phenomena of Rocker and he never showed his face. He had a blister on his pitching thumb.
Went to the Natural History Museum today. Saw Lucy and a 25-ft giant squid. Explored new sections of the park and saw Judy Mowatt performing for free. Went running out to Wards island. What a scene. Felt like a different country altogether than NY. Everybody driving their cars out on the lawns, blaring ranchero music, drinking beers with their shirts off, even saw some guys casually smoking crack. Working on my query letters to start a new round with renewed invigoration.
[our dark UES apartment (can see our neighbors aforementioned hats thru the window @ left)
w/ no room for chairs so we sat on the floor]
July 11 – NY
Losing track of time. I just took a break from the humdrum and it’s beautiful out. Went and sat in Carl Schurz park and everyone is just sitting, relaxing, sunbathing, eating. I’ll have to make a point of going out to the park and eating my lunch every day. We went to Central Park last weekend, sat in the sun, read, and had a picnic. Found a pond with turtles and fish and ducks and an egret that was eating little fish. Crazy how you can discover little things like that in Central Park. It’s like a fractal. Sunday I went running in Central Park, all the way to the north end and it’s a completely different park up there. It’s more like wilderness, not as much manicured lawns, but vast forested areas, ponds with waterfalls, I even saw some people in the trees bouldering up thirty foot cliffs. And there’s a great hill for running on the north end. Wiped my calves out. Maybe it’s from lack of salt. Sweating a lot during my workouts and then during my steam baths afterwards at the club. I have a personal trainer session tomorrow. Been working out a lot, but on a mission to get in even better shape.
We saw Cats last night. My first Broadway musical. The Wintergarden is actually a lot smaller than I expected. The talent in dancing and singing is unbelievable. Even the talent you see on the street is incredible. The things that people can do . . . dancing, acrobatics, playing drums on garbage cans . . . the city is full of aspiring talent. To think of all the stuff going on at any given instant is overwhelming. Especially compounded on all the stuff that I would like to have time to do . . . finish Valparaiso, work on a script for [D], working on short stories, working on getting stuff published, trying to get a better job, all while doing work for my current job. . . . I did put together a Website for myself this past week that has my resume and sample writings of both a technical and fiction variety – summaries of screenplays and novels with sample chapters, etc. That will help me to market myself. I also finished www.trackeroffice.com which everyone at Acentre likes. That’s good experience to have.
Now I know why they call New York the big apple. But it is like an apple that is so juicy and round and perfect, that it is hard to get your teeth into it.
July 17 – NY
Watching some Spanish flick with Penelope Cruz (Abre Los Ojos). Late Sunday morning. Rainy. Been rainy all weekend. Tim Pollard came into town on Friday, so we’ve been out late the last two nights. For some reason I just ran into “Pollard” in the dictionary and it means a horned animal that has evolved to lose it’s horns. Friday night we met him at the W and then went down to some bar in Soho. By the time we got him and I finished watching “Hurricane” it was like four in the morning. We went down to the Village and got a futon. Then went shopping at Macy’s – Don gave Bedder-½ two $250 gift certificates for her graduation . . . one of them for me even though I didn’t graduate. I got a pair of Timberland boots but Bedder-½ couldn’t think of anything to get. We came back and we’re ready to get takeout and watch video’s then Tim called. He came over and we went out to eat and then went to that bar up the street that has no name and is dark and red inside. We ignored his calls Sunday morning but didn’t do much besides watch videos and then [S] called and we met her down in her hotel room near Times Square and got Thai food at a restaurant off of restaurant row.
I think it’s Tuesday or Wednesday now. Got a call yesterday from Tim and realized that we blew him off so we met him at the W and got Irish pub food and Guinness and reminisced about the old days. I think we’ve eaten out for about a week in a row and it’s taking it’s toll on our checkbook and our bellies. When the smoke cleared and all was said and done, we settled into NYC with a total of $8145 dollars in credit card debt. Pretty sad when you figure we were out of debt sometime earlier this year. I think we can widdle away at that slowly with our current jobs because I really don’t want to get anything else quite just yet. I should really take advantage of this opportunity to write. It is just so overwhelming. Trying to finish “Valparaiso 241” [unpublished novel], sending out queries, sending out short stories, and then I look at old stuff I’m sending out and realize it desperately needs revising. So many things I would like to be working on and so little time. And then trying to stay hip on what’s new and what’s selling. I just read David Bowman “Let the Dog Drive” and didn’t think much of it. Right now I’m reading Max Barry “Syrup” which is pretty good. The writing is not that good, but the story is engaging. I looked up him on the web and found out who his agent was and queried him (Todd Keithley) but immediately got shot down. Oh well. I think, or hope, the website helps. If I query by e-mail now i can provide a link to samples, it is so easy to click and find out, that I think they are much more probable to give something a read then write back and ask for it. I also put “Pinatas Crossing” on the Zoetrope Website (started by Francis Ford Coppola) where other people can read it and rate it. The catch is that for every screenplay or short story you put out, you have to read 4 screenplays or short stories. I read one this morning and it was unbelievably bad, and I reviewed it pretty much as such. What’s the obsession with the Pulp Fiction throwback? I also read “Dog’s Night”, the script that [D] and his production company accepted for production. It wasn’t so bad, but still had major flaws. Speaking of which, the project with D keeps getting postponed so I don’t know for sure if that’s a go. But all this reading of bad scripts is making me realize what makes them bad, and why someone might think mine are bad. There is something to be said about having the standard developments of dramatic irony, character development, character arc and a developed plot that keeps you engaged. I’m realizing that Valparaiso 241 is a piecemeal of short shorts whose unifying thread is weak. Needs a stronger glue to bind them together. Something that will keep the reader reading.
July 23 – NY
Another week, a sense of urgency. So much to write and not enough time. We went and saw the “Gangs all Here” in Bryant Park (behind the NY public library) part of the NY summer series of free outdoor films. It was pretty cool to see a movie outside surrounded by the city. Had to wait for a while til it got dark, hundreds, if not thousands of people waiting, laying on the grass, in chairs. The movie itself sucked, but it didn’t matter. It was just cool to just be there. Finished my screen cams for work and now I’m back to the manuals. I manage to get away with working maybe 25-30 hours a week, but I feel guilty about it. I’ve been sending out stuff, I actually got published online on a Website called Nubrite Solutions (www.nubrite.com) . He published “The Making on an Island”. I guess that’s a start. I feel I need to revisit a lot of my older stuff, I need to finish Valparaiso 241, now D has given me the okay on this terrorist bomb idea, and it has only inspired me to embark on a new project on my own. The more we throw ideas back and forth, the more I realize I have a different view of what I would like to see. That’s the hard part of writing for somebody I guess. He wants a story about a guy who leaves home to be an actor in L.A. A terrorist group plants a bomb in L.A. and his family tries to get a hold of him to resolve issues they have with him. I don’t know, I got to thinking that a better idea would be to take a couple similar to Bedder-½ and I, they are in the Peace Corps in Tonga, on some small island, and her parents see on the news that a hurricane is headed straight for them. They finally get a hold of them and they decide to stay. . . . I don’t know. Last thing I need to do right now is embark on another project and not tie up loose ends.
Yesterday we went to Coney Island. What a depressing trip to the underworld. A trip to the edge of the world. The second you go under battery bark and into Brooklyn you are in a different world. You can tell just by the people on the subway. Grafitti everywhere. Bored depressed people. Got to Coney Island and I guess it was everything I expected it to be but even smaller and more depressing. Everything is in suspension like you are still in the 50s. The original cyclone rollercoaster still stands but the wood is rotting and vines grow up the sides and all over the rails. Eerie sight beyond words. All the food on the boardwalk was disgusting French fries and hot dogs. Everybody is fat and who know where they come from. It’s like this inbred gene pool, so it was only appropriate that we ended our visit with a trip to the sideshow. More like a freak show. How could we not go? You enter some makeshift building with cheap props. We saw a magician swallow swords and eat fire. He put the woman in the box and stuck blades all in it. All the usual gags, but done in this monotone way, apparent that they do this gig fourteen times a day. The audience made it even better. There was some annoying fat teenage girl that kept yelling shit at the performers. “Hey, what’s the deal? Are you supposed to be a magician or what.” At one point I thought we were gonna see a cat fight when some woman finally spoke up and told the girl to shut up. “Fuck you you white piece of shit” –was her answer. It was out of control. And we had these drunk Manhattanite hipsters next to us who were clapping and singing to the music when Poco the midget was blowing up balloons. “Go Poco! Go Poco!” –they egged him on. Then there was this serpentine woman (some punker girl) with a large albino python that she did this writhing sexual act with, even taking his head into his mouth and sucking on it (and this was supposed to be family entertainment?) And there was the tattoo guy who made this big deal about having tattoos all over his body and he went into this speech about what a freak he was and how he couldn’t get a job anywhere because he had tattoos all over his body. In this day and age you see more freakish people on a daily basis, so it wasn’t a big deal. He did an alright rendition of the bed of nails stunt, but then did this ridiculously dumb act where he was supposed to get into this electric chair. It was still worth the $3 dollars, I think. Support the arts.
July 29 – NY
Embarked on the new project for D. We were kind of bouncing ideas back and forth and we’re all like where do we go from here and I just started writing. Wrote half the day on Friday and half the day on Saturday and cranked out 29 pages. I feel pretty good about, it’s funny and it’s got suspenseful dramatic irony, I would be lured in if I saw it, for sure. I had to force myself to stop writing and send it off to D, because after all, he is the co-author on it. I just hope he doesn’t take too long to get back to me. When I’m on a roll I need to go with it. That’s the problem with having to work. I just pray that I could be in a situation where I didn’t have to work. Writing fiction comes so easily to me. If only I could devote my full attention to it I know I could crank out a screenplay in a month or less, a novel in a few months. That’s the problem with novels. They require so much commitment. Valparaiso is on the backburner. It is hard to maintain a consistent thread and I have written portions of it in so many different mindsets. At this point I have quite a bit of material written, some of it is good, some of is just jotted down as a placeholder to try to remind me what I was thinking. The challenge is trying to glue it all together, to weave the tapestry of short stories together into one consistent novel. It’s kind of on the backburner right now as I am questioning myself. Maybe I’ll finish the draft I’m working on and let it sit and ferment and get back to it later, maybe finish this screenplay for D and cross my fingers that it goes into production. I am pretty much trusting D. No contract or anything. Just an agreement that we own it 50-50 whatever that means I’m not sure. Whether he would buy out my rights, or whether I would go royalties, I don’t know. But it’s definitely worth the risk as at this point I got nothing else to show for myself.
August 3 – NY
Got another story published online, “I Weighed a Lake” in Wings. Kind of a cheesy website, but I guess I shouldn’t complain. Funny, it’s a dream-inspired peace, all pretty much verbatim from my dream journal except the last line, something about wading knee-deep in krill and my torso being the hull of the beagle and the editor was like “I liked it except the last line. What’s the beagle?”
Despite her ignorance of the fact that the Beagle was Darwin’s vessel, it just goes to show that you shouldn’t try to explain anything, but just give it how it is. As long as people aren’t looking for a protagonist and a structured plot which in most cases they are.
Working on a few things at once right now. Besides the Vain Destination thing and Valparaiso, I’m working on two short stories “Matter of Times” and “For All Occasions” (not sure about these titles) and trying to send things out as well. Back to doing user guides for Acentre too so I am pretty much writing like 16 hours a day. Been sleeping less now that I can take catnaps during the day. I get tired and I lay down for a few minutes and it feels like I slept for hours. I get the benefit of a nap (except that feeling of the passage of time) without losing time.
On a more somber note, more familial tragedy. [E] was out on some offshore island in North Carolina and was coming down the stairs of a lighthouse and slipped and fell under the rail and landed on his head. It was pretty serious, he had to be air-lifted by helicopter and was ICU for a few days but I guess he is better now.
Andrea called us last night after we had finished dinner. “Hey, let’s go to the Copa Cabana?” It started to pour when we went out so we took the bus crosstown. Got there around 9, and the bouncer wouldn’t let me because I wasn’t cool enough . . . I had “boots” on, which we’re really my brand new low-cut Timberlands. I saw lots of people with worse getting in, including a guy with Timberland boots and a T-shirt. We loitered around waiting for Andrea, and then some more waiting for Florencia (the same girl we went to the beach with). Andrea worked her charm on the doorman even after I insisted that she didn’t have to, that it was the principle of the thing, but Andrea doesn’t understand things like principles. There’s just “fun” and obstacles to having the fun, and this was a minor problem, “no problema”. Who knows what she said to the guy, but he grudgingly let me in. The main room had a huge dance floor and a live salsa band. It was cool, like being in Miami or Cuba or something. Most everybody was latino, more specifically Puerto Rican. And they all looked like they had been dancing salsa since they were in the their mom’s belly when she was dancing salsa. Needless to stay we were spectators until we discovered another room which had a completely different feel, they were playing some sort of techo-merengue stuff. By now some weird looking guy with a crew cut who I didn’t catch his name joined us, friend of Andrea’s. He was Puerto Rican but looked more Germanic, and cheesey Germanic at that. We all danced around our pile of possessions (umbrellas and purses). Andrea of course has no inhibitions and is pretty much laughing the whole time, doesn’t even need alcohol to get her going. But after a while of dancing you kind of look around and realize how odd it is. I mean it’s fun and it’s good exercise and it beats drinking, but it’s this weird mating ritual thing. One fat couple next to us was basically having sex on the dance floor. Once we got bored of that, we got up the nerve to do salsa (well at least us non-latinos). The band had stopped playing and it wasn’t quite as cool. Andrea forced me to dance and spun me around in circles until I was sick and sweating like a pig. And on top of it I had to concentrate on doing this little 3-step thing. Yah right. I tried it a few more times with Bedder-½, but I’m pathetic.
The five of us squeezed into a cab to go down to some bar that the Germanic crew-cut boy wanted to go to. Ended up it was really a club with $20 admission. We were like “not worth it” to hang out for an hour or so, but we took it upon himself as a matter of pride and we stood in the entry way while he argued and pleaded with Andrea and Florencia, insisting that he pay for all of us, getting out his wad of cash, sweating. It was quite the scene. Andrea said over and over that they didn’t want to go, but he insisted, and eventually she caved in so we said good-bye to them. The guy even hugged me.
Walked on the street past cross-dressers and completely wasted groups of yuppie couples. Tried to catch a cab home but ended up being faster to catch the subway.
I changed the name of Valparaiso 241 to Pozole Alimony.
August 10 – NY
“Matter of Times” kind of progressed into something longer, either a novella or a screenplay, or both [no clue what this is or what it became]. Would be kind of cool to sketch it out as a story and then write it as a screenplay. Kind of how a painter does sketches before the actual painting or mural. Still not sure what I’m gonna call it, maybe Atom or Island something, about a science writer that goes to some Island in the middle of the South Pacific to interview a reclusive quantum physicist. Got a lot of loose ends right now and kind of wish I could tie them up but at the same time “batch mode” is cool— as long as I can get through this batch I would have a lot more material to send out.
Finally talked to Laura Harkcom (Disney, Warner, etc.) about both Origin of Virga and Pinata’s Crossing. She had some good feedback and wasn’t too hard on me, said she like Origin of Virga, but I think she was just being polite. Nothing really transpired from it besides what I already know as far as getting stuff published or read. No direct connections or referrals or anything of the sort.
Actually worked like a 12-hour day today at my “job” job, developing the content for this demo CD. It’s quite involved, 1400 pages of linked crap inherited from some guy I don’t know what, but I’m trying to make sense of it and re-use as much as I can. I got at least three calls and a few more e-mails about jobs just today. I don’t know what’s going on. Maybe everyone just got their third quarter budgets or something. I hear them out, but am getting less and less impatient. Financial firm after B2B company. “You ever hear of Goldmann-Sachs?”
“Uhhh, yah. I don’t think so. I only have one suit in my wardrobe, didn’t I say I didn’t want to work in or around Finance”—
“But this is a creative job in the IT department, you could probably get away with wearing polo shirts. You be preparing PowerPoint presentation for speeches”—
“No thanks.” Click. Followed by a ring from another company that sounds surprisingly similar to the last.
“The job requires thorough knowledge of Corporate Infrastructure.”
“I’m sorry, it doesn’t sound like the job for me.”
“But why not?”
Do I have to explain over and over? I need to pull my resume off of Hot Jobs or whatever lame Website is spamming my resume to kingdom come.
Bedder-½ is not having such a good time at her job. She’s miserable with good reason. They’re always fighting and acting like three year olds. Dr. [W] is having an affair with [E], they’re accusing each other of fudging data, the lab is mess, they always speak in Chinese etc. and Bedder-½ is caught in the crossfire. Fucked up situation. Luckily she has an interview at Columbia next Tuesday . . . looking more and more like she’ll be going there. Everything’s great about it, except it is a longer commute, way up on the Northwest side of Manhattan.
Saw Magnolia again the other night. Fucking incredible movie that floors you and makes you put down your pen because you’re thinking there’s no way you could write something that great. Maybe if I had a lot of time and no interruptions then I could weave something so intricate. Also saw As Good As it Gets a few more times (back to back) as it was on TV. So good I watched it again when it cycled over. Funny thing is there’s not much of a story, it rides all on the characters. But still incredible, unbelievable dialogue that once again definitely passes the jealousy test.
Getting hotter. Working out in the evenings. Not sleeping much (it’s past midnight now). Not doing much except writing. Hope it all pays off at some point.
[posing in front of classic UES establishment]
August 16 – NY
Our alarm clock this morning was a thundering lightning crash. Followed by torrential rains. Rain pouring through the windows. Cool. Lots of things changing in the life of Bedder-½. Monday she went into work and [K-M] wanted to know whether she was leaving or not, so Bedder-½ gave her notice. She called her parents and they told her to wait until she had another offer in hand, she asked me and I said fuck it, quit. Why put yourself through that. Less than 24 hours later she has an interview with Pernis at Columbia and is given an offer. Better job, top-notch research, more serious and professional lab, better equipped lab, a diverse group, Columbia very prestigious on your resume and even the commute will probably end up not being as bad as NYU even though it is further. Bus goes right from 89th and York, crosstown through the park, right to the C line stop, and then dumps her off right at her building. Not exactly the greatest part of town, but it’s just a working neighborhood really. So she got back from her interview and we went out to celebrate. Met [J] and her boyfriend at Café Mediteraneo on 66th st or so, had a $180 dollar dinner and J picked up the tab. Pretty funny couple, J, a lung-doctor who smokes. Not just cigarettes but sounds like they bake on a nightly basis. In NY your dealer shows up to your apartment building like a door to door salesman with a briefcase with a wide selection to choose from. Her boyfriend is this guy (can’t remember his name) who looks like Quentin Tarantino, but better looking, a lawyer that got sick of being a lawyer so he opened up a print shop. Loud, funny self-described guineas.
Spend last Sunday on the lake (payohac or something like that?) up near Peakskill. Took the train up and [V + J] picked us up. Hung out at their apartment admiring V’s bar and then went out to [C's] Gingerbread house on the lake. It was nice to be out in the wilderness even though it was really just suburbia, lots of trees and lakes and greenery. C and R's house is nice, we hung out snacking and drinking all day. R had some pretty funny stories. Animated guy that played Frank Sinatra really loud during dinner and bragging about how he downloaded it for free. V.J. showed up with his new girlfriend. Up until then nobody had met her, and the only picture they had seen of her is a picture of her from behind in a thong. But D, his girlfriend was a good sport and fit right in. We went out on R’s flat boat, cruised a lap around the lake, just soaking it in. Late train back to Grand Central.
I’ve been working so hard I have carpal tunnel in my mouse hand. Trying to tame this tangled web of the Demo CD. Now I’m back on edits for Origin of Virga, pretty much changed the whole thing. Now Dana base-jumps naked from the top of the building and almost hits them. Cut to the chase instead of all that other fluff. Haven’t heard from D, don’t know what’s going on with that. I could have finished that by now, instead I won’t even remember what it was about by the time we get back to it.
August 20 – NY
It’s like traveling being here. Every couple of nights we go for a walk in a different direction and it’s like being in a different city, a different country even. We walked to Central Park at night and then headed North as far as 116 or so. Not quite the Spanish Harlem, but it sure felt like it. Maybe when we’re feeling more adventurous, and it’s not night, we’ll delve further into it. Felt more like Guadalajara. People actually hang out on the streets, colorful markets, wider streets, hills, empty lots, everything more spread out. Friday we headed over to the West side. Tres chic and cool, not as many trees as the East side, but probably more hip restaurants, more brownstones and funky stoops. Ate Vietnamese at Monsoons, the same place we ate last February when we were out here for Bedder-½’s interview. Funny how it wasn’t as good because we are spoiled on good food now.
We had planned on seeing the Cell at that big Sony complex down on 66th street and Broadway but it was sold out, so were just strolling around in the drizzle (it’s been raining a lot) and ended up at the Lincoln center. A Mostly Mozart concert was starting in five minutes. Tickets were $45, but student tickets were $10 and I had a NYU Medical university insurance card which was good enough. We were in the back row, but it didn’t matter. It was cool. Some 22 year old piano that was incredible, and a violin player (Bell?) that was really incredible. And you can’t go wrong with Mozart. There was another piece by Deuxtemps which was also good. Pretty cool that we can just waltz right into something like that. The NY Philharmonic.
Finished re-writes of Origin of Virga, majorly re-wrote it and re-wrote the query letter, and a separate synopsis, more as an exercise than anything I guess. Writing the synopsis, in the light of pitching or selling the story, forces you to reconsider and edit. But re-writing feels more like work to me, it can tedious and you just want it to be overwith. And it is, so now I can just lay Origin of Virga to rest [which we pretty much did, a screenplay we never really send around anywhere] and get to all the other loose ends I have. Of course I’ll post it on Zoetrope and send out queries like a madman, but I am done re-writing it. We ended up seeing the Cell, and it renewed my confidence that I am positive that I could write a better screenplay that that. Everything sells on the concept (The Matrix meets Silence of the Lambs) and then the producer is like, yes, here’s 10 million to hire a model as the lead actor, here’s 10 million for special effects (which were incredible) and let’s sure we have extremely gory scenes in it and FBI swat teams and helicopters. Oh yah, we need a script don’t we? Well we have a few hundred dollars left in the budget, go hire some idiot, and of course he has to be a member of the guild.
August 22 – NY
[M.S.’s] in town visiting. Bedder-½ and I are squeezing onto the small single futon on the floor of my office. Company can be a drag, especially when they stay for more than a day. Sunday night we went down to eat in Little Italy, as usual it’s a scam, the food is mediocre and it seems like all those restaurants want is your money. Strolled around the busy streets and then went up to the village, walked down Bleeker to MacDougal and then up to West 4th where we revisited the piano bar Aurthur’s. Some Dixieland band was playing, bunch of old guys. One crazy guys in the audience was particularly amusing, making all sorts of faces at the band, getting into it way more than was natural. It was like Disneyland in hell. The subway ride back was particularly sensory. First off, we were waiting for the train pretty much below Stonewall. I guess normally we don’t notice, but M is squeamish and kind of freaking out about the guys. I looked around and it seemed like all the people around us were gay, Village People types dressed in leather, cuddling, holding hands, playing. There were even two older fat Jewish guys with yamacas showing P.D.A. Guess we don't even think about such things until you're with someone like M who points it out.
On the train these three crack addicts came by singing songs and there was something incredibly sad about it. They seemed in such pain, such anguish, but somehow could muster up the energy to sing happy gospel tunes (and they were good), and these made it even more sad. Then this other guy got on the train that was literally the face of pain and suffering. He was begging and on the verge of tears, stinking something fierce, he got on his knees in front of Bedder-½ and started talking about some kidney operation or something, pulled up his shirt and his stomach was scarred up. It was sad. It made me realize that there’s stuff like this all over, in Tucson, LA, wherever, desperate suffering homeless people, but in most other places everybody is in cars so you can just roll up your windows to it. In NY they come and stand right in front of you, and you can try to look away and ignore it like most people do, but you know it’s there. You can’t lock the doors of your car. For better or worse you have to face the music, not that you can do anything about it by giving them a dollar or whatever, but people should be exposed to this to know it exists. Knowing it exists is important.
Last night we ate at Penang and then we went down to Bryant park to see the last movie of the season, the Graduate, but it was packed beyond belief. Unbelievable that would go through such pains and cram into some area, standing just to get a glimpse of the screening of some old movie. So we left, back on the Subway. I felt kind of weird, the air was smokey and it felt warm and humid and you could almost feel disease in the air. Now I have a head cold, I picked up something from the broth of human breath. Or maybe it’s just my allergies as they have been acting up in the past week. And then to have to sleep like a plank on the edge of our single futon . . . needless to say it wasn’t a good night sleep.
Bedder-½ is off with M. I’m waiting around for my Acentre stuff to replicate. The weather is pleasant.
August 28 – NY
Dreary sultry dog days of August. My fingers stick to the keyboard. Tired. Good thing I have the luxury of naps. I was supposed to go on an interview this morning but I flaked. I’m afraid if I took another job I would kick myself for giving up such a good gig. It was for a company called eMeta, that have something to do with software for online publishing . . . interesting enough application that it enticed me to schedule an interview. The flipside was that a quarter of the job was training, and she said they worked 10 hours a day. I’ll ride this out and give myself maybe 6 months to get something published . . . finished another short story called “Tombstone Skiing” and now I’m making a concerted effort to send more stuff out, and read. I read three somewhat literary journals, Tin House, Columbia and Chelsea and submitted to each. More of a targeted effort.
Friday night we met JLR for dinner. She’s riot, total chain-smoking Italian American princess, but the important thing is she knows who she is, and she is funny. One of the more interesting people I’ve met in a while. Good thing Bedder-½ met her before she leaves NYU, I’m sure they will keep in touch. Probably the only thing Bedder-½ will bring away from her NYU experience. Total nightmare, they are firing people, trying to clean out the virus [all this had to do with the Arnie Levine scandal at Rockerfeller, who since had to step down for having sexual misconduct w/ students and professors working for him]. Speaking of which, an inspiring news story, Kips Bay, this huge mega-apartment building in New York, down by NYU, actually, is infected by this mysterious black mold. It’s like an X-files episode. I guess they’ve known about it for years, but they don’t what to do anything, can’t get rid of it, and they’re all like section 8 people that can’t afford to move out. Anyway, J had some great stories. She used to live in Tucson and also Alabama, she told us about this one couple in Alabama that came to the hospital complaining that they couldn’t get pregnant. When J sat down with him and explained the birds and the bees, ends up they had been doing it in the wrong hole all these years! Unbelievable that people like this are still in the gene pool.
Saturday we went to G’s birthday party. Met her at her grungy apartment which she is being evicted from (because her brother is sub-letting) and went to some dark trendy restaurant in Alphabet City, on avenue B, called Luca’s Grill. One of these places with no sign or anything, you just have to be in the know. G’s friends, or her brother’s friends met us there, like 8 people, that all summarily ignored not only Bedder-½ and I but G. Some obnoxious woman named [F] ordered all the food, and it sucked and we hardly got anything to eat . . . they called it family style but it was hor deurves. G and Bedder-½ and I were on the end, shielded by a wall of cigarette smoke, they smoked while we were eating, non-stop. It seems like they all (including her brother and his wife) went to the same high school in New Jersey and then relocated to Manhattan where I’m sure they all worked yuppie dot-com type jobs. They expressed no interest in meeting anyone new or hearing about anything outside of the realm of NY. But they would’ve fit right in LA. The only interesting thing I heard was one of these guys (Martin) dated this girl in a small town in NJ that ended up being in Playboy and causing an uproar in his small town. It was quite the change from hanging out with J. We were supposed to go to some place across the street that looked like an abandoned store, no sign, just graffiti, but Bedder-½ and I had enough.
Saturday we ended up spending the day with J and P. We were on our way back from working out when she called us an invited us to a Mets game. It had already started, but no matter. We rushed down there and J got a car (yes, she had this black Lincoln Town car pick us up that she paid for with her Platinum Amex card, “member since 1970”, the year she was born, whose bill gets sent to her parents). Peter got a 40-ouncer of Corona and drank it out of a paper bag. We got to the game by the fifth inning. They were playing the Diamondbacks. It was cool. We were way up in the upper decks and it was like being on top of a steep mountain of people. Mets won. Had a car pick us up and take us back. The Turkish driver drove like a maniac while P egged him on, through the backstreets of Queens and through the mid-town tunnel. We vegged in their apartment watching Silence of the Lambs on DVD while they smoked bong hits. They’ve got four cats, one of them was like the biggest cat I’d ever seen and had 8 toes on each foot. He lied on the armrest with his opposable-thumbed paws wrapped around the armrest like a weightlifter.
Went to Woodstock for Labor Day weekend. A vacation of sorts before Bedder-½ starts her new job which is right now as we speak. Didn’t know if we were going to get a ride from [Z], waited around and he never called back so we just took off. It was hell getting out of the city, five o’clock on a Friday of Labor day weekend. We started off on the bus, it was taking forever so we jumped out and got in a cab, but that was taking forever. Finally a few blocks from Port Authority we just got out and walked/ran. Even still we missed the 6 o’clock we hoping to catch as the line was backed up out the door and Port Authority was a madhouse. Waited in a long line to get on a bus just to sit in the terminal trying to get out. The whole city clogged. Finally through the Lincoln tunnel and into the traffic jam of New Jersey, thinned out eventually. It was alright, I had ee cummings to read on the bus. Got into Woodstock around 10 or 11. Walked around the dark streets looking for our motel. Woodstock is even more creepy than NYC in the sense of you walk around these abandoned streets with sketchy people just sitting in their cars, hippie freaks and trustafarians everywhere. Finally found the Woodstock Inn on the Millstream, our key was waiting under the mat. A modest place that was overpriced at $100 a night. It was nice just to sleep somewhere else I guess, knowing you were kind of in the woods. Woke up and had breakfast near the Millstream. Water angling over the waterfalls. Looks pretty until you go outside to look at it and are instantly swarmed by hundreds of bugs. We walked into town and poked around the new age hippie shops with names like “Dharmaware”. Rented mountain bikes and rode out to Cooper Lake. Getting there was uphill, not a bad ride. The lake was beautiful. The ride back was a breeze, all downhill. Got lunch at some outdoor place, then rode around some more. Went back to our Inn to swim in the Millstream. Cool, refreshing water. Rocks shaved at hard angles by the water, angling every which way. Lots of people swimming in the water though. Returned our bikes then walked around more and ate Sushi to escape a downpour.
Next morning I finally got a hold of Z and he came to pick us up in his BMW with his son Y who looks like a little Buddha. Besides the fact that they keep his head shaved, you’d never guess that he has leukemia. We gave him the lion and he loved it. Went back to their house, a huge suburban home, nice but doesn’t really fit Z’s lifestyle. Still the same old Z, he’s got a half-pipe in the backyard and a 24-track recording studio in the basement. [J and I] were there and it was cool to see them. [J] was also there, weird to see him as I haven’t seen him since he was a toddler. People were in and out, this couple that had a jam session in the basement, the singer was Bonnie Rait type who had a pretty good voice and could play guitar, but when we complemented her on it, she was trying to sell us her CD or tape and plug her website.
Z and I jammed a little later, I played drums and he played guitar, but he got bored quickly. He was being weird. Everybody was being weird really. They would just go in and out of naps. Everyone just hanging out. Z was all stressed out and depressed but trying to act like a rasta man. He would go out on the balcony and start reading a magazine on gadgets for his BMW to get away. Or he’d disappear and you’d find him down in his moldy studio smoking a big spliff. He started spouting his doctrine to Bedder-½ and I as he sat at his mixing board, filling the room with smoke, trying to justify why smoking pot is good for him, but really pot has killed him. It has ruined his memory, he has lost all ambition (he justifies this as coming to grips with his fame-seeker tendencies). He’s got Eastern art all around him but probably has never read a book on Buddhism, or if he has his brain is so dead he can’t absorb any of it, or he just projects his belief system into it. And then, just like Mom, he criticizes coffee drinkers saying this will take years off your life, or tries to spout his nutrition beliefs to Bedder-½ as if he is the expert. It was interesting to witness for a day, but I think poor Bedder-½ was overwhelmed. They don’t even eat anything besides snack and then there was this whole drama with this other hippie-rasta couple that came by, the brain-dead hippie guy who was an illegal alien from some country, was Y’s nanny and Z had to let him go (why he hired him in the first place was beyond me). I witnesses it, they were holding hands and Z was like— “yo man, you know how about those spiritual times I was telling you about, the return of Saturn, where we just don’t need you in the house, well this is one of those times. We love you, but the vibe is just not right, you know. Y doesn’t feed off your energy, man. I’m gonna have you to leave.”
“That’s cool, I’ll come back tomorrow.”
“Yo, I don’t think you’re communicating on my wavelength here. You need to come back in a few weeks and then we’ll talk about this more.”
So they do a power ranger fist-bonk and the guy leaves with his psycho astrologist girlfriend and their brain-dead kids.” It was a strange scene indeed. Z’s wife (or spiritual partner as they were never married) [T] is a model, you wouldn’t know it until you saw her portfolio, and I guess her head is screwed on a little tighter than Z, although she is also a little odd. Makes you wonder what she sees in Zeke. She’s a pretty successful model, on the cover of Vogue, huge Gap billboards, etc. and I’m sure the house was paid for with her money and not Z’s drug-money, makes you wonder. Weird. Meanwhile I, in swami shorts pulled up almost to his tits is off picking mushrooms in the yard and telling us we should eat them . . . even after he had been deathly ill on them a few times and got J really sick off them too. The only really sane one is J, the matriarch Jewish mother. She’s the solid stone amongst the guys whose heads are in the clouds, but at least I is extremely successful at what he does [the guy that does all the mosaic murals in Philly]. I was disappointed in the way Z turned out. Yah, he has the big house, the BMW and the Volvo, and the model wife and beautiful baby, but he was a dead-beat depressing loser who had given up on all his dreams, lost in a cloud of marijuana smoke. I could go on for pages about all the weird things that happened on that boring afternoon, but I’m sick of thinking about it. And Woodstock got old fast, too. Just sitting waiting for the bus and all these hippie freaks come up and start talking to you, complaining about the tourists, and I’m like “I’m a tourist, I live in the city and I’m a tourist there too. I’m a tourist everywhere and so are you.” I mean, what do these people do? This one hippie guy in a bare feet and a tie-dyed t-shirt was talking about how he used to live on Park Avenue West, what the fuck did this guy do? This other guy was moving to Hawaii to lie on the beach. They just hang out all day in the park in the center of town and complain about the tourists and the weather. Get a fucking life.
Needless to say we were happy to get on the bus and back to the city, although I’m sick again, or maybe I’m still sick from a few weeks ago, I think my allergies have worn down my immune system and I probably have a secondary infection. I wish I could just kick this. I shouldn’t feel this unhealthy. Hopefully I’ll feel better as the weather cools.
Started reading “Reservation Blues” by Sherman Alexie on the way back. I think he is the best young writer around these days. And it’s not just like he’s jumping the “use your ethnicity” bandwagon, he is genuinely an good writer regardless of where he is from, and being from a reservation in Idaho only gives him a more interesting backdrop to spin his stories. He’s got a genuine bluntness, tinged with a little angst and a refusal to get stereotyped, he comes through on the pages.
..actually I take back everything I said about Sherman Alexie. The book completely falls apart after 70-80 pages and turns into a rambling, unpolished, and head scratching draft of something that might have been good if he bothered to rewrite and put some work into it.
Sept 11 —NYC
I’ve got friggin walking pneumonia. Bed-bound and going nuts. I probably shouldn’t even be typing now, but I am laying in bed. Besides my lungs feeling like an empty aerosol spray can full of BBs, and constantly being sweaty, I feel okay. I was feeling sick last week, Tuesday I called J, figuring I had bronchitis or something, and had her prescribe me some antibiotics. I had to walk to 79th and 3rd ave. to get them and it made me sick as hell. Thought I was going to pass out. On the way I saw a fruit stand that had orange raspberries, like bright orange. I have since asked to verify that they exist, but I’d never seen them until then and thought I was hallucinating. Then in the pharmacy I asked to sit down because I wasn’t feeling well and they pointed to a plastic chair in the aisle. Of course I was right in the ex-lax and Metamucil section and all these old people kept asking me to pull various laxative products off the shelf for them. Couldn’t figure out how to get my insurance to pay for medicines so I opted for the more generic antibiotics. I didn’t feel too bad so I started working the next day. Lots of stuff to do since we have a software release due Friday. I would work until I got tired and then just nap. Friday was the worst. Everyone at Acentre was freaking out, I was trying to fix the Website that someone else messed with (ends up it was Steve Birchfield), trying to help the new graphics design “expert” with making graphics (she can’t resize a screenshot so why did they hire her in the first place?) and trying to finish ten manuals, all the form help, the screen cams, etc. Oh yah, and on top of it, my Toshiba bit the dust again. This time the keyboard went completely out right in the middle of typing something. What’s left that hasn’t broken on that thing? So I had to back everything up and expect to lose everything again, and send it off. Now I’m typing on the Sager, which is like the Millenium Falcon of computers, its dependable but it’s big and clunky. Transferring files on the Zip drive. So Friday I still wasn’t better. I think Thursday night J came over and saw me in my sweaty feverish state. I went out to dinner with them and had red wine. Stupid in retrospect, but I didn’t know. Jen said I could possibly have pneumonia, but I figured it was September, and don’t you got to be really sick with something else to get pneumonia?
When I wasn’t feeling okay on Saturday we went into the ER at Lennox Hill. Cabbed it down. Crazy scene. Waited for hours in the waiting room with all sorts of other ailing people. Finally got in just as I was losing my patience and about to give up, I mean I didn’t feel that sick besides a splitting headache from hanging out in that place. But I got admitted and she took and x-ray and sure enough I had pneumonia in my left lung. She got me stronger anti-biotics and a respirator thing to hook onto an inhaler. While I was waiting around, some typical cops were questioning the head nurse about an assault that had just occurred in the ER, when the white cops told her they couldn’t prosecute the guy for saying a racial slur, the nurse said— “I don’t care that he called me a black bitch, I get that shit every day, I just care about the part where he said he was going to kill me if he ever saw me again.” It was just kind of interesting cuz it was just like a TV show or something.
So here I am. They told me to not work for 7 days which is a bummer for Acentre considering this is the week when everything happens. Even on Saturday, Steve V. was calling me for advice about how to do this and that because they were trying to work on the manuals themselves. Oh well. I’m not gonna kill myself. I’m more concerned with getting behind on writing. And the fact that [R and M] are coming on Thursday and we’re going to see the Yankees on Thursday. But they called yesterday and said they weren’t coming. We pleaded with them saying that I would be better, but they’re so hard-headed. We’ll see. I hope they come. And I hope I get better cuz this sucks being sick this long. I’ve never been sick like this before. Fucking sucks. Oh well, getting lots of reading done. After Reservation Blues I read “Cities of the Plain” by Cormac McCarthy. Not as good as Blood Meridian, but incredible piece of work. Really flawless. Hard to imagine maintaining that level of prose for an entire novel. Kind of unique in that is more of a modern day (1950s) western. But definitely manly man’s writing. Now I’ve started Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried”. Of course I’ve already read the short story by the same name (which is outstanding), but is the whole collection which have the same characters and are all about Vietnam. Seeing lots of Movies, besides Eyes Wide Shut Again, and MASH the movie, Any Given Sunday (sucks), a host of others on TV as well as the US Open finals watching V. Williams win and the young Russian Safin dismantle Sampras.
Sept. 15 – NY
Feeling better. R and M are here but I’m working on a nice Friday afternoon to make up for the work I missed. I am supposed to be still sick but really I was starting to feel better by Monday or Tuesday but everyone was telling me to stay in bed or I would get worse. But I was getting really sick of sitting around in bed and I have too much work to do. But I took frequent rests, did a lot of reading. Finished Tim O’Briens book of short stories. Incredible. His insight into Vietnam is more honest and insightful than any other. Then I started in on Stacey Richter’s “Date With Satan”. I don’t know what made me put it down when I read it in the bookstore in Tucson, but this stuff is great. The best short story writer I have read in a while. Just real enough to be believable, yet tinged with a surreal quality that is pure art in a conceptual sense.
So R and M came yesterday morning. We went out to breakfast, it is great to see them in NY. They are even thinking of moving here. If it was my own mom I would dread it, but they are so cool I think it would be great to have them around. They still have this spark left in them, they have it made really in Mendocino, but they are still too young at heart, still too much they want to experience to squander away the rest of their lives in a little town like Mendocino. They went off and Bedder-½ showed them around for the day while I worked and then they came back and we took the “Yankee Clipper” to the Yankees game. It’s a ferry boat that leaves a few blocks from our house near Gracie Mansion. Talk about going to a ball game in style. That was cool. Watched the city go by and pulled up to the dock in the Bronx, unloaded. Went to our seats which weren’t bad. It was a pretty dull game, no runs scored until the 8th inning or so. We just ate hot dogs and drank beer and people watched. I have to admit I was expecting more from Yankee Stadium. I guess you have to be a baseball buff or something, I mean everybody says it gives you the butterflies just walking into the place . . . I kind of felt that way about Shea stadium. It’s bigger and more grand. But I don’t know the history I guess. Toronto scored, Yanks rallied back to the tie the game. It was getting late, the game went into extra innings. Finally Jose Cruz Jr. on Toronto slammed a 2-run homer and beat the yanks. On the way back the tide was really high and we barely made it under the bridges. The captain would slow the boat down and guide it under, barely clearing the bridges by less than 6 inches. On one bridge, we actually had to move to the front of the boat to get under. It was trippy being that close to the bottom of the bridges. In the dark. Staring into the dark swirling currents of the East river.
Sept. 22 – NY
Not sure where I left off last. Sometime when R and M were here and I was just getting over pneumonia. I’m completely better now. Had a checkup with a pulmonary doctor that basically just agreed to my self-diagnosis. Told me I was perfectly healthy. I had to ask him to give me a prescription for Claritin. He thought allergies didn’t have anything to do with it, but then said it could be caused by accidentally inhaling phlegm or something, even said it might be rat dander! That when people first come to NYC they aren't used to it, but there's lots of rat dander in the air. Or maybe rag weed is just really bad right now. We got an air purifier that seems to help. And now Bedder-½ is sick, but with something different, she has a sore throat, a fever and swollen glands. We’re pathetic. Not used to this city life. It’s a different kind of survival. It’s like rat or cockroach survival. Pigeon survival. How to cope with unnatural elements, pollution and close proximity, high doses of human pheromones and viruses. Like a bunch of fishes in a small fishbowl drinking each other’s piss.
Last Sunday we took R and M to Cabaret at Studio 54. Pretty cool to imagine all the debauchery that went on in that building, even though it’s been all converted into a theatre now. All the coke gone up all those noses, all the bodily fluids passed in lewd public sex, all the alcohol, all the deals gone down, all the lucky breaks. Now it’s a small step up from Disney. But it wasn’t bad show. By the time I was getting into it, it ended. All the singing shit was putting me to sleep. Saturday V and J came down and we just walked around really slowly. Walked around the San Gennaro festival in little Italy. Walked around South Seaport village. All the touristy stuff. Ate at the Oyster house in Grand Central. It pretty much sucked and was expensive. But of course R insisted on paying. He pretty much insisted on paying for everything and it was getting annoying. Their great folks, but I think it’s just hard to have house guests in NY, not just because our apartment is so small, but because you have to walk a lot and deal with crowds and stuff that grates country folk's nerves.
Worked a lot last week to make up for lost time. But I also had an interview with Screaming Media. Down by Chelsea Piers, 26th street and the Hudson River in some huge warehouse building that I thought was abandoned, had to navigate my way through scaffolding and plywood corridors into a shoddy lobby under construction. Up a service elevator. The seedy dot com feel. Screaming Media itself takes up a whole floor with all windows looking out over the entire city, no walls or cubicles, everything is open, people elbow to elbow at long counters, even the CEO doesn’t have a desk but sits with the masses. No privacy whatsoever, not even drawers to keep your stuff. Just a computer terminal. I met with Bert Vazquez and some other woman. Before I left I started to put on a suit, but was running low on time and figured fuck it. I don’t want to work for a place that would want me to wear a suit. Good thing I didn’t. Bert was wearing a holey t-shirt and shorts. He’s the HR guy so he didn’t have much to ask. Passed me off to a project Manager whose name slips my mind. But she looked like Janis Joplin decked out in Hello Kitty apparel. After talking with her for a while I discovered that she didn’t know much either because she had just started working there a few days prior. Talk about casual. This place was beyond casual. Then I talked to another tech writer Lori-Elise, some pale deathrock girl from Colorado Springs. She was acting all nervous liked she had never interviewed anybody before, and was “caught off-guard” because nobody told her I was coming. Then out of the blue, she says— “you look so calm. You look like a Buddha just sitting there.”
Funny, I was sweating like a pig on the subway, maybe because I wasn’t used to wearing a collared shirt and dress pants, and was fresh from pneumonia and on a crowded subway, but mostly from panicking from the prospects of having to adapt to this sort of life, commuting two hours a day with the masses, working in an office environment, giving it all up to live a lie. Not to mention that I just panic in general and get all sweaty whenever I meet anyone new. I even panicked when I went to the doctor the day before. He had me take off my shirt and I got all sweaty in my armpits and the hole in my chest where he was sticking the stethoscope. He washed his hands after he touched me. I’m a freak. And people perceive me as a “calm Buddha”?? Strange.
There was a few managers I was supposed to meet, but didn’t because I don’t think they had their act together. So I don’t know. Oh yah, the main thing I have reservations about is that everyone I talked to stressed the fact that they work long hours and that you have to be “obsessive” to work there. Do I want this? What am I thinking? Am I ready to give up the freedom that I have now to write for half the day? After the commute and working ten or twelve hours a day I would have time for nothing. Life would be a grind. I would spend one day of the weekend probably trying to catch up on laundry and shopping and cleaning and another day having fun in NYC (because otherwise what’s the point of being here). So when would I write? It’s not like Automation Centre where I could e-mail stories to myself back and forth and work on them and send them home. Elbow to elbow, people always looking over your shoulder . . . I should mention that the only reason I even considered it was that it was an interesting application—they provide news content to Websites, that is you can pay them to deliver certain customized stories, weather, stock quotes, etc. tailored to your needs. They don’t write the content, they’re just the middleman, so what I would be doing (if I worked there) would be tech writing which wouldn’t be that different from any other tech writing job except you’re working towards a more interesting application. Is that worth it? I don’t know. I’m supposed to go for a second interview. I’ve got nothing to lose . . . actually I do. When I went on Wednesday, I got back at three in the afternoon and the phone was ringing. I answered it out of breath. Not only was it Steve Birchfield, but it was a conference call with pretty much everybody at Acentre! And the heat was on me because it was about coordinating the release of the new 5.0 Release CD Content which I am making. If I had come home a minute later, they would’ve caught me red-handed. Evidently Steve B. had sent me an e-mail warning me, but I didn’t get it because I was out and about at a job interview for over three hours. So I guess I do have something to lose going tomorrow for the interview. But I could go just to see if they make me an offer and maybe present the idea of working from home a few days a week, or just be straight with them that I believe in having a life outside of work, and if that turned them off to me than so be it.
What else, watching a lot of Olympics, saw “Almost Famous” last night (excellent) with G after Mexican food at Mas Quetzal. G lives up in Washington Heights now, got booted from her illegal sublet. But she’s better off. She looks better already. We had a neighbor move in next door. We didn’t realize how lucky we were for the past few months. You can hear everything he does, now he’s watching TV, he stomps back and forth down the hall. His name is John and the first impression we got of him was him and his friend carrying this huge contraption of fluorescent lights up the stairs and I made some comment like “getting a little extra light in there” assuming he was an architect or something, but he says— “actually it’s a tanning booth.” This was like a thirty-something year old pale guy. Shopped for lots of books and CDs this weekend.
I’ve been reworking Figures on a Landscape and have it locked down enough that I sent it in to be registered [another screenplay we never did anything with]. I’m trying to get a grip on my past writings so I can be sending them out and work on new projects. So pretty much anything good short story or poem before 1999 is in there (if it was relevant to the geographical theme, which was pretty much everything in that time period). I start a writing class on Monday with that Gotham Writer’s workshop, which seems like the scientology factory-line of writing workshops, but oh well. Can’t knock it until I try it. I also finished a new poem called “The Gravity of Water” and finished a draft of “My Bones Arrive at the Tollbooth.” Just saw Fight Club which was kind of interesting I guess, but at times just plain stupid and Hollywood. Ran around Central Park this afternoon and went to the street fair on Lexington and got a new Bonsai (Pagoda) for Bedder-½ because she was sick at home.
[sneaking up on our roof where we found a tiger]
[... continue to Oct—Dec 2000]