[1/11/2022> in2 year 2002 w/ our journal transcribing, picking up from post #975... post 9/11 NYC > entries R getting more sporadic, ~1x a month]
January 5, 2001 – NY
Spent most of last weekend (New Years) transcribing entries from past journal entries [presumably from hand-written journals onto our computer]. And now it's 2002. Not much eventful happened over New Years. Not that we went out or anything, but the general consensus is that it was just another new year and people are fed up with resolutions. The gym is not crowded like it was last year at this time. Not that I have any resolutions, but that is not any different. Surprisingly, I weigh 175 lbs now, which is the heaviest I have ever been, but I don't give a rat's ass.
I was transcribing all my journal entries because I am putting together a collection of dream-inspired flash fiction [that we wd publish 6 years laster as Poste Resante]. I went all the way back as far as the late '80s... amazing how long I have been recording my dreams. By the time I transcribed them all, I was burned out on turning them into actual stories, so I created some more visual poems instead, and then got inspired to create a collection of visual poems with "the quantization of space-time" as a theme. Already have 3 or 4 that I wrote. So now I have all these loose threads, but it's okay, because I'm accumulating poems and stories that I can be sending out.
Got another publication in Perspektive (a German magazine published in Austria) without even sending them anything... they contacted me after they saw my piece in Aught. So they are going to re-publish "Oxygen 8" and also "Hemoglobin." Had to work standby over the holidays which wasn't so bad [@ pressplay]. Was able to get writing done as well, though it was a bit disruptive. I put the hours down that I was on standby, plus more. I have a blackberry now so now I am pretty much on call all the time anyway. I'm getting a little burned out, especially today. I'm having to do more and more QA and customer care related stuff. Even had to field calls from a few angry customers. It was interesting but I'm not into it too much. I think we are all suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome. We are getting fairly good reviews but not that many people have really signed up which is not surprising considering we haven't advertised yet. I also have somehow assumed responsibility of being the message board moderator, which is actually kind of fun... fielding questions from all the bickering customers, of course hardly anybody has anything nice to say, but why would you take the time to post a message if you were content? But the day they ask me to censor a message ... that will be a different story. I am also a bit concerned about being the voice of pressplay when I am not even an official employee... which is still in the works.
What else? I have gotten to listen to a lot of music recently with this pressplay stuff. Santa Claus brought us a burner for x-mas but it doesn't work with pressplay, but still, I've burned some CDs at work. Been playing a bit of guitar and [bedder-½] has been learning. When I was going through my old journals I was also going through my "song scratch books" where I wrote down lyrics and what not. That was starting to have an influence on the stuff I was writing. As usual, the end of the year is a time to mine nostalgia. To plagiarize myself, rehash the old notes I used to write to myself, why did I write this stuff anyway? If only I had day after day to do this sort of stuff. Maybe some day [haha + here we R!]. Bedder-½ and I have been talking about dropping off the face of the planet and doing something like going to Ajijic for a year. The baby idea has pretty much been put on the backburner for the time being, and we are focusing on the more attainable goal of getting a dog. Before we do that we need to move, which we want to do anyway.
January 16, 2001 – Keystone, Colorado
In keystone colorado writing this on a blackberry. This will be transmitted from characters I'm punching with my thumbs, stored in binary format, then transmitted through the air and received on my computer, probably through a host of servers. The mountains are beautiful there is not a lot snow. Bedder-½ is sleeping because she is sick as a dog and she has a symposium to attend the next few days. We already went over and registered her and I stole some material so I can rip out the pictures and plagiarize them. Make up my own captions. It been hectic still at work so haven't written in my journal. But finally a real vacation. Went to newark this morning caught a plane to denver. Flyin brings out the worst in humanity' especially in this day and age. Caught a shuttle bus here to keystone. Denver had o snow and there is very little here. On the flight iread the first hundred pages of the emperors new mind by roger penrose and was inspired. I am forgetting the power of mathematics as a language. I don't miss the rigor, but I miss the elegance and profound insight that you can derive (if you're willing to put the work). Makes you think of things in a new light, like how crazy it is that we have this language of 26 letters and I am able to convey a thought process to myself to self and then send it through this rocky mountain air to home... Except it appears I have no signal so hopefully this will be stored until I have reception. Especially with all this work I,m doing with my thumbs. But what if it was lot, so what. It was the exercise in getting there. Nevertheless I'll keep it brief. Was reading hat david eggers book but wasn't to into it besides the cool intro and everything. I've written a few more dream flash fiction pieces .. Almost have enough for a collection... And also building up a collection of "quanta" visual poems. I feel more inspired than ever, will work on stuff here in between skiing and whatever else. Oh yah, I'm a bit freaked out about that recurring dream that I have about going skiing and there is ha
-------------------------- Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld (www.BlackBerry.net).
... guess I maxed out the field. New message. Freaked about dreams where I go skiing and there is no snow. Already had it once and nandu broke her shoulder. Was telling people in joking that I was planning on breaking my leg. Partly in joking but also because my time is up. I can be careful but it will probably be some other accident like a car crash or las night I dreamt I was swimming in a very shallow pool and there eas a tidal wave but I was okay. So maybe that means there will be an avalanche but there is hardly any snow. Should I be careful or is inevitable? It could be a revelation... A life affirming or life changing event and not necessarily for me but maybe for bedder-½ or maybe even someone else. Maybe something will happen in ny while we are gone, who knows. Maybe bedder-½ will get pregnant. Maybe one of us will pregnant with an idea. Maybe I will get an acting job (get it?) or maybe I will just break m leg. I hope not, but it won't stop me from skiing.
-------------------------- Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld (www.BlackBerry.net)
January 25, 2001 – NY (Keystone)
To continue the Keystone saga that I started on my blackberry... I tried to send it from the top of the mountain, at 12,000 feet or so and still no reception. Probably a good thing. Out of touch. We were sleeping at over 9,000 feet at the Keystone lodge, kind of a modern Frank Lloyd Wright cabin ... kind of had a headache the first night, but otherwise I was fine. The next morning Bedder-½ went off to her seminar and I walked along the Snake river to the ski resort. Fricking freezing. like 20 or 30 below. I rented my skis and had to buy goggles and gloves, which I got shafted for. Then the lift ticket ... the whole process sucks, and is expensive. All to partake in a totally decadent activity that promotes clear-cutting. But it sure is fun.
I did a few runs, first did a blue and it felt easy, so then I did some blacks. But I started to feel queasy and definitely short of breath. And then sort of nauseous. And I remember the altitude, so I went down to the lodge for a rest. Had some food (jumbalaya with gross sausage and hot cocoa). Hydrated myself and then headed back up. Skiied for the rest of the day, even though I was getting tired and it was getting very cold.
I went back to the room around 4 and took a hot bath. Then started to feel really strange and tired, but couldn’t sleep. Bedder-½ came back a few hours later and I was completely out of it, pounding headache, nauseous. She was hungry so I went with her to some cheesey Mexican restaurant. Everything looked disgusting and it was so mid-America it made me disgusted. All the ski bunnies and ski dudes with the wool sweaters and hats, it made me sick. Everywhere around me gross food. And I was trapped, tables of crowded people between me and the bathroom. I felt like puking. Bedder-½ ordered fish tacos and they smelled really fishy. I ordered Tortilla soup and it was more like chili. I couldn’t eat a bite. The second I got back to the room, I massively puked until I as dry-heaving. Bedder-½ even saw me explode out of my mouth. Chunks were up my nose. It was mostly stomach acid. It wasn’t pretty. But I felt better once that was overwith.
The next morning I went to go cross-country skiing. It was free with some passes we got with the room. I toodled around the golf course where they had set up a contrived cross-country skiing course, but it just didn’t cut it. But according to the guy, there was nowhere else to go that I didn’t have to get on a bus or something. But I started exploring through the woods, and found a snow-shoe trail. Had to cross over the road at one point and then found this snow-shoe trail cut into the side of the mountain that traversed along the side. I was getting the hang of the cross-country skiing thing. The first time I had done it. Then I hit keystone gulch and there was a wider trail/road that went up the gulch. Went all the way up the outback chairlift, where the down-hill skiers were. Something like 25 KM all together, and probably an altitude of 11,000 feet. The cool thing about Cross country skiing is that you feel like you deserve it. You do the work (MGH) to appreciate the rush going downhill (½MV2). And you get to enjoy the peace and quiet going through the snowy forests, near the frozen rivers, all you can hear is your own breathing, in the quietness of the snow. Only problem about enjoying the downhill part is that the skis are made in such a way like cat fur to grip the snow with these ridges, so when you are going downhill they are not nearly as fast as regular skis. And they are kind of hard to control. The whole day I only saw three or four other cross-country skiers and a few snow-shoers. And I got a great full-body workout out of it, from my triceps to my inner-quads and calves, to side-torso. It does the whole gamit.
Got back earlier in the afternoon and time to sit out on the porch in the sun with no shirt on (even though it was probably 10 degrees out)... typical Colorado weather. When you’re in the sun it’s marvelous. Had a lot of free time over the long weekend to read (read most of Roger Penrose The Emperors New Mind. Getting inspired by science. Reading Science and Nature. Sometimes Science magazine has some pretty incredible stuff. There was a side article about this new etchings they found in this cave in South Africa that were 70,000 old! The cave paintings in France are like 40,000 so these are almost twice as old. They are just geometric doodlings, but still, the first recorded instance of “art”. Some cave gromit was scratching a way on a piece of rock 70,000 years ago, who knows what was going through his mind, but did he have any idea that we would be analyzing it 70,000 years later?! This to me is big news. Will it ever make the mainstream?
Instead, the news of the day is the collapse of the big American corporations. Enron and K-mart. Chapter 11. Executives committing Hari Kari (or is murder?). Cover ups of inside trading. So much white-collar crime that goes on all the time, this is just one instance. And K-mart, well they are still stuck in the 70s so serves them right. Gotta grow like Targét. Listen to me, do I give a shit? I am getting all wrapped up in pressplay, and I read the message boards and all our hate mail, and get a reality check that I work for this evil corporation fueled by greedy music labels. Its sick. Is it true? And the funniest part is when they are laughing at the FAQs that I wrote! Laughing, like sick laughing, like the policies are so incredulous and ridiculous that it is a big sick joke. And I wrote it all! Not that they are my opinions, but these are the policies we are stuck with. And I am getting sucked into it, I have to tell Jim [1 of the senior directors] on a daily basis that I don’t want to be like him. He says he writes post-it notes to himself to get out of it in 5 years and take the money and run. By why even allow yourself that? What am I doing?
So the last day in Colorado we didn’t do much except sleep in and relax, then [D + D] came and we went out for lunch for about two hours overlooking the ice-skating lake. D has a rare skin disease so she can’t exactly go out and enjoy the outdoors. It was good to just visit with them. Getting back from Colorado was a pain in the ass, an all day endeavor. Starting in the morning with getting the shuttle to Denver Intl. Packed into the van like cattle. All the people that work in the service industry or Aussies or Kiwis and some South American folk thrown in for good measure. The night before we were watching the Golden Globes and it appears that the world is being turned upside down, the Aussies are winning everything.
We had to get to the airport early and go through all the security. Denver airport is a trip. It’s a tent with each peak representing the peaks of the Rockies. I think it’s the biggest airport in the world from what I remember hearing once. Our plane was 3 or 4 hours late for no reason, the weather was beautiful. Had to sit in some bar and eat food just because Continental was paying for it. Ended up getting back to Newark around midnight and having to navigate through the construction and clusterfuckiness of Newark to get a cab. No taxi stands, ending up sharing a cab with someone else that was going to Manhattan.
And now the week’s gone by and it’s the next weekend. Have to work today, but I will sneak some writing in. Got another publication in Thunder Sandwich ...nothing to "write home about," in my journal.
February 11, 2002 – NY, NY
Haven’t had time to write. Been too busy. What’s new!? pressplay pruned more dead limbs, Universal and Sony didn’t approve the budget so they had to make some cuts. Unfortunately Amar was one of those. Damn nepotism and politics, he crossed Brian K. and Brian probably whined to Glenn and that was it for Amar. Forget that he is a decent, honest and hard-working guy. Forgot that’s he been here since the beginning and has a family to support. Surya, Andy, Mike M., and others also got cut. I was spared, because I had Jim and Laura pulling for me. If I had been sticking to strictly tech writing I’d be gone along with all the other contractors that they laid off. Now it just remains to see if they make me an offer and what kind of offer it will be.
The most traumatic event of last week was going to the dentist. Downright scary and surreal. I had to have an existing filling dug out and re-drilled, and it was so deep that he almost had to do an overlay. I also had to have periodontal work done, cleaning underneath the gums. The idea of having the novocain shot terrified me, so when he mentioned laughing gas, I said sure, because I remember having my wisdom teeth out on laughing gas and it seemed fine. So he put on the laughing gas and at first it was a trip. I started feeling numb and tingly all over, almost like what they describe being on narcotics to be like. I distinctly remember Dr. Heilbrunn telling me, like I was being hypnotized, that I would allow him to touch the surface, but I should not allow him to penetrate the skin. That he was not allowed to go below the skin.
I was still somewhat coherent, and it was freaky to see the change in Dr. Heilbrunn once I was down for the count. He had the administrative woman turn up the music and to me it sounded like Wagner’s “Kill the Rabbit”. And I was hearing skips in the CD that I’m sure we’re just in my imagination. Then it just seemed like he started going really fast and really rough and saying a lot of trippy things to his sidekick. He was staring at the bleeping gas monitor as if something was going wrong and then just turned it off.
After a while it wasn’t pleasurable and I started to feel uncomfortable. I started to feel like I was choking, like I just wanted to breath oxygen and I had this damn mask over my nose and couldn’t breathe through my mouth because he was in there drilling like a madman. I started to feel nauseous at one point and then it went away and started feeling good and trippy again. It was almost like my body was taking the pain and abstracting it into another sensation of nausea or discomfort. My mind couldn’t be tricked. But I definitely wasn’t feeling any pain in my teeth that was for sure. Then the next thing I know is I’m starting to throw up, right there in the chair. A mouthful of bile started to gurgle up and into that suction thing. He quickly took off the gas mask and was like “what happened? Why didn’t you tell me you were getting sick?” I was so narced that I couldn’t respond. How could I even tell if I was getting sick and how could I even respond. He told me to spit and I spit a mouthful of blood and metal shavings. I was probably sick from swallowing all that blood and metal. Who knows. All I know is it wasn’t fun. I looked down at my bib and there wasn’t throw up or anything so I guess I didn’t really throw up, but just started to and swallowed it. I tried to rinse my mouth out, but had no control over where I was spitting. The whole right side of my face was dead. He had given me novocain somewhere along the way too. I was completely out of it. Still queasy even after he took the gas off. He finished and then I had to go sit in the waiting room to wait for the feeling to go away. I went into the bathroom and spit up a bunch of stuff and tried to get my jaw working. Then I came back out and read. But I was still feeling sick. I went back into the bathroom and this time I threw up the contents of my stomach, an acidic concoction of milky rice chex, blood and metal shavings. It was disgusting. Even after throwing up I felt like crap. Tried to walk it off by walking to work. It was like the coldest day this year, freezing out. So I couldn’t tell if feeling in my jaw was coming back or not. Even once I got to work my jaw was dead and I felt like I was drooling all over myself even though I wasn’t. It was a horrifying experience. I felt like one of those animals on Wild Kingdom that they tranquilize and then take advantage of when they are in uncompromising positions. And the fucked up thing is that was only half my mouth and I have to go back next week to do the other half.
So what else… I got another publication in Gestalten, “Concrete Evidence”. I have lots of stuff that I would like to be writing but just don’t have the time. Now the Olympics are on. Saw Short Cuts again last night which I think qualifies as one of my favorite movies ever, if only the ending was better. This past weekend didn’t do much, Saturday I had to work, but it was a beautiful day. Bedder-½ walked with me to work and we stopped at the lake in Central Park and just hung out in the sun and watched the dogs swimming in the water chasing the big swans. Working out on the weekends to make up for our slackerness during the week. Friday night we went out to eat at Pomodoro, and we were sitting there and looked over at the table next to us and Gwynn was there on a blind date! How random is that. It was truly bizarre, 15,000 restaurants and we just have to be sitting at the table next to them. He was like some stock-broker guy that chose this restaurant because he liked the neighborhood. Not a good fit with Gwynn. Por guy though, it was an embarrassing situation and I’m sure he thought that we were there on purpose to spy on their blind date.
Afterwards we went to O-zone and Gwynn had called Josh to meet us there. We tried to talk to this Carlos guy, but it was a lost cause. The guy left early complaining of being sick. So we hung out in the smokey bar. Josh is an interesting character. The cynical lived in NY all his life, been there done that kind of guy. We also went out another night a few nights before to the Sidewalk café down on the lower east side to see “Hector on Stilts” … basically the two guys Jeb and Clayton that Gwynn has been infatuated with ever since Tucson. They were actually pretty decent, good guitar players and good voices. It was small and cramped and smokey though. I guess every once in a while you just have to go out just to see what you are nor missing. Cigarettes are really the culprit, the one thing that keeps us from going out more. We went out to some Russian restaurant (Uncle Vanyas) on Saturday night, and it was cool and interesting, but it was full of these young Russians chain-smoking cigarettes, even while they were eating, and it was disgusting. Couldn’t wait to just finish the meal.
[kind of «writing» we did back then... more IA/UI/UX eggsamples here ]
March 8, 2002 – NY, NY
Walking down Fifth ave, as usual no time to write in my journal but hopefully that will alll change soon. Yep, they finally hired me! It will be official on monday, now I'm just trying to get all the overtime I can before then. My offiial title is operations/documentation manager. Not that I care but it keeps our parents happy. Laura wanted to give me the title customer care manager but I balked at that... No pigeonholing. This is getting hard on to do, will finish later...
-------------------------- Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld (www.BlackBerry.net)
Don’t know when this was, but … usual story. What has been going on? I’ll work backwards. This weekend didn’t do squat but work. Did I mention that we are in our new building now? On 44th between 5th and 6th ave. in the same building that used to house the New Yorker magazine, there is some plaque on the door that talks about all the famous writers that passed through it’s doors, and there is also a disclaimer that they were suspect to advanced technology and always required there to be a manual elevator in operation. Needless to say, it’s an old building and it’s a smaller space. But you can’t beat the location. We are starting to discover all the cool restaurants nearby… Cuban, Brazilian, Indian, etc. and of course gourmet street meat. It’s a few blocks from Times Square, Grand Central, Bryant Park, NY public Library, “Little Brazil”, Rockerfeller Center, etc. Been walking still, or sometimes taking the bus down 5th avenue because the limited goes fast down 5th. I am in the “men’s hut” with Biswa, Lev, Andre, and Boris. We got the lava lamps, nerf footballs, and I assumed ownership of Amar’s speakers, so I can now blare music. Look out the window at another bank of office windows. We are the only peons that don’t have our own offices (besides all the administrative people), but who cares?
What else… U of A won the Pac-10 championship, went to a bar called “Solas” on Friday night with So Young, after eating the best Udon in the city, we have had a couple of fantastic meals at “Emporium” Brazilian in mid-town, the waiters are starting to know us there, and of course there is our local Japanese dig, Gurayama, which is incredible. Last week we saw Starsailor at Irving Plaza. They were incredible (once we got over waiting for three hours in a smokey bar). One of these bands that seems very young and naïve, like they don’t how good they are. The singer is so naturally talented, but all is also very awkward physically, like he is not used to being in his body, and he is a bit on the chubby side. Nevertheless, amazing. Before that we ate at Candela (can you tell what my recent priorities have been?). Seems like the week before that was full of debauchery, but I can’t remember the specifics.
Last weekend I did our taxes … got stiffed with a $15,000 bill. Made me sick to my stomach. $10,000+ for federal, and $5000+ for state. I guess I wasn’t getting any taxes withheld for January, and then they just weren’t withholding enough. I don’t know, would like to get a second opinion. It sucks big time when you think about.
Went to dinner with Andrea last night at Zarellas. She’s been off in Miami since 9/11, running her furnished apartments business remotely. But now she is back and hopefully she will be able to help us find an apartment. Haven’t been writing much, or reading for that matter. We’ve seen all or most of the Oscar nominated movies, but none really stick out in my mind, besides Amelie and Mulholland Drive.
Today is the first day of me being a “permanent” employee of pressplay. Let’s see just how permanent it is.
April 8, 2002 – NY, NY
This has regressed into my monthly journal entry... at best. I am so swept up into day-to-day life, that there is no time to step back and reflect on it. Not that that’s a bad thing for now—living for today. Just when there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel, something else comes along. I worked hard to finally finish a draft of the Customer Care Tool Requirements Specification— 110 pages of detailed and technical specifications. I basically designed the whole thing myself. And now we are on to version 1.5. There was going to be a bigger version 2.0 but that got pushed out to end of summer, so now we just have this interim release. Not that many changes to functionality, but still, have a lot of catching up to do and changes to be made for the FAQs and User Guide. And I'll have to go to Omaha at the end of the month. Most of my day gets caught up in some fire that sprouts up—a billing issue or some bug, or something. It is frustrating having to deal with MP3.com as our back-end provider. Actually I don’t deal with them directly, Scott Barrow does, which makes it even more frustrating. But for now it’s interesting. Still unsure whether it will be successful or not. Monitoring the message boards and reading customer e-mails, it is apparent that people pretty much hate us. We are perceived as the enemy of free and unrestricted music. Oh well.
The exciting news of the day is that we are moving! We found a great studio on West 57th street in the Parc Vendome condominiums. The location couldn’t get any better, a block from Columbus circle, right on 57th street, but more towards the West end and 9th Ave where all the good Hells Kitchen restaurants are. Across the street from the Hudson Hotel. The building is a landmark NY building, doorman and everything. It’s a studio, but it’s open and light and bigger than what we have now. Couldn’t ask for anything better, really. It will make both our commutes very easy, especially Bedder-½’s—she’ll just hop the A-train from Columbus circle. I’ll probably just walk in about 10-15 minutes. It’s central to everything. A block from Central Park. Really, it’s the center of the universe. It’s quite amazing. So amazing that I woke up at 4 a.m. this morning and couldn’t get over it. I can’t believe it. And it was a relatively painless process.
After paying our taxes and everything, we had pretty much resigned ourselves to just staying in our current apartment. Matter of fact, last weekend was spent rearranging all of our furniture to make it more bearable. Re-arranged the whole office, which was no easy chore. We oscillated back and forth, Bedder-½ had been looking, and everything seemed expensive. But what the hell, doesn’t hurt to look at the menu, right? if anything it would give us reassurance to appreciate where we live. So Saturday we went around the village with a broker named Claudine. We were very disappointed in what we say. Places for 1800 that were tiny, dark and just generally run down. Nothing you could imagine yourself living in. One place had the bathtub in the kitchen. Not that we didn’t find that charming or we're above that, but for $1600 a month? Other places felt like old folks homes. Then Sunday we looked at 4 or 5 open houses in mid-town West. The first place we looked at was great. a very large studio on 52nd street. We were convinced that this was better than our current apartment (and cheaper). Then we saw some amazing one bedroom apartments on 8th ave between 52 and 53rd. Those were huge and $2000 but in perfect condition.
... to finish the thread, we kept seeing better apartments, and then saw this place on 57th and 9th, great place, classic old NYC establishment, the Parc Vendome.. we almost didn’t check it out because we figured there had to be a catch. This Cuban/Argentina broker named Carlos met us to show us the last place. It’s a studio, but about 550 square feet, which is bigger then what we have now, and more open. Lots more light. The windows look out on to some “tea gardens” which are exclusively for Parc Vendome residents. We’re really excited. It’s a bit rundown, needs a paint job, but we can paint it. We have a month of overlap as our lease on this place doesn’t expire until June 1 and we had to get a lease that starts May 1. Worth it. We ended up hanging out with Carlos, he was cool. We told him then and there that we wanted the place and we went to Starbucks to do the paperwork. Had all sorts of hoops to jump through on Monday, getting letters of reference and employment, etc. certified bank checks, renters insurance, credit reports, etc… we went to Andrea’s on Monday night and she was freaking out about her web site, so we order sushi and I gave her a crash course on FrontPage and using computers in general. She is actually quite savy, but had learned to do things one way and didn’t know all the short cuts. It was a mess, but we got her site www.nycfurnishedapartments.com pieced back together from a bunch of stuff in her temporary internet files (that’s the only backup there was). Tuesday morning met Carlos on the West side and did all the official paperwork. We passed their approval, the first hurdle, but he had to put the package together and submit it to some board, and now we are waiting on that, but I am sure we’ll pass…. so now our days on the upper east side our numbered. Just ate our favorite Japanese restaurant. Enjoying my walks down 5th avenue knowing they are numbered. See the polar bears and goats. And then going home going through Grand Central at rush hour. Complete chaos. It’s beautiful. the efficiency, people slotting between each other every which way, down the stairs through the turn stile to the packed platform, always just in time for a train pulling up, and always just enough room on the train (packed in). Sometimes I have timed how long it takes to get home and its like 8 or 10 minutes.
What else. Finished the Customer Care Tool Req Spec and am now slammed with 1.5 stuff, updating the FAQ and user Guide. The work never ends. Working on Poste Restante, popping out a flash when I get a chance. Talked to Gabriel again last weekend, been e-mailing him. He has a friend in NYC that he introduced me to, some guy named Roy who is a painter and lives down in the villaj.
May 25, 2002
Now I’ve gone past the point of procrastination in terms of documenting my day to day life. Lots of happened since “my last confession”… for starters our physical locality is now 350 W. 57th St. … it was a long and stressful journey to get here. And somewhere in the journey I went to LA a few times, Omaha, and who knows where else… getting into Parc Vendome was a royal pain… we were given the verbal ok that we were “99%” approved… it was just that last 1%. Being that our Swedish landlady, Gun Cesarini, lives in Italy, Carlos had to send her the package with our application and everything for her to sign. It got lost in the mail or something, and our lease date of May 1st was fast approaching. Finally, he just faxed her the stuff again, and she returned it, but there was a series of setbacks mostly involving the notorious lead paint riders, where we had to meet Carlos (always at Starbucks) to sign new forms as they had changed and they had to be exactly right... by this time May 1st had gone by which was fine by us in that we wouldn’t have to overlap on a whole months rent. But as May 15 was approaching and we still weren’t officially approved, it started to get more and more nerve-wracking. I went to Omaha with Laura, Jim and Andy around the 13th, still not knowing for sure, but we made reservations for our move-in-date of the 20th on the presumption that we would get it. Everything was resting on this presumption. They had $6,000 of ours with no receipt and we had already given notice at our place on 89th street. Omaha was a nice break. Open sky and slow pace. We got treated like royalty, especially with Andy Schuon in tow. I guess he is more or less a celebrity, got to hear all sorts of stories over $80 dollar bottles of wines, and $35 seared tuna appetizers, stories that you would never ask him yourself, but the starstruck Omahians would ask… his early days as a DJ, then KROQ, then MTV, how he brought on Beavis and Butthead and all sorts of MTV shows, how he hung out with Dennis Rodman, his sleepovers at the Neverland ranch, eating French fries in Amsterdam with Bono at 4 a.m., etc. he has some great stories, and Andy loves to tell them. We got a lot accomplished in terms of having trust in West… before the trip, Jim and I were on the verge of firing Mike O because he was such a dork. But we straightened things out and feel better about the whole thing. Had to drink a lot to keep up with these guys though, and I also ate red meat. The last morning I woke up hungover at 6 a.m. and went running in Omaha and along the Missouri river amidst threatening Midwest thunderstorms.
On the 14th we finally got official word that we were in! But the relief was short-lived because we still had to move in. The move in procedure was insanely ridiculous, more rites of passage stuff. We had to leave a $500 “moving” deposit with Parc Vendome… $100 of which was not refundable. We had to move on a weekday between the hours of 8:30 and 4:30. and we had to use the service entrance on 56th street even though we live on 57th street. But before we even moved, we had to paint the whole place. Bedder-½ and I painted like maniacs over the weekend, stopping only to eat at the 9th avenue street fair downstairs from us. We painted most of the place a bright orange, and the kitchen a rich burgundy red, and the bathroom, grey and red. Sounds obnoxious, but its really cool looking. It looks like a Cuban Tibetan monastery or something. Some weird cross-cultural concoction that doesn’t fit Parc Vendome at tall, but so what. It took a great deal of cleaning also to get it livable (perhaps why the rent was so cheap), but we got it all done Sunday night, so we were already tired before our big day.
I couldn’t get the U-haul until 9 a.m. which was nerve-wracking. Had to go up to 106th and Lexington to get it. And driving that thing around Manhattan was a pain. Squeezing between other double-parked trucks, to the point where I had to pull the side-mirrors in to fit, cars honking at you. Double-parked in front of 438 E. 89th st, and of course we just happened to pick the day that the roofers were redoing the roof so they were going up and down the stairs at the same time we were with big rolls of tar paper (the week before, Bedder-½ and I took the tiger up on to the roof and left it to them as an offering). I started running up and down the 5 flights of narrow stairs, shuttling our possessions. So Young came which was a huge help. She watched the truck and actually surprised us at how much she could carry. But I was doing the heavy boxes, and then Bedder-½ and I carried the crux… my desk. We busted our asses, and got through with emptying our old apartment in almost two hours. Drove through mid-town traffic to Parc Vendome. Checked in at the service entrance. We thought we would be able to use the dollies at least in the underground part, and then carry stuff from the elevator, but they were adamant that we couldn’t use dollies at all… it was insane, there was no way we would finish, so we had to pay them $50 to lay down masonite in the halls. But it was still a long journey with each load. Had to go down an old service elevator to the basement, then navigate through a maze of underground passageways where all the guts of Parc Vendome were, along with all the maintenance personnel. To our elevators, one of which was padded so we could use, then up to the third floor and down the masonite covered hall to our pad. Each time I would have to wait for the elevator, sometimes the wrong would come (unpadded), or other service people would be tying up the elevator. So Young had to leave around noon, so then it was just Bedder-½ and I. Bedder-½ would load up the loads, then the doorman would bring them down to me and I would shuttle them underground. As I guessed, we got done early at 2:00 p.m. what a relief! went to return the U-haul and then take the bus and subway back, and then we were officially in! We celebrated by going to Pete Yorn. Andrea met us, and we went down the Hammerstein ballroom, ate at a diner and went in late. Managed to squeeze our way towards the front, 3 people back from the stage, even though the place was packed. We missed the first band, the second band “Sloan” was ok, sarcastic mod NYer types. Then Pete Yorn, who I am not crazy about, but I suppose he is alright. The girls just like him because he is neanderthal looking.
Now we’ve slowly settled in, hooked up our computers and set everything up (though still no DSL), put the paintings up and decorated. It looks fabulous. Lots of light and open space. We love it. Right now the refrigerator repairmen is fixing our fridge and dishwasher.
What else?…got a publication in You Are Here. Now I need to put new addresses on all my writings and templates! my project for today.
[on roof of Parc Vendôme]
[... continues chronillogically in post #983]