Monday, February 28, 2005

First let me say, TP on.

This weekend we had no car at all so we were basically stranded in the house. Which was fine really. I have no problem staying in the house, I figure if I’m paying that much in rent, the longer I stay in the house the more I’m getting my money’s worth.

It’s depressing looking at the housing market in New York. Regular shitty houses are going for like half a mil. It’s depressing because you have to accept the fact that you will never be able to afford a home where you’ve grown up and spent your entire life. I was thinking I could get my parents’ house but I imagine the capital gains tax alone on that would be obscene.

The idea of moving somewhere else to be able to afford something is kind of frightening. How do you get a job in, say, North Carolina when you’re living in NY? Do people really hire over the phone etc? It’s all really weird, and the situation is made worse by the fact that I don’t want to live anywhere besides New York. I am tired of living in Queens and Nassau though… I want to live where I grew up. But what they say is really true, you can’t go home again. I can remember when the corner of Main Street and Hampton Road in Southampton didn’t have shops on it (I’m talking about the SE corner I think, across the street from Saks). My mom used to take us to Sip N’ Soda all the time, and I would always get a hot dog and a chocolate milk. Sometimes we’d sit at the counter. She’d order a hamburger extremely rare, and if it was too well done she’d go yell at the cook. Then I would go to Poremba’s and look at all the various car shit. My dermatologist, Dr. Weinberg was across the street; I always thought he looked a lot like my aunt.

No point to all this. Just procrastinating.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2005

I feel really old sometimes, and it doesn’t feel how I expected it to feel. I don’t think I was ever young. It’s really weird. I feel like I was born old. Maybe I’m some old dude reincarnated. It would be really reassuring to be able to think that; I guess that’s why people come up with shit like the afterlife and heaven and all that. I still want to go to Rome and stuff.

I used to have such lofty goals for myself. As I thought more about them, I realized they were pretty shitty goals, all things considered. I really don’t want to be a CEO, I think that takes an optimist and someone good at politics and slinging a lot of bullshit. That’s really what I used to want to be, like the CEO of Ford. A “Captain of Industry.” Man my mother latched onto that phrase. But when you’re 16 the world looks like a really exciting place. But then you find out about rent, cable, verizon, cell phone, gas, electric, laundry, bla bla bla. Have a bad experience or two and your outlook changes drastically. Make some dumb moves (sure… let’s drop out of college… k, great!) no matter how many times you’re told not to… Use lots of ellipses…

Anyway, just rambling. I love my proxy server. When you find yourself taking joy in setting up a proxy server accessed over an SSH tunnel so that you can use the internet securely, you begin to realize that maybe you’re not like the average person. I also hate hoes. My boss asked me if I wanted to go to a strip club the other day and the idea repulsed me. Why would you pay some skanky ho to rub her ass on you? Then what are you supposed to do? Not my idea of fun. I’m not a prude by any stretch of the imagination, but that is just nasty to me. If you want to do a ho then do one, but I’m not spending money to be teased. Not that I would pay a ho, but at least I can see a value in that service. Paying some girl to rub her ass on you is not something I’d even want done to me for free, nevermind paying for it.

Friendster is kind of neat.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

So today I wake up — very reluctantly I might add, after a 3 day weekend — and head into the shower where I had my 15-minutes of fame, and when I finish, I open the door to find a nice pile of dog shit on the rug outside the bathroom. My life is dominated by feces. So I got dressed, picked up the prize and put it out on the curb with the rest of the trash, then walked the dogs who provided me with some more gems to deposit.

On the train I got a nice empty seat and started reading my book (The Gold Coast by Nelson DeMille), and at the next stop 2 guys get on and sit down across the aisle from me. As usual for New York they do not speak in a quiet voice so I heard their whole conversation. Apparently one of them just got back from a trip to some kind of a resort (he mentioned 6-hour jet lag so I’m assuming thailand or Europe?) and his exploits there. As the story progresses it becomes obvious that he and his buddies were hanging out at a whorehouse. One of the hoes came out buck naked and yelled at him that “your friend need more money!” And he ended up giving her another $50 because the friend “needed more time.” :-/

Long story short, the guy spent about 4 or 5 minutes bragging about how many whores he fucked. This has to be one of the worst things to brag about that I can imagine. I mean really, who could consider that an accomplishment?

I started getting sick last Wednesday and my cold or whatever it is peaked around Saturday, and by Sunday night I was starting to feel ok again. I stayed home from work on Friday (yay for VPN) to keep cow-orkers from getting sick, but I did manage to get everybody at home sick, which has made me unpopular there.

Also I found out my credit rating is no longer as wonderful as it once was; I guess being unemployed for 6 months took its toll in more ways than one. Also the motherfucking US Postal Service keeps fucking my mail up royally and I frequently don’t get my stuff, so I missed a bunch of bills.

Puffs Plus with Lotion = win for blowing the nose.

Monday, February 14, 2005

I forgot to say my basic point about the gift thing, which was “Fuck Valentine’s Day.” If you love somebody, you love them all year ’round, not just on fucking valentine’s day, regardless of what the Whitman’s Sampler and Russell Stover assholes try and tell you. I can’t think of a more retarded holiday.

When we were in like, 6th grade, I had a crush on this girl Becky. My school had “Candygrams” that you could send to somebody for 50 cents and the money went to the “Student Council,” whatever the hell that was. So I must have sent Becky like 50 to 100 candygrams all from “Your Secret Admirer.” Somebody put 2 and 2 together and figured out it was me and that was really fun. 6th grade sucked. Anyway fuck Valentine’s Day in the neck.

/hug

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Yep, it’s my fuckin’ birthday. Well, it was on the 12th. At least some people remembered this year. I am so tired of this gift-giving thing. Once a year I can handle, but I feel like they’re trying to stretch it out so you feel compelled to buy stuff all year long. Yes I know that seems like a “duhhh” type of a thing to say, that’s what ad agencies are for after all, to convince people that they need stuff that they really don’t. But I’m willing to suspsend my misanthropy and cynicism for the month of December, and while I’m certainly not one ever to be “filled with xmas cheer,” I can appreciate the smiles on others’ faces when you give them something they want, even if they may not have realized they wanted it.

The problem I’m having is that there are a finite number of gifts that are really worth giving to any particular person. I mean, after 7+ years, what am I supposed to get someone? What are they supposed to get me? I’m certainly not complaining about my present this year and I don’t want certain people to misconstrue this as such . But over the course of the year we have Birthday, Valentine’s Day, Anniversary, Mother’s/Father’s day, Christmas. That’s potentially 5 different occasions for a particular person every year. That’s a lot of presents, especially when the person in question either doesn’t want anything, or only wants things that are either immaterial (world peace type shit) or wants stuff that’s so insanely expensive that it’s just not realistic (a new car, jetski, whatever). [Did the previous sentence contain a comma splice?]

I do a lot of thinking these days, about various things. I used to be the kind of person who got really worked up in debates and fought valiantly to prove my side of the argument. I’m the guy who, when debating points with a conservative, will come across as a left wing nutcase; but when debating with a liberal will come across as a fascist. Like many (or maybe not?) I don’t fit neatly into any real box. I have some “liberal” positions and I have some “conservative” positions. It’s probably best if I don’t state any of them here. But lately when I see people debating a point on which I have a well-defined position I find myself playing the role of the quiet observer. Sadly this has come about because I just feel like debating itself is an exercise in futility. In all the history of mankind, I wonder how many debates have ever really changed anybody’s minds. Among the things I’ve picked up about people over the years is that they like to be right — I don’t know too many people who like being wrong on a regular basis. The basic point of a debate is to convince the other party that their position is wrong, or misguided, or whatever euphemism you prefer. The topics that frequently come up for debate are those about which most people already have well-formed opinions that they may have held since childhood. So you have people arguing either side of an issue, and both of them feel that they are absolutely right and the other person is absolutely wrong, and in reality neither side will ever be swayed no matter how much debate takes place.

This all really has nothing to do with anything but I think it illustrates my cynicism pretty well. I realize that the point of a debate between two parties on a given issue is frequently to sway the opinions of those who haven’t already formed them, and if it was an “honest” debate I’d say that would be a worthy exercise in and of itself. But the old cynicism kicks in and you realize that people are just underhanded and feed the masses all sorts of disinformation… I’m reminded of the three types of lies: “A lie, a damn lie, and a statistic.” (The first time I heard that phrase was from my 8th grade math teacher, Mr. Collum).

I’ve probably said too much already. The older I get the dumber I feel. Or maybe I feel just as smart but just so much more powerless. I really used to feel I could take on the world. Now I just feel like the world isn’t worth my time. But man, I felt like a smart motherfucker when I was 18.

I leave you with the quote I used in my high school yearbook photo:

I got the key to the highway, billed out and bound to go. I’m gonna leave here runnin’, walkin is most’ too slow.

God I loved that song.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Adventures in Dog Shit. It’s not just a meaningless phrase! Two members of my family happen not to be humans. Bruiser and Sierra are my dogs and their specialty is making huge piles of dog crap.

Like humans, they both have weird habits when they crap. Bruiser’s idiosyncracy is the way he walks around while taking a crap. He cops a squat, starts pooping, then something a few feet away gets his attention, so he does a squat-walk and leaves a trail of shit all over the place. This is a joy to clean up, especially when he does it on somebody’s lawn. Sierra’s oddity is the way her movements just seem to come upon her out of nowhere. We’ll be walking down the street at a good clip, and she’ll just come to a dead stop and start making brown toothpaste. She also tends to crap 2 or 3 times when you walk her. Really, a treat.

The joy of being the human here is that I get to pick up these treasures, which I’ve been doing on and off for the past 4+ years, since we lived in Albany. If only I could sell it…

Bruiser is a big boy, weighs around 110-120 at his summer weight, and he’s had problems with his back-right leg for a while. Lately he’s also been having problems with his back-left and front-right legs as well which is very sad. He refuses to do what (to a human) would be the obvious course of action and just stay off his legs and insists on walking all over the place, and jumping up onto the counter to get loaves of bread or whatever is in reach — or humping Sierra like there’s no tomorrow — further injuring himself. It’s painful to watch, especially when he limps over to me and starts pawing me with his bad leg, like “Hey man, this hurts, fix it please?” I wish I could. The ice on the ground certainly isn’t helping his leg, he keeps slipping, and absolutely insists on plowing through the snowbanks. I really have to yank his leash to keep him out.

Hopefully when the weather gets warmer things will get better.

Had roast beef and potatoes for dinner last night and it was deeeeelicious (I didn’t cook). I think the reason I like to cook is mostly the fact that I like to eat. Maybe pizza tonight… mmm…

February 7, 2005

I’m at work. I’m writing some code.

I think I want to be a chef. I made chicken quesadillas last night. It was something I’d wanted to do for a while but I had no idea how to prepare the chicken. I mean, a quesadilla is a simple thing to make – it’s cheese between two flour tortillas. But if you want to add chicken, then how to you prepare it? I mean, you don’t throw raw chicken in there and cooking it without seasoning would make it taste assy. I ended up marinating it in some generic Seven Seas Robusto Italian dressing and chopping it up and using it like that. I used 2 chicken breasts to make 3 big quesadillas, and it was good. If I’d had the right cheese I bet they woulda been awesome (had slices of regular American cheese instead of shredded Monterey Jack like recommended).

I swear I get a greater sense of accomplishment from cooking than I ever did from any job I ever had. I should open a restaurant. But then I’d probably eat everything. :-\ I want to open a Boston Market or an Arby’s, or maybe just a diner.

But for now I have to be content with typing into a computer all day. At least at this job I have a window through which to look. New York City is interesting to look at too.

I’m even including a “Now playing” link so Xanga can get some money. This is kind of a neat concept I guess, integrating with the Amazon webservices stuff.