Friday, January 21, 2005

NY Journal # 26

Friday, January 21, 2005
One of the other #%$^'s in this office (we'll call her Large Marge) just said:
+ Did you watch the Apprentice last night? oh my god. those three street people?? they beat those three college kids. yes they did. do you know that they make three times what those college kids make? it's disgusting.
+ I said dont burn the toast. he burnt the toast. I asked for extra mayonaise, there's no extra mayonaise. I said maybe you should stop talking and pay attention to what you're doing... well, I -should- have said that, I mean really. I said it's cold out here, c'mon... this other guy just wanted a coffee, it's freezing, I mean how hard is it to make a sandwich right, you see the problem is ... (5 minutes later she was STILL talking)

And I wonder why I walk out of here hating humanity.

Large Marge is the new bane of my existence. I swear my brain shrivels up slightly when I hear her voice. The ominous shadow she casts makes me cold and squint for proper lighting. Her perfume disipates airborne illness and suppresses alergens... and my appetite. my appetite wanes, hers seems to be strangely unaffected by just about anything.
Did I mention the time when she stood behind me, asking about some order, with her breasts-bigger-than-my-head brushing against me no matter how much I tried to inch forward..? OH MY GOD, she's STILL talking about her sandwich!
And NO, I'm not making fun of fat people - save your PC "yellow card". I'm accurately derogating the reprehensibility of a person who happens to be fat. You can however yellow card me for using 'derogating' and 'reprehensibility' if you like.

post script - 15 minutes later, she brought up her sandwich again

In news of the-not-so-annoying:
Volleyball last night was... how shall I say this... all about how much I still rule at volleyball. Kory? How awesome are you? Here, let me show you, KA-BLAM!! Oh No, our team is losing! No worries, KA-BOOM! [insert image of girls on the other team swooning over my magnificence] Who can step in to play every position because we need help at setting? No problem, here's a perfect 20 foot back set! FFFFT!! Who's the black private dick that's a sex machine to all the chicks? Well, that would be(Shaft!) right on. Who is the man that would risk his neck for his brother man? that would be me and (Shaft!) can ya dig it?
Seriously, it was amazing. I was in the zone. A zone of pure zoneness, at one with my zoneitude and prepared to share zoneosity with anyone prepared to zonify. It's been over two years since I've played (not counting last weeks most boring and inactive scrimmage) so to come back swingin' (ha ha) like I did... felt damn good. daaaaamn good.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005
Hello, my name is Kory, and .. wow... this is hard to admit... I .... think I'm.. addicted to snow. (yes, I'm also addicted to punctuation: and over punctuation; ... and "over"-'pun'-ctu-a-tion)
Addicted? surely that's too harsh of a term... It is. And it isn't.
While I definitely experience the ecstatic rush of fresh falling snow and then the high of a uniformly snow covered city and .. I suppose the 'high' wearing off as the snow will eventually melt.. I know I wont be experiencing a craving or 'jones' to... 'go out and score some more snow'. That's where the analogy breaks down. Or does it? If you told me I had to move to a state that doesn't get snow.. having now revelled in the glory of that great 'White Out' from above..? I dont think I could. My skin would crawl, my nerves would tingle with anxiety laden discomfort and I'd be perpetually irritable with the knowledge that I'd been artificially removed from, among other things, a much needed seasonal marker to my biological clock. Unless I fall on my arse and break something or get a leak in my oh-so-awesome snow stomping boots and get frostbite requiring amputation... I'm sorry, I'm not seeing any downside to this addiction.
I simply dont know how else to explain away the affect snow has on me. Judging by how ridiculously giddy the snow makes me, it must be a drug - it just must. There's no other reason I should be turned into such a single-minded simpleton at the sight of the stuff. I'm at a constant state of barely controlled hyperactivity ... barely contained spasticity... sometimes I fear I'm a few IQ points and some drool away from mental retardation when I step outside my building and see sidewalks lined with untrampled snow that I get to tromp through. Higher brain functions seem to shut down, time slows and all I want to do is run full speed, take a flying leap, and Pete-Rose-belly-slide into the proverbial first base of pillowy, wintery delight.

So... our blizzard on Saturday was great. - by 'great' I actually mean 'orgasmic'. Heavy snow fell throughout the whole day. Heavy, thick, constant snow that built up quickly and fell without too much wind, which only added to it's beauty and the degree to which everyone seemed to enjoy it, if apparent smiles and boyfriend/girlfriend snowball fights were any evidence of enjoyment. In Washington Square Park, the three fenced off concrete berms I named "take-me-to-the-hospital!-skate-park" for it's so-so-poorly-planned and litigiously dangerous design were over-run with kids with sleds and parents who seemed more than on edge by the amount of playful screaming and chaotic activity they were forced to supervise. Mind you, these concrete berms amount to, what would be a three foot wave in the ocean that would take it's riders... seriously, not more than twelve feet. Did these kids care? Did I mention the joyous screaming and the fence they had to knock down?
The whole park was just too damn beautiful so I went to Duane Reade, bought a disposable camera and took many a picture back at the park. Matt and I then hiked it up to 23rd street for some house-sundries-shopping and winter boots for Matt, then up to Times Square... just to be walking around. The streets were mostly empty of cars, fairly empty of people. The few who were out seemed either to be unprepared tourists, city dwellers on their way somewhere or diehard snow lovers, also just out for a walk. Walk really is a misnomer - trudge is far more accurate, even if it sounds unpleasant. to walk or march.. ..usually laboriously.. That sounds unpleasant, there's no denying. Walking or jogging on treadmills is also laborious, and yet my gym always seems to be filled with treadmillers who, in hindsight at least, would say they enjoy treadmilling immensely. (treadmillers, treadmilling not words? And that's stopped me in the past, when exactly?) From Times Sq., Matt went to Karen's and I started back towards home. Initially, I was just going to walk to the subway but though "eh.. why not go to 34th and subway it from there?" - at 34th I thought "eh, why not 23rd?" - from 23rd it was 14th and at 14th... well, taking the subway one stop is kinda ridiculous so... hey... another 100 block round trip day - in the snow, even. That would be how I define Awesome.

Wow. it seems that ice is falling off of the roof of this 48 story building - the wind or air currents carry it a few feet out and then some of it comes smashing back into the windows as it makes it's way down. It sounds like fast pitched softballs or suicidal birds slamming into the glass. I'd hate to be on the receiving end, down below. Maybe it's time I break out my kevlar coated, army missile nose cone I've been saving for headgear for such an occasion. And everyone just laughed when I went to that military auction. Who's laughing now, huh? who's laughing now!!! Wh... No ... no one's .. laughing? sorry, I .. thought I heard laughing.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005
In Other News of Things I Think I am Thinking:
¤ Flapjack is one crafty son of a gun. A great military strategist, on par with Alexander the Great or Ghengis Khan. His ability to feign an open front and then attack from the flanks when least expected is truly impressive. I had thought that I had won our famed bath mat war. I had been shown evidence that I had. I hadn't even won the battle. not even a skirmish. It's game on and FJ leads, 17 to 0.
¤ "President" Bush requests that you bend over and cough ... up... another $80 billion. for a grand total of $427 billion budget deficit. that makes $300 billion for this war alone!. I wont even mention our next war with Iran already in the planning. I could do so much shopping at the $.99 cent store with $300 billion! you dont even know! and still live like a king on the change.
¤ speaking of change - Commerce Bank rules for putting "penny arcades" in their banks to gouge out the deep pockets of coinstar's gouging of our change pockets. No more .09 cents on the dollar surcharge for turning your change into dollars at local supermarkets. you dont have to be a commerce bank member to use the service. Big thanks out to Karen for the heads up!
¤ I think I'm going to outfit Flapjack and Hambone with proximity shock collars so they stay the frack away from my closet while I sleep. I swear to bajesus they think it's a fun factory when the lights go out.
¤ On the southbound 1/9 subway line to South Ferry, there are constant announcements by the train conductor that only the first five cars' doors will open due to the station being so short. It's mostly annoying because they repeat it at each of the 6 stations between Christopher and Rector, urging everyone to move forward so they can get off when the train reaches the end of the line. Maybe one out of every three times though, the conductor gets noticeably aggravated and starts talking in that slow, loud way some people do when trying to talk to deaf people: "you will NOT be ABLE to GET OFF the TRAIN ... IF YOU DO NOT MOVE UP. you will BE STUCK on the TRAIN and will NOT be ABLE to EXIT, MOVE UP NOW. YOU.. in the back of the TRAIN... you MUST move UP to one of the FIRST FIVE CARS", etc, etc. It's obvious ... well, to me at least, that the people they are speaking to probably dont speak English. which is sad, I feel sorry for them, I do. But I cant help but smile and almost laugh at how frustrated the train conductors get. They're, of course, doing everything they can to keep these people from getting stuck - I swear you can almost hear the anguish in their voice, like some mama bear trying to urge on an orphaned dog it's adopted, but in the end, the mama bear has to just say "stupid dog, fend for yourself, then". this, all happening in a world where bears can talk and regularly adopt other animals.
¤ How awesome is this? With all the 8-10 foot high snow banks retailers are shovelling together into the streets, -all- over the city, there could be thousands of igloos made. I'm going to go tonight to see if it's still there and if it's not ridiculously expensive or crowded, might eat there. Report to follow (or a report on why there'll be no report)

Friday, January 28, 2005
Wow. No, seriously.. Wow. A co-worker just made THEE best personal call, ON speakerphone, I may have ever heard,..... at any job.
and it goes a little something like this:
"You have reached the red light photo monitoring offender system hotline. For English, press one.. Para Esp.. [beeep] ... If you would like to contest your ticket, you must do so in person at [courthouse address]"
That's cajones. I mean, why dont you just go all the way and call a Russian-Brides dating service from work? or maybe detailed calls with your doctor about rectal problems? then again, DM runs her entire household from 10 feet behind me, so I'm not sure why I'm suprised by anything. I know more about her husband's Urologist appointments than I really should.
Come to think of it, calling to contest motor vehicle tickets on speakerphone from work is even better than the Oscar Meyer Weiner hotline we used to call at MediaTel in to listen to the Oscar Meyer theme song being sung by children. The calls I hear here aren't nearly as refreshing as that.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005
I'm having one of those days where I want to punch everyone in the uterus. Is that a crime? is that so wrong? what's tha... it... it is? it's illegal? you're sure? ok.
Work sucks - I'm getting temp wages for permanent employee work which hmmm... has this strange negative effect on one's motivation to do a job... Imagine that! My boss is supposedly talking to his higher-ups about getting me and my coworker permanent positions. or more temp money. or it's possible he's working to get us replaced by desperate temps who wont ask for more money - and maybe even start them off with less. Probably not, but I wouldn't put it past him. In fact, I might even admire the pure evil of something like that.
Volleyball is going well... my team sucks but I'm playing well and somehow, that is ok with me. I want to join another league that plays on a different night, just to have two nights of volleyball but it' not worth the extra money now that it's a few games into the season.
Please make my coworkers stop talking about American Idol and made-for-tv movies. I swear to you, that is almost all they talk about. crap-tv and complaints, allll-daaaay-long. The voices... behind me... are like... having your jaw ripped open and all your teeth scraped down a huge glass window. make it stop. please.
The snow has almost completely melted, though big piles have turned into pedestrian traffic barricades really, and still stand slowly melting on curbs and sidewalks where they were shovelled to last week. The slow melt is kind of fascinating in a time-lapse-photography kind of way.. each day you revisit a spot brings new, slightly lower formations.. The slush color really isn't as gross as some people say it is. Especially when you imagine it to be delicious root beer Slushie mix that's spilled from some 7-11 Slushie machine in the sky..
It's warmed up considerably, as well. By warm, I mean 25-35°. The human body is really remarkable when it comes to that. Operant Conditioning. (And -I- am remarkable for remembering "operant conditioning" from my psychology classes in 1990!) You get used to 6-14° weather and a biting, cold wind and all of a sudden 35° feels like summer and you find yourself sitting in Bowling Green park, soaking up some sun like it's summer.

Friday, February 04, 2005
I am Clint Eastwood in Fist Full of Dollars. I am Gary Cooper in High Noon. I am John Wayne in The Shootist. And I have stood for what is mine.
Yes, I just had an oh-so smoothly played, totally nonchalant, Raider-shoulder-firm, high-noon stand off with my boss over whether I was going to be made a permanent employee or if that is to be delayed, made into an independent contractor and paid what is being paid now to the temp agency. OR, barring any of that, I'd have to of course start looking for more permanent work. In a Western world, it might have gone like this:
The sun stands high, too high - as if swaying from a noose thrown over the remaining limb of a tall, long dead tree. Tumbleweeds roll in a loose formation across the dusty road. A silence as complete as a thousand conversations all stopping in unison, casts itself over the unseen spectators who anxiously peek from behind store front curtains. A dog stands, circles itself in the shade of the porch overhang and again, lies down.
The treble ring of spurs echoes quickly as boots strike earth, slowly, calmly, toward the center of the street. Then, standing firm, unshaken. Silent, valiant, ready. Facing the imposing stranger, the middle manager's lip twitches, sweat beads at his left temple.. an unconscious tremble in his right forearm exposes the fear he'd fought to hide. 'I'm just a middle manager with a Napoleon complex" he cried out, though only in his mind. "I wasn't made for showdowns like this - his... his cool is just too... cool. .. I've .. lost already'. He was right, of course. The air charged with tension, the potential energy of the scene fought to contain itself. At least until something would set off the cascading destiny about to unfold.
A whirlwind blur, seemingly remembered by the middle manager - and yet, he knew it wasn't memory. It had happened. So fast. Too fast. Spotlighted under a dead-eye aim, targeted, without knowing if he had really seen the strangers arm raise. His hand twitched in resigned defeat, knowing the showdown was over before it had begun. He stood, staring at the stranger, waiting. The thought of pleading for life crossed his mind in a dozen different ways, but couldn't find his now frozen lips, in any form.
"Go. tell your vice president of sales" voiced the shadowed stranger. "Permanent employee or independent contractor, getting the temp agency out of the pay loop - however it needs to work. I hate to say it because I enjoy working here, but I'll need to start looking for permanent work soon if things wont be changing within a .. short while". There it was. the shot fired. Not to the forehead. Not to the heart. To the left thigh.. the middle manager crumpled to the ground. Now begging, pleading for life - for the life of his order accuracy, for the life of not having to train another employee, for the life of having a competent employee on which he could count. "Ok. I hear you. I do. It is definitely on my radar and I'll be pushing it with Paul (sales vp) and also looking into what it would take to get out of our contract with the temp agency and do an independent contractor deal instead"
Turning without aparent effort, the wind casting coat tails aside, his weapon, somehow, now holstered - the strangers spurs again crack the near silence of the slight breeze with their staccato jangle as he saunters serenely away.

wow. that was fun. maybe I'll write Western novels.

"I dont have a very conscious creative process at all. It doesn't .. books dont happen because.. i think about them. I'm more and more conscious that they happen, books happen because I write them and the genuinely creative parts emerge from the actual procees of putting one word after another. The bits that I enjoy, which are bits that suprised me, that i didn't expect, they come out of the actual process of writing. they dont come out of a process of cogitating or being visionary or trying to imagine."
--William Gibson on writing, in the DVD No Maps for These Territories

That quote is what inspired my above attempt at writing fiction. He also said, I'll have to paraphrase, that 'writing fiction is most like... well, it probably uses the same areas in the brain as day dreaming or masturbation fantasies... in the amount of narrative detail you invent... the story you tell yourself... or like imagining scenes of high anxiety... imagining some event that would make you really nervous, something at work maybe or a conflict with a loved one, a family member... the details that create the anxiety come from the same place that writing fiction comes from...'

My problem has always been that I've felt I'm better at commentary than invention... re-action over action. Something happens? excellent, I can probably write about it. Someone needs describing, I'll go to work. But the idea of writing a novel... seems.. absolutely overwhelming. Like being asked to step into an auto repair shop and just start fixing cars. I haven't felt like I'm equiped with the tools, the knowledge of how to invent from scratch. And then I heard Gibson's 1st quote above. While I still dont think I could write a novel, it's at least reassuring to know that I can piece together some semblance of an invented narrative - if I can base it on enough factual (or imagined, it seems) reality. And this is the best part - it was damn fun putting that little Western scene together. Far more than I could have imagined.

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