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thursday, october 25th, 2001
7:22 pm - why i don't watch tv, the short version
i'm at my dad's and as i was upstairs getting dinner he was flipping channels, pausing (for some reason) on a channel that (for some reason) had duran duran playing as background music. so now all i can think of is

o/` new moon on monday, yadda yadda yadda yaaaaaa o/`

over and over and over and over

current mood: help meeeeeee

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2:40 pm - by bouth thtill peels dumb
from being at the dentist's for over an hour in the chair. three fillings! wheeeee!

current mood: drained

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wednesday, october 24th, 2001
7:12 pm - mister cranky
long day. did an ad comp as a proposal for a freelance gig. drank too much coffee. went out and bought ciabatta. drove over the brooklyn bridge for the first time (that's an entry unto itself) and up the FDR to the palisades and then north through the woods. i have to say it was a lovely drive, but i was too sleep-deprived to really enjoy it. remind me not to listen to sports radio, it's like rush without the snide references to liberals. got to dad's, got him to his dr.'s appointment, read ~50 dumb articles about cars, took him to dinner and now back chez les parents. or chez lui, which it is now. whew.

the autumn smell is great, though, as much as it doesn't help my Nostalgia Complex. good thing i didn't bring all my smiths CDs or we'd have real trouble ;)

current mood: tired

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12:17 pm - ugh
who decided it was okay for me to only get five hours of sleep

current mood: addled

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2:04 am - tonight
a lot of random energy earlier...had some difficult choices to make today and i made them. the result was like letting the lid off the stock pot when the pasta's boiling. careful, it's hot!

i was going to go out and then i changed my mind and watched fearless on dvd. jeff bridges is maybe my favorite actor. peter weir is maybe my favorite director. san francisco is almost definitely my favorite city (after brooklyn, of course). and, as usually happens after movies, especially intense ones, i had this great sense of perspective afterwards, where i can see this little routine i habitually plot for myself is just a construct, and beyond the construct is a hell of a lot of possibility, even during biowar. so why not get out of the box? that's the question, and answering it made me sad.

great thing about being an only child, you always wind up entertaining yourself somehow....even with navelgazing.

current mood: wry

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tuesday, october 23rd, 2001
2:04 pm - not altogether surprising, but still...
The Whore Test: Your Results

Thanks for completing the test! Your score has been tallied (you got 82) and you have been quite unfairly typecast into the category of "Whore Guru".

Score: 82

Whore Guru: Other whores look up to you and often seek your whoring advice. You succeed where other whores fail. You take what you want in life, then toss it aside after having your way with it. There is no challenge you can not meet, no problem you can not solve, and no person you can not seduce (at least when you have enough money). Now, stop reading this screen and do what you were born to do... WHORE!!

current mood: amused

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12:06 am - apologies to fonix
but go yanks!

current mood: happy

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monday, october 22nd, 2001
6:36 pm - beta
my latest attempt at self-amusement; i have to tighten up the language a bit, but i've looked at it too long myself and need some other eyes.

anyway, read and comment away, if you would:

the short list

current mood: jumpy

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sunday, october 21st, 2001
1:51 pm - caffeine achiever
my friend jon called me at 11:30, waking me up from fitful sleep. he had his daughter lily and was walking around the neighborhood, so i jumped in the shower and met them at harvest market, which is just around the corner from me. lily is about to be one; she has six teeth and a voice i can only describe as operatic. but she's great fun because she smiles all the time; the other harvest market patrons and the staff all smiled at her, even when she was yapping at high volume. i drank two biiiiig mugs of coffee and got another to go, and said "wiedersehen" to the cute german-speaking russian girl behind the counter.

caffeine and sunshine make a good antidote.

current mood: vroom

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saturday, october 20th, 2001
1:40 pm - besides that, mrs. lincoln, how was the play
artless: another beautiful day in brooklyn
artless: what the hell am i doing inside
m3g: hehe
artless: oh that’s right looking for work
m3g: it’s cloudy and chilly here
artless: we have had a pretty excellent fall
artless: actually, except for the part where some nitwits blew up the world trade center and we’re now at war complete with anthrax, it’s been a great couple months

current mood: still waking up

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1:12 am - ged„chtnisgedanken
i wonder if the people we lose have an opportunity to see what's ahead of us. i wonder what they would say. when they had to let go of life, whether willed on some level or not, did they feel sad to leave us to this vale of tears? i wonder if the people i've lost had faith that i could see it through. if so, i wish i could have some of that faith now.

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friday, october 19th, 2001
6:04 pm - confession
one of my favorite lines in john cusack's movie version of high fidelity is when dick comes over to rob's place to invite him out to see lisa bonet, but rob's reorganizing his record collection in autobiographical order. dick says, "that sounds...." and rob answers, "comforting."

when i need that same kind of comfort, nothing works for me quite like typography.

current mood: gettin mo anxious

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wednesday, october 17th, 2001
11:09 pm - october baseball
props to fonix and the mariners' 116 regular-season wins and everything, but GO YANKEES.

/me waves across north america and the pacific.

current mood: excited

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tuesday, october 2nd, 2001
2:23 am - the scale of life
as i was coming home tonight, just now, i stopped perhaps one quarter of the way down my street. my street is short: one block long, perhaps seventy-five yards. it's tree-lined, fitted with brownstones on either side, which form, with the street in between, a great shallow trough three stories high. i stood in the moonlight and looked carefully. the long perspective of the sidewalk in front of me drew my eye first, with wrought iron railings marking the houses; only then did i find the rich light of the moon on the gables (the only ones on the street) of the brownstone just to my left and preceding me down the street. the arching elms, their leaves still green but with the slightest tinge of yellow at their edges, told tales in the breeze; the ivory moon's height balanced soft yellow porchlights adorning the stoops. not for the first time, i was profoundly grateful to live where i do. i've lived in too many places where beauty is a secondary consideration. my street in brooklyn is a jewel among streets, and though i can't claim it entire, i can share it with you in wonder.

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monday, october 1st, 2001
10:38 pm - we seek the unseekable, and we speak the unspeakable
spoke with my father earlier this evening. he's been living at home alone (with some help three days a week) since april; that's when the rehab folks got him to the point where it only took him an hour to put on his socks. at least he can walk, talk, and write, but his perspective about his post-stroke condition is...myopic.

at any rate, it was one of those conversations that take more resources than i really have. i managed well enough, but deferred the major part of it until tomorrow. the nub is this: my dad has insisted many times that he can be independent, he's pushed me to get back into the swing of taking care of myself and my own life, and at the same time he depends on me for very many things, including transportation to doctor's appointments (indeed, making all the arrangements). so far it hasn't come to a head because my halfhearted freelance career has given me the leeway to do what needs doing, but that's going to change soon, and the realities of the role reversal will become clear.

he's too young (and too stubborn) to be institutionalized. i can't bring myself to move back in with him and try to commute from upstate to the city. so, like most times when this issue consumes me, i'm going to take my problems to my mean bartender. malt does more than milton can to justify god's ways to man.

current mood: can't be fucked

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6:02 pm - it's never over
my kingdom for a kiss upon her shoulder

current mood: sad

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sunday, september 30th, 2001
10:11 pm - derider's block
three weeks ago we spent the last weekend of the summer at our share house at the beach. the weather that week had been alternatingly clear and humid, with temperatures well into the 80s, so we (my friends roger and joanne and i) hoped that the sea breeze would combine with the high sun to make a memorable beach weekend. we weren't disappointed: the sun was warm, the wind was brisk, and the beach was fairly empty. we played volleyball, read, ate sandwiches, drank punch (these last two an off-season treat, since our beach town has a no-food/no-drink policy from memorial day to labor day), and ruminated on the infinite. for roger and joanne, that equated to their upcoming wedding in november. for me, it was one of the more constant of my little agonies, the question of Success and how to achieve it. at the beach, where i'm surrounded by happy, competent people my own age, it's harder to keep that question from surfacing.

that sunday was the date of joanne's surprise bridal shower; roger and i had the role of conveying her there without spilling the beans. as we learned later she'd figured it out, but she played along as we gently bitched and moaned about having to leave the beach early on the last beautiful weekend. as we drove up the garden state parkway, i looked out to the eastern horizon to see whether i could see the city. there, twenty-five miles away, i could make out the tops of the twin towers peeking over the rushing greenery.

seeing them was a comfort, as it always was. when i commuted from baltimore some years ago, and made the occasional visit north from raleigh years before that, i would always look hard for that first glimpse of the city, those two towers seen from a distance. you could be in new jersey, or southwestern connecticut, or upstate new york, but that sight meant you had left the country and were now in the city's domain. for these last ten years that sight has meant home.

for most of my life i've used my talent with words to pay the rent. the path that's taken is a lackluster tour of duty in corporate america, panhandling pablum to make sure someone's widgets outsell the other leading brands. that most constant of my little agonies has a way of reminding me that i used to write things i was proud of -- fiction at first, and then, when i'd lost some fundamental ardor, essays: typically biting, sometimes witty, often passionate. if who we are can be measured by what we have to offer, then i'm a writer.

three weeks into the future, that last summer weekend seems like a dream, or improbable movie. the weather has coarsened and grown chill; an ocean swim seems indicative of lunacy; our city's been broken, though not beyond repair. needless to say, my little agonies hardly compare to the greater agony we've had revealed to us. at the same time, this crisis has exquisitely sharpened them. at ground zero, there are thousands of stories to tell, dozens of policies to champion or change, millions of souls to ease. new yorkers are famously arrogant about their tough city, and while the pride and determination remain, we're all scared. what comes next? what do we do? how do we make ourselves whole? clearly things need to be discussed, set forth, put down. but i can't seem to write a word outside of this rambling apology. i feel powerless. and ashamed.

i should have gone down there the very first day with a pickaxe and a thousand-yard stare. i should have stood twelve-hour shifts in the kitchens cutting up onions for soup. i should have sat comforting one shattered soul. i should have done something, anything, while the armature of our love and pride for our city twisted and smashed to the ground like so much wasted steel. but i just don't have the heart.

of course, even writing here seems like too much. writing is selfish, self-centered, self-expressive. and i've done entirely too much thinking and talking in my 36 years, all about myself, what's wrong, what's right, what matters to me, me, me. i'm tired of talk, and writing is usually talk. it's kept me from journaling before -- it seems safer, better, somehow cleaner to go through life trailing the scarves and banners of denial without dropping pellets of rabbit shit here and there as reminders -- but it has to come out somewhere. i can't keep it all locked inside. if there's any chance i'll write well again, i have to endure the yards of sententious bullshit i've used to cover the treasure. i hope it's worth the trouble.

current mood: moody

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2:50 pm - who left the fridge door open?
damn it got cold and chilly in a hurry. where's my fireplace?!

current mood: cold

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12:46 am - in my room
when i was in college i was a really serious artbag, so of course i listened to a lot of indie bands and new wave, as well as the third (or fourth) british invasion -- the smiths, the cure, depeche mode, etc. my best friend from high school happened to go to college about ten miles away from me, so we continued our record-buying habit, and, with the advent of CDs, a fairly ridiculous CD-buying habit. we both listened to so much music that we knew just by looking at an album cover whether we'd like it. during the artbag phase i remember picking up brilliant trees by david sylvian. this was in albany, so we went back to brian's apartment and listened to it. of course, as i was melodramatic, nostalgia-minded and broodingly sensitive, david sylvian's music said "autumn" immediately, and it still does. though i was constantly surrounded by friends and kindred spirits in high school and college, i found myself upon graduation forced back to the solitary only-child habits of my youth...solitary habits i've kept up to this day. so tonight, after zoolander, instead of going out for a drink, i came back to my house, put on brilliant trees and smiled at that black jeans-wearing tortured soul gazing at me out of my past.

current mood: relaxed

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saturday, september 29th, 2001
7:14 pm - vermont wear
our fair city has gone from the humid press of late summer to autumn in the space of three days, so i've had to break out the hiking boots, big sweaters and flannel shirts. strange how the briefest smell of woodsmoke in the air (someone on the block has a fireplace) brings me back to my adolescence, splitting and carrying wood inside (my parents installed a wood stove in their big colonial-finished basement during the energy crunch in the 70s), walking in my boyhood neighborhood at dusk, coming home to warm dinners and football turned low on the television. there's nothing warmer than the yellow of houselights glimpsed through branches of autumn leaves in twilight. whatever home i manage to cobble together in the coming years, i hope i feel as good about the lights i see inside.

current mood: thoughtful

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