Thursday, August 30, 2007

Michael Jackson Is Dead

Well, not that Michael Jackson, this Michael Jackson. This Michael Jackson was a beer and whiskey expert who more or less help start the microbrew revolution in America. I bought one of his books and learned about some microbrews that were in New Jersey particularly a brew pub in Long Valley. I respected his opinion and the fact that he got me to try new brews that were exquisite. Seattle had several brew festivals I went to over the years. I wonder if there are any here in Jersey. I went to wine tastings. Well, during Oktoberfest I'll hoist one to Michael Jackson.

A funny PSA

One of my favorite shows is The Office on NBC. They did some fake "The More You Knows"
My favorite one was this one about not taping yourself having sex.

Ain't that the truth, you never know whose hands they may fall in .

Another Seattle Story

I was walking around Atlantic Highlands when I noticed one of those wooden flower carts. You know the ones you see outside of flower shops with the big wheels? Anyway, seeing that without the flowers reminded me of something that happened to me in Seattle back in 1993.

Back in the day, sigh. Seattle was the scene man! I was fortunate to see much of it first hand. By 1993, New York had finally caught on to what was happening and the scene was in its last throes. One of the things that was great was that there was many free outdoor concerts that featured many of the local bands of various degrees of success performing.

One of my favorites was Duffy Bishop. She was a bluesy musician in the Janis Joplin vein. I was watching her perform at Volunteer Park and enjoyed the performance. After her show, I realized that I was close to Lake View Cemetery. This is where Bruce Lee is buried. It also is where Brandon Lee is buried whose death had occurred a few months before. I decide to pay vigilance.

I walked over wondering if I could possibly find it. It wasn't hard. There was a worn out trail that led to it. Bruce's headstone was large and elaborate but Brandon's had not been finished and his ground was soft. I was there for a minute when I heard two people approaching.

It was two men, a skinny man with stringy hair and a worn out "trucker" hat pushing another man in one of those flower carts I was talking about. The man in the cart had some sort of Phocomelia that left him almost no body parts lower than his waist. He was sloppily attired too, but by far was the more articulate of the two.

I was uncomfortable of course but more for the fact that I thought there would be some pan handling involved since the Capital Hill district is a notorious beggar's oasis. But they were fans of Bruce Lee, able to recite snibits of dialogue from his films. We talked a bit along with another stranger about the shame that was Brandon's death while filming the Crow. the advantage of talking by a grave is I didn't have to worry about rudeness in not looking face to face with the man in the cart. Like I said the man was articulate, so the conversation went well, I turned my head occasionally an noticed that he had to have a colostomy bag, no mind you, since the poor guy had to be pushed in a flower cart he had to have a makeshift colostomy bag. It was basically a network of tubes and plastic bags. I can just imagine how he's doing now.

Anyway, they left after about ten minutes, I watched them go down the hill. It was an interesting sight to say the least. I turned in the other direction because one of my favorite Seattle bands, the Posies were playing. I tried to forget what I saw, but I grew up Catholic, which means I feel a sense of shame for thinking that way.

Nothing Good Happens after 2AM

I tell you, I was in near blissful slumber when I thought I heard my phone ring. I ignored it because I thought it was a drunk who dialed the wrong number. And wouldn't you know it a message was left. I didn't recognize the number so I ignored it until I inadvertently heard it today.

Woooo, it was someone who was drunk alright, if not, this person was clearly out of mind when the call was made at 3:30 in the morning. Man, the things that were said, amazing. I can't imagine what the person did to invite such vitriol.

I've never heard such hatred, such ignorance. This person needed a good night sleep, and maybe to sober up, or a change of diet. Such irritability.

I remember a time back in Seattle when an ex girlfriend called. I sure can pick them sometimes. I made it a point not to call that woman after she broke up with me, as a matter of fact I stopped drinking too to prevent myself from doing that. She had seen me and felt I was stalking her. I shuddered when I saw her because I had a friend who had someone put a restraining order on him. She was one of those women who was a spendthrift who always got on my friend's case for not spending enough money on her. So after she broke up with him, he had to deal with the consequences of that, including losing his job, getting evicted, and paying thousands of dollars in fines.

I guess she got her wish.

Anyway, The woman who I dated wanted to let me know she was dating my best friend at the time and they were together at the time. I heard him in the background. He was not pleased she was doing this, but like I said I can pick them sometimes. These scenarios ended my first phase of living in Seattle. I severed ties with my group of friends and moved on alone.

I guess this is my punishment for not going to church. Because after college the only way to meet women, are bars and work and since I worked in many bars, my co-workers hung out in bars.

Like I said, nothing good happens after 2, go to sleep.

New Pipe Dream Cartoon

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A Quick One

One thing I noticed when I apply to jobs is the thought of where I live. I wonder if people in NYC know where Atlantic Highlands is in relationship to a commute.

Then I notice that I am living in my third town in Jersey since I moved back barely two years ago.
I got one address for my driver's license, another for my insurance and my current one for every thing else. I have lived in more places in two years than I did in my 16 years of living in New Jersey before I moved to Seattle. I hate moving but I have done it three times in that period of time, and each time I got rid of more things. I will soon have nothing if this trend continues.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

So That's The Trip

Two years ago I started my life back in New Jersey. Although it has been mostly a disappointment I don't regret the decision. If I was still in Seattle working at 5-spot, I would be making good money as a sous chef. I would be having my weekly fun doing Karaoke at places that are a lot more fun than the Karaoke places on the Jersey shore. I maybe would have a new girlfriend but that is speculative, I would continue to go to Mariner games at a regular basis, and my enjoyable routine of going to Caffe Ladro would be intact and enjoying life but I would be always pining for what was going on back here.

For one thing I would not be close to my nephew. I see him on a regular basis watching him grow for real. I get the opportunity to bond with him. I am not a stranger to him. I see my friends more, but not as much as I hoped. Part of the reason is that I never realized how far from the city the Jersey shore is. I grew up an hour away from Manhattan. It was New Jersey, but not the New Jersey that gets mocked. No, that New Jersey is here at the shore. So, access to the city is far and more of my friends had moved away from the area anyway.

I have been to Shea a few times, for the first time in 15 years. I had the opportunity to go to the Phillies new park which is great too. Someday, I hope to visit all the ballparks. I have a better chance here on the east coast to get many of them out of the way. I also look forward to seeing Citifield. Plus I was able to go to Cooperstown recently when Madame X was in Vegas. It was beautiful even in March. I look forward to the day a Mariner gets in, because that'll happen before a Met gets in.

I get to see my parents more, I don't know how long they'll be around but when Madame X's grandmother was dying, her uncle was in Hawaii and did not make it in time and I did not want that to happen to me. Now, when I save up money, I can go to different places instead of going back and forth from Seattle to New York. I plan on retiring to Seattle or Portland. No doubt I will be on the west coast but not in the desert.

The job market is better for graphic design is much better here. An though I still haven't gotten that job yet, I have with a little help form my friends built up a decent portfolio that continues to get better. It will happen. As it is, I will be working for TSA soon. Good money and many opportunities for a huge variety of advancements. I finally have my "fallback" job.

My cat, Spookie died about two weeks after I got back to New Jersey. My trip would have been more eventful if I didn't have him with me. I was concerned for his welfare but I probably traumatized him to death with the trip. He never adjusted to my parents place. I thought he would enjoy the company of my parents, particularly my dad, but within a week he had stopped eating. He developed an infection in his eye, staggered outside looking at frogs the last night of his life and died when I went to get my New Jersey license.

As far as my main reason for coming back, to start a lifetime relationship with Madame X?

Well, I have to remind myself that Crisis = Opportunity. So, the fact the relationship went sour was a good thing. I got my freedom back. I don't have to try to please someone who lacks the patience and vision on how good things were going. I was able to use the relationship as an excuse to move back. I did more in this relationship, a lot more than I did in my other longer relationship in Seattle. I learned that this is not enough for some people, and I'm better off with someone who was supportive like my previous girlfriend, but at least Madame X didn't cheat on me. Still I can't rely on women to make my life better even though in every relationship I've seen has a supportive female. I may or may not find someone better.

Either way lesson learned.

I am not locked into being stuck here at the Jersey shore. With my job at TSA I can more closer to the city when my lease is up, or even closer to my brother, whatever, I am free. I still don't like the weather, but I'm back and I'm here to stay.

Monday, August 27, 2007


The driving got more dangerous, it was past 2 in the morning, I was too tired to go on, my radio was loud and I wasn't finding anywhere to get off, Welcome to Central Pennsylvania.

I had avoided driving at night for the whole trip. I would drive an hour at the most and head to either a motel or a rest stop. Neither was available on rt 22 in central Pennsylvania. I was talking to my cat, who was on my front seat, not looking happy. I needed to stay awake and it was too hard. Finally, salvation, a little mini- mall on the left side of the road. I turned off, looked for a place to pee, and tried to sleep.

I let my cat go out, but he didn't want to. I couldn't sleep. I didn't need to, I just needed to rest. I almost nodded off, when I heard some noise, I had no idea what type of an area I was at, so I was a bit nervous.

It was a car driving around the parking lot, it was almost dawn.

I had been in the lot for at least an hour, closed my eyes for the most part. I pretended to be looking at the map, to see what the guy was up to, It turns out he was a merchant in the mall. I left, I had enough rest, besides, I can see now that I was getting closer to the familiar. I was getting close to Harrisburg, a place I was familiar with through my old girlfriend from years ago. We had visited her family several times when she came with me to visit my folks. It was too early in the morning to do any activities but I did stop for breakfast in a cafe east of Harrisburg.

I-78 was running concurrently with 22 which meant I was making good time, I was in Pennsylvania Dutch country. Well, I was approaching one of my most favorite tourist traps ever, Roadside America. The first time I saw it was on the way back from Hershey Park one time when my cousins visited from Ireland. It's a huge model train set built buy one man from the 30's, 40's and 50's. It's worth the stop if you are going long distances but it was too early in the morning for me to see it. I parked again and was able to get a good nap in before I took off again. I was feeling smelly. I had not taken a bath since Wednesday. I had not had a good night sleep in the same period of time.

I finally was approaching New Jersey. My brother lives off of I-78. I was looking forward to talking to a friendly face. It was approaching ten in the morning. I decide to surprise my brother and maybe my sister in law. I actually was going to pawn off Spookie on them. When I stopped in their driveway I got out to let my cat out, only to see another cat that looked just like him. It turned out to be my brother's new cat. My cat didn't want to go out anyway, so I went to knock on the door. It was past ten in the morning, but it was Saturday. I didn't want to be too loud, since I didn't tell my brother I was coming. No one answered so I took off again and headed to my parents place.

I took the scenic route through Princeton and south, going through historic towns along the way. I was hoping to see these kind of towns along the way across country, but it's one thing that New Jersey excels at on the western, central part of the state.

I was near the end of the trip and I could not be more scared of the future. I don't know what it's going to involve. I came to this realization when I was travelling on roads that would become very familiar to me in the coming years. I had no idea what I was going to do and what kind of job I was going to have and where I was going to live. I passed by my parents town to buy a storage space to put my stuff I don't need on a daily basis. My cat wandered in and out the storage space and the mini van.

I was approaching the road that would lead to my parents neighborhood. My long trip was coming to an end. I no longer had a place of my own and who knows when I'll see the city I grew to love again. I was back in New Jersey, where I would call home for at least the next three years.

I greeted my parents, who was entertaining a friend who happened to be a nun, Sister Peter. I looked like a slob, hadn't bathed in three days. I said hi and told them about Spookie. I returned the van, at a shady Exxon station near Princeton. I took a bath and watched the news, it seems that there was a hurricane approaching the city of New Orleans...

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Took The Wrong Road

I woke up somewhere, I dunno where in Indiana. It's Friday and I had plans to be back in New Jersey the next day. I had plenty of time to kill before I arrived in Pittsburgh to watch the Pirates play the Reds. I was on I-70 travelling east passing by Indianapolis. I had no interest in the city, other than the Indy 500, I had no clue what to see there. I realized that the last two days I had not come across any significant part of Americana. I was tired, and was more concerned about getting to my new home at this point. Still the interstates at this point was getting dull, the weather was not what good and the scenery was not inspiring. I was far enough away to determine which ballpark I wanted to tour in the daytime, The Cincinnati ballpark or Jacobs Field in Cleveland. I decided that since Jacobs Field was more significant and it was near the Rock and Roll Museum I would head to Cleveland.

I made the foolish decision to go a convoluted route by going on rt 4 instead of I-71. Before I did I finally ate at a restaurant icon. The Waffle House. I had not seen any on the whole trip, this was the first. Also, I saw for the first, second, third and so on time cops patrolling the road. Oh, for four days it was bliss not seeing one traffic cop on the road, that was to change for the rest of the trip, no more going 90.

I like the Waffle House, it reminded me of an idealized truck stop. The food was good and greasy without it being sleazy. Yum Yum.

I headed on rt 4 which was slow, too slow, the map didn't clue me how slow the road was, and when I decided I wanted to go the interstate route it was too late. Every town on the map was a downtown on the route, not big but the roads were thin with a slow speed limit. I finally hit rt 30 that was better but still slower than desired. I lamented the fact that I couldn't go to Sandusky because of the cat and I don't like going to amusement parks by myself, besides I wanted to make a vacation out of it with someone special. I hit I-71 and was able to pick up speed to Cleveland, the traffic was minimal until I hit downtown Cleveland.

I was able to tour Jacobs Field, which was quite nice, probably nicer than Safeco because it doesn't have the intrusive roof. I had time to check out the Rock and Roll museum but didn't go in, because I needed to head to Pittsburgh and I couldn't justify spending less than an two hours there. Instead, I accidentally found a cool shopping center called the Cleveland Arcade. An amazing architectural structure of the Art Nouveau variety. The stores were the usual, dull high end stores but the Hilton integrated in an appealing manner. They happened to be an Arthur Treacher's there, a fish and chips place I had not been to in over twenty years. It will be a longer time before I enjoy fish and chips at Arthur Treachers. I liked the Nathan's fries though.

Well I headed out of Cleveland, I wanted to stay longer but I needed to get to Pittsburgh in time, I was going to forgo any cute side roads on my way there. I had to get gas so I took what I thought was a good road to the interstate, I could not be more wrong, I was in the shadiest part of Cleveland, not only was it rundown but it had a lot of construction and cars parked all over the place. It reminded me of some of the worst parts of Brooklyn. It took almost an hour before I got back on a fast moving road.

I was scooting along the highway, approaching Pittsburgh a little past game time, I inadvertently parked in a cheap parking lot, I thought I would be too late to get a ticket, but whom I kidding it's the Pirates, there's always tickets available. The weather was looking foreboding but that did not interfere with my enjoyment of PNC Park. It's a spectacularly beautiful park. It's built like most of the best new ballparks but built right on the Allegheny River. There is a beautiful promenade along the Riverwalk. You get the best view of a downtown area of a city anywhere in the country. Plus the wonderful Roberto Clemente bridge. It's a Chamber of Commerce dream to sell the city and let me tell you, I have no idea why Pittsburgh has not experienced a Renaissance yet. The infrastructure is there. It has great old buildings and it's on the water. Maybe it's just not gay enough.

Anyway, the park is beautiful on its own. The Pirates has one of the best baseball histories and it's on display all around the stadium including a collage of reproduction baseball cards. They also have statues galore ringing the stadium. The food was great too, very blue collar. IT was the first time I had a Yeungling, which I would learn is a common beer in Pennsylvania and the Jersey Shore. I had the fortune to see Ken Griffey Jr hit a homer. The first time I saw him live do that since he was a Mariner.

It was raining a little, so I left but not before I went over the Roberto Clemente Bridge. Pittsburgh was tricky to get out of. After I finally got myself in the right direction out, I made the most foolish decision on my whole trip. I decided to take rt. 22 east. I'm glad I lived to regret the decision because there was a time I thought I wouldn't.

Let me explain. I did want to get out of the city before I stopped. I wanted to go as straight of a route as possible. I didn't want to head up to I-80 or south to I-76. I figured that rt 22 was a safe bet. It's one of my favorite roads in New Jersey with plenty of commerce. Even in eastern Pennsylvania, it's loaded with sites as I found out when I travelled with my previous girlfriend to her family homestead in Harrisburg. But in western Pennsylvania, route 22 has got nothing. I drove for about 20 miles when I got to the point where I was too tired to drive, but no motel in sight, even worse there was no turn off and no shoulder. There was nothing but cones on each side of the road. Some sort of unseen construction was going on, I could not stop. This was scary, it was hypnotizing me to sleep, I had to open my windows all the way, the wind making whistling and my music was at full blast, I tried to keep focus. I would turn off at the next opportunity, but no opportunity presented itself. I thought I was doomed,


I did anything I could to stay awake but I was getting scared the road lost the cones but was now a two lane highway with a half shoulder. And beyond the shoulder was a ravine and beyond that, a fence that blocked off the fields. Will I stay awake?

Stay tuned...

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Rain Rain

It would be hard to top the distance I drove yesterday. I had started the day on the west part of South Dakota and ended the day east of Kansas City. I woke up early in what was a dull empty motel off of I-70. My plan from this point was to see more of "real" America. I can slow down and ride the older routes and avoid the interstates. I figured I would be surprised at what America would offer on the side roads. Well, America disappointed me. I rode route 50 and it was not any different from routes in New Jersey and Washington. A Wal-Mart here and a 7-Eleven there. I was hoping to see things that you don't see on the coasts, but I guess I took the wrong route.

Missouri is dull and yet familiar. It reminds me of any route I took in the duller parts of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The weather was typically humid in August. The only thing I noted was the disaster that was the corn crop that summer. I noticed that I was traversing old Route 66. There wasn't much on the road that would remind me of route 66. Most of the buildings were built after the 70's. Thankfully the road wasn't filled with faux symbols of the old highway. I was looking for a fast food restaurant that wasn't around in New Jersey. I came across a Hardees. I remember Hardees from when I was a kid. We didn't go much, but it had bought out Roy Rogers. Since I liked Roy Rogers chicken, I went in hoping it was like the ones I ate as a kid. I was disappointed that they didn't sell it and even more disappointed that the burger I had was not up to par.

Anyway, A stranger approaches me to chat. He asked if I was from California because the minivan had California license plates. You know those people who take it upon themselves to chat up strangers for no reason? He was one, and yes he was a little creepy. I didn't want to be rude for that reason. I listened to him talk and responded in kind. It slowed down my eating. Like I said I was disappointed with my food and I wanted out of there quickly so I can make it in time to see Busch Stadium II. It would take me the better part of an hour to get out of there which made me have to go back on the interstate. I was racing time to make it time for the stadium tour. The weather was gloomy but it wasn't raining yet. As I was approaching the city, I of course try to look for the most familiar icon of the city. When you approach Manhattan, you spot the Empire State Building pretty quickly, San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge greets you into the city approaching from the north. Seattle's Space Needle becomes visible after being in the city for a few miles. So I was of course looking for the Gateway Arch.

The Gateway Arch is on the east side of the city on the banks of the Mississippi. The river I called the Mississippi yesterday was the Missouri. It was the mistake I made two years ago, not two days ago. When the Gateway Arch was visible, I was able to see Busch Stadium II and the soon to be opened Busch Stadium III. Downtown St. Louis reminds me of many east coast cities like Philadelphia and Baltimore. It's real and has character, not the fakeness of an Los Angeles or even worse, Las Vegas.

The downtown area had easy parking, so easy I found a shaded area, so my cat Spookie would be okay. I left the crack open, and walked to Busch Stadium. The tour of the Stadium came with a pass into the Bowling Museum Hall of Fame. I toured Busch Stadium, saddened that they were tearing it down. The Stadium was by far the best of the cookie cutter stadiums and a well preserved piece of 60's architecture. Clean, nothing like the dump that is Shea.

Sorry, but Shea Stadium is a dump. I'm glad it will soon be gone.

Anyway, the rain was starting to fall. It was just in time too. I went into the Bowling Hall of Fame which doubled as the St. Louis Baseball Hall of Fame. They were a gas. Worth the money, but then again I like museums. They had wonderful artifacts of bowling history and artifacts of St. Louis baseball including the old St. Louis Browns and the Negro League Stars. St. Louis is often considered the best baseball fans and the museum seems to show why.

When I left the building I walked over to the Gateway Arch. It was trickling down rain. When I reached the middle of a large green open space reminiscent of the National Mall in Washington DC, it rained a torrent of water. Ironic, how much rain fell in Missouri when I was there when the summer of 2005 had experienced a drought. I was soaked head to toe when I entered the Gateway Arch. As per usual, when it's summer time east and south of the Rockies the air condition was on full blast. I toured around the ground floor for an hour or so before I went up the weird elevator to the top of the arch. It was expensive but almost worth it. When I got to the top the rain and clouds kinda ruined the view, but the elevator was cool.

It was still raining hard when I ran to the van, it would continue to rain constantly as I drove east on I-70. It wouldn't be necessary to take a scenic route because of the rain. I was in Illinois, nowhere near Chicago, so there wasn't much to write home about. I kept going until late in the evening when I spotted a Sonic restaurant off the highway. Sonic is one of those places you see commercials for but there are not any close to either of the coasts. Nothing remarkable about the food but the atmosphere reminded me of being a kid. It was still raining hard but the canopy kept me sheltered. I called home and talked about how excited at how close I was getting. It's Thursday and I was going to be in New Jersey on Saturday. I took off with the goal of getting into Indiana before I stopped at a hotel. I got to Indiana, but didn't see any motel before I got too tire. I stopped at a rest stop.

The rest stops along the trip with the exception of Wyoming were inviting places. I felt safe and secure sleeping the night. I wish the van wasn't filled to the ceiling, so I could stretch out. Oh, well. The rain kept falling and I can barely see outside the window.

Friday, August 24, 2007

South Dakota? Cool State.

So, I had a good night sleep. There was a dry thunderstorm but it was mostly north of Wall, South Dakota. I was sad, I lost my cat. He must have escaped either at a rest stop in Montana or a gas station in Wyoming. I hoped that someone might take pity on him and adopt him. I tried to ease my conscience by knowing I gave Spookie another two plus years of life. So, I grabbed some continental breakfast, returned my key and headed to Wall Drug. As I entered the driver's seat I heard the familiar sound of my cat as he did a leap on my lap. I was lucky that it was cool in the van, so he seemed alright. Maybe he was finally getting used to being in the van. I took off to see the wonderful tackiness that is Wall Drug.

I came across Wall Drug by accident. When I decided to drive across the United States, I made two plans depending on whether I was going to leave in the winter or in the summer. I didn't want to wait too long, I had someone anxiously waiting for me in New Jersey. She would not wait until winter, so I sacrificed two weeks paid vacation by leaving in August. This meant that I would travel the north route instead of going through Arizona or Nevada or what not.

Anyway, my former employer, 5-Spot had changed its menu theme every season, and one was a "heartland" theme. One of the things I had to do was paint a sign for Wall Drug, a place that is located in South Dakota. This worked out for me because it added another tourist site between Mount Rushmore and the Corn Palace.

It was early in the morning, Wall Drug had just opened. I had the place to myself. the first thing I did was to grab some ice cold water, because that's their schtick. I filled up all my water bottles and bought ice so I can have cold water on my long day ahead. Wall Drug is great, it has a small church, lots and lots of statues including a jackalope. They have a T-rex animatronic head that roars every ten minutes or so. If kids were around it would be a little more fun.

I got my fill of Wall Drug within an hour and headed back on I-90. It will be a long boring trip, now that I'm in a flatter part of South Dakota.

Next stop: Corn Palace! 225 miles away.

Well, the trip was not boring at all. I had my mixed cds I made by rating my songs on my I-tunes, and burning my favorites. The radio was lame, at one point there were only 5 stations working and three of them had Rush Limbaugh! the scenery was great, it was almost desert like, except the air was cool. I was making great time, because there was no traffic at all, and I was speeding like a demon. I noticed that I had not seen one cop car since I left Seattle. I stopped at a rest stop, made a necessary phone call, taking in the South Dakota landscape. You can see forever! The breeze was great! I think I love it here. It certainly impressed me, South Dakota.

Mitchell, South Dakota is the home of The world famous Corn Palace. It too is a tourist destination, albeit one that actually has a function. It serves as an events hall. Every year they change the facade of the building making murals using various color corn parts to make a design based on the year's theme. They had a photo gallery featuring the designs over the years. I was amused at the fact that a mural from the teen years featured a swastika. It was a symbol of good luck in those days based on an ancient Hindu symbol. It was a few years later that it got adapted to use by the Nazis. The Corn Palace had to explain that in a caption underneath the photograph. Thankfully there was no way to associate it for a pro fascism leaning.

As a bonus, the Corn Palace was across the street from a doll museum. Yeah, I know, but I went in anyway, what else was I to do, I had a very long trip ahead of me. I wanted to make it to Kansas City before the baseball game started at 7:30, but I was making good time.

I headed back to I-90 and headed east to Sioux Falls, SD. It was here that I finally left I-90and headed south. I-90 was fine, better than I thought. You can travel all the way form Seattle to Boston on I-90, but I headed south on I-29, where I flitted into Nebraska to get gas and coasted down the west border of the state of Iowa. Now, I am starting to see the boringness that is the heartland. I found it ironic because I was in view of the Mississippi at times, the road had curves, but it was just so boring. The cities came up with greater frequency but it seemed like a longer gap between them. I was still making good timing. I had bought a USA atlas, that was accurate in estimating times between the various cities. I knew as long as I went the right roads and kept my speed, I would be in plenty of time to see the Kansas City Royals play the Red Sox. When I was approaching Kansas City I confronted for the first time, traffic.

This was due to some bridge construction. I had my map on hand but I didn't have the details correct. I got a little lost, but found my way to the Royals parking lot. I got out of my car and experience for the first time on my trip, humidity and a slew of bugs. Seattle doesn't have either in great numbers, so I felt that I was getting closer to home, my future or past home.

I planned this trip so I would be able to visit some ballparks along the way, I tried to schedule it to attend as many games as possible. Three was going to be the most if I included the Minnesota Twins. I did not want to see the Metrodome.

I did want to see Royals Stadium though. It's the best of the baseball stadiums built in the "Cookie cutter" era. Kansas City went against the 70's trend of building multi-purpose stadiums in favor of building separate parks for the football and baseball teams. It was nice but it seemed a little small, although it was nice, compared to Safeco, it lacked some amenities I had gotten used to. Still I enjoyed the atmosphere. The sunset was beautiful as I talked to people back in Jersey on my rent a phone that was running out of power quickly. The game was fun, the Red Sox were winning when some rain started to fall, when they stopped play for a rain delay, I headed out. I wanted to take a tour of Busch Stadium, actually Busch Stadium II, the next day.

The rain was falling pretty hard, but I wanted to get some distance behind me before I stopped. The rain was falling hard and the distances between exits was growing in distance. I didn't want to make the same mistake I made two days before by putting faith in a stray hotel that may pop up like they do on the coasts. I crashed, hoping to take my cat in for a rest, but my room was too close to the receptionist. So one more night in the van for my cat. At least I know he's there, although he's been getting even more quiet.

I would soon realize it was a harbinger of things to come.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

August 23 2005

I woke up at 4 in the morning to the sounds of Spookie's mewing. It was a very crisp morning. The fog was cutting through the mountains illuminated by the harsh street lights of the rest stop. It was quiet, only the sound of a distant car from the highway broke the silence. Spookie leaped into the van and went to his hiding place somewhere in the back of the van amongst my life's possessions.

I tried to rest up a bit before the sun came out. I went to the bathroom. I looked east and headed out on the road. I was a little behind schedule because of my escaped cat situation the day before. I was an hour or so west of Missoula , my intended destination the night before. It was okay because I planned to stay at a motel and since I thought it was dangerous to drive anymore the previous night, I was able to get a head start by starting at 5 in the morning as opposed to my planned departure of 8.

Even better was the view. I was in the valleys of the Rocky Mountains looking out at some of the most spectacular scenery. They say if you take the Interstate highway system, you miss out on America. Well, at least here in Montana, you are seeing Montana at its best. Many people I knew in Seattle were from Montana. They talk of its virtues, while I defend the honor of New Jersey. Well, in seeing this scenery, I was glad they weren't around to say I told you so. The mist flowing through the evergreen covered mountains inspired awe. The next two to three hours went with a feast of eye candy. I was in Bush country and I was loving what I saw.

The drive was free and clear. I-90 is a four lane highway, two on each side, which in smooth sailing as far as driving is concerned. Anyone who knows me, knows I am a somewhat slow driver. I rarely go much above the speed limit and more often than not I'm lapped by almost every driver on the road. Now, I don't know if it was the power of the mini-van but I was driving 90 miles an hour and lapping pretty much every car on the highway. I noticed many an RV or more truth to be told, tour buses for single families, on the other side of the freeway. Mind you, this was when gas prices were going up a dime a week.

Anyway, the Montana cities went by, Butte, Bozeman, and Billings went by quickly considering distance wise it was the same as going from Boston to New York to Philadelphia. Not one bit of traffic. This allowed some time for me to visit Little Big Horn National Forest. This was Custer's last stand. It's surprising that Custer thought he could take Little Big Horn by surprise when you see it. The skies are endless and you can see for miles and miles. I hadn't heard a peep from my cat. I stopped off at a gas station before I headed into Wyoming. Now, after loving Montana, I was finally getting to an area I was dreading when I made plans to travel across the country. Wyoming is a square state. Not much to it. It's flatter than Montana and a lot more dull. Whereas Montana is Bush country that made me re-evaluate my opinion of the red states. Wyoming confirmed my opinion. Montana had periodic rest stops that were family friendly and traveller friendly.

Wyoming seemed to be a land of Libertarians and Survivalists. It was in Wyoming where I first noticed the presence of ethanol. It was an option when you filled up your tank with gas. It was cheaper than regular, so yes I was filling up with it. I had not heard from my cat, which I don't blame, because storms were a brewing beyond the horizon. I was trying to make up time to head to Devil's Tower. This is the mountain made famous in the movie Close Encounters of The Third Kind. I tell you what, the storm looked very dangerous, maybe a tornado might occur but it seemed like it was heading northeast, while I was heading southeast.

I had to take some back roads to get to Devil's Tower. I was surprised the roads were very thin, like Irish roads. Now there continued to be no traffic except when you find a farm vehicle on the road. It took up the whole road and was going 25 miles per hour. I was delayed a good half hour because of it. There was no shoulders, no turn offs, finally I got close to Devil's Tower and was impressed with what I saw. It's one of the weirdest sites. It's not like Arches National Park in lower Utah near the Arizona border. It's one stone mountain amongst a flat area.

It was starting to hit sunset and even more of a problem, the storm was a'coming. I wanted to get to South Dakota before dark. On the way I accidently ran into Bedrock City, a campground with a Flintstones theme. What a hoot, I wish they had more across the country because I would like to go camping there someday is I ever have children.

I took a back road through the Black Hills Forest, beautiful to say the least. It wasn't dark yet, so I was able to visit Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse and see it in its glory. As usual for icons, it seemed smaller than what I thought. After I got done, I went to the downtown area. Nice town. It was my first impression of a state I thought would be a drag, and I liked it. Since it was in the Black Hills the scenery was spectacular and there was elements of Niagara Falls. A lot of development was occurring.

I stopped off to get dinner and called into the van for my cat. I didn't hear him, I dug around my stuff where I thought he might be, and heard no sign of him.

Uh oh.

He escaped again, but where? The last stop I made was more than three hours ago back in Wyoming to get gas. I didn't get out of my car for the Devil's Tower or for Mount Rushmore. Oh man I thought. I was trying to ease my conscience by thinking that surely at a gas station, someone would take pity on him and take him in. It was a better place to be lost than at Deception Falls the day before. I knew I should not have taken him, but I couldn't find a home for him and I knew he would be put to sleep if I put him in a pound.

There was nothing I could do, I ate dinner and headed back to I-90 to make up some time and hopefully see Wall Drugs before I went down the night. I went through Rapid City, the biggest I saw since Spokane, Wa. It was dark but I wanted to get to Wall so I could get to Kansas City the next night on time to see the ballgame. My eyes were too tired. I never was good at driving at night on Interstate highways. I did make it to Wall, SD a tourist trap town. I was going to stay at a hotel, but weirdly, it took me a third time's the charm before I found a hotel with a vacancy. I was tired, I drove a longer distance than I ever drove in my life, almost 900 miles. I was sad because my cat was gone. I went into the hotel room, watched the local news about an upcoming storm and a baseball game involving the American Legion. Now that's being in the middle of nowhere. I went to sleep

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

It Was Two Years Ago Today...

Two years ago today was the last day I was in Seattle. Months before I had made the fateful decision to move back to New Jersey to be with my now ex and to be closer to my family and friends. I wish I could say it has been a success but with rare instances it has been a failure, so far...

I'm not here to talk about the trials and tribulations of my life the last two years but I will do a day by day account of my cross country trip from Seattle to New Jersey. I had to do it, it had been a dream of mine for a long time and I felt that I needed to do this to reflect on my time in Seattle and the hopeful future back in New Jersey. I was bringing my cat and envisioned the trip as "Harry and Tonto" in reverse.

August 22, 2005.

The day started the night before. I had delayed my trip for a week as a favor to my favorite employers at the 5 spot cafe. They in turn threw a party for me when I left. It was a karaoke party that occurred after we closed shop at midnight. It was a blast, and I did my trademarked sneak out but not before I said goodbye to my favorite people. Lorenzo, Hank, Chad and the girl I had a huge crush on Marya. I melted when I looked in her eyes, thinking if only but I was committed to my girl back in Jersey. I walked down the hill to my very empty apartment. I looked out at the Puget Sound at a late night ferry, (I'll miss that) I ran into my good friend Rahual on the way down. We had a long talk, said goodbye and I walked down to my apartment to put the last of my things in the van I rented. I slept on the floor with my confused cat.

I awoke at dawn. The salty mist was in the air. It's one of the many pleasures of Seattle. It was a reminder of my very first day in Seattle back in 1991. Only San Francisco rivals it in its appeal. I looked at my near empty apartment. I had left my TV and a chair behind. Now I went to put the cat's litter box in the van, and put my reluctant cat in the box. It was time to leave Seattle. I had to make one stop.

I knew that when I moved back to New Jersey, I would not find a place that would be nearly as good of a place to get a good mocha. The best place for a good mocha was Cafe Ladro. It's a small chain of coffee shops in which one of them was located down the block from my apartment. It was my daily routine (I like routines) for nearly 5 years to walk down get my single short or double tall mocha read both of the two daily Seattle newspapers, The PI and the Times, and if I'm lucky the New York Times and USA Today. I got to know all the baristas in my time but today, the barista was a new woman who I never bonded with. It was after 10:30 in the morning so therefore she was the only one there. I got my mocha to go, as my cat was in the van. How sad, no one of significance to say good bye to.

I got back to the van, heard my cat's guttural meow, and took off up Queen Anne Hill one last time, to head towards the 520 bridge. As I crossed the bridge I looked back in the rear view mirror to say good bye to Seattle. Now my destiny laid ahead.

I was trying to avoid riding the interstate highway system as much as possible but had to use I-405 north so I can access state route 2 near the north of the state of Washington. I had to take route 522 to get there but once I got on 2 I was in scenic heaven and it would stay that way for the next 500 or so miles. You would have to go down the Pacific Highway to see better scenery in the USA. I drove for a good couple of hours before I decided to stop at Deception Falls. I wanted to stretch my legs and look at some beautiful Washington scenery. My cat was crying so I thought I would allow him to walk around the car awhile. The second he left the car, he bolted across the highway, leaped over a jersey barrier and disappeared into the evergreen woods. I watched this and thought, ehh let him go, I'm gonna walk around to the falls. I left out his food dish with water just in case he walked back. I spent a half hour touring the falls, a pleasant diversion for a pit stop, not touristy at all. The weather was fresh and clean. It was time to leave and Spookie was nowhere to be found. I put the dish in the van, thought about just leaving him, thinking that someone down the line would find him and take him. Of course there was no way I can live with the guilt and went searching for him.

I headed in the direction I saw him go, and took about twenty minutes looking for him, calling his name. I was about to give up when I finally heard him meow. I saw him cowering under a large moss covered rock, meowing but seeming glad to see me. I talked to him a few minutes and went back to the car to grab his box. I found him again and after much coaxing I finally got him into the box and headed to the van. I was about an hour and a half behind schedule and tried to make up for it. I decided I would just take a half hour in one of my favorite towns, Leavenworth. Leavenworth is a tourist town that had adopted a Bavarian theme back in the 60's. Every building in the town looks like a Bavarian building including the McDonald's and Starbucks. I've been here several times with a previous girlfriend, both in the winter when the snow is four feet deep and the place has a magical North Pole of Santa fame quality to it and the summer when it is crisp, clear, and clean.

I then drove off and head to the Grand Coulee Dam. The Grand Coulee dam is not as famous as the Hoover Dam nor as tall but it is much bigger and is the largest concrete structure in the United States. It's located in the eastern part of Washington state, where the air is dry and has a desert quality to it.

It was starting to get close to dusk and my plans had involved reaching the state of Montana. I had not even left the state of Washington. My plans was to be in three different states each day of my travels. I stopped in Spokane Washington to call my mom and let her know where I was at and to meet up with I-90. I finally crossed state lines into Idaho. Idaho is a very large state but the I-90 section is at the smallest part, so it took less than a hour. White Supremacist's stronghold at Coeur D'Alene and Wallace Idaho are the only towns of note, and Wallace is known only as the town of the last traffic light of I-90. The scenery was beautiful, full of lakes and waterways.

It was dark when I entered Montana, and I was hoping to make some headway in the state before I stopped for the night. My eyes were tired when I decided to stop at a road stop. It was like the South of The Border tourist trap that borders North and South Carolina.
It had a diner that had slot machines in every store. It wasn't quite as tacky as Vegas but still a little sad. It was about 10 at night and the place was crowded. I just got some Coke and headed on the road to make some time. The problem was that I was really tired. I figured I could make it til 1 in the morning but I wasn't gonna make it. Heck, I couldn't make it to the next hotel. I had to pull off at the next road stop. I parked the van and let the cat out,since I was going to sleep there. I nodded off in the front seat and fell asleep.

Monday, August 20, 2007

I Will Miss This Guy

Sorry I rushed this, but I was in a creative funk and I wantyed to hack it out just to make it finished. Enjoy anyway

That's Two!

Leona Helmsley died at the age of 87. To be frank, it's not a big loss in humanity. She was a greedy woman, who is proof of the axiom "Only the Good Die Young". She was much more notorious back in the late 80's, early 90's when I did the caricatures of them back then.

Unlike Tammy Fae, my impression of her had not changed, she never rehabilitated her image, but had faded far back in the spotlight.

Still, she was very rich and I don't think her money is going to be put to much good use other than what would be required to avoid the maximum tax penalties.

Oh well, good riddance.

Zsa Zsa, be careful, you're next! I don't wish it on you though.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Sorry For No New Entries

I have continued to have at least one job interview a week recently. I have had one at a fancy shopping bag making company in Manhattan, A T-shirt place in Brooklyn, and a place that makes refrigerator magnets in Jersey City.

Now I had time to write new entries in my blog but I foolishly decide to clean up my computer keys. My left move button wasn't working, so I took apart my keys, cleaned it with Q-tips and put it back on, only to find the letters c,v, and space bar stopped working. It's been two years since I got my computer and I usually have to get a new keyboard in that period of time. I had four in the 8 years I had my other computer. I have a Mac, but I am a bit far away from a Mac store, and had a hard time looking for keyboards on the internet because I couldn't look up words beginning with "c" and I couldn't look up things involving more than one word. So I had to get a sub standard one at Staples because it was the only one that was usable for a Mac. Actually it's not bad but it looks nothing like my Imac and even more egregious is the fact it doesn't have the USB ports I need to plug in my tablet and my copier so in the meantime I have to plug, umplug until I get an appropriate keyboard.

That's all

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Big Pay Day

The loser walks into his new job that first day. He is fed up working lousy jobs for lousy pay. This job is no exception. He spots the supervisor, an old aquaintance from a previous job. The man is abusive and gave the loser an extremely hard time the last time they worked together. The place he's working is a shady operation. The abuser is likewise and sees the opportunity to give the loser a hard time.

"You won't last 30 days!" He says.

"Why do you say that?" The loser says.

"You don't appreciate work and the pay it provides."

"I'm sorry that I don't appreciate being exploited for low pay." Says the loser.

"Low pay? We can get some Mexicans in here to work for half the pay and they will work harder!" The abuser says.

The loser sensed an opportunity. He knows the abuser is a gambler, and knows that he only likes sure things.

"Tell you what, You think I can't last thirty days? If I last thirty working days, you will pay me a thousand dollars!"

"A thousand dollars and what's in it for me?"

The loser knew that the abuser would get a bigger cut in his paycheck if payroll expenses were lower. This is usually done by cutting hours when it's slow and moving product faster when there is a full crew.

"Tell you what, Today you pay me a penny, the next day you double it to two cents and the next day it doubles it to four cents and so on and so on until thirty days is up." The loser proposes.

The abuser agrees on one condition, that a contract be written and agreed on. He types up the contract but puts etc. etc. in place of each day's payment after the first week. That would be his fatal flaw.

The abuser is pleased at the situation and goes easy on the loser the first day knowing he's getting the loser at a steal. At the end of the day he hands him a penny since they pay cash at the end of each work day. This goes on for two weeks without incident. Both sides are keeping their end of the deal. The loser works hard and the abuser pays him the agreed amount. At the end of the second week the loser gets his five dollars and twelve cents.

It was on Wednesday, the third week that the abuser noticed something amiss. He notices that he is handing the loser forty dollars and change. He knows that double that would be close to what the average worker makes a day in this warehouse. He goes back to the contract and does a little math. He sees that the contract says 30 working days, which is 6 full work weeks. On his 30th day, the loser would be owed more than 32 million dollars.

That would bankrupt the company. The abuser knew something needed to be done...

to be continued....

Monday, August 13, 2007

Clean Computer?

I thought I cleaned up my computer. I had put all the photographs I took on a disk, but iPhoto puts in back ups and although I didn't have too many photos to begin with there was a huge group of photos that I thought I deleted but didn't. There were 100+ backup photos in about three different files. Now if I had accidentally got rid of them I would never find them. But since I wanted them out they were taking up soooooo much space. It took me forever. I hope I didn't screw up my hard drive. I wish Macs had a defrag function.

Kid's Getting Big

I had not seen my nephew in about a month so I had to get my fix in this weekend. He's a running demon now. He has been wearing a helmet to shape his head more even looking. The side effect it makes Sean more adventurous. He stumbles a lot and hits his head in his crib, so there is a little concern when he gets his helmet removed in September.

He's getting to be a lot like Scanbro. I remember his father at this age, and yeah I see a lot of Scanbro in Sean. They are gonna have their hands full.

Scanbro and Scansisinlaw are looking for a new house, mainly because they do NOT have a kid friendly place. They are on a steep hill with busy traffic running in the front of the house. They need something that's more flat.

Anyway, a good visit.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

How To Waste TIme.... Scanman style

I did my usual routine of looking up, via Wikipedia, who died. Legendary media mogel Merv Griffin died. It was believed he was the richest entertainer in show biz since he owned the second and third most successful syndicated shows, Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune.

I'm not interested in how rich he is but I wanted to get a laugh on an old SCTV skit The Merv GriffITH show. It took the old Andy Griffith show and put Merv Griffin as the lead. I couldn't find it but man did I find a weird skit featuring Pat Paulson, it never aired and you can see why. Still, look at the audience! Every one was laughing their ass off, and you know they aren't all racists. I understand the context of the skit but wow.

Anyway, the guy laughing next to Merv Griffin is Doug McClure, a washed up actor who was the partial inspiration for Troy McClure from the Simpsons. In reading the history of the fictional character I led myself to the Chemosphere page. That was the inspiration for the house that Troy McClure lived in in the "Fish Called Selma" episode. The Chemosphere page led me to the Funicular page, cuz I had to find out what the F*** a Funicular is. When I found out I looked up Angels Flight, which is the famed one in LA. It's one I rode on back with my old girlfriend back in the 90's. It was fun. I then went to the Indestructible Man page, which is a bad movie it was featured prominently in, a movie made funny by the Mystery Science Theater crew, and finally I stopped, realized almost an hour went by, I could've been watching the Today show instead, but realize that the Today show is a cancer on society. So I got coffee,

The End.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Vacation? Still Pending....

My partner in crime at my job at UPS is taking a vacation for the next 10 days. He hasn't had one in two years but he's only worked at UPS for less than a year, so he's going to lose some of the benefits he's accumulated. Now, rules are rules but UPS is at fault for not hiring at a decent pay rate at full time. How they expect people to stick around in these conditions baffle me. It's hard to find another job that would fit around the schedule they set up. So, they shouldn't expect people to give unending loyalty. Benefits, Schmenefits, just give me the money.

We always hear about Europe and how much vacation they get a year and yes, I think we need to be a little more like that. I haven't had what I call a good job in my life the closest was the last job I had in Seattle. Yes, it was a restaurant but the benefits were good. Now, typical of employment places they require you work there a year before you get time off, most places put that into a certain hours in a certain period of time which means if you went on vacation before a year you risk losing it all together, this is typical of the jobs I've had.

5-spot was better because even if they did that I worked so much overtime I got a lot of hours in. Now, I worked there almost two years, If I lived there for another two months, I would have had two weeks paid vacation, that's almost unheard of these days, unless you are some bigwig. I sacrificed it because I thought it was more important to get back to New Jersey earlier. Now it's unhealthy to think "What if?" but if I still worked there and if I still lived in Seattle I would. I would have three weeks paid vacation even if I didn't get promoted. That's unheard of in the restaurant industry for non management positions.

Anyway, back to vacations. I haven't had a vacation longer than a week in over ten years, that was when I visited New Jersey with my then girlfriend to my brother's wedding, I didn't need too much time for that but serendipity had my cousin's wedding a week later. I thought I would make it a two week affair. I had the time of my life, both weddings were fun and I even had a blast visiting my girlfriend's relatives, sneaking in some memorable naughty time at an amusement park in PA. My job was okay, I worked there more than a year which meant it was tolerable. When I got back with my girlfriend, work wise got worse for both of us, she knew she was getting laid off and did a few months later. I got fired, because I took too much time off, I got only one week paid vacation, the rest was unpaid. Still, they used it as grounds for dismissal.

Another time I worked at a trophy place and I wanted to take 5 days off to visit the folks for Christmas. It actually would only involve two working days off because the time was over the weekend. One woman I worked with wanted to take a week off for Christmas to visit her folks in Spokane WA. In the six months I was there it was her third such trip, each a week+ long and when she left I had to take on her workload. I pleaded my case, but to no avail. My supervisor was Mormon and so was she and she got preferential treatment. She was there for barely a year and was a paranoid individual. I pleaded to the owner how important it was to see my family, it had been a year since I saw them. He agreed and a week before I was to leave I got fired, right before Christmas. They cited some other reasons, trivial ones to be sure but ultimately it involved the fact I didn't fit in their world view and thus my desires were not to be adhered to.

None of the places I have worked since I got back to New Jersey accepts people taking off for frequent vacations before working there for at least a year. From my past experiences, I am careful in respecting that. Oh, I've been working my ass off trying to get one of those good jobs in graphic design that would offer decent benefits, but most jobs like that are in the past.

Back in the day, it was believed that the USA had the best working conditions, people compared it to Japan and European countries and we'd come out on top. Now polititians and conservative pundits have to resort to comparing our "great" working conditions to Central American countries and Asian countries not named Japan. And even then, you can see the United States slipping behind. That's the American work force, I don't like it but I have to accept it, I do respect it reluctantly, but I do wish we would emulate Europe's model.

Without a trace of irony.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Hot Enough For You?

It's days like today with the humidity at 90% and 90+ degrees that I miss Seattle. I always say to people if you are going on vacation in the month of August, go to Seattle. The weather is about as gorgeous as any you'll ever see. Working in the hot tin can AKA as my job for UPS makes me miss it more, but it also reminds me of the shitty job I had back about ten years ago. This one is worse, but for some bizarre reason it looks good on a resume.

Monday, August 06, 2007

We're A Nation of Bugs!

I try to avoid as much unpleasant things in my life as possible. One of the more unpleasant things in life is hearing about celebrities private lives. Who frickin cares?!!!? Especially celebrities that don't do anything. If it's not Paris Hilton, it's Linsey Lohan, and this week it's Nicole Ritchie. It's like a relay race of useless gossip, and their uniform? Those god awful ugly bug eyed sun glasses they wear wherever they go. These are the giant shoulder pads of the 21st century, a fashion faux pas that's embraced by the rich and the wanabees on the beaches.

These ladies have the same fashion sense of Harry Carey, only with tinted lens. And they're smug about it!

His excuse is that he's senile and has been dead for ten years. Why would they pay good money to look like him? Talk about buyers beware.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

A Good Haircut Is Hard To Find

I got my haircut today. No big deal except I find it hard to get the haircut I want. It's summer, it's hot, humid, so I want my hair cropped short, very short but every time I ask for it, the haircutters think it's not what I really want. The reason they say is that because I am starting to thin on top in front so therefore I don't really want my hair buzzed. I understand why, they want me to look good when I walk out the door. However, I'm of the mindset that a good haircut is one that looks good two weeks later, and these days I need a haircut by then and I like getting a haircut only once every three months.

Part of the trouble is I haven't found a good haircutter. I spent years growing my hair so it wasn't until about 2002 when I found my hair cutter in a Astor Place type of place in lower Queen Anne in Seattle. I always got the same hair cutter, she always happened to be there. I never had to reserve my place. I haven't found that person in Jersey yet. I came close with a barber shop in Spring Lake. One barber was good but the other one was.....


He wasn't old, maybe 50, but he wheezed and coughed and rubbed his face like he was 90. Not a pleasant experience for hair cutting. He cut my hair once, I wanted to wait for the other guy like that Seinfeld episode but I didn't want to offend him.

So, still looking.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Cleaning Up Computer

I was trying to clean up my files on my computer, one of the things you need to do and one of the things I forget is to clean up my e-mail files. Actually I clean up my inbox and my other received boxes but the sent box was full, very full. I got rid of all the ones that involved job searching that's more than a week old, it took some time, because I had made 856 submissions since I go this e-mail account almost a year ago, it took up a lot of space. That's a lot of job submissions! I've only had 10 interviews from it, not including the two I had set up I couldn't go to because I had no car at the time.

Anyway, I had a new job interview yesterday in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. It went well I liked to work therer and the challenge to get more money by increasing volume was appealing to me, because I need a challenge, I do better on jobs that involve a challenge. The idea of working in Brooklyn is a drawback because of the commute. I applied because the hours were from 11 to 8, and traffic would be less of an issue. It still takes an hour to get there. I live near a ferry that would be shorter but the time of the rides would not be convienent, plus 200 dollars a week is way too much to spend on commuting.

Anyway, I had no issues with the commute but I will probably not get the job because Dave, the interviewer had concerns because he had been burned before. I tried to assure him otherwise. I want the job, it's a perfect one in many ways, except location and the idea of being refused for that reason is depressing.

That's the story of my life as a loser, someone up there wants me to struggle, if it ain't location, it's no responses, or a flat tire, or the lack of car. I wonder when the stars are going to align themselves in my favor.

I just want a simple job involving graphics with a reasonable commute and reasonable salary, so I can finally get going in my pursuit of a better life I deserve, and shove it in the faces of those who don't have faith in me.

Or at least just to relieve the stress of money.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

A Part Of My Life...

Tommy Maken died. Who is he? Well, he was a famous Irish musician who had success in the 60's and 70's. He performed at shows my dad set up during his active days in the Irish American Club. He also owned a bar on 57th street called the Pavillion. It was my aunt's favorite hangout and I was there many times including the time U2 announced the release of Joshua Tree. The day I graduated SVA, we went there to see him perform. It's too bad he's gone.

On a side note... I've noticed I have increased my rate of blog entries in the last few months, by almost double, I guess I have more time on my hands...

Things I found When moving

I was digging through much of my things when I came across the newspaper I worked on years ago. It was supposed to rival the New York Press and maybe the Village Voice. The newspaper was published for a year, I came into it on th tenth month. I worked on the covers along with laying it out with an ancient computer which involved something like html like code.

Anyway the cover here has bad caricatures of prominent women who might be considered witches and at the time were very notorious, since the woman in the middle was Tammy Faye, who recently passed away, I thought it was interesting to see how my take on her changed over the years. I grew to like the woman, mostly because of the Surreal Life and her suppport of gay rights and the fact that she didn't judge people. I have read more about her about how the Jessica Hahn scandal was really about Tammy Faye being a victim. When Jerry Falwell died I felt karma was working her magic, when Tammy Faye died I felt sad especially seeing how cancer ate her alive.

On a related topic, the newspaper folded shortly after the cover and when I was put to work in the graphic design department (pre-Photoshop) I found myself doing very rudimentry tasks. It didn't bother me but I felt as if I wasn't needed. The last straw was when they asked me to deliver something from 27th st to 17th street. I delivered it no problem. I decided to take a few minutes and browse at Barnes and Noble. I spent more than 45 minutes there and when I got back, my boss said "Back so soon?"

He wasn't sarcastic.

I quit the next day,

I wish the newspaper lasted longer.