Damian in the White City

I've never been to Chicago, I am an East Coast boy. There was never any need to visit growing up; there was no family, no friends.

Chicago has been a recurring theme since moving to New York City. It has been the subject of friends' present and future homes, books I have read, visits of friends and coworkers.

The book I recently read was nothing short of amazing. A very good friend of mine said of the book that she "gets a very good feeling when I hold it." The Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson is that book.

After reading this book and becoming so enamored with Chicago, I have very much wanted to see it close up. Wow, a White City?!

I got a chance to "see" the city of Chicago as my flights for the Christmas holidays took me through O'Hare. From New York City the flight plan took us northwest to London, Ontario, through southern Michigan, and then our decent over Lake Michigan into Chicago. The clouds covered the entire sky below the plane and looked like you could fall into them and sleep the most comfortable sleep. As the clouds opened up, you could see the lake underneath and as you looked out you found a discovery in the clouds. A beautiful city rising above the white, floating.

Chicago was covered in fog and snow. We made our decent and dark lines in the white became the scraped and salted roads. It was the only thing other than the white.

About an hour later, I headed for another white city...

The Death of an Aerobed

Dearly beloved,

We are gathered here today to get through this thing called life. Electric word: life, it means forever and that's a mighty long time. But I'm here to tell ya there's something else...


Borrowed from a generous friend, the Aerobed was with James for 5 months. How do we measure, measure five months? In sleeping? In laying? In sheets and pillow cases? In reading and napping on free afternoons. Two hundred nineteen thousand and no other minutes. How do we measure the life of James' Aerobed?

I think Mystikal exemplifies the chasm of loss one feels during the grieving process in his rap on Bouncin' Back.
You can't do nothing about it, it’s Gods will that’s just how life be
One day it hit 'cha then it’s gone
And I'm serious and you ain't never even gone feel it until it hit home
That's when the pain run sharper and deeper
You ain't eatin’ that's when the days feel slow and long
I know you miss 'em so it's time to uplift 'em
Try to pick the pieces up and find a way to drive on

We must not dwell on the loss of James' air mattress and the pain he will feel from sleeping on the floor, but of all the good times. We must cherish these memories of warmth and being cradled a foot from the floor in the soft cloud called Aerobed.

The death of the Aerobed will hopefully usher in a new beginning with the birth of a real bed, or at least a platform bed mattress on the floor with the dream of the coming platform bed.

But until then I only have the floor and my dreams of...

...the after world. A world of never-ending happiness. You can always see the sun, day...or night.

Addictions

I have a headache this morning. I never get headaches. I am blaming it on lack of coffee in my system. This headache has me thinking...

The following are things that I have become addicted to in the few months that I have lived in New York City:

  • Degrassi, The Next Generation - oh, oh, oh what a little unemployment can doo oo oo
  • Coffee, Iced/Hot/Black/Latte - whatever, I just need it to function, now.
  • Gilmore Girls - some office gossip put this one on my DVR heavy rotation.
  • Kanye West - I love this man. Late Registration is genius.
  • Brooklyn Lager - ok, I'm not "addicted" and I hardly ever drink, but when I do, this is my beer of choice.
  • Wonderfalls - (thank you, commenter, for reminding me) why was this show cancelled!!?

They are all healthy addictions, yes? None are being abused. Well, maybe the coffee...

Guys by College

I've decided to survey the guys I have met or dated since moving to New York City by alma mater. This includes multiple schools for single individuals (i.e. undergrad and grad):

  1. Virginia Commonwealth University
  2. University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
  3. Yale University
  4. Yeshiva University
  5. State University of New York - Geneseo
  6. University of Virginia
  7. University of Notre Dame
  8. Hunter College
  9. University of Michigan
  10. University of Florida
  11. Marymount College
  12. Hampshire College
  13. University of Florida
I reserve the right to add those forgotten at a later date.

A Fun Poem

strong moves warm in time
across street running sun
I am fast gold feet

the moma kids website is pretty cool. go there and find the poetry part and post your poem in the comments section: http://www.moma.org/destination/

Annunciation

  1. When you look at yourself in the mirror, what's the first thing you look at? the endless vacancy staring back that has been hollowed out by all the drugs and meaningless sex I've been having.
  2. How much cash do you have on you? My trick kicked me out of the car in Bed-Stuy wearing only my underwear and a tshirt. No cash, but a laptop.
  3. What's a word that rhymes with "TEST"? Budapest, as in that time I was kidnapped by gypsies, tramps, and thieves.
  4. Favorite plant? That one at my Grandmother's house when I was a kid. I wonder how it is doing now.
  5. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone? the angel Gabrielle
  6. What is your main ring tone on your phone? Coldplay's Clocks. It is still the one I always go back to because it has the kinds of tones and pitch in it that I can hear.
  7. What shirt are you wearing?multi-stained 3 day old one
  8. Do you "label" yourself?My label says "Do Not Remove by Penalty of Law"
  9. Name the brand of your shoes you're currently wearing? I have a foot fetish
  10. Bright or Dark Room? I use a digital camera.
  11. What do you think about the person who took this survey before you?I won't judge you because of that abortion you had in high school.
  12. What were you doing at midnight last night? suppressing my emotions through forced sleep
  13. What did your last text message you received on your cell say?Me too. I hope I can make it through this weekend."
  14. Do you ever click on "Pop Ups" or Banners? I enjoy "Pop Ups"
  15. What's a saying that you say a lot?" There are stairs around the corner to the right."
  16. Who told you they loved you last? the ange Gabrielle.
  17. Last furry thing you touched? I wanted to touch something furry last night, but it was only a first date. Maybe on date 2 then, if there is one.
  18. How Many Drugs Have You Done In The Past three Days? I get a constant waifting of paint fumes at my office.
  19. How many rolls of film do you need to get developed?I think you can freeze embyoes in flim containers.
  20. Favorite age you have been so far? 29 is good, so far. I live in the present.
  21. Your worst enemy? Magda Foxglove, also an assassin in my office group.
  22. What is your current desktop picture? The poster to Brokeback Mountain.
  23. What was the last thing you said to someone?" Yesterday, I chose the cleanest pair"
  24. If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to change a major regret?I have no regrets. Always choose the million.
  25. The last song you listened to? The theme song to Gilmore Girls

AND ANOTHER

  1. First thing you did this morning? Touched something furry.
  2. Last thing you ate? Ice cream and cookies.
  3. Is your cell phone a piece of crap? I think it is a silica based polymer.
  4. What's the thing you look forward to most in the next 6 months? Spring Break.
  5. What's annoying you right now? a few regular Johns.
  6. What's the last movie you saw in a theater? John Waters' "A Dirty Shame"
  7. Do you believe in long distance relationships? Gay men can't date beyond 10 blocks.
  8. What's Worse? a) getting hurtb) people not being real with youc) not getting everything you try so hard forArent these all the same?
  9. Is there someone you miss?I hate everyone today.
  10. What inspires you? Kanye West
  11. If you could put together a concert of 5 bands or artists, who would you choose? Jay-Z, Kanye West, Belle and Sebastian, the band doing the Gilmore Girls theme
  12. Song that sums up your love life? Black Eyed Peas' My Humps
  13. What's one thing you wish you were better at doing? Silent Assassination
  14. If you could be anywhere this second, where would you be? Sleeping, in a real bed.
  15. What's your most vivid memory from 6th grade? Learning what masturbation was.
  16. Latest addiction? Milky Way
  17. Have you ever had the slight urge to kill someone? Always, I am an assassin
  18. How many people would you say were interested in you? There was never interest, just use of holes.
  19. What do you love doing? Eating dinner with Sandra Bernhard
  20. Do you think someone thinks about you daily? If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?
  21. Who was the last person you saw or talked to? the angel Gabrielle
  22. What do you want to be when you grow up? Someone who can find keyholes in the dark.
  23. What is your favorite food? Pickled Soy-Herring.
  24. How many people do you know with the same name as yours? The knowledge of infinity is an impossible achievement.
  25. What was the last thing you spilled? seed.
Last night in the span of an hour I randomly saw:





















Both are quite striking in person.

Kramer was walking down Thompson Street and Sandra was at Gobo, where I had dinner.

The Temptation of Saint Anthony

  1. If you only had one hour to live, what would you do in that hour? I'm sure I would choose something that would involve a train ride, then I would have to wait like 20 minutes for the train and then ride it to where ever I am going like 30 minutes, then start walking to where ever I decided to go - oh shit, I'm dead.
  2. Would you ever consider being a porn star? are the drugs and young death included?
  3. What are you wearing right now? I just took my Marli off.
  4. If you were an animal what would you be? The mouse that lives in my apartment for free.
  5. What are you listening to right now? MAD TV and traffic.
  6. Why do you like myspace? It eases the stalking process.
  7. What is the most expensive object you own? My rent.
  8. Whats your favorite hobby? Jetpacking across the country, saving pretty women, and blowing things up.
  9. What is your favorite alcoholic drink? Ones you buy me.
  10. What time do you normally go to bed every night? After my nightly motorcycle ride.
  11. Whats your favorite time of the day? Showertime.
  12. What is your favorite time of the year? I'll still go with Ramadan. More food for the non-Muslims.
  13. Where would you go on a trip if you could get up and go right now? My mom's house. She just got a pool table.
  14. Are you in love, or wish to be in love someday? Love alludes me. All I want is to get lewd.
  15. What do you want to be when you grow up? Christina Applegate
  16. Who is your best friend? Yoko Ono. She is the greatest.
  17. Who was your first true love ever? Was I ever really in love with him?
  18. How many children do you want when you grow up? I'm apopting only working age children.
  19. What type of guy/gal do you find attractive? Drives a Hyundai, compares insurance rates, makes better decisions, knows how life should be.
  20. Do you have any tattoos or piercings? Piercing screams.
  21. What names would you name your children? The only good names come from the Bible.
  22. Name your all time favorite song ever? If it ain't tight, it ain't right.
  23. Name your top five favorite cds? If You Are Feeling Sinister, Cold Roses, No Need To Argue, To Bring You My Love, Up.
  24. Name your top favorite movies? Marli's answer: "James will answer this one: Hedwig and the Angry Inch ("It's a carwash, ladies and gentlemen!"); Party Girl; Bullets over Broadwayl; Bound. (He's looking at me now with a blank face. I think he's done.) No wait: To Kill a Mockingbird. Good job, James."
  25. Whats your pill of choice? Choice pills.
  26. What did you drink last? The blood of a octagenerian.
  27. When was the last time you had sex? A gentleman never tells.
  28. Would you rather shower or take a bath? Shower.
  29. Whats you beer of choice? Brooklyn Lager.
  30. What is your favorite holiday? Guy Fawkes Day
  31. Do you consider yourself overweight? I dont feel like I'm taking up too much space on the subways, so no.
  32. Would you send your kids to public/private school? My kids won't have educations. They will be too busy on the Plantation.
  33. What is one bad habit you need to stop? Kicking the homeless that fall asleep on the subway stairs.
  34. Where would you like to retire? I just want to die.
  35. Whats your favorite tv show? Degrassi, The Next Generation. I am a teenaged girl at heart.
  36. What is your favorite city? NYC of the now.
  37. Whats your favorite food? George Clooney.
  38. Would you rather have true love or win the lotto? Lotto
  39. What is your favorite candy? Milky Way.
  40. Whats your favorite ice cream? I like to mix it up.
  41. Did you finish college? I dropped out 3 days before graduation.
  42. If you got plastic surgery, what would you get done? Finger elongation.
  43. What is your favorite book at the moment? The Devil in the White City
  44. What is your dream job? Concierge, Taco Bell employee, the Verizon guy.
  45. What eye color do you find sexy and irrestible? Vacant and expressionless.

A Christmas List

My mother has requested a Christmas list for items I can open on Christmas day that will fit in my bags when I return home. These items usually consist of CDs and DVDs. There are some CDs I have on the list this time, too. But also clothing accessories (I won't let my mom buy me the actual clothing) and footwear (socks and shoes). There isn't much else I want/need that I can get in my suitcases.

Since I am going to Florida for the holidays, I will be taking very little clothing so I may, indeed, return home with more stuff that I came, gifts and belongings alike. I have come to miss my CD collection the most and it pains me to know that they are all boxed up. Much like R. Kelly is trapped in the closet (and painfully making us aware of it), my CDs are housed in my Mother's foyer closet.

Along with these personal possessions, coming back with me will be what I really want for Christmas, The Reverend Ritz Hootboobley MacDougall. Yes, bitches, my cat has schooled herself into a reverend while at Brother's Work Camp in North Central Florida. Prepare to be saved come the New Year, New York.
The Reverend Hoot is preachin'!

Sick Leave

I've been sick since Sunday! So that is why I am not talking. I went to work on Sunday thinking that I had a hangover from three beers and when the afternoon came around and I was feeling worse and shivering, I figured I must be running a fever.

I woke up Monday with a terrible sore throat and my left eye swollen shut. Pink eye! I looked it up online, as my health insurance does not start for a couple more weeks. Viral Conjunctivitus. Apparently, it is all the rage.

Well, my eye was halfway decent on Tuesday and to save myself from dying from boredom, I went to work.

Today, it seems normal, but it is my day off anyway so I am just lounging around anyway.

I am working another reception tonight! Holler for money!

The Puma Bike

There is a special design exhibition at the Museum. On display is the new Puma bicycle. Someone should buy me this for Christmas:

I'll have a Vodka Tonic with a squeeze of Design Show Opening

I've been drunk at work twice this week. Ok, ok, maybe not drunk but I had a few good drinks.

Let me clarify. Tuesday night, there was an Exhibition Opening reception for Museum employees and Trustees. I was reluctant to go and was eventually talked into it. I agreed to stay for only 30-40 minutes. Four drinks and two hours later, I was catching the subway home.

Open bar. Top shelf liquors. Some really good (vegetarian) hors d'oeuvres. Holler!

Fast forward to Saturday night, I signed up with Special Events to work extra hours and was a "Drink Monitor." Basically, I stood at an assigned gallery entrance and made sure no one took their drinks inside. At breaktime, you basically become a guest and go to the bar and order drinks and eat the hors d'oeuvres. Then, you go back to your post and the night gets a whole lot better. Also, when one of your friends takes their break, they will bring you drinks, too. So you end up telling people they can't take their drinks any further as you take a sip of your vodka tonic.

Good times, good times.

The Inner Ring of the Seventh Circle

In Florida, there are no basements for a reason: they would flood. The houses and apartments of 16 million people would be floating on indoor pools.

In New York City, however, there are basements. Guess what? They flood.

Apparently, when a basement floods, appliances in said basement malfunction. This must have been what happened in the basement of my building as yesterday I discovered there was no hot water.

"We'll send someone over as soon as possible, today."
Said the lady at the property management place.

So, last night - no hot water.
This morning - no hot water.
This evening - no hot water.

Even though it appears that the hot water of the other tenants has been fixed, ours has not.

Having no hot water means no showers or cold showers. No showers can only go on for so long. I have been "European" or some people prefer "French" showering , but decided that I needed to shave and basically just clean myself, wholly. So, I took that task on tonight.

Tap water in New York City is some of the coldest, glacier-freezing water I have ever encountered. My bathroom is already one of the coldest rooms in the apartment and all white which gives it a colder feeling, too. I turned on the water and readied myself for the shower. When I peeled back the shower curtain and climbed inside, I made sure that the showerhead was pointing as far away from having contact with my body as possible. Little did I know I was standing in a desert of flaming sand where fire rains from the sky.

I shaved first, as this did not warrant a full commitment of getting wet. Shaving with cold water is kind of hard. The soap doesn't want to come off of the razor. I can feel the razor bumps developing as I type.

Afterward, I try my feet in the water. Cold.

I know, I'll wet my hair...squeeze out all the water...don't let it drip doooowwwwwwwnnnnnnnnnnnnn my baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack....ugh...

Oh wow...now I have to do the rest of the body. I'll ease into it...lather up first with the shower poof.

Ahhh, that is cold...not so bad, though.

Dr. Bronner's Soaps lather well with very little water. That is what that freak made them for.

But now I have to rinse.

Again, use the shower poof...but it doesn't do the whole job. I have to ease into the stream...

OMG. OW. I am in pain. Get out. Pain. Pain. Pain....

Cold, cold, cold. My teeth start to chatter. I think I am developing hypothermia. I am going to die in here.

Finish rinsing, fast, please, just end this, it hurts so bad. Places on my body that I didn't think were suppose to ever experience such pain are screaming for me to get out of the water.

I am clean. I am sure of it. Turn off the water. Wipe away the tears (literally).

Towel off. Clothes on. Wrap myself in warm blankets.

In a perfect world, this problem would be taken care of tomorrow. In New York City, we will be lucky if this problem is taken care of on Monday.

I think I am going to boil water for a bath tomorrow.

Subway Conversations

Recently, the subway has been the happening place for me.

Last Sunday, on my commute home from work, I transfer to the G train. I choose the last car because it is the one closest to the stairs at the Metro-Grand Station. It is a popular car, because it is a popular station.

During my short G commute (four stops), I saw a gentleman checking his bags of rock and snorting cocaine. Cocaine is a hell of a drug, and he was vacuum-cleanering it up his nose right there is the open of the G Train.

Monday, for some reason the F train was running on whatever tracks it wanted to and was on the E line when I was going home, so I hopped it. Even though it was rather crowded, I got a nice place to stand. It went to the next stop and a woman decided she was going to push herself onto the train. Here is the conversation that erupted:

Small-In-Her-20s-Hispanic-Woman: Excuse me, there is no room for you on the train.

Slightly-Larger-And-Much-Older-White-Woman-Possibly-Polish-And-Going-To-Greenpoint: I'm getting on this train, make room for me.

SIH2HW: (Getting louder) THERE IS NO ROOM. What do you want me to do step on this woman (gestures to woman next to her).

SLAMOWWPPAGTG: (Pushing herself onto the crowded train) Make room for me.

SIH2HW: GET OFF OF ME. YOU ARE PUSHING ME INTO THIS WOMAN. I AM STEPPING ON HER. YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSE TO BE ON THE TRAIN.

Doors close and silence continues for a few seconds, then:

SIH2HW: DON'T TOUCH ME, MY BAG IS WHERE IT IS SUPPOSE TO BE. DON'T TOUCH ME. LOOK, I WILL GO OFF ON YOU. DON'T FUCKING TOUCH ME, LADY. YOU ARE PUCHING ME INTO THIS WOMAN AND YOU ARE NOT EVEN SUPPOSE TO BE ON THIS TRAIN. YOU DON'T FIT. THIS IS NOT YOUR TRAIN.

After this, the excitement died down slightly and the train got to my stop and I got off. I hope that SIH2HW and SLAMOWWPPAGTG worked out their spatial differences.

Al-Mouserra Strikes Again


This time the target is the career of our favorite Fug, Chloe Sevigny (Actress, Fashion Disaster)
Damn, I want a pair of those sunglasses!

Leak

My apartment is leaking. When it rains, water gushes in from around the rusted steel header spanning the tops of the windows. Legal advice would be appreciated.

Shopping Carts

A little known fact about me is that I am fascinated with shopping carts. I think they are amazing items of design perfection.


















Shopping carts bring immediate scale:














Their usefulness is taken for granted:

Celebri-Watch

People I Have Seen Lately;

Viewing art:
I believe Mr. Bennett was wearing this very suit.


















Browsing shoes at Saks Fifth Avenue:
Daisy Fuentes...



















New York City is Chock Full of Nuts loaded with people like this. Jealous, bitches!?

Man at Subway Station (E Train at 53rd and 5th)

You're there sleeping in the afternoon, perhaps drunk from a day of drinking. If I were you, I would choose a more inviting subway station. What is the draw to this particular one?



Perhaps the Museums surrounding it? The Churches, shopping, the hustle and bustle of a Midtown station?

What were you saying Sunday morning when I got off the train and went up the escalator. Something about Julius Caesar being a great man, not bowing to the will of women. In fact, you said he would "pierce a woman with his sword" if confronted with her authority.

What is up with that? What have you against women and why are you bringing up a man from circa 40 B.C.E.?

Am I as confused as you? Will I be yelling out in the station soon about Julius Caesar not taking any lip off women?

The Yoko Diaries

Over my weekend, I got a call from Yoko Ono wanting to meet and spend the day together. So, we met up for lunch. We went to Eatery on 53rd and Ninth. Yoko is so cool, we had a table in the back and listened to the new Common CD on her I-pod. It was produced by Kanye West, by the way. She is a big fan of Kanye, especially after his comments at the Hurricane Katrina Relief Concert.

She repeated,
"George Bush hates Black people."

then added "and Asians." I think she was thinking of when George Bush the First vomited on the Japanese Prime Minister, Kiichi Miyazawa, in 1992. Parents often perpetuate racial hatred in their kids at a young age just through their own actions and words.

Otherwise, she has been talking up Tasti D-Lite for a while now and she finally took me to one after lunch. New York's #1 Favorite Dessert? Um, let's bring on the pint of Ben and Jerry's, Yoko, and then you'll taste a #1 good dessert.

I told her:
"I think you'd like Cherry Garcia."




Lavanderia

Last night, I did a months worth of laundry (minus work clothes). The Lavanderia is across the street; in fact Katie (my roommate) and I have used my bright yellow you-know-I'm-gay-because-my-binocs-are-bright-yellow binoculars to see if it was busy or the hours of operation listed on the window.

So, I drag my stuff over there, towels and bathroom mat and all, and immediately notice that prices have gone up fifty cents. I am being priced out of doing my laundry! Since I have so much this time, it takes two mid-sized machines: $6.00!

As I wait, I read The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. I definitely recommend it! I tune out the Telenovelas except for two times when it sounds like porn. I look up at the television the first time and it does look like porn, the second time someone is getting murdered.
Who knew that sex and murder sounded so similar?

I rotate everything to the dryers. I go about reading the book ignoring all the families and screaming kids.

I finish, pack everything back into their bags and leave to return to my apartment and fold it all.

The Unveiling

Biscuit Likker is an absolute must read. In fact, if you have to make a choice between my blog and Peggy Jean's blog, please choose hers.

I am proud to say she is my friend.

A great dinner party "ice breaker" I have found in my travels is to go around the table (or floor) and tell stories about your host/ess regarding your first meeting, or a funny occurrence, etc.

So, since I have eaten many a Peggy Jean meal (jealous, bitches?!), Waiting to Derail will revere the great Woman behind the new addition to this thing called the "blogosphere":

Peggy Jean and I met when I was just an egg of a gay man, patiently awaiting my fertilization and growth in the Gardens of Palm Beach. I would watch and listen, bright eyed and bushy tailed as my father liked to say, to the party going-ons and conversations arising about leather and wildlife. I would partake in the delicious food and meet intriguing and thought-provoking people.

She is an Artist, a Chef, and now she reveals a Writer, too. She knows her vernacular and wields it triumphantly in everything she does.

When I think of people I look up to and respect, my heroes if you will, I think of those that I have learned from the most.

Peggy Jean, from you I learn simply by watching.

Thanks

Subway Conversations

A young hispanic couple on the 1 train takes a break from making out:

The young man takes a sip of Dasani bottled water.
"Man, this water is so good and smooth, it is like God's Saliva."

People I Think Most Definitely Came Out of The Closet This Year Without So Specifically Opening the Door:

  • Rob Thomas - married to a super model but singing lyrics such as "I don’t want to be lonely no more" and updated his rocker image to one more suitable for Chelsea Piers.

  • Big & Rich (country duo) - images straight out of Colt porn and a song called Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy) and the text from the beginning of their online biography reads John Rich looked at Big Kenny. Big Kenny looked back at John. This happened a couple of years ago, early on in a strange and wonderful musical odyssey. Sure sounds gay to me.

  • Jodie Foster - her character name in Panic Room 2, oh I mean Flight Plan is Kyle. She’ll be Flock of Seagulling her hair by end-of-year.

  • R. Kelly - produced a melodramatic "hip h-opera" entitled Trapped in the Closet (Chapters 1-5). In which he sings all the parts, including a married man coming out to his wife and wife’s lover (supposedly Kelly’s character). Additionally, ladies and gentleman, I believe anyone into golden showers is into it with anyone willing, man or woman.

  • The Publicity-Stunt-Damage-Control Twins
    Tom Cruise and Kenny Chesney - One was smart and contracted out his love interest role. The other got his bird to fall for him, "fraud" and square. Anyone this public about anything is GAY!

  • Vicente Fox - He is thinking to himself "donde está mi tiara y boquet de rosas?"












  • Canada - America's new Gay Drain

Tentatio Rodent

Waiting to Derail has been struck by Terrorism once again. As many of you read in July, I was the victim of a suicide-biting cockroach. This time, the Terrorist is still on the loose and considered highly dangerous.

At 2:00 A.M. Thursday morning, I walked across the apartment from my room to the bathroom, opened the door and was assaulted by a mouse. The medium-sized rodent caused panic and disorder while trying to take me hostage. After the failed kidnap-attempt, the mouse fled the scene.

The suspect is believed to be Joselinda Weisenstein, a radical rodent who is a top officer in the Muris-haad. Weisenstein is a high ranking official, second only to the Muris-haad Commander, Ernesto Wolfowitz. Muris-haad has taken responsibility for the Plague and the downfall of Sandra Bullock’s career.

Several videos have been obtained by Al-Mousera Television detailing several Terror plots involving more kidnapping attempts and aiding in the destruction of more celebrity careers.

Please, if you see something, say something. Metro-Grand (the apartment) is enacting several Homeland Security measures to prevent further attacks, but we will need all eyes and ears for maximum security.

Thank You, Terry Richardson: A Waiting to Derail Weekend Extra


As I begin my weekend (Wednesdays are my Saturdays), let's take time to thank Terry Richardson for taking two hot photos of Jake and Johnny.

The Knoxville pic is my new desktop background.

Missing

A mistake has been made. Minor in the grand-scheme-of-things sense. I deleted my profile photo with the intention of posting another one.

However, when told to "Add Photo by Editing Profile" you are only taken to the profile editing page with the link to Hello and Picasa which don't help at all and send you in a circle repeating the same thing, but not actually providing an answer.

Funny thing is that I had to have done all of it before as I HAD posted a the original profile photo!

So, no photo for jamesdamian at Waiting to Derail. Que lastima!

How will I keep the throng of people crushing on me via my blog coming back if there is no glamour shot of yours truly? How?

I need help! I need suggestions or some tekkie-nerd help. (Not to be confused with Trekkie-nerd help).

The Junkie's Tale

Perhaps you have gone to dinner or you are running errands during the day when you see him. Sickly and pale. Gaunt and haggard. About 23 years old but he looks like he is a dying man at fifty.

He is the Heroin Junkie.

He asks for money...
"Can I have a dollar?"

And when refused develops attitude...
"C'mon you can give me a dollar...how 'bout a quarter?"

I make sure he hears my no, that he knows it is not ok to come any closer.

I know he will ask next time he sees me.

The Williamsburg Tales

Kellogg's Spare Some Change Girl

I met her when I started working. She is small, white, and wearing clothes you would probably see on anyone going about their daily duties; jeans, blouse or t-shirt, tucked in.

I would go into the Kellogg's Diner to get a Coke and a breakfast bar. Every day she is there asking people for money as they come and go from the store and the Lorimer L stop.
"Can you spare some change?"

And if you just ignored her and continued into the store, she would say,
"Maybe on your way out."

I always think that is such a polite thing to say.

These Are The People In My Neighborhood

The Redemption Song Man

Get on the L Train in the evening and you will see this man. He isn't homeless. He is always clean. Never foul smelling.

He is a thin black man. About five foot nine inches. In his thirties, somewhere.

"Excuse me ladies and gentleman for the interruption. I would like to sing a song for you."

Sometimes he goes on to intro the song, making it seem more profound.

"We live in hard times and this is just to let you know to keep your head up."

and he begins...

"Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery..."
He is good, well practiced. If it is your first time, you want to give money to him because you are entertained and it is well deserved.
Then, a few nights later, you see him again. Singing still the same...
"Won’t you help to sing these songs of freedom?"
...redemption songs...
...redemption songs...

I really would like The Promise Ring to come out with a new album.

Friday

Starting today, Tuesdays are my new Fridays.

My schedule is now Friday through Tuesday.

I look forward to having two weekdays off when no one else is around.

seven things


seven things you plan to do before you die:
one) buy a house or two
two) legally marry the man i love (please inquire if interested)
three) go on many vacations
four) love
five) live
six) forgive
seven) retire

seven things you can do:
one) socialize with ladies who lunch (after all, it is my job)
two) glue and draw and other stuff i learned in college
three) flirt with absolutely anyone
four) make a mean mix cd
five) say the right thing
six) phone sex
seven) be aloof

seven things you can't do:
one) fly on gossamer wings
two) walk on water
three) wear my sunglasses at night
four) line dance
five) eat ceasar salad
six) women
seven) deadly sins

seven things that attract you to the same sex:
one) head of dark hair
two) hands and feet
three) masculine features
four) intelligence and wit
five) full lips and a nice smile
six) inches or more
seven) i like big butts and i cannot lie

seven things you say most:
one) “fuck yo couch”
two) “holla…”
three) “…and what not”
four) "that guy was just checking me out"
five) "i’ll cut you!"
six) "oh my lordness"
seven) "florida"

seven celebrity crushes:
one) johnny depp
two) johnny knoxville
three) wes bentley
four) jake gyllenhaal
five) eric bana
six) ryan reynolds
seven) chris carrabba (from dashboard confessional)

seven people you want to take this quiz:
one) anyone who has a desire for it
two) the above listed crushes
three) andy warhol
four) weddings and a funeral cast and crew
five) people with phobias to prime numbers
six) geese a laying
seven) the seventh son of a seventh son

Rothko Tuesday


Walking through the Galleries alone is GREAT! All you hear is the cracking of the floor boards as you walk through.

Suspicious Package

After I ate lunch, I left my office to go the the street to read a bit in the public space across the street. I began to exit through the employee entrance at 11 53rd Street, only, my plan was twarted by a security guard telling me that I had to exit the building in the Lobby. Again, in the Lobby, I was told to exit through the Bookstore entrance. I made my way through the Bookstore and followed the police line across the street to the public space and sat down and started to read.

Twenty minutes later, the police began evacuating the public space and I quickly made my way through the crowd back to the Bookstore entrance and back to my office to get this email:

"The NYPD has closed 53 street while they investigate a package at the curb near the 11 west entrance. If you are leaving for lunch Please exit the building from the 54 street museum entrance or the 25 west office tower entrance. There is no need to evacuate the building. We will keep you informed of all developments."

I went back upstairs to find several areas off limits to both staff and visitors such as the Employee Entrance Lobby at 11 53rd, The Modern Restaurant, and the Sculpture Garden.

For the next hour, I sat with the Volunteers directing Visitors with normal everyday concerns until I noticed the Sculpture Garden open again.

I went back to my office to find this email:

"The suspicious package has been properly identified as clothes in a suitcase. 53 street is reopened to the public. Please resume normal activities. Thank you for your cooperation."

What an exciting Two Month Anniversary of living in NYC today was.

Celebrity Cameos

Frances Conroy was in the Museum today. Ruth from the "Six Feet Under" series.

A co-worker spoke to her briefly when she asked a question, saying that the Sculpture Garden is "magical."

So, I visited the Sculpture Garden today. My favorite is the Goat by Picasso.

Visitors Services

The first guy I dated was a lesson in all things I did not want to date.

1. He was tragically unintelligent.
2. He had badly dyed hair.
3. He dressed with a flare for style that reminds one of early 90s clublife (bad glittery club shirts, overalls).

The biggest thing was not being smart. So I broke up with him. On the phone.

I had been terribly sick for weeks and was basically homebound. I had just started back at work. He called to invite me to his company's holiday party. I declined.

He said "What am I suppose to do?"
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"Well who am I suppose to take?"
"Take someone else." I said casually, meaning one of his friends.
"But I don't want to break up with you." He replies.

...silence...

"James?"

...silence...

Then I say "I don't feel the same way."
"What do you mean?"
"I don't think we should see each other anymore."

He protested a bit and asked me why I was doing this now (he had called me from work), then asked if we could talk about it later. I said that there was nothing else to talk about. It is the break-up that I am least proud of.

I saw him a few times over the next few months as we were in the same circle, then nothing.

I ran into him once a few years after at a bar in West Palm Beach.

and again, today, at work.

I had just gotten back from lunch and was descending the escalators that lead to my office. He was coming in from the Garden when I saw him.

"Hi Mr. James." he said flatly, like we had just seen each other days ago.
"Hey!" I waved and "I'll come back up."

I got back up and hugged him and introduced myself to his boyfriend of five years. It was short and random.

He called and left a voicemail later on giving his hotel and a number if I wanted to get together and "talk."

I didn't.

A New Discovery

Yesterday, I was sent on an errand to our graphics department on the 10th floor. As I exited the elevator and made my way along the glass wall, I glanced down and noticed a roof garden. Wow! A ROOF GARDEN! Why hadn't anyone told me about this?

This particular roof garden in fake. It is plastic rocks and bushes. There is no public access. It was meant to be viewed from adjacent buildings, particularly the Museum Tower Residential Building rising above the Museum.

Here is a good article.

Movie Quotes

Lenny Nero: His ass is so tight, when he farts only dogs can hear it.

Ralph Fiennes was in the Museum yesterday. I saw him briefly in the lobby as I decended the stairs and by the time I got down to the first floor he had dissapparated.

Voldemort is a tricky fellow...

Movie Quotes


Libby Mae Brown: What New York really is, is it's an island, with lots of people, lots of different people... I hope to maybe meet some guys, some Italian guys, and maybe watch some TV.

Posting Break

I have a headache. So, I am taking a break from posting.

So, I am sending you all to my favorite celebrity traffic accident to rubberneck:

Go Fug Yourself

Learn it. Live it. Love it.

Museum Conversations

While familiarizing myself with the Permanent Collection (i.e., looking at great art while getting paid), I overheard an elderly man analyzing and describing a Rothko for his wife's benefit. Here is my recollection:

Husband: Well, obviously that is the ground...
Wife: Oh, ok.
Husband: and this (pointing to the next block of color) is trees, bushes, and things on the ground...
Wife: Oh...
Husband: and this is the sky.
Wife: What is that purple square above the sky?
Husband: Well, that must be atmosphere and space.
Wife: Oh, well now I get it.

It was rather heartfelt and humorous to hear someone so erroneously describe the painting. Turning to them to tell them what it really was that they were looking at wasn't what needed to be done.

The husband saw that his wife needed something to appreciate the color field of canvas, or to justify spending $20.00 a ticket to get into the museum to see such kinds of work, and he provided it the best he could.

Lucky Lucky Lucky

In celebration of my first week on the job, I give you the lyrics to my favorite Futureheads song, "First Day". They ROCK! You should buy their album. BUY IT!

Welcome to your new job, hope you have a wonderful first day
We are so happy to have you join the team, you are so lucky on your first day
And they say:
This is the job that people die for, i hope you're ready for the next stage
Alot of people work in the same place, don't let them get in your way
Dinner time you go to the cantine, you make a new friend at the dinner break
You like to talk when you're eating, but today you listen to him
And he says like it or not, you have to do what they say
And it is something that you would like to talk about, but it's only your first day
And they say:
This is the job that people die for, i hope you're ready for the next stage
Alot of people work in the same place, don't let them get in your way
And they say faster faster
It's time to take you to the next stage, but it's only your first day
And you're not ready for the next stage
And they say faster faster
It's time to take you to the next stage, and it is something that you would like to talk about
But it's only your first day(first day), you are so lucky on your first day (first day)
You feel so happy on your first day (fisrt day), you are so lucky on your first day (first day)
This is the job that people die for, i hope you're ready for the next stage
Alot of people work in the same place, don't let them get in your way
Welcome to your new job (first day), hope you have a wonderful first day (first day)
We are so happy to have you join the team (first day), you are so lucky on your first day (first day)
Lucky lucky lucky on your first day
Lucky lucky lucky on your first day
Lucky lucky lucky on your first day

Day One and Day Two

I feel like one of the luckiest people around. My first day on the job and I am told to go through the galleries to orient myself with the Museum and artwork. What a great place to work.

It was really crowded Monday and I was again asked if I wanted to take some time to go through them today since there are no visitors on Tuesdays. But I didn't, so I may ask to go through tomorrow on a slower time of the day.

I saw some all-time favorite artists on my first go-around though...

Rothko
Chagall
Diebenkorn
Giacometti

Letters to Yoko: Post Script

P.S.: I saw you again on Sunday, as I walked through Strawberry Fields. I called out your name but you looked pre-occupied and not wanting to be bothered.

I wanted to invite you to the free M.I.A. concert at Summerstage.

Too bad you were in a mood. It was amazing. Jessica, Katie and I loved it!

Galang, galang, galang! Call me if you want to hang.

Letters to Yoko

Dear Yoko,

It was great running into you at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Friday. Your insight on the designs of Chanel made the exhibition very enjoyable. I’m glad that you had time to visit the Modern Art galleries and the Egyptian temple with Katie, Lisa, and me. We enjoyed your company.

Your knowledge on Richard Diebenkorn was astounding. I never knew you were such an expert on Abstract Expressionist landscapes, and our subsequent conversation on your involvement in the Fluxus movement was educational.

The fact that you never took off your white Ray-Bans was spellbinding. I definitely want to get a pair myself.

I hope that we can hang out again soon.

Love and best wishes,
jd

New Jersey is My Good Luck Charm: The Soundtrack


1. Sufjan Stevens - They Are Night Zombies
2. Gorillaz – Feel Good, Inc
3. Lali Puna – B-Movie
4. The Arcade Fire – Rebellion (Lies)
5. Fiona Apple – Extraordinary Machine
6. The Flaming Lips – Bohemian Rhapsody
7. Lali Puna – Small Things
8. Lali Puna – People I Know
9. The Bravery – Honest Mistake
10. Hot Hot Heat – Middle of Nowhere
11. Lali Puna – Together in Electric Dreams
12. Mason Jennings – Ballad for My One True Love


13. Sufjan Stevens - Come On Feel the Illinoise
14. Sufjan Stevens – The Dress Looks Nice on You
15. The Arcade Fire – Neighborhoods #4 (Kettles)
16. Conjure One feat. Poe - Center of the Sun
17. Elkland – Apart
18. Mason Jennings – Century Spring
19. Pedro the Lion – A Simple Plan
20. Sufjan Stevens – Romulus
21. Sufjan Stevens – Chicago
22. Sufjan Stevens – Jacksonville
23. The White Stripes – Blue Orchid
24. The Arcade Fire – Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
25. The Arcade Fire – Une Anneé Sans Lumiere


New Jersey is My Good Luck Charm Vol. 4

When waiting to hear if you have gotten a job, it is hard to continue job searching. There is something there that is saying, “You’ll jinx it, STOP!” So, I did it minimally and by the time Thursday came around, I was a wreck.

“What if they don’t call?” I thought. I had not made any interviews for the following week. There was nothing, just another beginning of a job search.

Jessica came to Williamsburg Thursday night and she, Katie, and I went to El Moderno for dinner, ironically fitting.

Jessica spent the night and we went to New Jersey when we woke up for more of her work errands.

Once again jetting around NJ with Jessica on interstates and turnpikes, HR at the museum called me, only this time they offered me the position.

My first day at The Museum of Modern Art is 8 August at 9:30 AM.

New Jersey is My Good Luck Charm Vol. 3

Monday came and I went to an interview at Whole Foods that sounded fun, but I couldn’t afford to do that full-time.

My museum interview was scheduled at 4:30 PM and was said to be only about a half-hour long. Again, I took the L Train from my house to Union Square and switched to the 6. I got off at 51st Street which conveniently has an exit at 53rd and Lexington. I walked west on 53rd, past Lever House which always puts me in a good mood. Such great respite from midtown monotony. I arrived at 4:20 PM, slightly sweaty, and not within my 20 minute cool down period.

The Assistant Director of Visitor Services came to collect me from the lobby with a wonderful smile. She led me down into the “bowels” of the museum, as the administrative offices have not settled fully since the move. We went down quite a ways, chit-chatting and as we approached another door a man came through.

“Hi Glenn.” She said.
As we went through the door, I replied “Wow! You weren’t kidding!” referring to the Administrative Offices being in the bowels of the museum since the door we just went through was to an emergency fire stairwell and the man that had just come through them was the Director of the Museum.
“Wait.” And we stopped, she added “You know who that is?”
“Yes.” I said, smiling. “I did my homework and went on the website last night.”

We arrived at the rather make-shift office set-up and I met the Volunteer Coordinator, also smiling greatly, warm and friendly.

The occurrence was repeated for the Volunteer Coordinator.

The interview lasted a good 50 minutes instead of the predetermined 30. It went so well that I didn’t want it to end. I wanted to go to dinner with these ladies. They said they had one more interview the following day and would be making their decision by end-of-week.

I was walked out with more friendly banter and I knew that I had nailed it.

New Jersey is My Good Luck Charm Vol. 2


Not only did my first foray into NJ take me to my first ever visit to IKEA, it got me two interviews at really rad places. (by the way, rad is totally coming back, so use it).

You can read the post “Weekend Update” to hear about my first interview with the museum.

It was the best interview I’ve ever had in my life. I have a crush on the HR guy, now.

So, he said “To be safe let’s give it a long time, 2 weeks, if you don’t hear back give them [the department people] a call.”

I left the museum and a few hours later was called by the department people to schedule a second interview for the following Monday.

New Jersey is My Good Luck Charm Vol. 1

Two Thursdays ago, I went with Jessica on some of her work errands in New Jersey.

Jessica’s work errands would be less than exciting for most, but I am broke and have no job which facilitates only mind numbing internet searches for jobs, and more realistically porn. So, I jump at the chance to leave the apartment and sit in a car seat, as it is only me and my floor in my unfurnished apartment. And that just makes my back hurt.

It is amazing how quickly New York City becomes New Jersey suburbs. It is a bridge over the Hudson and there is a 7 Eleven with the worlds biggest parking lot, quaint New England houses lining the sidewalk-less streets, and trees. Oh, how I miss trees.

That particular week I was feeling especially lousy for not having a job and went on a rampage of electronic-resume-sending and applying for all sorts of jobs I am perfect for to never hear back from. That Wednesday for example, I was on the website of a large New York City museum. I saw a job posting that looked as if I was qualified. How I felt qualified is beyond me, it was only a title, no description. I applied for it in a fit of rage, forgoing all the niceties of completely filling out their online application and attaching cover letter. I simply attached my MS Word document resume and put the position title I was interested in the appropriate box. Not following their rules was me taking revenge saying “Screw you Human Resources,” for having to do so so many other times and never even getting a courtesy reply.

Back to Thursday in New Jersey: driving about in the Toyota Prius on I-95 and I-80, the Museum’s HR department called me. “We’d like you to come in for an interview”, he said. Thoughts bubbling in my head of “Are you kidding? You weren’t suppose to call me!” It feels like that really hot guy at some bar that you talked to and slipped your number called a few days later to ask you out. “Yes, of course,” I say, “when?”

“Tomorrow.”

You Should See My Scars: The Soundtrack

1. Garbage - Bleed Like Me
2. Interpol - Hands Away
3. Louis XIV - Finding Out True Love is Blind
4. The Fever - Ladyfingers
5. Beep Beep - Misuse Their Bodies
6. JJ72 - Oxygen
7. Pinback - Bloods on Fire
8. Crooked Fingers - Weary Arms
9. Belly - Puberty
10. Team Sleep - Your Skull is Red
11. TV on the Radio - Ambulance
12. Jawbreaker - Accident Prone
13. Garbage - Metal Heart
14. Snow Patrol - Tiny Little Fractures
15. Elbow - Ribcage
16. Neko Case - Twist the Knife
17. Now It’s Overhead - Antidote
18. Snow Patrol - Grazed Knees
19. The Shins - Kissing the Lipless

You Should See My Scars Vol. 3

My first summer in Architecture school was also the first summer without my father. He had died the September previous. My summer was marked with a number of things: Grief, loneliness, a strange environment, no local support system of family or friends, dick professors, overwhelming studio-cultural shock, more knowledge and information ever given in one week/day/class/hour than I had ever experienced, anxiety attacks…the list goes on.

I started seeing a counselor on campus.

I started dating someone.

Eventually, he accused me of putting up walls and not telling him what was going on.

So, I started to tell him, and I started to rely on him, trust him, even.

The grieving process was in full swing and it was recommended by my counselor to write a letter to my father expressing what I was feeling and after two weeks of disagreeing and telling my counselor to stop playing counselor games with me (read “getting the courage to write such a letter”), I saw that it would help (and I developed the strength).

I wrote the letter. I read it to my counselor, but that didn’t help. I needed to share it with the people I cared about and who cared about me. I needed to let my family know what I was feeling and thinking because it was what they were feeling and thinking.

I mailed the letter to my mom. She let my brother and his wife read it.

I wanted this guy I was dating to read it. This was the biggest reason there were walls in the first place. I asked him to read it and his response was surprising. He said “No, that is weird.” I told him why I wanted him to read it: I want people I am close to to read this because it will help me release these emotions I am holding onto…I need to share it with people I am close to…

I was opening up the most vulnerable part of myself.

“Make photocopies and post them around the Architecture Building,” he said.

You Should See My Scars Vol. 2

During a trip to North Carolina as a twelve year old with my family, I went with my cousin and her then significant other to go fishing.

Since I did not (and still do not) enjoy fishing, I waded downstream, along the rocks and river-worn stones.

There was a bridge overpass of the river, the pilings making a connection to the water on large, smoothly-eroded concrete platforms. There were logs and branches stuck in various positions on and around the pilings.

As I was crossing over a log, I surprised a snake sunning on the platform and quickly shifted my weight to get back on the other side of the log, the side not with the snake. As I did this, the log fell loose of the piling and I went straight into the shallow water, feet first, straddling the log.

I was panicky and got back up and made sure the snake was not around and started wading back upstream. Water rushing toward me, I noticed my foot hurting and picked it up out of the water. I was bleeding.

I guessed that when I fell, my foot went into broken glass, or a sharp rock, rusted metal thrown away in a small-town-mountainous region of North Carolina…something. I went back to my cousin. We were on our way back to my Grandmother’s cabin, to my Dad. He would know what to do.

He took me to an Emergency Clinic in a nearby town. Medical instruments on the walls in what looked like Ziploc bags.

I remember the needle injecting painkiller into my wound most of all and the throbbing pain that would come later that night.

Five stitches and a ¾ inch scar on the high arch of my right foot. Sometimes, if I step just right the skin tightens unnaturally like an over-taut canvas and a fast pain will shoot through the arch making me wince and sometimes step funny.

You Should See My Scars Vol. 1

I must have been between the ages of seven and nine on a family visit to my Grandfather’s apartment. Even though he lived within twenty to thirty minutes to our house, depending on traffic, it was rare to see him. I can only remember a handful of times.

This particular time, my brother and I were in the parking lot having a rock fight. Not the smartest thing two boys can do. He is five years older than I am so that puts him at twelve to fourteen years old. The sun was going down quickly, as it does in South Florida.

As often happened with my brother growing up, he did or said something I did not like and I played up the drama by turning away from him and tapping my foot. It was falling dark, quickly.

“James, watch out!” he said.

I turned and was hit in the forehead by what felt like a boulder, but turned out was only a large rock. I was filled with anger and my brother was filled with panic as he saw what he had done. I fell to the ground and he rushed over. As he began to drag me toward my grandfather’s apartment, I was screaming my refusal and telling him to, more than likely, “unhand me.” As the dragging continued, I felt a warm sensation washing over my face and in my eyes. I touched my face and looked at it. There was barely any natural light anymore and the substance was just dark and thick on my hand. I knew what it was though and began to scream in a different way. I was scared and crying now, no longer angry.

The scene inside the apartment was one of shock and panic, as I’m sure all they saw was my brother dragging in a bloodied me. My father drove to the hospital and my grandfather held me in the passenger seat in his lap with something over my forehead to slow the blood flow.

I had seven stitches put in and the doctor said that I would not have a scar.

It is there, a diagonal inch jutting from the hairline, right in the middle.

Weekend Update

So, I had a whole series planned last week, but I never had time or motivation to finish them. Job Searching is mentally and emotionally exhausting. However! I believe everything is looking up! I had a first interview with a HUGE place on Friday that I never thought I would be called in for in the first place. First interview was at 11am, I left at 12. Called back at 5:15pm to schedule second interview for Monday! My first second interview!

The pay sucks. SUCKS! BUT since it is a huge non-profit, the benefits are astounding!

Here are a few:
4 WEEKS PAID VACATION!
Domestic Partner Benefits
Medical
Dental
Vision
Transit Chek
Life Insurance
Tuition Reimbursement
Pension
and 430(B) Plan (non-profit version of 401(K))

I'll probably have to get a part-time job, too.

I'll tell everyone what place it is if I get the job, of course. Here are some hints:

The name is usually shortened into it's acronym.
It is in midtown.
I love going.
I pass the Lever House (my favorite building) on my walk from the 6.

On another note, I was bitten by a COCKROACH last night IN BED! Under normal circumstances (or not so normal lately) I tend to like being bit and doing some biting, same gender and species ONLY. I never thought cockroaches could bite, but I was awoken by a twinge of pain on the back of my knee. I jumped up, swatted whatever the culprit was away from me, jumped out of bed and turned on the lights to see the Voldemort of Cockroaches in my bed.

AVADA KEDAVRA!

That bitch enjoyed a bleach whirlpool bath in my toilet a few minutes later.

It took me a while longer to get back to sleep.

Again, I am dumbfounded. I am from Florida where the Giant Cockroaches are many and I have never heard of anyone ever getting bit.

I have a mark.

When Sharks Attack

Friday: Harry Potter and the Barnes and Noble at Union Square was a bust.

Jessica, Katie and I went and joined the mayhem after 12AM when all the pre-ordered yellow bracelets had been given out and were adorned on the wrists of the chosen who were currently waiting for their numbers to be called. The orange bracelets were for the others who had just shown up to get the book without pre-ordering it.

Where do we get the orange bracelets? We walk in, and see signs in the back denoting “get your bracelets here,” but how to get there? We mazed our way through people and stages and other various barriers. We went upstairs and then downstairs and when we got to our destination, we were told that bracelets were now being given out outside the front of the store on the sidewalk.

We trekked it back to the sidewalk and got our bracelets. Our numbers were in the thousands. We would most certainly be there until about 4AM if we waited. So, we immediately turned around and said “let’s just get our copies tomorrow” and we headed back underground to the subways.

Saturday: Picnic on Sheep Meadow, Central Park.

Apparently, fifty percent chance of rain does not mean the same thing in New York as it does in Florida. Fifty percent in Florida means it will be raining all day, all night, and perhaps a fortnight longer. In New York, it means that it will be a beautiful day and the rain will come tomorrow when we add the two chances of fifty percent for both days and make it a 100 percent chance.

Katie and I met up with a friend, J.D. on the Sheep Meadow in Central Park with various nosh. Lisa and her friend from Connecticut, Danielle came a little later, and Jessica came soon after.

We were there for a good three or four hours.

Katie and I went to Jessica’s afterward.

Sunday: Discovery Channel’s Shark Week Premiere Party

Pasta at Jessica’s with television and real places to sit that aren’t the floor. It doesn’t get any better than this. Sharks and Queers on the TV! HP to turn to when the sharks aren't biting not the queers. Heaven...

And she drove us back to our apartment when we left! Oh, how I miss driving/riding in cars.

Sleep Disorders: The Soundtrack

1. The Stills - Yesterday Never Tomorrows
2. Andrew Bird - Opposite Day
3. Antony and the Johnsons - For Today I Am a Boy
4. The Smashing Pumpkins - Today
5. Stereophonics - Maybe Tomorrow
6. The Good Life - Night and Day
7. Victory at Sea - Break of Day
8. Longwave - I Know It's Coming Someday
9. Jets to Brazil - Mid-day Anonymous
10. Weezer - Haunt You Every Day
11. Martha Wainwright - When The Day is Short
12. k.d. lang - The Day I Walk
13. Rjd2 - One Day
14. Supreme Beings of Leisure - Nothin' Like Tomorrow
15. Whiskeytown - 16 Days
16. Belle and Sebastian - My Wandering Days Are Over
17. Whiskeytown - Yesterday's News

Sleep Disorders Vol. 2

I have only been through one heart-wrenching, painful break-up. I was twenty-three years old and had experienced being in love for the first time. Darrin and I weren’t together long, but it was long enough for me to grieve a loss when it ended.

The day Darrin broke up with me, I was house-sitting for a friend and co-worker. I had asked Darrin to stay with me that night, as we had been planning to spend the night together with friends at dinner and whatever else came up after.

It was a Saturday. There was no explanation given. Just a “this isn’t what I need to be doing right now.”

I was upset and crying. He was upset, too.

Masochism: He comforted me and got me to stop crying. I held it in. In retrospect, I should have let him leave but we continued to spend the night together as planned. I drove his truck to the restaurant and we ate lunch. We were awkwardly silent. One of us started reading the newspaper.

Since it was a familiar and frequented eatery by us, friends eventually filtered through and we began making further plans. I don’t remember what they were. We ended up at Denny’s later that night with Darrin’s best friend, Brian. I was now no longer sad, but angry. Darrin and his friend were throwing keys around in the parking lot and they dropped to the ground. Darrin bent down to pick them up and I spit, trying to hit him.

Brian gracefully bowed out of the situation and left.

I began apologizing. I asked Darrin to please still stay with me at the house. I didn’t want to be alone. He did.

We got to the house and got ready for bed. It was a queen or a double bed, not big enough to non-intimately sleep two men.

Restlessness: I wanted to hold him. We were close. I could hear him breathing. I turned over. I became so uncomfortable that I could not fall asleep and once I thought that he had, I left the room and slept in the other bedroom with the dog.

Early morning, I woke up and felt guilty for not being in bed with him. So, I went back and tried to sleep some more. When daylight came, I went downstairs and watched television and cried some more.

A couple of hours later, he woke up and left.

Sleep Disorders Vol. 1

Last night, I was awoken abruptly from a sound sleep by an upset friend. Extremely upset. I was disoriented, answered my cell automatically, almost as if were happening in a dream:

My friend sobbing on the other line, No "Hello, How are you?" It takes me a few seconds for my mind to catch up with my body. I am re-collecting myself, but feel panicked and violated, like someone has just rushed into my room and jarred me awake.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: Feelings immediately come back to me regarding another abrupt late night wake-up when my father died. My mother did come bursting into the room that night, sobbing, screaming, a painful wail that I'll never forget. One feels as if they jump up, full body from the bed, arms and legs extended in all directions to protect yourself from something or someone.

Who is this? Is someone dead, I think. Who is hurt? My heartbeating fast. I try to remain calm and calm my friend down so I can understand what she is saying.

A few months ago, while visiting home during a school break my brother woke me up early morning, 4AM-ish, by bursting open the door and yelling, "James, I think someone is in the yard." He also hit my foot. I jumped again and started swinging my fists before I realized who was there and what they said.

He wasn't close enough to get hit.

Street Conversations

From an early morning visit to a middle eastern counterstore for a bottle of coke on 43rd St. and 3rd Ave.

As I walk in to grab my coke, a professionally dressed lady has just selected a yogurt and proceeds past me to get in line. I grab my Coke and am right behind her.

Both clerks are Middle Eastern Women.

The clerk scans the yogurt and says "$1.75"
Yogurt Lady, shocked says "No...." Then irrately repeats "No! No! No!"

The two clerks look at each other, the lady, then me. I smile.

Yogurt Lady continues "No! It is $1.25 everywhere else."
"We don't make the prices, they are given to us." One of the clerks says.
"No! I am not paying that for that. No! It is $1.25 everywhere else." Yogurt Lady demands.
Clerk 2 without a breath dismisses Yogurt Lady, "Then go everywhere else!"

The Yogurt Lady leaves. The second clerk looks over at the first and smiles, then looks at me and smiles. I am grinning from ear to ear and I hand them my Coke.

The second clerk bags my soda and mocks the Yogurt Lady, "It is only $1.25 everywhere else!" as the first clerk says "$1.50."

I pay. "Have a wonderful morning, ladies."
Clerk and Clerk 2 in unison respond "Have a good morning!"

Moisture In The Air

It is hot in my bedroom. I am obsessing over several things. I can't sleep.

I keep thinking of several questions I have been asked in the last few days.

Question One (1): What Five (5) CDs would I choose for a roadtrip?

Currently, I would choose:

1. Ryan Adams/Cold Roses (I can't get enough)
2. Andrew Bird/The Mysterious Production of Eggs (catchy tunes and it makes me feel smart)
3. Belle & Sebastian/If You Are Feeling Sinister (sentimental all time favorite)
4. Danger Mouse & Jay-Z/The Grey Album (the best of both worlds with classic Beatles samples topped with instant classic rhymes by "the best rapper alive")
5. The Original Broadway Cast Recording of RENT (2 hours of drive time fly by belting out these tunes. Can you handle being in the car with me?)

Question Two (2): I am planning a dinner party for eight. What seven (7) guests, alive or dead and excluding friends and relatives, would I invite?

Here is what I answered:

1. Ghandi
2. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
3. Mother Theresa
4. Rev. Al Sharpton
5. Bill Clinton
6. Hillary Clinton
7. Jay-Z

I'm thinking of other things besides these questions:

Hurricane Dennis and its effects on my Mother and her house, if any (There is no answer on the cell or home line.)
Job
Furniture
Bed
Air Conditioning
Hootboobley
The East River

Weather Systems or Cloud Coverage

I never realized how much I identified with the South until the past few days. Even though South Florida is not stereotypically southern, I do come from a long southern lineage and there is an oral history that I am familiar with and take comfort in.

I feel in place here. I am not out of sorts. But there is a something that I am missing and something I am taking pride in. And it is purely Southern.

Not Southern in the Confederate Flag-waving kind of sense. But Southern in knowing how grits are prepared and should taste.

I'm from the Dirty, Dirty and I'm proud of it.

I was talking about the change of seasons with my new friend Chris (also hailing from the south), last night. I began to mention the intense blue of the sky in late December and January that occurs in South Florida and I could feel that happiness rising in me, the same happiness when I am under that sky. It is a subtle change, but one that I know and love.

Other things I am beginning to miss is the smell of crisp clean air after rain storms, and that odd stillness after hurricanes with only wind blowing through the sabel palms and pines to announce to everyone that it is time for a moment of silence and to recollect our fortunes.

My fortune and I have moved to 467 Grand Street, Brooklyn and I am very happy about that. I look forward to learning the subtle that comes before or after the obvious. I am looking forward to knowing much more about my surroundings and to know the map of this city like I know the map of home. I am looking forward to seeing, finding, searching, exploring, feeling, smelling, and knowing this city with those I am already blessed in knowing and those I will be blessed to come to know.

The Challah-day Weekend

Sunday: Target: Gays and Beer

Katie and I voyaged to Target in Brooklyn Heights which is very much akin to the Upper West Side in terms of building scale and character.

We did nothing else all day and by the time 9:00pm rolled around, I was exhausted and getting ready for bed even though there were plans to go out.

Jessica calls and says that the plans are to go the Metropolitan, which is the gay bar right here in Williamsburg. So, now, I couldn’t refuse and as I had been reading reviews of it online just prior to Jessica’s call, I didn’t. It is only 3 blocks from my house.

What a great bar. It reminded me of chill bars in South Florida with back patios and small, intimate nooks seemingly planned out for small groups of five or six. We were there from about 11:30pm to 4:00am when it closed and by then we were rather loud and obnoxious.

Greatest Discovery of the Weekend: Brooklyn Lager. It is the best beer I have ever tasted, very bitter. I am not a beer fan, either, but this could very well make me one.

Monday: Williamsburg to Morningside Heights and Back

Over to Jessica’s Apartment in Morningside Heights (read Harlem) on the Upper, Upper West Side of Manhattan, Katie and I ventured, for a rooftop July 4th cookout. Good friends and good food!

Circa evening, the group returned to the ‘Burg for rooftop festivities and fireworks viewing with Chipper’s Visiting Boyfriend (not “Visiting” as in he doesn’t live here, but “Visiting” in terms of the academe system of Professorship: Visiting, Assistant, Associate, Tenured, and Emeritus).

We got to walk home and scour the garbage for furniture...but we didn't find anything.

Necessities, a Plea, and Some Facts

I've found a few necessities:

Target is 7 stops away on the G Train.
Bed, Bath and Beyond and the Container Store are 6 stops away on the L

The L and the G station by my apartment is like 3 blocks away.

A Plea:

If ever so kind, please send gift cards for Target, Ikea, and Bed, Bath and Beyond. Or money for rent and food.

and some facts:

I finally got my 2 bags, so I finally have belongings.

I am sleeping on an aerobed borrowed from a friend.

I am exhausted by the end of the day.

I still don't have a job but it is a holiday weekend.

To get wireless internet, I am sitting on my toilet facing the window.

From said window, you can see the Chrysler Building (Photo to come).

A Bad Day To Move

My Wednesday started at 5:00 AM in Lake City, FL. Woke up, got ready. My brother drove me, with his kids, along to the airport in Orlando.

Three Hours Away...

We arrived at Orlando International Airport around 9:00 AM and I checked my bags at curbside. The guy overlooked my overweight baggage and I tipped him a 5 for saving me like 80. I panicked when I couldn't find my drivers license and luckily I had packed my passport in my carry-on bag.

I proceeded through security and then to the gate. United flight 1552 departing for Dulles in Washington DC with a connecting flight to La Guardia at 2:35.

Delay #1 came. The plane is having mechanical difficulties and has not left DC.
Delay #2. No new information; the ticket agents are rather unhelpful.

Another United flight to Dulles comes in and leaves. Something is wrong there, don't you think?

2:30 PM comes around and the flight has finally been cancelled. The ticket agent says that names will be called for re-routing purposes. My name is called first. I feel like the luckiest man in the airport.

Ticket Agent: You are going to La Guardia?
Me: Yes.
Ticket Agent: (looking at the computer, and mostly to herself): No, we can't get you on a 2:50, here is one at 3:15. (Calls American) Do you have a seat on flight 1620? Yes? OK.

She gives me my new ticket-esque paper and sends me off to the American terminal. I ask about my bags. She says that I will have to make a claim with the American office at LGA when I arrive. No worries.

At the American Terminal I wait until the Ticket Agent arrives. They do and I approach to get my new boarding pass. The Ticket Agent asks why my flight was canceled and I reply: something about mechanical problems. To which she says: This flight may be delayed to.

"Well, as long as it shows up I will be happy."

Well, the plane was already there and time for boarding comes around and the flight is delayed to 5:30 PM. Apparantly bad weather in the Ohio Valley region has re-routed flights to the southeast.

Delay #2: 6:00pm
Delay #3: 6:30pm
Delay #4: 7:30pm
Delay #5: 8:15pm

We board at 8:15.

Delay #6: 9:00pm
Delay #7: 10:00pm

We begin to taxi at 10:15pm and take off. Arrival at LGA at 1:00am.

Baggage Claim at LGA is a sea of lost and delayed bags. I check Uniteds lot first. My bags are not there. I look around my American flights baggage carousol. Nothing. Then I go the the American office. The lady asks me to check the United sea again. So, I do, this time much more thoroughly. Nothing. I go back and proceed with my claim.

Leave: Taxi time. Long line. I am tired. Long, long line. At least an hour wait line. I am approached my one of the commando drivers. $49.00 to ride with some guys to Midtown and then to Bay Ridge. No. I get in line. I am approached again by the same guy. I cave.

I am staying with someone and keeping them awake every minute waiting up for me, so I take it.

4 gay men and an driver of western asian origin. The other 3 go to midtown and I get a nice driving tour of the city. Narrarated by me, in my head. Down 7th to Chinatown, across Canal to the Manhattan Bridge and in Brooklyn I am. The driver gets on the BQE and off to Bay Ridge we go.

I got to Rob's Apartment at 2:40AM. He went to bed, I took a shower and then retired myself.

Bags are not here yet. But I am. And I have an interview tomorrow...in jeans and a tshirt. God Bless NYC.

Top 10 List Weekend Redux

Top 10 List of Actors I Cannot Stand

1. Tom Cruise (you gave Katie Holmes the Herp)
2. Nicolas Cage (ConAir anyone?)
3. Keifer Sutherland (I thoroughly enjoy watching you get disfigured by Reese Witherspoon in Freeway).
4. Ethan Hawke (I tried to like you, but you write bad fiction.)
5. Hayden Christiansen (gay celebrity rumors usually excite me. but I am praying that the hets keep you).
6. Donald Sutherland (you spawned the cockroach crunch and are a little crunchy yourself)
7. Tom Hanks (with several exceptions, your acting ranks worse than my cats')
8. Alec Baldwin (like your character, Jimmy Swaggart, in Great Balls of Fire (1989) eventually did, you should repent for your sins)
9. Bad Actor
10. Haley Joel Osment (they milked every last drop of cuteness from you and forced you into mediocre voice character work hoping that you will recover from your adolescent awkwardness. It is sad, but so, so true.)

Witness Williamsburg

An apartment has cometh. Oh Grand, on Grand Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn. That's right! The birthplace of Jay-Z, Biggie Smalls, Jackie Gleason, Barbara Stanwyck and John Travolta will soon be the stomping grounds of me. All credit goes to Katie, my soon to be roommate. She found it on the second day she was looking and was the first to see it. Our move in date is July 1st.


"Your boy back in the building, Brooklyn we back on the map
Me and my beautiful beeeeeeeitch in the back of that 'Bach
I'm the realest that run it, I just happen to rap
I ain't gotta clap at 'em, niggaz scared of that black
I drop that +Black, Album+ then I back, out it
As the best rapper alive nigga ask about me
From Bricks to Billboards, from grams to Grammys
The O's to opposite, Orphan Annie
You gotta pardon Jay, for sellin out the Garden in a day
I'm like a young Marvin in his hey'
I'm a hustler homey, you a customer crony
Got some, dirt on my shoulder, could you brush it off for me?"

Now, the most important things in my life are selling my car and securing a job. If anyone knows of anything, hook a brotha up!

Top 10 List

Top 10 List of Actors I Cannot Stand

1. Tom Cruise (you are the worst actor on Earth)
2. Nicolas Cage (I just think you suck except in Raising Arizona)
3. Keifer Sutherland (you disgust me like the crunch from raw onions and Kit Kats making me think that I am eating roaches).
4. Ethan Hawke (I tried to like you, but you are Tom Cruise Jr.)
5. Hayden Christiansen (you are the reason that all three of the new Star Wars movies suck, even though you aren't in the first one)
6. Donald Sutherland
7. Stephen Baldwin
8. William Baldwin
9. Alec Baldwin (except for that SNL where he plays the gay guy on the "Inside the Actors Studio" segment)
10. Daniel Baldwin (I don't even know if he is an actor but ALL THE BALDWINS ARE DEAD)

I'm sure there are others but this is a Top 10 List, the Top 5 are pretty solid and the bottom 5 could be replaced with others I hold much more disdain for.

Hopping the Bay

Pensacola Bay is the body of water jutting in from the Gulf of Mexico that seperates Santa Rosa County from Escambia County. Milton is in Santa Rosa, Pensacola in Escambia.

Santa Rosa County is a "damp" county. This means that it is slightly wetter than a "dry" county but definitely not considered a "wet" county. Personally, I am used to "soaked" counties.

The bars and restaurants in Santa Rosa only serve beer and you can only purchase beer in the various stores and on Sundays, only after 2:00 PM (Central Time). Escambia has no alcohol restrictions, and therefore on the other side of the bay on US HWY 90 is a large package store which can commonly be seen at county line's with alcohol prohibitions on one side and none on the other.

The issue is hot topic fodder for the papers and is on the ballot frequently.

Personally, I didn't think dry, or damp counties for that matter, still existed. Alas, my mother up and moves to one.

There are political groups that have formed for each end of the spectrum.

The dry county people say it is a moral issue (read Christian)and that the number of cases of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, DUIs, and drunken accident fatalities. I say the people having deformed babies, bad driving recordsm and killing people while drunk is happening more because they all drive to another county, get drunk, and then drive back. The FAS babies are conceived because there is more chance for sex, on the way to and fro.

The wet county advocates say the county is losing tax revenue (read money) and that upscale restaurants are not moving to the area due to not being able to serve liquor. I say this comes down to convenience. When I want alcohol, I want to be able to go a few blocks and get it, package store or "upscale" restaurant. I don't want to be driving twenty minutes over a bay with a bridge that was recently taken out by Hurricane Ivan (it is now, partially, a temporary metal replacement) to get to Pensacola for my local Carrabba's or Olive Garden.

In a few weeks, I will be back in a city where I can buy liquor anytime I want and have as many deformed children as I can pop out (which is none, because I am a man - but I am sure if I had enough money [and alcohol] I could.