Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Not Dead Yet

This Blog isn't dead, it's just hibernating while I iron out kinks and create newer and better content.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Fade to Grey

The Paulitico seems to take some measure of joy in testing my assorted ailments and peculiarities, today it was parading the Ishihara color blindness test in front of me after watching Little Miss Sunshine.

We sufficiently proved that I am, in fact, still partially color blind and getting a little worse it would seem. This thought gave me something to chew on for a while, and it occurred to me that while so many seem to feel that life was more vibrant and colorful when they were younger and more hopeful, for about 4-8% of us that is literally true.

With any luck the fate of the world will never hinge upon my ability to determine if that little status LED on the cable modem is bright green or amber.

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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Birthday Diary

January 5, 2009


Woke up to the cell phone ringing. Sleep deprivation has made my hands useless so they flail at the tiny buttons attempting to silence that infernal contraption. Eventually gave up and used my claw-hands to shove the phone under several layers of pillows.


Emerged from a dreamless sleep yet somehow had the image of a skyscraper made entirely of faux fur stuck in my head. Cole slaw before bed seems to be a poor idea.


Managed to get my hands working long enough to check my voicemails. My sister wished me well and then my mother and brothers sang me a happy birthday in a different message.


Tore myself from the extremely comfortable covers and sought out a hearty breakfast. Settled on a naval orange instead. A childhood spent eating them on sunny California days has instilled in me an almost automatic need to peel and enjoy the orange slowly in order to savor the experience for as long as possible while staving off weekend chores.


Sat down to the computer and trolled Craigslist for a job. I'm getting too good at spotting the regular posters to the job boards. There's a Dakota Roadhouse that can never seem to find the right "vivacious personality, absolutely no students of any kind", they seem to post that ad every other week. At least they're more subtle than the "Looking for bartender to work and dance in two piece bikini, no experience necessary". It's almost comforting to know that there are some jobs no one will tolerate no matter how bad the economy gets.

I turned off the phone because trolling for jobs online makes accepting the well-wishes of friends and loved ones feel oddly hollow.


Came to the strange realization that looking for jobs online is a lot like looking for sex online. It's mostly two people hoping to find something incredible and ending up disappointed. On the plus side the job hunt has yet to result in a trip to the Free Clinic.


Turned the phone back on, a few more people sending amelodic love but thus far no resume call-backs. It's still good to be loved.


Showers are something I can never fail to enjoy. The feeling of warmth and water on my skin does enough to remind me of sunnier weather and simpler times that the lingering side-effects of short and fitful slumber finally melt away and I can feel my extremities again.


Plugged into the Game.

"[Zeroes]: Ding 32! But in real life so no epic lootz for me."
"[Mikey]: Happy vaginal escape day!"
"[Virgule]: I'm only 2.01 in hexadecimal age."

My fellow nerds have an odd way of lifting my spirits.


Paulitico gets home offering 32 kisses and promises of sushi. The mention of food reminds me that a single orange, while high in vitamin C, does not a day's worth of food make. I suspect that it's poor eating habits like this that are contributing to my growing sense of foreboding. That or it's the odd thumps and shudders coming from the ground floor that shake my apartment so hard that precariously perched items fall over. On second thought, it's probably the shakes and shudders.


The Japanese/Nepalese restaurant serves up some decent sushi, though the real highlight of the experience is the large flatscreen playing East Indian hip-hop and Punjabi subtitled Japanese country/bluegrass. I'm not sure what's up with it always taking forever to get a check once the meal is done. Maybe I'm just getting to that age where I start rose-tinting anything beyond the five year event horizon of experiential interpretation, but I could have sworn that when your table is cleared that generally means your meal is over. The stumble home is intense and cold, we're expecting snow tonight and that last spicy chicken dumpling is hitting my stomach harder than reality is hitting the sub-prime mortgage market.


Snuggle with Paulitico while he reads. We tell each other syrupy things and then I let him sleep for the night. There's something unspeakably beautiful about him when he's sleeping. It would be annoying if I weren't shacking up with him already.


Plug myself back into the Game. I know I should take a last pass over Craigslist but my birthday present to myself this year is not ending my day with a reminder of how sleazy potential employers can be. That and my friends on the Left Coast just texted me that they want to see me in-game so that we can talk about boys and chopping.


After a long and bloody struggle, might has triumphed over other might. The building stopped shaking randomly about a half an hour ago and my eyes are starting to deflate into the back of my head, it is clearly time to put an end to consciousness for another day.

Happy berfday me.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

He Has A Point

Paulitico: "How was your day?"

Zeroes: "It sounded like someone was being beaten to death with a sofa next door. That or an old lady wrapped in several layers of carpet fell down the stairs a couple of times in a row."

Paulitico: "You need to get out of the house more."

In my defense, you get a lot of weird noises in a New York apartment. Maybe I really do need to get out of the house more often.

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Dear CA, AZ, AK and FL

I'm going to put this as simply as I can so as not to confuse anyone.

To the 52% of California, the 56% of Arizona, the 57% of Arkansas and the 62% of Florida that voted to limit the rights of same-sex couples (in many cases adding discrimination to their state constitutions) I say simply:

Fuck. You.

When I was nine years old my mother was married at the Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens. It was springtime and the Gardens were full of blooming flowers and an abundance of life, my mother was wed on stepping stones that crossed a small stream while her and her husband's family and friends stood along both banks of the stream. It is one of the happiest and most beautiful memories of my life, and one of my fondest hopes was that someday I too would be married on that same spot, surrounded by my family of both blood relatives and dear friends. That dream died on November 4th though, when the ignorance and fear of the people in my home state led them to write minority-targeted discrimination into their constitution. My shattered dream is but one of many thousands broken, as same-sex couples in California who have already been married during the brief window when such a thing was still legal are left to wonder if they will even be able to retain the rights they were given now that enforcing said rights will be an up-hill battle.

While I am filled with hope for our nation that we no longer suffer under the regime of a power-hungry megalomaniac, that joy is sullied with the knowledge that to more than half of this sad nation I am a second-class citizen. While there may be hope for the direction this country will be headed in the future, that hope is marred by knowing that too many Americans would rather that I not join them in this bright and shiny new future. Criminalizing marriage and adoptions by a minority group is sickening and inexcusable no matter the rhetoric used to justify such actions. I fear for the gay and lesbian youth of all forty-five states that have banned or outlawed same-sex marriage, for what hope can you have in yourself when the laws of your land tell you that you are wrong for being simply who and what you are? I am ashamed of my country when so many of us allow our fear of difference to dictate our actions, and I rage at any nation that would dare to call itself great when it deprives citizens of even the most basic rights and refuses to recognize that while not all love is the same, all love is equal.

While I may have hope for my future, I have very little faith in it.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

If I Only Had Rack

I'd be employed
But so single
They'd be payin' me to mingle
If I only had a rack

There'd be tippin' and some drinkin'
With some ever so light thinkin'
If I only had a rack

While New York may be an "at will" work state I have to wonder what it says about a society when federal equal employment laws are so flagrantly flaunted. The number of job postings I've come across that specify that the employer is only looking for females is mind-boggling. The number of ads that specifically reference Coyote Ugly is downright depressing. That movie has done to bartending what the movie Sideways did my dear friend Merlot.

While I'm the first to admit that gender inequality is part and parcel to the bartending industry, it's generally something that employers are savvy enough to express in subtle, less obvious ways than by outright saying that they're looking for a nice rack that probably won't spill the drinks. The friends I've made here simply chalk it up to New York having it's own way of doing things, which is fine up to a point. Leaving the trash all over the sidewalk, screaming at complete strangers, and cabbies that look at you like you've eaten one of their children if you ask them to cross the East River to name but a few. These are all fine and good as every city has it's own distinct personality (or complete lack thereof in some cases), but it's a sad statement on a town's sense of it's own importance when employers can't even be bothered to be clever about breaking federal laws.

On the plus side, it makes sorting out the coked-up scumbags a heck of a lot easier.

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Monday, September 08, 2008

A Quick Hop to the Other Side

It should come as no great shock to anyone that uprooting your life and relocating it nearly 3,000 miles is neither easy nor fun. The dust has finally settled as much as it's ever going to and I find myself living in a four story walk-up just across the East River from Manhattan, the City That Neither Sleeps Nor Shuts Up. I should be thankful that all of the furniture in my old apartment in Portland belonged to my ex-roommate as relocating from a spacious two-bedroom to a glorified efficiency studio has made things a little on the snug side. Throw Paulitico into the mix and it's been downright cozy. The one piece of furniture I did intend to ship was my Tempurpedic mattress, which I had every intention of being buried in (they're comfortable in ways that border on the profane), however Sunshine Shipping is composed of liars, cheats, near-do-wells and people of poor hygienic standards. A week after the scheduled delivery date a truck arrived at our temporary apartment bearing a cheap knock-off of the mattress I had sent, it was in completely different packaging and was such an obvious forgery that I wondered if they assumed I was too near-sighted to notice such a glaring change. I refused shipment and immediately embarked on the telephonic version of Theseus' descent into King Minos' Labyrinth, though instead of a fearsome minotaur at the end of my troubles I received the sad news that the shipment form I'd signed had contained a microscopically written liability clause making the shipment company liable for 8 cents on the pound. Receiving an $8 check for a mattress that cost nearly $2,000 is poor consolation at best.

If the move hadn't already exhausted me financially I'd have taken these thieves to court, but as I am made of bones and easily-bruised flesh instead of money I've had to enjoy the bitter taste of being professionally robbed as a tonic to lull me to sleep each night on my borrowed Aerobed. My only hope is that the people responsible die in a fire at some later date.

Aside from the inevitable casualties of moving (I'll miss you most of all broken bottle of lube) the transition from the West to the East has been... interesting. Everything here is cramped to the point of being claustrophobic, the entire populace of New York City could very well be raging agoraphobics and never know it. The City is also loud in a way that I'd become unaccustomed to living in my sleepy neighborhood on the east side of Portland. People are well-acquainted with their car horns here, often I'm pressed to decide if the person is suffering from near fatal road-rage or has just fallen asleep on the horn. The bars and restaurants almost exclusively use cheap plastic awnings to advertise themselves on the streets such that no matter where you go you get the impression you're entering a 99 Cent Store. That illusion is quickly shattered when you see the prices on food, feeding this many millions of people so far removed from viable farmland comes at a hefty fee. Though there is a definite green movement in New York, the limits of what can be accomplished this late in the game are akin to adding a few more sandbags to your seawall when you hear that a tidal wave is soon to crash upon your shores. The effort is appreciated but the end result may leave something to be desired.

On the plus side, there are so many different nationalities represented that I am reminded on a daily basis how large our tiny planet is and how necessary it is that we all find common ground despite our lingual and cultural barriers.

Final thought of the week: In a city where everyone is a stranger, can anyone really find a place to belong?

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