Wednesday, February 23, 2005

I'd Rather Be Muckracking

I'm at my internship right now, crushing hopeful writers' dreams with one flick of the wrist as I throw their manuscripts away after agonizingly deliberating over them for way too long.

I'm writing this to say that the internet in my apartment is down again--that mercurial bitch-Goddess Apartment 513 has suddenly vanished off the wireless radar--and it will be at least a few days before we can get our own internet installed. If 513 doesn't come back, I may not be writing here too much for the next few days. Yes, I could step out on my balcony and pick up "linksys," then step back inside, write the damn entry, and then step back outside to post it, but you know what? Homie don't play that.

Anyway, I hope to post more often when I do have the internets. But for now, just remember: old interns never die; they just fade away. A great man named Arsenio Hall once said that, and his words still ring true today. Peace.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

WHOLE FOODS GROCERY RECEIPT

Alright, the internet's back! Feed me, mold me, you fucking technological slave-master. Apartment 513, you win the award for best cable modem at 699 Classon Ave. Congratulations, you win a free $10 gift certificate to Chuck E. Cheese. Fuck you.

The comment about the Roman waffles... yeah, you're right, you pedantic asshole. The Super Bowl score was my prediction, which wasn't too far off the mark.

Ok, so I'm a little drunk. Yeah, I had 34 Yuenling Black & Tan's, what of it? Is this some sort of intervention? Oh, Jesus. Are you fucking kidding me? Yeah... look, it's been a little crazy. You're meeting me at a strange time in my life. Come to think of it, every time's been a strange time. But really, this is unnecessary (note: I am correcting my spelling errors as I go; I really am drunk). I just don't need this shit, man. I'm supporting my family, I'm holding down a decent job, what else do you want from me? I'm fulfilling my responsibilities. So what if I have a drink or two every now and then? I'm not hitting my kids, man, I'm just trying to unwind. Fucking hell.

My stories about alienation are going to be better than anyone else's stories about alienation. I have more motivation now than ever. Am I being sarcastic? Ask me again in eight years. Oh, and fuck you.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Lindsay Lohan already has a rolax!!! Want yours???

Wow, has it really been over a week since I've updated? Time flies when a representative from the Gary Steelheads of the Continental Basketball Association calls your cell phone accidentally, but you convince him that you would make a perfectly serviceable point guard, and they fly you out to Gary and then you're on the road all the time in places like Akron, Tacoma, Fresno... I'm writing this from Pierre, South Dakota, where I'm stealing internet from a network called "BISMARCKLICKSCOCK." I'm enjoying the HBO at the hotel here, but my fellow CBA'ers and I haven't really bonded yet. They like to listen to DMX to pump themselves up before games, and didn't appreciate it when I put on some Elliott Smith (it was a joke!) Also, I'm the only white guy, and they call me stuff like "cracker motherfucker," "crazy cracker," or sometimes simply "cracker." I can't tell if they're kidding around or not.

I just made all that shit up!!! I'm not really in the CBA. Wow, you're fucking gullible! I'm only 5'6" and I suck at basketball! How could you believe any of that?

One of the real reasons I haven't written lately is that Apartment 513's internet no longer works for me with the sad exception of instant messenger. Since my roommate Brian received Final Cut Pro over the internets from a friend, it has been out of commission. Coincidence? Sure, if you think it was a coincidence that John Wilkes Booth AND George Bernard Shaw went by three names. Anyway, I'm using a different network that may or may not be reliable in the future. When's the internet going to be ready to go in my apartment, you ask? Who knows? Same can be said for the cooking gas, the mail, the fucking everything... basically, as somewhat predicted, we got fucked over and now can't do too much about it. I've been on the phone, trying to get some answers and finding out that things are even more fucked up than I thought. (I like swearing, it makes me feel cool). I feel like I'm in the movie "The Super," since I also resemble and sound like Joe Pesci.

So yeah, it's a long story, but I spend a lot of my non-working time on it right now, unfortunately. Let's just say there's a strongly worded letter, the threat of rent not being paid, and a whole lot of pistol-whipping involved. But having the internet makes everything better. Without it, I feel impotent (and I'm not just talking about my penis here). With it, I feel empowered, vibrant, ALIVE, DAMMIT!

On the positive tip, we had a very fun housewarming party on Saturday night. The apartment, on the surface, looks great and drew rave reviews. People from different phases of my life mingled and found each other agreeable if not "cool." I got nicely drunk, and the next day found my roommates and me sitting on our couches, listening to Joanna Newsom, the ethereal-voiced freak-folk singer who I figure must be of Icelandic origin (those people aren't really human, are they?) Brian said that he was glad that we were listening to her on a Sunday afternoon in our apartment. I'll always remember her CD as the one that some guy called in to ask about at Barnes & Noble last summer (I had never heard of her at the time), and I told him we had it because it said we did in the computer, but of course we didn't, and then he showed up and was pissed off and said he had driven a long time to get there, and now Joanna Newsom has made a name for herself and I like her music and now I think that guy must have had good taste in music and it is hot in my room and I complain a lot but I find it hard not to and I'm in a slightly better mood that I was a few days ago and I'm going to bed now.

New York state of mind.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Patriots 31, Eagles 21

Yesterday I ate one of the most decadent things I can remember eating--a Belgian waffle with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, and a bacon. This must be what the Romans ate while they were fucking each other in a massive orgy right before everything went to shit. Maybe they called them "Roman waffles," though, since they probably thought they were the cat's pajamas. (That's an expression, right?) Anyway, my gut is still churning almost 24 hours later. It probably didn't help that I had to meet up with my family at 7:00 PM for a cousin's birthday dinner in Carroll Gardens (neighborhood a couple miles away from here for you non-Brooklynites), and decided to jog there since I was (shock!) running late and the subway would have taken too long. I arrived dripping with sweat and wheezing like Fatty McGee to a family impressed that I was in good enough shape to make the trek in that fashion. It also didn't help that I had smoked around six cigarettes the day before, which is close to my all-time high, I think. But the appetizer of snails with garlic and puff pastry, and the main course of something called "cassoulet" (basically a vegetable casserole), plus the non-embarassment of being very late, supplied my exercise with a nice reward.

But enough about me. Let's talk about what you think of me.

The effort of getting to know prospective dates is frightening. Starting at the beginning of my personality basically terrifies me, and though I'm sure this is a common thought, I'm going to elaborate anyway. It's been 22 years, how can you really get to know me like someone I've known since I was 10? Does it just involve me telling you about my life, or can a general sense of my personality be enough? I'm looking for human connection here, not just "You're funny." Couldn't there be some sort of "Demolition Man"-type machine where you hook up your brains and get the jist of someone in like thirty seconds? There's a lot I have to reveal about myself before I feel truly comfortable, I think, and not like some sort of fraud or an actor playing a role. I want to relate all my weird habits and perverseness, all my personality flaws, all the stupid moments in my past... and I want to do it immediately. (Not that I ever actually do). The good stuff I'm not in such a rush to get out, because, well, finding out about it is pleasant, not wraught with possible tension. I have a strong desire to want someone to know what they're getting into. Then we can go from there. Maybe reading this blog will be a start! Hooray for technology!!!!!!!!

But like a lot of other things--going to the gym or packing, for example-- the reluctance to begin the task and the accompanying lethargy is worse than the actual thing (probably). I find what I've puffed up in my mind as some unknowable or untellable thing isn't so bad when you just smoke a joint dipped in embalming fluid.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Welcome to Brooklyn: Go Fuck Yourself OR Incident at Prospect Place

Well, it's official.

No, silly, not the Iraq election (world events are so 2004). I'm referring to my relocation to the commercial and cultural capital of the world. No, Virginia, I don't mean Virginia, you fucking inquisitive bitch. I mean New York City, or as retarded tourists who think they're in Boston refer to it as, "The Hub." That's right, I'm big-time now, you fucking plebeian!

Yes, I figured Brooklyn needed another neurotic, witty, Jewish white kid from the suburbs, so I decided to hop on board the gentrification train and command the conductor to speed up despite a Rhode Island-sized iceberg looming up ahead on the tracks (it's been cold lately). You know, writing like this is fun, if a little gimmicky. But it's fun. But also gimmicky. And yet still fun.

Anyway, I began my internship today, officially joining the rat race of this fair city. I take the 2/3 train to the 1/9. Doesn't that sound cool? I think so. I like spouting nonsensical best-route talk like, "Yeah, sometimes I take the ACE to the FDR, then swerve back around on the 2/3 to the GWB. Sometimes it's faster that way." Well, I like it in theory, anyway.

The last few days have been hectic. My roomate and dear friend Mike's dad rented a truck from Uhaul, a company which I swore I would have nothing to do with for the rest of my life (end-of-summer incident involving a trailer coming loose from my goddamn car). But this was out of my hands, as was a lot of the moving process. When it comes to wrapping things in boxes and assembling objects, I sometimes stand around and look like I'm paying attention to whomever is doing the work for me, and when they explain what's going on technically I nod knowingly, like I do when a mechanic is talking about my car, or when a drunk guy is telling a rambling story. Other times I don't even pretend to care. Just set up my desk and let me write so the world can hear all the new and interesting things I have to say about our cultural climate. Good old American know- how is impressive and all, but not as impressive as my take on the shortcomings of "Million Dollar Baby." (Perhaps I'll delve into that white-hot topic some other time).

Anyway, it's been weird. I've known for a while I was coming here, and I've spent a good deal of time in Brooklyn visiting by now, so this move doesn't have that overwhelming jolt of the unknown that some do. Also, I haven't taken advantage of my surroundings much yet (hell, it's only been two days), because of all the logistical shit that has to be done, and which I obsess over rather than do. But things are looking better in the apartment, which is really a cool place. We've got mega-high ceilings, hardwood floors, a view of the Chrysler building from the kitchen, visible pipes high up above... the place was just renovated. It used to be a Jewish hospital, so I'm probably lying in a room where more than a few poor schmucks bought the farm. Makes you think, doesn't it? Well, no, not really.

At my internship today I had to read a bunch of manuscript summaries and/or samples and decide whether or not to throw them out (meaning that a form rejection letter would be sent to the author) or kick them up a notch, as my old friend Emeril Lagasse might say if he worked at a literary agency. I had trouble with it, because while most of the proposals weren't stellar, I don't really trust my judgement on anything these days (you want flip-flopping? I'll show you flip-flopping). I kept putting letters aside to read later, but after some counsel from an assistant to an agent, I started throwing out letters that weren't grammatically sound (or letters that were not clearly written). It is true that if an author writes a muddled letter, there isn't too much hope for a book deal. But somehow I wouldn't be shocked to find out that I tossed out the next "Bartleby the Scrivener."

Jeezum Crow, I'm tired. The pleasures of this city of great possibility lie before me. I am wicked psyched to be here, even if I still complain a lot. Also, as expected, this blog is sort of devolving into "what happened to me lately" drivel. Sorry about that, I have to post more often and write stranger stuff.

By the way, big ups to the residents of apartment 513 for getting a wireless network, naming it after your apartment, and not bothering to password-protect it. You truly are the men/women now, dog.