A piece of home

Even dirt means something if it comes from home

Harold

When the Revolutionary War was over, George Washington vowed never to set foot again on British soil.

But by 1924, we were allies and a statue was given by us to the UK. To honor George’s request, the City of London put Virginia soil down where the statue stands so that he kept his promise.

Similarly, when Lafayette died in 1834, he was buried in Paris, but under US soil.

And here in New York City, one of the two main highways that encircle the island is built on debris from Bristol, England after the Nazi’s bombed that place.

There’s something about taking a bit of the landscape of some other land that was part of home. Even if it’s only dirt or rubble.

As I said in my last post, I said goodbye to an old friend. It’s a joke. Kinda.

See, I gave my plant Harold to my buddy Brandon that owns Evolution Muay Thai here in the city.

Harold came from a cutting of a plant that my mom brought decades ago from Taiwan to here. I took a cutting of that plant to my first apartment in NYC just off of Times Square.

Everywhere I moved, he came with me. And with every move, he got a little bigger.

But he just got too big for my small apartment. Brandon, who practically has his own nursery of plants, agreed to take him.

So in 9 degree weather, I bundled Harold up for the last time and brought him downtown.

Brandon: Man, the pictures didn’t do him justice.
Me: He’s a big boy.

He’s just a plant, I understand. But he’s a bit of my hometown and my parents’ hometown. I found myself more sentimental than I might’ve imagined I’d be as I took him on his last subway ride.

A short time later, I asked another buddy that works there,

Me: How’s Harold doing?
Cary: What is up with you and Harold!?
Me: He was my roommate for over 20 years.

Like I said, there’s something about having a piece of the place you call home.

But then again, we just need a little piece.

And so I took something from Harold before I sent him out into the world.

Harold Jr. (Jr.)

As a bit of comic relief, here’s the owner showing how to defend the jab – pay special attention to the quip he gives at 1:07, which is simultaneously brilliant, rude, and hilarious.

Location: in front of Harold Jr. (Jr.)
Mood: cold
Music: The earth that is the space between
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Fatty of my own

Maybe someday

Townhouse in the Upper West Side, NY

 

Walked down to Times Square from the UWS to catch the da Vinci exhibit.

That’s a whole entry there but just lemme say that: (a) there was a time when religion, science, and art went together and (b) it strikes me as really strange that the same country that gave us da Vinci gave us the people on the Jersey Shore.

Speaking of giving us people, Bryson came by with his fatty today and she was the cutest thing. Make’s me think about having a kid myself. Then again, can barely take care of George and Harold. Still, think all guys start thinking about cranking out a few rug rats roundabout this time.

As I told you before, Bryson’s no joke – took the bronze at the Pan-Americans. But something about a kid mellows a fella out.

Cooked him up some wings and we kicked back a beer as she drooled happily all over him.

Then had dinner with a buddy that owns this jaw-dropping 4,400 SF pad and four kids a few blocks from me.

It’s cool, seeing your friends become men.

Like I said, maybe I’ll get a fatty of my own some day.

Location: three blocks away
Mood: stuffed
Music: Sleep tonight And may your dreams Be realized

Derek

Location: home
Mood: sad
Music: And I’m asking the good Lord “why?” and sigh

(c) Derek Srisaranard

Somber day.

Found out through Benlbr that our friend Derek is in the hospital. Hit and run driver. From what I know, it’s touch and go; he’s not awake. It’s very scary. He was the stoner in our show, 72 to Canal.

I don’t know him that well but I like him; he’s young and talented. I hope very, very much that he gets a chance to be old and talented. I pray he gets that chance.

Like most people in NYC, I run into him in the life. When he first found out that I had taken up photography, he was like a kid in a pot-filled candystore. He’s such a good guy.

Wish I could say something profound but the words escape me at the moment.

I’ll tell my brother to let you know if anything happens to me. Cause you should know.

We’re friends, after all.

———-

With nods to Irnbruise, this guy is selling his entire life online. He’s going to walk out of his house with the clothes on his back and his wallet.

I can relate. Of course, I’d take Harold and Syd. No worries. I’ll tell if I’ve gone fishing.

I’d like to start over again where nobody knows me. Have all my stupid mistakes a million miles away. But we all got our baggage, yeah? Even if it’s only what we carry inside.

Yeah, I’m done, I’m good to go

I think we’re all looking for the things we can’t put into words

Evidently, Harold’s taken up smoking.

Y’know, you try to bring a houseplant up right, teach them the difference between right and wrong, and still…

———-

With nods to Rianessa and Constellajen for their emails and the Pretty Cake Decorator for all this cake/dough talk. And HEI.

Have you ever wanted, say, a donut? Like really wanted a donut? And you eat everything sweet in the house but nuthin hits the spot cause, even if you ate a Fondant au Chocolat from Le Cirque, you didn’t get what you really wanted?

So then you get dressed, shlepp out into the cold and feel ridiculous because you’re a 35 year-old dude out in Manhattan at 3AM looking for a whole wheat donut.

And when you arrive and they hand over that whole wheat donut, it’s like you found Mecca. You down that bad boy, sigh, and think, Oh yeah, I’m done. I’m good to go.

That’s my answer to all of you that keep asking me what I’m looking for. Something that I know I want but can’t put inna words. I’m looking for the SING – the one of the 533 that fits into that something I can’t put inna words.

No sweet lie, keep hoping that the Pretty Cake Decorator, or Heartgirl, or the Blue Eyed Girl, or someone ends up being her.

And Yes, I’d give it all up, the womanizing, the late nights, the randomness, like quicksilver on crack cause that’s all justa placeholder for what I know what I really want. Nuthin else’ll do, you see.

Every single time, I’m hoping that I can say, Yeah, I’m done, I’m good to go.

Man, I’m hungry.

No wonder Harold’s taken to smoking.

Location: 11PM yest, on my couch, talking to Constellajen
Mood: optimistic
Music: She said to come claim what was mine So down I fell

Uncool me

Location: my blue couch
Mood: throughly confused
Music: I think she’s leaving Ooh man she’s leaving

A few weeks back:

Her: Wait, you only have one bowl?

Me: (shrugging) I only have one me.

I don’t have an iPod – don’t have an “i” anything, in fact. Someday maybe, not now.

Almost all my music, DVDs, books, papers, works, I’ve digitized and put into a computer I built myself. I watch it all through either a TV I bought seven years ago or a projector I use for business.

Got alotta Valentino shirts and about eight custom-made suits but I bought ’em all at least a decade ago when I was young and stupid. Tee-shirts and Levi jeans for me.

Drama notwithstanding, I spend coin on:

I’m lucky because I’ve never been cool and I’m WAY too old to start now. Plus, I have zero need to impress anyone.

Where do you think the happiest place on earth is? It’s here. Not what you expect, huh? Happiness comes from community and purpose. Stuff cannot make you happy. Don’t be fooled by ad execs (I was one) – there’s no pill, shirt, shoes, phone, that will make you happy.

Working jobs you hate, to buy crap you don’t need, to impress those you don’t know – that’s just !#@$ nuts.

Connecting, man, that’s where it’s at. Ah, but there’s the rub. Another person cannot make you happy. But losing them can make you all sortsa bent outta shape.

Connecting. It’s harder than one might imagine:

Her: Can you not call me?

Me: Tonight or ever?

Her: (pause) Ever. (click)

Me: (pause) Well…that sounds about right. (sighing, putting down phone and turning to fish) Yes George, I know. It’s nonea my business. But still…

———-

20080424:09:30 Edit – The conversations I write of are all taken out of context on purpose. As a general rule, when I write of someone I date, please refrain from writing anything rude of them?

A Day in the Life

Was in the paper this past week and a HS friend recognized me and shot me an email. Then Paul and I grabbed a drink around then way with Stephen Phillips. And then I got home and spent the night talking to the Sexologist I met this past weekend. And I still need to come up with $26K.

NYC’s a funny place.

———-

Bedroom 7:00
Radio snaps on. McCain, Clinton, Obama. War. Housing market. Sigh. Six hours sleep. Very good. Situps (auf deutch) …48…49…50. Rub eyes. Check computer next to bed. Geek, me. Stretch. Stumble outta bed, stumble to kitchen.

Kitchen 7:08
Two cups coffee. Peanut butter & marmalade sandwich. Spoonful of ice cream. Protein shake. Gag.

Living Room 7:14
Push-ups (yung zhong wen)…48…49…50. 10 minutes of fencing. Sumbrada three, four & five, right handed. Double-handed. Left-handed. Espada y daga. Wonder why they never made a sequel to The Princess Bride.

Bathroom 7:35
Wash hands. Brush teeth. Consider combing hair. Don’t.

Living Room 7:38
Blue jeans. Black shirt. Grey socks. Good Morning America. Shut down computer. Pen. Wallet. Money. Mobile. Headset. Computer bag. Goodbye George, Goodbye Harold, and Goodbye Sydney.

Outside 8:00
Shut door. Lock gate.

Deep breath…

Blue skies, above. Concrete, below.

Troubles, behind (for now). Weekend Life, ahead.

Location: three hours ago, Dive 75
Mood: sotted
Music: I read the news today, oh boy

Pets, Pt. II

Being friends with an ex comes with its own special baggage

Think I’m pretty much just feeding the mice at this point. They even keep eating all the poison bait I put out, with no effect.

Mouse1: Look, I like that he leaves us food on these shiny wood and metal plates. But, #$@#! That green stuff gave me a @#$@#! stomachache.
Mouse2: Why do you have to curse so much?
Mouse1: I’ve become inured to it as the expressive vocabulary of my society. It’s neither indicative of a belief nor of a value system.
Mouse2: (…)
Mouse1: (sighing, shaking head) I know, we totally gotta get outta this #$@#$@ joint.

May take one of No. 6’s cats. Besides the mouse issue, I miss having a pet that doesn’t swim in its own waste.

Unfortunately, my last conversation with her was decidedly unpleasant. While I like the thought of having a cat that I’m used to, I’m worried it’s gonna come with baggage.

No more baggage for this bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, Asian boy, thanx.

Plus, I’ve never had a little kitten before; that might be kinda cool.

But we’ll see.

Wonder how Harold’s gonna take it.

Location: PM yest., 26th Precinct, writing a check
Mood: still sick
Music: After all the b__s__ I’ve heard It’s refreshing
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Finding out

Moving on from the breakup

That’s my houseplant, Harold. He keeps mostly to himself.

———-

Bought a new bed about four months ago.

Stopped making two cups of coffee every morning about three months ago.

Stopped thinking about her constantly about two months ago.

Last week we finally split up our phone plans (more on that later).

Just bought new linens and sheets.

I’m moving on.

But her shelves are still bare. Her side of the medicine cabinet is still empty. The spot where her desk used to be is still open.

The thing is, they’re not empty for her.

Tuesday night, I gave in and called one of those women I said I wouldn’t. Something about the weather I guess. Last night, we met up and were out for eight hours in the first real NYC snow of the year. Laughed harder than I have in months.

Maybe nothing.

Maybe something.

Who knows?

Let’s find out.

Location: @3:03 AM, hopping a cab on 9th St & 3rd Ave.
Mood: Working
Music: in the faces you see, you’ll see just who you’ve been

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Peace, Hope and Harold

Good people make all the difference

I’m still excited about 2007, it’s only a few days old and I’m hopeful for the future for two reasons.

Reason One
So the big thing in NYC is this 50 year-old guy, Wesley Autry, jumps onto the train tracks to save the life of a kid he doesn’t know. The train rolls over both of them and his two daughters, four and six, are sure he’s dead. But it turns out, Autry pushed himself and this guy into this pit full of sewage as the train rolled over both of them. They’re both fine.

Still believe that people as a whole are a bunch of selfish scumbags. I should know, I’m one of them. That’s why when something like this happens, an entire jaded city of 11 million plus takes note.

They just re-did the Milgram experiments and the results were the same. What a freaking disappointment. But you’ve got singular people like Autrey who, when asked why he did what he did, shrugs and says, “I thought the guy needed help.”

Reason Two
I have a plant that my family brought over from Asia. His name is Harold (yes, I name my plants – trust me, that’s the least of my oddities).

He’s been with me for over a decade. When my ex moved in with me, her two cats used him like a #$@@# salad buffet so I put him outside where my upstairs neighbor promptly dropped buckets of cement on him.

Harold’s been a nasty mess for months now but this morning, I noticed that he was growing new shoots.

It’s beautiful outside right now.

Blue skies above; cold, clear air below.

I’m hopeful.

Location: @3:15, standing in line at the post
Mood: hopeful
Music: I’ve been searching for a long time, I still have hope, I’m gonna find my way home
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