Down from your fences

Location: 19:14 yest, 462 Amsterdam Ave
Mood: pensive
Music: ain’t gettin no younger Your pain and your hunger, they’re drivin you

A metro station in Washington DC

: (bursts out laughing) Those old ladies back there said, There’s a sexy Asian guy!
Me: I am! (turning to her) Kidding – it’s only cause I’ve got such a lovely accessory…
Her: (beams)
Me: …my cool leather jacket.
Her: (laughs again) Yes, you’re really popular with the cougars.
Don’t think I’ve ever gone this long without a single client calling me. Man, it’s like death out there. Gotta tap into my last little bit of emergency coin but suppose this is emergency time.

Been keeping busy trying to get some some things settled, though. The thesis, paperwork, continuing education. Lotsa stuff. Personal stuff too – saw my cousins last night. We never hang out. No reason, just don’t. People think I eat a lot. These guys, these guys can pound. And they’re all normal looking.

Talked about our grandmother. They said, without trying to make me feel bad, that I should have seen her. Least said goodbye. Told them I couldn’t. They said my mom sat all by her lonesome at the funeral.

Somehow, knew that without them telling me that. Guess cause I do that too, sometimes.

Told them that I’m closer to 40 than I am to 30. And I’m still waiting for my real life to begin.

Man, how silly’s that?

YASYCTAI: See someone for dinner that you’ve been meaning to. (90 mins/2 pts)


Susie Brown’s between awake & dreams

Been thinking about names again. Y’ever notice that Susie Derkins‘ the only character in Calvin and Hobbes that has both a first name and a last name? Or that Charlie Brown’s always referred to by his full name?

Guess it’s cause, even if they didn’t think so, they were somebody to someone. The things you think about when you can’t sleep…

Met Heartgirl’s parents. Good people. And, unlike my my usual modus operandi, I neither broke anything nor fell down any stairs (see my 25 things from two years ago). Actually, that’s not true, I did actually stumble a bit down the stairs but no one heard or saw, so don’t think that counts.

Her: Do you want fruit, pie, or coffee?
Me: Yes, please.

Stairs – my mortal enemy. Sleep – my elusive drug.

The insomnia’s back. Been lying on my bed in that haze between awake and dreams.

Imagined I was chewing gum and it turned out to be an earplug. Imagined if I choked and died? How embarrassing – hope that someone’d cover for me.

Used to wonder if I were a main character or a bit-player.

Suppose we’re all a main character to someone. Man, despite the lack of sleep, starting to believe that it might almost matter.

Location: a brown leather sofa
Mood: beat
Music: So many dreams swinging out of the blue (Spotify)



I don’t have bad luck, just strange luck

New York Skyline

Was shopping recently with a friend when I got a surprise coupon – youdidn’t know how much off you got until you got up to the register. Between 5 and 50%. Just gave it to my friend since I’m sans scratch.

Her: Because I could only use one, I thought about your luck. With your luck, your coupon probably was really valuable since you gave away.
Me: And?
Her: 40% off – the guy at the counter hadn’t seen one before.
Me: (sighing) Of course not.

And my building was recently jacked. Not my pad, which is good, however, as condo president and onea the guys that runs the place, I’m out more coin than the guy that got robbed.

And I got hit with a yet another court hearing. Plus a bevy of other things you wouldn’t believe if I told you.

On the plus side, I’ve been working on this thesis thingy for the past 24 months – almost to the day. Finally figured out this problem that was bugging me for five months. Turned out to be a formatting error. A stupid formatting error. Wanted to both hit something and jump for joy when I found it.

I got the kinda luck where I spend a dollar to win a dollar.

Some people’re damned. Me? I swear I’m darned.

Location: 13:10 yest, getting choked on 28th
Mood: disappointed
Music: been wondering why It’s only me

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dating personal


Location: 11:06 yest, H&H; Bagels
Mood: really busy
Music: You can never get enough Enough of this stuff

NYC cityscape from the Hearst Building

Had a nice St. Valentine’s day with a quiet dinner. And Heartgirl demolishing me in Big Brain Academy.



A neighbor’s bumped into me and several women I’ve dated. It’s a running joke between us. Ran into her again over the weekend and I told her about Heartgirl.

Her: Four months? That’s a record for you!
Me: (laughing) I suppose. I guess I’m just too old for it now.

S’funny cause all of my college friends knew me as the serial monogamist. Friday, saw an old buddy that only knew me as the computer guy with all the suits yet another friend says he’s never seen me in anything but tee-shirts and jeans.

A guy I tangled with was surprised I had a college degree. A girl I tangoed with was surprised I had my quiet nights.

S’funny what people think we are and what we think we are. Me? I think I’m just a recovering dork that doesn’t mind so much any more – see below for proof.

BTW, since I’m not dating wildly any more, read my friend Trix’s blog for a woman’s perspective in NYC dating: Friday I’m in Love.

Trix: [Dating] hasn’t been as fun lately. I just got tired of it.
Me: It does get tiring – all the hellos and goodbyes

Her: …and the crazy.


YASYCTAI: What do you think you look like? (1 min /1 pt)

dating personal


Location: 13:00 yest, midtown having lunch w/my favorite person
Mood: anxious
Music: me ready for dem but dem no ready for me

NY Submission Shootout!

: I’ve got a lotta anxiety.

Me: You know what anxiety is? It’s the fear of the hypothetical. And the opposite of fear isn’t bravery – it’s preparedness.

Buddy of mine recently got his relationship walking papers – he was anxious about getting dumped and then anxious about dating again. Get dumped once or twice, it rocks you. Get and give walking papers a dozen times a month, doesn’t matter as much. Ask for a number twice a year and there’s an anxiety attached to it. Ask for a number four days a week, for a year, and it becomes a whole lotta nuthin.

Well, nuthin and a stack of paper scraps with funny little drawings on them.

You’ve seen street beef before, right? Two guys all up in each other’s grill? Lots of show and puffery. But the guys that truly know how to tangle don’t do that. They either walk away or shrug and swing.

The closest I got to street beef recently was maybe five years ago? I said, OK, let’s go. Then he flinched. Wimp. So I rolled my eyes and rolled home. Not that I can actually fight, mind you.

This past weekend
, was with some of the best submission guys in the city. Yeah, there were some meatheads but these guys were mostly pretty polite. When you got a room fulla well-trained brawlers, you sorta gotta be polite. Saw this one kid just a few pounds heavier than me just demolished a guy that outweighed him by 60 pounds and a foot of height. So impressed.

These guys’re prepared.

I’ve not been sleeping well again. Guess I got my own fear of the hypothetical. Was prepared for slowdowns; up until I got jacked. So I’ve been sending out the resume and calling up old contacts to prepare all over again.

Man, isn’t it always the punch you don’t see coming that gets you?

YASYCTAI: You should start preparing for the things you know’re coming. (time/1 pt)



Location: three hours ago, leaving office
Mood: drained
Music: got this crazy dream of stripping down to truth and bone

All the static electricity in my building somehow accumulates in my room. That’s cause about once an hour I’ll touch something in my room and a huge spark’ll jump from me to that thing.

My roommates must think it’s strange that I randomly scream out, “Dammit!” by the hour, on the hour from my room.


Speaking of roommates, might have a vacancy. I live in a 1,700 SF duplex and the room is a 500 SF room with private whirlpool bath, separate shower equipped with all the fixings and the best high pressure shower head and three six-foot closets. Email, please.


Speaking of static, got some from a friend over his buddy. Basically, buddy’s a jerk and my friend admits he’s a tool. In fact, the only good thing that can be said about him is that he’s entertaining. Like a clown. And that they’ve known each other for X amount of years.

I get both reasons – but it’s a poor excuse for poor character. Who’s got the time?

As a kid, heard that Nixon was playing golf with Nicklaus one day and missed a swing. So Nixon looks around and says something like, It’s just us, that didn’t count, yeah? Nicklaus thought it was weird but was like, Whatever. Years later, Nicklaus was watching TV when Watergate happened, and he said that he knew it was Nixon. He knew it. Cause he saw what Nixon’s character was.

(If you read me, you know I hate saying facts unless I can back it up, so the closest I could find to this story was this).

And that’s the thing. My buddy doesn’t see it. But I see it. People’s true character comes out in the little things. It’s how I knew my ex was cheating on me.

Got extra weight? Work out. Got no dough? Knuckle up and make some scratch. Got poor character? Oooooh…dude, sorry. There’s no cure for straight-up tool.

For serious; more than anything, feel pity for him. Cause there’s no cure for poor character and the Devil and I know this: y’can’t hide who you really are.

For better or for worse, we both know that we can’t help being the sum of our possible pasts. Which, is unfortunate, cause I’d like to leave a lot more of me behind me.


YASYCTAI: Remember when I said, Get ridda mosta your jerks? Y’really should. (time/3 pts)


What to do?

Location: 18:00 yest, getting my hair cut
Mood: anxious
Music: I could have been a sailor, could have been a cook

A metro station in Washington DC

: Sorry, I just started taking piano lessons, so I have to play these scales.
Me: (laughing) S’your house…

At the rents. Mom’s 60-something and learning to play the piano. My older brother just picked up the drums and base – he already plays the piano and guitar. We’re all geeky.

Music? Got a tin ear. But, been thinking of learning another language and/or study for the Zertifikat Deutsch exams. I should work on my Chinese but, let’s be honest: (a) my Chinese sucks and (b) it’d take a long time to learn to be literate. Think I could teach myself French in about a year and I could probably pass the German exams in about six-eight months. For some reason my tongue works well in German. Chinese and French? Not so much.

But, I’ve still gotta finish that damn thesis and also get my manuscript published. Plus I wanna wrestle again. It’s strange; sleeping better than I have in years but doing half the things.

The grass is always greener / das Gras ist immer grüner / 老婆是别人的靓; lǎo pó shì bié rén de liàng.

Yes, I had to look up the Chinese – see comment (a), supra.

Damn stupid grass.


Me: I’m not cold.
Her: Use this blanket.
Me: I’m not cold!
Her: (puts blanket on me) Use it!
Me: Mom, I’m not cold, I’m 36 this year, and I’m trying to balance spreadsheets for my 2008 business tax returns – do you mind?
Her: (sniffs) Whatever! I’m going to sleep.

Me: (ten minutes later – thinking) This is an awfully nice blanket…


If you roll, swing on by. I’m not good enough to compete – yet another thing I should be working on – but I’m gonna be there to help set up:

A metro station in Washington DC

YASYCTAI: Learn a language. Proficiency is 3,000 words. You can do that. (12 months/5 pts)


My Paradigm


A view of the 34th Street/Penn Subway Station
Me: Maybe I should get a real job. Grow up.
Rain: A 9-to-5? Man, that kinda stuff kills people like us. We’re not cut out for that.

Made a decision about 15 years ago; wanted to live like I was in college for as long as possible, meaning: wake up when I want, eat when I want, travel when I want, work when I had to.

So what, in essence, does a college student do?

Day 1: Student arrives and meets Teacher.

Days 2-119: Student accumulates and (hopefully) processes data. Student can:

  • Go to 1% of the classes.
  • Go to 74% of the classes.
  • Go to 100% of the classes.
  • Learn it on his own.
  • Any variation or combination of the above.

Whatever path he chooses is irrelevant. Days 1-119 do not count. Only Day 120 counts. Note: you will recall which path I chose. It’s why I was able to teach myself cooking, German, and all around geekiness. Self-education has it’s benefits. I digress.

Day 120: Student must distill all that data onto a piece of paper and use data to answer a question or set of questions. That paper can be:

  • Exam
  • Report
  • Painting
  • Whatever the teacher wants it to be.

In exchange for this piece of paper, the teacher hands back student a grade. The transaction’s complete.

Repeat as necessary.

That’s what I do. Cept insteada a student, it’s me; insteada a teacher, it’s a client, insteada a grade, it’s a check. A pretty pink, blue, green, or grey check.

I’m given or acquire data; I process said data; I distill said data to a piece of paper by answering a question or set of questions; I hand that paper to the client; the client hands me a check. A pretty pink, blue, green, or grey check.

Repeat as necessary.

Made enough scratch to buy my pad, my whip and my toys. But that was then. I’m 36 in two months. It’s 2009 already. Maybe I should grow up already.

Her: Hi. How are you?
Me: I’m good. Just trying to find a job. I figure it’s about time I had a real job.
Her: Having a job will be fun. You will make friends (pause) and you can bring your lunch.

Location: in front of this damn computer all day
Mood: pensive
Music: what’s right wakes me through the night