Doors close, lights change, and a bell goes off

Normal is still not quite normal

Heartgirl went to work today, her first day back since the hurricane hit.

We’ve been giving to the Red Cross to assuage our survivor’s guilt. If you’d like to do the same, it’s as easy as texting “REDCROSS” to 90999 and you’ve paid back the aether just a little bit.

Here’s a joke to lighten the mood – I told it to you once, years ago:

A father, mother and son from the country goes to the city for the first time. They walk into a department store and are astounded by the amount and variety all the stuff. They marvel at the escalator and all the modern items they see. The mother goes off to look at clothes while the father and son continue staring at things. Presently, they come across an elevator and they watch an old woman walk into it. The doors close, lights change, and a few minutes later, a bell goes off and a beautiful young woman walks out. The father continues to stare ahead but says to his son: “Quick, get your mother.”

It’s not the best joke but it’s one of the few I know.

In any case, been slowly trying to get myself back to normal after the ACL surgery. Weaned myself off the painkillers I’ve been taking for my leg and have been trying to make it to make it to physical therapy as much as possible.

The object in the left in the picture below is actually not some disgusting sausage, it is, however, my disgusting sausage-like leg. The swelling, after two weeks, has gone down a lot but it’s not gone yet.

Knobby knees after ACL surgery

Moreover, if it looks like there’s no muscle there, you’re right. After an hour of hard working out once a day, my left leg still feels like mush. It’s amazing how quickly muscle atrophies without use.

So, I’ve been heading to this physical therapist near my house. It’s close but to get there you wait forever for this tiny elevator to bring you to the fourth floor. At my last session:

Physical Therapist: Let’s see your bend on your right leg. (measures) 145 degrees, that’s impressive.
Me: Oh, I didn’t know you were measuring it. I’m not actually trying to bend it. (bending good leg)
Her: 155 degrees. Wow. (measures left leg) 135 degrees. So, you’ve got a little work to do.
Me: What are the chances of me getting 155 on the left leg?

Her answer was that they have to make the new ACL tighter so that 155 is possible but potentially improbable.

Here’s the thing:

I’m not very strong. I’m not that accurate. I’m very clumsy. I don’t have much reach. I don’t have much stamina.

What I do have is speed. I’m very fast. I was very fast. Because I was flexible.

That was my one thing when it came to fencing, kickboxing, wrestling, etc.

Her: Are you ok? Are you in pain?
Me: (shaking head) Oh yeah. I just … ah …
Her: I’m sorry. Like I said, it’s possible still.

It’s silly, I know. I’m almost 40. I couldn’t expect to be flexible forever. And people all across the city have lost everything while I’ve just lost a little flexibility so I absolutely count myself amongst the very lucky.

So I’ll make this pity party brief (and then text more money to the Red Cross) by saying that it’s just that I’ve never really felt old. I joke about it a lot. But I’ve always felt young. And suddenly I’m very aware that I’m not.

Thought of that joke as I took the elevator down.

And the doors close, lights change, and a few minutes later, a bell goes off and an old man hobbles out.

Location: waiting for a friend
Mood: hard to describe
Music: I’m much too fast to take that test
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After marriage you smell better

Her: It’s so nice that the paper doesn’t fall behind the printer any more.
Me: That’s part of my job as a husband; to make sure things don’t annoy you as much.

Been noticing some slight post-marriage changes. For one thing, I smell great. Not that I smelled particularly bad pre-marriage, mind you, it’s just that before I just had soap; now I have choice of:

  • Regular scented soap
  • Antibacterial scented soap
  • Moisturizing scented soap
  • Body wash with exfoliants
  • Body wash without exfoliants
  • Anti-fritz shampoo (with accompanying conditioner)
  • Colour-fast shampoo (with accompanying conditioner)
  • Shine-enhancing shampoo (with accompanying conditioner)
  • Straightening shampoo (with accompanying conditioner)
There’s more but let’s not belabor the point. Did not know half these things existed.
Note that by mixing-and-matching the above, I can go a month without ever smelling the same twice. Not gonna lie, it’s pretty nice though there have been days when I smell like a bowla fruit.

As for her, my collection of the Cartoon History of the World does not seem to enriching her life (much). However, in addition to moving heavy objects and offing the occasional critter, I’ve been busy fixing things. So far, fixed a Roomba and a printer.

Feel the need now to stalk and kill something and then grill it.

Or just make more chili.

Location: off to roll
Mood: groggy
Music: Too low to find my way Too high to wonder why
YASYCTAI: Fix that other thingy. (60 mins/1 pt)



Location: my basement for the past six hours
Mood: wet
Music: she caused a scene then every head turned

328 Chauncey Street now – not my pic, not my (c)

328 Chauncey Street, home of Ralph and Alice Kramden and Edward and Trixie Norton - NOT MY COPYRIGHT

If you’ve never clicked on my music link before, y’should do it today for something pretty cool per Caffeineguy.


Still cleaning my cellar. Been weeks now. Feel like Sisyphus, cept I got a broom insteada a rock. Stupid broom…

Went to a wedding this past weekend. Someone spilled wine all over my suit. White wine, but still. Least the food was good.

Speaking of food, while at Columbia U., my fave joints were Ollie’s and The Mill. Right now, Ollie’s is a chaina Chinese restaurants while The Mill’s a Korean restaurant. But fifteen years ago, Ollie’s was an Italian joint with a sprinkling of Chinese food cause they had a Chinese chef. Similarly, the Mill was a Spanish joint with a Korean cook.

A boy could get some spaghetti and some Chinese dumplings at the former and tortillas and kimchi at the latter. Now they’re full-on Chinese and Korean joints. Yeah, there’re places like Marco Polo Cafe, with trendy Italian/Chinese fusion but I don’t want fusion.

I want authentic Italian spaghetti and authentic Chinese dumplings, yeah? Not the same.

Point is, all of the stuff I know, I mean I know, keeps fading on me. Jackie Gleason was the first when I was 14.

Funny story: did y’know the Honeymooner’s wife, Alice, spoke Chinese in real life? She and her sister were raised in China so it was their secret language. One spoke it to the other and the other understood.

In a way, that’s why the fading bothers me. Cause no one remembers Ollie’s when it was knife cool. Or what 328 Chauncy Street means. Or when MJ was still black and did the moonwalk for the first time on Motown 25.

Worry that I’m gonna run outta people to tell something to and have them understand.

Then I remember that I gotta finish sweeping the cellar and then I forget.

YASYCTAI: Alla the shows with the dumb husband and the smart wife started with the Honeymooners. Y’should watch it. (22 mins/0.5 pts)


This version of me

Sometimes think that I’ve become the very, very worst version of myself.

I’ve resolved my business issues but it’s a sad disappointment to discover you’re not quite as noble as you imagined you’d be.

So I met up with Hazel, Paul and Bryson and drank what was left of my self-respect.

Because of my insomnia, I grew up watching black & white films at 2AM. Jimmy Stewart was my favorite. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, The Philadelphia Story, It’s a Wonderful Life, etc.

Do you ever wake up and wonder what happened to all your youth and idealism?

Sometimes think that I’ve become the very, very worst version of myself.

Location: 11PM yest, asking for one more on the UWS
Mood: sotted
Music: Here’s coming a better version of me
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This time around


Camera Obscura in concert at the South Street Seaport


Camera Obscura – the drummer was smoking like a chimney.

Baltimore was nice. Coming home was nicer. This time around, there was silverware. Sorta.

Was in the Baltimore Penn Station and I remembered being there a year ago asking my brother what I should do when I got home. He reminded me of something:

You’re 33. How can someone that you’ve been with for four years define you? What’d you do before her?

Told him the same thing once before.

I’m troubled again, but this time, for totally different reasons.

Was going to make a peanut butter and marmalade sandwich but instead had a rendezvous with a single-barrel, seven-year rum. No oranges.

This week is going to be very unpleasant but I just told someone here that life has it’s highs and lows. Life’s like that.

I’m ready for some more highs.

Camera Obscura in concert at the South Street Seaport

Location: 9PM yest, Freehold NJ, hearing a sad story
Mood: troubled
Music: I’m a stupid little thing


Always Dreaming

I dream a lot, but I’m not a very good sleeper


But I don’t want to go among mad people, Alice remarked.
Oh, you can’t help that, said the Cat, we’re all mad here. I’m mad, you’re mad.
How do you know I’m mad? said Alice.
You must be, said the Cat, or you wouldn’t have come here.

Sometimes I have nice dreams.

Unfortunately, it’s rare because of my insomnia – and when I’m awake, I feel like I’m sleepwalking. But I daydream a lot.

And sometimes, my daydreams are just as real and just as nice when I’m up as when I sleep. I spend a lot of time in my head, you see.

An ex once told me that when she and I lived in the same neighborhood, she used to walk to my building, sit on my stoop, and whisper, Come out, come out…let’s have some fun.

The times I did randomly come out, she thought she had magic.

In my head, she doesn’t hate me, and I don’t hate myself, for how I treated her.

And, in my head, my other ex is wrong and my insides do match my outsides.

But you can never change what another person does or thinks. Only yourself. I know that.

Still, being ambulatory for 18 hours a day means that I spend a lot of time there. In my head, I mean.

I know, I know – what if I get stuck there? I suppose large polite men in clean white coats will take me away. Funny, sometimes I think I’m just one more sleepless night away from that. I’ve been up for…I don’t know how long now…

Hey, you’d visit me, yeah?

Shake your head with that, “Oh, so sad, he had so much promise,” look on your face before you shuffle off?

But sometimes I wonder, which way is worse.

Because, you see, in my head, I’m quite happy.

Michel Gondry said, I dream a lot, but I’m not a very good sleeper.

I love that. The knowing that it’s not just me.

Come out, come out…let’s have some fun…

Location: physically, an ugly hotel bed in 14202, mentally…
Mood: awake
Music: one more, you’re nuts