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28 December 2008 @ 10:22 pm
In other food news, I tried the inside out burger at Plan B. It was disappointing: the cheese squirted out with the first bite. Cheese should always be on the outside - but the novelty is fulfilled.

I looked at someone's twitter online. It was terrifying. I would like to keep the internet at bay. When I get back from work I'm going on a fast. Forty-eight hours. Livejournal is the only internet I believe in (now).
28 December 2008 @ 07:01 pm
Its been a year since I've posted on this place. I promise to come back.

To start:

I had eggs with peas this morning. Good idea.

Edit: This means a non-dry omelette sprinkled with peas just before the last drops of good solidify. Peas are my long secret love. They have been hidden, even from me. I have strong memories of eating peas as a child, lovely peas, very sweet.

My grandmother told me a story about peas recently. She said there was a girl in her elementary school that nobody liked very much, though nobody disliked her much either. She would sit on her porch and when my grandmother passed by she would say "Would you like to come and share some peas with me?" And she would open a can of peas and heat them up and they would share some peas.

I have downloaded "Lolita" read by Jeremy Irons. This was a terrible idea. It makes me want to find pretentious English people with nasally voices and torture them until they sound like beasts. Jeremy Irons' voice is maybe too much Humbert.
04 December 2007 @ 03:53 pm
To read Henry Miller while being a suburban wunderkind perched on a suburban back porch, drinking coffee, eating cake, ah to be a bohemian. Memories of Paris. Being stupid again.

Finally, yesterday, after four months, they got back to me about my license renewal (school actually started in September...) only to inform me that they had lost the documents I sent them.

Apparently, the teacher who I filled in for for a semester at Tottenville High School shot her husband in his sleep. This, kids, is why its bad to be a teacher or a policeman (he was) in NYC. It drives you insane. I never her met her except in a sex dream in which I reluctantly made love to her obese self in a restored Federalist wooden boat.

Speaking of those boat things, I now work on the Scotia Sea, out of Philadelphia. It is probably the easiest job in the world. I work a week on (living on the boat) and a week off. My principle challenge is not watching too many bad DVDs, as we do an average of two to three hours work per day (whilst I am still getting paid for twelve hours). Mostly we bring oil and ship's stores out to foreign freighters. Sometimes we take their crews ashore. The company is an odd place because they were bought by the largest marine transportation company in the country and soon after that all the rivals of this larger company stopped doing business with its (now) subsidiary. On the bright side, I will eventually transfer to New York Harbor (ancestral homeland, higher pay, busier), and/or Alaska or Seattle.

I had originally worked in New York for the same company my great-grandfather and grandfather worked for, Great Lakes Dredge and Dock. It was dirty and I was constantly being woken up off-shift to go out on deck and be dirty. I made hella money because of over-time but the chief delight was the other deckhand, who I worked closely with. He had two cell phones. One for his personal use, and one for the police! He told me some great stories about going to jail-yes, child-rapists, even if they are 6'6" Hells Angels will be made to cry, have their clothes burned, etc, if they go to prison, marriage-he once burned all his wifes clothes in his fireplace which caused a ten foot high flame to shoot out the top and required the fire department to fill his living room with water, ash, and half-burn clothing, and how to treat "foreigners"-he had endless stories about his relationship with Slobodan Peepovitch, a dumb Croatian who he apparently convinced the Washington Monument was known as "Genocide Park," and was a tribute to John Wayne. The captain was also a sweet guy from Port Richmond with the heaviest New York accent I've ever heard not from a guido. He would wake up everyday and growl about his coffee and ask me questions about teaching and then growl some more in commisseration. Somehow, he knew my great-grandfather and said he was "a nice guy." He remembered the boat he had worked on.

Just so you know that Staten Island is not composed solely of guidos. This

here is people I know acting like people I know.
11 October 2007 @ 04:24 pm
Folks, I have about a zillion fishtanks complete with fish and various aquatic plants. They are going to be in a dumpster on October 20th. If you or someone you know (that is not flaky) would like them, let me know. The plants can (and have been for fifty years, so I know its true) be shipped in wet newspaper throughout the continental United States, if you're really keen on them and want to pay for the shipping. I would rather they didn't go to waste.
Recently read/watched/happened things:

state of things (obvious)
Italo Calvino (If On A Winter's Night A Traveler...)
J.G. Ballard ("Concentration City")
conversations with Tom Matthew about dystopian technological future,
The 400 Blows (platonic love, hands)
unlistened to voicemail from Steve

I asked Steve, the police officer, "Is the city fully...besieged?" I had to think about the word besieged before I used it. It was difficult to accept that it was the correct one.

"-Yes, there's no safe way out now."

I left him and wandered across the city to one of the defensive walls. Just piles of things and dirt stuffed between and on top of houses, thirty or forty feet high. It was a very large city. From the wall I could see far across it and it looked domestic and defenseless, familiar houses and buildings; garbage was uncollected and seemed to be discoloring what seemed so normal to me. Small groups of people milled pointlessly in the streets where there were very few cars.

Tom Bonelli came clambering down from the wall. We had a conversation which I can't remember. I wandered away again, alone.

I found Tom Matthew and James. We walked slowly and talked quietly with lots of silence. I told them we could not get out of the city anymore. That we would probably get caught if we tried. They were non-plussed. They seemed to have accepted this already.

"But" I said, "Bonelli has something that is worth getting out of the city."

"-What is that?"

"Some kind of engineer's documents."

I immediately regretted telling him what Bonelli had because I realized they would torture him if he were caught, and make him tell. I should have told him as little as possible.

"We should try and get out in the middle of the battle."

Tom walked beside me. I looked over and I saw that I was holding his hand. I was surprised that we were holding hands but I realized that it made sense considering all that was happening. I looked up at him and smiled, amused that what I was about to say was true.

"I guess we have to find Gandalf."
22 August 2007 @ 11:30 pm
I just watched "Communion" with my sister. It is pretty ridiculous. Christopher Walken is Whitley Streiber, the abductee. At the climax of the movie, he dresses up in a black suit with a funny hat and goes to see them. They dance for him, give him high-fives and then explain how he is a chosen one. I still have residual xenophobia when I'm in the deep dark night but I was absolutely non-plussed by the movie. Then I went on a communion website and read this little exchange:

Interviewer: The assumption that the visitors are "lifting" cigarettes doesn't imply that they're taking anything else, like food. In my opinion, their apparent activities are staged for the benefit of the witness. It's likely that their seeming preoccupation with earthly fixations is projected, and might not even have anything to do with material objects, per se. I think more in terms of holograms or induced perceptions.

Whitley Streiber: I halfway suspect that they smoke. I've gotten dozens of letters from people who smell cigarette smoke when they are around. If they do smoke, it is going to freak a lot of people out totally, including me. Can you imagine finally getting to go to the mothership and discovering that the place is full of cigarette smoke? That they smoke like coneheads and they don't care about cancer? It's a nightmare, I must admit. And surely only that!

I thought this was hilarious. Aliens stealing cigarettes! Then I remembered this weird experience I had where I drove down a deserted road in the middle of the woods recently and smoked a cigarette. I was kinda freaked out because it was pitch black and I felt sort of vulnerable with the window open. In the car, I started writing a story about an alien who comes out of the darkness, takes my cigarette, smokes it and leaves. I remember it as being very vivid and I liked it. Though I didn't get to finish it because I was creeped out. I looked at it later and thought "why the hell would I write a story about an alien smoking a cigarette? why would I think that a ridiculous idea like that would work?" I was temporarily chilled by this coincidence, and again a few minutes ago when the dvd player went on screensaver mode and turned the room black, but now I am ok.
18 August 2007 @ 12:23 am
I am waiting to hear back about a job working on a tugboat in Philadelphia-it will happen, they say, or something similar will happen. Its the union people saying this, dirty-minded people that talk to me about the blowjobs of Jersey girls as soon as I walk into the Union Hall, as I am now a member of the Longshoreman's Union(I will slash you with my hook!)/Seamen's Union/AFL-CIO.

But I'm more worried about my sister, who had an appendectomy last Saturday and is still in a lot of pain. I will probably have to sit with her for twelve hours in the emergency room tomorrow. I will be sticking around here until she's better. My mom is frazzled because...her father died of complications from an intestinal surgery just recently. But I'm sure she will be fine because she's eighteen, and healthy (yeah, my sister, not my mother). My brother is incommunicado for two weeks for his "indoctrination" to the maritime academy. He will be the only person I know whose college experience consists of waking up four days a week to be in his uniform in formation at seven a.m.

I had a dream last night that I was with a girl I used to date. She no longer speaks to me. That's what you get for trying to bribe a girl to your apartment with a bottle of Jameson. Even if they are alcoholics. And you were trying to make up for something you said about their eating disorder. And you wanted to show her your dog. Because she likes dogs.

We were with and her bandmates. We were in their apartment and we had a sort of fun wrestling match, her and I. I think she won. Then something happened that everyone liked me. A sort of universal revelation/validation. I don't remember what it was, of course, but it was something creative. Then I noticed that she had a cage with a harris hawk in it-I don't know why it was a harris hawk but it was (or at least I called it that-on looking at pictures, it appears to have been either a kestral of some kind or a peregrine falcon)-and the cage was too short so the hawk was on its side. Then there was a rabbit in the cage and the hawk and the rabbit were fighting. It was brutal with the rabbit having the hawk's head in its mouth and the hawk scraping and clawing the rabbit's face. I thought we should stop them, but she said she wanted them to be friends.

On waking up, I e-mailed her the dream with the additional comment "I thought you might want to know what my subconscious thinks of you." Then I went back to sleep. I intended it to be amusing but I think maybe I've inadvertantly insulted her yet again. I don't really care and am surprised that I dreamt about her but still, I hate to keep insulting people unnecessarily.

And yes my dreams are always pretty straight symbolic stories. I'm an open book to myself, evidently, and with a flair for fairy tale narratives.

I hope I like this boat thing. Its what my father does and nearly every male member of my family on both sides. My dad's dad was a lighthouse keeper, etc. while in the Coast Guard. His dad was a rum-runner during prohibition. Most likely, his "family" moved from Maryland to Staten Island in the 1800s as a result of being in the oyster trade.

My mom's dad did not like working on the ocean because he missed his dad a lot while he was a kid but he tried it out for a while and owned sailboats throughout his life. His father was an engineer on a boat-fulfilling the stereotype that all Norwegians are carpenters or sailors (is there something I'm missing?). When I went to Norway last month with my grandmother and uncle and cousin, we would introduce ourselves, to people who did not know us, first by saying we were relatives of Ule Sigvartsen. Him, they wouldn't know. We would have to call him by his nickname: Ule "Storm" and then they would understand. He got the name from his reputation for going out fishing in the middle of storms that would keep the other fisherman holed up in the fjiord. And everyone we met was either a carpenter or a fisherman-the older folk that is.

Genetics and family history is bullshit but there is something mystical about following footsteps that go so far back. Something unfamiliar to every other aspect of life. The irrational nature is probably the main feature of it. And traditions should only be thrown away with care. I am practicing my knots.

What do you think about ghosts?
What we're basically demonstrating is the unusual phonetic similarity between the Dutch language and our own.

Courtesy of the best radio station: http://www.wfmu.org/.
03 August 2007 @ 07:07 pm
These maps are just crazy:


and this

Current Mood: enthralled