Friday, September 30, 2005

James Dean still makes five million dollars a year.

I’m having a hard time adjusting to my new work schedule. I went to buy photo paper today, and the stuff I use is impossible to find since the company is having trouble staying alive in this increasingly digital world. I need to get all those pictures together for Amy and Paul. I made a couple of prints I’m actually happy about. I was watching the Ric Ocasek show on the live stream from the club, and forgot to bid on this really neat underwater camera I saw on eBay. Someone told me they just did the last of their drugs, forever. Nobody likes telling a friend about another friend’s death. It’d be worse if you didn’t tell. It’s cold at night now, and I have not yet dug out a blanket. I need to call Rory back. It’s been about 12 years since I’ve called. Her number hasn't changed.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Be sure to write your social security number on your body with indelible ink.

Once given in to the idea of a new job possibility, the first thing in my head was that it would make a good addition to my obituary. It’s not as morbid a thought as it sounds. More like another thing to celebrate. I know it’s not because of the start of autumn. Soon, the air will turn colder, and it will trigger that Pavlovian response to get ready for a new school year. No matter that it’s been fifteen years, the chill and exhaust and smell of the honey roast nut carts that seemed to be everywhere when I first came here all bring me back to a time when things were all up in the air; the girl, the band, the career, the girl. I never want to be in a band, I never asked for this career, the girl got away, but I’m so much better now, and I can only look back at that kid and cringe. Somewhere there’s another me who stayed in the band, went for the solid future, and didn’t let the girl get away. Somewhere there’s another me who wrecked the music world, mugged your mom for drug money, and made the girl go away. Right here, there’s a kid who’s okay with where it all brought him, but who knows he has a lot of work to do, and a lot to learn. School is now in session.

Monday, September 19, 2005

At least it wasn’t another CMJ show.

I went in to work yesterday afternoon to look after a two hour photo shoot of the singer of STP, (I could swear that guy died years ago, but apparently I was wrong) and ended up working all night. A number of my coworkers have trouble using a calendar, so their incompetence means more money for me. (That’s good now because I quit one of my jobs. Hopefully that will mean more free time, and more free time hopefully means more pictures.) The show I ended up working last night was people reading things and comics they wrote. The headliner was Neil Gaiman. He read a short story that he completed writing around ten days ago. While he’s not an exceptional reader, the story was fantastic in every sense of the word.

Sunday, September 11, 2005


Black smoke streaming from right to left across the horizon as we silently took it in. The first words in my head were, “this changes everything.” Looking out my bathroom window trying to remember exactly where they used to stand. Holding up a photo I took out that window as a sort of "before and after." Realizing why it’s hard to find a radio station. We sat in the diner. We sat outside the diner. We just watched people. Very quiet people. No cars below 14th street. Our mayor telling us all to go out to dinner, and the restaurants being packed, spilling out into sidewalk seating. "Missing" posters everywhere, especially outside hospitals. An impromptu candle-lit memorial in Union Square that lasted weeks. The constant wail of sirens either nearby, or off in the distance. Taking attendance.
Never once considering leaving.

Saturday, September 10, 2005


Everyone needs to listen to This American Life this week.

Episode 296 on the website if you miss the broadcast.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

We’re just gonna stay down here and drink at the bar.

I hear the junkies outside whistling as a signal falling on deaf ears. Their man is passed out on his side, sleeping it off, whatever it is. Their banging on the door didn’t stir him any more than my footfalls inches from his head on my way up the stairs. Someone’s gonna get fired.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Map making.

I don’t work fridays now. To celebrate, I spent my first friday off sitting here listening to the radio. The news from the Gulf coast just kept pouring in. Relentless. Practically froze me in my tracks. Today, I had to take a nap. Felt sluggish. I think I’m experiencing typical signs of depression.
Spent a little time speaking with someone who made it out of New Orleans right before the storm hit. Looked surprisingly good for someone who hasn’t slept in a week. Even she admits it probably hasn’t all hit her yet. Lost everything except the clothes she was wearing, and whatever was in her handbag. Doesn’t expect to ever see anything she left behind in her ground floor apartment. She’s an artist. A painter. Scary to think she’s one of the lucky ones.
Please don’t just shrug it off. The news will soon move on to some trivial distraction, but refugees will slowly make their way all over the country, right into your back yard. Be ready with open arms. Make them all feel like the lucky ones.