August 27, 2005

Abandoned Factory

Asher came to town for two seconds and in those two seconds I ditched work so we could tromp out to the abandoned factory in Yonkers. It was Asher, Jason, and me. We brought various recording devices to capture this momentous and historic moment in its entirety, but I fucked up and didn’t charge the camera all the way.

It was a good adventure anyway.

We spent the whole while trying to get to the smoke stacks. We got inside them the last time, but now we couldn’t figure out how. We climbed up to the roof and saw some little middle school girls with big teeth and flip flops wandering around among the broken glass and twisted metal. We had just smoke a joint and were giggly as hell, so it was real difficult to hide from them, Asher throwing pebbles every now and then to make them look around confused. We’d duck down quick, stifle our giggles then look up to see them try to figure out where the rocks were falling from. Finally we let them see us, but instantly regretted it because it would have been great to haunt them the whole time.

They were annoying little kids, so we ignored them when they tried to talk to us and instead balanced along and did our perfect and graceful high wire act along the catwalks and steel support beams. The cool kids—that was us.

Finally we found the stairs that lead us to the smoke stacks. Inside those huge brick columns is what I imagine it’s like inside a crematorium. A round, hollow dungeon of brick, miles to the little window open to the sky up top, and exed over with a cold metal grate.

Posted by The Lady at 11:18 PM

August 19, 2005

Into the woods

Last weekend I went camping with my dad. It was a much needed relief from the city; in fact I already wish I was going back again this weekend. When I mentioned the trip to people they said “oh, so you get along well with your dad.” To which I was compelled to shout “no!” But then I thought about it and I guess I that when we’re camping we do get along pretty well.

In the woods he’s in his element. He becomes able and sure and even jubilant, so different from the confused old curmudgeon he is when he tries to visit me in the city. He came to see me a few months ago and when I told him he couldn’t stay with me because I’d just moved in with new roommates I’d never met before, he insisted on parking his van outside the apartment and sleeping in it, coming upstairs to shower, shave, and make coffee in the morning. I was irate. It’s not like he’s poor, the man can afford a hotel just fine.

That’s when we decided that the next time we met up it should be in the woods. I took the Metro North out to Beacon and then we drove to a camping ground in the Catskill State Park. The campsite was called Beaverkill (kill meaning river, not death) and we did see one beaver, but no chipmunks. We also heard a turkey in the woods, but we didn’t see it. It rained a bit, but we did ok.

When it was too wet to start our camp fire my dad declared a beer party in the van. So, we sat in the back and poured cups from the two big jugs of Ale he’d brought from Massachusetts. After a while the rain cleared and we took our newpaper and soggy sticks and went to start a fire. I got one going fast and it was high impressive, but then all the newspapers and little sticks burnt away and it died. My dad started over, building one bit by bit, small but steady and eventually the big logs lit and we knew we were all set. We roasted wurst and I made smores and I got along well with my old dad.

Posted by The Lady at 8:47 PM

August 5, 2005

Rotten Mouth

I went to the dentist today. In two weeks my mouth will no longer be a fillings-virgin. I have two cavities. Two! I’ve always been blessed with perfect teeth. I’ve never had a cavity in my life. They’re minor little guys, but they’ve got to be dealt with nonetheless. The dentist assured me that he’d fill them in white and no one would ever know, but I was still disappointed. My record has been tainted.

The first dental procedure I’ve ever undergone was last March when I had a wisdom tooth taken out. At the time I was going to this kind of seedy dentist way downtown. The office was crumbly and not very clean looking. There was a television up above the chair, so I was watching Clueless while they pulled my tooth. I will now forever associate that movie with a molar being wretched out of my gum. I was able to bargain the dentist down from $150 to $100 if the pulling when smoothly. He had some guy with him who he was training—as if I was at a hair cutting school or something. I guess that whole barber-dentist connection hasn’t totally died. They gave me local anesthesia, made a minor incision and then pulled like crazy. I felt all this intense pressure in my head and then—POP—out it came. It all went smoothly and I didn’t even need the pain killers, but the whole hair cutting school association was unsettling, so I decided to switch dentists.

Today I went to a place on 12th and Waverly. It was the utter opposite of the seedy downtown dentist. The office was totally pristine and modern looking.

This dentist’s office was all about the excessive use of technology. Instead of Clueless showing on the ceiling tv they had computers that displayed my x-ray and a little camera shaped like an electric toothbrush, so they could show me those mean little cavities up on the big screen.

While I waited the hygienist played me little videos explaining how to brush and floss. They were modern versions of those ‘50s hygiene films with a voice over explaining things and some dorky guy demonstrating the intricacies of brushing. As the voice over said, “Always brush after breakfast and before bed” the dorky actor looked at his watch in an exaggerated way and picked up his brush. As stupid as the video was, I did learn a few things. For one, they said to always use a soft brush. Apparently anything else is too hard and will fuck up your gums. They also showed how carefully and systematically you should get every tooth. When I got home I immediately tried out my complimentary brush. I realized I really haven’t been reaching those top back molars where the cavities are. They’ve been completely neglected! Heartbreaking.

The dentist was a very charming fellow who’s sexual orientation eluded me. His parents came here from Portugal, where his mom didn’t get good dental care and most of her teeth rotted out. I thought perhaps this is what inspired him to go into dentistry, but it was actually that all his friends were going to med school and he had to keep up somehow. I told him that I’m a quarter Portuguese and told me he wasn’t surprised because I look very Mediterranean. He is the only person on earth who has ever thought such a thing, but since he is Portuguese I have decided that he is right. He also told me that I have fantastic teeth, and assured me that the cavities aren’t my fault. Sometimes you’re teeth have a funny shape, things get stuck there and you get a cavity. He confided in me that he doesn’t floss that often and it’s not as big a deal as everyone makes it out to be-news which I found very reassuring, since the flossing video made me want to puke. Sticking a string up under your gum is just nasty.

Posted by The Lady at 10:54 PM

August 3, 2005

I know why the cubed bird sings

Well, we were told today that come September 1st we will be blocked from checking non-company email at work. It’s times like these that I feel like a sad little Oompa Loompa and I wonder when I will give up on all this ladder-climbing-making-a-living-business and do something useful.

I went to a little seminar thing over at the 826 Superhero store a while back. Sort of a cheesy thing to do, but I have a cheesy little crush on Dave Eggers and he was going to be there. It was about how to write and publish a novel. The whole second half about publishing was useless for me and the writing part turned out to be something that’s hard to explain. Plus the panel didn’t seem to be too varied in their circumstances. When they started writing they all either passionately hated their lives and quit their jobs to run off to a writer’s colony or they had gone to grad school. The only one who’d ever had a real job while writing was Jonathan Lethem who worked in a bookstore while he wrote on of his first books. He said that while he did this he thought about nothing but the novel, he would scribble away during his 30 minute lunch break and write as soon as he got home.

Needless to say everyone in the audience left feeling defeated.

I thought about it for a while afterward though. There are plenty of people who work and write. It’s not about whether you have a job—it’s about boldness. You have to be cocky and self assured enough to ramble on for two-hundred pages and think people will want to read it. It’s boldness and maybe being kind of obsessive. I keep hoping that maybe being broke and ruled over like a high schooler will make me bold and obsessive. It hasn’t quite come to that yet, so far I’m still just looking forward to my raise.

Posted by The Lady at 8:04 PM | Comments (1)