Friday, May 30, 2008

5-29-08 Wherein I ask the eternal question, "Bitch, where's my money?"

Where does the money go?

Where does it go?

I put money into the bank and find out it's already spent, and I don't have anything to show for it.

What did the bank do with my money?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

5-28-08 And they Struck the Motherlode

Rehearsed at a loft in Williamsburg, and it was full of funky, interesting people doing their various artistic things. Knick-knacks and bricolage art all over the walls, multi-colored paintings of bulls and people, black and white photographs of cats and slightly out-of-focus women looking longingly into the distance, a chess set with shot glasses for pieces, crates and crates and crates full of old records, men and women walking the corridors in various states of dishevelment, old, enormous rusted tools laid out attractively on ramshackle wooden shelves, unmatched but beautiful old furniture placed all over: all indicators of the certain type of young, artistic, person who would naturally gravitate to Williamsburg in the early years of the 21st century.

We were given the tour of the (surprisingly large) space that had been subdivided into individual rooms, and came upon the (again, surprisingly large) kitchen area, the cavernous nature and wooden floors of which caused one of our number to remark, "It reminds me of a mining colony."

"Yeah," I replied, "a colony where they mine for cool."

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

5-27-08 Storm's coming

The sky glowers with heavy dark gray clouds, thick with rain and bruised-looking. The wind sifts through the leaves and bends the trees with heavy, fat fingers, and pushes bags full of garbage rolling along the street. I lean into the wind as I walk home from the subway, all thoughts of crime and the depression of my neighborhood blown away in the weather, happy with the feeling of being very small on a very big planet. Big weather reminds me that everything placed here by human hands, all this city and industry that we are so proud of, can be shaken off and reduced to rubble by the earth so much as twitching it's skin.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


This entire weekend, I've ridden my bicycle to rehearsal in Williamsburg. It's a fun little trip, almost 4 miles each way, mostly bike paths on the way, but requiring a little more skill and alertness on the way back, since the roads are all one way, and narrower on the way from Williamsburg to Crown Heights.

Today, I didn't take my bike, but instead rode the subway, since I knew I'd be coming home late, and was worried about the lateness of the hour, and the condition of the drivers on the road, this being Memorial Day and all.

Walking home from the subway, the parties spilled out onto the sidewalks and into the streets, and I wished I taken my bike instead; at least that way I could have ridden down the center of the road and avoided all the drunk people on the way home.

Monday, May 26, 2008

5-25-08 Your Guide to Firefighting

Walking home from dinner (where we ate all breakfast foods) in Park Slope, Katie and I watch a firetruck roll up to a building. A handful of firemen, all suited up with the tanks on their backs and the jackets and the helmets and everything, jump off the truck and begin to make their way over to the door in a desultory fashion, looking up at the building as they go, as if looking for something.

After watching them mill about listlessly for a few minutes, I say, "Your guide to fire fighting, number 1: when you arrive at the site of the fire, check and see if there are flames coming out of the building anywhere, say, through the windows and doors."

Katie chimes in, "Number two: double-check the address, just to make sure you're at the right place."

Sunday, May 25, 2008

5-24-08 Saturday Morning Brooklyn

Nothing says peaceful like a wealthy Orthodox Jewish neighborhood on a Saturday morning. I ride my bike past thoughtful looking, bearded men in furry hats that sit on top of their heads like enormous UFO's, their prayer shawls thrown over their shoulders, and I wonder at their lives.

No cars on the roads, the stoplights signalling the comings and goings of non-existent traffic, but I'm there, and I barely pay attention to the stoplights when there's a reason to, when I'm surrounded by vehicles whose only seeming wish (never mind the desires of their drivers) is to splatter me across the highway.

But at one stoplight, I pause, dismount, resting my feet on the pavement, thinking that if God and all the Jews in Williamsburg can stop for a whole day, I can do the same for thirty seconds.

Friday, May 23, 2008

5-23-08 Non-non-violence

As I walk through the long tunnel in the subway station this morning, a man wearing a blue hoodie and dark sunglasses walks against the stream of commuters walking towards Fifth Avenue.

As he passes by a man walking just in front of me, he throws his elbow out and knocks the guy sideways, and then just keeps walking, narrowly missing me, as well. The man he hit, an asian guy in a t-shirt, looks back, bewildered, before continuing on his way, and I feel sorry for him, and enraged at the asshole who hit him, to the point where I almost follow the son-of-a-bitch and knock him down, just to teach him a lesson.

Jack Kornfield, in his book A Path With Heart, suggests that many challenges in the personality will arise as one tries to calm the mind and ego, and selfishness and lust would have been my first guess for me, but the rage I've been dealing with lately has been a bit unexpected.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

5-22-08 What's Really the Matter

I've been distracted and a little depressed for the past few days.

I wake up most mornings recently at my place with a new, red, angry looking bug-bite on some part of my body, and sometimes many on many different parts of my body, which naturally led me to the hypothosis that I might have bed-bugs.

I washed all of my clothes and sheets and my futon cover in super-hot water, and then dried everything, and in the process I found one little fucking bed-bug (but we know that there's more than just one, right?), which I stabbed to death with a scissors before washing it down the bathroom sink.

He was dark brown and flat and roundish-shaped, with squirmy little legs, and even though I try to feel compassion for living things, bugs just tap right into that animal part of my brain that wants to kill, and I feel depressed because I know the kind of hassles that are going to go into fixing this, and the bites itch, which just bums me out even more

5-21-08 Picky, picky

Mary sits in front of our building in her usual spot, green jacket and brown hat. She greets me warmly as I come home from work.

"They finally kicked those nasty people out of the building," she says, "so if they rent them out on the second floor," (she means the apartments that have been newly vacated), "and fix this place up, it might get nicer, here."

When I begin to list some thoughts I have on things that might need fixing (a front door that locks, for example), she laughs and says, "oh, I don't think I want to be seen talking to you, you troublemaker, cuz they might evict me next!"

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

5-20-08 Super-size enthusiasm

The entire corner by my subway stop is cordoned off with "CAUTION" tape, and a hardhatted man with a jackhammer and a look of concentration on his face methodically tears up the sidewalk.

A girl and her little brother walk down the stairs to the subway, she in a plaid skirt and white shirt, typical school uniform, he in a blazer over white shirt and skewed tie, and he says, "They tore that building down."

"Yeah," she replies, "they tore McDonald's down."

He thinks about this as they walk through the underpass to the subway station before yelling, "I love McDonald's!"

5-19-08 Social Skills

I walk down to the G train at the Metropolitan Street station, through a long, wide hall above the platforms. A tall, lanky, bearded, vaguely homeless (shabby, but not so shabby that he might not just be an impoverished man and poor dresser with bad grooming habits) man walks down to the platform going out to Queens, and as he's about to go down the stairs, he belches.

This belch, it's a world-beater, a monster, a basso-profundo masterpiece of gastro-intestinal fortitude, literally echoing off the stone walls of the subway station. Humbled at this display, I walk downstairs to the Brooklyn side of the platform and see him across the tracks, and without breaking his stride or preparing, he lets loose another belch that resounds like the crack of doom, after which he smiles, almost proudly, and keeps walking to the end of the platform.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

5-18-08 It's Not OK

The cat complains as I come through the door. She stands in my path on the tile floor, all twelve inches of her, stares me dead in the eye, and states, in her clearest, loudest voice, precisely why she is upset with me.

Her eyes are green and slitted, and she does not hiss, because she is not angry. She is upset, because I have been gone two days, and she would like to tell me why it's not OK.

5-17-08 "Awesome!"

Riding bikes in the park on a gorgeous, blue-sky Saturday, we rest for a minute beside a sun-dappled lake speckled with swans and ducks.

"Sometimes, on days like this," I say, watching a rust and white colored dog named Rufus splash around scaring the ducks, "I love everybody so much I can't stand it."

"Well, on a day like this," Katie replies, "everyone has good intentions. Even the guy buying coke thinks to himself, 'Hey, it's a beautiful day, I'm gonna see my friend Dave and buy some coke. Awesome!'"

5-16-08 Mutt and Jeff

Rainy night, but Katie's friends from her last tour are in town, and we agree it's a good idea to see people, even if it is gross out. We end up at a bar near Union Square, where it is dark, small, and crowded with loud college kids drinking and wearing wigs(!). Eventually, folks show up, including six foot five inch John, and his five foot nothing girlfriend. I lean over to Katie, saying, "Holy shit, is that how we look?"

Thursday, May 15, 2008

5-15-08 Paranoia, Still

The guy who works behind the counter at the corner deli near my building stands outside, bluetooth headset in his ear, and sees me as I wait at the stoplight on my bike. He's a big dude, heavy, medium-height, middle-eastern, hair cropped close to his skull. "Hey, man, can I come along?" he jokes, straightfaced, pointing to my bike, and I joke back that he might not fit, but maybe I could carry him on my back, and we decide that him riding the crossbar would work best.

As I ride away, I feel vaugely uncomfortable without being exactly sure why, except knowing that, for whatever reason, I don't entirely trust him.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

5-14-08 Actually, That Was Me

I help one of my upstairs neighbors carry her (insane amount of) groceries upstairs, and as I'm about to go back into my apartment, I introduce myself. "I'm Reba," she says as we shake hands, "you live there all by yourself?"

Reba is short, dark skinned, heavy-set, with tidy, medium length dreads. I explain that my roommate and I keep opposite hours, since he's in a band, and she nods knowingly, saying, "I knew I heard somebody singing in there."

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

5-13-08 100th post!

We here at Four Every Day Enterprises, LLC pride ourselves on bringing you, the discriminating blog-ee, the finest in everyday experiences, tinged with just slightest soupcon of mysticism, with a delicate eye toward the transcendent brilliance that lies just beneath the surface of minutiae.

Having said that, we also realize that there may be a marked tendency to fall into the maudlin territory of Family Circus and Letters from Lake Woebegone if we aren't careful, just because the mundane whatnot of everyday life can be a little... well, mundane.

With that in mind, we bring you: Thoughts on the Toilet.

I'm pretty sure that, like most adults, I spend at least a few minutes every single day taking a crap, and yet for the life of me, I cannot really remember taking a crap even once in college, even though I'm sure I did, because I'd be dead right now if I hadn't.

Monday, May 12, 2008

5-11-08 BIKES!

Katie now has a bike. She calls him (of course it's a him) Gizmo. After she got off work today we rode through Prospect Park in the gathering dusk and ignored traffic lights all over Brooklyn until it was time to stop and get dinner. As we rolled through the park, she said, "this is the time of day when you were playing ball where, even though you could sort of see your opponents, if they threw the ball to you, it would hit you in the face."

Sunday, May 11, 2008

5-10-08 Dumbo is as Dumbo does

Katie and I wandered around Dumbo all day, following a sort of walking tour that we eventually abandoned to follow our whims and explore interesting looking streets. The park underneath Manhattan Bridge was full of people, since the sun was shining and the breeze blowing off the water was cool. A small girl, four or five years at the oldest, watched over by her daddy, was crawling on the rocks down by the waterside, and I was amazed, not at her bravery, but at his. She snaked across the rocks on all fours, occasionally standing up on very unsteady footing in her pink little shoes, wobbling there while she planned out her next move, and he calmly stood by and watched, just out of reach, letting her risk, and struggle, and almost fall, while still being close at hand, in case anything really dangerous went down.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

5-9-08 Small Victories

I leave work and head down into the bowels of Grand Central. The platform of the train I usually take is completely full, from side to side, with folks standing, waiting, all of them wearing that bored, exasperated, desperately hopeful look so characteristic of the commuting New Yorker.

I don't even bother to go down the stairs, instead grabbing a train over to Times Square and then an express down into Brooklyn. Sure enough, as soon as I get to a stop in Brooklyn, I hear that the train I would normally have taken is stalled somewhere in Manhattan, and across the platform, water pours down onto the track from the streets above.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

5-8-08 Man's Best Friend

The beggar sitting in front of Key Foods lifts up his white Chinese take-out container over his head as the two dogs wander by, tails wagging, noses aflare at the wonderful smells this morning's rain has liberated. The wealthy looking (but slumming it: nice sweats, silver hair in a fashionable short, spikey cut) woman walking the dogs laughs at the man's discomfort, thinking he's in on the joke (oh, those wacky dogs, what're you gonna do?). As soon as she is away, his face, obsequious before, contorts as he mocks her clueless laughter. Yeah, it's just two dogs endearingly fucking around to her, but to him, that might be the only food he gets today, man.

5-7-08 Nodding Off

On the train, I set the countdown timer on my phone to go off in 15 minutes. I know that I probably won't reach my stop by that time, and I need to catch some shut-eye. Two nights of restless sleep and my stamina is shot. I woke up every hour, on the hour, for an entire night.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

5-6-08 (supplemental)

A black man on the subway dressed in sweats and straight brimmed baseball cap wears a chain around his neck. On the chain are two real twenty dollar bills folded and knotted, each end of the bill waving like a wing, and seemingly daring anyone with the guts to try and take them. It's ballsy, and I can't help but stare a little.

Also, as much as people may hate the French, you gotta love how, when they're pissed about something, they fuckin' well do something.

5-6-08 Why I haven't Posted in a While

Well, I was going to make some kind of excuse, like maybe how the controversy over the place of blogging in journalism was causing me to question my motives for writing this, or how I was in the midst of some kind of crisis, or project, but really, who are we kidding?

The truth is, I have difficulty sustaining effort on long term projects and I am occasionally very lazy. To my loyal readers (all eight of you!) I am sincerely sorry, and promise I'll try to do better.

Seriously, though, it's not like those video-games are going to play themselves.