On The Out

Last night was probably my first real nyc night since being back. “Real” meaning it included all the key ingredients that normal nyc partiers take for granted. There was first and foremost the spending of ridiculous amounts of money. I’ll just blurt it out here: $55 not including subway rides and the bandaids that an emergency summer sandals situation required. Just so you know, this paid for only 4 drinks in the course of the night. The rest was car fare, door charges, and a priceless stop at the Brooklyn Diner for cheeseburgers and disco fries at 4am. (Damn that place is buzzing at 4). There was the stuffing of five people into the first car service, then later laying on a hood of a car in Williamsburg contemplating how to summon an open taxi. There were two very mellow brooklyn bars. At rubulad, where i hadn’t been in nearly two years, there was the hottest (not slang cool-hot, like crazy ass heat-hot), sweatiest, most stifling dance floor i’ve ever encountered. There was a packed roof dotted with acquaintances i hadn’t seen in pretty much exactly a year, and there was me trying to be jolly and witty and light, but not really remembering where i left off with most everyone. And then i think i got straight-dissed by an old friend, but i can’t really be sure. In the time of nearly a year all sorts of friend dynamics change. In addition to that, i have a crappy memory so it’s doubly hard to figure out exactly where everything and everyone is supposed to be these days.

There’s another party tonight where i expect to run into even more long-lost acquaintance-friend-types.. so who knows. It all does make me a little bit anxious. Speaking of long lost, in the past week i got 4 e-mails from long-lost friends and/or “things”, two of whom have just moved back to nyc after absences even longer than mine. It may be nice to compare notes, though i’m not sure either of them had lives as firmly entrenched here as i do (did?). In a way i’m still wandering in the desert when it comes to figuring out various social circles. I can only just let it all resolve itself though, so i’m not gonna sweat it all too much. All my sweat’s been earmarked for the heat anyway. Or for tennis, which is far and away the best part of life right now. Yesterday i had one of those games where i was totally “on” and kicking ass. It was too bad i wore out my partner after an hour and a half cause i could have played well into the night. But in nyc the night’s made for parties not tennis, isn’t it?



i can’t even think it’s so hot. I was looking forward to working at home today. I’ve been in the office all week and i wanted to hit some tennis balls this afternoon, make lunch, spend the day in my ratty tank top, and mop the kitchen. It started out crappy as i realized i left half my power source cord at the office yesterday, so i had to trek it up into manhattan anyway. i should have taken it as a sign and taken my laptop in and worked in the central AC. But i’m retarded and did not. Now i’m here at my ikea desk, which itself is starting to reach temperatures not recommended by the manufacturer. When all your furniture is hot to the touch, the apartment’s in serious trouble. I can’t really move from the 2′x2′ patch hit by my fan, so i can’t get up for a refill of ice tea or two aspirin which my brain keeps nudging me for.

I am also having a tremendously hard time starting my work which will involve some semi-complicated action scripting in flash. Actually it’s probably not complicated at all, but my flash days which were a pretty intense 3 years ago, used Flash 4 – which anyone worth their flas can tell you – is completely different from Flash 5 and Flash MX. Anyway i keep telling myself i’ll start right after i take some aspirin, which i’ll get up for right after i stop sweating. Sigh.

It already feels like the summer’s gone by too fast, and it barely just got here. Another case of me grasping on to ungraspable things. Again i’m failing to follow the dharma. I’m having a “thing” with my air conditioner which i’ll write about later and am trying to decide how long to spend in climate controlled Los Angeles, Calif. (i like that particular abv. of CA – it’s so 70s), two weeks or three. Also trying to make a final decision on a friend’s sister’s wedding in Kansas City, KS. I’ve never ben to the midwest before, and i’m pretty well intrigued. The farthest inside the US i’ve been is Denver on the west, and Philly on the east (not counting airport layovers of course).

I need a new bed, which also comes into play in the to-be-written air conditioner story, but i’m highly commitment phobic right now, and a bed seems like the ultimate in possession-commitment. It’s mostly non-transferable, non-transportable, but investing in a decent one can pretty well change your life. Hmm… No new bed for the moment. And i can’t imagine exercise in this soup outside, so i’m going to wimp out and cancel my tennis date. I’ve heard the crackle of thunder a few times in the last 10 minutes and i think i’m not alone in praying for rain.

Notes From Summer

It’s funny, in the middle of breezy walks home in Brooklyn, I’m finding myself missing Paris just a little bit. No one is surprised except for me. I honestly couldn’t see myself missing it when i was there. But i had plenty of time to take good hard looks around just in case. Sometimes i think i can predict the moments that i’ll later feel nostalgia for. To preempt it, or to moderate it maybe, when i recognize potential nostalgia moments in the making i try to look really really hard at what’s around me. Try to take big gulps of the scene. It never really works though. The pieces of memory that linger in my brain are always a haphazard jumble of things i’d never think twice about at the time. I tried once to sear the image of a certain boy sleeping next to me. He was sleeping soundly, and the room was a nice shade of sunrise, and all those other little things that set the mood were all perfect. It occurred to me that i’d probably want to conjure that morning up later so i tried to memorize everything about it. But now when i try to pull up the scene the thing i remember is all the effort i made looking. I remember clearly taking note of how his arms were resting, but i couldn’t picture it now at all. Instead i remember the toys in the shop window that day.

Anyway, i tried to catalogue the view west from the bridge over the Seine near my apartment on one of my last walks home. Can’t remember a thing from that day, but it was a route i walked often, so i can piece together things from other days. I remember this one certain feeling. The feeling after having walked around for a long enough time for my legs to be tired, collapsing in one of those plastic woven outdoor cafe chairs for coffee or wine. That wasn’t bad. I can’t decide if i miss my obsessive introspectiveness from that time. There’s definitely an introspective shaped hole in my psyche these days. But i can’t say it’s taking away from the overall Neille Global Happiness Quotient.

The Quotient is helped by being in an-ACed office today, one of the hottest soupiest stickiest days of the summer. Yesterday we tried to flee to the movies but it seemed like everything was sold out – obviously everyone had the same idea. We rented Far Away, So Close which took enormous amounts of concentration and a pause to brew a pot of coffee to keep the troops awake. In any case i have a real fondness for Peter Falk which i can’t explain at all. I also saw him on that IFC show, Dinner For Five, last week which only solidified this. Ordinarily my gut reaction to actors when supposedly “not acting” acting is blech. I think it’s their constant need to be the center of attention. But Dinner fir Five is fun because putting five attention-needers together isn’t annoying like one attention-needer, it’s all kinds of entertaining. Last week Peter Falk called Vince Vaughn a camera hog like 5 times, and lemme tell ya, Vince wasn’t taking it as a joke. Funny funny.

Speaking of camera hogs, much fun and a few good pictures at the Mermaid Parade on Saturday. I wasn’t in it, but darleen and i and a guy who was somewhere between Billy Bob Thornton and Hunter S. Thompson filled the role of obnoxious announcers on our little patch of parade route on the boardwalk. There’s nothing like screeching, “Yaaaaaayyy squids!” and then the giant squid turning back around to calmly explain, “No, we’re sea anemone.” And then in unison screaming, “Yaaaaaaayyy sea anemone!” And then screaming “Yaaaaayyy sea enema!” all day after that. Still laughing about that. The best thing about the mermaid parade, apart from all the sparkly stuff, is that you don’t really know where the parade ends and the crowd begins, though i hate to say the crowd on Surf avenue always seems harder to deal with than the year before. That or i’m getting more curmudgeonly than the year before. I did curse the ice cream truck music as it neared the 45 minute mark parked under my bedroom window the other day. That’s a bad sign.


There’s certainly enough in the news these days to keep a mind occupied. Maybe there is always enough in the news to keep a mind occupied, but working at home has me listening to NPR practically all day. I immediately got into it with my tennis partner Dennis yesterday afternoon about John Ashcroft and amazed myself at the number of dates and facts that appeared in my ordinarily not-full-hearted political discussions.

There’s the Anderson verdict. Not the sexiest news on the block, but i couldn’t help but be interested by the label “corrupt persuader”. That’s what sealed the deal for the jurors apparently. Andersen lawyer Nancy Temple was found to be the temptress leading the firm into the dark cavern of dishonesty. The words themselves have a biblical ring to them, don’t they? Wouldn’t they call Eve the corrupt persuader. Yeah so-and-so may have eaten the apple, so-and-so may have shredded documents, and so-and-so may have flat out lied to the SEC, but “wah wah, she maaade me do it.”

And then the huge wildfire in Colorado. Wildfires in the summer seemed to be seasonal normality when i was living in the southwest. One day driving by mountains that were a yellowed tangle of brush, a few months later they were a scorched black. And then maybe a year later they’re green and dotted with wildflowers. I’m thinking in particular of the Malibu fires a few years back, followed closely by El Nino rains. The whole process struck me as an amazing act of Mother Nature Knows Best. Not that i know anything about it. Or the immense fear that all the people who live around there must be feeling. Adding to the heart-wrenching is that the fire was started by a forest service employee burning a letter. What a miserable start. Not that there could be anything we might call a “good” start, but really. Sad. Really sad. In one of my stupider dramatic moments I set fire to a letter from an ex in a teeny 5′ by 7′ dorm room. The room filled with thick black smoke within seconds. I was freaking out while also laughing. I was thinking how pathetic it would be for me to burn down an entire dorm in the process of mending my broken heart. Thankfully half a glass of water averted disaster.

Otherwise, off the news topic, on The Brian Leher show yesterday was a guy who put together a book on good NYC quotes by mostly famous New Yorkers. He kept firing ‘em off (and they were all good), but one that stuck with me was, “If you’re anywhere else you’re out of town”.

Sweaty Sweaty

Here it is:











That’s the alpha and omega of my days at the moment. I like it generally. Things that have fallen by the wayside include reading, watching television, recreational drugs, meditation, parties, haircuts, barbecues, introspection, cleaning behind the stove. Some of these things are missed and may have to be put back into rotation, but not all.

Today i hit with Tomecki in the insane heat and humidity. It took me all of 5 minutes to be drenched in sweat. Luckily i’ve invested in this Champion® Evolution Power Tank that, with it’s unique Sensura® technology, scientifically sucks the sweat off my skin and deposits it on the outside layer of the tank. I end up looking like i just went swimming, but feel dry as a desert on the inside. Ok, not really dry as a desert, not at all, but i am really into the shirt. I’m wondering if i can get a whole summer wardrobe in it. And then when it dries i can trace the patterns that the salt deposits in my sweat make. Sexy.

I also commented to Tomecki that the perfect conclusion to an hour and a half of hitting/sweating would be going swimming. Unfortunately no pool, no ocean, no lake within scampering distance. If there were it might be too good though. Like summer camp. Like i’d never go back to the computer to fulfill the “Work Work Work” part of my day. It does make a girl start thinking about a life in the suburbs though. The part where in a couple of hours and one trip in the cimate-controlled Nissan Sentra you can play tennis, go swimming and pick up a Super Big Gulp. Admittedly these thoughts only creep in on those really hot summer days when being in the city feels more like karmic punishment than the usual eccentric blessing.

Somewhat suburban is that during our regular 10-11:30 hitting appointment, we share the park with a P.E. class from nearby Brooklyn Tech high school. The sulky kids in their blue and white P.E. uniforms bring back all sorts of high school memories. Though i can’t imagine working out in the absurd humidity and then going back to sit in classrooms all afternoon. Like all the old people say, “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.” I agree. Right now even the carrots are sweating.

Post Season Post Haste

The new freelance career is working out quite well so far. Except for the part that I haven’t gotten paid anything yet, but never mind that. The part about making up your own schedule simply rules. Why should the prime daylight hours be spent in front of the computer? No no no – prime daylight hours are for the park or playing tennis or seeing matinees or sleeping. Computer work hours are more in the way of 8 to midnight, and 9 to noon if I’m feeling sprightly.

In that vein, I’m offering up my myriad web skills at very reasonable hourly or per project rates. IA, content development, design, copy, production, I got it all folks. And I’m fast, cheap, and out of control. No lie.

I’m not all here at the moment as I’ve got one eye on the Lakers / Nets game. The Lakers are dominating, as they should be, but I’m hoping the Nets make a decent showing. Not cause I have any love for New Jersey, which I don’t really, but because Jason Kidd just seems like the nicest NBA player since, like, Magic. Nice like if you dropped your bag and everything spilled out on the sidewalk, he’s the guy who’s stop to help you put everything back in, and then crack a joke about how he was even clumsier the day before yesterday. But oh well, the Nets are getting creamed. And apropos of nothing, I admit it, I think Vin Diesel is hot.

The last game in the Lakers Kings series was a doozy. One of the announcers said when it went into overtime that he just didn’t want it to end. This is sort of a weird feeling to have in sports since the point is to win (or to want your team to win), and implicit in winning is the game being over. Is this an interesting issue to explore? Or is it totally worthless? I’m kind of on the fence about it. In any case the Lakers won in overtime and I went to bed all keyed up and happy. And it was a hell of a game.

It’s odd to be home in New York with no plans to move anywhere or even go anywhere in the near future. I was supposed to be in Paris this week but I had all sorts of plane ticket issues. The major one being that the return ticket I could afford, I could only buy once I was *in* Paris, and I just am not ready to tempt fate like that yet. Instead I’m here witnessing New York City make that fateful transformation from pretty little spring to no-joke summer. And it’s been no joke that we’ve been waiting for a thunderstorm to break the humidity for days and days now. I keep postponing tennis plans because of it, and then being peeved. And then sweating cause it’s so damn humid.

The Nets are starting to show some life again, and my post is showing none – so I suggest we all get back to what we were doing before. I was doing HTML and eating ice. Ice.. yummy ice.