Monday, July 31, 2006

I am Charlie Brown.

I've figured it out; it makes perfect sense. I've had my fill of Lucy van Pelts, always pulling the football away at the last second.

I need a Marcie. It's the glasses.

(No, she & Peppermint Patty aren't gay. Sheesh.)

Saturday, July 29, 2006

My Shitty Friday Night

This one's loaded with history; you might want to get something to eat. I'll wait.



Ready? Here we go:

A few years ago, my friend Chris was in a relationship with a rather sweet girl with a very peculiar name. She and her friends were into partying and getting wasted. Chris was...not.

The gals' friends weren't exactly supportive of the relationship; he was cramping their style, you see. After a while, she cheated on Chris, and they broke up.

These days, Chris is happily married with two adorable sons.

About two years ago, I went out on a spectacularly awkward date with a woman who's somewhat prominent in the local geek culture scene. She was very nice, but I had no idea what the hell I was doing (like that's changed). I came home that night with an "L" branded into my forehead. I've seen her about a few times since, and have taken each appearance as an omen of worse things to come. Nothing personal against her; like I said, she was very nice and respectful. It's just that when I DO see her, I can expect unrelated things to turn out badly.

A month ago, I was coming home late one night from work, around 1 AM. I heard a voice that wasn't coming from my MP3 player. I pulled out the earphones and turned onto my street. A girl was pacing out on the sidewalk, singing "Happy Birthday" very loudly and off-key into her friends' voice mail.

This level of sweetness made me crack a smile. She turned towards me, and I caught this dreadfully cute girls' eye. We kinda cracked up a bit, and I left her to her message, but not before overhearing her name.

A day later, I put up a Missed Connection ad on Craigslist. A week came and went, and my ad expired. A few days later I checked it again, and found that SHE placed an ad for me. I responded, and a week later we met up at the coffee shop a block away.

That day, I had been in Brooklyn helping my former land lady with her stoop sale. I got back to Astoria, picked up a peach rose, and got cleaned up. By this time, I had forgotten what she looked like - I wouldn't be able to recognize her. It was 1 AM, dark, she was carrying balloons, and the street lights were back-lighting her.

"I wonder if she's on MySpace."

Bingo. Oh yes, very cute. I scrolled down a little bit. "Smokes/Drinks: Yes/Yes."


I left the rose at home.

We met up at 8, and talked and laughed in the shop for about an hour. By this point, I realized I should have brought the rose anyway. There was a band warming up, and we were told that if we were going to stay, we'd have to pay a cover charge.

Pfft! Fuck that!

We walked home. During the conversation, she mentioned a friend with a peculiar name. I let it slide the first time. We arrived at our mutual stoops to find out: we're neighbors.

"Girl Next Door" indeed.

We talked for another hour, then her housemate had arrived. He needed to vent because of an argument with his live-in boyfriend. The three of us talked for a while, and found out that he and I went to the same art school.

They mentioned thier friend with the peculiar name again. Knowing full well that I'd regret it, I said, "Wait. [girls' peculiar name], kinda short, used to be a veggie, from Port Chester?"

"Yeah, we've been friends since I was 9. Wait, how did you know all that?"

"Holy Fuck. Chris' ex."

"You know LoParco?!"

"One of my best friends."

The conversation lasted well past midnight. We talked a little about music, and that one of her favorite bands was coming back to NYC for a show on the 28th (last night). Later on, she was trying to be quiet about it, but I overheard her mention to her housemate that her birthday was coming up soon. Eventually, the night had to end; she had to get up early for a double shift. Her housemate, an unwitting cock-blocker, finally left us alone. We hugged and went our separate ways. Before we went inside, she said, "Hey Jeff, drop me a line some time."

"Count on it."

Later that night, I went outside and put the rose on her outer gate for her to discover on her way to work. I woke up aroun 8:30 to turn off the A/C, and a few minutes later, I heard her laughter.

I called up Chris later on, because he simply HAD to know about this. We talked for a little while, and we both reached the same conclusion: people change. It's been a few years; who knows?

In subsequent emails, we talked about the band that was coming up, and I learned of her horribly delayed response time. In the mean time, I made a little Sifl & Olly birthday card (she's a big fan) and slipped it under her door. In the mean time, we planned on when to meet up for the concert, and I gave her my number so she could call me in case she couldn't find me.

Despite having a ton of work to do, I left the office early last night. I wandered around the Bowery Ballroom feeling like the creepy old guy in the club. Between sets of warmup acts (most of which sucked, by the way), I went all over the place looking for her. She hadn't given me her phone number, so I had no way of reaching her.

I typed into my phone, "Being stood up sucks."

The main attraction took the stage around midnight and put on a fantastic show. Really great, fun music, lots of energy, and audience participation. They got a new fan that night.

In case you didn't know, I'm not one for bars or clubs. I don't drink, the music is too's just not my scene. So I still felt awkward, standing way in the back, trying not to get crashed into while scanning the crowd for my so-called date.

The show finally ended around 1, and the crowd started to clear out. That's when I spotted the nice geeky woman I went out with two years ago. I did a double-take, laughed my ass off, and said, "Of course! How utterly proper."

I made one last trip around the club in search of the girl next door. I finally spotted her at the bar of the main floor, standing next to a guy who wasn't even half as shitfaced as she was. She was taking a sip of beer when I approached.

"Hey, I've been looking all over for you!"

She looked at me for a few moments. Her eyes were dull. She didn't recognize me, or remember my name.

"I'm waiting for the band to come back on stage."

She teetered.

"You're about to fall on your ass!"

"I've been smoking and drinking."


"I've been smoking and drinking."

I made eye contact with the guy standing at the bar with her. He seemed bored.

"Yeeaaahh. Look, I'm gonna get out of here."

I left her there with the choices she'd made.

I got a block or two away, and decided that I'd go back to work. The office was a 15 minute walk away, and I didn't want to waste my Saturday on any more printing.

I sat down and let it all hit me. What the fuck have I done to deserve this?

I let myself get lost in my work, and then took a cab home. I cleaned up, took a melatonin pill, and crashed at 4 AM.

I woke up feeling much better. Even though we're neighbors, I'll likely never see her again anyway, due to our odd schedules. No big loss.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Let there be music!

On the right, you'll see a few customized radio stations from Pandora/Music Genome Project.

Alas, they have no Classical music selections.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Immovable Object vs Irresistable Force

I'm pretty aware of my invisiblity. The evidence comes to light every so often.

"But Jeff," you say, "guys who are six feet tall and weigh over 200 pounds are pretty damned visible."

Tell that to the people who've hit me with their car. Tell that to the women that have slammed into me on the subway platform.

Shortly before I moved to Astoria, I was orienting myself on on the City Hall NRW subway station. A woman was jogging toward the exit a few feet from me. I turned around only to have her slam into me and drop her purse.

"Oh, sorry, I didn't see you!"

Uh huh.

Shortly after I moved to Astoria, an uncautious driver decided I needed to briefly rest my feet as I crossed 24th Street. Whilst seated on the hood of the gentleman's car, I shouted:


"Oh my god, are you okay?"

I'm fine, but when you see a stop sign, would you mind actually stopping?

Nearly a year later, it almost happened again, with the same guy, same car, same intersection. I spazzed out a bit. I shouted at him like a whacko for not paying attention.

And just this morning as I was coming home from work, I knocked a woman down. I was at the Times Square station, switching from the 1 to the N. On the level where musicians play and dancers get served, physics' ultimate showdown occurred.

Those of you who know me know that I walk at a fast pace, and that my feet are pretty firmly planted as I move.

I was wearing a bright red shirt; maybe she's red/green color blind?

Anyway, this rather pettite woman was running through the station and I saw her coming my way. As she got closer, I moved to one side to avoid the impending collision.

She moved in the same direction, and got knocked on her ass. I took a step back, apologized, and helped her up. She didn't even say anything to me. Aside from holding onto my arm for balance, she didn't acknowledge my existance.

She checked her iPod, and kept going.

Afterwards, I thought, "if you want me that badly, all you have to do is ask."

(I never think of this stuff when it happens. Curse my slow wit!)


On a side note, it feels good to get back to the gym after over a month.

It feels even better to be drawing again.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

It always comes back to Port Chester

Holy Fuck, it's a small world. My motto has been "show up, and see what happens." It's also known as "high hopes, zero expectations."

Yeah, that may not have worked out so well for Napoleon, but I'm not trying to conquer.

It certainly leads to interesting results, and there's no doubt I had a good time. Now, I just have to wait to see what happens.

But as I've said over & over again (and there are witnesses)...

Holy Fuck.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Pit of Ultimate Darkness

While this one has nothing to do with Simon & Hecubus, it's one of my favorite sketches.