Monday, August 21, 2006

Sunday, August 13, 2006


I ventured out to Brooklyn Saturday evening for another Rocketship party. It's always a cool scene, but I don't know many people there and always feel awkward. I paid for my selections (a much smaller haul than usual) and made my way over to my old house to visit Jan.

As I was walking, I heard a guy say, "hey man, nice ponytail!"

I turned to the evidently homeless man and said, "thank you."

He asked if I had caught the game (he was wearing a Yankees cap). I told him I hadn't. He asked for some change, and I gave him a couple of bucks. He asked which way I was walking and I gestured towards 4th Ave. He asked if he could walk & talk with me for a while, and I quickly said, "of course!"

Richard introduced himself and we shook hands. Short and skinny, with a small bag on his back, containing his only change of clothes, we walked and he told his story.

He's 47 years old. The patchiness of his beard matches the bald spot growing on his head. Most of his family is dead. His ex wife and 25 year old son moved south. He stayed in New York to take care of his brother while he was dying of AIDS, who passed two years ago. He was in jail for two years for dealing drugs to support his family, and has been clean since.

He washes his clothes every couple of days, and tries to be presentable when looking for work. He carries a wash cloth & a bar of soap to stay clean. He sleeps out in the park near a college in the area.

Despite all of his hardships, he hasn't given up hope. He still has faith in god and his fellow man to help him out.

Most of all, Richard was thankful that I let him talk to me. He said it's been weeks since he'd had anyone to talk to.

I'm always glad to listen. I'm not great at the whole "speaking" thing. I stumble over words, and think before, during, and after speaking. I come up with a better phrasing halfway through a sentence. It's frustrating because I sound like an idiot. (How is that different from any other time?)

Richard asked how far I was going, and I said to the train station. He gave me directions, and then hugged me. "When I say 'holla,' you say 'holla back.'"


Holla back!

I hope I see him again.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Fed up.

The more I think about it, the more it makes sense.

When I'm at work in the evenings and have all printers running, there isn't much I can do until they are finished. So I hop online, check my email, read CBR, and relax.

The big boss stayed late one night so he could jerk off a client in the back room. He noticed my penchant for online socialization and had words with my supervisor. "Why am I paying him to use the internet?"

Hold on, asshole. If you don't like it when I don't have anything to do, I have a few options for you:

1) Fuck. Off.

2) Allow me to slap the shit out of you when you take an hour nap at your desk.

3) Stop browsing the internet for expensive watches, home theatre systems, and travel destinations.

4) Go do your fucking job, which includes getting more jobs for me to do.

5) Fuck. Off. Again.

Hey, I don't mind getting paid to do what I'm supposed to do. If I'm going to be that busy, great! That means the company is doing well, which is supposed to be reflected in my paycheck.

I've been given the directive to make it look like I'm busy.

I'm a terrible faker, so I refused. I flat out told my supervisor: "I'm not going to do it. It's completely stupid that I have to satisfy his ego and waste my time. It's monumentally retarded that I have to do that. He can see that there are no jobs in the Inbox. Those prints were huge, and needed to get done. Does he think I like staying until 1 AM with nothing to do but watch ink dry when I could be home drawing or at the gym?"

My supervisor said: "I know. You and I have an understanding. I know what's going on. But he doesn't."

I, for one, am completely sick of CIS - Corporate Induced Stupidity. More and more, I develop a problem with authoritah. I am tired of people in charge who do nothing. I am tired of people who complain about trivialities.


How many of you have visited the greatest comic shop in New York? I'm talking about Rocketship, of course. It's like a regular bookstore that specializes in comics. But here, the major comic companies take a back seat to more independant stuff. There is a ton of it out there, and it's all outselling superheros. The first time I went to Rocketship, I immediately thought, "we need one of these in Astoria." Proprietors Mary & Alex (the latter whom I speak to on CBR and hang out with when I can) have created a very successful business model. Their clientele contains all demographics. They've been in business for a year and are already looking towards expansion.

The comic shop here is a poorly lit hole, run by an unfriendly misogynist who often smokes in the store. It perpetuates the stereotype of comics being a Boys Only club.

A few months ago, I noticed a plot of prime retail space in my neighborhood. It's a large space, recently renovated, half of the walls are windows, so it gets plenty of light. It's right next to the train station (the hole comic shop is practically IN the train station, however).

The phrase "Rocketship Astoria" entered my head.

Since then, I've either told people about Rocketship, or took them there. Everyone has been impressed. Lynne thinks there should be a coffee shop/lounge section (or a separate-yet-connected entity). Francis agrees with Lynne, and wants to open a store like it in Albany.

I've been idly fantasizing about it. My friend Merey from CBR (and fellow Astorian) is excited about it and is willing to pitch in once in a while, and help with decoration. She also knows a bit about contracts and such. I know bugger-all about business, so I'm still a bit wary of doing something so drastic.

The whole thing about my boss being an egotistical fuckwit has now got me seriously considering openning up a shop out here.

I don't care about printing. I don't care about matching Pantone swatches.

I do care about comics. I do care about art.

It's about time I started doing something I cared about with my life.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Ha! It figures.

Lynne and I were walking around Saturday afternoon, and we came back to my place. Who should be out on her stoop, smoking at talking on her phone?

She saw us coming up the street, and scurried for cover like a cockroach when you turn on the light.

When we got inside, I went on a mini rant along these lines:

"Hi. You ditched ME, remember. I was the one you hurt. So when you see me coming down the street, you don't have to jump off the stoop and run inside to hide from me. Yeah, I was hurt, but I'm not angry about it. But your refusal to treat me like a human being really says a lot about you."

Lynne called her a coward and said good riddance.

And she's right, of course.

As per Alex's suggestion, we have to get Johnny to write a trashy song called Basement Bitch. He knew her, too, and it'd be pretty damn funny.