Sunday, December 23, 2007

Have a happy whatever!

All right, kids. I'm out of here until Saturday evening. Wish me luck as I venture upstate to visit family in Bumblefuck.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Just wondering...

Does anyone have my Clerks dvd? I was just looking around and I noticed it wasn't there. I don't need it back right away or anything, I just wanted to know where it was.

What else is weird is that the X-Men 1 DVD is missing from its box. It's been years since I've even touched it, and was going to give it out anyway (I have the 2-disc 1.5 version as well), but missing just the disc? Very odd.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Bleh.

Haven't been to the gym in over a month. I've rediscovered my passion for pie & ice cream. Feeling lonely and antisocial at the same time. Again, I don't leave the house unless I have to.

Job search? What job search? Probably should get started on that.

The doctor has prescribed Zoloft. So far, no side effects. Two months until the effects kick in.

There's a few TV shows I've been checking out lately. Here's the good ones so far:

Life
Chuck
Pushing Daisies
Burn Notice

Monday, December 10, 2007

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Keeping Busy

What's a guy to do when he doesn't have a job and doesn't really need to get another one right away?

Fuckin' VEGETATE, that's what.

Although "fuck AND vegetate" has a nice ring to it.

I updated my resume, of course, and very quickly had a job lead. The interview was on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. The first person I spoke to was the freaking vice president of the company. Five minutes into it, he said, "I don't think this job is for you."

I readily agreed; they wanted more of a manager and less of a production artist. Then the person who arranged the interview talked with me some more, and gave me a few leads for agencies. I'll explore that in a few days.

That Monday, I had the first appointment with my new regular therapist. It went okay, I guess. I'm having a hard time keeping things straight in my head. Once I type it all out here, it sort of dissipates. I really should just give the doctor the link to this place. It'll probably be easier. He's decided to avoid medicating me for a while.

I spent a good portion of that first week off sorting through my crap and disposing of a lot if junk. There's still a little left to go, but it's manageable.

My parents came down for Thanksgiving/my 29th birthday.

(Sucksgiving & Thanksgiving on the same day? That sucks!)

They arrived a little after 12 PM that Thursday, bearing pie, cookies, cash, and a family heirloom that I didn't know we had:


This watch belonged to my Great-Grandfather Brady. Grandpa inherited it at some point, possibly before GG went nuts. Grandpa eventually gave it to my dad at a point where he was very proud of him. Dad said, "I've been meaning to give this to you for a while now..."

They survived the trip to Brooklyn for Thanksgiving dinner at my former landlady's house. On the way there, I gave them a brief tour of my former neighborhood.

Friday they got the tour of Astoria; specifically the park and the house Grandpa Brady grew up in. With Dad's busted knee, and Mom's anemia, it wasn't easy for them to get around. After the hour-long walk, they crashed on my bed. I ran over to the local Staples and used my birthday money to pick up some ink and paper to print out some of the pictures I'd taken.

I didn't have anything to do, and if I had, they were too beat to do anything. So we just lazed around a bit until dinner time.

It was a bitterly cold evening. On the way back to my house from the restaurant, there was a small group of boys in their early teens a half-block behind us. They were yelling such obscenities like "he sucked my giant dick!" or whatever. I told my parents to keep walking, and turned around. I walked past the boys, and turned again to follow them.

One of them looked back, and said something to his crewmate. He also looked back. They proceeded to shut the fuck up, and crossed the street. My parents watched the whole thing. I quickly caught up to them, and Dad asked, "what did you say to them?"

"Nothing. I didn't have to."

They got in the car and drove to the hotel. They went home early Saturday morning.

I spent the rest of the night preparing stuffing & pies for Lynne's annual "Saturday After Thanksgiving" party, at which a good time was had by all. Lynne got me the book Comics as Philosophy, which will probably end up on my Cartoonists' Syllabus.

I woke Sunday afternoon and started to work on a project Francis needed some help on. As of this writing, there's five things I have left to work on, but I'm waiting for a bit of art direction that was missing from the instructions.

My second therapy session was on Wednesday. I'm not quite as comfortable with him yet, but it's only a matter of time.

With almost everything else wrapped up, I spent Friday night trying to organize/bag/board the Fuckton of comics I've accumulated over the past two years, and continued to weed out the comics I don't want anymore. I've started to make the transition from long to short comic boxes, to make things easier the next time I move. It seems I need 15 more short boxes to get the job done.

So far, I have seven long boxes full of comics I don't want. I originally intended to give them away, but I'll try selling them on eBay first. I just need to sort out all of those first, before I start taking pics and all that nonsense.

My mood lately is a strange combination of unrestrained apathy, irritability, yearning for solitude, and lonliness. How to describe that...

"I don't care, don't be stupid, leave me alone, please stay."

It's all right; it doesn't make any sense to me, either.

Oh, and I've put on more than a few pounds. Yikes. I need to get my expanding ass to the gym.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Stop me if you've heard this one before...

An atheist and a Greek Orthodox priest walk into a gym and talk about rap music and depression.

I've had more surreal moments, but this is certainly in the top 15.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Laid off.

Not quite the way I wanted to get laid, but I suppose it will do.

Some of you know that I've seen this coming down the road a while. Production has moved to Jersey, and I ain't commuting that far.

I'll get my resume in order this week, and work on a portfolio.

I have enough money to last until the end of the year (decent severance package). I've been encouraged to see what's up with the company in January, as they might need me by then.

I'd prefer to have another, better paying job by then.

Friday, October 26, 2007

I have been a bad blogger.

Sorry.

Ain't a whole lot going on. I don't feel all that great. I don't leave the house unless I have to. I don't do anything for fun. I'm avoiding my friends. I haven't done anything creative.

About two weeks ago, my mood plummeted. I don't know why.

I've taken care of my blood work & fee scale at the hospital. I should be in a program pretty soon.

In the mean time, go here. I don't know when Part 2 will be up. I'd have to start it, first.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Sheriff's Public Service Announcement


Online Videos by Veoh.com

Totally New Concept!

"Getting your money's worth."

I pay $78/month for a gym membership.

Until this past Monday, I hadn't gone in six weeks. And another six weeks before that incident.

I've gone every night, Monday through Thursday. I'm going again tonight, and hopefully tomorrow night.

Each session lasts about two or three hours. First, an hour on the elliptical machine. Then a 15 minute break to stretch out the crick in my neck that develops every damn time. Then various weight lifting, with small breaks in between. I wrap it up with 10-30 minutes of deep stretching.

No more being a fat-ass for me, thanks.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Joe Zawinul, RIP

http://www.zawinulmusic.com/

Joe wrote my favorite song ever, the one I've woken up to every weekday morning for the past eight years.

In a Silent Way, with Miles Davis. I listen to that album whenever I need to relax (which is often) or day dream. He helped usher in jazz fusion.

I was very lucky to see Joe perform with his Syndicate at Lincoln Center last year.

NPR Article about Joe's history.

Last month, we lost pioneering drummer Max Roach.

It hasn't been a good year for jazz masters.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Just checking in...

I went upstate this weekend and hung out with some friends and their 3 young sons. It was good to get away from the city.

We haven't heard or seen the landlord since the incident, which is fine by us.

Work has been insane this week. I'm already exhausted. I'll try to have more to say this weekend.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Even more drama...

And I fucking hate drama.

Went to the hospital again on Monday to check in with the psychs, and they continued my prescription for Wellbutrin, as I'm not having any side effects. I left & wandered aimlessly around the city for a while, and eventually got something to eat. Around 6, I called work and asked if they needed me, because I really wanted to go back home. Unfortunately, they did.

Work has sucked all week. Previous weeks had been dead. Monday, the floodgates of stupidity opened. Two very large jobs had to be reprinted. One because a client doesn't understand how to size a file properly (what the fuck does "pixel size" mean when you print in inches? NOTHING, that's what.). The other because they didn't do any proofreading until AFTER we got approval to print. I've stayed late every night except Friday night, because I needed to pick up groceries before the store closed.

But life at home was much more exciting. I woke up Wednesday morning to the sound of the carbon monoxide detector going off. Since CO is a poison, I called 911 and waited outside for the fire department. Two trucks came over, they went through the house...to find my landlord cooking some tomatoes on an antiquated stove in the basement (I'm on the second floor).

He doesn't live here! WTF is he doing cooking down there?

*sigh*

He's always bitching about how we MIGHT be the cause of some problem or another (like R's girlfriend is a stranger and might be a serial murderer, don't you watch the news, the world is going to hell, you can't trust anyone, blah blah blah), and it's never true. Now something happens and it's his damn fault.

I wasn't allowed back inside until the CO went down to safe levels. We had all our windows open anyway. The CO accumulated right in front of the door to the apartment, which is where the detector is. The landlord's wife thanked me for calling the fire department.

Thursday morning, he ambushed my other roommate on her way to work. She was late, and didn't discuss it. She left, which I sure as fuck don't blame her for.

Since he was unable to yell at her, he leaned on the door buzzer to wake me up & yell at me.

He says the FD caused him a lot of problems. He said they had to break open a window in the basement. He said we should have called him or ConEd.

Yeah, I'm sorry about that. Maybe you shouldn't be cooking your tomatoes on an antiquated stove in a house you don't even live in.

In his broken English, he reiterated that we're supposed to call him & ConEd.

I tell him that the alarm itself says, "Call 911 or the Fire Department." nyc.gov says the same thing. What will you be able to do if we all pass out/die from CO poisoning? I'm trying to protect everyone, and you have a problem with this?

He started ranting about the tomatoes and his reputation, and I interrupted.

You know what? I'm sick of this. Every little thing we do, you freak out over. If we have guests, you assume they're serial killers, and we're trying to move them in. If we have a leaky faucet, you assume we're breaking the pipes with a sledgehammer. The ONE TIME something really dangerous happens, and it's your fault. A CO detector doesn't pick up the smell of tomatoes, it picks up CO. You know, a POISON. Thousands of people a year die from this! I don't want to die! I don't want you to die! I don't want our neighbors to die (well, except for that slutty bitch in the basement next door)!

He started yelling back in broken English.

It could have been much worse than it was! I called 911 because it's the law! IT'S THE LAW. IT'S THE LAW!

What law? THIS IS MY HOUSE!

(Your house? THIS! IS! SPARTA! And I kicked him down the stairs.)

(Okay, I didn't do that.)

FUCK YOU, YOU DIE. KILL YOU!

He stormed off, and I closed the door.

I love getting death threats in the morning.

-------------------------------------------

Inger's wake is tonight. It's going to be too hot to wear all black.

I'm helping Mike move tomorrow, from the Bronx to Astoria. It'll be good to have another friend in the neighborhood.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Meme tagged

RAB over at Estoreal has tagged me as the next sucker to fill out this stuff. I can promise that none of the answers will be interesting. Here we go:

Four jobs I've had or currently have in my life:

1. landscaping
2. Costume shop counter help during a Halloween rush
3. coffee bitch
4. Printer (current)

Four countries I've been to:

1.
2.
3.
4.

Yeah, I know they're blank. Traveling is for people with money.

Four places I'd rather be right now:

1. The Shakespearean Garden in Central Park.
2.
3.
4.

Four foods I like to eat:

1. Chocolate
2. Pie (apple, blueberry, strawberry, lemon meringue, etc.)
3. Eggplant parmigiana
4. Guacamole

Four personal heroes, past or present:

1. whoever discovered ibuprofen.
2.
3.
4.

Four books I've just read or am currently reading:

1.
2.
3.
4.

I'm going through an illiteracy phase right now.

Four words or phrases I'd like to see used more often:

1. "Fuckstick McDouchebag"
2. "A-Chicka-Quack-Quack"
3. "Jeff, please take this $100 million off my hands."
4. "I want to have lots and lots of sex with Jeff." (preferably used by single women in their mid-20s-early 30s, without irony)

Four performances in history I'd attend If I had a TARDIS to bring me there:

1.
2.
3.
4.

I don't care much about live performances.

F
our things I like:

1. Comics
2. Jazz
3. Science
4. Philosophy

And the category I'll add to this meme is...what questions do you NEVER want to hear?

1. Which of your limbs would you like removed?
2. Does this make me look fat?
3. Do you think she's prettier than me?
4. Who let the dogs out?

And the four people I'll tag are:

Ah, like I'm cruel enough to ask anyone to participate.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Today's mood swing is brought to you by...

The "fun" part about anti-depressants is that at first, they don't help. It takes a few weeks, sometimes up to two months or so for the positive benefits to kick in. Variably, they can make the depression feel worse.

So, take a wild guess about how I'm feeling. The previous post should make it clear.

I honestly don't remember the last time I felt happy. My incuriosity (oooh, I made up a word) grows daily. I have so little interest in participating in this world.

Everything feels so...old. Like I've been there and done that, a hundred times over. I've been called "an old soul" before, but this is a tad ridiculous.

I'm jealous of people who see things as new and/or exciting. I tried getting psyched up about MoCCA, but when it happened...I fell flat. All it did was remind me of how pointless I am.

The psychologist at the hospital asked me to keep a journal of what I'm feeling in social situations. For example, a Rocketship party. I listen in to conversations, and go blank. I have nothing to add to them. She asked if it was fear of saying the wrong thing.

That's not the problem; it's just not having anything to say in the first place. I don't know what people are talking about most of the time. Books, TV, movies, music, politics, etc. My total apathy towards seeking new things keeps me out of it. What's worse is that I'm growing bored with the things I used to be passionate about. It just feeds into itself.

I guess I'll just write "apathy" in the journal and be done with it.

Of course, I'd have to insert myself into social situations in order to have something to write about. Where would I go? What would I do when I don't want to do anything, when all I can muster up is "meh"?

I have to keep reminding myself that this is the beginning of my treatment, and that it's going to be a while before I get better.

I can't work on my book anymore because it's dredging up so much pain. I'll have to cash in on that meal ticket another time.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I'm sorry.

I'm so damned jealous of your happiness that it's poisoning me.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

I must be a Drama Magnet

Last Sunday, I was feeling really down in the dumps. Just really fucking low, as evidenced by my post last Tuesday before I left for work. Like, three months away from becoming another statistic.

The previous weekend, I was doing all right. We all went up to Chris & Yanellie's place, and had great pizza, & fun playing with their boys. When Victor gave me a hug, Chris noted that I looked content holding him. He was correct.

Anyway, on Monday, I went into work, and filled out forms for insurance.

On Tuesday, I got a message from my buddy Matt on CBR. He'd read my blog post and demanded that I go to a hospital "NOW."

Smart lad, he is.

I played it cool; I was feeling a little better. Then I got the news that I can only apply for insurance within certain windows. The next one being in January.

I called up the insurance company and proceeded to get the runaround. I asked three people where the logic in this policy was, and got no answer. I asked them, "is it not stupid that we have to wait? I want to give you money. I don't understand what the problem is."

I was getting angry. "What multi-millionaire CEO do I have to talk to in order to get an answer around here?"

I was put on hold.

I hung up. I was very angry. I felt frustrated. I felt hopeless. I wanted to scream and cry. I was going to explode. I pulled myself together long enough to tell my boss that I was leaving.

A 2-hour workday. Nice.

I ran out of the office and tried to recall a list of places to go if you don't have insurance. The name Bellevue Hospital stuck out in my mind, as it was very close to SVA. I got on the 1 train, switched to the L at 14th, and then switched to the 6 train to 23rd Street. I got out of the subway, sent a text message to Lynne and Morts (another friend from CBR) saying, "hey, I'm going to the hospital, I'll talk to you soon."

On my way over, Lynne called and offered to come with me. I found a pizza place, grabbed something to eat, and waited for Lynne.

We walked up & over to Bellevue, and tried to figure out where to go. We settled on the Emergency Room, and got directed to the psych ward. Bowie & Carlos came to the hospital after they got out of work, but couldn't get to the area we were in. From 4 to 9:30, we sat in the waiting room. Lynne called the guys every half hour to update them. Around 8, she told them to go home. During that time, I was given an initial triage interview, then I spoke to a student psych & a resident psych, then right before we left, the psychiatrist.

Also during that time, we got to witness real crazy. People who stay in the ward, people were brought in when they didn't take their meds & committed crimes, people who were released and came back because they didn't know what to do...basically, great reference for stories.

It was late, we were exhausted. I called Carlos, Bowie, & Morts, and explained what happened in slightly better detail. We got more pizza, and I took Lynne home. I walked home from her place, stopping at the Neptune Diner for some "blueberry" pie a la mode.

Another CBR pal was working on a painting of blueberry pie, and I was craving it. Too bad the pie really sucked. It didn't have blueberries. It was a slab of purple gel baked between two crusts.

I finished my walk home, turned on my computer, opened my email, and saw a new message from Francis with the subject, "Bad News."

I didn't need to open it, but I did anyway. Inger had died Monday night. The wake is scheduled for August 25th, at a bar she used to frequent.

I sank down in my chair and went numb. Well, more numb than I had already been that day. I sort of coasted through the week. Friday, I left work early and spent the night at Lynne's; I really didn't want to be alone.

Carlos & Tara invited me to hang out with them, but I just couldn't. I have a rule: no matter how much I love them, I can't hang out with a happy couple. There's nothing else that reminds me more of just how much of a complete social fuckup I am than being a third wheel. I prefer one-on-one or small groups.

So when Morts had invited me out to spend the weekend with him & his family in Teaneck for a change in scenery, I accepted. He and his wife Suzannah have an adorable 6 year old daughter (see the MoCCA post) who likes me a lot, plus his sister-in-law and aunt were visiting.

I showed up at his house Saturday evening just before the end of Shabbos, and was greeted with a familial dilemma. The sister-in-law (SIL) was in a shitty relationship. She lived with her boyfriend in Kew Gardens, Queens. The boyfriend/douchebag is a controlling, manipulative jerk, who's 20+ years her senior. SIL has daddy issues and seeks approval from him. He takes every opportunity to degrade her. Over the past couple of years, they've broken up many times, each time it lasted for a day, if that. She got her own apartment a few months ago, but hadn't moved in. But now, she finally had enough of him.

"Hey, Jeff, wanna help us move her out?"

This is extra funny, because the first time I went over to Morts' house was to help him move over Labor Day weekend last year. That's all I do when I go there is move stuff around. Plus, I'm taller than everyone else there, so I'm just rather helpful getting things down from tall shelves, etc.

Morts and I talked for a while, watched some TV, and slowly put together a plan to move SIL out. He called up my hetero life mate Mike, and his friend David to help out. I was the "secret weapon" in the moving crew. I'm more physically intimidating (for once, I can use my powers for good) than anyone else in the crew, and the douchebag had never met me.

We all retired for the night, but something prevented us from sleeping. Morts' neighbors downstairs were having a party, which they do very often. The bass was jumping. People were loud. After a few minutes, Morts called the police. Their doorbell rang shortly after, and the place went SILENT.

We got in a good six hours of sleep, piled into two cars, and headed out to Kew Gardens. The Pale Posse Moving Crew (Morts & David are Orthodox Jews who shun the sun, Mike and I are White Nerds with Computeritis) stayed in the new apartment while a U-Haul van and Mike were picked up.

The four of us got in the van with the SIL, and I escorted her to her old apartment, with Morts & Mike behind me with folded boxes and a hand truck. David waited at the van so we could hand stuff off to him.

SIL and I went in, and the douchebag asked me to wait outside so they could have a minute. I asked her if it was okay, and she said yes. I stepped outside and he closed the door.

I could hear them talking, but couldn't make out any words. I'll let Mike sum up the immediate event:

Scene: Outside SIL & Douchebag's apartment. Jeff, Michael, and Morts are standing around talking shit about CBR posters.

SFX (from inside apartment): Thud.

Jeff: (knocks on door; it opens): Is everything all right?

Douchebag: It's fine. Just give us a minute.

Jeff: From what I've heard about you, you don't get a minute.

Douchebag: (angrily slams door)

Jeff: (forcibly shoves the door open, forcing Douchebag to step/cower backwards to avoid getting his noggin split open) You do NOT slam the door on me. (pulls the door gently closed. It locks from inside.)

Michael and Morts: (stand in awe of Jeff's distilled badassery)

You can read the full story here (just do it after you finish this post):

http://forums.comicbookresources.com/showthread.php?t=184868

It turns out he had thrown the box of bubble wrap down the hallway by the front door (he didn't throw it at her).

SIL came out a little while later and asked up to grab lunch while she packed. The douchebag did not want us around while he got all weepy.

We returned an hour later, and got her stuff out in a half hour. It was pretty easy, as there wasn't any furniture to move, just books, clothes, & videos.

We got to the new place, unloaded the van into the lobby, and the ladies took the van back to U-Haul. Mike & David also departed, as they had other appointments to keep. Morts and I got about 1/3 done bringing things up in the elevator when it decided to not work properly. We called for it, but it would never show up on our floor. It stopped one floor above wherever we needed it to go. While Morts tried to figure out a cheat code of sorts, I went up to find the superintendent. He experimented for a bit, and went to the basement to reset the computer that controls the elevator. That fixed it, and we finished the job quickly.

Suzannah & SIL talked about how I scared the shit out of the guy, and apparently they think I'm just dreamy. Here's a synopsis of their conversation, as told to me by Morts:

"He's cute."

"He's an atheist."

I suppose that can put a damper on things if you're very religious, but I'm not interested anyway.

After everything was sorted out, I got dropped off at home. I cleaned up and relaxed for the rest of the day.

Monday, I had my 4 PM appointment at Bellevue. I was under the impression that I was going to see a social worker about getting health care, but instead, I talked to a psychologist and a psychiatrist.

It was very difficult telling the same story to more people I don't know. I cried a few times, talking about dad, Eric, and Inger. It was all overwhelming and draining. The psychiatrist prescribed a week of Effexor XR (Venlafaxine) at 75 mg, which I had to pick up Tuesday before work, as the hospital pharmacy was closed by the time I got out of there. It's a week-long prescription because they want to see if I can handle the side effects. Within two hours, I became extremely drowsy, and my libido has absolutely decreased - believe it or not, I can deal with that. It's better than being horny & frustrated all the time.

*cough* carpal tunnel *cough*

I have another appointment with the doctors next Monday. They're definitely going to put me in a program of therapy & medication.

I walked out of the hospital with something I haven't felt in a long time.

A glimmer of hope.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Inger Erickson, RIP

I sent this letter to her a couple weeks ago.

Do you remember how we first met?

It was June, 2001. Francis had set me up at Jan’s house in Brooklyn two months previous, and I was looking for a job. Fran asked you to help me out, explaining that I was a younger version of you – misanthropic attitude, all black clothes, and of course, long blond hair.

I called you, and in your celebrated crass demeanor, you said, “I’m so fucking sick of helping people. But Fran & Mickey said you’re a good kid, so this is probably the last favor I’ll ever do for them."

Awkward.

Friday evening I walked up to your office, and you came to meet me at the door. When you saw me, you kinda froze. Mickey’s snarky voice ran through your head.

“I saw Jeff – when did you and Francis have a kid?"

You seemed to mellow out as we walked over to the bar, where I got to meet Cary, Evan, Brett (and his TV-throwing girlfriend), fat-fingered Tony, and a couple other of your friends & co-workers. We sat down and you introduced me to everyone. We all talked for a while, establishing how I met Francis at the printing plant in upstate New York. You looked over my sparse portfolio and said that you would give me assignments to beef it up a little.

Some time had passed as we got to know each other, and I began to realize you were holding my hand. I didn’t tell you then, but that’s the first time anyone has done that with me. I’ve never felt that close to anyone before, but it was nice learning that I could be. After everyone else in our party had left, we commiserated about our families; I held you close as you cried. You looked up at me from my tear-soaked shoulder, kissed my cheek, and said, “I can’t believe I’m even telling you all this; I just met you!"

I didn’t know what else to say other than, “you’re helping me, so I’m here to help you.” You opened your heart to me. How could I respond with anything but tenderness? After you composed yourself, you invited me to use the spare computer in your office to complete my assignments and hunt for a job. It was late, and we both needed to get home. Holding hands, I walked you to the A/C/E stop on Canal Street. You gave me a great big hug and kissed my cheek again; I reciprocated. During the next couple of weeks, I’d come in to your office each day for a couple of hours. We’d go over the assignments you gave me, and you’d teach me a few tricks. One day, you were very swamped and had to come in on a Saturday, and you invited me along. After you finished your tasks, we walked to the South Street Seaport, and picked up some pizza along the way. You picked a bench overlooking the East River, and we talked about relationships. We sat there in each others’ arms, admiring the view, and you gave advice like “don’t date normal people; they won’t understand you.


You squeezed my hand again, and for the first time in my life, I felt like I was a human being. I felt like I was worthy of receiving love and affection, like I was worthy of living.

In my extended bouts of depression and anxiety, I try to hold onto that feeling you gave me. No one, before or since that day, has ever made me feel the way you did. For that, Inger, I will never forget you, and I will always love you.
http://www.hopeline.com/6/AboutDepression.asp

"The bleakness of the landscape is unimaginable. It is as friendless and alien as a Dali painting. Ordinary concerns, such as work or friends, have no place here. Futility muffles thought; time elongates cruelly. Who is to blame for this situation? Those with depression think it must be them. Pointlessness and self-loathing govern them. So the natural final step is suicide. People with depression don’t kill themselves to frighten an errant boyfriend. They kill themselves because it is the obvious and right thing to do at that point. It is the only positive step they can think of."


Kay McKall
an Ipswich (UK) general practitioner
and consumer with depression,
writing in the British Medical Journal
(NAMI Advocate, winter 2002)

I was having a few bad thoughts over the weekend, so I signed up for insurance. I don't know when it will kick in, but now I have something to look forward to.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Simpsons Movie.

ALEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEX is supposed to emerge from Jersey to see this. When he does, we must meet at the Kwik-E-Mart in Times Square, and then go see the movie.

The question is: WHEN are we going to do this?

Alex?

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Giovanni Sollima - Sogno ad Occhi Aperti (Daydream)

Part 2 is my favorite. Like Jimi Hendrix on a cello.





http://www.giovannisollima.it/

I've made mp3s of these tracks. Feel free to email me for them.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Hacked

Someone has hacked my MySpace account, so I've started a new one.

http://www.myspace.com/jeff_brady_iatsqo

The problem is, I can't log in to the old one at all; it's completely rejecting my info.

Here's the old link:

http://www.myspace.com/itsalwaystheshyquietones

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Things are not looking up.

Remember my friend Inger?

She's been battling Phase III Astrocytoma for about two years now. There's nothing left for the doctors to do, except for some radical treatment that has a better chance of killing her than helping her. Because of all the damage done to her brain, her short-term memory is fading fast. A nurse comes in for a few hours every day to look after her, and her fiancée Michael is taking care of her.

I don't know if she remembers me. I haven't seen her since Liam's baptism, before she got sick.

It figures - one of the very few people to make me feel like a human being, like I'm worthy of receiving love and affection, like I'm worthy of living, is lying on her death bed.

I'm trying to write her a letter, but I don't know what to say, other than how much I love & miss her.

I hate losing friends.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

MoCCA, etc.

I took Friday off so I could meet Carlos, Bowie, and Lynne for lunch at the Olive Garden on 22nd Street & 6th Ave at 1 PM. They wanted me there earlier, but my sleep is kinda fucked up (which you all knew already). The food wasn't as horrible as I'd heard, but not great, either. I can, however, recommend the chocolate gelato. Brain-freezing deliciousness.

It was good to see folks whom I was starting to forget what they looked like. Carlos went home shortly after, and the rest of us went up to Jim Hanley's Universe and picked up a few books. We then parted ways, and I brought Lynne home to check out her Cintiq.

I want one. Maybe in a few years. It's $2500.

We talked for a while & got sidetracked. I was supposed to meet a couple of CBR friends before heading out to Brooklyn for a pre-Rocketship party dinner. A few CBR folk came in from Chicago, Reno, Bismark, Philly, Wilmington, and small towns in Pennsylvania and Indiana for the MoCCA Art Fest, and I got to meet most of them for the first time (and a couple for the second).

RAB of the blog Estoreal had injured his back, and wasn't able to meet with us that night.

Anyway, I called up Merey and told her and the crew not to wait for me at West 4th. I departed Lynne's house and went straight to Brooklyn. As I was approaching my destination, I saw Joe Rice waving his monkey hands in the air, facing the opposite direction, indicating to his sister-in-law down the block where the party was.

I stepped inside, made my way to the back, and met everyone with the standard Rita's greeting:

"Howdy, fuckers."

Many of these people haven't seen me since before my makeover/nervous breakdown, so there was kind of a "wow" moment. It felt weird being there, but I quickly overcame my discomfort. We stayed a bit later than we meant to, as the Rocketship party started at 8, and we showed up at 9.

I picked up a few books and was very good at not spending whatever credit I have left. The social aspect of the party was okay. I didn't even try to slut it up or anything ridiculous like that. I wasn't approached, either, which was fine by me. As the party wound down, my unease arose. We headed out to a bar down the street for an "after-party," which had the most obnoxious music blasting. We retreated to the lounge in the back and scared off all the normal people. I showed a few people the beginnings of my book and got some high praise. The music was too loud for me to talk over. And it's been a while since I've talked to more than three people in a day, so I was losing my voice, and my throat was sore. I was popping cough drops like Rush Limbaugh popped OxyContin. Since no one was around me, I just started writing for a little while. I started to feel useless, and disappeared just before midnight without saying goodnight except for the two people who actually noticed me. I got home a little before 2 AM, and crashed a half hour later.

I woke up late on Saturday and made my way for Little Italy. I found CBR poster Winslow, his wife & two children, and another CBR friend Matt Bib seated outside at an Italian establishment. We talked for a while. Everyone else ordered a hefty lunch. I had just eaten breakfast before arriving, so I ordered a chocolate cake, which was excellent. I stayed with them for a little while, and left to meet Lynne at the Puck building, where the Art Festival is held.

I made my way inside, went over to R Stevens' booth (a friend of his used to be a roommate) for a quick chat, wandered around a bit, and met Lynne. We walked around to Vanessa Satone & Becky Cloonan's booth, then Euralis Weekes', then Kensuke Obayashi's, then up to the 7th floor for Celia Bullwinkle's, where Carol Mehaffey was also hanging out; SVA alumni all. Trish Van Whatever also had a table, but hell, she doesn't remember any of us anyway. Then we ventured over to First Second's booth and I took advantage of their buy-two-get-one-free deal. Later on, we crossed paths with RAB who was flying on meds for his back and had a pleasant chat for a bit.

We came outside for a bit of air to find all the CBR folk congregating at the entrance. I introduced Lynne to everyone (she's met Lena & Mike before) and we generally shot the shit. Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted Khary Randolph, so we talked for a while. He showed off his new Black Book, and I showed him a few pages of mine.

It was at this moment when I felt a chill and watched as the pool-playing veggie chick and a friend of hers walked right past us and into the building. She didn't notice me until they came right back out and I called her name.

"Hey, these are my friends, Khary, Lynne, and...well, nerds," as I gestured to the CBR crew. They were out jeans shopping for her (male) friends' hot date that night, and so, had to go. I reached out for a handshake, and she hesitantly obliged. When she was out of ear shot, I explained who she was. Khary said, "wait, she dumped you?" Ed Cunard called her a cunt and left it at that. Lynne said, "You're prettier than she is."

Small consolation, but I got a chuckle from it.

Lynne and I were growing hungry, and the other nerds couldn't decide where to go, so we split for a pizza place on Prince & Mott. That's where we got some Jerry Springer-style entertainment.

A woman was there with her five year old son. He was on his scooter in front of the place, and the mom wasn't paying any attention to him. A couple from the neighborhood was walking around and the female started taking pictures of him. You know, cute kid. The mother came barreling out at the pair, tried slapping the camera out of her hand, hitting the guy in the face with her purse, shoving them around. The guy shoved her back. I overheard "you don't hit a woman."

Now, while I generally agree with that statement, it's bullshit. A) You don't hit anyone, and B) I am an equal opportunity ass-kicker.

Not that I've ever kicked anyone's ass, but self defense is self defense.

Basically, the mother handled the situation improperly, but the shutterbugs should have asked for permission first. I was ready to dial 911, but everyone dispersed before I could hit "send."

"Tages," a CBRian visiting from Reno wandered into the shop looking for directions to MoCCA. He was lucky that I was there, and so I helped him out.

After a while, I gave Mike a call to find out where everyone else was headed. Lynne and I walked up and over, and after some miscommunication (as in, I'm a dumbass), we found the place. As we had already filled up on pizza, we just sat & talked until desert time (more chocolate cake). Lynne started drawing Wonder Woman on her napkin, and the fellow sitting across from us just looked on in awe.

After the check was settled, we made our way up and over to a bar for one of the many after parties. We found a couple of unreserved tables in the back and relaxed. Many nerdstuffs were spoken of, not just comics. My right eye began to sting for an unknown reason. Lynne got me a couple of wet napkins as a compress, which helped out a lot. The music got louder and more difficult to talk over.

Ed came over during one of his many non-smoking breaks, and innuendo was bandied about. The tension was so thick, and poor Lynne was stuck between us when we grabbed for a mock-kiss. We just don't know how to quit each other.

At this point, plans for karaoke were up in the air. I wanted to go, but Joe Rice called Mike and said it wasn't happening. That would change after our departure.

Around 9:30, Lynne was already tired, and I was beginning to feel like I was losing it, so we headed home. We hopped on the N train at 8th street. At Times Square, Brian & Merey got on directly across from us. They were coming from a wedding reception for her friends. I re-introduced Lynne, and we all talked. I mistakenly informed them that karaoke had been canceled (it's Brian's favorite thing in the whole world), and they let slip that it was Brian's 28th birthday. The reached their stop, and Lynne's was next. I walked her home, and we sat together for a while. Then I walked home, read for a little while, and crashed.

On Sunday, I got on the train and started writing in my book; two stops later, Das (a CBRian) boarded. She was headed out to the Gay Pride parade with a few friends, and probably skipping any MoCCA related events. I ventured forth once again to the Puck building to meet my friend Morts and his six year old daughter "Tot." They're two-thirds of the family I helped move last Labor Day weekend. Morts' wife was in Queens visiting a relative. Tot dragged us all over the convention floors and she broke a lot of hearts. We went upstairs again to sit & relax away from the crowds. Morts took the opportunity to go to the bathroom & talk with a Kristen, a CBRian he hadn't met yet. I sat with Tot and we drew pictures in her little notebook. Morts returned, and I got in line for the Bill Sienkiewicz (pronounced sin KEV itch, for you non-nerds) signing.

We waited for over an hour, and he didn't show up.

Kristen's boyfriend Gus showed up, as did Mike and Alex of Rocketship. The show was beginning to end, so Alex took off to do some shopping for the store, and I took advantage of that time to pick up a few things I had missed on Saturday.

The six of us (Mike, Morts, Tot, Kristen, Gus, and I) departed for a kosher restaurant. I passed around my sample book and received accolades, from Mike, especially.

"I hate you. You're going to win awards for that."

He's referring to the Christina's World homage.

We stuffed ourselves, had a good conversation, and left.

Here's where I should remind you that Sunday was also the day of the Gay Pride parade. Now, if you didn't know us, what does this image say?


(Left to right: Gus, Mike, Morts, Tot, and me. Photo courtesy of Kristen.)

I'll let Morts fill you in here.

We made our way to the subway, where we all began to part ways. Kristen & Gus went back to their hotel. It was already past Tot's bed time, so they headed out for Jersey. Mike walked with me to the N, and then headed home.

I didn't sleep well Sunday night, so I took Monday off to rest & relax.

Here's my combined Jim Hanley's/Rocketship/MoCCA Fest haul:


Go here for more photos & articles:

Rocketship 1

Rocketship 2

The Occasional Superheroine


The Comics Reporter links to many, many photos & reports

The Comic Book Resources Community Forum's MoCCA Thread

Beaucoup Kevin's
Flickr Journal (Kevin is responsible for the term Fuckton.)

Cartoonist Dean Trippe's MoCCA report


Ed Cunard's MoCCA report

Publisher's Weekly article

Thursday, June 28, 2007

MoCCA Report in progress

Don't get your crotchless panties in a twist, I'm working on it. There will be photos & many links, humorous tales, and statements of woe.

And shame on you fuckers that couldn't make it out for this.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Giving up.

I seem to have fallen out of favor with the jazz-loving sculptor. My social retardedness made our conversations tense and awkward.

"When was the last time you had a girlfriend?"

"Honestly? I haven't."

"Really?! Why not?"

I chose not to provide reasons. I caught myself from saying, "because no one has loved me back."

"Because I hate myself."

Yeah, present tense.

Still.

I just said "I have issues. I've had to deal with a lot of stuff, and just couldn't handle dating."

"Like what?"

"Look, I haven't even met you, I'm not comfortable talking about it with you yet. Hopefully another time?"

How do you tell someone that you haven't even met yet about having a sense of worthlessness beaten into you at a very early age? And how that worthlessness has been reinforced by virtually every attempt at socialization? How I chose isolation over intimacy because it hurt less? And now that the loneliness is plunging me further into depression every day, when I try to combat it, I have no clue how to interact with people?

You don't. You can't possibly lay all that shit out without scaring the hell out of them.

I'm too incurious to initiate conversation, and sure as hell can't carry one. I never have anything to say, or know what's being talked about.

So screw it. I give up. There's really no point in trying anymore.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

MOCCA Reminder!

Friday, June 22nd, 8PM, Rocketship (the greatest comic shop in NY, nay, the USA) will host a MOCCA pre-party. The place is expected to be jumping. Much nerdery & hipness will be found. I will take the day off from work. If anyone wants, I can meet you in Manhattan beforehand, and we can cruise down there together. We can probably grab something to eat before we go. A few CBR folk will be flying in for the festivities, so I'll be all over the place.

Bring money, you cheap bastards.

The main event is the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art's Art Festival on Saturday & Sunday, details of which can be found here. Many of our fellow SVA alumni & Tribe pals (wow, remember that?) will be there, some with tables, some just schlepping through (like me).

Oh yeah, and motherfucking Bill Sienkiewicz will be there. That certainly deserves a "Holy Living Fuck," just like the moon landing did.

Friday, June 08, 2007

A couple of thoughts.

I've figured out a better structure for my book. Most bio-books & movies are too linear, too much of a sequence of events instead of an actual story. That's kind of what my book was shaping up to be, and that's not good. I pondered how to make it better, and while I was on the train a couple days ago, it hit me: I'll use a date as the framing device.

Speaking of dating, I'm feeling lower about the whole thing than I thought I would. Not horribly miserable like I was a few months ago, but it feels like maybe I shouldn't be doing this.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

"Bad design makes me want to throw up..."

"And maybe crap my pants."


My good friend and Hetero Life Mate (kinda like Jay & Silent Bob, for those who don't know), Mike is the utter genius who asked, "What does Lisa Simpson giving a blowjob have to do with the Olympics?"

And that's all I can see, even though I know that it's just a heavily-distorted "2012."

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Welcome to Dumpsville...

Population: Me.

TBVPP wrote me today (yesterday for you folks who work 9-5-ish), saying how dating wasn't really working out for her, and that she'd still like to hang out with me.

This is #9 of the 17 variations of "Let's Just Be Friends" the English language has to offer.

I was just beginning to get comfortable with her.

Oh well. It was very nice while it lasted.

I told her what my deal is (very briefly), and that I'd need a couple of weeks to adjust before we go back to having my ass kicked at pool.

There's still the jazz-loving sculptor, with whom I had a decent phone conversation with Sunday night, who wants me to call her back this week.

And then there's MOCCA in a couple weeks, where I may be slut-supreme.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

The Precious....

We wants it...

Anyone have $350? My old system (basically an older version of this) is buggin'. Not reading CDs, scratching them a little, skipping like a four year old on a warm spring day.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Dates 4 & 5

On Sunday, the TBVPP and I agreed to see Pirates of the Caribbean 3 at Union Square. I was outside looking towards the park, figuring that's where she'd approach from. But instead, she sneaked up behind me, and put her hands over my eyes.

That's not really a good idea. If she hadn't immediately said, "guess who?", that would have ended very badly. I turned around, kissed her and said, "uh...don't do that again."

She was a little late, so we ran up to the theater and got second-row seats (which wasn't as bad as the time Bowie & I got front row seats for LOTR 1). She gave me a quick recap of the first two movies, which I haven't seen.

I, ah...don't give a fuck about pirates.

The movie was fun, and longer than it felt. I almost feel inclined to check out the others now.

It was 10, and we were hungry. Zen Palate had stopped seating customers, so as it began to lightly rain, we speed walked to Vegetarian Paradise 2 on W 4th Street. On the way, we commiserated about work, and I swore a lot. I apologized for it at one point, and she told me to not worry about it.

I said, "you're right; we made cum jokes at dinner on our first date. I should loosen up a little."

She laughed.

It turns out that she went to the same college as The Very Nice Girl, also a vegetarian. I asked, "hey, do you know TVNG?"

"The name sounds familiar...is she really tall?"

"Ha! Yes, that's her. I met her through my Internerd friends."

We got to the restaurant ten minutes before they stopped seating, and ordered the same thing out of expediency. We talked a bit more about school, work, roommates, and neighbors.

She had a busy weekend at that point; a bunch of friends were in town from Friday night, and had left a couple of hours before we met up. And the place was about to close down, so I walked her to her train. On the way, we made plans to meet up again the next day (Monday, Memorial Day).

You're free to guess what we did before parting. I realized, "well, all my parts are working..." We held hands and caught our breaths. I said, "we need to do that before the end of the date," and she laughed at that, too.

I walked to my train with a big grin on my face.

I spend most of Monday being lazy. Internerd discourse with bits of kitchen cleaning sprinkled in for good measure. I called her around 3 PM to see what she was up to. I suggested a stroll through Central Park, but she had a better idea.

"I was thinking of cooking up some vegetarian lasagna. Would you like to come over & help me make it?"

This was a no-brainer.

She had a few more errands to run, and would give me a call when I should head over. There's a bus that runs from LaGuardia Airport to her neighborhood (Harlem), and it makes a stop not too far from my house.

In the mean time, I was blowing up demons in Doom 3. I got the call, and headed out a little after 6. I got there at 7, and she met me outside.

Kissing greetings are awesome.

We got inside, looked at the recipe, and got to work. Even though she was chopping the onions, I was terribly affected by it. My eyes were stinging, but not watering. I tried flushing them out, but I just had to work through it. We got all the mixing & boiling done, put it all together & popped it into the oven. Her only "reality TV" addiction is VH1's Flavor of Love, starring the one & only Flava Flav of Public Enemy. She sat down, and I did a little cleaning up in the kitchen. When I finished up, we watched the marathon with astonishment as otherwise gorgeous women fought over the over sized-clock wearing freak. At this point, I remembered that I packed the Bitter Films DVD (animation by Don Hertzfeldt, like the Rejected Cartoons).

The show wrapped up just as the lasagna finished baking. We sat down to eat and watched some seriously fucked up cartoons. We finished up, and she had to go to bed soon (she works "normal" hours). I took care of the rest of the dishes, and she walked me to the bus stop. I held her very close as we kissed. We slowly parted, her hands going from my neck down to my stomach. I held one of them in mine and pulled her close again, but just for a hug this time.

It felt so damn good.

She left, and a bus quickly arrived. I got home at midnight.

Today (Tuesday) I got a response from the Jazz-Loving Sculptor, saying "so I am horrible at email...significantly better on the phone...here is my number. ***-***-****. We can chat and go from there."

I wrote back saying that since I work nights, I'll call on the weekend, if that's alright with her.

Right back to being a slut.

Sort of.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Well, I knew this was coming.

From the Super-Adorable Librarian-in-Training:

Jeff,

Thanks for asking about [high-maintenance friend]. I had fun hanging out with you on Sunday, but I don't think I can see you again. I'm sort of in a mixed up place.

I'm sorry.
[SALIT]


I had to respond:

You're really delightful and I've never met anyone like you. Thank you for all the wonderful messages, and for seeing me. Good luck with everything, and feel free to drop me a line any time. I hope you find peace with whatever you're going through.

------------------------

It's really sad to go from constant emails to a total disconnect. I'm glad I didn't get my hopes up to high as I have in the past, but damn, that could have been something lovely.

So I'm technically no longer a slut, but still open. We'll see.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

PORKCHOP!


I'm holding Milo Medieros, whose adventures can be found here. The picture was taken on Sunday, shortly before Lyman's show.

Monday, May 21, 2007

A full week/end.

The head finisher here at work pulled his shoulder out of the socket Tuesday night, so we were back down to -2 Staff.

Right when we get a massive 30-banner job in. Fun.

Thursday, I stayed until 4:30 AM to finish trimming it all out. I wanted to leave early on Friday to take my friend Mike out, as he'd been feeling blue. We went out for pool & pizza. Neither of us are spectacular players, so the games were evenly matched. We parted around 12:30, and I got home around 2 AM.

Got up early on Saturday to get my chores done. Groceries, laundry, & random cleaning. Called up the tomboyish pool-playing veggie (TBPPV) and picked a restaraunt to eat at. We met at 7 PM at the Red Bamboo, a veggie Creole/Thai fusion place in the Village, a block away from the Blue Note jazz club (which will be mentioned again later on).

We were both overwhelmed by the choices. Being able to eat anything & everything on the menu is a rare thing. We started off with a fish stick appetizer. Neither of us had had them since we were kids (she turned veggie at 14). I went with the mango "chicken," and she had some variation of a burger & fries. We were tempted by the dessert menu, but were way too stuffed.

We walked uptown to the same place we've played pool, the same place I took Mike the night before, which I told her about. "So you practiced!" she said. She soundly whupped my ass as expected, but there was one game where I actually got far enough to call the pocket for the 8 ball. During a game, my buddy Lyman called up to see what time I'd be able to see him play at the Blue Note on Sunday, and if my other date would join me. We scheduled for the 8 PM show, and said we'd talk again the next day.

We called it quits around 11, and went in search for a decent, uncrowded bar. We must have walked for an hour or so before settling into this nice fighter-plane themed bar/restaraunt on 8th Ave. The bathrooms had speakers on which messages such as "In case of emergency, place your head between your knees to kiss your ass goodbye" were played.

I cracked up at that one.

We sat for a while & talked, ordered cheesey curly fries (which totally hit the spot), and doodled on the paper that covered the table. I got out my drafting pencil and got a little absorbed by the work. She just used the supplied crayons and made a Super-Mario world with a sun puking up a rainbow. It was great.

It was nearly 1 AM, so we walked up to 23rd street to get our respective trains. We got to 23rd & 8th, and hugged. I leaned in to kiss her cheek, but she wasn't having any of that.

We stood there & kissed for a few minutes like teenagers, oblivious to people asking for directions. I heard someone say, "excuse me, can you tell me which train...oh." I took a breath and smiled at her, saying, "...that was nice."

And then I kissed her some more.

Being kissed by someone who wants you is an absolutely wonderful thing.

I watched her descend the stairs and then took off towards 5th Ave to get the N. I had the stupidest grin on my face. I got home at 2:30. I could still feel her lips on mine.

I got online and sent a message to the super-adorable librarian-in-training (SALIT) about my jazz-musician friend who was also in town, and got us on the guest list for his show, and that I'd call her in the morning. I then crashed into bed.

I woke up Sunday around 10:30 and started to get my shit together for the day. I rang her up at 11, and we had some silly conversation. We agreed to meet up for the 2 PM showing of Hot Fuzz - which you all should see. "It's for the greater good." I hung up, and then continued getting my shit together, which was a little more difficult, as I was still kinda tired from the previous night. I then had enough forethought to send a message out to the TBPPV saying how nice last night was, and that we must do that again sometime soon.

I got there 15 minutes before it started. She was waiting outside, reading Eats, Chutes, and Leaves, listening to her iPod, wearing a denim jacket, a pink sweater, and a long black skirt.

I have a thing for long skirts. And bespectacled brunettes. Oh, she's so damn cute.

She greeted me with a hug, and I apologized for being late. She mentioned that she'd called me to say that she was running late, too. The messages hadn't registered on my phone because I was underground.

We waited in line for tickets, which I had hoped she'd pay for, as I bought the tickets last time around, but she had to get her tooth operated on the previous weekend. When she apologized, she said she'd pay me back. I was already $25 in the hole, and being a slut is expensive. But I didn't mention it, noticing that she didn't even reach for her wallet. We made our way up to the theater, talking about how she's studying to play an RPG with her friends, and then her cell phone went off. Her very close friend was calling, but then she turned the phone off. We sat down just as the lame commercials ended & the trailers started. We talked a bit more and laughed, but she seemed a little uncomfortable.

We enjoyed the hell out of the movie. There were a few gross-out parts, and she cringed & covered her face.

Hot Fuzz finished up, and we beat the lines in the bathrooms. Going down the escalators, we checked our voice mails. I listened to her rambling message about how she was running late and laughed out loud at it. Union Square Park had a few artist booths that demanded exploration, so we did just that. After 40 minutes or so of this, her friend had called again. She called during the movie as well, which made her think that something was up. She called back, while I called Lyman to see what his plans were, as I wanted to see him & his family.

She looked at me apologetically and I told Lyman something had come up, and that I'd call him back.

Her friend is rather (emotionally) fragile, and had made a few mistakes in life, and shouldn't be left alone when feeling very depressed. She told me that she had to go take care of her so she didn't do something stupid. I nodded with understanding. We hugged, and she said "thank you. I'll call you for the show tonight."

I knew she wasn't coming back, and kinda felt like shit.

I walked down towards the Blue Note, and noticed that the sky was about to open up. I quickly bought an umbrella, as I'd left mine in the bar last night. This was just in time. While I was waiting in line, it began raining.

I found a nice pizza place near NYU and chilled for a while. The rain let up and I sat in Washington Square Park, and watched doggies stroll by.

Lyman called up and said that he'd be leaving the restaraunt shortly. He, Carrie & Milo were being treated to dinner by an old friend who was in the Blues Brothers movie (I've forgotten in what capacity, though). That's when I got the text message from the SALIT saying that her friend was is really bad shape and that she wouldn't be able to join me for Lyman's show. I told her that it was okay, that we'd get together again soon, thinking it probably wouldn't happen.

I stood on the corner and kept an eye out for the Medieros Trio. I finally had the honor of meeting the lovely Carrie & Milo. We went up to their hotel room and talked for a bit. As is customary, we talked trash about any and all CBRians not present. I got to hold Milo for a bit. I'll post the pic when I get it.

Lyman soon had to go over & prepare for the show, so we left Carrie (SuperMom) to her packing.

I got my seat in the club (woo-hoo, not having to pay $45 just to sit down rocks!) and looked at the menu. Lyman joined me at the table and we talked a bit more before the show. Then The Man came out & started mingling with the audience. Everyone else got on stage and opened with a nice instrumental tune. The vocallist got up, and belted out a few standards, told some stories, and basically hammed it up. Not my favorite thing, but he's good at what he does. Having Lyman contribute a few vocals on one song was nice, though. I love watching him play. I can tell that he's not quite as into it as he is when playing regular, hard-bop jazz. But hey, whatever "brings home the bacon."

After the show, I went up to the dressing room, showed Lyman what I've worked on for my book so far. Two of his band mates came in and ate dinner. I was introduced, and we talked for a few minutes. The keyboardist was Lyman's roommate the last time they were out, and L thought we had met before. I said, "no, I think he was asleep at the time."

"I do sleep a lot..."

Lyman said," You were passed out from that coked-up hooker."

"Maybe I was just looking for something to do," and he continued eating.

I said, "And a coked-up hooker isn't something to do?"

Dude cracked up, nearly choking on his food. He turned around and said, "okay, that was funny."

I walked Lyman to his hotel so he could get a few more minutes with his wife & son. A strong hug goodbye, and I was off. I walked up to Union Square, stopped into Virgin Records to use the bathroom, and got home at 11. I got online, visited CBR for a few minutes, shot off some emails, and crashed at midnight. I took a melatonin pill, as I was so tired that my eyes hurt. I woke up an hour late (11 AM) today, so I was that late for work as well.

And that's where I am, just about to depart.

I have not heard anything from the sculptor/jazz lover since I gave her my phone number early last week. Maybe she's too busy, maybe she's found someone. Either way, good luck to her.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

So, um...yeah.

Aside from the pool-playing veggie, I'm courting two other women two other women are courting me.

All of them have approached me. I'm being rather passive in my search for companionship.

It's odd; a month ago, I was lamenting how I didn't feel wanted.

The first is a jazz-loving sculptor/3D-Installation artist, a pop-culture junkie, and a fan of burlesque dancing. Email contact has waxed, waned, and recently waxed again. I'm looking forward to meeting her, if anything just to have another jazz friend.

The second is an unbelievably adorable librarian-in-training (and former teacher) with a sense of humor as bizarre and silly as mine. We've been emailing every single day since last Sunday, having up to four different conversations at the same time.

While I was at Lynne's on Saturday, she called up so we could arrange a meeting on Sunday. She had to cancel, unfortunately, as she hasn't been feeling well due to an infected tooth. She's getting that taken care of this week.

I have to be very careful with this one, as I can see myself falling hard for her.

Like Lena said, I'm such a slut.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Date #2

I met up with the cool, pool-playing veggie Friday night after work (about 9 PM). We got a table at Soho Billiards and played for a couple of hours. We were both having an off-night, still in work mode. She did not kick my ass as quickly as she previously had.

Note: Soho Billiards is re-donk-ulously expensive. Never again.

We walked around for a while in search of decent food. I wasn't hungry, but she was. Once slice of pizza later, and we were wandering through Soho & Little Italy, talking about anything that came to mind.

At 1 AM, we came across this couple arguing in a parking lot. The guy had apparently thrown the woman's cell phone ("brand new, $300") and wallet into a puddle or gutter, and she was less than pleased. She was yelling at him, cursing, shoving him. Somehow, he procured a hammer.

I thought, "oh hell no." I took a few steps closer (they were across the street) to get a better look, put down my bag, and dialed 911.

As I was talking to the operator, an NYPD tow truck stopped in front of me. The officer inside asked me if I was calling it in as she started doing the same. She honked her horn, got out of the truck and got a sense of what was going on. She couldn't do anything without getting hurt, and drove away. Moments later, three squad cars pulled up. One of the six officers drew his gun.

They cuffed the woman, as she was now holding a brick and threatening her most likely ex-friend with it. The couple was separated and calmed. Four of the officers left to respond to another situation elsewhere. Shortly thereafter, we left the scene.

After a bit more walking, we separated, with another strong hug. My internal monologue said "Jeff, this is supposed to be where you kiss her."

Maybe it was exhaustion, maybe I'm just not into her that way. So I didn't listen to my internal monologue.

I walked over to my office to relieve myself, and then back over to the train station. I got home at 3 AM.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

A Good Day.

As noted, yesterday was Free Comic Book Day. I got up early, got my hair cut, and met up with Lynne at about 12:30. The trip to Rocketship was full of silly and inappropriate conversation. We got to Brooklyn, and to sate Lynne's hunger, we stopped at the Flying Saucer Cafe on Atlantic Avenue somewhere around Hoyt or Nevins Street. Grilled cheese sandwiches with a small side salad were devoured, followed by a chocolate-drizzled brownie & a scoop of soft ice cream.

While walking down Smith Street, there was a woman on a picnic table bench with her two dogs. At first, I just noticed the doggies, and commented on them. Lynne said, "You really do have a doggie addiction."

"Well, it was a damn good excuse to check out her legs."

"You're a dirty, dirty old man."

"Hey, I'm deprived...and depraved."

Me am funny.

After a bit more walking, we made it to the greatest comic shop in the world. The freebies I picked up were Unseen Peanuts (previously un-reprinted strips), and Amelia Rules!: Hangin' Out. I happily paid for the seventh volume of the Complete Peanuts, vol 2 of the Complete Dennis the Menace, American Born Chinese, Supermarket, Batman: Detective (tpb of the first chunk of Paul Dini's run), and issue 3 of Jeff Smiths' SHAZAM! Castle Waiting #6 was sold out very quickly, so I missed it (still need #2 & 3 as well). Lots of fine reading ahead of me.

On the way back to the train, we stopped at Starbucks for a quick drink & bathroom break.
We boarded the train again, and listened to whatever was on my mp3 player; mostly classical music. She got off at her stop, and wished me luck for my date that evening.

I met my new friend a little after 6 at the Angelica Kitchen for some good vegetarian food (she's one, too). Good discussion, a bit of laughter here & there. I never felt nervous. Dessert came around, and she commented that my dish (apple raspberry crisp) looked like it was "made with love."

"Hmm, better send it back."

This got us both giggling. Then she won the prize with:

"Too much love to swallow."

I couldn't eat without fear of choking while laughing for a few minutes. It was great.

Afterwards, we walked up to Broadway Billiards and played pool for three hours. She plays in a league with her friends. I haven't played sine the first week of my senior year of college, and not for years before that. She kicked my ass soundly, of course, but I did way better than she (and I) expected. It was pretty fun. Since I'll be working "normal people hours" this week, we may meet up some evening for more.

After that, we wandered around looking for a comfortable bar to hang out in that wasn't packed, obnoxiously loud, or had red lighting in it. Wandered down to Houston Street, and settled in a bar that I'd been to once for a former co-worker's birthday party. They had red lights, but there wasn't a huge crowd, and had comfy seating. The drinks were ridiculously expensive (her beer was $5.50), so we didn't stay very long. We walked over to Ray's Pizza, had some mediocre pizza, and called it a night. I walked her to her subway stop, got a strong hug, and parted at midnight.

I got home a little after 1 AM, and sent her a message saying "Call me anytime." Her response was encouraging.

I got a nice message from someone else, too.

Hmmm.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

THINGS THAT ARE AWESOME

Sooo, I forgot about that. There's other stuff I've neglected to do here, too. Guess what? Tough shit. I'll do it when I can. Here's a few things that are Awesome:

This one's obvious: The World of Awesome, run by my CBR pals Ed, Alex, & Joe, and a couple other folks I don't know.

Dominic's (another CBR fellow) Smellavision Poetry Podcast.

Frequent reader & commenter celebhith's recently adopted Doggies.

CBR & neighborhood friend Merey just adopted a Kitty named Hannah!

Merey also recommends This American Life. I haven't had much of a chance to explore, but I'll take her word for it.

Lynne has shown me true fan-wankery awesomeness in CG form. Haloid, a short action movie that gamers & sci-fi geeks will love.

Lynne also made me aware of a comic strip called Minimum Security. It's a political strip on the liberal side. The art is a bit crude, but the writing is sharp.

Free Comic Book Day

Next Saturday, May 5th is FCBD.

Drag your asses to Rocketship, pick up a few freebies, and spend lots of money.

I will be there. Don't know when, or for how long, but I'll be there.

Take note: Rocketship is about ten/twelve blocks away from where I used to live in Brooklyn. Please, please, PLEASE come out for this, and drag someone with you; a brother, a wife, a child.

Freedom

I have been excused from jury duty.

However, starting Monday, the other two production artists will be gone.

Fun FUBAR times ahead.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Jury Duty

I have been summoned to appear at the Kew Gardens courthouse at 8:30 AM on 4/25/07.

I should be in bed, but guess what? I just got home from work.

Let's see how this goes.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Spiderman 3: IMAX

Okay, nerds. I know you all want to see it. A few of the folks from CBR are thinking about it, too.

Keep your Sundays free.

EDIT: The CBR folk seem to intend for an opening night viewing. Like hell! I can't deal with that. I'll be at work, and I'd be overwhelmed by the crowd.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

It would be nice...

...to feel wanted for once.

On Sunday, my cell phone reminded me that my infected gal pal's birthday is this week. I'm trying to forget her; it hurts too much. I still feel guilty about what happened, despite many people telling me not to, that it's all on her shoulders.

Hey, guilt trips are the only traveling I can afford to do anymore.

(Would any English/grammar nerds care to correct that sentence?)

In other news, I'm dipping my toe into the dating pool again. I really shouldn't. I'm not exactly in a healthy state, but people have responded to my profile a few times, so what the hell. If I hang out with random people who like me, maybe I can figure out WHY they like me. Maybe then I'll learn to like myself.

Yeah, right. It's supposed to be the other way around. Who would want a thing like me anyway?


At work today, I was peeling out hundreds of thin strips of vinyl for a zoetrope-like project and realized just how pointless my life is. "Same shit, different day" is horribly literal.

The next two days of work are going to entail 12+ hour shifts. I really should be in bed right now.

Work on the book has all but ceased. I'm still thinking about it. Lynne's coming over on Sunday to help take reference pics for the cover illustration. I haven't given up, I just don't care that much.

No money, no insurance, no doctor, no therapist, no happy pills, no motivation, no hope...and I don't even care. And I know that's not good.


Some good news, though: my best friend from high school (his lovely wife, really) found me on MySpace. I've been looking for them all over the place, but had been too lazy to call. The last time we spoke, Thom said something along the lines of "have something to talk about next time."

That was a while ago, at least before I started this blog. I'm still not good at the "having something to say" thing.

But damn, I am glad to hear from them.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Purge

I'm going through all my comics and seeing what I can get rid of. I'll probably (hopefully) ditch half of them. Once I've gone through them all, everyone will be invited over to take whatever they want. Anything that's left over will be given away/sold/recycled.

--------------

I'm so tired.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

The first five episodes of MTV's THE STATE are available on iTunes for $10.

Rejoice!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Show Me.

Now that Ze Frank's The Show has ended, the world is slightly less awesome. Therefore, I am asking all of you to share something awesome with me, and everyone else reading this. Don't be shy & send me an email. Post it here.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Wheeee!

You haven't lived until you've seen an old man drop a deuce on the opposite platform on the Times Square subway station at 2:30 in the morning.

Next, it'll be a circle jerk.

And someone will get the not-so-bright idea to invite me to join.

Friday, March 16, 2007

The Breakup


I saw this busted phone on my way home from the gym the other night. That must have been one stressful phone call.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

What a crappy week.

I was all set to get back into the swing of things; get things settled at the job, go to the gym (looooooooooooong overdue), and continue working on my book.

Yeah, none of that happened.

On Monday, the job from hell came in, and I knew I'd have to stay until 2 AM. Then there was a bit of personal drama.

It seems a well-meaning friend was trying to play matchmaker with me and a mutual friend. Even if I was attracted to her, I am in no way/shape/form on the market. Hooray for awkwardness. I spoke to the matchmaker, who I thought knew better, and explained what the situation was.

Something nice and completely unexpected happened, though. I got a message from a cutie on OK Cupid: "oh, this is sooo embarassing to say, but you seem adorable."

I responded: "That's very kind of you. Thank you for brightening up my week." and left it at that. I can't even deal right now.

I got home from work and crashed. I had no energy to write or draw.

Went in to work, and continued the job from hell, and stayed very late. When I walked in, I was handed a job that I knew nothing about, which my supervisor just pushed onto me as he raced out the door. I just had to hit "print" and get it done. I got home...I don't even remember when.

Woke up on Wednesday morning, and discovered a Freaking Awesome thing:

My favorite bass player is a happy daddy.

http://www.lmbass.blogspot.com/

http://carrie-sunbaby.blogspot.com/

I'm so happy for Lyman, Carrie and new Milo (aka Porkchop) that I squealed like a teenage girl when I saw the pictures.

I walked into work, and got chewed out because I didn't notice a minor detail was missing from the print I made from the previous day, the job that was hastily shoved into my hands at the last nanosecond. I was overwhelmed, went into the bathroom and cried for 20 minutes. People started coming in, so I retreated to the stairwell and continued bawling for another 20 minutes.

Note to CAD artists: Fuck you. Stop using transparency layers. Get your shit together, and write your PDFs properly. And don't expect anyone to look over your shit with a magnifying glass.

More and more jobs came in, and I nearly quit on the spot. I wasn't going to stay until fucking 8 AM to meet these obnoxiously tight deadlines. My supervisor, sensing my stress, took on a few of the little jobs and stayed late to help get them done so I could concentrate on the BIG one.

Urgh, my stomach is sour just from re-living it in my head.

I stayed until 3 AM.

Thursday was more of the same, but without the screwups, yelling, or crying. Stayed until 2 AM.

Friday was just a repeat of Thursday, but I only stayed until 1 AM. I got home at 2, laid down and thought for a while, and cried myself to sleep - something I haven't done in a while.

Saturday was a vast improvement. I got my haircut again (second time!), and ran around for groceries & other necessities before Lynne came over for dinner. We talked for a while, and cuddled for a while, until I felt remotely human again (thank you, Lynne). We made plans to see Pan's Labyrinth next weekend. I know I'm way behind on movies; I had an invitation to see it earlier, but I just wasn't ready for group outings at the time. Plus, it occurred while I was at work, so I wouldn't have been able to go if I wanted to.

Lynne left around 10:30, and I spent the rest of the night catching up on CBR.

Today was my lazy, accomplish-jack-shit day (except for laundry, of course). I'm enjoying some strawberries as I type this.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Edgy

I've been on edge all day. I've snapped at a few people.

Bowie came over on Saturday, and we wasted a good amount of time. I forced him to finally read my slowly-expanding script - if you have a link to it, check it out. It's been updated. Later on, we took off. He headed home, and I went to meet Francis at about 9 PM. He and some other upstate nerds came down for the comic con. We talked for a few minutes, and then I left for Rocketship. The crowd was just too much for me at this point, so I called Ed Cunard & asked him to bring a few people outside. I owed Mordechai some prints for his daughter's birthday two months ago, and finally got a chance to deliver them; he lives in Teaneck, NJ, and had come out to the party. I was there for maybe 20 minutes and started to feel tense, so I left. I'm glad I came out, though; I miss my friends/CBR nerds.

I headed ten blocks over and visited my former landlady Jan & her cats. I was just there last weekend, but I really needed to use the bathroom. I stayed for a little over an hour.

I left at midnight and got home around 1:30 AM.

Sunday was grocery & laundry day. I got caught up with my parents. Dad's knee isn't doing too well. The cold, and the many feet of snow aren't helping. I realized that I still haven't done my taxes. I know I'll owe state (always do), but don't know about federal. It should be fine, though. I got a surprise $800 back last year, after I thought I owed $200.

I might go to the gym tonight, depending on how I feel. I need to get back there. This weight gain is really bad.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Recluse, Phase Three

Have you ever stood at the rear end of the subway platform, waiting for your train to arrive? It finally shows up, and as each car passes by you scan the passengers, looking for someone you're avoiding.

You take a breath as each car crawls past you.

You don't want to walk into the same car as that person, because doing so would create a whole lot of awkwardness, and probably cause an anxiety attack.

On the plus side, I have some leads for a sliding-scale clinic. I just have to get off my ass and call.

For some reason, I don't feel like doing so.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

NYCC

New York Comic Con is upon us next weekend at the Javitz center.

Due to my mental state, I'm staying the fuck away.

But go to table A249 in Artists Alley and give some love to Khary Randolph, Wesley Gunn, Danny Kimanyen (aka Kano) and Larry Christmas. And if you have a copy of the Boondocks DVDs, have Khary sign it. He worked on some character designs on episode 5, "A Date with the Health Inspector."

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

You would think...

...that after being so lonely for so long, I'd be used to it by now.

If only that were the case.

I skipped out of work an hour early Monday night to have dinner with my recently-infected gal pal. We walked up to Yaffa Cafe on St. Marks, where our smart-assed waiter made me laugh and had a bit of fun at my friends' expense.

She's still seeing the "gift-giver." Despite the STD, she seems pretty happy with him. Good for her, I guess.

Throughout the meal she said, "you look sad" or "depressed."

Well duh. I couldn't talk about it there in such a public place.

She told me that socializing is difficult for everyone. Sure, it's not exactly the easiest thing. But how many people have problems just ordering a meal, or even talking with their friends?

Right before dessert, Miles' It Never Entered My Mind came on over the speakers and I nearly lost it.

I screwed up at work on Tuesday. My inability to give a flying fuck about this job or anything that matters is reappearing.

I just got back to the office after picking up some Chinese food. The classy restaurant downstairs is packed. I think I'll stay in the office a bit later to avoid the crowds of happy people. It means I won't get home until 2 or 3 AM, but it's either that or face an anxiety attack in public.

I need something good to happen soon.

Come on, Mega-Millions; daddy needs a new life. This one's been on the shelf for too long.