Home, and a Broad

Tuesday, September 23rd - Like any major urban area, Williamsburg does have neighborhood riff-raff. In this case, tho (true to form), the local insane-drunk sketchy guy is a true hipster, with the thrift-store t-shirt and the trucker hat and ratty sneakers. I see him about once a month, wandering up and down Bedford Ave., always reeking of cheep hooch, and he's more than a little eczematic and a little too loud (has anyone else seen this guy?). Anyway, i was looking at t-shirts on a rack on the sidewalk on a lovely Sunday morning, and he cornered me and asked me for 50 cents. I said i didn't have 50 cents. He said "aw, come on man, i need a drink." I replied "we all need a drink" (maybe because i was pretending i was in a movie, and that seemed like the kind of philisophically vague reply you'd hear in a bad movie). Then he asked how Girl Harbor was. I said "ah, i ain't in that band anymore." His very emphatic reply was "That's where you get the HARBOR and you FUCK HER!!" At that point, he thankfully wandered off.

And with that, i'm leaving for England today. Big Ben, Parliament. Talk to you soon.

I'll miss you, New York.

Saturday, September 20th - I was going to listen to CCR this morning - i haven't listened to them since reading their crappy biography about 6 months ago - but then the newest White Stripes CD was on top of the CD player, so, deciding that new things are good in small doses, i put that on instead. I like how the first thing you hear on the CD is a bass guitar. That makes me feel good, valid even.

Today's subject is talent, a term that encompasses many more aspects of human existence than most may realize. I think it's possible to have talent in many ways. I was thinking about this last night. Most people equate things like "painting" or "singing" as talents. I say, what if you are really good at mopping? Is that a talent? Because it might be. It might be a talent that people will have little respect for, a talent that won't fulfill you or find you well-compensated, but it may very well be a talent. Maybe less depressing is fixing bicycles. That's a talent, right? One that tends to come at the expense of social skills, but still. I've said for some time that, oh, Madonna's true talent is merely being famous. And maybe it is that having talent, disproportionately, in one area leaves little excess talent to other aspects of one's life. Pretend that we are all D&D characters, if you will (and you may anyway), only that instead of hit points (hp), you roll a d20 for "talent points" (tp). Madonna lucks out and rolls a 20. I'd say she's allocated about 17 of those points to "being famous", with 2 points going to writing lyrics that girls like, and the final point going to yoga. And so my talents may include writing (as is evinced by this, of course), playing the bass guitar, with a couple extra going toward convincing people in social situations that i'm much smarter than i actually am. I won't designate point values to my talents - i leave that to you, dear reader - but i feel okay about my lot in life. But, i bring this up, because there's one talent i clearly lack: the ability to finish things. Or, even start them enought to where a finish-line is visible. I think that is the great, undervalued, elusive talent, finishing things. I say this because of what i sense is an almost perversely axiomatic nature of art and creating things: people with the talent to actually see things through to their completion tend to lack the talent to have had any business attempting whatever it is they just finished. This sounds snide, sure, but doesn't it account for every crappy CD you hear, every crummy painting you see, every insignificant book you read? I could go on and on. I always do.

But still, i think this helps to explain the two art shows i stumbled across last night. It must take an amount of determination that i clearly lack to conceive and create an amount of art to fill a Driggs St. warehouse, as well as actually *get* the space to display it in, get the crappy ambient bass & keyboard noodlers to perform, force all of your friends to show up and support (plying them with free beer, natch). This is a talent, one that, as all art fans/beer lovers know, tends to come at the expense of being a good artist. Then again, who am i to front? I bad-mouth everything, don't i.

It's pink. It's fun!

Okay, i admit, i kinda liked this.

Friday, September 19th - and a happy 29th birthday to Mr. James Sparber. I have been in the long, on-going process of cleaning as much unnecessary crap out of my house as possible. Most recently, it was my two hall closets, one for tools, and one for coats and boxes of random crap (actually, "boxes of random crap" and "tools" are virtually synonymous with me, but anyway). One such box was a pasta maker that Robin's parents bought her many years ago. What it was still doing in my house, i have no idea, until on a whim, i opened up the box, and it contained all of my old diaries! as well as a bunch of stories and poems i wrote for college, from 8 or 9 years ago. I was 23 then, and those were different times. And, well, you can only imagine how horrendous all of the writing is. I mean, i'm not exactly Hemmingway (or Zack Lipez) now, but yeesh. I was a pretty upset kid, i think because girls didn't like me. Or something. One of my stories was about a college student having a conversation about girls with an imaginary friend (hoo, boy), one was an amusing but unintentionally racist yarn about a poor black guy who "finds" a bunch of money in a Lexus, the last a very tossed off piece about a talking cockroach warning of the end of the world. And, say nothing of the poems, which ran the gamut from crummy faux-Ginsberg (Dirty Socks, False Hopes) to crummy faux-Seuss (Toy Boat), although i *did* find the original copy of Pirate, the world's shortest poem. As for the "journals", well, i can't remember who a good 80% of the people i'm writing about even are, except for my mom's old East Indian friend Armand, who i once wrote was "the only guy who could flunk the test to get into Detox." Yuck yuck. Ke-yi. This stuff should have biohazard stickers all over it.

But enough about that, let's look at some funny pictures!

Kev (l.) and i recently embarked on an impromptu, pre-Hurricane baseball trip that took us to the historic city of Philadelphia, where Kevin once went to school. Upon arriving in Philly, Kev asked what i wanted to do while i was in town, and i said the only thing i really cared about (other than seeing a game at the last of the 70's concrete donuts, Veteran's Stadium (r.), before it gets mercilessly knocked down in the name of progress), was seeing the Liberty Bell (l.). This annoyed Kevin greatly. First of all, as he rightly pointed out, that amidst all of the great, historic architecture in downtown Phila., the Bell is located inside an awkward, I.M. Pye-inspired glass edifice with wood paneling on the inside (the picture of which i took did no justice to its ugliness). In fact, as an aside, Philly's a relentlessly ugly place, which may be the greatest source of its charm, if charm is the right word, which it probably isn't. Anyway, Josh and i are already planning to move there, but that's another story. The one i'm telling now is about the Liberty Bell, and how the security measures to even see the damn thing are surpassed only by El Al flights. Yes, we had to take our belts off, go through a metal detector, just to see the Liberty Bell inside a glass building with wood paneling. I wondered aloud to Kev if terrorists know the Liberty Bell even exists. He wondered aloud what the hell we were doing there. So, thankfully, there was a tour guide there to explain the whole thing to a group of people that were either at least 20 years older or 20 years younger than us. This including her prodding little kids to answer questions about slavery and such. Afterward, Kevin was about to ask the guide where the basement was, and i wish he'd done it. Instead we got that picture on the left, and got the hell out of there.

It probably won't surprise you that Kev and i have differing views on crappy baseball stadiums as well. I'd been trying to strong-arm him all year to going to see a game at the Vet - in fact the two of us and Karen once got into an entire-dinner-long philisophical discussion about the importance of old buildings precipitated by my stating i wanted to see Veteran's Stadium - and he finally acquiesced, helped by the fact that the Phillies are in a play-off chase this year and the game was against the Marlins. Predictably, i dug the stadium in all its clunky glory, but many of the things i enjoyed most about it will still be around when the Phillies move across the street next year. Things like, oh, brawling shirtless men (too late with the camera to catch that one), the Philly Phanatic (pictured on the jumbotron (r.), if you squint), the completely unnotable food (see below), surly fans booing every single miscue, relentless calls for "tits", and the like. The Phillies got trounced, which of course, only added to the wonderfully depressing atmosphere. I'm glad i experienced it, and i'm glad i wasn't wearing a Mets shirt.

Meet the "Belly Buster"
which i missed an entire inning waiting for.

p.s.: We also went to see a game in Baltimore the previous night. Camden Yards is a nice place, but it is *exactly* like Coors Field, and presumably like all the other 90s "retro" stadiums. How many years before all of *those* places start to seem ugly and lacking in personality? I should mention it was $1 hot dog night at Camden Yards that evening, but i doubt anyone wants to know how many i ate that night. 6.

For those of you asking how Karen is doing in the UK, the tour seems to be going well. I'm just glad they're still playing "Punk Pork." Ha ha.

Well, now to write Esteban Orgullo and tell him about seeing the Stooges back in August, then to watch a little TV and perhaps take a nap, before going out for birthday festivites. Have a great weekend.

I have no idea why i took this picture.

Monday, September 15th - Yet more proof that simple ideas are always the best ones: i could kick myself for not thinking of Neighborhoodies. I've wanted a green & white ringer "Greenpoint" t-shirt for ages, only to assume they would never exist. Plus, my parents used to own a t-shirt printing shop. And "neighborhoodies" is a term my pun-addled mind could've come up with very easily. It's like how Mayan children (or was it Incan children?) used to play with toy wheelbarrows, but in all their temple-building wisdom, the adults never got around to inventing a *real* wheelbarrow. At least i can't say i thought of it first, i just should've. And best/worst of all, Josh just bought a "neighborhoodie." It's a dark blue zip-up turtle neck, with collegiate yellow lettering that reads "Greenpoint" with a star over the "i". Josh put it on to show Kevin last night and Kevin predictably mumbled "ah, ya look like a fag."

During an impropmtu housewarming party at Greg's new Greenpoint pad (an affair featuring both spinach lasagna and "whippets"), El Grego asked me if i regretted quitting Girl Harbor. Actually, Zack asked me the same thing the previous night at Mars Bar. My response to Zack was "not even remotely" which, in retrospect, i think was a little too cavalier. I mean, i don't miss playing the music - at all - but i did get to tell Greg i miss hanging out with them, that the band is how i became and remained friends with them. A sappy sentiment, but screw it, it's been rainy. The party was quite fun, though, and i appreciate Dave Lipp sharing his previously-unopened bottle of Thai rum with me.

Sunday, September 14th - There was once a time when, if two celebrities of the stature of Johnny Cash and John Ritter died on the same day, i would have a lot more to say about it, or at least some sort of angle. They were both geniuses at what they did, and they were both named John. I thought it was funny/sad when the Daily News astrology column unwittingly ran a "Virgo" profile on John Ritter the day of his death. And the News' solemn front page of Johnny Cash contrasting with the Post's dorky "Heart Break" John Ritter cover says all you need to know about New York's two major tabloids. But i'm not really feeling anything else on the matter. So, i guess i'll stop trying. The reason i was having trouble writing yesterday is, while struggling for something to say about "9-12", Josh was in the other room, *loudly* discovering how to play acoustic slide guitar. It went from hysterical to maddening, then back to funny in a very short time, before i finally acquiesced and played bass along to the 3-chord pattern he'd been working on for over an hour with the monomaniacal energy of a baby with a new rattle. I wouldn't even be remotely surprised to see him on the couch again today, watching his requisite one quarter of the Jets game, playing a slightly different permutation of the same G-C pattern on the slide.

As for me, i'm attempting to impliment another one of my vague "life-improvement" strategies that i tend to embark on when i have the time to dedicate to coming up with such plans, time normally occupied by having a job. You see, as you all know (especially Josh and Jeff), i am the worst gambler in history. I'm about 2 for 50 lifetime at the track, i lost over 100 keno tickets before finally winning $10 (bucking at least 10,000-1 futility odds in the process), i lost almost $200 in 2 hours in Atlantic City merely playing blackjack. Me gambling is like Al Leiter batting. This would make me very disinclined to ever gamble again, right? Hell, no. Today, i want to back to Belmont. I'm not going to, mind you, but that is solely due to intertia. Intertia, as terrible of a force as it is, is probably the one thing that keeps me from spending more money. Anyway, where am i going with all this? I'll tell you. I, like many, often have to bribe myself into taking care of myself. Much like rewarding the big jog with a hot fudge sundae (which i never understood), i've decided that - since there is an OTB right next to the Greenpoint Y - if i go to the gym like a good 33-year old man, that afterward, i'll go blow a few bucks on some 30-1 horse that won't win. Mind you, i'm not sure what the real benefit of this plan is, other than to help keep me fit and broke, but somehow it made sense yesterday. Tomorrow, i resume my job search, i swear.

Okay, that was strange. Let's go to the ol' photo bag ...

Karaoke at Josh's bar: I think they are singing "I've Had the Time of My Life" here, but i can't quite remember. I think they were also very drunk. It occurs to me that pictures of one's girlfriend singing karaoke are akin to pictures of one's cat. But screw it, i'm making you look at them anyway. Karen talked me into singing "True" by Spandau Ballet (you know that one), and that went surprisingly well.

(A way too small, unpanoramic view of)
Newtown Barge Playground
Commercial St., Greenpoint

... has been voted down as the site of Kevin Dailey's nascent kickball league, because, much like Wrigley until 1988, it has no lights. But, what a view! And it's always available. Karen asked me a little while ago what Kevin's dreams were, what he's always wanted to do with his life. I didn't quite know how to answer then, but i think i do now: i think Kevin has always wanted to be a commissioner of a sport. Paintball, curling, duck races, anything. I know if Kevin had his druthers, he and everyone he knows would be in the kickball league. There would be 6 or 8 teams, a schedule, rotating ball parks, play-offs, an all-star game, nicknames and jerseys, a "Game of the Week" on BCAT. It's good to think big.

Karen split for her British tour last night. 10 days w/o the dame, before i fly out to meet her. Fly Icelandair, that's my tip. $290 for round-trip - into London and out from Glasgow - with an extended layover in Reykjavik. Sweet! I also got railfare from London to Glasgow for 31 pounds for 2 tix. April Long confirmed that this was a very good fare indeed. Plus, it's conceivable at least that we won't have to pay for any lodging until we get to Reykjavik. I wonder if it's actually cheaper to travel abroad than it is to live in NYC. Anyway, i leave on the 23rd, so if you have any last-second suggestions other than the London Eye and Edinburgh (which are on the interary), lemme know. Think food.

Saturday, September 13th - I got this at 10 last night, courtesy of Mike Hollitscher. Didn't take long, did it ...

I'm having a hard time writing today. I'll try later.

Monday, September 8th - A word to-day about my cell phone, which i still use. During a discussion with Kevin and Sasha on a pleasant day at Coney, i told them i was going to make a vaguely racist assertation. Which is a dangerous thing to do around Kevin, making vaguely racist assertations, unless it's about Chinese guys. Anyway, as you may know, i've been getting a lot of calls for "piano tuning" - in some cases involving *multiple* pianos - on my cell phone, as well as a lot of calls in Espańol. So, my brilliant theory was that, well, "piano tuning" must be a code word for, oh, *something*. And Kevin replied excitedly that my number probably used to belong to a pot dealer. In fact, Kev's old pot dealer used the same exact "piano tuning" schitck. Sigh. I'm forced to assume that is the case, but i thought it was much funnier to have the old number of an actual Spanish-speaking piano tuner. His name could've been Pablo, and he could've had a white Rollie Fingers-style curly-cue mustache, and he could've worn a guyabera and polished black shoes, and tuned to the sound of his operatic voice. Oh well.

I briefly had the notion to change my message to "Hi, this is Jens, and i'm not a pot dealer," but that's probably not a good idea, is it.

Good news: After at least 10 years of non-use, i just put 6 new C batteries into my Garry Kasparov-endorsed Radio Shack Chess Champion 2150L - the sole remaining artifact of the Tina Dawdy era of the early '90s - and wouldn't you know it, it fired right up and is working perfectly. It even still has all of its pieces.

Bad news: It just checkmated me in 12 moves.

Saturday, September 6th - Ex-roommate/bandmate Jeff Mensch agrees that this website could use some pictures. In fact, he's even volunteering to rescue Whitney's parents' unused digital camera from their house in PA for me to have. Gratis! Hope that pans out. Best of all (and this will help explain why the camera has hardly been used), it's a Mavica, just like my first didge, and it saves on to floppy disks. As you know, i know my way around those cameras, even if, or perhaps because, they are big and clunky. Until that materializes, though, i've provided a couple of pictures on the right, to spruce things up a bit. It's the least i could do.

Yesterday, i decided to bike out to Flushing Meadow, to try and score some sort of cheep ticket to see some of the U.S. Open. I brought along my Incredible Hulk note pad, just in case i wanted to make some notes, i guess. And my fears that the U.S. Open is ridiculously expensive were well-founded: $48 was the lowest price, and nary a scalper in sight. So, after deciding i didn't like tennis quite *that* much, i biked home. But before i left, i decided to check out what was actually in my note pad, and discovered a bunch of note taking i did during a recent trip to the P.S.1 art gallery in Long Island City. I remember too that that's when i finally met James and Zack's mysterious 4th roommate, Daniela. She told James i looked very serious staring at paintings and scribbling in a note pad. If only she knew what i had been writing ...


At PS1, wishing i had someone to talk to about art. Ellen Phelan is the artist. So close to evoking *something*, corrupted by misguided strokes, holes and drips on canvas. Sigh. You blew it, Ellen.

Julian Stanczak, Op art. Works with geometry + color. Reminds me of ma in art school, making color wheels of out special construction paper. Pretty breathtaking stuff. Like those things where you cross your eyes and an image jumps out, only interesting and valid. Intertwined (1995) makes me want to make love.
Michael Vessa, Denver native. Black lights, stripes, couches nailed to walls. Like some crazy futuristic bachelor pad, man. I bet they could raise money by letting people have their photo taken on the couch, like the "big chair" at Coney Island. I never understood that thing.
Looked into mirror. Had booger in nose. Oops.
Big double pipe piece looks better from above.
Just now remembering "sink room" in Freeport LIR station.
(Editor's note: we first encountered the "sink room" while waiting for the Jones Beach shuttle bus to go to the Stooges show the previous night. Underneath a staircase, descending from the train platform, was an empty cubicle behind a large glass wall. The only thing in the room was a small sink in the far corner, nothing else. Doesn't sound that exciting upon description, but it's very existance had us all pleasantly baffled for a while.)
Jim Hodges does the sheet music piece. Trying to determine if there was a message or method to song selection. "Yesterday," "New York New York," a James Taylor song, something from Jesus Christ Superstar. Alas, cannot find theme, except maybe "Cheesy." Crap. Almost, but i think no.
Just met James' roommate Daniella
[sic]. She seems very nice. I explained how i was trying to find a theme to the piece with the sheet music on the wall. Art makes me pretentious.
Right now, i'm trying my best not to oggle what appears to be a German girl. She's wearing a hat. If i were 17 or 18, i bet i'd walk over and ask to try on her hat. I was annoying then. Maybe i'd ask her what the band-aid on her arm is for. But now i'm older and wiser, and there's art to discuss. I wonder if i look creepy writing in a notebook. Never stopped ol' Tad Low.

And so on ...

My two favorite NYC politicians
in a classicly-Daily News unflattering shot.

Karen doesn't believe me
when i tell her i have this picture as the background of my computer screen because of her earrings. But you believe me, don't you?

Friday, September 5th - Underneath my computer desk is a pair of Josh's shoes. In one of the shoes is a bag of grapes. It's been there for a coupla days now. I have a strange roommate.

While talking to James and Karen last night, i started a sentence "The best thing about pap smears is ..." What i'd meant to say, of course, was "The best thing about book club is that everybody started talking about pap smears, and i was the only guy there, see?, and, ah, never mind."

It's way too nice out to be doing this today. I'm gonna go ride my bike somewhere.

Thursday, September 4th - You know, when i say my time at Pop-Up has left me with a great resume, i meant that more in a figurative sense than a literal one. From a practical standpoint, it hasn't left me with a resume at all. I've been struggling to write one, actually. It does seem strange that i would find this so vexing - at age 33 - but the fact is, i've only ever finished one once, and that was largely done by Jesse. He even included the term "proprietary database" in my job description from my short, unremarkable stint at The Princeton Review. A Fuchs-ian phrase if there ever was one. I still don't know what it means. In fact, i even made note of this - in pen - on my old resume when i went in for the interview at Pop-Up. My old boss Tad exclaimed to the others in the room "look! He popped his own resume!" and i'm convinced to this day that's why i got the job.

In fact, that sort of validates my theory that i should treat resumes as irreverantly as possible. This strategy has worked in one sense: those sorts of tactics offend most prospective employers, but the one's who "get it" end up being great people to work for. Anyway. I'm currently looking for tips on-line, and going off a Microsoft Word "resume wizard." No sign of that damn talking paper clip yet, thank heavens. One of the categories in the wizard is "objective." This struck me as strange; isn't the objective pretty obvious? It's taken everything i have to not write "to find a job." I, at least for now, have put "To keep on writin'." Hello, unemployment line. That *does* give me a sudden idea, though: write the shittiest resume possible, mispelled words, lousy job history, the works. Then fax it to every job you can find on-line over the course of an hour, and make assiduous records of your "progress." An easy way to keep your unemployment, if only i were eligible. Those of you in the "405 club" are free to use that idea if you wish.

So, i should really get back to it. You know, i would just get some beer-fund-starved NYU kid to write it for me, but i went looking for jobs on Craig's List yesterday, and responed to one. My message was "your job sounds interesting; i may even get around to sending a resume." And their response was essentially "yeah, why don't you, and then we'll talk." So, i have a deadline today. In fact, i woke up at 8:30 this morning, just to stay motivated. Of course, when i got up, i was motivated to go to the coffeeshop for a chocolate croissant. I took a very disheartening stab at the NY Times crossword (about 7 clues finished), and read a surprisingly unexciting article about the surprisingly exciting NL & AL central races this year. Plus, the new girl, cute as she is, plays the crappiest music. On Monday it was James Taylor (oof), today it was some distractingly cheesy later-Elvis Costello record. I knew i should've stayed at home.

Monday, September 1st - Today, i got the idea to take the solutions section of the daily crosswords, then try and come up with new clues for them. Maybe i’ll start with the Daily News puzzles, as they tend to have very uninteresting clues. Then i will give the new, Jensed crossword to Karen to see if she can make sense of it. Or, maybe i should do it to the Friday Times puzzle, just so there’s a use for it. I was looking at the solutions from yesterday’s News and i asked Karen what a good new clue for “fist” would be. That’s about as far as that conversation got.

After this, i should really pick up Motherless Brooklyn again, for the book club my friend(ster) Julia is doing on Wednesday nights. I only got about 30 pages in the first time, and didn’t much care for it. But, Karen’s distaste for not finishing books has rubbed off me in a big way (i actually finished Invisible Man this time out), so i’ll give it a try anyway. But, surprisingly, i don’t really care for breezy writing at all. I discovered this when i started – and didn’t finish - The Extra Man by Jonathan Ames, a one time NYPress columnists who’s articles i always enjoyed much more than anyone writing for them now. But, i digress. Boy do i digress. If this whole weekend filled with too much drinking hadn’t rendered the thought of drinking some wine so unappealing, i’d drink some wine. I have some here, after all. Plus, drinking wine and reading makes me feel sophisticated. But, Motherless Brooklyn is defintely one of those fun, breezy books i tend to find unrewarding. I mean, i guess i should really read more than 30 pages before i make any great judgements. But, i like having to slug through a lot of description or weird internal dialogue. Action never really adds up to much in books. Maybe i’d actually like Ulysses, or maybe i should borrow Edwin Mullhouse from Jesse again. Maybe i should find a job.

We were at Karen’s brother’s house in Hoboken today. We got there around 1 pm, where i had my first meal of the day: pepperoni and mushroom pizza, and some black coffee i made before i realized we were getting pizza. Needless to say, i’ve felt like crap all day. We sat around and alternately watched my new (kinda) niece Quinn sleep and burp and grunt, and the Lord of the Rings: Two Towers DVD. There was some incredibly crappy extra features on the disc, including interviews with what might be the most earnest and overly-serious cast in movie history, but it was fun to watch the movie again. The scenes with the old talking trees were my favorites. I’m pretty sure i could watch a movie featuring just the talking trees. Although, the whole time, i thought of the big smiling trees they used to have in the playrooms of McDonald’s in the 70s, and suppressed giggles most of the time. I’m not a very good person to watch movies with. Quinn, on the other had, is cute as a button.

This website is nothing without pictures. Pictures say 1000 words, after all.

Saturday, August 30th - It is very overcast today, and it looks like it might rain, once again. This has been a pretty depressing summer, i'd have to say. But, today, it looks like some of us are going to P.S.1 for the last summer party of the season. I guess Afrika Bambaataa is spinning. This is the sort of New York-y thing i always feel compelled to do because, you know, i live here, and i should take advantage. Kind of like seeing Sonny Rollins at Summer Stage in Central Park, the quintessentially NYC cosmopolitan activity that isn't nearly anything it's cracked up to be. Kevin wants to ride bikes today, and i think we're going to try and squeeze it all in. Provided it doesn't rain, of course. Josh has a friend in from Colorado named Chelsea, and she's nice and very fun. Here, i'll scan in a Polaroid they took late last night, after the BQE show ...

I'm really enjoying this scanner. After seeing that photo this morning, i remarked to Kev that Aaron looks like he should be playing for the '80s Milwaukee Brewers.

My home improvement project yesterday was to fix the entry foyer window i snagged off the sidewalk in front of 117 Freeman St. about a year ago. It has the old gold and black numbers that are chipping away, and it's covered with 7 different shades of peeling brown paint. I've been torn about trying to fix it up, or leave it as it is, and i decided to quickly chip away some of the excess paint, and just hang it up and get it over with. Not one of my finer efforts - home improvement week has lost steam of late - but fuck it, i like it. Then i took a picture of my work with what i believe to be the last of the mystery Girl Harbor half-used disposable cameras ...

... and then took the roll to get developed. The last disposable camera of unknown origin i got developed contained a bunch of photos from a Cover Me Badd practice, confirming my suspicions that Cover Me Badd was the least photogenic band of its era. This time out, tho, there were some good pix (some included below), as well as a couple of shots of Zack about to give a beer bottle a blow job. That nut!

Josh, at our new local coffeeshop


Allison, looking like she's about to kill Mishka
(Now that's a rare shot.)

And speaking of nuts ...

As i type this, Scandal's "Goodbye to You" is on my shuffling Media Player. Now, who the hell downloaded this song? I accuse Josh.

From: ”Jens here”
To: "k corręa"
Subject: In case you were wondering …
Date: Fri, 29 Aug 2003 11:10:40 –0400

Some solutions to our unfinished NY Times crossword from yesterday ...

"Shrinks" = Analysts
"Green Lights" = Yesses
"Madison, for one" = Avenue
"Coffeebar treats" = Frappes

Wait, they get worse ...

“Good Fellow” = Okay guy
"Spring Playgirl V.I.P" = Mr. April (!!)
Incidentally, "Monarch (abbr.)"
was Eliz., thereby making …
"Completely" = From A to Z (!!!!),
which i of course initially read as "Fromatoz"?

And finally, the one i just don't get ...
"Table scraps" = Ort


Needless to say, i didn't even attempt to-day's.



From: "k corręa"
To: “Jens here”
Subject: oh my god! he's totally fromatoz! we have to get him to a hospital... pronto!
Date: Fri, 29 Aug 2003 11:43:34 -0400

check it:

Main Entry: ort
Pronunciation: 'ort
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle Low German
Date: 15th century
: a morsel left at a meal : SCRAP

what a jerkface that (Times crossword editor Will) shortz is.

karen "yesses" corręa

The following is included as a test of the $99 scanner i bought at Target. The scan looks fine, but Johnstone looks a little hung over ...

Jay Johnstone 1983 Fleer Card
Estimated value: 7 cents

Thursday, August 28th - Tonight, i go see The Vitamen at Luna Lounge. It's fun to go see shows. Jesse asked me if i could play drums on a song. Naturally, i wrote back immediately saying "no" then caving in in about 2 sentences. So, we agreed if i was there by the time the show started, i might play. I should probably be relearning the song instead of writing right now. Maybe i will ...

p.s. As for Atlantic City, the less said about that, the better.

Wednesday, August 27th - Today, well, i don't feel like painting today. I've been repainting the rooms in our place all week. The computer room, which we did first, is now a nice mint green, replacing the faded yellow. Buoyed by the success of that, we've tried to tackle the living room, whose walls are in much worse shape. Big cracks and missing chips from when trucks trying to enter the garage next door accidentally run into the building a coupla times a week. I used a quart of spackle on one wall alone, filling in huge fissures and holes, then got impatient and attempted to paint over it before it had completely dried, resulting in more work. And, since we are painting it the same color, unlike the computer room, the results aren't as immediately gratifying. So, after half-heartedly attempting to finish the big wall today, i gave up and decided to do this instead.

It's nice to be writing this again, especially now that i have the internet at home again, after 2 1/2 months. The cruncher is i got another camera stolen, but now i instead have a scanner on my new printer. So, as a short term solution, maybe i'll take pix with disposable cameras, then scan the resulting photos. Actually, that sounds like a lot of work. The things i do for you people. I suddenly have a thought: i should have a Carstensen Online benefit show, the proceeds of which would go toward buying me a new camera. I'm sure plenty of bands would queue up for the opportunity to play such a presitigious gig. That would be unbelievably crass, wouldn't it? It cracks me up even thinking about it. I guess the gig couldn't be at Luxx any more, ever since Mishka quit. No telling where it would be. Boy, am i out of the loop.

It's been about a month since i quit Girl Harbor. I've kept busy enough to this point, filling in on drums for Beauty Supply (Josh Taggart's band), as well as working on new Denver Zest stuff. But, i'm starting to think i should be doing more with my time in that regard. I don't really write enough material to sustain my own band, and i've always like playing other people's stuff better anyways. So, what to do. I think about how fun it would be to be gigging regularly again, then i think about how much i hate moving equipment. I think about how i enjoy being in bands, and then i think about when i inevitably become disappointed or bored and i quit. I think about how much i like performing, being on stage for all to see, then i think about how the only thing i want to do afterward is run away and be by myself. This is a cycle i should consider breaking. In what way, though, i don't know. I've been thinking way too much lately.

Those of you wondering what you had missed while i was away, here's a short burst of writing i did in late June. You know, back when i had a job. Unlike now. Which is why this entry is the length it is. I haven't been terribly productive with my recent glut of free time, but more so than i would've thought before. I've done a lot of stuff around the house. Hell, i even fixed the broken leg of one of my dressers yesterday, all by myself. And i think it'll hold too, as long as i don't ever touch my dresser again. One of these days, i'll go about looking for a new job. That day will probably be sometime in October.

You know, every time i'm doing any extensive work at the computer, i click on my handy Windows Media Player, which randomly (and this is important) plays selections from the 1,000 or so songs we have downloaded from KaZaa. It chooses from my folders, Josh's and even Jeff's old stuff. I mention this because almost every time i play it, "Sin City" by The Flying Burrito Brothers (Jeff's handiwork) comes on. God, i hate that shit. Hippy cowboy garbage that my parents used to listen to. The other one i seem to hear inordinately is "Killer Klowns from Outer Space" by The Dickies, from the soundtrack of the movie of the same name. I downloaded that one!

We still have Karen's sister's boyfriend's convertable 2-seater for another week. Karen's in Detroit as i write this - The Hissyfits played there last night - so Josh proposed we take the car down to Atlantic City for a night of high-rolling. Or, seeing as how he works two nights a week to my zero, maybe it's more like "low-rolling." Anyway. I'll be content to while away a few hours at blackjack. My goal is to make enough to pay for the damn parking ticket i got on the car last week. Or at least half. Or gas money. Or maybe my goal is to still have a wallet when i leave. Stay tuned!

Funny graffiti of the day, on the wall of a warehouse on nearby Green St.: Earth First Nigga!

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