concrete trenches
sometimes more feet than shoes.

Friday, January 30, 2004  

I hate to beg

I don't usually go in for discussing the technical aspects of the site, mainly because it's boring. However, I have replaced my comments feature, moving from Klink Family to something that fucking works HaloScan.

Here's something I don't like: notice the gigantic "SAY WHAT?" below, and how it screws with the otherwise sleek lines of the post. Plus I don't like the font. If anyone wants to coach me on how to fix that, they'd earn my undying gratitude.

** Undying Gratitude Update: Jeevan, whose homepage happens to be gave me the instructions in my new, spankin', totally working comments. He earns My Undying Gratitude (tm) and even a little scratch. Thanks, man.

| posted by christopher | 10:56 AM

Thursday, January 29, 2004  

One Million Dollars an Inch

This city grinds at you, wears you down. Even more so when it's covered in snow. The effort to walk through plow leavings and snow blower drifts makes walking just that little bit extra fun.

The weather of the last few days has stirred some shocking revelations in me, though. I like the snow. It's beautiful. I don't want to live in a permafrost, but I feel a kind of hominess in this weather.

Tuesday night it was coming down like a Frank Capra movie in half-dollar size lumps that would explode into a shower of several hundred individual flakes. The streets were abandoned (by New York standards) and a half a block away from the 7 train the only sound was the wind and the dry crunch under my boots.

This morning the sun was so bright shining off the lingering whiteness that it hurt. I remembered many a winter in Repressed New England squinting at the landscape, the sky blue like infinity.

I wonder if I'll love heatwaves and peesmell this much.

| posted by christopher | 8:34 PM  


All sorts of wonderful things to write, and after a day spent servin' burgers, all I can do is crawl into bed.

| posted by christopher | 9:44 AM

Tuesday, January 27, 2004  

Five Year Plan

Today is my one year anniversary of moving to the Big Rotten Apple. I figure it will take five years to get established here, a little longer than it took in the Evil West. One year on, where are we in our plan for world domination?

Item Done?
Procure AgentX
Obtain Steady Work
Achieve Recognition
Hire Posse

So, a little work yet to do, but getting there.

| posted by christopher | 3:49 PM

Monday, January 26, 2004  

Sleep deprivation

Full of snot and crud and scratch and nasty. Stay out of my way today, or I might try to bite you in the face.

| posted by christopher | 8:42 AM

Friday, January 23, 2004  

Bob Segal, on smack

NPR is interviewing a "RoboWarriors" commander about the possibility that the ailing Mars Spirit rover and the missing Beagle rover are going at it machino a machino, BattleBots style.

Can the Second Coming be far behind?

| posted by christopher | 4:32 PM  

This is your pistol, this is your gun. One's for killing, the other for fun.

I had no idea that such a thing as Thunderware existed. Unfortunately the site seems to be incompatible with my Mac, and I can't select my pouch size.

| posted by christopher | 11:40 AM

Thursday, January 22, 2004  

music be the food of love
so chow down, monkey

On my way home from the audition this morning, I wondered what it could be that BG was planing to give me for my birthday, which happens to be today. I thought "Oh, what if she got me a new iPod to replace my old iPod! Naw, cool as that would be, that's just too much money." And too much to hope for. The thought flitted out as soon as it flew in.

Dammit, she got me an iPod. And this one is engraved. Oh, how I plan to chow down!

Best. Girlfriend. Ever.

| posted by christopher | 4:17 PM

Wednesday, January 21, 2004  

Stay away from the third floor!

In preparation for last night's State of the Union address, I went to a friend's Brooklyn pad Monday, between shifts, to get a litttle herbal medicine. You know, for my glaucoma.

Anyway, as is the custom, I tried the medicine on premises, because you don't want to take home faulty glaucoma meds, heavens no. Monday night would be a test of my waiter skills; could I fetch hamburgers wacky on the junk?*

On the L back to the city, I hop into a car and there, sitting reading the Post, is my insane boss. First thought: Fuuuuuuuck!

I dashed to the other end of the car, hoping he's be myopic as ever and not see me. True to form, he was, and I had nothing to worry about (perhaps he needs some glaucoma medicine), but seeing bossman on the train caused my medicated little world to suddenly implode. Oh, he's a person who lives OUTSIDE the restaurant. Hmm.

On the same note, I got to go to the upper sanctum of the restaurant yesterday. This is the office, and usually he keeps the door locked and we slip the day's money through a slit in the door. Yesterday the door was open so I went up. It's an apartment. Moreover, it's a bachelor pad, with dirty laundry and piles of refuse everywhere. It's gross. It made me feel kinda sad for the guy, but not so sad that I like him.

* No burgers were forgotten in my Monday shift, but I don't think I'll be doing that again any time soon.

| posted by christopher | 5:07 PM

Sunday, January 18, 2004  

Comedy Tonight

The train pulled into Times Square at about 1am. There was a guy sleeping across four seats. My first reaction (my mood wasn't so hot) was to be pissed off that this guy was taking up four seats. Then my bleeding heart thought about how hard it must be, when it's cold out, to find a place to sleep when you have no home. He was not having a peaceful sleep, either. His brows were furrowed and his breathing was shallow; occasionally he would cry out softly. I considered leaving my gloves with him, since he didn't have any of his own.

Around Grand Central two young men got on and starting commenting about the sleeper. The well coifed one wearing the expensive leather jacket threatened to kick him awake. They were joking about how he would get three tickets for taking up too many seats. HairBoy took out his cell phone, giggling. It would be a funny picture, this guy sleeping on the train at one in the morning.

What disturbs me, besides the stealing of what's left of this man's dignity using a cell-phone camera, is the utter lack of understanding about what makes funny. A homeless guy sleeping on a train? Not funny, buddy. A guy walking into a glass door? Funny!

I grieve for the future of comedy.

I took it upon myself to get between the photographer and the sleeper, so the picture could not be taken. As I said, bad mood. The photographer asked me to get out of the way, and I said no, take it after I get off at the next stop. He whined that it was his stop, too. I got off the train, and HairBoy stayed to take the picture. As he and his friend turned to leave the train, the doors closed in their faces.

| posted by christopher | 2:22 PM

Saturday, January 17, 2004  

Frustration, in the key of C

I should have been doing my long neglected laundry, but instead I was trying to get this and this to work on my computer. Much hair pulling and crashing of applications later, and I'm through.

I miss having a studio where everything stayed the same.

| posted by christopher | 7:02 PM

Friday, January 16, 2004  

Not that they were being used

The comments feature has been buggy, crappy, and not worth the trouble. I'm killing them for the time being. Until I find a better system. Hey, if you know of one, drop me an email, yo.

| posted by christopher | 4:55 PM  


It's too cold to do laundry. It's too cold to take off the pj's. NPR just had an article about the chill, saying Boston broke a twenty year record for low temperatures (I remember that winter). The correspondent went on to describe the effects of the "wicked cold."

It felt a little like home to hear NPR say Boston is wicked cold.

| posted by christopher | 4:35 PM

Thursday, January 15, 2004  

So, this is odd:So, this is odd:

Yesterday I get home and there are two packages in front of my door, both from X. They have little messages scrawled on them like "6" snow = spring cleaning" and "Photos. Please Do Not Bend. Thanks." She found some stuff of mine and had the courtesy to send it to me. Instead of burning it in the back patio fire pit, which is what I'd expect.

So I shot her an email thanking her for being so kind, hope she's fine, et cetera. A few hours later, my phone rings, and it is X. I don't answer (whomever invented Caller I.D. deserves a little oral lovin), but retrieve the message at the commercial break (Enterprise was on, c'mon y'all). I'm imagining what she wants, and my mind goes toward the friend-hit-by-car end of the spectrum. Why else would she call? The last I'd heard she "wasn't in a good place to deal with me." The Best Girl suspects only the worst of intentions, and who can blame her, really?

The message was a cheery "you're welcome" and "talk to you later." No mention of the months of silence. No mention of the curt communications that took place when communication was needed. No "I'm not mad anymore." Just a resumption of friendly relations as if nothing had happened.

I'm not sure what to make of it. BG is right about X still having a hold on me. Who wants to believe that nearly seven years of marriage was for naught, or that the nice girl you married turned out to be an anger fueled time bomb? Wouldn't it be great if we could transcend the petty arguments that befall most divorced people?

Out of politeness, I will return the call with an email, but a resumption of "friendship," I'm just not ready for that. Not, at least, without the smallest acknowledgment of the past seven or so months of X-brand anger. Screw that, y'all. Enterprise is on.

| posted by christopher | 5:39 PM

Wednesday, January 14, 2004  

Careful what you wish for, vol. 2Careful what you wish for, vol. 2

Last winter, when I first moved in and the outside temperature hovered around absolute zero, my apartment was so bloody hot all the time I had to crack windows in the living room and kitchen. I didn't turn on the bedroom radiator. Hot water, however, was an iffy proposition at best and infuriating at worst. Often it would go cold to hot to cold and finally settle on hot. Often, there was no hot water in the early mornings, which would be right about when I'd have to shower for an EPA. If the furnace was off (like most of the summer) there was no hot water at all.

This past Autumn, the Landlord replaced the hot water heater (thanks to my complaining to the City) and the furnace. Now, there's glorious hot water on demand, but the apartment is cold all the time. The radiator is sizzling away right now, but the apartment just won't stay warm. I have to sleep under an astounding pile of blankets, and in the morning I swear I can see my breath.

| posted by christopher | 10:03 AM

Sunday, January 11, 2004  

Self Evidence

"Those Blacks!"
"Those Puerto Ricans!"
"Those Gays!"

How come people who say things like this never say "Those Republicans!"

I had two guys in the bar, drunk, talking to me. The alpha of the pair was dropping jokes and comments about how Vermont should secede from the Union and take the gay partners with them, or how Rhode Island got rid of the Puerto Ricans, or how the Blacks are lazy. Each time the joke or comment didn't get a sympathetic reaction from me, he'd say "Naw, just kidding, ya know?"

Yeah, I know.

| posted by christopher | 1:33 PM

Friday, January 09, 2004  

Book 'em, Lenny!Book 'em, Lenny!

One of my Bar co-workers had her bag stolen. From the restaurant. Right behind her back.

We had only just opened, and there were no customers yet. She came downstairs with a panicked look, asking if she'd left her bag at the bar, knowing she hadn't. A few minutes earlier, I heard footsteps going down the stairs and out the front door. The owner of the feet was in a hurry, but I didn't think anything of it. After hearing M lost her bag, I thought it must have been the thief. M was so upset she just left for the day.

So, because I watch too much Law & Order, here's how I think it went down: someone was leaving takeout menus in the neighborhood, and left one on the stairs of the restaurant. He (or she, but let's call the perp a he; let's also call him "the perp") continued up the stairs with his handful of menus and saw the bag sitting on a table. With no one obviously around, except for the girl with her back to him, the perp grabbed the bag and ran straight down the stairs and out the door.

I really want to go to the takeout place and ask about who dropped menus for them yesterday, get all Briscoe and Green on their asses. Instead, J (the other server for the day) and I started the "M Needs A New Bag" fund, to which everyone who worked yesterday contributed some money. She won't get her keys, ID, cell phone, wallet, bag, ChapStickĀ® back, but it's a little something.

| posted by christopher | 4:57 PM

Thursday, January 08, 2004  

My Cheating Heart

Oh, I've strayed. Well, I haven't yet. It was just one date, a talk really, but numbers were exchanged and there's the promise of a call next week. I interviewed for a new job today.

I think the job at the Bar is fine. Good enough. But the money is inconsistent, and I'd rather be bartending than waiting tables (that's right, you come to me for your freakin' drink!) So one of the bartenders at the Bar told me of a Trendy SoHo Spot that was looking for a new barkeep. Well, hair combed and shoes devoid of ketchup stains, I went right on down there. Supposedly the bar manager will call me back next week for an interview. Sure would be nice.

| posted by christopher | 6:56 PM

Wednesday, January 07, 2004  

Once in a while, it's OK to be lateOnce in a while, it's OK to be late

Note to self: show up early. When the Chorus audition call says 10:00am, be there at 9:30am, when they actually assign the audition slots. Otherwise, you sit for four hours before you get put in the line, and then they stop the audition while you are ten people away from the door.

Thankfully, the union has a rule that states "If you did not audition during the first call, you shall be given an audition time in the future by the casting personnel." Meaning, I'll be getting an audition with the director (who won a Tony a few years ago) and casting director (who works with directors who win Tonys) sometime in the next week or so. Hopefully they won't have cast the show before then.

| posted by christopher | 9:48 AM

Tuesday, January 06, 2004  

Fries with that?Fries with that?

For some reason I'm breaking out like a teenager. Three gigantic adult pimples erupting across my face. One on my lip. What am I, sixteen?

| posted by christopher | 5:36 PM

Sunday, January 04, 2004  

Happy Birthday, FleabagHappy Birthday, Fleabag

Today is my sister's birthday. Sis is less than one year younger than I, so I always add one year to my age starting on January Four. Sis is married and lives in the Boring Near-Midwest with a husband and three kids.

Sis kept me from being the youngest kid, and because she's the only girl, kept me from any kind of darling status in my family. We had quite a bit of overlap in our circles of friends. She dated a couple. She was a looker, feisty and fresh, smart and talented, and was quite sought after. She was loyal to her friends and to her family.

I played the organ at her first wedding, watched her walk into the church and immediately burst into inconsolable crying that lasted all the way up the isle. She divorced six months later.

Her husband is a Republican, though a nice guy and decent. She became a Baptist after growing up Catholic. Her mail to me includes little bits of Scripture, but she has never once tried to convert me as well, nor has she ever mentioned her faith. She plays the flute in a local church (not the Baptist).

She's one of three people in on the planet who are allowed to call me by my childhood nickname. She's keen.

Happy Birthday, kiddo.

| posted by christopher | 7:00 PM

Friday, January 02, 2004  

Resolutions SchmesolutionsResolutions Schmesolutions

New Year's Eve was spent at work, then at Return of the King, then home drinking Champagne and having sex. If you had a better time than I did, I'd sure like to hear about it.

I never got around to writing that year-end retrospective to sum up the strange wonder of 2003. Whatever. The strange wonder of the year is well chronicled in these very pages, so it seems superfluous to further distill and rehash. Perhaps I should posit my hopes for the coming year, ignoring the aching fear that voicing my desires will cause the universe to forever deny them. Yeah, that sounds like a plan.

Here's my list of 2004 desires and resolutions:
* Get famous, or at least famously wealthy, or at the very least get a real acting job, that pays money and gets me another year of health-care, and doesn't suck.
* Get out of this apartment and into a slightly better one, or at least a slightly better neighborhood.
* Get a replacement for my iPod (I'm still mourning the loss of my commuting buddy).
* Somehow learn to take care of my things.
* Dance on the grave of Bush's tenure.
* Write more and write better (more betterer?)

| posted by christopher | 12:45 PM
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