Captain Inertia
Monday, July 28, 2003

so, i think i have an apartment. today i met a nice foreign man named Benny on a street in park slope and gave him a ton of money in the hopes that he might let me rent his apartment. (in retrospect, it was a little like espionage or something...except, instead of my slipping him money and his slipping me the microfilm, i slipped him the money and he promised to call me once I'd passed a credit check.)

as usual, the verdict is that i have plenty of room for improvement in the areas of organization and planning. yesterday, sitting on the staten island ferry on my way to look for apartments (and anyone who's ever lived in new york will tell you that a person is truly desperate when they start looking at apartments in staten island), i began to contemplate the problem of evil. y'know, a little theodicy for the afternoon ferry-ride. and then i was like, 'hmm, y'know, dave, if you don't find an apartment by the 15th of August, you'll be homeless! HA HA HA!' that jolted me right back to reality. not that it's a waste of time to dwell on the big picture--it's just that i can tend to focus on big-issue problems to the exclusion of little-picture ones, like, y'know, having a home.

my sis, elizabeth, has been here this weekend and has been very supportive, acting as a personal assistant-slash-cheerleader-slash-psychoanalyst. she very patiently accompanied me today on trips to buy wedding gifts, pick up dry cleaning, obtain suits, yadda yadda yadda...heck of a way to show a relative the sights in nyc. the best was going to fulton landing, on the banks of the east river in brooklyn, looking up at the manhattan skyline. we got ice cream and read from the walt whitman poem inscribed (really) in the fence separating land from sea: "leap up, beautiful hills of brooklyn!" the day was capped with dinner at a tapas bar in williamsburg with excellent food and terrible music (for those of you who don't know what "electroclash" music is, if someone mentions it to you, RUN RUN RUN RUN RUN). overall, an a-plus. yay.

I'm totally spent. this whole apartment thing was really, really draining. i saw the apartment i eventually put money down on for the first time yesterday afternoon, and frantically emailed the landlord later on that day, trying to set up a meeting today to put down money so i'd know i had a spot before i flew off to illinois for this wedding. fortunately, benny the landlord was more than willing to make the trek from sheepshead bay to park slope to meet me and take my money, so, at least for the nonce, all is well. but as a result, i'm totally bushed--it's just about all i can do to pack and listen to 'bone machine' over and over again and blog.

once, when i asked my mom what giving birth was like, she gave me a great analogy: 'well, david, you know how at soccer practice they make you run all the way around barrie park three times?' yes, i said. 'well, davey, giving birth is like running around barrie park, except every time you think you're done, you have to run around it three more times.' ha.

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

It poured tonight in NYC, in rather Biblical fashion, and I was out, hunting apartments in it. My North Face jacket did an excellent job of deflecting/keeping out the rain; humorously, however, my pants did no such thing, giving me a 'wading in water up to my waist' look for most of the evening. ("Hi, I'm, thanks, I'd better not sit down.").

Apartment #3 featured two NYC teaching fellows, one of whom was obviously a recovering Dungeons and Dragons addict. I could tell mainly by the stack of ooooold Dragon magazines lying around; I'm not ashamed to say I recognized several covers from my own personal collection, now lost in the mists of time. (Him: "Yeah, so I just sold this stack of magazines on Ebay for, like $100. I bought them at some hobby shop for $10." Me: "That's a pretty good scam.") So, yeah, if that apartment seeks roomies on the basis of whether or not there's a shared affinity for nerdhood, I think I'm in.

(Blogger won't let me post links right now [curse you!], however, I just Googled Dragon magazine's website, and discovered that they've recently posted articles on 3rd edition game mechanics, as well as articles on the design of Githyanki slave ships! ARE YOU AS EXCITED AS I AM? booooo-yah!)

If I had to describe my feelings right now, I'd say "grateful for being dry." Secondly, however, I have a sense of grim satisfaction. #4 looked like a keeper tonight (there were five apartments total); I'm gonna see at least one and possibly two studios tomorrow. I may still end up living under the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, but it won't be from lack of trying.
Found this online while looking for an apartment. Sigh.
Monday, July 21, 2003

Stuff like this, and this, is enough to make me lose heart. Dammit.
Thursday, July 17, 2003

so, yeah, I'm looking at apartments. Saw #1 on Monday (crappy studio, too much money--welcome to New York!), and #s 2 and 3 last night (3 and 2-br places, much better) last night. This, of course, means I'll be staying in NYC for a couple of months at least.

I decided on staying, rather than quitting my job and moving back to Chicago, because I didn't think moving home would solve anything. I move home: yay, I'm home, hang out with mom and dad, sleep late, drink coffee, attend Cubs games, get a farmer's tan. That eats up a month. What happens then? I'm a 24-year old Yalie living at home. I would either have a) gotten depressed right quick or b) moved out and taken the first job that came along to pay the bills. Maybe started temping--and is that a real improvement on the situation I'm in right now? At least at my current job I can spend some time blogging in the morning before work hits the fan.

Ultimately, I wanted to stay, tough it out, and just resolve myself to spending as long as it takes to find the next job I'm interested in. That may take six months; I don't know. But the fact of the matter is, I kinda stumbled ass-backwards into this job when I was desperate for anything, and having it has meant I didn't really have to reflect critically or deeply on what I want to do with my life. The question of vocation (or, put more colloquially, 'what the HELL am I doing?') has been hanging over my head for the past six months, but I don't think I ever really tackled it head on, with the energy and focus it deserved. I just skulked around Idealist and the Yale website and got distracted a lot, and then thought, "ah, the hell with it. I should move home."

I dunno. Vocation is a big question, and it's not going to neatly resolve itself in 6 months in a neat little bow so I can move on to, say, origami. But I know I'll have a clearer sense by then of what ladders I want to start climbing, and it's a lot easier to find a job doing what you want when you have a sense of what you want to do. (Ladies and gentleman, Captain Tautology. He will be here all week.)


to everybody who called, emailed, or smoke-signalled to wish me a happy birthday yesterday. All the well-wishes actually helped lift me out of a foul mood I'd been in since the morning. I owes ya one.
Tuesday, July 15, 2003

who got married today in Iowa. God bless both of you.

Sorry blog has been so sporadic lately. I'm in the midst of looking for a new fun. I'm not going to complain about it too much (although you may get a billious entry or two yet, we'll see), but I suspect I'll be a mite busy over the next two weeks. Sorry.
Friday, July 11, 2003

is Neville Longbottom. Per 'Order of the Phoenix.'

Things in Wisconsin are idyllic. Picture me and my extended family murmuring lines from Peter Sellers' "Pink Panther" films in thick French accents ("you have received a bimp upon the head") and you get the gist of it.
Thursday, July 03, 2003

This is from the Times. (That is, from the Times' gossip column. I don't dirty my hands with that plebian gossip column in the Post, but I do occasionally condescend to read the gossip in the paper of record.) I quote it for the benefit of those who are too lazy to do the free registration for the NY Times:

"Ms. [Cindy] Adams remained barefoot and seemed to be chasing her Yorkies, Jazzy and Juicy, all evening. Jazzy was Ms. Adams' lifeline after her husband, the comedian Joey Adams, died in 1999. She returned the favor by immortalizing the dog in a memoir, "The Gift of Jazzy" (St. Martin's Press). Jazzy has his own mink coats and dines on kosher chicken and Evian water. He is washed with designer shampoo, driven to play dates by Ms. Adams' chauffeur, and has the run of the 10-room, 4,200-square-foot penthouse, previously owned by billionaire heiress Doris Duke."

As she's fond of saying, only in New York, kids.
Wednesday, July 02, 2003

"Nothing Gets Crossed Out," Bright Eyes. See if you can download it.

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