Wednesday, September 28, 2005

reality check

At times I feel few things have an affect on me, hardly anything can give me a sickening physical reaction or make me cry. You know, you just get numb somehow. Then I read a follow-up story about fistulas and the plight of women in Africa that includes this anecdote:

"Dr. Waaldijk remembers one patient well. She managed to push out only her baby's head before collapsing from exhaustion in her hut, he said. Her brother carried her, balanced on a donkey, to a road, where a bus driver demanded 10 times the usual fare to take her to a hospital. She half-stood, half-sat for the trip, her dead baby's head between her legs, her urethra ripped open."

The story ends with:

"To be a woman in Africa," Dr. Waaldijk said as he stitched her last sutures, "is truly a terrible thing."

It's a simple operation for something that has been unheard of in the West for over a century. If women weren't forced to marry so young, often before even menstruating, then they wouldn't have babies when their bodies are undeveloped and have a fistula. Or if they lived where Caesarian sections were feasible.

How do we help these women? That's what I need to know.

Monday, September 26, 2005


Today was my last day with the drug people. How strange knowing how much all those little post-it pads, pens and magnets that seem to float around doctors offices and into the hands of the many cost...

Oh and I got an email to line up my first interview for next week. It's for a cool job that I would be so excited to take. I don't want to jinx it so I'm not gonna mention it here, but let's just say that it sure is gettin queer round these parts.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

first day

I survived my first full day of work (9-5 baby) in more than 2 years.

It was spent stamping, organizing, copying, filing invoices for the accounts payable dept of a large pharmaceutical corp. They produce a drug called celexa and one called lexapro and others for thyroid and kicking alcoholism. So that was ... strange.

I think strange for both of us was that my "supervisor" is not only another temp, but she is 24 but it's no problem -- she's cool and a Creative Writing MFA at the New School. So that was something to talk about -- more writers temping the corporate world.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

fun in the city

How fun is it to live here?

I don't want yall to get the wrong idea and think I've become some whiney-ass about living in the city. I mean, I'm here, I want to be here, where else would I rather be? (except of course with you my sweet ones.)

Last night around 11 I got a call from Robin asking if I'm up to going to a taping of the Daily Show. Of course I am. So after I finish up with a Columbia spousal job fair (is spousal really a word? it sounds like a side-effect after getting shingles) I changed and headed down to hell's kitchen to get in line for the show.

Damn John Stewart has a big head. And he's funny. And people in the audience when prompted to ask him questions have a strange idea of what's appropriate (one person making sure he knows that it's her son's birthday, another saying her son in 9th grade is looking for a platform to run for student council and a third -- total idiot girl -- wanting to know what she should write about for some Vanity Fair essay contest about what's on the minds' of young people -- John's response: I'm 42. I don't know. I'm thinking: didn't both my testicles used to be the same size?). And Ricky Gervais (of "The Office" fame) was the guest and if you watched it tonight, you already know all that. So, that was my first taping and being spontaneous, and I'm lucky it happened when it did cuz tomorrow I have my first temp job (filing stuff at some pharmaceutical company).

Afterward I rushed down to NoLita to catch this "launch" of a new lit mag. Allie put me in touch with a former boss of hers who is getting published in their first issue (it's a story about Atlanta and he used to live there, check it out) and since it's my job to meet anyone and everyone I can at the moment, I made the trek. While there I met some young folk who are hep and Brooklyn young and fab. We chatted, acted all cool and like we know all about literature and what's of the moment, but really we were just passing the time so we had an excuse to continue to order from the open bar (damn! these beers would normally be 7 bucks, give me another!) and after I left I was a little buzzed -- from the alcohol and the chatter -- so decided to get a slice.

As I sat in North of Little Italy, chewing on a great pepperoni and cheese, I realized -- perhaps for the first time -- hey, I fuckin live in New York City. I'm not a visitor, I live here. And then I got on the train and came on home.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

WPM (white people musk)

I can type 80 words per minute. I have an excellent grasp of the editing functions of Microsoft word but need further training when it comes to graphics and my excel usage is pretty darn good (but again needs improvement when it comes to graphic elements). How do I know all this? Cuz I'm a tempin.

Yesterday I finally got my ass down to a temp agency that didn't require a previous appointment or levels of obscure screening machinations and filled out an application that asked me if I had skills with photocopying (by george I do!) or a fax machine or if I can file both alphabetically and numerically (I think I can).

Later I met with a guy who said if I am aggressive I may get some work. That means calling in the morning, calling in the afternoon and sometimes sitting for a few hours in their offices to see if something suddenly opens up.

The trip to the temp agency happened a day before I finally sent out my 50th resume (PR Coordinator for Rainforest Alliance -- yeah a bit of a stretch but something that sounds interesting and I have the skill-set for). Today I also dressed all spiffy-like and headed over to a job fair for spouses of faculty and grad students of Columbia. But then I discovered it was tomorrow, and I was all dressed up with no hands to shake. And that's why I didn't call to see if there was any work for me today. And now it'll be another day before I can call to see if there's possibly, please oh please, someone who needs me to answer their phone or deliver some correspondence or, oh could I be so lucky?, get them some coffee.

But what's to complain about? On Saturday I spent a good portion of the day with Clemson students touring "odd lots" of Queens. That's right. There's a joint exhibit at the Queens Museum of Art and the White Columns gallery (sorry I can't seem to do hyperlinks on this mac -- damn that will most certainly reflect in my temp skill scores) of Gordon Matta-Clark's work. Well, not really his work. More like he bought these strange, remainder parcels of land in the 70s, died before he could do anything with them and now things are being resurrected. This is going on the same time that there's a retrospective of Robert Smithson's work at the Whitney (another rockstar artist of the 70s who died before his time, i.e. see spiral jetty), but I've still not visited or caught a glimpse of the tugboat carrying his island he always wanted to create around Manhattan (the Times has a good article to explain the whole thing if that sounds just way too weird). At least I got to see the Clemson architecture grads "lick" the ground with "mechanical tongues" and measure the sites with their body "armor" (also too strange and long to explain) and eat gourmet Argentian cookies instead of a proper lunch.

But that was better than sitting in front of the computer one more day, trolling for job openings, re-formatting my cover letter, my resume, my personality, my self for another possibility at being employed.

At least dead artists are good for something.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


I followed a nun down the street today. I was behind her for several blocks -- her black layers blowing in the breeze, my grocery bags cutting into my fingers, sweating from the 90+ degree heat -- then I realized WAIT! I'm not in Spain this is New York. Glad to know that there are some sisters still keepin it real back here with a traditional, uncomfortable habit. That means that I can continue to satisfy my craving for nun sightings. It gives me so much pleasure, for real.

So I haven't been able to get excited about writing anything since I haven't really done much that's been very interesting. But last night was a change of setting.

For loyal readers, flashback to earlier this summer when I met a nice American woman at the rufus wainwright concert. She mentioned a reading group (-- in-between spliffs --) back home in New York. Hey, get in touch and you can meet my friends. Well, I did. And last night I gathered with a group in a nice, LARGE apartment near Union Square to discuss Martin Amis' Money. I'd only read half the book (checked out from the Columbia U. library) but no matter, several others hadn't even gotten that far. It was mostly young, attractive gay men with a couple of women (including Shelly) and a table of beatiful food. Got me a bit nostalgic for my pals in ATL and our book club.

We had a good discussion and I met some great, friendly people. It was a wonderful evening in fact and I hope, please god, that, unlike the last time, some of these folks will stick. You know, call me back and make plans and all? Looks like it may be the case since one of them (the host whose house I was tramping through) in fact has already made lunch plans with me next week. And a couple of them want to start a writing group. Yee-haw, looks like it may just be something other than sitting in front of the computer sending out umpteen email coverletter/resumes to any job I come across that seems half-way interesting.

Oh, and one other piece of good advice. One of the women at the book club said I shouldn't lose hope. Once I apply to 75 or 100 jobs I'm bound to get something. That was the magic number for her. So, well, that means about 50 more to go...

Sunday, September 04, 2005

double header

Yesterday was chock full o' spectatin. We started out by going to see Kathleen Turner's performance of Martha in Albee's "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" -- something I desperately wanted to do before it closed this weekend. Wow -- what a performance. And to imagine she and the rest of the cast do that just about everyday and sometimes twice a day (we saw the Saturday matinee and they were to go on in a few more hours with the whole depressing shebang -- damn).

Then, after getting out, I got a message from RJN that he had a few extra US Open tickets. So we headed out to Queens (about 45 minutes by train) to catch a few matches, including Lindsey Davenport's win against a Spanish chica and the beginning of Tommy Haas and this boy from Marietta -- Gilepri (I think).

After all that watching, I was plum tuckered out -- so once we made it home I called it a night. Plus, being on display the night before may have had something to do with it.

We went out with Tray and his pals in town from San Fran (Taurus and Stephen who used to call the ATL ho me as well). We went to Opaline which was packed with youngins and a few wacky drag queens. The most fun -- the gogo boys giving massages to guests all night. So when one asked me if I'd like a massage ... there was no way to say no. So I threw off my kit (as my Brit pals are wont to say) and got up on the stage for my massage. The gogo (dressed only in a jockstrap) tugged down my cute pink undies and got down to business. How many saw me naked and greased up with a boy straddling me? Who knows, but Patricio at least enjoyed the show.

This morning has been all about organizing and beautifying our cute lil' apartment. It actually feels like home. Maybe some more fun with Tray tonight -- if we can handle it.

Friday, September 02, 2005


Our first brunch with cute t-shirts. Thanks to Carlos we got to meet some folks the same week we moved here. Not sure we had enough name-dropping quotient to fill the room. But at least we got a taste of what all that attitude and fun star-fucking can be like.

I admit it

I didn't know if I'd continue blogging now that I'm back in the states. It's so easy to keep in touch with so many people now by phone (the real reason I started blogging when I left two years ago). But now I have friends who are equally far away back in the euro-zone, plus, I admit it, I miss this writing outlet. And, until I get something a little more full-time, this new blog will have into do. So, get ready, I'll post a REAL something soon enough. I mean, there's already been enough crazy people on the subway, ancient Chinese women rolled out on stretchers and overheard conversations to start reporting for the city. Dontcha think?