Friday, December 30, 2005


And here I am. I've crawled out of the gap and stepped back into the light, blinking in its harshness - slightly battered and only moderately bruised.

Breathe, Moe. This is fresh air.

I hear typical stories of individuals desiring so strongly to LIVE LIFE. Just get out there and live to the fullest; never missing a beat. Never missing a moment. I went through a phase like that sometime during my angsty teenage years. I was so desperate for life, or even death... just something. The desperation made me crazy sometimes, wishing I was the crying kind so that I could cry myself to sleep. But, alas, no tears came and when I wasn't suffering insomnia (which was much of the time, incidentally), I rolled dryly into sleep, musings of LIFE floating through my aching, 16 year-old head.
Now days, I think how nice it would be sometimes to simply be a spectator. There are enough beautiful lives around me to suffice, and new ones entering my life all the time and for years to come (hopefully).
So, this introduces Olivia Noelle, born quite unexpectedly on the evening of December 20th. She's like a little raisin...

And God is pretty damn amazing, isn't He?

Olivia sleeps not 10 feet from me as I write this, gurgling every now and again. She's completely taken over my bedroom, by the way... spitting up nearly everything she eats, she's well on her way to becoming the beautiful and complicated young woman stricken with an eating disorder that every girl someday becomes.

When it comes to watching the lives that twist, turn, and revolve around me day to day, I'd like to say that this is life. I mean, I could handle it if my life were watching these lives around me grow and develop, falter and succeed. Granted, I would never be able to resist the temptation to step in every now and again to lend a hand, or a word, or a hug, or a spontaneous dance to Dora the Explorer's opening credits. I'm not that disciplined. But I could watch. I could watch for a long time and be perfectly satisfied. There's this overwhelming peace that comes along with it that is really quite inexplicable. For every tear of sorrow there are four of joy. It's a pretty great trade-off, I'd say.

Live through this, and you won't look back.

I could most likely write about this for a long time, but I won't. Instead I'll shower, and dress, and pack my bags for a new years celebration in the district. I'll make my resolutions list: more a to-do list than anything else. Maybe I'll actually get some of it finished amidst all my watching this next year.

feliz ano nuevo a todos.

Currently reading :
Jesus Land: A Memoir
By Julia Scheeres
Release date: By 27 September, 2005

Monday, November 28, 2005

he said "maybe"

Waking up to little, itchy bumps can be really really frightening. I realize this statement leaves plenty of room for gross misinterpretation, but please, don't misinterpret me, not even a little bit.

I've tried Allegra. I've tried Claritin, I've tried Clarinex... currently I'm working on a year's perscription of Zyrtec, my little allergy savior in a bottle. I think that, these days, even the Zyrtec isn't working so well. The little, itchy bumps persist and so does my violent scratching which leaves absolutely horrible looking red marks all over making me look like I've been pelted with Jujubes.

I have been pelted with Jujubes.

Brain food these days is dry Life cereal (not the cinnamon kind) and toaster waffles with lingonberries. I've also enjoyed the occasional affair with mac & cheese. Also, vegetable juice. I can't get enough of that stuff. And it's a shame that I keep feeding my brain such damn good stuff because I don't think I'm really using it right now. These days I awake to nightmares of cable knit sweater displays gone terribly wrong and backlashing, irate customers whose size I could not find "in the back". Retail has been pleasant though.
Let me tell you, this season the Gap has but one redeeming quality; one savior to call its own, and that is this sweater right here, and it comes in eight (8!) colors!! And this is about as dry as my Life (cereal).

You know what, I have to tell you... I am absolutely fabulous. Not me, as a person, but me in general; I feel fabulous, dig? For the most part, this is true. I'll have to look around here for it, but it seems to me that someone once said: "Happiness is a choice that requires effort." I think it's true for fabulousness also. Fabulousness is a choice that requires effort. Some days I'm just really lazy. I keep busy creating atmosphere for my life... I build the set but I'm too tired at the end of the day to actually utilize it. Let me tell you though, the atmosphere is phenomenal. Shadows cast this way and that creating perfect balances of darkness and light and color and all-around coolness. The air is positively filled with the stench of thinking and pointing and listening and maybe even some crying. There's also a faint whiff of coconut and vanilla lying around from somewhere or other. Music options abound and shift from the extraordinary to the mundane. There are rainy day tunes and empowering tunes and tunes to make you laugh. I'm running a regular starbucks here, folks... and not turning a damn dime of profit.

I knew I should have been an artist.

All this music available and I've got the GAP playlist stuck in my head.
But, my life could be far worse. I could have been born without a pancreas. That would really really suck. I could be someone who loves to write and although is never lacking inspiration is regularly lacking motivation and ends up settling for mediocrity and writing about absolutely nothing important whatsoever. Oh, man...

Someday this week I will tell a story, and it will be a good one. Right now, however, I'll just have to settle on my hives, and Life cereal, and the GAP playlist, and really really cheesy quotes about happiness and fulfillment... I keep all the good stuff written in another place anyhow.

Currently listening :
By Jeff Buckley
Release date: By 23 August, 1994

Friday, November 18, 2005


Currently listening :
By Beck
Release date: By 29 March, 2005

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

this is where my mom is from

Midlands Most Wanted

Each Monday, The State will run information on a suspect wanted by authorities. Since the feature began in February 2004, 29 suspects have been taken into police custody.


DATE OF BIRTH: July 29, 1965

DESCRIPTION: 6 feet 1 inch, 165 pounds, brown hair and hazel eyes

WANTED BY: Lexington County Sheriff’s Department

CHARGES: Third-offense criminal domestic violence

LAST KNOWN ADDRESS: 232 Stagecoach Road, Gaston

ALLEGED CRIME: Police said Higginbotham argued with his wife because she had not cooked anything. When she began cooking, he started making spaghetti while eating crackers and squeeze cheese. They argued, and he squeezed cheese on the kitchen floor. She squeezed the cheese on his truck, and he squeezed the cheese in her hair before fleeing in his truck. His wife said she washed her hair before the officer arrived to take her complaint.

IF YOU SEE HIM: Call the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department at (803) 785-8230 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 559-TIPS.

simply basic

Editor’s note: If you find yourself making commentary on recent unemployment more than once over the course of 12 months, please consider a change in career paths.

I was born to direct. I was born to sit in that special chair, and do a lot of pointing. I was born to make other people make things happen. I was born to think, and to create in my mind’s eye but then count on someone else to bring that creation to fruition…

I sit at my computer and make lists using Microsoft Word. My fingers can type so incredibly fast. I can’t write on paper anymore because my hand cannot keep up with my brain. I type for 30 seconds and then stare off to my right. I look at the bookcase and glance over the stack of laundry on my bed. And then I type again. I’m creating, see? This is what creative, unemployed people do: nothing.

While today was only (mostly) a series of good ideas, a day made up of 99% inspiration and only 1% perspiration, I did manage to create the most intriguing little corner in my bedroom. This amber-colored mosaic lamp that I’ve installed is positively intoxicating. My eyes feel the size of saucers as I sit, chin resting on knee, examining every last little square tile and the other-worldly glow that they cast over my bedroom… and I dare to say that this single minor adjustment might just increase my creative, do-nothing juices a good 30% over the next week or so.

I hope so.

Driving forces come all at once these days in a fluster of lust and love and passion and desire… well, these all sound so drastically sexual, but that’s not how I mean them at all. It’s like a draining whirlpool in my spirit: two tons of flourishing emotions being forced through one small pinpoint of a hole, draining out to God knows where.
If that sounds helpless, then I’m really not making myself very clear.
This doesn’t feel helpless, but feels excited, and anxious, and scared, and hopeful. Sometimes there are moments of helplessness…

Not two days ago I begged for a rebirth. I begged to be erased and re-generated, to start over. I would make better choices, do things right. I would trust and obey. This is the creation of inactivity. This is an overwhelmed spirit who does not know where to begin, because it is no longer at the beginning.

But then, there are always places to begin.

I begin by stitching up the rips in the seams of my throw pillows even though I don’t really know how to stitch anything, or, I say I don’t.
I begin by washing and re-washing laundry.
I begin by showering, even though it’s already 5 o’clock in the evening.
I begin by hanging prints on the wall that have been waiting to be hung for over a year.
I begin by folding laundry that’s been waiting to be folded for two weeks.
I begin by plugging in lamps and casting other-worldly glows over my bedroom walls.
I begin by dreaming up more things to begin.

There are many things I don’t even know how to do, from the monstrous to the mundane. I’m not sure how to paint my ceiling now that I’ve already painted my walls, and I have no idea how I’m going to start a new business.
I know how to create, but I don’t know how to build. Or I know how to…
Damn it. I know how to care, but I don’t know how to love. Egads, would you look at that?

And then I wonder if I can just create until there’s nothing left to create. If there’s some point I can reach at which time my entire mind will be clear, blank, erased…
Purity – damn, that’s really beautiful.

And, for the record, I wasn’t even close to being born to direct. I’m lousy at telling anyone what to do. I tell myself everyday, but, well, we all see where that gets me: right back to square one, back to the beginning.

Currently listening :
By Catherine Wheel
Release date: By 09 June, 1992

Monday, November 07, 2005

Days 8 & 9: The price for governor

The price for Governor: Faith, Experience, Loyalty and Trust
By: Habibullah Saleem

The price for Governor is loyaly and trust
The price for Governor is the absence of lust
Thoroughly qualified, Doug Forrester for sure
Bringing to the voters the requirements for cure

A state of emergency for a state that's ill
Doug Forrester with vision, with maximum skill
The price for Governor is substance in accord
Artificial opponents we cannot afford.

The voters today are in need of truth
Not someone unable to produce
The price for Governor means being for real
When voting for Forrester, the victory is sealed

A man unwilling to decline or pretend
No wonder Doug Forrester deserves to win
STraight to the point with honesty to share
Doug Forrester as Governor with leadership to spare

Down to Earth, whether black or white
Doug Forrester as Governor, an amazing delight
With nothing to hide, devoted and clean
Vote for Doug Forrester and not some scheme

Understanding New Jersey is to be alert
For health and economics he's willing to work
Putting in place collective education
Inclusive strategies with appropriate inspiration

A family man with righteous support
Unauthorized characters we must abort
Doug Forrester is accountable, dependable and precise
Willing to listen and accept advice

Knows how to proved and care for our elders
Forrester's character is that of a welder
Not drunk on status or monetary gain
Doug Forrester as Governor: productive and plain

Derailing confusion, tricks and lies
Integrity and dignity he constantly applies
A builder of unity, connecting the links
From the soul to the mind is the way he thinks

Winning you over with his honorable deeds
It's clear and obvious that he's the Governor we need
Born a winner with guts to challenge
Doug Forrester as Governor with exceptional balance

New Jersey as a garden in a state of decline
Defined by experience, a leader genuine
Not one to brag or foolishly boast
As Governor of New Jersey, oh! what a host!

Exposing the magicians with all of their tricks
As Governor of New Jersey Doug Forrester we pick
So let us as voters do more than just pray
Let's vote for Doug Forrester and without delay


Folks... I just can't make this stuff up.
There's tons more to write, with just one full day left to go. The highlights remain stellar (visits to black congregations and a country club that does not allow jewish members are just a few), and spirits are actually high.

My neck hurts.

To be continued...

Currently listening :
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
By Wilco
Release date: By 23 April, 2002

Friday, November 04, 2005

Days Four - Seven: sometimes I actually feel like I have a real job

Something told me at the beginning of this bus tour that I would have time
to be writing blogs daily as a useless and not read-worthy reference guide
to the Forrester for Governor campaign here in New Jersey... I was
absolutely correct in my original perception of how much of my time this
tour would be eating up. I'm busy, but I've certainly been busier. I've just
been lazy with this blog bit and admittedly, realizing how un-informative
and lack lustre it actually is.

Regardless, it's been an interesting past couple of days. of course, it
doesn't take much (just a small snippet or occurance here and there) for me
to turn into an entire blog entry. Berkeley's choice of necktie, an
overheard comment, an eight year-old with a better understanding of the new
jersey political process than either one of the candidates... you know,
little things. So, I might tell a few stories here from the campaign trail,
just to give you a little insight into how things work. I'll keep all the
secrets to myself though, seeing as how these types of things (written on
the internet) seem to come back and bite me in the ass all the time.

Doug received a letter from an eight year-old boy a few weeks ago. It was a
school project that had obligated him and his classmates to write and send a
letter to a hero of theirs. This boy, Gavin, chose Doug Forrester as his
hero and wrote Doug a letter highlighting his status as a "staunch"
republican and letting Doug know that he was "fed up with corruption in New
Jersey" and "very concerned about the transportation trust fund".
Admittedly, we thought that his parents had written the letter. Doug gave
young Gavin a call to chat with him and thank him for the kind letter only
to realize that it was VERY probable that young Gavin had indeed written
this letter copmletely on his own volition and using his own words.
This child became gold.
We decided to meet up with Gavin at the Toms River Halloween parade. His
parents drove him to meet the bus and were ecstatic that their son would get
the opportunity to sit at Doug Forrester's feet and suck up every ounce of
wisdom he could by way of osmosis.
His parents seemed relatively normal.
Gavin dismounted the family mini-van wearing navy trousers, a white oxford
shirt, and carrying a 2005 copy of the New Jersey legislative manual. He
was... interesting, but kind of cute for an eight year old political hack.
He exchanged words with Doug and Andrea for about an hour on the bus, sharing cokes and smiles. He shared that he is an only child and "very happy about it, because [he] gets all the attention". He also shared that he has no pets except a dead dog - but don't feel badly about the dog dying... he never really liked her anyway.
Gavin brought along his Halloween costume: a Garden State Parkway toll booth, featuring everything applicable including a basket to throw toll tokens, change, or in this case, candy into. I guess just keep Bret Schundler away from him.
I already briefed on the rest of the parade - no need for further delineation.
Tuesday I stayed off the bus the entire day, which was great because it afforded me the opportunity to do work for my old candidate, whom I still don't work for anymore, but manage to find work to do anyhow. My travels for Bret took me down to Trenton where I was dropping off the (hopefully, once again) final legal/financial report that I will ever have to drop off at the Election Law Enforcement Commission. I was waiting for my public financing representative to come down and chat with me when an old "friend" walked through the door.

Receptionist: "Are you here to drop off a Gubernatorial submission?"
Guest: "Yes, that's right"
Receptionist: "And which campaign are you from?"
Guest: "Bob Schroeder for Governor."
Receptionist: "And you are...?"
Guest: (ahem) "Bob Schroeder."
I felt really embarassed for him. Bob was one of the seven republican gubernatorial candidates this past spring in the new jersey primary election for governor. He was one of the less... popular candidates. A committeeman from Washington Twp. (Bergen), he had absolutely no name recognition state-wide and little to no leverage even locally (he wasn't even the mayor, just a councilman). A millionaire (seemingly a trend this year), he spent an absolute TON of money unnecessarily and only kind of made himself look a little silly. Regardless, I felt embarassed for him that absolutely no one knew who he was and I imagined that he was dropping off his own submission because he had absolutely no one else that would be taking care of things for him.
He stepped into the public filing room that I was waiting in and nodded his head toward me.
"Hi, I'm Bob Schroeder"
I nodded my head and smiled, "Yes, I know. I think we've met a couple of times, but you know... always amongst the masses."
He smiled back and glanced quickly at the files and papers I had set down on the table.
"Which campaign are you with?"
"Bret Schundler's campaign... last submission."
"Yeah... well, my accountant is in Ocean County and I was over there and figured, hey, while I'm down here, I'll just bring the submission over myself, you know?"
Yeah. I know, Bob.
Tuesday night was anything but anti-climactic as I found myself back in Newark at the Renaissance Church on 7th Avenue and Roseland St. We pulled up to the corner to find 250 African American Newark residents holding signs and screaming at the height of their ability. It was causing quite the ruckus and the media was eating it up. CBS, ABC, Fox, and a few others came out for the show. It was quite the spectacular show and I got to flex my "secret service" muscle as I navigated Andrea through the congestion, guarding her back with my outstretched arm, completely unconvinced that it would derail any sort of serious threat to her person.
The rally was just short of amazing. Doug was dead on target. It was great. The crowd was so incredibly electric... it generated this sort of high that wafted through crowd, touching most everyone and leaving us all in a buzz that would have been really hard to deflate.
For a moment, I felt like I might actually (finally) be working on a winning campaign.
Last night Andrea and I traveled into New York City for a fundraiser that some friendly neighbors (new yorkers) were hosting for the Forrester for Governor campaign. This was probably the highlight of the campaign as our driver (a former Port Authority police officer) arranged for us to have a police escort through the Lincoln Tunnel so that we wouldn't sit in traffic for two hours. Simple, right? I imagined that a police officer would clear the path in front of us, lights flashing, siren sounding, and we would wait patiently as people angrily moved aside. I never imagined what actually did happen. I never imagined that this would be a multi-officer operation, shutting down an entire lane of the Lincoln Tunnel and funneling all traffic to the right hand lane as we cruised past in the left lane, officer in front and in back. Andrea laughed uncontrollably in nervousness, as she ducked and hid her face from the view of the million and one commuters to our right, sitting in absolutely stillness as we drove on, effortlessly. It was pretty amazing and we were only happy that there were no campaign bumper stickers on the car. We ended the evening with dinner in mid-town and returned home in relatively high spirits.
I'm on the bus as I type and am heading to Vineland (Cumberland County) where we will attend a rally for the candidate. We just left Gloucester where Doug and Andrea walked the cows home from pasture with Farmer Smith and his wife. It was precious.
There has been some anxiety felt on the bus today and was felt strongest as we waited, parked in cow country, all of us tuned into the radio listening to new accusations. I can't imagine ever being a candidate's wife. I really feel sympathy for Andrea right now.
Tonight ends late and tomorrow is a long day. Only 4 days left to go...

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Day Three: yeah, where is that guy?

Brevity, in the past, has not always been my strongest quality. Certainly I might be known in some circles for charm, wit, the occasional good deed, but brevity is really not a strong point of mine.

Regardless, I plan on being brief at this moment only because it's an early start tomorrow morning and my poor, aching neck is in need of a soft, cushy pillow...

Every Halloween I forget at least 18 times that it's actually Halloween. Today was certainly no exception.
The holiday's presence finally sunk in as we arrived this evening at the Toms River Halloween parade. This particular parade has been held annually for the past 60 years and is hosted by the local fire department. They have very strict rules about politicking.

NO bumper stickers.
NO lapel stickers.
NO campaign literature.
NO campaign paraphernalia of any sort.

In fact, I had to promise all sorts of favors (ahem) just to convince them that Doug and Andrea themselves were not political paraphernalia.
It was actually a terrific parade, highlighted by the fact that all of the kids in Toms River trick or treat on the 30th and we were continuously refused when offering several children some of the 86 lbs. of candy that we had brought along with us. Everyone was "candied-out", a definite contrast to Saturday's pre-halloween parade.
I ate 5 miniature Twix bars while trying (vigorously) to give away candy, as though it were to stand as a testament to those would-be candy takers around me as to how wonderful an idea the candy actually was.
I don't even like chocolate. The sacrifices I'm making on a regular basis here are truly outstanding.

Innocently we walked down the sidewalk following Doug and Andrea, all 7 of us. We were a friendly entourage, eating and offering candy.
It only took about 15 minutes before they completely swarmed us. Young kids, about 12 of them, surrounded us with Corzine signs, blocking Doug's face from the crowd. They were passing out lapel stickers and bumper stickers (please refer back to the rules) and one was dressed peculiarly, with blue spiked hair and a large butterfly pinned to her back. They took pictures of Doug being suffocated by "Corzine". Doug smiled on, greeting parade goers and ignoring the nay-sayers.
They stood silently, but strangely made more noise than anyone there. They surrounded us and walked with us for a good 14 blocks.
It's really a shame that Senator Corzine is so crowd-phobic, or else he could have been there to defend himself against the masses.

"Corzine sucks!!!!" (this one was really popular)
"Oh, look, Corzine... wait, is he out tonight?"
"I thought they weren't supposed to have signs here."
"Don't ruin our Halloween!"
"Are you what we get in the statehouse if Corzine wins?" (directed to blue-haired butterfly girl... who, actually, someone wasn't sure if she was a guy in a skirt or not).

They followed us nearly all the way back to the bus and I briefly considered inviting them in for hot chocolate.
I wonder how much those kids got paid tonight...

I actually wasn't even on the bus today. I met up with the bus in Toms River to join them for the parade, but otherwise I was running around Jersey City like mad (for top secret reasons... really), and spent two hours or so in Princeton with Andrea while she was filming her next commercial for Doug (tune in to see)!

Pretty uneventful day. Tomorrow is fairly light also: a press conference in Newark sometime around 3:30.

Jeff Whelan followed us around yesterday at the Giants game. Actually, wonder of wonders, Greg and I bumped into him in Jersey City this morning. Regardless, he wrote up a little blurb that showed up today. Just a little highlight:

”Forrester, who is touring the state by bus, kicked off his day in the parking lot at the Meadowlands prior to the Giants game with the Washington Redskins. At a tailgating party hosted by a supporter, the candidate fended off Jell-O shots and feasted on a roasted pig as Led Zeppelin blared in the background and the crowd chanted his name.

Forrester and his wife, Andrea, then ventured through the rest of the parking lot where they ran into a few New Yorkers, who told him they were sorry they couldn't vote for him.

"This is Jersey, we can work these things out," Forrester joked.

Some fans mistook Forrester for a member of the Mara family, owners of the Giants, and a few others complained that his campaign bus nearly drove them off the road on the way to the parking lot. Forrester apologized profusely, but that didn't satisfy everyone.

"This is B.S.," said one fan, Arthur Sockolof, complaining that politicians have no place at a football game. “

And, of course, I couldn't possibly forget to ad my absolute most favorite quote of the day! Overheard in Toms River at the Halloween Parade: "Hey, so did you see Vinny's new Mustang?!"

Folks… all in a day’s work.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Day Two: welcome to the jungle

I heard it was so cold yesterday that Jon Corzine had his hands in his own pockets... amazing, eh?
But while yesterday took every chance it could to greet us with windy chills, today was gracious and kind, with warm sunshine and little to no wind to push us along; it was glorious.

I'm not a big sports fan, folks. Not to say that I dislike sports (that's really not the case at all. In fact, I really do enjoy sports quite a bit), but I just wouldn't consider myself a fan. At least, I certainly wouldn't consider myself a fan after today. I don't think I actually ever even really knew the true definition of "Sports Fan" until this morning.

Our first stop on the bus tour today was the Giants / Redskins game at Giant's stadium. We arrived somewhere around 9:30 or 10 in the morning and were greeted by thousands of already drunk fans who had been working toward the goal of complete inebriation since roughly 7:30 or 8 o'clock that morning. Doug shook one thousand and one hands in what he later admitted was a tremendous effort after the first 300 or so, suggesting that perhaps drunk hands are a little harder to shake.

The purpose of the stop was to meet and greet with thousands of potential voters, make our absurdly billboard-esque bus visible to thousands of potential voters, and to stop by a volunteer's tailgate party at 16-B.


Ladies and gentlemen, this is where the Future Meatheads of America (FMHA) meet.

This is where young, semi-attractive women adorned in gucci, chanel and prada are coupled to thick men with creative facial hair and wardrobes existing of only three colors: red, white, or blue.

This is where everyone's creativity shines brightest when trying to outdo one another in innovative ways to channel beer directly from the can to their mouths.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is where beer ads are made.

BF and I sat at the end of the theme-decorated motorhome that our hosts had parked at 16-B and watched the crowd around us.
I ate a little bit of pig.

The hugging.
The deep throated yelling.
The chants.
The dumpster diving...
Yes! There was dumpster diving! The honors were done by a man wearing a bright red wig. He did a flip right into the dumpster. Apparently this sort of occurance is a real issue at Giants Stadium.

After the dumpster dive, all the "Sports Fans" gathered in a circle around a guy wearing a Redskins jersey. I get the feeling that this was all staged and role-played, similar to professional wrestling. There was a ring leader who was yelling through a bull horn, bringing the offending opposer to his knees in the middle of the circle. The jersey was violently ripped off and immediately began a ritualistic burning. Doused in lighter fluid, the jersey melted before our very eyes as "Welcome to the Jungle" blared at deafening levels from the sound system that our host at 16-B had provided. The fans danced in a circle around the flaming adornment and chanted their devotion to the New York Giants.

BF and I were the only people not shouting, chugging, or stomping on the burning remnants of the jersey. We laughed though. We laughed in absolute utter amazement.


After the tailgate party, we escorted Doug and Andrea to an area where there was a lot of traffic going into the stadium (people traffic, not car traffic). They shook hands here and greeted game-goers for a solid hour. I was more than amused for a solid hour.

A lot of comments were overheard and most of them made my day in one way or another, but there are a few that stuck out so greatly in my mind that they ended up finding little ways to regurgitate themselves throughout the day, making me smile like mad.

"Let's go Corzine! Let's go Rebates!"
Perhaps a little weak, but funny because it's about as common a mixture as creamer in your lemon tea.

"Forrester sucks! Crack kills!"
No further delineation necessary.

"Yeah! Forrester! You have my fuckin' vote!"
I think it's great that people can mix profanity and encouragement.

and possibly my absolute favorite of the day:
"God bless you, Doug Forrester"
You really had to hear the tone of this one... you had to be there to fully understand. It was a heartbreaker for certain.

Most of the comments were encouraging though, seriously. Doug stood and answered questions, autographed sports memorabilia, smiled for photographs, and successfully clogged the stadium entrance...

The rest of the day was relatively anti-climactic in comparison. We had a press conference with NBC and CBS. I closed my finger in a door (!). Black Sheep closed his head in a door. Yes... relatively anti-climactic.

There were a few press clips that popped up from Sunday's travels.
We had Josh Margolis (of the Star Ledger) traveling on the bus with us and to the Rutgers game. The clip is so-so, but gives a little insight to traveling around with the candidate which is [usually] interesting.

Tomorrow is a light day. Maybe I'll sleep in. Or go to Curves. Or write this entry since I got too lazy to do it when I was supposed to.

Currently listening :
Appetite for Destruction
By Guns N' Roses
Release date: By 25 October, 1990

Day One: I saw a sumo wrestler

I don't watch television a whole lot. In fact, the occasion that I turn on a television is so rare that I'd say I'm more likely to be struck by lightning or to be attacked by a shark than I am to be caught watching Desperate Housewives (that analogy really isn't fair, because I mean, even if I did watch television you can be assured that I still wouldn't be caught watching Desperate Housewives).

Regardless, I was enthralled today as I was absolutely surrounded by televisions channeling into satellite stations. Fox News and the Weather channel blared around me from every angle. I wasn't sure why it was necessary to have 8 different televisions on the bus, but we did.
The campaign is taking a 10 day bus tour (starting this morning and ending at the Westin in Princeton on Election Day - November 8th) and I'm on the bus every single day managing all sorts of menial tasks such as holding purses, finding lids for styrofoam coffee cups, and purchasing any kind of confection that I can find for the candidate's 19 year-old daughter. She consumes more sugar than anyone I've ever met in my life - it's really quite impressive... I get paid for this, by the way.

We had Fox News on mute (the best way to have it) and I stared as one ridiculous advertisement after the other flashed across the screen.
Did everyone know that they've revived the "Help! I've fallen and I can't get up!" advertisements for LifeAlert?! I had no idea. Maybe they never really fell out of circulation, but I just saw it for the first time in many many years. It was silenced, but I laughed. I laughed a lot actually. I laughed at the advertisement for the gospel singer who apparently hasn't had her photograph taken since 1976. I laughed at a commercial for the no-name brand electric razor that came with a free gift (a special napkin dispenser [?], if you order now). I even laughed at Fox's mini headlines running along the bottom of the screen. When we first got on the bus in the morning, one of them read: "Iranian President makes statement: 'Israel should be wiped off map.'" Then, just four or five hours later, I saw the headline had changed to: "Iran retracts earlier statement that Israel should be wiped off map."
That was the highlight of my day I think, actually.

I ate a lot of food today.
I consumed a lot of sugar too.
I had Cracker Barrel's magnificent macaroni and cheese. bliss.

We traveled to a Rutgers football game where I saw a guy (convincingly) dressed as Napoleon Dynamite.
We visited three diners and interrupted several people's meals with greetings from Doug and Andrea.
We participated in a Halloween parade that was actually pretty damn fantastic.
I came to a crazy realization today. It was almost monumental: people really do like Doug. And for every person that likes Doug, there are three that LOVE Andrea. Her commercial (the one that I still haven't even seen but continue to tell her how great it is) is probably the best thing that ever happened to this campaign. Brava, Andrea.

I saw JM2 in Medford at the parade hurling candy at small children. I think only one of them walked away with a concussion. He said he wasn't in costume, but he was wearing an aviator jacket with the American Flag printed on it, blue sweatpants left over from 1989, and Andrew McCarthy's hair.

He continues to amaze me. He took the bar again this summer. I'm not sure if he passed it or not this time though. My guess is... well, you know.

I've discovered that this bunch is actually funny. I mean, they've cracked a few jokes here and there before, but spending all day with them today, cooped up in a bus, I found that they really are funny people. They were a lot more relaxed than I've ever seen them. Berkeley actually has a sense of humor, and apparently is a ladies' man. Rumor has it that he picked up one of the waitresses at the Cracker Barrell. I think it was a really good decision.

I got kicked out of Lowes for "soliciting". So I ripped the campaign sticker off my chest and kept on talking. The manager wasn't too happy.
"Ma'm, you cannot solicit here at the store with any political party or candidate!"
"My candidate left - he's down at BJ's... I'm just having a conversation here."
"If you're speaking on behalf of your candidate, then that still counts."
"Oh.... well, then thank goodness I'm not!"

She left me alone after that, but I thought it best that I just leave. That's when I went to go find lids for the coffee cups and to order a turkey sandwich for Andrea... I get paid for all this, by the way.

There were roughly 35,000 people at the halloween parade in Medford. All the kids were in costumes and were like little vultures over the candy being thrown their way. I've never seen anything like it. I saw a sumu wrestler, a 300 lb. man dressed as a beauty queen, and an elf riding on a snowman's shoulders (which, amazingly, was one costume). Doug was well received.

There's this red-headed guy, Pete, who works for Corzine but his sole job is to follow Doug around to every single event he attends and write down/record/videotape everything that Doug says. We joke around with him, chat with him, ask him how his day is going, sort of look out for him... there's this funny scenario though that I keep imagining in which Pete, after working at this job for several months, finally finds himself one day at an event where Doug is speaking, nodding his head in agreement: "yeah! this guy's right!" and then totally converting to the other side. It's just a funny thought.
Every once in awhile, we try to battle Pete. We'll shut the doors on him, or tell him that a certain event doesn't allow video. We do it because we can even though it doesn't really matter.
He always has the same sorts of responses to little jests that we regularly make.
"Hey Pete, why are you still recording Doug everywhere he goes? Isn't it too late for that anyway?"
His response, "It's never too late."

"Hey Pete, how's it going today? You haven't gotten beat up yet, eh?"
His response: "It's still early."

Nine more days, folks. Just nine.
I've decided, for unknown reasons, to post Doug's schedule through election day on my calendar here. I just really want to use the calendar, more than anything.

I'm bringing my iPod with me tomorrow.
And a change of clothing.

Friday, October 21, 2005

true stories

Black circles are not the problem, but instead, black rectangles as my eye (the right one) seems lately that it does not want to be bothered with contact lenses. I either put in the lens, it rips, and needs to be replaced 24 hours later or the eye decides to completely refuse it altogether and I am forced to rock the specks (which I dislike intensely).

Sunday, in an effort to save on gas, I rode to church with Cristina and rode home with Tony. Tony's car is an absolute pig hole, filled to capacity with candy wrappers, empty coke bottles and various crumpled paper products; CDs are strewn everywhere with no jewel cases in sight and air fresheners hang from every possible place to hang them from. He lit a cigarette and almost immediately dropped it in his lap causing him to nearly drive off the road. It burned a rather large hole in the seat between his legs. His lighter was shaped like a pig and had flames shooting from the snout. Peculiar.
We rode in silence most of the way until Tony reached to turn down the volume so I could hear him speak.
"You want to hear something really messed up? I was at a party last week and the guy that was having the party had a pinata... it was filled with a bunch of condoms and man thongs and stuff. Everyone was pretty wasted and when the pinata got busted open, I grabbed a few of the man thongs and was putting them on my car and stuff - they've just been laying around my room. The thing is, this morning I got up and didn't have any clean underwear, soooo..."

Tony wore a man thong.
To church.

Back in February sometime there was a rather large snow storm, the kind that forces you out of your house a full hour before you would usually leave for work so that you can dig your car out and defrost everything; the kind that keeps the plows so busy that it can take 2-3 days for them to get to my road; the kind that is followed by an ice storm leaving the 2 1/2 feet of snow in a thick, icy shell. It was that kind of snow storm.

It did take me an hour to dig my car out from under the mounds and mounds of snow. It had been two days and the plows hadn't come to visit my street yet. An ice storm had followed the snow and had left a thick layer of ice on everything, but I drove on anyway... and made it about a block before I found myself in a slide down a hill that I could do nothing about. I hit a ditch and said ditch catapulted me into the air and straight into my neighbor's mailbox.
Mailbox went everywhere. I said "oh no".

No one was home so I assembled a pile of mailbox pieces as neatly as I could at the end of the driveway and left my business card with a note on their front door. I received a call later that afternoon gushing with gratefulness at such honesty.
"Oh! But how could I have possibly left without saying anything. I felt horrible! You are, afterall, my neighbor!" (I had never even met these people).
She gushed for about five more minutes and then assured me that her husband or her would give a call back when they got things figured out.
I never heard from them again.

Five months later, a new mailbox had still not been put up. They had purchased a new box and had placed it on a stump, but there was no post or fancy reflectors. It took nearly 6 months before I finally drove by one morning and noticed the mailbox firmly planted into the ground, new numbers on its side, new reflectors warning future would-be mailbox hitters.

A week later it was knocked down again. This time by a drunk driver. I couldn't believe their misfortune and wondered if they secretly thought that I had done it a second time. I still had never met them or heard from them.

Yesterday morning I was racing back home to dig up a sandwich and a change of clothing before heading down to Princeton to clean up a crisis that the candidate's wife was suffering (someone botched up the schedule) when I saw my neighbor walking down her driveway for the mail. I thought to myself: "wow... I should really stop and introduce myself, say hello, do the neighborly thing. I still haven't even met these people and if nothing else I should at least do that!"
So, on an impulse, I pulled into the driveway. She stopped and stared, trying for the life of her to figure out who I was. I left the engine running and got out of the car to introduce myself.
"Hey there! I'm a neighbor of yours; I'm the girl who ran into your mailbox the first time."
Her face brightened up and she immediately put out her hand to meet me. She was ecstatic to see me, ecstatic that I had stopped by, still ecstatic that I had been so honest about the situation. She gushed for 5 minutes or so and I let her, smiling the entire time and thinking what a good neighbor I was.
"Hey! I just wrote you a letter the other day, actually. My husband and I were so grateful for your honesty. You know, not a lot of people would have done that..."
(awww, shucks, stop that now...)
"If you wait right here, I'd like to run in and print it up for you - is that alright?"
I assured her I would wait outside for a minute as she ran inside to get me this fantastic letter she had written me.

She folded it before she handed it to me.
"You know... if this is... too much, you can just, you know, pay us in installments or something..."
I was only mildly shocked. OK, so they're still interested (after all this time) in collecting a fee for the mailbox I busted. OK, no reward for honesty... but that's alright. I mean, it's fair. I busted their mailbox.
I told her I would drop a check in the mail as soon as I could and then parted ways. I couldn't wait to check the damage.

2 Central Avenue
Whitehouse Station, NJ 08889
October 14, 2005

Monica N. Navarro
1 Haver Place
Whitehouse Station, NJ 08889

Dear Ms. Navarro,

As I'm sure you recall, you accidentally hit our mailbox several [8!!!!!] months ago. My wife and I appreciate your honesty.

Unfortunately, the parts were not salvageable and had to be replaced. I still have the mailbox in case you wish to inspect it. Following are the costs involved in replacing and mounting the new mailbox:

"Ironside" mailbox $56.95
Cedar post and vinyl sleeve: 20.00
Vinyl post cap 4.00
Iron post anchor 19.95
Brass numbers 3.95
Reflectors 1.50
Labor [!?!?!?!] 50.00

Sub-total: $155.40
Tax: 9.33

Total: $164.73

I would greatly appreciate a check in the above amount as soon as possible [I see time is a real issue for them]. If you'd like to discuss this matter, please stop by during the weekend.


So while geography says that they're my neighbors, in my heart, as far as I'm concerned, they live in Deluth.

Monday, October 17, 2005


this is me, covering my ears, closing my eyes,
and screaming.

Currently listening :
Without Condition
By Ginny Owens
Release date: By 20 July, 1999

Friday, October 14, 2005

below fair market value

My father has several hobbies. He enjoys computers and technology, Bible study, traveling, and taking the worst possible picture using the best possible camera.

I found a collection of wedding photographs from this past weekend on our network and decided that, with a few revisions and improvements, these positively horrible pictures could be made into something worthwhile.

Click on the link under the "before" photo to see the "after" result

This photo, like many that JC takes, lacks a discernable focal point. I've gone ahead and highlighted a few possible points of interest that could have been chosen. focal points

Next, we have this lovely photo which actually isn't that bad, but could stand some minor improvements. JC & Rhiannon

This is not really good for any of the individuals involved. A picture like this requires some sort of diversion to make you forget about how bad it is. bridesmaids

Finally, this photo could be terrific after just a few minor touch-ups. Thanks to fantastic programs like Adobe Photoshop, the editing takes no time at all. Moe & Cheech

I love that my job affords me the chance to take on little projects like this.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

fun size me

The above has the capacity to be great.
Or, at the very least, a new cinematic obsession for me.

I should be resting peacefully in my (if I do say so myself) supremely comfortable bed right now, but instead I'm trapped by this computer and find myself watching movie trailer after movie trailer on QuickTime's website, as I periodically do.

I totally forgot to put on deodorant today.

Deodorant didn't really seem to matter, however, as I walked through the day in a Miles Davis daze. Everything was wet and grey, temporarily staining the front of my shirt with damp spots. I looked like I was lactating.

Rudy Giuliani visited Westfield today for a press conference with Doug. 300+ people forced their way into a room built for 100. That State House press guy was there that I always see around. I can never place his accent. In fact, it might not be an accent at all. This is the first time he's every spoken directly to me, as it was somewhat unavoidable, us smashed against one another and a wall, with no room to move except to swivel our heads from left to right.
Rudy ended his endorsement speech and gripped Dougs hand high in the air, smiling for the flashing cameras. Doug was beside himself with glee. It took 20 minutes to get them out of the building.

Later that afternoon, in a noble effort to make at least one supporter very happy, I would spend 10 minutes fishing an autographed photo from the console's crevice of Rudy's SUV. I scraped up my hand pretty badly and it left hives for awhile. I have no idea how they managed to drop the picture through such a small space.

Mayor Giuliani was taping a commercial for Doug at a law office in Westfield. I waited silently as I listened to "I was mayor of New York for eight years..." a minimum of 14 times. Andrea and I left before they finished taping.

I drove through flood waters twice to get to work this morning.
Red Bull: at lips.
Teddy Grahams: in hand.
I'm campaigning now, yeah!

I'm not complaining about my job... I just can't wait for election day to get here.

Driving home tonight, I glanced in my rearview mirror as I turned to take my third detour due to flooding. There was a single leaf stuck to my back windshield, suctioned to the glass by a million tiny droplets. Headlights shone through the glass behind me, blacking out the leaf's bright colors and turning it dark. It distracted me all the way home and I kept stealing glances every chance I could get.

Four barking dogs.
One mug of hot tea.
Bed trousers. Tiger Balm. Movie trailers. MySpace... eventually it will end for a spell, but it will end amongst down and cotton and my favorite pillow which was recently stolen and then returned.

My life's not so rough.

** This was all way better before FireFox decided to create an error that would shut down the program and erase all the wonderfully delightful things I had written... my memory usually serves me correctly, but please understand. **

** I really am listening to "one bedroom" **

Currently listening :
One Bedroom
By The Sea and Cake
Release date: By 21 January, 2003

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


identical silhouettes standing side by side, feet set at shoulder's width apart.
same jeans.
same shirts.
same blazers.
same silver band on the middle finger of the right hand.

same beer bottles held at a perfect 45 degree angle to their mouths.
same stream of confidence down each trap for the same dark, happy ride.
matching shadows stretch back from the soles of their matching boots...
stretching back to me.
The shadows meet my legs and follow them straight up to my hips, my stomach, my neck, my face, where I hold a similar beer bottle, on the very verge of reflecting that same 45 degree angle, but too distracted by this perfect sight - everything freezes just like that for 2 seconds before one of the matching silhouettes reaches with his left arm to scratch his right elbow.

The world is perfect for two seconds.

The next distraction is just around the corner. Stage lights flashing, heads nodding in flawless and not-so-flawless rhythm, smoke slithers to the ceiling and a flash of light catches his eye, reflects into his beer bottle, and twinkles back at me.

The world is perfect for three seconds.

Mama naps and the Cheech plays on as he learns that more than one monkey was caught jumping on the bed and he literally falls off and bumps his poor, blonde little head.
Lifting him two and a half feet above me, my feet supporting his mid-section, I hold his little hands and watch the patterns that his swirling hair make in the air as I bring him in for a crash landing.
He's perfecting his english these days and asks of me: "Again, Monkey!"

The world is perfect for an hour.

All sorts of things are saved for rainy days, but I've managed to keep not one of them. Water falls down in sheets from steel grey skies and drenches positively everything in sight.
Droplets creep their way down window panes, collecting smaller droplets on their journey and create a hydrating web of wonder.
Bridesmaids hug skirts around knees as they jump over small puddles, holding eight pound bouquets over their heads to protect wedding day hair from the mother nature's hydroware.
Glossy smiles stretch for miles as two candle wicks, two hands, two lives, two hearts are made one.

The world is perfect for a day.

Darkness is for sleeping... sometimes.
Scary darkness is meant to be pierced by furious light, and curious darkness is meant to be followed by surprise...
But perfect darkness is meant to be left to its perfection, highlighted only by the flickering of candlelight.

Eyes closed.
And if you're lucky: those flickers dancing poetry on the inside of your eyelids.

Bare legs resting, and lifting - the senses are tickled as sound, and sight, and touch and smell all collide... somewhere, superboy floats through your ears.
At this very moment it could be a tear, or a laugh, or a hug, or a stare...

And the world is perfect forever.

Currently listening :
Teaser & The Firecat
By Cat Stevens
Release date: By 23 May, 2000

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

risky business

I take a risk in posting this, I realize.
"Oh! But it's such a nice little poem!" you all might say.
The truth of the matter is this: I usually don't subscribe to cute little poems of encouragement. I don't subscribe to Precious Moments dolls or to Proverbs stitched onto throw pillows. I don't subscribe to note cards bearing NIV interpretations of John 3:16 or to signing letters with "God bless you"... the reason is that to me it represents a culture of people who say a lot of things and do very little. To me it represents the idea of loving Christ and others, but not actually doing it.

Regardless, I remember a dear friend at the training center giving me a copy of this poem that I have actually kept quite treasured for the past 10 years, the typing paper that bears its printing has been kept folded and creased and tucked away because it was so pertinent and important to me then.
It is has become impossible to ignore the perfect timing at which this piece of paper constantly chooses to resurface in my life. At the risk of sounding really sappy, I feel like it becomes more and more important to me each and every time.


Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried.
Quietly, patiently, lovingly God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate,
And the Master so gently said, "You must wait!"

"'Wait?', you say, wait!" my indignant reply.
"Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By FAITH I have asked, and am claiming your Word.

"My future and all to which I relate
Hangs in the balance, and you tell me to WAIT?
I'm needing a 'yes,' a go-ahead sign,
Or even a 'no' to which I can resign.

"You promised, dear Lord, that if we believe
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And Lord, I've been asking, and this is my cry
I'm weary of asking! I need a reply!"

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate
As my Master replied once again, "You must wait."
So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut,
And grumbled to God, "So, I'm waiting. . .for what?"

He seemed then to kneel and His eyes wept with mine,
And He tenderly said, "I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead and cause mountains to run.

"I could give all you seek and pleased you would be.
You'd have what you want, but you wouldn't know ME.
You'd not know the depth of my love for each saint.
You'd not know the power that I give to the faint.

"You'd not learn to see through the clouds of despair;
You'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there;
You'd not know the joy of resting in me
When darkness and silence are all you can see.

"You'd never experience the fullness of love
When the peace of my Spirit descends like a dove;
You would know that I give and I save for a start,
But you'd not know the depth of the beat of my heart.

"The glow of my comfort late into the night.
The faith that I give when you walk without sight.
The depth that's beyond getting just what you ask
From an infinite God, who makes what you have LAST.

"You'd never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that 'My grace is sufficient for thee.'
Yes, your dreams for your loved one overnight would come true,
But, oh, the loss! if you lost what I'm doing in you.

"So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see
That the greatest of gifts is to truly know Me,
And though oft may my answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still..."WAIT."

Friday, September 30, 2005

latitude :: longitude

"I disappoint myself..."
I hummed as I fumbled for my EZ Pass, passing into the Holland Tunnel last night. Alina at my side, my McDonald's breakdown secret was safe with her, I was certain. Besides, she had eaten some of my french fries, so there was really nothing she could say to my demise.
She didn't recognize me when I first pulled up along side her Ford Contour Limited Edition in the good ol' JC. She looked me straight in the eye and then looked away, later admitting her thoughts as "who is this random Asian chick staring at me?!"

I'm really not Asian, although some people might disagree.

My job becomes easier and easier each day, and its ease was made evident last night when I dropped Andrea Forrester off at her reception, "Oh, you don't need to come in at all. Have fun tonight, whatever you do!"
She had no idea, but her release on my services made it possible for me to meet up with Alina last night, and with the Spies, and with Jonathan Gottlieb, and with Lauren and Colleen (of Lauren and Colleen fame), and with Paul the bartender, who recognized me from his tenure at Luna Lounge... it was a relatively good evening. I didn't expect to bump into so many people.
I only drank one Amstel Light. It was only partially satiating.
I found a parking spot less than a block away from Pianos. That was entirely satiating.

I expected the energy of the city to feel good, but it wasn't the energy of the city that felt good, it was the awkwardness of not having a drink for the first five minutes of being there, it was the loud ringing in my ears, it was the screaming at the top of my lungs in the ear of the person next to me in order to make small talk, it was the "what was that?" that you had to ask at least four times before you ever heard what the person said (the fourth one nearly always being yelled just as a song ends and the room falls silent).
Nodding my head rhythmically, pretending to be completely into the music when in fact I was really just studying the people around me, wondering how it is that so many people can look exactly alike. These things all felt good.

Paul the bartender asked me if I had changed my hair since the last time he saw me. I thought it was just a line, but admitted to him that it was true. He reached forward and fingered my new-ish bangs... I nearly felt a space violation coming on, but was too distracted by the fact that he recognized me at all to let it bother me.

Alina and I snuck out early and cruised home listening to Bowie. For the first time ever, the iPod worked in the city.
It was strange to arrive home after a show and still have time to sit around, play the piano, harass one of the four dogs that now inhabits my home, read, or even engage in a wickedly long game of competitive speed scrabble...

My job gets easier and easier.

And my moment of zen?

I roll the window down and then begin to breathe in the darkest country road and the strong scent of evergreen, from the passenger seat as you are driving me home.

Then looking upwards, I strain my eyes and try to tell the difference between shooting stars and satellites, from the passenger seat as you are driving me home.

"Do they collide?" I ask, and you smile.
With my feet on the dash, the world doesn't matter.

When you feel embarrassed then i'll be your pride.
When you need directions then i'll be the guide, for all time.

Currently listening :
Great Escape
By Blur
Release date: By 26 September, 1995

Monday, September 26, 2005

drink cold, refrigerate responsibly

Today's blog title brought to you by:
ALINA. Little. Yellow. Different.

Never in my life (at least, not that I remember) have I been so pleased to make a purchase at Wal-Mart. Most purchases these days are more pleasurable than in days past simply due to the self check-out line now so prevalent in many of the Wal-Mart stores. I also enjoy that Luna bars, those little devils that I seem to be so addicted to these days, are $.01 cheaper than anywhere else on the planet. Anyway, Luna bars and self check-out lines are not really the point of my story. The point of my story is my most joyous purchase in Wal-Mart not one week ago: Steel Train's Twilight Tales from the Prairies of the Sun... I spied it in the meager music section while I was waiting for my photos to finish processing and took about 1/2 a second to snatch it up off the shelf. It was the only copy and admittedly, I at first thought it was a planted album but was quickly set straight on that detail when it rang up at the self check-out line (let's see how many times I can include the words "self check-out" in this entire entry... but then, let's not really).
Needless to say, although I've already said it, this purchase made me really really happy, and proud. Really proud indeed.

I made other purchases this week as well. I purchased series I and II of The Office on DVD from eBay. Series I was great but Series II is clearly a bootleg and I've already written to the dude to make him aware of my disapproval and that I intend to mail the fraudulent copy back to him in exchange for a reimbursement of my hard-earned cash. I still haven't heard back from him...
I also bought a mosaic lamp that I have absolutely no place to put in my bedroom. Now that I've finally finished painting my walls and moving my furniture around (feng shui is an art), I think I might have become addicted to buying things. Granted, there are far worse things in life to become addicted to (reality television and smack are two perfectly good examples), but I've always prided myself in not being materialistic or not caring much for "stuff", and here I am buying any cool thing that my little monkey paws can get a hold of.


The Cheech is back on the East Coast. I can't believe what a little adult he is. I'm amazed every single time at how quickly he's growing up. He sat at the dinner table tonight and asked Cristina (Mama) for a piece of bread. She immediately got up to appease him (since he said please), and once she had gotten out the bread interrupted his chatter: "Alexander, I have an important question to ask you," he immediately looked up in attention, "do you want honey or jelly on your bread?"
He hollered back excitedly that he wanted jelly and then changed his mind, "No, honey!"

I got him a polo shirt so that he can pop his collar. This was more to piss off JC and Tony than anything, but it seemed to piss off Cheech as well. He screamed in protest when we tried to put the shirt on him. JC screamed back and it made him laugh for a minute, but he kept pulling at the collar of the shirt trying to get the thing off. I guess he's not a prepster afterall. I had such high hopes for the kid.


Having two pregnant women in the house now (Cristina, and JC's bride-to-be, Rhiannon) makes me a little nervous. Usually women living together in the same household or spending crazy amounts of time together will... well, they'll develop the same cycle, sort of just by association or something. So my concern is evident. But, I mean, it would be crazy to become pregnant by association, right? That's rubbish, right?

Actually, my concerns are more for everyone else in the house being left to combat the raging hormones that are flying around. Pregnant women are so moody. Damn.


I once (or twice) wrote about an old friend, named Brandon. I actually thought of him earlier today as I was criss crossing the northern part of New Jersey, flying at high speeds through the woods with wood-type animals looking on in shock and dismay. I thought about him being my fall-back boy, always there for me and constant date to weddings. His mother thinks that we're going to get married and somehow got the crazy idea in her head that this was some sort of arrangement between Brandon and I years ago... his mother is slightly delusional sometimes.

Regardless, I do have another friend named Brandon. Actually, his name is Michael, but people call him Brandon. I call him Brandon.
Anyway, this friend of mine, (Michael) Brandon is an absolute gem. He used to have long hair, but recently shaved it off. He majored in English and writes beautiful things when he actually gives himself the chance to. He really really likes Judas Priest. He recently bought a mountain bike.
(Michael) Brandon has a kitty cat that he calls Winnie (like from the Wonder Years). His birthday is next week. He loves Richmond. He has girl problems only because he is so beloved by so many. He has girl problems only because he cares so deeply for people and sometimes I don't think he realizes how much.
(Michael) Brandon encouraged me, inspired me to write a story this evening about two individuals so attuned to one another that they finish one another's sentences and can read eachother's minds. I think I can read (Michael) Brandon's mind. I think he can read mine, although recently he thought that I hated him. In that instance, his signal went a little dim and he was not able to percieve that in fact I do not hate him, I was just away from my computer working for a candidate that I'm not even sure I'll vote for. I was away painting my room. I was away talking things out with someone who understands or who wants to understand. I was just away... I didn't hate him at all.

There's something about having a friend who is removed from practically every situation in your life... having someone like that gives you the freedom to discuss freely whatever it is you need to get off your chest without the risk (or high risk) of judgment. Here it is: therapy without the outrageous expense (my insurance company says I have to pay for that other lousy counselor).
Sitting on the floor in the hallway of Alejandra's apartment building, just outside her door, I was feeling a little distressed, a little sad, and a little intoxicated when I decided to dial the number that had been sitting idly in my phonebook for so many months.
"Hey, is this Brandon?"
"Yeah, who is this?"
"It's Monica..."
"Yeah. Um, it's moe"

I'm not one for phone conversations, but we talked for well over an hour and when I hung up the phone, for some reason, everything made sense again. All I needed was a shove in the right direction. A little encouragement. A little love... there's just something about having a friend like that.
There's just something about having a friend like (Michael) Brandon.
Currently listening :
Twilight Tales from the Prairies of the Sun
By Steel Train
Release date: By 19 April, 2005

Monday, September 19, 2005

lavish yourself

I start the new job on Friday (in politics, you can start a new job any day of the week really because you work 7 days anyhow).


Talking with Tony last week and sharing tears over heartbreak and sorrow, I informed him of how aware I've been lately of so many people that are in need, and that are hurting. So many people that have never known the love of Christ. So many people that walk around with blank faces because they don't know why they're here on this Earth... it was nearly overwhelming for a bit. It's always overwhelming to think of good people who just seem to get a really shitty deal. Good people who are living in the depths of poverty, or who made a poor choice at a young age and are now fighting to survive an abusive husband, or young children stricken with fatal diseases and who are now forced to demonstrate strength that a full-grown man would have trouble mustering up.

I found it interesting that after all of that, Pastor spoke this morning about healing. I think he mostly was referencing physical healing and the faith behind it, but it got me to thinking about emotional healing, mental healing, spiritual healing (and it is only coincidence that I was listening to "sexual healing" as I pulled into the church parking lot before service) and brought me back to mine and Tony's conversation late last week. My heart goes out to Tony right now because I know how badly he's hurting. I know that he's hurting and not understanding why his world is being flipped upside down. Granted, there are individuals across the globe who are suffering far worse from disease, and crime, and crippled governments and economic systems, but this is affecting HIM. In the grand scope of things, this would be considered a minor bump in the road, but I'm learning to listen and to view things outside the grand scope and on a much more intimate level.
I looked around the sanctuary this morning and felt that there were so many broken hearts sitting around me. People who are suffering things in their personal lives that perhaps no one around them will ever know about. I knew that there were people sitting in that sanctuary that were completely and 100% broken, and that were, despite their faith in Christ, completely unsure of what to do about it. I felt so burderened for so many people at once that it became difficult to even stand and although I didn't necessarily feel as though I should have been, I began to cry. It's a strange thing to stand completely straight-faced with tears streaming from your eyes, looking like someone who cries just from allergies or a particularly good yawn.
I feel as though I've probably spent a lot of time trying to convince others that my belief system is right and good, when in reality I should just be living my life, purposing to demonstrate the love of Christ to others. That despite an individual's race, or gender, or financial status, or sexual orientation, or religious beliefs, I can still love unconditionally and have compassion for those in need. I once told someone that it makes me scared, how uncompassionate I am, but I really don't think I'm uncompassionate at all. I'm sometimes completely overwhelmed by compassion for others. I think I sometimes have a poor way of showing it and I sometimes become too defensive for my own good.

As Tony cried on my bed last week, and as I shared with him in those tears, I told him that we have a choice to either give up and give in, to go completely crazy when we feel this broken, or we can rely on the strength that Christ promises through Him, that sometimes we need to be stripped down to absolutely nothing, to the bare bone in order to see how much we are nothing and how much we need from God in order to make us whole. Is it a crutch? You bet it is. And a damn good one at that.

So this is what it means to be held, how it feels when the sacred is torn from your life and you survive.
This is what it is to be loved, and to know that the promise was when everything fell, you'd be held.

God heals hearts too. Isn't that great?

Currently listening :
Brothers & Sisters
By Coldplay
Release date: By 18 November, 2003

Thursday, September 15, 2005

life is better inside a warm sweater

I still don't have my drivers license back, but I'm far too humored right now to care that much.

Even if you don't follow New Jersey politics, do me a favor and check out this little cartoon. It's... well, it's pretty fantastic and absurdly over the top; typical for New Jersey anyhow (Zeoli, I especially liked seeing your face pasted onto one of Forrester's minions. Don't worry, I'll still love you. You and Dale both):

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

less space

I really really hate the MVC or DMV or whatever the hell you want to call it.

I want to be like Peter from Office Space and just not pay any of my bills. I'm sick of them anyhow.

This today is just the straw that breaks the camels back, or sanity, as the case may be.

Yeah, yeah, yeah... so I finished painting my room. Now I have four walls surrounding me that look exactly the same as one another and I feel even more trapped than I did before.

I'm such a crankster right now, but not even. I'm just really really sad. Defeated is a better word I think. Completely and 100% defeated.
What kind of a Christian does that make me now?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

comfort, the feeble minded

:: Friday ::

Today we celebrate 25 years of Becky.
And what a grand celebration it was. Naturally, I had missed most of it by the time I arrived at Lake Nelson, but Becky and the Ecks were ready and waiting for my arrival, welcoming my presence and any alcohol that I might have brought with me as a gift.

The usual suspects were all there plus a few extra surprises - individuals that I thought had long since been thrown off the team.
Naked Tim was there. What a delight he always is.
He looked a little more humble this time around. You don't cross Becky and the Ecks without a test in humility to show for it.

Everyone was loud and oblivious to the fact that I had walked through the door. Their mouths all open - laughing and talking at the very height of their ability - the warm alcohol on their breath filled the air, making it damp and very very drunk. I had no option but to pour myself a drink. Rolling the dice I landed on Southern Comfort - a great way to start and finish the evening.
I poked around for a bit and found the smokers on the back deck, and a few more out on the dock by the lake. I stayed inside and watched through the window. I've noticed lately that if for nothing else, Lake Nelson is really good for observing. Rest assured some amount of drama will take place before the evening is through. There always is, and it's so much fun to watch.

Somewhere two hours later I found myself on the front deck talking to Holly and two guys that I didn't know. One was discussing his face piercings and pointing out how barely noticeable the scars are. His friend randomly brought up Death Cab and this began a conversation about how they'll be playing at Hammerstein in October and how I probably won't get to go see them on account of "work" (yes, I might be doing that sometime again soon. Miracles never do cease, eh?).

Pierced face boy excused himself from the conversation to use the restroom and I took advantage of the situation, escaping while no one would take notice. Through the living room, into the kitchen, grabbing my jacket from the back of the chair and out the back door all in one, swift movement. It was art. It was beautiful.

I felt a little sick.

I only threw up once on my way home. Southern Comfort isn't as comfortable as I once remembered.
Pulling off at the Red Bull Inn, I felt slightly miserable as the world spun around me, but not from the alcohol. The world was just spinning. I was spinning as I grabbed a blanket from the back seat and wrapped it around me. It was 2:45 in the morning. I've grown slightly accustomed to sleeping in parking lots these days.

Happy birthday, Becky.

:: Saturday ::

Some days I never wake-up. My eyes open, my feet hold me perpendicular to the ground and I go about my business, but I don't really wake-up. Perhaps the signal doesn't quite make it to the brain, or perhaps my physiological state is not quite coterminous with the functioning status of my psychological being. I'm no doctor (although I do play one on television), but it does happen. It's killer when you have to drive long distances.

I was supposed to go and pick up my bridesmaid dress with Kelly (for about the third time this week), but never made it around to that.
I was supposed to meet Bret at Echo Lake park at 10:30 in the morning, but I didn't really make it around to that either.

I opened my eyes in the parking lot of Red Bull Inn somewhere around 7AM and decided to venture home, setting my sights first on an Egg McMuffin along the way. I rested peacefully for about three hours.

I made it to Echo Lake park somewhere around 12:30, after my body tried to purge that harmless little McMuffin from my system for the second time.
I was feeling a little weak at the knees, but the sunshine felt nice against my skin. It reminded me that I really was alive, and perhaps even awake.

It was nice to see Phyllis again.
Everyone felt the need to remind me that I'll be working for Doug soon.
Rick looks really miserable (you can read all about it in his blog, where he openly bashes me and Greg).

Shaylin and I went for a car ride while the 40 or so volunteers and supporters mingled around her father, waiting for him to give his typical and obligatory 20 minute speech. It was good we went or else I might have felt the need to kick him in the shins and remind him that we were at a picnic.
Her hair was braided into a million tight little braids, all over her head. She had just gotten back from Jamaica.
"How long did it take to do all these?" I asked as I ran my hand over the strange and smooth little bumps.
"About two and a half hours..."
I exclaimed that I didn't know she could sit still for that long and she smirked at me, looking very much like her father.

I threw up again after that. I think it was the car ride.

Lynn sent me with a watermelon, and I was feeling sort of mellow. I was thinking about another picnic that was going to be starting shortly, one that I really wanted to go to but didn't feel much liberty to. Well... let me rephrase that a bit: I wanted to go, but I really didn't. Not really anyway. I've made enough trouble this summer, you know? I need to stop thinking of myself so damn much...
I did want to bring Luke a watermelon though. And I wanted to bring him some beer too. In fact, in light of how miserably sick I was feeling, bringing Luke some beer and watermelon for his cookout sounded really really nice.
So I did.
Red Stripe and Watermelon in hand, I showed up at Luke's around 4:05 with weak knees and a shaky voice.
It was nice to see him again. He gave me a hug, that superb kind of a hug that makes you feel really good to be there.
It made me realize how little I actually know him, to see him looking so casual. I watched him rinse out small dishes for chips and salsa as he chatted with the few people in his kitchen. Everything was clean and shiney and he just seemed really content. I asked him about the boys and he didn't say much. He asked me if I still talked to anyone and I told him I did not.
"Oh... right." he said as he sort of put his head down for a moment, still smiling a little. I didn't really know what he meant by it though.

I stayed 20 minutes and then left, being sure to duck out before anyone really got there. I wondered if he would mention later that I had been there. I wondered if it would even strike him to do such. I wondered if it even mattered one way or the other. In the grand scheme of things: not really.
But that's in the grand scheme of things.

I drove down to Princeton and tried to sleep for a very long time. Somewhere around 3AM I didn't feel so sick anymore. I dreamt about a painting that was hanging on the hotel room wall. It was strange. In my dream, the painting was all I could see, no matter what people put in front of my face.

I didn't sleep very well.

:: Sunday ::

When I lived in Washington, DC it was not an uncommon thing for me to be out and about on a Sunday morning and to find a strange church to duck into just spur of the moment. Not strange as in odd, but strange as in one that I'd never been to before. I feel like a lot of the time, by some strange miracle, the service was always starting within five minutes or so of the very minute I was walking by. That's actually how I came to find the church that I would attend regularly there. Pretty amazing, right?

Driving up from Princeton Sunday morning, I was feeling quite a lot better than I had the day before. Of course, I'd gone out of my way to visit Einstein Bros. Bagels on Route 1 on my way out and only to be terribly disappointed... that's a whole other story for another day.
I realized that I wasn't going to make it to my church in Bridgewater and I actually, for a moment, for kicks and giggles, entertained the thought of hopping up to the Presbyterian church in New Providence, but didn't quite feel it necessary or wise.

I passed a Reformed church and noticed that their service was to begin at 10AM. The time was exactly 9:57 AM... miracles never do cease, I am reminded once again.

It was a lovely service, I must say. It felt good to be standing in a congregation where absolutely no one knew who I was. Showing up in ripped jeans, dirty hair, and no make-up makes you wonder if everyone around you is thinking you a heathen that's just walked in off the streets. I love to imagine this and then amaze the person in front of me as I harmonize with the hymns, singing the words by memory.
I feel more concentrated though. I feel like I can be more honest with God, and with myself. I feel like I gain a lot of encouragement from a congregation that I have never met. I like the feeling of it quite a bit, actually.

I washed the Focus again. It's been staying really really clean lately, inside and out. That's a good feeling as well.

:: Monday ::

I drove 200 miles today. I used 3/4 of a tank of gasoline.
I traveled from Whitehouse Station to Piscataway, to East Brunswick, to Mountainside, to Trenton, to Bridgewater, and then back to Whitehouse Station.
I finally picked up my Bridesmaid dress, that beast of a thing.
I bought a wedding gift for my brother and his bride-to-be.
I refilled a prescription.
I learned how to cut up a pineapple.

Being busy is all relative. When I had a job, I was busy all the time. I had time for literally nothing else.
Now that I don't have a job, I'm still pretty damn busy and just not getting paid for it.

It's all relative.

As busy as I was earlier today, I've been super lazy tonight.
I watched a horrible movie with Jane Fonda and Jennifer Lopez and I ate really awful chinese take-out. I hope it doesn't make me sick again.
But then, if it did, I suppose it wouldn't be all that bad.
Not in the grand scheme of things.

Currently listening :
There Is Nothing Left to Lose
By Foo Fighters
Release date: By 02 November, 1999