The December Project 2004

Thursday, December 02, 2004

12.02.04--3:32 a.m.
(really 12.01.04)

i made that decision all new yorkers on the financial edge make
while out late at night--
how much is an hour's sleep worth.
for me it was $7,
the difference between my usual two buses
and the cab i woulnd up taking home
from pierogies and a lime rickey at veselka with nathaniel
after his thom gunn tribute/world aids day reading at the bowery poetry club.

12.03.04--1:21 a.m.
(really 12.02.04)

the end of the night after readings is always weird
the where are you heading, who's deciding where you're heading dance
and tonight, at the series i curate,
i'm said goodbye too as the crowd filters for drinks, or eats, or,
well, it doesn't really matter anymore, right?
i just don't understand how people were raised sometimes,
you know?

12.05.04--1:13 a.m.
(really 12.03.04)

friday half-days
shabbat half-days
come in handy when the paper goes to press tomorrow
and i've spent three weeks not really working on it.
some lunch,
sports radio and tv,
and a nap,
and it's 7:30,
six-and-a-half hours later
i have page proofs
watch a becker rerun,
and set my alarm for 10:48
five hours before the files need to be at the printer.

12.05.04--1:17 a.m.
(really 12.04.04)

nathaniel went to a pre-sale show of postcard art,
"they tell you the names of all the artists,
just not which one did which piece of art."
the sale begins at 2 p.m. tomorrow
and he's already picked out a piece by yoko ono he wants.
so he has to line up early,
as it's first come, first served,
each piece going for $50.
So he's planning on a 10 a.m. arrival.
"will you bring me tea around noon?" he asks,
as the gallery is a 10-minute walk from my apartment.
"i wouldn't bring my mother tea in the morning," i tell him,
before escorting him to dunkin' donuts so he can buy a thermos.

12.07.04--12:53 a.m.
(really 12.05.04)

another issue of the paper is out
the distributor having found the printer
and me having found some the jets game
and then an alicia silverstone movie
(it is not a starring vehicle for her,
but for me it is an alicia silverstone movie,
not a peter o' toole movie
or a joan plowright movie)
and i go into the alone at home chatroom during the movie,
begin im'ing a girl,
it getting a bit, you know,
leading to my inevitable
"i so wish i could hear your sweeet voice"
and she gives me her number
and i call,
and then call back,
by this time my shorts next to me on the bed,
me sitting sideways,
leaning against my pillows propped up against the wall,
and the talk gets a little, you know,
and then i dab a drop of ky in my right hand,
my headset keeping me hands free,
and she's helping me finish
when i hear my doorbell,
i tell her hold on,
wipe my hand clean,
grab some cash,
and greet my distributor at the door,
me trading cash for brand new issues.
another issue of the paper is out
and caitlin is waiting.

12.07.04--1:02 a.m.
(really 12.06.04)

i got to the doctor's office late this morning,
20 minutes,
a morning of snoozes delaying me,
and i'm taken in,
and he decides that my thyroid needs help from the lithium that's combatting my manic depression but effecting how it works
and so now i am on thyroid medication once a day
and lithium three times a day,
i'm happier then if i was taken off lithium
as the manic depression is what scares me most
not my thyroid falling apart.
hopefully this course works,
and in 6-8 weeks when i see the doctor next
all will be ok,
the side effects minimal.

12.07.04--11:30 p.m.

i woke up to pee at 7:34
i thought i should call my mother
see if she'd gotten off to work,
as her depression has caused her to stay home five of the past six school days
my alarm was set for 9:08, as always,
and i knew if i called to check on where mom was
that i'd be up,
and i needed that extra hour-and-a-half of sleep,
so i grabbed my socks, the ones i'm using as slippers,
wiped the bottom of my feet,
went back under the covers,
stayed asleep until the alarm went off and i snoozed until just after 10
and then i rushed myself out of the apartment by 10:30.
the rain wasn't umbrella rain,
well, for most it was,
but for me it was bucket cap rain,
so i through mine on once i was outside,
and called my mom on my cell from my walkway to 28th street,
it rang twice.
and all i could do was answer her "Aargh!"
I know where she is,
this immobility,
how each day the it gets harder to go to work,
i've given her all the advice i can,
suggested that she needs to be back in therapy,
perhaps on medication, though i said they'll know much better than me.
"I'm gonna go," she tells me.

12.09.04--2:10 a.m.
(really 12.08.04)

an email from my roommate asks,
"news on roommate?
anything happening on this front?"
and there wasn't,
and i had steered away from ads and posting in strange places,
hoping to still get a new roommate who i knew or someone i knew knows.
but tonight i posted an ad on craig's list,
and over the next 98 minutes i received 23 inquiries.
behold the power that is craig's list.

12.10.04--6:56 p.m.
(really 12.09.04)

woke up this morning to more craig's list emails
to more want to rent the toom in your apartment emails
so i copy the reply i sent one of last night's emailers,
clean it up a bit,
and begin replying to each person with my form reply,
asking for references and a pay stub
to make sure they'll pay the rent each month,
but mostly wanting to look them in the eye
to make sure they won't kill me in my sleep,
though they all still could.

12.11.04--6:46 p.m.
(really 12.10.04)

the woman who yesterday looked at my room for rent seemed the perfect choice
but since she was the first one to look in this new wave
i told her i'd be letting people know either way on wednesday.
walking to work today
i thought that if i was in a bar
and a beautiful woman and i began a conversation
and i thought that we meshed perfectly
i knew i wouldn't tell her i have to talk with some other women in the bar first
and that i'd let her know either way later.

12.12.04--2:53 a.m.
(really 12.11.04)

after eddie berrigan and lisa lubasch had read
at katy lederer's house party,
brandon downing said to lisa with me listening,
"your work and eddie's is so different.
"his is like dirt"
and katy gets up to introduce rachel zucker,
the final reader,
and says,
"wow, the two of them were different.
"eddie was like earth and …"
and brandon turned toward lisa and me
and we pointed back at him,
the three of us laughing.

katy introduced rachel zucker,
and, walking away ,
mentioned how they play in a weekly game with a few others.
"who wins?" someone yells out.
"me," says katy, the sibling of two poker champs.

12.12.04--11:38 p.m.

52 people have emailed me about my apartment
52 people who saw my craig's list post

"Room for Rent in Chelsea
"Room available in beautiful Chelsea apartment, parquet floors, terrace, eat-in kitchen, Empire State Building views, front and back yards, cable tv.

"Available Jan. 1"

after 26 people emailed me in the three hours after i posted the listing,
i changed the price from $750 to $800
and today, posting it again, i changed it to $850.
i'll stop increasing the price when people stop responding.

but those 52 emails have yielded only four people to come and look at the room
two of whom are interested
and one of whom i think would work,
so this listing posted today was to try and scare up some new potentials
and i have one coming tuesday at 6 p.m.
but i'm hoping to find at least five people i like to pick from,
as though the person who looked first from craig's list seems to work best,
i'm wary of having the first person i like move in.

12.14.04--11:30 p.m.
(really 12.13.04)

chanukah at risa's
first time seeing her in two months
and we finally see fahrenheit 9/11
perhaps it's the post election day thing,
the knowing how bush has defeated kerry,
and this film and nothing else related to the election really matters,
but all i know is that this film,
box office and hyoe be damned,
just wasn't that good
(is there some place where i must repent for saying this,
good liberal i am and all?)

12.14.04--11:33 p.m.

i waited on the one person i wanted to rent the room i have available
and today she called me
and said how she and some girlfriends have decided to
get a place together
and live in brooklyn,
and now it's december 14,
and all my possibilities are dry.

12.15.04--11:35 p.m.

i wanted to buy some beverages on the way home from work
because when i stop at the bodega
all that i buy are beverages and junk food
and i have chocolate pudding in the fridge
so no need to buy junk food tonight
so i grabbed a two-liter bottle of hawaiian punch,
and one of caffeine free diet pepsi,
and a 64 oz container of tropicana orange juice,
no pulp,
went to the counter and told the guy behind me to go ahead
and i grabbed a napkin and opened my change purse,
dropped all the change upon it,
and counted out eight dollars and 30 cents.
tomorrow's pay day.

12.18.04--1:05 a.m.
(really 12.16.04)

not enough people are looking at the room i have for rent
only one today,
and she said she'll let me know the end of the week
which lets me know now to cross her off my list.

12.18.04--1:07 a.m.
(really 12.17.04)

i left a message for my therapist
told her i wouldn't be in on our usual monday appointment.
i went in to my boss
and told her i was taking monday off.
it's my 38th birthday monday
so i only want to do things that will make me happy.
i've been trying to locate my masseuse,
but no luck as yet.

12.21.04--12:41 a.m.
(really 12.18.04)

eli manning had a good day today
the first since the rookie became the giants' starting quarterback three weeks ago
i figured i would watch some of their game against the steelers
bore quickly as the steelers swamped the giants,
take a nap around halftime
and then awaken to see the final minutes,
but my nap had to wait today
because eli manning had a good day today,
even though the giants lost.

12.21.04--12:45 a.m.
(really 12.19.04)

this 25-year-old craig's lister named sofia looked at the room i have for rent
and she was perfect,
really nice and friendly,
inquisitive, but not too much,
and she wanted the place for at least a year,
which would forestall the next i need a roommate stampede,
and damn she's cute and tiny, with a great little body on her,
none of which matters when selecting a roommate, i know,
but it sure makes it more fun to follow her on the building's surveillance camera tv channel,
and then look out the terrace door at her ass as she walks home to gramercy park.

12.21.04--12:53 a.m.
(really 12.20.04)

i took today off today
watched back-to-back episodes of er on tnt
got a call from my therapist
passed out
woke up
got a call from my cousin kenny
got a call from my folks
took a nap
put some degree and powder on
my black jeans and a green long-sleeve, v-neck ribbed sweatshirt, and my docs
and met risa and nathaniel at patsy's
for some pizza and caesar's salad
(nathaniel told us not to get their soda or beer,
because the soda is always flat
and the beer always bad. and then he ordered a coke
and said it was because at least he knew what he was getting.
i've begun to think he's afraid odf water,
and has yet to realize that soda and beer are made of water)
then we went to baskin robbins for dessert
risa had suggested maybe we should go somewhere nicer
i told her why, they had the flavor i wanted
(peanut butter and chocholate)
and, alas, they didn't,
but a plain chocolate sugar cone did me fine
and then we went to see horatio sanz from snl's
old time christmas show,
which was funny and stupid and more stupid and funny,
and they we parted,
and they didn't let me pay for anything throughout the night,
and they gave me gifts that showed they know me
and they were there,
as they always are,
which is all that matter again this night.

12.23.04--12:35 a.m.
(really 12.21.04)

it's my big sister's birthday today
my 10 years older minus a day big sister
and she never called me yesterday on my birthday
so i didn't call her on hers.

12.23.04--12:36 a.m.
(really 12.22.04)

i finally got someone to take the room i'm renting
for a year
but i didn't cancel the three people i had scheduled to look at the room today
just in case something happened with the woman who had said yes
and i turned all the lights on in the apartment,
made my bed, and straightened out my futon,
and then the 6 o'clock appointment doesn't show
the 630 calls at 7 to say they'll be there in 20 minutes
the 7 o'clock doesn't show
and the 630 then shows at 720,
looks at the apartment for a minute,
says nice things,
and splits.
all of this is ok,
because the new roomie should be here 850,
i call her at 930,
and by 1020 she still isn't here
and still hasn't returned either of my calls today,
so i call the woman who wanted it for six months,
who called my excitedly to have me give her the room yesterday
and she's found a place on the upper east side,
near to work and boyfriend,
and so i republish my post on craig's list,
and scan through 300 housing wanted ads there, too.

12.25.04--12:09 p.m.
(really 12.23.04)

more people scheduled to look at the room i'm renting out
and it turns out to be the usual
five appointments
three no-show, no-call
one who is in and out within two minutes
(an israeli girl whose older sister does all the talking)
and one who is cool, i talk indepth with about ourselves and the apartment,
and who is really into the apartment.
so tomorrow morning i'll give her a call,
because i've learned to almost immediately offer people the apartment
before they get away to another one
closer to their boyfriend, their sister, their job, their school.

12.25.04--12:20 a.m.
(really 12.24.04)

called caitlin to see if she was into renting the room i have for rent.
yesterday she questioned me like no other potential roommate,
asking who i was, why i need a new roommate, what hours i kept,
various roommate scenarios,
all of it lasting a full 30 minutes,
or 20-25 minutes longer than everyone else who's looked at the room.
so this morning i called her,
prepared to offer her the room,
and soon after she called me back,
and she nicely told me that she decidesd that it was too much for her to pay,
that she'd have to continuie working two jobs to pay the rent.
so i assked her what she was hoping for,
and she said $100,
at which we wished each other luck and said goodbye,
me wondering how amid all those questions she asked on the phone before the interview
and the ones she asked when she visited the apartment
she never asked if i had any flexibility on the rent.

12.27.04--11:00 p.m.
(really 12.25.04)

it's always been something with these potential roommates.
today a guy comes in,
wearing way too much cologne,
but i look past it because of his excitement about the place.
and then he says he'd like it,
and what are the move-in costs.
normally i'd ask first and last of someone i knew,
but since i don't know all the people who are looking
i'm asking for security, too.
and i watched him doing math in his head,
and he said he could give me first upfront
and then half of the security on the 15th
and then the second month on the second first
and then the other half of the security on the second 15th.
and then i started doing math in my head,
and realized all the money due on january first move in
wouldn't be in my hand until april 15,
and i said to him the only flexibility i had was what i offered others,
he could give me first and last up front
and security the second month.
he looked me up and down
to see how serious i was,
huffed, "that ain't gonna work,"
and grabbed hims knapsack to make his four o'clock shift waiting tables.

12.27.04--11:07 p.m.
(really 12.26.04)

i offered my apartment to someone, again,
and tomorrow afternoon at 5:30 he's due with a wad of cash
but based on the last person i offered my apartment to
who was due over the next day with a wad of cash
the one who never showed,
i figure i should keep my craig's list posting up until the cassh is in my hand.

12.27.04--11:09 p.m.

jason was sick today,
the potential roommate,
and wanted to know if it was ok to bring the money in tomorrow.
i told him how i've been screwed over by a couple of people
and how i'm going to keep looking for a roommate
just in case he doesn't show tomorrow,
at which time he asked his friend victoria if she could drive him into the city to give me the money.

12.30.04--12:06 a.m.
(really 12.28.04)

my father called from california
said he couldn't reach my sister
that he was either blocked from all her lines
or they just weren't working
and so he was worried that something was wrong
that her husband had killed her
and could i check the phone lines,
see if i could reach her.

12.30.04--12:10 a.m.
(really 12.29.04)

my gristede's has switched
instead of selling hebrew national presliced and packaged meats
now they're selling empire presliced and packaged meats
now they're both great brands,
and the size, quarter-pound,
and prices, $2.99,
are the same,
but hebrew national gives you six thinner slices
and empire gives you five thicker slices,
meaning that instead of three slices per sandwich,
it's two-and-a-half,
and the sandwich is all off balance,
that's all.

01.01.05--1:26 a.m.
(really 12.30.04)

i've grown baffled by the body of one of the new girls at work,
she has a pretty face,
sort of like rebecca gayheart
who the only thing anyone will know her from was when she played dylan's wife toni on 90210
who was gunned down by one of her father's goons
because she was driving dylan's car
and they thought they were killing him.

but this new girl has a pretty face,
though often vacant,
and is really thin,
like have an extra meal a day thin,
and then she has big breasts,
which because of how thin she is look even bigger.

she's the only girl i know where my opinion on how hot she is changes daily based on her outfits.
now i know an outfit can make someone look hotter,
but most of the time they don't make them look un-hot, even sickly,
but with this girl when she wears certain pairs of pants
she looks like Bob Geldof should be organizing a sing-along for her.
i mean, don't get me wrong,
i wouldn't say no,
but it is quite disturbing.

01.01.05--1:32 a.m.
(really 12.31.04)

until yesterday i was still being urged out of the house for new year's
there were parties
and dinners
but i keot telling people my standard new year's eve line,
which is true,
that i treat it like a tuesday,
if there's something on new year's eve that i would go do on a tuesday
i'll do it,
otherwise i'll stay home,
expect a call from my folk's,
surf thenet,
put the finishing touches on my new chapbook for the new year's day reading at st. mark's church,
and crack open the bottle of martinelli's sparkling cider i've had chilling in my fridge this week,
pouring it into the champagne flutes i bought for the dinner party i threw as 2000 became 2001.