Monday, December 25, 2006

December 25, 2006

Boy, has this been a horrible December.

I knew weeks ago I would be unemployed by now. But I had no idea until last week that I would be stuck in New York and going onto public assistance because my car had died. That among other things, cancelled the move to Colorado Springs, as well as the 3 job interviews I had scheduled there for this week.

And to paraphrase that old techno song from 1992, James Brown really is dead now.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

December 6, 2006


Someone got my MySpace account yanked. At this time, I don't have the resources necessary to renew it. I have a move in 17-18 days. At least I won't be going alone.

And my car is acting up.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

December 2, 2006

A lot has happened since I last posted here. I have made new friends and have become embroiled in a very bitter battle with someone I had considered a friend for 9 years. Among other things, this means no more Box Office Poison plugs on this website (unless they fire and blacklist their bassist).

I am about 3 weeks away from the big move. I now have contacts and a voice mail number for Colorado Springs. There's a small chance I may be taking 1 or 2 others on the 1900 mile drive to Colorado. I have had several responses from potential employers in the Springs. Even if none of them pan out, my current employer has an office in Denver (although I would be looking at New York style hour plus commuting if I take that route). I am also enrolled at the Pikes Peak Work Force job center.

But as of right now, I still don't have a place to move to. I had 2 near certain deals off of Powers Blvd that fell apart at the last second due to locals providing the rent money up front before I could.

I got a call from my sister a few days ago. She said that one of my aunts was looking up a disorder called Asperger Disorder, and they both think I have it. I see my NY shrink for the last time on December 20, so I'll find out in 3 weeks if she thinks that I have it. I somewhat hope that my new roommate Joseph and those hot girls he's trying to hook me up with don't read this blog....

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

November 8, 2006

After seeing the results from last night's elections, I can't believe how out-of-touch American and New York voters have become. The Democrats (led by leftist Nancy Pelosi) have taken control of the House of Representatives. With a few exceptions (most notably Independent Joe Lieberman), anti-war candidates won big, which means a pullout from the front line on the War on Terror and another high probability of another US attack by Al Qaeda. Lawsuit-happy Job Killers (Eliot Spitzer) and soon-to-be-indicted crooks (Alan Hevesi, Robert Menendez) have been elected in New York and New Jersey. Democrats even won key races in Pennsylvania and Colorado, although those Democrats tend to be less corrupt and more conservative than New York Democrats. I am truly ashamed and disgusted to be from New York after seeing the local election results. But I have a right to complain. Unlike many who stayed home, saying their votes won't count, I did vote on November 7. And to the leftist crooks who won big last night in New York, you can have this state. I'm moving out in a few weeks. But I do have a lot of friends who can't afford to leave New York, so don't completely fuck up my former state and city.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

October 29, 2006

Only 8 more weeks to go. Tomorrow my sister turns 32. And I have a lot to do in the next 8 weeks- collect at least $600 necessary for the move; vote; send my sister a card; find storage for all that stuff; find a place; make sure the transfer goes through; and get all my bills settled before December 25. At this point, I will most likely use my current employer to transfer me out of town. I will still end up in Colorado Springs, but it may be in mid-2007 if I don't get a job right away in late December (in which case, I will probably end up in the Denver area or Pittsburgh).

Sunday, October 01, 2006

October 1, 2006

On this date 71 years ago, my father was born. As most people who know me or read this blog already know, he died in 1995, so he won't be having any big bashes to celebrate the big 7-1.

I am sure he would be proud of his 2 grandchildren. Allie is doing well. Jamie is doing well despite his ADD. My sister has significantly recovered from his death.

However, I don't think he would be too pleased with me.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

September 30, 2006

This month sure sucked. I have spent most of it unemployed and not collecting unemployment. In addition to Eliot "Job Killer" Spitzer way ahead in the polls, now his ideological soulmates are poised to take control of Congress. Instead of trying to win in Iraq, they want to leave Iraq to the Al Qaeda types. This country is definitely headed in the wrong direction- and the only ones who can save it are ridiculed and way behind in the polls.

Friday, September 08, 2006

September 8, 2006

3 more months..

How I'm going to survive the next 3 months, I don't know. I lost yet 2 more jobs in the past 2 weeks.

I got e-mail an individual in Westport, NY, which promised information on my Clarke ancestors that called that area home 150 years ago.

And 3 more days to convince my Democratic friends that Tom Suozzi would make a lot better governor than Eliot "Job Killer" Spitzer will...

Saturday, August 26, 2006

August 26, 2006

Wow. It's been 10 years since I first moved to New York. In late August and in September of 1996, I was renting from vaious weekly hotels and the Flushing YMCA. By December, I had finally found work (which caused my debts to balloon). And now, I've been with one employer for 7 months and a certain Long Island temp agency for over 9 years. But that long, strange stay in New York will likely come to an end by Christmas.

I've spent some time on MySpace- now that my sister and niece have accounts there, too.

The official ISP provider of this blog has changed (as of August 23) from Netscape dial-up to Verizon DSL. I am not sure who will be providing the connection if I do move back to Colorado Springs in 4 months.

And Eliot "Job Killer" Spitzer is way out in front for the November Governor's race. If he does win, my anti-Spitzer site will change to an "escape Spitzer" site, with links on how to flee the state before he takes office January 1, 2007.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

July 1, 2006

July 1- the halfway point of the year. I have been at my current job for 5 months. I have a car that runs pretty well, and gets very good city mileage. I still have friends, and with the car, it is a little easier to visit them out in Brooklyn. I recently got a cellphone, which I am still tying to figure out how to use since cellphones are more complicated now than they were in 1999. And it is too damn hot outside. So what else is new.. not much. I'm still single, still underweight, still asthmatic, still living in an overpriced room in Queens.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

May 7, 2006

It is already May- the fifth month of the year. And tomorrow, I turn 34. But at least now I have a car, which I get to pick up on Friday. And I have to balance this blog with another blog I write on my new My Space site. Instead of working tomorrow, I get to spend most of the day at Coney Island Hospital undergoing my semi-annual asthma evaluation. So far, 34 means I'm getting older, upsetting more people, earning the same or less in income, and getting closer to the ages at which my parents died.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

April 13, 2006

Supposedly on this date 1976 years ago (the exact date has been disputed), Jesus was executed outside Jerusalem. Most Christians celebrate Jesus's death (and eventual resurrection) on Easter Sunday and the preceding Friday (which happens to be tomorrow). Next time you think of any big sacrifice, remember what happened on the night before Good Friday. A healer, who cured the sick, changed water into wine, and called out his religion's superiors on their hypocrisy, was praying that a cup (unbearable for pretty much anyone) would pass him by. That symbolic cup was knowing that your own friend and confidant was betraying you to those who would kill you. Instead of fleeing, Jesus was waiting to be arrested. And when Peter cut off the ear of one of those who arrested Jesus, Jesus healed the guy and rebuked Peter.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

April 6, 2006

Greetings, all, from the Netscaper 113 sickbed in Queens. I still don't know what caused me to get sick, but I missed work yesterday and spent most of this morning at Elmhurst Hospital. I have to return there tomorrow to get back the last of my test results. I did get one test result back this morning: I am not HIV positive. Not that I fall in any of the risk categories for HIV, but I did get a free HIV test to go along with my other exam. The HIV test was administered orally, as opposed to using needles. And I was able to get the results back in an hour. I still have a stomach ailment and a bad skin condition, but at least I don't have a killer virus. I am stuck on a soup and bread diet for a few days until the stomach ailment goes away.

I don't intend on discussing the rising gas prices or Spitzer campaign in this post (I'm sick enough as it is), but there has been major news that will affect my TV viewing. When Bob Schieffer took the anchor job at CBS Evening News in March 2005, he said his job was temporary. Well, CBS finally found Bob's replacement: Katie Couric from NBC (also known as National Bull Crap for the way they treat news). I don't blame Katie for wanting to leave the cesspool of broadcast journalism, but I don't think her signing was a great move by CBS. CBS's evening news ratings have risen considerably since Bob Schieffer took over last year. Do they really think the co-anchor of a morning show that omitted the most newsworthy event at last year's Thanksgiving Day Parade is a good choice? And NBC has already announced Katie's replacement: Meredith Viera, who currently hosts "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" and the odious ABC talk show called "The View". Wasn't Meredith Viera the same 60 Minutes former correspondent who announced how glad she was that she was out of journalism following the September 11th attacks? Well, Today isn't a news show, it's a crap fest. And Meredith, no amount of Lysol is going to get that smell off the new entry on your resume.

Friday, March 31, 2006

March 31, 2006

Well folks, the month of March is almost over. I spent most of it working. I am still recovering from a 52.5 hour work week that ended yesterday. I am off work until Sunday, and will be catching up on 3 weeks of lost sleep.

The primaries aren't until September, but already, Spitzer and Suozzi are airing their commercials on television. Spitzer claims in his commercials that he's the savior of the state, but I don't want any of that Drano he's passing off as campaign kool-aid. One of Spitzer's commercials trumpeted his prosecutions- including Marsh and McClellan, which was found NOT GUILTY of Spitzer's accusations. But the resulting legal fees forced Marsh and McClellan to lay off more than 5000 people- the biggest single job loss incident in New York since 9/11. Suozzi's commercials attack the Albany establishment- most of whom should lose their jobs. But Suozzi seems to forget that the biggest threat to economic and employment security in this state is not Albany, but his opponent Spitzer.

To those who are afraid of higher taxes, of their job security, of having to join their relatives in moving out of state, whatever you do, do NOT vote for Spitzer. But if Spitzer does become governor, Colorado Springs is always looking for new employers and residents. In the meantime, any opponents of Spitzer are welcome to use my bumpersticker idea- "Been sued out of a job yet? Stop Spitzer now. Vote for..."

Saturday, March 04, 2006

March 4, 2006

It's Lenten time, folks.

Traditionally, Lent is the 40 days before Easter. Ash Wednesday starts Lent, and many church services symbolize this time of sacrifice and prayer by having ashes on their foreheads. Some think it is their religious duty to have those ashes. Surprisingly, it is not. For Catholics, Ash Wednesday isn't even a holy day of obligation (i.e. a day you have to go to Mass). Those ashes do symbolize death and sacrifice. The old symbolism involved sackcloth and ashes, now, an appropriate might involve the ashes created from the process of cremation. I can remark that 10 years ago this month, I saw how much life can be in a pile of ashes- when what was supposed to be a routine ash scattering off the Jacksonville Beach Pier turned into a spiritual experience involving me, my great-uncle Bill Stokes (who died 5 months after that incident), and my great-aunt Gladys Stokes.

My father's final wish was that his ashes would be scattered off the Jacksonville Beach fishing pier he frequented when he was growing up. One time in the 1940s, he was fishing and caught a baby hammerhead shark. We joked 50 years later that the hammerhead's relatives would be looking for him. In late March of 1996, I opened up the plastic box with his ashes. Instead of dropping into the ocean waters below, they flew out of the box like some spirit had been released. As I found out 6 months later during Bill Stokes's ash scattering in Plymouth, MI, this was not a normal occurance.

As far as I know, Gladys Stokes is still well and living outside Myrtle Beach, SC. I haven't heard from her in nearly 5 years due to an ugly family feud that ensued following the death of her oldest daughter (and my father's cousin) Pamala Stokes. I was one of 6 family members that bothered to show up for Pamala's funeral at Tower Hill Presbyterian Church in Red Bank, NJ, in August 2001. But Pamala had a lot of friends, and it was standing room only during her funeral service.

Since Ash Wednesday 2005, my friends have had their own losses to deal with. Jon Koza lost his grandmother a few months ago, and shortly afterwards, his fiancee Dara's grandmother also died. Last week, Diana Pensabene lost her father. Tyrone Griffith lost his 90 year old great-grandfather 5 months ago. Jon and I attended the wake- and despite the sorrow of losing Kinnard Sypher, his family and friends had a very spiritual and uplifting service. It is like Bill Stokes, Pamala Stokes, Mr. Sypher, Mr. Pensabene, and Mrs. Cohen that we will end up eventually. Many are still mourning. But Lent is here to remind us of our pending death, and our renewal in a new life.

And now that this composition is over, I have about an hour to get ready for my usher gig at this afternoon's 4:30PM Mass at St. Pancras Catholic Church in Glendale.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

February 11, 2006

I recently read an article on Netscape ISP's homepage about how everyone born before 1987 is now considered old. But since I was born in 1972 (and turn 34 in 3 months), I'm not quite over the hill just yet. Maybe I should set the geezer year at 1968 and make the following remarks about all non-geezers:

They don't remember a living JFK, and Ted Kennedy has always been a Senator.

A Klansman has always been the senior Senator from West Virginia (Robert Byrd).

PBS and Sesame Street have always existed.

60 Minutes has always been on CBS.

The Super Bowl has always existed.

The Internet has always been in use, although some may remember it being called ARAPNET.

The US has always been involved in some type of Middle Eastern political affair, crisis, or war.

Richard Nixon has always been remembered as a current or former President.

Ronald Reagan has always been known as a current or former politician and not as an actor.

Segregated schools, theatres, water fountains, etc. have always been illegal under Federal law (although if I had been born in 1971 or earlier and lived in Memphis before 1978, I would have briefly remembered being in an illegally segregated school system).

Detroit has always been a declining and very dangerous city.

Houston and San Diego have always been bigger than Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis.

California has always been the most populous state in the Union.

The only civil rights leader with a surname of King they remember had the first name of Coretta.

Michael Jackson and Elton John have always been famous.

In half the Presidential elections they remember, the winner won with less than half the popular vote.

The computer has always been around, although some can remember when cassettes were used to run them.

McDonald's, K-Mart, and Wal Mart have always been in existence.

And, finally, Flintstones Vitamins and Geritol have always been around and suggested for people who are older than the year listed on these type lists.

And in distressing news, the NYC area is expecting a blizzard overnight, which means I will be walking right through the middle of it on my way to work tomorrow morning. Also, Tom Golisano decided not to run, which means the Republicans are really screwed. But hopefully, Tom Suozzi will beat Spitzer and the state won't get screwed.

Friday, February 03, 2006

February 3, 2006

Goodbye January. Hello Black History Month, or is it Groundhog Month? Punxatawney Phil saw his shadow yesterday in Pennsylvania. Staten Island Chuck, one of NYC's resident groundhogs, didn't see his shadow. It figures that the winter I don't have a car would be the same winter that didn't require snowplows.

Since a Governor Spitzer administration seems more and more likely (and also because my new job will allow me to transfer out of NYC in 10 months), I've been looking at potential new homes. One of those options is my hometown of Colorado Springs. I've also looked at Las Vegas, San Diego, and (more recently) Chicago, Waterbury, CT, and my great-grandfather's final home of Indianapolis. There are advantages and disadvantages to each: Chicago has a much higher crime rate than the other cities; San Diego's cost of living isn't that much cheaper than NYC's; Waterbury would be a hell of a commute from potential jobsites; Indianapolis is in the heart of the allergy belt; and Las Vegas gets too damn hot in the summer. But Vegas and Chicago have a lot of big city amenities; Waterbury is a Metro North ride away from NYC and is the only one of the above mentioned cities that has a branch of my bank; San Diego has great weather and a nice beach; Indianapolis has the lowest cost of living of the other cities, and is centrally located to my relatives in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois, Tennessee, Lousiana, and Iowa; and Colorado Springs is my hometown and has probably the best natural amenities of any mid-to-major city in the United States. Regardless of whether I move there or not, I intend on driving the gravel road up Pikes Peak in 2007. But Indianapolis and Colorado Springs are the only cities in which I could afford a house rental (although Vegas and San Diego are the only cities where I would end up paying more in rent than I am now in Queens). It would be nice to have my own place again for the first time in 10 years. But that decision won't be made before November 7, 2006. I intend on doing my best to keep Spitzer from Albany before I plan any job transfers.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

January 25, 2006

Well folks, the year is only 4 weeks old and already some major news has rocked the broadcast media world. CBS and Time Warner have merged their UPN and WB networks into something called the CW Network. Why UPN and the WB had to go out of business while NBC is still polluting the airwaves is beyond me, but now we're down to 5 major English-language broadcast networks. But there are a lot of markets in this country that don't have both UPN and WB stations, so they should be delighted by this news. It's also a vote of confidence for WWE's Smackdown, which along with "Everybody Hates Chris" and "America's Top Model" was the UPN show most mentioned during the merger announcement. In fact, those shows will be moving to higher rated stations in NYC, LA, and Chicago. The biggest losers in this new network announcement are the soon-to-be-ex UPN stations owned by Fox such as WWOR 9 New Jersey, KCOP 13 LA, and WPWR 50 Chicago.

In other news, the NY Governor's Race is getting into gear. Overconfident Eliot Spitzer has already picked a running mate, who is not sitting too well with certain Democrats. This may end up boosting Tom Suozzi's candidacy, as he is far less odious (and far less likely to drive millions of jobs out of this state) than Spitzer. If you're to believe the blogs and internet news sources, Senator Chucky Schumer and various Wall Street types are trying to help Suozzi's candidacy. I recently got an automated voice mail message urging me to help Spitzer's campaign. If I knew what phone number left Spitzer's message, I'd return the favor with a 3 minute answering
message consisting of the Box Office Poison song "Inconsiderate" and reasons why Spitzer should move to New Jersey and kill their job market instead of New York's. At the very least, a Governor Spitzer would drive NYRA and me out of New York. A Governor Spitzer could also drive the stock markets out of New York, which is why so many conservative Wall Street types are supporting Democrat Tom Suozzi's challenge against Spitzer. Hopefully this race will be a battle of two Toms- Independent-turned-Republican Tom Golisano is exploring whether to run as a Republican. He would instantly be the front runner for the Republican nomination if he ran, and would probably get most of Suozzi's support if Suozzi lost the Democratic nomination to Spitzer. Most importantly, Golisano is a self-made millionaire who wouldn't need outside money to counter the, DNC, and left wing PAC money that would bankroll Spitzer's
campaign (which could easily be around $100-150 million). Either Golisano or Suozzi is welcome to use my anti-Spitzer ad idea that compares Spitzer's job killing record to the jobs lost because of Osama bin Laden's terrorist attack in 2001.

I would also like to thank the left wing wackos at Air America WLIB 1190 for the anti-Bush materials they keep sending me. It reminds me why I support our President against these wackos, and it saves my landlord money on kitty litter.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

January 15, 2006

Well, it's 2 weeks into the New Year. Al Qaeda is still in business, as is the tobacco industry, NBC, the Spitzer for Governor campaign, and other unworthy industries.

I'm still alive. My sister got out of the hospital. My niece Allie turned 14. I am unemployed, but I collect unemployment. I've sent out at least 6 applications this past week alone. And I have a nice job fair to go to this Friday (the 20th).

Due to problems with my free ISP, I switched to the Netscape ISP. The switchover went fairly well, although now I have to pay $12.45 a month for internet. But once I get the so called Accelerator CD-ROM, I'll see if the internet really can go at a decent speed on dial up. Of course the problem could be the old laptop that a friend gave to me last year. It runs on Windows 2000, and I had to install Firefox (and later, Netscape 7.2) just to get online. It freezes up from time to time, but unlike my desktop computer, it runs most of the time. My desktop (complete with games, a CD burner, and half my music collection) stopped running on September 11, 2005. Between catching up on rent (and paying other bills), I don't have the money yet to fix the desktop computer.

Between interviews, applications, and my normal Sunday church usher position, I've spent more time online. I updated my online family tree. I've sent e-mails to friends I haven't seen in person in years. I'm even working on some websites. One has my old newspaper columns from Brooklyn College and forum posts from 1993-2004. The other, when complete, will be an anti-Spitzer website, complete with details on how many jobs he's already cost this state. So far, I've tabulated close to 25000- all in the private sector.

So far, the year 2006 hasn't been that eventful. But there's still 50 weeks left to go.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

January 1, 2006

Well folks, 2005 is over. I'm fairly glad it's over, since I managed to lose several friends, 3 jobs, 3 vehicles, and had to face the premature deaths of a cousin and a roommate (see December 25, 2005 blog- that story was not made up).

2006 started out as most years do in NYC, with a lot of fanfare in Times Square. I spent midnight at home, since I had to be up early this morning. I flipped between New York 1, Fox 5, ABC 7, and CNN (Channel 10 on Time Warner Queens cable). ABC 7 had the return of Dick Clark (no relation). He sounded awful- but supposedly because of his 2004 stroke, he had to re-learn how to talk. The real host of ABC's New Year's Eve celebration was the smarmy Ryan Seacrest. Fox settled with the more conventional Regis Philbin. Normally, Fox employs Seacrest for their American Idol show, while Philbin's normal employer is ABC 7. CBS 2, which normally is on top of news stories, eschewed Times Square coverage in favor of a CSI rerun.

I usually spend New Year's Day at work at Aqueduct Racetrack. Today was my 9 year anniversary there. I handed out and stocked the tables with calendars. I have been there every year since 1997. But due to NYRA's financial troubles (and the threat faced by a potential Spitzer administration), the calendar giveaway may be the last giveaway held at Aqueduct. The promotions department isn't sure when the next giveaway will be. Supposedly Aqueduct will become a slot machine haven next year, and assuming that happens, the track will be saved. But now the track is in bad shape, and that affects the promotional department's budget, which in turn affects my budget.

But 2006 is starting on an uncertain note. Now that the giveaways are over, I have to go on unemployment again. I found out my sister has spent the last 4 days at a hospital in Louisiana. My friends Jon and Tyrone are feuding, and I'm caught in the middle of their noncommunication. There's a tropical storm in the Atlantic (which has only happened once before in January). And the destructive job killing Attorney General Eliot Spitzer is still way out in front in the polls to be NY's next governor. I hope he doesn't win, but I have saved several potential employers' names in Colorado Springs and Las Vegas in case he does win. But I would like to go to Times Square for New Year's one of these days.