8.30.2002

I can't stop checking my email today, eager for a response. Failing to manage my expectations could have destructive consequences, but I want to pursue this opportunity like a goddam attack dog.
Kids aside, it would permit me to abandon the car-mobile, which would be, for lack of better diction, tits.

This weekend I'm traveling to Minnesota to celebrate the 80th birthday of my last living grandparent, my maternal grandmother. She's been widowed for the past 14 years, and has played a quiet matriarch. She called together the clan for this party, and put strong leverage on her children and their children to attend - it's the most obvious demand of respect and attention she has ever made. As far as I know, it's the only one.
But I'm glad she's made it. Both branches of my family have a tradition of intense sibling conflict, and two of her boys (my uncles) have been at odds since before I was born. We all feel this contentious issue, but I, for one, would like to see some face-to-face, which has the greatest likelihood of relieving the tension.
I really admire her on this. Of all my grandparents, I'm least like her. I get my stubborn, headstrong nature from her deceased husband, self-doubt from my paternal grandmother and worry from my dad's dad. I respect her gentle nature and her subtle way of making suggestions. I'm hoping she will harness these traits to bring the clan together, finally. One of my uncles is a talented artist, and I'd very much like to meet him, but cannot arrange for this alone.

8.29.2002

Today I was contacted about interviewing for a job I applied for two years ago. A bit strange. I haven't really decided if I'm going to pursue it or not.
The pros:

  • I'd work downtown again. This means I could walk or bike to work, and go home for lunch.
  • I'd have an office. That's right folks, my own entire room. With a window.
  • Yet faster internet connections than I have now.
  • A month of vacation.
  • An unbelievable benefits package.
The cons:
  • I love my job right now. Why change?
  • Also, people depend on me at my job. There's a lot riding on the skills I bring to the job.
  • The pay might be comparable to what I'm making now, but the raise scale surely would not be as generous.
  • I'm learning a lot here, gaining invaluable experience.
  • It might only be part-time.
Of course, nothing is certain. They only contacted me about an interview, which is a far cry from a job offer. And, as I've said above, I don't know if I will pursue. But it does give me a bit of an anxious feeling.

Here is the text of the letter from Mr. YJ, our friend from downstairs:

Water
You are living above my place of business. We cannot change that so here are the problems you now face:
Legally, "water from above" is sort of like "hit from behind" in traffic law. That's right. You lose.
When you are dead drunk and playing in the bathtub with your mate, that water flows through my livelihood. When you run the dishwater over the sink, my customers get soaked. When you stop up a toilet, your feces lands on my employees.
It gets worse. Whatever the source, water steeped through a very old building comes out black. This causes real and measurable damage to merchandise for which you are completely responsible.
It's even worse than that. When water is running I am unable to lecture you about physics or civility. The only recourse I have is to shut off the building's water.
But it's even worse than that. I am a completely uncontrollable psychopath and may not be restrainable in the event of black water running on my customers or my staff.
So what to do? NUMBER ONE throw every towel, rug and all of your laundry (clean and dirty) on the water immediately. DO NOT under any circumstances allow any water through that floor. Period.
Prevention is always best but being uneducated and drunk you will find that impossible. WHEN you spill water, you MUST absorb it as soon as possible before it goes through the floor.
Believe me you will not want to be upstairs when water reaches my place.
Sincerely,
Andrew Muzi, Yellow Jersey

Yikes! Guess I can't mop the floor anymore!

8.28.2002

Citizen action.
This entire fiasco with the jerk downstairs is unfortunate. I see three problems:

  1. The landlord is too lazy and cheap to fix anything.
  2. The Jerk from downstairs cares a lot about his business, and is far too uptight.
  3. We folks upstairs are not going to be intimidated for a problem that is not our fault.
Really, this stems from the landlord. But he's played his cards pretty well, so Crazy Downstairs Guy thinks the poor plumbing is the fault of the tenants. The tenants believe the problem lies with the intense Crazy Guy downstairs. The nature of the tension sets everyone up to place blame on a party that truly is not at fault, and draws attention away from the real issue.
But when I say a party "that truly is not at fault," I'm not excusing threats of violence and the like. Mr. YJ needs to understand that such behavior is unacceptable, and none of us will stand for it.

I read Yahoo's Most Popular Content pretty religiously, sorted by most emailed for the last six hours. I think it's a fair check of the pulse of American office workers, and what they're looking at.
Sometimes it makes me want to cry, like this item. It borders on the nauseating. The executive quoted says it will not be disrespectful, but there's no way that can happen. Bear-out-of-woods comedy, by its nature, is a disrespectful format. You're supposed to laugh at the obvious inability of a group to adapt to unfamiliar surroundings. "We'll give these Jack Pine Savages some material comforts they've never known, and watch the hijinks ensue! Maybe one of the little ragamuffins will pee in the potted plants! Hee hee!"
And they're doing the same thing with celebrities. It's so demeaning, and is only slightly redeemed by the fact that these folks agree to participate. Ugh.

8.27.2002

After several hours of rearranging boxes and furniture last night, I finally slept in a bed. It was a short sleep, but oh so deep. We're talking seriously deep here. I was getting depth like Cousteau. I was a Russian submarine, delicately balanced on the precipice.
The enchiladas were delicious. I dream of pinto beans.

8.26.2002

I'm making dinner tonight, and am just a touch nervous about it. Lee is an excellent cook, probably the best cook I've ever known. I certainly know my way around the kitchen, but my style of cooking is very Midwestern, to say nothing of the bachelor's tendency towards decadence. I'm putting on my best meal, an enchilada recipe descended from Aldo Leopold himself.
I'm getting hungry.

The weekend went pretty well. I kept busy, and though there's a lot left to do in the living room, it's mostly put together. I think the key thing now is to throw away all the boxes.
Lately I've been neglecting to read, I've been working on The American, by Henry James. To be honest, I'm fascinated with the book, but I haven't had any time to read. For the near future, it looks like it's going to get busier before anything else.
Someone recently told me something that made me want to write again. This blog, obviously, is one way that happens, but I guess I want to get a couple of good stories down. In the last few years, I've become less and less interested in high art, and more interested in studying genre. The Searchers might be my favorite movie.