Man, what a hell of a week. Some very good things, some possibly very bad things, some things which are neither fish nor fowl, neither in nor out. Right.

Workin' for MLC (More Lawyer Crap) in midtown, right smack in the middle of Rockefeller Center. The Fox News Channel films on the ground floor, & you can peek in the window and watch if'n you want. So I did. "Hey, Maw! I'm awn the TV! Hurrrnnt!!" It's less crowded than Good Morning America, & you don't run the risk of bumping into Al Roker. Bluggghh.

Apparently MLC buys large-ticket items and leases them to other people all over the world. As an example, I stumbled across a file labeled "Trinity". Curious, I had a look, and dad-blame-it all if they hadn't sold trains to the Trinity Railway in D/FW. It's all come full circle, I guess. One ring to rule them all.

There's this amazing network of tunnels under all the Rockefeller Center buildings called the Concourse where you can avoid all sunlight, which is handy in the summer, or just handy in general for gopher-people like myself. The subway lets out there, next to a bunch of restaurants & shops, so you never need to go above ground. I don't see the sun except for the walk from my house to the subway station. Although there is a window up here on the 21st floor, & you can see the Hudson river, which is nice.

Found out that paper sizes are all fucky in Europe. We get lawyer bills from various European law firms, & they're neither letter nor legal, neither fish nor...ah, shaddap. Anyway, you can't put them in the copier feeder. So essentially, that's what I'm here for: Page-by-page copying, which is something of a recurring motif in my temp assignments. At Pesky Logistics, their invoices were onionskin-thin, & the feeder would make potted meat out of them.

Mmm-hmm. Potted meat. Mmm-hmm. Dammit, this always fucking happens. I watch 30 minutes of Sling Blade, and for weeks afterwards I'm talking like Carl. Gotta git some mustard on my biscuits, mmm-hmm. Stop it!

Speaking of television, ours has been screwed for a while. Our television's god (they all have one) has decreed that Channel 2 is the only channel we should be watching, so it cuts out the sound on everything else and occasionally flips us back to Channel 2 when we stray into inappropriate fare. It wouldn't be so bad, except that Channel 2 is cable access, so you get to see a lot of community leaders singing crappy songs about "Holey the Unfilled Pothole" or some such abomination.

So our Dominican landlord comes up after receiving our note about it (we attached it to the rent check for greater visibility), and the following conversation ensues:

"Is TV?"

"Yes, it keeps flipping the sound off and going back to Channel 2."

"Is running air conditioner?"


"Is running air conditioner and TV?"

"Umm, yes."

"Is power...have too much power."

"Sooo, what, we can't run the air conditioner and the TV at the same time?"

"Is power."

What the...? Now, I don't know a damn thing about electricity, but you gotta be kidding me. I know what happens when you're using too much power. You blow a friggin' fuse. Happened all the time when we simultaneously ran the iron & the hairdryer in Arlington. But whatever.

"Hm. Well, could we try a different TV, just in case?"

"I try."

So in he comes with another TV, this one smaller, but with a VCR. Lo & behold, it works. Different god in this one, it seems.

"Well, it seems to be working."

"Sometimes is power. City only gives little power."


"Okay. Well, thanks for the TV."

"Is recycling."


"Is new recycling."

"Umm, okay."

"To put bag in can outside is...is my friend."


"Is cucaracha."

He makes the international sign for cucaracha, snipping his thumb & index finger together.


"Is new recycling."

"Yes. Okay."

"Okay, thank you."

I don't know what the bit about his friend the cucaracha was, but I think he was trying to tell us about the new recycling regulations. In NYC, it's quite illegal to throw out your recyclables with the ordinary trash. And with the amount of trash New Yorkers generate, I can hardly blame them. There isn't enough room at the Fresh Kills landfill (terrible name) for all the overflowing trash cans on our street alone.

Got one of those collapsable cart/dolly things that everyone seems to have around here. They're pretty useful for hauling your laundry or picking up packages at the post office. I had to get used to the idea of having one, because if you see someone walking down the street in Texas with a cart full of stuff, it's because they're homeless. If you see someone walking down the street in Sunset Park with a cart full of stuff, it's because they got knocked up and have to do laundry for their 18 kids. Oooo, that smarts.

I know, I know, it's all wrong and inappropriate for me to say things like that. But I'm serious, I've seen 17-year-old girls at the laundromat with three kids already. And using all but one of the washers. I know they could be babysitting, but I don't think so. Little rugrats.

I'll tell you something about little kids in New York City. They're diabolical. You'll see a group of stroller-bound munchkins get on the same subway car and stare at each other in a sort of wide-eyed innocence, like they're posing for a Parenting Magazine shoot. But they know what they're doing. They know it in the darkness of their chubby little hearts. Suddenly one begins to shriek, making that horrific kid-scream which doubtless has the power to compel even the most stalwart demon from its host. After a few minutes, the shrieking unexpectedly stops. The adults in the car shiver with relief, letting their guard down about the time that the next kid emits his own ear-piercing wail.

Sometimes they do this fearsome bansheeing in a sort of round, like Row, Row, Row Your Boat. Other times, it is the ultimate symphony. The orchestration is impeccable. The 1st chair virtuoso will be winding down, releasing its last whimper, when suddenly the 2nd chair runt-horn begins its solo, ascending towards the ultrasonic with breathtaking speed and ferocity. Sometimes, like a well-reviewed jazz musician, they find a frequency that seems to resonate in the spines of the adults present, and they begin to work this note up and down, back and forth, like a little rusty sawblade hacking up your ear canal. I swear I've seen them grinning with delight when this happens. The 3rd chair squatling, hearing its cue, then adds the obbligato, releasing staccato bursts of blood-curdling death racket.

The symphony comes to a sudden and startling close when the subway doors open, and certain members of the orchestra depart. Those on a longer ride appraise their numbers and, if there is a quorum, resume the operetta. No noise-core rock band, even the dreaded Sonic Youth, has ever even approached the thresholds of musical terrorism these little genuises are capable of.

All of this doesn't do wonders for my desire to have children, I'll tell you. "You know that chorus of horrible, dripping evil we just heard? Why can't we have that in our home EVERY DAY?" It is a curiosity of evolution that this demonic malevolence generally abates as the child grows older. Who knows how feared the human race would be throughout the universe if our early tendency towards violent noisemaking were to develop as we got older? It would be like a planetful of Fran Dreschers. The horror.

Saw the big purty Macy's fireworks on the 4th. Went out on the Brooklyn Bridge like a coupla damn bin Laden bullseyes and enjoyed it thoroughly, despite the fact that it was hotter than Satan's rectum that night. What was really interesting was that we could see other fireworks displays in the distance along the New Jersey coast. They combined to sort of backlight the Statue of Liberty, & it got me all misty-eyed. Happy Birfday, Amurca! Sniff...

Another interesting sight was all the damn watercraft coursing down the East River towards the fireworks display. I've never seen that many boats in one place, being that I've never been to a bass-fishing tournament. The boats were more memorable than the fireworks, actually. We were farther away than I had gauged, & there were a few obstacles (read: ugly ass apartment high-rises) between the bridge & Midtown. The river bends around a bit right there and limits visibility, so I guess that's why the bridge wasn't more crowded.

I was pleased to see that redneckery is alive and well in New York, though. During the fireworks, this car sporting not one, but two American flags stops right in the middle of the damn bridge. Out of the car steps a man sporting a luxurious, gloriously feathered mullet, resplendent in his Wife-Beater Brand sleeveless shirt. And from the passenger side comes a vision of heavy-metal femininity, black lace-up boots (outside the jeans, mind you) & hair claw a-blazing. Together they patriotically blocked traffic to gaze at the symbolic representation of our independence. To revel in the freedom this country gives every man: the right to be a total dumbass. At least until the cops show up and tell you to get the hell out of the way, asshole.

Had the big Canadian smoke haze on Sunday, but I didn't see it. No, I was busy violently throwing things in my apartment. Having ZIP drive issues with my recording unit. Dammit. I feel like I've been climbing Everest for a long time, & it seems what I took to be the summit was only a shoulder. Or a knee. Dammit, dammit, dammit. We shall see.

But now it's time to eat. Mmm, chikin. Mmm-hmm. Chikin on my biscuits.




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the matthew show