Friday, June 30, 2017
For the past two weeks I've been spending much
of my time in transition. Our company is moving
to newer, larger digs three blocks up Broadway.
Moving such a short distance should in theory be
quite easy. However here in Manhattan getting
anywhere from here to there requires the ability
to literally move mountains. Thus at times my
associates and I have faced Herculean challenges.
All of which we've ultimately maneuvered through
against all odds. You see this city is if nothing else
the largest conglomerations of bureaucracies I've
ever seen. Thus everything takes forever to happen.
If and I emphatically repeat if... it happens at all.
Few actually realize what goes on behind the
scenes. In essence every office or residential
structure in Manhattan is a city unto itself.
There within a massive staff is tasked with
keeping things moving at THEIR discretion.
Much like any collective it is governed by a
previously established set of rules. That plus
a team of bureaucrats whose sole focus is on
making sure all adhere to them. Don't get me
wrong - everyone is beyond helpful - within
said guidelines. Behind the scenes one can
try to grease the skids. But if caught the end
result could be death by passive aggression.
Now I finally understand what it's like to
work at the United Nations. Negotiating
a lease is akin to enemies reaching detente.
Ultimately everybody gets most of what
they want but getting there can be tough!
Construction is anything but constructive
given every union has it's own set of rules.
Hence it's a miracle that it all gets done in
a timely manner. Arranging for deliveries
requires the same organization skills one
needs to mount a military offensive. Yet
somehow, slowly but surely we're getting
closer to our move date. Miracles happen!
Man of the hour
It's been said that it takes a village. Within such
a limited sphere of influence every one has their
job to do. Yesterday I spent a few hours stalking
the UPS man. You see, his route consists of the
thirty plus stories of our new edifice. Having
tracked a missing package we soon realized that
we'd missed our opportunity. However security
at the freight dock confirmed UPS was still in
the building. And so we waited... and waited.
One of us strategically adjacent to his parked
vehicle. The other near the door. Both ready to
pounce. Finally he exited the premises, and we
connected. And trust me... HE DELIVERED!
Smoke & mirrors
As I've said prior, this city consists of hundreds
of villages. Clearly defined domains within it's
broader context. Within the daytime congestion
of midtown Manhattan a block easily becomes
one's world. As we stood along it's curb for an
extended waiting period of time we started to
get to know our neighbors. First the smokers -
those vaporous vagrants in search of a brief bit
of heaven. Next the street people who truly call
this place home. Then of course there are those
interlopers - strangers in paradise who assume
the local rules do not apply to them. Talk about
being in the wrong place at the wrong time!
Tow the line
Why anybody would park on a busy street
and blocking multiple freight docks while
ignoring all of the warning signs baffles me.
Watching said idiots get angry because their
vehicle was ticketed, booted, and towed is
much better than a front seat at a Broadway
matinee. Misery loves company. Hence the
resulting camaraderie amongst we innocent
bystanders only gained momentum as the
drama played itself out before us. Soon it
was over and it was time to move on to our
next moving violation. You see our furniture
arrived an hour early. Now we're in trouble!
Slowly but surely an army of support staff
is transforming our new corporate abode.
Organizing their combined forces has been
as easy as herding cats. At times our hi-rise
seemed like the tower of Babel. Given we
had no idea of what we (or they) were doing,
translating their individual wants, needs, and
requirements was more than challenging. Yet
after establishing a base level of trust we were
able to work together on the solution. Now, if
only our leaders in Washington could do the
same. Ultimately we all want to get the job
done. It's time to join forces and get moving!
Thursday, June 29, 2017
Asleep at the switch
For years I couldn't remember my dreams.
The victim of a mugging, I seemed to lose
my dream recall post a cranial encounter
with the butt of a sawed off shotgun. Thus
while I didn't lose sleep over it, I longed to
recall at least one occasional night vision.
During said hiatus it was obvious that my
head was elsewhere every evening. Frank
reported that I talked in my sleep. Luckily
I never subconsciously uttered anything he
shouldn't have heard. Slowly over a decade
I started to recall with my dreams once more.
But said revelations are anything but pretty.
Never, never land
Obviously I must be suffering from some form
of post traumatic stress syndrome. That can be
my only explanation for the fact that just about
every night I dream of air travel. Not of planes
plunging to destruction but rather about delays
and the related mess that accompanies them.
Last night I was on my way to Europe however
it seemed that I was unable to gain any forward
momentum towards my gate. Finally I checked
in only to wait and wait. Until ultimately some
official came to apologize as they'd forgotten
all about me. Oh... and the plane had flown off.
And that my friends is truly a NIGHTMARE!
I've literally lived that nightmare many times.
Hence like any victim of abuse I apparently
replay said torture on a nightly basis. Unlike
innocent Doctors from Kentucky I've never
been dragged off a plane by force. However
mental abuse seems to have wreaked havoc
on my peace of mind. Maybe I should consult
some dream expert to understand what's really
going on in my head. However I'm certain that
the uncertainty of modern air travel is the root
of all of my evils. I simply can't trust such an
obviously up in the air situation. And so I'm
reliving my angst on a nightly basis.
One can't help but relate my nocturnal state of
angst to our current political climate. With few
exceptions it seems that every politician down
in Washington has forgotten about us - their
ultimate customers. Thus just like the airlines
they assume they can get away with anything.
And that we the people will quietly sit and take
it. Given that all that we want is to move on we
keep on hoping. Yet for reasons far beyond our
control (and well within theirs) we can't seem
to get where we want to go. Which my friends
is more than a nightmare. It's a political state
of purgatory with no chance of redemption.
Many of us constantly repeat the same nightly
vision. Some dream of their teeth falling out.
Others drive speeding vehicles over cliffs. A
few attend parties in the raw only to discover
nobody cares. All such repeat performances
have valid explanations. Each are indicative of
a fear we're subconsciously working through.
Fortunately once I place my head upon my
pillow it is not filled with visions of Trump.
However I do spend almost every night in a
quite familiar state of limbo - better known
as the airport. Why can't I sleep that off?!
I'm stuck in a perpetual holding pattern.
Dream come true
I've no doubt nocturnal rehashing is a natural
phenomena. There has to be some method to
such madness. Fortunately I've yet to hear
voices during my waking hours. So as of now
what happens in my bedroom... stays there.
However occasionally dreams do come true.
Tomorrow I once again will be at the airport
to catch a plane back to Montana. This time -
even if delayed - I'm confident that I'll still
ultimately reach nirvana. That's because after
a month apart I'll be in Frank's arms again.
Given he's all that I've ever dreamed off, it's
well worth the trip. SWEET DREAMS!
Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Are we there yet?
It was only a matter of time. Crisis after crisis,
leak upon leak, and lies, lies, lies! Slowly said
steady stream on shock and revelations have
worn us down. To a point where we simply no
longer believe anything anybody says. And we
have become resigned to the fact that our man
in the oval office isn't going anywhere. At least
not for over three more years. Meanwhile our
"representatives" appear to be either deaf, dumb,
or delusional. Secretly meeting behind closed
doors only to unveil legislation that leaves most
of us sick and tired in it's wake. When will this
circus ever end. Must the show go on and on?
Hole in one
I can't help but think that there is a method
to this madness. That the perpetrators hope
that at some point we'll become so irritated
we'll stop caring. Which is exactly what is
happening whether we admit it or not. If
confronted with something we disdain, most
turn their heads in disgust. Thus we armchair
participants are flipping the switch on both
FOX and CNN news. We've had enough.
They've worn us down and out. Therefore
rather than deal with reality we are ALL
searching for alternative facts. Anything to
distract us from our political maelstrom.
Such escapism couldn't be more dangerous.
One has but to look back in history to find
it's happened before. Time and time again
people have opted out or looked the other
way. Such passivity fuels criminal activity.
Hence it may not be long before we realize
that our Chief Executive and cohorts have
taken more than our sanity. Therefore I feel
the need to reinforce that freedom is not a
privilege but an inalienable right. And that
a bunch of billionaires have no purpose than
to better themselves at our expense. Are we
really going to sit by and let that happen?!
Let's get real. While one might assume that
things are beyond our control yet righting
what's wrong is well within our power. We
run this joint even when the inmates seem
to be running our asylum. It may feel like
nothing is happening however ultimately
the truth will be revealed. Hence our short
term overdose of reality television behavior.
All of their posturing, rumor, and innuendo
has nothing to do with the facts. Instead it's
all to do with subterfuge. Often intolerable,
such behavior is an unnecessary evil that we
must endure until we're finally vindicated.
You don't say so...
Freedom of expression is the manifestation of
our American way. And while I don't suggest
that you pose with a bloodied head you must
do whatever it takes to make your point known.
Passive aggression is what got us into this mess.
Only a tad more than half of Americans voted
in the last Presidential election. Whether said
acquiescence was driven by disgust, diversion,
or dissension - it ended in defeat. Mr. Trump
won the battle however one might argue that
Americans lost more than their dignity in the
process. And the ones at blame are ourselves.
Thus it's our responsibility to fix it.
Separate but equal
Even if we want to, we can't ignore this mess
we're in. Like those plotting against us we all
must return to the scene of the crime again
and again and again. They want us to walk
away rather than engage in combat. However
this battle still not over and so we can't ever
consider surrendering to their mayhem. Right
is right. Wrong is disastrous. So rather than
roll your eyes - write a letter, jot off an e-mail,
make a call, or join a protest. Tell them what
you really think. Fight for what is rightfully
yours when they least expect it. And make
sure they know you're NEVER giving up!
Tuesday, June 27, 2017
In our modern world of wonders it's easy to
become complacent. Over the last decade
or three we've become conditioned to trust
technology much to our disadvantage. Yet
your computer, laptop, pad, or phone is not
as reliable as you may think. Thus unlike
that Frigidaire that's still humming down in
Mom's basement after fifty years, it suddenly
lets you down. Leaving one to pick up the
pieces if they can find them. Such an abrupt
dismissal is not only unnerving, it destroys
one's trust in techno tidbits. Suddenly we
realize the wizard is actually a charlatan.
Words alone can't express
Pictures and words make this blog tick. And
if I'm honest, I hear more about the images
shared herein than anything else. People ask
exactly how I do it. And the answer is very
carefully. For years I've gathered a rather
voluminous file of vintage photographs and
illustrations. All kept on a separate thumb
drive in order to protect my computer itself.
Whether that truly mattered or not it - it has
mattered to me. Separating church from state
made me feel safer. Last night I was adding
fodder to said resource when all of a sudden
it all disappeared. My safety net blew up.
I don't know about you but I find the idea
of my computer telling me what I can't do
rather offensive. After all it's job is to help
not hinder. To facilitate all my needs and
in the process fuel my every desire. Then
all off a sudden like a cheating spouse it
utters the most shocking revelation. And
in a moment... I'm left without one of the
more important helpmates. Meaning that
much like those left behind post a disaster,
I'll never see my loved ones again. All has
literally vaporized and the only way to get
them back is to start all over again...
Back to the future
Immediately I searched the web for any help.
Subsequently traveling down all cyber rabbit
holes in an attempt to revive deceased data.
All to no avail. Thus once more I must start
anew. Which means I'll be riding the digital
seas in order to visualize what words cannot
say alone. In the midst of such post traumatic
stress syndrome I'm afforded an opportunity
to embrace reality. Meaning that even in our
modern world we need some sort of backup.
In other words we can't rely on anybody or
thing but ourselves. Just because it's easy
doesn't mean there isn't some risk involved.
I'm coming to the conclusion that much like all
of those "dummy" books - the term easy is just
as easily be interchanged with foolish. Blithely
utilizing technology sans any responsibility will
only get us all in trouble. Skipping key steps to
insure all is kept on the record only guarantees
disaster. In theory everything you want to save
for posterity plus all that you wish had never
happened resides deep within some hard drive.
However it seems that only geeks or the FBI
are able to access it. Leaving fools like us to
wonder why we've suddenly and totally lost it.
Or... are we better off sans all of that baggage?
Somehow I'm able to reach out to thousands
of you on a daily basis. Yet all could be lost
due to some "glitch" beyond my control. At
times I've investigated putting my blog posts
on paper. However where would I store them?
Do I really think that some wall of three ring
binders guarantees me a place in history? Of
course I probably have stored them on some
"cloud" that I pay a monthly fee to maintain.
However how does data get from here... to
there. And can one really trust some wispy
place that one can't see, touch, or rely on?!
Maybe I need an alternative back up plan?
History repeats itself
This boomer needs some sort of a paper trail.
My parents stored most of their valuables in
a fire proof metal box. Their most important
items safely resided at the bank vault within
a safety deposit box. Why don't any of us see
the need to have the equivalent in nowadays?
The fact is anybody can steal almost anything
via the internet including elections. So why
do we all rely on vaporous validation versus
concrete proof?! While still deep in mourning
I'm considering my recent loss a wake up call.
Salvation awaits. But is the solution to my
woes within me or waiting at the help desk?
Monday, June 26, 2017
Change is inevitable. However I resent my
evolution from some sexy stud into a fat old
man in a loud sport coat. It's simply not fair
even if the forces that drove my shift were
self-imposed. Such gratuitous indulgence
rarely yields anything of benefit. Hence all
I have to prove for it is more than ample
physical indication that I have been there -
done that. In hindsight I wished I'd listened
to my elders. If I'd done so, I wouldn't be
suffering from such errors of my ways. Yet
I doubt I'd have enjoyed sitting in the shade
and not having my cake and eating it too!
On the spot advice
As a tot I was almost albino. Hence my Mother
slathered me in enough lotion and zinc oxide
to pale in comparison to Casper The Ghost.
Add a hat, matching terry lined jacket, and tee.
Trust me, while more than protected from the
sun I was also as uncomfortable as I could be.
Therefore when I left the fold I immediately
rejected any protection in order to soak up as
many UV rays as I possibly could. Decades
later, I now sport evidence of over exposure.
Between skin cancer scars to hands that are
as spotted as a leopard's skin. Was it all worth
it? Frankly... I'm not sure... but maybe...
Beyond the bedroom I've not been interested
in physical activity. As I considered fitness
an exercise in futility I never worked things
out. Once age advanced my joints digressed
while my belly expanded. Thus at this point
I'm beyond help. So out of shape that a ride
on the subway is akin to running a marathon.
All the advice I've ever read indicates that
one should devote a half an hour to exercise
on a daily basis. At this point I could never
possibly catch up. Per to my calculations it
would take ten thousand hours of exertion
to make up the difference. Why not NAP?!
Before I dye
Fortunately I'm not bald. Although I do find
a polished pate sexy. Well at least on a young
buck who shaves his head daily to achieve
such a glow. However at this stage in life I'm
almost totally grey. While always a fan of
"silver foxes" I never thought I'd ever be one
myself. Yet one thing is most certain and that
is that I will not be going to the dark side. A
gentleman who dyes his hair is off my list for
a variety of reasons. First because in doing so
one is definitely high maintenance. Second,
I really don't want shoe polish on my Pratesi
pillow cases. Finally, they all look like fools.
As Cher once warbled I often wish that I could
turn back time. However it would only be for
physical reasons only. In truth I've never been
happier in my own somewhat saggy skin. Thus
the idea of going back to one's younger days is
foolish at best. In truth we were truly babes in
arms. Naive, foolhardy, and at times arrogantly
ignorant. Time is the best teacher thus at this
point in my life I have a graduate degree from
the school of hard knocks. Knowing what it
took to get here, I've no desire to regress. I'm
older and wiser. And resigned to being fatter,
slower, and at times completely exhausted.
In retrospect I did heed much of parent's advice.
Both taught me to live by the golden rule. Plus
I never doubted that they believed in me which
instilled in me a sense of self confidence - not
arrogance. This weekend hundreds of thousands
turned out to participate in the New York City
Pride Parade. Everywhere one walked one saw
rainbow flags unfurled. As I strolled up Park
Avenue in one of my flashy sport coats I could
not help but be thankful. My parents left me a
lasting legacy of love and acceptance. Hence
it's quite natural for me to show my true colors.
Which is my friends something to be proud of.