Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Commitment

OK, I need to either decide to keep this up or drop it. For now, let's continue posting. I've nothing new to report on the cabdriving front. I'm just waiting for March to get a NY license. I was playing ultimate last night and was asked about my future plans. No one quite thought my cabdriving was serious. Wait till they hear about the bagpiping. Seriously. I've always loved the sounds of the pipes and remember when my family happened to go to the Edinburgh tattoo with all the pipes and drums bands. It was fantastic. What I really fantasize about re: bagpipes is busking. I heard a piper in the Paris Metro in one of those stations with a huge tunnel to transfer between lines, and it was terribly moving. I have visions of myself in the 14th St. tunnel doing the same -- not in tartan rags, but in normal street clothes. Just imagine for a moment the strains of a highland tune growing louder and louder as you moved from, say the F to the 1. Wouldn't you toss a dime into that guy's hat?

Also, just keep in mind that many of these shows like American Idol and now American Inventor (or whatever it's called) were developed in England. So all this malarky about the ultimate American dream being inventing looks a bit silly. Incidentally, on the English version of that show, I saw a guy who had come up with the best invention I've ever seen. A toaster that detects how done your toast is based on particulates in the air rather than time in the toaster (so the second or third round of toast is a perfect as the first). It also had personalized buttons so everyone in the family could have their own doness setting. Fucking amazing.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Rethink

OK. The iPod was fantastic at the gym where it insulated my mind from my body's pain. Those fucking earbuds still hurt, though.

I just completed my first trip to Huffington Post, a site I've always avoided because these liberal circle-jerks just make me think we're all morons on the left side of the political spectrum. I went because I just found out a friend's father is a semi-regular contributor. This once again recalled my mind to the deathbed scenes from Waugh's Brideshead Revisited. I don't have the text in front of me so I can't quote literally, but at one point, after hearing a news report of Chamberlain's mismanagement of the German situation, Lord Marchmain says, "I knew Chamberlain. Ordinary fellow." My parents, specifically my Dad, and Sadie's father could usually come up with an anecdote or two about many of the important members of the American zeitgeist. We had a friend in London, now sadly deceased, who had known everyone and could tell stories about them grinding cigarette butts into her carpet. I once commented to Sadie that I didn't think anyone we knew would evolve to the next business moguls (sp? I've been watching a lot of Olympics), political bigwigs or social dynamos. I sort of think I would like that to change, but that depends more on Sadie than me. Don't want to go further than this, but keep it all in mind.

Monday, February 13, 2006

New SSN Card

So my Social Security card arrived in the mail in what must be record time. Next stop is either the New York DMV or a driver's safety course, depending on some specifics I need to investigate. All potential fake New York residents should note that it couldn't be simpler to "move" to NYC based on their DMV's website. No gas bill or anything like that -- I just can't move within six months of my CT license issuance date. In this case, it means I can't get a new license until the end of February. Still, I'm well on the way.

On another note, I've been carrying around my fiancee's iPod for a few days. I really thought this would be a liberating time. I would whisk around the city with my chosen soundtrack playing in my ears. But I feel totally conflicted about this new accessory. First, walking along the streets, I feel divorced from my surroundings. I know others have railed against this, but as my current foray into graduate school shows, I don't believe received wisdom, only experienced. Second, I don't know how to resolved the conflict between my public demeanor and my aural experience. I can't very well rock and tap along to my soundtrack unless I want to look like a fool. But at the same time, I'm not used to listening to my own loved music with a mien of stony impassivity. Plus the earbuds hurt like fucking hell. I'm off to the gym where I'll use the new toy in its final arena. We'll see how that goes.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

2.30

Why do I stay up till this hour listening to music and sabatoging my plans for tomorrow? Cause I kinda like it.
Mix CD (sorry) for Sadie -- just threw this together of stuff I don't think she has:
  • Blur - Boys and Girls (Best Dance Song Ever)
  • Dinosaur Jr. - In a Jar
  • The Clean - Diamond Shine (they are a NZ band and a forerunner of the Bats)
  • Beat Happening - Indian Summer
  • Arab Strap - Act of War
  • Interpol - NYC
  • Neutral Milk Hotel (just Mangum really) - Now I'm Going down (ooh, look at me with my ultra-rare Mangum track)
  • Beat Happening - Fortune Cookie Prize
  • Wolf Parade - Grounds for Divorce
  • The Clean - Beatnik (I don't usually like repeating artists on mixes, but this was just a hasty contraption, and that's a childish hang-up)
  • Dinosaur Jr. - Tarpit
  • Wolf Parade - I'll Believe in Anything

  • Now to bed.

    Cette Mitzi!

    I just watched Ernst Lubitsch's Trouble in Paradise and can't recommend it highly enough. Not only was this a genuinely funny film it was also surprisingly arousing for a movie that's 75 years old. Included in the Criterion Collection DVD was also a German silent film directed by Lubitsch in the Teens. God almighty, the Germans are an ugly nation, and I say this as a proud bearer of their heritage. Every close-up was truly shocking in the new layers of hideousness it revealed in the actors who looked passable in the wide shots. And to think, each one of them was either an emigre, goosestepping or dead within fifteen years.

    I also just spoke to the old friend with whom I'd been playing phone tag. He is probably the biggest mensch I know -- a deeply good guy. We concluded that it had been more than three years since we'd actually seen each other which depressed me to no end. It was really good to talk to him about leaving where I'm at since he's been thinking a lot about this in very similar ways. Truth be told, I don't know if any of my old friends, save one or two, really knows what they're up to. I like that. It comforts me -- really reminds me why I want to be close to my friends.

    Wednesday, February 08, 2006

    Long Lost ...

    So the trip to the Social Security administration was a total success, though in the process I discovered that my new coat will set off metal alarms because of its damn clinky metal buttons. The potential conflict about my numeral was judiciously resolved by the woman who attended me. I explained the problem and she took her pen and put a vertical line next to my last name -- I thought to separate my numeral from my name. But no, she completed that hard stroke with a V and just tacked the damn thing on there.

    In the last few days, few weeks even, my old friend Britt has been trying to get in touch with me. We've been playing phone-tag, but my Britt fix was satisfied when my fellow Eli Nick told me about Britt's blog. I really like secretly reading friends' blogs. I feel like I'm spying on their lives and I am genuinely interested in their inane details. I especially like discovering new ones and getting the chance to pore over several months of their lives that I had not been privy to. This carries a heavy aftershot of depression because of course I've lost touch with so many of my old and dear friends. Reading what they're up to now just reinforces how little I know about their current lives and how much I miss a lot of them.

    I also need to decide whether to tightly focus this on the taxi or just verbally cum all over the page. Let's try to restrain ourselves for now, shall we?

    Tuesday, February 07, 2006

    First Step

    So my first task on the road to a hack license is procuring a Social Security card. I was a bit surprised to discover that I will be required to provide an original card. As a native born American, I of course have no idea where my card is. I learned after talking to my Mom that she doesn't either. The end result will be a trip to the local Social Security office to hand in my forms.

    Now, here's the key issue. I have a numeral at the end of my name. More than a numeral. A IV. My Dad's name, also on the form with his SSN, is identical to mine save for the III. This form doesn't leave a space for a numeral, and I'm now terrified that I might have to lose part of my name to gain a Social Security card.

    I've also noticed that it's difficult to really care about finding a real job when all I want to do is get behind the wheel of a taxi. I was scoping out Craig's List and found one interesting job, but it's really difficult to sift down to the good stuff when your potential range is EVERYTHING. Still, it's good to see all the jobs out there.

    Monday, February 06, 2006

    Meter Drop

    This blog will chronicle my life cruising the streets as an NYC taxi driver. It will also hopefully witness my transformation from pathetic graduate student to confident city professional.

    We'll see.