Sunday, October 22, 2006

Scared (and not 'cause of Halloween)

Here I am in JFK. In a few minutes I'll be getting on a plane destined for Salt Lake City. I just spent the past four days on a whirlwind adventure. I had two goals for this trip: get a job and get a place to live. Well, I've got a place to live. My aching checkbook will vouch for that. As for the job, that's a little more interesting.

On Wednesday morning, I woke up at approximately my normal waking time. At 11:15 MST, I boarded my flight to New York. At 5:15 EST, the flight arrived at JFK. At 7:30, I was in the East Village dropping off my bag at the room I secured for the weekend. At 11:00 I was checking out my first housing opportunity. When 1:00 came around, I had both been awake for thirty straight hours and I was getting started on a marathon four-hour job interview.

Here's a good rule of thumb for all my loyal readers: do not, let me repeat for clarity, DO NOT show up to an interview for a job you care about in a strange city after taking a red-eye and being awake for thirty plus hours straight. As it turns out, there's a reasonable chance you will not give your best performance! Fuck me. So, no job offer from that company. I even sent them a follow up to their denial email commending them for making the right choice. I mean, if I were hiring for my small company and some joker showed up looking half dead, I wouldn't hire that person. On the other hand, these fuckers sent me an email to tell me I wasn't getting the job; I'm not sure I deserved that little respect.

Coupling that with the job denial that I got earlier in the week, I was rearing to go for my second in-person interview on Friday. It's amazing what some sleep can do for you. Interview #2 went just about as well as I might have hoped. I'm still feeling pessimistic for unknown reasons. I do not expect to get this job either. Too bad, because it's the one that I've wanted all along. I got the feeling that my salary requirement might have been too high. Dammit. Stay tuned for the dramatic conclusion to this one.

I did sign a check for a room. I will be living on the Upper West Side with an Armenian jazz pianist who takes photos for the trapeze school during the day and a recently empty nested woman who appears to be about the same age as my mom.

I am now officially scared. My wrists are tingling from the sick to the stomach, ill feeling that has pervaded me since I wrote the check for my room. The finality of all these decisions and actions I've been making over the past several weeks is hitting home. My home for the last five years is going to sell. My cat is living in Ohio. I just paid for two months rent of a room what was buying me three months of mortgage. Holy fucking shit, lord almighty, damn damn damn -- I am now past the point of no return. And I am viscerally scared. I have no real friends in New York. I've only got a couple of acquaintances. To boot, I've been guilty of dicking around several people on my quest to find a place to live. That's what is scaring me the most. There is now evidence on the table that me being in New York might make me a worse person. Or maybe it amplifies the bad person I already am.

I think I'm going to go yack and then curl up in the fetal position on the bathroom floor. Yeah, that seems like the best plan at this point.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

My Dad

I booked a flight for my dad to come out to Utah in a couple weeks. He's going to arrive a couple days before I take off for New York. He's going to ride with me in the truck back to Ohio. He has never been to Utah and wants to see it before I leave. He also just wants to see me. It has been a long time. In fact, I actually do not recall the last time I saw my dad. I think it might have been Christmas of 2004. Hmmm, nope, can't think of any time after that.

So now we dig deep into the black trunk. The reason I booked the flight for my dad is twofold. One is that he does not have any money. Secondly he does not have any credit and thus does have a credit card necessary to book a flight. And a third reason is that he does not have a computer. Dad just got out of prison a couple months ago. Let's not get into that at the moment though.

When I was a young lad, my dad was responsible for putting my head into the windshield of his car. He also taught me how to cut my fingernails and wipe my butt. In college, I had an epiphany moment; my dad wasn't really rolling his own cigarettes as he told me, he was rolling joints! There were plenty of other childhood experiences with my dad that I considered normal/okay/reasonable that now make me cringe. With my dad, everything got sprinkled with a healthy dose of crazy.

But what do you expect from a man who is clinically bi-polar and a prototypical narcissist?

I've been talking to my dad a lot lately. It's been nice since he seems to have his head right at the moment. Who knows how long that will last, but right now he seems to be off the bad drugs and hopefully on the good ones.

I don't know what it's going to be like hangin' with pops for a week straight. I think it will be good having company for the drive. He can't help drive, of course, since the state of Ohio is unwilling to issue him a driver's license. But if I can keep the conversation away from crazy deals he's brewing and money in general, it might be okay.

Did I mention that he has stolen money from me in the past. Twice. Ouch. The second time was officially a defaulted loan that was written off when he declared bankruptcy, but the fact that he put the money into a Cadillac and crack, I still consider it stealing. The other time was when I was much younger. He had co-signed on my savings account. This was the little-kid first savings account for depositing Christmas money from Grandma and so forth. Ostensibly he needed to pay the rent, so he cleaned out my account. In retrospect, it seems pretty likely that that money went towards crack also. Fuck crack.

Note to self: keep wallet in pocket at all times.

The reason I am letting him come out here is because for strange, unknown reasons, I still love the man. And he has never expressed anything but love for me. And I'm probably retarded in my judgement of human character. Maybe it's time to invest in one of those wallet chains.

Three Pronged Attack

So Pete, what's the matter? Got writer's block or what? I mean, it's been a hellofa long time since you've posted. Did life get boring, dude? You suck.

Oh contraire. Life for me lately most resembles an avalanche. Inertia builds as I snip away at my ties to Utah.

I spent Monday morning bawling on the phone to my brother because I had actually gone through with putting Mr Orange on an airplane bound for Detroit. I felt better later that day when my bro picked up the O-man safely, but saying goodbye to what at times felt like my only friend was ... incomprehensible. I miss my kitty; he's a good buddy. I got my daily updates from both the brother and the sister-in-law today. Apparently Mr Orange has already found himself a nighttime spot on the bed. It makes it a lot easier on me if I know he's happy, of course.

Tuesday I hunkered down in the war room with my real estate agent and good friend, R. We played a high stakes game of offer-counteroffer with my house on the line. Fortune smiled on me that day. With two offers, both over my asking price, it was more stressful than you might imagine. When two people are jonesing after your apartment with this much fervor, you can't help but feel bad when you put the big REJECTED stamp on one of them. Sorry baby, your sugar just wasn't sweet enough. Bottom line here: I sold my house. Yay!

Selling the house was one of three events that was to force my hand into moving. The other two were finding a place to live in New York and securing a job. Those other two are in progress. The job hunt is in full swing. Actually, it's past the hunt stage and well into courtship. You know, they are infatuated and I'm getting the sweet goodnight kisses. Unlike with the ladies, I can keep my cool with potential employers, so all indicators are that I will get an offer or two in a week or so.

As for the finding a place to live problem, that's a different story. The reason I haven't been writing here lately is because I've been spending seemingly every last minute doing two things: searching craigslist for housing opportunities and crafting careful emails to potential roommates trying to convince them that at the same time I am interesting/cool/etc. and also that I'm not a serial killer despite the fact that I'm moving to NYC out of the blue. I've got a pretty good formula for it now, but it still takes me about an hour to come up with the proper strategy for one of these cold emails. I'm getting nervous about this one. I've got four days on my upcoming pre-move trip to New York to nail down a place. It's not at all clear to me that I'll be able to pull it off. Oh well, what's the worst that could happen? I might drive into New York with a truck full of shit and nowhere to live. I wouldn't be the first homeless person in New York, right?

So my brilliant three pronged attack game plan seems to be holding up as I enter the final stretch. I've got about two weeks left in SLC, minus the four days I'm in New York. On the agenda for tonight: figure out the guest list for the "Don't let the door hit you in the ass" party being thrown in my honor.


Sunday, October 08, 2006

First of Many Lasts

It is getting down to where I am considering whether or not particular activities here in Salt Lake City might be my last. My friend S. came into some tickets to tonight's Real Salt Lake game, so we turned it into a little date and had some sushi before riding the train up to the game. As it turned out, this was S.'s first soccer game ever. She was a fabulous sport and took great interest in learning the game. There were a couple of goals and the weather held up nicely. S. claimed adamantly that she really, really liked the soccer game and I tend to believe her. So, very likely this was my last RSL game for probably ever.
Don't it always seem to go
that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone
Sorry, Joni, but no, not really. The O-man leaves for the motherland on Monday. I know what that's going to be like and I already have pity for the person who questions the lack of composure I am sure to have on that day. Furthermore, working with my friends on a daily basis, having a ton of space to myself, having a car, and having mature friendships are all things that I got. I hereby state for the record that they are incredibly valuable to me and before I loose these things, I already know that a large amount of pain will stem from my intentional abandonment of these things. So I do know what I've got before it's gone. S. reminded me tonight what a fabulous set of friends I've gotten mixed up with.

I'm likely to have numerous complaints in the upcoming months about the difficulties and disappointments of living in New York City. I just don't want anyone to try to make a claim that I didn't know what I was getting myself into. I do know. It will suck. I'm gambling for deferred rewards and personal growth. To hell with easy and comfortable.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

On Chocolate Cake and the Wrong Kind of Popularity

The blog has officially seen more traffic in the last two days than it has ever. Welcome new visitors!

Now get the fuck out. For real, I'm not digging the attention.

Apparently a certain post containing a link to a certain fall-themed website describing the antics of several of people, including a former principle in fly-by-night, has caught the attention of some other people who are concerned with another Utah company that is clearly evil as to not really compare to the generally laughable behavior of fly-by-night. This has sucked in a bunch of new visitors. I feel embarrassed, but not for myself. No, I am embarrassed for them. For god's sake, I literally bear my laundry on this site. For people to come here seeking actual information, that is absurd to the extreme.

I have now had two solicitations to reveal corporate secrets. To all other parties interested in my vast war chest of insider secrets about fly-by-night (because really, as lowly engineer #17 I am privy to all the dirt), please send your inquiries to /dev/null. And for the record, let me state a couple of things:
  1. Any and all information contained within this blog should be deemed totally and unequivocally unreliable. Otherwise put, I write with much hyperbole and I generally write when I am too tired to do anything actually productive. Plus it's fun to outright lie sometimes. Example: "I care about you and your concerns about fly-by-night." See, that was funny because, ironically, I could actually not care less about your concerns.
  2. I do have a vested interest in fly-by-night's success. Although the ranks have thinned out, those remaining are the best of the best and are also my friends. Fly-by-night is surviving, and will likely rise like the phoenix. So although I do not care one iota about your concerns, I do care about my friends and therefore you should remember: hyperbole is spoken here.
  3. Mike Anderer very often has messy hair. Yup, you heard it here first. I'm sure some deep meaning may be derived from that information. Please speculate ad nauseum about that info, it is really important.
Now that that is out of the way, let's get on to the chocolate cake issue. Because of my pending move, I am trying to thin out the pantry. Of the items I have on hand, the Duncan Hines chocolate cake mix with accompanying Duncan Hines chocolate frosting with chocolate chips was the most tempting. Last night, upon checking my refrigerator, I discovered that I had the requisite three eggs required to compose the cake.

Long story short, last night I ate cake and drank red wine with pals; this morning I picked at cake in lieu of eating breakfast; for lunch I packed cake; in the afternoon an unexpected birthday cake found its way to the office -- and I ate it. The unexpected consequence of making so much cake and eating it too is that I really don't feel well at the moment. It's as if my brain is saying "since you have deprived me of every nutrient I need besides short chain carbohydrates, I am going to be weird until you feed me pickles and/or baked beans." Stupid brain, I fed it those baked beans tonight, but thus far the response has fallen short of promise. It is now telling me that getting more than five hours of sleep might be a good idea too. I'm going to try that ... now.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

My Bathrooms Are Clean

That's right, the bathrooms are sparkling clean. As is my kitchen. And my dryer. My house went on the market today. This marks a very tangible step in the getting-the-rock-out-of-Utah process. I have unloaded immense amounts of crapola from my little apartment. Note to self: stop accumulating crap; it's crap. It's really amazing how much stuff we allow ourselves to accumulate out of the fear that we won't have that one scrap of paper or nick-knack when we need it most ten years from now. I already miss my boxes of receipts. The IRS will surely audit me this year. Oh, and when I have a burning desire for a delicious but healthy hamburger, I'm going to be kicking myself that I just gave away my Geoge Foreman Lean Mean Fat Reducing Machine.

Other tangible progress in the major life transition is that I have officially informed my current employer of my intentions. I was a bit surprised that the boss-man did not even blink when I presented him with this information. Seeing how he's also a reluctant Utahan, a former Buckeye, and a past resident of New York, I guess it makes some sense that his reaction was "Cool." He asked my where I was going to live in New York. I realized after the fact that I told him the wrong thing. Where I said "I don't know yet", I should have said "it's none of your fucking business". Stupid. Not that I wanted to be rude, I like the boss-man after all, but I really need to get in New York mode. I wonder if Utah has made me too milquetoast to survive in New York?

If you happen to be looking for an affordable, luxury (see photo) apartment in the downtown Salt Lake City area, please call my real estate agent.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Bags of Rags

What you see here is five (5) bags of clothes and linens. These bags are full to the brim. I know what you are thinking: "wow, Pete, why did you put your whole wardrobe into garbage bags?" Ah, but you see, that is not my whole wardrobe. These five bags account for the subset of my clothing collection that I donated to Crossroads today.

In addition to this load of stuff, I also donated one full carload of miscellaneous foo to the DI. This included my squeaky Huffy, the basketball that won't deflate, and the old Christmas tree stand that hasn't been used since '01 when I went Grinch due to the ornament theft fiasco. By the way, in case you are ever thinking about donating anything to the DI, expect to have a full-on zombie help unload your donated items. Apparently the LDS church uses the DI as an employment center for people with small enough intellect that they (a) belong to the church and (b) cannot form words. Then again, maybe these people only speak in tongues.

Anyway the purge is pretty much complete now. I like the idea of not owning a lot of things. Unfortunately, I only have less things, not no things. I'm not quite ready to go completely vagabond.