Flowers are red, young man. "A" is to "B" as "B" is to "C." Unless it isn't. There's no need to see genetics any other way than the way they always have been seen.

Month: October 2016

America the Beautiful, the Horrible, the Amazing, the Tragic.

I was minding my own business and swigging my beer on a rooftop deck on W 28th St when I was cornered by the Jersey Twins.

They were both really cute, they had me feeling a little insecure.

We’re talking and getting to know each other.

I’m asked what I do for fun.

I explained that I was roaming around America with a backpack and taking it all in.

I don’t think they believed me.

The one on my left sneered and asked “And how is America? Is it beautiful?”

His friend, who I favored more: “Is it horrible?”

From my left: “Is it amazing?”

His friend: “Is it tragic?”

I didn’t have a good answer for that.

But I was living for how these two bitchy manicured cosmo sipping queens from Jersey were trying to make fun of me … or flirt with me … or perhaps both… and in the process had managed to accidentally sum up the human condition from the roof of the NYC Eagle.

They had just made my night!

I thought about the question.

I grinned and simply replied “yes.”

I took my beer over to the edge of the roof and sat down alone wishing that Donald Trump would lose the election, stay in New York City, and build a Great Big Beautiful Wall to keep New Jersey out instead.

100 stories about leaving Chicago

Whenever I look down at the ground racing below me, I’d be well advised to remember that I only got this job in the first place because some recruiter ended up getting my number mixed up with some other candidate and calling me on accident.

I was heading south on the outer drive and Res (“They Say Vision”) came up on the radio. Steve used to always play a Robbie Rivera mix of that track and he’d just gone off to prison for dealing again.

I’d just warned him: Dude. You have got to get out of the game because you have a gigantic neon sign over your head that says “Arrest me.”

Be he said he’s “got this.”
He wasn’t going to slip up this time.
It was cold outside but it was sunny and beautiful.
I shook my head and I thought “Thank god you’re not on that horrible fucking drug.”
I was on US-41, right next to Soldier Field. Where I’m still banned for life. The phone rang. It was a call from Tina Clark.
Tina sounded a little manic. She said she was airjamming a pretend guitar in her office to Metallica’s “Master of Puppets” while she looked for a Puppet Master.
I was ostensibly leaving for Texas on vacation that morning, but I had despaired at the thought of returning and I honestly had half a mind not to. I wasn’t sure but I had some time to think about it and perhaps begrudgingly make the right choice to turn those wheels back north towards February, the looming cloud of my boss’s halotosis, and an alarm clock set for 5:15am.
I wasn’t actively looking for another job. I didn’t even have a resume posted anywhere. But I had a feeling that I was about to say adios to the doublemint twins and the stock exchange after all.

Before I was doing stadiums or chatrooms, I was staring at > 250,000 transactions per second and porting all the stuff that starts and stops the CBOE every day from Linux to Solaris.

Here’s something I was working on for Operations at the time:

I did what I was hired for and stayed until it was completed. The migration and the move from Chicago to New York was successful. They had offered me permanent work and I didn’t want it. I loved it there but I have sleep apnea like a motherfucker and it was all I could do to show up on time every day and finish the scope of work I’d promised to and crawl across the finish line.

“Well, I’m really beginner to intermediate with that and I only learned it under duress. I was kind of forced to learn it so how about a Puppet Slave instead?”

“That’s closer than I’ve gotten all day!”
Before that phone call was over, she was like “OK fuck that other guy, we’re submitting you instead!”
“All this time I’ve spent looking for a Puppet Master, and I should have been looking for a Puppet Slave…”

Tina ended up placing me at eBay and Cisco. I literally owe everything else … from that point forward … to a recruiter calling me on “accident.”

— snip —

We walked down the block through the dead trees.
You were smiling.
And I was smiling too.
From the time we were little.
You were always taller, thinner.
You were a kind of lanky Matt Dillon.
I was strong but awkward.
And born with an armour of imagination.
I loved music.
And so did you.
But you loved those loud guitars.
And venom.
That venom with a lost angry sadness.
While I lived in the sadness.
I remember Roy Orbison on an AM radio.
All falsetto and loneliness.
That day was so sharp it cut through glass and warmed the carpet underneath me.
You were out with your friends.
Your best friend’s name was Ray.
He’s in jail now.
A few weeks ago you were sentenced as well.
I sat in my room still surrounded by a sad song thinking.
Thirty years.
It’s been thirty years.
And you’re going to be in there for thirty years.
Now I remember that day you had just gotten out of rehab.
And I was happy to see you.
Happy to hope.
That from that point forward.
All would be better.
And I was proud of you.
And we were going home.
The complete family.
A complete family.
Just you and me.
Mom and Dad.
A complete family.

— Matthew Ryan