Monday, February 27, 2006

Pacific Heights - Lake Mary Style

Okay, let's get you up to speed...

Ric has historically had limited patience when it comes to people owing him money..especially me and what he perceives as fair rent.

(This post also chronicles a brief rundown of the events of Koyaanisqatsi after my failure to maintain my livelyhood at Sears, voluntary repossession of my car, collapse of my credit cards and braking my lease at not only the apartment complex I had been at for more than 2 years in an upscale, gated community, but also the small studio I rented in Cassellberry for 2 months before fleeing to New Orleans to live with Jay and Regan. A more detailed and composite timeline will be filed on this blog...once this damn phase is over with!)

In summer 2003, I came back to Florida from New Orleans and stayed with Ric for only 2 months and paid him the agreed rent but was late for 2 weeks when he gave me the ultimatuum that I would have to move out. All because the sleazy telemarketing job I was doing was not paying me what was owed and I quit without telling him. (It turned out, as I presumed, that the busniness closed very soon after) I was looking into alternatives when he threw the gauntlet down. I awkwardly moved in with my father as my mother lay dying in the hospital and moved to New Orleans (again) to get my life together after my father had me removed from his house by my lesbian-coke-snorting-suicidal-bigtime-alcoholic-two-faced-lying-bitch-of-a-sister after I downed a quart of vodka, several of his prescription medications and puked all over his bathroom floor.

In 2004, I was in my own apartment but on the verge of eviction, rather than offer a temporary safe haven to get back on my feet, Ric suggested I go back to New Orleans, so I did (even though, in essence, it was his sobbing request I come back to Orlando from New Orleans in late 2003 to help support him emotionally through Gary's impending death).

Ric's fate turned a bit for the worse again in late 2004 with his arrest for his most recent DUI as noted in several posts, and so in Fall and Early Winter 2004, he was hinting and eventually invited me to live with him (again!) during our phone conversations while I was doing kinda okay in New Orleans.

I decided to move back and after waitning for an Amtrak train that never came, on January 1, 2005, I flew back to OIA from Louis Armstrong International, took a long busride and subsequent cab ride to Lake Mary, and though we moved down the street and "up" into a condo, I am still here.

Ric and I go way back, much farter than the Koyaanisqatsi timeframe and we have had our arguments over the years...even came to fisticuffs back in 1999 when we were living together on Lee Road at Rosewood Apartments (aka "Roach"-wood Apartments...eek!). Ric even called Orange County Sherrifs office as a domestic violence...(well, in fact, there had been more than just fists, including flying shards of framed artwork glass and kitchen knives...oh yes, we got into it!)

Which brings me to the current situation.

Ric has yet again caught his virtually annual sinus infection/flu/cold, and the symptoms are making him batty. Remember he had undergone surgery last January to eliminate this but the chronic illness persists. Well, you don't have to tell me how agravating chronic illnesses are!

So he gets on this "I'm going to focus my discomfort ant anxiety onto Michael" kick...common in the drinking days, prior to the Pod Person replacement, but virtually unheard of in the last 6 months!

So I was a little unprepared for his abrasive attitude wanting to know what, exactly, I was doing to work towards paying him his 2 week late partial rent payment of $300. I blew him off since I had already told him this would come from my last CNM check...I myself have been in a "ill mood".

I get this message on the dry-erase board today:

"I have given you plenty of second chances. You need to pay me $800 by April 1. I have put up with your lies and excuses...blah, blah..."

He mentions that I have not thrown out all my empty cans into the dumpster the day I consume the beer (because he's afraid the probation office will do a home inspection).

I will, of course, be concilliatory. Here's what I am writing on the board tonite:

"Um...ok...like, wow!"

"I'm sorry if I said anything to offend you..."

" I also apologize for not quickly discarding my trash..."

"And eating your ice cream, which I replaced."

"I have several very good leads which I am diligently working on. I will definately have the $300 I am 3 weeks late on and the $500 not yet due but will likely be late...by mid to late March...I thought we discussed this...no?"

"I hope you feel better soon, 'cause you seem a bit (depressed)."

But my evil side thought of a more ominous (yet, considering the circumstances, quite plausible) response:

"Ric,

Sorry to inform you but infact, you will actually now be allowing me to live here rent-free for the next year.

You see, if you don't agree, I'm afraid I will be forced to finally report to Seminole County our recent dysfunctional relationship.

I will have to sobbingly admit that the bruises on my body and the black eye are the result of a violent exchange with you as I was trying to get you to stop using drugs and alcohol.

[It is implied that I would administer these bruises, which I easily would, myself to frame him, of course]

I would need to call 9-1-1, have them come over and they would discover the empty Coors Light beer cans and the crack smoking paraphenalia on the kitchen counter."

[I think Ric knows that I know that he still has a crack pipe in his locked briefcase under his bed in his room...has for years. That I would force open the briefcase and expose his dirty habit, I bet he never concieved it could be possible.]

I would indicate that neighbors like Charlotte downstairs and the folks living on the first floor at Sun Lake, as well as neighbors at Reflections would all attest to his loud behavior after a drinking binge. [Which they would as they have mentioned it already]

I would admit that Ric was quite well known for his loud and abrasive attitude when drunk at our neighborhood Uno's (which he was barred from permanently), Thirsty Whale (which he was barred from temporarily) or other bars like Friday's, PR's, Smokey Bones, Chili's...as well as, of course, the past establishemnts that know him well: Jax 5th Avenue in College Park, the Ale House in College Park, Brother's Pub, Hank's, Firestone, Full Moon Sallon, and the Parliament House. Oh, let's not forget Cactus Club where he was barred because he threatended to slit the bartender's throat.

Oh, and outside Hank's, he was arrested and tried for assault. Yup. He plead no contest, was adjudicated guilty and had to undergo a penalty of a fine and anger-management classes.

I have 2 DUI's, but nothing violent. And the affidavids of both my arrests report an obsequious, compliant prisoner.

Not so with Ric's history...during his first DUI, he was forced into a solitary cell naked because he threatended to kill himself. During his second DUI, he repeatedly screamed he was a police captain's son and needed to be treated better. I don't know what "drama" went on during his third offense, but I bet it had to do with the impending hurricane.


BTW, since he is on probation, the above mentioned "evidence" would certainly get him arrested and placed in county jail. But...he has enough credit to post bond. So, it would be unlikely I would create such havoc, other that to use such a scenario as a "deterrent".

But in truth, dear reader, I couldn't really do this to him. His message to me is a result of his recent cold and subsequent grouchyness. I will let it roll past me.

As for the super-realist in me, who knows he owns this place and could replace me lickety-split...okay, I'll bring home my version of the bacon...enough already!!

Monday, February 20, 2006

FLASHBACK: Summer 1975

Before the start of my 6th grade school year in a new school (we had just moved to a new school district from the East Woonsocket area to the Globe area of Woonsocket), I reveled in exploring my new neighborhood every chance I got. Especially the ~20 square acre creek valley, totally wooded without any housing or roads, just 500 yards east of our home.

I ocassionally visited the woods with my new buddy/neighbor Steven, but more often than not, went there on my own.

There was a magical quality about these woods. The area of the woods, as mentioned above, was not that vast, but the valley steeped sharply towards the shallow creek which formed it (presumably sometime in the past when it was more significant), and from deep in it's midst, you couldn't make out any houses or sounds of civilization through the trees and brush.

In the years since this time, I've studied up and found that indeed, the creek, or as we say in the northeast, brook, was more significant and it even powered a few flour mills in it's time as it flowed steadily into the more significant Blackstone River to the west.

Of course, as many familiar with the rise of the Industrial Revolution in the US may be familiar with, the Blackstone River had great significance. The first and for many decades, most prominent factories and mills powered by water wheels, were in the Blackstone River Valley. Woonsocket, Pawtucket, Central Falls, and to some extent the early history of Providence, as a port for the worsted produced, were dependent on the river.

But the tributary known as the Cherry Brook, which had carved this deep rift in the landscape of Northern Rhode Island all on it's own, eventually dwindled to an almost seasonal stream...virtually dry in the summer months and flowing only moderately towards the still mighty Blackstone in the Fall through Spring months by, at least, the 1970's.

This little valley it had created though, was a gem. There were ancient artifacts hinting at a more "civilized" past. Stone walls layed out in straight lines across the valley following the compass directions...a stone and cement bridge over a narrow portion of the creek bed, seemingly there for decades...stone and brick foundations of what may have been barns, or, maybe houses many eons ago.

My research seemed to indicate that the valley was, for much of setteled history, too deep for true settlement...some farmers used the area which abuted their farm as land for building storehouses and, as evidenced by the stone walls, were sectioned off from the neighbors farms, but never really cultivated or dwelled on.

This lost valley became my geographical muse for my most elaborate and evolved fantasy ever. A mythical land, over which I ruled, and conducted political relationships, both friendly and foe, with fictionalized neighboring lands.

This was the world of Nastralia.

I mentioned, briefly, Nastralia in a previous post (the first one, if I am not mistaken), but didn't even hint as to the overall importance of this fantasy to me.

In case you haven't surmized by now, I'm not too fancy with QUOTE/UNQUOTE "reality".

It, compared to fantasy, frankly, bites.

Nastralia started as a few sketches on notebook paper ripped coursely from a spiral binder...mentioning the usual "geographical" facts of a land like government, chief exports, a general history of formation including wars and current alliences...a little CIA Factbook sheet on an imaginary land if you will.

As the years went on I devoted more and more resources to this "hobby".

A complete history was formulated, every post in the entire government was named, each square foot of the land was mapped and named.

Eventually, the vague idea that this was just some "land" somewhere wasn't enough...I created an entire planet.

The planet encompased hundreds of lands, thousands of times larger than just Nastralia itself. But I was the ruler of Nastralia, and thus it should not be just one of hundreds of little counties on a vast globe...I eventually developed a rich history of many civilizations on this world...some in alligience with and some sworn to destroy my kingdom.

The ensuing war, called "Crimson Sky", which I chronicled as it went on for nearly a year, determined Nastralia as the conquerer of the entire planet, unifying it under the red and white flag of the Empire.

There was a superb Japanese produced cartoon around this time, a forerunner of the current art of anime, called "Star Blazers". For my empire's anthem, I used the harmonies of this cartoon's theme song...very triumphal and optimistic.

I was titled His Imperial Majesty, the Riothamus of Nastralia, the Homeland Valley, the Good Green World, and the Solar System including the Blue World.

The Blue World refered to Earth.

Rather than imagine that my world existed in some far away galaxy a long time ago, and crap...I decided to make my story a little more plausible (to me anyway!).

Sci-fi stories often have humans or very-humanoid inteligent beings inhabiting far off worlds without any aforementioned ties to Earth.

Unlikely.

If life outside of Earth...without any intervention or influence from a common source developed/s on another world...the chance it would be even remotely like a human would be scarce. Lets face it...how many species do we have here on Earth, developed essentially in the same overall conditions in most cases, and with the same proportion of matter availiable to them, not to mention from evidently, the same DNA source...yet look at the physical diversity of all the plants, animals and organisms that sprung up over a few billion years.

My planet was seeded by a mysterious spacefaring race of beings some 90,000 years ago with actual proto-humans imported from Earth itself, directly to a planet featuring much the same mass and atmosphere as Earth...a sister planet if you will...directly on the other side of the Sun from Earth in the same orbit...synchronous exactly to avoid orbital anomolies or detection by way of sight from on world to another.

(Granted, this sister-planet concept is not unique, it was used in SF before, but in that version it was a weird "mirror" of Earth, my concept is a totally different planet with it's own unique history (barring occassional influences from the mysterious aforemention beings throughout the millenia) and unique association with advanced scientific discoveries (again, thanks to our mysterious benefactors).

Over the years I kept a multitude of maps, historical "documents", even a hand-sewn flag. A few friends "in-the-know" encouraged me to try to write about this (ala "Star Trek" or "Star Wars"), but I prefered to keep it a private thing.

Though much of the ephemera that was created over the years has been lost or discared, I still to this day hold true to much of the fantasy and use aspects of it to bolster self-confidence as needed.

There have been many a day when I have hummed the triumphal yet haunting tune of the National Anthem and thought of a day...not too distant...when the Riothamus shall rule, in more than just name, the Blue World.

"The World Is Yours"-- motto of Tony Montana in "Scarface".

Reality Internet

Funny how so much attention is given to Reality TV and it's sweep of the American TV audience in the past few years. But blogging, it seems to me, is really nothing more than posting on bulletin boards which has been going on for many more years. My first BBS experience was back in 1993 when my best friend and roommate Wayne bought me a 2400 Baud modem for my 386 PC.

Now I have this blog which I focus on but I am also interested in others' blogs...almost like a soap opera fan, tuning into the next episode to see what becomes of their favorite characters.

One blog I've been following is "The Homeless Guy".

I think I took to his blog early on in my Koyaanisqatsi journey to see if that route would be livable. We have alot in common.

"The Homeless Guy", aka Kevin Baribeau lived in Nashville and wrote about his experiences on and off the "streets" over the past couple decades.

It's melancholy as you would expect but also refreshing and uplifting in how, at least in his posts, he never lets anything get him down for very long.

A few months ago, almost concurrent with my relief from near homelessness, he seemed to have found a niche, hand-crafting knit scarves for sale. This endeavor got him off the streets an into a subsidised housing apartment complex.

But for some reason (he states it was stagnation) he decided to move away from Nashville where he had lived for over a decade and built many friends and contacts, and went to Las Vegas. (Hello, read: Moving to New Orleans (not once but 3 times) on a whim?)

He is again living in homeless shelters and posts that the facilities for the homeless are so much better there than in Nashville.

Another blog I follow is a Singapore-cultured young woman and her husband who were "stationed" by her husband's company in the US (Alabama) while her husband (an engineer) learned the techniques taught to him at the large "sugar-substitute" plant there so that when the comapany opened operations in Singapore, they would be up and running ASAP.

She has gone through much in the past year...her father while visiting her in the US was crippled by a train crashing into his car...her good friend had a miscarridge...she and her husband have been on many interesting day trips and longer vacations which she has witten about. She not only writes about her adventures, but also has included a great amount of her digital photography which, probably because she professes to be an amature photography-buff, is quite good in quality of resolution and composition.

Reality TV has to, by the nature of the commercial medium, people....it HAS to be somewhat (if not totally) contrieved. (Even my beloved "Project Runway")

But Reality Internet...well...it is what it is.

The real thing.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Koyaanisqatsi Marches On!

Let's just say that it has been an interesting week.

Ric and I went to Outback Steakhouse for his B-Day dinner celebration...very "soft drink only" as mentioned in the last post. I felt like a loser since it was his birthday and he was paying for my dinner. How wrong.

I finally started feeling better about this job despite the fact that last Friday they fired Karen, the former real estate broker who really, actually, needed to be let go since I don't think she had a clue of what she was doing. I was getting the hang of things and working hard to book clients. My sales skills were perfect for this kind of sale and was booking left and right.

(Yet...I did the math and even at the rate I was going which I felt was more than sufficient even for a veteran...I was only looking to make about an average of $9.00 an hour. The wage of my abandoned Convergys job which I won't be eligible for again until May.)

Went to the company Recognition Dinner held at the Lake Mary Marriot's Bistro 450 Restaurant. Free steak dinner with wine...alright! The awards given out were decidedly lopsided. Though about 20 sales reps were there, only 3 got recognition. They got free goodies, including free cruises for their superior sales over the past year. But get this...they didn't get the prizes from the company...they got them from the cruise line! When we were told free cruises may be awarded, I always thought the company would pay (at net, of course) for your cruise as an award from the Company to You for your service. But it actually is awarded from the cruiseline to the top salesperson of their line in the company. Well, duh, I would expect they do this for every large travel agency. I mean, it's no big cost to them! What's one measly, probably inside cabin. Sheesh! And absolutely no recognition for anyone else. Not even thanks (other than that they got to be there and got to eat free).

Caught a bit of a sniffle on Tuesday which manifested itself into a full head cold by the next day and by Thursday I felt too ill to go in. Could I have suffered it out and dragged myself in?...Yeah, I guess, but, well, you know me.

When I called in to Carol (remember...the "placate" queen?), she stated that she was sorry to hear this because she was meeting with Pat and Tifni and deciding on who would not be staying with the company.

When I went in today, no surprise, I couldn't log into the system from my computer, and was called into the conference room where I was, in short, fired.

So today, I am in the unemployed category once again. A common situation of this adventure I call my "Koyaanisqatsi". (Wish that was a legal SCRABBLE word, it would be worth a lot of points!)

I feel like I've been kissed on the cheek by Heidi Klum and told..."Auf Veidesen!"

Monday, February 06, 2006

This Is The Dawning of The Age Of Aquarius...


Well, we are in a new era...

The Age of the Pod People.

Apparently they have found a way to neutralize one of the biggest alkies in North America for good.

Saturday was Ric's birthday. (Aside from the 25th anniversary significance...isn't this ironic...what a coincidence!)

Plus, the next day, yesterday, was Super Bowl Sunday.

This is like a planetary alignment in favor of compelling Ric to abandon his futile sober ways and come back to the family of "Coors Light", "Tucher" and "Petron Margharitas".

But...alas...the good Pod Person he is...he stayed the "straight and narrow" course.

In the ways concerning this home's peace and quiet...this has been an obvious boon. But in the "having a drinking buddy to party with", this has been a definate downer.

I suppose it's all good though.

Ric says that once his probation is over in early 2007, he is planning on a "blow out" celebration like Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

Hey...I'm all for it!

Friday, February 03, 2006

FLASHBACK: A Special 25th Anniversary FLASHBACK

February 4, 1981

This is a date that, for me, will always live in infamy.
This is the day I achieved an epiphany defining who I was and am to this day.

On this day, I finally “came out” to myself, the first step in the rocky road to sexual and lifestyle self-realization and expression.

In subsequent months, mainly due to how events went as an off-shoot to this day’s event, I tried to reconfigure my urges

John and I were two somewhat nerdy but otherwise “normal” best friends.
We walked to school together instead of taking the school bus since the bus was filled with assholes we both hated.
This allowed us to set out early enough each morning to allow a stop at the Dunkin Donuts near the high school on Cumberland Hill Road.

John would always order a chocolate chip muffin with butter and a large chocolate milk, I would order a coffee roll, heated, with a small OJ and black coffee. (Mind you, you’d think we would be heffers eating this many calories every morning but we were both fit, I was average build and John was skinny)

We were in many of the same classes together, as well as electives which we picked ourselves in order to be together. Mrs. Scanlon’s Humanities and Allied Arts, Drama Club, Science Club, Chess Club and Junior Achievement.

Junior Achievement was an evening only extra-curricular activity not run by the school, but by the JA Orginization.

It still survives today but I don’t think in the same way as it did then. Back in the early 80’s, kids (high schoolers: average age 15-18) got together with their adult corporate sponsor advisors and really created working companies that really did produce products or services. The challenge was to make the most profit for the shareholders and win oodles of prizes and awards.

On this night John, the Vice President of Marketing for our JA company and I, the President, were slated to make a sales presentation to our “friendly competitor” JA company “Clippers Products” (or something like that).
We were trying to get the company to buy our personalized silkscreen t-shirt products that read “I’m An Achiever!” with the JA logo to the side across the chest.

We got a ride from our friend Renault who was in the Clippers company. His mom drove. (Neither John or I had licences yet)

The Clippers held their meetings at their corporate sponsor’s headquarters...the high-security, sprawling campus of the CVS Corporation world headquarters. Yes, CVS Pharmacy, that CVS.

We had to wait to get into the inner rooms of the main building to make our presentation; the security guard had to get approval from the JA advisor inside before we could be let in. So, we waited in the lobby.
John and I sat together on the sectional sofa in the lounge.

Suddenly, without warning, he giggled and covered his crotch with a magazine from the coffee table.
I thought it might be something funny in the magazine so I pulled it from him...he had an obvious boner trying to poke through his khakis.

Immediately, I sprange one too.

We stared at each other...

He got up and asked the guard if he could go to the restoom...I immediately followed.

In the stall of the mens room, we pulled each others pants down and grasped each others cocks.

I attempted to kiss John on the mouth but he gently, but firmly, pushed my head down south...past his neck, past his smooth chest, past his flat stomach, to his throbbing dick.

But before I attempted to engulf his dick in one fell swoop, I looked up to him and honestly said...”I Love You”.
This freaked him out and he immediately pulled up his pants and left the restroom.

We met later just before the presentation...got through it (which we considered successful since we sold many T-shirts) and got back into the car on the ride home.

It was February in a cheap car in New England so, not unusually, we were sitting in the back seat of the car with a big afghan over us to keep us warm.

Then John silently, without even looking at me, reached under the blanket to my crotch and began to squeeze. And, of course, I returned the favor.

Later that night as I lie in bed I could not make heads or tails of the situation but the more positive side of me believed that maybe...just maybe we could be lovers forever!!

The next day at lunch in school, John made clear that we were never to speak of the this again. I was crushed. Was he rejecting me??

But, within a week or two, we were at it again and we would continue with this odd lust/anxst relationship for quite a few months more.

Though the relationship with John never worked out, I count him as my cherry busting. Though we never actually “fucked” in this year, I consider the sexual encounters that we did have soon after this event as my first...thus, to this day, I consider, John as my first love with whom I popped my cherry.