The January Project 2006

Saturday, December 31, 2005

(written 01.02.06--1:16 a.m.)

apple sauce and garlic knots for dinner

(written 01.03.06--2:56 a.m.)

roommate home after holiday away
yells hi from the door, doesn't walk to my room.

(written 01.04.06--1:33 a.m.)

help my 12-year-old niece michelle with her history homework
my sister says i'm so good with kids, says i should teach,
tell her i'd teach high school except i'd like the girls too much

(written 01.05.06--1:31 a.m.)

my 14-year-old niece to live with my parents
to ease the burden on my sister-in-law
who went into rehab last week
afraid she'd try booze and pills again, this time succeed.

(written 01.06.06--10:30 p.m.)

start cracking jokes
to my therapist
but i'm serious
iam kind of over this
i am

01.06.06--10:35 p.m.

my sleep patterns
are starting to catch up with me,
in bed at 6 a.m.
and awake at noon
then a 7 o'clock inadvertent nap
before 3 a.m. to sports radio sleep

(written 01.08.06--12:39 p.m.)

i know someone who
keeps trying to kill themselves
they've made three attempts so far
but if they wanted to die
they'd be dead already
it seems like a big cry for

(written 01.09.06--4:12 p.m.)

now that my brother's
family troubles
have escalated
suddenly i receive unsolicited calls from him
where we talk each time
for longer then we would normally talk in a year,
and if call waiting comes
he takes the call but really does call back

(written 01.10.06--11:48 p.m.)

went into the fridge for breakfast
and wrapped in foil, forgotten about
there were two cold slices of pizza
leftover from nathaniel's pie
that he got the day before when he came over
to watch the giants' playoff game,
it was a small pie, six slices, he ate two,
and he gave me the rest, two for lunch and two for now,
thank you nathaniel, thank you so very much.

(written 01.12.06--2:43 a.m.)

out of the apartment i go
to run some errands
before going back inside
pay my rent
pick up some meds
make a deposit to cover the rent check
then some light food shopping
before back inside,
to bean and corn salsa, utz tortilla chips,
two-liter hawaiian punch, and gilmore girls

(written 01.12.06--3:00 a.m.)

breakfast time today
was it grape nuts, raisins, and fat free plain yogurt,
or corn puffs, raisins, and skim milk,
or seven grain toast with natural peanut butter or cottage cheese.
and then i saw the dozen extra large eggs, again,
unopened for two weeks.
but yesterday i bought butter spray,
so i cracked three eggs open and poured a little milk in,
and soon i had scrambled eggs with ketchup, and some seven grain toast,
the eggs tasted so good,
so did my ketchup-covered pointer.

(written 01.13.06--8:38 p.m.)

we moved to long island from brooklyn when i was almost 10
a year later, in junior high, i started playing street hockey.
a rangers fan, i bought a replica team jersey
and had beck put on the back
for their big defenseman barry beck.
i started to play goalie and picked up a goalie stick,
a white helmet that i hobby-painted red, white, and blue
as best i could to look like rangers' goalie john davidson's mask.
i used my ken "hawk" harrelson first baseman's mitt as my glove,
but a blocker was too expensive for my folks.
so my dad took cardboard, folded it in many rectangle layers,
covered it with brown moving tape, and then taped a work glove to the back.

(written 01.14.06--10:40 p.m.)

looking for a new roommate
it's friends and craig's list i use
gotten a hundred plus replies to my listing
i don't know these people
so i use little things from their replies to narrow down.
like trashing the guy who said that he was quiet and mellow,
but his email address was xxpartyboy.
or deleting the people who don't read my ad
and then ask me questions whose answers they had
many ask what i'm looking for in a roommate,
but i can't give my real reply, because it looks bad in print,
but when they get here i'll say,
"one who pays the rent on time, and doesn't kill me while i sleep."

(written 01.15.06--8:56 p.m.)

i took a look around
saw what had to be done
before tuesday noon
when the first one would come to look at the room for rent
which my roommate keeps perfectly clean
but in the kitchen
i have dishes to do
and newspapers in need of recycling
and large plastic bags from my laundromat
on the floor and filled with clean clothes
that have to be put away,
and the futon needs all of the mail and meds off of it
and i'll do it on monday,
when my cleaning lady comes.

(written 01.17.06--1:49 a.m.)

middle of the second quarter of the steelers- colts game and i call my friend philip
who was my big brother's friend before we became friends.
philip's been a pittsburgh sports fan his whole life,
well, not the penguins, but the pirates and the steelers.
we even took a trip to pittsburgh six years ago
where we saw a game at three rivers stadium
and used the press passes i got us to step on the turf,
see the players up close, and watch the game from the press box,
with all the popcorn and soda we wanted,
and a chance encounter with "we are family" pirates manager chuck tanner.
so i call philip and he screens it like he does all calls
as i yell through his machine "pick up the phone asshole,"
and he yells at me "don't tell me what's happening in the game, i'm not watching it."
and after a minute i remembered that he's been doing this for awhile,
so i made sure not to tell him that the steelers were dominating the game so far.

(written 01.17.06--11:47 p.m.)

so the cleaning lady
came today
my alarm going off at 8:50
and me snoozing it for a half an hour
until i heard my doorbell
so i threw my sleepy undershirt on
and went to the door
and then allah started to clean
just like she has before.
it's been almost eight years now
since my friend basi referred her
almost eight years since basi kissed me that one time,
almost eight years since she had a pair of silk shorts and a t-shirt on
and splayed her legs on the floor while she played her bass
that was a good time, that june of ’98,
that was a very good time.

(written 01.18.06--9:45 p.m.)

five people coming to look at the room for rent today
first one set for noon
so last night i set the alarm for 10:30
then i got up and showered and got dressed
threw my garbage away and made my bed
it was 10 minutes to 12
and i didn't want to mess up the kitchen
so i didn't eat, thought i'd wait ’til they left
so 40 minutes of drinking lemon-water should work.
10 minutes after 12 and she's not here yet
so i tell my roommate
don’t these people know
that I don't know them and every little thing counts
and then my phone rings, she's at work a meeting ran late,
we reschedule for thursday noon
i won't get to bed so late
so i can eat breakfast and cleanup before she arrives.

(written 01.19.06--11:07 p.m.)

went to the fridge this morning
looking for some breakfast food
maybe toast with cottage cheese
or natural peanut butter
or plain fat free yogurt,
with grape nuts and raisins
and there on the second shelf
sat a large aluminum mixing bowl
filled with a prepared box of diet strawberry jell-o
and i so wanted to have this for breakfast
this large silver bowl filled with jell-o
that i made last night when i wanted something sweet
a four-hour wait until jell-o goodness
so i went to the fridge this morning
looking for some breakfast food
wound up having plain fat free yogurt,
with grape nuts and raisins,
and then ate the jell-o slowly during the gilmore girls that evening.

(written 01.20.06--11:24 p.m.)

first time outside in a week
food i wanna eat
is running low
so i leave for therapy extra early
grab the ny press
grab the voice
grab the villager
grab the onion
i go to my ray's pizza
pick a slice of sicilian
over a regular mushroom one
get it to go
but just on a plate, not in a bag
and get a cup of water, too
so i take a bite at the counter
and end up eating the whole slice there
do some light shopping at the gristede's
so when i leave therapy
i can head straight home and catch gilmore girls.

(written 01.21.06--7:53 p.m.)

i left the house again, two days in a row
first time long
but it's how i lead it you know
just enough to get by, not blow
my cable company has to be paid no later than sunday
which is the reason this whole going out venture began
and i had one unemployment check in my apartment
so i made out the deposit slip
and hoped this week's check would be in the mailbox
it was, so i deposited the two checks as cash
(because they're from the state)
then hit the hardware store for a new torch lamp bulb
then the drug store for some more lithium
and a bunch more produce because I’m slightly flush,
grapes are back down to $2.99/lb.,
so i pick up about that much,
a bag of granny smith apples,
some navel oranges, a bunch of celery,
a couple of cucumbers, a bag of small carrots, and a red onion
(the plum tomatoes were way too ripe).

(written 01.22.06--8:15 p.m.)

it's saturday
brian's running late
but they all do.
it's 12:35
and itell my roommate
i don't care if he comes
i'm not showing him the room.
what happened brian
where were you,
i thought we'd talk about how you used to
play the cello in a rock band
about your girlfriend studying at juliard
or where in suffolk county you were living.
i don’t quite get it
these people who don’t show
without a phone call,
is that how they were raised
i sure hope that isn’t so.
but the 4:30, he never shows,
what happened jeff, where did u go.

(written 01.23.06--9:00 p.m.)

(written 01.23.06--9:00 p.m.)

an ap story i saw on 1010wins' home page
said this was the seventh and last season
of the west wing
it's not something that i didn't foresee
but all the same i am not happy

in sports playoffs
i've been rooting the past five years or so
for the teams that have never won before
so this year in the super bowl
i'm behind the seahawks
0 for their first 29 seasons,
this their 30th

decided that the august classic albums show
should become a boog 15th anniversary event,
and feature an album from that year, 1991.
so I go through the choices from last night’s research,
u2-achtung baby, rem-out of time, and the blake babies-rosy jack world ep,
and decide that the blake babies are the band
that means the most to me and the press,
but i want to do more then a five-song, two covers ep,
so i decide to do their unknown classic, sunburn,
which isn’t unkown to most of the musicians.

(written 01.24.06--7:59 p.m.)

this is what happens when you're an unemployed, basically shut-in
you watch tv all day, while surfing the internet
reading that days’ newspapers
and news, sports, and gossip headlines,
the half dozen or so blogs you check three times a day
and from the time i wake, somewhere in the 10-noon span,
until primetime begins at eight o'clock
i know what i want to watch.
tnt from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.,
which is back-to-back er's
and back-to-back judging amy's,
then abc family channel at 2 p.m.
for back-to-back boy meets worlds,
then fx at 3 p.m.
for back-to-back spin cities
and abc family from 4 p.m.-6 p.m.
for back-to-back grounded for lifes and a gilmore girls episode,
(and from 1 p.m.-6:20 p.m. flipping back and forth to
the mike and the mad dog radio simulcast on the yes network)
espn news at six for sports talk shows
around the horn and pardon the interruption
and then sometimes smallville at seven on abc family channel,
though those repeats I don’t much like repeating

(written 01.25.06--4:27 p.m.)

so i try to group the apartment viewing appointments
as close together as i can
because i only make my bed
when the people are coming by
and i usually sit on my bed all day long
surfing and working on my computer all day long
but i can't do that while the bed is made
it would crinkle it up
and while waiting for the people
i have to put on pants
and shoes and a polo shirt, too,
but i can't wait to get back into my
sleepy undershirt and shorts
but not yet
and i stay out of the kitchen
so i don't mess it up
and grab something simple,
like a granny smith apple or a cucumber
and wait for my 3:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
and the three o’clock arrives, right on time,
and the banter is swell, mighty fine,
he looks around a couple of times
and we say we’re game
I think I’ve found my new roommate, I think I have

(written 01.28.06--12:51 a.m.)

i learned from the first time
that i used craig's list to find a roommate
that once someone says they want the room
to say yes as quick as possible.

the first time
there was this girl who really wanted the room
but she was one of the first people who i'd seen.
so i waited a few days and a few more people
before i called her and said i'd like her to move in.
she was game, very excited,
and we set up for her to come by the next day,
sign a lease and give me dough, too.
but then she didn't show,
or return my voicemail,
and then the next day i got her on her cell,
she apologized
said she'd found a place closer to her boyfriend

so after seeing five people this time
the sixth one seemed liked he’d be a good roommate
so i called him the next day
and asked if he’d be into moving in,
he said he would,
and now i have a new roommate.

(written 01.28.06--1:14 a.m.)

all week
they'd been advertising
that on the 100th episode of smallville
that someone close to clark would die
and in the beginning
lana's car gets hit by a bus
and so u figure that that's that
but then clark uses his powers
gets permission to relive the day over
so this time he doesn't tell lana of his powers
but she's still on course to get hit by that bus
until he holds its rear bumper
allowing her car to pass.

so all is ok, lana lives.
and then the family's back at the kent farm.
and all of a sudden
clark's father jonathan
has a massive heart attack

that'show it is sometime.

my dad's closing in
on 76
closer to dead
than alive

(written 01.28.06--7:33 p.m.)

so i get up at eight this morning
to be out in 30 minutes
because i have to go to my doctor's office
to see the phlebotomist
so they can check my lithium levels
before i see my psychopharmacologist next week.

and once my blood has been taken and labeled
i walk upstairs a flight
to see my doctor
to do something about this cold that's caught me.
he's not in,
but i'm called right in to see an associate
she check's my ears,
my breathing,
and my blood pressure,
then asks about the color of my phlegm,
it's green and a bit yellow i tell her.

then she says have you ever taken a drug called zithromax
i tell her i have,
not saying it's my most favorite, magical drug,
and she writes me the scrip,
and i say goodbye,
a happier
soon to be healthier

01.28.06—7:50 p.m.

got up today just before noon,
much earlier than i wanted to
because i was up late last night
having fun with a friend
for the first time in a long while

and then i did what i do when i’m up past two
flip through my channel directory
and invariably i end up at nick or tvland
which are always nice places to be,
so after roseanne and a miami vice
(the well-known “smuggler’s blues” episode,
named after ex-eagle glen frey’s song of the same name,
and starring frey as a pilot who offered his services,
and his plane, for hire)
then a happy days
before a brady bunch then to sleep for 5:30.

and then i got up today just before noon,
much earlier than i wanted to,
and then i peed third morning pee
and i made 64 ounces of caffeine and sugar free iced tea
put the frozen loaf of bread on the counter
grabbed a granny smith apple
for my soon lithium and friends belly
and then propped my pillows up on my bed
placed my now on powerbook upon my bed
and turned the tv on to another miami vice on tvland.

(written 01.30.06--8:09 p.m.)

mike piazza played his first game as a met on a saturday
at home
against milwaukee
eight years ago this coming may.

it was two months after my brother-in-law and i
were going to opening day
and talking,
like we always talked when we went to met games together,
about splitting a sunday plan,
but this time we went in to the ticket office
sat down with an agent there,
who asked where we wanted the tickets,
and i said what i had heard my dad say for so many mets games,
"mezzanine, behind home plate, under the overhang,"
and my brother-in-law gave her his amex,
and just like that,
we had a sunday plan.

and so,
for that second game of mike piazza's career as a met,
my brother-in-law and i had our sunday plan tickets,
mezzanine, behind home plate, under the overhang,
but i wasn't there
because some games we went together
and others we went with others,
and this was one of those others games.
my brother-in-law said it was deafening that afternoon at shea,

(written 01.31.06--11:20 a.m.)

i have to leave my home today
go to the bank today
deposit a check from the new roomie
so it’ll clear tomorrow
and i can pay the mets what i owe for my sunday plan

so i put on some outside clothes
the same outfit i’ve worn for 10 days or so
when i’ve gone on an errands run
or a trip to my therapist
(why compound all of this
with more laundry)

and i take w.26th st. to my commerce bank
i think of my mom
and extend my uncovered right hand
to touch the orange estelle
on the green awning for estelle irrigation
’cause she’s my torah
and kiss my fingertips
as i head toward the giant martha stewart billboard
outside where her new tv show is filmed.

after the bank
head to gristede’s
to do the lightest shopping ever
all i have is my red hippie change purse
with $2.82 in small coins
i grab two-liters of hawaiian punch and diet rite orange
put 35¢ on my debit card to make up the difference.

01.31.06--11:12 p.m.

new roomie's check cleared
i fax mets my credit card info
to pay off sunday plan
call up 10 minutes later to see that it was received
and ask the ticket agent
when will individual seats go on sale
(so i can get opening day tix--
i had a dream the other day
that i hadn't paid for my sunday plan on time,
and so wasn't eligible to buy single-game tickets
the week before they went on sale to the general public
and so i wasn't able to go to opening day.
i woke up as though it were more real
than any dream i've ever had,
it took me a minute to feel okay.),
and when will they be announcing the promotions schedule
(so i can sell tickets to jordan and tom
without giving away jewish day,
or holding onto some kids day
that jordan's son james would've dug).
my cousin allan called me on my birthday last month
we said we needed to get together more often
so i said lets make plans to see each other by the end of january
that’s so far away he said
trust me, i told him, the end of january
yesterday i received an email from him
with the subject line
happy january 30
today he picked me up in his car
and we drove crosstown for kosher indian.