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|g21 #314: THE TRAVELER
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MEET THE G-CREW! These are the people behind this jam-band every week.
NEW ORLEANS - Like a shark, I must keep moving forward or I die.
By the time you read this, I shall have moved again. Across town, rather than across country. I'm moving back toward the French Quarter. (Fate & Destiny, Destiny & Fate...) As much as I loved the tranquility of Bayou St. John, in what we call Mid-city here in Nawlins, I couldn't stand the cacophony of my apartment. I guess I wasn't' cut out to live in a dog house. Sweep and mop today, the shag is everywhere tomorrow. Dogs just smell after a long walk in the Nawlins heat...
And let's be clear about something: When the dogs in a household live inside, out-number the humans, sit in the chairs and take food a human is eating out of the human hand, there is something excessive going on. It's not a laughing matter, any longer. It's pathological.
I am moving back to the Quarter until I can save enough pennies to get a place of my own. Couch-surfing again. A spirit of the air, again.
That seems suitable for the ephemeral Internet life I lead. I am more "real" here than anywhere else, even if I have to seek my connection time in small doses and plan the rest of my life around those small windows of opportunity.
What have I been thinking lately? Let's look back for a moment:
28 May, 2002 - There are times when I seek an awful revenge. We've discussed that. It came this way again.
Most recent example: Why do I not talk about my home life much anymore? I tend to be political. Today came the denouement of a tale I've been waiting to unfold. Carlos told me, off-handedly, that the electric bill had doubled and I need to give him a sum of money. I said, okay, waiting to see the bill (something I've always required). I never did. So I was thinking that a hundred percent increase in charges, even with using the AC a bit, seemed inordinate. It made no sense in a city notorious for its heat. How could people live?
I was curious to see how this would be finessed. This led to an embarrassing (for him) admission. (You suspected that, right?) It seems I was being charged again for the bill I had paid the previous month, for whatever reasons he might have had, and he expected me not to notice.
Being me, I allowed him to dance around the discrepancy, and still gave him the sum he requested. I did point out that I was paying money for nothing. He pretended (a new finesse?) that it was nothing and went on his way.
Hang around, Kids. It does get better ... When he returns from his jaunt, wherever, he asks if I would like to sweep or mop the house. Then says he wants to sweep. (Why ask? You already decided to leave the tougher job for me. What if I had other plans?)
Already upset about the attempted deception, I decided it was time for me to leave. I went to the bar. It gave me a chance to chill and talk with people I didn't live with, to get over being pissed off.
Then, I came home and mopped the house and sat down to be with you. I can always count on you.
It doesn't matter if you're honorable or not, in that sense, because your lack of honor doesn't immediately impact my bank account. And that's a good thing.
Most of your responses, in our virtuall conversation, have been intelligent, too. It's wonderful to know that you have something on your mind besides pot and PlayStation. (NOT that I'm saying that's all I hear about here, of course.)
I only have one more month of this, one way or the other. That's the best I can say today.
I long for quiet like a man in the desert longs for water.
We all have these kind of circumstances in our lives, don't we? Economic necessities that are trying. Roommates are at the top of that list. "Why am I forced to listen to the music you want to hear right now?"
That would have been tolerable. I have a door. I can close it --- EXCEPT we live in a shotgun. He comes charging through my room while I am writing this and turns on the television on the other side! He doesn't seem to notice that he's got music blaring to my left and the television blaring to my right (there's no door on that side.) I pack My Darling into my bag and leave the house. It's actually quieter in the bar.
I think I'm at the point of telling my landlord it's 1 June, rather than 1 July for me. I can't take this.
You could take from the foregoing, and my other roommate sagas, that I'm like Felix Unger: too picky. I think any number of my bosses, including the current one, is right: too nice.
I should probably just SCREAM: "ENOUGH!"
Instead, I go into payback mode. You've heard about that one before: the simmering steam where I make plans.
I'm planning right now.
I notified the landlord that I would not be staying beyond the first of June. I planned to talk to Carlos about it, as well. But PlayStation and other things important to him kept occupying the rapidly passing time.
It always amazed me that I would buy and cook so much food and eat so little of it. I guess I was never hungry enough.
So I got up on the first and simply started packing.
Carlos had to show that he was "passionate", as he puts it. He ranted and started throwing my belongings out the front door --- strategically not doing so with certain items of furniture and the digital cordless phone Barbara and Rich gave me for my birthday. (I managed to "remind" him that "our" phone was actually my phone and managed to retrieve that, at least.)
Now this is just my opinion, but:
It's the type of violent behavior that could be called "bridge-burning". Any reaction to this kind of machismo just might be considered a reasoned response.
- This kind of behavior - throwing someone else's, another adult's, property onto the street - seems a bit excessive.
- It's the way someone (juvenile) might treat a cheating lover, or
- That someone with actual property rights -- like an actual landlord -- could be construed as having a right to do, but not a co-tenant...
- ... at least not one who is mentally balanced.
Again, that's just my opinion...
I waited on the street corner until I could find someone nearby with a phone to call for a ride out of Bayou St. John. I managed to find a neighbor eventually.
Before all of this happened, I wrote the following e-mail letter to my friends in California:I've been giving it a great deal of thought (you know how I can worry about every little thing) and I've decided to let you all know that I shan't be returning to Cali on 30 June as I'd originally planned.
The reasons for this are straight-forward enough, though they robbed me of a good deal of sleep over the last few weeks.
1 - Where would I land?
Yes, I know any of you wouldn't mind having me crash with you for a couple of nights. But what would I do after that? Terry has graciously (and again) offered his spare room up in Sebastopol. But that is so far out of the mainstream of the Bay Area, with its hours-long commute journeys, that finding a new job or place would soon become frustrating, irritating, untenable.
2 - Why else not Sebastopol? Well, the summers are as sultry as they are here in New Orleans, without the many charms of close proximity to a thriving night-life and exotic people or free music almost anywhere you spit. I'd also end of working pick-up construction jobs, just as I'm doing in New Orleans anyway. What would be the real change, beyond seeing the one or two old friends I have remaining in that area.
3 - Where would I live? What city?
I have no ready answer for that. Yours is among the most expensive states around. I'd like to be in the Bay Area, again of course. But that begs the question:
4 - What would I do for work?
Now there's a real rub! I haven't the foggiest. I could keep working the ŒNet, of course. But that's catch-as-catch can. I have the background and skills for that Technology Hub of yours, but am long-in-the-tooth and would be competing with kids with higher skill-sets who would always work for less and appear to have more enthusiasm, energy and lack of eccentricity.
So, I've concluded that the reason I've been losing sleep is that without adequate answers to these questions, I'd be commencing on an enterprise doomed to abject failure.
It is not yet the time.
None of you, of course, is as disappointed about this delay as I am. I don't "fit" Nawlins, that's for damned sure. But, being broke as usual, do I fit California, either? Probably not.
Let's see where things go from here.
Ideas and suggestions always welcomed.
Fate & Destiny, Destiny & FateSo I am back at square one after being in New Orleans for nearly a year. I need to find a new job, but -- for now -- I have to limit the search to something that doesn't entail my mornings, which I still must reserve for the students in Yugoslavia. As soon as the course is over, I'll have a lot more lattitude than I do now.
I can couch surf through the middle of the month, but by then I have to have a next place to go and be.
I am completely at the mercy of the gods and spirits that inhabit this semi-tropical retreat. This time, I have to find a way to make New Orleans "work for me," as Matt might put it.
"Establish a new beach-head," is the advice I get. It makes it sound like I am landing at Normandy. It feels about the same, too.
Since leaving Casa de Caca, my Internet access has been limited, one way or another, but right now I only have time for my classes in Yugoslavia.
E-mail, surfing, all the other activities that depend upon being connected, are out of the question until I can again afford to go to an Internet Cafe. There's one I know about on Toulouse that I hear doesn't charge too much per hour. I'm looking around now for a job I can do at night, since my class schedule intrudes on the prime time of the day.
From what I hear, in the Garden District, there are stilll a few places you can rent on a weekly basis. The go for $15/night -- which is the equivalent of what you'd pay for a "real" rental --- but a good stopgap when you are trying to rebuild your nest-egg.
After being out in the neighborhoods, where the streets are quiet even if one's personal house is not, being actually in the French Quarter is a decidedly different experience. People come to this part of town to party, both locals and out-of-towners. The volume level is higher and the energy is stranger.
THINGS I WANT THIS WEEK1. To be the best "distance learning" instructor I can be.
2. Finding new work.
3. Knowing what's next on the long and winding road.
Thanks for coming back this week.
"Work like you don't need the money,
"Love like you've never been hurt,
"Dance like no one is watching..."
Rod was a columnist for the Andover News Network, where he wrote over two hundred articles on web design and development issues. He was also principal writer and Editor for IT Manager's Journal, where he reviewed technology issues weekly, producing 383 editorials. He became the Managing Editor for Electronic Mail/Newsletter Publications at Andover.net at the end of February, 2000, and left in September of the same year. He was a contributing writer for ACCESS magazine, which appeared both on- and offline for 10 million readers in 100 newspapers like the San Francisco Chronicle, New York Post, Boston Herald, Austin American-Statesman, Denver Post and Orlando Sentinel, among others. Rod was the US reporter for Silicon.com, a division of Network Multimedia Television in London, UK, reaching 3.5 million European readers, until May, 2001.
This year he worked as Assistant to the General Manager of a Big Easy company that does restaurants and nightclubs. (Think: The Boy.) Oh yeah, Rod's Day Job is working construction. Mostly renovations of old New Orleans structures, houses and now a bar. Sometimes he designs Web sites for other people so that he can get his creative juices flowing the way he can't at a staid publication like this one. And he's the instructor in Editing for Internet Publications at the Novi Sad School of Journalism in Yugoslavia. In his spare time, he chases women.
Rod lives in New Orleans, Louisiana, right now. He wants out so bad he can taste it. He wants to live somewhere civilized when he grows up. Wish him Luck.
He continues to be committed to integrity,
chastity and a dose of humility.
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