“I began to like New York, the racy, adventurous feel of it at night and the satisfaction that the constant flicker of men and women and machines gives to the restless eye.” -The Great Gatsby
I cried reading this article about two WTC survivors. The Times’ magazine piece What Makes A Suicide Bomber was pretty intense, too, not in a crying sort of way, but in a “sh*t, this is even more problematic than I thought” sort of way. Long, but worth the read.
First day at my new desk was a success. Didn’t fall out of the chair or nothin’. It’s my sixth desk at O2, and I imagine that some would find that annoying, but it fits right into my short attention span. I’m glad for the change of scenery. Seems like it will be fun talking to Anthony about our websites all day, too. Maybe we’ll get it out of our systems during the day so we don’t get hassled by our friends for talking about weblogs at restaurants.
I felt busier today than I have been in a while, which is cool. Glad to have some stuff I can dig into. I’m feeling much better about life in general too, this week. Must have been that time of the month…
Cool. I added meta tags to my site and it’s now the first Google result for “Luke Melia”. Kudos to Anthony for the idea.
I love this weekend of the year. The extra hour is such a sweet gift.
For me, it’s an especially gratefully received offer. I’ve been staying up so late. There always is something else to read, write, learn, or tweak. Going to bed without being utterly exhausted is a feeling I can dimy remeber. It’s a bad habit that puts a burden on my mid-day energy level, and wrecks any hopes of morning trips to the gym. I’m going to try improve it. Not sure how yet, though.
I spent yesterday on Long Island celebrating my sister Isabella’s birthday. (Her fourteenth, I think.) It was great to be around their attitudes. The energy they invest in spending time with friends and family, hanging out doing nothing, is something that I don’t often feel during the week. Dave Sibek was over with a beautiful acoustic guitar. Monica and I played a little and we all sang Beatles song together. As usual, the food never stopped. Lentil soup, olive- artichoke salad, bread from Amy’s (my contribution), lemon shrimp salad, green salad, linguine with broccoli rabe, stuffed baked apples, chocolate-walnut pie, and pumpkin pie.
After the Yankee game went sour, Monica set me in a chair in the kitchen and “fixed” my self-administered haircut. We had a funny exchange in which she said she might want to be a haircutter when she grows up. I mentioned that I didn’t think it paid too well. In reply, she pointed out that if she became the best haircutter and cut hair for the president or celebrities she would make a lot. That girl is smart!
I think she improved the back of my head, but did some new damage up top.
My attitude about work is on the upswing. I’m going to take steps to shift back into some more challenging technology work, replacing the challenge of managing people that I had been dealing with. I have a feeling it’s the best thing.
Volleyball this afternoon. Looks nice but cold out there. I’d best start putting on some layers. Later.
Shadowy puddles reflect emotions
and rainstorms drown some sorrow.
Oceans beg for salty night tears
and the water shapes my years.
I wrap a towel around my mind
to keep the wind’s currents out.
Gusts whistle and stoke my fears
and the wind shapes my years.
Stop and drop and roll about.
Look up, an explosion in the air.
I light a pipe and drink some beers
and the fire shapes my years.
My knees are stained
and mud is all over my smiling face.
I’m a plant, a rock, a boy with dirty ears,
and the earth shapes my years.
When in doubt, talk to Mom. I think I ought to have that tatooed above my belly button.
Mom was the one to call me. She wanted to talk through some business issues. I’m honored that he thinks my advice and perspective is worthwhile. And I think we made good progress on that front. She’s in a tough situation with business partners, but I think it may have a silverlining. Let’s hope.
I told her how I’ve been feeling of late. Pretty down, that is. I could practically feel the love oozing through the holes in the telephone earpiece. Made me feel a bit better. I think a big piece of the current puzzle is trying to put everything in perspective. What’s actually small stuff is looming large and somewhere there’s large stuff that matters that’s getting lost in the periphery.
I finished Choke, by Chuck Palahniuk, tonight. Kris lent it to me. It was a fast read, thankfully. Parts of it were so nasty that if the book had another hundred pages on it, I’d probably would’ve shut it and not finished. It’s good for stimulating your thoughts about addiction, if you’re in the mood to think about that. And his writing style is unusual, mostly engaging, sometimes annoying — the kind of literary “techniques” you’d get your grade knocked down for in a high school essay. It’s safe to say that Choke won’t be on my top 10 list, but it did at least remind me how much I love having a book to read. Next up is The Great Gatsby, which I feel like I should have read ages ago…
It’s been a while, and what a while it’s been. Last week was definitely my most down week in recent memory. A lot of different things caught up with me. Terrorism, war, layoffs, sense of purpose and connectedness… I know that I showed it and had a bunch of different friends ask after me. Thank you for that.
In the midst of that difficulty, I took shears and a shaver to my hair and took most of it off (very short). In front of a mirror. At 3 AM. Myself.
It was strangely therapeutic and a very primal feeling. I’ve had a few requests to go the next step and shave my head. I’m considering it, but not until I get back to the gym more regularly. If I have no hair, I want to be buff. I’m not sure why — just seems like the right thing to do.
There are more anthrax deaths and still, the Yankees trounced the Mariners and Teams Foo and Bar got trounced. Life goes on under attack. Weird. But what else is it supposed to do? Stop?
Guess that’s about it. Feeling somewhat uninspired at work, with the load balancer being the only thing capturing my technical imagination. At home, though, I’ve been messing around with the mp3 format’s ID3 tags, and that’s interesting. Frustrating for the inconsistent implementations I’ve found so far, but interesting. Thinking about planning a trip, too! Got to go to work. Peace.
Brad headed home today. His mom was after him to find a job here in New York so he could be closer to home. That would be cool. It was great to have someone to skate fearlessly with. I don’t think he’ll go for it, though. California living has got to be mighty tough to give up.
My sniffles and sneezes have turned to a sore throat, which I hope will be gone when I wake up in the morning. Want to feel good for volleyball practice tomorrow night. I’ve been sort of feeling like I’m always looking forward to the next volleyball game, more so than being where I am or spending time with people. I think I have such a sense of noticeable progress and accomplishment there that’s missing elsewhere.
Now, relationships aren’t supposed to be about accomplishment but I’ve been feeling particularly disconnected from other people lately. Part of it may be a subconscious protective reaction to layoffs at work, but another part is probably just cyclical. It’s the same feeling I get once a year or so, usually not until the winter though. I remember one winter explaining to Meeta that nobody really understands me. In a week or so I decided that was fine. Another week, I realized that some people do.
I used to spend most of my social time with people that I work with. Now it’s starting to look like it will be socializing mostly with people I used to work with. Somehow, that seems like an improvement. I’m not sure why.
April and Kent were up from Virginia. Sake-drinking Jen and non-sake-drinking Jane joined us for sushi at Jelloado, and a friend of Jen’s who didn’t seem to smile, and his girlfriend who thankfully did. Later, at Ike, we helped Jeanhee and her sexy black boots celebrate her birthday and discussed Dixie’s tatoo. I drank hot tea at the bar and succumbed early to the cross-town calls of my bed.
For Melissa’s birthday, I took her to see a selection of short films about human nature (part of ResFest). We had dinner and a good talk at Souen after. Afterwards, I think we both felt reassured that our friendship wouldn’t be hurt by her departure from O2. Silly that we should even think that, but worries aren’t always rational.
This evening, I worked on a freelance project. The work tonight was a good challenge. Freelance work really reminds me of the greener-grass syndrome. At work, I’m sometimes frustrated about not having a strong say in design, UI, editorial. Working by myself at home, I find myself wishing I would get ideas from my colleagues. Guess it’s probably good to have both things going on in your life.
Here’s a good story to say goodnight with. On Friday night, I was walking through Union Square with some friends. It’s not the crazy scene there that it was immediately after the 9/11 attacks but there is still a small memorial site. Currently, there’s an artist working on a piece that honors the dead firemen, as well as a bunch of letters and drawings from elementary age kids. I was kind of choked up by the time I began to read this piece, one of a number of pieces on the subject “Why I love my country”:
I love my country because I am free to do anything I want.
I love my country because I am protected here.
I love my country because I know everything I need to know.
I love my country because I don’t have to grow a beard six inches long.
Something about this time of night…
Check out this aerial view of Ground Zero.
Anthrax in NYC now. This is getting ugly. And it sounds like it will get worse before it gets better. It’s sort of a catch-22. If you succumb to the fear and let yourself be “terrorized”, you give the terrorists a victory. But if you’re in New York and you’re not at least a little scared, you’re nuts.
I’m succeeding in acting not scared, though. Launch of a project milestone today at work. Dinner with Brad, Chelle, and Sarah last night at Zen Palate, and tonight with Brad’s parents at Little Basil. Melissa and Jim’s joint birthday party tonight. Watching guys break-dance in Union Square. (Apparently, it’s back in style…)
Strange times, these.