February 13th, 2007


Movin' On Up

I dislike the new office already.

The company I'm temping for (have BEEN temping for since I got here) moved to a different office building, about five blocks south from where they were. On the plus side, it's five fewer blocks I have to walk to get to work. Ohhh, but the downsides! THE DOWNSIIIIDES!

On the one hand, I kinda like being set apart from the rest of the office. It's nice. Though, insodoing, I'm now in front of two glass doors that open up directly to the elevator bay, instead of the big wooden doors that shielded me before.

And sure, I now have a view, which I wasn't even sniffing at the other place. It's funny what simply knowing when it gets dark will do for your well-being. But, now I gotta hear all this bitching from everyone else, because apparently there are fewer offices with windows/views than at the other building. You wouldn't believe what snivelling babies some people are; this place is WAY bigger and more professional looking, but everyone's worried about whether they can look outside to watch a few buildings standing around, or some taxicabs driving by. Who cares? My window has a giant American flag in the way, boo fucking hoo!

But, the worst part, and what's surely going to drive me crazy in the long run, is the lack of a cafeteria. It's not that I went and ate their food at the other building on a daily basis - though they made a mean slice of cheese pizza. But, it IS where I ate my lunch, not to mention where I went to watch CNN in the morning before work (that Soledad O'Brien is one foxy lady).

You have no idea what it means to simply have a place where you can sit down and eat your lunch. I can't afford to eat out every day for lunch like the people I work with. You're looking at a minimum of $6 every day - and most times that's not including a drink! $30 a week, $120 a month give-or-take. Now, consider my peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. A loaf of bread is $2.00 a week. I probably run through a jar of peanut butter and a jar of jelly in a month. Say that's $3.00 each since I generally buy the generic brand. $14.00 a month vs. $120 a month. That's all I gotta say.

Yesterday, the high was 39 degrees, but it didn't get that sweltering until quittin' time. I'd say around lunch we were hovering slightly below freezing. Ergo, it's too fucking cold to eat lunch outside. With no cafeteria and no outside at my disposal, that left me with one other option.

Rockefeller Center has this underground area that's actually kinda neat (did I really just use the word Neat? God I need to go punch a hooker). It connects to the subway, but it's like this underground mall. There are a bunch of clothing stores and food eateries, and even some damn place where corporosos go to have their fucking shoes shined (Go home and get your fuckin' shine box!). It's obscene. Anyway, I figured I'd sneak into one of these food places, sit in an area where they wouldn't find me, and eat my lunch there. Walk into a Sbarro, sit down behind this wall that sort of shields me from the people at the registers, take my sandwiches out of my pocket, and before I can get them out of the bag, some pigfucker is onto me. No outside food. "Motherfucker," I muttered as I huffily packed my shit away and left. Sbarro has seen the last of Steven A. Taylor, I can tell you that much. I've got better places to not spend my money.

I ended up eating on one of those subway benches - I believe it was for a B-Train. I might as well have just eaten outside, 'cause those trains just blow cold air all over the place as they're passing by.

It wasn't until later in my lunch, when I was walking around in that underground area again, that I discovered where the Community Tables were located. Right next to a Starbucks in fact (one of two Starbucks's ... that's right, this underground mall has TWO Starbucks, Jesus H. Fucking Christ). Only problem with this area is that, when I was walking around, all the tables were taken (usually with one old man reading a newspaper bogarting more space than he actually needed).

All in all, this is a huge downgrade from the other place. Aesthetically, it's nicer to look at, and it's only on the third floor as opposed to the 30th, butfuckman, I need my CNN! I need my Soledad! I even need that little homosexual man who reports on business matters.

The Weekend That Wasn't Even A 'Kend

For the last three weekends, I've been spending way more money that I can really afford. Not to say that it wasn't necessary or a great time all around, but if I keep that up I'm never getting out of debt. There was the Donald Weekend, the Konstantin Weekend, and the Super Bowl Weekend. Something had to give. If I'm partying up that hard for the Pro Bowl, then I might as well start getting excited for Arbor Day or Flag Day or the fucking Grammys. Fortunately for me, I had absolutely no idea the Pro Bowl was on Saturday instead of Sunday; are they TRYING to get people to not watch it?

Friday was the end of a miserable week; the fools who work here decided to do the bulk of the packing on the very last day available to them. I went home that night and immediately tore into a bottle of wine. If Emily didn't offer to cook for everyone, that would've been my dinner (actually, I'm assuming a second bottle would've been introduced either way). So, the three of us (including Jenny, I should add) got nice and drunk from the remaining three bottles of wine we had left.

I gave Kon a call (or maybe he called me, I can't rightly reCALL) and we talked for a while because it was his first night in the Big H (can we call Houston the Big H? That sounds like a hemorrhoid cream ... well, it's the last name of a pretty sweet singer, maybe we can say that Kon lives in Whitney). Let's see, then I remember Liz stealing the phone for like an hour, so I'm assuming she and Kon had a ravishing good chat about something. Later on, Emily and I watched some Monty Python and then I went to my room and watched The O.C. Christ, only two more! Say it ain't so!

Let's see, Saturday saw me hangover-free and having to pee. I know I did laundry there for a while, went shopping for groceries, and didn't eat outside the apartment all day. That was surely something. Oh! And I did my taxes!

Yeah, I finally got the other side of my tax form from the temp agency. Get this, I'm getting back $538! But, not so fast cowboy, since I lived in New York for a few months, I also pay state taxes. Getting back a cool $124 from the state as well. That's about $600 that's going directly on the Card (counting the fact that I had to pay to file TWO fucking returns through TurboTax). So, that's good news, and a far cry from the measly $150 I took home last year. Just goes to show you what a few months of unemployment will get you.

So, I did that, and then I stayed home again that night. Was thinking about going to find some stand up comedy; was thinking about going to see a cheap movie; instead decided to drink a half a pot of coffee and work on my website.


Look, it's not nearly finished, but feel free to go and check back as I'm updating it frequently. Fixing all the bugs and aesthetic deficiencies (actually, that link right there will - at the moment - take you nowhere, but it's going to be the link I'll be using going forward).

I made a banner, I decided on a name, and just yesterday I added some space between the text so the stories aren't so uncomfortable to read (subject matter aside). The name - Sycophant Picnic - am I thrilled with it? Not particularly. But, it's growing on me daily and that sure as hell beats something that gets old the more you hear it. More than anything, I just got sick and fucking tired of thinking about a "Perfect Name", because when it all boils down to nothing, that perfect name just isn't out there. When I first heard the name Smashing Pumpkins for a rock band, I thought it was the dumbest name I've ever heard. Same thing with Pearl Jam, Radiohead, Guns N' Roses, and Aerosmith. What the fuck's an "aerosmith"? It's a motherfucking rock n' roll band, that's what it is! Well, Sycophant Picnic's a motherfucking literary journal!

Saturday night was also - apparently - some sort of anniversary for the building's Super and his wife/girlfriend or whatever. And they had a party. And it was really loud with lots of people and lots of music. And Jenny called 3-11 repeatedly, but since the cops couldn't get in the building - because the people at the party "couldn't hear" them knocking - they were powerless to do anything about it. And, since it was Saturday - Shomer Shabbos - our Jewish landlord wasn't answering his phone.

In spite of the coffee, I wasn't nearly as wired as I would've liked to have been. Nevertheless, there just wasn't any sleeping to be had, so I popped in a movie. On Friday, someone at work threw away a perfectly good DVD version of the movie "Pi", with the original case and everything. I snapped that up and watched it Saturday night. It's an all right movie, even though they make no attempt to explain how the guy's computer program works; they just poo poo everything away and call it "mathematics". By 2am, I just said, Fuck It, turned out the lights, turned on my fan, and laid there until I fell asleep - which, surprisingly didn't take too long.

Sunday was just fucking glorious. I laid in my bed from 9am to about 2pm just reading and listening to music while staring at the walls. Then, I went out to White Castle - ate 8 burgers - bought some more groceries for the week, and returned for more laying around. Somewhere in there later on, apple crisp was made (not by me) and I had that and some chocolate milk and some banana cream pudding snack pack and I went to bed at a reasonable hour and I had a dream that I was simultaneously Seth and Sandy Cohen and I was with Ryan and Kirsten and we were at this freaky outdoor movie theater and they were screening the series finale of The O.C. and Kirsten turns and says to me, "If they kill me off, I'm gonna start drinking again," and then I woke up with a huge fucking erection. The end.