Saturday, December 24, 2005

The Queensborough Bridge on a dog walk.

Park Avenue and 65th, looking downtown.


Staff bicycle. Wouldn't have been my first choice.

Every one-thousand years...there comes along a coffee so good...connoisseurs across the globe...have chosen to dub it...

Gridlock on Lexington Avenue, first day of the transit strike.

MIm and Jay

Blast O' Butter

Who would want to purchase a product that could inflict this kind of butter destruction?

Saturday, December 24th 2005 (Christmas Eve)

For the last six nights I have housesat, arriving at 5pm and staying until 9am. On Tuesday and Thursday I pulled 24-hour shifts at the house due to the transit stike. I have also been working at HCID when not at the townhouse-- I am here now preparing more packages to be delivered in the coming days.

From Wednesday to Friday I walked a golden retriever named Casey from 2 - 3pm. She was very friendly and easier to handle than Nick or Jack.

I leave for Mexico tomorrow morning (Sunday). I am spending 6 days there for a Cress family reunion. It should be good times. The weather this week has been nice, but a few days in the sun should do me some good.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

a fly

I recall the cries,
of a fly caught in a lamp.
He has flown in, and now-
unable to escape, battles the glow
which had attracted him.
I think,
"If I turn off the light I can spare his life."
Furious! He buzzes and flaps,
and asks me to save him.
To save him, a fly.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Subway Strike

As you'll see in one of my previous posts--I was wrong about the subway strike. What a ballsy move on the Union's part!

It was 22 degrees when I walked the 42 blocks to housesit this morning, a far cry from the lovely spring weather commuters experienced the last time a strike took place.

On my way over (I was covering for the housekeeper who lives in Queens) I walked up a gridlocked Lexington Avenue. This time of year the subways and busses experience the highest volume due to an influx of tourists.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Week End December 18th 2005

My weekend began at 2pm on Friday when I left work and met up with RM in the park. I met her on 71st and accompanied her on a dog walk with a golden.

At 330pm I returned to 83rd and picked up my backpack. I went to NYSC for about an hour and then went home and showered. I made some food and relaxed for a few. I took a walk to 125th and back and then met Nisha at 945pm.

She drove over to 95th Avenue for Jess' party. It was fun and crowded--Jess, Emma, Liz, Dave and his friend, Rustam, Jill, Kirubel, Adam all made appearances. At 245am I started walking home. A young thug slapped me in the face on the way home--I did not appreciate that.

The next day I woke up at 930am feeling good. I made breakfast and went to NYSC for an hour. I returned home and ate. At 2pm I met up with Jay F. at Ishan's apartment. Mimi was there hanging out and later Nicole came by. We watched the Patriots play.

At 530pm we took the Subway to the Time Warner Building and walked around the mall. Adam and Azaam met us there. We took the train up to Mimi's apartment near Wall Street picking up some beers and food en route. We hung out, Menka came home from shopping and joined us.

At 1015pm we took a cab to a party on 3rd and B. It was an okay party, Eric B. from summer camp who I have not seen in 11 years was there; its a small city. Rustam met us at the party, we left around 1230 and hit up a bar.

I was getting sleepy, at 1am Azaam and I split a cab to Union Square and I got the subway home. I was back by 2am and asleep not long after.

The next morning, Sunday, I woke up at 930am but stayed in bed for another half hour. When I did get up I went out and got a few things from the deli and made some breakfast/lunch. At 1230pm I took a shower and then took the subway to Ashish's apartment on St. Mark's to meet up with Sanjit. We chilled--I left at 4pm and took the subway to 68th.

I went to the townhouse to relieve RM of her housesitting duties. We hung around for a couple of hours. I walked her to 59th and then returned and made some food. I did some computing and went to sleep on the early side.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

MTA Strike

Its 807PM and I'm betting the MTA will not strike. Four to one odds, any takers?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Bush: "I am responsible for the decision to go into Iraq,"

Bush has admitted that his decision to go to war with Iraq was motivated by, "Faulty Intelligence". "It is true that much of the intelligence turned out to be wrong," says Bush.

A special commission that Bush appointed to investigate the intelligence lapses prior to the US invasion concluded that the administration had been "dead wrong" about the presence of WMD's in Iraq.

What intelligence had the US gathered which indicated that there was credible evidence for Iraq possessing weapons of mass destruction? Why was the entire free world (with the exception of Great Britain and a few other allies) opposed to our invasion?

In 2002 Saddam Hussein, in a letter to Hans Blix, invited UN weapons inspectors back into the country. And on March 7, 2003, Blix's last report to the UN security Council, prior to the US invasion, described Iraq as, "actively and proactively cooperating with inspectors" and that it was, "within months of resolving key remaining disarmament tasks."

I'm surprised Bush failed to mention this in his speech.

"I am responsible for the decision to go into Iraq," says Bush. "I'm also responsible for fixing what went wrong by reforming our intelligence capabilities, and we're doing just that."

The President has taken no responsibility for the invasion. He has assigned the blame on our intelligence gathering capabilities and once again completely ignored the UN weapons inspection process.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Monday, December 12th 2005

Worked today as usual. We had an interesting meeting at 2pm which lasted about 90 minutes. Maegan, BRJ and I planned for the next few months and threw out some new ideas for the future of HCID.

After work I picked up a few things at Duane Reade and then stopped by the Healthfood store on 84th and 3rd. I purchased some 'Grains and Nuts' hot cereal by Bob's Red Mill. I tried it after I got tasted very good.

I did a shoulder workout at NYSC after work then went home and took a shower. I made a bunch of food, baked some turkey, and then walked crosstown to Rustam's for some Monday Night Football. Dave came by and Rustam fell asleep. Jill hung out with us which was nice. I left at 1115 and split a cab back with Dave.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Week Ended 12/11/05

A pretty standard week by all accounts. At HCID we have been sending out packages in the hopes that we will sign up some members. On Thursday we got an investor to put down a substantial amount of cash without giving up too much equity. This should allow us to fund a few bigger projects in the next few months.

On Friday I attended a holiday dinner/502 park work 'reunion'. It was supposed to be at MR. K's but due to reserrvations difficulties was at The Broadway Diner. I was happy to be included in the festivities; it was a lot of fun seeing everybody at the old job. I miss the laid back environment and good company. Molly, James, Marla, Rachel, Simon, Shelly, Rosalinda, Rosario, CK and BK presided.

On Saturday I met up with Adam at his place after getting some socks in Union Square. We walked down to 38th and met up with Nicole at a bar. We then it up an apartment party on 35th and 3rd hosted by Manu (from Barnard days). Mimi showed up, it was a good time.

Sunday I met up with RM at 59th. We went down to Union Square and saw 'Shopgirl' at 430. We had some dinner afterwards at Whole Foods.

I did my usual 3 day split, strong back day on Thursdsay. Also 2 days of rowing on the erg, 30 minutes today for 7500m.

Happy Birthday Aunt Janie.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Bad Banana - A poem by Douglas Cress

Bananas taste good,
but not green bananas.
I should have known better--
I bought one after work,
for a quarter.
It tasted like a potato.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

I will never own a DVD library.

In the last five years, DVD's have exploded in popularity. I see them advertised often, on billboards, all over subways, and in print. They are put forth as the 'hot gifts' (I shudder at the phrase) every holiday season. And for good reason, sales of DVD's oftentimes outstrip ad revenues or sales generated at the box office.

I will never own a DVD library. Children enjoy watching movies over and over again, I do not. Even my favorite movies require only a handful of viewings before I have grown tired of them.

Rental services like Netflix allow you to rent DVD's for only a dollar or two. Their DVD libraries encompass 50,000 titles. Unless you want to view a movie on more than ten occasions, it is more cost effective to rent than buy. What is it that drives people to accumulate a sprawling assortment of movies and TV shows?

Is it the bonus features?

Compiling a DVD collection is a means to an end. The end in this case is owning a collection, any collection. We have been mislead in our desire to be good consumers.

Displayed prominently next to your television in a tasteful black cabinet, your comprehensive library of DVD's will be coveted by all those who visit. On closer inspection a visitor may comment on your sensitive nature, after seeing a copy of "The Piano". They may smirk after noticing 'Under Siege', starring Steven Seagal-- "It was on sale", you tell them.

DVD's have become the baseball cards for a new generation. You're nothing without a Scarface, a Godfather, or a Star Wars trilogy. We have been deluded into buying more stuff, for no other purpose than to have it and display it.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Flower For Algernon

I finished a book entitled 'Flowers For Algernon' the other day. It is written by Daniel Keyes. It follows a mentally handicapped individual who gets an operation to become more intelligent.

The book is written in the first person. The author uses "Progress Reports" written by the test subject, Charlie Gordon, to record his progression. Here is a sample from the beginning of the novel:

"Dr. Strauss says I shoud rite down what I think and remembir and avrey thing that happins to me from now on. I dont no why but he says its importint so they will see if they can use me. I hope they use me becaus Miss Kinnian says mabye they can make me smart"

The progression is slow but obvious. The reader sees Charlie and his reports grow more complex and coherent. At the peak of Charlie's intelligence he is working in the same laboratory as his experimenters having surpassed their mental abilities.

"They all think I'm killing myself at this pace, but what they don't understand is that I'm living at a peak of clarity and beauty I never knew existed. Every part of me is attuned to the work. I soak it up into my pores during the day, and at night--in the moments before I pass off into sleep--idease explode into my head like fireworks."

Its an easy 200 page read, approximately 3 - 4 hours worth.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Sunday, December 4th 2005

I woke up at 1130am and blah blah blah.

I've decided to change the nature of my blog.

While I enjoy telling you where I am when and with whom, the end result has become somewhat rote. When I first started Recounting My Daily Activities (the original title of my blog was actually 'Douglas Cress Tells It Like It Is'...I thought Recounts His Daily Activities was a better fit) I worked as a personal assistant and would do strange, interesting errands on a daily basis. It was a window into a different lifestyle.

The first iteration of the blog was a little too personal and deleted. The current version has steadily declined as I have grown weary of listing the same behaviors over and over again.

My new blog will include some retelling of my actions, but this will not be the focus. I hope to offer instead a window into my psyche. This will be difficult because I am a robot, an emotionless automaton.

I will try to update daily.

End transmission,

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Attn: Antonio Gonzalez-- You have been confirmed (#29052004).

Saturday, December 3rd 2005

I did not get up until 1030am. When I did I made breakfast and listened to NPR while reading the news. At noon I dressed and headed over to NYSC. I did a full body split with good energy.

When I got home I shaved and showered. I made a bunch of food and then picked up my apartment. At 415 I took the train and met up with Steph on 39th St. We walked over to Times Square which, as usual, was buzzing with people. We missed a 5 o'clock show so we wandered around the area. At 6pm we watched Syriana at the Loews; neither of understood what was going on in the film.

At 820pm we took the N to Chris R.'s apartment on 23rd; we got some food at Pax. The three of us hung out there until 11 or so. I saw Seth and Rahul briefly for the first time in a long time. After leaving Steph and I walked uptown; she went home and I met up with Adam on 57th.

Rustam and Dave came in also. We hung around the Middle East and went to a few different spots. I left at 230pm, when I got in I made some food and went to sleep at 345.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Friday, December 2nd 2005

I was up at 745am for breakfast and then work. When I arrived I met a new proof reader who might do some part time work. I then headed to Staple's and picked up 2000 pages of copy paper. It was cold and windy.

I worked until 4pm on various tasks. Mostly getting some documents up to date and ready for distribution. I updated the news. After I left I headed to NYSC for 6 or 7000m on the erg.

I returned home, put a few pounds of chicken in the oven and showered. At 645pm I walked crosstown and met up with Dave at Rustam and Jill's apartment. Dave and I ran an errand to 114th and after returning had some beers and sat around. Nicole and a friend of hers showed up around 1030pm.

At 1130 we went to '1020' and sat around. I took a car part of the way home at 150am. When I got in I made some food and went to sleep.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Mr. Jovi

New set-up at 1799 my luxurious homestead.

My mom and I in Weston

Jon Bon

Doug, 1/2 Rachel

Thursday, December 1st 2005

I woke up at 745am and sat around for a while reading the news before I left for work. When I arrived I met with BRJ and then worked on the member enrollment kit and new brochure.

I did some database work and checked in with some data entry people. I also spent some time with the medtech 50. I left at 330pm.

I went to NYSC for chest day and had a dismal workout. I was home by 5pm for a shower and some food. I sat around, talked on the phone and started "Flowers For Algernon" a book about a man who gets an operation to become intelligent.

I went to sleep on the early side around 1115.

Wednesday, November 30th 2005

I woke up around 755am and created some breakfast. I listened to some news while I ate and then left for HCID.

It was an interesting day. My main task for the day was recreating the member enrollment kit. I worked on a few other things and left at 430pm. I walked home; I picked up a few things at a supermarket on the way.

When I arrived I showered and put my laundry in. I sat around and did some reading. At 8pm I took a walk around the neighborhood. I had a long conversation before going to bed at 1130pm.