Sweet jesus — it’s nearly 1 a.m. I sat around for…

Sweet jesus — it’s nearly 1 a.m. I sat around for so long reading other blogs tonight that I apparently forgot that I’M AT WORK, and I had shit to finish before I head home. So I’m filing yet another project right on deadline, at the expense of sleep and all the other things you give up when you’re at work at 1 a.m.

Going home. Looking foward to taking a hot shower in my own house tomorrow morning.

Chronically, inevitably …. another deadline, and…

Chronically, inevitably …. another deadline, and another night reading other people’s blogs or writing in my own. Maybe the Monday night thing will become a routine. At least I’m posting something.

Not an especially pleasant weekend, except for the very end. Worked all day Saturday without the benefits of a shower. The hot water nozzle in our apartment shower is on the fritz, and getting my landlord to do any kind of work on the apartment is difficult at best. His plumber came over Sunday, and took a look. No parts. Have to come back. The landlord came over Monday afternoon, saw how much paint had peeled from where he patched and painted NINE YEARS AGO right before I moved in. Suddenly, it’s a disaster. But we have hot showers again. That’s all we really cared about anyway.

Saturday was a drag because we had an enormous fight before I came to work. We need to change something. Jobs. Residence. Quickly.

Managed to have a little fun Sunday night. Saw Jazz Mandolin Project at a relatively new place in Millvale called Mr. Small’s Funhoue. Yet another creative use for de-consecrated (that can’t possibly be spelled right) churches. A theater/performance space that seats up 650 people. An apparently very nice, up-to-date recording studio. And a skate park. Mr. Small’s has done an admirable job of attracting bands from the hippie circuit, but I was a little dubious about attending a show there … Deadheads can be a little scattershot, organizationallywise. But this place is spectacular … amazing sound quality, very well run … we’ll be back on Friday to see Hookah for the first time … um … since Athens, probably.

OK. Finish this story. Only has to be 15 or 20 inches. Piece of cake.

Hm. Should have a smoke first…

Smokes: If I was allowed to do it at my desk, I wo…

Smokes: If I was allowed to do it at my desk, I would.

Tunes: Are you freakin’ kidding me?

I’m still sitting here trying to write something I have very little interest in. All I need to do is crank out about 30 inches and I can go home. Instead, I’ve been screwing around on the internet. What the hell is wrong with me?

Smokes: Still Camel Lights, but, as today is a dea…

Smokes: Still Camel Lights, but, as today is a deadline day, the question shouldn’t be what I’m smoking, but how much. And the answer is a lot.

Tunes: I was listening to Tony Kornheiser in the car, so there’s nothing to report there. But I did put on “Somethin’ Else” by Cannonball Adderley. A nifty combination of Adderley’s hard bop and Miles Davis’ West Coast cool. Miles had no problem with late 50s bop — his bands put together some of the best tracks of the genre — but he’s pretty clearly in “Birth of the Cool” mode on this CD.

Hm. I have to learn to loosen up what I’m doing on these pages. Writing for a newspaper involves a lot of self-editing — Is this a big enough deal to push for a story? Do I have enough information to file without getting it kicked back by an editor for more stuff? The big reason I don’t post here as much as I would like is that I struggle with the notion that what I do here has to meet the same standard that I would if I was writing for work.

Clearly, I need to chill.

river songs

Smokes: A couple Dunhills left over from New Year’s Eve, and a full compliment of Camel Lights.

Tunes: The soundtrack to “Lost in Translation.” Not the kind of thing I would typically be into, but I was so blown away by the movie and its music … Reading up a bit, I found a bunch of stuff about shoegazer, a great name for this kind of trippy electronica. I need to find out more about Death in Vegas.

Post-holiday exhaustion. I have two (umm, no … three!) projects due at work in the next few days and absolutely no motivation to work on them at all. And then there’s a college friend of mine who publishes a zine in the DC area, who wants me to work something up for her next edition — that’s something I would love to do but I don’t feel like I have the time with all this actual work that I’m not actually doing.

Spent a little time in the northern part of the county where I work this afternoon, watching fire and EMS guys help a family that was about to be flooded out of their home for a day or two. No real disasters, but standing on the bank of this creek (jesus, it’s just a creek…) and watching the water pump out over roads, lawns, back porches … is this the kind of work that makes me happy?

A couple years ago I spent several days in a little Allegheny River town north of Pittsburgh, waiting for rescue folks to find the body of a guy whose boat tipped over while he was fishing. The guy took his young daughter out in the boat, right after a rapid early spring thaw. After the boat tipped, he grabbed his daughter, put his life vest on over hers and pushed her towards the shore. She was found — soggy, cold but alive — about a mile down river. His body was found about three days later, hung up in some brush that had been submerged in the high water.

When I was growing up, I spent a ton of time water skiing on the Scioto River north of Columbus. I’m a good swimmer, and I have no real fear of the water. But that was on a reservoir, and both of these situations are different. I still get creeped out driving next to the Ohio River, whether it’s here in the Pittsburgh area, near Marietta or Parkersburg (near Athens, where I went to school) or even in Louisville, when I was in the army. I skiied once on the Ohio just down river from Louisville, and though it was in the middle of a hot summer — the water was down and very calm — I got the same creepy feeling … you think about how deep the water is, how much water there is, the power that could carry you from Pittsburgh to New Orleans like you were a leaf. Heebie jeebies…

Here’s the best illustration I can offer. Several times after I finished school, I drove from Pgh to Athens to see The Wife at OU. I drive interstates to Marietta and then a state highway along the river to the point where I cut over to Athens. It’s night, so it’s dark. There is a series of chemical plants/power stations along the highway — very Blade Runner, with lots of ominous red, orange and yellow lights. And somewhere, over there on the left side of the road, is that big, dark river. I’d catch glances of water once in a while, sometimes past a hill or some homes, and sometimes, startlingly, RIGHT NEXT TO THE ROAD. I could never get past the feeling that my car was being pulled toward the water, and I occasionally found myself gripping the steering wheel so hard that my hands hurt.

That’s how it feels.