Mark NaclerioAugust 2001

8/30/2001: Another day, another dime. I ran off ten copies of Thirteen Original Songs, pre-master editions. These are originals for my good friends so if you want a copy, better ask for it now so you can sell it for your retirement later on. I finally got in touch with the elusive Mr. Cooney. I hope to use his golden vocals on future works. But in the meantime you can hear him on the last two songs.

8/29/2001: My second day at the new building turns out to be OK. I was reassured of my value to the company and am glad I got to tell them about my needs. So all is well and I haven't been forgotten after all. They will be able to use me as a floater which will give me alot more experience with some of the different buildings. I hope that all fares wells here.

8/28/2001: Yesterday I interviewed for the perfect job at a guitar manufacturing company. With all the drama that has been going on at my current job, it would be nice to get back into something that I actually like to do - work with accounts and numbers. There is a good chance that my employers will lose their contract because of all the chaos that happened while I was gone. My only hope is that they don't try to drag me into the muck for the ineptitude of some of my former crewmates. I don't always present very well but the interview seemed to go alright. And the job is alot closer to home and the area that I been looking for land. Fortuna revalatus.

I went camping this weekend and got to build a fire. Southern Vermont is a beautiful place with clear running streams and farmland everywhere. The mountains are bigger than in the Hudson Valley and, rather than littered with abnoxious homes, there is nothing but trees and green.

8/22/2001: I am alive and well in New York again! Here's a not-so-brief recap.

I got a healthy dose of LDS over the weekend. No, it's not a psychadelic drug, although religion, Latter Day Saints in point, could be considered a drug of sorts by its intended affect: subjects accept delusions for reality and are intoxicated into feeling better about their miserable lives. That sounds too bleek. But the fact that any religion has a price tag, voluntary though it may seem, leads me to believe that it is just as much a commodity as LSD, although legal and tax deductible. But the pushers of religion are in fact selling. They are selling imagined salvation, a chance to enjoy the beautiful mansion-like rooms of a heaven where only the chosen may dwell. It sounds alot to me like what the Catholics have been selling for the last thousand years. Anyone who gets a chance should visit LDS Central in Salt Lake City and see the movie. There is a really nice movie theater on campus that airs a movie that depicts a story of the eventual appearance of the resurrected Jesus Christ (the fair-haired blue-eyed version) here in pre-European America. I still haven't figured out where their information comes from and since I have no faith in religious fiction any more than The Cat in the Hat, I left the film feeling as though I had just witnessed a cinematic sales pitch. Albeit, a pitch that has a positive message, even if it is obscured by B-rate acting and speech idioms that made me think that I was watching a 16th century play with thee and thou and wilst and so forth. But the fundamentals of this religion are benficial to its members and society in general. There is a deep sense of community and sharing, responsiblity for actions, and a devotion to marriage which aims to encourage monogamy, contrary to the polygamist behavior that has wounded the LDS image in the past. I got to spend some time with some young adult members and was pleased by the absence of smoking and foul language. None of the guys paraded themselves with typical masculine ego. And it was refreshing to enjoy a comedy club without worrying about drunken aggressives or having to choke on stale cigarette smoke. Alcohol was not served as the members do not imbibe the devil's water. At least not in public. What goes on behind closed doors and in the closet is a whole different story. As I was told, Utah has a serious alcohol problem that they have been trying to control since the beginning. If more than 50% in the state are Mormon ... well, you figure it out.

Everyone must see Cecil B. Demented which is on video and DVD. This latest John Waters film is brilliant from the opening sequence. This is one of the best movies this year for too many reasons to describe. I loved this movie!

I also got to see The Mummy Returns. Although I didn't like the first Mummy picture and am often skeptical of sequels, I have to admit that this movie was by far the most fun I had in a theater this whole summer. It's 2 plus hours of nonstop graphic entertainment with an actual story and carefully developed stage and scenework. This movie has everything that an action adventure film should, including likable characters and evil villains. There was alot of work, and dollars, put into this film and it was worth it.

At present, I am at Morgan Stanley until the end of this week. While I was gone, major shit happened and the whole crew was essentially eliminated. Those who were not fired, including myself, have been reassigned. The only reason that I am still here is because I am covering for somebody's vacation. I was also informed that if I wanted to continue to work in the corporate environment, I would have to cut my hair. I replied that it was not going to happen. If women in the corporate workplace are allowed to keep their hair long, then men should not be discriminated against for doing the same. I have no intention of using scissors at any time in the near future accept maybe to trim the whiskas'. If you don't like my hairy head, you'll have to kiss my hairy ass.

8/14/2001: Another tough weekend on shakey ladders in dry heat with nailguns and airhammers. If I don't have to lift another sheet of 3/4 inch plywood again, well that would be just fine.

Feeling rather ambitious I set out yesterday to climb Mount Olympus, something I have wanted to do the last several times that I've been to SLC. I finally got the chance to climb the 5000 foot rise (the summit is 9072 feet above sea level). I ventured off the main trail twice but was skeptical enough to turn back when the going got too rough. The mountain is slippery and home to rattlesnakes, so traveling solo off the beaten path is not considered to be wise. After accomplishing about 2000 or 2500 feet, my legs started to burn out and I decided to turn back. The views are amazing and I hope to get another chance, on a cooler day with an earlier start, to climb it again. I was fortunate to meet another hiker who explained to me what I would have been in for should I have tried to make it the whole way. He treated me to beers afterwards at a local tavern and was nice enough to lift me a ride home, since I had made no real plans for getting back in the first place. Another adventure incomplete yet satisfying.

8/7/2001: I made it to Utah and survived another ordeal with airports and planes, not to mention a nice lightning bolt right outside the plane as it circled into landing formation at SLC. Rather than simply rest the weekend away, I embraced the opportunity to work hard, learn new skills, and smash my thumb with a hammer at least three hard times.

There isn't much more fun than aircompressed nailguns that look like banned artillery, heavy pieces of wood that must be lifted overhead, and metal blade skill saws that can remove appendages if the operator is not wary. The tool belt starts to hurt after a while and its tiring to be moving around all day but its great being exhausted: Makes a person appreciative of the indoor airconditioned workplace.

When I got into the complex math of exact lengths and angles of everything I realized that the knowledge and labor necessary to build a house is far greater than the knowledge and labor required to sell the house, parcel the land, and look over contracts to make sure everthing is kosher hunky-dory. The major difference is that the actual builder receives the smallest fraction of revenue produced by the eventual sale. It doesn't make sense. Not with what it takes to understand an inexact blueprint, correct mistakes, monitor lack-luster and inexperienced laborers, remember to meet all standard inspection criteria, manage the actual construction stages, keep costs down and preorder the correct amount of material to finish the job in four days. Sad that those with the most useful knowledge - the construction of shelter, one of the three prequisites to sustaining life (food and air being the other two) - are not hailed as being the most valuable members of our society. Rather, those who use their mouths to sell and their hands to sign paper, make the most profit and are therefore the most recognized.

I walked all the way downtown yesterday, past State Street pawn shops, multi-ethnic food restaurants, dealerships, and new construction projects that anticipate the Winter Event. Luckily, or unluckily, I happened upon the 6-plex movie theater in the center of town which was presenting Planet of the Apes with ten minutes till showtime. Even in what was mostly an empty Monday matinee theater I had to ask two adult males to refrain from their incessant chatter, something I should not have had to do where there is respect and common courtesy towards others. Especially in this mormon town, it would seem that rude behavior would be frowned upon so much as to drive people into dejection. Not true. It is a defiant culture, contrary to christian fundamentalist thinking, that does not concern itself with the rights of others who wish to enjoy spending $4.50 on a movie that was tedious and probably in need of some commentary anyway. But please, NOT WHILE THE MOVIE IS SHOWING! Sit closer together or take it outside. I would have been just as disrepectful to have moved behind the two fools and rock my feet on their chairs. But that is not my way and my mouth is larger. After a brief confrontation the inane chatter eventually desisted. But it didn't matter. The movie was filled with lifeless performances, with the possible exception of Tim Roth's portrayal of intense and unrelenting bitterness as Thade, carrying a legacy of hate and detestment towards humans who are in fact and the genetic-engineering gods that created these new species of intelligent mammalia. The movie does share some interesting commentary about the dominance of one caste or species over another and tries to wrap all the rhetoric together in the end with ridiculous timing, and includes a surreal twist of fate as it fades to credits, essentially redesigning the movie as a sort of prequel and salutation to the classic scene of the Liberty Head in the sand of the 1968 version. But it wanes on a whole due to it's absorption with movement and camera action, greater attention paid to makeup and costume design and set location, rather than to an actual story that makes realistic sense without tripping over forced dialogue and two dimensional characterisations. The picture might seem better after a second viewing or with a more open frame of mind, knowing the story and not contrasting it with the original but I'll wait a while before I get the courage to see it again.

On the lighter side, I actually had a pleasant tech support experience. My call went through with a minimal of digit punches and was answered without delay, much unlike the IRS. The techs were helpful to the point of trusting me to pull out the video card because of some setting error. Cheers to the techs at Gateway, jeers for the fact that the system downed in the first place.

8/2/2001: I'll be taking a break for most of August. I'm at MTV today which is a nice way to end the week before I fly.

July 2001

January to June 2001

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