I’m looking out the sliding door and windows right now. The sky is is an especially appealing light blue with a very bright blazing sun and only a few very small white clouds within eyeshot. I walked back and forth to 9:00 a.m., Mass,and then to the local coffee shop, a while ago so I know it’s a nice somewhat cool day-a bit cooler than I like it but it’s quite enchanting-with a bit of a breeze in the air. Right now Sadie’s outside. She usually only stays outside for very short periods of time. There’s a shed over on the far left hand side of the yard. All the tools and things that are necessary for yard work, maintenance and upkeep are kept in there. Fairly close to the shed is a grill. Food always tastes quite good cooked that way. Unfortunately because spring has yet to take its effect the grass is still brown, with only very little green having come to life so far, and the trees and bushes still have no foliage on them. There’s also a stone patio, with a small flight of steps, that covers around half the yard. There’s a somewhat large heavy black thing-I have no idea what it’s called-that’s outside on the patio. It’s supposed to serve some kind of purpose on especially windy days, for keeping things from being entirely blown away. Although Long Beach is officially classified as a city, in many ways it has quite an especially nice suburban atmosphere about it. At the border of the land there’s a plain wooden slat fence with a much larger plain white fence behind it. The neighbors’ houses are fairly close. They’re all typical suburban houses of varying styles. Of the four houses I can see from here one is yellow, one is blue, one is white and one is red brick. Conveniently it’s a fairly quiet neighborhood although the people here most certainly do their share of partying. As far as I can see none of the nearby neighbors has been out so far this morning. The only thing I don’t like about this environment is that because we’re so close to Kennedy Airport, planes are constantly flying by here. The noise always gets me crazy. Other than that, though, this kind of environment is the very epitome of peace and quiet. I can see a street lamp, telephone line and satellite dishes in the distance, the typical fixtures in a neighborhood like this. It’s a nice enough environment for someone to throw a party when one wants people around, and quiet and isolated enough to get away from people and noise, when he doesn’t want to be bothered with activity.
Unfortunately I’m between jobs right now. My last two jobs were one with Citicorp Retail Services and one with the postal service in Melville and Bethpage. I could never stand the postal job because it was so physically hard and strenuous but at least it was something. The work was very boring and required a lot of heavy lifting. Many of the people there were hard to get along with but that’s a part of any job. My circumstances in Bethpage were especially difficult to handle because I was often forced to work the graveyard shift there. Most of the people in management were at least reasonably decent and easy to get along with. The only one who was a troublemaker was Marjorie, a surly black woman. There was a union there but I never got significantly involved with it. Of all the people I knew, Kevin and Anton were the most significant union officials. The one advantage to my having worked there was that I got a chance to meet a lot of very interesting characters. Before that I worke at Citicorp Retail Services in Farmingdale and Melville. In the first department I was in, Sales Processing, from the late 1980’s until the early 1990’s, everything worked out quite well and we all got along quite well. Sal, Carole and Yolanda were in charge. Most people there were quite decent and good natured, Besides the inevitable fighting and personality conflicts it was always quite a happy environment. Then after a while that department was eliminated. I got moved to Customer Service. That department was harder for me to handle because there were a lot more trouble makers there. There were still quite a few very good people too but there were entirely too many who were genuinely bad. For a while I was also a sacristan at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Lindenhurst. At that job I used to have to deal with a wide variety of diocesan priests, professed Religious and parishioners every day of the week. It was a nice part time job. I was required to get everything ready for the daily Masses and novenas, as well as weddings, funerals and other things that were required to keep things going at the parish. That was yet another environment where I was expected to deal with very many eccentric characters. having lived for most of my life in Lindenhurst I really knew my way around the parish and got along quite well with most of the people. I’ve never been a good salesman. In the 1980’s my eighth grade history teacher tried to get me involved with Amway. That’s a really good job for someone to have if he’s a capable salesman but I simply don’t have the aptitude for that kind of thing. That kind of job is very good for my teacher and his wife, who’ve always been better than I at dealing with people in that way. My cousin Gary tried to get me involved with Primerica Financial Services. Unfortunately even though we attended all the meetings and classes, and did well on the tests we were required to take, it didn’t work out for us. I consider it quite a worthwhile experience though. It’s always good to know as much as possible about insurance and the financial world.
Mary Anne’s and Steve’s friends, Gary and Jo Anne, threw a really nice party on New Year’s Eve. We were all supposed to go but Mary Anne got too sick so only Steve and I went. They only live a few houses away so we walked. Usually I’m quite happy to enjoy a really nice quiet New Year’s Eve at home without bothering to do any celebrating to mark the occasion. Occasionally I’ve been known to attend a party thrown by either cousins or neighbors. As everyone knows I’ve always been quite notoriously bad with meeting new people and in crowds. I tend to feel uncomfortable in the company of anyone I don’t know and I’m also a bit claustrophobic. That’s not even counting the fact that I’ve never been fond of staying up late at night. All worked out quite especially well though. The people at the party were quite polite and friendly. They were mostly married couples with their kids. It’s a good thing I managed to get along so well because it appears I shall have to be spending a reasonably significant amount of time socializing with them from now on. A top contender for the most interesting character at the party was a really big guy named Kirk. Kirk has been a less than significantly famous actor ever since the 1960’s. He spent the night telling us stories about his adventures with Woody Allen, Tennessee Williams and Richie Havens. When the conversation turned to movies, something came up about John Huston’s movies. I reminded him that Huston had made the movie version of Flannery O’Connor’s “Wise Blood” in the late 1970’s . Each of us was quite taken aback that someone else could possibly be so familiar with O’Connor’s works. On New Year’s Day I made sure I got up in time to go to 9:00 a.m. Mass at St. Mary of the Isle on Park Avenue, because it’s the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God. Thus began my new year. I ‘ve been forced to accept one change right after the other.