ones and zeroes

Better living through modern chemistry.



A lot of the time when I say I had a dream about something, I really just sat around imagining it over lunch.

A lot of the time, when I say "a lot of the time," I mean most of the time.


I know a man named Detroit.

I don't know what it is about Detroit but from the first moment that I laid eyes upon him, I felt some sort of distant kinship with the man. It was a mix of pity and curiosity, I suppose, and the clincher was simply the reading I gave our eye contact moment.

It was early in my tenure at Google when I got off the F line at the 42nd Street subway station one day and got in line with the rest of the ants for the long march up the stairs. I saw Detroit sitting there with his back against the wall on a platform between sets of steps, holding a paper cup and smiling hopefully at all the passersby, not begging so much as trying to make the briefest of connections. I opened my wallet and emptied the contents of one compartment into my hand, a dollar's worth of change or so, subsequently dropping the change into his cup.

His gratitude was sincere, and there was just a certain rapport between us, some sort of je ne sais quoi.

Sometimes he is there, sometimes he is not. I try to give him money whenever I can, and it's funny, because there are other homeless "regulars" in my different daily routines who I will ritualistically snub in much the same way I will ritualistically give to Detroit.

One day when I was leaving work I went down into the Subway and saw him there. I pulled out my wallet on reflexand he put his hand gently on my arm and told me, "You a good man, you know dat? I know you look out fuh me 'n ah really 'ppreciate that. You don' hafta be givin' me money every time you see me, cause I know you lookin' out for me." It kind of killed me. It stirred up a whole mess of wonderment on the train ride back home that evening.

I started wondering about my own subconscious motivation. I had felt a little good, a little proud, to be told by this poor soul that I was, in his eyes at least, a "good man" but I knew I couldn't let that get to my head.

I still see Detroit now and then. I didn't even know his name was Detroit until yesterday. Leaving the subway in the morning he stopped me.

"Yo' name's Mike, right?"

"No, my name's Danny."

"Danny. Danny. Oh, okay...yeah, you a good man Danny, always lookin' out. They's a few of you who's always good to me and I really thank y'all for it. There's a Mike, and a Ted, and a John, and a Jonathan, and y'all really helpin' me out. Ah kin only hope to get myself fixed up one day and repay y'all somehow for yah kindness."

"I hope you can, too.." I said, meaning fix himself up more than find a way of paying me back. "What's your name?"

"Mah name's Detroit," he answered, with a sharp accent on the DEE. "I ain't never been there, neither, but my daddy came from Detroit to New York and that's what he named me. Not many people got this name."

The crowd swelled around us - another F train had come and gone, depositing commuters to empty out in to the streets where they would breathe crisp winter air only briefly before ducking into systematically ventilated office buildings. A breeze washed over the two of us as we shook hands, and I could feel the toughness of life in his dry, ashy skin.


New Job

Keywords: (a.k.a. flavors of the week a.k.a. the sum of all things dismal)

Data Entry
Product Excellence Knowledge Mangement
Senior Vice President
Ramon Colon (prefers to be called Ray, you know)
Rice rocket (don't ask, related to various acts of skullduggerish spicericery)

(Thomas Mills carried two sets of business cards on him at all times. If, in his networking adventures, he came upon a person or group of persons exceptionally deserving of his minutely divided time, he would open his card holder and pull one of the ivory, thicker-stock cards from the back of the pack. Other than an extra degree of slippery gloss, the only other thing that differentiated the two card types was the inclusion of a cell phone number on the fancier batch. If you were important enough, you could even buy Thomas' time away from the desk. Dinners at the Mills household could sometimes be a nightmare - a melange of screaming babies, the Spanish chatter of maids, and the all-too-familiar default ring of a Cingular cellphone.)

After a trip to the local supply cabinet, I am ready to take on the fucking world. Balls to the wall, toes diggin' down in the dirt, pens and scissors and sticky notes galore. Ancient man fastened a rock to a stick and felt the universe shrink down to the size of his palm and here we are now, and Google or not, shit seems cheapened. Once upon a time we were embarking on a great adventure, an exploration into the expansion of our psychic energies to involve the objects around us so that we might sculpt them to advance our efforts to simply Be. Now, we have cubicles.

I feel pretty cheesy? trite? something? writing about that, too, because it seems that nowadays we all want to be Chuck Palahniuk and write that "cool" book about the guy who's not a "cog" in the "machine" and shit is all fucked up and dark and we might not have hope but there is reason we should find it..

Would you read that? Again?

I had a dream the other night and in it I went and visited Ben in Portland. But I don't even remembr if he said he lives in Seattle or Portland now. Either way, we got mindbogglingly drunk and I convinced him to smoke weed in the midst of a tequila foray and he ended up puking a shitload but we had a good time and we were drunk the way I always imagine Faulkner and Hemingway and that fucking asshole Nathaniel Hawthorne drunk - proclamations aplenty, the thrusting of chests into the air as the universe was simplified into beautifully slurred sentences, and then in the morning it was time for me to go and everything was blurry.

Have I not read his novella yet out of fear, or sheer laziness? A little bit from column A, a little bit from column B.

Is that human, or male? I guess it's human, and I'm experiencing it through the male viewpoint, being that I was born with testicles and all. What I'm talking about is when you have so much in common with a person yet you still feel a competitiveness that is irking as all hell, and distracting as well. It happens with those you know but also during random moments on the street. You pass by another guy your age, you're both dressed in the similar styles of the day, both have headphones on, who knows? You could both be listening to the same new Wolfmother EP. But there's that look in the eyes, a slight raising of the head, a skeptic stare that almost erupts into gloating but remains ever silent, and you pass each other, and wonder - What the fuck just happened?

The Advertising Council
Ad Marketplace
Advertising Age
Advertising Database

Tiramisu for dessert.

In an ideal world Ben and Larry and I would all live in the same city and form a triumvirate the likes of which would be a creative dynamo heretofore unseen upon this green (+brown+blue+othercolors) Earth.


I love, and if you read my last post on there, it fucking shows.

That's how foreign writing is to me these days. Show me one little thing and I'll emulate it because I can't even remember my own fucking flavor...

Mixed Up

Happy yesterday, sad today. Who knows what the deal is? Matt cooked up some fucking killer burgers yesterday. I'm talking these things were seriously good grilling on the ol' Foreman. He's got the Burger Touch, as the ancient nomads of the Eurasian plains were known to call it.

Started a mix yesterday when I got stoned and went out for a walk. All I could think about was Lucy and Eileen so I guess that's what it's "about" since I can't ever make these things just for fun, no, no, always themes and overarching emotional ranges but still a little random switching up the tempos and the sounds but something holds it all together. Got 4 songs in on my blitzed jaunt through the village before my fucking iPod died, I was in a rhythm too, that should teach me to charge the fucking thing. Slapped on another 4 or 5 songs this morning which means we're at least half the way to done if not beyond. One of the transitions made me want to fucking cry my brains out on the subway this morning, not sure why...people are strange, when you're a stranger.


Overqualified and underwhelmed.

Let's start here, and now, where I am standing (as I do the whole day long, only sitting to eat and shit) and staring out over Broadway and down the length of 40th street to the distant river. It could be summer out, judging by the looks of things; blue sky, radiant sun, the air itself even looks warmer than I know it to be. This city is a junk heap in some ways, I keep seeing things fluttering around in the sky anytime I look out the window. Tin foil, plastic bags, who knows what else? Maybe the faint glimmers I see out of the 20th floor window are just pieces of ourselves we're letting float away.

I don't want to be here. And yet, if I was where I wanted to be, I wouldn't even likely be doing the things I most want to be doing. In order to develop a sense of satisfaction with myself and my place in this world, I must being to accomplish. I can realize that, and talk about it all I want, yet I am waging the same old battle. I need to Will myself to Action. I expect that to come easier than it does. Yet I also know if I was to enforce my Will upon myself enough, it would become the simple act of Being. I wonder, sometimes, often, all the time, if the people around me are so concerned with their own identity as I am. Who Am I, What Am I Saying, How Am I Perceived, Am I Communicating Myself Properly, What Are The Rules Of This Game, Who Is Keeping Score, Why Am I Asking So Many Questions?

One week left at Google. I haven't looked for a job for more than a second. Lies. I haven't looked at all.