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August 30, 2007

Fixed Camera and Family

So this guy on Grand St. helped me fix my digital camera. Finally, eh? Now I have to get into the habit of taking photos again. here's one.


I had dinner with Aunt Freddi and Uncle Dave. We had excellent indian food in the Village. It's nice to live near to my East Coast relations.


I have to decide which internship to take, plus I need a paying job, but otherwise i'm doing quite well. Good old New York.

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August 20, 2007

thoughts on being new in New York

Overdue blog post

I feel this urge to make a comment about my perception of the passage of time since I moved here 12 days ago. How I compare it to when I first moved to Spain or when I left traveling on my various occasions abroad, about when everything is new to you and you have no routines. I think this makes everything pass by much slower, or more perceptibly. The other night, when I finally went to sleep after an early morning wake up and a large portion of the day spent in Manhattan, it felt like I had seen and done too much for it to fit in only one day.
I compare that to my life in San Francisco, where I had work and obligations, friends and a schedule. I think about all the months I spent working and how those days blend together in my mind, rolling with the rhythm of an established life. And now I’m a newcomer who gets lost on these excitingly confusing streets and pulls his map out at broad intersections, I’m the guy who meets everyone, shakes their hands, and tries not to forget their names.
Maybe I’m just dwelling on this so I can look back on it. A few weeks ago I did the same looking back, about when I had first moved to the Bay Area. It felt like the good kind of nostalgia, the kind loaded with words I’m loath to use, like bittersweet and poignant. But how glorious it was, the getting lost on purpose, the learning of the feel of a new city. That’s what I’m getting to do now and I’m trying to grab it with my hands, because who knows how many more times I’ll untrench myself from my life and relocate to a different place?
It’s hard here, harder than the West Coast. I’ve been sending out resumes everyday, and there have been few leads. I am the one who made the decision to spend the last 3 or 4 years traveling and working resume-killing jobs though, so I’m not surprised. I just hope that someone sees through my time spent working 3 days a week as a bike courier, and gives me a shot. If not, there’s always internships to get my foot in the door, and working as a temp or in restaurants or even as a bike courier again (really don’t want to do that). Probably it will come to this, and I’m ok with that, because then I’ll work my way up, same as everyone else.
One of the more memorable things that has happened since I moved here was my first legal deposition. 3 years ago now, I was arrested while protesting the RNC. After they detained me and hundreds of others under unjustifiable pretenses, I was kept for 29 hours, and part of that time was spent locked in an old bus depo on the west side, at Pier 57. This foul place had been used for bus maintenance, and there was a thick film of oil and diesel fuel residue coating the floor. I had to sleep in this muck. Not a good experience.
After I was finally released, I joined a class action lawsuit against the city of New York. This last Wednesday was my turn to be deposed by lawyers representing the defense, aka the city of New York.
I had a day of prep before my actual deposition, with a lawyer who was helping the prosecution. He went over with me what they would probably ask, and we talked about how it might go. After our prep session, I felt nervous.
I’ll not go into details about the actual deposition. After providing the city with the URL of my blog from that occasion and having them pull it out and question me about it, I’m a bit more cautious about what I write on the internet. But I do have a few things that the deposition made me think about, things I’ll probably remember always.
What really disturbed me was how the attorney in charge of deposition for the defense was very nice and cordial during our introduction, and then as soon as we were on the record, she would snap into this calculating, attacking, confusing law machine. And more then that, it was amazing to think about how, regardless of political affiliation or moral convictions, that to become a lawyer means putting yourself in a place where you can choose to subvert your own opinions for the good of your case.
Now, I’m certain that there are attorneys who don’t do this, who don’t have to sidestep their convictions. I imagine that the lawyer there to support me during my deposition was probably one of these ones, the good guys. And maybe the attorney for the defense really did hold the view that the city had every justification to do what they did (she was from Texas). But I doubt this, for she was young, and not a city attorney at all, but a junior lawyer at a large Manhattan law firm that was getting pro bono credit for having her do the deposition.
And that’s the other thing that gets me; that the people who best know the law (someone once likened being an attorney to joining a priest class of people, the precious few actually able to interpret the Byzantine complexities of our legal system) would get credit for defending a clear civil rights violation. Where is the morality? But of course, this could go into me ranting about how our whole legal and political system has been permanently disfigured after the last 6+ years of the current administration, and there are plenty of other people ranting more eloquently than I.
So, I’m glad I’m not a lawyer. And certainly, there is has been and still is an attraction about it, the verbal algebra aspect of parsing words. There were moments during my deposition that felt like chess, when she was trying to wrangle me into admitting something that was not my view, and I, the untrained layman, managed to gibber my way out of it. But all in all, I’ll just state a great quote I heard recently: Law is the opposite of sex, because even when law is really good, it’s still kind of crappy.
I have 3 interviews so far this week. Cross your fingers for me. And Aaron Buskirk gets into town tonight for a bit, and next week Cameron comes back from Iceland, and the week after that Peter B. returns from Africa. Plus, I’m making new friends left and right, and eating all kinds of interesting foods, and really just loving living here. So come visit, and Amanda and Billy and Rob and Paul H. and anyone else, you should move here. You can crash on my couch.

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August 17, 2007

sorry i haven't been posting

my digital camera is on the fritz, so no photos, which is a bummer. mostly I've been hard at work looking for a job. On wednesday i had my deposition for the RNC case. it was grueling to say the least, and made me question the morals of all lawyers. the lawyer for the defense who deposed me was tricky, but i did fine.

more soon, i promise.

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August 12, 2007


I'm here. living in a caribbean neighborhood, with vegan rasta restaurants and giant saturday block parties just around the corner. my housemates are good, we're friends already. many of the folks i know who live here are gone for this month, and it will be great to see them when they get back, but i'm also enjoying just exploring by myself. oh, and there's a deaf persian kitten who lives in the apartment, and he's taken quite a shine to me.
more later, gotta go explore.

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