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11 March 2002 - Monday

Do you ever watch old movies on TV at night with the sound off and make up new dialogue? I kind of do that in real life sometimes. Like this weekend. I went to the grocery store and there were these two old women ferociously arguing about whether Feta cheese was Greek or Italian in origin and half way through their conversation I started making up new lines for them as they were talking. It was something kind of like this:
Old woman 1: Just because it has an “a” on the end doesn’t mean it’s Italian!
Old woman 2: But mozzarella has an “a” and ricotta has an “a” – they’re both Italian! Do you know any cheeses that are not Italian that end in “a’s?” eh?

(Here’s where my mind clicked the mute button)

Old woman 1: Would you believe I used to be an acrobat with the circus?

Old woman 2: Which circus? The one with all the tigers and things?

Old woman 1: I would walk the tightrope above the tigers! They’d stand under me, waiting with a fork and a catcher’s mitt.

Old woman 2: I don’t believe it! That’s crazy. Aren’t you afraid of heights?

Old woman 1: Sure, but a girl has to make a living. It was either heights or working as a secretary. There was a war on you know.

Old woman 2: To think - the circus. How romantic! I bet you had affairs with everyone.

Old woman 1:(squeezing a package of cheese and gesturing violently) You better believe it – they called me the “sword swallower.” I was very sexy.

Old woman 2: Does Sol know?

Old woman 1: Where do you think I met him, he was a clown in ring 3. He squirted me with the flower on his lapel and I was in love.

Old woman 2: Amazing.

Old woman 1: And let me ask you? Has anyone ever used feta in a calzone or on a pizza. I don’t think so…

I walked away about then when I saw that they had some free sample of mini-sausages. I love the free food in supermarkets – basically anything on a toothpick is fantastic in my book. Sometimes I wonder why homeless people don’t just go and eat samples all the time. I mean, they’re free and right there in the open. I’d just hang around the grocery stores all day – hopping from one to another.

It was a rather interesting weekend on the whole. On Saturday morning, I took my dachshund Harold to the pet shrink for his first analysis. Afterwards when I asked Dr. Hockenplatz what he thought was wrong he refused to tell me claiming doctor-patient confidentiality. It seems a little nuts to me but maybe he can help Harold get over his depression. I am truly beginning to worry. I mean, the other day I came home and he was listening to Muddy Waters and howling. Alright, so that’s an exaggeration but he’s definitely not been himself.

I had a dream last night about Caroline (Shmentz’s amazingly hot niece). I gotta tell you, this girl is fantastic. I’ve only seen her a couple times and she’s captured my heart. In the dream, we were sitting out on this veranda at one of those old English-type society functions where there is ballroom dancing and everyone is named Lord Ackenberry or Lady Snidewell. And I was gazing into her eyes and they reflected the moon. A full moon. And suddenly I saw the man in the moon and he began to sing just like Sinatra - “Strangers in the Night.” All this in her eyes. The next thing I knew we were waltzing across a golden field, our backs set against the pristine midnight blue of the night. There was the orchestra playing nearby in a patch of wheat and suddenly a flock of geese flew overhead and I woke up kissing my down pillow. I’ve gotta make a move soon and ask her out.

08 March 2002 - Friday

Caroline. Caroline Greenberg. What am I doing? I already married this girl in my mind. Yeah, in my mind. More like in my dreams. Jeez, she's beautiful. So here's what I did. I went out and bought a copy of Hero's Journey by Joseph Campbell. This is some pretty heady stuff, and as I read it, I'll find some way, if I ever really get to talk to her that is, to weave the brilliance into the conversation. Campbell writes volumes on mythology, which until today I thought had to do with Greek myths, sirens and Zeus and Apollo. But no, there's much more to the subject and it's fascinating. I think I could really get into this, Caroline or not. Speaking of Caroline, I visited Shmentz for a few minutes this morning and again she was exiting his office. Wearing a bright, tight red sweater and here hair cascading over her shoulders, I lost my entire presence of mind and knocked a vase off Smentz's coffee table. Luckily it didn't break.

"My niece?" Shmentz said. I wasn't sure if this was a question or a statement or what.
"Pardon me?" I retorted as sharp as a tack.
"Caroline. She has that effect. You're a young, good looking lad, why don't you ask her out?"
My vision started to fade, maybe because my heart was trying to leap out of my chest. I tried to remain calm, but all I could say was "I didn't know you had a niece. Sure, whatever." Real smart.
So Smentz buzzes his secretary and asks her to send Caroline right in. I wished I used extra antiperspirant and was wearing my new blue shirt &Mac247; the one I looked good in. The one without food stains. I braced myself and did a breath check by blowing into my hand and inhaling. Not bad. I also took a look at my pants for some stupid reason in the reflection of Shmentz's wall sized poster of Casablanca. I do have a nice ass. Maybe I should be bending over the desk when Caroline saunters in. What the hell am I thinking?

Shmentz's secretary buzzed back. "Sorry, Mr. Shmentz, Caroline left the building already. Do you want me to
call her on her cell phone?"
"No, that won't be necessary, Mildred."
I immediately felt a sense of depression as if someone just told me they would no longer be serving chocolate mousse at Flensky's Deli midtown. No Caroline. Shmentz just shrugged his shoulders and smiled; "Maybe next time." I left his office like a puppy with his tail between his legs and on the way to the elevator looked over my shoulder to see Mildred staring at me with a Cheshire Cat grin. "Nice ass, Greenberg." The elevator closed as I shot Mildred a confused wink and a smile.

06 March 2002 - Wednesday

I think my dachshund Harold is depressed. He’s just been moping around the apartment for the last few days and refuses to get up and do anything. It’s like he’s a completely different person. I made every effort to amuse him - I pulled out his cat chew toy, put his favorite television program (Late Night with Conan O’Brien) and even performed a classic Abbot and Costello routine with two oven mitt puppets. The poor guy wouldn’t even raise his head. My friend Cleo suggested that I take him to this pet psychologist on the Upper East Side — Dr. Hockenplatz. This guy’s supposed to be some kind of a genius or something. I heard in one case study he helped several hyenas to see that their compulsion to laugh at everything was just a coping device they were employing to mask their true inner feelings. I just hope he can put the wag back in Harold’s tail.

Work has been a bit crazy lately too - it seems that I’m more of a private eye recently than a photographer. Smentz had me running all over town to record what he called “A singular fraction of a moment which encapsulates the universal ambiguity.” I ended up recording a homeless guy who wasn’t wearing any pants as he scooted down Fifth Avenue on a shopping cart - one leg dangling behind him (at least I think it was a leg). The faces of the shoppers at Saks were had me cracking up. One man came out and yelled at the bum for acting like this saying that it would give people a worse impression of New York and tourism is already low. Smentz ought to love it. Either way, I’m looking forward to drop it off tomorrow morning, his lovely niece might be around. I hope I can think of something to say - more at least than the bumbling sentences I spewed out the other day. I’ll at least try and talk to her about something - art or literature or something. Smentz said something about her being a graduate student in English literature. What I should do is like throw some literary reference into the conversation so that she knows I’m smart. Right? Okay.

I talked to my Mother on the phone this morning. She woke me up at 7 o’clock and I had gone to bed late at 2:30 (they were showing Eric Rohmer’s “My Night at Maud’s” on some movie channel). The first thing she says is “Did I wake you?” “Yes, Mom. You woke me.” “Oh. Well, anyways...” It was exhausting. Why do people even ask that? I don’t understand. If you ask someone if you woke them up and you did shouldn’t you just let them go back to sleep. That’s what I always do. Ehhhh. She wants to have lunch with me she says. She never sees me anymore. We’re meeting later this week. Knowing her, she’ll probably pick some dive of a restaurant where they throw the food at you and you’re supposed to eat it off of your shirt. Then as she’s hanging up, she says “I’ll let you get back to sleep now.” As if I could sleep after she’s yelled into my ear for the past 15 minutes. Mothers. Whatta you gonna do?

05 March 2002 -Tuesday

It's not exciting to me, but as I tell it to others, well, they somehow find my line of work intriguing. There's not really a name for it, so the closest I can describe my occupation is that of an Independent Media
Consultant, although consultation is a small part of what I do. Mainly I take photographs, videos and even interviews for a small number of clients with very particular needs. Some are dubious and I have learned not to ask too many questions. Like there's Mr. Avery Smentz up on the East Side. He's a self-made millionaire who wants to document the mating habits of couples. He says New York is the concrete jungle, so
just like in the jungles of India, mating rituals are profoundly important to the procreation of humankind as we know it. When he was first explaining this to me, I chuckled. Then I realized Mr. Smentz was serious, so I searched my memory for the little I had stored on anthropology in my noggin and I asked him whether he thought mating was a ritual or an instinct — a pretty heady question. I was proud of myself.

Mr. Smentz smiled and said, "Ah, Harry, so you're an anthropologist at heart, are you? Good question indeed. You're a real thinker. Now go out and shoot me some footage in Central Park. And no perverts, bums or prostitutes. I'm not running a porno site, you know. We're looking for bonafide human behavior."

So that was last month and I have to tell you that Mr. Smentz's pockets run pretty deep. And I don't mean because he's about 300 pounds butt naked (excuse the imagery). He said he made his first million from an invention he came up with at age 33. It was some sort of glue that kept some sort of tiles on the space shuttle from coming undone during reentry into the earth's atmosphere. I don't fully understand. All I know is that this job pays well. Real well. And once a month or so, Mr. Smentz takes me out to a great restaurant and we shoot the breeze, half business and the other half personal interest.

One last thing. While on the way out of Mr. Smentz's office last week I nearly dropped my video camera at the sight of an incredibly beautiful young woman. Incredible body, incredible eyes, incredible hair. Did I say incredible? Get this, she's Shmentz's niece, Caroline. I can't remember if she said "Hi" or what. I still can't get her out of my mind. Maybe Shmentz will invite her to dine with us. Who knows?

01 March 2002 - Friday

Today is a day that will live in infamy for the duration of the internet. I was strolling along down the information superhighway (please forgive the use of this obnoxious antiquated term – it is simply used here to provide a touch of imagery) and what caught my eye but the online journal section of Yahoo. Now, I thought to myself, “this is a perfect opportunity to get to know other people and share my life with complete strangers. How can I resist.” And so here I am with my very own web page. First I suppose I should introduce myself. I’ll make this brief as you’ll get to know me more and more as the weeks pass.
 
My name is Harry Greenberg. I work in advertising. It’s not the greatest job in the world, but it pays the bills. I live in Manhattan – Greenwich Village really, in a small but comfortable apartment. Sunday mornings I’ll often go for a walk in the park with my dachshund, Harold. This is a little strategy I have aimed a picking up women – they just love cute dogs named Harold. I suppose we ought to get to the interesting part – the seamy details. Well, I don’t know if they’ll be titillating enough for the MTV generation but may just do it for their grandparents. No, actually I go on quite a few dates and am always looking for some action. My best friend, Autumn, is always telling me that I’m too picky when it comes to the ladies but I just know what I want and more importantly, what I don’t want and that is a large, ugly woman named Mildred Kablinksi.
 
I have quite a few friends that you’ll hear about as I am always going off on some adventure or another with them. I’ll introduce them all as time goes on but the notables are Autumn, Herbie, Cleo, and Wes. I think it also should be noted that this is really a type of therapy for me and I hope to work out any anxieties and issues that seem to come up in addition to discussing the craziness of a life that often feels like fiction. If anyone feels like contacting me, my email address is harrygreenberg@yahoo.com. So on that note, I suppose I ought to begin.

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