Category Archives: J1 VISA

30/5/08 Tripping Up.

I went to the city today and met with one of Rick’s journo friends (Shane) at Rockefeller. We had Pina Coladas and danced to great salsa music. That night I met Martin Spence (W 86th somewhere). i stayed there that night after listening to a jam session at Cleopatras. I was happy sitting there by myself after Shane left. Of course we had a great philosophical conversation regarding creativity.

This morning I woke up to one of Martin’s dogs licking my hand..there was a ferocious pong of dog all over the house, and that distinct older ‘bachelor smell’. I think Martin is a very interesting, complex, talented , creative individual, but I’m guessing he has had a tragic existence, he has that restless, edgy energy about him. He’s utterly obsessed with Prokofiev and tribal cultures; he has many ornaments/masks on the walls. I was very impressed to see a picture of him with none other than Bela Lugosi (ca. Dracula) and Prokofiev’s sons. His dogs appeared in a wool print advertisement in the ’80s! His apartment is in a rich part of town, UWS. After I finished looking around his apartment, I left a note thanking him for letting me stay and wandered off down the street.

Got a coffee and bagel for 3 bucks at 2387 B’Way 87th st. I rambled around, went to Times Square and bought manuscript, went on another sub and landed in 51st st station where I got my hair cut for $16 (Romas). Then I went to Canal St, 99c store where I bought a few towels and essentials. Got 5pm LIRR back to Long Beach.

I forgot to mention my romantic encounter today! Shane wanted me to scan my passport so maybe he could help me doctor it (in the end , I did it myself!). Kinkos was shit, so around 38th and 8th Ave I found a place, inside there was a very good looking guy with a nice friendly personality. He offered to help me photocopy my passport (a pretty straighforward operation!), we exchanged one of ‘those’ looks. Intense, brief, and powerful. I complained about having bought a shitty slice of pizza, eventually he said ‘if you ever fancy rambling streets again, I’ll be around’. We exchanged numbers over the photocopier.His name is Sebastien. I walked out of the shop, thanking him for his help…I could feel his eyes looking me up and down as I tripped over my green floral heels, a smile stretching from ear to ear. I turned the corner and almsot yelled with excitement, god, I thought, it’s been a while since I experienced that ‘zing’ with a person. Even if I don’t see him again (hope I do!), at least that happened. What sort of world would we live in with no romance? I got back to Long Beach around 6pm, wanted to get bus to the club, but kept missing it. I ended up walking all the way back, consistently making wrong turns. It took forever, but I was so ecstatic about the encounter with Seb that I didn’t seem to give a shit, until I arrived back and stopped walking. My feet are covered in the city dirt and my eyes are closing. Another great day. X


29/5/08 – DrinkyDrinky, Into the Sea,Rubbish Sex.

I am frigging wrecked after last night. Finished work around 7pm after terrace and dining room service for 300 firemen (it was Memorial Day). A few of us went to Reilly’s Bar where we proceeded to get very very drunk.. we bought more drinks in the store and went to drink on the beach. One thing lead to another and we ended up running into the ocean with our bra and knickers on..among other activities. I kind of fucked a chef in the shower rooms, but we were too drunk to get anything successfully ‘up’ or ‘in’ or actually make it happen. I don’t know why, it was random, he isn’t event attractive, he’s an angry, talented, passionate, troubled, chef with more baggage than he can handle! Riona successfully nailed Miguel, also in the shower rooms. It’s such a coming-of-age teenage movie scene, it’s not funny! I went to sleep around 7am, and woke at 12. I could have slept longer, but I was determined not to waste a single day, or opportunity to do something interesting. My muscles hurt all over, I’ve got random brusies that are going to show and a splitting headache/red eyes. I must have water/coffee/breakfast stat! Will write tomorrow deleriously happy now.X

27/5/08 – Settling in to life in ‘The Monkey House’

I started at 10am today, went for a shower first which was located outside. I looked like shit, but the sun was shining, it was a hot day with a clear blue sky and gulls squawking, sand between my toes. I went straight to the main kitchen and got some coffee. Chef was surprised to see me up early, I went for a walk and a paddle on the shore. It is so beautiful there in the morning, the notable absence of snotty nosed kids and poser gold-digger trophy wives.  The sand is so pale and peppery, with nice shells. I saw the boss on his tractor raking the trash off the beach, he stopped and said hi. I was worried he was going to ask me to start early, but he didn’t.  I worked in the cafeteria with Jeanette and Virginia; two legendary characters. There is always great banter between them, very professional in their work. I prepared fruit salads and Cobb salads (ick! Blue Cheese,bacon bits, chicken, tomatoes..what the fuck?!). I chopped onions and made coleslaw. The repetition of work and nice fresh fruit was a nice way to start the day and time passed quickly.  We ate breakfast around 11:30am. Eggs, salad, coffee, waffles with maple syrup! There was left over dessert from last nights BBQ, but I didn’t fancy anything so sweet that early.

Right now I’m just settling in to work, enjoying the characters/accents/sounds/smells/customs. Going to read Graham Joyce ‘ Smoking Poppy’. Miss music. X

26/5/08 – First day working@Private beach club in Long Beach, NY

I worked with so many people today, whose names I can’t remember…really nice people. Had a warm shower today, getting used to  the ‘rustic chic’ of the hostel style accommodation. Didn’t fuck up on my first day, things seem to be done very efficiently and with good attitude bar the head chef Ricardo, who is a bit of a loose canon at times, but a really nice guy. Last night he came over and invited me to his trailer (!) for a drink/smoke/pizza/chat. Sounds dodgy! Nope! It was lovely to meet him and Tony..both chefs.

At first I thought the hours were crazy, with little or no breaks in between, but then I looked around and realized everyone’s on the same boat. Of course that doesn’t mean it’s okay, but softened the blow and reduced the chances of me just feeling sorry for myself. I realized I would be meeting the exact same people everyday for the next 3/4 months. At the time I thought it was sort of comforting and thought it would make work more bearable, because of the apparent sense of community. The residents themselves are okay, they are stinking rich and have more bucks than sense (haha more bucks than cents!). Their children are cheeky and condescending. I’m not too far away from Long Beach city, a bus ride away. But you don’t have time to spare when you’re working. I have to start saying goodbye to hour long lunch breaks like we have at home in Ireland. We’ve got it pretty sweet at home. I worked my fucking ass off today, got bitten by various bugs and tolerated little shits of kids. It better be worth it. The maitre d working the restaurant is hot stuff, reminds me of an ex boyfriend. My ex had rang me adys before I departed for NYC, he wished me the best. I will have the best tiems on my days off. I’m dying to go to Manhattan to see gigs/shop/art take it in.

I’m getting my passport doctored (it’s a widely accepted form of ID, especially from students on international Visas). I’ll do it myself! I’m afraid I’m gonna put on loads of weight while I’m over here: I ate pizza last night, pasta today and other wheat-y stuff. My stomach isn’t complaining so far, so why deprive myself?

I worked mainly on orders from 11am-6ish. We had a Memorial Day buffet for the members from 7pm-11pm, I bussed tables. Unfortunately we can’t drink at the bar here, it’s a ‘dry campus’. I need to get to work on doctoring my passport, I’d give my big toe for a gin and tonic!

The accommodation is dubbed ‘The Monkey House’, and rightly so, with over 20 Irish students taking up residence there every Summer. One time I came back and the guys bathroom had flooded into the living room. Another morning a homeless guy was asleep on the couch, with a distinct smell of piss in the room for weeks after. There was a handyman who lived in another part of the building who regularly came in and fixed us drinks of vodka and orange, which was nice! The PC is fucked, no stamps, envelopes or time off , so contact with the outside world is off limits for now.

Going to smoke a fag (or sorry, cigarette over here!)and apply ointment to my various bites…Slán go fóil. X