Thursday, July 01, 2004


26. I was born in Rochester, NY, and grew up near Lake Ontario. I know snow.

27. I went to Union College in Schenectady, NY. I know snow.

28. After college, I went to work for the New York State Assembly, requiring me to spend half my time in Albany, NY. I know snow.

29. I was 38 when I moved to Manhattan, where there is considerably less snow.

30. I moved to Manhattan as the logical next step in a 7-1/2 year long distance relationship. Three years later, that relationship ended. I know ice.

31. I also moved to Manhattan without a job. After almost 6 months of unemployment, I finally found a $30,000 a year job (less than minimum wage for this city, really) requiring me to commute three to four hours each day. To Staten Island. But it was a job, and the first step to rebuilding my career. From scratch.

32. Not to be too smug, but I’m pleased at the way things worked out with my career. A little talent, a lot of effort, and a dash of serendipity landed me my dream job just 5 years after arriving in New York City. Robby is back, baby!

33. My first post-college job was as a security guard. I was quickly promoted to the rank of sergeant. Please – no need to salute. For almost a year, if you wanted to get into a certain Rochester Gas & Electric facility, you had to be nice to me.

34. That was the job in which I started smoking seriously, to combat the boredom of sitting in a booth raising gates up and down for eight-hour graveyard shifts.

35. Sometimes I wish I didn’t smoke, and I’m very aware of the long-term effects the habit will have on my health. But mostly I’m okay with it.

36. I’m also okay with my drinking, although some people might find it excessive. Excessive in consistency, if not in volume or resulting carnage. I try not to make an ass of myself in public, and I usually succeed. After all these decades, I know when it’s time to go home.

37. And I’ve never let the bottle intrude on my job. On the rare occasions when I feel a bit, er, fatigued in the morning, I buckle down and work through it. I have never called in sick because of the previous night’s escapades, and never will.

38. I’m not a druggie. I don’t care if you do it, but they aren’t for me. If you do drugs, though, you should be aware that I’ll give you a nickname like ‘Cocaine Charlie’ and viciously mock you behind your back. Nothing personal; it’s just what I do.

39. Speaking of drugs, it’s rare I even take over-the-counter medicine. I’m not a Christian Scientist, but you’d think I was, the way I avoid even Tylenol.

40. However, I use various topical steroid creams to try to control a moderate case of psoriasis. By the way, it’s virtually impossible to combat psoriasis. The only thing that works for me is a lot of sun. Fortunately, I loves me my sun.

41. Ah, the sun! I am the King of Seasonal Affective Disorder. I cry when Daylight Savings Time ends.

42. Actually, I cry fairly easily. But I still have that ‘real men don’t cry’ ‘upbringing drummed into my subconscious, so I usually hold it in until my head aches. Of course, once my head aches, I won’t take Tylenol. It’s a vicious cycle, my friends. A former co-worker said it’s the Irish in me that makes me a bit weepy and sentimental.

43. I’m a somewhat unknown blend of Irish and German heritage, with a dash of English and, I think I was once told, Dutch. For some reason – mostly disinterest, I suppose – my family can only trace its roots back a few generations. Every once in a while I feel curious about my ancestry, but then it seems like too much work, so I let the curiosity go away.

44. The Irish Curse? Shut up!! I do not discuss my appendages on this blog.

45. But while we’re on the subject of curses, I should acknowledge that NC-17 words have been known to emerge from my mouth on many occasions. Some people think the use of profanity demonstrates limited intelligence, but they can go fuck themselves.

46. I thought it was funny when Dick Cheney told Patrick Leahy to go fuck himself. I like it when public figures let their guard down and act like real people.

47. Of course, I won’t be voting for Cheney (and his ostensible boss.) Maybe he should take comfort in that. Until 2000, I had a perfect record in voting for the winning presidential candidate, but I may have lost my knack. However, my perfect record of NEVER voting for a winning candidate for New York State governor stands.

48. Interestingly enough, though, I have been a Republican, I am currently a Democrat, and for a decade I was even an official in New York’s tiny Conservative Party.

49. When I was a Conservative Party county vice chairman, I ran for office twice as a protest candidate. I ran for County Legislature in 1981 (receiving 4.7 percent of the vote) and Congress in 1986 (3.8%). That means roughly one out of every 20-25 people who went to the polls pulled the lever for me. Scary.

50. Or maybe I just know how to snow.