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journalWelcome to my online journal. I'm Alex Mead. For many years people called me AMPro --so much so that it seemed like my name. More recently, a lot of people on the internet have come to know me as green.earth.al and in show biz...My Rap Name is Alex. Whatever name I'm known by, I still seem to have the same opinions and convictions, I still like to write and make public my introspection and try to say something that will provoke some thoughts and help people see the world in new and helpful ways.
October 2005
I Kissed a Girl...
this journal entry posted on October.29.2005

I'd lived in Buffalo for nearly 35 years. And I'd never once been to Nietzsche's even once. It's a pretty legendary bar/hang out spot. I haven't much occasion to go into any bars. Still, I've been in most bars on the west side at least once for some reason or another. Leslie was going to be Belly Dancing there for Halloween. So I decided to drop by and see her some more.

I got there on time. Here in Buffalo, that means I got there way early and there was nobody there. S'okay I had plent to do to keep myself occupied. I had a ton of drawings to do for my book. It was too dark to draw in there but where there's a will, there's a way they say.

I Didn't get much time to draw because this totally obnoxious guy came in. Drunk, loud, insisting on airing his problems to everyone else, making viscious anti-women comments.

Twenty minutes later... Obnoxious guy, his name was Rob, was my newest friend. Depressed people don't necessarily bother. Not if they have a good reason to be depressed. And Rob had all of the best reasons. He was pissed off about the lack of human contact and brootherhood on planet Earth. Right On! Me too! We became really good friends. He said that no one had sat and listened to him for years. Well I sat and listened to him. He was interesting. He said he had always wanted to writre a book. The plot he described to me sounded awesome. I didn't even tell him much about the books I was writing. I just mostly listened. He needed a listener. I totally hope he writes that book. It is a book that I would very much like to read.

Okay so after a while bands started showing up. And warming up. And more people came in. And I found a playbill for the evening and confirmed that I was there on the right night so Leslie would get there later.

So Nietzsche's is a pretty cool optical illusion. From the front it looks like this tiny, tiny place. I always hear music going on as I ride by on my bike and I always figure people must be packed in like sardeens in there. But no. Actually the place is cavernous. It's really, really long. Not wide across at all, not very tall, but it just goes on and on for like half a block in depth.

So there's a pretty big dance floor. The first band was pretty good. I started dancing. Alone. Again. A common theme lately. People look at me like I'm a bug eyed alien. I don't much care. If the music is good: I dance. That's what makes me happy. Other people were knocking the music, the evening, everything else. Me, I knew that it could all be much worse. The band was a fine band. And sure enough the bands after did seem to get worse. Or, at least, I could hear what they were saying, they were just all load for the sake of being loud. So I ended up getting the dancing in while the dancing was good.

Leslie and a huge posse of Belly Dancers came in. They look awesome. They are really about it with the costuming. A joy to look at, and fun to watch while they perform. The performed in between each band. I sat on the floor up close and just had a very sensual experience with the whole thing. They were an exibition of some of my favorite things about womanhood, from the sensual all the way to the sublime through to the subtle. I enjoyed it on a bunch of different levels. It made me very aware of my polyamorousness, and my metamorphosis into being very okay with that.

Through the night there were lots of people that came up and talked to me. It seems that I'm known even in new places. I talked to people about the Judy for Mayor campaign (the election was coming up). I talked about my run for co-op board again (that election was coming up the very next day). Buffalo's a cool place with lots of cool people to talk to. And I talked to Rob more here and there. And any time she was free I went over and talked to Leslie. She was smiling a lot that night. She's really beautiful.

So at some point it was time to leave. I had been reminded that I had to stay awake the next day and try to get elected to the food co-op board.

So I went to say my goodbyes to Leslie and she went to hug me. Now, whenever a woman goes to hug me, my Quasimoto complex kicks in and I turn my head way away so she won't think I'm trying to get fresh and kiss her or anything. Only... with Leslie, it seemed like she had been actually trying to kiss me. So I had made a conscious effort to remember not to turn my head next time we embraced. So, we embraced. And...

I turned my head again. I can't help it. Something's wrong in my brain. Worse yet was that she kissed me anyway. Too late, the realization kicked in that she actually wanted to kiss me. "UG! IDIOT! STOP TURNING YOUR HEAD! SHE WANTS TO KISS YOU!" Desperately I tried to communicate with my eyes. In eyeball language I said "Give me another chance and I won't turn my head." And it worked. She speaks eyebell language. She came back. And we kissed. Lips to lips. Just a little bit. But it just lit my whole emotional being up. I had a very inspired ride home. I was very eager to see her again.

Life in a Dark Cave called Truck...
this journal entry posted on October.22.2005

Things... starting to look up.

Got my job back. Acted with Many Fried. My book was all but written with 2 months to go until Publication date. My friend Mikey had come back to Buffalo for a minute to visit us all. Oh how I had missed Mikey. And then he was there. And I wasted the time he was there just kinda feeling down because he was gonna be gone again any moment.

Well, except that the silver lining was seeing Leslie again. Mikey got some of his BBSing buddies together at my house. I can remember Mikey asked if he could have a party at my house, and I was all like "sure!". And he was like "Can I have Pizza and Balloons?" and I was all like "Sure!" You know. Like 'Sure! You can bring anything you want.' Then when he got there I realized that *I* was supposed to supply the balloons and pizza. D'oh! Sometimes when you're that poor, you just assume that everyone knows how poor you are. So, I wasn't gonna hunt down any balloons, but I did have a little wad of cash because I was withdrawing every cent I had in any account anywhere to pay as much of the rent as possible. I took a little bit of that money and ordered Mikey's pizza with it.

As I went to get the Pizza (none of which I could eat because it would be covered in meat juice, and I'm not into Pizza cheese anyway) I stopped up front to hand over every penny I had in this world to my landlady who proceeded to bitch me out because it wasn't the whole rent and the month was more than half over already. I had done the very best I could, she was holding all the money I'd had in the world, so I just let her do her thing and yell if it made her feel better.

So then, back to Leslie. She was there at Mikey's party, and we just had a lot of fun talking to each other, and she was just really attractive in a whole lot of ways. And after Mikey left he was telling each of us that we liked each other, so we cut out the middle man, started IMing each other and started making plans to get together.

So, yeah... things... starting to look up.

Even my whole delinquent rent thing was only going to take a week or two to clear up now that I was working again. So I set about to concentrate on work. To become as good at my job as I was able to be. To try to become invaluable to my boss so that I would never be the first one laid off again(I was last hired, first fired).

So, I started this journal entry intending to tell some work stories and I've written a million words and I still haven't gotten to them yet.

Work, is throwing tires. There will be anywhere from 600 to 100 tires, and I put them on a truck. If they are heavy tires there'l be closer to 600. If they are light tires they'll be closer to 1,000. When I first showed up, I really HATED heavy tires. But I was putting on muscle every day, my muscle density was going way up and all tires were becomming light to me. I was learning to throw trucks faster and faster, and throwing more trucks with each passing weeks and my paycheck was getting bigger and it just still continues to climb. This is so much better than security was. I could be as good at security as I wanted to be and I'd still get yelled at by my friend/boss and nasty memos that tell us how much we all suck. Day after day of that. With throwing tires, I get better at my job, I get paid more. Then I get to keep getting more physically fit every week on top of that. Pretty happy with the new job.

Okay, so, for a week I had been so, so eager to see Leslie again. To spend any time with her. I got invited to her father's birthday. It was at a restaurant. I can't eat resteraunt food. I get sick. But enough time passes and I try to tell myself "Well, maybe I won't get sick this time." I just really, really wanted to spend some time with Leslie. That was more important than not getting sick.

Okay, so the menu. Again I find myself playing this game. Try to pick the one thing on the menu that won't make you sick. Assuming there is such a thing. I figured "Oh wow, Pasta and Spinich! That's totally harmless. NO WAY that's gonna make me sick." So the Pasta and Spinich comes and it's like Pasta drowned in cooking oul with a heavy cooking oil sauce with a little spinich on it and a side of cooking oil. Okay, at this point, I know better than to eat this. But my metabolism has goner way up with all the exertion and so I'm constantly hungry and at this point I was starving so I had to eat a little. And I didn't want to be rude. I didn't want to waste food. My mother had always told me not to waste food. And I was getting to hang out with Leslies' family. Everything was wonderful.

When I woke up at 3am that morning just as sick as a person can be, things were not wonderful. My mouth felt like it was coated in grease. I had exploding bowel loonacy going on. And, best of all, I had 3 hours before I had to go to work. I got no more sleep. I was just in pain in the bathroom. A few hours later I felt well enough to go to work I thought. I got to work and I was sick all over again. I actually used a public rest room in the warehouse at work. Just take my word for it that I have to be sicker than you can ever imagine to use the rest room there. It took me an hour and a half to throw my first 20 tires (because every time I left the bathroom I had to run back).

There had been days were I wasn't having fun at work. The day where I was all dizzy and crashing the palette jack into everything comes to mind. But that day was the new record for the worst.

Okay. So then later that week, I set a NEW record.

My boss had been promising me for a while that he would let me throw motorcycle tires. "That's where the real money is!" he would tell me. I wanted to make the real money so I kept waiting for him to let me do some motorcycle tires.

These days I will only grab a motorcycle tire load if it's the only thing available. It's not where the money is for me. You make more per truck. But a truck just takes me way longer. There are SO many more tires on a truck. There can be up to 2800 tires to put on a truck. I'm slow at it. But at least I've gotten a bit faster than that first day.

My boss had been saying, I'm gonna get you on a motorcycle truck soon. Tommorow. Next week. On Monday. The next time I'm in on a Saturday we'll do one together. Any day now. Tuesday for sure. So, one day he comes up and says I have a motorcycle load for you to do RIGHT NOW.

Finally! I thought. This was to become the new worst day at work. Motocycle tires HURT. They are hard rubber and after a couple hours your wrists are killing you. AND, they fall over a LOT easier! I had finally managed to get good enough that my passenger tires never fell over any more. Not so with motorcycle tires.

It was a cold day. Very cold. It was October and it was snowing already. It was snowing inside my trailer in fact. I had a loading bay with the broken cover so that it could snow right on my head. I felt like I was maybe getting the hang of the motorcycle tires a little. My wrists hurt and it had taken 4 and a half hours to do half a truck, but I was kinda getting the hang of it.

That's when I had four rows fall over on me. FOUR ROWS to take off and do all over again. MAN THAT SUCKED. But the BEST part of it was when I climbed up on the huge heaping mess of motorcycle tires to start clearing it away and my glasses fell off and fell down among the tires. I was like "YOU.. HAVE.. GOT... TO... BE... KIDDING... ME!!!"

Fortunately, I managed to reach down into the pile of tires and fished out my glasses in only a minute or two. I got the rows dug out in another ten minutes. Put the broken rows back together in about fifteen minutes. And the whole truck ended up taking more than eight hours. There were more frustrations with that truck, but I think you get the idea.

That week at work sucked. At least my paycheck was big enough to pay the rest of my rent.

I Acted with Manny Fried
this journal entry posted on October.15.2005

Okay. Well, maybe not really so much. But sort of.

Manny Fried is an acting icon here in Buffalo. But he is so much more than that. He is a union activist for more than 6 decades, he's a playright and noted actor, an author, and so on. Most importantly, he is a person who has fought for us all, at enormous personal cost to himself. He has been hounded by the FBI, blacklisted as an actor during the McCarthy "red menace" scare era, and had his family, friends and neighbors harrassed by our government.

Subversive Theatre is a really awesome local theatre collective that performs mind blowing and thought provoking works of theatre. For this, they charge no money, they ask for donations. Now and again they have something called a "Left Lunch" where they gather people and hope for support, contributions of time, money, dkills, energy and what have you.

So I just attended said event and they held a staged reading of a historical drama called "Are You Now or Have You Ever Been..." where Many Fried reprised his role as Lionel Stander. And not all of their actors showed up so they needed a stand in. And, so...

I got to read one line in a staged reading with Manny Fried. Not many people can say they've had the opportunity to act with Many Fried, so I'm gonna say it a lot.

Peace & Love,

Writing: Relations 2
Cool: Theatre
Newest friend: Richard S.
Fastest Truck Loading: 3 hours 35 mins

Back to Work, You!
this journal entry posted on October.06.2005

I had put on many pounds of muscle. I had sweated off many pounds of water. I had needed to eat a lot to have enough energy to throw tires for a living.

Then I got laid off. No job. Just the grocery bills.

I tried to wait it out. My boss said there was some small chance we would get called back into work. So I didn't go job hunting right away. This was the job I had fixed on. MY job. But a week, two weeks went by. No call from my boss. Me and my roommate unemployed with bills still continuing to come. I needed to slam everything into reverse. Take off all the muscle. Get my stomach acids used to processing almost no food. Get back to living on under $5 a day in food ASAP.

That doesn't feel too good. It makes your body feel pretty crappy, switching gears that radically. But it was what I had to do, and so I did it. I was on my third day, and then my boss calls me and says can you come in to work right now?

Lemme tell you. That day was the crappiest I ever did at work. I was seeing stars. I was crashing the palette jack into everything. Worse yet, I had to load the truck right next to the truck my boss was loading. He must have thought I was on some serious drugs. I was so malnourished I could barely pick up a tire let alone throw it anywhere. I had managed to work my way up to the point where I could throw a truck in about 3.5 hours and then throw a second truck in about 4.5 hours. That day I was back to it taking me 7 hours to load a truck.

I did get to pick up a paycheck that had been sitting there at work though. (The one that my boss had said he would mail to me two different times but was still sitting there.) I was going to take that check and get myself some food right away and try to use the force to get called in to work again. Just get myself one more chance, and make the most of it.

That worked. Two days later I got called in to work on a Sunday. I was rested, nourished, hydrated, and I managed to throw two and a half trucks for the first time ever. It took me 11 hours to do it, but my boss was impressed. The tire plant had gotten past it's rubber problems and was now going to be back up to capacity. My boss told me to just start coming in every day again.

So, I had my job back.


In other news, I had so wanted to go to Massachusetts for Heather's birthday. Let her know how special she is. The train wreck that crashed through my finances laid that plan to rest. In all honesty, I wouldn't have been able to afford to go even if I hadn't been laid off, but definitely with the lay off and stuff.

For Heather's birthday I ended up drawing my people from the Relations world for her. It was the very first Relations picture I had drawn since the last chapter cover of the first book. I needed to gear up to draw a boatload of pictures so that was the picture I used to prime the pump. It came out really really well. I sent it instead of myself. There is a whole plannet full of people that is letting Heather down every day, and as her birthday passed and I couldn't be there with her I felt like just abother of the six billion humans not living up to what she needs. We talked on the phone a lot more that week. That was the best we could do.

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