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Good evening folks, it’s great to be back.

As you already know, I’ve started a new journey in my professional life, and after two weeks I’m happy with my decision. I’ve worked harder in the last two weeks than I have in a long time, but at the same time, I’ve received more compliments and accolades than I experienced in the entire 5 years at my last stop. I know that you’re not supposed to trash your ex-girlfriends… but what a twat she was…

It’s been an adventure waking up at 5am each morning, and it breaks my heart to have to pay a toll for MY bridge every day, but overall, I’m happy. The hard part is going to bed every night at 10pm and trying to get 7 hours of sleep. Usually, it’s.. Ok… I’ll go in at 10:15.

Ok, 10:30.

Ok, 10:45, but that’s it!

So far the earliest I have been able to go to bed is 10:22. ¬†6 hours and 38 minutes later, I wake up saying.. “I’ve got to go to bed earlier tonight.” It never works.

The bad part is that I don’t get to take my naps in the afternoon. I love naps. Afternoon naps are better than sleeping a full night.

And I haven’t been able to do my weekly city jaunts. They were a highlight for me, and well as the usual source for this blog, hence the two weeks of silence. But I’m back.

So as week two came to a close, I was sitting at my workstation like a pre-teen sitting at his desk waiting for the 3 o’clock bell. I was eagerly anticipating the first of 4 Bay Ridge Summer Stroll events. My plan was to head home, change into some summer clothes, and then whore myself and my book in front of the Bookmark Shoppe on 3rd Ave.

At 2pm, my boss came and said he wanted to show me a new process.

No problem, say I.

It’s gonna take you about 2 hours.

No problem, says I.

It took 3.

I left there with my hair on fire and tore out of the parking lot in a cloud of dust. I felt like I was in the General Lee trying to get away from Roscoe. I flew up the Jersey Turnpike in an eyeblink.

Then I hit Staten Island.

I know that Staten Island is the punchline to a lot of jokes that NYers like to tell, but I’m not going to say anything negative about our little brother to the west.

Except this.

Staten Island, GFYS.

I dont know exactly how long it took me to get across the landfill borough, but my fists were starting to throb from punching the steering wheel. I got back to Bay Ridge at 6:30, after the event had started. I cursed at all the book sales I missed. Not wanting to miss any more opportunites, I decided not to go home and change.

Big Mistake.

10 minutes of standing out in that heat in jeans and a collared shirt left me wilted like three-week old lettuce.

Oh, did I mention that it was hot this past week?

Three hours later, I was spent, but the evening was well worth it. I handed out hundreds of book flyers, met dozens of people and managed to sell a few books along the way. It was a great night.

I rubbed elbows with some of the Bay Ridge politicians, and ran into a few old friends. I learned a few things along the way:

– No matter what you do, you can’t get comfortable wearing jeans in 95 degree heat.

– Men don’t take flyers from men.

– Older lesbian couples are friendly, easy to talk to, and love to read.

– No matter what you’re actually trying to do, if you give a flyer to a good looking woman, she thinks you’re trying to pick her up. At one point I almost said, “I’m only flirting for the sale babe, I’m already getting laid.”

After about 2 hours, I ran into some friends and I made them suffer with me. I forced Patrick to buy a book, made Valarie hand out flyers.  Then me and Joe hung back and checked out the chicks.

We were all starting to get cranky, so we decided to get something to eat. We went to a restaurant which I shall not name. They were a little crowded, but they seated us right away.

40 minutes and 6 pieces of bread later, we still didn’t have our food. After 2 more minutes of discussion, we decided to leave. Truth be told, we should have said something earlier; they did nothing to make us comfortable, no apologies, no promises of a feast. Having said that, I would have never left if it was up to me.

Now it was 10:30, I was sweaty, hungry and aggravated. I barked at each of my friends and then headed home to PBnJ sandwiches and my cats. After a few minutes of calming solitude, I called Val and we wound up in the diner eating omelettes at midnight. Emphasis Diner has the best AC in Bay Ridge. Wanted to grab a cot and sleep there.

In the end, it was a great day. I was still sweating when I passed out, but I woke up happy and eager. I couldn’t wait to write this blog and I can’t wait to write the next one. And I can’t wait for next week’s Stroll. Many thanks to Bina Valenzano for coordinating the event and letting me hock my wares. No thanks to Christine who went on vacation. Next week, you suffer.

It’s taken me 47 years, but I’m beginning to realize that life doesnt suck all the time. It can be pretty good, if you let it.

Until 5am on Monday, that is…