This week, my office was asked to complete an "Integrity Survey" or some such thing in which the staff member takes some sort of on-line training and then takes a little multiple choice quiz, then gets a certificate. The Big Boss has asked that all staff get this certification as part of his new "Integrity Initiative". One of the big, big issues plugged in this survey, or re-educational tool, whatever you want to call it, was that staff not share ANY information that is UN related. The timing of this is pretty funny considering what all's been going on around these parts. Damn, now I have to go over in my head what gossip I've been telling you fine folks. Let's see, there was that whole Oil for Food scandal tidbit that I shared with you. But that was splattered on all the papers, so I guess that's OK. I did say, not in so many words, that the UN is one corrupt mutha. No news there. The gossip about my co-workers: no one can possibly trace that unless they know the people in question or have already heard me curse them out, by name of course. Far be it from me to be dishonest. Maybe there was that rumor about Clinton becoming Secretary-General. Well, it was just a dream apparently because a former world leader is not eligible for that post. I guess as long as I've dispelled that myth, there's no danger for me. You will also notice, friends, that I've deleted every explicit reference to my office. To those of you who remember, please shut your mouths.
During my free time, I've Googled some old friends (I don't think that sounds too good, but y'all know what I mean). Those kids have some web presences, presenting papers and starting bands and delivering speeches and whatnot! Which makes me feel just a tad inadequate. But then I remember, it's OK that I didn't get my Master's in zoology or math. I think of the years of agony I would need to endure for this. Ha! Move over to the States and see if that Master's does you any good, guys. To me, a Master's is a pretty fucking expensive piece of paper that doesn't guarantee a God damn thing (to my friends getting Master's and, heaven forbid, PhD's, this does not apply to you, and I love you, darlings. I'm just sore for obvious reasons). As for my web presence, I have some things stashed away somewheres. There's plenty mention of this little blog, and there's a couple of articles I wrote for the UN Chronicle. The Urban Latino Magazine site doesn't have any of my articles anymore. Those people are all big for their breeches now that they have a TV show. But back to my old friends. Funny that the people who spent hour upon hour in the coveted smoking circle and partied until their brains started to ooze out of their ears had time to get themselves into Berkeley and Vassar and Stamford and whatnot. Kind of makes me proud of my alma mater. Even the alcoholics and crackheads were above average. And very well dressed, if I remember correctly.
The only thing I really regret is not following through with my guitar. There it lies in the back of my closet, taking up expensive space that I don't really have while I daydream about being able to melt some faces with those Hendrix songs I have on my iPod, like Ezy Rider or Spanish Castle Magic. I now know that I should have gone and become a virtuoso in high school. Seems to me if you don't do it then, it ain't gonna happen. Kind of like languages. You have to do it early when your brain is a sponge so it'll take. If not, you will forever suck at it.
So now I am racking my brain to see what it is that I totally kick ass in. Let's see...I know just about every Led Zeppelin and Hendrix song there is, not to mention major old school hip hop, like Grandmaster Flash and Whodini (my favorite is Five Minutes of Funk. I actually time my walk from home to the subway by that song). I'm extra good at Lunch Licks, this contest that my local classic rock station holds everyday where they play the first couple of bars of a song and you have to call in and guess. I almost always know, but do not call so as to be charitable and leave room for others. I can write pretty damn good poems and long-ass opinion pieces on sociology, Latin American politics and history and the history of World War II (just a small shout to Mr. Martin, my forever favorite history teacher. If it weren't for you, I wouldn't give a shit about any of it). I could finally get on Jeopardy! And win millions, as my lovely graduating class voted me most likely to kick ass on that show with my "random knowledge of history facts", and I feel like I owe it to my father to get going on this before he goes anywhere. After all, this was our vision throughout my childhood and teen years, and it still is. Maybe I should collaborate with Jeff Chang or someone and write a Can't Stop Won't Stop kind of book (see the link "Hip Hop Journalism". It's on that sidebar over there---->).
While these thoughts may sound quite sad and pathetic, I know that a lot of you have exactly the same thoughts. You wouldn't be human if you were doubt-free, even though I pointed it out in a rant earlier on that you shouldn't let anyone make you doubt yourself. I meant on the job, because it takes your time and energy away from doing your job and it will become a downward spiral. Anyway, some things just get in the way of how you think your life should progress. For a while there, I was doing exactly what I said I would do. I would finish high school and go to New York City to Sarah Lawrence College to learn how to write and then get published, which I did. Afterwards, I kind of took this wierd uncharted turn to see what was around. My present workplace is not at all what I had envisioned, especially being on the political affairs side of things, which sucks because now I can't run for mayor of New York City since it would be a conflict of interest with "the host country and city". It would be one hell of a conflict because the first thing I'd do as mayor is kick those diplomats to the curb and take away their parking privileges on 42nd street, and they'd have to yield to New Yorkers during the General Assembly rather than the other way around.
New York for New Yorkers! Would be my battle cry, a slogan which I've actually yelled out of cab windows stuck in traffic because of tourists swarming around Columbus Circle and Rockefeller Center during the holidays. Obviously it hasn't had its desired effect.