Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

Subway balance

I spent way too much money on computer stuff today. I got a 120 Gig Western Digital drive ($200) and a copy of Adobe Premiere 6.5 ($550). I’ve snagged a copy of Windows 2000, so once all of this crap gets here, I should have a fairly decent video editing machine. I also found out last night that my camera supports frame-by-frame and time-lapse recording. I made a stop-motion test movie tonight (40 seconds of video shot in 30 minutes – I forgot how tedious this shit is) and I have a lot of ideas for time-lapse stuff. It would be pretty cool to sit out in Times Square with a camera and do a time-lapse, or maybe out of my window during a snowstorm. Lots of ideas, not a lot of time.

The new Hunter S. Thompson showed up in the mail today, and I’ve read 30 or 40 pages so far. It’s a good read, but I wouldn’t say it’s incredible. At least I finally have something to read – maybe after I get done, I’ll be ready to start writing again.

On the way home, I saw this woman sit down on the train, and she was holding like 3 or 4 pots and trays full of food, plus balancing a backpack and reading a book at the same time. This is on the subway – the New York subway, the one that goes from 0 to 40 in about .2 seconds, creating sideways forces of about 10 G’s, knocking loose everything that isn’t firmly seated or grabbing onto a rail. I stared in amazement as she balanced all of this food – hot food, you could even smell that some of it was chicken – in bulky, metal containers, while the train sloshed the rest of it around. People like that truly amaze me, the people with the John Kennedy gene that can step in from a hurricane perfectly dressed and without a single hair out of place. I remember a day last month when it was about 80 below zero, and I saw a guy in Times Square, walking around with nothing but a fucking t-shirt on. He wasn’t sprinting to a subway, or running back into a store after a smoke, or anything else. He was just reading a fucking Playbill and walking down the road, while I was freezing to death in my coat inside of a damned restaurant. Every day, I at least put in a marginal effort to groom myself and get dressed, and yet I know I look bloodied, beaten, and fucked to the casual observer, while many New Yorkers look like a god damned Calvin Klein ad. Did I miss an immunization as a kid, or is this the product of private education?

Okay, back to reading.