Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Today's post is brought to you by the letter R, the number 9, and Mitch Hedberg, the greatest comic to be taken too soon because of an addiction.

If you don't know his stuff, find it and hear it. There isn't nearly enough, as he died young and left a footprint in the collective consciousness that wasn't as big as his heart and spirit deserved to leave behind. So it is some times. I watched part of his DVD of his Comedy Central special tonight, and it felt so different to me knowing that he was gone from our midst so soon thereafter, and it hurts to think about the loss that the continuum of laughter and meaning suffered as a result.

So for now, go out and laugh at and/or about something. That would be some kind of fitting tribute.

"So it goes." --Kurt Vonnegut

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Narcissism. I has it.

So I signed up for google analytics.

I have a few questions, for all you hypotheticals...

Hey there, Hamtramck, Michigan... we had something special on your one visit, it was a whole lifetime led in two minutes. What happened? Where've you been? I hope the kids are okay.

Jeez, Czech Republic, 0:00 visit time? How is that even possible? Were you that mad, that fast?

Same goes for you, Somerset Kentucky. You just actually aren't as exciting as the Czech Republic rejecting me. It's like having a fling with someone on a summer exchange program.

I cry myself to sleep at night with the supposition that google analytics does not always accurately reflect time on site. It's a bit like a narcissistic "Hey, don't worry, it happens to everyone sometimes" consolation, but don't take that last bit of dignity away from me.

I suppose I was curious.

I shouldn't have been.

So, Tigger and I looked at another apartment, and had our differing reactions to it. I think it seems we are staying put for the moment, and while the differential in rent is not large, I'm disproportionately terrified about potential layoffs coming up in the next few months and can envision a time of (to my mind) paucity and freaking out. I know it may be excessive, my apprehension, but it is there all the same.

The place was alright, and had a spare bedroom, and allowed dogs, which I've wanted since I was about twelve. I feel as if I'm giving something long-held up that I've never actively denied myself by denying this idea, but it just didn't seem like the right apartment. I think it may now be decided to forgo the move, and while I'm fraught, it is what felt right (while right at the moment it may seem wrong to me in a month, I had to say how I felt in a matter of a few days) to back away. There were certain things that any sweat equity I could imagine didn't seem to be able to eliminate.

In the meanwhile, I look at perhaps scratching the itch of wanting a dog of my own by walking the dogs at the local shelter that just opened (though I do ask how much prescience and wisdom comes from naming a shelter dog Brooklyn who happens live in, well, Brooklyn) and giving them some times of joy while I figure out what stupid things I need to come to terms with in my life.

I'm terrified of losing my livelihood, and have had a hard time looking at what other venues and opportunities I may conceivably be suitable for, but there it is.

I wonder at the moment, as New Year's draws close, where I'll be and how I'll be in a year, and whether I will have finally given up smoking, or palliative care in the form of distilled and fermented medications. I guess we all find crutches that give us some succor in times of peril, but I don't know that my time of perceived peril has not been artificially extended by means of certain bad habits of denial (both chemical and behavioral.) It's a dark realization, but then again most Realizations are dark in some way or another.

I hope I've lost some weight. The pictures from the office Christmas party made me feel like Jabba the Hutt in the few candids I allowed myself in whose firing line I allowed myself to remain visible.

We aren't all monks. Our moments of Aha are not always blissful and perfect.

So here is the underbelly laid bare.

And there is a thought for a cold evening. Perhaps "some thoughts."

Hamtramck. Come back to me. I miss you endlessly.

"Why not? Surely, in a work that will never be performed, all things are permitted?" --J.M. Coetzee (Disgrace)

Monday, December 17, 2007

In Which I'm a Snarky Leather-Elbow Padded Tool

At a party the other night:

M: Is Jessica Simpson known for anything? Other than, you know, pop music?

Pantaloonfan: Yeah, I think she won the Booker Prize a couple of years ago.

B: ...?

Pantaloonfan: I think she also wrote the screenplay for The Departed.

B: What?

Pantaloonfan: The Departed. I think she wrote the screenplay.

M: What?

Pantaloonfan: Not really. Just the pop music thing.

Friday, December 7, 2007

They Begat No One, Nor Moved They Any Furniture

Went out this evening to the event of a friend of my sister's, who has a one-man consulting freelance deal. He incorporated a while ago, for tax reasons, and is a one-man consulting firm. He has an annual company Christmas party, with eagerly awaited announcement of the employee of the year at some point along the way.

It was held in a very Wall Street equivalent part of London, at a bar where loads of folks were clearly on their way home from work, and had decided that they would get home drunk.

Also, it was fancy. Woo hoo. Nothing like showing up in convertible outdoor pants, with a t-shirt from a lobster shack in Maine on your torso when everyone around you is banking/consulting/litigating and generally earning the pants off of life.

The libations for the evening were "Methuselahs" of Veuve Clicquot champagne. Yes, I didn't know there was a name for those stonking novelty bottles in the front windows of liquor stores either, but there is apparently a very specific Old Testament system for naming bottles of champers that happen to be larger than magnums. I myself won't in the near future need to know said names for any order at the local liquor emporium, but for all of you, here they are:

Split – 187 ml (Quarter bottle)
Half Bottle – 375 ml
Bottle – 750 ml
Magnum – 1.5 litres (Two bottles)
Jereboam – 3 litres (Four bottles)
Rehoboam – 4.5 litres (Six bottles)
Methuselah – 6 litres (Eight bottles)
Salmanazar – 9 litres (Twelve bottles)
Balthazar – 12 litres (Sixteen bottles)
Nebuchadnezzar – 15 litres (Twenty bottles)

In addition to these standard sizes, bottles of other sizes and shapes are sometimes created for special occasions, special cuvées or special customers. For example, Pol Roger used to make an imperial pint exclusively for Sir Winston Churchill, who found a half bottle not quite enough, and a whole bottle a little too much, for his purposes. His manservant would bring him his pint every morning at 11 a.m. Two other sizes are occasionally made: the 18-litre, 24-bottle Solomon (Salomon in French) and the gigantic 27-litre, 36-bottle Primat, which weighs 65 kilos.

(The above text is courtesy of These lovely folks though they don't know it)

I especially love the detail about the commissioning of a special bottle size for Winston Churchill, and kudos to a man who happened to want to have 19 ounces (roughly, as memory serves) of champagne with his breakfast. Winston knew how to live, without a doubt.

Another thing that has really struck me since I've been across the ocean (pond is a stupid phrase, and deserves to be dragged out and shot while whining mightily) is the state of automotive existence for our European brethren (I'm including the UK here, though they are at most grumblingly accepting that they are a part of this whole continentalism, though for the rest of the world we can't see what a few miles of Channel water actually means in real terms... do you folks want to be part of the South Pacific confederation of conquered islands instead? I'm sure you could make some calls... for the rest of us American barbarians you are just Europeans who speak our language in a way that still lets you hate us, I suppose.)

I qualify this by saying that I love cars, and love driving. I relish the fact that I rode home from the Christening in a beautiful, brand new Maserati GT, with FOUR WAY BOOK MATCHED WOOD IN THE DASH. I know the capital letters mean that I am yelling. I meant to. It had the paddle-shifters for a real manual transmission and everything. ("Hey pantaloonfan, why do you drive a gutless Subaru at home, then??" "Shut up. I need to take stuff places, both musically and camping-wise and I like putting things in the trunk/back of the wagon*. I have my reasons.")

Europeans have an array of amazingly small cars at their fingertips that we lack over in the US, and I wanted you all to know that there are options that you never even considered:

Hey fellow citizens of the liberated colonies... are you tired of people asking you to move large piles of furniture in your massive 3 series BMW? Well, fear not! You can move on down to the 1 Series! which is described as having pretty much no rear seats at all, compared to the vast tracts of space in the 328s that we already know and love to settle into in the luxurious back seats! Does your agoraphobia happen to want German luxury with all wheel drive Audi weirdness! A4 too big? How about the much more svelte A3?

Or perhaps these massive barges are still far too commodious for you?

Have no fear...

Do you feel lost in your gigantic, echoing Honda Civic? There's always the Nissan Micra...

Still too big? Well, I have good news. The good people at FoMoCo have something that will make Focus owners drool at your sprightly acrobatic mini-ness... The Ford Ka! For times when small means you don't even have time to use all three letters of the word car!

14 inch alloy wheels? CHECK!

1.3 liter fire breathing engine? CHECK!

Swank gray colored wheel wells? CHECK PLUS!!


You're totally going to make all those Daihatsu Charade and Suzuki Swift owners go crying home to their mommies, at 5,000 rpms and 50 miles per hour. Let your aggro flag fly!

Yet, for those times when you really want to bring all the clowns in your myspace circle with you, nothing quite tops the G-Wiz that one can see roaring silently around London and perhaps some other Oh So Fortunate cities...

Hey fellas... you KNOW the ladies love a guy who plugs his car in at night, and can also fit two double amputees in the back seat!

On top of that, you can fit a bottle of milk in the trunk!

(For god's sake, please note that this almost commodious trunk is shown with the seats folded down. I think that says it all...)

You may need to carry the half dozen pack of eggs in your lap in the event that you have those amputees with you, but can you really put a price on finding a parking space? I didn't think so.

Of course, if this is still too worrisome, you can always go with the original pocketmobile, if you have a weird kink for parking sideways in spaces on sidestreets...

The SmartCar is the final answer in all of this. There is nothing more to even be contemplated.

I was going to post something meaningful on the order of advice for my growing (and consistently horking) nephew, and now godson, but I'm too bitter and flippant. It may come later, along with finally bitching about tie knotting and haircuts... just don't know when. Leave me to complain, yell and point fingers for now.

* Have you ever watched "Pimp My Ride" on MTV? I never can help but notice that no one escapes that experience with ANY capacity to put anything in the back of the car. Any hobby or interest is played out in the form of a gigantic object crammed with monitors and speakers that takes the place of storage space in their vehicle. I think if I ever was offered a chance to have a car redone by them, and they asked what I was into, I would simply tell then "My biggest hobby is... putting things in my trunk. I just love putting things in my car and moving them from place to place. That's what I care about more than anything. And I'm deaf. And blind. Leave the fucking monitors and four hundred pounds of speakers on the shop floor."

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Idle Hands.

I made it in to London last night, after a two hour train ride through central Western Germany.

There was a kid on the train, sitting right over from me, who I was pretty convinced was developmentally challenged from the way that he was talking... somehow I started to wonder whether he was actually "tetched" or just playing. It took me forty-five minutes to figure that he wasn't retarded, he was just an idiot. An idiot who didn't know that "taking a joke too far" happens in less than five minutes, generally. That, and the local accent in German can have flavors that make people sound a little like their minds are not in mint condition exactly.

Short flight, blah blah blah. There was a gentleman waiting next to me at the airport who did have the strangest named office staff I can imagine, he was on the phone, and kept referring to two employees, Aryan and Loy. What do I know, but they seemed like peculiar choices for the bouncing baby with which you've just been presented.

I do know that if Aryan fucks up the travel arrangements again, he's going to get fired. Just saying pal, if you're ever one of my hypothetical readers... consider yourself lucky you shaped up, or barring that just know that I would have contacted you directly if I had only known how. Sorry, or congratulations depending on how you played that one.

Got to London, got of the Underground, humped my bags over here, and no one answered the door at my sister's place. Puzzled, I dragged my stuff back over to the local main drag, but not before doing a credible impression of a canny burglar, casing the place for future robbing/burgling. The people at the bus stop down the road seemed to take note as I casually rang the bell a few times, then backed up into the street, smoking and cautiously looking in all the windows I could. Upon arrival, I dialed the cell number for my sister, and had her pick up and not hear me, a good three or four times. Friendly Local Dude informed me that it takes "At least two quid to get a call through to a cell phone from a call box."

Now, I don't expect everyone to be an FX trader here, but that's right about FOUR BUCKS for a few moments of blissful communication.

Got back to the phone, and it was ringing (thank's UK, for not trying to put old-school pager wearing drug dealers out of business! Good job, and I do appreciate it), which turned out to be my sister, who was home, but had a doorbell even more lamentable for the conditions at hand than Tigger and I have at home. We've finally reverted to installing a wireless, plug in jobbie, but it does us no good when the battery runs out, as it recently has.

Part of why I'm up, despite my sister and my brother-in-law already having been abed a good three hours ago, is that I'm waiting to give Tigger a ring, she's had a really rough day today, and is tired out from having been immersed in gutting and hacking away at our kitchen, which has risen resplendent from the dead in vibrant color and with magnificent new door pulls. The thanks of a grateful nation goes out to you, sweetie, thanks...

I spent the day helping out with nephew, who I feel has led me to believe that not necessarily all children will inevitably be terrified of me, even if that only leaves the ones related to me by blood it's a pretty damn nice feeling of relief.

I've changed more than two and less than ten diapers, and while it's not exactly a picnic in the park with all of your long-dead literary and musical heroes on a beautiful day, it's not the end of the world either. He just seems to enjoy any excuse to air out the dirty bits, and is relatively happy while I swipe away with moist towelettes at the nast that he seems determined to swipe his heels through a few times for good measure, and then roll over onto his stomach...

Then, forgive me for saying it, but there come the moments that arrived later, where he lay on his mat, with things to engage his developing mind strewn around him, not quite crying (as I've been told, I haven't seen nothing yet, so to speak, and he's only been a little peeved at the very worst) racking my brain for what he might be needing or missing. I was literally reduced to lightly banging my forehead on the kitchen table a few times to clear the fog before just deciding that it was all for the best, and nothing seemed amiss.

I'm reminded of something a friend of the family said over the weekend:
"When I had my first kid, whenever they cried I thought something terrible had happened. With the second, I just figured 'The kid's crying, the kid's still alive.'"

As a second child myself, I find this idea is slightly chilling. As a person who spent an hour sitting with a baby who was just "losing the plot" as my sister puts it, it seemed like the most understandable and measured way of approaching things possible.

So, I'm killing time, internetting myself furiously, and tragically as always happens when I'm mindlessly tapping away at the interweb with no specific direction in mind, I'm shopping for bikes. I doubt I'll buy one, and Tigger will no doubt have a minor attack of hyperventilation at the idea of another metal stack of disorganization in the apartment... so rest assured, it's just the same dumb window shopping as always happens.

Why is it that the more expensive the item, the more "awesome" any discount seems? (Hey! These wheels were originally $1400! They're on sale for $779, AND there's another 20% off!) I am perfectly aware that it's stupid, and wheels that cost more than I paid for my current nicer bike are certainly silly.

But they do weigh like a whole pound less than the alternative, and they have a fancy single red spoke to tell the rest of the world what an over-moneyed tool you are! Right ON!

Tomorrow, I have the whole morning to take care of the little nephew while meetings are attended, and whatever else is going which now requires my attention to this matter. I'm not worrying about not seeing much of the city on this trip, I've been enough before that it's the whole family members new and old bonding thing that I'm happy about.

I will however probably be in the pub tomorrow night.

The pub, one of the singular, wonderful things about England... not the down-at-the-heels thing that you get in the kind of rotten bars I like at home, but you can still relax in peace and quiet with a book, get a few fantastic hand-pulled pints for the closest thing to a bargain there still is for an American in the UK (2.90 UK Pounds for a great beer is a decent shake, to my mind... maybe it's just being a routinely ripped off New Yorker or whatever.) It's a great pleasure, and one I indulged in after everyone here went to sleep early last night as well.

So, it's about the time to sign off and make a call home to see what's what in stunningly cold New York with the things and people I miss most of all.

I also miss Tivo. Sorry... I should be happy and full of life at not having watched television since last Wednesday, but I'm just not. Shameful it is, but there you have it. I will flab my ass down on the couch and start catching up on ALL the guilty pleasures of a missed almost two weeks the moment I get home. I think I may conceivably suffer an overdose... but that's what it takes to keep up with the culture sometimes.

"The letter with the foreign postmark that tells of good weather, pleasant food and comfortable accomodation isn't nearly as much fun to read, or to write, as the letter that tells of rotting chalets, dysentery and drizzle." --Martin Amis (London Fields)

Saturday, December 1, 2007


Greetings from sunless Germany!

I´m in an internet-cafe in the fatherland, which is as close to heaven as I can imagine... smoking permitted, beers available for a whopping €0.80, and it´s €1.50 per hour to let all you wonderful semi-hypothetical folks know what´s doing.

Aside from the fact that they feel the need to put the z and y in alternate places on the keyboard, and shuffle around the rest of the symbols, all is just swell.

After a seventeen hour total travel time, I got here, but not before many things swam past the porthole, so to speak.

Checking into security at JFK, I got through the metal detector with no trouble, and was then waved into a strange bulletproof box, where my arm sling was carefully examined by hand. For about five minutes, this innocuous piece of fabric was examined... I have to ask, what would I have had of a non-metallic nature hidden in there that would not have just as easily been hidden in my jacket? Could not any able-bodied passenger also bring, say, a dangerous plastic spork or bendable knife in with them and evade the vaunted metal detection? No matter, though...

So I get on the plane, and the Italian couple next to me feverishly watches for whole empty rows. They find one! Right on, thinks I, I´m going to have the whole three seater to myself! Slide over to the window to watch the takeoff, and when I turn back to move back to the aisle, someone has taken up residence. I asked whether he planned on staying, and the answer was a definite yes. He immediately fell asleep, and did not stop an earth-shaking snoring for the whole flight. Except for meals. Joy. (I did end up talking to him for a bit on the approach to London Heathrow, and he was actually quite nice, so I am a total asshole for thinking awful thoughts about him the whole time, but I didn´t know that at the time, so leave me alone.

Why, WHY do people feel the need to sit down, ram their seat all the way back, and then build a nest of pillows on planes? Why not, I don´t know... just leave the seat up, as you have about the same position? Can someone who happens to be an idiot write me and let me know, as I´m completely goddamned baffled.

Seat-pillow-nest-builder also was in the habit of sitting forward and violently ramming backward every few seconds, which would have been less of a problem but for the fact that the nice people at British Airways put lovely individual monitors in the seatbacks for us all to sit and stare at. So, the picture would grow larger and smaller, jolting up and down every few moments as I tried to watch...

VOD. Yes, Video on Demand has come to airplanes, and while the rest of you globetrotting, walking business class ads may be totally desensitized to it, I was like a child in a puppies, ice-cream and plush toys stuffed with fireworks store.

I want VOD on my toaster.

I want VOD installed in my shoes.

VOD has come, and it is good. It is what we do with it that makes us good or evil.

Which brings me to:

Fantastic Four 2: Rise of the Silver Surfer

For one, it´s always awesome watching a scene of unbelievable destruction that happens to take place somewhere you´re about to go... "Wow! Is that the London Eye? Being blown up? Is that the Thames? Being drained into the core of the Earth? Awesome!"

For another, it´s a total piece of crap. Angry Comic Book People hated the first one, which I thought was lamentable, but moderately adequate "I saw it on cable without paying for it" fare. If you hated the first one, really really, do not go near this thing.

It´s got more to do with "humorous" issues surrounding the marriage between the stretching one and the invisible chick. Drollness!

At least the first one tried to be mainly a superhero movie, which isn´t saying that much, but it´s still more than deserves to be said for this one.

As an aside: ladies, you are all wonderful, and are all god´s gift etc. etc., but mark my words... if even Jessica Alba looks dopey with color contact lenses, how on earth do you think the rest of you might be getting away with it??

Speaking of which, are we really supposed to believe that a character who looks like Jessica Alba is really going to get involved with a dude who is (to my heterosexual male mind) not to confused with Brad Pitt? Is it perhaps that he spices things up by being completely distant, and the relationship is fuelled by a complete lack of chemistry? Am I overthinking? Probably.

Also, anytime anyone says "It´s not a game." in a movie, you are in for a world of suffering, pain and eyeball clawing.

Jesus, Andre "Frank Pembleton" Braugher, did you really need the money THAT badly? You can actually act. What did your parents not do for you as a child that made you run with a bad crowd like this?

If you disregard all the warnings I´m trying to give you, and you do end up sitting down to this "experience", take note of the fact that the super-duper spaceship that shows up at a certain point, is a Dodge. The spectacularly unobvious product placement is demonstrated and affirmed by the following exchange:
Human Torch: "Hemi?"
Mr. Incredible: "Of course!"

Now, let´s leave aside that the stretching dude supposedly "invented" this thing... as in, why the nameplate... did he get seed money from Dodge?

On the order of an analysis of the physics of the Death Star, what good would a V8 do in a lifting body sort of air travel vehicle? It operates stupidly on so many levels!

Guys, take a tip from überwhore George Lucas: keep the product placement subtle, don´t talk about it, and make your dirty money outside the theater, not inside. Thanks.

Also, when crashing into Times Square in said airship, how is it possible that the only things hurt are a few bicycles and the inevitable cardboard box type paraphernalia? Does Hollywood think that destruction is only acceptable when no one gets hurt aside from people with speaking parts? I´d personally have a lot of respect for popcorn-movie mavens if they had a couple of innocent victims stumble burning from the wreckage in a situation that calls for it out loud, plaintively.

Then again, who am I to criticize... they all got paid to make the movie. I watched this piece of shit for free. I want my two hours back.

Also saw "The Flying Scotsman". Now kids, I love cycling, and I admire the records of Mr. Graeme Obree, as the Hour Record is nothing to sneeze at, but I also recognize that the kind of suffering cycling entails doesn´t really work that well on screen. I watch the Tour de France and all, but even severely condensed I get as much satisfaction from just reading the summary of the daz´s ride. It´s really mind-bending how rough the sport is, but it just doesn´t make great TV. Too much happens, it´s too spread out, and profound suffering doesn´t look that much different that somewhat profound suffering. That, and it´s impossible to see how steep the grade is without perspective, from a motorcycle or helicopter shot.

So, upon arrival, I ended up waiting for my connecting flight at London´s lovely Heathrow Airport.

I have one question: why is it that every other airport can tell you what gate you need to get to when you check in, but at Heathrow, you stand around, get into a three-point stance in the terminal center, and wait until at most fifteen minutes before departure to find out where you need to be? It´s insanely stressful, people.

Perhaps it´s to encourage impulse purchases of such necessities as $7,000 pens (Cartier, naturally) or perhaps a lovely $11,600 watch (Porsche Design, naturally)? I can dig on impulse purchases, but someone for whom either of those figures counts as an impulse purchase is probably flying in a jet that they own personally, and doesn´t spend too much time waiting around in terminals smelling like ass and unbrushed teeth (I put my toothbrush in my checked baggage, as I am very VERY smart.)

Then, arriving at the gate, we found that the jetway was busted, and we weren´t leaving anywhere near on time anyhow, so SETTLE IN, PEOPLE! Why is it that the English not only seem positively gleeful when they have to wait on meaningless lines, but seem tremendously relaxed and happy when they are working for an organization that is soundly ballsing up whatever it is it´s supposed to do?

Speaking of which, when you think of a Ham and Cheese sandwich, what condiments come to mind? Perhaps I´m being the absolute Ugly American, but what I do not think of is ham, on a roll, with little fragments of cheese embedded in a veritable dike of butter. Ack. Yes, I know it was airline food, but I don´t blame that for it, I just can´t help but blame the general culinary culture. Mustard, people, you have the technology, it´s not dangerous to utilize it. I like a little mayo, personally, but that can be a polarizing condiment. How about a packet of each, and we can each make our own little personalized Ham N Cheese?

Got into Düsseldorf, and couldn´t use my credit card in the train ticket machine. Got cash, went back up to the airtrain station, couldn´t use a €50 bill, went back down, went to the FX kiosk and got change. The gentleman there roundly told me he was sick of making change for people who used the ATM. I offered to go elsewhere, but he said no, he would make me change, but was just really tired of doing it.

One final thought, from taking the train: Germans, if any of the world´s peoples could be, are very happy imposing the collective will on the individual and letting it be imposed upon them, yet even they are okay with having a smoking area on a train platform. It may be twice the size of my couch, but it´s there, with a yellow border painted around it. Hey America, what´s so bad about that? Not judging, and as a smoker I can dig on being polite, but nothing makes a train come faster like a lit cigarette that one has barely started working on. Would that be so hard?

Just saying. Or "just sazing" as this kezboard would have me write it.

More soon on Phamily Phun, the strangely yogurt-like smell of infant feces, aging, Schrebergärten, mulled wine, and prodigious rain.

It´s good to be back...

Oh, and the dioxins have been cleaned up at the playround! Time marches on...

"I got in a car accident on the way home from work. I rear-ended someone. Guy gets out of his car; I get out of mine. He's a dwarf. We're sitting there waiting for the police to arrive and he goes, `I'm not happy.´ I said, `so which one are you?´" --Someone Who Goes By @Hemi (since I don´t know them that´s all the attribution they´re going to get...)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

All I Need is THIS PASSPORT... and this paddle game, and that's ALL.

After a weird couple of days, I’m leaving today for Germany, and following on with some days in London. I’m still in a sling, and still wincing mightily all the way through my day. The slightest motion makes me cringe like I’m thinking about root canals, and it doesn’t seem to matter whether I’m in a sling or not.

Something struck me as very odd: why is it that an x-ray taken in Pennsylvania, which I know is digitized, and which I saw on a computer monitor when the doctor pulled it up at her workstation, can’t be emailed to me?? Tigger said it had something to do with HIPAA (look up for reference…) but I’m just aggravated.

So, in this modern world of digital X-Rays, yours truly had to get a fax sent over, attach a photocopy of my driver’s license, and send it back to them by fax. All of this required filling out forms with my gimpy arm. Right, that’s a really effective method of getting people their radiology documentation.

Anyhow, I went to a follow-up with a regular (non-emergency) doctor here in New York, and they used a fluoroscope to re-do all the X-Rays I had already had done, so they could tell me what I already knew, and send me on my way with another prescription similar to what I already have (but slightly less heavy, apparently.) Also, it seems that the practice in this place was to have the receptionist fill in and sign the prescription slip. At least I’m pretty sure that’s what happened.

So, off to the fatherland and my mother’s home town for a few days of Christeningtastic Excitement! I guess it goes to show that the old saying is wrong: you CAN go home after all.

Except when you try to go back to the playground you used to use as a child, and find out that it’s tainted with dioxins in the sand. Precious!

This was a few years ago, the last time I was out there, and I went to go look at said playground, saw said signs with previously unmentioned skulls &c on them, and spoke with an older guy who was walking his dog in the dioxin laced red sand. He just waved it off and said that he’d been coming for years and he thought he was doing fine, so screw it, in his mind.

I’m not sure I’m so certain.

I will, however, be sure not to eat any sand at any childhood loci of memory. Just in case, it’s best to be safe.

I had hoped to tool around, go to the swimming pool we used to frequent, see the sights, but with an arm in the crapper (ugh, not literally, thanks) it’s less likely to be feasible. I will try and shoot some pictures, but I’m not sure how readily I’ll be able to manage that. Stupid me for getting an SLR, it means I need two hands, which is not so much so good a thing at the moment.

Also: it’s official, I may be becoming an adult (read as: I hate our moth-eaten couch, and have now looked online at new sofas. Oh Lawdy. Heaven forfend.)

Also: I’m a little sad about this trip, as my grandmother has been declining with some speed, and I wonder whether this might be the last time I get to be there with the whole family, and it’s hitting me a bit hard from time to time.

Hypothetical reader, the background here is that we spent every second summer from my first to my eighteenth birthday over in Germany with family, initially split between my father’s mother and my mother’s mother, with the final third of the time being spent on some junket elsewhere. As time passed, my father’s mother had a bit of a hard time getting comfortable with having guests, as she was older and quite particular about, well, everything. So, we spent more time with at my mother’s childhood home, and I have lots of memories that fill me with warmth even now. Paper lanters in the yard, an actual swingset, the local Olympic sized swimming pool, trips into town to go to the music store (yes, I know, I was a weird kid, and somehow staring at instruments when I was young totally geeked me out, though since it still does I guess it’s just a warning sign for those of you with youngsters to be aware of as to future spending habits…)

Anyway, just wanted to give a thought or two to those times, and reflect on how it feels a lot like an era is ending for me, and I just wonder whether I feel like enough of an adult to make sense of the changing of the guard.

My parent’s are obsessive grandparents now to my nephew.

That’s what I’m talking about here. And it’s weirding me out. Kind of.

So, in a little while I’m going to be heading out to a train, to a monorail to JFK, getting on a plane, then off of it, then onto another one, then off of THAT one, and then aboard a train, and then off of that again, into a cab and then into a mattress to mutter and whimper for a while, jetlagged in a foreign country.

Pain medication of the prescription variety will be included somewhere along the way, to be sure.

Keeps me from enjoying a beer on the flight, but never forget that which may be true everywhere EXCEPT airplanes, and the reason why I'm going to be feeling no pain as the drink cart mauls my shattered shoulder:

“Sleep - the most beautiful experience in life – except drink.” W.C. Fields

Monday, November 26, 2007

Good Question...

Went to a meeting today, for a project management deal that I'm involved with at work. It's a surreal experience at times, but that's nothing to go into in depth.

It was my first day at work in a sling, and if it weren't for me leaving in two days, I would have been home whimpering on Percocet. Hey, it hurts like crazy, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. So, everyone had to ask me the exact same question about what happened, and it would have been great to have a different story to tell them.

Falling down the stairs is not a cool story.

Base jumping would have been nice, an ATV wreck would have been fantastic.

Perhaps a claim that I had shattered my shoulder firing an elephant gun into the back of a fleeing home invader.

Something along those lines, something with a hint of sex appeal. However, I failed to open with the lie, so I ran with the truth. Ah well, so it is sometimes.

At the end of the meeting, someone asked for the nth time what had happened, and then asked how I was feeling. I mentioned that I couldn't really write at all, without some serious grimacing.

They looked back and said "Well, why did you bring a pen and paper with you then?"

Good question.

"The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry." --Ernest Hemingway ("A Farewell to Arms")

Sunday, November 25, 2007

It's Not Polite to Stair, Kids.

So, we went out to the Farm to have Thanksgiving with Tigger's folks. My old friend R. came along with us, and all was right in the world.

ATVs were ridden, guns were fired, turkey was eaten, football was watched. Drinks were consumed, out with us into a country night and a bar where some complete stranger kept on catching me to finish telling me some story about a bear and a monkey, which he proudly informed me he "used to tell to his kids". I was playing pool, and every time I had a pause, he would come up to me and carry on telling the story where he had left off. I can not for the life of me remember a single point of the story, or why he was telling it to me, but so it went, and I smiled and nodded.

He finally arrived at the moral/punchline/ending two hours after he had introduced himself to me. He was at this point, to put it quite charitably, very drunk. I was not entirely sober myself, but that was all well and good and it was a happy Friday night out in the country.

Rode home scrunched six people into a car, joyously met and happily to bed.

Here's where it get's interesting, or funny, or really tremendously shitty depending on your perspective.

I have a habit of sleepwalking occasionally, and this house happens to have a habit of having two-hundred year old staircases, which make tight turns (in the back of the house the stairs are more of a servants' quarters/household use shape, with two turns in a flight of stairs, which result in very narrow ends of wedges at the inner part of the turn, which is always exciting at the best of times, and has no hand railing.

We were sleeping on the third floor, in Tigger's old bedroom, and somehow, at some random hour I apparently decided to start walking around, possibly to go use the bathroom.

I had socks on.

Next thing I vaguely remember is being on my side on the stairs, in some noticeable pain, and struggling back to bed where it hurt too badly to lie back down. Tigger was awakened by my screaming (I like to think it was manly "give me the morphine doc!" screaming, but I may have just sounded like somebody stole my My Little Pony and was playing keepaway with it in the schoolyard for all I know.)

I put up a minimal fight about it, and ended up conceding that perhaps going to the hospital was The Best Thing.

I broke my collarbone in either 3 or 4 places, the Oxycodone made it hard to be sure when I saw the X-Ray. All day Saturday sacked out wincing, and all of today as well. Tigger, to her credit, made the whole drive back to New York despite the fact that she usually doesn't care for highway driving and was absolutely wonderful throughout.

Oh, in case it needed to get worse, it feels like I have a sprain on the joint as well.

And, I'm left handed, and it's my left side (right by the shoulder, a handful of hairline breaks all along the end of the collarbone. Oh joy.

And, I have to fly to Europe on Wednesday, and can't take any time off of work until then.

Sometimes you just can't even imagine how things could get more unpleasant.

You know what I like to do at those moments? As a Giants fan, I like nothing more than to come home, doped up on opiates, and watch the Hometown Heroes go down 41-17 to a team with a losing record. Kudos to the Vikings for really putting the Cherry on my Sundae/Sunday of wincing and misery.

Last night, after a day of watching mediocre TV, and eating leftovers, I was at least mercifully asleep, doped up on Turkocet. Ah, tryptophan and Percoset. Sweet, sweet, miserable, addle-pated relief.

Pray for Mojo.

"If you can't be a good example, at least be a horrifying cautionary tale." --sidney (RIP, misses you)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Train Time

So, living in Brooklyn and commuting into Midtown I spend a fairly dismal amount of time on the Subway. Let's say about 40 minutes each way on a workday. Naturally, you have a good, hefty number of minutes to muse on something, nothing, or everything.

I think there are some people who will start paying attention to their infants when their infants have ipod screens implanted in their foreheads. What motivates you to watch video on an ipod when you have a very rapidly developing human being looking at you for interaction? It is still the case that you don't have to have kids in this or any country if you don't want to. I can certainly see that they don't always want to talk about Proust, or the latest Roca Wear lineup with you, but isn't it a bit of a good thing to look at and/or talk to them? If you were going to have some entertainment or media with you, how about at least reading a book or something?

Don't get me wrong, pompous asshole that I am I definitely understand that not everyone is going to be perusing the latest issue of Foreign Affairs on the train, or even The Economist or the New Yorker, but all that being said it's better to listen to them, occasionally play with or watch them, and even reading People or InStyle would be an improvement.

Yeah, I'm judging you all, all the time. My glass house is absolutely rent and shattered, needless to say.

Also, am I crazy, or was that guy playing a PSP version of Dance Dance Revolution??? Even if weren't someone who hated dancing, I would find the life-size actual footstomping monstrosity that is Dance Dance Revolution (the Arcade version*) blindingly, hoppingly stupid.

Playing it with your fingers?? Doesn't that defeat even the purpose that was defeated by the original purpose of Dance Dance Revolution?**

Until today, I had a bit of scattered schedule for the prior four days of workweek. On each of those days, the time I got on the train was off by a few hours one way or the other. Anywhere between 3:00 PM and 5:15 PM I would get on the train, and on my homeward bound train for four days in a row was the exact same person. I could believe that this was a result of taking the red pill, but I don't believe that. I could believe it was determinism, but I don't believe that. I could believe it was a lot of things, and I could believe that if we do have an all-powerful god he sometimes really, completely phones it in on the details.

Hey there, hypothetical all powerful deity: we do notice these little things, especially in a place where you really don't expect to EVER see the same people again, and feel almost warm when there's a repeater on your regular commute.

Perhaps the presumption of anonymity is the reason why a guy suddenly leapt up from a seat next to me, and crop dusted right past my face at a sprint before plonking down in an empty spot perhaps 12 feet away. Everyone knew it was him, and if he hadn't moved we would have only had a sense of aromatic discomfort (trust me, everybody farts on the train occasionally, it can't be entirely avoided, and while it's not as much fun as farting right before leaving an empty elevator behind it is something to be done stealthily.) As it was, I couldn't help but just exchange completely baffled glances with all my immediate neighbors, as we clutched shirts and jackets over our noses and held our breath.

*I briefly, and badly, played singles league pool, and the place had an attached arcade. The matches were very seriously played, and though I got beaten a lot even with a handicap I enjoyed the quiet focus of the event. It was real, and beautifully laid out pool hall with new tables. There was nothing quite as awesome as lining up a critical shot while listening the brittle, special sound of vigorous pairs of feet stomping away on plastic in a frenzy of hypnotic suggestion.

**I always thought the point of dancing was social, and regretted not being a dance happy fool as I figured it would have been a good sort of activity to be really happy about at all kinds of clubs and parties that I've been to. I didn't go home with the dumb girls at the time, and I feel dancing was my Achilles Heel. So, to me, DDR takes the only thing that makes sense about dancing (fun, sweating, hitting on people when you are single, physical closeness with somebody etc.) and kills it. Everyone stares ahead, grabs on to a couple of hand rails, and takes the stupid, but potentially fun activity and try to beat one another at flailing around.***

***Yes, I'm misanthropic towards elements of our collective "anthropy", and I feel I have my own reasons. See above re: glass houses.****

****Additional thought for a substitute aphorism: "Those who live in glass houses should be well acquainted with a good glazier, or opt for small, petty rocks."

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Beware of Dogs and Judges

Unlike Stephon Marbury, I'm not asking you to feel sorry for Michael Vick. I'm not talking about how normal dogfighting is, and I don't necessarily have any love for Mike Vick.

I love dogs, and the whole story is pretty horrifying.

And so, with all the disclaimer swept briskly to the side, I will say that I really don't envy him for the position he's in at the moment...

Thanks to the presence of the Honorable U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson, I would expect that this will go down in dark and scary ways for the former hero of the Battle of Atlanta Football.

I'm just figuring that a guy who sought the death penalty against David Vasquez (who was retarded, not credibly nearby, not connected by DNA evidence to the attack, AND had his confession certifiably fed to him before accepting an Alford Plea along with a 35 year sentence,) is probably going to be less than lenient.

If he tried to kill an innocent, poor, developmentally disabled defendant, what the hell is he going to do to a genuinely guilty party? Beat him comatose with a rusty office chair? Tie him to an anthill after smearing him with honey? Drag him over broken AOL Free Trial CD ROMs behind a Segway until dead?

Read the other piece in the column above... it's involving a drunk guy and a bag of Fritos, and a hilarious minor assault on a cop for which Hudson sought a five year minimum term for a felony "malicious wounding" charge.

Oh, and by the way he served on the Ed Meese Pornography Commission under Reagan.

A real charmer.

Rest easy everyone, not only are you not in jail, you also don't have a date for a sentencing in front of that guy. Well, at least as far as I know you don't... but who knows who google may bring here in the future, I guess.

"Resist Much. Obey Little." --Walt Whitman

Monday, November 19, 2007

Joy in the Most Puzzling Ways

So, I have to correct my error in not crediting Tigger on the corkscrew free bottle opening technique. I watched, I marveled.

I'm in an industry where there's a good chance of getting laid off in the current climate. I worry, but what can you do but truck on and hope you don't get run over while playing economic frogger.

We were on our way to the aforementioned divorce party, and since the vagaries of Brooklyn transportation means that you can't get from our particular Here to his particular There, and so we took a Black Car. They are the call-ahead car services without meters here in New York in case you weren't familiar.

I generally don't take them, but it can be useful, and us in the outer boroughs don't have a choice sometimes.

The driver was possibly Iranian, possibly Afghanistani, I didn't want to ask specifically. We all four piled into the car, and he tore around the block, and hit the massive hump in the intersection around the corner. The car touched down on asphalt, sailed up and swamped down again over the bump. He looked over, and gave a small, absolutely joyous laugh at the occasion. You might think it would seem unsettling, but with a bit of a language barrier, he seemed to be sharing his happiness at how fun life was turning out to be.

The radio was playing an old DJ, playing old American pop songs. "Alone Again, Naturally" was on as we wheeled around onto Ocean Parkway.

It puzzled me that a persian or middle eastern car service driver would be listening to old easy listening on an AM burning station out of what may well have been a shack in the Meadowlands. But, you learn to find things more beautiful and less surprising in this life as you go along... anyway...

DJ: "Well, that was my wife Barbara's favorite song. I never knew, until my son told me after she had passed."

As the DJ introduced the next song, the driver looked around at us, smiled and gave another small but rich chuckle.

I don't know what he found funny, but something either in a misunderstanding or in a reality struck a chord with him.

I have known and in the past even worked with some folks who make a far better living than most of us, and than I could even imagine. There seems to be a lot of tension that comes from the lifestyle (watch Bridezillas sometime, Tigger finds it fascinating, and see how miserable people are with a quarter million dollars to pitch at a wedding.)

So, I've decided that if I do end up unemployed, maybe I should about getting a hack license to drive a TLC car. I think maybe some of them get something that would be good to understand.

Also, if you write, or even if you just live somewhat, read Anne Lamott's "Bird by Bird". It's really tremendous, as per the first fifteen pages plus the introduction (xx pages in addition.)

Also, if you take pictures, read Ansel Adams's series on photography technique. It will blow your mind open, and then leave you to slowly reassemble the pieces into a tremendous new whole. (1 - The Camera, 2 - The Negative, 3 - The Print.)

I guess that's it, and I'll see about something more interesting or amusing along the way. Things have been really making me stressed recently, and I'm having a hard time with it. So hope you are all well...

And don't forget:

"Take it easy, but take it." --Pete Seeger

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Pop... I think I have the Black Lung

Tigger and I are both down for the count sick today. Her brother came up from Philly for the weekend, we went and had a good time (without a lot of furniture) at my friend's house for his divorce party, and I woke up today with enough soreness in my lungs that it hurts to sneeze.

Good times on the ranch.

Promised ire about tie knotting still to come, tease that I am I can't stop throwing that out there.

Also, the lesson here is that if you have to divide up your property with a former significant other, make sure you get left at least one corkscrew. That is the implement that has the least broad range of use, but is the most difficult to do without when you do happen to need it. Tricks involving screws and claw hammers were used to address the problem (screw goes into cork, claw hammer nail pulling end holds screw, and voila.) I live to serve, and now you know...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

God's Most Cursed Transportation

So, this past weekend, Tigger and I (yes, that's my G/F, and explanations may follow at some point when I feel like it) went down to the wilds of Philadelphia to go to a Wine/Food Pairing Dinner with the good people of her Father's country club. It's a fancy sort of place, there's a waiting list and what for.

I don't play golf, FYI. I have always kind of been curious about it, but as with hunting, fly fishing, and who knows what all, it's something you learn to do from your father, and I didn't about any of those things. One day I may yet grace the wilds of Dyker Beach (a public course here in Brooklyn) with an unfettered chain of octuple bogies, but that day is far off in the future.

Because it was a food and WINE pairing dinner, I didn't want to drive the lesbian-mobile (subaru outback wagon, apparently the lesbians are just WILD for Subarus, don't quite know why, though I encourage the non-existant readership to chime in with non-existant suggestions about why that might be the case) down to get drunk-ish at a country club and get arrested along the Main Line after driving through the front plate glass of a WaWa. Call me crazy, it's just what seems right to me.


We took public transportation down from New York to Philly, first step was the good people at NJTransit, who brought us all the way to Trenton, on an express train out of Penn Station. Yeah, baby, we roll deluxe on our short trips. FYI, Amtrak does everything short of actual anal rape to keep you from taking their trains that could be imagined. The Amtrak fare from New York to Philly (a 1.5 hour trip by plague infested horse or crawl) is close to $70 per head, and that just was so morally offensive I couldn't handle it. Sorry.

The plan was to take NJTransit to Trenton, SEPTA (South-East-Pennsylvania-Transit-Authority, I think) light rail in to 30th Street Station in Philadelphia, and then another SEPTA train out to the Club In Question (thanks to Tom Pyncheon for my pompous use of semi-appropriate use of capitalization.) So far, so good. Except, apparently in places other than New York things on rapid transit are not quite as they are in the world in which I grew out of short pants... to wit: someone got on our goddamned delayed SEPTA train, insisting to the conductor that they be allowed to look for the person they had been waiting for who hadn't gotten off the train.

That was not a typo. This guy (and I cut him more slack, as he had a very thick South Asian accent, and was oldish) actually thought he would be allowed to look through the entire train for his missing party.

Apparently, even Philly conductors don't conscience that kind of absurdity. Sadly, though, our VERY tight travel plan left us missing the connection in Philly to the wilds of whiteyland by a grand total of 2 minutes. So, Tigger called her Padre and had him come in to meet us in front of the City Hall in downtown, and bring us out to our Fahncy Wine Tasting, which I frankly had been on the train to arrive at for several hours and didn't want to miss. Don't think that I didn't want to get there.

I always have a bit of a disconnect when I get out of a method of transport in a different town. It was very weird to stand around in the middle of Philly, with the spotlight broadcasted logo from the Commerce Bank branch twenty feet behind me muddling the pavement beneath my feet. So, eventually, after running around from corner to corner and dodging buses where we finally arranged a meeting, we got in the car and made our way out to dinner.

Don't expect some awful Top Chef inspired sommelier-infused discussion of dinner.

The pork tenderloin was spectacular, the second Riesling was quite special. That's the extent of my commentary. (There, are you happy?)

For what it's worth, I am of German extraction, by a degree of one generation (me) born on this soil. So, the fact that it was a German-food and German-wine tasting is partly why I was asked to come, perhaps, but I'm not sure.

So, fast forward to Saturday morning, where we got up, and got on the bus back to New York.

I hate buses.


It was, after all that, not a bad trip all the same. There was a pair of middle-aged women sitting across from us who were apparently quite powerful...

Dumpy: I'm just glad I'm a clairvoyant, I couldn't handle being a medium.

Scrawny: I think so too, but why?

Dumpy: Well, as a clairvoyant, I see things when I close my eyes, but as a medium you are just hearing the voices all the time.

Yeah. I was on the bus from Reading, PA with a couple of VERY powerful women. Why they were stuck on the damn bus with their remarkable powers is unclear to me, but there they were. And they couldn't help shouting out wimmyn encouraging praise to the female bus driver as she aggroed her way through the Lincoln Tunnel traffic ("Nicely DONE!" "Perfect!" etc., put it in context, motherfuckers, it was ridiculous). Ouch.

Finally, we arrived at the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

I don't know why, but every time I've been to a major bus station I've seen at least one person who has had the shit literally (perhaps) beaten out of them in the past twenty-four hours. This time, it was Shuffling Guy With Severely Swollen Left Orbital and Eye Region Subsequent To Severe Fist Trauma. He wasn't even asking for money, just sort of stumbling around the main entrance of the terminal.

Something about buses, man. They just attract darkness. Maybe it's something related to carrying around a chemical tank filled with feces that is a few steps from the gates of hell, but I'm not sure.

All this was really beautifully topped off by the dude in the wheelchair who had made a cap for his amputated leg composed of truncated soda bottles stuffed with bright orange plastice. Hurray. Tigger walked almost into him as I widely flanked the wonder of modern refuse technology. I tried to stop her, but she was already being blocked in by a severed leg and a sere, empty planter before I could stop her. I did my best, but it was just not enough to stop a momentary inward clenching of forearms and 180 degree fear-swivel.

Tomorrow, perhaps a discussion of tie knotting techniques that no-one will read. RIGHT ON!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

I'm apparently an employed hobo.

So, I have a problem with going to sleep on time.

When I was a kid, I could never nap. Didn't want to sleep, couldn't do it if I needed to. In nursery school we were forced to nap for a certain period of time every day, and I remember lying wide awake on a sleeping bag with large, cartoonish comical numbers in a staid but bright array of colors and waiting for the lights to come back on... it wasn't for me.

Even in college, I couldn't nap like normal people, and would just lie down in the daytime with the mythical concept of napping to guide me and would wake up five hours later, having missed a series of commitments.

Steve Fossett* taught me better. (See subsequent comment re Wikipedia... respect your dead betters who happen to be insane wealthy balloonists). I wish I could get a two minute nap whenever I wanted. The modern workplace doesn't respect a need for a miserable cubicle slave to have a quiet place to put our over- or underpaid heads down and pretend to check out for two minutes.

I've got a bit of an insomia issue, which is tired and seems universal for all I know. No one I know personally has ever said to me that they get enough sleep, and I just sort of assume that a degree of sleep deprivation is an aspect of all of our own self-induced Kolyma's (wikipedia is your friend... and yes, that was a COMPLETELY inappropriate parallel, and if you weren't offended, well, you just don't know what that actually meant.)

However, I've spent a period of time of being so desparate for a nap during the daytime that I can't even describe. If I lived in Tokyo, I would spend every lunch break (which I actually don't take, realistically) in a tube hotel, and I envy every salaryman for that weird, sick, perverse, heavenly luxury. However, living in New York, I have now twice in one week crafted errands to run which put me on the subway to take care of business at lunchtime, in no small part because I have a great pleasure that comes from napping on the train.

I sleep (sort of) on the subway on the way to work every morning, and have nowhere to close my eyes during the day in my much deprived state. So... getting on the train to go "take care of something" was kind of an artifice to sleep on the subway.

I mentioned this when I got home, and Tigger said to me: "So, you are actually a hobo?"


That pretty much sums it up. I've tried empty conference rooms, but they make me tense. I've tried bathrooms, but (ladies, FYI, dudes crap in public bathrooms, while you guys apparently don't do the same thing) it smells in a manner which is hard to describe without speaking of rotting monkey carcasses, and I've tried leaning against elevator walls... but the subway on a lunchtime "taking care of business" moment was the most satisfying.

I'd like to thank the Lexington Avenue local for a good, solid twenty minutes of rest in the middle of the day. Really, deeply, I am very grateful.

I'd also like to thank the guy at the sandwich shop on Park Row (where I got out to rub the pseudo-sleep from my eyes and go to J & R Music World (thanks for the artifice for the hobo nap)) for actually taking off the rubber glove when he took my money and gave me my change. It's really inspiring to see that there's a commitment to the non-spreading of multi-antibiotic resistant bacteria.


I had a moment, stepping outside of work to go have a cigarette. We used to be able to stand in front of the doors, out of peoples' way(s) until recently, and now have to maneuver around some obstacles that I can't really describe to get enough out of the path of good non-evil smoking citizens to indulge in my "twice in the work day" habit.

I sat down on the Homeless Guy Bench Number 3, and felt my shoe slip on something viscous on the ground.

It is a mark of life in New York that I looked down and thought "Damn, it's a loogie" and was actually RELIEVED that it was bird shit.

It may have SARS in it, but thank GOD it wasn't someone's expectoration. It somehow felt more comfortable to me, and it took the arm's length search for white high-contrast swirls in the potential loogie to release me from worry.

Funny how those little things perversely make us seem relieved.

*Still officially just missing. I hope they find the guy... I had a lot of respect for his kind of crazy. If they find him dead, or if they never find him, I wish Mr. Fossett godspeed and good jetstream winds in the afterlife.**

**I don't believe in an afterlife, but it would be nice to think it was out there, wouldn't it? ...(to all my agnostics and atheists... do you sometimes just envy the faithful for the concept of a justice-leveling payoff at the end? Yeah, me too.)***

***Yeah, I know the grammar was spotty on that one, but a double asterisk, parenthetic comment after a question is something that I didn't have time to look up in the manual of style. Sorry. I also know "you" don't exist, so you've gotten more apology than a phantasm deserved anyway.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Just a few things, to start with

I was out recently, at a "whimsical" get together in the dately neighborhood of halloween. There were candy items scattered around, and I ran across a pair of wax lips in the packaging. Why were these ever made? The taste is pretty much non-existent, and it is at the end of the day... wax. No more, no less.

A little bit of evidence for everyone, in case you were still part of the "jury still out" crowd on the evils of marketing: I saw, on the subway, a Roca Wear branded stroller. I'm not sure whether this is one of the signs of the end of things as we know them, but I DO know that it is a phenomenon I feel uncomfortable commenting on.

Perhaps a little bit on the nose?

Not exactly a part of a "thug life" lifestyle to glamorize, perhaps?

Forgive the run-ons and excessive use of commas (those that have come already, and those sure to come.) All the recreational tinted-wax chewing has gone to my head.

Sorry, to all of you none readers, that I haven't begun with a "well here goes" or a "little something about me" sort of post. Navigating the waters with Loran and old charts at the moment.

More than anything else, I feel a bit like 1995 called and wanted it's phenomenon back... or perhaps an 85 year old man getting a cell phone.

Dialing Klondike three, four two nine one folks.