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.