Monday, December 31, 2007

Joe Gibbs Gets It Right

"Sometimes in life, maybe some of the best things happen to you after you have been kind of crushed..."

Sunday, December 30, 2007

I Need an Etiquette Check

OK, I need some input here. I meet a girl, we go out on 3.5 dates (I'm giving the first afternoon coffee only half-a-date) over two weeks. There is some heavy petting (both sides receive pleasure) and fooling around. Today, I send said girl an email saying maybe we can grab coffee Tuesday or something. I then get an email response saying we'd be better suited as friends, yada yada yada.

Now, I have no issues with this, really. She was nice and all, but honestly I'm not so sure there was a long-term future or even a short-term one. While I am curious as to why the sudden turn of events, what I'm really wondering is that after two rather intense grope sessions, is an email appropriate or should I have gotten a phone call or even been told in person?

Truth is, email is better, but it doesn't seem right. I've checked in with one female friend who says the email was a "pussy move." I tend to agree, but am willing to hear other views.


Dragging Ass To The Finish Line

Ya know, 2007 went pretty damn fast except for the past three days. I just have not been feeling part of lately (which explains posting the barroom ramblings of my past). Last night I felt like a 19th wheel. Since I was out with so many people it seems silly to say a third wheel or a fifth wheel. No, it was more like a 19th wheel.

Now this afternoon I felt like a third wheel. Went to brunch with two girls, one of whom I've had a few dates with and a friend of hers. I haven't had enough dates with this person to feel comfortable or even know if this is headed anywhere (or if I even want it to head somewhere) and the friend, who seemed very down-to-earth earlier when I heard her speak, seemed a little crazy in reality. Funny how that works.

Anyway, I just need to get through the next few weeks. Get the trip to Los Angeles over with (and no kiddies, I won't take a nostalgia trip to the Burgundy Room) and decide if my future lies in my past or not. Wow, I can pull a phrase out of my ass every now and then can't I?

I always wanted to be one of those guys who could play pool, bowl a little, walk into a room with a piano and play a little. But I'm not. I'm the guy in the shadows who looks like he might scratch you if you approach him. It's not who I am on the inside, but I know it's what gets sent to the outside world. Probably why I spend so much time trying to woo the stray cats I see in Riverside Park. I know where they're coming from.

OK, time for the Redskins to give me a heart attack.

Rambler--The LA Years

Cleaning through some old wreckage and thought I'd post some of barroom babble from my LA haze...Probably scribbled at The Burgundy Room, which I believe was on Cahuenga near Hollywood. Darkest bar you'll ever go to.

You can sit in the dark
for only so long
sooner or later
some fuck turns on the lights

Now I got nothing against seeing
but there ain't a lot to see
so keep me in the dark
and just let me be

You say that's no way to live
but really, what difference does it make?
just because you're in the light
doesn't mean you can see

I'll take my darkness
over your light
take what I can't see
over your sight
can you blame me?


Sitting in black
Smoking cigarettes
Looking cynical and deep
but I'm just a cliche

I make $80 grand a year
But you wouldn't know it to see me here
Sitting in the dark with my beer
I'm just a cliche

I can act deep
I can look sad
If it'll get me in your pants
Beacause I'm a cliche

Take me home and I'll make you moan
but don't ask too much
Because I'm just a cliche

Listen to my blues
Swig down my brew
pass out at three
I'm just a cliche

Won't you talk to me
I'll be what you want me to be
Tell you what you want to hear
I'm just a cliche

Bleeding from the wrist
tub full of blood
now I'm drained
and I was nothing but a cliche.


here's another cheery one...

She's a vision of light
In this darkness of hell
Raven black hair

It's not my fault
It was destiny
You are my fate
So don't put up a fight

Now your mine
It couldn't be helped
Wrong place, wrong time
You got yours
I'll get mine


Yes, I'm in therapy.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Faking It

Back from bowling with a group of people. Should have had a good time but didn't really. Not because I can't bowl, just not there right now. Something is eating at me. Of course, seeing a girl I have a crush on with someone else doesn't help, but truth is that's just bullshit. I am just using that to escape what's really going on.

I don't know what the fuck is really going on. I know I'd like a smoke, but won't. Lately I have been having shortness of breath and I'm beginning to wonder if maybe I am at risk for emphysema. I'd like to think that's crap and maybe it's just the cold weather but my stamina is definitely a little off these days. Of course, I over do it, so that might be it too.

Anyway, I'm dodging the elephant in the room. On the one hand, I'm making all these efforts to get out--fellowship, bowling, even a few dates--and yet at times I still feel completely alone and really want to shut down, lock in, grab an eight ball and a case and go to town. Now those feelings don't stick around and really I don't want to go there. But shit, it's normal that I want to do that sometime. I just have to remember where it takes me. That it's not fun anymore. And that it is not an answer. Even writing it out lessens the appeal.

I get weird sometimes putting shit out there but screw it. How am I ever going to put anything on the page if I can't even put myself out there in this empty universe known as the blogosphere.

I don't like faking it, but sometimes it is required. This is one of those times.

And if one more motherfucker asks me what I'm doing for new years! Jeez, it's a Monday for crying out loud. You'll find me on Perry Street where I belong. Not cool enough for Soho. Not my scene.

Acting As If

Been almost a week. I wish I had something to say other than I have been acting out in the only ways I have left these days. It's Friday night, plans fell through. I'm cool with that. Got the Laundry done. But today and yesterday was just a waste in my head. Went to the office but didn't work. Well, did some work but not enough. It's tough to motivate when you're so unmotivated.

I try to act as if, as in act as if I like my job. It's hard. It's harder because I don't hate it, I just don't have any interest in what I do or what my place of business does.

A semi-big TV exec died the other day from cancer. About a month ago he participated in one of my events even though he was sick. He even brought someone with him to administer chemo during a break. I knew he was sick but didn't know the end was that near. I hope he didn't know either. While I'm very grateful that he came and participated, I find it a little sad that a dying man spent five hours at one of my events. Didn't he have anywhere better to be?

Of course, he was acting as if. As if he wasn't dying from cancer. Who am I to judge how he decided to spend his last weeks? Ultimately, we all end up in the same place. That's why I should really stop the obsessing over the career. When I'm in the ground it won't be my work world that will remember or care, it'll be those in my personal life. So I guess I better get a personal life, otherwise it'll just be the cats visiting me in the ground.

Now I'm going to act as if I'm going to bed. Eyes are soar, as are other parts.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Mr. December

Say what you will about Joe Gibbs. He's lost it. He's not as sharp. He should retire before he does further damage to his legacy. All that may have some validity. But he's still Mr. December. The Redskins have no reason to be one game away from the playoffs with destiny in their hands. Their QB is hurt, their best defensive player was murdered. They lost four in a row and heartbreaker after heartbreaker. Those are backbreakers and spirit breakers, but somehow Gibbs has rallied the team and right now they're hot. Dallas has nothing to play for this Sunday while the Redskins have everything at stake. Hopefully, they'll continue to play like that and take it to the Cowboys.

And how about Todd Collins? Makes you wonder how many guys there are like him who never really get a shot and can clearly play and compete at the top levels. The good thing is that while Collins may be 36, he's like a 16 year-old car that's never been driven. He's got no dents, no rust, no long-term damage. Look, Jason Campbell is the future, but watching Collins play mistake-free football these past three games makes one realize that maybe Campbell was being a little rushed this year.

Anyway, that is getting way ahead of ourselves. It's one game at a time. Just beat Dallas that's all that matters and everything else will take care of itself.

Rambler is off to D.C. Happy holidays to all.

Saturday, December 22, 2007


Watched Juno. While it is funny, her dialogue is not the dialogue of a 16 year-old, but rather the dialogue that a 30 year-old screenwriter wishes she spoke when she was 16.

It is also the dialogue of a 30 year-old who wishes she was that witty when she was 16. In other words, other than the references to Ipods and blogs, the musical references and tastes of Juno are possibly (and even this is a stretch) those of a 16 year-old in 1994 (when screenwriter Diablo Cody was born) longing to be in a different era, not a 16 year-old in 2007. This also explains why 40 year-old movie critics are raving. It's like a young girl into the same music they're into and on top of it, she puts out. How else to explain the NY Times saying "at last a movie about a real down-to-earth teenager." Puhleeze. The boyfriend is a real down-to-earth teenager and her father and step-mother are believable, as are Bateman and Garner. In fact, everyone is believable except Juno.

I know, Rambler you're nitpicking. Am I? Much of the "charm" of Juno's character is her retro tastes and her wit and neither ring true in my book. She has a copy of Patti Smith's "Horses" in her bedroom. Now I grew up in the 70s and 80s and listened to cool music. But that was because I had older brothers who listened to cool music. If not for my brothers, I would not have been listening to Lou Reed, The Dictators, New York Dolls, etc. I'd been listening to Kansas, Boston, and all the other late 70s mainstream crap that was coming on then...and I didn't mind Boston, btw. Point being, most of us pick up our musical tastes from someone else, at least initially. Juno certainly didn't get her tastes from her parents or her friends. She'd more likely be listening to Green Day and Smashing Pumpkins, thinking they were original. Unless, it was 1990, then maybe one would regress to 1980.

A friend recently asked, when I was picking apart another movie, what was the last movie I liked. Besides the Nicky Barnes documentary, that would have been "Super Bad." One reason I steer clear of a lot of movies is because I do have a tendency to never be able to shut off my inner critic. Also, if I don't see it right away, literally the day a movie comes out, the backlash in my mind begins. That said, so much of this movie is about the quirks and wit of Juno and if I don't buy it, how am I supposed to buy the rest of the movie. I guess I waited too long on this one. But hey, I didn't pay for it so who cares?

JK Simmons is great.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

That's Not What I Meant!!!

Just because the last post began with a Carrie Bradshaw-like intro doesn't mean I was talking about a skirt. I was talking about a job! A trip into my professional past (and no, that doesn't mean a night with professionals for everyone out there who wanted to make that crack) is a possibility. I don't have to decide anything right now. Just exploring. I can't decide if I'm moving towards something or retreating back into something. But sometimes one needs to take two steps back just to take one forward. At least I hope so.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Can You Go Forward By Going Back?

No, I'm not turning into Carrie Bradshaw. But it may be a question I will be facing. A potential chance to get some ink back in my blood. Is it right? I don't know. I'm familiar with the place and they're saying all the right things. Of course, don't we all say the right things just before we fuck someone?

Sorry, it just seemed like the perfect set up for that line. Anyway, now I'll be in limbo for the next few weeks. But at least it's nice to be wanted.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Update--No Gin

Dad's wife's cousin died (Irish Catholic family so that's the equvialent of a twin sister) so no gin this week.


Monday, December 17, 2007

Gin With Dad

Supposed to play gin with my dad on Wednesday. I did this a few weeks ago and we actually had a good time. Don't know how to explain it, but playing gin with my dad is one of my few good memories as a kid (see the gym shorts story somewhere on this damn blog). Most of the time, I hid from the old man and when I didn't, I regretted it.

But the gin thing seems to work. Who knows, maybe if it becomes habit we can try to build a relationship. I don't want to say rebuild, because honestly, it was never really there in the first place. That doesn't mean it can't happen now. I have to remember that.

Checking In

I still pay my bills by check. i don't know why. Everyone else does Internet bills or online banking. I guess I could. It would certainly reduce the paper trail.

But for some reason I like writing checks and sticking them in envelopes, buying stamps and dropping them in the mailbox. I get a sense of accomplishment out of it.

I do think one reason I still do it is that it is a relic from the days when I had to be absolutely sure the checks would clear and that the money would be there and hence I didn't want it automatically deducted. Not really an issue now but the memories live on.

I also figure if I keep paying by mail, I'm helping keep a few jobs that will eventually fade away alive.

Still, it's kind of a pain in the ass.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

It's Moving And Touching, Even The DP And The A2M

Walking down Sixth Avenue after my workout I decided to support a local business still standing despite all the banks, Duane Reeds and other chain stores that are closing in. I went to the dirty video place.

There I saw what I suspect may be the adult industry's reaction to the amateur and pirated porn clips on those sites we all know we go to when we just need 30 seconds of action and aren't really interested in learning about the characters.

I may be late to this (I don't really go ti those sorts of stores much anymore), but I guess Wicked Pictures is going a little deeper in its plots and themes to fight the free porn racket. Here is the description from the box of one of their latest releases--Coming Home.

When Brian Parsons (Brad Armstrong), receives a letter calling him to duty in Iraq, his life in a sleepy little town is shaken when the unthinkable becomes reality. Girlfriend Sarah (Kirsten Price), is distraught when she hears the news. In an effort to soothe her, Brian enlists the help of his best friend Jimmy (Barrett Blade) to keep an eye on her while he’s away. Multi-award winning writer/director Brad Armstrong brings you this year’s most anticipated adult drama. An unforgettable 3-hour epic ripped from today’s headlines, COMING HOME is extraordinary moviemaking.

Wow! Even "coming" is spelled correctly! Truthfully, I'm not sure there is a market for a three-hour porn flick that uses the Iraq war as a jumping off point. After all, Hollywood's own efforts to probe the war has posted mixed results.

The packaging on Coming Home is very elaborate as our several other new Wicked Releases. It looks like the Oscar and Emmy screener kits I used to get in a previous life. This could not have been cheap.

These are tough times for the adult industry. They have always been the first to jump on a new technology and exploit it for financial gain. Before anyone knew if beta and VHS were for real, the porn biz was going full force into it. They showed you can make money on the Internet.

But now there is so much amateur stuff out there and a lot of ripped off stuff as well the industry is going through the same bad cycle as their mainstream competitors. Perhaps Wicked thinks now is the time to return to the big plot-driven Dirk Diggler flicks of yesteryear. I'm not so sure. Unfortunately, I'm guessing that very few consumers of this stuff have the patience or inclination to watch something that's as heavy on story as it is on sex. They once put up with a plot to get to what they wanted, but now they can get all that without having to see Ron Jeramy show off his acting chops.

BTW, I was just browsing and came away empty handed. I did pass on my observations to one of those mainstream media reporters so we'll see if some ink gets spilled on this. If nothing else, he can call the distributor and say he's interested in doing a story and they'll send him a free copy. Hmmm, wait a minute.

Friday, December 14, 2007


So last night I was at a Christmas party and this hot girl who I've wanted to bang ever since I met her was there. As usual, she was a little too drunk, a little too flirty, and a little too annoying. But I didn't care. Part of my brain wanted to take her into a bathroom down the hall and fuck the shit out of her on the sink. Actually, that wasn't part of my brain thinking that, but anyway.

Bottom line though is my brain (the real one) also can smell trouble and this broad is trouble. Yes, I'm practicing my noir skills. This broad is trouble, Johnny thought to himself as he fired up a Marlboro...

She started babbling about her ex, whom I know professionally. She's got enough baggage to open a Samson store (I'm here all week folks). She's rushing to the bar to get a little more vodka. And she's in a nice black skirt with a tight top, black heels that would look great over my shoulders. She also has that annoying touchy-feely way of talking and a kind of squeaky voice. Whatever.

I found myself in that dangerous place of hanging around with her even though my stomach was telling me get the fuck out of there. I felt myself slipping back into old habits, trying to figure out whether if I get her into a cab, what are the odds of getting into the apartment and would it be worth the aggravation. We've all been in those situations. Someone is there with a car and you sure do want a ride, but you know if they drive there is a good chance you could end up wrapped around a tree.

I managed to exit the party yet found myself loitering outside the building for a few minutes just on the off chance she would come out and I could bump into her and hopefully end up back at her place and bump into her in a more meaningful way.

Now I know some folks would say so, what's the big deal? You saw a hot chick you want to fuck, big news flash go do it champ. But trust me. I know me and I know this type and it is not the situation I can put myself in anymore. Unfortunately a part of me wants to go there but that dude has fucked me up every time I've listened to him.

I'm sure this morning said girl is nursing hangover on her way into work and either not remembering much of what she said or did or remembering all too much. I'm glad that's not me. Of course, that didn't stop me from sending an email saying `hey, it was nice seeing you last night.' Progress, not perfection.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Why Not Marvin Harrison?

My nephew wants a Randy Moss jersey. Guy lives in Maryland. Doesn't like the Redskins, likes the Ravens, wants a Randy Moss jersey. Randy Moss is a tremendous talent, no doubt. But couldn't my nephew want Marvin Harrison instead?

Marvin Harrison is the Art Monk of this century. While Harrison is probably a little more talented than Monk was, like Monk he does not seek out the spotlight. He does not get mentioned in the same breath as Moss or Owens. He does not make a jackass out of himself on ESPN. He does his job. He is breaking records left and right (I know, he's hurt right now), and yet he toils in anonymity.

Unfortunately, people who just do their jobs don't always get the props.
Now, I know Harrison likes keeping a low-profile. He doesn't talk a lot. He doesn't play that game. And that's cool. But that doesn't mean that when the writers and broadcasters are talking about who's the best and picking what highlights to show, they should give the shaft to Harrison just because he doesn't dance around. So while I get my nephew a number 81, I think I'll tell him abuot number 88.

Am I Looking For More Meaning?

Oh say it isn't so.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


So tomorrow I have an event that if I'm lucky will get 45 people to show up. Without going into to much detail, I'll just say that figure is not very good. Ideally, I'd want twice that. At one point, I had 80 RSVPs, which is still not great but would've been acceptable. Now it's down to 60 and that means that if I'm lucky, only 15 will be no shows.

Admittedly, this event is not exactly featuring someone who has bettered mankind, the human race, or even our culture. It's just made a lot of money making entertainment. Lots of people do that. Unfortunately this person was stuck with the burden of supposedly needing to uplift people, rather than just make money.

I am tempted to hire extras to fill the seats. I need 30 people, ranging in age from 30 to 60 in business attire. It's very tempting. Probably wouldn't cost that much and would work.

But instead I'm hoping that the folks I work for will see the piss-poor turnout and decide we need to rethink what we're doing.

That said, I do want to start a company that sends out extras for both personal and corporate events. Want to show diversity at a corporate event or even your wedding, we'll take care of it. Need some gays to show potential dates you're an open-minded cool guy, we'll handle your needs.

Now don't go stealing this.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Just Friends

An underrated movie. I know the posters looked stupid and perhaps it's only because it's been on HBO like a thousand times over the last two years, but I actually enjoy this flick.

Maybe it's because I like the idea of leaving my hometown for ten years, coming back a completely different person (yet, still the same). Maybe it's because it's set in Jersey and I always wonder what it'd be like to see everyone I knew in eighth grade before I moved to DC.

Or hell maybe it's because Anna Ferris is really funny in this, as is Ryan Reynolds and even in Chris Klein in a part that would've been played by Owen Wilson if it'd been twenty years after high school.

I'm allowed to like a sappy romantic comedy. Especially on a rainy Sunday.

The Back Story

On Friday I stopped by my hair salon and got my free clean up. I also, apparently for being a longtime customer, was offered a free massage. Since I can't turn down anything that is free, I said sure. Plus, it was a girl, not a guy so I didn't have to worry about anything moving.

Unfortunately, massages are wasted on me (especially the ones without the happy ending). I have a very sensitive back. Other than my shoulders and my lower back, I pretty much can't be touched. I don't know what that is about. There is no physical trauma back story there. It has been like that as long as I remember. I have always thought that when I find the woman that can touch my back, I've found my match.

And since most massage therapists spent the bulk of their time on the middle of the back (despite my initial warning and clear squeamishness when she did go there), I spent most of the time being uncomfortable. However, when she did my arms and hands, that was great. She had all this lotion on my hands and her hands were sliding around my hands and it was all I could do to not squeeze her hands a little bit while she was rubbing mind.

It didn't matter that the therapist was not my type. It did not matter that I wasn't attracted to her, or even that nothing was stirring below the waistline. I was being touched and wanted it to mean something.

But alas, she soon went back to my back and I went back to clenching.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Buddy Ate My Sandwich

OK, found some inspiration.

About twelve years ago when I was living in Los Angeles I finally broke up with my longtime girlfriend who moved with me out there from D.C. I know. I brought sand to the beach, what was I thinking?

Being something of a chicken shit in those days, I started flirting with another girl before officially breaking up with my GF. Look, not proud of that but it's how I did things in those days.

Anyway, L, the girl I started dating worked at the same place I did but in a different department. She was very cute and we started going out. I guess in hindsight we were more of f-buddies. She drove a VW bug and took her white dog buddy with her everywhere.

A friend of mine suggested that I be upfront with L about my GF. Tell her that I'd just gotten out of a relationship, etc. It made sense. I wouldn't want her to hear through the grapevine that the guy she was dating (screwing) had just ended a long-term relationship etc.

Now, L was a little spacey. There are some people who kind of have a revolving door on their brains and if you get something in there while it's spinning, great and if not, well you tried. She fit that category.

So I called her one night and said I wanted to tell her something. I then went through the whole thing about how my live-in GF and I were breaking up I just wanted get that out there, etc. There was a pause and then: "Oh, Buddy ate my sandwich." That was it. No thanks for being upfront. No I appreciate your honesty. Just Buddy ate my sandwich.

Then I paused. Rolled my eyes and wanted to punch my genius friend who suggested being upfront with her. I actually think L, who was always kind of happy on the surface, had some sort of very dark past and she just blocked out anything and everything that was beneath the surface.

Or perhaps Buddy eating the sandwich was more interesting then me, it's entirely possible. I never did find out what was on that sandwich.

Anything Can Happen Day

In the old Mickey Mouse Club, Wednesday was anything can happen day. I'm pretty sure nothing is going to happen today, but I always liked the idea that anything could.

Also just wanted to check in. Like going to the gym, this thing is easy to forget about if I don't make the effort. Haven't posted since Sunday which is a long time for me. That's in part because nothing has happened that I felt was worth posting.

But if I think about it, that's not really true. I may have some meetings soon on the career front. I may be playing gin with my Dad tonight. He's been on me about getting together and we know how much I love that. But a few weeks ago I flashed back to when we used to play gin and I did enjoy that. It was one of the few activities we did together that was enjoyable. The other activity would be his attempts at teaching me math which consisted of yelling loudly because somehow that would make be understand fractions better.

I may be making moves to up my social life too although I'm a little gun shy. I guess I'm the maybe man. Everything is I may do this, I may do that.

For now this is what I got.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

What Do You Mean I Have To Look At Myself???

I don't know who to be more jealous of, the stripper turned screenwriter or the journalist profiler. Why them, why not me? Oh yeah, they actually pursued dreams instead of just living them in their heads. Shit, you mean I can't just sit here and be bitter and wonder why other people have all the luck? You mean I might have to actually decide at some point that if I want my life to have meaning--or at least have meaning to me--I'll need to take some actions and do some work? Crap, that doesn't sound fun. It's lot easier just to be hating on everyone else's good fortune.

Of course, it was also a lot easier to be a completely miserable fuck who blew all his money (not that it was much, but that's not the point) on excess living. It was easier being the guy determined to do the same thing over and over again expecting the results to be different.

But eventually I was given the gift of desperation and started to stop digging and start climbing. Might be time to do that again soon. I just need to pound this out here so I can remember that eating poison and waiting for someone else to die is a fool's game.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

What Would Freud Say?

So doing my usual Saturday morning routine of getting up early and gathering my laundry. I always order my heart attack on a role (sausage, egg, and cheese) before I leave. This morning though, instead of dialing the deli, I dial my Dad. The numbers are not even remotely similar except that they both start with one number three times in a row (but not the same number). Anyway, I got the voicemail and hung up. Then I redialed, ordered the food and off I went.

As a onetime fling used to remark, "weird, huh?"

Friday, November 30, 2007

He's Not Just The President, He's Also A Member

Check out the latest edition of Rolling Stone and tell me that's not the worst rug you've ever seen on top of Jimmy Page's head. Rambler is obsessed with hair. Yes, I still have mine, but not as much as I did say 20 years ago. That said, I scrutinize the hair and hairlines of others. Springsteen has more hair now than he did 20 years ago and you can tell something is up because his hair never gets sweaty anymore. Not to pick on the recently departed, but Kevin DuBrow, late singer of Quiet Riot, was basically wearing a mop on his head and I still don't know what the hell Axl had stapled onto his scalp.

One day I'll figure out how to post pictures so I can make my point without using so many words. In the meantime, you'll just have to do your own verification of what I write.

Rambler Is Currently Checking out Dominatrixes

Facebook is again in hot water with its users. This time it's for a plan to send messages to the friends of users about what they are buying online. In other words, if I go buy a movie, what I bought will go out to my "friends." By the way, this is why Rambler doesn't use Facebook or MySpace. Oh, that and that I have no friends but anyway.

I say turn it up a notch. How about a minute-by-minute report of whatever I'm doing online to my Facebook friends? I can see it now:

12:01 A.M. Rambler just visited Live Crazy Girls with Whips
12:05 A.M. Rambler has left Live Crazy Girls with Whips and is now on the Drudge Report.
12:06 A.M. Rambler has left Drudge and is now reading Washington Post
12:07 A.M. Rambler has left Washington Post and is now on You Porn.
12:09 A.M. Rambler is now buying a screen cleaner. OK, that was a little gross.

But you get the idea.

Facebook no doubt assumed that if these bozos will put pictures of themselves drunk and high on the web and babble about their latest humiliating adventure with five of their closest guy friends, why would they care if we just sent out a note letting their friends know they just bought a used copy of Legally Blonde II?

Ah, but that's the rub. This is all about one-way communication and that's why this latest Facebook blunder misfired.

Seriously though, I agree with the Facebookies on this one. Plus it means that once again Facebook will have to go back to the drawing board to actually figure out how to make money. Rambler may be showing his age, but I seriously question the valuations for these companies. I don't know what Google was thinking with You Tube, but for them it doesn't really matter since $1.65 billion is in loose change under their couch.

Just because you can accumulate the masses doesn't mean it's a ticket to make money. The whole point of Facebook and MySpace is the Warhol fifteen minutes of fame thing. These folks think their life is fascinating. They think other people will find it fascinating. Maybe that's all true, but I'm not sure how you sell Tide with it.

Public bathrooms also accumulate the masses and would be ideal places to market but I don't see anyone lining up to spend $2 billion for "Johnny on the Spot." Hmmm, are they a publicly traded company?

The Days May Be Getting Shorter But The Weeks Still Seem Long

Man this week took forever! I barely remember Monday, it seems so long ago. Probably doesn't help that the weather was also all over the map. Cold and Wet on Monday. Warm on Tuesday and Wednesday. Rainy, then sunny on Thursday and cold today. I also had no consistency this week. I got to the gym only on Wednesday and today and both times I got there late because I overslept. Just one of those weeks. I got lost walking in Central Park on Tuesday. I don't know Central as well as Riverside and if you don't make the left turn to head west and exit the next thing you know is you're right near Fifth Avenue. It would've been fine if I hadn't been on the way somewhere.

Today was the capper. Last night I set my alarm for 5:45, only I forgot the AM part! I do that every now and then, it's really annoying. I woke up and saw daylight coming through the window and was like "hmmm, something tells me it's around 7 a.m." And it was. I said fuck it, I'm still going to the gym. I wheezed my way through 35 minutes on the new StairMaster before hitting some weights. I haven't run since Sunday and it showed. I really need to get back into the routine this weekend and next week. Frankly, I need to get my shit together.

This week has been blah and it shows in the posts. I'll get back to the angry old man routine soon enough. I'm sure.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Didn't You Used To Be John Entwistle?

John Entwistle, the late great bass player for The Who once joked that someone came up to him and said "didn't you used to be John Entwistle?" I often feel like that these days and this morning it especially hit home at a meeting where I found myself telling people what I used to do as code for "I used to be someone who mattered."

I realize that means that I based my whole identity through my job and that is not a good thing. I also realize that maybe I need a job that I can feel good about as it relates to who I am and what I want.

Just one more thought from me in this roller-coaster week.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


As much as I get some perverse pleasure out of this show, I gotta say it may actually be the real show about nothing. Really, besides lots of nudity and absurd plots, what is its core? As far out as Rescue Me gets, at its core it is a show about the turmoil and angst of New York City firefighters. Nip/Tuck is really just titillation. Season one at least had some interesting plots and operations. Now it is more about how outrageous the plots can get. As Sean would say, "big wheel."

Calling All Cars

Once again I couldn't drag myself out of bed today to run, go the gym, etc. I finally forced myself to get up and went to the gym because I hadn't been since Sunday, won't get to go again until Friday and really needed it. This meant that I wouldn't get into work until 10:30 because of the late start, but fuck it.

Now I really have a case of the fuck its. Had our usual staff meeting with my boss as usual being somewhat insane. She doesn't let anyone finish a sentence and has a hard time listening. She's not a bad person, but I question her management skills. Really took all I had to not blow up in the meeting.

But this post isn't about her It's about me. Last few days have been very frustrating. Some of it is shit I can't control but some of it I can, I just have to focus on pushing that mother fucking rock up the hill.

I need to throw myself back into the work a little bit (I know, then stop blogging and do it) and I have a little today. I'm not at my lunch meeting, I'll find one later. I'll take the actions. I'm also continuing to kick tires and hopefully that will lead somewhere.

I may be a little lonely too. It happens. Last night on my walk home I ran into this girl I've had a crush on for two years. I was on the cell and was so tempted to just hang up and talk to her beyond the "hey, how's it going" stuff we usually exchange. She knows--I mean she has to by now--that I have a crush. Of course, I just kept on going after the greetings and salutations were done. Last time I ran into her on the street she was on the phone. I think we just have bad timing.

Anyway, something is up with the Rambler. I will try to ride this shit out and do what I always do as I've been taught. Have to take care of myself before I can take care of anyone or anything else.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Paging Linus Van Pelt

I'm not a Grinch, really. Well, maybe a little, but I'm getting better. It's probably that I was raised Jewish but not really yet didn't do Christmas so I felt left out of not one, but two cultures (Rambler's Dad is Jewish, Mom was a WASP now a Catholic).

But I digress(as usual). It is November 27 and tonight ABC is airing a A Charlie Brown Christmas. I love it, but isn't it a little too soon? Can't we at least wait until we get into the month of December before we start bombarding the airwaves, the sidewalks and our senses with Christmas? And I mean into the month, not 12:01 December 1.

Ironically, "A Charlie Brown Christmas" is a plea to reign in the commercialization of the holiday. Now it is used as the unofficial kick off to a barrage of 30-second spots reminding us it's not about peace on earth and goodwill but new cars, video games and diamonds.

On Broadway last night the the tree hawkers were already setting up their wares. I like trees too, but not this early for crying out loud.

I know. Rambler, what's the big deal? December will be here soon enough, get into the spirit. Yes it will so why rush it? I pity the folks in Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts and everywhere else that from the day after Thanksgiving through December 26 are forced to listen to sappy holiday music all day long. I just hope they don't play all that stuff non-stop in post offices or we could have a real bloodbath on our hands.

I'm not anti-holiday, I'm anti-brass commercialism. I realize this battle was lost years ago. In fact, it was already lost when A Charlie Brown Christmas premiered in 1965. And yes, I know Charles Schulz was not above making a commercial buck off his product. I used to have one of those Snoopy Astronaut toys (and man do I wish I still had it).

I just have to vent and this is where I can do it. If you need me, I'll be in the pumpkin patch waiting for the Great Pumpkin and hoping my Sally Brown shows up.

Sean Taylor RIP

Sean Taylor didn't make it. As I posted yesterday, he led a violent life and had a violent death. It sounds strange to hope that his death was a random act and not retribution for something or part of an ongoing feud, but I do hope that was the case.

I wrote earlier about the various factors that come into play as we walk this planet. I didn't mention that Taylor's father is in law enforcement. That's just one other element in a confusing yet strangely typical story. Sadly, his teammates say he had matured as of late and was becoming a leader on and off the field.

The police will do their job (hopefully) and answers will be forthcoming. For now though, as is too often the case in our cities, a child is left fatherless and another young man buried far too soon.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Sean Taylor

While we await word on Washington Redskin Sean Taylor's condition, a moment to reflect on what his shooting says about athletes, pro sports, the leagues and owners, the media, guns, our gangsta obsessed society and the world in general.

On second thought...

Seriously, there is not enough news to start to speculate if this shooting is a result of the lifestyle Taylor chose. A ferocious player, he also is no stranger to trouble. Given tremendous talent and opportunity, he chose to walk the fine line of the life he came from and the life that was offered him. A smarter person might have left his old life behind and crossed the line to what was being presented to him, but for some that is easier said than done.

The early news reports are that he was shot during a robbery. My gut tells me he will end up knowing the people behind the robbery, but perhaps this will not be the case. Maybe while his life has not been exemplary, this particular incident had nothing to do with his previous lapses in judgement.

But considering the past, one can't help but jump to that conclusion. He came into the league from a school where bad behavior is the norm. He got into some trouble in the pros, but not nearly enough to have him rethink how he was living his life. A great defender, he also preferred going for the big hit rather than just a normal tackle, which often led to mistakes. But he knew it was the big hit that got you on ESPN. He believed he had to keep his street cred on and off the field.

It is weird to write about him in the past tense but odds are his playing career may be just that, past tense. Hopefully his life won't be past tense. And hopefully what happened was not something he courted through his lifestyle.

If he did though, we must all pay attention. Now Sean Taylor made his own bed. That said, sooner or later, the colleges, the professionals, the media, and the fans have to look at their roles as enablers. We can't cheer when they're on the field and roll our eyes when they're not. It doesn't work that way.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Marble Hill

Was doing my usual Sunday ride the 1 train to read the newspaper and I'm getting very curious about the neighborhoods at the very end of the line, particularly Marble Hill, which is part of Manhattan although it seems like it should be part of the Bronx (and once many years ago a Bronx borough president tried to lay claim to it). Great view of the river from there.

I think next time I may (gasp) actually venture from the train and check out the neighborhood. I just love that name--Marble Hill--sounds so cool. Good name for a story.

Otherwise, the usual day. Gym, exercise, the other stuff, some realizations about things and, oh yeah, I destroyed a new pair jeans because of a loose thread. It was the typical thing. There was a loose thread and eventually in my frustration I grabbed a pair of scissors and cut at it and ruined the jeans. Of course, no one would've ever noticed this thread but me but that doesn't matter. My mind is built on amplifying every minor imperfection until I become obsessed over it and in trying to fix it make things far worse.

The good thing is I didn't beat myself up afterwards. Hope that holds true for the week ahead, it's going to be a tough one. Have to cancel an event (thank you writer's strike), prep for another and deal with another big meeting. Also have to reports to write that I haven't started yet and I'm sure a shitload of other stuff. Oh well, I'm sometimes best with my back against the wall, hope that's the case.

And hopefully I'll get some time to post some stuff during the week.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Before The Devil Knows You're Trying To Cover Up A Predictable Plot

Just saw "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead," directed by Sydney Lumet and starring Ethan Hawk, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Marisa Tomei's breasts, which stole the show.

Seriously, the movie was OK but way too long and Hoffman seemed to be going through the motions. Now admittedly his going through the motions is still 95% better than most actors best, but nonetheless he didn't break new ground. Critics have raved about this film and I'm not sure why. Hey, I love Lumet too. "Serpico" and "Dog Day Afternoon" are two of my favorites, but this was puffed up with a lot of hot air and not much to keep me interested in the outcome.

I'm not a critic, I don't get into plots or styles but I will say that the other thing this movie did which annoyed me and which a lot of movies are doing now is the whole time shifting thing. Like "Michael Clayton," "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead" keeps going backwards and forwards almost as if it hopes that the constant shifts will keep us too busy trying to figure out the timeline to worry about the weak plot. I know Tarantino wasn't the first to use this device, but it is safe to say that he is the one that led everyone else to now start doing this. And hey, sometimes it can work, but too often it seems like a forced device by a director looking for one more gimmick to wow critics. If your story isn't good enough to be told from start to finish without all the bouncing around, perhaps you need to rethink your script.

I know, who the hell am I to question a great like Lumet? Fair enough. But no one else in the theatre seemed to be having a great time either, except for the two idiots behind me who kept chatting rudely through most of the flick. If I could've, I would've time shifted back and taken a different seat!.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Popcorn and Toast

As I prepare for Thanksgiving, get ready to see the old man, cousin Roni, etc. and folks everywhere prepare for the ups and downs that come with any family gathering, I want to throw out a thought. We must give up hope on a better past. It's one I heard this morning and I like it. I need to do it. The minute I heard this, I felt a 50 pound weight lift from my shoulders. It was such a relief.

My other thought is that while it's easy to get real bitter this time of year, particularly around holidays and family, just try to keep it real simple and be grateful for what you have and try to focus on what you can bring rather than what you can take.

I know, pretty sappy stuff from the Rambler but what the hell, it's Thanksgiving. Have a good one.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Ah the problems of creating a platform for my babble. Just got a call from one ex poking fun at my recent post about trying to get another ex into the sack. Ex number one was making fun and feigning hurt because she thought she was the only one I pulled this crap on.

I somehow doubt she really believed that, but these are the pitfalls of putting your life on display (somewhat anyway) and then having others read it. Now I expect to hear from a third ex to boot.

The bottom line still is that none of these exes are lining up for the Rambler nostalgia tour despite its promises of better orgasms (for them) and fewer bowel movements (from me). And yes, that last bit was just for you!

BTW, the Rambler is down in D.C. for Thanksgiving. Will try to update on how annoyed I get by the old man, cousin Roni and the rest of the gang. Already off to a good start with no food at my mom's and one of work events falling to pieces. Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

New Ideas

Because I don't want to steal from Bill Maher (who I can't stand)and his "new rules" segment, I've come up with my own version--new ideas.

For example, onions should always be an option, not an automatic. Lately I've been eating teryaki chicken for lunch and if I don't pay close attention they sprinkle some green onions on it! Drives me crazy.

The other thing I have never gotten after more than half my life in this city is why milk and sugar in coffee is considered regular. Shouldn't black be regular and milk and sugar be, I don't know, milk and sugar?

I know, I'm dangerously close to Beavis & Butt-Head doing Andy Rooney here (why do they call it taking a dump? You don't take it, you leave it. Shouldn't it be called leaving dump?)but these are the routine hassles of life that we must endure.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Got To Be A Better Way

Two recent police shootings have once again raised questions about excessive force by the NYPD. In both cases, somewhat deranged folks came at the police in a threatening manner. Both refused to listen to warnings. Both were killed. One was carrying a broken bottle, the other a hairbrush that police thought was a gun.

Now I have never faced a lunatic coming at me with a weapon or at least acting as if he has a weapon. I can only imagine the fear that plays into the mind of a police officer who has to make a split-second decision about whether someone is dangerous, is armed, or is just bluffing. Do you want to be on the losing side of that bet?

That said, seems to me that this is where stun guns or heck even paint balls could come in handy. There has to be a different way of dealing with the truly deranged. A broken bottle is a dangerous weapon, but not when you have a gun and a club and about a dozen other men in uniform standing with you. There has to be a way to minimize these tragedies without putting the safety of the police in jeopardy. A few more incidents like the two last week, and it's going to get real ugly real fast.

Cool Jobs I Want

OK, starting a new category of post here. Jobs that sure sound cool that I'll never have. How about being the investigator going after Derek Jeter for not paying New York taxes for three years? This is my kind of a job. I'm assuming that the investigator basically tracked gossip columns, sporting and memorabilia events, photo shoots, etc. to determine that Mr. Pinstripes was here a lot more than Tampa. Probably also got access to EZ Pass, phone records, etc. A similar approach was taken to nail Martha Stewart of the same thing about 13 years ago. She made it easy. She wrote in her magazine about the crap she was doing in the city all the time. Didn't take Sherlock Holmes to figure out she was full of shit on her tax returns.

I have always wanted to be a snoop. One of my bigger regrets is that I didn't become a detective.

I doubt this pays very well and if there's a background check...

But it does sound like fun although working for the IRS or any tax office is probably like working for internal affairs.

Cousin Roni

Every family has some sponge or barnacle of a relative who always seems to show up, mooch and then disappear for a few years. You either have one or you are one. In my family, it's cousin Roni.

Roni, an Israeli, first appeared out of nowhere in 1976 when we lived in New Jersey. One night there was a knock on our door and this big, bearded guy was out there with a bunch of bags. Now maybe there was advance word of his arrival, but it certainly never trickled down to me. My family was like that. Information was given on a need-to-know basis and I guess having a freak cousin from Isreal visit and stay for awhile was not considered necessary knowledge for my day-to-day existence.

Ever since then, Roni resurfaces every few years. He always finds the most annoying time to reappear, like the time I was taking a dump and the phone rang and I went to answer it (probably thought it was a date or a dealer) only to be greeted by that annoying accent and the notice that he'd be in town soon. That's great Roni, can I finish my shit now?

My father treats him like the son he never had even though they're only second cousins. It's kind of funny, my parents were not exactly ideal as far as the whole parenting thing goes, but with Roni and Mary (the Vietnamese refugee we took in that I keep promising to write about) it was mi casa es su casa. Perhaps my parents just had trouble loving anything they created, but had no problem showing warmth and affection for anyone who happened to stumble by our front door who needed a meal or a dollar.

Obviously I've got a lot of anger issues to work out etc. I bring up cousin Roni because I just got word he'll be at Thanksgiving. I've actually been looking forward to Thanksgiving and now I don't want to go. Roni tends to dominate whatever room he is in (aren't all freeloaders like that?) and between him, my dad and one of my louder brothers, there is a good chance this will be one trying holiday.

I know my real problem is not Roni, but how my parents and father in particular treat him verses how they treated their own flesh and blood. Unfortunately, my folks are somewhat dense on this subject. My mom gets it a little bit, but not completely and dad is just fucking oblivious.

And for those out there who will suggest a certain step approach to this, I've done it and this is still where I'm at. Sometimes the best cure is just to vent about someone and get it the fuck out of your system that way. My part in this is that I sometimes get stuck in all this shit and forget that I need to rise above it. There's a lot of shit in my past that I do have a part in, but cousin Roni isn't one of them. What I need to do is let it go.

But sometimes, even 30 years later, this stuff is hard to let go of, especially when I'm the type who used to believe that it was my anger, rage, hurt and sense that "I am right" that kept me together through a lot of crap. I know now that is not the case.

Knowing it and moving past it, however, are two different things.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

All That Space And You Couldn't Squeeze In One More Toilet?

Just came back from a nice dinner at Dean's, a relatively new Italian place on 85th between Broadway and Amsterdam. I'm not a food critic so I'll keep it simple. The food was good and it was cheap.

I am a facilities critic however. This place has a HUGE space. Heck, they sat our group of 17 with ease. After enjoying my pasta and salad, I headed off to the restroom to take care of business. Apparently the designers who did wonders with all this space decided to take a less is more approach when it came to the bathroom. Two urinals and one toilet! Let me repeat: TWO URINALS AND ONE TOILET??!!!

Not to get too detailed here, but a big restaurant should have more than one toilet, especially if they're serving heavy Italian food and then perhaps an espresso to follow. I don't want to worry about what diners or bars I can run into on the way home to squeeze one out because I couldn't wait for the toilet to open up in a restaurant.

Now there are general rules of design that dictate that the amount of toilets and urinals should correspond to the amount of people a place can hold. That doesn't seem to be the case these days. I notice this at a lot of new joints. They're cheaping out on the restrooms. I don't know if the city has someone in charge of restroom codes, but if not then I am throwing my hat into the bowl!

Uptown Train

Rode the Number One train to Van Cortland Park and back so I could read the papers. Yesterday, I did manage about twenty minutes of reading on my couch without jumping out of my skin. But by the 21st minute I'd had enough and headed out to the diner where I had a steak sandwich and read some more. That was fine. I can read in the outside world or in the shower. It's my couch and the bed that causes the problems.

I sometimes think I should get rid of the TV, but fuck other than football I can barely concentrate on that either. Like to get rid of the computer, since we all know what I do with that.

I don't even have anything to say right now, but figure I should post something. I actually feel ok. I'm a little agitated with someone and I don't know why. This bothers me because this person is a good person.It really is just one of those things where when she's free to talk, I don't want to and vice-versa. Timing, like showing up, is pretty much most of life.

OK, rooting for a Lions comeback here then maybe a nap! Whoops. Kitna just threw an INT. Never mind.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Fridays...Still A Problem

You'd think after over two years of clean living that certain urges would start to fade. And for the most part they have.

But Fridays are still a problem. I'm having one of those Friday afternoon and I'm antsy moments. Now in the past that would be remedied with a couple of phone calls. One to the girl. One to the delivery man. One to the deli.

Now I don't have those options. Actually, I do. I just won't take them. Heck, I can't even have a smoke to chill me out since I gave those up too. Sometimes I really miss a Marlboro Red.

Anyway, I'm pumped up, anxious and looking to unload a load. Sorry to be graphic, but that's how it is. I am going to play poker in a bit (the stakes are small, don't worry, gambling never been an issue for me) and that will help get me out of the danger zone.

Last Friday when I felt this way I emailed an ex that I hadn't talked to in awhile. She's still a bit of a mess and was famous (or infamous) for calling me at 1 a.m. drunk and asking me to come over. I usually did although she became less fun when I wasn't drunk. Last time she called I was seeing someone and told her I couldn't play ball anymore. She then called two nights later (blackouts and no memory) and asked again for me to come over. I said no and the next day emailed her and told her perhaps she should look at what causes her to seek out a quick and cheap form of satisfaction during the wee hours of the morning and try to make some changes. I shouldn't have done that, it was out of line and we really didn't talk much after that.

But last Friday my lower region got the best of my upper region and I emailed her a note that semi-apologized and basically said if you want to hook up, give me a ring and if you're still steamed, that's cool too.

She actually did call the next day and I went over there. It scared me how quickly I was willing to break a routine that has kept me on the straight and narrow for 26 months now just to get some action.

Of course, I jump in a cab and when I get there she's become very sick because of an allergic reaction so I didn't even get any action. Typical, she ate food she knew would give her a bad reaction. That's something I'm trying to avoid, especially on a Friday.

Mocha Crappachino

So Starbucks released its earnings yesterday and they were a little disappointing. The brass there doesn't think this has anything to do with over saturation. Good news, they're going to launch a TV campaign to boost awareness.

CEO Jim Donald said the campaign would be a "very culturally sensitive, product-driven" and added that "as we grow our stores, we're trying to reach out to this broader audience that maybe [has] not had a chance to experience Starbucks."

Now as readers know, I engage in the occasional venti drip despite my mixed emotions about the franchise. But who the heck hasn't experienced Starbucks in this country? And if they haven't, it means they don't want to or they live in a region/town where Starbucks doesn't want them to have the experience.

This reminds me of the classic scene from Spinal Tap when Ian, the band's manager, explains Tap's waning popularity.

Marty: The last time Tap toured America, they where, uh, booked into 10,000 seat arenas, and 15,000 seat venues, and it seems that now, on their current tour they're being booked into 1,200 seat arenas, 1,500 seat arenas, and uh I was just wondering, does this mean uh...the popularity of the group is waning?

Ian: Oh, no, no, no, no, no,, no, not at all. I, I, I just think that the.. uh.. their appeal is becoming more selective.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Ramble On?

So there is a potential career change opportunity that I am trying to decide whether to pursue.

I know. What's to decide? You sit here bitching all the time about your boring, intellectually void current gig planning events. It's true. Of course, I just had a successful event and once that happens, I tend to forget the two months of nightmares that went into putting it together. Plus I have two other events coming up and that hell is just starting.

But I digress. This job would be somewhat similar to what I do now in that it involves getting guests. The difference is it is in the entertainment industry. Having worked around the fringes of the biz as a reporter and now in my current role doing these industry executive-oriented events, this would be a chance to actually get into the game.

The upside is easy. An opportunity to see the beast from inside the belly. A chance maybe to get on a path that could lead somewhere where I could develop and perhaps use my wit to make a living. (I know, well, why don't you try some wit here first.)

The downside? It's in L.A. Now, I like L.A. I used to live there and I got used to it and actually didn't want to move back here but I did in pursuit of what was then my "dream job." Hmmm, just writing that sentence caused a light bulb to kick on in my head. Interesting.

Anyway, I do like L.A. But my gut tells me not to leave N.Y. I don't know why. In L.A., I don't have to bitch about the number of Duane Reeds in my neighborhood or the new hideous condos going up everywhere. L.A. is one big strip mall without character. There I get upset when a Starbucks closes. You can get a pretty nice apartment though and don't ever downplay the idea of softball in the winter.

The job also would be a pay cut. It would be a deep cut, but not an amputation. L.A. is cheaper than NY, even with the car factored in. You get more for your money.

But I've started to rebuild here. My program is here. Not that they don't have my program there too but I don't like the way they do it. Of course, that's bullshit and I would get used to it (even if they do it wrong).

Bottom line. If this job was in N.Y., I'd jump in a minute. But something says don't make a big move. That said, I will investigate.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Duster

I'm too tired to write this now, but at least wanted to get a post up to remind me that I want to write about my 1973 Plymouth Duster. Actually, it was the family car and it was passed down to me until I smacked it head on into a bus in 1981. Anyway, I'll tell the story of the Duster soon and how that beat up old Plymouth became the symbol of despair in my family.

Ironic that my dad writes about cars and the few times he actually bought a car, it was a disaster. First there was the Rambler, which rusted out in our backyard in Detroit and then the Duster which was beaten to shit by him, my brothers and finally me.

Watch this space for more to come. Maybe I'll even talk about the Dodge Aspen that followed the Duster.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Legal Strategies

Been following the case of Linda Stein, the murdered ex-Ramones manager turned real estate broker to the stars. From all I've read, she was a larger-than-life character with the ego to match. A brassy, tough woman used to getting her way and not afraid to let people know where they stood in the pecking order.

That her assistant has been charged with murdering her has led to a spate of stories about bosses from hell. Stein probably fit the bill, but that doesn't excuse pummeling her to death. That said, you can see the defense already starting. Stein allegedly invoked race in some of her remarks to the young woman. I like what Danny Fields said, which was basically that Linda wasn't a racist, she treated everyone equally as bad regardless of their color. Anyway, I imagine that the defense will portray the accused as an innocent victim of Stein's wrath who finally snapped.

As interesting is her own family's reaction. Seeming to recognize that her mother was a loose cannon, one of her daughter's has cited a new drug Stein was on for a brain tumor as reeking havoc with her already volatile personality.

So the way I see it, the accused will play the race card in her defense while the family sounds like they're getting ready to sue the pharmaceutical company behind whatever drugs Stein was taking.

I'm not going to defend the assistant. If she is found guilty than she should do the time. No matter how horrible a person Stein might have been to her, it doesn't excuse murder.

But Stein should serve as a cautionary tale to every abusive boss out there. Be careful who you shred and ridicule on a daily basis, they may have a breaking point and just might break that point on your head.

Too Cute For Their Own Good

Caught most of the fourth quarter of last night's Colts-Chargers game. The Colts got too cute for their own good and frankly watching them blow it after a tremendous comeback made me chuckle.

Why did they feel the need to bluff going for it on fourth down when everyone knew they were just trying to draw the Chargers offsides? That shit rarely works. All that happened was they got a penalty that drove them a few yards further away and may have played a part in Adam Vinatieri's blowing an easy kick.

Too many of the players and teams are getting to be too smart for their own good. Players make interceptions then foolishly try to lateral to someone before they get tackled even though it is clearly not the time for such a move. The pathetic and questionable efforts to freeze the kicker has gotten out of hand too. There are lots of other examples of these coaches and players trying to get too clever but I won't waste the space here. I'll just say play the damn game.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

To Just Be Able To Sit Still

Today, in one of my more desperate attempts to read the newspaper without being distracted by my wandering mind, I decided to ride the 1 train down to South Ferry and then all the way back up to 103rd Street. I love to read on the Subway (the train, not the chain Angelissima). It is the only place where I can truly focus other than the shower (yes, I read the paper in the shower).

The reason for this is because I can't stay in my own skin. I have a very hard time sitting still. It's getting better but still a struggle. I get easily distracted or I distract myself. But if I'm in an environment where I can't do anything else and I am forced to be in the moment I'm living in rather than thinking about the next moment or regretting the past moment, I can concentrate.

That's the case on the train, especially on a weekend afternoon. So I did get most of the papers read (still have some sections to get through) and had some level of serenity.

Still, I really do need to figure out how I can get to that place where I can sit still and shut down my mind. Probably be another few years, if I'm lucky but if I do get there, it'll be the greatest gift. It sucks to not be able to ever relax. It really does.

Starbucks, Subway And The Two Sides Of My Mouth

I recently lamented a change in packaging in a product I buy from Starbucks and also mentioned my disappointment with Subway for changing their cheese steak sandwich.

A regular commenter called me on my hypocrisy. Here I often lament the death of old New York to condos, chains, etc. and yet I contribute to this too? Where do I get off?

All true and I almost put a note in that post saying that yes, I do go to Starbucks and occasionally Subway. I don't like that those chains have popped up everywhere. I will say this, and it's not really a defense, I primarily go to a Starbucks in the heart of midtown located in an office tower. I don't go there on weekends, I don't go to the ones in my neighborhood. I do occasionally go to one in Chelsea, but it's across the street from my Ballys gym (no Equinox or New York Sports Club for the Rambler, Bally's is the equivalent to a prison gym compared to those places.

The thing I like about Starbucks is the consistency. Not every deli has good coffee. Many leave the pot on all day and it gets burned. That said, I really do try to avoid it as much as possible.

As for Subway, I really don't go there anymore since they got rid of the cheese steak I like.

I will try to do a better job in living up to my words.

Friday, November 9, 2007

I Love Anita Esterday


Anita Esterday is a waitress who pretty much described how the media operates when a mini-controversy erupted the other day over whether Hillary Clinton tipped her on a campaign tour stop.

"You people are really nuts," she told The New York Times. "There's kids dying in the war, the price of oil right now--there's better things in this world to be thinking about than who served Hillary Clinton at Maid-Rite and who got a tip and who didn't."

There are better things to think about, or at least more important things. But in a media world driven by petty blogs, cheap news executives that would rather cover the simple vs. the complex and a society more interested in gossip than substance, we are getting the media we deserve.

Perhaps Howie Kurtz can interview her on CNN's "Reliable Sources" this Sunday instead of the usual pontificating gasbags he has on.

It's Not Broke, Let's Fix It

In one of those `is this really necessary' moves, Starbucks has changed the packaging on its yogurt parfaits. It used to be that the granola was mixed in with the yogurt. I liked that. I enjoyed searching for the parfait that was the filled to the brim with granola and yogurt.

Now some genius has decided that the granola needs to be packaged separately in a tiny plastic cup that is placed within the parfait cup. First of all, that's not too green. Secondly, it means there is less yogurt in the parfait. I'm sure some clown decided this was more sanitary, but in reality it is just a hassle because the bottom of the little granola cup is covered in yogurt and opening the top of the little granola cup is a pain in the ass.

I don't know if I'll find the complaint box on and register my concerns, but I might. This is about as annoying as when they went to self-serve coffee a few years back. That short-lived experiment bugged me because it saved me no time as I still had to stand on line and pay to get the cup to serve myself. If I'm paying over $2 for a cup of coffee, someone can pour it for me.

I generally get nervous when successful chains start tinkering with products. It means someone has too much time on their hands. I used to love the Subway steak and cheese. Then one day I came in and they stopped using shredded beef and had gone to cubed beef (yes, cubes!). I even complained to the head of marketing at Subway when we he was on one of my panels. It was to no avail and now I don't go to Subway anymore.

Of course, sometimes products are redesigned for the better, but most of the time that's not the case. These guys need to learn to ask themselves if the change is something that customers are clamoring for or something that will make the experience of the customer easier. If the answer to one or both is no, then leave it alone!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Tears On Jane Street

No, not really. I just like that title. I don't know why, but it sounds cool to me. Perhaps that will be the first noir book. Hope no one swipes it.

I do love Jane Street. Small and cozy looking apartment buildings (East of Hudson Street, after that there are some newer buildings especially down by the water. Of course, I used to live in one of the earliest of the new buildings in the meat packing district, 95 Horatio Street. When I lived there, nothing was across the street except for some burnt out buildings. Now there are all these nice new hi-rises and you know I hate it. (No, I'm not being a hypocrite here, btw. It was my dad that lived in that apartment, I moved in with him senior year to save money on housing and because he was never there.)

Anyway, back to Jane Street. Also on Jane is the Corner Bistro. I used to love that place. Now it's very crowded and that on top of the fact that I don't imbibe anymore means I'm not there too often. I did run in to use the bathroom about 18 months ago and I hope they have remodeled it. The place does a huge business and there's no reason it should have a toilet that gives the Port Authority a run for its money.

It's Thursday and this is one of those `I haven't posted in awhile so let me throw something out there' posts. Things have been going OK. Still not that into the job but it hasn't been that bad. Still sending the resume around and calling headhunters and kicking tires.

Had an intense group therapy last night. Really wanted a smoke afterwards but knew that wouldn't work. Also really feeling the need for some physical companionship. I think I've seen every clip on You Porn. In fact, I think I've seen every free clip of porn there is to see.

Unfortunately, there is nothing on the horizon. I've been trying unsuccessfully to flirt with an ex or two here and there but there much too wise to go on that ride again. I'm not even sure that is what I really want either.

I do need to start trying to write something. I need to do something. That's where I'm at right now. I have this feeling that I'm supposed to do something. I just don't know what it is I'm supposed to do. It's the same thing with the job stuff. I could probably do lots of things, but I have no idea what it is I want and I also am not sure people know what to do with me.

Hell, I don't even know what to do with me. That's all I got right now.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Good Grief!

There is a little bit of controversy over the new biography on Charles Schulz because it dwells on the depression and dissatisfaction he often felt in life. This theme was also evident in the excellent PBS special that aired last week. Some members of his family are upset that about this and say it is being blown out of context and that Schulz was a wonderful and happy and giving man.

I don't doubt for a second that he wasn't all of those things. But anyone who really got "Peanuts" knows that clearly Schulz was full of self-doubt, fear, insecurity and depression. A lot of people who read "Peanuts" make the mistake of thinking Schulz wanted to laugh at Charlie Brown. We're not. Charlie Brown is us, or many of us anyway. It's like "Seinfeld." Everyone likes to think they're Jerry. Reality is most of us are George.

That Schulz was not an outgoing, happy person comfortable in his own skin does not mean there was something wrong with him, which seems to be the fear of some of his children. Truth is, that is what made him do the work he did and create the characters that have left an indelible mark on our culture. Who knows, perhaps if he had been happier or gotten the little red haired girl, we might not have had "Peanuts."

As one who suffers from many of those same ailments and knows a little about the darkness, I wouldn't wish it on anyone. Schulz's darkness took him to a place where he created wonderful art. Now he may have traded all that just to feel right, I don't know. I do know though that neither the voices in his head or the challenges he faced on his journey make him any less special, which seems to be what some members of his family fear.

No one likes their laundry aired in public, but this is not dirty laundry and shouldn't be treated that way. Charles Schulz created something that will last forever and, as one of his best creations said in one of my favorite strips, realized that this was the only world he could live in and he learned to live in it.

Five cents please!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Close The Blinds!!!

Article in the Times today about a new condo going up in downtown that is all glass and what that says about our society. We know what it says. We're a bunch of self-obessesed narcissists who think everyone else is fascinated with the mundane routines of our lives which we elevate to soap opera levels thanks to technology and the changing values of our society.

I write this with tongue firmly planted in cheek. What I'm about to post about is the exact thing I'm guilty of too. The only difference is that I write this cloaked in anonymity, which makes me an even bigger hypocrite. Of course, the few people who read this know perfectly well who I am and those that read me and don't could easily find out.

One of the reasons that I don't identify myself on here is also my partial justification for this post. Most of my posts here are pretty mundane (the laundry, the subway, the city, the day-to-day aggravations and moments of happiness in life.) But some posts are, if not deeper, more personal. Some talk about things that that while are nothing for me to be embarrassed about are also not the kinds of things I want to shout about from the rooftops. I don't have in my profile that I'm looking for ADD drugs and I'm looking to get laid (that was one I saw on a former co-worker's myspace page). That's in part because I don't want ADD drugs, the other part of that person's desire I share, but so does everyone else. It's kind of like saying "I'm looking to eat dinner."

I don't know if my former co-worker's folks read her page, or her colleagues. That's that person's business and while I take pleasure in those dumb enough to post pictures and other tidbits that comeback to bite them in the ass (most recently example, a police officer who writes of his desire to "do lines off a stripper's ass") I'll save that for another time. I do know I don't need to be that open. I do this in the hopes that by writing a little every day here, eventually I'll build a habit that I will be able to apply to more creative endeavors. Honestly, it hasn't happened yet. I know it will take awhile. I also do it as way to get out of myself a little. I know, you write about yourself to get out of yourself, man what an ego. It's true, I have a big ego. But I also spend most of my time stuck in my head in self-centered fear. Doing this provides me some relief and I won't apologize for that.

Having said all this, the reason I'm babbling is that somewhere there has to be a fine line between creating an outlet for expression, opinion, whatever and and an outlet for exploitation, glorification and celebration for all things me. All of the defining products of our new age, iPods, blogs, cellphones, etc., are about the individual and moving us all further away from shared experience and it is shared experience that makes us a society. There is a push to ban iPods from the New York marathon. One of the reasons is safety, and that makes sense. But another is that one of the points of running in a marathon is about being part of a group with a singular goal. I like the idea of trying to be part of something bigger and you can't do that if you're dancing to your own drummer.

But that's what everyone wants to do today. Hey, no one is saying we should all be exactly alike and I'm not suggesting doing away with iPods (if you are dumb enough to wear one on subway platforms or city streets, that's your problem). But the problem is it's not enough anymore for people to march to your own drummer. They have to show everyone else how they do it. I don't delude myself that anything I write here will be of great interest to anyone other than myself and hopefully a few people for whom my posts strike a chord or bring a smile.

A blog is a weird place to advocate for people to appreciate what little privacy we have left. It used to be that someone could call you and if you didn't want to talk you didn't answer. Now they can call your cellphone. They can find out if you are online. We're all connected. Isn't it great?

Ultimately, it's up to me decide how much of the noise out there I want to take in and disregard as well as how much of a contribution to it I want to make. But in a society where many are opting for glass windows, all of this is getting a little more difficult.

Do Not Adjust Your Dial

The Redskins are playing the Jets today. That means that the Redskins are actually on TV today. I am a Redskins fan. Yet strangely I have little desire to watch this game. I don't think it's the aftershock of last week's 52-7 drubbing by the Patriots. I think it has more to do with the fact that it looks like a great day and perhaps I should try to enjoy some of it instead of sitting in front of my TV for seven hours (because I am going to watch the Colts-Patriots game).

I hope I'll stick to this plan. I have no agenda. I'll be free of my morning routine by 12:15 and figure I can just roam around for a few hours or maybe grab a bite with a friend. If I get home by the fourth quarter of the Skins game, that would be a victory.

No, there is nothing wrong with watching the game. But I'm really trying not to sit in my apartment for such long periods of time. Went to a big event last night and while I didn't have the GREAT time I was hoping for, I had a nice time and it beat the alternative.

Bottom line: Staying inside guarantees nothing will happen. Going outside leaves the possibility that anything can happen.

Enjoy your day.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Another Reason Not To Get Up In The Morning

So Don Imus is coming back. Fine. I didn't listen to him before, I won't listen to him now, but I don't have a problem with him coming back.

What I do have a problem with is where he is coming back. Yes, the Rambler listens to Curtis and Kuby in the mornings, the team that Imus will be replacing in a month. I know. Rambler, say it isn't so. Curtis and Kuby? Come on!

Let me explain: I used to listen to Howard in the morning. I had my alarm set for Stern (I was a loyal listener for years). Problem was, Howard would come blasting on and I'd get comfortable lying bed listening to him and the gang (although he lost it in my opinion when he a)got divorced and b)Jackie left) and end up drifting back to sleep.

So I decided I needed something that would force me out of bed and into action and that meant finding something that I would hate to wake up to and I opted for Curtis and Kuby. It worked. I'd get out of bed and turn it off, turn on Howard and go about my day.

But as time wore on and Howard got more into hanging at fancy places with fancy people and less like the the Howard I liked, I started to listen more to Curtis and Kuby and they grew on me. I also like the pace. Every seven minutes I get the weather and traffic (and I'm dying to know what Stephanie DeLuca looks like and if she's married). I enjoy listening to Kuby and Silwa spar. Kuby, for all his left leanings, is pretty rationale on a lot of stuff and Curtis sometimes makes a little sense. I don't even mind Warner Wolf. I now listen to WABC on the weekends too and like it.

That's all going to go away though. I hope the duo ends up on another station. I don't know what I'll do in the mornings because I'm not listening to Imus (no true Howard fan can ever listen to Imus, I may not listen to Howard anymore, but I still have that piece of loyalty to him). Perhaps I'll check out WFAN or maybe just go with WCBS-AM, which has a nice steady pace of news but no fun conversation.

Somehow I'll manage to get by, but just like when Howard jumped the shark, my mornings won't quite be the same anymore.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Going, Going, Gone

Last Sunday's Times had an article about this blogger ( link under Peeps) who tracks the continued redevelopment of New York and particularly lower Manhattan as new and hideous condos destroy whatever character is left in this fading metropolis.

Clearly a man after my own heart. However, we do differ on some things. I long for New York of the 1970s, the city I remember as a kid who lived in Jersey and used to come into the city a lot to see my Dad or sneak in with friends when I was in eighth grade. It had that feel of a place where anything could happen. Of course, it's easy now to look at that and forget being that little kid and walking through Times Square terrified. I love romanticizing the past, but sometimes it can go a little overboard. Case in point. I get pissed off when I go for my run in Riverside Park and see new graffiti. How would I have dealt with that in 1975 when the whole park was a mess and if you ran in the park, it's a good bet someone was chasing you? It's beautiful now and I love that.

Jeremiah the blogger wants the 90s. He writes: "The city was edgy but not terrifying. There was a more diverse economic mix among its people and its businesses. The super-wealthy stayed above 14th Street, for the most part, where you could go admire their unusual sartorial choices and tight-jawed facial expressions, like looking at animals in a zoo, then leave them again for your downtown home. Tourists stayed up there, too. No one pushed, blocked, or ignored you because they were busy screaming into a cell phone or thumb-typing a text message. You could smoke in bars and Times Square was Times Square."

I agree with some of this although there was still some bad crime then (anyone remember Brian Watkins?). Like me, some of his concerns sound like the familiar rant of someone who moves into an edgy neighborhood then gets pissed when others follow in his footsteps. It's kind of like bitching that the new Starbucks is destroying your hardscrabble neighborhood. Guess what, Starbucks opened there because you are there.

As for the super-wealthy staying above 14th Street, I would merely point out that the neighborhoods up there (and I live in one and am not super wealthy) are being stripped of their character just as fast, this is not a problem limited to lower Manhattan. In fact, it is because they were stripped down (Hells Kitchen, the Upper West Side, yeah that's right, the Upper West Side and Lincoln Center used to be pretty tough areas)and cleaned up that led to the migration downtown and now it all repeats itself. I live on 100th Street, home to two of the most hideous new condos to ever hit this Island.

Some of his more recent posts really hit home with me about what is happening to the area of 25th through 31st street between Fifth and Seventh Avenue. It's still a funky area with lots of weird wholesale shops and flower marts and even still the occassional flea market but it is going fast.

I used to track gentrification through my friend Keith. Wherever he moved was going to be the "next" neighborhood. It started with Delancy Street in 1990. Then he headed out to Williamsburg, a few years ahead of the slackers and finally he beat the crowds to BedStuy. He's now gentrifying Germany.

Cities are supposed to improve and are supposed to want to draw new residents and new investments but that doesn't mean we have to like it all the time. Yeah, I like that I can ride the subway at all hours and be relatively safe and that the parks and streets are cleaner, but with that comes a loss of character, of edge, of grit, of the very things that make New York...well...New York.

After I left the East Village in 1988, I kind of made it a point to only live in neighborhoods that were not in transition. Yeah, I might be able to afford a great place on 120th and Lenox and yeah, that's a spot to buy right now but I don't want to be the driving force in changing a neighborhood and its demographics. I wrestle with this a lot. I could get more space and save money by moving just 20 blocks North and a few blocks East of where I am but I am very conflicted about it.

Not sure where all this is going. I really just wanted to give a shout out to this guy and while I don't look forward to reading his blog documenting the depressing redevelopment and condoization of New York, I will be reading it while searching for a rerun of Taxi Driver or The Warriors or heck even After Hours.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Serenity Now!!!

I've come to the conclusion that in order to maintain some sense of inner peace I need to avoid certain websites. No, not the adult ones although that wouldn't be a bad idea either. I mean the ones that traffic in bitterness and cynicism disguised as witty observations. I notice that every time I read them I'm not amused, I'm angry. Maybe it's an age thing but a bunch of snarky snots who sit around all day mocking others for usually no good reason no longer entertains me. Visiting those sites is validating what they do and inspiring them to go further down in the gutter in their never ending push to be the most jaded people on the planet.

Being bitter and jaded is easy, anyone can do it and I don't want to do what anyone can do anymore.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Fool And Her Money Are Lucky Enough To Get Together In The First Place

Popped into a Dunkin Donuts on Broadway and 97th (one of two within a block, when did Dunkin become upscale?) and this woman is yapping on her cellphone in there and actually giving out her credit card number on the phone and then for an encore gave out her cellphone number!

As we increasingly become a cash-free society, the danger of identity theft (which to me is just theft, but anyway that is for another post) will only grow. I got ripped off earlier this year (pretty sure it was my pet store) when my debit card number was stolen. But do we need to make theft even easier by blurting out our card numbers in Dunkin fucking Donuts?

To paraphrase from "Mean Streets," if you're dumb enough to give me money, you deserve to get ripped off."

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Nobody Goes There Anymore, It's Too Crowded

I'm starting to go a little stir crazy here in the big city. There's too many people! I know, it's New York, there's always been too many people. But it really is getting out of control. I've spent the better part of the past 34 years living in or around the city and while it's never been an oasis of tranquility, I feel we've passed maximum density.

The tell-tale signs for me are jammed pack subways on a Saturday morning. I shouldn't have to stand at 9:30 in the morning on a fucking Saturday on my way to the gym. I know that the never-ending construction on the 1-2-3 is screwing everything up a little but still where the fuck did all these people come from?

The subway stations themselves need to be gutted. Stairs are too narrow, platforms too small, the forefathers of mass transit were not anticipating this level of population.

Furthermore, no one knows how to ride the subway anymore. I hate these fuckers who stand by the door instead of moving into the train. I hate the fuckers who stand rather than sit when there are empty seats. Guess what, if you sit the car will be less crowded and if you don't sit then don't block me from getting to the seat.

I guess I'm going to rant a little here but what the hell. I also hate when I'm running to get into a train and the guy running in front of me thinks he is the last person getting on so he immediately goes from fifth gear to first as he steps into the car, forcing me to have to get by him without shoving him into the opposite side of the car, which is what I really want to do and will one of these days.

I'm getting annoyed by the endless stream of mariachi bands, gospel acts and Motown wannabees and I fear the only thing worse will be when the cellphones start working in the stations. There are more screamers and nutjobs on the trains. Last night, some guy was babbling about Saudi Arabia and then said if he was annoying people they could shoot him. If it were 25 years ago, he'd be dead by the next station.

Above ground, the streets are filled with people who don't know how to walk on sidewalks. Whether it's because they have ipods on or are babbling on their phones oblivious to the rest of us or they're just annoying out-of-towners without a clue doesn't matter to me. What matters is that between the sidewalks that are torn up by construction (building more condos to jam more people into our already crowded infrastructure) and the people on those sidewalks who are driving out the last bit of culture and color it's become impossible to get anywhere without becoming extremely annoyed.

New York City Serenade indeed!

Pump Up The Volume

Rainy and cold Saturdays mean a long wait for greasy breakfasts. Americana Deli not answering the phones! Broadway not answering the phones! Means I had to order from Metro, which is the highest quality of the three but also the most expensive. Going to be one of those damp days where everyone and everything is a little slow.

That includes me. Got home late last night, went to bed even later and got up late today--if 9:15 Saturday morning counts as late. All part of the lazy Saturday plan. Too wet to run in Riverside, going to head to gym later but need fuel first.

Was at a party in Tribecca last night. If two nights ago showed my heart could still beat, last night showed that a some other crucial body parts were still active. I haven't seen so many hot girls in once place since my last visit to Scores ten years ago. Don't worry loyal reader(s), the only part of me that got any workout were my eyes. Still, I went even though I didn't know a lot of people and it was worthwhile thing to do. I'm under strict orders to get out and get active and have been told that if given the choice between being out in social situations and staying in my apartment, I am to go out.

Only problem with this party was that the guy who was the DJ (yes, there was a DJ and lights and everything, it was like having all the awkwardness of going to a club in an apartment) had no sense of pace or timing. When there were ten people there, he played songs more appropriate for a room with 100 people in it at a volume that would've been better if a 1000 people were there. You know what I mean, loud, throbbing dance music for four hours. Nothing against dancing, but when there is ten people, start with some mellow music and build it up for crying out loud. This guy started everything at level 10. I can only imagine what he was like in a different life.

Still minor complaints. Important thing was that I got out, drooled, didn't do anything stupid and got home intact.

On a weirder note, I dreamt I was at a party that Xmastime kept streaking through. May have to up the therapy.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Lester Burnham Moments

Been told by a first time reader that I really need to do this at least once a day. I agree and think I've been doing a pretty good job of it, but sometimes it is hard to just generate copy. I always wait for something to happen for me to write never realizing that my strength may actually be writing about the mundane.

So here's a quick week in review (and I'm sure said reader didn't mean for me to do this during work, but as you keep reading you'll see why I'd rather be doing this than my job). I have an event that is falling apart and I don't know what to do. Actually, I do know what to do, I just don't want to do it. We sold this law firm one kind of event and now that it has become clear to me that we are not going to pull it off, I need to go to back to them and say just that and find some way to develop something that works for them and us. Maybe just writing it here will help inspire me to take that action.

Part of the problem is I'm middle management. The folks who should be helping me on this, my bosses, are not really all that helpful. If it works, they'll take credit for it, but if it doesn't, they don't want to be anywhere near the stench. It's a survival technique and I can't blame them although it is certainly not how I would operate the business if I were in their shoes.

My boss left today at 1:45. I guess someone forgot to tell her that the summer Friday thing ended in August. Actually, we don't even have a summer Friday thing period but she seems to think we do. It's hard to get motivated in a job when your boss's only motivation is finding her next job. I know, compare to despair.

I have another event that I need to finish planning. He wants a particular person to interview him and I'm trying to get through to this person to make this happen. My job is leaving messages and calling people and begging people and trying to be polite the whole time. I lost it a little this week with one particular person I'm trying to get to participate in another event we are holding. I've mailed him an invite and left messages. You'd think that having a bunch big shots already on board would merit at least a return call, but apparently not for this guy who I guess just can't pardon the interruption.

So the other day I slipped back into journalist jerk mode when I got his voice mail and said after again identifying myself, the organization I'm calling from, etc. that "I can leave messages every day." Sometimes the shame/obnoxious approach works, but I don't think it will this time. It was a rare slip, but shit this stuff is frustrating sometimes and I guess I had a Lester Burnham moment.

Actually, I've been having a lot of those lately, so don't be surprised if one of these days I'm the face you see when you pull up to the register at Happy Burger.

It Still Beats

Was out with a group of people last night and found myself sitting next to a cute, curly haired brunette with bright eyes and a great smile. She recognized me from softball as she has sometimes played for one of the teams.

I think she did that thing all girls do of casually dropping the word boyfriend into a conversation, but the fact that a cute girl was paying attention to me overrode that little red light.

This post is not one of those "ooh, I met someone" posts. I have no idea if, when, or where I will see this person again. But the point is that I conversed, flirted and had that jumpy heart feeling that I hadn't felt in awhile. It was nice. Means it's not impossible.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Where Do We Go Now

So I'm walking out my door and heading up 100th Street this morning on my way to work. I hear behind me this little girl singing. Now I'm not Mr. Morning. Hell, I'm not Mr. Mid-Day or Mr. Night either. Any noise that gets me out of my head and my world pisses me off. Hey, I'm a work in progress, what do you want?

So I'm trying not to listen to this little girl but the words coming out of her mouth seem very familiar. "She's got eyes of the bluest skies as if they thought of rain..." and it hits me this little kid is singing Sweet Child O' Mine. I turn around and ask if she isn't a little young to be singing that one. I don't mean because of the content, I mean because that song's TWENTY YEARS OLD!!! Heck, I felt old for liking it when it first came out and I was 21.

She explained that her friend is obsessed with 80s music and has been playing it and she likes it. It was cute. As long as she doesn' start slithering like a snake during Slash's solo I guess I'm ok with this.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Words To Live By

I'm on the F train tonight and there is a tough looking Latino with a tattoo on his neck playing one of those video games and he calmly says to a preppy, not-so-tough looking black guy, "look, I'm really trying not to get into trouble today, so please don't say anything." The black guy started to say something and the Latino guy repeated himself.

I don't know about the black guy, but when a dude with a tattoo on his neck who looks like he came out of a casting call for a killer tells me not to talk to him or get into anything, I listen.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Five To Watch

Since others are posting lists of movies they like/don't like I'll do my quick five under appreciated movies.

1.Kingpin--Favorite Farrelly brothers movie, probably because they didn't write it! Bill Murray awesome as is Woody.

2.Repo Man--Does this really need explaining?

3. Grosse Pointe Blank--hitmen, lost love and high school reunion in one!

4. Swimming with Sharks--Shut up, listen, learn!

5. Metropolitan--yes, it's about snooty upper east side kids, but it delivered this gem which still rings true today: "Rick Von Slonecker is tall, rich, good looking, stupid, dishonest, conceited, a bully, liar, drunk and thief, an egomaniac, and probably psychotic. In short, highly attractive to women."