Saturday, June 30, 2007

Not If, When.

Disturbing news from the U.K. with two car bomb attacks narrowly averted and another attack on Scotland's airport. Now I really wasn't planning to use this space for political and national security related rants but it is only a matter of time until we get hit with our first subway or bus attack. I don't rest easily knowing that security has been increased at Times Square. Beefing up the last line of defense does not make me sleep better. Beef up the first line of defense so we don't have to count on extra cops in Times Square and maybe I'll sleep better.

Think of this like a football game. At the end there is usually the hail mary and a bunch of defenders sit back in the end zone waiting to knock down that last desperation heave. My point is that a good defense never lets it come down to the hail mary. Beat your opponent early and often and you won't have to worry about a fluke pass. Don't, and you'll spend your life trying to knock down hail mary throws and as Doug Flutie and Steve Bartowski (there's an old reference for you sports fans) will tell you, sometimes those bad boys get caught for touchdowns no matter how many people you got in the end zone.

I'm not here to talk about why what is happening in London is happening or its root causes or what policies may be leading to this or that. I'm talking about the reality that sooner or later it'll happen here (again). I think about it every time I'm on the subway. Doesn't mean I don't ride the subway. But the thoughts do cross my mind and I don't feel better when I have my bag checked. If you are counting on that to stop the act that's like counting on (another football analogy coming up) your place kicker to nail a 54-yard field goal at the final gun. Yeah, it can happen but nine out of ten times he comes up short.

OK, rant done. Went to see that Ben Kingsley movie "You Kill Me." I was very disappointed. It was a good idea that wasn't executed all that well. He was fine but the Tea Leoni character was completely unbelievable. The AA subplot was really just a gimmick but the film, to its credit, didn't take cheap shots at the twelve steppers. It was mostly an affectionate portrait. I'd go on about the movie and maybe I will at another time but lets just say it didn't really work and it sure seemed a lot longer than ninety minutes.

But while the movie blew, I saw it with an old friend and we had a nice dinner afterwards so all was not lost. Friend put up with my dry cleaner stories and other lame efforts. Oh, and they had technical problems at the theatre before the movie started so I got a pass to see a free movie. Of course, I go to about three movies a year so maybe I'll use it in December.

The problem (or one problem anyway) with a blog is ending a post. It's like trying to end a conversation with a girl you are just getting to know and flirting with. You want to leave on a good note, leave them wanting more and not be all awkward. Sometimes I can pull it off, but this is not one of those times so I think I'll just borrow from a famous TV show and just...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A Don Doesn't Wear Shorts

So I took Tuesday off. I was feeling a little burnt out from work and after a long Monday I thought it might do me some good to do nothing. I know, loyal readers will observe that I already do a lot of nothing but doing nothing on a Tuesday when you should be at work has a nice sneaky feel to it.

One thing I did want to do was buy a new pair of shorts. Now, I know real New Yorkers don't wear shorts and for many years I've lived by that except when in route to the gym (which is pretty much every day, so I guess I don't live by that after all). But seven years in California kind of changed my way of thinking and no one seems to follow the shorts rule nearly as much as they did back in the 1980s so I thought it might be time for a new pair.

But finding shorts that a guy my age can wear is no easy task. I look younger than I am but even with that in consideration I have a wiry to athletic build that just doesn't really look good in the baggy down the the knee shorts that the kids are wearing these days. I have to acknowledge my age because there is nothing worse than someone trying to pull off clothes they really shouldn't be wearing.

I went to the Gap, Filene's (I don't want to hear it, they have some good shit there) a bunch of those jeans stores that are everywhere and struck out. I was told by a friend that I should get the sort of dressy shorts and then do the loafers no socks thing but that's not gonna happen. See, I wear sneakers with shorts. Sorry, it's who I am and it's not going to change. The main reason I wear sneakers is that no matter how Disneyfied New York gets it's still New York and your life can still end at any moment. That's the thrill of living here. Having said that, it is crucial that one be able to run fast at any given second and one can't do that wearing loafers without socks, flip-flops or any thing like that.

After all that, I decided to wear jeans last night and for now at least be a real New Yorker. But the search for shorts will go on.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Sure it's a cliche but it still has its appeal

I should be doing work. I have enough to do but I'm in one of those what difference does it all make anyway mood and was just thinking how nice it would be to check out with Bach's Air for G String playing. Just fade away. Is it anymore cliched then my old plan for checking out, which was the John Entwistle approach? This way is a little cleaner and more peaceful and won't require nearly as thorough a toxicology report.

Don't worry, not planning anything. But sometimes it seems like a not so bad idea. Highly unlikely though as I want everything planned to the last detail. I want the overture from Tommy playing as people come in for my service. I want a slide/video presentation, etc. In fact, I want to be there for it. It's one of my fantasies. I know, how narcissistic can one get? Believe me, I can be pretty narcissistic, it goes with the territory. I'm a journalist at heart and what you need to know about journalists is that we have this deadly combination of arrogance and self-loathing that makes us know-it-alls who are too afraid to take a chance. I guess I shouldn't speak for all journalists, but most of the ones I've known fit the bill.

Larry King and Paris Hilton--A Sneak Peak

OK, in anticipation of this week's Larry King-Paris Hilton sitdown, I thought I'd offer a preview.

LK: Welcome back, everyone and thanks for joining us for a very special interview with Paris Hilton. Paris, how are you?

PH: I'm fine, Larry and I'm just so glad to be here.

LK: How was jail.

PH: It was a learning experience that will change my life.

LK: Now, you are some kind of heiress?

PH: Yes.

LK: You own hotels, right?

PH: We did.

LK: You know what I like in a hotel? A good mini-bar. Do your hotels have good mini-bars?

PH: I think they do. I don't actually stay in them.

LK: And porn, I need good porn.

PH: Well...

LK: You did a movie once right?

PH: Uh, I really don't want to talk about that.

LK: I had a hard time following it, the green screen and all. OK, time for a commercial.

This would be funnier if you could hear me doing my Larry King impersination, which isn't too bad.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Sunday Night Blues

Should be in a good mood. Beautiful day. Got to the gym. Had a good game. Pitched five innings and got a couple of hits. But it's Sunday night and I'm feeling an emptiness I haven't felt in a long time. It's not a great feeling. I know what's causing it. A delayed reaction to the demise of a relationship. I knew the relationship would probably be short-term but attached to it was a much longer friendship and while I think the friendship will eventually resume, right now it's on the back burner. I think that is the tougher part and I don't mean that as some form disrespect for the relationship. Problem is I could handle the relationship ending if I could still talk to my friend. But I can't have both and apparently I can't have one either. Hopefully this will be just for awhile.

I realize in my posts I say "anyway" and "that said" far too many times. I'll try to watch it. I hate annoying phrases and yet I'm an annoying phrase user myself.

I know I just have to keep doing what I've been doing and ride it out. My brain has been fucking with me lately, trying to tell me stuff that I know is bull. I know I just have to keep going and walk through to the other side. There can be no going back. No tossing away of 21 months out of a little loneliness. Not to sound like a cliche, but I'm tougher than that. I better be.

Still, I think I need to mix things up a little. I don't know how, but I need to try some new things. I need to hit some different places and faces.

Tomorrow I have an event at work. Here's hoping the people who said they'd come actually do. If that happens, I'll have a full house and I can breathe a little easy

OK, enough of the poor pitiful me stuff. Life is good. I'm here and I'm present and I'm alert. It's all good.

On a different note, Entourage kind of blew tonight. I think it may have jumped the shark. I don't feel like watching any of the other new HBO stuff. I'm hoping Rescue Me picks up but the first two episodes have only been so-so. Everyone tells me the third one resolves all these idiotic plot points. Let's hope so. Too much talent on that show for it to be this crappy.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Sometimes Fast is Good!

That was fast. Stumbled onto a good clip. Anyway, bathroom update. Boarders in Lincoln Center has a nice clean setup but for some reason tonight had to wait for what seemed like and eternity for two people to do their business. I was next on line and was in and out of there in under a ninety seconds. It's all in the timing. You know what I'm talking about. If you go too early, you're pushing so hard your afraid your heart will explode. Too late and you've got a whole other kind of mess going. But just right and you can be in and out in no time. I'm sure the guys behind me were grateful. Plus, if you are in and out that fast, odds are you aren't leaving any lasting memories behind.

Finally, a post that's actually about something!

Something's Slightly Askew

Fluff keeps yapping. I know. I have a cat named Fluff. Actually, I have two cats--Skinny and Fluff. I got tired of trying to give them clever names (Leopold and Loeb, Igor and Basil, etc.) and my then girlfriend started calling them Skinny and Fluff (they're identical twins except one is long hair) and it stuck.

Anyway, it's not Fluff that is askew, he always is yapping. I'm askew. All worked up and I don't know about what. Been hitting the Internet entertainment hard the last week. I don't know what I'm trying to escape but I feel very antsy. I'm not going to act on it, at least I hope not. I'm on the subway today and it is loaded with pretty girls and all of a sudden I'm envisioning all sorts of things. I know, hey we all do that. This was different. It was too real. I've got something eating at me but I don't know what it is or I do know and I can't bring myself to confront it so instead I go to all lengths to avoid being in my skin and since I don't use the old ways of escape I'm not left with self-serving gratification. On the one hand, one could admire my prowess (six times in two days, not bad for someone well past the age of 30!). But that's just a dodge. It may be family related. Hell, I originally was going to post about the Vietnamese refugee we took in during the 70s. It's a funny story when I tell it, but somehow I can't capture the humor when I try to write it. Maybe it's not so funny after all. Anyway, I banged out a bunch of stuff on it and Jersey and all sorts of other crap but it just wasn't going anywhere. Maybe I'm not there yet when it comes to trying to make some sense of shit.

I want to be witty and sharp and have amusing stories but as I look at everything I've posted it's clear I'm not there. Of course, I can't just say I'm going to write funny. It doesn't work like that. BTW, before I resume with whatever this post is about I've got to just bitch about what a piece of shit MacBooks are. They suck. If you're thinking of getting one, don't do it. The mouse is hypersensitive, the keypad is too small and it is real easy to accidentally delete shit. There are lots of other problems too. Look, I'm not Walt Mossberg and I'm sure this is really a wonderful machine and my problems with it are of my own doing but I've never had issues like this with any other laptop I've owned.

I now realize I've done it again. A post that goes all over the place and ends up nowhere. On that note...

Friday, June 22, 2007

Laundry. Got a problem with that?

Ok, was just talking with a friend who asked what I was doing this weekend and before I could spit the words out he said, "laundry, softball." Yes, in fact that is pretty much my weekend. There will also be five or six spank sessions, a couple of trips to the gym, some cat box maintenance and some moderate socializing.

I know it doesn't sound all that exciting but it'll do for now. Considering that it wasn't too long ago that a typical weekend would cost me at least a grand, my self-esteem and self-worth, just having clean clothes and playing ball seems like a better deal.

Not that there wasn't fun in those days but living like you're a rock star without actually a)being one or b)even in a band can get a little tiring. It's expensive to subsist on booze and broads. A good rental is north of $400 these days. Sure, you can go cheap and get an import but the ride is not nearly as nice and there are language barriers and that whole exploitation thing seems to really hit home when the person in your apartment knows a grand total of three words of English and two of them are "deeper" and "harder." (The other one being "cash").

That said, I do need a better laundry mat. I need one where slinky brunettes are parading around instead of one full of screaming kids and a group of folks who must do their laundry once every six months judging by the size of the load (ha, he said load). Of course, this is what you get when your laundry is on 104th and Broadway instead of somewhere a little trendier. Then again, I've never seen a laundry with slinky brunettes running around except maybe in Coors commercial and those are hardly barometer for truth.

It's Friday and I'm starting to feel a little guilty that I haven't done anything all day. Not too guilty since my boss didn't event come in. She's "working from home" today. Yeah, and I was at that site because of research I was doing on First Amendment issues.


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Decisions, Decisions

Hmmm. I can try to write and be constructive or I can use the Internet for other short-term gratification needs. I'd run a survey and ask the audience to vote but truth is I can't wait that long for someone to stumble on to the site. I was playing with it today, tweaking the look and I'm debating whether to have only part of my posts appear on the home page and then people (or person) would click to read the rest. I think that's how it works.

Anyway, I couldn't quite figure out how to do that (big surprise) so for now everything will stay the same. I got some nice praise today from a reader and it is greatly appreciated. She linked to me and I have now linked to her. Now if we can just get someone to link to us!

I'm trying to be strong but I feel the tug of the Internet telling me to do what needs to be done then go to bed. It's not a bad plan. Had Chinese food tonight so I've stocked up on the gatorade because I'll be dehydrated all night. Last night I must've gotten up six times to chug the magical orange liquid. The best is to freeze the gatorade just a little bit so it gets a little icy. It tastes so good. I know, WTF, dude's waxing on about chugging ice cold gatorade and he thinks someone will read this? Well hey, as Ivan Drago told the prime minister's henchman, I fight for me, for me!!!!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Steak and Gatorade

OK, it's Monday night. Just thought I'd get on the keyboard. Nothing much to report. It was hot today but not as humid as had been expected. Still, sticky and hot enough to get that New York garbage smell going. You know that smell. It only shows up in the summer on certain intersections like Broadway and 99th Street. Wish I could explain what that rotting food smells like...I mean other than rotting food, which is not that much of a description.

Back at work today after the week in Silicon Valley. Still busy but not completely crazed. Have to stay busy and not let old habits come back. In other words, stick to your work instead of working your stick. Not bad, I just came up with that one. My mind is slipping. Thought I had to go down to Union Square for a meeting and I had the day wrong. It's tomorrow. But tomorrow I'll fool them and I won't show up. So I used the occasion of being in Union Square to call a friend and have coffee and catch up. It was fine and frankly necessary. I needed to make sure this person held no hold on my anymore and lo and behold she doesn't. Not that we aren't friends and all that, but the urge to try to rekindle something that wasn't there to start with has finally left me.

There are lots of reasons why I finally had this realization but the primary one is a desire to keep my side of the street clean. In other words, no more trying to manipulate people into doing things I want, especially when what I want is usually instant gratification and a clean getaway.

Anyway, had the coffee, talked and came home. Picked up the dry cleaning which was nice since the dry cleaners was supposed to be closed but they were open. I'll take the little joys in life where I can get them. I don't know what I'm doing with my career, I'm not sure where my personal life is going or if I even have one but at least I picked up my dry cleaning and the bills are paid.

I'll tell you one thing. All this clarity is good for my softball game. I'm having a great season at the plate. I've never been a power hitter and I'm still not but I've finally straightened out my swing and all the lame pop outs are for the most part history.

I realize my last post--the lame attempt at poetry or whatever the fuck that was--was pretty dark. I felt better later that night. That's the good thing now. I can have those moods now and know that I can ride them out and play them through instead of acting on them with a couple of phone calls and a couple grand.

That said, I'm still a little dark. The hurt gets worse, the heart gets harder. I hope that is still not the case but right now that's the way I have to be to get through to the next day. Even when neither side does anything wrong it doesn't mean there isn't pain, regret, mistakes and all that other shit that goes with trying to break out of your head and be part of something bigger.
And it sure beats the alternative.

OK, time to crash. Cheesesteak is doing a number on me. It was a little extra salty tonight, which is cool since I'm stocked up on gatorade.

I still don't know what I'm doing with this thing. I don't have the guts yet to really cut into myself and spill it on the screen. Not sure if I need to start another one of these that no one will know about so I can be a d-d-d-dangerous man. And another one to pontificate about the media and all the other crap from my professional life. But do I really need three blogs that no one will read? I think one that encompasses everything should do the trick. So sooner or later I'll talk about the abuses, the professionals, and the secrets of my not so far away past that got me where I am today. It's not who I am anymore but it is what got me to the place I'm in now and while I've learned not to wallow in the past, I've also learned not to regret it.

Wow, just took a massive! Felt good. Now I can relax.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Too Dark to See

Saturday afternoon....stuck inside
laundry's done and no where to go, no one to call
Warren Zevon doing Bob Dylan
and I wish I were the one knocking...

I'm hungry but I don't want to eat
I'm tired but I don't want to sleep
I'm lonely but I don't want to talk
I'm restless but I don't want to walk

Sometimes I miss it
the escape
Sometimes I miss it
the relief

I know that's not where I need to be anymore
I know I'm too old for that road
I know it won't work like it once did
And that would be the worst discovery of all...

I'm sad but I don't want to cry
I'm scared but I don't want to try
I'm frustrated but I don't know change
I'm afraid

Sometimes I miss it
the peace
Sometimes I miss it
the fog

Open that door for me.

No Expectations

Landed at JFK at 8:30 this morning. Managed to sleep through most of the flight. Actually, managed to maintain a state of unconciousness through the night. Had a window seat and a guy who looked like a cross between Chris Elliot and that guy from "Just Shoot Me" and Sarah Silverman's show. I know, if you need two references to identify him then he probably isn't a good person to use to describe someone else.

Anyway, flight was fine but I left one of my journals on the plane. Fortunately my name isn't in it, but that said I did call lost-found at the airport and maybe I'll luck out. If anyone finds a blue notebook from row 15 filled with ramblings and babblings of a half-lived life, please let me know.

Of course, if they find it, I almost don't want to know because they certainly will read it and there is some stuff in there that is best left unread so maybe I shouldn't have phoned it in. I also worry because there is an attempt at a story in there that is...well...mildly disturbing to say the least. No, it won't get me sent away but nonetheless. In reality it is just another failed attempt at noir but I'd rather keep my failures to myself.

Funny thing is I'm not nearly as upset about the book as I thought. Now that is partly because it was relatively new so there really wasn't a whole lot of stuff in there but it also is one of those things. Either they'll find it or it is gone forever but there is nothing I can go about it now. I realized it as the cab was going through Central Park so there wasn't any chance of going back. They clean these jets and turn them around pretty fast these days.

So now I'm home and it is 11 a.m. Just ate a sausage, egg, and cheese sandwich (heart attack on a roll) and now I'm having the coffee listening to Bach. It is chilling me out. I've unpacked and it would be very easy for me to start running around and creating work or getting outside, anything to escape my head. But this is the head I'm stuck with and sometimes it's best not to escape it but learn to sit with it. I'm doing a little housecleaning and I will do laundy later (I'm a little OCD when it comes to laundry, more on that another time). I'm going to hit a meeting, see a play that my Dad's wife wrote that is being performed in some community workshop or something. I don't want to go, really don't but there is no way out on this one. Has nothing to do with her, more to do with him but that is also a story for another day. I know, I'm a tease. Truth is I'm just putzing around on this thing gradually revealing bits and pieces while figuring out what bits and pieces to toss out there. BTW, does anyone know how to work the spellcheck on a MacBook? I can get it to tell me what I've spelled wrong but not what the correct spellings are. They don't really expect me to go to a dictionary do they?

As I was saying, gradually I'll try to form more of a narrative to this thing. I view this as an outlet and a place for me to develop the habit of trying to write a little. If I can do this daily or at least several times a week then maybe I can build the discipline to write for myself. Trust me, I've got better stuff in my head then the stuff you are seeing on this screen. Actually, I don't know if anyone is seeing this on the screen. I should pull the Rupert Murdoch trick. He has his reporters write stories using words that will get hits on Google searches. Fuck, suck, blowjob. There, that ought to boost readership by millions.

I was actually at Google this past week. I saw the big display where you see all the searches going on. Believe me, that thing was severely edited! It really is a college campus and since I went to a city college, it did not appeal to me the way it did my coworkers. It's a strange place. I'm not sure how I feel about Google. Actually, I'm not sure how I feel about technology. For everything good that can come out of technology, I can give you ten bad things. At this one panel this futurist was talking about the rise of cellphones in impoverished areas of the world. He was using this as an example of how technology will connect and help erradicate poverty and gaps between first and third world. That may be, but I haven't seen it yet. Lots of poor people have cable TV too. Doesn't seem to make a difference. You'll learn as you read me that I"m something of a contrarian dinosauer. I can also be hypocritical, selfish and lots of other things. Not boring though!!!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Moment to Moment

OK, crazy day in CA. Rambler is rolling with the punches. Others may fail him, but he won't fail others. That's it for now.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Tumbles into the Sea

Rambler is in Northern California. It's a beautiful day/night here although my NY attitude is kicking in big time.

First, I go to get a slice and the first place I go to sells them at $2.70 a pop! Now I'm not cheap. OK, I am cheap but that's not the point. I'll pay $2.70 at Sal & Carmine's on Broadway and 102nd but I'm not paying it for some glorified wannabe frozen cardboard pizza in NoCal! Then I went to another place that doesn't even sell slices after lunch! I guess that's just too radical a thought for the Stanford elite--pizza by the slice after dark!

Hungry and angry (all I was missing was lonely and tired but I'll be those things later!) I headed to the Starbucks where I was served by a cliche. If the dude had said `dude' one more time I was going to smack him in the head. It wasn't a complete disaster though, "That's Entertainment" was playing in the Starbucks. Don't hear The Jam too often in Starbucks. Then I wolfed down my food outside and watched a few of the less fortunate attempt to smoke a cigarette. It was sad and slightly scary.

From there I was off to see some friends. That put me in a better place. Now back in our makeshift office. I skipped out on an office dinner tonight and that was definately the smart move. Everyone thinks I stayed behind to do work and while I did do some work, truth is I'm going to be seeing these people an awful lot over the next few days and we are in a very tight space so whenever I can grab some alone time I am going for it. Turned out to be smart move judging from the early reports on the dinner. It took forever, one person got smashed and I know I would've just sat there in my seat shaking back and forth desparate to get out of there. I like when I do the right thing.

The flight in to San Francisco was great. Forgot how much I enjoyed Jet Blue. I read four newspapers, wrote a page or so in a journal, watched some TV and still had time for three naps. The only time I can really get through a newspaper is when I'm either on a train or in a plane. In other words, when there are no other distractions around I can focus. I know, the train doesn't have distractions? But those are not distractions of my making. When I'm at home, unless I'm in the shower reading (yes, I read the paper in the shower), I end up turning on the TV after a few minutes. If I'm on a plane or a train though, I have to sit still and just read. I swear soon I'll spend my weekends riding the trains until I'm finished reading.

Speaking of reading (and I write this knowing that I have maybe two readers right now), I realize that my items tend to be long. I don't know if that is good or bad but for me right now it is just important that I do this. I'll figure out form later. Getting into the habit of cranking out stuff is more important. OK, going to pretend to do some more work then hit my hotel. I'll hope to have more updates from here later in the week.

Oh, one last thing before I forget. I liked the ending to "The Sopranos." It worked for me. These dumb ass TV critics--most of them anyway--need everything spelled out for them and life isn't like that. There are not always pat endings and not everything needs some dramatic finale. It was what it was.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Way I Always Do

The Rambler is going out of town for a few days. Probably won't be able to post anything for awhile. But hopefully this trip will go alright.

While I'm not looking forward to it--this is a work trip--I think it is good I get out of town for a few days. A lot going on in my personal life which I'll get into at some point here but I'm not sure I can find the words yet. I'll say this, my facade is over and I'm not as tough as I think I am. I am going to go without something I have become very dependent on and while this is the right thing, since it goes against my own get the idea.

The way I always do refers to my bad habit of taking care of myself and the expense of others. I don't want to do that anymore. It's tough to try to understand and appreciate someone else's feelings when your own mantra has been having the cake and eating it too. Some people rightfully like things in cement, I prefer mud.

Anyway, I hope this is not a permanent thing. I've become very dependent on this and while again, I have to forgo my own selfish needs for the greater good, I hope down the road though what's really important will continue--what form that will take will be revealed soon enough.

I guess if there was a message in this emotional roller coaster I was on today it was the last scene of The Sopranos. Tony puts "Don't Stop Believing" on the jukebox. Now I'm not some Journey fan, but someone else I know and care about is and I thought that this person would appreciate knowing that.

See ya soon!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Checking In

OK, I haven't written in a few days and although I haven't been doing this long enough to establish a pattern, I do want to get in the habit of posting with some regularity even if I don't think I have anything to say.

So the reason Rambler's been quiet is that his no show job turned into a real job several months ago. No show is not quite fair. The job just had a different pace and feel than my previous one, which had more daily pressure.

But that's changed. This job has suddenly gotten intense. Not sure how I feel about that but I can't have it both ways. I can't complain that it is too slow and I'm not challenged (which I did) and then when it gets busy and I'm stressed complain that it's out of control.

That said, I was there until after midnight the other day (and I got in at 7 a.m. that morning) so I'm still pretty spent. Haven't even had time to cruise the net in search of 30 seconds of entertainment that I haven't seen anywhere yet.

I also wanted to post something because I'm headed out of town next week on business and I doubt I'll write much while I'm away. It is going to be more work.

Now mind you, just because I'm very busy doesn't mean that I'm being challenged. There are challenges, but the challenges tend to be more along the lines of how much sucking up and ass kissing can I do without exploding. This gig requires a lot of political skills and I deal with people with egos bigger than they should be. I dealt with a lot of these same egos in my old job but in that gig, I was the one who was needed, courted, schmoozed, etc. In this job, I have to do all that. It's a definite ego check.

That's life though. I am where I am and it is exactly where I am supposed to be right now. I just want to do a good job so I can feel good. I get paid well and there is no reason to cop an attitude. That said, sometimes it is frustrating. Imagine if your fingers all acted independently of each other and you'll start to get an idea what my office is like.

BTW, for those wondering, besides the fact that I moved around a lot in my not quite so young anymore life, the other reason I've opted for the moniker of Rambler is because growing up my family owned a 1958 Rambler station wagon. It rusted out pretty quick (Detroit winters, plus my dad apparently was unaware what that thing at the end of the driveway with the big door and all that space inside was for) and ended up in our backyard and I was a kid I used to play in it a lot. I'm trying to find a picture of that wagon (not the one we actually owned, that got turned into scrap 35 years ago or so) to throw on the site, those babies had cool fins!

Yanks-White Sox tied at 1-1 in the top of the 8th with Jeter at the plate. He walked on four straight balls.

I see with some amusement that Paris is out of jail. That was fast. Oh well, probably better for all the other inmates. Now lock up her mom, Lindsey Lohan's mom, etc.

I'm reading the new book on Warren Zevon. He's one of those guys I always felt I should listen to but never did. I was in LA recently and bought a couple of his CDs and liked them. He was a piece of work. The book is good but man what an SOB. Oh well, trust the art, not the artist.

Also got some Mozart and some Bach. I'm trying to expand my horizons. Unfortunately it doesn't feel that way when Bach's "greatest hits" shows up in the mail. Might as well be from K-Tel. Love the music though, very calming at my crazy job.

My cat keeps yapping. Actually, I have two cats. They've both turned into yappers. Wild pitch moves Jeter to second. I'll see what happens this inning before signing off and going to bed. Need toothpicks to keep my eyelids open. No, I don't care that it is the White Sox pitcher's 100th pitch. BTW, he gave up an infield hit and now runners on first and third. I realize this game will be long over by the time someone--anyone--reads this but what the heck, it's my blog and later when I reread this I can imagine exactly what I was doing at this time. Hmmm, maybe that's not such a good idea.

OK folks, I'm checking out for now. Will try to get something up over the weekend.

Monday, June 4, 2007

It 's not pretty

So it's Monday night, catching up on Sopranos and Entourage, which I missed last night. Entourage has not been firing on all cylinders this season (except for Drama, he's hilarious as always). Sopranos has also been hit and miss. The episode with Junior in the home was one of the best in years, the rest has been so-so.

I doubt anyone is reading this to get my thoughts on television but I actually know a teeny bit about the entertainment biz and since when do I let what people think get in the way of what I say. Anyway, Sopranos has been fading for some time, but I'm hardly the first with that thought. The Wire is the show to beat and has been for the last four years.

OK, have to make an editorial comment. As much as I love the Bing, do we really think that the dancers would be swaying back and forth to The Doors vs. the usual hip-hop? Of course, I have been in clubs that have made the fatal mistake of leaving the music to a jukebox. If you want depressing, watch a dancer work a pole to "Whiter Shade of Pale."

It's not pretty.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Go Pistons!

Sitting here watching the Pistons-Cavs game. Honestly, I'm not a big basketball fan and I moved out of Detroit when I was eight years old. Still, anything that can bring a little joy to my fading and depressed hometown. I also rooted for the Tigers (although in all honesty these days I pay more attention to the Yankees), but never the Lions. The Rambler moved around a lot as a kid, hence the name. Started in Detroit, then Jersey, then D.C. Fortunately for me, by the time I got into football we were living in D.C. and the Redskins were just ending the Jack Pardee era and headed into the Joe Gibbs era (chapter one) although to be honest I initially followed the Colts because I liked Bert Jones. Yes, the Rambler is dating himself now.

Anyway, I guess I'm fair weather when it comes to the Pistons. Last time I caught up in them was the bad boys days of Dumars, Rodman, Isiah, Vinnie Johnson, etc. But here I sit on a Saturday night hoping at least that they can get by Cleveland before losing to San Antonio.

I'm watching this game from LA where I'm spending the weekend and used to live for awhile (Rambler, remember?). I'm visiting a friend and flying back to New York tomorrow. Just shelled out $160 to change my flight! You believe that? And for that I'm in the middle row in the back of the plane. But the idea of getting in at 12:30 a.m. and not home until 1:30 or so was a little too daunting at my rapidly advancing age.

Not really sure where I'm going with this post. I just started this thing and while I hope it will eventually turn into a coherent stream of conscious about culture, the media, sports, life and myself, for now I just want to get into the habit of posting and blasting it out there even if I'm the proverbial tree falling in the forest.

OK, dinner is served and Detroit is looking down for the count. Bummer.

Sell the presses!

Fears and tears at 200 Liberty Street as Rupert Murdoch inches ever closer to landing his white whale--The Wall Street Journal. The Rambler knows a little about newspapers--just enough to be dangerous. There is worry that Rupert will dumb down the paper, shorten its famous page one stories and otherwise cheapen the brand.

All of this is likely but it has also been going on there for quite awhile anyway. The paper has already been shrunk and the stories with it. And truthfully, some of those stories should be shorter. The paper will probably be able to prosper a little more as part of a larger media conglomerate. Of course, the reason for that is that current management and the family that has supported this management have missed numerous opportunities to build their own empire. Oh well, what's done is done.

What's being lost in all the hand-wringing about what Rupert owning the WSJ will mean for the paper is the more fundamental question of how much media one company should own. For all the talk about the Internet knocking down walls and creating new voices, truth of the matter is that the bulk of media is controlled by a dozen companies. If News Corp. gets the WSJ, it will own that, Fox News, the Fox Broadcasting Co., several other powerful entertainment and sports cable channels, local TV stations reaching almost half the country, MySpace and last but not least The New York Post. (We won't even go into his holdings outside the U.S.)

Now it's not for me to say whether this is too much or not but it is food for thought. Then again if the private equity firm Blackstone can gobble up anything and everything in sight, sell a stake to China and no one says boo then...anyway, wiser minds can argue this point.

One of the more amusing side stories to all this is the surprise among WSJers. Reporters are cynical by nature but sometimes incredibly naive when it comes to what's going on under their noses. They toil away writing stories about takeovers, layoffs, and all the other joys of business journalism with a jaded eye and then when it is their own company they are shocked, shocked, to find that there is gambling going on.

Your winnings sir.

She's Offended

Do I want to read about you having threesomes, she asked before answering that obviously rhetorical question herself with a screeching no!

Fortunately for her sake, odds are she won't be reading about any threesomes here--at least not in the non-fiction section. But she's right to be offended. She has called my bluff and created this blog for me to write in and then I said I'd have to change the address so she couldn't read it. She raised the valid point that if she didn't read it, then who would and wouldn't I want my friends or family to read it?

Truth is I'd rather develop a loyal audience that finds me after I die. But aside from the poor sap who has to clean out my apartment after I expire and the cats have finished picking at my remains, I don't know how this non-existent audience will find my ramblings in my torn old notebooks wedged in between the Fante, Bukowski and every other hack I've fantasized of emulating. I wanted to be Bukowski, I had everything down except the part about doing the work. Same for everyone else. I used to blame it on my profession. If you sat in front of a computer all day you wouldn't want to come home at night and try to be creative. You'd much rather search the world of adult entertainment looking for escape.

But there comes a time when even that gets boring (not to mention depressing) and perhaps I don't have to wait to have a stroke while having a stroke. So instead I'm going to lay it all out here. Whoever finds this through some weird word search that brings them here when they wanted something completely different (at least that's how I find everything on the web) will hopefully at least browse before dismissing the latest ramblings from some punk who thinks he's terminally unique.

As for my offended friend, I thank her and I'll do my best to offend her more often.