Sunday, July 29, 2007

I Don't Need To Be Forgiven

I still get chills when I hear the opening to Baba O'Reilly.
I still get teary at the end of "Breaking Away."
I still get excited at the start of every Redskins season--of course that's over by week three.


I like Gatorade. I mean I really like it. I mean I like it so much I'm thinking I should check out the website and see if they have any openings. Maybe I could test new flavors or work in marketing. I think they're based in Chicago. OK, just thought I'd put that out there. This is the quality of posts you get on rainy humid Sundays.

It Was Bound To Happen

So two helicopters from competing TV stations in Phoenix crashed while filming a police pursuit of a guy in a stolen car. Can't say this is surprising. I've been waiting for this to happen for over ten years, when police chases became vogue on local news.

Hopefully a wake up call will emerge from this accident. The skies are jammed up enough without dueling helicopters battling it out to film relatively meaningless pursuit stories. What I love is that someone--I think it was a law enforcement person in Phoenix--said they may try to add charges of murder to the car thief because of this crash. Puhleeze. I'm no lawyer but I don't think that'll stick. I know that technically anybody who dies during the commissioning of a crime, it's murder end of story (to quote from "The Pope of Greenwich Village), but I can't imagine this is what the creators had in mind with that law. It's not this car thief's fault that the quality of local news has so deteriorated over the last twenty years that now their idea of covering the news is dangerously filming police pursuits. Under that theory, a guy who robs a store could be held accountable if a reporter gets into a crash and dies on the way to cover the story.

Theses chases are trivial. Covering them gives them greater meaning and leads to unnecessary accidents and in this case death. If this turns into a focus on whether the thief should be charged in those deaths instead of a debate on whether television stations should be engaging in this kind of coverage than there will have been a real travisty of justice.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Clock Watching

Just bought one of those cat clocks with the eyes that go back and forth and the wagging tail. I always wanted one of those. It's a remake so it wasn't expensive. Bought it at this clock and watch repair shop down in the village. The place has been there forever and I fear one day I'll walk by it and it will be gone and a Starbucks, HSBC, or Jamba Juice will be up in its place.

Mind you, I frequent two of the three above-mentioned chains, but that doesn't mean I want them on every corner. No, this won't be another corporate gentrification rant. I really just wanted to blog about the clock and all the cool old clocks they had in this place. I used to be obsessed with clocks. I wish I'd collected them. Always thought it would be cool to have an apartment filled with them or a ton of them hanging on my walls.

The clock thing is probably tied to my whole obsession with the 50s and 60s. I like wind-up clocks. I like phones that ring. Heck, I had a rotary phone well into the 1990s and now I wish I still had it.

Anyway, the cats aren't too sure what to make of the clock. I'm hoping they don't knock it down and bat it across the floor.

Hot and humid today but not as bad as I thought. No thunderstorms yet. Softball game Sunday is early so we should avoid any storms tomorrow because usually they come in late afternoon.

Going to head out to diner soon and read the book review or something. OK, this is a really exciting post. Well, I'll look back on it one day and say that wasn't such a bad day after all.

Take the Day or Let the Day Take Me?

This is my new struggle. For years, I wake up, run, do laundry, go to the gym, etc. In other words, I set up task after task all with the direct purpose of avoiding spending any time without something specific to do because, well, me without something specific to do is not always such a hot idea. The other end result is that by 3 p.m. I'm pretty much wiped.

But I'm realizing this has to stop. I need to develop some other interests beyond laundry, exercise and an endless supply of bogus errands I put in front of myself to avoid the quiet storm that brews in my head.

So last week, instead of jumping out of bed and doing all this crap, I read for a few hours, ate breakfast and then did everything I needed to do. It was something of an awakening. I did it again on Sunday. Everything still got done in a relaxed fashion.

Now I'm trying it again but it is still a struggle. I'm (cough) in my EARLY 40s and I still really have a problem being in my skin without distraction for very long. Reading is sometimes a struggle for me. Hell, sitting still is a struggle. All of this, of course, has led to numerous issues in my life, lifestyle, relationships, etc. and I'm addressing them finally but it doesn't change overnight.

Anyway, my heart attack on a roll has just arrived (sausage, egg, and cheese on a roll) and I'm going to wolf that down, read the paper and then once everything has been digested or done away with, I'll go for a long run.

I think another motivation in trying to make this change is the somewhat depressing recognition that my body can't take five or six days of working out a week anymore. Hell, that was too much ten years ago but now it really is working against me. It will be a really struggle but I'm going to have to try to really keep the running and the gym to four days a week. Problem is when I don't go I become very self-loathing. I feel worthless, etc. I know, that might mean you need more time on the couch and less on the treadmill. Believe me, I have plenty of couch time.

I know the answer to the question posed in the title. But I've known lots of answers and still not gotten it right. Eventually I do though, just takes a while.

Friday, July 27, 2007

A Marlboro Would Taste Really Good Right Now

Just being honest.

Another unproductive day at work. Not my fault. I'm for all intents and purposes an event planner. I could dress it up and spin it and say I work in a think tank and I convene conferences and arrange speakers for senior level executives, yada yada but when you cut through the BS, I plan events.

Part of the pain of this gig is that you spend a lot of time waiting. You send an invite to someone to participate in your event. Then you follow-up and leave them a message and then another and they still don't call back. It's hard not to take it personally even though it has nothing to do with me. At least I'm pretty sure it has nothing to do with me. It helps if the moderator of the event takes an active role in the event but in this latest one I'm working on my moderator--a fairly well known person in media circles--isn't exactly killing himself to help his own event. If he got involved, we'd probably have our panelists all locked in.

That's fine. That's my job, I'm just saying...

What does this have to do with wanting a smoke. Nothing except when I'm not busy I'm on YouTube looking at old rock videos and today I was watching some Keith Richards and some old Guns 'N' Roses and one certainly can't watch that without really wanting to suck down a Marlboro Red or two or three hundred! I just passed the six month mark with out a smoke and I feel good and I know I'm saving some money but that doesn't mean the urge goes away. It's gone most of the time and I've been very lucky on that front, but today between the big lunch I had that would digest so much better if I had some tar and nicotine for dessert and the videos...Anyway, I'm not going to do it.

Everyone else cut out of work early. I may do nothing all day, but I'll be damned if I'll cut out early. I'm a responsible slouch. Besides, one of these pompous jerks might return my call and say yes to my panel. I've left two messages over the past three days. Is that too desperate? Should I play hard to get now? I know. Take the action and let go of the result. I'm good at letting go of the result. It's the taking the action part that's a pain in the ass.

I dropped my laundry off today. This is a big deal because it means I won't be doing my laundry tonight and that means I have to find some other way to avoid being alone in my thoughts.

Well, it's almost five o'clock. I'm going to head downtown. I need some hard luck action because all I've been getting lately is that touchy-feely whiny crap and I'm tired of it. I go through phases on this stuff and tonight is definitely downtown time.

But fear not peeps, nothing to worry about here. Just blowing off some steam. Tomorrow I'll take a nice long sweaty run in Central Park and feel great. Actually, I might do that tonight too. It's not like I have laundry to worry about. My problem is that if I could, I would walk to the laundry nude just so I know that all my clothes would get clean. That's how OCD I am about this shit.

Seriously, not to get too far off track (not that this post has had a track) but I'm the type who buys a new shirt then won't wear it. I want to save it for a special occasion. I'm not talking some expensive shirt either, it could be a t-shirt, a sweatshirt, a pair of socks...I'm insane.

On that note...time to get some sanity and I do that by listening to people more crazy than me.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Exquisitely Bored

Apologies to Pete Townshend for today's title.

So I'm sitting here and I should be working but as usual I can't focus on my unexciting job. It doesn't matter that it's not all that thrilling. They pay me and I should hold up my end of the bargain and do some work. It's only fair.

But it's not going to happen right now so I figured a few minutes to babble and then I'll get going. Yeah, and our midterm grades are really going to boost our averages!

I almost want to do a Larry King type column today. Remember when Larry had his USA Today column? A typical item was: I like wearing blue socks...Knocked Up made me laugh...That A-Rod sure can hit...You ever notice that no matter how hard you shake and dance, the last drop falls in your pants? You get the idea.

So Rolling Stone's cover is the 20th anniversary of the release of Appetite for Destruction. Fuck I'm old! Twenty years! Where did it go. If it's 20 years since Appetite that means that in another few years it'll be 20 years since Nevermind and then I've officially hit geezerville.

A co-worker had a birthday yesterday. He's 25. That means he was five when Appetite came out. As Charlie Brown used to say, "my stomach hurts." Of course this hipster doofus kid sits in his office playing music from my youth so what does that tell you?

Watched the new FX show "Damages" with Glenn Close. It was good but what is it with Glen Close and dead pets. In Fatal Attraction she boils the rabbit and in this one she has a woman's dog killed to get her to testify. I'm sure it was meant as an "homage," which has become the new word for ripoff. Damn, I just remembered where I saw that one guy from "Damages" who works at the firm that the idealistic cute girl turns down. He was in "Working Girl" (also almost twenty years old, geez!) playing Mr. Trask. That was driving me crazy all day. My favorite scene in "Working Girl" (besides a young Kevin Spacey trying to get into Griffith's panties, go figure) was when she walks in on Alec Baldwin and her friend Doreen Dimucci screwing and he says "what, no class tonight?"

OK, enough distractions. I'm going to crank up Rocket Queen, which I have new appreciation for after reading the Rolling Stone article, and try to do something to justify my salary. For the record, it's not like it's some great salary, but that's not the point. They pay me to do something, at least I think that's what the envelope I get every two weeks is for.

BTW, new poll says employees who are bored and underpaid waste two hours of work a day. What if you are just bored but not underpaid? Probably more like four hours.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

In Other News, Dog Bites Man

So Lindsay Lohan was busted Tuesday morning for DUI and had coke on her. That didn't take long. I feel for her, really. I hope she gets some help before she's either splattered on a dashboard or she takes out some family of four while racing through the streets. Yes, she's a rich actress, but she's from a fucked up family with fucked up friends, an unrelenting media that won't ease up, etc. But now she's 21 so it might time to look at herself a little more closely and own her actions. The fact that Ms. Lohan was to go on Leno's show tonight seems to indicate that she wasn't taking her recovery too seriously.

Perhaps she or her handlers might want to get a little humility. Nothing against Promises, the $$$ Malibu rehab center where she just blew tens of thousands of dollars for 45 days (after blowing tens of thousands at that other day camp she went to before). After all, a rehab is only as good as the patient and if the patient doesn't want it there is not much a facility can do.

However, and yes this is contradicting the previous paragraph, Ms. Lohan might benefit from a facility if said facility wasn't a country club for the rich and pampered but was actually a place where people are in the fight of their life and recognize it and at least at some level know that if they don't get it, they may not make it back. Perhaps a place where the patients actually did some work, got humble and got clean might be better for her than the place with the best thread count in the sheets.

Look, I don't know stats for rehabs and anyone who says they do is full of shit. I can't tell you whether some country club rehab has a better success rate than some inner city rehab or detox or halfway house or even just some regular rehab that doesn't cost $5000 a day. For some people, it doesn't matter where they go, they just can't get it. It's heartbreaking. That said, it is probably hard to recognize that one's life is out of control if one is expected to have that moment of grace at a Malibu beach house.

Ultimately it comes down to the individual and if they want it. Whether it's Lindsay Lohan or that guy you know down the hall who looks like he woke up in his own vomit, this is ugly stuff. For now, Ms. Lohan seems determined to do the same things over and over again and expect the results to be different. That's not wanting it.

Monday, July 23, 2007


I'm getting a lesson in this today. I don't mean in a bad way or that something bad is happening to me. Something bad is happening to someone very close to me though and I feel powerless because there is nothing I can do to help except to be there and show up.

That, of course, is all that is being asked of me and I'm glad I'm in a space now where I know what that means and the importance of it. Too often attitudes can be `well if I can't do everything or make something go away I should just try not to do anything.' Sometimes all it takes is for people to know you are there. That's new for me and I naturally assume I'm doing everything wrong. That's my standard operating procedure, assume I'm doing everything wrong until reassured that's not the case.

Also got a lesson this weekend about fantasizing, which was always one of weak points. This isn't the usual Carmen Electra's car broke down in front of my place and she needs to crash (actually, she's gotten too skinny so that fantasy really doesn't exist anymore). Yesterday I kept envisioning myself making stellar plays in the outfield and knocking the crap out of the ball in my softball game. Instead I went two for six at the plate and had a couple of, what's the word for it, memorable plays in the field.

Now, I'm not saying there is something wrong with daydreaming about getting the big hit or the diving catch...and I did get a big hit in the game. But there was a difference between passing daydreams and my obsessiveness which ended up being self-defeating and taking my head out of the game.

I've gone from the seriousness of a friend in a need to the triviality of softball but I think there is a theme here and that is sometimes it's best just to show up and see what happens rather than play director in my head. Woody Allen once said 90% of life is just showing up. That line has been misinterpreted over the years as a self-deprecating joke. I don't think that's what he meant and even if it is, that's not how I interpret it. Most people don't show up. If one can learn to show up, then maybe life isn't so bad.

I know, another weird post but what do you want, it's raining, I miss someone, and I'm trying to figure out how to show up. It's not as easy as it looks.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Friday Night Blight

Not really. I just like that title. In fact, my titles are usually better than my entries.

Watching the HBO special on the Brooklyn Dodgers. Last night I watched "Mad Men," AMC's new drama about ad men in 1960 New York. Lots of nostalgia over the past two days and that's not including The Bronx is Burning." I am full of contradictions on this. I love the days when men wore suits and fedoras, smoked cigarettes and held doors. Love watching old ball games where the whole crowd is in white shirts and ties. Of course, I rarely throw a suit on unless I have to do so. But that is more because no one else does either. I know, that's no excuse or justification for my contributing to the further lowering of apperances.

It also seemed to be a kinder era. I know. Really? What about civil rights? What about women's rights? All true, a lot is better now than it was 45 years ago and yet in many ways were are better as a society today and worse as individuals. There was something to be said for quiet dignity and that is something that has been lost in this era of narcissism where outrageousness masks for originality. And it's not even real outrageousness. It's planned and manipulated and exaggerated. Tasteless vulgarity is seen as open expression and tacky behavior is seen as some bizarre sign of post modern independence. As Bukowski wrote, "it's just another act to fool the fools again."

And yes, I know that blogging flies in the face of "quiet dignity." I said from the get go I'm a paradox.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

OMG! WTF! :(

Ths is is anthr tech rant. LOL! Ths time topic is txt messagng. I txt on ocason. It's convenient passive aggressive way to communicate. What I don't do is txt while drivng on a 2-lane rd wth 4 othr loud peeps in my car so I gt distrctd, crss cntr line, and go up in ball of flames. WTF?!

I don't mean to sound flip about a recent tragedy. But before the lawsuits get filed against the phone company that provided the service, against the family of the driver by the families of the other victims, maybe everyone can step and say people need to realize that just because they now have the ability to drive, talk on the phone, text someone and try to figure out where the hell they're going ALL AT THE SAME TIME doesn't mean they should do it.

How many people are going to have to be hurt or die before we realize that driving is serious shit that requires full concentration. No phones, no texting. I know people will say oh but if you have a headset you should be fine. Bullshit. If you have a headset, you are actually more likely to be distracted and a menace on the road because you have lured yourself into a false sense of security.

Of course, the focus will be on teens, but plenty of adults are guilty of this crap too as are the idiot pedestrians who walk down the street either texting, talking or listening and are completely oblivious to what is going on around them and then get pissed off when a car honks at them or someone almost bumps into them.

I'm not advocating laws to solve the problem. We shouldn't need laws to tell us not to do stupid things. And a law like that will be ignored and completely impossible to enforce. What we need is a return to common sense.

Technology is a wonderful thing but while technology continues to get better and more advanced, our ability to do multiple tasks at once doesn't. It's one thing to be at your office doing ten different things because the ones you are not doing all that well at any given time won't result in someone dying. That's not the same the minute you hit the street. Out there your actions have consequences and victims and I don't need to be one of them.


Friday, July 13, 2007

Where's George Jefferson When You Need Him?

So I'm sitting at work and I reach around the cuff of my shirt and I notice something is missing. One of the buttons has come off my shirt. Now this is a brand new shirt that I just got back from the dry cleaners and when I took it in there it had all the buttons. This is also the second time in three weeks that I've gotten a shirt back from the cleaners with fewer buttons on it then it had when I dropped it off.

I've been having a lot of problems with dry cleaners lately and it is starting to piss me off. This is just another service industry that has gotten sloppy over the years. I know, how can I generalize about an entire business based on a few bad apples?

This is my second dry cleaners in a year. I dropped the first one after an incident regarding a hole in my suit. I have a suit which must be cursed. Whenever I wear it, I spill on it. It is beige so stains don't just fade on it but are there in all their glory for the world to ridicule. Anyway, one day I notice a tiny hole near the waist of the pants. I take it to the cleaners to fix (I know, mistake one, never go to a cleaners for any complex work). I may have said while pointing to the hole "can you patch this up for me" vs. "can you fix this" or "can you sew this up." I don't know if I said that, but you can see where this story is going.

A few days later I go to pick up the suit. I take it home and put it in my garment bag that I take to the gym when I decide just for the heck of it look at how they did fixing the hole. I pull out the pants and where the hole was is a patch that says "Super." I'm not kidding. They actually put a motherfucking patch on a Brooks Brothers suit. Livid, I march up to the store and say "what the hell is this?" The woman looks at me and says "you no like?" I say "why would I want a patch on a suit? This isn't a pair of jeans and I'm not ten years old!" She said: "Oh no, is very popular." I won't go into what I said to that since it probably wasn't too politically correct and had to do with what types might appreciate a patch that says "super" on a suit. I really wish I'd taken a photo of the pants so this could be fully appreciated.

Anyway, I dumped them and went to another dry cleaners and was relatively pleased except that I didn't like that they don't have a cardboard thing around the top of the hanger for suit jackets and sport coats. Now though these clowns have lost two buttons and the one time I specifically asked for something to be ready on a certain date they failed to deliver. It wasn't their fault ultimately, but it still infuriated me.

My grandfather was a dry cleaner so I don't want anyone thinking I'm some stuck up ass who wants what he wants when he wants it and doesn't have any respect for a hard working cleaner. I have a brother who runs an auto repair shop. I am no stranger to the service industry and I have all the respect in the world for the folks who bust their ass to keep my clothes clean, car running, toilets flushed, etc. What I don't respect is sloppy work. What I don't respect is a place that seems to take buttons off my shirts and takes its customers for granted. Part of it is that while each of these plays is different, all the shirts and pants end up going to the same place to get cleaned. It's sort of like when Homer visits the Duff Brewery. All the various brands of Duff---Duff Lite, Duff Ice, Duff Dry--are coming out of the same pipe.

I know we all have these little problems we deal with and not everything will go our way all the time. I get that. But I have just noticed lately that the quality of dry cleaners in general is going down hill. It's no different then the quality of phone service. Try calling information for a number. Used to be a time when you called and you got an operator in the city you were calling who actually might have heard of the place whose number you seek. Now if you are lucky and call 411 in New York you will at least get someone in the United States. But if you think you will get someone who knows that Sixth Ave. and Avenue of the Americas are the same street, just forget it.

Now, if anyone knows a good dry cleaners on the Upper Westside around 100th Street...

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Straw That Stirs The Drink

As promised, albeit a day late because of that damn home run derby, are my thoughts on "The Bronx is Burning," the eight-part series on ESPN looking at the summer of 77 in our favorite boil on the world's buttocks--NYC!!!

I would have filed this Monday night or Tuesday morning but since ESPN would not interrupt the stupendously dull home run derby to start BIB (Bronx is Burning) on time, I was forced to tape it and watch it last night.

Anyway, the Yankee stuff is great. Turturro captures Billy Martin although did he really need those oversized ears? The voice, the boozing, the walk, the anger that coursed through that man's veins is alive again through Turturro. Watching his performance and looking back now on 30 years of my own experience allows me to view Martin a little differently then I did as a teen. He was an angry, bitter, selfish drunk. Also a great manager but ultimately his demons did him in.

Daniel Sunjata captures the spirit of Reggie but the physical resemblance isn't really there. He could be a little beefier. But the attitude and ego is there. Also good is the guy playing Munson.

Problem is that while the Yankee stuff is great, the Son of Sam story and the mayoral race and the decline of the city seems forced, or at least it did in episode one. It worked in the book but trying to incorporate all this into a television mini-series is much harder. Now maybe it will mesh better in later episodes but I doubt it. Too bad. There was enough on the Yankees to just use that for the whole series instead of dragging in everything else although it is a kick to look at old video of Abe Beame. Also can't wait for the black out.

I'm not a critic (obviously) so these are just first impressions from watching one episode. It was entertaining and took me back and that's all I needed.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Oh that's ok, just no cigs!

A quick laugh that Pete Doherty, who has gotten busted more times than Daryl Strawberry and Keith Richard for drugs and given slap after slap on the wrist, now may be in serious trouble for smoking on stage. The heroin, the crack, the coke, that's OK, but horrors, he had a cigarette on a stage??? Throw the book at him.

Gonna be a long week folks. NYC will be boiling!!! We'll get that nice smell that can only be described as battery acid and tin foil with some rotting meat thrown in for good measure. The subways will turn into saunas and everyone will be just a little testy. But even with all that, it still won't be like the heat waves of the late 1970s and early 80s. I know it is crazy to be nostalgic for what was a pretty ugly time in the city, but at the same time at least back then there was some edge. Now NYC has become very generic.

Case in point, I live on the Upper West Side (UWS). Now it's long been gentrified and now the corporate gentrification is also in full force. We have a Dunkin' Donuts on Broadway and 96th. It's been there awhile so it doesn't bother me too much. But now there is another one that has just opened on the other side of Broadway at 97th. I have never stood on line more than three minutes at the first Dunkin Donuts so I have no idea why they needed another one. My neighborhood is getting so corporately gentrified that a Starbucks actually closed on Broadway and 102nd and was replaced with an HSBC bank, one of the dozen or so between 86th and 110th. I won't even get into the hideous high rises that have gone up on Broadway and 100th, enough ink has been spilled on those nightmares of 21st century architecture.

I know I'm probably somewhat hypocritical here. I lived in Alphabet City in 1987 when one didn't even look at Avenue B much less bar hop on Avenue C. Of course, my moving there then set the stage for what it's like today. Even the UWS has changed a lot in the last ten years. When I lived here in 1991, I got solicited by hookers and one still was a little wary of going north of 100th Street. Now you can go all the way up to Columbia on Broadway. It is a little sketchier on Amsterdam and further east meaning that there still aren't a hundred bank branches, Duane Reeds, Subway shops, cell phone joints and--coming soon--jamba juices. I loved jamba when I lived in LA but I'm not sure if I'm looking forward to them being on every other block in NYC.

I guess where I'm going with this is that sooner or later if I want to buy I'll have to decide if I want to go invade some turf and I really don't want to do that.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

July 8, It's your day!

I've spent the past few days trying to compose some brilliant masterful piece of prose or poem that can somehow express what you've meant to me and how much I want you to tell you that today.

My attempts alas are too rehearsed. That's appropriate. We learn in this life not to rehearse but to be true to the moment and trust that feeling. Trying to think about the future or obsessing about the past is not our way anymore.

So I'm forgetting about the poem that's saved in draft form and instead just going to spill it here, raw, uncut, unedited.

It was almost a year ago that you reached out to me and let me know where you were, what you were and that you knew where I was and what I was.

Since then we've seen each other through the sun and the shit (like I said, unedited and uncut). Even now, I feel your presence despite the absence. And I know I'm not just throwing this out into the abyss. You'll find it. I have a card to prove it.

I hate not knowing what is going on every day. In some sick fucked up way I feel like a sense of purpose has been lost. I know that's just not the case and I know what my purpose is and I know in a weird way what this is now is fulfilling that purpose. I know, but you know how the mind works. Different levels take different readings. The important thing is my skirt rule is being followed.

Anyway, this isn't about me. This is your day and I'm so happy for you and I hope it is a good one and that you are having a good time with mother. I know you have travels coming up so enjoy them and enjoy this time because no matter the ups and downs, you'll be looking back at it with fondness. The rawness, the pain, the joy, the angst, that's all part of living. That's the deal. Sometimes it's great, sometimes it's not. But we show up. It's what we do. No more running. Funny, this is meant to make you smile and it's making me smile. Hopefully it'll make us both smile.

Happy Birthday!!!!

Friday, July 6, 2007

A Tawdry Affair

So the Mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa, was banging the hot Telemundo reporter Mirthala Salinas. What's funny about this is that the folks at Telemundo knew about all this and still let her have a major role on the station. She also appears to have a track record of fucking people she's supposed to be covering. I know, sounds like she was covering them! Hey oh! I'm here all week.

Seriously, WTF? At the risk of going down a road I really shouldn't, for every female reporter busting their ass, there is a Salinas giving up their ass to the folks they cover. I know I'm going to get into trouble for this but as some who grew up around newsrooms and later worked in one, none of this is a newsflash. It happens.

Telemundo has now suspended Salinas to "investigate" whether she breached journalistic ethics by "having a relationship" (i.e., "fucking") the mayor. But the funniest part in all this is after Salinas came clean (insert cheap joke here) to her bosses about the relationship last year, they appear to have promoted her to anchor. In that role, she didn't necessarily cover the mayor, she just read lead-ins and lead-outs to other reporters covering the mayor. Yeah, that solves everything. Now, I'm not sure if I got all the facts right in this because honestly the coverage of the Telemundo angle of this story has so far sucked. Only now, a few days after the story of the mayor's affair and official demise of his marriage broke are the press realizing that maybe Telemundo has a credibility problem. But it appears that she was a political reporter who then became a newscaster if the stories I read are correct.

My point is that she should not have been allowed to be on the air at all given this poor judgement. Now who am I to deny true love. If that was what was happening and she told her bosses (as she claims she did) when it happened, the onus is on them. They should have not let her anywhere near local news because even if she's just the anchor it is still an apparent conflict. Her beat could have been switched or she could have joined a news operation elsewhere.

Even if Telemundo claims they didn't know all the details I'm guessing plenty of people at the station did and it was water cooler fodder. In other words, there was plenty of smoke but no one had the balls to yell "fire."

What is really amazing about all this is that this is--as far as I know from what I read in the LA Times--the third time that Salinas has gotten romantically linked to a Los Angeles politico while covering the beat. This track record should have had management concerned a long time ago but clearly they operated under the W.C. Fields rule of "it's only a crime if you get caught."

I don't know why I'm going on about this one especially since I'm not sure that I want to use this forum that I've created to wax on about an industry I'm still somewhat involved in. After all, can I have posts about my own tawdry existence mixed in with general commentary? Well, I guess so. BTW, I'm announcing my candidacy to be the Palms representative to City Council. Hey, why not? She's a hottie!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

A New Marketing Campaign For Prius

Yes, I'm talking about Al Gore III. Nailed the other night doing a 100 MPH in his ecologically sound automobile with pot, pills and probably some other goodies scattered about, the son of the former veepee is no stranger to law enforcement. This is the fourth time (at least) that he's been busted behind the wheel. He is a tragedy waiting to happen. Not going to get into the pressures of coming from the Gore family or whatever residual issues he's dealing with from being run over when he was a kid, at this point it might be time for him to start taking some responsibility for his actions.

But that's not why I'm writing. Gore's bust gives Toyota a brilliant ad campaign. I'm sure lots of people are wary of buying a Prius because they're worried they won't be able to outrun anyone and they'll lose their street cred. But if Gore can get it up to 100 MPH... I can see it now. "You can still drive high and fast and help the environment." Reminds me of a photo my roommate took of me in freshmen year passed out on the bathroom floor with a bottle of Old English 800 next to me. Yes, those were the days. Anyway, I wanted to submit the photo to Old English as a possible ad campaign. I had several caption ideas including: Old English, it gets the job done; Old English, some people just can't handle it and finally, Old English, when you don't want to remember anything at all.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Blackstone's Buying This Blog!

Why not? They're buying everything else. Just bought Hilton Hotels. Already own tons of real estate. Sold a stake in itself to China!!! This could be a good investment. Low risk, no debt, lots of growth opportunities.

Seriously, am I the only one concerned about the surge of private equity gobbling up everything in sight? I'm not even sure why I care but I just have hunch that in about five years there will be a huge mess of problems stemming from all this. Plus it just seems to me there should be a limit as to how much one group can own even if its holdings are incredibly diverse.

OK, I'm not going to go on about this, mainly because I haven't done enough homework to make any compelling arguments other than something smells here and in few years we will all be paying for this.

Otherwise, a pretty mellow July 4 for your host. I took a long run in Central Park. I ran all the way around the park, first time I'd done that since May and first time ever solo. Went to the gym and then looked for black jeans. Like shorts, the right pair of black jeans is not easy to find. Some are too shiny and dark and others are too faded. As usual, the type I own and like don't seem to be in production anymore. That is the story of my life. I find a shirt or shoes or pants that fit the way I want and look the way I want and they immediately cease production. I realize this may also say something about my fashion sense, but I don't care about that.

Pigged out today. Get ready for this. I had a low-fat muffin, two slices of pizza, a bacon cheeseburger with fries, cup of lentil soup and a couple of plums and peaches. Now if you run six or seven miles in the morning then workout, I guess your body will demand food. I can't complain. I've quit smoking (well, almost six months anyway) and I think I've actually lost weight. I've cut out potato chips. I eat salads several days a week and lots of yogurt. I exercise a lot. I do all this so I can have the occasional day like today when I eat a lot of grease and cheese.

I realize hearing about my diet and hearing me pretend to know something about private equity and high finance is not the most exciting thing in the world but if not that then you'll hear how I took care of my personal needs three times today (that might also explain the appetite), watched the Yankees lose, did a load of laundry (I'm OCD when it comes to laundry) and now are watching the Tigers struggle to keep a lead over Cleveland. So we can take a poll about the pole and what people want to hear about. I could make shit up, but everyone does that and sooner or later I'll start spewing stories of some of my wilder times and you'll think I'm making it up anyway.

Back to Detroit. Tonight's game is in Detroit and it always freaks me about how light it stays there until 10 p.m. That didn't really happen when I lived there because if my memory serves we didn't start doing daylight savings time until after we moved to Jersey. I was in Detroit last summer for a family reunion and it was a little odd how late it stayed light. I'd be going to bed a half hour after the sun went down if I lived there now. When I was there, I went to see my old house. I actually lived in Detroit. We were one of the last white families there and that was 1973! Our house still looked the same and the neighborhood looked about the same but there was a different feel to it. I definitely looked and felt out of place which was odd considering that I once walked up and down those streets without a care in the world.

Next week ESPN premieres "The Bronx is Burning" about the 77 Yankees and all the craziness that was going on in NYC that year. I was living in Jersey then and remember it well so I'll be sure to babble about all that is wrong with the series. Hopefully it'll be better than "Summer of Sam," the bad Spike Lee movie that got punk rock wrong (kids at CBGBs in 1977 did not have mohawks and dyed hair, they looked like the Ramones). The mohawks and other crap didn't really come stateside until the early 80s. I know, I had two brothers who spent that summer at CBs all the time watching the Ramones, Dictators, Shirts, Tuff Darts, Blondie, etc. I grew up listening to my brother blast "Two Tub Man" and "Beat on the Brat."

I'll get into all that stuff--Detroit, Jersey, D.C.--at some point but for now I'm going to watch some more of this game. I now realize I've goofed off at work for the last week or so and it's time to get busy again. OK, here come the thunderstorms.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

I Don't Want an iPhone

Yeah, it's rant time. This is, of course, coming from someone still on the early side of forty but who nonetheless feels that technology is moving beyond him.

That said (yes, there's that expression again), I don't need a phone to do everything in the world for me. I don't need a phone that keeps me in constant contact with the universe whether I want it or not. I'm lucky right now to not have a job that requires being on a leash. I had a job like that once and I wouldn't get a blackberry for that very reason. Don't get me wrong, I'm not some technophobe heading to a ranch in the woods of Montana. I have a cellphone. I get the value of it (even if I think schools are right to ban them). I love texting as much as the next person although I'm doing a lot less of it right now.

But I do fear that all these devices are part of an overall trend in our society that focuses on the individual rather than the group. No, I'm not a socialist. I just used to like the daily interactions with random people that are so much harder to have when everyone is in their own iPod/cellphone bubble. I once had a great afternoon meeting a girl on an amtrak train. Now, that would never happen. She'd be on her phone or iPod. We all think we are so important that we must provide updates 24/7 as to what we are doing. Or we all want to escape the world. I understand escape but if we escape too much we fail to understand our world and without understanding how can we change what needs to be changed and keep what needs to be kept. God, where is this post headed?

I know part of this is just being older and another part is that I'm full of contradictions. Look at me, I'm bitching about new technology in a forum that didn't exist twenty years ago. I will argue about the evils of the Internet while at the same time enjoying the freedom it gives me to write this stuff, blast it out there and not even care really if it gets a reaction at all. Yes, there is a certain paradox to all this. I'm full of contradictions. I bemoan cellphones and yet often walk down the street yakking away. I'm not excited about the iPod (isn't really just a better walkman?) but I use one at the gym.

But I have other concerns that go beyond the big picture. Ultimately, the end result of all these new devices will be more idiots crashing into me on the streets or crashing their cars because they are distracted from doing what they are supposed to be doing when outside the confines of their home--walking, driving, and breathing and being mindful of others trying to do the same.

Here's what technology can't do. Yesterday I came home a little down, a little out of it, etc. Waiting for me in my mailbox was a card from someone that lifted my spirits, changed my mood, etc. This person could have emailed or texted me but it wouldn't have been the same or had the same impact. There is still something to be said for getting something nice in the snail mail that technology can't top. Of course, I'm sure pre-pony express someone said the same thing about smoke signals or rocks with notes around them.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Thank You

I don't know about guardian angels
All I know about's staying alive
I can't shout about spiritual labels
When little ones die and big ones thrive

All I know is that I've been making it
And there've been times that I didn't deserve to
Every show there's been more faking it
But right at the point of no return

Somebody saves me, again and again
Somebody saves me, I thank you my friend
Somebody saves me, from a fate worse than heaven
'Cause if I blew it for a single moment
I'd blow it forever
But somebody saves me
--Pete Townshend

Thanks, you!