Sunday, September 30, 2007

Typical Sunday

Got up at 7 a.m. Didn't run or go the gym first thing because I had to go do service at Perry Street.

Then went to gym with my ex-gf who was in town to see me for my two years. It was nice. After that we got on subway and she went to spend day with her friend while I picked up bagels, more coffee, the newspapers, etc.

Got home. Talked to a friend of mine who is going through the horror and pain that anyone with about 40 days goes through. I ate my bagels, swept my floor, read the papers, rubbed one out, watched the first half of the Jets game.

Then I took the papers to the bed, turned the game on the radio (much better than TV) and dozed for awhile until a I got up to hang up on a solicitation call.

Watched Jets choke at the end, kind of glad the Bills won. Felt good for their rookie QB.

Put on some Ramones and tried to do some work. Got tired of Ramones and decided to put on some Simon & Garfunkel so I could get depressed and suicidal while I did my work.

It worked. Got really down. Played "The Boxer" five times in a row thinking of when I was 19 in New York City (and I was depressed and suicidal). God it was so different then and then I think about what it was like in 1969 when Simon wrote "The Boxer." Then got text message from ex so that was nice.

Finished the work I didn't want to do for the job I don't enjoy and I hope and pray that tomorrow I'll go in and work hard like I did Friday (which was the first time in a long time where I went in and did nothing but work all day with minimal griping, self-loathing, backstabbing gossiping, etc.)

Now I'm going to shower and get a little air, meet the ex, her friend that I have to be nice to even though she drives me crazy. Of course, the only reason she drives me crazy is because she is everything I'm not, outgoing, bubbly, etc. Yeah, ok that's true but she is a little annoying but christ she's not satan and it won't kill me to just smile and nod my head.

Anyway, dinner with the ex after this other thing and then home. There you have it folks, a typical Sunday.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Rock Stars Without a Band

I read a lot of different blogs. Some are like mine, just people trying to get through their days, reveal a little about themselves and use this space as some sort of release. Others--Xmastime being one--are hilarious folks who make quick and cutting observations about the arcane and asinine.

And then there are the bloggers who go on about every last sexual act and bodily function as if they are making the most stunning observations ever. It's the school of "if it happened to me, it must be interesting." Sometimes I read these and feel like that episode of South Park where Mr. Slave shoves Paris Hilton up his ass. I just want to say, "honey, you don't even know."

True, I often get a laugh out of these folks and every now and then even a good spank session (yeah, sometimes they post some racy shit). But the most of the time I read it and roll my eyes. Some of these people are lost, others prone to incredibly exaggeration to make the mundane seem dramatic. Most are incredibly narcissistic and many will, in about five to ten years, look back and wonder how they hated themselves so much to do what they did and why they actually put it out for the world to see as if it was something to be glorified. Those that don't, will end up somewhere else--a cold room on a metal table with someone standing over them trying to determine time of death.

This isn't about my sensitivities or being a prude. I've lived that life. I don't write about it a lot here. I'm not that comfortable with that level of revelation and I'm still after four months not quite certain I know what the hell I'm doing with this blog. That said, I don't hide from it either nor am I ashamed of it. But I'm only a few years removed from my old life and I still can't quite make sense of it all or figure out what the hell it was about.

I was the rock star without a band. I was the guy that these gals who blog about their great "professional" lives come to see at 4 a.m. I was the guy shitfaced in an apartment that looked like it'd been sublet to Tony Montana, Keith Richards, and Charles Bukowski.

Yes, there were some funny things that happened, like the time I called one girl, got tired of waiting and called for another and then (sitcom here we come!) they both SHOWED UP. Hilarity ensures. I paid about $1000 for that funny story and truthfully ten years later it isn't that funny anymore. The pro who stole my hairbrush and farecard still amuses me as does the one who wanted to take some body lotion I had buried in the back of my medicine chest (message to customers: DO NOT LEAVE ANY PRO IN A ROOM ALONE WITH ANYTHING VALUABLE IN IT FOR MORE THAN FIVE SECONDS). BTW, I knew that rule going in but just a reminder for you folks out there still working your way up to your first pro experience.

Many of the girls were normal girls making a buck. Many were lost and some were doing what they absolutely had to in order to get through the next five hours. God knows where they get the strength to knock on those doors and not know what the hell is waiting for them.

I am not knocking the pros. They do what they have to do to get by. I'm not knocking me--I did what I did at the time because that was where my head was at. I was a miserable, self-loathing and depressed person who turned to all sorts of things so that I wouldn't have to face being me. I still have trouble facing being me, but it's a lot easier with a clear head.

So what am I rambling about here? I guess I'm concerned about a certain glamorization of all this. Now I may not be the world's best writer, but did anything I describe sound remotely appealing? I could write it in a sexy glam way but I think my fingers would fall off in protest. Even when I was in the midst of my John Entwistle approach to life I didn't exactly feel good about it or want to dress it up as something it wasn't.

Hey, if some folks have convinced themselves that this is the most awesome life in the world, that's their business. Who cares? Don't look at those blogs if that's how you feel. I get it. And I'm a hypocrite. I get that too.

Just consider for a second though the naive dumb ass who might actually be reading you and thinking `hey, that sounds like fun.' It could be your little sister.

Restless Night

I woke up in the middle of the night starving. No reason for it. I had eaten a grilled chicken hero and fries for dinner. I got up and ate a banana and some other crap. My stomach was burning up everything that went into it. Normally I wake up around 3 a.m. every night to go take a whiz. I'm pretty good. I can do the whole thing in the dark and not spill a drop.

Also didn't sleep because I'm bummed that a big shot turned down an invite to be in one of my events. I know this has nothing to do with me but I'm really tired of trying to put these things together. That I had trouble sleeping because of this is absurd.

Then there were the weird dreams. Dreamt I was walking past my old middle school in D.C. and ran into a friend of mine who was checking out the playground to see if he was going to send his kid there. Like me, he had gone to this somewhat tough middle school and wasn't sure whether he'd put his kid through it. In the dream, I snuck up behind him and said, "hey kid, give me your lunch money." It was a common occurrence

I don't remember the rest of my dreams except to say they were the usual disturbing lot of anxiety. Be nice to get through a night once without waking up and without the torture from my sub-conscience.

Getting a little tired of this heat and more tired of it being pitch black at 5:30 a.m. Now I have to get ready for work and write more letters asking people to do events that serve no purpose.

On a different note, interesting story in NYT today about this woman who it appears has posed as a Sept. 11 survivor for the past six years. She had a great story of being rescued, losing her fiance, etc. Now it appears none of it checks out. It appears that she didn't pull this hoax, if that is what it is, for financial gain. That's what makes this sadder. Imagine being so disillusioned with your own life that you'd just create complete fiction. Something tragic about that.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Really not much more to be said but thanks.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Biff Lowman Checking In

So I got home last night and there was a message from my Dad wanting to have dinner with me tonight or tomorrow night. I don't go into this shit a whole lot but I don't really have much of a relationship with my Dad. I have a lot of anger in me about things that happened a long time ago that I have held on to all this time. I called back and left him a message saying neither Monday or Tuesday were good for me.

Mind you, my Dad lives two blocks away and I haven't seen him in at least three months. That ought to tell you all you need to know.

Anyway, this morning my phone rings while I'm getting ready for work. Normally I wouldn't even be home at that time because I'd be at the gym but I slept in which I am beating myself up over.

I don't know about you, but I don't like it when my phone rings in the morning. It's never good news. Normally I wouldn't even answer it because anyone who knows me knows I'm not around usually at that time of day. But I answered it and it was my father (what did I say about anyone who knows me...). He didn't listen to my message, just saw I had called so I reiterated that I was not available for dinner either tonight or Tuesday. It's not a complete lie. I'm not available Tuesday and I don't want to be available tonight.

So we hung up and I was furious. I have this rage towards him that I have to let go of or deal with or it will take me down. It won't take him down, unless I take him down, but it will destroy me. I started screaming in my apartment. "Motherfucker, I don't want dinner with you." "Don't call me in the morning, never call me in the morning fucker..." You get the idea. The cats were not amused. As I said, I was already in a pissy mood from not getting up at 5:30 to run and go to the gym and whenever I hear from my father I just get hot. I want to destroy things, I want to smash things up.

I did something un-Rambler like. I called one of my brothers and basically said I can't go on like this and what do I do. How do I move past it. I don't reach out but I recognize that I'm in a danger zone here. People who know me know anger is not a luxury I can afford. I am never going to cut my father off. That's not going to happen. For starters, I'd have to return the small amount of money I've been given from him over the years. I consider it reparations, but nonetheless, I took it. Secondly, if don't make some sort of peace with this soon it'll be with me forever. Once he's gone, if I'm not at a good place with all this, it will be all the harder to move on.

I'm not going to go into what a bad father he was. I'm 42 and I'm still carrying my hurt and anger and rage but he's not. It doesn't make him feel bad that I'm screaming at the walls after we hang up the phone. The truth is, my Dad stopped being a jackass by the time I was finishing high school (primarily because once my parents divorced everyone calmed down).

But I have problems realizing he's not that person anymore. I'd rather take the poison and wait for him to die.

I can't do that anymore. That I reached out to my brother and some other folks and didn't let this crap eat at me is a start. Putting on this stupid thing is a start. That's all I've got right now, a start.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Into the Wild

Thought I'd do something different than the usual Friday night routine and went to see "Into the Wild." I've been down so I figured a movie about a guy who treks into Alaska and starves to death would pick me up.

I enjoyed the movie but it did leave me wondering more about Chris McCandless. We're led to believe that it is his rejection of his parents world, anger at their less than perfect union and a general disdain for society is what leads him on his journey. I didn't read the book but the reviews said Sean Penn stuck pretty close to Jon Krakauer's book.

That Chris--as portrayed on the screen--was this easygoing, outgoing, socially apt guy who was pretty fearless and disdained materialism just didn't wash with the alienation we are supposed to swallow as the core of his motivations. I don't know what his family life was like. I know what the movie portrayed and it didn't look great. It also didn't look like the worst thing in the world either. For all his anger at his parents, somehow this kid turned out to be a smart, polite and, at least as shown in the movie, a genuinely happy at peace with himself person. He knew right from wrong. He didn't end up a junkie on the streets or a hood or go crazy.

Now I can only go by what I see on the screen and there are elements to Chris that should've probably been explored a little. He is obviously pretty self-centered. No matter how traumatic his childhood was to him (if not to me), to vanish like that and never contact them is an an incredibly cold and callous act that ironically--again if we are to believe what we see on the screen--served to bring his parents together in a way they never were when he was around. He also leaves his sister behind and that is lightly brushed over but for the most part the movie turns him into a saint.

I understand that to many, Chris's "angst" will seem like complete bullshit. It's not for me to judge how one's upbringing impacts them. My upbringing was less than ideal and I don't and will never have the self-confidence that Chris displays throughout the movie. Either Sean Penn downplayed some stuff both about Chris's family and his own mental state or there is something else we're not being told. Otherwise, I'm just not quite buying it.

Oh, Hal Holbrook is great in this. Now that guy has some good hair and even his face and neck are still pretty together.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Watch This Space

Sorry, been out of it the past few days. I want to post something of weight but until that comes together I thought a quick update on the week that was.

I was miserable most of the week. My job was getting me down. It shouldn't. It's not the worst job in the world and it pays pretty well. Nonetheless it does. I need to get over that and focus on doing my work and finding a new job. I accept that this is the job I have right now, but I also accept that I need to make a change.

I guess I'm holding off on quitting group. Saw a new shrink and he wants me to stay in group for now (they must all be in cahoots). I'll still see the new guy, perhaps on a short-term basis.

I was letdown by a friend of mine. I think what bugs me more is that my friend doesn't quite grasp why I feel letdown or might by upset. That he is minimizing my feelings also annoys me. This is too long and complex to waste space here.

Anyway, not a lot of deep thought. Time to take matters into my own hands and hopefully I'll have something of more substance over the weekend.

Oh, and the Skins are undefeated!

Monday, September 17, 2007


Barry Manilow doesn't want to go on The View because of Elisabeth's conservative views. That's fine. What I love is the reason he was going to go on The View in the first place, which according to TMZ, is for his "press tour promoting the release of his new album, `Greatest Songs of the Seventies.'"

That's almost as good as Rod Stewart going full circle and now doing covers of rock songs, which is what he used to do in the 70s before he became Mr. Great American Songbook. I'm waiting for Rod to release a new album where he covers himself. It's Rod as you've never heard him before on his classics "Maggie May," "You Wear It Well," and "Gasoline Alley."

Friend of mine burned the new Who CD for me. Other than "Man in a Purple Dress," can't really say I'm a fan of much of it. "In the Ether" also not bad.

OK, just discovered I spilled yogurt on my tie and I have a headache caused by the bad tuna I ate. Plus I'm in one of my `I don't like my job' moods. I know that I have to accept that everything is exactly how it is supposed to be at this moment. I can accept that as long as I can accept that I need to find a new job or career or something.

Sounds like some one's got a case of the Mondays.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Make a Right a Mile Before the First Light

Went out to East Williamsburg/West Bushwick/whatever new name they've come up with for the area around Grand Street where the L train stops. Anyway, having never been to my friend's house I got off the subway and headed towards the business district but couldn't find the street I was looking for.

So I did what anyone does, I asked for directions. I went to two bodegas and asked where Waterbury Street was. I got blank stares back. I think I would've gotten the same response if I asked these guys what street they were on right now. I wonder if a van didn't just pick them up blindfold them and dump them behind the counter and then they get picked up at the end of the day.

Fortunately a local dry cleaner that clearly had been in the neighborhood for longer than ten minutes, actually knew where the street I was looking for was and directed me. It wasn't some small street, that's what is depressing. A city of neighborhoods is now a city of faceless and clueless businesses.

Yeah, that was another old man rant from yours truly, I've found my niche and I'm sticking to it.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

This is Progress?

No one in my building got their New York Times today. I called the 800 number (which if you misdial you end up at a phone sex line, wonder how many bearded snooty upper west side intellectuals ended up getting their rocks off today instead of filing a complaint) and even tried out their new thing which is enter your phone number and they call you right back instead of holding.

So I do that and literally fifteen seconds later the phone rings. Heck, I could've held. Especially since I'm right back in automated hell and the first thing a person asks when I finally get a human on the phone is for my last name even though my phone number is my account number! But the best part was when I tell him I didn't get my paper and he asks where I live. Shouldn't that be on the computer screen if he's already got my name and number? I give him my street address and apartment number. He then asks what city and state.

I know, it's a national newspaper but if they are going to ask for all this information and not have the basic information. I wonder if I had said an address on Broadway if he would've asked what city and state. I'll be he would. And I know, it's not his fault but just once it'd be nice to talk to a customer service rep or an operator in the city I'm actually calling from.

I'm really not cranky old man dude. I will be, but I'm not. It's just that all these things that allow big companies to slice costs in the name of progress and an illusion of providing better service, really do not help their customers very much.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Were You Waiting For Me?

Probably not.

Haven't written in a few days. First of all, my modem died. I thought my cat (Skinny) had chewed through the cord. Skinny loves chewing rubber and he has already destroyed numerous phone chords and eaten rubber bands which I then find sticking out of his poop. And yes, I try to discourage this habit but until Skinny is willing to surrender to his addiction, there is not much I can do.

Turned out though that while Skinny had chewed up the modem chord, that's not the problem. The modem died and now am waiting for a new one. I won't bore you with the usual story of pressing numerous buttons and yelling at automated voices before finally persuading Verizon that I needed an actual human being to solve my problem. Supposedly the modem will be here tomorrow.

I've got a lot to say but haven't organized my thoughts and plus I'm at work so I really should be doing something else so I guess I'll just spurt out what's been running through my mind the past few days.

For starters, I technically should not be working today (Rosh Hashanah) but I'm not one of those Jews who doesn't step foot in temple for years and then pulls out the Jew card on high holy days. My Dad will be upset that I worked today (I know, this is work?) but I don't recall him ever taking high holy days off.

I need to get over not liking Bryan Ferry simply because when I was in high school my mother had a fling with a sleazy married Iranian cab driver who sort of looked like a Middle Eastern version of Bryan Ferry. I know, this begs for more information and there is some good stuff in this that maybe one day I'll get around to posting. BTW, this came up recently because a friend didn't understand why I didn't love Ferry's version of "Sympathy for the Devil." That won't change, still think that version sounds like a bad lounge singer at the Derby.

I'm thinking of quitting group therapy. I've been going for over five years (I think) and to be honest I don't put much into it and don't get much out of it and don't feel connected to any of it. It served a purpose and at times was helpful but to keep going when I am really not that invested in it is not doing me or anyone else in there any favors.

This Norman Hsu story gets funnier and funnier. Faithful readers (all three of you) know I don't delve into politics too often but this is too juicy. The latest is where Hsu got his money. He got $40 million fom Joel Rosenman, one of the founders of Woodstock who went on to become a big investment fund guy. And what was the money for? Manufacturing apparel in China, of course. The Woodstock generation at its best.

I'm getting more turned off by professional football. It might be just that I'm getting older and naturally losing interest in it but I think it has more to do with a general cynicism towards professional sports. The latest incident to turn my stomach being the Patriots trying to steal the Jets defensive signals (like they needed to in order to win in the first place). I know the rules of life--"if you are not cheating you are not trying" and "it's only a crime if you get caught." That said, at some point it becomes a matter of class and the spirit of competition. I play softball and the other week and arguement broke out on the field about a play. A runner on third base used this distraction to run home. Truthfully, while one could say "heads up play." I thought it was cheap and not in the spirit. Play had stopped but since no one had officially called time, etc. Personally, I don't know if I would've done that if I were on third base. I'm not passing judgement. Technically the guy did the right thing but I didn't care for it.

Product placement is everywhere and we all know it. However when it starts showing up in novels I get worried. Jason Starr's latest book drops brand names the way a pigeon drops bombs on a statue. I know writers use brand names to describe their characters, etc. But when I read "Banana Republic" four times on two pages, I smell a rat. It is distracting to me, much the way it distracts me on Rescue Me when two characters keep mentioning a sports drink over and over again.

Those are today's ramblings. Go discuss.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Reading Materials

I have too many books. Just bought another Jason Starr book. Still have two Henning Mankell books, a Lee Childs and I won't even mention the Joshua Ferris book I can't get seem to get through. I know I'll plow through the Starr book. It's "dick lit," as a friend put it. But the others will take time. I like Lee Childs but he is a little too macho tough guy for my tastes sometimes. He is similar to Andrew Vachss in that way. I read a bunch of Vachss and then cooled to him. They're both great, don't get me wrong, but all of these things are formula to a degree. Believe me, I wish I had the formula. It's similar to my previous gig. There was a formula to certain stories and I could never master the formula.

Come to think of it life is a formula too. I'm getting a little better at that. I know I'm better at it than I was a few years ago but I still have a long way to go.

Interestingly, I seem to have also lost the Bukowski bug as I didn't rush to the cashier at Barnes & Noble the other day when I saw a book of more posthumous poems. Well that's not really a surprise, truth is I think it has more to do with the fact that he's been dead now for 13 years and since he pretty much had a low threshold for what works of his he'd publish while alive, the stuff that has been coming out since he died has got to be pretty weak if he didn't want it out when he was still breathing.

Anyway, I have lots of books to try to read (not to mention the usual consumption of four newspapers a day) and hopefully I'll get to it, but I also watch too much TV, goof off too much on the Internet, etc.

More Will Be Revealed...

Life is complicated. There are times when we are in situations that are not to our liking but we have no control over them. What we do have control over is how we react in these situations. Sometimes, the best thing (not the easiest thing) is to swallow whatever it is we don't necessarily want to swallow and do what we can to make the situation more tolerable. In other words, if you can't change it, accept that it is how it is supposed to be. That is better than stewing in it because the only one who suffers when you do that is you.

But having said that, one also has to decide how to take these experiences and learn from them and decide whether they want to put themselves in those situations again. Is the risk worth the reward and is this something that in the long-term is in one's best interest?

A small example of what I mean. I got up real early so I could get to the gym when it opened. That meant getting up around 6 a.m or so because I wanted to do something else first. I got to the gym right at 9 a.m. when they opened except they weren't open (this was a Sunday). I work out at Ballys. I know, Ballys is not exactly the BMW of gyms. That said, I have been a member for years and I only pay about $200 a year to go there. That means I tolerate that the service is lacking there and this Sunday not opening on time thing is hardly an unusual event.

I waited outside the gym for awhile (with a bunch of other people). Eventually I decided I could keep waiting knowing my workout time was becoming shorter and shorter (I had somewhere else to be by 10:30 or so) or I could get some breakfast. I went to breakfast and then after I ordered I looked out the window and, of course, the gym had been opened.

It was that kind of day. Whatever plans I had were irrelevant to how my day was going to play out. I rolled with it all the best I could while trying to figure out what I can do in the future. Part of life is recognizing what I can't change (that Ballys opens late), but the other part is recognizing what I can change (join a better gym) and figuring out how to do it. The hard part sometimes is figuring out which is which.

Well, that is a lot to ponder for one night. On a separate note, first episode of the new season of Curb Your Enthusiasm was pretty funny.

Friday, September 7, 2007

What's The Deal With Keeping The Size Sticker On The Baseball Caps?

Seriously, how did this become the hip trend? Who was the first rapper to get a baseball cap and decide, "ya know, I'm not going to peel off this little sticker that says 7 1/2. I'm going to keep it store fresh."

Actually, I'm guessing it was an accident. Someone handed a guy a hat for a picture and he forgot to peel it off and there you go. All I know is it is annoying the shit out of me and every time I see someone with their cap on with the sticker still there I want to peel it off. Of course, I also want to make it to my stop in one piece so I'll refrain for now.

I'm looking for answers people!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Death Wish Redux

OK, we got Kevin Bacon and Jodie Foster playing avengers. Frankly, Jodie looks tougher.

In The Criminal Justice System....

Got called for Jury Duty. Went down today for day one. Got called into a pool for a civil suit. Woman was suing the MTA. Lawyer for her was thin, young blonde guy who reminded me of Aaron Eckhart in "Thank You For Smoking." Lawyer for MTA looked like Chi McBride.

Anyway, I was first called and first questioned and I actually thought I'd make the cut. I acknowledged that while some cases seem dubious, without knowing all the facts in a verdict, it's tough to pass judgement. I waxed on about being a former reporter who was used to listening to all sides and then trying to evaluate what I've heard to put together a story. Blah blah blah.

I didn't make the cut and I'm glad. Now I realize though why I didn't make the cut. Lawyers don't want anyone at a jury who thinks too much and I guess it was pretty clear that I think a lot.

For someone who thinks a lot, I can be pretty naive sometimes.

Still, I found the whole thing pretty interesting. Most people were grumbling about being there, etc. but I don't know, I kind of felt that I should take it seriously and do my part. Plus there were one or two cute girls there.

I'm back tomorrow but if I don't get picked I'm done. The wheels of justice spin indeed.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Just Cut To The Chase Already!

Walking home tonight with some friends and we walk past someone who begins the conversation with "excuse me guys, I'm really sorry to bother you, if I could have just a minute of your time..."

You know where this is going. I don't mind being asked for change. But I do mind having my time wasted. Don't give me the long intro and the sob story, just cut to the mother fucking chase! You want money. Ask for it. Spare me the theatrics and improv routines.

I'm Shocked, Shocked To Find Gambling Going on Here

Today's NY Times has a page one story about--gasp--escorts who use Craig's List to get customers and cops who pose as escorts to sting Johns.

Uh, yeah that story is about ten years old. In fact, if memory serves, the NY Times already wrote a similar story to this not too long ago, but rest assured now all the local stations will be prepping their own sweeps stories on this "trend." Can't wait until "Dateline" starts setting up their own sting operations.

Have to say that the CL guy's line about being against having prostitutes advertise on the site doesn't exactly jibe with CL having an "erotic services" section.

This article proves the old newsroom adage there are no new stories, only new reporters.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Mad Men

Sure makes smoking look good. Of course, the advantage to setting a show in 1960 is you can have lots of smoking and drinking and you don't have to worry about appeasing the politically correct.

I can live vicariously can't I?

Getting Dark

Summer's drawing to an end. It was pretty dark by 7:30 last night. It's that annoying time of the year when it is dark when I get up to run (and will stay that way until we move the clocks back an hour) and it is starting to get dark earlier too.

This summer was so-so. Had a relationship end, or enter a new chapter, or whatever. Had some tough spots. Struggled with work every now and then. But truthfully it was just a routine summer. Had a decent softball season although a late season hitting slump bummed me out. Still have one more week to play (championships) so that's good.

And now I'm back at work and trying to stay focused. I know, you call this staying focused? Hey, at least I'm not wasting time on You Tube looking for semi-erotic smut. It's there, btw, you just have to know where to find it.

Somehow the sound has been shut off on my computer. This is a blessing really so I'm not going to try to have it fixed. No sound makes it harder to enjoy said smut. I'm going to assume that this is someone doing for me what I can't do for myself.

I'm almost through the Jason Starr book "Lights Out." It's good. He's good on details, which is something I will struggle with if I ever try to write a book. You need to be able to describe street corners, intersections, neighborhoods in a way that seems real, that captures the reader, that paints a picture. I've always had trouble unlocking that part of my brain. It really is just a matter of taking the plunge and cutting loose but I've struggled with that. It is something that definitely held me back in my professional career and it holds me back now.

The only way to overcome it is to just do it and see what happens. I have to stop this bullshit insecurity and fear from ruling my life and take a shot. Starr's book has a good plot although some of his dialogue seems forced and while the book is set in the present, some of his characters (particularly the older characters)seem a little out of date. It's probably, I'm guessing, because Starr is looking to parental figures of his childhood vs. today. Hey, that's a nit picky observation, but that is also something I know I'll wrestle with if I try to write about twenty somethings with a 40 something voice. It's not easy. Starr has all these references to rap and different rappers his characters listen to and I wonder, does he listen to this stuff or just study billboard and read an issue of "The Source" to give himself cred? I may have to set any book I write in the 70s or 80s or early 90s since that is where all my musical knowledge lies. Or I'll just write about people my own age. Anyway, none of this is meant as a criticism, I'm enjoying his book, it's the second one of his I've read and I'll definately get the latest one, which I can't find (lucky bastard!).

More people to link in with on LinkedIn. Sooner or later I've got to figure out how to use this f-ing site beyond just connecting with people I never talk to anymore in the first place. Anyone have any ideas?

Wow, another typical post spraying all over the place with no real point. Well, that's kind of where I'm at right now.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Sunday Afternoon with Andy Pettite

The annoying and good thing about a blog is that it forces one to check in and post something just so too much time doesn't go by between posts.

After all, I got this thing started in the hopes of building some discipline as I try to get into the habit of writing. So even if I really don't have much to say, I feel I got to put something out there.

It is a beautiful Sunday here. I should be playing pick-up softball in Brooklyn but I'm not. My team is in the championship next week and I could use the hitting practice but at the same time I thought maybe I'd just chill in my apartment. It's breezy and sunny and I'm doing a quick load of wash (OCD, as usual) and watching the Yankee game. I still have a lot of the paper to get through and I want to grab a nap later.

I went into the office yesterday. This is part of my embrace where you are now and be of service at work movement. So far, so good. I got some stuff done and discovered that the sound is broken on my computer. I don't know how this happened and while I could get it fixed I am going to try not to do that. Without sound, I won't surf You Tube all day looking for either music clips or material of a more tawdry nature. I'm viewing this as a sign that someone wants me to put a little more effort into my job and has graciously done what I could not do for myself and removed one of my big methods of distractions.

Saw Super Bad last night. Very funny although a couple of the subplots didn't work for me. Still, I laughed pretty hard through much of the movie and you can't ask for more than that.

Bought a Jason Starr book. He's a young(ish) noir writer. I read one of his early books and liked it so I thought I'd give this one a shot. I'm only two pages in but I think I'll stick with it. That'll be good since I don't think I am going to ever get through "Then We Came to the End." It got great reviews and it isn't bad but I'm not hooked and I'm about halfway through. It's about this assortment of odd balls working in a Chicago ad agency. Parts of it are amusing but it is either trying to do too much or it says too little. Or maybe I'm just not in the right place for this particular book.

Almost time to go down to the dryer then I'm going to turn on the radio and read in the bedroom. Sooner or later I'll catch this morning's "Reliable Sources," most of which I'll fast forward through. Considering that Howard Kurtz just asked should news magazines be in the opinion business. I should just delete the whole show. Yes, Howard, news magazines should express some opinions. Every story a magazine chooses to pursue has some kind of opinion behind the decision to assign it. Every story Howard Kurtz chooses to write is in part driven by his opinion that this is a story worth reading.

And guess what, that is the way it should be. I trust that if Kurtz is writing it, there is probably some news value to it. When I was in the game my boss expected me to know what was what and determine what was worth a story. That's called having an opinion. I sometimes wonder if so called media watchdogs and pundits wouldn't prefer a world where everyone covered one story and then moved on so that no opinions on the subject matter could be formed. Problem is, that goes against the whole idea of what a reporter does. A reporter is supposed to be well-versed in his beat. He or she is supposed to know the subjects they cover, have the knowledge to determine what is important and what isn't. Will they screw up on occasion? Sure. But I'd rather read pieces from reporters that have edge, knowledge of their subject matter and (gasp) some opinions. I'm a big boy, I can take all that into consideration when I read the story and decide what value to put on it.

OK, I went from a light check-in on a sunny Sunday to a long babble about journalism. Oh well, that's where the keypad took me. Time to go to the dryer.