Sunday, March 30, 2008

Rude Awakening?

Maybe I'm way off base on this. Maybe my own opinion is clouding reality, but I think the Sex and the City movie is going to bomb.

I'm also hoping it will. Again, for my own reasons that I'll get into another time. But putting that aside, the track record for TV series trying to make the transition to the big screen is mixed at best. I'm not counting camp revivals like the Brady Bunch movies or Starskey & Hutch. I'm talking about taking the cast of a TV series and trying to do a movie with them.

I also don't think the movie, like the show, plays outside New York. Yeah, yeah, I know. The reruns on TBS are doing well. The DVDs were popular. I get it. I still think the stories have played out and it will seem like a made-for-TV movie that somehow found its way onto the big screen. Yes, the reviews will be good because no critic will want to slam it. And it may even open well, but staying power? I doubt it.

The youth market, which drives what works at the multiplex, is not going to give a rat's ass about--as Gawker put it when the site was still cool--an old whore and her John.

Rambler has some bitterness about this show. I don't know why. Yes, SATC documented the eventual decline of New York into pretty people in pretty places with big bank accounts with a certain glee. The show claims it was ultimately about four friends, but it was really about four people obsessed with themselves without any soul. Maybe that had something to do with it. Or maybe it was my own envy as while SATC was becoming the must-see show for NYers, I was off in another place in another part of town in my own private hell.

For me, this is a sequel that I don't need to see.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

From Humble Beginnings

Just caught the last ten minutes of Death Wish, the original, which is still a classic. Early roles not only for Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs (Freddy "boom-boom" Washington) as one of the last muggers Bronson's Paul Kersey takes down, but also Jeff Goldblum as "Freak 1" and Christopher Guest as "Patrolman Riley." Goldblum I knew about, although I never saw that was his credit. Riley was a surprise, kind of like Richard Dreyfus in The Graduate saying, "should I get the cops?"

You have to wonder what Goldblum's conversation was like with his agent.

Agent: "Hey Jeff, I think I got something for you, it could be good."

Jeff: "Awesome, what is it?"

Agent: "You play a nut who rapes a mother and daughter."

Jeff: "Gee, I'm not so sure this is what I had in mind when I took that course at the Strasberg."

Agent: "It's gold man, gold."

Jeff: "Does my character have a name?"

Agent: "Oh yeah (hear pages rustling). It's `Freak One.'"

Jeff: (sigh) "OK, when does it shoot?"

Agent: "Shoot? Jeff, baby. You gotta audition to be Freak One."

Friday, March 28, 2008

As Bleak As I Want It To Be

Rain coming down should make me feel down
But it doesn't.

What makes me feel down is sitting in a meeting with a marketing guy from a consulting firm.
And realizing I have no interest in what he is saying or what my boss is saying.

It's just a job. It pays the bills. It lets me eat food and sleep in a bed and hang out with friends.

And it gives me something to babble about here.

Still, it'd be nice if I felt anything towards it.

Rain coming down.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Rambler's high school, Woodrow Wilson in the D of C is in the news! From last week's Washington Post.

"When students return from spring break March 31, they will be confined to eating lunch in their classrooms instead of being able to sit with friends anywhere on the sprawling campus. Three additional security officers will be on duty, for a total of 10."

According to the paper, a rash of violence, including the arrests of 13 students in the past week has led to the lockdown. Apparently, the problems stem from the recent addition of some 18 year-old ninth graders who have "behavioral" issues. Yeah, I'd say if you are 18 and in the ninth grade, you probably have some issues.

I'm not sure what the breakdown of Wilson is in terms of race these days. When I went there, it was about 70% black, 20% Latino and Asian and 10% white. Now this how I recall it, I can't claim how accurate that is, but it feels right. I doubt it has changed much since then.

The thing with Wilson was that while it is a D.C. public school, it is also in one of the better neighborhoods of the District so it was relatively stable. By relatively stable, I mean there were only a few outbursts of random inner-city violence every few months. Now it has metal detectors, the works.

The white population at Wilson can't be thrilled with these new developments. The white kids never ate in the cafeteria anyway, choosing instead to eat outside in the "horseshoe" part of the campus or in the armory in the winter. Now everyone will be stuck in the class. Wonder if they'll make them rest their heads on their desks after they're done eating.

This is, of course, a non-solution to a real problem. According to the article (citing statistics from the school system), Wilson has "four students from the Oak Hill youth detention facility, 12 from the city's detention center on Mount Olivet Road NE and 11 from a program for suspended students." And we're surprised there has been violence?

I don't have a real solution. I do know that throwing problem students into already overcrowded schools won't work. And I'm sad to see my high school go from a struggling public school with a good heart to downright dangerous (cue Welcome Back Kotter theme here).

Go Tigers!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

To The Extreme!!!

Notice how everything is amped up these days? Apparently, Gatorade doesn't cut it. Now we have Gatorade Tiger. Yeah, just what we needed.

I think the line has been crossed with the new Extreme Pringles. Yes, regular old Pringles just isn't enough anymore, we need Extreme Pringles. And what are these new extreme flavors? One is, no shit, Sceaming Dill Pickle. I know that pickle is just the taste I feel my chips have been missing. Can't wait to taste Ravishing Radish!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Grace

Either the start of something new or another piece of the puzzle...

"Shit, it never fucking fails."

Grace turned off the shower and grabbed the phone, It was Angel as usual.

"Hey babe, got a eight-ball run for you for that dude on 112th. You got enough stash or you need to come by and get some?

It was a bullshit question. He always knew how much I had and he knew I had more than enough. Just his way of testing whether I was dipping into the stash or selling some for myself.

"You know what I got. I'll make the run and be by later. What's the address?" I heard him chuckle a little on the other end. I'd been with him for a few years and was still paying the price for the past. I wanted to tell him to fuck off, but last time I did that he threw me into a wall and knocked out two back teeth.

He gave me the address. I knew the building. It was a regular although this was a bigger order than usual. He must have company. I toweled off, threw on some jeans, wife beater and leather jacket. I dumped the baggies in my cowboy boots, ran the towel over my hair a few times and grabbed my keys and headed out the door. Normally, I might bring a knife or even the pistol Angel gave me last month when he started to expand his turf. This guy though wasn't a problem and the truth is I didn't like carrying a piece. I didn't do big deliveries. If I got busted it'd be a first time offense and I could probably skate but throw in a gun or even a knife and I'm fucked. Anyone who wants more than a grand or is new and Angel uses one of his boys. I'm the delivery girl for his high end clients. See it makes an addict feel like he's made it if he thinks he has a white dealer. Make it a white girl dealer and he's really full of himself.

It was Saturday afternoon so the streets weren't too crazy. I was on 116th and Lenox. I had a nice deal on a one-bedroom. Never would've thought that nice deal and Lenox and 116th would be in the same sentence, but a lot had changed in the last ten years up here. I used to climb over bodies to get out the door. Now I step over empty Stella Artois bottles and sushi wrappers. Of course, half the tenants use my guy. I don't deliver in my own building. I stopped hooking in here so I'm sure as shit not going to start dealing. I was only about a year away from having my debts cleared and that was my focus. Stay out of trouble and then get out of here for good.

The doorman was helping some old lady with her groceries when I came in and headed to the stairs. I steer clear of elevators. I got jumped in one when I started doing this. On the stairs, I have a fighting chance. This guy lived on the ninth floor and I was a little winded by the time I got up there. The boots weren't made for the stairs either. By the time I knocked on Matlin's door, the sweat was pouring off of me.

"Hey Grace, I was getting nervous."

"Yeah, I could tell."

"What, how?"

Gotta love these guys. He was right at the door when I knocked. His window was wide open and he was on his little terrace watching for me, probably for the last half hour. The ashtray was full of Reds and four empty bottles on the table. The picture frame he used for his goodies was clean and there were cut open straws all over the place. No, he wasn't in any hurry.

"Just a hunch. Get me a water, I'm dying here."

While he went to the kitchen, I plopped down on his couch. It was a nice couch so I made sure to rub my sweaty back into the cushions while I pulled my boot off and emptied the baggies onto the floor. The money was on the table. I grabbed it, counted it and jammed it back into my boot and put it back on. He came back out, handed me the water, picked up the bag and held it to his nose and inhaled deeply.

"Mmmm, smells so good."

"Uh, yeah, like sweat."

"Your sweat."

Then he licked the bag. Gross. He was usually a lot more timid. This was more out there then I'd seen him before and I knew what that meant. He'd crossed another line and was moving ever closer to his inevitable crack up. I'd been delivering to this guy for five years. Used to be he'd be good for one or two deals a month and he barely said a word when I showed up. Then a few years ago it became once a week and he got a little friendly. Now it was a few times a week and he acted like we were old fuck buddies. The amounts he bought were growing. His face had aged ten years in the last three. One of two things happened with these guys. Either they got cleaned out and cleaned up or they checked out. And either way it meant I lost a customer.

He picked up his dictionary and begin pounding on the bag to break up the rocks.

"You want some?," he asked.

"Thanks, but I don't take my work home with me."

"Well, you want a beer?" He suddenly looked a lot sadder.

"No. Look, I gotta go. You take care."

"OK Grace, I'll see you around."

I reached the door and turned back to see him empty the bag on a picture frame. He looked up at me and smiled.



"I'm really a good guy."

"I'm sure you are Michael, I gotta go."

I got to the fifth floor when I had to stop and catch my breath. I had a feeling I wouldn't be seeing him anymore after today.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A Little Obsessed Are We?

So when Rambler was at NYU, there was this girl Linda I had a crush on in freshmen year. She was dark, mysterious, all those cliches. She also showed up to about one out of every four classes. I now realize that's the norm in freshman year. People either take or they don't.

Anyway, on those occasions when she was there we'd sit together and hangout after class. Well, we did that at least once. She commuted from Jersey. I never asked her out. Always figured there would be the right time. Then one day she stopped coming at all.

Yes that's where the story ended. Except that rarely does a week go by where she doesn't enter my brain. Thanks to Google, I'm pretty sure she lives in San Francisco. I'm pretty sure I have an email for her. She had a somewhat unusual last name so it most likely is her.

I'm tempted but I don't really know what would be gained. She could be a)500 pounds b)gay or c) have no recollection of me whatsoever (the most likely of those three scenarios).

Why is someone who I briefly knew stuck in my head twenty five years later? I can tell you why, because every now and then one of those "this is the one" girls crosses our paths and she was one of them and I didn't chase it. Of course, I perhaps have elevated her to that status because of all this. And if that is the case, maybe I should just stick with the fantasy.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Sit Down Already

My new pet peeve on the subway is people who don't sit down when seats are available in a crowded car. By not sitting down when seats are open, the car becomes (dramatic pause)more crowded! Not only do people continue to crowd the doors when the middle of a car is empty, but the not sitting part is making it even worse.

I've been riding the subways for a long time now. I've yet to see someone unable to get out at their desired stop on a packed train. Of course, now it'll happen to me.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Fits And Starts

I've added a new section, "Fits And Starts" where I will archive my various creative efforts. Just the attempted stories. Make it easier for people to go back and reads other parts and kind of force me to keep cranking, which is the entire purpose of this whole blog thing anyway.

As for the verses, I'll archive that too soon enough.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Parasite Is Killing The Host

In interview with the Baltimore Sun City Paper, David Simon, creator of The Wire, explains perfectly how the Internet is killing print and why it matters and what will happen.

Says Simon: "The Internet is skimming the froth of commentary from the first-generation news gatherers like The Sun. They have parasitically achieved immediacy and relevance by co-opting the debate, the humor, the rage, and the provocation that results from the news product--WITHOUT ACTUALLY INVESTING OR COMMITTING IN ANY SERIOUS WAY TO THE SYSTEMIC ACQUISITION OF THAT NEWS."

"And the parasite is killing the host. Is the internet a marvelous tool in myriad ways? Of course. Is it the future? No doubt. But thus far it is not a responsible or viable alternative to a major metropolitan newspaper."

I sent this quote to my brother, also a journalist, who added, "That's right. And one day, when the newspapers have laid all the "print" journalists off, the publishers can all look around and say,`okay, where's the online staff that puts out our web stuff?'"

Of course, this post is the exact example of what Simon is talking about. But at least my intentions are pure and I credited the City Paper.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Unforgiven? Sheeeit!!

Bayonne Mike notes that Snoop was not the first to utter "deserve ain't got nothing to do with it." That honor goes to Clint Eastwood in Unforgiven. Don't that just make your day? Sheeeit!

Client Number 9

No, I'm not number ten and I'm not stoked to be moving up a slot.

So Spitzer stepped down. He had to do that. I think others might have survived this but not him. Before we get into this `everbody does it, so what's the big deal thing,' lets look at this situation a little closer. This is a man who saw himself as, to quote from today's WSJ, "the moral avenger...the slayer of the big guy, the fat cat, the Wall Street titan--all allegedly on behalf of the little guy."

This is also a guy who took glee in closing down the very businesses he was using. This is also a guy who tried to bend finance rules so his father could bankroll his campaigns. In short, this is a guy who thought the rules he laid down and enforced for everyone else, didn't apply to him.

For those who say he still did a lot of good on Wall Street, truth is most of his big cases went nowhere.

Bottom line though is that in less than a year as governor (and he had Rambler's vote), he alienated both his own party and everyone else. If he didn't resign, an already crippled Albany would grind to a halt. He did the right thing for the party and the state.

And for god's sake Elliot, find cheaper escorts and wear a condom.

She's Nothing But Trouble

Another creative effort here, lest anyone think Rambler is headed for trouble.

Usually around 2:30 or so I get the email or the phone call. That little girl voice attached to those dark eyes and sexy legs will ask ever so innocently if I want to get a coffee with her.

I say yes. I always say yes. I could be up to my eyeballs in work and have deadlines staring me in the face, but for a chance to stare into those eyes and envision throwing her down, forcing my hand between her legs while she thrusts against me I will shrug and go to Starbucks and buy her a honey latte. That's a true test of lust, when you'll order someone a drink so obnoxious as a honey latte. Of course, I want to pour that latte on her stockings and then suck the flavor out.

She knows I'm hooked. Knows I can't resist what I can't have. She dresses like she came out of central casting circa 1940. You know that underneath that cutesy act is a little dirty girl. I want to taste her so bad.

She was a bit of a drunk. Old me would have just taken to her bar, gotten some gin into her and gotten her panties off of her. But now I can't do that shit. I'm working with a handicap basically. She's hot, but she's not counting days hot.

So I've got to try to get inside her the old fashioned way. Wit and charm. My wit and charm is as good as any one's, in fact it's a little better. Still, I'm easier to swallow if the girl has a load on.

One day our flirty conversation suddenly shifted gears as we left the Starbucks and she started bitching about her ex-boyfriend, the one who had dumped her in the shower. I never got past the "in the shower" part to hear the rest of the story. She often about being torn between wanting him dead and wanting to get back together with him. I knew which side of that debate I was on.

I said five words to her that would started this spiral that brought me to this little room.

"How would you do it?"

She looked at me, looked down at her shoes and said, "do what?"

"Kill him," how would you do it.

"I don't really want to do it."

"Oh I know, but I'm sure you have fantasies." See that's the trick. Get girls talking about their fantasies and you never know what will come out.

"I can't," she cooed.

"Come on," I said in that sort of mischievous way I have of coaxing good girls into bad things.


"Yeah?" Christ, I better slow this down or she'll here my heart beating through my chest. I'd seen and heard a lot in my day, but nothing prepared me for what came next.

"I'd like to snuff him out."

"Yeah, I know that, but how."

"No, that's what I mean. Like a snuff film. He loved getting head from me and if I could figure out how to do it, I'd blow his brains just before he came. That would be punishment enough for dumping me."

"Jeez, couldn't you just ring his doorbell and run?"

"You asked."

I suddenly realized that the whole time she was saying that the sing-song little girl voice that had me so wrapped around her finger was gone. She was much colder now, and all that did was turn me on more. I imagined that head from her might just be worth dying for.

"OK, while I've got to get back to my office. Want to leave together?"

"Yeah, we can take the train after work." Even though she lived downtown and I lived uptown, I always came up with some reason why I was headed downtown every evening. Because of this, I'd been spending a lot more time at Perry Street. It's a great room, but it's crazy there, which considering where I was at right now made sense.

"OK, I'll see you later," she said, getting off on the twelfth floor.

"Yeah, definitely," I muttered as the door shut. I went back to my office, closed the doors, closed the blinds and started to envision seeing her later.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Deserve Ain't Got Nothing To Do With It

Snoop's wise words to Michael before she gets capped. Cynical? That's one way to look at it. Another way is to see those words are guide to life, good and bad. In other words, what is, is.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

I'll Take Manhattan In A Garbage Bag With Latin Written On It That Says `It's Hard To Give A Shit These Days'

Just popped in Lou's 1989 masterpiece New York. It's hard to believe this is almost twenty years old. At the same time, it seems a heck of a lot older. The New York he sang about here is gone. And many would say good riddance. Anyone who reads me on a regular basis knows I'm a little more conflicted on all this.

I'm not going to regurgitate my ramblings on gentrification or the fact that there are thirty two Duane Reeds between 70th and 100th Street on Broadway.

Instead I'll just crank "Romeo Had Juliette" and remember when I'd pop that on, fire up a Marlboro Red and get wasted roaming the streets pretending I was anyone but me.

While the exteriors have changed, some of Lou's lyrics still hold true. "Give me your tired, your poor, I'll piss on them."

And even if the buildings are a lot bigger, a lot uglier and a lot richer, the underlying themes Reed wrote of are still in play today. "Manhattan's sinking like a rock into the filthy Hudson, what a shock." It's just a lot cleaner on the outside. Not prettier, but cleaner. We're still all fucked up on the inside.

Great music. Too bad he's such a tool.

These Children Our Are Future?

Rambler has been teaching this spring. It has been quite the eye opening experience. I'm teaching at a small liberal arts college in Westchester.

I'm teaching an Introduction to Journalism class. Now I did not go into this thinking I would have a classroom full of young Woodwards or Bernsteins. Hell, I'd settle for a class full of young Stephen Glasses and Jayson Blairs. What I have is a class full of kids who can barely write a sentence and are completely oblivious to the world.

I could rant about the fact that none have read a newspaper (either in print or online) or seem to watch TV news or seem to have a clue about anything. I could go on about how I don't know why any of them are in this class since none have indicated a desire to be reporters. They are in the class because it can satisfy an English credit and I think they think it is a creative writing course. I have spent almost two months hammering them on the inverted pyramid and the idea of a reporter being a neutral observer and some of these kids still turn in stories in the first person.

That they are having trouble grasping the basic forms of journalism is not even that big a deal to me. What does bother me is that the bulk of them can't spell or write to save their lives. One does not even know the difference between "are" and "our." My high school Spanish teacher once called me a "functional illiterate." I always wondered what that meant. Now I know exactly what he meant. And if Mr. Martinez thought I was bad...

Let me give you a few examples of the fine work I've been getting. These are just brief snippets to give you an idea.

"She explained that the title `Discipline' describe how at times we must restrain ourselves from actions preferably sexual."

"The night began with an open bar and the serving of appetizers by these exquisite females whom were dressed in these tight leather dresses similar to that of cat woman's."

"Friends talk it over the drinking age."

"As we wait for are food the waitress and a woman who plans on transferring to King's college started small talking with us."

"Nintendo, however, has aimed to managing to avoid the games that parents and other groups find controversial, while still maintaining a very wide variety of games that continue to be popular."

How the fuck did any of these kids get into any school of higher education? I had one girl turn in a paper with 22 spelling errors in it and she spelled the name of one of her subjects wrong. Another one got the title wrong of a movie she wrote about! Never mind that they think telling a story and reporting a story are the same thing or that most of these "articles" read like bad blog entries (and I should know about that).

I sent some of the worst papers I got to the other journalism professor who keeps chiding me for expecting too much and that I must focus on the very basic skills. But this is no longer about not grasping journalism. These kids can't write at all. I have two months left I think my main goal is to see if I can't get them to at least be able to write sentences in one tense and perhaps, if I'm really lucky, learn the difference between "are" and "our."

I do realize this is my first time teaching and I would do things differently next time around. There won't be a next time at this school though. I was asked to teach in the fall even though no one from the school has actually ever seen me teach. Pretty scary, huh?

All I know is it took me about five weeks to reach a level of burnout that most teachers probably don't reach until they have five years under their belt. I was going to screen "All the President's Men" and "Shattered Glass" for them and take them on a field trip, but now I think I'll just focus on the basics. Nouns, verbs, that stuff.

What Does NYT Have Against Obama?

Another slam job against Obama in today's New York Times. I'm not saying his record shouldn't be examined and questions shouldn't be raised, but it seems clear to this former media guy that the Times has it in for him Every story they do on him comes from a negative angle. Conversely, they're blowing smoke up Clinton's ass. It's pretty transparent.


It's too damn early to be light so late.


Once again I'm flirting with a new job. Feeling pretty good about the odds of getting an offer but I also know I don't really have any control over that. I've done my part and now we'll see what happens.

Of course, at the same time the situation at my current job is getting interesting. I have a new boss. I know him. We used to work together. In other words, we were once equals and now he'll be my boss. I've been through that scenario once before but I am in a much better place now to deal with it. The truth is, this guy has skills I don't just as I have skills he doesn't. He likes to schmooze and be out there waiving the flag and my place needs that and it is not something that I have the strength, stamina, or desire to do right now.

While I am actually a little excited about this new arrival, I have to remember that while some things may get better at work in this new regime, the fundamentals of the job won't change and the challenges will also be there. Over the long term, this new opportunity has some potential to open up some doors for me that otherwise will stay closed.

All of these are so-called luxury problems and I'm glad to have them. Just throwing all this out there. My LA-ex suggested that I look at how many times I've bitched about my job here and I did that and it is a lot. I guess I'll try to remember that too. That's why I write here, just to get my brain thinking. I don't delude myself that this is of any interest to anyone. However, it helps me to figure out which way to turn.

It's Not Me

I'm not the reason she didn't call
I'm not the reason that didn't happen
I'm not the cause of what goes wrong all the time
I'm not lost because a call wasn't returned

Figured it must be me, why else wouldn't you write back
It's the worst kind of narcissism, it makes everything my problem.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Still Waiting

For a decent follow-up on Margaret Seltzer (i.e. Margaret Jones, i.e. the White Snoop). I want to know what the deal is with her family. Is she estranged? Were they unaware she was spinning this shit until the New York Times starting lapping it up?

I know. Why do I care so much? I'm partially fascinated by people who can create such huge lies so easily. I mean hell we all lie every now and then, but come on! She makes James Frey look like Douglas Brinkley. BTW, I've been struggling with a "she makes James Frey look like XXX" line for the past three days. If anyone has someone better than Brinkley, send it on because it really doesn't work for me.

I love the quote in today's New York Times story from a woman from a Los Angeles civil rights group about how Seltzer acquired her knack for talking the talk without walking the walk. "All you have to do is go to a couple of movies or watch The Wire. You could riff off that forever," she said.

True dat!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

They Call Me Mr. Yid!

Like it? It's the title of my autobiography. I'm just working on it now and will be pitching to publishers next week. If all goes well, I'll be on Oprah for May sweeps.

It's basically my life story. How at the age of three I was slinging smack in Detroit. Sure, I had a middle class background, but it was all a lie. My old man had me on Woodward Avenue during the riots dodging bullets and pushing horse (that's what we called it back in the day).

After I rose to the top of the Detroit drug trade, the CIA, both scared of my army and in awe of my power, kidnapped me and sent me to Angola to fight alongside Roland the Thompson gunner so I could take him out. That son of a bitch Van Owen got the credit, but it was really me.

I managed to escape and fled to Ireland where I joined the IRA. After a brief stint there and a quick trip to help The Weathermen, I made it to D.C. in time to take over large parts of Southeast and establish a crack empire.

Of course, all good things must come to an end and the man finally caught up to me in 1986. Damn that "just say no" campaign, it really ruined business. I did my time, cleaned up and went to work on Wall Street just in time to make a killing along with Milken and Boesky.

I just want to tell my story so I can give voice to the voiceless and serve a greater truth. Oh, and the movie rights should go for big bucks!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Whatever Happened To Bullshit Detectors?

Lets see, a white woman pitches a story about growing up in South-Central. She writes of running drugs, getting a gun at age 14, of life with her foster mother "Big Mom" (why not Momma?) and her step-brothers, one of whom was lost to gang violence. Oh, and she managed to get out of that urban blight and graduate from the University of Oregon.

Turns out none of this is true. All it took was for the New York Times to be suckered into a feature story on Margaret Seltzer for her sister to phone the paper and call bullshit.

Why didn't anyone figure out this woman was full of shit before? I'd like to think that if I'm sitting in a publishing house and I'm pitched this story that my eyes would roll. At least I'd be a little wary. But as James Frey, Stephen Glass and countless others have shown us, the bigger the lie, the more we believe. There's a great line in "In Cold Blood," where Dick is asked why he is able to pass so many fake checks. The secret, Dick says, is people are stupid. At least I hope Dick said that. Who knows anymore.

This would have been so easy to check out. A couple of phone calls and this could have been stopped in its tracks. The worst part is there are plenty of stories like the one portrayed in her book that are worth telling. Only problem is the skin color of the teller.

But there is another problem and that has to do with our society. Seltzer could have pitched a non-fiction book about gang kids. Sure, it's been done before but so what?

Now though that is not enough. Better to make it more dramatic by making yourself part of the story. What's the problem with a little fudging as long as there is some "greater truth" to be told? Of course, once your caught your greater truth looks just like the rest of the bullshit you wrote.

She said she wanted to "put a voice to people who people don't listen to." She could have easily done that. All anyone has to do is read "Random Family" to see how that's done. Instead she decided her voice was more important.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Goodbye Snoop

You know a character has grown on you when you feel bad that a stone cold killer finally gets what's coming. This was one of her best scenes.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Trail Of Fire

Left a trail of fire
Smoke still stuck in my lungs
Wheezing my way out
Gasping for air.

Last Post On The New Gym....I Swear

At the old gym, if I got there 15 minutes or so after it opened the place would still be empty. At the new gym, it's already packed ten minutes after opening. Now, I haven't had to wait for a machine yet. I'm just commenting on the type-A personalities that fill the new gym.

I used to think that I'm a type-A personality. But once I got to what I thought was my dream job I realized that I had enough type-A to get there but not enough to prosper there.

Now, obviously a gym is different from a job. As long as I'm paying the bill, that's all that matters. Just making an observation about the clientele. Energetic bunch that they are.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

It's Hot In Here

Day two at the new gym. So far no one has come up to me, tapped my shoulder and said `excuse me sir, you are not the kind of clientele we want here.' Still, I keep my head down low on the treadmill in anticipation of being found out.

I notice it seems very warm in this gym. I sweat a lot more than I did at the Oz gym. At first I thought it was because they had the heat up (all the better to sell more of those fruity health drinks). Then I realized that it is just that there's a lot more people at this gym then the my old one. All those extra bodies eating up the oxygen.

Did enjoy a steam, a shower, and even shaved. Free razors and cream there. It's kind of like being in a nice hotel.

I seem to be the only one who carries a drink around. I need my Gatorade. I don't know what these other people do. I am digging the free towels. It's like when I'm at a hotel, I just throw them everywhere. I've always had girlfriends who could be total slobs at home and once they get into a hotel they turn into Felix Unger lest some staff person they'll never see again thinks they're a slob.

Me, I'm the opposite. I try to keep the home neat but turn into a total slob if someone else has to clean up. Isn't that the point?

So far the PTs are leaving me alone. I always hate when they approach you. It's like when the strippers want you to buy a lap dance. Just one quick grind and see if you like it and they never believe you when you say you're not interested now, but maybe later.

That reminds me, wonder if the massages have happy endings.