Monday, June 30, 2008


So it turns out that Gene Weingarten, who won a Pulitzer for writing a story for the Washington Post about what happens when a professional violinist plays in a subway station, wasn't the first to come up with that stunt.

In 1930, a reporter for the Chicago Evening Post did the same thing--stuck a world-reknown musician on the street to play and see if anyone notices. No one is accusing Weingarten of anything. He was unaware of that article and does find it amusing that he has a Pulitzer awarded in part for "originality."

While this little tidbit certainly again proves the old adage there are no new stories, only new reporters, that is not why I'm rambling about this.

I'm just curious why this was a Pulitzer prize-winning story in the first place. The point was that no one really reacted to this violinist. He wasn't recognized and most people went on their way to work and he only made a couple of bucks. Is this really shocking? There was a time when classical musicians were the "rock stars" of their day. And believe me, they can be just as fucked up as Keith Richards. But these days short of Yo-Yo Ma, most are going to have a hard time getting picked out of a line-up. Same thing with jazz. Go throw Oscar Peterson in a subway system with a casio and see what happens. Well, actually Oscar's dead so that probably would get some attention, but you get the idea.

What's Weingarten's next big story, secretly replacing the coffee you are drinking with Folgers Crystals?

Friday, June 27, 2008

Hitting The Slopes?

Did they say "ski" in the 70s to refer to coke? I'm not sure, but I bet not. I was catching up on Swingtown last night and one of the characters asked another if she wanted to go skiing and she said, "in July?"

Anyway, seemed out of place. I think `blow' was the term used back then.

Still liking the show. I think it would work well on Lifetime.

That's all I got right now.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Next One

Rainy day
All around me
I head down that alley
Where you'll have your last say

Sorry it had to come to this
But you knew the rules going in
Don't bother trying to get out of it
This is your final wish

Tried to save you from you
But you took me for all I had
And threw it back in my face
So now you'll see what's true

Locked and loaded
Ready to go
Sun is peaking out now
And yourself is left flowing

Thought you'd get the drop
But I was two moves ahead
You taught me that
And now I can't stop

Just another one gone
And the thirst with it
That was the last one
Till the next imagined wrong

Chasing Ghosts

What do I want?
It seems to come up more and more
Where am I supposed to go?
What do you want me to do?

Am I truely past it?
Or just still afraid?
Was beaten down so bad
I'm not sure I have anything left

Afraid to walk down those streets again
Don't know if I can look them in the eye
Keep telling myself it's not what I need anymore
But honestly I'm not so sure

There's a part of me that knows I can still get in the ring
There's a part of that knows I can still take a punch
There's a part of me that wants to taste the blood again
There's a part of me that still thinks I have something to prove

And what if there is no ring to get into?
What if I'm chasing ghosts?
Searching for the wrong concrete
To fill the hole.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Well, Duh!!!

Cable mogul John Malone wonders why television networks put their content free on the web.

"I think the idea that they're going to put television shows and movies on the Internet and bypass their traditional distribution and have no way collecting revenues is absurd."

I don't know, John. It seems to be working for the newspaper industry. Oh, wait...I just read this article for free on the Financial Times website.

Seriously, they do it because if they don't then some fucker steals it and puts it up there anyway. This way, the programmers have at least a chance to get some revenue out of it.

Malone, of course, now controls satellite broadcaster DirecTV so he is one of those traditional distributors who is paying for shit that is being offered for free online.

I guess I must be missing the biz since a few of my last posts have been about that rather than my usual life lessons. Oh well, why not show my range. Hey, he can write about strap-ons and the media industry. Now that's legendary.

Mad Men Needs A Smoke

I like Mad Men. It's entertaining. It has cool sets and clothes (Rambler misses the days when men wore suits every day and even hats--although the hat era was ending in the early 1960s) and lots of smoking and drinking. The plots are sometimes good, but most often it seems to be trying too hard.

What Mad Men isn't is a hit worthy of the blowjob in the New York Times Magazine this Sunday. The lead paragraph says the show is a `hit.' Even by cable standards, Mad Men is not a hit. It is a success for AMC, but not some huge show. In fact, it has a pretty small audience. But why let those pesky facts get in the way of a story. All the writer (or editor) had to do was say "critical hit" or "cultural hit" and that would have been fine.

There is a saying in the reporting biz. There are no new stories, only new reporters. The Mad Men piece is the classic example that proves that adage. Much is made that Mad Men " languished for years after being rejected by HBO and Showtime." Guess what, lots of scripts languish for years. Lots of book ideas languish for years. Hell I've had hard-ons languish for years.

We are also told, as if this is groundbreaking, that Matthew Weiner (which the NYT goes out of the way to tell us is pronounced WHY-ner. Geez, has it come to that? We now have to phonetically spell out a name like Weiner?) wrote the script for Mad Men while working as a writer on Becker. That story, according to the author, is showbiz legend. Really, a writer worked on two projects at once? That's fucking briliant. I never heard of that. What is legend is that Becker lasted as long as it did, but anyway.

The reporter (who, as they all tend to do these days, became part of the story) also goes on to tell us how concerned Weiner is about plot secrets being leaked. Guess what Matthew, no one is hunting down plot secrets for Mad Men.

We also hear again and again how HBO committed the worst sin known to man by passing on Mad Men. Was Weiner, a writer on The Sopranos, dissed by HBO? Probably. Would Mad Men have been some huge hit on HBO like The Sopranos or Sex and the City? Who knows. But networks pass on shows all the time. Fox passed on The Sopranos. And guess what, if Fox had made The Sopranos it would not have been The Sopranos.

And finally, the reporter writes that Mad Men is AMC's first foray into original programming. Yeah, if you don't count Remember WENN which ran for four years back in the 1990s. Apparently the reporter and the fact check couldn't be bothered to do even the most basic homework.

I'm not saying Mad Men isn't worthy of attention, but it doesn't need to be made into soemthing bigger than it is to merit it. I don't think it was worth a cover story, even in the middle of June. Hell, more people have probably read that annoying chick's blog that the New York Times Magazine bored us with a few weeks ago than watch Mad Men. What exactly is the criteria for a cover story at there these days anyway?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Apple Store

Went to the Apple store. Hopefully got a case that'll work for me. That place is a madhouse but an organized one. It was like being in another world. Look, I'm a technophobe and I steer clear of everything that makes life easier until we've moved on to something else that makes life easier then I gravitate to the first generation product.

Anyway, they run it pretty tight there. Had people with little umbrella baggies at the door (side note: those sun showers were something today) and once inside it was impossible yet easy to figure the place out. And the line for the register was pretty quick. The whole thing kind of reminded me of the South Park episode where the place never closes and it's always jammed and everyone walks around like robots.

I was a robot. Wasn't so bad.


Why is it that everything I ever like or appreciate gets discontinued?

The other day I (foolishly) broke the clip on the case for my iPod. This clip went right on my pants and I used it at the gym. I thought it'd be easy to replace, which is why I was so careless when I broke it. I went off to Radio Shack, which told me they didn't sell that model anymore. Everything is now strap-ons that go around the arm. Look, I don't even want to hear about strap-ons that go....hey that reminds me, I ever tell my strap-on story?

I digress. Anyway, a visit to the Apple site also seems to indicate that clips are out (it's all ball bearings now!). I really can't believe that I can't find a case that I can clip to my shorts (not belt buckle, this is at the gym). Anyway, I'm off to Apple store now, yes right into the belly of the beast) to try to remedy this situation.

It's not just clips. I like the strawberry-banana yogurt granola thing at Starbucks. That's the one they get rid of! I like the Subway Steak and Cheese. That's the one they fuck with. I like the Fruit of the Loom boxer briefs. Now I can never find them.

Clearly however we define progress, isn't progress for me. I'll think of some other examples and add them later. Right now the old AM radio is acting up.


And I want more

And Here I am

And There has to be something

And I'm trying to get you out of my head

And I think are you thinking about me

And I want to kiss someone

And I want to be hugged

And I'll miss your eyes today

And I want to be in your hair

And I'm alone in the crowd

And there is no cure

And I fled, but could not run

And I'll be missing you more

And tomorrow will be another time

And I'll remember and plead

And I'll be here


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Just To Clarify

Yeah, I was a little down this morning. It's no biggie. Shit happens. Point is that I don't wallow in that anymore. I did laundry, I paid my bills. I went to the gym. I talked with a friend of mine at the gym whose gorgeous, funny and sexy and a definite mood changer. Then I did some errands and headed down to Perry Street and talked to some buds and now I'm back home after getting some medicine for my cat.

In other words, a pretty full day. And I'll probably be out tonight. I don't sit in this shit like I would have in the past. It's just noise.

Not Today.

It's early in the morning. I'm getting ready to do my laundry. I'm feeling a little empty. Feeling a little removed. A little isolated. A little out there. The tears start to build behind my eyes, which are the wrong color. There are those split seconds where I could throw myself off the roof and feel free at last.

I feel like this. And that's ok. I'm not going anywhere. But sometimes it's nice to write about it. Just put it there that I have those thoughts from time to time rather than deny they exist. Acknowledge that I've got a dark side in me, that there are times it feels like I'm missing something inside. There is probably a fine line between the serial killer and the self-mutilator. The serial killer is missing something that makes him want to do harm to others. Me, I'm missing something that makes me want to harm myself.

I feel like this song. I love this melody. I love the idea of sitting in a front of that phone booth. Only I'd be sucking down a Marlboro. It's been 18 months since I quit, but man sometimes I could really use one.

Not today. Time to pull myself to pieces and do the laundry. Sounds like something need to be cleaned.

No Hot Burners

Once in group therapy a girl told me that I really wasn't the cad I portray myself to be. Yeah, I've done the hooker thing and yeah, I sometimes wasn't a faithful boyfriend, but the truth of the matter, she said, is that I was a decent nice person.

Her point was that I run away from that. And I do. Even in my attempts to write. It always come from the bad apple point of view. Nice guys don't get the vixen. Nice guys get stomped on. Growing up I got stomped on, both literally and physically.

No one is stomping on me now. And I've got enough stories to know that I don't need to do any more research. And ultimately, I am a nice guy. I'm a guy who has to learn boundaries. I'm a guy who has to stop trying to people please so much that I repress my own needs and I'm a guy who has to really be clear on his intentions and stop assuming everyone can read what I'm thinking.

I like someone. I don't think she likes me the same way. I am not going to keep putting my hand on a hot burner and wonder why I get burnt. But that said, I'm not being led on by this person and I need the friends and the practice. As long as I know what to expect and not expect, I can only gain from the experience. But if I go down the "if I just keep being my witty self she'll fall," I'll be the one who gets bruised.

I don't need to get bruised anymore and I also don't need to do any more bruising either.

Turnover! ESPN's Ball!

Looks like the NFL is throwing in the towel on its cable network. While the story in the WSJ isn't really written as clearly as it could have been, it sounds like the NFL Network will merge with ESPN Classic. The only thing that matters in that is that ESPN Classic will now also carry games. That means ESPN Classic (which was a pretty cool channel until ESPN bought it several years ago) will now be able to jack up its subscriber fees to cable operators (who will then pass it along to us). And unlike the NFL, which didn't have the leverage to get Time Warner and Comcast to pony up the over-the-top fees they wanted for their channel, ESPN can use its main channel as leverage.

As far as deal-making goes, this one is pretty smart for Disney. The NFL got slapped around, but they'll recover. Got to hand it to the league, they are the only people who managed to make cable operators look sympathetic. Way to go?

But if I'm a cable operator I am PISSED. I don't want ESPN having this much NFL content. And if I"m Fox or CBS or NBC I'm not sure how I feel about it either. The NFL Network had some pretty crappy games. ESPN will want better games. And the league has kind of been sticking it to ESPN with crappy Monday Night games since it took over the franchise. I think that'll end now.

Ultimately, I think the league is still going down the wrong road by diluting its brand and is making a little bit of a tactical error by getting further into bed with ESPN. But the real loser, as usual, will be the fan.

On a separate note, since Rambler typed his last `30' and walked away (or was chased away, whatever suits you) from the reporting life, it hasn't been too hard an adjustment. Rambler last few years in the game were much like that Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail who keeps getting limbs cutoff while declaring `it's just a flesh wound.'

Today was the first time in a long time I saw a story and thought, "I would have owned this fucker." And I would of. I missed it today. It's good to know that competitive drive is still in me (and it was there yesterday in my knew job too when I was scrambling unsuccessfully to find just the right European or Muslim for some dumb ass panel). It's good to know that if I get into something, I can still turn it on.

Now I just have to find something to get into.

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Promotion

Very funny movie. Somewhat dry. It approaches crossing the line from dry to sad but manages to stay above it. Great soundtrack including "Time for Me to Fly," the one REO Speedwagon song I like.

Saw the movie with a nice girl, but for now I'm in the friend zone. That's ok. I need the practice.

Anyway, that's Rambler's review.

Writer's Block

Was going to start another one of my fiction efforts but I just can't seem to get it going. The committee won't let my fingers type what my mind is thinking. If I'm not ashamed of my thoughts, I'm at least very guarded about them.

So I want to write about fucking hot chicks in high heels who like to inflict pain. We all have our hang ups. So I want to write tawdry dime store noir trash novels with characters named Mick and Derek and Dirk and Blaine and Sophie and Laura and Rachel and Vanessa and, of course, Danielle. So I want to write a story about a guy who gets seduced by the dame into helping her kill her man only to realize too late that she's going to send him down too. So I want to write in the female voice about a girl who doesn't mind sucking cock to get what she wants or the one who will let you between her legs but never her heart. Actually, that might be the same girl. And the way she licks just under the guy could last more than five minutes in her mouth.

Or maybe I want to write about the kid who can't escape the hell of his home and his touchy-feely uncle and abusive father and absentee mother and the mean kids next door who beat him up every day and the one friend he has who he trusts but that kid gets smashed to pieces by a train on a rainy afternoon after drinking too much beer in the park and passing out on the tracks.

Or perhaps about the guy who finds out his wife is not only having an affair but plotting his demise. Yes, a lot of my stories involve vamps and seductresses looking to lure men into their lair and then hanging them out to dry.

Maybe just some stories about the guy willing to do anything to feed his habit. The guy who ends up in a project at five in the morning doing bad blow with Dominicans who gets the shit beat out of him on the way out the door. Or the time he goes to some woman's apartment to do blow and she warns him to be quiet lest they wake up her daughter.

I'm sure I have other crap in my head. It can't all be this one-note can it? Then again, lots of people make a living on one-note. And I don't care about the making a living part, I just want to fucking finish something. Hell, I'd be happy to start something.

I think I need to go long hand for awhile. Actually do the work. Map something out. This expecting to sit down and crank magic just isn't going to happen.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day

It's Father's Day. I will call my Dad, whose birthday is also coming up, and wish him the best. We will talk for a few minutes, no more than five tops. I don't think I've ever had a phone conversation longer than five minutes with my father.

He lives two blocks away, but I probably see him less than ten times a year. That said, he is a presence I feel both in proximity and in me. Even if he were 2000 blocks away, I'd feel that presence.

I have never really had much of a relationship with my father. I spent most of my youth scared of him. He seemed, to me, to be a real angry man who could go off at any time. I grew up in flinch mode. Later in life he became a different person. He was relaxed and breezy. Well, maybe not relaxed and breezy, but he did mellow a little bit. Heart attacks will do that for you.

But the impressions made early are the ones who stick. It is now on me to make the changes or address what it is I want out of this relationship. It's too easy for me to say bitterly I don't want anything and the window is closed. I do want something. I want to let go the darkness inside of me.

And that's something I have to do. There are no magic words that can come from him. There's no Hollywood ending on this one. I am the one who has to change now. And I am the one who has to accept.

My father did many bad things. He also did many great things. He wasn't perfect. Hell, most of the time he wasn't really adequate. But does that stuff really matter now? There is a saying in the circles I travel in now, "take what you want and leave the rest." I need to apply that here. My father did the best he could with what he had and in actuality, with all I've heard about other fathers over the years, perhaps I was lucky to have the one I did.

Happy Father's Day.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Echo Chambers and Naval Gazers

The digital age takes the mundane and makes it massive. It forces us to obsess as it does. It creates a a giant echo chamber of navel gazers.

A person of some prominence dies. It is a shock and surprising. It is sad. And in years past it would be noted with dignity.

Dignity does not fly in the digital age. Instead, we have hour upon hour of coverage when, in all honesty, there isn't much more to say that wasn't said in the first ten minutes. This is not a criticism of the man who has moved on. He made a mark in his field and left large shoes to fill. It is merely an observation about the medium for which that man toiled. The medium has lost one of its own and the medium must make sure all of us are made acutely aware of the importance of the medium and the way that is done is to immortalize one of its fallen leaders.

Part of this is due to the great void of the digital age. Unlimited channel capacity is not always a good thing, as any quick tour around the dial shows. The digital age should have made the world smaller. Instead it made it narrower. All this capacity and capability to show more of the world on the small screen and instead we see less of it now than we did thirty years ago.

Routine events have become cataclysmic. The beast must be fed and here is free food. Of course, the end result is that these events become so overblown that they lose the significance. And the echo chamber booms so loud and so fast that it becomes meaningless. The digital age gives the impression of making us all part of a family. Thousands of people can post comments about something and feel part of something that they really are not. The illusion of togetherness and intimacy is one of the great achievements of 21st century technology.

Those who are actually hurting are forced to feel their pain and heal their pain at a pace dictated to them by the medium. And the medium will be on to something else in twenty four hours. They force us to chew, swallow and excrete without actually digesting. And then we wonder why we're so empty inside.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


As soon as I figure it out, I'll let you know

Oh No, It's Happening

I think I like the new Coldplay song. Oh well, if I could like a Bon Jovi song I guess this isn't the end of the world.

Just Wondering

Thinking about that couple in the park from yesterday. I wonder what their story was. Were they in a relationship or was it a one-night stand. How was she feeling today? Well, I tried to take a whack at that below.

Rinse, Repeat

"Where am I?"

Unfortunately, this was not a new question for me. Pretty much every morning (or afternoon) began with that question. As I lay on a strange bed in a strange room with strange smells the pieces of the last twenty four hours began to merge and, as usual, it was the same old story.

It began as it always did with the post-work drink. Yesterday was particularly frustrating. My boss's innuendo and lame come-ons were more aggravating than usual and I'm pretty sure that he'd been snooping in her desk and messing with my heels while I was at the gym. It wasn't enough that he visually assaulted my legs every day, now he had to physically assault my shoes? Christ.

I think I'm nearing the breaking point here. I'd go to human resources, but unfortunately he is human resources. And it is amazing how because I'm overpaid I've decided to just swallow this shit. But I won't swallow him, this job isn't that good.

So instead I swallowed someone else for free. Screwed up thinking again. At least this one had hair. The other night's catch not only couldn't last past five minutes, but when I rubbed his hair it started to slide off his head. He was out cold so I pulled it off his head, stuck it on his cock and headed out the door.

What time was it?

Shit, it's almost seven. OK. Where's the purse? I began to look around the room. Saw my bra and panties on the floor. Was that a condom on my blouse? Great. Oh and it leaked. That's nice. Well, maybe I'll leave that in my desk so Jim can sniff at it.

I should have enough time to get home and change. Of course, that's a pretty bold statement considering I don't know where I am. But at least I'm an optimist.

Queens? That's just swell. Good thing the cum stain was on the back of the blouse because there's no way I'm getting from where ever the hell I am back to 2nd Street.

They promised the heat wave would break today, but like everything else, that was just a lie. I already smelled like an ashtray that had been soaked in beer so this humidity was really going to make me ripe. I can grab a shower at the gym at lunch.

The bathroom door was shut and the light was on in there when I made my break. Maybe if I don't see the guy, who I couldn't identify in a line up anyway, it didn't happen. This is kind of how I fool myself. It's been working for me so far. Can't you tell?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Early In The Morning

On my morning run through Riverside Park at 5:30 a.m. (I love running in this slop) I spotted a couple on a bench. She had nice legs. He looked like a dork--which is how anyone with a girl I'd like to fuck looks.

As I got closer he reached into a big bag and pulled out two Heinekens. I could hear the pshewzzzz of the cap opening. He said, "want one?" as I wheezed by.

Tempting. Who knows, maybe she would have offered herself next. That escape looked good. I won't deny it. Full of promise. Of course, all I had to do was look a few benches away to know how the story would turn out for me.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Whiter Shade of Pete

Found this rare clip of Pete Townshend playing "Whiter Shade of Pale" with Procol Harum. Judging by Pete's hair style, this is 1981 or 82 either just before or just after he cleaned up. ((Update: The clip got rarer. It got pulled. Now you'll just have to imagine Pete playing with Procol Harum while watching this oldie.))
Anyway, this is one of those songs that makes one think of all those meaningful moments and conversations back in the dorm or at some post-college party on a rooftop somewhere overlooking the city. You're getting high and drunk and the world seems both frightening and inviting at the same time. You say everything as if it was the most important thing you'd ever say in your life and everyone is staring at you as if you descended from the mountain to share your wisdom. The girl across the room, the one with the long brown hair, dark eyes, and shy smile looks like someone you could spend the rest of your life with or at least the next day checking out records with her at Sounds and wondering what her lips taste like in the daylight.

Then, as the night goes on, and you smoke more or snort more your thoughts become less clear. Your mind is no longer some shining light there to provide warmth and humanity to others. Instead, you're just another rambling pothead, cokehead, junkie, looking to stay high when everyone else is looking to go home. That girl, she left with your friend an hour ago.

Anyway, enjoy the memories.

P.S. If you really want depressing, watch a stripper try to dance to this.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Pitch Count

Enough with the pitch counts. I don't care whether Joba has thrown 77 or 78 pitches. Do they think he'll turn into a pumpkin on his 80th pitch?

Lets apply the pitch count to other aspects of life.

Announcer 1: Little worried here. Rambler's is approaching his 50 stroke count on today's whack.

Announcer 2: Well, you know the bosses may just want to see how far he can go today. It may not necessarily be about the actual count. I mean that 39th stroke looked as strong as his first.

Announcer 1: True, but they're trying to bring him along slowly and if he strains his arm here he may not be able to get as many strokes next Tuesday.

Announcer 2: And the porn sites may be holding out their good clips just hoping to draw more strokes out of him and send him home early.

I think you get the idea.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Get It Right

Watching the new CBS drama Swingtown about...1970s suburbia. If my folks had key parties I must have already been asleep.

What is annoying to me in period piece shows are when they get little shit wrong. This episode is set on July 2, 1976 and one of the songs being played is "Go Your Own Away," which was not released until December of that year. I'm sure there are other errors including cars, clothes, etc.

Now I'm willing to forgive some stuff, but being a music trivia guy, having a song in a period show before said song was released annoys the shit out of me. There are people whose job is to keep that stuff accurate. Apparently they took the night off.

Now Pitching....

So Johnny Damon is apparently grumbling about the decision to make Joba a starter. I don't get this debate. If Joba can give you five or six strong innings as a starter, isn't that better than one inning as a relief pitcher? Christ, score some runs and you won't have to worry about having an eighth inning specialist.

Now, while I am in favor of starting Joba, was it really the brightest idea to start him at a home game? I know that a home game means big ticket sales, more beer sold and higher ratings, but also added pressure to Joba. He shoul have started on the road, take the pressure he would put on himself off and just let him do his thing.

As for relief pitchers in general, I'm old school. I like Mariano, but he is no Gossage or Sparky. Those guys threw anywhere from three to five innings. Like a lot of things in life, a save meant something once, it doesn't anymore.

Go Cubs?

Wonder if Hillary sits around thinking, 'gee, if I'd only run for Senate in my home state, I'd be the nominee right now.'

Nah, probably not.

The Triborough--Now And Forever

So the Triborough Bridge is being renamed the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge. Was this really necessary? Is there a shortage of things named after Kennedys? And just to show this isn't a partisan issue, I was also against Reagan National Airport. Ironic that Reagan himself was against naming buildings after people and yet now he has an airport and a slew of buildings downtown named after him.

Triborough worked. It was self-explanatory. Maybe if they'd tried to change the name forty years ago I'd feel differently. I never had an issue with RFK Stadium in D.C. I grew up with it. Well, I also grew up with Triborough and the name wasn't broke and didn't need fixing.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Maybe one day I'll finish one of these or actually map it out or do something. But for now this is all I got. Andrew Vachss, Lawrence Block and certainly Richard Price have nothing to worry about...yet.

I almost got off the train when it pulled into Baltimore. I was always obsessed with Charm City. I grew up in D.C., a nice girl town. Baltimore was D.C.'s slutty sister and I could've used the action.

I resisted that urge to hit the block for some quick satisfaction. I patted my bag while looking at the rows of burned out brownstones and dark streets filled with yo boys doing business. My piece was there although he told me I wouldn't need it for this job. There wouldn't be anyone home, he kept saying. I don't get paid to believe my clients.

Taking off dealers was not my line of work. I'm a surveillance guy. Think someone is banging your wife or ripping you off, I'm who you call. Occasionally I can provide some muscle, but this was way out of my comfort zone. But a long time ago this guy did me a favor and now it was payback time.

The address was on North Capitol, a street that had not yet been touched by the renaissance that had hit some of the other blighted neighborhoods of our nation's capital. It was about a mile from Union Station. If all had gone well, I'd have been in and out of there and back on a train in an hour. Simple enough

But things this simple seldom are. I came to cuffed to a bed with a knot on my head and one of my eyes swollen shut. Looks like I'll be getting overtime.

Getting Mine

Won't let you go
Not going anywhere
I was here at eight, I'll be here at four
So just keep swinging from that pole

Keep you company on your shift
Take their dollars
make them holler
Watch you work their sticks

Got my truth
Getting off on you getting off on them
Sprinkle that dust on your thighs
taste it mixed in with you

Done so much it won't work now
Done so much it's just like grinding a clutch on a hill
Roll back baby, roll back on me
Never gonna wake up now

Those eyes that see right through me
Tore me up and took me down
But I don't want it any other way
It wasn't too much to believe


Way to go!

The Power Of Words

The DVD player is on the fritz and the computer wasn't charged up. Fortunately, I still have my trusty 1983 issue of Penthouse that besides having a great Pete Townshend interview and interesting article on the final years of John Lennon and those oh so cool cigarette ads of yesteryear, has one of my favorite Penthouse Forum letters of all time. Still gets the job done 25 years later and fits neatly in the back of the closet.

I know. Probably not the inspiration that the title promised, but it works for me.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Pickles And Cucumbers

Once a cucumber becomes a pickle, it can never go back to being a cucumber again. It is a lesson that is hard to learn and easy to forget.

Some will use this as a time to make jokes or play dime store shrink or just wonder why. We know why. The built-in forgetter. Further proof of what we know about half measures. Or just a desire for a split-second to be somewhere else that was stronger than the desire to be in the moment.

It can happen to anyone and usually does. Most people don't hop on a bike for the first time and ride perfectly right from the get-go. Most also don't have the added burden of knowing their troubles will become tabloid fodder.

But ultimately it comes down to remembering what you are and what will happen if you forget.

Be strong. Get back on the bike. The only failure is when you quit.