Friday, April 27, 2012

Harriet. Harriet? Yes, Harriet

If I like a newer/new-ish band, it's really an accident. It's hard to put a finger on what  it is that appeals to me here.  The voice?  It's everything I like in a rock & roll voice.

But there's really more tedious (and pointless) than trying to explain why you like a pop song. 

I just do. 

Who the hell is Rocco Deluca?

Son of a bitch!  This guy can play!

I've never been so out of touch with current music.  This guy may not even be current.  He may have come and gone.  This video was originally uploaded nearly two years ago.  You blink and you miss all kinds of stuff.  The geezers my age who exhibit a foaming phobia for anything recording after 1977 make me sick. 

If this song doesn't move you, just to to the mall and rent a L'il Rascal.  Sit around the foot court ogling little girls.  You suck. 

I was waiting for the train today at West 8th Street and Surf Avenue in Coney Island, having just come from a frustrating visit with the DMV, when the following exchange took place between me and a pretty-ish young man:

PYM:  Hey Mister, you got a cigarette?
Me:  Don't smoke.  (I used to apologize because for some reason not smoking seemed lame.)
PYM:  Okay.  Where's your girlfriend?
Me:  She's at work, I guess. 
PYM:  I could take care of you for 20 dollars.
Me:  No thanks, buddy.  I'm good. (I'm laughing here, a little surprised.)
PYM:  You sure?  You're kinda cute.  I could give you a discount.
Me:  Nah man, I'm good... wait... (now I'm really laughing) You give 'cute' discounts?"
PYM:  Sometimes.
Me:  How much is a cute discount.
PYM:  I dunno.  A couple dollars.
Me:  That's not that much.  (Don't ask me why I engage strangers.)
PYM:  You ain't that cute!
Me:  Oooooh!  Nah, man.  Thanks.  Really.  I'm good.
PYM:  Okay, have a good day! 

Life offers up a good laugh every now and again.  I'm not going to get hung up on the whys and wherefores and all that.  Everybody has to make a living any way they know how.  I really don't judge.  There are certainly more dishonest ways to make $20 and there must be a market for it.  Whatever.  Go to Coney Island.   Ride the Cyclone.  Go to Nathan's.  Get serviced by a male prostitute.  Whatever floats your boat, really.

But people do judge.  I'm not exempt.  Like, pertaining to the above photo... there's a "dating" website that hooks up hot women who want to travel on a rich dude's dime. (click here).  Now, the owner says it's not about sex, but seriously... See?  I'm judging.  I think it's the artifice and dishonesty in this transaction that makes it seem so much more unsavory than a quick cash transaction in a subway station.  There is probably, a slightly lesser chance of the transmission of a seriously scorching STD with, but DO. NOT. BET. ON. IT!  Seriously. 

So maybe I'm a bit twisted, but my fear of catching a horrible STD is only slightly less than the dread of being on a holiday with a complete stranger.  To each their own.  Any way you slice it though, in my book, the hooker in the subway station is doing pretty much the same thing as the people that sign up for a sugar daddy online (or offline).  Let's keep it honest. 


This falls under "Article I Sort of Wish I'd Written."  I've got sort of an issue with Euro-Americans and Euros who piss on about some Third World religion or philosophy that they've "discovered," especially when they've only kind of cherry-picked parts that appeal to their vanities and affected those parts in a manner that really doesn't interfere too much in their otherwise smash-n-grab lifestyles.   (How's that for a run-on sentence?)

From Vice Magazine:  "Saying you’re a Buddhist is less work than burning up your entire buzz trying to explain secular humanism. Plus, it has the added bonus of conveying that you, in the manner of a Buddhist, firmly believe that people should relax more often. That’s a good way to get out of the situation, because it’s a good reminder to Mark that he needs to calm the fuck down and if he’s gonna have a marijuana freakout he should at least have the common courtesy to go on a ridiculous paranoid bear patrol and not hassle everybody so much."  CLICK HERE TO LINK TO VICE MAGAZINE ARTICLE

What I like best about the article, however, is that it's really only a sort of Top 5 Desert Island Discs List.  Clever bastards!

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Sooo... APPARENTLY, Park Slope is the Number 2 Cheatingest Neighborhood in the New York City Region.  This is from data gleaned from, the... well, they're a dating site for married folks looking for a bit of the strange, right?

I'm not exactly sure where they find time around here, what with very exciting jobs and coaching the t-ball team, working shifts at the Food Co-op, dog-walking, yoga, cycling about the park, 1st Saturday at the Brooklyn Museum of Art and classes about artisanal cheese.

Yet the numbers don't really lie, if you're looking at the numbers of people who sign up, by zip-code.  Either that or Park Slope is the Number 2 Most Insecure & Paranoid Neighborhood.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Moonwalking At Gunpoint sounds like the perfect album title for...  I don't know... a bunch of kids living in a dingy apartment in "East Wiliamsburg."

But no, this tidbit comes to us from Idaho, which from my experience is like Disneyland for White Supremacists and people who delight in killing Bambi.  God help me, I find it insanely funny and profoundly sad at the same time. 

What's wrong with me? 

"It's like a little treat."


The Australians are a clever lot. 

It's not always your choice

But you do get many opportunities to decide how you want to live, and how you want to go out.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Prostitution or wishful thinking?

New York City gives these away.  They can and will be used against you in court as evidence that you ARE A GODDAMN HOOKER!!!!

I'm not joking. 

It's weird, right?  It makes me want to punch someone.  Several someones.   I mean, technically speaking,  every teenage boy walking around with that hopeful rubber in his wallet is carrying evidence that he sells sex.  It would be funny... well, if it were funny. 

Hard & Sole

Up yours, Vibram!!!

From Maskull Lassere

Sunday, April 22, 2012

I'm not saying that I have no fear...

Just that I don't fear being afraid like I used to. I can handle it...

Friday, April 20, 2012

On the thin ice of a new day...

When dreams lift and fade within minutes of waking, the way the sun burns off a morning fog, perhaps it's safe to say that they contained no special message. No illuminating revelation. No dire warning. Just shadows, like floaters across the field of vision. Rub your eyes.


Sleep came somewhat easier last night. I could feel it creeping in like a brandy glow under a blanket by the fire. The burn hits the pit of the stomach like molten metal filling a die, a hot sizzle and the smell of ozone. It fills all the nooks and crannies, bubbling and popping.. and then settles and cools and hardens.


Except it didn't remain solid. It was a brittle sleep, fragile and fractured by various interruptions. An animal outside. The dog sounding an alarm at a drunk neighbor stumbling in. And the dreams, however empty of meaning, still not without the odd phantom brushing past me and leaving me chilled and unsettled. I was not, for the first night in ages, visited by the giant dreadlocked man who seems determined to see what's inside my head... literally. I did not wake up dodging blows, bobbing and weaving in a boxer's stance. It was still not what you would call a sound sleep, but it was better than recent nights.

Perhaps because I have done more in recent days to address the anxiety, or at least to wear myself out. I have refused to sit in the fear like a hockey player sitting in the penalty box. I have tried to go out and play clean and not get drawn into heavy body-checking and fights. I have made an attempt to simply focus on the goal, and keep my gloves on and my stick low and just skate. Finesse it. It doesn't have to be a fight. Make it to the final buzzer. Shower up. Rest up. Get ready for the next game.

And here it is...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sense and Sensitivity

The world is all sharp edges as insomnia drones on. Pin-pricks, paper cuts, nails on the blackboard, empty box trucks across potholes, broken glass.

It's hard to identify a single, nagging fear, but rather the steady rasp--the fine side of the cheese grater against the fingertips.

Oops. That might leave a mark. I am fairly sure I won't bleed to death, but...

And fear is like that spot on your tongue that you accidentally bit yesterday. You can count on opening that sore at least a few times more--that it will find its way between your grinding molars several times before it mercifully heals when you're not thinking about it.

Not unlike the tendency to stub the same toe as the one you stubbed yesterday, and often against the same corner of the sofa.

My sleepless brain cannot seem to guide my hapless ape feet through the broken bottles this morning and I am not one of those Hindu mystics that can walk across it barefoot, or sleep on nails or pass a rope through my colon. I will feel every sharp edge today, and maybe tomorrow and the next day and I'm told this is a good thing and that I will understand one day why it is a good thing.

That I just have to believe...

Okay. What are my options?

Sleep does come, but then I wake up sitting upright, or in a crouch like a boxer with my arms shielding my head.

I know now instinctively that the way out--the only way out--is straight through. Across the glass, and sharp corners that seem to jump out and bruise.

Some days are just about endurance.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Idle Mind Is the Devil's Workshop

Circumstance dictates that I reconsider the truth in what I'd almost certainly relegated to the waste bin of do-gooder, pollyanna, Calvinist bullshit. I've been unemployed, but for a 3 month stint as sleazy, pencil-mustached shill for a rare... okay, no. It was just a job. It came and it went, and I've been on the dole since right before Christmas.

It's not all sitting about, mind you. Job hunting is a full-time job. Poverty, despite what the most recent crop of Republican Presidential candidates may claim at their sanctimony-fueled pep rallies, is a 24/7 grind.

Yet there is still far too much time to think.

That can be a problem.

So I've been considering re-naming this blog "The Devil's Workshop." It's not going to happen. It was just a thought, driven by the growing realization that left to my own devices I tend to fester. Tedium becomes anxiety. Anxiety becomes resentment. Resentment becomes anger. It's not even justifiable anger. Quite the opposite, it can be directed at anything and anybody and is really unreasonable.

And unhealthy.

My latest pain in the ass, for example, is a real winner. There is a leprechaun faced homeless man that lives in The Skinny Park around the corner. His name is Francis. I used to see Francis once or twice a week and engage him a bit (Lucky Francis, right?) and give him a couple bucks. I've known him since the early 90s before his alcoholism spiraled and he ended up on the street. It was no big deal though to hand over some mixed greens.

The difference is that now I'm broke and I see him sometimes up to a dozen or more times a day, and he asks for money every time. It's annoying. It's more annoying that he's taken to throwing snarky comments in my direction when I don't give him anything. Then this morning when I was out with the dog he asked me when I got back around the block to the same spot.

Ten minutes or less.


Yes, I yelled at a wet-brained, homeless guy. I'm not proud. But yes, I did. I have to work on this. There is no telling how long it will be before my daily blitz of cover letters and cold calls will yield fruit. In the meantime...

Yah, Francis is kind of a dick. He always has been. What should that really mean to me?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Shhhh!!! Everybody will want some!!!

So this means over half of all chicken consumers are getting far less but paying the same...

No, God help me, I love chicken, but it hasn't escaped me that more than any other animal I've eaten, raw chicken tastes closest to how the crap smells.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Great Dictator

A bitter irony, that I've seen this clip re-posted online several times recently by men whom I know to be beyond politically conservative. There was a time when I would have pointed out that Charlie Chaplin was as famous for being a Socialist as an actor... that they were taking this speech entirely out of context.

But it's been decades since there has been real political discourse in this country, or any exchange of ideas within a framework of civility or any historical reality.

I'm moved by this film clip, but have very little fight left in me, and life is too short to be consumed by shouting into the wind.