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Showing posts from 2006

Let Freedom Reign

Rumors that Miss USA, Tara Elizabeth Conner, may bequeath her crown due to disreputable conduct have been spattered in the tabloids from NYC to Sydney, Australia. Apparently, The Donald will deliberate this week with George and Ivanka to decide whether or not to fire her like some schmuck on The Apprentice or stand behind her like a true patriot.

So what if she's not a priss. That's not why our blessed grunts are spilling their precious blood over seas. If we wanted our women to tow the line and sacrifice their souls for some bullshit Leave It to Beaver ideal, then why bother with the Taliban and those holy warriors in Iraq.

So what if Miss USA has taken the term "bottle whore" to a new level by consuming vast amounts of blow while distributing the same to every club owner in the Meat Packing District. And so what if she drinks alcohol like a failed writer on the dole, even if she is underage, she's been able to comport herself more maturely than our other anoin…

To the Left, to the Left

Everything you own in the box to the left.

I played Beyonce's Irreplaceable video on Yahoo! Launch a half dozen times this evening. Perhaps it's my impending departure from PR Newswire that makes it relevant, not that the corporation is a sugar mama who caught me driving another girl around in the car that it bought me, but more like I'm the scorned lover and you must not know bout me.

It's hard for me not to gush over everything Beyonce does, but this song is immensely beautiful, so much so that I am convinced Victoria's Secret should have had its models parade down the runway in a bra and hot curlers, but I don't think any of them are ready for this jelly.

Speaking of which, last night I sat on the couch and watched Gisele run to and from the catwalk in high definition, a brave new world even Huxley would enjoy. While it's true there is not a trace of cellulite on any of these ethereal specimens, there is only so long one can stare at Karolina Kurkova'…

LAst night

Had a few martinis before going over to the Staples Center to watch the Kings game. Ended up back at the hotel lounge. There was a guy at the bar talking football with the bartender, saying he liked the Pats this week with the points. For some reason, I volunteered that I liked the Colts and we went on from there. He had tinted glasses and the look of a man who fancied himself a professional gambler. He was armed with the sports sections from the previous four days to study how the lines moved.

I asked him what he thought about the upcoming Giants vs. Bears match up and he jumped all over it, saying he'd take the G-Men and he was certain they'd be favored. I told him I thought so, too, then went on a riff about how Rex Grossman was due to blow up because he played for Steve Spurrier and Spurrier's a jinx. Drunken blather, no doubt, but it made for lively conversation.

The gent finished his drink and gathered up his papers and I overheard the bartender say, "Have a go…

Day 7

Crystal clear
in my Sunday beer
and second Bloody Mary,

I stare down indecision
with sun-protected vision
as Hollyween turns scary,

Universal CityWalk,
engage in see-through PR talk,
then off to where my lair be.





Downtown LA

There's a film shoot in Pershing Square, a PA replete in urban cowboy garb checks her list as she hustles to Starbucks; meanwhile, a block away on Olive Street, there's a platoon of LAPD surrounding a shackled vagrant who is shouting, "I'm going back to the jailhouse, gonna eat three meals and a hot cock," between fits of maniacal laughter.

Serendipity

Prior to my flight from NY to LA, I scavenged an assortment of pharmaceuticals necessary for smooth travel. I popped a Xanax while waiting to board and once in my seat, I chased it with a vike. The girl next to me was young and attractive, which is contrary to the odd-smelling geriatric I usually get. I found the cabin temperature to be cool, but she stripped down to a skimpy tank-top and gently brushed my side as she shifted her position. Any attempt at speech on my part would have played out like a tranquilized Will Farrell in Old School. I drifted off, eyes closed and neurons dancing gaily to the iPod shuffle.

I arrived at LAX in a proper frame of mind. My luggage spit out promptly and my dear friend Janine was waiting outside the terminal. We whisked off in her sporty convertible to a Mexican restaurant, where I immediately ordered a margarita.

Day two in the downtown office and a colleague suggested I check out the Dresden, which was featured in the movie Swingers. As it was on t…

Open Mic

After not playing out for nearly a decade, I decided to go down to the open mic at Bar Four last night.

I have many romantic memories of this dimly lit lounge in Park Slope, only a few blocks from where I live. Among them is winding up there at the end of a neighborhood pub crawl, knowing it would stay open past four a.m. in spite of its moniker.

While the ambiance is still in tact, the addition of the stage has not only changed its landscape, it has heightened its vibe. One might say it feels like Williamsburg in the South Slope, but without an air of pretension, which is why I thought I'd give it a shot.

The place was crawling with talented musicians and I wondered if I was in over my head. I already made the mistake of eating a burrito beforehand and although it was tasty, it made me gassy, which is never a smart move prior to having microphones pointed at you. Of course ordering a beer to calm my nerves didn't help.

One of the musicians who played before me ripped off some…

Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001

My lungs burn with the ashes of the desperate,
The last gasp stretches across the river and into Brooklyn,
From the roof, the triumphant towers' boastful predecessor,
Green on St. Patrick's Day, purple for Gay Pride,
Red, white and blue on the Fourth of July ... Now black,
The Empire State in mourning,
The wondrous skyline, majestic, awe inspiring,
Raped while I watched helplessly,
Now thousands of people all looking to help
Thousands of people who can no longer be helped,

New York, New York, the city so nice
They built the tallest building twice,
A master plan destroyed by a mastermind,
Newly fueled jets, United, American,
Strike the heart of money and American defense,
Allies of Israel, enemies of bin Laden and the Islamic zealot,

Thousands of refugees on the Manhattan Bridge,
I stopped and stared, the Mona Lisa lost her nose,
The masterpiece wrecked, the smoldering tragedy, unequivocal,
A ferocious bite taken from the Big Apple,
The restoration and mourning will loom larger than the structu…

Bugs Bug Me

Bugs, bugs everywhere! They have descended on the city like a tempest, a jihad against exposed flesh. Where are the seagulls? These lazy pigeons ain't doing shit.

These pests are spawning faster than gremlins in a bathtub, even at the office where I work. It's unsettling when they land on the computer screen as nonchalantly as they did the black and white TV I watched growing up. They're in the bathrooms, the hallways, and the elevators. I got bit on the back of the thigh and on the Achilles tendon this morning. Vicious thugs -- it's hard to scratch the Achilles.

One would expect bugs to be in the park, but the other day this one landed on my shoulder and it was as big as a squirrel. I can't believe the darn thing didn't think I'd notice it, but I did and then I freaked out in front of these kids who were on a nearby nature expedition.

Is Hitchcock having fun with us? Is this some new-fangled terrorist plot? Where did all these bugs come from? Canada? How …

Sugar in My Coffee

My hangover remedy of late is an everything bagel toasted with butter, a fruit punch Gatorade(R) and an iced coffee, black, no sugar. Can't stand sugar in my coffee, not sure why, just doesn't jive.

Had a rough go last week, where the old I'll-go-out-for-a-beer led to an impromptu vodka taste test after brief interludes with tequila, whiskey and the Captain.

Next morning, I get to a bagel store for the appropriate prescription. Standing on the sweaty subway platform, I take a sip of the sweet, sandy solution, failing to notice the sugary beach at the bottom of the container. I shake it up hoping the ice will dilute the syrup, but it's no use. If not for the two bucks spent on the large cup, I would have dumped it and cut my losses.

Damn sunk costs. Damn language barrier between me and the proprietor. Damn glad I didn't forget the aspirin.

No Luck So Far

Lately I've been thinking
I spend too much time drinking,
winking at my reflection
staring back from the bar,

My dreams and chances shrinking,
involuntary like my blinking,
sinking all those hopes
of one day being a big star,

At least when I'm drinking
I can cloud up this thinking,
winking at a woman sitting
across from the bar,

It goes to show that I've
had no luck so far.



Midsummer Classic

In what can only be described as a bizarre coincidence, I, too, am off during the All-Star break. Time to ruminate.

Admittedly, I am surprised with how well the New York Mets are playing. Sure we dropped three up in Boston, but that was to appease the gods, who so mercilessly ripped victory from the Red Sox in 1986. There was a team reunion before the first game. Bill Buckner was invited, but decided not to go; meanwhile, Roger Clemens took the mound in Houston for his first start of the season, 20 years after the Mets won and Orosco flipped out like a kid cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.

The '86 Mets will reunite later this year at Shea. It will be good to see the old gang, some out on parole. I wonder if Keith and Darryl will have a go at one another for old times sake. I look forward to seeing Davey Johnson, who was criticized for being too technical when reporters learned he was using a computer to set his line-up, but when you consider that HoJo, Dykstra, Teufel, and Kevin Mitchell w…

The Hello Deli Saga

There have been many highlights during my career at PR Newswire, perhaps none more notable than getting a sandwich named after the company at Hello Deli.


The video would have you believe that I pleasantly politicked to have a local merchant pay homage to our place of employ, but in reality the idea was first presented to Rupert Jee in passing by my colleague Steve (right). While the chronology cited in the video is accurate, the catalyst was conveniently omitted.

One day, Steve, Simon and I went in and placed our orders as usual. It was a sunny afternoon and we were in good spirits. Simon was making the usual small talk with Rupert when a CBS camera crew barged in. A crusty old security guard started yelling, "Everybody get the f--k out." Simon acknowledged the guy and told him we would leave as soon as our food was ready. I could see Rupert tense up as his partner May scrambled to get our order together. Then the guy yelled, "What are you a wise guy? If you don't …

Living With Crohn's Disease

About this time last year I tried to put together an article for Reader's Digest on Crohn's disease, but the editor I was working with eventually turned it down because it wasn't a life-and-death illness. Having lived with it for 18 years, I can tell you it sure feels that way sometimes.

What is Crohn's disease?

It's a chronic, gastrointestinal disorder caused by an overactive immune system that attacks the harmless bacteria in the digestive tract causing inflammation in its deepest layers. It was named after Dr. Burrill Crohn, who with his colleagues, Dr. Leon Ginzburg and Dr. Gordon D. Oppenheimer, published a paper about the illness in 1932.

Dr. Crohn's old office is still in use on Manhattan's east side. I was there for an upper G.I. series, drinking some chalky-white barium, when a doctor with a God-awful toupee told me I was on hallowed ground. I tried to imagine how the place might have looked 70 years ago when Dr. Crohn was in his prime, but the tec…

The Girl You Wanted and Never Got Because You're a Loser

In fourth grade, I was playing C.Y.O. basketball in a small gym on a weekday night. My coach's daughter Cindy, who was my age, was hanging upside down on the chin-up bar when her shirt fell over her head. Of course she wasn't wearing a bra, she didn't have boobs then, but after she corrected herself, her face was flush with embarrassment. That moment began a life-long obsession I had with her. One so bad I played the bass clarinet in band to sit near the flutists and be closer to her. One so bad I dropped out of the honors program to increase my chances of getting into one of her classes.

In eighth grade, I made the school basketball team, which was significant because Cindy played volleyball and we shared the same bus home after practice. I used to make her laugh and when I was scolded and moved to the front of the bus for "causing a ruckus," she came up and sat beside me. I had her all to myself for that one fleeting moment.

Don't get me wrong, I was obsess…

Morrison Right! People Are Strange

Back when I was a janitor at the junior high school under the Manhattan Bridge, my morning routine involved sweeping the perimeter of the building. As it was a big job, I split it up with Willy, who worked the overnight shift.

Willy wore a beat-up blue cap, an olive-drab army jacket, and kept a .38 revolver tucked in his jeans. I asked him why he carried a gun and he said, "Shit, in this town, you never know."

We would start at the main entrance, across from the highly-surveiled beauty salon, which Willy believed was a front for the Chinese mob. He'd go one way and I the other.

The yard was filled with ancient Chinese people performing tai chi every morning. They were waiting for their grandchildren to go to school, so they could go home and rest, sharing the very same bed.

One morning the tranquility was broken by a desperate crack whore, who told me she would suck my dick for ten bucks. She was no more than a skeleton with paint on its bones and she had sores around h…

Women Who Like Sitting on Beards

Some poor soul was searching for "women who like sitting on beards" and Google turned up The Land of Men With Flaming Orange Beards and this blog.

I can't imagine the seeker of such women would be satisfied with that Web yield, so I clicked on Images, but only found a picture of an old Land Rover and a logo for The Punjabees.

Groups seemed promising with its first entry, "Twenty-five things you'll never hear a woman say ..." In the comments, a man gave examples of things you'd never hear him say like "How are you on beards? (Well ... actually ... how are you on men having beards? Not how are you when you're sitting on beards.)"

News presented something about "bearded ladies live" at which point I gave up the ghost. The search for women who like sitting on beards is best left to the more intrepid Internet explorers.

In other news, March Madness.

Happy St.Patrick's Day

Long ago there was a wish
For a day to be called Irish
It would happen each year
The drinking of beer
In amounts that could drown a fish.


The Strokes

The Commute

I was standing center aisle on the subway, one hand on the pole, the other propping up my book, when this guy started yelling at the woman sitting next to him.

"Bitch, you better shut the fuck up; you don't know me; I'm sitting here, reading my book, I'll fucking hurt you; you don't understand, I'll fucking hurt you; I don't care if you're a woman; you gonna talk shit and you don't even know me."

I looked up from my book and the guy was flashing a mouthful of gold teeth in this girl's face. There was another lady to his left, who had a concealed dog in her purse that started barking.

"Ah, shit, now I'm making the dog cry; you don't know what kind of serious shit I'm capable of; you don't know who I am, let's keep it that way."

We pull into Jay Street where I cross the platform and make my connection. A mariachi was picking the guitar all precise and singing with his gal. When they were done, he wen…

Orange Crush, Yo!

L.A. Woman was a student at Pace not long ago and I, a guest at her table. She acted like my friend. She had talent.

I, a broken Chevy of a talent, watched her exploits on the stage, in film, music video and TV back before she was posing in her underwear on myspace.

One night, the Jimmy Kimmel show was on in the background when I heard a familiar voice. Jimmy and Kathy Lee Gifford were performing karaoke at a local bar and L.A. Woman was the emcee, wearing a rainbow-colored wig that reminded me of a snow cone.

Now I envision myself, dressed like Jack White, blowing into that bar. She doesn't notice until I take the stage and then her curious brown eyes quiz me.

I practice all the time, in the bathroom, in the car, in front of the mirror; one head phone on, the other dangling to the beat.

And she smiles like she's practiced a thousand times as I belt out U2's Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses, which may be Bono's most challenging vocal. The crowd wants to send a…

Hunter S. Thompson

"So finally, and for what he must have thought the best of reasons, he ended it with a shotgun." - HST, "What Lured Hemingway to Ketchum?," National Observer, May 25, 1964.

On this, the first anniversary of Hunter's death, Anita Thompson published one of her favorite photos at gonzostore.com:



Hunter once wrote he learned from Hemingway that he could get away with just being a writer. But like any artist, he never had a choice. Hunter had tremendous talent and like Hemingway, he achieved a celebrity rare among writers, where his actual life seemed to dwarf that which he put down on paper. He set a torch to our imagination and in the end, when there was nothing left, he was the first to admit it.

The genesis of his legend can be found before Fear and Loathing:

"But with the throttle screwed on there is only the barest margin, and no room at all for mistakes. It has to be done right ... and that's when the strange music starts, when you stretch your luck…

Claustrophobic

Pint-size plane down to the Bahamas, palm trees and open bar of Miller Lite and sweet, fruit laden concoctions composed of cheap rum. Start day with Bloody Marys at La Guardia, then unnecessary bus ride to the prop before vicodin brunch.

Sun drenched dream later, Booze & Cruise crowded, drunk lady on action speedboat jerking at bikini top yelling I'll show you mine if you show me yours. Playful applause.

Snorkeling by nearby cliff. Afloat in endless ocean, breathing through a narrow tube, seeing through a narrow screen. Bread crumbs and rib meat cast overboard to stir a feeding frenzy of exotic aquatics looking at me with contempt. Tourists thrashing about like bait for bigger fish.

Return to ship deck. Spy beautiful mermaid piercing serene bathwater with Cuban cigar mashed in my countenance like a Kerouac be-bop before the breakout beach blanket dance fiasco and obligatory eardrum plea for peace.

Exit flight canceled due to snowy sarcophagus. Three block long line to contenti…

Requiem for an Angel

I am at a loss for words this week, so I will defer to William Butler Yeats:

Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you
can understand




I ask the good readers of this blog to remember my friends Danna and Brian Richardson in your thoughts and prayers for the abrupt departure of their angel, Alexandra.

Nude

Acid flashback to Buffalo, I'm partying with hipsters, noticing nude photos strung out on the way to the bathroom down the hall. Meredith the photographer catches me staring at one, a side-view of a model holding a bicycle tire like an aureole around her naked torso, conjuring the image of a hula-hoop. I tell her about my fascination with tires and she presents it to me as a gift.


Eight years later in Brooklyn, I find the image in a forgotten stack and put it on the wall. I ask my girlfriend if she wants to see it, but she's distracted by the TV. Later in bed, I can feel the weight of her frustration. She doesn't like the portrait. I defend its artistic merit, but she doesn't want to hear it.

The next day, I'm in the locker room at the gym and there's a fat old naked man sitting on a bench like a centurion at a Roman bath. There are other white-haired, decrepit things prancing around the locker room without towels. I never see them in the gym lifting weights or…

Cosmic Coffee Shop

Beneath the muted glow of the expensive Time Warner Center, I headed south on Columbus Circle to a solitary figure standing on the corner where the Cosmic Coffee Shop went dark. My friend Melissa, who I had asked to meet me there, was waiting outside, not sure if she had the right place.

Apparently the proprietors of the coffee shop have relocated to 8th Ave., fleeing the exorbitant rent that could not be sustained by two eggs scrambled, hash browns, bacon, rye toast and a piping hot cup of industrial strength java.

Back when I worked nearby, I would often go to the Cosmic Coffee Shop for lunch. Once I sat at the counter beside Philip Seymour Hoffman and a gentleman, who was wearing a neatly pressed blue suit. I ordered my usual fare and paid them no mind until Hoffman excused himself, presumably to use the restroom.

The check was delivered in his absence. Hoffman's acquaintance seemed a bit befuddled before paying it and leaving a tip. Just then, Hoffman returned and thanked him …

Bluff

Paint my face
and smile like a joker
now that I learned to
lay off poker
There was nothing funny
in losing all my money
What goes up
must comes down
Bet my smile
will become a frown
because like a one-eyed jack
I'll be back sitting at the table
until I'm no longer able
to walk away
Running up debts
I cannot pay.