Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I wish you all the best:

In what may be a continuation of a past installment of this blog, I continue to wish you all the best; I may have already written most of this but here goes anyway: I want only the best for you.

I hope that someday you will find a flavor of toothpaste that really is to your liking - not just one where you merely tolerate using it, but one where you actually look forward to leaping out of bed and jogging to the bathroom and slathering the toothpaste across your teeth and gums every morning before summarily spitting it out.

I would love to hear that you have come up with a really clever and funny name for your home wireless internet network, and a yet-funnier password to accompany it; a name/passphrase combination so artless and inspired that you can't wait to have guests over who will need to use your wifi.

I dream that you will have occasion to eat unflavored greek yogurt out of a tub late at night while sitting in a basement apartment in a foreign city.

It brings me great pleasure to think that you might be presented with the opportunity to comically leap over the net after a tennis match, or to spike an american football into an official or unofficial end zone.

May you one day take a drag off of your cigarette, looking off into the middle distance, and then realize something very important, which causes you to take off your glasses suddenly, then you take a final quick drag of your cigarette and sort of shake it and go "that's it!" or "yeah!" or something like that, and then you throw the cigarette down and stride purposefully away.

I wish for you to take in the sight of a sprawling vista, just standing there, arms akimbo, legs shoulder-width apart, and perhaps to bellow in a manner not inconsistent with that of Early Man, or Woman, or whatever Early Gender you might choose.

I  hope you get to run down the steps to the subway, hearing the train arrive even as you bobble down the hard stairs, and you make it through the doors just in time, securing a seat on the end of the bench so you can't be sandwiched by humans; and further that as you feel the conditioned air (hot or cold, depending on the season) wash over you and you shudder a little, you are afforded the luxury of watching someone else run towards the train and not make it on in time, and your schadenfreude kicks in, and maybe the person who didn't make it is someone who looks differently than you like people to look, or maybe it's even someone you actually know and don't like, and you get the singular pleasure of shrugging slightly at them, sort of a "too bad for you" face, and they get really mad and maybe yell and point at you or pound on the door, but are ultimately left freezing or sweating on the platform as you glide away in your magic carriage into the dark.


Monday, September 16, 2013


I'm sitting on the train platform, waiting for the M train to take me back to Ridgewood. I love the M train, it's one of NYC's hidden treasures. Not really but it beats the shit out of the L, at least during the week. I don't work for the MTA but they pay me $60 every six weeks to mention the M train to at least 40 people so I figured I'd get that out of the way with this opening paragraph here.

Anyway there I am, outside, it's pretty deserted, it's nice out, oh I should mention that the JMZ is an elevated train line in Brooklyn/Queens (just for all you people who live elsewhere) so yeah I'm outside, in the shadow of the most frightening-looking hospital I've seen in the United States, Woodhull. It's the facility that serves Bushwick and Williamsburg, I believe (although I think they're building some sort of white-person-gas-pains Urgent Care center over on Metropolitan).

"Serves" is a loose term; although I have never been in there myself (through some miracle I have only been in Wyckoff Heights and Kings County hospitals), I and probably everyone I know has heard a story from a friend who walked in with, like, an earache and left three days later in a wheelchair. The building itself looks like a spacecraft from a dark future, some industrial freighter that has temporarily touched down to harvest mineral ores and will at any moment rumble and lopsidely roar into the sky.

A woman comes through the turnstiles and walks over to the bench I'm sitting on and sits two seats away from me. I notice that her shoelaces are untied, in fact they look like they've just been re-laced. She rolls up her sleeve and I see the hospital wristband, even as she brings it up to her mouth and starts biting at it. She rips it free from her arm, in between her teeth, and spits it out in front of her, breathing a heavy sigh of relief.

Psych ward. Back on the streets.   

Sunday, September 8, 2013

This was printed on the back of the pack of gum I just bought

We're looking for the next big thing, we're not sure what the last big thing is, but we're relatively confident in our ability to identify big things. There's something on the horizon that's coming up, it's gonna be big; right now it's shapeless, looming. We're ready for it to envelop us all. It will be a benevolent enveloping, a security envelope with a window, a maximum security envelope. We will spend 23 hours a day inside it. There will be a bubble; and as before, you will expand with it until it bursts.

I'm not sure you undersatand, sir, the idea of the Rewards card. You do not get a reward simply for signing up for the card; although many people who are unable to provide a phoine number and hence do not qualify for the rewards card may consider owerrship of the card itself to be a significant reward, being as it is unattainable/unobtainable by/to them. You get nothing, right away. You get nothing right away (immediately). But over time, after you buy our products, we will periodically reward you, over time, with the chance to buy further products at a reduced rate, and this is your reward - the opportunity to buy more products. Treasure this.

I don't want to twist your arm here, I don't mean to put you on the spot. I'm not trying to back you into a corner or anything. I want to make this as easy on you as possible. I'm not looking to make enemies, I think we should all take a chill pill, smoke a peace pipe, and just take it easy. We should just take it slow, take it as it comes, play it by ear, not think too much, don't overthink things. I'm not trying to rake you over the coals or throw you under the bus. This isn't a witch hunt, I'm not on a crusade, we're not making martyrs out of anyone. I don't want to rub anyone the wrong way, or go against the grain. Usually this kind of thing goes off without a hitch or a raised eyebrow. Usually nothing untoward occurs, nothing pops up, no red flags.

There are cats screaming in the yard. I can't ever tell if a cat is screaming in a cat pain compliance fight, or if it's just the sound of cats mating or cats in heat. From what I have read, the sounds are virtually identical. I have seen diagrams of a cat's penis, which show the penis to have little barbs or hooks on it, so once it is inserted, it can't easily be backed out. I don't know why I was ever under any circumstances shown diagrams of a cat's penis, either in school or by anyone else, but it's now information that I have that I'm pretty sure is true but may or may not be true.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Why FaceTime Is Weird And Awkward

Everyone knows it is; or I should say, if you've tried it then you know that. Let me start again: Trust me, FaceTime is weird and awkward. Seems like a good idea, being able to see whoever it is you're talking to - although from what I have read on The Internet, it's mainly good for showing the person on the other end what their idiot children or ugly pets or your malformed genitals look like, since they're across the country or ocean or whatever and their memory ain't work for shit.

The only real article I found (in an exhaustive 8-second Google search) that addresses that FaceTime might be awkward is this one, a sort of point-counterpoint. The first guy thinks that it's awkward mainly because you're used to doing other things while you talk on the phone with someone, either idly or actively, and you're suddenly required to give the person your rapt attention. A valid point, but it doesn't explain why it isn't uncomfortable to have a conversation in person, when you aren't free to browse online or examine your cuticles or unravel the drapes without seeming inattentive. (The other guy in that article disagrees, but then he starts making dumb jokes and I stopped paying attention to his argument.)

There are actually a lot of these, Q & A sessions about what your conversation is literally supposed to consist of over FaceTime. They're hilarious.

My short point is this: FaceTime is awkward and weird because you're FACING the person while you talk to them. It's essentially as if you're standing at arm's length from them and speaking directly into their face. They're watching your mouth, you're watching their eyes - there's nothing else to look at.

Allow me to digress into my own personal semi-coherent observations of human interactions and body language, and wonder if you've ever noticed that you almost never actually Face someone, looking directly At their Face (even from like five feet away or a normal conversational distance) when you talk to them casually. With dogs, facing and making eye contact is perceived as a threat; for people, it's usually reserved for situations like when you first meet someone, or for like when your boss is yelling at you for stealing or lying or whatever (again), or for when you and a prospective sexual partner are both drunk and trying to get in each other's underwear at the end of the night, which I think is frankly disgusting.

If you want to test this theory, simply stand square-on, face-to-face with a person the next time you're having a casual conversation with them. It's very hard to maintain for any period of time. If you insist on continuing to Face them, they may turn sideways, or subtly start almost walking behind you. Or if they're a dog, they might bite you.

Anyway, that's why it's awkward. The end

Friday, June 14, 2013

Strange Things I Saw Yesterday

Yesterday I saw some union members on strike near an offramp from the BQE. They had the signs around their necks and the cups of coffee, engaging in camaraderie, pretty normal; then one of them stepped out into the middle of the street. It was a busy spot, cars and trucks flying off the expressway up to the intersection. He stood with his arms behind his back. If anyone stopped in front of him, he challenged them - or at least that's what I think he was doing; I couldn't hear over the noise of the traffic. They would eventually maneuver around him. He lit up a cigarette.

In Greenpoint, a few hours later, pouring rain, I crossed the street at the same time as two men, mid-block. As I paused at the yellow line to let an approaching car pass, the two men walked in front of the car, and it braked to a sudden halt. One of them dropped to the ground and started doing push-ups, the other stood next to him and gave the finger to the driver. Ten push-ups, ten seconds of the Finger. The driver did nothing. His windshield wipers worked patiently. Then the one guy got up and the other guy put away his finger and the two of them walked into a liquor store.

I write to you about these things. If I write them down and just store them in my phone, I never read them, and then I lose my phone or its data one day. If I write them on paper, perhaps in a notebook, I fill the notebook and carry it from apartment to apartment for years, and never read it.

I could just tell someone about these events, but they'll either not listen, or listen and then forget, which I would understand, because the events are arguably not interesting.

I could just try and remember what happened, but I probably won't. I don't trust my memory. And if I forget, it will be like these things never happened.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Weaponized Mexican Food

When you enter the arena of battle, the field of combat, you should always choose the right tool for the job, the right armament for the situation. The same is true for when you enter the field of dinner, or lunch.

Obviously, the burrito stands out at the most deadly of the Mexican food items. Whether you want to drop that thing in a mortar, triangulating red spicy on enemies up to 2 clicks away, carnage asada, or fire it from an M249 grenade launcher, multiple rounds, THOONK, the explosive power of the burrito is unparalleled. But do not overlook the burrito as a method of delivering straight blunt force trauma. When wielded like a brick, things can get messy for your enemy.

Chilaquiles are more of a defensive weapon. Throw them up as a smokescreen, a breakfast foil, to create confusion among the ranks of your foes. Nachos are good for camouflage; we need only remember the exploits of SEAL Team Tex-Mex as they crawled through the jungle, virtually invisible with guacamole battledress and deep chips, jalapeno insignias.

While deployed, you may get hungry. Do not eat your weaponry! I know it's tempting, everything looks good when compared to an MRE. Instead, though, simply boil up a plate of 5.56mm standard rounds. They can be a little firm at first, but with some chewing work and an iron jaw, you'll get 'em down, al dente ammunition. Similarly, eating the butt end of a rifle provides a lot of good fiber for your diet, and the best part is, no preparation is necessary! Just take a bite of that stock like a cartoon character.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Help Wanted

We are looking for an unmotivated, disorganized individual to join our organization. Candidates must be unfamiliar with most office software and be uncomfortable in fast-paced environments. Attention to detail is not important; the ideal applicant will not even be able to visually distinguish objects from the backgrounds they lay against, will literally not be able to separate the trees from the forest.

We are not looking for someone to be part of a team, to build relationships with their coworkers, or even really get along with people that well. This is just a job. We are looking for an employee, someone to punch in/punch out and not devote a single second outside work to thinking about work. You should not have a smartphone with email capabilities. You must not be available to work nights or weekends.

An ideal hire for this position will be completely unaware of the existence/nature of Social Media. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube - these words will bounce off our prospective worker like wads of paper tossed at them by a classmate in junior high school. You should be ignorant of and mildly irritated by the internet.

We don't want a people person; we barely even want a person. Don't be animated and driven. We'll tell you what to do. Simply present us with a shell of who you are, your closest approximation of what a human being resembles. Be alive only in the most literal sense of the word; breathe, eat lunch, sit in a chair.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

A Non-Endorsement Of Jumping

Yesterday I was outside a place where there was a gathering of some kind, and there was a ring of people outside, gated into a "smoking area" by a low rope, and they stood and blew smoke rings and shot the shit.

As I approached them, I thought, as I sometimes think (when approaching an obstacle), maybe I should jump over the rope. It was maybe two feet off the ground, just at about thigh height, and therefore slightly too high to step over without looking slightly foolish. So I decided to jump over it. And I did. Jump over it, into the smoking area, and someone made an offhand comment, and then everyone resumed doing nothing.

Sitting here at Jimmy's Diner, in the window (or, rather, at a counter seat facing the window) I just watched a guy come out of the condos across the street, the condos themselves an exercise in architectural brutality, looking for all intents like a suburban doctor's office complex, jutting rudely and improbably against the off-blue early evening sky.

So as this guy came out of the building and went to cross the street, he gamely leapt over a low hedge that separates the semi-circular driveway of the building from the sidewalk. Upon landing, he looked quickly and nervously right and left, in the manner of one who is about to commit, or rather has just committed, an act of vandalism or public urination.

This is all that's left, is my point. Aside from sanctioned activities such as bicycle riding or jogging or Crossfit™ or Karate (or Kung Fu or whatever), athleticism is largely absent and unnecessary in daily city life. The act of jumping in the air looks (and feels, honestly) entirely incongruous in contrast to the hard realities of street, building, motorcycle, pole, car, and even to slight deviances in activities of routine - taking the stairs two at a time, chasing a just-missed bus.

This should not be taken as an endorsement of Parkour (AKA "freestyle running"), which is actually just skateboarding with no board, and usually is boiled down to routines and performing Tricks over and over in a attempt to Land them, much like a stuntman in a Jackie Chan movie of the late 1990s, or like Jackie Chan himself in one of those movies.

I'm just saying it looks really weird when someone jumps over something instead of walking all the way around it, and how the fuck did that happen.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Motivational Advice For Thursday

You can be whatever you want. You can do whatever you want with your life. Can you think of it? Then it can be done.

Many innovators came from "humble beginnings". Take for example a young Bill Grates, building Microsport brand computers in a disused septic tank in his parents' backyard. Do you think he thought anything would become of his life or his brand as he was pacing back and forth in ankle-deep waste sludge, loath to see the sunlight? The answer is, no. He probably envisioned a slow death in an atmosphere of significant odor. And look at him now! Well, he was doing well up until his untimely, recent death.

Also do you think the inventor of Tetris™ ever thought his idea for a video game would one day be adopted into a multi-platform empire? That its popularity would one day reach its apex, its zenith, with a guy who lives in Queens (me) playing the Electronic Arts™ licensed version of Tetris™on his computer phone while riding the M train? If you had told young Alexei Serganov (inventor of Tetris™) about this eventual possibility, he would have cursed at you, because he was rude and had Tourette's syndrome (not sure if there's a different word for it in Russian, or if the guy was even Russian). He just knew that he had a bunch of crazy-shaped blocks in his head and wouldn't it be cool if there were a game where all the blocks fell down one by one and you had to fit them into place. He'd been fitting those blocks together his whole LIFE, he just never knew it (metaphor).

Lastly, how do you think "Gentleman" Che Guevara would have felt if he knew his legend would resonate throughout history? One of the finest boxers in Spain, he was known for his good manners and clean-shaven appearance. But one day he would come up against Kid Fidel (Castro) in one of the most controversial bouts in the history of sport. Hotly debated even to this day, the "Slammer In Havana" as the fight was known, ended in confusion when the two fighters touched gloves, then touched gloves again, then continued touching gloves for over 7 hours as the referee pretended that a road flare was a cigar he was smoking, and the undulating, amorphous crowd burst into flame and fused into a solid mass of flesh. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Always Carry Proper ID

It is punishable offense to walk around New York City without Proper ID. To live, to amble about, to be ambulatory without a state-issued picture of yourself which confirms that You are Yourself in the eyes of the state, can land you in hot water.

In large buildings, employees are issued pictures of themselves which confirm their identity. They wear them around their necks, often proudly, as if to say "I am me, I am Myself, and this picture proves it."

It is possible to display personal identification without possessing personal identity.

Perhaps all creatures, great and small, should be required to have ID on them At All Times; photograph, name and title. FIDO and beneath that, DOG. It could be someone's job to go around nailing pictures of trees to trees, confirming them as trees, eliminating any doubt, guesswork, or potential fraud. Men in coveralls and jetpacks, affixing signs to clouds using future methods of adhesion we could not currently understand.

When you die (I think I should make it customary to end every blog entry with this sentence), your loved ones will be summoned to Identify your corpse, assuming of course that you have not been too badly burned, torn apart, or otherwise mutilated. Because you will be dead, and unable to say "I am Me! I am who I say I am!" And even if you could say that, if you died without ID on you, it wouldn't make any difference.

How To Avoid Things

When you are forced into a situation where you might have to listen to people talk that you might rather not listen to, simply put your fingers in your ears. That's kind of gross, actually, so just put your fingers on those little bits of flesh that are like in front of your earholes, whatever they're called, and press them so they cover up your actual earholes. It may then be necessary to sing a song to completely block out the sound of the person's voice.

If you are in a situation where singing is not viable, simply rapidly press in/out on your earhole covers and it will create noise enough to mask the blather. You can camouflage this action by pretending to rub your temples; the feigned soothing of an imaginary headache. (If you actually have a headache, which you probably do, so much the better.)

Should you be walking outside and come across a dead body lying in the gutter, or absent a gutter, a body lying on the side of the street, use your long bipedal stride to step neatly over the body and be on your way.

If you do not wish to see things like dead bodies in the street, simply press lightly with your index fingers on the tops of your eyes (more specifically, on your eyelid; this blog does not recommend placing your filthy fingers directly on your exposed eyeballs). After about ten seconds, your vision should fade, and you will be effectively blind. Don't worry, a few seconds after removing your fingers, your vision will return, allowing you to view the more pleasant parts of the world. (This blog is not liable for any permanent damage to your eyeballs.)

By these methods, you can avoid seeing and hearing things that you find unpleasant.

Monday, April 29, 2013

My Work Day

I awoke this morning to find that I had received two text messages during the night. One was from a number I didn't recognize, and so was the other one. I also had one email in my inbox, which was from the MTA. The subject line read "CAREFUL - WET PAINT". The body of the message was empty.

As I walked to the subway, a man admonished me for not welcoming Jesus into my heart. At least, I think that's what he was admonishing me for; he was speaking a language I neither recognized nor understood. For all I know, he could not have been admonishing me at all, it might just have been his diction. But I got a definite vibe that he was upset with me for not making Jesus feel entirely welcome on the inside of my heart.

I passed my MetroCard through the reader at a turnstile, and the rotating turnstile thing suddenly started violently spinning, and nearly bruised my leg. I thought "hmm" and said aloud "hmm" and decided to use another turnstile, which allowed me passage without incident.

There were no seats on the train. They had all been removed, and everyone was stymied, but they all gamely stood around and eyed each other even more suspiciously than usual. The conductor read his grocery list over the intercom for the duration of the trip into Manhattan. I suppose it could have been someone else's grocery list.

I arrived at work and the building was gone. In its place was a Subaru Outback with the motor running, and my boss and four of my colleagues were crammed into it, looking over paperwork and drinking coffee. I got in the trunk and laid down.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Best wishes

May you find an instantaneous connection to whatever you are looking to become connected to, no matter what connection charges may apply; may you have the opportunity to one day charge a large meal to the expense account of a powerful corporation.

I hope that you always have enough food and water. And free parking, without the obligation to alternate sides of the street, and that you will never have to suffer the anxiety of wondering if you parked more than 7 feet away from the hydrant or whatever the requirement is in order to avoid an expensive ticket. I hope nobody ever keys your car or parks you in. Or removes your distributor cap, whatever that is.

Within reason, I wish for you to experience relative comfort and satisfaction in your work, and to one day be afforded (and be able to afford) the opportunity to get out of the city and walk in a wooded area, or next to a body of water, and perhaps to enter the water and splash around, weather permitting. I wish you a vacation, after whatever amount of time is required that you put in, in order to get out for a week, or for the end of one.

I want only for you to be able to one day eat some tasty chicken, or your own personal non-meat preferential equivalent. I would love to hear that you found a pair of shoes that you really like. I would be overjoyed to learn that you finally figured out how to change the clock on your car radio to reflect daylight savings time, instead of driving around for half a year adding or subtracting 1 all the time.

All the best

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

When You Think Of Someone You Haven't Seen In Years

And Then See Them Later In The Day On The Subway

Immediately call 911, 311, and all the other numbers that can go before "11" that you can think of. Think harder, there aren't that many. Did you know if you call 111, a guy comes over to your house just to make sure you aren't like, stuck?

Today I had to interface with an electronic keypad, well it didn't seem electronic, it was a combination lock on a door handle, but the mechanism didn't seem to require electricity somehow. I'm not sure if I'm qualified to make that judgment but I would bet a dollar on it. I dismissed out of hand the involvement of any kind of hydraulics. But my point is this: I got the code to the door from the authority figure responsible for its administration and although it was a 5-digit keypad, the code was only 2 digits. Sorry to use the puns "out of hand" and "digits" while describing a keypad on a door handle, but my point is that sometimes the answer is simpler than you think. I'm not telling you what the code was/is though.

When you step off the curb, are you stepping Onto or Into the roadway? Stepping Onto the roadway has less of a metaphysical implication to it than Into. Stepping into the state of being of being in a roadway. The state of walking into traffic as opposed to being stuck in traffic. The neat turn of language that takes you out of immediate danger and places you into gridlock.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Whatever The Opposite Of Claustrophobia Is

I guess it would be Claustrophilia. The embracing of enclosed spaces, nooks and crannies, do you use this term?  I had a play tunnel as a child, fabric stretched over metal rings, and I loved to close off the ends of it and lay inside. It took me a small portion of a second just now to analyze that experience in a psychological sense before the word WOMB rose up before me, loomed in front of my eyes. 

Sometimes my leg vibrates in the place where my phone usually is in my pocket even when my phone is not in my pocket. I wonder if that's gonna be a problem in the future.

The strategy is to put off into the future what the mind cannot presently deal with; the image is of a tidal wave or tsunami or just a regular large wave, a surging rushing tower of water that threatens to overwhelm, crushing, pounding you against the rocks, but by the sheer force of your own psychic energy and the making of to-do lists and the careful checking off of items on this list, you keep this boiling mass at bay.

You push into the future what cannot be fully accepted right now. And so the future seems to be full, already, of things that you know what they are, even though you intuitively know that you cannot know what the things in the future are gonna be.

The future starts far enough ahead of you along the timeline of your life to allow yourself space and time to breathe, however shallowly. You stay in the shallow end and away from the deep, where your feet slip and the water begins to go over your head, arms moving but not swimming per se, legs searching for purchase.

The total enlightenment of panic, the total realization that everything is not going to be ok. You know it's probably false but it has that absolute absorptive quality, enormous.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Tax Time Again, Boys And Girls

and I know a lot of you are trying not to think about it, or putting it off, or putting off trying not to think about it, or trying to abstain from thought entirely. Some others of you are buckling down, hunkering down, settling in, rolling up your sleeves, licking your lips, exhaling sharply, saying things quietly or loudly to yourself like OK and Here We Go, putting on a green accountant's visor, sharpening pencils, doing the dishes, walking the dog, OK I feel like I got a little sidetracked here.

My important point that I had to get across is that some of you are stalling on doing your taxes, and some of you are just totally gettin in there and doing them right away. I don't know I think anybody who falls into any other category. This is potentially interesting (not interesting) but what I really want to talk about is what I mentioned to some people earlier tonight, and that's that it's crucial that you get your taxes done, because you don't want to have any loose ends to tie up when you eventually die.

You don't want to meet your eventual, inevitable death and have there be a lot of red tape left over. You want to be in that coffin, or urn on the mantel, or on that I-donated-my-body-to-science table, and you want to be Relaxed. All your paperwork and e-paperwork neatly filed in a cabinet or on a giant hard drive underneath the surface of Nevada (respectively); nothing for your No Children Or Immediate Heirs to worry about. At peace. Totally square with the federal government.

I know when I come to my reward, I'm gonna feel a lot better while I'm waiting in that line (heaven or hell, as depicted, traditionally both have very long lines) if I know that I took care of all my tax shit for the fiscal year 2013. The guy or gal I'm rubbing elbows with, or lacking a corporeal body I guess the elbows of my soul with, my spiritual elbows, is not gonna be so self-assured. He's gonna be shaking in his ghostly boots, quaking in them even, aching in his heart, praying that St. Peter or I guess the devil or whoever is the bookkeeper in hell doesn't have his tax returns from 2013. I hear that hell's accountant is a real hard-on, and hell's audits are, to say the least, exhaustive.

So get your taxes done, so you can die old and leave a financially solvent corpse.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Bachelors With Big TVs

There's something in the glowing night, this orange-lit city; The Big Orange. I think that's a better name, what the fuck is The Big Apple supposed to mean anyway. At night you can see it from a county away, orange lighting up what should be dark and blotting out what should be stars. If this city were on fire it would look virtually identical. You can't see smoke at night, which makes fireworks less terrifying and reminds you less of their relatives, the War Weapons. I say Kudos to the inventor of fireworks, and I try not to say Kudos to anyone, ever, because I don't know what the fuck that means either. Guy probably blew himself up anyway.

The slow wind, winding through the archways of train trestles, in through one of my windows and out through the other, the cross-ventilation I'm told of, warned about, warned of the necessity of, the wind carrying the rumbling squeal of the late trains, and the odd accordion whine of buses pulling through the lights on the corners.

Inside every apartment across the way, the newly constructed condos, is a screen, and eight feet away from it sits a bachelor, watching scenes of day and night, so for them the day never really fully ends. Sleep is done with the TV on, a necrotic creeping of fingers of light, awash in reaching images, a narcotic halo. Waking up to shuffle off at 2 or 3 or 4 to actual bed, until the rise of Real Light.

From my window, The Bachelors have all set their TVs up to my left, and they all sit to my right. I wonder if they met about this, if there was a Bachelor's Building Meeting, or if they did an Internet query on Optimal Giant TV Placement For Single Males. None of them ever look out their windows, as far as I can tell, as far as I can see. 

You get cold at night, and sometimes you sweat through your sheets. It's ok.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


I've been working in the field a lot lately. Not literally in a field. It means outside, at remote locations. Not that they're that remote, in fact they're often in the middle of New York City. Extremely non-remote locations. Sometimes I have to pee. I know - with a few notable exceptions, this blog has been strictly G-rated up to this point, a family program, but I hope you'll bear with me.

There is a mystique surrounding the "public" bathroom in this city. A sort of secret code for entry, an underground cabal of gatekeepers at every door. There are a million signs for FOOD and DRINK, they're everywhere you look, but there are like five signs total for RESTROOM in the entire city, and the restrooms are almost never just on the street, open to the public. It illustrates a sort of fundamental denial of the workings of society, and for that matter of the human body.

On the doors of pizza places are harsh warnings against use of the restroom by anyone other than "paying customers" (excluding, I suppose, any other kind of customer). They are curtly worded. Underlining and extra exclamation points are common. And then finally, should you cross the threshold, should you purchase A Piece Of Pizza, or a Bottle Of Water, you are granted grudging access and direction to a tiny room in which to take a whizz.

Once in the room, you must stand and read further signage regarding proper behavior during your short stay. Some of it is fairly insulting, implying that you would take bizarre and disgusting actions now that you've been left alone with a toilet for five minutes. Much of it is graphic and slightly disturbing. All of it is prohibitive and poorly-written. The bottom line is: We May Have Allowed You (The Paying Customer) To Use The Restroom But We Still Don't Fully Trust You. So watch it, buddy.


Saturday, March 30, 2013

Plow United/Iron Chic show review 3/28/13

Imagine that you are a guy, and also a dude. Maybe you're a girl, or a woman. You may not have to stretch your imagination much for this exercise. You were spoken to by some albums a long time ago and now you must return to hear them played live, years later. This may not be outside of your realm of experience, but bear with me.

There you are, at a show. It's thursday night. You're tired, everyone is tired. The air and the light in the room is tired. You are propped up by caffeine and some sort of end-of-week momentum that says Just Make It, just go to this last thing then sleep in your clothes and command your body to awaken tomorrow, because it'll all be over and you'll be dead someday, but you don't wanna die tonight, and besides you bought a ticket for this show and it's there for you at will call, which phrase you've never quite grasped the meaning of. Will Call, Coat Check, Standing Room Only, Capacity Crowd; the promise of an atmosphere of bright light and soft light and crowding in, that are all part of a great, great thing.

You see some people you know, some people you have a lot to say to and some you have nothing to say to, or maybe they just don't have anything to say to you, and the two (or more) of you are caught in a reflexive vortex of speakinglessness. Some animated conversation takes place. Everyone looks at their phone all the time. You look at your phone. Your friend's band is halfway through their set, and you always enjoy watching them, and you do watch. You watch them play through the lens, the literal lens of people taking pictures of them with their phones. I was going to do it, but I was too busy taking pictures of absolutely everything, is what you'll say on your deathbed, and you might not necessarily regret it.

The band takes the stage, you saw this band play for the first time probably eighteen years ago, and they don't look a day over 40. Haha. No but they are remarkably well-preserved, three real-live Jurassic Park insects, and you wonder if you are, or will be, as well-preserved. They play everything, front to back, and you sway, and a small part of you is saying you still have a chance. You think about going to work and how you hate it there but you do it anyway. You think about the people that have gone through your life and you try not to cry, about how you haven't slept in days, you put your arms around yourself, you deal with it, and you realize you'll be just fine. Class dismissed.   

Sunday, March 24, 2013

I think the Internet needs another article about "Mashup Culture"

and I'm just the guy to write it. I know all the important and pertinent facts and facets of this youth-oriented movement. From Girl Talk to bacon-wrapped hotdogs, the young youth love to mash things up. I think it all started with rap, as everyone knows.

The most relevant thing to remember when examining Mash-Up Culture is: 2005. and. Older folks don't understand the need to take something old and re-frame it as, juxtapose it with, if you will, Mash it into the middle of, if you will, something contemporary and familiar. Jay-Z.

I like to take food and literally mash it up with other food, sometimes in a blender, sometimes manually (with my hands), and eat it.

I don't really cook, I just cram a bunch of ingredients in my mouth and use my teeth gums and tongue to squish (mash) them all together. The human digestive system was probably the first thing that created a mashup, to a terrific reception. Gross. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

harvest 6813

While you're examining your aggregate statistics, or AggStats, while you're flagging down your web traffic, you get sidetracked into surveilling yourself. Unveiling everything about yourself to an uncaring public, an unseen eye, a perceived prevailing wind of interest. You are availing everyone of pictures of yourself eating food. You are writing about being in a place, right now.

You find that you have lost yourself. The significance has been lost on you, you have been lost, insignificant, merged into a giant datastream, geocached. Location services have been turned on. Somewhere in an intelligence agency there is a senior field agent who longs for the days when people didn't just surveil themselves, when an agent would have to actually go out onto the wild Internet and do some real field work. He was preceded by a senior agent who longed to once again sit outside people's homes and occasionally sift through their garbage. Somewhere, there is a middle-school teacher who only accepts bibliographies that cite real books.

You have become hands and eyes, floating hands and luminous eyes. You are not the first to realize this, and the realization is trite. You log out, you live off the grid, you grow a beard. Growing a beard is instrumental to living off the grid. So too is home beer-brewing, the making of fires from wood, the installation of solar panels. Somewhere, a city center bemoans its architecture; it literally IS the grid. You become the grid.

Saturday, February 23, 2013


I'm, I'm not sure how to to take this. Should I ingest it? Should I take it in jest? Not sure what's best. Does it come in a capsule? Or a tablet? A gelcap, perhaps. It will go down easier if you take it with water. Take it with food. Take it with you when you leave, and leave the place better than you found it. Don't take advice from anyone, least of all me. Best of all, or rather most importantly of all, you should always get a second opinion, try to get the best of both worlds, but don't let the world get the best of you. Save the best for last, but save the rest, make it last. Lastly, get bed rest when you're flagging, and hail a cab or a taxi, flag down a ride if the walk is too taxing.

Allow me to interject, to inject my point of view, to jog your memory with running commentary. In the event that your vices become viselike, use whatever is close at hand to devise a strategy. Close your hand around the device that lights up your face, that delights you. Everyone likes you. I can't say I blame them, even when I do blame them, I just can't talk about it I guess. I'm getting off-track, I wish I had kept better track, kept notes. I wish I had given my all, paid more attention, gotten a better lease on life, gotten better at selling myself.

These are the last pair I have, and they've got holes in them, they've been worn through, they're worn out, they're just worn. I wore them across town one too many times, I second-guessed myself, I retraced my steps. The laces are fraying, my brain is fried. I tried a third time and the charm wasn't what I expected, it was cheap and plastic, it was a temporary tattoo from an egg in a machine in the laundromat, it was a permanent marker from the dollar store, it was a transient sense of purpose in an intransigent setting. (I think I used that correctly.)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

i stay staying sane

This seems as good a time as any to advise you, to keep you apprised of what you should expect from this experience. It may seem like you haven't got what you asked for, and that you may have in fact gotten more than a few things you didn't ask for, and then a whole lot of things you specifically asked not to get. From what I understand to what I know, this is how it goes, whether it be the story or the way. There is more than one way.

Inside, in the deepest parts, the places leaped over for years, there is a sound that grows, unwatered, a shrilling, a seeking tone that needs its own ear to speak into. Everyone has it. I don't know what you do if you don't know what to do with it, I can't begin to imagine what to do if there is no outlet, from the outset there needs to be a valve, I think, otherwise when the day closes up, when the sun sets and your head rests on a couch, how do you keep from having it all come up and out your mouth?

So I would encourage, if I can, I would urge you to work to find a way to encapsulate, or at least channel (like a switch, river, or medium) whatever keeps you upright, whatever keeps you up at night, however you are able to. I would say it is all any of us have, but I think we all have a lot less than that sometimes, and at times the grimy stuff gets in your eyes, grit in the engine, sugar in your gas tank, it can fuck you up big time, in no time, everything at the same time. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

If we never speak again,

"This might be the last time you ever hear from me" would be an ominous way to start a post. It would conjure up all the wrong images, it could conceivably be injurious, it would be spurious and unthoughtful. I would never start a post that way. I would never dream of toying with your emotions, I hold you in too much esteem, and it's totally avoidable. On second thought, let's be real, I might dream of it, I might have a flight of fancy, I might at some point take a fancy flight from point A to points unknown. I might be likened to an animal of some kind, one that roams, but rarely unpredictably, a simple proof would describe my patterns, but I would be ridiculous to try and pigeonhole.

I might purchase a plane ticket at some point, as I mentioned earlier, and "get out of the city" as so many people yearn to do. I'm not awash in cash, it could ruin me, I wouldn't think twice though, I would think at least three times, I don't understand why you don't understand, or if you do understand, then I haven't been fair, and I promise to try to be more fair.

Just tell me what you want from me. I understand that you think I should already know. But believe you me, if I already knew, you would be the first to know, and you would have what you wanted from me, if it were something I were able to give, if I wanted to give it to you. I'm not sure you'll take my meaning, but I'm going to leave instructions. The trail of breadcrumbs that is not in a proverb, but rather a fairy tale. This isn't fair, it's foul, it's gone south, it's gone bad, it's good for nothing, it's nothing special, it's especially terrible. Whatever. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

30 seconds of writing about Space Ships

Times like these, all you can really do is draw the curtains and put on a movie about space, and pretend you're inside a spaceship, and the screen is like the front of the ship or whatever, which I'm not entirely convinced that having windows in the front of a spaceship is a good idea, especially in the front, but I guess the contrary theory, the prevailing wisdom is that windows on the front of a spacecraft are ok, because look at the actual space shuttle, which is I guess a real thing.

I mean I get that you want to be able to look where you're going, even when you're hurtling through the blackness of uncharted space. Is hurtling the word I want to use here? "Hurtling" always sounded to me like it had an end-over-end quality to it, like "tumbling". But anyway, as you're hurtling through space, yeah it's great to have charts or wheteve so you technically know where you are, but you want to be able to look out the front of the ship.

Isn't it probably accurate to assume that at some point technology will be developed which provides you with a large-screen view of what a camera mounted on the front of the spacecraft would be seeing? I mean they have those cameras in the backs of most SUVs now that allow you to parallel park. Basically the same idea. I don't know, glass in the front of the spaceship...even thick glass, or plastic....

So that's what I'm talking about, is if there are cameras in the front of the spacecraft, and all science fiction just takes for granted that that's what they're looking at in Star Trek or whatever, not out the front of a giant potentially vulnerable window/windshield, then it's really very similar to watching a scifi movie on your home entertainment center. Space shuttle glass notwithstanding. This may not seem important to you but it's tearing me apart. Windows on the side, maybe.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Today's 30 Seconds of Writing, GO

It is is unimaginable, to me, that you haven't been made aware of the recent developments taking place in current world history. Form climate change to legality of choosing mates, there are literally hundreds of millions of bits of news that you could be chewing up and digesting and instead you're just sitting there, just sitting there...what is it you're doing there anyway.

I noticed that you've got a small bit of something caught in your teeth. Perhaps it snuck its way into your feed and you just didn't notice. I'll have to change the settings on your feed before I strap it back onto your head. Did you know they're going to make glasses that have the Internet in them. You can walk down the street with them on. You can be here but not really be here.

I can't help but comment on the fact that you haven't told me the point yet. What is the object. I know what the subject is, but not what my objective is. I decline to accept the charges, everything is declining, I'm climbing but I'm not getting any higher up on the ladder, as it were, as it is, as it was.

I have no desire to repeat myself. I do not wish to repeat myself. Please listen because I don't want to repeat myself. I have no wants, desires, or wishes outside of not wanting to repeat myself.

30 seconds of writing per day

You may find that the things you left where you thought you left them are not there anymore. You may have gone off to war and returned to find your wife with another man. This is not our fault, you're not covered for this, there's nothing we can do about any of it. Feel free to lodge a complaint at the desk, to file a complaint at the lodge, to remain compliant with the rules at all times.

You might feel shortchanged, shortsheeted, or like you were shortsighted when you made your arrangements. This is to be expected. No one could have foreseen what happened to your luggage and your poor dog. It was unfortunate, but unavoidable, unfortunately. It was very cold in the bottom of the plane, and very hot on the tarmac outside the plane while everything was getting loaded in.

This is not a space for you to grieve, to air your grievances, or to concern yourself with circumstances thatr are out of your control. We have only begun to fuck you. You may find youself being held down and fucked, by us. We wish to remain nameless. Half of all people we have driven to tears have caught a bus back that same day. All connections have been made, all transfers have been supervised, all supervision has been transferred to another department.

There may be some figures appearing at the edge of your vision - do not be alarmed. There may be some alarms being configured - this is normal. As they are calibrated, you may notice a change in cabin pressure. Don't let it go to your head, your heart, or your lungs, as this could prove fatal. You have one chance to prove that you are not who we say you are, or rather to prove that you are who we say you aren't. This all may seem confusing, but it will all come out in the wash, it will be thrown out with the bathwater, it will be rinsed out when you use the shampoo in the shower.