Archive for April, 2009|Monthly archive page

the A team

fuckin' a



Sen. Arlen Specter left the Republicans. they are pissed.
Arlen Specter is great, I think, and not because of his votes. I like him, if for no reason other the hostility shown toward him by everyone. even I hate Specter sometimes, most recently for his lack of support for the labor bill, the card check thing.
Democrats kind of hate him now because, as a Democrat friend of mine told me (I’m paraphrasing), “he’s our problem now. I’d rather have a progressive Demorat elected to the Senate from Pennsylvania than Arlen fucking Specter. he’s too conservative.”
I feel it is a national mood when I say America has hated him for years. still, Pennsylvania continues to elect him, but Republican primary voters (read: lunatics) will not. and yes, he wants to hold on to his seat with his crotchedy 80-year-old hands, but you have to give him this: Specter has the rare opinion in national politics, that of an actual, living, breathing moderate. I think that appeals to people, and Pennsylvania voters might appreciate that. or they might not. 
none of this makes him a hero by any means, but I can respect it.

what other shit is going down? they’re nationalizing GM. or just about. that’s, just. holy shit. I am thinking about how to approach this subject. I have a few ideas in mind, but not tonight.

and swine flu. from what I understand, my newspaper has had swine flu on the front page the last couple of days. I will be real, I haven’t read it on my days off, so I’ll have to get caught up with local happenings tomorrow, but that’s pretty bush league that we’re adding to pandemic hysteria. I hope I don’t turn out wrong, and witness millions dead, because that would be a pretty unproportional ‘I told you so.’ I am sorry I doubted you, swine flu, should you turn out to be the new great plague.

I applied at four jobs today, all of which I feel I’m qualified for and would be interested in having. I expect to hear back from none of them, and that’s the truth, which sucks, but is a probability.
they are all copy editing gigs, but they would be interesting. some for their locations, some for their possibilities. it is nearly summer again or it sure feels that way. I like it in Charlottesville, I could stay here for a while. but it is a big world out there as well. I’ve been reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and I think it’s giving me a little wanderlust, though I’ve got no delusions about running into talking trees or winged beasts or the like.
I’m at the end of “The Two Towers”, which is a much better book than it is a movie, and there’s a lot of Gollum in it at this point, who, if you aren’t familiar with the Lord of the Rings stuff, is the tiny, emaciated hunchback in the loincloth on the Burger King cups during the films’ release. 
nothing like a mass marketing campaign to get nonreaders interested in big-studio movies. but Gollum is a rad character, I think, in either form. he’s like a vicious heroin addict. you just can’t trust him. in that spirit, I think, goes a Hunter Thompson quote from “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” that reads:
“You can turn your back on a person, but never turn your back on a drug, especially when its waving a razor sharp hunting knife in your eye.”
I doubt that Tolkien was going for an allegory about drug abuse. I imagine he was going for something much more epic. but it’s a thought.

I had a margarita tonight. Aarti digs margaritas. that’s three margaritas in as many weeks, and the first three I’ve ever had. I need to slow down on the margarita intake before it gets ahead of me, rule as they may.

I went and saw “Observe and Report” with a few friends, and it was a pretty strange movie. very cynical, very absurd, completely ridiculous, but funny nonetheless. and the music was great. I forgot how great ‘it’s late’ by Queen is.


I don’t think I have been this tired in a while. I’m pretty god damned tired. I woke up this morning on Phil’s couch in Manhattan, and now I am home, and I have the windows open and the fan on, and fuck me it’s hot.
I like the city. I am beginning to understand it a little better, I know the lay of the land a little bit, but it’s just so big that I don’t know if I could handle it. there is no personal space on the island, unless you have a lot of money. Phil’s place is legit, but the rent alone would be more than I make in a year. expensive living.

did a lot of walking, not as much as I usually do, but a lot. we spent yesterday afternoon at Coney Island, which is pulsating with humanity. teeming with people. overflowing with garbage. covered in graffiti, bumping with hip hop, treaded by bikers, hipsters, dogs. saris, veils, Mexican flags, teenagers, infants, Russians, tattoos, cellulite, hot dogs, cigarette butts.
a barker put a coupon in Phil’s pocket, which almost lead to a fight, but it diffused. we went to a couple of freak shows. saw a handful of midgets and a man with flipper arms, watched him perform a drum solo and sing an Elvis tune.
on the way back, read the sunday op/ed page in the New York Times. I read a lot of newspapers this weekend. torture, torture, and swine flu.

I’d expand, but I’m sleepy. last night, we went to the top of the Empire State Building. “like in ‘Sleepless in Seattle’,” said Josh. “you and Phil are gonna have a moment.” that’s right. just like ‘Sleepless in Seattle’.

the view is wonderful. my camera wasn’t, but that’s alright. just look south from the top.


train leaves soon

happy birthday, Mar. I almost forgot to note it. it is your Golden Birthday, so I bet mom sent you twentythree bucks.

Portland is getting run on at Houston. I never follow professional hoops before the playoffs, but then, I’m marginally interested. Philly won on some ridiculous shit near the buzzer against Orlando, that was legit … but yes, that’s all I’ve got.
Houston. Houston is a town I’ve never visited, but I feel like I should. I can think of how a lot of this country is laid out, because I’ve seen it, or driven through it. I get everything from here to San Francisco in a straight line, I know how long it will take, what cities will look like. but not in Texas. steers and queers. the Cowboys. keep Austin weird. UTEP. Amarillo Slim. tex-mex cuisine. George Bush.
anyway, Greg, roommate from California, he lives there. maybe I’ll go and visit him.

I am taking the train tomorrow morning to Manhattan. it is the Big Day. I got a tip from someone at work to visit, if I happened to be nearby, a place he called ‘the little church around the corner’ like that was its proper name. hold on, I wrote this down somewhere …
yes. that’s what it’s called. it is on 29th between 5th and Madison. maybe I will go.
I’ve got to get some sleep. so what else, hrmm … fuck it. I will probably take a camera.


I had a rough night on the desk tonight. work did not go well. I blew deadline. because of a massive fuckup on my part, and a rule I had forgotten that stands, and was only 15 minutes late because the night editor was sympathetic.
it’s amazing how childish it’s allowed to get in there. something about working under a nightly deadline with performance dictating job security. people melting down, passive aggressiveness. it’s like ‘Reservoir Dogs’ for pansies. I say this because I almost shit the bed when I realized I’d wasted a half an hour, and while no one seems to mind, I’m still embarrassed. I’m a grown-ass man. I’m yelling at a fucking computer.
dogs. that’s what should be done. vicious dogs should be allowed to roam the building after 5 pm. keep everyone on their toes while working. to keep everyone sharp, tense, in a primal kind of way. like chimps on a raid.
but despite work, I got everything I wanted to get done, done, today. errands-wise. housekeeping, taking out the garbage. so yes, Wednesday was draining, but I beat that motherfucker anyway, and I hope I don’t drop the ball tomorrow.

I am pumped out for this weekend. it is almost here. Phil is recently engaged, and legit. and I will see Galia, who I haven’t seen in a long, long time. you know how long ago Galia is? she’s ‘the first months of the blog’ long ago, when she was my roommate. I don’t think I will bring a camera.

day eight

I got some shit to do today before work, but hey, really: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Ron Jeremy. really.

good morning


here is a great song for you to listen to while you read. go and get a bag of chips. make a thing out of it.

how about this torture memo shit? how about it? I read they waterboarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the Ron Jeremy of terrorism, 183 times in a month. and they actually might prosecute someone before it’s all over.
well, who would they prosecute? you can’t prosecute the people who actually did these things to prisoners. and it’s not going to be political figures. and that NY Times story says it’ll be the Bush administration lawyers who crafted the law. I’m all for that, but moreso I would suggest appreciating the event that is happening. this is going to be one of the things to remember about Obama’s early presidency, how all of this plays out.

what time is it? it is 12:15. there it is nothing on television. I’m bored, and I can’t wait for saturday. here it is, an event I am looking forward to, a weekend in Manhattan to visit Phil. when Phil rings on my phone it reads ‘Phils dumb ass’. cause I love him, the scamp!
he’s recently engaged, and that’s awesome, and I think this weekend will be a hell of a lot of fun. I will spend one evening and one full day fucking around Manhattan, with no set plans. I would appreciate suggestions.
seven people have read this page in the last four hours. holy guacamole.


edit: I wrote this last night, but didn’t publish it. there really isn’t much to it. now, reading back over it, there’s no harm in it. it’s just an aside. and no one reads this shit anyway. so here it is.

one step at a time

song link for that flavor you love

my downtstairs neighbors had a party tonight.
a big one. I happen upon parties from time to time, but I must say, that one was pretty loud. it is now, what. it’s 1:30 in the am, and I can still hear it.
I was there for two hours or so, it was okay, very loud, bullshitted with about half a dozen people. everyone very nice. my downstairs neighbor, or one of them, I have never much talked to before. she’s friendly enough, and she’s stunning. in a way that I’m kind of dumbstruck after a while, and run out of shit to say. sometimes I seriously think I’m actually growing dumber.

pass through the locks

Jim Lehrer’s on ‘the Colbert Report’ right now. I dig this man a lot. I mean, really, name another newscaster as solid as he’s been over the same period of time. Dan Rather? showed his colors and ran. Larry King? praying mantis. Brokaw? in love with himself. Peter Jennings, dead, Tim Russert, dead and originally a politician, though ‘Meet the Press’ was really good with him in the chair.
Colbert just said something to the effect of ‘how can I tell this is Jim Lehrer and not two buttons stuck into a piece of balsa wood?’ which is a pretty spot-on description of the man. when delivering the news, he does not move, or show emotion. he rarely stutters. he chose the stories, and directs the content, so you know the wheels must be turning. but you’re still not sure; he still looks like a talking cardboard box.
he’s got good judgment, I think.

I wonder if Lehrer covered this tax day tea party shit. today was taxes-are-due day.
you may have noticed, somewhere, in your area, a Boston Tea Party-themed protest, originally organized by a conservative nonprofit run by Dick Armey, his real name, the former GOP majority leader, the man who called Barney Frank a fag. yes. oh yes, that’s right.
it’s been sold as a catchall fuck-you to the federal government because of the massive deficit, the waves of bailouts for large financial institutions, rising unemployment, and a economic strategy that calls for more spending. because, as Larry Summers has probably said, the economy needs to be jolted back to life. with more spending.
that pisses a lot of people off, all them Joe Sixpacks that McCain never actually knew. but a lot of people are really, let’s be honest, pretty stupid, and we’re especially stupid in groups. for instance: no one bothers to note that Obama’s tax proposals are aimed at the wealthy and not at the middle class.
so, anyway, at tea party events, you got a lot of people dressed like the Fourth of July, holding signs that read ‘fuck taxes’, and ‘obamas a socialist’. which was really the idea. it’s a strike at the political movement in power, but I’d bet it doesn’t really go anywhere. I mean, where would it go? I’d love to read some of those morons’ ten-step plans to fixin’ the economy.
but still, I have to say: harping on cable news channels for being shitty, pandering cariactures of news organizations is pretty worn out, so I try not to. but Fox News blatantly rabble-roused for this event. 
that’s just, god. that’s just ridiculous. Lehrer would never do that.


there is a hot dog vendor on the mall.
I have heard about this guy, or guys like him: there’s a dude who sells doughnuts in front of the library, I am told, but I’ve never seen any of these people. I was walking back from yoga yesterday (we’re back in business and still painfully inflexible, baby) and, not unlike witnessing a sunrise on a cool, dewey morning in the Berkshires, the hot dog cart rose in front of me, in front of city hall. and on its sign in elegant sharpie, it read: Extra Cheese, $1.
yes, I know, that does sounds wonderful. it was. so I got a chili cheese dog. that guy, this man who makes a living on selling hot dogs, he is my man. I would love to have my own hot dog cart.
but naw, I ain’t got the schoolin’ for that.

I went up to my dad’s house for Easter on Sunday, which was not nearly as bad as I might make it out to be. I ate a lot of deviled eggs, and ate a bunch of ham sandwiches. and I watched television, read a book, and the newspaper.
the Post has a sunday commentary section called Outlook, which had a very interesting article in it advocating the legalization of reefer. the short of it is: the War on Drugs has turned into a legitimate drug war, and something the United States can’t continue to just throw cash at, especially when facing a recession.
in the same paper was another article on the DEA’s recent announcement that it will not raid medical marijuana dispensaries if state law deems it legal. like in California. so now a cottage industry is springing up with alacrity. it was a large piece, and there was one part that really stood out:

  Marijuana use is widespread — government surveys show that 100 million Americans have smoked pot or its resin, hashish, in their lifetimes, and 25 million have done so in the past year. Yet polls show that the public is still wary of legalization. As President Obama recently said when asked about legalizing marijuana, “I don’t think that’s a good strategy to grow our economy.”
  But in California, pot is such a booming growth industry that lawmakers are being asked to consider its potential as a salve to the state’s financial woes. Betty Yee, chairman of the California State Board of Equalization, endorsed a bill in February to regulate the estimated $14 billion marijuana market, citing the state’s budget problems. California currently collects $18 million in sales taxes from marijuana dispensaries, and Yee said a regulated pot trade would bring in $1.3 billion.

$1.3 billion! god damn, do pot heads have a lot of money.
it’s gonna happen someday. it’s not worth the number of people that the drug trade kills to keep reefer illegal. then, Mexico wouldn’t have a full-blown insurgency taking place in its northern deserts. probably fewer beheadings, too.  
I think I’m gonna subscribe to the Post. I buy the motherfucker all the time as I like having a paper in my hands. this industry is too reliant on romantics like me. but it beats the hell out of cable, and I’ll argue that any day of the week; I’m paying way too much for that shit as it is. really. it’s embarrassing how much I pay for television service. you’d be shocked and appalled.
maybe, if I get on them and tell them I wanna cancel, they will lower my rates. but probably, they’ll say, “alright” and charge me an extra twenty bucks on the way out the door for the remote you rent that I melted by leaving it on my heater. oh yes, I melt a lot of things on my heater. you should see my shirts.

Jon Stewart is kind of missing the point hard on the pirate story out of Somalia. he’s made note of the fact that the pirates hijacked a ship full of food aid. and so fuck them, they’re only serving warlords who command armies of children.
what he didn’t mention that the three pirates who died in fuckin’ spectacular fashion were all teenagers, and drug addicts according to what I’ve read, and they spent their short lives in Thunderdome. in a place solely ruled by the gun. if you think about it in such terms, there are very few places in the world like that. a completely failed state, no authority other than to who you serve. your two options are a vicious Islamic militia and a nascent government that only commands a few blocks in Mogadishu. that’s fucking ridiculous.
think of the problem that that place creates for that region. there are pirate havens there. pirate havens.

they released the Bears schedule today. lets see if we can’t dig it up …
yes. they got Baltimore and Philadelphia this year. I wonder if those games could be got.

I bought train tickets to NY coming up in two weeks: this will be fun with a capital Fuh. this three day, two night trip may turn out to be my summer vacation. so I had better make it count.