Just some thoughts and ideas going around in my head while trying to figure out where I am and where everyone else is going.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Philly's Finest Free at Last

So former Philadelphia Police lieutenant Jonathan Josey is found not guilty of simple assault in striking an unarmed woman to the ground during the Puerto Rican Day Parade last year. Apparently, the incident being captured on video and shown to the world was enough to convince the judge that Josey was innocent and has now left the the ex-cop the right to petition for his job back.
Other than steal money from City Hall or shoot his or her superiors, what does a Philly cop have to do to get convicted in Philadelphia?

On a lighter note that was a snazzy suit Josey was wearing out of the courtroom, definitely not something he got off the rack at Macy's. I need to find out who his tailor is and see if I can afford him without taking out a second mortgage.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

It's Still Black History Month

Is it blasphemous for me to say that I'm not really a fan of the bangs? Oh and somehow I don't ever see Nancy even in her wild days doing this.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Before I returned from Florida, I took this picture of my grandmother the week after Thanksgiving. I guess I wasn’t checking what I was doing since the shot was really over exposed. After using this program or that, I was able to get this with its horrible color and unnatural hues. I’m not sure why I took the picture, since she didn’t want to do it, other than she’s 92 and everyday you hear people younger than her dropping off. Plus 2 or 3 days before, I was watching TV and looked over at her, only to see her spooning out of a Vaseline jar.
“What are you eating?" I asked not really looking for an answer.

“Jean told me to use this,” I think she replied.

I’m not quite sure because all I was doing was looking at the white tasteless gooey stuff stick to her tongue and the edge of her dentures and thinking of how I’d have to find something to scrape that off with and if I should call 911 or poison control.

It’s funny, was this the same woman that I would terrorize each time she came back to my parents home after living with uncle So and So,  and uncle This and That? It wasn’t until I was 17 or 18 that I realized that perhaps those men weren’t uncles of mine since my mother was an only child.

I remembered then that she had been complaining about having dry skin and I decided to wait and see what would happen. 

Nothing really did happen. She had the runs of course a few hours later but by that time my mother was back from wherever she had gone and was able to take care of that. And I was left to think, was this what I have to look forward to if I follow my mother’s gene pool instead of my father’s?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

...Drink, and be merry.

So I got this bottle of la Grande Dame Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin at the duty-free shop in Heathrow Airport around 1994 or 1995. It cost me, at the going exchange rate, about $60 and I thought to myself these bitches really know how to rape a guy when he’s at the most vulnerable.

You see it’s always been my theory that at any duty-free store you always pay more than what it would cost at the store on the local High St including the taxes. But I was at the point where I figured I could spend my pounds sterling there or wait until I got back to the States and go to the James Cook, Sam Cook, Harry Cook or whatever the name of the exchange bureau was called then and convert the money into dollars at a rate that would even make a loan shark or a fence blush with shame.

Not being a real champagne drinker, although if I had a choice the cheaper yellow label version of Cliquot has always been my favorite, I always thought that I would save my French import via London for a special occasion. I didn’t know what that occasion would be, but it would have to be a small one because there are only so many people you can share one bottle with. 

But somehow that occasion has never really happened or at least never thought of until it was well after and done with. I mean sure, there has been the birth of this relative or that. There have been the times that I got together with this person or thanked God that I didn’t, but I never thought to reach under the bed, my storage cellar, to celebrate the event. And now that I find on the internet that the going price for an ’89 Grand Dame is around $360 I realize, sad thing,  I’m not sure if I ever will crack the bottle open.

I’ve been having the weirdest dreams recently, all of which have been apocalyptic in nature with me ending up running from something. I may have to change my movie watching to romantic comedies or something instead of the teenage Armageddon types that I like to go for. So with that kind of foreboding and the long dead Mayans telling us that the end of the world will be on Friday, I’m sort of thinking about my bottle now. 

I know I won’t open the Grande Dame on Thursday because that would be just silly, nothing’s happening. But if on Friday there are earthquakes or erupting volcanoes or an invasion from Mars I somehow don’t see myself saying, “Time for the bubbly,” either. But since like TS Elliot I see my world ending, "not with a bang but a whimper," that's probably not worth thinking about.

I wish I had spent that $60 on something else; I would have more than used, lost or broken it by now. All I actually do know is that by next week, I'll still be staring at the bottle and still wondering when.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Can You Hear Me Now?

I don't know why I don't read The New Yorker, I'm sure it must be a wonderful magazine. I remember someone trying to get to read me to read it telling me that anyone who wanted to be anyone would read The New Yorker, but I never really got into it. It's not that I've never tried, but I guess I'm part of that generation that no longer reads for more than 10 minutes unless there is something really exciting going on...so in case you are in my age group, let's get to the point before I lose you too.

I love this cover for the magazine. It's almost as good if not better than the Barack and Michele Obama cover from 4 years back when they showed the fears of people mistaking Mrs. Obama for the myth of Angela Davis, a radicalized black woman. This cover simply and succinctly sums up my entire thoughts of the recent presidential debate between the President and Governor Romney, at least the parts that I saw and not the 40 minutes in the middle where I fell asleep.

From the moment Romney came on stage and congratulated Barack Obama for his wedding anniversary, I thought he looked like he might be a force to be reckoned with. He was vibrant and precise and hit back whenever he thought he was being pushed into a corner, whereas the President seemed tired and reticent and unsure of himself. I kind of got the impression that if Obama could have been anywhere, his choice would not have been there. It was almost as if Romney was speaking to an empty chair.

I bet somewhere in California, there's an old actor/director asking, "Can you hear me now?"

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Tax on Stupidity

I remember years ago some old Italian guy telling me that he thought that the prize in the New Jersey Lottery was immoral. He said that the lottery was created to benefit the services provided for senior citizens and that for some young fellow to get 4 or 6 million dollars for buying a ticket just wasn’t right...yes that’s just how long ago it was. I don’t remember if I said anything back to him, but I do remember that I thought that the Lottery was just a tax on stupidity. I still think that now.

I’ll admit that I do do the group thing at work where everyone puts in a dollar and for the best. I mean I would hate to be the one that shows up for work while everyone else is down at the State House collecting their winnings, there would be nothing left for me but to go completely crazy if that happened. But the odds of us as a group or even individually actually hitting it is like some astronomical number to one. You would have to be an idiot to think we would have any real prospect of winning. We’d have a better chance of one of us becoming President of the United States …or would we?

You know I’ve heard for a long time the truism that everyone born in America could become President, I even heard Condie Rice say that her parents told her the same thing just the other week. Heck I’ve even heard some people born in Kenya could do it, but I’ll leave that to the "issues that other crazy people have" post.

However when I look back over the last 230 or 50 years since “We the People” was written, out of the millions of people who have ever lived, only 44 or 45 individuals have ever made it to POTUS and some of them from the same 2 or 3 families.  Now that’s a number that I have to believe is much smaller than number of multi-million dollar lottery winners from the past 2 or 3 decades. If that’s the case, then to run for President of the United States must be a fool’s errand since so few people will ever make it; which brings me to Mitt.

I think that I’m watching Mitt Romney’s campaign in a free fall without the benefit of flames to make even that interesting. True it wasn’t like Mr. Romney was the anointed one from the Republicans but more of the last man left standing. Never the less, I think Mitt might be better off putting his money elsewhere other than his campaign because this presidential thing doesn’t look like it’s going to pay off.  

 Maybe he can buy some lottery tickets because if nothing else the man knows how to make money.  And if he can’t make money there then maybe he’ll just consider it as a tax, a tax on stupidity for which, like most of his taxes, I’m not sure he hasn't paid his fair share of.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Philly Naked Bike Ride 2012 or Less gas more Ass

In all honesty, this post was going to be some sort of commentary on civility and anonymity on the internet or the lack thereof but I'm still not sure how I'm going to write it. I'm having one of my Hemingway moments where I'd much prefer to drink and distract myself from doing anything really positive.

PNBR 2012 rounding round Rittenhouse Sq.
Too bad I don't really drink, or at least not as much as the rest of the family, I might have something really interesting to say. So fuck it before I really do Hemingway thing, the gunshot barrel to the head and not the talent part, I will go to the old stand-by which I thought I'd never do again and present to you the 4th annual Philly Naked Bike Ride which happened about 2 weeks ago...and yes I chickened out again this year so don't ask.
Having fun at the Philly Naked Bike Ride
One of the spectators strips and seems to want get into the action
Risky Business?
Some preferred an even more traditional mode of transportation

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Outlaw Josey Wales

Before it becomes history or too late to say anything I just want to mention one thing and say, I love Clint Eastwood and I don't care who knows it.

I don’t know if we are diametrically opposed to each other politically. The fact that he is an avowed conservative who believes in equal rights, pro-choice, the environment and ant-war is not very far from my own slightly left of Karl Marx when the feeling’s right beliefs and who doesn’t believe in big government but believes the George Orwell quote that some of us are moreequal than others. I think we have a common ground where we can worship on.

I’m not talking about the area where he’s been making movies for the last 50 years and I’ve been watching them for the last 30, although that might help explain my feelings for him. I’m talking about the fact that we both see and acknowledge the same issue or problem and neither one of us are satisfied with what the solution has been. Clint’s idea to solve things, at least on film, has always been to go in growling, teeth bared and with a big dick swinging in the wind. Don’t believe me, look at the clip below and tell me the Magnum isn’t a substitute for a body part. My solution has always been to wait for the Revolution and give or take names like Madame Defarge did in the Dickens novel although I doubt that would be any more effective Clint’s answer.

Even so, to have been able to see The Outlaw Josey Wales at the Republican Convention take down the President of the United States just by doing some simple local diner ad hoc scene was a sight to be remembered  as only a top-notch director could have done. It was just unfortunate that it was so good and out shone everything else that when Mitt came along to state his own case, no one really cared and more than that no one really listened.

But like I said earlier I love Clint Eastwood, and if he were running for something I might look at the GOP and see if there was some way that I could find myself supporting them. But instead of The Outlaw Josey Wales running they have my governor The Outlaw Jersey Whale standing in front of that moving blue screen making me feel sea-sick, and that bitch I’ll never support.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Games

So that’s it.  If you are living in the United States, NBC has shown how the world has come together as one, once more in the spirit beauty and peace of the Olympic Games. They have shown us how we’ve been able to compete with one another and against one another and we have come out with a few scars and some heartache, but also with the ability to celebrate the memories and the heroes and the ideals of what makes life worth living. We’ve seen threats to security largely dismissed or at least controlled, but then what did you expect, 007 was there.

You know, I bet Betty Windsor, who has now become the ultimate Bond Girl, must have waited almost 50 years to say, “Good evening Mr. Bond,” on film. That’s probably a decade or 2 longer than I’ve been waiting to say, "I expect you to die Mr. Bond," in my best Goldfinger accent while looking like Yaphet Kotto wished he had  looked like when he did Live And Let Die….sorry but you can’t be humble when you’re doing or talking about being a Bond villain. But I’m starting to digress.

Apart from the usual corporate prostitution that our friend Mitt perfected in Salt Lake City, there was very little scandal this time out at the events. In fact the only thing I can think of was the guy from St Kitts or somewhere who got sent home for sleeping with his wife or the 4 badminton teams that were dismissed from the Games for deliberately not playing at their best. Actually the badminton thing was almost unforgivable. I would have been highly pissed as a spectator to have gotten tickets to one Olympic event that I could probably get into for the rest of my life and see a team play with less athletic skill and ability than my 60 year old Aunt Sally with her rheumatoid arthritis. Instead I’m just highly pissed because I remember the absolute joy of playing badminton as a child. I remember hitting the shuttlecock into the air as fast and as hard as I could and just watching how it would hover as it cleared the net giving me time to figure out who on the over side would lob it back and where I would have to be for that rapid gut wrenching volley to begin in earnest. It was like chess with a racket and a net; you always had to think at least 3 or 4 moves ahead.

The thing with the Olympic Games is that I end up watching things that I would never ever do or watch in real life.  Not the running or the swimming or anything with a stopwatch, but gymnastics. I’m not talking about the regular gymnastics where I know I could rip out my shoulder from its socket in say the rings or snap my neck from doing the vault, but like the floor exercises where you see the little girls run jump and leap…and then you see them run jump and leap… and then they run jump and…you get the picture. At least I hope you do because I don’t. But worse still is the competition with the little girls with the ribbon and the hoops. What the Hell is that and what does it mean? But I watched it. I watched it all. All being provided by our good friends at NBC for my, our, viewing entertainment even though it was 5 hours after the fact.

I won't mention the inane droning on by the NBC correspondents about things people already know about or their apparent lack of interest in non-US athletes other than those with the initials UB or even their failure to even grasp the significance of Isambard Kingdom Brunel or Tim Berners-Lee to the worlds of design engineering and information exchange; but I will say that they have an uncanny ability to turn any world event into just another version of Dick Clark’s Rockin’ Eve and that must be an achievement in and of itself.

But you know, if I’m still around 4 years from now….well.

Monday, April 2, 2012

One Hundred Years

A few weeks ago when I saw the trailer saying that they were releasing the 3D version of James Cameron’s movie Titanic, I couldn’t really understand why. I mean I know that it was one of the biggest box office draws in the history of all film and cinema, but I never liked it.

At least I’ve never liked the first part of movie where the hero from steerage was able to wine and dine and romance with a passenger from First Class. I mean in real life in those days he’d have as much chance of that happening as I would have as a black man eating at the captain’s table every night, it wouldn’t happen. But then I realized it is the 100th anniversary of the tragedy and so of course Cameron and the movies studios are going to cash in….again. Can you say Ca-ching? But I can’t blame the director for trying and probably succeeding when there are people like me around.

I remember the year before Titanic came out originally; even I got caught up in the hype and went to Atlantic City where the man who had recently discovered the wreck was appearing at the convention center and exhibiting artifacts from the ship. He was raising money for the preservation of wreckage site and the materials that he had brought up. I bought a piece of coal from him that was brought up from one of the bunkers of the ship for $10. When I think about it, it probably cost the White Star Line, the owners of the Titanic, about $10 a ton for coal back then, but what are you going to do, that what as all I could afford. I saw it on QVC a few years later being sold for $25 a piece, I wonder what I could get for it now? 1912 must have been a hell of a year, the sinking of the Titanic and the death of Robert Falcon Scott or Scott of the Antarctic as I grew up knowing him as.

You must be wondering by now what any of this has to do with the video above; absolutely damn nothing other than...

In the movie South Pacific, this song is usually the furthest part of the film that I can get to without tearing up and changing the channel. You see the woman singing reminds me of my paternal grandmother, except my grandmother was a little lighter skinned with even more Chinese shaped eyes. It seems her mother was a working girl in the classic sense of the title and Mr. Chin was a client of hers, if Chin was even his real name. But Granny had the same height and shape and moved like this woman. She even wore the same hair style all the years that I knew her. I doubt that she ever sang like this woman but it’s been over 30 years since I’ve seen her. I’ve lost or worn out of everything that she ever gave to me and all I have now beyond the memories is the realization that the year that my little piece of coal went down with the Titanic was same year that she was born.

So all this just to say Happy Birthday Granny Muriel! One hundred years.

Coal from the Titanic


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