Tuesday, December 30, 2008
I don’t get it, I really don’t. Maybe it’s a generation thing. Maybe it’s something like certain dance movements that you only do when you are in early 20’s because to do them when you are older would throw your spine so far out of alignment you’d have to walk with a cane for the rest of your life. I don’t understand why the need to share what we are doing every minute of the day with friends or even complete strangers. Now I’m not talking about people with small children who really do need to know where the kids are and that they are safe, or people who do that for security reasons. I’m referring to those of us who sign on to certain websites and log every minute detail of our lives no matter how dreary and obsequious those details may be.
About 2 or 3 months ago I signed up with Facebook because a friend asked me to. But apart from him and an organization that asked to become a friend, I have no one else listed as a friend. It is not because I want to remain reclusive or set apart from everyone else, but because I don’t really know anyone else who belongs to Facebook, so I mainly keep some junk on it that will be easy for me to find in the future and prevent me from cluttering up my computer. It’s another resource for me.
I should also mention that I belong to 4 or 5 groups that have pages on Facebook, one of which is my gym. Out of the 5000 members that belong to my gym there are about 144 of us who also signed up for this group and except for the trainers; I haven’t seen a single person that I know. But it is a source that I can use to learn things about different events going on, or schedules that I might not be aware of. Also, Facebook is an icon featured on my iPod so it’s all linked.
Recently I noticed that I had not filled out the profile part of the webpage for Facebook and that there was also a section where you could tell people what you were doing exactly at that moment. There was a field for about 30 or 60 characters or words where you could say what you were doing at that moment. You could tell people that you were heading over to the movies, or having a cup of coffee with Jill or soaking in the tub with Bob. These blurbs about your life would then be instantly sent out to your friends’ email bins, websites or sent out as a text message to their cell phones and I thought this must be how Twitter works.
But then I asked myself, why would I want to let people know about every minute of my hum drum life, it’s tedious enough just living it. And worse than that, why on earth would I want to know about someone else’s life minute by minute? So you felt a little ill after lunch, do I really need to know right away? That shit can wait, no pun intended.
Take for example I gave a homeless guy a dollar after he held the door for me at a convenience store this evening. Should I have let the world know right away? I don't think so. If it’s really that important to you we can talk and reflect about it at the end of the day over the telephone if I haven’t turned it off and if I know that’s what the conversation will be about it probably will be off.
I know that there are many people who have signed up for Twitter and I guess similar programs and I don’t mean to point fingers at anyone because it’s not about them, or even you, it’s about me. I like to be up on gadgets and trends and stuff, but this one… I don’t get. It's funny that I’ll show you a picture of my behind and maybe more in a heartbeat as long as the picture looks good, but Twitter somehow seems like it’s too much of an invasion of my privacy and that just doesn’t sit well with me.
Am I wrong?
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
I told someone about it later on, a friend, family member or girl-friend I don’t remember, but they said that he probably couldn’t find something with the initial “I” on it. And I said or thought, couldn’t he have dug deeper in the bargain bin at Woolworth’s or whatever cheap hell hole he dragged it from. I was upset, I was disappointed.
If I were to tell this story to my mother now, she would say that I was ungrateful and perhaps that I was the bastard instead of my father, but she would also say that I was someone who is always difficult to buy gifts for. She would say that I was too fussy and that whatever I got, it would never be good enough, and that is why she always sends me a check to go out and have a meal somewhere or get something else that I want. But I think she would be wrong, at least partially.
There was another time when I was involved with someone and he asked me what I wanted, my first pair of leather pants, after he told me what he wanted, a leather messenger bag by some designer in SoHo that no one has ever heard of since. For one reason or another he was unable to come with me to find the pants so he gave me the cash and I went to the leather store on Christopher Street in the Village; the one where they make them so tight that they tell you to take off your underwear so that you can fit into them. So after I sported my semi as the salesman felt and rubbed my thigh up while he told me it was a good fit, after all of that was done and my thrill was over, I felt kind of jilted. There would be no unwrapping of Christmas packages, no hidden treasure trove, no junk and no need for me to say “this is nice” between clenched teeth and a fake smile. All of that was taken away from me and I didn’t like it.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I don’t want to think about the things that I want. I want to be surprised by the thoughts and care that people have about me. I want to know that someone has taken the time and effort to think about what it is they can do for me and not what’s most convenient for them. I really don’t care if someone gives me a bag of shit or a Maserati, well that might be a little extreme, but as long as there is some thought behind it I’ll be a friend for life.
Oh and by the way, yes I still have the handkerchiefs. I've had them about 20 years now and it's been about 5 years that he's been dead and they are still in the damn box, but what are you going to do, it’s from my father.
Merry Christmas everyone.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
I don’t know when I first started going to the movies on New Year’s Day or when I finally realized that it had become a tradition, but it has. I will go to the movies with a friend, or with a lover. I will drag my sister out to something she has no interest with or I will go by myself because I can’t find anyone to go with me. Sad some will say, but actually I prefer to see a film by myself anyway. There is no need to worry about if the other person is enjoying it, to hold hands or listen to them munch on their popcorn or listen to them slurp from an almost empty soda cup while I try to hear that almost imperceptible point in a movie that will turn it from just a film into a life affirming experience. There is no need for me to hold back the urge to tell someone to just, “shut the fuck up, and try watching the screen like I’m doing.”
I remember one time although it wasn’t a January 1st picture, but the movie was really boring for both me and my partner. In order to stop him from fidgeting, I somehow started to masturbate him. There was no else in our row and very few people behind us and I saw him shoot on the floor and over the seat in front of us as I stroked him. At the time I thought it was truly disgusting and someone was going to have to clean that shit up and then I felt really low afterwards.
Anyway, so recently I’ve been seeing the coming attractions for Valkyrie with Tom Cruise opening on December 25th. It looks like a real snappy piece of work with nice production values and if it is as good as it looks, it may turn out to be not just new but something interesting. Although somehow a movie about a failed assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler where everybody dies by being shot or hung by piano wire except for Der Führer doesn’t really seem to bring the Christmas spirit out in me, nor would I think in anybody else.
I didn’t think there could have been anything more ridiculous than a marketing campaign for Adolf Hitler at Christmas until I saw yesterday Heath Campbell of New Jersey in the Lehigh Valley who was suing a store for not providing a birthday cake with his 3 year old son’s name in icing on it, Adolf-Hitler Campbell.
Back in the 80’s, Hunterdon County where Mr. Campbell the child’s father is from, was known as Klan country and there was talk of inbreeding so I’m not really that familiar with the area; I’ve just driven through it because there was no real reason for me to stop and or stay awhile.
Campbell says that he is from German descent, although I'm not sure what part of the Rhineland the name Campbell is from, I still sort of understand where he is coming from and I really believe he has a right to name himself and his children whatever he wants. But Campbell seems not only to be showing himself as a racist, but I think he is going out of his way to prove that he is a stupid ass racist not be capable of living in a civilized society especially if he thought that his son’s name wouldn’t have an adverse affect on not only his son but the people around him. This is one man who deserves a beating, not because his ideas and views maybe repugnant to some, but because he is just so damned stupid.
I wonder when young Adolf grows up, what company is going to hire him and put his name on their payroll?
Sunday, December 14, 2008
This has been a strange year.
I suppose I could volunteer somewhere doing something worthwhile for someone, people, the community, but I don’t really have the social skills to do stuff like that well. I like structure and I like to take responsibility (that’s a euphemism for take charge) for what I do. But since it wouldn’t be my organization, I would have to take orders from somebody else and take them for free. I don’t do orders that well, so that wouldn’t really be a good fit for me, a legacy from my father I think.
I have sort of mentioned this before, but right now I could have been somewhere over the Atlantic, still trying to get some sleep. However, I traded in my tickets for Paris yesterday for tickets to Rome next year, although I'm not sure what I will do there. I came to the conclusion that the even though I had originally thought that I would have been travelling to meet with someone for fun and adventure, a chance to relive old times, it would be a bad idea. I thought to myself that it was probably going to turn out to be more misery and inconvenience, Paris in the winter, and I have already done too many of those types of trips so why do it again. Best to find an excuse, pretend I’ve been hurt and not go.
I could have been bumped up against some big hefty guy who was looking to get even more space from my small piece of coach, or I could have been sitting next to some middle-aged woman twittering away about how her children are doing this or that for her and that except for the quiet lonely one, they were her pride and joy and if I ever met them I would find her or even him so fascinating.
Funny that, I used to think once you hit 35 you were middle aged. Now that that number has long been passed for me, middle aged is now somewhere around 50 or even 60. I guess it’s all a matter of perspective.
Another thing that’s funny is that I always seem to make decisions and then I look around for reasons to justify those decisions. I always seem to follow the old axiom “he who hesitates is lost,” especially when it turns out to be the wrong decision. Of course there is the other axiom of looking before you leap, which I will often do as I watch opportunity slip away right in front of me.
So that’s it, my life has somehow turned out to be a series of mishaps and mistakes and for some reason I keep repeating them. And so I yearn to do something different.
I just don’t know what.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
I have a bunch of guilty pleasures, some of which have gotten me into trouble now and again. But one of them only keeps me up late late because I always have to watch it from start to end when ever it's on and that is Sweeney Todd. For some reason I just can't get enough of it on TV. Sure it's about crime, revenge, blood lust and cannibalism, and it's hokey and corny but I always get so much more out of it.
For me it's about unrequited love, longing for it but never really getting it. The love of a good life, a good partner, family or even a good business and or occupation that you can be proud of. It's about wanting something and coming so close to it but never being able to hold on to it.
Anyway as Rod Serling used to say, "Submitted for your approval..."
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Apparently crime, corruption and politics seem to a go hand in hand like ham and eggs at breakfast and in Illinois, they seem to go way back. Presently former Governor George Ryan is serving time for steering state contracts the way of his friends. Former Governor Daniel Walker was convicted in the 80’s of taking and using funds from a Savings and Loans bank that left it insolvent. Former Governor Otto Kerner was convicted in 1974 of bribery, conspiracy, income-tax evasion, mail fraud and perjury in connection with money he earned from racetrack stock while governor. Governor Len Small was indicted for embezzling $600,000 and running a money-laundering scheme when he was state treasurer.
This morning Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was arrested Tuesday on federal corruption charges, including that he conspired “to sell or trade” an appointment to the US Senate seat being vacated by President-elect Obama. Weird huh? They do things so differently in the Midwest from how they do it over here in the Northeast. Is New Jersey really in the Northeast? I've never really thought of it as such. Or is it more a Mid-Atlantic state?
Anyway, here they won’t arrest a Governor. They will just tell him to give the money back or whatever is missing, resign and go away. Give the reason as ill health or something equally ubiquitous like being gay or otherwise sexually depraved. It keeps things so very centered and so very short lived. It makes things so very civilized and with a nice speech with tears to round it all off so very personal. Kind of like our own Jim McGreevey.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Actually, I believe there is very little jungle in Africa, it's mostly savanna in the middle except for the Congo and desert in the north and parts of the south. In fact TV's Africa looked more like India. I think most of the continent looks more like the King Solomon's Mines Africa with Stewart Granger. But the fantasy is still there, plus I have the subconcious pull of going back to the homeland. You know they say that everyone is originally from Africa, black, white and everything in between, so I have a longing just to be there.
Since I don't have the type of job that would send me to any part of Africa on business or anything else, I would have to go under my own steam and with my own resources. That would probably mean that I wouldn't be able to do the climb up Mount Kilimanjaro, or the 4 week safari on the Serengeti with native bearers and Deborah Kerr or Meryl Streep holding on to my arm for protection against wild game. No, it would probably be the trip where I would probably be caught in the middle of some sort of blood diamond conflict, or a revolution where because I am so dark I would be mistaken as a member of tribe and with my luck the wrong tribe at that.
Maybe even worse than that would be to be struck down by disease in some shit hole of a town that my local travel agent recommended only because they were grateful for a commision. Malaria would be the obvious one I think to send me shivering in the middle of the night, completely delerious and out of my mind to meet the maker, but now they say that cholera seems to be breaking out and spreading from Zimbabwe. Apparently close to 1000 people have died from the disease since their last general election and there are are many more people who are infected with limited opportunities of receiving adequate healthcare. There are also signs that the disease is spreading into the neighboring countries. Thus Zimbabwe is again becoming another threat to the stabalization of the region.
Cholera, who the hell dies from cholera these days?
I have tickets for Paris next week, but for personal reasons and mistakes that I've made in my thought patterns I don't think that I will be able to make it. So Europe and Africa are out for me right now and I definitely can't afford Asia, so I am left once again with staying home this holiday season, going back to Florida or having thoughts of Hoboken NJ. Don't ask.
As usual, I can't make my mind up.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Now I’m not trying to sound like I’m better than anyone else, even though I’m sure that my mother would be the first one to say that I am and that I live way beyond my means and that she isn’t rich and can’t throw money away for no apparent reason like I do. But the way I see it is that if I am not willing to purchase something at full price if I can afford it, then reducing the price doesn’t make it more attractive. My sister has rooms and a garage full of of shit that she never uses, but she is so proud because it was shit she got on sale. If I thought something was junk or hideous or ridiculous at $100, then I would still think it was junk, or hideous or ridiculous at $19.50.
So the whole idea of waking up early the day after Thanksgiving, breaking down a store’s glass doors at 4 in the morning and running over some guy who is probably making $1.50 over minimum, stomping him to death like a herd of elephants during the drought on the Serengeti looking for something to drink other than their neighbors piss just so I can save $50 on TV who’s price will drop by $150 by next February is just something slightly beyond my scope of imagination.
Funny thing is, we will still look down on others trying to make it through the day in the Middle East and elsewhere while we mow people down just to get that 20% discount on something we probably don’t need and all in the name of the Christmas holidays. The whole thing gives me a certain feeling to it, however warm wouldn’t be the way I would describe it.
Monday, November 24, 2008
And if their wings burn, I know I’m not to blame.”
Of course nowadays it's no longer as simple as it used to be. Like women my age who have to paint their faces and wear that wonder bra that will show their best assets, I will sometimes go for the tight leather jeans, no underwear and a strap cock ring for extra emphasis. There is nothing that says "hold your interest" more than a man with a nice print, and that's regardless of what or who you are into. Plus that was the look I was going for until the shit started to hurt and I had to pull off the ring in the bathroom. Why do I bring this up? I'm not sure really other than to say I needed a little attention and so I played the part. I played it to as far as I was comfortable with.
The CEO's from Detroit's Big 3 needed a little attention when they went to DC, cap in hand like Oliver Twist asking for a cup of gruel. (What is gruel?) They needed a few more billion to tide them over for the next two years because the economy had destroyed, or was about to detroy their business unlike what it must have done to Toyota and BMW.
However as everyone knows, they didn't get what they asked for but instead got the message of come back again later but with plan that states how they will become profitable. And next time try a little humilty by maybe not using the corporate jet which cost $20,000 for the day on average and trying slumming it in 1st Class instead when asking the tax payer to cover them. I've heard since that GM has already sold off 2 of it's 5 corporate jets in order to start saving money.
All I'm saying is that if I were advising the CEO's, I would tell them that they should pick the best and most fuel efficient car that they make and drive down to DC in order to make their point. Of course they would run the risk of breaking down in Pittsburg and perhaps alienting those that thought the Big 3 were salvagable. But they may also get the sympathy vote and get even more than they wanted. Who knows?
All I'm saying is that sometimes you just have to strap on whatever you need to strap on in order to show off your best attributes if you want to get what you want.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Take for example the man above. As small as he was he proudly let everyone know that he did not believe in homosexuality and same sex marriages, and that as a Christian he would follow the laws and principles of the Lord and the rest of us would rot in Hell. Meanwhile under his stunning pink blazer he wore a lovely gray and pink checkered dress and from the way he spoke and acted he was clearly as queer as a $3 bill. Obviously he was also crazy and yet truth be told, and I may lose half of the 5 regular readers to this blog but c’est la vie, I sort of was on his side. I’m not saying that gay people will face hell fire and damnation in the afterlife; hell some of us are facing that now. What I am saying is that I am not sure that being able to marry anyone you choose with the blessing of the state may not be the answer.
For those of you who are unaware, from what I understand, California’s Prop 8 is a statute that would recognize marriage as state sanctioned relationship that can only be done between a man and a woman. Every other kind of relationship, i.e. gay, would be seen as illegitimate and possibly not eligible to all of the rights of a straight married couple. Here is where I am going to veer off course.
When I was growing up, the only legitimate marriage a couple could have would be the one done in sanctity of the church. Because marriage was a holy sacrament and therefore only a member of the church could perform the ceremony and provide the blessings that would come with such a service. As I grew older I found out that people really weren’t married until the State told them that they were married and that for $10 slapped down on a dirty counter at city hall or the local registrar’s office anybody could get a license if they were a man and woman and not related to one another except in certain States and maybe of the same race they too could be married for life, just not in the sight of God.
This really isn’t that radical but maybe it’s time for the State not to try and equalize all marriages but instead get out of the marriage business all together. Maybe it’s time to truly separate the Church from the State and maybe instead issue Civil Union Partnership Certificates to everyone, “black white, gay straight” and everything in between like they do in some European countries. A certificate or bond that would be no different from anybody else’s and entitle the recipients to the same rights and benefits as everyone else.
Once that is done if the couple wants to head down to their church, the local synagogue, mosque or temple for the marriage ceremony and the blessings of their faith then that would be something to be dealt with by the couple and their religious institution and thus have nothing to do with the law. After all the government is not involved in baptisms or burials, so why are they in marriages?
Unfortunately or fortunately depending on how you look at it, I don’t have anybody so maybe my thoughts don’t count. But then again, according to the majority of states in this country, the thoughts of people who attended the rally don’t count either so why not try something else?
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
When I was growing up, it was the veterans of WWI that were honored foremost amongst all veterans. I guess these old soldiers were in their late 70’s or 80’s then and I thought they were all ancient.
Then I started to wonder about 10 years ago why I never heard any reference to the WWI veterans anymore and now I think I have figured it out. Sometimes I'm not that quick. They are all dead except for a handful. All the Germans, all the French are dead and no has yet to wheel out anyone from the US, Russia or Turkey (the Ottoman Empire) to represent so I don’t know about them. In fact the only person that I have heard of who saw combat and is still living is Henry Allingham from Great Britain and he’s 112 years old.
90 years ago today. 90 years ago and they thought that mankind had finally learned to live in peace together and that nations would no longer need to take up arms against one another. Differences would be discussed and dealt with diplomatically with the League of Nations. Boy, were they wrong.
I wonder what people will be thinking of 90 years from now. Will people be honoring members of the armed forces from Afghanistan and or Iraq? Will any of those vets still be alive to tell their stories, show us their artificial limbs, say why they still can't sleep at night sometimes? Will any of us be around to hear them? Will any of us be able to explain to them why?
Sunday, November 9, 2008
The only time that I have been to Chicago was in the mid 90’s to see what was advertised as the largest Monet exhibit in the world ever at the Chicago Institute of something or other. The museum had assembled pieces from its own collection, other museums and private owners to build the exhibit. However, by the time my partner and I got to the city, the museum had sold out of all the regular reserved tickets and would only sell same day exhibit tickets between 9 and 10 each morning.
The first morning we arrived early, somewhere between 8 and 9 stayed in line for about 30 minutes before some guy came along and told the line that all of the tickets had been sold for that day and to come back the next day, which we did. This time we left the hotel between 5:30 or 6am if I can remember and walked the few blocks to the museum. It was the middle of November and the high for that day in Chicago was 31, which meant it must have been 15 or 20 something degrees if not 5 which is how it felt. Even though we both alternated standing in line out in the cold while the other one ran over to a nearby coffee shop every 20 to 30 minutes, I still remember that point when I lost all feeling in my toes and in my legs and I started not to care. As long as the family jewels didn’t shrivel up so much that they wouldn’t be able to turn back to normal size, none of it mattered.
Now I don’t know if that qualifies me for being able to wait out in the cold because I may have a little bit of a dilemma. Do I freeze again all night this time or do I spend money that I know could be put to better use?
I haven’t really given much thought about this winter, but after hearing that George Bush had gathered the White House staff on the lawn recently and told them to get ready for new management, I figured that even this guy knows it’s (a) a special moment in time and (b) it’s time to go. I thought to myself, I should go too. For all the reasons that you can think of, I should go to Washington DC in January.
Then I thought it just wouldn’t be practical. Every fool and their aunt Fanny will be on I-95 creating danger and havoc on the highway. A journey that should take 2 to 3 hours will probably increase to 5 or 6 with traffic and fellow revelers. And forget about getting back home. That might take even longer unless I took the Amtrak train to DC. However, all reservations for January 20 have been booked, I have checked. Unless I was willing to catch the 12 midnight train out of Philly and find a good spot on the mall with a blanket in the middle of the night which I’m sure hundreds will be doing if not thousands; or catch a 9am business class Acela Express for about $150 one way and hope I can get a glance of one of the big screen TVs they will be out there because I would be so far away from the action.
I suppose I can also try to stop being so bougie and just catch an unreserved train and if I have to, just stand all the way to DC for 2 hours. Of course there would be the 3 or 4 hours standing for the Inauguration and speech and maybe even parade. And if I’m still unlucky not stand all the way back to Philadelphia and finally New Jersey.
That’s a hell of a lot of standing. That would be like that Abu Ghraib shit. I’d start confessing to stuff I’d never even heard of. I might even tell them I was on the Grassy Knoll in ’63. I might even…I’m getting carried away.
Maybe I’ll just stay home and watch the events with Katie Couric on the 6:30pm news, it would be so much easier and it’s time I gave her a chance anyway.
What will you do this coming January?
Thursday, November 6, 2008
If I could grow a beard like how Teddy Pendergrass grew a beard, real thick, luscious and masculine looking, I might really go for it. But I can’t. It’s not that it grows in patches like I’ve seen on others, but it does grow in kind of thin looking. I guess just the same way it must have grown in for Old Mr. Chin my great grand-father and his family.
Since Tuesday I’ve been trying to say something about the recent election victory by Barack Obama other than I shaved but I couldn’t think of anything. Everything has already been said or written about by everyone else. Historic recognitions, praises, congratulations and jubilations have all been put down on paper, on the net and by word of mouth. What more can I say? I’m sure there is something but I think it would take someone with a better mind and more organized than me to find it.
If I were religious and active in the church that I say I belong to I would insist on us having a sermon of thanksgiving. I would find a way of honoring what happened this week, but I’m not. I remember a story that Jonathan Winters said once when he was coming back from the war, Korea or WWII. He was marching in a parade down his town’s main street and he saw his mother in the crowd of onlookers. He broke ranks and ran over to her full of happiness and glee and said, “Ma, Ma, I’m home. I made it back alright.” And she looked at him and being an Episcopalian like I am nodded and said, “I see ya.” So maybe that is what I will say, “I see you Mr. President-Elect.” But then I would ask, “What now?”
I would hope that he says that he intends to carry out his campaign promises. I don’t know them all, but I would want the troops brought back as soon as possible both from Iraq and Afghanistan, even though I know Afghanistan wasn’t part of the deal. I would hope that he would insist on creating or starting a dialogue with Chavez, Assad and other leaders we have problems with, even the Castro Brothers. I never have understood what has been gained by boycotting Cuba since the Kennedy administration. Maybe that can change too. I would also hope that the healthcare for all plan that he said he would develop, really does come into fruition. And I would hope that we really do develop alternative energy fuels and that we do start to fight against global warming.
So, what now?
Monday, November 3, 2008
After deciding that the Phillies World Series Championship celebrations and the Halloween festivities all clinging together in same confined area would have been too much for me, I decided to do the Halloween parade in New York. I arrived at 6. That left me an hour before which the parade would begin. What to do? Line up at barricades and ensure myself a good view? No that would have been too sensible. Instead, for the strangest reason I heard my name being called and I guessed that it must have been coming from the Paul Smith store on 5th Avenue and 16th. Without hesitation I headed there and spent a pleasant 30 minutes there and came out a few dollars shorter.
Anyway, so I’m back of 6th Ave and I realize all the good spots have been taken and in some places the crowd is 6 to 10 people deep. What should I do? I walked down to 8th St and the crowd just seemed to grow exponentially. I knew that if I went any further south, I would be even able to move let alone see anything over their heads. So I walked back up to 11th St and crossed over by the police street crossing that they’d set up and headed south again. I had noticed that there really wasn’t a crowd by the library on the other side of 8th St. But the police wouldn’t let me in. No press credentials, no entrance. Hmm, there’s an idea for a post. What constitutes a member of the press and do you have to work for a corporation in order for you to be one.