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, April 30, 2008

I Touch You Touch

Rest assured your jobs are now secure. You can sleep easy now with the thought that the value for your homes will no longer decrease as the economy is revived. And dare I say there will be peace in Iraq. Yes, I have done my bit for Bush and country. The economy stimulus check has been spent. It’s true I don’t actually know if the money has been deposited in my account yet, but they said it would be on the news and you know the networks are never wrong.

Anyway, I’ve been having troubles with my iPod recently; I was only getting sound out of one side of the headphones. I had thought that it was a headphone problem but after replacing them at least 3 times in the last 6 months, I figured it must be the iPod itself. This evening I went to the new Apple Store at the Cherry Hill Mall to see if I could get it repaired. Obviously it would be some sort of short that needed fixing or headphone contacts that needed realigning. Real simple.

Well they didn’t fix it there, but if I went on line and googled iPod repair, I could find someone who might fix it for about $50 to $75. Or the store could replace it with a similar model, which they don’t even make any more for $120. My third choice was to trade in the iPod Classic I had and upgrade to something else with 10% off. I turned and looked at what they had in the store and I actually felt my nipples start to harden. I was surrounded by that sweet smell of new technology and I couldn’t resist.

So the iTouch is being charged and I’m sitting back figuring I will have about $180 which I will buy a money order with and send it to my cousin courtesy of Chet from a previous post. I would send a check but the bitch used to steal from me when we were younger. I doubt that he’s changed since. But I’m happy, at least for today knowing that I’ve done my part for the economy by purchasing parts that were made in China and assembled in Mexico. I’ve helped with global warming by purchasing a leather case for iTouch and thereby preventing another cow by belching and farting methane gas into the atmosphere. And I know that George is still in the White House.

It brings a tear to the eye.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

All is Vanity

I have been called vain a number of times. I remember the first time that I really took notice of it was when I dropped a weight on my index finger about 10 years ago. I called my mother that week or later and she scolded me about not going to the doctor.

“You know how you are if your finger turns crooked or if they cut it off because no one looked at it, “she said.

“And how is that?”I asked

“Vain. You’d never be able to live with yourself if you lost a finger.”

She was probably right in a sense, if I had lost the finger it would have been yet another flaw in my physical makeup that I would have had to hide. Another blemish that I would cover up with something less egregious. But she was also wrong. What she and others had called vain was not my attempt at proclaiming how physically beautiful I was, but rather my endeavor to keep people from pointing at me and saying how weird I looked.

This probably started when I was about 9 or 10 years old and I went to the public swimming pool with a couple of my friends. I had stripped down and was about to get into my swimming trunks when one of them turned, looked at me, pointed at my dick and laughed. I don’t remember what words were said but apparently I seemed to be abnormally large compared to their little nubbins, they were both white if that means anything to you, and I had become a source for their amusement.

From that point on, I covered my genitalia so others would not laugh at me. It’s not the 10 inch deal that I sometimes wish I had, but I still felt insecure about it. I always covered the scar on my stomach that I got when I was 14 days old from an operation when I realized that it looked like a map of the Panama Canal, a big gash cut across the midsection. I grew an afro, not because it was fashionable but so I could cover my big forehead and hide the ears that stuck out in a point. My last girlfriend would say that I reminded her of Dr. Spock.

“The baby doctor?” I would ask her.

Witty comebacks were not my thing then, but if you are going to make fun of me using Star Trek references, at least use the correct terminology. Now that I think of her, she was probably in part responsible for turning me.

Anyway last week , I was again told that I was vain, just because that I had mentioned that I had had some grill work done which included an implant on teeth so far back in my mouth no one would ever see it unless they were a dentist and looking for another holiday trip to Israel. That was what my dentist took as soon as I finished paying her for that procedure.

You see I’m not vain. I’m very much insecure and frightened by almost anything that will make me feel a smaller person than I am. So in order to try to show that I have nothing to be vain about, I'm willing to do the grand gesture and show myself in all my glory.

Well not all of it. What would you expect?

Monday, April 28, 2008

Change is something you can't Avoid

I was going to take some pictures of the events outside of the Penn Relays yesterday. The last time I had been there was 2002 or 3 and the streets had been filled with young people celebrating their youth, their strength and their beauty and I thought this would have good chance to pull out the new camera and see if I could figure out the advantages of a 10.0 megapixel instrument over what I have had before.

When I arrived on 34th St., I already knew that I would not try to get a ticket to get into the stadium so I walked down to 32nd St. on the overly crowded side walk passing the many food and vendor stands almost all of them selling some of jerk chicken or fish meal. The others were selling T-shirts or caps supporting Obama and I wondered how much of the funds would actually go to his campaign. The rest almost overwhelmingly, were selling shirts, caps, necklaces and other jewelry emblazoned with the flags of Jamaica, Trinidad, Barbados and Guyana. There were national flags from the other Caribbean countries but I didn’t know which ones they belonged to.

It was then that I ran into someone that I believe still goes to my gym. I don’t really know what his name is, it could be John but who knows. He had once told me that years ago we had met at a bathhouse before and that we had done the do there. I had tried to tell him that he had gotten his pieces mixed up but after I while I figured if I was going to be his fantasy…well he could do worse. I’d let him live a little.

So we shake hands and he proceeds to tell me that he had been going there every year since ’78 or ’42, I wasn’t really listening and that back in the day the crowds had been filled frat brothers, and sisters I suppose, but now the Penn Relays were full of West Indians. It had become a mini version of the West Indian Day Parade in Brooklyn but without the parade. How things change.

I decided to walk up a bit further to see if there was anything that would be of interest to me. I reached the gates of Franklin Field and I realized that everything this year seemed to be very clean and very efficient. The police had prevented people from congregating outside the gates as they had done in earlier years. The traffic moved smoothly outside of the arena and I realized the bacchanal images that I had remembered and was looking for now were not to be found this year. So I left, not spending more than 15 minutes for the whole thing.

Besides, I’m starting to grasp the fact that more isn’t necessarily better and that I made better pictures and was more careful with the 3.5 megapixel camera with the bigger lens than I could ever be with this one. And the pictures I took with the 35mm were even better than those I took with the 3.5. So I will just wait for another occasion or just make up a subject myself that won’t change before I decide to shoot it.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Haircut or Relays?

When I was young, my mother would tell me to finish eating my food because there was starving children in Biafra. Today I still don’t know where Biafra is, Kenya or Tanzania I think but that’s not the point. Starvation has been around with us from since man has stood on two feet. From wars, droughts, disease and now market competition there has always been a shortage of food, and I would get into more of this if I thought more and had more information. Instead I want to talk about something that’s more important to me at this time; getting my hair cut.

The trouble with working with women is that they will be the first ones to let you know when you have a touch of the Wolf Man about you and I have reached that time again.

For the last 10 or more years I have gotten my hair cut in West Philly. It’s not really because I’m in love with the service but I go to a shop that I’m comfortable with and I see someone that I’m relaxed with touching my hair. But this weekend, is the weekend of the Penn Relays. That means that everyone and their unwed sister will be out and about trying to hook up with someone. Girls will be out shaking behinds or their boobs trying to get some dick or entertainment for the evening. And because it’s also the weekend Black Gay Pride, the men will be out shaking their behinds trying to get dick or entertainment for the evening as well. What does this mean for me?

Well I’d like to think that those days are well behind me, but I know that the barber shop will be packed with people trying to get that last minute fade. It will be packed by people trying to look cool and as attractive as they can be just to set the weekend off right. It means that I should be prepared to spend at least 2 hours waiting for a 15 minute haircut. It’s happened before.

Well, maybe I’ll just take my camera along and see how it works since the stadium, Franklin Field, is only 4 blocks away and there is usually more action going on outside the fields than inside. Maybe I’ll make it an event of it for myself.

Anyway, after that I may give my thoughts on how GM crops, farm subsidies and the interests in bio-fuels will send us and the rest of the world into a mass of confused hunger and strife. It depends on how I feel about my hair.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

And the Beat Goes on

I don't believe that Philadelphia has had this much media coverage since the Republican National Committee Convention in 2000. That was where I saw Sen. Al D'Amato from NY just before he lost his seat to Hillary and I was surprised at how tall he is. It was also where I ran into George Stephanopoulos, and I mean ran into him. He was coming out of a Vietnamese restaurant and just as his feet hit the sidewalk, I bumped into him almost knocking him over. I noticed that he came up to about my chest in height. So I apologized and then we both moved on.

But now the media is back in full force looking for that Rocky like knockout by either Obama or Hillary. Of course none was delivered tonight because none could be delivered. This is a fight to the end. That is what makes it so exciting. This is what Ali versus Frazier must have been like in the early 70's except it taking 18 months to find out that it's going to come down to a decision and not a knockout.

But the media doesn't care. Why should it? Every 2 weeks there is a decisive primary election and every 2 weeks after that the media says that the next race will decide who the Democratic nominee will be. It's turning into a perpetual money making machine for them.

Oh if I had a chance to do it all again, I would have picked political analyst for a career. Every 4 years it's Christmas, New Years Eve and the 4th of July all wrapped up into big self-love fest, where people in love with the sound of their own voices talk about stuff over and over again that they know nothing about.

So I dragged my friend Curtis out tonight when we left the gym to take some pictures for me. Since after turning 40 night-vision was one of the things that I left behind. Come to think of it, some of the day vision was left behind too. Any way, Hillary's campaign headquarters was next door at the Bellevue Hotel and I figured I won't see this kind of excitement in Philly again for a long time.

The news trucks have already left the city.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Charlie and George

I have always wanted to know whose dick did George Stephanopoulos suck to get his job at ABC and where do I sign up to get a chance.

He has never been a good host on his own Sunday show "This Week," and he never has ever had anything interesting to say when he was as a commentator or journalist on any other show. Never was it more evident than during the Democratic Primary debate last night in Philly.

Worse still was the fact he was just the hatchet man for Charles Gibson who was the ring master for the event and poor Charlie had even less perceptive things to ask. It was like they were doing a weak imitation of the House of Un-American Activities hearing with Gibson playing the McCarthy role and Stephanopoulos doing the Roy Cohn job.

All I can say is that for almost 2 hours, both candidates in general and Obama specifically were subjected to questions that bordered on trivia, gossip and innuendo. No real policy issues or differences were discussed or explored until the end when I had already decided that who was being kicked off American Idol would have been more insightful.

For someone who has only seen one other debate and that was in January, this debate has left me wondering that if network TV won’t take the Democrats seriously will anybody else?

It makes me miss Peter Jennings even more.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Sex and Religion

One of the things that I will miss not being able to ask Mitt now that he has disappeared from the political arena, at least until the RNC Convention, is "What's up with your church?"

I know that's unfair. It's not his church that I would be asking about, but the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints, an offshoot, a rogue branch of the Mormon Church headquartered in Utah. But apart from the Osmonds and the young men dressed in white shirts and ties in West Philly, he is the only person who I know belongs to the church with a bit of pull.

I am not going to go into the story of the abduction or rescue (depends on what side of the fence you're on) of the 400 plus children from the church's FYZ Ranch in Eldorado TX, you can follow the link if you like. I am firm believer of not guilty until proven, and the story is still being written. All I know is that there are allegations of child abuse, of girls 15 years old and younger being forced into sexual relations with men much older than they are. These children were then separated from their parents, or the people they think are their parents by the authorities. Also there is to be a hearing by the courts on Thursday to determine the future of the children as they bus them off to the local sports arena for rest and shelter ala Katrina. And I want to know why.

I can't pretend that I understand religion. I don't really understand my own church. Maybe that is why I haven't been since my father's funeral. But if I were to try in this case, I would have to find out why. Where is the reasoning behind this kind of thought in Texas? Is there some sort of link to the Branch Davidians. Is there something in the water? Am I just reaching? What's going on?

So again, if Mitt does get the VP running mate nod this year, I hope someone has the guts or maybe the stupidity to ask, "What's up with your church?"

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Taxes and the Procrastinator

I have been back in Jersey since Friday and I just can't seem to get my ass up and motivated about anything. I promised myself that I would do my taxes as soon as I got back.

It doesn't ever take long, maybe an hour an hour and a half at the most. Nowadays I use TurboTax or some other website (I'm loyal to no one when it comes to taking my money) so I don't even have to think. But it's the 13th and still I haven't got around to it.

I'm not going to to say that when you look up the word procrastinator, my picture would be listed, it's not. But I should write a thesis about it. I have developed what some may call a disadvantage or con, into an art.

There is no feeling like running through an airport, bags in your hands with that crazed look hoping you wont receive a bullet to the left temple and having them slam that airplane door just as you board because you thought you had more time at the beach, bar or bed you just came from. Nothing tells you more that God is in his heaven than when you juggle so much in your life that you sometimes forget the things that are important, and then just when you are about to drop everything you do that spin on your heels, pull something up from where you don't know, and everything turns out well. Men breathe easier, old women stop clutching their pearls because you've come out on top once again.

Well as soon as I finish writing this, by the way I'm supposed to be writing at least 2 posts a week, 3 to make myself feel good, I will get online and start my 1040 forms. Although I may just go to the supermarket before then because there's nothing here that I want to eat and I didn't go yesterday because I was out with friends. Of course by the time that I get back and cook, John Adams on HBO will be on, I like those type of shows, so maybe I'll watch that and then do the taxes. Oh, I might finish the laundry that I started earlier today. There is nothing worse than going through the laundry basket looking for something to wear that no one will notice is dirty. That is, so I've heard, I've never done it myself of course (cough).

Monday, April 7, 2008

One World, One Dream

I will admit the first time that I heard or even thought about boycotting the Beijing Olympic Games was by reading a post written by the blogger Mes Deux Cents. She had suggested that in order to protest against the actions of the Chinese in Darfur, she would think about boycotting the games and asked if athletes and others should do the same. At the time I said no, but now I’m not so sure.

Like most people, I don’t know about the specific arguments against having the games in China but I am aware of the general disagreements that the world has. I am aware of the human rights violations, the arms for oil deal China has with the Sudan, the oppression of religion and civil rights in Tibet and I start wonder where my 50’s “fight the power” itch is.

Recently, I have seen the disruption of the lighting of the torch in Athens. I have watched the BBC show video of protestors in London express their anger against the games in China. I have observed on CNN the police in Paris dressed as if they were auditioning for American Gladiator protecting the torch on its way through the city streets. And today some people were arrested in San Francisco for unfurling the banner, One World, One Dream over the Golden Gate Bridge in anticipation of the torch arriving there on Wednesday. Angela Merkel of Germany and Nikolas Sarcosi of France both say that they will not be attending the opening ceremonies and Senator Clinton has or asked President Bush to avoid the ceremonies as well and still I question what good will all this do.

After all, a good Olympic event makes for good PR for China. It gives bragging rights for the country to say how good and progressive it is. It helps legitimize the Chinese government public policy and justify the direction that they are taking. And if it doesn’t then the Chinese may just say “oh well” and start counting the cash that they took in.

Perhaps the only way to effectively to protest against the Games in Beijing is to stop financing it. Perhaps if the public stopped supporting American and multi-national companies like McDonalds and Coca-Cola that are sponsoring the Games then maybe whatever political statements that people wanted to say would at least be heard.

Of course by not supporting these industries, one must wonder who would be hurt most, the Chinese government or the ordinary worker trying to make living. If the country and possibly the world is heading for recession, then who really will be hurt most? I suspect it will be those who are trying to feed themselves and their families.

I guess people who are inclined to do so will protest any which way they can. I for one will protest in my own way. I shall stay up late and watch NBC and the track events but refuse to watch the commercials.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Just One More Story, Perhaps

Ego is not one of the reasons that I started doing a blog. I have kept a diary or journal before, but for one reason or another I had stopped making entries and I wanted to leave some sort of record behind of the experiences that I had had and the way that I had felt about them. It’s not that any of them are really important but I wanted to do something similar to the great diarists like Samuel Pepys and others and leave an impression of the age that I lived in.
There is also I believe an African tradition of leaving an oral history behind, a custom of telling stories that are passed on down through the ages in order for those who come after us to learn. I don’t know if it’s still in operation but I had heard that a group of people had set up a box in Grand Central in New York where people could go for about an hour and have themselves interviewed and their stories recorded for posterity. This, in a small way is what I am trying to do.

My grandmother has been ill for about 3 or 4 years. She is not a handsome woman, in fact she looks a little like Mandela, Nelson not Winnie and I have decided that I should try and get her story before it’s too late for either one of us. I am not sure what it is that I want her to tell me, I already know much of her life. I know how her father forced the man who impregnated her at 16 to marry her at 17. How some years later she and Oscar Greene had been sitting down to breakfast when they heard on the radio “Love is a many Splendored Thing” dedicated to Oscar from Eileen and of how he packed his bags and left without a word; granny’s name is Winifred. I have heard the stories of how she would then send my mother to her father for some money so they could both eat.

I have even heard the stories of how when we first met, when I would run up to her, spit in her face and scratch her. All of this while I was bow legged with a nose so flat that she would have to mold it with her hands in order for me to breathe. I have heard her tell the story of how she saw JFK get shot on the TV and of how she heard Jackie scream “Oh no!” It took me a while to figure that they didn’t have live TV in ’63 and even now when they show the Super-8 movie of the assassination, there is no sound, but then it’s not important.

What is important is that I get her story what ever it is. It may be of no use to anyone but herself and I probably wont even put it down. But still, I will have it and as long as she doesn’t start to tell me about how she ran dawn patrol with Hillary in Bosnia, then I will be happy.

All I want is just one more story.


Related Posts with Thumbnails

Google Analytics Tracking Code