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, December 31, 2008

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

How much is too much Information?

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

The Can

It's late and I still haven't finished writing something I started 2 days ago, so in lieu of that a short story on video, or is this just a long commercial? Hmm....

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Gift giving at Christmas

My first name is Ian and my middle name is Kevin and I remember when one Christmas my father gave me a small Totes umbrella and a box of handkerchiefs from Pierre Cardin, a French designer who was old and out of style at the time. The handkerchiefs were embroidered with the single initial “K” and I was furious. That cheap bastard, I swore if I didn’t look like him I would have sworn that my mother must have cheated on him before I was born because we couldn’t possibly be related.

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

Thoughts About the 3rd Reich?

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 F├╝hrer 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

So long, farewell, auf weidersehen good-bye

This is silly and in the grand scheme of things completely meaningless, but I just can't get enough of watching this video. I have nothing to say here other than it's like Christmas has come early to Baghdad.

This has been a strange year.

I Yearn

Please excuse the personal post but I yearn to do something different, and I don’t know what. I’m bored and I long for a change and I don’t know why.

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

One of my Guilty Pleasures

Nothing here but a quick morning shout out.

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

Here they go Again

I had a fair idea of what Sen. McCain meant during his campaign when he said, “I don’t need lessons about telling the truth to the American people… and were I ever to need any improvement in that regard I probably would not seek advice from a Chicago politician.” I thought it was a cheap and sleazy remark at the time and something not worth remembering. But as life often turns to irony, those are the kind of lines that will time and again return to us in some shape or form.

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

Zimbabwe Redux

I've never been to Africa. I think I have always wanted to go because growing up watching Tarzan on TV with Ron Ely screaming and swinging from some big vine in the middle of the jungle made it so appealing... Keep your jokes to yourself.

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.


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