Friday, August 29, 2003

Nothing to Report, Sir. 08.29.03

Last night I went to the Cornelia Street Cafe for Pool Party Steve's birthday. Good jazz. Talked to the other "Pico" from high school. Shock of the evening-- we were there because, apparently, Small's has... closed???

Thursday, August 28, 2003

Match Point 08.28.03

Samantha (I need a nickname for you. Skids is too dirty. How about Baby Sam? Like a reference to Baby Cham?) is a sweetheart, thinking of me when she obtained some US Open tix from her place of employment. And she took me. As she put it, the evening was great because it wasn't like us trying to catch up (which is somtimes simply forced) but more of an everyday hangout. We made fun of almost everyone in Arthur Ashe, on the grounds, in the seats; there was a solid wind, almost chilly, which is an improvement over usual US Open weather-- the confluence of all the smutty dripping weather of the summer in one place.

Samantha also pointed out that we probably annoyed everyone around us with our quips and commentary; but we didn't have to give anyone the finger, so that's good. I was only attacked by the grasshopper once, who took to pacing throughout the whole James Blake match. That was an hour and a half.

As for the matches, Lindsay Davenport really whooped the hell out of her "opponent" who has no name but will be heretofore called Italian-Flavored Fodder Only Here For the Money. "IFFOHFM" flailed, she whiffed, she bored the crowd, she was worse than "Cats."

The actions of Mr. Blake's opponent, Zabaleta, was wonderfully pronounced by our British-accented announcer, his strong serves given a hot-weather tropical grace; Blake's relentless (yet sloppy, reactionary, and unplanned) athletic abilities given an urban Grey Goose feel. Blake outlasted him in three sets. Or more appropriate, Mr. Blake stopped f**king up and getting in his own way.

On my way home, the evening was marred by a slow roll from Flushing down through Queens, where I saw a random act of violence at the Sutphin Boulevard station. A man is with a crew of I would guess thugs-- this, based on their retro outfits (of teams that did not win in retro or current times) and the depth with which they rolled. This man walks up to a woman, who is talking with them. She is closer to the road than the KFC which lights their backs. Mind you, the bus windows are streaked and there is a greasy afro-stain on my window. I reach over to watch the people, as I always do. The man strides to her, and I believe I saw him grip her by the shoulders and lift and bodyslam her to the ground, on her back, with the kind of speed you only see in Governor Swarzenegger's movies.

This seems incorrect, because I wonder how he could just stand up as if nothing happened, while she seemed to protest, timidly give him the finger, and drift up the street towards Jamaica Avenue, rubbing the back of her head. He was swaggering, from what I could see. Watching her body language, I thought she would soon return to enjoy the company of thugs.

The light changed and I left them to their stories, they unknowingly leaving me to mine.

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Meet Rob and Ed… 08.27.03

Silver, Pixel, Gully:

I missed the OC. I know. I am sad about it. It sears my brrrrrain! It tears my soul! It twigs my berries!

At 3.30 AM I found myself falling asleep on the street, on my heavy bag, hoping and waiting for a bus to come and take my tired ass home. I was still drunk, hella tired, and wondering what I had gotten into this evening.

What I got into was the company of two Brits who are visiting the states to teach soccer and now are on vacation for a few. Apparently, they found our last men’s softball game. The game itself was a torrid affair of misthrows and playing too shallow and a couple of collisions to boot, one which knocked captain Tom out of the game. I took his place at second base and it was fun, until the lights went too low and Satish flew out to end the season. Good to see Satish and Sammy, both Bens and Nicky Shoes.

But, these fellows had been trolling around for a coed softball game. In search of women, of course. Fine young university boys with a one-track mind. That track ain’t got nothing to do with the greyhounds. Ed and Rob decided they wished to get into a game—and got into ours. Ed, for his part, hit into a double play—I was the first of the outs.

Sammy was cool with driving them downtown and I was all about the OC. They of course couldn’t remember what side of the park their hostel was on but we found it; teeming with what looked like the remnant Euro gangsters from the drug movies that do not take place in Miami.

Upstairs, we drank and the OC was almost ready to come on, but Sammy left his celly downstairs. Ed and I exchanged jerseys, he receiving my Rogues jersey and I receiving his soccer jersey. We talked about birds, shagging, rap music, bad neighborhoods and such. Sammy and I showed them solid pizza and we ended up at the West End bar up around Columbia. I thought we should head downtown but they were looking for birds;

Midnight found the bar filling with what might pass as the Columbia football team and the women who love them. Lots of meat on the floor. Rob was ensconced with a trio of women in a conservation biology master’s program. A smooth operator. Sammy and I joined them.

My favorite of course was the acerbic one who wouldn’t tell us her name. I made fun of her a lot. Certainly worth the trip, since she poked fun back. And asked me what I was doing with these guys. Silliness. Ed is a classy fellow. He asked the kid sitting on his lap for a kiss. Made some mention of how excited he was. I think it showed.

We left them there around one. An extended goodbye; a possibility that they will come back down in a few days; a drive to Penn Station where I found out that my schedule was old—so the MTA subway system for me.

At 3.30 AM I was falling asleep on my bag. Trying to remember how I got to this place. With work the next morning.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

A Weekend of... 08.26.03

Friday night:

Descha’s moving from his apartment, way off in the wilds of Bushwick, where the wild has turned to mild with a hipster infusion and some currently-undetermined factors. I mean, this is the first time I had three kids even walk behind me on the street at night.

This party, of course has surprise guests working their way around the door to the refrigerator to chill their drinks. The best one being our favorite scrappy actor Mike Maronna (whom Little Fuzzy recognized off the bat. And not from the E-trade commercials. Little Fuzzy sounds dirty, doesn’t it? And not like a teddy bear. But I can’t call someone “Sweater”…).

Now here’s the thing—I have seen Mike maybe once in the last 9 years and we’re still cool. He’s still shady. Looking for some hijinks. Trying to get people to do the dance or the bum’s rush. And C-Lo, a.k.a. Lo-Jack, is still the sweetest guy on earth. We rode home in his car like we’ve done since we were 16-17, talking about all the women we did not see, and about how I was holding court about pornography and Kevin Costner.

Saturday Night:

Ray-Ray and I had a semi-brilliant idea. Since we love to watch bad movies together, we could bring other people in on it. It would be fun! And who is more overblown, more cheesy, more ridiculous in his principles and his ego that he would deign to tell us, for example, what post apocalyptic recovery would look like?

Kevin. Kevin Costner. A man whose good looks and wooden acting have achieved him a status where he can make even more ridiculous “epic” (boring) movies with panoramic shots, a hearkening to the age of Westerns and simple ethos and four-hour movies. Those were also the days when movie-making was new and people had no better options. And before we could travel west as readily or watch the history channel, movies were a way of communicating what the world was like (no matter what they left out or romanticized).

Ah, Kevin. You are truly old school.

But we built it and they barely came. Ray Ray, myself, Pixel, and Descha closed it out; Allison, some guys, some girl, Rachel G, and Gully came in the middle. Silver was so kind as to ring the doorbell and then turn around and go home.

For his part, Descha was alternately excited and humorously appalled. The Postman and Waterworld were unbelievable, even with Tom Petty. Notice that the child always asks the important question, like “what is a postman?” We slept on the foldout until we separated into two sleeping patterns and drifted off for four hours.


Marla invites me to meet her parents! With lots of other people of course. My eyes had a hard time adjusting to the light of her apartment, off the white walls and up off the wood, but the parents Spitzer are hilarious. It was all good and there is not so much to say about it. But, Marla, I have no memory of asking you about your friend Marea. I think that is a big whooping lie.

Sunday evening:

“So I wait…” the Afghan Whigs sing. So does Tom Petty. I think Kool G Rap did also.

I was at Pixel’s apartment, talking to her while she showered, waiting for Descha to call her back, to wake up, so we could go to the yearly pool party. See, our friend Steve is the host of a yearly gathering on Shaolin that mostly involves hard fought pool volleyball (PV) games, the thrill of victory, the aches of defeat, the throes of ecstasy one gets when you see your high school crush in a swimsuit…

But I digress. No crushes here. Just pure unadulterated reminiscing. We talked about our boy Dave on Paradise Hotel, since he was the highly competitive runner-up in the PV tourneys, yelling and all spirited. His friend Danny seemed a little out of sorts without him.

Tony cam up from PA. Sam-Buca came from Manhattan and was as daffy as always, but brought a woman with him (will wonders never cease? Hee-hee!). Orna and J-Cap came also. J-Cap mostly sat under a canopy of trees to dry off as the finals went on. Orna, was in the finals with the boys thrashing the water, splashing on myself and Buca’s friend’s friend and AB-Luuv, our favorite DJ on a local rock and roll station.

The best part was, of course, the ride home, slow and filled with Staten Islanders trying to hold the weekend. Descha and I both had some issues and went to the boardwalk to relieve them. The skies were darkening and we were a hppy tipsy, in the glow of people we have not seen in weeks, months, years. People we haven't talked to in however long. And Steve's dad who is a highly affectionate host with a statue of Bacchus on his front lawn-- and a party in the back!

Orna drove us, reveling in the freedom of the windows down and the exuberance up. Descha and I both had some issues and went to the boardwalk to relieve them. We couldn’t figure out which light in the sky was Mars; but we looked at the lights of the Verrazano Bridge with a little wonder of the future.

The sand was soft and that f**ker Descha pasted me twice. Very embarrassing. We clambered into a lifeguard’s chair and realized the “Mars” had moved. In the east was the real red planet twinkling at us, catching our breaths, wondering what would happen if we lived in a community altogether, so we could meet up weekly and discuss the good times.

Monday, August 25, 2003

Unbelievably 08.25.03

I neglected to tell you about a weekend featuring the HS kids, our favorite movie star, Mr. Costner, and more. It was live. Hey, people, what are we doing for Labor Day?

Friday, August 22, 2003

Freedom of Sound 08.22.03

So far this is a good morning. The haze is high, my laundry is spinning, COMPUSA has left a message about my dysfunctional computer.

The evening is coming and I will be music-free. Since high school where the trips were long and uninspiring, I’ve always carried a walkman, a CD player, and for the past 3-4 months, the MP3 player that was stolen last week. Ah, those thousands of songs accessible with a few finger-runs over the scroll bar, all gone like the last drop of lemonade.

As you know, my MP3 player was lost/ stolen last Saturday. “Lost/ Stolen” incorporates the following sequence of events:

• On the “patio” with Gully and friends, with the music-box
• Off to the Alphabet Lounge to see my old buddy Jon from Sheepshead
• Walking to another party and looking at my playlist, so I can describe to Pixel the kind of Lite-106 pop cheese I’ve been listening to—to which she expressed surprise, especially when I started belting Kenny Rogers’ “Through the Years.” Pixel, the singing addict also known as MF Skillz joins me, of course.
• To re-checking my bag, seeing if it was closed, while Schnapp offers us a corner store peach, or perhaps it was a plum. We all said no thanks as a little fruit dribble made its way down his chin, juicy but unshareable.
• To the next party, where my bag was nestled underneath a woodern bench on the rooftop.
• To Pixel’s where I check the LIRR schedule online.
• To the Never/ Rarely a/k/a the N/R line to Penn Station…

Where I reach into my bag—all gone, like the last drop of lemonade. I kicked a column. Wore the grim face. Listened to the drunken LIRR conversations on the 3.46 to Long Beach. That day’s feature was a five some from Cornell University, discussing how some “faggot” couldn’t get into (I think) Zeta Beta Tau. As people pushed him out of the way and he game him the fight face. His friend/ girlfriend, stood idly by, just outside this circle of fellas.


It is exciting to walk around listening, an adventure to not lock out the rest of the populace.

For example, yesterday I heard a pair of gospel singers softly hitting the high notes. The were out of practice so it was not in unison; but the two older women around them appreciated it when they sang, when they argued about who sang the song correctly, where they have performed.

I also heard that old man on the subway with pendulous glasses and a pink shirt that wore like a tent; telling everyone within earshot “this is what they always do.” “They,” meaning the MTA. “What they do,” delay the trains (or adhere to their barely-published schedules; or avoiding hitting another train in the ass; or performing voodoo. No one knows).

The community life. Thanks also to the people who have offered me their tunes when I get an MP3 player again... y'all have good music.

Thursday, August 21, 2003

The Smile 08.21.03

Enough of this downer crap. It is August, the month known for hot tempers and riots and revolutions. Instead, I hung out with the Continual Smile of Nicky Marie. Bar Von, everyone's favorite. And she too is having tiffs with people all over the place. With a smile on when she lets 'em have it-- good show, CSNM!

We, in the dark, listening to James Brown and catching up with a little vitriol but a lot of good humor. Good way to spend the evening. I am now off to try and find the Petsel; this non-drinking thing isn't working. I think I'll quit tomorrow.
The Sweet 08.21.03

My dear SF friend MC Shiv sent the sweetest thing-- she went on a search for my soulmate.

Here is the ending of her compilation:

You can accept compliments with confidence, respect, and stature – don’t put your head down every time someone says something nice! Smile and thank them. We tell you why this is extremely important if not essential to having successful first encounters.

You won’t meet Mr. Right at you Aunt’s house. Get out and take control. Do the things that you want to do on your own terms. Proven step-by-step exercises in the Soul Mate Solution help you to discover what you really want to do with yourself.

How to get new results. If you do the same thing you’ve always done how do you expect to get different results? For a full explanation purchase the Soul Mate Solution now and receive it INSTANTLY in your mailbox.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

One Week Ago 08.20.03

I last posted.

One year ago, I was a ninja in Chicago.

The blackout was pretty fun in New York, all things considered. School is coming up. Need a job. Interesting things are not coming out of my mouth. I had my MP3 player stolen. This is not the inspired life. A couple of friends and I may be on the outs. But that's okay. It's a matter of principle. What's the line? If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything? Doesn't really apply here... but it does bring up the question, is it better to have friends who are diverse/ all over the place/ with opinions and ways of thinking you cannot possibly agree with; or friends with a similar and known range of sensibilities, if not personalities?

Mind you, think about the work required to maintain a functioning relationship with folks you may not at all see eye to eye with. Where is the friendship, hm?

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Nice. 08.13.03

After a long day of looking at my computer lovingly infected with the virus all the kids are talking about, I stepped down to Gully’s, to see Claudio the Rock Star play drums for some rap-live drumming reality contest/ show for Showtime. Being that this is hip and Claudio put some funk on his outfit, there were some questions about getting in. And so, we talked about music and had a discussion with the Two Boots girls.

Which apparently went the wrong way. Not too many customers in the place, they were sitting behind the counter drinking shakes the color of the Incredible Hulk and laying back at the end of an evening. I was leaning on the rounded counter, talking to Ninja Squirrel and Drunken ‘Drea, absentmindedly scanning the VHS titles, talking about that wondrous movie Birth of a Nation which features the Klan and blackface.

Ah, but the good part. Gully took exception to the earlier (this weekend) phrases—

Nick said: "i love you... as a friend".
Drunken Drea said: "see? we're bonding... in a non-sexual way"

when there is no cause for the addendums.

It is hard to understand, perhaps it is a guy thing. But “I like you as a friend” and “you’re so nice” are the kind of “compliments” that marginalize you as non-dick material – which, of course, is the main issue here. The friend word is a dirty word. No one wants to be told they’re out of the race, or that they have no one to run with. Naturally, not everyone wants to get with each other. But these things don’t need to be said if you’re not even hitting on the “compliment” giver. That’s what makes the aforementioned comments bizarre. If someone is hanging out with me, I tend to assume they like me, as in enjoy my presence.

On the other hand, it is good to make things clear between friends. Especially when one or both friends are not confident about how to act when NOT drunk or how to act towards someone who is your acquaintance, not yet their bosom buddy. So to speak.

For my part, said comments (especially “you’re so nice.” That would be my least favorite.) are still unnecessary because, well, these are flat and boring comments. Neither Gully nor I have known these kids for so long that these comments mean much of anything; we are not close friends. They are closer to filler; mixing the “I am only getting to know you” with “I don’t know you well enough to say anything unique and specific.” And what kind of friendship is that? Not very deep, not very close. But my friends can say that, because they add nuance, past history, tone, life to flat phrases. Even if, Samantha, we don’t see each other enough.

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Still With the Love 08.12.03

I’d like to post daily. And I think I will be able to, what with my not drinking anymore (or at least until I have my next drink. And if I am attempting to be social with someone’s father, then yes, I will have a drink) and my attempts to set these “priorities” and such.

Here’s a catch-up. Friday was walking in the rain and sending out mail I hope I never had to send. Left right left all about the town. Ended up in Manhattan where I learned my softball game was not that day but Monday so sauntered to the school computer lab plunked down and found my way-- to frustrated, frustrated with my self with the novel I may never finish and if I do it won’t go anywhere but it will always eat at me as the memories diminish. Ate lots of yogurt. Wasted lots of steps. Found Gully’s place. Watched some of the Mets. Went home.

Woke up early. Went out. It rained like it does every day. Because NYC has become FLA without the hot and immoral tramps in the way. Day happens. Went to Pixel’s party party. Had a good time, even saw Sanjit. Arroz- we are not rivals. Lots of heads at the party. Halyz brought a guest as her sidecar. My whole table was alcohol free. I felt like an old man. We didn’t talk about our dentures and that’s good by me.

Lots of people didn’t show. Lots of rain came down. Lots of people slid in the side of the party. Arroz and the Charmer are the best DJ’s in the land. Arroz, because everything he plays I love, from back in our radio show back at the WU. The Charmer, because his knowledge of music is off the chain, and he rolls from Punjabi MC to drum-and-bass for you.

I point this out to my accompaniment of the evening. Well, two accompaniments. While Boy-Sammy and Selvadurai argue like a married couple, and silly people do silly dances, while the large crew of lesbians canoodle by the bar in close doubles, I was lauding the merits of our DJ’s to Ninja Squirrel with the lip ring and Descha’s friend Amanda the Insult-Loving Recovering Journalist who is afraid of Unwanted Eye Contact, so she hangs with me. Yeah, I don’t get it either, but she’s a funny sweetheart.

Here I note that the funniest thing at the party is something I won’t go into if you paid me, since I don’t know if the participants know it all. But… it was funny and someone got taken home by a young lady… but not the one he was kissing earlier, but her friend.

Also, I don’t breakdance. Even in a Kangol.

Met the parents of Punchin’ Rizzo, along with Eben, Nascar Anna, Arroz.

Met up with the volunteers from the camp. Lost another softball game/ escapade. Even added a collision with the right fielder. Went to a pompous party for Paper Magazine. Went home.

Now we’re all caught up.

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

The Streets Is Watching 08.06.03

I am so cool. I run into people on the street all the time. I can’t help it. Supercool.

Example: last night, before I got very angry at the voice of ignorance and pomposity (the pompositude of ignorance?), I was walking around the E-Vill with Anna Y, looking for food, wandering between conversant couples. And I saw this kid Aviva, who works around the corner from me!

Thing is, I haven’t seen her in 6 years, when I met her at the Cornell flophouse of Descha/ Berserker Sam-Buca/ C-Lo/ et cetera. And what I met was a pretentious vegan who couldn’t play her drums. But she was nice. And here she is in the city! Of course, I haven’t talked to her. It’s a little silly to talk to people who barely know who you are, who might give you the “oh—hi!” smile, with cordial-but-cold “how are you DO-ing,” and “what are you DO-ing” and such.

I pointed her out to Anna and we kept on her way.

Or how about Liz whom I met at a party! I know her even less! Pointed her out, striding 8th street, kept walking, on my way.

Or Sharon from the WU, saw her on Saturday! Right in Gully’s hood, near the Girls of Two Boots (where is the calendar, ladies? Yum! It’s like Suicide Girls but glossy with staples!), standing outside, a sweetheart I haven’t seen since college. Gurnifer seems to know things about her. But I don’t know her that well either. Kept on walking.

But STILL. I see people I know on the street all the time! I can’t help it. I am so cool.

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Daytime Twilight 08.05.03

Wish my parents a happy anniversary. They’ve been at it for a long time.

Last weekend I saw “Giggly,” known in your newspaper as “Gigli” and pronounced as “boring hackneyed crap.” Ray-Ray couldn’t handle it and we saw The Secret Lives of Dentists in its place. Saw a woman who was all the bad qualities of Alanis Morissette with a guitar, and she played after Adam Greenberg, who was v. good with his pop vocal stylings and range. Made like 12 year olds in a diner with Gully and Soldati.

Curled up a lot and hoped my sinus headaches would go away.

And today I want to catch up so badly I can taste it. I want to give you visions and scenes and work on the other blog. But there’s no time. So I will leave you with this.

Coming out of a train on 34th and 6th Avenue. The skies, dark; the commuters, harried and pissed at all the delays. The streets, teeming. And there is a perhaps-young woman, holding on to a cigarette with a twitch.

She is missing some teeth or perhaps she just has a smile with gaps. Our subject has a few zits, and a sallow face. In an athletic-tight tank top/ sports bra hybrid, highlighting her ribs. Sandy brown hair, up. She is watching people get off the train, and has a hand over the white bandage placed around her elbow. Or her heroin holes. Maybe a methadone patient. Typical for the area. I walked a little faster, up the block to the office, escaping the freakshow.

Friday, August 01, 2003

It's Da First Of Tha Month 08.01.03

Wake up wake up.

These are hot and heady times. Not in the world. By that I mean that I won’t talk about Liberia or the Iraqi occupation or the shadiness of file-swapping lawsuits. I won’t talk about my headache. I won’t talk about being single. I won’t talk about all the people I haven’t seen in months.

It’s pouring outside, and the thunder is smacking like a dominatrix from my perspective off of Lafayette Street. I’ll go back, though, to retrieve medical aids. And then I will do something silly. Go right back out. Hit a bar in silly ass “hip” Williamsburg. Maybe join the kids at the Ace bar. Get into semi-arguments and semi-flirts lounging on the back chairs. Unless, of course, I do not.

After moping about for a few days, curling up in bed, listening to maudlin music, mournfuil jazz, country, and for God’s sake, the Sea and Cake (what’s wrong with me? Is there medicine for that?) there is nothing like letting the monkey out. Preferably with someone who has engendered a certain level of disrespect. Someone who inspires your sarcasm, your wry smile, your raised eyebrow. Then you can insult them subtly and it becomes a game.

The fact that this is the activity that lifts my spirits like a boob job should not make you think any less of me. I mean, come on! I love you! Mostly because you’re reading me.